Choose Quality Over Quantity To Create The Bathroom Of Your Dreams

18943244While your dream bath may be a sprawling space, the reality is that the typical bathroom is 100 square feet or less. According to recent home builder statistics, the average home size has seen a 6 percent decline in recent years. That doesn’t mean you need to give up on your dream bath. A large bathroom footprint isn’t always the answer to a better bath. Focusing on quality products can create a luxurious look, even in a small space.

Free up floor and counter space

You may not be able to create more space but there are many ways to create the illusion of more space. Adding a pedestal sink or a furniture-style vanity with legs gives an increased line of sight, making the space appear larger. Similarly, clutter takes up valuable space. One way to free up extra room on the countertop is with a single-handle or wall-mount faucet. Doors can also make a room feel constrained. Rather than a traditional swing or hinged door, opt for pocket doors; which frees up approximately 10 square feet of floor space.

Focus on fabulous fixtures

We all need storage in the bath, but don’t limit yourself to the horizontal surfaces. Make the most of your vertical space by adding bath accessories, as well.

“When updating the bathroom, many homeowners take inspiration from upscale hotels,” says Tim Bitterman, director of marketing and new product development, Moen Accessories. “Moen offers a variety of unique ‘hotel-style’ accessories to add functionality and enhance the style of your bath.”

Adding a hotel shelf, which combines a towel bar with a shelf, offers an excellent storage spot for towels. A wall-mount hair dryer holder, a pivoting wall-mount makeup mirror, a curved shower rod and robe hooks are all excellent hotel-inspired accessory options.

Dominate with dual-function

Dual-function products are perfect for smaller baths because they offer added benefits without taking up more space. Update your toilet paper holder, towel bar and in-shower shelves with newer versions that integrate a grab bar. Moen Home Care offers stylish grab bar designs featuring a paper holder, a towel bar and two shelf designs; all in a variety of finishes to help you update these bathroom basics while adding storage, safety and style.

Swap soaking for a sensational shower

Sixty-three percent of Americans shower at least once a day. Since we tend to shower more than soak, creating one sensational showering space and possibly eliminating the tub, is a wise use of surface area. For an easy upgrade, swap your showerhead with a new, high-quality model. Or, for a more luxurious remodel, install a vertical spa complete with components like body sprays and a hand shower on a single wall.

And, no matter how large or small your shower, there’s always room to add seating, which increases safety and ease while shaving and washing. The fold-down teak seat from Moen Home Care is a great option since it features a unique wall-mount design that folds down for a comfortable and secure shower seat to avoid slips and falls. When not in use, it folds up to a thin, compact profile.

It’s all smoke (and light) and mirrors

There are more benefits to mirrors in a bathroom other than a place to check your hair and make-up. They can actually make a room appear twice as large as the actual size. In addition to your vanity mirror, consider hanging a full-length mirror on a door. Similarly, bringing in more light will open up the space and make your bathroom come to life. A skylight is a unique addition, since it utilizes the often unused ceiling space. Lighting fixtures are also an ideal way to brighten the space, but don’t settle for boring basics. Try more stylish options, like sconces, which can add a more designer, upscale feel.

Remember to shop for quality over quantity when updating your bath and soon you’ll enjoy the serenity of a stylish and organized space. For more information, visit moen.com or call 800-BUY-MOEN (800-289-6636).

Picture 009George 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/

10 Tips For Making A Small Bathroom Feel Larger

17183147Is your tiny bathroom cramping your functionality and style, leaving you longing for the enormous bathrooms gracing the pages of design magazines? Even if your bathroom is a fraction of the size, all it takes is some design savvy to make the most of the space you have. Consider these 10 smart tips that will help your bathroom look, feel and function like those larger contenders.

1. Get creative with corners

Space is at a premium in small bathrooms, so it’s important to maximize every inch. Corners, for example, provide extra space for shelving, storage units and even hooks. Get creative and install unique design solutions that are not only functional, but also eye-catching.

2. Rethink your toilet

Every bathroom needs a toilet, but is your current throne hogging space? A sleek, wall-mounted model, like Kohler’s Veil wall-hung toilet, reclaims up to 12 precious inches of floor space. Concealed mounting hardware provides a seamless look that is comfortable and makes the toilet easy to clean.

3. Let solid colors shine

Busy patterns have a shrinking effect and make small bathrooms seem even smaller. Conversely, light natural hues make a space feel more open. If you’re itching to get creative with design, experiment with textures but keep overpowering patterns to a minimum.

