15 Wertheim Court
Unit #309
Richmond Hill, ON L4B-3H7
Phone: 905-707-8199 Mobile: 416-616-6884 Fax: 905-707-0008 Email Dennis

Articles of Interest


To enhance your buying and selling experience, it’s our job as real estate professionals to provide you with as much valuable information as possible. It is essential that the buyer or seller be aware of all aspects of the real estate market before making a major decision. Whether it be through newsletters, checklists or news articles, we are here to make this process stress-free and rewarding. Please access our free reports today!

Articles of Interest May Issue
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Tips For Your Home


Moving Key Points

 

  1. Ensure that you have booked the elevator for your move.
  2. Contact moving company and arrange for a scheduled date and time.. if you haven’t done so already.
  3. Order moving supplies, if you would like to start pre-packing some items on your own.
    Typically, it takes about 8 hours to pack a three bedroom house, so allow yourself an extended amount of time, if you pursue this task on your own.
  4. Arrange for storage or sale of unnecessary items that you decide not to bring to your new home.
  5. Notify Canada Post of your change of address.
    Permanent address change within Canada for 6 months is $30 (plus applicable taxes). This service forwards your mail to a new address for a six month period.
  6. Notification of your change of address to the following:
    Doctor/Dentist, Bank, Work, Memberships, Lawyer, Schools, Credit Cards, Fitness Institutions, Accountant, Veterinarian, Family/Friends, Daycare.
  7. Change you address on your (1) Driver’s License, (2) Vehicle Registrations and (3) OHIP
    You do NOT have to visit a Ministry Office for these changes. They may be done at a Service Ontario Kiosk or online for free.
    Ministry of Transportation regulates that you notify them of your move within six days of changing your address. Ministry of Health advises that failure to notify them of your new address may affect your health coverage.
  8. Change your address for any magazine or newspaper subscriptions
  9. Disconnection of existing alarm company servicing.
  10. Your lawyer will typically contact the gas and hydro companies with your information. However, it may be a good idea for you to ensure that this is completed.
    Enbridge Gas: 416-492-5100
    Toronto Hydro: 416-542-8000
  11. Two other important numbers are:
    Bell Canada: 416-310-BELL and
    Rogers Cable: 416-448-7333

 

Ministry Information

 

The contact information provided are for those locations closest to your new home.

 

Change of address for your (1) Driver’s License, (2) Vehicle Registration and (3) OHIP may be done at a kiosk or online:
           

            Website: www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/kiosk/

 

 

 

Driver’s License and vehicle registration change of address forms can be completed and submitted online:

 

            Website: www.mto.gov.on.ca

           

Online Form: http://www.ccr.gov.on.ca/Online_Services/english/address_change.htm

 

Health Card change of address forms can only be printed, not submitted online.

 

Mail to: Ministry of Health and Long Term Care

            Toronto 2195 Yonge Street (south of Eglinton)

            M5W 1G9      

 

Hours of Operation:

Mon, Tues, Thurs and Fri: 8:30 AM- 5:30 PM

Wed: 8:30 AM- 6:30 PM

 

Info Line: 416-314-5518 (Toronto)

 

Three pieces of identification are required for demonstrating:

Status in Canada

Legal name and signature

Residency in Ontario

 

            Website: www.mto.gov.on.ca/heslth.

 

Online Form: http://www.ccr.gov.on.ca/Online_Services/english/address_change.htm

 

Newspaper Information

 

The following information is to change your address on existing newspaper subscriptions, or to purchase a new subscription:

 

The Globe and Mail

Telephone: 416-585-5222

Change of address: http://secure.theglobeandmail.com/gam/services/circulation/address.html

New subscriptions: http://secure.theglobeandmail.com/gam/services/circulation/subscription.html

 

The Toronto Star

Telephone: 416-367-4500

Change of address: Email: circmail@thestar.ca

New subscriptions: http://secure.thestar.com/subscribe/index.html

 

 

The National Post

Telephone: 1-800-668-7678

Change of address: Email: Custerv@nationalpost.com

New Subscriptions: http://www.nationalpost.com/subscriptions/customerservicemain.html

