3
votes
4answers
243 views

How do I determine if the energy savings are worth replacing windows for?

I have a house with an east-facing wall which is mostly windows. In the winter, during the day I almost never have to run the furnace because of how much the sunlight warms my house. During the summer ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

Is it possible to refinish floors one room at a time?

I live in a small townhouse and would like to refinish the floors in the upstairs of my home. It is very difficult to do all of the rooms at once, but a friend suggested that unless I do this, the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How to unclog a toilet? (solid object obstruction)

I just accidentally flushed my toothbrush down the toilet. (Bathroom multitasking: bad idea.) The toilet still flushes, but it's draining more slowly. What should I do? EDIT Phew! After 15 ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Are tamper resistant outlets required in a cabinet with child proof latches?

Like many people, I have a dishwasher and a disposer, which are plugged into an outlet in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. Also like many, this is where I keep a whole host of cleaning products and ...
3
votes
1answer
13k views

Are there locations in a residence where a non tamper resistant receptacle can still be used?

Assume for a second that my jurisdiction has adopted 2011 NEC code as legally binding without significant amendment. This code requires (406.11) that 120V 15/20A outlets in all areas defined in NEC ...
4
votes
5answers
9k views

How to make a swing swing straight?

I don't know if this is "home improvement" since it is about an item in my garden but it is not about "gardening and landscaping" either so I am going to ask it here in the hope that, since it I think ...
2
votes
4answers
18k views

What is causing my gas water heater to squeal?

I have a gas water heater. Starting yesterday, when the flame is on, the unit makes a squealing noise of moderate volume. The noise stops immediately when the flame turns off. This means it is not ...
8
votes
4answers
9k views

Is it safe to touch the ground contact?

When plugging in a device in the dark, or behind furniture, it's hard to get the contacts aligned. It's tempting to put a finger on the end of a contact, use that finger to find the slot in the recep, ...
6
votes
5answers
21k views

Why is the water in my toilets orange?

My wife and I just moved in to a brand new house and have started to notice that the water in the toilets is an orange color, and is starting to leave stains in the bowl. After looking online briefly, ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Was this basement window installed properly?

Here's a few photos of a window that I installed last year. I used the mixed knowledge of a few different online articles and did it to my best ability, but I'm kinda worried that it may have been ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

How can I fix this persistently leaky shower faucet?

Several weeks ago water began slowly dripping from the shower head in our master bath. Also, the underside of the hot water faucet is wet long after the water has been turned off and the shower has ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is the 60T blade that came with my Dewalt DWS780 miter good for general purpose cutting?

I recently bought a Dewalt DSW780 12" sliding compound miter saw, along with 60T and 96T diablo blades. My question is, should I keep the blades? Is the 60T blade that came with the saw good enough? ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

Which should be first, pressure reducer or backflow preventer?

Question pretty much says it all. I'm installing a sprinkler system in the yard, and discovered the pressure is too high (valves were leaking when on, and kick when turned on/off). I can see ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

How freely should a central A/C condenser fan spin?

Last year my home's central air condenser fan motor stopped working. When I noticed the house wasn't cooling down I went outside to investigate and found there was a humming sound coming from the unit,...
1
vote
1answer
537 views

Should I be concerned about rusty nails just inside an outer wall?

Last year I nailed down the linoleum in my pantry with small brads because it was curling badly. This year during spring cleaning I noticed that the nails on the edge near the outer wall of the house ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

How can I replace an integrated security light with a solar powered version?

Above our front door, we have (for want of a better word) a security light. This light can only be controlled by a switch near the front door. The light switch for the is just one of three on the same ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Convert Light Switch to Light Switch + Outlet Combination

I have a serious lack of outlets in my garage and that is a problem for a beginner carpenter. I have a light switch by my workbench and was curious if I could change it to a combination outlet + ...
7
votes
1answer
6k views

If the iron levels in our home's water are too high, how do we adjust them?

Although I haven't tested the actual water quality in our house, we often get orange colored stains in toilets and around drains where water has evaporated - which I would assume are from high iron ...
5
votes
2answers
14k views

How should I test my home's humidity?

We have recently replaced the windows in our home and insulated the basement, making the house much more airtight. This combined with the fact that our dryer currently vents into the basement, we ...
2
votes
3answers
41k views

At a 6' span, how much can an SPF 2x4 turned on 3.5" end support?

The ends are secured, so how much load can a 6' span of SPF 2x4 support when turned on 3.5"?
2
votes
1answer
337 views

Should siding be replaced or can it be repaired?

we are considering purchasing a 32 year old home that has regular wood siding on much of the second story. It has been patched in places but from the eye looks nice. It was painted most recently 8 - ...
9
votes
2answers
8k views

Ways to reduce noise in a home near railroad tracks?

My soon-to-be home is approximately 75 to 100 feet away from a semi-busy railroad track with trains that carry coal and other cargo. They do not travel very fast but the rumble/horn is still an issue. ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I remove soap and toothbrush holders?

What is the safest and least damaging way to remove existing soap and toothbrush holders from drywall? We would like to remove these holders because we do not use them. It seems the previous owner ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How to stack and store old pressure treated fence boards

I acquired some used pressure treated 1x10 fence boards from a privacy fence teardown. Some of the boards do show some wood beetle signs where they were in contact with the ground. However, they are ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I remove a burn mark on finished wood without replacing the piece entirely?

Our new home has a wooden bathroom vanity with an obvious blackened burn mark on it below the mirror, perhaps from a candle burning too close for too long. What are some ways I can remove the mark? I ...
3
votes
1answer
431 views

How can I frame a bookshelf like this?

