New property listed in Bonnyville, Bonnyville Town

I have listed a new property at 4711 50 ST W in Bonnyville. See details here

This charming home has been renovated throughout the years and has old charm character with modern updates. The property is located on a large lot with an oversized garage and a spacious yard. The home has 4 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms, an updated main bathroom and a 2 piece on the second floor. The bright kitchen is open to the dining room and flows to the front of the home offering 2 living rooms. A wood burning fireplace in the bonus room, main floor laundry and a bedroom on the main floor. Recent updates are a newer hot water tank and HE furnace. This home provides a lot of space for a growing family, is close to schools and shopping.


10 Tools Every Homeowner Needs

Even if you don’t consider yourself handy—and there’s no shame in that—having a well-equipped toolbox is a must for every homeowner. You never know when you’ll need to screw a cabinet handle back in, hammer down a floorboard, or tighten a loose pipe until a professional can do a permanent fix. Your toolbox doesn’t need to rival that of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor’s, but there are some basics you’ll want to gather up. 

We asked Mike Sexton, owner of Double Check Handyman and Shed On Site in Fredericton, New Brunswick, to give us some insight to the 10 tools every home should have. 


1. A hammer

This is probably the one everyone thinks of, but not all hammers are created equal.

“There are a couple of different kinds,” says Sexton. “Don’t get a framing hammer with a straight back, get a standard one. Hammers come in different weights, so get around a 16-ounce hammer.”

A comfortable grip is also key when choosing a hammer, and you can also find some with vibration-dampening coatings. Something else to look for is a flat head, rather than dimpled or checkered. This will avoid nail slippage when you do need to hammer something. 

Wrench Set

2. A wrench set

Anyone trying to put together furniture knows the importance of a wrench—more specifically, they know the frustration of not having the size you need. Adjustable wrenches are available, which you may think is the best choice as they give you different size options, but Sexton actually recommends having multiple wrench sets on hand.

“Get an adjustable wrench and a small set of metric and standard combination wrenches, which have an open end and a closed end, like a circle with ridges on the inside,” he explains. “The reason for this is often you need to hold a bolt on both ends to loosen it. The adjustable will hold one side, and the other wrenches will hold the other end.”

Tape Measure

3. A tape measure

Whereas wrenches and hammers have specific criteria to look for, the same isn’t required for a tape measure. 

“Almost any tape measure will do,” Sexton admits. “A 25-foot tape measure is best, and is still compact. There’s no need to get a high priced one.”

Skinnier tape measures are more susceptible to collapsing when you have them extended too far, so opting for one with a ¾-inch-wide tape is a good idea. 

Screwdriver Set

4. A screwdriver or screwdriver set

Phillips, flat, hexagon, square—there are multiple heads for screwdrivers, and those who are less handy may not always know what they’re looking for. So, when you’re adding a screwdriver to your toolbox, what should you choose?

“Either a set or a multi-tip screwdriver will work,” Sexton says. “I prefer a multi-tip, since there’s less looking around for stuff when you need it.”

A multi-tip screwdriver comes in a couple different varieties as well, so it all depends on personal preference. Some come with a case of removable magnetic tips you can swap in and out as needed. Others include all the tips in the handle with switches you push up to unveil the tip you need (think of those multi-coloured pens we used to have in high school). 


5. A set or pair of pliers

Pliers can come in handy when you need to manipulate smaller objects, like when you’re trying to hammer a nail into something or bending a rogue staple back to avoid catching yourself on it. There are a few types of pliers, but there are only two you really need to consider for a basic toolkit. 

“You can get a set of pliers, or a good pair of needle nose and something called ‘linesman’ pliers,” Sexton explains. “Those two will do the job 99% of the time.”

Sexton also specifically advises with pliers, you should invest a bit more in a quality pair or set. Ones that are too cheap can break quickly and end up causing more frustration than needed. 

Allen Wrench Set

6. An Allen wrench set

Though it sounds similar to a regular wrench set, Allen wrenches, also known as hex keys, are entirely different. These hexagon-headed tools are most recognized from the IKEA assembly method, and while they seem basic, they can definitely come in handy in a pinch. 

“Make sure you buy a combination set of both metric and standard,” Sexton shares. “Most brands will do.”

Allen wrench sets can be purchased either as individual hex keys in a case, or hinged together like a Swiss Army knife so you don’t lose track of any size. 


