Choosing the Bedroom Furniture for Your Kids

Kid's Bedroom FurnitureWhen shopping for kid’s bedroom furniture, there are many things to consider. What kind of style do you and your child prefer? Is the furniture safe? How long will the furniture last? Are the items versatile, so that the child can use them as they grow? It’s tempting to purchase the first bedroom set you see, but it is important to weigh each option carefully.

The first choice you will want to make regarding kids bedroom furniture is style. Knowing what style you are looking for can make shopping a lot easier. Whether you are shopping for an infant or a preteen, there are many styles available today. Things to consider are gender, the style of the room and the child’s personality. If the child is old enough, consider getting them involved in choosing the style, as this will make the child feel integral in the decisions and be able to have a room they feel most comfortable in.

Another thing to consider when purchasing kids bedroom furniture is safety. Furniture varies quite a bit in this area. In many cases, what you pay for is what you get, but that is not always true. Consider seeing the furniture in person to test its stability. Also, keep in mind the little things that can be a problem for little people such as loose parts, dangerous heights and oddly shaped pieces.

Since children tend to grow quickly and often, you may want to consider versatility when shopping for kid’s bedroom furniture. There are many beds available today that are designed to grow with the child. Purchasing a crib that change into a bed for a toddler can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Whichever style, brand or variety of kids bedroom furniture you choose, it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Just keep in mind the most important things, safety and comfort. Your child will thank you for the great night’s sleep they will have in the bedroom of their dreams.

Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Delicious
Bookmark this on Digg
Share on StumbleUpon

Find Out More about Home Inspection

Home InspectionA home inspection is defined as an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspected is akin to giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.

As a home buyer, or real estate professional, you have a right to know exactly what a typical real estate inspection is. The following information should give you a better understanding of exactly what your inspector should (and should not) do for you during the course of a home inspection.

First and foremost, an inspection is a visual survey of those easily accessible areas that an inspector can clearly see. No destructive testing or dismantling is done during the course of an inspection, hence an inspector can only tell a client exactly what was clearly in evidence at the time and date of the inspection. The inspectors eyes are not any better than the buyers, except that the inspector is trained to look for specific tell-tale signs and clues that may lead to the discovery of actual or potential defects or deficiencies.

Inspectors base their inspections on the current industry standards provided to them by their professional societies. These Standards tell what the inspector will and can do, as well as what the inspector will not do. Many inspectors give a copy of the standards to their clients. If your inspector has not given you a copy, ask for one, or go to the American Home Inspector Directory and look for your home inspectors association.

The Industry Standards clearly spell out specific areas in which the inspector must identify various defects and deficiencies, as well as identifying the specific systems, components and items that are being inspected. There are many excluded areas noted in the standards that the inspector does not have to report on, for example; private water and sewer systems, solar systems, security systems, etc.

The inspector is not limited by the standards and if the inspector wishes to include additional inspection services (typically for an extra fee) then he/she may perform as many specific inspection procedures as the client may request. Some of these additional services may include wood-boring insect inspection, radon testing, or a variety of environmental testing, etc.

Most inspectors will not give definitive cost estimates for repairs and replacements since the costs can vary greatly from one contractor to another. Inspectors typically will tell clients to secure three reliable quotes from those contractors performing the type of repairs in question.

Life expectancies are another area that most inspectors try not to get involved in. Every system and component in a building will have a typical life expectancy. Some items and units may well exceed those expected life spans, while others may fail much sooner than anticipated. An inspector may indicate to a client, general life expectancies, but should never give exact time spans for the above noted reasons.

The average time for an inspection on a typical 3-bedroom home usually takes 2 to 4 hours, depending upon the number of bathrooms, kitchens, fireplaces, attics, etc., that have to be inspected. Inspections that take less than two hours typically are considered strictly cursory, “walk-through” inspections and provide the client with less information than a full inspection.

Many inspectors belong to national inspection organizations such as ISHI, ASHI, and NAHI. These national organizations provide guidelines for inspectors to perform their inspections.

All inspectors provide clients with reports. The least desirable type of report would be an oral report, as they do not protect the client, and leave the inspector open for misinterpretation and liability. Written reports are far more desirable, and come in a variety of styles and formats.

The following are some of the more common types of written reports:

Checklist with comments

Rating System with comments

Narrative report with either a checklist or rating system

Pure Narrative report

Four key areas of most home or building inspections cover the exterior, the basement or crawlspace areas, the attic or crawlspace areas and the living areas. Inspectors typically will spend sufficient time in all of these areas to visually look for a host of red flags, telltale clues and signs or defects and deficiencies. As the inspector completes a system, major component or area, they will then discuss the findings with the clients, noting both the positive and negative features.

