Episode #3 – BC Energy Step Code & The Future of New Home Construction

How energy efficient is your home? Have you ever had an Energy Advisor provide you with energy modelling and air tightness testing? Do you know what a Step Code is? James and Denny talk about the BC Energy Step Code and how builders are using energy software modelling and on-site testing to rate the insulating efficiency of a home. Listen to the Garbutt+Dumas Real Estate Podcast (bottom of page) to learn about the BC Energy Step Code and the future of new home construction.

BC Energy Step Code & The Future of New Home Construction

The BC Energy Step Code is a system of guidelines laid out to make sure the construction of new buildings are compliant in terms of modern-day energy efficiency. The goal of implementing such regulations is to make all new buildings “net-zero energy ready” by 2032. While this may be ambitious, it’s happening, and we need to get ready…

With more and more local governments adopting the BC Energy Step Code as part of their legal compliance for construction, in their latest podcast, our friends, James Garbutt and Denny Dumas, discussed the implications of these new regulations and offered some practical advice for those who wish to make sure they’re operating within the new laws.

A total of 64 local governments in British Columbia have submitted their initial notifications that they have started to consult on the new regulations, with 31 of those fully adopting the BC Energy Step Code as a part of their bylaw.

Displaying great humility, James wanted to make it clear to listeners that he doesn’t have the definitive answers on making sure homes meet the new provincial standard, however, he does offer us his own, practical insight into the topic based on his years of experience in real estate construction.

BC Energy Step Code

The BC Energy Step Code is different according to two distinct categories: Houses (Part 9, simple buildings) and Wood Frame Residential Buildings (Part 3, more complex buildings). In this podcast, Garbutt and Dumas discussed the application of the new code to residential houses (Part 9).

Part 9 buildings are categorized according to five steps; step five being the highest level of energy efficiency and, to all intents and purposes, is a building that could be considered off-grid or completely self-sustainable. Some local governments are demanding that builders comply with step four of the BC Energy Step Code by 2022, with the aim of achieving step five by 2032.

While steps one and two of the BC Energy Step Code are very much achievable without the addition of huge costs, James gave us his practical advice to help builders understand what is needed in order to achieve step four. To keep it simple, it’s all about insulation and designing a home in a way that has more focus on energy efficiency.

All About Insulation

“Let’s talk about insulation,” James said, “because that is what it really comes down to”. His personal interpretation of a home that would meet step four of the BC Energy Step Code comes down to simply building with 2 x 6 walls that have batt insulation, a rain screen on the outside, and a vapor barrier on the inside. James recommends adding insulation boards to the foundation walls, like a 2-inch rigid board to the exterior, as well as beneath the concrete slab in the basement.

In James’ opinion, if you put rigid board (or similar insulation products) around the exterior of your home and on top of the sheeting in your roof too, the framing materials of your home will be encapsulated in this, giving extra protection to preserve the building for the long term. It could also block condensation from getting to the wood and, in his opinion, is the great way to make a home compliant with step four of the BC Energy Step Code.

One of the most important factors in achieving compliance with the BC Energy Step Code is creating a fully sealed building that has minimal air gaps. Right now, there is no air testing, but as part of the BC Energy Step Code, buildings will be subject to an “airtightness test” at a certain stage of its construction. While there is no obligation to commit to step four at the moment, 2022 is fast approaching, and so James advises us to get used to the extra reports and tests in energy efficiency now.

A home that is compliant with step four of the BC Energy Step Code will have to have significant insulation in the roof. They want to increase the minimum to R40 (currently at R20), meaning, in some cases, a metre of insulation could be required. This will, of course, affect how architects approach roof heights as we move forward.

In order to achieve compliance with the BC Energy Step Code, James discusses using triple pane windows with insulated frames to improve efficiency. Window placements and overhangs are also important factors that can affect whether the home meets the new energy-efficient insulation demands. An overhang keeps water away from the walls and offers shade against the summer sun. Clever design means the home can be angled to capture the warming winter sun without having that sweltering greenhouse effect in the summer.

James goes on to discuss the mechanical changes on the inside of the property as the BC Energy Step Code aims to reduce heat loss through vents. The use of a heat exchanger system is James’ tip to combat heat loss as they warm the fresh air that is coming in. “There are lots of ways to get there”, James added, “there is no one way”.

Market Effects of the BC Energy Step Code 

What will be the effect of constructing according to step four of the BC Energy Step Code? Well, incredibly efficient and durable homes for a start. In James’ opinion, these houses could easily last for 200+ years if built and designed to a high standard.

