Archive for the ‘Home Repair and Maintenance’ Category

Do You Know How (and When) to Inspect Your Own Roof?

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Do You Know How (and When) to Inspect Your Own Roof? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you own your own home in Parkland County, Stony Plain, Spruce Grove, or the Edmonton region, it’s to your benefit to know how and when to inspect your own roof. Whether your Spruce Grove real estate property is new or old, inspecting your own roof can save you money and extend the life of the roof. Your Stony Plain real estate agent would surely agree that it’s easier than ever for homeowners to inspect their own roofs. Here is how you can find out how and when to inspect your own roof if you own some Parkland County real estate.

Tips on How to Inspect Your Own Roof

Inspecting your own roof involves so much more than just climbing up there and glancing around. Inspecting your roof depends on checking out specific issues. For starters, inspect the flashings on the roof; these are metal pieces that cover the roof plane’s interruptions. It’s best to fix damaged flashings immediately, since snow can get into the interior. If the roof has wood shingles, check for indications of dry rot. If one-third of your shingles have dry rot, it’s time to replace the entire roof! If your Edmonton acreage’s roof is high-end and has clay or asbestos shingles, then you can inspect them without having to get on the roof. Just stay on the ground, use binoculars, and look for signs of chipping and missing pieces.

Tips on Easy Fixes for Roof Problems

If the problem with your roof is relatively simple, you can handle it yourself on your own Edmonton real estate property. For instance, loose shingles can be easily repaired by simply hammering in the popped nails. You can even replace both caulk flashing and shingles. $24 or so will get you a bundle of shingles, while roofing caulk costs around $6. You should set aside half a day for work on the roof. If repairs are more complicated, you’ll need to get in touch with professional roof repair companies.

Tips on When to Inspect Your Roof

Parkland County acreages boast some nice properties, and, sometimes, roof inspections should be done more frequently than just once a year. The rule of thumb is yearly or twice a year, but if there have been extreme weather situations (such as snowstorms or wind storms), you should check the roof more frequently. It’s recommended that a homeowner checks his roof after every severe snow or windstorm. Checking your roof more frequently can lead to spotting damage earlier, which makes it less costly to fix.

Now you know exactly how and when to inspect your own roof. It is not necessary to have someone do the job for you if you’re a homeowner. Inspecting your roof really has a lot to do with being proactive, and this can and will save you money in the long run.

I am always available to answer any roof-related questions you may think of. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

5 Easy Ways to Cut Your Heating Bill This Winter

Friday, February 21st, 2014

5 Easy Ways to Cut Your Heating Bill This Winter | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhen it comes to the winter season in Alberta, some definite certainties are snow, ice, and freezing cold temperatures. But just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean it has to be cold inside. While the elements can make it more challenging to keep warm in a cost-effective way, there are things that homeowners in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region can do to lessen the amount they pay to heat their homes. Here’s a list of five easy ways for homeowners to cut their heating bills this winter.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Homeowners with Spruce Grove real estate or Stony Plain real estate—or consumers interested in the region—can help to lessen their home heating bills by heading over to their nearest home improvement store and picking up programmable thermostats. Once the thermostat is installed, homeowners will be able to program the units to bring the temperature down a few notches when their homes are unoccupied or when people are sleeping. By keeping things nice and toasty only when homes are occupied, homeowners can take a little bit of the sting out of their next home heating bill.

Get a Furnace Tune-up

An annual furnace tune-up performed by a certified professional will keep furnaces working optimally. When furnaces are working properly and efficiently, the end result will be savings on the home heating front for homeowners with Parkland County real estate. Routine maintenance will also lower the odds of system failure at the worst possible time.

Remember Furnace Filter Maintenance

Homeowners with Edmonton acreages should, in addition to having their furnaces professionally serviced, be sure to either replace or clean their furnace filters as per the frequency recommended in manuals that came with their units. Failing to do this will compromise the efficiency of the equipment and lead to higher heating bills. Some filters can be cleaned and reused while others need to be thrown out and replaced. It’s up to homeowners to determine which type they have.

Insulate Against the Cold

Improperly insulated homes will cost more to keep warm, since furnaces will have to work harder to compensate. Whether independently or with the help of contractors, homeowners with Edmonton real estate should insulate any areas requiring insulation. Key areas where heat can escape homes include attics, walls, and crawl spaces. Once their homes have been properly insulated, homeowners will find not only that their residences are cozier, but also that their heating bills are lower than usual.

Seal the Leaks

Homeowners with Parkland County acreages would probably be surprised to learn how much cold air can enter their residences through cracks and gaps. Fortunately, they can pick up some sealant solutions sold at home improvement stores to seal out the cold air. Areas to watch out for include doorways, window frames, and duct work.

