What Not To Stockpile During Quarantine

With so many articles online telling you what you’ll need during quarantine, here’s your guide on what NOT to stockpile amidst the crisis. Although rushing to the supermarkets and buying whatever we think is needed is a completely understandable response, it can actually rob you of the time, money, and other much-needed resources during this time. 

So read on below and see what could be the items you’ll need to crash out from your next quarantine shopping list. 

  1. Alcohol-free hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizers are recommended but make sure it has an alcohol content between 60% to 90% to be effective, according to the CDC. However, it is still much better to frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with clean water and soap for effective infection prevention. 

  1. DIY Hand Sanitizer supplies

According to the World Health Organization, if you are going to make a DIY sanitizer, it needs to have at least 96% ethanol. Aside from that, it needs to be properly mixed, otherwise, it can cause harm to your skin and health. It’s better to leave this to the professionals and buy the correct alcohol-based sanitizer instead. 

  1. Medical masks

N95 surgical masks are in short supply and medical facilities and professionals are now struggling to get enough. The CDC does not recommend them for use by the public and must be prioritized for the front-liner who are in daily contact with those hospitalized of COVID-19. The CDC recommends, however, to use cloth masks instead. This type of mask can possibly help slow down the spread by further restricting how far the virus can travel from one person to another. Click here to see how to make your own cloth mask and how to properly wear it

  1. Latex gloves

Just like masks, leave the gloves to the medical professionals. Apart from the fact that gloves can pick up germs easily, latex gloves are not meant for everyday living. Prioritize frequent hand washing as “Protecting your hands doesn’t matter if you don’t wash your hands frequently”, says family doctor William Sawyer.

  1. Non-perishable foods

Many people are tempted to haul a two-week grocery of non-perishables. However, the World Health Organization advises prioritizing fresh produce as we strive to keep our bodies healthy and strengthen our immune systems.

  1. Foods that you will never eat

Buying foods and canned goods you never tried yet “just in case” is an absolute waste of money. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, it is recommended that you only stock a 2-week supply and schedule a meal plan with only the items you’ll need and eat. It’s forward-thinking which will help you save money and keep you and your family healthy. 

  1. Anti-virus essential oils

The FDA Claims, “There currently are no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure [COVID-19].” 

  1. Antibiotics

Since COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus, antibiotics will not be helpful, according to the World Health Organization. They are used in hospitals, however, for patients who have developed a secondary bacterial infection as a result of the virus weakening their body. 

  1. Expensive cleaning items

Keeping your home clean requires frequent disinfection using the correct disinfectants and solutions. That being said, just make sure to frequently clean your home especially the high-touch areas and use the cleaning supplies properly. “There are many bad things about the coronavirus, but there is one good thing: It is not very hardy… It is easily destroyed by most disinfectants”, says Dr. John Swartzberg, an expert on infectious diseases and a professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health. 

  1. Supply of own water

Dr. Manisha Juthami from Yale School of Medicine states that “We are fortunate to live in a country where most of the tap water is drinkable.” Although the U.S. Department of Homeland Security suggests a 2-week supply, those who live in rural areas should be the ones to store more than enough water. 

We have no idea how long this will go on or when we will get a cure for COVID-19. But, we can do our part in helping each other by practicing good hygiene and being mindful of what others need. Do not hoard. Make sure there is enough for everybody.

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

COVID-19 And Your Home Inspection

We’re Still In Business And Doing A Safe Home Inspection In Spite Of COVID-19

The current COVID-19 outbreak is a concern that we take very seriously. We are still in business and want to communicate with our clients, agents, and employees on the steps we’re taking amidst the crisis. 

We want to keep the inspection process as safe and informational as possible while maintaining a consistent level of professionalism. Know that we value and prioritize everyone’s health. Rest assured that any changes we will implement are for the best of everyone involved in this crucial part of real estate transactions. 

