Home Improvement Tips To Make A Better Home

Your Rochester, New York home inspection company, HomePro Inspections, is pleased to share with you home improvement tips to make a better home.

rochester, new yok kitchen displaying improvements of modern designHome improvement is a good way to return a home to its purchase glory. Making little fixes to a property can make a home look as if it were brand new. The home improvement tips in the following article will help you get started on your own home improvement projects.

To save money on home maintenance, check all of your faucets and pipes for leaks and have them repaired quickly. Leaking faucets can waste quite a bit of water, costing you in higher bills. Also, pipes that are leaking within your walls or under your house can lead to serious water damage.

When it’s finally crunch time and you need to replace the shingles, find a good, light color to prevent high levels of heat. The lighter color will reflect the suns rays instead of absorbing them, reducing the heat build up in your attic. A massive bill may be prevented through these simple energy-saving tricks.

Paint your floor in sections corresponding with the direction of the planking. When you paint the floor of a large room it is easy to paint yourself into a corner or to unintentionally block access to the rest of the house until the paint dries. If you paint in sections you can leave paths that run along specific boards. When you paint the adjoining section everything will match perfectly.

If you are a handy person and can understand plans, consider doing some home improvement jobs yourself. Small and simple projects can improve the overall look of your home. By doing it yourself, you save money and avoid the aggravation of researching a contractor for minor jobs. You will feel more confident and much prouder of your home.

Take special care when choosing a clog remover. Some of them are very harsh. Avoid anything that comes in a crystallized form as the crystals can stick to pipes, causing corrosion and damage. Be sure to use drain cleaning products intended for use with the septic tank you have.

Exterior lighting will give you peace of mind at night, and add beauty to your landscaping. Consider motion sensor lighting, as this will reduce the amount of energy used when the outdoors are not occupied, and can also frighten away unwanted animals or even prowlers. Install the lights in strategic places, such as the exact area visible to you from a window, and the path from your vehicle to the front door.

In conclusion, by doing home improvements, you can make your home look the way it did upon the first purchase. Small tweaks and large repairs can do a world of difference for any home. If you remember the tips in this article on home improvement, you can make your home look like a brand new showcase home.

george cline rochester, new york home inspector and owner of homepro inspectionsGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a  NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester, New York Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection Online at http://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/

Bathroom Organization Tips For Anyone

Your Rochester, New York home inspection company, HomePro Inspections, is pleased to share with your bathroom organization tips.

rochester, new york bathroom organizational displayHairdryers, toothbrushes, combs, hair brushes and picks. Shaving utensils, makeup, styling products and perfumes. The collection of grooming and beauty tools cluttering the bathroom vanity can quickly overwhelm everything, making the space unusable for guests and creating difficulty in finding the tools you need.

The bathroom should be a functional room that works for you. It’s where you start and end your day, so you want the space to give you energy and focus, not throw you off your routine because you can’t find what you need.

This is the perfect time of year to get organized, so why not start in the bathroom? The first step is to consider the entire room space. Does the vanity, mirror or shelving unit provide the storage space and accessibility you need for all your grooming items? If not, it may be time to personalize your bathroom space to accommodate everyone who uses the room. Here are some ways to create a personalized and stylish bathroom:

  • Separate grooming areas – If you share a bathroom with someone who rises at the same time as you in the morning, it can quickly get congested in the room. Choosing a vanity with two sinks and related storage space is one solution to create better space and prevent grooming tools from getting mixed up or lost.
  • The right fit – When incorporating a new vanity into your bath, it’s often difficult to find the right fit in size, style and functionality. You want a vanity that holds all the extra supplies needed in the bathroom – extra shampoo, clean towels, toilet paper and tissues – so they’re available for residents and guests alike. Plus you want something that matches the decor you already have in the room. Kohler’s Tailored Vanity Collection provides several size options, configurations and wood finishes as well as top materials in a variety of shapes and colors to perfectly blend into your bathroom style.
  • Smart storage – Drawers and shelves in the vanity provide a great way to keep all your grooming tools within reach, and they can still be hidden away so guests can use the bathroom without seeing all of your clutter. Kohler’s Tailored Vanity Collection allows you to customize the look and use of your vanity, making it fit with your unique style. You can design the storage space with trays and dividers to best work for you. This also applies to the adjustable shelves, roll-out drawers and optional built-in electric outlets for the interior.

