The Riz Team Blog

Posts Tagged ‘easy home improvement tips’

Flooring choices on the greener side!

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

What goes under foot is seldom an easy decision. Colour, surface texture, room usage and price all come into play. Today, greener options abound, adding to the myriad of choices already available.

Increasing interest in incorporating renewable resources into the home has resulted in many beautiful eco-friendly flooring options.

For homeowners looking on the greener side, it’s worth a look at the many sustainable products available today:

• Give a tree another lease on life with salvaged wood flooring. A rustic look can be created with reclaimed wood. Buying reclaimed lumber continues to get easier, and in some instances, less expensive relative to the cost of new hardwoods.
• Bamboo is a good option for rooms with low humidity. High abundance and a natural look make sustainable bamboo an attractive flooring option. Bamboo grows to maturity in three to five years, about a quarter of the time it takes to grow trees used for hardwood.
• Linoleum flooring has retained its popularity over decades. Unlike vinyl flooring, which is a synthetic product made of chlorinated petrochemicals, linoleum is manufactured from natural compounds including linseed oil, cork dust, tree resins and ground limestone. With natural, renewable elements used in its manufacturing, this eco-friendly flooring option continues to remain a popular option.
• Cork flooring has many eco-friendly attributes. Like bamboo, cork is quickly renewable. It is harvested from the bark of the cork oak tree and grows back every three years. Cork has anti-microbial properties to reduce allergens, is fire retardant and provides a comfortable feel under foot. Cork flooring can be finished in a variety of paints and stains to complement any room setting.
• Polyester (P.E.T.) Berber carpet is a sustainable option made of recycled plastic bottles. Anytime we can reuse these materials, we reduce the amount of new materials being manufactured and we reduce non-biodegradable materials in our landfills. Polyester Berber is spill resistant and comes in a variety of aesthetically – pleasing colours and patterns.

Whatever your home’s style or design, an eco-friendly flooring option exists to complement the desired look and existing patterns.

Looking to Make a Small Room Appear Bigger??

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Helpful hints in making a small room appear bigger!

Small rooms are the bane of the home decorator. How do you achieve a pleasing look that doesn’t feel cramped and claustrophobic? Short of building an addition or knocking down walls, you are limited to a few, but effective, decorating tricks that create the illusion of space.

The strategic use of colour and light is the best way to achieve this. Choose light shades of paint or wallpaper for the walls. Lighter colours reflect light making for a brighter room. Use an even lighter shade of the same colour or white for ceilings and floors. A darker colour on the ceiling will make the ceiling look lower and tends to make the walls look as though they are closing in.

Avoid harshly contrasting colours. In fact, a monochromatic colour scheme that carries throughout the room into fabrics and accessories is very effective. Steer away from too many patterned items. The goal here is to blur perspective.

Anything you can do to bring light into the room will also give the effect of increased space. A corner wall sconce that casts light up onto the wall works well. Try to vary lighting effects for interest. A skylight is a great way to add light to a room, but isn’t always practical or affordable. Mirrors are a great solution for small rooms. Place mirrors directly across from another for maximum impact. A mirror placed across from a window is also effective. Place a lamp in front of a mirror to add more light to your room.

If you have wood or patterned flooring, have it installed so that the lines run diagonally across the room. This makes for longer lines, which give the appearance of a larger space. When furnishing the room, pick objects that are proportioned to the size of the room. For example, opt for a loveseat over a full-sized sofa. Lastly, keep the clutter to a minimum. Avoid using a lot of knick-knacks and keep the room tidy and well organized.

Viewing an Open House with Open Eyes

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

open house two

Remaining objective can be a difficult task when viewing an open house. It is easy to fall in love with a home’s appearance, blind to problems that may make it unsuitable. While aesthetics can be an important consideration, it is necessary to look beyond window-dressing.

