Buying A Home in 2017? Read this First

Are you thinking about buying a new home this coming year? Chances are, before you are done looking at many houses, you will find one with a wet basement. There are many houses in northeast Ohio that because of their age have problems with the basement, or even the foundation of the house.

If you are buying or selling a home, the basement and foundation of your home are two of the places that can make or break the deal.  A basement with water on the floor can leave the buyer unwilling to make an offer, even if the upstairs is lovely.  If the foundation has problems, it is very unlikely you will get a good offer for the house.

Read more about what to look for when buying or even selling a home by following the links below.


Homebuyers: 7 Red Flags to Search for When Touring a Basement

When you compile your list of must-haves in a home and compare it with what’s on the market, a finished basement is almost always a big plus. You get additional square footage for living, entertaining and storage without having to put up the effort and money to finish the space yourself.

But before you fall in love with that finished-basement abode, approach the space with a critical eye. The basement, after all, houses most of your home’s key functioning systems, from plumbing to electrical and gas. A poorly constructed or maintained space might lead not only to costly repairs, but also cause damage elsewhere in your home.

Consider the consequences of taking on a troubled basement. If the finished below-grade space lacks permits or proper waterproofing or contains amateur craftsmanship, you could face municipal fines or risk sickness-causing mold and future fire hazards.

When it comes time to negotiate with a seller on purchase conditions, consider these basement red flags a bargaining chip to ensure you’re getting a well-maintained home. “I would make sure it got resolved before they actually purchase the home,” says David Schrock owner and founder of Basement Spaces Inc. in Aurora, Illinois.


Tips for a finished basement that’s mold-free

Q. I want to get your input on the correct way to finish, in this case refinish, a basement. I believe the previous owners missed one or two critical steps, causing mold to grow on the backside of the drywall.

The house is about 60 years old with a poured-concrete basement foundation whose walls are in good shape. The concrete walls were not painted/waterproofed on the inside. There are no signs of water leaks or holes in the walls.

The previous finishing was done by putting in untreated 2-by-3s as studs ¼ of an inch from the concrete walls, stapling R13-value pink insulation to the studs, then putting up regular drywall on top of that. Twenty-five years or so later, mold appeared on the bottom portion of the drywall (on the back ), and some of the untreated-wood sill rotted. These items are now gone. There is an appropriate-sized dehumidifier in the basement.

To insulate, seal, and finish the basement properly, what are the best steps for the money that meet the necessary building code standards? It seems there are a number of ways to go about this.


The rise of the basement: Tips for a better space

OMAHA – With fewer homes for sale and good returns on the remodeling investment, more homeowners are reclaiming their lower levels and remodeling their basements.Basements are coming out of hiding these days. And they’re doing it in style, with before-and-after transformations featured everywhere from HGTV to Pinterest and YouTube.

What’s driving this trend? A tight housing market, for one thing. With houses at a premium – and a proliferation of DIY how-to’s – more homeowners are inspired to reclaim their unused space and expand their living area.

A smart, affordable upgrade

Updating your lower level is a sound investment in your home. Remodeling magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report put the average basement remodel at $61,303, with a 70.3 percent payback – a far better investment return than adding a bathroom or garage.

Props for your property value

Depending on local regulations, the additional space can often be added to your home’s total square footage, making your market listing more appealing to buyers and potentially increasing your property value.

To recoup the most from your remodeling efforts, make sure your design and decorating choices are attractive and functional – not too quirky or customized.


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.


 

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.


 

Buying A Home? Read These Tips Before You Commit

old-house

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.

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. 

Saving Energy At Home This Winter

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Yes, fall is here.  The leaves are falling, the pumpkins are appearing at people’s homes, the weather is changing.  Those are some of the many signs that precede the changing of the season.  With winter and cold weather just around the corner, the focus now turns to the heating of our homes.  Has your furnace gotten a tune up lately? If not, that should be a top priority this fall for you.  Making sure your furnace is working properly can save you money, and keep you safe. Carbon Monoxide is a real threat during the winter months, and having a properly tuned furnace can help you keep the threat to a minimum. 

Saving on heating bills is a necessity for many people, and getting the best price for gas and energy is very important for many of us.  If you don’t know what you’re paying for gas or electricity, check your bill and then go to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio and check the gas, and electric companies and their prices. You’ll be glad you did.


From LED bulbs to window coverings, 5 easy ways to cut energy use in your home

With all the political wrangling this year around solar policy and natural gas expansion, it’s easy for Mainers to overlook the most obvious and cost-effective ways to save money and use less energy in their own homes.

Today’s high-performance houses can be warmed with the heat output of a few hair dryers, but that’s not where most of us live. Maine has the fifth oldest housing stock in the country, according to the U.S. Census, with more than a quarter of all homes built before 1940. So for most of us, the challenge is to integrate modern efficiency measures into our vintage structures.

As a longtime energy writer, I’ve used what I’ve learned to upgrade the efficiency of my family’s 38-year-old cape-style home. Here are my five favorite steps.

Each step can be done by a handy do-it-yourselfer. Each will help reduce energy use in your home, which saves money and lowers carbon emissions. In most cases, your investment will pay for itself within a year or so.

Dr. Neil Donahue had some enlightening facts about how much energy Americans burn as they go about their daily business of living.

Wielding a 100-watt light bulb before a mostly filled lecture hall of students, faculty and local residents gathered for the initial installment Tuesday of Washington & Jefferson College’s 2016-17 Energy Lecture Series in Yost Auditorium, Donahue shed a lot of light on the staggering amount of energy used in America.

