Imagine that on your roof!

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No, not a Trabant, the odd East German car affectionately dubbed the Trabi, but an enormous stork nest!

In Europe, three species of storks prefer to make nests on rooftops rather than in trees according to Wikipedia.

In the GeoGuide de la Croatie, you discover that there’s even a European stork capital in the Lonjsko Polje National Park, in the small village of Cigoc. How many years do you think a stork nest can remain attached to a roof? 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, perhaps 100 years?

If you guessed 50, you’re right. That’s half a century!

And how much does a nest weigh on average? 10, 50, 100, 500, 700 or 1000 kilograms?

700! That’s 1,543 pounds!

Imagine that on your roof! The structure of the house better be solid if you don’t want to have storks landing in your living room like Santa Claus. Continue reading

Your house as pension plan

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For many people, a house seems like a miraculous investment: Owning a home solves most financial problems and is the ultimate pension plan.

It’s an undeniable fact that a house is a long-term and effective investment. Most property owners and experts agree on this. But placing all your bets on a house is a huge risk.

Patrick Charlebois, investment advisor and manager at Bank National Financial in Trois-Rivières, cautions his clients. He definitely recommends purchasing a home and lists the advantages: good financial investment, better quality of life and a valuable asset for retirement.

Becoming an owner helps you to obtain a good credit file, to develop discipline for the family budget and to acquire the habit of saving money. But property owners may commit an error by placing all their hopes on their property. Continue reading

“What, I need a permit for that?!”

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The homeowner just wanted to remove a wall between the kitchen and the dining room. She discusses it with her brother, who asks her if she requested a permit from the city. “What, I need a permit for that?!” she spouts.

She can’t believe it. Even for a wall? Like many people, she never would’ve thought that minor renovation work often requires a permit.

Always remember: most cities in Quebec require a renovation permit. Of course there are exceptions, but they’re rare. Therefore, the first step before undertaking any work is to consult the municipality to find out if a permit is necessary. Continue reading

Deck the halls and lawns and eavestroughs

Halloween is behind you. You stored the scary decorations and are planning your happy holiday selection.

Now it’s time to choose the decorating style that you’d like to install outside your home—whether you live in a house, a rental, an apartment, a condo or a cottage. All homes look good illuminated with Christmas lights.

Most people like to use strands of lights because they’re easy to put up. It’s useful to know that according to Statistics Canada, LED bulbs are 90% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs. What’s more, light emitting diode lights reduce the risk of fire, are more resistant and last up to ten times longer.

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