Drainage and a Healthy Foundation

As we move out of winter’s March into springtime rainy April, one of the biggest issues for a homeowner is drainage. The most common issue we see during home inspections is the ground sloping in towards the foundation. This can cause runoff to work its way into the basement, or even worse, inflict structural damage on the foundation itself. A proper drainage system will lead water away from the foundation through clever sloping and pipes.

Installing rooftop gutters and drainpipes is paramount for directing water away from the foundation. Maintaining gutters through the removal of debris is essential for the drainage system to have its intended effect. Drainpipes can also be extended above or underground to lead towards a foundation drain further away from the house.

A wet basement is a sure indication of poor drainage around a house. Ideally, the ground around the foundation should be sloping away from the home at a 10 percent grade for at least 8 feet. Given an existing slope towards the home, another technique is to cut trenches to guide rainfall away from the foundation. These trenches require regular maintenance, but will serve to protect the home from runoff’s effects. Basement windows, typically designed to let light in, are another entry point for water. Making sure they have adequate drainage through pipes or trenches is essential to maintaining a dry home.

French Drain Recommended Grading Slopes
Water Penetration Due To Subgrade Soil Conditions Settled Back Fill
Interior Flat Roof Drains Swalls and Water Runoff

The soil and plants around a house can have a substantial effect on drainage as well. Water’s natural tendency is to give in to gravity’s influence, flowing to find the quickest path through the ground. Nonporous soil and densely-packed shrubbery can impede this flow, causing water to pool and inflict damage. A solution is replacing the offending soil with its more porous variety, and making sure to place plants some distance apart.

Other than those outlined above, there are several techniques to solve a drainage issue. These range in cost and labor, and can be quite the effort. Sump pumps, interior drainage systems and foundation drains all can go a long way towards insuring the good condition of a home. Concrete and clay pipes are being replaced by newer materials like flexible, corrugated polyethylene. Repairing or replacing a drainage system can be a costly, but ultimately worthwhile, investment.

 

Pre-Inspection Checklist For Sellers

Long Island Home For Sale Home Inspection ChecklistAll sellers should prepare their homes prior to the buyer’s inspection. It will make for a better inspection an inspection report and is a benefit to all parties. Also, sellers can benefit from hiring a home inspector to come and inspect their home before putting it on the market. This helps to avoid surprises when potential buyers hire a home inspector pending sale. 

Here’s a list of what every seller should do before listing their home on the market:

  • Clean out the basement. Get rid of old carpets, clothing and boxes, anything that may cause an odor.
  • Check for leaks under all the sinks, and get repaired if needed.
  • Look at the pipes in the basement for any leaks.
  • Check lights and change bulbs if needed.
  • Provide access to all areas of the structure  –  attic access, crawl space, electric panels, water heater, boiler. If it can’t be accessed and inspected it will raise suspicions.
  • Protect or move clothing in closet if that’s where the attic access is.
  • It’s best to get pets out of the house if possible. Cleanup after the pets in the backyard.
  • Assemble a list of improvements and updates, for example the A/C, boiler, roof, cesspool and water heater.
  • Get a termite inspection and guarantee in place. Treat if needed. If the house is under treatment, why – what happened?
  • Get an HVAC contractor to inspect, service and place service tags on equipment. Get all the filters changed.
  • Organize the basement and garage for a good first impression and good access.
  • Get shrubbery and trees trimmed away from the house.
  • If aluminum wires, they should have a confirmation that it’s been dealt with.
  • If there is any history of water in the basement, re-grade the soil around the foundation.
  • If there is an in-ground oil tank, seriously think about having it abandoned.
  • Disclose substantial issues (that you know will come up in the inspection). Old boiler, old roof, etc.
  • If there is a substantial issue find out the logical approach with a price. Don’t wait for it to come up in the inspection
  • If there are unusual situations in the house they should tell agents before the inspection

Taking these steps before listing a home for sale can entice potential buyers and increase the value of your home.

Winter’s Effect on Your Roof

Icy Montauk Photo Credit: Clifford Dayton

Icy Montauk
Photo Credit: Clifford Dayton

Let’s face it, the winter on Long Island has been rough on us all. Snow, sleet, rain, cold, warm, then FREEZING! If you think it’s bad, just imagine how your roof feels. The roof on your home or office is exposed to all the elements and it’s the first place precipitation lands. There are a few different aspects of Long Island winter weather that can have adverse effects on your roof. Let’s explore them:

Temperature Fluctuation: We all love a warm day in January, especially after a spell of really low temperatures, but this has a big impact on your roof when the temperature drops again. Cold air contracts while hot air expands (think of a hot air balloon). This also goes for the structure of your home and your roof – the roof deck, shingles, flashing, they all contract when it gets cold, but on warmer days they expand. The more the temperature fluctuates between warm and cold weather, the more wear and tear on your roof. Homes on Long Island are not particularly built for this.

