5
votes
2answers
6k views

How can I clean a very dirty concrete basement floor?

My basement floor has been made amazingly gross (thank you, cats) and I'd like to get it really clean. Is there an option other than scrubbing on hands and knees? Are there cleaning solutions that ...
2
votes
2answers
675 views

Can I hone Silestone from a glossy finish to a matte finish?

I would like to hone (make the glossy finish matte) my Silestone kitchen countertops. Is this possible either through an acid wash, sanding or other? Sanding works on samples but will be difficult ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

AC issues / Insulation of vaulted ceiling

Issue: If it's hot outside, ~90F, house temperature can't get below 79F. Background: 6 year old house, vaulted ceiling with 1 ceiling fan in family room where thermostat is (also 3 large windows, ...
5
votes
1answer
389 views

Sourcing and installing a stainless steel backsplash

I recently replaced an over-the-range microwave with a hood. Since the hood is about half the height of the microwave, this left a ~15" gap between the preexisting tile backsplash and the start of ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Bowed laminate flooring on slab: How to proceed?

I recently bought a house with laminate flooring in a partially-below-grade room that sits on a concrete slab. The owners ripped out carpeting in the room and installed the laminate prior to putting ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Water being dumped into street from basement?

(in western new york) We have a sump pump, something called a bubbler which is a sealed 2-3 inch pvc pipe coming out in the landscaping (sealed with a twist on cap) and a 2-3 inch pvc pipe coming out ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

Does building insulation wear out and have to be replaced?

First, a little back-story. I've been having trouble with the air-conditioning system in my south-Texas apartment home for almost two months so far this summer. The apartment manager has been ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What recessed shower light cover is this?

We have a recessed shower light fixture and the cover is melted (thank you previous owners...). But I can't figure out what this thing is called or where I can get a replacement. I've attached a few ...
8
votes
2answers
183 views

Garbage Disposal Shoots Contents Upward

Can't find anything that matches this particular issue on Google or here. Our sink has a garbage disposal that is about 5 years old. For about the last six months or so, the unit tends to propel its ...
9
votes
1answer
986 views

How do I get to the wall cavity above a double floor joist from below?

I am running some new romex for a couple of electrical outlets. One of the outlets is on one side of a wall in one bedroom and the other outlet is on the other side of the wall in another bedroom. ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How do you frame a wall around existing pipes and ducting?

Adding ducting or conduit or pipes to a wall is easy, you just drill or cut a hole. Adding a wall where there is already conduit and pipes poses more of a dilemma, especially if those things are ...
19
votes
4answers
132k views

How do you know when and where it is safe to drill into a wall?

Lots of home projects involve cutting or drilling through walls (everything from nails, screws, or hooks to mount things to cutting through drywall and drilling through studs to run wire). In ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I loosen latex paint to remove it?

I have a wall with (a very rubbery) latex paint topcoat over a painted surface on drywall that it is only marginally adhering to. Trying to sand or even rub on it removes it slowly and not very ...
7
votes
2answers
403 views

How do I dispose of gasoline?

We've inherited a house with several gas (petrol) containers in the garage. I haven't tried using them because I don't know how old they are. I don't know what oil/gas mixture they have. They've ...
1
vote
2answers
541 views

Is there a thermostat-controlled corn heater sized for a shop/garage?

I'm looking for a way to heat my 4-car garage. Two bays are for cars, one is for the mower and other items, one is my workshop. I live in Minnesota, with very cold winters, so a heater is necessary ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I repair a chain saw chain?

I have a chain saw (one of the ones for pruning trees) and the chain popped off. I went to put it back on but one of the teeth is damaged on the part that slides along the arm of the chain saw. It ...
3
votes
2answers
594 views

Is there enough here to get a ceiling fan?

I want need a ceiling fan in my living room. I looked at a few wiki-how type articles on installing them, and it looks like they need more than 2 wires, but when I opened up the light fixture on my ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Why aren't Geothermal heat pumps more common?

Air conditioning and heating are major energy consumers in American buildings - commercial, residential, and industrial. I have been curious for a while as to why it isn't more common to use the ...
4
votes
3answers
37k views

How to stop a door from banging while closing

Besides closing it very slowly, any good tricks / gadgets that will slow down the door so it doesn't close with a thud?
4
votes
2answers
514 views

Rotten wood: to fill or not to fill?

I removed the paint from this wood, the top ring of a raised garden. While scraping I got to a soft part and easily removed this rotten wood, creating the hole in the pictures: it is 2x2x5" Should I ...
4
votes
2answers
15k views

How do you frame a wall more than 8-10 feet tall?

I am capable of framing a "simple" 8' wide 8' tall 4" thick wall out of 2x4 lumber, then attaching plywood or drywall or OSB or any other sheet material to the frame. Making the wall wider is a ...
2
votes
1answer
461 views

How should I prepare an all-concrete warehouse space before building out?

I haven't put together my complete buildout plan yet, but I expect that most of the preparatory steps are the same regardless of where I'm going with it. The space is approx 100'x100'x16', and ...
7
votes
5answers
6k views

Should shingles have bubbles in a new roof?

I just had a roof repaired (shingles replaced) because of hail damage. As far as I can tell, everything looks good. Except for one section, there's what I would only describe as a large bubble. Are ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

How to disconnect a weird looking wire

I'm renovating my Kitchen, and my stove is connected in such a way that I'm not sure how to unplug, I added pictures that might explain it better. I would like to either disconnect it, or make it ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

How to make lights turn on one at a time?