7. A level

Moving into a new home usually involves hanging pictures and artwork on your walls, in which case you’ll want to invest in a level. These can also come in handy when setting up furniture to make sure the feet are all installed at an even height, letting you know if you need to add any jambs under one side. 

“Don’t buy a discount level, most of them are not truly level,” Sexton cautions. “A small six-to-eight inch level is great. If you need to go up a size, then go for a two-foot level.”

Utility Knife

8. A utility knife

You’re going to have a lot of boxes to open as you unpack your new home, and you never know when you’ll need to take on a handy project like replacing the screen in your windows. Having a utility knife on hand will make these jobs quicker and save the life of your scissors. 

“Buy a normal size utility knife, not the miniature style,” Sexton suggests. “Also, make sure you have a pack of extra blades. You don’t need to get specialty blades, the standard blades will work for almost everything.”


9. A flashlight

Most of us have flashlights on our phones, so the idea of having a physical flashlight feels a bit silly. But while your phone flashlight may be great for a short while in the event of a power outage, Sexton explains having a headlight is actually better suited for your toolbox. 

“You can get a normal flashlight, but I highly recommend getting a headlight with a band that goes around your head and has the light in the front. Alternatively, you could get one of each.  You won’t always be able to hold a light while you’re using your hands to do things. I exclusively use headlights for work.”


10. A drill or driver

Power tools might be intimidating to some, but having a drill or driver is a good idea for every home. 

“A driver is a tool that looks like a drill, except it makes a quick hammering noise when turning,” Sexton explains. “Its purpose is to make driving difficult screws much easier. Having both a drill and a driver are great, but if I had to make a choice, I would default to a driver.” 

If you’re getting a drill and driver, Sexton shares there are different options. 

“You can get small drill bits that fit in a driver, and it can double duty as both. Ideally, you should get both a drill and a driver, and often they are sold in kits. Cordless is best, but don’t forget to charge the battery. Corded drills can work, but drivers are typically only available as cordless.”

Ready to take it a step further? Build yourself a functional starter workshop with these six tools.

Other things to consider

In addition to these 10 tools, Sexton shared a few other things you might want to consider keeping in your toolkit. 

  • Spare batteries—at least 20 AAA and AA batteries on hand, plus a few C batteries, and some 9V batteries, too. Alkaline can sit for years and not lose their charge. Rechargeables are great, but they lose their charge too quickly, and get forgotten.
  • An oscillating tool—oscillating tools are great for making cuts on things in difficult places. Cordless is great, but corded will also do.
  • An emergency pipe repair—Sexton recommends the ‘Kibosh Rapid Pipe Repair’. Get a 1/2 inch and a 3/4. If you get a leak in a pipe, this can plug it immediately and prevent potentially costly damage.


So if you’re not a handyperson, it’s always advised to call in the professionals when things go wrong. However, having these tools in your home can be gamechangers in the event of an emergency. 


Architectural Trends in New Homes

Design trends come and go each year, and it’s always an exciting undertaking for interior designers to explore the current and upcoming design themes for condos, townhouses and single-family homes. When we think about these trends, however, we often overlook architecture or building design and instead tend to focus on fun, non-structural elements such as colours, materials, textures and accessories.

What’s interesting about this is the fact that architectural trends are a key consideration for both the government and developers when it comes to constructing new homes. 

“Guidelines are developed in collaboration with city staff, developers, planners, and architects,” says Melanie Doytchinova of Kirkor Architects & Planners, based out of Toronto, Ontario, and Calgary, Alberta. “These guidelines are essentially the new trends being set by the government with the intent to improve quality of life and provide a better mix of housing types to support people at different stages in life.” 

What’s clear is our modern lives significantly impact the design of our homes and the unique architectural trends and designs we see emerging.

Worker installing solar panels on a roof for an eco-friendly home designImage via Bill Mead, Unsplash

Eco-friendly homes

With an ongoing emphasis on climate change awareness and sustainability, designing and building with the environment in mind remains a top priority for many builders and homeowners. Incorporating sustainable practices, techniques and materials in new builds—as well as updating older buildings—has become the new standard.

