All posts by Dave Gray

waterproofing_fi

The Dos and DON’Ts of exterior waterproofing in Toronto

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The Dos and DON’Ts of exterior waterproofing in Toronto

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From the moment a house is built, the system is stacked against it. When a home’s foundation walls are dug up to make way for them, space is left between the foundation wall’s outer edge and its soil.

This area is the backfill with excavated soil to create a loose, fluffed earth surface. Because this earth is more porous than the surrounding excavated soil would ever be, a false water table forms around your house. When it rains, the area directly around your foundation absorbs more water than anywhere else in most yards basement waterproofing Toronto.

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Challenges of exterior waterproofing in Toronto

If the water level rises, pressure is applied to the foundation walls. Water can move through the foundation walls in any direction it can, including through foundation wall gaps, the basement or crawl space floor, and, most commonly, the foundation wall-floor joint.

Furthermore, water may be forced into porous concrete and grout, causing dampness and humidity in the basement or crawl room. The weight of the water on the foundation walls increases as it absorbs.

This water can enter the foundation walls through any holes, the basement or crawl space board, or, most commonly, the foundation wall-floor joint. Water may also be pushed into the basement or crawl space by porous concrete and grout, causing dampness and humidity.

Water must remove away from the area around the base as far as possible to solve this issue. If that isn’t possible, the water must extract. Here we guide you on how exterior waterproofing services solve your problem.

  • Do foundation soil grading

The excavated soil around the base would begin to settle over many years. It will produce a “dip” in the yard along the foundation’s edge, which will collect water from rain and snow. This exterior waterproofing benefits water to pool around your base, aggravating the issue. If your foundation soil slopes towards your building, adding dirt to the area before the slope moves away from the house (this is known as “grading”) is recommended.

It’s also essential to ensure the dirt doesn’t extend up to the roofing. A four-in. gap between the soil line and the siding will prevent it from rotting or becoming a route for termites and carpenter ants looking to access your house.

  • Don’t use waterproof paint to cover cracks

It cannot be emphasized enough. Although waterproof paint can be a quick fix in a pinch, it only lasts around six months to two years, on average. Due to the porous nature of concrete, water begins to accumulate behind the paint.

The paint will continue to strip away, and you’ll be back where you started – in need of a plumber because water is seeping into your basement once more. We recommend that you take care of the issue right away to avoid more harm down the road.

  • Do drains for curtains

Curtain drains are commonly built somewhere along the edge of a steep incline if a home’s yard is positioned at the bottom of a steep hill or incline. Curtain drains are made by digging a trench in the yard far enough away from the base. After the trenches have been dug, a pipe is laid in them. The pipe is covered in stone, filling in the area and creating a stone stripe in the yard.

Although these drains effectively prevent water from pooling in the yard, they do not prevent water from entering the house from other directions, nor do they prevent water from entering the house from the sky or flowing through the ground underneath the drain.

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  • Don’t ignore dampness

The key here is to be cautious because of how minor you believe the issue is. If you find dampness in your basement, but there isn’t a visible leak, don’t overlook it. It’s easy to brush it off as a one-time occurrence, and you should still get it checked out further. The fungus will grow if there is moisture in your home, which is dangerous to your health.

You could have structural damage to your basement’s foundation in addition to mould. Simply hoping that the problem will go away will put you at risk of incurring major water damage costs in the future.

Conclusion
Large cracks and holes will permanently seal, and the house will be more structurally sound and safe from moisture absorption with the addition of sealing, membrane installation, and weeping tile. Simple do-it-yourself projects, such as gutter, downspout, and window well repairs, will help you save money and avoid flood damage in the future. Remember to keep an eye out for any new settling or grade changes once you’ve finished your home improvement project. Taking proactive measures to waterproof your basement will reap the benefits of a natural, dry basement.

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5 tips to brighten up a dark and gloomy basement

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5 tips to brighten up a dark and gloomy basement

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Image source: Pixabay

Having a large basement can enhance your property’s value manifolds – but making it bright, warm and inviting often poses a real challenge.

