15
votes
6answers
4k views

Should I hire an architect to design my house?

I am planning to build a house for my family. It's relatively simple and modest by modern American standards. I plan to do much of the work myself, and want to keep costs down. I have been working on ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I fix a ceiling fan that won't turn off?

I have a ceiling light/fan fixture in one of my rooms connected to a single electrical switch. There are two pullchains on the fixture, one that controls the light, the other controlling the fan. I'd ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

How much should it cost to add a circuit breaker?

In this question, I asked about problems between my circuit breaker for a circuit shared by my microwave and sump pump. The conclusion was that another circuit should be added to support the microwave ...
5
votes
1answer
856 views

Do I need an electrician to install a whole house surge protector?

We have some pretty terrible storms and a pretty terrible power company where I live. We experience power surges quite often. So I'm interested in installing a whole-house surge protector. Is this ...
6
votes
1answer
554 views

What is the best way of plumbing a bathroom so as to avoid temperature fluctuations in the shower?

Everyone has been in a shower where you can tell when someone flushes a toilet, opens a kitchen tap, etc, as the temperature rapidly changes. There's also other places where the shower is virtually ...
8
votes
4answers
13k views

Should my toilet flange sit on top of the backer board or the tile of the floor?

The bathroom model saga continues. The old toilet flange was rusting, and the subfloor was rotting, so I pulled up the subfloor around the toilet, and replaced the drain pipe with ABS, and an elbow. ...
9
votes
4answers
11k views

Why does my microwave keep throwing the circuit breaker?

I have a circuit that powers several things in my house: Kitchen microwave Basement lights Basement sockets Sump pump Recently, this circuit has been thrown with alarming frequency when I use the ...
6
votes
4answers
615 views

What are some recommended cordless trimmers/weed-eaters?

I'm looking to pick up a cordless trimmer/weed-eater. I have a bit of an anti-noise bias, so I'm hoping to find something that's electric cordless, not a gas-powered one. Are there any trimmers of ...
13
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I run ethernet, speaker wire, and coax through a wall into a crawlspace?

I would like to run three low-voltage cables from my entertainment center through an old plaster wall, down (1-3 feet) through the sill plate, and into the crawlspace. The cables are Ethernet, ...
4
votes
1answer
457 views

Gluing Hardwood Floors?

We recently had our house built, and included the "hardwood floors" upgrade. When we moved it we were pleased with the way the floors looked. Some time later, water started coming up from beneath the ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Miter saw advice and recommendations

I'm buying a power miter saw sometime this week; and early birthday present to myself. What should I consider and what brands do you all recommend? I'm not a contractor, web guy by trade, and do ...
2
votes
1answer
666 views

Installing a shelf on a stucco-covered wall

We have a wall in the workroom next to our kitchen where we'd like to put a long, shallow shelf. The wall is stucco, and I'm a little concerned about the wall crumbling or cracking around the pilot ...
7
votes
5answers
491 views

Fighting mosquitos indoor

I'm living close to the sea, so during the summer I'm bothered and attacked by many mosquitos and was wondering what kinds of repellents have been proven successful to get rid of these little ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How do I use three-prong appliances when my outlets are mostly two-prong?

I am living in a house where most electrical outlets are two prong. There are a smattering of three prong, in particular where an addition was put on. Am I hosed when it comes to where I can plug in ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What should I consider when using a sewage ejector pump?

What are some of the things that you need to consider if you have a sewage ejector pump regarding maintenance and prevention of abominable, excrable catastrophes? From what I gather this thing is ...
15
votes
13answers
3k views

What kitchen counter material would you recommend and why?

What are the pros and cons of various kitchen counter top materials? Granite Corian Concrete Laminate Quartz Silestone Other
2
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I change the remote frequency options in my ceiling fan?

My Hampton Bay ceiling fan remote control is interfering with my neighbours. Inside the remote there are switches to adjust the remote frequency. Where in the fan do I make the corresponding ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

What should I do about a gap between hardwood and drywall?

First-time home-owner - house less than 1 year old. We had our home built last December, and have been discovering all sorts of problems with it. The latest was a trail of ants within our kitchen ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

There is water in my basement and the outdoor sump pump failed. What am I doing wrong?

My house has water problems with the basement. Here's what the entrance to my basement looks like. When I get a really heavy rain storm, water manages to rise up and start seeping in under the door. ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

How do I fix a squeaky/whiny ceiling fan?

I have a Monte Carlo ceiling fan, similar to this one in style. It has a light that points up towards the ceiling and another towards the floor. The fan is making a whiny almost squeaky noise on all ...
2
votes
2answers
476 views

Power keeps cutting out to hot tub

I have an outdoor Hydropool hot tub and have recently been having an issue with power. It seems that periodically a build up of 'gunk' (my technical term for it) builds up around one of the ...
3
votes
2answers
377 views

What are the steps for landscaping a lawn?

