Armchair Builder

CAT | Quality Check

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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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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Quality Roof Details

One of the best things about building a new home is that you get to include high quality details to create a building that will last for many, many years.  The roof is one of the key elements to a home that helps prevent moisture damage and possible mold problems. To build a quality roof [...]

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Roof Truss Failure

Roof Trusses on New Home Any new home can have a roof truss failure if the installers don’t follow directions.  Trusses have many advantages over standard beam framed roofs, including faster install times, lower costs, and ease of installation.  But in order to get a quality end product for your roof framing, the carpenters need [...]

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A home purchase is typically the most expensive transaction we will deal so it’s important to put the time and effort forth to minimize potential future problems.  Below are some of the major items I recommend when having a home inspection done.  Some of these things are typical for a home inspection…others may be over [...]

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We recently had a reader contact Armchair Builder with a question about icicles on gutters.  Yogi S. from New Jersey wants to know if he should be concerned about the icicles hanging from his home.  Snow has accumulated to about 10 inches on his roof while temperatures have remained below freezing.  Yogi asks, “Are icicles [...]

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A fireplace is great for comfort on cold winter nights.  In addition to heating up a room, the design of the surround can create a really nice focal point in any room.  But if you’re not careful, the fire can spread out to the living area of the room.  For this reason, it’s important to [...]

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Are you thinking of applying a garage floor epoxy, stain or paint?  A new covering for your garage concrete will not only make it look better, but it can also protect the surface from harsh chemicals.  But before you dive into your project, there are some pitfalls you should be aware of to prevent problems.  [...]

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Frozen Pipes

January 7th, 2014 It’s extremely cold today throughout much of the country which can lead to frozen pipes.  The best case scenario with frozen pipes is a trickle of water coming out of your faucets…and the worst case is flooding in your home due to a burst pipe.  Since some of you don’t see really [...]

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It’s common for new homes that are located in an area with city utilities to have a sewer cleanout in the yard.  This cleanout is a pipe that typically terminates at, or near, the finished grade and is used for access to the home’s sewer service line.  Some common questions regarding the placement, use, and [...]

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