Category Archives: Seller Info

Home water filtration systems in the Cowichan Valley

Water is a Cooking Ingredient

Water absorbs tastes from the pipes and conduits in the water system. Additives like chlorine can also affect the taste of this most basic of all ingredients. You wouldn’t use flour or milk that smelled like copper or chlorine so why use less than pristine water in your cooking? Cooking with filtered water can make everything from coffee to pasta taste better not to mention reconstituted juice and homemade pop. Purified water is better for people, makes better infant formula, and is healthier for pets, too. Use in fish tanks, to water plants, and to make cleaning solutions that won’t leave mineral deposits.

Here in the Cowichan Valley, we are blessed with an abundant supply of clean, fresh water. However, that water must pass through miles of pipes, new and old, before it reaches your home or business.

A water filter removes lead and other heavy metals that may be present from pipes. In apartment blocks, water can become stagnant when fewer people are drawing it from taps. If it’s a large building, the water may have been in the internal plumbing for a day or two. Modern conduits are made of plastic which can leach chemicals into the water, and even if harmless, can affect the taste. A good quality water filter is your defence against water contaminants.

Until recently, water purification options were fairly limited. Bottled water and jug-size filters were the two main choices. As purified water has become more popular, filter makers have responded with a range of under-counter appliances that will cleanse thousands of litres of water before a filter replacement is necessary. The result is tap water that has no contaminants, necessary for good health.

You can take the taste test before purchasing a filter. Buy a bottle of good quality water. Brew two cups of tea, coffee, or cocoa. Use bottled water for one and tap water for the other. Which tastes better? It’s almost certain that the drink made with purified water will taste fresher and more satisfying. You can try the same experiment with any food that has water added for a better tasting meal.

Adding an under-the-counter filter will make such a difference you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Questions or comments? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today to learn more about increasing your property value with a purified water system

Free home staging consultation when you list your home for sale in the Cowichan Valley

Kitchen Makeovers to Beat the February Blahs

Are you bored with your kitchen? Is a renovation out of the question? Did you know that a mini makeover can increase the value of your Cowichan Valley home? With some careful upgrades to the most touched pieces, and a colour shift with accessories, a makeover can be affordable and fun. The first step is to establish the scope of your project by considering ambition, time, and money.

New cabinets from IKEA are not expensive, especially if you can install them yourself. With a modest budget and some labour, you can transform the layout of your kitchen to something much more efficient. At the other end of the spectrum, a deep cleaning and new paint on the backsplash costs very little. Or you might find that re-grouting the tile floor and painting the ceiling are all you need to do.

A February kitchen makeover may be planned over four weekends. Here is a sample schedule to give you some ideas:

Week 1

Paint is one of the easiest ways to improve the look of a room. Clean the walls thoroughly with trisodium phosphate (TSP) to remove cooking oils and prep the surface for paint. Traditional colours for kitchens are whites, greens, light blues, and soft greys. Mix and match them to create your own style. Creamy white walls with a pale blue ceiling will expand the space and allow light to bounce around. No time to paint? Simply washing the walls with TSP will brighten them and give the space a fresh look.

Week 2

Replace the faucet with a new one. There is a faucet style for every taste and budget. Most will have a pull out or down spray tool for rinsing beyond the normal reach of a spigot. Newer ones have a touch-less feature that is convenient when your hands are covered in food. If you like your existing faucet, consider a moveable spigot head from the dollar store. It will be a small but welcome improvement.

Week 3

Cabinet pulls and knobs are a terrific way to introduce a new look to your kitchen. They’re easy to install with just a screwdriver. Unless you’re replacing the whole cabinet, try to replace like-with-like. That is, choose simple replacement hardware that doesn’t require any drilling or other modifications. If new knobs aren’t in the budget, remove the old ones and let them soak in a detergent solution overnight. You might be surprised at the difference a deep cleaning will make to their appearance.

Week 4

Window coverings can be changed with the season. In the summer, a translucent venetian blind will keep things light and, in the winter, an insulated roman blind can add a cozy feel while saving energy. The best part is you can leave both up all year round and switch between them. Avoid curtains in the cooking area to reduce the risk of fires.

Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Need some advice on pre-listing renovations and home staging? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today.

Cowichan Valley eco-friendly home maintenance

Create an Eco-Friendly Zone at Home

January is a good month to look at your home environment for opportunities to detox, go green, and get eco-friendly. Making do, making your own, and doing good are what it’s all about. Here in the Cowichan Valley, we have a special pride in our environment and it shows!

Plants purify the air that we breathe and some species will actually remove toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde. As plants respirate, or breathe, they’re taking in carbon dioxide and releasing pure oxygen. That’s why a room with lots of plants encourages a deep breath. It’s because the extra oxygen feels good. Choose plants that are suitable for your space and ability. In the kitchen, food herbs are very easy to grow and make a nice addition to the menu.

Chemical cleaners can add to the overall toxin load in your home. Consider making your own for windows, bathroom disinfection, and kitchen sanitizing. Bleach is one of the most eco-friendly and safe cleaners available. It decomposes back to the principal ingredient, salt, within a few hours. Ammonia, vinegar, lemon juice, and green tea are a few ingredients in homemade cleaning solutions that are inexpensive and all natural. Recipes are available online for easy reference.

Water is the most important element for good health. Older pipes and apartment plumbing can leave a bad taste. While this is off-putting, poor water quality could also be a sign of contaminants like excessive copper, sulphur, and lead. Contaminated water can have direct, negative health effects such as developmental problems in children and cognitive disorders in adults. The good news is that your tap water can be purified using an under the sink reverse osmosis filter system. Water is also an ingredient in cooking so when you use filtered water, you’ll naturally improve the taste of coffee, tea, pasta, and other dishes that rely on it.

Look around your home for ways to remove plastic from the waste stream. Fabric grocery bags or totes are a little more work to manage but they save trees and keep plastic out of the environment. If you still prefer plastic, bring your own bags to the grocery store. They tuck into a pocket or purse easily and you’ll save a nickel on each one. Sturdy plastic bags can be recycled into kitchen-catcher garbage bags. The handy loops can be tied into knot to keep everything neat.

For a wood and paper alternative, consider bamboo. It’s one of the fastest growing species of plants in the world. It can be used to make paper, furniture, hardwood flooring, and even fabric! When cellulose is extracted from bamboo it can be spun into a luxurious silky textile that is perfect for sheets and garments in place of linen. It’s a wonder plant that we’ll see a lot more of in the future.

Questions or comments? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today for information about buying or selling a home in the Cowichan Valley.