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Building Envelope Woes

by Jack Carr, P.E., RS, LEED-AP So what to do in a Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont winter? Certainly snow sports, a good book, or dreams of spring golf are excellent pursuits but for the chairperson of the condo maintenance committee, winter is a good time to be planning building envelope repairs. The building envelope comprises….

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Turn the Water Tank Temp Up or Down? It’s a Hot Question.

Is your hot water safe??   Too hot and you can be seriously burned.  Not hot enough and your hot water may harbor dangerous bacteria.   It’s not a simple question!! What’s the “correct” temperature at which to set a water heater? The question is more complicated and more hotly debated than you might imagine.  And the….

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Repeated Mistakes

Repeated Mistakes In February we celebrated Groundhog Day which reminded me of that iconic movie with Bill Murray of the same name.  In the movie if you remember, Bill Murray’s character relives the same day, Groundhog Day, over and over until he gets it right. It got me thinking of the same issues we see….

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The Many Faces of Siding

Is all house and condominium siding the same?  Of course not!  And choosing the right siding is more than just color, design, aesthetics and curb appeal.  Durability is very important as well as energy efficiency which is fast becoming more commonplace and available.  When it comes time to sell, the right siding can up the….

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House Wrap?

We know it’s the holidays and you may be exchanging wrapped gifts to friends, colleagues and loved ones.   Well, don’t forget to wrap your house too!  Wrap a house?  Yes, your house!   If you are so lucky to receive a house, make sure it is wrapped!  Sound ridiculous?  Well, we don’t mean gift paper wrap,….

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Safe and Effective Wood Stoves

There are several important safety considerations that must go hand in hand with the use of solid fuel (coal and wood) stoves. These stoves are responsible for many fires every year. In some parts of the country, wood and coal stoves are the number one cause of house fires. In general, when properly used, coal….

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Basement Water Can Be Managed

Criterium Dudka Engineers In an existing home, we’re not always sure how the foundation perimeter was completed because it is not visual, unless of course we begin digging.  Uhg!  Acquiring the “as built” plans of your home from the town is always a good idea and are usually readily available from your town office.  The….

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When a Critical Component Fails Early

It happens to even the most prepared of associations. The roof that was supposed to last 25 years starts leaking after only 15. A harsh winter takes its toll on the parking lot and you’re suddenly faced with a large re-paving project 5 years before anticipated. The elevators in a high-rise are constantly out of….

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You Have a Choice in Home Inspections. Which is right for you?

Recommending a home inspection company is a helpful and valuable service a real estate agent performs, howeverif not done objectively, it canlead to a real estate lawsuit.   The buyers expect that with the experience of the Realtor, comes knowledge of buildings and that they will alert you to potential problems.  When under contract, the Realtor….

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New Construction is Predictable. Or is it?

In fact, new construction is anything but predictable. However, we often make that ASSUMPTION. In fact, we make a lot of assumptions about new construction. That’s what this article is about, ASSUMPTIONS. By the way, the following applies equally well to renovation projects. If you are considering having a new home built, how many of….

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