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Preparing For Building Inspections

      Once you have all the pre-required permits, you will need to apply for a building permit. You will need copies of all the required pre-permits and a copy of your building plans to submit to the building department. The cost of the permit is normally determined by the cost of the project. The bigger the project the higher the cost. Once submitted the building department will review your file and verify you have all required permits and drawings. The building...
Posted by at 2:24 PM | 1 comments

Insulating Box Joist

During the framing stage of construction, insulation is not usually on the contactors mind. If your contractor thinks and plans ahead they can usually eliminate issues before they become problems. One way to do this is to have foam insulation on hand when framing the floor system. Problem areas that can't be reached later to properly insuate are stairways next to outside walls, like in the picture below. Another area that can get over looked is when a joist layout happens directly on a...
Posted by at 2:06 PM | 0 comments

5 Reasons Not To Hire A Contractor

  So you have saved money, scrimped on the family vacations for years, or just eliminated them all together to save up for that dream house or addition. Even if you are just hiring someone to put on a new roof or fix some of those nagging problems around the house, here are few things you shouldn't hear when hiring a contractor.   "I need all or 1/2 of the money upfront".   If a builder needs all the money upfront, chances are they are not someone you should...
Posted by at 12:31 PM | 0 comments

Proper Plywood Spacing

Proper spacing for floor and wall sheathing is essential to let sheet material like OSB or plywood to expand and contract properly. Always check the back of the sheet good for the proper span required for the material you are installing. If the plywood is certified by the American Plywood Association (APA), it will have a stamp on the back that looks like this:     As you can see there is a lot of information on the stamp. Take the time to look it over and make sure the...
Posted by at 11:29 AM | 0 comments

Egress Window Well

There are some limitations, but most codes require an egress window in a basement for new construction. Often times this window will also need an egress window well . That can lead to more building code requirements on the size of the window well and its depth (one thing leads to another).     Window Wells/Area Wells: Required where window opening sill height is below ground elevation. Horizontal dimensions: = 9 sq.ft. (width x projection) Horizontal projection: =...
Posted by at 11:34 AM | 0 comments

Landings At Exterior Doors

Landing, no landing. what is a landing? Door landings can be a source of confusion for many, homeowners and builders alike. While every situation is different, most codes are consistent on the code requirements for landings at exterior doors.   Here is a copy of the code section from the IRC:   - R311.4.3 Landings at doors. There shall be a floor or landing on each side of each exterior door. The floor or landing at the exterior door shall not be more than 1.5...
Posted by at 9:56 AM | 2 comments

Picking And Hiring A Contractor

Homeowners pick contractors and to some extent contractors pick or decide whether or not they want to work for a homeowner. Getting a good fit is essential for a smooth project. Check this list from the NAHB, I found it helpful.   Checklist for Finding and Hiring a Builder or Remodeler Doing your homework will help you have a more successful experience.   Use this checklist to help you select a home builder or home remodeler to work on or build your home:  ...
Posted by at 12:32 PM | 0 comments

Custom Trim - Updating Doors With New Trim

    Changing door trim or upgrading your trim when installing news door is an option that you should consider. A classy trim can really set off the doors and windows in a home.   Endless profiles are available to meet your budget, style and taste. Many trims are made from MDF that make the possiblities endless. This particular header piece is one piece moulded from MDF.   Using a good quality paint on the trim is a sure way to make the woodwork...
Posted by at 10:41 AM | 0 comments

Three Point Locking Doors

When purchasing a French door beware of the quality. You can spend a lot of money and not be happy with a very expensive door. French doors have both operating panels which makes it difficult to get a good weather tight seal. A good thing to look for when buying new doors is a three point locking system. This system locks the door at the knob as normal and at the top and bottom of the door.   This is especially important for wood doors as they tend to take on moisture with the...
Posted by at 3:29 PM | 0 comments

Concrete Control Joints

What is the purpose of a concrete control joint. First let explain what they are, a control joint gives concrete a place to crack. When concrete drys it shrinks. It goes from a plastic - or liquid state to a solid state. When the water leaves the concrete gets slightly smaller, so in a sense, it pulls away  from itself. Concrete is strong in compression but weak in tension.   Creating a weak point with a control joint gives a start for the crack to form. This way you can plan...
Posted by at 11:03 AM | 0 comments

Common Missed Areas When Caulking Exterior Doors

Installing exterior doors is a project you need to do correctly. If you don't, it won't be long before you are repairing or even replacing your work. Aside from using EZ-Hang™ to install your exterior door, there are a few things you can do to add to the longevity of the installation. One is installing drip cap .  Another important thing that gets missed is exterior caulking. There are a few critical areas outside the door that need attention.   Caulk where the brick...
Posted by at 8:02 PM | 0 comments

