Smart Home Improvements For Growing Multi-Generational Households

17068494The American family continues to evolve, with multiple generations living under the same roof in more households than any time since the Great Depression. Of America’s 76 million households, 5.6 percent (4.3 million) were multi- generational as of 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Homeowners are finding it’s more important than ever to ensure every home improvement project delivers benefits for every member of the family – children, parents and grandparents.

Whether your family grows with the birth of a child or because a grandparent has moved in with you, here are some home improvement projects that are multi-generational family-friendly:

Adding/updating a bathroom

Few household situations are as stressful as too many people sharing just one or two bathrooms. If your home population is growing, but you’re still making do with too few bathrooms, adding a bath or upgrading an existing one can make life more pleasant for everyone. What’s more, it’s a smart investment of your renovation dollars. If you decide to sell your home down the road, you can expect to recoup about 53 percent of the construction cost for a modest bathroom addition, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report. And a modest bathroom remodel recoups about 64 percent of your investment.

Finishing a basement or an attic bonus room

If you’re looking for more usable living space, finishing a basement or attic bonus room is almost always easier than adding square footage to your home. A finished existing area can be a versatile investment, affording you the space to add a bedroom, bathroom, recreational room, home office or even a second kitchen a la in-law suite style. Upstairs, finishing an attic bonus room can provide a well-lit and airy retreat with the inclusion of fresh air skylights. Downstairs, advances in basement finishing technology have compressed the time-frame of this once pricey and drawn-out home improvement. Remodeling Magazine says a basement renovation pays back more than 70 percent of its cost at the time of resale.

Healthful upgrades

The quality of light and ventilation in our home speaks directly to the safety and health of its occupants. Aging eyesight often needs better lighting, and poor indoor air quality can affect everyone’s health, but especially that of young children with respiratory ailments such as asthma. One improvement that addresses both concerns, is a skylight. When opened, an Energy Star-qualified fresh-air skylight, like those made by Velux America, can help exhaust stale unhealthy indoor air and bring fresh air into your home. Skylights especially make sense if you’ll be creating more inexpensive living space by finishing an attic.

Add remote controlled solar powered blinds to solar powered fresh air skylights in your home and the products, as well as installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. To learn more about no leak skylights that close automatically in case of rain and how they can help improve indoor air quality, visit www.veluxusa.com.

Upgrading key appliances

Whether the hot water heater shudders when your teenager takes a shower or the furnace just can’t work hard enough to keep Grandma’s bones warm in winter, upgrading key appliances in your home can significantly improve the comfort of its occupants. What’s more, replacing older appliances with new ones can help you save money on your utility bills over the life of the product. Replacing an old water heater, furnace or air conditioner with an Energy Star-certified product can trim utility bills significantly.

For example, according to EnergyStar.gov, replacing a central air conditioning unit that is 12 years old (or older) with an Energy Star-qualified one could reduce cooling costs by 30 percent, and switching to a solar water heater could cut your water heating bill in half. What’s more, between now and the end of 2016, certain energy-efficient home improvements may qualify you for a federal tax credit. If you install a residential solar water heating system, you could qualify for federal as well as state tax credits and other incentives. You can find a calculator to help tally the potential payback on a solar water heating system and a federal tax credit estimator to calculate your savings on new or replacement solar powered skylights at www.veluxusa.com.

George 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/

Do-It-Yourself Weekend Warrior Survival Guide

1825683It’s the do-it-yourself dream: deciding on the perfect DIY project just as the weekend finally arrives. All the supplies have been purchased and you’re ready to dive right in. However, the enthusiastic start of the project doesn’t always end in completion.

“Knocking out a big home improvement or do-it-yourself project in one weekend can be a rewarding task, but it is also challenging and can be taxing on your knees, feet and back when standing in the same position for several hours,” says Mark Clement, home improvement expert and co-host of the national radio show MyFixitUpLife.

Whether you are woodworking at your workbench or staining a piece of furniture in the garage, Clement offers these tips to make the most of your DIY weekend projects while also feeling comfortable enough to successfully finish them:

Focus on form and technique. When learning a new technique, go slowly, step by step, until you’ve mastered it. Allow your body to become accustomed to the various motions required. Moving efficiently is one of the best ways to avoid injury.