While your basement’s design can look amazing in theory, bad lighting can ruin your vision and the appeal of the space. However, a finished basement is a crown jewel in an already well-kept home so it is worth putting some thought into how you can light it up.

One way of doing it is to go for a permanent solution – such as building a window that can act as an entry point for daylight. Also, you can try some non-permanent solutions, which will require minimum readjustments to your basement. Keep reading and discover our top tips to brighten up a dark basement.

1. Choosing the right paint for walls

As obvious as this may sound, using light paints on your walls can go a long way in lighting up your basement. Nothing brightens up a room like a clean, light wall. Go for a paint that is pleasant to look at and is also resistant to moisture.

The problem with using dark colours on the walls is that they absorb a lot of light. This is especially problematic in places where the natural light in your basement does not reach.

On the contrary, using light colours on the walls will result in light bouncing off the walls instead of being absorbed. White, yellow, pink, light blue, and bright orange are some colours that make excellent choices for wall paint.

2. Adding a glossy finish to the ceiling

Using high-gloss paint on the ceiling would reflect light back into the room. Moreover, it is easy to wash, which is why you should consider using it for the entire room. Since most basements have problems with excessive moisture, adding a glossy finish to your basement ceiling could be a great way to combat it.

Also, if your basement has a low ceiling, make sure there is enough artificial lighting there. You can hang lights from your glossy ceiling, which will result in the reflection of light back down. When the light reflects back down, it will hit the shiny flooring, thereby, making the entire basement look bigger and brighter.

3. Keeping the windows clean

Most basements have small windows and to ensure you maximize the breach of natural light in your basement you should keep those windows squeaky clean.

Windows covered in dirt and grime don’t let in much light, so you have to keep your windows washed. Do remember to clean the windows both on the outside and inside. While dirt from the outside is obviously a problem, dust from the basement can give you a tough ride as well since the layers of dust and dirt can cause permanent discoloration on the glass.

If you don’t have time for a thorough cleaning, think about hiring window cleaners to clean them for you. When you will see the sunlight entering the basement through the clear glass you will know it was worth every penny. Also, it is good to have in mind that properly cleaned windows will stay clean for a longer time.

4. Using light flooring

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Image source: Pixabay

Similar to light-coloured walls, using light-coloured flooring makes the basement look larger and brighter. While wood flooring is the ideal option for light flooring, it often gets ruined due to moisture. However, you can go for other options like tile, luxury vinyl, cork, and concrete.

If you decide to go with concrete, you can apply acid stain to give the floor a vibrant look, thereby giving it an almost marble-like look. You can pick from various colours to make the regular concrete match whichever colour scheme you have picked for your basement. Since shiny floors reflect light, they will not only make your basement look brighter but also add a warmer feel to it.

Whatever you do, try avoiding hardwood as it might lead to warping, especially if your basement has a lot of moisture.

5. Placing mirrors in the basement

Mirrors not only add the illusion of space to any room but also reflect light, which makes them the perfect addition to any basement, even the ones without windows. Therefore, placing mirrors in such a way that you can make them reflect light would certainly double the amount of light that your basement receives.

You can either opt for a large mirror or multiple small mirrors as part of your basement decor. Regardless of whether you go for floor-to-ceiling mirrors or add accents at a few locations with wall hangings and mirrored shelving, all these will be equally helpful in brightening and adding sparkle to your otherwise dark and gloomy basement.

While placing mirrors anywhere in a dark basement will contribute to lighting up the place, try placing it somewhere between your basement’s window (if you have one) and the furthest wall. This way the mirror will capture the natural light and push it toward the furthest area in the basement.

If your basement doesn’t have a window, placing mirrors in an area that gets maximum light in the basement or directly across a light source would be a wonderful idea.

Conclusion

Transforming your dark and dingy basement into a bright and welcoming space is not only exciting but also adds value to your property. Apart from the tips mentioned above, you should also get rid of things that are obstructing the light source in your basement.

