Q: My redwood house is 40 years old and was never stained. It is weathered gray. Can I stain it now and if so what prep work is needed and what stain should I use? – K.H. A: If the underlying wood is still solid, You can certainly stain old redwood siding as long as you do the necessary prep work. As with any paint job, the prep work is the most important … [Read more...] about How To Clean & Stain Weathered Redwood Siding
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
Q: Our original concrete tile roof, a little east of San Diego, is around 30+ years old with a roof pitch of about 6 in 12. My guess is that the underlayment should probably be replaced before adding solar panels. The tiles are in great shape with no cracks anywhere. The only problem is on the south end of the house where the fascia had some termites, so I cut off about a … [Read more...] about Reuse or Replace Concrete Tiles When Reroofing ?
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: 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?
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
Oscar asks: What is the simplest way to identify different types of interior wall structures and whether it is safe to remove some of the studs? Also, what are the telltale signs that reveal different roof structures? Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: As for figuring out wall and roof structures, it takes a bit of detective work and knowledge about residential … [Read more...] about How to Tell if Wall is Loadbearing
Mark writes: I own a Cape-style house built in 1945 and worry about a leak developing in the iron water lines when I am not at home to shut off the water at the mains. Is there a reason not to use PEX or PVC rather than copper pipe? Is there any way to get an independent idea of what a plumber should charge to do this? I live in a small town and we seem to be largely at the … [Read more...] about PEX vs. Copper Plumbing