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Differences in Cementitious & Vinyl Sidings

What are the differences/similarities between cementitious and vinyl sidings?

Carrie,

Thank you for your follow-up question.

“James Hardie” siding – a term popularly applied to cementitious exterior siding products, does have some distinct qualities.

It has shown itself to be very durable and seems to stand up well to abuse.

It takes and holds properly specified and applied paint very well.

It can offer some sound absorption and resistance to insect issues. Unlike wood, it will not support growth of molds or mildews – although the surface paints ..read more

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Rotted Wood Siding

We need to find someone to replace rotted wood siding.

Carrie,

Thanks for the inquiry – you are one of the rare homeowners not wishing to replace old natural wood with a ceramic or metal or vinyl.

If some of the siding on your home did actually rot, you should try to discover the cause so as to prevent it from happening again.

Wood sidings generally rot due to repeated exposure to “trapped” moisture. This could be due to poor installations, improper finishes, inappropriate ..read more

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In a kitchen remodel should the new plumbing be installed before the new floor system?

Jennifer,

Congrats on the project and thanks for a great question.

There is no issue as to which to do first – re-plumb or lay the new floor first – but for the sake of efficiency, the plumbing will likely come up through the bottom of the new sink base – meaning the new floor in that area will not be seen and therefore as a built-in tolerance ..read more

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Costly Dehumidifier vs. A/C Unit

Do you  have any suggestions for a good dehumidifier for our basement (average size, half finished recreation, half unfinished storage area)? We currently have a Frigidaire energy star but it runs continuously! It does a good job drying out the chilly dampness but our electric bill is going up, up, up – about 25% higher than last year! We need to reduce the amount of electricity and lower our bill. 

Dianne,

Thank you so much for your question.

Dehumidification is big issue during ..read more

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I’ve checked their credentials, but how can I know I am hiring the right company? 

Gerry,

Thanks for the inquiry – we appreciate your concerns.

You have done well getting a copy of the license and insurance – you can easily verify that both are legitimate and current with a couple of phone calls and a visit to MI.gov – the State of Michigan web site.

Both documents should have a business address on them and the address should be the same on both.

Both ..read more

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Metal Roofing

Our leaking roof needs to be replaced – should we replace it with a metal roof?

Mathew,

Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate your trust.

A “small leak around the chimney” is an all too common issue with homes today as many owners who opted for a bargain roofing company realized the roofer did not have the skills or expertise to properly protect the home.

We need to understand that a roof should have the fewest penetrations possible to accommodate the home ..read more

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Tar & Chip Driveways

What can you tell us about tar and chip driveways?

Becky and Duane,

Thank you for the inquiry – we can appreciate your issue.

Driveways are not an inexpensive proposition and the considerations today affect performance issues over time.

The primary purpose of using a tar and chip driveway over an asphalt drive is expense. Assuming both are done properly, the tar and chip is less expensive.

The tar and chip process involves laying an emulsified tar base over your drive substrate and then applying ..read more

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Silly Rabbits

How can we keep rabbits out of our yard and garden?

Robert,

Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate it!

“How to keep rabbits out of your yard” is a million dollar question. The cute little nibblers can wreak havoc with shrubs, plants and trees. It is said that if you regularly see one, you have many around.

One option is to have them professionally and humanely trapped and relocated – but that might be an expense you cannot bear.

As regards to the ..read more

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Slab-on-Grade Foundations

What are the pros and cons of different foundation types?

Angela,

Thank you for the inquiry.

We are unique in this part of the country with most of our homes having basements. This was a “nod” to the concept of bringing the “root-cellar” into the home for easier access during long and cold winter months.

Because most of our surface soils or “over-burden” are clay soils, the likelihood of water/moisture infiltration in the house through the foundation floor is increased, so it would seem ..read more

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Sump Pump Options During Power Outage

What options do I have for emptying the sump crock when the power goes out? 

Doug,

Thank you for the inquiry.

Yours is a fairly standard, though very important, concern shared by a lot of people. What do I do for a stand-by sump pump in the case of a power outage?

Other than being home to bail the crock by hand you really have three choices.

One is to provide deep cycle battery back-up power to the pump. You could call Art at 734-502-5060 ..read more

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