Census Bureau infographic shines light on home investment | Inman News

Homeowners Improving Homes Rather than Moving

See on Scoop.it - Around Los Angeles Homeowners are choosing to make home improvements rather than move, especially in this time of low inventory. The graphic below and the article show which are the most popular improvements and how they were done. Homeowners made $359 billion in home improvements from 2009 through 2011. Jane Peters www.homejane.com's insight: This seems to be a trend now.  When homeowners can't move they put money into their homes. See on … [Read more...]

Leaks Around Skylights is not always about Water

Leaking Skylights is not always about water

Skylights represent a host of problems:  from installation issues, to energy efficiency issues.  Why someone would put something of so little resistance to heat loss at the warmest place in the room is confusing to me.  I know they meet energy codes and all that—-but should they?  It would seem that one would get a lot of “points” for avoiding skylights. Answering the “politics” of this question is not really the focus of this post however. Nor am I going to go into issues related to … [Read more...]

Oak Hardwood Flooring For Your Home

Oak hardwood flooring for your home

What are the benefits of Oak Hardwood Flooring for your home in Los Angeles CA? Oak is the most popular species of hardwood flooring here in Los Angeles. If you see hardwood in a home, chances are it's oak. So, why is oak flooring so popular? 1. Oak flooring is very affordable since it is abundant and grown in the US. Oak hardwood tends to be less expensive compared to the other species (such as maple, hickory, brazilian cherry, etc). And, in Los Angeles CA, it's very readily available to get … [Read more...]

What is Concrete Honeycombing?

What is concrete honeycombing

While Honeycombing of concrete can look like it is being attacked from some sort of creature or chemical, that is rarely the case except in decorative concrete flatwork where the surface has been “released” to reveal the larger aggregate.  This is done deliberately by washing the surface with mild etching compounds prior to curing of the concrete surface.  It is certainly never the result of bees and the honeycombs associated with them. When concrete is poured into the foundation forms it … [Read more...]

Dark Hardwood Floors

Dark Hardwood Floors

In Los Angeles, dark hardwood flooring is very stylish. Many of my customers love the dark look...they even ask for Ebony. Dark is sleek and stylish and gives your Rhode Island home a sophisticated look. How do you get dark hardwood floors? What options are there? Most dark hardwoods are stained to make them darker. There are many types of woods that can work. 1. The most common dark flooring is oak hardwood that is stained with a dark brown stain such as Ebony (the darkest stain) or a … [Read more...]

Chrome Traps are they Worth the Money?

Chrome traps, are they worth the money?

I like to think I am a “live and let live” kind of guy—-but some things—-for lack of a better way to put it—-have no redeeming social value! I am talking about your garden variety, Big Orange Toolbox, chrome plumbing traps.  I know you were hoping for something more controversial perhaps—but this is all I have for you today. Failing chrome traps Back in the “good ole days”—(You remember: before penicillin & Novocain, when women rode side saddle, before plywood, and it took a year to … [Read more...]

Should You Add Carpet Runners to Your Steps?

Carpet Runners for Steps

What are carpet runners? A carpet runner goes on top of your hardwood steps. Unlike wall to wall carpet, carpet runners cover most of the step, but still show the hardwood on either side. They are bound on the sides for a finished look. Why are carpet runners so popular? Carpet runners serve 2 purposes: 1) they make the stairs safer - they help prevent slipping and 2) they add a decorative element. By having a some sort of carpet on the steps, it adds traction and friction so you are less … [Read more...]

Reglazing Bathroom Tile, a Less Expensive Alternative

Before your replace your bathroom tiles look into reglazing

Reglazing ceramic tile is a wonderful and cost effective solution to change the color of your bathroom tile. Do you have one of those dated bathrooms with the pink (or yellow or blue or green) tile with black lines? Did you know that there is a less expensive and less intrusive way to refresh that bathroom? Rather than replacing the tile (which can get expensive), if your tile is in relatively good condition (i.e. not cracked or falling apart), you do have the option of reglazing your tile. You … [Read more...]

Is Your Bathroom Fan Working?

Your bathroom fan is making a noise but may not be working

Your bathroom has an exhaust fan. Hopefully. While not required in every instance, in modern construction I think they are essential. For this exercise let’s assume you have one.  How do you know it works?  “Well, I can hear it running,” you might say.  OK---let me be a little more precise.  How do you know it is “functional.”  By functional I mean how do you know it is pulling air from the room.  (For now we won’t discuss where it is going after it leaves the room---that will make the … [Read more...]

Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?

Is Laminate Flooring Waterproof?

In short, the answer is NO, laminate flooring is NOT waterproof.  There is a common misperception out there that laminate is waterproof, and I believe this is due to the fact that many customers mistakenly confuse vinyl and laminate flooring. Many types of vinyl flooring are waterproof and/or highly water resistant.  Laminate, on the other hand, is made out of recycled hardwood, so it is not waterproof.  Due to its melamine wear layer, it has a tough finish which resists against scratches and … [Read more...]