Also, using shiny metal accents like lamp bases and candleholders can be a great way of adding more light to your basement because they also reflect light like mirrors. Also, keeping your basement clean and tidy can be a great way of brightening up the place. It includes cleaning everything from the basement flooring and walls to the windows. If you don’t have enough time to do this on your own, you can always contact a professional window cleaning company to do it for you. Hopefully, these tips will give you some idea about how to turn your dark basement into a relaxing part of your living space that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.

Nikolay Nikolov is the owner of Winducks, a friendly window and house washing company from Alberta, Canada. Nikolay is proud when he is able to help his fellow locals unclog and clean their gutters, clean their windows, driveways, eavestroughs and install their holiday lights. He loves what he does and his motto is to make the world a happier and cleaner place.

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5 ways to stay organized with these accessory bags

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5 ways to stay organized with these accessory bags

Ziploc has introduced a line of accessory bags in Canada, marking its official expansion into the fashion category. Delivering the same quality Canadians expect, Ziploc brand accessory bags offer a durable, reusable and fashionable solution to organizing everyday items such as purses, gym bags and even bathroom vanities.
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In celebration of the launch, Ziploc brand teamed up with professional organizer and certified KonMari consultant, Michele Delory, to provide tips for reducing mess and stress with the new accessory bags.

 Approach with the right mindset

If you’re struggling with motivation, try visualizing the end result and how it will make you feel. Then, get started. You’ll be amazed at how your confidence and enthusiasm will grow as you progress.

Organize by category

Whether you’re tackling your entire wardrobe or just your gym bag, focusing on one category at a time will help keep you on track.

Sort and let go

Sort items into three categories – keep, maybe and let go. Keep items that spark joy and considering letting go of the others. Show gratitude for those things you are getting rid of, especially gifts or other sentimental items, to help ease the process.

Time to tidy

After deciding what to keep, it’s time to put items away in a tidy, organized way. This can include folding and storing clothes vertically in drawers, sorting and storing accessories and jewellery into Ziploc® brand Accessory Bags or putting important items back into your purse.

Repeat

Once you’ve finished one category or area, move on to the next while you still feel the euphoria of your accomplishment! Cleaning out under bathroom vanities, sorting books and papers, or organizing your home office, can help you feel great every day.

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The new bags are available in two sleek styles – Boho and Chic. Both styles are available in two sizes, Essential Stuff – with an expandable bottom for larger items – and Skinny Stuff – a slimmer, opaquer version designed to keep personal items discrete. Ziploc brand accessory bags start at $8 per package of five can be found at walmart.ca or Amazon.ca

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recipe_fi

Chef Devan Rajkumar’s Guyanese pepperpot wings recipe

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Chef Devan Rajkumar’s Guyanese pepperpot wings recipe

The Home Depot Canada has partnered with barbecue expert, Chef Devan Rajkumar, a judge on the Food Network show Fire Masters, to develop a custom recipe for the 2021 barbecue season.

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Equipment needed

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Food processor or hand blender
  • Heat safe spoon or spatula
  • Chef’s knife and cutting board
  • Tongs

Prep in advance

  • Chicken wings should be marinated for a minimum of one hour for best results overnight.
  • Leftover marinade should be reserved for basting.

Let’s get cooking

  1. In a bowl or food processor, add cassareep, onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well to incorporate then add brown sugar, orange peel, thyme and wiri wiri peppers. Blend in a food processor or with a hand blender to form pepperpot marinade.
  2. Trim the skin on the chicken wings. Toss the wings in the marinade, coating them
    evenly.
  3. Marinate the wings and leave for one hour minimum, for best results overnight in the
    refrigerator.
  4. Preheat the grill to 300F. Place chicken wings on the grill, reserve marinade left in the
    bowl.
  5. Grill for 30-35 minutes and flip once basting with the remaining marinade. Cook for
    another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F – 165F.
  6. Plate at a height and garnish with thyme leaves and orange zest.
  7. Serve immediately.

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Mark and Ben Cullen’s tips for vertical gardening

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Mark and Ben Cullen’s tips for vertical gardening

Vertical gardens are having a moment. Here are top tips to consider when looking at installing raised beds or green walls.

