5
votes
5answers
81k views

How do I remove excess wood stain that dried before I could wipe it off?

While staining some wood, we had an emergency and had to leave. The stain has now dried and I'm not sure how to remove the excess; it's normally wiped off before it dries. When I get home I'm going ...
6
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I use precision screwdrivers?

I am talking about those small and narrow screwdrivers with a thin handle. I can't get a tight enough grip on the handle to generate enough torque to remove a small screw. Do I have to use something ...
4
votes
2answers
442 views

Is there a dust-free alternative to gravel for an indoor Petanque Court?

We are considering constructing a Pétanque court in our office. The typical finished playing surface is sand, gravel, small pebbles or sometimes shell. We need a dust-free material so that when ...
3
votes
1answer
171 views

Can Hi-rib cementing be used to level a second story floor?

Is it advisable to use the hi rib cementing style to correct the whole un level wooden second floor area? It is not level from between 1 to 2 and 3/4 inches in certain areas.
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Is there a special low temperature thermostat?

I have a gas ceiling mounted furnace for my garage. I want to set my garage at 35-40° F (1-4° C). Is there a special thermostat to control furnace at that low temp? (I've seen one works as low as ...
14
votes
2answers
379 views

Are these sloppy cuts and gaps normal around roof vents?

Got a new roof last fall in southeastern Idaho. I didn't notice until this week that the shingles are cut sloppily around most of the vents (see pictures). Should I coat the bad seams with a can of ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

How do I fix slow water flow in my refrigerator door dispenser?

It's an 11 year old Frigidaire FRS26ZPH side-by-side, and this year the water flow started slowing down. It has gotten slower and slower over time, to the point where it's taking over a minute to fill ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I insulate a sash window?

I just moved into an old flat which has old and weathered down sash windows which let a lot of cold air in. As Scotland does get very cold at times I would like to insulate them in a cheap and ...
1
vote
1answer
302 views

How can I locate the 2x8 boards beneath subfloor, backer board, mortar, and ceramic tile?

My floor is getting a little creaky in my bathroom. Unfortunately, it has ceramic tile over it (along with mortar and backer board). What I need to do is drill a clearance hole through the grout and ...
9
votes
1answer
10k views

What should I look for during a deficiency walkthrough?

I'll be taking possession of a brand new town house next month and we'll be doing a deficiency walkthrough to catch any issues before we move in. This is not a home inspection, but our ability to get ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Why am I getting condensation on the first floor joists of my new build?

We're building a new house in New Hampshire. We insulated the 1st floor joists with batting last winter so the minimal amount of heat we had in the basement to prevent the foundation from cracking ...
7
votes
4answers
19k views

How can I fill small holes in drywall without painting?

I am taking down several items hung on our walls; this will leave about two dozen holes ranging from small nail holes to anchor holes about 3/8" in diameter. I am looking for a way to fill these holes ...
24
votes
10answers
19k views

What are the most important things to check/do after buying a home?

We are in the process of purchasing a home that is over 20 years old. What are some of the most important things we should check/patch/do right away to make sure the home is running correctly and ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the difference between GU-4 and G-4 bulbs?

I plugged a G-4 bulb into a GU-4 slot and it burned up the unit yesterday. What does that U mean?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I use an air speed meter to measure air flow volume?

I can buy a Vane Anemometer cheaply but a Air Flow meter (with a cone) costs a lot more. Can I just make my own cone? What issues should I expect if I add a cone to a Vane Anemometer? How do I ...
6
votes
3answers
808 views

What is the proper and accurate way to measure space for window screens?

One of our metal windows is missing a screen and I'd like to replace it. I don't have other windows of the same size so I can't easily copy the screen dimensions. How should I measure the window ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

Would running a new subpanel in parallel meet NEC requirements? If not, what should I do?

Background U.S.A. Voltages/power present. My house has a 125A Power Mains breaker at the street. A buried line runs from the street breaker to my main panel on exterior wall outside of house. The ...
3
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I replace a broken bathtub drain?

I am trying to replace my bathtub drain however the cross bars have broken off so I am unable to unscrew it from the tub. How can I unscrew it? EDIT: This is approximately the product I am trying ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Our vinyl floor install will need to be redone — will new vinyl need to be used, or can the existing vinyl be reused?

I had a company (whose name will not be mentioned unless they refuse to fix the job) install a new vinyl floor. I'll spare all the ugly details except the one that's relevant to this question which is ...
8
votes
2answers
455 views

What should I look for in a ladder?

I am a new homeowner, and I am looking to buy a ladder so that I can clean my gutters. There seems to be a wide price range and a lot of different features. What should I look for in a ladder? ...
5
votes
1answer
848 views

How do I mitigate moisture problems when putting up drywall over stucco with torn tar paper?

I'd like to finish my 56-year old garage with drywall but I have concerns about moisture. The wall construction looks like stucco over tar paper with metal wire support, then the frame. My main ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

My artesian well just ran dry. Do I just wait for it to fill up?

I have been living in my current house for about 8 months now, and this is the first time I have been without water(besides power outages). I noticed that the water was a bit brown so I let the hose ...
3
votes
1answer
363 views

Can I stop the water in my basement?

I'm digging out my basement and am seeing water flow in because the water table is very high right now. My thoughts are that once I cemented the basement and created a sealed box so to speak the water ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

Why do I have to hold the handle down to flush the toilet?

I have to hold the handle down to flush my toilet completely. I took a look inside and I am wondering if it has something to do with the chain or the flapper. I am noticing that the flapper does not ...
2
votes
2answers
893 views

Our tiler put Grout Boost on after laying grout, thinking it was grout sealer. What should we do?