 

The Toronto Sun

Telephone: 416-335-4837 

Change of address: Email: torcirc.subscript@tor.sunpub.com

New subscriptions: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoCirculation/subscribe.html

 

 

 

 

 

Water-Saving Tips for Your Lawn and Garden

 

In the summer months, municipal water use doubles. This is the season when Canadians are outdoors watering lawns and gardens, filling swimming pools and washing cars. Summer peak demand places stress on municipal water systems and increase costs for tax payers and water users. As water supplies diminish during periods of low rainfall, some municipalities must declare restrictions on lawn and garden watering. By applying some handy tips, your lawn and garden can cope with drought conditions and you can minimize water wastage. You will also save money.

 

General Tips

 

Much of the summer peak demand is attributed to lawn and garden watering. Often water is applied inefficiently, resulting in significant wastage due to over watering, evaporation or run-off. Here are some general watering tips to help avoid wastage:

  • Before watering, always take into account the amount of water Mother Nature has supplied to your lawn or garden in the preceding week. Leave a measuring container in the yard to help you monitor the amount of rainfall and follow the tips below to help determine how much water to add. Also bear in mind any watering restrictions that may apply in your municipality.
  • Water before sunrise or after sunset to reduce evaporation. Water on calm days to prevent wind drift and evaporation.
  • Set your sprinkler or hose to avoid watering hard surfaces such as driveways and patios. If you’re not careful, it’s water and money down the drain.
  • Water slowly to avoid run-off and to ensure the soil absorbs the water.
  • Regularly check your hose or irrigation equipment for leaks or blockages
  • Collect rainwater from your roof in a rain barrel or other large container and use a bucket or hose to water your garden. Direct the downspout of your eaves troughs into the container.
  • Use water from dish rinsing, dehumidifiers or other grey water sources that do not contain harmful chemicals.
  • Depending on your lot size and budget, an irrigation system can make a difference. A garden hose with small holes placed on the ground applies water to the soil surface where it is needed-rather than to the leaves-and reduces evaporation. Drip or trickle irrigation systems are highly efficient because they deliver water slowly and directly to the roots under the soil surface. This promotes deeper roots, which improves a plant’s drought resiliency. If you use a sprinkler, choose one with a timer and that sprays close to the ground.

 

Tips for your lawn

 

Established lawns generally require about 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water per week to thrive. If Mother Nature is providing this amount of rainfall, your lawn will thrive without supplemental watering. When rainfall does not provide adequate moisture, your grass may start to turn brown. This does not mean it is dead-it’s simply dormant. An established lawn will recover and resume its green appearance shortly after sufficient rainfall returns.

 

Apply these tips to save water and money without compromising the health of your lawn:

  • Apply about 2.5 cm of water not more than once per week and skip a week after a good rain. The correct amount can be estimated by placing an empty tuna can on your lawn as you apply water evenly across the surface. When the water level reaches the top of the can, you’ve applied about 2.5 cm of water, which is all your lawn needs. You can time how long it takes to reach this level, then set the timer on your sprinkler.
  • Water thoroughly. Deep watering at this rate is better than frequent, shallow watering because it encourages deep roots.
  • Don’t water your lawn excessively. When it’s waterlogged, it may turn yellow and develop fungus and diseases. Oxygen and mineral uptake may be restricted on heavy clay soils. Too much watering can also lead to thatch and fertilizer leaching.
  • Check your municipality to see if watering restrictions are in effect.
  • Avoid moving and unnecessary traffic on your lawn when the law is dry or dormant.
  • Don’t cut your lawn too short. When its 6 cm in height or taller, the roots are shaded and better able to hold water.
  • Aerate your lawn once a year in the early spring or fall to improve water penetration. Afterwards, topdress by applying a thin layer (max. 15mm) of organic material and rake to distribute evenly. You can overseed after this to help thicken the lawn.
  • A thick, vigorous lawn is the best prevention against weed invasions and can better withstand heat and dryness. A healthy lawn needs nutrients, such as nitrogen. Application rates, sources and timing will depend on many factors including soil type. As a rule, a healthy lawn with good soil needs 1 to 2 kg of nitrogen per 100m approximately every year. Leave grass clippings on the lawn to return about 1 kg of nitrogen per 100m approximate to the lawn, and reduce weeds and moisture loss.

