For Businesses thinking about using Instagram

10k instagram followersSocial media is without doubt the fastest growing marketing platform to date. Gone are the days where paid advertising gets you directly in front of your target market and with the only results.
The latest statistics report Instagram alone has over 400 million monthly active users sharing on average 80 million photos per day. If you haven’t already tapped into this incredible social media app – literally get tapping!
As a company we never could have imagined gaining the interest of followers that we have in just a short six and half months! We’re talking 10,000 followers all of sudden watching our brand, seeing our everyday services and liking our products. Some are far across the globe but others are practically next door. I’ve handed a business card to someone in a shop before asking about flooring and the person behind me said, ‘I know Griffin – my wife follows you on instagram! She was just showing me photos last night.’ Small world huh?
It’s not just about being popular either, it’s really exciting that we can engage with people on a daily basis. Sharing our achievements and helping them create homes they love to live in. Personally, I think this is just the beginning for professional businesses successfully using social media. I am excited to see how it evolves.

Spring Cleaning in Two Days-Part II

CarpetThis weather makes me want to open all the windows and finally let the warmth of the sun in! If you need a re-cap on how to get started with your Spring Cleaning, head over to our post last week and look at Spring Cleaning in Two Days – Part I.
Today’s list looks more daunting then it really is. It’s unlikely you have large areas of carpet, tiles and wood floors throughout your house so only a few may apply. Get straight into it and you’ll be finished in no time.
  • Cleaning your carpet. It’s important to keep carpets looking nice all year round and there are simply things like taking off your shoes when you get home and vacuuming regularly that will all make a big difference in your home. Spring is the time to really get down on your hands and knees and get rid of the stains, use some of that arm muscle and make it look new again.
  • Caring for your Tiles. Cleaning bathroom and kitchen tiles with a cleaner that has a neutral pH on the label. You can also mix baking soda and water for a homemade cleaner: Pout 1/2 cup of baking soda into 2 gallons water and mix very well. Then apply the liquid with a good mop. For grout, use the same baking soda and water mixture and use that arm muscle again.
  • Caring for your wood floors. The keys to keeping your wood floors looking new is to use trivets or saucers under plants to avoid water damage, use furniture protectors to avoid scratches and damp-mop once a week (with my personal favourite cleaning item in the house) the norwex mop (great for tiles to).
  • Shine up the Kitchen. Wipe down the cabinetry doors, inside & out. If this is something you do on a weekly basis I commend you! Take the time to wipe all the handles and open each one and get rid of any drips that may have caught on top.
  • Spruce up the Fridge. It really takes less time then you think. Take a cloth soaked in warm soapy water and wipe down all the shelves and get the drawers sparkling again.
  • The greasy exhaust fan needs a good clean to. To often people forget all that delicious food you are cooking on your stove top often leaves a thick greasy residue underneath the exhaust hood. You’ll need a hot preferably more grippy cloth to get rid of this.
  • Polish the Silver & Copper. Use a toothbrush and Hagerty Silver Foam on your silver because it’s not too abrasive and it’s water-soluble. Or cut a lemon in half and sprinkle salt over it and rub straight onto your copper. This will gently remove the build of stains and discolouration.
You will deserve a bubble bath by the end of the day, but honestly you & your house will be better off for it. Well done!

