home improvement

Home Inspection Seattle Explains A Kitchen With Personality

Home Inspection Seattle Explains How To Own A Kitchen With True Personality.
The kitchen is the heart of the home … the place where memories are made while cooking, eating and sharing stories around the table. Since so much time is spent in this room, it’s important to have a kitchen that fits your personality. There are many styles to choose; but traditional remains one of the most popular because of its timeless, classic look. If you’re updating your kitchen, here are some tips to create a space that reflects your personal style.
Color matters. The right paint colors are integral to achieving the traditional look. Select paint colors that are warm and inviting like cream, taupe and gold. Light colors are popular in the kitchen because they provide a feeling of cleanliness and make the space feel larger. Infuse your room with a few stylish touches by incorporating accents in darker or richer shades, especially in the furniture, wood trim or flooring. —
Quality fixtures. When designing your new kitchen, don’t overlook the faucets. They get used many times during the day – needing to withstand heavy usage and tie into the overall design of the kitchen. Growing in popularity are motion-activated faucets, like Moen’s easy-to-use MotionSense technology. The Brantford pulldown faucet adds timeless appeal as the spout enhances the curvature of the faucet body and handle, giving any kitchen a beautiful look with the ultimate convenience of hands-free technology.
For an even more elaborate style, the new Weymouth collection offers an enduring, Victorian design with functional details, such as its high-arc spout. Signature styling elements include a decorative top finial and a refined shepherd’s spout. The detailed design of both faucets will provide extra luxury and serve as the perfect focal point at the sink.
Home Inspection Seattle WA Offers Provides Great Tips To Transform Your Home
Storage with flair. Replacing cabinets is usually the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel, so take your time and choose carefully. First, think about the color and the type of wood. White painted cabinets with intricate details and raised-panel doors are a popular choice for traditionally styled kitchens. Adding eye-catching details also goes a long way. Be sure to finish the top of the cabinets with decorative molding or swap wood-fronts with glass panels. And, since it’s all about the details, choose decorative knobs and pulls, as well as a towel bar or towel ring that match both the style and finish of your faucet to add fashion and function.
Luxury countertops. Granite and butcher block are great choices for countertops. According to the National Association of Home Builders, granite is the most desirable, must-have kitchen feature. This is likely because it’s scratch- and chip-resistant, not to mention this material is a classic design choice that withstands the test of time.
Butcher block not only adds a warm look to your kitchen, it’s also functional as it provides an ideal area for chopping food. Plus, these countertops are easy to clean – just use soap and water. For added appeal, use two types of materials, one on the main countertop area and another on the kitchen island.
Decorative lighting. Since the kitchen is the place you chop and dice, not to mention socialize with loved ones, you need both ambient and task lighting. For ambient lighting, consider a chandelier. Hang it over the kitchen island or the dining space to add a sophisticated touch. Task lighting should be brighter: use pendants and recessed lights over workplaces like countertops, the sink and stove.
With these few key tips, you’ll soon have the elegant, traditional kitchen you’ve always desired. For more information about Moen products, visit moen.com or call 800-BUY-MOEN (800-289-6636).
Of all Seattle Home Inspectors, Reid Guthrie has offered the most thorough Home Inspection.
Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