In view of the aforementioned, we request that unless you find it necessary to attend the inspection, it would be best if you wait for the electronic inspection report within 24-hours.  During the inspection, we will keep our lines open so we can discuss our findings via phone call. We normally encourage your attendance but at this point in time, we request that you avoid being present. If your attendance is needed, we ask that only you and your agent be around and not bring others along.

We guarantee that our inspection report will provide insightful details so you have a clear understanding of the property. Furthermore, our home inspectors will strictly follow health and safety precautions to protect you, our employees, and the homes that we inspect.

  1. Wear protective equipment such as gloves, shoe covers and face masks if available. 
  2. Wash hands before, during, and after the home inspection with clean water and soap. 
  3. Bring hand towels or paper towels to keep our hands dry. 
  4. Keep hand sanitizer close by for easy access. 
  5. Use disinfectant wipes when touching any surface or items in and around the house. 
  6. Avoid touching the face, shaking hands, and even fist bumps. 
  7. Keep a minimum distance of 6-feet as part of social distancing. 
  8. If our inspector feels unwell, he will not conduct the inspection and shall be scheduled on another date. 

If you feel sick or show signs of any illness, we recommend that you do not attend the inspection and take some good rest instead, monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention should the need arise. The same will be followed by our team. 

Again, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your real estate process. We are working to provide the best and safest options in protecting everyone involved in this process. 

We wish you and your family good health. 

Best,

Luis and Wanda Figueroa   

A.C.F Home Inspection

Call Us For More Details :  (407) 218-6522 

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

Top Options For Customizing A Bathroom

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Customizing A Bathroom Houston Tx

(BPT) – As you probably remember, choosing your home was strongly influenced by the layout and appearance of its bathrooms. But no matter how long you’ve lived in your home, there are bound to be improvements you’d love to make. And almost everyone needs options for optimizing bathroom space.

Before remodeling, it’s best to think through your plan. Unless you’re selling your house immediately, don’t make the mistake of considering resale value alone. Take a good look at how you actually use the room, paying attention to what’s working — and what’s not.

Ask yourself about daily issues that bother you before committing to a major overhaul. Be sure any changes you make will actually solve your problems or enhance your experience of the room.

Does anyone use the bathtub? 

If baths are popular in your household, upgrading your tub can have a big impact. For spacious bathrooms, standalone tubs are trending in bathroom design. But for those with limited space, a large tub may not be an option.

If the tub is not used in your home, switching to a high-quality shower set-up instead could increase your bathroom’s functionality — and make better use of the space. Today’s choices are customizable and even high tech, so it’s worth exploring your options.

Is there enough storage? 

Unless you have a newer home, chances are you do not have enough storage space — or outlets for all your gadgets. Here are some options for rethinking your storage.

Vanities: Robern’s Cartesian Collection offers beautifully designed, customizable options in a range of colors and textures. You can purchase modular units that can be ganged or stacked to fit a variety of spaces, as well as to accommodate existing plumbing.

Their vanity drawers have white shatter-proof glass bottoms that dissipate heat, allowing hot items like hair dryers or curling irons to be stored without fear of leaving heat marks. You can even choose an LED night light feature to softly illuminate drawer interiors and in-drawer electrical outlets for powering your electronic grooming gadgets.

The vanity tops and sinks in the Cartesian Collection are available in Lava Black, Stone Gray, or Quartz White, and include a separate white porcelain rectangular sink or can be used as a dry top for a basin-style sink.

Cabinets: For stylish and innovative modular wall cabinet options, the Robern Uplift Tech Collection is designed with a unique vertically opening door, which you can open as low or as high as needed. You can also create flexible storage solutions by ganging the cabinets.

To help you find things even at night, the interior of the cabinet turns on when the door is opened and shuts off when the door is closed.

How’s the lighting? 

Do you find yourself misapplying makeup, or have trouble putting in contacts or performing other tasks? Do you think you look different in other mirrors than the mirror in your own bathroom? Having a well-lit, clear mirror makes all the difference.

