Frequently Asked Questions

  1. QUESTION:
    Can a Texas landlord downgrade the flooring after accidental water damage?
    I live in a rental house and recently our washing machine (which was there when we moved in) busted a hose and leaked substantially. We had beautiful hardwood floors, and some of them got wet enough to cause damage. The landlord has been trying to dry, but it’s taking more time than he thought and so he wants to give up and just replace all the wood with carpet.
    Basically, the wood was one of the main reasons we chose that place… especially at the price we pay per month. Do we have any recourse?

    • ANSWER:

  2. QUESTION:
    How do I install ceramic tiles over narrow pine plank hardwood subfloor?
    My old house has hardwood floors on the 1st floor. For some reason, the kitchen only has hardwood pine planks as the sub-floor (nothing underneath). The previous owner chose to remove whatever was installed previously and strip and refinish the pine floor. It looks ok, but doesn’t match the rest of the house, shows lots of irregularities, and is beginning to wear in certain areas (pitted valleys). Plus I can see light coming through from the basement at small cracks and holes. I would like to install ceramic tile over the pine planks. Now for the question:

    Is it possible to install cement board directly to the narrow pine plank hard wood sub-floor (with thin set and screws)? I realize that plywood under cement board is preferred, but I don’t want to tear out the existing floor, or add another layer of plywood that would make the floor much higher than the rest. My fear is that installing the cement board directly to the narrow plank hardwood sub-floor, that over time the variation and settling in the many planks will cause shifting and lead to cracking. Is this a problem?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    The hardwood sub-floor planks are 2.5″

    • ANSWER:
      Ryan;
      Yes, but you don’t need Thinset for the cement board, just use 3′”stainless steel deck screws directly through the pine to the joists below, every 12 inches.

  3. QUESTION:
    Is my mom being bitchy? Or am I being too sensitive?
    My fiance and I have bought a house. We’re going to be redoing the bathroom and kitchen first. My parents have renovated their own houses a couple times over the year and so my mom has lots of little tips and advice for us which WAS fine, but now is getting annoying. I wonder if maybe I’m being too sensitive to her comments, or maybe I’m just sick of her and her comments! What do you think?

    Bathroom: she has mentioned several times (over 5 under 10) about how she would choose a white vanity, it looks cleaner, wood is so dark and will look like crap and streaky after a couple of years, etc. There are tons of wood vanities in the stores and some are really nice! There are only a couple of choices in white and they’re just okay, not my favourites and not cheaper by much. But when I say my reasons for liking wood, she just repeats why white is “better” and brings it up in other conversations later!

    Kitchen: Again, commenting on what I should get. I have to make sure it’s going to match the wood tones in the hardwood flooring in the hallway outside the kitchen or it’ll “look like hell” as I’m told everything will look if I don’t get it just right. Well the hardwood is old and stained and we might replace it some years down the road, but when I say that, she pipes up with “well then it would look like hell until you can fix it, which might be never”. Why is it going to look like hell at all?? I’m not the type of person to pick out bright fuscia cupboards with black trim and a yellow backsplash with bird tiles in it or something! I was planning on going with a pretty standard wood tone. I think 9 out of 10 types of cupboards I pick would look fine thanks. Same with layout and where the diswasher should go and the cutlery drawer should go and the 50 reasons behind her thoughts on that.

    Asks what I’m putting on my front porch. It’s a tiny porch. We just bought our 1st home, we’re doing renos, plus we’re getting married October 1st. I honestly haven’t thought about what’s going on the front porch. I said this, and the reply? “Oh, I would have had that all layed out already”. I just said “shuddup mom” in a playful way while seething internally, to which she says so sweetly “oh no! That wasn’t anything against YOU. I’m saying I have OCD and I would have HAD to have that all planned out already, that’s all!” (she does not have OCD in any way)

    Please help me deal with my mother!!! The worst part she is an amazing decorator and has done renos and knows what to look for and actually has some good advice! But the bulk of it seems to be little comments of disapproval about my potential choices (I say potential because I’m getting opinions on things I haven’t asked about or thought about!)

    How can I deal with my mother???!!!??? I don’t want to hurt her feelings or reject the help (because she offers to help paint or make curtains all the time, but says no pressure, but then keeps offering). At first I was looking forward to doing things with her but I’m getting to the point where I need to cut her out of the whole process just so I can make up my own mind (um, and my fiance might want to input too, lol).

    Thanks for reading, I appreciate any constructive comments!
    Also, I fear if I don’t stop her pushiness NOW, it will only get worse when we start having children, especially since she cannot wait to have grandbabies!

