Category: Home Security

May 25, 2020

Resigning Your House To Free Up More Space For Your Home

Resigning Your House To Free Up More Space For Your Home

Resigning Your House To Free Up More Space For Your Home

Unlike the homes in the magazines, most of us will never own a Schonbek crystal chandelier to tower over a twelve-seater dining table. In fact, these days we’re lucky if there’s enough floor space in our homes for a dining room at all! Multi-functional, small scale and affordable is the way many of us live. And as more people move into and vie for premium spaces in the cities, large spaces will continue to be an expensive option. We all want our homes to look good. But money, time and resources often limit what we can accomplish in our homes.

Consider the routine “Clearance Sale” sign hanging in store windows the same time each year. We are repeatedly tempted and set adrift in the often confusing sea of home décor when we see something on sale. Often eager to cash in on a good deal even though “it doesn’t go with anything else in the house.” But then we think, “But it’s on sale. And it’s such a great price.” While shopping the ‘sale’ sections keep these 4 words in mind.

Here are some Golden Rules for designing your plan and a home you’ll love over time while keeping your budgetary reality in mind:

What’s your plan for your home? Don’t have one? Consider hiring a professional, even if only for a few hours, to help you establish a long term plan and develop a list of priorities and “to do’s”.

Tailor your timelines to meet your budget requirements. Does your budget allow you to purchase all the items for your home at once? If not, take your time (which for many means months/years) and do it properly. Do it once: do it right.

Is your budget driving your timelines? Could your long term schedule cause your finished rooms to be out of style a year from now? Would you buy a shirt for $1000.00 that’s trendy today but you KNOW will be dated tomorrow? Not likely if your budget is a concern.

Dress your house like you dress yourself. Dress your home with classics. That’s where to spend your money. Consider buying furniture in the same way you would buy a great pair of black pants, or a little black dress or that pair of jeans you’ve worn day in and day out for 3 years. Spend more on classics and get good quality that will last for years to come.

Splurge (if you can) when needed. Is that classic sofa taking up more of your budget than you anticipated? You may need to compromise and spend more on those classic pieces that will last forever. Just remember: Do it right the first time and do it only once.

Don’t sweat the details of your budget. If you planned on only spending $1000.00 on a sofa, and end up spending $2000.00 because you’re buying a great classic, adjust your budget accordingly and plan on spending less on all those great accessories (which by the way are also chuck-able because they were so affordable!). Your bottom line can stay in tact while all the other numbers flex.

If you must buy trends but are on a budget, don’t break the bank on these items. When it comes time for you to get rid of it because the trend has passed, you won’t flush your money down the drain.

Make trendy purchases small, disposable ones: Things you won’t be afraid to get rid of like lamp shades, make-shift draperies and throw pillows. Buy colours you like, not what the colour trend is for that year. If you like it today and you liked it 10 years ago, chances are you’ll like it 10 years from now too.

Trends are called trends for a reason: Here today, gone tomorrow. If you must have some of this year’s hottest colours, put them on smaller items – toss cushions, throws and other accessories. A good rule of thumb: put classic neutrals on your larger, more costly items and change the smaller ones to follow trends or even to reflect seasonal changes.

Eclecticism is an art. If you’re not sure about mixing styles and patterns, and you’re making a major purchase, err on the side of caution and go back to your master plan. Stick with neutrals and classic lines. That bright orange leather slipper chair with the brushed metal legs on sale for $50.00…does it fit in with your French Country boudoir? Not likely, right? Don’t buy it (unless it’s for your modern home-away-from-home).

And if you can, shop a lot. Just to clarify, “Shop” does not mean ‘Buy’. Just shop (like when Mom used to take you into the city to “window shop” for all those amazing things we couldn’t afford). Shopping will help you recognize what a good deal is and avoid impulse buys. And it will help you be available when the good deals are available. Always check out the clearance items. Sometimes they’re junk, sometimes they’re goldmines.

If you can’t shop a lot, find someone who can or tell all your friends what it is you’re looking for. Ten sets of eyes are better than one! Use the Internet whenever possible to source new items before you spend precious hours scouring stores. Never buy an upholstered item without sitting on it first! Big mistakes can be made shopping on line for items that need to be comfortable. Find out return policies before you buy. Most custom pieces and window treatments can’t be returned.

Never (and I mean NEVER) buy anything without a first having a floor plan drawn up. If you’re handy, tackle the plans yourself. If not, a few hours of a professionals time is relatively inexpensive when compared to the alternative: buying a sofa and loveseat that don’t fit in a room.

