Edmonton Fall & Winter 2021
Real Home Advice
2 Real Home Advice
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Real Home Advice
your bed/s of all linen and wash it in hot water. The
suggested temperature is over 130 degrees Fahrenheit or
54 degrees Celsius. Dust mites will die when bedding is
placed in a hot dryer.
Dust mites burrow deep into mattresses particularly if
they have been in humid conditions. Experts recommend
covering all bedding with a micro-porous fabric, and
more beneficial to purchase new pillows for new covers.
Other suggestions include not making the bed first thing
in the morning to avoid moisture from your body being
trapped between the sheets.
The average bed has 100,000 to 10 million mites. Did that
statement grab your attention? Dust mites do not bite,
however, their droppings contain an enzyme that can
cause harm to or kill delicate cells, and in this way enter
the body compromising the immune system.
The response differs between individuals who might
experience any number of sensitivities like allergies,
eczema, dermatitis, conjunctivitis migraines, or digestive
disorders – even pneumonia.
Dust your house regularly. Clean those hard to reach
places and every nook and cranny, vacuum thoroughly.
Wipe down all surfaces in every room of the house and
regularly rinse the cleaning materials under hot water.
Finally, vacuum the floors.
Remember at this time of the year to change your furnace
filter and consider having your ducts cleaned.
Depending upon the severity of the situation you may
wish to replace mattresses, down pillows or duvets if they
are older than two years. Regular and focused, deep
cleaning will support a healthier environment for you and
4 Real Home Advice
Real Home Advice
What to Do When
Payments Stop: 5 Urgent
Collecting debt has always been one of the most
uncomfortable and delicate tasks in business.
In a time of crisis, it becomes infinitely more challenging.
Previously reliable customers no longer pay on
time—if at all. Even the best ones have stopped
taking your calls and their voicemail is uncharacteristically
When they DO answer, it isn’t good. Apologies, but
they can’t pay for an indeterminate period because
It’s not just you. Virtually all business models, both
B2B and consumer-facing, healthcare providers
and landlords, are in a similarly precarious situation.
The customer in many cases has an impeccable
history, making this an entirely new kind of problem.
Good business is hard-won, cost of sales is
premium and customer relationships are precious.
Most importantly, your brand reputation is priceless.
But here you are. Even the best customers are
holding out, and you have growing obligations of
Here’s the kicker: the worst is yet to come.
The forced shutdown has only just begun to take its
toll on businesses and consumers. Many are sitting
on a shrinking cash stockpile, waiting for a turnaround
that isn’t coming soon enough. If they owe
you money, they are spending it on other
things—until it the last of it runs out.
And despite the rosy flourishes being painted by
some politicians, the crisis is worsening. The subsidies,
stimulus packages and deferrals must soon
end. Buying habits and patterns have been massively
disrupted, in a lot of cases permanently.
If your business is already struggling to collect
money owed to it, it doesn’t take a master economist
to envision what’s in store. And the real economists
concur it will be very bad, for longer than
many businesses can withstand.
So What to do?
There are 5 important steps every business owner
needs to take in order to minimize risk and be as
proactive as possible.
Assess the current situation. Take a look at your
accounts receivable and flag everything past due.
Contact all account-holders and make them aware
that for your business’ continuity you must be firm
about due dates. They should respect this need and
do the same. Alert past-due accounts that collection
action is imminent—give a specific date.
It’s painful and a source of tremendous stress.
6 Real Home Advice
Take immediate action. Send all non-responsive
accounts and any that are more than 60 days past
due to MetCredit (as we remind our clients, 60 is
the new 90 in the critical post-COVID-19 era).
Our professional debt collection agents will treat
your customers with respect, and establish a high
payment priority for future dealings.
Fortify business processes. The way people paid
you in the past is probably not reliable enough
for the new normal. Risk reduction should be top
priority: sales are a dangerous liability when you
can’t collect. Insist on full payment or substantial
deposits—and make your credit application
mandatory whenever you grant credit (which is
anytime you are not paid in full upfront.) Be sure
buyers understand when payment is due and
acknowledge their commitment to you.
