Pit stop

Posting will be somewhat irregular during the summer as my attention is diverted to a renovation project at home. We haven’t even begun and we’re already over budget and behind schedule. The unhappy reality is that a choice made to resolve one issue typically results in new issues arising – issues previously unforseen.

This week I’m learning about venting and tempered air make-up systems. Apparently, many people selling high output cooking equipment know little about building code requirements for ventilation. That suggests a fair number of installed appliances don’t meet code.

I’ve noted that Canadian prices are substantially above those faced by Americans for the same items. This applies to appliances, furniture, electronics, flooring, paint and almost every component needed by homeowners. For example, a Miele wall oven can be had for about $1,000 less south of the border. A floor tile offered here at $6 a square foot can be purchased in Washington State for 40% less.

I priced a Waste King L8000 food waste disposer this week. At a West Van appliance shop, it was $475. Amazon Canada offered it at $316.93. I bought the same machine from an American source that will ship it without added cost to Point Roberts for pick-up. The price paid: $103.61. When picking up the device, I`ll top up the gas tank. Even though Point Roberts gas is 25% higher than in Bellingham, I`ll save money compared to Canadian prices.

We can thank the Harper government for softening competition laws, thus enabling distributors to keep prices high for Canadian consumers. Anyone still remember BC Liberal promises that HST would result in lower prices?

Categories: Uncategorized

17 replies »

  1. My neighbor has had his $40,000 renovation turn into a $400,000.00 dollar nightmare. It seems we have created a whole generation of politicians, planners, contractors, bureaucrats, who are all on the take.

    The corruption at the civic level is horrendous and it only gets worse, the higher you climb the politcal ladder.


  2. ” We haven't even begun and we're already over budget and behind schedule.” To correct this, please join the Liberal Party of BC. ( just kidding )

    Guy in Victoria


  3. We have created a bureacratic nightmare. A fools paradise, where ego, an education and control of regulations and officialdom, entitle you to create the world of your choosing.

    The taxpayer, on the other hand is forced to dance to this tune. Soon the money and resources will run out, the taxpayers will descend into poverty and eventual serfdom. The middle class will disappear, and taxation become onerous and a burden to the poor. The “rich” will have removed themselves from this reality, and shrouded themselves within socio-economic clusters, immune from the evils of the real world, and where they are taxed the least, yet permitted the opulance and excess in lifestyle that the remaining 95%, will only dream about. Sounds like a recipe for a science fiction novel at best, or at worst a civil or global war.


  4. Co-incidence….just finished the same thing, change to gas range and needed a range hood to suit. I did not buy in the USA, but I can tell you that a prominent advertiser on CKNW did not get my business…again. Range was made on this continent and range hood made in Canada. Though I was already aware of potential issues, the sales guy did tell me about make-up air. Kudo's for due diligence on his part. He did not tell me that the previous person (likely not a tradesman) working on the house managed to fit a 3.5 x 10 rectangular duct into a 6″ round hole. “Previously unforseen” means a special hammer was used at time of original install. Of course the roof jack was through a tar and gravel roof so couldn't change it, and the ductwork was behind the drywall. Yes, the HST sure took a “previously unforseen” bite out of the budget (like you said, the selling price did not reflect all the savings to business we were told would happen). The higher the sale price the higher tax paid so not a lot of opposition from regulators. The 40% saving in tile price seems to bear a linear relationship to the 40% less government administrators and the equivalent of crown corp CEO's get paid. Not sure how we can tie that fact together. I used to be able to say our enjoyment living in Beautiful BC was 40% better but not so sure now.


  5. Good luck Norman. I have a lot of experience in home construction and can tell you that whatever you plan for, expect it to cost more and take longer than you thought.


  6. Norm AND AGT both taking time off at the same time? What are we going to do?

    BTW: congrats on your latest grandchild. I only have one so far — but he's a lot of fun.


  7. they lied!

    really you don't want to renovate, trust me, you don't want to go there. Its like the first one did it all wrong, the second one riped me off, the third one was fine–on time & on budget. Couldn't stand the house any more & moved. Had a brand new build. Used a lot I had, had the existing house removed & viola. I decided to use the lot I had because they wanted me to pay HST on other new homes, for the land. Like how the HST has to be paid on land I'll never know. God or some one other than the lieberals created that. Anyhow the new house is perfect & was easier than the previous renos.