The Best-Kept Secret

For Your Home’s Exterior
Unique versatility, unrivaled durability, breathtaking beauty – all are qualities that have made cypress a longtime favorite building material in the coastal regions of the South. But the secret about cypress is out, and homeowners across the country are acknowledging its virtues for upgrading their homes’ curb appeal and outdoor living spaces.
“We are seeing more cypress being used in a wide range of exterior applications, from siding and decking to ceilings and even built-in furniture,” says Shepard Haggerty, president of the Southern Cypress Manufacturers Association, www.CypressInfo.org. “Clearly, homeowners continue to favor the look and feel of wood, and not only does cypress provide long-lasting performance, it has the versatility to be stained or painted to match the style of any home.”
Architects side with cypress.
As part of the renovation of his own home architect Kevin Owen Winston-Salem, N.C., chose to replace the existing siding that was in need of repair and a fresh coat of paint.
“My wife and I spent years updating our home’s interior, but we saw this as an opportunity to give the outside a different look,” he says. “We knew we wanted to use wood siding and ultimately chose cypress. It’s locally available, competitively priced, and we especially liked its durability and resistance to insects and decay, which are serious concerns for homes in our area.”
As Owen learned, cypress comes by its durability naturally, thanks to a preservative oil produced in cypress heartwood. “It doesn’t require pressure treating like some other species,” he says. “The cypress gave a warm and organic look to our home. We are very happy with the result.”
Architect Ann McKenzie Aiken used cypress siding for a custom home in Chattanooga, Tenn. that she designed several years ago. “This was my first experience working with cypress,” she says, “and the homeowners and I were thrilled with the finished project. I have to admit, I’ve been recommending cypress ever since because other materials just don’t seem like they are of the same quality.”
Cypress decking floors homeowners and builders.
Compared to alternatives, wood decking is cooler underfoot, can be sanded if scratched, and refinished if dulled by the sun. Those qualities are what attracted homeowners, Dan and Rose Jaeger to cypress when they added two decks to their house near Akron, Ohio, 12 years ago.
“We like the feel of wood and loved the look of cypress,” Dan says. “It also was competitive in price to treated woods, but without the concern over chemicals. We’ve refinished our decks every three years, and today, through weather, parties, and family fun, they’re still performing and looking great.”
Custom deck builder John Paulin, owner of Tailor Decks in Statham, Ga., agrees. “That’s why I like cypress decking,” he says. “It offers magazine-quality looks, provides durability that lasts, and is affordable.”
Cypress has outdoor living covered, too.
Paulin says he also recommends cypress for often-overlooked exterior ceilings. “A lot of people with porches put up some plywood, paint it, and forget about it,” he explains. “But ceilings add a visual impact to an open-air space. We build a lot of covered porches here in the Atlanta area and I’ve produced some of my best-looking work, thanks to cypress.”
What sets cypress apart, according to Paulin, is the versatility it brings to selecting a finish. “Because cypress is a naturally light-colored wood, it offers a range of options. It’ll take a light or dark stain better than most woods, it can be painted or whitewashed, or it can be left in its natural state.”
Yes, the secret about cypress is out. Add its versatility, durability and beauty to your next home improvement project. It’s what the experts choose.

