Taking Care of Your Home

Remodeling the basement is not a top priority for many families.  Their budgets do not allow the expense of remodeling a whole basement, or the upper stories offer all the space they need.  But regardless of what your situation is, having a waterproofed basement is a necessity many families need to have.

If your basement is wet, has too much humidity, has mold, or has crack on the walls, you need to have your basement check by a knowledgeable person to determine the damage and to find a solution. 

The many illnesses associated to mold found in basements across the country are many; From eye, nose and skin irritation for those allergic to mold to respiratory system problems that are very dangerous to people’s health.  Wet basements are not a very nice place to be in they are in disarray, but offer the much needed space for a growing family.

Taking care of your home does not begin or end with the basement.  But, the basement and foundation of your home are very important parts of your home that you need to take care if they have problems before looking to fix something else.  These are some other things you can do to protect your home.

  1. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are properly connected, and free of debris.  Make a conscious effort to clean the gutters after the fall to ensure they are free of leaves and make sure the downspouts are taking the water away from the foundation of your home. From 5ft. to 10ft. ensures the water won’t find a way to the basement of your home.
  1. The mulch on the flower beds around the home should not reach above the sealant of the foundation. Flatten the mulch on the flower beds making sure there is no stagnant water anywhere near the foundation.
  1. Have you checked the grading around your home? The cement driveway can over time become unleveled and allow water to sit around the foundation, and inadvertently find a way to the basement of your home.
  1. The roof of your home is an expensive home repair you have to keep in mind.  Many homeowners overlook this simple maintenance home inspection check that can save you thousands if you find the problem quickly. Checking the roof of your home every year allows you to catch a problem before it gets too big.  Loose shingles or curling shingles are some of the first signs you need to check to see if you have a problem with the roof of your home.
  1. The moulding around your exterior windows should be checked periodically to make sure it’s in good condition.
  1. Have you checked your shed? How is the roof? A good quality shed at one of your Home Depot or Lowe’s stores can set you back close to a thousand dollars.  Why not check the roof, walls and doors to make sure they are in good condition, and if not, make the small necessary fixes to prolong its life?

For many of us, our home is the biggest asset we have.  By taking care of our homes, we increase its value while allowing us to live in a place that we can truly call home, and live comfortably ever after.


How to Keep Your Basement Dry

Basement waterproofing and foundation repairs can be very extensive and serious problems if you let small issues become bigger.  There are basement and foundation problems that are very different from home to home that you need to be aware of.   A draught can cause the soil near the foundation of your home to become dry unevenly, making some parts of the structure of your home to sit lower than other parts, causing cracks and possible structural damage to the foundation.

Water sitting around the foundation of your home is a good indicator that you need to make the area around the home slop away from the foundation to avoid water seeping into the basement.

If you have one or more issues with the foundation or basement of your home, contact us, we will be happy to talk to you and offer you a  hassle free consultation.


How to prevent water in your basement

Many Michigan homeowners spend time in the fall prepping their home for the coming winter months. You may have added more insulation in your attic or caulked around your windows and doors, but what about your basement? That winter snow will eventually melt and there is nothing worse than coming home to find your basement full of water.

Ed Krieger of Ayers Basement Systems said the first thing any homeowner can do is to check the exterior of the home.

“Check that your downspouts are connected to the gutter system properly and that they run at least 10 feet away from your basement walls,” he said. “If that all looks good, then you need to check the grading or slope of your yard and concrete.”

Grading refers to the level of the ground around a home. Over time, the ground shifts and if a yard has poor grading, water from rain or melted snow can run back toward the home. If you think this is an issue for you, you may need to contact a professional landscape company to take a closer look.


How to Winterize a House: Tips to Prevent Ice Dams, Drafts, and More

When the weather turns chilly, your house needs to button up, too. And the way to do that is to learn how to winterize your house. No, not once the snow starts falling, but now. Trust us, you’ll want to nip any issues in the bud before the temperature drops too much.

Here’s a handy list of things to check on your house to keep it cozy, save on energy bills, and prevent a nightmare’s worth of damage you’ll have to tackle come spring (or even worse, in the dead of winter).

