Spiff Up Your Room With Mirrored Closet Doors

If you are planning to update your bedroom, or any areas of your house such as pantry or laundry, mirrored closet doors should be on the top of your design ideas. When buying a mirrored door, make sure that you have a background on the different types of door available on the market and should consider what type would best compliment your room decor.

Safety and maintenance may be the factors that should be your prime consideration when buying a mirrored door. Make sure that you get the tempered material which is resistant to cracking or breaking. Prices for mirrored closet doors vary depending on the type of mirrors and hardware used. Here are some offered by some online retailers.

Series 4900 Frameless Bi-Fold Mirror Door System:

This frameless bifold door system creates an uninterrupted mirror reflection and can double as a full-length mirror, giving you a full-length view when dressing up. The hardware is concealed creating a dramatic mirror look and casting shimmering reflections every time you open or close the door. You have the option to choose beveled edges for a more elegant look. This door takes advantage of the FINELINE system of Arcadia Industries, setting it apart from other mirrored closet doors available on the market today. The hardware is constructed to accommodate and carry the weight of mirrored panels, eliminating any binding or racking to give you a smooth and fluid door movement.

Series 4100 Aluminum, Swing Mirror Door System:

This swing mirror door is a good replacement for traditional wood doors. You can use this door in almost all closets in your home, from wardrobe to linen. It visually expands the dimensions of your room and can double as a full-length mirror for dressing. This door is available in standard size which means that it can fit on non-standard openings because of its overlay feature, thus requiring no precise fit. Installing this door would give you labor and material savings because there is no door stop or casing needed. The installation could be done by one person only. The door could accommodate an opening width of 36 inches and is gold finished. Other features include pivots and nylon bushings, strike plate and magnetic catch.

Kestrel Mirror Closet Doors:

Just like other Kestrel mirrored doors, this door also incorporates LEED features. This means that the door is constructed with a combination of mirror or glass and wood, thus maximizing the green benefits. The quality of this mirrored door is evident on its premium solid hardwood frame and accurate tenon joinery. You also can choose removeable trim models which would allow you to switch between mirror inserts or glass. As an added offer, Kestrel doors can be customized to match any modern home interior. Style options include wooden, louvered, bypass and French.

Mirrored Sliding Closet Doors by Ramtrack:

This Ramtrack mirrored door has seamless edges to make your closet look like a wall with mirror. The effect can make your room look elegant and larger. The frame of this door is designed in such a way that the mirror is protected against breaking or cracking. You have 19 choices of frame finishes, including chrome, brass, white, ivory and gold. The door also features an anti-jump mechanism.

Why Wall Mount Sliding Doors Are Ideal For A Bedroom Remodel

If you wish to create a magnificent alteration in your house design, you may want to think about a wall mount sliding door set in your bedroom wardrobes and bath. They are not only inexpensive, they’re also available in a variety of designs and styles that will create a contemporary look inside any home.

Sliding Variations

In case your objective is to save money, time and space on your upgrade, sliding closet doors are probably your best bet. With these you don’t have to worry about opening into the room and bumping into furniture. They also can be custom made to fit the room and they can really amp up the style level as well. Many manufacturers are churning out top notch vinyl sliding closet doors too, which are ideal for highly trafficked areas of the home where damage might be a concern. What’s more, there are wood sliding closet doors that can be stained to look blonde or dark brown, depending on the color you desire.

Bifold Variations

In contrast to sliding doorways, the bifold variety allows for full entry into your wardrobe. By folding in either direction, this type of door gives you access to the center of the closet, instead of access from either side. Large closets do well with two to three bifold types, while small closets need only have one. Like their sliding door cousins, bifolds also come in a variety of materials, but the most common are metal, wood and vinyl.

Glass Variations

Clear glass doors are yet another wall mount option. Used more often as room dividers or study entrances, more and more, these bright and open door designs are being used in closets as well. Many enjoy them for their rustic, old world charm. Bear in mind, however, that clear glass doorways leave nothing to the imagination in terms of what’s behind them. So, choose them only in areas that you can keep organized, in order to avoid any embarrassment.

Louvered Variations

Another stylish and enchanting add-on for your space, louvered wardrobe doorways can be found in numerous styles and materials, such as polymer bonded, plexiglass and mirrored. The louvered doorway might be polymer bonded, the industry kind of plastic material that may be coupled with pressed wood shavings. Numerous producers choose louvered doors since they’re simple to install and are also much lighter.

A Case For The Wall Mount Sliding Door

When you’re looking to redesign the look of any room, or build a wardrobe from scratch, don’t let the closet be the last consideration. From the room’s needs to the color scheme, style and overall space, a closet door can make or break the functionality and look of a room in an instant. Consider getting a sliding type whenever space is a concern and remember to infuse your personal sense of style from the finish on down to the hardware. Happy re-decorating!

The Space-Saving Feature of Accordion Closet Doors

Accordion or folding closet doors are one option you have if you want your home to have a modern look. The contemporary design of these doors makes them perfect addition to your home decor.

Accordion doors are made of up hinged panels attached on a frame. The typical measurement of each panel is about four inches to five inches. When you open them, they fold back in sections and unfold the same way when you close them. Proper installation of these doors will make it very easy to open even with just a push of your fingers.