Aqualified home inspector should be hired before purchasing a home, but there are areas that consumers can examine on their own. This will shorten your list of potential homes and reduce the likelihood that a home inspector will reject it as unsafe or unsuitable. Here are some considerations and common problem areas to look for when touring an open house:

General Upkeep

Much can be surmised from the general state of the home. Is the home clean? Are lawns left uncut? Are the walls chipped and in need of paint? If smaller chores have been ignored it may be an indication of a broader disregard for home maintenance.

Water Leaks

Check ceilings and drywall for stains, bulges and other signs of water damage. Water that works its way inside via a leaky roof or a cracked foundation can rot wood, create mildew and mold, destroy possessions and can be expensive to repair.

Does it Work?

Test lights, faucets, the heater, air conditioning, major appliances (that are to be included with the home) – even flush the toilets to ensure everything is working as it should.


As you walk across the floors be aware of spongy (soft or springy) sections. Excessive squeaking and uneven, bumpy floors may also be indicative of expensive forthcoming repairs.

Doors & Windows

Check that doors and windows fit snugly in their jambs and operate smoothly. Look for flaked paint and loose caulking. If the wood around windows and doors is not protected from moisture, it can rot away. Feel for drafts in these areas too.

Poor Drainage

On a wet day walk around the yard and look for areas where water collects. This can be an especially bad sign if there are soggy areas near the home’s foundation.

Grout & Caulking

If the grout and caulking around bathroom and kitchen tiles is loose and crumbly, there is a good chance that water is finding its way into the wall or under the floor.


Although this is definitely an area where you want the services of a qualified home inspector, you can get an idea about possible structural problems if you see deep cracks in the foundations or loose mortar and bricks.

Miscellaneous Concerns

Naturally, one the most important factors will be determining if the house suits your family’s needs. If you do not want to replace all of your furniture, make sure it will fit into the rooms of the new house. This is difficult to do by eye, so be sure to bring a measuring tape. Also, take note of storage space. If you are moving from a home with large closets and a shed, make sure your new house is able to store an equivalent amount of belongings.


First Impression Counts!

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

… For Buyers and Your Neighbours

The summer months are the perfect time to freshen up the exterior of your home. Whether it’s for your pleasure or to impress potential buyers, you’ll boost your home’s curb appeal with these good old-fashioned cleaning tips:

– Edge the gardens, clean out debris
– Pull the weeds and rake the leaves
– Prune the plants and wooly shrubs
– Plant some urns by the entrance and flowers to the beds
– Tidy the garage of winter trappings
– Dispose of rusty broken garden décor
– Put out a fresh welcome mat and oil the front door
– Paint the windowsills, mailbox, and anything else that is looking tired
– Place clear light bulbs in exterior fixtures, and ensure burned out bulbs are replaced
– Reseal the driveway
– Hide the garbage cans
– Sweep the step
– Fix the saggy gutters

Who says cleaning has to hurt? Get the kids involved! Borrow or buy a power washer and have fun cleaning siding, windows, sills, railings, decking and patio furniture.

How to keep your home safe when selling your home selling your home

Monday, June 11th, 2012

“I will make your house stand out,” your Realtor says as he/she sits with you at  your kitchen table going over the paperwork to put your house up for sale.

Your Realtor lets you know that she will use every possible means, both  modern and traditional, to put your home in front of as many potential buyers as  possible. The more potential buyers who see your home, the quicker it will  sell.

That is the good news. All these steps will help sell your home as quickly as  possible.

The bad news is that this aggressive marketing and advertising of your home  might bring your home and family to the attention of individuals who may wish to  do you harm. Now, don’t panic. We all know there are bad and just plain evil  people in our world who commit crimes against other members of our society.  While we all continue about our daily lives as usual, we take common sense steps  every day to keep our families and homes safe and secure.

Your Realtor will give you some common sense tips and instructions to help  ensure you and your family stay safe while your home is on the market. These  include:

Be sure you know who you let into your home: Your Realtor or her office will  contact you in advance to set up appointments for Realtors to show your home to  their clients. The Realtor showing your home will give you his business card  when you greet him at the door. This allows you to confirm that he is the  Realtor who scheduled the appointment.

