2
votes
3answers
8k views

Can I vent a microwave vent / range hood through wall?

I've got a Whirlpool over-the-range microwave that is currently venting back into the kitchen. I'd like to poke a hole through the wall and vent it directly outside. I've read the instructions and ...
5
votes
2answers
15k views

What's the best method and product to use for patching cracks in plaster walls?

I have a 100+ year old house and while it's quite structurally sound there's been some settling over the years, leading to small cracks in the old plaster around the house. I hired a professional to ...
8
votes
6answers
6k views

Should I switch from propane to electric heat?

After a downright frightening heating bill, I am thinking of switching to electric heat. I want this to be as little impact to the house as possible. I currently live in a 1100 sq ft manufactured home ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Should I have replaced my water heater's shut-off gate valve with a ball valve?

I replaced my water heater's cold water shut-off gate valve with a ball valve...because the gate valve didn't close all the way and was dripping water while I was working (installing a sediment ...
1
vote
2answers
501 views

Bathroom faucet drip

I had a faucet drip in my bathroom sink. I determined it was the hot water (confirmed by the warm drip and it stopped when I shut off the hot under the sink). I assumed that the stem went (which ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I rebuild or just replace worn out cordless tool batteries?

I have a couple of older Porter Cable 19.2v Ni-Cd batteries which have worn out. In shopping around for replacements, I've noticed there are a number of businesses which offer to rebuild your ...
1
vote
3answers
334 views

Automated/Controlled Lighting - Options?

What are some good options to look at for controlled and automated lighting? I've seen some DMX (stage-lighting standard) implementations for homes, but I'm not sure if that is the only/best option. ...
3
votes
4answers
323 views

Plastic Wall Anchors Without a Collar

I have installed some new toilet paper holders in my house. They came with cheap plastic wall anchors without a collar on them. I threw them away and used different anchors, because every time I try ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

How does Schlage SecureKey Re-keying mechanism work?

Here is their consumer info. And here is an amateur teardown, although I can't tell from the pictures how the thing actually works. Does any one have any better powers explanation? But beyond just ...
7
votes
2answers
10k views

What methods can I use to remove exterior paint from brick?

I just purchased a historical house that was painted an ugly peach color. I bought some marine grade paint stripper that I was going to use little by little to strip the whole exterior by hand. This ...
4
votes
2answers
520 views

How do I remove this shower fixture?

I'm a little desperate here. When we moved into this home, we inherited this shower fixture. Now it's leaking. But, I can't figure out how to remove it!? I've tried to back it all the way off ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

How can I strengthen attic rafters for storage?

I have standard 2x4 rafters and want to use it just for storage and I am worried they are not strong enough. I was thinking I could buddy ( or sister) up the 2x4's with another 2x4 or 2x6. or stack ...
8
votes
4answers
8k views

How can I verify where the pipes in my basement go?

In the photos below, I have 3 pipes coming up out of the ground in my basement. One is about 4" (sewer?), the other 2 are 2" (gray water?). Then there are a few coming out of the ceiling (vents?), all ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

How to fix a leaky flapper valve?

I bought a house that had been sitting for some time. One of the the issues that I've discovered is that the flapper valve leaks. I've come to this conclusion by turning off the water to the tank ...
4
votes
10answers
8k views

Why isn't my dishwasher cleaning as well as it used to?

My dishwasher no longer cleans dishes as well as it did 5 years ago. Some info: It is 10 years old, a low-end Frigidaire we have hard water here (and no water softener) I have cleaned the food trap ...
4
votes
2answers
444 views

Window Replacement (Inserts or Gut Out)

When replacing wood windows of a brick house do you just insert them into the old frame or do you gut the frame out and replace the whole thing? What are the pros and cons of each method? Edit: I ...
11
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I handle significant snow and ice dams on a 4/12 gable roof with ridge vents?

