Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Promptly dispose of Christmas trees - Put a Freeze on Winter Fires



NFPA encourages prompt removal of Christmas trees after the holidays, as nearly 40 percent of U.S. Christmas tree fires occur in January.

For more information on how to keep your family and you safe this holiday season visit:
http://www.usfa.fema.gov/winter
http://www.nfpa.org/winter

Monday, December 29, 2014

Interior Load Bearing Walls and Concrete Footings - Part Two



http://books.gregvan.com Click on this link to check out some of our books and some of the other best-selling books available over the Internet and at your favorite book stores on home building, remodeling and home repairs. This video will give you a better idea how interior load bearing walls function with concrete footings and don't forget that this part of the series for home owners, do-it-yourselfers and even professionals to get a better idea how they operate and what is required during the construction process to build them. Like I said earlier, for more information visit our websites and keep watching these helpful videos.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Load Bearing Wall Framing Basics - Structural Engineering and Home Building Part One



http://video.gregvan.com/structural_e... Click on this link if you're interested in a few more of the videos I made on structural engineering, home building and construction. This video will provide you with what I consider to be a simple view of how a load bearing wall works along with a few structural engineering points on home building. The most popular video to date I have made has to do with providing a few tips about load bearing structural walls and this will be the first in a series of related videos to provide more information for do-it-yourselfers as well as professionals. Don't forget to check out some of our other videos and visit our website for more information about construction and remodeling.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Burglar-proof sliding glass doors



"Breaking in is never the problem. You move fast, get in, hit it...and get out."

Monday, December 22, 2014

One of the Greatest Garage Storage Ideas -- by Home Repair Tutor



Garage storage ideas don't get more efficient than this one!!

Hey Friends, this is Jeff from Home Repair Tutor. In today's brand new episode you'll see how to get clutter off your garage floor and up onto the ceiling (Here's the link to my full blog post http://www.homerepairtutor.com/garage...)

If you can't park your car in your garage you'll love this idea.

If you're looking for a place to store holiday decorations, you'll love this idea.

Basically I'm saying you need to check this out.

Using a 2 x 4 sheet of birch plywood, some 2 x4 studs, and plastic totes you can get this project done in a few hours.

A complete materials and supply list is over on my site at

http://www.homerepairtutor.com/garage...

And many thanks to Family Handyman for this awesome idea.

Check out my video for all the details on how to build this cool garage storage idea.

http://youtu.be/lwGVUjU-j8A

If you thought this video was helpful PLEASE Like it so that others will see it, too.

http://youtu.be/lwGVUjU-j8A

For tips on home repair & improvement make sure you check out more Home Repair Tutor videos on YouTube.

If you need help with bathroom storage solutions check out this video

http://youtu.be/wgLf4gZUcrk

I share many tips that a lot of people have found to be SUPER helpful.

Have a great day!

Jeff

P.S. Use this link to share this video with your friends on Facebook

http://youtu.be/lwGVUjU-j8A

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Kitchen & Bathroom Floors

SitePro Home inspectors are professionals who are looking for safety, structural, and system deficiencies during home inspections. Typically, the colours of the home and choices of finishing materials are not important to home inspectors but when it comes to kitchens and bathrooms, the flooring material could be a safety or structural problem.



There are three critical issues for kitchen and bathroom floors for home inspectors:

