LOOK OUT FOR ICE

Don’t just look down when you are outside in Alberta during cold and warming weather trends. As a homeowner – you need to also be looking up!

ICE DAM FORMATION

An ice dam is the ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof which prevents melting snow from draining as it should. The water that backs up behind the ice dam can leak into the home and cause damage to walls, floors, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

Ice dams (and icicles) form when snow melts, runs down your roof and refreezes near the edge. This only occurs when part of your roof warms to above 32 degrees F, warm enough to melt the snow, while the roof edge remains below freezing.  Melting snow can form an ice build-up in the eavestroughs which can contribute to ice dam formation.

Ice damming is caused by the continual melting and refreezing of the snow on your roof.  Ice dams on the roof cause water to back up underneath the shingles or fascia boards, leading to potential damage to the roof deck and even ceilings and walls in your home.

 

 

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ATTIC FROST 2016/2017

 The combination of higher outside humidity and the extreme temperature swings that have been occurring can cause frost to form in many central Alberta attics. This frost in attics and on or in roof & exhaust vents during drops in temperature will melt as the temperatures rise.  This can result in water dripping from vents, plumbing stacks and exhaust fans.

The small amount of air leakage around the attic hatch can also result in frost formation around the opening, which can then melt and drip back into the home.  Frost will also form on any nails and may cause dripping sounds as well when melting.

Degree of frost accumulation is related to relative humidity of air, rate of air movement & length of cold spell.

Relative humidity is the amount of moisture in the air compared to what the air can “hold” at that temperature. Air can hold only a limited amount of water vapor and that amount depends on the air temperature. When the air can’t “hold” all the moisture, it condenses and forms frost or ice.  Cooler air cannot hold as much water vapor as warmer air.

When temperatures rise this quickly, the frost buildup may melt faster than the attic air circulation will be able to exhaust the accumulated moisture.  The normal air circulation in the attic will eventually remove the accumulated moisture in the attic.

It is recommended that an annual inspection of the attic be performed by the homeowner to ensure that insulation has not been displaced by wind or blocking soffit insulation stops and that any exhaust tubing is still attached and venting correctly.     As a homeowner you have a responsibility to mitigate possible damage by maintaining correct humidity levels and wiping up visible water in your home from frost melting on windows, doors etc. to prevent things like peeling trim paint.

A BUILDER WHO CAN DO IT ALL

Did you know Falcon Homes also does incredible Renovations?

2016 – Central Alberta Builder Awards of Excellence winners for Best Renovation over $125,000!

 

Small or large projects – Falcon Homes can do it all!

If you LOVE the home you are in or the property that has an existing home but it needs to be updated or modified to enhance your families needs and wants – Lets Talk!

Renovations can be scary and uncertain – there are variables you cannot control and sometimes hidden items that increase the estimated cost of a renovation. But there are also wonderful things like incredible views, or a hidden gem found with restructuring walls, adding windows and updating a home to your taste.

Don’t give up your dream of renovating your home, call us today @ 403.391.8530!

Cameron Close Duplexes

Take a walk through one of our incredible homes and see what gives you the Falcon Difference!

From Layout to Design, at Falcon Homes we take our time to ensure each and every homes  craftsmanship, layout and finishes make sense and enhance the space for years to come. Whether the home owner was along for the build or just found it and fell in love with the home when it was complete, this principle applies!

Having an on site draftsman and interior design team in place makes the process of building and creating unique and well designed homes easy. Working hand in hand our design team and draftsman can come up with all sorts of details, concepts and ideas that are implemented into these homes. Their excitement never waivers, their only obstacle is typically a budget – but that is always respected and maintained!

As seen in our Cameron Close duplex, the open foyer and large oversized windows gives the homeowner an incredible welcoming view and feeling the moment they step through the doors. Locating the laundry to the upper floor living level with a proper sized room accommodates today’s expectations with convenience and practicality wrapped up in a delightful color palette and quality finishes!

When searching for your first, next or forever home –  don’t forget to stop into Cameron Close in Sylvan Lake to see what 2016’s Builder of the Year has to offer you!

