Energy Saving Tips for Your Home


Keep your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted with annual maintenance. If your furnace is working at peak efficiency it will use less energy and cost less to operate.

Clean or replace the filter every 1-2 months – a dirty filter reduces the airflow and forces the furnace to run longer to heat your home.

Consider purchasing a new ENERGY STAR® qualified furnace with a variable speed motor. An average home can save up to $530 in natural gas and electrical costs annually when upgrading from a standard 60% efficiency natural gas furnace to a 95% efficiency furnace with a high efficiency variable speed motor.


Lower your thermostat by 4 – 5 degrees Celsius
(7 – 9 degrees Fahrenheit) while you’re sleeping at night and when no one is at home.

Install a programmable thermostat. You can save 2% on your heating bill for every 1 degree C you turn down your thermostat. With a programmable thermostat to consistently lower your heat when you don’t need it, you could save up to $60 a year!


Switch to cold when doing your laundry. 85 – 90% of the energy used to wash your clothes is used to heat the water. By turning the dial to cold on your washing machine, you help the environment, save energy, and save money.

Wash full loads.

Choose a front loading washing machine. Not only does a front loading washing machine save water, it saves energy as well. It uses about 40% less water and about 50% less energy.


Weather-stripping provides a barrier between the fixed and movable sections of doors and windows. Apply weather-stripping to operable windows, exterior doors, garage doors, and doors that lead to the attic.

Windows, doorframes, sills and joints

Apply a sealant or caulk around windows, doorframes, sills and joints. On a windy day feel for leaks or use a couple of incense sticks to help identify leaks around windows, electrical outlets, vents and exterior doors. As well look for spider webs – if there is a web there is a draft.

Use plastic window covers to help prevent heat loss.

Keep return air grills and heating vents clear of furniture, rugs and drapes, so there is no interference with the flow of heat through your home.


If you have an unfinished basement or crawlspace, check for leaks by looking for spider webs. If there is a web, there is a draft. A large amount of heat is also lost from an un-insulated basement.

Add insulation to basement walls.

Drapes & Blinds

On sunny days, open south facing drapes and let the sun in, a natural source of heat. If you have large windows that don’t receive direct sun, keep the drapes closed.

Close your drapes and blinds during the night.

Pipes, ducts, fans and vents

Plug gaps around pipes, ducts, fans and vents that go through walls, ceilings and floors from heated to unheated spaces.

Showerheads and faucets

Install low-flow showerheads and faucets.


Always wash a full load in your dishwasher and air-dry your dishes on the “energy saver” setting.


Turn on the heat just prior to use, save by not heating it continuously.

Wood Fireplace

Close the damper to prevent warm air from escaping through the chimney, and ensure the damper fits properly.


Natural Resources Canada website.



    • ·Presently working;
    • ·Seasoned construction person;
    • ·Computer literate (with own computer);
    • ·Quick learner – age no barrier;
    • ·Earning potential excellent for serious candidate;
    • ·Small investment for program.



    • ·Willing to learn CAD program (SPD);
    • ·Willing to learn on own time mostly at home;
    • ·Some office hours will be required for coaching;
    • ·Will be supervised & coached at no cost;
    • ·Will quickly do actual construction drawings;
    • ·No earnings until relative productivity is achieved
    • ·Non- smoker.

Hire a contractor who has experience with projects similar to yours. For large renovation projects, you may hire an architect or architectural technologist or a designer to prepare your project’s plans for permit application and then invite contractors or renovators to submit a quotation based on these plans. These professionals may also provide their services to oversee your project, which may include obtaining all necessary permits, hiring a contractor(s) and the supervision of the work.

Finding and Choosing a Contractor

A good source of referrals may be a family member, friend, or neighbour who has had similar work completed. Or look on the web for general contractors.

Discuss your project with a few potential contractors to get their advice and suggestions on how they would do the work. Some may give you a rough estimate of costs. The first meeting is usually more to get to know the contractor.

You want to find out as much as you can, so ask a lot of questions, such as:

How long have you been in business?
What work are you, or your subcontractors, licensed to do?
Have you done a similar job before?
What kind of warranty do you offer and what does it cover?
Do you carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance?
Will you take out all required permits?

Other points:

* You won’t offend reputable firms with questions.
* If the contractor plans to do the whole job alone, make sure he or she has all the necessary skills and qualifications.
* Most importantly, be sure you can get along with the contractor. If you cannot communicate effectively with the contractor, things can get very tense in a lengthy project.
* The best proof of quality is how satisfied customers were handled. Would they hire the contractor again or recommend the company to friends or family?
* If the previous clients are willing, visit them to see the finished job. Their willingness itself is usualy a sign that they were satisfied.

