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Looking for a landscaper? We can refer you to one of our trusted professionals to help you realize your backyard inspirations. We only work with the BEST! Give us a call or text anytime at 403-207-1748. 
 
With warmer spring weather right around the corner, you may be starting to dream up ways to make the most out of your backyard in the months ahead. With outdoor gatherings still considered one of the safest ways to spend time with friends and family, your yard could become the new socially distanced hang out place! Why not make it as cozy as can be? Above are eight tips for transforming your outdoor space to enjoy now and throughout the summer. 

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I have listed a new property at 8 Silvergrove MEWS NW in Calgary.
A MUST SEE beautifully renovated, immaculately maintained 2-storey home located in the heart of the desirable community of Silver Springs!! Situated on a large pie lot, in a family friendly cul-de-sac, this home offers nearly 3800 total sq.ft. of developed living space that will not disappoint! The main floor features hardwood flooring, large windows, front sitting area, quiet office, cozy family room with a wood burning fireplace, and formal dining room ideal for entertaining! The highlight of the main floor is the bright, white kitchen, complete with custom soft close cabinetry, built in pantry, granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and a large peninsula island with eating bar overlooking the family room. A half bath, convenient laundry area and access to the double attached garage can also be found on the main floor. Drift upstairs to a spacious master retreat, with another fireplace, walk-in closet, four-piece ensuite with double sinks and oversized walk-in shower, and private deck overlooking the backyard. Three good sized bedrooms and a 4-piece bathroom complete the upper floor. The basement development is functional with an entertainment/rec room, 5th bedroom with a private 3-piece ensuite, 2 additional storage spaces, and flex area perfect for a playroom, games room or a home gym! The professionally landscaped backyard is just as impressive as the interior and offers your own private oasis with built in irrigation system, 2 exposed aggregate patios, flower beds, shed and fenced in dog run. Sip your coffee on the front deck sitting area or host family BBQs and gatherings in the backyard. Additional upgrades include central vac system, custom blinds throughout, new shingles, eavestroughs and garage door (2020). Check out the full video and 360 interactive virtual tours and book your viewing today!
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(Article and picture courtesy betterdwelling.com)


A Canadian official in charge of housing policy confirmed the current market is not an accident. Instead, it’s a conscious decision where the government picked the winners and losers. TVO aired an interview with MP Adam Vaughan yesterday, discussing housing policy. In the interview, Vaughan, who helps oversee the CMHC, said price drops are not an option. The minister also said the market doesn’t work for locals, but is great for foreign investors. He also implied the strategy they might use to fix the market is one they were warned against. It was some interview. Here are the key market takeaways.

Canada Will Not Let Home Prices Drop By 10%

The government refuses to let prices drop, and will support inefficiencies. When Vaughan was asked if he would allow home prices to fall 10%, he tried to explain how hard it would be on homeowners.

When discussing a price drop, the minister said “I can understand why that is seen as a positive thing for people who are trying to get into the market, but hands up if you’d like to see 10 percent of the equity in your home suddenly disappear overnight.” 

He then implied Canadian homes are financial instruments, not necessarily for housing. “We know that Canadians rely on homeownership to secure their place in the economy now. But also as they retire we have to be very careful that whatever steps we take to protect the investments Canadians have made in their homes at the same time.” 


Canadian Real Estate Developments Vulnerable If Prices Drop

The minister was asked why a 10% drop would matter with prices rising “30 to 40 percent” over the past year. Apparently, without last year’s absurd gains, people would be underwater. “you know it’s a situation where you don’t want people to be underwater with their mortgages.”

He adds this is really an issue to save the real estate development industry in Canada. “You don’t people who’ve made deposits on properties suddenly find themselves underwater if they close the deal. Because they’ll start walking away from projects and that collapse will have impacts on the development industry so you’ve got to be very careful about this.” 

Vaughan is a minister in the Greater Toronto region, which recently experienced this. When the “foreign buyer mini-bubble” popped in 2017, rapid price growth abruptly turned. Some projects and homes were left with appraisals undervalue. This left buyers scrambling for even more cash, or risk losing their deposit


Canada Is “Not Great” For Locals, But Safe For Foreign Investment

Canada doesn’t think it has a foreign investment problem, because they see it as a good thing. While discussing sprawl, Vaughan made an unprompted jump to foreign investment. He said, “we have a very good system for foreign investment creating a lot of new housing in Canada as we have immigrants as we grow the population.”

