Category: News

Making A Stylish Backyard

Part of living upgraded is enjoying your home both inside and outside. You can do this by making your backyard a place of peace and fun. It’s a relatively low-cost way to add value to your home as well as your life.

Patio/Deck

A deck / patio is a great place to start to inspire the rest of your backyard. It adds value to your home and will definitely entice friends to visit more often. 2 simple yet classic options are either a wood deck or a concrete patio. Garnish with some comfortable patio chairs and let the outdoor conversations begin.

Outdoor Rug

An outdoor rug is an inexpensive addition to groove up your backyard with both colour and class.

Outdoor Dining

If you entertain guests often, this is a must have. From family BBQs, to late night romantic dinners, a patio dining set will be the highlight of your backyard.

Outdoor Kitchen

An outdoor kitchen is the stuff of dreams. By merely adding a BBQ to your outdoor dining table, a small storage and a mini fridge, your outdoor experience gets a grand upgrade.

Backyard Bar

A backyard bar stops you from having to go inside and out so many times. Keep reusable glasses, plates, utensils, a pitcher for drinks, a bowl for snacks and you’re all set. Add a covered pergola and even the rain can’t stop the party.

String Lights

Nothing brings out awe like gorgeous lighting. String lights are an inexpensive way to make your backyard feel like a southern escape. Torches and lanterns are also a great option for soft lighting.

Stone Path

Using mulch, bricks, or stones you can create a simple yet elegant path from your house to the backyard.

Garden

While you’re making a path, you may as well plant the seeds for a garden. You can benefit from fresh grown fruits or vegetables right in your backyard.

Flowers

Bright flowers are a simple way to add loads of colour to your green space.

Wood Bench

Wood benches are a guest favourite in the backyard, especially if they hang and swing. Chair swings don’t only belong on the front porch!

Trellis

A trellis is a frame (usually wood) used to support small trees or climbing plants. They add a whimsical feeling to your backyard.

Pergola

A pergola is like a continuation of the trellis that can add shade and wonder to your sit-down area. You can also add stylish curtains for extra cover from the sun and make it feel like an outdoor living room.

Fountain

Most people love the sound of running water as it feels meditative. A fountain is a great feature to add to your outdoor oasis.

Comfortable Seats

Having outdoor seating that’s comfortable is the key to enjoying your backyard space. Opt for large outdoor pillows, benches, swinging chairs, or day beds.

Fire Pit

Owning a fire pit is never a mistake. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall or even winter, the fire pit will be enjoyed. It’s a beautiful feature whether it’s extravagant or simplistic. Be sure to have extra seating as the fire pit will to attract many visitors

Hammock

The hammock screams of enjoyment. Whether it’s for relaxing with a book, or having a swinging time, both kids and adults will love the hammock.

Zen Space

Life is busy. Take the time to make a space outside where you can escape the chaos. A decorative (and comfortable) hanging chair where you can swing the afternoon away is a fan favourite.

Cabana

Speaking of Zen, it doesn’t get more peaceful than having an outdoor bed to lay on and to enjoy the shade. With or without a pool a cabana will keep you loving your backyard.

Outdoor Theatre

Did someone say movie night? There’s no better way to enjoy the outdoors then with snacks and a movie. With blankets, pillows, lights, a projector, a screen and a speaker, you can have your own theatre all to yourself.

For the Kids

Teaching kids to love the outdoors is crucial for their health. Having a jungle gym, swing sets, and/or a treehouse will keep them entertained outside for years.

Lawn Games

Lawn games are great for all ages. From croquet to bocce ball, to spikeball, it’s not hard or expensive to add recreation to your backyard.

These are just some of the ways to upgrade your backyard to either make it more fun or more relaxing.

References

Setting Up The Perfect Home Office

As more people are forced to work from home, here are some tips to make your workspace truly awesome.

Have A Dedicated Office Space

The first one may seem obvious, but if you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated space you can use for an office, not having to move around all the time will make your work more effective and less cluttered. This can be a flex room, spare bedroom, mudroom, basement, insulated garage, the deck in the summer, or if you’re lucky, a dedicated work den.

Desk

Opt for a desk that is large enough to hold a computer plus much equipment and files such as an L-shaped desk.

