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One of the most popular activities for people during the pandemic has been refreshing their homes. When you’re stuck inside with nowhere to go, it only makes sense. During the beginning of the pandemic, getting the supplies you needed for renovations was difficult. We’ve finally hit a point where most things are back in stock, and at a reasonable place. With new COVID variants coming out frequently, there’s still reason to start renovating your home. If you’re considering renovations, here are some tips on how to get things done efficiently and effectively, brought to you by Red Horse Home Inspection.

Plan Your Renovations Around Creating a Healthier Space

As we’re spending more and more time indoors, it’s important that you make your home into a healthier space. Many home renovations have included converting spaces into fitness areas, allowing people to stay home to work out.

Another health-conscious decision you can make is creating a dedicated home workspace. By doing so, you can help to separate work life from home life, creating a healthier balance when you’re forced to work from home. The distinction between the two spaces is significant.

Know What Jobs You Can Do, and What Jobs Need a Professional

It’s important not to dive into the deep end when you’re doing home renovations. Many jobs are able to be done on a DIY basis, but some are going to require the assistance of professionals. Let’s take a look at both categories.

Some DIY Home Renovations

There are a ton of DIY home renovations that just about any homeowner can do. Some of the most popular include:

  • Painting. Painting both inside and outside surfaces can be done by anyone. Just make sure that you thoroughly prep the surfaces. This helps the paint stick.
  • Refresh cabinets. Replacing cabinets is a big job that requires a professional touch. If you like your cabinets, but want to update them a bit, replace hinges and knobs. This updates their look without doing a full replacement.
  • Update your ceilings. By adding simple tongue-and-groove boards to your ceilings, you can change the look of any room, and make them visually intriguing.

Jobs That Need a Professional Touch

Some jobs just aren’t suitable for a DIY approach. These common jobs should be left to the professionals:

  • Replacing bathroom fixtures. Any job that requires modifying the plumbing should be left to, you guess it, a plumber.
  • Changing light fixtures. Similar to plumbing jobs, electrical jobs should be left to electricians.
  • Structural updates. Everyone loves an open floor plan. You can’t just go knocking down walls, though. Professionals need to make sure that walls aren’t load-bearing, something that most homeowners aren’t experienced enough to do.

Financing Your Renovations

When you’re making significant updates to your home, you’re probably going to have to dip into your savings. If that’s not an option, you may be able to refinance your home to free up some cash. A cash-out refi replaces your existing mortgage with a new loan for a larger amount. The difference between the loan amounts are what you, the borrower, receives to renovate your home with.

Update Your Space

Updating your home is going to add value to it, of course. However, you should also remember that it’s going to enrich your life. We’re spending a lot of time in our homes, thanks to the pandemic. Renovations can help you enjoy yours again!




Hispanic couple sitting on the sofa reading a book at home with their baby son and young daughterYou can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says radon gas is deadly. It’s second only to smoking as a cause of lung cancer.

Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. While smokers are particularly vulnerable, non-smokers aren’t immune. Nearly 3,000 non-smokers die each year from radon-related lung cancer, the EPA estimates. High radon levels occur in homes in every state and in every type and age of home. About one in 15 houses have it. Testing is the only way to find out your home’s radon levels.

Radon Testing

You can conduct the test yourself with easily available kits, or hire a professional. Short-term testing — two to three days — gives you a snapshot of current conditions. Long-term testing of 90 days or more gives you a year-round average.

Radon Results

A reading of 4 pCi/L — just 4 “picocuries” per liter warrants further testing. A “curie” is a unit of measurement for radioactive substances. A picocurie is one-trillionth of a curie. What if radon is there at levels of 4 pCi/L or higher? First, the EPA states that any radon at all can be dangerous, though risk decreases at lower levels. If you’ve got elevated radon levels, a professional radon contractor can help.

What is Radon

Radon is a product of uranium, found in small amounts in nearly all soils. As the uranium naturally decays, it releases radon gas into the outside air, or into homes through openings in the foundations such as cracks. Trapped inside the building, the gas builds up. It can and does happen whether buildings are new or old, drafty or tightly sealed.

How to Fix

Radon contractors have several methods for reducing home radon levels. The “soil suction radon reduction system” is one of the most common. A fan pulls radon gas from under the house and vents it to the outside through pipes and vents. What’s right for your home depends on its design and other factors. Costs also depend on the home’s design, as well as the extent of the problem.

For detailed information on radon, including sources, risks, testing, solutions and prevention, visit the EPA at this link.

