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Norm Merz

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Spring maintenance for homeowners

Spring maintenance for homeowners

Spring has officially arrived! As a homeowner, the arrival of each new season usually brings with it a few maintenance chores that will need to be tackled, so wait for a nice, sunny day and check these jobs off your to-do list!

1. Repaint windows, siding and doors if needed. While wood will always be a popular material in home building, unfortunately it does require regular maintenance to keep it looking its best and realizing its life span. As with any job, take the time to gather the proper materials before getting started – it will make things run smoothly. Scrape away old, chipped or peeling paint from window and door frames and wood siding. Sand if necessary and finish by pressure washing on a low setting. Prime and paint as needed with a good quality exterior paint.

2. Organize the garage. After a long winter, your garage may have become a drop-zone for gardening supplies, sporting equipment, toys, broken items, etc. Enlist the help of kids to help create piles, including one for items to throw out, one for items to sell and a third for items to keep. If storage is an issue, assemble some heavy duty shelving or hooks. If your garage floor has seen better days, consider sealing and painting the floor for a tidy, clean look that will also extend its lifespan.

3. It’s likely been a few months since your air conditioner saw the light of day, so remove the cover on your outdoor unit, shut off the power and give it a good cleaning, removing any dust and debris. Inside the house, you’ll want to change the air filter and check for any leaks in the ductwork. Almost every HVAC company offers maintenance packages, so if you’re not up to the challenge or just don’t have time, schedule an appointment with a professional. Proper A/C maintenance will extend the life of your cooling unit and keep your energy bills down all summer long!

4. Clean or pressure wash deck. Canadians certainly spend as much time as possible during the summer months enjoying their outdoor spaces, so start off the season with a fresh slate! Take great care when pressure washing soft wood surfaces – one would rarely need more than 1500 psi to complete this task – any more can damage the wood. You can skip the pressure washer and buy a good quality wood cleaner and use some good, old-fashioned elbow grease to get your deck gleaming for the season ahead!

Should you renovate or move?

Should you renovate or move?

The spring real estate market is upon us and in many cities and communities across the GTA, inventory is low and prices are high. With tales swirling of homes selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars over listing price and bidding wars becoming the norm, you might be wondering if the time is right to purchase a new home.

Since there is no easy answer, some homeowners may decide to wait for a more stable market in which to sell and buy a new home. If you do decide to wait but are craving a change, take this time to tackle a home renovation! You can increase the value of your current home – always a good thing – create more square footage for your family and possibly position yourself better for a quick sale down the road.

Getting a high return on your investment is on most homeowners’ minds when planning a home renovation project. Kitchen and bathroom remodels almost always increase the value of a home. Any project that adds additional living space to your home will likely be a smart investment, including finishing the basement or attic space or building on an addition. As with any major project, getting the right permits and hiring a reputable contractor is key.

There are also dozens of projects you can take on around the home that will make it more enjoyable for your family for the time being and make it more appealing to prospective buyers when the time to sell does come. Exterior upgrades are becoming very popular amongst Canadian homeowners, with many families spending big bucks on landscaping projects, including new decks, fencing and driveways. With the price of cottages on the rise, outdoor kitchens are gaining popularity in Canada as well, as many homeowners aim to create the perfect “staycation” space in their own backyard.

Another goal of many home renovators is energy saving. Replacing your home’s windows or roof and beefing up insulation might not be the most exciting way to spend your reno dollars, but it will help you save big time on monthly energy costs while increasing the value of your home.

Grab a bite to eat in Haldimand

Grab a bite to eat in Haldimand

If you’re feeling cooped up at home and are looking for an excuse to go out, make plans to visit one of Haldimand’s excellent restaurants this month!

We are so fortunate to have a variety of options when it comes to enjoying a meal out. From fast food done right to relaxed fine dining in a casual atmosphere, Haldimand’s many restaurants have you covered.

If you’re bringing the kids out for a tasty family dinner, head to the Argyle Street Grill, one of just two local restaurants to appear on The Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here! The perfect destination for a family dinner, special celebration or evening out without the kids, the Argyle Street Grill offers daily specials, live entertainment and a an extensive menu with everything from chicken wings to braised short ribs.

Other options in Caledonia include The Cornerstone, The Riverbend Restaurant, Wiggie’s and The Oasis, opening daily for the season next month.

Caledonia’s surrounding communities also offer a variety of tasty options. In Dunnville, Debb’s Cuisine on Main offers a cozy atmosphere and a fantastic menu using the freshest of local ingredients whenever possible. It’s a great spot for lunch with friends, a family celebrations or date night!

Twisted Lemon in Cayuga is always a tasty choice. The recipient of countless Hamilton Spectator Readers’ Choice Awards, it was also named by OpenTable.com as one of the Top 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in Canada. They offer a seasonal feature menu and an extensive wine list.

For mouthwatering burgers, great wings, creamy milkshakes and so much more, head to Burger Barn, located at 3000 4th Line in Ohsweken. Burger Barn, which also appeared on You Gotta East Here, offers a relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and the best traditional strawberry juice you’ve ever had!

