Tips on how to prepare your Ontario home for winter!

Its that time of the year again! Winter!

Preparing Ontario home for the winter can be daunting. Starting early before snowfall and taking time between jobs will make it much more manageable.

Winter preparation keeps you out of the cold, keeps money in your pocket through energy savings and keeps your home running efficiently.

Below are 6 ways to winterize your Ontario home; 

1. Maintain machines and appliances

Having your furnace and ventilation system serviced by a professional in the fall can prevent potential emergency calls when the temperature drops. 

For improved air quality throughout your home, have your ducts cleaned annually before the onset of cold weather. Outdoor air conditioning units should be covered properly and their power disconnected during the off-season. While you’re at it, cover any lawn furniture or landscaping that will be exposed to the elements.

Conduct a thorough inspection on your yard tools too – drain fuel from your lawn mower and water from your pressure washer, and complete a maintenance check on your snowblower. This will prolong their lifespan and ensure they work efficiently when you need them. If you heat your home with wood, oil or propane, be sure to top up your supply before the cold months hit.

2. Seal windows, doors, decks and concrete

If the caulking or weather stripping around your windows and doors is cracked, it can let cold air and moisture in, damaging window sills while causing mildew, mold and significant heat loss. Repair and replace what is necessary and cover older windows with a protective window film until they can be replaced.

Decks, driveways and concrete surfaces are not impermeable. Purchase proper sealants or stains that you can apply yourself before ice and snow arrives, or hire a professional. Preserving the integrity of these large surfaces will only serve you in the long run, saving you from major repairs or full replacements.

3. Outside water

Before draining your pipes, disconnecting hoses or winterizing your  sprinkler system, always turn off the outside water supply. Leaving the outside water on during winter can cause pipes to burst, leading to flooding and damage to your property. If you haven’t already, you may want to consider insulating your water pipes, especially if you leave a summer home unattended off-season or vacation for extended periods of time in the winter months.

4. Check your gutters

Make sure the gutters are in good condition and properly secured to your home. Prevent damage by clearing out debris to allow snow to melt and drain easily, and point the downspout away from your home. Water should always be moving away from your property to avoid flooding and water damage.

Gutter guards are a worthy investment, as they can help to keep debris and pests out. Clogged gutters can result in leaks that lead to mold and mildew, and act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and bacteria.

5. Tend to the attic

Pests can cause damage to your home and your health. Safeguard your attic from birds and rodents who may move in during the winter by checking for access points and placing a screen under any vent. Contact pest control if you suspect an infestation.

To keep warm air from escaping through your roof, determine the R-Value of your current attic insulation and add more to areas not properly insulated, or completely replace the insulation if needed. For added warmth and energy efficiency, you can add insulation to your garage doors and basement.

6. Inspect your smoke detectors

This important task is not limited to just one season… Inspect your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly, replacing batteries and cleaning them when necessary. Smart home devices can be installed to continuously monitor smoke detectors (and much more), providing added peace of mind.

If some of these tasks are not within your skillset or you simply don’t have the time, hire a general contractor for the small jobs and a certified technician for specialized tasks, such as inspecting the furnace.


Top paint colours of 2022

Finally! Spring is just around the corner, GTA friends!  After two long years of pandemic-related lockdowns, there’s never been a better time to brighten up your home with a fresh coat of paint. We’ve got all the latest colour trends covered.

This year, some paint experts are recommending deep and eccentric colours to help breathe new life into the place that has substituted your office, classroom, gym and entertainment space for the last 24 months. Others are taking a softer approach, with palettes of earth tones and colours inspired by nature. 

Here are the 2022 colours of the year, according to some of the top paint companies in North America:

Pantone’s colour of the year is the bold and deep Very Peri (PANTONE 17-3938). After many months in isolation, this soft yet spirited shade of violet-blue is meant to inspire curiosity and spark creativity.

Inspired by the shades of a sunset and the beauty of the sea, Valspar’s 2022 collection of colours provides a range of timeless options that will inspire calm and serenity in any room.

In recent years, grey has all but replaced white as the neutral of choice in modern décor. In 2022, several top paint producers have crowned silvery-green shades of this staple as their top colour, representing new beginnings and hope for the future.

Benjamin Moore’s October Mist (CC-550) provides a clean, crisp backdrop for virtually any accent colours. Behr’s Breezeway (MQ3-21) is cool and fresh, meant to uplift and expand even the smallest spaces.

October Mist, Benjamin Moore
Evergreen Fog, Sherwin Williams

Sherwin-Williams’ Evergreen Fog (SW 9130) is a refreshing and versatile colour, perfect for pairing with greens, blues and greys. Laurel Leaf, a warm and floral shade, has been chosen as the first-ever paint colour of the year from the Better Homes & Gardens’ collection.

If you’re looking for something a bit edgier, you’ll appreciate Glidden’s top pick for 2022: Guacamole (PPG1121-5). This rich and soothing shade of grey-green can bring a splash of sophistication to any room in your home.


This tax season! Take advantage of Canada’s home office rebate

The percentage of Canada’s labour force that works mostly from home has increased nearly eightfold since the spring of 2020.1 If you belong to this group of people, you’ve likely noticed that while you are spending far less money on transportation costs, your monthly bills have increased. Spending an additional eight to 12 hours per day at home – with the lights on, heat up, computer plugged in and increased internet usage – has increased your monthly utility bill.

Did you know all Canadians who worked more than 50% of the time from home for a period of at least four consecutive weeks in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic can claim $2 for each day, up to a maximum of $500? If your home doubled as your office last year, be sure to take advantage of the Canada Revenue Agency’s deduction opportunity this tax season.

Who is eligible for a tax rebate? Anyone who spent at least 50 percent of their full- or part-time hours working from home for at least four consecutive weeks last year qualifies.

How does it work? There are two options for employees: The temporary flat rate method and the detailed method. 

The temporary flat rate method allows anyone who meets the eligibility criteria to easily apply for a $500 maximum rebate, provided they are not claiming any other work-related expenses on their tax return (i.e. motor vehicle expenses), and have not already been reimbursed by their employer. This method is only valid for 2020 (max. $400), 2021 and 2022. There is a simple form you can fill out to make the claim, and your employer will not have to sign off on anything.

The detailed method is more complex in that you will have to calculate the square footage of your home office and submit receipts to support your claim, including for heating, water, electricity, internet, phone, etc. Your employer will also have to complete as part of this method. However, you may be eligible for a tax return greater than $500. If you are claiming other work-related expenses, this may be the right option for you.

Consult this page of the CRA’s website to help you determine which method is best for you.

1 Statistics Canada,