Welcome To GN Builders Home Improvement Blog

Looking for answers to your remodeling project, Home improvement or Tips for DIY projects?

Feel free to post your question and get the tips on how-to proceed.

Join our Blog today and learn many Useful tips.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Getting ready to start a new project. This winner was a real pain, and it looks like is here to stay for a while. I know haven't been written in a while, its been a busy few months with the Holidays and all, and I also took a nice trip to Italy and Spain, it was a real blast. Now with this weather been perfecting my drafting skills and been doing real good with it. Did a few addition and basement designs for some clients who wanted to see before and after effects so this been working out pretty good and keeps me busy in the winter.

So after I sold the 1900's house which I remodeled, and right before I left on vacation, I purchased another house and I just finished the design, it came out pretty good, and it looks like its gonna be a nice project.

This house was built in 1925 give or take a few years, can't wait for the weather to break so I can start the new adventure. While the weather was holding up, did some demo, will post some pictures later on so here is what I'm planning to do on this baby.

Roof Demolition, and 2 story addition in the rear, which will add a Master suite on the second floor, kitchen and dining room on the first floor with a large deck in the back, in other words the whole thing is going to get a new life. As always foundation is the most important thing, first thing I look when I purchase old homes, and if I have a bad feeling about the foundation, they can keep the house. Because that would be something like Viagra medication LOL trying to raise a flag on the ship which is already drowned... Not to offend anybody. 

Well ok here we go with some pictures.and there is also a video of the second floor, feel free to take a look. 

Picture before lot clearing was done

After the clearing was done

Rear Elevation

New design, this is the look I am looking for.

Left side elevation

Right side Elevation

Rear Elevation

Glass View

Family Room

Dining room


Top view.

Ok for now, enjoy the pictures and I will keep this updated.

Keep warm and stay safe!!! Until the next time.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Bathroom Demolition

Just demoed a new bathroom which was done only a year ago. Tiled pan and Homeowner who just purchased the house had a leak on the first floor.

The ceiling bellow was opened and further investigation reveled sub-standard work.

Today we took the pan out, and what you know, no positive slope towards the drain was created. instead a few wood shims were nailed along the edges to create slope...Then garbage bags where laid out and stapled to the studs, instead of rubber liner or other waterproof material available today(you can see the tie flaps of the garbage bag in the picture), then 1/4" hardiebacker was laid on top of it and tiles. The curb was made using red brick.

What a mess and the sad thing is, they knew there should be a rubber liner, but instead they used garbage bags, I just don't understand some of this so called "contractors" out there, who take money from Homeowners and do this kind of a job.
Another valuable example why Homeowners should hire licensed contractors... the job will be done right and it will last for many years to come.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Attic Duct Ventilation for Bath Fan

When ventilating second story bathrooms, the duct is always located in the attic. In most cases duct in the attic is not insulated and is made from a flexible hose which comes with a Duct Kit, or if installed by HVAC contractor, they use a sheet metal duct as you see in most basement used in your heating system.  The vent in the attic which runs directly to the outside, allows bath fan  remove large amount of moisture which is generated from taking showers or baths.

Since bath fans help fight accumulating mold inside the bathroom by removing large amount of moisture, especially fans which wired directly to the light and run each time the light is turned on. it is very important to have the duct in the attic to be insulated. The reason for that is because the moist air that the duct carries is moist and contains water, in the winter time when warm moist air  enters a cold duct, the air turns into dew and it will will create puddles in the ductwork because warm air holds more moisture than cold air does. Therefore the water will collect and sit inside the duct, over time will cause corrosion and lead to more costly repairs.

So if you changing a fan or installing a new one, make sure the installer or DIY Homeowner, insulated duct is being used, or the duct is pitched thoughts the discharge opening so the water is being able to drain without getting trapped and puddle the duct.

Catching Up

It's been a while since my last post. Lots of things been going on, one of them finishing up the 1900"s house which is almost completed. I will have some pictures of the completed project posted soon. In the mean time I will post a few tips in the next post about attic bath fan duct ventilation.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Inspect Your Deck Before Spring & Summer Season

Dear Homeowners, Customers and Friends,
Deck season is approaching, so please don't forget to inspect your older porches, balconies and decks if you have them  and make sure they're  safe and ready to use for the upcoming season...
A few notes on a well-built deck, which  is one of the best remodeling investments you can make to add value to your home... But there is a large number of deck failures and resulting injuries throughout the Country every year so its a good idea to have your deck checked and do the required maintained if needed.

Most common question is " Why are so many decks failing?"

There could be many reasons for that, which include improper construction, improper sized lumber and span, exceeded live load capacity, poor maintenance and like anything else the age of the deck itself.
Deck is a very important part of the structure and it should be constructed right and meet all local code requirements... because most of the time it supports more of a live load then your house does, not to mention being always exposed to different elements of weather and seasonal changes.

Here is an example of  structure which can collapse at any given time, all it needs is a few extra people on it at the same time and nobody will suspect or see it coming.
You have a typical house with covered porch.

After siding is removed, here is what we find...a disaster waiting to happen
All structural components are deteriorated.

Keep in mind, deck can be easily overloaded with people, and collapse under all that weight if not maintained on regular bases. In many cases I observed improper build decks which were done by so called "fly by night contractors" who had no clue what they doing, not understanding  structural loads,  which  result in over extended lumber spans, undersized girders, footings being not deep enough or no footings at all, etc. and in result Homeowners end up with a none code compliant structure which is not safe and could cause injuries or worst.

