Vinyl Siding Is The Hottest Home Design Feature According To Orlando Home Inspectors

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

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

Myth: Vinyl siding is boring and looks cheap

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

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

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

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

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

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

Myth: Vinyl siding isn’t durable

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

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

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

 

How To Install Vinyl Siding On Your House

A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc.

Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector 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.

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

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Luis Figueroa. Luis prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

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

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

 

The Best Kind Of Home Improvements With Orlando Home Inspectors

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

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

No-leak skylights

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

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

Lighting upgrade

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

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

Vinyl siding

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

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

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

 

Best and Worst Home Improvement Ideas

A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc.

Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector 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.

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

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Luis Figueroa. Luis prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

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

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

 

Home Remodeling For The Long Haul With Home Inspectors Orlando

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

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

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

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

Keep your space flexible with neutral color choices

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

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

Complement existing design elements with transitional styles

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

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

Create a functional, organized space

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

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

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

 

Complete Home Renovation

 

A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc.

Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector 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.

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

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Luis Figueroa. Luis prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

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

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

 

Orlando Home Inspectors Tips To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

You pride yourself on keeping a clean home. The laundry is washed, the dishes are dry and the den where the children built their pillow fort has been restored to sanity. You’ve been vigilant about cleaning up the messes you can see, but what about the messes you can’t? What are you doing to improve the air quality in your home?

You may not think about the air quality in your home because the problem isn’t visible, but that doesn’t stop dust, dander or chemicals from polluting your air. Everyday living generates up to 40 pounds of dust in a six-room house every year, according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Restoration Association.

Taking steps to clean the air in your home will do more than just improve air quality; it will also save you money. Twenty-five to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted because contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work inefficiently, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

If you’re interested in improving the air quality in your home and saving money while you do it, here are some tips to get you headed in the right direction.

Hire a professional to clean your most important asset

Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system literally takes air in and breathes air out. Because of this, keeping your HVAC system and your ducts clean is the most important thing you can do to improve your home’s air quality. “If your ducts look dirty, they probably are,” is NADCA’s advice to consumers.

Have your system serviced by a certified technician. This will not only improve the quality of the air in your home, it will allow your heating and cooling system to run more efficiently, saving you money on energy bills.

Make sure to hire a NADCA-certified technician. All members have certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialists (ASCS) on staff and they are required to further their education by attending seminars and to adhere to the NADCA code of ethics.

Encourage ventilation

Today’s newer homes are built air tight, making ventilation difficult. The simplest way to encourage ventilation is to simply open windows. In the bathroom, turn on the exhaust fan to stop steam from collecting dirt and keeping it in the bathroom. In the kitchen, place any appliance that creates steam or oily vapor under the stove hood. Finally, make sure vents on the outside of your home are not blocked by leaves or snow as season dictates.

Prevent mold

Mold can be one of the most harmful contaminators of air quality. You’ll find mold in areas where moisture and poor ventilation come together. Vacuum rear grills on appliances like your fridge and freezer to improve ventilation and empty and clean any drip trays to eliminate mold. If you have a leaky pipe in your home make sure it is addressed. Take a tour outside and trim any bushes or shrubs that have grown too close as that proximity can lead to mold and algae.

Replace filters and screens

In the warmer months, clean the area around your air conditioner and repair any vermin screens on your chimney flues that may be damaged. During the cooler months, remove screens from any window that may trap condensation and make sure to change your furnace filter monthly.

Keeping the air in your home clean is just as important as washing the dishes or cleaning the clothes. The first step is to have your heating and cooling systems serviced by a NADCA technician. Once that is complete, follow these tips to maintain your air quality. To learn more about NADCA and how you can benefit from an HVAC cleaning, visit nadca.com/en/faq.

 

How To Improve Indoor Air Quality

A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc.

Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector 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.

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

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Luis Figueroa. Luis prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

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

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

 

Do-It-Yourself Weekend Warrior Survival Guide With Home Inspector Orlando

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Homeowner Survival Guide

A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc.

