Seems there is ALWAYS something to fix. Anyway, a week or so ago, my son pointed out what he initially thought was a snake hole in the ground next to my driveway about 2.5 ft from the
house. Upon further investigation, it seemed to go down pretty deep and run under the driveway. I know it is unscientific, but he stomped on the driveway to show me that it sounded hollow for about a 2 - 3 foot radius from the edge of the driveway where the hole starts, seemingly indicating the ground is gone underneath. The mother in me instantly got visions of my son driving up his side of the driveway and his car disappearing into a sinkhole before he makes it into the garage! My question is ... how serious is this (this is all I know right now) and how quickly should I have someone look at it? Is it ok to wait until the Spring? Who should look at it? A concrete specialist?
A couple of things to point ou; it is near the run off from my gutter, although the water runs along the concrete, not the ground. And I have sinkholes all over my backyard - so do my neighbors - haven't heard of anyone having a sinkhole problem in the front yards though.
Commented on Dec 22, 2011
How old is the home? When lots are cleared, roots and small stumps are frequently left in
place and lightly covered by the topsoil. In ten or twelve years the rotted stumps collapse to produce a smattering of round holes and the rotted roots to simulate critter tunnels. In Dan's part of the world a sinkhole is serious business, less frequently here.
I don't really like ceramic tile too cold and hard - I don't like laminate - too fake and noisy. Thought about parquet and hardwood - but I have indoor pets and always will. Currently have carpet and linoleum - any thoughts?
Commented on Dec 22, 2011
This might go against the modern grain but we use a paste finishing wax over the cured poly
floor finish. We have found it provides an additional impediment to abrasion, enhanced surface "water" proofing, and easier - if more frequent - rejuvination.
proper installation of pavers. I took these photos documenting each step of the process of installing a paver walkway.
Pavers are actually quite easy to install and really only require one tool to be rented, a plate compactor. The heavy work is in excavating the area to about 6 and 1/2 inches below grade and moving the dirt. Then you build up the base with crusherun/crush&run which is a crushed stone. Build it up in 2 layers running the compactor over the area. A homeowner can use a 4 foot level and a 2x4 board to help get the crushed stone base to a proper pitch and close to even. Remember that the base should extend about 6" beyond the last paver.
The exact level surface is then done using 3/4" iron pipes. You will need at least 2 pipes. Lay the pipes across the base and check with a level to see if you have the proper grade. Use a little sand to adjust the pipes. With the pipes set, you begin shoveling the sand into the area and with a straight board, you screed (drag) the sand. You are left with a perfectly level surface of sand. As you move along, remove the pipes and fill the gaps with sand. Remember to not walk on the sand once it is screeded.
For a larger patio, we usually work in sections laying pavers as we go so that we can then work off of the already laid pavers. The chosen pattern will dictate any cutting. For a few cuts, a grinding wheel on a circular saw will suffice. For lots of cuts or cutting curves on a patio, a large gas powered cut-off saw with a grinding wheel or diamond wheel is necessary. We also use a large sliding table tile saw to custom cut some pavers.
Once the pavers are all laid, install the edging strips. Then, run the compactor over the pavers to bed the pavers in the sand. You will have a perfectly level and smooth paver patio/walk. It does not require setting each paver individually. While compacting, you will sweep regular sand or polymeric sand into the joints. If polymeric sand, follow the manufacturer instructions on sweeping, compacting, and wetting.
See the following photos for the process. As an example of how fast pavers can be installed, 3 of us installed the paver walkway seen in the photos in one day. We followed the same path of an existing paver walkway that was improperly installed. The one day included all excavation and all installation and clean-up.
Commented on Dec 22, 2011
Thanks, Trillium, for taking the time and effort required to make a lasting installation.
The client wanted a decorative fence and gate at the end of their driveway. Another contractor had finished building the Japanese Tea-house inspired shed as we began working on the
landscape design. The following is more detail on this project that we designed and built in-house for our client.
After several sketches and multiple ideas on the design and pattern for the fence and gate, we reached the final plan. As you can see in the photos, we designed a Cedar semi-private fence with lots of detail. The lower section has alternating sizes of vertical boards. The upper section offers the next pattern. A cedar shingle roof covers the fencing. Then we have the large walk-through gate with overhead cedar roof. The gate is built out of solid cedar with half-lapped joints and a custom inset using black bamboo.
The details continue in that there are almost no fasteners visible from either side of the fence and gate. We used construction methods that are typical to furniture building to hide the screws from sight. It takes longer to build anything this way, but the finished project is like a beautiful piece of furniture.
I've had several roofers come with bids and they ALL say I need a new roof because the singles on my roof can't be matched. The insurance company said they'll replace two sides of my roof (one side faces the back yard, the other faces to side of yard). I think the insurance company said they'll do 6 squares.
Unfortunately they cut me a check for $2800 (that includes a window and bar-b-q that were damaged) and that's about $3K less than the lowest roofer bid to
repair what he could, and around $8K less than all of the roofers "suggested I get done".
I called the insurance company for a re-look after one of the roofers offered to talk to the insurance company for us; and that has resulted in nothing but "explanations on why the check was the amount it was". The insurance company says they are not required to make the shingles match. The roofers say they can't physically match the shingles because they are different styles not just different colors.
My question is: What the heck can I do? I've got bare wood showing on the worst parts and the plastic covering might not hold up much longer (it's snowing here).
I thought about getting the re-look, seeing if the insurance company will at least fork up another $5K (yeah) and I'll "try" to pay the difference for a new roof (The bids for an entire new roof are between $9500 and $10,500).
I have American Family right now; but I think when this is over I'll move over to USAA.
Commented on Dec 16, 2011
One reason many roofers avoid partial repairs is that, once they do the work they pretty much
"own" the whole roof. Subsequent problems not realated with their work often lead to quibbles over where and why the leaks are occuring. Most prefer to at least work from break to break. that is to replace an entire section peak to eave, valley to gable. About the only way they can reasonably warranty their work.