Solid vs. Hollow: A Quick Primer on Door Types

Door TypesWe’ve talked before about how new doors can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal and give the interior a more modern look. But there’s more to consider besides color and style. You’ll want to know about the different door types and which one is best-suited for your needs.

Hollow Door Types: Interior Use Only

The first rule of door shopping is to reserve hollow doors for interior use only. While these door types aren’t technically hollow (they have a fiberboard honeycomb structure inside to prevent warping), they’re still lightweight. This means an intruder could easily break them in with a blunt object – something we all need to avoid.

Hollow core doors are inexpensive, lightweight and easy to install, but they do have a few drawbacks. For one, sound can travel easily through a hollow door. If soundproofing is of special concern in your home, you’ll want to choose solid doors (which we’ll get to in a moment). Also, if you haven’t found the perfect finish and plan to do some refurbishing work, you may want to reconsider hollow doors. The surface of a hollow door is only about one eighth of an inch thick. This doesn’t account for much, if any sanding.

So what are hollow doors good for? Many homeowners prefer to opt for this low-cost alternative for utility rooms, laundry rooms, closets, basements and other areas where soundproofing and aesthetics aren’t as important. Depending on the size of your home, you could save hundreds of dollars!

Splurge on Solid Wood Doors

One cursory peek at door prices at your local home improvement store will tell you that solid wood doors can be significantly more expensive than other options. But there are several reasons why solid wood doors might be a valuable investment for your home.

First, solid wood doors are attractive, and they’re sturdy. They’re weighted well and give your home an elevated feel. Solid wood doors are also durable and can withstand years of heavy use. Among the various door types, they provide the most insulation, making them excellent for your energy bill. These insulating capabilities extend beyond energy to sound – with solid wood doors, you likely won’t need additional soundproofing (unless you happen to have a full-time musician in your midst). And if you plan to sell soon, solid wood doors could help you name a higher asking price.

Solid Core Doors: The Perfect Compromise

With solid core doors, hollow core doors and solid wood doors meet in the middle to create yet another option that might just help you experience the best of both worlds. Only moderately more expensive than hollow core doors, solid core doors have the potential to provide just as much soundproofing as the solid wood variety. They have a solid fiberboard core, which gives them more weight and sturdiness, as well as a surface that allows for some finishing work.

National Property Inspections Can Help You Find Hidden Repairs in Your Home

For answers to questions about all your home’s most important systems, call National Property Inspections. Our inspectors can keep you in the know when it comes to maintaining your most important investment – your home.

June 2018: Summertime

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Opening Your Pool for Summer: A Definitive Checklist

Opening your pool for the summer can certainly seem like a daunting task, but we promise it’s not so bad! We’re here to give you a quick refresher course and break the process into manageable chunks. Learn More

10 Barbeque Tips That’ll Save Your Eyebrows

Grilling out is the quintessential summer pastime, up there with baseball and slip n’ slide. But because it involves fire, it can also be dangerous. Avoid mishaps by following a few simple barbeque safety tips. Learn More

Expert Advice

6 Remodel Ideas for an Easy-to-Clean Bathroom

Nobody likes a germy bathroom, and luckily you don’t have to put up with one if you remodel with the right materials. Here are six remodeling ideas that will help you keep a clean and sparkly bathroom. Learn More

7 New Homeowner Tips You Need Right Now

Owning your first home can be an exciting time, but there’s a lot we wish we’d known coming in. Here are seven new homeowner tips that will get you started on the right foot. Learn More

Snapshots From The Field

No matter how many homes our inspectors assess over the years, they’re always finding new and interesting finds in the field. The following equipment was found in the attic of a house built in 1955.

So what is it, exactly?

This is a relay box, likely used for an early radiant heating system. Radiant ceiling heat first became popular in the mid-1950s and continued to be favored well into the 1970s. Relay boxes were placed in walls, floors and ceilings to “see” or “sense” objects, including people and furniture, and then slowly transfer heat to them. The air in the room would then slowly get warmer due to the objects giving off heat. The sensation a radiant heating system provided is comparable to being gently warmed by the sun.

The concept of radiant heat slowly fell out of favor over time due to the rising cost of electricity. The systems could also be difficult to access since they were always located among insulation behind walls, ceilings and floors.

Modern radiant heating systems are still available today. Just keep in mind that the installation process is quite involved and that it’s better to build a new construction with radiant heat than it is to replace an existing system with it.

Maintenance Matters

Your Simple Spring Lawn Care Guide

Everyone wants a lush, green lawn when springtime comes around, and fortunately, it’s easy to accomplish. Read on to discover the lawn care guide you need to follow to have the best grass in the neighborhood. Learn More

8 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home This Spring

For many, spring and early summer means allergy season and dealing with irritating symptoms for weeks on end. Luckily, you can create a more allergy-proof home during pollen season and beyond by making a few minor adjustments. Learn More

Finally: The Best Way to Clean Windows

Ever thought you did a great job washing your windows, only to return to streaky glass once everything is dry? Say goodbye to stripes and get a perfectly clean finish every time with this easy method. Learn More

Solid vs. Hollow: A Quick Primer on Door Types

There’s more to buying new doors than choosing the best color and style. You’ll also want to know about the different door types and which one is best-suited for your home’s needs. Learn More

Monthly Trivia Question

Q: How far away from your home should you keep your gas grill when in use?

