7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is a timed electrical switch causing vent fan to run slower / with less power?

I bought this timed electrical switch and used it to replace a standard switch that turned on my bathroom vent fan (I'm always forgetting to turn it off and it often will run all day.) after the ...
3
votes
1answer
6k views

Why is a light switch is buzzing at audible volume?

just noticed that a light switch (mechanical, not a dimmer; 220v 50hz) is buzzing at audible volume (can hear in 20cm), when both keys are on (first: traditional lightbulb, second: 23w energy saving ...
9
votes
4answers
36k views

What type of space heater is best for an uninsulated garage?

I'm planning on applying stain and polyurethane to some furniture I recently built. I've been thinking about getting a space heater for my uninsulated garage, both to help the poly cure, and for my ...
9
votes
4answers
24k views

Why do I have blue water coming out of the faucets?

We have an upstairs bathroom that we've gutted and are having some contractors remodel. The toilet is the only thing that hasn't been touched. We had a plumber come and redo all of the source and ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What are some permanent shower shelf options?

I have found shower caddies and suction cup add-ons, but I want to add shelves to my shower surround that are permanent. I haven't had much lucking finding anything. What are my options, and where ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Can water-damaged drywall be repaired, or does it have to be replaced?

We have a basement bathroom that has water damage from the bathroom above. The damage is old, so it has completely dried, however it has bubbled the paint so the damage is obvious. Mold is not a ...
10
votes
5answers
13k views

What can I use to drill dowel holes down the end of a long piece of wood?

More of a DIY than Improvement question, but here goes anyway. We're building a shoe box with slatted sides and base and were thinking of joining the slats to the corner uprights with dowel (excuse ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I repair a drywall ceiling when there is blown in insulation above?

I was finishing the space above a garage. The space was buried in blown in cellulose insulation and we framed in some walls, laid a subfloor, and finished the room. During framing two different ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

“Dead-ending” unused plumbing

I'm planning on moving our hot water heater from its current location in our mudroom down to the basement, to live in what will become sort of a mechanical closet in the to-be-finished basement. My ...
5
votes
1answer
757 views

Tips on keeping window screen in window sill

We like to open our windows when it is nice out. Unfortunately the bottom part of our window, where the screen fits into, is not very high. So what happens is our cat tends to push the screen out ...
30
votes
8answers
5k views

Is it worth spending extra to get a nicer circular saw?

I'm doing some small projects such as building a workbench, and I don't have a saw to cut plywood with. I've got a 12" compound miter saw, so I don't currently need a circular saw for anything other ...
3
votes
3answers
6k views

What am I missing when blowing out water from my sprinkler system?

I am trying to blow out my sprinkler lines and I put together an adapter to connect the air compressor to the faucet pictured below. The air compressor was charged to 140PSI, and then I turned on a ...
11
votes
7answers
26k views

Can I save energy costs by turning off the refrigerator for 1-2 hours every day?

Now that I'm looking into home automation, I'm thinking about automatically cutting off the fridge power from 3am ~ 5am. Given that modern refrigerators are well insulated, it should be able to ...
5
votes
4answers
13k views

Can I use a PVC cleanout plug in a Cast Iron Cleanout?

There's a cleanout plug on this pipe that I simply can't get loose. I've tried liquid wrench, PB blaster, heating up the area with a torch, everything I can think of. All that's really left is to go ...
5
votes
3answers
378 views

What level of electrical service should I order, for new construction?

Starting from scratch here. A transformer on the street, no buildings on the land yet. I want to order temporary electrical service now, for use during construction. So we don't have to dig the ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Spa bath pump sizing

We're slowly renovating our 90~100 year old house and when we get to the bathroom we intend to install a spa bath. Not a large spa/jacuzzi, just a bath. Most of those we've seen so far come with a ...
6
votes
3answers
31k views

How do I connect an air compressor to blow out my sprinkler lines?

I want to blow out my sprinkler lines before the freezing weather gets here (I am in NJ). I have an air compressor that I can borrow but how do I attach the air compressor line to the sprinkler ...
3
votes
2answers
699 views

Water filtration system recommendations

I'm trying to get my parents a good water filtration system for their home. They live in Mexico so the quality of the water might not be as good as in the US. They have to buy bottled water every week ...
3
votes
2answers
367 views

Cement around decorative bricks leaves grey/matte coating on bricks

I'm installing a decorative brick wall (individual thin bricks) for the first time. I glued all the bricks and now I'm working on the cement (mortar) around the bricks. I did a few rows yesterday for ...
5
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I build an on grade foundation for a shed?

After asking a couple of questions about what type of foundation to place an 8x10 vinyl shed, I am now ready to build an on grade foundation. Can someone point me to detailed instructions for how to ...
2
votes
2answers
584 views

Tips for texturing ceilings?

I'm getting ready to texture ceilings for the first time using an air-compressor / hopper. I plan to practice first on some old sample sheets of drywall I have laying around but was also hoping to ...
4
votes
14answers
51k views

How do I fill in the grooves in wood paneling in order to paint over it?

Most of my house has wood paneling instead of drywall. I want to fill in the grooves to give my walls a smooth look (drywalling the house is not in the budget). Based on the recommendation of a ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I install plastic window insulation without damaging the trim?

I'm planning to install plastic window wrap on my windows for the winter, but the trim around the windows is nice wood and I don't want to leave a mark on it where the double-sided tape will be. I've ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I splice a drywall metal outside corner bead?

When re-finishing my ceiling (formerly popcorn, now smooth) I had some trouble with the edge of the tray ceiling in the master bedroom. Since the length of the tray was longer than a standard metal ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

Why should I use advanced nails instead of wood screws for strength?

