Last Updated on October 18, 2011

Selecting the right paint and colour for your home’s interior is simply a matter of personal taste and style in most cases. Although it can be a simple task, there are some tips however that you can use to make the decision making process easier. When choosing paint, consider these tips to assist you in making your choices.

Types of Interior Paint Finishes

Paint comes in four basic finishes and each finish is better served in different rooms in your home.These finishes are:

Matt:

The finish gives a very flat, dry appearance to your walls. Though the appearance is a beautiful one, many people stray from matt finishes because they are difficult to clean. Matt finishes are great as accents and on ceilings.

Mid and Soft Sheen:

These two finishes are perfect for bedrooms, hallways and living spaces. Light will reflect off of the walls slightly, adding personality and subtle colour changes to your room. Easier to clean than matt finishes, these can readily be wiped with a damp cloth and mild detergent.

Gloss:

This paint has a high sheen and is incredibly durable. The easiest of all finishes to wash when dirty, gloss paints are best suited to bathrooms and kitchens where walls are most likely to get dirty.

Choosing your Colours

The colour you choose for your walls is a simple matter of preference. Look for inspiration from the following:

Your Wardrobe:

If you open your bedroom cupboard and find that you are staring at the same colouror a similar colour palette, you may find that painting your walls in a colour from the same family soothing and relaxing. There’s a reason that you choose this colour for your clothing.

Dishes:

When painting your kitchen, look to your dishes, particularly if you have a favourite set. Dishes can be incredibly colourful and pulling one of the colours out for your walls can give you further inspiration to give your kitchen a brand new look.

Magazines:

There are a plethora of home design magazines on the market. Buy a few and leaf through its pages. No doubt you’ll find several pictures or adverts that you can use to choose your wall colour.

Seasons:

If you have a favourite season, consider choosing colours for your walls that relate to that season. For instance, if you look forward to autumn each year, think of hues of red, orange and yellow for your walls.

Nature:

Everyone has a favourite flower or tree. If you favour Gerbera daisies, for example, think of buying a bouquet and taking a few of the colourful flowers with you when you choose paint.

No matter the colour or finish that you choose, the proper tools are essential in painting your home’s interior. Be sure to purchase the correct rollers and brushes for the paint finish and current condition of your walls. Doing the job properly will ensure that your colour choices and finish looks beautiful in your home’s interior.

Author Bio:

Nic is a former builder and full-time interior design specialist, assisting home owners with selectingthe right feel for their home. From interior paint to cutlery sets, he takes pride in delivering a finish to homes thatthe owners can be truly proud of. His favourite type of design is for high-value display homes, wherehe is only limited by his imagination.

Last Updated on October 17, 2011

Winter is coming soon. With the cold comes big jackets, sweaters and lots and lots of hot chocolate. There are also cold nights and wet feet. With all of this cold—people start to turn up the heat in their homes. When temperatures start to rise, so do heating bills. With the economy, spending extra money on a heating bill is simply not manageable for a lot of people. Here are 10 ways to cut on your heating bill this winter.

1. Find out what energy you use
In many areas, there are different types of energy that are used to heat homes. Check what is available to you. You might find that sometime you thought was expensive is a lot cheaper!

2. Find out the location of your thermostat
If your thermostat is somewhere where it gets extremely hot or cold in the winter, you will have to take that into consideration when adjusting it. You don’t want to adjust the temperature for just one room.

thermostat

3. Wear layered clothing
If you tend to get extremely cold, try wearing more clothes. During the winter months, it gets cold enough anyways, just bundle up

4. Use an automatic timer on your thermostat
This can help you save on costs at night. If you are bundled up at night, you can usually set the timer to go to lower temperatures at night.

5. Take a look at your windows
Make sure that your windows are sealed. If you are cold during the day time, try opening your curtains to let the sun through.

6. Seal off the house
Seal any little crack or hole in your home. It will save you a bunch of money because the heat will not escape from anywhere.

