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 ... Ask Our Experts.....  
John Smith - heating and air conditioning, Mike Williams - general building questions, remodeling, codes, permits, etc., Dick Brown - all interior and exterior painting questions, also decorative painting tips, Conrad Sokol - real estate, property management, rental agreements, Jim Davis - landscaping, gardening, lawns and trees, Julie Miller - interior decorating, staging, Bob Wilson - flooring, hardwood floors, tiles, stone, concrete, carpet, laminate, Michael Wilson - doors and windows, siding, gutters, Brenda Moore - window treatments, blinds, shutters, UV/glare films, etc., Jim Taylor - all roofing questions, Robert Anderson - plumbing, Frank Thomas - general handyman questions, appliances, David Jackson - new construction, Ron White - general building questions, remodeling, additions, Tom Harris - electrical issues,  Hilda Thompson - home inspections, Wesley Garcia - home improvement, remodeling, upgrades, Irene Martinez - kitchen remodels, Mark Robinson - sunscreens, Derek Clark - home remodeling ideas, Luis Rodriguez - home renovation estimates, Adam Lewis - building permits, Kimberly Lee - building materials, Henry Walker - quality home services, Sergio Hall - HVAC problems, Leonard Allen - basement remodeling, Kim Young - bathroom remodeling questions,  Donna Hernandez - home decorating ideas, Jeff King - home designs and plans, Elen Wright - green home building, William Lopez - custom homes, Sam Hill - plumbing issues, Leah Scott - electrical system upgrades, George Green - building product information, Robert Adams - home remodeling plans, Zach Baker - air conditioning questions, Chuck Gonzalez - trim installation, woodwork, Stanley Nelson - home building tips, Ivan Carter - how to build a custom home,  Jim Mitchell - best tips for home building, Carl Perez - plants, shrubs and trees, Bob Roberts - kitchen counter tops, Dave Turner - selecting a home builder, Winona Phillips - new home steps guide, Jill Campbell - construction home loan rates, Ethan Parker - all landscaping questions, Conrad Evans - storage ideas, Jeffrey Edwards - energy efficient building, Douglas Collins - buying a new home, Gerard Steward - general liability insurance, Joseph Sanchez - custom home building problems,  Shawn Morris - custom home accessories, Brian Rogers - fences and gates, Thomas Reed - irrigation systems, Don Cook - basements, James Morgan - attic remodeling, Angela Bell - home and garden accents, Chris Murphy - residential and commercial mailboxes, Paul Bailey - custom home magazine, Joseph Rivera - luxury real estate, Dennis Richardson - custom home specifications, Tom Cox - superb quality, customized homes, Alex Howard - all interior and exterior painting questions,  Darlene Ward - green building produts, Betty Torres - lawn problems, Angela Adamson - ponds and accessories, Mark Peterson - legal issues, Wayne Gray - spec homes, Brenda Ramirez - product support, John James - custom home building variables, Tom Watson - zoning, Mark Goldman - quality of construction, Alan Brooks - affordable and budget homes, Keith Kelly - choosing a lot for house building, William Sanders - types of paints and applications,  Linda Price - Energy Star home building packages, Thomas Bennett - sheds and storage units, Robyn Wood - how to build a luxury home, Steven Barnes - the artistry of details, John Ross - insulated concrete panels, Kelly Henderson - kitchen appliances, Mike Coleman - unique green materials, Michael Jenkins - optimal luxury home size, David Perry - building a new home costs, Kim Powell - a home that grows, Scott Long - traditional home construction costs, Gary Patterson - energy efficient home building information, Robert Hughes - trends in building and home construction Arthur Flores - residential home building process, Rick Washington - average new home building costs, Scott Butler - building a green home questions,  Sharon Simmons - building an off grid cabin, Bonnie Foster - pollution free home building checklist, Mary Gonzalez - modular homes, George Bryant - traditional framing, Bryan Alexander - build a home on your own land, Shannon Russell - green home building companies, John Griffin - National Association of Home Builders, Mike Diaz - Ferro Cement, Lightweight Concrete, Papercrete, Barry Hayes - degrees and types of green construction.

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Recent Questions & Answers:

Question
I manage a complex in Pueblo, CO.  It has 2-story condo buildings.  When it rains, water cascades off of the roof causing the ground in the plant beds to erode.  Gutters are not feasible due to the architectural design. People have suggested installing 1" river rock.  What do you recommend?

Answer
Good question about rainwater and water falling from your roof. Without gutters or downspouts this will always be a problem. If you have no way to install gutters of any kind then you need to create a splash zone free from soil or dirt. The dirt as you well know will splash onto adjacent plants and walls and can cause a real maintenance issue and even damage and kill small plants. I come across this frequently. For the record, I advise anyone considering this issue to install gutters and pipe them, if possible, to a rain garden or cistern.

