Archive for the ‘Acreage Living’ Category

Winterizing Hose Bibs

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Here is the step by step directions for winterizing your hose bib correctly, to ensure no breakage or bursting when spring rolls around.
Step One: Take Off The Hose
You can’t winterize the hose bib with the hose attached to it still. No brainer right? Detach the hose from the hose bib and drain it completely. Frozen water in hoses can cause holes and leaks too, so to keep your hose over winter it needs to be properly drained. You can lay the hose down and walk the length of it, picking up small sections and letting the water flow out. Imagine a tube of toothpaste, and try not to miss any spots. Once it’s empty, roll it up and store it for the winter months.
Step Two: Drain the Faucet
This step is quite like the steps you take to winterize faucets in your home. You’ll locate the shut off valve for the outside water line (if you have any trouble here contact a plumber to help you locate it) and shut the water off. Once the water is disconnected go back outside and turn the faucet all the way on. This will drain out any water currently sitting in the line.
Step Three: Drain the Valve
Go back inside to where the shut off was, and locate a small brass looking plug or cap. Unplug that cap, so that the valve itself will drain. Draining the water out, without emptying the valve, is useless. You must do both. Once that valve and all the water in the line have been drained, you can close the valve and shut the hose bib faucet off.
You’re Done!
It’s a simple 10 minute job, but it can save you hundreds in plumbing repairs when spring thaws the frozen winter water.

Garbage Disposal in Parkland County

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Garbage Disposal in Parkland County | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhether you call it waste management or taking out the trash, disposing of your garbage when you live on an acreage in Parkland County or elsewhere is not usually as simple as leaving it at the curb as you would in Spruce Grove or Stony Plain or Parkland County’s hamlet of Entwhistle.

Luckily, country residents are not left entirely to their own devices. The days of burying or burning your garbage are, thankfully, long over. Parkland County has systems in place along with strict guidelines as to what you may or may not do, and how and where unwanted items are to be disposed of.

Parkland County residents are provided with a Solid Waste Disposal Access card  that allows them to drop off their regular household waste and recyclables at no charge at any of the County’s transfer stations. Charges apply for items not considered regular household waste (such as demolition or construction materials, commercial waste, large appliances and the like). Parkland County no longer maintains landfill sites or dumps. Instead, in 2008, these sites were converted to transfer stations which provide a wide range of waste disposal services. For a full list of the County’s transfer stations, their locations and hours of operation, what they’ll accept, charges, and the like, visit the webpage Transfer Station Locations & Information.

For people who don’t have the time or ability to take their waste and recyclable items to a facility, curbside pickup is available for a price through private contractors in some areas of Parkland County. Contact Public Works at 780-968-8448 for more information.

The County also maintains a Take It Or Leave It facility at the Parkland County Transfer Station and Recycle Centre (located at 52514 Range Road 11, South of Hwy 16A on Range Road 11). Residents of Parkland County can bring items that they believe other people might have a use for, or take possession of items other residents have donated. Read about this unique service, and what items are acceptable, on the webpage Take It Or Leave It.

To learn about all aspects of living in Parkland County, browse through their website.

I’m always happy to help you with questions related to acreage living. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Well Water Testing in Alberta: Why, Where and How

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Well Water Testing in Alberta: Why, Where and How | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamTesting Well Water Before Buying an Acreage

If you are thinking of buying an acreage in Parkland County near Spruce Grove, Stony Plain or Edmonton, or elsewhere in Alberta, you probably know that you’ll be responsible for your own water supply and sewage system. When you write an offer to purchase an acreage home, one of your Buyer’s Conditions will likely be a Water Condition, which will require the seller to prove that the acreage’s water is potable and free of bacteria. Your mortgage lender will also want to see this proof. How does the seller in the deal go about meeting this condition?

Luckily, for people in our area, DynaLifeDX (the medical lab located in the Queen St. Centre in Spruce Grove), will test the water for real estate purposes, and your REALTOR® can arrange for the testing. DynaLife supplies the container in which the specimen is collected, and processes it for a fee of $60. Please visit DynaLife’s Well Water Testing webpage for the details.

Living on an Acreage with a Well

If you are new to acreage living in our area, take a look at the Parkland County webpage on Water Systems to learn about how water can be accessed by acreage owners.  As you’ll see, a well on your property is just one possibility.

My blog article of April 2011 entitled “Well Water Testing” notes how critical it is to maintain the health of the well on your acreage property. Today’s article updates and expands the information in that article.