Stay hydrated. Make it a priority to drink at least 125 ounces of cold water each day. Staying hydrated is important when exerting DIY energy, especially in the summer heat. So whether you’re digging up the garden, roofing the shed, or wrenching in a no-AC garage, keep a water bottle or sports drink close by.

Create a comfortable workspace. Be conscious of how long you are standing in the same spot working on your project and how your back feels. To relieve pressure and soreness on feet, knees and back, use a durable mat like the Stanley Utility Mat that is engineered with an optimal balance of cushion and support.

Dress appropriately. Flip-flops and sandals do not offer the balance, protection and support that a sturdy closed-toe shoe or work boot does while tackling home improvement projects. Even if you have the grace of a ballerina in the workshop or yard, it is remarkably easy to drop things on your feet and it only takes a small distraction to create a big problem.

Know your limits. When you only have a weekend to finish a big project, you might be feeling the pressure. Before the project even starts, accept that it may not all go according to plan. Plan for a few different scenarios and remember that you can always ask for help.

Have a first aid kit. Even if you are being extremely cautious, accidents can happen and it’s best to be prepared. Keep a first aid kit with all the essentials (antibiotic ointment, bandages, burn cream, etc.) near you at all times and seek professional medical help if necessary.

For more information about the Stanley Utility Mat, visit stanleyutilitymat.com/ and to tune into MyFixitUpLife visit http://myfixituplife.com/DIY/.

George 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/

Home Remodeling For The Long Haul: Making Your Space Work For You

18325212As more people choose to stay in their current homes longer, Americans are diving into large remodel projects. Forty percent of homeowners plan to remodel or build an addition to their existing home within the next two years, with kitchen and bathroom projects remaining the most popular remodeling jobs, according to the 2013 Houzz and Home Survey.

Home remodeling for the long term can be challenging, as newer designs may clash with the existing style of the home. The key to a successful remodel is to choose elements that will create a cohesive design throughout, yet remain fashionable and functional well into the future.

“Whether it’s upgrading their existing home or renovating a newly purchased one to fit their long-term needs, homeowners are settling in and want quality products that will look great, provide design flexibility and perform well over time,” says Andy Wells, vice president of product design, MasterBrand Cabinets, Inc.

Here are a few tips to help make your remodel work for the long haul:

Keep your space flexible with neutral color choices

As homeowners stay in one place longer, they are passing on bright, bold colors, especially in the kitchen and instead choosing neutral colors and clean styles that work well with a variety of design elements. Many new earthy, neutral color palettes provide visual warmth while seamlessly blending with the rest of a house. Moreover, neutral hues can increase dramatic impact when carried throughout the kitchen in various textures, such as flooring, a backsplash or cabinets.

Decora Cabinets recently partnered with Sherwin-Williams to create a custom color-matching program for cabinets, which offers more than 2,000 shades of color to choose from, including a wide range of neutrals that can be easily adapted to specific design tastes. Give your kitchen a warm, cozy feel with Decora’s Down to Earth series of soft browns or create a trendy, elegant feel with the Quiet Sophistication line of blacks and greys in your cabinetry.

Complement existing design elements with transitional styles

Modern cabinets can clash with traditional elements in other rooms, especially when remodeling older homes. Choose cabinets with design elements that easily transition across differing styles and bridge the gap between your desire for a contemporary kitchen and the traditional reality of an older home.

Cabinetry manufacturers are offering many new styles that help create flow between old and new spaces within your home. Consider the new Aristokraft VanWyke Thermofoil cabinets or Omega Perrini cabinet door styles. These simple cabinet doors can adopt a contemporary feel in a kitchen or complement a traditional style in the bathroom, all while maintaining a continuous, polished look across your home.

Create a functional, organized space

Functionality is essential to a kitchen or bath that will continue to meet the changing needs of your family over time, whether it’s ensuring there’s enough storage space for a growing family or making the home more accessible for family members of all ages and abilities. Remodeling for the long haul also means creating a planned, practical space and many new products are available that can help improve the organization in your home.

Diamond Cabinet’s Logix product line offers a wide variety of innovative organizational cabinet solutions for the kitchen. One original space-saver is the new Diamond Wall Pull Down Spice Rack, which brings items down to eye-level from three chrome basket racks inside the cabinets, putting your favorite spices and other items right at your fingertips for easy reach.

