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13
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I keep my Christmas tree from falling over?

It never fails: I bring home a 9-foot pine, cut the trunk flat, remove the lower branches, and place our Christmas tree in the stand only to have it fall over a little later in the evening. How can I ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

What are the qualities of a top end paint versus a low end paint?

I just purchased a home and it needs a good painting (interior). A little research led me to a thread stating that Benjamin Moore has the best paint. How does it compare to Lowe's and Home Depot ...
11
votes
7answers
832 views

What's the least intrusive way to find out what's in a wall?

I'm getting ready to mount a flatscreen TV on our living room wall and would like to route various cables through it (e.g. surround sound speakers, HDMI, etc). I appreciate the AWESOME tips here, but ...
10
votes
3answers
363 views

Why are progressively larger drywall knives used after each mudding pass?

I've been researching drywall finishing techniques and have noticed that when a first coat of mud compound is used, a smaller 6 inch taping knife is used... then on the second mud application, a ...
10
votes
1answer
386 views

What is this rectangular device on my apartment wall?

So on this particular wall in my apartment I have two fire detectors (one that's plugged in but seems to have some sort of internal battery and one that takes 9V batteries), a thermostat and... this: ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

What are some ways to appropriately hang things on a wall?

I just moved into a new house and am at the point where I need to start hanging stuff on the walls. Most of the stuff I want to hang is around the size of a picture frame, large mirror, or diploma ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How can I keep leftover drywall mud from drying out in the box?

I'm not quite sure how much drywall mud I'll be using for my upcoming project so I'm planning to buy a box of it. Assuming that I have some left over, is there a technique for not wasting it? Will it ...
7
votes
3answers
5k views

What consistency should drywall mud be?

I've been reviewing various drywall videos and documentation but I haven't found clear details on what kind of thickness the joint compound should be. Is there a definitive answer for this? Or does ...
7
votes
4answers
773 views

What should I do with a double gang box if I no longer need two separate switches?

We're relocating our TV to a side of our living room that has a power outlet controlled by a wall switch. The switch is part of a double gang box (1 switch controls the porch light, the other ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I repair a nick in vinyl floor?

We had some recent work done on our house and it appears that one of the workers nicked the vinyl flooring in the kitchen -- resulting in a circular gash about 3/4 inch wide. Here's a picture: ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I remove a switch and terminate a circuit in its place?

I have a switch that used to control outdoor lighting. It no longer does any more and I'd like to just leave it off permanently. Is there an easy way I can terminate it from within the gang box? ...
7
votes
2answers
689 views

How can I cheaply refresh parquet in an apartment?

We've recently rented an apartment with seriously damaged parquet. Since the deal is "take it or leave it", we've decided to "mend" the parquet ourselves. Dictionary :) Sorry for my bad english, I ...
6
votes
2answers
11k views

What is my drill hitting and not penetrating when I hang curtains?

I'm living in an apartment. So far I've put up 2 sets of curtains and had the same troubles with both attempts. One set was over a sliding mirrored closet door (tacky!) and the other set was over a ...
6
votes
2answers
9k views

What type of screws should I use in framing an area for a drywall patch?

As is evident in my previous posts, I'm in the process of framing an interior wall for drywall patch repair. I'd like to know what types of screws to use for connecting new 2x4's. When I visited our ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Can quick-drying mud be used on the same drywall joints where slow-drying mud was used?

I think I phrased the summary/title poorly but essentially, I'd like to know if all drywall mud coats need to use the same type of joint compound for all coats or if I can transition to quick drying ...
6
votes
1answer
817 views

Why does flushing a toilet or running a clothes washer sometimes change shower temperature?

Admittedly, this isn't something that is happening to me but I'm curious: I've heard that in some houses, flushing toilets or running a clothes washer sometimes changes the water temperature for ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Is there a standard height for wall mounting flatscreen TVs?

Is there a standard height for wall mounting flatscreen TVs?
5
votes
1answer
241 views

How to repair fallen tile near kitchen floor?

One of the tiles adjacent to my kitchen floor fell down. The tile itself is still in good condition but I'm not sure how to properly reattach it. I'm guessing it would be something like: ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the pros and cons of rolled-on wall/ceiling texture paint?

I just recently learned that some wall/ceiling textures can be applied with a paint-roller and special texture "paint". Here are a couple examples from Home Depot: I was hoping to get more ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What sealant should I use for the base of a sink faucet?

I guess the title says it all. =) I'm planning to replace my kitchen sink faucet. What type of sealant should I use for the base of the new sink faucet?
4
votes
2answers
593 views

How should I repair drywall where heating registers used to be?

We recently had an asbestos abatement crew remove heating ducts in our house that had asbestos-lined duct insulation. Part of the process required them to remove the duct registers in the wall as ...
4
votes
2answers
157 views

How to deal with seasonal expansion and contraction of wood indoors?

Some doors in my apartment are subject to seasonal changes, similar to what is described here. I made adjustments: shimmed some hinges, shaved off some material here and there with a planer, and the ...
4
votes
2answers
375 views

How can I install modern locksets on these interior doors?

I've recently bought my first house which I'm very excited about, got into the decorating phase and decided to replace the door handles - some of which were damaged - with nice new ones. Being a ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What glass for an interior, mainly glass, wall?

We would like to install a small interior wall (say 3m long) with a wooden door. We want to make it out of large wooden beams with glass between them (there is already one such wall in the house, and ...
4
votes
1answer
685 views

How do I fix a loose door frame?

I'm attempting to repair an interior door that is sticking. I first thought the problem was with the door but I soon discovered that the door frame is loose at the base. (see image) I guess I have ...
3
votes
3answers
166 views

What should I check for before turning on an OLD dish washer for the first time?

