Monthly Archives: January 2017

More Information About Customized Closets to the Rescue

Buried beneath stacks of shoes, languishing in a cluttered corner, or tucked deep within a rack of hanging clothes—your wardrobe is not going to be easy to find on a Monday morning!  Has your closet space magically shrunk over time?  Customized closets along with storage savvy create the perfect solutions.

The three main types of closets are walk-in, reach-in and freestanding.  If you have an existing walk-in closet or the space to build one, your home is sure to be the envy of the neighbourhood.  A reach-in closet is the most common type, especially where real estate is at a premium.  A freestanding closet can be made to fit almost any space and offers sophisticated style with minimal renovations.  Fortunately, whichever type of closet you have, it is possible to customize it to your needs.

Walk-in Closets

When money (or space) is no object, a walk-in closet can truly be a thing of beauty.  Imagine a long wall of gleaming hardwood drawers and shelves, slide-out hampers, twirling tie holders, shoe racks and neat rows of hangers.  In the centre of the spacious closet are two comfortable chairs and a sleek coffee table flanking a floor length mirror.  Achieving this handsome wall-to-wall fit will require the skills of a carpenter or a visit from a company that specializes in custom closet designs.  When money is an object, there are other options.

‘Do-it-yourselfers’ will find an increasingly attractive range of closet units at home renovation and home décor stores.  Coated wire racks and laminated pressboard drawers and shelves are basic, affordable and functional.  From this starting point, you may find higher end finishes and options.  Before you buy, think about how you plan to use your closet.  For example, consider how much space you need for shoes, hanging clothing, etc.  If you have many dresses and long jackets, allow for a lengthy space where those items can hang without folding.  Knowing the measurements of your closet space and your requirements, you can arrange ready-made elements into a suitable unit.

If you wish to get out the saw and screwdriver, you can combine ready-made elements with supports cut exactly to fit your closet.  For example, you can cut a wall-to-wall shelf and below it install ready-made drawers.  Another option is to bring in furniture.  An old dresser painted to match the rest of your unit will instantly add storage space and character.

Don’t forget the lighting!  Walk-in closets should have their own lighting and more than one fixture.  Small recessed lights at the top of shelves are as stylish as they are useful.  Wall sconces and a soft overhead light gently illuminate the entire space.

Reach-in Closets

Typically, at a depth of just over half a metre and no longer than two outstretched arms, reach-in closets test the organizational abilities of any homeowner.  Short on space, this closet benefits most from customization.  Maximize the vertical dimensions with drawers, shelves and racks from floor to ceiling.  Consider your unique requirements (e.g., lots of shoes or dresses) and make adjustments accordingly.  Just as with walk-in closets, you can opt for a professional customization or do it yourself with the help of some store-bought closet inserts.

Freestanding Closets

Imagine a sophisticated built-in unit running from wall-to-wall and finished with crown molding.  Freestanding closets can be entirely open, concealed by doors or have a combination of open shelving and discreet drawers or cupboards.  Keep in mind that a freestanding closet is in the midst of the room, so a closet in disarray is, well, on display.  In terms of location, an ideal spot is along a wall that is ‘bookended’ by other walls; this simplifies finishing the sides.  A skilled carpenter can bring your ideas to life and create a piece that complements your room.

Of course, bedrooms aren’t the only place with closets.  Any room has the potential for new storage solutions.  Hallways, laundry rooms, wine cellars, kitchens and garages…the opportunities to bring order to your home are endless.

Storage Tips

• De-clutter: If you haven’t used or worn something in a year, chances are you don’t need it.  Sort through your belongings and decide what you need and what can be sold or donated.

• Sort by season: As the seasons change, so should your closets and dressers.  Sort through your belongings and move last season’s items to the basement, storage locker or other convenient location.

• Coordinate: Group clothing by colour to make it easier to find what you need.

• Compartmentalize: Drawer separators for small items such as lingerie and scarves easily bring order to chaos!  Baskets and bins conceal clutter on shelves.  A row of hooks in the closet can hold belts, ties or jewellery making it easy to put together a smashing outfit.

