Design-Build Advisor

Articles by John Fraine

  • 5 Key Things to Know About Waterproofing

    I have a project with complicated waterproofing issues. How can I make sure they’re being done correctly? There are 5 very important things to understand about waterproofing details: The city inspector does not inspect for them. They have plumbing inspections for health, electrical inspections for safety, insulation inspections for energy requirements, framing and concrete inspections […]

  • Should I Build a Fireplace in My New Home?

    Now that burning fires in a fireplace is frowned upon in California, do you recommend foregoing building a fireplace in a new home? If so, why? Also, any ideas of how to transform old fireplaces into something aesthetic? Does anyone not enjoy sitting in front of a fire? The experience seems deeply embedded in our […]

  • What are the advantages of “Design-Build” General Contracting?

    I keep seeing the phrase “Design-Build”. What are the advantages of this kind of service? The design-build philosophy is so influential that virtually all commercial and public works projects are now done this way. This business model is now making its way into residential projects, especially by contractors skilled at information management. The advantages are […]

  • Which Home Improvements Actually Add Value When Selling a Home?

    Before putting our house on the market, we are considering home improvements like new wainscoting, fireplace mantels, and fixing cracks in our flagstone pathways. But this is all adding up! Is it really worth it to make structural improvements? We’re asked this question about home improvements quite a bit. Let’s put it in context and […]

  • How to Budget a Kitchen Remodel by Assessing Your Options

    “I had a kitchen remodel design done, then the pricing, and now I’d like to cut costs for the project I’m considering. What’s the best way to do that?” First, ask your General Contractor to break down your kitchen remodel costs into the individual components. A typical Kitchen extension/addition may not only be broken down […]

  • Do I Need a Permit for My Deck Remodel?

    I have a deck attached to my house in Ross, California which is not in good condition and needs to be fixed or replaced. Would I need a building permit to rebuild it larger than it is now? What if I just replace it as is? What about installing a concrete pad for a Jacuzzi? […]

  • The 3 Types of Drainage Systems to Prevent Water Damage to your Home

    “What’s the most important thing to consider to prevent water damage to my home?” Without a doubt: Keep Things Dry. Last post I discussed water intrusion into the “envelope” of your home and how to look for it. This time we’ll get into the 3 types of drainage systems for various “water loads” on a […]

  • 4 Signs of Water Damage and How to Check for Them

    “What’s the most important thing I need to consider to protect my investment against water damage?” Without a doubt, Keep Things Dry. Your home is constructed from wood that is not treated for resistance to dry rot – a fungus that grows on wood in the presence of moisture. There are 4 major sources of […]