Home improvement expert Danny Lipford and his daughter Chelsea (who also happens to be a first time homeowner) joined me from Chelsea's home to discuss the mandatory things every home buyer should know before purchasing their first home, how to know when to call the professionals when remodeling, and an alternative to having a home alarm system which is greatly important for those who are living alone, with small children or caregivers.
Home Improvement Expert, Danny Lipford – Image courtesy of Twitter.com/DannyLipford
Candace Rose: What are the first things first time home buyers tend to consider when purchasing their home?
Danny Lipford: "Well, certainly you need to consider the condition of the home and right now is a great time to be looking at different homes because mortgage rates are as low as they've been in a long, long time. The prices of the homes are down and there's a heck of a lot to look at out there. But still taking your time and making sure that you have a certified home inspector look over the home and let you know if there are any major things that you might have to anticipate, because some of those can be really expensive and really not as much fun to repair those things as it is to repair your home cosmetically and really make it look good."
Candace Rose: What would you say are some of the things that new homeowners tend to overlook?
Danny Lipford: "Well, I'll tell you what, when you're overlooking certain things as far as functionality, again people like the way things look, but if you ignore things as simple as ventilation both in your kitchen (like we're in here) or a bathroom that can be a real problem. Houses are a lot more energy efficient now than in the past year. So that means you have air that's contained in the home that can get contaminated and can get stagnant, and you have the indoor air quality issues to deal with there. And also you have moisture problems in areas of the home such as the kitchen and bathroom. So having a vent hood such as this one from Broan ensures that you get adequate ventilation. And also, you can see the light shining right down on the cooking surface. But the key thing here is when you have one like this, first of all it's very energy efficient but it exhausts all the way to the outside not just the attic that won't do you much good at all."
Candace Rose: It's widely known that the kitchen is the most expensive room in the home to remodel. Is it possible to do it on a budget?
Danny Lipford: "Well, you can keep the cost down considerably. There's a lot of ways you can just do a face lift on a kitchen that makes a big difference. There's paint that's available now that's specially formulated for counter tops to be more durable and so forth. But there's also ways that you can really get involved in the kitchen renovation like we've done here. And of course the first time home owner in this house is my daughter Chelsea who went online at Merillat.com and used their step by step kitchen planner to guide her through the process of helping on the design of her kitchen. She's very efficient minded in terms of utilizing the space, and recycling drawers is kind of cool, cutlery drawer even has the easy close feature and a lot of other things like this. So she was able to really find exactly what she wanted and again, the key thing in any kitchen area is to maximize every little corner that you have, and she's certainly done that."
Candace Rose: And what are some of the most important areas to focus on when improving your home?
Danny Lipford: "Well, the kitchen is one of the best because of the return on your investment but also energy efficiency items because you certainly can get your money back on a monthly basis there. But there's other things that are unfortunately on peoples mind a lot and that's security. And actually the first time home owner, Chelsea wanted a whole house alarm system but she found herself a great alternative that's a heck of a lot cheaper."
Chelsea Lipford: "Right. Since I live alone I wanted some kind of security and I installed this lock on my backdoor from Schlage that has a built in alarm. And so it has three different settings depending on how you want to use it. I use the activity alert on my backdoor which any time the door is opened or closed you get a two chime beep like that."
Danny Lipford: "And Candace, think about that if you have small kids in the house it actually monitors those doors opening and closing so that can be pretty convenient."
Chelsea Lipford: "Right, and if you want a little more security the tamper alert is number two. And if someone messes with your door from the outside and is trying to get in without a key, you get a 15 second alert that you'll definitely be able to hear inside and outside the door."
Danny Lipford: "The neighbors will be able to hear that."
Chelsea Lipford: "Right. The neighbors will definitely be able to hear the third alarm which is the forced entry. If someone tries to kick open the door you get a three minute alarm before they get inside."
Danny Lipford: "Golly, and to think Candace, she installed this herself using just a screwdriver and a pre-drill doorknob hole. It only cost $99.00 and it's available at select Home Depot stores across the country as well as online. So pretty neat idea."
Candace Rose: So it's easy to install? You don't need to call in the pros or anything like that?
Chelsea Lipford: "It's just like a regular any other knob or lock on your door."
Danny Lipford: "It's basically just two screws this way, two screws this way. You just need batteries, but now wiring of any kind and you're not having to pay a monthly monitoring fee and actually those kinds of things. Actually the batteries will last in there for three years."
Candace Rose: That's fantastic. Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Danny Lipford: "Well, absolutely we'd love for you to drop by our website at DannyLipford.com. I have thousands of videos on there on just about anything to do with the home. A lot of other articles and also we have some feature information on everything we talked about today."