EIFS, Construction and Building Defects

eifs, construction & building defect, puzzle play house
Image Credit:
AbsolutVision  / Pixabay

 

If you are a first-time home buyer (or even if you’re not) the process of buying a home and evaluating home inspections might seem overwhelming. It can be hard to distinguish which elements of an inspection report should be dealbreakers. It’s also important to consider the resale potential of your new home if it has particular problems; even if you can live with that evidence of long-ago termite damage, another buyer might not want to. Moreover, you will have to consider building codes for any major renovation that you may do.

No matter how much you love the house’s floor plan, paint colors, kitchen, or whirlpool tub, don’t let yourself get so carried away that you ignore potentially serious problems. Buying a home is a major financial decision, and you should treat it as rationally as possible. All the skylights in the world can’t make up for the health hazards that can result from mold, water damage, or structural defects.

Furthermore, some types of problems, such as mold, EIFS-related damage, or flooding, might be excluded from your homeowners insurance policy. You can usually purchase riders to cover mold-related damage, EIFS defects or flooding, but insurance companies charge a premium for these. (EIFS stands for Exterior Insulation Finishing System. It is like stucco or concrete in appearance, but it is actually a lightweight, textured insulating material that is installed as a system. It can be vulnerable to water damage because it can’t release water that gets inside, according to detractors. Others say that water damage results from poor installation, not from the material itself. However, it is highly energy-efficient and low-cost in comparison to the materials it mimics.)

If you are selling your home and you need to correct certain building defects, it is in your interest to take care of it before putting your house on the market. It’s important to highlight the best aspects of your house and to take care of any major problems before potential buyers see it. Be sure to follow local building codes while renovating. You might consider getting it inspected first yourself so that you are aware of what the buyers will see in an inspection report. The more serious problems there are with your house, the more leverage a buyer has for bargaining you down. A good home inspection will reveal any serious problems, as well as a list of small problems that are much easier to fix.

Potentially serious problems that could be dealbreakers include: current or recent evidence of termite infestation, mold (especially black mold) water damage, structural defects, EIFS defects, EIFS water damage, asbestos, radon exposure, or even, should a buyer choose to inspect for it, excessive lead paint (only a potential problem in pre-1980 homes). Some types of mold are toxic and can cause asthma and chronic sinus infections. The more humid the climate is, the greater the risk for mold. Water damage can start small and quickly morph into a major headache. Radon, a naturally occurring gas, can cause lung cancer, as can asbestos. Furthermore, all of these problems can be costly to fix, so many buyers will just walk away.

Please use this site as a resource for finding out more detailed information about these kinds of building defects and the effect they might have on your home’s resale value. Most of all, if you are experiencing problems with any of these issues, don’t despair. Remediation, while expensive, will save you money and trouble in the long run. Look for contractors who have experience solving your particular problem. In some areas (such as asbestos removal) certification is available for qualified contractors. Furthermore, even if you are a competent do-it-yourselfer, these are issues best left for professionals to handle, as they have experience with all aspects of remediation, including cleanup of hazardous materials. A contractor will be able to make sure that all work is done in line with your state’s building codes as well.

Your first step, whether you are buying or selling, is to have a home inspection done by a qualified building inspector as soon as possible so that you can correct any problems that may arise.

 

Smart Office Buildings: what features do people really want?

How much do people really know about smart offices – and what features would they like to see?

Thanks to advances in technology, the smart office building is an idea whose time has come. It brings with it a host of tangible benefits for employers and employees alike, as described in a report from British Land in partnership with WORKTECH Academy.

But what do people actually know about smart offices, what features would they like to see, and when do they expect to be working in one?

To find out, British Land ran a survey of 1,063 office workers in London (of whom 291 are fully involved in making decisions about the location of their organization) to explore the appetite for – and perceptions of – smart offices.

Re-thinking office space is certainly being discussed at the top level of organizations: 96 percent of decision-makers have heard of smart offices, and only 23 percent say they’re ‘aware but not knowledgeable’. It’s a different story for less senior workers: only 11 percent are ‘knowledgeable’, although a further 47 percent have heard of smart offices, even if they don’t know much about them.

What’s more, businesses largely appear to be convinced that a smart office is something they should be planning for: 90 percent of decision-makers see a business reason for working in one and 87 percent say they’ll require smart technology in their office the next time they move.

