Tips For Buying a Home Elevator in Vancouver BC

A home elevator is a great investment if you or a loved one has difficulty with stairs at home or with moving food or possessions around. With so many options nowadays for different types of home elevators, you should be careful with making a purchase. Your home elevator should meet the needs of the person who will use it as well as be convenient for other members of the household. Here are our tips for buying a home elevator, to make the experience a positive one for everyone involved.

Make a list of your home elevator requirements and budget

Vancouver home elevators can meet different needs, depending on the type that you buy. Does you or your loved one only need help with stairs? Or is it most difficult to transport food or move other items around as needed? Have a clear idea of what you need before getting too far ahead of yourself. Home elevators also require you to have a certain amount of space free in your home for its placement, so figure out what space you can make available–before you get your heart set on an elevator that is too big.

Setting a budget ahead of time will help to ensure that you buy only what you can afford, which may mean letting go of a special feature that would be more helpful but is not necessary for you. A home elevator should be a convenience, not a new source of stress because you spent too much.

Pick a home elevator business that you know you can trust

In this age of detailed websites and online reviews, it should be easy to find information on a business. Always do some research on your own, as you want a home elevator business that can provide you with quality products and service plans. If you know anyone who has purchased a home elevator recently, ask them what their experience has been with the business they purchased from, too.

Learn about the technical aspects of any home elevator you consider

Figuring out the exact mechanics of a home elevator will help you to visualize how the elevator will work in your home. How does it move from one floor to the other, for example, and how will this affect other aspects of the house?

If you do the right planning ahead of time, a home elevator can create additional convenience and safety at home. We hope this post has been helpful, and welcome you to contact Home Elevators Of BC if you live in BC and have any questions about what we offer.


Where To Buy Hot Tubs In Edmonton

There is no doubt a hot tub improves your home and health. Sitting in your back yard enjoying the soothing benefits of a hot tub is something many people dream of.

But the decision to buy a hot tub can be a big one for you, for financial reasons and because of the time commitment you will need to give to maintain the hot tub after you have purchased it and had it set up. Because of this, you need to buy your hot tub from a company that has the necessary knowledge and experience of hot tubs to make your purchasing and maintenance experience a pleasant one. You will find more than one place to buy hot tubs in Edmonton, but finding the best place will make a difference for you in the long run.

As with any big purchase, the initial cost of a hot tub is only one factor to consider in your decision making process. We at World of Spas not only have a wide variety of hot tubs for you to choose from, we also can share our knowledge of hot tubs and their accessories and products with you. We have great installation and service programs and sell many hot tub and spa chemicals, so we can be your one-stop shop for everything you will need to have a positive hot tub experience for many years to come. Our customized shipping plans for hot tub and spa chemicals means that your convenience will be a continued priority to us even after you have made your big hot tub purchase.

You may have a distinct reason why you want to purchase a hot tub in Edmonton now, whether for fun, for your health, or as an investment to add value to your property. Whatever your reasons are, the most important item to keep in mind is that you ultimately need a hot tub that will work for you. Every hot tub has different features and each one is designed with specific purposes in mind, which means you need to purchase one from a company that will be able to share their knowledge of hot tubs well. World of Spas in Edmonton can do this for you, and we welcome you to contact us to find out more.

Best Kennewick WA Carpet Cleaners

Your carpet might have a lot of foot traffic on it on a daily basis, with some of those feet being cleaner than others. And of course, accidents happen and food or a liquid of some sort will get spilt on it. Whatever the problems are with your carpet, you have come here because you want a solution. Do-it-yourself carpet cleaning can only have so much of an effect, and replacing a carpet altogether is a pricey and time-consuming task. That is why you are searching for the best carpet cleaners in Kennewick WA.

Hiring a professional for the job should give you a peace of mind that the workers you hire will have the best equipment and training for the job. But maybe you have had bad experiences with other help you have hired. Whether they did not do the job to the standard you needed or they provided poor customer service, it may feel risky to bring anyone in. You need carpet cleaning that will not leave you with sticky residues or an overwet carpet after the task is done, and you would probably like it if the workers were pleasant to be around, especially if you need to contact them again.

If this is what you are looking for, then Continental Carpet Cleaning will provide you with the best carpet cleaners in Kennewick. In business locally since 1980, we use the best tools and machines including the Rotovac 360i, a Rotary Hot Steam that provides much better results than standard wand methods. Our workers have attended courses, certification schools, and conventions, and we keep up-to-date with the best methods by studying trade journals, books, articles, and periodicals. The owner of Continental Carpet has IIRC certifications in carpet cleaning and water damage restoration, too. We want to provide you with the best service.

If you use our services and find a problem such as a spot that returns, you can rely on our satisfaction guarantee–we will return to fix the problem, free of charge. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and a reputation with our customers to back us up. Contact Continental Carpet in Kennewick to get experienced carpet cleaners that you can trust.

