4 Tips for Hiring a Moving Company

While moving into a new space for a fresh start can be very refreshing and exciting, the moving process can be equally troubling and challenging. Aside from organizing and packing away all of your belongings and valuables, having someone else handle all of that loading, transporting, and unloading for you can be a headache. Make sure you’ve got a worthy moving company to handle all of your possessions to save yourself from moving day stress.

Check Your Options

Don’t hire the first moving company you find, unless they blow you away. You’d be surprised just how many of these companies are in existence, and each one of them has their own special way of performing the job to please their customers. What’s more, rates vary and others might just offer prices that are closer to your financial flexibility than others. Shop around and check your options before you sign any waivers or contracts. You can even opt to call and inquire to learn more about the service and whether it fits your preferences and needs or not.

Ask for Promos and Discounts

Moving companies often don’t advertise their promos and discounts in case a client wasn’t intuitive enough to ask about it so they can charge full price. To make sure you’ve got the best bang for your buck, try asking for available promos and discounts and see whether you’re eligible for these marked-down prices. Members of special groups that are affiliated with certain moving companies are almost always granted discounts, so see to it that you ask for affiliations in case you’re qualified.

Learn More about a Mover

Sadly, many moving companies see stressed, anxious, and troubled movers as opportunities to squeeze money as these people are often in a hurry to make the move. Before you say yes to a moving company, learn more about the service it has provided in the past and whether or not it has the certification or accreditation it needs to provide its services. Are they part of the Canadian Association of Movers? Check their credentials to find out if your mover fits the bill.

Understand Insurance

If the mover breaks or damages anything during the moving process, it’s their responsibility to answer for the costs of repair or replacement. Find out what the insurance covers, what they intend to do if in case anything breaks, or if you’re entitled to cash compensation should anything happen to your belongings.

We want you to move into your new condo or townhome at Huntclub Towns or Alta Vista Ridge safe and sound!

 

Cool Your Home This Summer Without AC

The scorching heat of summer can cause any homeowner to crank up the air conditioning throughout the day’s end. But while this does offer a significant level of indoor comfort, receiving an electric bill that’s worth ten times more than the usual can be painful to say the least. It can be hard to find the right balance between energy consumption and optimal internal climate, but these simple tips should let you cool your home this summer without an air conditioner. That’s right – you can make your space cool and comfortable minus the crazy electricity costs.

Adjust the Ceiling Fan

During the colder seasons, ceiling fans are set to spin clockwise. This allows it to pull cold hair up and away from the space, and push hot air down towards the floor. During the summer however, ceiling fans should be set to spin counter clockwise which pushes cold air down and pull warm air up. Make sure you perform this minor adjustment to help your home regulate the heat.

Buy Additional Fans

While fans don’t actually create cold air the same way air conditioners do, they are very capable of bringing hot temperatures down by circulating air and providing a cool breeze. What’s more, they can be a lot cheaper to operate. Consider buying more fans – whether standing or on the ceiling – to keep air in constant motion.

Window Treatments

One of the reasons why houses become so hot in the summer is because people fail to make use of the right window treatments to block out the sun coming in from windows. Blinds, curtains, and shades are great at filtering heat and shielding your house from absorbing too much of the sun’s warmth.

Better Lighting

Your light bulbs don’t only affect your electricity bill, they also create heat which can significantly make a space warmer. Toss out the incandescent and fluorescents and opt to buy LEDs and CFLs instead. Not only are they much cooler to use, but they also consume much less energy to bring that bill even lower the next time it comes around.

Ventilation

Cooking, ironing, and even doing the laundry can increase indoor temperatures to uncomfortable levels. When these tasks are underway, make sure you get rid of the heat they generate and ventilate the space immediately to dissipate warmth. A fan, open windows, or a hood over your stove could make a big difference during these heat-generating activities.

Take Advantage of the Night

At night, temperature is a lot cooler, so make sure you allow that cool night breeze to travel through your home and relieve it of the day’s warmth. Use fans to circulate air and leave some windows open to let cool air in.

At Theberge Homes, we want you to have a cool, happy summer in your new townhome or new condo in Ottawa!

