Category Archives: Home Maintenance

A Mouse in the House

She ran through the house, screaming. What could elicit this blood curdling reaction, a burglar in the garage? Perhaps an injured kid? Nope, “we have a mouse in the house”, yelled my panicked wife.

“We’re in good company” I laughed. Dr. Thomas Cucchi of the Museum National d’Histoire naturalle, Paris recently found evidence that mice have infested human habitats since the beginning of permanent settlement. Continue reading A Mouse in the House

Review: The Holmes Inspection

The Holmes Inspection: The Essential Guide for Every Homeowner, Buyer and Seller, is a book written by Mike Holmes. This author is both a contractor and the host of a couple HGTV series. He also runs a home inspection and certification company. Ultimately Mike is well qualified to write this no-nonsense book outlining what to look for when purchasing a home. Although the text appears thorough and complete with checklists, the author is clear – this isn’t a do it yourself guide. Doing your own inspection is like operating on yourself, or representing yourself in court. Yes, you can do it. But should you? Continue reading Review: The Holmes Inspection

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Spring in the Dutch Countryside

Spring is arguably the best season. Kids can finally escape the house, exploring beyond the gaze of parents. School is nearly over. Filling the air with promises of a carefree summer. Spring also brings excitement for homeowners. A chance to dream of planting new gardens, expanding that small kitchen or building a new great room. Yet, before starting the big projects consider a spring maintenance check of your home. Continue reading Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

Review: How Your House Works

How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home, is a great idea. The book’s goal is providing homeowners with simplified drawings and diagrams of home systems, including written explanations of how each system works. For common problems, simple fixes are proposed that anyone can accomplish. Drawings are informative. Written explanations are typically integrated within the drawings or succinctly itemized without unnecessary “writer’s” fluff.  Continue reading Review: How Your House Works

Review: Home Improvements for the Busy & Broke

home-improvement-projectsHome Improvement Projects for the Busy & Broke: How To Get Your $h!t Together and Live Like An Adult, is a book geared towards the young professional finally living in that first apartment or house. If you don’t mind the occasional swearing for emphasis, the text is entertaining and edgy. A writing style undoubtedly appealing to millennials who read sentences between texts and tweets. Chapters begin with the basics of how to live like an adult: Stop partying every night, get motivated, make your bed and clean your room. Advice my teenagers hear daily, usually at high volume. Apparently many kids don’t. Continue reading Review: Home Improvements for the Busy & Broke

Mold Resistant Home Design

Mold growing on old weathered window

Can Homeowners & Pros Prevent Mold?
Homeowners often wonder if mold can be entirely eliminated from their home. Sadly, the answer is no. Don’t panic, mold naturally occurs in every environment. Humans have evolved to coexist with small amounts of this tiny microbe. Many foods humans love, including cheese and soy sauce, contain mold. Antibiotics like penicillin, which transformed modern medicine, are derived from mold. Continue reading Mold Resistant Home Design

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Maybe I’m just a neurotic architect. Or maybe seasonal change encourages existential reflection for everyone. Whatever the reason, as the leaves turn I’m acutely aware of a dependence on home for shelter and survival.  Which means fall is a great time for a home maintenance check. I relish the thought of discovering small problems when easily fixable. And I laugh out loud when fixing them. Because a nasty winter catastrophe is avoided. Thought I’d share a list of maintenance items I diligently check. Just in case you feel the same about fall.  Continue reading Fall Home Maintenance Checklist