Basement Renovation Ideas

You’ve seen those renovation TV shows where a family gets their unorganized basement turned into a new work, play, or relaxation space. Maybe you have wondered whether you could actually get something like that done for yourself. We are writing this today to tell you that you can make your Victoria BC basement renovation ideas a reality. Toolbox Renovations has some ideas of our own for how you can change your basement into something more liveable and eye-catching.

If your basement’s walls are unfinished, with framing or insulation visible, you have a few options getting that job completed. Your walls can play a big part in creating a different feeling for your room. You could get wood panelling to create a cozy feeling, or use different colours of paint depending on the mood you want to create. The same can go for your floors. If you have an old carpet down there now, taking it out and adding new floor tiles or panels can make all of the difference. Adding carpet onto a concrete floor can also make your basement so much more likeable to you and your family, both to look at and relax in.

Your basement could currently feel outdated, but a basement renovation can change that. If you have a brick fireplace that catches everyone’s attention for the wrong reasons, you can get the bricks removed or covered and put a wood or stone mantel in its place. An old staircase in your basement can be redone to match the rest of the space too, so the whole area will feel unified as you come downstairs.

Do you use your basement for storage? If you go through the items you find down there, you may find that you really do not need to use all of that space for storing your things. With the right shelving units, your basement can be transformed into a space that is both useful for storage and enjoyable to be in.

Hopefully this has given you new ideas for your basement renovation. If you are in Victoria BC, we at Toolbox Renovations would be happy to discuss the possibilities today.

Increase The Value of Your Property

When people begin to think about having renovation work done in their home the first thought that crosses their mind is the upfront cost they are going to have to pay. Many will balk at the idea as the benefits don’t appear, at first, to outweigh that initial cost. However, as a long-term investment good renovation work can increase the value of your property in addition to adding that extra little something to your home.

Here we will take a look at a couple of reasons why both basement renovations & kitchen renovations in Victoria BC are a good choice for any homeowner.

Increase The Value of Your Property

The number one reason that you should look into having home renovation work done, particularly if you are considering moving house, is that any work will automatically improve the value of your property.

In fact, any real estate agent will tell you that the kitchen is always a key selling point for a property. If the buyer likes the kitchen the odds are that you will receive a better offer for your home. This means that renovation work is certainly worth considering, whether you are staying in the property for the long term or considering moving on at a later date.

More Space

While kitchen renovation work can give your kitchen a fresh new appeal, by renovating the basement you now have a new room that gives you an extra bit of space in the property in addition to providing you with options.

For example, with a good basement renovation in Victoria BC, you can make the basement appealing to potential tenants, which means that it can be used as a source of income. Furthermore, the room becomes something much more than a basic storage room, which adds plenty to your home both in terms of quality of life and the value that is added to the property.

Energy Savings

Remodeling in older homes can be a little costly, however, as most remodels will be done with the latest energy efficiency standards in mind you will find that they can save you plenty of money in the long run.

This is because a kitchen or basement remodel will generally include appliances and other items that are built to modern standards. This can help you to save money on your energy bill, particularly if the appliances that you currently use are beginning to show their age. This steady saving each month will eventually build up until the cost of the renovation work is paid for and you can start to see an improvement in your bank balance as a result.

Why You Should Have Your Carpets Cleaned Regularly

Having your carpets cleaned regularly is an overlooked thing to do. We thought the same until we started to use a company here in Victoria. We wanted to have them write the blog post to help you understand why it’s important to have your carpets cleaned regularly.

Many people do not consider the many issues that a dirty carpet can cause in the home. Instead, they believe vacuuming every so often is enough to ensure that the carpet remains in good condition.

Unfortunately, this is not usually the case and we at Dri-Way Carpet & Upholstery Care have worked with many carpets that were much grimier than their owners thought they would be.

The issue is that dirt and other stains bed into the carpet over time and simply cannot be removed with standard carpet cleaning practices. Over time these particles not only damage the quality of the carpet but can also cause issues with the quality of the air in the home.

While the likes of dust mites are a common problem that most people are aware of, particularly in regards to their shedding and waste getting into the air, there are a variety of other issues that people should be aware of.

With our Carpet Cleaning in Victoria BC service you can avoid all of these issues. Air quality, in particular, is a major factor in many people’s choice so we also thought it would be a good idea to demonstrate why it is a good idea to have your carpets cleaned on a regular basis.

Fewer Allergies

Allergies can be caused by all sorts of things, including dust particles and pollen. In fact, if somebody in your home suffered from hay fever then they are actually even more at risk of aggravating the condition if the carpet isn’t cleaned on a regular basis.

This is because pollen, like dirt, can be trodden deep into a carpet where it is impossible to remove with a vacuum. This means that particles from the pollen will often get in the air supply, leading to aggravation of allergies. This is especially the case for homes that have a HVAC system or use other methods of air circulation.

