6 Ways to Improve the Deck or Patio this Summer

6 Ways to Improve the Deck or Patio this Summer

When the weather warms up, there is no better place to be than relaxing on your deck or patio. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the summer weather. Here are a few tips to improve the deck and prepare your outdoor living spaces for the summer.

Install a Classic Pergola

Building a vine-covered pergola in your yard is an attractive way to add shade to a patio or deck. Use wood beams to build the frame and lattice for walls. The filtered sunlight created by the latticework overhead provides a calm, relaxing environment that is perfect for backyard entertaining.

Add Lighting to Improve the Deck

An easy way to transform your deck or patio is by adding lights. Install string lights overhead to add a festive look to your outdoor getaway. Add solar-powered deck post lights or an outdoor fireplace to brighten the space.

Rustic Deck and Patio Improvements

Rustic furniture and accent pieces give the deck, porch, or patio an authentic feel. Weathered wooden and cast-iron furniture go together perfectly. If you’re into DIY projects, there are various options for upcycled pallet furniture to build for your deck.

Island Deck

A deck in the middle of the backyard offers an escape a short distance from the house. Enjoy relaxing outdoors and entertaining friends and neighbors while being surrounded by the beauty of your backyard. Purchase lounge furniture and a patio umbrella to provide shade from the sun.

Build a Gazebo for the Grill

Build a gazebo to house your grill and provide space to show off your grilling skills in comfort. The shade from the gazebo protects you from the sun and keeps you cool while cooking on a hot grill. Add comfortable furniture to make it an ideal place to hang out with friends for your backyard cookout.

Improve Your Deck With a Living Wall

Create a living wall to give yourself more privacy from the neighbors. Add hanging flower baskets or install herb plants with a dripping irrigation system to a privacy fence or wooden wall. A garden wall adds color and fragrance to the area around the deck, courtyard, or patio.

Summer is a great time to get outdoors and into nature with friends and family. With these deck and patio ideas, you’ll make time outside more enjoyable. Simple touches will transform the backyard into a fun and attractive place your neighbors will envy.

American Home Inspection Services provides inspection services in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

7 Tips and Tricks to Reorganize Your House

7 Tips and Tricks to Reorganize Your House

If your home feels disorganized and cluttered, you may feel more stressed than usual. It’s hard to relax and unwind when it seems there is always something to clean up. Here are a few tips to help you reorganize your house. You’ll create functional and tidy living spaces.

Prioritize the Most Pressing Projects

Make a checklist of the areas that need to be organized. Determine the most important room, closet, or space to organize and start there. Having a plan before beginning your decluttering and organization work is helpful. Create a list of cleaning products or storage containers you’ll need to complete the job.

Lighten the Work Load to Reorganize Your House

Before reorganizing, do a sweep of each space and purge items you don’t want or need. Don’t hold on to things that no longer serve you. Gather useful items in cardboard boxes and donate them to a charity of your choice next time you run errands. There is no point in spending time organizing things you don’t need.

Budget Your Time

Use a chore chart or calendar to schedule time for cleaning each area in your home. Try to estimate the amount of time you’ll need and put it on the calendar. If you only have 15 minutes, clean a single kitchen drawer. A free weekend may be enough time to reorganize the garage.

As you complete an area, check it off the list. Seeing your progress is often an incentive to continue the work of decluttering and organizing.

Store Items Appropriately to Reorganize Your House

Make sure things are stored where they belong. It doesn’t make sense to store your bed sheets in a cabinet above the refrigerator. Don’t keep extra bottles of dishwashing liquid in your bedroom closet. You are more likely to put things where they belong and find things when you need them if your organizational system is logical and convenient.

Use Vertical Space

You’ll save floor space by getting creative with your storage. Use over-the-door shoe racks, hanging organizers, hooks, and pegboards. Especially if you have a smaller home, making use of vertical space helps you preserve square footage and keep your living areas open.

Clean As You Reorganize Your House

When you declutter and organize, this provides a perfect opportunity to dust the bookshelf and wipe fingerprints off the coffee table. When reorganizing an area, remove everything and clean the space. Wipe the walls, dust surfaces, and make repairs if needed. You’ll be able to organize and store your belongings in a clean room.

Maintain the Organization

Just as important as organizing your whole house is maintaining the organization. After the entire home is organized, upkeep is easy. Set aside 15-20 minutes per day to put things back where they belong. Use labels on boxes, bins, and totes, so your family members know exactly where things go. Your house will stay organized, and you’ll feel less stress when you’re at home.

American Home Inspection Services offers inspections to homebuyers and sellers in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to request an appointment.

How to Improve Front Door Security

How to Improve Front Door Security

Homeowners are surprised to learn that intruders often enter through the front door. Protecting a home is just as important as maintaining it. With better security options, you can protect your home from break-ins. Here are a few tips to improve front door security.

Improve Front Door Security

One of the most effective ways to strengthen an entry against break-ins is to reinforce the door frame and install a deadbolt that reaches further into the frame than a standard lock. To further boost security, install a smart lock that sends alerts when the door opens and lets you lock your door remotely.

Security hinges are a simple and efficient upgrade to your front door security for those with outswing doors. An intruder cannot open the hinges from outside without proper tools.

Renovate your entrance by replacing the door with an enhanced solid core version. A solid core door adds weight and extra strength. A stable door prevents intrusion and is excellent for safeguarding against the elements.

