The Home Inspection: Cavemen, Home Inspectors, And The Way It’ll Always Be

In prehistoric times, when a family was considering a move to a different cave (Hey… who wants to stay in the same old cave their whole life?), they probably communicated with their cave-dwelling neighbors to get an opinion as to whether or not their new cave was up to par… whether or not their potentially new abode was in satisfactory condition… whether it was prone to leak… or to leave them out in the cold.

There were likely some fellow cavemen that had a bit more experience with the evaluation of caves than others. So, they were sought out to give their opinion even though that opinion might have been delivered through a series of gestures and grunts… since they didn’t have any hand-held PDA’s, touch-screen computers, or highly developed language to convey their thoughts and findings.

And, no doubt, there were various levels of professionalism among the acknowledged and preferred cave assessors that led the cave-dwelling masses to choose one assessor over another in their search for new shelter… some combination of combined experience and ability to effectively communicate (Arghghhh… Urgghh… Hyrpthmblomsit) that separated them from some other creature. It’s the same way today with modern Home Inspectors… although most can communicate in their native dialect and most use computers, some sans the touch-screen, of course. Some are good, some are not so good, and some are, well… pretty darned good.

While a fairly high percentage of most all modern Home Inspectors do a reasonable job of assessing the physical condition of a home, they can be generally divided into 5 categories or types:

  • The Nit-Wit Inspector – This is the inspector that advertises the cheapest prices (sometimes referred to a Cheap Charlie) and gives the least value to his clients. They speak as little as possible (perhaps out of necessity), deliver their poor hand-written reports in a week or so after being repeated prompting, and rarely engage in anything approaching a high degree of critical thought process beyond how to get home as quickly as possible. Often, they often have little knowledge or concern about the rules and standards that pertain to their field of work. The Nit-Wit inspector is sort of like the cockroach on the wedding cake… and is best avoided by everyone.
  • The Gloved Inspector – This is the inspector who, while perhaps technically competent, has no intention whatsoever of reporting on anything that might damage their chance of future client referrals. They perform the ole’ soft-shoe routine, dancing around any potentially troubling issues, and deliver their candy-coated findings in such a way as to offend nobody at the sometimes partially disguised expense of inferiority. This inspector should be avoided almost as much as the Nit-Wit inspector
  • The Alarmist Inspector – This is the inspector who just can’t seem to control themselves when it comes to describing issues. Their description is usually accompanied with flailing arms, a red-faced demeanor along with the occasional emotional fit, and a general tendency to scare the ever-lovin’ bejeebers out of everyone within a three block radius including the home-buyer, the real estate agents, the home-seller, and the guy standing on the corner down the street. Everything’s a disaster just waiting to happen and they’re really eager to be credited for saving someone from certain and impending doom. Be careful with this type of inspector because they may burst into flames at any time
  • The Professorial Inspector – This is the inspector who is technically competent, is probably a reasonably effective communicator, and knows what they are supposed to do… but insists on relating, to anyone within earshot, everything they know about everything they’ve ever had the occasion to learn about anything. Sometimes, too much information is, well, too much information. Form your own opinion about this inspector… although, you may actually end up getting a pretty thorough Home Inspection
  • The Professional Inspector – Not to be confused with the Professorial Inspector above, this is the inspector that will provide the very best value to their clients even if their clients have to a pay a bit more to get that value. They’ll fully and calmly explain what they are going to do, how they are going to do it, why they’re going to do it a particular way, do it, and then explain what it is that they have done. They’ll welcome client questions and participation, and they’ll understand that the amount of time it takes to inspect the home is time for which the client is providing payment and not the other way around. They won’t participate in alarmist reporting practices. They won’t try to impart a lot of information that is not pertinent to the Home Inspection and the home being evaluated. They’ll be courteous to all those present and they’ll be fair to the home; they won’t inspect or report upon a 100 year old house as if it were somehow expected to be brand new, and they’ll possess a thorough knowledge and understanding of their profession. They’ll be an active member of a national Home Inspectors organization such as the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).They’ll accurately convey the findings of their inspection, in accordance with their applicable Standards of Practice, in an even-keeled and informational manner while making reasonable and proper recommendations based upon their observations. And, they’ll convey their findings in a good, readily understandable Home Inspection report

Some things never change and so it likely goes with Home Inspectors. Home Inspectors, as with any other types of professional service providers now or as it likely was in the day of the caveman, will vary widely insofar as their knowledge, level of education, communications skills, inspection methodologies, and the delivery/explanation of their findings are concerned; it’s always been that way and it’ll likely always be that way.

