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Home Fires are Common, Deadly and Preventable - August, 2017

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 13:14

Fire safety probably isn’t high on the list of concerns for buyers when they purchase a home.  But the statistics indicate that it should be. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in the United States:

  • Most fire-related deaths (more than 80 percent of them last year) occur in residences.
  • More than 4,000 people die and 25,000 are injured in fires every year.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Building Code Myths Create Liability Risks for Real Estate Professionals - March 2017

Fri, 03/17/2017 - 15:29

If we were writing a Steven King-style horror movie, it might begin with a real estate broker discussing all the attractive features of a new home.  After noting the “brilliant design,” the high ceilings, state-of-the art kitchen and the exciting architectural details, the broker happily, assures the buyer, “The house is fully compliant with the building code, so you can be confident that it has no structural defects and that the construction quality is superb.” Cue the eerie music and note the black storm clouds forming in the sky. 

Why is this a horror story?  

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Is Radon Risk Real?

Fri, 10/31/2014 - 12:00

You have heard of radon. Perhaps you have tested your home or the home you intended to buy for the presence of radon gas. If so, when you received the results, did you take any action? Did you install a mitigation pump or even refuse to purchase the home?

Is radon risk real? There is a wealth of information out there. Let’s review some facts. Let’s look at what leading agencies are saying.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

MOLD - Hype or Real Risk?

Wed, 01/15/2014 - 11:22
Categories: Criterium Engineers

Retaining Walls

Mon, 12/23/2013 - 11:21

What is a retaining wall? To retain, according to Webster’s Dictionary, means “to hold secure or intact.” A retaining wall, then, holds something “secure or intact.” Typically, as it matters to homeowners, the “something” is soil on a slope or at a higher elevation that, if left on its own, will not remain “secure and intact.”

Retaining walls come in many shapes, sizes and materials. This issue of YOUR HOME will examine a few of them.

Why Retaining Walls?

Have you ever looked around your property to see if you have retaining walls?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

A Few Words About WINTER....

Fri, 12/13/2013 - 13:04

Seen on a Maine license plate - BRRRRR. When it comes to winter, that says it all!

But what of our houses in winter? Think about it. Is your home winter-time safe?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Recovering from Hurricane Sandy; It's More than Just Cleaning Up

Thu, 11/15/2012 - 13:36

In the wake of the damage and flooding of Hurricane Sandy, Criterium Engineers encourages residents, homeowners, condo/apartment owners, and commercial property owners to have a thorough inspection, especially as winter advances.

Criterium Engineers are assessing the clean up for Hurricane Sandy. President of Criterium Engineers, Alan Mooney, P.E.says the devastation is still a shock but cautions commercial and residential property owners to consistently document damage as much as possible.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Fire! How Safe Are You In Your Home?

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:59

The following information has been compiled from several credible sources including the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).While for many years there have been two levels of fire protection available for your home, now there are three!

Smoke and fire alarms Fire extinguishers Fire sprinklers

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Home Security

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:55

Feeling safe at home is important. While some crime statistics are declining, media coverage of acts of violence and vandalism increases our concerns about the safety of our families and ourselves. Busy families with chaotic schedules add to the concern as one may be returning home alone, late at night.

If you want to increase the security of your home, what can you do?

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Home Security Checklist

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:51

Use this as a guide as you check your home for safety measures.Boxes marked “No” indicate areas where you could take action to improve your home’s security.These are just some of the steps you can take to decrease the likelihood that you or your home is targeted.

Exterior Doors

Yes

No

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Energy Star

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:43

ENERGY STAR is a program first introduced by the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) in 1992. It is designed to save energy. While many people relate the name to the energy-efficient performance of individual appliances, lighting and equipment (heating, cooling and water heating), the ENERGY STAR program actually is designed to rate the performance of an entire home.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Real Estate or Wheel Estate?

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:40

Is it modular, manufactured or mobile? Or…is it pre-cut, pre-fab or panelized? Or…is it site built or stick built? Or…is it a trailer?

And what regulations apply, if any? Previously, we discussed building codes and addressed some common myths and misunderstandings. Building codes, when they do exist, apply primarily to homes built on-site. But there are other types of homes to consider as well.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Building Codes - Myths and Realities

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:39

What is a building code? Is it a law? Or a guideline? Or a voluntary standard?

What do building codes mean to my home?

Perhaps you will find it useful to review how building codes affect your home, both the theory and the reality.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Security - It's Important; But At What Cost?

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:38

Since September 11, 2001, we have become a much more security-conscious nation. We expect better lighting in parking lots and walkways, prefer living in communities with controlled access, and lock our cars and houses more frequently. And we are installing security systems at a record-breaking rate. Companies installing security systems have been one of the fastestgrowing types of businesses in recent years. That’s probably a good thing.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Eight Ways You Can Save Energy!

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:35

It's not that hard, really!! If you have an existing home and want to reduce your energy bills, here are eight ways to do that. They are simple and basic because that's what energy saving is – simple and basic. If you read the latest Green Building guidelines published by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), you will find that building an energy-efficient home is a very big part of getting a Green Building rating.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Your Roof: Eight Things to Consider

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:34

If your house is like most in this country built in the last 50 years, it probably has a sloped roof with one of the following roofing materials:

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Water - The First H in H2O (Part 1 of 2)

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:33

Water – it’s as important to our survival as air. We assume there is an unlimited supply of quality water, or maybe we just never really think much about it; it’s just there when we turn on the faucet.

But we can’t take it for granted. The supply of quality water in our world is limited, and we should take that seriously.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Water - The Second H in H2O (Part 2 of 2)

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:32

Water — it's as important to our survival as air. We assume there is an unlimited supply of quality water, or maybe we just never really think much about it; it's just there when we turn on the faucet.

But we can't take it for granted: the supply of quality water in our world is limited and we should take that seriously.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Wood-Destroying Insects

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:29

Except for the most northern states, wood-destroying insects are a concern to homeowners. Why? Because they are "wood destroying" and most of our homes are built with wood. They will eat your house!

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Categories: Criterium Engineers

Getting to Green

Thu, 10/28/2010 - 15:28

GREEN BUILDING - You’ve probably heard about it, but do you really know what it means? It’s definitely not about the color of your home! You may have heard that it has something to do with the environment and energy conservation. That’s correct, but the Green Building program does not stop there. The goals are quite far-reaching. The following is intended to give you a better understanding of the intent, motivation and objectives of the Green Building program in the United States.

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Categories: Criterium Engineers