Renovating Your Home: Keep Calm and Make a List

We all have two homes – the one we have and the one we want. If you are not happy with the layout of your home, it is important to make changes so that it complements your lifestyle.

When it comes to a real-estate property, there are two types of changes that you can make in order to have a lovely home. Choose any one of the following options to make your living space beautiful:

1. Buying a new home – It will be a costly affair. Also, do not forget the time that you will have to spend in finding the perfect home and the ideal neighborhood for your loved ones.

2. Renovating your current home – You can hire an experienced home renovation contractor and assign him the responsibility of making your home beautiful.

Renovating your Home is a Practical Choice

The cost of renovating a home is less compared to the cost of buying a new home. The renovation process doesn’t mean making a few quick changes in your home. It means adapting your home to suit your lifestyle and adding new value to your real-estate property. Contact an experienced home renovation contractor who will be able to achieve the following things for you:

· Increase the size of the kitchen,

· Add a walk-in closet in the bathroom,

· Add a children’s room,

· Create a home theatre,

· Finish the basement, etc.

Don’t Jump on the Bandwagon

Do not get excited by the thought of making your home beautiful and stylish. Remember that emotional decisions can become a nightmare in the future. It is important to keep calm and consider several things before beginning any kind of renovation work at your home.

The first step is to create a list of things that are in dire need of repair. Do not forget to write about old fixtures and outdated appliances. Include specific changes that you wish to see in your home. Provide detailed description of your ideas so that the contractor can make it a reality. Here are some ways in which you can create a comprehensive list for renovating your home:

· Explore New Trends and Ideas

The initial stage of creating a list involves exploring new renovation trends. Do you like a classic theme for your home? Or, are you looking for a contemporary design? Do not stick to any one style. Instead, consider several options for different rooms. Also, think of your future needs. It will enable you to avoid unnecessary changes in the future.

· See what Others have done

Renovating a home is a very common phenomenon. Many of your friends may have incorporated several changes in their homes to suit their requirements. Getting ideas from your friends is a good way of planning your own project. They will provide you with honest opinions and enable you to make a perfect decision. Also, they will provide you with valuable references for choosing a home renovation contractor.

· Research

Look for home improvement magazines at your local news-stand or library. Collect pictures of homes, rooms and products that appeal you. Watch home improvement shows on television. Also, do not forget to research online for innovative ideas. The internet is the ideal destination for searching current trends. You can create online boards to put together your dream home. The online boards will be a convenient way of manifesting your ideas to the contractor.

Once you have prepared a list on the basis of your extensive research, it is time to start prioritizing your requirements. Remember that renovating your home successfully requires a calm mind. So, do not make any hasty decision. Consider your budget and discuss it with the home renovation contractor. He will suggest you different ways of creating a beautiful living space within your budget.

Are you thinking of renovating your home? Do not worry if you are confused about prioritizing your list of requirements. Affinity Renovations is an experienced home renovation contractor of Greater Toronto Area. We will help you to transform your idea into a reality. Get in touch with us for complex home additions as well as quick handyman services.

Get Affordable Home Insurance in Calgary

There are many reasons to get home insurance in Calgary. First of all, you want to make sure your house, cottage, or tenancy is covered for damage, theft, and flooding. Secondly, you want to know if you are overpaying for home insurance, and if you are, you want to know if you have access to a more affordable insurer. We can help you connect with a live insurance broker who will give you the information you need to insure your house in Calgary. You can also request a quote from at least 10 Canadian home insurers, so you can compare rates.

Typical Home Insurance Premiums
Home protection prices are different for rented and owned properties. Tenants insurance for rented homes covers the basic contents of a house and some liability (you may need a separate policy for fine art, wine collections, furs, and other expensive, atypical items). Tenants insurance is often cheaper than homeowners insurance.

Homeowners insurance covers the building and its exterior, as well as risks connected to theft, fire, earthquake, etc. Since the value of the building is much higher than the contents of a rented unit, homeowners insurance premiums are significantly higher than are the premiums for tenants insurance.

