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Hi Robert,

This is an unusual question, but something I’ve been thinking about. I’m trying to save on my utility bills – especially gas. I want to start hanging my clothes outside to dry. I remember this is how it was done when I was young and my clothes always smelled better. Is there a building code or anything that would prevent me from doing this? Anything special to know about the poles? Thanks,

Ivan R.

Hi Ivan,

Well, something like this would not fall under the building code, but it might conflict with a City Ordinance. You’d have to contact the City to know for sure because that’s a little out of my reach. I don’t see why there would be a problem, but you never know. Check before you go to the time and expense of setting a pole and the clothesline.

The manufacturer of the clothesline poles will tell you what you need to do for a safe installation. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures. They’re the ones that know the best way to install and use their products.

Hi Robert,

I have a window that I want to enlarge. I want to make it wider and lower to the floor to take advantage of a view. At what point does a window need to become tempered as opposed to a regular plain glass window? I want to stay in compliance in case I ever sell. Thank you,

Ernest P.

Hi Ernest,

If the window is installed within 18” from the floor, it has to be tempered. Anything above 18” can be standard glass. This is due to the accessibility of the glass by children and animals.

Tempered glass, also toughened or safety glass, is made with very high heat and then cooled quickly, making it four to five times stronger than standard glass. One of the advantages is when it breaks, it shatters into very small pieces instead of long, jagged and dangerous ones.

Hi Robert,

We have a rental home in Canyon Country. We have a very big heater and air conditioning unit up on a flat roof. It seems that every two or three years we end up with roof leaks and I’m starting to think it may be from all the weight we have up there. The air conditioning is reaching the end of its life expectancy, according to our AC man. What do we do? Is there an alternative? Thank you,

Scott W.

Hi Scott,

One alternative would be to go with a split system. You could put the furnace in an attic space or in a closet and the condenser/compressor for your air conditioner on the side of the house.

This way, you would take all of that weight off of your roof, and you don’t have all of the unsightly material and ducting exposed to the street. It also makes the units much more serviceable.

There will be an upfront cost for redirecting everything we’re talking about, but if you’re going to stay in that house, I strongly urge you to go with a split system. You’ll save a lot of wear and tear on roofing, maintenance, as well as facilitating service on your unit. This way, you’ll also keep the workman off of your flat roof.

Submit questions to: robert@imsconstruction.com

Robert Lamoureux of IMS Construction, Valencia, CA, has 30 years experience as commercial General, Electrical and Plumbing contractor. The opinions expressed in “Your Home Improvements” are not to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after a thorough visual inspection has been made.

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