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Supporting the Troops at Christmas
On behalf of our Headquarters Company, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for your generous donations to the soldiers of the Third Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, for our annual Christmas Party held on 5 December 2008. With our troops having undergone another busy year, including a deployment to Afghanistan, the Christmas party was a great opportunity for our soldiers...
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The Edmonton Real Estate Blog, Market Information, Advise & Opinion

 

R-2000 Renewal Ups Energy Efficiency in Edmonton Building Codes

For the last 30 years, R-2000 has been recognized as the best in class energy efficient label and one of the most comprehensive environmental standards for new Edmonton and area housing construction. Today, as energy requirements are being directly incorporated into provincial and national building codes, the standard has been updated.
 

 

With the publication of the R-2000 Standard, Canada is reaching the next level for leading-edge, energy-efficient new home construction. The new Standard increases energy efficiency by 50% over the one set in 2005.
The renewal of the R-2000 Standard was led by Natural Resources Canada in conjunction with a multi-stakeholder committee that helped develop a comprehensive set of recommendations that will be implemented in two phases.
Phase I has already begun with the new Standard becoming mandatory on July 1, 2012. In addition to the more stringent energy efficiency requirements, an R-2000 house will include greater water conservation measures, as well as several other updates that will ensure the home remains at the leading edge of new home construction.
 

Phase II will see the publication of the fully revised R-2000 Standard in 2014 which will serve as transition for the next generation EnerGuide rating system, which is also in its development stage.

R-2000 is an official mark of Natural Resources Canada.

If you have further questions on R-2000 efficiency for Edmonton homes, please comment below or thru my contact page

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Upgrading Your Edmonton Kitchen From 'Blah' to 'Bling' for Less

From cooking to entertaining, the kitchen - always the heart of the home - now takes center stage as the 21st century hub of the home. As Edmonton families spend more time in their homes, today's command central kitchen needs to be multi-functional and high-definition with easy-to-maintain surfaces dedicated to cooking, working, Web surfing and blogging, paying bills and doing homework, as well as creating a comfortable environment to entertain with family and friends.

To design a kitchen that meets the multiple needs of today's modern Albertan family, including standing up to its daily wear and tear without breaking the bank, homeowners can transform their kitchens with a few tips and tricks from interior design experts and companies that have created more durable and affordable yet equally beautiful products.

Small steps can create better spaces - Begin redesigning your kitchen to address multi-functional needs with some smart planning, and consider remodeling in phases rather than all at once. Begin with the easiest area: replace aging countertops with materials that are beautiful yet durable and versatile. Counter space for food preparation can be optimized for laptops and other electronics while you keep an eye on dinner and the kids. Design at the appropriate height and allow space for your legs under the counter so that the same space can be converted to an ad-hoc desk when you aren't cooking.

Incorporate a distinct play and work area for kids to do homework or create a crafting or game area for school and art projects, and family activities that can be tucked into a corner when not in use. Include flat-panel screens in a back splash or a separate lounge area adjacent to the workspace to entertain family and friends.

Counter life's madness with beautiful surfaces - Making the most of the countertop requires the right material for esthetics and functionality. While there are numerous options, today's laminate counter tops feature beautiful designs that mirror granite and other natural stones at a fraction of the cost, and with scratch-resistant finishes that are not only easy to clean but also resist common stains like peanut butter, permanent marker and red wine. Because laminates are made from recycled content and are easy to install and maintain, they make an eco- and budget-friendly choice for consumers.

Everyone loves the look of natural stones (granites) but they don't realize how much maintenance they can require, while, today's high-quality laminate mirrors that look and withstands daily wear and tear. I love the fact that there are now new counter top collections, that offer great design options that complement both traditional and modern spaces, but also offer great features like integrated sinks and decorative edges, to make it a simple one-stop remodeling project. Consumers can give a room new life just by replacing a counter top with laminate at significant savings compared to other materials.

Get inspired and create a space to live in high definition - Before embarking on a renovation project, talk with the family to determine what the ideal kitchen will look like. Read home improvement magazines, watch remodeling shows for inspiration, and ask experts for tips and tricks at your home improvement store. Look at online tools to see how you can upgrade your Edmonton kitchen from blah to bling for less.

If you got any further tips on upgrading your Edmonton kitchen from Blah to Bling, please comment below or thru my contact page.
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Create the Perfect Master Suite Retreat in Your Edmonton Home

The master bedroom is the ideal place to take refuge from reality – and when it comes to creating the perfect bedroom and bath, casual and comfortable retreats are more appealing than formal, model-home-like spaces. 


But, blissful hideaways are not limited to only one style and feel. Here are some ideas and inspiration to create a serene master suite, no matter what your definition of relaxing may be.