    You & AGT summering, well at least Lailla came back.

    I hope your renos go well. If all else fails, find a really good contractor & leave town on vacation.


  8. “Anyone still remember BC Liberal promises that HST would result in lower prices?” and they are also on recoird saying it would be better for business…

    Well I well remember that the CBC reported that on Canada day and July there was a record number off cross border shopping, more than any other time in history when they enforced the dreaded HST…

    So it seems it was good for business in the state of Washington.


  9. To add insult to injury, they don't care to collect the HST at the border, on day trip purchases of about $200 per person. (This before the 24-hr rate was raised to $200. A day trip ≠ 24 hours.)

    “Have a nice day…” they say.

    Imagine if they pulled the same no-tax stunt at any BC retailer. It's got to be $tens or hundreds of thousands per day that go uncollected at our BC borders.


  10. I use the underground, and the barter system. I saved a good deal of money, by having my bathroom renovated through the underground for cash. They say, every community should be able to feed everyone, within a 100 mile radius. It is a delight to me, to pay $6.50 for a chicken, instead of a gross yellowy chicken for, $15.00 in the supermarket. I get all my meat and eggs, through the underground as well.

    Now that Harper has sold us out to Communist China, things are going to be very bad. BC of course, is the province that will be hit the hardest. BC's assets and resources, have all been thieved and sold, by the Campbell/Clark BC Liberals. Nor do we forget, Harper's part in the financial destruction of BC and the people's lives.

    Harper is focusing on, only one economy for Canada, the dirty Alberta tar sands. Harper could care less, if he loses billions in revenue, by Canadians shopping in the U.S. He intends to be the king of the planet, making trillions off Communist China, owning the tar sands. Other country's were shunning Canada, because of Harper. I don't doubt for a minute, other country's will pull their company's out of Canada. the U.S. has been taking their company's out of Canada for some time now, costing Canadians thousands of jobs.

    No-one else is stupid enough to trust Communist China, other than Harper, Redford and Enbridge. China has been hacking into other country's secret files. Other country's, really detest Communist China, as much as they despise Harper.

    Harper is a traitor, committing High Treason. He belongs in prison for life, for his betrayal and the selling out, of our once good and decent country, to a Communist country.


  11. You're lucky you don't live in Coldstream in the North Okanagan.

    For a simple building permit for a two-car garage adjacent to her 80-year old home, a woman was last year “extorted” by the District of Coldstream's planning/building permit process TO ENTIRELY FUND A $300,000 BIKE PATH along her considerable roadfrontage.

    Naturally she said “no thanks”, and is getting the hell out of Dodge.

    Bureaucrats–prompted by their socialist mayors and councils, wish-list in hand–are increasingly being pushed to nail taxpayers for off-site works (none of which you can get a loan for because you don't own the land).

    It's bloody criminal!


  12. Renos used to be simple.

    Carpenters and plumbers and electricians needed work.
    Parts/lumber/supplies were reasonably priced and were of a quality that would last an entire generation.
    Fees were modest and you could draw a plan on a napkin.
    Bureaucrats/officials actually helped you achieve your goal with good advice.

    Now the best-laid plans of mice and men need a 300 per cent contingency in the budget.


  13. I live in Delta

    My house is on a hill in Delta.

    Before I do anything, I need to drill core to see if the hill is stable (house has been on this hill for 50 years) Cost: $25K

    If the reno is to disturb the drywall, I must remove all drywall because there is asbestos in the drywall. Cost $20K

    If the drywall is removed, I must replace the heating ducts because the tape contains asbestos. Cost $10K

    I must pay a tree service and planting fee to Delta. Cost $10K

    I must have an Engineer sign off on the plans to ensure the hill will not slip due to the load of the reno. Cost for liabilities, Engineer, and insurance, up to $50K

    This before the architect, or any direct cost for the reno. I must ante up over $100K before any hard work is done on the reno, which means I will not do any renovations at all.


  14. “you could draw a plan on a napkin” That's what I used to do business with my clients before I retired…

    Now I live in Fernie where the young little brats that do what I used to do as a carpenter/builder get away with…

    Well they only work when they want to and they charge exorbitant rates and the city…



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