Past Questions

Question: Siding Replacements

Question from “S” in California
We are trying to avoid a full re-siding job since the siding is in great shape. But the gable-end of our ranch faces the street, and vertical would improve the look.

These are our Questions:
– Can we re-side one end of a horizontally sided house with vertical siding?
– Could we re-side just one end of the house in a vertical channel or board and batten siding in wood or metal?
– Where the two sidings meet on the corners, how would they be finished or joined?

Joining us now is Paul Reeves of Reeves Construction. He is an expert on home renovations. 

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Question: Plywood underlayment

Question from Julie in Sacramento

We have a 1927 home. It had original hardwood which was placed over (1 x 6in.) planks. We have since removed the original hardwood. We repaired our 1×6 planks, and now we’re putting in 5/8 CDX plywood subfloor over our 1×6 planks. Over the plywood, we’ll put new engineered hardwood.

Two Questions:

– Do we need to be concerned with plywood going in the opposite direction of our planks?
– Does it matter if we have floor joists, planks, then plywood?

I love the questions that everyone sends me. I get so many of them and I have to decide which one to use. This week, I picked this from Julie in Sacramento.

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Question: Wood Split at Hinges

I love this segment about hinges. It’s the Question of the Week.  Ask me the question and I’ll give you an answer.

Question from Jason B – in Sacramento  

We moved into our new-construction home 2 months ago.  

About half of the cabinet frames are splitting where the kitchen hinges screw-in.

I’ve asked the builder how they’re going to repair the cracks. They said they’re only going to fill the cracks with wood putty, but not glue.

I asked if they would use glue and re-drill the holes, but they said no.  

Two Questions:  
What is the proper solution for my problem?
What outcome should we expect?  

I want to thank Jason for sending this in… It’s a good question and I’ve seen the picture. These are inverted hinges. They’re hidden hinges.

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Question: Fireplace remodel

Ask The Contractors a Question:
This is a question from Angela.

I have a brick fireplace that is flush with the wall. The upper portion is drywalled. I would like to remove a portion of the upper drywall and expose more brick. It’s an exterior wall.

Here is the Question: “If I remove framing to expose the Brick, will that cause any structural damage?”

To help me answer this question, we have Angela with us…

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Question: Soundproofing floors

Ask The Contractors a Question.
This question is from Renee in Folsom

I live in an apartment and my neighbors are noisy. I need help soundproofing a floor/ceiling.

Here is the Question: What is the best way to soundproof between upper rooms and lower rooms in a condo?

Joining me now is Earl Cruz from Prestige Flooring. He is one of my Trusted Home Improvement Pros.

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Question: Removing Kitchen Cabinets

Ask The Contractors a Question:

This Question is from a local homeowner, Patrick.

I need to remove a kitchen cabinet from the wall. The problem is that I recently had marble tile put on the same wall. Now I cannot remove the cabinets because part of the cabinet is grouted to the tile.


 Here is the Question:

  • Without cutting out the Marble, do you have any ideas on how to remove the cabinet?


To help me answer this question I have Videm, owner of Ace Kitchens, one of our trusted Home Improvement Pros.



Or follow along with the Transcript below and pictures from Patrick

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Question: Concrete Stained Floors

Ask The Contractors a Question:

This Question is from Sam in Los Angeles…

I pulled up the carpet in my 300 sq ft, living room and found a concrete slab underneath. T
he slab has a smooth finish but was left with divots from tack-boards as well as glue and paint drippings. I am okay with some imperfections, but I want a cleanly finished result.  


Here is the Question:

  • What is the best product for filling, sealing, and finishing the divots in my concrete floor?

Joining us now is a listener, Sam. 



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Question: Old Banging Pipes

Ask The Contractors a Question. 

This one is from Tonya M. in Midtown Sacramento …

We live in a classic Victorian home in an old part of town. Every time I do the laundry it sounds like a marching band in my mudroom.


  • Why Are My Pipes Banging When I Use My Washing Machine?


Joining us now is: Marcelle Flowers with Armstrong Plumbing in Sacramento



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Question: Load bearing Exterior Sunrooms

Do you have a question for us at Ask The Contractors?

How do you determine if a wall is load bearing and are patio covers ever load-bearing structures? I have an exterior sunroom/patio cover off the house that was built in 1940. I want to tear it out. Should I be concerned that the sunroom and patio cover is a load-bearing structure? – Amy, Land Park





Question: Triple-pane Windows

Is there really a difference between double-pane and triple-pane windows? How much more energy efficient can they be, and are they worth the extra money? – James Mason


In terms of windows. you really need someone to come out and do an evaluation. You do not want to over-spend on triple-pane windows if it’s not necessary. Now if the window is facing the west in the Sacramento area, and there are no trees obstructing the views of the sun, you may want to consider triple-pane windows with argon gas. It’s a very good way of keeping that heat out. There are also windows you can have tinted. Have you ever noticed on your carpets and furniture, or your drapes that it’s discolored where the sun comes in and beats hard down on those products? Well, its because of the ultraviolet light that is getting through. I would encourage you to get with one of our Trusted Pros for an evaluation on askthe One that comes to mind is Cherry Home Improvement. They will do an audit for you. They will come out and look at your windows and then tell you exactly what you need.


Thank you for sending a message,
Todd Bird