Past Questions

Question: Where Do I Start When Renovating a Historic Home?

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Question: Where Do I Start When Renovating a Historic Home?
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I’m thinking about buying a small historic New England (1800) colonial in need of great repair. Want to restore it and update the inside. What do we need to look for before taking on the project and buying the home? Is it better to inspect the house with a contractor, an inspector, an Architect, or a Structural engineer first to look at the foundations? We’ve never done a project like this before. Do you pay a contractor to walk through with us first?
 
The house listing states that it has failed title V and needs new septic, and the listing price has been adjusted accordingly.
 
Here is the question from Helen:

What are the steps of the process?

First of all, congratulations on considering buying a historic building. This is a great question. You’ve got a lot of questions here. I’m going to try and answer them all.

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Question: Wood Split on a new Load-Bearing Wall. What can I do?

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Question: Wood Split on a new Load-Bearing Wall. What can I do?
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Question from Roy
 
I’m building a sauna. I have never framed anything before but have done a bunch of reading and research on it so far. It’s 4ft x 5ft x 6.5feet (interior dimensions). All walls are load-bearing.

So, I was framing my first wall and a split started to form near the end of the top plate as I was nailing in the last stud.

How much of an issue is a crack or split, and what is the best option for dealing with splitting wood?

This is a very interesting question about load-bearing walls. If the walls are load-bearing, then you’re going to have a smaller area to work in. So, you want to be careful. Always make sure that you don’t disrupt the load-bearing wall by moving part of it. It is very important.

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Question: My Contractor says “no” to a Self-Leveling Floor Base. Should I?

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Question: My Contractor says "no" to a Self-Leveling Floor Base. Should I?
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Here is the question from C.H.:

I have a contractor telling me that I do not need a floating cement system over an old concrete slab before installing tile on the floor.

Is this true?

Well, I haven’t seen your floor, but if it’s an older floor the best way to put tile over an older floor is, yes…

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Question: Can you Suggest the Best Stone Backing Above a Fireplace?

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Question: Can you Suggest the Best Stone Backing Above a Fireplace?
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I am trying to install a faux stone veneer around a TV Mount and a Fireplace on an interior drywall wall.

Here is the question from Sara:

What kind of Stone should I use for this project?

This is a very common question we receive with interior remodels. I am going to answer it right here with the help of our friend, Mike Dawson with Rustic Brick.

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Question: Can I specify Retrofit Windows for an Existing Mobile Home?

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Question: Can I specify Retrofit Windows for an Existing Mobile Home?
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Question from Janet:

Can you install regular windows (like the ones sold at “Big Box Stores”) in a manufactured home?

Well, you know what? I am not exactly sure of the answer to that question. That’s why I rely on my website AskTheContractors.com for reliable subcontractors and contractors.

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Question: Where Can I Replace This Odd Plumbing Faucet?

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Question: Where Can I Replace This Odd Plumbing Faucet?
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“My outside faucet knob broke off and when I removed the broken knob, I notice that it fit into a piece that was flat on the top and on the bottom but rounded on each side, kind of like in parentheses.  I can’t find the replacement at my hardware store since they all fit circular stems.

Here is the Question from Mark:

What are those stems called? And where can I find them?

That’s a great question. And if you go to the website, you can actually see a picture posted of this faucet that has broken off.

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Question: Do I Need Housing for New, Recessed LED Lights?

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Question: Do I Need Housing for New, Recessed LED Lights?
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I’m specifying recessed lighting for a home remodel using led lights that don’t have housing. They’re RAB 4″ gimbal lights and are IC-rated and have a driver box. Our electrician says we need lights with housings to pass inspections. I’m guessing he normally uses housings with exposed studs to indicate where the lights will go.

Question from Ryan

For these lights without a housing, can he just mount the driver box to show location for inspections and leave the connector (Romex cable with twist lock connector) dangling?

If that works, what’s a good way to show the drywall guys where to cut the holes for the lights? Thanks!

LED Lighting projects are very popular because they add so much to your home.

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Question: How can I fix my cracked Tongue & Groove ceiling board?

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Question: How can I fix my cracked Tongue & Groove ceiling board?
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I have a Tongue and Groove ceiling and there is a crack in one of the boards.

Question from Josh:

Can I fix this? Should I be concerned?

This is a really, really good question. And a very important question. Josh actually sent me a picture and showed me exactly what was going on.

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Question: Which are the Best Insulation and Vapor Barrier Upgrades?

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Question: Which are the Best Insulation and Vapor Barrier Upgrades?
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“We are converting our garage into a heated space family room, the area that we are closing off in front of the door is 26′ x 8 1/2′.
 
Here is the Question from Rachel

“Can you tell me what type and number insulation would I need to buy for Georgia and how much do I need to buy?”

So Rachel. This is a great question. A lot of people want to put insulation in the walls. But how do you figure it out? Well, it’s really simple.

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Question: Can I Convert Copper To Pex without creating Electrolysis?

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Question: Can I Convert Copper To Pex without creating Electrolysis?
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Matt’s remodeling his bathroom, and he wants to know how to convert from copper to plastic piping, better known as Pex. He puts it as PVC, but it’s called Pex.

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