3 Smart Steps to Protect your Vacation Home When you’re Away

Whether it’s a cabin up north, a villa down south or a quaint cottage near family, many people in the United States own vacation home. There are seasons you may spend more time at these vacation properties, but for many people, much of the year they remain empty. That’s why it’s important to take precautions to ensure your property and belongings stay safe even when you’re not there.

Not only are vacation homes a target for thieves, but empty homes are often vulnerable to the elements and the unexpected. For example, can you imagine the damage that a water leak would cause a home if it remained undiscovered for weeks … or months? With a proactive approach you can keep your investment safe and give yourself important peace of mind.

To keep your second home secure, consider these smart steps:

1) Create the appearance of a lived-in home

It doesn’t matter if your home is in a well-traveled section of the city or a remote part of the forest, you want it to stay secure from criminals. Vandals and robbers scout for empty homes, so one of the best ways to deter them is to make your property appear to be lived in. If they think someone is home, they’re more likely to stay away.

To create the appearance of a lived-in house, stop mail and newspaper deliveries immediately. Nothing screams “empty house” like a few weeks’ worths of papers at the front door. Next, keep the lawn mowed and trim the landscape, so the home is well maintained plus doesn’t have overgrown shrubs where criminals can hide. Finally, alert a trusted neighbor that you’ll be gone, so they can keep an eye on things. Don’t know anyone nearby? Or is the property isolated? Consider hiring a property manager to check on the house periodically.

2) Consistently monitor water use

Even small water leaks can cause big damage, and if you’re not living in a home, that damage can multiply quickly. From leaks that cause terrible mold growth to burst pipes that flood entire floors, it’s easy to see why water is a top concern for owners of vacation home while away. One simple solution is the Phyn Plus: Smart water assistant + shutoff. This intelligent device is installed on the main water line after the meter by an authorized Uponor Pro Squad team plumbing expert. Once installed, it uses programmed data and learns the home’s water-use habits, so it can proactively detect leaks and water problems in real time.

Phyn Plus has no moving parts that are susceptible to breakage or blocked by particles in the water, so it consistently monitors the home’s water use 240 times per second to detect tiny changes in water pressure. If a change is detected, you are alerted through a smart app on your phone, so you can take appropriate next steps. Phyn Plus will even shut off the water when an emergency is detected. You then have the ability to monitor or turn the water back on from any remote location. Learn more at www.phyn.com/installation.

3) Implement multiple security measures

Of course, you want to ensure you secure all doors, windows and other points of entry. But to really keep tabs on your vacation home, consider investing in a security system with an app or program for easy remote monitoring. With a live-monitor feature, you can check your home at any time. Additionally, programmable lights that turn on at set times inside give the illusion of people being home, and motion lights outdoors eliminate dark corners.

Finally, you might consider registering your home as vacant with the local police. Some cities offer a free service where an officer will come periodically to check your home while you’re away. Keep in mind this might not be available in your area and there may be a time limit for how long you can request these checks, but it’s worthwhile to call your local law enforcement and ask.

Put worries aside and keep your vacation home safe and secure by following these simple steps. That way you can feel confident that every time you visit your vacation property, you can enjoy it to the fullest. – (BPT)

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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.

4 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Your Smart Garage

If there is one thing that we learned from Prime Day it’s that the smart garage is a must-have for Amazon Prime Members. Chamberlain Group’s myQ Smart Garage Hub was one of the best-selling smart home items during Prime Day. So, why are so many homeowners focusing on making their garage smart?

1) Get deliveries straight to your garage with Key by Amazon. Key by Amazon lets you get packages delivered safely and securely right in your garage, so you don’t have to worry that the dog’s food, kid’s birthday present or a special treat for yourself will get wet or go missing. If you’re a Prime member in one of 50 eligible cities and surrounding areas, simply download the free Key by Amazon app, sync it with your myQ profile, and start selecting in-garage delivery when you shop on Amazon.com. Your packages will be delivered directly into your garage for no extra charge by a delivery driver, like Tesya, who walks you through how in-garage delivery works in this video (https://youtu.be/RSvGdGUs7GM).

2) Never wonder if the garage door is open. How many times have you driven away from home wondering if you left the garage door open? Or, how many times do you have to remind the kids to close the garage door after they get home from school before they actually do it? With a myQ-connected smart garage door opener, you’ll always know whether or not you or a family member has left the garage door open. You can check the status of your garage door, plus open and close the garage door from your smartphone — anytime, anywhere.

