5 Renovation Resolutions for Your Home This Year

(BPT) – It’s no secret that springtime is synonymous with spruce-ups. But, as is often the case, homeowners hone in on prettying-up patios and backyards with fresh florals and new outdoor furniture, leaving the inside of the home as “same old, same old.” This spring, resolve to reinvent your home from the inside out with stylish décor sure to add the wow-factor it deserves.

The five refreshing projects below will to help create a beautiful setting worthy of the new season — and beyond.

Address those kitchen cabinets. The cabinets are a major focal point in a kitchen, and even the smallest changes can have a major impact on its look and feel. Start with a subtle, functional update by replacing old hardware with modern metal accents. And, for a slightly bolder change, consider a fresh coat of paint to infuse a new design persona throughout the space.

Set the perfect scene. Take advantage of the spring weather and longer days with perfect natural lighting. Hunter Douglas’ PowerView Motorization is a sophisticated wireless operating system that allows homeowners to program their shades to automatically adjust throughout the day to make the most of natural light as it changes. Start by creating scenes — different combinations of shade positions in one room or throughout the house — to achieve perfect room lighting, window privacy and energy-efficiency. Then, schedule the scenes to activate at the times you choose, like opening to greet each morning’s sunrise, closing mid-day to deflect the heat of the afternoon sun, and closing each night to protect your privacy. PowerView motorized shades also seamlessly integrates with other sophisticated whole-home automation systems to add another level of convenience to everyday living and greater connectivity to your smart home.

Add comfort and style to hardwood floors. Hardwood floors are a popular style for any home, and adding comfort to the chic–but sometimes unforgiving–look is easy with the right accessories. Place comfortable, eye-catching rugs in key areas throughout the home, including the foyer or beneath the kitchen and dining room tables. These subtle accents will create a striking contrast, soften acoustics and add stylish comfort for your feet.

Keep cool as the weather warms. Window treatments can serve as great accessory or accent, and the right window dressings will provide beauty and function in one. With Duette Architella honeycomb shades from Hunter Douglas, sophisticated fabric choices add a modern touch to any space, while its unique cell-within-a-cell design can significantly reduce the amount of solar heat transferred through windows to keep you cooler as the summer heat kicks in. This smart upgrade lends an elegant touch to kick off air conditioning season.

Build the bathroom of your dreams. The bathroom is supposed to be an oasis, and if it’s lacking in spa-like comforts, now is the perfect time to whip it into shape. Enjoy a luxurious massage without stepping out of the house by swapping out outdated shower heads with high-pressured and multi-setting ones that transform water into soft mists, relaxing pulses, or powerful cascade indoors.

With these easy décor updates, making your home more comfortable and stylish is a bright idea sure to last all season and through the year. To learn more about PowerView Motorization and Duette Architella honeycomb shades, visit www.hunterdouglas.com.

When you or someone you know needs the services of a quality residential home inspection company in Miami FL, we would truly appreciate you thinking of us. You can schedule right from our website or call our office at (786) 477-5975.

5 Green Home Improvements That Can Help Sell Your Home for More

(BPT) – Demand remains high for energy-efficient, eco-friendly home features, according to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders. In fact, the majority of builders now put energy-efficient windows, heating and cooling systems, thermostats and appliances in their construction, the survey says. If you’re selling your home and hope to compete with new construction — as well as set your house apart from other resales — making green improvements could significantly pay off.

“Updating your home with green features can attract more buyers and even increase your home’s sale price,” says Geoff Lewis, president of RE/MAX, LLC. “Buyers are not only looking for cosmetic upgrades, they also want improvements that will help save them money for as long as they live in the home.”

Some green projects you can easily accomplish yourself, like replacing less efficient light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs or LEDs throughout the house, or installing a programmable thermostat. Other improvements may require professional expertise but can result in even bigger payoffs.

