Ask a Builder

Ask a Builder is a column that Touchstone writes for Family Life magazine. A monthly local publication for the Santa Barbara area.

If you have a question, please contact us for more information.

  1. I have received several calls from people regarding the TEA fire. As a result I felt a need to try and answer some questions I have fielded recently.
  2. With the cold weather approaching, we are looking into putting a fireplace in our family room. We don't have one there right now. How easy would it be to install? What are the advantages of gas vs. wood? I also have heard about electric. Are they a realistic option?
  3. We’ve been researching remodeling our kitchen for a long time. My husband wants to act as the general contractor to save money. What are the advantages of being you own general contractor?
  4. I have a cement sidewalk/walkway and I don't care for the way it looks. Should I replace it or do you have any ideas?
  5. I have a cement sidewalk. It really looks plain. Is there any way to make it look better or should I just replace it?
  6. I have French doors out on to my back patio that faces right into the sun. I want to keep the sun out as well the bugs so I keep the door closed with the shade pulled. Isn't there a better way? I have this beautiful view and I'm not taking advantage of it.
  7. I'm getting ready to paint my house. In the past I would buy any old paint. But now with my children, I am concerned about the odor and what paint does to the environment. What's available these days that is friendlier to the earth?
  8. My hot water heater is going out and I was looking into a tankless hot water heater, are they reliable?
  9. I am looking at building a deck this summer and wanted to know a little bit more about the materials available. What are the options regarding recycled materials?
  10. I have a lamp I want to put in my living room but I don't want to run an electrical wire over to where I want the switch on the wall. Are there any simple options?
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