A few seconds later, he admits the market is safe for foreign investment, but not so much for locals. “… we are a very safe market for foreign investment but we’re not a great market for Canadians looking to make choices around housing and so we’ve got to make a number of decisions that address the 2 sides of this coin.” 

I know what you’re thinking — what foreign investment? They said that died down years ago. It’s likely a reference to new home pre-sales and permanent residents that are buying. Some argue new home pre-sale assignments are faster funded when foreign investors are involved. This is faster than waiting for your broke-ass to put together a downpayment. Non-resident investors then try to sell it before occupancy, avoiding a tax hit. As a bonus, they aren’t usually recorded as a non-resident buyer anywhere.

As for immigrants, Canada has long been a great place to live — just not a place to earn income. SCMP found more than 40% of millionaire migrants exit the country soon after arriving, but their family remains. These are commonly known as “astronaut families, and it’s been around in Canada for a while. It’s common in developing countries, with underdeveloped job markets. While these households are technically local, their money is “foreign” in source. Hence foreign investment, but not non-resident buying. 


Canada May Do What It Was Warned Not To With Real Estate

Canada was warned by everyone, from the IMF to big banks, not to give first-time buyers incentives. The general consensus is by helping first-time homebuyers, the government will extend inefficiencies. By doing so, they’ll create a large gap for inequality in the near term and city failure long-term. So what are they going to do? It appears exactly what they were warned against doing.

The minister said, “we need to dampen the inflation, and build those bridges to homeownership.” In other words, they want to slow price growth — not have it reverse in any capacity. The only way left to “build those bridges” would be credit extension or wage inflation. Extending credit to home buyers is literally what they were warned against. The kind of wage inflation needed, would result in higher rates and lower budgets — crushing home prices anyway.

The takeaway from the interview, to put it bluntly, is Canada’s housing crisis is far from an accident. The government has a firm belief they are in charge of home prices and will prevent them from falling. If they truly believe they can be in control of prices, that indicates the 40% increase in prices was no accident. It was intentional, as was the fallout to younger generations. 


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I have listed a new property at 215 2204 1 STREET SW in Calgary.
PURCHASE THIS AWESOME 2 BEDROOM MISSION CONDO AND PICK THE FLOORING FOR YOUR POSSESSION DAY!! WHAT WE LOVE ABOUT IT: Mission is a sophisticated SW district along the Elbow River. Fantastic restaurants and coffee shops line 4th St, and the outdoor lifestyle the Elbow River Path System allows is amazing. It's extremely walkable, so you don't even need a car! Downtown is a 15 minute stroll away, and it's 10 minutes walk to the Erlton LRT. With this unit, out your back door is the Elbow River. It's a serene location, tucked in and away from the hustle and bustle of 4th street, but it's all right there if you need it. This condo has been extremely well maintained, and includes 2 bedrooms, and a private balcony that faces a tree lined street. The lifestyle this condo offers is amazing! HIGHLIGHTS:In the Heart Of Mission; Along the Elbow River; Outstanding Walkability; Tons of Recent Upgrades to the Building; 2 Bedrooms; Just Around The Corner From The 4th Street Entertainment District
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I have sold a property at 43 Hawkwood WAY NW in Calgary.
NICELY RENOVATED, TWO-STOREY HAWKWOOD HOME WITH AN OPEN, CENTRAL LAYOUT AND IMPRESSIVE TOUCHES THROUGHOUT FOR SALE – CHECK OUT THE FULL VIDEO AND 360 INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL TOURS. This recently renovated home shows 10 out of 10. First, you’ll appreciate the low-maintenance landscaping in the front yard leading up to the quaint and cozy veranda. Step inside into a large foyer next to a front room that serves as a bright office space. Hardwood floors stretch throughout the home along with an abundance of bright windows flooding each room with warm, natural light. They say the kitchen is the heart of a home and this home is no exception with a fantastic layout revolving around the central kitchen. As you come around the staircase, you’ll notice the dining room has ample space for an extended table for entertaining friends and family. Continue through to a comfortable sitting room and around from that, the kitchen. The kitchen is a handy and functional U-shape featuring an open view of the dining area and seating room. There’s also an option for seating at the raised counters around the kitchen. There’s plenty of counter space for easy prep and you’ll love the stainless-steel appliances. Continue around from the kitchen and you find the living room, another great space for the family to gather, complete with a cozy wood-burning fireplace. From this room, step out to a backyard deck for those evening barbeques. There’s also a three-piece bathroom on the main, along with a laundry room. Head upstairs and you’ll find three good-sized bedrooms including the master with a large double-door closet and updated private, three-piece master ensuite. The master also includes access to a private deck with lovely views. There’s another sizable four-piece main bathroom on the upper level, nicely updated with a spa-like feel. The basement is huge, with nearly 1000 sf of added space. Whatever your family’s needs are, there’s plenty of design options for the lower level along with amply storage space. Out back, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the no-maintenance yard that’s been updated to a brick and paver stone patio, making for an amazing outdoor living space. The shingles and eavestroughs were all replaced last fall along with a brand-new fence for privacy and security. Hawkwood is a quiet, family-friendly neighbourhood, close to schools, parks and greenspaces. These home owners have been in this home for 16 years and can attest to how friendly their neighbours are. You’ll also love the close proximity to Crowfoot Centre, Market Mall, the U of C and it’s a mere 20-minute commute downtown.
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(Photo and article courtesy bobvila.com)
 
