Archive for the ‘Tips for Home Owners’ Category

How to Improve Your Spruce Grove Home’s Indoor Air Quality

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

How to Improve Your Spruce Grove Home's Indoor Air Quality | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThe quality of the air in our homes in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region is something we tend to notice more at this time of year when doors and windows are shut tight against winter’s blast.

When we think of air quality we often think of air pollution from cars and factories or smog, haze and ozone. But the air we breathe can be contaminated where we live and work as well.

Find out from an experienced HVAC contractor who is well versed in the movement and control of heat, air, and moisture in buildings. This type of technician will also diagnose and resolve any indoor air quality issues.

For example, to find out whether the air in your home may be affecting your family’s respiratory system, ask yourself the following HVAC questions:

• Does anyone in your household suffer from asthma, allergies or respiratory problems?
• Do their symptoms appear to be worse when they are at home or in specific places at home?
• Has your home undergone significant changes such as the replacement of windows, a complete renovation of the basement, or an addition in the last few years?
• Do you notice excessive window condensation in winter, or is your basement damp or musty in the summer?
• Do you feel the need to use air fresheners or scented candles on a regular basis to keep your home feeling fresh?
• Do you find that odours linger in your home?
• Do you notice stains, spotting or dampness on walls or excessive dust on floors?
• Do visitors to your home suffer from allergic reactions?
• Do pets live in your home?

If you answered yes to more than 2 or 3 of these questions, then ask for a diagnosis to resolve the underlying issues. There are many things that you can do on your own, but there are items that should be left to a qualified professional. Usually, air quality improvements require a systematic and integrated approach – it is unlikely that any one measure solves all problems – and HRAI contractors (members of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada) have the training and experience to help you find the most cost effective ways to ensure the air you breathe is as healthy as possible.

In the Consumer Tips section of www.hrai.ca, take a look at the simple things you can do to improve the air quality in your home. The website also has a contractor locator to help you find a local professional.

If you are trying to sell your home, be aware that one of the first things potential buyers will notice is the smell and the quality of the air so it’s worth working to improve it.  I’m happy to help!  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

(Content of this article courtesy of www.newscanada.com)

Home Safety Guide for Snowbirds: Monitor Your Home While in the Sun

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Home Safety Guide for Snowbirds: Monitor Your Home While in the Sun | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam When Snowbirds make their way down south for their annual vacation away from our brutal Canadian winters, the last thing they need to worry about is the safety of their Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County or Edmonton area home.

According to Patrice De Luca, vice president of Marketing and Customer Care for Reliance Protectron Security Services, there are several key steps Snowbirds should take to ensure peace of mind when away from home. The following Protectron home safety tips for snowbirds can help you plan important safety measures before your departure:

  • Suspend your newspaper and mail delivery, or have a neighbour collect them for you.
  • Make sure your home looks lived in. Try not to draw the window treatments in every window.  Leave it looking somewhat natural.
  • Have someone routinely shovel the walk, clear your car off if it snows, or park their car in your driveway if you’re taking yours.
  • Don’t forget garbage collection day. Ask a neighbour to put a bag of garbage at your curb on garbage day so as not to tip off burglars.
  • Set your lights on timers, in various rooms. With some timers, the lights go on and off at different times each day, which means a burglar can’t pick up on a pattern.
  • Look into installing motion sensor lights outside to help deter a burglar. Consider installing them in front and back.
  • Ensure that all your doors and windows are locked and secure. Don’t forget about the garage; make sure the door is secure. For additional security, place a bar or stick of wood in the lower track of your sliding doors or windows.
  • Turn off the water-main and unplug the major appliances as an added precaution.
  • Inform a neighbor when you’re leaving and returning, and ask them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. Leave them a phone number where you can be reached, and a spare set of your keys in case of an emergency.
  • Consider investing in a home security system as it’s a very effective deterrent. A home protected by a monitored security system with visible decals and signs is less susceptible to a break-in than one without a system. Make sure your security system includes a loud inside alarm, detectors at all exterior doors, and motion sensors in the master bedroom and main living areas. The alarm system is linked to a remote monitoring centre that protects your home 24 hours a day against burglars, fire, carbon monoxide poisoning and floods by supervising the temperature, electrical system and points of entry of your home.