Spring Cleaning in Two Days – Part I

1203-8555 Granville StSpring is coming.
The days are longer, the buds are appearing and I’ve noticed a few squirrels bounding about!
But what does Spring mean in your home? Most people conjure up images of dusting and packing up old items in boxes to donate. It doesn’t sound that appealing I know “Urgh, cleaning! Right?!”
It’s time to clean the house. And I mean really clean it.
Polish any silver, wash the windows, wipe down the lightbulbs, wipe down the walls. Everything will gleam and glisten. The effect will be cleansing and make you feel like you have accomplished something.
Give yourself two days and you’ll be feeling a spring in your step in no time.
  • Organising Closets. Organizing your closet is the first step to organizing the rest of your home. Get rid of unused clothes and accessories, and organize the rest by how you get dressed in the morning. Your closet will look appealing, and your everyday routine will be easier.
  • Create a different mood. For easy makeovers changing the textiles in your bathroom and bedroom heck even the table linen can add a fast and easy change. Switch things out seasonally or for a special event, or whenever you want to play with a certain colour or pattern.
  • Reorganize bookshelves. Sort books by size and subject. Remove and discard any ripped dust jackets. Play with how you line the books, some vertically, some horizontally, in a rhythmic pattern. This will relieve the monotony of rows.
  • Wash all the windows. Inside and out and take the time to dry them as well to make sure you’re not left with water marks.
  • Ward off the dust and wipe down all your lightbulbs, give the blinds a spruce and any windowsills (even the higher ones you don’t see).
Then go make yourself a cup of tea and put your feet up. Don’t forget to jump online and see Spring Cleaning in Two Days – Party II next week to finish the job. You’re almost there.

Finding Etsy

Maple TriangleIf you haven’t already discovered it, Etsy is a online venue for independent artists to sell their own handmade or vintage items.
It is the worlds most vibrant directory to buy and sell directly to people across the globe.

We sell our reclaimed wood wall art on Etsy so that consumers who are searching for pieces like these can find them with ease.

It’s exciting and such a great tool for buyers to shop on the other side of the world where they haven’t yet come across your brand or products before. Often it leads to new commissioned work and customers can have something very personal created for their space.

Can’t find what you are shopping for? Try etsy.com
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Who needs Plumbing Anyway? Bathroom Renovation Realities.

Bathroom Claw foot Tub

Women in particular would be more then happy to deem a well thought out and tasteful bathroom their favourite room in the house. Throw in some wine and  candlelight with those bubbles and don’t expect her to get up if the doorbell rings.

When you decide to renovate a house, it’s unfortunate but the sky isn’t your limit (unless your budget is) and the original plumbing does play a rather (sometimes disappointing) role in your decisions. Bathrooms do need to be functional after all.
Even the dreamiest bathroom has to deal with plumbing drains, water lines, and ventilation. Bathroom floor plans are often restricted to where these original lines are run. There are many factors that can become costly when deciding to make alterations to the original layout. What floor is the bathroom on? Does the sink, toilet and shower currently all currently sit along the one wall? This could become costly when you are planning a massive bathroom overhaul.
Professional contractors can give you a realistic budget to make sure you’ll be floating in your piece of paradise in no tim

Ready to Renovate & Redecorate?

Renovate Your Home.
Three things to remember when renovating…

If you are ready to renovate your kitchenremodel the bathroom or simply upgrade your flooring – we’d like to help! The task can seem daunting, handing over your savings you have worked so hard for. Not to mention the overwhelming choices you have to make. So to help you stay sane, we have three simple tips to remember when you take the plunge.

  1. Finding a local contracting company you can trust will not only assure you quality workmanship but make the entire experience a memorable one (for all the right reasons).
  2. Know your budget and be prepared to listen to the professionals to help you maximize your return on the property.
  3. Don’t lose focus on your priorities. It is rare to have an unlimited budget where all things are possible. What is your priority? Is it to make your home more family functional? Brighten the place up? Or add property value by making new additions to the house? Whatever it is don’t forget why you are renovating in the first place and what you can afford this time around.
There are many reasons why people decide to renovate their home and more often then not you have more of an idea of what you want then you realize. It’s an exciting process and with the right steps, one you get to enjoy for hopefully many years to come.

Remodelling your Home with Houzz Online

Houzz is the leading website for all your home remodelling and design needs.  No more endless hours trolling the internet.

Their website is literally a one stop shop (the mobile app is super handy too) where home owners can find inspiration and ideas for their home remodel, search for local home improvement professionals  such as contractors like Griffin Contracting & Flooring Co., interior designers, architectures or shop online for products.

Trending research tells us that remodelling trumps moving, making Houzz a great place to start.