It is our first winter in a new-to-us house, that has a pretty flat roof (3/12-to-4/12 pitch), and a ridge vent along the entire top of the roof. We just had the snowiest December on record ...
15
votes
2answers
69k views

What are the pros and cons of installing a roof heating cable?

Had some roof work done last year after mother nature abused my house by way of an errant tree branch. I had always suspected my roof had poor ventilation, most notably when I wound up with a 200 lb ...
2
votes
2answers
489 views

Building Regs for 1st Floor Bathrooms

We are installing a Bathroom in an existing bedroom on the first floor of a 3 bed victorian terrace. We've heard building control have regulations regarding the double joisting or sistering of joists ...
1
vote
2answers
284 views

Is “bronze and silumin” mix actually possible in a ball cock?

In my apartment bathroom there's a thick steel pipe with hot water going from the floor beneath through my bathroom and to the store above. There're two pipes welded into that vertical pipe and a ...
9
votes
8answers
8k views

Home light switch circuit with 5 switches

I am new to the amazing world of electronics and am starting out small. I think... Early 2010, the wife and I bought a house that was built in 1979. Now I started replacing light switches and ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Determining if there is insulation behind a wall

Learning today that some of our walls are a whole 20 degrees colder than others (all facing east) I'm convinced we may not have proper insulation (it's a new house, but we've head numerous problems ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I remove a frameless glued mirror?

I have an ugly giant frameless mirror glued to a tiled wall in my bathroom I want to remove. It's probably been there > 20 years. How do I get rid of it? I'm thinking of just covering it in tape ...
6
votes
3answers
6k views

What are the pros and cons of a vented vs unvented crawl space?

I find it very confusing to read and hear conflicting advice on crawl space: vent vs air seal, different ways to do insulation, vapor barriers vs not, etc. Mine currently has some moisture and has ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

What is required to move a washer/dryer from one room to another?

How hard is it to move washer/dryer from an upstairs room to the basement? What hookups would we need, etc?
7
votes
4answers
4k views

How should I insulate my basement?

My basement is CMU blocks and concrete floor. I had water issues, so I waterproofed it with an interior french drain, drainboard at the edge and a sump pump. This wouldn't take care of dampness so I ...
3
votes
3answers
22k views

Why is my furnace blowing cold air?

My HEIL 7000 natural gas furnace has stopped working what are the most likely causes, and how to verify faulty parts? Normal operation routine Thermostat sends "need heat" signal. Exhaust blower ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

How to spread light more

Which one is better for light bulbs in home to get more from light. White board behind bulb? White plastic covering the bulb? Mirror behind the bulb? Any other way? How to get more from a ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Should I use foam spray insulation in my crawl space?

My crawl space has no insulation. The dirt is wet near one of the walls. There have been termites in the past. I'm thinking of insulating the ceiling (between the joists) and the walls with foam ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How do I refinish a tabletop?

I have an old Ethan Allen dining room table with a couple leaves. It has a pretty dark finish with a thick coat of varnish on top. It's also got various scratches, water stains, etc. What is the ...
3
votes
1answer
442 views

Bathroom Vent is tied to ceiling vent in adjacent room

I live in a bungalow with a bathroom on both levels. The bathrooms both have exhaust vents. Outside of each bathroom is a ceiling vent. The previous owner stuck towels in these to block them off. ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Do I need to ground my pool?

I am have a concrete pool installed and the builder attached a ground cable to the rebar before spraying the concrete. He told me it is up to us whether we want to ground it or not. Given the lights ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Do I need to waterproof the external walls of my house?

I have just completed a renovation of my house. Where possible, I am putting decking around it to keep the brickwork dry and ventilated. One wall, however, will have sand and dirt added to build up ...
1
vote
1answer
201 views

Pressure level in central heating system

Recently (since last week), the pressure in our heating system (as indicated by the pressure gauge on the boiler) is dropping rapidly. We're having to top this up around once every two days. As I ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I fix up an unfinished, oil-stained pine table?