 

Bathing Bliss:  Before choosing a theme or color palette for the bedroom, focus your attention on the bathroom first. This functional room deserves to be updated with elegant and understated features in order to create a haven from the stresses of everyday life. After all, a true master suite escape has the ideal spa-inspired bathroom.

To achieve a charming appearance with soft comforts, start by styling the room with fixtures and accessories that exude a clean style, like the Voss collection from Moen. Voss delivers uncomplicated glamor throughout the entire bath. With a full range of bath fixtures, including rain showers, faucets and coordinated accessories, your master bath can be transformed into a personal sanctuary that will last for years to come.

Cozy Country Flair:  An uncluttered room with rustic décor pieces is sure to create a relaxing environment away from the hectic world outside. The simple esthetics of an English country look accomplish this desired feeling by mixing patterns and décor elements comfortably and with a bit of flair.

To create this look, start with a simple color palette – such as blue and white or pink and brown. Patterned wallpaper, borders and curtains in floral or plaid prints are a great way to evoke that welcoming, country feeling. And keep your eyes open for one-of-a-kind antiques and wood furniture to accent your country retreat. A perfect – and often inexpensive – place to start is your local antique store, flea market, or even yard sales. After all, one person's trash is another person's vintage treasure.

Coastal Contemporary:  There's a reason why tropical beaches are considered the fundamental escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The rush of the ocean and the feel of sand between your toes can bring anyone a lasting sense of tranquility.

For this laid-back theme, use an upholstered headboard in a soft blue pattern to highlight the focal point of the room – the bed. Use whimsical décor pieces such as glass bedside lamps and palm plants throughout the rest of the room to complete the theme.

Whether your style is more classic, country or coastal – or perhaps a combination – you can create a dream master suite retreat that fits your own personal style.

 

If you have any  other ideas, please comment below or thru my contact page.


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How to Judge Your Edmonton Home's Curb Appeal

If you have been trying to sell your Edmonton home, you are well aware of how challenging it can be. However, there is one way that you can increase your chances of success and that is if you improve your home's curb appeal.

With fewer and fewer qualified buyers (I like to call them real buyers) in the market it has become even more important to make your home as attractive as possible.

That's because a very high percentage of people who are shopping for a home in Edmonton decide whether or not they would like to take a look inside the home based on what they see as they drive by the house - or when they arrive for a showing. If the curb appeal is not positive they often leave. That is never a good thing!

As the homeowner, it can be rather difficult for you to see your house through other people's eyes.

That's because you have gotten accustomed to how it looks and you see beyond whatever faults it has. However, if you are considering selling your Edmonton home, you have to first look at is as property rather than the roof over your particular head. As such, there are a number of things you can do to sell this property for the highest possible dollar (cha-ching).

Before you can increase your curb appeal, you have to identify the areas that are ripe for improvement. Here's a simple exercise that you can do to help you to gauge your home's curb appeal.

First, the next time you come back home, park across the street or down the block. You want to be able to get a good view of your property and its surroundings, as if you were looking at it for the first time. As you walk towards your house imagine that this is the first time you are here.

Is the approach to your property tidy and clean? Is there anything that you could do to make it more attractive?

Take a notepad with you and jot down your first impressions of the yard and the house. Then note the house's best exterior features.

Once you've done that take a moment or two to see if you can come up with some initial ideas about how you can enhance the looks of your house and property. Continue this exercise later.

After you consider the best features of your yard and home, make a note of what the worst features are. Then see if you can think of a number of ways that you could eliminate, improve, or minimize these negative factors.

One thing that could help is if you take pictures of your house. If your camera is a digital camera take the photos in color and look at them that way first. Then turn the image into black and white and analyze them. It may be easier to see the problems when the color doesn't affect your impressions.

Watch this video for more great tips.


If you have any other curb appeal ideas, please comment below or connect with me thru my contact page.
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Five Steps to Create Customized Edmonton Outdoor Living Space with Railing

Railing can upgrade any deck from drab to fab - adding style, as well as safety and support. In fact, it's often the one element that truly sets your outdoor living space apart from others in your Edmonton neighborhood. Here are five steps to create the perfect perimeter for your deck.

1. Find ideas at your fingertips - From contemporary to classic, you can choose from a multitude of modular railing options in a variety of colors and materials to give your outdoor living space a dose of personality. Use the new Railing Configurator on the Trex Color Visualizer iPad app to experiment with more than 1,200 design combinations. Available for free in the Apple iTunes store, the app allows you to virtually mix and match posts, caps, rails and balusters, as well as change the backdrop to emulate your own outdoor living environment. Save images of your favorite designs and automatically generate a list of materials to make the purchase process easier. Perfect!

