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May
28
comment Something in my home is making my family sick. How do I determine what it is?
You can get off-the-shelf mold and water testing kits from Home Depot and the like. Might as well pick up a Radon tester as well (though Radon isn't causing your current systems).
May
28
comment 8 way splitter degrades internet signal over time
I can't speak to gradual degradation but you don't want to be splitting the signal that much without a powered splitter. I'd look into a powered splitter and see if that fixes things.
May
27
comment laying a brick patio in extreme temperature setting
You may be right, if it's done right this might work. That said, I've never seen a fully mortared brick path nor steps in Minnesota survive more than a few years. Remember mortar isn't waterproof, so it will always absorb some amount of moisture and that won't last more than a couple of springs of constant freeze/thaw. The big benefit of a sand (on top of a properly compacted base, of course), is that once they are 'locked' in with a compactor, they are incredibly solid--HOWEVER if they ever do migrate, it's trivial to fix. Pry them up, re-level, put them back.
May
23
comment basement plumbing
Most people with basement plumbing have a main sewage drain that is lower than the floor of the basement. If it's not, the only option you have is to use a pumping system. It's the only way to combat gravity. :)
May
21
comment Can I properly install Roxul mineral wool batts in a mostly-drywalled stud bay by pushing them up from below?
For combustion air, you should be able to use PVC which wouldn't conduct heat as much as metal.
May
21
comment Can I properly install Roxul mineral wool batts in a mostly-drywalled stud bay by pushing them up from below?
How about insulating/shielding the vent pipe instead? Actually, if the attic is getting so hot that heat transfer is an issue with one pipe, it may make more sense to consider insulating the attic better.
May
20
comment laying a brick patio in extreme temperature setting
I don't know where you live, but any big-box should have it. That might be a hike depending on where you live, of course.
May
19
comment What type of asbestos is this?
In terms of abatement, I don't know that the 'type' of asbestos matters at all. They're all dangerous in certain forms. In this case, the form is 'friable' in that removing it will create dust. This is the most dangerous form for it to exist in. (On the plus side, it sounds like this is outdoors, so less of a concern)
May
19
comment Why won't HVAC supply stores sell directly to the public?
(In other words, I don't think it's a formal ban at the retail level as much as it is a form of mild collusion between manufacturers and HVAC contractors)
May
19
comment Why won't HVAC supply stores sell directly to the public?
@BMitch I'm not aware that it's a legal issue in terms of consumer rights or federal regulation or anything like that. I believe it's simply a contractual obligation between suppliers and contractors to keep the status quo.
May
19
comment Why won't HVAC supply stores sell directly to the public?
Because middle men like to keep their profits. That said, I'm a fan of pexsupply.com (No affiliation other than I was a homeowner frustrated at how hard it was to obtain HVAC materials without the middle man)
May
18
comment laying a brick patio in extreme temperature setting
alas in a freeze/thaw environment, your joints will still crack even with the concrete. If you're going to take the time to lay down concrete, you should go with a concrete patio to begin with...perhaps stamped to look like pavers.
May
17
comment How do I correct free-standing deck moving away from home?
That plan depends on caulk and you should never depend on caulk. You need to remove the siding and install a proper ledger with proper flashing if you want to connect the deck to the house. To do that at this point would likely require some dismantling of the deck. How high is the deck? I'd actually suggest that a 3" gap is a good thing as it's allowing some air flow between the deck and existing siding. If the deck has settled and not moving anymore, might make more sense to just attach a small bit of trim to the edge of the deck to hide the gap.
May
17
comment Laying pavers over existing concrete patio and extending to compacted gravel base
Tearing up the concrete isn't too big of a project if you can get a few guys in with a skid steer. They can make quick work of it.
May
17
comment Problem Using Wall Anchors for Curtain Rod
If they're only going halfway in then there must be something behind the drywall--either a stud, lathe, or brick/cement.
May
13
comment How can I put an IKEA “Expedit” shelf 75 cm above the floor?
also: Expedit wall mounting tips: ikeahackers.net/2013/01/…
May
13
comment How can I put an IKEA “Expedit” shelf 75 cm above the floor?
Can you explain "wall is labile"? I'm not familiar with that phrase.
May
12
comment Is there a recommended distance between fasteners on sole plates?
@alt I'd agree...just don't smell the treated stuff that much...not good for you. :)
May
12
comment Is there a recommended distance between fasteners on sole plates?
FWIW, in MN, I'd use steel studs (and have). That said to answer the question...it doesn't sound like these are load bearing walls, so given that, I think it's likely 'whatever keeps the wall in place' will suffice.
May
6
comment How to build plastic prototype?
There's many ways to create molds. Alas, I think you're asking for a complete description of the entire design and manufacturing process. That's an extremely broad question that isn't really suitable for this site. I'd suggest starting by following the links in the answer. That should get you pointed in the right direction.