Deck Building 101 – Types of Structural Supports

What type of supports should I provide for my deck? There are many aspects of a deck that should be considered when discussing the structure. These include: joists, beams, post size, supports, spacing, decking thickness, guard/railing height, and spindle spacing. These aspects are especially important when a deck is high off the ground or supporting

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Insurance for an Older House

I’m thinking of buying an older house. Are there any upgrades that insurance companies require? To answer this question, we should first clarify the purpose/intent of house insurance. House insurance is intended to protect homeowners against most unforeseeable circumstances or accidents, but not predictable or inevitable events. Given that insurance companies continually compile and review

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Condo Purchasing 101

I am thinking of purchasing a condominium. If I go ahead with the purchase, what exactly am I buying? A condominium or “condo” is not a particular type of building, but rather it defines a type of home ownership. A condominium could describe a dwelling in a high-rise building, townhouse complex, or detached home. A

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Fire Safety Tips for Winter

Winter is all about feeling cosy and warm as we revel in the beauty of the season. Usually this means that the fireplace is on, the furnace is running, food is in the oven and the candles are burning. With winter being the most common time for house fires, it is extremely important that we

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Types of Wood Burning Systems

What are some of the different types of wood burning systems that are available? There are many different types of wood burning systems. Some of the more common types are summarized as follows. Masonry Fireplaces Masonry fireplaces, found in many homes in Canada, are primarily decorative or aesthetic, and are not considered an efficient means

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Furnace Efficiency 101

How is the efficiency of a furnace calculated? The efficiency of a furnace is based on the total amount of fuel energy being used by the unit, relative to the amount of generated heat that actually stays in the home. There are two general methods of calculating efficiency: steady state efficiency and seasonal efficiency, or

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Key Features in New Windows

I’m thinking of upgrading my old windows in order to make them more energy efficient. What are some of the main features that are available in new windows, and what are the costs for these features? The following is a summary of several key features available in new windows: Double or Triple-Glazed Glass (Thermopanes) These

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