Boise: GOT JUNK? Get Rid Of It!!
Ok Treasure Valley, the temperatures are getting down right unseasonably warm ( Scott Dorval said so! ) and that means Spring cleaning is quickly becoming Summer Scrambling in order to get everything tidied up before the busy hot months ahead. Soccer games, football, dance, and then heaven forbid you have company – you don’t want them seeing the actual conditions you live in! – when are you ever going to find time to get rid of all the stuff that’s been piling up over Winter?!
Don’t Panic! Just Holler!
Junk Holler is 100% Boise Builders Group approved! Whether you just have a lot of stuff that needs hauled away, have old appliances to remove, or even have things to recycle or donate to charity Junk Holler can help! They do more than just grab and trash your stuff – they offer recycling and donation services for all the items they pick up so you can be sure that you’re being conscientious about your disposal. See all the items they take here!
Here are just a few of their residential junk removal services:
Barn & Shed Cleanout
Garage & Yard Sale Cleanup
Storage Unit Cleanout
Their helpful crew will do all the work to remove your unwanted items, while you sit back and watch your piles of junk disappear. We will not only do all the heavy lifting and loading but also leave no mess behind. You can feel good knowing that we apply environmentally responsible practices that recycle or donate your unwanted items whenever possible.
Schedule your pickup online or by calling (208) 899-4000.
BOISE: Winter is Coming!
The Winter heating season is already underway; for many in the Northwest this year means even higher energy costs. Heating costs can make up 45% of your Winter energy bill. Hefty energy bills don’t have to dampen your holiday season however! Here are some great tips to help you save on staying warm during the cold months.
First, do an energy audit. You can do this yourself by taking a look at your energy bill and thinking of ways that you can cut back on non-heat related costs. This may be as simple as unplugging electronics that aren’t in use, or turning off lights in rooms that you’re not going to be using.
Set the thermostat at 68 when you are home; even lower if you are not going to be home. Don’t let it slip below 58 degrees if you live in a really cold area. By just setting the temperature a little lower for a few hours a day you can save over 10% on your bill in most cases.
Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees to cut back on heat lost to the environment. Heating water can account up to 18% of your energy bill so it’s good to insulate your water heater and also any pipes that carry hot water as well.
Seal up air leaks. Use a candle to test windows for drafts. If you find a draft you can seal the edges of windows with caulking or spray foam depending on the size of the leak. Also consider under door sweeps for exterior doors.
Window glass can be a big reason your home loses heat. Clear windows on the South side of your home to let as much natural light and heat in as possible. If you don’t have double paned windows, you can also keep drapes closed or use a window insulation kit to help keep cold air from coming in from the outside.
Don’t hesitate to contact a local handyman or home service provider to ask them for advice on improving your home efficiency, in some cases they will have tips that can help, or you can even hire them to come and fix the issues for you.
Saving pennies can make sense in the long run! Don’t get all heated up over high energy bills this Winter!
Get Your Mind In The Gutter!
They are easy to forget. They’re just kind of “there” on your house, up high, where you don’t really give them much mind, and since we don’t get a lot of rain here in Idaho they are even easier to not think about.
Truth be told however your gutters provide an important function when it comes to keeping your home safe from the elements. Gutters serve two main purposes: to keep water from gathering on your roof and to divert water away from the foundation of your home – and if they are clogged or not in working order you could be looking at some costly repairs later on.
Possible consequences of poorly function gutters include:
When water accumulates around the base of your home it can cause foundation and even structural damage. As water sits around your foundation, especially over the seasons, it can cause cracks to form in the foundation, and if not remedied even cause the concrete to crumble. This could not only cause flooding in basements and crawlspaces but could even cause structural damage to the house, costing thousands.
Clogged gutters can cause water to accumulate and moisture to stay close to the eaves of your home and attic spaces, making prime conditions for mold growth to take hold. Fungi and other growth can weakened not only shingles but even the roof itself, causing leaks and allowing mold to penetrate your roof space to grow inside your home. Mold is difficult to deal with once it takes hold and may require you to hire a professional.
When gutters aren’t clear and working properly water has no place to go and can accumulate on your roof. If neglected long enough water accumulation can cause surface decay as well as damage to shingles and structure. It’s easy to overlook with such long dry seasons here in Idaho, but a clogged gutter can lead to a much more costly repair – even a roof replacement – if left unchecked long enough.
Erosion is one of the biggest, most frequent kinds of damage you will see from a non-functioning gutter. If a gutter is clogged it can overrun, or if the downspouts are not open or connected, water can dump down with a lot of force eroding the ground. This problem can lead to large puddles in the corners of your home, standing water rife for mosquito breeding, and even loss of lawn or other decorative plants. Make sure your gutters drain properly or install water spout catches to disperse water over an area rather than letting it drill into the ground digging a hole.
