Robert Lamoureux: Taking care of asbestos and countertops

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 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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Question No. 1
Robert,

Good morning, I was reading your column online and thought I would reach out to you.
We just purchased a condo for our daughter in Santa Clarita. It was built in 1969, and we knew going in we would be spending money updating it. We also knew the popcorn ceilings had asbestos because our CC&Rs indicated that. So even though we knew there was asbestos, we still had to pay for a costly test in order to have it professionally removed.
My question is why is there a 10-working/14-calendar-day waiting period between giving the air quality board the test and when the actual work is to be done?
Also, I needed to bring in a plumber to move the sink over. When he looked at the plumbing, he was shocked at what a poor shape the plumbing was in. (I trust this plumber.) The whole complex had been redone in 2011 with a special assessment I inherited when we bought the condo.
I, of course, will correct the issues, but do I have any recourse on my assessment?
Thank you in advance for your time,
— Lori H.

Answer No. 1
Lori,

This is protocol with the AQMD. Abatement can only start 14 days after the paperwork is submitted. If it’s an emergency, then the owner has to get involved with all the regulations needed to move it along.
As far as the waste/sewer lines, if the HOA was assessed for the waste lines and inside your walls you find the replacements weren’t completed, then I would call management and have them come in and see the current conditions.
— Robert

Question No. 2
Robert,

I visit my daughter in Santa Clarita and read your articles sometimes. We live at the coast and will be redoing a kitchen counter, and would like your input on granite vs. quartz, if you can weigh in. Is there one or the other you’d suggest, and why?
— Jay R.

Answer No. 2
Jay,

I really don’t have a preference, one over the other. I know that quartz is a bit more durable, though I’m not an expert. I’ve had it installed in several circumstances, and in discussions with different installers they all recite similar comments about quartz being a bit more forgiving than granite with respect to wear and tear, as well as the fact that it doesn’t require as much maintenance as the natural stone. I do know also that it comes in a larger variety of colors and designs, due to it being a manmade product.
You’ll pay a bit more for the quartz, but if you’re planning on staying in this home, it would in my opinion be worth the extra investment for the options you’ll have.
Good luck with this project,
— Robert

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