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.

Tips and Tricks to Prepare Your House for Summer

5F7649370BWell, Summer is almost here!

The warm weather that we have all been waiting for is imminent and there are some simple techniques available to make sure your house is as energy efficient as possible.

We want to help you keep cool air inside and hot air where it’s supposed to be…outside!

 

What We Are All About
Grennan Construction can provide you with all your necessary home improvements that are needed to keep your house running at peak efficiency during the summer months.

We can also provide many options to make your house more energy efficient including siding, gutters, windows, roofing, and insulation. Also, if the worst should happen, Grennan Construction is ready to repair and replace whatever has been damaged, whether it be from regular wear and tear or from the weather.

 

Keeping Your House Efficient
The simplest way to save money and energy is to make sure your home is up to date on all energy efficiency matters. No matter if it is a new roof, or simply securing windows and doors, Grennan Construction is the best way to make sure your home is well prepared for the coming summer months!

 

Checking for Leaks
For optimum efficiency; windows, doors and air ducts of your home need to be leak-free. The caulking on the windows and doors is the first barrier to ensure energy efficiency by keeping the warm and cool air separated. The same principal for keeping heat inside in the winter applies to keeping the cool air inside in the summer.
Making sure the windows and doors are properly sealed will not only make your home more energy efficient but will also help with keeping out insects, which can also come along with warmer temperatures.

 

Check Your Foundation
By simply walking around your basement and the outside foundation of your house, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in potential damage. The biggest threat is water damage.

Leaks, cracks, and imperfections of your foundation can cause a lot of headaches when the rains come in the summer months. Grennan Construction has experts to inform you of potential leaks and can fix any structural foundation problems you might have, providing you with the proper assistance and best materials ensuring your home is protected from the summer elements.

 

Your Roof
The roof of your house is the most important defense against the forces of nature in the coming summer months.

Rain, hail, and sleet from summer storms can take a toll on any roof over the years. It is important to make sure there are no cracks, leaks or other imperfections in your roof in order to prevent flooding or other damage to the inside of your home. If you do find an imperfection in your roof,  you should repair it immediately in order to avoid costly indoor damage.

Replacing your roof is one of the most valuable ways to increase your home’s value and is the best way to prevent damage to the inside of your home. Grennan Construction has the most energy efficient roofs available, as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Whether you are looking for a Metal Roof or a Cedar Shake Roof, Grennan Construction has exactly what you desire!

 

Summer Time!

Summer time is a great time to relax and enjoy yourself, so take a moment ensure your home is secure from rain, hail, heat, and insects. Then call Grennan Construction for all your home efficiency needs, and then enjoy the summer!

Top 10 Roof Maintenance Tips For Your Home

Top 10 Roof Maintenance Tips For Your HomeHow often do you keep your roof care at the very top of your mind? With the constant chaos of daily life frequently piling up around us, it’s easy to lose sight of the essential aspects of your life that need regular maintenance to safeguard your interior space. We take roofs for granted, but they are a crucial part of our home – keeping the people we love safe and secure. Unforeseen or obvious, roof-based problems are undoubtedly expensive, and usually a pain to deal with.

Following are just some of the ways that you can ensure your house stays dry and protected throughout the years with excellent roof maintenance.

1. Regularly Examine Your Roof

Potential risks and threats change with the seasons – so while you might want to look for damage caused by ice damming during early spring, towards the end of the fall, you’ll need to search for debris and leaves cluttering up your roof. It’s also important to pay extra attention to your roof after you’ve been caught in storms with particularly heavy winds.

2. Clean Out The Gutters

Following on from the previous tip, it’s crucial to clean away the debris and leaves that gather in your gutters or downspouts after trees start shedding leaves all over your property. While you’re making the appropriate sweeps, look for gaps throughout the seams of your gutters or breaks, and ensure that any brackets you’re using to hold everything in place are still secure and sturdy.

3. Get Rid Of Overhanging Branches

Trees may be a pretty addition to just about any household exterior, but ones that grow too near your property can end up presenting a risk. Not only do you deal with the risk of broken pieces of wood falling onto the roof during storms, but if branches rest on or over the shingles – the protective coating on the stone may begin to abrade over time.

4. Watch Out For Damage From Wildlife

Detroit – just like any other area of America, can gather its own fair share of unwanted animal attention. Anything from wayward birds to squirrels, raccoons, and chipmunks can all settle in either under, or on your roof when they’re given ample chance.

