Irene writes: Our house in Los Angeles is 25 years old. One roofer recommended removing the composite roofing tiles and replacing the old underlayment with 90-pound paper. Then they will replace the roofing tiles. Another roofer recommended the same approach, but with two layers of 30-pound felt as the underlayment. Please explain the differences between paper and felt and the … [Read more...] about Best Underlayment for Tile Roofs
John asks: Is it better to use Icynene (open-cell) or closed-cell spray foam in an unvented cathedral ceiling? We are building a new home in Atlanta, GA. Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: I don't really like unvented cathedral ceilings, also called "hot roofs", because they are very unforgiving. If the roof sheathing or rafters ever gets wet from a roof leak, or … [Read more...] about Spray Foam Insulation for Cathedral Ceilings
Brad asks: On remodels, are supervision costs typically included in contractor's percentage fee or are these billable? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: There is no definitive answer to your question as different contractors handle this issue differently. Some bill for all supervisory time, some bill for only specific types of supervisory time, and some bill for … [Read more...] about Cost-Plus: Are Supervision Costs Billable?
Richard writes: My lot will not accommodate a conventional leach field. What alternatives can you suggest and who would you recommend to design alternative septic systems? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: What is acceptable in your area after a failed perc test is determined by local building codes and health department regulations, so you should first check … [Read more...] about Are Alternative Septic Systems Allowed?
Bill writes: We are having an issue with our 13-year-old house where it appears that the flashing membrane material has leaked out along the edges of our windows. This leakage appears black and we cannot figure out what else it could be. Since we are planning on replacing all the front windows of the house that face the summer sun, we are looking for other materials to use so … [Read more...] about Black Stains Around Windows From Flashing Tape