6
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the pros and cons of a vented vs unvented crawl space?

I find it very confusing to read and hear conflicting advice on crawl space: vent vs air seal, different ways to do insulation, vapor barriers vs not, etc. Mine currently has some moisture and has ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

What is required to move a washer/dryer from one room to another?

How hard is it to move washer/dryer from an upstairs room to the basement? What hookups would we need, etc?
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How should I insulate my basement?

My basement is CMU blocks and concrete floor. I had water issues, so I waterproofed it with an interior french drain, drainboard at the edge and a sump pump. This wouldn't take care of dampness so I ...
3
votes
3answers
21k views

Why is my furnace blowing cold air?

My HEIL 7000 natural gas furnace has stopped working what are the most likely causes, and how to verify faulty parts? Normal operation routine Thermostat sends "need heat" signal. Exhaust blower ...
3
votes
4answers
949 views

How to spread light more

Which one is better for light bulbs in home to get more from light. White board behind bulb? White plastic covering the bulb? Mirror behind the bulb? Any other way? How to get more from a ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Should I use foam spray insulation in my crawl space?

My crawl space has no insulation. The dirt is wet near one of the walls. There have been termites in the past. I'm thinking of insulating the ceiling (between the joists) and the walls with foam ...
3
votes
1answer
996 views

How do I refinish a tabletop?

I have an old Ethan Allen dining room table with a couple leaves. It has a pretty dark finish with a thick coat of varnish on top. It's also got various scratches, water stains, etc. What is the ...
3
votes
1answer
426 views

Bathroom Vent is tied to ceiling vent in adjacent room

I live in a bungalow with a bathroom on both levels. The bathrooms both have exhaust vents. Outside of each bathroom is a ceiling vent. The previous owner stuck towels in these to block them off. ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Do I need to ground my pool?

I am have a concrete pool installed and the builder attached a ground cable to the rebar before spraying the concrete. He told me it is up to us whether we want to ground it or not. Given the lights ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Do I need to waterproof the external walls of my house?

I have just completed a renovation of my house. Where possible, I am putting decking around it to keep the brickwork dry and ventilated. One wall, however, will have sand and dirt added to build up ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

Pressure level in central heating system

Recently (since last week), the pressure in our heating system (as indicated by the pressure gauge on the boiler) is dropping rapidly. We're having to top this up around once every two days. As I ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I fix up an unfinished, oil-stained pine table?

I have an unfinished, salvaged natural hardwood, pine table, similar to the Restoration Hardware salvaged wood trestle table. I spilled some olive oil on it and then did something worse -- tried to ...
4
votes
2answers
349 views

Alternatives to signal on power for home automation systems (such as UBP) - low-voltage circuits, wireless…?

I am kind of averse to using signal on power for home automation systems such as UBP as this seems to be shared with the outside world (I read somewhere that the signal can travel as far as the ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Centralised home automation system - Any product out there?

I read the Scalable, affordable home automation question and answers with great interest. Simply Automated looks pretty cool & so do the ideas behind Z-Wave. What I'm looking for, I don't seem to ...
6
votes
2answers
20k views

What are the pros/cons of using porcelain over ceramic tile in a bathroom?

I'm planning on tiling a bathroom floor and a walk-in shower (including the ceiling). I haven't looked into pricing yet, but I've heard that porcelain would be a better, yet more expensive material to ...
3
votes
2answers
414 views

Gas combi boiler - left running constantly in cold weather

I've a gas combi-boiler that is generally working fine, but we're getting some seriously cold weather here at the minute (for us anyway) and I've had the odd problem with the boiler starting up when ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does my furnace turn off when the thermostat's LCD dims?

Recently I replaced an old mercury thermostat with a programmable digital model (a PRO1 T955W). It is set to operate in Heating mode. The desired temperature is set to 70 and the in-home temperature ...
4
votes
3answers
298 views

How can I clean the glass door on my fireplace?