5. Check The Flashing

The flashing of the roof can be a prime target for leaks and damage because it covers a hole in your roof. Take the time to examine any flashing around your exhaust pipes, vents, or chimneys to ensure that old sealant hasn’t dried out and become loose. Bear in mind that the flashing itself can also become punctured and bent over time.

6. Try Not To Walk On The Roof

There are some occasions when climbing up and accessing the roof personally is unavoidable – but you should try to avoid moving across the surface as much as possible. Your roofing can be damaged quite easily when you walk on it – regardless of the material it is made out of.

7. Use Professional Inspections

Although inspecting a roof yourself can be useful, don’t ignore the benefits of professional inspections. Getting a yearly examination by an expert can be a cheap and useful way to ensure that you stay ahead of any problems emerging.

8. Make Sure Your Roof Can Breathe

If your home doesn’t have the right ventilation, moisture, and heat can cause the rafting and sheathing to rot – meaning that roof materials begin to buckle and lose effectiveness. In the end, your entire roofing system may become ineffective.

9. Insulate!

Proper insulation is the ideal way to achieve good airflow and ventilation. Having open spaces that allow for air to pass freely through one area to the next with at least one inch between the roof sheathing and the insulation is ideal.

10. Check For Insects

If your location is prone to infestation from carpenter ants or termites, you’ll need to watch your roof for emerging signs of activity. Shredded wood, sawdust, rotten spots, and insect feces can all be signs of an insect problem.

Care For Your Roof

We often apply the term “out of sight out of mind” to our roofing maintenance – but remember that your roof works each day to keep your belongings, and your loved ones safe from the elements. Give your home the respect and care it deserves by conducting regular roof maintenance, and you’ll be sure to reap the benefits.

Image: Jonathan Oakley

Energy Saving Tips for Your Home

Whether you’re looking to save money, go green and reduce your carbon footprint—or both!—there are a lot of subtle things that you can do around your home to save energy.  As the weather starts to cool down and we head into Fall and Winter weather, there are a handful of simple things that you can do to help save energy.

Energy Saving Tip #1: Weatherproof Your Home

Heating (and cooling) the home accounts for over 50% of the average American’s annual energy consumption.  Simply looking at the insulation in any areas that could have leaks or insufficient insulation, like an attic, basement, crawl space and walls, can help you identify areas where there may be leaks in (and out of) the home.  This means that the cold outdoor air may be getting into the house and any heat you may be generating inside the home to make it more comfortable, may be leaking outside.  Air leaks around pipes, windows and doors can be easily eliminated with weather stripping and expanding foam spray.

Energy Saving Tip #2: Use the Sun

The sun may or may not be out very much during the fall or winter seasons, but during cold months, you can take advantage of the sun’s natural heat-producing effects by leaving blinds or drapes drawn on windows that face the sun throughout the day.

Energy Saving Tip #3: Be Thermostat Smart!

One of the easiest ways that people can save on energy is simply by being smarter with the thermostat.  Everyone has a different room temperature that they may find comfortable, but if you can reduce the thermostat minimum temperature while you are away from the home during the colder months, you can potentially save 10% on your energy bill.  Then, when you are home, you can raise the minimum to a level that is comfortable.  Also, if you can still keep that thermostat at a bearable temperature and then find other sources of heat (such as blankets, fireplaces, and bundling up), you can significantly reduce your energy consumption.

Energy Saving Tip #4: Use Energy-Saving Materials

From insulation to windows to siding, there are numerous materials available now that help reduce energy and keep the temperature of the home comfortable and at its desired level.  Of course knowing what materials are available and finding a company that uses these materials is important!

For those in Oakland County, Michigan, if you would like to receive a free analysis of your home’s insulation and saving energy, contact Grennan Construction today.

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.

Five Causes of Roof Damage

top-five-causes-of-roof-damage-grennan-constructionThe roof on your house is probably one of the most important components of your house, next to its foundation (of course).  Knowing the top five causes of damage to the roof will hopefully help you take better care of your roof to help preserve it longer, therefore protecting the life and value of your home.

Here are the top five causes of roof damage to most homes.

Roof Damage Cause #1: Tree Limbs & Debris.  Tree limbs and branches are a common cause of roof damage, but can be easily avoided if you trim away any large tree branches that could snap due to wind, heavy ice or snow or even disease and decay.  Additionally, any debris that may fall from nearby trees can also create a problem on rooftops, including leaves, pine needles and pine cones.  The more you can trim away and keep your roof free from being underneath any large trees, the better.

