Hot answers tagged

16

This is fine. It's a wooden open web truss system. The weight is transferred to the column at the one top point. The lower bar and diagonal bracing are to prevent the top bar from sagging over a wide span. The lower bar extends all the way to the wall so there is something for the ceiling drywall to screw into, but isn't supposed to rest on the ...


15

I can't agree enough with Greebo's statement that you should be present for the inspection. Even if you don't know why the inspector is doing everything he's doing, you can see that he's being as thorough as possible without causing damage to the house. Remember, Mike Holmes is called in when the homeowner discovers there's a problem, and so he has the ...


14

Well this is a pretty big deal because we don't know the cause. First let's go over common reasons we get cracks on new floors. Soil wasn't properly compacted. Soil should be compacted with a rock bed on top. Bad mixing at site. Especially in the summer contractors pump too much water in the mix. The water makes the concrete weaker and it does crack ...


12

In my experience the biggest thing you can do is check out the home inspector you intend to use by checking references from past RECENT clients. I've bought about half a dozen properties since 1997 and I've had crap inspectors and great inspectors - the first two came recommended by my realtors at the time, and they were not very thorough and gave me form ...


11

Actually, there are different types of sprinkler systems. In lots of residential homes, a personal protection type system are being installed. These systems use existing water pressure and lower flow heads. The heads are not interconnected and only release water if the temp is high enough at the individual heads. The purpose is not to extinguish the fire, ...


10

Bed bugs are hard to see. They get in small cracks (e.g. between the flooring and wall) and can survive for months. Finding them by sight will be next to impossible. But you could have a service inspect the place before you move in. I think some use trained dogs that can smell them. That said, no matter how careful you are, bedbugs can migrate through small ...


10

Although David Moore is somewhat correct, there are a lot of varied explanations to your question depending on where you live, the market etc. In large markets, there are large corporate home builders that have multiple crews covering all trades and do a turn key package. Many do custom homes from your plans. Many however will only build your home on land ...


9

You should consider, but not invest now. Wait and test, before treating. Small design changes now, can make implementing a fix later, easier. Radon is everywhere, to some level. If you have higher levels of radon, then you need to be concerned with the rate that fresh air is exchanged in your home. Houses are much tighter today, so be more aware with a new ...


8

At the risk of simply stealing something from the internet and re-posting it (oh the horror!)... http://coolthingstoremember.blogspot.com/2006/09/new-home-walk-through-checklist.html Pre-Delivery Checklist Bring a level, measuring tape, notepad/pen, flashlight, mirror, stud-finder … Doors Open and close all doors. See that doors are ...


8

The answer depends on what you are willing to accept for a finished result. Removing the quarter-round allows the edger to reach underneath what is visible when the quarter-round is re-installed. Even the most fastidious edging is going to be visible to close inspection if the trim isn't removed. The extent to which it is obvious depends largely on the ...


8

Short answer, you definitely want the patch panel, especially if you ran shielded cable. (If you did not run shielded cable, you probably don't want a shielded patch panel.) Male terminations are less reliable than punchdown connections. They tend to create marginal / intermittent failures in many cases, which can be particularly hard to track down. To ...


7

Pick up a copy of New Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual from Reader Digest. This is an awesome book, and a great resource when you're just starting out in home repair.


7

Welcome! You will certainly find lots of specific questions and answers on this site but not as many general how-tos; it is after-all a Q&A site. Firstly, you need some tools! There is a great thread on this site about the tools everyone should own, I suggest you give it a read! The internet is a great resource and you will find answers to almost any ...


7

Couple of benefits of patch panels. They make the install neater. You could have the entire bundle of cables going to each room just terminated and hanging lose until it is needed. Or you can terminate them into a panel where they are tucked away. Also labeling the bundle of cables is problematic. Labels fall off and then you spend 10 minutes trying to ...


6

As a former construction estimator, I would suggest that you get in touch with the contractor sales department at a building supplies store in the area in which you're considering building. Quite often the estimators there will have a ballpark "per-square-foot" price for materials, and may have an idea of a ballpark price for labour, too. They can probably ...