3) Know who is coming and going at all times. You can’t be in two places at once, but you can get real-time alerts when your garage door opens and closes to keep track of daily comings and goings. And, if you pair your smart garage door opener with an Amazon Cloud Cam, you can actually see the kids heading out on their bikes, check to make sure the dog sitter made it in — or just keep an eye on your car while you’re at work. You can also watch in-garage deliveries live, or view a clip in the app after they have been completed.

4) Share garage access — without sharing your password. With myQ Guest, you can securely and conveniently invite people to your inner circle so they can control and check the status of your myQ-connected garage doors, gates and lights from anywhere.

More than 75% of homeowners use the garage as their primary access point into the home. With Key by Amazon and Chamberlain’s myQ technology, it’s never been easier to make the most of your smart garage. Visit www.amazon.com/checkmygarage to get started. – BPT

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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.


5 Latest Trends in Bathroom Design

Today’s homeowners are increasingly expecting their bathrooms to mirror some of the spa-like features that were previously seen only in hotels, resorts and luxury vacation rentals.

Home television shows and websites like Better Homes and Gardens (bhg.com), ElleDecor.com and Houzz.com have showcased these once aspirational luxuries, while technical advances have made them more attainable.

With the baby boomer population among the most active of renovating groups, those wanting to remain in their current homes longer have an eye toward safety and accessibility, but also luxury and style when upgrading their bathrooms.

Here are some of the latest features transforming modern bathrooms.

Towel warmers

On a cold morning, nothing would be more pleasant than reaching for a warm towel as you step out of the tub or shower. To help make your bathroom feel more like a luxury spa, a heated towel warmer keeps towels at just the right temperature for optimal comfort. If you don’t have enough space for a towel warming drawer or cabinet in your bathroom, space-saving towel warmer racks are also available. Some are free-standing, while others are wall-mounted.

Heated floors

Another option for warming up on a cold morning is to install a heated bathroom floor. Radiant floor heating can supplement your home’s overall heating system, making you feel warmer when standing on a tiled floor in January. Because these systems warm objects and people in a room, radiant floor heating systems are more energy efficient than conventional forced-air. In fact, more people are comfortable with radiant floor heating at a lower thermostat setting than with forced-air heating at a higher thermostat setting.

High-tech mirrors

From mirrors with automatic, built-in LED lighting options or fog resistance to magic-like mirrors incorporating built-in clocks, TV panels or digital assistant-connected features, the bathroom mirror has gone way beyond a simple place to shave or check your look. Bathroom mirrors with automatic sensors light up as your face approaches the mirror. Some high-tech mirrors include touch-screen controls, some are controlled by remotes while others are responsive to voice commands. If it’s connected to an advanced security system, you can use a smart bathroom mirror to check who’s at the front door while brushing your teeth. With a smart mirror that connects to the internet, you can watch tutorials on your favorite makeup app while getting ready for that big date. You can also check the news and weather or tell your digital assistant to turn on your coffee maker while you’re fixing your hair. The latest mirror features make all your simple grooming tasks easier.

Standalone bathtubs

Homeowners with the space and resources are increasingly choosing to separate the bathtub from the shower, opting for a much larger and more stylish soaking tub. While whirlpool-type spa tubs are not as popular as they have been in recent years, larger tubs for luxury bathrooms — disconnected from the shower — are considered much more desirable.

Curbless showers

As showers are increasingly separated from tubs in modern bathrooms, curbless showers with linear drains, such as those designed by QuickDrain USA, are gaining in popularity. A curbless entrance makes showers easily accessible for all ages and abilities, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. They can also accommodate a freestanding bench, wheelchair or other mobility aid because they require no center drain where water may pool or make users feel unbalanced. Usually located against the edge or back of the shower, linear drains are more hygienic, as they are most often designed with larger format tiles, reducing grout joints and seals where mold, mildew and grime can accumulate. QuickDrain curbless showers accommodate existing plumbing, install quickly and provide wall-to-wall coverage for efficient drainage and a beautiful aesthetic. Because of the larger tiles and the elimination of a center drain, more diverse materials can be used, including ceramic, porcelain or stone tiles, plus a range of solid surface materials like marble, granite or engineered stone products.

If you are building or remodeling your shower, bring the spa-like luxury and high-end aesthetics available with linear drains. Learn how at QuickDrainUSA.com. – (BPT)

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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.