Schedule your home inspection and radon test with Red Horse Home Inspection of the Black Hills.  Take a look at a sample home inspection reports and see customer reviews.  You can easily schedule your home inspection online.

Garage concept. Garage doors are opened, and behind them is a caHave you given much thought to your garage door lately? The garage door is the biggest and heaviest moving item in most homes, and more than 20,000 people each year are injured by them. That’s why we wanted to share with you these important safety guidelines that can help keep you and your family safe. Whether you live in a home with multiple garage doors or a condo unit with a detached garage, by following these tips, you’ll be able to keep yourself — and your family — safe when around these massive doors.

1. Make sure children cannot reach the garage door opener controls. It may not be enough to hang your remote from your car’s visor. With curious little ones around, it may be best to keep it locked in the glove box.

2. Remind children that the garage door remote is not a toy. Remind them to never place fingers between door sections.

3. Make sure you know how to use your garage door’s emergency release features work. Typically, this involves a fail-safe system with the ability to release the door by pulling on a short rope that hangs from your garage door. This is particularly important for power outages and overall garage door system failures.

4. When is the last time you looked at the workings of your garage door? Visually inspect your garage door each month. Look at springs, cables, rollers and pulleys for signs of wear. Check your garage door regularly and hire a professional for periodic inspections. Once a year ought to do the trick.

5. Make sure your garage door’s reversing mechanism is working. Place an object, such as an empty paper towel holder, in the door’s path and make sure the door does not close on the object. If the door does not go back up automatically, try realigning the safety eyes or call a professional to help you with this task.

6. Don’t leave the garage door partially opened. It’s both a safety and a security hazard.

7. When you’re on vacation, unplug the garage door opener unit or lock it.

If you are buying a home in the Black Hills of South Dakota hire Red Horse Home Inspection.  Our thorough home inspection will give the confidence that your home is safe for you and your family. Check out a sample home inspection report and see our latest reviews.  Easily schedule your home inspection online.

November 18, 2021

Happy laughing african american young man rising up joyful son.There’s nothing like moving — whether it’s across town or across the country — to make you realize just how much stuff you have! When moving, you’re likely to let some things go, but probably also add some new appliances, furniture and other items to your list of possessions. That’s why once you’re settled into your new home, it’s an ideal time to create or update your home inventory. Here are the three components of an effective home inventory:

Photos or video.

You can take photos or video, but you’ll want shots of entire rooms and close-ups of items such as electronics, jewelry, collectibles, guns and any individual items of significant value. It’s a good idea if you’re using video to provide narration as you walk through each room, explaining what you are recording. Take your time while taking photos and videos. If you ever have to make an insurance claim, you’ll want as detailed information as possible about what you own. Don’t forget to include items inside closets and in drawers.

Take video outside the home as well, including the interior of any outbuildings or storage.

A written inventory.

You’ll also want to prepare a written inventory of your belongings. You can create a Word document on your computer or use a blank sheet of paper. Free apps and worksheets are available, too. Keep your written inventory with receipts for items you’ve purchased. Include as much detail as you can about each item. Rather than ’55-inch television set,’ include the year, manufacturer and model if you can. The more expensive the item, the greater your detail should be.

It’s a good idea to get in the habit of keeping receipts for big-ticket items in a file that can be included as part of your home inventory.

Safe storage. 

If you have a fireproof safe, keep both your visual and written inventories there or in another safe place. You also may want to keep a copy off-site as well, in a safe deposit box or with a trusted friend or family member. If your written and visual inventory is saved electronically, make sure it’s backed up.

Having a home inventory makes surviving and dealing with a home disaster a lot less stressful. Hopefully, you’ll never need one. But if you do, it can make all the difference in the world. Can you imagine trying to recount every single item in your home that was damaged, destroyed or stolen? With a home inventory, you’re more ready for the unexpected.

If you are buying a home in Rapid City or any where in the Black Hills, give Red Horse Home Inspection a call a 605-490-2916 or schedule a home inspection online.  Our thorough home inspection reports will give you the information you need to negotiate with confidence.  Take a look at a sample home inspection report and see our latest reviews.  We travel to Sturgis, Spearfish, Lead, Deadwood, Custer, Hot Springs, Hill City, Keystone, Hermosa, Box Elder, Summerset, Piedmont, Black Hawk, and Belle Fourche.

close up of portable electric heater from home inspection in rapid cityBrrr! Feeling a bit chilly? Space heaters are a popular way to get a bit of extra warmth at home or in the office during the spring, fall and winter months.