May 23, 2020

Home Inspections On New Windows For Home Security

Home Home Inspections On New Windows For Home SecurityOn New Windows For Home Security

Home Home Inspections On New Windows For Home SecurityOn New Windows For Home Security

I again have been asked to look at a home that has been recently purchased. The thought the family had, was to buy a home that needed some work and then improve it to suit them. Many people do this, and they rely on the home inspector to guide them on this major purchase. I won’t be asked to inspect a home before a purchase.

What has happened is that now that the family is in the home, problems are showing up. Like most families after they move into their new (to them) home, they don’t have a large amount of cash for additional repairs or if issues arise. The added problem in this case is the health of the family is being affected by the home.

They did what they should have…they walked through the home with the inspector and discussed various issues. However the issues raised by the home buyer were not considered of great importance to the inspector. The problem is that these issues might indicate additional problems, which could be of major concern. The next issue is that the costs suggested by the inspector and/or real estate agent for repairs in no way reflect the reality of the actual repair costs. So while they bought the home at less than listing price, the less than anticipated purchase price did not leave them enough to cover the cost of the repairs and issues that are now apparent, due to neglect by the previous home owner. In addition, I noted other problems that were missed by the inspector. The only saving grace – maybe – for the homeowner is that a form was signed by the previous home owner, which indicates that all work done on the home was done with permits. A lot of wo rk was done, that would not pass inspection and was clearly done by non professional trades.

nov10 02 Home InspectionsDoes the real estate industry in general work in the interest of the home buyer? All the agents, inspectors, and lawyers have a vested interest in the sale proceeding. While they all may not get paid by the home sale like the agents, they may rely on the referrals and/or repeat business from the agents. So everyone involved, is not going to seriously rock the boat when you are planning on purchasing a home – the deal puts food on their tables. So what can you do when planning your next home purchase?

First understand how the system is set up. Next, look for some independent help. While I will not do or be asked to do a home inspection, I have been asked for my opinion on issues and thoughts on the work being considered for a home to be purchased. So look for a renovation contractor to help you confirm if issues you see are major or not. You may also want to hire trade contractors to look at things like the plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems. Ensure that your real estate agent works for you when purchasing a new home and keep looking for the home that is right for you.

When I look at home, I have a very good idea what the problems are and what it would take to fix them. Do you? When you are planning the biggest purchase in your life, take some time and really understand what you are buying.

Window home security begins with ensuring that all your first floor windows are tightly shut and locked throughout the day and night. The same holds true for second floor windows if you have a tree growing next to your house. Next, you can increase window home security by reinforcing what you already have.

Window Home Security for Double-Hung Windows

Your double-hung windows probably came with thumb latches. Increase window home security by replacing the latches with keyed locking mechanisms. If the extra expense is a problem, here’s an alternative:

1. Drill a sloping hole downward into the top frame of the lower window.
2. Drill through into the bottom frame of the upper window.
3. Insert a metal pin that’s long enough to remove by hand. (Hint: Use the pin of a carriage bolt.)

Window Home Security for Sliding Windows

Just like sliding doors, sliding windows can also be easily lifted up off their tracks, giving intruders easy access. But you have three alternatives to increase sliding window home security.

1. Wood pole/dowel. If you slip this into the upper channel of a sliding window, it can stop it from being taken off its track. Just make sure you fit the pole so the window can still slide.
2. Sheet metal screw. Drill holes and install the screws across the top into the upper channel. Choose a screw head that’s big enough so it doesn’t drop down, but make sure the window can still slide freely.
3. Anti-slide product. There are commercial products specifically designed to secure sliding doors and windows. Choose the jamb, screw-on device, lock, or bolt that’s right for you.

Window Home Security for Louvered Windows

Did you know that an unsecured louvered window is a bad security risk? Such poor window home security can both jack up your home security insurance premiums and make you a favorite of burglars as well. You have three options.

1. Glue it. Use industrial strength glue (e.g., epoxy) to attach panes to frame permanently.
2. Replace it. Use instead a fixed frame of solid glass or another kind of ventilated window.
3. Secure it. Install a metal grill or grating.

Window Home Security for Fire Exits

You should always leave a window in each bedroom available to serve as a fire exit, especially for kids and houseguests. When you’re at home or asleep at night, police and fire departments recommend that you leave the key next to the window or inside the lock for easy exit during a fire.