roof-shingles-being-replaced
Home & Garden

How to Know When it’s Time to Replace Your Roof

For a home to remain healthy and structurally sound, it absolutely requires a roof that is in good condition and constructed with quality in mind. They don’t last forever, and it’s imperative that you replace your roof when the time comes. Here are some telltale signs that your roof is due for a replacement.

Condition of Shingles

If you spot curled or cupped shingle edges throughout your roof, it’s definitely a sign that your shingles are well past their life expectancy, and leaving them unattended to will damage your roof substantially. Cracked and buckling shingles are also another sign of a dying roof in need of replacement in some cases, so be sure to keep an eye out. Missing shingles and “tabs” are another dead giveaway of roof problems; don’t forget to give everything a thorough inspection every once in a while. Once you start seeing problems with your shingles, bear in mind that your roof has anywhere between 1 and 5 years left, sometimes less.

Sagging and Warping

A roof’s failure is, aside from shingle condition, most often evident when sections of your roof and valleys are sagging or warped. When walking on the roof and it feels spongy, it’s a definite indication that you’re due for a new roof. A sturdy, rigid, and strong roof is ideal to properly protect your home from the elements and temperature changes, and sagging is a telltale sign of weakness or structural vulnerability. Be sure to address any depressions or droops quickly to avoid damaging your home’s interior or structural integrity.

Your Roof is 20 to 25 Years Old

Like human beings, roofs don’t live forever. Always be sure to keep the age of your roof in mind, as an asphalt shingle roof will only last between 20 and 30 years. Once yours reaches that age area, you may begin to see problems such as those aforementioned earlier. However, it is best to not wait until you run into trouble. By planning ahead and budgeting for a roof replacement for when it is 20 to 25 years old, you’re responsibly protecting the well being of your entire home.

Attic Conditions and Water Stains

The overall insulation of your attic is a reliable indicator of your roof’s overall condition. If you happen to notice daylight visible through the underside of your roof, it means that rain, snow, and dampness can also get in with relative ease. Water stains on ceilings and rusted metal structural components can also indicate that you’re due for a new roof, so be sure to keep a close watch on your attic’s overall condition.

A healthy, reliable, and strong roof is a key component of a healthy home, specifically designed to cover and protect you and your family. By respecting the need for replacing your roof and recognizing these telltale signs, it’ll be easier than ever to protect your home, belongings, and most importantly, yourself and your family.

 

man-making-pottery
Lifestyle

Tips for Making the Most of Your Retirement

Many long for the days of carefree leisure and comfort. This isn’t surprising considering the wonderful opportunities opened up by the free time and lack of a schedule associated with retirement. Here are some tips to help you really get the most out of your remaining years and truly live.

Discover the World Around You

The world is full of incredible sights, sounds, tastes, and experiences, and now that you’re retired, you’ll actually have the time to set out and see more of it. Transatlantic ocean crossings and cruises are the very best ways for seniors to see the world without sacrificing comfort or amenities, and far less exhausting than jetting in cramped seats to end up being left to fend for yourself. Cruises in particular offer inclusive excursions and one-in-a-lifetime experiences for great prices, and are a wonderful way to visit multiple destinations in an area without having to stress over transportation and meals.

Travelling cross-country by train is another wonderful opportunity just waiting for you, and when bundled with hotel or B&B room rentals, you’ll have an idyllic traditional getaway. Visit and discover the wonders of places that have interested you or your significant other, and become inspired by the beauty and experiences the world has to offer.

Relocate and Rejuvenate

Moving into the home of your dreams is another wonderful way to begin your retirement. By leaving baggage and problems of the past behind to start completely fresh, you’ll be reinvigorated by a new atmosphere and exciting changes. While daunting to some, the prospect of moving to a cozy and warm home to live out the rest of your days in total leisure is too great of an opportunity to pass up for others.

Experiment with Hobbies

Discovering a new favourite hobby isn’t intended to result in pointless busywork. In fact, it’s a great way to entertain yourself and become inspired. Painting, playing music, pottery making, sculpting, photography, and yes, making use of the good old fishing rod are all great ways to stay active and mentally stimulated, protecting your mind and providing exciting purpose. If you want to get out more but don’t feel mobile or stable enough to get around on your own, consider a personal care worker or homecare team. A service like this can be customized to your needs and allow you to accomplish everything you want in your days!