However, many of us don’t realize that space heaters are dangerous. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 residential fires every year are caused by space heaters. Although there have been a lot of advances in the technology of these mini-appliances, there are still several risks you should be aware of:

Risk #1: Plugging your space heater into an extension cord.

Don’t do it! Plug your heater directly into a wall outlet. Using an extension cord could lead to overheating, which can lead to a house fire. Before using a space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels carefully. Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

Risk #2: Tip-overs.

Only use space heaters that have a tip-over safety feature. Many newer space heaters come with a sensor that kicks on when the space heater tips over. This sensor immediately shuts off the heater, preventing fires from starting. If your heater is older and doesn’t have this feature, it’s time to replace it with a newer model. Also, avoid using a space heater in a high-traffic area where it can be a tripping hazard.

Risk #3: Having the heater come into contact with flammable objects.

Keep any space heater at least three feet from all furniture, window treatments, or anything else that is considered combustible. Never set anything on top of your space heater.

Risk #4. Leaving your space heater unattended. 

Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep. Keep an eye on children or pets, which can be injured or tip it over.

When purchasing a space heater, make sure it has a label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory. When used safely, space heaters can provide the warmth you need to make it through another chilly winter. Make sure everyone in your family is aware of the risks and safety tips mentioned above.

If you are buying a home in the Black Hills of South Dakota give Red Horse Home Inspection a call or schedule your home inspection online. We also offer radon and water testing.  We offer home inspections in Rapid City, Sturgis, Spearfish, Deadwood, Lead, Custer, Hot Springs, Hermosa, Box Elder, Summerset, Black Hawk, Hill City, Keystone, Belle Fourche, and everywhere in between.  Take a look at a sample home inspection report and see our latest reviews.

Red Horse Home Inspection LLC offers thorough home inspections in Sturgis, SD and through out the Black Hills.  If you are looking to buy a home in Sturgis, let Red Horse Home Inspection help you out.  Our home inspections will give you the information you need.

Inspection Report

We use the latest and most modern home inspection writing software.  Our reports are easy to read and understand.  We include plenty of pictures, so if you can’t  make it to Sturgis to attend the inspection you will feel like you were there.  Red Horse Home Inspection understands how important is to get the information as fast as possible, so we try our best to get you the finish report within 24 hours.  Take a look at some of  our inspection reports from Sturgis and surrounding areas.  I am always available for questions, so if you have any questions about your report please give me a call I will be happy to answer them.

What We Inspect?

So your offer got accepted on a home in Sturgis.  Now it’s time to hire a home inspector and you want to know what it is that they inspect.


I inspect roof coverings, structure, gutters, downspouts, flashing, and more.


Walkways, exterior doors, eaves, soffits, fascia and more.


All major heating and cooling systems to make sure you get them in working order.


Sinks, tubs, faucets, shut-off valves and more.


I check the service drop, mast, meter & base, grounding, outlets and more.


Built-in appliances, doors, windows, flooring and more.

If you are buy in a home in Sturgis, SD give Red Horse Home Inspection a call or schedule your inspection online.

Red Horse Home Inspection


home inspection near rapid city, sd

The reasons why you may be looking into getting landscaping done at your home are almost endless. Having a beautiful oasis where you can entertain your family and friends, enjoy a cold drink after a long day, or just relax on the weekends can do wonders for the comfortability of your home. Besides just making your house more beautiful, why is landscaping an important part of owning a home? Below are a few of the main reasons why. 

It will help you love where you live 

You spend a lot of time at home and your environment has a direct effect on your mood, productivity and overall enjoyment of life. Having a backyard patio surrounded by beautiful gardens, or a water feature that you can listen to while taking an afternoon nap can turn your home into your own private paradise. By investing in landscaping, you’re not only investing in the value of your home, but you’re investing in the value of your everyday life and the enjoyment you’ll get out of your property. 

Landscaping makes your home more inviting 

If you love to entertain and have friends and family at your house, it will give you a chance to allow them to feel more comfortable while they are at your home. Well-designed landscapes are appreciated by everyone, and if you’re the type that likes to entertain, then creating a fun atmosphere that is natural and beautiful will have people asking when you’re going to throw your next barbecue. Just make sure you hire the right landscaping company to do the job! 

Improves your home’s curb appeal 

Improving the curb appeal of your home will do multiple things. It will give you a sense of pride in your environment, will help improve home value, and will have your friends and family complimenting you on your taste and style. Improving curb appeal is one of the main ways that landscaping will help improve your property value while allowing you to enjoy your property just a little bit more.