Bad Bacteria

It’s not just dirt and grime from the great outdoors that can find its way into your carpets and stay there for an extended period of time. There are a range of other bacteria that can wind up calling your carpet their home and many of them are capable of causing serious illness.

The likes of E.coli and salmonella can be found in some carpets, particularly if food has been dropped on the carpet in the past. Getting rid of these bacteria should be a top priority and will also ensure that you are breathing clearer air as a result.

Why Garburators Are Great Solution To Smelly Problem

Just last year our local municipality put in place new recycling rules. They are absolutely ridiculous. You see, we live in a very green and environment conscious city. That means we have to recycle everything. And I mean everything!

All kitchen scraps must be tossed into a new bin and put out on the curb come garbage day. This causes some very smelly households and people eat a lot and the fact that all kitchen scraps are to be tossed into a separate bin is silly. Does your city or municipality have silly laws and rules put in place when it comes to this?

If so, read about a simple solution to this potentially smelly problem.


A garburator crushes kitchen scraps to a pulp. It works kind of like a sink drain as it’s placed where the top of a drain would sit. The above photo is what it looks like underneath the sink.

If you want to learn how they work, check out the wikipedia article. You can also the video below.

It has saved the smell of our home. I didn’t want to resort to using Fabreeze all the time as that stuff is loaded with chemicals. There had to be an easier way to get rid of our kitchen scraps. The garburator has done just that.

We were also finding that our giant scrap bin, which was located outside, was attracting racoons. They would always crash the bin over and dig through the scraps. Guess who had to clean that up? The homeowner!

With a garburator we don’t need to deal with that crap!

They are really easy to install and you don’t need an appliance repair company in Toronto to do the install.

Dog-Proof Your Home

Owning a dog can bring a lot of fun and a lot of joy into your life.  But if you dog starts to damage the furniture, the carpet, or other property, that joy can quickly turn into frustration and regret.  If you’re coming home to teeth marks in the furniture, ruined shoes or toys, or pee or poop on the carpet, it’s time to act.

Or, perhaps you have a new dog, or are thinking of getting a dog, and you want to start off on the right foot (or paw). You know that a dog can be prone to chew things or damage property.  You want to do all you can to keep your furniture and your property from becoming targets for your dog’s destruction.

If you’re dealing with either circumstance, and you live in the Victoria BC area, look no further than Tomey K9 Services

Tomey K9 Services  is the newest dog training in Victoria BC service.Their basic obedience program provides a place to start training your dog, which will definitely improve his behavior. Dogs that are trained to not damage the furniture provide many years of pleasure to their owners.  The behavior of untrained dogs, on the other hand, can lead to frustration and annoyance with the dog. Those feelings aren’t going to help you in your relationship with your dog.

Tomey K9’s basic obedience program covers the following:

  • Leash behavior
  • Coming when called
  • How to heel and sit on command
  • Staying on command
  • Lying down on command

After a dog has learned these basic commands, Tomey K9 can work with your dog one-on-one with specific, personalized attention. If a dog’s behavior needs to improve – such as, teaching them not to chew on the furniture – Tomey K9 can work with your dog in a practical and customized program.

Do-it-yourself dog training takes time and effort, and a busy schedule may leave you without the time to train your dog so that they won’t damage your property. You may also not know ways to properly praise and motivate your dog. Tomey K9’s training will help your dog’s behavior and give you the peace of mind you need when dealing with your dog. You can then come home to a pleasant home environment, not one where you’re constantly worried that the dog is going to destroy your property.

Tomey K9’s slogan is “exceptional service, with a passion for all things K9.”  If you live in the Greater Victoria BC area and want to keep your furniture or other property intact, contact Tomey K9 Services by phone at (250) 588-9611. For more information, visit their website at, or follow @TomeyK9 on Twitter.

Keep Your Belongings Warm in Winter

Living in Victoria, BC, people have always had problems with weather. Sometimes, because it can be too cold, you have to create certain conditions for personal belongings, especially if they are stored outside your house. Even cellars do not completely protect items from the excessively low temperatures and moist. This especially concerns household electronic devices, such as TVs, LCD screens, laptops, and other items which either serve as household utilities or provide entertainment. Works of art are extremely weather sensitive too. Due to the available Storage facilities Victoria BC has become a more comfortable place to live while keeping personal items safe and secure at the same time.

It is the best climate control systems that U-Pak Mobile Storage company has to offer you. Because they keep containers indoors, the problem with cold weather is easily solved. Your belongings are safe independent of weather conditions. The first reason is, as we’ve just mentioned, all items, along with storage units, remain in the facilities. It is worth mentioning that these buildings are under 24/7 surveillance and all use the best lock system, both warehouse and a single storage unit. Vinyl and the use of Velcro closures make every container fully protected and ready to face the utmost harshness of the season.

The second reason is that, while most storage companies have to offer use metal storage units, U-Pak utilizes containers made of special wood. It is wood that is known for assuring minimal temperature losses, while keeping your belongings in warmth and considerable dryness. Many storage service providers avoid this type of containers because they need some maintenance as well. Besides, they can be heavy compared to light metals. The company does everything to benefit the clients, not to make the company’s job easier.