Tackle the Bucket List

If you have an outstanding list of goals or dreams you wish to fulfill, retirement is the ideal period to stay active and check as many boxes off as possible (within moderation, of course). Making lifestyle changes, splurging on a long-desired treat such as new car, adopting the pet you’ve always wanted, or spending more time with family to strengthen your relationships are all wonderful ways to really live out your remaining years.

It can be difficult to remain motivated or inspired when retirement sets in, but don’t forget that these years are yours, the reward for a lifetime of hard work. What you do with them is up to you, but the more you accomplish and do to stay mentally active and inspired, the more these wonderful years will be worth the wait.

woman-applying-sunscreen-beach
Health & Wellness

Protect Your Skin From the Sun This Summer

The sun is a wonderful and generous thing, but it can also be your worst enemy in the summer when it comes to skin protection. However, with some preparation and planning, you can easily negate the sun’s dangerous effects on our skins. Here are some easy ways to better protect your skin this summer.

Wear Sunscreen, Reapplying Every 1-2 Hours

Replace your sunscreen on an annual basis with a new bottle — preferably one incorporating UVA and UVB products, and an SPF of 30 or 70. Reapply every 1-2 hours that you spend in the sun to ensure continued protection throughout your day of fun in the sun. Apply enough to sufficiently coat your skin. The equivalent of a shot glass full for your body will normally be enough, as will a full teaspoon’s worth for your face.

Don’t forget your lips either, as they can easily crack and become damaged after prolonged exposure to sunlight. Always keep a lip balm of SPF 15 on hand, and reapply as soon as you feel your lips getting dry or burned.

Wear Protective Clothing

Visors, sunhats, sunglasses, and various lightweight fabrics with a UV protection rating should be incorporated into your summer ensemble. Avoid using fabrics that could scratch, itch, or overheat you, sticking to lighter colours at all times to keep heat levels down — the last thing you want is to suffer from heatstroke. Be sure to consult the UV protection rating of whatever you’re wearing to better understand how thoroughly shielded you are.

Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated

This is best put into practice year-round, but during the summer months in particular it is extremely important in regard to the well-being of your skin. It sounds like a lot, but drinking the equivalent of 8 glasses of water daily is the ideal way to keep your skin hydrated. It also rinses your system of toxins.

Healthy skin is also a much-appreciated byproduct of eating healthy, and incorporating fewer sugars and refined processed foods will help to achieve this. Substitute with fruits and vegetables, salads, and a diet rich in flavonoids, as this will help develop healthy, glowing skin that can better withstand everything the sun can throw at it.

Perform Regular Skin Examinations

Keep an eye out for unexpected signs of sun damage on your skin. The biggest red flag of them all is in the form of moles that might have altered in shape or size. If they hurt, itch, or bleed, be sure to have the area examined by a medical professional and/or skin clinic promptly. Skin cancer is common throughout much of the world, and it’s always best to keep an eye out for anything strange.

As long as you plan accordingly and apply protective measures to your day-to-day life amidst all the delights of summer, your skin will be better defended. By making use of these tips, there’s no reason to not go out and have some fun in the sun.

 

man-installing-hvac
Home & Garden

Benefits of Installing Central A/C In Your Fixer-Upper

Air conditioning is a common thing in most newer houses, but what about those older, previously-owned homes that still have good bones and a second life to live? If you’re taking on a fixer-upper, central A/C should undeniably be on your list of upgrades! Here are some reasons why you should take advantage of this opportunity and install central A/C in your fixer-upper.

It Is Easier Now Than Later

If you are already undergoing a major renovation, now’s the time to invest in a new HVAC system. When the drywall is down and the walls are open, that is the easiest time to seriously look at your options for a new HVAC system. Make sure that you speak with your contractor or builder about the new HVAC system, ensuring that they floorplan and design elements you are planning will still work with this new addition. This is also a good time to make sure all aspects of your home’s wiring and plumbing are up-to-date. Older homes are notorious for out-of-date wiring that could cause fire or other big problems into the future.

Think Of It As An Investment

It is excellent to think about turning an old, yet beautiful house with character into a more modern comfort zone. You can make upgrades like central AC, which make the home more attractive to future buyers and modern living, while still maintaining the integrity and charm of the original house. While you may be planning to keep the property for decades to come, or even intend the home to stay in the family for generations, plans can change and it is never a bad idea to think about future worth. Plus, your family will appreciate the central A/C!