Furthermore, accordion doors can be custom-built to fit any interior door size. You are spared of the trouble of altering the door size. Find time to check out online retailers for various designs of accordion doors such as glass, mirrors, plastic or wood. And while you are browsing for a door to buy, make sure that you compare prices to get the best deal. Here is a look at some accordion closet doors that may interest you:

Series 140: Commercial/Residential Custom Wood Folding Accordion Shutter Doors:

This door is ADA-compliant and can be used in both commercial and residential markets. It is finished in one side, folded in less amount of space and remains in place whether in the open or close position. It incorporates the manufacturer’s pin-hinge hardware to ensure durability and strength. This exclusive hardware has a modified handle in swept-wing style. The design of the door takes advantage of the folded door construction. It is suitable for installation in areas where only one side is needed to look good such as closets, utility room or wardrobe areas.

The panels of this door are factory finished and available in vinyl laminate or natural hardwood.

Runwell Accordion Doors:

The dividers and accordion doors manufactured by Runwell are proven to be practical solutions for residential projects that require design flexibility, low cost, durability and maintenance-free. The Runwell doors are designed for constant use and impact. They are maintenance-free because of their double-sided polyester finish. The doors’ heavy gauge steel is prefinished and needs no painting. Simply wipe them with a damp cloth to keep them clean and new looking. These doors are preferred closet choice in government housing projects because steel door panels are extremely durable and maintenance-free.

Small Folding Door Series by Foshan Tianchuang Aluminum Industry Co. Ltd.:

This replacement is made with glass and aluminum frame. It is environmentally friendly and comes in different colors, patterns and sizes. It is heat resistant, break resistant, moisture proofing, corrosion resistant, do not deform and convenient to install. It is also applicable for toilet or shower room.

Mirrored Sliding Doors Create Beautiful Light Effects Inexpensively

Homeowners enjoy creating simple illusions within their homes. Closet doors are great props for creating beautiful illusions within the bedroom and other rooms throughout the interior. Mirrored sliding doors create beautiful light effects and enable a brighter, cozier feel in bedrooms. These doors also create the illusion of a room appearing larger. These products are affordable and easy to install which is great for eliminating installment fees. One does not have to limit this type of door to their bedrooms. These closet doors with mirrors look great on living room closets and other rooms where a closet may be.

These interior doors are not new inventions. Mirrored sliding doors have been around for many years. The doors have evolved from simply placing a large mirror on a closet door with special clips. The evolvement of mirrored closet doors also entails more new and innovative ways in allowing the mirror to show when the closet doors were closed. The old version of these doors hid the mirror from view when closed. Now, the mirrored doors contain beveled edges and grooves which provide more modern looks while allowing the mirror to be viewed at all times, whether the closet is closed or open.

One can always add mirrors to doors already in place on closets but it is highly recommended that the doors be replaced with a mirrored sliding door kit, which proves better for long-term usage and safety. New mirrored sliding doors are safer in comparison to merely attaching a mirror to the door on the closet. When performing a home improvement project such as this, homeowners should always ensure they do the projects right in the first place. Mistakes can prove costly when trying to install new closet doors, regardless of the types of doors one is trying to install.

The sliding closet door kit may be bi-fold closet doors or by-pass sliding doors. They are available for purchase with frameless mirrored doors with frames made from metal. They contain beautiful molding wood frames, which provide stylish appearances, and are appealing in any room within the home. Mirrored sliding doors are smart, beautiful additions to not only bedrooms but also any room where you want to change the look and feel of the room where new closet doors need to be installed.

Mirrored sliding doors are available in numerous sizes and can be custom-made for any room within the home. The kit typically extends to eight feet in length. Custom-mirrored closet doors are wonderful options if the opening of the closet is not the average size. There are fees involved with custom-made doors of any kind and homeowners will find that these sliding doors are quite affordable.

Homeowners can install mirrored sliding doors on their own while avoiding install fees, which can rack up quickly. Ensure that the bottom and top track is installed. By-pass sliding doors prove easier to install in comparison to bi-fold closet doors. The bi-fold closet doors needs a tighter fit due to the opening of the closet normally being square. If one is attempting to install a bi-fold door in a square opening, the drywall jams will not be consistent. This will cause the doors to not open or close easily, however, there will be horrible looking gaps, which is something that homeowners do not want to see after installing new closet doors.

The kits are affordable. The kit can be purchased while allowing someone to stay within the budget for the home improvement project. The most expensive kit can range over five hundred dollars with the more simple kits ranging in the eighty-dollar range. Keep in mind if one is building a new home, these kits can pay for themselves over time. If one considers the cost for new drywall for framing new closet doors, these mirrored sliding doors can save you a ton of money per closet. The savings experienced with this measure will enable homeowners to free up extra money for other much-needed projects in the home.

Make sure that the mirrored sliding doors have jump proof rollers installed for the track system. Some mirrored kits do not have this specific hardware, which is needed to ensure that the closet door stays functional in the future. You do not want these mirrored doors to jump off the track, which is why this kit, even though it does not come with the typical hardware kits, is a wise investment to make. The right kit can make the difference in the future when problems arise with these types of closet doors.

Primitive Country Furniture and Decor

Primitive country furniture brings a harmonious balance into your home with the rest of your decor. These hand-crafted, rustic, and pre-aged furnishings provide warm and welcome comfort to your family and your visitors. For decades the cabin decor, Adirondack, and mountain lodge styles have been known as the least imposing and most comfortable styles available to the country decorator. Primitive country furniture will blend nicely with other similar decorating styles such as the ones listed above and even Arts and Crafts, Mission Movement, French Country and Craftsman furniture. Now, through the incomparable woodworkers of the Amish communities, you too can recreate the surroundings of the great outdoors in your own country home. Your furniture will be understated with simple classic lines.

