4 Tips for Protecting Your Home This Season and Beyond

Winter is in full swing and extremely cold temperatures continue to grip much of the U.S.; which mean hats, gloves, and high home maintenance bills could be in your future. According to recent data from the Insurance Information Institute, in 2016 severe winter weather cost homeowners more than $1.7 billion in property damages. While the seasonal shift can be a challenge for homeowners, taking these four steps today could ease home maintenance burdens this season and all year-round.

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Creating a Dream Home with Cypress

Transforming the unremarkable into the extraordinary need not be an impossible task. More and more homeowners are finding that lavish looks are both attainable and affordable. Their imaginative design professionals are making it happen, using cypress to create their clients’ dream homes.

“Wood is a classic and timeless building material,” says Stephen Logue of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association. “And many people are discovering that the inherent beauty of cypress, a species was so often chosen for outdoor applications, adds a luxurious look to indoor living spaces, for anything from walls and ceilings, to exposed beams and so much more.”

Transforming the ordinary

When a coat of paint just won’t do, think paneling. For Christopher Rose, an architect based in Johns Island, South Carolina, solid wood paneling provides a sense of warmth and richness to a room. But not just any wood.

“I particularly like working with cypress,” says Rose. “It has a wonderful grain pattern that offers a relaxed, yet elegant look. Vertical beadboard or tongue-and-groove patterns are popular options that add perceived height to a room. And more recently, horizontal shiplap paneling and accent walls have been requested by many clients.”

Reaching new heights

Looking to add dimension and visual interest to otherwise flat, dull ceilings? Architect Geoff Chick of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, says it’s not enough to simply add crown molding. Too basic!

“Owners today are looking to celebrate their ceilings with more creative design solutions and materials,” Chick says. “In large rooms where I have tall ceilings to work with, I typically use a coffered ceiling. Filling in the coffers with wood helps to warm up a room and add another layer of detail. Cypress with a square groove is my favorite wood to use for ceiling treatments. I just love how it looks, especially when combined with cypress beams.”

Adding the finishing touch

When selecting a finish for his interior cypress woodwork, Chick prefers stains. “It’s a shame to cover cypress with paint,” Chick says. “To help bring out its grain pattern, I like finishing it with a matte stain or pickled finish. Some rooms require a lighter finish than others, and it can be a challenge to coordinate with flooring. But from my experience with cypress, it’s all worth it when it comes together.”

And remember, much like wood cabinets and floors, solid cypress paneling and ceilings can be refinished. If you’re envisioning a fresh look down the road, swap neutral tones for bold colors, or sand the wood and apply a transparent stain to let cypress’s natural beauty speak for itself.

Browse the Photo Gallery at www.CypressInfo.org and see how cypress transforms the unremarkable to the extraordinary. It’s time to make your dream home a reality.

For home buyers, sellers or if you are just looking for ideas to spruce up your home, contact our expert home inspectors to learn more.

2018 Remodeling Trends That Boost Your Home’s Value

A strong housing market is giving homeowners the confidence to invest in remodeling. In fact, homeowner spending on improvements and repairs will approach $340 billion in 2018, an increase of 7.5 percent from estimated 2017 spending, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

Remodeling can add value to your home while also making it more livable, but not all remodeling projects are created equal. While the choice to remodel is individual, there are many studies that show some projects return more on your investment than others. Fortunately, some of 2018’s leading remodeling trends also have great ROI.

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That ’70s Home: 5 Trends Making A Comeback Today

Disco may be dead, but the spirit of the 1970s is not. In homes all across the country, people are adding their own splash of ‘70s style in updated, modern ways.

Here are five current top decorating trends that have an unmistakable ‘70s flair.

More macramé, please:

From dip dyed wall hangings to simple plant hangers, macramé is coming back in a big way. Whether you purchase these items already made or you enroll in a class to make them yourself, macramé offers an easy way to add texture and an artistic touch to your home.

Groovy colors:

The blazing orange walls of the ‘70s may not be back anytime soon, but homeowners are again using more dynamic colors to define the insides of their home. In fact, Sherwin-Williams has named a bold, jewel-toned blue-green color, Oceanside SW 6496, as its 2018 color of the year. “This trendy color is perfect for a ‘70s palette,” said Sue Wadden, director of color marketing at Sherwin-Williams. “The complex collision of deep blue and green in this color is somewhat grounding for more vibrant colors in a ‘70s-inspired palette. You can use large doses of it on the walls and then add brighter pops of color with orange or green a la Sherwin-Williams Amber Wave SW 6657 or Avocado SW 2861 on throw pillows and blankets.”