Seating

Pick one of the many ergonomic chairs on the market, that you would enjoy spending hours on end in. Also try to avoid noisy chairs that squeak and cause distractions.

Proper Work Height

Make sure your chair, and desk are the correct height to not strain your neck during long workdays. If your desk or chair are adjustable in height this is a simple task. If not try using stackable large books to raise your computer to eye height.

Add A Monitor

A monitor can help increase the real estate size of your digital workspace with an extra screen. When using a monitor, you’ll also likely need a keyboard and a mouse or touchpad.

Proper Lighting

Lighting is often forgotten about but it’s crucial to limit strain on your eyes from reading and screen time. Opt for overhead lighting if possible and try to limit natural light that can create glare on your computer screen.

Fast Internet

If you can get it in your area, your internet speed should be at least 50Mbps for fast wireless internet.

Headset

A headset is especially important if there will be family members creating noise in other rooms of your home. It stops the noise from distracting you and also allows you to hear conference calls or music, more clearly and seamlessly.

Other Electronics

If you do any printing or send documents, opt for a multifunction printer/copier/scanner for all your needs.

Docking Station 

A docking station powers your laptop and connects all of your devices together.

External Drive

An external drive is a safe backup for your files, or you can store your files on a cloud service such as iCloud or OneDrive.

USB Adaptors

A USB adaptor makes sure you’re able to connect all of your equipment into your computer.

Personal Touch

Lastly, add things to your office that you find inspiring or that bring you happiness, from paperweights to artwork. Your home office is yours to customize.


References

Getting Your Home Winter Ready

Preparing ourselves for winter is often difficult enough let alone preparing our home. However, investing time into prepping your home for the cold can be of huge benefit to your home and you. Low temperatures, snow and ice can seriously hurt your home, but with proper preparation, you can mitigate this. Once you winterize your home, you can spend time by the fire, make snow angels, go skating or plan a ski trip away without stressing about the health of your home . Here are steps you can take to be winter ready.

  1. Professionally service your furnace to check winter heat efficiency
  2. Check the home drainage
  3. Check for high water pressure/damaged fixtures to protect pipes/prevent waste
  4. Flush and insulate the hot water tank to remove sediment
  5. Drain the humidifier line and clean the fan
  6. Clean the fireplace/chimney
  7. Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  8. Replace old thermostats with programmable ones to lower heating expenses
  9. Reverse the ceiling fans to make a heated updraft and to save on energy costs
  10. Inspect the insulation to keep your home warm
  11. Insulate the windows and doors to protect against drafts and high energy costs
  12. Consider installing storm windows and doors to help reduce heat loss
  13. Prevent door locks from freezing with powdered-graphite lubricant
  14. Protect the entryways, such as the mudroom, with indoor and outdoor mats
  15. Repair any damaged steps, masonry or handrails to protect you and your guests
  16. Inspect the outdoor lighting to help prevent slipping on walkways and driveways
  17. Check on the roof for loose shingles or flashing
  18. Protect the A/C unit with a sheet of plywood overtop with weighted stones
  19. Turn off all outdoor faucets/insulate pipes to prevent freezing
  20. Professionally drain the lawn-irrigation system/sprinklers
  21. Apply heating pads and/or insulated blankets to outdoor pipes and meters
  22. Clean gutters and use downspout extensions to protect the foundation
  23. Prevent ice dams to prevent and protect against meltwater
  24. Test your sump pump
  25. Stock up on salt, ice melt, sand, winter shovels and/or a snow blower
  26. Prepare for storms and outages with survival kits
  27. Consider a generator to maintain heat and lighting during outages
  28. Cover the patio furniture with a heavy tarp or put it in storage
  29. Store any seasonal tools, such as the lawn mower, to prevent rust
  30. Prune trees/shrubs in the late winter
  31. Mulch the flower beds to regulate the soil temperature and protect the plants
  32. Protect the flowerpots
  33. Trim tree branches to protect your house from debris
  34. Enjoy the winter

 

References

Benefits of Moving from Your Home into The Meadows of Perth Apartments

Maintenance

One of the top reasons to move into an apartment is the ease of maintenance. When you don’t have to worry about maintaining the property, your to-do list only features what you want to do. Homeownership brings inevitable and tedious repairs, yard work, preventative maintenance and all of the associated costs. Having someone do your house maintenance for you makes life simpler but also expensive. Living in an apartment makes these worries disappear. Instead of shoveling snow, replacing a broken dishwasher, or fixing a leaky roof, you can enjoy a book, meet a friend for coffee or enjoy a day to yourself. All property maintenance at the Meadows of Perth Apartments is taken care of by us. We’re just a phone call or an email away.