Cloth and paint colors are neutral or in early Americana colors. The primitive furniture and pillows will be cozy and overstuffed. In the old days, many primitive country furnishings were made from twigs, branches and other natural elements – so look for earthy colors and uneven tones. Primitive country furniture series has tables, chairs, desks, armoires, nightstands, dressers, benches, beds, and thick wood coffee tables. You’ll find them painted, raw, aged, or in artisan hand crafted, old fashioned, traditional designs. The primary feature of this style country furniture is the use of materials from reused pieces, barns, and posts. Planks are old, or fashioned to appear vintage or antique. Some primitive furniture has been created and decorated with bark, branches and twigs. Each log and twig is especially chosen for their shape and texture – right down to the decorative trim. The chunky wood styles of primitive country furniture lend themselves easily to armoires, wardrobes and big tables. Big chests and trunks also double as an innovative coffee table or bench for the foot of the bed.

In the double drawer wardrobe you’ll find much more than a closet. Plain oval dining tables with benches make excellent primitive country dining sets. The wooden wall cupboards, wardrobes, plate racks, and hutches give your dining room a comfortable, country style. Or, place a rectangular work table in your kitchen, and use antique kitchenware for your cooking and serving – this brings back memories of an old farm house, doesn’t it? Use traditional lighting and chandeliers for a truer experience – with those roughly finished cupboards and racks nearby the kitchen experience will be rustic, homey, warm. There are many different ways obtain primitive country furniture, and they aren’t all expensive! Buying used furniture and roughing it up to age it, or overstuffing and recovering larger pieces are two easy and inexpensive alternatives.

This repurposing of existing furniture is also good for the environment. Just because your existing piece of furniture isn’t working for you today, doesn’t mean that it can’t be changed to work for you in the future. For instance, a friend of mine was given an ugly outdated, veneer covered entertainment unit. It was large and just what she needed for her dining room to display her plate collection and cookbooks. We spent 1/2 a day sanding, painting and aging the piece and today everyone asks where they can get primitive country pieces just like hers! Country decor is possible with all the rooms of your house. You can decorate your home wholly or partially in the country style.

So take a look at your existing furniture with a creative eye and consider some of the ways below to changing it to suit your style: Paint, then sand and stain. You won’t believe how different a piece of furniture can look once sanded, painted and stained. You can even change the style of the piece. A cheap wooden Ikea table turned into a beautifl primitive country coffee table (years after use) with a thick application of crackle paint and whitewash finish. Outdated dressers can also change. Change the hardware. A few vintage, restoration or antique handles, hinges or pulls can turn a piece of wood furniture into a rustic masterpiece. Similar to painting, staining and sanding, old glass balls or brass handles add primitive to any previously country furnishing. One of my favorites is to re-upholster or re-cover a sofa, chair, loveseat or footstool. Thick primitive fabric is now easier to come by than ever before (or just look for muslin) to update a piece of furniture.

If you don’t think you have the skill to re-upholster a piece, shop around for some country slipcovers – instant change. Buy antique or vintage pieces. Besides being environmentally friendly, those deals fit right into primitive country decor. Rather than spending $2000 and more on a new couch or dining set, why not shop around for something similar, but gently used? Primitive country furniture is available at affordable prices and will lend that welcome air to any room of your home. Country decor reduces the modern air to most homes and apartments – enhancing the peaceful and authentic nature of your home and your family members.

Top Reasons to Hire a Professional for Elite Home Inspections

When buying a home, some people take it upon themselves to perform the inspection in order to avoid the home inspection cost. They think that since they will be the new homeowners, they know exactly what to look for and will be the best person to assess if the home is right for them or not. This is true to an extent. Certainly most buyers have already decided what basic features they want in a home and are already checking to make sure the house they buy will have these things. However, when it comes to assessing if the home is livable, functional and most importantly safe, then it is best to hand over the job to a certified inspector. Here are the reasons why:

Highly Trained

These professionals are adept at performing elite home inspections because they have been trained for it. They are not only good at checking walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and windows, but they are also informed about local and state building code. Hence, they can tell if the property is violating any rule that may later on present itself as a major cost, or worse, serious safety concern to you and your family.

The excitement and emotions you feel when you find the perfect home may cause you to overlook issues you wouldn’t otherwise. A certified home inspector will give you an unbiased opinion. After all it’s not their job to sell you the home, rather their goal is to help you make sure you buy a home that works. Their training also involves how to do the job systematically, so that no detail or area is left uninspected. Their findings are presented in a formal and detailed report making it easy for you to understand. A good inspector will also answer any additional questions you have to make sure you are informed about all of the issues the home has.

There is a catch, though, not all elite home inspection services have qualified staff. Some may even be practicing illegally. To avoid these providers, make sure to ask for credentials, certifications, and licenses. Check with the association of home inspectors that has jurisdiction over the area to see if they are legit.

Saves You Money and Time

Elite home inspections may seem costly, but that is nothing compared to the cost of major unexpected repairs you may miss if you do your own inspection. Are you prepared to crawl under the home or climb in the attic? Do you know what to look for when you get in there? You can hire a certified home inspector for less than 1/10th of 1% of the purchase price of most homes. Hire a professional and avoid buying a home that is going to cause you heartache for years to come. By going through the property inspection process you can move forward buying with the peace of mind that your family will be safe and secure your new home.

Added Features

Home inspection companies nowadays do more than just inspect your future property. They also offer other complimentary services as added incentive to hire them. For example, some offer insurances that will cover the repair of your sewer line for a specified period after the inspection is done. The thing is, it is difficult to check the sewers, especially the part that transcends underground to the main line. Inspectors will only be able to check the part that they can reach, so they cannot really tell if the sewer line is in a good condition and this will not be included in the scope of their inspection. Fortunately, with this type of insurance, the cost of undetected repairs will be covered. Look at the additional services each company offers as some of these may prove to be invaluable down the road.