Conduct a pre-winter inspection

First, size up how prepared your house is for winter by taking a walk around its perimeter and eyeballing these features, says Bob Hanbury, a Newington, CT, builder for 40 years and a board member of the National Association of Home Builders:


 

Home Safety Tips For The Holidays

christmas-tressThe fire statistics during the holiday season is not something to take lightly.  According to the American Red Cross, approximately 47,000 fires occur during the holiday season costing more than 500 lives, 2,200 injuries and more than $500 million in property damage.  A time of joy can be turned into a tragedy if we do not take the necessary steps to make our families safe. Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and candles used during the holiday season have to be used properly in order to reduce the possibility of a fire in your home. If you haven’t check your smoke detectors lately, it is imperative to do so now.  Having a working smoke detector decreases your chances of injury in case of a fire.

For more about this and other safety tips follow the links below.


IEMA highlights safety during the holidays

SPRINGFIELD – If you’re trying to find the perfect holiday gifts for everyone on your list, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is offering ideas that will help your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes.

IEMA is focusing on holiday safety throughout December as part of its annual preparedness campaign.

“As we saw with the flooding last December, disasters can happen at any time and without much warning,” said IEMA Director James Joseph. “Giving friends and loved ones items that will help them be better prepared for the unexpected shows how much you care about their safety.”

Joseph said preparedness gift ideas include the following:

-National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radio with battery backup, a tone-alert feature and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology. These radios provide warnings and critical post-event information for tornadoes and other severe weather, natural, environmental and public safety hazards.


10 SAFETY TIPS FOR PREVENTING HOLIDAY FIRES, KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE

WRONGLY USED LIGHTS OR OVERCHARGED EXTENSION CHORDS CAN CAUSE HOLIDAY FIRES.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, especially since people have started taking out their holiday decorations. While the whole holiday vibe is warming our hearts, firefighters are advising caution as during the holiday season the number of electrical fires, or holiday fires, goes through the roof.

There are a few easy tricks that will help you keep you and your family safe during this holiday season. A simple feat as knowing the difference between indoor and outdoor lights can protect you from a possible fiery disaster.

Firefighters say that the most frequent fires start because people use indoor lights to decorate the outside of the house. Manufacturers usually mention on the box if the lights can be used outdoors as well as indoors. However, if the information is not on the packed, just check the UL code. If the code is red, then the lights can be safely used outside if it is green, the lights are meant for indoor use only.


Kitchen safety: How to keep your family safe during the holidays

It’s the scene in a Rockwell painting: The family is over for Thanksgiving and the house is crawling with rug rats. Friends, family and food create a heartfelt and festive environment — a shield of warmth against the shivering temperatures outside.

But with the bustle of bodies come potential dangers. So many bodies in the kitchen can create conditions that don’t happen the rest of the year, and children often want to be where everyone else is: right around the stove.

Nobody wants to spend the last half of the holidays in the hospital, caring for the child with burns all over his body. No parent wants to even imagine little Johnny pulling the oven door down, stepping up, and causing burning grease to spill.

If you prefer to keep your family safely cocooned inside your home for the holidays, here are just a few tips to help you do just that.


 

Handymen Services; Are they Right For You?

pioneer (10)Handymen services are a very inexpensive way to fix those small projects that you didn’t have time do, or do not have the skills or tools necessary to accomplished them.  For many people, having someone they know recommend a handyman is the best way for them to feel confident the job will be done, and the person in question trustworthy.  There are many companies out there that offer the services of a handyman, with license and insurance to back up any project they do. But, regardless of what choice you make, the recommended handyman or the company offering the services of a handyman, be choosy and do a bit of homework before any project you start.


Rosie on the House: Jobs a handyperson can do for you

Lots of times you have little jobs around the house that you don’t have the time to do. Or maybe you don’t have the skills or tools to do the job. So you think you want someone you might describe as a handyman or handywoman.

How do you find this handyperson? You can ask friends and neighbors, of course. You can ask your homeowners association if they have lists of people other neighbors have hired. You can look online.

Many times a contractor or remodeler you have used in the past has someone on staff that does these “handy” jobs. There are also licensed contractors who run handyman services of one kind or another. Of course, you want to find someone who has experience in the kind of job you want done.

