Archive for the ‘Outdoor Living’ Category

Spring Cleaning

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Tulips and daffodils are making themselves known, popping up out of the dirt, a sure sign that spring is here. It’s time to get your house looking and feeling clean, inside and out. Here is a checklist of things that need doing:

Outside:
• Put seasonal items away in storage (snow shovels, Christmas decorations, etc.)
• Pick up stray garbage
• Clean up after your pet
• Shake out entry mat
• Sweep the walks and deck/patio
• Rake the grass when it is dry
• Turn on hose bibs when the chance of freezing is over
• Put out hoses
• Power wash siding
• Wash windows and doors
• Clean outdoor light fixtures
• Clean outdoor furniture
• Trim trees, bushes, shrubs
• Prepare garden and flower beds for planting

Inside:
• Start at the top and work your way down
• Clean ceiling fans and light fixtures
• Dust ceiling corners
• Wash or dust walls and baseboards
• Clean air vents
• Wash windows
• Wipe all light switches and electrical plug covers and door knobs
• Dust all surfaces
• Clean all window coverings
• Polish furniture
• Clean floors
• Pull out appliances and clean underneath them

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.

Golfing Fans: Five Great Reasons to Check out the Stony Plain Golf Course

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Golfing Fans - Five Great Reasons to Check out the Stony Plain Golf Course | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamGolf lovers in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region rave about one of Alberta’s best golf courses: Stony Plain Golf Course. With 18 holes of professional level golfing, Stony Plain Golf Course has quickly become a go-to course for Albertans when the season rolls around. Here are five reasons to check it out before the cold weather interrupts.

Some of Alberta’s Best Golfing

The 18 championship holes at Stony Plain Golf Course are some of the best in Alberta. People travel from around the province to compete in tournaments held at the course. There is a driving range and practice areas for both short game and putting and official leagues for different ages and talent levels. They have made it easy for both locals and visitors to compete and enjoy everything the course has to offer.

A Free Junior Course for Young Golfers

A 4-hole loop is offered free of charge for anybody under the age of 10 to enjoy. With oversized holes and small to medium length fairways, the course doesn’t rush the kids or make it too hard on them. This gives kids the chance to learn the basics of the sport with their friends while their parents use the rest of the course.

Revenue is Used to Help Stony Plain Residents

Even though the entire course is owned and operated by the town of Stony Plain, no public money is used to fund it. The course is so successful that over $100,000 a year is taken from the money they make and put directly into the Stony Plain Tax Levy Stabilization Fund. This means that every resident will benefit from the money brought in by all the tournaments and rounds of golf played at the course.

Fully Equipped For More Than Golfing

The course has more than just golfing. There is a full pro shop and a restaurant and lounge that is open all year round, even when the course is closed. There is a meeting facility and banquet hall that can fit up to 160 people and can be used for many different events or parties.

Offers Great Tournament Services

The Stony Plain Golf Course is able to organize tournaments for groups as small as 12 or as large as 144. Their package includes everything a group would need to put on their own golfing tournament. Not only are professional tournaments held here regularly but also many small tournaments, for nothing more than bragging rights, often take place between friends and co-workers. This is a perfect idea for a unique birthday gift or bachelor party.

The Stony Plain Golf Course is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to great services for residents. I’m always available to talk about the benefits of living in Stony Plain to anybody interested in getting more information on the community. Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Citizen Canine: Off-Leash Dog Parks in Spruce Grove

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Citizen Canine- Off-Leash Dog Parks in Spruce Grove | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamDo you own Spruce Grove real estate, Stony Plain real estate, Parkland County real estate, Edmonton real estate, or one of the many Parkland County acreages or Edmonton acreages, or other real estate in the Edmonton area? Are you looking for a great place to let your dog off-leash in one of those areas? Well, below is a summary of Spruce Grove’s off-leash dog parks to get you started. The Spruce Grove off-leash parks are easily accessible from all of the above areas. Your little four- legged friend will surely thank you for the wide opens space to run around!