The Provincial Government’s Role: Getting well water tested for real estate and mortgage purposes comes at a cost, is limited in scope and must be done by a private agency, as noted above, but testing of water for human consumption once you live on the property can be done for free by the provincial government and includes more in-depth analyses. It is currently recommended that bacteriological analyses be performed up to 4 times per year, and a chemical analysis every 2 to 5 years. For more details about this, please read Alberta Health Services helpful pamphlet “Frequently Asked Questions About Well Water Testing”.  This pamphlet also lists the circumstances when testing will not be done by the province.

Testing for bacteria is done at the Provincial Laboratory of Public Health at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton (Walter Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre, 8440-112 St, Edmonton AB T6G 2J2 – water testing done in the Environmental Microbiology Laboratory), and chemical analyses are done at the Centre for Toxicology at the University of Calgary (3030 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary AB T2N 4W4 – water testing done in the Environmental Waters Laboratory). ProvLab’s Guide to Services is a large publication detailing the many public health services they offer, with water sampling being one of them.

You don’t have to travel to either of ProvLab’s locations for this service. Spruce Grove’s Environmental Public Health Office is located in the Stan Woloshyn Building at 205 Diamond Avenue. Here, you can pick up special containers in which to collect your samples and drop them off. Hours of operation are weekdays 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. BUT, note that drop-in service is not available so be sure to call them first at 780-342-1380.

Other information about water quality

Health Canada: What’s in Your Well? A Guide to Well Water Treatment and Maintenance  (an excellent and concise article about well health)

Western Direct Insurance: Check Your Water Quality

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development: New online tool for water well owners

Environmental Public Health Field Manual for Private, Public and Communal Drinking Water Systems in Alberta (how to sample, how to interpret the results, how to design, construct, manage and maintain wells, dugouts and cisterns, water treatment, etc.)

Health Canada:  Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Water Quality Testing

Looking to buy an acreage? Let me help! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Lights Out: Five Reasons to Consider Installing a Backup Generator for Your Home

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Lights Out- Five Reasons to Consider Installing a Backup Generator for Your Home | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamBackup generators provide peace of mind in the event of extended power outages. Installed directly on homeowners’ properties, backup generators are connected to the electrical panels and supply needed power whenever the utility power is interrupted. Having backup power is particularly important during extremes in temperature when an inability to use furnaces or air conditioning units can lead to dangerous in-home conditions. People living in or thinking of moving to the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region would do well to contemplate the issue. As such, here are five reasons to consider installing backup generators.

Frozen Pipe Headaches

While installing backup generators will cost thousands of dollars per household, the cost could end up being quite the bargain for homeowners in Spruce Grove real estate when considering the headaches and costs associated with damaged pipes. If the power goes out during the dead of winter, for example, Stony Plain real estate owners who do not have backup generators might run the risk of frozen pipes that could burst and lead to costly repair-related expenses.

Hotel Rental Expense

Extended power outages that occur when the temperature is either too hot or too cold may, if backup generators are not installed, force homeowners with Parkland County real estate to flee to hotels. The costs can certainly add up for power outages that last for weeks at a time. Recent cases of natural disasters across North America have demonstrated that lengthy power outages are a real possibility.

Keep Food Fresh

People with Edmonton real estate who lose power for even a few days can end up losing everything stored in fridges and freezers. They would not only have to dispose of hundreds of dollars worth of spoiled food, but would also have to replace what was lost as a result of the power outage.

Unhooking the Tether

One of the best advantages of installing backup generators is that they automatically turn themselves on whenever there’s a power outage. What this means is that people with Parkland County acreages won’t have to be tethered to their homes. Whether they’re out of town and can’t get back quickly or have to go to work, homeowners can rest assured that their backup generators will provide their homes with the power they need to operate as per usual.

Peace of Mind

Having the power shut off with no warning can be a disheartening experience. Installing backup generators will help to alleviate anxiety or worry in the event of extended power outages. This benefit is all the more important if children or elderly people living on Edmonton acreages are home alone when there’s a power outage.

There are many good reasons for homeowners to consider installing backup generators, and the aforementioned are just five of them.  Please also read my blog post “Should I Buy a Generator?”

I’d be honoured to provide you with any advice on your real estate needs in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, and Edmonton. For a free consultation, please call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here. I look forward to helping you with your real estate needs!

Plan Ahead for Spring With the Lazy Person’s Guide to Building Your Own Deck

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Plan Ahead for Spring With the Lazy Person's Guide to Building Your Own Deck | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamSo, you’ve just moved into your new home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton region and you’ve decided the best way to enjoy all of that lush scenery is to build a new deck. In fact, you’ve decided to build the deck yourself. This might seem like a lot of hard work at first, but building your own deck can be a pretty simple job with the right plan of action.

