Space Saving Upgrades

Mon, 20 Nov by edmontonhomepros

Giving a Smaller Home a More Roomy Feel

Smaller rooms can create a decorating challenge for homeowners. While some may be dealing with a space that is smaller overall – such as an condo or apartment – others may have just a couple of smaller rooms that look and feel cramped. While enlarging these rooms may not be an option, there may be a few upgrades to consider that can give these rooms a more spacious and open feel.


Light Paint Colours

Dark colours can add dramatic flair to a room, and they certainly will make a bold statement. However, they also can create the feeling that the room is smaller than it is. It is best to paint with light paint colours on the walls or even to choose a lighter colour for the ceiling. In addition to these colours, a lighter floor colour can also add the feeling of depth to the space. If the use of bolder, brighter hues is preferred, consider adding a pattern in combination with lighter colours to the ceiling. Another idea is to use stripes with alternating darker and lighter hues on the walls to create the illusion of space.


Shelving Installed Close to the Ceiling

Storage space is often a concern with smaller rooms, and cabinets and bookshelves can take up valuable floor space in any room. A smart idea for smaller rooms is to install shelving or even cabinetry closer to the ceiling. This can enable the space below it to be kept open or to be used for other purposes, such as for other furnishings that must be kept on the floor.


Recessed or Flush Lighting

Lighting is an important element in any room, and brighter lighting can make a space look larger in many situations. Darker shadows cast about a room can make the space feel closed off. More than that, overhead lights that hang down, such as pendants or chandeliers, can create a visual illusion that makes the room feel smaller than it is.

To achieve the goal of casting light throughout the room more evenly while removing these hanging light fixtures from the space, install recessed or flush lights into the ceiling. These can be combined with small table lamps if necessary to brighten up any areas that may still be dark or shadowy. Avoid tall, imposing lamps when decorating a smaller room.

Decorating a smaller room is rarely easy to do, and there are many things that homeowners can do when decorating that actually may make a smaller room appear to be even smaller. These are a few tips that can be followed to make the space appear to be more roomy and spacious, but there are also other ideas for decorating as well as built-in upgrades to consider. Ideally, the fully decorated room will be stylish and functional as well as appear to be spacious.

With proper research and planning, a homeowner can achieve the desired results. 

Mortgage Repayment Tips

Fri, 25 Oct by edmontonhomepros

Supersize Your Mortgage Payments with the Edmonton Home Pros

Do you want to become mortgage free? It is easier than you think! Let Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros team show you how. Together they’ve developed some interesting tips that can help you make smarter choices when it comes to your mortgage; which can save you money and take years off your mortgage:

Mortgage Repayment Tips

Get pre-approved. The last thing that you want is to purchase a property that you cannot afford. Getting a mortgage pre-approval will not only help you better balance your budget, but will also help you understand your limits when house hunting.

Pay often. Once you’ve purchased your home, consider making bi-weekly payments rather than monthly. These payments help your overall credit rating and will add up at the end of the year.

Pay Double. At least once per year, pay twice the amount that is necessary. You would be surprised how much money you can remove from your amortization period with it.

Pay more. It is recommended that you pay more than the minimum amount required on a property’s mortgage. Homeowners who pay only the minimum amount on a mortgage typically take longer to pay it off due to the interests.

In a 2012 survey conducted by the Royal Bank of Canada, over 65% of Canadian homeowners are concerned with their mortgage rates and over 50% confess that their mortgage is much higher than anticipated. Before you take the step towards homeownership, educate yourself and take the guesswork out of mortgages. This will save you stress, time, and money down the road.

The Edmonton Home Pros team has a large number of business affiliates who are ready and willing to work with Edmonton homeowners. These professional associates include: lawyers, mortgage specialists, and financial institution representatives. For more information contact Stephen Lau today.

Hiring A Contractor

Fri, 18 Oct by edmontonhomepros

Do you want to renovate your Edmonton home, but lack the patience and knowledge? To save time and stress: Ask a contractor for help. Their experience, access to materials, and technical knowledge set them apart as expert home renovators. Many home improvement contractors operate in Edmonton; however, not all of them are true professionals. So take some precautions when hiring a contractor: 

Hiring A Contractor

Contractors work with you to enhance your Edmonton home.