Leave It To The Professionals

While there are many opportunities for DIY projects as you upgrade your fixer-upper, HVAC projects are not one of them. All HVAC work must be done according to industry code and pass building inspections, depending on the regulation of your area. Thus, always be sure to recruit the help of an experienced HVAC company to aid in the installment of a new air conditioning unit into an older house.

Your Comfort is Worth It

Ultimately, even if you have to push your budget, installing a central HVAC system during your major renovations project is worth it. Especially if you live in a climate like Canada or upper United States, where temperatures can plunge and surge at will, leaving you to find ways to acclimate!

men-drinking-beer-eating-sports-bar
Food & Drink

Rally Sports Bar: Restaurant Profile

Toronto plays host to some of the most fantastic restaurants this country has to offer. With Toronto being the multicultural hub of Canada, there is no shortage of good food. A staple among all Canadians is a good old fashioned sports bar! Rally Sports Bar is conveniently located in North York, minutes from the Don Valley Parkway.

Once inside Rally Sports Bar you will instantly feel the exciting atmosphere of a gripping final game. Whether your game of choice is hockey, baseball, soccer or football, Rally Sports Bar is the perfect location to meet up with friends and watch every game. Big screens are visible from every angle of the bar making every seat a prime seat. If there are multiple games being played at the same time and you can’t make the impossible decision of which one to watch, you can take in all the sports action on multiple screens.

Any sporting event is incomplete without amazing food in hand. Watching the game is much more fun when you’re eating slow cooked wood burning BBQ and drinking a cold refreshing pint of beer. At Rally Sports Bar, staff serve up a fantastic selection of BBQ food and pub fare for hordes of hungry sports fans. With menu options ranging from pulled pork and brisket sandwiches to smoked chicken wings and smoked spare ribs, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Along with delicious food, we offer a variety of beer on tap including the local home grown brew, Mill Street. Enjoy a pint of Mill Street Organic, Tank House, Stock Ale, or 100th Meridian while you take in the game or just while hanging out with friends and family. With plenty of other varieties to choose from, Rally Sports Bar will be able to happily satisfy any beer taste.

Rally Sports Bar recognizes the need for a little afternoon delight. Join them for happy hour Monday-Friday from 3:00-6:00pm. Here you can enjoy 40% off appetizers as well as $5 glasses of wine. A great way to unwind with co-workers after another day is done!

Sports bars may be plentiful around the city, but once you experience Rally Sports Bar, you will instantly feel the difference. With our inviting atmosphere, our profound love for sports, and our exceptional BBQ menu, we guarantee that you will want to become regulars, in fact we encourage it! Learn more about your new favourite Toronto sports bar today!

 

child-play-water-outdoors
Home & Garden

Keep Your Home Cool This Summer Without Air Conditioning

Air conditioning can be a welcome blessing and a wicked curse at the same time. There’s no worse feeling than leaving a crisp, chilled living room and stepping outside to be slapped in the face with a sickening wave of humidity. There are plenty of alternative ways to stay cool that won’t give you nasty surprises once you leave home. These methods are also far easier on energy consumption, which is never a bad thing.

Upgrade Your Home, Inside and Out

Yes, it’s often expensive. It’s also time-consuming and involves a fair bit of labour. However, the perks from upgrading windows, doors, and insulation in your home can hugely benefit your ability to manage internal temperatures. Adding trees and shrubbery to your yard can keep your abode out of direct sunlight, and it goes without saying that a swimming pool is a wonderful way of cooling off, should you be able to maintain it. Installing a reflective roof is another fantastic way to lower internal temperatures, as doing so can lower roof temperatures by up to 15 degrees (°C) depending on your climate. Awnings and coverings are also ideal during the summer, as they block heat from entering covered windows or doors. The more heat you can distract away from your home, the cooler it’ll be inside.

Draw Those Curtains

In addition to home renovation projects, drawing shades, blinds, and curtains can go a long way in cooling down the internal temperature of your home. Floor and ceiling-based fans can help to maintain airflow and dissipate humidity as well, particularly if you fill a mixing bowl with ice and position it in front of one. Ensure that skylights are also provided with a retractable shade or sheer to keep direct sunlight out. Refraining from using too much lighting will also make a difference as it generates heat. And if you have to cook during a heat wave, avoid using the oven at all costs — and of course, if you feel like pizza then take advantage of delivery. Or grill outside until you can’t bear it any longer.