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

Three Weekend-Friendly DIY Bathroom Upgrades

How much time do you spend in the bathroom each day? Whether it’s where you prep the kids for bed or step away for some alone time, the bathroom is one of the most frequently used rooms in the home. It’s also one of the best areas in which to invest; renovating or simply updating this space can lead to a 62 percent return on investment.
Luckily, making upgrades doesn’t have to require a lot of time or money. Follow these simple DIY steps to improve your space on a pocket-friendly budget in just a weekend or less.
Swap your showerhead
Make bath time more enjoyable by replacing your basic builder-grade showerhead with one that’s designed with the whole family in mind. For less than the price of a day at the spa, you can transform your entire shower experience with an In2ition two-in-one shower from Delta Faucet.
Featuring H2Okinetic technology, this shower manipulates the flow of water for a luxurious bathing experience that feels like you’re getting more water than a standard shower, without actually using more. The embedded hand shower, which can be used simultaneously or separately from the showerhead, makes it easy to accomplish everyday tasks, such as bathing children or washing pets. Plus, it’s easy to install. The In2ition simply threads onto your existing shower arm – no behind-the-wall work required. It is perfect for busy families or home renters who want to enhance their shower experience.
Pick out new paint
Paint is a cost-effective way to transform your room. Pick colors that express the feeling of the space, whether you want it to seem soothing and calm or lively and welcoming. Rich grays and navy blues can serve as a nice neutral in either case when punctuated with colorful accents, like patterned shower curtains and bright soap pumps or toned down with earthy accessories, like bamboo bath mats and beeswax candles. A quick tip: when working with lighter tones, carry your wall color onto your bathroom’s ceiling to help make the space feel larger.
Also, be sure to think beyond just walls. Painting cabinets can help make an outdated bathroom look new again. Choose neutral hues, like cream or charcoal, that work with nearly any color scheme.
Change your toilet
According to a recent survey commissioned by Delta Faucet, the average American’s toilet is used for more than just “going.” Rather, people are spending their time on the pot checking emails, posting updates or surfing the Web. If your toilet is outdated, consider switching it out for one that’s more comfortable and efficient.
Delta toilets, available at The Home Depot, are offered in round and elongated shapes and come in chair height dimensions for a comfortable fit. Included pre-installed tank-to-bowl connections promote easy installation, making them an affordable weekend update.
Most importantly, says expert craftsman Chip Wade, host of the HGTV show, Elbow Room, and Delta spokesperson, when it comes to making bathroom improvements on a budget, consider function before form.
“While decorative accents, like sconces and ceramic cabinet knobs, may be beautiful, it is more important to concentrate your money on the items required to perform a task, like your faucet or toilet, by investing in materials that will withstand the wear of everyday use.”

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

Garage Space

Isn’t Just For Cars Anymore
The word garage, when looked up in the dictionary, has a simple meaning: a building or indoor area for parking or storing motor vehicles. By and large, this definition sums up exactly what comes to mind for most folks when they hear the word. But for some folks, garages are so much more than a space to park the family minivan and store the cumbersome and unattractive trash and recycling bins. Instead, they are functioning spaces of the home that, in the eye of the homeowner, serve just as much purpose as a kitchen or a bathroom and deserve just as much attention to detail.
More and more, people are using garages as space to actually live in. It isn’t just extra room anymore. Since the 1950s, most garages in North America are of the “attached” variety, meaning that they are part of the actual main home and not a separate building on the property. From music studios to man caves, art spaces to playrooms, garages are quickly becoming more integral parts of the family home. They are heated and cooled. They are equipped with cable and Internet capabilities. They are accessorized with attractive lighting and flooring choices.
While wall cabinetry units may still house things like a yard rake and a collection of tennis racquets and lacrosse sticks, they are also being chosen to integrate in such a fashion that the garage is truly seen as another room in the home, no matter what the intended end use of the square footage.
The gateway to the garage, of course, is the garage door. Garage doors, even though they impact the exterior look of the home, have not always been given as much careful consideration, as a design element, as the rest of the house. But now, more than ever, garage doors are getting special treatment in the design arena – both from the exterior and interior perspectives. A consumer using garage space as an art studio may choose a door with more window panels, as to increase and enhance the natural light that comes into the space. The parents of a budding rock band musician who uses the space as a performing and recording area might need to take into account the ability of the door to reduce the noise carrying to other parts of the house. Garage spaces can even be beautifully appointed to serve as living rooms, sunrooms, and a variety of other entertaining spaces that integrate seamlessly with the design and decor of the rest of the home.
A ground-breaking addition to the garage world is the new Trento Collection, distributed by Amarr, a company that has been a leader in the garage door industry with decades of innovation and design. Available in an almost unlimited number of looks, doors in the Trento Collection can be customized to fit the architecture of any home. Unlike traditional garage doors that operate via a series of springs, rails and tracks along the ceiling, Trento Collection garage doors showcase revolutionary technology and Italian design, featuring a patented overlap design that allows the door to open by folding neatly in half without any ceiling hardware to clutter the overhead space in the garage. This allows for a Trento door to take up far less space and appear significantly sleeker on the inside and outside than the traditional garage door.
So give your garage another look. It is a fine space for doing the things that traditionally make us think of garages, of course, but take a look at your garage space with a fresh eye. The space can be so much more. Entertaining space, work space, a space for a personal hobby that you’ve always wanted in your home but could never figure out how to have. The possibilities are endless.

