Archive for March, 2012

Be a Clean Freak — or Just Look Like One!

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Be a Clean Freak -- or Just Look Like One! | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam“Got a half hour to kill?  Use it to spruce up your house.”  So begins a useful article from the March 24, 2012 edition of the Edmonton Journal entitled “Take time for a quick home spruce-up”. 

Most of us want our homes in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere to look great, but often the chore of keeping them looking immaculate feels a little overwhelming.  This article suggests a number of quick touch-ups that will make your home look and feel a lot better, whether you are doing it for yourself or as part of staging your home for sale.

The author, Mary Beth Breckenridge, starts by suggesting a tour through every part of your home with notebook in hand and a critical eye.  Write down every single thing that isn’t quite right.  You won’t be fixing them during this walk-through but it will give you an idea of things, big and small, that should probably be attended to. 

Now, for a few fix-ups.  Breckenridge suggests not just polishing but actually touching up the woodwork of window and door frames, baseboards, etc. to cover up the scratches and dings of day-to-day wear.  Read the article for her product suggestions!  Chipped paint on walls can be given similar treatment.

Breckenridge recommends Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and Scrubbing Bubbles spray to get rid of smudges around light switches, door knobs and so on. 

And then there are the places where dust likes to accumulate but which we often ignore when we do our weekly cleaning ritual:  light fixtures (don’t forget to dust the bulbs, and it’s probably time to take apart and wash the chandelier over the dining room table) and fans (including fan blades and bathroom exhaust fans), the tops of doors, the crevices between the carpet edge and baseboards (use the crevice tool on your vacuum for this one).  Think high and low, as in ceilings and baseboards.

You won’t be doing all of these things during one cleaning stint, but they make for a quick home brightener if tackled one by one, Breckenridge claims, and are not as time-consuming or onerous as one might think.   Read the full article for lots of good ideas to keep your home looking its best.

Got some great home maintenance tips to share?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.




Be Green, Save Gold on Water

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Be Green, Save Gold on Water | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAre you a water hog or a water miser?  Chances are, if you’re like most Canadians, whether you live in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or elsewhere, you use more water than you should.  This excessive water use costs us as homeowners, in higher water bills, and as citizens, putting a strain on infrastructure and resources.

 Stemming the flow of H2O”, an article in the March 3, 2012 issue of the Edmonton Journal and written by Patrick Langston of the Ottawa Citizen, contains some startling statistics about water use.  For instance, the article states that Canadians on average use 340 litres of water per person per day, the 2nd highest amount in the world.

Other facts quoted in the article:

  • Roughly 65% of indoor water use occurs in the bathroom.
  • One drop per second from a leaky faucet can waste about 10,000 litres of water in a year.  A toilet that keeps running after it’s flushed can waste up to 200,000 litres per year (enough to fill 2 swimming pools!)
  • Standard shower heads release 15 to 20 litres of water per minute.  A low-flow model cuts that amount in half.  
  • A standard 18-litre-per-flush toilet, flushed 4 times per day, uses close to 30,000 litres per year.  Think of how much water (and money!) can be saved by replacing one standard toilet with a low-flow model that uses 6 litres or less per flush.
  • It takes about 265 litres to fill a standard bathtub, more (sometimes much more) for a soaker tub.
  • Most front-loading washing machines use about 75 litres per load, about half that of top loaders.
  • Think you’re saving money and water if you hand wash your dishes?  Hand washing uses about 75 litres, while an Energy Star dishwasher takes about 15 litres per load.

Tips and information abound in this useful article. Some of these things we’ve heard before, like not leaving the tap running when you brush your teeth or wash your hands.  Other tips may be new, such as installing a thermostatic valve in the shower so that the shower can be shut off while lathering without having to re-set the water temperature when the tap is turned back on. 

The article concludes with conservation tips borrowed from the website  This excellent website offers over 100 ways to conserve water, such as:

  • When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run while rinsing.  Fill one sink with wash water and the other with rinse water.
  • Wash vegetables in a bowl of water instead of under a running tap.  Then use the vegetable water to water houseplants.
  • Keep a bottle of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap.
  • When doing laundry, match the water level to the size of the load.  Better yet, aim to run your machine only for full loads.
  • Install an instant water heater near your kitchen sink so you don’t have to run the water while it heats up.

Read the article  and check out for much more information.  Whether the tips you’ll find there are new or old, we all can stand to be reminded of ways we can help the planet and our wallets!

I would be happy to help you find an energy-efficient home!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at, or contact me here.



Barry Twynam, Realty Executives Leading
#1 14 McLeod Avenue, Spruce Grove, Alberta, T7X 3X3
Tel: 780-962-9696 Cell: 780-910-9669 Fax: 780-962-9699
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