Landscaping- OKC Home Inspection

Why Landscaping Matters For Homes On The Market

Landscaping Design Brings Value

It’s getting to be that lovely time of year again when home buyers are looking for home to call their own and home sellers are preparing to have them look! Landscaping is often overlooked as being important, but in my experience as a home inspection expert, I know that it matters.

Let’s take a look at a few reasons why landscaping really does matters:

It Provides Visual Appeal

Put yourself in the shoes of a home buyer, even if you aren’t selling your home. Take a walk around the exterior and just look. Do you have cobwebs? Do you have untended plants? Does your garden look dull?

These are all things that impact the visual appeal of your home. Seeing a garden or yard with proper and beautiful landscaping isn’t just aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, but it makes others appreciate what it took to keep it maintained.

It Preserves The Natural Elements

Even if you live in a big city, there’s something nice about feeling at one with nature. Having a landscaped area can help to achieve this goal. Imagine having a more comfortable ambience as you walk around and look at your home.

If you make the outside feel more like home and you do end up wanting to sell the property, chances are that buyers will feel more at home in the space, too.

It Can Make A Home Feel More Spacious

Square footage is important to a lot of families and you may not be able to add more to an existing home, but you can make use of otherwise seemingly useless outdoor space.

Creating a landscaped seating area around beautiful plants will give your family (or a future family if you sell your home) a retreat of sorts which is more space or an extension to your home.

What’s important to remember is that not every landscaping option has to be over the top expensive. In fact, you can find plenty of “do-it-yourself” videos and tutorials online to get your started. If you simply don’t have time to do anything by yourself and you want to hire a landscaping company to help you, consider shopping around to find the best priced team to fit your budget!

Take advantage of the springtime weather! Good luck and happy landscaping!

HVAC- Oklahoma City Home Inspection

3 Reasons Your HVAC Could Be On The Fritz

HVAC Problems That Should Be Addressed Quickly

The official first day of spring is right around the corner and before you know it, your HVAC unit will need to switch gears to help keep you cool. When you turn on your A/C for the first time after a long winter, it may be surprising when it doesn’t function as you intended. Today, our home inspection team put together this list of 3 reasons your HVAC could be on the fritz.

1.) The Thermostat Is Not Functioning: You don’t have to deal with uncomfortable temperatures for much longer than necessary or waste money attempting to run a system that isn’t working properly. It may be easy, at first, to put off calling a service specialist when your thermostat breaks. After a while; however, the temperatures will be too much to withstand. Luckily, this problem can be easily solved and isn’t too expensive.

2.) The Filter Is Filthy: Changing the HVAC filter is often one of the top priorities that people tend to forget about as they shuffle about their busy lives. Dirty filters can be deceiving and may cause you to think they’re still functioning just fine, but a dirty filter will eventually cause your system to overwork to produce the desired results. The prices of new filters range from cheap ones that must be changed monthly to more expensive ones that can last double or triple that length of time.

3.) The Refrigerant Is Leaking: The liquid refrigerant, also called Freon, is a very important component for helping to create the cool air that comes into your home. Not only does the air coming out feel too warm when there isn’t enough refrigerant in the system, but it can also cause the HVAC’s condenser to work harder than it should. This can inevitably lead to more problems. If the refrigerant isn’t in the system, it’s a safe bet that it is leaking as it doesn’t just disappear. Again, this fix shouldn’t cost too much to take care of.

These are just a few troubleshooting problems, but there are other things to think about such as keeping the ductwork clear and kink-free, having regular maintenance check-ups by a professional HVAC company and receiving ongoing protection for your unit.

Many heating and cooling companies offer low-priced, preventive maintenance service contracts between $70 and $100. For that price they will clean and service your HVAC unit and replace your air filter.

The cost of replacing an entire air conditioning unit as a result of neglect can have you spending thousands of dollars; therefore, keeping up with regular maintenance could save you some heartache and money in long run.