Organization can be the key to a successful day. With all of these storage options in your bathroom, you’ll be able to find the grooming tool you need when you need it, so you can start the day off right.

George Cline Rochester, New York Home Inspector posing for a professional photo in a shootGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a  NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester, New York Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection online at http://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/

Progressing Technology Makes Household Chores Easier Than Ever

Your Rochester, New York home inspection company, HomePro Inspections, is happy to share with you how progressing technology is making yard work and other household chores easier than ever.

rochester, new york yard being mowed by new cordless electric lawnmower defying the expectations of peopleEach week, the average person spends between 10 and 20 hours doing yard work and other tasks around the home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While necessary, these routine tasks don’t exactly fit neatly into today’s busy, on-the-go lifestyles, which is why technology is stepping in.

Here are three high-tech features to look for when shopping for a way to make household chores faster, easier, and even labor-free.

1. Cordless without compromise

Lithium ion has changed the way we communicate, entertain and work and now it’s changing the way we maintain our yards. To give homeowners what they want – the power of gas mowers without the noise, fuss and fumes – the engineers at EGO spent 10 years developing a way to pack more power into a single battery. The result is the new EGO POWER+ Mower, the industry’s first 56-volt cordless mower. EGO’s proprietary power management system and Keep-Cool technology make it 40 percent more powerful than other cordless alternatives. The revolutionary battery also offers the industry’s fastest charging at just 30 minutes. On the convenience side, the mower features telescoping handles that fold in for easy, vertical storage and headlights that combine with quiet operation for anytime mowing. Visit www.egopowerplus.com to learn more.

2. Do-it-itself

What started with the self-cleaning oven more than 50 years ago is now a whole-home concept. Today’s do-it-itself solutions comprise everything from self-cleaning toilets and dustless ceiling fan blades to robotic gadgets that automatically clean windows and floors. New multi-surface floor cleaning solutions know exactly where to go and when to switch from vacuum to mop. Taking this concept vertical, the ECOVACS Winbot does the same thing but on windows.

3. Smart

There’s technology that makes household chores easier and automatic, and then there’s the kind that does the thinking and organizing for you. That’s the idea behind new smart and connected appliances that not only cook food or keep it cold, but tell you by phone what’s in the fridge and when a roast is almost done. The latest iceboxes from LG and Samsung even tell you how much time you have until the eggs go bad and how much milk is left in the container. The digital display serves as a grocery list, calendar and recipe organizer, not to mention a place to watch the morning news while making breakfast.

Technology is helping to make nearly every facet of our lives easier, and thankfully, the latest advancements are delivering a new level of ease where we can really appreciate it – household chores.

George Cline Rochester, New York Home Inspector posing for a professional photo in a shootGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection online athttp://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/

Rochester Real Estate Trends For 2014 And Beyond

Your Rochester home inspection company, HomePro Inspections, is happy to share with you the top trends for 2014: meeting buyer demands in a seller’s market.

rochester real estate trends being displayed in a home with specific qualities like energy efficiencyWith many real estate industry watchers predicting 2014 will be a seller’s market, you may think you won’t need to do much to sell your home this spring. Not so fast – while more buyers are likely to be competing for homes, that doesn’t mean they’re willing to settle for less than perfect. In fact, coming out of the real estate crash of a few years ago, buyers have learned the importance of getting the maximum value for their home investment.

While home prices are expected to rise in 2014, buyers continue to have high expectations. Homes that meet buyers’ lists of “must-haves” and “would-love-to-have” features will be positioned to sell more quickly and closer to – or above – list price, experts say. So what are homebuyers looking for in 2014?

Whole-home, beautiful energy efficient features

In the earliest days of the efficiency trend, many buyers would have settled for a house that reduced heating and cooling costs through good insulation, or cut electricity bills with energy-sipping appliances. Modern buyers, however, are interested in homes that take a holistic approach to energy efficiency. That means supplementing energy savings with more thoughtful features like daylighting and natural ventilation through energy-efficient skylights, using solar-powered water heaters, and employing intelligent controls for skylights, other lighting and heating/cooling systems.