2014 STARS Lottery Home By Falcon Homes

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Location: 40 Valley Green, Vanier Woods East, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Show Home Hours: 1pm to 6pm Daily Closed Fridays

Falcon Homes has now officially donated 5 beautifully designed and furnished dream homes to the annual STARS Lottery.  This year 2014, marks the 21st year for the STARS Lottery and Falcon Homes is once again proud to be a sponsor to one of the top 3 grand prizes.  The dream home which is the newly developed Casabella, by Falcon Homes, is located in Vanier Woods east, and is worth over $945,000.  It is 1 out of the 4 gorgeous homes across the province of Alberta that can be won in this year’s Lottery.  With the STARS Lottery being the single most prevalent source of funding to keep STARS going with over $10 million raised last year; Falcon Homes has made it a top priority for fundraising in Central Alberta.

Special Thanks need to go out to each and every one of our sponsors and contributors.  You’ve made this dream home a reality and it couldn’t have been done without you.

Winterize!

Winter is definitely here and it’s here to stay for a while, so… Here are some tips that will help keep you warm!
Insulate Your Hot Water Heater

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For a lot of homes, the hot water heater is one of the biggest energy users in the house. This is especially true if your heater is located in a non-insulated room like the garage. Just think how much harder your heater has to work to deliver those piping hot showers if it’s sitting in a 30 degree room! Consider adding an insulating blanket over your heater to maximize its efficiency this winter.

Bundle Up Your Attic and Crawlspaces

Gaps and holes in your insulation are similar to having gaps and holes in your coat. They kind of defeat the purpose. By repairing your insulation, you can save more than 20 percent on your utility bills this winter. If you have a brand new home, you don’t necessarily have to worry about this but it’s always a good idea to check!

Protect Your Pipes

When water freezes, it expands. If it’s inside a pipe when it expands, the water breaks the pipe and leaves you with a gargantuan repair bill. To prevent this, shut down your sprinkler system and hose spigots before the first big freeze of the year. To protect your indoor pipes, be sure to never set your thermostat below 55 degrees F (even if you’re going out of town for an extended period of time)

Check Your Furnace

It’s a good idea to have furnaces cleaned and tuned annually. Costs will often run about $100-$125. Throughout the winter you should change the furnace filters regularly (check them monthly). A dirty filter impedes air flow, reduces efficiency, and could even cause a fire in an extreme case. Toss out the dirty fiberglass filters; reusable electrostatic or electronic filters can be washed.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat

It’s wasteful to heat an empty house, so why not take advantage of a programmable thermostat? You should always automatically lower your household temperature while you sleep or are away at work, and bring the heat back up when you wake or arrive home. With proper use, you’ll never notice the difference in temperature, but your bank account certainly will — you could end up saving more than 10 per cent on your home heating costs. 

Reverse that Fan

Reversing your ceiling fan is a small tip that people don’t often think of. By reversing its direction from the summer operation, the fan will push warm air downward and force it to recirculate, keeping you more comfortable. (Here’s how you know the fan is ready for winter: As you look up, the blades should be turning clockwise)

Perfect a Warm Drink

Now that your house is prepped for the cold, it’s time to get your winter libation figured out. Grab a hot chocolate or coffee, and curl up on your couch with a nice warm blanket!

5 COMMON DOOR PROBLEMS (AND HOW TO FIX THEM

Hinges. Locks. Knobs and strike plates. Doors may have the simple job of opening and closing, but they’re made of a lot of intricate parts. And when one of those parts isn’t working properly, a door in your home loses its “perfect amount of privacy” charm and becomes a pesky annoyance.

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Here are five common door problems and how to fix them:

Misaligned Latches

Do you have a door in your home that won’t stay latched? There’s a good chance that the strike plate is to blame! To fix this, observe where the latch is hitting the strike plate to determine if the strike plate needs to be moved up or down. Once you’ve picked a direction, remove the strike plate. Then, line it up so it’s in the right position, drill new holes and reattach the plate. Note: If the problem is the latch itself (especially if it’s bent or breaking), it may be time to repair the door’s hardware.

Squeaky Hinges

There are few things as annoying as a squeaky door! Fortunately, a noisy hinge is easy to fix with an item already in your pantry: olive oil. Using a rag or cotton swab, lubricate the hinges directly with a small amount of the oil. That’s it! No olive oil? You can also use bar soap, petroleum jelly or paraffin candles.

