It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘busyness’ of life and forget about some of our home’s maintenance needs. Really, it’s not usually a matter of spending a tonne of time doing them; it’s more about remembering those ‘once in a while’ jobs.
I have come up with a basic list of home care tips for you. Now that spring is approaching, it’s the perfect time to check some of these off our to-do lists.
It’s a really good idea to clean out your gutters, and downspouts, each spring. Once your gutters have been cleared of debris, use a garden hose to spray out your downspouts to remove any remaining particles.
Finally, check thoroughly for leaks and make sure everything is securely attached to your home.
*While you’re outside, take a quick moment to check the vents for your clothes Dryer. The build up from the lint collected by the dryer is a major fire hazard and also can lead to the early demise of your appliance.
Changing the direction of the ceiling fans in your home can help you feel more comfortable and can also help you enjoy potential energy savings.
In the spring and summer, set your ceiling fan to rotate counter clockwise to push cool air to the floor.
In the fall and winter, change the direction that your paddles are rotating in order to spin clockwise. This will help to pull the cool air up and circulate the warm air down
Spring is a good time to check your home’s foundation, since the snow is melting and the areas around the founding will be clearing up. Walk the perimeter of your house and mark any cracks with tape. Check them every three-months to monitor for an increase in sizing (contact a professional if any cracks become large enough to fit a coin inside of them). The same process can be done from inside of your home, if your basement is unfinished
*While you are outside, check your air conditioner to make sure it is clear of yard debris and plant growth. You’ll want to make sure you do this before starting up your A/C for the first time. While you’re thinking about your A/C unit, you might also shut down your humidifier for the summertime…it should be turned ‘off’ while your air conditioning is ‘on’.
Decks, railings, and fences should all be checked annually, preferably in the springtime. Look for deterioration and/or water damage and make repairs promptly to extend the life and maintain the integrity of your wood.
It’s a good idea to consider re-staining, or re-sealing, anything that is wood every one to two-years. In addition to extending its life, you will help maintain your home’s curb appeal.
The vinyl siding, on your home, should be checked periodically to make sure there aren’t any missing or broken pieces. If it’s looking dusty, or dirty, it can easily be washed with mild detergent, and a garden hose, to remove the dust and keep it looking vibrant!
The asphalt shingles, on your roof, should be checked periodically for loose, broken or missing shingles. If you notice anything that doesn’t look right, contact a professional right away. Damage on your roof should be re-paired immediately to prevent water from leaking into your home (Ack!).
Furnace filters need to be changed regularly, in order to keep your air quality at its best and also, to prevent hardship on your furnace’s mechanics.
If you’re not sure what kind of filter you have (or how often it should be changed/cleaned), check the manufacturer’s directions but, generally, most filters are intended for approximately 90-days of use (that’s how often I change mine…especially given how dusty it is living in our newer suburban community).
Having said that, it’s best to have a quick check for dust & debris monthly. Keeping a supply of filters on hand can help keep you on schedule and avoid delaying this important home maintenance task.
Your smoke detectors, and Carbon Monoxide Alarms, should be tested monthly and the batteries should be replaced annually (rechargeable batteries are not recommended).
You can test either of these devices by pressing ‘test’ button. You can also do a ‘real’ test with your smoke detector by lighting a match, or some incense, and placing it directly below the unit (if it doesn’t go off, replace the batteries and then repeat the test).
Did you know that smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms expire?
To determine if your smoke detector is expired, remove it from the wall or ceiling, look at the back for the date of manufacture. If it was made more than ten-years ago, or if a date cannot be located, replace it with a new one.
To determine if your carbon monoxide alarm is expired, refer to the packaging it came in. If you no longer have it, you can do a simple search online.
Your exhaust fans should be vacuumed with a brush attachment regularly. You can also wash the vent fan cover in hot, soapy water as needed.
You should also do a simple ‘tissue test’, annually, to ensure your fans are working properly and efficiently (the fan should be able to hold tissue to it, while it’s turned ‘on’). If your fan fails the ‘tissue test’, it’s time to contact a professional – it’s important that bathroom humidity can be drawn out of your home!
Garage doors are often forgotten when homeowners consider their home maintenance projects. Door hinges should be lubricated every three years and the perimeter weather stripping should be checked once per year, before the wintertime
I get that life can get busy! Trust me…as a full-time, working wife, and mom…I totally get it! Having said that, properly maintaining our homes can save us a lot of money in costly repairs later, so it’s definitely worth the time and effort.
If the thought of trying to remember ‘all things home maintenance’ is a little overwhelming for you, consider adding some recurring reminders to your calendar (or favourite ‘reminders’ app). Keeping a calendar is a great way to help stay organized!
Also, if you think you might need help, from a professional, with any of these jobs – please don’t hesitate to reach out to me! I’m more than happy to help put you in touch with local, reputable, Calgary-based service providers.
Many of us Calgarians have beloved, furry members in our family – our pups! My family is no exception – we love our dog, Molly, very much and consider her in many of our life decisions! Where will we stay on vacation? Is the hotel we are considering dog friendly? What kind of a vehicle would suit our animal-loving lifestyle?
When it comes to choosing a community to live in, many of us have similar type questions surrounding how accommodating it might be to our dog-loving lifestyle. I have compiled a list of the top five most dog-friendly communities in Calgary, to hopefully eliminate some of the guesswork for you!