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

Choose Quality Over Quantity

To Create The Bathroom Of Your Dreams
While your dream bath may be a sprawling space, the reality is that the typical bathroom is 100 square feet or less. According to recent home builder statistics, the average home size has seen a 6 percent decline in recent years. That doesn’t mean you need to give up on your dream bath. A large bathroom footprint isn’t always the answer to a better bath. Focusing on quality products can create a luxurious look, even in a small space.
Free up floor and counter space
You may not be able to create more space but there are many ways to create the illusion of more space. Adding a pedestal sink or a furniture-style vanity with legs gives an increased line of sight, making the space appear larger. Similarly, clutter takes up valuable space. One way to free up extra room on the countertop is with a single-handle or wall-mount faucet. Doors can also make a room feel constrained. Rather than a traditional swing or hinged door, opt for pocket doors; which frees up approximately 10 square feet of floor space.
Focus on fabulous fixtures
We all need storage in the bath, but don’t limit yourself to the horizontal surfaces. Make the most of your vertical space by adding bath accessories, as well.
“When updating the bathroom, many homeowners take inspiration from upscale hotels,” says Tim Bitterman, director of marketing and new product development, Moen Accessories. “Moen offers a variety of unique ‘hotel-style’ accessories to add functionality and enhance the style of your bath.”
Adding a hotel shelf, which combines a towel bar with a shelf, offers an excellent storage spot for towels. A wall-mount hair dryer holder, a pivoting wall-mount makeup mirror, a curved shower rod and robe hooks are all excellent hotel-inspired accessory options.
Dominate with dual-function
Dual-function products are perfect for smaller baths because they offer added benefits without taking up more space. Update your toilet paper holder, towel bar and in-shower shelves with newer versions that integrate a grab bar. Moen Home Care offers stylish grab bar designs featuring a paper holder, a towel bar and two shelf designs; all in a variety of finishes to help you update these bathroom basics while adding storage, safety and style.
Swap soaking for a sensational shower
Sixty-three percent of Americans shower at least once a day. Since we tend to shower more than soak, creating one sensational showering space and possibly eliminating the tub, is a wise use of surface area. For an easy upgrade, swap your showerhead with a new, high-quality model. Or, for a more luxurious remodel, install a vertical spa complete with components like body sprays and a hand shower on a single wall.
And, no matter how large or small your shower, there’s always room to add seating, which increases safety and ease while shaving and washing. The fold-down teak seat from Moen Home Care is a great option since it features a unique wall-mount design that folds down for a comfortable and secure shower seat to avoid slips and falls. When not in use, it folds up to a thin, compact profile.
It’s all smoke (and light) and mirrors
There are more benefits to mirrors in a bathroom other than a place to check your hair and make-up. They can actually make a room appear twice as large as the actual size. In addition to your vanity mirror, consider hanging a full-length mirror on a door. Similarly, bringing in more light will open up the space and make your bathroom come to life. A skylight is a unique addition, since it utilizes the often unused ceiling space. Lighting fixtures are also an ideal way to brighten the space, but don’t settle for boring basics. Try more stylish options, like sconces, which can add a more designer, upscale feel.
Remember to shop for quality over quantity when updating your bath and soon you’ll enjoy the serenity of a stylish and organized space. For more information, visit moen.com or call 800-BUY-MOEN (800-289-6636).

