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 Older homes are notorious for out-of-date wiring that could cause fire or other big problems into the future.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.

backyard-hot-tub-design
Home & Garden

Why You Need a Hot Tub in Your Backyard This Summer

With spring just around the corner, many of us are just dreaming of the days we can open up the patio doors and spend an afternoon or evening relaxing in the outdoor oasis of our own backyard. But is your backyard ready? Why not invest in your backyard this year and have the best summer yet?! The backyard is the perfect place to entertain and enjoy quality time with family and friends. Make it your own this year and create a place where memories will be made.

Here are just a few reasons a hot tub should be part of your backyard investment this year:

Entertaining

We all know the excitement of being invited over to someone’s house for a hot tub party. With the purchase of a hot tub, you could be that friend! Not to mention, you can enjoy a hot tub party of your own each and every night. There’s nothing better than relaxing with your friends and family in the hot tub, looking at the stars in the bright summer night sky.

Relaxation

You can’t deny that coming home from a long day at work to sit in the nice relaxing hot tub is worth the investment. When you’re feeling stressed, tense and overworked, getting to come home to a relaxing spa-like experience is what gets you through the day and is the grand reward you need for all your hard work. Let the powerful jets relax your knots and muscles and enjoy your evening!

Design

Is your backyard lacking a clear design aspect? Simply grass and fence? Boring, we know. A hot tub entertaining area really improves the overall look of your backyard. It is the perfect opportunity to create an oasis in your backyard – a place you can escape to when you need some peace and quiet.

Resale Value

Even if you are thinking of selling your home within the next 5 years, investing in elevating the design and function of your backyard space is a wise move. When perspective buyers tour your home, a backyard oasis will make it all the more inviting and attractive.

Now that you can’t wait to have a hot tub in your backyard, all you have to do is find the perfect one for your backyard! Don’t forget to invest in a good quality hot tub cover to retain heat and protect your water quality.

adult-colouring-books
Lifestyle

Join the Adult Colouring Book Craze

The recent adult colouring book trend started in France a few years ago, and rapidly spread throughout Europe before crossing the Atlantic to take Canada and the United States by storm. While adult colouring books have been available for quite a while, they have officially reached frenzy status over past years. The most popular among the titles, like Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book and Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book, have been in the top 10 best-sellers list online and in-store for months.

If you’re only just hearing about the adult colouring book phenomenon, the popularity should come as no surprise. For one, they’re easy to use. They are also extremely popular because they help adults focus, unwind, relax, spark creativity, and reconnect with their inner child.

As if you need an instructional guide, here’s how to use adult colouring books to their full effect.

Step 1: Choose Your Materials

You may choose to cobble together materials from around the house, lifting some pencil crayons from your kids’ collection or discovering a vibrant green marker that found its way between the couch cushions. Or you may want to invest in a fresh set of crayons, markers, pens, or colouring pencils. Maybe today’s task will be to colour using pencil crayons, or maybe you want to test out a new set of glittery gel pens – or maybe you’ll mix mediums.

Step 2: Turn Off Your Electronics

This is all about getting back to basics and reconnecting with days gone by. Of course, you are encouraged to use your devices to download new drawings, purchase a book online, or discuss tips or share your latest creations on social media. But when it comes to drawing, power down the desktop, shut off your tablet, and put your phone on silent. If you must have some form of electronic accompaniment, the “Musical Therapy” and “Creativity Boost” playlists on Spotify will put you in the right frame of mind for relaxation and focus.

Step 3: Find a Starting Point

Some people like to start from the beginning and work their way forward page by page in chronological order. Since most adult colouring books do have some form of story telling, this certainly makes sense. Others like to flip convention on its head and work from the back of the book to the beginning. Or, you can just flip to your favorite page in the book and start colouring once you find inspiration. You can fill in a little section on one page and then journey to another page, or stick with a given illustration for weeks until it has been perfected. Whatever route you choose is entirely up to you.

Step 4: Start Colouring!

Simple as that!

Step 5: Connect Your Mind & Body

As you start drawing, you may notice your worries float away, distractions dissipate, and stress evaporate. Millions of adults have noticed the same phenomenon. If you don’t notice anything, that’s fine too. Just enjoy the process and don’t worry about the end point. Adult colouring books are not about rushing to the finish line or trying to complete an illustration to perfection. The sensations and effects of colouring, clearing your mind, and connecting your mind and body are your rewards.

Step 6: When to Stop

Stop whenever you feel like it. There is no minimum or maximum time investment! Colour as long as you’re enjoying it, and stop whenever you don’t feel like colouring anymore.

Daydream, spark your creativity, enjoy a childlike delight, and take a break from the hectic pace of daily life, even if only for a few minutes. All of this and more is possible thanks to the adult colouring book craze. Check out these free adult colouring pages to get started!

5 Advantages of Replacement Windows
Home & Garden

5 Advantages of Replacement Windows

Looking to improve the functionality and appearance of your home? Whether your old windows are failing or you simply want to upgrade the value and look of your home, here are a few of the advantages of installing new windows:

Reduced Environmental Impact

Old windows are not efficient, which means your furnace and air conditioner need to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. The harder your HVAC equipment needs to work, the more natural resources are needed. High-efficiency replacement windows, on the other hand, use state-of-the-art design and technology to keep heat in during the winter and keep heat out in the summer. There is less demand on your HVAC equipment and thus, fewer natural resources used. As a result, your home has a smaller carbon footprint.

Save Money on Energy

Do you balk when you open your Enbridge or Hydro One bill? Rising utility bills serve as an alert that your home is not energy efficient. Switching to high-efficiency windows could cut your heating and cooling costs by 30%. In time, replacement windows basically pay for themselves!

Increase the Value of Your Home

Are you expecting to sell your home in the near future? Not only will replacement windows raise the resale value of your home, they’ll make your home more attractive in a competitive market. Nowadays, buyers are looking for turnkey, energy-efficient homes that don’t need any work. Replacement windows can return about 85%-100% on investment, making them one of the smartest home upgrades out there.

Design That Gets People Talking

New windows make a stunning addition to any home, from beautiful, bright bay windows to decorative glass windows to European tilt and turn windows with exceptional function.  Available in a wide range of colours with grills, lites, and hardware to suit any taste, the options are endless. If your old windows are faded, cracked, or simply out of style, there’s no better time to upgrade.

Low Maintenance Solution

On a crisp fall afternoon, would you rather be inside watching the big game or painting and cleaning windows on the second storey of your home? The answer goes without saying. Vinyl replacement windows are practically maintenance free, requiring nothing more than a quick clean on occasion. They will not rust, corrode, warp, bow, chip, or fade.

Ready to invest in replacement windows? Eco Choice Windows & Door is a leading supplier and installer of GTA vinyl windows. With top-quality products, expert installation, and caring customer service, your home will be in the best of hands.