Central vacuum systems are little-known in the United States, but in other areas they’re commonly built into new construction. While quieter, more powerful and longer-lasting than portable vacuum units, central vacuum systems are pricey and they must be regularly maintained. To read more about them, check out our new article on central vacuum systems.
Trampolines may be fun and health-promoting, but they are also very dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics specifically states that they should not safe for home use and home insurance policies rarely cover trampoline-related injuries. But people are going to use them anyway, so it’s best they use them safely. To find out safe behavior and installation tips, check out our new article on trampoline safety and inspection.
Ceramic and natural stone tiles are excellent choices for flooring material, but they each have their own maintenance and inspection requirements. To find out about moisture damage, crazing and more, check out our new article on ceramic and stone tile inspection.
In spite of the rapid expanse in home sizes over the last half-century, the past few years have seen a reduction in the size of the average American house. Perhaps spurred on by recession-era belt tightening, a trend has developed called the small house movement, which eschews the unnecessary lavishness of large homes and the endless debt they accrue. Many homeowners have downsized to homes smaller than 1,000 square feet and in some cases, smaller than 100. Energy bills plummet, as do mortgages and maintenance, it’s a totally different lifestyle, and you can find out more by reading our new article on the small house movement.
Believe it or not, but people are now building their homes out of Styrofoam. In Hawaii, a company has built a handful of these homes, which are easier to heat and cool than conventional homes and they actually cost less to construct. Japan takes it to the extreme, especially in one village where 480 Styrofoam dome homes serve as lodging, recreational facilities and retail shops. These homes, which look they were built for smurfs or hobbits, can be constructed in just a few hours and they’re earthquake, fire and typhoon resistant! To see more, check out our new article on Styrofoam homes.
Steel has long been used in commercial building construction, but recently it’s seeing use in residences. It’s a great building material because it’s strong, economical, fire proof and recyclable. To see more about steel and why it’s being used in residences, check out our new article on steel homes.
Not only are McMansions unnecessarily large and out of place in their neighborhoods, they’re also inefficient consumers of energy and resources. Vaulted ceilings, walk-in closets and giant garages are hard to heat and cool, and massive amounts of timber and cements are needed during their construction. But some municipalities are fighting back by forcing owners of excessively large homes to install renewable energy systems or buy renewable power. To find out more, check out our new article on McMansions and Energy Inefficiency.
“While I’m here, I’m going to inspect this for you at no extra charge.”
Should an inspector regularly exceed InterNACHI’s Standards of Practices?
Find out by reading To Exceed or Not to Exceed: That is the Question.
Alexa.com ranks InterNACHI’s inspection-related websites as some of the most heavily visited sites on the internet.
Ah, the age-old question, “Do I buy or rent?” continues unanswered today. Many news programs and analysts push homeownership, and the American Dream pulls us towards that goal, but it’s often in the renter’s best interest to remain renting. Prospective homeowners should consider their finances, how long they plan to stay, their credit history, and so much more before leaving their rental. To see a detailed explanation, read our new article on buying vs. renting.