  1. Water Damage - Kitchens and bathroom floors see a lot of water usage. Water from spills or drips can damage many floor surfaces and promote rot and hidden damage below the floor.
  2. Bacteria and Cleaning - Kitchen floors can become contaminated with dangerous bacteria from uncooked foods. Bathroom floors see bacteria from human waste. It is critical that the floors in these areas be easy to thoroughly clean to keep occupants healthy.
  3. Durability - Kitchen floors need to withstand the occasional dropped pot or cutting board and bathrooms have occupants with bare feet in them. The floor surface needs to be safe in these environments.
Best Flooring Materials
  • Tiles, Stones, Marble - There are many natural and synthetic solid flooring materials that make up a type of flooring called 'hard flooring'. Hard floors are excellent at resisting water, can be cleaned well, and resist damage from dropped pots and pans. Cracked tiles or material can be dangerous to occupants feet.
  • Linoleum and Sheet Vinyl - While often seen as 'budget' material, these sheet installed products are excellent and resisting water, easy to clean up, are soft on the feet, and are quite resistant to most mechanical damage. This flooring is susceptible to surface cuts which impacts the water resistance.
  • Concrete - Concrete is an excellent material for kitchen and bath floors however it is not considered very attractive and it should be sealed to prevent oil and bacteria from penetrating the surface. There are finishes that can be applied to concrete to improve the appearance and also help with sealing the material from contaminants.
'OK' Flooring Materials
  • Solid Hardwood - All woods will absorb water if it is allowed time to soak and not wiped up quickly.  Once water is absorbed, it can cause the wood to warp permanently. Hardwood will nick,wear, and scratch but as long as it does not have major damage it will clean well. Solid hardwoods are better off in kitchens than bathrooms as kitchens don't see as much water spilled on the floor as regularly as in bathrooms.
  • Engineered Hardwood - Engineered hardwood is similar to solid hardwood except only the surface layer is the expensive finished wood species. Engineered wood may be slightly more susceptible to water damage as there are different types of wood in the product which may expand with moisture at different rates resulting in worse damage.
  • Linoleum and Vinyl Tiles - There are some 'peel and stick' tiles available which are commonly used in budget renovations as they are cheap and easy to lay. Gaps in the materials will allow water past the waterproof surface and once water damages the glued bottom, these tiles tend to curl at the edges and loose their water resistance and easy cleaning ability. These tiles, if used at all, are best on concrete basement floors slabs.
Poor Flooring Materials
  • Carpeting - Carpet is a very poor material for kitchens and baths. It cannot be cleaned easily allowing bacteria and mold to grow and it absorbs water and is not easy to dry. Carpeting should never be on kitchen or bath floors. Rugs and mats in bathrooms and kitchens can be just as bad as carpet if not cleaned regularly and allowed to dry on both sides quickly.
  • Laminate - Laminate is a man-made flooring material that is unfortunately often found in kitchen and baths. Laminate strips or tiles have small gaps in the material that once wet swell quickly damaging the surface and surrounding floor pieces permanently. Spills wiped quickly may prevent damage but expect shorter life spans of laminate in kitchens and baths than in other rooms in the home.
  • Cork - This flooring has become increasingly popular as it is softer and warmer underfoot than hard woods, yet still good for people who have allergies and don't want carpets. Cork can be water proof, like a wine cork, but it has many small openings which can trap bacteria in kitchens and bathrooms making it a less sanitary choice.

Van Hibberts, CMI

Certified Residential Building Code Inspector ICC-5319905
Florida-State Certified Master Home Inspector Lic. #HI 89
Certified Owens-Corning Roof Data Technician
Florida-Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector
WDO Certificate #JE190791 
InterNACHI #10071802
362 Gulf Breeze Parkway, #214
Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561
850.934.6800  (Office)
850.485.3209  (Cell / Text Msg)
"Looking Beyond The Obvious"


Nothing in this message is intended to constitute an electronic signature unless a specific statement to the contrary is included in this message.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this communication is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and other authorized to receive it. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking any action in reliance of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender immediately by return e-mail. SitePro LLC is neither liable for the proper nor complete transmission of the information contained in this communication nor for any delay in its receipt.

SitePro Residential and Commercial Inspections has taken every reasonable precaution to ensure that any attachment to this e-mail has been swept for viruses. However, we cannot accept liability for any damage sustained as a result of viruses and would advise that you carry out your own virus check before opening any attachment. This e-mail is meant to communicate company related materials only. Opinions expressed by the author of this e-mail are solely his/her own. SitePro Residential and Commericial Inspections will not be liable for opinions expressed in this e-mail.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Home Burglary Prevention Tips



Learn a couple of low cost tips that will make your home a harder target for burglars.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

How to Make Holiday Tabletop Decorations with Martha Stewart - The Home Depot



Martha Stewart walks your through how to create tabletop holiday decorations!


