4
votes
8answers
25k views

What is the best way to remove and prevent leaf stains on concrete pavers?

We have a brand new paver stone walkway/patio. To my dismay, I noticed that their were leaf and acorn stains from the oak tree in the front yard. I've learned my lesson and I'm going to try to keep ...
6
votes
4answers
656 views

What's the easiest process for cutting bathroom flooring tiles to fit complex door trim?

I'm going to be laying in some fairly heavy-duty vinyl bathroom flooring tiles (similar to the Armstrong Caliber product, although I'm not sure it's actually that brand). The bathroom has some tough ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I get the stem out of a hose bib to replace the washer?

I have no idea why this isn't simple, perhaps because every repair project has to have some hitch in it to piss me off. I have a leaky hose bib in my back yard, so I wanted to take the sucker apart ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

How do I cut nice mitered corners?

I will be adding moulding and trim to a few rooms after I lay laminate flooring. I have already done this in one room and I was really discouraged with my miter cuts. In most corners, I had a gap of ...
6
votes
1answer
27k views

How do I repair spots of damaged hardwood floor finish?

I have some hardwood floors that I refinished 5 years or so ago. They're mostly holding up pretty well, but around our breakfast bar the stools have taken up some of the varathane and have left ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

How can I seal around a light fixture/light switch outlet?

I Have a house built in 1972. I'm currently 80% finished in installing a ceiling fan into my master bedroom. I had an energy audit about a month ago, which revealed that I had "pretty good sealing" ...
3
votes
5answers
327 views

What quick and dirty tool/method should I use for cutting scrap drywall?

I have a pile of drywall scrap that's been sitting in my garage for a few years after a remodel, "just in case". My buddy came up with the idea of turning it into "karate boards" for our kids to ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Can plants be planted over a drain field?

The previous owner of my house planted plants and small bushes where the drain field is. I have a feeling that the roots will eventually damage the drains. Is this okay or should I remove them?
4
votes
2answers
700 views

What are some tips for installing a small shed?

I want to put in a small shed to store my push lawn mower and perhaps a few other things. Our village's website states we need a permit: SHEDS – Must be either anchored to a concrete slab or have ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the best/official way to draw a building's electrical system?

We are installing home automation systems, and we have serious problems with electricians. Short: they are stupid and lazy. So, we have to do something. There're some stories: We have a spreadsheet ...
6
votes
3answers
15k views

Can I safely power a three-prong electrical device from a light socket?

I have a covered lampholder (light socket) outside my house that I want to use to temporarily power a plug-in string of indoor/outdoor lights. Using CFLs, the total wattage of the string of lights ...
2
votes
2answers
463 views

Can oscillating “multi-tools” sand vertical surfaces?

I need to sand some rough spots on our old front door before repainting and am considering buying/using a multi-tool for this task (as well as some tricky flooring and drywall tasks later). What's ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How long can I wait before staining a new deck?

I just moved into a new (well, old) house. The previous owners put in a deck probably about 1 year ago. It's treated lumber, but they hadn't yet stained it. Winter is approaching quickly here in ...
9
votes
1answer
9k views

What is the difference between dimmable and non-dimmable CFL bulbs?

I have a dimmable ceiling light fixture in the Dining room. I put in CFL bulbs a few months ago. It all seems to work fine, no problem. I went to a hardware store yesterday and saw that there were CFL ...
1
vote
2answers
54k views

Although my hot water works, why won't my radiator come on?

As above, the hot water works but the radiators do not come on. It's an old gas powered central heating system. We're thinking it's the wall thermostat at fault but is there anything else it might be? ...
7
votes
4answers
15k views

Is it an easy task to replace a wall thermostat?

As above, is it an easy DIY job to do this safely? In my research into the above it has become apparant that I should consider replacing the old thermostat with a programmable one for energy savings. ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Can't remove ice tray from GE french door fridge

I have a GE stainless french door fridge model GFSS6KKXSS. I can't get the ice maker tray to come out. It has a small release lever on the side, which I have used before when removing it. It seems to ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Is the vermiculite found in my popcorn ceiling toxic? Can I remove it myself?