I tried crumpled up newspaper but that was a joke. Are there any good techniques for doing this? Mine is totally covered with creosote right now and I can barely see through it.
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it common to have no ceiling joists above joist-parallel walls?

I own an old 1 story house that was built in 1926. Looking in the attic, I've noticed that all the interior walls that run parallel to the ceiling joists have no joist above them. These walls are ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I change a 1-gang electrical box to a 2-gang electrical box?

I live in a house built in the 50's in Maryland, US. Each bedroom contains 4 electrical outlets - configured in two 1-gang electrical boxes on opposing walls. However, with all the modern ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

How do I fill a wide gap between tile and other flooring / sill plate?

I recently installed 16" porcelain tile in a new laundry room addition. As luck would have it, the room ended up being the same width as 4 tiles, so I had to do very little cutting to complete the ...
12
votes
3answers
69k views

How do I refill a fire extinguisher or should I just buy a new one?

My fire extinguisher is out of charge and I want to either refill it or buy a new one. Is it better/cheaper to refill it or just buy a new one? (Can I even refill this fire extinguisher?) EDIT: ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What natural-wood finish should I use to protect a door from pet scratches?

I'm installing a new solid-core wood door in one of my bedrooms. I want the door to have a natural wood look. However, I have a dog who will scratch at the door to open it looking for me / squeaky ...
7
votes
2answers
41k views

What are the pros and cons of two AC systems vs a dual zone system?

I have a Cape Cod with 1000 ft2 on the first floor and an apartment in the attic. In a few years I may get rid of the apartment and build up a second story + attic. Both the first floor and the ...
6
votes
1answer
109 views

How should I organize a workspace to take my handedness into account?

I'm in the process of building myself a workbench and shed space and with only a very limited amount of space, some things have to be very carefully positioned. Having grown up with a left-handed ...
0
votes
1answer
274 views

Anyone know if there are any large chains that carry HT Armaflex?

Grainger doesn't have it, Northern Tool doesn't have it, and Lowes doesn't have it. Home Depot has a lower temperature (200F) Armaflex, but doesn't have HT Armaflex. (HT Armaflex, by the way, is a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it OK to turn off power to a fuel furnace?

Is it OK to turn off the power to a fuel furnace to replace the thermostat? Will the furnace start back up once power is restored? This is on a new furnace with an old thermostat and fuse panel.
3
votes
3answers
80 views

What outdoor materials can be damaged by by ice?

I'm relatively new to this snow thing. I also have a new vinyl deck and paver stone walkway I'd like to take care of. I have a basic understanding of how water can get into things, freeze, and break ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the best way to light a Lexan (Polycarbonate) sheet?

I've recently installed a Lexan 'whiteboard' in my garage which works as well as I'd hoped. I now want to use some type of lighting to light up the board in a useful/visual appealing way. Shown ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is there cracked paint on my new plaster?

I've just finished a renovation of my house. In the new half of the house, we have had problems with the paint on our cornices cracking. The cornices were brand new when installed, this was done ...
4
votes
2answers
956 views

Why do I have a reduced flame in my natural gas fireplace when the furnace or water heater runs?

I have a natural gas fireplace, furnace, water heater and barbecue. This year I've noticed that my barbecue blows out occasionally when it's on low, even in the slightest wind. I figured the burner ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why is my third floor hot water pressure so low?

The hot water pressure in our 3rd floor shower is very low. The 2nd floor shower however, has very good pressure. The problem is not the shower head, which actually produces great pressure when ...
2
votes
2answers
9k views

How do I seal a leaking plughole fitting?

The plughole in my bathroom basin is leaking. The leak is between the plughole and the basin (i.e. through the circular hole in the basin in which the metal plughole is fitted), and it seems to me as ...
3
votes
2answers
707 views

What can I use to automatically turn off a bathroom heater after a fixed time?

