8
votes
5answers
7k views

Why don't people use rigid or spray foam insulation in attics?

I'm looking to upgrade the insulation in my attic bumping it from an R-6 to R-30 or better, and while looking into things I realized I've never seen anyone use rigid or spray foam insulation in an ...
2
votes
1answer
439 views

Can I build a French drain with old concrete and brick instead of rock?

Can I use old pieces of concrete (broken up cinder block) and old brick instead of rocks in the construction of a French drain? I'm thinking of building a French drain that leads to a dry well to ...
2
votes
3answers
702 views

Can I use brake fluid or steering fluid to stop a fan from squeaking?

Can I use braking fluid or steering fluid on my squeaking table fan? Are they safe? I'm just wondering if I can use anything that's already lying around the house.
6
votes
1answer
10k views

How can I attach a ledger board to my house?

Spring is here so I finally started to take measurements for materials I will need to build a new deck on my recently constructed home. I just realized that this isn't going to be quite so simple as I ...
7
votes
3answers
10k views

What could be causing a urine smell in our bathrooms?

I live in a home built in 2006. We are a clean family and have no pets. In ALL three of our bathrooms I am smelling an odor of "old urine". I do have a 3-year-old son so at first I thought he was ...
0
votes
2answers
189 views

Can I burn wood in this fireplace?

I have what appears to be a manufactured fireplace with a metal flue (rather than masonry). It currently burns gas, and I assumed that's all I could burn, but I noticed on its product placard that it ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it better to paint wood siding or replace it with vinyl?

I live in Boulder, Colorado. It's time to get my wood siding painted. There will also be a little bit of repair involved. One paint company recommended replacing some sheets of siding, the other 2 ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I reverse erosion which is lowering earth around fence posts?

Erosion has exposed several fence posts behind the back yard. I've considered building a retaining wall, buying dirt and filling the area in then growing some ground cover, or eventually rebuilding ...
4
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I transition between these floors?

I have recently fitted some new laminate flooring to my living room floor. This floor meets directly with the tiled floor of the kitchen. I'm looking to fit some sort of transition bar between the ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

How can I add a relay to the manual control for my HVAC unit?

I have a self standing HVAC unit that has a control panel with manual buttons. There is no thermostat. Eventually my goal is to create a relay that can be controlled via IR/RF so I can install a Nest ...
-1
votes
2answers
199 views

How can I add lighting in my bedrooms without too many visible wires?

I will be moving in to my new house in 2 months. My wife and I thought that we might not need ceiling lights, and that our builder charged too much for the lights anyway. We did not order any ceiling ...
3
votes
2answers
267 views

What do you call the clips for attaching a dado rail?

The dado rail in our living room is attached with plastic clips that have kind of grove on them. Researching online, it seems that most people have stuck these rails on with glue. Some of these are ...
1
vote
1answer
445 views

What type of lattice should I use for a privacy screen?

I'm building a privacy screen for a terrace. I'm using 3/4 mahogany for the frame. I've made grooves (dado cuts?) in which I am going to place the lattice. The depth of the grooves is about a half an ...
2
votes
1answer
525 views

How can I make a park bench more sturdy?

I purchased a park bench for my patio But it's a little on the flimsy side and I'm afraid someone is going to throw themselves down on it and it's going to break. In what way can I strengthen the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Why am I getting 50V at a light when the switch is off?

I am trying to put in a switch and a light it controls in a storage building and this is how I wired it. Click for larger view When I checked the wiring it registered 120V when the switch was on, ...
3
votes
1answer
152 views

How do I install a bathroom exhaust system?

We are set to close on our house in about three weeks and one of the problems that the inspector noted was that the vent in the guest bath vents into the attic (never going outside) and the master ...
3
votes
2answers
856 views

What type of cleaner should be used to remove “hand sludge” from a varnished wood railing?

You know what I'm talking about, right? That dark grey sludge that builds up on hand rails over the years? I inherited a case of sludgy hand-rails when I bought my first house and I'd like to clean ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

How can I repair a slow leak in my concrete fountain?

