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Preparing Your Home for Spring

preparing for spring

Temperatures might still be cooler, but just think-in the near future spring is going to be here! When spring comes around it is time to prepare your house for summer, so logically now is the time to prepare your house for spring! If you follow our tips now, come spring you have more time to go out and enjoy the season.

Inside the House

1. Open the Windows- This one can wait for when the weather is slightly warmer. Open all the windows so your house can be cleared out of all the toxins it has accumulated during the winter months.

2. Carpet and Curtains- Deep clean all carpets and curtains. These items usually need one good cleaning every year so make it part of your pre-spring ritual.

3. Slipcover Furniture- If you like you furniture keeping its color longer use a slipcover during the springtime as the sun is more harsh during this time of the year.

Outside the House

This is considered pre-spring cleaning and can help you save time when spring is here. Start by cleaning out all the leaves from your gardens and water features. If they aren’t cleaned out now they will become more difficult to clean up as it rains and decomposes. Also pulling weeds will be easier now than when the warm summer weather comes and dries the ground up. It is important to take all steps to protect your plants and grass now as you will not have to worry about them as much when spring is in full bloom.
 

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Selling Your Home? Ways to Prepare

selling a home

The housing market keeps getting better and better, and both buyers and sellers are reaping the benefits. If you are selling your house, you want it to be in the best condition possible – neat, clean, and eye-catching – but there are more things to be concerned about than just the cosmetics. Here are some preparation tips, things to repair and signs of decay to look for.

Keep in mind that some things may seem like simple fixes to you, but might appear more serious to potential buyers.

Water Stains

Stains on the walls or ceilings could indicate an issue with water. It could be something as minor as a leaky toilet, or forgetting to close the shower curtain. But you should look for the root of the problem, so you know exactly what to tell the buyer. If you have the means to repair it, do so before anyone sees your house.

Electrics

You should make it a habit to always use a professional to deal with electrical issues as problems with your wiring can be very dangerous. And you need to keep your electricity up to code. So check all your outlets and the breaker panel, and call an electrician if you have any questions. Better to be safe than sorry.

Venting and Mold

There used to be a time when bathroom vents sent all the moisture to the attic, but the preponderance of mold, caused builders to redirect all that moisture to the home’s exterior. If your home is older, you might want to have a pro look into the possibility of mold. You can tell if there is mold by the black staining on ceilings and walls. Mold is a terrible health hazard and should be dealt with immediately.

Wood Rot

If you haven’t painted the exterior of your home in a while, the exposed wood could start rotting. Go around the outside, check the windows, and take out rotting wood and have it replaced. Of course, you must paint right away as well.

Window Seals

Homes built before 1980 may have problems with this. Nowadays windows have 2 panes, and the seals are more stable. But if you notice any fogging on your window, it means you have a failed seal. This is an easy repair and you can do it yourself.

Chimney

If you have a chimney, make sure to have a pro check for cracks that could have occurred over time due to weather. Some cracks could be structural and need to be addressed.

Radon

Radon is a carcinogenic gas that lives underground and seeps into cracks in your foundation or floor. Remediating is a professional job, but fairly simple. Many home buyers are very aware of the existence of radon gas, so expect to be asked about it.

As mentioned earlier, if you can make repairs in your home prior to viewing, make them. But full disclosure should be made to a potential buyer if you cannot, and the asking price will have to be adjusted.

Preparing your home for sale is not difficult. It just requires a bit of detection, and a good eye. You won’t be sorry if you take the time to survey your home and search out possible problems before putting your home on the market. If you have any questions, contact Above and Beyond Premiere Home Inspection.
 

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To Do: Preparing Your Home for Winter

preparing home for winter

One of the great joys of the human experience is watching the seasons change. Now, winter is almost here, and just as you prepare yourself for the cold weather, so should you prepare your home. You don’t want to be caught during a blizzard with no heat. There are specific things you need to look for to make sure your home is winter-ready, and once you are aware of them; your inspection will be easy.

First, take a walk around the exterior of your home. Look for missing roof tiles, tree branches on the house, deteriorating shingles, broken window frames – essentially any kind of damage. If your siding is discolored it may mean that you have a problem with your gutter system. Notice cracks and holes, anything that would allow cold air into the home. You want your home’s exterior to be ready for rougher weather. Take care of any issues you find.

Now inspect the inside. Check for signs of water damage, like discolored ceilings and cracks in the walls. Is there any floor damage? Look carefully around doors and windows. Feel for air leaks.  If you find any problems and don’t attend to them, you are asking for trouble down the line.

And don’t forget attics and basements. Look for signs of uninvited animals like nests and droppings. In your attic, be aware of any discolorations on the sheathing. This could be a signal that your roof leaks. Feel for wet joists, rafters, and insulation. A roof leak will be a major issue in winter if you don’t take care of it immediately. If you have a chimney, clean it out before it gets really cold. Make sure it is checked for signs of animal visitors.  While in your basement, check for leaks around your water heater and your furnace. And while you’re at it test your home heating system to be sure everything is running smoothly.

Don’t forget to check your plumbing. Make sure there are no leaks around toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers.