Here are five popular green home improvements that could help boost your home’s resale value, and save you money until you’re ready to sell:

* Windows: Replacing older windows with ENERGY STAR-rated high-efficiency windows could lower your annual energy bill as much as 12 percent, according to the United States Department of Energy. What’s more, ENERGY STAR-rated windows may qualify for a tax credit of 10 percent off the cost of the windows.

* Insulation: Most homes in the U.S. don’t have enough insulation, according to energystar.gov. Adding insulation and sealing air leaks could reduce annual energy bills by 10 percent. At the time of resale, adding fiberglass insulation in the attic could recoup 107 percent of the cost, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report.

*Front door: It’s a key part of your home’s curb appeal and the last exterior feature homebuyers see before entering your house. However, a front door needs to do more than look good. Replacing an older, wooden door with an energy-efficient, secure steel door recoups more than 90 percent of its cost when you sell your home, according to the Cost vs. Value report.

*Landscaping: With warm weather approaching, it’s a great time to think about landscaping that has green value as well as cosmetic appeal. Adding trees in addition to flowers can provide shade that will help keep the home’s interior cooler in summer months. In fact, according to the National Association of Landscape professionals, planting five shade trees can return up to 100 percent of the project cost when you sell your home.

*Water: Most water heaters last about 10 years, so if your home is older, a new water heater could be a big selling point. A tankless water heater could be even more appealing; because they only heat water when it’s needed, rather than consume energy to hold gallons of water at a set temperature for hours, tankless water heaters use far less energy. ENERGY STAR says a tankless water heater could save you up to $1,800 over its usable life — which is twice as long as the lifespan of traditional tank water heaters.

When you’re thinking of selling your home, you’ll probably invest a lot of time and energy into staging. Consider saving some additional budget for energy-efficient home improvements that may help boost your home’s value. A knowledgeable real estate agent can advise you on which green home improvements can get you the biggest return on investment. Visit www.remax.com to find a real estate agent near you.

When you or someone you know needs the services of a quality residential home inspection company in Miami FL, we would truly appreciate you thinking of us. You can schedule right from our website or call our office (786) 477-5975.

Instilling Garage Logic in Your Kids

It’s a long-standing tradition performed at the workbench of American garages — passing garage logic to the next generation. From hammering that first nail to changing a car’s oil, the garage is a living laboratory where parents teach their kids life lessons, self-reliance and problem-solving skills. It can even be an incubator where the seeds of a future profession grow.

Today, instilling that larger vision requires a break from the small screen. Too often, smartphones and video games dominate the attention of kids, replacing time once craved from their parents. In 2016, National Public Radio reported preteens spend more than four hours per day in front of their screens, and teens spend seven, not including the time spent using these devices for or in school.

Replacing the tablet with a tool in kids’ hands requires parents to be creative and focused. Here are some easy ways to start and, in the process, create a sense of accomplishment and ownership kids won’t forget when it is their time to pay it forward.

Give a garage tool tour

Start with a tour of your tool collection, demonstrating the role each one plays. Chances are you acquired your tools over a lifetime or more, elevating their significance beyond the specific task for which they were initially forged. Some may even carry a special story — the $3 putty knife that saved a $200 damage deposit in your first apartment, or the pipe wrench that stopped a basement flood in your childhood home. Share the stories, and the glory.

Contract the kids for your next project

Projects with a variety of tasks provide opportunities for all skill levels to get involved. Just one example is maintaining a wood deck or fence. Youngsters can assist with sanding and painting, while teenagers can learn to clean fences with a Powerhorse Pressure Washer from Northern Tool + Equipment. Keep it interesting by introducing more sophisticated tools as they get older.

Keep it clean and safe

Help your children understand the importance of keeping tools and workspaces safe, clean and well maintained. Everything starts with protective gear — safety glasses, earphones, masks and gloves — appropriate for different jobs. Teach them the value of caring for your investments. Preventative maintenance, such as changing oil and checking filters, keeps equipment working better and longer, which ultimately saves money. When the project is done, stress the importance of returning everything to its place for an organized and safe shop.

