Is Your Home Protected From Pests?

All pests are an annoyance and a clear nuisance. They can also be pretty costly because of the damage that is created. According to Washington pest control professionals, the most important thing a homeowner needs to consider is prevention. This is a lot better than calling the pest control removers when the situation is really dire.

At a basic level, the home is basically a shelter for the pests because it offers a place to stay, water and food. Whenever these are present in areas that you cannot access, the pests tend to move in.

Your Sanitation Checklist

A prevention pest control system has to be based on sanitation. So many problems can easily be reduced and even prevented when you use proper sanitation practices. This does include many different things that you have to consider but the basic ones are the following.

Outside The Home:

  • Litter – It is easy to underestimate how much litter is needed to draw in pests. When you have garbage containers that are not properly sealed or actually open, critters are invited. Be sure not to litter and properly cover all the trash.
  • Standing water – When water containers simply lie around, mosquitoes are sure to appear. Bugs also breed in areas with a lot of water.
  • Building structure cracks – You should check for the presence of crevices or cracks. These need to be covered so bugs do not come inside the home during warm months.
  • Vents – If you have vents in your home, be sure you check them. That is because they are going to dispense food particles right onto a roof. Check vents and if possible, check the roof too.

Inside The Home:

  • Garbage disposals – All the garbage has to be stored in containers that are tightly sealed. Also, remove the garbage as often as necessary. All compost and recyclables have to be kept in containers that are critter-proof.
  • Cleaning – Bugs, ants and many insects will feed on pretty small food amounts like crumbs that are present on the floor. You want to be sure that floors are clean. That is especially the case in the dining area and the kitchen.
  • Good storage areas – You want to store food in pantries or cupboards. Make sure that the main storage areas are far away from the floor.
  • Filters and drains – Many filters and drains become really great places for flies to breed without being bothered. You should scrub these properly so that no food remains trapped.

Conclusions

Any great pest management and pest control management program is going to be based on sanitation. Pest education practices are incredibly important. You need sound structural maintenance and proper trash disposal systems that will play a truly huge role in the equation.

On the whole, it is really important that you both check your property for the presence of pests and that you have some sort of system in place to deal with problems as they appear. Be sure that you seriously consider getting help in the event you do not know much about this process.

Why Do Home Owners Need Building Permits?

As a home owner you do want to make your home more comfortable. This means that you often find yourself trying to make improvements or additional construction. In order to make many improvements and constructions you need building permits. If you do the work and the permit does not exist, there is a pretty good possibility that you will be faced with legal problems in the future. Attorneys like Marc A. Johnston are specialized in dealing with civil litigations and trials. In order to avoid having to deal with such situations, make sure that you completely understand when you are required to have these permits.

Why Are The Building Permits Necessary?

A building permit will be necessary to make basically all major repairs and structure modifications. This includes the major repairs to electrical systems, building a new building, the demolition of an existing building or moving some home fixtures. All of these are going to be covered by the need to have building permits in order to guarantee the security of the home owner and of other people.

As a very simple example, let us say that you do the electrical system modifications in your home when you are not a licensed electrician. If this is the case and a short circuit leads to a fire, it is your fault. You will not be able to ask for insurance compensation. If someone is hurt or killed, you can even go to jail because of something like this.

Do You Need A Building Permit?

This is a question we cannot actually answer and there is a pretty god possibility that you are not going to be able to answer this alone. What is very important in most cases is to basically ask the authorities about the building permits that are necessary based on the work you want to do.

We should highlight that whenever you do any major repair or a structural change you will work with specialists. When you contact them, the really important thing is to be sure they are certified and licensed. If this is the case, they can take care of all the building permits that are needed or will simply tell you if you need to get some permits alone.

There are also different situations in which you do not actually need a building permit but it is highly recommended because of security reasons. The constructor is going to tell you when a building permit is mandatory or when it is optional.

If You Need Building Permits

The process of obtaining a building permit is not at all something that is complicated but there are always different steps that have to be taken. Make sure that you are careful and that you never start work without thinking about the laws that have to be respected. The very best thing is to read the law yourself but you can also talk with knowledgeable professionals in order to learn more about the subject. Just do not hurry and start work without knowing if permits are necessary.

Why Are Window Blinds Great For Your Home?