Having said that, there will be additional time and costs to this energy-efficient construction. For example, factoring in the costs of the design, tests, reports and the extra building material costs, such as insulation, on a typical Vancouver suburb home could exceed $50,000.   More so if you include financial carrying costs for the extra time.

James Garbutt and Denny Dumas conclude this podcast by discussing how step four and above compliant homes will affect the future of real estate in the area. In two years, many cities throughout BC have a goal to meet step four of the BC Energy Step Code.  In the short term, they agree that speculative new home construction may be affected by this as buyers may take some time to pay the additional premium for these new homes. At some point, however, high energy efficiency will be the norm, and homes built prior to this era might have a negative connotation. Similar to how a building without rain-screen does today.

TO BUY FIRST OR SELL FIRST? THAT IS THE QUESTION…

TO BUY FIRST OR SELL FIRST? THAT IS THE QUESTION…

Many of our clients find themselves in the dilemma of buying first or selling first, and there is no universal answer. We hope this article will give you some clarity on the questions to ask yourself when the time comes for your next purchase or sale.
Let’s assume the seller will not consider a ‘subject to sale’ offer… because if they will, go this route and don’t read any further. The negatives of a ‘subject to sale’ offer is that you could get bumped by another buyer, and in many cases a ‘subject to sale’ offer reduces your negotiating power as you’re not a ready to go ‘cash buyer’. Note that not all ‘subject to sale’ clauses written the same. The wording is crucial, and there are rare situations where you get bumped from a purchase (by another buyer) and end up selling your place anyway… call us to avoid this!
To Buy or Sell first? The main items to consider are your personal risk tolerance, finances, the subject properties involved, and the market.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
1) What is your risk tolerance? Will you sleep at night if you buy a property before having sold your own? If you buy first (and need to sell), you have to take whatever the market will bring. Plan conservatively. Make sure the purchase is feasible with a lower than expect sale price of your current property (maybe 5-10% below market).
2) How are your finances? Are you stretching yourself to make this purchase? or can you afford to carry two properties? If you’re stretching yourself on the purchase and you require top dollar for the sale of your personal property, it may make sense to sell first so you know exactly how much you can afford. We don’t want you to lose your deposit by committing to a purchase that the banks won’t finance (more likely for up-sizers or first time ‘House’ buyers). However, if you’re downsizing and are financial able to support the carrying costs of owning two properties, than buy when the perfect property is available.
3) What are you buying? Is it rare? If you find yourself looking for a property that’s on a certain block, or maybe a penthouse condo, or waterfront property that rarely comes available, you may not have a choice but to buy first or lose the property. If the property type you’re looking for is readily available (or maybe you’re just not picky) and it’s just a matter of time before the next one comes up… it may be best to sell first and put yourself in a strong negotiating position.
4) What are you selling? Is it very desirable, or is difficult to sell? If you have a very desirable property that would sell quick, it may make sense to purchase first. Alternatively, if you have a fixer upper, luxury home or busy street home (anything with a negative or very limited buyer pool), it may make sense to sell first.
5) How is the market? Is it hot or cold? In the hot market we experienced in 2016 everything sold fast, and as a result our clients were often buying first. In a hot market, sales are more predictable and risks of buying first is much lower. If the market is cold, like we’re experiencing now (2019), it’s typically best to sell first unless you’re prepared to own two properties.
Buying First: PROS
– You know where you’re going and when your Completion date is.
– Less likely to move twice. The challenge is to sell your place and match up the dates.
Buying First: CONS
– More financial risk, and potential loss of deposit (if you’re unable to sell current property).
Selling First: PROS
– Less financial risk.
– You know exactly how much you’re getting for your property, and will have a clear budget for your purchase.
Selling First: CONS
– You may not find a suitable place to buy right away. Be prepared to find temporary accommodation and move twice.
At the end of the day, every situation is different and needs to be evaluated on an individual basis. This is where we can help.’
Watch the video below and subscribe to our Youtube channel for more VLOGS!

Burnaby’s Most Expensive Home Sold In May 2017

Property: 7505 Lambeth Drive

List Price: $3,198,000

Sale Price: Contact Us Today

Sold Date: May 8th, 2017

A stunning 5 bedroom, 6 bathroom home at 7505 Lambeth Drive fetched the highest sale price in Burnaby for May, 2017. Built in 1980, the beautifully maintained custom-built home in prestigious Buckingham Heights was sold by its original owner.