However when this is not possible I would suggest using gravel that is complimentary to your landscape. 1" is good because it is too big to be moved by average rain drops or rainfall. Peagravel (Pea gravel) can be splashed out of place and become a mess, plus its harder to walk in soft small round gravel as it moves under foot. Also I prefer rounded river gravel or river rock for this application because it tends to absorb the splashes unlike fractured quarry gravel such as slate or marble chips which tend to splash more. I would recommend that you excavate a trench 12-18inches minimum wide and 6 inches deep. Lay filter fabric, silt fence, landscape fabric or weed screen (or weed control fabric) in the bottom and then cover with gravel. Do not use plastic as it will hold water. Trim off the excess landscape fabric around the edges and mulch up to the edges of the gravel. Make sure you place enough gravel and stones so that the surface of the gravel is equal to or higher than the surrounding mulched landscape beds. Your done. Not however if your soil is not sandy and quick to percolate and absorb the water, you may want to install a french drain in the trench to route water away from the house. This is especially true for folks with basements or crawl spaces that are damp and or flood periodically. Keep in mind if you install a french drain the trench will need to be deeper. Search my previous answers for french drain construction.

One final comment. When selecting the gravel, be sure to select a color that is not going to be glaring or bright. You can even get lava rock (lavarock, lava-rock) and river rock (river-rock) that is similar in color to mulch including hardwood mulch, pine nuggets, cedar and pinestraw. These colors will blend in well with the natural surroundings.

Question
Greetings!  We planted a row of 6' cedars along the rear of our property line this past May.  They were planted in new triple mix (to 3'), were watered every few days, and we used 5-15-5 root stimulator.  They get at least 6 hours of sun a day.  They seemed to be doing okay, until just recently.  Several are looking very dry & brown in the centre.  Is it possible that concrete dust blowing on them for the past 2 weeks from a neighbours pool/interlock patio project could have affected them?  Do you have suggestions to revive them?

Answer
Concrete contains sodium hydroxide. Plants are very sensitive to any salt (sodium) and can be readily killed by it. The alkalinity of the concrete dust would also act to kill plants. The only advice I can give is to hose down the cedar and hope it lives. There is no way to "revive" a plant poisoned by salt. Good luck. Let me know if I can be of further help.

Question
I have an area rug in my living room that is laying on carpet. ALL the edges of the rug are curling up. Is there something that can be done to make it lay flat again?

Answer
Thank you for your question.  I'm sorry to hear about your rug.  Let me ask you something, did the rug lay flat before you put it on carpet?  Does it lay flat now if put on a hard floor?  We have to rule out a few things before figuring out how to fix the problem.  Also, do you know if your rug is machine-made or handmade?  Area rugs on top of carpeting, especially plush carpeting, are always a less than ideal situation, but sometimes you can make it a bit better.  Usually, I recommend a pad, but since your rug is curling up rather than buckling, then I would suggest a few other fixes.  First, take your rug and dampen it just a little, lay it upside down and place a board with some weight on it.  Roll it in the opposite direction a few times, and then give it a whirl.  It should be a little less curly.  If this doesn't help, what we sometimes do as a last resort is sew a few weights into the back of the rug.  Those very flat, thin, washers work very well.  Sewing through a rug is a bit difficult, so have someone with strong hands, or use pliers to push a needle through the back of the rug.  

I hope the information is helpful!

Question
I have a small  room that is 9 by 11 approximate.  I need to buy a wood  dining table with  4 chairs.  I do not know the recommended size/style of the   table-   round, square rectangle.  I think I want a rectangle, but don't know what size I should get given the size of the room.  Thank You very much.  Any guidelines would be appreciated.

Answer
A good rule of thumb is to allow 24" of space per dining guest, and an additional 24" 'swing out' or 'pull out' space for chairs.  Rectangles will allow you more square footage on the table top than round or oval.

If your room is 9 x 11 and you want max size on the table (no sideboards or buffets in the room) then probably the largest table you can put in there is a 60" x 84".  But if we refine that further to a practical level as usually only one person sits at the end, then the functional max size is going to be 40" x 84".  That will allow you two people on the ends, then three down each side (provided the legs on the table area fairly outboard such as an English Farm Table, etc).  That gives you a little space for a serving table / buffet on the long side of the room as well.  If you want less crowded, then drop to a 38" x 72" with leaves (6 seater, 8 with leaves).

Hope that helps!

Question
I have just today had a brick patio built at my front door. It is two steps, approximately 8x10 feet. The temperature around here now is 50 to 58 during the day, and 33 to 40 at night, although the temperature tonight will be down to 31. No rain is expected. I have two questions; The patio was just finished about 4 hours ago, and it is covered with a plastic tarp. Is the above weather conditions safe for the patio as far as any damage is concerned? and, since the patio is not covered, and will be exposed directly to the weather, should I put on a sealer and if so, when do I put it on and what is the best brick sealer to use?

