4
votes
3answers
938 views

How should I prepare doors and windows for painting?

I'm mostly interested in what is the best way to protect the wood from bad weather, but any other advice on how to improve overall quality of work would be appreciated.
18
votes
8answers
20k views

What's the best way of replacing a plug or switch in a house with aluminum wiring?

My house has aluminum wiring, which from what I understand isn't recommended any more. How do I replace a plug or switch since the new unit only takes copper wiring?
5
votes
1answer
3k views

What's the best approach to repair a wedge/corner crack in my foundation?

I've got a wedge/corner crack on one corner of my foundation. I'll try to post a picture of it as soon as I can, but here's a sample image of what I'm talking about: However, my crack is more ...
9
votes
5answers
64k views

How do I add more circuit breakers once the breaker box is full?

My house was completely rewired by the previous owner. They tore out all the old knob-and-tube and replaced it with modern wiring. I definitely appreciate this, but unfortunately they left ...
5
votes
4answers
47k views

Why won't my shower's temperature handle let the water get hot enough?

Whenever I go to take a shower, I have to turn the handle to the absolute hottest setting just to avoid freezing. I know the hot water works in my house, so that's not the issue. It just seems like I ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I secure a toilet bowl to a tile floor?

The bathroom in my house was redone right before I moved in. After moving in, I noticed the toilet is loose. It seems to only stay in place due to it's sheer weight, and it has quite a lot of jostle ...
6
votes
3answers
23k views

What are these spongy/soft spots on my hardwood floor?

The house I recently bought has hardwood floors, but I've noticed that some spots are spongy when I walk over them. There is visible downward flex in certain spots to an observer of someone walking ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

Is it a good idea to pay for an energy saving audit of my new home

We have a newly built home but I'm not at all confident in the builder's prowess when it comes to energy conservation. Is it worth hiring someone (like our energy provider or other specialized ...
4
votes
1answer
259 views

How do you paint vinyl shutters?

What kind of paint will work for restoring the original color to vinyl shutters that have faded from exposure to the sun? They are supposedly "maintenance-free" but the home owners association says ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I insulate around a gas fireplace without tearing it apart?

My home has a gas fireplace that we do not use very often. It is in a "bump out" on the back of the house. In the winter, cold air flows through the vents under the fireplace and if you feel the ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Are tankless water heaters worth it in cold climates?

I was thinking of switching over to a tankless water heater, but a friend of mine said they are not good in colder climates since the water coming in is colder and takes longer to heat. Is this a ...
17
votes
10answers
16k views

Does Pex tubing have any advantages over copper?

What are the advantages/disadvantages of Pex tubing? How does it compare to copper?
10
votes
3answers
4k views

When should you use metal studs?

When does it make sense to use metal framing for an interior wall? What are the advantages to traditional wood framing?
9
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I remove a single cracked floor tile?

How can I remove a single damaged floor tile without damaging the surrounding tiles? Is there anything that will help the replacement tile from cracking in the same way?
4
votes
1answer
374 views

How is a septic system different from a cesspool?

Here in New England many towns do not have public sewer systems, so homeowners have either a septic system or a cesspool. What is the difference between the two?
10
votes
5answers
208k views

Is there a standard height and depth for stairs?

Is there a standard (or a standard range for) the height and depth of each step in a flight of stairs? If your answer refers to your building code, please say where you live.
40
votes
14answers
137k views

Should I set fence posts in dirt, gravel, crushed rock, or concrete?

I have received conflicting advice about how to set wooden fence posts. Many web sites suggest setting them in a concrete cylinder. Someone at the local hardware store had seen posts set in concrete ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Definitons of various sand, gravel, and rock products

There are various gravel and rock products for sale, but their names do not always mean what the layman thinks they do. For instance, I ordered three tons of gravel, expecting the 5–15 mm rocks that ...
6
votes
2answers
196 views

How do you remove a lot of wall tiles?

How do I quickly remove a lot of wall tiles without damaging the wall?
1
vote
1answer
645 views

What type of wood siding should I use for a shed?

What kinds of inexpensive wood siding, suitable for a shed, are commonly available in the U.S.? I checked Lowe's and Home Depot, but all they had was a single type of barn-style shiplap. I had ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I install a water line to my refrigerator?

Recently bought a new refrigerator that has an ice maker and now I want to run a water line to the refrigerator (there is not one there right now). The cold water line is pretty much right below the ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

What is cinderblock?

I live in the UK and have never heard of cinderblock, what is it?
5
votes
2answers
563 views

How do I wire a 3 way light switch?

Two way light switching is common, but how do I setup a 3 way system so the light can be controlled from 3 places?
5
votes
2answers
4k views

How does a 2 way light switch work?

A two way light switch allows the light to be controlled from two locations, how does this work?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How much weight should a deck of a given area support?