Looking through the Houzz iPad app this weekend, I came across this I want this. Got the wife's approval and I'm thinking about starting it this weekend (gutting the old fireplace / bookshelves and ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What should I use to prime an old plaster wall before skim-coating with new plaster?

Should I use oil-based primer on an old plaster wall (as a bonding agent) before skim-coating new plaster over it?
5
votes
3answers
12k views

The main water valve won't open fully after I closed it. How do I shut off the water to replace it?

Basically the title says it all. I turned the water for the house off to replace some leaking washing machine shutoff valves, and install stop-cock valves for a laundry sink. When I tried to turn ...
3
votes
1answer
569 views

How do I repair a chipped bathtub? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I patch rusty spots in bathtub? I have a tub upstairs with a chip in it. Is there an easy way to sand the porcelain down and redo the tub? What would be the most ...
3
votes
1answer
394 views

How to secure apartment windows with external fire esscape

Recently, a burglar attempted to break in to my apartment by coming up the fire escape and pry open the window. Lucky I heard him and he was scared away when I turn on the light. My apartment is on ...
4
votes
4answers
91k views

What could cause bubbling toilet when the shower or sink is running?

One of the two toilets in my rental house is bubbling when the shower or sink in that master bath area are on. In the past, about 6 months ago, I have had plumbers and rotoruter out and they could ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

How should I build a skid foundation for my shed?

I am planning a 14 x 20 shed, going to build on a 4x4 skid foundation, I can only get 16ft 4x4, what is the best method for the 4 feet left? Should I make all the joints at one end or use 2, 10 ft ...
2
votes
2answers
350 views

How should I distribute the weight on a marble island?

I am building a rather large cart for use in my kitchen. Due to the dimensions of the room the top (marble) is about 5' 7" long, 14" wide and is quite heavy (estimated 150 pounds). My largest ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Should a post in a circular concrete form go through the bottom?

I am replacing a fence post that was in a circular 2-ft form. The old one had rotted where the concrete and post meet at the top - the next one will have the concrete above water level! But - I ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Cannot figure out wiring of most basic Honeywell thermostat (heater only)

I live in an apartment with central heat. It's controlled by a round Honeywell thermostat. The heater ticks really loudly and annoyingly when it heats up and cools down (probably a topic for a ...
1
vote
1answer
251 views

Should I choose cordless hammer drill for home improvement? I'm a green bird for it [closed]

I'm planning to do home remodeling all by myself and now I'm preparing for all the necessary tools. When considering cordless hammer drill, I'm at a lost. I found that the cordless hammer drill was ...
3
votes
6answers
14k views

Does it make sense to try mounting the jigsaw onto the table?

I'm trying to get my shop completed for hobbyist woodworking. I own a jigsaw that's very useful, but I'd like to be able to attach it to a table-like surface (still don't got a pro-table, I'm using a ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How can I replace my main water shutoff valve?

I just recently purchased a house that was built in 1979 with galvanized plumbing. The water main just outside the house looks like this: I'm planning to replace it, but I want to make sure it's ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What could cause a brand new fluorescent fixture to not work?

I purchased a brand new fluorescent light fixture to replace my previous fluorescent light fixture (it was old and one of the ballasts was blown, so it half-worked). After drilling the holes in the ...
0
votes
2answers
984 views

How do I take down my kitchen ceiling to expose my roof above?

I want to take down the ceiling above my kitchen to expose the roof above, but I need to know if I should leave some of the joists in place for support of the side walls they are laying on.
3
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I prevent water from entering through water heater/furnace exhaust vent?

I have an exhaust vent in my basement (Amerivent Type B) which takes the exhaust from my gas furnace and water heater goes out the basement wall, and up my chimney. A little bit water is coming in to ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Is radiant heat in a concrete floor unpleasant in a super-insulated house?

While reading about superinsulation, I came across the idea that a radiant concrete floor is a poor choice if you have really good insulation. The reasoning goes like this: In a regular house you ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

how to remove this faucet aerator? it just slips

I have the following type of faucet aerator: I tried to "unscrew" this one, but it seems not screwed at all; it just spins. Is there any way to remove this? As it is a separate part, there must be ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Can I grind a shallow channel in my basement concrete to correct the height of a shower drain pipe?

Long story short - the people who finished the basement bathroom did so without a permit, and they made full use of the fact that their work wasn't about to be inspected or subject to building codes. ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Any reason not to ground the sheathing of MX wire?

Having recently bought an older house (c1943) I am doing a little work on the place. While rewiring a light switch I noted that there is newer Romex wiring from the distribution panel to the switch, ...
11
votes
7answers
75k views

How can I dog-proof a chain link fence?

I have a dog who has recently discovered that she can squeeze under a portion of the chain-link fence we installed in order to keep her on our property. Is there any effective, but reasonably ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

How can I temporarily fix a leaky faucet?

I have a house from the late '20's and my hot water leaks in my tub. I've had it fixed a few times by plumbers and the last one said that to permanently fix it, I'm going to need to replace the whole ...
4
votes
1answer
507 views

Using a 16A energy monitor in a 10A socket

I'm in Australia (220-240 / 50-60Hz) and wanting to monitor some appliances energy usage. The sockets here are 10Amp standard. Am I going to run into dire trouble if I use a 16A monitoring device ...
1
vote
2answers
135 views

Why cordless hammer drill possess such few markets in Europe?What's the difference between hammer drill and impact drill? [closed]

Recently, I found in a GfK data report that cordless hammer drills have very little market share in Europe. But to my opinion, we use it very often when doing home improvement or building something. ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How to fix a hole in the wall of a plastic shower/bathtub?

I have a hole in the wall of my shower about 4 inches in diameter. I think there is fiberglass underneath. What is the best way to fix the wall and what kind of paint could I use to make it blend in ...

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