Monthly Archives: March 2010

Good morning, My wife I are thinking of getting a house and my dream is to install the solar energy system. Do you have any idea of the actual cost for three bedroom( basic appliances) and what company to contact? Thanks Andy

I contacted Energy Efficient Products, Jay Flaherty 563-359-3260 , I contacted them and they will be giving you a call. Price is dictated by Energy Star appliances, other materials that will tighten up the house such as insulation, windows with low-e argon between the double pane glass, position of the roof pitch, positioning of the roof. (Does it face south or southwest?) These are keys to getting an assessment to make the most of each house. Unfortunately these systems are not cookie cutter yet. The technology is getting better and better each day and with each new system installed. You can consider yourself part of a new frontier helping pave the way to a cleaner earth. Great question!! Thanks, Andy Ask the Expert

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My house is sinking in the center. I had a basement waterproofing contractor tell me it was because the lower half of the foundation was being forced in a little more every winter by the frozen ground, while the outer walls were following the upper half of the foundation out. I didn’t buy this and figured he was concentrating on his own specialty. I was sure the center beams had to be refooted and he shrugged and said he could do that too. What sounds logical to you? What type of contractor should I get for this job?

I would really like to see it before I form a conclusion. and below the ground is not being effected by frost heaving and retracting with the seasons. Most basements are 7-8′ deep. It may be something as easy as mud jacking, or it could be something as complicated as a sink hole. Give me a call, I and possibly two of my most experienced gentlemen will come over and give you our best assessment.test

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I want to redo my kitchen. I like my cupboards but they would need refinishing. I suspect parts of the doors are not real wood. How can I tell? Also my backsplash is one inch ceramic tiles. How difficult/messy would it be to remove them? My walls are lathe and plaster.

The kitchen cabinets usually have solid wood fronts with particle board boxes. You can tell if it’s particle board by the texture of the wood. If you don’t see any wood grain and you only see particles of wood held together with glue, that should be what you see on the shelves and sides. The doors may be a laminated particle board, you can usually tell that by looking for cracks in the laminate that are trying to pull away. Many home centers offer a refinishing product for kitchen cabinets that can be painted on. Or if you are feeling really spunky, you could strip and re-stain. that would involve pulling all the cabinets out and setting up shop in the basement or garage. Pull all the till off with a chisel and hammer. Just scrape the wall and don’t worry about damage to the plaster. It’s better to take more off until the wall bumps won’t move your putty knife as you go across. Hold the blade at about a 45 degree angle at just let the plaster or what ever product you use just fall into the void area. Use a product called Smooth Set. It comes in different setting times, I would use the 40 minute if I were you. It comes dry in a bag from home centers for less than $10. Get a drywall knife and drywall pan. Mix with water until you get a smooth peanut butter consistency, then cover any holes in the plaster. When it is dry, you can sand this product to get any of the ridges left. Comments i’m not sure I understand apps to spy on facebook your question. You will end up with a smooth wall. You can then prime and paint or re-install new tile. Hope that helps!


I have a garage that is beginning to lean, I think beacuse the slab is sinking. Can mudjacking level the garage?

Dennis, the garage could be leaning for a number of reasons. If you don\’t have a 4\’ footing running aroung the outside perimeter of the garage, and the garage is over 800 square feet the weight of the snow and roofing materials could be sinking the side. You could also have a water run off that is the culprit. Mid America Basements, and Todd\’s Mudjacking could give you a diagnosis. Mid America basements has a technique they use where that drill a footing down 4\’ and use a jack to lift the garage back into place. Works great with houses, I don\’t see why it wouldn\’t work with your garage. I will forward on your info to the two companies with your permission.Thanks for the question,Andy LoveAsk the Expert

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