Recent Questions:

Is this home worth it?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ October 30, 2015 ~ No Comments

I am looking at buying a cheap house that needs some major upgrades, including raising the ceiling. I would like to make it a cathedral ceiling. The roof looks like it is sagging and would need to be redone anyway. Is it worth buying a house under 100,000 if it needs these big remodels? Any ideas of what I could expect to pay? Thanks.


Is it possible my I-joist is damaged?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ July 24, 2015 ~ No Comments

My home had I-joists supporting the plywood floor. I had the plywood replaced, and when the contractors were pulling it up, I noticed they were ripping off a top layer of the joists. I asked them to stop and called the foreman over to evaluate. He says it did not damage the integrity of the I-beam, but I don't know if I can trust his word on that. What do you think?


Can I safely move a support post?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ July 10, 2015 ~ No Comments

I bought a house with an unfinished basement and there's a support post right in the middle of the I-beam. To properly frame out the room, is it possible to move it three feet off center and not have it cause any issues structurally? It's a two-story home.


Whose job is it to measure for a kitchen remodel?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ June 17, 2015 ~ No Comments

The design plan of my new kitchen cabinets said the end of the cabinets would terminate with inches of wall space showing. When the cabinets were installed there was a whole foot of wall space. When I questioned my contractor, he said it's not his job to measure - it's my job. Is this true?


How can I remove a column from my basement?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ February 24, 2015 ~ No Comments

I have a structural beam in my basement that has a 15 foot span with a lally column at seven feet. The beam is three 2x8s pocketed into the foundation on both sides. There are no walls or beams above this beam. How can I remove it?


What are the best boards to use for building a deck?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ January 7, 2015 ~ No Comments

I want to build a 16" x 16" deck. What size boards should I use?


What's the best way to move a washer and dryer?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ December 22, 2014 ~ No Comments

If I wanted to relocate my washer and dryer to a newly constructed out building to save a little room in my house, how would I handle the drainage? Also, if I created a rain garden next to the out building, can I drain it into the rain garden?

How do I reattach wires going from the thermostat to the fireplace?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ December 22, 2014 ~ No Comments

I have a continental gas fireplace, and the wires from the thermostat to the fireplace have come disconnected at the fireplace. There are four wires: yellow, red, green, and black. There are three vertical terminal posts labeled from top to bottom TP TH, TP, and TH. Can you tell me which wires go where? Thanks.


How can I restore peeling cabinets?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ December 8, 2014 ~ No Comments

My kitchen cabinets are oak/particle board. The two lower cabinets by the sink are peeling and the finish has peeled away. Is there a way to fix this? I am afraid if I go to the effort to refinish them, they won't match the cabinets on the top.


How do I get rid of black mold?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ September 15, 2014 ~ No Comments

My home doesn't have a foundation - it has a concrete floor. The outside of my home has siding. I am starting to get a lot of black mold inside my home on almost all my walls from the bottom of the wall up to about two feet high. What materials do I need to eliminate this problem?


What's the average cost to build a tunnel?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ June 23, 2014 ~ No Comments

If I were to build a tunnel made primarily out of wood that is about 7 feet tall and 8 feet long and 4-5 feet wide, how much would it cost?


How can I fix a leaning staircase?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ June 16, 2014 ~ No Comments

My staircase is leaning at a dangerous angle. It is an old home with a crawl space instead of a basement. What can cause this and what is approximate cost of the fix? Can this be DIY? Help!


Does keeping an appliance in storage hurt it?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ May 26, 2014 ~ No Comments

We bought a Kenmore water softener and my husband left it in the garage for at least five years before he installed it. It was subjected to extreme weather conditions. After installing it, it never worked right. Is there any way to fix it? Did this storage cause the problem?


How do I fix my leaking French doors?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ May 19, 2014 ~ No Comments

I have French doors and they are leaking water into my house during bad weather. They are brand new. I had French doors that opened outward before and they never leaked. The current contractor says I need to take the doors out and replace them with a single door. I do not want to do this. Can French doors be put back in that won't leak if they open outwards again?


Remodeling a room with termite damage

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ May 14, 2014 ~ No Comments

I own a home that was built in 1890. At some point, someone added on a small back room. They built it right on the ground. I had to tear out the entire floor, so now have the walls, the roof, and rafters. In places, the sill plate is totally gone along with portions of the wall studs. I think it's termites. They ate about a foot of the wall studs. I want to put in a foundation and save as much of the existing walls as I can. What should I do?


Meet the contractors:

Brendan Fowler

Brendan Fowler owns and operates Fowler Construction, a general contracting business located in Nevada City, California.

Brett Kulina

Brett Kulina is a builder and real estate developer in Missoula, Montana. He writes from his historic farm on the Bitterroot River.

Jeffrey Anderson

Jeffrey Anderson works in home building, remodeling, and commercial construction. He lives in Virginia with his three dogs.

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