Focus on Your Internal Temperature

Cold showers and baths, a naughty little trip to the grocer for a tub of ice cream, and plenty of cold hydration can be the keys to lowering your internal temperature. Even if you’ve just sealed the house off like a quarantine zone and drawn all the shades, the temperature inside still needs time to drop. Cooling off with a dip in cold water is ideal, obviously, but settle for any alternatives that might be available.

Not using air conditioning can have a profound effect on your energy usage as well as your body’s adaptability to humidity. Nevertheless, if you don’t have alternative methods planned for cooling your house down, it’s going to be a sticky, gross nightmare. Plan ahead, strategize, and you can have a comfortable, cool dwelling in no time.

for-sale-sign-home
Home & Garden

5 Tips for the First Time Home Seller

When you’ve reached the decision that it’s finally time to place your home up for sale, there are a few important factors to consider in order to make for smooth sailing during that process. Jumping headfirst without having a clear vision and map on how to navigate through the process can lead to a lot of stress and aggravation. So before you nail down that For Sale sign, consider these 5 tips first.

Purge

As soon as you’ve solidified your decision to move, begin the process of dejunking. You want to start as early as possible so that you don’t feel completely overwhelmed. So start by going through one room at a time and deciding whether to pack it or purge it. There’s no point in bringing along stuff to your new home that you no longer need. So save yourself the aggravation and you’ll make that moving process a whole lot easier.

Understand the Equity

It’s always smart to be aware of what the equity will be on your home that’s for sale in order to have a solid vision on how it will help you purchase your new home. So always have an accurate grasp on the status of your home and equity for your future.

Know your Worth

Be sure to have a firm understanding on how the market is doing when preparing to enter it. Depending on the status, it could make for some pretty frustrating negotiations – so be prepared. Keep your cool, and try to always keep emotions at bay. And of course, have a solid understanding of how much your home is worth before negotiating.

Staging

Staging is one of the most essential components for nailing down offers. It provides potential buyers with a vision of what their future home can look like. Buyers don’t want to see clutter or a home that seems like it was unkempt. You want a potential buyer to see your home at its best, so small investments could be worth it at this stage to help your home sell at its best. Consider if you need new windows, a new entry door, a fresh coat of paint (interior or exterior), etc.

Detach Personal Emotions

Finally, if the home you’re placing up for sale has a strong sentimental value – like many of them do, you must detach any personal emotions from it in order to move forward and allow the process to be successful.

Selling your home is a big decision and can be an overwhelming process. But with a few keys elements thrown into the mix, it can be simple and rewarding. Use these insightful tips before placing your house on the market and you’ll be prepped and ready for smooth sailing.

packing-boxes-downsize
Home & Garden

5 Questions to Ask When Downsizing

The “tiny homes” trend is sweeping the nation and people are taking notice of the many benefits of downsizing to smaller homes and rental units, especially as they get older. If you’re having trouble with the concept of downsizing and getting rid of your items, here are 3 questions to ask yourself:

Can you use this stuff anymore?

There are going to be a surprising amount of things in your home that just aren’t useful anymore, but for one reason or another you’re going to be tempted to keep it, telling yourself that you possibly could use it later down the line.

If you are serious about downsizing, you have to push yourself to make these hard decisions. Force yourself to be honest in gauging whether you will use an item in the near future or not. You’ll be shocked at just how much clutter you can clear away by asking whether or not you can use something right now or not.

Is this obsolete?

In today’s fast-paced world, things are becoming obsolete sooner than ever, and you’ll want to be sure that you aren’t holding onto anything that has already been replaced by something bigger, better, and faster.

You’ll want to finally kick your VCR and all of those VHS tapes to the curb since we’ve already gone through the DVD era, the Blu-ray era, have found our way to online streaming, and who knows what’s next!?

Does this have any sentimental value?

Some of the toughest decisions you’re going to have when it comes time to downsize is when you’re dealing with items that have sentimental value. To make this tough decision, try to be honest with yourself about what add to your life if you keep it.