I'm planning to remove a "popcorn" ceiling and submitted a ceiling sample to the labs for asbestos testing. Here are the results: It looks to me like the labs didn't detect any asbestos but I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
806 views

Faucet spout perlator: worth it?

I've seen the following perlator and similars (also plastic ones) on some shopping sites. They claim it can decrease water consumption up to 40%. Is it possible? Is it worth to try?
5
votes
7answers
5k views

How can I create circuit diagrams and what program should I use?

Circuit diagrams are very handy. On this site, they can really help illustrate the problem or solution (see here). They can help you visualize what needs to be changed when doing work on your house, ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it necessary to connect a boiler and gas meter to the main fuse box?

We are getting a new kitchen fitted. An electrical survey has been carried out by the compnay installing kitchen. they have said that, our brand new and recently fitted, boiler needs a earth wire ...
1
vote
2answers
553 views

Which kind of plaster to use on concrete walls, prior to painting?

I have a small holiday apartment in Europe that has pre-fabricated concrete walls. The surfaces are relatively smooth but I want to prepare them for painting by applying a skim coat of plaster. Which ...
3
votes
2answers
329 views

Things to look for while entering the crawlspace of a house I'm considering buying?

I'm going to examine the crawlspace under a house I'm considering buying. What type of things should I look for? Here's my list so far: Water, moisture, and dampness -- finding it's source. ...
12
votes
11answers
26k views

Why is my toilet constantly backing up?

I've been in my new house for a few months now, and I end up plunging one of our two toilets about once a week - they tend to swap turns on which one gets to be finicky each week. Is there a more ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Is some asymmetry in a breaker box normal? What about neutral to ground having voltage?

So, next in my quest to evaluate the health of my new home's electrical system, and call in professionals if needed, was some voltage checking of the panels/outlets around the house. What I have is a ...
4
votes
5answers
8k views

What is the best way to clean toilet bowl stains?

Bought a house a little over a year ago and it was previously a foreclosure and sat for a while. Because of that, it hadn't been cleaned for a while and developed some stains around the water line in ...
7
votes
8answers
25k views

How do I clean a very dirty refrigerator?

I just got a new house and inherited a very moldy and mildewy refrigerator. My first though it to get some cleaning spray with bleach and just go to town, but I'm worried the bleach might damage the ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Understanding results of an energy audit

We had an energy audit done a couple of years ago on our 20 year old home. Basically, they hooked up a blower to the front door, and tested the amount of air leakage. The written report suggested a ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

How so I fix a loose Kwikset deadbolt faceplate?

We have a kwikset deadbolt on our main door and the faceplate has come loose. There are no visible screws on either side of the door, so I am assuming they are under the brass plate on the inside of ...
10
votes
8answers
15k views

Is there any legitimate reason you would NOT connect the ground wire on a circuit?

I've been doing some remodeling on my house and had the need to move some electrical outlets. While doing so, I noticed that the ground wire wasn't hooked up on any of the outlets in the circuit ...
2
votes
2answers
162 views

Building code in Canada

Are there any online resources for determining building code requirements in Canada? For example right now I need to know what the proper diameter for a dryer vent to the outside should be. Last ...
28
votes
4answers
29k views

How do I fix a “water hammer” problem?

When I shut off a water faucet or right after the toilet tank refills after flushing, I hear a vibrating sound in my pipes. It last between one and two seconds. On the interwebs, I found out that ...
5
votes
1answer
11k views

How does one know if a well pump is “Short Cycling” or pressure tank is water logged?

Is there any calculation that can be performed to estimate the amount of water a well water pressure tank should output between pump cycles? E.g.- I have a 40 gallon pressure tank (non bladder) with ...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

How should we sand and treat our Victorian floorboards?