If you have not received advance notice, or if a Realtor does not provide you  with identification, do not let him into your home. If anyone shows up at your  door wanting to see your home without a Realtor, do not let him enter. Simply  refer him to the phone number on your yard sign to get information and to set up  an appointment to see your house.

Your Realtor usually will suggest that you try not to be at home when your  house is shown. Generally, a potential buyer will be more comfortable and spend  more time looking at your home if you are not there. If anything seems wrong  when you return to your home, such as the door being unlocked, do not go into  your home. Contact your Realtor to see when the last showing occurred, or if he  has any answers. If you are still concerned, you will want to contact local  police and have them inspect your home for you.

In today’s world, many older children and teenagers are home alone during the  day, particularly this time of year. It is very important that you tell them to  take the same precautions if someone comes to look at your house while they are  home alone. All of us, and particularly young people, can be swayed by a good  story. Remember, con artists and others seeking to do harm or steal are often  very convincing. Be sure you and your children do not fall for their  deceptions.

Take care of your valuables and your identity: I have walked into homes I was  showing and found jewelry boxes open in the bedroom with expensive items in  plain sight. This is just asking for trouble. When your home is on the market,  be sure to, at the very least, put all your valuables away. If possible, it is a  good idea to put expensive jewelry that you don’t wear frequently, or other  valuables like coin collections, in a locked cabinet or even a safety deposit  box.

If you are like me, yesterday’s mail probably is sitting on the kitchen table  or the counter. You may have even left your bank statement or credit card bill  open on the kitchen counter after you opened it. With just a mobile phone,  someone could take a picture of your statement or bill that you left on the  counter and have your account numbers.

De-personalize your home: All of us have photos of family and loved ones in  our home. These pictures can provide too much information to someone viewing  your home, such as your child’s name, school, etc. Also, lots of photos of your  family make it harder for potential buyers to picture their family in your home.  While I am not suggesting you leave empty nails on your walls where pictures  used to be, it is a good idea to remove pictures from end tables, dressers,  etc.

If you are home when your home is shown, it is best to stay out of the way of  the Realtor and her client. If you are asked questions, keep your information to  facts about your home and the neighborhood. Information about your family and  your children is none of their business. A professional, business conversation  is always the best and safest course.

Your Realtor is your guide to a safe, trouble-free home-selling experience.  By following a few simple, common sense precautions, you can make sure your  family is safe and secure as you get ready to move to your next home.


Bored with your Headboard? Awaken Your Imagination

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

Bored with your  Headboard? Awaken Your Imagination   

The  bed is the centerpiece of almost every bedroom.  It takes up the most  room, it’s where your eye is naturally drawn to, and it’s the place where you  spend a third of your day.  Yet despite all the attention on beds,  headboards are often humdrum, predictable pieces of furniture.  So why not  add some style and personality to your headboard?  All you need is a  little imagination.  Here are a few ideas  to get you thinking:

Fabulous  Fabric
Fabric is a great way to add intrigue to the focal point of your  bedroom.  Instead of a standard headboard, consider hanging a family quilt  on a curtain rod for a quaint, farmhouse effect. Even a striking curtain can  extend the eye upwards and bring your bedroom style to new heights.  Or add  some panache with a few decorative hooks.

Right Frame of Mind
A  framed piece of appealing art can add vertical interest above any bed.   Consider a series of framed photographs to help personalize your bedroom,  and emphasize them with subtle wall lighting.  Go for glamour with a  framed antique mirror that can also help create the impression of extra space.

Shabby Chic
If  you’re going for a look that mixes urban trend with a traditional tone, think  shabby chic. Old doors, window shutters, mantle pieces, and uneven planks of  wood can all be repurposed into vintage-looking headboards.  Either  refinish wood with its natural colour or use light blues, browns, or whites to  create a dreamy combination of rustic and elegance.