Another way temperature fluctuation can damage your roof is via the freeze/thaw process. Water gets absorbed into the roofing materials, then a deep freeze hits and now there’s expanding ice in the roof materials causing damage and aging. When snow on your roof begins to melt and the moisture drains out from under the accumulation, it finds its way into smaller crevices and ridges in between shingles and flashing. When the temperatures drop again when the sun goes down, these small deposits freeze, causing the moisture to expand.This is the cause of winter roof problems and speeds up the aging process.

the house and the iciclesIce Dams & Icicles: Ice dams are created when heat collected in your attic warms your roof. The ice and snow begin to melt but once they hit the lower eaves, the moisture cools down again and freezes up. The warm roof continues to melt the snow, and ice continues to build up at the eaves causing icicles. While a beautiful symbol of winter, icicles can spell major damage for your roof: tearing off gutters, loosening shingles or even worse, causing water to back up and pour into your home or office.

roofSnow Overload: Blizzards are a part of winter on Long Island, dumping inches and even feet of snow and causing great snow drifts. In more exposed areas with less tree-cover, like the many housing developments we have on Long Island, snow drifts and gusts are more likely. When this happens, snow builds up, putting a lot of weight on your roof, often unevenly distributed. Smooth and steep roofs are ideal for fast drainage, but flat roofs or slightly pitched roofs are more vulnerable. Even more vulnerable are the flat and slightly-pitched roofs adjacent to smooth, steep, well draining roofs which drain off onto the  garage, porch, or hastily-built home additions. This can cause roof leaks or worse, collapse.

So what can you do to prevent winter damage to your roof than necessary?

snow-roof-3Fast fixes:

1. Use a long-handle aluminum roof rake to pull down snow before it begins to melt. The extending arm allows you to remain safely on the ground while you remove any buildup of snow and ice, therefore preventing moisture build up and moisture from thawing and freezing up in crevices and ridges.

2. Have a fan running in your attic, pointed up towards the roof, keeping the roof cool and helping to prevent melting water. This will help prevent ice dams and icicles.

metal-roof-afterLong-Term Fixes

1. Insulate your attic from the rest of your home. This will keep the attic closer to the outdoor temperature, enabling the roof to stay cold enough to help prevent ice melt under snow accumulation.

2. Consider metal roofing. “It goes on fast, lasts a very long time and is recyclable” says Green Building Advisor, Martin Holladay. Not only is it more sustainable, and therefore money-saving, It promotes easy and fast drainage without allowing moisture to get under shingles.

3. Change the slope of your roof. Have you been thinking of remodeling or updating your home? Here’s a great opportunity to increase the slope of your roof to prevent buildup of snow and moisture, and the headaches that come along with leaky or unstable roofs.

There is no stopping mother nature, that’s for sure. But if you take steps to lower the impact of winter precipitation on your roof, you’ll avoid some of the more costly, and far more damaging issues that can arise. Still not sure if your roof is weathering the storm? Have one of our inspectors come out to your home and assess the situation, as well as the impact on other parts of your home. Safe Harbor Inspections provides thorough home inspections that provide great insight to the state of your home. Call 631-259-6607 to schedule a home inspection.

Sources:
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/martin-s-ten-rules-roof-design
http://www.rtnroofing.com/articles/909.htm
http://www.epa.gov/hiri/mitigation/coolroofs.htm
www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/article/0,,1131314,00.html

Long Horizontal Foundation Cracks Can Mean Big Issues

Long horizontal cracks usually indicate the foundation wall is bowing inward. If the wall is bowed inward a horizontal crack opens and can (but not necessarily) run the length of the entire foundation.Horizontal foundation cracks

During a Long Island home inspection we can often correlate this condition with poor drainage on the outside of the foundation causing water to collect at the foundation wall. When this occurs, hydraulic pressure exerts forces inward against the foundation. The forces are tremendously increased if the soil is wet and then freezes. When the water freezes the expansion of the ice pushes even harder against the foundation wall creating a long horizontal crack. Unfortunately, the process can continue year after year until there is a failure of the wall with huge consequences to the structure above it.

