Category Archives: Upgrades

Why Choose an American Standard Toilet

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The American Standard toilets offer many of these innovative features and below are a few that are sure to surprise you.

Here’s Our Story

In about 1985, we had a son who was still living at home and also we had a new baby boy, and we needed to do something about our current living quarters. We needed to extend it somehow, and we eventually concluded that we needed an extension built. My company was at the time doing good and the building was going to ended up costing around $50000. The aim was to get the best building company possible. I believed I had this nailed down as I used an individual who was a member of the sports club I belonged to. That was my blunder.

I was let down badly as I didn’t get what was expected. Nonetheless, a fella with just a blow torch, a monkey wrench and some copper piping arrived on my doorstep. In fact he saved the entire situation and the standard of his workmanship was excellent. In addition to that, he was also amicable and very professional.

If there is anything at all you’re able to take from the experience, it is to spend a little time finding a dependable plumber in your locality. Fortunately, I will tell you some things to do to ensure you don’t meet up with the issues I ran into.

Hire An Accredited Dealer

First, don’t organize it all on your own. This is particularly the situation in regards to plumbing workmen. If you do not have familiarity with hiring and firing tradespeople, you should not try this on your own.

Next, do some homework. This means you can ask people in your area or in the pubs that you frequent. Be sure to speak with family members and friends as well. They might be able to show you where to head to find a decent labor force.

Last, always get two or three estimates from potential plumbers. Do not simply go for the least expensive quote as this isn’t always the best action to take. In addition, it can lead to something dreadful. If you carry out the research and obtain estimates, you will be ok.

If you want to buy a good quality toilet, then here is a series of tips we feel is a good reason to take a close look at the American Standard lineup.

No Plunge

The no plunge system is called the Champion 4 and it is included in many American Standard toilets. It is the undisputed leader in high performance toilets. It has the industry’s widest trapway and flush valve that virtually eliminates clogged toilets (it will even flush a bucket of golf balls without clogging). This system has been tested and retested and has proven to be powerful and efficient. Just one flush will create a swift, powerful current inside the bowl. The system comes with a 10 year warranty – that is 9 years more than most other brands.

The Right Height

This is in an innovative feature that prevents many American Standard toilets (and sinks) from putting undue stress on your body. The company designed these products with our bodies in mind and with the various models offered, you are certain to find just the right dimensions that will put the least amount of burden on your body.

Ever Clean Surface

This system will help to keep your toilet cleaner for a longer period of time. It incorporates a patented silver ion additive that is put right into the circulation piping and this protects the pipes from mold, mildew, algae and fungus. This surface will make your toilet easier to clean even after years of use.

Dual Flush Flo-Wise

American Standard toilets with this feature will conserve and save you money with every flush. It features a two-button actuator located on top of the tank. You get to choose between a 0.8 gallon flush or a 1.6 gallon flush. What a water saver this feature is and conserving water makes both ecological and economical sense.

These are all factors that differentiate not only American Standard toilets, but all their products, from their competitors. The company offers collections of bathroom and kitchen appliances. For instance, their Town Square Collection is steeped in tradition and detail. The new Town Square toilets are actually inspired by the classic crown molding of the Baltimore Estate. You can mix and match over 200 coordinated pieces including toilets, bathtubs, pedestal sinks, whirlpools, towel bars, faucets and shower doors to name just a few.

The Cadet Collection is practical and functional. It is a classic style suited for any bathroom with all pieces featuring soft lines and rounded curves. The latest addition to this collection is the Cadet 3 American Standard toilet that features a smart design and delivers a higher performance, all at a great price. There are many other collections from which to choose, for example, the Colony Collection with its timeless look and the Williamsburg Collection that embodies the visions and designs of Colonial America. No matter what your decor, American Standard toilets and other items will enhance your bathroom and give it a style all its own!

Call your local American Standard Dealer today

KCs Plumbing and Heating Ltd
1896 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5N 2S7
(604) 873-3753

Various Considerations When Buying a New Boiler

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Hot water boilers are everywhere these days. Typically a home will have some form of a boiler as a way to heat up the air as well as provide hot water for the whole property. Technology has grown and become much more efficient since its inception several decades ago. Homes enjoy a great deal of heat for a fraction of what it used to cost just to heat up the water itself!