Victoria, BC is known for the cold winter months. This is a kind of truth that is hard to escape. However, people who live here solve this by turning on the heating or radiators and heaters. At U-Pak they do just the same. Even the transportation vehicles that the company uses have their heating (or warming) systems, which keep your belongings in just about the same conditions as in the storage, as soon as it’s delivered. It is even more comfortable than keeping things at home, as professionals working at U-Pak know all about the necessary conditions for all types of household items. You can be pretty sure that your furniture, electronics, household tools, elements of decor, and even art items are staying in absolute comfort.

U-Pak Mobile Storage Company is a great way of securing good conditions for your personal belongings at times when you just cannot have them at home. Whether it is reconstruction going on at your place, or simply the lack of need in these things you are sending to the storage unit, they will be in good hands. If you like, you can visit the storage facilities and see how everything is dry and warm for yourself.

Finding a Heat Pump in Victoria B.C

Anyone in charge of heating and cooling bills knows that prices have been getting crazier and crazier. The prices leave consumers wondering if we’ll ever get any relief. Even British Columbia’s relatively mild coastal weather and the minor weather everywhere else (except for winter, of course), the prices can really make your pay check go by fast.

After doing some research, I came across heating pumps. Reading about these, I was surprised that it took me so long to hear about them. These pumps can be reversible and heat in the winter and cool in the summer, making them convenient. They are also more efficient than above ground units because they move air in the opposite temperature direction by taking air from one place, changing the temperature to hot or cold, and moving it to its final destination.

I spoke to my friends about it, and some had already had units installed. They raved about their lower electricity bills and their exquisitely warm houses in the winter, but the ability to use the same unit to cool their houses in the warmer months. Intrigued, I searched heat pumps Victoria BC to see what was available in my area.

One of the first options I found was Red Blue Heating & Refrigeration and after speaking to one of my friend with the heat pump installed, I heard that this was the company they went through as well. They had been very pleased with both the heating and cooling results and the company as whole, so I decided to visit their website. I read a little on the topic, watched a helpful video explaining the mechanics of the pumps, and finally contacted them via e-mail with a few questions I had. They answered promptly and I felt confident that this would be the new heating and cooling solution for my household.

After installation, I saw the difference on my bill right away, and have been very happy with my installation and with Red Blue Heating & Refrigeration on the whole. They filled me in on all of the specifics and let me know what to expect. They’ve been on the whole just very friendly and helpful.

Now it’s my turn to tell people about my little secret for heating and cooling and have referred several friends to Red Blue Heating & Refrigeration. It’s been the optimal way to beat the heat as well and the cold and the huge bills each month, and I want my friends to be in on it too! They have been nothing but grateful and now instead of getting together and complaining about bills, bills, bills, we can get together and discuss how we’ve been able to save!

Tips For Cleaning Leaves Out Of Your Yard

Summer is long, long gone. Welcome to fall! The trees and their leaves do make for spectacular photo taking opportunities.

Do you know what else trees and their leaves make for? They make for a pain in the butt!

Cleaning the yard of leaves is a pain in the fall. It’s wet, cold and the wind just blows them all over the place. No matter what you do, you end up raking more and more. Let me tell you that raking leaves in quite the work out.

I did a bunch or raking of wet leaves at a rental home before I decided to become a homeowner. My lats were so sore the next week. Lesson learned though.

So I want to give you a few tips to help you clean your yard of leaves.

# 1 – Wait

I’m a very particular gal and I like things clean. That includes my yard. So when fall comes and the leaves start falling of the trees, I get the urge to clean them up.

Over the years though I’ve learnt to wait. You must wait until all the leaves fall down, then you clean them up. Trust me on this. If you don’t wait, you’ll spend far more grunt work trying to rake all the leaves up.

# 2 – Do It On Nice Day

I mentioned earlier that I raked a bunch of leaves at a rental home. The one thing I learnt that day was that wet leaves are heavy and require more strength to move them around.

So I highly suggest you wait for a nice day to do it on. I’d also wait for a nice dry stretch of weather so the leaves are dryer and easier to rake.

#3 – Hire Help

If you really hate this task, you can always hire help from a yard maintenance Calgary company come and solve your issues. They might only take a couple of hours so the cost could be worthwhile. You can stay inside and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and let them deal with the work!

# 4 – Get Leaf Blower

A leaf blower can really help you save time and strength. The nice thing about a leaf blower is that I can be used for other tasks around the home like cleaning the driveway or garage. So it’s a good investment.

# 5 – Mulch Them

Another option is to simply mulch the leaves into your lawn. Scots has a great article on how to do that and the benefits of doing so.

# 6 – Remove Your Trees

If you are dead set on how much you hate raking leaves, one option is to remove the problem trees. In doing so, you are saying that you don’t like nature. Trees are amazing and provide shade in the summer. But if you must hire a tree removal Calgary company, by all means do so, it’s your house.