6

Check with the local building department to verify that they pulled permits and passed inspection for the work. They could have just covered up big problems that inspectors would have forced them to fix. Even if they did get permits that does not guarantee that there are not still problems. Things that may have been hidden from the inspectors, just missed ...


6

Yes, you're being paranoid. If it was installed correctly, there really isn't much of anything that will go wrong with it from sitting - most septic problems are from using the system and not maintaining it, leading to material that should have been pumped out getting into the drain field and clogging it. If it's not used, that won't happen. The materials ...


5

I love this book


5

If you are in an area with granite rock (there are other indicators of Radon, but granite is the most common) then you should get a soil survey done. As @Tester101 said, results may already exist for your area, so check this first. If the results show high radon levels, definitely get ventilation fitted - this is important for basement levels, but you ...


5

You are going to get lots of opinions on this but in general I would say people with experience building homes - maybe 30% (I think I am being overly optimistic) could do a custom right with no major problems. General contractors - ha. You are looking at 5% if that. You need someone with experience with custom homes. You need an architect to OK it. Not ...


4

Congrats on your pending venture, a new home! I am a certified Home Inspector and have a few ideas for you. Actually, there are several items that a good home inspector is going to look at that are not on your list. Keep in mind that an inspector is going to be able to render an opinion on the condition of the systems and structure of the house. Other ...


4

As best one can see from that resolution those are twisted pair cables. The blue is probably a Cat5e or Cat6, for ethernet, and the yellow is probably Cat3/VG for phone. If you look closely you should see the rating on the jacket. If your area has or is scheduled to receive fiber-optic com utilities then some vendors (like FIOS) put the fiber terminal ...


4

Cutting it off is a bad idea. Aborting the "process of buying" that you're in might be worth considering if it bothers you that much. Relocating it significantly would probably require significantly relocating the septic system, which is very expensive - so you might consider it a "deal-breaker." As for the location in the center of the yard, simply change ...


4

My own opinion on the pros and cons of a patch panel: Pros: Cleaner look Easier to locate a specific room's connection Easier to deal with non-connected rooms (think of a 5 port switch in a 10 room home with only needing to connect 3 of those rooms) Cons: Extra piece of equipment to install and clutter a tight networking space Extra possible failure ...


3

Look behind EVERYTHING. A flipped house like that, chances are they went really cheap and covered over problems rather than solving them. New floor in the basement? be suspicious. Are they covering flood damage, which happened a LOT in the past few years? New walls? what's behind them...mold, bad wiring, rats nests? Cracks from the house sagging? New ...


3

In addition to the basics, seen in this answer: What are some of the best books/resources on home inspection for first time home buyers?, the fact that someone's been messing around with the innards of the house means you should pay extra attention to the areas you know they've worked on, and whatever's around it. You mentioned they replaced the roof. Get ...


3

Ethically? Legally? It all depends, I guess. Radon is linked to cancer, so if you care about not getting cancer, and are planning on living there, I'd look into it. Basements are more of a problem as are 'tight' houses due to lack of air exchange. We had our old house with a basement retrofitted for Radon for about $1500. I imagine it'd be significantly ...


3

There are plastic-sheets available for putting under the concrete-foundation of a house that are long-term radon-safe, i.e. that won't let radon trough even after several decades. Putting such a sheet under the foundation is low-cost and easy, and I don't see any reason -not- to do so. Pay attention that you don't perforate the sheet with ...


3

They make kits that attract the bed bugs and trap them in a container so you can inspect it for their presence. Bed Bug Detection Travel Kit I have never used one of these so I cannot vouch for their accuary. However, I would not substitute this for a professional opinion in the event it is negative.


3

Well, I'm not sure how your inspection report went, but mine was a "great" list of home improvement ideas! But really, you need to figure out what your house is lacking, make a list, figure out the complexity of each job, then go from there.



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