Wind Mitigation Inspection
The quiet 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season is no reason for Floridians to be complacent about protecting their homes. Waiting until it’s officially hurricane season to add upgrades to protect your home maybe too late. As a homeowner, you should take the time during the off season to assess your home’s preparedness to withstand severe weather. In Florida, that protection should include installing home features to prevent windstorm damage. Not only do these wind mitigation features make your home stronger, they protect the home and can also lower your home insurance premiums over the long term.
The most common wind mitigation features include:
- Storm shutters and panels that protect windows and other openings from wind, rain and projectiles
- Doors and windows built to withstand wind pressure and projectiles
- Roofing materials and coverings that shield your home from wind and rain
- Special attachments for roofs and walls to prevent the roof from being blown off by severe winds
- Roof and building shapes that are more resistant to high winds
Once you’ve added these features to your home, having a Wind Mitigation Inspection should be your next step. These specialized inspections are beneficial because they:
- Inspect mitigation features present in your home
- Review how you can make your home stronger and more resistant to damage
- Provide written documentation to submit to your insurance company requesting premium discounts.
When it comes time for your inspection, you will want to provide copies of any documents you have from your upgrades. The inspector will perform a comprehensive inspection of your home and property, including:
- Roof shape, materials, condition and connections
- Home’s basic structure and construction materials
- Attic interior
- Exterior and garage doors, windows and skylights
- Wall construction
- Storm shutters/panels
Our certified home inspection professionals have the tools, knowledge and experience to make sure your home can endure the upcoming storms while also saving you money. Call Buy Your Side Home Inspections to schedule your inspection today. 407.780.0911.
Is Your Money Going Down the Drain?
Earlier this week we listed seven Hacks to Lower Your Electric Bill. (Read more here: 7 Easy Hacks to Lower Your Electric Bill). Below are 4 Water Guzzlers in your home and tips on how to lower your water consumption. According to the EPA, the average American family of four uses 400 gallons of water per day. On average, approximately 70 percent of that water is used indoors. The biggest culprit is your bathroom toilet, which guzzles about 27 percent of your water consumption. Low flow appliances and fixtures can help to lower that amount by as much as 30% depending on your location.
- Install Water-Saving Toilets: A standard toilet uses 1.6 gallons per flush and much older toilets can use as much as 3.5 to 7 gallons per flush. By installing a water-saving toilet which uses 1.28 gallons per flush or less. a family can reduce the amount of water used for toilets by 20 to 60 percent. By the way, did you know that a running toilet can waste about 200 gallons every day.
- Install a Low-Flow Water Faucet: A bathroom faucet generally runs at 2 gallons per minute. Install a low-flow water faucet and turn off the tap while brushing your teeth or shaving; that alone can save a person more than 200 gallons of water per month.
- Use a High-Efficiency Washing Machine: These washers can conserve large amounts of water. Traditional models use between 27 and 54 gallons of water per load, but new, energy—and water—conserving models (front–loading or top–loading, non-agitator ones) use less than 27 gallons per load.
- Shower Better with Low Flow Shower Heads: A standard shower uses 2.5 gallons per minute and also requires energy to heat the water. By replacing just one shower head with a low-flow fixture, the average family would save 2,900 gallons of water plus the amount of electricity needed to power the home for 13 days, and more than $70 in utility bills.
The EPA recommends WaterSense labels models which are certified to be high performing. They are available in many styles and price points, and some utilities even offer rebates.
You’re not only saving money, but should you decide to sell your home, these features are desirable by most home buyers. When you’re ready for a pre-listing inspection or just want to see how your home measures up, call Buy Your Side Home Inspections – Central Florida’s most-respected home inspection service. 407.780.0911.
7 Easy Hacks to Lower Your Electrical Bill
Here are 7 easy and relatively inexpensive hacks you can do right now to lower your electric bill every month and not break the bank doing it.
- Turn Off Electric “Vampires”: Devices such as computers, small appliances, televisions, cable boxes, game consoles are sucking up energy even when they are not in use. Group your cords by location in your home and then plug the cords into a power strip that you can easily turn off when you go to bed or leave the home. If that’s too much trouble, programmable power strips are available at hardware stores for a minimal cost.
- Switch Out Those Light Bulbs: Besides turning off lights in rooms when not in use, compact fluorescent lightbulb are slightly more expensive than their regular incandescent counterparts but the return on the investment is huge and they last longer. Can’t afford to do it all at once, change bulbs one room at a time.
- Ditch the Switch and Dim That Light: Besides creating a mood, dimmer switches are easy to install and give you more options for lighting besides on and off. Make sure your dimmer is compatible with your compact fluorescent lightbulb. Newer dimmer switches will actually conserve energy when you’re not lighting the bulb at full capacity. Be sure to turn off the electricity first!
- Switch to Reusable HVAC filters: You’ll save money in the long run because your unit will be more energy efficient and you’ll extend the life of your HVAC system.
- Use Electricity During Off-Peak Hours: You will pay more for electricity during peak times because of the demand. Avoid using appliances and charging your techno gadgets during these hours. If you don’t know what your area’s peak hours are, you can call your local energy provider and ask. The peak hours vary by season, especially here in Florida.
- Use Slow Cookers, Pressure Cookers and Microwaves: The first one is slow and the next two are fast but they all use less energy than your range and oven.
- Get a Programmable Thermostat: You can program these thermostats based on your family’s needs and schedule. They are inexpensive at about $25 and available at your local hardware store.
Having a full Home Inspection done by Buy Your Side Home Inspections will take all the guesswork out of determining the condition of your home. When the inspection is complete, you will be advised of any problems that were discovered and we will discuss solutions or needed actions.
