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 ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

How to effectively fire a contractor and avoid liens or other legal issues

There may come a time despite all the research, when you realize the contractor you hired just isn't up to snuff. what is the best way to fire them and avoid liens or legal battles? Is this something ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I fix window jams that are not even with drywall?

We recently bought a house that was in the midst of a remodel. The PO had replaced 80% of the windows but had not gotten to the trim. The issue I have is the jam does not match with the drywall. In ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there an average number of outlets that are wired off of one circuit breaker?

I recently demolished my basement to start a reconstruction/improvement project. My first horror was the electrical layout. I've got hidden junctions, mismatched wire sizes, improper junctions and ...
2
votes
4answers
692 views

Why do some painters leave a gap between the wall and the ceiling?

I've noticed that (at least here in Germany) some walls are painted so that a tiny fraction of the upper wall has the same color as the ceiling. Why do people do that? I find this not so pretty.
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
374 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

Tub re-glazed and re-caulked, drippy residue from caulking

I recently had my bathtub re-glazed and re-caulked by a company that specializes in this. The tub was re-caulked 3 days after it was re-glazed by the specialist. Everything looked ok. We waited ...
2
votes
1answer
517 views

Repair PricePfister WL2-23 Classic Lavatory Faucet?

I have a faucet that closely resembles the one found at http://bit.ly/bTTr8z the WL2-23 near the bottom right of the list. I am having trouble removing the faucet handles in order to look at the ...
1
vote
2answers
968 views

How do I prevent wood from warping?

I have an electricity inspection box inside the house. What I'd like to do is build a small wooden cabinet to enclose it (it is flush to the wall). I've measured up and bought five pieces of wood: ...
1
vote
2answers
832 views

Why do some oil heaters (“red diesel”) use also electricity and some not?

I would like to install a small heater, for heating one room, that runs on heating oil, i.e. "red diesel". After a brief look on what is available for sale, I noticed some of them require also an ...
1
vote
1answer
667 views

How do I reinforce a drawer bottom?

I recently bought a self-assembly wardrobe. After assembling it, the drawer bottoms were not held in place by enough wood (I think the groove for the drawer base was too close to the bottom of the ...
18
votes
7answers
13k views

What can I do to keep my shed (or house) free of spiders?

I've got an old shed at the end of my garden, this summer I gave it a complete cleanout, but within a few weeks it was back to its cobweb infested state. Being quite an arachnaphobe, it makes getting ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I repair screw holes in a brick wall?

I have screw holes which were put in to support a curtain rail. The curtain's been pulled out a few times by accident, and now the screw holes are crumbling and I don't know how to repair that portion ...
6
votes
3answers
347 views

How can I locate the pump in a wet open-vented central heating system?

Lost: One Central Heating Pump. Reward offered (in reputation points ;) I have a wet open-vented central heating system, and I've turned it on after six months to find the radiators aren't getting ...
7
votes
4answers
351 views

Should I stop to hand-sharpen my chainsaw, or bring extra chains?

If I'm going to spend the day in the woods with the chainsaw, my chain will get dull before I'm done. Should I learn to hand-file the cutters, and sharpen in the woods? Or should I bring a spare ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I mix brands of chainsaw chains?

I have a Stihl 260 chainsaw, with a 3/8" chain and a 20" bar. What criteria do I need to apply when picking a second chainsaw chain?
2
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
156 views

Got too aggressive with steel wool on pavers, how can I make this look right?

A friend of mine suggested using steel wool to remove stains from paver stones. This turned out to be a pretty dumb thing to do. Many of the pavers have been obviously smoothed out and the color is ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

What hoses for shallow point well?

I've got a shallow point well w/pump where the tube (some sort of hard plastic) from the pump to the well has failed. It developed a pinhole leak. Question is, what do I need to replace it? Is ...
2
votes
1answer
952 views

What's the best way to paint MDF?

I want to paint an MDF radiator cover with either a satin or a gloss paint. Should I apply to paint directly to the MDF or should I apply a primer first?
7
votes
4answers
839 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
225 views

How should I handle bare wooden posts in a wet area?

In a post-and-beam house (built from Douglas Fir), I will have a bathtub right next to a couple of the posts. Should I be worried about the effect of water on the longevity of the wood? The other ...
3
votes
1answer
621 views

How can I fix a broken face on a kitchen drawer?

I have a silverware drawer that the face broke off when it was slammed shut. I'm trying to figure out the best way to re-attach it. I've tried using gorilla glue but that didn't work to well because ...
2
votes
3answers
27k views

Can I use my shower while grout is curing?

I just recaulked my front bath and accidentally popped loose a tile in the process. I reinstalled the tile and allowed that to set before grouting. I just finished grouting the tile, and I read on ...
3
votes
1answer
611 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
205 views

Re-designing an existing fireplace

Can an amateur DIY'er re-design, demo, and built a new fireplace from an existing masonry fireplace? Tips and Tricks for following the building code Tips and Tricks for demo (how far to go) Tips and ...
18
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the best order for interior painting (walls, trim, windows, etc.)?