Savings

While many people argue that apartment rent is sometimes higher than a mortgage payment, they’re not looking at the big picture. A mortgage is not the only expense of a house. There’s a sizable down payment, mortgage payments, home insurance, HOA fees, TV bills, internet bills, Hydro, Gas and other utilities such as water costs, property taxes, home maintenance expenses, waste collection fees, security system fees, appliance maintenance costs, fitness membership fees, and on top of that, stress. In contrast, moving into an apartment only requires a small deposit fee. Renter’s insurance is a fraction of the cost of homeowner’s insurance and the Meadows Apartments has no extra maintenance fees. Just one monthly bill for total ease of living.

Safety

When considering the pros and cons of apartment living, safety should always be a top priority. Living in a multi-unit dwelling gives added security you can’t find in a home. Increased safety features make apartment living perfect for those who live alone, the elderly, or those who just want more peace of mind. The Meadows Apartments offers high quality cameras both inside and outside of the building as well as smart key access so only tenants are able to enter the building.

Amenities

Amenities that come with apartment living are hard to find in a home. With recreation and convenience right outside your doorstep, the Meadows of Perth Apartments offers many fantastic perks. These perks include a common room to host parties, a fitness centre, automated smart access and an outdoor BBQ area and patio for the summer, just to name a few.

Time

One thing most of us never seem to have enough of is time. Apartment living gives tenants the gift of time by taking care of the work they don’t want to do, such as tedious maintenance. At the Meadows Apartments, tenants can decide what they want to do, and have the day to themselves.

Freedom

If you don’t like getting locked down living in one place for a long time, apartment living is for you. The Meadows of Perth Apartments gives you the freedom to move whenever you choose. A house on the other hand, comes with a mortgage, a house sale, big moving costs and a lot of hassle. Apartment living takes the stress and complications out of moving and gives you freedom.

Community

Although there is opportunity to create a close bond in a housing community, the opportunities for friendship in an apartment are even greater. With close proximity to your neighbors and ample opportunity to spend time together, apartment living creates a closer community with BBQs, parties, club meetings and celebrations.

Expenses

As the Meadows of Perth Apartments doesn’t offer hidden fees like house living does, you’re able to plan for the future with accuracy as your expenses are the same every month.

The Benefits of ICF foundation (Insulated Concrete Form)

Energy Efficiency

More and more homeowners want eco-friendly homes to save on energy costs and to reduce their environmental impact. That’s why we build our homes exclusively with ICF foundation, as one of their many benefits is their energy efficiency. A recent study found that ICF foundation walls had 60% less energy loss than competing methods. This is called the ‘ICF Effect’ Peterson (2019). The thermal mass of the concrete walls and airtight ICF building envelope is especially beneficial for cooler climates to keep heat in (2020). The foam panels in ICF foundations provide it with an R-value of R-25 and higher. The greater the R-value, the greater the heat transfer resistance.

Comfort

Not only does ICF keep your energy costs low, it also keeps your home comfortable.  ICF foundations are less prone to moisture, are mold resistant and less sensitive to cold temperatures than other foundation forms. Having a consistent temperature in the home means no cool drafts. ICF walls also provide better defence against sound transmission than other methods so you hear less noise. This additional comfort is also found in the basement of ICF foundations.

Protection

ICF foundations are also one of the safest foundations today as they’re less prone to shifts in the ground and water pressure. The steel-reinforced concrete walls provide greater protection from fires as they have a higher fire rating than other methods. ICF also protects against natural disasters such as storms and earthquakes so you can sleep soundly through any weather.

Investment

Buying a BLD Homes home is an investment in living that will provide you happiness for years to come. The ICF foundation is just one of the many offerings that comes standard with our homes.