 

Tips for trees, shrubs and flower gardens

 

Here are some water-saving tips for trees, shrubs and flower gardens:

 

  • Direct water to the root system. In the case of trees and shrubs, the roots that take up the most water are generally located within the top 30 cm of the soil and near and even beyond the drip line. This is the area directly below the outer tips of the branches.
  • Plants have different watering requirements at various stages of their growth. For example, in the first year of planting, trees need about 2 to 3 cm of water once a week. During the next four years, they need 2 to 3 cm of water every 2 to 3 weeks. Generally, mature trees require about 2 to 3 cm of water once a month. Again, if Mother Nature is providing at least this amount of moisture, supplemental watering should not be necessary. But moisture requirements depend on a range of factors, including soil types and species. For example, native tree species carefully selected to match the site conditions are most likely to withstand drier conditions.
  • Water perennials and vines well in the first year during establishment. Afterwards, perennials selected to match site conditions should not be killed off by drought if no supplemental watering is provided. They may wilt, but should bounce back once it rains, or simply go dormant until the next growing season. If you notice wilting or die-back on your perennials, water to a depth of 10 to 20 cm to help restore the plant’s turgidity and vigour.
  • Apply a layer of mulch about 10 cm deep over the surface of the garden to retain moisture, moderate soil temperature, control erosion and suppress weeds. Pine bark, straw and crushed rock are just a few of the materials that can be used as mulch.
  • Use a perforated hose or hand water your garden, rather than using a sprinkler. This will help to apply water to the soil and roots-rather than the leaves-and reduce evaporation
  • Grass under your tree competes with the tree’s roots for water. Apply mulch instead which helps to retain water. You can remove the lawn and replace it with mulch material.

 

Designing a water-efficient garden

 

You can create a lush, colourful garden that requires little maintenance or water by applying the seven principles of xeriscaping-an approach to designing landscapes so that their water requirements correspond to local climatic conditions. While these are sounds principals for any garden, they are particularly useful if you live in a region with low rainfall or that experiences water shortages.

 

1. Design for your site and your needs.

 Sketch your lot including property lines, buildings, driveways and features that will remain. Add trees, shrub and flower beds, lawn areas, patios, decks, etc. Consider the specific conditions of your yard, taking into account that water requirements will differ in shady versus sunny spots, and slopes versus flat areas or depressions. Some places, such as narrow side yards, may be hard to water. Where possible, drain paved surfaces to garden and lawn areas.

 

2. Group plants with similar water needs to make watering more efficient.

Shrubs and perennials should be grouped together in mulched beds. Trees should also be clustered in mulched beds rather than isolating individual specimens in lawn areas. This will help to reduce moisture loss and competition.

 

3. Amend the soil.

First, find our what type of soil you have and improve its water retention capabilities accordingly, for example, by adding compost of other organic material.

 

4. Size your lawn area to meet your practical needs for play and traffic.

Avoid many small or narrow lawn areas in favour of a consolidated lawn, since they are easier and more efficient to water. For primarily visual areas, consider water efficient ground covers, perennials or shrubs. For foot-traffic routes or narrow spots, such as side yards, a permeable inert surface such as wood chips requires no water. Unit paver or flagstone patios as well as decks can be used as an active use no-water alternative to lawns. Avoid asphalt or concrete because they prevent the rain from soaking into the ground. These surfaces also reflect heat causing greater evaporation.

 

5. Choose plants that are well adapted to your climate and site conditions.

Consult your local garden centre to find plant lists. Know your site including its soil types. In shady areas, use shade-tolerant species or consider a woodland shade garden. In sunny spots, use drought tolerant, sun-loving species or consider a wildflower meadow. Drought tolerant species should be used on rapidly draining slopes (avoid turf grass) but you can consider moisture-loving plants in depressions or low spots. For a water-saving lawn, choose a species best suited to rainfall levels in your region. Low maintenance lawn seed mixes are commercially available. Check your local seed companies or garden center.

