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Siding     Site Drainage     Skylights     Smoke Detectors     Stone Or Brick Pavers



1. MATCHING THE SIDING ON YOUR HOUSE: There are so many types of siding, you may not find an exact match to the siding that is on your house at the “big box” stores. You may need to find a local lumber yard that sells to the public, or go online to find a match. Be assured, your type of siding is out there.
2. L.P. SIDING: Here’s the low down on LP Siding: LP siding has become a generic term for a number of pressboard siding products that are still being made. Louisiana Pacific had a number of class action claims relating to the “failure” of their “LP” siding product, which came out around 1996. What happened with 1st generation LP is that it would swell up when exposed to moisture (and when, in the life of siding is that likely to happen, right?). LP later came out with their new and improved 2nd generation, which also failed. Now they claim to have all the issues fixed and are still selling the stuff. For my money, I would avoid all pressboard siding products.
3. BUILDING WRAP / EXTERIOR ENVELOPE OPTIONS: Using a building wrap on the exterior of your home before the siding is installed is critical, particularly in moist climates. Tar paper and sheet wrap products like Tyvek are about the only choices. For my money, use tar paper. It is tried and true, and cheaper to boot.
4. TYVEK AND SIMILAR BUILDING WRAP PRODUCTS: Tyvek building wrap is sold to consumers as a superior way to save energy because it seals the exterior walls, keeping air infiltration to a minimum. I believe it may seal too well. The walls of a house need to “breathe,” and Tyvec is too similar to visqueen. The typical claim is that Tyvek and similar sheet wrap products block moisture from the outside, but allow water vapor from inside to escape through the membrane. In my mind, this claim has yet to be proven.
5. REPAIRING A DENT OR HOLE IN CONCRETE COMPOSITE SIDING: A dent or hole in concrete composite or smooth wood siding is easy to fix. Just use some EXTERIOR spackle, and apply in above-freezing, dry weather. If the existing siding has an imitation wood grain, it can often be mimicked in the face of the patch while the spackle is still soft.


1. MAKE SURE SOIL, PATIOS, AND DRIVEWAYS AROUND YOUR HOUSE ARE SLOPING AWAY FROM THE HOUSE: One common problem that arises over time with new homes is the settling of the soil around the foundation. Contractors don't always take the time and effort to compact the soil as it is being backfilled, and over time the soil will settle. This can lead to water getting into your crawl space or basement.


1. SKYLIGHTS ARE AN INEXPENSIVE LIGHTING SOURCE: I am a big fan of skylights. They are a relatively inexpensive way to bring natural light into an Entry area, Bathroom or Kitchen.
2. TUBULAR LIGHT TUNNEL SKYLIGHTS: Tubular “light tunnel” skylights are a good option for retrofit projects, particularly when the skylight has to be offset with the room it is servicing. Make sure there is enough tubing to reach the room, and go with the largest one that will fit your project.


1. HARD WIRED SMOKE DETECTORS WITH BATTERY BACKUPS: Most jurisdictions now require smoke detectors to be hard wired, with a battery backup. But it is still a good idea to change the battery annually. Pick an annual event like a birthday, and make a point of changing the smoke detectors on that day.


1. REAL STONE PAVERS; COMMON THICKNESSES: Real stone pavers usually come in either one or two inch thicknesses. The two inch product can be bedded in sand (see picture), the one inch product usually requires bedding in mortar.





















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