Need an HVAC professional to help you out? Try one of these trusted sources:

(1) Company Name: Hurst Heat & Air
Contact Name: Robert Hurst
Contact Number: 405-921-5503

(2) Company Name: Air Flow Technologies
Contact Name: Tom Tyler
Contact Number: 405-577-5400

cockroaches

How To Prevent Cockroach Infestations

Cockroach Infestation Prevention

 Let’s face it, no one likes having pests in their home. There is nothing worse than feeling invaded in a place that is supposed to belong to you. Cockroaches are a common infestation problem and it’s not just a dirty house that causes these uninvited pests.

The truth is that even a clean home will provide shelter, water and food for cockroaches. An infestation of bugs isn’t just a bother to people; they can actually cause damage by chewing on paper products, leave stains behind and cause allergies or other health problems for families.

We’re going to go over some tips to keep pests under control, whether that be from a preventative standpoint or how to take back your home.

If you don’t have pests, you can follow these preventative tips to keep it that way:

  • Store food in sealed containers.
  • Don’t leave pet food and water out overnight.
  • Tightly cover garbage cans containing food scraps.
  • Take trash out regularly.
  • Don’t let water accumulate anywhere in the home.
  • Don’t leave clutter around.
  • Close off places where pests can enter and hide.
  • Learn about the pests you have and options to control them.
  • Check for pests in packages or boxes before carrying them into your home.

If you already have pests there is a lot more to consider. A can of standard “Roach Spray” might only cost you $5-10 off the shelf, but how many have you had to purchase?

Truthfully, many people waste hundreds of dollars attempting to get rid of pests on their own. Unfortunately, cockroaches are persistent and off-the-shelf products are often not enough. If you’ve tried at-home remedies that failed, it’s time to call in a professional pest control company. If you want to skip all the hassle, call in a professional to begin with. You can shop around for the best price.

Our research tells us that most companies can treat your home and provide ongoing preventative pest control for less than $70 per month or you can go even cheaper and spread out your treatments throughout the year.

Here’s the best way to keep pests from returning:

  • Have pest control treatments at least 3 times per year (spring, summer, fall).
  • Follow all above mentioned preventative measures.

If you don’t have a pest problem, you want to keep it that way.

For those that are unfortunate enough to have uninvited insects staking their claim in your space, the only thing crawling around in the back of your mind is how to get rid of them and how to keep them from returning.

The time for most pest infestations is coming up soon as spring is right around the corner. It’s best to start thinking about your approach to pest control right now.

Need a pest control professional? Try one of these trusted sources:

(1.) Company Name: The Bug Guy
Phone: 405-973-5522

(2.) Company Name: OTS (Oklahoma Termite Specialist)
Phone: 405-330-5030

(3.) Company Name: Statewide Termite & Pest Control, LLC
Phone: 405-843-9897

garage-door-home-inspections-okc

One Of The Most Dangerous Garage Door Repairs

Garage Door Repairs That You Shouldn’t Do Yourself

Your home is something you cherish, take pride in, and often times attempt to complete repairs on all by yourself. There are some instances, however; when you might want to consider calling in a professional right away. One of those times may just be for garage door repairs.

Ok, so maybe not all garage door repairs are that difficult to manage, but if your garage door springs need repaired then know this happens to be considered one of the most dangerous garage door repairs. For this reason, use caution and never attempt to replace springs without being fully trained.

So, how do you know when your garage door spring is broken?

Here are a few ways to tell that your garage door spring needs repairing:

  • Your garage door is raising only a few inches.
  • The opener is straining while trying to raise the garage door.
  • There’s a gap in the spring(s).

It’s most likely nothing you did wrong, it’s just a naturally occurring deterioration that happens over time. As you use your garage door on a daily basis, the springs that allow the door to open quickly simply begin to wear down.

As a side note, if you have more than one spring (some garage doors do and some don’t) and only one is broken, then it’s best to have both replaced. For safety reasons and to avoid further damage, it’s vital to cease using your garage door opener if you notice that your garage door spring is broken.

