How to decide if you should replace your windows

April 4, 2012 · Filed Under Energuide Info, First Time Buyers, Home Maintenance · Comments Off 

One of the most prominent features of any home is the windows. When they are well maintained they have a positive impact on the impression people (such as potential buyers) will have of your property. The opposite occurs, of course, when your windows look old and worn.

So does that mean you should replace your windows?

That depends on a number of factors. Window replacement can be an expensive renovation. Here are a few things to consider before making your decision.

  • Do your windows get frost or condensation build-up on the interior side? This could be a sign that the windows are not keeping out the cold as well as they should.
  • Do you see water infiltration or mildew on the interior sides of any of the window sills? This means that moisture is creeping in from the outside, and you need to get those windows repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
  • If your windows are double-paned – (two panes of glass) – check for any signs of moisture in between the glass panes. Moisture indicates that the thermal seal is broken and at a minimum, the glass will need to be replaced.
  • Take a look at your windows from the outside. Is the trim rotted or cracked anywhere? Are there dark spots or any signs of rotting on the wood frames? Repairs or replacement may be required.
  • Check the operation of your windows. Do they open and close easily? This is important because some windows, such as those in bedrooms, are often designed to be big enough to use as an exit in case of a fire.
  • Finally, are you happy with how your windows look? Do you feel that your property will look significantly better with new windows?

Although they are expensive, replacing windows has a lot of advantages. Depending on the efficiency of your current windows, replacing them could cut your energy costs by 10-20%. In addition, new windows block out more exterior noise, making your home quieter.

Want more tips on increasing the value, and enjoyment, of your property? Call Fraser or Stephen Winters today.

Newfoundland Temperatures getting colder! Time to explore ecoENERGY Retrofit and Home Renovation Tax Credit programs

September 9, 2009 · Filed Under Energuide Info, Home Maintenance · 3 Comments 

What a great summer we are having (or is it had).  Unfortunately you can feel the Newfoundland nights getting colder.  On that note, it might be a great time to think of ways to make your home more energy-efficient AND receive grants through the ecoENERGY Retrofit Program. There you can find a list of improvements and retrofits that are eligible under the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program and the corresponding grant amounts. The maximum grant you can receive for a home is $5,000.  Don’t forget the Home Renovation Tax Credit.  You can claim a non-refundable tax credit on your 2009 income tax return based on eligible expenses incurred for work performed or goods acquired after January 27, 2009, and before February 1, 2010 resulting in a maximum tax credit of $1,350.

Basement renovations Tips

September 12, 2008 · Filed Under Energuide Info, Home Maintenance, St. John's General · Comments Off 

Although it’s the middle of September and the temperature is quite comfortable, winter will soon be here.  Fall is normally the time of year to start inside home renovations, particularly basement renovations. By making a few changes, you can create a cozy space to spend time with guests during the holidays. By adding insulation to your exterior walls, installing a sub floor, you’ll notice some big changes in both your heat bills and the condition of your property.  I personally insulated my basement last year before the winter arrived and notice a huge change.

These tips are curiosity of the Home Depot.

• Turn up the heat

Basements are the coldest areas in the home, yet with the potential of becoming the most inviting.  A fireplace will instantly add warmth to this cool area, providing direct heat into the room. There are several different styles available ranging in price range and total square footage it covers.

• If these walls could talk

New paint on walls is like an instant facelift for your basement. Painting is an effective and quick way to change the look and feel of the room – making it a more inviting place to spend time. There are also several different styles of wallpaper available at The Home Depot that will help give your basement a fresh and updated look.

• Walk this way

Keep your toes warm and toasty by installing subflooring on top of the cold basement floor. Once installed, cover it with carpet, wood, laminate or tile – whatever suits your style.

• Let there be light

Many basements have little or no available natural light, which can make the room gloomy.  Consider installing pot lights or track lighting across the ceiling.  These types of light fixtures will instantly brighten the room by giving it a warm glow.


Energuide Rebate Incentives

June 8, 2008 · Filed Under Energuide Info, Home Maintenance, St. John's Real Estate · Comments Off 

From hybrid cars to energy efficient appliances, no matter where you turn these days going green and reducing your energy footprint in the world seems to be the norm. Not only is reducing energy important for the environment but with the cost of oil and gas sky high, it can be very helpful to your budget.

Did you know that after furnaces and water heaters, household appliances are the biggest energy users in the average Canadian home?

Major electrical appliances (think kitchen and laundry room) consume on average up to 14 percent of the total energy used in the home.

Although the upfront costs can be a little more expensive, over the long haul you will save. Compare a $1 old fashioned 100w light bulb to a $7.50 23watt fluorescent bulb. Times that by 15 bulbs and the price difference is quite significant.

Not only will you save in the long haul, there are government incentives to help reduce the upfront costs.

ecoENERGY Retrofit provides federal grants and incentives to homeowners and small and medium-sized businesses, industry and public institutions to help them invest in energy and pollution-saving upgrades. In addition to the grants available under ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes, selected provincial, territorial and municipal entities also offer grants and incentives to homeowners who conduct energy saving upgrades.

When you get a mortgage on your home check out CMHC’s Mortgage Loan Insurance Rebate for energy efficient homes. If you use CMHC insured financing to buy an energy efficiency home, purchase a home and make energy-saving renovations or renovate your existing home, a 10% refund on the mortgage loan insurance premium may be available.

Newfoundland Light and Power has a Wrap Up for Savings Rebates & Financing. If you upgrade the insulation in your basement, attic or crawl space, you may be eligible for a cash rebate.