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RAISED BEDS

Build at least a foot tall

This will ensure whatever grass or potential weeds you are building atop are adequately smothered and get the minimum functional benefit of a raised bed. However, you can go as high as you like as long as you are prepared to backfill. If accessibility is your goal, you can build it right up to waist height and backfill with a mix of gravel and topsoil to ensure draining, with a top layer of triple mix. You will want the top 12 to 18 in. of soil at minimum to be a good quality triple mix, rich in compost.

Consider spacing and patterns

To maximize the usability of your raised beds, make sure they are accessible from all sides and that a wheelbarrow can pass through easily. If you decide to use turf pathways, ensure that your lawnmower can manoeuvre. Using patterns can be visually pleasing, especially when arranged geometrically, but we recommend that you keep your beds roughly equal-sized if you intend to plant vegetables. The reason is that having equal-sized beds can help with planning year over year as you work through your crop rotations; for example, you wouldn’t have to limit your tomato harvest one year because they are being rotated into a smaller bed.

Use durable materials

Cedar or redwood are your most naturally rot-resistant materials. In western Canada, red cedar is famous and is exported around the world for these qualities. Many folks don’t realize that locally available white cedar is also well suited for the job in eastern Canada. You can dress up wooden raised beds with capped corner posts or whatever wood finish works within your broader design scheme. Brick raised beds can add a formal look to any garden, regardless of what you decide to grow in them, and stone works well for cottage gardens. The added benefit of stone is that when constructed using dry masonry, the crevices provide habitat for garden critters, which helps build biodiversity.

GREEN LIVING WALLS

We specify “living” walls because there are non-living, preserved green walls that can provide a look but do not necessarily fall within our gardening domain. Here is what you should consider for a living green wall:

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Wall selection

South-, east- and west-facing walls will obviously work best, depending on the light requirements of what you intend to grow. For interior walls, skylights and proximity to windows will be key. Anything further than 10 ft. from a window, the natural light penetration drops off dramatically.

Wall protection

Whether for interior or exterior walls, keeping moisture away from building architecture is crucial. Occasionally, we see purpose-built exterior living walls which can be built from the ground up to accommodate the moisture that accompanies plants, where creative freedoms and costs are less restricted. Interior mold and exterior rot can be unfortunate consequences of a mismanaged green wall, so take great care to protect your wall using an impermeable plastic membrane, such as an exterior basement waterproofing membrane.

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The DIY-route

If you are looking for a project, you can take many different avenues. Simple cedar frames can be constructed and fastened to a wall to suspend smaller containers of potting soil arranged in a series, where you would treat it as a cluster of indoor plants that are watered from a watering can like any other indoor plants. Since we’re strictly amateur carpenters (only in the non-gardening season), we will refrain from advising you any further than this.

The professional route

This is where you will get maximum impact without having to worry about a potential water problem spreading into other areas of your home. A growing number of outfits specialize in modular systems that fully integrate growing medium, irrigation, drainage, and plant material into one cohesive system. Prices vary but expect to pay in the neighbourhood of $100 per sq. ft., depending on the sophistication. Look up a “green wall installation” in your city, and you will easily find professionals who can consult based on your specific needs.

Maintenance

The most sophisticated living walls will be mostly maintenance free – yes, they are even self-watering. A rudimentary system will require that you monitor as you would any other indoor or outdoor plants and water accordingly. Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests such as aphids or gnats, and treat accordingly.

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Mark Cullen is a Member of the Order of Canada. He reaches more than two million Canadians with his gardening/environment messages every week. Ben Cullen is a professional gardener with a keen interest in food gardening and the environment. You can follow both Mark and Ben on Twitter (@MarkCullen4), Facebook (facebook.com/MarkCullenGardening) and Instagram (instagram.com/markcullengardening). Receive their free monthly newsletter at markcullen.com.

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6 easy ways to spring-clean your kitchen

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6 easy ways to spring-clean your kitchen

Helen Youn, certified KonMari consultant has teamed up with Rubbermaid to share six tips to help you spring-clean your kitchen and pantry.
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1 Before you start, imagine your ideal life!