Whatever you’re craving, Haldimand has the restaurant for you!

Coming soon to Haldimand!

Coming soon to Haldimand!

With the first day of spring coming up, we have a lot to look forward to this month. Residents of Haldimand County will be pleased to hear that there are also some terrific events on the agenda in March, so get set for a busy month!

Public Skating – March 18, 25
Bring the whole family to the Haldimand County Caledonia Centre for a little Saturday night skating fun! Held from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

St. Patrick’s Country Dinner – March 12
Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day a little early at beautiful Cottonwood Mansion! This heart-warming dinner will include baked ham, colcannon, Barm Brack and all the trimmings. Stick around after dinner for a performance by students from the McGinley Academy of Irish Dance! Meal begins at 1:30 p.m. Reservations are required by March 9 – call 905-776-2538.

March Break Mansion Tours – March 13-17
Ruthven Park National Historic Site will welcome visitors during March Break to tour this stunning Greek Revival Mansion, located at 243 Highway 54 in Caledonia. Ruthven was built between 1845 and 1847 and was home to five generations of the Thompson family. Tours will be offered daily from 1 – 3 p.m. – admission is half price! Visit http://www.ruthvenparknationalhistoricsite.com.

March Break at the Library – March 13-17
Haldimand libraries will host a variety of fun programs during March Break. Here in Caledonia, don’t miss the Finding Dory Party on March 15 from 10:30 – 12:30 p.m., Toothpick Painting on March 16 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. and No-Sew Mini Pillows on March 17 from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. The Cayuga, Hagersville and Selkirk branches also have an assortment of exciting programs planned – visit the website at http://www.haldimandcounty.on.ca for more info. Registration is required.

Architectural Treasures Along the Grand – March 27
Visit Edinburgh Square Heritage & Cultural Centre this month for a chance to peruse its latest exhibit. Architectural Treasures Along the Grand will be open during regular museum hours, Monday – Friday from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission is by donation.

Coming this month to Haldimand County!

Coming this month to Haldimand County!

There’s no reason to stay cooped up at home this winter with so many exciting events taking place. Check out what’s coming up this month in Haldimand County and make the most of the season!

Public Skating – February 4, 11, 18, 25
Help the whole family stay active during the winter months with a weekly skate at the Haldimand County Caledonia Centre. Public skating is offered every Saturday from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Tracing Your Family Roots – February 8
Always wondered about the history of your ancestors? Visit the Haldimand County Museum and Archives from 1 – 3 p.m. and learn to use the microfilm and other sources to discover more about the history of your family. Admission is by donation. Call 905-772-5880 to register.

Caledonia Afternoon Book Club – February 8 at 2 p.m.
Make your way to the Caledonia Public Library for good company and lively conversation! The book club takes place on the second Wednesday of every month and all are welcome to attend. February’s discussion will be about the novel, Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. For more info, call 289-674-0400.

Family Time Capsule Project – February 18 at 10:30 a.m.
It’s going to be an exciting year celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday! Head to the Caledonia Library branch for a fun morning making family memories. Bring photos and mementos to add to your personalized time capsule. Box, decorations and memory activities for all ages included. Program is free, registration required. Call 289-674-0400.

Family Day Fun – February 20
Celebrate your mid-winter holiday at the Caledonia Fairgrounds! It’s going to be a day of fun and excitement filled with bouncy castles, games, lots of tasty food, a vendor marketplace, live performances, story times and a selfie booth! Event will run from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Cost is $10 for children, $5 for adults.

Crafternoons: Book Flowers – February 24
Turn recycled books into a variety of beautiful handmade flowers! This is an adult craft program hosted by the Hagersville Library. Cost is $2 and registration is required. Contact 289-674-0400 for more info.

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Start planning for spring!

Start planning for spring!

Spring is just around the corner and the Greater Hamilton Home and Garden Show couldn’t be at a better location or time! The Players Paradise Sports Complex will transform into everything home and garden from March 3 – 5, giving folks an inside look at trends, décor, accessories and more for upcoming 2017 summer season.

HGTV fanatics won’t want to miss Paul Lafrance’s appearance on Saturday, March 4. Other highlights include the Kids Zone, open all weekend and featuring Little Ray’s interactive reptile show happening at various times. Green thumbs won’t want to miss the Spring Splendour Floral Competition and spectacular Feature Garden, designed by Sherry Hayes.

The Hamilton Home and Garden Show is offering advance tickets for only $8. Save $2 off general admission and cruise around the jam-packed sports complex where more than 50 exhibitors will be on hand with giveaways and samples from the latest home and garden accessories on the market! From decks to kitchens, landscaping, roofing and full home restoration, the Hamilton Home and Garden Show is a must-visit for any home enthusiast!

Get in on some fabulous ideas for the up and coming renovation and garden season. Get prepared and browse all weekend with a pass to the Hamilton Home and Garden Show at Players Paradise Sports Complex located at 565 Seaman Street in Stoney Creek. Visit www.thehomeshow.ca.

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