Archive for June, 2012

Keep Your Lawn Safe This Year!

Posted on: June 26th, 2012 | No Comments

We know how important it is to make sure our homes are safe – but do we stop to consider the potential hazards in our lawns? We’ve put together a list of ten ways you can make your lawn safer this year.

  • Get rid of dead leaves and debris near the house! This can be a major fire hazard and can also create homes for numerous types of insects.
  • Prevent drowning and other water accidents by fencing in pools or other bodies of water. Due to the threat of mosquito infestations, you should never allow water to remain stagnant.
  • When you prepare to mow your lawn, inspect the yard for sticks, large stones, and any toys or other items that could be thrown by the lawnmower blades. Roll up water hoses and move electric wires out of the way.
  • Always store tools (landscaping tools, car repair tools, etc.) in a place where they will be out of reach of children.
  • Avoid using toxic chemicals on plants near the house. If you keep a vegetable garden, you should use only natural ingredients to keep the bugs away. If you have any toxic chemicals, be sure to keep them under lock and key.
  • If your trees have large overhanging branches, you will need to keep them trimmed. Branches near the chimney can easily catch fire!
  • Keep an eye out for insect nests under the eaves of any buildings or in the yard itself. Wasps, bees, and other stinging bugs can turn a cozy yard into a warzone!
  • Check all railings and fence posts for stability. They are often overlooked, but they can lead to severe injuries if they give out under stress.
  • Opt for plastic dishes when you dine al fresco – especially if you have children. Broken glasses are infamous for leaving sharp pieces everywhere, even after you think you’ve cleaned it all up.
  • Be vigilant about turning off the gas when you are finished grilling. Check to be sure the gas supply hose is not cracked and keep the grill (whether it’s gas or charcoal) at a minimum of ten feet from your home.

If you take just a few minutes today, you can make your lawn the safe, relaxing place it is meant to be! If you found this post helpful, please share.


Do you have a safety tip? Comment and let us know!



Making Sense of Home Rental Costs

Posted on: June 20th, 2012 | No Comments

Sometimes a rental is the best option, especially if you are not planning to put down roots in your current city. If you are looking for an apartment or home to rent, you’ll need to be aware of the costs that may be involved.


One of the most common fees is for the first and last month’s rent. Because this is a protective measure for the landlord, nearly every renter will have to pay this fee. You could also be charged a security deposit in case there is damage to the house while you are living there. As long as you leave the rental property in good shape and clean up before you move out, you stand a good chance of getting this deposit back. There is also a lock fee (to cover the cost of having a key made or a lock changed), and you could possibly be charged part of the inspection fee.


There are a few illegal fees that unscrupulous landlords might attempt to charge you. One such fee is an upfront processing fee. A landlord should not charge you for routine amenities, either – like use of the gym or pool facilities on a rental property. You can’t be charged a pet fee or a finder’s fee by a landlord. However, if you used a realtor to find the property you plan to rent, you may have to pay a broker’s fee – which can be equal to one month’s rent.


Some monthly rental fees include utilities and even garbage pickup. Other landlords may offer a lower monthly rent but require you to pay for utilities separately. If this is the case, you may be looking at a property that is difficult to heat and cool, so be cautious before agreeing to this arrangement.


Keep these fees in mind as you search for the perfect rental property.


There is one final step you should take before signing a contract. Don’t take it for granted that the home or apartment is safe and in good shape; get it inspected by Inspect-It 1st. We provide the industry’s most comprehensive report and the best in customer service! Find out more here.


How To Improve Your Home’s Value

Posted on: June 13th, 2012 | No Comments

If you’re looking for a way to increase your home’s value before selling (or in preparation for an appraisal), we have a few simple suggestions! Regardless of your budget or the kind of home you own, there are a number of DIY projects you may want to consider.


Landscaping is one of the quickest ways to make your property value climb. You can redo a tired, drab lawn by creating a small garden space complete with plants that are tough enough to resist the summer heat. If your home has a beautiful doorway or gorgeous windows, put colorful flowers near these features to grab the eyes of passersby. Make sure all shrubs are neatly trimmed and that the ground cover isn’t suffering from a weed infestation.

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How To Refinish Your Deck

Posted on: June 6th, 2012 | No Comments

Are you considering refinishing a deck? Here are a few tips to make this DIY project as safe and easy as possible!


Safety first, as always… Wear proper protective clothing for the entire process. When sanding or power washing the deck, wear goggles to keep flying debris out of your eyes. Avoid getting any of the stain on your skin or in your eyes – and if that happens, wash it off immediately.


Your first step is to wash the deck with a power washer. Try to wash in the direction of the wood grain and spray in wide, sweeping arcs so you can avoid damaging the wood. If you have to replace any planks, be sure to use stainless steel nails. Other types of metal can end up leaving rust stains over time.


Removing old paint is the next step. Get a paint scraper and get rid of all the loose or old paint that can mar the appearance of the deck. When you sand the deck, you should use a power sander to save yourself some work. You might consider wearing a mask if you are concerned about breathing in dust!

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Our home inspection company's history began in 1991 with the establishment of American Home Inspection. Over the course of the following seven years, a home inspection business prototype was developed that could be implemented anywhere in the United States. Our founders believed they had a unique methodology of providing homebuyers and sellers with consistent, professional and unbiased home inspections. © 2012. All Rights Reserved.