 

6. Use mulch. (Refer to Tips for trees, shrubs, and flower gardens)

 

7. Use an efficient irrigation system and appropriate maintenance. (Follow the tips in the previous section)

 

Other outdoor activities

 

Lawn and garden watering is not the only outdoor activity contributing to summer peak demand. You can lower your water bill and relive the burden on municipal water supplies by doing the following:

 

  • Use a broom instead of water to remove debris from paved surfaces such as driveways.
  • Use a bucket and sponge to wash and rinse your car, instead of a hose
  • Cover swimming pools when they are not in use to reduce evaporation.

 

 

Choosing a Dehumidifier

 

Moisture in house air can be a problem when there is either too little or too much. Air that is “too dry” can cause discomfort, dried and itchy skin and nasal passages, cracked or rickety furniture, and sparks when you reach for a doorknob or other person.

 

Air that is “too damp” can cause itchy skin and nasal passages, ongoing condensation on windows, water damage to materials, mold growth and even rot of wood materials in your house.

 

Note that both excessively dry and overly damp conditions can both lead to the same problem of dry and itchy skin and nasal passages. In the first case this is because the air is dry and in the second case it contains mold debris and spores that are toxic.

 

You can adjust and control the relative humidity in your house. The following will suggest some ways of avoiding problems caused by air that is too damp and suggests ways to stop moisture. 

 

What is relative humidity?

 

Relative humidity is a percentage. It tells you how much moisture is in the air relative to the maximum amount the air can hold at that temperature. For instance, when air at a given temperature contains all the water vapour it can hold at that temperature, the relative humidity is 100%. If the humidity is higher than 100%, moisture will begin to condense from the air. If the air contains only half the water it can hold at that temperature, the relative humidity is 50%.

 

Warm air can hold more moisture than cool air. The relative humidity of a sample of air will change as the temperature changes, even though the actual amount of moisture in the sample air does not. For example, as a sample of air cools, the relative humidity rises.

 

What is the “right” moisture level?

 

Generally, the “right” moisture level-the relative humidity-in your house is less than 50%. At less than 50% relative humidity, it is unlikely that mold will grow indoors.

 

There are cases when 50% relative humidity is too high. For instance, if there is condensation on your windows in cold weather, it’s a good idea to lower your relative humidity to as low as 30%.

 

Another instance: if you, or someone in your family, is asthmatic, you should consider keeping the humidity level in the bedroom at 40% or less.

 

Dust mites prefer relative humidity of 50% and higher. Dust mites leave debris in bedding, and the debris aggravates asthma. Keeping the relative humidity at 40% or less controls the dust mites and reduces their effect on asthmatics.

 

Sometimes, reducing relative humidity won’t solve moisture problems. Defects in insulation or the air barrier in walls and ceilings can cause cold spots in your house. They show up as areas where there is always condensation, even if relative humidity is 50% or less. A dehumidifier won’t solve the problem. You will need help from a qualified builder, renovator, or insulation specialist.

 

Where does moisture in air come from?

 

Moisture can come into your home from many places. Outside sources include the soil around your house, surface water drainage and damp outdoor air. Breathing and perspiration by you, your family and your pets is a major source of indoor moisture. So are showering, bathing, drying clothes indoor, venting clothes dryers indoors, washing dishes and floors and humidifiers.

 

Most houses have more than one source of moisture. Moisture can cause problems once in a while, or all the time. A little prevention can keep excess moisture out of your home’s air and prevent occasional and continual problems.

 

Catastrophes-such as plumbing leaks or floods-can cause serious problems very quickly. You will need emergency repairs to deal with them.

 

Checking the moisture level in your house

 

A “hygrometer” measures relative humidity. A hygrometer is an inexpensive, easy-to-use instrument, sometimes called a humidity sensor or relative humidity indicator. There are mechanical and electronic hygrometers. A mechanical hygrometer usually costs $10 or less. Electronic hygrometers cost $35 to $60.

