There's a lot to consider when deciding where to purchase your home. A recent survey by BMO Bank of Montreal asked Canadian homeowners to rank their decision criteria when choosing where to live. The results show that at the top of most Canadians' lists is security. Buying a home is the biggest financial decision a family will make and there are many factors to consider before signing on the bottom line.
"Everyone has a unique set of personal and financial priorities, so it's important that those particular needs are considered when deciding on the right location to purchase a home," said Laura Parsons, Mortgage Expert at BMO Bank of Montreal. "Taking a practical approach to home buying is the key to preventing yourself from getting 'swept away' by the bells and whistles of a house. Home buyers should make a list of needs versus wants and prioritize them in order of highest to lowest importance."
Here's how the respondents ranked their top 5 criteria:
- Safe Neighbourhood
- Quiet Street
- Good Neighbours
- Short Commute to Work
- Near Friends and Family
Purchaing or building a home in a safe neighbourhood will definitely help to keep your home safe from crime. However, there are additional steps you might be interested in taking in order to protect your family. Learn more about home safety in our home invasion demonstration video.
With the warm weather upon us it's the perfect time to throw open your windows and let in some fresh air. But, did you know that when you maximize the ventilation in your home you're doing far more than replacing stale air? You're actually improving your health.
It stands to reason that fresh-air does a body good, but did you know that poorly ventilated homes have been linked to a number of health risks? A diverse group of organizations including the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Center for Disease Control, and the BC Ministry of Health have all identified a number of hazardous side-effects to poor air quality:
- dry mucous membranes
- eye, nose, and throat irritation
- allergy or asthma attacks
The first step to safe indoor air quality is great ventilation; the more fresh air you can bring in from the outside the better. Circulating fresh air will help remove pollutants like second hand smoke, fungi and microorganisms, and possibly even harmful gasses like radon or carbon monoxide. That, along with limiting the sources of harmful pollutants, and utilizing quality air filters and cleaners, can make a big difference in your health. Proper ventilation will help you breath a little easier, literally and figuratively.
If you're in the process of selling your home you're probably concerned with two things: how fast can I sell it and how can I get my asking price? The internet abounds with tips and tricks for addressing both, everything from home staging, to baking fresh bread, to making your whole home gender neutral! But, thanks to the energy efficiency improvements you've made to your home, your Realtor may be able to help your listing stand out from the crowd.
When George Nickel, director of business development at Innotech, decided to sell his Ladner, BC home, he could have picked a better time; he listed in 2008 at the same time as when brand new homes across the street were coming on the market and the real estate marketing was beginning to weaken. George wasn't deterred. He set an asking price at around the same price as the brand-new homes - because he knew he had an ace up his sleeve. He made sure to educate his Realtor on the many energy improvements made to his house.
Thanks to George's investment in energy efficiency, including his Innotech windows and doors, his home cost much less to both heat and cool. He insisted that his Realtor learn about all the advanced energy-saving technology in the home and he asked that he take the time to explain the improvements to every potential home buyer. After all, although his home was older than the flashy homes across the street, his home was retrofitted with high-quality improvements - making it a more durable, energy efficient, secure and comfortable home.
In the end the strategy was a success! George accepted an offer close to what the new homes were asking. If you're selling your home, and you'd like to educate potential buyers on the benefits of Innotech Windows and Doors, we'd be happy to lend you one of our corner samples, perfect for showing in detail how our windows save on energy costs. To arrange for sample, simply contact us today.
For the past three years Innotech has been a proud sponsor of Team Canada's entry into the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon, a building competition that challenges teams from around the world to design and build the energy efficient housing of the future.
Team Canada's entry in 2011, the TRTL (Technological Residence Traditional Living), was very well received, cracking the top 10 in the competition and winning a prized Emerald Award in the Education category. After the competition the home was donated back to its birthplace, the University of Calgary, where it will be utilized as a student hub for sustainability research.
On March 21st the stakeholders of the TRTL gathered to rededicate the project as the Spo'pi Solar House. Representatives from the school as well as from the Treaty 7 First Nations people were on hand to validate the transfer from the students to the school. Today, May 2nd, the facility will celebrate its grand opening, and the entire team at Innotech wishes the University and its students the best of luck with their new space, and we can't wait to see what energy efficient innovations they come up with.
Throughout the spring trade show season we invited homeowners from across Canada to enter to win a set of our premium Terrace Swing Doors. After sorting through the entries we received from all of the trade shows, Facebook and Twitter, we're pleased to congratulate our winner...[read more]
Congrats to Clyde S. from White Rock, BC on being our winner! We hope Clyde and his family get years of enjoyment out of their new Terrace Swing Door.