  • 1) Do your research. Ask around for referrals, your neighbours might know of a professional contractor! When you find someone, make sure they are licenced to work in Edmonton, bonded, and insured.
  • 2) Interview potential contractors. Once you have narrowed the list down to a few potential contractors, setup some interviews. Ask questions such as: What is the project cost? Are you doing the work yourself or subcontracting? Do you have any work samples I can see? What other projects have you done that are similar to this?
  • 3) Review the contract. It is the contractor’s responsibility to provide you with a written contract detailing the work to be done. Go over the contract carefully it should state: What materials they are using, detailed payment schedule, and what you are obligated to pay for. Consider putting some Terms and Conditions into your contract, such as: times the property is open to them, requirement for them to cleanup at the end of each day etc…
  • 4) Remember: You get what you pay for. You may end up with low quality materials, rush jobs, or unreliable workers if you hire a cheap company in an effort to save money. Cheaper is not always better, so always put everything in writing and schedule a walkthrough after the work is completed.

The most important thing to remember is to choose a contractor that you feel comfortable with. Being mindful and confident when hiring a contractor can empower you to make educated decisions and have a smooth home renovation process.

For more great tips and advice, stay tuned to the Edmonton Home Pros real estate blog.

Green Edmonton Homes

Fri, 27 Sep by edmontonhomepros

Green Edmonton Home

Photo by Chris Potter

Environmentally Friendly Edmonton Homes

There are many things Edmonton homeowners can do to reduce their ecological footprint and protect our planet. If you’re not sure what goes where or where to begin, the Edmonton Home Pros Team has developed some handy tips for you:

  • Garbage VS Recycling: Put all of your recyclable products into a blue bag and place it outside with your garbage. Recyclable items include: glass, metal, paper and cardboard, as well as plastic.
  • Cloth Napkins VS Paper Napkins: According to Environment Canada, “paper products account for more than ⅓ of Canada’s waste.” To reduce your impact on the environment by saving trees, consider using cloth napkins instead of paper and microfiber towels instead of paper towels.
  • Natural Light VS Light Bulb: Don’t reach for the thermostat during the daytime, open the blinds and let the sun’s natural rays warm up your home. To save even more energy, rely on the morning and afternoon sun to light your home instead of turning lights on.
  • Grasscycle VS Grass Clippings: Did you know that almost half of all the waste produced in Edmonton during Spring and Summer is made up of grass clippings? Grasscycling is less effort and fertilizes your lawn in the process. Simply mow your lawn and leave the clippings on the lawn. It’s that easy.

Even the smallest changes can make a large impact on “greening” your Edmonton home. Something as simple as unplugging your electronic devices or kitchen appliances when not in use, will greatly reduce your power consumption as well as your ecological footprint. For more great tips and advice on maintaining a Green Edmonton Home, stay tuned to Stephen Lau’s Real Estate Blog.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell Edmonton, choose Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros team for your real estate needs!

Landscaping & Your Edmonton Home

Fri, 16 Aug by edmontonhomepros

This Summer, Edmonton Home Pros invites you to explore the world of Landscaping. Whether you are building a new home and want to give it a special touch, or creating an outdoor oasis, the team has some handy tips for you before you begin your next Landscaping adventure.

Research: Know your plants, facts, and landscape designs. Have fun with researching all the different options for your yard or backyard. Remember that you are not trying to “Keep Up With The Joneses,” you are creating an outdoor living space that’s right for you, based on your personal budget and taste.

Low Maintenance VS Regular Upkeep: Decide how much time you are willing to invest in your garden. While all Gardens require attention and tending, some need a little more than others. If you plan on having an elaborate garden setting, be prepared to keep it immaculately groomed with crisp clippings on your hedging and well-pruned flowering shrubs. If you prefer a low key garden, consider going with self sufficient shrubs, trees, and plants.

Calling A Pro: There is no shame in consulting with a professional on your Edmonton Home’s garden and landscaping plan. Don’t underestimate the amount of work associated with your project. Some homeowners setting up the landscaping on their Edmonton homes will require large equipment and intense labour. There are multiple landscaping companies in the city, so be sure to research each one and compare prices. Feel free to ask them lots of questions about your Edmonton home’s landscaping potential.

Do you have your own Edmonton landscaping tips, or stories to share? Leave your comments below. For all your Edmonton real estate needs, trust the Edmonton Home Pros team of professionals to be your real estate solution. Contact Stephen Lau today.

Colour Series – Red & Blue

Fri, 09 Aug by edmontonhomepros

What do the colours in your Edmonton home say about you? Whether you are thinking about painting a room or redecorating- the colour palette you choose will set the atmosphere and tone. Before you start making any major furniture or paint purchases, allow Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home pros team show you colours and their meanings in Edmonton homes.