Gutter guards can help cut down on how often you need to clean your gutters but the best bet is to get them serviced regularly as the seasons change. All Valley Window Cleaning does more than keep your windows sparkling clean – they also offer pressure washing services for your home or business as well as great gutter cleaning and maintenance! Contact Kevin at All Valley Window Cleaning 208-323-6187 today!
Winter Driving Safety in Idaho
Winter has arrived here in our valley a bit earlier than expected! The first big storm of the season has already left a surprising amount of snow on the ground and local ski escapes like Bogus Basin are looking at opening earlier than they have in almost 50 years!
With holiday trips to see friends and family as well as outings to take care of the Christmas shopping being things most of us won’t be able to avoid – not to mention just getting around in the day to day and going to work – driver safety is a very important item to consider.
Here are a few tips to help you be prepared:
Easier said than done at times, but if the weather is bad you may really need to think twice as to whether going out is truly necessary. Sometimes just staying at home is the best, safest, way to avoid trouble.
Keep It Serviced
If your car needs repairs get them done now rather than later. Breaking down in the warm months is no big deal; you can walk to get help or just wait for help to come. In Winter this may not be possible and may even be a danger in and of itself. It’s a good idea to have your vehicle winterized and to make sure the battery and electrical systems are all working properly.
Some good general maintenance tips include:
Making sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and working.
Making sure your windshield wiper fluid is full ( of fluid, NOT water ).
Making sure your gas tank is at minimum half full at all times.
Keep a bag of sand or cat litter in your trunk – this is good not only for if you get stuck but also to add a little extra weight to your vehicle.
Always keep a blanket or two as well as some clean drinking water and snacks in the vehicle in case you do get stranded somewhere for an extended time.
If you absolutely can not avoid going out the best thing to do is go slow. Four wheel drive is great for keeping you on the road while you are moving but does absolutely nothing to help if you are stopping on the ice. Slow down, plan ahead for even short trips to take a lot longer, and leave early if need be.
Living in the Northwest can be challenging over the long Winter, but it’s one of the things we endure to enjoy the rugged beauty of our state. If you take precautions and stay prepared there is no reason why the snowy months can’t be safe and enjoyable.
New Year Could Mean New Market for Old Homes
Many home buyers are surprised when they hit the market looking for a new home and find that many of them aren’t so new themselves. Perplexing to some but if you have the inside scoop this is not so surprising. In a recent survey by RealtyTrac it was shown that around 70% of single family homes newly listed for sale were built before 1990. This percentage may be slightly off here in Idaho’s Treasure Valley as the past year has shown steady population growth and a number of great home builders still building in the valley.
Even so, it is very likely that the homes you may be looking at will not necessarily be built-to-suit or new construction in many cases. Experts are saying this is due to the “real estate hangover” from the market turn down several years back when home building practically came to a halt. Even with the promising comeback new construction is still down an average of 40% below long term norms.
Is this all bad though?
The average pre-1990 home sold for 9% less than a newer one in the same market – so good news for those looking to buy, but no so much for sellers.
But once again it all comes down to location, location, location, as even older homes can see a boost in value depending on their locale. Custom features not seen in newer homes, like sweeping staircases, crown molding, and others can also help to balance out the loss in market trends as well.
If you are in the market for an older home, here are a few guidelines to follow:
Do the walk through with your home inspector.
This is the best opportunity to find any potential problem areas and to get the insight of a professional on their severity.
Budget for repairs and upgrades.
Consider the difference between installing new more energy efficient systems versus the cost of maintaining an older one. Many such upgrades like solar water heating can pay for themselves over time easily.
Know when to call it quits.
Everyone likes a challenge, but knowing when a home is just too far beyond your time,energy, or budget it a must for saving heart ache down the road. Think long term before making a decision in the now.
Not sure where to even start?
Have dreams of moving up or getting into classic home rehab? Working with a qualified REALTOR is always the first best step, whether you are buying or selling. Paul Heim of the New View Real Estate Team has the experience and know-how you’ll need no matter what kind of real estate opportunities present themselves.
Boise Home Inspection Q & A
You can have the utmost assurance in Randy Funk Home Inspections. We are backed with full-coverage insurance including E&O, general liability and we are also bonded.
Why have a home inspection?
Investments in Knowledge Pay Dividends!
A professional home inspection is such a valuable investment. An analysis of the property, conducted by a specially trained and completely objective home inspector, can identify non-functioning systems, damaged building components, safety issues and quality installations. Having this information before you purchase, sell, repair or remodel can return many dividends, both financially and emotionally.
How to Choose a Home Inspector?