 Shop Christmas decorations from The Home Depot: http://thd.co/1qvqHNk

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas tree safety - Put a Freeze on Winter Fires 2014



Christmas trees can be a potential fire hazard. NFPA offers tips and advice for safely placing and decorating them in the home, and shows how quickly a dried out Christmas tree can burn, reinforcing the importance of watering them regularly.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The 10 Best Places to Hide Valuables in Your Home

Burglary is a crime of opportunity.  And burglars don’t want to spend a lot of time looking through a home to find things of value to steal, which is why there are obvious locations that they always check.  That means that there are ways to outsmart them by hiding your valuables in not-so-obvious places, and sometimes even in plain sight.

Depending on the size and type of item, the best places to hide valuables are those that burglars don’t want to search through or wouldn’t bother with, including places that are inconvenient or difficult to search, messy, or uninteresting.

Here Are the Top 10:
  1. hollowed-out books.  Criminals tend to be uneducated, which is why they’ve turned to crime to  make their living.  They’re practically allergic to books!  But if you have only a couple of books on a bookshelf, this may be a clue that they’re actually hiding places for your valuables, so make sure your library is large enough to serve as a tedious place to search.

  2. a false VHS tape or VHS carton.  Who watches VHS tapes anymore?  Again, follow the rules above for books.  A few can be a clue, but many can be a time-consuming distraction.
  3. false containers in the kitchen cupboard, under the sink, and in the bathroom, such as fake food cans and boxes, false cleaning product bottles, and personal hygiene items, and even in a heavy tub of "cat litter."  Some false containers available on the market today actually look like false containers, so you might want to save yourself the expense and create your own.

  4. in the false bottom or under the plastic liner of a bathroom or kitchen trash can.  No one wants to go pawing through your trash in the slim hope of finding something worth pawning.
  5. wrapped in plastic and aluminum foil and stored in the back of the freezer.  This is also a good place to store documents and paper currency in case of a house fire.
  6. in a floor safe in the bedroom closet.  While this location may be obvious, a burglar would have to exert a lot of time and energy—and create a lot of noise—trying to break into a floor safe, which is also generally of the heavy variety, making it not only hard to open, but hard to steal whole, if the thief had plans to break into it later. 
  7. inside a house plant.  Using the same method as for trash containers, a plant’s soil can be contained in a waterproof liner that can be lifted up to hide items underneath.  Just make sure the items you’re hiding are in a waterproof container, too.
  8. inside a false wall outlet.  Make sure it’s not a live receptacle or in the way of any electrical wiring.
  9. within hollowed-out/removable building components, such as wainscoting, floor panels, door jambs, window sills, and cabinet doors.
  10. in the garage inside boxes marked with mundane labels, such as “Xmas Ornaments,” “Kid’s Clothes,” “School Projects,” etc.  Again, the more boxes you have, the longer the burglar will have to search—if he’s so inclined—to find something worth stealing.
Hiding Places to Avoid:
  1. areas that can damage your valuables with water or invasive matter, such as the water tank of a toilet, inside a mayonnaise jar that still has mayonnaise in it, or a paint can filled with paint.  There are high-quality waterproof containers on the market that will allow you to hide items in water (and possibly other places), but err on the side of caution.  Documents, jewelry and electronics that become wet or permeated with chemicals or food matter may be damaged beyond repair in your zeal to outsmart a tenacious burglar. 
  2. a jewelry box.  This is a good place to store jewelry that you can afford to lose, but not your diamond tennis bracelet or your grandmother’s antique wedding ring.
  3. your desk drawer, bedside drawer, or underwear drawer.  Too obvious.
  4. inside CD cases.  It’s true:  burglars still prefer CDs to MP3s.
  5. inside DVD cases.  DVDs and Xbox-type games are worth between $2 and $10 at pawn and re-sale shops; count on being cleaned out of your collection during a home burglary, regardless of the titles.
  6. a wall safe.  Unless it’s high-end and professionally installed, a wall safe can be dislodged by cutting the drywall seam around it, and wall safes are typically small and light enough to easily transport off site to be opened later.  Opt for the heavier and harder-to-access floor safe.
  7. inside picture frames with false backs/interiors.  These tend to be thicker than typical picture frames, so they’re easy to spot as a hiding place.
  8. a cookie jar.  Put cookies in it, not your grocery money.
     