In order to have a broader picture of home insurance rates in Canada, here are statistics of the average home rates in Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia, and Canada. These statistics are provided by InsurEye.

In Alberta, monthly house insurance rates are typically $84 for homeowners and $49 for renters.

In Ontario, monthly home insurance rates are typically $78 for homeowners and $42 for renters.

In British Columbia, monthly home protection rates are typically $85 for homeowners and $47 for renters.

Across Canada, monthly home insurance rates are typically $77 for homeowners and $41 for renters.

Examples of Calgary Home Insurance Quotes
Home insurance quotes in Calgary depend on the size of a building, its location, and possible risks (like flooding). The following examples of house insurance quotes will help you better understand how much home insurance can potentially cost you:

· For a 2,800 square foot, two-storey house in Calgary, in the neighbourhood of Altadore near River Park, expect approximately $98 monthly ($1,176 a year).

· For an 850 square foot, two-bedroom condominium on the 12th floor in downtown Calgary, next to Central Memorial Park, the insurance costs are approximately $23 a month ($276 a year).

· For a one-storey house in Calgary, in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood, located close to 4th St NW and the Trans-Canada Highway, the insurance is approximately $62 monthly ($744 a year).

Flooding Coverage for Homes in Calgary
Since Calgary often sees flooding, every homeowner should be prepared for the possibility of this risk and should understand the main aspects of home protection and flooding. One thing you should keep in mind is that home protection in the flood-endangered areas of the city is more expensive because of the much higher risk.

There are four main types of flooding. It is important to remember that your home insurance policy treats each of them differently:

1. Overland flooding occurs as a consequence of water (rain or melting snow) entering your house from the outdoors. Standard insurance in Calgary does not cover expenses from overland flooding. However, some companies do provide coverage for this type of flooding at an additional cost.

2. Roof leakage can be covered or not covered, depending on the factors that caused it. If the roof was in poor condition from the beginning, your insurance provider will not cover the damage. Your home insurance will most likely cover damage from a natural cause, like hail.

3. Your insurer will cover plumbing issues, only if you comply with the rules in your policy, such as having somebody visit your home while you are not there for extended periods of time (for example, while you are on vacation).

4. Sewer backup happens when wastewater is driven back into your house. Traditional home protection does not cover this type of flooding. However, you can always purchase this type of coverage as an addition to your home insurance policy.

The Difference Between Condo and Tenants Insurance in Calgary
Owners of condos can purchase homeowners insurance for their condo. The condominium corporation purchases commercial condo insurance. The difference between these two policies is in what part of the condo they cover. The homeowners insurance covers the contents of the condominium. The coverage also includes protection for upgrades, locker contents, third party liability, theft, additional living expenses, and sometimes special insurance assessments.

The commercial condominium corporation’s insurance covers the building’s exterior (envelope), together with its infrastructure and common areas.

Condo renters in Calgary need tenants insurance to cover the contents of their condos. This type of protection is usually mandatory and is part of the rental contract. In addition to the coverage of contents against theft, fire, and other hazards, the insurance also extends to third party liability and additional living expenses. Living expenses are for the cases when the condo is unlivable (due to earthquake, flood, fire, etc.), so the renter is forced to live in a hotel or rental unit until the condo repairs are complete.

10 Ways to Save on Home Insurance in Calgary
Here are a few ways to save on your home coverage. For more savings, get an insurance quote and contact an insurance expert.

1. Professional membership. Members of unions or professional organizations can get a discount on their home insurance. Insurance companies, like Meloche Monnex Insurance, also provide their members with insurance policies.

2. Hydrant or fire station. If your home is close to one of these things, you can ask for a discount from your insurance provider.

3. Discounts for students. Some insurance providers give discounts for students. As for dependent students who live alone, their parent’s home insurance may cover the insurance on their apartment at no additional charge. For example, Desjardins Insurance provides this discount.

4. Discounts for graduates. TD Insurance is an example of an insurer that offers discounts for graduates from post-secondary institutions like McGill University or the University of Toronto.

5. Quit smoking. Many insurance companies increase home protection premiums for smokers due to the potential fire risk.

6. Change your policy. Those with tenant insurance should rethink the size of their coverage – perhaps some things that do not have much value do not need additional coverage.