    • ANSWER:
      Well your mother sounds exactly like mine! I guess mothers are just always trying to make decisions for you that are (supposedly) the right ones. What I would do in a situation like this is tell her to back off and to let me decide for myself since, after all, it is MY house and not her’s. I would tell her that I respect and appreciate her opinions, but I’m not a little kid anymore and I have to start deciding things for myself. It makes me so angry when my mother tries to tell me what to do, I can’t imagine what it would be like for her to tell me how to organize and decorate my house. I think what you’re doing is fine. You’re not too sensitive by what I can tell, and it’s really your mother that is being bitchy. You just need to tell your mother that you’ll take care of it and she doesn’t need to worry. Remember, everyone has their own tastes! I hope I gave a valid answer to this predicament and I hope that you can work this out with your overprotective mother. Have a good one. ;)

  4. QUESTION:
    Any law students, lawyers, or anyone knowledgeable about the law? I am remodeling a house, and we have hit ?
    speed bumps, and I need some advice. Here’s the short of it: I hired a company to do my remodel job, siding, windows, new roof, new heat and air unit, remodel kitchen, bath, refinish hardwood floors, and lay new tile throughout. I do not have to sign anything or pay anything until all work is complete. The hardwood floors looked like kids finger painted them, literally, and the kitchen cabinets looked almost as bad. The only thing I was happy with was the siding, windows, roof, and the central h/a unit. So, they agreed to redo the floors, and said the kitchen cabinets would have to be painted instead of stained and varnished for some reason. I really didn’t want to paint the cabinets but finally agreed, and picked a color. I had already chosen my tile floors, and couldn’t change that, my walls were already painted and didn’t want to change that, and the new countertops were in place and I was happy with them. So I was just hoping the color I chose for the cabinets would blend. Luckily, it did, but they hung some of the cabinet doors wrong, to open the wrong way, and a corner door especially won’t open because of the handle on it. It should open from the other side. When they were redoing the wood floors, the sander was parked in a corner and must have been hot because in the night, a fire started and burnt through the wood floor. Now, the floor had to be replaced. The wood floors look beautiful this time around. They had to hire another crew to redo them. The tile floors look great. But, they still have so much to do. A few kitchen cabinets are missing. Pulls on some of them are missing. Some are still hung crooked. They need to finish placing the sinks and toilet in the bath. The kitchen sink is yet to be installed. They haven’t even wiped the walls down from the soot from the fire, and the walls that the sander was parked by when it burned need to be sanded and repainted. The contractor is pushing me to sign and saying, “These are minor details, and we can finish them after you move in.” On top of all this, I was told we would be in the house by Dec 1, and told it was safe to give my notice at my apartment. I gave a tentative notice, which my apt. mgr. interpreted as a final notice. The fire happened on Nov. 28, and when I went to tell them I needed to stay at least another month, I was told I had two days to move. So my kids and I moved our belongings into a rental storage and moved into a motel. The remodel company is paying for this. My legal question is: If I move into the house unfinished, am I in a way saying I accept it as it is? and if they do not finish it, can I do anything? OR Should I refuse to move in until it is complete, and demand that they continue to pay for our present accomodations, which are really pathetic, considering it is Christmas? Should I contact my attorney, and let them know we will do what we have to do to get the job done? We are having to eat out every meal, and the room is getting smaller every day!!
    HELP! What should I do?!

    • ANSWER:
      It sounds like the contractor is trying to do right by you. I would stay in the hotel as they are paying for it and are inclined to get it done asap to avoid an extended hotel bill. Sign nothing till it is done. I would also call my attorney. A friendly good will letter to the contractor will seal your expectations of the quality and expediency of the work and will allow you to relax. This is not legal advice. Call a real attorney. With all your disappointments thus far you could have a law suit somewhere in all the soot. Call that attorney.