If a horizontal crack is identified during a Long Island Home Inspection, we advise our clients to seek the advice of a foundation contractor or a design professional for repairs. Repairs usually involve the installation of pilasters (large columns of masonry blocks) periodically on the interior side of the wall. Unfortunately this is an aesthetic issue and takes away interior space. It is also fairly expensive.

Horizontal cracks usually occur in “Block” foundations as opposed to Poured Concrete foundations because of the inherent strength of the Poured Concrete structure. However, during our Long Island Home Inspection we have seen long horizontal cracks in poured concrete foundations as well.

Preventing the cracks from developing in the first place typically involves good drainage. If water does not collect at the foundation, but rather, is directed away from the foundation the stresses on the foundation wall are not as great in the freeze-thaw cycle. So, it gets back to good drainage and proper grading. The ground should slope back and away from the foundation approximately 1 inch of drop for 1 foot of run. For example, six feet away from the foundation you should be 6 inches lower than the level of the soil at the foundation. Water is “the enemy” in these cases. During a Long Island Home Inspection, this is a condition which we are always on the lookout for.

 

 

Three Weekend DIY Bathroom Upgrades

1930912How 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.”

Jim RuppertJim Ruppert, the founder of Safe Harbor Inspections, Inc. has been doing Long Island home inspection for residential and commercial property for over 30 years.  Having performed over 5,000 residential and commercial real estate home inspections, his main focus is to explain the existing physical components of the building being inspected with an emphasis on safety, improvement and real estate value enhancement.

Jim is also Licensed by NY State as a Pesticide Applicator and is authorized to perform Termite and other Wood Destroying Insect inspections.

Safe Harbor Inspections helps takes the fear out of buying real estate. We arm you with the information you need to help make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes. Each report is complete and thorough to identify existing, potential and safety defects based in the most current New York standards. Our report allows you to buy or sell real estate with complete confidence.

For more information and to schedule your next home inspection, give Safe Harbor Inspections a call at 631-259-6607

How To Make Household Drafts A Thing Of The Past

17446168With the onset of cooler weather, now is the ideal time for homeowners to consider the efficiency of their heating systems. Drafts, gaps and poor insulation throughout the building envelope can significantly contribute to the efficiency of a home’s heating system, the comfort of occupants and the household budget.

The United States Department of Energy says that household heating and cooling accounts for around 54 percent of the average American’s utility bill. Although some savings can be achieved through proper equipment maintenance and upgrades, the United States Department of Energy explains that an energy efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on energy bills as using a whole-house approach.

With heating and cooling taking up a large chunk of the household budget, understanding where your home is hemorrhaging money and how to effectively stop it can make a considerable difference to your comfort and your wallet. Building specialists say that any cold or drafty areas within a home are typically caused by air leaks within the building envelope. Air leaks can make rooms uncomfortable and allow the air to escape, forcing heating equipment to work continually to compensate. According to InsulationSmart.com, floors, walls and ceilings alone can account for up to 31 percent of air leakage in a home.

Consulting a home inspector or home energy rater, who can assess your home from roof to basement; will give you a better sense of where your home is leaking money and what cost-effective measures are available. While stop-gap solutions such as caulking and sealing visible cracks can help alleviate some of the air leakage, a home inspector will make recommendations that consider the whole wall infrastructure. For instance, a home with traditional batt or blown-in insulation is typically less energy efficient than a home with modern insulation material such as spray foam, because of the gaps these traditional insulation types leave behind.

Unlike the traditional insulation materials, spray foam insulation such as Icynene both insulates and air seals the home’s envelope in one step to provide a cost-saving option that not only stops drafts from occurring but reduces energy waste and cuts the monthly heating and cooling bill. Over the long-term, the savings quickly add up.

Spray foam insulation performs for the life of the property, ensuring that homeowners can enjoy comfortable indoor temperatures all year round without overrunning their heating and cooling equipment. Spray foam insulation can noticeably reduce heating and cooling costs, in some cases by up to 50 percent, easing the strain on the household budget.

Additionally, spray foam insulation helps minimize random airborne moisture and pollutants from entering the home, ideal for allergy sufferers particularly once the cold weather passes and spring arrives. Homeowners can learn the five easy steps of selecting the right insulation for their home on www.icynene.com.

