Top 5 Common Home Problems

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 16 May, 2012
In continued celebration of National Home Improvement Month, let’s talk about common home problems and some ways to tackle fixing them. Problem #1: Mold. Water leaks and high humidity lead to mold growth. Water may come into your home through a roof or foundation leak, or though gaps between windows and doors. Daily activities such […] The post Top 5 Common Home Problems appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
Problem #1: Mold. Water leaks and high humidity lead to mold growth. Water may come into your home through a roof or foundation leak, or though gaps between windows and doors. Daily activities such as showering and cooking can increase the humidity levels and encourage mold growth. Improperly sized or installed air conditioners can contribute to high humidity conditions. Humidity levels inside a home should stay between 30% and 50%, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Solution #1:Identify the source of the mold. If it starts as a spot on the wall or ceiling, it’s most likely attributed to a water leak. If it’s covers a large area such as an entire wall, it may be caused by humidity. Eliminate sources of water such as plumbing or roof leaks and replace weather stripping around windows. Monitor the humidity in your home with a hygrometer. Cover crawlspaces with plastic to prevent moisture from the soil from increasing the humidity levels. Install and use ventilation fans in kitchens and baths. Hire an air conditioning contractor to ensure the air conditioner is sized properly and working correctly. The contractor can also check the duct work for leaks. Consult the EPA’s Brief Guide to Mold in your home for more about mold remediation. If the mold causes extensive damage hire a contractor specializing in mold remediation to remove the infestation.
Problem #2: Wet Basements. A damp basement is usually caused by moisture coming through the foundation. When the moisture evaporates it increases indoor humidity, resulting in mold growth. The humidity may also cause peeling paint, rotting wood or other structural damage. Water can seep into the home through a foundation leak or between gaps around windows and doors. The mold growth can be caused by plumbing leaks. Another cause is condensation buildup on concrete walls and floors.
Solution #2:Identify where the problem occurs. Again, a small area usually means a water leak while a larger area points to a humidity problem. Standing water on the floor of the basement after rain usually indicates a foundation leak. Clean gutters and redirect the downspout away from the house. Re-grade the ground, if necessary, to ensure it slopes away from the foundation. Test your sump pump and make sure it’s in working order. Use a dehumidifier in the basement during humid months to eliminate condensation on the walls.
Problem #3: Moisture Buildup on Windows. Inefficient windows or excessive moisture levels attributed to air leaks can cause condensation on windows. Over time the seal on a window expands and contracts from exposure to heat and cold. The seal can start to fail, allowing air between the panes. Eventually the condensation results in mold growth or rots the window.
Solution #3:Check the manufacturer’s warranty. If the glass is still covered, have it replaced. If it is not, you may need to hire someone to replace the glass or install new windows. Install a window insulation kit over the windows if you can’t afford to replace them immediately. To remedy high moisture levels use ventilation fans in kitchens and baths. Vent the dryer directly to the outside, check the vent for holes or obstructions, and make sure it’s attached tightly to the dryer. Test your humidifier, based on the manufacturer’s directions, to ensure it’s not adding too much moisture into the air.
Problem #4: High Energy Bills.The problem of high energy bills is often attributed to inefficient heating and cooling systems, windows, or inadequate insulation.
Solution #4:Start with the EPA’s home assessment tool to compare your home’s energy usage with other homes. Their home energy advisor tool suggests home improvements you can make to increase energy efficiency. Hire a qualified contractor for a thorough energy audit. Some suggested improvements include adding insulation, sealing air leaks, replacing light bulbs with CFL bulbs, installing a programmable thermostat, replacing appliances with ENERGY STAR qualified models and turning the water heater temperature to 120 degrees F. Your local utility company may offer programs to help you lower your energy bills.
Problem #5: Extreme Differences in Room Temperatures.Slight differences are fine, but extreme differences between rooms indicate air leakage, poor insulation or a problem with your heating or cooling system.
Solution #5:Hire a contractor to check for air leaks or to inspect your heating and cooling system. Seal air leaks or add proper insulation. Replace doors and windows, if necessary, to seal the home tighter. Install solar shades if some rooms are hot due to extreme sun exposure. Install a ceiling fan to circulate the air so it’s uniform.
Photo credit, carlpenergy