Situated on a private 15,000sqft corner lot, the 3 level home has 6,002sqft of living space and both city and mountain views from front and back balconies. The main floor features a tranquil garden patio and massive yard (with oversized double garage), as well as a large living room, formal dining room, bright, spacious kitchen and eating area, huge family room and bedroom/den. An indoor oasis completes the main floor with pool, hot tub and sauna. Upstairs, the huge master bedroom is rounded out by a walk-in closet and ensuite. With 3 more ample-sized bedrooms and 2 bathrooms up, this is the perfect family home.  

Buckingham Heights is a small, upscale family neighbourhood, walking distance from Deer Lake, Burnaby’s recreational and cultural hub and is also midway between two of Burnaby’s most vibrant commercial centres, Edmonds and Metrotown, that each offer a huge array of shopping and services, as well as two branches of the Burnaby Public Library.

7505 Lambeth Drive
The home boasts a bright and spacious kitchen made for entertaining.

7505 Lambeth Drive
A formal living room denotes old world elegance.

7505 Lambeth Street
The luxurious mater bedroom is complete with ensuite and fireplace.

7505 Lambeth Drive
The custom built home comes complete with an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna

Burnaby House Market Update for May 2017

MARKET UPDATE BY BURNABY REALTOR JAMES GARBUTT

May is here–and it’s time for a Burnaby detached house market update. It’s been a bit of a crazy year that started off with a lot of snow followed by record amounts of rain and we feel that this held back the number of sales compared to previous years.
As of April 26, 2017, the year-to-date number of detached houses sold in Burnaby was 276 units*, compared to 1400 units in 2016 and 558 units in 2015. That’s basically 1/5th of the sales volume in terms of units sold compared to this time last year. Not surprising, however, because the weather has been awful, and Burnaby houses have become very expensive! The average list price of a detached home in Burnaby at the moment is $2,212,700 (as of April 26, 2017), and the average sale price over the past 60 days has been $1,696,600.
To get a good indication of how the market is doing, we look at the sales ratio. The sales ratio is the sales-to-active listings ratio, or the number of sales that take place in a given month, divided by the number of active listings. A seller’s market is considered to have a sales ratio of 21% or higher. Currently, Burnaby homes are on the fringe of a seller’s market. When looking at the last 60 days of activity, the sales ratio is 21% for all houses in Burnaby. However, if we isolate homes priced under $1,500,000, the sales ration climbs to 53%. If we isolate the $2 million plus price range in Burnaby, the sales ratio decreases to 9%. Basically meaning that 1 of out 10 listings in this price range are selling in a given month. As a Burnaby Realtor, what we’re seeing is that there are a lot of overpriced homes; there are a lot of higher end homes priced 10-20% above where they should be.
Moving forward, we expect to see the sales ratio increase in the seller’s favour. The market is starting to heat up and the weather is getting better. The high end market may still struggle, but we expect houses priced under $2 million in Burnaby to be in high demand over the coming months.

Some interesting stats for Burnaby:
There has been just 1 detached home sold in 2017 for under $1 million and it went for $998,800. It was a small older home on a very busy street (10th Ave). It’s official, the new entry price point to buy a detached house in Burnaby is $1 million. The high sale for 2017 is $3,180,000 and it was a newer home sold in ‘Upper Deer Lake‘.
*Note that this information was taken on April 26, 2017. They are likely firm sales that have not registered on the MLS. Actual 2017 figures may be slightly higher than noted above.
Full Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Stat Package for April 2017
If you’re thinking of buying, selling or just curious about the value of a property, contact us today!
 
Contact Us Today
 
James Garbutt
Burnaby Realtor
 

CLICK HERE FOR YOUR MAY 2017 BURNABY CONDO MARKET UPDATE

Pacifico Townhomes Are Close to Nature, Connected to the City

Project: Pacifico
Builder: Dolomiti Homes
Units: 21
Pacifico Townhomes are close to nature, but connected to the city.
The 21-unit development by Dolomiti Homes is tucked at the foot of Burnaby Mountain in the Westridge neighbourhood. That puts the kilometres of hiking and biking trails that encircle the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area almost in your backyard, Barnet Marine Park with its splendid beach and iconic West Coast views out the side door.
But the setting is anything but remote. In fact, Barnet Highway and Hastings Street, which provide quick road connections west to Vancouver and east toward Coquitlam, are just a couple blocks away. Shopping and services at Kensington Square and the beloved Heights district are also nearby.
The homes at Pacifico include 1 bedroom garden apartments and 2 bedroom 2-level townhomes.
Each features designer laminate flooring in the living areas and durable carpeting in the bedrooms of the townhomes. The open gourmet kitchens feature quartz countertops, stainless steel Whirlpool appliances, custom cabinets and soft-closing drawers. The bathrooms are equally indulgent with mirrors as wide as the quartz countertops, a cosmetic light bar, colour-coordinated porcelain tile flooring and Kohler fixtures.
All units are pre-wired for a security system and come with a year of free internet and OPTIK TV Essentials from Telus.
Units in Pacifico are still available for pre-sale. For more information contact Burnaby real estate agents James Garbutt and Denny Dumas.