Know More About Costs and Value Benefits of Owning a Home

There is no doubt that one of the more pleasant and exciting times for most people is when they have decided to buy a home. This excitement exists whether or not you are buying for the first time or the fourteenth time.

There is no doubt that the experienced home buyer has a relatively good idea as to what it costs to buy a home today. However if it has been a long time since you last bought a home, you may have forgotten or not be aware of the associated costs involved

A lot of people think of the basic costs as legal fees, property tax adjustments, GST in some cases, the cost of movers, the set-up fees for utilities, new window coverings, etc. First timers should also consider home maintenance costs, like tools, a lawn mower, etc. Beyond the basic costs, are major cost factors like replacing flooring and roofs, or making additions. These costs may be necessary to give you everything you want from your new home.

On the opposite side, some buyers may gain a cost benefit from buying a new home. You could buy in a development that has a fitness centre, or a swimming pool. This means no more fitness club dues or transportation worries. Some developments offer more luxurious features like golf privileges or skiing benefits.

Just as the above features offer you a financial and non-financial benefit; there are non-financial costs to look at when buying your house.

A feature you must consider seriously when buying a home is its location. Look at location from many view points and perceptions. A suggested question would be:
where am I going to live relative to …………?

The relative to “what” includes work (my work, my spouses work), established leisure activities (golf membership, hiking trails, night school courses, children’s ballet or music classes), children school or daycare, proximity to family, best friends or the old neighbourhood.

Now to create a more interesting but realistic scenario, take all of the above factors and try to determine the likely disruptions to a perfect schedule.

How often do you or your spouse have to work late or work unusual hours? Does this mean that the public transit you plan to take at commuter time, is only viable 50% of the time? Does this mean that little Mary or John may have to miss a lot of soccer practices, or other activities that they enjoy?

Is the commuting experience likely to leave you too tired (physically or emotionally), when you get home?

How important is the ease of transportation for you, to be able to leave work to pick-up your sick child at school or at daycare?

If grandma or grandpa is in weak health; is being close by a true comfort?

Will you need to make new friends because you will only see our old ones at holiday occasions?

In summary; when buying a home, consider the value of your purchase in relation to the emotional costs imbedded in that purchase. Does a house 25 miles away from where you spend most of your waking hours (at work and with friends) have a non-financial cost? Is being anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes away (depending upon traffic volumes) from a valued and trusted daycare for your child a reasonable cost for you to deal with?

Know More About Home Inspections

Home inspections are often an important part of the pre-purchase routine when buying a house. You do not want to end with faults that you had not anticipated. Choosing a home inspector can be difficult process. It is important to consult with family and friends to find a reliable inspector that has good references. You should also contact several inspectors in your area and interview them in advance to ascertain their qualifications. Be sure to do your own independent investigation of the Inspectors’ qualifications.

Questions to Ask

1. How long has the inspector been in business AS A HOME INSPECTION firm?

2. Is the inspector specifically experienced in RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION?

3. What does the inspection include? Inspections should include visual inspections covering exterior, structure, garage, plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical, interior, insulation and ventilation. Extras include radon testing, a pest infestation survey or inspection of septic systems or wells. Be sure the inspector will provide a written report.

4. How much will it cost? Determine fees up front. Inspections cost from as little as $200 to as much as $1,000 depending on the size of the home and which inspection services are requested.

5. How long will the inspection take? The time depends on the size and age of the home, the average is 2 to 3 hours. Anything less isn’t enough time to do a thorough inspection but many inspectors take a full day to thoroughly inspect your prospective purchase.

6. Does the inspector encourage the client to attend the inspection? This is a valuable educational opportunity, and an inspector’s refusal means you should look for a better qualified inspector.

7. Bluntly ask what educational and/or training facility the inspector attended. Does the inspector participate in continuing education programs to keep his/her expertise up to date? Ask to see the inspector’s papers. When hiring a company, make certain that your home will be inspected by a registered professional.

8. Does the company offer to do any repairs or improvements based on its inspection? This might cause a conflict of interest. We do not recommend that you deal with these firms.

9. Do they belong to an association that will investigate a consumer complaint?

10. Do they carry errors and omission insurance?