J. Thompson Builders Blog

By 7052540976 15 Nov, 2017
Some of these considerations may not be in the forefront of your mind, but there is a long list of aspects you need to consider when building a new home. These should help to get you started thinking about some of the most important pieces of the home building process.
By 7052540976 15 Oct, 2017
This home is being built with our client’s specific wants and needs in mind. The homeowner
requested a single family home with a modern contemporary house design. Previously, he lived
in a townhome and desired a more private, spacious residence. A main floor living with a large
space to entertain and big volume ceilings were a must on the client’s list.

The client decided building as opposed to finding a pre-existing home was a better solution for
him because he wants something specific to his needs. He already had the perfect location in
mind and it was time for him to own his dream home.

The area is ideal for this client because it allows him to live in close proximity to his hobbies and
interests and it also allows him the ability to walk to nearby restaurants or bike to the
surrounding shops. This homeowner will be close to everything. He truly loves the location!
The design concept picked is pictured below. In sticking with a contemporary influence, the
design has clean, simple lines that will result in an extraordinary modern home. We combined
elements of residential and commercial materials and design to bring our client’s unique requests to life.
By 7052540976 15 Sep, 2017

You decide that you are ready to build a custom home for you and your family. Now it is time to figure out how to finance your dreams!

Let’s start with the basics. As with any loan process, do your research. Talk to several mortgage companies that specialize or have a strong understanding/history of working with construction loans. Ask questions and voice your concerns. Companies of course want your business, but they also want to make sure they are a good fit for you and what you are wanting to accomplish. Reviews and referrals are strongly regarded these days. They want to make sure you have the best experience possible.

There are several main differences between a construction loan and a regular existing home loan. An individual construction loan may require a longer credit history  or a higher credit score as well as more money down and along the way. It is more of a process, but it is most certainly worth it. With the right builder, the more involved process becomes a piece of cake; but, that is an article for another time.

Home loans can have a 30 year term whereas a construction loan typically has a max of 1 year. “The rates on this type of loan are higher than rates on permanent mortgage loans. To gain approval, the lender will need to see a construction timetable, detailed plans and a realistic budget, sometimes called the “story” behind the loan,” as reported by  bankrate . While your home is being built, it is typical to make interest-only payments. 

If you are thinking, “I don’t have enough money to pay off a newly built home in 1 year!” Don’t panic.

A popular option is the construction-to- permanent financing sometimes called “one-time close,” a “single close,” or an "all-in-one" loan. Upon completion of construction, the remaining loan balance is converted into a permanent mortgage with terms up to 30 years. Like most loans, “the rate and other terms of the permanent mortgage are set up-front when the entire loan package is closed” according to the  National Association of Home Builders .  Construction/permanent loans are offered by many different lenders, including banks and mortgage companies and are a great option for those of us wanting to finance their home purchase over an extended period of time.

Another option is a stand-alone construction loan. This type of loan can be beneficial if you currently own your home and want a smaller down payment option.   Read more about stand alone construction loans.

There are many different loan options. What makes sense for one person doesn’t make sense for everyone. Make sure you find the right product for you and your particular project. If you want to talk over some options, contact us! We would love to hear your ideas and figure out how we can build your dream home.

View our work , read our reviews on Houzz.com , and visit our Facebook page to get inspired!
By Jeremy Thompson 01 Aug, 2017
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By Jeremy Thompson 15 May, 2017
Building a new home is an exciting time, filled with anticipation and satisfaction as you watch your vision come to life. However, it can also be a little overwhelming when you’re unfamiliar with some of the technical terms. To help remedy this we’ve defined a few of the custom home building terms you may hear […] The post 5 Key Terms to Understand in Custom Home Building appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 01 May, 2017
Whether you’ve just unpacked your first box or you’ve been living in your house for years, chances are there’s something about your home you’ve desired improving. However, before beginning a project there are a few key home remodeling terms you should become familiar with. Understanding these terms will help you navigate conversations with your remodeling […] The post 6 Key Home Remodeling Terms to Understand Before Beginning a Project appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
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