Pacifico townhomes in Burnaby
Open concept kitchen and dining area.

Bedroom at Pacifico
Luxurious bedroom

Pacifico townhomes
A rendering of Pacifico’s exterior

 

Burnaby’s Most Expensive Home Sold in March 2017

Property: 6258 Empress Ave
List Price: $3,468,000
Sale Price: TBA
Sold Date: March 3, 2017
A 7-bedroom, 8-bathroom home at 6258 Empress Ave is Burnaby’s most expensive house sold in March, 2017. It comes with spectacular views of the mountains and city. Too bad the weather has been so dreary.
But when the clouds finally do lift, the new owners of this 4,737 sq. ft. beauty will be able to fully appreciate its gorgeous setting in the Upper Deer Lake neighbourhood from its three outdoor patios. Everything about this home is top-quality, with attention paid to even the finest detail, including professional Feng-Shui landscaping of the 9,174 sq. ft. lot. The gourmet kitchen is equipped with high-end cabinetry and Miele appliances. There’s also a wok kitchen.
The open-concept main floor flows seamlessly from family room to dining room to expansive living room. The large master bedroom upstairs has its own balcony. Three other bedrooms are also located upstairs, one is on the main floor and two are in the fully finished basement, which also includes a 16X12 media room.
The home is also fully automated to control lighting, temperature, security and music with the touch of a command button.

6258 Empress Ave
The master bedroom has its own balcony.

6258 Empress Ave
When the clouds lift, the mountain views are spectacular.

6258 Empress Ave
This is the most expensive home sold in Burnaby in March, 2017.

 

10 Great Questions to Ask a Realtor When Selling Your Home

A great Realtor can make the difference between a good or bad experience when you’re selling your home. But before you sign a listing contract, here are 10 great questions to ask a Realtor when selling your home.

1. How many properties have you sold? How many did you sell last year?
Most people instantly focus on years in the business, but your Realtor’s sales volume is just as important; one agent can sell as many homes in two years than others do in 10. A Realtor with a healthy volume of sales in the local market in the past year is likely more in tune with that market.
But don’t just focus on the numbers; you should also feel comfortable with your Realtor.
2. What types of properties have you sold lately?
This will help you determine your Realtor’s focus and performance, whether they’ve had success selling similar types of products, and in your area. Ask for proven results, such as the average number of days their listings are on the market, the ratio of their list prices to actual sale prices. What about listings that aren’t selling; a Realtor who openly discusses their failures demonstrates honesty.
3. Who is the buyer and where are they coming from?
Your Realtor’s knowledge and experience with the local market will help them market your home to potential buyers and highlight the features that will be important to them. It’s important for your Realtor to know their target market for your home, whether it’s young families, downsizers, locals or buyers from out of town.
4. What is your marketing strategy for my home?
This is where the rubber hits the road, and your Realtor will earn their commission. Your home is likely your largest investment; it needs to be marketed well from the beginning if you’re going to realize a good return on that investment. It’s important your home presents well and buyers are aware of it.

Top 10 questions to ask a Realtor when selling your home
Your Realtor should know how to present your home at its best, including professional photos.

