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Questions tagged [old-house]

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3answers
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toilet troubles

I have a brass tube for water coming into a toilet in my very old farmhouse. The shut off valve failed and I had to cut the tube and am now trying to fix it... to no avail. We are three days without ...
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5answers
135 views

Natural ant/insect repellent [closed]

Please suggest some natural ant/insect repellent that I can use to get rid of the ants/ticks/insects. I started using clorox but I would prefer something natural. Thank you so much
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1answer
534 views

How to install ceiling lights in old houses

My house is quite old and I'm having trouble installing ceiling lights. Due to the age of the building, proper light fittings (e.g. where I can screw in a light bracket) were never installed. Instead, ...
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1answer
617 views

What can I use to back a door jamb strike plate with no framing behind?

So I'm trying to replace the original entrance handleset door lock from my almost 100 year old house and after removing the old lock and patching up the holes. I looked inside the door jamb and ...
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2answers
3k views

Is it OK if the house's roof makes noise

I moved from Europe to the USA(OH). I noticed a couple of things that worry me. Every house in the US that I entered makes cracking or squeaking noise. I never experienced this in Europe buildings. I ...
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3answers
725 views

Reasons why a receptacle would fail

A friend has asked for my help to replace a wall receptacle that has stopped working. I asked if it was loose-fitting or otherwise physically worn out. She said that plugs fit tightly and it generally ...
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2answers
102 views

Is this mold in my bathroom?

Moved into a new house and the bathroom has a foul odour and i suspect it has something to do with he black stuff all over the place. Could it be mold?
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4answers
199 views

Door Does Not Close Properly

I have a door in my home to one of the bedrooms, that will not "catch" when you close it. If you lift up on the doorknob then it "catches" and will remain shut. I was curious, if I put a "stronger" ...
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1answer
1k views

Puzzled installing combination GFCI outlet/switch to replace switch in old house

In brief: in replacing an old light switch in an old house with a GFCI combo switch/outlet, facing existing wiring that doesn't quite match instructions, I get the GFCI outlet working but not the new ...
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0answers
65 views

What's this pipe behind my wall?

We're in a single family colonial in Boston circa 1920s. I wanted to find out what's behind the diagonal walls in our living and dining rooms, so I cut a small hole and took this video: http://...
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1answer
319 views

Does double brick chimney need liner for vented gas logs?

We have a 100-year-old house with a double brick chimney, meaning there's an inner and an outer brick wall. The inner wall is reportedly in not-great, somewhat deteriorated shape. There is no clay ...
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1answer
351 views

Outlets worked intermittently with voltage fluctuations and are now dead entirely

Just bought a home built in the 1920's, the knob-and-tube was updated a couple times at different eras but there is still fabric wrapped ungrounded wiring (FWUW) in many rooms. The living room (and ...
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3answers
499 views

Sanity check mini split layout for old brick house

I have a three story brick duplex built in 1925. There is currently no ductwork (steam heat) and I doubt that it's feasible to install. Windows are wooden double hung with storm glass, they are in ...
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1answer
2k views

What causes “old smell” in a clean but older house? [closed]

Older homes in warmer climates seem to have a somewhat common smell to them, even after cleaning them. Does someone with experience renovating such homes know what tends to be the cause of these odors?...
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1answer
53 views

Why did my plaster walls stop half inch above floor and expose room to wall cavity?

My home was built in the 1930s. I recently pulled up my carpet to get it replaced. When I did this, I noticed that the plaster walls stopped half an inch above the hardwood floor. It looked very ...
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2answers
3k views

Old bathroom gas heater - how to cap it off?

Our bathroom has a very old gas heater...it has a cast iron grill and I believe a ceramic element. Here is a picture from Pinterest of a similar one...this is not my bathroom. You can see the gas ...
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1answer
1k views

How do you determine the date a house was built?

I was told our house was 18 years old when we bought it. The date it was "built" was listed as 1998. However, the building permit was issued in 1996. What determines the date a house was built, when ...
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4answers
192 views

help with improving HVAC performance on the second floor of an old house

I'm hoping some of you can offer some advice on how best to add a second AC in our home -- or on whether we should look for a different solution. I should say upfront that I've done a lot of reading ...
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1answer
578 views

Found Lath and Plaster wall under remodel drywall. Is it restorable?

I'm currently in the process of restoring my 1906 home's bathroom. At some point in the last 10-15 years the bathroom was given a cheap remodel. New plumbing and outlets were run and drywall was hung ...
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2answers
750 views

Kitchen sink draining into catch basin

For a house that I'm in the process of buying, there is what I think is called a "catch basin" in the backyard (under a manhole-looking cover). It seems that the kitchen sink may be draining into this,...
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1answer
898 views

Why are there shims under my studs?

My house was built in 1928 (in Altadena, CA). My detached garage looks like the same vintage, but I don't know for sure. On at least 2 of the garage walls, there are shims between the sill/mud plate ...
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1answer
2k views

Alternatives to conventional weep screed, for stucco to the ground homes?

