Avoiding Chemical Dangers During a Home Renovation

If someone is looking to update his or her home, the best way to do it is through a home renovation.  Almost all homes can look better with a home renovation.  Older homes can be modernized if people take the time to renovate them.  Renovating a home does not come without many expenses.  These expenses are not limited to monetary expenses, but these expenses include dedication to the project, hard work, and the planning for the project.  Furthermore, the renovation also comes with health hazards because a person can be exposed to many dangerous chemicals during the process.  The following are some chemicals that one can be exposed to and ways to reduce the risk of getting ill if exposed to these chemicals.

A lot of people would not consider dust to be a dangerous chemical, but during a home renovation, it becomes dangerous.  Dust can cause many respiratory problems because the dust can become trapped in someone’s lungs.  If dust becomes trapped in a person’s lungs, the person can have an asthma attack.  In order to prevent illness from dust, a person should have proper ventilation during the renovation and wear masks and goggles.

Mold can cause permanent damage to a person’s home, but it can also cause serious health problems to that person.  Research has shown that mold can cause someone to have serious health problems, which includes neurological damage because of the exposure.  If mold is present, the best way to avoid becoming ill is to contact a professional to remove the mold.  The professional can remove the mold, and he or she can also determine if the mold has caused any structural damage to the home.

Although dust and mold may cause problems, asbestos is the most dangerous chemical someone may be exposed to during a home renovation.  Asbestos was used quite often during the last century because it provided unique insulation abilities.  However, asbestos exposure can lead to many health problems.  One of these health problems is mesothelioma, which is a cancer known to be caused by asbestos exposure. In order to avoid becoming ill from asbestos exposure, a person should have the home inspected by a professional prior to the renovation.  Therefore, the renovator will know if he or she needs to do additional work to remove asbestos before the renovation begins.

- by Brian Tuner

The Value Of A Remodel

Popular Remodel Costs And Potential Payback:
All remodel jobs have a payback in the functionality they provide the owner. The owner must also consider facts like what the cost would be to replace what you have if you purchased another property.
Here are some samples of costs and returns that we have experienced:
  • Bedroom / Bath Addition -
    cost $130,000, resale value $90,000
  • Kitchen Expansion, Addition
    cost $80,000, resale value 50% to 80%
and more -------

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Car Storage - Garage Addition

  • Need more garage parking - but don't have the room to add on more garage? The solution may be installing a modular car lift.
  • The size and capacity of a lift depends on the type of vehicles - being garaged. One project we designed and built was for a car collector. He found the increasing expense of renting storage was a positive factor in the decision to go to the expense of a lift. The remodel to accommodate the lift and vehicles was already being taken care of in a structural rebuild we were already designing. All that needed to be added was some more height to the garage rebuild.
  • The cost factor - is certainly something to be factored in with a project like this. Sometimes, if you are doing a new building project, this would be something to design for, even if you would not put the lift in right away.
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Custom Design & Plans

We do custom design as well as construction and permit plans
for new homes as well as remodels and additions.

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Egress Windows in Basements

Rules And Considerations For Egress Windows in Remodeled Basements:

  • Pictured above is the minimal window size and construction for a basement egress window.
  • International Residential Code (IRC) requires egress windows in all bedrooms. In basements, new or remodeled, this requirements are very specific and may have added requirements by the local building jurisdiction. The larger the metropolitan area the more likely the local building jurisdiction may have specific additional requirements concerning egress code implementation.
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Positive Seal Decks

New Vinyl Sealing Systems:
The new systems for waterproofing decks, said to have been taken from the boating industry, utilizes pvc sheet membrane material positively sealed down to the deck substrate. Rules and techniques have been developed for how the membrane is connected at the building and at the deck leading edges. This ensures the basic rule of these systems - always a positive waterproof seal.
The material are designed for looks and texture, strength, stability in all weather conditions and slip resistance.
The sheet vinyl system has been used for over 35 years and the two major manufacturers of these products come from Canada. Obviously if the products can withstand the harsh climates found in many areas of Canada for such an extended period of time, then it has to be a viable product.
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Addition Design & Build

Rules And Considerations For Additions:

  • Define what it is you actually need (for example an extra bedroom for a child). Do not get into what elements fit where and how the elements will look. Initially just define what is needed and the fit and look will happen as the footprint is developed.
  • Do not break the traffic flow of the house. Try to enhance it, if possible.
  • Simpler construction will cost less. If you have the realestate to build out, do that instead of building up. Building overhead is more labor intesive, structurally more demanding and is much more intrusive to the houshold (unless no one is living in the home).
  • One of the most complex parts of an addition can be designing the roofline. To make the addition look like it has always been there and is intregal to the building is a goal that can be easy or very difficult.
  • Building a 2 story addition can have the added problem of looking like a tower tacked on to a one-story structure. There are special design considerations to mitigate this problem.

Cantilever Roof

How To Overbuild A Roof That Is Too Old To Carry A New Load.
On a recent project, we added a large master bedroom and bath addition to a 1940's Beaverton bungalow.
As in many additions, the roof presented the particular problem of not making the addition look like a tack on. The solution was a raised roof over the entire structure including the new addition. In order to not to have to remove all the existing roof, because it would not carry the new roof load a cantilever truss was designed, allowing no load to be put on the existing roof structure. The existing roof, as so many of the time period, used 2x4 members, which would never carry even the existing load under todays codes.

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Dormer Design & Build

Rules And Considerations For Dormers:
  • Make sure a dormer is what you really want, as compared to an addition. Dormers are much more complex and expensive per square foot when compared to an addition.
  • The designers job in evaluating and designing the dormer is critical. The final design can be complex and expensive or can be reasonable in its complexity and expense. Sometimes there will be only one way to accomplish the task and that is complex and expensive, but usually careful study will reveal a fairly reasonable approach to the task.
  • Breaking the roof for a dormer changes the roof load dynamics. Because of this, many times a beam will have to be installed to carry a new type of load. A normal roof load is carried by opposing thrust and collar ties. If you no longer have those 2 elements to carry the load, we have to utilize a beam at the roof ridge to carry the load.
  • There will have to be a downword path for the load. If there is a new structural beam there will have to be a post at each end to carry the beam load all the way to the foundation. This entails going thru the first floor at some point and may also require the thickening of the foundation to carry the new load.
Permit Considerations In Seismic Areas:
  • All new additions, including dormers, will require seismic lateral bracing on all new walls.
  • Some jurisdictions will require complex calculations to determine seismic requirements, whereas other jurisdictions will have very little other than the dormer side wall requirements.

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