2. Select low maintenance materials - When choosing railing, demand the same durability and high performance that you expect from your decking, so that you'll be able to spend more time relaxing on (rather than maintaining) your outdoor living space. Unlike wood, composite railing won't warp, rot or splinter and never needs sanding, staining or painting - even after years of exposure to the elements. In fact, it washes clean with only soap and water. How awesome is that?

3. Preserve a picturesque view - Whether your deck looks out over a tranquil lake, a dramatic mountain range or just a meticulously landscaped backyard, the proper railing makes it possible to fully enjoy your vantage point. With its sleek and unobtrusive appearance, Trex Reveal Aluminum Railing maximizes scenic views by spanning long lengths for panoramic sightlines. Available in three neutral colors - charcoal black, bronze and classic white - Trex Reveal can be customized to suit the taste of any homeowner with two baluster options (square and round) and two post choices (aluminum and composite).  In addition to highlighting the beauty of your outdoor surroundings, aluminum railing offers unparalleled strength and features a powder coating that resists corrosion and color fading.

4. Look to regional style trends - While personal taste is the biggest influencer when selecting railing for an outdoor living space, many homeowners look to the architectural styles of their particular regions for inspiration. For instance, on the East Coast, traditional colonial style balusters and crown profile railings remain most popular. However, West Coast homeowners tend to prefer sleek and streamlined railing components - including handrails and bottom rails with more contemporary beveled shapes. To learn about trends specific to your area, flip through a locally published home improvement or home decor magazine.

5. Lighten up - Enhance the beauty of your railing and lengthen the time you can spend enjoying your deck with outdoor lighting that may be installed on rails and post caps. Not only will lighting set the mood for evening cocktail parties and al fresco dinners, but it also will add safety and security. Consider LED dimmable options to maximize energy efficiency.

If you have any further ideas to customize decks, (yes, I know it's winter), please comment below or connect with me thru my contact page.
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Edmonton Easy-to-Change Seasonal Decorating Ideas

When spring arrives with its bright sunshine, fresh air, vibrant colors and light, do you find yourself regretting the decorating decisions you made last fall or winter? It's natural to incorporate the season into your Edmonton home decor, and the best way to do that is with design touches that can change as easily - and quickly - as the seasons themselves.

While you may love the bright reds and greens of the holiday season or the lush lilacs and blues of spring and summer, making them the foundation of a room's design can leave the decor feeling out-of-step when the seasons change. By starting out with a foundation of neutral colors in walls, flooring and furnishings, you can add colorful and seasonally appropriate accents.
Updating your decor to complement the season is as simple as focusing on a few key areas.

Lighting
It's easy to overlook, but lighting is a key element in room design, and one that needs to change with the season.
In spring and summer, when sunshine is abundant and the days are longer, you can rely more on natural light. During warm months, you may only need artificial light late in the evening, when the advanced hour makes soft, muted light appropriate. Winter's shorter days and weaker sunlight lead to greater dependence on artificial light throughout the day, so your lighting design should include options that can be used throughout the day.

Most rooms will benefit from a mixture of overhead lighting, floor lamps, wall sconces and table lamps.

Walls
While neutral-hued walls make a versatile background for virtually any design, don't be afraid to spice things up with seasonal touches. Repositionable wall covering options make it possible to create a seasonal look with a wall mural - and then remove it and replace it with something different when the season changes.
A patented adhesive allows you to easily place the removable wallpaper on virtually any smooth, flat surface, from windows to walls. You can pull it down, reposition it elsewhere, even fold it up and store it in a drawer for use next year. A wide variety of designs mean you can find something to fit your seasonal decor, and if you don't see anything you like, you can customize by submitting your own original photo through the website.

Flooring
If your floor is wood or you have a newer home with builder-installed carpet, you probably already have a neutral palette to work with. Adding seasonal flair to floors is as simple as adding or removing area rugs.
Area rugs in rich tones can warm up a room during winter months - especially when wood floors can feel cold underfoot. You can even add an accent rug in evergreen or crimson to underscore your holiday decor.

In warm months, when your family spends more time outdoors, a more durable area rug, positioned near entryways can help keep soil, grass clippings and other debris off your carpet or floor.

Accessories
From window treatments to wall art, accessories are an easy, great way to create a seasonal look in any room.
In winter, when you want to keep out the chill, choose heavier drapes in colors that inspire warmth and comfort. For autumn or spring, when you want to welcome in sunlight, lighter, sheerer options can be appropriate. And in summer, when you'll rely on blinds to block out hot midday sun, pastels and lighter fabrics can be a soothing foil to the utilitarian appearance of blinds.

Just as you change your own wardrobe to stay in step with the seasons, updating your home decor seasonally can help make your home feel welcoming and comfortable. Fortunately, it's easy to keep your home decor in tune with the seasons when you make a few updates that are easy to change with the season.
If you have anymore decorating ideas, please comment below or thru my contact page

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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.