Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cracked Drain Pipe Causes Bathroom Moisture Damage

We discovered a crack ABS drain pipe leaking from an upstairs apartment. It was a stress crack that leaked when the water to the sink flowed from upstairs.

The leak caused water damage to the drywall in the ceiling and walls in the bathroom. Some framing members were also damaged due to the leaking drain pipe.

After the drain was repaired, the framing boards were replaced and the pipes straped tight. We then patched the drywall, taped the joints, and floated smooth. Water resistant drywall was used in the areas of repair.

After drying, a texture was applied to the walls and ceiling. The new texture matched the existing and when complete, no one will know the leak ever happened.

After the texture dries, the surfaces will be primed and painted with two coats of paint.

The cabinet was badly damaged also. We rebuilt it using new particle board.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Water Damage and Dry Rot

The restoration and rebuilding from water damage and dry rot can be a large project that an experienced contractor can help make things easier than you first thought.

If you are a home owner, you probably have experienced water damage. The drain leaks, you catch it early and clean it up. Sometimes the damage and rot from water is not as obvious or the water damage is hidden until it is more severe. Water damage and dry rot can come from many sources, we will focus on a plumbing leak. Water related damage from a water heater. The water heater has been leaking and caused dry rot under the home. The home owner was not aware of the extent of the rot damage.

The owner of the home had a water heater that was leaking within the appliance. The water ran down the inside, and into the pan below. The metal pan had small holes due to electrolysis. The small holes allowed the water to seep out and under the pan. The pan never filled with water because of the holes, so the owners never notice the start of the water damage to the floor and walls. Once it became apparent that the water was leaking water damage and dry rot was severe. Here are some picture of the damage caused by the leaking appliance.

The water heater was replaced to stop the leaking. An insurance claim was made after this discovery and an experienced contractor, Tromler Construction, was asked to make recommendations. The project will start soon after the insurance issues are done. Tromler Construction will post the water damage findings in a later post.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Laminate Counter Replacement - Kitchen

I recently installed new laminate counters in an apartment unit. After 20 years, the old plastic laminate counters get chipped, cracked, scrapped, and burnt. Here is a quick look at the before and after. The colors were order the same, to match the existing color. Counters take a few weeks to receive. Here are some examples of the work done.

Kitchen Drain Pipe Repair

While working on a different job at an apartment complex, management called me to look at a problem they were having in one of the units. The downstairs resident could hear water dripping inside the wall. We checked the plumbing in both units, the upstairs unit had a problem.

The plastic drain pipe (ABS) had cracked just below the tee. Water was leaking down the wall when the upstairs unit ran the kitchen plumbing. I've included a video discribing how we fixed the problem. It may be helpful to you. The wall was dried out before closing the wall. No dry rot was found.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gutter Cleaning

It's getting to be that season again. Leaves are falling, weather is changing, and the rains will be here soon. It's time to start planning your gutter cleaning for this season. Gutters leaking? I found a site that describes "How to patch a gutter Leak". Let Tromler Construction know if we can help.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Rebuilding a Lightweight Concrete Deck

A lot of damage was found in the decking, rails, and structural framing. It took some time to get everything removed and rebuilt. I've included some pictures here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Unexpected Water Damage!

I got a call from an apartment manager regarding some loose concrete on a balcony to one of the units in the community. I checked it out. The concrete had some movement in it, probably some moisture damage to the sheathing below. I explained it to the manager and we agreed that the concrete and water damage needed to be replaced for safety reasons. Since the unit was vacant, now seemed like a good time to do the work. Here is what the decking looked like before the demolition started.

The very first blow of the sledge hammer revealed that the damge was pretty extensive. The sledge hammer went through the concrete, the sheathing,l past the joists, and through the siding below. Removal of the rest of the concrete decking exposed damaged joists and the 4x12 header. This was clearly a safety issue that needed the approval of management. Everyone agrreed that all the damaged wood needed to be replaced.
None of this could have been known until the decking was opened up.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Who gets the job?

I resently waited a full day for the warranty repair man to come fix my television that was under warranty. He didn't show up and had to reschedule for another day. As a contractor I thought about how I treat my customers. How do I rate in the eyes of my customers.

Do I show up when I said I would? Do I call if I'm running late or can't get there at all? Am I more concerned about catching up on ESPN scores in the morning than being where I said I would be. This can also run into other areas; courtesy, cleanliness, and knowledge of work, to name a few.

I do a lot of work in apartment communities throughout Sacramento, El Dorado, and Placer counties. I have met countless managers, assistants, and maintenance personnel. The staff at these communities do not want any additional frustation in their day. My television going out was a problem that I needed to deal with, the repair man left a bad impression about that company. So I think it is very important that a contractor reduce any unnecessary stress and frustration at all time.

What if I treated my customers the same way that I would like to be treated? What a concept! If the repair man comes into my house late smelling of liquer, dirty, and impolite. I'm not calling him again. In fact I would probably take steps to have him terminated. He hasn't met my reasonable demands, so I get frustrated. He becomes a part of the problem and NOT the solution. Well Tom, that's just the way it is in the trade. I don't think so.

There are plenty of qualified contractors out there who get to the job on time, dressed for the job in clean clothes, they say "hello" and "thank you", and maybe even smile while on the job. That is the contractor I want to be, because he is the one that gets the job.