 

Roof Damage Cause #2: Weather.  Weather could really fall into a bunch of sub-categories, but as a whole, weather is one of the leading causes of roof damage.  Weather damage to rooftops include wind, hail, snow, ice and even sunshine.  They all have very harmful effects on the longevity and life of your rooftop.  Anything from drying out and deteriorating shingles to softening and weakening the roof, potentially causing a leak or cave-in.

 

Roof Damage Cause #3: Birds and Animals.  Animals can also cause a lot of damage to a roof.  Depending on where you’re located and the wildlife nearby, this can include woodpeckers, squirrels, raccoons, mice, rats, bats, nesting birds and even some house cats.  Make sure that you inspect and keep an eye out for any wildlife that may be frequently visiting your rooftops.  They may be tearing away shingles and vent covers, trying to find food or a way to enter the home.

 

Roof Damage Cause #4: Faulty Gutters.  Gutters are responsible for directing water away from the roof and foundation.  However, when gutters are not properly installed, are clogged or damaged, or aren’t working properly, they can potentially become faulty which leads to water buildup on the roof, rotting parts of the roof and causing significant damage.  Depending on the style and construction of your roof, faulty gutters can even cause water buildup that may soften and weaken roofing material and potentially cause leaks and severe water damage.  This brings us to the last and final cause.

 

Roof Damage Cause #5: Water Damage.  All of the above causes of roof damage have one major thing in common and that’s these problems can deteriorate the roof and then let moisture into the home, causing all kinds of water damage to the roof, to the insulation and inside of the home, etc.  This moisture buildup can then develop mold growth, which can be harmful (and even fatal) to you and your family.

All of these problems can be resolved with the proper maintenance routine and care of your roof.  If you have a damaged roof or are in need of roof maintenance or an upgrade, contact Grennan Construction today.  Grennan Construction is one of the leading roofing construction companies of Oakland County, Michigan and can help protect you and your home from further roof damage.

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: Grennan Construction

Why You Should Choose ENERGY STAR Windows

why-you-should-choose-energy-star-windows-grennan-constructionWhether you’re currently looking to build a new home or remodel your existing home with new windows, you might want to consider ENERGY STAR windows for your next window replacement.  Having the proper windows installed in your home can not only lower your energy costs up to 30% (or even higher), it’s a great way to reduce damage caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays and also build up the value of your home by up to 114%!

First, you might be wondering, “What are ENERGY STAR windows?” The ENERGY STAR Program was developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (also known as the EPA) to create a voluntary program that partnered with businesses and individuals to develop products that cut down on energy usage, while also saving money.  It was established back in 1992 and has since evolved with numerous product industries to develop more energy efficient products for consumers.

In the construction and housing industry, this involved the development of ENERGY STAR windows.  ENERGY STAR windows provide for the most energy-efficient windows available and have gone through rigorous testing for thermal performance, making them NFRC Certified and ENERGY STAR qualified.

NFRC ratings were created to provide a standard of performance for the industry.  It provides unbiased energy performance ratings for windows, doors and skylights.  In order for windows to meet ENERGY STAR window performance requirements, independent NFRC ratings were created and provide performance ratings on the rate of heat loss from the home, how much heat the house gains due to the sun and how clearly you can see through the window.  Whenever you have low rates of heat loss from the home, low rates of heat gained in the home from the sun and high visibility through the window, you are getting the most thermally efficient performance windows.  And since the weather and sun exposure varies geographically throughout the country, these ratings vary as well.

According to the former Secretary of Energy, Federico Peña, “Each year families spend almost half their energy budget on heating and cooling bills. Installation of these ENERGY STAR windows could help cut 15 percent from these annual bills.”

All Windows installed by Grennan Construction are NFRC Certified and ENERGY STAR qualified for all regions of the country, so they will provide you the most energy efficient windows available, while also cutting down on your energy bills.

If you are currently looking to replace your windows and save some money in the process, contact Grennan Construction today for a free consultation.  Also, to find out more about why you should consider Grennan Construction, click here.

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: digitalart via freedigitalphotos.net

 

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Over the Do-It-Yourself Project

reasons-to-hire-professional-instead-of-DIY-grennan-construction-michiganAlmost everyone has watched at one point or another one of the various “do-it-yourself” home improvement show, like Extreme Home Makeover and several other shows you can find on HGTV.  These television shows can make remodeling and construction projects seem like a cinch.  But, what you don’t see in the 30 or 60 minutes or so of the show is all of the hard work and expense that goes into these projects.  Television shows like these have to minimize a lot of the details, time and hard work that go into the construction projects.  After all, that’s never the fun part of the project and they are forced to keep the actual footage to a minimum and show what viewers want to see.

