In kitchen and bathroom areas where vinyl flooring is often used, natural linoleum can be used instead. (Vinyl flooring is sometimes generically referred to as "linoleum," so be sure to request "natural linoleum.") Natural linoleum is made of linseed oil, pine resins, and jute. It was used for decades before vinyl flooring became available, and it's making a comeback. Natural linoleum can be bought at almost any flooring or home improvement store.
Termites and other pest can cause expensive damage. Here’s what to look for: sawdust-like accumulations of frass indicate the presence of termites. An exterminator can spray or set traps to eliminate the infestation. A clean hole without cobwebs or leaves indicates an access hole for rodents. An exterminator can set a trap for them, too.