We get to look at a variety of kinds of exterior cladding as home inspectors and one popular type of cladding is vinyl siding. In this article, we thought we would give you a very quick guide to this type of siding, so that you can be better equipped to decide if it’s a good choice for your home. Some things you will want to know are; what are the advantages as well as any disadvantages that come with vinyl siding?
The important thing to remember is that, like all exterior cladding, vinyl siding should be correctly installed. If it is, it will not only be hard-waring and difficult to dent, but also not prone to fading or rusting. We would all agree that these are very desirable qualities in something that will be covering the majority of our homes exterior, after all, it needs to look good for a long time.
What of the possible disadvantages to vinyl siding? Well, as we would expect with any kind of siding, given certain conditions and circumstances, vinyl siding will be prone to damage. Extremes in weather can affect it. For example, it can become brittle and easily crack in extremely cold temperatures and on the other end of the spectrum, it can melt and warp if the weather is excessively hot.
Vinyl siding will not provide you with additional insulation and so will not contribute to the homes energy savings. Another thing to be aware of is that if a fire should occur in or around the home, the materials that comprise vinyl siding could emit hazardous chemicals, posing a threat to the homes residents.
As we see from this very brief overview, vinyl siding can be a very good choice as long as it is installed properly. If you would like more information on this or any home inspection related topic, please feel free to contact us.
If you are looking to add value to your home before selling, or just looking for ways to make it more comfortable for your family, the option of replacement windows may have crossed your mind. Replacement windows can help a lot in a house that needs to improve its energy efficiency. How much can they help with this?
If you have done any research or you have spoken to a salesperson of replacement windows you may have come across many statistics regarding the adding of value to your home or reducing costs by saving energy. While these facts may come from trustworthy studies and are good to keep in mind, it's important to remember that the matter isn't always that simple. Vinyl windows are said to recuperate over 70% of the cost of labor and materials while wooden can operate almost 80%.
While pondering the replacement of your windows, your decision on what kind of windows they are will be an important one, the choice is usually among vinyl, wooden, fiberglass or aluminum windows. Saving on energy bills can be a very attractive concept, but this only works when they are installed correctly and the house around them is in good shape. Initially, perhaps the windows in your home were installed correctly, but the house may have shifted, the wood in the frame may be rotting and there could be a handful of other potential problems. For these reasons, it's important to have an experienced installer look at the house and the job before quoting a price.
These are just some factors to consider when thinking about replacing the windows in your home.
Nowadays there are a variety of ways a person can purchase a new home. There is something to suit everyone, for example, maybe you would like to fix up an old home or perhaps you are someone who would prefer a move in ready option. What about when a property is listed “as is”? What does that mean and is it a wise choice?
When a property is listed “as is” it generally means that the seller does not want to go to the bother of fixing it up just to sell. They might also not want to be held responsible for the condition its in, or problems with it after its sold. Does that mean it’s a bad choice? No, not necessarily.
If this is a property you really like and its at the right price, then there is no reason to think it’s a bad choice. There are some steps you should take, however, to make sure you are getting a good investment.
The first thing to do is have the property inspected by a certified home inspector. This will allow you to have a better idea of the type of property you are getting. While it more than likely has obvious, visible issues, its good to know of any that are not immediately visible. Having a home inspection performed on it could end up saving you a lot of money in the long run.
What about if you live in a location that requires the seller to give a written disclosure on the condition of the property? Should you still have a home inspection done? Unfortunately, the disclosure is not always a reliable source as a dishonest person might omit important information. Again, a home inspection will let you know if the disclosure is reliable which, in turn, will give you an idea of how trustworthy the seller is.
Buying a property “as is” can be a good buying option but, care should be taken to find out the properties true condition before making a final decision.
If you are currently looking to buy a property, you will likely be considering all your options and doing your research to find the right kind of place to fit you and your households needs. The good thing is that we have so many options nowadays, for example, do you want a move in ready home or would you enjoy the challenge of a fixer upper?
Another option to try is purchasing a foreclosure property, but, is it a good idea? How can you be sure you’re making the right decision when it comes to this kind of property? We want to help you make the right decision, that’s why this month’s video is so helpful. It will give you a good idea of whether purchasing a foreclosure is the right choice for you. It will also advise you on how to make sure it’s a good investment.
Helping you make the right choice is important to us, please feel free to contact us for more information on inspections for properties in foreclosure.
Is your home on the market? Are you about to have a home inspection performed? Maybe you are wondering what you can do to prepare for it so that it can be as in-depth and efficient as possible. Well, here are some things you can do to make sure the home inspection is a successful one:
This might not seem like a big deal, but pets can prevent a home inspector from doing the job in an efficient way. It would be best to keep pets away or make sure they are in a safe and secure area on the day of the inspection.
In order to speed up the home inspection, make sure ahead of time that there is easy and clear access to all areas the home inspector might need to look at. Among the areas that would require easy access are: the basement and attic, water heater, HVAC equipment and electrical panels. It’s a good idea to check that all these areas are unlocked, including areas outside like buildings and gates etc.
It’s important to note that sometimes even simple things can hamper a home inspection or even change the report. Check that light bulbs do not need replacing, make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working well and don’t need new batteries.
Are there any small repair jobs that need doing? It would be a good idea to get these done before the home inspection. Things like fixing broken doors and windows or screens and locks, also gutters and downspouts that are in need of attention. It’s also good to clear the yard of debris and items that might be stored against the house. Trim trees and shrubs that are too close to the home.