7. Upgrade the insulation
If you find that you are getting very cold—check the insulation of your house. If you live in an old house, you might find it more beneficial to get new insulation.

utah-home-insulation

8. Turn off the heat
If you are going to be gone for a long period of time, turn off the heat. However, if it is just a short time, leave it on. It will take more energy (and money) to heat up a house when you turn off the heat and then come home to a very cold home.

9. Have your furnace serviced
Having your furnace serviced before winter comes will save you money in the long run. Even if you are against it, there are many that wish that they serviced their furnace before winter. They would have saved lots of money.

10. Cut down on use of kitchen and bathroom fans
Using fans will only make the air colder. Use the fans if they are completely necessary. You don’t want to be getting rid of precious warm air.

If you are worried about your heating bills this winter, do not be! If you follow these 10 tips, you will be able to cut down on your costs and you will still be able to stay as toasty as you want. Instead of worrying about the heating bill, relax with your coziest blanket and curl up with a mug of hot chocolate.

About the Author
Neltje Ann Maynez is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them, helps them understand which online masters degree programs are right for them and which online schools they can choose from to reach their goals.

Last Updated on October 17, 2011

Are solar panels worth investing in?

With the constant rise of electricity bills and government-introduced schemes such as the Feed-in Tariff, there hasn’t been a better time to invest in solar power.

What is solar power?

When energy from the sun hits roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels, a chemical reaction takes place which sends down an alternating current (A/C) to provide power to the home, or get fed into the national grid should it not be required.

But aren’t solar panels an eyesore?

When we picture solar PV panels, we often think of the ‘traditional’ thick aluminium framed panels that might not be a fit for every home. Fortunately, there are now far many more types of panel available, including slate coloured tiles which seamlessly integrate into the roof. This in turn not only generates electricity, but it will also improve the insulation of the home – saving even more energy and cash!

solar panel

Will solar panels work outside of Southern California?

Fortunately, and perhaps surprisingly, solar panels don’t actually need sunlight to work. The photovoltaic cells react to daylight, meaning the panels can generate 40% of their potential electricity yield even on a completely overcast day. The home also remains connected to the national grid, meaning power is still available outside of daylight hours. In addition to this, extra electricity generated from the panels that goes unused will be fed back into the grid, which the homeowner will be paid for.

So what are the options?

There are currently two options when it comes to domestic solar power. For those who are able to buy the panel system up front, large returns can be seen through both the savings on the electricity bill (between £70 and £130 a year) plus large returns through the Feed-in Tariff. Over the 25 year solar panel lifespan, this can see a profit of over £15,000. Alternatively, the solar panel installer can pay for the solar panel system’s installation and maintenance. They will then own the rights to the Feed-in tariff, whilst the homeowner saves on electricity bills with the benefits of a free solar panel system.

Last Updated on October 14, 2011

Depending on the complexity of your project, your list of needed materials may vary, but a great place to start is with a paint tray, drop cloth, painter’s tape, rollers and brushes, stir sticks, and paint. It is of course possible to paint your cabinet doors while they are still attached to your cabinets, but to make things easier on yourself you will probably want to remove them before you begin and prepare a flat, clean surface where you can paint them and leave them to dry.

Next you’re going to want to thoroughly clean your cabinets with a sponge, mild soap, and warm water or a household cleaning solution. Remember to make sure the cabinets are well rinsed and dry before you begin painting. Inspect your cabinets for any scratches or nicks, and fill them using putty and a putty knife if necessary. You may also choose to lightly sand the area you will be painting to help the primer and paint adhere to the surface. As an alternative to sanding, you may instead apply an even coat of primer-sealer. To do this, simply use a disposable foam brush and begin in the center, following the wood’s grain as you move to the outside of your surface.