Lastly, have a look in your breaker box and check all your electrical outlets. You will be using more electricity now and you don’t want to have any problems.

Taking care that your home is prepared for the cold and snow just makes good sense. This is a season to be enjoyed, one full of love and family. There is no reason why you should have to worry about problems in your home. And a simple going-over will easily let you know if there is anything you need to fix.   See to your repairs, and enjoy the holidays!

 

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Why Are New Home Inspections so Valuable?

new home inspection

Purchasing a new or custom built home is a wonderful experience, as you can choose each accent that makes the house a home. Homeowners usually hire a home inspector when the new home is finished, but we suggest doing it during the early stages of construction. Everything is better when you have a professional home inspection company at your side. Trust us; we’ll give you four solid reasons in the list below.

New home constructions run into a myriad of problems that cannot be avoided. Building a home is not exactly a quick, simple process. You can’t build a home in a day; there are many different steps involved. Beyond that, there are times where you have to deal with issues for which you were just never prepared. It’s all just easier if you have a professional advocate at your side.

Following that, you have to realize that “building codes” only require minimum standards. Municipal building inspectors may do their best, but if the standards are lower than yours, you may be left wanting more.

Since more of the house is visible during these phases, it makes fixing these common problems easy:

  • Uneven or Missing Siding
  • Insufficient or Improperly Installed Insulation
  • Ducts Attached Incorrectly or Vented Improperly
  • Raised Roof Shingles
  • Broken Trusses

The best reason of all is likely the resale value of your home. Buyers will feel much more comfortable with a home that has been inspected several times throughout the construction process. If you have any other questions about getting your new home inspected, please contact Above & Beyond Home Inspections today.

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A Basic Guide to a Buyer’s Inspection

buyers inspectionBuying a home can be a lengthy process, but many of the steps a buyer takes to get to closing are for their own protection. The buyer’s home inspection is one of the most crucial steps one must take before sitting down at the final closing meeting. Many potential buyers are overwhelmed by the thought of going through a home inspection. However, once a buyer understands exactly what a home inspection entails; the process becomes a lot easier, and is often welcomed.

What is the purpose of a home inspection?

The home inspection process protects a potential buyer from purchasing a home in need of major repairs. The home inspection also serves many other important purposes. If issues are discovered in the home, they may lower the home’s estimated value, which would then enable a buyer to back out of the sale or make another offer.

Home inspections reveal potential hazards that a buyer otherwise may not be aware of; and offers the buyer the opportunity to make additional requests of the seller. The buyer’s home inspection is the part of the sale process that helps to solidify the sale, or let the buyer and/or the seller, know that it is time to move on from this particular deal.

What is included in your basic home inspection?

A home inspector’s report will include; the condition of the home’s heating and cooling units, the plumbing and electrical systems, walls and insulation, the attic areas and roof, floors and ceilings, doors and windows, any visible insulation, the home’s foundation, the basement, and the home’s visible structure.

Buyer’s can request other types of testing, such as, radon and mold testing, testing of the water supply, and energy audits.

All buyers should be aware that a home inspection can never be a guarantee against future problems. The Home Warranty covers many future issues and repairs. Once a home is inhabited, anything can happen over the lifetime of a property. Also, a home inspection is not an appraisal. The report can help a buyer to determine what to offer for a property; but to obtain an official appraisal a buyer must hire another company for this purpose.

Does the buyer need to be present during the inspection?

Though not a requirement, most home inspectors will want the buyer to be present. This allows the inspector to point out certain issues that may be uncovered. The buyer may have questions about certain aspects of the home; if they are present, they can ask these questions during the inspection. Buyers should note that the inspector needs time and space to do his or her job; so a buyer should make sure that their presence is not disruptive.

Note: Many home inspectors will offer a buyer, a 90-day warranty on the inspection. This warranty will cover certain items included in the home inspection for this time period after the inspection. If a home inspector does not mention a warranty. The buyer should inquire upon hiring an inspector, as to whether or not a warranty can be included in the inspection process.

 

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Having Your Attic Inspected

attic inspection

While going through the home buying process, you want to make sure the place you hope to call home is safe and ready to move into. Your inspector will check all the essential items, but make sure they don’t miss the attic. Yes it might just look like a dusty and musty nuisance but it is important to check for many things while up there. The attic of the home can tell you more than you expect it will tell you some of the history behind your home.

1. Truss and Rafter Damage- While looking at the outside of a roof it is almost impossible to notice slight damage or sometimes even moderate damage to supports in your roof. The last thing you need is moving into your new place, and a week later part of your roof collapses.

2. Fire Damage- The whole home may look to be perfect and pristine. But is that just a cover-up for what has happened to the house before it was beautiful. In the attic you can see fire damage that wasn’t covered up by a new coat of paint and new flooring.

3. Insulation- this is essential to keeping your home heating and cooling bill under control. You will want to know what type of insulation you have in your attic and make sure it is installed properly.

4. Water Damage- There are only two ways water will typically enter your home. It will either enter from the basement from flooding, or from the roof as it rains. If you don’t have water damage in the basement that doesn’t mean there isn’t any in attic.