Buyers want energy-efficient upgrades that also offer high aesthetic appeal in addition to functionality, making features like ENERGY STAR-qualified skylights particularly popular. In fact, 55 percent of homebuyers in a National Association of Home Builder’s survey said skylights are desirable or essential. Skylight manufacturer VELUX America notes that installing no-leak, solar-powered fresh air (venting) skylights not only enhances indoor air quality, but can boost energy efficiency, working in concert with windows. Add remote-controlled, solar-powered blinds and skylight energy performance ratings can improve as much as 45 percent. And solar powered skylights and blinds, as well as the installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent Federal tax credit.

Smarter size and space

While buyers will always look to get the most bang for their buck, many are deciding that “bang” does not necessarily mean “bigger.” The great recession saw many families downsize into smaller homes – with more manageable mortgages. Even with the economy moving again, many homeowners have found they like the efficiency and utility of smaller, more purposeful spaces.

The functionality of a room is now as important as its size. Buyers will continue to embrace rooms that make the most of the space available, such as compact kitchens that maximize storage, smaller bathrooms that optimize lighting efficiency and privacy, while saving wall space through use of skylights, and open rooms that serve multiple purposes. To see how skylights would look in any room in your home, get a skylight planner app, take pictures in your home, and overlay skylights and blinds on the images with a few clicks.

Aging-in-place potential

As more baby boomers approach and enter their golden years, homebuyers are looking toward the future and seeking homes that offer the potential of allowing them to age in place. In demand are home features that not only look good now (such as an open floor plan or larger bathroom) but that can be easily adapted for older occupants who may face challenges with mobility, vision and other age-related issues.

A range of home features fit the bill, including ground-floor bedrooms, ample natural lighting to enhance vision, open floor plans that minimize obstacles to mobility, larger bathrooms that can easily be fitted with grab bars, kitchens with age-friendly features such as touch faucets, and smaller yards with lower maintenance requirements.

While higher demand and less inventory are likely to make 2014 a better year for sellers than buyers, if you’re selling your home, knowing what buyers are looking for can help ensure a faster, more rewarding sale – in any market.

George Cline Rochester Home Inspector posing for a professional photo in a shootGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a  NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection online at http://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/

Rochester Outdoor Home Improvement – The Dream Deck

Your Rochester home inspection company, HomePro Inspections, is happy to share with you five surprisingly easy ways to turn your current deck into a dream outdoor oasis.

rochester deck that was upgraded to display the qualities of a dream outdoor living areaIt’s easy to dream of perfectly pristine outdoor spaces when looking at the decks in magazines and online, but too often what we want and what we have don’t align. If your deck suffers from weathered wood, loose railings or dated balusters, you’re not alone. The good news is there are surprisingly simple ways to give your deck a facelift and transform it into the outdoor oasis you want in as little as one weekend.

Consider these five ways you can update your deck and grow your real estate value:

  • 1. Add or update post caps – One of the easiest ways to add a dash of design and even some color and light to your deck is to update your post caps. If you currently have post caps, most can be removed by gently tapping them with a mallet. Then it’s an easy DIY project to add new post caps simply by using exterior construction adhesive. These decorative caps come in a variety of styles, including basic wood that can be stained to perfectly coordinate with your existing color scheme. If you want to add a bit more pizzazz to your outdoor space, give your deck the Deckorators touch with classic copper post caps or solar powered caps that illuminate once the sun sets.
  • 2. Replace balusters – Balusters are connected to the railing vertically and provide an important safety feature. But they also add to the visual appeal of the deck and are a main feature in your line of sight. If your wood balusters are worn, you can instantly upgrade your outdoor space with new options. Metal balusters, for example, come in a variety of designs to match any home’s style – from contemporary to traditional. Have a stunning view from your deck? Enjoy uninterrupted sight lines with glass balusters that simultaneously maintain a deck’s safety and visual appeal.
  • 3. Bring back deck boards – After seasons of changing weather and lots of foot traffic, your wood deck boards may be showing wear. Protect the integrity of the wood and refresh the look of your outdoor space by cleaning deck boards and giving them a new coat of paint or stain. Start by scrubbing or power spraying off dirt and grime, and then let wood dry thoroughly. Next, use stain or paint made specifically for decks to help protect the wood from the elements. Just as indoor paint transforms a room inside your home, new stain or paint on your deck boards will make your outdoor area look new and refreshed, making you feel like you have a whole new outdoor area.
  • 4. Refresh railings – When it comes to deck railings, there are endless options to match any style or price point. You can go with an off-the-shelf product or customize one to fit your personal design aesthetic. For example, Deckorators co-extruded composite CXT railing is ultra-low maintenance and gives you the options to mix-and-match railings, posts, balusters and caps for a look that’s entirely your own. Not looking to do a full railing replacement? Sand down wood railings and apply a new coat of stain for an instant update.
  • 5. Install lighting – A great deck will serve as an extension of your home both day and night, but if you don’t have proper lighting, you’ll be heading indoors once the sun goes down. Add visual appeal and an element of safety to your deck with easy DIY lighting options. Lighting on your stairs adds a splash of drama and makes it easy to get around. Balusters are an often-overlooked item that can provide a great lighting location too. Solar Baluster Lights install around 3/4-inch round balusters with nothing more than a Phillips screwdriver. Finally, Solar Accent Lights can be placed on posts to illuminate pathways and deck edges.