Home Safety Guide for Snowbirds: Monitor Your Home While in the Sun | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamFor ultimate control and peace of mind while you’re away, De Luca recommends you look into the new fully interactive wireless security systems like Go!Control where you can arm and disarm your alarm, lock or unlock your front door, control lights and your home’s thermostat at the touch of your smartphone or tablet. You could even have video monitoring and receive alerts to view the comings and goings of cleaning staff or house sitters. More information on protecting your home while you’re away is available online at www.protectron.com.

Another tip when you are leaving home for long periods of time:  Contact your home insurance company and let them know you’ll be away.  Many companies require a vacant home to be monitored or visited every couple of days.  Failure to do this might void your insurance coverage.

Comments or questions about anything related to real estate?  I love to hear from you.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.
(Most of the content of this article courtesy of www.newscanada.com)

 

Smartphone Apps for DIYers 2.0

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Smartphone Apps for DIYers 2.0 | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamWay back in June 2011 I posted a blog article about smartphone apps for do-it-yourself home owners in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region.  Three and a half years are a lifetime in tech terms but surprisingly, most of the apps I described in the article are not only still available but are even better than before.

Everybody who has a smartphone knows there are 1000s of apps out there for every possible topic. Where to find the best ones for DIYers? Start with LifeHacker’s article How to Make Your Smartphone the Most Important Tool in Your Toolbox. Then, take a look at these great articles that review the latest and greatest apps.

Home Improvement

Better Homes & Gardens: Don’t DIY Without These 9 Apps
Bob Vila: 5 Top Tool Apps for Your iPhone
Popular Mechanics: The 10 Best Apps for DIYers
Tom’s Guide: 10 Best Home Improvement and DIY Apps
Top 13 Best Android Apps for DIY Projects and Home Remodel Repair

Home Décor

Chatelaine: Six Must-have Smartphone Apps for Home Decorating and Renos
Huffington Post: 21 iPhone, iPad and Android Apps for Decorating, Home Repair, DIY and Crafts
Remodelista: The 12 Best Apps for Remodelers

Gardening and Landscaping

Best Android Apps for Gardening and Landscaping
Best Landscape Design Apps – iPad, iPhone & Android
The Dirt Farmer: 20 Smartphone Apps for the Plant Lover
NY Times: 20 Smartphone Apps for the Home and Garden
Top 5 Gardening and Landscaping iPhone Apps

Let me know what you think of these apps. Better yet, let me know if you find a great app that isn’t on any of these lists and I’ll happily share it with everybody else! Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Winter Energy Saving Tips for Your Spruce Grove Home

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Winter Energy Saving Tips for Your Spruce Grove Home | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

For most of us in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region, winter means a spike in our power and gas bills as we use more energy to heat and light our homes. Check out the tips below to save some money and help the planet.

 

Save Power

  • Install timers and power-saver cords for automobile block heaters and interior car heaters.
  • Adjust lighting timers as daylight hours decrease and then increase throughout the winter.
  • Incandescent light bulbs are being phased out this year. Replace them now with the newer more energy-efficient CFL and LED bulbs.
  • Yes, we need more light during the winter, but light up just the spaces you are using. Turn off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Run appliances at out-of-peak hours, such as late at night, and turn off everything when not in use.
  • Think low-tech solutions. For example, use a clothesline for drying some clothing items instead of your dryer. This has many advantages: saves power and money; better for many garments; adds moisture to your home.

