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
Blair writes: I'm in a 30-year-old house built on a brick-ledge slab. The trouble is that the previous owner/builder used reverse board-and-batten siding to instead of brick. Over the years, rain hitting the ledge on the slab bounced up to rot the lower 2-4 inches of wood and likely the sole plate of the wall framing. My thought is to cut a foot or so above the rot around the … [Read more...] about Splashback Rots Vertical Siding
Scott writes: I have a galley style kitchen that is approximately 10x20 ft. The floor joists are 2x10s, spaced 24” on-center and running lengthwise. The maximum span is 14 ft., as a steel I-beam breaks the floor into two sections of 14 ft. and 6 ft. The basement ceiling is finished in drywall so I do not have access from below. The subfloor is 23/32 T&G OSB, with ¼ inch … [Read more...] about Best Subfloor for Ceramic Tile
Randy asks: What is the best way to drill ceramic tile for installing grab bars, shower rods, and other hardware? I didn’t have much luck with a carbide bit and even tried a hammer drill. Steve Bliss, of BuildingAdvisor.com, responds: A carbide bit will work fine on soft wall tile, but floor tile and most wall tile used today are harder and require a diamond bit for easy … [Read more...] about Drilling Ceramic Tile & Stone