All Questions

3
votes
2answers
7k views

Is it safe to use “PushFit” fitting on gas pipes?

There are many makes of pushfit pipe fittings that make it a lot easer to join pipes, incluing copper pipes, e,g: John Guest Speedfit Cuprofit®- copper push fit Hepworth-HEP20 Are they safe to use ...
10
votes
1answer
4k views

How do I know if it is safe to remove a wall?

When looking at a wall, how can I tell if I can safely remove it?
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Should my evaporator be hissing? Should cold air be blowing from it?

My A/C hasn't been able to keep up with the heat lately (it's been in the high 90's with high humidity, and today the house was up to about 82 inside even though it's set on 70). I went up into the ...
12
votes
8answers
40k views

Can I paint over wallpaper?

So I have a wall that has a very hard sort of textured wallpaper. Recently though the wall suffered some damage that turned into a hole. The whole has been patched and now we need to paint over that. ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

How *environmentally* durable are pet-resistant screens?

I've got some damaged wire screens on our porch, and since I have two dogs I've been replacing them with pet-resistant screens made from what appears to be a nylon mesh coated with plastic/rubber. So ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Are those oscillating tools any good?

Has anyone used those oscillating tools like the Fein Multimaster or the Harbor Freight version? Are they as awesome as the infomercials suggest? What jobs are they good for?
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Should I replace fallen gutters?

This past winter a heavy snow fall ripped two sets of gutters off our house, and I haven't had a chance to re-hang them yet. One is over our back door and it's really annoying having the running off ...
6
votes
2answers
631 views

How do I set up a wiring closet that connects to the exterior of the house?

I'm looking to build a central wiring closet for ethernet, phone, and co-ax. I would like this closet to have a single pipe to the exterior of the house, which service lines can come in through. ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I remove paint from an indoor brick wall?

I have a red brick wall that was painted. I need to figure out an easy method of removing the paint without damaging the brick. Are there any tried and true methods? One thing to remember is that ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Should I insulate an attic that's over an open porch?

I have a 6ft (approx. 2m) wide porch at the front of my house. The space above the porch opens into the attic, like this: Diagram of porch/attic/house goes here http://img825.imageshack.us/img825/...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I build a square window frame in an off-square opening?

The original windows in the bedrooms in my old house were huge, far too big for the size of the rooms. At some point a previous owner replaced them with much smaller windows, building a frame to hold ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I repair aerated autoclaved concrete?

I got an everlasting problem with a aerated autoclaved concrete (also known as "Gasbeton") wall: there's a crack that seems to split the upper half from the bottom half of the wall. I tried several ...
4
votes
4answers
15k views

How can I find places to nail/screw into walls of ICF (insulated concrete form) home?

The home I bought has exterior walls made of ICF (insulated concrete form). I don't know the brand or type, I just know that somehow the builders attached the drywall to the styrofoam/concrete. I'm ...
11
votes
2answers
41k views

Must I remove asbestos from my heating vents?

I've got an old house with some asbestos tape on the heating vents, and some old floor tiles which are asbestos suspects as well; duct cleaning firms won't do cleaning on the vents with the tape ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the life expectancy of an air conditioning unit with a booster?

Over the weekend my wife and I lost our air conditioning. I called a technician out to the house and he replaced both the fan motor and the capacitor. He also had to install a booster to help get my ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Fire hazard of exhaust fan with heating bulbs in bathroom?

Our strata gave us permission to install an exhaust fan with 4x 250W heating bulbs into our bathroom. We are on the top floor and the roof cavity above us is the ceiling for the building. There are no ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

How can I trace and troubleshoot phone lines?

I have a non-working phone jack that I'm trying to troubleshoot. My house has a lot of strange wiring, and many of the phone lines come together in a messy junction box with random color coding. I ...
8
votes
5answers
496 views

Is air conditioner installation a DIY project?

We got a bargain on a brand new 6.2kw Split System Inverter Air Conditioner. The quotes we've received for installation are almost as much as the unit cost itself. Is this something I should be ...
6
votes
6answers
17k views

How can I add/alter wiring inside single-brick walls?

Our house is full-brick. Double-brick on the exterior walls and single-brick for every internal wall. It was built in 1979 (I guess they liked to do things properly then). We've only ever had the ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

What is low VOC paint?

What is low VOC paint, and what is the durability like when compared with 'standard' oil or acrylic based paints?
5
votes
3answers
801 views

Why not put a vent that pushes air from the attic into house?

I have this idea, and since it seems logical to me, but I don't see it anywhere I suspect I am missing something.. so here it is: Why not put a vent that pushes air from the attic into house? At ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I fix drooping vinyl siding?

I have vinyl siding on my new home. Starting about a week ago, one segment of siding detached on one end and is drooping. The other side is attached just fine. I tried snapping it back into place, ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

How should I paint cedar and pressure-treated pine?

I recently built a fence from white cedar (pickets) and pressure-treated pine (posts and rails). I have been told that I need to wait before painting or staining the fence in order to give the cedar ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I sand bamboo floors?

I have prefinished bamboo floors in the kitchen and they are not in a good shape. I was wondering if i can sand them. Somebody told me that i can't send prefinished floors (oak or bamboo), somebody ...
9
votes
3answers
986 views

How do I add an exhaust fan to an old attic?

Our house's attic retains a great deal of heat during summer. While we now have a good layer of insulation between the attic and the rest of the house I wonder if it would be worth it to add some ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

What can be done to fix a squeak in stairs?

