3
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I reconnect a compression joint without replacing the olive?

We had a leak from our water storage tank and in order to replace the platform that the tank was on, I disconnected all the pipes from the tank. There are three 22mm pipes that connect at low levels, ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How far away must a woodstove be from walls?

I'm thinking of installing a woodstove in my cabin. How far away must I install it from the walls (which are surfaced with wood planks)? Should I cover the nearby walls with bricks? Is there any ...
8
votes
4answers
3k views

What's the best strategy to reduce moisture in this garage?

First of all, I know this garage will never be dry. It's a standalone, one car garage built into the side of the hill that my house sits on. It abuts the neighbor's yard, and they have landscaping and ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

Conservatory Roof

Our conservatory roof is made from Everlite. The problem we have is that where the roof runs into the drain is constantly filling up with soil, stones and moss. I have no idea where it's all coming ...
2
votes
1answer
479 views

What's the best way to seal around this faucet?

This faucet is not hooked up to a live pipe, but it still sticks out the side of my 110 year old house. The siding is fiber cement containing asbestos (and no, I'm not worried about working with it). ...
7
votes
4answers
20k views

How can I make my sink smell better?

My sink has a tendency to smell awful. A few times I've poored a lemon juice & baking soda mixture down it, but it only reduces the smell for a few days. What are some longer term solutions to ...
3
votes
1answer
408 views

Roof Showing Some Dipping

I recently walked my roof. There are some low spots, like little depressions. What causes this and should I be concerned? It seems that the plywood underneath is good but it seems like the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I get rid of the weeds and moss growing between the paver stones in my driveway?

I used the extra strength roundup to kill the weeds. Now I have brown weeds that are still rooted in the soil between the paver stones in my driveway. I've been scraping the weeds and moss out with ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

How do you protect solar panels from hail?

Saw another question on solar panels and it reminded me of one big thing that always made me hesitant to consider them. We get several hail storms each year and having an expensive glass covered(?) ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a home made solution that will clean drains?

Not sure if this counts as "Home Improvement", but it's worth a shot: I'm currently in an apartment where I'm not supposed to use chemicals to clear drains, like in the sink/tub. I've cleared out ...
9
votes
4answers
47k views

What are my options to replace a sliding glass door screen?

I have a sliding glass door off my kitchen which used to have a screen on it (the screen slid on a track just outside of the glass doors). When I moved into my house the screen that was there was a ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What causes a partial blackout?

Last night, my neighborhood had a blackout, but for some reason, only half of the electrical circuits in my house went out. I was under the impression that there was only one main electrical feed ...
6
votes
2answers
241 views

Bermuda grass is invading my Kentucky Blue? Any solutions that don't involve Roundup?

I live in the mountain west, where my neighbor's lawn and the mountains nearby allow Bermuda grass to infiltrate my lawn. My neighbor says the only real solution is Roundup; but I'm sure that's not ...
17
votes
5answers
2k views

How can I effectively use Google Sketchup to render walls, doors, and windows?

This question falls dangerously close to being a software question, but it's definitely specific to DIY... My house is around 100 years old. Off-the-shelf home design programs have nice libraries of ...
6
votes
1answer
155 views

What is the best kind of grass/seed for a completely shaded lawn?

After our home was built this winter, we had a new lawn seeded in the spring and it came in nicely almost everywhere except one area in the back that is in the shade all day long (there are woods on ...
11
votes
9answers
2k views

What are some at-home options for pest control?

I am thinking about ditching my pest guy and going straight DIY. Raid has released a new product called Raid Max Bug Barrier. Lowe's also carries a number of DIY insect treatments. I figure the ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I prevent window drafts?

I live in Florida. I have noticed that in the Winter it seems that the cold air leaks through the windows and into the rooms. This, of course, raises my energy bill for heating (yes we have to turn on ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is a vapor barrier necessary beneath blown in cellulose insulation in a garage ceiling in a cold climate?

Is it necessary to put any kind of vapor barrier beneath blown in cellulose insulation in an attached garage? The ceiling is sheetrocked, but that's it. It's a cold, dry climate (north half of ...
4
votes
5answers
9k views

Why does the plaster crack beneath the window sill?

Sorry if this is an obvious question. Can anyone tell me why the dry lined plaster in our house so frequently cracks beneath the edge of the windows? At first I thought it may be relating to the ...
4
votes
2answers
886 views

Old light fixture box

I live in an older house (California) and the overhead light fixture boxes seem small. They unreceptive to the fixtures my wife has purchased from Ikea in that they have two holes for accepting ...
6
votes
9answers
5k views

How do I sweat pipes in an enclosed area?

I need to repair a leak in the plumbing behind my shower. There is an access panel, and enough room for myself and my torch, but not much else. How do I apply the flame to the fittings (for the ...
4
votes
3answers
539 views

Which hammer drill should I buy?

I'm looking to buy a cordless hammer drill. What should I buy? Note: It can be just a drill not a screwdriver too if that makes a difference. Its purely for diy. No real budget in mind, more just ...
8
votes
5answers
15k views

What are the different gauges of electrical wire available?

What are the different gauges of electrical wire available for homes and how do you determine which gauge you should be using? If it helps, I'm wondering specifically about recommendations as I finish ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a detector of plastic pipe?

I know metal detectors for walls, but in my house there are places where it has a plastic pipe. I wonder if there is a good detector to buy.
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I tell where my inground sprinkler hoses are?

I'm going to be building a deck next week in my backyard! I'm very excited for the project, but I'm concerned about one thing: digging the foundation holes. I have an inground sprinkler system, and ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

Any tips on fixing a difficult wall for tiling?