Expanding a home’s livable space to the outdoors is a top home improvement trend. With these simple tips, your deck will find new life and you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of time outdoors with Mother Nature. For more information, visit www.deckorators.com.

George Cline Rochester Home Inspector posing for a professional photo in a shootGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a  NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection online at http://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/

Rochester Energy Efficiency Is Taking A Big Step

Your Rochester home inspection company, HomePro Inspections, is happy to share with you information about going green and saving money in new and exciting ways.

rochester programmable indoor temperature control and good lighting in this home remodelSpring is the perfect time to think green. For some it’s spurred by the coming of Earth Day, others the renewed greening of our lawns. And many are motivated by the desire to save a little green in their wallets with a fresh new season of home repairs. If you’re one of these people, you can help save some green for the planet, as well as your hard-earned cash, by making energy efficient upgrades throughout your home.

Helping the world stay green gained traction with the first Earth Day held March 22, 1970, as declared by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. As a nation, much has been accomplished with the environmental movement, yet there are also easy things you can do at home to “go green” and save money at the same time. Here are some tips for home energy efficiency upgrades indoors and out.

  • * Cool efficiently: When it comes to home energy bills, heating and cooling accounts for as much as half of the average home’s utility costs, according to energy.gov. Get ready for the hottest days of summer by tuning up your heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system so it’s operating efficiently. Change your HVAC filters regularly. In addition, if your cooling system is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with one that has a Seasonal Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 20.00 for better savings. Trane’s XL20i, for example, can mean a savings of up to 60 percent on your annual cooling costs – that’s cool cash in your pocket.
  • * Programmable temperature controls: A programmable HVAC control can reduce energy consumption by up to 15 percent compared to traditional nonprogrammable thermostats. Today’s HVAC control systems, like the Trane ComfortLink II Control, now monitor indoor and outdoor temperatures, plus home energy use over time, to help you manage energy and comfort even further.
  • * Conserve water: Remember, water isn’t free. Indoors, lower water bills by installing low-flow water fixtures including toilets, showerheads and faucets. Outdoors, add a water-saving spigot for the garden hose. To avoid water evaporation, water your plants early or late in the day, and when your green lawn starts to grow, don’t mow too low. If you have lawn sprinklers, double check that they are set to water grass and shrubbery instead of the driveway or sidewalk. Rather than hose down your deck to clean it, save water by sweeping instead.
  • * Lighting: About 10 percent of the energy your home uses goes to lighting costs, according to energy.gov – in fact, by just replacing five of your home’s most frequently used lights with energy efficient ENERGY STAR bulbs, you could save $75 a year in energy costs. Compared with traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescents can yield as much as 75 percent energy savings and last six times longer. You can save even more energy and wasted heat by switching to LEDs. Outdoor lights using CFLs or LEDS save energy, too, so look for ENERGY STAR qualified fixtures designed for outdoor use.

By taking these steps, you can help make the world a little greener, keep your home a little greener, and save even more green where it really hits home – in your wallet.