Visualize a space that would inspire you to cook and think about what type of food you enjoy making. Having this vision will give you clarity on the type of items you’ll need to keep and how your kitchen can support you.

2 Tidy by category

Don’t tackle your kitchen and pantry all at once as it can quickly feel overwhelming. It will be easier to work by subcategory as you will be able to see how much you own, compare similar items to identify favourites,’ and let go of duplicates. In your kitchen, the major subcategories are tools for cooking (i.e. small appliances, pots and pans etc.), tools for eating (i.e. cutlery, plates and bowls etc.), and food (dried goods, drinks and snacks etc.). You can break each subcategory down even further to make it more manageable if needed.

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3 Use clear storage containers

There are many benefits to using clear storage containers in your kitchen, pantry and fridge. This easy trick will increase the joy factor by reducing visual clutter from various food packaging and help you see what you have on hand at a glance. When you use airtight containers, it will also help you reduce food waste by keep your food fresher and last longer. Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids are designed to be easy to store and help to keep the cabinets and fridge organized with a space-saving, modular design for perfect stacking and organization.

4 Vertical storage is key

When it comes to storage, consider storing items vertically where possible. Use stackable storage containers in your pantry to maximize your vertical storage. The Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids are the perfect solution to your container cupboard, their bases best inside each other when storing, and one lid fits multiple bases. Items like baking trays and cutting boards will also take up less space when stored vertically. In the fridge, you can consider storing vegetables like carrots and asparagus vertically by putting them into a cup!

5 Clear your counters

Minimize what you store on the counters and pay special attention to keeping the counter space near your stove clear because that area is particularly prone to splatters of food and oil. Having clear counters will make it easier for you to prepare your food and be easier to clean. In a kitchen that sparks joy, cleanliness is crucial!

6 Joy-check everything!

To create a kitchen that sparks joy, don’t forget to joy-check everything by holding each item in your hand and ask yourself, does it spark joy? You can joy-check everything from tools for eating and cooking to food. Let go of anything that doesn’t spark joy or have served their purposes with gratitude.

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Cottage basement reno with a Canadiana feel

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Cottage basement reno with a Canadiana feel

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In this part of the home, I geared the design towards the children and guests. Outfitted with oversized bunk beds, the sleeping quarter comfortably sleeps six people. This zone was designed to feel like a quintessential cottage bunking room. The walls were treated with barn board and the bed rails were custom made by the site carpenter out of oars. The wall sconces help illuminate the dark and cosy quarters while providing that perfect nautical feel!

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The rest of the basement houses a living area with a laid-back seating zone and a farm-like table with schoolhouse chairs that were all locally sourced. The entire colour palette comprises beach inspired hues of blue and white combined with red and white tones reminiscent of Canadiana.

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Dvira Ovadia, principal designer of Dvira Interiors is an award-winning and respected Toronto designer, she is known for her clever design work on a vast number of successful endeavours. dvira.com

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Home Finds - Apr/May2021

Make your kitchen your favourite room with these home finds!

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Make your kitchen your favourite room with these home finds!

A kitchen reno is no small task. But like a lot of things in life that are hard, the reward is worth it! The details are what can really elevate the design. So, take your time and choose elements that will help make your kitchen your favourite room in the house.

Counterbalance

The Whitelight collection is the latest array of quartz countertops from Caesarstone. The collection is all about light, neutral colours that enhance the movement and drama of natural stone.

5171 ARBETTO. caesarstone.ca

Cook with care

Caraway’s ceramic cookware not only looks cool, it’s also nontoxic, eco-friendly and naturally non-stick. This well-designed set will be your go-to for all your cooking needs.

CERAMIC COOKWARE SET in navy by Caraway. $575. indigo.ca

Organic dinnerware

We love this handcrafted, organic stoneware dinner collection from Oui. Modern, durable and stylish – it’s perfect for everyday use.

$12-$60. indigo.ca

Colourful small appliances

While stainless steel kitchen accents continue to dominate, colourful small appliances are quietly making a comeback. We adore this retro-inspired light green collection by Haden – guaranteed to add a unique look.