Mirror lighting on Robern’s Uplift Tech cabinets offers optimal light direction and output to eliminate dark shadows, providing bright, even task lighting and a rich, saturated tone in your reflection. The mirror’s task lighting can be controlled with a dimmer, and there’s even a programmable night light. Defogging technology comes with a 45-minute timer.

The cabinets offer not only a mirror on the outside door but also the interior back of the cabinet, providing access to a mirror even when the cabinet door is open.

For additional lighting improvements, consider adding pendant or chandelier lighting, which provides great overhead light without taking up much space.

Do you just want a more beautiful space?

Consider minor changes to your bathroom that can transform your experience. When was the last time you painted the room? A fresh, bright color can really improve any size space.

Biophilic design is on-trend, which just means making your interior spaces greener and more natural. Incorporating colors found in nature, plus adding natural elements such as houseplants, can make any room feel more peaceful and livable. Consider plants that thrive on warmth and humidity when “greening up” your space.

To explore all your options for enhancing your bathroom, visit Robern.com.


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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

What’s Next In Outdoor Living? Top Trends For 2020

(BPT) – The appeal of all things al fresco has never been higher with homeowners across the country investing more time and money than ever before into their outdoor spaces. Based on insights from decking contractors, retailers, and home design experts, industry leader Trex Company has compiled its annual outdoor living forecast, predicting the top design trends for 2020 and beyond.

“It’s always fascinating to compare the trends reported by our customers with those projected by the industry at large,” said Leslie Adkins, vice president of marketing for Trex. “This year, we also engaged celebrity designer Alison Victoria to take our forecast to a whole new level.”

According to the latest report, the following five top trends will influence outdoor living in the new decade:

1. Mixed Materials

2020 is the year to mix it up. Add visual interest to an outdoor space by juxtaposing materials such as concrete and composite, wicker and aluminum, copper, and stone. Integrate nature-inspired materials that maintain cohesion with the natural surroundings and infuse color and pattern with pillows, cushions, furnishings, and decorative accents.

2. Sizzling Kitchens

As the foodie phenomenon continues to thrive, outdoor kitchens will continue to evolve. Picture fully appointed culinary centers complete with specialty appliances such as smokers, pizza ovens, and integrated refrigerated storage — all housed in stylish all-weather cabinetry. Capturing this trend is the new Trex Outdoor Kitchens collection, featuring stainless steel cabinetry solutions in color and style options that allow homeowners to create functional spaces that rival interior spaces.

“A good kitchen is essential — whether indoors or out,” emphasized Victoria, host of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab” and DIY’s “Kitchen Crashers.” “A well-designed and well-appointed kitchen becomes the heart of any space. It’s where people gather. It’s where memories are made. So, make it memorable!”

3. Industrial Inspiration

There is a growing shift toward sleek, contemporary designs and materials for interior and exterior spaces as homeowners are increasingly finding inspiration in commercial settings like hotels and restaurants. Outdoors, this trend is manifesting in more industrial aluminum railing styles with sleek profiles and contemporary rod, mesh, or glass inserts designed to optimize sightlines and deliver a modern flair.

4. Fire And Water

“Fire and water are all the rage right now for outdoor spaces,” Victoria noted. “These elements not only take a space to the next level; they connect it to the natural surroundings. Even in an urban setting, these elements add a sense of tranquility that can make you feel like you’re a million miles away.”

Fire pots, such as those in the new Trex Outdoor Fire & Water collection, can be positioned almost anywhere to create a cozy gathering spot — or combined in a series to provide an ambient boundary for larger outdoor areas. For even greater visual impact, a fire table can serve as a focal point and elevate the luxury and comfort of outdoor space. Likewise, the soothing sound of trickling water from integrated spillways, bowls, or other features can instantly conjure calm and set a relaxed tone and atmosphere.

5.Bonus Space

If you have a raised deck, there is undoubtedly some open space underneath. While, historically, this space has been used for storage, the design trend for 2020 is to turn it into a bonus living space by installing a deck drainage system. Designed to divert water away from a deck, systems like RainEscape create a dry space that can be outfitted with everything from furniture and accessories to lighting fixtures, ceiling fans, and entertainment components.