Your Home Heating System

  • Get a qualified contractor to check the heating system to make sure it’s operating at optimum efficiency.
  • Check air supply vents and return air vents to make sure air is circulating freely. Keep furniture and appliances away from vents, and plan to have your furnace ducts professionally cleaned late in each summer.
  • Clean your furnace filter regularly – at least once per month – and replace every 3 months. Doing this can save you up to 5% on heating costs. Did you know you can install a special alarm on your furnace that will let you know when it is time to change your filter? These alarms will make a whistling sound when they sense that the filters are dirty.
  • Turn down the thermostat at night and during the day when you are away by up to 4 degrees C. Every 1 degree C. set back can save up to 2% in energy costs!
  • Keep that thermostat turned down a degree or two and bring out the sweaters and blankets.
  • Consider installing a programmable thermostat to make those set-backs automatic.
  • The new high-efficiency furnaces can save mega bucks! But if you’re not ready to replace your furnace, at least consider a tune-up which can save 3-10% on your heating bill.
  • Avoid heating uninsulated spaces such as the garage or cold storage room. Check doors leading to these spaces and replace with insulated doors if necessary.
  • Close doors and air supply registers in unused rooms.
  • Reverse your ceiling fans in winter to circulate warm air down.
  • Take advantage of whatever natural heat there may be by opening draperies during the day on south-facing windows and closing them at night.

Keep the Heat in Your Home

  • Have your home’s insulation assessed to determine if you need to add to it. Proper insulation will save money in heating costs during the winter and keep your home cooler in summer. DIY tip: Measure the thickness of your attic insulation. If there is less than R-22 (7 inches of fibreglass or rock wool or 6 inches of cellulose) you’ll benefit by adding more. Also, consider installing some roof vents and inlets to improve ventilation.
  • Look for dirty spots in your insulation. These may be signs of air leaks which can be repaired by stapling sheets of plastic over the holes and caulking the edge of the plastic.
  • Place clear plastic sheeting on your windows sometime in the fall to keep out the cold air and prevent warm air from escaping for very little cost. Use weather stripping on doors and windows and seals on exterior wall outlets. Put caulking on window and door frames, and seal around vents and cable or wire wall entries.
  • Did you replace your carpets with laminate and hardwood and now the floors are cold? Oops. Put down an area rug to add a little warmth and cut down on noise.
  • If you have a fireplace, make sure the damper is closed when the fireplace is not in use to prevent warm inside air from escaping up the chimney. Check the seal on the flue damper and make it good and tight. Tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warm air into the room will also help preserve the warmth.
  • Not exactly insulation, but something else to warm up your home. Moist air is warmer than dry air so add humidity to your home with portable humidifiers or an attachment to your heating system, as well as an aquarium and houseplants.
  • Keep the doors (interior and exterior) to your attached garage closed as much as possible. This keeps your garage warmer and also lets less cold air into the house.
  • If you have an unfinished basement, heat could be escaping along the joist cavities. Insulate the walls for major savings in money and comfort.
  • Even though window blinds and shutters are more fashionable at the moment, quilted curtains and insulated draperies keep your home warmer.
  • Plant some trees in your yard in the spring! Besides beautifying your yard, they’ll protect your home from winter wind and summer sun, as well as helping the environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

Want even more tips on this topic? Read my previous blog article “Winter Isn’t for Wimps!

Looking for a great energy-efficient home? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

The DIY Guide to Replacing Your Broken Bathroom Faucet in Just Six Easy Steps

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

The DIY Guide to Replacing Your Broken Bathroom Faucet | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamIf you own Parkland County real estate or a home in the Stony Plain, Spruce Grove or Edmonton area, you’re probably familiar with a whole host of around-the-house handyman strategies for completing minor repairs. One type of repair that many homeowners overlook is replacing a bathroom faucet. Bathroom faucets can and do break, and knowing how to replace a broken bathroom faucet can save you the time, effort and money it would take to hire a handyman for the job. Here’s how you can replace a broken bathroom faucet in six easy steps.

Step #1: Finding a Replacement

First, examine the sink. After removing the faucet attachment, you’ll see several openings. Look at the openings, and check to see how far apart they are. Bathroom faucets might have two handles that spread apart, or they might be a single unit. Knowing the configuration of your sink will enable you to select the correct replacement faucet.

