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ubuildnet 05-03-2014 08:35 AM

UBuildNet's Tips and Tricks
What’s behind that wall? If you are adding a new opening or looking to create light by adding a new window, take a few minutes to check what is lurking behind the sheet rock. It is not always easy to figure out but here are a few hints. Is the kitchen or bathroom on the other side? If the house is a 2 story, take a look what is on the second floor, “remember what flows downhill”. How about a heating register? Wires can be re-routed, water supply lines can too, plumbing waste lines and metal duct work are the hardest to move. A little bit of planning and investigation can make the project go a lot easier.

ubuildnet 05-06-2014 02:27 PM

Wow my attic is hot! Hot attics are a surefire way of early shingle and sheeting deterioration. Attics get very hot because the sun pounds down on them, and if you have a black roof this problem is compounded. Vents along the ridge and ventilation at the soffit help air move through and cool your attic. You can also add power vent fans, or additional vents on the roof, these are typically referred to as mushroom vents. Many times a quick inspection will show the culprit is insulation blocking your soffit vents, or the holiday decorations are in the way. A rule of thumb for an attic is it should be the same temperature in your attic as it is outside. If there is no easy fix we recommend you hire a professional, for more direct guidance.

ubuildnet 05-08-2014 01:11 PM

Do you have a dirt floor crawlspace? Crawlspaces are a nasty place, bugs, spider webs, insulation hanging down on your head, and the entryways are always so small. If your floor is dirt we recommend adding some 6 mil polyethylene plastic as a vapor barrier. This is a great DIY project and helps to keep the moisture from the ground permeating into your crawlspace. Too much moisture in your crawlspace effects the insulation and eventually causes it to fall down, it also can cause mold to grow on the wood. There are other more sophisticated methods, like adding spray foam insulation, pouring a slab, but plastic is a simple cheap fix.

ubuildnet 05-09-2014 01:26 PM

Is the grout around your tub falling out, or has it already fallen out and someone came along and filled those gaps with caulk? If the seam where the tub and tile meet has a 1/2” line of caulk in it, you might want to think about re-grouting. In order to install new grout we recommend you remove the old grout first. Most tile suppliers sell grout removal tools, and yes it takes a lot of elbow grease to remove the old grout. Once you have the grout out you can go ahead and install the new grout. The secret to grout is using the right kind of grout and mixing it to the manufacturer’s specifications. If in doubt or there seems to be damage behind the walls you may want to call in an expert and get their opinion on what should be done. Re-grouting can be a lot of work however nice clean grout and tight seams will give your tile a new look on life.

ubuildnet 05-11-2014 08:40 AM

Quick painting tips that will have your walls and ceilings looking brand new. The next time you plan to paint a room, instead of watching the game, or playing a round of your favorite sport, or shopping with your friends, we recommend some preparation. With painting the most important thing is the preparation. Use a wide spackle knife to scrape the walls of all the little imperfections left behind from the last paint job. Wherever there is a bulge, called a nail pop, hammer it in, just a little bit, no need to smash it. If there are any cracks gouge it out a bit so there is a valley left behind. Buy some fast dry lightweight spackle and fill you cracks and nail pops, once everything is dry use a sanding sponge to smooth out. A little caulk at the corners and trim to fill the seams and you are ready to roll.

ubuildnet 05-14-2014 06:15 PM

Here is a green tip. Air infiltration is one of the main ways a house feels cold and drafty. If you are planning on replacing carpet in a room, after you remove the old carpet and before you install the new. Put your hand near the floor right where the baseboard molding and floor coverings meet, if it is cold you have air infiltration. Pick up a tube of inexpensive silicone caulk and caulk the molding to the plywood floor. It will be a bit of a pain because the carpet tack-less is close to the molding but it will help eliminate the draft. Remember to get paintable caulk in case it gets higher up on the molding. You can also caulk the top of the molding where it meets the wall, we recommend a basic painters caulk for this, not silicone based.

ubuildnet 05-20-2014 08:04 AM

If you are in the market for a new hot water heater and are looking to decrease your gas bill and add a great Green product you may want to look at a Tankless water heater. Tankless water heaters are considered on demand; this means the unit only makes hot water when you need it. Tankless heaters also save a great deal of room; they are small and can mount directly to the wall. The traditional water heater creates hot water all the time based on the desired temperature setting as well as use. This means when you are away from the home you are making hot water, not very efficient. With a project like this we recommend hiring a professional, you may also need a building permit form your local municipality.

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