Reference List

Waterfall Islands

Background

A waterfall island countertop gets its name from its seemingly waterfall shape and appearance. A traditional countertop has a single horizontal surface that ends at the edge of an island, while a waterfall countertop drops vertically down the sides, creating a continuous flow to the floor. The verticality of the surface is unique and eye-catching, and it naturally links the floor and the cabinetry. Waterfall countertops first attracted interest in the early 2000’s but they’ve just recently gained mainstream popularity. Waterfall islands are usually made with granite, quartz or marble as they’re sophisticated and elegant products. The waterfall design effortlessly spotlights your kitchen and instantly becomes a focal point of your home, which is one of the reasons why they’ve become so popular.

Aesthetic

Waterfall countertops offer a contemporary and minimalist look, that fantastically unites modern kitchen features. Among establishing interior continuity between the floor and the counter, the waterfall design is stylish beyond belief. The design puts an emphasis on the material, elevating a standard countertop to the next level with sophistication and functionality. Few interior options are as focal and showstopping, while also being incredibly functional, as the waterfall design is.

Functional

Waterfall countertops are easy to clean, great for concealing bar stools, and can act as a dining/breakfast bar. They can also hide appliances, camouflage electrical outlets under the counter to provide more convenience and can also provide more storage space.

Upgraded

As kitchens are now thought of as gathering places and bathrooms as personal spas, our home’s most functional rooms are getting an upgrade. In the kitchen, a waterfall countertop offers modern beauty and practicality. In the bathroom, a waterfall vanity can seamlessly connect the walls and flooring, while being both water and moisture-proof.

Customizable

The waterfall countertop is customizable. A thin waterfall counter will provide a sleek and lightweight statement, while a thick counter will command a strong and grounded appearance. As they’re gorgeous, functional and durable, a waterfall island is a small addition that offers big rewards.

Reference List

  • https://www.brickunderground.com/improve/bricktionary-waterfall-kitchen-islands#:~:text=A%20waterfall%20is%20when%20the,effect%20with%20the%20countertop%20material.&text=The%20countertops%20on%20traditional%20kitchen,and%20eat%20at%20the%20island.
  • https://www.bobvila.com/articles/waterfall-countertop/

Storage Ideas

Do you have trouble finding storage space? You’re not alone as according to the Professional Organizers of Canada, 83% of Canadians say they’re extremely disorganized and 91% of Canadians feel clutter negatively impacts their lives. The average Canadian spends 12 weeks a year looking for stuff they can’t find according to Planet Storage. Here are some storage tips to help de-clutter your life and make living simpler.

Closet:

The first thing to do in your fight for storage is to get rid of what you don’t need. Start by organizing something small such as your closet so you don’t get overwhelmed. Once you’ve mastered your closet, you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of the house. All of our homes come with a walk-in closet so space for clothing will never be an issue for you, but it feels good to cleanse.

Laundry / Mudroom:

The laundry room can be a dull space where laundry is done, or it can be an additional living space with creative storage options that make your life easier. At BLD Homes, we design our laundry rooms to maximize living area and space. Mudrooms can defend your home from clutter by stopping it at the door. To do this, use cabinets, cubbies, wall hooks and coat stands to stay organized.

Garage:

25% of Canadians with two-car garages use them just for storage. The garage is often forgotten and can cause clutter anxiety for homeowners. In a homeowner’s survey, 1 in 4 people admitted that they had a messy garage, and nearly 1 in 3 people said they keep their garage door shut to hide it from visitors. 1 in 5 homeowners admitted to getting into an argument with their spouse over the disorganization of their garage. To avoid this unnecessary stress, decide what your garage’s purpose is. Besides vehicle and equipment storage, many people use their garage for hobbies and personal projects. A tip for organization is to divide the garage into different areas for equipment, sports goods, tools and other needs. This website makes organizing easy so you can reclaim your garage – www.gladiatorgarageworks.ca The company stresses conserving room by using wall space as storage, such as mounting your tires on wall racks. 3 car garages come standard in our homes, to provide homeowner’s with more room for whatever their needs may be.

