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Archive for the ‘Home improvements’ Category

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

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Pillar To Post: The Home Of Home Inspection - New Years Resolutions for the Home
Many of us make optimistic resolutions for the New Year. Whether it’s deciding to take a class, stick to a budget, or to finally drop those 20 pounds, we’re full of ideas on how make ourselves and our lives better. Because your home is such an important part of your life, why not make some worthwhile resolutions for it as well? Here are some ideas to get you started.
One of the most important things you can do as a homeowner is to make sure routine maintenance is part of your plan. Catching problems early can often help you avoid larger issues down the road. What is now a minor plumbing or roof leak can cause major problems if not detected and fixed immediately. Check around your home for cracked or peeling paint, have chimneys and fireplaces inspected and cleaned, and make sure the driveway and walkways are not cracked or lifting.
If you’re like many homeowners, it’s probably been a while since you’ve reviewed your home insurance policy and reassessed the value of your home’s contents. An updated home inventory of your possessions can help you determine if you have the proper type and amount of insurance. Your insurance company may make forms available to help you organize and record your inventory, and there are several home inventory software programs available. You also can download a free program from Should you have an insurance claim for property loss or damage, your inventory can help make the process and accurate valuation easier.
There are simple things that every homeowner can do to improved energy efficiency and save on utility bills. Switching from conventional light bulbs to compact fluorescent versions wherever possible saves money and makes things easier for you, too. For example, you will need to replace bulbs in awkward places less often. Make sure windows and doors are caulked and in good repair; this will save energy in both winter and summer. If you’re planning to replace any appliances this year, shop for and compare efficient, energy-saving models.
Everyone knows the importance of having a plan in place should a fire occur in your home. But each year, tragedy strikes homes and families who didn’t think about it or who promised to make a plan “one of these days”. The basics include working and properly installed smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and an escape plan for every room. Your local fire department is an excellent resource for directions on creating a plan designed to keep you and your loved ones safe. Give yourself some peace of mind by making this the year to put that plan in place.

For more information about home inspection and for additional resources, please contact your local Pillar To Post office.

Cliff Brauner

Certified and Registered Home Inspector

Member of CAPHI, NAHI and ASHI

Proudly Serving the Kamloops, Merritt, Chase, Cache Creek, Sorrento, Shuswap and Barrier areas.

We know our stuff!


Phone: 250-579-8309

Fax:      250-579-8378

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Pillar To Post | 869 Ida Lane | Kamloops | British Columbia | V2B 6V2 | Canada

House sense, great ideas for lighting, optimizing space, decorating for winter

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Autumn brings with it shorter days and colder nights which can add up to increased electric costs. Finding a way to save money, and, keep your home warm and well lit will no doubt be a priority with most homeowners. One way to save is to replace incandescent and CFL light bulbs with LED bulbs. LED bulbs are considered direct replacements for the 175-year-old incandescent bulb and the more modern, environmentally unfriendly, CFL bulb.

Here are a few reasons why LED bulbs are better.

1. Energy Efficiency. One 11.5-watt LED bulb emits as much light as a standard 60-watt incandescent bulb. That means five LED bulbs still use less electricity than a single incandescent lamp.

2. Replacement. Incandescent bulbs typically have a life of no more than 1,000 hours, while LED bulbs may have 40,000 hours of life.
That is 40 times more.

3. Instant Start. CFL bulbs have a warm-up period each time you turn them on. LED bulbs turn on at full brightness.

4. Dimmable. LED products are fully dimmable and are compatable with more than 100 different dimmer switches. CFL bulbs may be dimmable but still have a flicker tendency.

5. Disposal. It is safe to place LED bulbs in the garbage, after they burn out. CFL bulbs contain mercury and must be recycled through using the correct facilities.

6. Heat. LED bulbs emit very little heat. CFLs and incandescent bulbs waste 80 to 90 per cent of their energy in heat. LED bulbs typically waste no more than 50 percent of their energy on heat and are far cooler to the touch.

Although your home reflects your personal style, trends help trigger your creativity and provide the opportunity to shake things up a little. Here are a few hot home trends:

1. Shower Spa – Seek a serene, spa-like shower environment with a curb-less design for a spacious perfect and open shower experience.

2. Open It Up – Open plan kitchens are expanding even further with glass front cabinets and open shelving units to give the feel of even more space.

3. Smart Sensors – Using Environmentally – friendly Smart Thermostats save energy by automatically adjusting the temperature based on your daily routine.