Warranties

Another good thing about hiring professional inspectors is that they often offer warranties for their work. This covers the structural and mechanical component, so if you ever see a defect within a specified period after the inspection, they will have to shoulder the repairs for that. Some providers offer a 30-day warranty, while some can offer as long as 90-days, which is an indication that they do their inspections seriously and properly to avoid being liable and handling the cost.

As mentioned, there are home inspectors out there that cannot be trusted, so it is best to know the tell-tall signs to identify them. First, ask for a sample of their reports. If it is only five or so pages long, then back off. Most elite home inspections will be between 30-45 pages on average. These reports cover every detail, include color pictures and provide written explanations of all issues. Second, be wary of inspectors who will recommend contractors to do the repair. If they are connected to a builder or a handyman, there is a good chance that they will say that something needs repair even if it is not true. Of course, some may just be trying to be helpful, but in order to maintain their credibility then they should refrain from such conduct.

Ultimately, the cost of a home inspection is not a good reason for you to skip this step when buying a property. Just think of the problems and expenses that you will face if you buy a home with various defects. Remember, you cannot go after the previous owner once you sign the deed of sale, so be wise about it and hire a professional home inspector.

Tips on a Thorough Home Inspection and Home Testing

A thorough home inspection is one of the most important steps before purchasing a home, and many buyers try to skip this step only to end up regretting it later when problems become apparent. Your home is the place you go to get away from the world, and to relax and put your feet up, or spend time with your family and friends. You want to be reassured that the home you buy is safe and in good condition. A home inspection can give you this peace of mind, using a visual inspection of every aspect of the home both inside and out. This should be done by a professional home inspector who has the education, knowledge, and experience needed to identify problems which may not be readily apparent.

There are some questions you should ask any prospective home inspection company, and things to consider, to guarantee you get a thorough and complete inspection. How long has the inspector been doing these inspections? How many home inspections does the inspector do in a year? How much experience does the home inspector have inspecting homes identical to the one you are buying? These questions are important, because without adequate experience the inspector may miss signs of a hidden problem. Choose a home inspection company that exclusively does only home inspections, and does not just practice this as a sideline to their day job. Ask about the reports that will be given, will you get a written report, an oral report, or both? Does the home inspection company have certification? Do they have insurance?

Set up an appointment for the home inspection with both the seller and the home inspector. Make the appointment during the daytime, when there is plenty of daylight so that flaws and problems will be noticeable instead of hidden in shadows. Allow for at least two to three hours for the home inspection, and make sure you are present. Ask questions of the home inspector, and listen to the answers closely. Make sure that you contact the seller, and that they agree to the visit by the home inspector at the specified time and day. Give the home inspector the name, address, and phone number of the buyer, and the address and directions to the home being inspected, as well as any codes needed to access any lock box that may be installed.

If you need to reschedule the home inspection appointment, make sure to give the inspection company at least twenty four to forty eight hour notice before the appointment time, to avoid being charged. Make sure that all utilities are on at the home, including the electric and gas, and make sure that all appliances like the furnace and hot water heater are on and running. Arrange with the seller for the home inspector to have access to everything, including any attics, basements, garages, outbuildings, closets, and other areas. This will ensure a complete and thorough professional home inspection. Also make arrangements with the seller to make sure any furniture or stored belongings which may block access to electrical panels, access panels, and appliances are moved before the inspector arrives. Payment is expected after the home inspection is done, before the inspector leaves the home, so make sure to have a check or money order ready when the inspection is finished.

When looking at homes, do a personal inspection of each home to narrow down the list of possibilities. A professional home inspection should be done on the home you finally decide to purchase, but doing a personal inspection on each potential purchase will help you weed out the obvious bad choices and save you time and energy. Look for things like apparent cracks or shifts in the foundation, obvious electrical malfunctions, sockets that have scorch marks, signs of severe water damage or mold growth, evidence of leaks, both inside and outside the home, the overall condition and age of the roof, dampness or signs of flooding in the basement or crawlspace, and other signs of repairs that may be needed.

There are some things that a home inspection may not cover, depending on where you live and what company you use for the inspection. Most of the time these are referred to as third party testing services, and they can include water quality testing, radon testing, mold testing, air quality testing, and inspection for wood boring and eating insects like termites. All of these tests may be considered important, depending on what the home inspection shows and any problems that may have been detected by the home inspector. If there is visible mold then mold testing may be suggested, to ensure it is not a toxic strain of mold that can cause human disease and illness. If the water quality is suspect, water testing may be suggested to guarantee that there are no bacteria or other organisms that can sicken you. Radon testing should always be done to make sure this cancer causing gas is not present in the home, and the home inspection report may suggest this as well. A termite inspection could be ordered if the inspector finds evidence that these pests may be present, and posing a danger to the structure of the home by eating the wood. Air quality testing may be done if there is any reason to suspect that the air in the home may be harmful to occupants, and this can be due to mold, radon, or other harmful airborne irritants and pathogens.

Knowing what to expect during a thorough professional home inspection, and the tips to make this process more effective and efficient, can help you get a good idea on any flaws in the home before you make the purchase, without any doubt or confusion involved. This step should never be omitted, even though it may seem costly, because it can save you significantly if there are hidden defects and unseen flaws.

Tips for Choosing A Perfect Home Inspection Company

Purchasing a new home is a big investment. Before investing your hard earned money in buying a house that you have dreamt of, it is important that you check every aspect of it. One of the most significant aspects is getting the entire home inspected before you sign any contract in the process of buying a house.

