What To Check For When Buying a Home

What To Check For When Buying a Home

Buying a home is the biggest purchasing decision a person can make. It can be a very daunting task and you can easily get overwhelmed with the number of items on your new home to-do list.

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There are a million little decisions to be made such as if you need that many bedrooms, the flow of the house, if the backyard is big enough, etc. However, there are a few very important things to check for to make sure you don’t have unexpected maintenance bills down the road.

Here are some simple things to look for when you are considering a potential home:

  • Roof – The roof is one of the most important items to check. If the roof is leaking, it can affect many other aspects of the home.
    • Check to make sure the external roof lines are straight and free from deflections.
    • Check the inside of the roof gutters to make sure they are rust free.
  • Water Damage – If the house has issues with internal pipe leaks, they could turn into a costly repair bill.
    • Check the inside of the cupboards for mildew, dampness, and mold.
    • Check for water stains and corrosion on the walls that back onto showers and baths.
    • Check for mold on the ceilings and walls. If it has been cleaned recently, the walls will look like they have grey clouds on them.
  • Drainage – This is an important item to check as it will save you costly water damage bills to your basement.
    • Check the drainpipes that come down from the roof and make sure they drain to the sewer and not straight onto the ground.
    • Check for drain holes on the exterior door and window frames. These allow water to escape the cavity walls so water won’t penetrate the interior walls.

While these are the most important things to check your new home for structurally, there are more items that most people look for in a home:

  • Steepness of the lot
  • Window size for natural light
  • Driveway length and street parking
  • Heating and cooling devices
  • Kitchen features
  • The neighborhood

There are many features to check when buying a home. Buying a home is a big decision and you should make sure you absolutely know what you are buying. Looking at all these areas yourself is fine but make sure you also have the house checked out by a qualified home inspector. A good home inspector knows where to look and what to look for, and will lend their expert opinion on things such as the quality of the foundation, electrical wiring and general durability – among others.

If your home does need some repairs you can count on Grennan Construction to give you the best service and advice there is. Grennan Construction specializes in siding, gutters, windows, roofing, insulation, painting and drywall, masonry, weather damage, and general repairs.

Grennan Construction can help you turn the home you buy into the home you want!

The Best Method to Wash Your Home

The Best Method to Wash Your Home

369D8C305ADuring the summer months, your home can take a beating from nature’s elements. Dirt, mildew, pollen, and other materials can build up more easily on the outside of your residence over the course of several months. To get your house looking as new as the day it was built, give it a high-quality wash!

Depending on what type of siding you have on your home, it is important to choose the proper method to clean your house so as to not damage the siding.

Most people will automatically think to opt for the pressure washer (who can blame you? It’s a fun tool!). While it is often the best (and fastest) method if you have some serious dirt on your house, some materials just can’t handle the intensity of a pressure washer.

If you have a home made from stucco, brick, or delicate woods, it would be best to avoid the pressure washer and stick to your garden hose. If that isn’t strong enough, or if you have heavier dirt that your hose just won’t handle, there are many different chemicals and nozzles that will easily remove dirt, and keep your siding safe.

Homes made of vinyl, wood, and hybrid materials are generally strong enough to withstand pressure washing, but even so it is usually better to start light and work your way up. Most dirt and grime will come off with your garden hose so that’s always the best place to start, just in case.

If you do opt to use a pressure washer, here are a few important safety and procedural guidelines to follow in order to make sure you get the most out of your pressure washer:

  • Make Sure Windows and Doors Are Closed – Self-Explanatory! No one wants a wet carpet.
  • Wear Safety Glasses – While you obviously don’t want to point a pressure washer at your, or anybody else’s eyes, there will be dirt and other particles flying off of your house that could still strike your eyes.
  • Keep Others Inside – Other family members, children, and pets should be kept indoors during pressure washing because of flying debris, as well as the potential dangers of the pressure washer itself.
  • Test First – Pressure washers are very powerful. Before starting on your whole house, test its effects on a non-visible portion to be sure that it won’t cause damage.
  • Keep Moving – Keeping the hose moving will prevent the pressure from damaging your house. Use a side to side, sweeping motion will effectively remove the dirt from your home.
  • Point the Hose Downward – Regular dirt from rain, snow, and wind come from above so it is important to make sure you spray from the top down. If you don’t then getting pressurized water up behind your siding or into cracks will be very damaging.
  • Avoid Spraying Windows – While your windows might be just as dirty as the rest of your house, there is a chance that the intense pressure could crack or break the windows, especially in older homes.