Let’s be serious.  Do you really want to see how long it would take someone to scrape all of the 30-year old wallpaper off of the walls, the preparation of a rooftop and placement of roof tiles, the removal of old insulation and installation of new one?  Of course not!

So while these television shows can glamorize and make construction projects seem so easy, it doesn’t mean that going out and creating your own do-it-yourself construction project this summer is a good idea.

Here are five (very good) reasons why you should hire a professional for your construction needs over the DIY project.

Reason #5: Professionals Will Save You Money Doing the Job Right the First Time.  A lot of people will say that the reason they decided to do construction projects themselves is to save money, but what they don’t think about is the money they may waste in repairs later on or the cost to have a professional come in to fix the botched up job when something wasn’t done correctly or something starts to fall apart.  So, save yourself some real money and hire professionals that are trained and experienced in your construction needs and who will make sure that the job is done right the first time!

Reason #4: Limit Stress and Disruption.  Construction projects at your house can be stressful and extremely disruptive to a household.  The noise level and the time that it may take, especially if you’ve  never done it before or don’t know what you’re doing, may create a lot of inconvenience on you or your family.  Talk to your professional contractors and let them know of your family’s needs during the construction project so that they can work within your lifestyle, timeframe and your needs to make sure that your construction project is as stress-free and as smooth of a process as possible.

Reason #3: Professional Guidance. Professionals will be able to provide you an outside, third-party and, most importantly, experienced opinion about your construction needs.  You might have thought it was a great idea to go with one particular method or way of doing something, but perhaps there are newer ways of doing things that you are unaware of or factors about your house (or geographic area) that you should be aware of that may be factored into the construction.  Professionals with this experience in the area of your construction needs will give you that expert opinion from a neutral third-party so many homeowners desperately need when preparing for construction.

Reason #2: Professionals Have Insurance. Professionals have insurance to protect them in case they mess up or something is not done right.  If you don’t do something right or you break something else in your home (especially something major, like something structural or a part of the foundation), it’s entirely on you and for you to fix.

Reason #1: Professionals Know What They’re Doing.  The last, but probably most important, reason for hiring a professional is that they know what they’re doing.  Unlike say just a repaint job, rearranging or redecorating job of bedroom, construction projects that involve roofing, gutters, masonry, drywall, insulation and siding takes a great level of skill and expertise.  Shop around for the professional that meets your needs and your budget.  Ask for references.  Do your research.  But, in the end, the same way you wouldn’t perform your own surgery or most people wouldn’t paint their own car, it’s important to hire professionals to do the job.

If you are currently looking to install a new roof, siding for your house, windows, drywall, gutters, insulation or masonry (brick work) in the Oakland County, Michigan area, contact Grennan Construction today for a free consultation.  Also, to find out more about why you should consider Grennan Construction, click here.

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.

Summer Roofing Maintenance Tips

summer-roofing-maintenance-tips-troy-michiganThe summer weather can bring along a number of challenges for homeowners and rooftops. Heat can put a lot of stress on any rooftop, regardless of the season, but extra care may be needed during the summer months to avoid any kind of unnecessary stress to both your rooftop (as well as to the homeowner).

First and foremost, if there is any reason for you to be on top of your roof, be careful when walking on your rooftop during summer months.  Shingles can get extremely hard and brittle during summer months and it’s easy to damage new shingles and shorten their life by walking all over them.  Shingles can get soft and granules will fall off the shingles whenever you walk all over them.  Do any necessary roofing inspections before 9am or in the late evening, after the rooftop has had an opportunity to cool.

In addition to walking on your roof, avoid using any flat roofs as a place to lay out or lounge during the summer months.  Remove any lounge chairs or debris from your flat roof areas as these items could potentially cause permanent damage to the roofing materials.

Be sure to take care of any large trees or shrubs nearby the house to avoid any large branches from damaging your rooftops.  Make sure that large branches are trimmed and removed if they pose a threat to your roof in the event of any major wind or rain storms.  Taking care of any greenery around your home will also prevent leaf debris from clogging your gutters and creating another headache during any rain storms.

These inspections are pretty basic, but can help you extend the life of your roof.  You can also get a roof analysis from professional roofers.  Also, if you have an older rooftop, the summertime is also a great time to consider getting new roofing installed during months when rainy days are few and far between.  For those in Oakland County, Michigan, if you would like to receive a free roof analysis, contact Grennan Construction today.

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.