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean that homeowners have to settle for chilly climates inside their homes. Following the aforementioned tips will help to keep homes warm and reduce heating bills.

I am always willing to answer any home-related questions you might have! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Should I Buy a Generator?

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
Should I Buy a Generator? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

CC Photo supplied by Falls Avenue Vintage Fashion

Residents of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton area shuddered in horror during the last two weeks of December 2013 as ice storms in eastern Canada caused power outages that left people shivering in the dark, not for hours, but for days.  No power meant no heat, no lights, no way to keep food from spoiling, in many cases no water and no way to cook food.  Many of us started thinking about our own dependence on the electric power grid and what we could do if faced with such a disaster.

One solution might be a backup generator run by diesel, gasoline, propane or natural gas that could at least provide power to essential appliances such as furnace, refrigerator, stove or microwave, and the like.  What do you need to know before you purchase one and attempt to install it on your property?

What size do I need?

When it comes to generators, especially those that can run multiple appliances, bigger is better.  Experts suggest anything smaller than 4500 to 6000 watts just won’t get the job done.

First, determine what items you want to run.  Be aware that a generator is not intended to run every electrical appliance in your home and certainly not at the same time, so some choices will need to be made.  Most people would put things like the furnace, fridge, freezer and stove at the top of their lists.  Add your hot water tank if it is electric, and anything else that would cause undue hardship if you had to live without it for a few days.

You need to know how many watts of power are required to run your chosen items, but even more important is the “start-up wattage” – how much power is required when the item is turned on.  For example, a refrigerator might need 800 watts to run, but 2500 watts to start.  A good chart listing the wattages for selected home appliances is published by Plano Power Equipment.  Many appliances in your home should also have this information printed on them.

Add up the amount of wattage needed for all the items you want to run (don’t forget the lights!), and add 25% more to account for error and also to keep the generator running below its maximum capacity.

Remember too that most of these machines, like your vehicle or lawnmower, run on fuel in tanks that have to be re-filled!  Average continuous running time is about 5 to 7 hours.

How do I manage the power?

One thing to remember:  Turn something OFF before you turn something else ON!

A very good article called “Power On” published by GulfCoastNews.com has some great tips for choosing, operating and installing a portable generator.

The author of this article recommends turning on the refrigerator and freezer first, then a few lights and other low-wattage appliances.  Once everything in the freezer is frozen, unplugging it for a while won’t hurt the contents and you can then run other appliances and equipment.

So, can I just plug in the generator?

Uh, no.  What you’re going to need is a “transfer switch”.  The “Power On” article defines a transfer switch as “a manual three-position switching device that allows power to be channeled to the home’s electrical system either from the utility company power lines or from the generator – not both”.   Why is this important?  “Plugging a generator directly into a wall socket instead of utilizing a transfer switch sets up several potentially deadly scenarios: a short-circuit and electrical fire in the home’s wiring when power is restored; a system short-circuit in the generator causing it to catch fire or explode when power is restored; and the possible electrocution of linemen working to restore power in your area.”  Yikes!

Here’s a good idea, from the same article:  “If you are building a new home [or renovating], consider having the contractor install a sub-panel that is already set up for stand-by power. This saves you money because there’s usually no additional installation labor costs and the generator-ready panel eliminates the need for an additional transfer switch box.”

See also “Portable Generator Safety” from FortisAlberta.

How do I go about installing my portable or stand-by generator?

Take a look at this video called “How to Install a Stand-by Generator” from ThisOldHouse.com.  A little more complicated than buying the thing, bringing it home and turning it on, but chances are, if you ever have to deal with what the poor folks in eastern Canada did, you’ll be very glad you made the effort!

OK, I’m sold!  What do I buy and how much will it cost?

Home Depot has a good article on generators on their website, along with links to information on the generators they sell.     Check out also this page from ConsumerReports.org.   If you are a subscriber, you will be able to access the Consumer Reports ratings on generators.

Personal opinion?  If you’re going to do this, go for the best.  For example, Honda’s Premium series of generators (5000 to 6000 watts) cost in the range of $3000.  (View the spec sheets from Scona Cycle.)  Add in roughly another $750 for installing the transfer switch and incidentals and you will be good to go even if the Edmonton area gets hit with a 2-week-long power outage like Ontario’s.

Comments or questions about this article?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Shedding a Different Light

Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Shedding a Different Light | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamHow many incandescent light bulbs are in your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area?  This isn’t an idle question, or the beginning of a dumb joke, although the ban on incandescent bulbs that went into effect in Canada on January 1, 2014 may seem like a bad joke to some.