For more outdoor living ideas and inspiration, visit Trex.com.

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

Tips to get your house ready for entertaining

(BPT) – Whether hosting family and friends for your first or fifteenth time, you want your home to be ready to impress. Here are five simple ways to make sure your home is refreshed and ready for any entertaining occasion.

1. Refresh kitchen counters

Since the kitchen is where people mingle the most, don’t leave old, dirty caulk to be the focal point behind your delicious spread! Spruce up your countertop and backsplash by removing and replacing the old caulk. Consider using a caulk that’s formulated specifically to ward off dirt and mold.

2. Repair imperfections and paint on walls

It’s inevitable that scuffs and scratches will appear on walls over time. A fresh coat of paint in key areas, like the living room, bathroom, and guest bedroom, will help the entire home feel clean and fresh. Be sure to first prep walls by filling holes and cracks with spackling compound for a smooth finished surface. DAP DryDex Spackling takes the guesswork out of drying time with an indicator that goes on pink and dries white so you know when it’s ready to sand and paint.

3. Clean and prep the floors

If you have the time, schedule a carpet cleaning before your guests are scheduled to arrive. And, consider applying a fast-drying polish to hardwood floors for a squeaky-clean finish. It’s also a good idea to keep a multi-surface vacuum in an easy-to-access location for quick spot cleans and pick-ups.

4. Salvage broken décor

Don’t fret when you notice a décor item has cracked or broken. Instead, grab a strong, fast-setting glue to make simple, long-lasting repairs before guests arrive. DAP RapidFuse All Purpose Adhesive sets in 30 seconds and is two times more durable than other super glues — there’s even a plastic primer available that will help with hard-to-fix plastic décor.

5. Update decorative accessories

Small updates like adding plants, rugs, and throws to your space are low-cost but high impact. Lighting is another quick change that can really help warm a space. Consider swapping out the shades on your lamps or installing updated light fixtures for an entirely new look, but for a fraction of the cost.

With these easy tips, your home will feel fresh and welcoming year-round.

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

The surprising range of career opportunities in the landscape industry

(BPT) – Planning your next career move? Job seekers may think they have explored every possible option after attending job seminars or visiting career counselors, but the landscape industry is an often-overlooked field that’s full of diverse opportunities from entry-level to management positions.

According to the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), the landscape industry needs to fill 300,000 positions this year and now is peak hiring season. While you might have a preconceived notion of what landscape professionals do, consider that the NALP represents an industry employing nearly 1 million people in positions as diverse as landscape designers, architects, project managers, management and sales executives, arborists, agronomists, hardscape installers and more. While some careers in the field require a college degree, there are many that offer on-the-job training or apprenticeships to help job seekers launch a career. The industry also welcomes aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners that dream of owning their own company and helping others launch their careers one day.
An interest in the outdoors is certainly a plus, but a wide array of skills and professional roles are needed to design, build, and maintain healthy green spaces in communities across the country. For example, professionals looking for meaningful careers in creative design, management, finance, and technology are encouraged to explore the landscape industry.

Machinery and Technology

For those interested in computers or the latest technology, the landscape industry provides an opportunity to utilize the latest tech and equipment to streamline the work and be environmentally efficient. Landscape professionals routinely use cutting-edge tools, including electronic imaging and GPS tracking, whereas arborists rely on sonograms to assess the health of trees. Innovative technology and digital programs are used in many behind-the-scenes functions of landscape projects. Drones are employed to save time and get a project overview, and robotic mowers help crews complete projects more efficiently. Irrigation specialists use programmable systems to conserve water, and landscape designers employ sophisticated computer programs to provide clients with realistic renderings of their outdoor space. On the management side, technology is essential for project managers and estimators to coordinate important tasks and track finances, so operations run smoothly.