Make it easy to pay—safely. We recommend
Interac eTransfer or debit payments because
funds are immediate, fees are low and there is
little risk of chargebacks. If you offer financing
for larger amounts, partner with a leasing or
finance company that is equipped to manage the
I hope the latter group includes yours. Get energized,
call upon your most inventive self, and
Need more help? Reach out to me or one of my
helpful debt collection experts.
Be safe and healthy—and the same goes for your
President and CEO of MetCredit
Canada’s top-performing consumer
and commercial collection agency
for Scary Times.
Embrace the new normal. If you have been
patiently waiting for old buying habits to resume,
don’t! Some business models, such as airline
travel, retail sales and buffet restaurants will
surely never be the same. Instead of praying for
the good old ways to come back, find ways to
help customers with their new needs. And while
you do it, protect your own business’ future.
This is a hard reset, not a speed bump. It is an
opportunity to become better, more efficient,
and eventually more profitable than ever.
Many, many businesses are going to fail. The
ones that survive to rebuild the new economy
will be the ones whose leaders are smart, bold,
innovative and proactive.
Real Home Advice
TOP HOME UPGRADES THAT REALLY PAY OFF
Every homeowner wants to grow their home’s
long-term value—that’s one of the main
reasons why you bought your home in the first
place. If you’re looking to invest in your home
and its future value, there are many home
upgrades that can really pay off down the road.
In this article, we’ll review the best of these
renovations and upgrades, and where you
furnace have to both work harder (and use
more energy) to maintain the temperature in
your home. One of the most effective ways to
curb this energy loss is by installing additional
attic insulation to trap cooled and heated air in
the living areas of your home. This can cut your
cooling and heating costs by up to 20%.
Start saving money with improvements to your
An inefficient home that wastes energy is costing
you money every single month. High
summer and winter utility bills don’t have to be
something you just live with. By making proactive
and strategic improvements to your home’s
cooling and heating efficiency, you can lower
these costs for years to come. As seasons come
and go, those savings will really start to add up.
A large chunk of the cooled and heated air in
your home is lost through the attic and the roof.
This, in turn, means your air conditioner and
When it comes to home renovations, it doesn’t
get much easier than installing a smart thermostat.
By allowing you to schedule temperature
changes in advance, a smart thermostat can
reduce your energy costs by nearly 10%, while
also providing you with the convenience of
being able to change your home’s temperature
from just about anywhere.
Remodel your master bathroom
If you’re looking to invest in your home, a
master bathroom remodel is a great project to
take on. To make your remodelling dollar
stretch farther, focus on upgrading your bathroom
shower, vanity, sinks, and floors. You
should hire a plumber for any pipe or drain
8 Real Home Advice
repairs, but much of this project—from installing a
new vanity to laying floor tile or installing
vinyl—that can be handled by you, the homeowner.
The key to getting the best-possible ROI out of your
bathroom remodel is limiting the extent of plumbing
and electrical changes. Anytime you move
existing pipes or outlets, your costs will go up.
Avoid major layout changes, and you’ll get more
out of the project.
Rethink your home’s kitchen
Everyone loves the kitchen. It’s arguably the center
of life in the modern American home. This is probably
why kitchen remodels have the best
return-on-investment (ROI) of any major home
renovation project. If your kitchen looks like it
would fit right in to a 80s or 90s sitcom, it might be
time for a design refresh. If you’re focused on
adding value, you’ll need to prioritize installing
new stone countertops (quartz and granite are the
two most popular varieties, and come in a dizzying
array of styles) and cabinets. Invest in high-quality
materials and installation here: how good your
countertops and cabinets look and work will go a
long way to determining how much your new
kitchen adds to your home’s value.