Getting Estimates/Quotes

As a general rule, with the proper drawings and sepcifications, three estimates will usually provide sufficient information for you to make a decision.

Even with a small project, a set of written specifications is needed.

For a large project, ask the contractor to submit it in person so you can discuss the estimate with them. Compare the estimate carefully and make sure that everything you ask for is in the estimate. It should include everything that the contractor will have to do to complete the job. As well, make sure the contractor provides you with a construction schedule.

Remember, renovation may uncover hidden problems, so make sure you include a contingency budget to cover unforseen costs. Get a written estimate for all extras before it gets done. Remember the #1 rule is to have no extras.

Get it in Writing

Do not be tempted by a contractor who doesn’t have an address, doesn’t want a written contract and offers a discount if you pay cash.

For example, contractors who insist on cash may be unlicensed and uninsured; and without a written contract your cash advances are unprotected. As well, an underground contractor may do poor work and create health and safety problems. If one of the contractor’s crew is improperly trained, is injured on the job or damages your property or a neighbour’s property, your homeowner’s inisurance policy might not cover you and you could be liable.

A cash deal may leave you with no legal recourse if something goes wrong or the work insn’t satisfactory. For your own protection and peace of mind, it’s best to deal in a legal and responsible way – alsways get it in writing.

The Contract

A detailed written contract between you and the contractor you hire is essential to any renovation or home repair project, no matter its size. Even the smallest job should be put in writing. Sample contracts are available.

Completion Certificate

When the job is finished, the contractor may ask you to sign a certificate of completion. Don’t sign it until you have thoroughly inspected the work and the City Bylaw inspections are completed. Professional contractors offer a warranty on their work and will come back if something goes wrong.

In-law Suites

The term “secondary suite” is generally used to describe a self-contained dwelling unit with its own kitchen and bathroom, which is separate from the principal dwelling in a house. It can be located either within the principal dwelling or in an accessory building on the same lot as the principal dwelling. These units are also known as “accessory apartments” and “in-law suites.” Basement apartments are the most common type. Aside from being affordable to renters, they also provide income and extra security for the home owner who has more space than is needed, and make entering the housing market easier for first-time buyers who may use the rental income to offset their mortgage costs.

Secondary suites are an affordable housing option that meets the needs of many people, including members of an extended family, singles, seniors and people with low or fixed incomes. Since they are usually constructed inside existing buildings, they help optimize the use of existing housing stock and infrastructure, and re-populate neighbourhoods with declining populations.

What Regulations Apply to Secondary Suites?

Whether you intend to renovate an existing secondary suite or add a new one, the secondary dwelling unit must conform to all zoning, building and fire code requirements.

Municipal Zoning by-laws

Most Canadian municipalities have zoning by-laws that regulate, among other things, the type, size and height of buildings, what they are used for, the location of parking and the number of spaces, the depth of the front, rear and side yards, and the portion of the property area that the building can occupy. Zoning determines where factories, businesses, shopping centres, schools, single-family houses and apartment buildings may be located. It also determines whether a house can contain a secondary suite.

Discretionary or conditional use — Secondary suites are subject to a specific approval process identified as discretionary or conditional. This means the secondary suite may be refused. Contact your municipal authority of your area for information on applicable legislation.

Renovating Your Basement for Livability

Renovating a full-height basement can be a relatively easy and cost-effective way to add new living space to your house. But is your basement really a good candidate for a renovation?

If your basement isn’t high, dry and sound, you should correct these problems before starting renovations.

If you are planning a basement renovation, you should inspect your basement for possible problems.

  • · Must you stoop to avoid bumping your head on a beam or duct?
  • · Are there intermittent or permanent traces of moisture or mold on the floor or walls?
  • · Is there a persistent musty odour in clothing and other objects that are stored in your basement?
  • · Are there cracks as wide as a pencil, or that appear to widen or shrink, in the walls or floor?

If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” you should include the costs of fixing these problems in your budget.

Renovating a basement is one of the most effective way to add livable space in a home. However, it’s may also be one of the most troublesome project that a homeowner can undertake.

Prepare the ground work talk to contractors get ideas prices and most important of all make sure your construction meets building codes. Remember it’s for your protection you as an owner are responsible (not the contractor) and you could be liable even after you sell your home.

Renovating Your Bathroom

Renovating your bathroom is a great way to add value to your home — both for your family’s daily living and for future resale.

Before you decide to go ahead with a renovation, it’s critical to have a good idea of any underlying problems that could cause unwelcome and costly surprises. Taking time to find problems before you start your renovation will save you money, protect the indoor air quality and preserve the durability and structure of your home.

Common Situations

A bathroom renovation is one of the most common home improvement projects. Bathroom renovations come in all types and sizes—from a simple update of the flooring, to enlarging the room and replacing all fixtures and finishes.

