Disaster Preparedness List

Disaster plan on cell phone screen with coffee cup and keyboard.

It seems that natural disasters and extremes in our climate are becoming more predominant every year. I get the question more often during a home inspection “What do we do if the power goes off?” for example. 

Building Dates in History: 

History spelled out with books.

Just a few interesting dates and facts about the history of building including plumbing, electrical and wooden structures . . .

Humidity and Humidifiers

Whole home humidifier attached to furnace.

A musty smelling basement is often a sign of excess humidity in your home. The first thing a homeowner should do is establish the level of humidity in the home.

Building Energy Savings 101:

Energy savings options graphic

Operational savings are but one part of understanding the dynamics of looking at your home as a “whole house” system, as opposed to individual aspects that, without considering the home, can and do cause other issues. In the fall of the year, I often get e-mails that ask: “My new windows are covered in condensation.”

 Energy Saving Myths & Realities

Energy efficient windows and doors on a blue sky with white clouds background.

Window manufacturers advertised energy savings often make me chuckle. I have seen manufacturer’s claims of up to 50% savings in energy. In fact the average savings are less than 10% for the best windows and an average retrofit window is closer to 5% savings. If you calculate the cost of the windows vs the energy savings it could take many years, make that close to 100 in some cases.

Programmable Thermostats and Heat Pumps

Man's hand holding cell phone with programmable thermostat in the background.

Unless you own or have access to a wood lot and are prepared to cut, split and maintain a wood stove and deal with the issues around home insurance, there really is no cheap system for heating.

Should I Have Builders Risk Insurance?

Builders risk insurance with woman's hands covering a home.

When we are working with a client who is considering having a custom home built or a major addition or renovation done to their existing home, this kind of insurance is high on our list of recommendations. If there are a number of repairs or maintenance being done to a home, this type of insurance is sometimes worth considering.