4 Effective Steps to Keep your Home Safe from Fire

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms — often due to missing alarm batteries or expired alarms.

Fortunately, a new generation of home safety technology — combined with tried-and-true safety practices — can help keep homes and families safer from the threat of home fires. First Alert offers the following tips and products to keep your family safe and healthy: Be safe, replace: If you can’t think of the last time you installed a smoke alarm, chances are, it’s time to replace your old ones. All smoke alarms — including battery and hard-wired models — are tested to function for 10 years. Installing new alarms ensures you are protected with the most advanced smoke-sensing technologies and latest safety features available. Conversely, by neglecting to replace alarms, you could be putting yourself, your family or tenants at serious risk.

Go for a 10: One of the greatest advancements in smoke alarm technology in recent years has been the development of new 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms, such as First Alert’s 10-Year Atom Smoke & Fire Alarm, which consumers have used to add fire protection to their homes. The Atom features an advanced smoke entry system designed to reduce the chances of false alarms, along with a loud, penetrating siren. In addition, 10-year alarms provide hassle-free protection so homeowners, property owners and renters no longer need to remember to replace costly batteries for the life of their alarms. They also eliminate the risk of ever having an alarm deactivated due to battery removal.

In many areas of the country, upgrading to 10-year sealed battery smoke alarms is also the law. Several states, including California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Louisiana, New York and Oregon, as well as the cities of Phoenix, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Milwaukee and New York City, have passed laws requiring 10-year battery smoke alarms in residential buildings. Numerous other states and municipalities are considering similar legislation.

Double-up on safety: There are two main types of smoke alarms — photoelectric and ionization — which utilize different technologies to sense smoke and fire. Ionization smoke alarms are generally more responsive to fast-flaming fires, while photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called “smoldering fires”). Rather than relying solely on one, install both — or a dual-sensor alarm — to maximize your protection. The NFPA and other safety advocates recommend having dual-sensor alarms because they provide the best potential for early detection of all types of common household fires.

Featuring Smart Sensing Technology to better detect slow smoldering and fast-flaming fires, the First Alert 10-Year Alarm Life Dual Sensor Smoke & Fire Alarm provides the peace of mind of a dual-sensor alarm with the convenience of a 10-year sealed lithium battery. The alarm better detects real threats and helps to combat false or “nuisance” alarms that may lead to device deactivation — all while providing a decade of protection without the need for battery replacement. It also signals an end-of-life warning, notifying consumers when it needs replacement.

Cover your bases: Even if you have smoke alarms in your home, you and your family may not be sufficiently protected if you don’t have enough devices. To ensure the highest level of protection from smoke and carbon monoxide, the NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms at the top of each staircase and one in every bedroom or sleeping area. To put this into perspective, the average-sized home in America — a two-story, three-bedroom house — needs a minimum of five smoke alarms.

To learn more about 10-year alarms and alarm laws in your state, or tips for protecting your family from smoke, fire and carbon monoxide, visit the First Alert website at http://www.firstalert.com.

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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.

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Fact or fiction? 5 Myths About Metal Roofing

Asphalt shingles may be the most popular roofing in the U.S. by volume, but metal roofing is gaining in popularity for its durability, longevity and low-maintenance benefits. Still, many people unfamiliar with the product have misconceptions about this quality roofing option.

Myth #1: Metal roofs are loud

One of the biggest misconceptions of metal roofs is that they are loud during a rainstorm and unbearable during severe weather, making sounds like repeatedly dropping objects on tin. In reality, residential metal roofs are fastened to the roof deck, not open rafters. Metal roofs can be applied over multiple layers of old asphalt shingles, so the sound insulation between the metal shingles and your ears could reduce the noise to potentially less than more traditional forms of roofing.

Myth #2: Metal roofs attract lightning

The Metal Construction Association has released several technical bulletins outlining research that shows metal roofs are no more likely to be struck by lightning than other types of roofing. The factors that do affect lightning strikes include topography of the surrounding area, the height and size of the building and the frequency and severity of storms in the area.

“Research shows that the material used in roof construction does not influence the risk of a lightning strike,” says Karl Hielscher, MCA’s executive director, in a press release. “In fact, the presence of a metal roof really shouldn’t statistically increase or decrease the chances of a lightning strike. There are many other factors that influence the actual chance of a lightning strike.”