 

Stopping moisture

 

Preventing moisture from entering your hose is the best way to solve moisture problems.

 

If you have surface leaks you can fix them by grading the soil around your house. You can fix underground leaks by repairing basement or crawl space walls and floors.

 

Easy preventive measures include shutting down humidifiers, drying clothes outdoors and venting the clothes dryer outside of the house. One of the best ways to reduce moisture is to use a good quality quiet bathroom fan. It vents moisture from showers and baths.

 

In hot, muggy weather, ventilate your house as little as possible. Air out your house when there’s a dry spell and no chance of moisture problems. However, you can reduce relative humidity in dry, cold weather by increasing ventilation. A whole-house ventilation system, such as a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) or an exhaust fan coupled with fresh air intakes, will increase ventilation and dry out house air.

 

In the summer you can use an air conditioner that removes water from incoming air instead of just cooling it. Look for an air conditioner with a high “latent heat” rating rather than a good “sensible heat” rating.

 

In regions where there are months of cool, damp weather or hot, muggy weather, ventilation just adds more moisture to indoor air. A dehumidifier is an effective way of preventing moisture problems.

 

Home Design: Managing the Snowball Effect

When my kids were little, we used to read a book called "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Joffe Numeroff. In it, a demanding rodent wants a cookie, then a glass of milk to go with it, then he wants a straw for the milk, and a mirror to see if he has a milk mustache, and so it goes, until this two-ounce dictator has driven one indulgent boy to exhaustion.

This is exactly like decorating. One decision detonates another until you unravel like a cheap throw rug.

Until recently, I confronted my own mouse-and-cookie problem every day while facing the bathroom mirror. No, I wasn't fretting about body image or Botox. I wasn't even peering into my soul to reflect upon guilt or failure, though I could have gone any one of those places. This reflection was more superficial, and literally about the mirror. It was the wrong shape, had the wrong frame, and was just as wrong as O.J. Simpson. I needed a new one.

But like the mouse getting his cookie, if I got a new mirror, I'd need something else. I'd need to buy two, one for over my husband's sink. But before I hung them, I'd want to paint the wall, or maybe wallpaper. But that would mean picking a wall color, which would mean choosing drape fabric. The drape fabric would need to work in the adjoining master bedroom, because master suites must share unifying window treatments it says on page three of the U.S. Constitution.

The drape fabric would also need to coordinate with the bedspread, which I plan to change to I'm not sure what. And, back to the bathroom, I'd really like to install a great ceiling light fixture, but then I'd have to choose the metal finish, which should go with the mirror frame, which must go with the cabinet hardware. And if I changed the knobs would I also need new faucets?

This is why so many rooms never change.

Decorating decisions can spiral. So often when I consider redecorating a space, I soon feel like an umbrella in a Tsunami - under equipped and overwhelmed. Or like the mouse's friend - wiped out.

When I finally grew sick of facing the mirror and reflecting on my cowardice, I bit the cookie and hired a tile guy to use the same tumbled marble I'd used on the bathroom floor and counters to craft frames for new mirrors over each sink. A glass company custom cut mirrors to mount inside the marble-tiled frames. Whew! Next I found some antique copper colored wallpaper that looked like faux finish on plaster. It will warm up the room, add character, and is neutral enough that it won't limit my fabric options.

Drapes are next on my list, along with new bedding, just as soon as I gather more courage.

Next time your decorating decisions start to snowball, here's how to get control:

  • Divide and conquer. True, to achieve great design, everything needs to work together. But don't let that overwhelm you. Break the process down into all the steps you'll need to make. Write a list, then tackle one task at a time, keeping in mind the big picture as you go.
  • Think layers. Start from the walls and floors, and move in. First, choose flooring, wall color and tiles in colors you can build on. Next layer in window treatments, furniture, and accessories. I got stuck by starting with accessories, hanging framed mirrors. Like artwork, these should come last, unless you build them in as part of the background, as I did once I installed tiled mirror frames on the wall.
  • Watch that first step. The first decorating decision you make in a room is often the hardest because it sets the tone, and has a ripple effect on every subsequent design decision. In home design, fools often rush in. Take your time, think of the future impact and choose well. Choosing should get easier as you go -- unless you do something impulsive, like buy a red leopard-print carpet then get stuck.
  • Spend wisely. The more expensive something is and the longer you plan to keep it, the more neutral and timeless it should be. Be more trendy and personal with less expensive touches that are easy to change. In a bathroom, for instance, pick tile and cabinets you (or the next homeowner) won't tire of. Add pizzazz with towels and floral arrangements.
  • Think of it as an outfit. Dressing a room is like dressing yourself. Start with good basics. Be sure the wardrobe staples are well constructed, classic and tailored. Then accessorize with the scarf, the shoes, the jewelry. Or the vase, the drape, and the perfect mirror.

Marni Jameson is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of "The House Always Wins" (Da Capo). You can learn more about her and her book - which can be a nice housewarming gift or a tool to show buyers some great ideas on turning a house that isn't quite right into perfect, at www.marnijameson.com.

 

Carbon Monoxide: Avoidance and Prevention


Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas produced by the combustion of fuels such as natural gas, oil, and propane in devices such as furnaces, water heaters, and stoves. These items are normally designed to vent the CO to the outside, but harmful interior levels of CO can result from incomplete combustion of fuel, improper installation, or blockages, leaks or cracks in the venting systems.

Homeowners can take action against potential carbon monoxide poisoning by taking the following steps:

  • Have all fuel-burning appliances professionally inspected yearly, preferably before the start of the cold-weather season when heaters and furnaces are first used.
  • These appliances include gas stoves and ovens, furnaces and heaters, water heaters, generators, and clothes dryers.
  • All such devices should be properly installed and vented to the outside whenever possible.
  • If repairs are necessary, be sure they are performed by a qualified technician.
  • Always use the proper fuel specified for the device.
  • Have flues and chimneys for fuel-burning fireplaces or wood stoves inspected regularly for cracks, leaks, and blockages that may allow a buildup of CO to occur.
  • Never use gas stoves or ovens to heat the home, even temporarily.
  • Do not start or idle a vehicle in a garage, even with the outer garage door open.
  • For additional protection, purchase a CO detector (either battery operated or plug-in) and follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper location and installation.

 

Learn what to do should the CO alarm activate: If anyone in the home experiences symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, or confusion, everyone should leave immediately and seek medical attention. If no symptoms are felt, open doors and windows immediately and shut off all fuel-burning devices that may be potential sources of CO.

 

Household Hints: Before You List a Home

 

Ready, set, sell! Finally, its spring, a time when many people’s fancy turns to real estate. If you’re planning to put your home on the market this year, a good strategy can save you a lot of money and anxiety.

 

The following is a 10-step guide to making the sales process less painful and more profitable:

 