I never want the heater in the bath to operate more than, say, one hour straight. I want a way to automatically turn it off after one hour of usage (in case I forget to turn that off), however, I ...
4
votes
3answers
14k views

How do I install a pre-hung door in a rough opening that's too wide?

I'm replacing an interior door -- including the original jamb -- in my house with a new 30" pre-hung door. With the jambs, the new door is 31 3/8" wide. However, the original rough opening is ...
1
vote
4answers
7k views

Will wrapping the stove pipes with copper pipes increase wood stove efficiency?

I've heard that wrapping my wood stove's chimney - the parts inside the house that go from the stove the the actual chimney - with copper pipes will increase the amount of heat generated. Has anyone ...
4
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I unclog my dishwasher?

Our dishwasher, which is only about 5 years old, has been finishing its cycle with quite a bit of water in the bottom that doesn't drain. The water stays that way for several days or more. Is there ...
2
votes
2answers
650 views

How do I make a curtain rail on a curved bay window easy to use?

We have a bay window with a curved curtain rail that goes round the bay. At present it is very hard to pull the curtain along the rail, as the curtain hooks get stack often on the curve. Solutions ...
4
votes
2answers
128 views

Blue-collar / Foreman / Project Management Vernacular

I'm going to be installing something over and over again in many homes, and in order to help me keep track of what I need to do the job, I'm creating two parts lists for the three-hundred or so ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Should my water heater drip constantly?

My wife was home today during a follow-up visit from the sump pump replacement we had as a result of my sump pump issue. After solving the problem, the plumber opened a the release valve from the ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

How do I work around a tree in my fence line?

I have a fence that was built about 4 years ago. There was a large oak tree that I wish to keep on the fence line. The fence was built around the tree; it not only removed the tree from my yard, but ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I build a deck that is easy to take apart?

I spent the day taking apart the platform for a yurt. It was a real pain, and I want to make it easier to take apart next time. Old deck construction details: Decking was 1 1/8" tongue-and-groove ...
3
votes
3answers
713 views

Should I shovel snow off my vinyl deck?

Will there be damage if I don't shovel the snow off (due to snow thaw/freeze/thaw)? Is it safe to use a metal shovel on vinyl decking? Is it ok to allow the stuff to melt naturally if I don't plan to ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

How can I restore the springs in my storm door hinges?

I have a storm door that has springs in the hinges - in theory, they're supposed to close the door, and they worked OK for a couple of years. Lately, however, they no longer close the door properly. ...
7
votes
4answers
15k views

Can I keep unused paint in the roller tray?

I've partway through a multi-weekend project involving turning two free-standing metal shelving units into a fully enclosed workshop-cupboard. The enclosing material is MDF and since this will be on ...
7
votes
2answers
275 views

How to fit vents in a roof

The home we have just brought has no vents in its tiled roof; therefore it is getting a lot of condensation in the loft. So how do I fit vents? Do the vent you fix from the inside (rather than ...
8
votes
10answers
13k views

How do I get leftover tape stickiness off of plastic surfaces?

Okay...there's kind of a long story behind it, but I have left-over stickiness on the front of my alarm clock because it was bright, and I didn't notice a switch on it. It's from scotch tape that's ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What's wrong with my thermostat (fan / limit control)?

I previously asked about wiring the White-Rodgers fan/limit control on my wood stove. It's now wired and the wood stove is fired up. I ran the fan wires to the fan (hot) and I capped the limit ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I work out the CH boiler size we should have?

How do I work out the boiler size we should have? (I have been told we need a 18KW boiler for our large 3 detached bedroom bungalow in the north of the UK, is this really powerful enough?)
29
votes
4answers
68k views

Why does my dishwasher back up into the sink, but running the disposal allows it to drain?

When my dishwasher runs the kitchen sink backs up. I have a two tub sink and only the side nearest the dishwasher with the garbage disposer backs up. Running the disposal for a few seconds causes the ...

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