Myth #3: Metal roofs are ugly

Metal roofs have traditionally been associated with industrial buildings or outbuildings like sheds and barns. But as metal roofing’s popularity has grown, so has the technology to make it an excellent choice for residential structures. Manufacturers have gone from standing seam metal roofs to creating metal shingles in a variety of colors that would make an attractive covering for any home. Some metal shingles are stamped and shaped to look like other types of roofing, like wood shake, stone slate and clay tile, such as the MetalWorks steel shingle produced by major roofing manufacturer TAMKO Building Products.

Myth #4: Metal roofs can’t handle hail

Metal roofs are actually among the most resilient roofing options when it comes to hail. Many metal shingles are rated Class 4 for Impact Resistance by the UL testing group. The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) reported that studies conducted by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) acknowledged that all roof types can sustain some cosmetic damage depending on hailstorm severity, but “metal roofing performed best and was much less likely to puncture as compared to asphalt, withstanding even golf ball-sized hail stones without compromising performance.”

Metal roofs also stand up well to other types of extreme weather. Metal shingles are often rated to withstand winds of over 100 miles per hour, and are rated for fire resistance.

Myth #5: Metal roofs aren’t energy efficient

Because metal in other uses is a good conductor of heat and cold, some homeowners are concerned a metal roof will cause their homes to be colder during winter and hotter in the summer. Besides the comfort factor, the increased utility costs associated with that misconception cause major concern. The reality is, according to the MRA, metal roofing boasts some of the best energy efficiency among roofing options. State Farm Insurance Company reported that metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs by 10-15 percent.

“Unlike asphalt shingles, the secret to metal roofing’s energy efficiency is its highly-reflective surface, regardless of color,” said Rick Taylor, a longtime roofing contractor now working as TAMKO’s field sales training manager. “This means, in our case, all of the MetalWorks colors are ENERGY STAR-certified and are rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council — even the darkest color options.”

The Metal Roofing Alliance reports that metal roofs also provide excellent insulation in the winter, and estimates that choosing metal could save up to 40% in energy costs for a home during the year. The Metal Construction Association also said metal roofs are considered a product of choice for snowy areas because of their superior response and tolerance to that environment.

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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!

Affordable Home Improvement – Useful Tips

Home improvement tips

The holy grail of home improvement is a project that makes a big difference to the appearance or value of the home without breaking the bank. The key is to focus on low-cost, quality items that will give the most bang for your buck. Here are five to consider:

New bathroom countertop

Bathroom remodels still provide some of the best return on investment for home improvement projects, but can also be some of the most expensive. If you can’t afford a full bathroom overhaul, opt for one high-impact update. Replace that outdated laminate vanity countertop with a stone version to bring an immediate touch of class to the bathroom. This update can be completed quickly and, for homeowners with a little plumbing knowledge, could even be a DIY project.

Refinish kitchen cabinets

According to Home Advisor, replacing kitchen cabinets in a typical 10-by-10 kitchen costs an average $4,000-$13,000. For homeowners not able to make that type of investment, refinishing existing cabinets can provide a dramatic upgrade at a fraction of the cost. Homeowners can start by removing all cabinet doors and hardware, keeping all hardware together in a bag in case it’s needed later. Cabinets with a glossy finish should be sanded, either with blocks or a chemical product, then either stained (consider an espresso finish for a modern look) or painted. Adding new, brushed metal fixtures completes the look.

Affordable roof update

For the biggest ROI on an improvement, look outside. Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report revealed nine of the top 10 high-return remodeling projects were exterior replacement projects. Replacing a roof can sound overwhelming, but with some smart shopping can provide a major curb appeal boost on a budget.

A common misconception is that expensive products equal better products. While that can certainly be true, there are lots of examples where the most expensive option is not the best choice for every consumer. This is certainly true in large home improvement projects, where the costs can run high and the consequences for purchasing subpar materials can be serious. But, homeowners can save money while protecting their investments by finding the low-cost leader in the product category: a product that provides the best quality for the price point.

“In many product segments there is a low-cost leader — a product or brand comparable in quality to more expensive brands, but offered at a lower cost to provide the best value per dollar,” says Rick Taylor, a longtime roofing contractor now working as a trainer for TAMKO Building Products, manufacturer of the low-cost leader Heritage shingle. “Home improvement isn’t the place to cut corners, but, if you buy smart, you can save money even on big exterior projects.”