Our tiler made an error and put Grout Boost on after laying the grout, thinking it was grout sealer. What should we do? Will Grout Boost act as sealer when applied after grout is put down and dry? ...
4
votes
1answer
958 views

How do I get a yellow stain out of a marble sink?

I saw a similar question but it didn't give me an answer that helped. I recently began to replace the faucets and spout in one of out bathroom sinks. The marble that was covered by the previous chrome ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I fix a leaky spigot on a rain barrel?

I created a rain barrel using an old plastic 55 gallon barrel and a brass spigot. I drilled a half-inch hole in the side of the barrel for the spigot, wrapped some plumbers tape around the threads, ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Does a device exist that can help find the source of a leak in a flat roof?

My Dad has a flat roof over his garage. It's covered with tar and felt. We had an unusually hard and cold winter last year (Republic of Ireland) and since then the roof has developed a leak. We've ...
10
votes
2answers
14k views

When bolting down a porcelain toilet, how tight is “too tight”?

Tightening bolts on the base of a toilet is the one thing about toilet installation that has me the most nervous. They say not to over-tighten, but how tight is too tight before the porcelain is ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is there a way to mark/label a special use switch?

I'm going to be rewiring my front porch light, and in the process I've decided to pull cable for a switched receptacle for Christmas lights. I'm going to install a 2 gang box for both switches ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Why does my GFCI periodically trip, especially after a few days' rain?

I have a GFCI in my living room bath that controls a couple of lights in the basement and bedroom upstairs (weird, thats what it seems to control). Now, every 2 or 3 weeks or so, it seems to trip and ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

How do I make a pull out drawer?

I am in the process of making some drawers for one of my cabinets. I have a rough idea of how I will do it, but if someone who has made this kind of drawer could tell me what all I will need it would ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Who makes this shower faucet handle (logo identification)?

Who makes this shower faucet handle? It's slightly broken, I'd like to get a replacement part, but I have no idea what company this is. Does anyone recognize this logo, or know how I might go ...
4
votes
1answer
430 views

What do you call the rubber strip attached to cupboard door?

My bathroom has a white cabinet, where one of the doors has an adhesive rubber strip running down the inside of the door. This is so when both doors are closed, you cant see a big black gap in the ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I anchor an acrylic claw foot tub?

I have been working on remodeling my bathroom. As part of the renovations we have decided to replace our old tub with an acrylic claw foot tub. The tub is extremely light weight. I am assuming that ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the best way to cut metal siding for soffit vents accurately?

I need to add a bunch of soffit vents to my eves, and I have (decorative?) metal siding such as in the picture. I need to do this quickly in the next few weeks before winter. What's the best way to ...
9
votes
1answer
790 views

What lubricant should I use for an outside garage door lock?

I recently asked what sort of lubricant I should use on locks. I was wondering if the advice there (i.e. graphite powder) applied to an outside garage door handle lock? The lock in question looks ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I balance air outlet/inlet valves without an airflow meter?

As my local hire shops (UK) don’t stock airflow meters, I am trying to find another way to balance our newly installed MVHR (mechanical ventilation heat recovery) system. Firstly I need to set the ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I cut grooves in self-leveling concrete to incorporate an existing drain?

This is a follow up question to my previous question about leveling a basement floor without losing the drainage. After the feedback I decided to use self-leveling concrete and cut (or form it in ...
7
votes
3answers
20k views

How do I install wood shutters on a brick house?

I've built some Board-N-Batten shutters and am ready to hang them on the house. However, I've never installed shutters before, so I want to be sure I install them properly. Do I drill pilot holes in ...
2
votes
1answer
421 views

Can I convert a European washing machine to work with a North American outlet?

I'm looking to hook up a European washing machine I got my hands on to either a standard North American outlet (unlikely) or a 220 V appliance outlet. Here's the info I have right now: 230V ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

What size drill bit do I need for a 3/16" plastic anchor in tile?

And yes, the obvious answer is 3/16" ... that doesn't work. I'm installing a towel rod and hook in a bathroom that is fully tiled. The instructions with the rod & hook both said to drill a 3/16" ...
4
votes
1answer
730 views

Should central heating pipes through internal brickwork have insulation?

My house has old (large diameter) steel central heating pipes. These travel through the basement before passing up through the house. My concern is that when they pass through internal walls they are ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Should I test the water in my house for contamination?

I live in a house that was built in the 1930's. I'm paranoid that the old pipes for hot and cold water(for the kitchen, shower, etc..) are contaminating the water. Is this something I should be ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

Can a gambrel roof have outer instead of inner supports?

I have built some of the "arches" for a gambrel roof, I know support is needed so the roof doesn't collapse. Is it reasonable to run twin metal straps around the roofing diagonally on the outside for ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the most economical and energy-efficient way to winterize windows?

We have vinyl windows (mostly double-paned) and live in a shady greenbelt in Seattle (i.e. wet and dark). We don't have much severe weather to worry about, just a pervasive damp cold that settles in ...
4
votes
1answer
486 views

What does a manifold do in an underfloor heating (UFH) system and why do they cost do much?

I am trying to understand what the manifold does in a UFH system. It seems to just be an overpriced collection of T joins connect in a row with a basic valve on each. What am I missing?
5
votes
1answer
414 views

How do I diagnose an occasionally leaking dishwasher?

We are remodeling our kitchen, part of which will be replacing the vinyl flooring. When pulling out the vinyl and 1/4" plywood I found many water stains which appear to have started under my ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I remove a plank from the middle of the field?

My attic has tongue and groove planking down as the floor, and I need to do some work up there. I'd like to only remove a couple planks in the middle of the field, rather than pulling up half the ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

What does C, W, Y and S Plans mean when talking about central heating controller?

I have seen control systems sold as C, W, Y, or S plan, what the difference? Are there any other common setups (These are water based CH systems, so are unlikely to be used in the USA)

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