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12
votes
2answers
738 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
21k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
9k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
335 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
172 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
696 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
14k 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
2answers
15k 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. ...
4
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
916 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
1answer
1k 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
245 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
7k 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Help understanding Window anatomy

I'm renovating my basement, which has one double-hung vinyl window (pictured). I want to add one more on the same wall and trying to get a close match. The windows in this house were replaced in 2007 ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
7k 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
1answer
311 views

How to build deck starting in yard, ending on concrete slab?

Here are some photos of my backyard with rough dimensions. Needing help with how to end a deck from cemented posts in yard (at rear of house), to my back door. My trouble area is above the concrete. ...
4
votes
1answer
403 views

What can I do about a house with internal concrete floor with no DPM?

My partner and I have just bought our first home.A 1950's bungalow which is need of refurbishment. So far it has thrown us a ton of surprises! The worst so far being the floor in one of the bedrooms. ...
4
votes
2answers
666 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
3answers
6k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
304 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
649 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I wrap home in Tyvek when re-siding?

My house was built in the 60s and doesn't have normal plywood sheathing. It has that old sheet-rock-like sheathing (it's black, I think it is exterior gypsum). Basically the walls (right now) go, ...
3
votes
1answer
294 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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
554 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
537 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
543 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
310 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
985 views

How can I lift buckets of mortar to second floor?

I need to lift around 100-120 buckets of mortar to level the surface of two slabs (around 20 square meters). Besides raising each bucket pulling a rope up, is there any other (EASY) way of doing ...
2
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Is the proposed solution to this masonry project okay?

We will going to build long interior, round(little bit) shaped staircase (similar to this) from concrete, and I needed to get instructions with physics that it will possible to make it without any ...
2
votes
2answers
342 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. ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
375 views

How do I extend a 2x4 by connecting another one end to end?

My hardware store only sells 8' cuts of 2x4s. How do I extend length horizontally with another 2x4 and support the joining best? Is there a joint or strong tie for this? I have three support legs ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I calculate the rotational force and motor HP needed to lift a 5lb sheet from a horizontal position to a vertical position from one end?

Essentially, I need to know the following: How do I calculate the rotation force along a fulcrum? Is there an equation? What is the weight of a 5 lb object at the fulcrum if the fulcrum is located ...
2
votes
1answer
300 views

does this look like an up to code support beam?

we had an entry way widened a bit which required them to install a longer support beam. I'm absolutely not a professional. But the 2x4's supporting the larger beam don't seem very substantial to me. ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

Will standing topped off tree trunks work for holding up a building structure?

If I cut four trees off about 15' above the ground, and they are approximately in a parallelogram, Can I use them to support a building structure (say, a large shed)? Would I have to treat against ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

How do I mount a flat object on a rounded roof tile?

My objective is to mount the plastic (Home Depot) owl in the 1st image below (flat underneath) at the end of the roof in the 2nd image. Although you can't see the roof in the image where it will mount ...
2
votes
3answers
310 views

How to buy a land and build a cottage in the United States?

I plan to buy a small residential land (<1 acre) to build a vacation cottage there. Since I want to explore possibilities across different states, I am searching for possible options over the ...
2
votes
4answers
85 views

Non-sanding solution to get old pen markings out of wood?

My wife and I have a toddler who is ready to graduate to a big boy bed, and her parent's handed us down a twin bed that they've had in storage for years (woo hoo). The problem with it is that someone ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

Edge considerations on mosaic staircase

I'm renewing our old outdoor concrete staircase going to the garden. I've decided to install glass mosaic as surface finishing. I've got advice from the specialized shop regarding water-proofness of ...
2
votes
2answers
388 views

how to attach gutter when there is an additional trim board on fascia?

This question could be slightly misleading because I am not 100% sure of the terminology. I am replacing an old gutter - see existing installation below. My understanding (from this article) is that ...
2
votes
1answer
56 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Can you install a wall ontop of a travertine floor?

Can you install a 2x4 wall that is 13' long on top of a travertine tile floor? Or do I need to cut the tile and mount the bottom stud right to the cement? This will not be a load bearing wall.
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it possible to move a front door?

My family just moved into a new house and it's awkwardly laid out. We are planning on moving in another year or two and we want to fix up the house enough to profit from it, but to also make it as ...
1
vote
2answers
4k 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 ...