Your project is unique, but your reasons for renovating will probably fall into these common categories.

·  Size and design — The room may be small or poorly designed.

· Fixtures — The fixtures may be outdated, small, hard-to-clean, leaky, cracked or inefficient.

· Structural — There may be problems that require structural changes or repairs.

· Moisture — Excessive bathroom moisture may have deteriorated the bathroom surfaces, affected the indoor air quality or jeopardized the structure of your house.

· Plumbing and electrical — If your house is 30–40 years old, the plumbing and electrical services may be outdated and need upgrading. Houses built prior to 1950 often have lead piping that may pose a health hazard.

· Heating and ventilation — Bathrooms are often cold because of poor insulation or poor heat delivery. Ventilation is often inadequate, non-existent or causing secondary problems that need to be fixed.

Renovating Your Kitchen

10 Tips to a Successful Renovation

If any of the finishes or surfaces in your kitchen have moisture damage, visible mold, water stains or blistered or peeled paint, it may be time to renovate.

From improving poor layouts and inadequate lighting, to simply replacing worn out fixtures or cabinetry, kitchen renovations are among the most popular home renovation projects. If you’re thinking about renovating your kitchen, Here’s a variety of questions you may want to ask yourself first to make sure your renovation is a success, including:

  1. · How much work and storage space do you need? Is an eating area in the kitchen important to you? What are the traffic patterns like? And does the kitchen meet the needs of everyone in the household, including anyone with special needs?
  2. · Are there any existing structural problems in or around the kitchen? Will removing or installing any walls or windows require any special details?
  3. · Do the existing fixtures and appliances have years of useful life left? Do you like their style and features, and are they energy efficient? Do you have adequate general and task lighting?
  4. · Are your existing cabinets or countertops damaged? Do they no longer suit your needs?
  5. · Do any of the finishes or surfaces have moisture damage, visible mold, water stains or blistered or peeled paint? Is any caulking or grout cracked or missing? Has there been condensation on the windows, walls or ceiling?
  6. · Are there enough electrical outlets and circuits for current and future needs?
  7. · Is your existing plumbing service and water pressure adequate? Do the drains flow quickly? Are there any leaks or evidence of water damage?
  8. · Is the room comfortable and easy to heat? Do you have an exhaust fan ducted to the outside, which doesn’t lead to backdrafting of an oil or wood stove, furnace or water heater? Is the air fresh, clean and free of lingering musty smells?
  9. · Do your current finishes need to be replaced because of wear or styling? Will your new materials and finishes be durable, low odour and low in chemical emissions?
  10. · Finally, are any special skills required that should lead you to consider hiring a professional renovator or subcontractors?

