Up Your Home Décor with Upcycled Furniture

Upcycling furniture is one of the largest trends for Ottawa condo and townhome owners in the know. Not only can you create some of the most innovative pieces for your living space, choosing to upcycle is also far less expensive than buying restored pieces. Plus, it keeps items out of the landfill and helps our environment. With upcycled furniture you can transform something that you would typically throw away into the perfect addition to your home. Below are some great ideas for how you can work with existing furniture to give it a new purpose.

Entertainment Centre Wardrobes

Spring and early summer is garage sale season in Ottawa, and you might notice a lot of home owners will be getting rid of old entertainment centres. This can be the perfect addition to your room or guest room if you need storage for clothes or linens. You can easily refinish the wood of the entertainment unit to fit the aesthetic of the room, remove any glass doors (if you want) and install some hanging bars in the compartments. The taller compartments are great for hanging clothes and the smaller compartments (usually used for electronics) can hold towels and linens.

Kids’ Coffee Table Arts and Crafts Station

If you have kids that love expressing their creativity but you don’t have anywhere for them to create without ruining your furniture, try converting an old coffee table into a unique crafts station. You can paint the top of the coffee table with a chalkboard paint that allows the kids to draw their own designs, wipe them off, and start again. You can also let them paint, glue, and colour on the table. For seating, you can find small benches for the children to sit on.

Dresser Bookcases

Have you ever come across an old antique dresser and wished that it could be repurposed into something useful? Now you can create your very own bookshelf out of an existing tall dresser that you might have in your home. All you’ll have to do is remove the drawers and find sturdy pieces of wood to use for the shelves on the dresser. You can affix the new shelves to the existing rails that the drawers once sat on. By painting the entire unit, it will look like a brand new addition to your home.

Dresser Entertainment Centre

If you’re a minimalist, consider taking an existing long dresser and converting it into an entertainment center. Buy different knobs for four out of the six drawers on the dresser and a paint colour that will work well with your space. Remove the top two drawers and add a piece of wood to the bottom open space so you can store your consoles. Place your TV on top of the dresser and you have an upcycled entertainment centre just like that!

Theberge Homes is proud to provide expert advice to townhome and condo owners in Ottawa. Are you looking to buy a townhome or condo? Contact us today!

 

3 Summer BBQ Meals You’ve Got to Try

With summer approaching it’s time to get your Ottawa townhome or condo ready for entertaining and enjoying everything that the warm weather has to offer – particularly in terms of food. Use these summer BBQ meals to your advantage this year.

Barbecue Bacon Cheeseburgers

There’s nothing better than resorting to the phenomenal old-fashioned burgers that everyone loves to enjoy at some point during the summer. Instead of just relying on your traditional meat patty, you can always spice your burger up with bacon and great garnishes such as onions and lettuce.

Ingredients

8 Slices of Bacon

2 pounds of ground beef

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

6 slices of Swiss cheese

6 sliced hamburger buns

1 head of lettuce

1 sliced large tomato

1 thinly sliced red onion

Directions

Cook your bacon over medium-high heat until it is crispy and allow it to cool on a paper towel and crumble it. Mix the bacon bits into all of the ground beef, garlic powder, and pepper and shape into six fairly decent sized burgers. Start the grill and allow ample time for heating, cook the burgers for approximately five minutes per side and add the cheese one minute before grilling time is up. Add garnishes and serve.

Homestyle BBQ Ribs

This recipe is great for condo living, especially if you don’t have access to a grill as all you’ll need is a slow cooker and some ingredients.

Ingredients

1 cup of ketchup

3 tablespoons of molasses

1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

½ teaspoon of hot sauce

4 pounds of pork ribs

Directions

Stir the ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and brown sugar together. Place the ribs in the slow cooker and pour one cup of the sauce over the top of the ribs. Allow 6 to 9 hours of cooking time so the ribs get quite tender. After cooked, apply the remaining sauce to the ribs.

Veggie Grilled Pizza

Instead of putting meat on the grill, try this vegetarian alternative instead.

Ingredients

Vegan pizza crust (available from most grocers)

1 cup thinly sliced squash

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes

1 cup thinly sliced bell peppers

2 cups of red sauce

2 cups of spinach leaves

Directions

Grill the pizza crust on the barbecue until warm then add the red sauce squash, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and spinach leaves. Continue to cook the pizza until the crust has reached your preferred consistency.

Enjoy summer BBQ cooking at your Ottawa townhome, condo, or terrace home! Theberge Homes is a premiere builder in Ottawa with available developments at Huntclub Towns, Alta Vista Ridge, and Pinecrest.

