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As home inspectors, we’re always on the lookout for new technologies and devices that can improve both home security and home maintenance. 2017 is chalk full of incredible smart home devices that can keep you safe, make your energy consumption more efficient and help you save money. Most of these can be controlled by your smart phone. Here are a few of our top picks for 2017: Smart Home Self-Learning Thermostat with Wifi Controls Is...

We do a lot of home inspections. This year, we decided to take a crack at inspecting gingerbread houses for the holidays. …we got laughed out of the bakeries! Alas, who doesn’t love a good gingerbread home construction? We find it’s uncanny how many gingerbread construction rules apply to real houses too! Here are the top 5 issues we found, with the real house equivalent.   1 - Moisture problems during construction Gingerbread houses that obviously have...

Each year, more than 3,000 Canadians die from lung cancer caused by radon—the second most dangerous cause of lung cancer after smoking. Radon comes from uranium, a natural element found in the ground. When uranium breaks down, a radioactive gas is released, called radon. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but it’s there and it has always been there. If radon is under your house, the gas might be...

Are you excited to get your January heating bill? Those of you who insulated, caulked and plugged the obvious holes might very well be excited to see the resulting savings. But the rest of us are groaning and ready to put on another sweater to keep the costs down. Letting the heat escape from your home is the equivalent of transporting water with a hole in the bucket: your heating payments are literally dribbling "out...

While on an inspection, many of our clients ask: "How old is the roof?" If the owner doesn’t have a receipt on file, it’s impossible to know, but it’s pretty fair to say, we don’t see a lot of roofs more than 20 years old that don’t need to be replaced –sometimes 10-year old roofs are in terrible shape. It all depends on how they were installed, if the roof was...

It’s that time of year. The leaves will soon turn red and gold, and the cottage will need to be properly closed up for winter. It’s always good to have a checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything. We’ve compiled a list of what we consider the most important cottage closing tasks, organized by area. Please leave us a comment if you have any cottage closing tips to add! KITCHEN Glass bottles –...