Q: I installed a whole-house water softener for our well water but the water still tastes bad? Is this due to my water softener or is there any other issue? Thanks – Kathy A: In most cases, water softeners have little effect on the taste of drinking water. They might make it a little better or a little worse, or have no effect at all. This is a side effect of the softening … [Read more...] about Will Water Softener Improve My Drinking Water?
Q: What is the best way to insulate an unvented cathedral ceiling in a detached workshop? I plan to insulate before installing an AC and heating system (thinking mini-split). Is closed-cell spray foam the best, or only, good option in this case? I don't plan on finishing the space with drywall, although wouldn't rule it out in the future. .And given that it's only a workshop … [Read more...] about Insulating A Cathedral Ceiling With Foam Board
Q: Hi. We recently moved into an older home with hardwood floors that are very squeaky in some spots. Some areas are hardwood and some are carpeted over hardwood . Any tips or products you can recommend minimize the squeaks without tearing out the ceiling below. In some places we can access from below. - MH A: Floor squeaks in hardwood floors are generally caused by spaces … [Read more...] about Cure For Squeaky Floors
My contractor and I have an ongoing issue with the final payment of the contract and has filed a mechanic's lien. The contractor demanded final payment before all of the items in the contract were finished. Our main concern, among others, was the fact the contractor wanted final payment before they took all of the trash they piled on my patio for the duration of the … [Read more...] about Contractor Filed a Lien – What Are Our Options?
Q: What is the correct way to install a two-ply roofing underlayment? I was quoted a price on two-layered underlayment for my roof (Fontana G40 underlayment). I asked how much overlap he uses in his installs and he answered 2-4 inches. I was very confused as I have read your information and then confirmed with the TRI Installation Guide (page 17) that there should be 18-19 … [Read more...] about How To Install Two-Ply Roof Underlayment?
Q: I've seen the Pylex powder-coated adjustable post base, which allows adjustment in elevation after install. This seems pretty convenient. However, are these 'approved' by most (or any) building codes? – Chief A: I like stand-off post bases that hold the bottom of the post about an inch above the concrete pier (see photo), protecting the post from sucking up water through … [Read more...] about Are Adjustable Post Bases OK for Decks?
Q: How sturdy are helical piers as a foundation for a backyard deck? Also, can I use a ground screws or other type of no-dig post anchor to support a newel post on my porch stairs? – FC A: Helical piers, when installed properly, can provide a sturdy, code-approved foundation for a raised backyard deck. This type of support, also known as helical “piles” has been widely … [Read more...] about Helical Piers for Decks
Q: How much should a perc test cost? I live in Pennsylvania and the septic company I hired is demanding $2,400 for a perc test. They say that the test itself (3 feet) will cost $650, a soil scientist will cost $500, excavator and operator is $750, and a drip system design is $1,400. Does this sound about right or am I being taken advantage of? Please help – Minji A: Perc … [Read more...] about How Much Should Perc Test Cost?