  1. Clean It Up! A homeowner can plump pillows till the cows come home, but if your house isn’t clean, it won’t sell. Buyers don’t mind changing tiles, paint colours, appliances, but if the bathroom is dirty or the stove’s a mess, buyers wont stay long enough to see its merits. My advice is to clean every inch of the house, especially the windows. Another suggestion is to paint-which is the same as good cleaning-steam clean the carpets, recaulk the tub and shower, regrout the tiles, change the shower curtains, polish furniture and dust doors and picture frames. If you are a smoker, you need to wash down everything, and smoke outside for a month before listing the property.
  2. Declutter. We have so much stuff; it’s hard to see the bones of the house. The only way to tackle decluttering is to let go of your emotional equity. While your things may be lovely, they may be hiding the qualities of your lovely home. This includes removing half of the things in your closets so buyers know there is room for them. Remove jars, knick-knacks and gadgets from kitchen and bathroom counters. Remove junk from storage and furnace rooms, even crawl spaces and under the deck, because buyers look everywhere.
    Decluttering, though, isn’t just about clearing out your closets. It is also about editing your style. You may want to replace the dining suite for example, at least temporarily, if it doesn’t flow with the rest of the furnishings. That unified look extends to colour.
  3. Find a Handyman. It’s time to find a handyman if you’re not one yourself. I suggest walking around your home and creating a “deficiency list”- all those things that need fixing. If you haven’t been maintaining your home, expect to spend some money to make it presentable. A handyman wont take too long to ensure all doors are working smoothly and properly, align cabinet doors, fix cracked tiles, fix faulty door handles, patch nail holes, glue down peeling wallpapers and replace washers in leaky faucets. Then, consider planning old appliances, beat up flooring, old cabinet hardware, light fixtures, switch plates and doorknobs that don’t match.
  4. Curb Appeal. If buyers make a split-second decision about your house, they’ll do it from the front yard, so make sure that first impressions are great. First thing to do is to weed the garden. Proportion is also critical-the proportion of plants to one another, the variety of height and texture and the relationship between green space and hard surface (paths and house foundation). The solution is to pull plants out from the foundation of the house and don’t rim the lawn with plants. Because the path is your homes welcome mat, it should be wide and inviting-about four feet if you have room, and made of natural stone. For the backyard, I would suggest creating outdoor “rooms” with different seating and dining areas, and paths connecting to them, much as you have corridors inside.
  5. Kitchen and Baths. While kitchens are a huge selling feature, budge and time constraints don’t always allow a wholesale renovation. But you should at least repair anything broken, like hinges or cabinet doors. Changing hardware, counters, flooring and appliances are relatively inexpensive and fast ways to increase your return. But do check out the neighbours-if granite reigns supreme, and the counters got to go, then consider quartz, Silestone, granite or Corain rather than laminate, no matter how great the new ones look.
    Bathrooms should get the same treatment. Clean, paint, replace dingy fixtures, apply fresh grout, add a new shower curtain and basket of towels. Wall tiles that are dated-in grey, pink or mint green, for example-can be covered with melamine paint.
  6. Layout, Traffic Patterns. Start with a focal point-a sumptuous bed in the bedroom, a fireplace in the living room, a buffet in the dining room. And the function should be identifiable-if your dining room multi-tasks as a home office, library or music room, remove a function or two.
    Symmetry in the room is pleasing to the eye and contributes to a feeling of calm. By keeping the weight on each side of the room equal-a sofa balanced by two chairs, two loveseats flanking a fireplace-symmetry is easily achieved. There should be enough space to move easily through the room and around the furniture, and keep access to windows clear since people like to stand at windows and look at the view. Symmetry extends to consistent materials. So, if there’s hardwood in one room, tiling in another and broadloom in a third, the look is choppy. If it’s possible, change at least one for better flow.
  7. Artwork. If you don’t have any, it’s easy to make-just frame black and white photos, or even photocopies, to hang as a gallery wall. Scale is key in hanging artwork: smaller, framed photos or art need to be grouped together rather than scattered across a wall; and frame photos in similar frames with crisp, white mats.
    Avoid hanging too much personal art (religious items, family photos, even erotica). It can leave potential buyers feeling like intruders-or offended. It’s also a good idea to remove all children’s art and magnets from the fridge.
  8. Colour. Colour is probably the most difficult thing about interior décor, which is why most of us play it safe with beige. That instinct is right-light colours keep things airy and open, but bland is not beautiful. Go for complementary colours in light tones-green and cream with blue accents, or blue and cream with brown accent, but what’s more important is consistency.
    If formal dining furniture fights the casual look in the rest of the home, consider pain. Bright accent colours can be added through accessories-in small doses-when the house is big, open, and uncluttered. And pattern should be restricted to one that’s simple and minimal; forget trying to mix patterns.
  9. Lighting. Light adds life take it away and no matter how nice the furniture, the home will have no character. Pools of light expand space and create good shadows, but also adds warmth and sparkle, highlights objects and even change the wall colour.
  10. Styling. If you’ve played your decluttering cards right, you should only have your best accessories still around and the rest stored. With the exception of fresh towels and a few items, you should be able to find everything you need in your own home. One suggesting is to group items into a “collection” and creating a focal point. It’s better to see everything together in one place-on a table or in a bookcase. When dealing with a fixed element that’s strong and unattractive, add things to distract from it.

 


Tips For Your Home