Hopefully you will enjoy and use these tips on how to clean your yard up.  I’ve given a few great options to help with the process and hope you use a few of them to get your yard cleaner more efficiently.

Home Painting Ideas


Is your home un-inviting? Are the colors out of date? Have your kids marked up your walls? Or have you bought a house where the previous owners had downright awful taste?

Well then it is probably about time you painted your home!

I felt this way when we bought out first home. The previous owners were in their 70’s. And the paint was straight out of the 70’s as well!

Lots of drab colors that’s for sure. This design flashback of the 70’s will give you a great idea of what our home looked like.

No matter what reason you have to paint your home, let me give you some advice.

Overall Theme

Every room in your home should have a theme. And each rooms theme should blend with eachother. You don’t want dark colors in one room and the room next to it to have warm colors.

So you need to sit down and think about an overall theme of colors. You want to be certain that the theme will be harmonious with the other rooms and furniture in that room.

Color Scheme

What you want to feel in your home can be done so by choosing color schemes for each room to fit your theme. Bejamin Moore has a great page on how to choose a color scheme. They’ve got some great tips. I especially like idea of having one color and using different shades throughout the home.

This was one idea I contemplated as I really love the color blue and all the shades. From mint blue to baby blue and navy blue, I love them all.

In the end be certain you have the right color schemes. It’s costly to have to go back over and paint everything again. So take the time and make sure you are certain you love and I mean LOVE your colors.

Paint Finishes

Who knew there could be so many paint finishes! It’s bad enough you spent more than a few hours selecting colors. The paint companies thought it would be funny to through 5 or 6 different finishes into the decision making process.

The common paint finishes are:

  • Matte
  • Flat Enamel
  • Semi Gloss
  • Eggshell
  • Semi-gloss
  • Glossy

I don’t know enough about all the finishes but we ended up going with a matte finish as we didn’t want our walls to shine.

Just to a Google search or head into your local paint store for help on all the finishes.

Hopefully I have helped you out and understanding the process of painting your home. Another suggestion is to seek out the advice of painters in Victoria BC or any city for that matter.

Their experience will help you choose the right theme, scheme and finish for your needs.

I Need Housecleaning Help – What Do I Do?

People hire housecleaning services for various reasons.  Sometimes, the job is only a one-time or short-term job such as preparing a house for a move in or move out.  Some people hire housecleaning help on an on-call basis.  Others need cleaning services Vancouver on a regular weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly basis.

You probably have a good idea of what kind of house cleaning Vancouver service you need and now you want to know what kinds of questions should you ask your candidates.

Before you ask the house cleaner…

First, ask some questions of yourself:

  • Referrals:  ask for referrals from friends and family who are happy with their cleaning service.
  • Frequency:  how often do you want house cleaning Vancouver services?
  • Special needs:  special needs can refer to specific tasks, scheduling, health issues, etc.

o   Which time of day and week do you need or prefer?

o   Are there specific areas or belongings of the house that you do not want to be cleaned?

o   Does anyone (or any pet) have chemical sensitivities or allergies?

o   Do you wish the house cleaner to use only your preferred cleaning products and equipment?

o   Do you have pets that will need to be secured during cleaning time?

o   Do you have standing appointments or errands that must be accommodated when scheduling house cleaning time?

Ask the future house cleaner…

Once you have identified what you want done, how, and when, create a list of questions for the future home maid services Vancouver.

  • Background:  ask for general information about each candidate’s background as a house cleaner – how long has the candidate been in the cleaning business, what services are provided, how many houses does the candidate clean, what sets that person’s cleaning services apart from others’?
  • References:  ask for and contact every reference.  References should be clients who have used the candidate’s cleaning services for at least six months.  You are seeking reassurance from each reference that the candidate does an excellent job and is to be trusted.
  • Written agreement of services and policies:  will the candidate provide a copy of what services will be provided as well as cancellation policy and payment forms accepted?
  • Rates:  what will the house cleaner charge to clean your house?
  • What won’t be done:  what types of jobs will the candidate not do, or only will do for additional payment?

Your sparkling clean house

You are about to build a new relationship that will hopefully be a long and happy one.  The success of it depends on clear communication, patience, trust, and a bit of trial and error.

It may take several cleaning sessions before your new house cleaner has got everything cleaned just right and in the time frame expected.   You may need to make some minor adjustments but the end result will be a clean house that is always welcoming to you and your visitors.

The Care and Feeding of Your Granite Countertops

Granite CountertopsThose granite kitchen and bathroom countertops Victoria, part of the pride and joy of your house, need to be cared for.  They require regular cleaning, occasional stain removal, and re-sealing.

Granite is a most obliging natural material.  It is scratch, heat, and stain resistant.  But while granite can resist scratches, heat damage, and stains, it is not impervious to damage.