Favored features

This high level of confidence in smart offices seems to be based on a perception that they will trigger benefits for an organization. Decision-makers think the chief benefits of smart offices will be in raising productivity and wellbeing, bringing an expected 51 percent increase in each, on average. Appeals to new talent and employee loyalty aren’t far behind, with average perceived increases of 48 percent and 45 percent respectively.

Respondents were also given a list of possible smart office features and asked which of those they don’t already have would appeal to them. The most popular were:

  • Self-adjusting lighting and window shades (53 percent don’t have this but think it would be helpful)
  • The ability to personalize heat and light settings for one’s immediate space, and have those settings follow you around the building (53 percent)
  • Circadian lighting systems that mimic natural daylight (51 percent)
  • Heat and lighting systems that adjust automatically according to weather and occupancy (50 percent)

This suggests that the bulk of employees are most interested in features that make their workspace more comfortable. Decision-makers also find these appealing, alongside smart features that might increase efficiency. The most appealing features to them were:

  • An app for booking desks and meeting rooms (35 percent)
  • Meeting rooms where the screens work seamlessly with your device (34 percent)
  • Desk or room sensors that track usage to monitor efficiency (34 percent)
  • The ability to personalize heat and light settings (34 percent)
  • Heat and lighting that adjusts according to weather and occupancy (34 percent)

Time to move?

So when are businesses likely to move into (or retrofit) a smart office? Asked when they would like to work in a smart office, workers said, on average, ‘within two years – but think it won’t actually happen for another four. Only 35 percent of employees think their employer is prioritizing smart office technology.

One factor that might be holding them back is cost: 58 percent of decision-makers say this is an obstacle to implementing smart elements in an office. Beyond that, generational differences may drive the decision-making process. Older decision-makers feel that the building (45 percent) and culture of the business (36 percent) might not be ready, while among their younger counterparts, 36 percent cite a lack of support for the concept from management.

Other obstacles highlighted were around privacy and security challenges, but here again, there are significant differences between the decision-making generations. Among those aged 50 or over, only 25 percent were concerned about privacy and vulnerability to hacking, compared to figures of 38 percent overall for privacy and 34 percent for hacking.

As often happens with new technology, the survey results suggest that the main impetus for smart offices may well come from a younger generation that is more accustomed to – and indeed expects – the changes to working practices that smart technology can bring.

Featured Image credit: geralt / Pixabay
In Post Image credit: geralt / Pixabay

Learn How Proactive Building Repair Can Save You Bundles of Money

If your business involves doing something else, you’d probably be investing your resources more wisely if you focused on your own business and left the building repairs to the professionals.

After all, you don’t see many doctors involved with do it yourself building repairs around their offices, clinics, and hospitals. They spend their time focused on the world of medicine and call in the professionals to deal with the buildings.

So do the lawyers. After all, why would anybody hire a lawyer who spent all his time with do it yourself building projects? If your lawyer ran around with a tool belt full of hammer, nails, and a staple gun, you’d probably question his abilities in the courtroom.

You won’t often find your financial planner or your CPA busy with do it yourself building projects either. You rely on them to invest your money wisely so you must think they invest their own money wisely, too.

Seems their wise investment of money is in hiring professional building repair and maintenance services to do the work instead of taking on do it yourself building projects. They’re supposed to be too busy with your money to do that stuff themselves.

If your business is fashion design, hair styling, or something else where looks matter greatly, do it yourself building projects are probably a bad idea, too. After all, bruised knuckles, chipped nails, and band-aids aren’t very stylish in most circles.

Seems just about the only business where do it yourself building repairs and maintenance are a wise investment of resources is when that’s exactly the business you’re in.

The rest of are best served by calling the professionals to do their jobs so we can do ours.

Learn How Proactive Building Repair Can Save You Bundles of Money

And, yes, you know that the wall in the lobby has the hole where the backhoe in the adjacent warehouse bumped a little too hard into the wall when you were training the new kid but there’s just been no time to fix it yet.

And, no, you can’t possibly forget the soot stain going up the wall in the kitchen from the time the TV dinner tray sparked and caught the microwave on fire and the cabinet above it got a little burned. Yes, it’s ugly and it stinks in there and it will get fixed. Someday.

