Armchair Builder

CAT | Fix it!

Because homes and contractors can be confusing, we try to answer all building questions that come to us at Armchair Builder.   We recently received a question  from a new home owner in Illinois regarding settlement and a high water table.  This new owner is concerned that a high water table may be causing the foundation [...]

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If you’ve ever had problems with your house sewer lateral (the pipe that runs from the house to the street), you know how frustrating things can get.  A simple obstruction within the sewer line can cause backups into the home which can cause a huge mess.  On top of that, the bathrooms, showers and kitchen [...]

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Repairing Shower Leaks

Shower leaks can be a tremendous headache for homeowners.  Imagine spending thousands of dollars on a new shower to find water leaking through the new surfaces which can cause major damage over time and possibly even mold.  Here is a recent reader question who has this problem and wanted some guidance on diagnosing and repairing [...]

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Clothes Dryer Exhaust Vent Design

A clothes dryer exhaust vent should be carefully designed into the architectural plans of a new home to prevent potential problems from occurring.  Some common problems with exhaust vents include rodent entry, lint buildup, cold air access, and potential fire hazards.  Let’s take a closer look at the dryer vent to help ensure a trouble [...]

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Reader Question on Floor Squeaks:  I just read your article about floor squeaks, and it is so helpful!  I am experiencing the HVAC floor squeak you described in one room in my house.  Luckily, there is an unfinished basement underneath. You mentioned I need to make sure there is a 1″ gap between the joists [...]

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Repairing Bouncy Floors

Armchair Builder recently answered a reader question on repairing bouncy floors so we thought we might share it with the rest of you.  Even if you don’t have floors that move too much now, knowing more about what causes the problem can help to prevent issues on future building projects.  When we say “bouncy” we’re [...]

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Drain Tile Problems

Here’s a reader question that revolves around basement water and drain tile problems in a home.  Because this problem does happen somewhat regularly, I thought others might be interested as well.  Reader Drain Tile Problems:  “I live in the end unit of a four unit section of townhomes.  A few months ago my next door [...]

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A reader recently had her interior drain tile in the basement repaired and is still seeing signs of moisture.  Here are her comments and question along with our response. Reader Drain Tile Issue:  “I had drain tile replaced (interior method) and a couple months later, all the new cement, which was placed after the drain [...]

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I recently had a family member ask me for any insight I might be able to give for an air conditioner replacement for an existing home.  As I was typing up the list of things I would look into as a builder, I realized some of you might be looking for the same information.  So [...]

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Are you familiar with recessed electrical outlets? These little guys help conceal the plugs in your home for everything from lamps to wall mounted TV’s. Wherever you need power but have little clearance, recessed electrical outlets can help. Where Are Recessed Electrical Outlets Used? As you can see in the photo above, many people haven’t [...]

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