  9. an electrical item or heated area, such as a lamp base, toaster oven, or HVAC duct.  You could accidentally ignite your valuables and put your entire home at risk for a house fire. 
  10. any locked box or locking file cabinet.  A box that has a lock on it will be stolen regardless of what’s inside, and the lock on a file cabinet can be popped out with the right tool and a little effort.
Other Precautions
For valuables that you can’t hide or lock up, such as a flat-screen TV, stereo system, and computers, make sure they’re insured through your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.  Unless you invest in a home security system (and sometimes even if you do), it’s not possible to protect every item in your home.  But you can take precautions to password-protect and GPS-activate laptops and smartphones so that their recovery is more likely, should they be stolen. 
Also, firearms should be properly locked in an approved gun safe that is stored out of reach for the safety of the home’s occupants, as well as to deter theft.

Place a pole in the bottom track of your sliding glass patio doors so that they can’t be forced open wide enough to permit the entry of an intruder.  Install burglar-proof window locks that will allow you to leave your windows open slightly for fresh air, but not wide enough to allow a person to get through.

Remember that burglary is a crime of opportunity, so don’t tempt fate by leaving any exterior doors unlocked (including sliding glass patio doors, and the door between the garage and the living area), hiding a spare house key outdoors (under the “Welcome” mat, a large potted plant, statuary, or a solitary or fake rock), leaving the doors to your attached garage open (even when you’re home), or leaving the curtains or drapes open so that your valuables are in full view of prowlers and passersby.  Your personal safety is at risk as much as your personal property.

Also, don’t over-share personal information with the world by advertising your absence from home on social media.  When leaving on vacation, have a trusted neighbor, friend or family member monitor your home and bring in the newspaper, mail, and random take-out menu hung on your doorknob.  Install light timers indoors and security/motion detectors outdoors to illuminate your property’s exterior.  And go ahead and apply security company stickers to your windows/doors that advertise that your home is professionally protected, even if it’s not. 
In short, do what you can to make your home a difficult, inconvenient and time-consuming target that will force a would-be burglar to move on.  And do your part to keep your neighborhood safe by reporting suspicious activity on your street to the police.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Annual Song Fest Brings Stars to Highway 30A

Rock legends Graham Nash and Leon Russell top an exciting line-up of more than 150 performers participating in this year’s Highway 30A Songwriters Festival. Scheduled for January 16, 17, and 18, the star-studded event, which also features the Indigo Girls and Jason Isbell, will be held at 25 different venues along the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast.




Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – with Crosby, Stills, and Nash in 1997 and with the Hollies in 2010, Graham Nash has become legendary as both a singer and a songwriter. The Grammy Award-winning artist is known as a philanthropist as well, supporting efforts for peace and social and environmental justice. In recognition of his contributions to music and philanthropy, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. He is also an award-winning photographer.

Another Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Leon Russell began making a name for himself in the 1960s, doing session work with the Byrds, the Beach Boys, and Phil Spector. He is known as well for his production work with Bob Dylan, Delaney and Bonnie, Joe Cocker, and George Harrison, and as the writer of the often-recorded “A Song for You.” He has appeared onstage in recent years with the Zac Brown Band and Elton John, and teamed up with Sir Elton for a duet album, The Union, in 2010. Most of all, Russell is a powerful performer in his own right, captivating audiences with a dynamic style that ranges from romantic ballads to gospel-flavored rock and roll.

Produced by the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County and presented by Visit South Walton, the Highway 30A Songwriters Festival is now in its sixth year. Proceeds are used to fund the arts in Walton County. General admission tickets for the three-day festival cost $200 per person. The cost of a three-day pass, plus either a Saturday or a Sunday night wine dinner, is $400 per person. For more information and to order tickets, visit www.30asongwritersfestival.com.