A shagadelic rug:

Yes, shag is more than an Austin Powers euphemism. It’s also a resurgent design trend. Homeowners frequently purchase these cozy rugs for children’s areas like nurseries and playrooms. Whether sheepskin or conventional textiles, a shag rug is something you’ll go out of your way to walk across.

Wicker man … and furniture:

A staple in sun porches for generations, wicker furniture is making a big comeback this year, from headboards and chairs to mirror frames. Available in a wide array of colors and shades, wicker can be used to create the perfect centerpiece in your bedroom, living room or, yes, even your porch.

Green living … literally:

In the 1970s, people believed that there was no such thing as too many plants in their home. This affection for indoor greenery is back, and homeowners have revitalized confidence in their green thumbs. From large potted plants in the corner to hanging basket plants, green living is in and people are loving the opportunity to create an urban oasis of their own.

Bring a little ‘70s to your home today

From fresh colors and plants to wicker and wool, the ‘70s are back this year, and this modernized trend is defining homes and new home building alike across the country. Now is the time to experiment, so swing down to your local paint or furniture store and find the perfect ‘70s accent that fits your style.

– (BPT)

 

Infuse Life Into The Bath For A Spa-like Oasis

Today, more than ever, homeowners gravitate toward design elements that transform the bath into a spa-like oasis. Designers look to incorporate pieces inspired by the natural world to bring renewed energy into the room and create a soothing environment. From fixtures inspired by booming waterfalls, to neutral color schemes and natural light, nature infuses life back into luxury bath design for a serene sense of calm.

Neutral calm

Light colors such as cool grays and muted blues evoke tranquility and peacefulness. Neutral colors for walls and fabrics create a soothing aesthetic that fosters relaxation in the space. To create visual interest within a neutral palette, incorporate varying shades of earth tones to serve as complementary accents throughout the room — from decorative rugs and plush towels to cabinetry and tiling.

Nature’s inspiration

Elements inspired by nature work together to produce a sense of relaxation in the home’s oasis. Intuitive in design, the Vettis Bath Collection by Brizo combines solid proportions and angular architecture with an optional four-sided open chamber that mimics the sensory experience of a waterfall. Inspired by the strength found in nature, the defined edges of the spout create a balanced aesthetic, while subtle facets offer visual depth. Paired with natural stone accents, this collection evokes elements of natural inspiration.

Stone serenity

A freestanding stone tub makes a luxurious statement to enhance the spa atmosphere. Sleek, oval architectures provide an organic contemporary touch, while rectangular basins deliver a strong geometric focal point. Take the spa-like experience even further and incorporate the use of essential oils. Lavender and chamomile reduce stress and encourage sleep, while peppermint and lemon oils increase focus and mental alertness in the morning. From modern to transitional aesthetics, a freestanding, natural stone tub paired with the sensory infusion of essential oils creates the perfect at-home getaway.

Living accents

Natural lighting and live plants blur the line between the great outdoors and the enclosed space. Large floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights serve as eye-catching accents while also naturally illuminating the room. Hanging succulents and potted bamboo plants are additional decor options to bring nature indoors without sacrificing clean, simple design.

For more helpful home improvement and home safety tips, check out Atlantic Building Inspections blog entries.

– (BPT)

 

New Year’s Resolution To Keep: A More Eco-Friendly Home

 

happy family at home - home inspection miamiHelpful Information From Atlantic Building Inspections

Nearly 42 percent of all New Year’s resolutions are broken by February, according to Statisticbrain. It’s easy to understand why — resolutions are difficult to keep all year long. Instead of risking disappointment in 2018, why not make a resolution that takes short-term effort but yields long-term benefits?

This year, resolve to make your home more environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

“The upgrades needed to make a house eco-friendlier can be accomplished in a relatively short amount of time and for a reasonable investment,” says Chris Garcia, an energy efficiency expert with Champion(R). “Instead of struggling to stick to a resolution month after month, resolving to reduce your home’s environmental impact is quickly achievable and satisfying. Plus, energy-efficient upgrades can help lower utility bills, and saving money is a great way to start the year!”