This might be better suited as a community wiki, what do you think? My parents house has very squeaky stairs. The house is over 100 years old, so it's to be expected. What can be done to fix a squeak ...
26
votes
5answers
11k views

What is the best method to patch a large hole (2-3 inches) in drywall?

I have a large hole where a TV wall mount once was (I believe the hole was used to run power and coax cable to the TV). I have since moved the TV and would like to patch the hole. What is the best way ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

What's a good way to anchor the central bolts of a pair of gates?

So I've a pair of new handsome wrought-iron gates for the bottom of my (tarmac) drive. The gates each have a long thin "bolt" that is intended to go into a hole in the drive itself. My initial ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

How well do metal inside corner beads work?

I'm currently doing some drywalling in my basement, and the biggest PITA for me is always finishing the inside corners. Recently I saw at Home Depot they have these metal inside corner bead pieces. ...
8
votes
2answers
26k views

Where should I start tiling my bathroom wall?

The bathroom I'm about to tile has a complex layout, and I've never put tile on a wall before. Let me see if I can paint a verbal picture... The room is approx. 6'("short side") by 10'("long side"). ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you descale a dishwasher heating element?

I've tried something I got at Lowes (with the wax plug, you put upside down) and CLR. The CLR worked the best, but didn't really get it off and it's building up again. I've heard vinegar will work ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I make a lamp cord stick to drywall?

Because trying to fish electrical wire through the walls and ceilings of my old house was too daunting, I have resorted to using a lamp cord to power a ceiling-mounted light from an existing outlet on ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I stop new solid oak floor from squeaking?

really hope someone here can come up with an idea to get me out of this one: I recently laid a new floor in my dining room, it's solid oak and it actually looks quite good considering I put it down! ...
8
votes
2answers
387 views

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter?

What is an Arc Fault Circuit Interrupter (AFCI) and where should they be used?
21
votes
4answers
77k views

I added insulation to my attic rafters, but should I have left room for airflow?

I added insulation to my attic rafters and plugged the space between the outdoors and my attic with insulation. It lowered my heating bill by $150/month, but I've seen some information that I may ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

How to have a free-standing bathtub resurfaced

I have a nice free-standing claw-foot tub. It was re-finished poorly by a previous homeowner and now we're getting white flakes in the water. There are also rust spots in a couple of places. ...
2
votes
2answers
933 views

What is the best way to adjust pocket doors stuck on carpet?

We had new carpet installed with a thicker pad. Now the pocket doors stick on the carpet. What is the best way to get at them to adjust them? The best options I have come up with is to remove the ...
6
votes
5answers
11k views

How can I remove rust stains from enamel sink?

Is there a sure-fire way to get rust stains off of an enamel sink?
42
votes
8answers
119k views

Should I use a subfloor for a finished basement's floor?

We are refinishing our basement and have not yet decided what to do for the floors. Part of the basement will be tile, and we are all set. However, the rec room side is going to be carpet. The ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I sound-proof a bathroom?

I think most people would agree that sound proofing a bathroom is a swell idea. Since bathrooms are special rooms (high humidity), what are some tips and techniques you can use to sound proof one ...
10
votes
8answers
8k views

How can I pour a concrete pad with a circular hole in it?

Essentially, I'd like to put down a concrete pad for a patio, but leave a couple of circular areas within that patio unpaved (for planting shrubs). I'm familiar with the techniques for using ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Which water heater types do you recommend?

I would like to upgrade my current water heater with one that Is able to produce/store more heated water so I won't run out Energy efficient Inexpensive What are the advantages/disadvantages to each ...
1
vote
3answers
581 views

Does liquid aerification work?

I have terrible soil in my yard, because the builder scraped off most of the topsoil and sold it. I need to aerate the yard and get some more nutrients in it. Has anyone tried any of the liquid ...
55
votes
77answers
45k views

What are the tools that every Do-it-Yourselfer must own?

What are the tools that every DIY'er should have? This is a community wiki as there is no one right answer. Instructions: One item per answer (so they can be voted on - answers with multiple items ...
5
votes
1answer
447 views

How can I repair a Palruf roof?

I've installed a couple of transparent Palruf PVC sheets for a treehouse roof. I've gotten some small (several inch) holes in it that I'd like to patch up. I have some small pieces of Palruf left over ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is a good method to seal a baseboard to stop an existing draft?

Probably, due to faulty insulation/damp barrier, there is a cold draft coming through one of the upstairs baseboard. What is a good method to seal it? (It is a rented house, so, no I do not want to ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What are my lighting options for a pole-barn garage?

I just added on to my pole-barn garage, it now has 1500 square feet. There is a single flourecent (and door opener) lighting it currently. I would like to add some serious lighting as I work on my ...
10
votes
5answers
8k views

How can I paint over a ceiling after there's been a leak?

We had a leak in our upstairs bathroom, about 2 weeks after we had a new ceiling put up and painted in the room below. It wasn't a major leak, but it caused quite a wide line to show up on the ceiling....
55
votes
11answers
29k views

Is there a trick to applying caulk using a caulk-gun?

Perhaps it is just me, but no matter how careful I try to be, any attempt to apply caulk or cement or anything with a caulking gun into a crack results in total mess. The main problems that seem to ...
14
votes
3answers
5k views

What are my options for asphalt driveway repair and/or sealing?

I live in New England and my asphalt driveway is showing a lot of cracks. There's also a little divot in one flat spot that collects water. What are my options for getting the driveway back to ...

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