7. Security of your home. Does your home have additional security, like a doorman or security guard? This might get you a discount from your insurance provider.

8. Direct insurer. Also called a captive agent, a direct insurer represents one company and can offer their products for a cheaper price when compared to insurance agents or brokers.

9. Consumer reviews. Other home insurance consumers often share their experiences of purchasing insurance and making claims. Thanks to these insights, you will be able to avoid unexpected costs and overpayment.

10. Compare prices. You can get home insurance quote in Calgary for a cheaper price thanks to the price comparison tools that show you the rates of the same services provided by different insurance companies.

High Tech Home Automation Upgrades

Bring your home into the 21st century with some high tech home automation upgrades.

Many people have already advanced their property with home automation upgrades, but may be completely unaware that they have. You may already use products such as the Nest thermostat or the Amazon Echo, these products are in fact technologies that are part of the home automation revolution that is changing the way people live in their homes.

Today’s market provides a home automation device for each and every room in your home. Below are some of the top home automation products to upgrade your home.

In the kitchen

Bluetooth thermometer

You will never mistakenly burn your meal again with a helpful smart meat thermometer. It works by sending the information from the thermometer to your smart phone via a Bluetooth connection, showing you when your pork, chicken, turkey, or fish reaches the right temperature.

Slow cooker

You can start dinner before you leave the office with a Wi-Fi enabled crock pot. By simply swiping your finger across your smart phone you can turn the cooker on, set the temperature, or turn it off to make sure that your dinner isn’t burnt if you are delayed in getting back to your home.

Wi-Fi enabled kettle

Set the kettle to boil remotely by using an app on your smart phone. Whether you want the kettle to be boiled before you get out of bed or ready for you when you get home from work, the Wi-Fi enabled iKettle will boil your water and even hold its temperature for up to a half hour.

In the bathroom

Bluetooth speakers for the shower

Sing along to your favorite songs with the Aqua-tunes waterproof speaker and add some entertainment to your home automation upgrades. The speaker connects to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and enables you to stream music from your device that is played in the shower. Simply hook the speaker on to your shower rod and press the sync button to link up with your mobile device.

Heated toilet seat

LumaWarm offer the heated nightlight toilet seat. The seat is illuminated by a blue LED light and is equipped with multiple temperature settings that warm the seat within a couple of minutes.

In the bedroom

Smart bedroom lighting

Smart lighting can help you relax at the end of the day, and even help you fall asleep, with lighting that is personalized to you, with dimming and variable color temperatures. There are several types of smart lighting products available for home automation upgrades, with some set by timers that can be easily accessed and changed through your smart phone, while others utilize motion sensors to adapt the lighting to your nightly routine.

Smart windows

Equip your windows with smart window film, or adjustable blinds that operate by a motor, which can be accessed on your smart phone. Smart blinds and shades can adapt and respond to the lighting level outside and are a must for your home automation upgrades. Smart window film offers the ability to transition your window from clear to opaque by simply tapping a button on your smart phone.

Home automation for any room

Smart sockets/plugs

Smart plugs are a simple and easy way to make a start upgrading your home. The smart socket device plugs into your existing power outlet and enables you to remotely control the power usage and keep an eye on your energy usage. There are several manufacturers of smart plugs, iHome, TP-LINK, Belkin, and D-Link to name a few, and the devices are an affordable way to start upgrading your home with prices ranging from as low as $30.

Humidity detector

The Humidity Sensor and Fan Control by Leviton can identify the level of humidity in your home and automatically react to it by turning on a ventilation fan. The smart device can be used in the bathroom and any other area of your home to reduce moisture in the air.

Room by room upgrades

If you still don’t really know where to start with your home automation upgrades, there are several home automation upgrades and smart home upgrade kits on the market.

The main purpose of home automation upgrades is to make daily tasks easier for the user. You don’t need to rush and try to upgrade everything in your home at once. Identify areas of your home or exact tasks where you would appreciate some technological help, then research what home automation options are available to fulfill your needs.