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 ... Ask Our Experts.....  
John Vaughin - heating and air conditioning, Mike Parks - general building questions, remodeling, codes, permits, etc., Dick Dawson - all interior and exterior painting questions, also decorative painting tips, Martin Sokol - real estate, property management, rental agreements, Jim Santiago - landscaping, gardening, lawns and trees, Julie Norris - interior decorating, staging, Bob Hardy - flooring, hardwood floors, tiles, stone, concrete, carpet, laminate, Michael Love - doors and windows, siding, gutters, Brenda Steele - window treatments, blinds, shutters, UV/glare films, etc., Jim Curry - all roofing questions, Robert Powers - plumbing, Frank Schultz - general handyman questions, appliances, David Barker - new construction, Ron Guzman - general building questions, remodeling, additions, Tom Page - electrical issues,  Hilda Munoz - home inspections, Wesley Ball - home improvement, remodeling, upgrades, Irene Keller - kitchen remodels, Mark Chandler - sunscreens, Derek Weber - home remodeling ideas, Luis Leonard - home renovation estimates, Adam Walsh - building permits, Kimberly Lyons - building materials, Henry Ramsey - quality home services, Sergio Wolfe - HVAC problems, Leonard Schneider - basement remodeling, Kim Mullins - bathroom remodeling questions,  Donna Benson - home decorating ideas, Jeff Sharp - home designs and plans, Elen Bowen - green home building, William Daniel - custom homes, Sam Barber - plumbing issues, Leah Cummings - electrical system upgrades, George Hines - building product information, Robert Baldwin - home remodeling plans, Zach Griffith - air conditioning questions, Chuck Valdez - trim installation, woodwork, Stanley Hubbard - home building tips, Ivan Salazar - how to build a custom home,  Jim Reeves - best tips for home building, Carl Warner - plants, shrubs and trees, Bob Stevenson - kitchen counter tops, Dave Burgess - selecting a home builder, Winona Santos - new home steps guide, Jill Tate - construction home loan rates, Ethan Cross - all landscaping questions, Conrad Garner - storage ideas, Jeffrey Mann - energy efficient building, Douglas Mack - buying a new home, Gerard Thornton - general liability insurance, Joseph Dennis - custom home building problems,  Shawn Mack - custom home accessories, Brian McGee - fences and gates, Thomas Farmer - irrigation systems, Don Delgado - basements, James Aguilar - attic remodeling, Angela Vega - home and garden accents, Chris Glover - residential and commercial mailboxes, Paul Manning - custom home magazine, Joseph Cohen - luxury real estate, Dennis Harmon - custom home specifications, Tom Rodgers - superb quality, customized homes, Alex Newton - all interior and exterior painting questions,  Darlene Robbins - green building produts, Betty Toad - lawn problems, Angela Blair - ponds and accessories, Mark Higgins - legal issues, Wayne Ingram - spec homes, Brenda Reese - product support, John Cannon - custom home building variables, Tom Strickland - zoning, Mark Townsend - quality of construction, Alan Potter - affordable and budget homes, Keith Goodwin - choosing a lot for house building, William Walton - types of paints and applications,  Linda Rowe - Energy Star home building packages, Thomas Hampton - sheds and storage units, Robyn Ortega - how to build a luxury home, Steven Patton - the artistry of details, John Swanson - insulated concrete panels, Kelly Joseph - kitchen appliances, Mike Francis - unique green materials, Michael Goodman - optimal luxury home size, David Maldonado - building a new home costs, Kim Yates - a home that grows, Scott Becker - traditional home construction costs, Gary Erickson - energy efficient home building information, Robert Hodges - trends in building and home construction Arthur Rios - residential home building process, Rick Conner - average new home building costs, Scott Adkins - building a green home questions,  Sharon Webster - building an off grid cabin, Bonnie Norman - pollution free home building checklist, Mary Norman - modular homes, George Malone - traditional framing, Bryan Hammond - build a home on your own land, Shannon Flowers - green home building companies, John Cobb - National Association of Home Builders, Mike Moody - Ferro Cement, Lightweight Concrete, Papercrete, Barry Quinn - 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 