Purrfect Properties Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Home Improvement and Decor’

5 Home Projects that Add Instant Value

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

5 High Return Updates for the Home

Do you have a list of changes you’d like to make to your home this year? Completing cosmetic updates is easiest when the weather’s in your favor. In honor of May’s National Home Improvement Month, here are five projects ranging from simple curb appeal projects to large-scale expansions that real estate pros love for having high returns. (more…)

Home Preparedness – Is Your Home Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

The American Red Cross Society is always offering up helpful information on what to do with your home in a state of emergency.  I find more useful information in prevention.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  While accidents happen, there is no better time than the present to start preparing your life for the just in case scenario. Whether you have just moved into a new home or are looking to reduce your risks in your current home, here are some tips to help make your investment money more safe.

Create fire escape plans and meeting places

child filing out fire escape plan Red Cross new home checklist

The official Red Cross tip is to have two ways out of your home and set two meeting places: outside your home (to connect after something like a fire) and outside your neighborhood if the area is blocked in an emergency.

My new house has three ways out on the first floor (I’m an overachiever) and an escape ladder stored upstairs in our bedroom.

Families should also think about what special circumstances your family may have, like pets or kids. For instance, if we’re stuck upstairs in a fire, it’s my job to grab the baby from the nursery while my husband quickly installs the ladder on our bedroom window.

Create your survival kit

My family used up our emergency water stores before we moved, so I’ve been buying one huge water jug with every grocery shopping trip and stockpiling them in the garage. This method is a welcome upgrade from tucking water gallons in the back corners of my kitchen cupboards or stuffing them beside my dryer. You get very creative living in a small apartment, my friend.

Check out the video above for some other ideas of items to collect, should your family face an emergency.

Identify your severe weather shelter

feet going down stairs Red Cross new home checklist

Living in apartments for most of my adult life, I’ve never had the luxury of a basement for shelter during severe weather. My new place has a small bathroom in the middle of the ground floor that we’ve agreed is the safest spot.

If you don’t have an underground shelter or basement, you should identify an interior spot (i.e. not right by an outside wall, away from windows) on the lowest floor of your home.

Update your app alert locations

Emergency App Location Monitoring Screenshots Red Cross new home checklist


If you have our Emergency App downloaded, update your severe weather alert preferences, including the locations you want to monitor and types of disasters. You can also see if your local emergency management professionals have local notification systems, like text message alerts, for additional safety updates in your area.

And if you download the app for the first time, here’s a handy guide to setting up those alerts.

Assess Your Fire Risks

child hand reaching for lighter Red Cross new home checklist

Finally, keep fire prevention in mind as you’re unpacking. For instance, keep flammable items at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters. Make sure wiring is not run under rugs. And although it may be tempting, avoid overloading outlets or extension cords. For easy reference, here’s an awesome list of things to check in your home as you’re setting up.

Upon moving into our new place, I noticed the smoke alarms throughout the house looked a bit dated, considering they were an impressive yellow color. The landlord couldn’t confirm how long they’d been there but assured us they were in working condition. Knowing smoke alarms have to be replaced every ten years, we went out and bought new smoke alarms and installed them ourselves. Expensive? Yes. Worth it? Totally.

Find a ton of more info on preventing home fires on the American Red Cross Website and an awesome collection of disaster prep info in our Emergency App

and the American Red Cross on January 26, 2017.

We often forget to look up! Ceilings take on a modern edge.

Monday, March 20th, 2017

As far as social design trends go, floors have become an obvious staple—just search under the hashtag #viewfromthetop or, simply, #floors. Ceilings, however, don’t get as much shine, but one person who’s offering up the oft-forgotten for new consideration is Tommy Hilfiger. The fashion designer’s Greenwich, Connecticut, home is the definition of ceiling goals, as you can see from photos in Architectural Digest’s March 2017 cover story.

Urban Homesteading in Edmonton, Alberta

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

From backyard and rooftop gardens to community plots in parks and vacant lots, urban agriculture has become a nationwide movement, and more homeowners have taken an interest in producing their own food. For many urban homesteaders, it stems from a desire to know where their food comes from and live more sustainably.