For the very best Home Inspection experience, actively seek out a Home Inspector with the demeanor, education, experience, and professionalism that will provide you with the highest level of comfort and confidence.

Urghh… Arguff… Hyrpthmblombsit!

Log Cabins – The Excitement Option For Any Home Owner In The Present Time

Log cabins are always considered as a better option over modern homes that are carved out of sheet rocks, which are much cheaper and less durable. Log cabins have the power to offer you with a sensation that is reassuring that you can use them for endless times. The fact is that some of them can actually be so strong that no force of nature can easily destroy them. The type of wood that is used to make the cabin is very strong and durable.

Log cabins also have the power to connect you to your ancestors just by the looks, as they resemble very much to the traditional types of wooden homes used by them. So for present time home owners, log cabins can be considered as one of the best pieces of estates that can simply be undeniable and yet has the power to make a statement.

The Go-Green Concepts

There a many people who feel or believe that log cabins are not very much eco friendly in nature. There certainly are different reasons for that misconception, and one of them is that the cabins are made up of wooden logs. The fact is that log cabins use special types of split wooden logs that are long lasting and need not be replaced very often. Apart from this being natural they are also considered as better option over plaster for your house. Presently many architects consider them as better construction tools.

When speaking of green concept, chemicals that are used for treating these logs can pose a threat to the environment. But you forget that today we are having sealants and chemicals that are eco friendly and cause less harm to the environment. This also makes the log cabins more eco friendly as compared to modern home plastering materials.

The natural Design

Log cabins are always given with very distinct design and finish. They appear to be very much natural and at the same time seeing them gives you a feel of being connected to the nature. You just need a little imagination to enjoy being much closer to the nature, when sipping your morning coffee inside the log cabin. The design itself offers the special looks to the cabin that is a combination of environment and nature beauty. Apart from this, you also have the convenience to design your own layout depending on the size, amenities, shape and number of rooms.

Unaffected by weather or time

It’s quiet natural that you come across a log cabin that is as old as hundred years or more! As the quality of wood used to construct these cabins is very good and durable, so you can always ensure that these cabins are much more durable and ever lasting as compared to plastered rooms. They also demand less maintenance or replacement of logs. As they are sturdy and tough, so they are also weather resistant. This is also one of the reasons why they are more economical as they are considered as one time investment. Even if you need to replace a single log it does not cost much.

Home Improvement Ideas for 2017

Whether you’re moving into a new home, renovating, or you just want to freshen your decoration up, putting your own stamp on your home is important for most people. At the same time, you will probably be working to a specific budget, so it’s important to prioritise where the best places to spend your money will be. Your home can be the perfect canvas to express your personal style. This can be especially important if you’re just moving into a property and want to make your space homely quickly.

Before you consider doing anything drastic to a space, such as removing walls or ripping anything out, you should consider what simple changes you can make. Making small changes one at a time can be an excellent way to improve a space if you have limited time and without over spending. If you take some time to plan ahead what you want to achieve and the steps you will take to get there to avoid making last minute decisions that could cost you more in the long run. Sometimes if you’ve just moved into a property or your home is a bit older just giving the place a deep clean can make it feel more like home, and can often help you notice things that might need repairing or replacing that you hadn’t noticed before. You should ensure you use the features your property already has and build on them, especially if you have a period property where masking features could be costly and unnecessary; it’s usually a much easier task to build on existing characteristics of a building, and improving them, than it is to remove them.

Sometimes even just simply rearranging furniture can be an effective way to alter a space making it appear smaller or larger. You may even want to experiment with different layouts to find the best one to suit you. Also, replacing fitting and fixtures in rooms such as bathrooms or kitchens is typically a much cheaper way to make things newer. Things such as taps, plugs, cupboard doors or tiles, can usually be changed much more cheaply that replacing entire units.

Another really great way to make an inexpensive change to a room is by simply adding a coat of paint to tired looking surfaces, such as doors, skirting, or even furniture. A new layer of paint can quickly give you a much fresher look. You can even paint over wallpaper if it’s looking dirty or old fashioned. Freshly painted surfaces can make a significant difference to how a space feels. Small rooms can be made to feel bigger with a light and bright shade on the walls, and you can avoid a cool feel by choosing a bright shade in a warm tone such as terracotta or yellow. If you’re artistic or feeling brave, you can take painting to the next level by incorporating geometric shapes or murals on a surface, and there is a huge choice of paint effects you can try your hand at that will allow you to make a space your own. Also, consider a feature wall to give a room a different dynamic, a pale room with one wall that has a bright or deep colour on it can be effective, and for something more dramatic a plainly painted room with one wall that has decorative wallpaper can add a distinctive charm.