We have recently bought a new house, well a new old house. It dates from 1900, we have taken the carpet up ad are now looking to sand back the exposed original floorboards. We plan on giving the ...
7
votes
6answers
8k views

Is it worth having two locks in exterior doors?

I've noticed that some places have a lock in the knob and a deadbolt in the exterior doors, and some places have a knob without a lock and just a deadbolt. Is there a benefit to having a lock in the ...
2
votes
1answer
11k views

How can I stop my lights from dimming when major appliances start up?

So it appears that I narrowed down the cause of my Random Flickering- the faulty 20-amp circuit on the detached garage service panel (leaking 60 volts at some point between the breaker and the last ...
2
votes
1answer
431 views

Tips and advice for repairing front yard stairs cheaply?

The front yard concrete stairs at the place we're looking to buy are in need of eventual repair. Some of the steps are different sizes creating a trip hazard. In addition, some of them have large ...
26
votes
10answers
59k views

Doors are sticky and noisy when opened?

For some reason, the doors in our house make a very loud "unsticking" sound when you open them. It's almost as if the paint isn't cured, since the sound seems to come from the contact area around the ...
3
votes
3answers
719 views

Small amounts of moss on asphalt shingles?

What's the best way to remove moss from asphalt shingles?
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the best way to remove spray paint from a blacktop driveway?

I have an area on my blacktop driveway that some kids thought needed some spray paint, what is the best way to remove it without damaging the blacktop?
7
votes
2answers
10k views

Is it unsafe if some three prong outlets don't properly test as grounded?

It's me again -- the pest ;-) On the general inspection report for the house we're looking at buying, there's a note about the house's electrical: Some three prong outlets did not test properly ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the difference between Square D and QP single pole circuit breakers, and can they be mixed?

I just noticed that all of the branches from my upstairs service box are run off of 15 or 20-amp type QP circuit breakers, except for one 15-amp line that is for the hard-wired smoke alarms- it uses a ...
7
votes
2answers
27k views

How can I build a cheap, do-it-yourself dance floor?

I would like to make a cheap DIY dance floor and I attained a roll of 3.5 ft x 6 ft vinyl linoleum for free. Can I use this in making a dance floor? Has anyone built their own cheap DIY and what ...
15
votes
12answers
166k views

What direction should laminate flooring be placed in?

I'm thinking of installing laminate flooring and have a question: If I'm installing laminate throughout the house, should ALL of it be going in the same direction? Say for example, let's say I have ...
3
votes
2answers
421 views

Are clogs in the AC condensate drain common in Florida?

I have a two year old central A/C unit. Every 2/3 months the unit shuts off. I called the rep/maintenance company and they have given me the following response: The cause of the issue is algae ...
5
votes
1answer
188 views

Are discount furnaces safe to use?

More newbie questions ;-) The house we're looking to buy has an older furnace that "may be manufactured by the Permier/Consolidated furnace company" according to general inspections. We're in the ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

How best can I discover what is up with my electrical bill?

This might be subjective, I don't know. However, it's a serious problem for me. My electrical bill is outrageous. It's three times as large as my next-door neighbor, and four or five times the size of ...
15
votes
3answers
17k views

How often do septic tanks typically need to be pumped?

At the risk of potentially asking an off-topic question, I'd like to better understand the maintenance of a septic tank. I've never had one before and am unfamiliar with how to manage one. My ...
8
votes
11answers
46k views

What is the advantage of PEX pinch clamp vs. crimp rings?

I just saw these for the first time today at Lowe's: The advantages I can see over the crimp style are: A single tool can work with multiple PEX sizes That single tool is cheaper than a ...
1
vote
2answers
14k views

How much should replacing septic tank lids cost, and what is involved?

My wife and I may be possibly buying a house with a septic tank. We had it inspected and the report showed that the tank was in good condition however the "tank lids" would need to be replaced. I'm ...

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