Price VS Quality

As incredible as it may seem, not every home has modern hot water boilers built in. Some homes are using older technology and they are paying a price to keep it. More and more, older homes are starting to upgrade their technology due to governments offering tax credits to offset the cost of upgrading. For many, the cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining one of these units can be overwhelming, especially if the property is very large. With the tax credit, people can now take advantage of this opportunity, and often find that they save a great deal of money so it really pays for itself in as little as a year.

Some hot water boilers are very expensive; however there are units available that are very affordable. Some people choose to upgrade from a less expensive unit to a more expensive one later, after the lower priced unit saves them money. One thing that is pretty common is people will upgrade then stow away the saved money as if they were still paying their normal high energy bill. They will use the saved money to upgrade to a newer technology and repeat the process again. Eventually they find themselves with such an efficient unit that they no longer need to upgrade and can now pocket the savings directly.

Consult With a Professional

Hot water boilers come in a large variety of different set ups, units, even manufacturers. Within one manufacturer you will also find several different types of boilers. It helps to learn about what you need and what type of boiler will suffice. You may not need a higher end unit for your small home. If the unit puts off enough heat, it does no good to purchase one that puts off more if you never use the excess, in fact that could put you into the negative, energy bill-wise. It’s always best to consult with a professional when buying an expensive unit such as a boiler. Most plumbers are well versed in these matters and happy to spend a few minutes answering your questions.

You’ll find someone you feel comfortable with and no-doubt hire them for the Vancouver water boiler replacement. This is the recommended route to go because it should come with an installation warranty and peace of mind knowing it has been handled by a qualified technician.

Kitchen Renovations On A Budget!

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The favored activity at any back yard function is, of course, eating. You can go to a tile store or order online and choose the variation of colors to use in your palette. All residents can use these general Park West facilities.

Remodeling your kitchen can be an exciting time. However, it may seem like an overwhelming project as well. You may not know how to choose your custom kitchen cabinets or how to match the tiles to these cabinets. However big the project may seem you have the power to break it down into manageable portions.

It’s usually best to look at a local plumbing company as well as a construction company for a quote on your project. We have had great luck with Shamrocks Plumbing in Kelowna BC.

kitchen storage solutions sydney today can really cost a lot of money especially when you are having the help of reputable contractors in your area. In terms of the quality of work delivered into your residence, you can say that their services can really be worth the money. As an alternative to renovation when having budget constrains, you may opt to do things on your own. This decision however should include weighing the pros and the cons.

Also important – use the right tape to keep paint from getting on wallpaper. Ours was standard blue painter’s tape, the kind that was guaranteed to leave a smooth, even line and keep paint from going onto areas it wasn’t wanted. The easiest way to prep your kitchen is to cover anything you don’t want painted, from countertops to floors. Our entire floor was covered with painters’ cloths and we taped off the vent over our stove, etc. Trust me on this: if paint can land on anything besides your kitchen cabinets, it will!

Never pay in full until the whole project is complete. Review the contract and check every promised detail as well. It will be hard to get the contractor to come back once he’s paid, and he would have every reason to believe that he’s responsibilities are done because you have made the payments already.

Kitchen restoration can be quite pricey. The kitchen area is among the most secondhand areas in your house. It’s the location where food is ready and also typically offered, most of the family members events also occur in the cooking area. Also that the area is typically covered with substantial electrical and plumbing system network makes the preparing and also real renovating some obstacle. Nevertheless, with some knowledge on improvements you can easily quote tough budget as well as lower the unneeded expenses.

Once you have your spot picked out for your outdoor kitchen you will need to decide what size it will be. After you decide your size you just mark off the spot with stakes and strings to make sure it will fit in that spot and if there is anything you need to do different. If there is anything that needs to be changed, now is the time to discover it, not when construction is almost done.

If you are renovating a small room, replace carpeting with hard flooring, such as hardwood, laminate, or tile. Carpet in a small room will congest the visual field and make the room feel even smaller. The right arrangement of floor tiles or planks, conversely, can make the room feel larger.

