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20
votes
17answers
10k views

What is an affordable 2D drafting software for amateurs?

Background: We have about 1500 feet of unfinished basement that I am contemplating finishing off into a "grandma suite". Before getting serious about the project, however, I would like to play around ...
8
votes
10answers
12k views

How common are wet rooms in the US?

I have a half bath to which I'd like to add a shower. It is quite small; currently, the smallest shower pan I've found (32"x32") is too large to fit. I've considered turning the entire room into a '...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I install a new, non load bearing wall in my basement?

I'm looking to finish my basement and simply want to wall off the concrete blocks that make up the wall. I want to insulate it as well so that it becomes a usable family room when I'm done. How do I ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Which is least likely to crack due to high traffic, large or small tile?

Consider a kitchen on pier-beam flooring with two doors allowing traffic to flow through it. The floor is 10x10 feet. I plan to tile and would like to minimize risk of cracking. Which size tile would ...
7
votes
5answers
18k views

How should I tile under kitchen cabinets?

I currently have tile on the floor of the kitchen that just butts up to my cabinets. I plan to change the floors and also change the cabinets. Is is best to rip out all the cabinets and tile, and ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Previous owner didn't get permits for remodel, am I now liable?

Location is Hillsboro, OR (suburb W of Portland). I'm considering purchasing a house that had significant remodeling done a few years ago (kitchen and bathrooms incl. plumbing). If the previous ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Do I NEED to remove the wood trim to sand and re-stain it?

I have 108 year old original wood trim throughout my house. Due to a roof leak last February, three rooms on my first floor need to have most of the (also 108 year old) plaster walls removed and ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

Do I have to check if my floor is level before installing new linoleum (from a roll, not tiles)?

I just tore up my old linoleum flooring and will be installing new linoleum in the next few days. Some internet research has revealed that I need to make sure the floor is level and, if it is not ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I move a non load bearing wood frame wall?

I am remodeling my basement and want to move the location of a non-load bearing wall that is diving a section of my basement. Currently the wall is down to the bare wooden studs. The header was nailed ...
5
votes
3answers
38k views

Is it code-legal to have a circuit breaker box within a storage room?

I am currently in the process of planning a room remodel to convert an existing bedroom into a home office and storage room. One thing that makes this conversion a little bit tricky, is the existence ...
5
votes
2answers
26k views

What's the recommended order for completing these bathroom remodel tasks?

I realize that this question is similar to What is the order of tasks when refitting a bathroom? but since I have some different projects, I thought it would be appropriate to ask in a separate ...
5
votes
1answer
783 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
2answers
2k views

How should I patch a popcorn ceiling?

I had to repair a corner joint between my kitchen and living ceiling (kitchen is ceiling lower than living room) by scraping the popcorn off of the kitchen ceiling and replacing a metal corner bead. ...
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Should I use caulk or grout between the edge of a tiled bathroom floor and the walls?

I just tiled my bathroom floor. What should I put between the tiles and the walls, silicone or grout?
5
votes
1answer
167 views

Are these walls near a skylight, load bearing?

My master and guest bathroom are back-to-back (toilet-to-toilet). Both bathrooms have a tall skylight this size (~4' square). The skylights are about 5 feet apart from one-another. Master Bathroom, ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How should I convert a double sink to a single sink?

We are going to remodel our bathroom which currently has two sinks (and not that much cabinet/drawer storage) to a single sink with larger (and more) drawers for storage. Under the current double ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is having a window in a room that is below grade a requirement?

This would be in Charlotte, NC, Mecklenburg County. I vaguely remember hearing somewhere that rooms that are below grade are required to have a full size window in them or they can't be considered ...
4
votes
3answers
354 views

Can I demo plaster walls but somehow keep the window casing?

My house was built in 1915. It has cracked (original?) plaster over lathe, poor insulation, leaded paint, and knob and tube wiring. To fix all of these things, I'm demo'ing the upstairs down to ...
4
votes
1answer
976 views

Do products like Ditra make tile removal more complicated?

Products like DITRA are great to use when installing tile, but I can't help wondering what it'll be like to remove the tile later. Is it more difficult to remove tile that's been laid on this type of ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How can I tell if a slab foundation can be built on?

I am purchasing a small one-story home built in 1955. I want to turn the garage into living space. The home sits on a crawlspace, but the garage is on a slab that was added to the side and abuts the ...
4
votes
1answer
6k views

How far can I move ceiling joists up?

The second floor of our house has a fairly low ceiling, perhaps 6'8" or 6'10". The width of the structure is only about 16' with standard construction and the ceiling joists running parallel to to the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Can new wall go over tile floor?

Looking at moving my laundry upstairs, and the right answer is to combine two adjacent closets to get the width and move one of their walls a foot or two into the kitchen to get the depth. The ...
3
votes
5answers
9k views

Which comes first - Flooring or Kitchen Remodel?

My wife and I are going to upgrade multiple parts of our house but we really want two key areas completed first, but we're not sure where to start or if we should do then at the same time, which is ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I install laminate flooring over linoleum which is torn?