With these tips and a wide breadth of cabinetry, colors and styles designed for today’s transitioning homes, remodeling for the long haul has never been easier.

George 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/

Myth Busters: Why Vinyl Siding Is America’s Hottest Home Design Feature

18290609Chances are, you’ve seen and heard a lot about vinyl siding on home renovation television shows, in magazines and in your neighborhood. Once seen as a drab and boring alternative to aluminum siding, vinyl siding is now driving new design trends, effortlessly adapting to any architectural home style.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, vinyl siding is a hot home exterior material, appearing on nearly one third of all new homes built in 2012, more than any other cladding material. Still unsure about vinyl siding? Consider these myth-busting facts:

Myth: Vinyl siding is boring and looks cheap

Vinyl siding has come a long way since it was introduced in the 1950s and manufacturers have made strides in research and development efforts for design and performance. Nearly 350 vinyl siding colors have been certified for color retention, according to the Vinyl Siding Institute (VSI). The variety offers homeowners a virtually endless palette of fade-resistant colors, combined with complementary trim, accents and accessories. Additionally, the texture and attention to detail on the siding panels make high-end vinyl siding nearly indistinguishable from wood clapboard, cedar shake shingles or other traditional materials. –

Thanks to these advancements in color and technology, top designers on shows like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “George to the Rescue” have recently made vinyl siding a focal point of their renovation and new-build home designs. And many historical societies across the U.S. have turned to vinyl siding for historic home renovations because of the wide selection of period colors, architectural details and low-maintenance benefits.

“After the devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo. in 2011, we built seven houses in seven days using vinyl siding exteriors,” says Kim Lewis, architectural designer of Kim Lewis Designs and former lead designer for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. “At first I was skeptical, but we were able to bring forward character-driven design on each of the home’s exteriors with vibrant colors and architectural elements. After spending some time with the material, I have a more positive outlook on vinyl siding.”

Myth: Vinyl trim doesn’t have the authentic look of wood

A common misconception about vinyl siding is that trim options don’t offer a high-end look like authentic wood. Though in recent years, siding manufacturers such as Ply Gem have made significant strides in the design of low maintenance, holistic finishing solutions for windows, doors, eaves, gables, columns and more, introducing trim and mouldings made from cellular PVC.

These trim packages are designed to look and function like real wood, accentuating the best features of any architectural home style, but eliminating the need to clean, replace or stain in years to come. With today’s trim options, even the most discerning homeowners will find there’s no need to compromise beauty to get low-maintenance curb appeal.

Myth: Vinyl siding isn’t durable

Don’t let the light weight of the product fool you. Products like Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem vinyl siding are manufactured with technologies tested to resist wind speeds of more than 200 mph. These products have been put to the test and withstood the elements in recent storms such as Superstorm Sandy.

In addition to holding its own against Mother Nature, vinyl siding puts up a pretty good fight against Father Time. The product has tremendous longevity, in many cases lasting 30 years or more with very little maintenance and low cost of ownership. Vinyl siding does not need to be painted and it can be cleaned with simple soap and water.

If you believed the myths above, don’t be discouraged. One thing that is undeniably true is that vinyl siding will continue to lead the way in exterior home design. For links to more facts and studies on vinyl siding, visit www.plygem.com. Manufacturer sites like these are also a great resource for homeowners who want to experiment with vinyl siding colors and options before committing to a new build or renovation, offering exterior design tools for photo-realistic virtual makeovers on a variety of architectural home styles.

George 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 Home Inspection and New Construction Inspections

iStock_000001404403XSmallNew Construction Inspections

Homebuyers of newly constructed homes may not be aware they may have an inspection clause included with their new home contract. Fact is, a new homebuyer can greatly benefit from using a professional Rochester Home Inspector during the construction and completion of their new home.

Phase Inspections – New construction inspections are one of HomePro Inspections special services. We offer phase inspections to make sure that your home is built properly from start to finish. Phase inspections are a three step process:

Phase One – HomePro will come to the property after the foundation is built but before it is backfilled to insure that proper foundation waterproofing and drainage systems are in place. A narrative report is made available to the buyer of any deficient items which can be forwarded to the builder upon request.