So again, would I invest $80k in a stock like the one I’ve just described. Again, HELL YES! Irrational exuberance you say! Okay I admit I might sound over confident. And you know why that is? Because good research and thorough due diligence make the decision valid and uncomplicated.

You should mark every stud before you begin the project. You could include a bar that you can sit at and enjoy the weather. Problems may arise if we use place wooden floors in the kitchen.
You can choose your grill based on your preference.

Also, when you take breaks it helps to wrap your brush in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. Silverfish or fishmoth, I know you have seen them. An outdoor kitchen takes this one step further by creating a formalized cooking area.

The Right Window Saves on Heating and Cooling Costs

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When it’s time to shop for windows, there can be a lot of confusion about their insulating properties. When building a new home or renovating an older one, heating and cooling costs are an important consideration these days.

What is U-factor?

Most people are aware of something called an R-value, which is a measure of insulation, but don’t know that windows are rated differently and are measured by U-factor. U-factor was invented by engineers and scientists to measure the rate at which heat flows through any material. The main difference between U-factor and R-value (or R-factor) is that U-factor measures the rate of heat transfer (or loss) while R-value measures the resistance to heat loss. So these two ratings are, in fact, measuring opposite things.

The direct opposite of an R-value, a lower U-factor rating means that less heat will be lost. U-factor ratings for windows generally fall between 0.20 and 1.20. A window that has a U-factor of 0.40 or less is considered energy efficient.

There Is More To Consider

U-factor is only one part of the heat transfer equation. Windows should also be air-tight, as a leaky window let’s in winter’s cold and allows warm interior air to escape. In summer, a leaky window may let your home warm up to an uncomfortable level and increase costs for air conditioning.

The next part of the window equation is low emissivity (a.k.a. low-e). This refers to a surface’s tendency to emit radiant thermal energy (heat).

Low-e windows prevent the transfer of heat - and UV radiation - through glass.

Low-e windows prevent the transfer of heat – and UV radiation – through glass.

Window glass, by nature, is highly emissive, meaning it lets a lot of radiant heat pass through. In Low-e windows, this is overcome by adding a thin film to the inside surface of the glass, which keeps radiant heat from moving through the glass while still letting light through. There are various methods and substances used to reduce a window’s emissivity.

Also, the space between layers of glass can be filled with argon gas, which further reduces the transfer of heat.

Another part of the equation is solar gain. The more a climate requires a building to be heated , the greater the importance of south-facing (in the northern hemisphere) windows to help heat your home during winter. Even though at night the windows have a negative impact on the home,  overall, the solar gain during daytime more than makes up for it. This is a form of passive solar energy.

Other Fuel Saving Options

Another way to reduce the loss of heated or cooled air through windows is by installing double-cell cellular shades with side seals. For a 40″x60″ window, these shades cost about $130 if you install them yourself.

In extreme climates, where outside temperatures make interior heating or air conditioning a necessity, you might also consider installing triple-glazed windows instead of the more common double-glazed kind.

What Will It Cost?

You have homework to do. As window manufacturers use different frame and seal materials, and sometimes different thicknesses of glass, you will need to get estimates from several manufacturers in order to choose the windows that best suit your needs and budget.


Hydronic Radiant Heating Provides the Ultimate in Home Comfort

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Radiant heating most often refers to the installation of tubing under the floor to circulate a warm liquid usually water and referred to as hydronic heating to impart heat to the room primarily through infrared radiation but with some naturally-occurring convection. Powered by a small boiler, radiant heat is cleaner than forced air because no dust gets blown around the house.

Radiant Heat Advantages

Hydronic heating offers many advantages over forced air furnaces or baseboard heating. Some of these include…

  • More efficient than baseboard heating
  • Usually more efficient than forced-air furnace heating
  • Can use gas, oil, wood or solar energy
  • Minimizes circulation of dust and molds, thereby making it more comfortable for allergy sufferers

Radiant heating systems are more comfortable because it uniformly heats the lower half of a room, where the people are. A report from the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNet) states that: Radiators and other forms of point heating circulate heat inefficiently and hence need to run for longer periods to obtain comfort levels.

