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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Things To Know About Window Replacement

When it comes to chose a contractor to do your window installation. In the old days it use to be an easy task.If the opening was plumb, level and square, it was very easy to install a window. Today you get allot more older homes and you run into more situations where it becomes not a very easy task not to mention that window manufacturers shift more and more responsibility for failures on the contractor.
When working with a window replacement project, the HO should be aware and prepped so to speak NOT to settle on a accurate/final estimate, because if there is a  need for additional repairs, the original proposal could easily increase after the window is out and there is a problem i.e. decay, termites, and rot inside the rough opening that the contractor and the homeowner didn't know at the time until existing window was removed. The possibility that the additional needed repairs will increase the overall price of the job.

If during the visit you can spot existing visible rot or there is a sign that the window's wood frame is showing signs of early deterioration,further investigation will tell how far the damage is and repair cost can be added to the overall price.
The usual scenario is, the HO is trying to get the best lowest price they can find, the companies who bid the jobs try to work for the absolute minimum cost and make it up on the volume of jobs, at the same time it means cutting corners and cutting quality of product they use.

Unfortunately some companies will bid the job low, knowing the problem exist, they will say there is no problem, and after the window is out they will show HO the problem and stick him with a much higher cost for repairs to make it up for the low-bid cost, which by that time will exceed previous proposals from other companies... and what choice the HO has at that time when the window is gone and rain in the forecast, not to mention when someone cuts the corners, the Argon Enhanced window will not be any good if space between the window is uninsulated, it will create a draft and before you know the moisture will penetrate the cavity and before you know you have a new window with remaining problems which will only get worst with time, and usually you will find out about the problem after your window warranty is up and your contractor is operating under a new name.

Take your time when selecting a contractor and don't let the price blind you.
When it comes to window installation and to make any remodeling job successfully especially when it comes to the exterior wall, and doors and windows not to mention roof and siding, the main goal is to protect the dwelling from intrusion of water, moisture, air infiltration, thermal, and vapor... This is the most crucial areas where you cannot  cut corners and unfortunate some installers cut corners on or they just don't know any better, or they had it out with the boss or the wife before they came to do the job and these are the most important factors cannot be neglected.

Window opening should always be prepped right and a new window should never be installed in a bad opening, because right after the warranty is up, HO will have problems. Because rule of Thumb is, you can put the best window in a bad opening and you will have a problem.
The most common problems which occurs after window installation is improperly installed flashing or the flashing is not installed at all if it need to be there.

Each installer must to make sure the water has means of escape and not to get trapped inside the window or the window frame which over time will cause the wood to rot.

Don't spare any sealants because most window manufacturers specify that the window must be caulked on the side and top flanges—but not on the bottom. Some installers like to caulk the bottom to prevent water from entering, but what they doing is keeping the water from escaping, not to mention that un-caulked sill will not let the water in because it cannot flow upward and if a wind driven rain push some water in, it will drain right out.

A few more tips for the DIY HO and even contractors, not to take any windows out until you know you have all correct size window for that opening, or a piece of plywood to close the window up if you remove the window and the new window don't fit.

Most of the windows especially when job calls for removal of existing and installation of new construction window, you will measure window without seeing the rough opening, which means you have to get the window size as close as possible, so measure twice before ordering. Measure the top, middle, and bottom of every window, don't guess and measure in inches, rather than switching between feet and inches,because its easy for you to make a mistake if you write down 2.4 as 24" when you placing an order or when you get back to your notes after a few hours.

Always read the instructions and installation guidelines because manufacturer's make changes when they improve installation methods or to increase the time of window's performance for many years to come and some manufacturers update their instructions as often as every year because they try to be better and different from competition so instead of throwing away, break out the manual and start reading.
That is about it to know  about window replacement and installation.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

EPA Backs Off Lab Testing for Lead

To the relief of remodelers who work on pre-1978 housing, the EPA announced in July that it will not require remodelers to send dust samples to an accredited lab for lead testing at the completion of a renovation project.
The announcement came as somewhat of a surprise. On May 6, 2010, as part of an August 2009 legal settlement with environmental and children's-health advocacy groups, the EPA had proposed a revision to the Lead: Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule that would have required this testing. The agency was widely expected to adopt the requirement when the proposal's review period ended and the final rule was released on July 15, 2011.