Need a place to stay in the area? Just click on our link for Highway 30-A vacation rentals for details on hotels, condos, and houses offering everything you and your family need for a perfect winter stay at the beach.

'
 http://www.beachguide.com/blog
by S. Lynne on December 3rd, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fire safety tips for holiday decorating



NFPA offers fire safety tips and advice for safely decorating your home this holiday season, particularly when using candles.

For more information on how to keep your family and you safe this holiday season visit:
http://www.usfa.fema.gov/winter
http://www.nfpa.org/winter

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Home heating advice from NFPA - Put a Freeze on Winter Fires



December, January and February are the leading months for home heating fires in the U.S. NFPA offers tips and advice for safely heating your home this winter.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

SitePro Home Inspectors see a home the way no one else does

SitePro Home Inspectors see a home the way no one else does. They don’t care how the kitchen will feel for entertaining or whether the bathroom tiles will impress guests. Their judgment is not clouded by emotion. Nor do they have any interest in whether the home sells, as long as they’re not pals with the seller’s real estate agent. To the contrary, they are financially motivated to find flaws — to avoid liability should something go wrong. Always seek a reputable home inspector.

Just because you’re dry doesn’t mean the roof isn’t leaking. More than once, a home inspector has crawled through the rafters in an unfinished attic — the eager homebuyers waiting below — only to find a child’s wading pool strategically placed to catch drips from the roof.

The owners would have painted over water stains in the rooms below, and neglected to tell anyone the roof needed to be replaced.

“There’s supposed to be disclosure, but people have this phenomenon called, ‘Oh, I forgot.’ It happens every day,” says a Santa Rosa County, broker/ owner of a large real estate company.

Most roof leaks don’t leave clues and it’s not always easy to crawl over insulation and find water-discoloration marks via flashlight. “That’s the dirty work of a home inspector,” It’s a trained eye, versus an untrained eye.”

Just because the floor is level doesn’t mean it hasn’t sunk half a foot. Noting the slightly soft feel, however, a skilled inspector eyed the baseboards. They should have been level with the floor, but here the floor sat 4 inches lower. Crawling around in the basement, the inspector found mold had deteriorated the supports. This house was literally hanging from its rafters, like a parachute.

“One of these days, a couple of people would be standing in the middle of the floor and they’d go down through the floor,” the SitePro inspector stated. “It’s a scary thing.”

Van Hibberts, CMI

Certified Residential Building Code Inspector ICC-5319905
Florida-State Certified Master Home Inspector Lic. #HI 89
Certified Owens-Corning Roof Data Technician
Florida-Certified Wind Mitigation Inspector
WDO Certificate #JE190791 
InterNACHI #10071802
362 Gulf Breeze Parkway, #214
Gulf Breeze, Florida 32561
850.934.6800  (Office)
850.485.3209  (Cell / Text Msg)
"Looking Beyond The Obvious"


Nothing in this message is intended to constitute an electronic signature unless a specific statement to the contrary is included in this message.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this communication is confidential and may be legally privileged. It is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom it is addressed and other authorized to receive it. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or taking any action in reliance of the contents of this information is strictly prohibited and may be unlawful. If you have received this message in error, please contact the sender immediately by return e-mail. SitePro LLC is neither liable for the proper nor complete transmission of the information contained in this communication nor for any delay in its receipt.

SitePro Residential and Commercial Inspections has taken every reasonable precaution to ensure that any attachment to this e-mail has been swept for viruses. However, we cannot accept liability for any damage sustained as a result of viruses and would advise that you carry out your own virus check before opening any attachment. This e-mail is meant to communicate company related materials only. Opinions expressed by the author of this e-mail are solely his/her own. SitePro Residential and Commericial Inspections will not be liable for opinions expressed in this e-mail.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sparky and NFPA’s Wildfire Safety Checklist for Kids and Parents



Sparky the Fire Dog introduces NFPA’s wildfire safety checklist filled with simple projects kids and parents can do around their home to reduce the risk of damage from wildfire.