The industry of home inspection is full of competent home inspectors. There are dozens of home inspection companies that offer reliable home examination services to their clients. But along with the availability of professional home inspectors, the home inspection industry is also plagued with fraud companies who call themselves competent home inspectors. So, it is a must to screen and qualify a company before hiring their inspection services.

There are a number of things that you must keep in mind while selecting a good home examiner for inspecting your new house. Some of them have been mentioned below:

Experience- You must consider hiring the services of a professional who performs at least 300 inspections per year. House inspectors having more years of experience are most desirable for the job of home inspection.

Knowledge- The home inspection company you choose must be knowledgeable enough to understand every system in a home. Professionals having a relevant degree in the field of engineering or architecture are considered best for the work of home assessment. Professionals dealing in general construction are also considered ideal for the role of house inspectors.

Reputation- When you are dealing with a professional company, it is important to note the reputation of both the company and the inspector who will be performing the work of inspection for your house. You must always request your hired company to send you a trained and reputed inspector for inspecting your home.

Getting relevant reports- Ensure that your hired house inspection company provides you a report that covers all the aspects of scrutiny. The inspection of your new house must include a signed report that describes what inspection was carried and also it will include the conditions of the inspected items. There are a number of home assessors who provide a checklist of items that they inspect. On the other hand, there are professionals who provide a written description of all the items that are inspected.

The cost of the inspection – Before you hire the services of a professional home examination company, you must also ask them to give you an estimate of the total cost associated with the inspection of the house. Once you get an estimate, you can compare it with other companies before hiring any particular company.

You must consider all the above points because at the end, it is the knowledge and experience of the home examiner that matters a lot in the work of home inspection.

Home Inspections – A Question and Answer Guide

A home inspection is an evaluation of the visible and accessible systems and components of a home (plumbing, heating and cooling, electrical, structure, roof, etc.) and is intended to give the client (buyer, seller, or homeowner) a better understanding of the home’s general condition. Most often it is a buyer who requests an inspection of the home he or she is serious about purchasing. A home inspection delivers data so that decisions about the purchase can be confirmed or questioned, and can uncover serious and/or expensive to repair defects that the seller/owner may not be aware of. It is not an appraisal of the property’s value; nor does it address the cost of repairs. It does not guarantee that the home complies with local building codes or protect a client in the event an item inspected fails in the future. [Note: Warranties can be purchased to cover many items.] A home inspection should not be considered a “technically exhaustive” evaluation, but rather an evaluation of the property on the day it is inspected, taking into consideration normal wear and tear for the home’s age and location. A home inspection can also include, for extra fees, Radon gas testing, water testing, energy audits, pest inspections, pool inspections, and several other specific items that may be indigenous to the region of the country where the inspection takes place. Home inspections are also used (less often) by a seller before listing the property to see if there are any hidden problems that they are unaware of, and also by homeowners simply wishing to care for their homes, prevent surprises, and keep the home investment value as high as possible.

The important results to pay attention to in a home inspection are:

1. Major defects, such as large differential cracks in the foundation; structure out of level or plumb; decks not installed or supported properly, etc. These are items that are expensive to fix, which we classify as items requiring more than 2% of the purchase price to repair.

2. Things that could lead to major defects – a roof flashing leak that could get bigger, damaged downspouts that could cause backup and water intrusion, or a support beam that was not tied in to the structure properly.

3. Safety hazards, such as an exposed electrical wiring, lack of GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) in kitchens and bathrooms, lack of safety railing on decks more than 30 inches off the ground, etc.

Your inspector will advise you about what to do about these problems. He/she may recommend evaluation – and on serious issues most certainly will – by licensed or certified professionals who are specialists in the defect areas. For example, your inspector will recommend you call a licensed building engineer if they find sections of the home that are out of alignment, as this could indicate a serious structural deficiency.

Home Inspections are only done by a buyer after they sign a contract, right?

This is not true! As you will see when you read on, a home inspection can be used for interim inspections in new construction, as a maintenance tool by a current homeowner, a proactive technique by sellers to make their home more sellable, and by buyers wanting to determine the condition of the potential home.

Sellers, in particular, can benefit from getting a home inspection before listing the home. Here are just a few of the advantages for the seller:

· The seller knows the home! The home inspector will be able to get answers to his/her questions on the history of any problems they find.

· A home inspection will help the seller be more objective when it comes to setting a fair price on the home.

· The seller can take the report and make it into a marketing piece for the home.

· The seller will be alerted to any safety issues found in the home before they open it up for open house tours.

· The seller can make repairs leisurely instead being in a rush after the contract is signed.

Why should I get a home inspection?

Your new home has dozens of systems and over 10,000 parts – from heating and cooling to ventilation and appliances. When these systems and appliances work together, you experience comfort, energy savings, and durability. Weak links in the system, however, can produce assorted problems leading to a loss in value and shortened component life. Would you buy a used car without a qualified mechanic looking at it? Your home is far more complicated, and to have a thorough inspection that is documented in a report arms you with substantial information on which to make decisions.

Why can’t I do the inspection myself?

Most homebuyers lack the knowledge, skill, and objectivity needed to inspect a home themselves. By using the services of a professional home inspector, they gain a better understanding of the condition of the property; especially whether any items do not “function as intended” or “adversely affect the habitability of the dwelling” or “warrant further investigation” by a specialist. Remember that the home inspector is a generalist and is broadly trained in every home system.

Why can’t I ask a family member who is handy or who is a contractor to inspect my new home?