It’s recommended to get the springs replaced quickly as a garage door that is unbalanced may eventually cause a total door replacement to be needed versus a minor repair.

As your trusty home inspection expert, I hope this information has been informative. The bottom line? You can save yourself a lot of money by keeping everything in good working condition and have garage door repairs completed in a timely fashion.

If you need a professional garage door technician, consider one of these trusted sources:

(1) Business Name: H&H Garage Doors
Phone: 405-799-3782

(2.) Business Name: Trotter Overhead Door
Phone: 405-341-9601

12-01-16-electrical-fire- OKC Home Inspections

How To Avoid Home Fires Caused By Electrical Wiring

Breakers & Electric Wiring Malfunctions

Did you know there was a safety feature to protect electronics from catching fire?

Indeed there is and it is called an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI). Chances are, unless you have heard this term used by an electrician, you’ve never heard of AFCI.

Basically, it is a type of breaker designed to detect arc faults in your home’s wiring. The AFCI trips the breaker before those arcing faults can cause a fire. This is important, because over 40,000 fires, annually, are being attributed to home electrical wiring issues.

How to tell if you have AFCI breakers:

Go to the electrical panels to see if any of the breakers have a test button.

Next, read the label to see what type of breaker it is. There are two types of AFCI breakers you may keep an eye out for: Branch Feeder (or BRAF) and Combination type.

Combination type breakers are the newer ones.

If you have panels with the older BRAF type breakers, it is recommended to replace them with the newer Combination type AFCI breakers.

What happens if you don’t have AFCI breakers?
Currently, there is not a way for AFCI breakers to be installed into very old homes without rewiring the circuits and installing new panels that could accept the AFCI breakers.

If you’re not selling your home, then making the upgrade is solely up to your judgment as a homeowner.

Keep in mind, that the upgrade to AFCI breakers could be the difference between a home fire or replacement of expensive electronic items such as your radio, television or computer.

AFCI breakers are truly a safety improvement for your home.

If you would like to have an electrician check your home and you don’t know who to call, we recommend calling the following vetted company:

Company Name: Rabbit Electric
Contact Name: Ron Szucs
Phone Number: 405-249-5755

plumbing

Be Cautious About Plumbing Nightmares The Day After Thanksgiving

Avoid Plumbing Nightmares The Day After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is busy for a lot of families with the cooking, cleaning, eating and over-use of household plumbing. The drains and toilets have the potential to become clogged with all those extra guests stopping by.

Did you know that reporters in the past have deemed the day after Thanksgiving “brown Friday” due to it being the busiest time of year for residential plumbers?

What can you do to avoid this unusual build up? You know telling your family to skip coming over isn’t going to work out so well so, instead, following a few quick tips may help you avoid plumbing nightmares the day after Thanksgiving.

1.) Instruct everyone that foods do not need to be jammed into the garbage disposal.

Some examples of the worst foods for garbage disposals include; pumpkin seeds, turkey dressing, bones, turkey skins, potato skins and onion peelings.

Another big problem is fats or cooking oils which solidify in the pipes and block water from going down.

It’s best to avoid a goopy, clogged mess. Use paper towels to soak up messes and make use of those trash bags.

2.) Try to address any toilet problems before guests arrive.

Plumbers will tell you to never use Drano type products in your toilet as it can cause some serious damage costing more to replace your entire system than it was to just snake the drain.

You can call a plumber ahead of time to make sure there aren’t any pre-existing clogs waiting to present themselves when overuse occurs.

3.) Warn guests against flushing cotton balls, baby wipes, sanitary napkins, etc. down the toilet. This is a disaster waiting to happen.

4.) Do not try to stick anything down a drain in attempt to unclog it yourself. Your chosen “tool” could break off, get stuck and make the problem worse.