I have a painted concrete fountain whose bottom well slowly leaks over about 2 days. My area gets to ~-20c (-9ish F) in the winter, so I worry that trapped water is slowly destroying it. I suspect ...
2
votes
1answer
502 views

Why is my electric water heater making an intermittent groaning noise?

My 8 year old electric water heater started to make a strange rattling noise a couple of weeks ago. The noise happens at random and lasts for only a few minutes. Short bursts of noise about a minute ...
6
votes
2answers
769 views

How can I strip and repaint a concrete porch?

My porch is concrete and has been painted over several times, the last time by the previous owner using paint that is obviously not appropriate (it's very slick when it rains/snows). It needs to be ...
1
vote
1answer
841 views

Is it safe to use a GU10 adapter in a E27 recessed fixture?

I've got some downlights in my kitchen that have an E27 socket and had E27 fluorescent bulbs in them: I generally dislike the light these put out and was looking to replace them with halogen spots. ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does my bathroom shower have too much water pressure?

I have the same shower head, nothing has changed except the pressure. It sprays so hard that it hurts, and in 10 minutes the hot water is almost gone. What can I do to fix this?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How do I locate a dryer exhaust vent?

I live in an older duplex. I just recently attempted to clean out the dryer vent/duct for the downstairs unit and failed because I could not find where my dryer vent is outside. Is it possible that my ...
3
votes
1answer
275 views

What should I consider when removing part of the second floor to make higher ceilings?

I live in an old (120 - 150 yr old) house with very low ceilings. I am considering ways to make the house feel more open and one option is to remove part of the ceiling and floor joists of the second ...
4
votes
2answers
411 views

How do I locate studs in my wall?

First, I'm not the handiest of men, but can usually figure this sort of thing out. I just moved into an apartment in Manhattan and we're wanting to mount shelves, desks, and televisions to the wall to ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

What wires do I need to run to my wall mounted tv?

I'm in the planning stages of a home theater setup. What do I need to run to the tv so I can hook up various components? I planned on running power, HDMI cables, RCA cables, coax, and an ethernet ...
1
vote
1answer
216 views

Should I attempt to get to a potentially damaged trap and check it out myself?

I have a back up in my garage drain. I mopped it up and today I returned to see the same, nasty smelling liquid had returned to almost the exact same level and quantity that was previously there. ...
1
vote
1answer
184 views

Can I use another grout sealer after using Grout Boost?

I put Grout Boost in when I did the grout on my kitchen counter-top. Is it OK to put another sealer on top even though I used the Grout Boost in the grout?
4
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does it take my dryer 3 hours to dry a load of clothes?

I have a Maytag model LD69806AAE clothes dryer. Since our tenants in our town home have moved in July 2012. They have pointed out that the dryer takes about 3 hours to dry a load of clothes. The dryer ...
2
votes
2answers
171 views

Do z-wave products suffer any limitations in the UK because of radio limits?

I'm looking into home automation and I think I'm settling on z-wave as my choice. however, I was slightly worried by this comment on wikipedia; In Europe, the 868 MHz band has a 1% duty cycle ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Do I have to prime over spackle?

I'm painting my kitchen. Some areas of the walls had to be repaired with spackle. Do I need to do a prime coat before I paint? I'm painting the same color. Although I'm changing the finish from ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Should I add batt insulation to concrete basement walls?

We're planning how to finish our basement, and haven't been able to figure out something related to insulation. The home's in Minnesota, and was built in 2008. XPS insulation (installed by the ...
3
votes
2answers
460 views

What would cause this bad flame pattern in my boiler?

I'm living in Mexico and my landlord just installed a new boiler. When it's turned on, it makes this huge noise. When you check the burner, you can see this flame below the main burner. I asked my ...
1
vote
2answers
612 views

How to repair a small hardwood crack?