Protecting your investment

Here are some simple cleaning and maintenance tips from your granite countertops Victoria specialists:

  • Keep countertops clean:  this is the first principal of granite care.  Clean your countertops with warm water and a few drops of a mild dish washing liquid (using only light-colored liquid dish soap that contains no aromatics).  Wash countertops, rinse them with clear water, and dry them with a soft cotton cloth.

NOTE:  Plain soap and water can build up on the surface over time, giving your polished granite countertops a dull appearance.

  • Sealant:  a commercially prepared granite sealant can protect your countertops from damage – up to a point.  When properly applied, sealant can reduce the absorption of liquids, oils, and stains into the slightly porous surface.

Eventually, sealant will wear off.  You can easily assess its protective condition by sprinkling some water drops on the countertop.  If the water soaks into the granite instead of beading up, the countertops need to be resealed.  Sealant can be done on a yearly maintenance basis or as needed.  You can reseal the surface or have it professionally done by a countertops Victoria stone specialist.

  • The DO NOTs:  there are several important things that you should not do to your granite countertops.

Don’t allow spills to remain: blot up all spills and smears as soon as possible using a paper towel or soft cloth; wiping them only spreads the spill.

Don’t use powdered cleansers on your granite countertops – ever: the pumice in powder cleansers is abrasive and will damage the stone.

Don’t use acidic cleaners containing ammonia or vinegar – ever.

Don’t stand on countertops:  although granite seems indestructible, inconsistencies in the slab may create weakened areas that are invisible to you.  Excessive pressure can cause the slab to crack.

Don’t place hot pans on countertops:  granite is heat resistant but an extremely hot item left for longer than a few minutes can harm the stone.  Use a trivet or mats to protect countertop surfaces.

It’s a good practice to use trivets, hot pads, mats or cutting boards:  place them under ceramic dishes to protect surfaces from scratches. (Granite may not get scratched by your knife, but your knife blade can quickly become dulled when cutting on a granite surface).

Your beautiful countertops were installed with pride by a countertops Victoria specialist.   With simple, regular care, those countertops can add to your pride of home and last through countless generations.

Unfreezing Your Frozen Pipes

Winterizing your pipes is a good plan when you live in an area where freezing conditions are a normal winter condition.  Frozen pipes are a major inconvenience; frozen pipes that burst can cause catastrophic damage.  You can protect your pipes and property during freezing weather conditions with a few simple steps.

The physics of frozen water

Water expands as it freezes.  This expansion places immense pressure on “containment structure” – the metal or plastic pipes, and can cause the pipes to break.

Plumbers Victoria BC are often called to fix burst exterior pipes.  They know that outdoor hose bibs, pool supply lines, water sprinkler lines, lines in unheated interior areas, and any poorly insulated lines located along exterior walls are all vulnerable to freezing conditions.

When the pipes are frozen

When your pipes are frozen, the most likely locations are where water enters your house.

Thawing frozen pipes takes patience and careful action.  Plumbing Victoria BC professionals recommend the following steps:

  • Keep the faucet open so that water can flow as the frozen area begins to melt.
  • Apply heat.  Wrap an electric heating pad around the pipe, or use an electric hair dryer or a portable space heater to warm the pipe.

o   Aim the heat stream in the vicinity of the pipe; don’t focus the heat from a hair dryer or heater directly on the pipe.

o   NEVER use a blowtorch, charcoal stove, kerosene or propane heater to thaw frozen pipes!

  • Keep applying heat until full water pressure is restored.
  • If you can’t locate the frozen pipe or it is inaccessible, call a plumber.
  • Check every faucet in your home:  there may be more than one frozen pipe.

Protect your pipes

It isn’t always possible or feasible to relocate exposed pipes to protect them from future freezing.  But there are some basic steps you can take to protect pipes from freezing and breaking.

  • Insulate –crawl spaces, attics, and basement, outside taps and pipes (including drain and overflow pipes).
  • Leave the heating system on at all times during cold spells.
  • Make sure that all leaks and dripping taps are repaired before cold weather sets in.
  • Remove outdoor hoses before winter.
  • Wrap or place hose bib covers over each bib.
  • When freezing conditions are expected, let cold water drip from faucets served by exposed pipes.  Even a small trickle helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Leave the heat on in your home (set no lower than 55°F / 12.7°C) when you are away during cold weather.

If you are an inexperienced home owner or renter, consider hiring a plumbing Victoria BC professional to evaluate the current condition of the plumbing, show you preventive steps to protect the pipes during freezing weather, and how to shut off water in case of a plumbing emergency.

Plumbers Victoria BC are experienced at handling frozen and burst pipes.  Be sure you keep their contact information easily accessible and call one of these professionals if a pipe bursts.

Building Your Dream Home on Your Dream Land

For some, it’s always about the land – inherited land, land bought because it’s the most beautiful place on earth, land for your future retirement home – land.  The house is almost an incidental item to the land.  Others see the merger of house and land, particularly if their house is to be developed and built by a custom home builder Victoria.