Silt green Dorchester TOASTER, DRIP COFFEE MAKER AND KETTLE by Haden. $150-$180. crateandbarrel.ca

Bold backsplash

Create a statement wall in your kitchen by backsplash.

Tofino TERRAZZO cement tile. Spoons SQUARE cement tile. Peak line HEXAGON choosing bold tiles for your cement tile. From $9. geontile.com

Indigo cutlery

Trade your traditional silver cutlery set for one with a punch of colour. Our top pick? This cool indigo shade guaranteed to kick up your tablescape.

Glamour 5-piece STAINLESS STEEL FLATWARE SET. $92. wayfair.ca

A winning faucet

Select a faucet that not only matches your kitchen’s aesthetic, but also has the functionality you need. Whether your preference is bronze, silver or gold, the faucet is one of the most used items in the kitchen, so, choose wisely!

BRONZE: Arbour oil rubbed bronze one-handle high arc MOTIONSENSE PULLDOWN KITCHEN FAUCET. $618. moen.ca

SILVER: Purist SINGLEHOLE KITCHEN SINK FAUCET with pullout spout and ProMotion by Kohler. $633. wayfair.ca

GOLD: Satin gold PULLDOWN KITCHEN FAUCET. $239. bathdepot.ca

Style file

Cabinets and hardware to inspire a kitchen update.

TRADITIONAL: FLORENCE DOOR in white matte thermofoil by Eurostyle. $62. homedepot.ca Weston collection brushed gold contemporary CABINET KNOB by Richelieu. $5. homedepot.ca

ECLECTIC: BODARP DOOR in grey green. $50. ikea.ca. GREEN AGATE KNOB. $30. cb2.ca

MID-CENTURY MODERN: HASSLARP DOOR. $88. ikea.ca. Demi half-moon brass and black marble knob. $14. cb2.ca

Table talk

Do you have an eat-in kitchen? A sustainably sourced wooden table adds a beautiful natural element to the space with lower impact to the environment.

1. Whitestone OVAL LARGE DINING TABLE. $3,429. westofmain.com

2. Mid-century EXPANDABLE DINING TABLE in walnut. $1,049-$1,349. westelm.ca

3. Griffin reclaimed WOOD DINING TABLE. $2,940. potterybarn.ca

Kitchen clean-up

Libman, maker of thoughtfully designed and environmentally conscious cleaning tools, celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. Marking the milestone, fourth-generation CEO, Andrew Libman, shares his three favourite finds for embracing the mess and keeping kitchens clean:

1. KITCHEN BRUSH: Scrubbing everything from pots and pans to root vegetables, it’s the most versatile kitchen tool, hands down.

2. PRECISION ANGLE BROOM & DUSTPAN: With bristles made from recycled water bottles, flagged tips ensure the tiniest of food waste is picked up the first time.

3. FREEDOM SPRAY MOP: This handy mop with its reusable microfibre pad is ideal for sudden spills requiring swift action. Plus, the refillable tank empowers you to use your preferred cleaning solution. libman.com

Warm modern

This gorgeous kitchen combines so many modern design elements that will be popular in 2021. From streamlined design to mixed metals, interesting stone and tile work, warm wood details and a touch of black – it’s a perfect mod mix.

Photograph: MAXIME BROUILLET

Interior design: MICHAEL GODMER

Designer tiles: Custom-made stone mosaic designed by CIOT STUDIO artisans.

Counter, backsplash and island in Maxfine porcelain. ciot.com

The organized pantry

We all aspire to have the kind of organized pantry that would make Jamie Oliver proud. These items will help get you started on the right track.

1. Yamazaki tosca slim white STORAGE BASKET. $49. crateandbarrel.ca

2. Modular GLASS CANISTERS by Marie Kondo. $16-$25. containerstore.com

3. WIre STORAGE BASKET. $25. homesense.ca

4. Progressive prokeeper CEREAL CONTAINER. $30. crateandbarrel.ca


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Top 10 - Small Appliances

Small appliances

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Small appliances

The coolest gear to elevate your kitchen experience.