Answer
The weather conditions are ok for your new patio. You should definitely seal your new patio in about two weeks. I do not have a particular favorite of brands just make sure the sealer you buy is designed specifically for masonry. The most important thing I can tell you is do not put any type of salt product on your new patio when you get snow or to melt ice. Even with a sealer deicers containing salt will destroy your new investment. Best of luck and enjoy your new patio.
 

We are a family owned business that is currently licensed and insured in the state of CO. Since 1980 MGS Renovations has been providing quality remodeling services to customers in Southern Colorado. We offer clean, quick and reliable service as well as true attention to detail. We also do insurance claims - siding, roofing, windows, doors, water restoration, custom framing, bathroom remodeling, kitchen remodeling, decks, sheetrock, basement finishing, painting, gutters, wood flooring, tile, or anything else you can think of. We are certified installers of Vinyl, James Hardie Siding, Pella Windows, and Trex decking, but we have experience doing many other things. We work with you, the customer, to make every step of the process smooth and enjoyable.
John Muers - heating and air conditioning, Mike Ford - general building questions, remodeling, codes, permits, etc., Dick Hamilton - all interior and exterior painting questions, also decorative painting tips, Rose Sokol - real estate, property management, rental agreements, Jim Graham - landscaping, gardening, lawns and trees, Julie Sullivan - interior decorating, staging, Bob wallace - flooring, hardwood floors, tiles, stone, concrete, carpet, laminate, Michael Woods - doors and windows, siding, gutters, Brenda Cole - window treatments, blinds, shutters, UV/glare films, etc., Jim West - all roofing questions, Robert Jordan - plumbing, Frank Owens - general handyman questions, appliances, David Reynolds - new construction, Ron Fisher - general building questions, remodeling, additions, Tom Ellis - electrical issues,  Hilda Harrison - home inspections, Wesley Gibson - home improvement, remodeling, upgrades, Irene McDonald - kitchen remodels, Mark Cruz - sunscreens, Derek Marshall - home remodeling ideas, Luis Rodriguez - home renovation estimates, Adam Ortiz - building permits, Kimberly Gomez - building materials, Henry Murray - quality home services, Sergio Freeman - HVAC problems, Leonard Wells - basement remodeling, Kim Webb - bathroom remodeling questions,  Donna Simpson - home decorating ideas, Jeff Stevens - home designs and plans, Elen Tucker - green home building, William Hunter - custom homes, Sam Hicks - plumbing issues, Leah Henry - electrical system upgrades, George Boyd - building product information, Robert Mason - home remodeling plans, Zach Morales - air conditioning questions, Chuck Kennedy - trim installation, woodwork, Stanley Warren - home building tips, Ivan Dixon - how to build a custom home,  Jim Ramos - best tips for home building, Carl Reyes - plants, shrubs and trees, Bob Burns - kitchen counter tops, Dave Gordon - selecting a home builder, Winona Shaw - new home steps guide, Jill Holmes - construction home loan rates, Ethan Rice - all landscaping questions, Conrad Robertson - storage ideas, Jeffrey Hunt - energy efficient building, Douglas Black - buying a new home, Gerard Daniels - general liability insurance, Joseph Palmer - custom home building problems,  Shawn Mills - custom home accessories, Brian Nichols - fences and gates, Thomas Grant - irrigation systems, Don Knight - basements, James Ferguson - attic remodeling, Angela Rose - home and garden accents, Chris Stone - residential and commercial mailboxes, Paul Hawkins - custom home magazine, Joseph Dunn - luxury real estate, Dennis Perkins - custom home specifications, Tom Hudson - superb quality, customized homes, Alex Spencer - all interior and exterior painting questions,  Darlene Gardner - green building produts, Betty Stephens - lawn problems, Angela Payne - ponds and accessories, Mark Pierce - legal issues, Wayne Berry - spec homes, Brenda Matthews - product support, John Arnold - custom home building variables, Tom Wagner - zoning, Mark Wills - quality of construction, Alan Ray - affordable and budget homes, Keith Watkins - choosing a lot for house building, William Olson - types of paints and applications,  Linda Carroll - Energy Star home building packages, Thomas Duncan - sheds and storage units, Robyn Snyder - how to build a luxury home, Steven Hart - the artistry of details, John Cunningham - insulated concrete panels, Kelly Bradley - kitchen appliances, Mike Lane - unique green materials, Michael Andrews - optimal luxury home size, David Ruiz - building a new home costs, Kim Harper - a home that grows, Scott Fox - traditional home construction costs, Gary Riley - energy efficient home building information, Robert Armstrong - trends in building and home construction Arthur Carpenter - residential home building process, Rick Weaver - average new home building costs, Scott Greene - building a green home questions,  Sharon Lawrence - building an off grid cabin, Bonnie Elliott - pollution free home building checklist, Mary Chavez - modular homes, George Sims - traditional framing, Bryan Austin - build a home on your own land, Shannon Peters - green home building companies, John Kelley - National Association of Home Builders, Mike Franklin - Ferro Cement, Lightweight Concrete, Papercrete, Barry Lawson - degrees and types of green construction.
