Window Replacement Part 2: Materials and Methods

- .  Wood windows have many decorative hardware and grid options to further customize the look you are going for (or to match what was there previously).  Go by the same guidelines for upper level window lines and low U-factors. Most wood windows have a 10-20 year warranty (20 on glass, 10 on everything else) ..More

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Diamond Pier Foundation Systems

- After hearing the rave reviews of this product from contractors and building officials, I think I’m pretty much sold.  If I ever have an upcoming project where these would make sense, I wouldn’t hesitate to try them. I’ll try to post follow-up photos of my neighbors’ deck each year on this blog post to show how the pier footings are holding up. Diamond Piers can still experience frost heave, but they perform as well as or better than properly installed traditional footings. ..More

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Top 10 Home Inspection Myths

- Many cities in Twin Cities metro area have Truth-In-Sale of Housing evaluations (TISHs) that might identify required repairs, but those are separate from the home inspection. Even if the home inspector identifies a defect that was missed by the TISH evaluator, the seller has no obligation to fix anything. ..More

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Combustion Air Ducts, Part II: Problems and Solutions

- By far, the most common problem that occurs with combustion air ducts is that they get blocked.  When a combustion air duct is blocked, air needs to ‘leak’ in to the house through many different undesirable pathways.  I’ve done a number of home inspections where the windows were completely iced shut throughout the house, and in every case there was a blocked combustion air duct. ..More

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Home Inspection Checklist – Exterior

-  When hardboard siding is badly rotted, it gets mushy. Hardboard siding begins to swell and then literally fall apart when it rots. Deteriorated hardboard siding is usually quite easy for anyone to spot. If unsure about an area, push on it with your finger, but not too hard. Check the north sides, areas not protected by soffits (overhangs), and the areas closest to the ground first; these will be the first areas to rot. ..More

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