Most  observed deck Issues during deck inspection, we find  most common issues with decks, which are:
• Wood supports are not pressure-treated, and rotting above or below the ground surface.
• Steel posts rusting through and on the verge to snap.
• Masonry piers with no footings or footings installed not deep enough, or masonry block support is bearing on loose soil, or being out of level and leaning.
• No poured concrete footings under the support posts, or posts resting directly on block or in contact with earth.
• Post base is improperly  fastened to the top footing or not fastened at all.
• Deck merely nailed onto the house, not bolted.
• No flashing installed and moisture penetrated the ledger board and sill place including house floor joists start to deteriorate.
• Improper joists ledger attachment.
• Stairs become lose and wobbly and poorly installed or fastened to the desk.
• Railings as well become lose and wobbly and must be fastened to the desk securely. Railings same as the stairs get most of the use and much be checked periodically.
• Railings unable to withstand reasonable lateral force, and pickets spaced so far apart, creating unsafe environment for kids.
• Improper flashing where the deck abuts the house to keep out water entry at the joint.
This are just most common issues.

Any deck can become a safety issue if not properly maintained. On the average, properly constructed deck with wood components, can last a long time with proper maintenance.
I would recommend yearly inspection of structural component attachments,..to make sure that  there is no signs of separation or any kind of displacement occurred... check for wood rot on existing older decks made out of regular wood, especially the ledger were its attached to the house...
Check posts that support the deck away from the house, and carry the beam (girder).  These are the crucial components of  every deck structure and the most common cause for all deck collapses around the Country.

In addition,   make sure  to obtain Building Permits for Decks, and other construction projects, and if not sure if you need one or not, stop at the Building department, tells them what you plan on doing, and ask if you need to apply for a building permit or not. It is  only for your own good,  to have a structure inspected so you can sleep good t night knowing you have a safe Deck. 
If you have questions about your deck - you can post your concerns here or email me at any time.

Take care, stay well and Have A Great Outdoor Season!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bathroom Fan By Panasonic

Panasonic introduced new Whisper Fit-Warm Fan, a retrofit for a bathroom fan/heat combinations. The unit exchanges air and ventilates bathroom moisture and odors and at the same time provides an added source of heat. This fan design delivers quiet operation and 1 minute warm-up that quickly heats up a cold room.

For more information visit Panasonic Website

Thursday, December 13, 2012

1900's House Discovery

When I started house remodeling of the 1900's house , I found a drug bottle buried in the wall, which came from Louis Marcus Druggist, who at the time owned a Pharmacy in NY City. I thought the bottle was lost but today I found it in the basement..

 So I hit the internet to see if I can find approximate time when that bottle was purchased, and digging in American druggist and pharmaceutical Journal, dated back to 1897 I found an article, stating that some guy was hired by the same druggist listed on Drug bottle to work at his pharmacy with the same address that is listed on the Drug Bottle

Sunday, November 4, 2012

1900's Home Remodeling Update

Little update on the 1900's house renovation... Things been moving nicely, all interior electrical work is complete... only thing left is to change the service, heating and plumbing is done. Plumbing inspection was done, electrical inspection is set for Nov 14 and after framing inspection is done, the house will be ready for insulation work to begin.
Here is a few pictures of the exterior... the bottom porch portion will be getting cultural stone, then the deck will get wrapped with composite material  and the rear deck will be built.

See you at the next update

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Outdoor Fire Pit

Had a  hard,long day at work? Come home and have a nice drink at your Home Bar. Let us help you design and create a perfect Home bar or an Outdoor bar to fit your need that will suit your taste.

If you have an idea or like to add something to your home, but not sure how it will fit or look in reality, I can help you to visualize your project. 
Some of the examples which I did  for my customers.

Home renovation
Kitchen Cross section views

Kitchen 3d View
This are just a few samples based on the client’s request, we can build a 3D model or different elevation  layout  that can be used for  presentation, feel of space, or other customer needs. Whether you want to plan your new project or are looking for ways to fill or change the area of your house or outdoor recreation area, a realistic 3D model will help fulfill your needs.
Contact GN Builders L.L.C and I will generate a computer design for you.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Steel Drawer Liners

Custom Steel Drawer Liners

Stainless Steel Custom fit to any existing sized wooden drawer creates versatile drawer interior.

Two Tier Cutlery Insert
The two-tier cutlery inserts and drawer liner. are similar to standard cutlery inserts, but feature a second layer storage tray for deeper drawers.

 Mitered flanged lip adds durability to high traffic drawers and serves as a barrier between drawer and liner.  The hardware bypass system ensures all mounting screws on drawers interior are not touched by the liner all while offering a snug, no slop fit.  The foundation to entire drawer accessories offering.  Ideally suited for removable compost catch drawers, bread, pastry or pasta bins or to simply enhance any drawers interior.
                                                                       Under-sink Pans

Custom fitted stainless pans are individually custom built to any size for an exact fit.  While stylish and clean, they offer protection against drips and potential chemical spills that can ruin your cabinetry investment.
Offered in single or dual pan installation depending on cabinet design (w/stile or w/o)

Contact GN Builders for pricing and installation.