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More stories about Q&A

  • Q&A: Rigid Foam Under Siding

    Q. I'm removing the wood siding from a '70s colonial, down to the sheathing, and plan to put up vinyl siding. I'm thinking of covering the exterior with foil-faced foam for extra insulation but am concerned about trapping moisture in the walls. The house

  • Q&A:Photo Documentation Tools

    Q. I'm involved in historic restoration and annually shoot a couple of hundred images. I'm looking for a simple (and inexpensive) software that will allow me to take the photos and do markups for comparison. What do you recommend?

  • Q&A:Competing in a Small Market

    Q. I'm a general contractor in a small town where there are many licensed contractors, which makes competition fierce. Some local contractors seem to think the way to do business is to give their materials away at cost and to charge $25 per hour for labor

  • Q&A:Eaves Vents With No Soffits

    Q. I'm reroofing and residing a small home with no soffits. The customer wants to add attic ventilation. I have no problem adding the ridge vents, but there is no soffit overhang to put the eaves vents in. In fact, to have enough space for the vinyl J-cha

  • Q&A: Sinking Foundation

    Q. I'm looking at a wood frame house with a block foundation that is settling. The basement wall sits on a 20-inch-wide concrete footing, but someone later poured a concrete brick shelf from footing to grade and then put brick veneer siding on the house.

  • Q&A: Will Wax Protect Wood Floors?

    Q. I'm building a new home for a couple who want to finish their hardwood floors with wax, the way it used to be done. When they recently refinished the polyurethane-topped floors in their existing home, they were upset that they had to move all their fur

  • Q&A: Insulating a Floor Over an Unheated Garage

    Q. Any suggestions on the best way to insulate the ceiling of a garage? The garage will have an in-law suite above, with living, sleeping, and bath areas. The floor construction will be 2x10 joists, or possibly 117/16-inch wood I-joists. I'm especially co

  • Q&A: Must Remodel Come Up to Code?

    Q: If an electrician comes and does work, does he have to bring the whole house up to code? Are there certain things he has to do and others that are optional? What is permitted versus what is best practice?

  • Q&A: Upgrading Two-Prong Outlets

    Q: How about upgrading old two-prong ungrounded outlets from the ’70s and back?

  • Q&A: Should Older Wiring Be Updated?

    Q: When remodeling or adding to an older home, what are some things to look for that indicate the entire house’s wiring should be updated or replaced?