Home Improvement Tips

New door and porch decor

A new entryway can add major curb appeal to any home, but can also come with a big price tag, especially if the front porch area is aesthetically weak and would require construction to build it out. To achieve a similar result at a fraction of the cost, replace the front door with a new, energy-efficient option with a strong design element. You may even consider painting it a bold color. Next, add a ready-made pergola around the entryway, or large concrete or sandstone pillars on either side of the door, available at most garden stores. Adding large, decorative plants to the top of the pillars, or around the doorway, can help define a dramatic entryway without ever pulling out a hammer.

Paint

Adding a fresh coat of paint is one of the most affordable ways to update many portions of the home. While time-consuming, the transformative properties of paint on a staircase, exterior shutters, interior walls or even a floor are legendary. Paint is another great opportunity to utilize the consumer trick of looking for the low-cost leader in the product category. Stay away from the cheapest paint as it may chip or require many coats to cover, and in the end, cost you even more money to fix. But, also avoid the highest-end paints, as you may be paying more for the brand name than the actual product. Look for the best quality option at the most affordable price point. (BPT)

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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!

Amazing Ideas to Improve your Outdoor Living Space

If you are looking for amazing ideas to improve your outdoor living space and create an inviting oasis for everyone in the family to get outside and have fun together?

Here are some projects to consider, and the prep work involved for a modern and relaxing outdoor living space.

1) Check your deck

Does your current deck need repair? Check for loose balusters or railing or other issues needing attention. If you want to resurface your deck or build a new deck, measure the area and research how much decking you’ll need. Fortunately, there are free online deck plans and design tools available, for example, on your favorite home improvement center’s website or at treatedwood.com. Many include cost calculators to help determine your expenses. Check with your local municipality for building codes and a building permit before beginning construction.

When choosing materials to create the deck of your dreams, not just any wood will do. Wood is now available that is treated with more environmentally advanced preservatives, with stabilizers that can weather the elements while still retaining the beauty of real wood. Ecolife pressure-treated wood is ideal for decking, deck framing, railing, joists, and beams. Its advanced wood stabilizing preservative system makes wood look better longer and repels water for up to two years.

For projects that contact or are within 6 inches of the ground, such as support posts, stair stringers, and ledger boards, a higher retention level of preservatives is required to fight fungal decay and termite attack at ground level. Ecolife and ground contact wood are treated to levels needed to protect against fungal decay and termite attack.

2) Enhance your garden

To increase your yard’s beauty while encouraging plant and flower growth, make simple wooden structures for your garden that can be completed in a weekend. The easiest project is a trellis, which can be any size latticework designed for climbing plants. Similarly, an arbor combines two trellises with an overhead arch to create a passage or gateway. An arbor beautifully embellishes any path or walkway with flowering plants growing up and over it.

A pergola takes that idea one step further, creating a scaffolding of overhead wooden beams for your yard, patio or deck that can be used for installing a ceiling fan, hanging plants or flowers, or a sun shade.

The gazebo resembles a mini “house,” usually raised from the ground, that can be screened in if desired. Gazebos are lovely little retreats to enjoy the outdoors while still feeling the comfort of seating and other furniture, along with a roof for keeping out the elements.

3) Raised gardens

For the green thumb in the family, raised planter beds to decrease the back-breaking work of planting and weeding, while keeping neighborhood critters out. Attach chicken wire or other screening to discourage smaller animals from munching on your garden.

4) Outdoor furnishings

Love to grill and eat outdoors? Why not build your own benches or picnic table? They provide a wonderfully rustic look as well as being sturdy. You can add removable cushions for comfort.

5) Playtime

Nothing could be more fun for kids than watching or helping to build a playset, sandbox, or treehouse. If kids help, educate them about safety rules that you follow, such as wearing gloves, goggles, and a mask while working with wood.

6) Add privacy and beauty

A well-designed stained or painted fence can enhance the look of your outdoor living space while adding privacy and keeping neighborhood animals out. A variety of fence styles are available to serve many purposes. From containing pets to providing safety for your children, fences can help block wind and noise, enclose HVAC and trash bin areas and add curb appeal. All you need are posts, pickets, and backer rails or fence panels to complete your project.

If you’re new to building, start with smaller projects like a trellis or sandbox. Once you’re more confident or have the experience, consider the larger, more complex projects you’re dreaming about. Engage the family in brainstorming ideas to make your yard and garden a great place to hang out together. For more information, visit treatedwood.com. – (BPT)

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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!