Now you are ready to begin painting. Use a nice brush to apply the paint (the better the brush the better the finish). One of the best ways to achieve a professionally finished look is to apply a few very thin coats. You may want to do one thick coat to get the process done faster, but you will actually use fewer brush strokes and have a shorter drying time if you apply multiple thin layers of paint. The end result will also look much nicer and will be a lot more durable. Allow the paint to completely dry between coats. When the paint is dry and you are happy with the results, reattach your cabinet doors and enjoy!

Last Updated on January 22, 2020

What Makes a Modern Kitchen?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably seen a fair share of fabulous interior home design ideas. They’re contemporary, they’re sleek, they streamline space use. But what principles actually hide behind these rather vague words? You might be here because you’re looking for starter tips on your upcoming kitchen remodel. In either case, you’ve come to the right place, as this post discusses the defining traits of a truly modern kitchen.

1. An Integrated Dining Area

Open spaces are essential in the layout of truly modern homes. They create the sensation of dynamism, free flows of circulation, and usually make great use of natural lighting. However, even if the size of your home won’t allow you to open up the floor plan by tearing up walls, you can always choose to set up the dining table in the kitchen. Since the kitchen is the core, the hub and the heart of the house, eating together in the warmest room of your residence is a great idea for family bonding. Practicality is also favored – you’ll have much less walking to do when setting the table and when cleaning up.

2. Cleverly Concealed Kitchenware

Innovative-and-Simple-Kitchen-all-view5

Modern homes hate clutter. Modern home owners take conscious, sustained efforts to make their clutter-free living spaces appear clutter-less. So, if you’re going for the modern look in the kitchen, you’ll definitely need to invest time and thought process into the organization of your storage spaces. They don’t have to be costly, just efficient. Think about the type of kitchenware you use most often: is it ponderous soup pots, compact pans or clattering ovenware? Or do you cook so rarely that you only really need quick access to dishes and plates? Whatever you choose, make sure your storage cabinet is cleverly compartmentalized and looks just as with its doors closed, as it does with its door open.

3. Built-in Appliances

snaidero-kube-kitchen

The less you see of your own stove, oven, microwave and sink, the more modern your interior house design. Chrome and stainless steel are superb finishes for built-in appliances, and they both work perfectly with wood-veneered cabinets. However, sleek black glass, for instance is also an optimal choice in terms of kitchen aesthetics.

4. The Island

columbus_lg

There is no statement more definite about kitchens in modern homes than the fact that the central island is essential. You’ve seen in on TV series and cooking shows. You understand how useful it is to separate your preparation and cooking space from the serving and storage space. So, if space allows it, definitely spring for having an island put in. Even if it’s a small one, with a single sink and just enough space for one person to cook a full, complex meal, there is nothing that says modern kitchen more than the island. Well, except, perhaps, for the…

5. Glass Countertops

glass_countertop_

They’re scratch-proof, can take the most scorching heat and freezing-cold produce with no damage, and they’re entirely eco-friendly. Glass countertops are easy to put in, made of upcycled materials, and represent just that finishing touch you need, if you’re looking to achieve sleek designs, worthy of truly modern homes.

Last Updated on January 7, 2020

Throughout the last decade, the bathroom has started to become a modern retreat where more time is spent and more remodeling effort is invested in the home. The modern bathroom allows the user to bathe, shower and even wash their hands in a luxury that wasn’t even envisioned a decade ago but is now available to any home owner that wants to invest in it. We have collected some of the greatest innovations available today in this post for you to drool over, or invest in, when completing your next remodel.

Pull Out Bathroom Faucets

While once reserved for only kitchen faucets, the Green Tea faucet from American Standard combines the beauty of a bathroom faucet with the functionality of a pull out spout. The pull out spout allows you to complete tasks such as washing a pet or even your feet with ease. These faucets are easy to install and the one of the most affordable items on the list.

 

IO Digital Shower System

IO Digital shower system from Moen allows the user to create a unique and innovative experience with either their shower or tub. The IO Digital can maintain temperature and flow rate with precise digital controls and even has presets so it can remember the flow and temperature everyone in the house likes. It also allows you to turn on the shower and your preset with the touch of a button. All of this leads to a showering experience that is truly innovative.

