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1answer
59 views

Calculating Tray ceiling dimensions

I am building a tray ceiling for my living room to install recessed lighting in. Is there any general ratio's for tray size to room size? I have looked everywhere and it seems most tray ceilings don't ...
0
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1answer
49 views

Help translate terminology relating to flat roof construction

I just bought a house which had an extension done 12 years ago. I am about to do some work in this area and want to understand what has been done before. Below is a screen shot of the bits of the ...
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0answers
49 views

Who pays for hooking up electricity to a new house? [closed]

I recently saw someone say that the utility company will pay to bring electricity into a newly constructed home. Can anyone confirm this? Does the electric company pay, or the homeowner, or is it ...
2
votes
3answers
210 views

Is a hexagonal house feasible?

Recently I have been considering the economics and feasability of building a house versus buying a used one. In my design I settled on a hexagon as the logical shape for the frame, which I am ...
0
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1answer
201 views

Making a timber frame cupboard door using an MDF insert to hold its shape

I have been working on a design for some cupboard doors. The requirements are: - Simple to build so that an low-skilled wood-worker (myself) can put it together. - Be strong enough that the door ...
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0answers
88 views

How to determine depth of non-load bearing post when NOT using concrete?

I'm building a trellis/clothesline and using 4x4s as the end-poles. The load on these will be pretty small, and mostly bending moments (almost all) and not axial stress. I live in southern California ...
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2answers
166 views

Unsure about my structural engineer, can you check his drawing?

I recently asked my structural engineer to provide some calculations and drawings to remove the arch and further open up the opening between the double fronted sitting room of my 2.5 storey (2 at the ...
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0answers
50 views

What open-source materials are available for understanding basic designs for bookshelves / cabinetry?

I'd like to build a fairly large (11' x 7') set of built-in bookcases with lower doors, and am trying to understand the critical components and construction steps. I'd like to find freely available ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Temporary toilet installation

I need to install a toilet in a my house while it is being built. The floor isn't ready yet and won't be for at least a couple of months and right know it is a rough concrete slab. Since the soil ...
1
vote
1answer
153 views

What is the purpose of this pole in my garage?

Why is there a three inch pipe filled with concrete sticking out of my garage floor? We've ruled out the obvious explanations: missle launcher, coffee table, NSA listening post, and Mario shortcut. ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

What screws to use to attached tie-downs from shed roof rafters to top sill?

What screws should I use to attached tie-downs from shed roof rafters to top sill?
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Is High Friction Aggregate a type of stone or treatment applied to a stone?

I am doing some research about decorative stones and came across high friction aggregate. I am a bit confused and here are my two questions: Is High Friction Aggregate a separate type of stone OR ...
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2answers
481 views

What is the best way to build a simple desk capable of supporting several hundred lbs.?

I'm in the middle of designing a desk that will have to support several hundred lbs., but I'm unsure of what would be the simplest method of bracing to carry a significant amount of weight. All my ...
4
votes
1answer
577 views

How can I build a brick mailbox?

I'm planning to build a wall block mailbox with the wall blocks that are 3.75" X 7.5" X 11.25". I've worked out the plans that allow for a particular mailbox to fit nicely in a space. However, it ...
4
votes
1answer
300 views

What can I do about this gap between the sill/exterior board and the subfloor?

I just discovered that my sill plate and joist setup is different than others I've seen (and I was a Realtor, so I've seen a lot of sills). As you can see from the picture, there's a gap between ...
3
votes
1answer
374 views

Is this old basement floor concrete, grout, or something else?

What is the likely construction/material of the basement floor shown below? It's not very flat, and the surface appears sandy. It's almost as if some kind of skim-coat was applied to the dirt floor. ...
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votes
2answers
410 views

What type of wall construction is shown in these pictures?

These photos were taken through a small hole in the wall of a house. They are of the inside of the cavity. The hole they were taken through is at a height of about 60cm from the internal ground floor ...
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vote
2answers
481 views

How do I take apart a wooden retaining wall?

I have a retaining wall, sorta. It acts as a divider between homes rather than retain anything. Built the same way as one, with 6x6 boards, spikes, all that jazz. No deadmen, of course. I need to ...
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2answers
2k views

Is it normal to find cracks in new concrete?

I'm having a house built and they just completed pouring the slab for the foundation a few days ago. When I inspected it today I noticed several narrow (but sometimes long; one or two do them appear ...
2
votes
1answer
240 views

How can I protect a house foundation from weather conditions?

I started building a house and had to divert my money into another situation which was urgent. It might take some time to retrieve the money so the building is on hold. Only the house foundation is ...
4
votes
1answer
212 views

Is there any way I can reclaim this space and still safely support the front steps?

In my garage I have a nearly useless room that's 6'x10' but has this ... strange shelf of sorts in there. When I went to bust up the drywall to see whats behind it I found out it's been there since ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Best solution for file folders of custom wooden desk drawer?

A few months ago, I bought a wooden desk. I want to put file folders in one of the drawers. I bought this file folder frame set (the kind you build) for file folders from Office Depot, but they ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Natural ways to keep the ceiling cool during summer

I live in the single floor independent house in South India with the ceiling exposed to sun. In summer it gets really hot. I am not an expert but was wondering if there is a traditional/natural way ...
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4answers
9k views

Is there an ideal height for a workbench?

