18
votes
1answer
490 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
611 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
11k 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
507 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
3k 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
552 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
211 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
337 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
4k 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
651 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. ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

What are the red streaks in my toilet occasionally?

What are the red streaks in my toilet occasionally? It seems to come from where the water flows when flushing and go around the bowl. Sometimes settling in the bottom where the little bit of water ...
6
votes
3answers
438 views

Which types of decking are easiest to maintain?

I live in Portland, OR. Rainy city. I will be expanding the deck at my house and in the process, I'm thinking I might upgrade to something nicer than pressure treated doug fir. I have a cousin that ...
5
votes
6answers
26k views

How do you remove the stick-on child safety locks from appliances?

I have a few stick-on child safety locks, such as this one found on Amazon. When it comes time to remove them, what should I do to avoid destroying the finish on the appliances? They are stuck on ...
3
votes
3answers
480 views

What type of wood for moist exterior location that is also paintable

My rear screened porch has some has 2x2s that hold the screens in place and many of them are rotted from moisture. It looks like they are plain old 2x4s that were ripped down (though I'm not sure) ...
4
votes
3answers
493 views

Replace rotting porch treads with trex?

My front porch has some treads and the bottom riser are rotting out. I'd like to replace the surface with Trex if possible. Is it as simple as removing treads and risers and replacing with Trex ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

What are the pros and cons of Milgard vs Jeld-Wen windows?

I am replacing old window. The new window will be 69 1/2 inches wide and 59 1/2 inches tall. I am thinking vinyl, two-vent slider (three equal sizes). Home Depot suggests Jeld Wen ($500) for vinyl. ...
3
votes
4answers
689 views

Buzz in my electronics

I bought a house that had a lot of fluorescent lighting installed. The kitchen has four fixtures with 2 42" bulbs each. The front bathroom has a fixture. The garage has 12 fixtures. The shed has 8 ...
6
votes
4answers
6k views

Can you do electrical work yourself in the UK?

I have been told that you are not allowed to do any electrical work yourself in the UK and need a qualified electician to do it all. Is this true? What can you do yourself?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Moisture/Dew on Roof in Morning

I just had a new roof installed and it looks decent enough. They replaced my metal ventilation with some plastic vents, which is fine, but I'm not sure if it was enough. I had a two layers of asphalt ...
6
votes
5answers
11k views

Can I build a deck this low to the ground?

I want to build a deck off the back of my house. The door is near grade level, about 1' above. The grade doesn't have very large slope, so that means that the beam at the far end would be below grade: ...
11
votes
5answers
15k views

How can I calculate how large an airconditioner my house needs?

I know there are a lot of possible factors that go into determining the size of the air-conditioning system a house needs. Is there a standard way of calculating what is needed, or do A/C companies ...
3
votes
1answer
952 views

Can vinyl siding be painted or stained?

Can vinyl siding be painted or stained, and more importantly, does it last or will I be repainting every year like a wood sided house?
3
votes
3answers
12k views

How should I prepare damaged plaster for painting?

We are redecorating our hall. We have stripped all the wallpaper off and have discovered that the plaster behind is not in great condition. What suggestions do people have for preparing a slightly ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Do I need a stud on each side to install a swinging shower door?

I recently started looking into installing a glass shower door for my stall shower. The shower is a one-piece fiberglass pre-fab shower. I assume I need a stud on at least one side of the door to ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I get started with dovetail joints?

I've never made a dovetail joint before, and I'd like to do things right for my next project. I have the router and table and all that - but I don't have a dovetail jig. The prices vary from $40 to ...
15
votes
6answers
5k views

Should I hire an architect to design my house?

I am planning to build a house for my family. It's relatively simple and modest by modern American standards. I plan to do much of the work myself, and want to keep costs down. I have been working on ...
3
votes
4answers
9k views

How do I fix a ceiling fan that won't turn off?

I have a ceiling light/fan fixture in one of my rooms connected to a single electrical switch. There are two pullchains on the fixture, one that controls the light, the other controlling the fan. I'd ...
7
votes
2answers
8k views

How much should it cost to add a circuit breaker?

In this question, I asked about problems between my circuit breaker for a circuit shared by my microwave and sump pump. The conclusion was that another circuit should be added to support the microwave ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Do I need an electrician to install a whole house surge protector?