Outsmart biting bugs while bringing new beauty to your garden with these superhero plant species.

Establish a natural defense against mosquito bites.

The joys of warm weather are many: splashing in the swimming pool, entertaining outdoors, sitting on your patio while watching the sunset. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are out to spoil your fun—and then some. According to Climate Central, the number of mosquito “disease danger days” is increasing across much of the country as temperatures rise, representing a greater risk for transmission of mosquito-borne diseases.


There are more than 170 species of mosquito in the United States, all of them needing standing water to breed and preferring humid conditions. While males mostly feed on plant nectar, females are notorious biters, using our blood for the protein required for egg development. Battling these bugs is such big business, with numerous sprays, bracelets, candles, bug zappers, and chemical repellents on the market, lots of folks may not realize there are quite a few plants that deter mosquitoes, too. In your quest for an itch- and illness-free summer, try cultivating some of the following 13 plants around your yard and near your favorite outdoor seating areas.


RELATED: 8 Ways You're Making Your Mosquito Problem Worse

1. Catnip

Nepetalactone, the chemical in catnip leaves that attracts felines, has the opposite effect on mosquitoes. In fact, studies have shown that nepetalactone is a more effective mosquito repellant than the commercial chemical DEET. As a bonus, catnip puts up pretty spikes of white or purple flowers from spring until fall. Plant, a perennial bound to return year after year, does best in full sun; allow soil dry out slightly between waterings.


2. Citronella

You’re probably familiar with citronella candles, but might not realize that their strong fragrance, which is very objectionable to mosquitoes, is extracted from the leaves of the citronella plant, also called mosquito plant. Citronella has a grassy appearance, is fairly drought resistant, and likes afternoon shade and rich, fast-draining soil. It’s generally considered an annual because it won’t come back after frosty weather.


3. Lavender

While most humans love the relaxation-inducing aroma of lavender, mosquitoes shun this beautiful purple-bloomed perennial. There are several varieties of lavender, but all prefer full sun, somewhat dry soil, and periodic deadheading to promote even more blooms.


RELATED: The Dos and Don'ts of Deadheading Flowers


4. Lemon Balm

Related to mint, lemon balm has a citrusy smell that mosquitoes abhor. Its leaves, allowed to dry, can be brewed into a wonderfully lemon-tasting herb tea that helps induce sleep. Grow lemon balm in a partially shaded spot, and keep soil moist but not soggy for the best growth.


5. Marigold

The many varieties of marigold, those cheerful yellow, gold, white, or orange summer blooms, all tell mosquitoes to bug off. They’re quite easy to grow, and do especially well in containers, when planted in a sunny spot. Let the soil dry out slightly before watering, and clip away spent flowers to encourage more flowers all the way through fall.


RELATED: 30 Plants for Your Easiest Garden Ever


6. Basil

Not for pesto only, basil is a powerful natural mosquito repellant. All of the many varieties of this warm-weather herb discourage mosquitoes from lingering, so choose your favorites and plant them in a sunny spot. Keep the soil moist, feed monthly with an all-purpose fertilizer, and pinch away any flower buds that develop, as once basil flowers, it stops producing new leaves.


