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Considerations When Building a Garage

I’m looking to build a new garage. Can you give me some tips before starting the project?

Gerry,

Thanks for the inquiry – we appreciate you.

Building a new garage involves many of the same considerations as building a home addition, including good foundations and site drainage, electrical/mechanical needs, etc.

Some of the questions you’ll need answers to before you start include:

Will the building be insulated? Will it be connected to an existing residence? Will the inside be finished? What type doors, windows, openers will be required?

Make ..read more

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Reducing Water Waste from Toilet

I’m trying to stop my toilet tank from wasting water. Can you help?

Helen,

Thank you for the kind words and for the question!

It sounds as though your diagnostic skills are excellent – at least regarding toilet tanks!

Thanks also for noticing what the Outside Guy would call “no big deal” in constantly wasting only a “cup” of water. In a year’s time that could amount to several thousand gallons of water!

That EPS foam liner is, indeed, to limit condensation on the outside ..read more

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Back-up Sump Pump

What type of back-up sump pumps are best?

Dianne,

Thank you for the great question.

Having a sump back-up is always a good idea.

We suggest that people should have an “ear” tuned to listening for their pump and checking it periodically, especially this time of year.

The type of back-up that uses “city” water are very dependable although they do use a fair amount of water when in operation. You might contact Art at 734-502-5060 and discuss this with him.

Even in a power outage ..read more

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Requirements for Window Installation

I’m not sure my new windows were installed correctly. What are the requirements for new window flashings?

Stanley,

Thank you.

Improperly installed windows and doors are a big issue today as the Industry readily acknowledges the danger of water intrusion and the need for permanent mechanical flashings versus temporary caulks.

No reasonable and informed practitioner today would ignore the need for flashing pans and permanent flashing materials around wall and roof penetrations.

To the best of our knowledge, there are few specific criteria in the ..read more

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Sound-deadening Insulation Ideas

I need to insulate and sound deaden the space above my fireplace. What are your recommendations?

Amy,

Thanks for the inquiry – we appreciate it.

We would be curious to know if that space is a “bump-out” that extends beyond the exterior vertical faceĀ  of the wall – it sounds as though it might be. We would also be curious as to how the bump-out is constructed to better provide ideas for what you might do.

Without rebuilding it structurally, the work you suggest ..read more

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Comparing Replacement Window Companies

I need replacement windows. How do I compare the different companies?

John,

Thanks for the inquiry – we appreciate the question and the concerns.

The term “replacement window” should be somewhat defined to answer the question on a comparative level.

What is actually being replaced? Just the framed glass/sashes? The entire window unit or is the old frame staying in place to be replaced by a down-sized frame and new sashes?

What generally differentiates one window from another is frame type and quality, coating quality ..read more

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Boiler Systems

What can you tell me about boilers?

Robert,

Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate it.

Hot water heating systems have been installed for decades with great success. Properly designed and maintained, they are a great way to heat through the use of thermal mass (water) and the common installation of exterior (cold-wall) perimeter installations at the bottom of the wall.

In this way, heat is introduced to the conditioned space at the coldest point and migrates through convective movement across the living ..read more

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Carpet Cleaning Basics

What do I need to know when hiring a carpet cleaning company?

LeeAnn,

Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate it.

Carpet cleaning services began to franchise many years ago and replace the DIY people as fabrics, equipment and cleaners became more sophisticated. It has long been one of those services “anyone” felt they could accomplish – but there are some potential issues that you should be aware of.

A professional should be able to show you insurance that covers their people against ..read more

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Dumpster on New Driveway?

Can I put a dumpster on my one-year-old concrete driveway?

Gina,

Thanks for a great question…it’s always good to think ahead when considering home improvement projects!

It may be as simple as checking your written warranty from the installing contractor to see if you possibly void coverage by setting a dumpster on the drive.

If the concrete you installed was 3,000PSI concrete, then it should be safe to assume it has attained 90+% of its “ultimate compressive strength” – or up to at least ..read more

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Can I Get an Estimate Before an Estimate?

Will a contractor to give us an idea of the cost for a small remodeling project?

Brenda,

Thank you for the great question – so many people are in the same situation.

Most quality contractors in our area can listen to you regarding your situation and take a look at your house to give you what we call a “range” estimate very quickly. This is not a bid, but an educated guess based on what you have shared with the contractor and what ..read more

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