Environment and Outdoors

If you want to spend more time outdoors, there are a variety of positions in the field that include designing, creating, installing, and maintaining healthy, outdoor spaces for commercial and residential clients. Entry-level positions include lawn care technicians, irrigation installers, and service technicians. Each role allows you to be outside, helping the environment by caring for plants, trees, and grasses. If you don’t have a green thumb but want to be outdoors, landscape teams also need professionals to install hardscapes and operate machinery.

Communication and Management

If you have good people skills, the landscape industry offers many opportunities to interact with, assist, and manage teams. Entry-level positions can include customer service at a landscape company, nursery, or greenhouse. Crew leaders or foremen are also needed to supervise teams completing projects in the field. Managers, account executives, and business developers are also in demand to help direct projects, attract sales leads, manage purchasing decisions, and grow the business.

Science and Math

Those interested in science may consider exploring a degree in a field such as agronomy (soil science), horticulture, irrigation technology, and arboriculture. Professionals in these areas of the landscape industry spend time in a lab, as well as in the field, depending on the position. Studying how plants grow and thrive is an integral part of the landscape profession. If you’re more of a numbers person, estimators are needed to calculate material costs and markups for projects. Businesses in the landscape industry also need accountants and bookkeepers.

Creativity and Innovation

The landscape industry taps the creative minds of licensed landscape architects and designers to envision the possibilities for beautifying outdoor environments. Interiorscape professionals are responsible for bringing plants and greenery indoors, adding beauty and clean air to commercial and residential locations. Landscape architects and designers create beautiful outdoor spaces in varying environments with the clients’ vision in mind. All of these positions — and more — provide rewarding jobs with competitive compensation and opportunities for advancement, while making a difference for families, communities, and the environment.

To explore career possibilities in the landscape industry, visit LandscapeIndustryCareers.org or apply for openings in your area at Jobs.LandscapeIndustryCareers.org.

A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Orlando Home Inspections4 Point InspectionsWind Mitigation, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality TestingRadon TestingLead Paint Testing, and Mold Inspection

Bringing the indoors out: 2020 outdoor living trends

(BPT) – 2020 outdoor living trends are all about enjoying your backyard alfresco — but with the comfort and ease, you expect from your indoor spaces. Today’s outdoor spaces are transforming into an extension of the home. The current outdoor design also takes into account the look and feel of your entire home, including the interior and exterior, building materials, and surroundings.

Connecting with nature: Biophilic design

Biophilic design is achieved when natural elements are incorporated into space, helping people feel connected to the natural environment. It creates a calm, tranquil space and reduces stress. Biophilia makes sense for indoor urban environments needing to bring the outdoors in, but how does it work when you’re already outside?

Biophilic design for outdoor spaces means integrating natural elements with constructed elements to create a harmonious space. A plant wall or raised garden bed can integrate greenery and pops of color with the built elements of your outdoor space. It also means using natural materials, like wood and stone, to complement the surrounding environment.

Create a greener, more sustainable spaces to celebrate the environment, which can help encourage pollinators, grow healthy food, and forge a cohesive outdoor space. You can also use materials such as Belgard’s permeable pavers, which allow water to drain through the surface, replenishing the soil and aquifers beneath your path, walkway, or driveway.

More than just a grill

Today’s homeowners want much more than a grill in the backyard. With aspirations to cook and entertain guests outdoors with everything the best outdoor kitchen can offer, the possibilities are endless — from grills to cooktops and ovens or even a wine cooler and an outdoor bar.

Homeowners also have many options when it comes to the design and price point of their outdoor kitchen. Some may lean toward a grill island, adding prep and storage space to their grilling station, while others might create a full-on outdoor kitchen with a grill, smoker, refrigerator, sink, seating area, and more.

Either way, homeowners can get a feel for exactly what their space will look like before breaking ground through Belgard’s design resources. The Belgard Design Studio takes a simple sketch, some dimensions, and a couple of photos and turns it, using design software, into 3D animations and virtual reality experiences to give homeowners a sense of the finished product in their backyard.

Sleek, modern design

While it may seem contrary to the more organic approach of biophilic design, the contemporary trend toward sleek, modular furniture can enhance your outdoor space.