Are you interested in participating? These three small-scale projects are great places to start.

Raising Backyard Chickens
Chickens provide a relatively inexpensive, low-maintenance way to feed your family, plus they act as complimentary fertilizer and chemical-free pest control. Before you buy baby chicks, make sure you research and follow local laws, city ordinances and homeowner association rules.

Taking Up Beekeeping
In the 1940s, we had five million beehives, and today, roughly half of those remain. A growing awareness of this drastic decline has led to an increase in urban beekeeping, to the tune of approximately 120,000 backyard beekeepers.  Now that bees are on the extinction list , it is of dire importance to help by planting flowers for food and knowing what a hive can look like.

Becoming a beekeeper starts with a lot of research, followed by choosing the right equipment and bees. Don’t want to care for an entire colony? Plant native flower and weed varieties that help encourage bee pollination and reproduction.

Gardening and Canning
Whether it’s a large plot or a small section, a personal garden gives you control. Plus, you can preserve fresh fruits and vegetables via the canning process. While many homesteaders use yields from their garden, others buy extra produce in its peak season. Canning veggies and fruits is a family-friendly activity that lets you enjoy seasonal produce all year long.

Though urban homesteading may seem intimidating at first, it’s easier to start small. The projects above can help minimize your impact on the environment and allow you to take part in your own food production.

Modern Caveman shocks world with his Weird, Refurbished Home.

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

I love this creation.  Seriously, who thinks of taking a cave and turning it into a modern home.  In fact, this is a recreation property and he doesn’t live there all the time.  I imagine he’s working on getting his permits, that can always take a lot of time. lol  He built a lot of this by his own hands.  Impressive.  There’s so many details I see through the tour of his home, that show the depth of the thought process at hand.  This is taking the outdoors and putting it inside the home in such a unique way that I have nothing to say but wow, now that’s the Cats Meow.  The best part – can you say rental?!?

Oh and – check out his shower…


Is Your Family Prepared for an Emergency – Can you get through 72 hours without help?

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Emergency Preparedness Week is a national awareness initiative that has taken place annually since 1996. It is a collaborative event undertaken by provincial and territorial emergency management organizations supporting activities at the local level, in concert with Public Safety Canada and partners. Emergency Preparedness Week encourages Canadians to take three simple steps to become better prepared to face a range of emergencies: Know the Risk, Make a plan, Get an emergency kit.

As Albertan’s most of us are familiar with just how quick disaster can happen in our province, as illustrated by last year flooding in the south of or province.  In the days leading up to June 20, 2013, Alberta, experienced heavy rainfall that triggered catastrophic flooding described by the provincial government as the worst in Alberta’s history. Areas along the Bow, Elbow, Highwood, Red Deer, Sheep, Little Bow, and South Saskatchewan rivers and their tributaries were particularly affected. A total of 32 states of local emergency were declared and 28 emergency operations centres were activated as water levels rose and numerous communities were placed under evacuation orders.  Four lives were lost, and over 100,000 people were displaced as a direct result of the flooding.  You may think that the Edmonton area can’t be effected like our neighbours to the south, however this is just not the case.  Floods can happen in our city due to a number of factors, including but not limited to; snow melt from plains or mountains, Rain fall, and Ice jams.  These three factors have the greatest effect on the population as a whole, as flooding from these factors generally effects a large area.

Alberta Environment monitors weather patterns, precipitation and provincial water levels and flows. The Environmental Monitoring and Evaluation Branch provides a comprehensive series of public advisories about potential flooding. These warnings are posted on the Alberta Environment website.  There are steps that you can take to ensure that you’re prepared for the possibility of flooding.  Know where to obtain sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and lumber to protect your house.  Remove any household effects you can. If this is not possible, move possessions from the basement to an upper floor.  Seal hazardous materials such as weed killers and insecticides in plastic garbage bags and move them into safe storage or dispose of them safely.  At the first warning of flooding, and if it is safe to do so, turn off electrical power and leave it off.  Following these steps will help to reduce the risk from any possible flooding.  Perhaps one of the best ways to avoid being affected by flooding is to purchase a home on higher ground.  Properties in low lying areas whether near a water source or not, have inherent flood risk, either due to melting snow pack, higher then normal rains, or broken underground pipes.  Floods can happen at anytime to almost any house, having a plan and discussing the plan with your family will help to ensure that your prepared in the event of a flood.  Don’t forget to include your furry family members in your flood planing.

