Posts made in December, 2015

When a Homeowner May Need to Call a Building Consultant for Their Home

A building consultant is a type of home inspector who may work with the homeowner to get permits for renovating or who may tell them if the home is unsafe and needs repair or any type of work. Note when a homeowner may need to call a building consultant for their home and why this work is so vital.

1. If you suspect a pest infestation

A pest infestation is very serious, as it can mean damage to your home inside and out. Termites can quickly eat away at wood beams and studs and make your home unsafe. Mice can chew through electrical cords and, if there is asbestos in the home, burrow into this material and spread its fibers throughout. Ants, roaches, and other such pests are very unhygienic and unsafe.

Unfortunately you may not be able to see the level of infestation yourself just with a quick visual inspection; mice droppings in the kitchen don’t necessarily mean your home is infested, but on the other hand, seeing one roach in the kitchen also doesn’t mean that there aren’t hundreds more behind the walls. If you suspect a pest infestation of any sort, call a building consultant to have it checked professionally.

2. When you’re doing any renovating that may involve work dictated by codes

If you’re just replacing carpeting or are tearing down an interior wall that is not load-bearing, you may not be doing any work on your home that involves building codes. However, if work affects the strength of the structure, plumbing, electrical, and the overall footprint of your home, building codes will be involved. You want to ensure that you call a building consultant beforehand to inspect your home and work with you to get necessary permits, and then inspect the work after it’s done. This will ensure your home is up to code and you don’t face fines from the city or elsewhere.

3. After any property loss

If your home has suffered a fire, flood, or any type of damage, you want to call an independent building inspector. Your insurance agent will no doubt have their own building inspector come into your home to inspect the damages, but to ensure you get fully reimbursed for the cost of repairs, have your own inspector take photos and inspect the area of damage thoroughly. This will protect you if you should need to object to your insurance company trying to undercut your claim in any way.

There are just a few instances when building consultants will be useful. If you find yourself in any of these situations, contact a local consultant as soon as possible. 

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4 Easy Ways to Make Your New Home Environmentally-friendly

New home builders will offer a range of designs to choose from. Existing new home designs might already be configured for the maximum amount of environmental friendliness. You can also make a few simple additions to these designs in order to increase the home’s green credentials. Some of these additions should be built into the home itself or are related to what you put inside the new dwelling. So what are some of the most straightforward ways to have a new home that is friendly to the environment?

1. The Location

Building on land that is close to a town centre is more expensive than building on a new subdivision, but it can be great to have amenities within walking distance. You will use your car far less than if you have to drive everywhere. Even if you opt to build on a subdivision, you should choose a piece of land that is close to local amenities (whether existing or proposed). Being able to walk to most places that you need to go to on a daily basis greatly reduces your carbon footprint.

2. A Literally Green Home

Environmentally friendly temperature modification can be achieved by allowing plants to grow up one side of your home and even onto a section of the ceiling. These plants absorb a huge amount of light (and heat) before it hits your home. Plants also release moisture into the environment (a process known as evapotranspiration). When this occurs directly on your home, it can slightly decrease the air temperature on an ongoing basis. This is more effective if a climbing plant with thick foliage has been chosen. A trellis or mesh wall should be incorporated into new home designs for maximum results.

3. Your Appliances

It will add to your upfront costs, but you might want to purchase entirely new appliances to go with your new kitchen and/or laundry room. Choose appliances that have a good energy efficiency rating. This will result in a decreased electricity bill.

4. Doors and Windows

There are also doors and windows that come with their own energy efficiency rating. This rating system is applied to doors and windows that are constructed using materials and installation that allows you to effectively regulate your home’s temperature. They keep the heat inside in the colder months, and prevent the loss of cold air when running an air conditioner. Ask your builder if they’re able to source these types of rated doors and windows for you.

An environmentally friendly home is not the cheapest option, but it can have a huge impact on your carbon footprint, and these environmentally friendly options can go a long way towards offsetting your cost of living in the long-term. Contact local new home builders to learn more about your options. 

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Maintenance Tips for Your Concrete Driveway

Most homeowners will typically opt for concrete driveways as this material is built to withstand a lot ranging from harsh weather temperature to excessive traffic. However, just because this material is durable does not mean it cannot benefit from proper care and maintenance. Your concrete driveway may appear sturdy and durable, but without the appropriate maintenance measures, it will begin to exhibit signs of wear and tear before its time. As such, it is best to ensure it is being properly cared for if you do not want to have to suffer through the inconvenience of replacing or constantly repairing it. Here are some handy maintenance tips you can use to keep your concrete driveway in optimum condition.

Limit the amount of moisture that your concrete driveway is exposed to

Limiting the amount of moisture your concrete driveway is exposed to is especially important during the snowy winter months. You should keep in mind that the freezing temperatures will not make much of an impact on your concrete unless moisture is present. There are a number of solutions you can consider to keep your concrete driveway from absorbing moisture. The first would be to invest in a sealant. These sealants work toward limiting the amount of water absorbed, hence decreasing the chances of ice forming in the concrete. Another solution you can look into would be the installation of downspouts or eaves on your roof. These will work toward redirecting all water before its gets a chance to freeze on your concrete driveway. Lastly, enquire from the concrete contractors whether then can fill in the different joints in your concrete driveway with caulk. This caulk works toward keeping moisture from penetrating the slabs beneath your concrete driveway.

Steer clear from applying de-icing agents on your concrete driveway

A common solution for the elimination of ice is the use of de-icing agents. However, what most homeowners do not realize is that these de-icing agents are not recommended for all types of driveways. Some of the main ingredients in these agents include ammonium sulphate and nitrate. These chemicals will begin eating into your concrete, affecting its entire structural integrity. Regular use will result in you have to replace your concrete driveway before its shelf life. Instead of opting for de-icing agents, you should consider applying a layer of sand onto the concrete driveway. The sand will provide the traction you require against the formation of sleet, while not compromising your concrete driveway.

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Reminders for Any Renovation

If you've decided to undertake a project around your house, there are a few things to remember. First, make sure to have a good idea of the cost going in. Talk to local specialists for estimates or do research on the cost of supplies and labor. Second, always make sure to take necessary safety precautions. While a landscape project may seem like a lower-risk task than a rewiring job, it never hurts to be too careful. Finally, don't bite off more than you can chew. Plan out your renovation and repair projects in detail and then tackle one thing at a time. If you ever feel out of your element, hand the job over to a contractor. They'll know how to get the job done efficiently, safely, and correctly.

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