What About Sealing Cuts in Fiber
Regarding the question about whether back-priming is required
on cement siding (Q&A, 12/09): We have
completed cement-siding jobs using both factory-prefinished and
site-finished material. None of it was back-primed, and all the
installations are performing well. I believe the cement-siding
manufacturers are correct in not requiring back priming.
However, there’s a more important question: With
factory coatings, should you hand-seal every cut? I believe the
painful answer is yes. The factory finisher on our last cement
job included a very small note in its warranty stating that if
all cuts were not sealed, the 25-year warranty would be voided.
So we hand-painted every cut, even though the extra labor had
not been included in my estimate.
Although James Hardie’s warranty does not discuss the
vented rain screen, we always use Benjamin Obdyke’s
Home Slicker installed over Dow Weathermate housewrap on all of
our jobs. Cement siding is already an expensive choice, and
these techniques only make the installation more expensive. On
the other hand, a siding failure would be a lot more
David Brooke Rush Builders
Epoxy From a Caulk Gun
What brand of epoxy is Gary Striegler using in his January
article on installing iron balusters? It appears to come in a
Gary Striegler responds: That happens to be Red Head A7, a
two-part acrylic adhesive that is available in a 10-ounce tube
that fits regular caulking guns. There are also brands of epoxy
that come in a single tube. For example, Sika makes one called
Sikadur, and West System has a product called Six 10. Typically
the tubes come with a couple of nozzles. The nozzle mixes the
two parts together as the epoxy is being dispensed, so you have
to change it after use, but the open tube is good for a month
Grinding on the side of a 14-inch cutoff wheel, as shown in
the iron-balusters article (1/10), is not a good idea. The
fiberglass fabric on the sides of the wheel is critical for
keeping the wheel from breaking at speed and under load. If the
fabric is worn away, the wheel can fly apart.
USC School of Theatre
Pricing of Kitchen Remodels
While the premise of the article “Streamlining
Kitchen Remodels” (Business, 1/10) is sound,
I don’t know of many markets outside the D.C. beltway
where a business would be able to survive with this tactic.
First, the authors quote their average remodel cost at $34,000.
Wow! Not here in Florida. I think I’ve sold one
kitchen remodel at that price in the last 20 years. Second,
they indicate that they don’t do a lot of
customization within this program. If I had a client who wanted
to move an hvac or electrical item, it would be hard to say no
just because the change did not fall into my program
Finally, they mention that to control costs they try not to
use any subs at all. While it may be cost-conscious, that
practice doesn’t work in Florida where licensed
subcontractors are a must on most jobs.
So while the method seems to work for the authors in their
geographic locale, I can’t see it working for a lot of
us around the country. It’s a good article, just not
applicable to my business — much like reading about
roof design for snow loads.