5
votes
2answers
2k views

Why doesn't the main breaker shut off power for house?

Location: California | United States I'm certain I'll need a licensed electrician for this but wanted to get thoughts on what could be going on. I recently noticed that power remains on in my house ...
6
votes
2answers
389 views

Frame or floor planks first?

Is it best to frame a powder room and a couple closets first, on top of plywood subfloor, or best to lay hardwood planks first then frame on top? I guess it would be fewer cuts to frame second. What ...
14
votes
3answers
630 views

What are some tips for finishing wood?

I'm kind of embarrassed to ask, but I'm looking for a good how-to guide for finishing pine furniture. (Could also apply to baseboards and trim, so I'm hoping for an on-topic pass here.) I watched my ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Is graphite lubricant safe for metal parts?

I've heard an opinion that using graphite lubricant on door hinges can lead to metal abrasion and damaging the hinges. The idea is that graphite has abrasive properties and thus can damage metal. Is ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

What are the consequences of building without a permit?

Suppose someone decided to build a house without getting the required permits. What are the possible consequences? I'm not talking about slipshod workmanship, or ignoring safety of structure, fire, ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is a timed electrical switch causing vent fan to run slower / with less power?

I bought this timed electrical switch and used it to replace a standard switch that turned on my bathroom vent fan (I'm always forgetting to turn it off and it often will run all day.) after the ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is a light switch is buzzing at audible volume?

just noticed that a light switch (mechanical, not a dimmer; 220v 50hz) is buzzing at audible volume (can hear in 20cm), when both keys are on (first: traditional lightbulb, second: 23w energy saving ...
8
votes
4answers
15k views

What type of space heater is best for an uninsulated garage?

I'm planning on applying stain and polyurethane to some furniture I recently built. I've been thinking about getting a space heater for my uninsulated garage, both to help the poly cure, and for my ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Why do I have blue water coming out of the faucets?

We have an upstairs bathroom that we've gutted and are having some contractors remodel. The toilet is the only thing that hasn't been touched. We had a plumber come and redo all of the source and ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some permanent shower shelf options?

I have found shower caddies and suction cup add-ons, but I want to add shelves to my shower surround that are permanent. I haven't had much lucking finding anything. What are my options, and where ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Can water-damaged drywall be repaired, or does it have to be replaced?

We have a basement bathroom that has water damage from the bathroom above. The damage is old, so it has completely dried, however it has bubbled the paint so the damage is obvious. Mold is not a ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

What can I use to drill dowel holes down the end of a long piece of wood?

More of a DIY than Improvement question, but here goes anyway. We're building a shoe box with slatted sides and base and were thinking of joining the slats to the corner uprights with dowel (excuse ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I repair a drywall ceiling when there is blown in insulation above?

I was finishing the space above a garage. The space was buried in blown in cellulose insulation and we framed in some walls, laid a subfloor, and finished the room. During framing two different ...
6
votes
2answers
620 views

“Dead-ending” unused plumbing

I'm planning on moving our hot water heater from its current location in our mudroom down to the basement, to live in what will become sort of a mechanical closet in the to-be-finished basement. My ...
5
votes
1answer
467 views

Tips on keeping window screen in window sill

We like to open our windows when it is nice out. Unfortunately the bottom part of our window, where the screen fits into, is not very high. So what happens is our cat tends to push the screen out ...
29
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it worth spending extra to get a nicer circular saw?

I'm doing some small projects such as building a workbench, and I don't have a saw to cut plywood with. I've got a 12" compound miter saw, so I don't currently need a circular saw for anything other ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What am I missing when blowing out water from my sprinkler system?

I am trying to blow out my sprinkler lines and I put together an adapter to connect the air compressor to the faucet pictured below. The air compressor was charged to 140PSI, and then I turned on a ...
10
votes
6answers
13k views

Can I save energy costs by turning off the refrigerator for 1-2 hours every day?

Now that I'm looking into home automation, I'm thinking about automatically cutting off the fridge power from 3am ~ 5am. Given that modern refrigerators are well insulated, it should be able to ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

Can I use a PVC cleanout plug in a Cast Iron Cleanout?

There's a cleanout plug on this pipe that I simply can't get loose. I've tried liquid wrench, PB blaster, heating up the area with a torch, everything I can think of. All that's really left is to go ...
5
votes
3answers
324 views

What level of electrical service should I order, for new construction?

Starting from scratch here. A transformer on the street, no buildings on the land yet. I want to order temporary electrical service now, for use during construction. So we don't have to dig the ...
2
votes
2answers
129 views

Spa bath pump sizing

We're slowly renovating our 90~100 year old house and when we get to the bathroom we intend to install a spa bath. Not a large spa/jacuzzi, just a bath. Most of those we've seen so far come with a ...
5
votes
3answers
13k views

How do I connect an air compressor to blow out my sprinkler lines?

I want to blow out my sprinkler lines before the freezing weather gets here (I am in NJ). I have an air compressor that I can borrow but how do I attach the air compressor line to the sprinkler ...
3
votes
2answers
448 views

Water filtration system recommendations

I'm trying to get my parents a good water filtration system for their home. They live in Mexico so the quality of the water might not be as good as in the US. They have to buy bottled water every week ...
3
votes
2answers
320 views

Cement around decorative bricks leaves grey/matte coating on bricks

I'm installing a decorative brick wall (individual thin bricks) for the first time. I glued all the bricks and now I'm working on the cement (mortar) around the bricks. I did a few rows yesterday for ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I build an on grade foundation for a shed?