Experience Cpl. Jim Galloway Memorial Off Leash Area

If you’ve been around Spruce Grove for a while you might remember this park by its former name “Century Off-Leash Park.” You can find this park at 51 Century Close. One of the special things about this park is the creative layout that includes a specific area of the park for smaller dogs, so you don’t have to worry about your little puppy being intimidated by all the big pooches! The facility features a double-gated entryway perfect for leashing and unleashing your dog. The off-leash area is about 8.6 acres big, with 1 km of gravel trails for you and your furry friend to take advantage of. Dotted throughout the park are benches and other seating areas, and the park is totally fenced.

For an Unfenced Park Try Marlboro

South of Marlboro Drive, near Heritage Grove Park, lies this nice little unfenced park where you can take your canine friend for some activity and fun. The park is accessible via the Heritage Grove trail system or via a pathway off Marlboro drive. Remember that the area is unfenced, so make sure your dog is appropriately trained before you try this park.

Observe Park Etiquette

When you go, remember to observe some basic off-leash park etiquette tips. Pick up after your dog (there are receptacles around the park where you can dispose of waste), and keep your dog leashed until you arrive at the specific off-leash area. Also important to remember is not to bring your dog if he or she is sick, to be in control of your dog at all times (if they need some more training before they are ready for the off-leash park then do that before bringing them out), and remember not to get too busy visiting with all the friends you will surely meet and make at the park that you forget to keep an eye on your dog and what he may be up to! Sometimes with so many canines in one place they can interact in unusual ways that need to be monitored.

Off-leash parks are a great way to enjoy the city and get out and about. They give you the opportunity to exercise, enjoy nature, spend time with your dog, and meet new people. Get out and enjoy one or both of Spruce Grove’s off-leash parks this summer.

If you’d like more information about Spruce Grove real estate, whether you’re looking to buy or sell, call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here

 

Splendor in the Grass?! Nope, You’ve Got Snow Mold!

Friday, April 25th, 2014
Splendor in the Grass?!  Nope, You’ve Got Snow Mold!  | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

(Photo courtesy of TootsieTime.com)

After another brutal winter in the Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and Edmonton area, you can finally look out your windows and see grass instead of mounds of snow.  But what is that dull fuzzy coating in circles on your lawn?  And how did it get there?  You, my friend, have been afflicted by the dreaded “snow mold”!

What is snow mold?

Snow mold is a fungus that shows up in the early spring as snow melts.  According to Lawncare.about.com, there are two types of snow mold.  Pink snow mold (or Fusarium patch) grows in a pinkish web-like mycelium on the surface of the grass.  When the grass is wet, the mycelium resembles white cobwebs, but as it matures it changes to a pink or salmon color.  The mycelium disappears as the grass dries.  Gray snow mold (Typhula blight) has a mycelium that stays a whitish-gray color.  If you look closely at the grass blades infected by gray snow mold, you may see tiny black mycelial masses (sclerotia).  Plants infected with pink snow mold will not have these, but pink snow mold is actually more damaging than the gray variety because it can destroy the roots and crowns of grass.  And, just to keep things interesting, it’s possible for your lawn to be infected with both!

What causes snow mold?

Many of us think of mold as an organism that flourishes in warm, damp places.  While other fungi live it up during the warm summer months, snow mold is dormant, only coming out to play when the weather is cold and wet. Snow mold especially loves long periods of snow cover on ground that is not completely frozen.  Sounds a lot like spring in our region, doesn’t it?  Snow mold also shows up in yards that were neglected in the fall:  grass left unmowed and leaves not raked before the first snowfall.

How do I stop it?

Prevention:

  • Change your lawn fertilizer at the end of summer to one with much less nitrogen.  This will slow down lawn growth.
  • Continue to mow your lawn until growth stops.  This will leave a short turf that won’t fall over on itself during the winter, giving snow mold less chance of taking hold.
  • Remove any dead leaves from your lawn so that nothing is covering the grass.