Although your nephew or aunt may be very skilled, he or she is not trained or experienced in professional home inspections and usually lacks the specialized test equipment and knowledge required for an inspection. Home inspection training and expertise represent a distinct, licensed profession that employs rigorous standards of practice. Most contractors and other trade professionals hire a professional home inspector to inspect their own homes when they themselves purchase a home!

What does a home inspection cost?

This is often the first question asked but the answer tells the least about the quality of the inspection. Fees are based according to size, age and various other aspects of the home. Inspection fees from a certified professional home inspector generally start under $300. An average price for a 2,000 square foot home nationally is about $350-$375. What you should pay attention to is not the fee, but the qualifications of your inspector. Are they nationally certified (passed the NHIE exam)? Are they state certified if required?

How long does the inspection take?

This depends upon the size and condition of the home. You can usually figure 1.2 hours for every 1,000 square feet. For example, a 2,500 square foot house would take about 3 hours. If the company also produces the report at your home, that will take an additional 30-50 minutes.

Do all homes require a home inspection?

Yes and No. Although not required by law in most states, we feel that any buyer not getting a home inspection is doing themselves a great disservice. They may find themselves with costly and unpleasant surprises after moving into the home and suffer financial headaches that could easily have been avoided.

Should I be at the inspection?

It’s a great idea for you be present during the inspection – whether you are buyer, seller, or homeowner. With you there, the inspector can show you any defects and explain their importance as well as point out maintenance features that will be helpful in the future. If you can’t be there, it is not a problem since the report you receive will be very detailed. If you are not present, then you should be sure to ask your inspector to explain anything that is not clear in the report. Also read the inspection agreement carefully so you understand what is covered and what is not covered in the inspection. If there is a problem with the inspection or the report, you should raise the issues quickly by calling the inspector, usually within 24 hours. If you want the inspector to return after the inspection to show you things, this can be arranged and is a good idea, however, you will be paying for the inspector’s time on a walkthrough since this was not included in the original service.

Should the seller attend the home inspection that has been ordered by the buyer?

The seller will be welcome at the inspection (it is still their home) although they should understand that the inspector is working for the buyer. The conversation that the inspector has with the buyer may be upsetting to the seller if the seller was unaware of the items being pointed out, or the seller may be overly emotional about any flaws. This is a reason why the seller might want to consider getting their own inspection before listing the home.

Can a house fail a home inspection?

No. A home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, cannot not pass or fail a house. The inspector will objectively describe the home’s physical condition and indicate which items are in need of repair or replacement.

What is included in the inspection?

The following list is not exhaustive. Not all of these may be in the inspection you get, but the inspector will be following a standardized checklist for the home:
· Site drainage and grading
· Driveway
· Entry Steps, handrails
· Decks
· Masonry
· Landscape (as it relates to the home)
· Retaining walls
· Roofing, flashings, chimneys, and attic
· Eaves, soffits, and fascias
· Walls, doors, windows, patios, walkways
· Foundation, basement, and crawlspaces
· Garage, garage walls, floor, and door operation
· Kitchen appliances (dishwasher, range/oven/cooktop/hoods, microwave, disposal, trash compactor)
· Laundry appliances (washer and dryer)
· Ceilings, walls, floors
· Kitchen counters, floors, and cabinets
· Windows and window gaskets
· Interior doors and hardware
· Plumbing systems and fixtures
· Electrical system, panels, entrance conductors
· Electrical grounding, GFCI, outlets
· Smoke (fire) detectors
· Ventilation systems and Insulation
· Heating equipment and controls
· Ducts and distribution systems
· Fireplaces
· Air Conditioning and controls
· Heat Pumps and controls
· Safety items such as means of egress, TPRV valves, railings, etc.

Other items that are not a part of the standard inspection can be added for an additional fee:
· Radon Gas Test
· Water Quality Test
· Termite Inspection (usually performed by a separate company)
· Gas Line Leak Test (usually performed by the gas company)
· Sprinkler System Test
· Swimming Pool and Spa Inspection
· Mold Screening (sometimes performed by a separate company)
· Septic System Inspection (usually performed by a separate company)
· Alarm System (usually performed by a separate company)

We recommend getting a Radon Test if your prospective home falls into an area of the country with known Radon seepage, since Radon gas produces cancer second only to cigarette smoking and can be easily mitigated by installing a vent system. We also recommend a water test to make sure you do not have bacteria in the water supply. Water can also be tested for Radon.

What is not included in the inspection?

Most people assume that everything is inspected in depth on inspection day. This misunderstanding has caused many a homebuyer to be upset with their inspector. The inspections we do are not exhaustive and there is a good reason for this. If you hired someone with licenses for heating and cooling, electrical, plumbing, engineering, etc. to inspect your house, it would take about 14 hours and cost you about $2000! It is much more practical to hire a professional inspector who has generalist knowledge of home systems, knows what to look for, and can recommend further inspection by a specialist if needed. Your inspector is also following very specific guidelines as he/she inspects your home. These are either national guidelines (ASHI – American Society of Home Inspectors, InterNACHI – International Association of Certified Home Inspectors) or state guidelines. These guidelines are carefully written to protect both your home and the inspector. Here are some examples: We are directed to not turn systems on if they were off at the time of the inspection (safety reasons); we are not allowed to move furniture (might harm something); not allowed to turn on water if it is off (possible flooding), and not allowed to break through a sealed attic hatch (possible damage). The downside of this practice is that by not operating a control, by not seeing under the furniture, and not getting into the attic or crawlspace, we will might miss identifying a problem. However, put into perspective, the chances of missing something serious because of this is quite low, and the guideline as it relates to safety and not harming anything in the home is a good one. There are other items that 95% of inspectors consider outside a normal inspection, and these include inspecting most things that are not bolted down (installed in the home) such as electronics, low voltage lighting, space heaters, portable air conditioners, or specialized systems such as water purifiers, alarm systems, etc.