Homeowners are looking for something adaptable, affordable, and sustainable. As well as being good for the environment, eco-friendly designs often go hand-in-hand with long-term cost efficiency of our homes. Whether it’s through the use of solar panels, recycled house materials, water-efficient plumbing fixtures, insulation and air tightness, or being mindful of window and door selections for energy reduction, it seems there’s a conscious effort to support the planet. This effort is reinforced by the range of government-backed clean energy incentives and rebate programs in operation across the country. 

Curious about the relationship between architecture and how we interact with the place we live? Episode 27 of the REAL TIME podcast features Canadian architect Todd Saunders, who shares his perspective.

Exterior view of modern apartment building offering

Minimized window-to-wall ratios

Specifically, in relation to windows, Doytchinova mentions large windows are a “trend we’ll be moving away from” as there are guidelines related to sustainability minimizing window-to-wall ratios in order to make new construction more energy efficient. “We’ll start seeing the trend of the ‘glass towers’ move more and more into solid wall construction with punched-in windows,” she suggests. 

Despite the aesthetic appeal of large windows and the uplifting psychological effect they have on us when natural light floods through them and brightens up our homes, energy efficiency also needs to be taken into account. When coupled with the known fact that windows are (usually) the main cause of energy loss in our homes, it becomes clear why minimizing the window-to-wall ratio helps to reduce energy consumption.

A large living area with beige furniture and carpetingImage via ​​Francesca Tosolini, Unsplash

Design flexibility

Design flexibility allows residential buildings to evolve over time as requirements, likes, and dislikes change. In terms of adaptability, this could include elements like moveable partitions, a room’s ability to expand, multi-use spaces, or even furniture that can be repositioned without making a permanent change to the building. 

“Designing more adaptable units by using movable walls, fold away furniture, demountable partitions, prefabricated elements, or modules rather than drywall and framing could be a future trend,” says Doytchinova.

“The trend is to build in a way that’s flexible and allows for alterations, like adding or removing walls and partitions to accommodate a household’s needs for space during varying life stages,” Doytchinova adds. “Therefore, it’s encouraged to use alternative construction systems that can be easily repurposed. We’re encouraged to prioritize using columns for the building structure rather than shear walls in order to be able to, one day, combine rooms or apartments and adapt layouts.”

A modern open-concept living room, dining room and kitchen with white walls and black architectural accents

Suitably sized housing options for all

Closely related to design flexibility is the trend—and requirement, for many—towards more space

“In the last few decades, contemporary unit sizes, layouts, and amenity spaces have been designed and marketed to smaller households without children,” says Doytchinova. “Now, the objective is to ensure new developments respond to all segments of the population with a range of housing types.” 


I have sold a property at 4902 54 AVE S in Cold Lake
I have sold a property at 4902 54 AVE S in Cold Lake.
This home is a beauty and is perfect for a family or as a downsizing pick-me-up. Ideal location close to 4 Wings base, schools and shopping! This lively and bright 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home has over 2100 sqft of living space. You’ll love the inviting and roomy oak kitchen with island, generous amount of cupboards and dining area. The living room is bright and spacious with hardwood floors. The main level full bathroom is a bonus with a jetted tub. The primary bedroom has a en-suite with standup shower. 2 additional bedrooms and storage can also be found on this level. The lower level features a bright and spacious family room, 4th bedroom or media room, laundry room and another full bathroom with in-floor heating. You're mind will be at ease once you look in the mechanical room and see everything is upgraded and HE. Enjoy the beautiful backyard with nature all around with a firepit and storage shed. Come take a look for yourself to find the perfect fit for your family!

New property listed in M.D. Bonnyville
I have listed a new property at 63110 Rge Rd 435 in M.D. Bonnyville.
Cozy country farm house situated on 5.78 acres, has a large front porch (10'x41') to enjoy those breath taking views. The renovated kitchen has new counter tops and white subway tile. This 3 bedroom, one bath home has new linoleum flooring spanning the main floor with carpet in the primary bedroom. The bathroom was completely renovated in 2021 and has a deep soaker tub. The living room's bright with lots of windows where you can enjoy looking at nature and watching the deer. The exterior has multiple buildings including a large shop with woodburning stove, a detached garage with attached animal stall and a cute play house for the kids, or just extra storage. The property is cross fenced and would make a perfect hobby farm. Recent updates, shingles (19), gutters (21), furnace & HWT (19), siding & windows.

