12
votes
3answers
27k views

How good do I need to make my primer coat?

When doing a primer coat do I need to get everything or can I pretty much fly through it leaving it kinda blochy?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any “easy” ways to trace a home electrical system?

We bought a home a few months ago, and the electrical panel (and subpanel) are completely unlabelled. We have no way, short of flipping breakers, to know what breaker powers which fixtures. Is there a ...
4
votes
3answers
259 views

Can you help me find this bulb?

I need to replace the light bulb in my ceiling fan but the part\model number is warn off and I can't find it anywhere! I can read "Philips," "Plus," and "G5" but nothing else. Please see the attached ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I replace a bricked in mailbox?

My in-laws have a Mailbox that's a normal looking metal mailbox that's in a brick enclosure. It appears that when it was built, someone just put down mortar, set the mailbox in it, covered the ...
20
votes
7answers
178k views

How do you determine if a door is Right Handed (RH) or Left Handed (LH)?

I am replacing a few interior doors and I need to know if the existing door is Right Handed or Left Handed so I have them drilled correctly. Sounds like the acronyms for this are RH and LH. This ...
3
votes
6answers
72k views

Why has my bathroom cold water tap (but no others) stopped working?

The basin cold water tap in my bathroom over the last week has gone from fully flowing, to half pressure, to a dribble, then to a drip and now nothing comes out. The 3 other taps in the bathroom work ...
1
vote
1answer
253 views

Where to find wallpaper samples online?

I want to put a wallpaper in my home office and my kid room, Are there famous websites to see samples online and take some ideas from there? also is it possible to buy them online?
15
votes
1answer
3k views

Why are 2“x4”'s really 1.5“x3.5”?

Just curious as to the reasoning, is it a spec, or is it simply 'backwards compatibility'?
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What are some inexpensive options for replacing a single-stall garage door?

The house we recently purchased has a detached 3 1/2 car garage that has seen better days. The entrances to the garage door consist of a 2-stall garage door, and a 1-stall garage door. Luckily, the ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Does it matter where my furnace condensate pump gets power from?

The existing condensate pump for my furnace recently died. It was hard-wired directly into the electrical panel of the furnace but I was able to disconnect it. However, when looking for a new pump, ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

What's the right name of the things that mount a frameless mirror to the wall through the mirror?

I feel silly asking this question but I don't know the term for the little things that hold a frameless mirror to the wall through holes in the mirror. They're often little plastic stars or metal ...
8
votes
3answers
10k views

What is “3 inch minus”?

My heavy equipment guy said we should put "3 inch minus" down on a new driveway. What is it, and is it a good choice?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is no water coming out of my sprinklers despite the diaphragm valve working?

My sprinkler system has 4 zones. I have been turning them on at the diaphragm valve (looks like this: 1 zone has never worked. When you turn the valve switch on, you can hear the sounds of running ...
5
votes
3answers
365 views

What went wrong with my Washer and how do I fix it?

For about a month or more my to-loaded washer was getting more and more off balance. Then it started ticking and not spinning, then recently it stopped spinning altogether. Everything else still ...
2
votes
2answers
11k views

What are some alternatives for a glass stove top replacement?

As quite a few people are these days, my wife and I are in a difficult financial situation. About 5 months ago we got a HUGE break and purchased a Stove, Fridge, LARGE microwave and Dishwasher for ...
9
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I level my basement floor, which has a 4-inch dip?

I googled today on how to level a basement floor. Most people recommend using SLC (self leveling concrete)... I don't think I can just use that because of the pitch of my floor (and from what I hear, ...
4
votes
4answers
24k views

Why won't my bathroom light fixture work?

Had a surprise this morning when I went to turn on my bathroom light and it didn't work. All the incandescent bulbs (4 of them) appear to be fine, and the fan which is on the switch beside the light ...
5
votes
3answers
11k views

Do I need a separate vent stack for my kitchen sink?

The drain line from my kitchen sink drops down through the basement, into the basement floor (Concrete), and I assume under the floor to the main sewer line. The sink tends to drain slowly. Should I ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

Why does my toilet make a loud rumbling noise when flushed?

When I flush my toilet it makes a very loud rumbling noise that can be heard from other rooms, what could cause this? The sound cannot be heard from the bathroom. There is no sound when the tank is ...
3
votes
4answers
36k views

The pilot light won't ignite on my boiler — what I should check?

We have just brought a new house and I can’t get the pilot light to ignite on the boiler, it is at least a few months since the boiler has been used. Where to I start on tracking down the problem? ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I close the garage vent on my furnace?

My furnace duct system has a vent in the garage, right over the furnace. Is it necessary for the proper operation of the furnace to keep that open? I'd hate to waste the money heating up my garage, ...
1
vote
1answer
332 views

Optimizing a heating system

I am seeking software I can use to better understand the thermal properties of my house. The main two consumptions of the house are water and heating. I'm interested in optimizing the heating. ...
0
votes
3answers
248 views

Could home phone wiring cause a one-sided phone call (where I can hear them but they can't hear me)?

I have wired my phone from our cable modem to the phone junction box for our home in the basement. I stripped and hooked each of 4 teeny tiny delicate wires to the junction box. For the most part this ...
2
votes
2answers
987 views

Where is the best place to store firewood outdoors relative to your house?

Is it true I should avoid storing firewood near my home (due to concern about termites)? Or is it perfectly fine to store firewood in a convenient spot just outside the door?
30
votes
7answers
11k views

Why are there so many different types of screws (phillps/flat/hex/star/etc)?

Newbie question. Why is it that there's a bazillion different types of screws? Why can't we just always use one standard screw type? Are there advantages/disadvantages to the different types? Are ...
4
votes
5answers
22k views

What compound is best to use when skim coating a plaster wall that had wallpaper removed?

What kind of compound is best to use when skim coating a plaster wall that had wallpaper removed. Should it be thinned with water? when would one use Toping Compound instead of joint compound. Light ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a difference between the two conductors in 120VAC wiring?

With DC wiring, there is an obvious, positive 'hot' wire and negative/ground wire. In AC wiring is there still such a concept as a single 'hot' wire? If yes, why is this since either wire will be at ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

How do you remove the tip of broken screw extractor bit?

I have a faucet handle with a striped hex socket screw. I tried to take it out with a screw extractor, but the tip broke off in the socket. Is there anyway to get this out, along with the hex head ...
4
votes
3answers
16k views

Why do our baseboard heating pipes make a loud banging noise after a new furnace was installed?

We had a new furnace installed about a month ago. The heating in our house is hot water baseboards. Ever since the new furnace was installed, when the heat comes on or turns off, there is a loud ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the primary function of the main breaker in a breaker box? How does it differ from other breakers?

Location: California | United States I'd like to better understand the roles of main breakers and sub-breakers. Why are there multiple levels of breakers? I suspect that sub-breakers are intended to ...
3
votes
1answer
207 views

Suggestions for preventing water from building on a shower window that is below shoulder level?

Location: California | United States Hello all, I have a window near my bath/shower that is slightly below shoulder level (which is now a violation of code in my area but got grandfathered in with ...
5
votes
2answers
3k 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
648 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
821 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
4k 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
12k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
27k 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
16k 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
3k 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
2k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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
871 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
660 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 ...
31
votes
7answers
3k 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
4k 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
22k 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
4answers
10k 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 ...

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