Chrome high arc roman tub faucet includes hand shower ioDIGITAL™ technology

Kohler Sok Overflow Bath

The Kohler Sok bathtub creates the perfect bathing experience. The bathtub allows the user to fill the water all the way up to the rim, removing the overflow that stops the bathtub from filling completely. The Kohler Sok tub simply spills over the edge and is drained normally when the user enters, making a carefree bathing experience that allows the entire body to be completely encased in water. The tub also has whirlpool options that add increased comfort.

Robern Tv Mirror

In a place where you thought innovation had run its course, the bathroom mirror has been upgraded to fit the modern bathroom. The Robern bathroom mirror has an integrated TV that allows the user to never miss a second of their favorite game or TV show, even when prepping in the bathroom. It also has an integrated MP3 jack that allows the user to plug in an MP3 player and play their favorite music right from the mirror.

Flat Plain Mirror Cabinet

Towel Warmers

While not as innovative as other items on this list, many people are unaware of the fact that you can buy and install a towel warmer in your bathroom easily over the course of a weekend. These towel warmers come in many styles and finishes and can be directly plugged into an outlet in order to keep your towel perfectly warm no matter what the temperature is outside. For colder climates this is a must have.

Myson FPRL08M Pearl 8 Bar Portable Electric Towel Warmer, Matte Stainless Steel

Kohler Numi

Last but not least, the Kohler Numi is the ultimate toilet. Complete with every innovation available to the modern bathroom user, the toilet has integrated bidet functionality, MP3 input and radio tuner, soothing lighted bowl options and a toilet seat that opens when you walk in the room. This toilet truly does it all and more. It is the pinnacle of modern bathroom innovation at a price tag that will have only most elite bathrooms installing it. The toilet alone retails for around 6000 dollars.

These are just a few of the modern innovations available to anyone looking to upgrade or remodel their bathroom. I expect to see even more jumps in bathroom technology in the next few years and would love to hear your comments if there is something that you have seen that I left out.

Josh works for Plumber Surplus which sells many of the products above as well as faucets for your bathroom.

Last Updated on October 13, 2011

Have you been watching all of the home improvement shows that are on tv? Do you feel like you want to move out of your home, but no one wants to buy it? It is not hard to make your property something that someone will want to buy. Here are 5 simple things you can do to update your home and make it something that you can sell or even feel more comfortable living in.

1) A fresh coat of paint

Getting new paint is the simplest thing that you can do. It makes your home look so much better. It makes rooms seem brighter and fresher―even if you choose the same color. It shows that you update your home and care about it. If you really want to get people’s attention, you could choose a really bright color for one wall, and paint the rest of the room with a softer color. It could really add a great accent to your home. If you are looking to do just one thing to your home―make sure that you are at least adding a fresh coat of paint to it.

 

paint-colors

2) Curb appeal

This is the second best thing that you can do to update your home. Most people approach homes like they do books―they judge them by the outside. You want to make sure that your home is very inviting. Given the choice between a run-down home and a freshly painted home with flowers, most people are going to choose the home with the flowers. Even making sure that your front lawn isn’t cluttered with trash can make a difference. Make sure the paint the numbers on your curb so people can find your home. If you really want to make a statement, plant pretty flowers in your yard. It will make a big difference on how people see your home.

 

3) Flooring

Flooring can be quite expensive, but if you want to change the look that your floor has, try getting some rugs or even using paint. If you get some cool rugs on your floor, it can really change the look of your room and people will hardly notice that you just covered the floor.

 

4) Bathroom upgrade

Bathrooms are an important part of a home. Even making sure that your bathrooms are not dirty, will make a huge difference how people see your home. If you really want to update your bathroom you can get new floors or new appliances.

Your home after you make some small changes.
Your home after you make some small changes.