All these problems would be solved if you only had enough time. Fortunately, however, business is booming in spite of the fact that everyone has to limp around these much-needed repairs.

Why not lift the burden from your own shoulders and call a building repair specialist to give you an estimate on these building repair issues so you can get some real work done?

After all, you are not in the business of building repair. They are.

If you call a building repair professional to get your building back in prime condition, you can eliminate so many distractions that both you and your staff will have nothing left to complain about, right?

Think of all the work that could get accomplished without all that complaining. Think about how happy everyone would be.

Another good thing about calling building repair professionals? They often include routine maintenance and landscaping services in their scope of operations, too.

Think about it. No more changing air conditioner filters in the offices and in the plant. No more changing light bulbs that are twenty feet overhead. No more mowing the lawn on Sunday morning because there’s no time to do it during the workweek.

Think about how this day is so much better than someday. Call a building repair and maintenance service to see what they can do to make your business run smoother, happier, and more productively.

Learn How Proactive Building Repair Can Save You Bundles of Money

Sometimes looking through the real estate listings in the Sunday morning newspaper lures you out to a few open houses. All those pretty, new homes are so tempting and your comfortable, cozy home seems a bit staid and old-fashioned in comparison.

If you love that well-lived-in home, you don’t have to move to get a new look. Consider instead how a home improvement remodeling project could update your beloved home so it’s more in style with those that tempted you over in that strange neighborhood without all the pretty gardens and landscaping you’ve worked so hard to cultivate.

When dreaming of a new look, consider how to incorporate the features you liked best about the new homes into your home improvement remodeling plan.

Like the bigger rooms with the wide-open feel?

Your home improvement remodeling job can accomplish that look by removing or relocating a wall or two.

Since the room will be empty to accommodate the repairs, extend your home improvement remodeling project to include earthy tile or wood floors instead of the old, well-trodden carpet. And add a few coats of paint in an elegant color similar to what you saw in the model homes.

Did the many windows and abundant sunshine in the kitchens of those showcase homes catch your attention?

Have your home improvement remodeling project focus on that busy room of the house. Perhaps you can raise the roof a few feet and install windows at the newly created ceiling line. And you can add a sun light or two or expand existing windows.

Dream of spending hours in a bathroom as luxurious as those on show?

Think about the rooms adjacent to the existing bathroom in your home. If you no longer use the nursery, office, or walk-in-closet on the other side of the bathroom wall, make provisions in your home improvement remodeling job to turn those unused rooms into bathroom space and fill your new bathroom with fixtures fit for a queen.

Sometimes a home improvement remodeling job seems intimidating at the outset. Instead of tackling it as one giant makeover, work with just one room at a time. This way you can become comfortable with the remodeling situation on a small scale while you refine your home improvement remodeling plans for the rest of your home.

Tips on Building Remodeling and Home Improvement.

But maybe your business needs a little sprucing up.

Perhaps business is booming and you’ve had to hire extra people lately and now everybody seems to be working elbow to elbow and getting a little touchy in the process.

A building remodeling job might be the answer to giving all your valued employees a little breathing room so sales soars to higher levels than ever before. It won’t take long before the building remodel will pay for itself.

Got a busy restaurant that’s become such a hot spot that people make reservations weeks in advance and still wait an hour to be seated? Your restaurant could use a building remodeling makeover that is likely to keep those customers interested and your chef a bit less grouchy, too.

Consider a building remodeling project that includes more dining area so more happy customers can be seated more quickly. And don’t forget to expand the kitchen a bit so your grumpy chef can get some updated equipment or bigger staff to keep those customers coming back for more.

And what if you are now selling more widgets than ever before and shipping them to the four corners of the globe, thanks to expanding your operations onto the internet? Perhaps a building remodeling job to expand the warehouse or shipping area – or both – will keep you running at cyber speed.

It’s not just homes that benefit from remodeling jobs. Sometimes a building remodeling job to expand a business is just what’s needed to change that bottom line from one written with red ink into one written in black.

Professional remodeling services and contractors are available to meet your needs both at work and at home.

Remodeling Your Home or Office? Get our House Remodeling Tips!

A house remodeling project can be quite a challenge, from beginning to end. It’s a task so daunting that few homeowners should consider doing it themselves.