In case you missed it, as of January 1, old-fashioned light bulbs in their 75- and 100-watt formats are history in Canada.  You can still buy them until the old stock runs out but no more will be manufactured.  By the end of 2014 the ban will be extended to include the 40- and 60-watt versions.

There are plenty of people who are unhappy about this.  They point out that the incandescent bulb provides a soft warm dimmable light that alternatives such as compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and LEDs can’t match.  They also note that CFLs and especially LEDs are much more expensive to buy.  And CFLs, because they contain mercury, must be disposed of in special facilities, a fact that many people using them may not be aware of.  In addition, CFLs may not work in temperatures less than minus 10 degrees Celsius.  Their lifespan can be significantly reduced if they are turned on and off rapidly, and they have a rare but nasty habit of catching on fire or smoking.

So why the ban on incandescent bulbs?  It’s all about saving the environment.  “In Canada alone, the federal government estimates that CFLs can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than six million tonnes a year, or the equivalent of retiring 1.4 million vehicles. In Germany, the switch to energy-efficient bulbs will save the equivalent capacity of three nuclear reactors.”  (From an article in The Globe and Mail, Dec 27, 2012, entitled “The death of the incandescent light bulb”)

***Check out this great chart comparing the costs, energy efficiencies, environmental impact, advantages and disadvantages of incandescent bulbs vs. CFLs vs. LEDs. ***

More light facts:

  • Roughly 90% of the energy used to operate an incandescent bulb dissipates as heat rather than being used to provide light.  (Chicken farmers note that this is actually an advantage in the spring when they are raising baby chicks in a chilly chicken coop!)
  • The average life of an incandescent bulb is about 750 to 1000 hours, compared to 6,000 to 15,000 hours for a CFL (“Incandescent light bulb ban starts Jan. 1”)
  • Cost to buy:  incandescent bulbs 60 to 80 cents apiece; halogen bulbs around $2 each; CFLs $2.50 to $4; LEDs about $20 per bulb.  (The possibility exists that prices for the newer bulbs, especially LEDs, will decrease once incandescent bulbs are no longer being manufactured.)
  • Some incandescent bulbs will be exempt from the ban.  These include lights such as those in ovens and refrigerators that can’t be replaced with alternatives.
  • Manufacturers are working on improving the quality of the light in energy-efficient  bulbs.  “Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are the next big thing; global lighting company Osram Sylvania, for one, believes it has a winner with its “Ultra LED,” an omnidirectional mercury-free bulb that aims to give all the warmth of a 100-watt incandescent bulb while using just 20 watts of electricity.”  (“The death of the incandescent light bulb”, The Globe and Mail)

Maybe you’ve already made a trip to your local hardware store to buy up remaining stocks of incandescent bulbs, or maybe you’ve decided to give in to the inevitable.  At least we can still buy candles if we want soft warm light with a bit of heat!

What do you think of the ban on incandescent bulbs?  Have you already replaced all your bulbs with the energy-efficient ones?  Your comments and questions are always welcome.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

Plumbing First Aid

Monday, August 19th, 2013

 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamPlumbing First AidIt’s 2 AM in your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home, and some sense of foreboding has you heading down the basement stairs.  You explore the basement, wondering what could have awakened you.  Suddenly…  Uh, oh.  Your bare foot encounters a puddle of water that has no business being there, and you realize in horror that your hot water tank has sprung a major leak.  Would you know what to do?

Knowing  how to turn off the water heater ranks Number 2 on the list of the “Top 5 DIY Plumbing Fixes Every Homeowner Should Know”, from Today’s Homeowner.com, right after knowing how to turn off the water to your whole house and to individual plumbing fixtures.

Plumbing emergencies happen, often at inconvenient times, and they almost always need attention long before a plumber can arrive on the scene.  There are also situations that call for minor repairs, ones which any homeowner should be able to undertake on his or her own.   The article contains detailed information for dealing with each of the following:

Plumbing Fix #1:  How to shut off the water (includes turning off all the water in your house and turning off water at plumbing fixtures)

Plumbing Fix #2:  How to turn off a water heater

Plumbing Fix #3:  How to fix a leaky pipe (includes repairing a leak with epoxy putty and repairing a leak with a pipe repair clamp)

Plumbing Fix #4:  How to stop a toilet from running (includes how to adjust the water level in the toilet tank and how to replace a toilet tank flapper)

Plumbing Fix #5:  How to fix a dripping faucet (includes how to replace a washer on a leaking compression faucet and how to repair leaking cartridge or ball faucets)

Top 5 DIY Plumbing Fixes Every Homeowner Should Know” won’t make you a master plumber but this article just might save you a little money and hassle!  Worth a read.