We recently purchased a house with a REALLY old dishwasher. The inspection report says that it "appears to be in working condition" but I'm paranoid of having a plumbing mess if we start using it. ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Product recommendations for clearing a drain connected to a septic system?

Our shower drain appears to be clogged and is draining slowly. What product can I use to safely clear the drain without damaging our septic system? According to Drano's site ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a tool I can use to cut out the templates for door hardware?

I just bought some new hardware (knobs and latches) for the interior doors of my house. Currently the latches look something like this: And the new latches look something like this (at least the ...
3
votes
2answers
566 views

How would I create a curved floating desk and shelving unit?

I want to create a modern desk that also works as a shelving unit such as the one below: The idea is that I will have a corner desk which at one end has the desk curved under the computer tower ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Do speaker wires need to be protected at exposed end-points?

Ah the joys of new home ownership. In preparing to prime/paint our family room ceilings, we took down some old (really old) speakers the previous owner had set up. We're not planning to use them ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I need to remove existing drywall before framing an interior wall?

Below is a rough diagram of the interior wall I'd like to build. The wall is in green, and the rooms are in white. The grey offset around the edges of the walls represents 3/8" drywall. My question ...
3
votes
1answer
588 views

How do I replace missing drywall strips after an asbestos abatement?

I'm getting ready for my first major DIY project (about a week away). Here's a summary: We confirmed the presence of Asbestos in our house heating vent insulation and acoustic ceilings. We're ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

How can I have a light turn on when a pocket door is opened?

I'm building a new home with quite a few pocket doors and would like to know if there is a way for the pantry and utility room lights to come on when the pocket door slides open.
2
votes
3answers
7k views

How should I apply brick to an interior wall?

I don't want to use veneer, I want to use real brick. Is it as easy as using tie-ins to the studs and setting the brick as one would normally? The existing wall is drywall, So I was thinking of ...
2
votes
2answers
385 views

Tips for texturing ceilings?

I'm getting ready to texture ceilings for the first time using an air-compressor / hopper. I plan to practice first on some old sample sheets of drywall I have laying around but was also hoping to ...
2
votes
3answers
447 views

How do I determine the “hand” of the door?

I apologize in advance if this post is confusing. Let me know if additional clarification is needed. =) I'm planning to install a new front door and am confused on what the appropriate "hand" ...
2
votes
1answer
263 views

Why might there be concrete inside my wall?

I was attempting to run speaker wire to the opposite side of my office via the basement. I was hoping to accomplish this by feeding wires into a wall plate near the floor, down the interior of the ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it safe to use a portable microwave in a confined shelfspace?

I have an 900 watt emerson microwave that looks similar to this one: It weighs about 30 pounds and the outside dimensions are about 19" (W) x 16" (D) x 12" (H). We normally have it sitting on the ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

What are some tips/techniques for applying knockdown texture to drywall?

I'd like to get advice on applying knockdown texture and fixing my own mistakes in the process. The consistency I'm looking for is something similar to this: As per an eHow article, I think the ...
2
votes
2answers
39 views

Replacing hollow-core interior doors

I bought a house built in 1970 which still has the original interior doors. They are hollow-core, boring, brown doors. I am debating whether to simply paint them white or replace them with new ...
2
votes
2answers
82 views

Interior wall installation over hardwood finished floor?

I'm looking at moving my interior walls around. We are planning to keep our existing floor and replace open spaces with the same floor. We will be refinishing the floors when the wall moving is done. ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How often should I repaint the inside of my house?

How often should I repaint just to keep it looking fresh? Should I wait until the old paint start to peel and crack or should I repaint it every 2 to 3 years regardless if the old paint is still ...
2
votes
2answers
546 views

What could be causing wall cracks through the middle of our house

We have been fixing cracks in our interior, and exterior walls since we moved into our house 3 years ago, and it just keeps getting worse. Our house sits between a field that goes uphill at a 45 ...
2
votes
1answer
224 views

How large are in-wall heating vents that connect to registers?

I'm curious how large heating vents can typically be when connecting to in-wall registers. Do they fill up the entire space between studs? I'm framing for some drywall patches and would ideally not ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Can a gas fireplace insert heat an entire house?

I have a single-story 1400 sq/ft house (4 bedroom). Here's a VERY rough sketch of the layout: The house has blown-in insulation on the exterior walls but no insulation on the interior walls. ...
1
vote
3answers
6k views

Is there a “safe” sub-floor leveling compound?

I have some gashes in my sub-floor that I'd like to fill/level before placing laminate flooring down. Upon checking at my local home depot, I found some floor leveling compound but quite frankly, I'm ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

For planning interior walls, should I get an architect or interior designer or someone else?

I am thinking of adding interior walls to divide up a large space (a walk-up basement). But I am clueless regarding building codes and I don't know where I can and cannot put walls. I've read a ...
1
vote
2answers
370 views

How do I prepare doors to be hung?

Changing out interior doors in house. All of them. Going from brown crap to white 6 panel. I have two hinges on each door. Would like to buy new door with predrilled knob hole, cut it down ...
1
vote
4answers
6k views

What is the best/cheapest solution for poorly plastered walls?

My house is about 50 years old and many of the walls are plaster. If done nicely I would consider this a plus but it looks like my house was plastered/painted by a a 2nd grade art class. I don't ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

How do I make a weight sensitive platform? [closed]

Cats and Dogs do get along, but keeping the dogs from eating the cat's food is impossible. lol Anyway, now that you know the subject. What I want to do is build a sort of stairway of platforms up ...