I bought my house in 2007, and we inherited a crazy backyard. I'd like to completely redo it, but cost is a big issue. Estimates for a complete landscape are around $30,000, which unfortunately is out ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

Where can I find garage building plans?

If I wanted to build a detached garage/workshop, where can I find complete, detailed plans? I'd like to be able to estimate building cost from a materials list. I'm not certain what style I'd want, ...
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Why am I finding condensation in my dryer?

I live in Houston, TX (Very Hot, Very Humid). In the summertime, my dryer is dripping with water, when not in use. I do not have overly excessive drying times. My dryer is vented via an unfortunate ...
2
votes
1answer
427 views

What is the best way to uncover weeping holes?

We just bought a house where an old man lived for 27years. When he built the place, I doubt that he had any idea that the voids in the brick were weeping holes. I would like to fix them, but I'm not ...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Can you paint a popcorn ceiling?

My guess is that a paint sprayer might be easiest, but are the other ways that won't remove the popcorn?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

How can I fix low water pressure from loft storage tank?

Since removing all pipes from our loft storage tank in order to replace the deck it was on and had soaked, I've successfully reconnected everything and fixed the leak in the tank. But now the water ...
3
votes
1answer
340 views

Laminate flooring edging

I've installed some laminate flooring, and am coming to do the edging. I'm aware that I can't fix the edging to the floor itself, but to the wall. However, the wall is just brick. I've tried using ...
4
votes
1answer
856 views

Fixing Curling Vinyl Flooring

I have vinyl flooring in the bathroom that has started to curl up a bit at the edge. It was suggested to me that I use contact cement to fix it. The problem is that there is not enough curl to allow ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

In a brick layout for tile, how do I handle exposed cut edges?

My second in the line of "redoing a bathroom" questions. For our tub surround, my wife and I have picked out some very nice 16"x4" subway tiles, that we would like to arrange in a brick pattern. To ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

How do I fix a shutoff valve that isn't opening?

My dishwasher started leaking over the weekend. I turned off the water at the shutoff in the basement, it's a standard faucet type in the copper piping. I then replaced the rubber heater hose used ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I properly seal an exterior door?

I've recently discovered that rain is getting in around my exterior (front) door and forming a little pool in the frame under the door. I'm assuming I can fix this by adding a seal around the door ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What are some tips for installing laminate wood flooring?

I'm about to install laminate wood flooring in our family room. The floor is concrete. Having not done this before what tools and tips can you all offer before I get started?
5
votes
4answers
29k views

Can I use a 50 Hz device in a 60 Hz power frequency?

My mother in law just returned from Europe and brought me an espresso machine. It's rated 220v - 50 Hz (as written in the label), but the power system here is 220v - 60 Hz. Funny thing is that in the ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I supporting a load via anchors in brick or mortar?

I'm attempting to hang window flower boxes (a metal frame with a moss/fabric insert, filled with dirt/flowers/water for a total weight of about 15 lbs) on a brick wall. An example of a similar metal ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I clean my jetted whirlpool tub?

The master bath of our new house has a jetted whirlpool tub. We haven't used it yet, since the previous owners were, um, lacking hygiene. Is there a good way to clean it out without taking the whole ...
8
votes
4answers
7k views

Are SharkBite plumbing connectors as reliable as soldered connectors?

Are SharkBite plumbing connectors as reliable as soldered connectors?
7
votes
3answers
507 views

What is the recommended technique for refinishing hardwood floors

I have old hardwood floors in my home that I'd like to refinish myself. I'm ok with all sorts of manual labor, but I'd like to know the preferred method for refinishing them without damaging my walls ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

When replacing a window, what are the pros/con of a retrofit vs new construction?

I am replacing a old Garden window with a new "flat" window. I was given a quote for "Retrofit" option, and then a $400 more for a "new construction" option. I have Stucco wall I understand that ...
4
votes
1answer
417 views

Options for Hardwood Floor Scratch and Gouge Repair

I have a 10 month old puppy who recently discovered her (apparent) love for the taste of wood putty. There was a rather large knot hole that had been plugged and finished in our living room floor that ...
4
votes
6answers
12k views

What is the best way to demolish a little brick wall?

Since this is a small wall, I do not wish to buy any expensive tools. seems they used some mortar. I failed when trying to use nothing but a small (nail) hammer. Any tricks?
3
votes
2answers
647 views

Fast, easy and simple construction of a log store

We've just bought a whopping great log burner, and so our thoughts have turned to keeping it fed over the winter. I've plenty of ash trees, some beech, and an old sycamore that over the last couple of ...
2
votes
3answers
6k views

What are some causes/solutions for poor drainage?

What are some causes/solutions for poor drainage? It seems that our house tends to drain water very slowly. The bathroom sink could probably overflow if the water was left on, the bathtub also seems ...
8
votes
2answers
695 views

What type of fastener should I use for a hollow wood door?

I'm planning on putting a bathrobe/extra towel hook on the back of my bathroom door, but I'm pretty sure it's hollow wood. Can I just use the standard screws that come with the hook kit, or do I need ...
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 ...

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