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Recent Questions:

What's the average cost to build a tunnel?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ June 23, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

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?

-Zoe

How can I fix a leaning staircase?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ June 16, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

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!

-Bill

Does keeping an appliance in storage hurt it?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ May 26, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

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?

-Maureen

How do I fix my leaking French doors?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ May 19, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

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?

-Tanya

Remodeling a room with termite damage

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ May 14, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

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?

How do we level our floor?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ May 2, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

We are going to have laminate flooring installed upstairs. Our wood hallway up there has a downward slope at the end where the house has settled. It's about a 3/8" drop. How do we resolve this issue?

-Rebecca

Does a horizontal beam need support at both ends?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ April 30, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I decided to rip out the previous owner's DIY finished basement and discovered two 2x12s, sistered, that support the floor joists, but someone removed the double 2x4s that were supporting one end of this beam. It's free floating for about 24". A 4" PVC waste line was then run right where the double 2x4s were. Can I put a steel support column right up against the waste pipe to support the beam or do I need to put the support column flush against the wall again and reroute the waste line?

How do we stop water from leaking in under the door?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ April 28, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

Water is coming under our door's threshold. Can we just remove threshold and add wood shims, seal them, and then add the threshold and cut doors to fit?

-Tracy

Where do I start with renovations?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ April 25, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

Our two-story Cape was built in 1944 with no heat upstairs and lousy insulation everywhere. The electrical service also needs to be updated, the bathrooms need serious renovations, and we have propane for heat and cooking. Finally, the house sits over a crawl space and the floors are cold. What fixes that? My question is - where do I start?

-Carolyn

How do I start planning a basement renovation?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ April 25, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I recently bought a small 1,100 sq. ft. home that is on a severe slope. The house is single-story and stucco with a concrete foundation. Half of the basement has a standard 2 x 2.5 ft. crawl space. The other half of the basement is about 6.5 ft. high. I would like to turn this half of the basement into two rooms with a bath. What do I need to consider to do this?

-Rick

How can I raise my floors?

Answered by Brett Kulina ~ April 23, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I have a large room that I want to remodel into an apartment for my brother, but first the floor must be raised more than a foot so that it is level with the doorway. The existing floor is a concrete slab, which I would prefer to leave intact. We have major construction experience but don't know the best way to do this ourselves. What do you recommend?

-Jeanni

What's the correct spacing for my roof trusses?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ April 23, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I'm building a simple rectangular ranch style home - 40'x26'. When it comes to roof trusses, I was thinking of using 26' 4/12 residential trusses. I've been told that these trusses are meant for 2' spacing. Is this in compliance with the IBC 2006 or would they need to be spaced 16" on center? Or if neither, what are the spacing requirements according the IBC 2006?

-Rebecca

Do contractors usually ask how you're going to pay for the work?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ April 21, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

Is it normal for a contractor to ask the homeowner how the project is going to be funded?

-Sam

My home has no insulation at all. What can I do?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ April 18, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

I live in IL, and my house has two layers of brick covered with a layer of 1" clay tile and plaster. There is no insulation whatsoever. There is no gap between the layers to blow in insulation or foam. My home is only 895 sq. ft. but I pay more than a 2,500 sq. ft. home in utilities. I've put new windows and doors in and two layers of R-30 insulation in the attic. Please, please, please help with any and all suggestions.

-Shaun

How can we stop our subfloors from rotting?

Answered by Jeffrey Anderson ~ April 16, 2014 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

My house is 3/4 crawl space foundation 1/4 slab from a garage conversion. The center of the crawl space portion is sinking and we have been having problems with the wooden subfloor rotting in the rooms along it. How do we stop this from happening? We also found a shower problem that we fixed.

-Jeannie

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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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