The Inside Outside Guys: Find the Pro Before You Need Them

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, July 28, 2022 ~ You woke up this morning to the sound of running water and discovered a cascade coming through the walls and running over the floors. The realization dawns quickly that…

The Inside Outside Guys: Get Energy Efficiency Done Now

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein As Seen in The Detroit News Homestyle Section DETROIT, July 22, 2022 ~ Are you too hot or too cold in your own home? Given the choice, which do you prefer? Let’s be honest, when you are too cold…

The Inside Outside Guys: Understanding Lawn Care

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, July 14, 2022 ~ What creepy, slimy creature eats decomposing grass, helps aerate our lawns and is generally killed en masse by our use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides? If you responded with…

The Inside Outside Guys: Setting Expectations Between Owner and Contractor

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, July 7, 2022 ~ Decades ago, a friend who was an avid outdoorsman met the girl of his dreams. That Fall, he skipped deer camp for the first time in his life to…

The Inside Outside Guys: Learn How to Determine Cost to Value

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, June 23, 2022 ~ You just had that roof installed nine years ago and a bunch of shingles blew off in yesterday’s wind. You do the smart thing and email your installing contractor….

The Inside Outside Guys: A Modest Proposal: Self-Inspecting Contractors

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, June 30, 2022 ~ Years ago, we spoke with a contractor who had undertaken some work on a small commercial space for a client. The work included replacing a 100-foot strip of sidewalk…

The Inside Outside Guys: When is it time for a kitchen or bath remodel?

Photo by: Guido Mieth via Getty By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, June 17, 2022 Don’t think too hard on this one. What are typically the two most expensive rooms in your home? If you answered “kitchen” and “master…

The Inside Outside Guys: Which Window Should You Buy?

Photo: David DelPoio / The Providence Journal / USA TODAY By Ken Calverley and Chuck BreidensteinDETROIT, June 2, 2022 ~ They are all the same, right? Framed glass that may or may not open. You can stand on either side…

The Inside Outside Guys: Creating Healthy Basement Air

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, May 26, 2022 ~ They were not meant to be lived in. The modern evolution of what we call basements began as a convenient way to store and access canned goods, especially during…

The Inside Outside Guys: Insulated Siding Systems Continue to Evolve

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, May 19, 2022 ~ It was going to be the siding product of the future for housing. The commercial side of the construction industry had discovered it years before and embraced the design…

The Inside Outside Guys: Housing of the Future?

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, May 5, 2022 ~  What do the names Climatrone, Eden Project, Biosphere and Green dome have in common? They are names of facilities constructed to function as examples of “buildings of tomorrow.” In…

The Inside Outside Guys: Attic Fans: Are They Useful?

By Ken Calverley and Chuck BreidensteinDETROIT, May 12, 2022 ~ If you lived on the Gulf Coast in the early part of the last century, you were privy to the evolution of different versions of the Swamp Cooler, initially a…

The Inside Outside Guys: Standby Power a New Must-Have for Homeowners

Photo: LifestyleVisuals / Getty Images By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, April 28, 2022 ~ The American culture has seen the cycle repeat itself many times. Where the advent and affordability of new technology or systems led to the mantra, “Someday,…

The Inside Outside Guys: Strapping down the house

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, April 22, 2022 ~ We’ve all seen it at least once; that view of Dorothy’s house spinning in the air off its foundation as the home magically leaves Kansas and is deposited in the Land…

The Inside Outside Guys: Spring Walkabout

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, April 14, 2022 ~ Finally! It is not only spring on the calendar, but the weather is cooperating, and we are seeing the yellow daffodils brave early morning frosts to poke their heads out of…

The Inside Outside Guys: Common Questions About Deck Maintenance

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, April 7, 2022 ~ The Guys get a lot of questions this time of year regarding decks. Most either involve refinishing a wood deck, maintenance issues for older decks or decks people want to add a three-season room to….

The Inside Outside Guys: Increasing the Amount of Skilled Workers

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, March 31, 2022 ~ This question is just for the adults living in a home or apartment. In the past three years, have you had any difficulty finding skilled and trustworthy people to perform maintenance, repairs or…

The Inside Outside Guys: Buying Kitchen Cabinets

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, March 24, 2022 ~ Everyone in America uses them every day without thought. Kitchen cabinets are the midnight sentinel no one thinks about. They do their job without notice and are rarely acknowledged until they…

The Inside Outside Guys: Water — What’s in Your Tap?

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, March 17, 2022 ~ Fresh water. It seems to be everywhere. In fact, if you live in Michigan, you are never more than six miles from a lake or river and never more than 85 miles from one…

The Inside Outside Guys: Those, Cold, Cold Basement Floors

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, March 10, 2022 ~ Every Midwesterner knows the issue. You invest thousands of dollars in finishing that lower-level space only to realize your feet are cold whenever you spend time enjoying it. We really shouldn’t be surprised. That floor…

The Inside Outside Guys: How Long is my Warranty?