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

Easy-To-Update Items To Make Your New Home Yours

This year more than 5.4 million homes were sold by the end of August, according to the National Association of Realtors. Are you one of these millions of new homeowners? If so, you’ve most likely felt the urge to settle in immediately. However, before making any major renovations, it’s a good idea to live in a new home a while to see how the space is meeting your needs. Here are a few swift swaps that will have a big impact in making that new house feel like home sweet home.
Personalize with paint
It may be the most obvious update but painting is an easy solution to change the look of a room in an instant. Whether you paint an entire room,-create a bold accent wall or incorporate glossy white trim, paint is an affordable fix for any home.
You can easily and quickly bring your design ideas to life with Shape Tape from FrogTape. Available in three on-trend patterns: Wave, Chevron and Scallop, Shape Tape makes it simple to achieve unique, repetitive decorative painting styles. Each roll of tape features a pre-cut repeating pattern, so all you need to do is simply unroll, apply and get painting to create your desired look. From delicate, narrow waves throughout a bathroom or nursery, to bold, wide chevron patterns in the living area or bedroom, this tape can be used in any room of the house.
Fabulous frames
When moving into a new space, the things you love should take center stage. Once your home reflects who you are, the rest will slowly fall into place. Photo frames are the ideal choice to add a decorative and personalized touch to any room. Bring this common decor pick into the modern age by creating a personal gallery and displaying frames of varying shapes and sizes. To do this, plan the layout of the frames before hanging, either with paper on the wall or by arranging them on the floor. Or, you can simply purchase pre-arranged frame galleries at home decor retailers.
Faucet focus
Kitchen and bath makeovers tend to have the biggest impact on a home and its resale value. However, new homeowners who are strapped for cash may not have a large budget for a full-scale bathroom remodel. Fortunately, there are several basic swaps that can quickly change the look and feel of a bath.
The easiest way to remodel your bathroom is to replace its hardest-working fixture – the faucet. This is a project new homeowners can tackle themselves at a reasonable price. Moen offers a wide variety of faucet options like the new single-handle Boardwalk bathroom faucet, to add a fresh, elegant look to the sink. Available at Lowe’s, Boardwalk fits almost any decor and comes in Moen’s Spot Resist Brushed Nickel finish, which resists fingerprints and water spots, so the faucet will stay looking clean as you show it off to family and friends. For a polished look, swap out old hardware with affordable, coordinated accessories including robe hooks, towel rings and towel bars.
Energy-saving essentials
Wasting energy means wasting money. When you go from a renter to a home owner, it’s important to recognize and fix energy-draining areas before bills pile up. Caulking around windows and spaces between the floor and baseboards in attics and sun rooms will help prevent drafts. Consider purchasing a draft stopper for the bottoms of doors so wind or heat doesn’t slip through. Additionally, service your furnace annually, so it produces more heat while using less energy.
Let there be light
Lighting is a great way to add warmth to a sparse space. If you’re looking to create an intimate atmosphere, place several table lamps throughout the room. -You can also amp up energy savings by switching to LED bulbs – these bulbs don’t cause heat buildup and last up to 10 times as long as compact fluorescents and 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
It’s very easy for decorating to become overwhelming for new homeowners. By starting with these few swift home decor swaps, your new home will be a comfortable and welcoming environment in no time.

