Q: We are planning to sell our house on a 0.6 acre lot, and have been told that we need to replace the drain field before selling. However, there is nowhere on our site that qualifies due to modern regulations, which require the drain field to be at least 50 ft. from a stream and 100 ft. from a well. There is really nowhere on my site that qualifies. Are there any options … [Read more...] about Fitting Drain Field On A Small Lot
Q: At the end of remodeling my home (original contract price $149,000) I was hit with an extra $24,500 for items I was unaware of. The contractor said every time that they were ordered by my architect. But I don't have an architect! I only had the architect to draw up the original plans but not stay involved with the project. Some of the items are door change, tearing down … [Read more...] about Should I Pay Extra Charges at End of Remodeling Job?
Q: We live in Los Angeles County, California. We extended our concrete patio in 2013 and had it finished with concrete patio tile that look like terra-cotta. We were told this tile is more expensive, but it will last us a lifetime. There is a lifetime warranty on this material. Now - only 6 years later - the tile is blistering and corroding. We contacted the tile … [Read more...] about Concrete Patio Tiles Crumbling; Manufacturer Denies Claim
Survival Tips for Bidding Wars Q: We are trying to buy a house or building lot in a very hot seller’s market where desirable properties sell fast and bidding wars are common. Prices often go way above the asking price. Any strategies you can suggest to help avoid a bidding war? Our real estate agent suggested we add an “escalation clause” to our offer. Is that a good idea? — … [Read more...] about How To Buy a House In A Seller’s Market
Q: What is the cause and cure for wood rot in an exterior wall? I recently noticed that the corner of my house has rotting studs from the bottom up. The exterior sheathing is rotting as well. This area was never with siding due to being approximately 6 inches from a garage wall. What is the best way to repair the wall and to prevent future problems? The house was built eight … [Read more...] about How To Diagnose & Repair Rotted Framing?
Q: Is prefinished hardwood flooring as good as traditional hardwood? We are remodeling and wish to install hardwood strip flooring. We are considering unfinished hardwood flooring, prefinished solid hardwood, and laminated hardwood that is about 3/8-inch thick. We are leaning toward unfinished but have read that some of the prefinished products have better finishes. What’s … [Read more...] about Prefinished Hardwood Flooring vs. Unfinished?
Q: How does the ZIP system compare to standard sheathing? It seems like 9 out of 10 new homes and remodels in my area (northern New England) are using green ZIP sheathing on the walls and some use the red version of the roof as well. How does this product compare to using plywood and a housewrap such as Tyvek? — Tom A: Zip System sheathing was introduced by Huber Engineered … [Read more...] about ZIP Sheathing Vs. Plywood & Housewrap?
Q: Would it be foolish to build far away? Should I wait until I can physically be there? I'll be retiring in a few years and would like to build a custom home far (2k miles) from my current location. Ideally, I'd initiate the process about a year before I retire, and the home would be completed by my retirement date. I would hire an architect for the full suite of … [Read more...] about Can I Design & Build A Home In Another State?