There are some rules and regulations about what work a handyperson can do. Arizona law does allow unlicensed handymen or -women to do small home repairs or fixes if the value of labor plus materials does not exceed $1,000 and does not require a permit from your city or county. This handyman’s exemption means almost anyone can do small jobs in your home.

But the state does say that a contractor must have a license before he or she can do any electrical or plumbing jobs in your home. And you must always hire a licensed and insured contractor if your repair or renovation requires a building permit from the city or county.


Home Help: Keep your home safe without compromising style

TIP OF THE WEEK

Home accidents cause nearly 13 million injuries a year. Some simple updates to your home can help you avoid these accidents, as well as give your rooms a facelift.

The less clutter, the better: Sometimes the bulky knife block can be an eyesore or take up too much space on small countertops. If you are looking for new and interesting ways to store sharp knives, try installing magnet strips on the backsplash in the kitchen. This will not only keep your counter clutter free, but give your kitchen some flair.

Step it up: Have kids at home? Put a stepstool that slides into the toe kick beneath the sink so that your kids are able to roll it out like a drawer and step up to wash their hands. This is also great for parents who have young chefs in the house who like to help out in the kitchen.


Humidity Control Gadgets For This Holiday Season

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For an allergy sufferer, clean air is not a commodity, but a need.  Allergies in the spring and fall, are a very trying time for many people.  Children with allergies  seem to have a hard time during this time, and school work and play time or exercise seem to be more of a chore than normal.  Humidity control in your home becomes a necessity, and here are two gadgets that are sure to help you control the humidity and clean air in your home.  Before you go out and buy things you do not need for christmas, think about these two choices for your home.


The Importance of Protecting Your Home from High Humidity

Homes that are subjected to high levels of humidity over a long period of time can suffer serious damage, which often requires expensive repairs. There are other times when repairs just aren’t possible if the humidity is left unchecked for years without taking precautions to keep the air within a range of less than 60%. 

While there are countries that have high rates of humidity due to warm, tropical air, the UK sees more than its fair share of rain each year, which is also a factor in the amount you will need to counteract in your home. Whether you intend to live in your home for many years or would like to sell it in good condition to get a decent asking price, there are some very important things you need to know about how humidity can impact future plans.

Why Is Excess Humidity a Problem?

Most people know that mould and mildew can be the ultimate cause of a huge number of physical ailments, typically in the respiratory system, but an equally large number of homeowners don’t understand exactly where that mould and mildew comes from. Over time, if left to accumulate, moisture in the air will provide the breeding ground for mould and mildew. This is where it comes from. However, most people have it wrong!


ecobee3 ‘lite’ Offers Same Smart Thermostat Features for $169 Price

In 2016, everyone wants to have a smart home, and one of the first places to start is with your thermostat. A smart thermostat can lead to savings on your electric bill, and who would argue with that? According to ecobee’s findings, running a smart thermostat can save you an average of 23% on your annual heating/cooling bill, so while these devices do have upfront costs, they should pay for themselves in the long run.

If you are already convinced on this technology, but were waiting to find a more affordable option than Nest’s latest or the standard ecobee3, ecobee has a new unit called ecobee3 lite. The lite model is priced at $169, which is a solid $80 cheaper than a Nest. With the lite model, you still get a digital touchscreen with readouts for your weather forecast, control over vacation modes, as well as alerts and reminders that only a thermostat should provide you. These alerts typically show up only when something isn’t working in the system.

I have been running an ecobee3 in my home for a few months now, and I must say, it’s quite nice. One feature I use in the colder months (which is now, sadly), is an automated feature that uses my area’s weather forecast to set my house’s temperature accordingly. For example, if it’s going to be a high of 54 degrees today, ecobee3 reads that information, then cranks the heat to make sure the inside of my home is never colder than 69 degrees. It’s very basic, but it works, and that’s all you can ask for from something called a “smart” thermostat.


Netatmo Healthy Home Coach review: This indoor climate monitor reports the obvious

This gizmo monitors indoor air quality, temperature, humidity, and noise, but it won’t tell you much you don’t already know.