Jim RuppertJim Ruppert, the founder of Safe Harbor Inspections, Inc. has been doing Long Island home inspection for residential and commercial property for over 30 years.  Having performed over 5,000 residential and commercial real estate home inspections, his main focus is to explain the existing physical components of the building being inspected with an emphasis on safety, improvement and real estate value enhancement.

Jim is also Licensed by NY State as a Pesticide Applicator and is authorized to perform Termite and other Wood Destroying Insect inspections.

Safe Harbor Inspections helps takes the fear out of buying real estate. We arm you with the information you need to help make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes. Each report is complete and thorough to identify existing, potential and safety defects based in the most current New York standards. Our report allows you to buy or sell real estate with complete confidence.

For more information and to schedule your next home inspection, give Safe Harbor Inspections a call at 631-259-6607

Radon

January is National Radon Action Month

Radon 4

So you might be asking yourself “What is radon and why do I need a test for it?”

Radon5

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas. It forms naturally from the decay of radioactive elements, such as uranium, which are found at different levels in soil and rock throughout the world. Radon gas in the soil and rock can move into the air and into ground water and surface water.

Radon is present outdoors and indoors. It is normally found at very low levels in outdoor air and in drinking water from rivers and lakes. It can be found at higher levels in the air in houses and other buildings, as well as in water from underground sources, such as well water.

Radon breaks down (decays) into solid radioactive elements called radon progeny (such as polonium-218, polonium-214, and lead-214). Radon progeny can attach to dust and other particles and can be breathed into the lungs. As radon and radon progeny in the air break down, they give off alpha particles, a form of high-energy radiation that can damage the DNA inside the body’s cells. Courtesy of www.cancer.org

With January being designated as National Radon Action Month. Take Action and Call Us to schedule your Radon Test so you’ll know if you have elevated levels or not. Your health and your family’s health depends on it!!! 631-259-6607

Chimney Inspections ~ Long Island Home Inspection

7-26-2011 2-00-39 PMMost people don’t realize how important chimney inspections are. But, consider the impact of a blockage in the chimney, even something as simple as a birds nest. If a blockage occurs in the chimney flue pipe servicing a gas or oil fired furnace or boiler, the implication is: carbon monoxide can be forced into the home. And carbon monoxide can be extremely dangerous and even cause death. In the flue pipe servicing fireplace, if the chimney contains creosote or other byproducts of a wood fire, a chimney fire can develop which can spread into the rest of the house and obviously be extremely dangerous.

Most national certification associations recommend an annual chimney inspection to make sure that the chimney is structurally sound, and that the interior components of the chimney are in a safe condition. There are different levels of inspection:

1) A Level 1 Chimney Inspection involves examining all of the visible components of the chimney.

2) A Level II Chimney Inspection involves examining all of the components of the chimney by using special tools such as cameras and mirrors etc.

3) A Level III Chimney Inspection may involve dismantling portions of the chimney for even further examination.

When the ownership of a house is transferred, it triggers the need for a Level II Chimney Inspection. From a practical perspective, it only makes sense because who knows how long it has been since11-3-2010 3-14-38 PM the chimney inspection and cleaning took place. Thereafter, it is recommended that the chimney be inspected and cleaned, if necessary, on an annual basis.

By the way, if the source of heat is converted from oil to natural gas, building code requires that a metal flue pipe be inserted in the chimney for safety reasons. Without the metal flue pipe, the interior of the chimney can become deteriorated and create blockages and the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning.

When performing Long Island home inspections, we attempt to determine if a metal flue pipe was installed if there was an oil to gas conversion. However, very often this cannot be determined. This highlights the need for Chimney Inspections on Long Island.

Jim RuppertJim Ruppert, the founder of Safe Harbor Inspections, Inc. has been doing Long Island home inspection for residential and commercial property for over 30 years.  Having performed over 5,000 residential and commercial real estate home inspections, his main focus is to explain the existing physical components of the building being inspected with an emphasis on safety, improvement and real estate value enhancement.

Jim is also Licensed by NY State as a Pesticide Applicator and is authorized to perform Termite and other Wood Destroying Insect inspections.

Safe Harbor Inspections helps takes the fear out of buying real estate. We arm you with the information you need to help make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes. Each report is complete and thorough to identify existing, potential and safety defects based in the most current New York standards. Our report allows you to buy or sell real estate with complete confidence.

For more information and to schedule your next Long Island home inspection, give Safe Harbor Inspections a call at 631-259-6607

Three Astoundingly Simple Solutions For Big Renovation Challenges

17086620Americans are renovating again. In fact, the remodeling market hasn’t been this robust since 2004, according to the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodeling Market Index. Yet even the most enthusiastic homeowners-turned-renovators may hesitate when faced with certain common challenges – be it adding a bathroom in a problematic location or figuring out how to bring natural light into an interior room.

