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Help Paying Utilities

Where can I find some help with my utility bills?

Tasha,

Thank you for the question -we appreciate your concerns.

Regarding assistance with utility bill payment in the Metro-Detroit area, there are a lot of resources available to you.

DTE has a hotline you can call to discuss the issue and get advice at 800-292-5650.

There are several area non-profits designed to assist people including St. Vincent DePaul and the THAW (The Heat And Warmth) program at DTE.

Some programs are grant programs that may pay ..read more

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Parking Lot Repair/Replacement

Options for parking lot repair/replacement.

Jill,

Thanks for the question – we appreciate the issue you are dealing with here.

Parking lots are not inexpensive to build nor maintain. Use of available land, good materials and compliance with prevailing regulations can make them nearly prohibitive.

A lot of the costs of such projects are tied to the expense of preparing the substrate that lies beneath the driving/parking surface and surface water drainage issues. If the substrate does not require re-working and if no additional ..read more

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Interior Work on Church

Can you offer guidance on completing interior work on a church, including setting pews and replacing carpeting?

Sorin,

Thank you for the inquiry – we appreciate it!

Construction involving Houses of Worship is a specialized niche in the Building Industry. As with any segment of the Industry, practitioners tend to assemble groups of specialty sub-contractors they trust and rely on over the years to handle various parts of the construction.

Setting church pews properly and providing the trim detail needed do this professionally is ..read more

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Is a Wood Foundation a Good Idea?

What can you tell me about wood foundations?

Jerry,

Great question – right up our alley!

AWWF – All-Weather-Wood-Foundation systems have been around many decades.

They are essentially a .60 treated Southern Yellow Pine frame with .60 treated plywood sheathing and double-dipped zinc and/or stainless steel fasteners.

The wall-panel system sits on a wood “footer” which rests on a compacted bed of pea gravel or 10-A stone.

The plywood is covered with a reinforced sheet of minimum 6ml visqueen prior to backfill with a well-drained readily ..read more

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Solutions for Basement Water

What is the best solution for basement water issues?

Lynn,

Thank you for the question. Lots of people are in a similar situation.

The answer to you question is “it depends”.

Sub-grade water that is not the result of bad surface drainage needs to “intercepted” before it can get in the basement through the floor area.

If the issue does originate at or near the surface, other solutions should be employed.

If wall cracks are bringing in the water, you should first talk with Darryl at ..read more

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Asphalt Driveway Repair

We need our asphalt driveway repaired.

Gary,

Thank you for the question.

A lot of home owners and parking lot owners wonder the same thing – who can I find for asphalt repair when the surface starts to “alligator.” Alligatoring is the term applied to a surface that begins to resemble a dry clay riverbed.

One of the biggest installation mistakes made with asphalt drives is lack of sufficient base, followed by a layer of too-thin asphalt.

Deep – minimum 4″-6″ – base of well compacted ..read more

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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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