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Home Repair Questions
Answered by Beth Hodge

Q. How do I clean the new vinyl siding on my house?

A: I clean mine every other year. I use a mild detergent and the powerwasher. Just be sure not to get too close or use a stream of water. Use the fan setting or you can mark the vinyl.

Q. My house was built in the early 30's. The paint is not peeling - it seems to be in great shape AND original. Is that possible? Anyway, do I need to be concerned with lead if there is no peeling? Thanks

A: Well, paint that old has a good chance of being lead based.

You may want to check out the EAP lead web site. There is a multitude of information and safety tips, ways to check and actions you may or may not want to take.

Also learn how to keep kids safe from lead paint.

Q. Do I have to have an architect if I want to add an addition to my house? I am trying to cut costs and do as much as I can myself. Thank you.

A: I would start by contacting some local contractors for estimates. This is often a real eye opener to see the difficulty of the job.

You could try you city's building department. Let them know what you have in mind and they can probably give you a list of contractors that have done similar jobs in your area.

I put an addition on my house last year. I got estimates and just had the contractor build the 'shell' of the addition and finish the outside. Then we completed all the inside work ourselves (plumbing, heating, gas, electric, drywall, paint, flooring, kit cabinets, and all the bath fixtures.

Doing the work ourselves saved us about $40,000, I am sure we paid for it with elbow grease, but it was well worth it. Good luck!

Have a question or tip about home repairs? Let us know at Repair@ClevelandSeniors.Com

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Beth Hodge

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