When choosing a replacement faucet, it’s important to keep in mind that not all faucets are created equal. Faucets costing less than $100 are often made from chrome-plated plastic parts, and they have valves and seals that wear out quickly. These faucets might be able to withstand light usage, but they will not last over the long term. Faucets that cost $100 or more usually use a firm brass body. This kind of faucet is leak-resistant and does not break easily. A number of faucets come with lifetime warranties – opting for one such faucet is a great way to avoid further expenses down the road. A good sink replacement can add value to a Spruce Grove real estate property.

Step #2: Reviewing the Instructions

Every faucet has a unique set of instructions, and they range from highly detailed and useful to minimal and maddening. Read the instructions thoroughly, and ensure you have all the necessary tools and components to do the job. Make sure you review any and all diagrams and appendices to ensure you have a good mental picture of what it is you’ll be doing.

Step #3: Prepare the Workspace

Next, remove all the objects from under the sink. Fetch a portable lamp and shine it underneath the sink. Under the sink, you will see two supply lines that come out of the wall and reach up to the faucet. Turn off both these valves by twisting clockwise. Once the valves have been turned off, it is safe to loosen the tube nut and to lift the tubes out of the valves. Additionally, there will be one, two or three large nuts holding the faucet in place. Use a basin wrench to remove them.

Step #4: Lift the Old Faucet Up and Out

Lift the old faucet out of the sink, and examine the tubes to see if they have been damaged. If there is damage to the tubes, you will need to replace them. You can find plastic tubes, as well as end fittings and nuts, at your local hardware store. Ensure the new plastic tubes are the same length as the old ones.

Before installing the new faucet, be sure to clean the area. You can dissolve hard water deposits using an acid-based cleaner or vinegar.

Step #5: Installing the New Faucet

When installing the new faucet, check to see if the faucet base has a soft gasket. The soft gasket seals the base and prevents water seepage. If there is no such gasket, you can create one using plumber’s putty. Stick the putty around the base and start tightening the large nuts. Some of the plumber’s putty may squeeze out onto the faucet – if this occurs, you can remove it using rubbing alcohol

Step #6: Attaching New Tubes to the Faucet

Attach the new tubes to the faucet before installing the sink. Then assemble the new faucet and slip it through the hole in the sink. Then, simply tighten the nuts below the sink, and voila! Your Edmonton property has a beautiful new faucet. Before you use this new faucet, be sure to turn on the valves underneath the sink and ensure all the nuts are tight. Check for leaks when you run the water, and tighten connections as necessary.

***For even more help, see the YouTube video from RONA “How to Install or Replace a Bathroom Faucet“.

Repairing bathroom faucets and completing other repairs at your Stony Plain real estate properties or Parkland County acreages doesn’t have to be a challenge. With a little bit of knowledge and the right tools, you can carry out minor repairs throughout your home and feel confident in your ability to care for your property.

For more great information and to discover all that Edmonton real estate and Edmonton acreages have to offer, please get in touch with me today.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

Automate Your Spruce Grove Area Home With Your Smartphone

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Automate Your Spruce Grove Area Home With Your Smartphone | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamThose of us who live in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region have come to rely on the amazing pocket-sized computers that are our smartphones for just about everything from getting us up in the morning, to answering virtually every question we might have through the day, to providing us with entertainment in slack moments (oh, and keeping in touch with friends, family and business associates too!).

But did you know that there are smartphone apps that will allow you to control and monitor just about every system and piece of equipment in your home? Turn your coffeemaker on, turn off the curling iron you left on, adjust the thermostat, turn off the video game your child is playing instead of doing his homework, turn lights on and off, record TV programs for later viewing, feed your pets, lock and unlock doors, monitor your home’s entrances, act as a home security system… Wow, the future really is here.

Check out these great articles that give you the details of the apps, what they do and how much they cost.