Call Tommy Joynes of Buy Your Side Home Inspections at 407.780.0911 today!
Construction Features That Reduce Wind Damage and Loss
As the Northeast tries to cope with a historic blizzard bringing hurricane force winds, Floridians should be reminded that we have our own share of hurricane force winds. It’s not too early to begin thinking about your roof’s ability to withstand hurricane-force winds. Wind Mitigation Inspections offer significant discounts to those who provide proof that their homes can competently reduce heavy windstorm damage. Call us now to see if you qualify for these discounts.
Being so close to the ocean guarantees that we will be prone to hurricanes. What does this mean for the average homeowner in Central Florida? This means storms will be potentially knocking at your rooftop beginning June 1, 2015 with incredibly strong and damaging winds. Do you know if your home has what it takes to make it through successfully? Buy Your Side Inspections is your solution.
The certified home inspection professionals at Buy Your Side Home Inspections have the tools, knowledge and experience to make sure your home can endure the upcoming storms while also saving you money. 407.780.0911.
6 Tips For Maintaining Your Roof
Your roof is a major component of your home protecting the structure from all kinds of things that want to invade and damage the interior. At Buy Your Side Home Inspections, inspecting all the components of the roof is what we do everyday.
Here are 6 tips you can easily do to maintain and extend the life of your roof.
- Inspect your roof a minimum of twice a year (especially after major storms) from ground level using binoculars. Viewing your roof from a neighbor’s home with their permission can also be another vantage point.
- Remove excess debris such as leaves, sticks and any other material that may be caught inside your gutters.
- Trim tree branches to prevent them from hanging over your roof.
- Examine caulking around chimney vents and reseal if necessary.
- Repair and/or replace missing tiles or shingles before further roof damage occurs.
- Check skylight seals for leaks and reseal if necessary.
If your home needs a checkup, Buy Your Side Home Inspection will ensure that your home is in top condition or let you how to get it that way in the most financially sensible manner. Call Central Florida’s most respected Home Inspection Service. 407.780.0911.
Foreclosure Filings Drop
The housing market is on an upswing and the good news is that foreclosure filings in the US have dropped by 18% in 2014 which represents the lowest level since 2006, according to a report filed by RealtyTrac, a real estate data company headquartered in California (via Forbes).
The bad news is that the monthly level of completed foreclosures remains above the 2008 pre-crisis levels. November 2014 saw 41,000 completed foreclosures which is nearly double the monthly average before the housing crash (via CoreLogic) From 2000 to 2006, the U.S. averaged just 21,000 completed foreclosures per month.
The ugly news . . . RealtyTrac reports that despite a 4% drop, Florida still remains the hardest hit state with the highest foreclosure filing rate in 2014 (2.3% of all housing units with a filing),
The opportunity: Central Florida continues a slow but steady rising median sales price of Orlando area homes. The median price rose 7.5 percent from September 2013 to September 2014 (per Orlando Regional Realtor Association). With the relatively low interest rate, Central Florida homes are considered a good value at affordable prices.
When you’re ready to put your home on the market or purchase that next home, call Buy Your Side Home Inspection 407.780.0911 for a professional home inspection. We’re Central Florida’s most respected Home Inspector.
10 January Home Maintenance To Do’s
Hopefully, you’ve taken down and stored your holiday decorations by now. If not, this should be the first item on your January checklist. Here are some other suggestions you should consider doing to keep your home in tip top shape.
- Create an inventory of your home’s furnishings and valuable possessions to use should you need to file an insurance claim. Take pictures of the inside and outside of your home.
- Replace your HVAC filter or wash permanent filters.
- Clean under and behind your refrigerator including the coils. Check the refrigerator’s water filter to see if it needs replacing.
- Deep clean your stove, oven and range hood fan.
- Give your drains a good cleaning by adding one-half-cup baking soda followed by one-half-cup white vinegar. After 10 minutes, flush with boiling water.
- Clean lint from under laundry appliances, especially the dryer. Use specifically-designed tools to carefully clean the lint filter and dryer vent outlet.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and check the charge on your fire extinguishers.
- Check and test GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) outlets to make sure they are working properly.
- Check grout/caulking in tile and marble in wet areas (showers, sinks, etc.); repair as needed.
- Drain the water from your water heater to prevent sediment built up,
Buy Your Side Home Inspections protects home buyers all throughout Osceola County with the most thorough and affordable home inspections available. Call 407-780-0911 for more Information on how to save money by doing a Home Inspection!
4 Home Features 2015 Buyers Want
The year 2015 is expected to see a seven percent increase in existing homes sales according to the National Association of Realtors. If you want to make a housing move this year, here are four home features potential buyers are willing to pay “extra” for in the purchase of their next home.
- New Kitchen Appliances: Updated appliances that are energy efficient, especially stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, make the list of desired features. While the stainless steel feature is more an aesthetic factor, the energy efficiency is key.
- Upscale Countertops: No longer just a functional space, today’s kitchen has become the hotspot of the family and a visually pleasing kitchen with beautiful granite or marble countertops are a plus.
- Energy Efficient Features: Low-flow water and plumbing fixtures, high efficiency insulation, energy efficient HVAC systems with programmable thermostats, ceiling fans and low-e windows (low-emissivity windows) are important to today’s energy-conscious home buyers.
- Hardwood Floors: The durability of hardwood floors over time when compared to carpet is an investment most home buyers consider very important.
Making any or all of these home improvement investments now could increase the resale value of your home and how quickly it’s sold. When you’re ready to put your home on the market, call Buy Your Side Home Inspection 407.780.0911 for a pre-listing inspection.