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recycling area. Think about the materials you’ll use. Look for materials that are recycled or made from renewable resources. For example, cork and bamboo are excellent choices for floors and cabinets. In the bathroom, install a low-flow showerhead and an ultra-low-flush or dual-flush toilet. Toilets can use up to 30% of the indoor water usage of a home. Check the CMHCpartnered report of water-efficient toilets at www.cwwa.ca. With all the hot water used in bathrooms and kitchens, a tankless, on-demand water heater can put lots of dollars back in your pocket. Pay attention to longevity. A kitchen or bathroom built well with high-quality materials may be more expensive at the outset, but if it lasts two or three times longer than one built poorly, the money invested will provide more value and return on your investment. Fewer renovations mean less waste to the landfill. As well, consider what could be repaired and/or restored rather than replaced. Our home is nearly 100 years old and hasn’t been maintained well since it was moved to Sooke in 1989. To preserve what’s left of its century-old character, we evaluate every renovation with what we can afford and what will maintain the integrity of the house. For example, the original fir floors had been painted three times. The main floor was in terrible condition and our floor refinisher wasn’t certain about getting one more sanding out of it. So we decided on new, unfinished American cherry from a sustainably managed forest. The colour, grain and width of the boards suit the house perfectly, and the floor will last for more than 100 years. The top floor, with less foot traffic, had some life left in it, and we decided to have it refinished. The edge-grain fir has shrunk in most places and is stained in others; and burn marks, nails and staples are clearly visible. We think it’s simply gorgeous, and we know whoever loves this house after us will think so too. Renovating with the environment in mind entails getting the most mileage out of the materials you’re using, and also selecting products that are have the least impact on Mother Nature. Every time we support the green building industry, we lower the subsequent cost of these products and services. When demand increases, prices tend to fall. It may seem counterintuitive, but in an economic downturn, while it’s certainly wise to pinch your pennies where you can, it’s also a perfect time to invest in your home and the future. For more information on the tax credit, call the Canada Revenue Agency at 1-800-959-8281 or visit the website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca/hrtc/. For information on the EcoENERGY Retrofit-Homes program, visit the ecoACTION website at www.ecoaction.gc.ca or phone 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232). t

The Canadian Home Renovation Tax Credit is a Federal non-refundable tax credit for renovation work performed on your principal residence up to February 1, 2010. The 15% credit applies to eligible expenditures of more than $1,000 but not more than $10,000, resulting in a maximum credit of $1,350 ($9,000 x 14%). Matching Kohler credit applies to list price of sink and faucet products up to the amount of the Federal Tax Credit. Promotion valid for a limited time, July 1, 2009 through August 31, 2009.

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Profile for Boulevard Magazine

Boulevard Magazine - July/August 2009 Issue  

BOULEVARD MAGAZINE is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Victoria by focusing on the Arts, People, Trends, Fo...

Boulevard Magazine - July/August 2009 Issue  

BOULEVARD MAGAZINE is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Victoria by focusing on the Arts, People, Trends, Fo...

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