Shoddy Weather Stripping

Your exterior doors are going to get the brunt of bad weather, so the weather stripping along your doors needs to be in tip-top shape. Check your weather stripping for cracks, tears or missing pieces. Tip: If the stripping has seen better days, but you aren’t sure what materials you need to replace it, bring in a damaged sample to your local home improvement store. They’ll be able to help identifying what you need to get it repaired.

Drifting Doorframe

If your door slowly closes every time you try to prop it open, you don’t have a poltergeist on your hands – you just need to realign the drifting doorframe! To fix this, remove one of the door’s hinge pins. Strike it a few times with a hammer until it’s slightly bent. Then put the hinge pin back in its place. The bent area will add some much needed friction, keeping the door open with the slight resistance.

Loose Screws

If the screws holding your hinges in place are loose, it probably means that the wood around them has worn away. To fix this, you’ll need to grab a 3/8-inch wooden dowel for each loose screw. Remove the loose screws, and then drill new holes on top of the existing holes to fit the size of the dowel. Apply a small amount of glue to the dowel, slide it in place and let the glue dry. Note: You may have to cut the dowel with a saw to make sure it’s flush with the surrounding area. Once the glue is dry, drill a new hole into the dowel and reinsert the screws.

6 WAYS TO MAKE AN UNFINISHED BASEMENT AWESOME

When you think of a cozy room, what comes to mind?

Warm lighting? Thick throw blankets? Roaring fire? Stuff like that? Makes sense. Here’s what you probably didn’t visualize: ceiling pipes, excessive moisture and concrete floors.

 

And that, my friend, is why unfinished basements get a bum rap. They frequently suffer from all three issues. But turning a cold basement into a cozy spot isn’t impossible! Even better, it can be done for far less than you’d pay for a full remodel.

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Here’s how:  

1. Stop the Moisture

The biggest anti-cozy factor in most unfinished basements is moisture. Nobody likes that damp, wet sock smell, and you can’t put nice things down there if they’re just going to get wet. That means that before you do anything else, you need to handle the moisture issue. Sometimes this is as simple as purchasing a dehumidifier (about $200) and letting it rip.

If your moisture problems are more serious (i.e. leaks or puddles), you’ll need to employ a more aggressivebasement waterproofing strategy. Note: A basic waterproofing will run you $200-$500, but if any changes need to be made to your foundation, it can cost $2,000 or more. 

2. Add Some Area Rugs

Now that your basement is moisture-free, you can cozy up that concrete floor. Area rugs are a cost-effective way to do just that. If you happen to have a few unused rugs, put them to good use  downstairs (an eclectic look totally works, so don’t be afraid to mix and match). Tip: No extra rugs? No problem. We recommend using Amazon’s handy rug finder to locate a size, pattern and price that works for you.

3. Throw Down Some Pillows

When in doubt, add throw pillows. Even a second-string sofa with feel cozy if it’s covered with soft cushions. We recommend choosing ones that are pretty big for some extra comfort. These 20×20 Isabella Ikat pillows might do the trick, or maybe these 24” Knit Fringed pillows are more your style? Tip: If you like the bohemian look, try arranging on a bunch of throw pillows on your new, awesome rug.

4. Add Tasteful Lighting

Nothing kills the mood faster than a bunch of naked bulbs hanging from the ceiling. Make them irrelevant by adding lamps, string lights or both. You can find a lot of nice floor lamps for less than $50, like this IKEA lamp for $20.

5. Hide Unsightly Spots

It’s going to be hard to make that water heater in the corner look chic, but it’ll be easy to hide that ugly beast. Simply hang up a colorful sheet or even a shower curtain in front of it! If you want to help separate out different areas of your basement in a tasteful fashion, try a room divider. Wine crates, bookshelves and window frames all make good, cheap room dividers.

6. Paint the Ceiling

Those pipes, joists and air ducts definitely take away from your cozy basement vibe. But if you paint everything a dark color – like a charcoal gray – you can go a long way towards disguising all the stuff going on up there. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than covering your ceiling with drywall ($4,000 or more). Note: Doing this yourself is very labor intensive, since a lot of the painting may need to be done by hand. There may also be some special considerations for electrical wiring or heating pipes. Unless you’re an experience painter (or are up for a challenge) we recommend hiring a professional for this.