5 Steps to prepare your home for fall!

Fall is officially here!  That means the gorgeous colours of the leaves changing, everything Pumpkin Spice, and cozy clothes for cooler weather.  It also means it’s time for a little TLC for your home to get ready for everything that fall, and winter, brings: falling leaves, colder air, snow.  What, you may ask, is really needed to prepare your home?  Take a look at what we recommend are the 5 steps to preparing your home for fall.

1. Eavestrough and Downspout Cleaning

eavestrough-cleaningWhether you have trees on your property or not, eavestroughs always seem to get leaves or debris in them.  Here’s why it’s important to have your eavestroughs and downspouts cleaned at least once this season:

  • Prevents debris build up resulting in poor water drainage.
  • Clogged eavestroughs can result in water overflow which can increase property erosion and leaks.
  • Debris build up freezing in colder temperatures causing potential damage and poor drainage, as well as precipitation build-up backing up under the shingles.

2. Roof Inspection and Maintenance

roof repair

As your homes first line of defence to the elements, your roof needs to be in good condition to protect your home effectively.  Some things can be DIY,  this one however is not.   Hire a pro to take care of your roof for you!  We perform a complete inspection including:

  • Inspecting the overall condition of your roof and its anticipated life span.
  • Check for any damaged, loose, or missing shingles.
  • Exposed or lifted nail heads which can allow water penetration.
  • Lifting or damaged chimney or wall metal.
  • Animal damage.

Based on the inspection results, it might be recommended to do only minor repairs such as replacing some shingle tabs or applying caulking to exposed nail heads.  If your roof is in poorer condition however, more in-depth repairs may be required, or in extreme cases full replacement may be recommended.

3. Attic Inspection

attic leak and mould

Your attic is most likely a space that you don’t frequently enter, which is why it’s inspection before the cooler months get here is very important to address any known or unknown issues.

  • Ensure insulation levels are adequate (an R-Value of 50 is recommended for best energy efficiency) and top up if necessary to prevent heat and energy loss.
  • Remove any damaged insulation due to water penetration, animal urine or feces, etc.
  • Inspect for water damage, active or past, and repair to prevent further leakage or mould growth.
  • If there has been a history of leaks, major or minor, it is important to inspect for the presence of mould.  A spray can be applied to eliminate small amounts of existing mould, but in instances where mould is too prevalent, the complete replacement of the plywood would be recommended.
  • Ensure attic is properly ventilated, and add additional venting if needed.

4. Window & Door Inspections and Maintenance

exetrior-window-caulking

Ever stood by a closed window or door and felt a bit drafty?  Well, not only is it not working the way it should to keep the elements out, but your heat, and your money, is literally going right out the window.  Here’s how you can help keep your spaces warmer, and save on energy costs at the same time:

  • Inspect the exterior frames of your windows and doors for gaps, cracked or missing caulking, and apply new caulking where needed.
  • Older or poorly installed windows may not have insulation surrounding them on the interior.  Have insulation installed around your windows, as well as new trim.
  • If a window is too old, out of square, or just broken, no amount of caulking will stop those drafts.  Replacing the unit would be your best option, and return on investment, for comfort and cost savings.  To keep things in budget, it can be best to replace the items that are in the worst condition, or ones in important rooms such as bedrooms.

5. Siding Repairs

damaged siding and repair

Whether you have aluminum, vinyl, or brick siding, it acts as the protective outer layer or skin of your home.  Giving it a once over to make sure it’s keeping elements (and critters!) out can go a long way to saving headaches over the colder months.

  • Caulk or fill any small gaps or holes.
  • Secure loose or lifting pieces.
  • Repair areas from animal damage (get a wildlife pro in to get rid of the animal first, or be prepared to have ongoing repairs!)
  • Replace any damaged sections that cannot be re-secured or caulked as a repair.

 

We hope this guideline helps you get your home in the best shape possible for fall, and don’t forget: when in doubt, hire a pro!  Safety first!