You can now use the window blinds in offices, commercial establishments and at home. There are even some that are great for outdoor areas. Homeowners do not always understand why they should use home blinds in Boise or any other city. Some of the main reasons you should know about are the following.

Home Protection

Window blinds will be really useful as they are going to keep out the heat while protecting the interior from elements. Home furnishings are thus going to last for longer periods of time. You can easily opt for eco blinds that are never going to degrade because of heat.

Blocking out rain, sun and all environmental factors is something that has to always be considered. This is because moisture and heat is going to fade furniture made out of wood while moisture is always going to damage all electronic appliances.

Controlling Shade And Brightness

When you have window blinds you can keep out exactly how much sunlight you want. That is especially the case when you install the Venetian blind. A rotating blind slat will offer complete brightness control. This allows you to also change light angle and direction while offering the heat levels you are looking for when you want to be comfortable. Screen blinds and blockout blinds are also a possibility if this is something you are looking for.

Curtains And Blinds

A curtain will cover up your window but wind is going to blow it aside. The window is thus exposed. That is why it is a really good idea to combine the curtains with blinds. You can close or open the curtain without having the window region affected.

Privacy

Window blinds are going to shield room from outside views. That is quite useful when the rooms have really large window areas. Something like this is really important. You want to be sure you are going to always focus on making it hard for people that would want to break in. When the burglars cannot see what is present inside the home, the property will most likely not be targeted. The only problem is that there are some blinds that will also block external vision from inside the home. Be sure that you consider this when you make your final choice.

The Decorative Aspect

A window blind can so easily stand out as an interior addition that perfectly matches décor and theme. Wood blinds, as an example, will add warm glow and will make the home feel a lot more welcoming. People will even use the blinds as a simple focal point. That is especially easy to do when the large window is covered by a blind at a full length.

Conclusions

As you can easily see, it is not at all difficult to understand why the window blinds are so popular at the moment. They will add protection from the elements, from burglars and will make the rooms of your home look a lot more appealing. It is something that should be considered in all homes.

Vital Questions to Ask Before You Buy a Condo

A lot of people love the condo lifestyle. It’s not surprising really considering all the amenities you can enjoy. But before you start looking for condos for sale in Toronto, here’s a list of questions you need to ask to help you find the right property:

  1. Who is the condo developer?

Choosing a reputable condo developer can help you avoid headaches later on. Make sure the developer is known to use high quality materials for the construction of the building and its facilities. Also, make sure the company has a track record of completing projects in a timely manner. An incomplete condo isn’t worth much.

  1. What are the biggest issues concerning the condo?

What kind of issues are the occupants griping about? Is the association quick to provide resolutions or are the problems not getting fixed at all?

  1. Who manages the condo?

It’s best if you can schedule an interview with the condo manager so you can get to know this person and determine if he/she is competent and helpful. You should also talk to your potential neighbors about what they think of the building’s management.

  1. Do they provide additional storage space?

Some condos may provide residents with a personal storage space so find out if you’ll be provided a place where you can store bikes, winter skis, and other items you don’t use frequently.

  1. What’s covered in the association’s insurance policy?

Get a copy of the policy and determine what things are covered and check if the rebuild estimates are accurate. Also try to find out if the policy covers the occupants’ personal belongings in the event of fire or leaks.

  1. What’s included in the monthly dues?

The condo’s association fees are computed based on the number of units in the building, the cost to maintain the property, and who runs the community.

Get a breakdown of the fees so you’ll know where your money is going and if there’s money being set aside to pay for major repairs.

  1. What are the condo rules and regulations?

If you have a pet, you need to check with the management if they allow pets. If you plan to rent out your unit, then ask if there are rules regarding rental properties. Make sure it does not have any guidelines that you can’t live with.

  1. Is there any active or pending litigation?

It happens in many condo communities. Owners may sue the management or developer. Owners may sue other owners. It’s important to check if the community has any active or pending lawsuit as this may signal that it’s not being managed properly.

A condo is a considerable investment. Whether you plan to buy a condo so you can move into a new home or you want to rent it out, it’s important that you look into every detail and leave nothing out during your research and assessment. By doing due diligence, you’ll have a much better chance of finding the best condo for you.

 

Home Inspection Tips To Take Into Account

Homebuyers should always think about maintenance and as a homebuyer, it is vital that you always think about hiring a home inspector to be sure you know the exact condition of the property before you think about buying it. This is important because the property can be properly evaluated and all the things the owners do not want to tell you about will be revealed. If you want to be sure the home inspection goes properly, always think about the following.

