Robert Lamoureux: Drywall permits, energy-efficient pumps

Metro Creative


Due to the rains recently, we had a significant amount of water get into the house.

I know you’re a stickler about permits, and since we may sell the house at some point, I want to do this right.

They had to remove about 2 feet of drywall all the way around our living room and kitchen area. Is this something that we need a permit for? We want to do everything right and don’t want problems down the line, especially when the time to sell comes along.

Thank you for your wisdom and willingness to help others,

— Jacob F.


Good question, thank you.

The answer is no — in a situation like this, where there is only 2 feet from the ground of drywall removed, you are OK.

Building and Safety are there of course for safety, and truly no one will be hurt from this area of drywall. This is also a repair and not new install, so all things considered, this is a no for this situation.

Just be sure that moisture meters are used to ensure that all affected areas are at 0 percent for moisture. You need those areas completely dry and all leak sources fixed properly, before beginning the put-back of your home.

When all is confirmed and you are ready, be sure that insulation is installed back to the area if these are exterior walls, and that the work is done properly. You should not see a seam when your contractor is finished, nor should you see a difference in paint color or sheen. A good contractor will make this area look like it wasn’t touched.

Be sure to either be present when moisture meter readings are taken, or that they provide photos to you, showing the moisture readings at 0 percent. You don’t want any moisture left in the area because it will, in the right conditions, turn into mold.

Good luck to you,

— Robert


I’m an avid follower who reads most of the articles. I even file and categorize them.

Sometime back, you wrote about a pool pump that you recommended for energy savings and durability, and so on.

I’ll be darned if I can’t find this one and am in need of the information for my own pool now. Is there a way you could elaborate on this, please?

— Jim L.


The type of pump is a variable speed, whisper quiet pump.

There are several manufacturers, so do your homework on ratings/reviews and make your decision. The variable speed option is efficient in many ways because you can set it to run at higher speed for a period of time in the day, perhaps when rates are lowest, then at the lower speed for the remainder of the day.

This keeps the water circulating constantly for efficiency but the high power you can set for once or twice a day at the non-peak hours which will save you money. Go to your pool supply and speak to them about the pumps. There are varying prices and usually, of course, the most efficient are higher-priced but they’ll be the best for you in the long run.

Good luck to you,


Robert Lamoureux has 38 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].

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