September 16, 2021

close up of burning fireplace at home inspectionAutumn is in the air. Can you feel it? While the cooler temperatures are a nice reprieve from the summer heat, it’s important to prepare your home for the winter with fall chores.  Here are 3 fall chores for every homeowner you shouldn’t overlook.

1. Chimney maintenance. If you have a wood stove or fireplace, it’s important your chimney remains clean and free of buildup. Even a slight buildup can increase your risk of a house fire. An annual chimney cleaning and inspection by a professional can ensure your chimney is ready to go for the winter. A professional cleaning can remove buildup of creosote, a highly flammable byproduct of burning wood. You also will be alerted to any potential problems and ensure your home stays warm and cozy all winter long.

2. Gutters and downspouts. The leaves are changing colors and starting to fall, leading to clogged gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can prevent ice and snow from melting and draining properly, causing costly damage to the interior and exterior of your home during the winter months. A properly installed and maintained downspout system can ensure your home has the proper flow of water off the roof and away from the foundation. Inspect your gutter and downspouts several times in the fall. Replace any gutters or downspouts that are damaged.

3. Sprinklers. If you haven’t winterized your sprinkler system, it’s the right time to get that task completed. If water is still running through your pipes during the first freeze, it could lead to cracked pipes and gaskets and costly repairs. Drain and disconnect all garden hoses, too. To prevent pipes freezing and bursting, ensure that pipes are well insulated. Do you know how to locate and turn off the water shut-off valve in the event pipes do freeze? Ideally, all older children and adults living in your home should know how.

If you are buying a home in Rapid City give Red Horse Home Inspection a call or schedule online.  We offer home inspections, radon inspections, and water test.  Take a look at our latest reviews and a sample home inspection report.  Check our our Google My Business page to see our latest blogs and see some of our latest finds.

Making sure that your property is sloped to allow proper drainage can mean the difference between a trouble-free rainy season and a flooded basement a few times a year.  Unwanted moisture intrusion—even at a level not serious enough to cause interior flooding—can create insidious problems that will be difficult to completely eliminate, such as weakened structural elements, mold growth, and other damage and health hazards.

Most problems with moisture in basements and crawlspaces are caused by poor site drainage. The ground should slope away from window wells, exterior basement stairs, and other means of egress. The bottom of each of these areas should be sloped to a drain. Each drain should have piping that connects it to a storm water drainage system (if there is one) or that drains to either a discharge at a lower grade or into a sump pit that collects and discharges the water away from the building.

Rain:  During the next heavy rainstorm without lightning, grab an umbrella and go outside. Walk around your house and look around at the roof and property. A rainstorm is the perfect time to see how the roof, downspouts and grading are performing. Observe the drainage patterns of your entire property, as well as the property of your neighbor. The ground around your house should slope away from all sides. Downspouts, surface gutters and drains should be directing water away from the foundation.

One important maintenance task is to monitor and maintain the drains and piping. Drains and piping should be open and clear of leaves, earth and debris. A garden hose can be used to check water flow, although its discharge cannot approximate storm conditions.

House on a Hillside:  Where a building is situated on a hillside, it is more difficult to slope the ground away from the building on all sides. On the high-ground side of the building, the slope of the ground toward the building could be interrupted by a surface drainage system that collects and disposes of rainwater runoff. Swales can be used to direct surface water away from the foundation. There are two general types of surface drainage systems: an open system, consisting of a swale (often referred to as a ditch), sometimes with a culvert at its end to collect and channel water away; and a closed system, consisting of gutters with catch basins.



Well-maintained landscaping and other improvements are important for the enjoyment of a healthy and durable property.

Plants, Trees & Shrubs:  Check the location and condition of all trees and shrubbery. Those that are overgrown should be pruned or trimmed. Where trees or bushes have overgrown, complete removal may be necessary. Trees need to be trimmed.  Overhanging branches should not interfere with a chimney’s draft, be too close to utility wires, or deposit leaves and twigs on the roof or inside gutters and drains. Trees and shrubbery that are very close to exterior walls or roofs can cause damage. They can make it difficult to perform homeowner maintenance, inspections and repairs. Branches around the perimeter of the house should be pruned back. Tree roots under concrete walks can cause damage. Roots are usually exposed near the surface and can be cut back. Tree roots can cause a home’s foundation to crack by pushing against it from the outside. If you have any of these issues, consider hiring an arborist. An arborist is a specialist in the cultivation and care of trees and shrubs, including tree surgery, the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of tree diseases, and the control of pests. Find a certified arborist in the U.S. at and in Canada.  Schedule your home inspection with Red Horse Home Inspection.