This Blog is dedicated to the notion that fixing things on our homes as well as understanding how they work is a fun, life-long learning process.

Fixing things and remodeling are my passions, If you are interested in remodeling your home, or just happen to stumble upon my site, please spend some time in my world. You’ll be pleased that you did.

The original content contained here is proof that when you are passionate about something it is easy to find stuff to talk about.

Behind the scenes at Levco Care

We are working on setting up our systems for our clients. We have a great idea and a great place to start, I just need to free up the staff to make it happen.

Inspirational Quotes

Surround yourself with people you love and have fun. The rest is gravy. Paul Tillotson (1965 -2016)

I love the smell of sawdust in the morning. Me, renaissance man (8-28-58 Still going strong!)

“Quality construction does not cost- it pays” (as seen on a bumper sticker)

Time to Replace Your Roof?

By | Insurance Work, Roofing, Understanding your home | No Comments

Rules regarding roof replacement changed recently in Boise Idaho. We used to be allowed 3 roofs now it is 2. In other words adding a second layer of roofing is OK but it it fails then you need to strip the entire roof and start over. Levco recommends replacing the roof before it starts to leak, however, since there is no prorating the old roof there is no incentive to do it early. We are commonly asked to evaluate a roofs condition and we often provide patching services a few times before replacement is recommended. Living in a usually dry…

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Hot Water Circulation Pumps

By | Bathrooms, Green Remodeling, Plumbing, Understanding your home | No Comments

The concept of water conservation is not a new one, and industry has sprouted recently that addresses this in many ways. One is with hot water recirculation pumps to conserve water that is usually wasted while waiting for the hot to arrive say to your shower. Industry insiders tout 11 thousand to 15 thousand gallons savings per year in a typical home. For a perspective shot, I used 3,700 gallons per month in January, February, July, & August of 2010 (4 people 3 BR 2.5 BA). Here is an informative article about where our water comes from, along with some…

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Building Code Updates

By | Electrical, Framing, HVAC, Plans, Plumbing, Process, Safe Practices, The Law, Understanding your home | One Comment

As of January 1st 2011 Boise City along with all of the other jurisdictions that adopt building codes, followed the states lead and adopted parts of the 2009 IRC international Residential Building Code. The last code was the 2006 IRC which was implemented in the same year. Plumbers use their own code 2003 UPC and electricians use their own code 2008 UEC, there are fire codes, mechanical codes, and energy codes to navigate as well. Thankfully the inspectors in this city are fantastic. As long as it is clear that they are not the enemy, they do a great job…

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Skylights & Solar Tubes

By | Skylights & Solar Tubes, Understanding your home, Windows | No Comments

During the process of remodeling we often encounter an opportunity to install skylights and solar tubes. The obvious advantage is to allow natural light into the home. A less obvious benefit is energy free interior lighting. In the not so distant past all roof penetrations had a reputation of leaking. The common wisdom was that a dark room is better than a leaky roof. The good news is that technology has progressed with time  so leaks are a thing of the past, In fact one of the products we use boasts about leak proof skylights. Skylight: A generic term for…

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Indoor Air Cooling Season

By | HVAC, Understanding your home | No Comments

Here are a few things that will help make sense of your home’s cooling system. At Levco, when remodeling, we always evaluate the HVAC systems. We usually find something that could be done better or tuned up. Let’s face it HVAC is a system at the house that usually requires little maintenance and either works or it doesn’t. Whether you have an evaporative cooling device (Swamp Cooler), heat pump, ceiling fans, or air conditioning units all of these principals apply. Circulating air feels cooler to us. Just like when our own bodies sweat and water evaporates, we feel cooler. Heat…

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Diagnosing Concrete Problems

By | Concrete, Understanding your home | No Comments

Levco has been  asked to diagnose concrete problems with regularity. Whether it is foundations, slabs, or other, concrete,we are seeing the same issues  consistently.  I have researched the issues and  gathered the information needed to understand the more common ones. We also have extremely knowledgeable resources to assist on the less common issues. First of all there is a clear difference clear between cement and concrete. Cement is the material that is considered the binder that causes concrete to form “Concrete is the hardened version of Cement.” Portland cement also known as a hydraulic cement, is made from mined materials…

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Repairing a Chimney

By | Masonry, Roofing, Understanding your home | 2 Comments

I had noticed that my chimney was in disrepair several years ago and had meant to repair it some perfect weekend. It all came to fruition Saturday, The weather was cooperating and my son and I  had time to point the existing bricks. Plus my wife was out of town. As luck would have it , she returned just as the boys started the repair project. I suppose she is getting used to our daredevil antics and didn’t have me explain why I was risking our son’s life. I was shocked when I touched the 4 bricks on the Southwest…

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Shower Tile Problems

By | Masonry, Understanding your home | No Comments

We are starting to see a serious problem as a result of the building boom of the late 80’s and 90’s. Turns out there is no building code restricting the use of water resistant drywall as tile backer for tile. Even today some remodelers and handyman services are sneaking it in to save a few bucks. Best practices dictate using a cementatious or otherwise waterproof product that won’t expand or disintegrate with water contact. What happens is that tile is set on the “Green Board” Sheetrock because it is water resistant. Over time, the grout fails from poor sealing, failed…

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Filters and Your Home

By | Green Remodeling, HVAC, Understanding your home | No Comments

Indoor air quality is one of the four pillars of our green philosophy. Besides working with products that don’t off gas things like formaldehyde, filters are high on the list of things we have control over that keeps our indoor air quality in good shape. Residential air filters are graded on a MERV Scale (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) to determine how much the filter media will let pass through. Filters that pull dust and particles from the air are measured in .3 microns to 10 microns. For perspective a human hair is 100 microns. The MERV scale goes from 1-16…

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Egress Windows

By | Egress Windows, Understanding your home, Windows | 2 Comments

As a remodeler in Boise, I am often asked to discuss the possibility of adding Egress windows to existing basements. I realized that the term is foreign to many folks. What is an egress window? Egress Windows are  those that meet or exceed a rigid set of dimensions and details that allow save exit in case of emergency. In an area where most contractors will reluctantly take a stab at putting one in for you, Levco boast and brags about installing them. The primary issue is safety, secondary benefits include increased property value by adding natural light, and adding another…

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