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.

4 Easy DIY Home Improvement Projects

4 Easy DIY Home Improvement Projects

If you enjoy updating your living spaces, here are a few ideas for DIY home improvement. Customize your home and boost its functionality inside and out with these projects.

Add Color with Paint

Whether you choose to paint the trim, doors, or the entire room, painting is a DIY home improvement that can completely change your environment. If you want to add color to complement the furniture or the walls, paint the trim or crown molding in the room. To make your home stand out in your neighborhood, paint the front door a bold new color.

You’ll find sample cards at your local home improvement store so you can compare colors with the furniture and décor of your home. To make a room seem larger, use lighter colors such as a cool grey, taupe, or white. Lighter colors also make a room feel brighter, enhancing natural light from the windows.

DIY Home Improvement: Storage

It can feel like there is never enough storage space in most homes. Install floating shelves, build an entryway bench, and use furniture that has cabinets and drawers built-in.

You can customize shelving to fit the nooks and crannies around your home. Organize the mudroom with a bench, cubbies, and hooks to store umbrellas, jackets, hats, and car keys. Purchase or construct furniture that can be used as additional storage. You can find plans for ottomans, benches, and window seats that open so blankets, magazines, and children’s toys can be stashed inside.

Personalize Outdoor Spaces as Part of Your DIY Home Improvement

If you have a patio or a deck, this is a great space to test your DIY skills. Sand the wooden decking boards and apply a fresh coat of paint or stain. If you notice boards that are warped or rotting, replace them.

Another idea to improve your outdoor space is to build a pergola. This is a simple structure that adds shade over a deck or patio. It provides a place to relax on warm, sunny days. Pergola kits are available online or at your local home improvement store. These structures are easy to build, and the kits include thorough instructions.

Water Filters

Installing a water filter is an easy project to promote wellness at home. A filter provides clean, refreshing water and reduces plastic bottle waste. You can install water-filtration systems under the sink or directly onto the faucet. The most accessible style of filter is a simple pitcher that removes contaminants and can be stored in the refrigerator. These are inexpensive and effective and don’t require installation.

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

6 Tips for Safety During the Holidays

6 Tips for Safety During the Holidays

The holidays involve decorating, entertaining guests, and cooking delicious meals. While these activities help set a festive mood, they also pose hidden risks. Here are a few tips for safety during the holidays.

Lighting Safety During the Holidays

Conduct a thorough inspection of your lights before hanging them and replace any light strands with damaged cords or bulbs. When changing bulbs, use bulbs with the correct wattage to avoid an electrical problem.

Once you have confirmed the lighting is in good condition, be careful to not overload outlets or extension cords when plugging in lights. Keep children and pets away from light strands to avoid accidents. Finally, when you leave home or go to bed, switch off the holiday lights to help prevent an electrical fire.

Holiday Tree Safety Tips

A freshly cut tree is less susceptible to catching fire. Be sure to water the holiday tree and keep it away from open flames. Place the tree on a stable surface to prevent it from tipping over and causing injury. If you opt to purchase an artificial tree rather than a freshly cut one, make sure it’s labeled as “fire-resistant.”

Cooking Safety During the Holidays

Unattended cooking is a common cause of fires in the United States, and the winter holidays are the peak season for house fires. Prevent a fire by closely monitoring your oven and stove and never leaving the area when food is cooking. Clean spills right away to avoid slips and falls in the kitchen.

Fireplace Safety Tips

Gathering around a fireplace is an excellent way to keep warm and cozy. Make sure the flue is open before starting the fire. Use seasoned wood as fuel. Don’t burn wrapping paper or cardboard boxes in the fireplace. These materials can burn out of control and emit toxic fumes that are harmful to your health. Keep flammable objects like curtains, furniture, and rugs several feet from the fireplace.

Outdoor Safety Tips

Safety during the holidays isn’t limited to inside the house. Take safety measures outdoors, too. Keep the walkways and front porch safe and easy to navigate by shoveling snow and using ice-melt. Doing so will reduce the risk of injuries from falls.

Tips for Home Security

While you’re busy enjoying the holiday, burglars may be watching your home. Deter burglars by keeping curtains closed and bringing packages inside promptly. Use motion-sensing lighting to illuminate the yard after dark.

When you’re away for the holidays, ask a trusted neighbor to monitor your house for suspicious activity. Put the indoor lights on a timer to create the appearance that someone is home. Don’t post announcements online that you’ll be out-of-town. You compromise your home’s safety when you broadcast that it’s unoccupied.

The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy yourself, but it’s important to stay safe and well. Follow these tips for safety during the holidays.

American Home Inspection Services offers home inspections in southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule our services.