They draw cold air across the floor and send warm air up to the ceiling, where it then falls, heating the room from the top down, creating drafts and circulating dust and allergens.

Lower Operating Temperatures

Radiant systems often operate at lower temperatures because the heating surface your floor is much larger than that of other heating systems. The larger radiating surface simply needs considerably lower temperatures to achieve the same level of heat transfer, offering an improved room climate and more comfortable humidity levels. The temperature of the floor (the heating surface) is typically from 29 – 35°C (84 – 95°F).

Types of Hydronic Systems

Hydronic heating is most often installed in new homes by a licensed heating contractor as a sub-contractor in renovation projects, though there is nothing stopping you from retrofitting an older home with radiant heating. It does mean completely tearing up the floors, though, and that can be a big job in itself.

As the installation of a hydronic heating system involves laying and connecting lots of pipe, a lot of the work can be done by the handyman who has good plumbing skills and the proper tools.

There are two ways in which hydronic heating is installed.

Wet installation: this involves placing the radiant tubing into a bed of concrete, which has advantages such as the concrete protecting the tubing while also acting as a thermal mass to absorb the heat and radiate the warmth evenly throughout the room. As you can guess, this system is rarely used when renovating an older home.

Dry installation: often called plate systems, this radiant heating method uses pre-built panels with tracks for the radiant tubing in them. This makes it simpler to lay the tubes before covering the system with flooring material.


Lacking the thermal mass of concrete, the dry method can require more careful placement of insulation along with the addition of heat reflectors.   This photo clearly shows a typical installation using the dry plate system.

All heating systems have moving parts and should be service at least once ever two years. Annual service is a better option, but it’s usually okay if you skip the odd year here and there. A great Vancouver heating service company is…

KC’s Plumbing
(604) 873-3753
1896 Kingsway
Vancouver, BC V5N 2S7

Learn From These Mistakes With Kitchen Storage Solutions

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When the can sits for any length of time, the stain will separate and sediment (color) will sit at the bottom of the can. Another alternative is to having some hooks on the opposite end that can be utilized to hang pots and pans from.

Our homes are the biggest investment we’ll ever make, and for many of us, updating and improving them has become a real passion. We pin this and blog that, fill our weekends with Home Depot runs and DIY projects while saving diligently to outsource the bigger jobs to the pros.

To kick things off, refurbish your cabinets. These go a long way to giving your modern kitchen the design you want. One option is to paint them with a lighter color.

You arrange anything to ensure that they do not look too cluttered in the end? It undoubtedly takes a whole lot of organizational abilities and practice to attempt renovating your kitchen. diy australia and remodeling, thus, will take some time to get used to.

You must plan the kitchen designs in Sydney carefully. Review and check everything before proceeding . If you intend to cover water pipes and sewage pipes during renovation, please inspect and check for leaking pipes and repair before proceeding to renovate . Otherwise water from the faulty pipes will spoil the kitchen cabinets.

The advantage of having an item lying flat while you are staining kitchen cabinets Perth is that the stain and finish won’t run all over and create a look you don’t want – sloppy. Who wants to put a lot of work, time, and effort into staining kitchen cabinets Perth, just to see the finished product look sloppy and completely unprofessional? Learning how to stain kitchen cabinets Perth means ending up with a stain job that looks beautiful and professional and says to the world that you know what you’re doing. You want your cabinets to look like you paid a fortune, even if you didn’t.

Whether you are thinking of building, or have an existing home that you would like to bring back to life, brush your shoulders off and enhance your family’s lifestyle.

OK show me! Sure. Barely a month ago (April 2009) I was researching OPTI Canada (symbol OPC on the TSE). It looked like a strong candidate for a double. I bought 3,000 shares at $1.18 . Within 30 days it went to over $4.00 so yes it was better than a double. There are plenty of examples.

Get help if you need it. When it’s time to put the cabinet doors back on the cabinets, a helping hand will make the job go much faster. Ask someone to hold the doors steady while you replace the hardware, using new screws in the original holes.