I have a maple bench that recently decide to crack. I'm not sure what's the cause. I'm guessing wood expansion due to humidity changes. Anyway, I've decided to look around for solutions on fixing the ...
2
votes
2answers
392 views

How can I build a privacy fence?

I'm about to install a privacy fence around a decent sized area of land, both for privacy and to keep my 3 year old daughter and our two basset hounds safely away from the road. I'm installing the ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

Can I cover junction boxes in the attic with insulation?

This may be a duplicate of What are the codes for electrical wiring in attics? I have an attic which is accessible via a ladder through an access panel in the garage and in a bedroom. The trusses ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

What to do about subfloor covering sole plates?

My basement already has framing and insulation around the outside walls, along with a few outlets in them. If I were to do 3/4" OSB over 1" XPS for a subfloor the sole plates of those outer walls ...
2
votes
1answer
329 views

Is this water heater drain configuration safe?

I've just replaced my water heater and for the first time my house has a water heater drain pan. The washing machine waste line is nearby and I'd like to connect the water heater drain pan to this ...
1
vote
1answer
190 views

How risky is it to cap an old (metal system) sprinkler head?

We have an all metal sprinkler system. I need to have one head capped. What is the chance of the pipe breaking? Is it better to leave it alone? The sprinkler head in question is going to be right in ...
5
votes
1answer
456 views

Will combining roof venting systems cause short cycling?

I'm looking into buying a new house here in Wisconsin that has soffit vents, ridge vents and some additional static roof vents installed. However, when the home inspector came through he said that ...
3
votes
2answers
317 views

How can I replace the bleed plug for my towel rail?

I have a very similar type of radiator as this: However doing a bathroom refit, I have somehow lost the radiator bleed plug which is shown in the picture above. So if I turn the radiator on, it ...
7
votes
1answer
477 views

Are these brown finger-like things on the outside of my house caused by termites?

Is this ground termite? This is on the outside of a wall in the backyard. This is the only occurrence of this thing. Should I be worried? Should I call someone to look at it? OR can I fix this ...
2
votes
1answer
340 views

Why does our “granite” worktop mark so easily?

We had a new kitchen installed, supposedly by experts, but the "granite" worktop that was installed is really really fragile. I had expected a granite worktop to be hard and durable, but this is ...
0
votes
0answers
247 views

Why does the water pressure in my boiler go up so high?

The problem I have is with the pressure dial on the tank in bathroom. I was told that both needles should be at about 1.5, but the red needle rises up and then we have madly banging pipes, and ...
3
votes
2answers
241 views

How do I install kitchen cabinets?

I am thinking of replacing all the cabinets in our kitchen. What is the process for installing kitchen cabinets? (Ie. best to start in corner, and work out? Top cabinets first?) Edit: We have two ...
0
votes
1answer
6k views

How can I stop my radiators “clicking” when they're turned on or off?

I have a central heating system on a timer, and whenever the timer turns on or off, for around ten / fifteen minutes, some of the radiators in my home make regular clicking noises, kinda ...
1
vote
2answers
829 views

How does one typically do “Old Work” with metal junction boxes?

I am trying to add a light fixture to a room. I have access to the studs in the wall (new wall being added to the room), but the ceiling is drywalled. There is no attic access. Unfortunately, the ...
3
votes
3answers
860 views

What is the liquid in a Radon U-tube Manometer?

What is the liquid in a radon U-tube Manometer? I'm assuming that it's not water because of evaporation. Mine is clear in color, but I've been reading that it's normally blue or red. Is it a ...
0
votes
1answer
770 views

Can I install a garden chiminea in a wooden shed?

I want to install my iron garden chiminea into my wooden shed. Is this a really bad idea? If it's not, how should I go about installing a chimney flue?
2
votes
1answer
344 views

How can I cover the hole left by removing a kitchen wall fan?

We had an old exhaust fan that vented out through the kitchen wall. We removed it and drywalled over the hole, but are unsure how to cover the hole in the exterior siding. Is there a cover for this ...

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