7. Pennyroyal

A member of the mint family, pennyroyal has a strong fragrance that mosquitoes and other insects detest, making it among the most effective pest-repelling plants. Caution: The herb can be toxic to humans and animals, so grow it in a container to keep it under control, away from kids and pets. Pennyroyal thrives with plenty of sun and soil that’s moist but not saturated.


8. Peppermint

Like most members of the mint family, peppermint’s fragrance is a natural mosquito turnoff. This versatile perennial herb has many culinary uses: dry the leaves for tea, drop a few fresh leaves into lemonade or cocktails, shred leaves for Asian dishes and salads, or give fruit salad extra punch with a few chopped leaves. Peppermint can be invasive, so corral it in a container, set it in a partially shaded spot, and water regularly so soil won’t dry out.


RELATED: These Popular Plants Might Actually Be Bad for Your Garden


9. Scented Geraniums

While most varieties of the pelargonium family are grown for their colorful flowers, scented geraniums are valued primarily for the pleasant fragrances of their leaves. There are many varieties of this annual, but lemon, lime, orange, and peppermint geraniums are most effective at repelling mosquitoes. Grow them in a sunny spot, let the soil go dry before watering, and don’t bother fertilizing because scented geraniums do best in somewhat poor soil.


10. Rosemary

Rosemary does it all: adds pretty purple flowers to your garden, is a versatile herb in the kitchen, and discourages mosquitoes with its potent fragrance. Grown as an annual in all but the most mild-winter areas, rosemary thrives in full sun as long as you plant it in sandy soil that drains quickly, and you only water it when the soil dries out.


11. Lemongrass

Popular in Asian cooking, lemongrass, as its name suggests, looks like a tall clump of grass, and has a strong lemon fragrance and taste. You’ll appreciate its flavor in the kitchen, but mosquitoes hate the citrus scent. Grow this annual in a warm, full-sun spot, fertilize every few weeks with a fish emulsion or general fertilizer, and keep the soil moist.


12. Monarda

Commonly called bee balm, monarda is a beautiful flowering perennial that attracts desirable pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, but repels mosquitoes with its minty-herbal scent. Bee balm prefers a full sun location, although afternoon shade is appreciated in the hottest areas. Keep the soil moist and deadhead regularly to keep the flowers coming until fall.


RELATED: 10 Flowers That Attract Bees to Your Garden


13. Ageratum

Known by its common name of floss flower, ageratum produces clusters of fuzzy, small purple blooms. A low-growing annual especially well suited to containers, floss flower secrets coumarin, a chemical that mosquitoes hate. Plant it in a part-sun location in soil that drains well, watering regularly so the soil won’t dry out.



Click Here for the full article with pictures courtesy bobvila.com.


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Please visit our Open House at 65 Wimbledon CRESCENT SW in Calgary.
Virtual Open House on Thursday, April 8, 2021 6:30PM - 7:00PM
GORGEOUS, FULLY-RENOVATED AND LANDSCAPED BUNGALOW IN THE SOUGHT-AFTER COMMUNITY OF WILDWOOD FOR SALE – CHECK OUT THE FULL VIDEO AND 360 INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL TOURS. Simply stunning, this spacious home has been updated top-to-bottom and is move-in ready for you and your family. The main floor has such a fantastic layout with an open-concept kitchen/living/dining/family room space, perfect for gatherings with family or friends. Hardwood stretches wall to wall throughout the main, which includes the master bedroom and an additional bedroom or office space. The master has a bright feel to it with a large bay window showering the room with natural light. You’ll also find a custom built-in wardrobe, consistent with the other woodwork in the house. Head out through the main living area and you find an impressive kitchen with stone counters, stainless steel appliances, custom cabinets and a peninsula designed with seating, perfect for entertaining. You’ll also love how the backsplash tile is full height on the walls, giving a striking feel to the kitchen. From the nearby dining area, you can step out onto a spacious two-level deck and enjoy some time outside. Built-ins matching the kitchen and bedroom can be found in the living room, providing ample storage space along with a great entertainment console. There’s also a main four-piece bathroom servicing the upper level that includes a relaxing soaker tub. Head to the lower level and you’ll find an abundance of additional space, including a den or reading room, a rec/entertainment room, a three-piece bath, two additional bedrooms and a large utility/storage/laundry space. The bathroom includes a tub-sized shower and stone counters on the vanity, matching that in the kitchen. One of the bedrooms off the rec room has a trendy barn-door opening. You’ll love how much storage space this home offers, as well. Out back, beyond the two-level deck, you’ll also find a nicely landscaped yard, double detached garage with Lane Lighting beside the garage door, a quaint corner storage shed and an extra wide aggregate concrete walkway from the house to the garage. Finally, you can’t beat this location. Wildwood is a very desirable, family-friendly neighbourhood on the SW side. Walk to nearby schools, the community centre, parks and tennis courts, as well as Edworthy Park and its off-leash area. You’re also a quick drive to all the shops and services along Bow Trail and in Westbrook Mall, you’re close to two C-train stations and it’s a quick commute downtown in under 15 minutes.
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(Article and photo courtesy betterdwelling.com)