Have fun

Most of all, make your garage a place kids want to be. Personalize your garage with conversation pieces, memorabilia from your local sports teams or other things that may not be welcomed inside the house. The ultimate goal is keeping kids interested and wanting to learn more ways to be helpful around the house. Assume the role of mentor, not a drill sergeant. Teach them what they need to know and how to succeed. Finally, when a job is done, make a point to celebrate with refreshments and sincere thanks. This fulfillment will keep them motivated and instill invaluable garage logic that will forever be part of their character.

When you or someone you know needs the services of a quality home inspection company, we would truly appreciate you thinking of us. You can schedule right from our website or call our office (786) 477-5975.

Things You Should Know About Miami Home Inspectors

Getting a home inspector to check on a house on sale can be a very crucial point in sealing a deal. If you are a seller, getting a home inspector could be very beneficial for you. This would help you understand what needs to be improved or repaired and at the same time, would help your realtors realize the true value of your home.

If you are a prospective buyer or seller and planning to get a home inspector, then there are things that you would have to consider or know before proceeding with any inspections like like the things you can do to help out the home inspector.

About Home Inspectors

You would have to consider that most home inspectors would work for the seller. So, if you are a buyer, you would have to get a home inspector that would be representing you. But you would have to be cautious on choosing the home inspector for you, in some states like the Massachusetts, a home inspector doing jobs mainly for sellers are not allowed by law to recommend home inspectors to buyers.

Aside from that, you would also have to know that is some states like Florida; their home inspectors are totally unregulated. So if you are looking for home inspectors and you are in unregulated states, do not stick to least expensive inspection services. Least expensive home inspectors do not necessarily offer the best services. It is for the best to check references and client history.

Another tip in knowing if your home inspector is good and qualified, you can check the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) organization. They have the highest quality standards and professionalism; members have to undergo entrance exam and psychometric evaluation before being admitted. This could help you narrow down your choices for home inspectors.

Most of the realtors would also recommend home inspectors; you would also have to cautious about that too. There are some realtors that would give specific home inspectors that they use most often or has the lowest price. You would have to be careful about them; you can check the recommended particular inspectors. But professional and good realtors would often recommend home inspectors from where you can choose the most appropriate for you.

Again, as a reminder, you should not rely heavily on prices when choosing home inspectors. You would have to check about the background, weaknesses and strengths of your choices.

About Home Inspections

Home inspectors would make inside and outside inspections. Inspectors would be checking different utility systems and even the outside premise of you home. Septic inspections are not usually included in inspection services. But again, there are some states where septic inspections are required to be part of home inspection.

You would have at least a basic knowledge about what inspections should be part of the evaluation of home inspectors. You do not want to be taken advantage of. Missing important parts of inspection can be very crucial. These missed inspections could be the one that needs major repair and have an impact on the sale of the house.

Some states would also require inspections to include termite inspection. Aside from that, be aware that there could be a need for pool or spa inspection. But this could be available for an additional fee. Aside from that there can also be a need for wind and mold inspections.

After finishing the inspection, it is important to get a report on the findings and conclusion of the inspection. The conclusion would give you a basic idea on what repairs should be done and alternative methods that should be used to resolve unsafe and deteriorating conditions. Make sure that a licensed professional engineer’s P.E. seal is provided on the inspector’s report.

This would validate the report made by the home inspector.

 

Home Inspectors Miami Provides A Live Testimonial

atlantic building inspectionYour Premier Miami Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

Atlantic Building Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Miami area, we can help!

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Carlos Gonzalez. Carlos prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

Call (786) 477-5975 Today or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

 

Inspecting For Defects In Older Buildings With Miami Home Inspectors

While you can’t predict the lurking dangers in an unfamiliar home, its age offers clues about what you can expect to encounter. Older homes, especially those that have remained in the same hands for much (or all) of their lifetime, are often plagued by a common set of defects that potential home buyers may want to learn about.