So we've all seen this scene dozens of times in movies: a character flips a switch and lights turn on, one at time, down a long tunnel, or throughout a giant garage, or something like that. I'd like ...
2
votes
2answers
752 views

Awning windows - How much ventilation do they provide?

I am wondering if any of you have any experience with awning windows. I am looking at a condo with large awning windows on the side (height that almost goes from ceiling to a little higher than the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Recommended proximity of HVAC vent to return air

I have an upstairs room with an HVAC vent in the ceiling above the door. The return air is in the hallway just outside of the same door. This room also happens to be the hottest room in the house (by ...
14
votes
13answers
59k views

What is the best technique for using a drill to insert screws?

It looks so easy on the DIY programs, but I battle to insert screws using my drill. The screwdriver bit keeps slipping out, and it damages the screw head. Is there a neat trick for this? Should I ...
2
votes
4answers
35k views

How to remove a stuck key?

A hypothetical question - if I get a key in the door lock from one side of the door, could I somehow use another key to open the door from the other side? And what if you could "engineer" the stuck ...
4
votes
1answer
304 views

3M Caulk Remover

Does anybody have experience with 3M Caulk Remover? I read about it at Cool Tools (a great site, by the way): http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/000926.php If you read the comments, some people ...
6
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the safest way to cut up an old kerosene storage tank?

Folks, I need to remove an old kerosene storage tank (for central heating) from my in-laws back garden. The tank is moulded plastic, and has a 1,000 litre capacity. The access point it was ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Sound proofing a waste pipe

In our (badly designed) flat the upstairs waste pipes run straight through our bedrooms. It's a shame as the outer corridor is right next to our bedroom, so it would have been sensible to put it in ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Mounting a projector screen

I'm looking into mounting a motorized projector screen in my home theater room. I measured that the screen needs to be approximately 120" diagonal, so I'm looking into buying one of: Elite Screens ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

How do I fix the drain in our refrigerator

It's a GE TBX25PASJRAA. Water collects in the refrigerator compartment, a tray placed at the back of the top shelf catches most of it. I assume it's defrost water that's not going where it's ...
3
votes
1answer
278 views

How should I safely replace Central Vacuum faceplates?

The covers for the faceplates of my central vacuum system have started to break off from age. How do I safely replace these? These are technically wired for electricity right? Is this a job for an ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Requirements for using Schluter Ditra

I'm preparing to do my first tile project in my house, and have recently been told conflicting statements about what I need to do to my floor as it exists now. I'm going to tile the floors in my ...
1
vote
2answers
199 views

Protecting old wood floor

I'm renting a place that has some exposed, faded, old wood floors. I want to do what I can to protect it from any further and perhaps spruce it up and make it look good in the process. I know that I ...
4
votes
2answers
19k views

Workarounds for single-zone HVAC? Second thermostat? Adjust vents?

I have a two story brick home built in 1970 with a relatively new HVAC system blowing through original ductwork. In the summer its too hot upstairs and too cold downstairs. I know that the full ...
5
votes
3answers
338 views

Resource for ballparking current home construction costs?

We're about to move several states away and have begun the house hunting process. We're moving to a region that, like most in the US, has seen housing costs tank, though it is a small enclave of ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

How to turn on my irrigation system

I moved into a house that was a foreclosure but has an irrigation system. There was no one around to show me how to set everything up. I know where the control box is and have read the instructions ...
4
votes
1answer
447 views

Lawn sprinkler stays on

My lawn sprinkler system has 4 zones and I noticed that one zone is staying on all the time. Even if I set the timer controller to off position, that valve stays on. If I unplug the controller, the ...
8
votes
12answers
67k views

How to remove old vinyl tiles?

I have a layer of old, crumbly and very sticky vinyl tiles that I need to remove to bring the old tile back (see picture). What is the best way of removing these? Bonus question: How do I get the ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Normal Hardwood floor installation on a wood structured deck

We need help on installing hardwood floors made of larch (a type of cedar). They are 3/4 wide and we want to install them just as we would inside a house. We will oil them with an exterior ...
3
votes
2answers
359 views

What is the name of this connector for my fridge's wooden panel?

I recently snapped off the wooden panel on my fridge/freezer. It is a tall fridge freezer with a separate door for each component. The doors are wooden panels that are attached to the metal doors ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I attach normal framed walls in between concrete columns?

I'd like to add partitions to this grid of columns. I want to make "normal" walls, framed with 2x4 and faced with plywood or drywall. My concern is how to attach the walls to the columns. Naively, I ...
9
votes
2answers
902 views

Why is the water pressure in my home clearly less than my neighbors?

I own a relatively new home (3 years old) in a new development. I have a PEX water system, which I love (as do all my neighbors). So, I put out the "fan" sprinkler in my yard, and it shoots an ...
2
votes
1answer
954 views

How can I make a fake ground output?

I'm having problems with my electrical oven: I get shocked when I touch it. I think the way to solve this is to connect the ground wire it has (the green wire) to ground? The problem with that is ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Considerations for making a 4-5 cm hole in a steel counter top?

About a year ago, I bought a small counter top dishwasher; the apartment I lived in a the time had a kitchen with a connector for it on back of the tap. I have since moved, and the new apartment's ...
2
votes
2answers
21k views

How do I run CAT-6 cable in existing drywall? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to run ethernet cable through wall cavity I've been interested in running a really fast hard-line network for a while, but the main deterrent has been installing the ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

If DC adapters are so prevalent, why is AC used in construction by default?

I'm not sure if there's a better place to ask this or not. Why, at least here in America, is the standard electrical system set up for alternating current (AC) rather than direct current (DC)? I'm ...

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