As it is the center of activity of your house, regular remodeling jobs end up being needed. But in the present era grey cooking areas have actually captured on the imagination of the homeowners.
That took full advantage of the space I had in the upper cabinets. Little redesign jobs are not that annoying if you are staying in your home while going through “the works”. Not everything needs to match, as long as it fits. For a good resource on how to do some of the plumbing click here to read our article on it.

New Kitchen Plans 3 Big Steps

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If your kitchen is small in square footage, look around for some space-saving ideas. Moreover, as already mentioned, the best way to make sure what you are doing quality work. The owner Shelby Tydings has 30 years experience in home improvements.

If you love to cook, your kitchen is practically where you will spend the most of your time. And if you love to cook a lot, the wear and tear will show up in your kitchen over time. A kitchen, no matter how well maintained, will eventually start to look and feel a little old if it is used very often.

But just to be safe, when my TFSA balance hit $160k, I would take half or $80k out. Remember this is a TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) so you can take that $80k out completely tax free! My first thought is pay down the mortgage, a huge interest savings move. Pay off other debt, again interest not paid and thus saved. Or pay off a child’s education, kitchen renovations diy, buy another house and flip it, and always keep five or ten thousand dollars aside and really treat yourself to something you’ve always wanted, after all you really deserve it now.

You will also need to consider the general layout of the kitchen. There has been a trend in recent times to have the sink positioned away from the cupboards to allow for more ease of movement.

Take out a piece of paper, and write down what you love about your kitchen, and also what you would love your kitchen to be. Look around the latest home designs and kitchen magazines. Or even start noticing the background of your favorite cooking show for some ideas!

Kitchen renovations imply making or redesigning your kitchen area to earn it more efficient as well as sensible or to achieve a totally various appearance and environment from the one now. Have the precise look that you desire by considering your close-by kitchen vendors and also developers plus their display rooms, acquire some magazines that provide sensational kitchens or surf the net for concepts.

The cooking area is definitely one of the key items in your outdoor kitchen, since you need a place to cook the food outside. There are many different things you can choose from, you can get a regular barbeque grill, just like most classic outdoor kitchens. Or you can even be more modern and have a stove with a gas tank. You can choose to have a fireplace where you can cook things like pizza and other baked goods. If you want to make things simple, you can build a fire pit equipped with a rotisserie and skewers to cook your food. The kind of cooking area you decide on will affect the type of food that you can cook in your outdoor kitchen, so make sure to choose well. Any appliances you use should be suitable for outdoor installation.

Is your skin type really sensitive? Some people suffer breakouts from the chemicals used in ordinary cleansers, so if you’re among them you may want to try a cleanser with only all-natural ingredients. You can find cleansers with avocado or egg whites, so that could be a good alternative for you. Olive oil is great for your skin! That could be something for you to explore. Sometimes skin types are too sensitive for the products in stores. If that’s you, then go check out your kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator because you may be able to whip-up something that will be perfect for you and your skin.

Number 6 Life Path – A promise of marriage usually leads to sex. Old fashioned wining and dining appeals to them most. They like to be courted in traditional ways.

Most plumbers will give you a free quote and an appraisal on the total price. Find the best possible price that works for you, and ask when the work can be started. If there are some pipes that don’t need to be moved or renewed, consider getting them cleaned. Once again, you would want to look locally, so for example: Los Angeles drain cleaning would be a good word to search for if you lived in that area. Cleaning out your drains can make your drains run like brand new, and this should be done at least once a year to make sure that your pipes are kept in a great condition.

Make 2009 the year your family adds this wonderful amenity to your home. Stay home, invite the family and friends over and enjoy a great time with your new outdoor kitchen. And just thinking of all the money you saved in the process will really make you smile.

Sometimes, spending a few extra bucks can actually save you money over time. Most projects are easier to execute than you might even realize. Other food items are better left to just hours ahead of the final meal preparation.

If you look for a house paint that has a medium to high gloss, choose an oil-based one. All residents can use these general Park West facilities. You also get Blendtec’s 3 year warranty on this machine.