Is there a universal standard height that people try to go for when building workbenches? Should DIY tabletops be tailor made to the height of the user and how does the ideal height of the tabletop ...
4
votes
1answer
514 views

How can I drill through rim joist/sheathing for a dryer vent?

I want to vent dryer through the rim joist of this home but it looks like this home has some sort of stone sheathing underneath the cedar shake. I can only see it from the basement. I can't really ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I calculate the load capacity of a platform?

I'm planning to build a very basic bed frame, but I'm not sure what size lumber to use. I was thinking of building the entire thing from 2x4s (legs would be 4x4), but I'm not sure if this will be ...
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2answers
2k views

What is the expense and difficulty of moving an exterior kitchen wall?

I'm considering a kitchen remodel, that is in the front-right corner of a house, and surrounded by a covered deck on both sides. The deck extends out 8ft in the front and 9ft on the right. I'd like ...
5
votes
3answers
139 views

Where can I find plans for building a chicken coop?

I was hoping to build a chicken coupe for 3-4 chickens. Does anyone know where I can find some plans (preferably free) for building a decent chicken coop? It doesn't have to be the Taj Mahal, but I ...
12
votes
2answers
557 views

What should I keep in mind when building my house myself?

I inherited a piece of land and want to build a house on it. Nothing fancy: one floor, 2-3 rooms. Since I don't really have the money :D to build it "in one go", I'm going to build it over a longer ...
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vote
2answers
206 views

Simple construction for trunk-or-treat [closed]

I'm sorry this is slightly off-topic, but I was hoping this might be a fun brainstorm for some folks who are more construction-minded than I am. Our church is taking part in a "Trunk-or-Treat", where ...
3
votes
1answer
961 views

Can someone review this garage loft design for structure and stability?

I'd like to build a loft above a 12'x16' portion of my garage. My plan is to lag screw ledger boards to the studs and attach 2x10 joists to the ledgers using joist hangers. Additional supports will be ...
5
votes
3answers
329 views

Resource for ballparking current home construction costs?

We're about to move several states away and have begun the house hunting process. We're moving to a region that, like most in the US, has seen housing costs tank, though it is a small enclave of ...
3
votes
1answer
289 views

My deck dies in a funny pattern — does that mean this board is upside-down?

My deck looks like this after it rains. One board and parts of others are damp for a long time after everything else has dried. What could cause this and is it hard to fix? My only guess is ...
3
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3answers
208 views

Are hydraulics stronger against compression or tension?

I would like to use a pair of hydraulic pistons to raise and lower a surface that will hold about 150 lbs, and be capable of remaining in either fully extended or fully contracted modes for long ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

How do I properly jack up one side of my house?

As I write this, I have a slight lean as I walk on my floor in some parts of my house, and it's even worse on the upper floor. In some parts upstairs, it feels almost like you have to grab something. ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I install concrete blocks to support deck stairs?

I just had a deck constructed and it failed inspection, partly because of missing concrete blocks where the steps meet the ground (see also my related question Deck handrail bracket). How would I go ...
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2answers
930 views

Deck handrail bracket

I just had a deck built and it failed inspection, partly because of the lack of a graspbable handrail (see also my related question Concrete blocks supporting deck stairs) . The current rail is a ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Is there a good way to lay out a right angle?

Today we set up batter boards and put out marking strings to prepare for constructing a round deck. We wanted 2 strings that marked the center lines, crossing each other at 90 degrees. We set up ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How high should I make my yurt platform?

I am building the floor/platform for a 30' yurt. It's basically a deck. 30' diameter circle pre-cast concrete pier blocks 4" x 6" pressure treated joists, 4' o.c. 1 1/8" tongue-and-groove plywood ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I build a deck that is easy to take apart?

I spent the day taking apart the platform for a yurt. It was a real pain, and I want to make it easier to take apart next time. Old deck construction details: Decking was 1 1/8" tongue-and-groove ...
3
votes
1answer
475 views

What is the proper way to frame in a room?

I'm looking to frame in this room (photo 2) to utilize the space for a 1st floor bathroom / 1st floor laundry room / storage. I think I have the process down having seen my uncles and brothers houses ...
5
votes
5answers
6k views

Why do my new door hinges prevent my door from shutting completely?

I have installed some new standard 3" door hinges with a small corner radius on a 32" door. The doors are solid-core oak doors. The hinges appear to look fine and fit perfectly flush in the existing ...
5
votes
1answer
529 views

How do I identify support beams?

I'd like to remodel a couple rooms in our home, but am unsure how to identify support beams when the time comes. Are there any easily-identifiable things I should look for to keep my house from ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages to timber framing vs. platform framing?

Within in the next 10-years, my wife and I would like to replace the old modular home on our property with a new house. I've been having some discussions with a friend of mine who is a huge fan of ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Where can I find garage building plans?

If I wanted to build a detached garage/workshop, where can I find complete, detailed plans? I'd like to be able to estimate building cost from a materials list. I'm not certain what style I'd want, ...
3
votes
2answers
569 views

Fast, easy and simple construction of a log store

We've just bought a whopping great log burner, and so our thoughts have turned to keeping it fed over the winter. I've plenty of ash trees, some beech, and an old sycamore that over the last couple of ...