March  2014  – 7 Secrets to Saving on Heating Costs!

In This Issue
7 Secrets to Saving
on Heating Costs!
Illegal Suite:
Affordable Housing or
Death Trap?
Rental Condition-Checks
What Our Clients Say…

Contact Us
Please visit Glenn Duxbury's website

Duxbury & Associates
Building Inspection 
and Consulting Ltd.
125 DeBeck Street

New Westminster, 
BC V3L 3H7


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Quick Tip!
Power Bar Overload

Many of us are guilty of overloading power bars and outlets with too many lights, electronics and extension cords.

An overloaded power bar or electric outlet expander, can easily cause a shock or start a house fire due to overheating.

So, please avoid this dangerous mistake this Winter!

Heating CostsWelcome to “Love Your Home”

Brrr it’s very cold outside and there has already been snow – plus sub-zero temperatures and old Jack Frost has been painting up the windows! For many of us Winter is the time when there heating bill goes through the roof, but it doesn’t have to:

7 Secrets to Saving on Heating Costs!


Heat loss through walls and attics can be reduced using cavity insulation. This involves blowing insulating material into the gap between the interior
and exterior walls.


Single paned windows are highly inefficient and keep your home chilly and
uncomfortable. Upgrading to double paned windows will substantially
reduce your heating bill savings and over time these energy efficient
windows will likely pay for themselves.

3)Window Caulk & Film

If you can’t afford to upgrade to double pane windows. A more cost-effective solution is caulk the window frame and cover with window film. Caulking around windows blocks air leaks. Window fillm is affordable and easy to install, creating a sealing that can reduce heat loss by 50%.


As far as drafty doors go, weather stripping can be a relatively inexpensive DIY option. All you need is a pair of scissors, some fabric, a sewing kit, a funnel, some filling, like rice or kitty litter and a little practice.


Keep heating vents clear by moving away objects such as rugs and furniture which block the vent and prevent heated air from circulating efficiently. Return air registers also need to be kept clear.


Have your furnace and duct work inspected for potential heat loss issues.(Un-insulated ductwork which winds it way through a cold attic or crawlspace can lose up to 60% of its heat before it reaches the vent outlet.)


Installing a programmable thermostat, which automatically lowers the temperature at night and when you’re away, can further reduce your heating bill by up to 33%.


Here are a couple of good photos to further highlight heat-loss. The first
one contrasts an old home with lots of snow-melt, with a brand-new home
(less than 1 year-old) with similar.The second one shows an older home with LOTS of attic insulation and VOILA (very little snow-melt at all). Note: photos were taken in same neighbourhood at the same time.


Illegal Suite: Affordable Housing or Death Trap?

Our team was recently called out to document a long list of complaints and serious issues at a secondary rental suite in Richmond. A woman and her two daughters had rented one of two suites in a single detached home. Unfortunately, she had rented this property without a professional Inspection first and she had been completely unaware of the many lurking problems, until it was too late.

Firstly, there was not a proper fire separation so if any part of the house caught fire, this suite would have been ablaze within minutes. We also noticed that the plumbing was a hack-job and whenever the other suite did dishes or took a shower, sewer water and foul vapours would back up into the laundry drain standpipe and spill right into her home. The stench of sewer gas was awful (also – it is noxious to breathe and explosive); then suddenly we noted a lit pilot light flickering at the nearby gas fireplace.

Another issue was the complete lack of privacy. The walls of the suite were paper thin, so every comment and even embarrassing bathroom sounds were clearly audible. Plus, the kitchen cupboard shelving had no backing, so you could actually see right into the next living space (inside their kitchen cupboards).

Well, it’s a good thing that she called us when she did because living in these conditions is not only appalling and unhealthy, it’s illegal.

We advised the woman to move out as soon as possible and we assured her that we would back her up if the landlord tried to enforce the lease. Our detailed written Report should suffice, however.

The Richmond Review has recently reported that an ongoing city investigation has revealed a growing problem with illegal suites around the city of Richmond. A total of 63 properties have been red-flagged so far.

With our current housing crunch it’s become apparent that many renters are desperately in need of affordable housing. However, potential landlords need to understand that it’s not OK to take advantage of these people by becoming a slumlord! All secondary suites must be inspected by the city and be found in full compliance with B.C. Building Codes to be legal.

If you are Richmond landlord wondering if your suite is in compliance please contact Richmond Building Approvals: Phone: 604-276-4285 Email:


“If are a Renter that needs a Suite checked out 
Call Duxbury & Associates! 
We will provide professional advice 
and ensure your safety and security.”

Rental Condition-Checks:

Don’t assume that your new landlord had your best interest at heart, protect yourself from nasty surprises!

Rental Condition-Checks

I’ve seen every rental nightmare you can imagine. Apartments with cold, drafty un-insulated walls, gas-leaks, smelly and noxious sewage backup, unhealthy mold hiding behind freshly painted walls, inadequate lighting and fire safety issues, paper-thin walls equating to no privacy and vermin and insect infestations as well.

It’s highly recommended for all renters to have a Rental Condition Check of their new rental suite BEFORE they move in!

More on Inspection Services

What Our Clients Say…

you are a genius!”

Testimonial“It was great meeting you at the conference in Dallas. You opened my eyes to many potential problems about the house we were considering buying. Your advice was invaluable; you are a genius! I don’t know many people that would offer so much free advice knowing that there is no potential business for you because I live in a different country. Your clients are very fortunate to have you near.”

~ Karen Gilbert

Associations / Memberships
ASTTBC - more info ASTTBC-PI GVHBA - more infoMember of BBB  
SAFERhome BC - view website 
Consumer Protection BC - Home InspectorRCI - Please visit websiteeWomen Network member NAAAP IHINA

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