Canadian real estate prices are the most overvalued in the G7, measured against rents. IMF data shows Canada’s house price-to-rent ratio in Q2 2020 was the highest of any G7 country. The indicator is commonly used by analysts and economists to determine stretched valuations. Home prices across the G7 have grown faster than rents on average. In Canada however, they grew nearly twice as fast as the average, over just a few years.

House Price-To-Rent Ratio

The house price-to-rent (PTR) ratio is the ratio of home prices to annualized rent. It’s often used as a benchmark to figure out if it’s cheaper to rent or own. More important, analysts often use it to figure out if homes are overvalued for a market. 


Rental costs are closely tied to wages, with growth limited to what local incomes can support. You can’t easily charge a whole country 20% more rent, if wages are only growing at 2-3%. Home prices however, reflect how much credit the marginal buyer is able to consume. If home prices rise much more than rent, it’s often due to easy credit conditions — not fundamentals.


The IMF uses an indexed approach for tracking the change. They set 2015 as the base year with a value of 100. If the index rises, it means house prices increased faster than rents. If the gap between home prices and rent increases, the index value rises. If the gap between the two closes, the index value falls.


It’s worth stressing once again, the base year of 2015 is set at 100. It gives the impression that 2015 had the correct price ratio, but doesn’t really mean that. Inefficiencies may have started way before that date, and persist to this day. However, we’re going to be mostly talking about how much things have changed since that year.

Canadian Home Prices Grew 28% Faster Than Rent

The Canadian PTR is the highest of any of the G7 countries, with prices rising much faster than rents. Canada comes in at 128.0 for its latest period, which is Q2 2020. This means the gap between home prices and rents grew 28% since 2015. Also worth mentioning, the data is for Q2 2020. Home prices really took off after that quarter, especially in small cities and towns. The disconnect is most likely much larger at this point.

G7 House Price-To-Rent Ratio

US residential real estate is experiencing a similar trend, but not to the extent seen in Canada. US home prices had a PTR of 110.6 for Q2 2020. Home prices saw 10% more growth than rental prices. Canadian home prices accelerated faster than rents, at over twice the rate as the US. Canada is an outlier not just compared to the US, but also compared to other G7 countries.

The Canadian Gap Between Home Prices And Rents Increased The Fastest In The G7

The gap between Canadian home prices and rents, is the fastest growing in the G7. Germany, the second highest PTR ratio in the G7, is 2.1 points lower than Canada. The average G7 PTR ratio is 13.9 points lower than Canada. The Canadian gap grew twice as fast as the average of all G7 countries. 


The Canadian home price-to-rent ratio is the most extended of any of the G7 advanced economies. Since the latest data is Q2 2020, this ratio is also likely to have accelerated even further by now. A lot faster, considering prices are now soaring, even in small towns.


Typically a disconnect between home prices and rents is corrected. Any combination of home prices falling, or rents rising would fix it. When the gap is this big though, it’s hard for rent prices to close the gap by much. If it made a big jump in any reasonable amount of time, it would create inflationary pressures for wages. Wages accelerating to handle rising living expenses is an economy’s death sentence.


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(Article courtesy architecturaldigest.com, Photo: Stoffer Photography Interiors)


Get our expert tips for decorating small spaces in your home or apartment. Learn how to decorate in style without creating clutter!  By Elizabeth Stamp


Decorating small spaces can feel like an impossible puzzle. You want to fit as much in as possible, but the room mustn't feel cramped. You want it to be filled with personality, but it can't look chaotic and cluttered. But it's possible to have a small space that's as stylish (or perhaps even more so) as their sprawling counterparts. Whether you’re starting out in a studio apartment or choosing to live a more minimalist existence, you don’t need to sacrifice style. We’ve gathered our favorite ideas for decorating small spaces to help you tackle your own petite dwelling.


