Problems and repair

Energy efficiency for tenants

Tenants, here are things you can do to increase the heating efficiency of your apartment. You can save money on your home heating. Yes, I know that you are stuck with the system your landlord chose, but you can make it work better. Windows, the quick fix: Open and close, then lock all your windows. Locking

By |2018-12-05T16:56:07+00:00December 12th, 2018|Categories: Problems and repair, sustainable house ideas|

Cold Windows

The good news is that winter house hunters will know how good their windows are; spring, summer, and autumn house hunters have to guess.Windows are surprisingly expensive to replace. They cost $300-500 each, or more, per window, with installation. Even the best windows don’t keep all the cold out. Winter house hunters, here is the

By |2018-11-14T20:06:11+00:00December 5th, 2018|Categories: buying process, Problems and repair|

Basement Water Problems

When I wrote about Post-War houses, I mentioned sump pump systems. Here’s a bit more on what to do, if you have chronic problems with wetness in your basement. You may want to do this, if you have only occasional problems in a finished basement. First, check your gutters and downspouts. They are taking thousands

By |2018-11-13T14:19:48+00:00November 28th, 2018|Categories: Problems and repair|

New Construction Gone Wrong

It is a mistake to think that a newly built house is a perfect house. There are some houses that should never be built. They are too close to high ground water. They are on peat, clay, or other unstable soil. These houses have chronic problems with water or foundation cracks. The biggest problem with

By |2018-11-14T13:03:56+00:00November 26th, 2018|Categories: buying process, Problems and repair|

Removing Oil Tanks

If you are thinking of converting from oil to gas heating, one of the tasks ahead of you is to get a professional to remove the old oil tanks. This seems like a daunting task. It’s not. There are companies that do this. They do it all. They get the permits for removal and disposal;

By |2018-11-01T14:33:49+00:00November 7th, 2018|Categories: buying process, Energy efficiency, Problems and repair|

When the Hot Water Heater Spills

Hot water heaters are a masterpiece of designed obsolescence. They have a fiberglass tube that corrodes from being in boiling water all the time. It has been tested to last a certain number of years. Every hot water heater comes with a warranty. If the warranty is for six years, the tube is designed to

By |2018-11-02T11:16:45+00:00October 24th, 2018|Categories: Problems and repair|Tags: |

Heating Season and Your Chimney

These chimneys are typical of residential chimneys that are more than 50 years old.  Both need re-pointing. The one in front is beginning to twist and bend; it could start dropping bricks soon. The other one also has gaps that are easily visible. Unfortunately, chimneys like this are sort of typical around here. What’s pointing?

By |2018-10-05T10:22:53+00:00October 17th, 2018|Categories: Problems and repair|

Asphalt Exterior Siding

That siding! You’ve seen it. The one that looks like brick-shaped wall paper that has the texture of roof shingle. Sometimes it looks like stone rectangles, sometimes like roof shingle, instead of like brick. It comes in all kinds of colors. Why would someone put roof shingle material all over their house? As with aluminum

By |2018-09-24T14:48:26+00:00October 3rd, 2018|Categories: Health and safety, Problems and repair|

The Doghouse

The doghouse, in real estate lingo, is part of the house that people use, not dogs. Doghouses have advantages for people who use their basement as a workshop and for people who live in areas where there are heavy rains or snows. Do you know what it is? Here’s what it isn’t. It is not

By |2018-09-09T14:06:54+00:00September 19th, 2018|Categories: Health and safety, Problems and repair|