If your property has wooden floors you may want to consider exposing them to reduce costs. Adding tiles or carpets can be expensive, but natural wooden floorboards can usually be sanded by hand or with a belt sander, then you can paint or varnish them to your own taste. To maintain a comfortable feel under foot, you could choose to strategically place rugs and mats on the exposed boards rather than fully carpeting the area.

If you are working with a slightly larger budget and want to make a simple, but dramatic change to your home there are a lot of options available to you, depending on your priorities. One option is changing the doors in your property, and this can have practical as well as visual benefits. Internal doors are typically white or have a natural wood appearance with a stain or lacquered finish, but you don’t always have to follow tradition. Doors can be painted any colour you choose and can be used to highlight other features in your room or can even become a focal point for a room. If you want to have more light in your property choosing glazed doors for inside may be more expensive than a panelled alternative, but can make your rooms seem lighter and larger for many years to come. You also have options for wider doorways with a large range of options for room divider doors, including sliding, and folding doors, as well as doors with sidelight panels. Room dividers are the perfect way to make the most of open plan living as they still give you the option of having individual rooms when you want them as they can easily open or close a space up. Also, external doors, especially your front door, can have a massive effect on your kerb appeal, as well as being an important feature in a home in terms of insulation. Style, materials and features, such as glazing, are all considerations you should take when getting a new front door, first appearances are important, especially if you plan to sell the property in the near future. However you choose to change your doors, we’d always recommend you ensure you measure every opening as doors throughout your home may not all be the same size and get an expert to fit them. Poorly hung doors can fail quickly and can even cause damage to an existing frame or opening. You can also risk voiding any warranties if your doors are not fitted correctly, but you should expect good quality doors that are fitted correctly to give you many years of service.

For an even more impressive change, you might want to consider upgrading or replacing your staircase. Stairs are often overlooked, but they are also often a focal point of a property. You can buy individual stair parts which allow you to modify or improve your stairs, without making any structural changes. The range of different styles of stair parts is probably wider than you’d expect. You have choices of simple and decorative parts in various natural woods, for a more traditional look, or you can opt for stylish metal or glass parts that are excellent for a modern or contemporary home. If you want to replace an entire staircase there are design aids available online so you can design your own stairs and have them made to order in your choice of styles and materials, or discuss your ideas with a design team and create something really unique, like a curved or spiral staircase.

Whatever design ideas you have, 2017 might just be the year you achieve them.

How a Residential Locksmith Assists to Secure Your Home?

A residential locksmith exists in the industry for many decades providing different types of assistance. House owners require the help of these services at various critical stages. Over the past years, the services of home locksmiths have reached new heights with the development of the modern technology. Their services vary from duplication of the keys to programming sophisticated home security systems nowadays. In fact, without the help of a professional locksmith Expert, it will be practically impossible to assure the safety of your residence.

Mentioned below are some of the key services offered by locksmiths to assure the security of the houses.

Duplication of keys

Generally, key duplication is the most common and the basic service offered by locksmiths. Over the past decades, with the development of the technology, different types of locks are being introduced and the functionality of the keys has become complicated. However, a professional locksmith can duplicate any of these keys from basic ones to programmable keys.

Repairing locks

Or some other locks may get broken over the time and therefore a huge demand has arisen in the industry for lock repair works. Again modern home door locks have become exceptionally sophisticated; some of which even controlled over mobile apps. Therefore, it has become a prerequisite for modern locksmiths to know about these automated and programmable locks too. Thanks to the developments, modern vendors are capable of providing home door lock repair work from basics to hi-end security systems.

Lock replacements

Due to various reasons people may have to replace their locks. Moving to a new house, security upgrade or suspicious security vulnerability are common reasons for a house owner to look for a lock replacement. When a particular lock is used for a longer period, the necessity for lock replacement will arise. No matter how sophisticated the locking system, you may need to replace it once you have used it for a long time. Going beyond the simple home lock install process, modern residential locksmiths are capable of replacing the entire security system with programmable keys and locks.