We’re going Green!

We love our planet, which is why we are very excited to show you the sneak preview to our brand new green energy division!

When you’re a larger facility such as a commercial building, a condominium, or a school, thinking about how you can be “green” can seem like a large task to take on.

This is exactly what drove us to offer options that focus specifically towards these clients.  We want to make it easier to take that first step towards sustainability and making our planet a healthier place for ourselves to live, and our future generations to thrive.

Take a look at our general information sheet below!  More info is on its way, but don’t hesitate to contact us to get started on your project now!

Green Energy Preview

Check out the preview to our new Green Energy Division!

 

 

Happy Earth Day!!

Today is the day we celebrate our gorgeous planet and do that little bit more to keep it healthy.  And what a gorgeous day for it!  Finally some spring weather!

To keep in theme with Earth day, and Earth Month here at Sunrise, we’ve put together 10 ways you can help the environment (and even save some money along the way!).

1. Rain barrel – Buy one!  Or make one if you’re handy.  Rain barrels are a great way to conserve water usage, and there are lots of different options and price points available.  Canadian Tire has a great variety, and keep an eye out for truckload sales in your city!  Click here for the rain barrel sale schedule for Halton region, only $45 each!

2. Seal your windows/doors – Windows and doors that are a little on the older side tend to be culprits for letting energy escape.  Replacing windows not in your budget?  A cost effective temporary solution would be to have someone apply new caulking to where its worn, or change the weather stripping.

3. Wash in cold water – Now, we don’t mean shower in cold water (if you can, you are a better person than me!), but do your laundry in cold water.  It saves energy, which is better on the environment and on the wallet.

4.  LED Bulbs – This small change can make a big difference!  With less energy usage, you have lower carbon footprint, and again it WILL save you money!  Check out this LED Savings Calculator which will calculate your savings with each bulb you change!

5. Scavenger Hunt – Getting the kids involved in helping our planet is super important, after all they are our future!  This is a great printable earth day scavenger hunt that helps teach them about the planet, and have fun doing it!

6. Attic insulation – This is one energy and money saving upgrade we ALWAYS bring up!  Topping up or replacing your attic insulation is such a simple way to improve your energy savings, reduce your carbon footprint, and save money!

7. Rebates – Take advantage of government or energy company rebates!  Most, if not all, offer rebates for energy efficient upgrades in your home.  Our most recent blog post gives great information on local Natural Gas companies and the rebates they offer!

8. Plants –  Literally going green in your home is great for the environment, as plants express your desire to be environmentally sound and help process and clean the air inside your home.

9. Use appliances in off-peak hours – Take a look at what your hydro company deems as off-peak hours (usually 7 pm to 7 am, weekdays, all day on weekends & holidays), and try your best to use your appliances during these times.

10. Energy Star Rated Products – Making sure you use as many Energy Star rated products as possible, such as windows or appliances, is a great investment.  They are more efficient and lower energy usage, which means more savings for you, and the environment!

 

We hope these tips were helpful, and feel free to share your Eco Friendly ideas and tips!

Energy Saving Rebates

The “Going Green” trend is definitely becoming more popular, and there are the more obvious benefits to using energy saving products:

  • Lower energy bills
  • Increased comfort in your living spaces
  • Better temperature regulation

But did you know you can actually get money back when you install energy efficient products in your home?  Pretty great news, right??

We’ve saved you the time in doing the research, and have compiled a list below of the companies that offer energy saving programs, and what they entail!

UNION GAS

If you are a client with Union Gas, they offer a few different types of energy saving rebates.

Home Reno Rebate – Up to $2500 in rebates

When you add energy efficient upgrades to your home, such as new windows, attic or wall insulation, or a new furnace, Union Gas offers rebates for each item!  Check out the section of their website by clicking here to get more detailed info on the program.

