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Victoria Community Blog

Suite-ing A Home In Victoria Tag: DIY

Often known as "in-law suites" or "granny suites", secondary suites have long been used to house family members in an independent space that's still close at hand. A simple one-bedroom suite can be comfortable and private accommodation for teenagers, university students, or seniors. Aside from benefiting family, secondary suites can provide additional income in the form of rentals, or be converted into a home office or business.

So how do you know if adding a suite to your property is the right move, and how do you get started?

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Septic Tanks 101: Maintenance & Repair Tag: DIY

Schematic of a standard septic tank. Credit to Tilley, E., Ulrich, L., Lüthi, C., Reymond, Ph., and Zurbrügg, C.

Safe disposal of human waste is a concern of any town or city. Wastewater can contain dangerous pathogens like bacteria and viruses (such as hepatitis, salmonella, E. coli, and cholera), and elements like nitrogen and phosphates which can harm wildlife and local water quality.

Municipal sewer systems and water treatment facilities have a number of ways to counteract these dangers, but what about houses that are off the sewage grid? In the Greater Victoria area, houses without sewer service typically have a septic tank system on their property — which the homeowners are responsible for.

In this post I'll be going over the general workings of a septic tank system, and what you as a homeowner might need to know to keep your tank safe and maintained.

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Moving Day: What To Remember Tag: DIY

A stylish kitchen filled with packed moving boxes. Credit to Thad Zajdowicz on Flickr.

When it's time to move, it always feels like there's a million things to do and not enough time to keep track of them, much less get them done. But if you start the process early enough, keep yourself organized, and have a checklist of items to follow, the process becomes much less overwhelming.

Here is a list of important items to cover before and during a move, including links to change of address forms and tips on how to pack.

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The Bones Of A House: What Makes A Good Home Tag: DIY

The wood frame of a house under construction. Credit to Jaksmata on Wikimedia.

As one of the biggest investments one can make in a lifetime, homeowners want and expect their homes to last a long time. But not all buildings — or building materials — are made equal.

Homes of a certain age in BC are more prone to some issues than others. Condos built in the 1990s often have leaking issues, while those built in the 70s can have poor plumbing and elevators. Homes built from the 1960s all the way up until the early 90s can contain harmful asbestos. Buildings constructed prior to the 1950s, the start of official building codes, can have everything from poor foundations to faulty wiring.

Everything is fixable for a price, but many home buyers may not have the budget to replace or upgrade the core "bones" of a house. I'll be reviewing some of the warning signs to watch out for when touring a home, as well as what kind of systems and materials are preferred.

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8 Spring Home Improvements Tag: DIY

A photo of a clean, sunlit room with a couch and pillow, potted plants, and out-of-focus bottles.

As spring approaches, so does the ideal home selling season. The period right after the cold starts to wane and before the market starts to pick up is the perfect opportunity to prepare your home for staging, as well as add some value to your property.

Starting on the outside and moving in, I'll help you take a look at the top 8 ways to spruce up your home this spring.

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Home Emergency Preparedness Tag: DIY

Ocean waves crashing high onto a breakwater in a Victoria neighbourhood on a cloudy, stormy day.

This year we've already seen an incredible amount of rainfall in Victoria BC, thanks in part to Hurricane Matthew. Some areas in Sooke even received instructions and supplies for sandbagging their homes against potential floods. When facing conditions like this, it's easy to see that sometimes winterizing your home isn't enough on its own.

How can you ensure the safety of your home and family when mother nature is at its worst? We can't prevent every disaster, but there are things you can do when looking for a new home, or as a home owner readying for the winter, to better your chances.

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Winterizing Your Home In BC Tag: DIY

Lights reflecting off a rainy road and metal bench on Douglas St. in Victoria BC. Credit: hobvias sudoneighm on Flickr.

There's a large number of "how to winterize your home" articles on the internet, but if you live on the west coast you may have noticed that most of them are aimed at home owners further east — home owners who have to deal with large amounts of snow and subzero temperatures.

Being located in a temperate climate, much of the BC coast and Victoria in particular has different concerns when it comes to preparing for winter. Instead of snow and ice, we need to prepare for high levels of rainfall and strong winds, as many of us realized during last Tuesday's storm!

To help you ready your home for the upcoming season, I've compiled this guide on winterizing your home for a west coast winter. It's never too late to get started!

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