How to Paint In A Straight Line

Painting in a straight line can be difficult to master. I have tried almost everything. I have not had good luck when taping corners where they meet ceilings. This can be a hard spot to get a straight looking line as the drywall in the corner is usually never quite square. In fact some drywall corner tools actually put a small rounded edge in the corner. That really makes it tough!. Then add in a contrasting color with a white ceiling and dark colored walls. It can be a nightmare that's hard to...
Posted by at 2:45 PM | 0 comments

Tips For Installing Pocket Doors

Pocket doors can be a great way to conserve space when you have a small room or just don't have a good way for the door to swing open. However, making a good choice on the type of hardware and framing is essential for the pocket door to perform well and stay performing well.   Here are a few tips: Use hardware with metal wrapped studs. Tthis will keep the framing from warping over time as the framing is normally only 3/4" thick and is prone to warping. Use the best track...
Posted by at 9:44 AM | 0 comments

Drywall Cracks Above Doors

Drywall cracking above doors can be common. Why does this happen? How can you control it? When is it a sign of something more serious? These are all questions I will try to answer for you.    Why is cracking above doors common? The biggest reason is the wall framing is cut out for the door opening. This causes a weak spot in the drywall joint. Cracks want to start from corners, as this is a normal expansion and contraction spot.  I'm sure you have heard the phrase "a chain...
Posted by at 10:02 AM | 3 comments

Building In The Winter

  Snow, snow and more snow. Why does it always seem to happen once you start a building project? While building in the winter can have the obvious draw-backs, there are some positive things from winter construction.   The first you need to accomplish is getting the foundation in when you have good weather. That is the most important part of winter building. Concrete really needs warmer temps in order to cure properly. I once started a house build that we poured the...
Posted by at 12:00 AM | 0 comments

Vinyl Replacement Windows

When deciding about replacing your windows, you need to give a couple things consideration. The first being, what shape are your existing frames in? Are they rotten, square, plumb and level?   If they are in good shape, you can consider a vinyl replacement window, sometimes called a pocket window. This will allow you to leave the interior trim and exterior siding intact. Unlike a new window, you are only removing the old sashes and inserting a replacement with sashes and a new jamb...
Posted by at 12:16 PM | 3 comments

Can A Door Swing Over Stairs?

Doors swinging over stairs create a hazard and they are a building code violation. An un-expecting person climbing the stairs can be knocked backwards leading to a very dangerous fall. Doors are allowed to swing in the direction of stairs with a proper landing at the top and bottom. Note the building code section below for clarification.   From the 2006 IRC. - R311.4.3 Landings at doors. There shall be a floor or landing on each side of each exterior door. The floor...
Posted by at 10:08 PM | 0 comments

What Is An Egress Window?

What is does it mean when you hear this; "You'll need an egress window in the basement or in the bedroom". An Egress window is a regular window, it just needs to have certain opening requirements.  So what are those special measurements you need? Keep these numbers in mind when you are required to have means of egress through a window. Height off floor to sill opening = 44 inches Minimum width clear opening = 20 inches Minimum opening height = 24 inches Total area square...
Posted by at 2:26 PM | 1 comments

Quick Tip For Framing Door Openings

When building walls, a typical way to frame them is when they are laying down. A good tip is to NOT cut out the bottom plate where the door will be until all the framing is completed. This will aid in keeping the bottom of the walls in the same plane or even with each other leading to a smoother door installation and straight looking walls.   ...
Posted by at 2:25 PM | 1 comments

Shimming A Door

Wondering how to shim a door? Using shims or wedges is a centuries old method that does work. The problem is, it's a tough job to get correct the first time without lots of practice or having someone walk you through the process.   Using the EZ-Hang Bracket System is a much simplier method and will increase the accuracy and speed of even the best shimmers. Here are some tips that will help for those of you that still want to shim your doors.  
Posted by at 9:53 AM | 0 comments

Width Of An Exit Door

Often times people are surprised to find out building code normally only requires one exit door in a residential home. So what size does that door need to be? A 36" wide side hinged entry door meets that standard building code.   
Posted by at 5:29 PM | 0 comments

What Is Height Of A Deck Before It Needs A Railing?

Often times you want a nice deck without the obstructing view of a railing. So how high can your deck be off the ground before building code requires a guard railing. Surprisingly most building codes allow a height of 30 inches off grade before the guard rail requirements kick-in.   This doesn't mean you can't have a deck under 30 inches and have a railing on it. It just means you are not required to put one unless it's higher than 30" from the grade around it.   I have...
Posted by at 12:40 PM | 0 comments

Securing A Heavy Or Solid Core Door

Heavy doors require a little extra attention when installing them. Nothing really difficult,  just an added step.   Remove the center screw from the top hinge and replace it with a 2-1/2" screw into the wall stud.  This will help secure the weight your solid core door over the long-haul. This can be done all hinge three hinges if desired, however, the top hinge is holding most of the heavy doors weight.
Posted by at 5:47 PM | 0 comments

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