 

Green Your Life with an Indoor Herb Garden

Imagine having access to fresh herbs all year long in the comfort of your townhome, terrace home, or condo. Well, you can with your very own indoor herb garden. Whether winter or spring, you can add that touch of flare to your cooking anytime you wish, and liven up your entire home with the refreshing aromas. Here’s how to get started:

Getting Started

There’s nothing quite like having access anytime of the year to fresh herbs to spice up your home cooking. Herbs let you harness the freshness of summertime all in the comfort of home. Parsley, basil, rosemary, and thyme are some of the most popular flavours to add, and luckily, the easiest to grow indoors. Other herbs can be finicky and may not do so well indoors, so make sure to do a bit of research before deciding on what to plant.

Planting

It’s best to use pots with a minimum of 6-inch diameter to give the plants enough room. Terra cotta or clay pots are preferable since they allow the herbs to breathe and the roots to grow more easily. It’s important for the pots to have drainage holes to allow water to pass through. In order to avoid any leaking, you can place the pots on top of a tray with water absorbent material or pebbles.

Use organic soil or potting mix since you will be eating what you’re planting. It helps sometimes to add in a little bit of sand as well to give the plants the best mixture. Try to ensure the soil pH level is between 6 and 7 for optimal growth potential.

Lighting

For the best results, if there is a space that combines both natural and artificial light, that would be most beneficial for the herbs. However, either or, will do. If you have a south-facing window where the herbs can get at least four hours of sunlight, that should do the trick. It also helps to rotate the pots every so often to allow even growth for each side. For artificial lights, fluorescent lights tend to suffice, but for the serious herb grower, high-intensity discharge lights will work wonders.

Watering

Keep in mind that since your herbs are indoors, they will mostly likely require more frequent watering due to the increased dryness inside, especially during those long winter months. When you water the plants, allow the soil to dry before watering it again. Overwatering can be as damaging as not watering, so keep an eye on the soil to try and find that in between time before it’s too dry and too damp.

Creating your very own indoor herb garden is a great way to green up your life, freshen up your home and have access to great flavours no matter what time of the year it is. Simply follow these quick steps to help get you started. Whether you live in a new townhome in Ottawa or an urban condo, you can make an indoor herb garden happen!

Are You Ready to Buy Your First Condo?

Are you ready to make that first big leap? Buying a condo can be an exciting new venture. It’s filled with a sense of freedom, ownership and taking that next great step forward in life. But as a first time home buyer, it can also be overwhelming if you are not prepared and equipped for the process. So if you’re in the market for an Ottawa condo, here are a few essential guiding steps to help get you prepped and ready for buying your first condo.

Finances

There’s nothing more important than having a good grasp on your finances. You need to make sure that you can afford to take on that new, great purchase. This will most likely be the first, largest investment you’ve made so far, so you need to be aware of your debt (if there is any) and whether you have the funds for a down payment. Also, having a secure flow of income is imperative before you begin this process. It’s always a good idea to meet with a financial advisor to discuss your options and to see what pre-approval funds you can secure.

Prioritize and Compromise

It’s important to have an idea of what you are looking for. It always makes the searching process easier if you know what priorities take precedence over others. You may need to make compromises along the way depending on these, such as location or size.

Time Commitment

In order to find that perfect place that you can call home, it’s going to require time and commitment. Chances are, you won’t find it overnight. It will take up some evening time and possibly weekends. So that means forgoing some plans for the sake of the condo hunt.

Ask for Advice from Condo Owners

One of the best ways you can get prepared before you begin the big search is by asking around for advice from those who have already gone through the process of condo buying. They can offer you some invaluable tips and tricks that may result in you potentially finding that perfect place for you, with minimal stress and exertion involved.

Buying your first condo is exciting. But it’s important to be equipped and prepared with the proper information before getting started to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible. Just use these guiding steps and always ask for advice from those who have already gone through the process to help you get started.

Get in touch with Theberge Homes if you have any questions about the condo buying process!

4 Eco-Friendly Custom Home Features

Buying your first house in Ottawa is an exciting new chapter in life. You get to remould and shape it into something that you truly can call your home, such as installing eco-friendly custom home features. These can save on energy consumption, make you potentially eligibly for a tax credit, and of course, help the environment. So if you’ve been considering taking an eco-friendly leap in your home, here are four custom features for you to consider.

