Use the Manitoba Hydro Power Smart ® Residential Loan Program to Finance Your Next Home Renovation

If you’re thinking about starting a major home renovation project, there’s one especially important factor to figure out first, and that’s the financing. Homeowners have a handful of options to consider that can provide the financial backing needed in order to upgrade windows or siding, make an addition, or do some other significant improvement project. One such available option is the Manitoba Hydro Power Smart ® Residential Loan Program. This program is specifically available to Manitoba Hydro customers, and provides the following…

The Power Smart ® Residential Loan Program covers upgrades to….

– Windows
– Doors
– Insulation
– Air Leakage Sealing
– Residential Space Heating Equipment
– Ventilation
– Residential Water Heating Equipment

Important details to know about the Power Smart ® Residential Loan Program:

– With this loan, you can borrow up to $7,500 per residence, and up to $5,500 of that may be used for the purchase of a high-efficiency natural gas boiler or furnace.
– 5 years is the maximum term for all energy efficiency upgrades
– 15 years is the maximum term for purchasing a high efficiency natural gas boiler or furnace
– For the first 5 years, there is a fixed annual interest rate of 4.8% (O.A.C)
– Upgrades are required on levels that are recommended by Manitoba Hydro
– The monthly installments will be included on your regular energy bill
– Those applying must be the owners of the home in which the energy improvements are to take place.
– Those applying must be Manitoba Hydro customers
– This loan does not cover central air conditioning

How to Apply for Power Smart ® Residential Loan Program:

First, speak with your contractor (if you have one) or your retailer (if you’re doing the work instead). They will then work with you to decide if your project is eligible for financing. If it is, they will help you complete the loan application.

Financing your home renovation project is possible! Contact us today for more information on the Manitoba Hydro Power Smart ® Residential Loan Program!

polarwindowsUse the Manitoba Hydro Power Smart ® Residential Loan Program to Finance Your Next Home Renovation
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Does Newspaper Really Work For Cleaning Windows?

All houses look nicer when their window glass is as clean and spotless as possible. Anyone who has tried to clean windows before knows that getting them immaculate can be difficult, if not impossible, when using paper towels and store bought cleaner. You can scrub and wipe as hard as you want, but you will always be left with noticeably visible streaks. Most of us just settle with the fact that these streaks will always be there and move on.

 There may be a better way, however. Many homeowners and professional cleaners swear by using a combination of glass cleaner and newspaper to get a clean finish on their window glass. So, does newspaper really work? Also, why newspaper?

Newspaper is a great choice because of its availability and affordability. Many of us still subscribe to a daily newspaper, so you may have lots of it on hand in your home. Plus, it will just be thrown into the recycling bin in most cases anyway, so why not get some use out of it before you recycle it?

Newspaper is suspected to be effective in this application because it is grittier than paper towels, making it easier to cut through dirt and dust. Newspaper is also made up of a material that absorbs liquid, so it doesn’t simply push around the cleaner on your window glass. The paper’s ability to better absorb liquid is the key to why it is so effective for cleaning surfaces.

Some detractors may claim that the ink will leave behind streaks. However, since glass is slick, the ink does not stick to the surface. Plus, most inks today are vegetable based and are much less likely to leave behind streaks.

Next time you go to clean the windows in your home, try using some old newspapers. You may be surprised by the results.

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The Benefits of an Energy Audit For Your Home

If you are looking for ways to save money on your monthly energy bills, consider an energy audit. This process involves a thorough inspection of your home, determining how, why, when, and where energy is currently being used. From there, the information collected is used to develop your home’s energy efficiency. These improvements can reduce the amount of environmentally hazardous greenhouse gas emission, save money, and more. Here are reasons you should have your home inspected:

Reduce Costs

The information that will be obtained from this inspection can be used to help your home consume energy more efficiently. Finding and fixing leaks and drafts and reviewing lights will drastically help you reduce the amount of money you spend on energy bills.

Safety

If improper ventilation is the cause of your home’s energy inefficiency, the poor indoor air quality may be harmful for you and your family members to inhabit. Improving your home’s ventilation will make the air much safer.

Improved Resale Value

When you’re ready to resell your home, an energy audit can help improve your home’s value. Buyers are always looking for homes that are equipped with energy efficiency that will save them money over the years.

 

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Home Improvement Roles Are Changing

When I think of home improvement I think of a big, burly man in a plaid shirt (I’m obviously Canadian); the type of man that can fix anything; the type of man you want around when a pipe bursts and your basement is turning into that pool you’ve always wanted.  Ok that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but gone are the days where the only handy people were handymen.

There has been a tremendous shift in women’s role in home improvement over the past 20 years.  From planning, to buying the products to actually doing the work, women are taking a hands-on approach.  However, there is still quite a difference between the purchasing habits of men and women, why doesn’t this surprise me?  Men are typically unit purchasers, meaning they’ll make purchases one item at a time.  While women shop for systems, which is where home improvement retailers and manufactures are taking note.  In regards to a window company, such as ourselves, rather then just selling the window, we’ll promote adding hardware, screens and window coverings.

The women of generations X and Y are also becoming more inclined to do the home improvement work themselves.  One of the reasons for this may be because women are more actively involved in social media sites; one in particular is Pinterest whose user base consists of 72% women (Grosche).  Pinterest is a photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as interest, hobbies, DIY projects and…home improvements.

Women make $70 billion of home improvement purchases, which is up $16 billion in the last 16 years, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute.  Women also complete 44% of home improvement projects and purchase 50% of the products used for these projects (Women’s Roles in Home Improvement).

Men don’t ask for directions, women do.

Women are more apt to ask for help when a project turns out to be tougher than expected.  Not only will they stop and ask for directions but also they are better suited to follow those directions to get the job done, quelle surpise!

Not afraid of a broken nail.

When thinking about a DIY project you think of wallpapering or painting a frame, not anymore. Instead women are learning all different aspects of home improvement, such as how to wire a ceiling fan or how to stop a faucet from leaking.

Why this sudden interest? A lot of women now a days are buying houses on their own, if something needs to be done and they don’t know how to do it, they’re willing to learn.

 

Grosche, Linnay.  “Listen Up, She’s the Buyer!”  WarmlyYours.  11 May 2012.  Web.  3 December 2012.
http://www.warmlyyours.com/en-CA/blog_posts/Listen-Up-She-s-the-Buyer–301 
“Women’s Roles in Home Improvement.” Good Morning America.  27 July 2011.  Web.  3 December 2012.
http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/womens-roles-home-improvement/story?id=14113819#.UMX1B5PjlPJ
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