I have a small hallway/entryway with cheap linoleum. (Approximately 8 ft by 3 ft.) Part of it is torn, exposing the concrete floor underneath. I have enough laminate (simulated wood) flooring left ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

Remodeling a pre-1920's home with planks on the interior walls

I own an older home in central PA; my guess it is pre-1920's and I was going to remodel the living room and insulate the walls and run new wiring. The walls are horse hair plaster; when I removed the ...
3
votes
1answer
190 views

Do I need a special receptacle when more than the standard number of wires need to be connected?

I've got two regular wall outlets controlled by one single pole switch. I want to replace them with new ones, and thought I just needed to grab a couple duplex plugins for them. Except there's more ...
3
votes
2answers
220 views

How do I improve the insulation in a vaulted ceiling?

I live in a twenty year old Florida condo quadplex. The upstairs ceilings are two by four trusses of a mansard roof. I have replaced the ac, wall insulation, ducts. An IR thermometer shows huge heat ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I secure the shower valve without removing tile?

The plumber didn't secure the new valve to the frame, so the shower valve and head were left loose and it is wiggling. The new tile is completed and we do not want to redo it. What is the best way to ...
3
votes
1answer
556 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
5answers
17k views

Should I put vapor barrier only on exterior wall of a bathroom?

I've been searching around the site and haven't found an answer for my question on where to place a vapor barrier so I'm hoping to get a little more clarity here. Basically I'm in the home stretch of ...
2
votes
1answer
27k views

How can I remove the tile from this wall?

Doing a tile removal on our master tub/shower. I'm pretty sure the tile is original to the house, which is 34 years old (1978). It's a 4 1/4 inch tile, that has been backed by dry wall. When I was ...
2
votes
3answers
290 views

Tools necessary for an efficient demo

Due to some water damage sustained last February caused by an ice dam induced roof leak, I have to remove and replace the 100 year old plaster in my dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. That, combined ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

90 degree angle in air conditioning ducts, should I avoid them?

I have forced air at my home and air ducts run pretty much straight. However I want to add bathroom in the basement and because of low ceiling hight, the main air conditioning duct has to be re-routed ...
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Kitchen Remodel Order

We're looking into doing a basic remodel of our kitchen: replace current tile with new tile, reface cabinets (maybe replace a couple of cabinets), replace back-splash and replace the counter-top. We'...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Can I get bathroom permit in old house (1950s) which doesn't quite meet modern codes?

I want to add bathroom in my basement. The house was build in 1950s so its old. The basement ceiling hight is not great, max 7 ft (unfinished area). I have had couple of contractors and plumbers come ...
2
votes
1answer
308 views

What do as-built drawings need to look like?

For a permit for an office addition to our house in California we need to provide as-built drawings to the city. Among other things, they will use these plans to do title-24 energy calculations. Are ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

How does the drywall meet a direct-to-tub surround edge?

Does the drywall get placed over the lip or meet at the lip?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Subfloors and stairs

It seems to me that many people put subfloors in their basements (and other floors), but what do they do when it comes to the existing stairs? I'm code says that you can't have more than 3/8" ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Pull Up All Laminate Boards Or Cut One Board in Doorway and Start From There

Now that I have installed Pergo XP laminate flooring I've discovered that there is a soft spot from the doorway which transitions from the kitchen into the dining room. When walking into the dining ...
2
votes
3answers
5k 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
7k 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
79 views

How should I contain dust during a remodel?

I am about to start on a remodel project that involves framing in part of the attic for a bonus room. More importantly this will also involve knocking down a few walls near the living room and kitchen ...
1
vote
3answers
54 views

How can I protect ultra thin paint on new kitchen cabinets?

I just got new kitchen cabinets, and the paint on the doors (which are hard wood) is ultra-ultra thin. It seems like it will scratch very easily. Is there a way to protect? They are being installed ...
1
vote
1answer
250 views

Should I choose cordless hammer drill for home improvement? I'm a green bird for it [closed]

I'm planning to do home remodeling all by myself and now I'm preparing for all the necessary tools. When considering cordless hammer drill, I'm at a lost. I found that the cordless hammer drill was ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Do I need builders risk insurance for a kitchen remodel

I am managing my own kitchen remodel which involves the following work: Level subfloor New porcelain tile floor Replace load bearing wall with post and beam (under the direction and plans of a ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Found Lath and Plaster wall under remodel drywall. Is it restorable?

I'm currently in the process of restoring my 1906 home's bathroom. At some point in the last 10-15 years the bathroom was given a cheap remodel. New plumbing and outlets were run and drywall was hung ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Covering knob holes in bathroom tile

I have recently replaced an old leaking shower manifold (three handle) with a one handle model. In hindsight I should have used an adapter plate like this one to cover the two outer holes and expose ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Review of my electrical plans

I am finishing a basement. It is wide open with no rooms, just a structural cinder block/I-beam wall. I am adding a home office to one corner. This is a bit long, but I want to be sure to include all ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Window Replacement

I'm remodeling a home. The kitchen has a garden window I wish to replace. The walls are open from the inside, but we are "out of time" (for various reasons) to remove the exterior siding and install a ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

New “Hardwood” Floor Layout

Redoing a big a portion of the first floor in our 1984 home. Need some advice on layout of floor planks. I understand the material we end up choosing will affect layout pattern, but for now we are ...