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DIY Tip: Roof Decking - Why can I see the outline of the Plywood under the Shingles?

DIY Tip: Roof Decking - Why can I see the outline of the Plywood under the Shingles?

OSB is the Standard – Oriented Strand Board At certain times of the day, typically early morning, damaged OSB sheathing is apparent.  Drive through any subdivision and you will see geometric shadows on every roof beneath the shingles where the 4×8, 7/16″ decking has swollen from exposure to moisture.  Back in the day the standard…

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Real Estate - The Best Time to Sell in Austin

Real Estate - The Best Time to Sell in Austin

Austin is Number Nine in the Nation in Terms of Growth Welcome to Austin, Texas. Arguably Texas’s best and most interesting city—sorry, Dallas—Austin has it all. Whether you’re in the mood for some delicious barbecue, looking to go to a concert or festival, or just want to stroll around a beautiful park, Austin is the…

DIY Tip: Install Replacement Windows

DIY Tip: Install Replacement Windows

Replacement Windows are Unique in the way they are Measured and Installed I grew up in the building industry.  When I started with my grandfather’s company, there were no sub-contractors other than licensed trades (electricians, plumbers, HVAC).  We built everything from the foundation to the shingles.  This DIY series will offer tips and secrets the…

The DIY Trap - Owners Build Their Own

The DIY Trap - Owners Build Their Own

Massing – A big part of zoning codes My engineer, Richard, and I sat at the Starbucks at Parmer and MoPac in Austin.  I sipped a cappuccino and he his hot cocoa.  We had just rolled up two sets of blueprints we were studying for upcoming projects.  Our small talk eventually turned to our latest…

The First Appointment - Who Should come to Your Door?

The First Appointment - Who Should come to Your Door?

What is the Builder’s Motivation? Any successful builder will have a certain degree of skill in sales and personal interaction with a potential client.  If the work could present itself, your work as the homeowner would be considerably easier.  Unfortunately, the hiring process is very much a guessing game, your gut instincts playing a large…

10 Questions You Should Ask - Having Trouble Picking a Qualified Builder?

10 Questions You Should Ask - Having Trouble Picking a Qualified Builder?

Most Home-Owners go with one of the first Three Builders they See So you have listed your request for bids on Houzz, Home Advisors, Angie’s List, Thumbtack, or any other of the scores of sites designed to connect you to a builder for your home project.  Once the messages and calls start flooding in what…

DIY Tip: Frame a straight wall

DIY Tip: Frame a straight wall

Lumber has 3 flaws you must consider when framing – Many Pro’s don’t Know This! I grew up in the building industry.  When I started with my grandfather’s company, there were no sub-contractors other than licensed trades (electricians, plumbers, HVAC).  We built everything from the foundation to the shingles.  This DIY series will offer tips…

Tankless Water Heaters - Another Good Idea Gone Wrong
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Tankless Water Heaters - Another Good Idea Gone Wrong

Tankless Water Heaters are popular as a substitute for a tanked heater – Where is the Benefit? Not long ago I completed a project in central Texas.  While in the planning stage, the owner indicated to me that he wanted to install a tankless water heating system in the space.  I asked him how many…

Your Architect May Be the Biggest Obstacle to Your Project

Your Architect May Be the Biggest Obstacle to Your Project

Your First Stop Should Be with Your Builder Years ago I worked as a Project Manager for one of the big three remodelers in Houston. The owner, Lee, was a hard-edged remodeling veteran. His background was similar to mine in that he had vast experience as an artisan. He founded his company on the belief…

The Tract Home Builder Trap

The Tract Home Builder Trap

Production Builders? We used to call them Tract Homes. I was at a local restaurant having lunch earlier this week.  A couple seated at a nearby table leaned close together and held a conversation in hushed but urgent tones. Between them they had spread as widely as they could a rolled set of blue prints.…