I'm repainting a room. I'm removing wallpaper from the walls, and stripping paint from trim around doors, windows and baseboards. There's no crown moulding. I might repaint the ceiling, not sure yet. ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

China bristle paintbrush stiff from oil based paint and varnish

I have used high quality china bristle paintbursh for various projects over the years. It was used for some exterior oil based paint, but mainly it has been used to varnish various hardwoods after ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I stop bulbs from buzzing when dimmed?

I've got some hanging lights with "Fat Albert" bulbs that are plugged into a dimmer switch. When they're dimmed to certain levels, the bulbs make a soft buzzing sound. The buzz is amplified and ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What are my gutter guard options?

As I mentioned in a prior post, I'm planning to add some gutters to my house. I see that there's wide variety of gutter guards available and was curious which ones are better? As far as I can ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

What can I use to lubricate a new kitchen faucet no longer turns?

I installed a new kitchen faucet about 6 months ago. However, it no longer turns/swivels at the base. My non-expert inspection of the problem seems to suggest that the point-of-swivel has a build up ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a quick way to clean up walnuts from a yard?

I'm renting a house and it has a walnut tree in the yard which has started dropping hundreds of walnuts all over the place. Picking them up by hand seems like it'd be messy and very slow. Is there a ...
3
votes
3answers
943 views

What are the pros and cons of vinyl gutters?

I need to add some gutters to part of our house and I'm seriously considering vinyl gutters because they seem REALLY easy to setup (with minimal tools required too). That being said, I've heard some ...
3
votes
1answer
565 views

How do I properly wire a 5-wire thermostat? What is this ambiguous '4' label?

I took the old thermostat off, and had G,Y,W,Rc and '4' terminals connected to the Green, Yellow, White, Red and Black wires respectively. Voltage from Rc to G|Y|W was 24VAC as well '4' to G|Y|W ...
6
votes
7answers
27k views

How do I prevent water from collecting against side of house?

Our house has a concrete patio (I'd say about 12' x 10') in the back that is very slightly angled in so that rainfall can cause water to collect where the patio meets the back wall of the house. What ...
3
votes
9answers
5k views

Can I use mulch as a driveway covering?

I'm about to put a driveway down. Is it possible to cover the driveway with mulch instead of gravel? Context: In the woods. I want to keep the woodsy feel. Long, mild winters. January average ...
5
votes
5answers
7k 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
769 views

What can (and cannot) be put down drains that are connected to septic systems?

This might be more appropriate as a community wiki... We have a septic system and I'm extremely paranoid about what can (and cannot) be put down our sink drains. I know the general answer is ...
6
votes
2answers
436 views

How should I rebase a clothesline post on sloped property?

I live in Toronto, Canada. Our old clothesline was affixed atop a 14' post attached to the vehicle shed (the shed is too low, dug into the side of a slope), the bottom of the post was eventually ...
6
votes
3answers
364 views

Are there other advantages to using turf over grass seed besides getting instant results?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm planning to eventually have a lawn in our front yard (right now, it's bare due to septic work). I'm confused on if there are clear advantages to using turf vs ...
5
votes
3answers
496 views

What is a UFCL brand circuit?

I'm shopping for a combination vent fan/light for a bathroom, and some of the ones I've found state this: UL Listed for use over bathtubs and showers when connected to a GFCI protected branch ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

I am removing some Knob and Tube wiring. Can I leave the NEUTRAL wires hanging in the walls?

I am renovating my bathroom. I am bringing in new circuits for all the electrical, and replacing the boxes. I will have no problem capping off/removing the live (black) knob and tube wires in boxes. ...
2
votes
1answer
569 views

Why does my Paloma tankless water heater turn off randomly without errors?

We have a Paloma Tankless water heater, model: PTG-74PVN that shuts down when in use for a few minutes. There is no code displayed on the screen, it just powers down. This started happening a few ...
5
votes
2answers
309 views

Is installing crown molding a DIY project?

My wife has lately been thinking about ways to improve our home, and has settled upon installing crown molding in our 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms as one of the things she would like to do. My ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Can I replace an outlet that uses knob and tube wiring with a grounded outlet?

Can I replace an outlet that uses knob and tube wiring with a grounded outlet? Obviously the best choice would be to replace the old wiring. Is there a standard way to ground these outlets? Do I need ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

With a shower, should the edge where the wall meets the floor be caulked, or is grout okay?

Some of the shower tiles have come loose in my shower and need repair (specifically the ones at the base of the wall). There's no 'tub' per-se, the whole thing is tiled, and it looks like whoever ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I make my floors more stable?

My builder did (what seems to me) a cut rate job on my floors. When I walk around in my house my table and entertainment center (and other such things) shake as I walk past them. (Heaven help me if ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

What are the best practices for a low deck built half on a concrete slab?

In our current place, we moved the main access door from going into the kitchen, to entering an old laundry room converted to a mud room. In order to do so, the front door was moved over about 4', ...
2
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I attach a ledger board if I have no interior access?

I would like to build a small, 24" high deck, for a new entry door to the house. I have the deck plans all laid out, and am in need of a 2x10 ledger board under the door to attach the deck to. Most ...

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