According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 90% of exposures to poisons occur inside the home. Almost all are preventable, if you follow some simple guidelines.

                 

  • Look for the poison label on products you buy. Visually, it’s a skull and cross bones, often (but not always) with the word POISON above it.
  • Don’t make assumptions. Sometimes a seemingly innocuous product, like a shampoo, can contain poison or other ingredients which are harmful if swallowed.
  • Avoid mixing different cleaning products together. When chemicals are combined, they change. Combining some cleaning products can even create toxic fumes.
  • Keep all medication, even the non-prescription kind, out of reach of children. Never leave medicine on the bathroom counter.
  • Never use pesticides inside the home unless the product is clearly labeled for indoor use. Then, use only as directed.
  • Never use a charcoal grill or barbeque indoors, no matter how well ventilated you think you’ve made it. Doing so can easily cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

One final tip. Pay attention to the expiry date of products, especially cosmetics and cleaning liquids. As chemicals age, they change and can emit harmful fumes.

 

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A pantry is the ideal nook for storing extra food and other items ordinarily crammed into the kitchen. It’s also a nice design feature, as it harkens back to the days of country kitchens with spacious pantries.

 

You might be thinking, “That’s nice, but our home doesn’t have a pantry.”

 

That’s okay. These days, there are many ways to create a pantry in your home – even if it doesn’t have one! Here are just a few suggestions:

 

1) Add shelves to the laundry room. If you have the space, this is the ideal place to create a mini-pantry.
 
2) Purchase a portable pantry. There are many available on the market. Some are even disguised as cabinets you’d expect to see in living and dining rooms.
 
3) Purchase a movable pantry. These units are on wheels and can slide in and out of the kitchen with ease. Some are short enough to slide conveniently under a kitchen table.
 
4) Make use of an unused closet. These are rare in most homes, but if you have a closet that isn’t being used, it can easily be converted into a pantry.

 

As you can see, there are plenty of options available. You don’t necessarily need to build an extra room!

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There are many reasons why the air quality in your home may not be at its
best. A faulty furnace or an aged carpet are just two potential culprits. Until
you get those issues addressed, how do you make your indoor air healthier
— today?

 

     

 

Here are some ideas:
• Check the furnace filter. This is one of the most overlooked
maintenance items in the home. Any furnace repair person can tell
you stories about filters they’ve seen caked in dust. Make sure those
aren’t yours. Air passes through those filters before circulating
throughout your home. Replacing a filter takes less than five minutes.
• Clean the drains. Drains are a surprisingly common source of odour
in the home. Most people only clean them when they’re clogged, but
they should be flushed thoroughly with a good-quality cleaner at least
once a season.
• Turn on the bathroom fan. Not only do bathroom fans remove
odour, they also reduce moisture build-up. About 50% of air
pollutants originate from some type of moisture; mould being the
worst. Professionals recommend you keep the bathroom fan on for at
least 30 minutes after a shower.
• Clean your doormat. Even if your doormat doesn’t smell, it can be a
source of air pollutants. When people wipe their shoes, they transfer
pesticides and other outside ground pollutants from their shoes to
your mat.

 

Of course, you can always open a window. That’s the most popular way to
freshen the air, and it works.

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Do you have a renovation project in mind–and wonder how much value it will add to your home? Remodeling Magazine recently did a study of renovation projects, comparing costs to added value. Here are some of the results:
 
Replacing a main entry door has a return on investment of over 95%. After all, the entrance to a home is one of the first things a prospective buyer notices.
 
Adding a new deck also adds a lot of value. Depending on the materials used, you can expect to get back three-quarters of the money invested.
 
Another high-payback project is the garage door. This once again
demonstrates the importance of a home’s “curb appeal.” If you’re tackling a big project, such as a basement renovation, you’ll be
glad to know that, according to the study, a project like this adds a lot of value.
 
Finally, minor improvements to bathrooms and kitchens–such as adding new countertops or cupboards, can also be good investments that mostly pay back when you sell your home. Of course, these figures are averages and can vary widely depending on
location, type of property, and other factors.
 
Need help determining how a particular home improvement might impact the selling price? Call today.
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If you’re relaxing on a Caribbean beach, or enjoying a bus tour through historic Paris, the last thing you want to worry about is your home. Most people know the basics of keeping a home secure while away.
 
Here are some additional tips that are easy to miss:
 
• Tell your kids not to boast about your fabulous vacation plans,
especially on social media. The fewer who know that the house will
be empty, the better.
• Ask a neighbour to pick up any mail and flyers dropped at your doorstep. But don’t rely on that alone. Also call the newspaper and
post office to temporarily halt delivery.
• You can buy timers to automatically turn lights on and off. However,
most will stop working if the power goes out and restart with the
incorrect time when the power comes back on. That’s why you
should keep at least a couple of lights turned on continuously, and
not connected to timers.
• If you’re leaving in the evening, or before dawn, don’t forget to open
the blinds. Closed blinds during the day are a dead giveaway that the
owners are away.
 
Finally, experts recommend creating a home security checklist, so you don’tforget anything. That will give you peace of mind.
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