7
votes
3answers
45k views

What is the purpose of a watt regulator in my ceiling fan?

The lights on my harbor breeze fan stopped working this morning. When I came home from work, I got the ladder and took down the lights. I don't have a multimeter but I saw that there is this Watt ...
5
votes
2answers
11k views

Can I convert/adapt to PEX from copper tubing?

I'm remodeling a bathroom, and some of the copper tubing needs to be replaced, due to leaks and the need to reposition fixtures. Is it feasible and recommended to convert from copper tubing to PEX? ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

What are the advantages and disadvantages to timber framing vs. platform framing?

Within in the next 10-years, my wife and I would like to replace the old modular home on our property with a new house. I've been having some discussions with a friend of mine who is a huge fan of ...
7
votes
4answers
14k views

Can a dryer be vented through the roof?

In my home the dryer vent is set up to vent out into an enclosed back porch. The problem is that all sorts of lint (and heat) get pumped out into that enclosed area and makes a mess. Directly above ...
1
vote
1answer
538 views

What is the best way to fix bleach stains?

A large amount of bleach was spilled on our carpet, and I'm wondering how we can try to restore the color. The carpet is a light tan color.
6
votes
9answers
24k views

How do I put a fluorescent light on a motion sensor?

I have a couple closets in my basement that I have outfitted with a fluorescent light attached to a motion sensor (this one). The idea was that when you open the closet door, the light comes on ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Can granite countertops be used as a desktop on a custom desk?

Granite countertops have become quite popular lately. How is Granite typically fastened to base cabinets? Would it be suitable to use as a desktop, say with just four legs attached to it (not a full ...
9
votes
14answers
38k views

Why might our washing machine cause our clothes to smell damp when dry?

Recently we've noticed that our clothes smell damp once dried. It doesn't matter if we tumble-dry them, hang them outside or hang them indoors. This leads me to believe it's our washing machine. We ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I clean a Hammerite paint brush?

I have recently painted using Hammerite metal paint. When I tried to clean the brush afterwards using White Spirit, I noticed it didn't work. Hammerite sells a specialized cleaning product, but I'd ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I replace a 3-way lamp socket so that it doesn't die after 6 months?

I've replaced the 3-way socket in a table lamp about 4 times in the past 6 years. Each time it works for 6 months or so, but eventually the secondary contact that touches the "ring" on the base of ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

Energy Audit (WellHome)

We recently had an energy audit done by WellHome, a new division of Masco, which is a manufacturer of many types of home/building fixtures and services. They seemed to do a very thorough job, using ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

At what height should a stair handrail be?

I am almost dne replacing the steps to my front porch. It is 5 steps so I definitly need a handrail, but I don't know exactly how high to make it. I have some posts that should be plenty tall but I ...
2
votes
1answer
868 views

Need to attach deck ledger to house covering a vent

I am building a deck attached to the house, and on one side I will need to have the ledger covering a section of wall that has a crawlspace vent cover. If I have a big enough gap between the ledger ...
3
votes
3answers
26k views

What is the proper way to join two beams on a post?

I'm working on a deck that will involve two 10ft wooden beams across three wooden posts. One of the posts will be in the middle of the two beams. What is the proper method for joining the beams to the ...
4
votes
2answers
426 views

Any difference for a pressure-assisted toilet?

Can a gravity flush toilet be swapped out for a pressure-assisted toilet? Are there any differences in plumbing, mounting, etc.?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I trust my pressuretrol?

My steam boiler, which supplies both heat and hot water, turned off a day or two ago, resulting in cold water. After some debugging, I found that the problem was with the pressuretrol, the device that ...
4
votes
2answers
34k views

Is there a “standard” height for towel bars in bathrooms?

I'm hanging a towel bar on a wall in a newly-built bathroom (part of a major remodel). I would like to avoid placing the bar at an "awkward" height, but I'm not sure what the proper height would be. ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

What's the fastest way to strip paint off of a piece of installed trim/moulding?

Let's say you have some detailed moulding around several interior doors and you want to strip the paint off with the least amount of labor (time-wise)? How would you go about it? Heat gun, chemicals, ...
3
votes
2answers
886 views

Suds accumulating at the base of a tree [closed]

Today is cool and rainy and I noticed suds accumulating at the base of a tree. They seem to be oozing out of the tree (on one side only) and dripping down from a height of about four feet. There is ...
11
votes
5answers
14k views

Do I need a cordless screwdriver if I own a cordless drill?

I currently own a cheapo corded drill and one of DeWalt's lower-end cordless screwdrivers. I want to buy a cordless drill because I am done with extension cords. Most (good) cordless drills seem to ...
15
votes
7answers
11k views

Lubricant for squeaky doors

I'm looking for a long term solution to my squeaky doors. Our home is fitted with brass hinges on all doors and lately they have all been starting to squeak. I've tried several silicone based ...
9
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there a good way to test water quality in your house?

What are the best ways to test for water quality in your house? The water is from a well, not town water. Are there any products that can continuously test the water coming in (versus manually ...
5
votes
3answers
18k views

What kind of wall material should be used in wet areas in a bathroom?

I'm replacing a one piece fiberglass tub with a two piece (tub + surround) unit. In the bathroom right now, there's just drywall, no special material. Should I replace the drywall with greenboard, ...
7
votes
4answers
6k views

What sort of things should one look for in a water-softener?

Hard water (from a well) at the house, and I was wondering what to look for in terms of getting a water-softener, or things to avoid.
14
votes
6answers
8k views

How do you reduce floor sound transmission?