Pick a Design

The amount of work you’ll need to do all depends on the style of deck you want. If you’re strapped for ideas or you’re having trouble trying to visualize your dream deck, try using the deck plans simulator at deckplans.com. Once you’ve settled on a design, you’ll need to figure out what size the deck will be. If your deck is free standing, you’ll have complete flexibility when it comes to the shape and size. If you plan on building a deck that sits against your house, you’ll have to be aware of wall lengths, shrubbery, and other obstacles the might limit the space available for the deck.

Order Your Materials

The best part about using a deck plans simulator is that most will assemble a materials list for you, but be sure to order extra parts just in case. Here’s a brief overview of those materials:

– 2×6 planks treated lumber

– 4×4 or 4×6 treated lumber

– deck screws

– joist hangers

– block piers or concrete and pier tubes

– J bolts or anchor bolts

– mason’s string

– carriage bolts

You’ll also need to pick up a few tools:

– water level

– measuring tape

– circular saw

– sand paper

– hammer

– shovel

– safety clothing (goggles, gloves, etc.)

– hammer drill (you might not need this depending on what bolt system you use for the posts)

Building a Deck: The Basics

Step 1: Lay out the frame for the deck with string and put down markers for where the support posts will go.

Step 2: Dig holes for the concrete piers. Keep in mind the desired height of your deck.

Step 3: Pour your concrete for the piers if you’re making your own, and place the J-bolts in the centre of each. Leave them to dry. If you’re using block piers, place the blocks and prep each for an anchor bolt with the hammer drill.

Step 4: Place the piers. Use a level throughout the process to make you don’t end up with a wonky deck.  Secure your posts to the piers and make sure they sit at the right height.

Step 5: Use carriage bolts and lumber to build the border. Place joists along the flat side of the lumber to secure the support planks that run underneath the floor planks.

Step 6: Lay down the floorboards by hammering them into the support planks.

Step 7: Use sand paper to smooth down any chips or split wood. You’ll also need to go over any areas you sand down with a deck sealant for waterproofing.

Building your own deck doesn’t have to be hard. A basic deck can be built in as little time as a few afternoons. A deck can be a beautiful addition that raises the value of Spruce Grove real estate, Stony Plain real estate, Parkland County real estate, or Edmonton real estate. Homes in Parkland County acreages and Edmonton acreages offer a spectacular view, so why not enjoy it on your very own deck?

P.S.  Before you do any of the above, check with the local municipality about whether you’ll need a building permit for your deck!

Have questions about owning a home in these areas? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

This is the Dream Home You’ve Been Looking For

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Every once in a while, a home comes on the market that is so outstanding, it deserves to be highlighted in a special way.  If you are in the market for an acreage home in the Spruce Grove-Stony Plain-Edmonton region, this incredible property needs to be seen to be appreciated.This is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam44, 53305 Range Road 273, Parkland County is a 4-bedroom (2 up, 2 down), 1,991 sq ft custom-designed bungalow (built in 2006) situated on a 1.14 acre lot in the prestigious subdivision of Atim Creek Springs 12 minutes west of Edmonton.  Adjectives like stunning, gorgeous, breathtaking, incredible sound like clichés but in this case every one of them fits!  There is nothing lacking in either the superb finishing of the home or the spectacular landscaping of the park-like lot. 

Here are just a few of the features of this home that make it extraordinary:

Kitchen and Dining Areas:

Beautiful kitchen with tons of space, pot drawers, pecan-colored cabinets, glass-doored pantry, granite counter tops, breakfast bar

Stainless steel appliances

Dual-fuel stove, gas cooktop, gas convection oven

Beautiful backsplash, under-cabinet lighting, subtle above-cabinet lighting

Garden door to deck from dinette; 3-zone audio system in kitchen, basement and deck

3-sided gas fireplace separates dinette from living room

Intimate alcove formal dining room can seat 12-14 people; hardwood floor

This is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamMaster Suite:

Huge main floor master bedroom (more than 18’x13’)

Large walk-in closet

Luxurious master bath has 2-sided gas fireplace, Bain Ultra Air Deep 2-person bathtub, rain shower, 4-piece body spray and hand wand in shower, his/hers sinks

This is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam 

Flooring, Finishing, Comfort Features

Extensive use of ceramic tile, hardwood

Beautiful earth-tone colors throughout

11’ ceilings in entryway and living room, 9’ everywhere else including basement

In-floor heating in main floor ceramic tiles and throughout basement

Air conditioning

Security system

Low E windows and screens

Low-flow dual flush toilets in all 3 bathrooms

Main floor laundry room with upper cabinets, full-size sink with spray

Bench and large coat closet in mudroom access off garage

3700 gallon cistern; septic system to code

Easy Living Features in Basement:

Entertainment/media room (18’x30’) with grand entertainment unit and surround sound, plus games room or exercise room