11 Smart Apps for Your Home
Top Best 11 Gadgets for Home Controlled by Smartphone
Houzz.com: Turn Your Smartphone Into a Home Security System

And some apps to keep your home organized:

10 Apps That Will Help You to Organize in the Smartphone Age

Do you know of other great apps that can simplify daily life? I’d love to hear from you. 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!

Just Because You Own Your Spruce Grove House Doesn’t Mean You Can Do Whatever You Want!

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Just Because You Own Your Spruce Grove House Doesn’t Mean You Can Do Whatever You Want! | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamSometimes it comes as a surprise to people living in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County, the city of Edmonton or any other Alberta municipality that there are strict rules as to what they can and can’t do or build on their property. This surprise can be especially rude when it comes time to sell a property and the owners discover that they were supposed to have permits for certain things.

“Why would a municipality care about what goes on inside private property? Aren’t all those permits just a cash grab?”

The City of Spruce Grove’s webpage dealing with building and development permits says this:

“Building Permits deal with structural stability of buildings and the health and safety of the building’s occupants. Development Permits deal primarily with a development’s impact on surrounding properties.”

Permits help a municipality ensure that all structures and activities within municipal limits meet the standards for health and safety of people and the environment. Yes, there is a cost for the processing of permits, but wise homeowners should see this cost as a good investment for the future and insurance that their home and property are secure.

“What sorts of things require permits?”

The City of Spruce Grove’s webpage on building permits has a long list of things requiring permits, along with the cost of the permits, for items inside your home and on the piece of land your home occupies. Some common interior items include

• developing and finishing a basement
• installing a wood-burning stove or fireplace
• installing, replacing or altering materials or equipment regulated by the Alberta Building Code (such as replacing a furnace).

Outside your home, you’ll need a permit to

• add a deck that is higher than 2 feet above the ground
• cover an existing deck
• install a hot tub or swimming pool
• construct any building on your property, such as a detached garage or shed.

These permits not only specify the safety measures to be followed but also mandate the distance structures must be from property boundaries and rights of way. Demolitions may require permits too.

If you want a firepit on your property, you’ll need a fire permit.  You may also need permits for gas installations, electrical installations, plumbing installations, and lot grading.  Please see the City’s webpage for the complete list of items requiring permits.

***If you are unsure about whether you need a permit or not, contact the City’s Planning and Development Department and ASK! Do this BEFORE you begin the work!***

“What happens if I want to sell my house and I don’t have the proper permits?”

For the answer to this question, see my blog post entitled “No Permits or RPR? How to Sell Your Spruce Grove Home When Something’s Missing”.

Questions about  building permits, RPRs, compliance, or title insurance? Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

 

 

Five Tips to Keep in Mind when Replacing the Windows on Your Edmonton-Area House or Condo

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Five Tips to Keep in Mind When Replacing the Windows | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry TwynamAfter the purchase of a house in Spruce Grove, Parkland County, Stony Plain and the entire Edmonton region, there could be, for one reason or the other, the need to replace its windows. It is always advisable to keep in mind the tips below when replacing windows.

Decide Whether Or Not the Process Will Be Done By a Professional

The success of any window replacement project depends on the type of window chosen and the quality of workmanship used during the replacement. A buyer can use metallic or wooden windows for replacement. Using a reputable installation company gives the owner an assurance of getting quality services. It is advisable to use a company that offers a warranty on parts and labour in addition to the products themselves. If you as a homeowner plan to replace the window yourself, be absolutely sure that you’re capable of the task before attempting it.

Consider the Amount of Time That The New Windows Should Serve

Where a replacement is meant to increase the house value during resale, the priorities may be different than for those who simply want to fix cracked or chipped glass. Energy saving, ease of maintenance and beauty are the most common upgrade considerations. With vinyl windows, homeowners can get back about 71 percent of their investment. Where this replacement is for the owner’s benefit, it’s important to consider warranties and repairs, quality and durability, design and appearance, ordering and installation, price, and energy efficiency. In short: the price of the window itself isn’t the total cost.