I live in one of millions of older homes that have stucco applied right to the ground, like so: There's really no way to retrofit a conventional weep screed here. Lowering grade is not feasible ...
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4answers
2k views

How to install an outdoor outlet in new stucco (not retrofit) — with details done right

Previous questions pertain to adding an outdoor electrical box to old stucco (How do I install electrical through existing stucco (e.g. "old work") ). What are the ways it's done on a wall ...
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1answer
407 views

What is this thin metal wire in wall of 50s home?

What is the purpose of this thin metal wire? It attaches to a nailhead on the other stud, which is securing an electrical box. Is this a grounding wire or something else?
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1answer
74 views

Fixing a curtain rail to old brick wall

I am trying to fix a curtain rail in a dormer window. The problem is that the internal wall is brick with lime mortar. Many of the bricks are very poor quality and crumble when drilled. ...
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2answers
543 views

How can I rearrange this plumbing to drain correctly?

So here's some plumbing in my house (not done by me): This was before I sealed everything up behind drywall. The drain is actually used for a Cat Genie, our laundry is in another room. Now we're ...
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2answers
437 views

How should I go about insulating a 1920's stucco house in LA?

I own a two story, 3200 Sq ft house in Los Angeles. The exterior is stucco and the walls are lathe and plaster. A year ago we had some water damage after a rain storm. When the contractor demo'd ...
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1answer
2k views

Pre-made rain cap for plumbing vent? (Preventing rust-through of galvanized pipe in the walls)

Are pre-made rain caps made for plumbing waste vents? My house was built 1938 with galvanized DWV pipes which have a series of elbows before reaching the roof. All such elbows retain a certain amount ...
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2answers
2k views

GFCI install in old house

My house was built in the 1940s and only part of the electrical has been upgraded. I am trying to replace an old outlet on my screened in porch with a weather resistant GFCI outlet but cannot get it ...
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2answers
2k views

Sealing inside of external brick wall

We've solid brick, external walls, about 10" thick, and have moisture seeping through. We have plaster on the walls which we'd like to take off to seal the walls inside, then replaster. So far our ...
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2answers
2k views

Is this Radiator handle/valve a replaceable part? Do I need to drain the system first?

Perhaps a stupid question... The ON / OFF valve on one of my 1900s radiators does not turn. Pictures below. The radiator is in a permanent "hot" state. Is the "valve" (handle and "small nut") ...
2
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2answers
405 views

Structural cross joists and load-bearing walls (century home)

I have a friend that recently took possession of a century home. Its a 4 plex and He was told it was an old school house (at least at some point in time). We’re experienced weekend warriors but ...
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2answers
134 views

Unable to hang things in certain walls

We just bought a house that was built in 1941. The bathroom doesn't have a toilet paper roll holder, so my husband tried to install one. In 4 different areas of the wall he hit something solid and our ...
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2answers
1k views

Attaching a heavy item to a 'powdery' external wall

I have a house in the UK built circa 1870. The external walls are London brick in Flemish bond I think, and are in a single layer (no cavity wall construction). At some point many tens of years ago, a ...
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2answers
158 views

Is there an easy way to track where switches go/do?

My Aunt's house is a Frankenstein's Monster. Her late Husband made a number of unique wiring modifications. previous post about the her house: Question on toilet mounting; No visible bolts? 1st, ...
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1answer
418 views

Internal walls supported by rotten wood

We've an old house from 1890 and are replacing rotten and wood worm eaten beams and floors. But, whilst doing this we've found that the internal walls have been built on top of planks of wood placed ...
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1answer
4k views

Question on toilet mounting; No visible bolts?

OK,In the early 80-81, My Aunt allowed her Husband to build in a dead Attic space over the Foyer that has 15-17 ft ceiling, a rather sizable Laboratory(I'm not quite sure what to call it.). the floor ...
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2answers
803 views

How can I level and finish a slanted deck that was enclosed?

Hello everyone I am new to this so I apologize if I seem a little slow mentally. I have a 104 yr old home that at one point had a deck that was completely enclosed. my issue is that the floor was ...
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1answer
3k views

Is it possible to fix bowed baseboards?

I have an old house which probably dates back to 1920s or so. Most walls are plaster and the outside walls are brick. Tenants in the 80s or 90s did not take good care of it. It was rehabbed, quickly ...
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2answers
6k views

How do I move a door hinge out 1/8“ (door is too tight to the stop molding, makes ”paint popping" noise)?

In an older home, due to layers of paint, I have several doors that close too tight to the stop molding. If left closed the paint binds up and "pops" (it must be left closed for two or three hours ...
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2answers
10k views

Yellow stains on plaster wall patches

I live in an old 1910s house and it turns out my walls aren't drywall. It is constructed of rock or some type of masonry. Over it, there is a really, really old wallpaper, which also have over itself, ...