As a country with roughly 300 million people, he said, it takes the equivalent of 300 trillion 100-watt bulbs to run the country each day. That breaks down to about 10,000 of the bulbs (100 100-watt bulbs) running nonstop for life for the average American, Donahue said.

The evening’s co-lecturer, Dr. Michael Blackhurst, a research development manager at the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Social & Urban Research, delivered the second part of Tuesday’s one-two punch on the topic of energy use, noting that about 60 percent of the energy the United States produces is wasted – in power generation itself, as well as in factories, cars and homes.


Brilliant Ways to Save Energy at Home

Energy is a shared resource. Saving energy is not only about keeping the bills low, but also about using as much as is needed, so that there is more than enough for everyone else. How can that be done more efficiently? Following are some tips:

1. Go easy on the electronics

In today’s world, it’s easy to forget the old fashioned way of heating water on the stove. We use the microwave oven instead. Or for a hot bath, we use the geyser daily. Sometimes it might be a good idea to use the kettle instead of putting stress on the electricity.

Not turning off the appliances from their plug can mean they are running on standby mode. In a stretch of a year, the consequences could be significant. Ensuring the electrical appliances are off at the plug, of course without upsetting the programming, is also a good idea.

2. Cut air conditioning

IFrameIt’s very tempting to notch up the AC to the full in the summer. While it can cool you in no time, it consumes a lot of energy. This is not the only trick in keeping cool. Why don’t you keep the blinds closed during the daylight hours to block the heat coming in and turning your home into a miniature green house? Utilize your shades and save up to 7% on bills.

If that doesn’t help, there’s a simple trick. Try placing a packet of ice in a bowl in front of a fan. When the air whips off the ice and whizzes past, it’s a genuine alternative to the power-consuming air conditioner.


Protecting Your Home By Waterproofing Your Basement

stock-photo-17128627-unfinished-basement

One of the most obvious tell-tale signs of problems with the foundation of your home is the cracks in the floors and basement walls.  Puddles in the basement, and flooding after a rain, means you have a problem there. Waterproofing the basement and making sure the foundation of the home is not compromised requires immediate attention before the problem escalates. Problems to the foundation of your home done by swelling soils can play havoc to the entire structure, and make your home unsafe.

Calling a contractor or company to do the work requires you to do your homework first.  Make sure you call a reliable company with a long, and good history in the area.  If you still have questions and need an honest answer, then contact us.  We have an excellent record doing business in Northeast Ohio since 1979, and we’ll be happy to talk to you.


With more rain on the way, here’s how you can prevent water from leaking into your basement

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – While some people across southcentral Kansas saw extreme flooding over the last week, others experienced the storms in smaller doses with some minor basement flooding.

KSN wanted to find out what you can do to prevent water leaking into your basement and how to minimize damage if it’s too late.

The key is to divert any water away from your home, and while that may sound obvious, it’s an issue a lot of people struggle with.

You can start outside your home by extending rain gutter down spouts away from the house itself.

Next, make sure the grade of your yard surfaces slope away from your home, creating a natural flow downhill.

You can also clear your gutters of leaves and other debris that may block water from flowing through.

Finally, install a sump pump and even potentially a back-up sump pump if needed.

To learn more, KSN spoke with Danny Morrow, owner of Kansas Basement and Foundation Repair.


So, You Want to… Waterproof Your Basement – BobVila.com

Basement waterproofing can be a confusing (and expensive) process. But if you’re dealing with leaky foundation walls or water welling up from the floor, finding an effective means of managing these problems could save you a lot in the long run. Here’s a quick rundown of your options for keeping downstairs dry.

Unless your plan is to install a swimming pool in your basement, you probably cringe at the idea of water trickling in beneath your house. While the best time to waterproof is during new construction, if you live in an older structure, you don’t have that luxury. There are, however, a few measures you can take to protect your home from water, running the gamut from inexpensive safeguards to high-dollar professional remedies. Here’s all the information you need to choose the best solution for your basement.

EXTERIOR REMEDIES
The most effective way to waterproof a basement is from the outside. Doing so, however, involves excavating the soil away from the exterior of the foundation on all sides and installing drain tile (a flexible perforated pipe covered with mesh or fabric) at the base of the foundation.


6 Telltale Signs Your New House Is a Money Pit

Fixer uppers can get expensive.

If buying a fixer-upper is your next big money move, make sure you’re not settling for something that’s going to cost you much more than you planned. Buying a house in need of repair can mean ample savings in the short term but a potential significant investment in the long term.

If you don’t know how much it’s going to cost to fund all of those renovations, you might be diving right into a money pit. Ideally, your budget for repairs and renovations should have 10 percent to 20 percent tacked on for unforeseen problems. Run into these problems, though, and your budget could go well over that. Here are six signs you’re moving into a money pit.

2. Water in the Basement

If tornadoes, hurricanes and torrential rains are a frequent occurrence in the area, make sure the basement and home are protected from the elements.

“Just know that if your home has a basement and there’s been flooding before, the chances of recurring flooding issues are high unless you hire a professional to come out and ‘waterproof’ the basement, which can be extremely costly,” said Stephanie Sullivan of Dream Town Realty Brokerage.

Any puddles of water or small pools of water in the basement are a sign the basement might not have proper sealants or a fully functional interior water drainage system. According to the latest HomeAdvisor cost profiles, you’ll be looking at spending an average of $3,816 to waterproof the basement. But, your bill could reach $9,135 or more depending on the amount of work that needs to be done.


 

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.