Preparing Your Home for Spring

preparing for spring

Temperatures might still be cooler, but just think-in the near future spring is going to be here! When spring comes around it is time to prepare your house for summer, so logically now is the time to prepare your house for spring! If you follow our tips now, come spring you have more time to go out and enjoy the season.

Inside the House

1. Open the Windows- This one can wait for when the weather is slightly warmer. Open all the windows so your house can be cleared out of all the toxins it has accumulated during the winter months.

2. Carpet and Curtains- Deep clean all carpets and curtains. These items usually need one good cleaning every year so make it part of your pre-spring ritual.

3. Slipcover Furniture- If you like you furniture keeping its color longer use a slipcover during the springtime as the sun is more harsh during this time of the year.

Outside the House

This is considered pre-spring cleaning and can help you save time when spring is here. Start by cleaning out all the leaves from your gardens and water features. If they aren’t cleaned out now they will become more difficult to clean up as it rains and decomposes. Also pulling weeds will be easier now than when the warm summer weather comes and dries the ground up. It is important to take all steps to protect your plants and grass now as you will not have to worry about them as much when spring is in full bloom.

Selling Your Home? Ways to Prepare

selling a home

The housing market keeps getting better and better, and both buyers and sellers are reaping the benefits. If you are selling your house, you want it to be in the best condition possible – neat, clean, and eye-catching – but there are more things to be concerned about than just the cosmetics. Here are some preparation tips, things to repair and signs of decay to look for.

Keep in mind that some things may seem like simple fixes to you, but might appear more serious to potential buyers.

Water Stains

Stains on the walls or ceilings could indicate an issue with water. It could be something as minor as a leaky toilet, or forgetting to close the shower curtain. But you should look for the root of the problem, so you know exactly what to tell the buyer. If you have the means to repair it, do so before anyone sees your house.


You should make it a habit to always use a professional to deal with electrical issues as problems with your wiring can be very dangerous. And you need to keep your electricity up to code. So check all your outlets and the breaker panel, and call an electrician if you have any questions. Better to be safe than sorry.

Venting and Mold

There used to be a time when bathroom vents sent all the moisture to the attic, but the preponderance of mold, caused builders to redirect all that moisture to the home’s exterior. If your home is older, you might want to have a pro look into the possibility of mold. You can tell if there is mold by the black staining on ceilings and walls. Mold is a terrible health hazard and should be dealt with immediately.

Wood Rot

If you haven’t painted the exterior of your home in a while, the exposed wood could start rotting. Go around the outside, check the windows, and take out rotting wood and have it replaced. Of course, you must paint right away as well.

Window Seals

Homes built before 1980 may have problems with this. Nowadays windows have 2 panes, and the seals are more stable. But if you notice any fogging on your window, it means you have a failed seal. This is an easy repair and you can do it yourself.


If you have a chimney, make sure to have a pro check for cracks that could have occurred over time due to weather. Some cracks could be structural and need to be addressed.


Radon is a carcinogenic gas that lives underground and seeps into cracks in your foundation or floor. Remediating is a professional job, but fairly simple. Many home buyers are very aware of the existence of radon gas, so expect to be asked about it.

As mentioned earlier, if you can make repairs in your home prior to viewing, make them. But full disclosure should be made to a potential buyer if you cannot, and the asking price will have to be adjusted.

Preparing your home for sale is not difficult. It just requires a bit of detection, and a good eye. You won’t be sorry if you take the time to survey your home and search out possible problems before putting your home on the market. If you have any questions, contact Above and Beyond Premiere Home Inspection.

To Do: Preparing Your Home for Winter

preparing home for winter

One of the great joys of the human experience is watching the seasons change. Now, winter is almost here, and just as you prepare yourself for the cold weather, so should you prepare your home. You don’t want to be caught during a blizzard with no heat. There are specific things you need to look for to make sure your home is winter-ready, and once you are aware of them; your inspection will be easy.

First, take a walk around the exterior of your home. Look for missing roof tiles, tree branches on the house, deteriorating shingles, broken window frames – essentially any kind of damage. If your siding is discolored it may mean that you have a problem with your gutter system. Notice cracks and holes, anything that would allow cold air into the home. You want your home’s exterior to be ready for rougher weather. Take care of any issues you find.