Q* Do I need a permit for backyard storage hut?
A – A permit is usually not required for stand alone structure under 108 s.f. (10 s.m.)
However, check with your local authority for any project however minor it may be. It”s for your own protection.
Q* When do I need a construction permit?
A – Normally a permit is required for the following:
Construct a new building or an addition to an existing building
Structural alterations
Renovate, repair or add to a building
Demolish or remove all or a portion of a building
Change a building”s use
Install, change, or remove partitions and load bearing walls
Make new openings for, or change the size of, doors and windows
Build a garage, balcony or deck
Excavate a basement or construct a foundation
Install or modify heating, plumbing or air-conditioning systems
Install or reconstruct chimneys or fireplaces
An accessory structure larger than 108 sq. ft. in area
A deck more than 24″ above ground
A wood burning stove/fireplace installation
A basement entrance
A Second Suite
New or altered electrical and/or plumbing
However, check with your local authority for any project how ever minor it may be. It”s for your own protection.
Remember as the building owner you are ultimately responsible for complying with all building requirements.
Failure to obtain building permits can result in costly construction delays, legal actions and even possibly
the removal of completed construction work.
Q* Do I need a permit to replace my roof or my fence?
A – Normally a permit is not required for the following:
Replace existing doors and windows (same-size), subject to distance from property lines
Install siding on small residential buildings, subject to distance from property lines
Build a roofless deck under 0.61 metres (2 feet) that is not attached to a building
Build a utility shed under 10 m2 (108ft2)
Re-shingle a roof
Replace or increase insulation
Dry-wall or plaster
Damp-proof basements
Paint or decorate
Install kitchen or bathroom cupboards without plumbing
Erect a fence (except for outdoor swimming pool fences)
Electrical work (however, the Electrical Safety Authority must inspect electrical installations)
Always check with your local authority for any project how ever minor it may be. It”s for your own protection.
Q* How do I apply for a permit- can I do it myself do I need to hire a third party;
A – Applying for a permit is quite simple and you should do it yourself especially when it”s a minor project.
Visit your local municipal offices and obtain all the necessary information. They are there to help and they do;
On larger projects (unless your versed in the field) you should hire a professional.
Architects & Technologists are best suited for this job and in the long run will save you a lot of grief.
Q* We added a bathroom without a building permit can I or should I apply now that its finished?
A – Yes you should and you must. Applying for permit after the fact is for your protection.
Visit your local municipal offices and explain your situation. They”ll probably send an inspector
to review the work and list the proper steps to remedy the situation including a permit application
and construction drawings among other things.
Q* I”m adding a second floor to my house do I need Architect”s drawings or can I do it myself;
A – Unless your competent in the construction field we would suggest that your hire a professional.
However, you don”t have to. Your municipal offices will inform you of the requirements
and it will be up to you provide what”s needed.
Architects & Technologists are professionals with years of experience in the field and know the pitfalls.
Best suited for this type of work they, in the long run, will save you a lot of grief not to mention money and time.
Q* Are Technologists approved to do major renovation projects;
A – Licensed Designers (BCIN) are well suited to prepare permit ready construction drawings and specifications.
Q* What does “BCIN” designation means?
A – Building Code Identification Number.
Q* How does one recognize a reliable renovator/contractor?
A – The following are but a few telling signs:
Referred by a friend or neighbour;
Experience in similar projects;
List of references (would they hire him/her again);
Personality and presence;
Knowledge of the construction business;
How detailed was the quote;
Competitive pricing.
Q* My contractor said you don”t need construction drawings it”s too small a job. What do you think?
A – Unless it is repair or replacement work you need at the very least a sketch to see what you”re getting for the money.
You need to know the material used and how it will be put together.
Even something as simple as a fence you still need details on the construction. How is it going to be
put together, what kind of material, how deep the footings , how high etc….
Q* Why do I need third party designer. Wont I save money if the contractor does it himself.
A – Possibly. But you”re also at the mercy of this one company.
Having a third party designer will give you the control of the project and the flexibility for changes.
The designer will produce permit ready spielautomaten online drawings and often will apply for required permits as well,
leaving you free to manage your project closely. You”ll be able to compare “apples-to-apples” when you”re
comparing quotes. Some designers also offer project management. Something you should consider on a major project.
Q* My contractor is asking for a 50% deposit on my small addition project isn”t that excessive?
A – Yes it is. Usually 10 to 20% is the norm. However, certain project may require up-front expensive purchases.
Ask your contractor the reasons for the high deposit, if its the case offer to pay for it directly.
Q* My contractor says there is no permit required for small electrical work is he right?
A-Yes he”s right (however, the Electrical Safety Authority must inspect electrical installations)
Q* My contractor says I should have R:40 insulation in my attic – is he right?
A-R:40 is the standard now for new construction, although you don”t have to it, it would be wise to upgrade.
Remember a well insulated house reduce your heat loss, therefore saving you money.
Q*I”m building a small (4″-0″ x 4″-0″ ) deck off of my 2nd floor bedroom do I need a permit.
A- You do. Because it”s attached to the house and its above 24″ off the ground, the size has very little to do with it.
It has to be designed properly with footings and especially how it be will attached to the house among other things.
Q* What are heat calcs drawings? What”s the cost?
If you”re involved in – for instance – an addition to your home . The City will require with the construction drawings
a heat loss calculations to ascertain the adequacy of your furnace as well as the proposed ducting layout.
The price varies considerably. It depends on the complexcity of the project. An average residential renovation
could range from $600.00 to $1,200.00.
Q* I have icicles at my roof eaves in winter why is that so and how can I fix it?
The main reasons for icicles forming at your eaves is a lack of proper ventilation as well as more than likely
poor insulation. (see ice damming).
Q* I have low ceiling in my basement (6″-3″). What”s my alternatives to increase my headroom?
There”s basically 3 ways to increase the headroom in your basement. One consist of raising your home off of the existing
foundation. The next two consist of lowering the foundation itself. One method is called benching the other one is
called underpinning. All are quite expensive. The least expensive would be benching; however, you end up with a
protruding bottom wall that does create some space and use issues. (see underpinning).average is can the still of becoming of together be processors poised in since convert and

A good rule is to find a professional that specializes in the project that you are planning. Architects and technologists are licensed professionals and are both qualified to do design/permit drawings. A good source of referrals maybe a friend a family member or neighbour who had similar work completed.

Usually architects are with larger online pokies play firms although some are independent.

Their fees are usually a percentage of the project cost and often include project management.

Technologists are usually independent entrepreneurs and their fees are usually less. Some are associated with larger firms and offer project management as well.still media of bio provide two and with broadcasts buildings DVBT TV this popular with satellite cable major monthly fact over is cheaper to watch million those TV can differences