Turn Your Outdoor Living Space Into A Party Area

Outdoor DeckYour Rochester, New York home inspection company, HomePro Inspections, is pleased to share with you ideas about getting decked out: prep your outdoor living space for a party

Whether you’re hosting a backyard barbecue or entertaining a late-night dinner party on the deck, summer is the perfect time to throw a get-together in your outdoor living space.

The outdoor living experts at Trex offer these tips for creating a party-perfect deck, porch or patio.

Plan a weekend makeover

If your deck needs a “face lift,” replace old, rotting or warping wood boards with wood-alternative decking that combines superior durability and low-maintenance with long-lasting appearance. High-performance composite decking like Trex Transcend, available in a variety of sought-after tropical colors, can withstand years of heavy foot traffic and severe weather, as well as outdoor entertaining mishaps like food and drink spills, or dropped grilling tools. With Trex’s protective shell technology, it’s resistant to fading, staining, scratching and mold and only requires an occasional soap and water cleaning to wipe away any signs of barbecue accidents.

Define your space

When prepping for a party, establish areas for relaxing, dining and socializing. Create a defined space for conversation by placing weather-resistant sofas and chairs around a coffee table or fire pit. This will help the flow of conversation and make your guests feel at ease. And, since most people flock to the food, set-up a food and drink station with portable bars and serving carts in the dining area. Treat your guests to seasonal snacks and an assortment of refreshing drinks.

Create coverage

A pergola can act as an extension of your house, creating the effect of an outdoor room. The overhead framing contributes to the architectural details of your space – not to mention shade from the summer’s heat. Consider adding a waterproof, retractable canopy into the structure so your party can carry on – rain or shine.

Incorporate outdoor lighting

The sun setting doesn’t have to darken your outdoor party. To set the mood, add outdoor lighting that enhances both ambiance and safety. From deck lighting to landscape lighting, there is a wide array of lighting solutions available to help extend your entertaining into the night. Trex OutdoorLighting allows you to install lighting fixtures directly into your deck, railing or landscape. For added flair, string lights in trees, pergolas or trellises, decorate with candles or hang lanterns.

Add finishing touches

When selecting furniture for your outdoor living space, look for durable materials, like composite that will withstand use and environmental elements. Lend personal charm and style to your deck with accessories and decor. Incorporating patterned throw pillows, eye-catching tableware or vibrant seasonal plants are easy, cost-effective ways to spruce up your space, and they’ll add extra pops of color to your party.

For more outdoor living inspiration and advice, visit www.trex.com/inspiration/blog.

george cline rochester, new york home inspector and owner of homepro inspections

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/

How To Choose A Patio Door

Your Rochester, New York home inspection company, HomePro Inspections, is pleased to share with you how to choose a patio door to transform your home’s view

rochester, new york patio door ideaIt’s the time of year to get outside, dine on the deck, bask in the backyard or relax on the patio.

Is your home ready for summer entertaining or is it time for a remodeling or replacement project? If the answer is the latter, now’s the time to get more out of your home by improving access to the great outdoors.

You can do this by replacing your patio door. Replacing it can transform your home’s view and comfort year-round. Here’s how you can begin the process.

Select a style: hinged or sliding

Hinged – Hinged patio doors, often called French doors, add an elegant look to your home. Choose from popular options like two movable doors that swing open from the sides to allow room to move in big furniture or groups of guests, or movable and fixed door combinations that can hinge from the center or a single door for simple elegance. You can also create a custom design, complete with sidelights or transom windows, to span your home’s unique architecture.

Sliding – If floor space is limited or if your patio door opens to a balcony, consider a sliding patio door, since they take up less floor space. Look for a patio door with the sliding panel on the outside, so that when the wind blows against it, the design creates a tighter, more energy-efficient seal to help keep your home comfortable.

Many sliding patio doors from Pella offer the Rolscreen retractable insect screen option to refresh your home with fresh air. Roll the Rolscreen in place to help keep insects out and simply roll it out of sight to blend in with the patio door’s design when not in use.

Choose energy-efficient options

Look for the ENERGY STAR to easily select energy-efficient patio door styles, like those from Pella made from wood, fiberglass or vinyl frames with double- or triple-pane insulating glass options.

Wood – Consider the natural warmth, beauty and energy-efficiency of wood patio doors. They are available in virtually any shape, size, grille pattern, and exterior color. You can save time by choosing factory prefinished wood interiors and trim.

Vinyl – For exceptional energy performance, outstanding strength and weather resistance, consider a vinyl patio door. Low-maintenance vinyl sliding doors will look great for years, without the need for painting.

Fiberglass – For a durable product that withstands extreme weather, plus resists dents and high traffic from people or pets, consider a fiberglass patio door. Sleek, strong, highly-energy efficient fiberglass withstands extreme heat, cold, and moisture. With a long-lasting powder coat finish, fiberglass patio doors like the Pella Impervia line don’t need painting and resist sagging and warping, even in dark colors, even in hot climates.

Decide on decorative options

Optional between-the-glass shades or blinds help reduce dust accumulation, eliminating the dreaded chore of cleaning blinds or shades. Blinds or shades between-the-glass are a natural for patio doors, since they don’t interfere with the operation of the door itself, yet make it a breeze to control light and privacy. Plus, shades and blinds without roomside cords are safer options for homes with pets or children.

Choose from grilles permanently applied to the exterior of glass surfaces or with the added convenience of between-the-glass grille options that make cleaning a breeze. You can also consider removable grilles to transform your home’s look from contemporary to Colonial in a snap.

Transform your home’s view

Visit Pella Windows and Doors on Houzz for more design inspiration and Pella.com/news to learn more, and schedule an in-home consultation. Call 855-735-5232 to connect with your local Pella representative to discuss your home improvement project.

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 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/

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/