If you have slow drains in showers and multiple overnight guests need to clean up, make sure there is a 15 to 30 minute wait in between usage so that water has time to drain.

If you try all these steps and you still find your plumbing becomes an issue, don’t hesitate to ask a plumber for emergency assistance.

If you need a reputable plumber, try this vetted source:

Company Name: Hi-Tech Plumbing & Leak
Phone: 405-340-2000

Fire-smoke-mold

The Dangers Of Ignoring Fire, Smoke And Mold Damage

Fire, Smoke, And Mold Restoration

There are small problems homeowners have to deal with such as replacing appliances, but then there are enormous responsibilities like restoring damage to a home after a tragic fire or after the growth of mold.It should go without saying that ignoring the damage caused by fire, smoke and mold can be very dangerous, but just to make it crystal clear we’re going to list a few reasons why you shouldn’t drag your feet on restoring your home.

Fire and smoke damage:

Any areas where a fire was put out using water will need to be cleaned as soon as possible to avoid mold growth which can begin in as little as 48 hours.

After a fire, it should be obvious that the overall structure of a home is in danger, but the smoke damage itself is also something to consider. Other than discoloration of household objects, smoke can get into your ducts and vents.

The following are health risks caused from breathing in smoke:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Scarring in the lungs
  • Scratchy throat
  • Irritated sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Stinging Eyes
  • Runny Nose
  • Opportunistic infections in individuals with compromised immune systems

Mold damage:

Removing affected material and eliminating moisture sources is the only way to recreate a healthy environment.

If putting out a fire wasn’t the cause of mold, it’s due to another source of moisture. It’s important to know that mold grows quickly in dark, damp places such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces.

Mold is dangerous as it can cause potential structural damage and serious health risks including the following list:

  • Headaches
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Persistent cough or cold symptoms
  • Burning or irritation of the eyes, nose, throat or lungs
  • Asthma attacks
  • Hypersensitivity pneumonitis
  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Opportunistic infections in individuals with compromised immune systems

Fire, smoke and mold damage restoration is best left to professionals. My top choice for a recommended restoration team is:

Company Name: Phoenix Restoration
Contact Name: Jada
Phone: 405-844-7700

Bathroom

Need Some Simple Ways To Spruce Up Your Bathroom?

Easy Bathroom “Remodeling” Tips

If you’d like to do a complete home remodel, but you just don’t have the cash on hand to do so, there are some cheaper options. The main area that is the cheapest to tweak, and will have the greatest impact, is the bathroom.

You can complete some simple changes that will give your bathroom a new look for less.

Whether you’re trying to sell a home or you already own one you can follow these simple steps to get a fresh, new look in your bathroom.

1.) New Paint Colors: Tired of the dull white look? When trying to get rid of white walls, many people fall into the trap of TOO MUCH COLOR. Don’t fall into the land of crazy, bright colors.

For your bathroom, just think neutral colors. The neutral color may not have to be painted over should you ever wish to sell your home as it gives new home buyers style without being completely blank.

If you really want something bright, keep in mind that pops of color you like best can be brought in through accents and decorations.

2.) New Faucet: You’d be surprised just how fancy your bathroom can look just by swapping out the faucet for something more modern. Additionally, this is a fairly inexpensive update.

Consider matching the shower head style and color to the faucet to really pull the look together.

3.) New Shower Curtain: Is your shower curtain old and dingy? Are you just tired of looking at it? Changing out your shower curtain may just be the cheapest update you can make that will make a difference in your bathroom.

Since you’ll, ideally, be going for neutral paint colors choosing a neutral themed shower curtain may be best. Remember, you don’t want to go to the land of crazy, bright colors.

4.) New Wall Accents: New light fixtures, a nice picture or two, and perhaps an updated mirror would really make your bathroom feel like brand new.

You don’t have to go too expensive here and if you’re crafty you could even make your own artwork to hang up, saving even more money.