Call of the land

Building your custom home on land that you’ve selected can be tremendously rewarding.  But selecting the right property for your dream home takes careful consideration and investigation.  As a future home builder Victoria, there are some steps you should plan on taking, preferably before you actually purchase the land.

  • Have the site professionally assessed for feasibility and cost to build.  Your dream location may be so remote that it is inaccessible to power lines, gas, water and sewer connections, and transportation.

An expert builder can assess what it will cost in money and time to link your property to a power grid, water and gas resources, pave an access road linking your property with primary transportation routes, and hauling materials and supplies to the site.  Any of these potential obstacles may delay or completely halt the building of your home.

  • Your dream site doesn’t have to be a remote location.  It might be in an already developing suburban or even urban area.  An expert home builder can guide you through the potential challenges and possibilities of building on property in an existing developed area.

The custom home builder Victoria can determine if a site requires your future home to be supported by below-ground piers.  Another consideration is if there have been environmental damages, the site is on a known earthquake fault, situated in a flood zone, or on (or near) a landslide area.

Your expert will also investigate any easement requirements, zoning laws, architecture guidelines, permits, review processes, and property line restrictions that may pertain to your prospective home site.

Putting house to land

Thanks to some expert guidance, you have purchased land on which to build your dream home.  Now it’s time to put the house on the land.  What do you have in mind?

  • You can choose to have your new home completely custom-designed. This can be an exciting and creative time as you collaborate with a custom home builder and an architect.
  • You may want to consider selecting from a wide range of available house plans.  There may be one design that is exactly right for both the land you have purchased and all your dream house interests.
  • A third option is to customize an existing house plan so that it more fully meets your needs.

You’ve accomplished two major milestones toward building your dream home:  you have purchased your land and begun the process of designing your home.  Trust your professional custom homes Victoria builder to be one of your best allies and resources as you continue building your dream home.

Expats Guide to Settle in America


Life in the UK 

Moving from one place to another, especially having been settled is mixed with excitement and fear. Excitement comes due to change of life and environment, and fear, is because of un-expectation lying ahead. Living in the UK is a great achievement and wish for many people. In recent years, the standard of living has gone up surpassing many big cities around the world. Even though it depends on individuals circumstances, it is hard for an average person to maintain good and balanced life in the UK. Prices of basic things from housing, food, clothing, transport, and entertainment compared to many places worldwide have skyrocketed and hard to meet in the UK. The hard part is when accommodation is for long time.

Moving to the USA

Before moving to the US, it is better to consider the key things and areas you want to settle. It is always advisable to plan ahead of time after doing enough research, and stay within budget. Popular cities with high level of life equal to expensive way of life. For expats moving in the USA are mainly in search of jobs and therefore settling in cities with a stable economy is highly recommended. It is not wise to settle immediately in New York, San Francisco and so on since they are the big and most expensive cities in the USA. Most preferred places to settle are Dallas, Texas, Austin, and Houston among others. Further, note many Americans are moving to less expensive cities and urban.


Many expats around the world move to the USA and that is the reason it is popular multi-cultural country largely dominated by Spanish, Italian, African, Indians and many more. For new expat, it is easy to adjust and get used to life freely. This includes students, and varied professionals from all parts of the world.


Americans are friendly people and most diverse nation on earth. Getting along for expats is easy, though it is wise to gradually be-friend as time goes on until one is fully used and comfortable. While there, it is very hard to differentiate people’s nationalities, since they become easily assimilated by American culture and lifestyle.


The most improved and best transportation in the world is in the USA. Great transport has for long been enjoyed in this country, owing to its good planning. Majority of citizens owns a car, but for those without one or prefer otherwise, use well organized public transport ranging from buses, trains, and cabs. Public transport is very much affordable.


There are many possibilities and job offers that expats may not struggle much without settling. It is no wonder USA, is the world super power country, bearing in mind the number of expats move yearly. The country has a best system and guide on working conditions and job search.

House Rent

Majorities are homeowners, and therefore it is easy for expats to acquire their own homes with time. The process involved is not complicated, and therefore easy to go through. However, at first settling for rentals is a good start, before opting for other alternatives.

Moving is fun and part of learning. Staying in the USA is a good change of weather, environment, and expats adopt easily than any other nation in the world. The process of application is very easy through ESTA system online and no paper work as well as documentation is required.

The Fianancial Decision of Home Ownership

Home ownership is one of the biggest financial decisions we make and usually the costliest.  For some people they would prefer to be life time renters for reasons their own personal reasons.

The permanence of having your own place means being responsible for the maintenance and upkeep rather than leaving it to a landlord.  I believe the ratio of maintenance percentage is 10% of the value annually to attain this.