 

5) Alter lighting

If you want to switch up the look of your home, you can change the lighting. Adding lamps here and there can really make a difference in the look of a room. You can even change the window treatments to make your room have a fresh, updated feel.

Good luck when you start updating your home. Use these 5 tips and your home will feel fresh and new in no time.

About the Author

Neltje Maynez is a freelance writer for MyCollegesandCareers.com. My Colleges and Careers helps people determine if an online education is right for them, helps them understand how they can find the best online colleges, and which ones they can choose from to reach their goals.

Last Updated on October 13, 2011

Home renovating is not something to do on the cheap. However, having a budget is not the same as being stingy. When homeowners think about renovating, they typically conjure up images with teams of contractors walking in and out of their house, tools and materials in-hand.

But “renovation” is not the same as “rehabilitation”. Renovating simply means updating a space. Whereas rehabilitation often requires extensive demolition, followed by new interior and/or exterior reconstruction. With this is mind, you can be more confident about renovating on a budget.

Know Your Budget:

While you may be screaming, “Thank you Captain Obvious!” it is the most important step you can take for a successful “reno”. Start with want you can afford, coupled with what you want. Then, reconcile the two. For instance, you want both new appliances and kitchen cabinets. You can’t afford both. So, shop discount appliance outlets to cut down the price. In addition, dress up your old cabinets with paint and new hardware.

There are other ways of cutting budget corners such as using online websites to find coupon codes and cash back tickets to save on tools from retailers like Home Depot, Lowes and others.

Make the Old New Again:

Like repainting cabinets and fitting them with new hardware, you can reinvent practically anything. An old wooden cable spool can make a lovely coffee table or end table. With just a bit of elbow grease and a little imagination, you can transform what seems like junk into usable, stylist decor.

Concentrate on the Money Spots:

Don’t waste your time and money updating a hallway closet or laundry room. Neither will give you a good return on investment. Focus on the rooms in the house that will actually pay-off. Renovate in your kitchen, bathrooms, basement, attic and bedrooms. Putting a new workbench in your garage and installing new shelves won’t increase the value of your property, but a renovated kitchen will.

Make Simple Changes:

Budget minded homeowners shouldn’t be spending money on big ticket items to get the same effect as little changes. Paint your bedroom, update your kitchen lighting, use an old dresser as a bathroom vanity and decorate with plants. These little changes do wonders. Instead of tearing out a wall to make a bigger space, hang a mirror.

Install crown molding and/or a chair rail around the living room. Even installing wainscoting in a room can remake a room without spending a lot of money. Don’t be afraid of color. Decorative throw pillows and new window treatments can update a space instantaneously.

There are many other simple ways to renovate your home without emptying your wallet. If you have any other ideas, we’d love to hear what you have to say!

Last Updated on October 13, 2011

With the eco-friendly movement underway, a lot of people are curious regarding how they can reuse different furniture and items to create new pieces for their home. Considering some different tips for these projects and what you can do to reclaim old pieces will help give you inspiration and reduce expenses. You can furnish and decorate a home entirely using used items for free or low cost items found at thrift stores. Opening your mind to the different options can help you create a great look that is unique and appropriate for a small budget.

Re-Upholstering Furniture

A great way to make a new piece for your home with little money is by re-upholstering a couch, ottoman, chair or other piece of furniture. Whether you find the piece for free on the curb or buy it at a great price, you may need to cover it with new fabric or replace cushions. The process of re-upholstering furniture is often very simple. All you need to do is rip off the old fabric, place new batting and foam and cover with the new fabric. This project should only take the course of an hour or two and be very cost efficient.

Using Fresh Coats of Paint

Applying new paint to a piece of furniture or accessory can make all the different in a home. Instead of thinking that a certain piece is destined for the trash due to an unflattering color or other details, look past imperfections and consider the possibilities. A dining table in an ugly color can be completely transformed with a light sanding, layer or primer and a few coats of new paint or stain. Finding old furniture and accessories can allow you to make a big different in the items and make them eye-catching again. As you look at the different pieces available for free or at thrift stores, it’s great to imagine what they can be turned into.