Some of the more prevalent issues of older homes are as follows:

Lead

Is a toxic metal that was once commonly used in the manufacture of household paint and plumbing fixtures, and as an additive to gasoline. While it has long been prohibited in new construction, lead-based paint and plumbing that weren’t removed may present a significant health hazard. Homes constructed prior to 1978 may contain lead paint, which can be ingested by small children or contaminate surrounding soil and vegetable gardens. It is easily identifiable by its alligator-like flaking pattern. Lead pipes, too, were used in homes up until the late 1940s, and they may allow lead to leach into drinking water. They can be identified by their dull gray color and the ease by which they can be scratched by keys or coins.

Asbestos Insulation

Asbestos insulation can increase the chances of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma, was used in homes between 1930 and 1950. Asbestos insulation should be left undisturbed until it can be removed by a qualified professional, as its fibers can be inhaled when they are airborne, creating a significant health hazard.
Older homes were not constructed to meet modern energy efficiency requirements. They may suffer thermal losses from single-pane windows, insufficient or compressed insulation, leaking ductwork, and inefficient heaters and other appliances. It should be noted, however, that older homes better capitalize on natural sources of lighting, heating and ventilation through the use of design features such as exterior shutters, shade trees, and thick, heat-retaining masonry walls.

Buried Oil Tanks

Buried oil tanks were often abandoned and forgotten after homes switched to newer fuel sources. Today, these tanks pose a safety hazard to homeowners and their neighbors, as their contents may leak into surrounding soil. Disposal guidelines vary and may call for removal of the tank or filling it with sand or gravel. Soil testing may be required to investigate whether an abandoned fuel tank has leaked underground.

Obsolete Electrical Components

Obsolete electrical components pose a fire and safety hazard, such as:

  • Aluminum Wiring –  From about 1965 to 1973, single-strand aluminum wiring was sometimes used in place of copper branch-circuit wiring in wells present a fall hazard residential electrical systems due to the escalating price of copper. After a decade of use by homeowners and electricians, weaknesses were discovered in the metal, which led to its disuse as a branch wiring material. Although properly maintained aluminum wiring is acceptable, aluminum will generally become defective faster than copper due to certain qualities inherent in the metal. It can be identified by its color or the labels “CO/ALR,” “aluminum” and “AL”.
  • Knob-And-Tube (K&T) wiring –  This was an early standardized method of electrical wiring in buildings from about 1880 to the 1940s. While codes do not require its removal, K&T wiring often suffers from unsafe modifications, old age, overheating, and lack of a ground wire. It can be identified by its characteristic porcelain insulating tubes;
  • A Lack Of Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) –  Homes built before the 1970s may not have been equipped with GFCI protection, which guards against overloads, short circuits and ground faults.
  • A Lack Of Grounded Receptacles – These provide a safe path to ground for stray electrical current. Most major appliances, such as stoves, refrigerators and computers, have three-prong plugs and require three-slot or grounded receptacles. Homes in the U.S. built before 1962 were not constructed with three-slot receptacles.

Wells, Cesspools And Septic Tanks

Wells, cesspools and septic tanks were commonly used before homes and buildings were connected to public sewer and water systems. If they were abandoned and not removed, these elements pose hazards related to their deterioration and collapse.

Radon

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that has been identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It usually enters the home through cracks in the foundation, a common problem found in vintage construction. Radon cannot be seen, smelled or tasted, so concerned homeowners should consult with their home inspector about radon testing during their next scheduled inspection.

 

 

Asbestos In The Home

atlantic building inspectionYour Premier Miami Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

Atlantic Building Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate! We are committed to providing you with outstanding service. We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Miami area, we can help!

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Carlos Gonzalez. Carlos prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

Call (786) 477-5975 Today or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

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