Yes, its good to be prepared ahead so that you can ensure a thorough and efficient home inspection.
We are spoiled for choice these days when it comes to what kind of flooring to choose, so we thought we would take a look at one of those flooring types in this blog and that’s laminate flooring. Choosing flooring for your home is a big decision, after all, it covers such a large area of the home. You also have to take into consideration the needs of the household and how hardwearing it needs to be.
One reason laminate flooring can be a great option is that it’s generally cheaper and also easy to install, which means that for a reasonably low price, you can have a whole new flooring look.
Laminate flooring is usually made up of fiberboard with a melamine resin. These generally come in panels or pieces that fit neatly together, much like the way hardwood flooring does.
There are a wide range of options to choose from when it comes to both style and color. The majority of options come under a hardwood look category, but other styles like granite or marble effect are also available.
Some of the downsides to choosing laminate flooring is that it can occasionally move or shift. Another potential issue is that this kind of flooring has a melamine resin which contains the toxic chemical formaldehyde. It is possible, though, to find products that contain less toxins.
Before installing laminate flooring, make sure the subfloor is in decent shape and that it does not contain a lot of moisture. You might find this will cause the laminate to become warped or buckle.
From this very brief review, we can see that laminate can be a great flooring choice, but make sure it’s right for the needs of you and your household.
Last year saw a vast number of wildfires that had devastating results. Although it can be very hard to stop a wildfire, prevention is the key. How can we be responsible property owners with regard to this?
One way to do this is by preparing our homes and surrounding land so that it is harder for a wildfire to spread. This is referred to as “Defensible Space” and involves removing things like foliage etc. that could increase the spread of a fire
Why is this so important?
Defensible space can help in numerous ways. Firstly, it lets firefighters and their apparatus gain easier access to your home or property. Remember, there is a much greater chance they will be able to save your property if they are right there at the site.
Another important factor to remember is that for defensible space to work effectively it has to have frequent maintenance. Clear away vegetation or other matter that provides fuel for fires. A fire will grow weak if it has no fuel to keep it going which helps firefighters extinguish the flames faster.
A crucial factor when it comes to fire spreading is time. The quicker firefighters can access a water supply the better it will be. If you live on a property with a body of water like a pond, ensure there is easy access to it so that the fire department can make the best use of their time.
There may be certain requirements and standards put in place by the local authorities regarding defensible space, so make sure you check with them first before you plan any large projects. You don’t want to endanger any wildlife etc.
Numerous injuries are reported each year from furniture tipping over. Unfortunately, many of these cases are children. Although there are much better safety standards being put into practice by furniture companies nowadays, if those same standards are not implemented in the home, they will still present a tip over danger. How can parents do all they can to prevent tip over hazards in their homes?
A lot of furniture comes with a stabilizing bracket to attach to walls. Make sure items such as shelving units and dressers are attached in this way by using a strap or L brackets.
When you are looking for furniture, choose solid, sturdy items with a wide base. Make sure you store heavy objects in lower drawers or shelves, this will stop the furniture from becoming top heavier which makes it easy to tip over.
Televisions are a common tip over item. Try to position them as far back as you can on a unit, or better still, keep them on a low stand.
Children love climbing up to reach for objects they want such as candy, toys or the remote etc. While it is important to keep many items out of their reach, it’s also best to keep them out of sight as well.
Arrange hanging electrical cords or wires so that they cannot be reached by children and so that they aren’t tempted to climb something to reach them.
Although we are all aware that proper child supervision in a home is the best way to prevent household injuries, we can take many precautions to ensure that our furniture does not become a tip over risk.
Wet lumber, also referred to as green lumber is wood used for construction that contains a higher level of moisture that that of kiln dried wood.
Freshly cut trees tend to hold a lot of water in their cells. Water that has collected in these cells is referred to by the term ‘free water’. After the tree has been cut, this ‘free water’ begins to slowly evaporate. It only stops doing this when the level of moisture in the wood reaches the same level of moisture as the environment it’s in. The term for this process is EMC (equilibrium moisture content).
When it comes to wet lumber, it has not had enough time to reach EMC before it is used in construction. The evaporation process is generally prevented because it is usually wrapped in plastic before being stored after processing. When the wood is unwrapped, just before being used for a job, the wood still contains a high level of moisture.
There are some areas where wet lumber will often be used. These are drier and hotter areas. For example, areas in the United States like Arizona and parts of California will use wet lumber due to the fact that the wood will dry out much faster.
Maybe you’re wondering “why use this type of lumber in construction then?” The fact is that wet lumber is usually a cheaper option. Also, due to it being a softer wood, it is less prone to splitting and easier to drive a nail into. There are problems that can also arise from the use of wet lumber. Please feel free to contact us for more information.
As home inspectors, we are trained to look for problems with your potential new home so that you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’ve bought a problem house. There are so many things that you have to think about as it is, like finding a home in a good area, making sure it will fit the family’s needs and wants, and making sure all of this is within budget.
Something many home buyers are unaware of is the importance of having the correct amount of grading (or slope) around the property. Why is this so important? What is the appropriate amount? This brief, but informative video will help you to have a good idea of what proper grading is and why so essential.
Remember, we are here to assist you with all these issues so that you don’t have to feel overwhelmed with everything you need to know. Please contact us with any questions you many have, or if you would like to schedule your home inspection. We are happy to help.
Dave Graham, Tempest Home Inspection. Calgary Alberta