What if there are things you can’t inspect (like snow on the roof)?

It just so happens that some days the weather elements interfere with a full home inspection! There isn’t much we can do about this either. If there is snow on the roof we will tell you we were unable to inspect it. Of course we will be looking at the eves and the attic, and any other areas where we can get an idea of condition, but we will write in the report that we could not inspect the roof. It is impractical for us to return another day once the snow melts, because we have full schedules. However, you can usually pay an inspector a small fee to return and inspect the one or two items they were unable to inspect when they were there the first time. This is just the way things go. If you ask the inspector for a re-inspection, they will usually inspect the items then at no extra charge (beyond the re-inspection fee).

Will the inspector walk on the roof?

The inspector will walk on the roof if it is safe, accessible, and strong enough so that there is no damage done to it by walking on it. Some roofs – such as slate and tile, should not be walked on. Sometimes because of poor weather conditions, extremely steep roofs, or very high roofs, the inspector will not be able to walk the roof. The inspector will try to get up to the edge though, and will also use binoculars where accessibility is a problem. They will also examine the roof from the upper windows if that is possible. There is a lot the inspector can determine from a visual examination from a ladder and from the ground, and they will be able to tell a lot more from inside the attic about the condition of the roof as well.

Should I have my house tested for Radon? What exactly is Radon?

In many areas of the country, the answer is a definite yes. You can ask your real estate agent about this or go on to the internet for a radon map of the country. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that’s formed during the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon exits the ground and can seep into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Radon gas can also contaminate well water.

Health officials have determined that radon gas is a serious carcinogen that can cause lung cancer, second only to cigarette smoking. The only way to find out if your house contains radon gas is to perform a radon measurement test, which your home inspector can do. Make sure the person conducting your test has been trained to The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) or The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB) standards.

What about a newly constructed home? Does it need a home inspection?

Yes! In fact, we find far more problems, some quite serious, in newly constructed homes than in homes that have been lived in for years. This is not due to your builder’s negligence – he/she has done the best job they could with subcontractors and planning – it’s just that there are so many systems in a home, that it is close to impossible to inspect everything, and correct it before the Certificate of Occupancy is issued. Then, for some reason, the subcontractors no longer want to work on the home, and final jobs and details are missed. We recommend getting several professional home inspections near the completion stages of the home to discover everything that should be corrected. If the house is still new but sitting for a while before sale, it’s even more important to get a home inspection. We have seen water lines not hooked up, plumbing lines not hooked up, sewer lines not hooked up, vents not hooked up, and a variety of other serious but easily correctable problems!

I am having a home built. The builder assures me he will inspect everything. Should I have an independent inspector make periodic inspections?

Absolutely yes! No matter how good your builder is, he/she WILL miss things. They are so concerned with the house, they get so close to their work, as do the subcontractors, that important items can, and will be, overlooked. Have a professional inspector make at least 4-6 interim inspections. They will be worth their weight in gold.

What is the Pre-Inspection Agreement?

Most service professionals have a service agreement, and home inspection is no different. In fact, there is enough confusion about what a home inspection should deliver that the agreement is even more important. Some homeowners who get a home inspection expect everything in the home to be perfect after the repairs. This is not the case! Imagine getting a call from a homeowner a year later who says the toilet is not flushing – remember that the inspection is a moment in time snapshot. In the inspection agreement the inspector is clear about what the inspection delivers and the things that are not covered, as well as what you should do if you are not pleased with the services. We really think that by reviewing this before-hand you will understand much more about the inspection and be happier with the results. A home inspection does not guard against future problems, nor does it guarantee that all problems will be found.

What kind of report will I get following the inspection?

There are as many versions of a “report” as there are inspection companies. Guidelines dictate that the inspector deliver a written report to the client. This can range from a handwritten checklist that has multiple press copies without pictures and 4 pages long to a computer generated professionally produced report with digital pictures that is 35 pages long and can be converted to Adobe PDF for storage and emailing. Be sure to check with your inspector about the report he or she uses. We recommend the computer generated report, since the checklist is more detailed and easier for the homeowner/buyer/seller to detail out the issues with photographs. In this modern age, we feel the reports must be web accessible and e-mailable to match the technologies most of us are using.

There are some great things you can use the report for in addition to the wealth of information it simply gives you on your new home:

· Use the report as a checklist and guide for the contractor to make repairs and improvements or get estimates and quotes from more than one contractor.

· Use the report as a budgeting tool using the inspector’s recommendations and the remaining expected life of components to keep the property in top shape.

· If you are a seller, use the report to make repairs and improvements, raising the value of the home and impressing the buyers. Then have a re-inspection and use this second report as a marketing tool for prospective buyers.

· Use the report as a “punch list” on a re-inspection and as a baseline for ongoing maintenance.

Will the report be emailable or available as an Adobe PDF file?

Yes. As discussed in the last question, you will probably want your inspector to be using the latest reporting technology.

What if I think the inspector missed something?

Inspectors are human, and yes, they do miss items. However, they routinely use advanced tools and techniques to reduce the possibility that they will miss something. This includes very detailed checklists, reference manuals, computer based lists, and a methodical always-done-the-same-way of physically moving around your home. That is one of the reasons that an inspector can miss an item when they get interrupted. The inspector will have a set way of resuming the inspection if this happens. If, in the end, something IS missed, call the inspector and discuss it. It may warrant the inspector returning to view something that you found. Remember, the inspector is doing the very best job they know how to do, and probably did not miss the item because they were lax in their technique or did not care.

