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12
votes
2answers
594 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
12k 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
6k 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
4k 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
330 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
151 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
566 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
8k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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
634 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
710 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
217 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
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, ...
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
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
1answer
131 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
377 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
11k 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
3answers
3k 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
228 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
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
2answers
597 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
1answer
430 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
237 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
497 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
294 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
2answers
209 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
698 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
111 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
254 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
108 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
2answers
65 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
1answer
45 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 ...
1
vote
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
216 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
801 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Drilled a shallow hole in concrete ceiling and some water came out. What now?

We are on a ground floor of a condo building and to put up the partitions I drilled a small hole and after about 1" depth the drill fell into a void (about 1" more) and about a quart or so of clear ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Proper way to connect joist to top plate?

What's the proper way to connect an element like this: I was thinking hurricane ties but was wondering if there was a better connector.
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Possible to remove truss and add collar ties?

I am doing a pretty significant garage renovation and had a couple questions. I was originally going to just replace the loft (the original wasn't supported on top the stud wall on side which always ...
1
vote
1answer
134 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?
1
vote
2answers
211 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

What are large corrugated metals pipes for under commercial buildings? [closed]

I've recently seen several commercial buildings being built here in Michigan. These buildings are of the poured concrete floor type. The ones I've noticed where convienence stores and restaurants. ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Using replacement windows in new construction

A few years ago I replaced my old drafty windows with high-quality replacement windows. Now I am doing some renovations, which will require some windows to be relocated to a different position. The ...
1
vote
0answers
57 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
54 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Minimizing wall thickness for basement drywall?

I'm trying to optimize acoustics of my future home theater by maximizing dimensions to minimize standing wave problems. I would like to minimize the thickness of a finished wall consisting of drywall ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Building a dock ramp for a dog

I have the week off for the fourth and I'm in a beginner DIY mood. At my lake house, we have a floating dock which is too high above the water to easily pull the dog out and he can't get out by going ...