It is not a new thing to build homes in a position that enables them to utilize the suns energy for providing heat. While today this is also done, other factors come into play such as the homes curb appeal etc. What are some of the ways that homes can be designed and constructed, enabling them to work with natural elements like the sun?
With the amazing technology we have today, when a home is in its design phase, computer models can show precisely how a home needs to be positioned and designed in order to get maximum solar gain, as well as seasonal thermal performance.
It is not just the structure of the home itself that should be positioned correctly. The floor plan is also an important factor to consider. For example, rooms such as the living room and kitchen that are inhabited most should be designed so that they benefit from the suns rays in the winter, but also have shade in the summer. This would also be good when thinking about the position of patios and decks. Areas and rooms that are not used as much like garages and laundry rooms don't need to benefit from the suns heat as much and so can be planned out in a similar way.
What about strategic positioning of trees? If placed correctly, they will provide much needed shade in the summer. At the same time though, you do not want them to prevent much needed sunlight in the winter, so much thought and good planning must be taken when deciding which type of tree is best and factors such as whether it will loose its leaves in the winter.
There are many other things we can do when it comes to optimizing natural energy. In our next article we will consider a few more of these.
When children are little, falling over is an everyday occurrence and the majority of times, they are unhurt. Did you know, however, that well over 2.5 million children visit the emergency room each year due to a fall related injury? It is worth a consideration then, to see how some of these falls can be avoided.
One way of protecting your child against dangerous falls, is to install safety gates. These can be placed in doors ways or stairs. There are a couple of types of safety gate you should consider. These are the type that are fixed by pressure mounting them against walls or doorways. Then there are hardware mounted gates that are fixed with screws. Although this seems like a permanent thing, they are actually very easy to remove.
When thinking about which type of safety gate to choose for your staircase, the best option is the hardware mounted type. This is much more secure, and is what you need to ensure that your small child does not fall down the stairs.
Pressure mounted safety gates are good for door ways, for example one that goes into the kitchen. This will keep your crawling baby or toddler away from potential dangers in the kitchen.
Its important to remember that whichever gate is best for you, make sure it meets the ASTM standards. To make sure the gate has this, check the gate or the packaging which will indicate if it meets these standards.
If you are thinking of buying an older home, you might want to consider that it could possibly be wired with aluminum wiring. Is this something you should be concerned about?
Here are a few factors to consider;
As you can see from this very brief overview, aluminum wiring can be quite dangerous especially as it poses a much greater fire risk than copper wiring
Please contact us here at Golden Home Inspections for more information and advice on what to do if you have aluminum wiring in your home.
Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer as it has no odor and cannot be seen, and so attacks without warning. Many instances of Carbon Monoxide poisoning occur in the home, this is largely due to faulty, fuel burning appliances found in the home. What are some ways that CO Poisoning can be prevented?
We want you to be safe here in Kansas City, especially in your homes. Please call us to schedule an inspection or if you need help with any questions.
Bathrooms are a very important room in the house, most of us like to spend a good amount of time there, so its wise to have a check of the ventilation system to make sure that its functioning properly, thus improving your bathroom experience.
If your not sure if your ventilation system is working properly, keep your eye out for these indications:
Is mold starting to appear on the ceilings and walls of the bathroom?
Does it feel very humid in there?
Do you notice a lot of condensation?
Are you seeing stains on the walls etc?
What about metal fixtures? are they starting to corrode?
If you are noticing any of these things, you may want to get your fan inspected. One of the biggest reasons it might not be working properly is that the duct might not reach to the outside of the home, so this is a good thing to check.
A simple thing that can be done is to regularly clean the fan as dirt and dust accumulate frequently.
If you feel that your bathroom is not ventilated properly, please call us for more advice. We would be happy to help.
So many things in our home nowadays are electric, from kitchen appliances to iPads and phones, everything requires an electrical outlet. In many older homes, there are simply not enough outlets, so a power strip seems the obvious choice to keep up with the demand, but how can we make sure that we are using them safely? Consider the following:
As you can see, power strips can be very useful, but only if used correctly.
Please give us a call with any questions you may have about electrical outlet safety in your home
We all need to protect our homes from burglars, so how about a few tips and pointers on how to do so.
Did you know?
A high percentage of burglars enter through the first floor of the home, so insuring exterior doors and windows are secure is important.
Exterior doors should be constructed of a heavy solid material that are not easily broken, and should have good quality deadbolt locks.
Beware of leaving spare keys in what you believe to be hidden areas. Don’t hide keys in obvious places or close to the door, instead leave them with a neighbor you can trust.
Install a peephole, so you can see who’s at your door before you open it
If you absolutely must have a pet door, make sure it’s not located close to a lock and try to have it as small as you can.
What about sliding glass doors? A cheap fix would be to place a wooden pole or handle of a broom, and place it in the door track so it cannot be opened. These doors should also have top and bottom locks.
Windows want to be constructed with strong glass and screening should be a heavy-duty wire.
Burglars don’t want to be seen, so make it as difficult as possible for them by attaching motion censored lighting all around the house.
What if you’re going to be away?
Try to make it look like someone's home. Timer activated lights, TV or radio are a good idea. Make sure the yard is kept neat while you are away, also try keeping a car in the driveway.
Contact us for more advice on how to protect your home.
No one enjoys the thought of these little creatures living in our attics, however since bats can be found in most inhabited places all over the world, we have to expect that we will encounter them at some point, so what are some of the ways we can identify if we have bats in our homes?
What are some of the dangers of a bat infestation?
Bats pose a huge health risk to humans. They can carry rabies which can be fatal. Bat feces is also dangerous to humans as it can cause a respiratory disease called Histoplasma capsulatum.
Please contact us for more details and instructions on where to locate entry points for bats, as they can squeeze through very small holes.
While Aluminum siding is not too popular these days in the construction of homes, it can still be found on many older homes. Here are a few helpful things to know about Aluminum siding.
Is Aluminum siding durable?
Yes, it can actually last up to the life of the building, but only if it is maintained well. It doesn't rust, and it wont be affected by termites.
How safe is it?
If installed properly, it gives great waterproof protection.
In case of a fire, it will not melt or burn.
Is it aesthetically pleasing?
It can be, as it can be easily painted, however this does tend to need to be redone every few years. It should also be noted that Aluminum siding is prone to scratches and dents which can look rather unattractive and is not too easy to fix.
Some home owners may also have a problem with the noise it can make when rain falls on it.
This is just a very simple look at what to consider with Aluminum siding , however for a more thorough inspection, please contact us and we will be happy to advise you or schedule an appointment.
Devereaux Van Dyne, Certified Professional Home Inspector