New property listed in Cold Lake, Cold Lake
I have listed a new property at 216 21 ST W in Cold Lake.
Fabulous, bright and spacious! This 4 bedroom and 3 bathroom home is located on a quiet street and close to Kinosoo beach. The spacious main floor has vaulted ceilings, rich hardwood flooring, sunken living room, dining room and titled eat-in kitchen with a large pantry. On the upper level the good sized primary bedroom has a recently renovated en-suite, it's bright with a large white vanity and stand-up shower. Another 2 bedrooms are on this level with the main bath having a large soaker tub. The lower level has a family room with a beautiful stone facing wood burning fireplace, full bath and a sizeable laundry room. Below this is the 4th bedroom (confirm egress) and utility room where you do have the option for laundry, if hook-ups are run and turning the current laundry room into a 5th bedroom. The back deck is sunny and the yard is beautifully maintained. This home has great curb appeal, it's close to schools and the provincial park.

The Color Green in a Room

Green is considered the most restful color for the eye.Combining the refreshing quality of blue and the cheerfulness of yellow, green is suited for almost any room in the house.In the kitchen, green cools things down; in a family room or living room, it encourages unwinding but has enough warmth to promote comfort and togetherness.

Green also has a calming effect when used as a main color for decorating.It is believed to relieve stress by helping people relax.It is also believed to help with fertility, making it a great choice for the bedroom.


New property listed in Cold Lake, Cold Lake
I have listed a new property at 4804 45 ST S in Cold Lake.
This spacious and immaculately maintained 4-level split home is perfect for a family with children. It features 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, an oversized garage with in-floor heating, The kitchen is an eat-in kitchen packed with counterspace and cabinets with a pantry. The living room has hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings and gas fireplace. The large primary bedroom has a walk-in closet, en-suite with a jetted tub and stand up shower. The lower level features in-floor heating, bathroom with standup shower, a family room, flex room and laundry. Enjoy being able to have dinner while sitting on the deck and enjoying the wooded backyard.

New property listed in Cold Lake, Cold Lake
I have listed a new property at 1002 11 AVE S in Cold Lake.
Exciting family home! Walking distance to the marina, and plenty of restaurants this 4 bedroom, 3 bath home is situated on a large corner lot with oversized detached garage. This spacious home has laminate flooring, bright kitchen with gas range, peninsula, and lots of cabinets opening up into the dining room. The living room has a beautiful floor to ceiling stone wood burning fireplace and a door to the front deck. The lower level has another floor to ceiling wood burning fireplace in the family room. A 4th bedroom, bath and large laundry room complete this level. Lots of opportunity at an affordable price.

The color Yellow in a room

Yellow captures the joy of sunshine and communicates happiness. It is an excellent choice for kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms, where it is energizing and uplifting. In halls, entries and small spaces, yellow can feel expansive and welcoming. Even though yellow although is a cheery color, it is not a good choice for main color schemes. Studies show that people are more likely to lose their temper in a yellow interior. Babies also seem to cry more in yellow rooms. In large amounts, this color tends to create feelings of frustration and anger. In chromotherapy, yellow is believed to stimulate the nerves and purify the body.


New property listed in Rural Bonnyville M.D., Rural Bonnyville M.D.
I have listed a new property at Rural Bonnyville M.D., Rural Bonnyville M.D..
W. of 4 Meridian Range 1 Township 62 Section 26. Fantastic opportunity to build your dream home. A total of 24.93 ac treed lot with paved roads to the property. A small section has been partially cleared for future development. This unserviced lot has gas and power near by. Located only 12 km from Cold Lake and minutes from Kinosoo Ridge, don't let this opportunity pass you by.

I have sold a property at 4613 Tutor LANE in Cold Lake
I have sold a property at 4613 Tutor LANE in Cold Lake.
Welcome home to this affordable mobile in Fontaine Village. The living room showcases vaulted ceilings and a generous open concept floorplan. The kitchen has plenty of cabinet and counter space with a peninsula and granite sink. The primary bedroom offers a 4 pc en-suite with dual vanity, new stand up shower, and a walk-in-closet. . This floor plan has the primary bedroom at one end, and a 4pc bathroom with bedrooms 2 and 3 at the other end. This home is carpet free throughout. Enjoy barbecuing on your deck with a good size lot. With the common area steps away with a playground and walking paths it's a great place to call home.
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