George Cline Rochester Home Inspector posing for a professional photo in a shootGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a  NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection online at http://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/

Rochester Bathroom Remodel Efficiency Tips

Your Rochester home inspection company, HomePro Inspections, is happy to share with you tips to build a better bath on a budget.

better rochester ny bath renovation featuring new fixtures and paintDo you cringe every time you step into your bathroom? If so, it may be time to remodel. Bathroom remodels are the most popular remodeling project, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders. But remodeling doesn’t have to be a budget buster. You can simply improve what you already have to get the spa-like retreat you’re seeking. Here are a few tips to get you started on your redesign.

Decorative details

Remodeling is a costly job on its own, but trying to add unique details and decor to your project makes it that much more expensive. To get a custom look without the price tag, start bargain shopping online or at a local antique shop. Look for one-of-a-kind finds like a beautifully framed mirror. A mirror adds the illusion of space and changes the look of a bathroom – whether you’re going for a traditional, transitional or modern feel. If you find a piece that doesn’t perfectly fit, add a coat of paint to match the rest of your space.

Artwork adds a sophisticated touch and the best part is it doesn’t have to cost a lot. There are several websites where you can print artwork in a variety of styles and then frame it yourself. Accessories can also make a big difference; a new shower curtain, towels (in beautiful patterns), candles and window treatments go a long way. Moen offers a variety of accessories to complement any bath. Pull together the look of the space by adding knobs and pulls to your vanity matching the finish of the faucet. You can also include other accessories like towel bars and robe hooks for organization and an updated look.

Fancy fixtures

Easily bring beauty to any bath by upgrading your fixtures. Start by swapping the sink faucet. Available exclusively at The Home Depot, the new Darcy bathroom faucet collection from Moen blends clean lines and soft modern styling. Featuring a beautiful swan-like spout to bring a relaxed feel to the bath, Darcy is available in on-trend finishes like Chrome and Moen’s Spot Resist Brushed Nickel, which resists fingerprints and water spots to help maintain the brilliance of the faucet for a fresh appearance. You can also extend the modern look of Darcy into the bath with tub and shower fixtures including a five-function showerhead – allowing each user to have a customized showering experience.

Pretty with paint

Paint is your friend when you’re on a budget – it makes the greatest impact for the least amount of money. When updating a bath, choose a satin finish for a washable surface and look for humidity-resistant paints to avoid streaks and mildew. The color you choose will set the tone – lighter colors are best for small spaces to give a spacious, bright feeling; while darker colors provide a more modern look. Do you have a small space but want to use darker tones? Paint one wall dark and make it the focal point behind the vanity or against the tub.

Don’t be afraid of using color. Remember: paint can easily be changed if you don’t like it down the road. You can also add splashes of color with wallpaper borders, bath rugs and soap dishes.

Contain clutter

Getting rid of clutter and organizing will make your bathroom a more relaxing area. Dedicate space for storage. Bath accessories, such as towel bars and robe hooks will keep items off the floor.- Wall shelves are also an excellent solution and there are a variety of options – from smaller, decorative shelves that can hold perfume and toiletries – to larger hotel shelves that provide the perfect storage location for towels.-To prevent under-the-sink clutter, a rolling cart can provide each family member with their own tray to store bathroom goods, and it can be moved out of the way when guests arrive.

Redecorating is all about shopping smart and finding space-changing details when you’re on a budget. These easy, inexpensive tips will hopefully inspire you to get started.

For more information about the new Darcy faucets from Moen, visit moen.com- or call 800-BUY-MOEN (800-289-6636).

George Cline Rochester Home Inspector posing for a professional photo in a shootGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a  NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection online at http://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/

Top Outdoor Living Trends For Rochester 2014

Your Rochester home inspector George Cline is happy to offer quality content for this year’s outdoor living trends.

rochester outdoor trends for 2014 increase in square footage on deckFrom genteel porches in the East to sleek, seaside balconies in the West, the popularity of outdoor living spaces is poised for significant growth from coast to coast with industry analysts predicting it will be a $5.7 billion market by 2016. Reinforcing these projections, 63 percent of architects cite an outdoor living space as the most popular “special function room” in housing construction, according to the American Institute of Architects. What’s more, the-Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association reports that homebuilders list decks among the top three features most requested with new home buys.