Our home is nearly twenty years old so some upgrades have been completed.  All the bathrooms have been renovated have been re tiled, the floors and tub surround also a new glass shower in the master bathroom. These were done just in time as we found the start of mould forming in both bathrooms. The home was constructed prior to the cement wallboard used now to prevent mold from forming.

Although the windows are double glazed we are now considering upgrading them to vinyl.  Also the extra insulation factor will help muffle the growing traffic noises since we moved here. One other thought is to install double French doors in place of the existing sliding glass door.

There are many questions to be answered as this is a new experience for us.  Just wondering if this affects the inside finish, drywall or window sills in any way.  And how much mess is left to clean up afterwards, it’s a given decision that we will have the install completed in the warmer months.

We have done new home construction previously, however this is really living in a construction zone. One or two estimates should be sufficient for comparison purposes as well we will check the Better Business Bureau for complaints. Hopefully we will not be required to cut back too much of the landscaping, which makes me think the early Spring may be the ideal time of year. Usually after we trim all the shrubs and trees close to the house it would allow easy access to complete the installation.

Relatives bought a new condo and the soundproofing the newer glass provides will be welcome to deaden the murmur of cars driving on what has become a very heavily used route. And really that’s the biggest issue that concerns us, aside from that it’s not like a new kitchen or something to stand back and admire how lovely it looks.  Although the new French doors onto our back deck will be much more appealing to the whole look of that area.

It’s a large cash outlay but it is important to keep your property in good repair in order to recoup your investment later on.  At some point, whether or we downsize or just feel ready for a change moving will become an option.  The decision now is to use our savings or apply for a small line of credit to cover the cost involved.

Like all projects once you do one change another one comes to mind pretty quickly. The idea is to spread these upgrades out over the years instead of tackling it all at the same time.

Renting vs Owning a Home

After many years of being renters we were discussing the possibility of once more entering the world of home ownership   Renting in the long term is paying someone else’s mortgage and helping them reach their financial goals.

There is also the lack of freedom to choose decorating or landscaping ideas, and a person never can be certain that the property owner may choose to sell the home at any given time. So we felt it was time to explore the feasibility of home ownership once more.

When you are buying your own home you feel you have some control over your  life and cannot be asked to move without warning just as you are getting comfortably settled.

With that in mind we explored our options within the parameters of our budget. Townhouse, condo or a house, would a new build, or an existing residence, which be our best choice. Each option has it’s benefits and of course challenges so which would be the better choice for our family. A condo might be too small and confining for our growing family, and there is the strata fees to be taken into account, The townhouse although a bit larger has the issue of little yard space and proximity to your neighbor  The next step up could be a home built on the smaller lot or a custom home built on a larger plot of land.

In the past we envisioned a home that would encompass all  of our creative ideas.  We had  blueprints drawn up by an architect, our dream home, five bedrooms, four and a half baths, two story Colonial with a walkout basement.

The prospect of building that once in a lifetime home was extremely appealing but budget as a major factor.

So off to see our friendly banker or a mortgage broker is always another route to take. Once we have the monetary concerns settled we could consult a realtor and talk to a general contractor or custom home builder to discuss price and options and compare.

Being able to have control over everything from the colors, counter tops, cabinets, light fixtures, and whether hardwood, carpeting or tile would be a good choice. Although very exciting it can be very stressful and overwhelming to take on such a huge task. With the right professional working with you this will proceed much smoother as they have the knowledge and experience to guide us.

We  will ask for referrals and for homes or any developments locally that they have been involved with.

A search of any available bare land will be one of the first steps and comparing the costs of purchasing a spec home over going with the custom build, it will be an interesting experience no matter what the outcome.

Whatever choice we decide on it will be nice to be a home owner once again.

Is home ownership right for you?

Recently I had a chat with a friend. We were talking about owning a home. She was mentioning a friend who was talking about trying to find a home to buy. But she wasn’t convinced that her friend should own a home.

So our conversation turned to the duties as a homeowner.

The first one is obviously financial. What is your budget when it comes to owning a home? Here’s a nice planner. Do you have enough money to pay for a good size down payment on the new home? If not you’ll have to worry about our next issue.

Are you going to be able to afford the monthly mortgage payments? I talk to many friends who are always stressed about the mortgage payments and other costs that we incur on a daily basis. If you have a family it costs a lot to feed and pay for entertainment.

The next issue thing to think about when it comes to home ownership is up keep. From cleaning the house to gardening, a lot of your time can be spend cleaning the home and maintaining it’s appearance. Do you have a lot of hobbies? Do you like to do the things above? If you answered yes to both questions, you may struggle to find time. One option is to hire a gardener and maid. But that will add to your costs.

Lastly, no matter what home you buy, you’re going to want to change things. Each room will require a lot of changes. This will require money no matter if you hire a contractor or do it yourself. Obviously if you do it yourself your time will be required to do those things. And one thing many people don’t think about is that your home will be under construction a lot. Are you able to live in a home that is always being worked on?

Just because society tells you you must own a home, you really need to think about the questions above before you start looking for a home.