Everyone from the EPA to the American Lung Association has stressed the importance of indoor air quality. Indoor pollutants don’t just impact personal comfort, they can often cause or exacerbate health conditions. Some researchers have even called for greater effort to monitor indoor air.

Fortuitous, then, that Neatmo has released the Healthy Home Coach ($100). This device monitors your indoor climate in real time to help you create the optimum environment whether you have particular health requirements, such as allergies or asthma, or just want greater comfort.

What you get

The Healthy Home Coach follow the same design cues as the Neatmo Welcome home security camera and the Netatmo Home Weather Station. It’s a 1.77 x 1.77 x 6.1-inch cylinder with a champagne-colored aluminum finish. There’s a single vertical light bar on the front that illuminates when the device is taking a reading. The Healthy Home Coach is easy on the eyes—certainly more so than your typical home hydrometer or thermometer—and can be placed inconspicuously on a shelf or end table.


 

Home Improvement Tips

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You might not be selling your home just yet, but having a list of repairs or projects to better your home is a good way to keep the maintenance to a minimum, and the value of your home increasing.  Snow, sleet, high winds, and rain can play havoc to your home if it’s not properly maintained. Gutters full of debris can be a problem when the snow comes, and the spring showers can really be a problem for the basement and foundation of your home if those gutters were not cleaned after all.  Having a list of chores to do this fall, or home improvements that you need to consider, can keep your home and wallet “healthy” this year.

For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.


Kuffa: Small details could become turn offs for a home sale

Let’s talk about simple turn offs to houses on the market.

We often get calls from people who say, “My lender (or Realtor or parent) told me I should get a home inspection even though I don’t think I really need one.”

Then the day comes for the big inspection and I’m sitting in the driveway just looking at the exterior and my brain is racing because of numerous problem areas I have seen before I’ve even left my vehicle.

Inspecting a house is like being a detective. You are looking for clues, irregularities, oddities and indications of non-professional work. Other clues may be indications that previous owners or residents were possibly “do-it yourselfers” or were just neglectful or didn’t take care of the property. As an inspector, it is always easier to inspect a building whose previous resident has lived there for a long time. This resident has more knowledge about the history of the house and usually their lifestyle and habits are more evident. Also, it is always easier to inspect a house that is represented by a real estate agent than one that is “for sale by owner.” The real estate agent has to abide by specific laws and rules, fills out required paperwork and has their reputation at stake. In my experience, The “for sale by owner” situations typically are more problem laden, less often abide by the same rules as a real estate agent and the seller has decided to cut out the real estate agent’s fees.


Waterproofing Basement Walls: Costs and Options

Tempted by ads that promise to waterproof your basement? Here’s the scoop:

If you’re trying to figure out how to cure a wet or musty basement, you’re probably curious about advertisements for products that claim to waterproof basement walls. So you wonder: Is it really possible to dry out a basement simply by sealing the walls?

Yes, it is possible — but to make sure you’re choosing the right option, you need to figure out if the moisture is coming from the outside, or if it’s actually high humidity that’s condensing on the cool walls of your basement.

How to Find Out What’s Causing the Moisture

Tape a 1-foot-square piece of aluminum foil to the inside of your basement walls, and leave it in place for 24 hours.

If there’s condensation on the outside of the foil, you have high humidity in your basement. Fix it with a portable room dehumidifier or a whole-house humidifier system instead of waterproofing products.

If the foil has condensation on the inside surface (next to the wall), it may be the soil around your house is naturally damp from a high water table or poor soil drainage. In that case, waterproofing your basement walls can be useful.


How to Conquer the Huge Problems Found During Home Inspections

You’ve finally found a buyer for your beloved home and signed a deal. Phew, what a relief! But then comes the reality check, aka the “home inspection.” Such simple words, yet so fraught with stress and fear! Many contracts include a contingency that allows the buyer to back out if serious problems are found during inspection. So, bring on the fear.

Of course, you know your home and you think it’s just fine, but maybe a professional with a less sentimental eye might see it differently?

To keep at least one step ahead, check out these common issues found during an inspection. That way you can fix them, save the deal, and even save yourself!


 

Buying A Home? Read These Tips Before You Commit

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There is nothing quite like getting your first home.  After years of paying rent, signing the papers that make you a home owner is quite exciting.