4. Back to Nature – Add value and comfort by blending indoor and outdoor living space. All-weather furniture and outdoor fireplaces are top picks.

5. U-Sockets – The smallest upgrade can make the biggest difference! U-sockets are wall plugs with two built-in USB ports that can be used to power devices such as tablets and smartphones.

The average home is shrinking now that our urban centres are getting so dense. But this should not get in the way of enjoying your small home, condo or cottage. Here are some tricks to optimize all available space.

1. Use a light, neutral palette on the walls to give your home a larger feel. Amplify natural light in your space with lighter colors. Use a second color from the same palette to break up an open space into more distinct areas.

2. Play with brighter colors in the details to avoid a bland or clinical feel. Use colorful accent pillows or artwork to add some more punch.

3. Avoid clutter to help a room appear more spacious. Keep everything tucked away while it is not in use to make your space less congested.

4. Protect it from the sun. For carpet in a sunny area, close the drapes to prevent fading.

4. Make multi-functioning furniture choices. A headboard could double as a bookcase. Furniture that has built-in storage is a plus – one more space to tuck things away.

Controling allergens in the home/courtesy of Pillar to Post

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors
Controlling Allergens in the Home
Household allergens can cause a variety of symptoms in many people, including sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, and shortness of breath. Allergens may also be a contributing cause of asthma, especially in children. However, it is possible to minimize the effects of such allergens by taking steps to control their presence and dispersal in the home.

The most common household allergens include dust mites, mold, mildew, pollen, and pet dander (dried flakes of skin shed by pets, particularly cats and dogs). Effective control relies on a combination of measures that, when used properly, will reduce the levels of allergens.
  • Increase ventilation to the home. Opening windows whenever possible promotes good air exchange and will reduce the concentration of airborne allergens, especially pet dander.
  • Wash bedding and stuffed toys once a week in hot water to control dust mites and cat allergens in particular.
  • Keep pets clean and well groomed to control dander.
  • Use mite-resistant mattress covers and pillow covers and wash them frequently.
  • Dust and vacuum regularly, and use microfiltration or HEPA filter vacuum bags. The jury is still out on whether bagless vacuum cleaners are more effective in removing allergens than those that require bags; some studies indicate that many bagless vacuums are not sealed tightly enough and can actually exacerbate the problem. Wearing a dust mask while dusting and vacuuming is also a good idea.
  • Consider removing wall-to-wall carpeting and use easy-to-clean area rugs instead, particularly in bedrooms.
  • Make sure bathrooms, especially those with showers, are well ventilated. Open the window and use exhaust fans that vent to the outdoors to prevent a buildup of moisture, which can encourage growth of mold and mildew. It’s a good idea to keep the fan running and the door open for at least ten minutes after showering.
  • If possible, reduce indoor humidity to 50% or less by using room dehumidifiers or the dehumidifier feature available with many central air conditioning systems.
  • Clean or replace furnace and central air conditioner filters on a regular basis. Make sure that air conditioner drain pans are clean and allow the water to drain properly.

For more information on allergens in the home, please contact your local Pillar To Post office.

  • The Pillar To Post Inspection Report is generated on site at the completion of the inspection, so your client won’t have to wait for the results.
  • All Pillar To Post inspectors carry E&O insurance to protect you, the referring agent.
  • Three different Home Inspection Packages to choose from that allow your client to select the range of services they prefer – click here to learn more.
  • As North America’s leading home inspection company, Pillar To Post is committed to providing the highest quality service to real estate professionals and their clients.
For more information about home inspection or to schedule a home inspection, click here to find your local Pillar To Post office.



Cliff Brauner

Certified and Registered Home Inspector

Member of CAPHI, NAHI and ASHI

Proudly Serving the Kamloops, Merritt, Chase, Cache Creek, Sorrento, Shuswap and Barrier areas.

We know our stuff!


Phone:  250-579-8309

Fax:        250-579-8378

 Pillar To Post Home Inspectors





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Lawn and Garden water saving tips

Thursday, August 7th, 2014


In the summer months, municipal water use doubles. This is the season when Canadians are outdoors watering lawns and gardens, filling swimming pools and washing cars. Summer peak demand places stress on municipal water systems and increases costs for taxpayers and water users. As water supplies diminish during periods of low rainfall, some municipalities must declare restrictions on lawn and garden watering. By applying some handy tips, your lawn and garden can cope with drought conditions and you can minimize water wastage.