I've got this small old bathroom that I want to lay with ceramic tiles. But to do that the walls should be straight - which they are not. Three of them are almost fine, but the fourth is... well, take ...
3
votes
1answer
590 views

What is a smart switch?

I was looking at this question which mentions smart switches. What are they? What are there uses?
4
votes
3answers
459 views

How can I straighten pipes behind a wall?

The original builders did a shoddy job when they installed the plumbing in the bathroom, causing the taps/faucets to come out of the tiled plasterboard wall at a slight angle - about 5 degrees - so ...
5
votes
6answers
970 views

How can I find a match for ~100 year old door/window trim?

Our house is around 100 years old, and during the course of a bathroom demo, the contractor irreparably broke part of the window trim. Of course, the big box and local lumber stores are completely ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

What types of home radon mitigation systems have you used, and how well do they work?

What types of home radon mitigation systems have you used, and how well do they work? Do recommended types of mitigation systems vary significantly with varying levels of excess radon? Does climate ...
2
votes
2answers
354 views

Non-Toxic Wood Glue

I've got a cutting board that was left soaking for too long, and it subsequently cracked and split. Is there a non-toxic wood glue I can use to glue it back together? I'm planning on using a quick ...
61
votes
14answers
5k views

Are solar panels cost-effective?

Environmental issues aside, I'd like to know whether solar panels are worth it from a monetary standpoint? How long before payoff occurs? Pros & Cons? Is technology moving too fast, e.g. should ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it a good idea to use a Fernco repair fitting within a finished wall cavity?

I have an unfinished basement, and I installed a redirector for my sump pump output so it can be drained to the sanitary sewer during winter months (and yes, I'm paying for the right to do so, and I'm ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

What's the best way to install a pet door in an exterior wall?

I want to install a pet door to allow my dog to let herself out. The door would run out onto a deck attached to the back of the house. On the wall connected to the deck, I have a sliding glass door ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Where can I find a garage door (slot) mail basket?

I'm looking for a place I can buy a garage door mail slot basket. I had one in my old (rented) house and I'm looking to install one. It should look something like the image below, and keep upright ...
6
votes
1answer
997 views

Suggestions for treehouse platform support without posts

I'm building a treehouse in a fully grown 50 foot tree that has four trunks (as it were) each of which is between a half foot to a foot in diameter. First, is this a good candidate for a small tree ...
14
votes
5answers
11k views

What is the recommended home design software? [duplicate]

I am going to be finishing my basement. I would like to design the new basement myself using design software. What is the recommended home design software?
18
votes
9answers
118k views

How much weight can screws in drywall withstand?

I've always had the question of how much weight can a single screw into a drywall withstand? For instance, I would like to do things like this: It's hanged with 5 screws. The whole thing weights ...
4
votes
3answers
125 views

Geothermal Resources

I am very interested in learning more about Geothermal solutions for my house. What are the best resources for learning about and planning a Geothermal systems for a residential house? Also, does ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is toenailing necessary for a joist-to-ledger attachment?

Is it sufficient to rest joists on joist hangers or should you always toenail (drive screws/nails at an angle through the joist). And does the toenail have to drive into the ledger or just hold the ...
59
votes
11answers
25k views

Is there a case where nails are better than screws, from an engineering/structural standpoint?

Is there a case where nails are better than screws, from a structural standpoint? For instance: Say you used screws instead of nails on a backyard deck, when the design specifically called for nails. ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Can I fit an extractor fan in a window?

We have a basement flat and we suspect that the bathroom exhaust fans do not go anywhere, which causes a fair bit of damp in the flat which manifests itself as condensation on the windows in the ...
5
votes
2answers
764 views

Sealing pressure treated deck, to be stained later on

I have just finished building a deck from pressure treated lumber. We've put the deck to use immediately and having all our meals on it. I'm worried about greasy food morsels staining the deck. My ...
20
votes
6answers
969 views

What “code” applies to projects that I do in my own home?

A good portion of the answers and discussion on this site references "code". What does a DIY-er need to know about code as it relates to project in their own home? Most of what I can find online ...
7
votes
5answers
27k views

How much cooling can I expect from a central air conditioner?

Yesterday's high was 106.0F, low of 79.2F, full sun all day. AC set at 78F, indoor temperature reached about 85F. Today's high was 105.4F, low of 81.1F, full sun all day, now about 102 at 7pm. AC ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

What's a good way to seal a flat concrete roof?

My guess is that a long time ago there was a fire in part of our house and what was the top storey was capped and the floor replaced with thick slabs of concrete. This was then sealed over with ...
5
votes
6answers
24k views

How often should I run a bleach and water solution through condensate lines?

How often do you need to run a bleach and water solution through the condensate drain lines (of a heat pump) to keep the bacteria away? What are the recommended parts (e.g. 1 part bleach, 10 part ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I use a swamp cooler to cool an AC unit's condenser?

Swamp coolers work great and use a fraction of the electricity of an air conditioner in a dry climate with little humidity (like Phoenix) but there are downsides like mold and, well, everything feels ...
4
votes
3answers
427 views

Hanging an interior door

I reversed the doors to my bedroom (they're small "french" doors I guess but they don't have glass or open to the outside like normal french doors) so they open out instead of in (the room is small ...
1
vote
1answer
555 views

How do I go about fixing an apartment buzzer?

My apartment's buzzer has stopped working. I can use the intercom and buzz people in but if someone presses the button outside I hear nothing. What's likely the problem here and how can I go about ...

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