Be Present At The Home Inspection

Real estate agents can usually handle home inspections but as a buyer you will need to be sure you are present when this happens. That will make it easy to receive all the relevant information from an inspector and you can see the issues that are found while actually being there. Regular home inspections just take some hours so you can easily attend. The difference between making costly mistakes and making great choices can be really small.

The Follow-Up Service

When issues are identified, there are also repair recommendations that are done. Estimates are necessary to see the associated costs. At the same time, we have inspectors that will make follow-up suggestions for other services that would analyse different specific issues. Do be sure that you take this recommendation into account.

The Possibility To Have Another Inspection Done

Contrary to popular belief, there is no reason why you should not have another professional to check the property. That is especially the case with some of the difficult things to analyse, like the HVAC unit. Professionals in a specific field will always offer better suggestions that you can take into account. The best example is termite inspection. Regular home inspection services will identify the presence of termites but only a termite specialist can tell you exactly what extent is present.

Perform Home Inspections Even With New Homes

A really common mistake that appears is not having a home inspection done in the event the home is new. You should still check since you never know if the contractor decided to cut some corners or not.

Additional Tests For Older Homes

Unfortunately, the older the property, the higher the possibility that additional tests will be necessary! In the event the home is older than 30 years, additional problems may be present, problems that the visual inspection cannot identify. An additional test will be necessary. For instance, a camera may be put through drain lines to check drain leaks.

The problems that you find during the home inspection can so easily vary from a property to the next. However, in most cases the common problems we see are drainage problems, plumbing issues, bad wirings, environmental hazards and foundation defects. Always be sure you are going to call the very best possible home inspector you can locate. It is worth paying a little bit more since you would be able to identify all the problems that appear in the property. You always want to know everything about what is wrong with the home you want to buy.

Top Reasons Homeowners Use Rental Storage Units

Many people find it very convenient to just use a rental storage unit to store some of their belongings. These facilities can be very affordable, with some storage units in Montreal costing approximately $60 a month.

Listed here are some of the benefits you get when you rent a storage unit:

  1. You’re not forced to fit everything in your home. It’ll just make you look like a crazy hoarder if you do. Those hoarders in TV shows aren’t crazy for acquiring so many items. Most of us just like to collect things. What’s crazy is keeping certain things in your home when you clearly don’t have enough space. With a storage unit, you can store the items that you don’t have the space for.
  2. You can pick and choose which items to put in your home. Let’s say you’re moving to a new place. It can pressure you into choosing which items to keep and which ones to let go. But this time, you can get everything in a single location (or several units) and then you can take the time to decide which of the items you want to give away.
  3. You can store away all your seasonal items. When summer comes, you can store away everything that you would use for the cold winter months. You can store your Christmas lights and decorations, as well as you winter coats too. Then when the cold season approaches, you can get back these items and store away the things you only use during the summer. You can put your kayak in your storage unit if you only use it during summer break.
  4. You can also store valuable items in secure storage facilities. These safe places come in handy when you have poor security in your apartment building. Here you can put in furniture, old computers, and even old CDs and books. These tend to use up lots of space. But just make sure the security in the facility is reliable.
  5. They’re great for your small business. It can function as a storage space for your inventory, without cramping your apartment with the things you want to sell online. With a storage unit, you can keep track of your inventory more effectively. What’s more, you’re not trapped in using a rental storage unit for a year when you only need to use one for a few months.
  6. You can use the place to keep your old clothes. The funny thing about fashion is that sometimes old styles can be cool Look around and you’ll probably notice that there’s always an appreciation for vintage clothing. As long the place has shelves and clothing racks, it shouldn’t be a problem.

 

Top 7 Reasons to Hire a Pro to Clean Your Attic

Cleaning the attic can be an unpleasant experience. Sometimes the mere thought of it can overwhelm you, especially if it’s a real mess up there. But in some cases it’s absolutely necessary, especially after a rodent infestation. However, with a professional Montreal decontamination service, homeowners can rest easy knowing that an expert is getting the job done right.