Modular, sectional pieces with clean lines and streamlined design can be arranged and re-arranged to accommodate any natural elements you want to incorporate in your space or to handle different numbers of guests when entertaining.

The minimalist approach to furnishings also allows the natural elements around you to take center stage.

Multifunctional spaces

Whether your home is in an urban area with limited green space, or you want to optimize your outdoor living, get creative:

  • Add vertical planters
  • Hang hammocks for lounging
  • Create built-in seating
  • Build raised garden beds

Here’s where some of that modular seating can come in handy, too. Some urban homes make good use of their front porches and yards, instead, which invites more neighborhood engagement and a feeling of community.

Entertaining both night and day

Regardless of the time of day — or year — you and your family can relax comfortably in your outdoor sanctuary, thanks to modern technology and the latest outdoor installations:

  • LED lighting is installed in a variety of ways. You can install strips of light and/or spotlights, even using multiple colors, to add flair at night.
  • In the harsh sunlight, large umbrellas and movable shade walls or screens can keep your space cool and more comfortable.
  • For cooler climates, an outdoor fireplace provides heat and light for cozy evenings in the yard.

Whether you have a straightforward vision for a patio or dream of elaborate outdoor living spaces, these ideas can help you create your oasis. For more information on how you can upgrade your outdoor space, visit Belgard.com.

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A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Orlando Home Inspections4 Point InspectionsWind Mitigation, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality TestingRadon TestingLead Paint Testing, and Mold Inspection

How To Protect Your Most Valuable Asset

How to pick the right homeowner’s insurance

(BPT) – If you’re like many Americans, your home may be your most valuable asset. That’s why it’s so important to protect it with homeowners’ insurance. Plus, it’s probably a requirement of your mortgage. Setting up your coverage the right way starts with understanding the major parts of a homeowner’s policy.

Consider the following information and tips from the USAA Home Learning Center:

Dwelling protection

This protection covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged or destroyed. When you select the amount, keep in mind the cost to rebuild your home is different from its market value.

It’s important to get the dwelling coverage right and to monitor it overtime to make sure it keeps up with construction costs to rebuild. Under most homeowner’s policies, if you file a claim and have underinsured your home, your payout may be reduced.

Some insurers will help you estimate the rebuilding cost. They take into account the features, materials, and finishes that make your home unique.

Personal property protection

This protection covers your furniture, clothing, and pretty much everything else inside your home. Most policies set the amount of personal property protection as a percentage of the dwelling coverage.

It may not be enough, though. Homeowner’s plans set limits on certain high-value items. If you own expensive jewelry, art, guns, stamps, furs, cameras, computers, silver, or collectibles, you’ll want to consider buying valuable personal property insurance. This is sometimes called a “personal articles floater.”

When you set up your homeowner’s policy, you may have to make an important choice about how to reimburse losses. There are two approaches:

  • Replacement cost. This coverage is the amount needed to replace the property with a comparable, new item.
  • Actual cash value. This coverage considers depreciation in the value of your property. If your 10-year-old couch is destroyed, you will receive what it was worth at the time of loss, not the money you’d need to buy a new one.

To make your recovery from a loss as smooth as possible, replacement cost coverage is recommended.

Liability coverage

This is one of the most important and least appreciated forms of protection offered through homeowner’s coverage. It protects you if you’re found to be at fault for someone’s injury or property damage. It even covers you for non-automobile incidents away from your home. Generally, it also covers your legal costs associated with such claims against you.

As a rule, your liability coverage should at least be equal to the total value of your assets for both your homeowners and auto insurance. If your assets are higher than the maximum coverage allowed under the policy, consider purchasing umbrella insurance to cover the difference. This is important to protect the savings and other assets you’ve worked hard to acquire.

Deductibles

As with other types of insurance, a deductible is the part of a loss that you’re responsible for covering out of your own pocket. The higher your deductible, the lower your monthly premium.