Maple Ridge is a beautiful and established community. It has quick access to many major roadways including Deerfoot Trail, Macleod Trail, Southland Drive, and Anderson Drive. It is also close to many shopping and recreation-based amenities.
This community is well treed, so it is quite nice to just enjoy a stroll right from your front door and through the neighbourhood with your pup. It does get even better, though, since many of the homes in this community are walking distance to the largest fenced-in off-leash park in Calgary – Sue Higgins Park.
Not only is this dog park large and close, it also runs along the Bow River. This gives you a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air…and your pup a chance to cool off and splash around.
Maple Ridge is a great opportunity to have both value and location. There are many cool floor plans in this area and the pricing is very reasonable for a community that offers as much as it does.
Auburn Bay is a four-season lake community offering access to an exceptional amount of amenities. It is close to shopping, schools, a hospital, restaurants as well as the exciting new Seton district. In the very near future, there will also be a recreation facility, a premium movie theatre, and public library built near-by.
Within the community, Auburn Bay hosts a very active and popular off-leash park. Many of the homes in this community are walking distance to the park but for those that aren’t; on-site parking is available as well.
In addition to this off-leash park being fenced, there are benches found throughout as well as a Doggie Fountain near the entrance/exit.
Bonus: It is reasonably priced for a south suburban lake community.
Mahogany is another wonderful, dog-friendly community in Calgary’s deep south. It neighbours with Auburn Bay and offers access and proximity to all of the same, wonderful amenities (see community #2 above).
As a dog-owner, who personally lives in Mahogany, I can attest to the welcoming nature of this community towards dogs of all sizes. In addition to being a stone’s-throw away from the near by Auburn Bay Off-Leash Park, this community is also host to 22 kilometers of paved walking paths. It also is the home of a pet store and a veterinary clinic.
Altadore is culture-rich and vibrant inner-city community. It is very pedestrian-friendly and hosts many different festivals throughout the year where people, and dogs alike, are often seen strolling about.
In addition to having many hip and cool coffee shops (and pub patios!) to walk to, this community also borders the River Park Off-Leash Area. This particular dog park could be argued to be one of the most scenic, in the city, as it over-looks the Elbow River and boasts a clear view of the downtown horizon.
There are a wide variety of home-styles available here, however, the area has been known in recent years to be especially popular with high-end/luxury developers. Having said that, prices have come off slightly since the downturn so there is some good opportunity to purchase here.
Haysboro is a community that many would consider to be bordering inner city. It has easy access to many main thoroughfares and is a quick drive to downtown (in fact, you can get there in under twenty minutes).
Having said that, if driving isn’t your thing, not to worry because this community is within close proximity to multiple LRT stations.
This is a mature area that tends to have more of a bungalow selection, which is great for baby boomers. Many of the homes in this area have been renovated and the lots are typically larger than what you will find in the suburbs, which is great for both parents of children as well as dog owners.
Bonus: This community has not just one, but two off-leash parks AND is a stone’s throw away from the scenic Glenmore Reservoir, which contains endless miles of paved walking paths and public washrooms.
If you have questions about any of these communities, or would help some help figuring out which community is best for you and your (fur) family, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
My daughter, Morgan, and our family pup – Molly!
Buying or selling a home is a lot of work! It takes time and effort…some people might even find it a little bit stressful.
I understand that and I want you to be as successful, as possible in your journey. So, today, let’s talk about when the best time of year is to buy and sell your home in YYC. Timing your home sale &/or your home purchase can have a big impact on how much time, and energy, you spend on the process.
My experience is that the market has a surge in activity between mid-February to April. Many people call this the ‘spring market’ and it’s a busy time for Calgary’s real estate scene.
If You’re a Home-Seller in the Spring Market
If you’re able to list your home on the market during this time, you will have a selling advantage!
Many home shoppers (and their realtors) understand this is a time when activity in the market increases. That means there are often more active, and serious, buyers shopping. This can translate to a higher volume of showings in a shorter amount of time.
Having an increase in demand (having more active buyers shopping) can also improve your chances of getting a better selling price. Which…let’s face it…is what us, as sellers, want!
If You’re a Home-Buyer in the Spring Market
Because the spring market is known to be a busier time in the market place, many sellers tend to try to list during this time. Potentially having more inventory to choose from, gives us a better chance of finding you the perfect home!
Searching for a home, during the springtime, also increases your chances of being able to move into your home during Calgary’s warmer months and before the school year begins.
In the fall, once school has started and everyone is settling into their fall schedules, there is usually a second surge of activity in Calgary’s real estate market. I generally notice it between October to November.
If You’re a Home-Seller in the Fall Market
This is a good time to be listing your home. Much like the spring market, activity tends to increase. That means there are more active, and serious, buyers shopping during this time (which can translate to having your home listed for sale for a shorter time – yay!). It can also improve your chances of getting a better price!
Listing during this time also means you can, potentially, have your home sold before the Christmas season! Fa-la-la-la-la…!
If You’re a Home-Buyer in the Fall Market
If the timing doesn’t work for you to be shopping in the spring, not to worry…the fall market is another great time to be shopping! Many sellers are still listing their homes at this time and there is plenty of time to find a home, and get moved in, before Christmas!
If you have questions about buying, or selling, your home in Calgary…let’s chat! Reach me here.