Here are some reasons why it’s a great idea to have your attic decontaminated by a pro:

  1. It’s probably not safe for you to do a DIY cleaning of your attic, especially when you have a rodent infestation. Sure you can wear gloves. But you may brush up against various surfaces where mice and rats have left microscopic traces of their droppings and urine which contain dangerous germs that can lead to very serious ailments.
  2. It can also take you more than a day to do it yourself. In fact, it can take weeks. But with a professional service, an entire team can come to your home and finish the job in the fastest time possible. They already have a set routine in place, and they probably have years of experience to streamline the process.
  3. You don’t get hurt or injured when you have others doing the job. You won’t have to do heavy lifting that can lead to back pain, and some of the things in your attic may be too heavy for you to lift. You can injure yourself easily, and there’s also the risk of tripping all over yourself.
  4. You can prevent damaging your possessions. Experts have ways of lifting the items in your attics so they’re not dropped and damaged accidentally. It can be very difficult to move and carry things properly in the attic, especially if there’s not much space for you to move around.
  5. The experts can also find holes and entryways that the rodents used to get inside the attic. These pros have the expertise to fix and seal these entryways so rodents don’t come back to make your home their home, making a mess again.
  6. Any damaged parts or areas in the attic can be repaired by experts. These damages can include torn ducts and wires that have been chewed through. Real professionals know how to deal with these problems easily and effectively, since they have the knowledge and experience. They can also strengthen various weak spots in the attic where mice and other rodents can chew through in the future to get in.
  7. They can decontaminate the area thoroughly. If you do this yourself, you may miss spots that need to be decontaminated. But pros know which areas need special attention, and they’ll be able to clean your attic much thoroughly than you can.

So why endure all that hassle? When your attic needs decontamination and cleaning, you may as well rely on the experts. At least you can be sure the job will be done quickly, safely, and properly.

 

Reduce your Power Bill with These Energy Saving Tips

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The power bill is one of the major expenditures in most homes. How much are you spending monthly on your power? Are you getting good value for money? There’s no need to pay more than you have to. You can pay much less for your power and still have it serve you effectively.

Saving energy is not all about your expenditure. There is also the bigger picture; our collective role in conserving energy and reducing pollution in an effort to make the planet a greener place to live. You do not necessarily have to make drastic changes to reduce your power bill.

There are some simple measures you can take and make considerable savings. Here are some of them:

  1. Regulate your Air Conditioning

It is estimated that heating and cooling accounts for up to 40% of the power bill. Do you need to heat or cool the entire house at any given time? Absolutely not. Let the air conditioning run only in those rooms that are occupied. Close the doors and windows to reduce external influence.

Shut the curtains and blinds as well, and place a barrier on the space under the door. Set a thermostat so that the house does not heat or cool more than necessary. Finally, turn off the AC when you leave the room.

  1. Energy Saver Bulbs

Fluorescent bulbs save up to 75% energy in comparison to the normal bulbs. How many bulbs do you have in your entire home? They could be up to 20. Now imagine cutting the consumption of each one to 25%.

You’re bound to make a significant difference on your power bill. LED light fixtures would be a great option.

Making a switch to energy saving fixtures is pretty simple. In most cases you can change them yourself. You can consult an LED light fixtures manufacturer if you need some custom made for your home. These bulbs also last much longer saving you the cost of renewing them.

  1. Utilize your Fridge and Freezer Efficiently

These two consume a significant chunk of energy since they’re always on. Ensure that you pick those models with a thermostat so they do not cool more that they have to. The fridge operates optimally at 4-5 degrees Celsius while the freezer should be set at around -16 degrees Celsius.

Avoid opening the fridge/freezer too often, and when you do make it for the shortest time possible. Those seconds that it stays open allows loss of significant energy and raises the temperature, requiring it to cool to the required level all over again.

  1. Save stand-by Power

Appliances and gadgets on standby continue to consume power. For instance, your phone charger utilizes power even when your phone is not fixed; provided it’s plugged in. It may be a small amount, but once left there all day/night, the cumulative effect is significant.

Make a habit of unplugging from the socket when the appliance is not in use.

  1. Use Energy Saving Appliances

Manufacturers are increasingly becoming aware of the need to conserve energy, and are designing electronics aimed at just that. You can find energy effective fridges, freezers, microwaves, blenders, heaters, computers, printers, TVs, sound systems, LED light fixtures and so on.

If you’re still using the old models, you have a reason to invest in the newer ones which will give you good value for money in the long run.