However, not every aspect of your kitchen remodel
needs to be a “big ticket” upgrade. Take the time to
think about the style you’re aiming for and how to
best achieve it through lighting, backsplash, the
sink, and more. Make sure the kitchen you’re envisioning
fits the rest of your home, though: a farmhouse-style
kitchen might look great in a vacuum,
but stick out like a sore thumb in an otherwise
Get more out of your home
As any long-time homeowner can (and will) tell
you, owning a home is an adventure. It comes with
the freedom to make your own decisions and
design choices, and decide what you want to do
and focus on. By investing in the high-ROI projects
described above, you can both transform your
home and invest in its future value. For even more
great tips for home renovations and upkeep, check
out this infographic.
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Samantha Johnson - Remodeling Writer
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12 Real Home Advice
Interior Design Services
How would you like to decorate
your home or one specific room,
even just the living room feature
wall from the comfort of your
One option interior designers and
their companies are offering is
taking their profession and professional
services to a whole new
level with affordable online or
e-design services. You have the
choice of the A to Z of home
decorating and planning from
basement to wine cellar; colour
consulting, universal design and
Designers put their best skills
forward in creating inspiring
spaces for you that are fresh,
elegant, tasteful, functional
and pertinent to your lifestyle.
Choose your style – modern,
boho-chic or contemporary, and
get connected to the designer
who will best fill your needs and
Customers start by initially filling
out questionnaires and sending
photographs and dimensions of
their rooms or home. Designers
will confirm exactly what you are
looking for, offer concept design,
and provide you with a cost for
the project. They might offer you
various packages to choose from
based on your needs and your
You are then provided with
detailed 3d drawings and renderings,
where inspiration or mood
boards that pull together all the
plans, finish furnishings and
material selections, custom tiles,
cabinetry, accessories, artwork,
colours and styles. The shopping
list is the exciting part, as you can
go out and have fun pulling all the
The purpose of the online e-design
service is to provide affordable,
and easy-to-work-with design
options that inspire and support
you to make creative affordable
changes and upgrades to your
home décor and lifestyle.
Interior Design Services
Real Home Advice
Real Home Advice
LEDUC FENCES & DECKS INC.
OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE
Providing quality fence, deck,
gate, build and repair services
Call us for details
Leave home in the morning ---Then come home to your new fence latter that same day
REAL HOME ADVICE 6
such as clothes, jewelry, venues, guest accommodations,
and decorations, all of which are expensive
You can pick the ivory shade to add warmth to your
reception area. Black also looks classy but some
people do not prefer this color at wedding receptions.
Based on the wedding venue décor and style,
your linen covers for the chairs make a marked
Add some pizzazz to your wedding venue, especially
the guest sitting area with chair covers having
turquoise, red, champagne, purple, or burgundy
colors. You can even choose pink but opt for lighter
shades and not something gaudy.
2. Try various fabric options
3 Things to Remember When Looking for Chair
Covers for Your Big Day.
Do you want to make your wedding venue chairs
look special and take center stage? If yes, the best
and affordable option is booking chair covers for
your big day. These days, you will find these linens
in varied materials, colors, designs, and shapes.
Then, you can make your wedding day furniture
covers look more fashionable without creating a
dent in your wallet.
According to an article published on Forbes.com,
the average expenditure of modern weddings is
more than $36,000, based on a Knot survey. Therefore,
couples need to take care of their expenses
and avoid overdoing in their nuptials. Since chair
covers are an integral part of weddings, here are
three things you need to keep in mind:
1. Experiment with different colors
The typical chair linens come in whit
The typical chair linens come in white, though
look elegant, but sans any wow effect on the
guests. To be candid, they look quite bland if not
patterned even if they are white. Then, you can
choose different colors without breaking your
bank because weddings have other expenses such
Real Home Advice
Polyester is not the sole fabric to choose for the
chair covers. We recommend that you avoid it. Your
nuptial is a special and once-in-a-lifetime event.
Therefore, opt for taffeta or satin to add more
elegance to the reception area. It might cost you a
bit, but the money is worth the material. You can
also pick satin sash instead of the basic organza.
