Watch Fix Construction videos below to learn more about the
processes and tips to make our projects successful.
Structural Wall Repair
In this video, we stumbled upon a bit of a surprise in the basement of the structure we were working on. When we took down the drywall and framing in the basement, we found that walls had not been properly waterproofed.
This resulted in the structural wall being in pretty bad shape. Looking at it up close you can see that the dirt from the outside is pushing it inwards such that the wall bulges and the seals between bricks are broken. These problems are only exacerbated when it rains, putting more pressure as well as moisture on the wall, seals, and into the basement itself. It’s obvious that the wall is in need of some reinforcement. And when we say need, we mean need; the fire marshall actually confirmed that the structural wall must be taken care of in order to meet regulations.
There were a few potential options we could choose from to fix the problem. The one we went with involved putting pressure-treated 2x6s along the wall in one-foot spacing to act as braces. They go right against the wall, essentially pushing up against it to prevent deformation and provide support to the structure.
Before installing the braces on the structural wall, we scraped off any loose cement from the damaged cinder blocks to create an even and clean surface. We then filled any holes in the wall with hydraulic cement and applied multiple coats of drylock waterproofing paint over the entirety of the wall. This paint prevents humidity and leaks penetrating the wall.
The braces were then constructed separately in a single structure. In this structure, the braces run parallel in one-foot spacing. At the top and bottom running perpendicular to the braces are anchors which provide additional support and stability. The structure is then mounted flush onto the wall with the anchors firmly affixed to the ceiling and floor.
This method is the most cost effective method for basement waterproofing, but still gets the job done. The wood braces remain visible after this process, but can be covered for aesthetic preferences if desired. Basements without waterproofing are more likely to have musty odors, allergens, and leaks. These are unpleasant and increasingly costly over time as they lead to more and more severe damages and even health problems.
It’s important to know that basement waterproofing such as this is not only necessary for safety and health, but also immediately increases the value of the building before the sale. Buyers know that water weakens the structure of a building and causes damage to the foundations. Proper waterproofing will prevent this damage before it has a chance to set it. Even if you don’t plan on selling, it will still save you potentially thousands of dollars in repairs in the future.
Getting quality waterproofing is well worth the time and money to fix as it is an investment in every way. And calling in professionals like Fix Construction take hassle of getting it done out of your hands.
In addition to changing up the overall layout by replacing ordinary carpeted steps with a much more interesting wooded variety, we further enhanced the statement piece by incorporating some stairway lighting onto each step. The lights serve a safety function—making the entire stairwell much more user-friendly at night, but they are also an interesting and unique component of the renovation not often seen in other homes.
Watch this short video!
A complete house renovation from start to finish.
Scope of work included but was not limited to full house demolition, underpinning the basement to create additional bedroom, upgrading all mechanicals (electrical, plumbing, HVAC), rearranging steps and the entire floor plan, blowing out the roof and adding 3rd level with master bedroom/walk-in closet/full bathroom, a rooftop deck and much more.
Fix Construction Yard Signs
As with many construction companies, you’ll find that Fix Construction often posts signs on the property during home construction projects. The signs are attractive designs that draw the eye without being overwhelming on your lawn, and we only post them with the generous permission of the homeowners. We’d like to give you more details on why we ask to post these signs and how they benefit both parties.
These signs are typically only posted during projects that take over a week or more, and they serve a few purposes. They first inform neighboring residents about what’s going on next door. They are able to see that any potential out-of-the-ordinary noise or activity has a purpose. The contact information on the sign also allows them to call us directly if they have any concerns about the activity, rather than calling you, the homeowner. We can then communicate with them and resolve any problems directly, so you don’t need to worry.
The signs also help us maintain and improve the quality of our business. We are proud of the work we do and hope to share it with a wide range of homeowners such as yourself. The signs help spread the word of the quality work we perform, thus helping us grow and further improve into the future. When you have the confidence to show your satisfaction with our service by having our sign on your property, it gives others the confidence to make the same step you did towards improving their homes.
How To Install A Light Fixture
When refurbishing or repairing your home, it’s often important to call professionals to get the job done right. However, there are also a number of things you can do for yourself to save the expense of hiring pricey services. Replacing and installing light fixtures is one of those tasks that you can likely complete with just a few simple tools and spare minutes. You’ll see in this video how simple installing a light fixture really is with five clearly demonstrated steps.
Before attempting this installation yourself, you’ll first want to evaluate the situation at hand. Installing a large antique chandelier is probably something that requires some help, whereas a one- or two-bulb fixture is likely a one-person job. Be sure not to overestimate your own strength or skills, as it may end up being quite costly in the end.
Once decided on your foray into light fixture installation, gather the tools you’ll need during the process. After all, you don’t want to find out that your mounting brackets are missing right as you’ve connected all the wires in the fixture to the ceiling. The steps outlined in the video are then as follows:
Step 1: Unbox the fixture. Read any important documents included with it and unwrap the fixture to be sure no packaging material gets in the way of installation. Unpackage and lay out any included tools and pieces such as screws, brackets, washers, etc.
Step 2: Find the main wire of the fixture and slice it open at the end to expose the connecting wires. Twist the frayed ends of these wires to create a more compact bundled wire.
Step 3: Note: Be sure to turn off the power from the source that runs to the light fixture before starting this step. Each wire has a specific color which matches the respective wire in the ceiling with which it will connect. The wires will be black, white, and copper (or green). Connect the exposed ends of the wires in the fixture with their counterparts in the ceiling by twisting them together. Wire connectors should be used to properly connect the wires. Sometimes the green/copper wire will connect to a green grounding screw rather than a dedicated copper wire.