Now inspect the inside. Check for signs of water damage, like discolored ceilings and cracks in the walls. Is there any floor damage? Look carefully around doors and windows. Feel for air leaks.  If you find any problems and don’t attend to them, you are asking for trouble down the line.

And don’t forget attics and basements. Look for signs of uninvited animals like nests and droppings. In your attic, be aware of any discolorations on the sheathing. This could be a signal that your roof leaks. Feel for wet joists, rafters, and insulation. A roof leak will be a major issue in winter if you don’t take care of it immediately. If you have a chimney, clean it out before it gets really cold. Make sure it is checked for signs of animal visitors.  While in your basement, check for leaks around your water heater and your furnace. And while you’re at it test your home heating system to be sure everything is running smoothly.

Don’t forget to check your plumbing. Make sure there are no leaks around toilets, sinks, tubs, and showers.

Lastly, have a look in your breaker box and check all your electrical outlets. You will be using more electricity now and you don’t want to have any problems.

Taking care that your home is prepared for the cold and snow just makes good sense. This is a season to be enjoyed, one full of love and family. There is no reason why you should have to worry about problems in your home. And a simple going-over will easily let you know if there is anything you need to fix.   See to your repairs, and enjoy the holidays!


Why Are New Home Inspections so Valuable?

new home inspection

Purchasing a new or custom built home is a wonderful experience, as you can choose each accent that makes the house a home. Homeowners usually hire a home inspector when the new home is finished, but we suggest doing it during the early stages of construction. Everything is better when you have a professional home inspection company at your side. Trust us; we’ll give you four solid reasons in the list below.

New home constructions run into a myriad of problems that cannot be avoided. Building a home is not exactly a quick, simple process. You can’t build a home in a day; there are many different steps involved. Beyond that, there are times where you have to deal with issues for which you were just never prepared. It’s all just easier if you have a professional advocate at your side.

Following that, you have to realize that “building codes” only require minimum standards. Municipal building inspectors may do their best, but if the standards are lower than yours, you may be left wanting more.

Since more of the house is visible during these phases, it makes fixing these common problems easy:

  • Uneven or Missing Siding
  • Insufficient or Improperly Installed Insulation
  • Ducts Attached Incorrectly or Vented Improperly
  • Raised Roof Shingles
  • Broken Trusses

The best reason of all is likely the resale value of your home. Buyers will feel much more comfortable with a home that has been inspected several times throughout the construction process. If you have any other questions about getting your new home inspected, please contact Above & Beyond Home Inspections today.

A Basic Guide to a Buyer’s Inspection

buyers inspectionBuying a home can be a lengthy process, but many of the steps a buyer takes to get to closing are for their own protection. The buyer’s home inspection is one of the most crucial steps one must take before sitting down at the final closing meeting. Many potential buyers are overwhelmed by the thought of going through a home inspection. However, once a buyer understands exactly what a home inspection entails; the process becomes a lot easier, and is often welcomed.

What is the purpose of a home inspection?

The home inspection process protects a potential buyer from purchasing a home in need of major repairs. The home inspection also serves many other important purposes. If issues are discovered in the home, they may lower the home’s estimated value, which would then enable a buyer to back out of the sale or make another offer.

Home inspections reveal potential hazards that a buyer otherwise may not be aware of; and offers the buyer the opportunity to make additional requests of the seller. The buyer’s home inspection is the part of the sale process that helps to solidify the sale, or let the buyer and/or the seller, know that it is time to move on from this particular deal.

What is included in your basic home inspection?

A home inspector’s report will include; the condition of the home’s heating and cooling units, the plumbing and electrical systems, walls and insulation, the attic areas and roof, floors and ceilings, doors and windows, any visible insulation, the home’s foundation, the basement, and the home’s visible structure.

Buyer’s can request other types of testing, such as, radon and mold testing, testing of the water supply, and energy audits.