 
In a hot market, just putting up a lawn sign might sell your home, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right strategy to get you the right price. Nice photos, a posting on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and Open Houses are a minimal expectation; but what else can your Realtor offer? Creative campaigns that include online marketing, an active presence on social media, print advertising and staging can gain extra exposure for your home.
5. What separates you from your competitors?
Here’s where you’re really asking “why should I hire you?” There’s no shortage of Realtors out there to sell your home, but what is your Realtor offering to separate them from that pack. Their marketing ability is important, but so are honesty and trust.
6. What is your recommended listing price for my home, and why?
You want an understanding of how your Realtor evaluates properties. It should be by more than guesswork, or intuition.
Their evaluation of your property should be supported by recent comparable sales in the area. A more detailed evaluation could include listings that didn’t sell, and current active listings that you’re competing against.
If your home is difficult to evaluate because there’s been no recent comparable sales against which to measure it, a creative Realtor will look at similar properties outside the neighbourhood, or in similar neighbourhoods. Or they could use a “replacement cost” approach where they calculate the land value plus the cost of rebuilding the actual home.
Your Realtor’s pricing strategy for your home should align with your needs. If the market is hot and you have to sell quickly or you have specific requirements for the offer, such as a specific closing date, we typically recommend a lower price as it will generate more interest, more offers and cleaner offers that meet your terms. If the market is slow, or you have a unique property that could limit the pool of potential buyers, it may be best to price your home higher with room to negotiate; trying to set a price to spark a bidding war could be risky is these circumstances.
7. How do you, or your team, operate?

You want to know your Realtor is going to be there for you when you need them. It’s important to understand how communication will be handled, and who will be your primary contact. You want to know who will be showing your property and who is going to be handling the negotiations with buyers; you don’t want any surprises.
8. How much do you charge?
Commission fees are determined by your Realtor and they are negotiable. If a Realtor is hungry for a listing, they may reduce their fee. But top-performing Realtors typically don’t.
There are many different types of fee structures out there, from flat fee listing services to discount brokerages to full service brokerages. Whichever you choose, you should establish how much they charge, and how much of that goes to the buyer’s agent. Make sure the commission for the buyer’s agent is in line with the rates prevalent in your area.
9. What if I’m not happy with your service?
This question will help you determine a Realtor’s level of commitment to you and how strongly they believe in their ability to get you a good result.
If, for some reason, you’re unhappy with their service, you need to know if they’ll release you from the listing contract and how. There are two ways to terminate a listing: Cancellation vs. Unconditional Release. The former has restrictions that could affect your ability to move on; the latter releases you freely with no further obligation. Most listing contracts run for 3-4 months, but contracts for luxury properties can run up to 12 months.
10. What else do I need to know?
One of the questions to ask a Realtor when selling your home should be open-ended. That gives them a chance to highlight a unique service they might offer, like staging, or to speak to areas you might have overlooked. That extra little tidbit of information could be the tipping point to your decision.
Bonus…
Requesting references is one of the questions to ask a Realtor when selling your home that is sometimes overlooked. But keep in mind, if you are given references they’ll likely all be good. To get a more complete picture of your Realtor, do a little online research prior to your first meeting. See what properties they have recently sold, then ask for references from those clients specifically. If they have online and social media presence, see what people are saying about them, check their reviews and how they engage with others. See what they are doing to stay in front of buyers on a daily basis.
There’s no general rule for forging a great relationship with your Realtor. It’s all about personal preference and trust.
Your Realtor should be responsive to your needs; they should be patient when you need to take a little time, and proactive when you’re anxious. They should be a good listener who will offer advice and help find solutions.
More helpful blogs for sellers
10 Reasons to Hire a Realtor
Best Time of Year to Sell a Home
Get Buyers to Fall in Love With Your Home
7 Tips to Help Your Home Look Great in Photos
 

Beautiful Burnaby Crest House Sold Fast!

Property: 7668 Endersby St, Burnaby
List Price: $1,378,000
List Date: February 27, 2107
This house at 7668 Endersby St sold fast! Even in a challenging market for some house sales, top Burnaby Realtors James Garbutt and Denny Dumas were able to sell this beautiful house in Burnaby’s Crest neighbourhood in just four days for full price!
The six bedroom, three bathroom house features a beautifully updated kitchen with quartz countertops, high-end stainless steel appliances and shaker cabinets. It also leads out to a huge covered back deck that overlooks a pristine back yard. The large living and dining rooms feature hardwood floors and a gas fireplace.
Three of the bedrooms are upstairs, along with a renovated 4-piece bathroom. Another bedroom, along with a 3-piece ensuite, is downstairs, as well as a separate 2-bedroom suite.
The new owners will be close to parks, schools, transit and easy access to Highway 1 is just moments away.
Click here to see the listing

7668 Endersby living room
The living room features hardwood floors

7668 Endersby kitchen
The updated kitchen opens to a huge covered deck.

7668 Endersby deck
The huge covered deck overlooks an immaculate backyard.

 

Burnaby Townhouse Sold for Record Price!