Basement:

The basement can either be a curse or a blessing. Help make it a blessing by tailoring your storage to provide you ease of access. Opt for metal shelving and cabinetry to protect your possessions, and use transparent plastic bins for storing items that you want to find easily.

Bedroom:

As the saying goes, mess causes stress. Your bedroom should offer an escape from chaos, not more of it. Opt for underbed storage such as hydraulic solutions, shelving units, and wardrobes, so you can stay organized and sleep soundly.

Office:

As more people choose to work from home, we now have the opportunity to fully personalize our office space. While not everyone is lucky enough to have a home office, BLD Homes homeowners are. That being said, a devoted workspace can get cluttered if not kept up with. Opt for easy access storage of files and documents and utilize the wall space to keep you inspired throughout the workday.

Children’s Mess:

Children are wonderful. Cleaning up after them isn’t. Opt for storage solutions that make it easy to teach them to clean up after themselves. If you make cleaning easy and fun, they’re more likely to want to participate.

Kitchen:

The kitchen is arguably the area of your home that sees the most action so keeping it organized is crucial. Our homes come standard with not only a beautiful granite countertop, but plenty of storage options, including kitchen cabinets and pantries. There are many options to get more from your cabinets, including swinging storage racks and hidden pullout trash bins.

Bathroom:

You may not think of the bathroom as a storage area, but it doesn’t have to be disorganized. Mounting shelves, bins, racks and caddies help keep items neat and accessible and maximize your bathroom space.

Living Room:

When it comes to the living room, opting for multifunctional furniture is a game changer. For example, using cubby units as both storage shelves and a couch table will help keep clutter off the coffee table, leaving room for your morning coffee.

Workshop:

Whether your workshop is in your garage, your basement, or somewhere else, it should provide space for all of your tools and equipment. When opting for a workbench, finding one that has storage underneath is key. For ease of use, keep the power tools stored but easily accessible.

Reference List

Meadows Apartments Amenities Benefits

Quartz Countertops

Low Maintenance: Quartz is the most low-maintenance and contemporary countertop to date and has become the top choice as a kitchen counter material.

Style: According to a 2017 Houzz kitchen study, the contemporary style is the most sought-after look homeowners want for their kitchen. Quartz offers more modern and minimalist pattern options for colour favourites such as greys and whites. Residents will have no problem showing off the luxurious look and feel of their kitchen to their friends and family!

Eco-Friendly: Quartz is made with at least 90% quartz material. It’s eco-friendly as it’s a natural material from the earth, long-lasting and it’s recyclable as it’s a low-emissions material. The smooth surface also won’t harbor bacteria or other unhealthy microorganisms as it’s a hygienic, non-toxic and sustainable option.

Durability: Modern quartz is durable and low maintenance. Its polymers, color and resins bind the quartz and make it incredibly strong and stable by reinforcing the natural quartz. With low maintenance, quartz does not require a seal, polish, or condition. Quartz is also scratch and heat resistant protecting it from spills and hot messes. Quartz is low-maintenance, long-lasting strong, gorgeous and a dinner host’s dream.

High-End Appliances

Style: Upgraded is always stylish. Luxury appliances have beautiful finishes as stainless steel offers a timeless look and low maintenance.

Performance: New appliances perform better as they’re engineered for high performance and high usage. New ovens cook food more efficiently and safely, new refrigerators have multiple compressors that keep your food fresher, longer and new dishwashers clean better and more efficiently.

Longevity: High end appliances are built to last, so you’ll see less inconvenience of repairs and more convenience of use. You’ll fall in love with your appliances.

Eco-friendly: High-end appliances are more energy efficient, so we save on utility bills, and you save on rent costs.

Investment: High-end appliances are an investment as they help improve your experience at the Meadows Apartments.

Walk-In Closets

Space: Space is becoming more important for people downsizing from a house to an apartment. A walk-in closet is the master of storage solutions. A walk-in closet appeals to those who love fashion as well as personal space.

Getting Ready: Your walk-in closet is not just storage, it’s the room for all your clothing needs. Whether you’re changing, ironing, or folding laundry, it can all be done in your walk-in closet.

Luxury: A walk-in closet is a luxury addition to any home, and you’ll be the envy of your friends.