Splurge on decors if worth the expense.
3. Use alternative sash ties
The typical tie for any sash is the simple bow.
Though it looks beautiful, you can always make
things from just nice to stunning. Yes, create the
wow factor with alternative sash ties on your special
day. To be candid, bows look pretty, if used in a
birthday bash, but when it comes to your wedding,
a wrap tie or side wrap is your best bet. The décor
will add style and grace to your wedding chairs
covers sans any flamboyance. Keep things simple,
Add a personal style to your wedding décor with
stunning, elegant chair covers. These days, chair
linens have come a long way from gaudy varieties of
the 90s, especially those huge and oversized bows.
Modern covers come in varied sizes, styles, fabrics,
and colors. Therefore, make a choice that exudes
your sense of style and sophistication on your big
day. From cascading scarf-like covers to the romantic
lace varieties, the choices are plenty.
hygiene and sanitation. Eat foods recently well cooked and hot
and eat fruit and vegetables that are freshly cooked, washed
and/or recently peeled. Teach and assist children to drink
bottled beverages, avoid tap water, brush teeth and rinse tooth
brush with bottled water. Keep mouth closed when showering
or bathing. Remember dairy products should be pasteurized
Travelling with children requires advanced planning and
preparation. This is important to ensure an enjoyable trip for
Before leaving on your trip plan a visit with a Travel Health
Provider to assess the need for pre-travel immunizations or
medications. Children should be up-to-date on all childhood
If only travelling with my parent or only with relatives, make
sure you check https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children for
any documentation you must prepared before travelling
Travel preparation includes consideration for personal
safety, food and water precautions, sun and insect protection,
diarrhea and dehydration.
Children should carry a small card with contact information
and medical-emergency information ina pocket or on a
necklace. It is best to not have the child’s name on this
information. In case of separation a pre-arranged meeting
place is a good plan.
Teach your child not to pet or play with any stray animals. In
many developing countries animal rabies is a risk.
Other safety concerns that require knowledge of is different
traffic regulations, Potential hazards before allowing children
to swim and assessment of living area and play area for safety
Food and Water Precautions:
Food and water precautions are especially important to stay
well during the child’s trip. Many developing countries have
Prepare a special day pack for your child. Include a safe supply
of nutritious snacks and beverages from home for times when
children are hungry and the available food may not be appealing
or safe. In the day pack also include favorite toys, book,
games, blanket, change of clothing, towelettes, plastic bag, and
Sun and Insect Precaution:
Sun exposure is a serious health issue for children. It is important
to avoid the sun. Personal protective measures include
avoid the midday sun, wear protective clothing, hat, sunglasses
and use SPF 15 or greater.
Insect bites can make children sick. i.e. Biting flies, ticks and
mosquitoes. Travel preparation includes knowing the risk of
diseases that can be spread by insect. Mosquito born diseases
are the most common for example malaria. If your trip
includes staying in malaria risk area, an anti-malarial medication
from your travel health provider may be necessary.
Children are at special risk for malaria since they can become
sick very quickly.
For children insect protection methods are the same as other
travelers. Personal protective methods include sleep in air
conditioned rooms, or screened windows/doors and under
bed nets and cover-up when outdoors. Both DEET and icaridin
containing repellent can be used in children on exposed skin.
Follow the product application instructions on container.
Wash insect repellent off once child is indoors.
Diarrhea and dehydration:
Children are more susceptible to gastrointestinal diseases such
as traveler’s diarrhea. Teach your child the importance of
frequent hand washing with soap and water and the use of
alcohol base hand sanitizer (60%) when soap and H2O are not
available. Prior to your trip speak to your travel health provider
about oral rehydration solutions/ products and an antibiotic to
carry along for your child for severe diarrhea.