Step 1.  Get your home assessed by a Participating Certified Energy Adviser*.
Step 2. Have at least two of the listed upgrades performed.
Step 3. Have your home re-assessed by the energy adviser.*
Step 4. Get your cheque! After their report is submitted, you will get your rebate in the mail approx. 90 days later.

*You must pay the initial and follow up cost of the home energy assessment – Approx. $500 +HST – but you will get a $500 rebate for that cost at the end. 

Home Weatherization Program – FREE if you qualify

This seems to be a great program for lower income homes, and will not affect income from government assistance programs.  All the upgrades are installed at no cost to you by their authorized contractors.

Once you have your home assessed by a Certified Energy Auditor, you will will receive:
 Insulation as needed, in your basement, walls and attic
Water-saving products to lower your hot-water costs
A programmable thermostat that adjusts the temperature when you’re asleep or away

To be eligible for this program, you must meet these criteria:
You fall under the stipulated income levels (click here to see what those are)
Your home is older than 1975
You have a natural gas furnace and pay the Union Gas bill

You can call to apply or apply online to this program.

ENBRIDGE

Home Energy Conservation Program – Up to $2100 in rebates

Enbridge offers a similar program to Union Gas, where rebates are offered for home upgrades.  They have similar steps in completing the program, which means you need to have a home energy assessment to see what you qualify for.

Click here if you are an Enbridge customer and want more details on how you can take advantage of those rebates!

GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS

Ontario Power Authority

The Ontario Power Authority offers a few different energy and money saving options:
Heating & Cooling Incentive – Rebates for upgrading your Central air and installing a high efficiency furnace
Coupons – Downloadable coupons for energy star certified light bulbs, light fixtures, power bars, programable light timers, and clotheslines.

We hope this has provided you with a bit more knowledge on how you can use some of the Energy Saving programs are out there, and has made your life a little “greener” :)

Sunrise Construction

5 Ways to boost curb appeal

Spring has sprung, which for me usually means two things:

  1. The (slightly) warmer weather means finally not wearing so many layers I look like the Stay Puft marshmallow man.
  2. I’m totally glued to Pinterest and home and garden shows, planning how I can step up our curb appeal game (can’t just be me, right?)

While we aren’t in the business of helping you decide your new spring wardrobe, we are in the business of helping your home stand out in all the best ways.  If your homes curb-appeal makes a great first impression, everyone – including potential homebuyers – will want to see whats inside!  Whether you’re looking for some low-cost ways to spruce things up, or ready to make some serious moves, we can guide you in the right direction and help you achieve your goals.

We’ve put together a list of  what we feel are the areas that will have the most impact, and our list we’ve laid out two options:

Thrifty – for when you want to give it a bit of a face lift, but nothing major.
Best ROI – This is the Best Return On Investment, which usually has the most energy efficient, highest home-value impact option.

Want more info on how you can apply these to your home?  Give us a shout!

1. FRONT DOOR

Thrifty – Paint your door to add a pop of colour or fresh, new feel.
Best ROI – Upgrade to a new door system for better energy efficiency and function.

front door before and after

Before, this front door was dated, hard to operate, and the frame was rotting. What a difference this new door made!!

This is one of the first things people notice when they approach or enter your home.  They literally can’t avoid it.  Older doors can lose their seal or become out of square, making it difficult to operate and less energy efficient.  Getting your front door replaced will benefit you in more ways than one:

  • It provides a fresh, clean, and updated look to the main entrance of your home.
  • It increases your energy efficiency.
  • Replacing a damaged door system will be safer, and usually easier to operate.

2. WINDOWS

Thrifty – Replace old, deteriorated caulking from the exterior of your windows to allow for a cleaner look and better seal.
Best ROI – Replace your window to improve energy efficiency and comfort.

vinylguard window

Bring in the light with new windows!

