6
votes
2answers
6k views

How is installing roof sheathing horizontally stronger than vertically?

Prompted by a comment in this answer: What is better for a roof, plywood or OSB? Why is it stronger to install roof sheathing horizontally? Yes, it ties in more rafters, but in what manner is that ...
6
votes
8answers
9k views

Why does my smoke detector chirp when my bathroom lights are turned on?

We have an wired smoke detector that is right outside a bathroom. Often, when we turn on the lights in the bathroom, the smoke alarm will chirp. The bathroom used to have a fixture with 4 40-watt ...
17
votes
10answers
28k views

What is better for a roof, plywood or OSB?

While watching the builders next door do their thing, I became curious with their technique to install plywood on edges neighboring the next townhouse, and OSB for the rest (which for these narrow ...
5
votes
3answers
132 views

What options are there for converting from a wood stove to another type of heating system?

My folks are into their 80's now and live in rural Maine. Their ONLY way of heating their home is with a wood stove - just a single wood stove. Up to this point, my folks have been able to tend the ...
2
votes
1answer
283 views

Why would the pressure in my kitchen faucet drop overnight?

The kitchen faucet has just noticeably decreased in pressure. No leaks anywhere. It did get a lot colder overnight, but that's the only thing that changed. Any ideas?
3
votes
2answers
4k views

How do you determine the slope of a floor?

What are some methods for figuring out the slope of a floor? I've always heard the slope referenced as, eg: "1/2inch over 6ft." - is this the normal way, and/or are there other common ways to say ...
17
votes
7answers
106k views

How do I install a GFCI receptacle with two hot wires and common neutral?

In my kitchen, I want to replace a regular 120V receptacle with a GFCI-protected receptacle. The instructions describe what to do with a regular 2-wire + ground feed, with and without daisy chaining ...
6
votes
3answers
10k views

How do I level a basement floor but not the slab underneath?

I'd like to install laminate floor on top of Delta FL in my basement. The basement slab is not level, it slopes (from all directions) towards a floor drain (that, via a pipe, leads to a sump pump) ...
4
votes
3answers
149 views

What's a good entry-level text/video on residential plumbing?

Anything for the near-absolute beginner? I've removed the 180-degree angle dirt trap under my sink and cleaned a pipe with a motorized snake, but that's about it. Any book recommendations would be ...
11
votes
6answers
11k views

What is involved in DIY swimming pool maintenance?

We moved into a new house last year and when cleaning out the pool shed last weekend I stumbled across a report that was done by a business that handles swimming pool maintenance. It checked ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I build a support onto a stud in order to support a handrail?

I need to repair a stair handrail that has come out of my plaster wall. One end of the rail was not connected to a stud, so has come lose. It is a nice railing, so I would prefer not to buy a new ...
16
votes
4answers
30k views

Why don't programmable thermostats automatically switch between “Cool” and “Heat”?

While I can set my house to be a particular temperature, I still have to manually switch it between "Heat" and "Cool" mode, and this seems to be true of every thermostat (programmable or not) that ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

What caused a burn mark near my hot water pipes?

I was doing some household cleanup in the storage room where my heat tank is located when I noticed a burn mark on the wall frame near the pipe that goes from the heat tank to the shower next room. ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What can cause a wet patch to appear on an outside wall around an external tap?

I have just noticed that I have a wet patch around my external tap on the outside wall. The wall seems to dry throughout the day. I have turned off the water to the tap, but the following morning, the ...
8
votes
2answers
47k views

Can I power my air conditioning with solar energy?

In my house I have 3 small air conditioning systems running at 8000 BTU/hour each. I would like to power them with solar energy. I found that I would have to generate: 3.41 BTU/hr = 1 Watt 8000 ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I remove polyethylene that's melted to a nylon carpet?

The situation: some workmen put down a polyethylene drop cloth, and then set a halogen light on top of it. So now I have spots approximately 2" in diameter, where the former melted into the latter. ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

My hot water stopped working in one bathroom, what can I try in order to fix it?

