Four Important Smoke Alarm Safety Tips

- . I’m assuming everyone already knows to test their smoke alarms and replace the batteries regularly, so I’m not including those in this list ..More

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The Problem with Attaching a Deck to a Cantilevered Floor

- .  I made a big stink about this.  The two photos below show an example of a deck that was headered off at the patio door, but all of the weight was concentrated to a tiny little piece of wood that you could hardly call a ledgerboard, and was simply nailed to the house. If this is done, just be sure that the ledgerboard is large enough to support the added weight ..More

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How to Inspect Your Own House, Part 2: Exterior Water Management

- .  The downspouts should extend well away from the house, and the water should flow away from the house at the downspout terminals.  Get that water draining away from the house.  If downspouts end short of walkways or landscape edging, they’re basically draining into a moat around the house, and possibly doing more harm than good when it comes to preventing basement water intrusion. If gutters are already installed, pay attention to where water from the downspouts is directed ..More

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Sprinkler Systems to be Required in All New MN Homes, Existing Homes by 2016

- .  Beginning in 2015, all existing homes that are sold as part of a real estate transaction will be required to have a sprinkler system installed.  Details of exactly when the system will need to be installed are unclear at this point, but I suspect it will be similar to existing requirements for Truth-in-Sale of Housing Evaluations. According to Minnesota’s Chief Building Official Ronald McSevergny, there will be a phase-in requirement for sprinkler systems to be added to existing homes ..More

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Seek Thermal Infrared Camera: A $199 IR Camera for Androids and iPhones

- .  There are no batteries to charge, no special cables to use, nothing like that.  All that’s needed to get started is to install the Seek Thermal app from the Google Play store. The Seek Thermal camera is very small, and plugs into the USB port at the bottom of the phone ..More

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