Your Premier Orlando Home Inspection Company | Let this experienced home inspector 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.

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

Owned and operated by home inspector and mold inspection specialist, Luis Figueroa. Luis prides himself in being committed to following high standards and providing professional service to all of our customers .

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

We Want To Help Give You Confidence In Moving Forward On Your Home Buying Decisions!

 

Homeowner’s Guide To A Year-Round Deck With Orlando Home Inspectors

During the warm summer months, having an outdoor deck for barbecues and gatherings with family and friends is a great addition to any backyard. The approach of cool weather may signal the end of barbecue season, but homeowners can still use their deck after the warm temperatures have passed.

“Although decks are generally a summer attraction, there are ways to make them accessible during the winter as well,” says Stephen McNally, TAMKO Building Products Inc.’s vice president of sales and marketing.-

There are many ways to make your deck functional and enjoyable during the winter, no matter where your home is located. –

Step 1 – Warm up your deck

The addition of a fireplace can transform your deck into an outdoor gathering spot and a scene-stealing area for those cool nights. The type of fireplace you decide on for your deck can add beauty and charm as well as complement your existing color scheme and deck furniture and decorations. Outdoor fireplaces can be made from stone, brick, tile or even granite, so the color options are endless.

“Outdoor fireplaces can be big, beautiful and elaborate, but there are other options for homeowners who prefer to keep their outdoor living space simple,” McNally says.

If a large outdoor fireplace is not for you, but you want to enjoy your deck on cool winter nights, consider the addition of a fire pit, fire bowl or even a chiminea.

Structural safety and potential fire hazards are serious considerations when deciding on a fireplace, so having your deck inspected before you begin installing an outdoor fireplace is suggested. If you install an outdoor fireplace of any kind, make sure that it is done to the manufacturer’s standards.

For more information on TAMKO EverGrain products and ideas for year round deck aesthetic appeal and maintenance, visit www.tamko.com.

Step 2 – Reducing summer dirt and grime

As the summer months come to an end, your deck is due for a well-deserved, thorough cleaning. Fall is a great time for this necessary chore because other outdoor tasks, like gardening and mowing, usually begin to decrease.

“Semi-annual cleaning of your deck is part of the required maintenance that reduces dirt, dust, grime and other residue build-up that the summer months have left behind,” McNally says.-

Use a garden house to rinse your deck. A fan-tip nozzle works best, but make sure the pressure from the hose does not exceed the manufacturers regulations. Ensure that you have removed all food and trash particles from the summer so that they do not contribute to build-up over the winter. For TAMKO’s EverGrain decking products, use a nozzle with pressure that does not exceed 1,000 psi.

While rinsing your deck can reduce dirt and grime buildup, water alone will not remove the stains that have appeared on your deck. Cooking oil, suntan oil and other greasy substances can stain your deck over the course summer use. But before applying cleaner to your deck, make sure to test it in an inconspicuous spot to ensure that it will not change the coloring of your deck boards.

Step 3 – Spice up plant life

When it comes to enjoying outdoor living, beauty is everything. A well-installed deck can offer a certain aesthetic appeal by itself, but plant life can make a big difference, even in the winter time.

When the cool temperatures of late fall start to move in, you can help your plants extend their life. Move them closer to your house, ideally under a roof, to delay when they are hit by frost. If you have time before a frost sets in, help protect your plants by covering them with lightweight blankets or plastic sheets overnight and uncover them in the morning.

If you want to decorate with plants during the cool months, there are a variety of colorful, cool vegetables that make handsome pot-fillers. Consider plants with purple and dark-green leaves like beets, Chinese cabbage, kale, mustard, spinach or even herbs. Mixing several types of plants together in the same pot can have a nice effect and the addition of garden art statues can add a pop of color.

 

 

 

 

 

A.C.F. Home Inspections Inc._fullA.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. 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