You can tell a window isn’t doing it’s job properly in a couple of ways:

  • You can feel cold and/or a draft coming from it in the winter, and heat in the summer.
  • Condensation forms between the window panes.
  • It’s stiff or hard to operate.

Getting your windows replaced (whether just one, or the whole house), is one of the best ways you can increase your homes value!  It increases your homes energy effiency, AND it can have a huge impact on re-sale value!  Check out some more of our recent window projects to see what a difference new windows can make.

3. A NEW ROOF

Thrifty – Repair areas of concern such as missing shingles, or sections most effected by weather (sun, water run off, etc).
Best ROI – Protect your home properly and give it a fresh look by replacing your roof. 

Asphalt Shingle Roof

A new roof = Better aesthetics + protection

As your homes first line of defence, a quality roof is essential.  Not only do roofs that are weathered, worn, or have missing shingles just look shabby, they aren’t properly protecting your home from the elements.

Worn or damaged shingles increase the chance of leaks and property damage, so when you replace your roof you’re not only increasing your curb-appeal, you’re investing in your future.

Our roofing gallery gives good examples of how a roof should look, and what happens when you don’t use the proper materials.

4. SIDING

Thrifty – Painting dated brick.
Best ROI – Install new siding for a “New Home” look and to increase your homes energy efficiency.

siding before and after

Before: Dated and weathered                                                                After: Fresh and clean

Siding acts as your homes skin, and it comes in many types and colours: Vinyl, aluminum, brick, composite, etc.  It protects it from the elements, but over time it can look dated, weathered, and discoloured.

Whether you decide to paint it, or replace it all together, your house ends up looking brand new!

5. ADD SOME GREENERY

Thrifty – Add some colourful seasonal planters to frame you front entrance.
Best ROI – Hire a pro to revamp your garden and add some landscaping that really accents your house.

main

Whether you like a delightfully full English Country style garden, or a more groomed contemporary garden, you can’t help but feel a “Welcome Home” vibe as you walk up the path.

Some final thoughts…

All these points are perfect ways you can boost your curb-appeal, and with those come some very important reminders when it comes to working on your home yourself, or hiring an individual:

  • ALWAYS check that any individual you hire has the proper Liability Insurance and valid WSIB.  This ensures that you as a homeowner are protected should any unfortunate circumstances arise during the project.
  • Remember that especially when it comes to heights, even some of the thrifty options are best left to a professional.
  • We always recommend getting multiple quotes for any project, but make sure you’re comparing apples to apples!  You want to know you are getting quoted on the same type of products and services.
  • Make sure you are being provided with the proper products! For example, a quality underlayment should be used when installing a new roof, as it’s required to validate the product warranty.
  • Speaking of warranties, your pro should give you adequate workmanship and product warranty information for the type of product and application.

At the end of the day, whether you chose to go Thrifty or go full out with your Best ROI, you are still making steps toward upgrading your home, and helping it be the best version of itself.

Happy upgrading!

Recent Projects

SUMMER 2016

Front door replacement program – 4635 Regents Terrace, Mississauga

It was time for round 2 of the front door program at this site!  We started the program in Fall of 2015, and they were happy to get the next 17 units in for replacement this summer.  Another successful installation program, and this site just keeps looking better and better!  Check out some of this rounds replacements:

WINTER 2015

These homeowners got an early Christmas Present!  The 3rd round of the Window Replacement Program for this Mississauga client saw 11 townhouse units get brand new windows and patio doors!  A total of 107 windows and 10 patio doors were installed in less than 3 weeks.  No more drafts and cold rooms this winter for these homeowners!

FALL 2015

We have worked with this client in Mississauga for a few years now, and we were happy to hear that they wanted us to make some moves on upgrading their front doors.

Their doors were outdated, not energy efficient, and many had issues with operation.  To ensure their transition went smoothly, we provided front door status inspections of all units, discussed new product style and colour options, and successfully executed their very first replacement round.  With standard and upgrade options, they (and us as well!) LOVED the way they turned out!