4. Maximize your bathtub

A bathtub takes up a significant portion of the room, but modern, compact options with curved basins, can make the tub feel larger when in use, all while conserving space.

5. Select a smaller faucet

A faucet is jewelry for the bathroom. And just as accessories can overpower an outfit, a big bulky faucet isn’t flattering in a small bath. Single-handle designs conserve counter space, while a wall-mount installation frees it up all together and can create quite the wow-factor, if the budget can accommodate the required changes to plumbing behind the wall.

6. Make vanity storage simple

If you’re in a storage war with your small bathroom, you’re not alone in the battle. Toiletries and personal supplies without a place to call home only add clutter and chaos. Store smart with a space-saving vanity, like the Robern Compact Vanity. Equipped with glass drawer organizers and customizable components such as in-drawer electric plug-ins, staying organized and cutting clutter is simple.

7. Show off the shower

Shower curtains may be pretty, but they interrupt the visual flow of a bathing space and make it feel significantly smaller. In bathrooms with small footprints, opt for a clear glass sliding shower door that doesn’t require the clearance of one with a hinged design. If you’re embarking on a big remodel, create the illusion of more space by using same tile in the shower that’s used throughout; instead of seeing them as two separate zones, the eye will read them as one.

8. Discover the treasure of hidden storage

Work with a contractor, and you just might find some serious storage potential hidden behind your walls. Whether it’s utilizing space between the studs for shallow shelving or a creating a small linen closet by annexing space from an adjacent room, even small additions can make a big difference.

9. Use angles to your advantage

Tile is a beautiful, durable addition to any bathroom. For dainty spaces, consider installing tile at a diagonal to accentuate the longest wall.

10. Choose the right lights

Strategically install light to reflect and brighten a small bathroom to make it appear larger. Recessed lighting is an affordable solution for tiny rooms, offering ample light while taking up little space. Wall sconces alongside a mirror also reflect off the walls and make a room feel bright and airy.

Picture 009George 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/

The Best Kind Of Home Improvements: High-Impact, Low-Maintenance

17069368Yes, everyone knows making home improvements is a worthy investment in your greatest material asset. Sure you want every improvement job done well with top-notch end results. But when all is said and done, do you really want to have to put a lot of effort and money into maintaining those improvements? For most people – whether they’ll admit it or not – the answer is “no.”

The best home improvements are the ones that not only enhance your home’s value and livability, but also require little work from you afterward to keep them looking great and functioning well. If you’re looking for high-impact, low-maintenance home improvements, consider these popular projects:

No-leak skylights

When it comes to an improvement that brightens your home, enhances its indoor air quality and boosts energy-efficiency, skylights deliver. Unfortunately, early skylights had a reputation for being leaky – a problem that simply doesn’t occur with modern, no leak, energy-efficient skylights like those made by Velux America. Pre-engineered flashing kits (the metal shield that surrounds any opening in a wall or roof) work with all types of roofs, from shingles to metal, to ensure a properly installed skylight won’t leak.

Need further low-maintenance points to make the case for adding a skylight? Not only do modern skylights keep water out, they’re energy efficient as well. Energy Star-qualified, no leak solar-powered fresh air skylights, like those from Velux, deliver fresh air through cost-effective passive ventilation. Adding remote-controlled, solar-powered blinds allows you to easily open or close a fresh air skylight and shade it when the sun hits that part of the roof, boosting the skylight’s energy efficiency by 39 percent. Keep the shade open during cold weather to admit warmth and reduce heating costs. A 30 percent federal tax credit on both products and installation costs makes a skylight project even more appealing. Visit www.veluxusa.com for a tax calculator to show your savings for a new installation or replacement skylights and a skylight planner app to show exactly how skylights and blinds will look in any area of your home.

Lighting upgrade

Older light fixtures not only look dated, they often use outdated, inefficient bulbs and are lacking in the energy-efficient emphasis that comes with newer fixtures. Upgrading lighting throughout your home is a great way to ensure you won’t have to think about it again any time soon.

If a total lighting redesign is out of the question, you can still make your existing light fixtures lower maintenance simply by swapping out old, inefficient incandescent light bulbs with newer, electricity-sipping versions. Options like CFLs and LEDs provide all the light of incandescents while using a fraction of the energy. Energy.gov says Energy Star-rated LEDs use at least 75 percent less power than incandescent bulbs, and last 25 times longer. Imagine the time, hassle and money you’ll save not having to replace bulbs constantly – especially in lights that get a lot of use, like porch lights, or that are hard to reach, like the chandelier in your two-story entryway.