Large wet bar with full-size fridge and sink, under-counter lighting

Basement bath has private shower with rain shower and hand wand, 2 sinks, ample storage in 2 banks of drawers and 2 very large upper mirrored cabinets

2 large bedrooms

Huge utility room with craft table and storage

This is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam Yard, Lot, Exterior Amenities:

Very private, beautifully landscaped natural treed lot with native and planted evergreen and seedlings

Loaded with trees, shrubs, perennials

Lovely greenhouse, raised herb garden

Stone walkways, fire pit, large stone patio, wood deck with maintenance-free decking

6-person hot tub and pergola

Huge shed and ½ shed for storage

Exposed aggregate walkway to front entry and stairs

4000 sq ft asphalt driveway and extra long RV parking

Fully fenced chain link with double gate for vehicle access to back yard

Cedar and lattice fence on neighbor side

This is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThis is the Dream Home You've Been Looking For | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamGarage:

1200 sq ft insulated triple attached garage with 2 large windows for lots of light

Natural gas to garage; hot and cold water taps and floor drain

You’ll have difficult decisions to make about where to spend your time.  Do you whip up stellar meals in the gourmet’s delight kitchen?  Host elegant dinner parties in the formal dining room?  Have your friends over to watch sporting events and enjoy the hospitality of the wet bar in the magnificent downstairs entertainment room?  Soak up the beauty and serenity of the glorious backyard from the deck or patio, or in the hot tub under the pergola?  This home truly has everything you could ask for – the perfect place for family living and entertaining.

I would love to show you this wonderful home, or any other property in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton region.  Please call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

 

Well Water Testing

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Well Water Testing |Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you live on an acreage in Parkland County near Stony Plain or Spruce Grove, you may get your drinking water from a well on your property, and you know how critical maintaining the health of that well can be.  But did you know that you can (and should) get your well water tested regularly for free by the provincial government through Alberta Health Services?  It is recommended that bacteriological analyses be performed up to 4 times per year, and a chemical analysis once per year.

Testing for bacteria is done at the Provincial Laboratory of Public Health at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, and chemical analyses are done at the Centre for Toxicology at the University of Calgary.  But you don’t have to travel to either of those locations for this service.  Spruce Grove is home to an Environmental Public Health Office located at 205 Diamond Avenue where you can pick up special containers in which to collect your samples and to drop them off.  Hours of operation are Monday to Thursday mornings.  Call them at 780-342-1380.

The following is an excerpt from the brochure published by Alberta Health Services (no longer available online) entitled “Evaluating Private Drinking Water Supplies and Sampling Instructions”.

A full evaluation of a private water supply involves sampling for both bacteriological and chemical analysis.

Bacteriological and chemical analysis and the evaluation of results against established standards are essential for determining the initial and ongoing safety of drinking water.  Other factors such as appearance, odor and field knowledge also assist in determining the presence of potential contamination or existing pollution.

A bacteriological analysis should be performed quarterly, or when contamination of the water supply is suspected.   Bacteriological analysis includes the presence of total coliforms and E. coli.

A chemical analysis should be performed on all new, redeveloped or unregistered wells and re-sampled annually.  Chemical analysis includes seventeen parameters as outlined in the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.  It is recommended that parents with newborn babies or young children submit drinking water samples for both analyses.

Note that this free service is available only for drinking water for human consumption from a raw water supply.   Alberta Health Services includes the following cautions in their brochure:

“Well water samples are NOT accepted for mortgage purposes, livestock consumption, Giardia analysis, fish disease or algae analysis, or to check the effectiveness of water treatment equipment.”

“Chemical analysis WILL NOT be performed on the following sources:

  • Municipal (licensed) water supplies
  • Water for mortgage approval
  • Bottled water
  • Water from private contractors (including water well drillers)
  • Water collected outside of the Province of Alberta
  • Water from other Government agencies”

You can, of course, hire private companies to test your water for the purposes which Alberta Health Services exclude from their free testing service.  DynaLifeDX Diagnostic Lab Services is one such company performing bacteriological analyses.

In addition to the above information about well water testing, it should be noted that:

  • If you have a shallow well that is close to a surface water body, such as a dugout, river, etc., it may require treatment to ensure its safety.
  • If you store water in a cistern, it should be pumped clean and disinfected with a bleach solution at least once a year to control bacteria and algae.  If a water hauler is used to fill the cistern, ensure the hauler is approved by Alberta Health Services.  Water should be tested for bacteriological quality twice per year.
  • Water from a dugout should not be used for drinking unless filtered and disinfected.  Treated water should be tested for bacteriological quality every three months, and for chemical quality once per year.

I always welcome your comments or questions!  Phone me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, 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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