16 Real Home Advice
Real Home Advice
18 Real Home Advice
The Smell of Gas
Would you recognize the smell of gas if you
had a leak? Have a discussion with your family
about what gas smells like and how to identify
Gas has a sulphur-like smell. Simply put, it
smells like rotten eggs. You might also notice a
hissing sound, which would make a leak a lot
easier to locate. Check your appliances to
make sure the connections to the wall are not
damaged. The vegetation outside may also
give you a clue as to the leak location if it is
dying or in poor condition.
Experts will tell you to:
• Get everyone out of your house as quickly
and calmly as possible.
•Call emergency services to your home right
•Ensure your emergency numbers are easily
•Turn off all appliances and lights.
Do not smoke, use a lighter or matches anywhere near a broken gas line, and remember not to use electronics
or other devices close to your home. If gas is burning do not attempt to put it out yourself. Call 911. Be
informed and be safe.
ᰠ 夀 漀 甀 爀 嘀 愀 挀 甀 甀 洀 䤀 猀
伀 渀 氀 礀 䄀 猀 䜀 漀 漀 搀 䄀 猀
吀 栀 攀 䤀 渀 猀 琀 愀 氀 氀 愀 琀 椀 漀 渀 ᴠ
圀 攀 䤀 渀 猀 琀 愀 氀 氀 愀 氀 氀 戀 爀 愀 渀 搀 猀 漀 昀
䌀 䔀 一 吀 刀 䄀 䰀 嘀 䄀 䌀 唀 唀 䴀 匀
匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 稀 椀 渀 最 䤀 渀 一 攀 眀 䌀 漀 渀 猀 琀 爀 甀 挀 琀 椀 漀 渀 Ⰰ
刀 攀 琀 爀 漀 ǻ 琀 猀 Ⰰ 嘀 愀 挀 瀀 愀 渀 猀 愀 渀 搀 匀 愀 氀 攀 猀
眀 眀 眀 ⸀ 挀 攀 渀 琀 爀 愀 氀 瘀 愀 挀 椀 渀 猀 琀 愀 氀 氀 攀 爀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀
䈀 甀 椀 氀 琀 ⴀ 椀 渀
嘀 愀 挀 甀 甀 洀 䤀 渀 猀 琀 愀 氀 氀 攀 爀 䰀 琀 搀
䘀 刀 䔀 䔀 儀 唀 伀 吀 䔀 ⴀ 䌀 䄀 䰀 䰀 吀 伀 䐀 䄀 夀
㜀 㠀 ⸀ 㠀 㠀 㜀 ⸀ アパート 㘀
Real Home Advice
20 Real Home Advice
Are you moving homes? Have you run out of time
and energy to complete all your packing? The
stress alone can take a toll on your health and
that of your family, causing greater delays and
In addition, moving into a new home also has its
challenges – exciting as it may be. You know from
previous experience, how overwhelming it can
become moving in and going straight back to
workboxes piled up and dotted around hallways
and rooms. Waiting for you to have the energy to
neatly unpack contents in an organized fashion.
Perhaps your time and energy are better well
spent employing a service to come and do this
tedious work for you.
After the initial consultation, these move management
specialists will create a tailored program
and plan of action for you and your move.
Planning a move to a new home requires a lot of
attention to detail. Specialist move management
people have your back. They will facilitate the
process of discarding old and unused clothing
and other items; go through your recycling and
remove it for you; and once they have packed and
labelled all the boxes and containers, they ensure
that nothing is left behind after you have left the
old house. Upon arriving at your new home they
will clear the space, unpack and organize all your
Move management people work in an organized
strategic fashion, and their solution for unpacking
your goods ensures that you stay organized
given the convenient and best placing of your
belongings. Now, what could be more gratifying
than having the time and stress taken out of the
moving process? Take a deep breath, give yourself
a sigh of relief and enjoy your new home.