Instead, the agency determined that third-party lead testing was not necessary and "that the full suite of RRP work practice requirements, including containment, cleaning, and cleaning verification, was effective at minimizing exposure to lead-based paint hazards created by renovation, repair, and painting activities."
The agency explained that it had weighed concerns that by requiring clearance testing, it would in effect be making remodelers responsible for cleaning up pre-existing lead contamination. The RRP rule was designed, according to the EPA, "to address the lead-based paint hazards created during the renovation while not requiring renovation firms to remediate or eliminate hazards beyond the scope of the work they were hired to do." The EPA decided that adding clearance requirements to the RRP rule would cross a line between renovation and lead abatement.
The EPA emphasized that it is committed to reducing lead hazards in the home, and that homeowners may certainly opt for dust-wipe testing, whether they are renovating or not. To get the word out, the agency has released a new version of its "Renovate Right" pamphlet that includes information on lead-dust testing (epa.gov/lead).
Once the final rule goes into effect on October 4, remodelers will be required to provide homeowners with this latest version of the "Renovate Right" pamphlet (or the April 2010 version along with the insert that can be found at epa.gov/lead/pubs/insert.pdf).

The final rule also clarifies that vertical containment must be used on exterior projects that disturb painted surfaces within 10 feet of a property line

Wall Unit

This is a few projects I am working on it now, I just designed the layout for a customer on my PC and send it over to the Cabinet designer to construct the wall unit for the office space

This is a Pro-Closet design for an office storage, still working out the details.

This is another design for a basement that was flooded, this replacement for the wall layout in the family room.

Solar Panel Display

This was a small project I designed and built a display for the Solar Panel Company.

This was a design I did with a software I have after it was aproved, the display was built.

Bathroom Remodeling

This is a bathroom remodeling I just completed.

This was a small hallway in the master bedroom with a few small closets located inside wityh a very small bathroom.

There was a recessed area inside the bedroom where the closets were relocated, which made a 12' wide closet with a Pro-Closet shelving system.

The demolition was done and jacuzzy was installed into the old closet area.

The new shower base base and tile was installed with a nice border and deco tiles.

Vanity and Moen bathroom fixtures were installed.

Custom shower door with 3/8 thick glass was installed to complete the project.

Finished Basement

Did a basement this summer on the join venture with my brother who is also a Carpenter. It came out very nice, we incorporated a nice bar to a design, with a Copacabana paint that customers selected and laminated flooring through out the entertainment area. Here is a few shots from this job.

Here is the finished basement after its completion.
This area was dedicated for gym
This area was dedicated for a nice recreation area.

This is the complete bar area.

Window Seat

One of the jobs I did this summer, people purchased a new home and they wanted to utilize bay window area, so I made them a seat with some storage space under it. Here is a few pictures.

Bath Fan

Here is a nice new addition from a Fantech manufacturer. This is a new bath ventilation line with new Surface-Mount Bath Fans. The latest addition to line of residential ventilation products is the FQ Series Quiet Bath Fans. The fans feature is a super quiet, energy efficient motor with sound level as low as < 0.3 sones. Both 80 CFM and 110 CFM models are available with or without fluorescent lights. All models are Energy Star qualified.

For more information contact Fantech Manufacturer Webpage

Water Heater

Water heaters, the items that usually get updated after 10 or so years or replaced because they go bad. Here is a beautiful Water Heater by Rheem. This heater has  a 29-gallon tank, It is also Energy Star-qualified and XR90 extreme recovery gas water heater heats water faster than any typical 50-gallon gas water heater with a recovery rate--how fast the water heater replaces the hot water used--of 61 gallons per hour at a 90-degree-F rise in temperature. The XR90 has an Energy Factor of .70, exceeding the requirements of Energy Star.

You can obtain more information on Manufactures website.

It's been a while

It's been a while since I posted anything, been pretty busy summer with the jobs I been doing, and the house I have been building still in progress. Well now I am back, and I will update the blog with some pictures, some info and the things in general. I hope everyone had a great summer and it's good to be back.