Property: #84 6878 Southpoint Dr., Burnaby
List Price: $798,000
Sale Price: $921,000
Sold Date: April 4, 2016
A three bedroom townhouse in South Burnaby doesn’t come along every day. So it’s no surprise that Burnaby Realtors James Garbutt and Denny Dumas were able to get a record price for this 3-level beauty at #84 6878 Southpoint Dr,.
The end-unit townhouse features 1700 sq. ft. of living space, making it one of the largest in the Cortina development in Burnaby’s South Slope neighbourhood. The three bedrooms are all located upstairs, along with two full bathrooms. The open-concept main floor has 9’ ceilings, a gourmet kitchen and a powder room. The basement has a spacious rec room and direct access to the underground parkade where the unit’s two side-by-side parking stalls are located.
The huge wrap-around patio borders a green belt that connects to walking and biking trails that weave through the area’s parks. The Edmonds SkyTrain station is a 5-minute walk away, as are Taylor Park Elementary School and two daycares. Shopping at the Market Crossing is only a short drive away.
With so much going for it, plus an awesome location, this Burnaby townhouse attracted the attention of real estate agents in Burnaby who presented multiple offers. It sold well above list in just 11 days!
Click here to see the listing for #84 6878 Southpoint

The living room at 84-6878 Southpoint Dr
The living room features high ceilings and a gas fireplace.

The dining area and kitchen at 84-6878 Southpoint Dr
The bright dining area and gourmet kitchen

The master bedroom at 84-6878 Southpoint Dr
The master bedroom looks out at a green belt.

 

7 exterior spring maintenance tips for your home

It may be hard to believe, but spring is just around the corner! (In fact, some might say it should have been here already!) And after such a rough winter, you can be sure there’s going to be some exterior spring maintenance for your home you’ll want to attend to as the temperatures warm up!
1. Roof: Inspect your roof. With all the snow and ice we had this year, you want to make sure your roof weathered the weather! If you’re uncomfortable with climbing a ladder, stand back and scan your roof with binoculars. Look for cracked or missing shingles, and a buildup of debris.

Cleaning the roof of debris is part of exterior spring maintenance.
Leaves and needles left on the roof can eventually damage the shingles.

 
2. Gutters: Check the gutters (Yes, this exterior spring maintenance tip will require climbing a ladder). Look for damage like cracks or gaps in seams. Clean out debris like leaves and pine needles. Run water from a hose to make sure there’s no leaks and the downspout is draining properly.
Some exterior spring maintenance will require climbing a ladder
Climb a ladder to check the gutters and clean them of leaves and other debris that may have accumulated through the stormy winter and fall.

 
3. Siding:  Clean the siding. That will prevent mould from taking hold. If the exterior of your home is wood, inspect it for weathering and peeling paint because those could invite rot. Touch up and repaint as needed. If your home is brick, look for cracks in the mortar where water may have penetrated and expanded and contracted as it froze and thawed. If you can slide a coin into a crack, it needs to be fixed. The same applies to your foundation.
4. Windows and doors: Inspect the seals and caulking around windows and doors. Scrape out any old, deteriorating caulk and then recaulk.
5. Decks, stairs and porches: Check them for damage or deterioration like loose planks or broken railings. Wood that is exposed to the elements should be treated and resealed every 4-6 years. If your deck or patio is stone or concrete, clean off the winter’s grime and check for debris and plant growth between the stones. Hosing it off will also give you a chance to check for settling that may allow water to pool or not drain properly.
Exterior spring maintenance includes cleaning the deck.
Inspect and clean the deck as part of your annual exterior spring maintenance.

 
Once the deck or patio is clean, bring out the patio furniture from storage and get it ready for the outdoor season. After all, those lazy sunny afternoons in the lounger are going to be your payoff for your exterior spring maintenance.

Check your driveway

6. Driveway. You know all those potholes in the streets that have been rattling your teeth? They’re caused by water penetrating the asphalt and expanding then contracting during freezes and thaws. We had no shortage of those this winter. So, as part of your exterior spring maintenance for your home, check your driveway for growing cracks and fissures. You’ll want to seal any cracks you find so they don’t get bigger and become a real problem.
7. The Yard. Rake the grass of fallen leaves and branches. Clean dead flowers and shrubs from the gardens. Trim back bushes and trees. Drain planters of any standing water, or they could become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. And don’t forget to check all those outdoor garden tools like the lawnmower, so they’re ready to go when the serious gardening season hits full stride.
Try not to think of exterior spring maintenance as a chore. As the weather warms up and dries up, it’s a nice way to get outside, commune with your home, maybe even trade winter survival stories with your neighbours. Enjoy!