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

Paint Like A Professional With DIY Simplicity

Think your favorite room is due for a new paint color? To get a result that looks like it was plucked straight from a home improvement magazine, you don’t have to hire an interior designer or professional painter. You can do-it-yourself with a few tricks of the trade.
Choose the right color
Even a perfectly painted room is a failure if you are unhappy with the color. With thousands of designer-inspired palettes on the market, it’s easy for homeowners to get confused when it comes to selecting the right hue. Some homeowners try taping color chips together to view their colors while others will paint a sample directly on the wall. While putting actual paint on the wall is considered the truest representation of color, no one wants to live with a wall marred with a patchwork of several different paint samples for very long.
Make selecting the right color uncomplicated by using SureSwatch, a removable peel and stick DIY paint swatch. Simply paint the 9-by-12 inch clear SureSwatch film and place on any wall (or even the ceiling) to get a better idea of what the color will look like. To avoid color regret, the paint swatch should be viewed multiple times during the day, in the daytime as well as at night.-A clear film provides color accuracy and allows you to see how your new color choice will appear when it’s painted out over your current wall color. For less than $1, it’s an easy and affordable way to feel confident about your color selection. Visit the paint counter at your local Home Depot or www.sureswatch.com for more information.
Use high-quality paint tools and supplies
Start with a premium paint which can save you money in the long run. High-quality paint covers better, provides a richer hue and tends to be more durable.
Next, select a quality applicator.- There’s a reason you don’t find professional painters using a dollar brush or roller – they don’t provide the best results and can sometimes make the job more difficult. To ease your DIY task and ensure a professional outcome, choose premium tools that allow you to paint spaces much quicker and for even coverage. It is well worth the investment.
If you currently have a dark-colored room or a pattern on your walls, priming is a good idea. A good primer will transform your walls into a blank canvas so the new paint color can adhere properly and the true hue will be represented once it dries.
Prepare properly
Every expert painter knows that preparation is just as important as paint application. Start by scraping any chipping paint and fill nail holes. To ensure paint adheres well, clean walls with a sponge and mild soap. Dust and grime may be present and could affect the paint’s ability to adhere properly.
Next, remove all wall plates and tape off edges and electrical outlets with a good quality painter’s tape made specifically for getting sharp edges and easy removal This extra step may take some time, but it is one of the best ways to get a paint job that looks professional rather than amateur. Remember to cover flooring to protect it from any drips.
Apply paint like a pro
To ensure you get flawless coverage, start applying the paint with uniform pressure in a “W” or “N” pattern. Continue spreading with up and down strokes making sure to finish with strokes in one direction. This helps achieve the most even coverage. Paint typically dries unevenly, which gives the illusion of spots and streaks. Avoid going back immediately to touch up sparse spots. Painting too soon will result in unevenness. Wait until it’s fully dry to apply another coat. For sharp, crisp edges, remove tape after the paint is dry and you are completely satisfied with the results.
Paint can completely transform a space in a matter of a few days. By keeping a few expert tips in mind and choosing the right color, you’ll enjoy beautiful results without the stress, and guests will never know you didn’t hire a professional.

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

10 Tips For Making A Small Bathroom Feel Larger

Is your tiny bathroom cramping your functionality and style, leaving you longing for the enormous bathrooms gracing the pages of design magazines? Even if your bathroom is a fraction of the size, all it takes is some design savvy to make the most of the space you have. Consider these 10 smart tips that will help your bathroom look, feel and function like those larger contenders.
1. Get creative with corners
Space is at a premium in small bathrooms, so it’s important to maximize every inch. Corners, for example, provide extra space for shelving, storage units and even hooks. Get creative and install unique design solutions that are not only functional, but also eye-catching.
2. Rethink your toilet
Every bathroom needs a toilet, but is your current throne hogging space? A sleek, wall-mounted model, like Kohler’s Veil wall-hung toilet, reclaims up to 12 precious inches of floor space. Concealed mounting hardware provides a seamless look that is comfortable and makes the toilet easy to clean.
3. Let solid colors shine
Busy patterns have a shrinking effect and make small bathrooms seem even smaller. Conversely, light natural hues make a space feel more open. If you’re itching to get creative with design, experiment with textures but keep overpowering patterns to a minimum.
4. Maximize your bathtub
A bathtub takes up a significant portion of the room, but modern, compact options with curved basins, can make the tub feel larger when in use, all while conserving space.
5. Select a smaller faucet
A faucet is jewelry for the bathroom. And just as accessories can overpower an outfit, a big bulky faucet isn’t flattering in a small bath. Single-handle designs conserve counter space, while a wall-mount installation frees it up all together and can create quite the wow-factor, if the budget can accommodate the required changes to plumbing behind the wall.
6. Make vanity storage simple
If you’re in a storage war with your small bathroom, you’re not alone in the battle. Toiletries and personal supplies without a place to call home only add clutter and chaos. Store smart with a space-saving vanity, like the Robern Compact Vanity. Equipped with glass drawer organizers and customizable components such as in-drawer electric plug-ins, staying organized and cutting clutter is simple.
7. Show off the shower
Shower curtains may be pretty, but they interrupt the visual flow of a bathing space and make it feel significantly smaller. In bathrooms with small footprints, opt for a clear glass sliding shower door that doesn’t require the clearance of one with a hinged design. If you’re embarking on a big remodel, create the illusion of more space by using same tile in the shower that’s used throughout; instead of seeing them as two separate zones, the eye will read them as one.
8. Discover the treasure of hidden storage
Work with a contractor, and you just might find some serious storage potential hidden behind your walls. Whether it’s utilizing space between the studs for shallow shelving or a creating a small linen closet by annexing space from an adjacent room, even small additions can make a big difference.
9. Use angles to your advantage
Tile is a beautiful, durable addition to any bathroom. For dainty spaces, consider installing tile at a diagonal to accentuate the longest wall.
10. Choose the right lights
Strategically install light to reflect and brighten a small bathroom to make it appear larger. Recessed lighting is an affordable solution for tiny rooms, offering ample light while taking up little space. Wall sconces alongside a mirror also reflect off the walls and make a room feel bright and airy.
 