  5. QUESTION:
    Does my husband have anger problems because of his abusive childhood?
    My husband and i are both 20, and we have a baby. we unexpectedly got pregnant right after graduating highschool, and my husband has always wanted to join the Air Force so we figured we would be out on our own either right before the baby was born or really soon after he was born. but its been a year and a half and we’re still living with his parents and younger teenage siblings. Today my sisters-in-law were fighting about something and my husbands parents were choosing sides with one of the girls. and my husband spoke up to stick up for the other sister, and my husbands dad freaked out and started screaming at him calling him all kinds of names like you little motherf**ker this is my house you don’t have a right to say what you think and i should’ve kicked you out 4 years ago and stuff like that. and my husband was so hurt that he went into our room and silently cried for like half an hour. i feel so bad for him because his dad NEVER sticks up for him, ever. in the 15 months i’ve lived here i’ve seen him stand up for his daughters but never his son. and i know that makes my husband feel like crap about himself. and here is some history about my husbands relationship with his parents…the only reason my husbands parents got married was because they got pregnant with him, and his whole life he has been treated like the “it” child or something. when he was younger he got spanked hard all the time, got whipped with belts, got his head slammed against walls and hardwood floors, his mom gave him a black eye once when he was younger, and there is more that i cant remember at the moment. and his parents have told him he’s nothing but a piece of s**t and their lives would be much better without him in it. and about a year ago me and my husband were cleaning out his room to make room for baby stuff and i found a journal he used back when he was like 11, and on one page he wrote about how he doesnt understand why his parents hate him so much, and that he loves them alot, but they hate him. it was so sad to read that. and all the while he was growing up being treated that way, his sisters never got anything more than a spanking, because his parents have said they believe that its ok to beat boys when their bad. and to this day his sisters get away with EVERYTHING. they call their mom a f**king b**** and nothing happens to them, and when my husband was 15 he yelled at his mom that he hates her guts and his dad slammed his head against the floor. and his sister who is 18 goes out to parties and drinks with her boyfriend sometimes, and its no big deal to his parents. but when my husband was 17 he and his friends were planning to go to a party and buy beer and their parents found out about it and he got grounded for like a month. ugh i just wanna scream cause its so unfair!!! and to this day my husband has some anger problems. he has a short temper and he gets mad easily even about the stupidest things, and when he gets mad he’ll call me mean names and say really hurtful things to me, and his family too sometimes. do you think the way he has been treated his whole life plays a big role in his anger problems?
    I forgot to add that his Air Force job has taken a while to come in and he is leaving for basic training in January

    • ANSWER:
      I definately believe his childhood has alot to do with it. Young boys look up to their fathers and that’s how they learn, if he was treated like his whole childhood he probably knows no different way to deal with his anger than to lash out at the closest thing. he has obviously had alot of pain growing up and he wasnt able to control what his father did or said to him, so it may be that now he wants to take control and boost himself up. I know first hand for a fact if someones father is very angry that the children may turn out that way. As we know children copy everything they see older people do because thats how they learn. Try support him the best you can. Goodluck darl.

  6. QUESTION:
    Which house would you choose?
    I feel like I am on house hunters! haha I have 3 house I have to choose from (with the price range that I am in) I am just now getting out of college and have to get a house:

    1) ,000 932sq 2 bedrooms: nicest but the smallest and most expensive

    The good: This house is by far the best looking move in ready, central air and heat, pella windows, small storage building, nice neighborhood, no improvements needed.
    The bad: traffic, no hardwood floors, no dinning room, bedrooms are small and in general a small house.

    2) ,000 1306sq 2 bedrooms: needs minor improvements but the cheapest

    The good: Stone house, dinning room, big kitchen, basement storm cellar, central air and heat and the cheapest house
    The bad: Windows need to be upgraded, neighbors houses are the most up kelp, small front yard, breaker box need to be updated, both of my neighbors are hispanic (which I personally DO NOT have a problem with that) but am worried about the resell value of the home (the realtor has told that was the reason why this house hasn’t sold, which I am hoping times will change with racism)

    #3) 34,900 1,500sq, 4 Bedrooms: Very Nice House but bad neighborhood

    The good: Is a 2 story, big bed rooms, central air and heat, big rooms, big upstairs, hardwood floors, big dinning room, VERY VERY nice backyard, fenced in backyard, storage building and detached garage.
    The bad: the street itself isn’t bad but if you would go down the street, you would def. be locking your doors, I have many friend that live around this neighborhood and have never had a problem, this place was lived in by a old couple since 1975 and kelp this place up very nicely and was appraised for ,000, but STRICTLY the neighborhood has kelp this place from selling (I wouldn’t have a problem with sleeping here)
    1) My area houses are selling very cheap (rural Kentucky) We lost our #1 job producing plant.
    2) I do have a job “lined up” I am 26 years old, and will be promoted within my company (with my degree)

    • ANSWER:
      If I was you I would pick #2… I LOVE stone houses! Since you are worried about resale value, the fact that the neighborhood is so nice is a big plus. (And shame on the Realtor for saying that the reason the home hasn’t sold is due to the hispanic neighbors… seriously?!?)

      As always, make sure your offer is contingent upon an inspection so that if any other major repairs are found you can either reduce your offer or back out as need be.

      Good luck!

