After looking at houses for weeks you finally found just the right one for you and your family. How excited you must be? One of the most important first steps that you will have to take is that of the home inspection.
Here’s a quick tip to keep in mind to help you navigate the process:
Do your own “pre-inspection” -
There is so much to be learned by just looking at a house in detail. Doing a visual pre-inspection yourself will give you a better understanding of the home condition. You can identify any issues that you won’t want to live with or repair. Be sure to go through each room and look at every element and detail. The walls, ceilings, fixtures, molding, doors, windows, and cosmetic details. Look for signs of water damage like stains and discoloration.
Look at the condition of the toilets sinks and showers. Make sure that you take a walk outside of the house with an eagle eye as well. Look for sagging, cracking, damaged gutters, and peeling paint. See how well the landscape, fences, other outside areas have been maintained. Be sure to examine the garage too.
Applying these few tips will help you to feel good about your home purchase and illuminate any additional stress or anxiety that might occur. Make the home buying process enjoyable by applying the suggestions.
Bathroom Design Trends
Homeowners wisely keep up with the latest trends in bathroom design. Whether the bathroom is big or small knowing and incorporating the latest trends in bathroom design is essential. This space is very important to buyers and should be equally important to homeowners. This applied knowledge can help to increase the value of your home.
Some of the trends for 2020 would include the following. See if there is anything you can incorporate in your bathroom.
A timeless element that is a definite trend right now is freestanding bathtubs and sinks. Who doesn’t love a classic clawfoot tub? These are beautiful statement pieces that will stand the test of time.
Replace dry and drab colors with bright and Bold colors. Cold drab colors are out and bold bright colors are in. You don’t have to replace the sink or cabinets. Colorful towels, shower curtains, and other accessories can add color. Bright orange, turquoise, and yellow are beautiful and bold.
Matte Fixtures are popping up everywhere. Matte black is the most popular, it's bold, it's striking it's beautiful. Countertops, sinks, and bathtubs are all trending with a matte finish. Think about matte if you want to add a modern look.
A Chandelier in the bathroom you say? Chandeliers add a very bold statement to the bathroom and it's a growing bathroom trend in 2020. Chandeliers will give you light and illumination like no other fixture. Sunburst styles that look like glowing stars seem to be the most popular right now.
Compliment this special and personal space with a Music Sound System. Adding a few small speakers to this space can allow you to create a spa-like sanctuary. There are many types of affordable waterproof speakers available for this perfect space. Go ahead and add some music to the mix in the bathroom.
Exterior Door Materials
What type of door material do I want for my exterior front door? There are a number of styles and options to choose from. Solid glass, fiberglass, steel, or wood. Before you go shop for your next exterior door here are some different options to consider.
Glass - Glass offers you a wonderful view from inside the front door. It’s also a great way to add natural light inside of your space. On the flipside not only will you get lots of natural light but you might also get lots of unwanted peeks into the home from those in the neighborhood.
Fiberglass -Fiberglass offers a very durable solution with the look of wood. You can paint or stain these doors and make it very personalized. This type of door also has an insulated core which Graves added protection from outside elements. It’s an energy-efficient door and will be slightly more expensive than other options.
Wood- A very popular choice with many homeowners is wood. You can also personalize wood doors and add accents to it like decorative and stained glass. Wood will warp over time and so you might find yourself having to replace it more frequently than some of the other door materials
Steel - This is probably one of the safest materials for your front door. Steel doors are very durable and very strong. Most steel doors are insulated with foam. You can damage this type of door with surface dents. That is the biggest con with this type of door. As a result, this door is difficult to repair and will need to be replaced when damaged.
Water is vital to the existence of all living things. Catching and storing rainwater has been a survival tactic for thousands of years. What are some benefits of catching rainwater in our day and time? How can we catch rain and use it for our well being? Let’s consider the answers to those questions in this blog post.
Firstly, if you plan on a good amount of rainwater “catch” you’ll need something big enough to store it all in. A rainwater barrel, tarp, water well, or cistern are used by many. Then there are those beautiful rainwater chains and gardens that are becoming very popular. Have a system in place that will allow rain to be diverted from the roof of your home to the select place where you will be storing your rainwater for use.
There are of course a few things to be cautious of. It not likely to happen but disease can sometimes develop in this water if it is left untouched for a period of time. Additionally, as time goes on, the bacteria in the water will die and actually naturally help to purify the water for use. By using rainwater it can reduce the amount of water actually used by the water company. We all love cutting down on costs when possible.
Patience is needed when catching rainwater. It will take some time for the water to fill up your catcher. Hope for rain, although it’s difficult to predict the weather patterns. Just know that having a catcher in place will be a great investment for when the rain does come.
Would you consider your home clean even if it’s cluttered?