Dolce & Gabbana slow JUICER by Smeg.

$1,900. thebay.com

The Bambino Plus ESPRESSO MACHINE in damson blue.

$550. breville.ca

A3500 ascent series BLENDER in candy apple red.

$800. vitamix.ca

Vortex plus 6-QT stainless steel AIR FRYER by Instant.

$180. amazon.ca

Professional plus FOOD PROCESSOR in silver by Ninja.

$150. canadiantire.ca

Ottoni ELECTRIC KETTLE.

$80. bodum.com

Drip 14-cup programable COFFEE MAKER by CRUXGG.

$145. williams-sonoma.ca

The custom loaf BREAD MAKER.

$400. breville.ca

Artisan series 5 qt. tilt STAND MIXER in honey.

$700. kitchenaid.ca

Gourmet 4SLICE TOASTER by Wolf.

$540. williams-sonoma.ca


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When you should consider a private mortgage in Canada

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When you should consider a private mortgage in Canada

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Private mortgages are an alternative to traditional mortgages offered by major banks and credit unions. They operate just like a regular mortgage, where you make regular monthly payments, but they differ in things like interest rates, term length and eligibility.

What are private mortgages?

Private mortgages are offered by private mortgage lenders. Private lenders can range from specialized corporations and groups of investors to private individuals. Private lenders invest directly into your mortgage by funding it using their own money.

Since private lenders are individuals and non-financial institutions, private mortgage lenders are not required to follow federal mortgage lending regulations. This means that they can offer higher-risk mortgages and structure their mortgages differently.

Private mortgages are usually short-term, ranging from a few months to a few years. The most important thing that private lenders look for is the amount of home equity that you have. Having a home equity of at least 15 per cent of the value of your home can pretty much guarantee approval for a private mortgage, though the mortgage rate that a private lender will charge can be quite high.

When should you consider a private mortgage in Canada?

Homeowners often turn to a private mortgage lender if they are declined for a traditional mortgage at a major bank. Private lenders are much more generous in their lending requirements, however, this extra risk that they take on is compensated in the form of higher mortgage interest rates. That is why private lenders are often considered to be a lender of last resort.

There can be reasons why you were declined by a bank, such as if you are a recent immigrant, if you have a poor credit history, if you are self-employed, or if you have an unstable income source. You might also look to get a private mortgage even if you weren’t denied, but if you wanted a specialized mortgage product. This can be for investors looking to renovate and flip a house in a few years, or for those that are looking for a short-term mortgage.

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Private mortgage rates

Private mortgage rates are usually higher than rates from a major bank, and can sometimes be double or triple the rate. You might also encounter additional fees, such as a broker fee or a lenders fee, which can increase the cost of a private mortgage. That is why borrowers usually need to have an exit plan when they apply for a private mortgage, such as being able to transition back to a traditional mortgage at the end of their term after building up their credit score.

Private mortgages are usually interest-only, which means that you only need to make interest payments during your term. Visit Wowa’s updated list of current private mortgage rates to find out their rates, what minimum home equity they require you to have, and the lender fee they charge.

Risks of a private mortgage

Since private lenders are taking on a greater amount of risk, they will be quick to start foreclosure should you miss a mortgage payment. A significant amount of their income is through the fees that they charge, since the interest flows through to their investors instead. This means that renewing a private mortgage might result in the same fees as a new private mortgage, such as for appraisal fees and lending fees.

Private lenders might also require another appraisal when renewing, even if your term was less than a year, since they want to make sure that the value of your home is still in line with what they are comfortable with financing. Borrowers that didn’t have an exit strategy or are unable to fulfil it, such as still having a poor credit score or high debt levels, might find renewing to add on even more costs.

How can I find a private mortgage lender?

Private mortgage lenders are not allowed to advertise to the public in some provinces in Canada. This means that they will need to source borrowers through mortgage brokers instead. Mortgage brokers can help connect you to private lenders and other mortgage lenders, assist you in selecting the right mortgage product for you, and negotiate rates on your behalf. You can find a list of private lenders and mortgage brokers to connect to on Wowa’s website.

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