  7. QUESTION:
    This is my first story I have wrote, I would enjoy your thoughts? It’s not finished.?
    Monday morning starts all over again. Every single one of them just seem to break idly back into the same repetition. I slowly roll out of my bed, deciding to take my sheets and comforter down the hall with me, wrapped around my body, and then make my way down the hall to take one of my famously long showers. I step lightly along the hardwood floor, and a cold shiver rattles down my spine with a jolt. I step past Amy’s room and remember what it used to be like to wake up every morning and have to go through the same ordeal of letting Mom dress me and have everything all set, and ready to go, just so I could be dropped off at kindergarten to be by myself and learn silly things we all knew already. Well, most of us anyways. Amy will learn soon enough that there are some people that just don’t catch on as quick as others in life, and oddly enough sometimes those exact same, almost idiotic, people just might be the same people that you love the most. It took me about eight years to figure that one out all by myself. I continue on with my usual routine of opening the white linen-closet doors and always reaching for my favorite towel, and slowly closing the little closet’s doors and dreading the so obvious creak that will almost echo into my quiet morning. Sure enough, the doors creak again. No surprise to me at all, they’ve done that ever since Dad “fixed” them. I turn the hall’s corner and my footsteps are more frequent. I see Brian’s door, and I have no intention of him taking a shower before me today. Everyday we have to race one another to the shower. We wouldn’t have to if his bathroom shower wasn’t broken, but I forgot. Like Mom had said,”Your Dad is going to fix it.”. Me, and Brian both know how that goes. Finally, I get to the bathroom, and it looks like i beat him there today. Every morning, I always want to be the first to shower. And I usually am. But after the argument we had the night before, and all the things he said, it’ll just be one more way to get back at him. I decide to just throw my sheets and all in a gigantic pile beside the bathroom door and then take my towel into our bathroom with me. I shut the door behind me, and lock it, and quickly turn the shower head onto as hot as the water will get. Steam immediately clouds the bathroom, fogs the mirror, and makes a soft haze of vapor as my shower begins. Usually I think the reason that I take such long showers is that I think about everything when I take them.

    Thoughts of any topic cloud my mind, like the mist that clouds the bathroom. Things that happened in the past, things that are happening now, and even things I would like to happen in the future maybe one day. Suddenly the fight I had with Bryan last night flashes all over again in my head. Now I might even take a longer shower, it would be a shame if Bryan actually had even a drop of hot water this brisk October morning. The words he said to me still pierce my ears like a cymbal, so I’ll just choose to listen to the water fall against the stone tile floors instead. I reach out and pull the shower curtain back as little as possible and get my favorite soap that is in a bottle on the floor, that I only use when I feel like it. The sickening smell of vanilla breaks the air, when I open the bottle. The contagious smell covers the entire bathroom, and including myself. I have no idea why I’m drawn to the smell of vanilla but it has always been that way for as long as I can remember. Dad always laughs at me about it but I guess it’s just something I like. I continue with my morning shower and don’t have any plans of quickening my pace too soon at all.

    Suddenly, Brian’s voice breaks the silence of the bathroom from outside the door shouting,”What are you possibly doing in there? Get out! I just want you to know that I’m the one that is driving both of us to school today.”. For some reason or another Bryan loves to leave last minute and get through the classroom’s door exactly when the late bell rings. I stop my shower immediately, and jerk the shower curtain back, and dry off as quickly as I can. I sling the door open and brush past Bryan and slam the door behind me once I’m in my bedroom. I suppose Bryan takes the hint I don’t feel like talking this morning. My hair is still dripping wet when I see my alarm clock reads,”6:44 A.M.”. I don’t care, because I have plenty of time to get dressed. But I’m not going to waste time today, I’m going to put my clothes on now. I run down the flight of stairs to notice Dad’s already sitting at table reading the New York Times and eating a bagel, just like every other morning. “Good morning.” he says to me. “Good morning.” I say back almost rhetorically. “Where is Brian?”. “I think he’s still taking a shower.”. Dad s

    • ANSWER:
      It’s off to a good start, Jacob. The only criticism I have is that I think you should go
      over it, and decide just where it would be best to make the 1st paragraph a bit shorter.
      In order to do that, what you need to remember is this: anywhere where there is a
      sentence that changes the subject a paragraph began with, then that is where a new
      paragraph should begin.

      Also, I saw a several places where the name “Brian” was spelled “Bryan.” I figured you
      referring to the same person; but make sure of which way you’d rather spell it. (“Brian”
      would probably be the better choice of the two–because “Bryan” is a common way for
      Europeans to spell the name; but, if your story’s setting is New York, well…)

      Other than that, I think you have got something worth working on. Just be sure to have
      as much patience as possible–and don’t try to force it. Just set your mind to it, with
      both mental & written notes, on a more or less daily basis–and you’ll be fairly likely to
      finish what you’ve begun.