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Submit your answer to find out if you’ve won.


April 2017: Doors and Windows

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Doors and Windows

Windows and doors in a commercial or residential property can be important for aesthetics, safety and energy efficiency. The location, type, size and number of windows affects air movement and access to light in the home. Besides impacts on overall safety, the location, style and number of doors determines the flow of traffic through the house.

Ask The Inspector

Understanding the type, function and condition of the windows and doors before you move in can help determine what maintenance might be necessary in the future. A National Property Inspections professional will assess the safety of doors and how well they seal. A representative number of the windows on both the exterior and the interior of the home will also be checked. On the exterior, the inspector checks the overall condition of the windows and doors, including the presence or absence of a sealant-like weather stripping or caulking.

Inside, the inspector will check window and door operation and insulation. The inspector will also look for the presence of screens or storm windows and breaks or cracks in the window panes. If conditions allow, the inspector will assess thermal pane windows for evidence of problems with the seal.

For more information on window and door inspections, contact National Property Inspections.

Be Advised

Is the Roof on Your New Home Installed Properly?

Buyers and Realtors often don’t see the need to have a newly constructed home inspected, or they prefer to wait to get a builder’s warranty inspection. A builder’s warranty inspection is a full home inspection to find any builder defects in a house prior to the expiration of the builder’s one-year warranty.

Be Advised

Some of the problems we find with newly built homes are issues with the roof. Many reputable builders assume that they’ve hired quality professionals to perform the installation of a roof. There are cases where the employees of these contractors are inexperienced or cut corners to get a job done on time.

It’s good practice to hire a qualified home inspection expert to check all facets of a newly built home, and that includes the roof. When you go to make a major financial decision, like buying a new house, make sure to get all of the facts on the quality of your new home.

Snapshots From The Field

Can You Guess what is wrong with this picture?
Snapshots From The Field

  1. There is no access to the electrical panel
  2. The cabinets are installed wrong
  3. There are too many cabinets

Correct Answer 1.The cabinet installation blocks access to the electrical panel, which must be kept clear to avoid fire hazards.

Noteworthy News

Prevent Hot Water Burns

Protecting young children and others in your home from burns caused by hot water can be a concern. Water temperatures over 120° F (48° C) can potentially cause scalds. That’s why a water temperature assessment is part of a general home inspection.

Noteworthy News

This assessment has two parts: First, the inspector uses a thermometer, usually held under the water in the shower while operating at least one other water fixture to determine any significant changes in water temperature.

The temperature in the shower is adjusted to about 105° F (40° C). Next, the inspector will flush the toilet and turn on the sink. If the water temperature in the shower shifts more than five degrees, the inspector will note it in the inspection report. This same test is also used to help assess and report on water volume and flow in the home. The inspector will note visible changes in the water volume or flow when all three fixtures are operating.

To test the general temperature of a home’s hot water, your inspector will turn on the hot water in the kitchen and test it with the thermometer. Inspectors frequently find that a home’s water is too hot, but the temperature setting usually can be changed on the water heater to protect people in your home.

Maintenance Matters

Window Cleaning Tips

April is a good month to uncover the windows and let in the sunshine. Dirty windows can seriously dull the moment, so consider a good washing first.


Take off the screens. Lay them on a flat surface. Wet the screens thoroughly. Scrub lightly, being careful not to bend the material in the screen. Repair holes. Open any weep holes blocked by sealant, dirt or paint. Open weep holes help pull moist air out of the home and prevent mold and mildew. Reapply weather stripping or sealant. Vacuum any debris from inside the sill and replace the screens. You can use a fine steel wool to clean the tracks to prevent sticking.

If you can, clean and repair windows on cool, cloudy days. Warm, sunny days tend to cause windows to dry too fast, leaving behind streaks and spots. Reassemble windows and enjoy some terrific natural light indoors.

If you are using a ladder to reach the outside of windows, it might be a good time to check the gutters and downspouts for build-up, debris or damage. Clean out any leaves, twigs or other items that may be clogging gutters. Check the manufacturer instructions and follow and safety precautions every time you use a ladder.

Did You Know?

Bringing Electricity Home

Do you know where your home’s electricity comes from? The electrical connections powering today’s homes start at a transformer on a pole or somewhere on the ground near the house. Transformers on the ground signify buried electrical lines. Transformers on a utility pole mean the electrical lines come into the house via overhead wires.

If your electrical lines are buried, they won’t be visible outside your home. However, if you have overhead electrical wires, you should regularly take a look at them for safety reasons. Damage to the wire or insulation around the wire can cause electrocution, so look for those things. You can likely check the overhead wires from the ground, and you should never touch the electrical lines.

Height regulations for electrical lines vary from one city to another. For general purposes, all electrical lines should be out of reach of people, vehicles, ladders and other equipment. This includes areas above pools, decks, porches and balconies. Electrical wires should also be clear of trees or other obstructions, including the corner of the house or the edge of a gutter, which could cause abrasion and expose bare wires. Finally, electrical lines should not touch other utility lines entering the home, such as the telephone or cable line.

Monthly Trivia Question

Before Spring, Spring time and Springing time, what was the season known as based on an old English word?

  1. Lent
  2. Advent
  3. Epiphany
  4. Pentecost

Be the first to answer correctly and win a $10 Starbuck’s gift card. Submit your answer to find out if you’ve won.