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

The Best Kind Of Home Improvements:

High-Impact, Low-Maintenance
Yes, everyone knows making home improvements is a worthy investment in your greatest material asset. Sure you want every improvement job done well with top-notch end results. But when all is said and done, do you really want to have to put a lot of effort and money into maintaining those improvements? For most people – whether they’ll admit it or not – the answer is “no.”
The best home improvements are the ones that not only enhance your home’s value and livability, but also require little work from you afterward to keep them looking great and functioning well. If you’re looking for high-impact, low-maintenance home improvements, consider these popular projects:
No-leak skylights
When it comes to an improvement that brightens your home, enhances its indoor air quality and boosts energy-efficiency, skylights deliver. Unfortunately, early skylights had a reputation for being leaky – a problem that simply doesn’t occur with modern, no leak, energy-efficient skylights like those made by Velux America. Pre-engineered flashing kits (the metal shield that surrounds any opening in a wall or roof) work with all types of roofs, from shingles to metal, to ensure a properly installed skylight won’t leak.
Need further low-maintenance points to make the case for adding a skylight? Not only do modern skylights keep water out, they’re energy efficient as well. Energy Star-qualified, no leak solar-powered fresh air skylights, like those from Velux, deliver fresh air through cost-effective passive ventilation. Adding remote-controlled, solar-powered blinds allows you to easily open or close a fresh air skylight and shade it when the sun hits that part of the roof, boosting the skylight’s energy efficiency by 39 percent. Keep the shade open during cold weather to admit warmth and reduce heating costs. A 30 percent federal tax credit on both products and installation costs makes a skylight project even more appealing. Visit www.veluxusa.com for a tax calculator to show your savings for a new installation or replacement skylights and a skylight planner app to show exactly how skylights and blinds will look in any area of your home.
Lighting upgrade
Older light fixtures not only look dated, they often use outdated, inefficient bulbs and are lacking in the energy-efficient emphasis that comes with newer fixtures. Upgrading lighting throughout your home is a great way to ensure you won’t have to think about it again any time soon.
If a total lighting redesign is out of the question, you can still make your existing light fixtures lower maintenance simply by swapping out old, inefficient incandescent light bulbs with newer, electricity-sipping versions. Options like CFLs and LEDs provide all the light of incandescents while using a fraction of the energy. Energy.gov says Energy Star-rated LEDs use at least 75 percent less power than incandescent bulbs, and last 25 times longer. Imagine the time, hassle and money you’ll save not having to replace bulbs constantly – especially in lights that get a lot of use, like porch lights, or that are hard to reach, like the chandelier in your two-story entryway.
Vinyl siding
Wood, fiber cement, stucco, brick – there are nearly as many types of exterior siding as there are colors to paint it. When it comes to low- or no-maintenance siding, vinyl remains the gold standard. In fact, more new homes are built using vinyl siding than any other type of siding product, according to the Vinyl Siding Institute.
While early versions of vinyl siding introduced in the 1950s earned criticism for being less lovely than wood, even those less sophisticated versions had staying power; it’s possible to find homes in use today sporting vinyl siding that was added to the house in the 1970s or even earlier.
Vinyl siding never needs to be painted, and when properly installed provides exceptional shielding from the elements. New technology has made modern vinyl siding look better and last longer without fading issues associated with older versions of vinyl. It requires basic cleaning, and overall maintenance demands are much less than other types of siding. Visit www.vinylsiding.org to learn more.