Another strategy that can be helpful is to think about who else would appreciate this. For example, if your wrestling over the thought of getting rid of your grown child’s baby clothes, ask your children if they would like to keep them to pass on to their own children, or ask around to see if your friends or neighbours could use them. It is often much easier to get rid of sentimental items when you know they are being put to good use.

Once you’ve made the decision to downsize, the next step is to find your new home. Perhaps you are looking to purchase a condo, or perhaps finding a nice apartment for rent unit is the best option for your lifestyle. Whatever your decision, downsizing and decluttering will help you step into this new phase of your life feeling lighter and free to embrace new possibilities!

why-more-trucks-city
Lifestyle

Why More City Dwellers Are Buying Trucks

Trucks are not just for suburbanites anymore. Every year more and more city dwellers are purchasing trucks as their vehicle of choice to transport them around their urban areas. Here we look at some reasons why so many people living in the city are turning to trucks over cars:

Convenient Size

Not all trucks are monster trucks. You can still enjoy the power that a truck can provide but in a smaller more versatile model. Many short beds and smaller truck models provide utility, style and comfort for passengers. Plus, the size and handling of some of the smaller models are more equipped for everyday use. Some smaller cabs even come with seating for five so you can fit your entire family with ease.

Luxury Accessories

With all of the high-quality accessories trucks offer today you may feel like you’re driving a luxury vehicle more than a utility vehicle. From parking sensors, navigation systems, leather seating, and high performance sound systems, trucks now come with all the style and flair that city dwellers love.

More Storage Space

If you own a condo or townhome in the city, odds are you are left with little to no storage space. Having a truck can easily help you store any bulky, necessary items, like your sports equipment. And you can keep your belongings safe and sound by installing a tonneau cover, which entirely closes off your truck bed and provides an added layer of protection.

Maximum Adventure

Owning a truck can make all of your favourite weekend activities better and easier than ever. Whether you enjoy travelling to the cottage, riding the boat on the lake, or biking with the family, a truck can help you easily store and haul all the items you need for maximum entertainment. You can also add on additional storage accessories, like truck bed racks, so you can carry all your sports and water equipment, effortlessly.

Maximum Safety

Let’s face it, trucks are much safer to own than a car. Not only can they survive a stronger impact but they are also difficult to roll. Plus, you can add on accessories that offer an extra layer of protection, such as truck bed racks and bull bars.

With increased safety, hauling capacity, and all the accessories you can purchase to maximize your experience, owning a truck is better than ever. City, suburban and rural dwellers alike are turning to trucks over cars, and for good reason!

couple-meeting-questions-ask-lawyer
Law Services

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer in Toronto

Hiring a lawyer can be a nerve-wracking process, especially if this is your first time dealing with the legal process. If you ask the right questions, however, you will be able to get a good sense of the lawyer you are looking to hire for your case. Let the below questions be a guide on your search for a lawyer in Toronto:

How long have you been in practice?

Ideally, you want to hire a lawyer with a strong record of experience. Depending on your case, you may not be comfortable entrusting your case into the hands of a recent law school grad. This is a fair question that will help you gauge the level of knowledge and expertise your prospective lawyer has in their court.

What is your area of specialization?

You want to find a lawyer that specializes in the type of case you are involved with. Each lawyer has a specialization, which has built up their knowledge and expertise in one area. You want to make sure your lawyer has a deep understanding and knowledge to back up your case.

What is your track record with similar cases?

While a lawyer may be classified in the specialization you are seeking, this does not necessarily mean they have handled a case similar to yours before. When you are interviewing prospective lawyers, it is completely acceptable to ask whether they have been involved with similar cases in the past and what the outcome of the case(s) was. You to feel safe and secure with the lawyer you hire, confident that they have what it takes to present your cause successfully.

How are fees calculated?

This is a question that you must ask before deciding on a lawyer. Whether you will be billed on an hourly billing model or at a flat rate could make a huge difference in your ability to continue to work with a certain lawyer. Make sure you understand all the fine print before making your decision.

How long will it take to resolve my case?

Though it is unrealistic to expect your lawyer to know exactly when the case will conclude, it is a good idea to ask for their professional opinion on how long the process could take. This will help you gauge the costs and time that will be associated with your case.

Whether you are hiring a civil or criminal lawyer in Toronto, these questions will help you find out more about your prospective representative and help ensure you find the best lawyer for your case.