General tips
Much of the summer peak demand is attributed to lawn and garden watering. Often, water is applied inefficiently, resulting in significant waste due to over watering, evaporation or run-off.

Here are some general watering tips to help avoid wasting water:

  • Before watering, always take into account the amount of water Mother Nature has supplied to your lawn or garden in the preceding week. Leave a measuring container in the yard to help monitor the amount of rainfall (empty it once per week). Also bear in mind any watering restrictions that may apply in your municipality.
  • Water in the early morning, before 9AM, to reduce evaporation and scorching of leaves from the sun. Water on calm days to prevent wind drift and evaporation.
  • Set up your sprinkler or hose to avoid watering hard surfaces such as driveways and patios. If you’re not careful, it’s water and money down the drain.

Water slowly to avoid run-off and ensure the soil absorbs the water.

  • Regularly check your hose or irrigation equipment for leaks or blockages.
  • Collect rainwater from your roof in a rain barrel or other large container and keep it covered with an insect screen. Direct the down spout of your eavestroughs into the rain barrel.
  • Choose an efficient irrigation system. A soaker hose placed at the base of plants on the ground applies water to the soil where it’s needed – rather than to the leaves – and reduces evaporation. Drip or trickle irrigation systems are highly efficient because they deliver water slowly and directly to the roots under the soil surface. This promotes deeper roots, which improve a plant’s drought resiliency. If you use a sprinkler, choose one with a timer and that sprays close to the ground.

Other outdoor activities
Lawn and garden watering is not the only outdoor activity contributing to summer peak demand. You can lower your water bill and relieve the burden on municipal water supplies by doing the following:

  • Use a broom instead of water to remove debris from paved surfaces such as driveways.
  • Use a bucket and sponge to wash and rinse your car, instead of a hose.
  • Cover swimming pools when they’re not in use to reduce evaporation.


Lighting tips to make your home more energy efficient

Friday, August 1st, 2014
Home Décor – Lighting
This email was sent by Linda Klein of Royal LePage Westwin Realty- Kamloops
800 SEYMOUR Kamloops, BC, V2C2H5
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Linda Klein Kamloops,Home improvements windows and doors

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014
Home Improvement – Windows & Doors
 Linda Klein of Royal LePage Westwin Realty- Kamloops
800 SEYMOUR Kamloops, BC, V2C2H5
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Linda Klein Kamloops, Home summer kick off check list

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Summer Kickoff Checklist
Gearing up for summer? Now is a great time to get your home in top shape for the months ahead. Whatever your weather, caring for your home now will help to ensure a worry-free, comfortable summer.

Inspect exterior surfaces for cracks and make any needed repairs.If paint is peeling, cracking, or chipped, repair and repaint now to limit damage to the underlying materials.

Repair any damaged caulk around windows and doors.

Remove window screens and clean with a soft brush and soapy water. Repair any holes or tears or replace the screen material before reinstalling.

Have air conditioning units serviced to ensure good operation. Promote air circulation around the unit by keeping shrubs and plants trimmed.

Clear debris from gutters and eaves to allow rainwater to drain properly.

Seal cracks in the driveway and keep walkways clear of debris and overgrown plants.

Test irrigation/sprinkler systems and replace any broken sprinkler heads or emitters. Check for proper water coverage and adjust if necessary.

Clean deck and patio surfaces and seal surfaces as appropriate.

Vacuum refrigerator coils to help maintain energy efficiency.Empty dehumidifier pans and clean hoses according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If possible, take area rugs outside and hang them over a deck or porch rail to air out.

Adjust ceiling fans for proper balance. While you’re at it, give the unit a good dusting.

Switch heavy bedding out for lightweight summer fabrics. Have the winter bedding cleaned before storing.

Close the chimney flue where appropriate to increase energy efficiency

Repot houseplants to give their roots a fresh start for the summer.

Check door and cabinet hinges and lubricate any that stick or squeak.

Open windows on cooler days to keep fresh air flowing throughout the home.

For more information about home inspection or to schedule a home inspection, click here to find your local Pillar To Post office. 

Cliff Brauner

Certified and Registered Home Inspector

Member of CAPHI, NAHI and ASHI

Proudly Serving the Kamloops, Merritt, Chase, Cache Creek, Sorrento, Shuswap and Barrier areas.

We know our stuff!


Phone: 250-579-8309

Fax:      250-579-8378


Pillar To Post | 869 Ida Lane | Kamloops | British Columbia | V2B 6V2 | Canada

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