Inspecting a Home

Written by Jim O'Keefe

Continued from page 1

Checkrepparttar water pressure atrepparttar 100148 faucets. Turn on all faucets and flush all toilets atrepparttar 100149 same time. How long it takesrepparttar 100150 tanks to refill under these conditions is a good indication ofrepparttar 100151 water pressure.

Are there a shut-off valves on both hot and cold water supply lines to all sinks?

Look for signs of rust and leaks inrepparttar 100152 water heater. Is there a pressure relief valve?

Is there a private well? Hasrepparttar 100153 water been tested? Acceptable water quality can be a contingency in your purchase offer.

You can get information on water testing from your county cooperative extension center.

For more information, see Lead in Drinking Water, or Removing Mineral Deposits from Household Surfaces, or Radon in Water, or Health Effects of Drinking Water Contaminants, or Home Drinking Water Treatment Systems.


If there is a septic tank, is it in good condition? What is its age? Has it been pumped regularly at 3- to 5-year intervals? Are there any signs indicating faulty or inadequate capacity of drain lines, such as a slowly draining sink, or a toilet that backs up?


Do some appliances remain withrepparttar 100154 house? These may include a built-in oven, dishwasher, garbage disposal, free-standing range, refrigerator, washer, dryer, and window air conditioning unit. All should be tested for efficient and safe operation. Askrepparttar 100155 owner for any records of service and repair.


Are there signs of wood damage from insects? The most destructive insect isrepparttar 100156 termite, which eatsrepparttar 100157 interior of studs and joists. Termites may cause much damage before they are detected. Termite inspection is required by most lenders. Hasrepparttar 100158 house been periodically inspected and treated for termites?

Are there piles of coarse sawdust beneathrepparttar 100159 timbers? This may indicaterepparttar 100160 presence of carpenter ants. Unlike termites, carpenter ants do not eat wood, but they do nest in it. They are most likely to attack wood that has already begun to rot. These ants may also be heard within walls and may even be spotted insiderepparttar 100161 house inrepparttar 100162 winter. They are black and about 1/2-inch long.

Do you see deposits of sawdust onrepparttar 100163 floor and small pencil-lead size holes in wood beams and floor joists? This may indicaterepparttar 100164 presence ofrepparttar 100165 powder-post beetle. To verify, check to see ifrepparttar 100166 wood crumbles when an ice pick or pocketknife is pressed intorepparttar 100167 beams, floor joists, support posts, and sill plates.

If there is some indication ofrepparttar 100168 presence of termites, carpenter ants, or powder-post beetles, your purchase offer can be contingent onrepparttar 100169 house being free from infestation by these or other insects. You can askrepparttar 100170 seller to payrepparttar 100171 cost of a professional insect inspection and treatment; however, inspection is usually paid byrepparttar 100172 buyer.


Certain products or pollutants inrepparttar 100173 indoor environment can cause health problems. Asbestos, carbon monoxide, and radon are hazards that may be present. Lead, which can be present in water or paint, can cause health problems in children and during pregnancy. And some people are sensitive to certain products or pollutants like formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds. You may want to test for some or all ofrepparttar 100174 following contaminants. Contact your local health department or county cooperative extension center for guidance on testing.

· Formaldehyde is often found in particle and other composition board, plywood, paneling, wallpaper, and permanent-pressed fabrics.

· Asbestos fibers may be found in thermal insulation, pipe and duct insulation, vinyl flooring, textured paint, exterior siding, and appliances, stoves, and furnaces. Removal of asbestos can be expensive and should be left to a professional.

· Carbon monoxide may be leaking from defective or improperly vented combustion appliances, such as furnaces, gas dryers, and gas heaters. These should be checked by a qualified heating system technician. Try to avoidrepparttar 100175 use of wood stoves or kerosene heaters.

· Radon, a colorless and odorless soil gas, can travel fromrepparttar 100176 soil torepparttar 100177 foundation and then torepparttar 100178 inside of a house. It can have long-term health effects. Ifrepparttar 100179 house hasn't been tested for radon, you may want to askrepparttar 100180 seller to establish an escrow account to cover costs of remediation, if necessary.

· Volatile Organic Compounds are found in flammable and other household cleaning and maintenance products. You may want these products removed before you take possession ofrepparttar 100181 house.

· Lead may be present in house paints used before 1977 and inrepparttar 100182 piping system at soldered joints. If you have small children and suspectrepparttar 100183 presence of lead, you may want to haverepparttar 100184 house checked. Removal of lead-based paint can be costly.

James O’Keefe is the owner of My Millionaire Friend. offering FREE articles, tips, hints, and real-world advice on how to make money with your website. Visit his site or join his FREE newsletter by sending a blank email to

The Perfect Porch Swing

Written by Debbie Rodgers

Continued from page 1
Installation •Allow a 4 foot (1.2 m) arc forrepparttar swing to move freely. •Use galvanized or stainless steel chain or marine-grade braided nylon or polyester rope, and eye-bolts or S-hooks with 4-6 inch (10 cm-15) shafts. Using S-hooks allows easier removal ofrepparttar 100147 swing for winter storage but is not as secure as using eye-bolts. •ALWAYS hangrepparttar 100148 swing from a roof joist, notrepparttar 100149 roofing material itself. Ifrepparttar 100150 joists on your porch roof are not exposed, cut away a section of roofing to find them. Otherwise, don't hangrepparttar 100151 swing fromrepparttar 100152 ceiling -- use a frame instead. •Drill a pilot hole slightly smaller thanrepparttar 100153 shaft ofrepparttar 100154 eye-ring or S-ring. This will ensure a snug fit torepparttar 100155 shaft ofrepparttar 100156 ring. Tightenrepparttar 100157 ring securely, using pliers or a screw-driver forrepparttar 100158 last turn. •Measurerepparttar 100159 required chain. As an example, seven foot (2.1 m) chains hung from a beam 8 feet (2.4 m) aboverepparttar 100160 floor will lift a swing about 18 inches (45 cm) offrepparttar 100161 ground. If you have a measurement, your hardware dealer can cutrepparttar 100162 exact length of chain you need and you won't have to cut it with a hacksaw. •Use four chains to hang your swing -- two chains from each hook, one torepparttar 100163 front ofrepparttar 100164 swing and one torepparttar 100165 back. It's easier to hang swings with holes inrepparttar 100166 arms, but swings with chains attached torepparttar 100167 seat or torepparttar 100168 bottom supports give a more comfortable ride without as much twisting and wearing ofrepparttar 100169 chains orrepparttar 100170 ropes. •Check your swing each spring and replace any rusted chain or bolts. Also maintainrepparttar 100171 finish ofrepparttar 100172 wood because weathered wood eventually will loosen fasteners and produce splinters. No porch? Don't despair if you don't have a covered porch. •Some swings come suspended in their own frames or can be installed on decks on a wooden A-frame. •Put one in your garden, hanging from an arbor. Train vines uprepparttar 100173 sides and soon you'll have a leafy hide-away nook. •Hang a board with rope from a sturdy, level tree branch •If you need something that takes up less space, consider a glider -- a bench that gently moves forward and back on a mechanized base. There are even kits available that will turn a wooden garden bench into a glider. So don't just sit there this summer -- swing away and make some memories!

Debbie Rodgers, the haven maven, owns and operates Paradise Porch, and is dedicated to helping people create outdoor living spaces that nurture and enrich them. Her latest how-to guide “Attracting Butterflies to Your Home and Garden” is now available on her web site. Visit her at and get a free report on “Eight easy ways to create privacy in your outdoor space”. Mail to

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