After asking a couple of questions about what type of foundation to place an 8x10 vinyl shed, I am now ready to build an on grade foundation. Can someone point me to detailed instructions for how to ...
2
votes
2answers
407 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 ...
3
votes
12answers
29k views

How do I fill in the grooves in wood paneling in order to paint over it?

Most of my house has wood paneling instead of drywall. I want to fill in the grooves to give my walls a smooth look (drywalling the house is not in the budget). Based on the recommendation of a ...
2
votes
3answers
825 views

How do I install plastic window insulation without damaging the trim?

I'm planning to install plastic window wrap on my windows for the winter, but the trim around the windows is nice wood and I don't want to leave a mark on it where the double-sided tape will be. I've ...
5
votes
1answer
674 views

How do I splice a drywall metal outside corner bead?

When re-finishing my ceiling (formerly popcorn, now smooth) I had some trouble with the edge of the tray ceiling in the master bedroom. Since the length of the tray was longer than a standard metal ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why should I use advanced nails instead of wood screws for strength?

Recently I found that there're some superior nails for constructing hurricane-resistant houses - with very clever design for preventing pulling the nails out and tearing the boards off when the ...
3
votes
1answer
468 views

Installing railing pickets using dowel pins

I am building porch railing, and I'm considering using dowels to attach the pickets so that no nailing is required. For 2x2 pickets: What size dowel stock should I use? How long should each dowel ...
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
3answers
3k views

How can I “seal up” cracks in my wooden shed between wooden slats/floorboards?

I've got a new shed being put up this weekend, I want to try to seal it up to keep some of the bugs from taking over. After looking around Focus DIY (large DIY chain in the UK) I found some "wood ...
5
votes
1answer
261 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: ...
6
votes
1answer
10k views

Do I need an outlet box to install an outdoor light fixture?

We're getting a sliding door and deck installed this week and the town inspector said I need to have an outside light by the door. I'm ready to tackle this part myself. Most of the howto stuff I ...
0
votes
2answers
206 views

Why do most home automation products only control incandescent light bulbs?

I have a new bare apartment due soon to work with. It's my first time investigating home automation but all I come up with are home automation products for incandescent lighting. Yet all my rooms have ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I reduce height of the curb on my driveway?

I have a concrete driveway (normal 2 car poured driveway) which is cut vertically (90 degrees) about 2.5 inches above the street. My father-in-law lives with us and has a powered wheelchair. The ...
3
votes
2answers
974 views

What's the smallest general-use tractor I can get?

I'm thinking about buying a small tractor for odd jobs on the homestead (~2 acres of woods). For big jobs (e.g. install septic system), I'm OK with hiring someone, but sometimes there's a small job ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I drill additional holes for adjustable-height shelving?

I have a set of cupboards with shelves that adjust in height, by means of moving pins that hold up the shelves to different holes: Unfortunately, for some reason, whoever made the cupboards didn't ...
2
votes
1answer
345 views

How can I remove oil/ATF from a newly paved driveway?

I had my asphalt driveway repaved this spring, and of course my car has started leaking - ATF in this case. How can I remove it?
2
votes
2answers
412 views

Do I have to do anything special when laying a shed? Ie foundations/bases etc?

I know there is already a similar question but focused on plastic sheds My question is, I'm thinking of investing in a shed for my garden, but do I need to do any preparation or can I literally just ...
2
votes
1answer
624 views

Repair a popped up brick in an otherwise level brick patio

My brick patio is very level. Unfortunately, a nearby tree has sent a root that is now causing a brick to pop up. Before the issue spreads I'd like to pry the brick up and remove the offending root. ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the best plastic to make a see through 'whiteboard' with?

Over the past few months I've slowly been converting my garage into a DIY/project/man zone by adding lighting, work benches, storage and tools. Next I'd like to mount a piece of transparent plastic ...
4
votes
2answers
706 views

How to fix a house window that falls out?

Two sets of windows on the second floor of our house fall out, due to too much space between the window and frame area. It's tight enough at the corners of the frame area, but not in the middle. In ...
2
votes
1answer
263 views

Fluorescent Lights and CFLs Take Longer to Startup in Cold

When it is colder outside, I noticed that the CFLs in my house and the fluorescent lights in my garage take longer to come on and get bright. Sometimes they flicker more. I am in Florida so coldest is ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

How could I extend a baby gate at the bottom?

Our 11 month old is starting to crawl, and it is beyond time to put a baby gate at the top of the stairs. We received a baby gate, along with instructions, which clearly state that the maximum ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Should I install tamper resistant receptacles

When changing out receptacles should I be installing tamper resistant receptacles? It seems that the 2008 NEC requires these devices to be installed for any new install, should I be installing them ...
5
votes
2answers
15k views

How do I make where my carpet meets tile look nice?

We've recently replaced our kitchen tiles. I pretty happy with the results but have no idea what to do with the edge. How do I clean this edge up so that it looks more appealing?
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What are the pros and cons of various hardwood floor finishes?

Trying to decide how to stain/finish some new oak hardwood floors. What are the pros and cons of various options like stain+poly, tung oil, etc. I'm wondering about lifetime cost, durability, ability ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the best option for hiding wires to wall mounted TV?

This is similar to this question, but in my case I'm not looking for the easiest solution but the most professional solution. I am torn between modular wall plates, and the type that just have a hole ...

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