While all of us might define cluttered and clean differently, some are very bothered by clutter others not so much. Whatever the case, there are lots of good reasons to live clutter-free. Our everyday life is definitely affected by clutter, and if you are looking to sell your home it will make a big difference if the home is not only clean but clutter-free as well.
A major reason for living clutter-free is so that you can clean your home effectively. This is especially important in areas like the attic and garage where mice, bugs, and other pests can take up dwelling. When your home is clutter-free it’s much easier to find unwanted intruders and clean thoroughly.
Can a clean yet cluttered home make an impact when you are selling your home? Unfortunately, it will have a negative influence. A prospective buyer won’t see the full potential of the home and you may not get the interest you could have received. In addition, a home filled with clutter is not as appealing to the senses. In order to ensure an open house that is successful and draws lots of potential buyers, declutter the home first and then clean it well. You would never want to give the impression that you have no storage room or your home lacks the space for storing things properly.
When you live clutter-free your home can always be impressive to others at any time.
Many times you will see on a TV show like HGTV, or in a news article someone using infrared to find issues. But what do all those red and blue blobs mean exactly? And is thermal imagig something that is important to have done - especially during a home inspection?
The short answer to the second question is yes - thermal imaging is very important during a home inspection. Thermal imaging doesn't see through walls or give anyone x-ray vision. But what it does do is allow its user to see temperature differentials in surfaces.
And that is exactly what those blue and red blobs are on the camera. Blue is typically cooler areas and red is typically hotter (relative to the surface temperatures around it). That may not sound like much at first glance, but this allows a trained user to find electrical issues that can't be seen with the human eye. It makes leaks more apparent - because as the moisture evaporates, it creates "blue blobs" on the IR camera.
These are just a couple of examples of why thermal imaging is important - especially on a home inspection. It is far more complex than that though, so be sure to hire a qualified thermal imaging inspector.
Flashing - we likely hear people talk about it, know that it is important, and know that if we don't have it then we have an issue.
Flashing is typically a thin sheet/strip of water-resistant material (usually metal or plastic) that's installed at key areas of your home to keep water out. Examples of this are roof intersections, penetrations, valleys, and more. It is also used around things like windows and doors, where roofs meet your home's walls, in key areas around stucco, and along foundation walls. All of this so that it can do one essential job: direct water away from the home.
Flashing guides water away from the home in critical areas. Without proper flashing, our homes would be lost to the elements. Knowing this, when hiring a contractor to build or repair a home, be sure to ask about their flashing methods and what materials they will use. Also, be sure to ask your home inspector about the condition of your home's flashing. Because while not always seen, flashing is one of the big "Heros" of your home!
Staying fit and healthy is always on a lot of people’s minds but, having the time to do so can be challenging. Keeping gym equipment at home is a solution for many but, how can you make sure this area of the home does not become a safety concern? We mention this because there are, unfortunately, thousands of injuries reported each year relating to exercise equipment, and a good amount of these are involving children.
Safety tips to keep in mind
It can be so much more enjoyable to exercise while listening to music or watching tv but be cautious about having it so loud that you would not hear someone coming into the room. If it’s possible, position the equipment so that it’s clear to see if anyone enters the room.
Make sure that barbells are safely stored away when not in use and that they are not within reach of children.
Treadmills can cause all sorts of injuries if not used properly. They generally come with a key that attaches to whomever is using it so, be sure to use this safety feature as it will immediately switch the machine off the moment it detects a problem. Keep the safety cord away from a child’s reach and make sure that anyone who uses the equipment is aware of how it operates.
We are well aware of how challenging it is for a child to not go near things that look like so much fun to play with. When not in use, keep all gym equipment in its locked position and unplug it so that a child does not accidentally turn it on. If you are able, lock the room when you are not using it.
Whenever you work with power tools, it is very important that you use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). PPE is used as a collective term for devices that you wear to protect yourself from injury. This could be earplugs, safety glasses, gloves, boots or similar items.
So what do you need to think of when using these? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Many people talk about finding renewable energy sources these days. This could be something you are thinking about, especially if you are about to build your own home. There are a few options to choose from but one of the most common is solar energy. But, how can you know if it is a good choice for you? Some questions to ask yourself are: Does solar energy create any kind of environmental impact? Will it save me money? And, is it costly to install? Let’s briefly consider these points.
Solar panels are a very good option environmentally as they use the sun as their energy source, which means they are not depleting much needed energy sources on the earth. They do not create any noise pollution because they require no moving parts to operate. However, the manufacturing of solar paneling does have some impact environmentally, as does many other options.
Are solar panels expensive to run? While you will find the installation of solar panels to be expensive, the long-term savings will make up for it. Some people are even able to make money by selling the surplus energy they generate back to the power company. They can do this with the use of net metering.
Although we have only briefly covered these points, its clear to see that there are many advantages to using solar energy. This might not be the best option for everyone though, so take the time to research solar energy and whether this will work for you.
Mike McFadden, Certified Master Home Inspector in Orlando, FL