3 Small Things Plus Bonus Tip That You Can Do to Add Value to Your Home

When it comes to your home, you want updates that make your property more comfortable, beautiful and of course, add value to your home. Whether you have a big budget or more elbow grease than cash to invest, there are numerous things you can do to improve your home’s worth immediately.

Here are three small things you can do to boost your home’s value, plus one big one that will really make an impact.

Small change #1 – Fresh paint

Paint is one of the most affordable ways to bring dramatic change to a room. Adding a fresh hue will instantly update the entire feeling of a space while also making it look more stylish and clean. Neutrals — like tan, gray or greige (gray and beige) — are always a good choice but don’t fear a bolder color. Not sure? Consider painting neutrals on three walls and using the fourth as a focal wall that features a bolder color choice.

For walls, start by patching and sanding any holes so you get a smooth finish. Use painter’s tape to protect molding and ceilings and help you get a clean line when finished. Drop cloths will protect flooring and furniture. Taking time to properly prep helps ensure you get professional-level results that look great and last a long time.

Small change #2 – Bathroom updates

You don’t need to invest in a complete remodel to get an updated bathroom. A few simple enhancements can make a big difference without breaking the bank. Start by looking at the walls. Remove old wallpaper and repair any damage before adding paint. Then, look at the light fixtures and consider new options. A few quick swaps can add a modern aesthetic and optimum light for bathroom tasks.

The style in a bathroom is often defined by the accessories, so turning attention in that direction can help rejuvenate the space as well. Replace hardware on vanities and other extras like towel bars. Popular materials include chrome and brushed metals, but choose whatever fits with the rest of the room. Finish the look with a new shower curtain and towels to elevate the space.

Small change #3 – Entryway enhancements

Is the place where you welcome guests looking a little dingy? Your entryway is where your home makes a first impression, including buyers when it comes time to sell. Fortunately, it’s easy to update an entryway so it stands out positively and enhances your home’s value.

Focus on the door by giving it a new coat of paint. Then replace the hardware with a handsome, high-quality option. You can add a door-knocker or wreath to give it style if you’d like. Then move to the surrounding spaces. Get rid of clutter to open up space, and then add in a few key pieces of decor. For example, a plant or welcoming sign makes a house feel like a home.

One BIG change – Add a deck

3 small things that you can do to add value to your home

When you want to make a big investment in your home to improve its appeal and value, adding a high-quality deck may carry a bigger price tag, but it also offers some of the best return on investment for homeowners. Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value Report listed a composite deck addition as one of the highest performing projects when it comes to the rate of year-over-year ROI.

“With the outdoor living trend thriving, people want deck spaces that are true extensions of the home,” said Shara Gamble, director of sales and marketing for high-end composite deck manufacturer Envision Building Products. “Luxury composite decking is growing in popularity due to its exceptionally beautiful appearance and low-maintenance benefits.”

Gamble added that Envision boards have attracted additional attention due to the brand’s exclusive compression molding technology, which is unlike other boards on the market and uses tremendous heat and pressure to form the boards with deep wood-like grain that never repeats on a single board. Learn more at envisiondecking.com.


orlando home inspection acf home inspection logoYour 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!

Your Life Will Be Better When Your Environment Is Better

Obviously, the way you feel about your home greatly affects the way you feel whenever you are in it. Predominantly your life is spent either at work or at home. You can make your life more pleasurable by putting your attention to creating a space that is reflective of your approach to life. Read on for some proven advice for transforming your house into a haven.

Spot any noticeable eyesores

First of all, you will want to look around your home and spot any noticeable eyesores, such as water stains in the ceiling or a cracked window. If you repair the things that are wrong, this can make your at-home experience even better. If you pick out furniture that is comfortable and make navigating your home easier it will change your perception of your home.

When you feel like you have no more room to move around in your home, rearranging your belongings may not solve the problem. If you are suffering from a lack of space, the cure is a home expansion. Just moving a wall by a few small inches can add up to the extra space you need. You get psychological benefits from not being surrounded by stuff on all sides.

Add recreational areas to your home.

Your home’s atmosphere can be enhanced by a pool or spa, but small additions such as an indoor gym or basketball hoop can be lots of fun too. In addition, you also improve your home’s value!