“Decks and porches are now considered true extensions of a home’s living space,” says Adam Zambanini, vice president of marketing for Trex Company, the world’s largest manufacturer of high-performance wood-alternative decking and railing. “People are showing increased interest in maximizing the function, comfort and personalization of their outdoor spaces and are realizing that it’s far more economical to expand their living space outside than to enlarge or renovate their home’s interior.”

As planning and preparation for the 2014 outdoor living season begins, the experts at Trex offer a glimpse into the national trends that will be emerging outside homes across America in 2014.

Size matters

The biggest trend in decks right now is the increase in square footage. Gone are the days of the 20-by-10-foot rectangle with just enough room for a grill and some patio furniture. Today’s decks are expanding both horizontally and vertically. Demand for decks with multiple tiers is increasing, as are requests to finish the space below an elevated deck.

Thinking outside the box

When it comes to deck designs, today’s homeowners also are thinking way outside the box and customizing nearly every aspect of their outdoor living spaces. Remodelers and architects report increased interest in pergolas and walls to define different functional areas and create privacy, as well as integrated features like built-in benches, planter boxes and storage. Similarly, consumer interest in accessories such as deck lighting, ornamental post caps and decorative balusters also is on the rise.

“We are seeing a lot more mixing of materials,” reports Zambanini. “Contractors and consumers alike are creating highly customized deck designs combining two or more decking shades and also mixing materials such as composite railings in white with contrasting black aluminum balusters. Our product offering allows for more than 1,200 different design combinations so there truly is something for every taste and lifestyle.”

High-performance, low maintenance

In addition to design aesthetics, homeowners across the country are increasingly concerned with performance. Specifically, they want materials that allow them to spend more time enjoying their outdoor living space rather than maintaining it. This motivation has contributed to the continued innovation and popularity of composite decking and railing. Unlike wood or even traditional composites, high-performance wood alternatives like Trex Transcend resist fading, staining, scratching and mold – and won’t rot, warp, crack or splinter. Upkeep is hassle-free and requires no sanding, staining or painting. Food and drink spills wash off easily with just soap and water.

Sustainability

Composite decking also responds to another growing trend among U.S. homeowners – interest in sustainable, eco-friendly building materials.

“High-performance decking provides the look and feel of real wood, but without the environmental impact, making it an ideal choice for today’s eco-conscious consumers,” notes Zambanini.

The entire high-performance Trex decking portfolio is manufactured from more than 95 percent recycled content, including reclaimed wood and sawdust, as well as plastic from many common household items. The company salvages and keeps more than 400 million pounds of plastic and wood scrap out of landfills each year.

To see examples of these and other top outdoor living trends, visit the Trex Inspiration Gallery at www.trex.com/inspiration/gallery, where images are sorted by region and environment. For more information, go to www.trex.com.

George Cline Rochester Home Inspector posing for a professional photo in a shootGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a  NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection online at http://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/

What Does A Home Inspection Entail?

Common Things Home Inspectors Usually Look Into

Are you out in the market to sell your home, then a home inspector is what you need to check out your home and here are the most common things home inspectors usually look into.

Generally, the primary task of home inspectors is to examine and determine the present condition of a house or real estate property, to make sure if the house needs to have improvements or need minor or major repairs. This process is also conducted to ensure the protection and reliability of a house being sold in the market, which ultimately redounds to the assurance of protection and safety to the client or customer.

canstockphoto0297723The home inspection process can also be beneficial in determining if proper construction or repair standards have been observed.

Professional home inspectors are carefully trained, and in the case of most regions in the United States, most home inspectors need to have a license in order for them to carry out their tasks.

After the home inspection process, a home inspection report is required as a pre-requisite before a home can either be bought or sold.

A home inspector also has equipment used to assess structural integrity and longevity of most materials a house is made of, which is a key indicator whether the property being examined is indeed safe or livable.

A common checklist among home inspectors include the examination of the following:

For the exterior part, it would include the home exterior and the surrounding perimeter. This is so since it has to be checked if the house is standing on solid ground or is standing close to environmental factors that could affect the structure’s integrity.

The building foundation is also being inspected to determine if the foundation meets standard requirements or is appropriate for the structure. This would also be followed by a check on the exterior home walls, roof coverings, flashings and gutters, as well as plumbing fixtures.

