General Household Maintenance Information & Trusted Contractors Who Can Help

GENERAL:

Hiring A Contractor is a newsletter created by HomeCore to arm you with general information about what to do before signing anything.

Home Maintenance Schedule explains what needs to be done and when it needs to be done to keep your home in good repair.

Print off one each year to keep on top of what needs to be done when.

Now That You’re A Homeowner is an excerpt from the Home Buying Step by Step CMHC publication listing some basic information about owning a home.

Asbestos explains what it is, when it’s a problem and how to minimize your exposure to it.

Carbon Monoxide explains what it is, where it comes from, and how to protect you and your family.

As of 2014 it’s the law to have both smoke & carbon monoxide alarms. Most people purchase the

combination smoke/carbon monoxide detectors which last between 7 – 10 years, depending upon the model purchased.

Avoiding Basement Flooding tackles why basements flood and practical measures to prevent them from doing so, starting with lot grading & downspouts to sump pumps & backwater valves.

Fighting Mold – The Homeowners’ Guide helps us to understand what the causes are, how to treat it, how to prevent it and when to call in a professional. One professional company we can refer is Healthy Household, 289-337-3334.

ROOFING:

Before You Start Repairing or Replacing Roof Finishes is good place to familiarize yourself with the terminology of the roofing industry.

If your roof is in need of a full replacement, open Attic Venting, Attic Moisture, and Ice Dams as you’ll want to familiarize yourself with these before you replace your roof.

Roofing contractors do not have the best reputation and many will use fear as a tactic to up the price and requirements, often once they’ve stripped off your existing shingles leaving you and your house vulnerable. George is an honest roofer: he won’t sell you something you don’t want or need, he won’t overprice the job, he is not a middleman, and he has his own crew.  We have used him ourselves – which is how we found him.  George’s Roofing, 416-219-0692.

If you require only a repair, please confine your search to roof repair companies.

Bigger contractors are looking for the bigger jobs and will either say thanks, but no thanks,

or they may exert undue pressure to convince you to do the whole job.

EXTERIOR:

HomeCore’s Lot Grading Information provides average slope guidelines and other measures to ensure a drier basement. It also has a list of municipality numbers to enquire about the slope specifications for your neighbourhood.

Low Maintenance Lawns explains how to achieve a lawn that requires little else than a few mows a year.

Water Saving Tips for Your Home & Garden can help you reduce the amount of water used in the garden.

Arborist: Brent Ferris, 416-460-5704

The Cedar Guys (for cedar hedges)

Post Holes Plus (to help make your DIY job easier)

Anthony’s Tree & Lawn Cutting, 416-671-3170

B&G Tree & Stump Removal, Gary, 905-303-8348

CMHC’s Know Your House – Understanding Window Terminology will help you get started when it’s time to buy windows – they are not all equal. Our recommendations for window contractors are Brock Windows, 905-791-2850. Another reputable, and less expensive, company is Euroseal Window Industries Ltd, 416-650-5070.

STRUCTURE:

Before You Start Renovating Your Basement – Moisture Problems is largely about maintaining the exterior of your house which impacts the structural integrity of it.

HomeCore’s Lot Grading Information provides average sloping requirements and other measures to take to ensure a drier basement.

If you have elevated moisture levels in the basement, start with the easiest steps first and see if that solves your issues.

Be careful with contractors giving advice: nothing but the best of what they provide

will be sufficient, in their humble opinion.

See also Avoiding Basement Flooding.

ELECTRICAL:

If you are ever unsure about DIY jobs involving your electrical system or if you only think you know what you’re doing, please rethink the job and hire a qualified electrician. Do not look for the cheapest as they may just be less qualified than you. The company we refer is Langstaff & Sloan, 416-503-2033.

Here’s the contact information for the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA):  877-372-7233

HEATING, VENTILATION & AIR CONDITIONING (HVAC):

Heating With Gas explains how to choose, buy, maintain and maximize efficiency for this very important appliance.

Replacing Your Furnace provides general information about sizing a furnace, calculating heat loss and other things to consider before making your final decision.

Our winter newsletter has information on heating types and fireplaces.

Maintaining Your Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) Seven steps to keeping your HRV happy. Or for a more in-depth read try Heat Recovery Ventilators

Installing a HRV is one of the healthiest things you can have for your home. If indoor air quality is important to you, consult a trusted HVAC contractor about retrofitting your home for one.

Your Furnace Filter explains the importance of choosing the right filter and how to cut down on airborne particles in your home.

Should You Get Your Heating Ducts Cleaned explains when to clean them, how to clean them and watching out for “extras” offered if you hire someone to clean them.

The HVAC industry does not have the best reputation so you need to get informed before signing any contract. Please spend some time at hrai.ca. This is the association for heating and air conditioning industry. There’s lots of information for the consumer. There is also a page for you to find a contractor in good standing – a very good place to start.

Absolutely do call around and ask what their servicing contracts are, what they do, and such.

You’ll get a feel for them all but consider going with the one you trust – regardless of price.

The contractor is more important than price because they’ll save you money down the road and you’ll take comfort in knowing you’re not getting ripped off.

But if you do your homework you’ll be well informed and ready to interview the companies you’ve lined up.

And if you find a gem of a contractor, please tell us – it’s always good for us to have more than one name to refer.

The company we hired a few years ago is Convertible Heating & Air.  It’s a family run company and Marnie, 416-712-0461 was our contact. They’re a big company, handling all aspects of the HVAC industry and competitively priced.

INSULATION:

Energy Efficiency Building Envelope Retrofits for Your House provides clear guidelines on improving your home’s energy efficiency.

Insulating Your Home offers the pros and cons of insulating materials. For blown-in or spray foam we refer Insta-Insulation, Alex Schuts, 800-668-0311.

PLUMBING:

We have no print material about plumbing; however, we do have three plumbers to refer:

Tim Phillips, 416-989-4220 (he’s a real gem)

Sun Plumbing & Drain, Peter (Master Plumber) 647-801-7595

Umbrella Waterproofing and Plumbing Solutions, Vlad Zazhevski, 647-297-6947.

Call Vlad if you require drain scoping.

 

INTERIOR:

All About Gas Fireplaces should cover everything you need to know about maintaining this appliance. Just as your furnace gets regularly serviced, you should have your gas fireplace checked, too. Kastle Fireplace, Doug Davie, 905-472-9432 can help.

Guide to Residential Wood Heating is technically meant for heating your home but there is lots of information about the most important component to a fireplace: wood.

We recommend your fireplace be professionally inspected before your first fire by a WETT-certified (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) inspector to determine if your fireplace is in good structural condition and operates correctly. If you use your fireplace regularly we recommend you have your fireplace cleaned each year – and the best time to do so is spring as fewer people do so then (less demand on your sweeper) and your room will smell fresher without the residual odors. We refer Magic Touch, 1-855-425-6864.

The Importance of Bathroom and Kitchen Fans provides information regarding why you need them, how to choose them and what to watch out for. For quality fans, quieter than what the big box stores sell, head to Panasonic.ca and search for ventilation. You can order them from the electrical company we refer, Langstaff & Sloan, 416-503-2033 or your own electrician.

Choosing A Dehumidifier offers lots of information about choosing the correct size and type, where to place it and how to maintain it.

Do remember whilst the energy consumed will not change, any mention of actual energy rates are now outdated due to the age of the publication.

HomeCore’s The Painting Game provides the necessary steps from prepping to painting great interiors. Two companies we refer are:

Painter’s Edge, Christien Edgecombe, 905-626-8678

Holy Rollers, Zack & Alex, 647-774-4904

416 274-6651info@homecore.ca