Recently I found that there're some superior nails for constructing hurricane-resistant houses - with very clever design for preventing pulling the nails out and tearing the boards off when the ...
3
votes
1answer
654 views

Installing railing pickets using dowel pins

I am building porch railing, and I'm considering using dowels to attach the pickets so that no nailing is required. For 2x2 pickets: What size dowel stock should I use? How long should each dowel ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Do speaker wires need to be protected at exposed end-points?

Ah the joys of new home ownership. In preparing to prime/paint our family room ceilings, we took down some old (really old) speakers the previous owner had set up. We're not planning to use them ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

How can I “seal up” cracks in my wooden shed between wooden slats/floorboards?

I've got a new shed being put up this weekend, I want to try to seal it up to keep some of the bugs from taking over. After looking around Focus DIY (large DIY chain in the UK) I found some "wood ...
5
votes
1answer
336 views

How to repair fallen tile near kitchen floor?

One of the tiles adjacent to my kitchen floor fell down. The tile itself is still in good condition but I'm not sure how to properly reattach it. I'm guessing it would be something like: ...
6
votes
1answer
30k views

Do I need an outlet box to install an outdoor light fixture?

We're getting a sliding door and deck installed this week and the town inspector said I need to have an outside light by the door. I'm ready to tackle this part myself. Most of the howto stuff I ...
1
vote
2answers
221 views

Why do most home automation products only control incandescent light bulbs?

I have a new bare apartment due soon to work with. It's my first time investigating home automation but all I come up with are home automation products for incandescent lighting. Yet all my rooms have ...
4
votes
1answer
7k views

How do I reduce height of the curb on my driveway?

I have a concrete driveway (normal 2 car poured driveway) which is cut vertically (90 degrees) about 2.5 inches above the street. My father-in-law lives with us and has a powered wheelchair. The ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What's the smallest general-use tractor I can get?

I'm thinking about buying a small tractor for odd jobs on the homestead (~2 acres of woods). For big jobs (e.g. install septic system), I'm OK with hiring someone, but sometimes there's a small job ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

How do I drill additional holes for adjustable-height shelving?

I have a set of cupboards with shelves that adjust in height, by means of moving pins that hold up the shelves to different holes: Unfortunately, for some reason, whoever made the cupboards didn't ...
2
votes
2answers
473 views

How can I remove oil/ATF from a newly paved driveway?

I had my asphalt driveway repaved this spring, and of course my car has started leaking - ATF in this case. How can I remove it?
2
votes
3answers
532 views

Do I have to do anything special when laying a shed? Ie foundations/bases etc?

I know there is already a similar question but focused on plastic sheds My question is, I'm thinking of investing in a shed for my garden, but do I need to do any preparation or can I literally just ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Repair a popped up brick in an otherwise level brick patio

My brick patio is very level. Unfortunately, a nearby tree has sent a root that is now causing a brick to pop up. Before the issue spreads I'd like to pry the brick up and remove the offending root. ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the best plastic to make a see through 'whiteboard' with?

Over the past few months I've slowly been converting my garage into a DIY/project/man zone by adding lighting, work benches, storage and tools. Next I'd like to mount a piece of transparent plastic ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

How to fix a house window that falls out?

Two sets of windows on the second floor of our house fall out, due to too much space between the window and frame area. It's tight enough at the corners of the frame area, but not in the middle. In ...
2
votes
1answer
397 views

Fluorescent Lights and CFLs Take Longer to Startup in Cold

When it is colder outside, I noticed that the CFLs in my house and the fluorescent lights in my garage take longer to come on and get bright. Sometimes they flicker more. I am in Florida so coldest is ...
1
vote
4answers
4k views

How could I extend a baby gate at the bottom?

Our 11 month old is starting to crawl, and it is beyond time to put a baby gate at the top of the stairs. We received a baby gate, along with instructions, which clearly state that the maximum ...
5
votes
2answers
234 views

Should I install tamper resistant receptacles

When changing out receptacles should I be installing tamper resistant receptacles? It seems that the 2008 NEC requires these devices to be installed for any new install, should I be installing them ...
6
votes
2answers
32k views

How do I make where my carpet meets tile look nice?

We've recently replaced our kitchen tiles. I'm happy with the results but have no idea what to do with the edge. How do I clean this edge up so that it looks more appealing?
6
votes
4answers
4k views

What are the pros and cons of various hardwood floor finishes?

Trying to decide how to stain/finish some new oak hardwood floors. What are the pros and cons of various options like stain+poly, tung oil, etc. I'm wondering about lifetime cost, durability, ability ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the best option for hiding wires to wall mounted TV?

This is similar to this question, but in my case I'm not looking for the easiest solution but the most professional solution. I am torn between modular wall plates, and the type that just have a hole ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

What are the best materials for non-toxic wooden blocks?

I want to make wooden blocks for my baby girl. If successful, I would like to sell wooden block sets online too. Requirements: (by order of importance) Non-toxic Cheap & readily available ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

“Treated” wood vs “Pressure Treated”

I recently bought what I thought was pressure treated railing pickets. But now that I look more carefully at the label, there is no UC code. My understanding is that each piece of PT has to be labeled ...
2
votes
1answer
277 views

How large are in-wall heating vents that connect to registers?

I'm curious how large heating vents can typically be when connecting to in-wall registers. Do they fill up the entire space between studs? I'm framing for some drywall patches and would ideally not ...
7
votes
4answers
10k views

What is the best way to remove a non load bearing wall?

I have a wall that I want to knock out as part of a kitchen remodel. The wall is non load bearing, so its fine to take out. The question is, what's the best way to do it? I imagine there's not a ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Are receptacle surge protectors a practical solution?

After mounting my television on the wall, I would like to put a receptacle behind it so the power cord will be hidden. While planning this I was trying to figure how to get a surge protector to be ...

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