Keep the Floor Clear

You need space for the essentials, but even the most perfectly decorated small room doesn’t work if you can’t walk in it. Try floating pieces, such as shelves and nightstands, to keep the ground clear of obstacles and create space for extra storage beneath if needed. Opt for sconces and wall lights rather than floor lamps.

Go for Folding Pieces

You may need a desk and a dining table, but do you really need them 24-7? Consider installing furnishings that can fold up when not in use. You’ll free up floor space and avoid the stacks of mail and work that inevitably pile up on these surfaces. If you have a one-wall kitchen, folding doors can conceal clutter when not in use.

Focus on Lighting

Small spaces can often end up feeling dark due to small or nonexistent windows. Make up for the lack of natural light by adding plenty of light sources in every room, from the kitchen to the bedroom. Combine striking ceiling fixtures—either a pretty pendant or elegant flush mount, depending on your ceiling height—with sconces or table lamps for a cozy and bright atmosphere.

Mirrors Are Your Friend

If you’re not blessed with an abundance of natural light, mirrors can help you make the most of what you do have by reflecting it around the room. Mirrors can also help make the space feel bigger, giving the illusion of a few more square feet. Consider lining a wall with a large mirror or creating a gallery wall of different sizes and shapes.

Choose the Right Rug

A rug is the one item you definitely don’t want to skimp on, size-wise. A tiny rug will make the room feel equally small. Pick a floor covering that’s large enough so most of the furniture will sit on it, or go wall-to-wall.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Bold

Having a small space doesn’t mean it has to be a white box. You can still go bold with color and embrace the size of your apartment. A darker shade of paint on the walls and ceiling can make the space feel like a jewel box.

Keep It Cohesive

There are only so many things to look at in a small space, so make sure they all fit. Stick to a limited color palette, whether it’s light and airy or dark and dramatic. Looking at items with an editor’s eye will help make sure pieces really belong and keep the space from becoming cluttered.

Find Pieces that Earn Their Place

Make the most of your space by finding furnishings that also boast storage. Opt for a bed with built-in drawers or benches and ottomans with space to hide away extra blankets or sweaters. In a small space, every piece needs to pull its weight: A daybed can serve as both a sofa and a guest bed.

Let Pieces Breathe

Nothing screams "I don’t have enough room" quite like furniture pressed up against the wall and tucked so tightly together that it’s practically stacked. Pull furnishings away from the wall if you can and make sure there’s space between pieces. (You may have to get rid of anything that isn’t used on a daily basis, like side tables or accent chairs.)

Play With Scale

There’s no need to use pint-size furniture and decor in a small space. The key is choosing a few statement pieces that will really draw the eye. You can use regular-size furniture and large-scale art; you’ll just need to use fewer pieces in the room overall.


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(Photo and article courtesy bobvila.com)

Instant radon gas testing and ongoing detection keeps you safe and gives you peace of mind.

By Timothy Dale


Radon gas is a naturally occurring byproduct produced by the deterioration of uranium in igneous rock and soil. It enters the home through cracks in the foundation, slowly building up until it becomes hazardous to your health. The harmful gas can cause minor symptoms like ongoing headaches or could even have a lethal effect, due to its cancer-causing properties. 


Radon exposure can happen in any home—including yours. A tasteless, odorless, colorless gas, radon cannot be identified with the mouth, nose, or eyes, so one way, without hiring a professional,  to know if you’re at risk of radon gas exposure is by using a radon test kit to measure the levels in your home.


The best radon test kits alert you to the presence of this carcinogenic gas by detecting radon levels over a few days, a few months, or through ongoing radon detection in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a radon removal system if the radon level reading in your home is higher than 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L).


There is no known level of radon exposure that is considered safe, so it’s important to protect yourself and your household by using a reliable, high-quality radon test kit that will give you an accurate picture of the radon levels in your home. The products below are the best radon test kits in their respective categories.

  1. BEST OVERALL:Corentium Home Radon Detector
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit
  3. UPGRADE PICK:Airthings Radon & Air Quality Monitor
  4. BEST SHORT-TERM:AccuStar Radon Gas Test Kit
  5. BEST LONG-TERM:Radon Eye Radon Reading Monitor

Types of Radon Test Kits

The EPA suggests a radon removal system be installed for any radon level reading higher than is considered acceptable. Radon test kits use several different methods to test the air in your home for elevated radon levels.