Saving energy is not only good for your pocket, it also makes our environment more eco-friendly. By following the tips provided; you also get to do your part in keeping global warming at bay.

 

Smart Tips for First-Time Condo Buyers

Are you thinking of buying a property in Toronto? This doesn’t come as a surprise, as there are many beautiful high rise developments in the city, such as those developed by Louie Santaguida of Stanton Renaissance. If you have already decided that you want to live in a condo and are now ready to purchase your first home, you need to prepare accordingly. Here are some of the most important things you need to do as you enter the real estate market:

  1. Secure Your Financials

Clean up your credit and save as much money as you can so you can give a bigger down-payment. The bigger your down payment, the better your mortgage rate will be.

Get a copy of your credit report, check it for errors and then take a look at your credit score. You need to get a score of at least 740 and bring down the balance of your credit card to around 30% of its limit.

  1. Check Other Mortgage Options

If you have a low credit score, you may want to consider approaching other institutions that are willing to give you a loan with a competitive interest rate. Just make sure you understand the trade-offs of going to alternative mortgage options.

  1. Get a Pre-Approval

Before you start looking for a new condo, it may be useful to have your credit checked by your lender. Have your income and assets verified so you’ll know how much you can afford to pay. Getting a pre-approval also gives you an edge and may be able to help you get a better deal with sellers who are in a hurry to sell their properties.

  1. Make Offers for Properties That are Not Yet on the Market

It may seem counter-productive but you can actually snap up a great deal by making unsolicited offers. You can browse through rental ads and send your offers to buy the properties listed there. You can also check old listings, especially those that are overpriced and are unlikely to be sold, and then give them an offer. Homes that remain on the market for more than 6 weeks usually drop in price and the sellers are likely to take lower offers.

  1. Use Your Flexibility to Your Advantage

If you don’t really have an urgent need to buy a property right now, then play up your flexibility to give you an edge over other buyers. You can have your agent talk to the seller’s agent to determine what they want and then check if you would be amendable to their conditions. Chances are, they would be willing to accept your offer if their conditions are met. If you don’t find a middle ground, then you have time on your hands to check other options.

Follow these tips when buying a condo to help you save money and ensure you get the best price for the property as well as a competitive mortgage rate.

 

Practical Tips for Picking the Right Condo in Montreal

Now’s a good time to buy a condominium in Montreal. It’s a buyer’s market, and there are plenty of Montreal condos for sale to choose from. But for some people, the great number of choices can be confusing.

Of course, you have to take your budget and the location into account. And personal preferences matter too. Still, you can make it easier for yourself if you heed the following tips:

  1. Always try to get a realtor. This should not be an issue since their fees are paid by the seller.
  2. Determine how much you can afford. See how much mortgage you can get and take time to consult with your accountant so you can get a clearer picture of your finances and budget. Remember, you’ll also have to pay for the lawyer’s fees, the closing costs, the land transfer tax, and moving expenses.
  3. If possible, try to get as big a unit as you can afford. It’ll help you feel more comfortable to come and stay at home. Also, when it’s time to resell, the bigger units are usually easier to sell.
  4. Check developments that have features you like such as a spa, gym, and doormen. On the other hand, you may not want a condo unit that requires you to pay for a gym if you’re not going to use it anyway.
  5. Pick one with a great view. Again, this helps you to enjoy staying at home more often. And a great view can help sell your condo unit faster, when it’s time for you to move again.
  6. Be aware where the sun shines throughout the day. Moreover, be mindful of the season. A southern exposure may be warm and sunny, but they may not be all that nice during the summer.
  7. Visit the condo at different times of the day. That way you can envision more clearly what it’ll be like to live there.
  8. Make sure to really look over the location, neighborhood and the design and facilities of the condo. Avoid a layout that looks over a garbage pickup area. Don’t buy a unit that overlooks the garage entrance and the constant flow of traffic. Pick a unit that isn’t near or across the elevator, as you would then have strangers constantly congregating right by your door.
  9. Always choose a unit with a parking space. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a car. At least when you buy one, you already have a parking space for it. You can also rent out the space and make money from it every month.
  10. Check the visitor’s parking guidelines. This is important so you’ll know what to do if you have friends and family coming over.

These are just a few tips to start with and help you limit your options to a more manageable level.