The pitfalls that come when buying a home are many and it’s better to be aware of them before you sign those papers. So, what are some of the things you need to be aware when looking to buy a home? A thorough home inspection is absolutely a necessity.  The roof, foundation, water heater, furnace, and air conditioning are expensive home repairs you do not want to overlook when inspecting the home. Make sure the home inspector is a licensed professional with a good reputation before you hire him/her for the job.

Follow the links below to read more about this very important topic.


Buying an Old House? Here Are 5 of the Scariest Issues You Could Face

Many investors dive headfirst into real estate simply because it can bring high returns. However, those with more experience know that renting or flipping a home doesn’t always …

Many investors dive headfirst into real estate simply because it can bring high returns. However, those with more experience know that renting or flipping a home doesn’t always put you in the green, particularly if the house is subject to a number of serious issues.

Sometimes, when you tour a house or look at listing photos, the outdated fixtures can throw you off. For example, Formica countertops and closed off quarters can be a turn-off to investors. However, this is all cosmetic and can be easily fixed. It will cost a little extra, but these little changes won’t compromise the entire structure of your home.

When looking for a house, you must carefully watch for signs of issues that will cost tens of thousands to fix and potentially render the property unprofitable. If you see any of the following signs, think twice before making a purchase.


Home inspection checklist: What to inspect

If you’ve signed a contract to purchase a home, a key step before completing the sale is getting a professional home inspection. Make sure to keep this home inspection checklist handy – the inspection is often the last chance you’ll have to go inside the home before the final walkthrough.

“In my experience, the majority of homebuyers don’t know that much about what they are buying and are relying on the inspection to fill in the many gaps in their knowledge,” says home inspector Scott Brown, owner of Brightside Home Inspections in Syracuse, New York.

If your purchase agreement has an inspection contingency — and it should — a home inspection that reveals serious flaws can allow you to walk away from the deal without penalty. It can also allow you to ask the seller to make repairs before closing, saving you money and potentially some hassle.


A 5-Point Checklist for Buying Your First Home

Get these out of the way before you start house-hunting.

Are you buying a home for the first time? Before you start looking at wrap-around porches and bay windows, here are five things you need to do.

  1. Get your credit reports straight. The interest you’ll pay on your mortgage depends on how creditworthy your bank thinks you are. That means you have to cast yourself in the best light. Order all three of your credit reports — from TransUnion, Experian and Equifax — about a year before you start looking. Fix any mistakes.
  2. Set a budget. One good rule of thumb is to make sure your house doesn’t cost more than 2.5 times your salary. If your household income is $100,000, then $250,000 should be your max.
  3. Figure out which type of mortgage you want. So this breaks down to: fixed-rate versus adjustable rate. A fixed-rate loan is when the interest rate and payment stays constant for the entire loan, usually 15 or 30 years. An adjustable-rate mortgage has a fixed interest rate that then resets after a certain period. A good rule of thumb is that if you can afford a home only if you get an adjustable-rate mortgage, then you can’t afford a home.

Foundation and Basement Problems and Solutions

pioneer (14)Port Canaveral sustained millions of dollars in damages due to hurricane Matthew, North Carolina faired a bit worse with 1.5 billion worth in damages to homes and businesses across the coast.  Flooding is still a problems in those areas, and government officials hope the flood will recede in one more week. It is hard to predict and prepare for catastrophes like this, but for many homeowners our problems are not so significant.  Water seeping into the basement of your home doesn’t seem so huge after reading about the people in North Carolina.  It doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of that problem, it means the problem doesn’t seem so big after all.  If you have problems with the basement or foundation of your home, we will be happy to offer you a hassle free, no obligation consultation to see if we fit your needs.  Contact us, we will be happy to talk to you.


Extreme drought causes home foundation cracks across the Valley

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The crippling drought in North Alabama isn’t just hurting farmers and drying up water sources, it could also threaten your home. Foundation repair experts say this is the busiest they’ve been, in the company’s 15 year history.

“The last time we saw a drought like this was in ‘07,” says Ben Bayless, the owner of AFS.

From afar, the Drach family’s home looks in pristine condition. “Very frustrating,” says Jesse Drach. “Inside, we have several cracks getting bigger and bigger.”

