Ask The Expert

Hi Robert,

I live in a condo where we had a leak into my garage. The plumbers came out and fixed the leak. Subsequent to that, they sent a drywall guy out. I noticed when they had the ceiling open, it had two sheets of drywall that looked like it was over 1 inch thick. It may be too late for me to bring this up now because the repair has already been made, but the guy that did the repair only put once piece of drywall in its place. I asked him about this and he said one sheet of drywall would be fine. Standing in the garage it looks good, but it’s not the same as it was. I wanted to check with you if this is okay because why would the original builders go through the expense of a second piece of drywall if it wasn’t important? Thank you very much,

David C.

Hi David,

No, it’s not OK. The double drywall as originally installed is a fire barrier between the garage and the upstairs to your home in case a car were ever to catch on fire. With only one sheet, you don’t have that fire protection.

Your ceiling has to be re-opened and done right. The tape lines cannot be stacked one on top of the other and both sheets must be taped independently of each other.

You also need to make sure that the insulation is replaced.

What the drywall guy did is totally wrong and unprofessional and needs to be repaired properly.

Mr. Robert Lamoureux,

I wanted to offer you a heart-felt thank you! I read your article on pavers last week. Coincidentally, we had just received a proposal from a contractor that I was looking over and probably would have signed had I not first found your column.

The company that was going to do the work had previously told me that, with the exception of sweeping the pavers off and keeping them clean, there would never be any need for maintenance.

So now you’ve completely talked me out of having pavers installed in our community. I’d like to ask what would you do in this case? What other options are there? We are trying all we can to cut costs, so we are looking for a no maintenance, decorative and long lasting solution. Thank you,

Russell P.

Hi Russell,

If you’re looking for low or no maintenance with durability, go with a stampcrete. It’s concrete but there are some phenomenal things being done with it these days. They can mix up colors and stains to look like marble, granite or whatever you want. Then it’s stamped with different patterns that looks exactly like stone, tile, pavers – even wood.

If you want a low maintenance, decorative look then stampcrete is probably your best bet.

You can go less expensive with plain concrete, which can still be decorative if you bring in brick or stone ribbons. It’s all depends on what your budget will allow.

The only type of ribbon I would stay away from would be any type of sunwood. Some folks use this as expansion joints but it just rots or sinks and after a while you have nothing but problems with any type of wood ribbon.

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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