4 Tips for DIY Bathroom Remodeling

4 Tips for DIY Bathroom Remodeling

Are your bathrooms dated and out-of-style? Remodeling the bathrooms in your home increases comfort and improves the house’s value. You don’t need to search for contractors to make improvements to the bathroom. Here are 4 ideas for DIY bathroom remodeling.

Refurbish What You Have for DIY Bathroom Remodeling

Depending on the current state of the bathroom, it might not need to have everything replaced. Some components of the bathroom may be able to be refurbished instead of removed. Cabinets, countertops, tubs, and sinks can all be refinished to look brand new. You’ll save a lot of money on new fixtures and labor costs by refinishing these components.

Simplicity is Key

Some of the best bathroom designs are clean and simple. If there is nothing wrong with the layout of the bathroom currently, keep everything in the same place to make the project easier. If you keep the toilet, sink, vanity, and shower all the same place, you won’t have to worry about laying new plumbing and cutting new holes in walls. When replacing these items, find replacements that are the same dimensions as the previous ones.

Tiling Tricks

Tiling can be a tricky DIY project. If you decide to take it on, stick with tiles that are a uniform shape and size. Tiles that are all one color are also easier to work with instead of trying to stick to a pattern. If you have extra tiles at the end of the project, hang on to them in case you ever need to replace a cracked one.

DIY Bathroom Remodeling With Paint

If you want to change your bathroom but aren’t very experienced in home remodeling, start with painting the room. A new coat of paint will have a big impact while not requiring a lot of time and skill. Be sure to tape around all the fixtures in the bathroom for clean results. After the paint has dried, add a few floating shelves to the walls to hold plants and candles.

Whenever making DIY improvements around the house, use safety precautions and wear protective gear. If you are painting or working with chemicals, open the windows to provide adequate ventilation.

American Home Inspection Services provides home inspections to Southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Decluttering Your Home, Made Easy

Decluttering Your Home, Made Easy

A cluttered home causes stress and chaos. One of the best projects you can take on to help your home’s aesthetic and functionality is decluttering the home. Break this task down into four steps to make it more manageable.

Choose Where to Start When Decluttering the Home

You can’t expect yourself to declutter the whole house in one day. This unrealistic goal will only overwhelm and frustrate you. Focus on one area at a time. Choose a room and then hone in on a section of the room. Dive right into the most cluttered areas. At the beginning of the project, you’ll have more energy annd motivation by completing the worst parts first.

Empty the Area

Clear out the area first. When you have a blank slate, it’s less tempting to keep using a storage system that simply wasn’t working. Emptying the space also gives you a chance to deep clean an area that doesn’t get cleaned very often. Clean the walls, shelves, and floor before continuing with your project.

Sort Items

At this stage of the process, you have an empty space with all the items removed and collected on the floor, table, or bed. Sort the items into categories that you’ll either be keeping or getting rid of.

For items that you are keeping, separate them according to whether they belong in this space or somewhere else in the home. For discards, decide if they are trash or worth donating. Take the trash out right away and place donation bins in the car so they won’t end up redistributed back into your house.

Reorganization After Decluttering the Home

Now you are left with useful items that you’ve decided to keep. Find a new way to organize them that makes sense. Things that are used daily, like your favorite coat, should be kept within easy reach. Items used less frequently, like fancy dress shoes, can be tucked away to free up premium space. Keep less-used items on a high shelf or in the back of the closet because you might only wear them a few times a year.

American Home Inspection Services provides home inspections and related services to Southeast Michigan. Contact us to request an appointment.

5 Small Signs of Serious Home Issues

5 Small Signs of Serious Home Issues

When you are busy, it can be tempting to ignore seemingly minor problems in the home. However, some small signs lead to big problems in a house. Here are 5 serious home issues that may not seem concerning at first, but that should be addressed immediately.

Slanted Floors are Serious Home Issues

Sometimes it is apparent that floors are uneven just by walking across them, and in other homes, it is less obvious. Slanted floors may not bother you, but they can point to serious structural problems that should be addressed for safety’s sake. It may mean that the structural beams underneath the flooring have been damaged by termites, rot, or water.

Doors That Stick

While doors that are difficult to open to close are annoying, they may not seem like a significant issue. However, this could point to the foundation sinking or a settling problem that’s causing misalignment with the door and its frame. Foundation issues should not be ignored; the longer you wait, the worse they will get.

Strange Smells can Point to Serious Home Issues

Any type of odd smell in your home should be investigated. Whether it is a musty smell of wet socks, sewer gas odor, or a fishy scent, it could be the sign of a serious problem that threatens the health and safety of your family. A mold problem, broken vent stack, or overheating circuit may be the cause of these smells.

Water Pooling by the Foundation

Drainage issues lead to serious problems like mold and foundation settling. Water pooling by the foundation may be a result of poor grading or clogged gutters. The fix might be as easy as cleaning out the gutters so that water can be properly channeled away from the home. If water is pooling around the base of the home, check the crawlspace or basement for moisture.

Mud Tubes

Any signs of termites should be taken seriously. Mud tubes on the exterior of the house are one of the most visible signs of termites. They are about the width of a pencil and run along the foundation and siding. Termites build them for a safe passageway to travel into the house. Other signs to look for are piles of termite droppings and discarded wings. Schedule a termite inspection if you see any of these signs.

American Home Inspection Services serves Southeastern Michigan with home inspection services. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

5 Ways to Heat the Home Efficiently

5 Ways to Heat the Home Efficiently

Winter is the season that comes with the highest utility bills for many households. Many homeowners don’t know about the small adjustments they can make to help heat the home efficiently. Here are 5 easy tricks that can save you some money.