倀 氀 愀 琀 椀 渀 甀 洀 攀 搀 最 攀 氀 愀 眀 渀 挀 愀 爀 攀
䴀 愀 琀 琀 栀 攀 眀 ⴀ 䰀 愀 眀 渀 䌀 愀 爀 攀 匀 瀀 攀 挀 椀 愀 氀 椀 猀 琀
䴀 愀 琀 琀 栀 攀 眀 搀 攀 瘀 漀 猀 琀 䀀 最 洀 愀 椀 氀 ⸀ 挀 漀 洀
䈀 攀 猀 琀 䰀 愀 眀 渀 匀 攀 爀 瘀 椀 挀 攀 猀 ⸀
䴀 椀 渀 漀 爀 漀 爀 䴀 愀 樀 漀 爀 䌀 氀 攀 愀 渀 ⴀ 甀 瀀
㔀 匀 吀 䄀 刀 刀 䔀 嘀 䤀 䔀 圀 刀 䄀 吀 䤀 一 䜀
䀀 倀 氀 愀 琀 椀 渀 甀 洀 攀 搀 最 攀 氀 愀 眀 渀 挀 愀 爀 攀
⠀ 㜀 㠀 ⤀ 㘀 㘀 ⴀ 㘀 㠀 㐀 ㈀
Real Home Advice
Home Building Professionals
Selecting the right home building or remodeling
professional is likely to be the most important
step to plan, draw, and build your new home or
complete a home remodel. Today, there are
more options than ever when it comes to design
professionals, creating a time-consuming and
often daunting task. Whether you decide to hire
one person to design your home and another to
build it, or if you find one firm to do it all, you
will need home building professionals who
understand the nature of your project and can
best serve your individual needs.
Questions to Ask Remodeling, Home Building
How well does the professional understand your
budget, timing, and availability?
Does their portfolio of past projects complement
your personal taste?
Can the professional provide recent customer
How much involvement do you want in the
Do you feel comfortable with the design professional?
HOME BUILDING PROFESSIONALS
Architects represent one of the most highly
educated and trained categories of home building
professionals. Architects can help you detail
exactly what you want, draw up plans and list
material specifications. They may also provide
oversight for your project while it is in progress.
In addition, an architect can be an excellent
resource for other professionals, as they often
have already established a pool of designers and
general contractors they have worked with in
Draftspersons primarily prepare technical
drawings of designs created by others, although
some can assist with design. If the architect is
the lawyer for your new home, the draftsperson
is the highly-skilled paralegal. These days, most
drafters work in Computer Aided Drafting and
Design (CADD) programs. If you have a good
idea of the floor plan you want, you may just
need to hire a draftsperson to draw the blueprints
and have them checked by an engineer
before speaking with general contractors about
completing the project.
Structural Engineers need to be consulted if
your project requires any structural changes to
the existing building. A structural engineer will
provide the required stamped drawings that
must be submitted, along with the architectural
drawings, to the building department for
approval. Not all home building professionals
are huge companies. Don’t underestimate the
value of these niche contractors.
22 Real Home Advice
Residential Designers or Interior Designers
specialize in designing residential interiors.
Trained to use space most efficiently, residential
designers tend to focus on floor plan design,
detailed lifestyle evaluation and design functionality.
It is not uncommon to consult with a residential/interior
specialist to critique a floor plan
or a kitchen or bathroom designer to devote
special attention to specific areas of the home.
Although residential designers have a different
educational and training background, their roles
frequently overlap with interior designers.
Kitchen and Bathroom Designers are more
specialized remodeling professionals, although
still very similar to residential or interior designers.
They may lack construction experience or
miss design opportunities associated with additions
or movement of walls, for example. Yet,
bathroom designers and kitchen designers are
often best for high-end interiors where expensive
materials, cabinets, and appliances will be used.
Design/Build Contractors offer both architectural
and construction services, and can carry a job
from inception to move-in. Because one firm is
accountable for the entire project, this approach
can often result in a less expensive design that is
practical to build and causes less confusion
between design and construction specialists who
may not see eye-to-eye. Many design/build
contractors offer, or even focus on, landscaping
When looking for service professionals to help
you build your new home, keep in mind that it’s
not as important to focus on the titles of architect,
designer, builder, contractor or some hybrid
of these. Rather, look for the individuals or companies
whose experience, designs and ideas best
matches the type of home you want. After all, to
them, it’s a job, but to you, it’s a home.