Emergency lockout service

Due to busy life schedules, people get locked out from their residences and offices quite often. Upon such situation, only a locksmith can provide you the most effective service for the delight of the client and get him out of the situation. Most of the Home locksmiths rightly offer 24/7 emergency lockout service considering the demand.

Security enhancements

Modern residences need modern security strategies considering the advance threats available in the society. Conventional unsecure locks hardly can withstand the new level threats. As an effective way to face a new level of threats houses need advanced security options. Contemporary locksmiths are capable of enhancing the security systems to match the requirements of the modern society.

Apart from the house you live, you can enhance the security of the areas like garages and storage facilities too. Once the house’s security is strengthened, you can enjoy low insurance premiums as a great value addition. Before hiring a residential locksmith expert, however, it is wise to look for aspects like industry experience, skills, previous work records etc.

Simple Tips For Low Cost Home Improvements

Have you been thinking about remodeling your home? Keep in mind that you can often achieve your goal without a giant expense. Small improvements introduced in almost every room, including the exterior of the house can make all the difference.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Keep it clean and keep it simple!

A clean and neat house is appealing and eye-catching. You can start improving the appearance of your house simply by cleaning out the debris. Try making your garden look like an ideal place with some weeding and cleaning out the flower beds. Paint the front door to give your home a more welcoming feeling.

De-cluttering is also a part of cleaning, so get rid of things you don’t need to make room for new ones. The first glance is usually enough for a selective buyer to quickly estimate a house.

Does the exterior of your home need repainting? Is there a walkway that you can highlight by introducing some flowers? Remember to keep it simple. Focus on making things neat and tidy.

Two hot spots of every home:

The two most closely inspected rooms of a house are the kitchen and the master bathroom. If you are looking to focus on two hot spots, these are the interior rooms where the most value can be added during a sale, so make them look their best to increase your return on investment.

Is your kitchen may be in need of an upgrade? A well updated kitchen will dramatically increase the value of your home, so focus on spicing up this room to grab buyer attention. Renovating your kitchen using modern d├ęcor is going to instantly improve the value of your home. Many times a buyer will compromise on other rooms and will buy a home just because its kitchen is well-maintained and inviting.

The same holds true for bathrooms, especially the master bathroom. You will charm open house-goers with modern upgrades like dual vanities and soaking tubs in your master bath. Replace the faucets and clean up the bathroom counter. We would again emphasize on simplicity because for easy maintenance.

What to Invest in?

So, you’re done de-cluttering, cleaning and upgrading. What’s next? Well, if you are willing to make a good upgrade investment, it is recommended to divide your renovation plan into four parts to bring impressive improvements to your home. Here are the four areas you may want to seriously consider upgrading:

Lighting: If you are not satisfied with the lighting system in your house, replace it.

This would entail buying lighting fixtures and other equipment for each room to make it look consistent and attractive.

Plumbing: Many old homes have rusty pipes and some leakage in the plumbing that needs attention. Your home will not sell fast and at a price you have in mind if you haven’t already upgraded the plumbing system.

Flooring: Most people nowadays look for hardwood floors or alternatives that are easy to manage and provide health benefits instead of carpeting. Tiled floors are also fairly acceptable. If you think this improvement would bring you higher profits, make the investment without delay.

HVAC Replacement: Today new energy-efficient HVAC systems are being introduced to the market that incur a one-time cost and help you save huge amounts of money on utility bills. You can add a unique selling feature to your house by making this replacement part of your home improvement strategy.

What’s really worth repairing?

Remember that not all things are worth repairing; some need to be thrown out and others need to be replaced. This is a good principle to follow when staging a home.

Inspect every aspect of your home and then come up with a plan within your budget to bring a fresh crisp look to your home. You may want to replace outdated appliances in the kitchen with new modern models. Repairing old appliances is not an option. If your budget doesn’t allow an appliance upgrade, simply give the ones you use a color-boost to improve their appearance.

If you already have wooden floors installed at home, look for scratches and be prepared for some refinishing. Wooden floors are highly desirable, even if they are old and worn. Give them a little lift-up to make them more attractive and appealing.

Nowadays energy-efficiency has found its way into many of our systems including the windows. Home buyers look for the latest windows and other systems that are designed as energy-efficient since they provide a number of economical, health and environmental benefits. Replace your old windows for new energy-efficient windows to improve the value of your home.

If your bathroom floors are tiled, look for any flaws or cracks especially if the tiles are white or light-colored. These types of flaws are hard to conceal even if you arrange everything else very neatly. So, before investing in other bathroom accessories replace a cracked floor tile.