Phase Two – HomePro will come back to the property before the drywall is hung and insulation put in, usually just after the code inspector has done their inspection. We will check the framing and structure, wiring, roofing, and plumbing to make sure everything is installed properly. The homebuyer receives a second narrative report on any deficient items which can be forwarded to the builder upon request.

Phase Three – HomePro will return for a final full home inspection evaluating all systems. The new homeowner will receive a complete report for future reference and to aid them in their one-year warranty builder inspection.

Additional phases of inspections can be placed between the three phases above if the clients desires. Some out-of-town clients feel more comfortable with a greater number of visits. We are flexible and can put together a custom plan if desired.

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For the best Rochester NY home inspection, people trust the professional home inspectors at HomePro Inspections. Our home inspectors help you avoid making your home purchase your most costly mistake.

Join over 8000 happy home buyers and experience the HomePro Home Inspection difference! Call 585-670-6323 and talk with one of our friendly, helpful team members to schedule your inspection today or click to Schedule Online right here on our website!

 

Your Rochester Home Inspector Explains ~ Moldy Attic

A bathroom fan is discharging moisture into the attic…and is creating a great environment in which mold can grow!

Recommendation: The bathroom fan needs to be fixed properly so it vents up through the roof, the soffits need to be opened to allow fresh air in and a Mold Expert needs to be brought in to determine what must be done to clean up the mold in the moldy attic!

Moving This Summer? Navigate The Peak Season Like A Pro

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Are you planning a move this summer? Here you can find some information that should make your move just a little easier. From Your Friends at Rochester HomPro Inspections.

Summer is the busiest time of the year for home and business moves. In fact, an estimated 65 percent of the 43 million Americans who are moving this year will do so in the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

What does that mean for those with a move in the immediate future? Considering the fact that moving is ranked just behind death and divorce in terms of life’s most stressful events, a summer move Young Family Having Fun In Parkmight mean stocking up on extra stress balls and taking a few extra deep breaths along the way.

“Whether you are hiring help or doing it yourself, you can expect a fair amount of anxiety,” says Sean E. Burns, a psychologist with Counseling Associates of West Michigan. “It’s helpful to simply recognize that it’s normal that your life is out of order during this period. Once moved, it’s important to resume life’s routines as soon as possible. Don’t worry about getting everything in place right away; put a priority on resuming your workouts and family trips to the park, and the rest will take care of itself over time.”

A summer move also means that you need to plan further in advance and be more flexible with your move dates.

“We moved 1.3 homes or businesses per minute last summer,” says Randy Shacka, president of Two Men And A Truck, the nation’s largest franchised moving company, “In fact, we moved 2,851 homes and businesses in the two days between June 28 and June 29. Based on year-over-year trend analysis of every move within our 260 store system, we believe that same weekend will likely be our busiest again this summer.”

So, beyond avoiding a late June move, how do you begin to navigate the waters of the busiest moving season?

“In a perfect world we’d all plan ahead, but the reality is we’re busy with work and life and next thing you know you have seven days to get moved,” Shacka says. “So while it’s important to be flexible, box things in advance, etc., you might just consider doing a few simple things to make your life a bit easier on move day.”

Shacka suggests the following:

1732656_webKids rule: If hiring a sitter isn’t an option on move day, get the kids involved as “supervisors.” Help them with a simple checklist or turn a box into a “treasure chest” of their own belongings so the move becomes a positive experience for them. For more kid-friendly move-day ideas, visit www.twomenandatruck.com/moving-with-kids.

Free Fido: If watching the kids weren’t enough, try managing the dog as she tries to skirt through every open door. Ask a family friend to watch the animals, or consider boarding them for the day. The money spent is a good investment in reducing your overall stress.

Space it out: Often homeowners will move all their furniture into one room to save time for their movers. This can be a cost savings for boxes, but when it comes to furniture it can slow the move down. A good moving company will use stretch wrap to protect furniture, so when packed tightly together into one room the pieces have to be moved twice to properly prepare for the move. Go ahead and consolidate boxes, but save yourself the hassle and leave furniture where it lives.