Renovating an Older Home

When most people are looking at either buying or selling an older home – in the back of their minds they have a renovation to-do list of changes they would like to make. Whether you are looking for added value or just to create a space that is reflective of you, here are just a few items that we run across when looking into renovating an older home – and by renovating, we mean improving what you have and not adding an addition or second storey.

Many people think visual only. Little concern is given to those things that make your house “run” properly. Here are a few things to consider before you start tearing your house apart:

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  1. Electrical – How old is your electrical system? Can it stand to have more or higher powered fixtures added to the “electrical load”? Is part of your renovation going to have to include a major re-wiring job?
  1. Plumbing and Heating – What condition is the furnace and hot water tank in and how old are they? They don’t last forever! Is now the time to replace them while your renovating anyway? Check your plumbing fixtures for signs of minor leakage. Minor can very quickly become major! If you have concerns, call a plumber and have them look at your plumbing and heating systems. If repairs are needed what repairs and how much? Have you accounted for this in your budget?
  1. Structural – Are you planning to remove a wall? Is there electrical, plumbing, or heating services running through it? Where else can they be run if you remove the wall? What is the wall holding up? You may need the services of an Engineer! More money that you will have to spend!
  1. Was your home built before 1990? If it was, there is a chance that the drywall / plaster contains asbestos. If you leave it alone, no problem, but if you are tearing out wall finishes, or plan to damage them during your renovation, you might want to have them tested BEFORE you start planning any renovations. Asbestos abatement is expensive due to the procedures that must be followed and the cost of disposal of the affected materials. Testing will seem expensive but it may save you much more in the long run.

Finally, most people have only a very general knowledge of what makes their home “run”, before you start have your home looked at by a qualified contractor or home inspector. The small amount you spend now may save you thousands in the long run and armed with the knowledge of what you can or may have to do as part of your renovation, plan your dream renovation based on that knowledge.

Renovating can be a fun or creative experience or a nightmare – lets plan ahead so we can have some fun!

Winter Is Coming – Home Checklist

On the Lower Mainland of BC we don’t expect to get the large amounts of snow that are seen in other areas of the province. Here we fight the battle of moisture. Preparing your home for Winter usually means preparing for a lot of rain. Here are a few tips from our expert Steve.

  1. Check the condition of your roof. Are repairs needed? Do you need to have it cleaned? Remember that most work on your roof should be done by a person qualified and equipped to do so.
  1. Clean your gutters. Whether you have standard or hidden gutters, pitched roof or flat roof, you need to be sure that water is cleared away from your residence. This is especially important in the late Fall as the blowing leaves will block gutters and roof drains. In the case of a flat roof this can add hundreds of pounds of weight to your roof that it was never designed to carry. When it freezes, overflowing gutters can cause ice to build up on exterior stairs and walkways creating issues not only for your home but for your safety as well!
  1. Get ready for possible ice by having a supply of de-icer ready. Be careful to read the label of the product you are purchasing to ensure it is suitable for the surface that you want to use it – Salt is not a good option for concrete as it will cause pitting over the years, however it usually is acceptable for paved driveways.
  1. Drain and put away your garden hoses. If you leave them out over the Winter, a good freeze will crack them. You should also turn off your exterior hose bibs. If you have an older residence, it might be wise to get an insulated cover to put over your hose bib. They are usually available from your local hardware store and are pretty inexpensive.
  1. Have your heating system checked, this is a great time to ensure that it is in proper working order and to change the filter.
  1. Check to see that weather stripping and caulking is in good condition around doors, windows and all other openings. Check that the flashings are in good repair. Remember water is always looking for a way to get into your home! Water “ingress” into a home is always an expensive problem to fix so stay ahead of the game!
  1. Have a quick look at all your plumbing fixtures including inside of sink cabinets Take all of that stuff you keep, and hardly ever see, out from the cabinet and have a good look. If you see water staining, minor mold, or condensation around a pipe etc you have the start of a problem. Take care of it now! There is nothing like getting out of a nice warm bed onto a floor full of water!

Finally, after you have checked off your Winter home prep to-do list – kick back, enjoy a cup of cocoa and soak in the loveliness of the Season!