For the interior of the home, a home inspector would surely not miss inspecting the basement, which include even the crawl space that form part of the basement, including the attic, if there is any.

A home inspector will initially check the condition of the home’s interior, especially focusing on areas where there could be signs of structural stress or decay, as well as inspect if there is a need for minor or major repairs.

This will also include checking for quality of insulation for the home, as well as the existing electrical system and visible plumbing fixtures. The garage is also one area that should not be missed out during the inspection process, as it also forms part of the house structure.

There is no pass or fail rating during a home inspection process and it is different from a municipal or regulatory home inspection, that determines whether the local building code of a certain state or territory is complied with.

The value of a good home inspector and his professional services is not primarily focused on regulatory compliance, but is more of a process to protect the buyer or seller from substandard or faulty construction practices.

It is key for every homeowner to know common things home inspectors usually look into, because it will not only save you the time, but also the inconvenience of having a home inspector come back and check for what has been initially reported that required action and attention.

George Cline Rochester Home Inspector professional photo shootGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a  NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection online at http://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/

Is A Home Inspector The Home-buyer’s Responsibility?

home inspection rochesterHomePro Inspections, your Rochester home inspectors, is glad to assist our clients in getting the best home for their money.

Before buying a house, a homebuyer should first make sure the property is of good condition. That is why there is an utmost need to hire the services of a good, qualified, and credible home inspector. If you are a first-time buyer, how could you find such a home inspector? Home sellers or agents usually recommend several inspectors that buyers could hire. Would you hire those inspectors?

It is not surprising that many homebuyers, particularly the first-timers, have doubts about hiring home inspectors recommended by their agents. To them, they are questioning the integrity and honesty of such inspection personnel. They raise a point. Their argument is that home sellers or agents naturally would want to sell the house because their commissions depend on the transaction. Needless to say, such agents’ ultimate goal is to have the home finally sold.

So is that a reason for agents to enter into a collusion agreement with home inspectors? Yes, it obviously is. But come to think of it. Could that practice be done in the current competitive market? Experts would assure you that it is quite impossible for an agent and a home inspector to collude just to make sure inspection report would be favorable to make the home sold. It could be possible, but in the current stringent regulations, agents and inspectors would be wiser not to get into any form of malpractice.

The real estate or property sector is a dynamic industry where only about 10% of home sellers or agents are able to sell homes. They even account for up to 90% of total home sales. The rest of the agents may not be qualified enough, or may lack first-hand experiences to determine which inspectors are qualified and reliable. Thus, you should trust your agent if he has been in the business for many years now. His reputation in the industry also matters.

Take note that almost all home agents want full disclosure. They would always make sure the homebuyers’ interests would have to be prioritized. Only by doing so could they stay in business. Agents and inspectors all abide by what is called an industry standard practice. There are regulations covering violations in standards, which everyone logically would avoid. It would only cost too much for any agent to commission an inspector to come out with a faulty report.

For the best Rochester home inspection keep George Cline and HomePro Inspections front of mind!

To date, no reputable agent would be willing to withhold any important information to a prospective homebuyer. Of course, they know that if full disclosure is not implemented, buyers could always get back to them even after the deal has been closed. Agents also do not want to get the blame if there are safety, security, and maintenance issues missed during a home inspection. In this way, rest assured that they would only recommend inspectors whom they think would be capable and reliable to do the job well.

In the property market, it is also observed that home inspectors recommended are of the agents’ same caliber. Again, this is an assurance that any home inspector on agents’ recommended lists is trustworthy. So, should you hire a home inspector recommended by your agent? There is no reason for you not to. In the end the decision is still all up to you.

home inspection rochester nyGeorge Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991. George is a  NYS licensed professional engineer, a NYS Certified Radon Measurement Provider, and a NYS approved Technical Instructor for continuing education. In addition to full home and commercial property inspections, George consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as wet basements, structural issues, roofing problems, heating and cooling systems, ice damming and attic ventilation problems. He has trained several home inspectors in the field and is a certified member of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Give George and his Team a call to schedule your Rochester Home Inspection at 585-670-6323 or schedule your inspection online at http://www.rochesterhomepro.com/blog/schedule-now/