From the beginning, a plan must be devised that will make best use of the existing home and also encompass the house remodeling project, too. Sometimes the insight and expertise of a professional consulted at the inception of the project is instrumental to long-term satisfaction of the final product.

Even when a home has been occupied for many years, there are likely to be some surprises hidden behind the walls or under the floors that can complicate a house remodeling job even when the job is done by a professional. The pro will know how to deal with all sorts of issues relating to the wiring, the plumbing, ventilation, and structural issues that may surface.

Depending upon the extent of a house remodeling operation, it’s very likely that building or remodel permits will be required before the project can pass final inspection for occupancy. This is a very important aspect of any house remodeling job and it cannot be overlooked.

When done in a “hidden” manner, house repairs made without getting a permit and inspection can cause big problems down the line, even when they seem to save money at the time.

One example of how such do-it-yourself house remodeling projects can cause problems is with the eventual sale of the home. You may intend to live there forever but the average American moves every seven years.

It may finally be time for that move and you may have found a buyer willing and ready to pay top dollar for your home. They may especially like the house remodeling job you did yourself and be very anxious to move in.

The problem will come with transferring title to that property. When a title search shows that house remodeling projects were done without permits and inspections, a mortgage company is not likely to allow the sale to happen.

The house is quite likely to be condemned, consider unfit for occupancy.

You may not be able to sell the house to anyone, for any price, until the house remodeling projects pass inspection and a certificate of occupancy is issued by the appropriate governing body. You and your family may not be allowed to live there, either, until the house passes inspection.

The money saved originally by doing the house remodeling yourself is likely to be just a drop in the bucket compared to the expenses incurred with the loss of a sale, new permits, inspections, fines, and penalties that may be levied against you once the remodeling is discovered.

Even when a professional house remodeling professional isn’t hired to do the actual work, it may be a wise investment to have one visit the site, review the plan, and provide advice on how to proceed before any work is begun.

Learn How to Find House Repair Contractors in Your Area

Our houses are just like our cars. They look best and function efficiently when routine repairs and maintenance are not overlooked.

We may not actually think of routine house repair projects in the same way we do as an oil change or a tune-up but houses are a lot more complex than cars are. We’ll be better off addressing the house repair issues as they arise instead of attending to an all-encompassing, top to bottom, clean sweep once every few months.

Keeping a home clean is one great way to stay abreast of all house repair issues before they become major overhauls. But even the cleanest of homes requires some repair every now and then.

Many homeowners attempt doing some of the house repair work themselves but sometimes it’s best to call in the expertise of a home repair or remodeling expert for the bigger fixes needed.

For many of the minor fixes, not much skill or danger are involved. Bigger house repair projects, though, can be very complicated and rather dangerous. For these projects, it’s best to leave the job to a trained professional who really, truly, knows what he or she is doing.

Even the cleanest home needs a touch-up of the paint from time to time and this is one house repair and maintenance job that might be a good one for the professionals.

If it’s the outside of your home the needs the paint job, the professional will have a wide assortment of tools and equipment that make this a house repair that’s a snap instead of a months-long ordeal.

Repairs that involve structural and utility systems are not the type of house repair that the typical homeowner should tackle single-handedly, either. These systems can be dangerous and lead to much bigger problems if done improperly.

Everybody appreciates the value of a trusted mechanic to keep our cars chugging along smoothly. We are equally lucky when we have a trusted house repair and maintenance specialist to do the same for our homes.

And isn’t it true that paying taxes on a home that is in optimum condition is a lot easier to swallow than paying taxes on one that seems to be falling apart?

DIY Repair Can Help You Save Money in Home Repairs

More of us than in any generation past have realized the American Dream of home ownership, too. We’ve bought homes we are quite proud of and have been eager to maintain them as a showcase monument to our success.

Unfortunately, however, we’re all getting just a little bit older. Those do-it-yourself (DIY) projects aren’t quite as easy as they used to be.

Fortunately, though, we have lots of help to call on when those DIY repairs call for a little more vigor than we are willing to invest.

DIY repair and maintenance projects are required inside and out to keep our homes running as smoothly as we’ve run our lives. We know that and, for the most part, we’ve enjoyed doing them.

But as our bodies are aging, so are our homes and those DIY repair projects can sometimes seem to be accumulating faster than our stamina can keep up.