5. Animals- Pesky little critters like to make your home their home. We are not talking about cute little mice that help you clean and do chores like in children’s movies. We are talking about the kind that eat your wiring and wreck havoc!

6. Chimney- Your inspector won’t be able to check out the inside of the chimney from inside the attic but he will be able to check the integrity of the structure.

How Both Sides can Prepare for a Home Inspection

home inspection

Regardless of whether it is a law in your area or not, it’s always a good idea to have your home inspected.  There are a lot of things you can do to help prepare for a home inspection.

How the Seller Can Prepare:

Most of the preparation will fall into the hands of the seller- they are trying to convince others to buy their house, so they do not want any road bumps in their way.

  • Before you even get into the larger projects, fix smaller ones like loose handles, light bulbs that went out, and that leaky faucet. Then, you can move on to the bigger projects, like your roof.
  • Many people forget that their house needs to look clean, as well. If someone were to come in and see a dirty home, their first impression would be that it wasn’t well taken care of- and won’t look very good in the eyes of the person doing your inspection.
  • Be ready for the scheduled appointment at least half an hour early. An inspection can take up to three hours, so it’s a good idea to have as few hang-ups as possible.
  • If you have already moved out of the house, make sure that amenities like water and gas are hooked up so the inspector can make sure everything is in order for the buyers.
  • If there are any outdoor electrical outlets or other units, make sure they are accessible. Trim bushes and hedges, and make sure to move any trash cans.
  • If you have had anything repaired recently in your home, keep the receipts to show the inspector- this will show him just how up to date certain features are.
  • If at all possible, allow space and time for the inspector to do their work. This will allow them to work quicker and concentrate better- particularly if there are young children in the home.

How the Buyer Can Prepare:

While there isn’t much, there is some that the buyer can do to make sure the efforts are productive.

  • Attending the inspection will give you an in-depth look at the house and learn your way around it.
  • Make a list of questions or concerns you would have about the property.
  • Understand that every home will have its flaws, so expect some imperfections. Be proactive in the repair of the home!

5 Common Problems Found in Most Home Inspections

Inspecting Your Home

When you’re ready to move into another house, whether you’re upgrading or downsizing, you’ll want a qualified home inspector at your side for both the purchase of your new home, and the sale of your hold one.

Most homeowners feel that a home inspection is just a formality during the process. However, it’s so much more than that. A home inspection protects you from having to deal with an underlying problem in your new home, and it can help you get your asking price on your current home.

To get an idea of what you can expect, check out some of the common problems that are often found during a home inspection.

Roofing Problems

Subjected to sun, rain, and storms, roofs protect us from the elements, meaning roofs take a beating. Eventually, they may develop mold, or begin to shift.

Stucco Problems

Water is an enemy of Stucco, so if it’s on the home’s exterior, it will need to be touched up often. A homeowner might not notice small stucco cracks in the corner, but a potential buyer will.

Sloping Problems

Sometimes, the foundation can slope back towards the house, causing wet spots in the basement or bottom floor.

Structural Problems

Depending on the material that the home consists of, the structural integrity might not be the same as when you purchased it. An inspection will verify the homes safety.

Electrical Problems

There have been so many technological advances in the last few years. It’s a good idea to check the electrical wiring to ensure that it can support all of the technology in your life. Unfortunately, it’s often found that wiring is outdated or unable to support many modern electronics at once.

10 Tips on How to Get Your Home Ready for an Inspection

Home Inspection Servcies

Homeowners already have a laundry list of things that need be done get the home ready to be shown. Now that you have received and accepted an offer, the next step is to have your home inspected.

There are many items that often get overlooked because you walk through your home on a daily basis, but the home inspector will have a fresh set of eyes on your property and he will be able to tell if there are major issues that need to be taken care of before the home is sold.  Here are a few items that you can do on your own to prepare for the inspection.

 

  1. Remove trees or mulch from the siding, rule of thumb is that your brush should be at least six inches away from your house.
  2. Make sure that your gutters are all in working order, run the hose through the gutters to clean them out.  Also, all water should be diverted from your house when it drains through.
  3. Clean out the attic, garage, shed and crawl space, these areas need to be easily accessible for the inspector.
  4. If there are large cracks in your driveway, take time to seal them up before the inspector comes.
  5. If there have been any major repairs done or you have warranties on anything for your house, leave out the proper documentation to show that you are on top of costly items.
  6. Be sure that your house complies with your town’s laws on smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in each room and floor.
  7. Leave all of your utilities connected, the home inspector will test everything to ensure that it is in working order, even if your home is vacant make sure that everything can be tested.
  8. Ensure that your plumbing is all in working condition, including hot and cold water, if there are any leaks; make sure to seal them up.
  9. Clean or replace your heating and air conditioning filters, these items will be tested during the inspection.
  10. Be prepared to leave your house for at least 3 hours.  This will give the inspector enough time to go through your house and answer any questions that the buyer may have.  It is often incredibly uncomfortable for the buyers to ask questions if the current homeowner is present.

 

 

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