I have an electric water heater from 2004. The hot water works in all other areas of my house (kitchen, other bathroom and washing machine). The sinks and shower in my master bathroom are not ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I tell if I have rock or wood lath plaster, and is there a difference when repairing cracks and peeling/flaking?

My wife and I are repainting our attic and aren't sure how best to proceed with fixing the wall cracks. We have several different kinds of problems: long parallel cracks set a couple feet apart, and ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why has my garage door opener (139.53975SRT1) stopped working?

My garage door opener stopped working. I checked the power outlet it's plugged into and it's working. I checked other things (locks and springs) recommended by the manual and they seem ok to me. ...
4
votes
1answer
968 views

Do I need to install the grounding clamp on a water softener if both input and output are PEX?

We are installing a Whirlpool water softener in a new home with PEX water lines. The installation manual says to place the supplied ground clamp over both inlet and outlet water lines. As I mentioned ...
3
votes
1answer
648 views

Is it normal for an air compressor's tank to have something inside it?

I recently bought an air compressor for airbrushing and other uses. I'm not familiar with air compressors so I was wondering if it was normal for the air tank to have sand/gravel inside it? When I ...
9
votes
6answers
69k views

Can I connect ground to neutral in a 3 wire outlet?

I have a 3 wire outlet with the entrances for hot, neutral and ground. But I know that the ground entrance is not really grounded, so in effect useless. Now, since the neutral is grounded, could I ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

is there such a thing as a pipe brush?

I've used Drano/Liquid Plumbr Foam to clean the bathroom sink drain, but that never cleans enough. There's always scum left over. I think I can clean it better if I follow up the Drano with a brush. ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I install a ceiling fan without creating holes in the ceiling?

I wanted to install ceiling fans in my house but there there were no existing outlets in the ceiling so I got an electrician to do it. He created 2 holes in the ceiling and 2 in the wall to run the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What should I keep in mind for attic storage solutions for a small home with 14" rafter spacing?

So our attic and our stuff in general is not serving us. Yes, we need to get rid of the stuff we don’t need. If we need anything up there then it is not down here because we need it seasonally (think ...
5
votes
1answer
286 views

What precautions should I take when burning pine firewood?

I've heard that burning pine in your fireplace can cause creosote to build up in the chimney. If I get my chimney swept at the beginning of the season should i be safe to burn pine for the rest of ...
6
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I seal a large gap between slabs to avoid freeze/thaw heaving?

I have a very large slab patio on the back of my home in Southern MN that has pulled away from the house about 6-8" due to freeze/thaw heaving. The previous owners have filled the gap with river ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the best way to drywall a basement staircase?

We're going to be finishing our basement and one issue I have is how we will drywall the staircase. Unfortunately the stairs are right against the concrete wall. Should I simply put furring strips ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

What should I use to seal an exterior garden hose faucet pipe?

I have a garden hose faucet on the outside of my home in the front yard that is loose in the surrounding brick. It can be wiggled freely and has a good 1/4" clearance between the pipe and the brick ...
2
votes
2answers
13k views

Is it safe to put a woodstove on a sheet of cement board?

I'm looking at how to install a woodstove in a yurt. In this example, it looks like he put 1 sheet of cement board on the floor, and another against the wall. (click for full size) Is a single ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

How do I nail plywood to flat roof framing?

I am putting some 3/4 plywood on top of 2x6 framing joists on my flat garage roof. The framing is spaced 16oc. I figured that I place 4x8 plywood sheets in such way that their short edge will be ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

What is a good barrier between grout and wood?

A side of a tile flooring project abuts a strip of wood. How should I handle the side where the tile meets the wood so the wood won't absorb all the water from the grout?
4
votes
1answer
505 views

Will my warped(cupped) oak flooring flatten out after it dries?

I have a refrigerator sitting on a solid oak floor with a plywood underlay/subfloor that had the ice maker line break and the water got under the flooring and it is cupped now about 4 feet square on ...
5
votes
5answers
13k views

Can the socket in my recessed light be replaced without replacing the entire framing kit?

