Healthy Housing Overseen By Experts

You may wonder if sustainable houses designed, built, inhabited and then monitored step-by-step by professionals actually exist. The answer is yes. The EQuilibrium Housing Initiative is just that.

If you wish to learn and understand more about the sustainable housing industry – which is about to become fundamental in the fight against climate change – the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CMHC) initiative is for you.

The CMHC seeks to expand the construction of EQuilibrium houses across the country. Even if you’re planning to buy an existing home, exploring an EQuilibrium house will give you the required knowledge to properly evaluate another home that some owners might try to sell you as sustainable.

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The initiative exists since 2006. The EQuilibrium house is meant to serve as a model for sustainable living: safe and environmentally friendly materials, lower utility bills, renewable energies, conservation of our planet’s limited resources, reduced environmental impact, greater comfort and cost-effective construction. And, believe it or not, as an added value, sustainable houses are a better investment than traditional homes. Continue reading

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5 reasons to get a home inspection before buying a house

If we compare the expense of an inspection to the cost of buying a home, it really isn’t that expensive after all! But too often, we still skip this step. 

“You would never purchase a used car without hiring a knowledgeable mechanic to inspect it first. So why wouldn’t you do the same thing before making one of the most important investments of our life?” asks Jean-Claude Fillion, an architect who specializes in pre-purchase inspections.

“It’s important to know where you stand before buying a home,” he continues.

Before you sign on the dotted line, here are five good reasons to get a home inspection before you buy a house. Continue reading

Colour Trends for 2017

If you browse through the websites of paint manufacturers, you will quickly notice that violet will be the trending colour in 2017. Shades of blue and grey are not that far behind. Here are the results of our exploration.

Bétonel found its inspiration in the universe and in outer space. Its featured colour: Starry Sky in the shades of violet, which could complement any room. Night blue and grey are also trending colours. And since not everyone embraces violet, Bétonel offers a solution: integrating violet accessories into the home.

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iStock

Since we are living in an environmentally friendly era, Bétonel also proposes a colour palette that brings nature inside the home.

Sico features a blue-grey violet colour called Mozart Violet. According to the manufacturer, this colour has all it takes to give a luxurious feel to a living room or create a soothing atmosphere in a bedroom.

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As for the home office, Sico suggests a whole range of colours: Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Furtive Mauve, Greyish Blue, Citrus Yellow, Sockeye Salmon, Zen Green, Pale Purple and Beach Taupe.

Benjamin Moore features the colour Shadow, the master of ambiance: a violet colour with intense blueish tones that gives a very rich and royal feel to a room. As cited on their website: “Indulge your mysterious side. Let Shadow set the mood”.

BEHR has categorized its colours of the year in three trending palettes: comfortable, composed and confident. Each palette it suited to a personal style. Shades of blue, purple and grey are the common denominator. BEHR describes their colours as trendsetters.

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They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Most paint manufacturers display videos on their websites. Check them out, if only to see the colours dance before your eyes.

In addition, many manufacturers propose very daring colour pairings. No lack of imagination nor fantasy there. The names are just as dreamy as always: Smoke Turquoise, Cedar Shadow, Red Candy, Geisha’s Cheeks, New Moon, Stormy Monday, Diva Glam, Flickering Flame and many others.

 

Pictures are for illustration purposes only: iStock.com

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Winterizing a Window

One of your windows is in poor condition. For whatever reason, you couldn’t replace it before the winter season’s arrival. Here are a few guidelines to help you prevent damage or a hike in heating costs.

  • Weatherstripping is the key element in heat loss prevention. Make sure it is in mint condition.
  • Clean every part of the window with a brush or a vacuum cleaner. It can actually make a small difference.
  • If the caulk breaks when touched with a screwdriver or any other tool for that matter, it needs to be replaced.
  • Window films can reduce heat loss up to 50%. It is applied to the inside of the window on the surface of the glass and can be installed by anyone.
  • Adhesive foam tape isn’t the most durable, but it will last through a winter season.
  • You can buy draft stoppers that attach to the outside of the window on milder days.

Continue reading