How to Deal with 4 Common Concerns of Homeowners

How to Deal with 4 Common Concerns of Homeowners

Owning a home involves upkeep and responsibilities, and it can sometimes be challenging to prioritize tasks and chores around the house. Here are a few common concerns of homeowners and what you can do about them to keep your property and family safe.

Home Security

No one wants to face the stress and uncertainly that occurs with a break-in. To minimize the risk of a burglary, make sure your alarm system is functioning correctly. If you haven’t yet installed a security system, begin shopping for options. There are many systems available that can be monitored from your smartphone.

To help prevent theft, look around your property for potential hiding places for an intruder. Make sure the yard is well-lit at night. Install motion-sensing lights above the garage and in the side yard. Keep bushes around the home trimmed so a burglar won’t be able to hide there. Check window and door locks to make sure they’re all functioning properly and don’t forget to lock up every time you leave the house.

Plumbing Leaks are Common Concerns of Homeowners

Plumbing issues can cause water damage and structural concerns. Prevent serious plumbing problems with regular maintenance. Keep a close eye on your water pressure. Homeowners may prefer higher water pressure for showers and other household chores, but when it’s set too high, it strains the pipes and may eventually lead to cracks and leaks. If you are planning to leave town, turn off the water at the main shut-off valve. This will prevent plumbing emergencies while you are away.

Roof Replacement

The roof is a critical component that protects your family, home, and belongings. Roof replacement is a major project, so it’s important to take care of your roofing and help extend its lifespan.

Extreme weather like severe storms and heavy snow can damage your roofing. To minimize this risk, make sure your gutters remain clear. Blockages prevent water from draining away from your home and may cause water to seep under the roofing materials.

Look outside for missing, cracked, or warped shingles and replace them as necessary. If you notice leaks or dark stains on walls and ceilings, hire a professional to inspect the roofing. Repairs may be necessary or it could be time for a full roof replacement.

Electrical Safety

Electrical problems can lead to injuries and even a house fire. Water and electricity don’t mix so make sure your hands are dry before plugging an appliance into the wall. Keep devices away from water sources. This is even true of outdoor appliances and landscaping equipment. If you use an electric leafblower or weedwhacker, don’t use it in the rain and store the tool indoors. Exposure to moisture will shorten the lifespan of many tools and appliances.

Make sure all lamps and light fixtures are fitted with bulbs of the correct wattage to reduce the risk of overheating. Unplug electronics and appliances when not in use to avoid short-circuiting in case of a power surge.

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

6 Smart Home Features to Consider

6 Smart Home Features to Consider

As a homeowner, you want your house to be safe, efficient, and attractive. One of the best ways to make your home operate well is by integrating “smart” home technologies. Several companies are developing products to help automate your home. Here are some types of smart home features you might choose to integrate into your living spaces.

What are Smart Home Features?

A “smart” home is one that has systems and components that can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet. Components of the home are connected to the internet and can be adjusted, powered on and off, and/or monitored with a smart device. Let’s take a look at a few of the more common smart home options.

Lighting Solutions

You can use smart features in many aspects of your day-to-day life, including lighting your home. Lights are available that can be controlled, programmed, and automated according to your schedule. Smart fixtures are available as are smart bulbs that can be used in any light fixture. Many of these bulbs allow you to adjust the color and tone of the light in your living spaces and you can set schedules and timers to turn the lights on and off automatically.

Smart Entertainment Devices

For home entertainment, you’ll find an assortment of devices that make using the television or listening to the news easier. Smart speakers are available that will play music or search the internet with voice commands. You can also purchase smart televisions that can be operated with a smartphone. Many homes use a central hub to connect and control all the devices. Apps can also be used to manage devices via a computer or phone.

Some Home Appliances Have Smart Features

Smart appliances like ovens, microwaves, air fryers, and even outdoor grills can be controlled via your smart speaker or an app on your phone. You can control them from anywhere in the house, but it isn’t recommended to use cooking appliances when you aren’t home.

Programmable Smart Thermostat

A smart thermostat provides complete automation for your heating and cooling system. Program the thermostat to control the temperature based on when you’re at home or at work. You’ll be able to cool and heat your home more efficiently. Some smart thermostats can actually detect people in the home and adjust the indoor temperature accordingly.

Smart Home Features Include Window Blinds

Your windows can be enhanced using smart home features. In the summer, program your smart blinds to close during the heat of the day. You’ll keep the inside of your home cooler. As a bonus, you’ll save money on the energy bill because it will take less electricity to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the home. During cooler weather, open the blinds during the day. Even if you’re out of the house, you can open the blinds using your smartphone.

Smart Home Surveillance Cameras

Installing smart home surveillance cameras is one way to enhance home security. Some of these cameras are equipped with facial recognition software, two-way communication intercoms, and night vision to better see what’s going on around your property. Smart cameras can be monitored via your computer or mobile device.

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