Hardwood Floor Refinishing While Pregnant, it can be a smelly situation

Q: Hi, I am 6 months pregnant. We just moved into an apartment, the floors of which were varnished two days prior to our move. It has been a week now but the smell is pretty strong. I spoke to my landlord who assured me that it is absolutely safe for me. I am not convinced though. Can you please let me know how much time should pass after the floors are varnished for the place to be habitable? Is hardwood floor refinishing while pregnant safe? Continue reading Hardwood Floor Refinishing While Pregnant, it can be a smelly situation

How to Clean Your A/C / Air Conditioner Condenser Unit – A clean air conditioner saves $!

I saw a pin floating around Pinterest with this commentary (edited for clarity) “‘My husband owned his own A/C business for a very long time… he said the instructions (at the following link) show the proper way to clean your unit, to do it yourself. Cleaning your A/C will make certain the unit is not working harder than it needs to be working, and you will save a lot of money by not paying the A/C company to rescue your unit, and by lowering your energy bills since your air conditioner won’t be chugging along so hard!’ (And added on by another Pinner…) Our electric bill rose to $430 two years ago and a simple A/C cleaning lowered it to $150. A clean air conditioner will save you money!” Continue reading How to Clean Your A/C / Air Conditioner Condenser Unit – A clean air conditioner saves $!

Do-It-Yourself Buff and Coat

If you can’t afford a professional and you’re set on a DIY solution to fixing wood floors that aren’t in terrible shape, but could use a lift, here’s a link to a tutorial from This Old House on How to Refinish Wood Floors. By “refinish” they’re not referring to a full sanding, but to a buff and coat or what he calls “scuff-sand” and a coat. Continue reading Do-It-Yourself Buff and Coat

Mirage Engineered Wood Flooring or?

Q: Mirage or *****- Engineered hardwood flooring? I’ve been looking at both brands and can’t decide which is better and why? Will engineered hardwood cup? We do not run our air conditioner that much in the summer and our RH level was reading around 70 plus on an extremely humid day – most of the time it is 62+. For this reason we are looking at engineered, but reluctant to make the leap! Continue reading Mirage Engineered Wood Flooring or?

Ask The Builder

Q: I am extending a kitchen out into an addition that was built on a slab. I will need to frame the slab to raise the deck five inches to the same plane as the original kitchen. Should I lay a vapor barrier on the slab before framing? If so what should be used as the vapor barrier? Also can I insulate after framing, before laying down plywood subfloor? Do I need a vapor barrier between insulation and subfloor? What type of insulation? Continue reading Ask The Builder

Pieces that did not fit tight – is it the manufacturer?

Q: I bought ***** flooring at $4.99 a square foot. I had problems with the flooring not fitting together. There were many pieces that did not fit tight, along with many gray streaked pieces in one box. Is this common at this cost range? I would estimate at about 30 % were sub standard. FYI I purchased 4 inch prefinished gunstock in oak. Continue reading Pieces that did not fit tight – is it the manufacturer?

What is the appropriate amount of time for us to not be in the home (and our cats) because of toxic fumes (from swedish finish)?

Q: We are about to have a hardwood (oak) floor laid, and also (at the same time) another room resurfaced and refinished. Both will use ‘swedish finish’. What is the appropriate amount of time for us to not be in the home (and our cats) because of toxic swedish finish fumes? Continue reading What is the appropriate amount of time for us to not be in the home (and our cats) because of toxic fumes (from swedish finish)?

Do you have any suggestion as to professional training I could get such as sand and finish classes?

Q: I have enjoyed viewing your site and thank you for the info. I have recently started to rescreen wood floors and am thinking of getting into sand and finish as well as insulation. Do you have any suggestion as to professional wood floor refinishing training I could get such as sand and finish classes as well as insulation classes, maybe by some manufacturers or trade group? Continue reading Do you have any suggestion as to professional training I could get such as sand and finish classes?

How to remove some old tile

Q: I am trying to figure out how to remove some old tile that has plywood underneath. My house was built in the 1900’s and I guess later the owners wanted to update the kitchen with that awful red, tile looking brick. We discovered in a corner that there is the mortar or whatever is under the tile, and then a thick layer of plywood. Continue reading How to remove some old tile

Floor is high in the middle and sloped to the outer walls

Q: I looked at a house with beautiful floors, except every floor (first floor and second) was high in the middle and sloped to the outer walls. Why is this? How can this be on the second floor also? Are houses built this way? Continue reading Floor is high in the middle and sloped to the outer walls