Learning How to Sew

Many women knew how to sew in the last century and it was often a vital part of life, but as time goes by it is becoming more uncommon. By learning how to sew properly, you can transform a variety of different pieces to fit into your home nicely. Repurposing different items found in thrift stores and covering them with new fabric can create an entirely new look that ties in nicely. A lot of people fail to see the potential in certain used furniture due to outdated fabric. Learning how to sew will allow you to create pillow cases, slip covers and other articles that can help you slip easily into the DIY world.

Understanding the different methods for recovering old furniture and accessories can help you decorate on a tight budget. By giving a new look to old pieces, you can reduce expenses and give your home a unique style. Not only is saving money great, many people also love knowing that they are the ones who gave different furniture and accessories new life. This can help items have a sentimental value and be more appreciated in a home.

Article contributed by Sara Woods, a writer for Coupon Croc, your number one resource for online voucher codes to save on decor, furniture and everything you need to redecorate.

Last Updated on January 22, 2020

Durability
Using stone furnishings in your bathroom makes sense on a number of design levels. Firstly, it is incredibly durable, and granite in particular is not likely to crumble or crack because of moisture damage. This sturdy stone is ideal for bathroom floors, tiling, shower floors, and shower tiling. The hardy rock is guaranteed to withstand any onslaught from the bathroom elements that in the past were responsible for so much unsightly damage.

Colour
Granite comes in an extraordinary array of color variations, from the subtle to the extreme. Most shades are based in a very metallic grey, but seems of color that range from black to blue are present upon closer inspection. This is ideal for the neutral palette that has accompanied the bathroom design revolution. Designers want to keep the bathroom as a clear, clean space that afford you privacy and comfort, and using granite as a soothing color base, many designers will incorporate colors that will achieve this effect.

Feel
Granite is a very warm stone, despite its cooler, neutral color, and this warmth is becoming popular with home owners across the globe. The soothing, smooth rock, which has enough textural variations to add depth, will add to a naturalistic, modern days in ways you would never have dreamed of. Even if you do not opt for granite tiles, a basin or countertop, or possibly a focus piece in granite, will automatically make you think of nature, as if your shower is a waterfall that you alone can access. This link between granite and rugged nature is a powerful draw card that contrasts nicely with many modern bathroom design trends.

Your bathroom is a sanctuary, and may be one of the few places in your home where you can be genuinely alone. Think about using granite if your bathroom needs a revamp – it will not let you down as a design choice.

Last Updated on January 22, 2020

Your kitchen is the hub of your home. How often do you find yourself on the phone to your best friend with your kids at your feet while you cook up a storm? This bastion of homeliness and comfort is a very personal space, and you need it to reflect your diverse personality while still maintaining its functionality. Traditionally, homemakers would choose kitchen furnishings and finishes that were made to withstand the harsh hygiene demands of the kitchen, and as a result, your choices were limited to wood, linoleum, or marble. But nowadays, design conscious home owners are turning to granite as a stylish solution to their kitchen needs.

Unlike marble which can seem cold and elitist, granite is a warm, versatile material that reveals hidden depths of color, texture and warmth throughout your home. It is great in the kitchen because it is easy to clean, sturdy and solid, but with the added design benefit that it comes in a range of colors and styles that will accentuate this central room.

Modern kitchen design trends tend towards a more minimalist outlook, with muted, natural palettes that allow the designer to use functional appliances as accent pieces. Granite is ideal because it can be quickly and easily laid down as a countertop, or on the wall. The fact that granite is relatively easy to manipulate means that you can create large, slab-based designs, traditional tiles, or unusual inlay designs in your kitchen. The smoky hues, which vary from black to grey and purple and blue, are an ideal backdrop on which you can base your whole kitchen layout.