Heat the Home Efficiently by Programming the Thermostat

You may be surprised how much money you can save by simply setting a schedule on your programmable thermostat. If the members of your household have a routine day-to-day schedule, it is best to set up the thermostat in advance.

If everyone leaves the house by 9 in the morning, program the thermostat to lower a few degrees at that time. There is no reason to keep the house at a warm and toasty temperature when no one is home. Program the thermostat to raise the temperature back up to its normal level about 30 minutes before people start arriving at home.

Fully Seal the Home

When a house is not well-sealed, the heating system has to work much harder to keep the home warm. Doors and windows are the most common areas for cold drafts to come in, so focus on sealing these areas first. Old windows become loose over time and may crack around the panes. Use caulk to seal up any openings. Exterior doors may have gaps around the edges. Apply weatherstripping around the door and a door sweep at the bottom to help reduce drafts.

Make Sure the House is Well-Insulated

A poorly insulated house cannot be heated efficiently. Since most of the insulation in a home isn’t accessible, hire a professional to inspect the insulation if you are having trouble lowering your heating bills and keeping your home warm. Damaged insulation may need to be removed and replaced or you may just need to add more insulation.

Heating System Maintenance

A poorly maintained heating system expends more energy to heat the home than one that is annually serviced. Problems like dirty components, malfunctioning parts, and a clogged filter put a strain on the system. Hire an HVAC professional to service your heater once per year, and then keep up with replacing your filters monthly or as directed by the manufacturer.

Use the Sun to Heat the Home Efficiently

The warmth from the sun is a free resource you can use on sunny days in the winter. Open the drapes on south-facing windows to heat up the room. Then, at night, close the drapes to keep the heat in and the cold air out. Outfit all the windows in the home with heavy drapes to help insulate them.

American Home Inspection Services provides home inspections and related services to Southeast Michigan. Contact us to request an appointment.

What to Know About Smoke Detector Placement

What to Know About Smoke Detector Placement

When homeowners consider home safety, protection against house fires comes immediately to mind. The most important defense against house fires is your smoke detectors. Statistics show that 3 out of 5 deaths due to house fires are in homes without working smoke detectors. Review these rules for proper smoke detector placement and make sure they are all followed in your home.

Rules of Thumb for Smoke Detector Placement

There are some basic, common-sense rules for smoke detector placement that should always be followed. While most people have heard them before, it is easy to let them fall by the wayside and cut corners.

  • There should be at least one smoke detector for every level of the home.
  • The smoke detector should be on the ceiling, or on the wall no more than 10 inches from the ceiling.
  • Smoke detectors need to be tested monthly to make sure they are operational.
  • A smoke detection device has a lifespan of about a decade.
  • Change your smoke detector’s batteries when the time changes twice a year.

Commonly Forgotten Areas for Smoke Detectors

Some areas you may not think to install a smoke detector are the laundry room, basement, attic, and garage. Because of the rule that a smoke detector should be on every level, there should be one in the attic and basement whether the furnace is located there or not. Also, they should not only be inside every bedroom but outside of the bedroom doors in the hallways.

Things to Avoid With Smoke Detector Placement

Certain conditions can make a smoke alarm fail to detect smoke. Painting over a smoke detector or otherwise decorating it inhibits its ability to function properly. Don’t install a smoke detector near an air vent, ceiling fan, ventilation fan, or doorway because the movement of air can dissipate the smoke. You won’t be able to rely on your smoke detector to alert you to fire if they are installed in these locations.

American Home Inspection Services provides home inspections and related services to Southeast Michigan. Contact us to schedule an inspection.

Tips to Maintain Your Landscaping in Fall

Tips to Maintain Your Landscaping in Fall

Simple Steps to Care for Your Landscaping in Fall

The spring and summer months are not the only times of year to care for your yard. It’s easy to maintain your landscaping in fall and keep your yard looking great even after the green foliage of summer is gone.

Prepare Your Fall Garden

When preparing your home for fall, consider adding a fall garden space. Between late summer and early fall, remove annual flowers planted during the summer and pull out weeds and other unwanted plants.

Once you have tidied up your garden space, you can begin planting for fall. Choose flowers, shrubs, and trees that will perform through the season. Mums, marigolds, and flowering kale are great fall choices.

Care for Your Lawn When Landscaping in Fall

During the fall season, care for your lawn to protect it from the cooler weather and get it ready for next summer. Continue mowing the grass as needed until the first frost. You may notice your grass growing slower than in the summer months, but you can still mow and water it.

Also, apply fertilizer in the fall to keep your lawn healthy. The fertilizer will help your grass grow stronger roots before winter. Fall is also the perfect time to aerate and seed bare patches in your lawn.

Plan a Spring Garden

Fall is a great time of year to plan out your spring garden. Choose flowers and plants you want to see bloom in the spring and add them to your garden now. Bulbs should be planted in the fall so they’re ready to bloom when the weather warms. Tulips and daffodils are popular choices for spring gardens.

Fall is also a good time to plant perennials. The soil is still warm from the summer, providing the right environment for plants to grow strong roots before the harsh, cold months ahead.

Make a Clean-Up Plan

The bright hues of autumn leaves won’t last on the trees for long. Soon the fallen leaves will litter the yard. Caring for the landscape in fall means to plan for leaf pickup. If you have a mulching mower, mulch your leaves as you mow the lawn. The nutrients in mulched leaves will find their way back into the soil.

You can also rake and compost leaves to add to the soil next year. If your town or HOA requires leaf clean-up, rake and gather the leaves for scheduled town leaf collections.

American Home Inspection Services offers home inspections to customers in Southeast Michigan. Contact us to request our services.