Non-Invasive Security Options

If you’re looking for a less permanent solution, defend your home with a horizontal security bar. Unlike a traditional barricade, drilling holes into the wall is unnecessary. A security bar fits any standard door opening and is not complicated to install. These blockades are handy for rental homes and apartments where modifications might cost you your security deposit.

A video doorbell is a fantastic way to monitor your front door. They are easy to install and use. Video doorbells are available as a single unit or a system that allows you to monitor multiple locations. This smart technology will enable you to monitor your home’s entrances from anywhere you have access to a smartphone.

Motion-sensing lights detect movement at the front door. These lights automatically turn on and can deter would-be burglars. Because many break-ins occur after dark, motion-sensing lights provide peace of mind while you’re asleep or away.

Regardless of what components you use to secure your home, options exist for your specific needs. There are many possibilities to protect your home, from deadbolts and motion lights to new hinges and smart security.

American Home Inspection Services provides inspections to customers in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule our services.

5 Tips to Help Sell Your House

5 Tips to Help Sell Your House

Selling a home involves a lot of planning and decision-making, which can sometimes make it hard to know where to start. Here are five tips to sell your house quickly and at an excellent price.

Order a Pre-Listing Inspection

Before putting your home on the market, order a pre-listing inspection. This type of inspection typically costs a few hundred dollars, but it is a wise investment. A professional home inspection reveals underlying issues that may affect your chances of selling the house. If you are not aware of these issues, you cannot make repairs or price the home accordingly. Major problems with a property may deter buyers after they tour the house and order an inspection.

Hire a Professional Realtor to Sell Your House

Selling a house can be complicated, especially if you haven’t done it before. This is why it is helpful to hire a real estate agent whose track record of sales demonstrates they have the knowledge and training to market a property while representing the seller’s best interests. Make sure your agent is familiar with your neighborhood and understands the local housing market.

The real estate agent lists the home, does most of the paperwork, reviews the buyer’s offers, communicates with the buyer’s agent, and handles the negotiations and closing details.

Choose the Best Time

The best times to sell your house are summer and spring since families want to move before the school year begins, and the nice weather makes home inspections and viewings easier. However, buyers can be more selective during these seasons due to increased inventory. Research how to sell your house during different seasons, and you’ll be prepared for all weather conditions.

Talk with your agent about when you prefer to sell and determine the best time to list the property.

How to Sell Your House: Price the Property

Pricing your home is a critical step that requires research of current real estate trends. Gain insight into what your home is worth by comparing the prices of other similar houses in your neighborhood. Taking into account the results of the pre-listing inspection, work with your agent to price the home. The better condition your home is in, the more offers you will get, and the easier it is to negotiate the price. However, the asking price must be fair and accurate.

The Drawbacks of Selling Your House on Your Own

In a “For Sale by Owner”(FSBO) listing, the owner supervises and manages all parts of the transaction. You will not have to pay a listing agent’s commission since you are doing the work yourself. As the seller, you determine the asking price, handle the marketing, negotiate with buyers, and navigate the contracts and paperwork on your own. Without professional representation, you risk your home sitting on the market and getting less favorable offers. 

American Home Inspection Services provides inspections to customers in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule our services.

5 Ideas for Small Kitchens

5 Ideas for Small Kitchens

Having a small kitchen doesn’t mean sacrificing style or functionality. If you’re unsure how to make the most of your tiny kitchen, here are some suggestions. There are many clever ways to manage your compact food preparation area, with space-saving techniques and innovative design ideas for small kitchens.

5 Space-Saving Ideas for Small Kitchens

These five space-saving hacks will get you started creating a more functional kitchen that looks trendy and is an enjoyable space to prepare your meals.

Use More Wall Space

While you may be limited to the number of cabinets and drawers you can have, you most likely have lots of empty wall space where you can store your utensils. One of the most accessible ideas for small kitchens is to mount hooks on the wall where you can hang your bulky pots and pans. This hack could save you a whole cabinet’s worth of space and make your cooking tools much easier to access, too.

Install an Island

You may assume a stylish kitchen island is not an option when you have a tiny kitchen, but this is not necessarily the case. Kitchen islands are a very efficient space storage system and double up as a breakfast bar. If you have no space for a dishwasher along the walls, run power and plumbing to your kitchen island and install one there.

Remove the Kitchen’s Door

If your kitchen is a separate room, it may feel claustrophobic being a space so small. However, you don’t have to knock down the walls to solve this problem. Instead, you might find that simply removing the door is enough to open the room up and give it a more spacious feel.

Use Larger Floor Tiles

Many people assume that small tiles work better in compact rooms, but this is not the case. Instead, larger tiles give an illusion of a bigger space, plus there are fewer grout joints to clean. Therefore, we suggest choosing large tile size for smaller kitchens.

Use Collapsible Furniture in Small Kitchens

One of the most efficient ideas for small kitchens is to use collapsible furniture. While this might not sound like the most stylish idea, nowadays, there are tons of trendy collapsible tables that can help you maximize the use of your space.

This type of furniture is super beneficial for small kitchens that double up as dining rooms. If you don’t have the space to have a dining table out at all times, an extendable one will allow you to fold it down when it’s not needed.

American Home Inspection Services provides inspections to customers in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule our services.