The inspected areas of a home or building will consist of all of the major visible and accessible electro-mechanical systems as well as the major visible and accessible structural systems and components of a building as they appeared and functioned at the time and date of the inspection.

Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Delicious
Bookmark this on Digg
Share on StumbleUpon

Energy Efficient Landscaping

Energy Efficient LandscapingWhen you landscape cautiously, you can save money by maximizing the energy efficiency of your home. This means that you can save money on heating and cooling costs by carefully planting trees, shrubs and even some grasses and vines.

Landscaping can not only help decrease the amount of energy you use in both winter and summer, but can also provide an eye-pleasing surrounding for your home. This means that you can have an attractive home environment and save money on energy costs. And that is of interest to just about everyone.

When you carefully position your trees, you can save money in both summer and winter. Large deciduous trees are great additions to any home for this purpose. These trees have large leaves and create shade during the summer. They block the sun, and this reduces how much money is needed to cool the home.

Vines growing on the house and shrubs near the home (protecting basement windows) only help further. Now, here is the great thing about deciduous trees: they lose their leaves in the fall. This means that as the leaves fall of during autumn, they let more sunlight in. This means that natural light and even some warmth from the sun will filter into your house during the winter, lowering heating costs.

And the best part about these trees is that an eight foot tall deciduous tree costs about the same amount as a window awning for one large window. You can have the beauty of nature protect you and save you money in a way that an awning very could.

Another reason that landscape design with special attention to tree placement is a wise choice is the fact that they act as windbreaks. Without the wind whipping around the house, there is less energy used for heating. There is not even a need to place trees all around the house to achieve energy savings in windy areas. You can simply plant trees on the windward side of the house. This will act as a barrier and can result in you spending a quarter less for your energy bill if you live in an area with high winds. In some areas, the savings increased to one third. Fences can also act as windbreaks, as do some other landscape elements.

The United States Department of Energy estimates that energy savings due to the proper placement of just three trees can be between $100 and $250 for the average household. This means that with a properly designed landscape your initial investment can be returned in less than eight years. If you are buying a home, it is a good idea to choose one with energy efficient landscaping. Then you can experience that savings, and still add other features to make the landscape your own.

Proper landscaping also results in other benefits that many people associate with types of conservation. You can reduce air and noise pollution around your home with landscape. Greenscape elements actually absorb sound, and so if you have plants around your house you can actually help block the sound of a nearby road.

Additionally, plants are natural air cleaners. While they will not completely rid the air of harmful pollutants, they can create a little pocket of cleaner air around your home, and that can reduce costs due to respiratory illness.

Energy use related to caring for a landscape can also be reduced with a carefully planned out landscape. When you have features that reduce lawn space, you do not have to use as much water to keep it healthy. Additionally, if you set up an automatic sprinkler system, you can save money in electricity to run it and water used by sensibly setting the times for two or three times a week for fifteen minutes at each station.

Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Delicious
Bookmark this on Digg
Share on StumbleUpon

Checking Your Roof for Winter Damage

After the long hard winter that pummeled much of the country, the warm weather and long days of summer are more than welcome. Now that you’ve shaken off you cabin fever, it’s a good idea to check your roof and see how it made it through the winter. Snow, ice and wind can all do a number on roofing, and this is the perfect time of year to make any necessary repairs. Depending on what your roof is made of you may be able to do them yourself with roofing tiles and paper. You can purchase these at your local big box home improvement store. Get a sturdy ladder and a friend or two and go up and take a look. Do NOT attempt this if you have any kind of balance issues, or on windy days. It also goes without saying that should the skies begin to darken and thunder start rumbling, get off the roof immediately!

Also remember to wear sturdy shoes with gripping soles-don’t even think of going on your roof with flip flops or worse, barefoot.

While you’re up there check for clogs and cracks in your gutters and for broken, cracked, loose and missing tiles. If you find holes or major damage, you may need to call in a professional like the guys at Some repairs just shouldn’t be attempted on your own, and this means all of them if the area needing repair is in close proximity to electrical or cable wires. Let the pros handle that.

Is your roof more than 20 years old? You may need to consider replacing it. Most roofing materials don’t last much longer than that, and will start to leak and lose their structural integrity. No, it won’t be cheap, but it will increase your home’s value and could even reduce your heating and cooling bills!


Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Delicious
Bookmark this on Digg
Share on StumbleUpon