I have recessed lighting in my living room. One of the bulbs went out. I tried replacing it with a fresh one, but no luck. There is electricity flowing to the socket, but the socket appears to have ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

How can I modify this dryer vent cap to keep lint from getting trapped?

As mentioned in this question I installed this dryer vent cap on my roof As you can see, there is a gap between the flashing and the cap, presumably to let water out if it gets in. This is ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What are my options for hiding/removing service panels from the outside of a house?

I'm trying to improve my curb appeal and I have several utility panels on the side of my house in full view, including cables running up and down the outside wall. Those were installed before I ...
4
votes
1answer
5k views

What are my options for resurfacing or repainting my old concrete steps?

My front steps are very old. The paint was chipping off so I used a chemical paint stripper to remove it. I also used a pressure washer to get the rest of it off. I would like to stain the steps ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

What DIY tests are available for the quality of stainless steel?

How can I test a stainless steel product such as a sink to see if it is truly 18g?
6
votes
1answer
2k views

When replacing a supply line to a house in Houston, TX, what is the best material to use?

A house in Houston, TX (southern "sun belt" climate, no frost, but flexible clay soils) has a Polybutalyne supply line running from the meter to the house. It's already burst once and been repaired, ...
1
vote
0answers
121 views

Is this a safe way to clean black mold in the attic? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to remove/clean black mold? My dad says there's mold in the attic (that looks black), and he plans to spray it with a mixture of water and chlorine. Is this a safe ...
3
votes
2answers
830 views

How can I convert an exterior light junction box to an exterior duplex outlet?

I have two dedicated circuits that were supposed to be set up with exterior outlets, high up on the wall to run Christmas lights. What I got was two circuits terminated with wire nuts in junction ...
3
votes
0answers
511 views

small black flying insect/bug in the house all of a sudden [closed]

it has been raining like crazy recently in my area (Maryland) for the last month and a half. I noticed that i'm seeing a lot of small flying insects (the kind that is seen on a extremely ripe banana) ...
4
votes
1answer
849 views

How can I replace the seal on the bottom of my shower door?

I am trying to replace the seal on the bottom of my shower door. Any ideas what it is called and/or what I could replace it with? The "Shower Door Company" of Atlanta, Georgia made the door, which is ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

How do I put up a travertine tile backsplash?

I'm trying to put up a tile backsplash in the kitchen (approx 25 sq ft) and I'm having trouble deciding between mastic and thinset for putting it on the drywall. For that matter, is it OK to put the ...
5
votes
3answers
23k views

How to mount hooks into concrete ceiling that must be able to support several times bodyweight?

I am on the top floor of a loft apartment that used to be a factory. I want to install several hooks or some other fixture into my concrete ceiling from which I can hang gymnastic rings, a punching ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Can someone review this garage loft design for structure and stability?

I'd like to build a loft above a 12'x16' portion of my garage. My plan is to lag screw ledger boards to the studs and attach 2x10 joists to the ledgers using joist hangers. Additional supports will be ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a durable, child-safe finish for a child's cot?

I recently purchased a flat packed cot for my soon to arrive baby. The wood is plain without any paint or varnish. How best should I finish off the wood on the cot in a way that is both durable and ...
2
votes
1answer
391 views

What is the safe/proper way to run non-metallic conduit between floors?

I need to run a CAT5 line and a 22/4 alarm wire from my 2 story attic to the first floor. I have access to the interior of the walls (I will re-dryboard). I'd like to run carlon ENT from the attic ...
6
votes
3answers
555 views

How do I repair a leaking toilet tank?

I replaced the flapper in my ceramic toilet tank and the leak from the tank into the bowl slowed, but it still leaks. What is the next step I should take to get rid of this leak?
6
votes
2answers
4k views

What should I do about a hardwood floor that's sagging between the joists?

I recent bought an older (1890) house. On the original floors, the wood flooring is sagging between the joists--you can feel the height difference as you walk, up and down, up and down. It's firm, ...

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