We have some pretty terrible storms and a pretty terrible power company where I live. We experience power surges quite often. So I'm interested in installing a whole-house surge protector. Is this ...
6
votes
1answer
580 views

What is the best way of plumbing a bathroom so as to avoid temperature fluctuations in the shower?

Everyone has been in a shower where you can tell when someone flushes a toilet, opens a kitchen tap, etc, as the temperature rapidly changes. There's also other places where the shower is virtually ...
9
votes
4answers
33k views

Should my toilet flange sit on top of the backer board or the tile of the floor?

The bathroom model saga continues. The old toilet flange was rusting, and the subfloor was rotting, so I pulled up the subfloor around the toilet, and replaced the drain pipe with ABS, and an elbow. ...
9
votes
4answers
15k views

Why does my microwave keep throwing the circuit breaker?

I have a circuit that powers several things in my house: Kitchen microwave Basement lights Basement sockets Sump pump Recently, this circuit has been thrown with alarming frequency when I use the ...
6
votes
4answers
631 views

What are some recommended cordless trimmers/weed-eaters?

I'm looking to pick up a cordless trimmer/weed-eater. I have a bit of an anti-noise bias, so I'm hoping to find something that's electric cordless, not a gas-powered one. Are there any trimmers of ...
13
votes
3answers
15k views

How do I run ethernet, speaker wire, and coax through a wall into a crawlspace?

I would like to run three low-voltage cables from my entertainment center through an old plaster wall, down (1-3 feet) through the sill plate, and into the crawlspace. The cables are Ethernet, ...
4
votes
1answer
460 views

Gluing Hardwood Floors?

We recently had our house built, and included the "hardwood floors" upgrade. When we moved it we were pleased with the way the floors looked. Some time later, water started coming up from beneath the ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Miter saw advice and recommendations

I'm buying a power miter saw sometime this week; and early birthday present to myself. What should I consider and what brands do you all recommend? I'm not a contractor, web guy by trade, and do ...
2
votes
1answer
833 views

Installing a shelf on a stucco-covered wall

We have a wall in the workroom next to our kitchen where we'd like to put a long, shallow shelf. The wall is stucco, and I'm a little concerned about the wall crumbling or cracking around the pilot ...
7
votes
5answers
534 views

Fighting mosquitos indoor

I'm living close to the sea, so during the summer I'm bothered and attacked by many mosquitos and was wondering what kinds of repellents have been proven successful to get rid of these little ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I use three-prong appliances when my outlets are mostly two-prong?

I am living in a house where most electrical outlets are two prong. There are a smattering of three prong, in particular where an addition was put on. Am I hosed when it comes to where I can plug in ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What should I consider when using a sewage ejector pump?

What are some of the things that you need to consider if you have a sewage ejector pump regarding maintenance and prevention of abominable, excrable catastrophes? From what I gather this thing is ...
15
votes
13answers
3k views

What kitchen counter material would you recommend and why?

What are the pros and cons of various kitchen counter top materials? Granite Corian Concrete Laminate Quartz Silestone Other
2
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I change the remote frequency options in my ceiling fan?

My Hampton Bay ceiling fan remote control is interfering with my neighbours. Inside the remote there are switches to adjust the remote frequency. Where in the fan do I make the corresponding ...
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What should I do about a gap between hardwood and drywall?

First-time home-owner - house less than 1 year old. We had our home built last December, and have been discovering all sorts of problems with it. The latest was a trail of ants within our kitchen ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

There is water in my basement and the outdoor sump pump failed. What am I doing wrong?

My house has water problems with the basement. Here's what the entrance to my basement looks like. When I get a really heavy rain storm, water manages to rise up and start seeping in under the door. ...
1
vote
2answers
5k views

How do I fix a squeaky/whiny ceiling fan?

I have a four year old Monte Carlo ceiling fan, similar to this now-discontinued model 5OBR52BSD-L in style. It has a light that points up towards the ceiling and another towards the floor. The fan ...
2
votes
2answers
576 views

Power keeps cutting out to hot tub

I have an outdoor Hydropool hot tub and have recently been having an issue with power. It seems that periodically a build up of 'gunk' (my technical term for it) builds up around one of the ...

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