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Dishonest Waterproofing Company

I'm selling my house. The buyer had a mold remediation specialist in to check for mold. They are also a waterproofing company. We subsequently got slapped with a report that stated we had an ongoing water problem in basement, and that a full french drain system is needed (we already have a french drain leading to a sump pump - no mold found btw, and the original inspection said the basement was dry). I will be speaking with the waterproofing company soon. What questions can I ask to make sure the company clearly articulates the issue and reason for suggested remediation?

Our Answer

This scenario has conflict of interest written all over it!  First off, you are dealing with one of the most disreputable groups of contractors in the remodeling industry. Waterproofing company contractors ALWAYS recommend expensive solutions to wet basement problems that are almost always easily fixed with simple improvements to grading and gutter drainage.   And they do so by panic peddling an expensive solution, that is almost never needed.  They'll tell you your home will essentially collapse underfoot unless your get out your checkbook -- and fast.   

More recently, this slippery sub-section of the home improvement industry have also declared themselves "mold experts" which is rarely the case.  If pressed, I'd be shocked if they could produce any credible example of a certification, license, or degree that would truly qualify them as mold remediation experts.

In your case, it's even worse since it sounds very much like they are declaring a problem where none may exist. Plus, the solution they suggest is already installed!

My recommendation is to push back - hard - with the buyer. Let them know sending a contractor with a clear conflict-of-interest to proclaim a problem that will enrich their pockets isn't going to fly, especially when the very solution they recommend is already installed and where their own home inspector reported the basement as dry.  Tell them if they want to send in a State licensed structural engineer to do a proper inspection and submit a report signed and sealed by that engineer, you'll consider your options.  But otherwise, I'd refuse to do anything and find another buyer. 

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greenhouse, flowers

Greenhouse: Can Building be Moved to New Location?

I bought a house and the seller subdivided the land. There is a green house which sits on both properties. The green house needs to be removed. Is there anyone that you can recommend that will move the green house onto my property? I've called around and been unsuccessful reaching anyone that will move it.

Our Answer

I can understand why you are having trouble locating someone to move your greenhouse. Moving a structure is a difficult task in the best of circumstances, but when the structure is a greenhouse, it would seem even more so. To move any building, it has to be first be reinforced to prevent "sway" which is what would happen if the building were to move side to side. The weakest part of any wall are the openings and since greenhouses are mostly glass, I'd imagine that moving it would be extremely difficult or even if it could be moved, perhaps even more costly than building a new one from scratch.  A lot of this would also depend on how the building was initially constructed. For example, if this was a greenhouse built on a concrete slab, it really has no floor structure that's a part of it so you'd really only be moving the walls, which again, might not even be possible.

Plus, dont forget that the new building or new location would need to meet current zoning laws, which would dictate where on your property the building could be located, or even IF you can add the building at all.

When you bought the house, this issue should have been discovered and disclosed by the company that did your survey.  If it wasn't, that's a big problem and I'd speak with an attorney about what options you may have. Discovering that a building falls across two property lines is exactly the kind of issue a survey should discover and disclose.

Given the above, you might want to simply consider building a new green house using one of the many available and affordable green house kits.

 

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Upcycling

I was listening to your show today and heard you where talking about a blog that someone about repurposing stuff from the garbage pit. By the time I got home I couldn't remember who it was. This kind of thing is right up my ally. Great Show Mike Batchelder

Our Answer

It's actually called "Upcycling" and is the process of taking unwanted items, like old furniture, for example, and then turing it into something useful. By surveying both your own items and those found on the street or at 2nd hand stores, there are endless ways to restore this into something beautiful and useful.

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