I have an unfinished, salvaged natural hardwood, pine table, similar to the Restoration Hardware salvaged wood trestle table. I spilled some olive oil on it and then did something worse -- tried to ...
4
votes
2answers
356 views

Alternatives to signal on power for home automation systems (such as UBP) - low-voltage circuits, wireless…?

I am kind of averse to using signal on power for home automation systems such as UBP as this seems to be shared with the outside world (I read somewhere that the signal can travel as far as the ...
2
votes
1answer
297 views

Centralised home automation system - Any product out there?

I read the Scalable, affordable home automation question and answers with great interest. Simply Automated looks pretty cool & so do the ideas behind Z-Wave. What I'm looking for, I don't seem to ...
6
votes
2answers
25k views

What are the pros/cons of using porcelain over ceramic tile in a bathroom?

I'm planning on tiling a bathroom floor and a walk-in shower (including the ceiling). I haven't looked into pricing yet, but I've heard that porcelain would be a better, yet more expensive material to ...
3
votes
2answers
430 views

Gas combi boiler - left running constantly in cold weather

I've a gas combi-boiler that is generally working fine, but we're getting some seriously cold weather here at the minute (for us anyway) and I've had the odd problem with the boiler starting up when ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does my furnace turn off when the thermostat's LCD dims?

Recently I replaced an old mercury thermostat with a programmable digital model (a PRO1 T955W). It is set to operate in Heating mode. The desired temperature is set to 70 and the in-home temperature ...
4
votes
3answers
316 views

How can I clean the glass door on my fireplace?

I tried crumpled up newspaper but that was a joke. Are there any good techniques for doing this? Mine is totally covered with creosote right now and I can barely see through it.
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it common to have no ceiling joists above joist-parallel walls?

I own an old 1 story house that was built in 1926. Looking in the attic, I've noticed that all the interior walls that run parallel to the ceiling joists have no joist above them. These walls are ...
12
votes
2answers
5k views

Can I change a 1-gang electrical box to a 2-gang electrical box?

I live in a house built in the 50's in Maryland, US. Each bedroom contains 4 electrical outlets - configured in two 1-gang electrical boxes on opposing walls. However, with all the modern ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

How do I fill a wide gap between tile and other flooring / sill plate?

I recently installed 16" porcelain tile in a new laundry room addition. As luck would have it, the room ended up being the same width as 4 tiles, so I had to do very little cutting to complete the ...
13
votes
3answers
85k views

How do I refill a fire extinguisher or should I just buy a new one?

My fire extinguisher is out of charge and I want to either refill it or buy a new one. Is it better/cheaper to refill it or just buy a new one? (Can I even refill this fire extinguisher?) EDIT: ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What natural-wood finish should I use to protect a door from pet scratches?

I'm installing a new solid-core wood door in one of my bedrooms. I want the door to have a natural wood look. However, I have a dog who will scratch at the door to open it looking for me / squeaky ...
7
votes
2answers
48k views

What are the pros and cons of two AC systems vs a dual zone system?

I have a Cape Cod with 1000 ft2 on the first floor and an apartment in the attic. In a few years I may get rid of the apartment and build up a second story + attic. Both the first floor and the ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

How should I organize a workspace to take my handedness into account?

I'm in the process of building myself a workbench and shed space and with only a very limited amount of space, some things have to be very carefully positioned. Having grown up with a left-handed ...
0
votes
1answer
284 views

Anyone know if there are any large chains that carry HT Armaflex?

Grainger doesn't have it, Northern Tool doesn't have it, and Lowes doesn't have it. Home Depot has a lower temperature (200F) Armaflex, but doesn't have HT Armaflex. (HT Armaflex, by the way, is a ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it OK to turn off power to a fuel furnace?

Is it OK to turn off the power to a fuel furnace to replace the thermostat? Will the furnace start back up once power is restored? This is on a new furnace with an old thermostat and fuse panel.

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