 

The best way to make your house look beautiful for this summer is to give it a nice wash! Just make sure you know what type of washing is best for the siding that is on your house and be safe when doing it. Remember, if it is too big a job, or you don’t feel safe on a ladder, consult a professional.

Top Six Home Maintenance Mistakes People Make

top-six-home-maintenance-mistakes-people-make-grennan-constructionA home is probably the biggest asset people will own in their lifetime, next to their vehicle.  Like a car, your home requires a certain amount of maintenance over the years to ensure that it will proper withstand weather conditions, general living wear and tear and to keep up its value.  Without proper care, it is easy to see how a house can simply fall apart and not properly function like it is supposed to.  Again, just like a car.

Here are the top six common home maintenance mistakes that people make.

Home Maintenance Mistake #1: Forgetting to Unclog Gutters.
Gutter maintenance is a really common overlooked maintenance task for many homeowners.  It’s out of sight and out of mind for many homeowners.  Gutters channel water away from your home’s roof and foundation.  If you neglect to properly maintain your gutters, it can lead to roof leaks and problems with the foundation.  It’s important to clean out your gutters for any clogs or backups at least twice a year.  If you don’t want to do this on your own, you can hire a professional to help you unclog your gutters and check for any leaks or deterioration of your gutters.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #2: Neglecting Dusting Duty.
Another common home maintenance mistake that people make is neglecting the battle with dirt and dust.  Many people will take care of the obvious dirt or dust that they see visibly on a table or counter, but what about the dirt you can’t see?  It’s important to change your air conditioning and heater filters regularly as they can build up dirt and dust, preventing proper air flow and energy efficiency.  Additionally, cleaning the coils on the refrigerator is also advised to prevent premature breakdown and help keep down energy costs to keep your food cool.  Dirt and dust also breaks down carpet fibers, causing increased wear and tear.  You can help the battle with the dirt by placing doormats outside all doors and vacuuming carpet once or twice a week, especially if you have any pets.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #3: Ignoring Leaks.
Plumbing leaks are probably the most costly of all of the mistakes, because ignoring even the seemingly smallest and “most harmless” water leak can eventually compound over time and result in a very expensive repair (or replacement) cost.  From damage to laminate flooring, carpet, roofing, drywall, cabinets, insulation and unseen structural supports (such as wall studs or floor joists)—water leaks and damage caused by water need to be addressed right away.  Ignoring these leaks can also prove deadly if mold and mildew start to develop.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #4: Filling Grout Gaps.
The purpose of grout isn’t aesthetic.  The purpose of grout is to seal gaps between floor tiles.  If you have a gap in grout, you shouldn’t ignore them or simply fill them.  Gaps in grout mean that moisture is already starting to get through the grout and mold or mildew growth, plus potential water damage, is already a risk.  The best way to handle any gaps in grout is to clean out and remove any old grout and seal the gap with brand new grout.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #5: Let Paint Chip and Peel Off.
Neglecting paint that is chipping or peeling is never a good idea.  Cracks in the paint expose drywall or exterior wood surfaces.  This means that water is penetrating the surfaces underneath the paint, which will cause further damage and only worsen the cracking and peeling paint.  If you spot any paint peeling or chipping off, remove any loose paint from the surface, repair any damage, prime with a coat of primer and then repaint.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #6: Disregard Foggy Windows.
If you ever notice foggy windows, it’s a potential sign that the seal of the window is broken and may need replacing. Disregarding foggy windows may result in added heating and cooling expenses, so be sure to replace the seal as soon as possible.

Owning a home is a big responsibility and it doesn’t make sense to neglect your home.  Some neglect their home to save money, but as you can see, some of these home maintenance mistakes result in added expense (and headaches!).  If you properly maintain your home, you will help save on a lot of unnecessary repairs and expenses, including additional energy costs to run an improperly maintained home.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: renjith krishnan via freedigitalphotos.net