What if the inspector tells me I should have a professional engineer or a licensed plumber or other professional contractor in to look at something they found? Isn’t this “passing the buck”?

You may be disappointed that further investigation is required, but, believe us, your inspector is doing exactly what they should be doing. The purpose of the inspection is to discover defects that affect your safety and the functioning of the home; the inspector is a generalist, not a specialist. Our code of ethics as well as national and state guidelines dictate that only contractors that are licensed in their specialty field should work on these systems and areas. When they tell you that a specialist is needed, there may be a bigger, more critical issue that you need to know about. If you move into the home without getting these areas checked by a qualified specialist, you could be in for some nasty and expensive surprises. The inspector does not want to cause you any more expense or worry either, so when they do recommend further evaluation they are being serious about protecting you and your investment.

Will the inspector provide a warranty on the inspected items?

Most inspectors do not give the homeowner a warranty on inspected items. Remember, a home inspection is a visual examination on a certain day, and the inspector cannot predict what issues could arise over time after the inspection. However, some inspectors are now including a warranty from the largest home warranty company in America – American Home Warranty Corporation, as well as others, on the inspected items for 60 or 90 days. This is a very good deal, and the agreement can be extended after the initial period for a relatively small amount of money.

Do most inspection companies offer money back guarantees?

Most inspection companies do not offer a satisfaction guarantee nor do they mention it in their advertising. It’s always a good thing if you can get extra services for no additional cost from your inspection company, and of course a satisfaction guarantee is an indication of superior customer service. You usually have to call your inspection company right after the inspection and viewing of the report to tell them you are not satisfied. If you are not happy with the services, you should talk to your inspector first and let him/her correct the issue(s) you are unhappy with first, as the inspector is trying to make an honest living just like the rest of us, and is not failing you on purpose.

What if my report comes back with nothing really defective in the home? Should I ask for my money back?

No, don’t ask for your money back – you just received great news! Now you can complete your home purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will have valuable information about your new home from the inspector’s report, and will want to keep that information for future reference. Most importantly, you can feel assured that you are making a well-informed purchase decision.

What if the inspection reveals serious defects?

If the inspection reveals serious defects in the home (we define a serious defect as something that will cost more than 2% of the purchase price to fix) then pat yourself on the back for getting an inspection. You just saved yourself a ton of money. Of course it is disappointing, even heart wrenching, to find out that your well researched house is now a problem house, but you now know the facts and can either negotiate with the seller, or move on. You may want the home so much that it will be worth it to negotiate the price and then perform the repairs. Imagine, though, if you had not gotten the inspection – you would have had some very unpleasant surprises.

Can I ask my home inspector to perform the repairs?

You can, but if your inspector is ethical, he/she will refuse, and correctly so; it is a conflict of interest for the person who inspected your home to also repair it! Inspectors are specifically barred from this practice by licensing authorities, and it’s a good practice – an inspector must remain completely impartial when he or she inspects your home. This is one reason you should have a professional home inspector inspect your home and not a contractor – the contractor will want the repair work and you are likely to not have an objective inspection from this person even though they mean well and are technically competent.

Does the Seller have to make the repairs?

The inspection report results do not place an obligation on the seller to repair everything mentioned in the report. Once the home condition is known, the buyer and the seller should sit down and discuss what is in the report. The report will be clear about what is a repair and what is a discretionary improvement. This area should be clearly negotiated between the parties. It’s important to know that the inspector must stay out of this discussion because it is outside of their scope of work.

Home Inspection Is A Service No Property Owner Can Do Without

Home inspections are usually associated with new construction and property selling. It is believed that more than 80% of the home sale deals are finalized after the properties have been inspected by professional inspection service companies and approved by them. A detailed inspection reassures the buyer that he/she is making a wise investment, while the liability of the agent also gets limited to a great extent as everything about the condition of the home on sale is out in the open. A pre-inspected and approved home commands a good price and even protects the seller from any legal action that could have arisen on account of non-disclosure.

While the importance of having the home inspected by an experienced professional before purchasing a home cannot be denied, there are many other purposes for which home inspection services can be utilized to great effect. These include

Repair Assessment: There may be a situation where you get some repairs performed on your home and the quality of services leave you dissatisfied. You can hire a home inspection company to evaluate the job done.
Pre-sale Inspection: If you are planning to put your home in the property market, you should get it professionally inspected. This way you can learn about the repairs that need to be performed before selling. Later on, the potential buyers won’t be able to find any fault with the place and your home will get a good price.
Maintenance Inspection: Regular and periodic inspection of the home by knowledgeable professionals helps you maintain your property. Faults can be identified and rectified before they develop into major issues requiring costly repairs or replacements. Most inspection agencies even offer additional services such as energy audits, pool or spa inspection, septic testing, indoor air quality testing, water sampling, etc. These are also very important services that help maintain healthy and hygienic living.
Witness Services: At times, you may be unhappy with a tradesman’s flawed services delivered for your home. If the issue does not get resolved and you have to take the tradesman to court, a certified home inspector can be a valuable witness to boost your claim.

Recognizing the importance of thorough inspection of a property, several companies have come up offering expert home inspection services. If you need to hire such a company, you can log on to an online local business directory to search for reputable, certified home inspection company servicing the region where your property is located.

Your home is one of the most significant investments of your life. Professional inspection services for your home not only help to make sure that you invest judiciously, but are also essential for protecting this investment for the years to come.