We conclude this series with fire and ice, two powerful tones that evoke different feelings.

Red: If you want to make an impression on a room of your Edmonton home, we recommend you add a splash of Red. By placing it in strategic locations, eyes will be drawn to certain features of your room. Add a Red pillow or bedding to accentuate the couch. Not only is Red the colour of romance and passion, but it has also been proven to stimulate appetite. Add hints of Red to your dining room for a Victorian feel. For a toned down look, choose earth tones such as brick Red or cinnamon.


Photo by: ooh_food

Blue: Who said Blue is for Boys? Over the years, Blue has proven to be an appealing tone to both Men and Women. Many Edmonton Homeowners choose to place Blue in bathrooms as it promotes a fresh and invigorating feel. Many interior stylists also recommend placing soft Blues in bedrooms for a soothing and relaxing ambiance. For a classic colour combination, pair Blue and White together.

We hope this colour series helped you better understand colours and their functionality. If you’re still hesitant or unsure about the colour scheme to use on the walls of your Edmonton Home, consider hiring a colour consultant. These professionals have a strong understanding of colour psychology and will help you dress your home’s interior and exterior.

For more great tips and advice on caring for your Edmonton home, trust the Edmonton Home Pros team. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell Edmonton real estate, let Stephen Lau and his team be your guides.

Colour Series – Grey and Yellow

Fri, 19 Jul by edmontonhomepros

Edmontonians have seen a lot of Grey and Yellow tones this Summer. We’ve witnessed seemingly endless Grey skies during a rainy week, and intense yellow sunlight in +35 weather! While the meaning of these colours sit on opposite sides of the spectrum, they constantly make numerous appearances in the lives of homeowners. As such, the second blog of this Colour Series will provide Edmonton homeowners with tips and advice on introducing these two colours into their homes, without dramatically affecting the mood.


Photo by: Ann

Yellow: Although yellow represents happiness, optimism, and confidence, we recommend you use this colour in a safe and controlled environment. Pairing it with its tonal white can add softness to the room and create a lively atmosphere. This is a great combination during the Spring and Summer months. There are many members of the yellow family, from Cream to Canary and Gold- you want to select the shade that resonates with you while maintaining harmony. Feel free to play with the colour yellow in the darker spots in your Edmonton home such as hallways or basements.

Grey Room

Photo by: Chris Moody

Grey: The colour Grey is often misunderstood, largely due to its plainness and lack of personality. Grey draws no attention to itself, allowing homeowners the opportunity to pair it with multiple colour combinations. Grey or Silver furnishings with Navy Blue tones can add a modern and elegant feel to a room. Grey can serve as the perfect background to rooms that are naturally showered by daylight. Since it’s a more formal and serious tone, we recommend you use Grey in offices, studios, or even kitchens, while steering clear of adult bedrooms, nurseries, and children’s bedrooms.

Want to learn more about colours? Check out the rest of our Colour Series blogs:
Pink & Green.

Stay tuned to this colour series for more great tips and advice. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell Edmonton real estate, let the Edmonton Home Pros team be your guides.


Colour Series – Pink and Green Colours

Fri, 05 Jul by edmontonhomepros

What do the colours in your Edmonton home say about you? Whether you are thinking about painting a room, or redecorating the colour palette you choose will set the atmosphere and tone of the room. Before you start making any major purchases, Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros team recommends you read our colour series and educate yourself on common colours.

We begin this series with two colours commonly seen in nature: Pink and Green.
Green & Pink
Pink – Over the years, Pink has upheld the reputation of being associated with femininity and relaxation. It promotes calmness and psychologically reduces aggressive behaviour or angry emotions. In fact, some prisons are known for placing inmates in a “pink room” for a certain period of time, studies have shown that this treatment helps calm the prisoner. Despite Pink’s soothing effects, when it comes to most Edmonton Homes, it is used occasionally. Unless Edmonton homeowners are using this colour for a little girl’s room, Pink goes unnoticed by many. Try adding a splash of pink to one of your rooms, for a special and relaxing touch.

Green – Similar to Pink, the colour Green has relaxing tendencies. It is commonly seen in the natural world and blends a nice combination of earth tones. If you are looking to incorporate the colour Green to your Edmonton home, lean towards a dark shade of Green, Olive tone, or Sage Green – pairing these tones with a Burgundy or Deep Blue can accentuate some of your room’s best features.

Stay tuned to this colour series for more great tips and advice. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell Edmonton real estate, let the Edmonton Home Pros team be your guides. Contact Stephen Lau today for more information!