If you find that the simple changes aren’t enough and you need more extensive work done like new tile, vanity repairs or other handy work that you’re incapable of doing yourself then consider one hiring this trusted handyman services:

Business Name: Diaz Home Remodeling
Contact Name: RodolfoDiaz
Phone: 405-694-0529

Fence

3 Tips For Picking The Right Fence

Starting The “Fence” Process

Whether you want to replace an old fence or you want to have a fence built for the first time, there are many options to consider.

If you’ve had any experience shopping around for fence companies in the past, then you already know that prices can vary, drastically, from one company to the next. In addition, prices can vary by hundreds to thousands of dollars based on the type of fence work you want done.

With that being said, it’s understandable that people would be cautious about picking the right fence. Some people even hesitate so long that they chose to do nothing, leaving their yard exposed and their privacy invaded.

If you don’t want to be one of those people, follow these 3 tips for picking the right fence.

1.) Ask some important questions. 

First, find out if you’re part of a homeowner’s association. This may have merit in your decision making process or lack thereof as some HOA’s have specific standards.

Second, if you’re in the clear to build freely, then ask yourself the purpose of your fence. Is it for privacy? Is it for looks? Are you keeping kids or animals in or out?

Knowing the answer to these questions will help determine the best materials to build your fence. For example, privacy is best kept with a wooden fence, pretty fences may be white picket fences or a chic aluminum fence, and the right height is important for containment of animals and/or children.

2.) Consider the maintenance required. 

How much time and money do you want to put towards the maintenance of your fence? You should know that wooden fences need the most maintenance, maybe not upfront, but in the long-run. This is due to climate changes causing paint peeling and bending. On the plus side, replacing a few boards at a time is cheaper than replacing entire panels.

Aluminum and vinyl fences may require less ongoing upkeep, but may require entire panel replacements if storm damage should occur.

3.) Pay attention to the company. 

A lot of big name companies have more employees to pay, therefore; charge more for labor and parts to cover their own costs.

We’re not saying this is always the case, but be willing to shop around and check out some smaller companies as they may offer you better deals for repairs or new fences due to them having lower overhead.

More importantly, make certain that the company you choose is up-to-date with licensing and will secure the building permits you may need through your city.

What all of these tips have in common is the recommendation to shop around. Don’t just settle on one company or one fence type until you’re certain.

Roof

Why You Shouldn’t Skip Roof Repairs

High Price For Skipping Roof Repairs

The last few seasons brought a lot of ice, hail, rain and other unfavorable conditions to your roof.

A lot of homeowners make the mistake of believing that if nothing bad happened to their roof during those times then they are in the clear when summer arrives.

Don’t be fooled!

There’s a high price for skipping roof repairs. The truth is that roof damage can, sometimes, be unnoticeable to the average homeowner and ignoring small problems, now, could actually hinder the roof even more in the long run.

A lot of times you might notice smudge-like marks in the shingles and think nothing is wrong when, in fact, the loosened ceramic granule particles were there to protect your roof from the sun’s harsh UV rays. If the protection is gone then that leaves the tar underneath exposed to the hot air and the sunlight.

Eventually, the tar will be melted and leave the wood wide open for water entry. Fast forward a year or so and this means big trouble.

If you think it’s a hassle to call your insurance provider with a claim for damage after a storm, imagine what it would be like to tell them that a portion of your roof caved in.

According to data gathered from ImproveNet, the average cost of storm, wind and hail damage is $5,757. If flooding were to take place the cost to refurbish the home would depend on the extent of the damage.

Some people can testify paying for damages up to $70,000. We don’t think it’s in anyone’s best interest to pay that much due to neglecting their roof repairs. It’s probably best to bite the bullet and call a roofer at the first sign of damage rather than wait until it’s much too late.

For safety reasons, we don’t recommend anyone climbing onto their own roof. The good news is that some roofers will offer you a free inspection before you decide to spend any money.

Need a professional roofer? Try this trusted source:

Name: Brent Wilson
Phone #: 405-923-2686