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.

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