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Ever had a re-bath?

Your Home Improvements

Posted: June 14, 2008 2:54 p.m.
Updated: August 15, 2008 5:03 a.m.
 
Robert,
What do you think of this new procedure of "re-bath?" What would be the pros and cons?
Curt W.

Curt,
The re-bath system is just an economical method of resurfacing your tub and shower. The concept is very similar to having your kitchen cabinets re-faced as opposed to replaced. They use the existing substructure and give it a new exterior.

The pros are that this procedure is much less expensive and faster than the traditional methods of remodeling. The cons might be the quality of the materials they use. I have personally not used their services, but if they use quality products and professional installers, I can't think of anything wrong with this type of service.

One thing to keep in mind is your bathtub. Once your tub has been re-glazed, be sure to follow their recommendations on the type of non-abrasive cleansers to be used. Using the traditional cleaners on a re-glazed tub will cause scratches and stains.

Robert,
I recently had a waste line back up and flooded my bathroom. The plumber came out and replaced the pipe that had cracked, about 5 inches in length. He had to cut into the wall to access this pipe. The wall is still open and I think it would be better to replace it with copper while I have an opportunity to reach it easily. Could you give me a step by step?

Thank you very much,
Jimmy T.

Jimmy,
I wouldn't mind telling you the steps involved, but you do not want to use copper for a waste line. Only use black pipe or ABS for waste, copper for your water lines.

I mean, even if you wanted to the IDs and ODs - the inside and outside diameters - would be different. You could use a mission band, but you don't want to do this. It would not only be an unnecessary waste of money, but copper is a very soft metal. You need something strong for your waste lines. What happens when it gets clogged again and you want to run a snake clean it out? The blades on the snake would damage the copper line.

The plumber probably used an ABS plastic line to replace what you had.|

This is exactly what you want and I would leave it alone.

Hi Robert,
We would like to install an ADA approved lift at our complex and were hoping you could provide us some insight on what we should be concerned with and if you could make any recommendations. Also, could you provide a idea of the costs? Thank you.

Joyce B.

Joyce,
There are many different models and styles to choose from in hydraulic lifts. First you would need to know the vertical height the lift needs to operate.

Let's say you need a vertical clearance of 8 feet and it will be used outside. You could go with an in and out - meaning you enter the lift on one side and exit from the other. You would need an ADA telephone inside and could order a completely enclosed shaft with Plexiglas panels. You could fit it with a dome top with a 6 ft. 8 in. door opening once they reached the second level. Something like this would be in the $30,000 range, but you have additional expenses. You would need an architect to make the drawings for the permits and acquisitions, as well as a structural engineer to calculate if the ground was structurally stable enough to support this tower. On top of those expenses, you would need to consider if the upper elevation level is ADA rated safe and properly prepared when exiting the lift.

Once everything is in place the lift has to be inspected by a state licensed elevator company. I would suggest using only contractors that are familiar with ADA work. This will save you some time and money.

Hi, Robert,
I have a carport that was here when I moved into my house. I can look down on the roof of this carport from my upstairs window and I would like to put a door in my wall to be able to use the carport as a patio area.

It is suspended by 4, 2 inch metal posts. There is a post in each corner. Is this carport strong enough to support people and furniture and if so, about how many people? What would I place on top of the gravel?

Thank you.
Doug P.

Doug,
You've got a carport with a gravel roof. Roofs are not designed to be walked on or it will ruin them. This is a big misconception. The only type of roof you can walk on is comp, but even this is not pedestrian-rated. You've only got little roofing nails that are holding that together. We see it all the time. People put lawn chairs on flat roofs. That asphalt gets hot in the summer and whatever they put up there will melt it's way through the roofing system.

So, to answer your question, no. Don't try to convert your carport into a patio. Many mathematical calculations are made for live load, people, and dead load, furniture, to make the determination of what are the safe building standards for decks. Even once all of the numbers have been called, the builder has to follow the plans to the letter. You might remember in Marina Del Rey within the last few years, a deck was put in and collapsed. Fifteen people fell to the ground with serious injuries.

Robert Lamoureux has 25 years' experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contacting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor, after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Send your questions to Robert@IMSConstruction.com.

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