Choosing a higher deductible can save you money with a lower monthly premium but increases the risk you take. Consider the amount of cash you typically have on hand in your emergency fund or checking and savings accounts. Make sure you can cover the deductible amount comfortably.

What may not be covered

Your policy’s basic coverage won’t cover some special risks.

  • Floods: While a standard policy covers most weather-related events, floods aren’t one of them. Flood insurance is inexpensive, and the federal government offers it through insurers. While it’s mandatory when you have a mortgage and live in a flood zone, you should give it strong consideration no matter where you live. Whether it’s a flash flood or a few inches of excess water, flooding can cause massive damage to your dwelling and its contents.
  • Earthquakes: You can add coverage for earth movements to your policy with an extra premium. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, consider reinforcing your home protection with this coverage.
  • Home businesses: Homeowner’s plans provide limited coverage for business equipment. If you run your business from home or have expensive office equipment, you may need to consider additional coverage. Your homeowner’s policy may not cover injuries to someone if they’re related to your business.

For additional information on protecting your home, visit USAA.com/Homeowners.

A.C.F. Home Inspections, Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced Orlando Home Inspection Company help keep you from buying The Money Pit. We’ll alert you to any and all health or safety issues and maintenance needs of the home you’re looking to buy.

As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on supporting homeowners and families who need an honest, competent and dependable property inspector. We understand the importance of safety. When it comes to children and family. Therefore, we give special attention to deficiencies in systems and components of the home that represent an immediate danger. And we are independent and impartial; we work for you – our client – and not for an agent or other interests.

A.C.F. Home Inspections is committed to bringing you a consistently high level of service. We are an indispensable asset to real estate agents, buyers, sellers, investors, property managers, landlords, mortgage brokers, and private and nursing care homes.  Let us be your residential and commercial advisor, and find peace of mind that you are getting a professional’s opinion.

A.C.F. Home Inspections will be your home buying or selling advocate!  We’re highly experienced and extremely thorough. If you’re looking to buy or sell in the Orlando area, we can help!

Call A.C.F. Home Inspections Today (407) 218-6522 or Click To Schedule Online 24/7 Right From Our Website.

A.C.F. Home Inspections has been providing Orlando Home Inspections4 Point InspectionsWind Mitigation, Monthly home tips news, Water Quality TestingRadon TestingLead Paint Testing, and Mold Inspection.

Destress by Bringing the Outdoors In

(BPT) – This year you might have goals like ramping up your workout routine, increasing your self-care regimen or finding time to de-stress.

The EPA reports we spend 90 percent of our time indoors, but most people feel that spending time in nature has a positive effect on their mental well-being and stress level, according to a recent YouGov study commissioned by Velux. So, if your goal is to de-stress, here are some healthy behaviors and design tips to help you bring nature’s sanctuary indoors.

1) Fill your home with photos of nature

Surrounding yourself with images of nature can have a positive effect on wellness. Try framing some photos of special memories in nature like a hike with your family, beach sunset or mountain view.

2) Let in more fresh air and natural light

Today’s homes are built tighter and more sealed, which means they can trap toxins from daily living – such as cooking, cleaning, pets and more – inside. Adding skylights that can open is a simple home renovation project to improve fresh air flow, helping rid indoor air of pollutants. Additionally, studies show that exposure to natural light helps to sync your circadian rhythm, allowing for better sleep at night.

3) Fill your home with natural scents

Up your chef game by using fresh herbs in your cooking that will fill your kitchen with natural fragrance. Making an indoor herb garden ensures you’ll always have some on hand. You can also incorporate fresh herbs into bouquets or wreaths for a natural air freshener throughout your home.

4) Meditate or do yoga in the morning

Waking up with stretching or meditating is a great way to prepare yourself for a successful day. Open the blinds or curtains on your windows and skylights to let in early morning light and help you feel invigorated and refreshed.

5) Go green with your décor

Reap the benefits of nature by bringing it inside, adding greenery or even fruit into your décor. The possibilities are endless – use a bowl of fresh fruit as a centerpiece or mix different sizes of pots to create a succulent gallery. Little touches of green in each room will go a long way.