How do you reduce the sound transmission through a floor? Using "green glue" between a couple layers of plywood subfloor seems to work well. Are there any other tricks or suggestions?
9
votes
4answers
6k views

Can paint/hardware stores match stain like they do paint?

I know you can take a color sample to a paint store (or some hardware stores) and get them to match it and mix you up a custom batch. Is a similar service provided anywhere for stain? The color ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Where can I find a replacement green colored porcelain toilet? [closed]

Do any of the manufacturers still make green colored porcelain toilets? The existing one is an American Standard model probably from the 60's and it is green porcelain. Most of the bathroom is green ...
7
votes
2answers
511 views

How do you locate roof leaks?

Sometimes the source of a roof leaks is difficult to find. The best approach that I've found for locating the leak is to have someone watch where the water is coming into the house (may be easiest ...
8
votes
4answers
586 views

Does PEX require home runs?

I've been told that PEX requires home runs to a manifold (or star topology, to borrow from networking) to maintain the same flow rate/pressure as copper. Anyone else heard this?
0
votes
1answer
156 views

How to create an fast and easy dimmable lamp?

I want to connect this plug to this socket using this dimmer. I have AWG 16 wire... how would I do this? I have very little experience with electrical work
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Why is the amperage lower for higher wattage devices?

Can anyone explain how electrical amperage associates to device wattage? From what I understand amperage is the amount of electrical current running through the circuit (if I imaging the AC current as ...
1
vote
2answers
614 views

is there a trick to installing “lock and fold” flooring?

I am doing a small installation of lock and fold flooring and find that the pieces don't want to sit flat, they curve up from the floor somewhat. I am tempted to push harder on them, but don't want to ...
19
votes
7answers
127k views

How do I prepare an already painted wall for new paint?

We are repainting a number of rooms in our home, do we need to put primer over the existing paint? Are there any other gotchas that we need to prepare for before repainting the walls?
5
votes
5answers
5k views

How can I finish this “peeled” drywall?

While doing some work in my bathroom, one thing led to another and paint started peeling. I found that under many layers of paint was some wallpaper so it seemed natural to pull... I started peeling ...
6
votes
1answer
615 views

How to self-remediate mold?

We had some water damage recently (leaky toilet supply line) that flooded an upstairs bedroom and the room immediately below it. We had all the drywall torn out in anticipation of rebuilding and had ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I install a jump duct?

Our master bedroom is considerably warmer than the living/dining/kitchen area of our house, and we've been setting the thermostat quite lower than we'd like in order for the bedroom to get cool enough ...
18
votes
1answer
476 views

Is flushing a waterheater a good idea?

I've been told that water-heaters build up sediment at the bottom over time, and should be flushed out (ie. drained, then allowed to refill). Is there value in this exercise? Does that value exceed ...
3
votes
3answers
550 views

Dresser/Chest with convex front

I'm contemplating building a dresser and am looking at designs and such to get my creative juices flowing. Today I noticed that some dressers/chests have concave or outwardly curving drawers on the ...
8
votes
3answers
9k views

How do I reinforce the attic floor?

We have an attic I'd like to use as an extra room. The frame of the house is solid 2x8" beams and i'm told that the weight is not a problem there. The attic framing is just a typical framing though. ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Are water heater blankets a good idea?

Is it a good idea to wrap a water heater in insulation? Does it lower the heating cost? Does it shorten the life of the water heater?
12
votes
1answer
9k views

What are the uses of the various schedules of PVC pipe?

I had a plumber come out the other day to do some work and I offered up some spare PVC that I had leftover from various projects and he told me that it was schedule so-and-so and wouldn't be ...
4
votes
2answers
485 views

Building indoor water feature / water fountain

I would like to have my own little waterfall inside my house. I find the flowing water very soothing and relaxing. I have seen a couple of "desktop" water fountains, and that is the rough idea, now ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I fix a pocket door wheel track?

I have a pocket door that keeps falling off its track. The metal track has become warped and bent down in just one or two areas. When I slide the door along the track and the front wheel goes over ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why would you use copper over CPVC or PEX?

Are there any advantages to using copper rather than CPVC or PEX?
3
votes
3answers
546 views

How to best clean the inlet vent screen on a microhood?

Over the years, my microhood has developed a greasy buildup in the inlet vent screens on the underside of the microhood. They're an aluminum mesh that comes out easily with a label near it saying not ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

What kind of screws for crawl space vents?

I'm removing one of the ancient crawl-space vents from my house in order to put in a wiring pass-thru plate. The old vent only had a couple screws on it and the new plate has a lot more holes... So, ...
3
votes
3answers
322 views

Roof stone tiles. How to fasten them?

I am watching a TV program where they are restoring a ruin into a cottage. One thing that left me aghast is the fact that the roof was made with flat, very heavy stone tiles. Ater they rebuild the ...
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What kind of screws in to pressure treated plywood?

I am making hurricane panels for my house using the technique described here. The plywood I purchased is pressure treated. The sliding bolts are zinc, so I assume the screws that came with them are ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I vent a bathroom fan through the eaves?

I want to fit a fan in our bathroom. The easiest way to do this seems to be to drill down from the loft and put it in directly above the shower. I'm then considering running the vent (flex pipe) ...
1
vote
2answers
638 views

How can I best seal this gutter to the flat rubber roof of my garage?

I have a standalone garage built into the side of the hill. On top is a rubber roof that appears to be in decent shape. However, there is a gutter around the edges that is not sealed to the roof. ...

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