Quinn - heating and air conditioning, Mike Blake - general building questions, remodeling, codes, permits, etc., Dick Maxwell - all interior and exterior painting questions, also decorative painting tips, Frank Sokol - real estate, property management, rental agreements, Jim Pope - landscaping, gardening, lawns and trees, Julie Floyd - interior decorating, staging, Bob Osborne - flooring, hardwood floors, tiles, stone, concrete, carpet, laminate, Michael Paul - doors and windows, siding, gutters, Brenda McCarthy - window treatments, blinds, shutters, UV/glare films, etc., Jim Guerrero - all roofing questions, Robert Lindsey - plumbing, Frank Estrada - general handyman questions, appliances, David Sandoval - new construction, Ron Gibbs - general building questions, remodeling, additions, Tom Tyler - electrical issues,  Hilda Gross - home inspections, Wesley Fitzgerald - home improvement, remodeling, upgrades, Irene Stokes - kitchen remodels, Mark Doyle - sunscreens, Derek Sherman - home remodeling ideas, Luis Saunders - home renovation estimates, Adam Wise - building permits, Kimberly Colon - building materials, Henry Gill - quality home services, Sergio Alvarado - HVAC problems, Leonard Greer - basement remodeling, Kim Padilla - bathroom remodeling questions,  Donna Simon - home decorating ideas, Jeff Waters - home designs and plans, Elen Nunez - green home building, William Ballard - custom homes, Sam Schwartz - plumbing issues, Leah McBride - electrical system upgrades, George Houston - building product information, Robert Christensen - home remodeling plans, Zach Klein - air conditioning questions, Chuck Pratt - trim installation, woodwork, Stanley Briggs - home building tips, Ivan Parsons - how to build a custom home,  Jim McLaughlin - best tips for home building, Carl Zimmerman - plants, shrubs and trees, Bob French - kitchen counter tops, Dave Buchanan - selecting a home builder, Winona Moran - new home steps guide, Jill Copeland - construction home loan rates, Ethan Roy - all landscaping questions, Conrad Pittman - storage ideas, Jeffrey Brady - energy efficient building, Douglas McCormick - buying a new home, Gerard Holloway - general liability insurance, Joseph Brock - custom home building problems,  Shawn Poole - custom home accessories, Brian Frank - fences and gates, Thomas Logan - irrigation systems, Don Owen - basements, James Bass - attic remodeling, Angela Marsh - home and garden accents, Chris Drake - residential and commercial mailboxes, Paul Wong - custom home magazine, Joseph Jefferson - luxury real estate, Dennis Park - custom home specifications, Tom Morton - superb quality, customized homes, Alex Abbott - all interior and exterior painting questions,  Darlene Sparks - green building produts, Betty Patrick - lawn problems, Angela Norton - ponds and accessories, Mark Huff - legal issues, Wayne Clayton - spec homes, Brenda Massey - product support, John Lloyd - custom home building variables, Tom Figueroa - zoning, Mark Barton - quality of construction, Alan Tran - affordable and budget homes, Keith Lamb - choosing a lot for house building, William Harrington - types of paints and applications,  Linda Casey - Energy Star home building packages, Thomas Boone - sheds and storage units, Robyn Cortez - how to build a luxury home, Steven Clarke - the artistry of details, John Mathis - insulated concrete panels, Kelly Singleton - kitchen appliances, Mike Walkins - unique green materials, Michael Cain - optimal luxury home size, David Bryan - building a new home costs, Kim Underwood - a home that grows, Scott Hogan - traditional home construction costs, Gary McKenzie - energy efficient home building information, Robert Collier - trends in building and home construction Arthur Luna - residential home building process, Rick Phelps - average new home building costs, Scott McGuire - building a green home questions,  Sharon Allison - building an off grid cabin, Bonnie Bridges - pollution free home building checklist, Mary Wilkerson - modular homes, George Nash - traditional framing, Bryan Summers - build a home on your own land, Shannon Atkins - green home building companies, John Wilcox - National Association of Home Builders, Mike Pitts - Ferro Cement, Lightweight Concrete, Papercrete, Barry Conley - degrees and types of green construction.
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