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How to Absorb the Interest Rate Hike

It was bound to happen one day. The Bank of Canada decided to raise its interest rates on July 12th for the first time in years. Every large bank followed suit the next day. It is now time to revise your budget accordingly.

This first hike does not mean there will be a second one on September 6th of this year, and that the interest rates will keep rising afterward. But, better be safe than sorry, especially given the fact that the total Canadian household debt has reached a record high.

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The Bank of Canada is anticipating an increase in the inflation rate. CIBC Bank economists, who issued the “Canadian Inflation: What’s Gone Wrong?” report, also believe the inflation rate will hike soon. Mortgage holders living on a tight budget should prepare accordingly. Continue reading

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Rich and Versatile Like Brick

Brick is just as useful as it is beautiful. You can use bricks for pretty much everything: exterior siding, interior decorating, and backyard landscaping, whether it is a recreational space or a garden. Plus, this material offers such a broad range of colours and it offers so many visual effects!

There’s the crude brick, used especially for exterior siding, but there is also the decorative brick used for interior decorating. The range of colours and shades is impressive. It also comes in many different shapes since brick is a material that can be carved.

You could paint brick. What makes it special is its texture. A white-painted brick wall has so much more to offer than a white-painted sleek wall. The white colour is not as white, but it stands out because of its rugged design. The same is true of a black-painted brick wall. It looks nothing like a black-painted sleek wall. It’s not as black, but it stands out more. Same goes for every other colour.

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There is a downside to this, however. If you paint a brick wall, you will shorten its lifetime because you’re preventing the brick and the mortar from breathing. You will have to check it regularly and make the necessary corrections if you want to avoid going through the whole process again. Otherwise, you could follow the guidelines of Écohabitation experts.

The brick doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth. A brick with jagged sides and overflowing mortar offers a different look. You could also distress the brick to make it imperfect. Some people even marble the brick to make it look more rugged. Continue reading

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An Eco-Friendly Basement

Even the basement does not escape the concept of a sustainable house. If you are planning to remodel the lower floor and are concerned about the future of the planet, here are a few guidelines you should follow, according to Écohabitation experts.

This would be the perfect time to check for radon. We have been hearing more and more about this carcinogenic gas. You can find the detection device in a large shopping centre or a hardware store. If the level is high, Écohabitiion recommends a system designed to evacuate the gas.

Insulating the water heater and plumbing pipes will considerably reduce your energy bills.

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Opt for synthetic (recycled) gypsum for the walls and ceilings instead of the natural one. It is more ecological. Continue reading

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A Basement Gem

The basement now serves the same purpose as the living room. Often times, spending time in the basement is even more pleasurable. So, neglecting it is no longer an option. Today, we can find little gems and a lot of imagination on the lower floor.

In many homes, the basement is so well designed that it has become the most popular room of the household. The arrival of the home theatre has a lot to do with this. Hence, the importance of improving the appearance of the space to make it more enjoyable and useful at the same time. You can choose a more conventional decor or go for an unconventional style.

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Usually, the very essence of the basement is joining two or more rooms together without any partition wall. For example, you could combine a recreation room with a kitchenette or a bar, a bar with a wine cellar, a lounge area with a fitness room or bedroom. If this concept suits you, you can always install the same decorative flooring throughout the basement. This will make the space look larger and feel bigger. Continue reading

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Time to Remodel the Basement

Years have passed and it seems your basement is in need of a little TLC. Or, you may have witnessed last spring’s catastrophic floods, which are expected to happen over and over again, so maybe you want to keep your basement dry next year? If so, follow this guide.

While you are at it, why not check the radon level in your home. Is this cancer-causing gas seeping into your basement? The detection device is sold in large shopping centres and hardware stores. If you do not believe this gas is present in your home because you have not smelled it, think again. Radon is odourless and colourless. If the level is high, the Écohabitation organization has designed a system, supported by drawings, to evacuate the gas.

On the Écohabitation website, you will find the basic steps to waterproof your basement in a sustainable manner. Here is a quick summary. Continue reading