Don’t You Hate it When The Toilet Explodes?

Make sure your toilet is not on the recall list

Living in a modern society, it behooves all of us to subscribe to the Consumer Products Safety Commission email of recalled products and safety announcements. Yesterday I received a notice that peaked my interest.  It seems that most of these announcements have to do with some product made in China—and perhaps parts of this one were as well. When I read the release and I could envision shrapnel of broken ceramic headed toward possibly naked body parts in 2.3 million homes across the U.S., … [Read more...]

Staged to Sell, Designed to Live, Defining Staging and Redesign

Homes staging and redesigning explained

Many people don’t exactly know what home staging and redesign is. Homes are Staged to Sell and Redesigned to live when you want to update and create that wow effect without breaking the bank!  Let me explain. Home Staging is preparing a home for sale by neutralizing the space to appeal to the masses. Usually this requires removing about 30% of furniture to emphasize the home’s space so buyers can see how their furniture would fit. The décor should always fit the demographic you’re selling in and … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Home Sellers You Only Have 90 Seconds to Make a Great First Impression

L.A. home sellers show your home's best face

* According to NAR (National Association of Realtors), 90% of potential home buyers start their search on the Internet before ever stepping out with their Realtor. MLS photos are what draw buyers to your house so make sure they represent the best of your home inside and out. * On average, buyers make a decision about your home within the first 90 seconds - that first impression is critical to selling your home or sitting on the market becoming stale. * A professionally staged home shows at … [Read more...]

Have You Washed Your Attic Insulation Lately?

Have you washed your attic insulation lately?

You best hop to it then if you haven’t!  If you do not keep your insulation washed you may be wasting valuable money in extra heating and cooling costs! OK wait a minute. Brain-fart. This is silly---NOBODY washes insulation---what the heck am I talking about? What I really mean is “wind-washing.” I have not seen very many incidences of wind-washed insulation since I left the Great Lakes area---you know, where it always snows horizontally? Near the Great Lakes the wind can whip … [Read more...]

Call a Real Plumber, Don’t Try And Do it Yourself

Don't do it yourself, call a plumber

A simple kitchen sink drain can sure get complicated. As you can see from this installation everything seems to fit together nicely and looks all nice and crisp and white—-so what can be the problem? The distance from the bottom of the trap has been dropped way down to allow for installation of the tail piece for the dishwasher (the vertical section of pipe with the grey hose attached to it).  If you look closely at the middle left of the drain (in the shadow) you should be able to see … [Read more...]

How to Make Your Los Angeles Home Look Larger

Tips on making your Los Angeles home look larger

Making your Los Angeles home look larger - How your flooring can help Here's how you can leverage the floors to make your home in Los Angeles look larger. 1. Use the same type of flooring material and same color across rooms. Whenever possible, continue that same surface across rooms. Here in Los Angeles CA, hardwood flooring is the preferred flooring, and this is one of the many reasons we are seeing the trend to add hardwood to the kitchen - by continuing the same surface, even in the … [Read more...]

Do you have hardwood underneath your carpet?

Should I Refinish The Hardwood Floors or Replace The Carpet

Is it better to refinish the hardwood or replace the carpet? Do you have hardwood under your carpet?  You may have just found a nice gift.  Consider yourself lucky as you have options and may be able to improve your homes value and save money at the same time! Most customers prefer hardwood flooring – it looks nicer, it improves your home’s value, it lasts longer and it’s easier to clean.  And, any realtor will tell you that homes with hardwood flooring will sell faster and at a higher … [Read more...]

How to Prevent Scratches in Your Hardwood Floor

All hardwood scratches, it is just a matter of time

Many of my customers in Westchester County ask me how to prevent scratching in hardwood flooring, so I thought I would provide some tips. First, let me caveat this by saying that ALL hardwood scratches. It’s just a matter of time.  Anyone that tells you the hardwood won’t scratch isn’t telling the truth. Here are some tips to MINIMIZE the scratches and prolong the life of your hardwood.  By far, the #1 culprit of scratches is dirt/grit, so do whatever you can to minimize this. 1. … [Read more...]

Breaking The Mold, How to Address it in an Inspection Report

Mold, what a home inspector can find on his rounds

I know that MOLD is a four letter word, and only a few other things found during the course of a home inspection causes more angst for all parties involved. As inspectors, not only are we the ones that have to bring its presence to the attention of the buyers, but we also have to figure out some way to talk about it in the Inspection Report. In spite of the fact that if: it “looks” like mold, is “wet” like mold, conditions are “conducive” to mold, it “smells” like mold, it … [Read more...]

What is the “actual” water temperature in my home really?

How hot is the water in your home really?

The post previous to this was about water heater Deadband.  This post is related in that it shows us another way that deadband affects use of hot water and the safety concerns posed by deadband. How difficult can it be to figure out what the water temperature in a home is? In the State of Washington, Licensed Home Inspectors are required to report when the water temperature is above 120 degrees and then advise the client that the recommended high temperature is 120 degrees … [Read more...]