6) Use natural cleaning products

Many common cleaning products have harsh chemicals that can be inhaled or absorbed into your skin. Combat the dangers of these toxins by switching to natural cleaning products. You’ll feel safer and more relaxed when your home is chemical-free.

From boosting your home’s natural light to going green and adding plant life, it’s easy to turn your home into a natural oasis with these simple steps. For more information, visit whyskylights.com.

Schedule your Home Inspection in Orlando FL today! Call us at (407) 218-6522

How to Keep Your House Warm – Even in Extremely Cold Temperatures

BPT – With the early arrival of winter, the grip of cold temperatures and snowfall that landed along with it, now is a good time to start thinking about keeping your home warm and cozy all season long.

This winter, consider the strategies below to keep your house warm, even during the most frigid days of the year.

1. Help your HVAC system work more efficiently

No matter what kind of heating system you have, you can take steps to keep it working at its best.

  • Schedule annual heating tune-ups
  • Change the furnace filter frequently
  • Make sure ductwork dampers are open
  • Check air vents — are they open? Are any blocked by furniture?
  • If you have a home with radiators, make sure they aren’t blocked
  • Avoid wild temperature swings — set your thermostat for reasonable highs and lows at night and during the day, since extremely low temps could result in freezing pipes, and your system has to work extra hard to aim for higher temps than it can handle

2. Consider upgrading your HVAC system

If you have an older system that just can’t keep up or you live in a climate with extreme temperatures, consider upgrading to a new high-efficiency heating system. It may save you money and energy in the long run, while increasing your comfort level.

Thanks to advances in technology, today’s HVAC equipment can provide more consistent air flow and better maintain a constant temperature in every room. In the middle of winter, all of that adds up to a more comfortable and cozy home without the enormous utility bill.

For the latest and greatest in comfort technology for your winter upgrade, consider a duct-free split system equipped with LG’s newest heating technology, the compact and powerful LGRED° (Reliable to Extreme Degrees), designed for even the coldest of climates. With continuous heating capabilities down to -13° Fahrenheit, LGRED° technology provides superior heating performance that will keep you warm all winter long. This increased performance not only delivers heat when traditional HVAC systems are unable, but operates with top notch efficiency, cutting energy costs and increasing savings.

Pair this technology with sleek indoor units, like the LG Art CoolTM lineup, for comfort without sacrificing style. An added plus is that LG systems can make one or many rooms perfectly toasty without tearing up walls or altering the home’s appearance.

3. Block the leaks

If you have drafts or leaks in your home, you’re losing valuable heated air and letting in the cold. Start by checking doors and windows for any drafts.

  • Improve your doors’ weather stripping and use a draft blocker to further keep cold air out
  • For windows, an insulation kit and heavy drapes can help you prevent leaks
  • If you have an unused fireplace, install a fireplace plug to keep warm air from heading up the chimney
  • Cover up mail slots or pet door flaps that may be leaking air, especially at night
  • Close vents and shut doors to rooms that are seldom used, so more warm air can be redirected to rooms in use
  • Schedule an energy audit from your energy company to identify areas for improvement
  • Attic insulation is also recommended, since heat rises

4. Reverse ceiling fans

As heat does rise, ceiling fans set on low and adjusted to turn clockwise will help pull up cold air and draw down and circulate warm air that’s hanging out near the ceiling.

5. Warm your floors

When heat rises, don’t leave your floors out in the cold.

  • If you’re interested in remodeling, radiant floor heating can help warm up a room, and has become especially popular for bathrooms
  • Invest in thick, plush rugs to help rooms feel warmer to your feet

Following just a few of these tips will make a big difference in helping your house feel cozy and warm, even during the most extreme cold temperatures of winter. To learn more about ways to easily improve your home’s warmth this winter, visit LGHVAC.com.

Schedule your Home Inspection in Orlando FL today! Call us at (407) 218-6522