Home Decorators are specialists who offer advice
on furniture, wall coverings, colors, styles, and
overall physical appearance of your project.
Home decorators can save you both time and
money by helping you to narrow down your
choices and utilizing professional discounts for
materials such as furniture, home accessories,
wallpaper or paint. When you meet an interior
decorator, expect to talk about your personal
style and preferences. From that, the decorator
will develop some ideas that would work for you
and help you translate your artistic sensibility
General Contractors coordinate and construct
projects that typically involve three or more
subcontractor trades, such as carpentry, plumbing,
painting, roofing, or electrical work. In most
states, general contractors need a license to
operate their business. Most general contractors
focus on major home remodeling projects and
home additions, although you may find some
general contractors who will undertake a new
home construction project or small remodeling
Real Home Advice
24 Real Home Advice
With the excitement of a home purchase, it is all
too easy for new home buyers to hastily forgo the
importance of Home Inspections in order to ‘firm’
up the purchase, and perhaps in competition of a
Have you heard the expression “buyer beware?”
Know it is the responsibility of the buyer to do their
due diligence, and ensure the property they are
purchasing is all it has been touted to be – there are
no hidden surprises. Some results of the home
inspection report might give buyers an opportunity
to negotiate with sellers if a major issue comes
up that perhaps both parties might not have been
Typically the Home Inspector will allay the fears of
buyers by inspecting the structural elements like
the framing, roof and attic, foundation and walls;
and the systems – the electrical, plumbing and
air-conditioning and heating systems. The kitchen
and bathrooms are also inspected for any potential
or hidden issues.
The professional and expert opinion of the Home
Inspector you choose to work with is valuable in
assuring you the home you are purchasing is
sound in construction and maintenance. A thorough
explanation of all the working systems and
elements of the home gives you an opportunity to
ask as many questions as you need. Your questions
could include knowing more about drainage and
the sump pump, sewer systems, compliance of
building codes, age of electrical wiring, age and
capacity of the water heater, central air conditioning,
Other information you will want to glean from
your REALTOR® might be regarding utility expenses,
zoning, property boundaries, non-conforming
legal suites, easements, proposed special assessments
– to name a few. This list is quite lengthy
and involved but well worth the time and effort to
ensure you fully understand that the house of your
dreams is after all exactly what you are purchasing.
Real Home Advice
Construccon is about
transforming a dream
L i c e n s e d - W C B I n s u r e d - B o n d e d
W o r k m a n s h i p W a r r a n t y - R e f e r e n c e s
780.487.8707 | Gerry@plaanumltd.ca | Plaanumltd.ca
26 Real Home Advice
Cleaning Your Oven Yourself
Most ovens today have the built-in self-clean
function. Set your oven on to self-clean and you
are free to get on with other errands or chores.
But wait: have you considered that apart from the
convenience of self-cleaning ovens, not only a
tremendous amount of energy is expended but the
by-product gases are toxic? Good ventilation is
important while cleaning so fumes can escape and
not circulate through the house.
Oven cleaners –are also highly caustic and corrosive.
Made from the chemical sodium hydroxide
otherwise known as “lye,” and whilst effective, they
need to be used with caution potentially causing
irritation to delicate membranes of the body and
skin. Good ventilation and protective gloves and
clothing are recommended. Reconsider using
these cleaners, which are not safe in your home
especially with children and pets.
The natural ways were inexpensive and safe. Firstly
to avoid spills use foil or place a large baking sheet
under your roaster. Simple and non-toxic cleaners
are baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar.
Natural dish soap cleaners and an effective scrub
work well with grease. Spray oven walls and floor
with water and sprinkle a good layering of baking
soda and leave it for a couple of hours or overnight.