      I wish you the very best of luck.

  8. QUESTION:
    Kitchen remodel-help?
    So, I’m hoping to remodel our kitchen and we’re just now creating our budget based on bids and costs of materials/appliances.

    Luckily, the kitchen’s layout, plumbing, electrical and cabinetry are all in great shape. But the appliances are old, the floor, countertops, backsplash etc. have seen better days. So before we commit to these materials/appliances I just wanted some feedback about some of the big decisions.

    Appliances: We went to a Wolf/Sub-zero showroom for these as the appliances were our main reason for an upgrade. We have a big family and almost always eat at home but they are pricey. Has anyone found them to be worthwhile?

    Countertops: I want to go with quartz because they might be the best of both worlds since they are aesthetically pleasing but also stain, heat and scratch resistant with no need of sealing. Is all that true or would you recommend something else?

    Flooring: We currently have some strange laminate I detest and I wanted hardwood to match the rest of the house. BUT I think ceramic tile might be the best option since the kitchen is such a high traffic area. What do you recommend?

    Backsplash: Lots of disagreements on this one. My Dad suggested the economical and timeless ceramic subway tiles which would really stand the test of time. My husband wants some faux-stone material -_- but I would really like a recycled glass tile mosaic. Why recycled?–it makes me feel better about how awful I’m being for choosing the most expensive option :P Has anyone used glass tile and is it easier to maintain? Should I go for the cheaper materials?

    Thanks for your time!

    • ANSWER:
      Appliances.. Get the best you can afford. Since its heavy use it ll pay for itself in the long run. We up graded to a 3′ Samsung w/ dbl doors. I insisted on water/ice dispenser. My partner baulked at 1st on now is so happy we did. Saves on opening the door all the time and we actually drink more water now.
      Quartz and granite are 2 excellent choices. Sounds like the quartz fits your needs . Go with that.
      Back splash you can combine things to help please every one. There are plenty of nice economical tiles out there you can combine with recycled glass as a stripe or glass inserts into the tile.
      Glass or recycled glass will get expensive fast doing a whole back splash.
      We went with 4×4 tumbled stone. I removed 10/11 pc in a staggered pattern and inserted 4 pcs of 2×2 colored glass.
      A whole back splash of colored glass will be bold and strong so consider that.
      I have several picts of jobs I ve done in the past if you want some ideas on back splashes.
      And for a busy well used kitchen floor ceramic is the best way to go, not wood.
      You can even get some ceramics for a floor and the come with a smaller ( 4×4 or 6×6) tile to use on a back splash.
      Any questions you can e mail me through my avatar. GL

  9. QUESTION:
    Kitchen remodel-help?
    So, I’m hoping to remodel our kitchen and we’re just now creating our budget based on bids and costs of materials/appliances.

    Luckily, the kitchen’s layout, plumbing, electrical and cabinetry are all in great shape. But the appliances are old, the floor, countertops, backsplash etc. have seen better days. So before we commit to these materials/appliances I just wanted some feedback about some of the big decisions.

    Appliances: We went to a Wolf/Sub-zero showroom for these as the appliances were our main reason for an upgrade. We have a big family and almost always eat at home but they are pricey. Has anyone found them to be worthwhile?

    Countertops: I want to go with quartz because they might be the best of both worlds since they are aesthetically pleasing but also stain, heat and scratch resistant with no need of sealing. Is all that true or would you recommend something else?

    Flooring: We currently have some strange laminate I detest and I wanted hardwood to match the rest of the house. BUT I think ceramic tile might be the best option since the kitchen is such a high traffic area. What do you recommend?

    Backsplash: Lots of disagreements on this one. My Dad suggested the economical and timeless ceramic subway tiles which would really stand the test of time. My husband wants some faux-stone material -_- but I would really like a recycled glass mosaic. Why recycled?–it makes me feel better about how awful I’m being for choosing the most expensive option :P Has anyone used glass and is it easier to maintain? Should I go for the cheaper materials?

    Thanks for your time!

    • ANSWER:
      Sub Zero and Wolf kitchen appliance may be costly but they are the gold standard for both home and commercial kitchens alike. A high quality refrigerator or freezer is a good investment for any family because it will stand the test of time as well as be durable for use by a multiple family members. Be sure to check out the Dream Kitchen Event at www.drimmers.com where ,500 can turn your dream kitchen into a reality. Hope this helps!


reasons of choosing hardwood flooring