If you are a potential buyer of a new home, one area that you would want to check and inspect to make sure is in good working order is the kitchen. Of course, the kitchen of a potential new home should be inspected by a professional home inspector, but there are basic things you can check while taking a walk around a house you are looking to buy.
While walking in the kitchen, start with turning on the water from the faucet in the sink, checking the water pressure, and also plugging the drain in the sink to later drain it. These steps could help you understand the water flow of the house, and also help you to understand if there are any issues with the drainage of the of the house. While at the sink, feel free to open the cupboard doors under the sink and check if there is a garbage disposal. You can also check to see if there is any water damage. This water damage can come from a leaky pipe under the sink, or from leaky hoses or old seals in the dishwasher that is next to the sink.
Any signs of water damage could be a further indication of mold problems, or even rotting wood in the floors or inside the walls surrounding the dishwasher. Other areas you could look at in the kitchen are the counter tops or the refrigerator. By doing these simple inspection steps this could start to address some of your concerns in the kitchen of your potential new home.
With a new year just around the corner, perhaps you’re making plans to make some life changes. Maybe moving to a new house is something you are planning. Will you be selling your home? If the answer is yes, are you preparing a budget?
It might seem like there is so much to think about and is no doubt overwhelming. One thing that is very important to factor into your budget is a pre-listing home inspection. You may be thinking is that is really necessary? That’s why we have this brief video for you. It will help you understand why a pre-listing inspection done by an InterNACHI certified home inspector is so important.
We are here to help you. Please don’t hesitate
In last months blog, we discussed some of the many benefits when constructing a home, if the design can incorporate using as much natural energy as it can from the sun and wind. What are some other examples of how this can be done?
When it comes to the design of a home, windows play a very important role. They allow for heat to transfer a lot quicker that walls do, so depending on the climate and the home itself, it could be good to have quite a lot of windows. There should be a balance here though as too many are not good either. The type of window you choose must also be a consideration. It can be a good idea to use a energy saver window such as a 'low-e' type.
The orientation of the driveway is also a big factor to consider. Driveways are usually constructed of asphalt or gravel which can become extremely hot in the warmer months, this can affect the home. In the designing phase of the home, its good to think about the climate and, within reason, how energy can be maximized by the correct positioning of the driveway.
Of course, we are aware that there are many factors to consider when it comes to designing a home. Is it possible to design the home so as to be able to maximize the energy from prevailing winds? Can the home be oriented in such as way that is would benefit from refreshing breezes in the summer months but also protect it against cold winds in the winter?
This has been a brief and simple summary, but as we can see when it comes to a homes design, an important part of the design should be good orientation, in order to be able to maximize the useful energy of the surrounding natural elements.
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.
Devereaux Van Dyne, Certified Professional Home Inspector