One of the best home inspection Seattle is the Home Detective.
Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!

Tips To Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

You pride yourself on keeping a clean home. The laundry is washed, the dishes are dry and the den where the children built their pillow fort has been restored to sanity. You’ve been vigilant about cleaning up the messes you can see, but what about the messes you can’t? What are you doing to improve the air quality in your home?
You may not think about the air quality in your home because the problem isn’t visible, but that doesn’t stop dust, dander or chemicals from polluting your air. Everyday living generates up to 40 pounds of dust in a six-room house every year, according to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA), the HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Restoration Association.
Taking steps to clean the air in your home will do more than just improve air quality; it will also save you money. Twenty-five to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted because contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work inefficiently, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
If you’re interested in improving the air quality in your home and saving money while you do it, here are some tips to get you headed in the right direction.
Hire a professional to clean your most important asset
Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system literally takes air in and breathes air out. Because of this, keeping your HVAC system and your ducts clean is the most important thing you can do to improve your home’s air quality. “If your ducts look dirty, they probably are,” is NADCA’s advice to consumers.
Have your system serviced by a certified technician. This will not only improve the quality of the air in your home, it will allow your heating and cooling system to run more efficiently, saving you money on energy bills.
Make sure to hire a NADCA-certified technician. All members have certified Air Systems Cleaning Specialists (ASCS) on staff and they are required to further their education by attending seminars and to adhere to the NADCA code of ethics.
Encourage ventilation
Today’s newer homes are built air tight, making ventilation difficult. The simplest way to encourage ventilation is to simply open windows. In the bathroom, turn on the exhaust fan to stop steam from collecting dirt and keeping it in the bathroom. In the kitchen, place any appliance that creates steam or oily vapor under the stove hood. Finally, make sure vents on the outside of your home are not blocked by leaves or snow as season dictates.
Prevent mold
Mold can be one of the most harmful contaminators of air quality. You’ll find mold in areas where moisture and poor ventilation come together. Vacuum rear grills on appliances like your fridge and freezer to improve ventilation and empty and clean any drip trays to eliminate mold. If you have a leaky pipe in your home make sure it is addressed. Take a tour outside and trim any bushes or shrubs that have grown too close as that proximity can lead to mold and algae.
Replace filters and screens
In the warmer months, clean the area around your air conditioner and repair any vermin screens on your chimney flues that may be damaged. During the cooler months, remove screens from any window that may trap condensation and make sure to change your furnace filter monthly.
Keeping the air in your home clean is just as important as washing the dishes or cleaning the clothes. The first step is to have your heating and cooling systems serviced by a NADCA technician. Once that is complete, follow these tips to maintain your air quality. To learn more about NADCA and how you can benefit from an HVAC cleaning, visit nadca.com/en/faq.

Reid Guthrie has owned and operated his Home Inspection Seattle company, The Home Detective, since January 1995. As a licensed home inspector, Reid covers Seattle and the surrounding area. If you or someone you know are looking for a thorough Seattle Home Inspector, look no further than The Home Detective ~ The More Thorough We Are, The More Defects We Find, The More Money You Save!