Q&A / 

Concrete Block QUESTION #1: I’ve been researching foundation types for both new homes and room additions. I’ve narrowed it down to either poured concrete or concrete block. Many websites thump their chests saying poured concrete is better than concrete block. What’s your opinion, Tim? Have you worked with both materials? Carol Ann S., Richmond, VA […]

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Concrete Foundation Forms Checklist Modular design allows forms to be set in hours Produce perfectly straight and square foundations Allow for the easy installation of reinforcing steel Simple design requires few skills to set up Related Links Foundation Footer - Must Be Level and Square - SECRET TIPS HERE - Do NOT Share  Poured Concrete […]

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"The size of the septic tank is determined by the number of bedrooms in almost all cases." Septic Tank Design Checklist You need a professional design drawn by a pro Each house is different because of load, soil, and topography A leach field can be under a road Use gravity - avoid pumping septic tank […]

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"You can make an opening higher in a load-bearing wall much easier than creating a wider opening." Enlarge Opening in Load Bearing Wall Checklist Build temporary walls to support the load Bearing points of columns must be stacked and extend down through the house to a footing Hire a structural engineer to size the beam Be sure […]

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Smoking Fireplaces QUESTION #1: Oh Tim, I need your help. I’ve got a masonry fireplace that puffs smoke into the room when a fire is burning. It gets worse as the fire dies down. I’ve spoken with three different bricklayers who build fireplaces and have received three different answers. Confusion reigns at my home and […]

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25th AsktheBuilder Anniversary October 2, 2018 is the 25th anniversary of my Ask the Builder syndicated newspaper column. I’m very proud of surviving this long as a writer and publisher and thought I’d share some of the good and the bad I’ve seen since that morning I waited outside in the dark for the newspaper […]

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"I do NOT make a normal practice of bashing my peers, but this instance is so egregious I had to point it out." Exterior Wall on Slab Must Be Out on the Edge An exterior wall must be placed on the outside edge of the slab so the exterior siding laps down and over the […]

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This column was inspired by something that happened to my sister last week. She called me for advice because she needed a tree removed from her rear yard and she didn’t know any reliable tree-removal companies. Perhaps you’ve been in the same situation recently about any number of repairs or projects that you need to […]

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