How much weight should a deck of a given area support, either according to building codes or convention? In my local (Massachusetts) building code, I found the answer for floors (40 lbs/ft2 live ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I build a basement that does not leak when I have a high water level?

How do I insure a basement will not leak when the site has a high water level?
26
votes
9answers
190k views

How can I paint over mold to prevent it from coming back again?

The source of the leak has been fixed, however the old mold keeps showing though the new paint.
0
votes
1answer
379 views

What is asbestos cement sheet?

How do I tell if I have asbestos cement sheet? How should I remove an asbestos cement sheet?
5
votes
3answers
357 views

How do I build a wet room for a wheelchair user?

How do I build a wet room that: Does not leek Does not have water run out of its door Is wheelchair accessible (e.g a very low slope) It is very hard to get the slope right by hand and I have need ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

What is the difference between “Planning Permission” and “Building Regulation” in the UK and when do I need to get them?

It can be very confusing to know what is covered by “Planning-Permission” and what is covered by “Building Regulation”, so can we have a short answer with links please.
2
votes
1answer
113 views

What are the building regulations in the UK for fitting a light in a bathroom?

What designs of lights are allowed? When do I need to get a building regulation inspection?
0
votes
1answer
87 views

In the UK, where do I buy a “pocket door” kit from?

“pocket doors” are common the USA, however they are hardly never seen in the UK, so how do I buy one in the UK?
2
votes
1answer
114 views

How do I fit a “pocket door”?

What are the fitting options including using a preformed kit etc?
5
votes
2answers
210 views

What is a “pocket door”?

Outside of the USA, most people have never heard of the term “pocket door”. Can you explain what this is?
1
vote
1answer
945 views

How do I stop water coming in under a level access door?

When you have an outside door with level access (for wheelchairs etc), how do you stop water coming in under the door?
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a ring main?

What is a ring main and why are they used in the UK but not elsewhere?
12
votes
3answers
769 views

What is “knob and tube wiring”?

I assume this is some USA wiring system, am I right?
3
votes
2answers
5k views

What are the differences in the wiring standards between the USA and the UK?

There are lots of electrical questions that assume everyone is in the USA, so what is different for people that are in the UK?
16
votes
9answers
1k views

What basic safety equipment should everyone have?

When doing DIY what safety kit should everyone have (and use)?
4
votes
2answers
6k views

What are the advantages and disadvantage of using “pushfit” pipe fittings?

There are many makes of pushfit pipe fittings that make it a lot easer to join pipes, incluing copper pipes, e,g: John Guest Speedfit Cuprofit®- copper push fit Hepworth-HEP20 (please expand the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it safe to use “PushFit” fitting on gas pipes?

There are many makes of pushfit pipe fittings that make it a lot easer to join pipes, incluing copper pipes, e,g: John Guest Speedfit Cuprofit®- copper push fit Hepworth-HEP20 Are they safe to ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I know if it is safe to remove a wall?

When looking at a wall, how can I tell if I can safely remove it?
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Should my evaporator be hissing? Should cold air be blowing from it?

My A/C hasn't been able to keep up with the heat lately (it's been in the high 90's with high humidity, and today the house was up to about 82 inside even though it's set on 70). I went up into the ...
12
votes
8answers
29k views

Can I paint over wallpaper?

So I have a wall that has a very hard sort of textured wallpaper. Recently though the wall suffered some damage that turned into a hole. The whole has been patched and now we need to paint over that. ...
7
votes
1answer
92 views

How *environmentally* durable are pet-resistant screens?

I've got some damaged wire screens on our porch, and since I have two dogs I've been replacing them with pet-resistant screens made from what appears to be a nylon mesh coated with plastic/rubber. So ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Are those oscillating tools any good?

Has anyone used those oscillating tools like the Fein Multimaster or the Harbor Freight version? Are they as awesome as the infomercials suggest? What jobs are they good for?
6
votes
6answers
1k views

Should I replace fallen gutters?

This past winter a heavy snow fall ripped two sets of gutters off our house, and I haven't had a chance to re-hang them yet. One is over our back door and it's really annoying having the running off ...
5
votes
2answers
508 views

How do I set up a wiring closet that connects to the exterior of the house?

I'm looking to build a central wiring closet for ethernet, phone, and co-ax. I would like this closet to have a single pipe to the exterior of the house, which service lines can come in through. ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I remove paint from an indoor brick wall?

I have a red brick wall that was painted. I need to figure out an easy method of removing the paint without damaging the brick. Are there any tried and true methods? One thing to remember is that ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Should I insulate an attic that's over an open porch?

I have a 6ft (approx. 2m) wide porch at the front of my house. The space above the porch opens into the attic, like this: I'm adding insulation -- R-38 fiberglass batting -- in the attic; do I ...

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