Artsy, Optical Illusion
Want  to really think outside the box-spring? Why not create a new headboard right on  the wall?  Great for kids rooms, guest rooms, or just to save space,  simply paint a faux headboard on the wall in a colour that stands out.   Get even more creative with chalk paint and draw yourself a new headboard  whenever you wish!

With  the right mix of imaginative colour, design, and style, you’ll have the bedroom  of your dreams!

Tips for Renovating Your Basement

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Tips for Renovating Your Basement

Want to add more space to your home without  building up or out?  Look no further than  your basement.  According to the  Appraisal Institute of Canada, renovating a basement can give you a 50-75%  return on your investment when it comes to selling your home. Here’s how to get  it done right:

Start with a plan
What type of space does your family require?  Is it an extra living space for your teenager,  a playroom for the little one, or perhaps an entertainment area for all to enjoy?  Once you decide on how you want to utilize  the space, you can layout your design.  If  budget allows, an architect or interior designer could assist you with the  layout design and make valuable suggestions.

Do it  yourself or hire a professional
Depending on your skill set, budget, and time, you  may want to enlist the services of a contractor who has the expertise required  to finish a basement.  If you do it yourself and don’t have the required time or  skill to do the job correctly, you may find yourself looking at a repair bill  far exceeding the amount you originally thought the project would cost.  Make an informed decision.  Be sure to carefully weigh all  factors when deciding which option is right for you, while considering costs, material,  labour, and equipment requirements.

Framing basement walls and ceilings is one of the  most important aspects of any basement renovation. Two popular wall framing options are wood or steel studs. Wood is the classic  choice.  It is versatile, easy to work  with, and cost-effective.  Whereas steel,  although more costly, adds a level of strength, rot resistance and won’t warp  and crack like wood might over time.  Two  popular ceiling framing options are dropped ceiling tiles or drywall. Dropped  ceiling tiles provide easy access to pipes and wires which can be a saviour if a  tub or toilet on the main level floor springs a leak.  Alternatively, dry wall ceilings offer a  smooth finish and require less vertical space – a great option if your basement  ceiling height is already low.

There are  plenty of basement flooring choices to choose from including laminate,  linoleum, vinyl, wood and ceramic tiles.   Be sure to match your flooring choice with the intended use of the space  and your geographic location.  For  example, a game room may require more durable flooring than an office.  Do you live in an area with a tendency for  flooding or is your location dry?  Carpet  with high density under pad will offer cushion and moisture protection from the  typical condensation found in basements.  Engineered hardwood made for below grade  installation will flex and handle moisture better than traditional hardwood. Ceramic  tile is great for bathrooms and laundry rooms and is easy to install on  concrete.

Add a bathroom
Installing a bathroom in the basement is a great  way to add value to your home.  Determine  if you require a full bathroom or if a powder room will suffice.  Powder rooms are relatively simple to  install, easy to keep clean, and won’t take up too much room.  Full three or four piece bathrooms can provide  a comfortable, private, and even luxurious, space for overnight visitors to  enjoy. With either option, time and costs can be reduced if bathroom fixtures  are located near existing plumbing and are arranged in a line on one wall.  Be sure to check local codes for plumbing and  electrical aspects of your project.

Add storage
No matter what kind of plan you come up with for  your basement, remember to factor in plenty of closet or storage space.  This will enable you to de-clutter the rest  of your home to keep it tidy and inviting.   Further, if you ever decide to move, having this extra storage space  should appeal to just about any prospective buyer.

A  finished basement can not only increase your home enjoyment but it can also add  valuable square footage.  From everyday  living to financial value, finished basements provide many benefits to you as a  homeowner.

Welcome to my new Blog!!! Don’t put it on HOLD…Call Riz to get it SOLD!!!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Welcome to my new Blog… I will be posting things that matter the most to all of us.  Check back often enough and subscribe for many great articles and information yet to come

© Copyright 2017, Real Estate Websites by Redman Technologies Inc. | Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Sitemap

MLS®, REALTOR®, and the associated logos are trademarks of The Canadian Real Estate Association.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the Kitchener-Waterloo Real Estate Board. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.