Short-Term Radon Test Kits

Short-term radon tests take between two to 90 days to collect readings from your home, depending on the manufacturer. You must then send these test kits to a laboratory to have the results calculated and returned to you. The lab fees and shipping costs are sometimes included with the product you purchase, so be sure to understand whether you will need to pay the fees.

Because short-term radon test kits are the fastest testing method and the least expensive test kit option, real estate agents often use them to test homes before selling. However, radon levels can fluctuate over a short amount of time, so short-term test kits are not the most accurate testing method. For definitive results, long-term testing is necessary.

Long-Term Radon Test Kits

Long-term radon test kits, as the name suggests, are designed to test the home over a longer period of time. One style is a single-use device collected at the end of the usage period and sent to a laboratory for testing. This type of device is more accurate than the short-term kits because it allows for a larger data set to be collected and reviewed, instead of the results being swayed by radon spikes, unpredictable highs or lows in radon levels that can cause false test results.

Another style of long-term radon test kit is the ongoing test kit or radon detector. Radon detectors typically feature a digital display and will continuously test the air in the home, displaying results regularly, without the need to send the kit to a laboratory. However, these radon detectors are more expensive than the one-time use or short-term test kits, and they may not be necessary if radon levels in the home are significantly lower than 4 pCi/L.

Alpha-Track Radon Test Kits

The alpha-track radon test kit—and long-term testing method—tests levels of radon by means of polycarbonate plastic sheets that the homeowner places the test kit in the lowest livable level of the home. Radon gas emits alpha particles, which create tracks on the sheets. Higher levels of alpha tracks indicate high levels of alpha particles and radon. Once the alpha-track radon test kit has been in place for the manufacturer’s suggested time period, the homeowner removes it and sends it to a lab for testing.

This style of test is more accurate than short-term test kits and is a medium-range option falling between short-term kits and ongoing radon detectors.

Charcoal Radon Test Kits

Charcoal radon test kits are short-term options that work similarly to the alpha-track test kits, though they measure radon over a shorter period of time. The charcoal device absorbs radon gas over two to 90 days and is then sent to a lab for results.

These tests are the cheapest and quickest options for measuring radon levels in your home, but they are also the least accurate because they are susceptible to spikes in radon levels and interference during shipping for lab tests.

Digital Radon Test Kits

Radon detectors, or digital radon test kits, are the most expensive type of radon testers on the list. Their installation can be difficult, as each manufacturer has its own setup specifications.

However, digital radon test kits are relatively permanent as they attach to a wall, like a thermostat, and they use a sensor to detect alpha particles in the air. The digital display provides a continuous pCi/L reading, without needing to involve a laboratory.

What to Look for When Buying a Radon Test Kit

Not all situations require the same solution. Keep the following considerations in mind when selecting the best radon test kit for your specific circumstances.

Accuracy

Accuracy is one of the most important factors to consider when testing radon levels in your home. The longer period of time a radon test kit is able to test the home, the more accurate the results will be, as longer testing allows you to determine the average level of pCi/L in your home without the influence of random positive or negative spikes.

Short-term radon tests are susceptible to spikes in radon levels that can skew the average. Because of this, they are considered the least accurate test option.

Long-term and continuous testing provides a much longer period of time for collecting readings, which allows you to better determine the average radon level in your home. These test devices cost more and take longer, but they are the most accurate radon test kits available.

Usability

Radon test kits are designed to be easy to use, both for the benefit of the consumer and to ensure accurate test results. Difficult-to-use kits can produce results impacted by user error, whereas easy-to-use kits will provide more accurate readings.

Passive radon test kits, like charcoal and alpha-track test kits, are easy to set up but require hands-on involvement during testing. You need to place them in a specific location to test the air and then send them to a lab for results.

Active radon test kits, like digital radon detectors, can be very easy to use once installed. A digital display continuously updates radon level readings that you can check at any time. However, newer digital radon detectors can also be complex, depending on the additional features the manufacturer has added to the device. Smart home-compatible detectors will require a level of technical know-how for ongoing use.

Ease of Installation

Passive radon detectors are generally very easy to set up, with most having instructions that specify a temporary location for them to sit during the allotted time period. These test kits are great for set-it-and-forget-it users.

Active radon test kits are more complex and can range from battery-powered units you attach to the wall to smart home-compatible units that require a fully integrated set-up before use.

Consider your own technical installation abilities and your current radon testing needs before deciding on a test kit.

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