Eco-Friendly Wall Insulation Panels

In order to help keep your home warm and cozy during those long winter months, you should ensure that your home is properly insulated. Instead of using the traditional methods for insulation that can result in mould and contain hazardous materials, you can choose eco-friendly wall panels. These panels are mould resistant, and will seal your home in nice and tight so there won’t be any drafts forcing you to crank up the heat. This is a great way to save on those bills while utilizing eco-friendly materials.

High-Efficiency Heating and Cooling

For those days when you do need to crank up the heat or air conditioning, it’s important to select a system that won’t guzzle up your energy consumption and bump up your monthly bills. Look for a high-efficiency system whether it’s for your furnace or A/C. You want to ensure that you’re getting the most amount of bang for your buck, and that means maximum air circulation or heat and minimal energy consumption. If you really want to monitor your usage, before purchasing, ask the sales clerk about an energy management system. These systems will allow you to monitor and control your usage via your smartphone.

Solar Panels

Another alternative for reducing or potentially eliminating electricity costs is solar panels. These panels are low-maintenance and cost-effective. Depending on the amount that you install and the position of your home in relation to the sun, solar panels can work wonders to offset the costs of your monthly bills. They can even eliminate them altogether, while enabling you to potentially receive a tax credit.

Water Conservation

If you or your family tend to waste a lot of water, then maybe you should consider installing an on-demand hot-water system that stores hot water for when you need it, rather than requiring it to gradually heat up as it runs. Additionally, low-flow toilets, faucets, and even light-up colour-changing showerheads are available today that will help monitor and reduce your consumption.

Customizing your home with just a few simple features is a great way to introduce eco-friendly living into your life and hopefully encourage your family, friends or neighbours to get on board with sustainable living.

Theberge Homes’ is the preferred custom home builder in Ottawa. Get in touch to discuss how we can help make your dream home a reality!

A Beginner’s Guide to Perfect Pasta Sauce

Once you’ve unpacked and settled in, it’s time to bring over friends and family for a home cooked meal to show off your new digs at Huntclub Towns (terrace homes for sale) or Alta Vista Ridge (condos for sale). . But that doesn’t mean it needs to be complicated. You just need something delicious and simple so that you can also sit back and relax with a cocktail or two in hand and enjoy the luxury of your new townhome, terrace home, or condo. So for that next home-cooked meal, we’ve got you covered. Here is a beginner’s guide to making the perfect pasta sauce.

Create Flavour Base

First, you need to create the base of flavours that will make your pasta sauce pop. Start off by heating two ounces of extra-virgin live oil in a large saucepan. Cut up half of an onion into small pieces and five garlic cloves – sauté until translucent (about ten minutes).

While that’s happening, brown half a pound of sweet Italian sausage in a saucepan. (If you prefer not to use meat, simply eliminate this step). This will take about ten minutes.

Make the Sauce

Next, start on the sauce. Pour a six-ounce can of tomato paste into the large pan with the onions and garlic, along with 18-24 ounces of diced tomatoes. Fill the empty can of tomato paste with water and add to the pan. Stir and cover with a lid. Simmer on low heat for just a few minutes to thin out.

Tweak with Seasoning

Once the sauce has thinned out and simmered for a few minutes, add in some chopped fresh basil, salt and pepper and a tablespoon of sugar. You can also add whatever other flavours you prefer, such as onion powder or oregano, or even crushed chilli flakes for a touch of heat.

Add the Meat and Simmer

Drain some of the excess oil and add the meat to the sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer on low to medium heat for at least thirty minutes. If you have more time, the longer it can simmer, the more flavours will develop. But thirty minutes is all you generally need.

Serve and Enjoy

Throw this delicious sauce over your favourite pasta with some garlic bread and tasty Caesar salad. So when it’s time for you to entertain the family and friends, why not show off your beautiful kitchen by serving a dish as amazing and inviting as your new townhome? This pasta sauce is the perfect dish for accompanying any occasion.

Theberge Homes’ stunning suite of townhomes, terrace homes, and condos for sale in Ottawa are the perfect place to cook up pasta sauce, or anything else of your creation!