The government of Canada, suggest that every household be prepared to survive with out assistance for a period of 72hr.  They have issued helpful information on their Get Prepared website, that will give you some of the information you need on making plans for dealing with disaster and how to make a preparedness kit. This Realtor has made a plan for herself and her kitties, have you?

And That’s The Cats’ Meow.

What Not to Look at – When Buying a Home

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

When you start the search for your new house you may find that some people have a much different idea of what “style” is than you do.  The key is to not get wrapped up in the downfalls of the home you’re looking at but at the potential of what that home could be.  Walking through homes with clients this Realtor has heard many of the same items come up time after time and some people seem to put to much weight on these items.  So what are the things you should try to ignore when shopping for your next home?

Paint; Paint colours can add or subtract from the perceived value we place on a room, however we must remember that paint is often one of the easiest and cheapest ways to change the entire look of a room.

Wallpaper; Wallpaper may not be as easy to change as paint but with just a little extra work, and some elbow grease, wallpaper can generally be easily removed.

Appliances; The kitchen may be the heart of the home, however a yellow fridge in the kitchen can greatly detract from the appeal of said kitchen.  With a little extra room in your budget, or perhaps a long term plan that yellow fridge could be replaced.  Don’t let older or off coloured appliances take away from the inner beauty and potential of the kitchen.  The same can be said about clutter and small appliances on the counters, they make make the kitchen look smaller, but when the old owners move so will their small appliances.

Carpets;  Let’s face it after about 10 years most carpet should be replaced, perhaps sooner if their are pets in the house.  If the current owners of the house your viewing decide to change the carpet before they sell they may choose something that doesn’t appeal to you, and they generally look for a replacement product at a lower price point.  Wouldn’t you rather have the option of choosing what’s under your feet in your new home.  Don’t let old orange carpet ruin the chance of finding your dream home.

Popcorn ceilings;  What were once all the rage, have gone the way of shoulder pads, and neon clothes.  Let’s face it not too many people like the look of a popcorn ceiling these days.  Most of the time a ceiling can be scraped down and restored to a beautiful flat ceiling.  If you are looking at removing or having someone remove a popcorn ceiling you may want to get it done before you move in to your new home as this can be a very messy job.

Smells;  For the most part smells can be dealt with by a good deep cleaning of the home.  Do be careful about some smells as they may point to water damage or possibly mold, however this is generally not the case.  So roll up those sleeves get some bleach and before you know it those smells will be gone, or if you would rather there are many cleaning services that will do the dirty work for you.

Window Coverings; Yes window coverings can be expensive but they don’t have to be, many hardware stores cary blinds in stock that can be cut to fit most windows, or often times a less expensive option is curtains.  Whatever you do choose, you can have the option to customize the window coverings to your taste.  The main thing you should be noticing when you look at the windows in a potential home are the windows themselves as they are the real big ticket items to replace.

Curb Appeal;  If you’re not taken aback by the curb appeal of the house your view, perhaps it’s something that can be easily changed.  A coat of paint, a new colour for the front door and some landscaping can have a drastic change on the curb appeal of your new home, and with an added bonus of making you the envy of the neighbours.

These are just a few of the top things that this Realtor has heard through out the years, so next time you looking at a house, make sure not to get to caught up on the cosmetics of the house and focus more on the potential that your new home has.  Some of these items may be easier to look past than others.  The main things to think about when you’re looking for a new house are: Is this the home for me?  Will it meet my needs now and in the future?

And that’s the Cats’ Meow

Raspberry – How Red Hot is it?

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

The Color of the New Year

Decoration for a sale in the holidays

Friday, December 16th, 2011






Drab to Fab

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Spruce Grove’s Remodel staging