Where the buildings are built right to the property line, it is impossible to install a traditional drainage system on the outside of the foundation. We must install a system on the interior. Unfortunately, that usually requires removing the slab and replacing it. Usually, interior improvements must be removed as well. Once the slab . . . → Read More: A DRAINAGE SYSTEM FOR THE CITY
As I write this, it has been raining for a month and many who have a perpetually wet basement or garage are fed up to the point of doing something about it. I hope I caught you in time to advise against one of the many ineffective waterproofing schemes out . . . → Read More: DRY BASEMENTS AND THE MYTH OF WATERPROOFING
Drawings, or “plans”, serve two functions. They are an invaluable tool to use in creating the Plan for the project, and they provide a means of communicating that Plan to all the involved parties. Every project requires that many, many, questions be resolved. There is a tendency to . . . → Read More: WE DON’T NEED PLANS, DO WE?
Way over half of all the project problems I have encountered in my 35 years of doing this are the result of non-existent or poor planning. Once a client decides to do a project, they always want to get started building right away and anything that delays that is seen . . . → Read More: PLANNING IS A WASTE OF TIME, RIGHT?
Building departments and inspectors are widely perceived as being priests of some indecipherable religion known only to themselves. This is actually far from the truth, as inspectors are simply a type of cop who enforces the building code. This code is published and available to anyone (your contractor should have a copy).
Codes are . . . → Read More: DEALING WITH BUILDING INSPECTORS
Often I get asked by those who want to start a remodeling project if we have to go through the tedious and time consuming process of getting a permit for the job from the City. The homeowner thinks that the job is small and that there is no need to bother with the hassle . . . → Read More: SHOULD I GET A PERMIT?
Most of us think of workmanship as the trim carpentry, tight fitting miters, three part crown molding, etc. But it is the workmanship you don’t see that is really important. We all have heard by now that shear walls comprise a key ingredient in preventing earthquake damage. Yet an improperly constructed wall can be . . . → Read More: WHY WORKMANSHIP IS IMPORTANT
Experience is important, but not just any experience. It must be experience in doing the kind of project you are planning to do.
A professional photographer wanted to renovate her home to accommodate studio space for her business. The project required raising the house, extensive foundation work, a two-story horizontal addition with two new . . . → Read More: SOMETIMES THE CHEAPEST BID COSTS MORE
We have all heard the axiom that experience counts in the selection of a professional, such as a contractor. But have you ever wondered just why that is so?
No matter how well thought out the plan is and how specific, remodeling is full of unknowns and surprises. The more walls a contractor has . . . → Read More: BEEN THERE-DONE THAT- IT’S A GOOD THING