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, March 3, 2022 ~ You hear us say it all the time: The company you hire and the name on the product they install is second to the written warranty they provide. We are a couple of years…

The Inside Outside Guys: Three-Season Rooms You Can Enjoy

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, February 24, 2022 ~ The days are starting to get longer and cabin fever has reached its acme, but those cool breezes make it prohibitive to sit on the back deck or front porch to enjoy the…

The Inside Outside Guys: Taking Your DIY Questions

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, February 10, 2022 ~ Most of the systems in a home require the services of a professional at some point. But every homeowner experiences smaller issues that may just require a little know-how and resourcefulness, as evidenced…

The Inside Outside Guys: Seal Your Ceiling

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, February 3, 2022 ~ You’ve seen weather patterns before where warm, moist air, rises, cools and turns to ice only to eventually melt and rain back down. But I’ll bet you never witnessed it…

The Inside Outside Guys: The Lowdown on Dirty Electricity

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, January 27, 2022 ~ From our email bag, here are a few questions we find to be on the minds of many listeners. Q. I love listening to WJR in my kitchen, but whenever I turn on the overhead lights…

The Inside Outside Guys: Radon, The Invisible Killer

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, January 20, 2022 ~ It is colorless, odorless and tasteless. It is so “invisible,” in fact, that many claim it doesn’t even exist. But the facts are undeniable; at least 1 in 10 lung cancer deaths, totaling…

The Inside Outside Guys: International Builders Show Highlights Innovations

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, February 17, 2022 ~ If you were looking for a builder during the week of Feb. 8-10, they were very likely in Orlando, Florida, where nearly 120,000 industry professionals converged for Design and Construction Week which included the National Kitchen…

The Inside Outside Guys: Completing Your Basement, Part Two

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, January 13, 2022 ~ In our last article, we performed our preliminary basement room and wall layout. We then determined where mechanical work needed to be done and where egress needed to be provided. We also got…

The Inside Outside Guys: January Home Show Means it’s Time to Look Ahead to Spring

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, December 30, 2021 ~ How will you invest in your home this coming year? So many people don’t even want to think about it until we get into the spring and summer months, but if the past…

The Inside Outside Guys: A Message to Contractors: The Right Sidewall Insulation Keeps You Cozy

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, December 23, 2021 ~ You’ve heard it forever. Everybody knows it. Even radio “experts” will tell you. Heat goes up. So, every wise homeowner does the smart thing and jambs as much thermal insulation as they can…

The Inside Outside Guys: A Message to Contractors: Good Communication is Top Priority

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, December 16, 2021 ~ Every week The Guys create an article directed to our listeners. For a little change of pace, we have chosen to direct this column to the contractors in our beloved industry. These are trying times…

The Inside Outside Guys: Q&A About Ice Dams

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, December 9, 2021 ~ Tis the season for ice and all the related potential damage that it can cause. The Guys get a lot of questions regarding ice on the roof; something every homeowner has to deal with…

The Inside Outside Guys: Homeowner Associations

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, December 2, 2021 ~ When America began to settle into the suburban land around cities after WWII, a new series of issues began to arise that no country had previously dealt with. Our Levittown subdivisions consisted of individually owned parcels and buildings,…

The Inside Outside Guys: Protect Your Home When You’re Far Away

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, November 25, 2021 ~ OK.  I guess we can all finally admit summer is gone and it’s time to either shut down and abandon the lake house or even the main house and leave the state altogether…

The Inside Outside Guys: Universal Design Helps People Age at Home

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, November 18, 2021 ~ In an old “Seinfeld” episode, Jerry makes a comment to the effect that the reason for his parents being in Florida is simple – when seniors retire, they are required to move there. In a similar vein,…

The Inside Outside Guys: Air Quality Affects Home, Health, and Comfort

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, November 11, 2021 ~ Who would have thought that the greatest danger of breathing contaminated air might come from the air supply ducts in our own homes? According to the EPA, the potential concentrations of indoor pollutants are…

The Inside Outside Guys: Keep Design in Mind Even with Septic Systems

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, November 4, 2021 ~ As the country was settled over a few hundred years, we were primarily a rural and agrarian population. Houses located in the middle of a hundred acres of land had the same requirements…

The Inside Outside Guys: Answering Your Questions About Concrete

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, October 28, 2021 ~ The Guys receive several thousand emails each year from listeners with housing questions. Though we respond to each of them individually, they often follow seasonal themes that apply to many of us. Going into the…

The Inside Outside Guys: All About… Toilets

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, October 21, 2021 ~ What do the words dunny, loo, bog, and john have in common? They are used throughout the world to refer to the bathroom, which houses the throne. Forget iPhones, big-screen TVs, electric cars and…

Inside Outside Guys: Understanding Window Ratings

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, October 14, 2021 ~ How would you like to have the “windows” from 13th-century Rome in your home these last few rain-drenched months? They were simply a hole built into the roof to allow for natural…

The Inside Outside Guys: Fire Protection for Your Home and Family

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, October 7, 2021 ~ In the time it takes most people to read this article, approximately five house fires will start in the US. Between now and this time tomorrow, nearly two people will have perished in a…

The Inside Outside Guys: Full Service Contractors

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, September 23, 2021 ~ Fifty years ago, the process of getting a foundation built for a new home involved numerous sub-contractors. You paid a surveyor to locate the building on the property, then brought in an excavator…

The Inside Outside Guys: Too Much Regulation?

