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From a Trusted General Contractor
Questions & Answers

What are the differences between the quality of Vinyl and Cedar Wood Fencing?

What is the best way to fix a sagging porch? 

How methods do you use to install base mouldings and Trim?

What are sustainable verses non sustainable products?

Composite Decking, Rail Systems made by TREX, and other manufacturers are examples of sustainable products. Non-sustainable products include conventional materials such as wood and metal products. Other sustainable products include Vinyl materials such as trim, Mouldings, and boards are more common for exterior applications on homes, decks, around windows, and even interior finishing.  List of sustainable products here!

When should I hire a General Contractor?

Know your limits! There are simple DIY projects that you can do but when it comes to codes, safety, and experience at levels that are beyond your expertise, this is an indicator that you need to hire a professional.

Don't just hire anyone though... make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured. Other areas to look into are their experience and craftsmanship. A rule of thumb is to look at social media for their company pages and if they have a website. Also look at reviews or into any complaints they may have posted online by people that have worked with them in the past. 

First there are two factors one should consider before starting any demolition: Electrical and Plumbing. Several questions to ponder:

  1. Will there be any new fixtures such as sinks, toilets, outlets, shower fixtures, being installed?

  2. Is this a cosmetic demolition only? Cosmetic refers to the fact that you are not removing anything within the walls such as wiring and plumbing, but rather detachable items such as mirrors, tile, countertops, shelving, and flooring. 

  3. Will this be a complete gutting of walls, tile, plumbing, flooring, vanities, and electrical?

These questions provide a mix of answers only you can determine. The key things you should know before any demolition of your bathroom are the following:

  • Do not attempt to remove open or enclosed plumbing without experience or a licensed plumbing professional. 

  • Never replace outlets and lighting without properly shutting off the breaker to that particular element. 

  • If replacing plumbing under the sink only, make sure you have a bucket and towels to catch any water from the P Trap. 

  • Turn off water to any fixture in the bathroom before attempting to undo any plumbing. Sink & Toilet fixtures should have a valve to turn on and off. Shower plumbing typically will need to be turned off at the main water shutoff line in the basement or nearby. Make sure you know the valves before tampering with any of them. 

What should I know about before demolition of my bathroom?

How do I figure out the new interior door hinge placement?

There is a simple technique that we use when figuring out the door hinge placement and swing. A great understanding of door handing link:

How to understand lever and door handing. (

There are many ways to look at the door swing and handing process. One is if you visualize yourself going into the room with the door swinging to your left, this is called left hand in-swing. The hinges are on the left side inside the door. If the door is opening inside a room but opening to the right, this is called a right hand in swing. the hinges are on the right side inside the door. 

Hinge placement is key is you are routing your own hinges. Make sure you measure correctly from the top of the door jamb to the top of the hinge bored area. Most doors commonly have three hinges.

If you are replacing doors and jambs, make sure you order the correct size by removing the door trim around the door and measuring end jamb to end jamb. 

You will want to order the door packages with hinge placement and door knob bored out for the proper backset - the measurement from the face of the door to the center of the knob placement. Most common is 2-3/8" but can be 2-3/4" as well on some doors. 

There are many door knob placement jigs available. We use Lenox Bi-metal non Arbored door lock installation kit. Dewalt has a nice door lock installation kit as well. DEWALT Door Lock Installation Kit, C-Clamp Design, For Metal or Wood Doors, 2 Adjustable Bushings, Easy Installation (D180004), Multicolor : Tools & Home Improvement

Make sure you have the necessary tools to bore your own hinges and door knobs. One mistake can cost you the whole door.

Common door mistakes include:

  • Not figuring out the hinge placement correctly

  • Boring the holes in the wrong place

  • Choosing the wrong swing whether in-swing or out-swing

  • Ordering the wrong door size

  • Lining up new doors with existing door jambs - can be tricky in older homes where the standard hinge & knob placements are not the same. 

What are the differences between the quality of Vinyl and Cedar Wood Fencing?

The quality differences differ because both are great products, but one is more traditional. Vinyl fencing has been around for at least two decades. The materials have improved greatly as the first-generation vinyl did not hold up to the UV, Moisture, and Mildew that constantly gives your fence a beating most of the year. 

New Vinyl fencing products are more advanced, easier to replace, and can come premanufactured kits that come in 6-8 feet sections at your local DIY Store. 

Cedar fencing products are perfect and last for years only if you treat the wood correctly. Proper staining and finishing is key. Make sure that you seal your fence with a stain and seal combination. The more coats of stain and or sealant you apply, the better your cedar materials will stay consistent and protected from weather elements. The wood is very porous and can be saturated with good stains that make it last. Do not apply water seal that is not quality oriented. Cheap stains and sealants only make more work for you in the long run. 

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