Savvy homeowners realize that we are working in a new economy. Instead of moving, they are looking at home repairs, maintenance and home improvements as the best option for investing in their homes.
Not only are savvy homeowners investing in repairs and remodeling but there is a major attitude change about owning a home, and it’s sweeping across our country. Gone are the days of a home being an investment first and a place to live second. According to various articles in the Professional Remodeler Magazine, today’s homeowner wants a permanent home that will suite them well through their various stages of life, not just for a particular phase. A “home for life” is the prevailing attitude which is leading to home performance audits, repairs and renovation.
With 10,000 Baby Boomers reaching retirement age daily according to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030 there will be more than 70 million people age 65 and over. This means an even more significant shift in housing needs; whether it is moving or nesting and growing old in existing housing. A recent AARP study indicates that 86% of adults wish to grow older in their own homes. Called “aging in place,” this is defined as older consumers wanting to live in their current homes and communities as long as possible.
All of this means great Feng Shui energy for the homeowner. When you clean up, clear out and fix up, or remodel and remove old energy, you make room for positive, healthy, prosperous new energy to enter.
Home Audit Findings
Comfort, convenience and cost-savings are at the top of the list for home audits. The Residential Energy Consumption Survey reports that of 113.6 million homes in the United States, over 96 percent of them have never had any type of energy audit or evaluation. Of those homes they also found the following:
- 64 percent of housing built before 1980 were poorly insulated leading to higher energy costs
- 47 percent were drafty, losing heat in the winter and cool in the summer
- 42 percent had single-pane windows, further contributing to higher fuel costs
The good news is the report notes that despite increases in the number and the average size of homes, plus increased use of electronics, improvements in efficiency for space heating, air conditioning, and major appliances have all led to decreased energy
consumption per household. Newer homes also tend to feature better insulation and other characteristics, such as double-pane windows, that improve the building envelope.
Home Audit “How to”
First and foremost, if you are going to do some serious renovating, connect with a local, well-credentialed home remodeler. If you do not know how to find one, talk to your local realtor. They are the professionals that know everything there is to know about housing and local renovators with good reputations. Search for a professional contractor much like you would for a good dentist or doctor.
If you aren’t ready to take that step or your budget doesn’t permit such an expenditure there are some things you can do on your own.
Clear out all the nooks and crannies. You need to actually unclutter and clear corners, closets, garages and wall areas so you can see if there are any problems such as water stains, warped flooring or exposed electrical wiring. Just clearing your space is a great first step. If a problem isn’t visible you can’t find it and fix it.
Become a sleuth. Look everywhere. Don’t forget up as well as down and sideways. When looking up, check for water stains on ceilings or buckling plasterboard. You may be seeing the beginning signs of roof problem. Check for the same issues when looking down, especially below windows and around doors and sliders. Also use your nose to pick up the smell of mold and mildew which can cause health issues. Seals may have deteriorated, allowing water to enter.
While you are checking windows and doors, play close attention to see if seals are cracked, broken or worse: missing. This along with limited or no insulation is the biggest drain of air-conditioning energy in the South and heating energy in the North. Drafty leaking windows and doors can also cause health problems, and according to Feng Shui principles the loss of prosperity.
Make a list and check it twice. Evaluate your home for potential upgrades or changing needs in the areas of electrical, plumbing and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning). A professional will usually be happy to answer your questions in these three areas with no charge. While there are many other areas to check such as the roof, the attic, the basement and the foundation of your home, this mini-audit list is a good beginning.
A well-cared for home can and should last a lifetime when properly maintained and upgraded to meet ever-changing family needs. Perform a home inspection audit today to make sure it meets your needs in a healthy way and your aging requirements for the future.
© Pat Heydlauff, All Rights Reserved
Pat Heydlauff, president of Energy Design, uses Feng Shui design principles to eliminate chaos and stress at home and within oneself. More than a Feng Shui expert, Pat is a consultant and speaker who helps remove clutter and negativity while encouraging personal growth, improved relationships and prosperity. Her new book, “Feng Shui: So Easy a Child Can Do It,” shows how to achieve a better tomorrow. For information on her consulting, speaking and artwork, call: 561-408-2708.Share