All buyers should be aware that a home inspection can never be a guarantee against future problems. The Home Warranty covers many future issues and repairs. Once a home is inhabited, anything can happen over the lifetime of a property. Also, a home inspection is not an appraisal. The report can help a buyer to determine what to offer for a property; but to obtain an official appraisal a buyer must hire another company for this purpose.

Does the buyer need to be present during the inspection?

Though not a requirement, most home inspectors will want the buyer to be present. This allows the inspector to point out certain issues that may be uncovered. The buyer may have questions about certain aspects of the home; if they are present, they can ask these questions during the inspection. Buyers should note that the inspector needs time and space to do his or her job; so a buyer should make sure that their presence is not disruptive.

Note: Many home inspectors will offer a buyer, a 90-day warranty on the inspection. This warranty will cover certain items included in the home inspection for this time period after the inspection. If a home inspector does not mention a warranty. The buyer should inquire upon hiring an inspector, as to whether or not a warranty can be included in the inspection process.


The Washington State Mudslide

It’s important to trust an expert’s opinion, especially when it comes to something as important as the construction and location of your home. You may have a perfect ideal of your dream home in your head, but you should heed every warning presented to you from engineers who may have concerns.

The consequences of failing to listen to smart advice has played out in a very dramatic way in Washington State over the past month. Many of our readers will be aware of the mudslide in a small community near Oso WA that may have killed dozens of residents. Many readers may be unaware, however, that this particular area had been deemed as a pretty hazardous zone for at least a decade.

As this article published by The Wall Street Journal reports, early signs that this area could experience a catastrophic landslide event first surfaced in 1999. In that year, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers study on fish-habitat assessments in the area included scientist concerns that the very patch of ground that gave way in March was potentially very unstable. Many government representatives now believe that information should have been made more public or should have raised more red flags with the county government.

Even after that report, a small landslide event in 2006 didn’t deter people from making their residence in this risky terrain. Although the county took some measures during the clean-up to prevent future landslides, one geomorphologist who contributed to the 1999 Army Corps of Engineers study, Daniel Miller, tried to enlighten homeowners to the risks that remained.

We don’t need to go through the tragic results of this past month to show our readers how important it is to consider terrain before making a major investment on a home. Here at Above & Beyond Inspections, we aim to earn our name by providing thorough pre-purchase inspections. Our services can help you uncover an array of issues related to your property’s terrain or any unwanted pests. We serve the Washington State communities of Richland, Kennewick, Pasco and other surrounding areas.

Rules Regarding Home Inspections

CaptureThe real estate transaction process is one that can create a lot of anxiety in either a homebuyer or someone selling a home. Between all the forms that must be filed, the deadlines that must be met and holding your breath as the closing date approaches, buying a home will be one of the toughest, most significant things you’ll do in your life.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you do every last bit of research you need to complete before finalizing the sale. Much of this will revolve around the home inspection; you know how much the property is listing for on the market, but how much extra money will you need to put into it once it’s yours?

The question often arises during the real estate sales process: Who is responsible for making sure that a home inspection is completed? Prior to a sale, a house should be thoroughly inspected to make sure that no code violations are passed on to the next owner. But is it the prior owner’s legal responsibility to check for violations or issues, or is that the buyer’s liability?

The real answer is that either side will benefit from having a professional service come in and locate any cracks in the wall or utility issues that can cost thousands of dollars to repair. For a homeowner who is selling, this home inspection allows them to advertise their home price as “move-in” or “turn-key ready.” As this article from The Valley News indicates, this means that a homeowner’s real estate price really is the bottom line of what a homebuyer will have to pay without any costly repairs. It’s recommended that much of this work takes place before a home is listed.

As a homebuyer, you can protect your interests by having your prospective next home inspected before you agree to buy. This will help a buyer uncover any needed HVAC, plumbing, basement or electrical system issues, allowing them to negotiate a better price.

The rules regarding home inspections are sometimes vague and difficult to understand, but a good rule of thumb is to always make sure you have all possible information. If you’re planning to jump into Washington State’s real estate market, give Above & Beyond Inspections a quick call. We’ll be happy to help you find all the important information you need for your prospective real estate transaction.