Repair:

If snow mold is sitting on your lawn right now, don’t panic.  Most snow mold damage will repair itself as the area dries and the grass grows out in the warm spring weather.  If you are bothered by the ugly look of snow mold in your yard or an allergic reaction to breathing in the spores, you may want to help things along by lightly raking the grass as it dries.  Reduce any piles of snow that still remain in shaded areas.  Overseed bare patches if necessary, and then allow the natural growth process to fill out your lawn.  For more detailed instructions on dealing with snow mold infested grass in the spring, check out “Snow Mold: Causes and Prevention”, an article from Babes Lawn Care.com.

Looking to buy a property with a great lawn or sell your well-tended garden property this spring?  Let’s talk!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

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.

Spring Decor Ideas

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

If you’re looking for free and current decorating ideas applicable to Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton area, look no further than the Edmonton Journal’s Homes & Design magazine.  The Summer 2013 issue is now available at edmontonjournal.com/homesdesign.  Some of the topics in this issue:

  • Spruce up your patio with the latest decor ideas, including some 60s Mad Men inspired looks
  • Learn all about “cottage style”
  • Furniture in bright colors is back.  Learn how to integrate this look into your home
  • Grow your own food this summer with gardening tips that anybody can follow
  • Quartz or granite?  Replace your counter tops with the finish that’s best for you

If you like what you see in this online magazine, sign up to be notified when the next issue is posted, and happy decorating!

 

 

DIY TV

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

DIY TV | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWhere do you go to get information for renovation projects?  The television set in your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton area is probably not your first choice, but flipping through the channels these days reveals something surprising:  Among the many sports, movie and mainstream networks, there are a large number of worthwhile programs and even whole networks offering valuable information to homeowners.  Check out some of these offered in the Spruce Grove/Stony Plain/Edmonton area by Shaw Cable and TELUS Optik TV.  A little disclosure:  After you’ve checked them out, let me know what you think because I admit I haven’t seen most of them myself!

A & E

(Shaw 25, HD 233; Telus 170, HD 670)

$100 Makeover, Disaster Guy, Drill Team, Fix This Kitchen, Fix This Yard, Flipping Vegas, Flip This House, Hoarders, Sell This House

CBC  (Click on Find a Program)

(Shaw 4, HD 209; Telus 4, HD 618)

All for One With Debbie Travis, Steven and Chris

Discovery Channel  

(Shaw 32; Telus 200)

Canada’s Worst Handyman

DIY Network  (Click on Shows A-Z)

(Shaw 136; Telus 144)

A whole network of house-related programming, such as:  Decked Out, The Dirt on Gardening, Disaster DIY, DIY Hot List Kitchens & Baths, Dream House, Garage Mahal, Holmes on Homes, House Crashers, I Hate My Kitchen, Man Caves, Rehab Addict, Turf War, Wasted Spaces, Weekend Handyman, Yard Crashers, and many, many more.

HGTV 

(Shaw 19, HD 231; Telus 142, HD 680)

Too many shows to list them all here!  A few of the more popular:  Colin & Justin’s Home Heist, Debbie Travis’ Painted House, Gardening by the Yard, Holmes on Homes, Holmes Inspection, House Hunters, Property Virgins, Real Renos, Sarah’s House.  Many more.

OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network)

(Shaw 92; Telus 202, HD 651)

Divine Design, Home Takeover with Simon & Tomas

PBS

(PBS Spokane on Shaw 22, HD 204; Telus 23, HD 607 Seattle

PBS Detroit on Shaw 81

PBS Boston on Telus 54, HD 629)

HandyMa’am with Beverly DeJulio, The Perennial Gardener with Karen Strohbeen, The Router Workshop, This Old House, The Woodwright’s Shop

Slice  (Click on Shows)

(Shaw 33; Telus 141)

Family Renovation, House Poor, Shotgun Reno, Till Debt Do Us Part

TLC The Learning Channel

(Shaw 35, HD 236; Telus 140, HD 671)