I welcome your comments and questions on any topic related to the home!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Drive-by Delight or Disaster?

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013
Drive-by Delight or Disaster? | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhen you drive up to your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or the Edmonton area, do you feel proud of the way it looks?  Or is your home looking a little shop-worn and tired compared to other homes in your neighborhood? 
 

If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, it’s time to do something about the state of its curb appeal.  In today’s market your home is in competition with every other home for sale and it needs to stand out from the rest with a good first impression.

Maybe you’ve got a long list of face-lift and landscaping projects you’ve been putting off because you don’t want to spend 1000s of dollars.  Is it possible to do a few fairly simple and inexpensive things to make your home look attractive to would-be buyers so they will at least slow down for a second look? 

One of the most noticeable and least expensive fix-ups, especially if you do it yourself, is new paint.  If your home has paintable siding, consider freshening up the look with a new fashionable color.  It’s possible to be trendy while still coordinating with other homes in your neighborhood.  If your home has vinyl or metal siding, give it a good cleaning and paint all the trim with a color that complements the color of your roof.   

As with the interior of your home, clean and tidy goes a long way to impressing potential buyers and luckily doesn’t cost much.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Clean and shine everything.  Windows should sparkle, metal trim such as house numbers and door hardware should be tarnish-free, front porch should be clear of dirt and debris, driveway oil spots need to be banished, brickwork should be freshened, and so on.
  • Get rid of the clutter.  Kids’ bicycles tossed down next to the driveway, leftover building supplies at the side of the house, bundled up newspapers and bottles waiting to be recycled – all of this needs to go.
  • Manicure your yard.  Trim your lawn neatly, dig up any stray weeds, use an edging tool and string trimmer (“weed whacker”) for tidy borders.  Give your shrubs a haircut and tidy up the flowerbeds.  Consider some colorful flowering plants in pots or planters to add a few spots of brightness and cheer to the yard.  In the fall, rake up fallen leaves, and in the winter, keep your sidewalks and driveway clear of snow and ice.
  • Repair any visible shortcomings, such as broken light fixtures or windows, loose shingles, crooked downspouts, falling-down fences, driveway cracks, uneven sidewalk blocks, and the like. 

How welcoming is your front entryway?  Staging your front porch with a few accessories, just as you would your living room, is going to make homebuyers want to look inside.  Paint or replace your front door, or even just the door hardware, mailbox, light fixtures, etc., with something more modern (another fairly inexpensive change).  It may seem a little cliché but a welcome mat on the porch and a wreath or basket of flowers on the door really do click with many homebuyers.  If there is room on your porch, items such as a flower-filled planter or rocking chair can add a great deal of charm to an otherwise nondescript area.  Other things to consider:  attractive new railing, striped retractable awning, ivy-covered trellis, hanging floral baskets… 

While it may cost you a little money and time to improve the curb appeal of your home, it’s definitely worth it.  It’s been shown time and again that a home that looks well-maintained and cared for sells faster and for a higher price. 

For more ideas, take a look at my Curb Appeal Pinterest board

Comments or questions about this article?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

How Not to Get Ripped Off When You Renovate Your Home

Monday, August 20th, 2012

How Not to Get Ripped Off When You Renovate Your Home | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamLooking for a contractor to tackle the renovation of your Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home?  We often hear news reports of consumers who have been ripped off by unethical contractors, or left with a huge mess by incompetent and unlicensed workers.  How do you go about finding somebody who will do a great job for a reasonable price?

My assistant recently had two bathrooms in her home upgraded by a contractor.  “We put off the work for far too long because we didn’t know who could do the job for us and were afraid to just pick somebody at random.  Luckily, a friend of mine who is very particular about how her home looks had just had her bathroom renovated.  She recommended we try the fellow she’d used, and we were thrilled with the results.”  Getting a recommendation from someone you know, and seeing the contractor’s work first-hand is by far the best way to hire a contractor for similar work.  But what if you don’t know anyone who has had recent work done?

Two excellent sources of advice for finding a contractor, dealing with the contract, estimates, permits, overseeing the work, payment and everything else that goes with a renovation are the following:

Get written estimates

Check references

Warning flags

Hire qualified tradespeople

Signing the contract

Working with prepaid contractors

Also included is a section explaining what to do if you run into problems, along with a handy contract checklist, and where to find more information.

  • Hiring a Contractor – Fact sheet from Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).  Topics include:

Who do you hire?

