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Ask the Patch Pro: Experts Answer Your Home Improvement Questions

Our panel of experts are waiting in the comments to answer your questions about home repairs and improvements in the latest installment of Ask the Patch Pro.

It's time for another edition of Ask the Patch Pro, where each week we tackle a different topic and open up the comments section for questions. Our team of experts stop in to help you out and answer your questions.

This week we're talking about home improvements. Patch wants to help you get your questions answered, but we needed some help.

We've compiled a team of experts to help us out. Meet the experts:

If you consider yourself a local expert and would like to be added to the list, let us know! jordan.lanham@patch.com

Heidi L. September 27, 2012 at 01:05 PM
We had a rough in put in when we built our house, only now after duct work and heat and air conditioning are in not sure a shower will fit and-- I want the plumbing moved but don't want to spend too much of my basement bathroom budget for the move. Who do I call for bids? General contractor or Plumbing Co.? Is it advisable to rent equipment to break up the concrete ourselves?
Kalen Ponche September 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I'm thinking of redoing my basement myself, with the help of contractors where needed (plumbing, electrical). And by me, I mean, my husband, father and I. Are there tools I'll probably need to buy that I should plan to include when I'm figuring out a budget? We have a lot of stuff already (put in a deck two years ago) - but I wasn't sure if there was something that would make our lives much easier if we had it.
Tamara Duncan September 27, 2012 at 02:54 PM
We installed pre-finished hardwood flooring several years ago -- I think the manufacturer was Bruce. Can this be refinished? We've had some water damage in a small section, and the finished surface is buckling, like a veneer.
Karl September 27, 2012 at 03:39 PM
I have a 100 year of brick home. I would like to install subway tile as a kitchen backsplash and on one kitchen wall. The wall is brick. What substrate or backboard should I use and what is the best way to atttach the substrate to the brick wall? Should I use construction adhesive or some special fastener?
Michael A. Rohmann September 27, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Your shower should still fit. Most basements to the floor joist are around 93_1/2" tall and than the duct work should come down about 8" leaving aprox: 85_1/2" left for the shower to fit under the duct. Most showers are aprox: 72" to 76" tall. Now if you want to layout your bath room differentley than you should contract a General Contractor to advise what to do. It is not advisable to just break your floor up with out the understanding of how the plumbing was run at the time of the build. Would be happy to advise please visit our web site for more info at http://marohman.com. Hope this helps.
Michael A. Rohmann September 27, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Finishing your basement yourself will save you some money. One thing I would advise is that you hire someone to work with you and advise you on what and how to do things so you don't have to pay twice. Getting bids from different contractors is good but if you don't know what to look for this also can be costly. As far as tools you will need will depend on what you are going to do your self.
Jordan Lanham September 27, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Thanks for the advice Michael A. Rohmann!
Michael A. Rohmann September 27, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Most real pre-finished hardwood flooring has about a 1/8" veneer on top of a engineer substrate and do allow for 1 sanding and finish. If you go to your floor vent and pull it out you may be able to see what thickness you have to work with. If it is buckling up you may have to replace that section.
Michael A. Rohmann September 27, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Depending on the texture of the brick wall you mite be able to put a scratch coat with a mesh embeded into the scratch coat. Than all you have to do is install your tile with a good thin set mortar for tile.
steve September 30, 2012 at 03:28 AM
hi Heidi. i agree with what michael told you. with doing a job like this i would get a few bids from local contractors. and then add in a extra 10% there is always somthing that comes up that is not expected. if you need a couple names please stop by the store and i can give you a couple cards of local company that do buisness with us. one last thing remember when doing the job your self it always seems to take longer than you think the job should. hope this helps you out .
steve September 30, 2012 at 03:41 AM
nothing better than a job you did yourself. but sometimes its cheaper to have someone do it for you. i would call around explain your ideas to them. check out the bids then add 10% on to the bill for all the extra items we forgot .then ask my self what on the list we feal we can do our selves to save on the the project to make this work into our budget. for as tools goes. friends and family are good resouces for misc tools . hope this help you out.
steve September 30, 2012 at 03:58 AM
hi tamara. I here about this happening alot . ice maker starts to leak. and you don't find out rite away and by the time you do the floor is warping and coming up. sometime it can be repaired.most time a small part has to be pulled out. then the floor has to be refinshed to, so it all matches and looks good.. if you get this done. please get at least three bids. i here stories about prices in this field. this is a job that takes time. repairing the floor. sanding. sealing and finshing . hope this helps. if you need more info please stop by the store and i would be glad to walk you threw it .
steve September 30, 2012 at 04:17 AM
your question is a tuff one. this is when you want to call and take pichures and ask the pro's, that do this on a everyday bass. because i have herd many stories of people remodeling there kitchen and then a year or two down the road the tiles come lose then more, and so on . the new glue or morter, adhesive dont stick bond to each other and cause problems. another thing that bother me on this you live in a older home and the brink back then is a softer type and can be some what harder to bond to . if you would like, give me a call this week at the hardware store and i could walk you threw some of this . thanks for writing . and hope this helps you out
Karl October 10, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Thanks Michael.

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