Hoarding: Buried Alive, Home Made Simple, Kitchen Boss, Spouse vs. House

W Network

(Shaw 34; Telus 146)

The Agents, All for Nothing, Anna & Kristina’s Grocery Bag, Building Bryks, Candice Tells All, Colour Confidential, Divine Design, Grin and Build It, Help My House is Falling Down, Home Wreckers, Inside the Box, Love It Or List It, Making House, Million Dollar Decorators, My House Your Money, Property Brothers, Take This House and Sell It

Not strictly related to houses and real estate but still very much related to home, so we have to give an Honorable Mention to:

The Food Network 

(Shaw 29; Telus 143)

Ace of Cakes, Barefoot Contessa, Chef at Home, Eat Shrink and Be Merry, Family Restaurant, French Food at Home, Iron Chef America, Jamie’s Meals in Minutes, Restaurant Makeover, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Tough Cookies, and much more!

This list isn’t intended to be comprehensive, but if I’ve missed anything that really should be on it, please let me know!

I’d love to help you find a house to turn into a home.  Call me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here

 

 

 

Spruce Grove’s Jubilee Park

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Something very special is being created on the east side of Spruce Grove.  You may not have heard about it because it’s not quite finished, and the City of Spruce Grove isn’t promoting it yet, but Jubilee Park in Spruce Grove is now open for public use and well worth a visit.

Spruce Grove's Jubilee Park | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you are a citizen of Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, or Parkland County, you know that one of the things that makes Spruce Grove so memorable and family-friendly is the large number of neighborhood parks and playgrounds, sports parks and facilities (such as the Fuhr Sports Park west of the Tri-Leisure Centre and the Henry Singer ball park south of the railroad tracks), and the gem running right through the centre of town in the form of ParticiPark, that huge stand of trees and nature trails.  But all of these are about to look almost ordinary compared to what will be officially open to the public in 2012. 

Jubilee Park is a 60-acre parcel of land located at 510 Grove Drive, east of Spruce Village.  This land is being transformed into a wonderland of urban recreational and cultural opportunities.  The City of Spruce Grove website  says that the park “will offer the community the best passive and unstructured recreational opportunities in the city.  From paved walking and bike trails, to picnic areas, an open air performance area, sliding hill and playground, Jubilee Park will provide families with a multitude of outdoor pleasures.”

Features of the park, most of which are now in place, include

  • Picnic areas
  • Picnic shelter
  • Plaza
  • Open games area
  • Fire pit
  • Multi-purpose paved walking and biking trails
  • Play structure and “tot lot”
  • Disk golf
  • Recreational skating
  • Sliding and tobogganing hill
  • Multi-purpose building
  • Amphitheatre and open air performance area
  • Formal gardens
  • Wetlands
  • Natural woodlands
  • Paved parking

See the map of the proposed development. 

The City of Spruce Grove suggests several benefits of this park:

  • Community gathering place
  • Promotes social well-being and health
  • Family-oriented spaces
  • Connects to Heritage Grove trail system
  • Natural interpretive education opportunities
  • Preserves natural woodlands

Spruce Grove has not had a place for the community to gather in large numbers for special events, especially those focused on culture.  The sports fields at Spruce Grove Composite High School have been the venue for Canada Day celebrations for a few years, but without adequate amenities such as parking, seating and the like.  Imagine the uses of this incredible new facility.  Imagine a place for open air summer concerts and other performances, winter and summer games, community picnics and celebrations, festivals to rival those of neighboring communities, family play, get-togethers and reunions, wedding photos, block parties, and just hanging out and enjoying nature with your family and neighbors…. 

From a real estate perspective, this park is very good news for current and future residents of the nearby neighborhoods of Spruce Village and Grove Meadows.  Green space of any type tends to increase the desirability and perhaps value of properties located in the vicinity.  Expect only positive outcomes from this wonderful new facility!

Your comments and questions are always welcome!  Call 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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