6 Common Homeowner Questions

By Mike Holmes

Mike’s Advice / Buying & Selling Your Home

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 @ 10:53am

When you’re in the business as long as I am, you start to notice some of the same questions over and over and over. Sometimes people truly manage to surprise me, but often people seem to have the same questions about their homes. 

Here are the top six questions I get from homeowners.

6) Will installing a ceiling fan cut down on my energy costs?

Let me make one thing clear: fans do NOT make the air cooler. But they do keep the air moving, which evaporates moisture on your skin and makes you FEEL cooler. Your ceiling fan does draw warm air up towards the ceiling, and it might be all you need on a summer day. You may not need to turn up the AC. If you’re not in the room to feel the effects, you don’t need the fan to be in operation.

5) Why do my kitchen lights flicker when my fridge turns on?

This should not be happening. I’m afraid this means you have wiring issues, which is also a safety issue. It could be that your lights and fridge are sharing an overloaded circuit meaning the wiring that’s providing power to the receptacle for your fridge is also serving the lighting. The wire is too small to provide enough current, causing your lights to flicker.

Keep in mind that flickering lights is a red flag. Very well could mean a wiring issue.

4) Why do my floors bounce when I walk on them?

You are probably looking at a problem with the joists or the subfloor if your floors are bouncing or if objects on your shelves are vibrating when you walk by. The joists may not be strong enough to support the floor. Can you inspect the subfloor from below to see how many nails have missed the floor joists? Every nail that missed allows for movement, which creates a bouncy floor. Of course this could also be a minimum code issue. Stand in the middle of the room and bounce up and down. You won’t fall down, but a floor built to minimum code will move and cause problems. This is a big reason why I like the ‘glue it and screw it’ method. When you glue the boards down, you’re making a strong connection. The screws hold it in place.

3) Why is one room colder than the rest?

There are a few reasons why one room could be much colder than the rest of the house. First, check if you’ve closed the vents in the room. It may be due to an inefficient duct run through your house, where the coldest room is the furthest from the furnace.

Typically, the coldest room in the house will be the one in the garage – usually due to a lack of sufficient insulation between the floor of the room and the roof of the garage.


2) How can I tell if a wall is load bearing?

Determining weight load is not the job of an amateur because structure is not DIY. A structural engineer or an architect can tell if the wall is load bearing. If you take down a structural wall, you compromise the safety of your home. I renovated a bungalow that had a second story added. When I removed the drywall and exposed the beam that held up the second floor, I found the 14-foot, 10-inch steel beam sitting on no more than 2 inches of crumbling brick. That was SCARY!

1) What should I do to maintain my sump pump?

A sump pump needs to be regularly monitored to make sure it will do its job when needed. Make sure it’s running and isn’t filled with any debris or anything else than can cause a blockage. 

Making changes that protect your home don’t have to break the bank. Often these solutions can be installed for a fairly low-cost, and in some cases, even installed on your own. 

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