Monday, June 17, 2019 / by Gary Semeniuk
More people are choosing to stay in their existing home, expanding into unused space rather than going through the trouble of selling and buying again. If you’re in the same position, it might make sense to expand your living space by finishing your basement. The good news is that since the structure is already there, a basement remodel can be accomplished by a homeowner with limited construction knowledge.
Serious Considerations Before Starting Your Finishing Project
Basements are interesting spaces because at least some part of them are underground, holding back tons of soil and rocks. The fact that they don’t collapse inward is a testament to the engineering involved. Even though the basement concept is brilliantly designed, depending on the age of your home, other issues can quickly turn your project into a gaping hole for money to disappear into.
Before you even start picking out materials, check that the moisture level is low enough to not ruin the materials you&rs ...
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 / by Gary Semeniuk
A house is more than just four walls and a roof. However, when your roof springs a leak, shingles start to blow away or age has just gotten the best of it, all you’re thinking about is that darn roof. You may ask yourself a few very serious questions, like “how am I going to pay for this?” and “what are my least expensive options?”
Pros and Cons of Re-roofing Your Home
First, a few terms to clarify any confusion. “Re-roofing” is a term that specifically applies to homes that have one or more layers of existing shingles and then have another one added to the pile. A roofing job that starts by removing all the old shingles is a “tear off.”
Homes are re-roofed every single day. There are plenty out there with several layers of shingles and the roof still functions more or less just fine. The houses underneath aren’t buckling, so it’s all good, right? Depends on the situation. This is a short list of ...
Thursday, April 25, 2019 / by Gary Semeniuk
“Siri, how much water did I drink today?”
“Alexa, what’s on TV tonight?”
“Google, turn off the lights!”
You know the drill. We’re all starting to talk to ourselves under the guise of speaking to our smart speakers and voice assistants. There’s nothing at all wrong with this, but it’s a future no one could have conceived even a decade ago. Smart speakers were cool for creating grocery lists, but that’s just a fraction of what they’re capable of now.
Your computer friends can control your lights and outlets from anywhere now. How cool is that?
The Power of Smart Switches and Plugs
Smart switches and plugs are among the most underrated components of a smart home. In fact, they’re a cheap way to get into the smart home world if your home wasn’t built with this type of equipment in mind.
They’re simple to install and essentially disappear after a few days. After all, they’re just bori ...
Sunday, April 14, 2019 / by Gary Semeniuk
It’s easy to tell yourself that your house is just a building made of walls and ceilings and light fixtures and flooring, but when it comes time to sell, you may start to feel the sting of grief.
After all, you don’t know if the new owners will take care of the rows and rows of brilliant iris that line the fence in the spring or if they’ll cut down the crepe myrtle because they don’t realize it waits for the first kiss of summer heat to spring back to life.
Will they paint your son’s former bedroom and cover up the mural he spent so much time creating? Will they take out the built-in desk and bookcases you made for your daughter?
Maybe saying goodbye isn’t the easy process you thought it would be.
Selling Your Family Home is a Type of Loss
When you’re selling your family home, it’s not just a building that you’re saying goodbye to. It’s all the memories you made there, the familiariarity and, maybe most importantly, the s ...
Sunday, March 31, 2019 / by Gary Semeniuk
Things seem to be getting smarter and smarter these days. From smartphones to smart pressure cookers, anything that can be built with a brain or an internet connection seems to be being bulked up. Some items that are getting brains don’t necessarily make a lot of sense (smart toothbrushes?), and others seem like they should have gotten smarter sooner.
Smart cameras are a perfect example of the latter. They’re a good balance between smart and sexy, and they will keep your smart home safer.
Getting to Know Smart Cameras
A smart camera is different from a regular home security camera in that one camera can integrate with lots of sensors in your home and actually learn your behavior. So, if you normally disarm the alarm at 8:00 am and rearm it at 4:00 pm, that camera will begin to build that information into its profile of your household.
This way, when someone comes in at 8:00 pm and tries to disarm the alarm, even if they’re successful, the camera will be on alert ...