We asked our Facebook fans to enter the contest by telling us why they needed a new door. Here's a few highlights from the submissions we received:
“...when we purchased our house the back basement door was an interior door and our main entry door. Well, the husband tried to install it, and, well, needless to say it's pretty drafty...”
“We would like to replace our back patio doors after a cougar scratched them.”
“Looking for a burglar-proof door for both the four legged and two legged varieties...”
“Would love to win a swing door that would not freeze shut in our Manitoba winters.”
Thanks to everyone who entered!
We're extremely proud of the relationship we've formed with Wildsight, a non-profit organization that champions the conservation and preservation of BC's Rocky Mountain ecoregion. Recently we had the opportunity to partner with them on a project whereby two families received free home energy efficiency upgrades. Now, Wildsight would like you to come and visit the houses to see the improvements for yourself.
In early April two demonstration homes were selected, and after an audit revealed where energy efficiency could most be improved, Wildsight worked with the families to choose the most effective upgrades (the homeowners were expected to cover material costs, while all the labour was provided). Over the past two weekends crews of volunteers set upon each home to complete the projects.
Now that the upgrades have been performed, Wildsight is encouraging the public to view the demonstration homes to learn how simple it can be to improve energy efficiency. This coming Earth Day weekend, April 20th and 21st, Wildsight will be giving tours of each home and passing on tips for lowing your carbon footprint (and saving some money!). To inquire about the tours, or to learn more about Wildsight's environmental stewardship activities, contact email@example.com or 250-427-2535 (extension 227).
At Innotech, "garbage" is a dirty word. Our corporate philosophy is to engage in as much recycling and reusing as possible. We have the incredible good fortune to be based in British Columbia, a province home to one of the country's leading recycling programs, which helps us limit the amount of waste material we're forced to discard.
One area where recycling has had a major impact on waste is the disposal of our excess cuts. Every Innotech window and door is composed of steel, aluminum, and uPVC, and during the manufacturing process these pieces are trimmed to length as needed. Leftover material, too small or short to be used in new windows, is collected from our shop floor and sent to local recycling companies. All of our uPVC cuts are sent to a local Langley company, Blue Planet Recycling, where the pieces are reprocessed into raw materials. These raw PVC "pellets" are then sold to local businesses to be used in the manufacture of a variety of extruded and injection molded products.
Here's a video that shows the recycling process in action:
We're proud of the progress we've achieved with our recycling programs, and we're always looking for new ways to improve the sustainability of our operations. To learn more about the steps we've already made, please visit our Sustainability Journey page.
Cubicle life is maligned by the work force for many reasons, not least of which is the drab, monotonous feel of 'Cubicleville'. To fight this malaise, designers are creating spaces that maximize natural light and fresh air while minimizing noise - the three factors found to affect happiness and productivity in the workplace.
Mindflash.com put together this great infographic for building professionals that provides suggestions for creating a better workplace. (Click anywhere on the image to view it full size.)
A work space that has the right windows and doors can help increase productivity: windows and doors can help decrease outside noise, windows and doors can improve ventilation by allowing fresh air to enter a room, and windows and doors allow sunlight to light a space.
Learn how our Tilt + Turn Windows and Doors can help you design a healthy working environment or home.
Baboushkin Design Group is one of Calgary’s innovative architectural and interior design firms. With 38-years experience, Michael and Silvia Baboushkin, have put their award-winning stamp on over 80 restaurants, dozens of single family homes and several multi-family projects in and around Calgary.
“We have one goal,” says Michael. “To make each of our clients happy.” Michael and Silvia encourage their clients to take full ownership of the project. “We’re here to provide expert guidance throughout the design and build process to make it as enjoyable and manageable as possible.”
Acting as a guide involves helping homeowners select the right materials and products to help achieve their vision. “We recently specified Innotech products for two of our projects in Calgary,” says Michael. “The ability to design with extra-large window and door openings really allowed us to realize our architectural vision.”
In this ultra-contemporary residence [left], the clients – a young professional couple from Calgary – involved their children in the building process. “It was a lot of fun working with this family,” says Michael. “Because we had input from all four of the occupants, we were able to design and build a family home that reflects the lifestyles of both generations.”
+ For more photos, click here
Located in Calgary, this modern, split-level residence features distinct spaces for the children and the parents. “The home is interconnected yet private,” says Michael. “The showstopper in this home is the beautiful kitchen and dining area. We designed the space with as many windows as possible to brighten the space with natural light.”
+ Learn more about Baboushkin Design Group
One of our projects, the Queen of Peace Monastery in the Squamish Valley in British Columbia, was featured in the Spring 2013 issue of DDC Journal.