With many designers and home owners alike becoming drawn to a more naturalistic, uncomplicated feel, granite is becoming the material of choice in kitchens, particularly for countertops. The sturdy material is durable enough to handle all of the punishment that it inevitably receives in the kitchen, and in many cases people even feel comfortable using the granite countertop to roll dough, cut meat and prepare food. The hard, warm, earthy feel of the stone is calming and solid, and with the ever-increasing interest in the material within the design world, the price of this wonderful material is becoming more and more suited to the average family’s budget.

Granite is a great choice for the kitchen – stylish, homely, comfortable, durable, and easy to clean. Whatever your kitchen preferences, consider granite as a very real contender for sprucing up the most important room in your home.

Last Updated on October 11, 2011

Prospective home buyers must be extremely wary. Despite the best intentions of your real estate agent, the seller’s agent, and the seller, there’s no getting around the fact that all of these people want you buy a property. That’s how all of these people get paid. It’s not that they don’t have your best interests at heart, it’s just that they may be a little biased towards convincing you to buy. As a result, potential problems with your new home could be undisclosed and/or glossed over.

The solution to this problem? Hire a professional home inspector who can look over your home and help you make a good decision about the merits of the specific property. Unfortunately, not all home inspectors are the same. Some are good, and some are merely adequate.

Here are five things that every good home inspector should do:

1. Test Everything. It really should go without saying, but a big part of a home inspector’s job is to test everything. He or she should check every outlet with a circuit tester, every appliance for proper function, flush every toilet, open every faucet, etc. All windows and doors should be opened and closed too – if the inspector finds a problem with a malfunctioning toilet, for example, that could uncover a major plumbing issue…which is why it’s so important to test everything. Some inspectors skip this step to save time – make sure that they don’t.

2. Examine the Neighborhood. Even a casual inspection of homes in the surrounding neighborhood can reveal any problems that may plague your home. For example, smart Denver area home inspectors check for concrete settlement on nearby homes as that can often indicate ground movement problems in the entire neighborhood (a common problem in Denver). Newly installed roofing or siding in your neighborhood can indicate a recent damaging hail storm; signs of yard excavation can indicate problems with rotting sewer pipe in the area, and so on.

The point is, your home inspector should spend a little time looking at surrounding homes for clues. Make sure that is part of their process before you hire them.

3. Carefully Inspect for Physical Damage. Even the most basic home inspection can find physical damage in plain sight. However, what separates a good home inspector from the rest of the pack is their willingness to crawl under a home, climb up into the attic, stick their head under sinks and behind washers and dryers, etc. Anyone can spot the obvious – you pay an inspector to find the not-so-obvious. If he or she isn’t willing to get their hands dirty, or you don’t see them venturing into attics or crawl spaces, then they’re probably not doing a good job.

4. Check the Electrical System. Every home inspector should examine the main breaker box or main fuse box in your home. Some models of breaker or fuse box are known safety hazards, and your inspector should know what these models are and make sure you don’t have a potential hazard. Also, if you’re planning on remodeling your new home, the inspector should be able to tell you whether or not you will need to update the electrical system first (some city authorities require electrical updates as part of any structural enhancements).

5. Check the Furnace, Water Heater, and A/C Very Carefully. Each of these items are so potentially expensive that they deserve a subheading of their own. The inspector should spend a few minutes looking over these major appliances, because if they miss something and you have to buy a new furnace (or water heater or air conditioner) later, you’re going to be out thousands of dollars. They should be able to give you a rough estimate of the age and condition of each appliance, as well as an idea of the last time it was serviced, etc.

The best way to make sure your inspector does all of these things is to discuss them prior to hiring them, and then be present during the entirety of their inspection. Finally, remember that brand new homes need an inspection just as badly as older homes. Just because a home is new doesn’t mean the builder didn’t make a mistake.

Author Jason Lancaster recently purchased an older home in Denver. He hired Home Inspection Engineers, Inc. and they did an excellent job.