For harder to get out stains use white vinegar
over the freshly sprinkled baking soda. A lemon
and baking soda paste will clean the oven glass.
Take some time, scrub a little and be assured your
family is much safer for it.
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Real Home Advice
Do you have your bedroom situated
over the garage in your current home?
There are some specific rules according
to Feng Shui regarding living over
a garage. In the last couple of decades,
construction of homes has placed
master bedrooms over the garage –
even though it might make for greater
square footage, this design could have
The initial consideration according to
Feng Shui experts, is regarding the
insulation in the garage.
Building Over Your Garage
Are you planning some renovations this spring, and do they
involve building over your garage?
Most garages are not properly insulated
both for sound, temperature and
other pollution. It doesn’t take much
common sense to realize why having
a bedroom or family room over the
garage is not a practical idea.
28 Real Home Advice
It is an open space typically populated with metal
shelving, racks and outdoor equipment, as well as
chemicals like fertilizers, gas containers for the
lawnmower, or paint. With cars going in an out
and the use of automatic garage doors, the overall
sense of having a bedroom over a garage may
leave homeowners experiencing less than peace-
ful or sound sleeps; nor feeling grounded, or
relaxed in their bedroom.
There are simple actions to take to remediate
some of the issues around sleeping above a
expert in to advise you in this regard is important.
If you are looking to purchase a house, you can
consider your options – especially if you like a
home that places the master bedroom over the
garage. And if you are building, now that you are
informed about the potential issues of having a
bedroom over your garage, you may want to
redesign your plans and explore other options
with your architect or contractor. In the long run,
your peace of mind and physical health will not
be compromised, and you will be much happier
with your informed choices.
Some might include: carpeting your bedroom;
insulating your garage; making sure not to idle
your vehicle while still inside the garage, and
having proper ventilation in your bedroom. Some
experts may suggest placing two cedar trees either
side of the garage walls, as a way to have “living”
energy growing up and connecting the ground to
the second floor over the open space of the
garage. Placement of your bed and the direction
you sleep in is vitally important. Your head must
be against a permanent wall. Calling a Feng Shui
Real Home Advice
There is nothing more pleasing than contemplating
a heart-warming fire going in the hearth as the
weather starts to cool. Fall is probably the best time
to make sure all is in good working order ahead of
the cooling weather. Chimneys, fireplaces and vents
should be inspected and cleaned just prior to, and
after the winter to work optimally. This will ensure
regular maintenance clears debris and blockages,
and venting works efficiently. Check with a flashlight
to see whether the creosote is thicker than
1/8th inch and if so, the job needs to get done.
If you are not comfortable getting onto your roof
you can clean your chimney from the bottom up.
Chimney brush sizes and shapes are determined by
whether you have a round or square-shaped flue.
Small brushes make the work of cleaning the flue a
lot harder; the size should be snug enough – just
slightly larger than the flue to move with ease.
Fibreglass rods can be purchased for straight chimneys.
Make sure the brush has the same connection
type as the rod. The rod lengths will be the height
from your chimney to the damper. You or someone
can drop a rope down from the top of the chimney
someone can drop a rope down from the top of the
chimney to determine the length.
Make sure to wear gloves and have the surrounding
floor covered with a protective mat or plastic liner.
To start, attach the brush to your first rod. As you
move it up the flue adds the additional rods for
ease. As you get your brush through the damper,
push further up to attach additional rods. Push
through to get an up and down scraping, sweeping
motion. Once you have completed cleaning the
creosote and debris, pull your broom out and use a
brush and bucket, or an ash vacuum to pick up the
ash from the floor and inner ledge.
Keeping your chimney regularly checked and clean
will ensure you don’t have any issues when colder
weather comes to stay and is good for your health.
With this work done, you can now relax and enjoy
an efficient and warming fireplace.
30 Real Home Advice
Real Home Advice
32 Real Home Advice