When you take a closer look, you can see major cracks have formed, both inside and outside.

The owner of AFS, a local foundation repair company, says this happens when the rain stays at bay.  “These foundation issues are directly linked to the drought,” says Bayless.

Drought conditions affect foundations because when the soil dries, it actually shrinks, causing the foundation to shift or crack.

Unfortunately for homeowners, there isn’t a lot you can do to prevent these foundation issues from popping up.


Wet basement? Here’s what to do

You might not need a waterproofing contractor. You might need to take a few simpler, cheaper steps instead, according to Consumers’ Checkbook.

CONSUMERS’ CHECKBOOK

Wet basement? Thinking about calling a basement-waterproofing contractor? Stop right there.

Many contractors will propose installation of expensive interior drainage systems — even if you don’t need one — when most moisture problems can be solved through less expensive means. You’re more likely to get good results — and save a lot of money — by exploring other possible solutions and hiring a basement-waterproofing contractor only if absolutely needed. If your home was built within the last few years, check the builder’s warranty for clauses on seepage.

Most basements get wet when rainwater runs toward the walls of houses from roofs, yards and driveways. So your first step is to force it to run away from your home.

• Start by cleaning your gutters, repairing holes and making sure the gutters slope toward downspouts and have not come loose from the house, allowing water to fall directly from the roof to the ground. Test downspouts to make sure they spill water at least 4 feet away from the house. You can extend downspouts for less than $15 each; gutter repairs are more expensive. But these improvements are worth the price, even if they do not fully solve your water problem.


Basement and Crawlspace Waterproof Experts Provide Preparation Tips for the Upcoming Season

Waterproof Experts Provide Preparation Tips.
Here are some tips you can observe to help you prevent water damage this coming season. Preparing for the season ahead is best served with the purpose of protecting your home (your family), saving time, and money. Making home investments by taking preparation tips from basement and crawlspace waterproof experts can prevent your finances being dried out in a drought.

. Always check your plumbing – One of the most common reasons for water damage in basements and crawlspaces is a faulty plumbing network. You may have a broken hot water tank system or even a leaking water fixture. And since a great majority of these pipes and water lines run through the basement or other crawlspaces, they tend to get neglected in the process. Take time to review the blueprint of your home and identify where your plumbing is. Otherwise, you can call for experts to try to determine if you have a local plumbing problem.

2. Clean your gutters and downspouts – Your roof is like a large basin that collects water and moisture. If this is not channeled down your spout, then water will eventually have to find a way to go down. And you know where this will lead. Your basement, of course. So, while it is still not snowing and the winds haven’t picked up yet, go up your roof and make sure you don’t have any broken shingles or any roofing material and that your gutters and downspouts are free of any obstruction.


The Fun Part of Waterproofing the Basement – Decorating It

stock-photo-3164773-executive-home-bar-and-entertainment-roomYou finally got your basement waterproofed.  It’s dry, looks good and smells even better.  Now it can be used as an actual living, working, and storage space.   This is where the fun starts; it’s time to decorate.

Basements can be a decorating challenge because they’re usually used for a variety of different functions (i.e. workshop, crafts, kid’s play area, storage, media room, workout equipment, laundry, meditation).  Some of these uses are utilitarian and straightforward, while others are more esoteric and personal. 

Here are some decorating ideas to make your spaces functional and uniquely your own.

Use the walls

Too often walls are used only to hang pictures on or put furniture against; there are other uses for them.  Think about using your storage needs as a decorating opportunity.  Depending on the function of the room consider using bookcases, cubbies, lockers, storage units or shelving.  Add corresponding baskets or plastic totes and you have a functional as well as decorative feature. 

Exercise room – metal shelves for weights, workout DVDs, fitness balls/mats and clear plastic totes for smaller items.  Kid’s play room – shelving (sturdy and secured to the wall) painted in primary colors for books, games, baskets and colored totes for toys.  Media room – bookcases for DVDs, electronic equipment and baskets for remotes.

Consider the ceiling

People don’t consider the ceiling when they’re thinking of decorating.  But, the basement can be different – like the walls, the ceiling can be used for decoration and function.  If you have overhead space there are some creative ways to use it.