Many people do not know how important lighting is. If a room has good lighting, it will illuminate things that you did not notice before. You will also be able to wind down more easily in the space. Regardless of whether or not you have been involved in many home improvement projects, putting in new fixtures should not cause you any trouble. Upgrading the lighting in your home is a simple cosmetic fix, which can make a big impact.

Experiment with growing things by converting your outdoor space into a beautiful and colorful garden retreat. A professional landscaper can help you if gardening is not your cup of tea. No matter what, you will enjoy your garden. Plants provide numerous benefits, such as improving air quality and imparting fragrance. Some of them are even edible.

Do not forget to take into account the outside areas of your home. You can add value and beauty to your house by brightening up the appearance with fresh paint, new windows, or updating the roof. Small improvements will not only increase the value of your home but will make it seem more inviting and welcoming to you and your guests.

It is important to love your home, especially since you spend the majority of your time there. Home improvements not only increase the value of your home, but they also do wonders for your mood.

orlando home inspection acf home inspection logoYour 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 Homeowner’s Guide to Reading Your Roof – What’s Normal and What’s Not?

How to tell when your roof needs repair?

Vintage shingles in Weathered Wood - homeowner's guide to reading your roof

Four out of five homes in the U.S. have asphalt shingles on their roof. And it’s easy to see why. The wide variety of available colors and styles, combined with durability and affordability, has made asphalt shingles the leading choice for residential roofing in the country.

But, like all exterior building products, asphalt shingles start to age as soon as they are exposed to nature. Buildings experience aging factors differently, so it’s difficult to predict how long shingles will last. With storm chasers and insurance adjusters claiming roof damage or defective shingles after major weather events, it’s important for homeowners to arm themselves with information about what type of roof aging is normal, and most importantly, what type is not.

What is normal?

It’s natural for a roof to age, and the process begins as soon as shingles are exposed to nature. The sun can raise rooftop temperatures as high as 50-70 degrees above the ambient air temperature. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun and heat have been shown to accelerate roof aging, as have pollution, hail, snow, ice, falling tree limbs and people walking on a roof.

Here are a few common signs of aging shingles:

Curling is a common phenomenon in some shingles and is not considered a defect. It is natural for asphalt to age and shrink with time, which may result in a slight curling of the shingle edge.

Minor cracks may also appear on the shingles as they age, but industry experts say it is a normal weathering characteristic and not cause for alarm, as long as the cracks do not penetrate through the shingle and the roof is still performing the intended purpose of shedding water.

“Minor cracks may not be noticeable from the ground, but people often spot them while hanging their Christmas lights,” said roofing industry expert Rick “the Roofer” Taylor, a longtime roofing contractor now working as a traveling trainer for shingle manufacturer TAMKO Building Products. “The intense heat from the sun can deplete some of the protective asphalt oils, and that can cause minor cracks.”

Dark brown or black streaks down the roof are common in particularly moist or humid areas of the country, and are the result of algae growth on the shingles. While not particularly attractive, these stains should not affect the shingles’ ability to shed water.

Some granule loss on the shingles is to be expected, especially if a roof has been recently repaired or replaced, since extra granules are a part of the shingle manufacturing process. Loose granules are usually noticed collecting in roof gutters after the shingles are installed. This type of granule shedding is common and not a cause for concern.

What is cause for concern?

While minor curling, surface cracking, closed blisters, algae stains and some granule loss can all be signs of normal roof aging, some more serious roof wear and aging could be indicative of a potential problem, and should be examined and monitored.

These roof issues may need attention:

Blisters, or small circular raised areas, are often the direct result of under-ventilated attics or excessive use of plastic cement — both of which are installation errors. If the blisters are closed and are not affecting the shingles’ performance, they are not a cause for concern. But if the blisters are open, exposing the asphalt, the roof is vulnerable to water penetration and requires immediate attention.

Buckling, a distortion of the shingles, can be a possible sign of inadequate roof ventilation, issues with the roof deck or other installation errors and may require attention.

Deep cracks that penetrate through the fiberglass mat should be investigated, as they may compromise the roof’s ability to shed water and make it susceptible to leaks.

Excessive granule loss that exposes the shingles’ asphalt layer is a reason for concern and requires immediate attention.

Armed with this basic information, homeowners should be able to distinguish between natural processes that are no cause for alarm and issues that do require attention and repair. Visit www.tamko.com for more information about roofing repair and replacement. – (BPT)

orlando home inspection acf home inspection logoYour 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!