Armchair Builder

Can Armchair Builder Help Fix a Problem with My Home?

Roof Leak from Ice Dam

Roof Leak from Ice Dam

As a trusted home building and remodeling resource we would be remiss if we didn’t help our followers solve problems with their homes.  After all, whether you build your home yourself as the general contractor/owner-builder, or buy it from someone else, there will most likely be a problem or two at some point.  Our intention is to provide regular posts that will discuss common problems.  By discussing potential problems we will not only help people with the actual problem, we will also help owner-builders avoid them while building new projects.

So, for the “Fix it!” post category, we will go through the typical problem identification, diagnosis, and creation of an action plan to resolve the item.  We feel like this is an invaluable resource to you as a homeowner.  Why?  I like to compare the process to that of a patient with an ailment.  If your chest hurts, you probably wouldn’t go directly to a heart specialist.  Why?  Because the problem could be any number of things that have absolutely nothing to do with your heart.  Maybe you have a breathing problem that is affecting your sleep which in turn is affecting your heart.  Or maybe you have an acid reflux problem.  Either way, by going directly to  a heart specialist, you are missing a critical diagnosis from a professional that knows you and your entire body…your general practitioner/family doctor.

So, if you have a water spot on your ceiling, we don’t want to immediately call a roofer until we do a general diagnosis of the problem and identify the most likely cause.  Going back to the doctor/patient example, when your doctor is evaluating you and comes up with a diagnosis, he/she starts with the least invasive possible cure.  So, if your doctor thinks you have acid reflux, they will probably give you advice on how to help prevent it like not lying down after eating or not eating certain types of foods.  Then they may give you a drug to help.  Your doctor most likely won’t suggest you have surgery from the start…that would be crazy…especially if one of the less invasive cures would have worked.  This is why you want to be very careful when you call a company to review a problem with your home.  Many times they will jump directly to the most expensive repair that may not even fix the problem.  Most likely, the roofer won’t check the insulation or ventilation in your attic…which can be the cause of ice dams that lead to roof leaks like the one in the picture here.  Sorry for the off season example…just thought we might remind you to enjoy the great weather while it lasts!

So, look for the Armchair Builder Troubleshooting posts to learn more about what problems can occur while building your project and how they can affect your home in the future.  You can also check out our Troubleshooting Guide that presents the most common problems, the diagnosis, and how a professional builder goes about fixing them.  This guide is available for purchase at the ESTORE on our main site.

RSS Feed

4 Comments for Can Armchair Builder Help Fix a Problem with My Home?

Nodin | August 25, 2011 at 10:57 am

I found just what I was ndeeed, and it was entertaining!

Bill | October 7, 2011 at 10:47 am

Love your site. Please post more frequently. Thanks

What is an Owner Builder?- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | March 1, 2012 at 10:52 am

[…] you just need to fix a problem with your existing home.  This might involve a wet basement, a bulging basement wall, a yard that […]

For the Owner Builder: Seven Things to Never Say to Your Subcontractor- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | April 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

[…] you’re building a new home or repairing your existing one, there are certain things you never want to say to your subcontractor (a.k.a. company doing work on […]