Summer Lawn Care Tips

Fri, 17 May by edmontonhomepros

For many Edmonton homeowners having a lush, green lawn is a rewarding benefit. As the summer months approach, homeowners who are looking to sell will want to enhance their home’s curb appeal. Stephen Lau and his Edmonton Real Estate team know that a home’s curb appeal begins with a good lawn, and proper lawn care begins with healthy soil. Looking to enhance your property’s curb appeal, read the tips we have put together below on how to get a great looking lawn, while promoting a healthy natural environment.

Green Fertilizers
Lawn Care Using a compost fertilizer promotes beneficial bacterial growth and leaching. If you are set on using a synthetic fertilizer select a slow-release fertilizer, so it can provide your lawn with all the necessary ingredients over a longer period. Keep in mind that synthetic fertilizers come with a hidden label: do not use until the soil temperature has reached above 20 C. If you apply a synthetic fertilizer prematurely, the product will quickly run off during the next rainfall.

Thatch can be easily removed using a fan rake. If heavy and excess Thatch is present, some lawns may require the use of a power rake.

Thatch is a buildup of organic matter which can include, dead grass leaves, stems, stolons, rhizomes and overcrowded grass roots and lateral weed growth. Thatch can stifle the growth and health of grass or turf. Definition from Wikipedia.

One of the great things about thatching is that it does not need to be done yearly.

Control Weeds
Don’t reach for the herbicide at the first sign on weeds! Your attempt at destroying the weeds in your garden could destroy your lawn, or damage the ecosystem around it. Hand dig the weeds that appear in your lawn using a weeder – there are many types of weeders on the market, and are easy to find – especially during Spring.

AerateSummer Lawn Care
The aeration process brings C02 and special nutrients into the roots of the grass – promoting better lawn growth. If your lawn is growing sparse, or water is pooling in some areas, you need to aerate. For DIYers: head to the nearest nursery and rent a core aerator – offer to share the machine with a neighbour over the weekend to keep costs down.

Creating your own compost soils easy, simply create a compost heap inside a sealed container and collect non-animal based kitchen scraps – the sun and nature will take care of the rest. Good compost scraps include: banana peels, coffee grounds, tea bags, or food leftovers. The magic ratio is half and half: half green (grass clippings, green table scraps, or green seaweed) and half brown (plants that have wilted and gone brown, brown leaves).

When searching for Edmonton homes for sale, look no further than Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros team. Their extensive area knowledge and passion for the industry is unsurpassed, contact Stephen today for more information.

Spring Cleaning For Your Edmonton Office

Fri, 03 May by edmontonhomepros

Who says that Spring Cleaning applies only to your Edmonton homes? By exercising similar de-cluttering techniques to those found our first blog: Spring Cleaning For Your Edmonton Home, homeowners and business-owners can live neat, tidy, and organized lives. Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros team can provide a simple four-step Spring Cleaning Guide for your Edmonton Office.

    1. Storage Closet. If your office supplies are hard-to-find, and scattered throughout the building- consider investing in a pantry-like unit with shelves. You can then go one step further and sub-divide each shelf using tools such as baskets, or bins. Be sure to group items together, and label each bin with the category according to its contents.
    2. Simplify Filing. Speaking of categories, when Spring Cleaning your Edmonton office, go through your current filing system and simplify your categories. When you are looking for papers it is easier to locate them if they are in fewer folders. Keep your categories broad and group any folders that have less than 5 papers inside of them. Also toss out any junk, flyers, or paper that is no longer relevant.

Edmonton Offices- Spring Cleaning

  1. Tackle Your E-mail. Spring Cleaning should extend to your electronic inbox. If this task intimidates you, remember that with as little as 15 minutes a day, over the course of a couple weeks, you can accomplish miracles! Go through all the messages in your inbox and get rid of any junk, or spam messages. Organize each of your non-junk messages into broad categories so they are easy to find.
  2. Hire A Pro. Let’s face it, not everyone is as willing and able to leave the kitchen as spotless as you. If you work at a location where clients drop by on occasion, you’ll want to maintain a tidy office space. Contract a professional cleaning company to maintain common areas such as the kitchen, and bathroom clean.

Do you have any Spring Cleaning tips for the office? We would love to hear from you, place your comments below. For all of your Edmonton real estate needs, contact Stephen Lau and the Edmonton Home Pros team. Alternatively, you can begin searching through our Edmonton properties for sale today.

The data included on this website is deemed to be reliable, but is not guaranteed to be accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.
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