Step 4: Mount the fixture to the desired surface. Avoid agitating the fixture too much when it is against the surface of the ceiling, as it may scratch and damage the material.
Step 5: Once the fixture is snuggly in place, insert a light bulb and turn on the power to give it a test run.
Some fixtures may require extra installation steps, so be aware of any individual needs for your fixtures and adjust accordingly. You may need to start well before the steps listed above by first removing an old fixture. This is essentially just steps 4 and 3 in reverse. Your new fixture may also come with a new bracket to replace the existing mounting hardware. If this is the case, instructions should be included with the fixture. Every light fixture and installation is a little different, so be patient in exploring the process and you’ll have it figured out in no time.
How To Mount A TV
TV stands are becoming a thing of the past in this day and age. After all, why have bulky furniture when your TV can be mounted on the wall where it takes up less space, maneuvers for optimal viewing angles, and gives your home a sleek modern feel? This video goes over the steps for mounting your TV quickly and safely.
Before starting, unpackage the mount (and TV if bought together). Remove all plastic wrapping and packaging to ensure it does not interfere in the mounting process. Read any instructions that came with the items, and set up any additional tools that you plan on using. These probably include a screwdriver, ruler, hand level, pencil, and stud finder. If you’re unfamiliar with stud finders, they are the optimal tool for determining where to mount the TV on your wall. They use electronic sensors to detect changes in certain properties of the wall to figure out where the stud is within it. There are also sensors which use magnetic methods to pinpoint the location of screws, nails, and hardware that attach to the stud. These tools range in price from about $15 to $80 based on various characteristics, so do some research to find which one is right for you.
Step one: Determine where you’d like the TV to hang. You’ll want to consider the various areas you may want to watch the TV from, and test standing in those areas to be sure you’ll be able to view the TV. If your mount has an extendable arm that allows the TV to move and rotate then your options will widen significantly.
Step two: Once you know the area you want the TV to go, you’ll need to find a stud in the wall that will provide adequate support. In a pinch you can do this by knocking on the wall and listening for a change in sound. However, it’s safer for you, your TV, and the wall if you use a stud finder tool.
Once you have found the stud on which the TV will be centered, determine the height that it will be mounted. Aim for a 30 degree angle from the main area where people will be sitting to watch it, as most people casually sit between 10 and 15 degrees reclined. Mark this central location and install the TV mount on the location. Before fully tightening the mount, check with a hand level to ensure it is properly leveled. Now you may tighten the mount to make it fully secure.
Step three: Next, install the brackets supplied with the TV/mount on the back of the TV, making sure they are tight and secure.
Step four: Gently hang the TV onto the wall mount and tighten and fasteners that came with the set.
And that’s all there is to it. Once the TV is in place, test its stability and/or flexibility on the mount. Then all that’s left is to sit back and enjoy the show!
How To Waterproof A Basement
Basements provide the perfect growing grounds for dangerous molds and mildews in your home. Even if you haven’t noticed anything, there may very well already be molds growing and proliferating by releasing microscopic spores into the air. These spores not only get on surfaces in the home through ventilation systems but also get into our lungs and can cause respiratory problems, especially in more vulnerable children. Removing these risks entails eliminating the humidity in the basement via waterproofing.
It is, of course, optimal to do this during the original installation of the basement. But sometimes hindsight is 20/20, and other times we weren’t even around for the installation of the basement. So, we adapt, and this video shows how to waterproof an already constructed basement.
Before getting started, be aware that this kind of project is very labor-intensive and you really need to know what you’re doing. It is best to hire skilled professionals who fully understand the installation process. This will protect your investment in the basement waterproofing for years to come. With that in mind, let’s get started.
First, the concrete floor needs to be broken down all the way down to the footer around the entire perimeter of the room. This can be done using a jackhammer, and we recommend going out at least 12-18 inches from the wall. When breaking the floor, make sure to tunnel under permanent objects. Waterproofing systems will simply fail if they are not inner-connected throughout. Remove all the rubble and trash before moving on to the next step.
Next, dig sump pump pits, being sure to dig out and clean extra dirt and rubble. Sump pumps remove water that has accumulated in water-collecting basins. A general rule of thumb is that there should be one sump pump pit for every 100 linear feet. After digging the pits, lay down filter cloth along the dug-out area. Drain pipes are then installed on top of the filter cloths and fished through the previously mentioned tunnels to connect to one another. Follow this by filling the perimeter partway with gravel. The gravel layer should be a minimum of 4 inches deep.
You may optionally choose to install a vapor barrier to provide additional waterproofing and preventing water from seeping in through the walls. Either way, then install miradrain and complete the gravel fill. Then install the crock inside the pit and run piping to the sump pump pit. A hole will need to be cut for the discharge line to reach the outside, at which point the sump pump can be installed.
Attach the sump pump to the discharge linen and interior piping, making sure the sump pump has its own dedicated outlet. We recommend installing a battery backup system to prevent pump failure in the case of electricity outages.
Test the sump pump by filling the crock with water and making sure it’s plugged in. After ensuring it’s working, close the crock lid and fill the perimeter with concrete to match the existing floor level. Your basement is now entirely waterproofed and you can take comfort in knowing that it won’t be a source of dangerous mold.