I want to be the contractor who is genuinely concerned about the owners' project. Usually the project is a problem that needs to be fixed. If I'm qualified to do the work, I can make the customer want to work with me again. I can make their life a lot easier today.

If I were given a choice between working with someone who can fix my problem, or someone who only raises my blood pressure, I'm going to take the less stressful route. In fact, I would probably be willing to spend a little more to get that person. If the repair man burns up most of my day, creates more frustrating phone calls and scheduling, this is costing me more time and money. When the right person for the job is charging a little more, he may be saving me money in the long run.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kitchen Remodel in Greenstone Country

Before and after pictures of a Kitchen Remodel. Kitchen is nearly complete.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Laundry Room Improvement

Cleaned up the Laundry Room out in Roseville. Water had been leaking and damaging the walls, but the area was very outdated and worn. We fixed the plumbing issues, patched and textured the drywall to make it look new again. Good paint can do wonders! The lighting fixtures were replaced, new cabinet build, and new countertops to bring it all together. Check out the slate floor, you don't see this kind of flooring in too many apartment communities. Tenants and owners are very happy with the results.

What do you think?

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sauna Restoration in Apartment Community

The cedar in this sauna needed to be changed. Oils from the body, wear and tear from use, and vandalism pushed management to ask me to replace all the cedar planks in the unit. The apartment community is a high end tenancy, this was an eye sore.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Follow up pictures from Glaser Vision Optometry

The job turned out pretty well, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Choosing a Contractor

Choosing a Contractor + How to Get Bids for Building Out Your House Plan

For those of you worried about choosing a general contractor to build your new home from house plans, feel confident in knowing that most custom home contractors are reliable, honest individuals. The very few who are not, have created an image well beyond their real numbers. To help you find the right GC for your new home, here are some very simple rules and suggestions to follow:

* Never choose a contractor based solely on lowest price.

* Always obtain more than one estimate.

* Don't rely on possible legal remedies as your protection against someone you are apprehensive about to begin with. Simply don't hire that particular contractor.

* Research their background first before hiring them. If your state has a licensing board for contractors, call to find out if there are any outstanding complaints against that license holder.

* Call your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints on file.

* Don't be afraid to thoroughly interview the contractor candidates. Ask what kind of worker 's compensation insurance they carry and get their policy number and insurance company contact information so you can verify everything. If they are not covered, you could be liable for any work-related injury incurred during the project.

* Be sure that the contractor also has an umbrella general liability policy.

* Don't hire the contractor who only suggests changes that will reduce the price-and possibly the quality-or the contractor who does the opposite and only makes suggestions that will result in expensive changes.

* Choose a contractor based heavily on past performance. Ask for names of clients and follow-up with phone calls and drive-bys if possible. A good contractor will be happy to provide as many referrals as you want.

* Choose a contractor based on recommendations of local business owners he deals with such as bankers, material suppliers or local officials.

* Choose a contractor who appears knowledgeable and has a helpful attitude and will have your best interest at heart.

* Use common sense judgment.

* Finally, don't be rushed into making a decision, no matter how competitive the market may seem. And never pay a deposit to a contractor at the first meeting.

How to Get Bids on Your Project
If you have decided not to be your own contractor, you will have to find someone to build your home. Don't cut corners when you make the decision on your contractor. Thoroughly research and get bids from several contractors. It is worth the effort to find a builder that meets your budget requirements and makes you feel confident in them.

Here are some helpful tips for accepting bids from contractors:

* Always get more than one estimate.

* Never base your choice solely on lowest price.

* Don't hire a contractor you are already uncomfortable with. You can't always fall back on legal remedies if you have problems with them later.

* Research the contractors before hiring them. If your state has a licensing board for contractors, use them to learn of any prior issues or complaints.

* Check for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

* Be sure to thoroughly interview the contractor candidates. Ask about their worker 's compensation insurance and get their policy number and insurance company contact information so you can verify everything. If they aren't covered, you could be liable for any work-related injury incurred during the project.

* Make sure the contractor has an umbrella general liability policy.

* If the contractor only suggests changes that are lower cost or only higher prices, do not hire them. Choose one who suggests both. Your chosen contractor should consider quality factors along with price reduction.

* Base your choice on past work of the contractor. If they are good, they will gladly provide referrals. Get names of the referrals. Call and if possible, drive by.

* Local business owners can also give a good point of view of the contractor. Talk to people the contractor deals with such as bankers, material suppliers, or local officials.

* The contractor should be knowledgeable with a helpful attitude. They should consider things that are in your best interest.

* Last, but not least, use your common sense. Don't rush into a decision no matter how competitive the market may seem. Never pay a deposit on the first meeting with a contractor.

Becoming Your Own Contractor
Should you choose to become your own contractor it is best to have resources. The main three resources that we recommend are as follows:

* "The Complete Guide to Contracting Your Home"
* "How to Plan, Subcontract, and Build Your Dream House"
* "Be Your Own House Contractor"

The largest obstacle in contracting is having all of the products and supplies readily available when needed. You want to make sure the building process runs smoothly and in a timely manner. So even if you choose to hire a general contractor, it is very important to understand the processes in which you will be embarking. You want to make sure your vision of your home is exactly what the final product will be.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Glaser Vision Optometry

Tromler Construction was involved with the new Glaser Vision Optometry in El Dorado Hills. The owners completed much of the finish work themselves. The final photos will be coming soon.
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