Home im­prove­ment tips

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Buy­ing or sell­ing a home in to­day’s real es­tate mar­ket? Go about it prop­erly. From home in­spec­tions to home im­prove­ment, take your ad­vice from lead­ing ex­perts.

Home In­spec­tion

Be­cause the in­dus­try is un­reg­u­lated, be wary when hir­ing a home in­spec­tor. Pro­tect your­self with th­ese tips from, Pil­lar To Post, the na­tion’s largest home in­spec­tion fran­chise:

• Get re­fer­rals from fam­ily, friends, your real es­tate agent and con­trac­tors. In­ter­view ev­ery­one on your list.

• Ask for qual­i­fi­ca­tions and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion. Dou­ble check cre­den­tials.

• In­quire about Er­rors and Omis­sions in­sur­ance which can pro­tect you from mis­takes.

• Avoid con­flicts of in­ter­est. Don’t hire some­one who per­forms re­pairs or refers con­trac­tors.

• Are the in­spec­tor’s sam­ple re­ports longer than a few pages? Lengths of re­ports vary; but most range from 20 to 50 pages.

• Ask how long your in­spec­tion will take. Most take at least three hours. Lack of thor­ough­ness and er­rors can re­sult in you los­ing the house.

• Does your home in­spec­tor charge for rein­spec­tion?

• At­tend the in­spec­tion. Ask ques­tions about noted prob­lems.

More in­for­ma­tion about home in­spec­tions can be found at www.Pil­larToPost.com.

Paint­ing

Whether you’re prep­ping your home for mar­ket or im­prov­ing your new pur­chase, noth­ing bright­ens a home like a fresh coat of paint. Ac­cord­ing to the ex­perts at Cer­taPro Painters, the na­tion’s largest paint­ing fran­chise, th­ese signs mean it’s time for a paint job:

• Chalk­ing: A for­ma­tion of fine pow­der on paint sur­faces that can cause color fad­ing if left unchecked.

• Scal­ing or crack­ing: Of­ten caused by mul­ti­ple lay­ers of old paint, the only rem­edy is com­plete re­moval. • Flak­ing: loos­ened peel­ing paint chips. • Al­li­ga­tor­ing: Deep fis­sures caused by longterm crack­ing. Com­plete re­moval is the only treat­ment.

• Lead threats: A health haz­ard, im­me­di­ately

re­move lead paint. • Dis­col­oration • Loose caulk­ing: Avoid rot­ting and dis­re­pair by check­ing win­dow panes and door­frames.

Find a painter near you by vis­it­ing, www.Cer­taPro.com.

Floor­ing

New floor­ing can give a home an in­stant lift af­ford­ably. Get more for your buck with­out com­pro­mis­ing style and qual­ity with th­ese tips from Floor Cov­er­ings In­ter­na­tional, a lead­ing shop-ath­ome floor­ing re­tailer:

• Hard­wood: A clas­sic look that com­ple­ments al­most any style home, fur ni­ture or dé­cor. Mix and match species of wood, fin­ishes and widths for a unique look.

• Vinyl: Lux­ury vinyl floor­ing, or PVC, looks like wood but is more durable and heav­ier duty. Eas­ily-main­tained, PVC makes a great choice for high-traf­fic house­holds.

• Dec­o­ra­tive in­lays: Met­als like alu­minum and stain­less and gal­va­nized steel pro­vide strik­ing, in­dus­trial looks, while the translu­cent, gem­like sur­face of glass tiles re­flects light. Mix­ing th­ese ma­te­ri­als with tile or wood can cre­ate sub­tle sep­a­ra­tions of space.

• Ac­cent rugs: Tie the en­tire room to­gether or in­ject an un­ex­pected burst of color into an oth­er­wise neu­tral palette.

• Go Green: For eco-friendly floor­ing, try Shaw In­dus­tries’ cra­dle-to-cra­dle car­pet­ing, which makes ny­lon car­pets that can be re­cy­cled into new ones ev­ery five to seven years. Pre­fer wood? Opt for bam­boo, cork, en­gi­neered or re­claimed wood.

More floor­ing ideas can be found at www.FloorCover­ingsIn­ter­na­tional.com.

Take steps to prep your old home for mar­ket or your new home for bet­ter liv­ing.

STATEPOINT PHOTO

Whether you’re prep­ping your home for mar­ket or im­prov­ing your new pur­chase, noth­ing bright­ens a home like a fresh coat of paint.

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