Narrow Your Options on Warranties

Whether the warranty covers broken seals and air leaks, or labour and glass breakage, it is advisable to determine how long this coverage will last. Get these warranties from a reputable company and determine the course of action should this company go out of business. The company has to carry liability insurance and must be licensed to work within the locality of the house. Most importantly, ascertain whether or not these warranties are transferable to the next homeowner.

Carry Out Proper Prior Preparation

It is important to prepare before the replacement process begins. Apart from being sure of the cost, it’s advisable that homeowners remove blinds and curtains from these windows. They should also alert their alarm company and create enough working space around the windows to ensure that the process is done efficiently and fast.

Try To Make the Entire Process Fun

The project will only be fun if the result will bring comfort, a sense of security and beauty. Decisions about the price and energy efficiency should be made with everyone’s comfort in mind.

These tips will also be applicable to anyone with Parkland County acreages, as well as Edmonton acreages. Several years after construction, there may be a need to replace windows; hopefully, the above tips are useful.

Comments or questions are always welcome.  Call or text me at 780-910-9669, email me at barry@barryt.ca, or contact me here.

 

Looking for a Summer DIY Project? Building a Beautiful Wooden Fence in Seven Easy Steps

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Looking for a Summer DIY Project_ Building a Beautiful Wooden Fence in Seven Easy Steps | Spruce Grove Stony Plain Parkland County Real Estate | Barry Twynam

 

Looking for an easy and fun way to add some sweat equity to your home in Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Parkland County and the Edmonton region? Building a wooden fence is a great way to add beauty and value to any home. Here’s your DIY guide to building a wooden fence for your yard in seven easy steps.

Decide What Type of Wooden Fence You Want

There are many types of wooden fences to choose from, and each requires different building methods. The best way to make your decision is to focus on what the main purpose of your fence will be. If you simply want to add some character to your property, a white picket fence might be just the ticket, but if you’re concerned about keeping out street noise or keeping a large dog in your yard, you’ll want to consider building something much taller.

Make Sure Your Fence Complies With Local Bylaws

Before you start building your fence, it’s important to ensure that your fence complies with local government regulations. If you build a fence that’s declared illegal by the local government, your fence could be torn down. Many municipalities require that you apply for a permit before building anything along your property line. It’s also important to check with the local authorities to make sure you won’t be coming into contact with any water, gas, or electrical lines when you dig your post holes.

Find the Right Materials

Your choice of fence style should help you determine which materials you’ll want to use. Be sure to pick something strong as well as stylish, as you’ll want to ensure that your fence is able to stand up to just about anything Mother Nature can throw at it.

Find and Mark Your Corners and Support Posts

When it comes time to build your fence, the first thing to do is mark where your corner and middle posts will be. Stake your corners and use a square level to make sure your corners are 90 degrees. Then tie strings between your stakes and measure out where your support posts will be. Generally you’ll want your support posts to be 8 inches or less apart. Measure so that you have an equal distance between each support post and each corner post if possible.

Dig Your Post Holes and Secure Your Posts

Once you’ve got your post positions marked you can start digging. You’ll want to bury at least one third of the length of each post underground, so you’ll need some fairly deep holes. Use instant concrete to hold your posts in place, and cover the remainder of the hole with dirt once the concrete has dried.

Build Your Fence Frame

Now you can attach horizontal support rails to your fence between each post. These are typically constructed using 2x4s. Depending on the size of your fence, you’ll probably want at least two or three support rails per section.

Add and Treat Your Privacy Boards

The final step is to add your vertical wooden strips or “privacy boards.” These boards are what will give your fence its final look. Choose a style that suits your property and pick a colour or stain that you think will complement the look of the fence.

There you have it! A brand new fence in seven simple steps. Of course you’ll want to do some careful measuring and planning before getting too carried away, and you might want to talk to a builder or property expert if you’ve never built a fence before.

If you’re wondering about what type of fence would best enhance the value of your property, or if you’d like to know anything else about Spruce Grove real estate, Stony Plain real estate, Parkland County real estate, Edmonton real estate, Parkland County acreages, or Edmonton acreages, I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. 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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