Basements and Crawl Spaces

My home is 30 years old. Recently I pulled the paneling off the basement wall to prepare it for drywall, and I discovered a crack in the wall going from one end of the basement wall to the other. The crack is no wider than 1/4 inch at its worst point, but the wall has also buckled in a little. It has been suggested to do the "French drain" as well as filling in the cracks and straightening the wall. This would include digging down to the footer. Another suggestion was to install a multi-stage system that would include an exterior stability and drainage system, repair and re-pack footings and drainage, and finally install a pressure relief system. It has been quoted just a little over 1000 dollars more than the other estimates I have received, but it seems to cover all of the problems. It comes with an unlimited lifetime warranty on all work done. Please advise.

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Basements and Crawl Spaces

In renovating my basement I'm wondering if I put the plastic barrier against the cement blocks before I install the framing studs, or after the framing studs are installed, or both. I've heard both situations.

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Roofs

My company is headquartered in and old building that has been converted into an office building. It is a turn of the century building, four stories with the attic included as the fourth floor. It has the original sawn cedar shingles nailed to a solid plank wood deck, and has never been re-roofed.

The style is a combination of hip and gable, with several dormers at all sides, and long lengths of metal ridge and valley flashing. A near century of patching and repair no longer prevents the roof from periodical leakage, and it needs to be replaced. The building is listed as an historical site, and replacement roofing must be shingles, although not necessarily wood shingles.

A local roofer has recommended asphalt composition shingles. Since the cedar shingles have been intact for over 80 years, it would be logical to replace the roofing with cedar shingles, but our budget would not permit it. How does this sound to you?

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Bathrooms
Kitchens

Okay, we've learned to read the directions more carefully. But we need to know how to remove all the excess grout that we didn't wipe off after an hour. We've been chipping at it with a razor blade. Is there a better way?

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Roofs

I can't really afford a new roof right now, but have a leak in an area where there is a crevice.. or connection. I've used a black-jack type of patching stuff, but it isn't working. Any suggestion as to how I can patch it with the least amount of money?

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Garages and Driveways

We have selected a five acre plot of land and are faced with the prospect of a 400 ft. driveway. If we used asphalt, how could we estimate the cost ?

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Drainage

I recently moved into a tri level house with 2 drain tile systems on either side of the lower level. Please give me a brief overview on drain tile systems. Specifically, where should the water go after it has been collected in the tile. Mine seems to be draining into the basement and is causing a mess.

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Windows and Skylights

Would you know why insulated window glazing looses its seal?

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OSB vs. Plywood
Roofs

What is the best roof to put on an existing ranch house on the north shore of Long Island, NY? Brand? Plywood or OSB?

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