The Urban Charm of Huntclub Towns

If you’re looking for a place to call home that embodies contemporary and sophisticated city living, then the urban charm of Huntclub Towns could be the perfect place for you.

Modern Urban Style

Huntclub Towns are designed with a sleek and classy modern look. These townhomes and terrace homes in Ottawa combine contemporary style with sophisticated elegance in each and every feature, from the wood and metal accent to the stylish brick veneers. For those busy schedules and stressful days, unwind in the luxury of your own home, or head out to any of the nearby restaurants that will ease your spirits in no time.

Amenities and Convenience

Aside for the luxurious designs of Huntclub Towns, they are all located close to many amenities for your convenience. For the avid shoppers, some of the nearby names include Pier 1 Imports, Chapters, Michaels Arts & Crafts, and Loblaws. And for those days when you feel like grabbing a bite to eat, you can head over to any of the neighbouring restaurants such as Moxie’s Classic Grill, Vittoria Trattoria, the Keg, or even Starbucks for a quick latte. That “Buzz” you’ve been searching for on a night out with your friends will always be a stone’s throw away from home.

As you can see, with Huntclub living, you are never more than a few steps from all that you may need. If you feel like taking a stroll through the neighbourhood to relax and unwind, there are plenty of green spaces for you to wander through and admire. Or, if you prefer some time on the golf course perfecting that swing, you can head up to the Huntclub Golf Course located just steps from home.

Progressive Living

The progressive designs of modern life embody leisure, comfort and simplistic living, all within walkable communities that you can feel proud to call your home. And that is exactly where the urban charm of Huntclub Towns shines its way through. Your time is precious, that is why the convenience and beauty of your community matter so much.

So if you are looking for that place where you can stroll with the kids through the park or simply kick back and relax with a cocktail, this is the place for you. Whether it’s in your newly designed kitchen, or in the comfort of the neighbouring lounge bar, you can melt away the stress of the day knowing that you’re home.

Make Spring Cleaning a Breeze with This Cheat Sheet

There’s nothing more challenging than cleaning out an entire space at the end of the winter season. All that accumulated filth, dirt, and dust could deter even the hardiest of homeowners, but someone has to clean them. Even though spring cleaning tends to be a big hurdle for many of us, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any tactics we can put into action to make the process easier. Find out how you can make spring cleaning your townhome or condo a breeze with this simple and easy cheat sheet.

4 Spring Cleaning Cheats 

Remove Caked-On Grease with Oil

The feeling of staring down a grease-caked stove top can be disheartening for any homeowner. While many of us choose to use the traditional soap and elbow grease combination, there are better, less taxing ways you can remove those unsightly stains. Funny enough, oil actually works as a great grease remover and requires minimum effort on the homeowner’s end. Simply wipe off grease with an oiled up cloth and clean everything after with store-bought cleaner.

Use a Stocking on a Vacuum Cleaner

Everyone hates having to fish out jewelry, tiny knickknacks, and other small items out of the vacuum cleaner bag, but you can skip out on dipping your hands into dirt with this simple trick. Take an old stocking and slip your vacuum’s nozzle and hose into it. Vacuum as you normally would, and allow the stocking to sift through any bigger items that you might have dropped or lost throughout the year.

Lemon on Water Stains

When those stainless steel bathroom and kitchen fixtures start to blur out and stain, they can be pretty unsightly. Sure, you can go ahead and try cleaning them with traditional cleaners, but you will have to rinse that off… with water, of course, which will stain. A better solution to cleaning out water stains on steel fixtures is to rub lemon on it. Slice a whole lemon in half and use it to scrub down bathroom faucets and knobs to restore their original shine.

Clean Coffee Pots with Vinegar

Pour some vinegar into a stained coffee pot and allow it to sit for a few minutes. This will allow it to eat through the stains and clean out any residual coffee that can be hard to remove by simply scrubbing. Once the stains are lighter, add some water into your water reservoir and pour the vinegar in with it. Run the coffee maker as if you were brewing and allow it to process all the water and vinegar inside it. Once the process is done, run clean water through it and rinse everything accordingly.

Nobody likes spring cleaning, but it’s a whole lot better when you can relax in your bright, clean Theberge Home once it’s all over. Whether you live in a townhome or terrace home at Huntclub Towns or Alta Vista Ridge, a condo at Pinecrest, or a custom home, life is a breeze!

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