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, September 16, 2021 ~ A story was relayed to The Guys about a remodeler working in an “upper-end” jurisdiction. Part of the work involved replacing an existing concrete sidewalk that bordered the property…

The Inside Outside Guys: Whose Land is It?

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, September 9, 2021 ~ Years ago, The Inside Guy purchased an old farm property on some acreage. The property included a barn and other out buildings. A month after the purchase, the neighbor to the west strolled…

The Inside Outside Guys: Leak Detection – Where is That Water Coming From?

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, September 2, 2021 ~ Decades ago, the Inside Guy was called by a real estate broker to check on a home being prepped for a buyer. It seems there was a periodic leak that showed up as stains on…

The Inside Outside Guys: Basement Ventilation is the Key to Clearing the Air

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, August 26, 2021 ~ Ask anyone to describe basement air and you will hear terms like “dank,” “musty,” “moldy” and other adjectives that generally apply to moist, stagnant and unhealthy air. The air we described can cause sinus conditions,…

The Inside Outside Guys: Sump Pumps

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, August 19, 2021 ~ Moving water from one location to another has been a primary concern for mankind since the dawn of time. Devices were developed to furnish water to the king’s fountains, remove water from mines so…

The Inside Outside Guys: Sound Advice

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, August 12, 2021 ~Years ago, the Inside Guy received a call from a custom home builder seeking some advice. It seems a customer was having humidity related issues in a laundry room and master bathroom. The builder had done…

The Inside Outside Guys: The Original Green Industry

DETROIT, August 5, 2021 ~ What do disinfecting wipes, LCD screens, rayon and toothpaste have in common with homes? All use wood products. Highly sustainable, good for the earth, wood products. The Guys have claimed for many years the housing industry was…

The Inside Outside Guys: Stairway Safety

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, July 29, 2021 ~ Chances are good that by the time you read this today, you have already used a set of stairs. The odds are also very good that you did not know the second leading…

The Inside Outside Guys: Housing Problems, Part Two

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, July 22, 2021 ~ Construction mistakes are actually fairly common in housing, but most are small and rectified quickly and the property does not suffer from them. Some take a little more effort to correct than…

The Inside Outside Guys: Common Housing Mistakes That Owners Pay For

DETROIT, July 15, 2021 ~ The Guys have been associated with the noble industry of construction for all of our adult lives. We have seen many mistakes and made a few of our own. The unfortunate reality of some housing mistakes is a…

The Inside Outside Guys: Riding Out The Storm

DETROIT, July 8, 2021 ~ There are only a few things for a homeowner that are worse than finding a basement flooded with storm water or, worse, sewage. Buildings that are serviced by public sewer systems typically have a single pipe…

The Inside Outside Guys: Don’t Buy the Toilet Before You Hire a Plumber

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, July 2, 2021 ~Decades ago, I was in the process of building a new home. Through a catalog I had gotten what appeared to be a great deal on solid brass faucets for the master bath….

The Inside Outside Guys: Is That Home Worth the Cost?

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, June 25, 2021 ~ Homeownership has long been considered the foundation of the growth of individual wealth in the United States. A large percentage of most people’s net worth is tied to the equity in their home. Homeownership…

The Inside Outside Guys: We Are What We Absorb — Indoor Air

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, June 17, 2021 ~ Go to your favorite room in the house and sit back in your favorite chair. Take a deep breath. A really deep breath. OMG! What did you just inhale? According to groups like…

The Inside Outside Guys: The Costs of Construction

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, June 10, 2021 ~ There you are. Sitting in your living room and staring at the four walls, wondering. “Should we build that new sunroom, add that new deck, go ahead with the master bedroom conversion?” People…

The Inside Outside Guys: What’s That Home Improvement Worth?

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, June 3, 2021 ~ There you are. Sitting in your living room and staring at the four walls, wondering. “Should we build that new sunroom, add that new deck, go ahead with the master bedroom conversion?” Today’s…

The Inside Outside Guys: Maintaining Your Lawn

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, May 27, 2021 ~ Spring is well upon us as trees, flowers and grasses have all awakened and begun to flourish. The Guys are still getting a lot of questions regarding grass lawns. Perhaps the answer…

The Inside Outside Guys: Keeping Cool in The Hot Summer

By Ken Calverley and Chuck Breidenstein DETROIT, May 20, 2021 ~ What a marvel of discovery and engineering! It is a really hot and humid summer day inside your home. You walk over to the wall-mounted thermostat, dial a desired temperature, and “viola!”…