Vinyl siding

Wood, fiber cement, stucco, brick – there are nearly as many types of exterior siding as there are colors to paint it. When it comes to low- or no-maintenance siding, vinyl remains the gold standard. In fact, more new homes are built using vinyl siding than any other type of siding product, according to the Vinyl Siding Institute.

While early versions of vinyl siding introduced in the 1950s earned criticism for being less lovely than wood, even those less sophisticated versions had staying power; it’s possible to find homes in use today sporting vinyl siding that was added to the house in the 1970s or even earlier.

Vinyl siding never needs to be painted, and when properly installed provides exceptional shielding from the elements. New technology has made modern vinyl siding look better and last longer without fading issues associated with older versions of vinyl. It requires basic cleaning, and overall maintenance demands are much less than other types of siding. Visit www.vinylsiding.org to learn more.

Picture 009George 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/

Aging-In-Place Upgrades That Look Great And Make Sense

17065127Do the words “aging in place” and “home improvement” conjure images of institutional-looking grab bars in bathrooms and overhead kitchen lights that could illuminate an airport runway? Many people eschew certain types of home improvements for the same reason others refuse to wear hearing aids – the negative connotations of age.

Changes in mobility, vision, hearing and stability are a reality of growing older for many Americans. Certain types of home improvements can make your home safer and more comfortable as you age, allowing you to live there longer. From lovely skylights that fill rooms with vision-friendly natural light and fresh air to slip-resistant flooring in designer colors, those “aging in place” home improvements can be beautiful as well as functional.

Here are a handful of aging-in-place upgrades that shout “fabulous” instead of “fogey”:

In the kitchen

We all spend a great deal of time in the kitchen, and it’s the room where we also do the most work. Upgrades that improve your ability to reach important appliances, enhance vision and boost safety will help you use your kitchen more efficiently for as long as possible.

Age-related vision changes can necessitate increasing the amount of light in your kitchen. Task lights and under-cabinet lighting can focus illumination where you need it most, and hide discretely out of sight without disrupting the clean lines and unmarked beauty of kitchen cabinets.

Overhead lighting is also important, but rather than opting for industrial-type lights that may cause harsh glare, consider introducing natural light. Research published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology suggests that natural light may be better for aging eyes than artificial light. A skylight is an upscale, beautiful home improvement that can benefit boomers with natural light.

Skylights can also help improve indoor air quality. Most exposure to environmental pollution occurs by breathing indoor air, according to research by the Greenguard Environmental Institute. No leak solar powered fresh air skylights, like those made by Velux America, not only provide healthful natural light, they also provide passive ventilation to reduce fumes, humidity and stale air – improving overall indoor air quality.

You can increase a skylight’s energy efficiency with solar powered blinds. The complete daylighting system, plus installation, is eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit. To learn more about these Energy Star-qualified skylights, visit www.veluxusa.com. The website offers a skylight planner app to show you exactly how skylights and blinds will look in your home, as well as a tax credit calculator to figure your savings.

In the bath

Falls are a leading cause of injuries that result in hospitalization of older people. Most falls in the home occur in the bathroom, so taking precautions in this much-used room makes sense. Like them or not, grab bars improve safety in the bathroom. Fortunately, bathroom fixture manufacturers seem to understand the need for products that blend safety and beauty. It’s now easy to find grab bars in a variety of attractive finishes and designs that complement your interior decor.

Lighting is also important in the bath, and a fresh air skylight can be beneficial in this room. Skylights provide natural light and passive ventilation while ensuring privacy in the bath. If your bathroom is on the ground floor, without direct roof access, you can still enjoy natural light by installing a Sun Tunnel tubular skylight.

Flooring is another opportunity to blend beauty and practicality in the bathroom. Replacing slick, traditional ceramic tiles with slip-resistant flooring such as stone, vinyl or textured ceramic tile, can be visually pleasing and safety-enhancing at the same time.

Outside the house

Navigating from the car to the front door can be fraught with peril for older folks, yet many people dislike the way certain assistive devices, like ramps, look in front of their home. If you’re not ready to add a ramp, a decorative railing for outdoor stairs is a great alternative. It’s easy to find good-looking options and virtually any home contractor can help you create a railing that meets your safety needs and meshes well with your home’s exterior design.

Outdoor lighting is also important for safety. Make sure walkways are well lit with low lamps that put illumination directly at your feet. New high-output solar lights are a great way to effectively light a path while minimizing energy costs. Finally, keep concrete sidewalks and brick pavements in good repair. Take care of uneven spots or loose pavers right away, to reduce the risk of falling outside.

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/