Picture this: Photos are often the last thing to be packed because it seems safer to just leave them hanging until they are ready to be moved. In truth, they often delay a move because movers have to remove them to get furniture past. This time ask your movers to provide you with-the appropriate packing materials in advance and pack your photos yourself. It’s often light lifting, and it’s a fun way to relive memories while thinking about life’s next great adventure.

If you or someone you know is looking for a quality Rochester Home Inspection, Rochester HomePro Inspections is here for you. Call Us Today at 585-670-6323 or Schedule Online Now by Clicking Here

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For more moving advice, visit www.twomenandatruck.com.

Our Commercial Inspections

HomePro Inspections provides inspection services to property managers, investors, and owners for commercial properties such as office buildings, apartment buildings, restaurants, retail stores, warehouse buildings, and other light commercial properties. Our engineers are experienced and trained in evaluating all major building components.

Team Approach


George Cline, Chris Sheridan and Rick Papaj

Unlike a typical home inspection where a single inspector visits and inspects the home, during a commercial visit HomePro uses a team of Licensed Professional Engineers to perform the inspections. For larger buildings, it may be necessary to enlist the assistance of reputable contractors for specialty items such as chimneys, elevators, security/alarm systems, and fire extinguishing systems or other specialized systems or components. These specialists would accompany us during the inspection to evaluate their specific specialty.

Great Tip From Your Rochester Home Inspector About Your Clothes Dryer

This dryer vent information was sent to me and I thought I should share since it’s such an easy thing to do but many of us probably have no idea about this.

DryerStory: The heating unit went out on my dryer! When the handyman that fixes things for us around the house came out to fix it, he said he wanted to show us something. He went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes). He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material; I’m sure you know what your dryer’s lint filter looks like. Well…the hot water just sat on top of Dryer Vent Link Trapthe mesh! It didn’t drain through at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over the lint filter mesh and that’s what can burn out the heating unit. You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there.

dryer sheetsIt’s what is in dryer sheets that make your clothes soft and static free. That nice fragrance too. You know how the dryer sheet feels waxy when you take them out of the box…well this waxy stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint filter screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down! He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to help keep your electric bill low) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or some other type brush) at least every six months. This helps make the life of the dryer last a lot longer!Dryer vent lint trap clean

What do you think about that!?! You learn something new every day! I certainly didn’t know dryer sheets could do that, so, I thought I’d share!

Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it, the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn’t any puddling at all! That handyman knew what he was talking about!

So now you should go and check your lint filter by running water over it to see if the water puddles. If so, just use hot soapy water and a brush to clean it. It works great and you’ll be a lot safer! Be sure to share with your family and friends too!

From your friends at HomePro Inspections!
585-670-6323

http://rochesterhomepro.com/

Meet Our Team

Home Pro Home Inspections George Cline 2

Picture 005Sean Adam
NYS Home Inspector License Number 16000032380

Sean Adam is a NYS licensed home inspector and a graduate of the New York State School of Home Inspection and Construction. Sean has over 20 years experience in many facets of residential construction including roofing, siding, windows and doors.

Rick Papaj, P.E.
NYS Home Inspector License Number 16000010852Picture 011

Rick Papaj is Vice President of HomePro Inspections. He is a NYS licensed professional engineer and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Buffalo. Rick has over 20 years of engineering experience and has been with HomePro Inspections since 1997. Since that time he has completed over 1000 building inspections including residential and commercial structures. Rick has extensive and varied experience in the Civil Engineering field, managing municipal highway and bridge projects, and in the home construction field, having built his own home. He also participates in the field training process of new home inspectors. In addition to home and commercial property inspections, Rick consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as new construction.

Picture 007Chris Sheridan, P.E.
NYS Home Inspector License Number 16000013361

Chris Sheridan is a NYS and Pennsylvania licensed professional engineer and received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Civil Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has over 20 years of engineering experience and has been with HomePro Inspections since 1999. Chris has extensive Civil Engineering experience in residential, commercial, highway, utility, and bridge construction. He also participates in the field training process of new home inspectors. In addition to home and commercial property inspections, Chris consults with home and building owners on specific concerns such as drainage issues.

George Cline, P.E.Picture 008
NYS Home Inspector License Number 16000006848

George Cline is President of HomePro Inspections which he founded in 1991 after attending the Professional Home Inspectors Institute in Falls Church, Virginia. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Buffalo. 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).

 

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