Finding and choosing a contractor [excellent list of questions to ask]

Getting estimates or proposals

Get it in writing

The contract

Completion certificate

Holdbacks

Working with your contractor

Consumer protection laws

About insurance

Checklist – Hiring a contractor

Scroll down to the bottom of the webpage for even more resources, including a Sample Renovation Contract and a video on Hiring a Contractor.

The Better Business Bureau is also a good source of information.  Take a look at their article “Quick Tips for Hiring a Home Contractor – Do You Know the Red Flags?” and use their database to check out contractors.

Comments or questions about this article?  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Cleaning Patio Door Tracks

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Cleaning Patio Door Tracks | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWith summer nearly here, most of us are looking forward to spending time on the decks and patios of our Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton area homes.  That means patio doors will be working overtime as family members go in and out many times through the day.

Have you noticed a build-up of dirt in the tracks of those patio doors, as well as those of sliding windows?  Basic vacuuming doesn’t do a very good job of removing all the dirt, does it?  So, what is the best way to make those tracks sparkle again, and incidentally make the doors and windows easier to slide?

Start by removing the loose dirt with the crevice tool of your vacuum cleaner, or brush it out with a stiff-bristled brush.  Then, work on removing the sticky residue with a cloth dampened with mineral spirits.  The cloth can be stretched over a putty knife to help you reach into the depths and corners of the tracks.  Yes, I know; this is fiddly, time-consuming work!  But the end result will be worth it, I promise.

Once the tracks are like-new clean, spray them with silicone spray to help the doors and windows slide better.  Don’t use a petroleum product like WD-40 as this will attract dirt and cause that greasy build-up you just worked so hard to get rid of.  All of the products mentioned above (stiff-bristled brush, mineral spirits, silicone spray) are readily available at stores like Canadian Tire.

Do you have household cleaning or maintenance tips to share?  I’d be happy to feature them in future blog articles.  Phone or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at btwynam@telusplanet.net, or contact me here.

 

Spring Run-off

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Spring Run-off | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAh, spring.  Warm sunny days, robins returning, snow disappearing – and water everywhere.  As a home owner in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the Edmonton region or elsewhere, you do everything you can to protect your property.  Would it surprise you to learn that the leading cause of damage to property is not break-ins or fire or wild winds, but water?  In fact, more than half of all insurance claims, about 1.3 billion dollars’ worth in Canada, are due to water damage.  This type of claim is likely to increase as infrastructure ages, the climate changes, and home owners finish every square foot of their dwellings.

We’ve all seen the stories in the media about flood damage in Manitoba and parts of the US, but that type of large-scale catastrophe is less common than all the other ways water can ruin a home.  And most of the everyday type of water damage, caused by a leaky roof, backed-up sewer or spring run-off, is preventable.  Here are a few things you can do to minimize water problems:

  • Walk around the entire outside of your home, keeping your eyes open for all the places water could get in.
  • Does the grade slope away from your home without any dips where the ground has settled?  There should be no area where water drains back toward the house.
  • Do the downspouts from eavestroughs extend at least 6 feet from the house?
  • Do all doors and windows fit snugly without any cracks where water could seep in?
  • As spring approaches, are you diligent about clearing snow and ice away from your home?
  • On the roof:
  • Inspect the roof for missing or damaged shingles and repair any problems.  If your roof is older than 15 years, it might be time for a whole new roof.
  • Are the eavestrough gutters free and clear of debris so that water can flow freely off the roof?
  • Check seals around chimneys, skylights and vents to ensure they are water-tight.
  • Inside your home:
  • Regularly check all plumbing (including your hot water tank) and appliances for leaks, and for trouble signs such as rust around a faucet or corrosion around the washing machine hose.  One trick for testing whether a toilet is leaking:  Add food coloring to the tank.  If the color seeps into the bowl after about 20 minutes, you have a leak.
  • Burst pipes can cause a major mess.  Besides checking for leaks, check that insulation in these areas is adequate.
  • Consider installing a sump pump, backwater valve or water sensor, if you don’t already have these items.
  • Examine all ceilings for stains which could indicate spots where water has gotten in.
  • If you store valuable items in the basement, put them in plastic bins up off the floor.
  • Don’t run appliances such as dishwasher or washing machine when nobody is home.

A few other suggestions:

  • When you leave on vacation, even for a long weekend, have someone do regular checks of your residence.  Check all taps and faucets before you leave (turn off the water to the washing machine!), and consider even turning off the main water valve.
  • Review your insurance coverage to make sure you are covered for water perils such as sewer backup and the like.
  • If your home is starting to show its age, consider hiring a home inspector to go over your home with you, looking specifically for problem areas before they develop into full-blown trouble.

I love to hear your comments or questions!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

 

 

 

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 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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