But virtually every renovation challenge is solvable, and sometimes the answers are surprisingly simple and cost-effective. Here are three common issues you may encounter while renovating, and the astoundingly simple ways to overcome the obstacles:

The challenge: Adding a bathroom over concrete flooring or in a tight spot where traditional plumbing doesn’t work well.

The simple solution: Up-flush plumbing. Bathroom renovations or additions offer a high return on investment – as much as 56 percent of the initial investment when you resell, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. But conventional plumbing can be costly and time-consuming, even in the best circumstances. If you want to add a bathroom in a basement where the floor is concrete or in a smaller space with no room for traditional piping, an up-flush, or macerating, toilet is a simple, cost-effective solution.

Systems like Saniflo’s macerating toilet and plumbing technology eliminate the need to cut through a floor to install new drainage. And the systems fit easily into areas as small as a closet or dead space beneath a stairway. A macerating pump reduces waste and paper from the toilet and sends it under high pressure through piping directly into the septic or sewer system. No waste is stored, and the systems are comparatively low-cost compared to traditional plumbing. Visit www.saniflo.com to learn more.

The challenge: Introducing natural light in a room with no space for windows.

The simple solution: Skylights. The benefits of natural light are well-documented, from improving mood to reducing dependence on artificial lights. Yet some spaces, such as interior powder rooms or walk-in closets, don’t lend themselves to windows. When you want natural light in a room where a lack of wall space precludes a window, or in which privacy is an issue, a skylight can be a great solution. Tubular skylights even allow you to bring natural light into ground floor rooms.

The cost of installing a skylight is comparable to adding quality windows in a room. Choose energy-efficient skylights and you may also reduce home cooling costs in spring and summer, and lighting costs in winter, too.

The challenge: Privacy in a doorway where a swinging door doesn’t make sense.

The simple solution: Pocket doors. A swinging door may not be right for a space for many reasons. Perhaps you need to close a door in a spot so infrequently that a swinging door isn’t needed. Or, maybe the space around the doorway is too tight to accommodate a swinging door, such as in a laundry space tucked into a hallway. Or, perhaps a traditional door will ruin the aesthetic of a space. In all those situations, a pocket door is a great way to achieve privacy without compromise. Because pocket doors tuck away inside the wall, you don’t need to worry about having enough space to open or close a traditional door. Plus, when left open, pocket doors are hidden inside the wall so their visual impact on decor is minimal.

While these solutions may be beyond the abilities of most do-it-yourselfers, reputable contractors can accomplish them easily – and help you decide if one of these options is right for your renovation project.

Jim RuppertJim Ruppert, the founder of Safe Harbor Inspections, Inc. has been doing Long Island home inspection for residential and commercial property for over 30 years.  Having performed over 5,000 residential and commercial real estate home inspections, his main focus is to explain the existing physical components of the building being inspected with an emphasis on safety, improvement and real estate value enhancement.

Jim is also Licensed by NY State as a Pesticide Applicator and is authorized to perform Termite and other Wood Destroying Insect inspections.

Safe Harbor Inspections helps takes the fear out of buying real estate. We arm you with the information you need to help make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes. Each report is complete and thorough to identify existing, potential and safety defects based in the most current New York standards. Our report allows you to buy or sell real estate with complete confidence.

For more information and to schedule your next home inspection, give Safe Harbor Inspections a call at 631-259-6607

Choose Quality Over Quantity To Create The Bathroom Of Your Dreams

18943244While 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).

Jim RuppertJim Ruppert, the founder of Safe Harbor Inspections, Inc. has been doing Long Island home inspection for residential and commercial property for over 30 years.  Having performed over 5,000 residential and commercial real estate home inspections, his main focus is to explain the existing physical components of the building being inspected with an emphasis on safety, improvement and real estate value enhancement.

Jim is also Licensed by NY State as a Pesticide Applicator and is authorized to perform Termite and other Wood Destroying Insect inspections.

Safe Harbor Inspections helps takes the fear out of buying real estate. We arm you with the information you need to help make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes. Each report is complete and thorough to identify existing, potential and safety defects based in the most current New York standards. Our report allows you to buy or sell real estate with complete confidence.

For more information and to schedule your next home inspection, give Safe Harbor Inspections a call at 631-259-6607