Garcia points to three areas of focus to help you keep your resolution to make your home better for the environment — and your wallet — this coming year: [Read more…]

How To Design A Quiet Home Office

 

organized home office - home inspection miamiAn Article Courtesy of Atlantic Building Inspections

In today’s increasingly digital world, it’s no surprise that more employees are opting to work from home. While there may be a shift of physical locations — from the office building to the home — productivity is still paramount, making the need for quiet home workspaces are more important than ever.

“As urbanization continues, builders and developers are focused on optimizing available land, which results in more homes, apartments, and condos built near highways and airports,” says Mark Montgomery, vice president of marketing for leading window manufacturer Ply Gem Windows. “The convergence of telecommuting and higher noise levels means there’s a growing need to enhance homeowner comfort with noise reduction technology.”

If your workspace needs a sound makeover, consider the following tips. [Read more…]

The 5-Point Outdoor Winterization Checklist

 

wood deck - home inspection miamiBrought to you by Atlantic Building Inspections

As temperatures drop, you’re reminded that Old Man Winter will soon rear his ugly head. Before the first flurries fly, it’s important to take some winterization steps to ensure your home is ready for whatever the season brings.

This five-point checklist will help safeguard your home against winter’s woes for another year. [Read more…]

7 Projects To Help Your Home Weather The Winter

man sealing a window - home inspection miamiHelpful Information from Atlantic Building Inspections

If chilly temperatures make you want to snuggle under a blanket in front of a roaring fire, just think about your poor water pipes that can’t escape the cold. You can’t wrap your home in a warm, protective blanket when winter arrives, but a few winterization steps can help ensure your home weathers the winter safely and efficiently.

“Winterizing is definitely an important way to protect a home from the ravages of snow, ice, and harsh temperatures, but it’s also an opportunity to boost a home’s energy efficiency,” says Chris Williams, merchandising director at Lowe’s. “Some of the easiest and most effective winterization projects can also contribute to energy savings throughout the year.”

Here are Seven Projects to Improve Energy Efficiency and Prepare your Home for Winter

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Roof Repair: Mind The Gaps, Banish The Squirrels

house roof - home inspection miamiAn Article Courtesy of Atlantic Building Inspections

Cold can aggravate a roof issue and quickly turn minor defects into costly repair bills; in fact, the latest “Cost vs. Value” report from Remodeling Magazine estimates the average roofing replacement costs over $20,000.

So, whether you’ve already noticed signs of wear on your roof or just want more “overhead” peace of mind, pay special attention to two seemingly small aspects of the roof that homeowners often overlook:

Gaps: Seal It, Patch It:

Be sure to check for any gaps around gutters, skylights and roofing vents then utilize the correct caulking, patching, and sealants. Sealing these areas can keep out moisture and reduce heating costs – and many sealants are specially designed to adhere directly to exterior surfaces. Even the tiniest cracks and gaps can allow moisture to enter, not to mention rodents, squirrels, and other unwelcome varmints.

Pipes: Don’t Leave a Welcome Mat for Squirrels:

Roof venting pipes are another area to closely inspect. One of the more common roof problems involves cracked rooftop venting pipes made with cheap lead tops as they corrode over time. To make matters worse, squirrels and other critters are known to relentlessly chew their way into a home via these thin pipe flashings as the lead entices these unwelcome varmints to gnaw at them, thus providing interior access for damaging rain, snow and more pests once whittled away.

“Squirrel infestation is a very big problem throughout many areas of the United States, especially older homes,” explains Amanda Williams, marketing manager at Quarrix. “This is exactly why we developed a durable, lead-free and easy-to-install vent pipe flashing called Pipe Boot that simply slides over the existing vent, nails into place, and then twists securely to form a weather-tight seal.” With Pipe Boot, no specialty installation tools are needed as the telescoping sleeve allows for varying pipe sizes and can withstand frigid winter temperatures via a patented design.

Enlist the Pros Quickly When There’s Trouble:

Waiting too long to call in a certified professional can lead to bigger issues. For example, squirrels quickly reproduce and can potentially gnaw on electrical wiring or crawl into difficult-to-reach wall spaces, making extraction a nightmare. It’s a wise move to seek out a reputable roofing specialist, especially when dealing with roof damage from weather or critters, or both.

The roof is no place to cut corners, and no matter the season, even seemingly minor roofing issues can put your home and valuables at risk. For a thorough seasonal roof maintenance checklist, visit: Quarrix.com/Checklist or call 800-438-2920. – (BPT)

Roof Repair Tips

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