Organization: A walk-in closet is an organized person’s dream as the space allows for all of your things to have their own spot.

Comfort: Our walk-in closets have ample lighting inside and ventilation for your comfort, so you’ll enjoy life more at the Meadows Apartments.

Thank you for reading!
BLD Homes
Living, Upgraded.

Reference List

Downsizing From a House to An Apartment Without The Stress

Congratulations on your decision to downsize from a house to an apartment! You may be wondering what to do next. Well we’re here to help. Here are some tips on how to make your transition from house to apartment as stress free as possible.

Start With A Plan

This seems obvious but you’d be surprised at how many people ‘wing’ the preplanning stage. Pick a moving method that you’re comfortable with and don’t let the process overwhelm you.

Consider Seeking Professional Help

There are professionals who specialize in downsizing such as Darling Moving Solutions. Darling Solutions is passionate about helping people move and was established to offer support to seniors, executors, and family members who are facing lifestyle changes. They’re committed to the best possible moving experience as they are an advocate for the client, a resource for the family and a manager of space, assets and projects.

Enjoy The Little Moments

While working through the move, you’re going to find many cherished items that you may have misplaced. Enjoy those little moments as they’ll make the process much more rewarding.

Keep What You Love, Leave What You Don’t

Removing clutter in your life can be very healthy. With that in mind, decide what things you really need and what things you can leave behind. Always remember that downsizing isn’t downgrading especially when it comes to The Meadows Of Perth Apartment. We offer storage space in every unit as well as a storage area for every underground parking space. However, if you’re really having trouble downsizing, there are many storage unit options in Perth and Carleton Place.

Don’t Give Up

Remember why you decided to move in the first place and always keep that in mind when things seem overwhelming. Is your home getting too big to take care of? Would you rather be closer to friends in an apartment setting? Do you want the luxury amenities that modern apartments offer without the maintenance? Will this transition make you happier than you are now? If the answer is yes, you know you’re making the right decision. Don’t let the emotion of the move take over progress.

Be Excited!

Apartment living has so much to offer. Just think of no mortgage, no maintenance, no loneliness and no worries. With one monthly payment, all of your living needs and wants are taken care of. At BLD Homes, our apartments aren’t just buildings to live in, they’re communities. Learn more about The Meadows Of Perth Apartments on our website under “Communities” – “Perth” – “Meadows of Perth” – “Apartments”.  😀

Reference List

Square Yards Follow. (2015, May 28). Why do people prefer Apartments over Houses. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/squarencr/why-do-people-prefer-apartments-over-houses

Alejandrino, R. (2016, April 5). From the family home to the apartment: tips for downsizing. Retrieved from https://urbanrhythm.com.au/blogs/urstyle/family-home-to-apartment-downsizing

Benefits of Buying New

When it comes to buying new, you can customize your home, choose the finishes, paint colours, features and landscaping.

A resale home on the other hand is someone else’s vision and project, while new is personal. Resale homes often also require updates and sometimes costly repairs. Though new homes usually have a slightly higher up-front cost than resale homes, they usually don’t require updating and renovating.

Repairs not only cost money, but cost time as well. Finding time to work on a house and having the skills to do it yourself is often complicated and time consuming or money consuming. Very few jobs require fewer than a couple of hours of work.

Joe Vaccaro, president of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and CEO for the Ontario Home Builders’ Association says “when you buy new, you buy for you” (2015, April 21). Many people prefer buying new because they get to pick out their own finishes to meet their needs. Buying new also allows you to see your home come through all of the stages of construction so you know it’s built to your expectation. Moreover you can easily find out about the builder’s reputation and whether or not their quality of build matches what you expect in a home. When it comes to resale homes, the quality isn’t easily distinguishable.

Vaccaro says that more thought and details are going into creating new master-planned communities, with attractive streetscapes and features such as walking trails, ponds and other amenities. For that reason and the many others mentioned, new homes tend to hold their value just as well as resale homes if not more.

Credit: By Tracy Hanes, Special to the Star. The benefits of buying a new home. (2015, April 21). Retrieved from http://homeownership.ca/financial-planning/the-benefits-of-buying-a-new-home/ ”

 

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