AB writes: On a pretty large remodel job, the contractor has not abided by the contract terms he has written up. He insisted I was limited to a “discount” granite slab he had already purchased, and if I wanted to pick my own slab, there would be a $1300 extra charge. In the language of the contract, any item that is already installed cannot be rejected. So in effect he limited … [Read more...] about Resolving Disputes Over Specs, Change Orders & Cost Overuns
Q: Jonathan asks: We recently purchased a three-level townhome in Virginia, built about 15 years ago. The third floor, where the bedrooms are located, stays about 5º F colder than the main living area on the second level. There is only one heating zone with the thermostat on the second floor. A heating technician has balanced the ductwork but said he cannot get more heat to the … [Read more...] about Is Attic Air Sealing & Insulation Worth It?
David Asks: Are there industry standards for the horizontal alignment of cedar siding boards? We had a home remodel and new cedar siding had to be installed on some of the exterior walls. The horizontal siding aligns evenly at the bottom of two adjoining walls however part way up on one wall, they decreased the overlap of each board and now the horizontal siding on one wall is … [Read more...] about Wood Siding Installation – Best Practices
Sherry asks: We have some pretty dirty grout on a bathroom floor that we are unable to clean. We are trying to compare re-grouting with recoating the existing grout. We have read about easy-to-apply products that claim to seal and color existing grout. They sound a little too good to be true. Do you have any experience with these and have any recommendations? Steve Bliss, … [Read more...] about How to Recolor Old Grout?
Jean writes: I have a concrete tile roof and live in the Pacific Northwest where we have a lot of moss on our roofs. Over the years, the moss removal folk have broken many of my concrete tiles and we no longer can get replacements. The roof is 30 years old, and I am wondering if I should just remove it and get a composite or asphalt shingle roof. Would removing the extra … [Read more...] about Best Roofing for the Pacific Northwest
Kanil writes: I need to build a few interior storm windows by mounting energy-saving clear window film to contain the heat, but still have high light transmission. I have seen a lot of articles online that mention clear low-E window films with high VT (visible-light transmission). But I couldn't find a commercially available film of this kind. Could you please recommend … [Read more...] about Low-E Storm Windows & Low-E Films
John asks: My local lumberyard stocks mahogany decking at a good price. How durable is this compared to other hardwoods? How would you recommend finishing? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: Most wood decking sold in the U.S. as “mahogany” is actually dark red meranti. Meranti is in the same family as lauan, also called Philippine mahogany. Think of meranti … [Read more...] about How Durable is Mahogany Decking?
Dave asks: We are remodeling a bathroom that connects to our bedroom and shares a wall with another bedroom. What steps can we take to soundproof the bathroom walls and door? It’s rather loud in both bedrooms when the shower is running. Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: While it’s not possible to make walls 100% “soundproof,” it’s pretty easy to get significant … [Read more...] about Soundproofing a Wall