Kid’s play room – string a net from the ceiling between 2 corners and use it to store balls.  Workshop – save garage space by hang bikes or golf bags along the wall, out of the way, with ceiling hooks.  Storage room – that Christmas tree doesn’t have to take up valuable self or floor space; some overhead hanging units can hold up to 250 lbs. 

Remember the stairs

The space under the stairs is usually left to spiders and bugs.  There are many pre-made cubbies, shelves and bookcases that fit under standard basement steps or you can get built-in shelves or cabinetry. 

Getting to decorate after your basement has been waterproofed is exciting, and there are a lot of good ideas you can use.  Just keep in mind that simple and uncluttered never goes out of style.  Cluttered and disorganized will make even an Architectural Digest room look bad.


Nicole Abbott is a professional writer who’s had over 200 articles published.  She’s a business consultant and former psycho-therapist with over 20 years of experience in mental health, business and addiction.  She’s a coach, lecturer, trainer and facilitator.  She has conducted over 200 workshops, trainings, presentations, seminars and college classes. 

Home Insurance: Are You Really Covered?

pioneer (1)Floods, fire, and strong wind or hail storms are some of the natural disasters that can play havoc to our homes.  When flooding occurs and you want to call the insurance company, you need to make sure that:

 1. You have insurance coverage and that there hasn’t been a lapse in your      policy.

2. And that you have flood coverage.

Many people believe that because they have home or renters insurance, they will automatically have flood insurance coverage as well, and that is not the case.  You need to specifically ask your insurance company for it, and pay the extra charge to have it, otherwise you are not covered in the case of flooding.
For more about this and other topics, follow the links below.


Revealed: What You Don’t Know About Home Insurance Coverage

Buying a house is one of the biggest investment you can make if you are into real estate. A house increases in value overtime when properly taken care of.

And if you are a homeowner be it in California or anywhere else, you need a home insurance.

So why do you need a home insurance?

Home insurance will help protect your house against unforeseen occurrences such as fire, theft, natural disasters etc. Having a decent home insurance is not as hard as it seems considering the fact that this could be your only lifesaver when you least expected it.

The problem most people have with choosing a home insurance company is finding a balance between competitive rates and effectiveness.

For home owners in California, for example, the average premium cost varies by the geographical location of the house. The most expensive locations are in Los Angeles area and the least expensive locations are in Orange County area.


Ask the Contractor: Insurance: Make sure you’re covered

Q: Our homeowners insurance just went up $100 per month. What is the cost per square foot to rebuild so we know that we are covered correctly?

Marge and Bill, Prescott

My phone has been ringing off the hook with this very question. There is no standard cost per square foot amount and there are many key factors that have an impact on what it would cost to rebuild your home. Costs to rebuild your home often differ from market values, mortgage requirements, tax assessments and real estate appraisals because of current building code changes, current labor and materials costs and specialized workers required

Square foot pricing is a ratio of the total costs of a project components divided by the size of the livable portion of a house in most instances. Since the components that make up a project can be so different from project to project it is impossible to predict a price per square foot with any accuracy.

Most of the calls coming in are coming from homeowners questioning their homeowner insurance coverage. We know that homeowner’s insurance is deceptively simple, it is the coverage you need in the event of significant loss, and not all policies or claim situations are the same and coverage comes in as many forms as there are flavors of ice cream.


10 events homeowners insurance doesn’t always cover

If you own a home, you most likely have homeowners insurance (it’s typically required to secure a mortgage). You know your insurance policy covers your home and the possessions inside it in the event of a fire or theft, but you may not realize there are many things which are not covered by your homeowners insurance.

Before you have a claim, it is important to know what your insurance provider will and will not cover so you can alter your policy or budget accordingly.

1. Flooding

Flooding is usually not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you may have already secured flood insurance. However, many people who do not live in this type of area do not have this additional coverage. You can visit the National Flood Insurance program to learn more about adding this to your insurance line up.

2. Earthquakes

If you haven’t experienced an earthquake in your area, you probably feel you do not need to worry about earthquake coverage. However, there have been more instances of this in less typical parts of the country, like the one that hit Oklahoma recently.