Jonathan writes: I have been finding little piles of wood shavings on my backyard deck, along the bottom of the exterior wall of the house (see photo). Does this look like a sign of carpenter ants or termites? I suspect ants as I sometimes see large, black ants in the house. What's the best way to get rid of carpenter ants? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: … [Read more...] about Do I Have Carpenter Ants?
Kevin writes: In 2013 we decided to demolish our existing home (build in 1941) and build a new home in the same place. Because our neighborhood is built on 85-foot-deep clay over a glacial lake, the old cinder block foundation had failed in the basement and we had serious moisture problems as a result. To prevent a repeat, we chose to not have a basement in the new home. Our … [Read more...] about Building New Slab Over Foundation Rubble
Karen asks: We are considering buying a property that's labeled as "gently rolling". Do we need a builder to look at it in order to tell us if a walk-out basement is possible? How much slope is required? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: Assuming an 8 ft. foundation wall, and assuming your foundation projects one foot above grade at the front of the house, you … [Read more...] about How Much Slope for Walk-Out?
Jill asks: What is the best roofing product to use on a carport and pergola? The carport roof covers both, which are part of the same structure. I am aware that there are plastic-coated steel sheets, polyester-coated, zinc, and polycarbonate sheets. It’s a minefield. There are lots of trees overhead, so everything goes green including the roof and patio. I was thinking of maybe … [Read more...] about Metal vs. Plastic Roofing for Carport
Jim writes: Do you need a perc test if there is sewer hookup at the road? Also, is there such a thing as a well test also? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: There is no need for a perc test if you are tying into a municipal sewer system. There will be a cost to tie in, however, so you might want to check with the town for an estimate of the hookup fees. You may … [Read more...] about Testing for Well & Septic