What I'm Seeing Now


Jay's Floor 5 - Aw, Cut It Out!



Anytime you start a big project, it is important to keep first things first!




Safety first!




Whoa! Everything but the knee pads?  Where are the knee pads?










Whenever you are involved in a project, there are always obstacles to overcome. As I was laying this flooring, I noticed a hole in the floor! I think it was supposed to be there.

There was cold air blowing out of it.  Yepper, supposed to be there!

Actually, in this project, there will be two HVAC floor registers. While there are a variety of ways to cut out the flooring to accommodate the register over the space, you have to be careful not to cut into the metal opening.

I decided to use a tool I had used many times in the past to cut openings for drywall. But I had never used it to cut into hardwood flooring.


Time to try it out! Porter Cable calls this a “Cut-Out Tool.” I have always referred to it as a “zip tool.”

First, I tried a couple of test cuts to see if I could control it. And I could. So I cut it out.

You can see how not parallel to the wall this opening is. When there was carpet there it was not noticeable that the opening is not very square to the wall. But with the straight lines of hardwood flooring it will be easy to see how the register does not align with the flooring! It would have been very difficult to cut the opening in a manner that was not straight with the metal opening but straight with the lines of the floor. You can see how it looks when it is all said and done!

No, I did not work with all that “safety gear.”

Yes, I do work with very, very good knee pads.

Believe me – you have to!

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comment balloon 10 commentsJay Markanich • June 28 2009 06:34AM
Jay's Floor 5 - Aw, Cut It Out!
Anytime you start a big project, it is important to keep first things first! Safety first! Whoa! Everything but the knee pads? Where are the knee pads? … more
Here Flashing, Flashing, Flashing…
When a roof abuts anything, there needs to be some sort of flashing to prevent water from getting between the roof and what it abuts. On a recent inspection on a one-year old house I noticed something missing. Flashing. I looked everywhere. … more
Juliet Will Be Calling Romeo Any Day Now
A picture says a thousand words. Look carefully! I will have to supplement this picture with a conversation I had just the other day. I arrived at my inspection and discovered a crew "remodeling" the house. It… more
Jay's Floor 4 - Feelin' Groovey…
When you are installing tongue and groove flooring, it is important to know a couple of things. Like: 1. Which is the tongue and which is the groove. And… 2. Which side to drive the nail through. I like to look for… more
Jay's Floor 3 - I'm A Real Square
The entry to the living room abuts the hallway hardwood floor, which was installed when the house was built 10 1/2 years ago. That being true, the first course has to be very squarely laid against what is there. If it is not square, the new… more
A Padded Room And White Coats
The first step when installing hardwood flooring is to remove the carpeting. Imagine my surprise when I found this underneath! It looks like some kind of padding. Come to think of it, that carpeting did feel kind of soft. This stuff is really,… more
When A Checkbook Is More Than A Checkbook
Last Saturday I had an inspection with someone who is buying the house he has been renting. No Realtor, no lawyer to review things, just a deal between my client and the seller. Not my recommended approach, but to each his own. As always, I… more
A Floor By Any Other Name
It's that time of year again. Every year my wife and daughter go to Maine to visit a friend. They stay a couple of weeks eating blueberry pancakes and lobstah. I stay home. There is a purpose in staying home - it is my time to improve the… more
Water Can Run, But It Can't Hide
When people call me for a one-year warranty inspection, I always recommend they add a thermal-infrared image examination to it to check insulation. That is really the main reason I recommend IR as leaking usually isn't a problem they haven't… more