John Fields - heating and air conditioning, Mike Gutierrez - general building questions, remodeling, codes, permits, etc., Dick Ryan - all interior and exterior painting questions, also decorative painting tips, Darlene Sokol - real estate, property management, rental agreements, Jim Schmidt - landscaping, gardening, lawns and trees, Julie Carr - interior decorating, staging, Bob Vasquez - flooring, hardwood floors, tiles, stone, concrete, carpet, laminate, Michael Castillo - doors and windows, siding, gutters, Brenda Wheeler - window treatments, blinds, shutters, UV/glare films, etc., Jim Chapman - all roofing questions, Robert Oliver - plumbing, Frank Montgomery - general handyman questions, appliances, David Richards - new construction, Ron Williamson - general building questions, remodeling, additions, Tom Johnston - electrical issues,  Hilda Banks - home inspections, Wesley Meyer - home improvement, remodeling, upgrades, Irene Bishop - kitchen remodels, Mark McCoy - sunscreens, Derek Howell - home remodeling ideas, Luis Alvarez - home renovation estimates, Adam Morrison - building permits, Kimberly Hansen - building materials, Henry Fernandez - quality home services, Sergio Garza - HVAC problems, Leonard Harvey - basement remodeling, Kim Little - bathroom remodeling questions,  Donna Burton - home decorating ideas, Jeff Stanley - home designs and plans, Elen George - green home building, William Jacobs - custom homes, Sam Reid - plumbing issues, Leah Kim - electrical system upgrades, George Fuller - building product information, Robert Lynch - home remodeling plans, Zach Dean - air conditioning questions, Chuck Gilbert - trim installation, woodwork, Stanley Garrett - home building tips, Ivan Romero - how to build a custom home,  Jim Welch - best tips for home building, Carl Larson - plants, shrubs and trees, Bob Frazier - kitchen counter tops, Dave Burke - selecting a home builder, Winona Hanson - new home steps guide, Jill Day - construction home loan rates, Ethan Mendoza - all landscaping questions, Conrad Moreno - storage ideas, Jeffrey Bowman - energy efficient building, Douglas Medina - buying a new home, Gerard Fowler - general liability insurance, Joseph Brewer - custom home building problems,  Shawn Hoffman - custom home accessories, Brian Carlson - fences and gates, Thomas Silva - irrigation systems, Don Pearson - basements, James Holland - attic remodeling, Angela Douglas - home and garden accents, Chris Fleming - residential and commercial mailboxes, Paul Jensen - custom home magazine, Joseph Vargas - luxury real estate, Dennis Byrd - custom home specifications, Tom Davidson - superb quality, customized homes, Alex Hopkins - all interior and exterior painting questions,  Darlene May - green building produts, Betty Terry - lawn problems, Angela Herrera - ponds and accessories, Mark Wade - legal issues, Wayne Soto - spec homes, Brenda Walters - product support, John Curtis - custom home building variables, Tom Neal - zoning, Mark Caldwell - quality of construction, Alan Lowe - affordable and budget homes, Keith Jennings - choosing a lot for house building, William Barnett - types of paints and applications,  Linda Obrien - Energy Star home building packages, Thomas Castro - sheds and storage units, Robyn Sutton - how to build a luxury home, Steven Gregory - the artistry of details, John McKinney - insulated concrete panels, Kelly Lucas - kitchen appliances, Mike Miles - unique green materials, Michael Craig - optimal luxury home size, David Rodriguez - building a new home costs, Kim Chambers - a home that grows, Scott Holt - traditional home construction costs, Gary Lambert - energy efficient home building information, Robert Fletcher - trends in building and home construction Arthur Watts - residential home building process, Rick Bates - average new home building costs, Scott Hale - building a green home questions,  Sharon Lawrence - building an off grid cabin, Bonnie Rhodes - pollution free home building checklist, Mary Pena - modular homes, George Beck - traditional framing, Bryan Newman - build a home on your own land, Shannon Haynes - green home building companies, John McDaniel - National Association of Home Builders, Mike Mendez - Ferro Cement, Lightweight Concrete, Papercrete, Barry Bush - degrees and types of green construction.

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