Even though there will always be a DIY repair job we enjoy doing so much we’ll keep at it, it’s nice to know there are many repair and remodeling specialists who can step in to do the chores we no longer want to do or feel confident doing anymore.

When once laying tile in the kitchen or recarpeting the bedroom was an easy DIY repair job, the floor now seems much farther down there than it used to be. These chores can now be left up to the specialists.

Springtime cleaning out and mending of the rain gutters was once a DIY repair job that marked the passing of the seasons but ladders just don’t seem as sturdy as they once were. It’s OK to let the professionals do that stuff now.

And it seems that every DIY repair job left a bruise, cut, or scrape, one we wore proudly, almost like a badge of honor. Seems lately, though, that it’s taking a lot longer for those bodily dings to heal and they hurt a lot more these days, too. Let the professionals deal with them instead.

We can still keep our homes running in ship-shape order and we can still enjoy the occasional DIY repair or maintenance task, too. We can keep on doing the fun stuff but it’s really nice to know we can call someone else to do the difficult, dirty, or heavy work without feeling like it’s a frivolous expenditure of our money.

Wouldn’t it be nice to transfer your DIY repair work to a professional service started by a Baby Boomer just like you? He’d probably be right proud to let his kids do the work while the two of you enjoy swapping stories of the good old days.

Do it Yourself Repair is a Great Way to Save Money!

Other times a do it yourself repair project isn’t really one you should do yourself.

Perhaps city permits and inspections are required for a particular job you might have considered a do it yourself repair project. Unfortunately, in order to pass inspection, you will most likely be required to use a contractor specializing in a specific craft in order to pass an inspection.

Your chances of getting a building and repair permit may be jeopardized when tackling a do it yourself repair job, too. Without a proven record of ability, a license to do such business, and the liability insurance to cover any losses or damages incurred, your permit request is very likely to be denied.

Before beginning a do it yourself project, consider how self-contained the project is. Painting a bedroom doesn’t involve anyone outside your home so it’s something that can be done without any legal problems.

Other do it yourself repair projects you can tackle alone involve cleaning out rain gutters, minor landscaping, and replacing the flooring in all or part of your home.

The problems that come with do it yourself repairs that go beyond the legal scope of the homeowner’s jurisdiction are when the project affects the neighborhood and city where you live.

You cannot make electrical and plumbing repairs to your home as a do it yourself repair project because any work you do will affect the utility and water suppliers to your home. Your neighbors will be affected so permits and inspections will be required.

As a shortage of water is becoming a concern throughout the country, any do it yourself repair projects that involve water retention and drainage, such as pouring a new driveway or patio, require permits and inspections, too.

To tackle a do it yourself repair project is a commendable thing, as long as you know your abilities, your limits, and the building codes and restrictions that apply to your intended project.

For all projects outside the scope of do it yourself repair projects, there are highly qualified professionals at your service and ready to assist.

Learn How to do Home Repair with Basic Tools!

Perhaps it’s time to consider calling a home repair specialist to get an estimate of how much time, money, and temporary inconvenience might be in order to get your castle fit for royalty once again.

It’s easy to do your own minor home repair projects if you keep up with them as they occur. But such diligence is often easier said than done and, before you know it, one repair left undone leads to other repairs that need mending, too, or to major repairs that are too tough to tackle alone.

Before calling a home repair specialist, it’s a good idea to make a list of the repairs desired. A specialist may be able to solve several problems in just one all-inclusive project.

A home repair specialist is also a great source of advice for how to best accomplish a series of repair jobs, too. Chances are, he or she has seen just about anything you can imagine and they’ve fixed them admirably. They can do the same at your home, too.

If your home repair list is extensive or involves some of the major structural systems to your home, a professional will understand the scope of his or her own expertise and will know of qualified, reputable contractors to employ to do the rest.

One tricky aspect of home repair jobs is the permits and inspections that may be necessary, depending on what part of your home needs mending. A home repair professional will know how to work with the municipal issues surrounding the repairs and how to accomplish them safely and effectively.

We rely on our homes to provide lots of things – shelter, warmth, a sense of identity. It’s a wise investment of time and resources to keep it running efficiently. And that sometimes means calling a home repair specialist to keep things in tip-top shape.