5 Sustainability Features to Look for in a Home

There are many things to consider when looking for the right home; one of those considerations should be sustainability.  A sustainable home is not only better for the environment, but it can also save you a significant amount of money in the long run.

Here are five features that offer sustainable options, which will help you conserve resources and save costs on heat, water and electricity.


Windows are incredibly important when it comes to energy efficiency. The quality of windows installed in a house greatly impact heat conservation. New double or triple pane, argon-filled windows provide extra insulation and better noise reduction for your home.
Properly insulated windows are a must for keeping heat from escaping during the cold winter months. However, the orientation of the windows to the sun should also be considered, as south-facing windows allow radiant heat from sunlight to enter the home each day.


Tied for second place along with water-saving features, a home’s heat source and heat conservation are also very important. A high-efficiency furnace, automated climate control, high value insulation, and heat recovery ventilation are must-haves among others.
South-facing windows, geothermal systems, and active solar energy systems are great sustainable features for heating a home. A geothermal system utilizes the stable ground temperature to regulate a home’s temperature, whereas an active solar energy system gathers heat from the sun.


It is very important to conserve our freshwater supply. Sustainable homes utilize features that minimize water usage. Features like low-flow toilets, sinks, and showerheads, automated sprinklers, rain collectors, and xeriscaping go a long way in water conservation.


You can utilize the sun’s rays to help increase sustainability. Solar panels, solar water heating, and orientation to the sun for natural heating are all ways we can effectively utilize solar energy.


It can be difficult at times to keep up with advancements in technology. Try looking for LED lighting and programmable energy-efficient appliances in a sustainable home.  If the home is equipped with a solar panel array, ask for a comparison of the home’s electric generation and consumption.  Is there a charging outlet in the garage for a potential future electric car?

Winter Curb Appeal Tips

Typically, it’s easy to make your house look attractive when flowers are blooming, the sun is shining or the leaves are changing colour.
But how do you make your property look great at the end of winter?

1. Shovel the Snow

A driveway with a thick layer of snow is much less inviting than a clear pathway leading to the front door of a home. Sweeping leaves and shovelling snow is incredibly important to make your home look its best in the colder months.
It’s a good idea to sprinkle salt or sand on the cleared areas to prevent guests from slipping. Also, remove any icicles that are hanging dangerously above walkways.

2. Bright Lighting

Bright lighting, both inside and outside a home, can create a warm, welcoming feeling. Well-lit homes will also look great in photos that market the property, especially if those photos are taken at night.

3. Landscaping

Trim the bushes, trees and shrubs so the windows and doors are visible outside. This will also allow more light in to brighten up the home when inside.

4 – Other Ideas

• Reroute standing water
• Hide outdoor toys
• Make the home smell fresh with candles
• Have summer images available so potential buyers can see what the home looks like then

Tech trends for your home

Smart lights, entertainment, thermometers, and security systems. Home technology is a part of our lives, and it’s only going to progress. Some of the latest technology was on display at CES, which is the world’s largest technology trade show that takes place in Las Vegas. I just read an article that wrapped up some of the trends and thought I’d share them with you.

Are your kitchen countertops cluttered with cords from devices or small appliances? One of the interesting trends to come out of CES is wireless charging countertops. You can charge and cook without wires.

If you were concerned about porch pirates over the holidays, you’ll love this new tech from BoxLock. It’s a padlock that you place where you want packages to be delivered. It only opens when the lock scans the package. Then it notifies you when your package has been securely delivered. It’s compatible with all major shipping carriers.

We’re all looking to get a better night’s sleep, right? We have fitness trackers and or other devices now, but what about a smart bed that analyzes billions of data points to determine just how well you sleep?


Learn more about these trends and others ​here​​​. If you’d like to learn how smart home technology can help the value of your home, we’d be happy to discuss. Give us a call or send us a message using the “Contact” button in the top right corner!

5 Tips for Budgeting a Remodel

We all like a change of scenery, especially when it comes to our homes. Whether it’s simply adding a different colour to a room or taking on a major remodel, it’s refreshing to make a change, and sometimes it can add value to your home. Regardless of the size of the project, there’s a lot to think about before you begin.

One of the most important things to consider is your budget. Are you going to take on some of the job yourself to save some money? I wanted to share a few more valuable ideas and tips for budgeting for your project. Check them out below.


1. Determine Where the Money Will Come From

Will you use savings? Or will you take out a home equity loan? Once you determine your source of funding, determine how much you want to spend on the project – and stick to that limit.


2. Set Your Priorities

Before you pull out a calculator, clarify your reasons for renovating. Divide those reasons into “wants” and “needs.” For example, reconfiguring your bathroom so that your current questionable electrical and plumbing will pass an inspection is a “need.” His-and-her water closets, a whirlpool tub, and built-in towel heaters are “wants.” Setting priorities will help you make decisions as you move through the renovation process.


3. Step Away From The Computer

Visit showrooms, model homes, and design stores in addition to checking out pictures online. Before investing in materials and appliances, be sure to see and feel them, or samples of them, in person.


4. DIY Or Contractor?

The biggest question to answer when creating your budget is deciding whether to do the work yourself or to hire a contractor. Doing the work yourself is usually less expensive – unless, of course, something (costly) goes wrong. Using a contractor, however, can mean your project is completed to professional standards and usually in a shorter time frame. Be sure to calculate the value of your time (and your back and knees) and the inconvenience of having a bathroom or kitchen out of use during the project when deciding whether to opt for DIY or a pro.


5. Expect The Unexpected

Whether you plan to do the work yourself or hire a contractor, add on an extra 15 to 20 percent of your total budget for unforeseen expenses. Added costs inevitably arise, especially if you’re dealing with an older home.


If you have questions or are looking for a good contractor, we’re connected with some of the best professionals in the business. Feel free to give us a call and we’d be happy to give you some recommendations.