Qualified inspectors are confident in the quality and value of an inspection. They’re eager to answer any questions to demonstrate the depth and importance of an inspection. Since inspectors in Idaho are not required to have a state license, it is critical to ascertain & verify their background.
How many inspections have you completed?
What types of insurance do you carry? Are you bonded? Home inspectors must carry liability insurance. It is one of the major costs for a home inspector, request proof of coverage.
Frequently Asked Questions about Inspections and Home Inspectors
Q: What is covered in an inspection?
A: Generally, home inspections include the evaluation of the outside area, roof, structural, electrical, plumbing, fireplace, & HVAC. This usually includes inspecting the crawlspace, attic, walking the roof and removal of any electrical panels. For more information, please visit Inspections.
Q: When buying real estate, am I required to have a home inspection?
A: No, a buyer can decide not to have a home inspection, but a quality home inspection provides assurance from a independent 3rd party. Everyone involved benefits from a home inspection. Even new homes, condos and condo-conversions benefit.
Q: When to order or who orders a home inspection?
A: Most home inspections are requested and paid for by the buyer during escrow and time is usually of the essence. It is important to have an inspection completed and reviewed by the buyer and buyer’s agent in a timely manner to determine if any requests for repairs need to be submitted to the seller. The report may recommend a further evaluation by a specialist in determining a remedy.
Many times new sellers will request a home inspection to be done prior to listing their dwelling. This has numerous benefits: it allows ample time to remedy the affordable repairs and decreases any liability exposure by supplementing the Transfer Disclosure Statement. It also minimizes the chances of “discoveries” as a result of any buyers inspection during escrow.
If you are looking for an exceptional home inspector here in the Treasure Valley call Randy Funk Home Inspections today! We have the technology, the quality, and skill you need to be assured that your home is inspected properly.
Randy Funk Home Inspections 208-914-5793
What’s Inside YOUR Home?
An unseen danger could be lurking behind your walls! It can be one of the worst things to discover hiding within your home, but it is something that must adressed to keep it from getting worse. MOLD!
As a home inspector Randy Funk has seen all manner of water intrusion and mold outbreaks that have turned dreamhomes into real nightmare scenarios. Making sure you’ve got a qualified and experienced home inspector before you buy a home can help you from waking up to troubles years later.
You see, simply visual inspection can’t always spot mold in it’s early stages – even if you are very thorough! Infrared thermal imaging however can spot traces of moisture in your walls before any visual sign even appears; is the preferred method for finding potential mold hazards before they start.
“I highly recommend considering a home inspector who uses this new technology. Do I know one you ask? Of course. His name is Randy Funk.”, recommends local Boise Realtor Debbie Cleaver. “Check out his website for more information here. He serves all of SW Idaho and is regularly featured on 670KBOI. He might just be a local celebrity!”
Are you considering buying a home and need a home inspection? Maybe you’ve had your home for a while but are concerned there could be mold, or have recently experienced a leaky roof or appliance that may have water damaged your home. Either way Randy Funk Home Inspections can inspect your home using the latest techniques and technology to put your mind at ease. Call him today at 208.914.5793 or visit him online!
New Affiliates to Put a Spring in Your Step
Spring in Idaho mountain country is a time of growth, when the old is washed away by the flood of new life. The air smells new; there is a certain energy in the wind that stirs each of us into blossom.
We’re seeing great growth here at the Boise Builders Group as well! We have some great new affiliates to share with you even as we say goodbye to one of our founding friends.
Boise Home Inspections
We say farewell to Will Barrow our former home inspection professional with fond faces. Will is moving on to focus on other pursuits after a long career in the industry. Looking ever forward we welcome Randy Funk as our new home inspector! Visit Randy online at his main website here www.homeinspectorboise.com or give him a call at 208.914.5793 for the best home inspections in Idaho!
While we’re at it, here are some quick home maintenance tips for Spring Time from Randy:
*Check for loose or leaky gutters. Improper drainage can lead to water in the basement or crawl space. Make sure downspouts drain away from the foundation and are clear and free of debris.
*Low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects.
*Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Make repairs now before the spring rains do more damage to the exposed wood.
Boise Cleanup and Junk Removal
We’re glad to announce our next new affiliate member,Junk Holler! They can help you with any job big or small, whether you have a residential remodel job that needs a little post-job tidy-up or just finished a big commercial build and need to get on to the next job fast, Junk Holler can get you job cleaned up quick! Visit them online at www.junkholler.com or call 208-899-4000 !
Boise Hardwood Flooring
We also want to take time to recognize A-Max Hardwood Flooring, your source for great hardwood floor installation and maintenance here in the Treasure Valley. From common hearty woods to exotics A-Max can help install or refurbish the wood floors that are the heart of your home! Visit them online at www.amaxhardwood.com or call 208-724-3827