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4
votes
3answers
1k views

How should I paint pine furniture?

I built a bed for my son out of Pine (from plans on the internet.) I am going to paint it white. What kinds of preparation do I need to do to the wood, especially considering the 4 posts are from ...
6
votes
7answers
4k views

How do I join 2x4s without mitering?

I asked this question on the Bicycles site: DIY wooden bike rack — looking for plans I'm planning to build this rack out of 2x4 pieces of wood. It'll live in my garage. I'm looking to make a rack ...
2
votes
1answer
275 views

What is the proper way to patch acoustic ceiling after collecting possible asbestos sample?

I want to collect additional samples of an acoustic ceiling for the purpose of having it checked for asbestos. The previous test came back negative but I'm paranoid =) The procedure as per ...
12
votes
3answers
44k views

What size dowels to use for joints?

I'm comfortable with the process of creating and joining wood with dowels, but I'm not sure what size dowels to use in which cases? Specifically, I'm working with 1" thick stock (3/4" actual), what ...
8
votes
2answers
29k views

How do I install a sink in a room that doesn't have a drain vent?

I want to install a sink in my attached garage where there is no existing plumbing. I will be running new water supply and drain pipes to mains behind a nearby wall. I'm concerned I will need a ...
2
votes
1answer
479 views

How do I prepare concrete walls before applying water-dispersion paint?

I had a concrete wall painted with white water-dispersion paint. Every here and there the old paint was chipped and dark gray bare concrete could be seen. I got a can of white water-dispersion paint ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How do I replace an old Roomba's battery?

I've got an old iRobot Roomba "3100 Pro Elite" whose battery has died. A new Roomba is EUR 300 and upward, so I would prefer to revive the one I have. It's difficult (impossible?) to find replacement ...
3
votes
7answers
37k views

What are my options to level out my air conditioner?

The air conditioner on the side of my house is on a small slab of concrete. Over time, it has started to tilt as the land has settled. We just recently moved in and a few of the neighbors have ...
3
votes
2answers
10k views

How can I measure water/moisture content within a wall cavity?

Related to improper placement of a vapour barrier within wall insulation, are there any tools or methods for measuring water/moisture content within a wall cavity?
3
votes
3answers
228 views

Can you cap a chimney to reduce moisture and still use the chimney with a gas fire?

Or does capping a chimney always remove the ability to use a fire ?
4
votes
2answers
4k views

What happens when a vapor barrier is too close to the cold side?

The vapour barrier must be installed on the warm side of the wall, that is on this interior side of the house. It is permissible to have it sandwiched in the middle between two layers of insulation, ...
18
votes
8answers
37k views

What are the pros and cons of steel vs. aluminum metal roofing?

I'm considering a new roof for my suburban home. The home is about fourteen years old and the shingles are in so-so shape. We have had two leaks already and I've been told that means it is a good ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

How do I clean an AC condensate pan?

I have a Ducane HVAC system that started leaking out of the evaporator coil housing. Mine looks like the EU1P. I read that i need to clean out the drip pan. II tried cleaning it by sucking out the ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Do I need to put mortar between wood and backerboard on a mixed wood/tile floor?

We have a hardwood insert on our kitchen floor and we will be surrounding it with slate tile. Also the room next to the kitchen is all hardwood floor. Our heights are correct for the tile (with the ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Testing a transformer

I have a Comfort home control system. This takes 15V AC via a transformer (from 240V). It's been working for years, but last week the fuse blew. It's a 250mA fuse on the mains side of the transformer. ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I make a manhole?

I have a 100+ year old house with wooden floors. At the moment, access to the subfloor is difficult, involving a long 25 meter crawl under the deck. I'd like to install a manhole in the floor. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
890 views

Exterior lighting: Is a round waterproof lampholder ACTUALLY compatible with a rectangular housing?

I happened to be at Home Depot for something else, so I didn't get a good look at our exterior floodlights that need to be replaced (they're about 13 years old and don't work anymore). So I picked up ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Glass rod joining/welding: temperature instead of glueing?

I have some glass things to fix ("decorative kitchen stuff to play with"). The broken part is a rod, about 8mm diameter, made of some colored glass. I thought of using nichrome wire, but seems that ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I run a copper pipe for water in an exterior wall without it freezing in the winter?

I would like to install a new hose bib on the exterior wall of my house, to be accessed on the deck. Currently, there is a hose bib on the lower level (underneath the deck) straight down from where I ...
85
votes
18answers
66k views

How do I make a height adjustable desk?

Has anyone made their own height adjustable desk? I'm interested in making a computer desk that can easily be adjusted for either standing or sitting. The lift mechanism could be electric or ...
2
votes
3answers
13k views

About how much would replacing a septic tank cost me?

We recently had our septic system inspected and were informed that the tanks themselves were shot and would need to be replaced. I'm in the process of getting estimates but in the meantime, I was ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Anyone heard of painting asbestos insulation tubes?

We recently had an old furnace inspected and the heating specialist mentioned that he suspected that the heating ducts had asbestos. He suggested painting them as an alternative to expensive removal ...
9
votes
2answers
18k views

Can I use an 8“ dado blade set in a 10” table saw?

I have a 10" table saw... this is probably a stupid question, but can I use an 8" dado blade set in this saw? Is one only supposed to use 10" blades in a 10-inch saw? I read on some contractor's ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the best way to fill in the holes in aluminum siding?

In about 2 weeks I'm doing a little cathartic destruction of a deck on the back of my house. The deck came with the house and has suffered YEARS of neglect, it's beyond repair, built incorrectly, and ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Cable Signal Testers

I'm looking for tools that can help me test the signal coming into my house from my cable provider. I am currently having issues with a Leviton CATV Relay which I'll replace, but I've been having ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is my refrigerator so loud? Can I fix this?

I live in a small NYC apartment and my refrigerator is close to the bedroom. When it kicks on, it's makes a loud thunk/click, and can be enough to wake me up. (While running it's pretty quiet.) I ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

How do I run new water lines from the basement to the second floor through a finished wall?

I am redoing an upstairs bathroom that has galvanized steel pipes currently running to it for water supply that run straight up from the basement. I am debating between using PEX or copper for the new ...
2
votes
1answer
7k views

Should I use thread-seal tape for steam pipe?

I am getting ready to replace the pressuretrol of my oil-burning steam boiler, which provides heat and hot water. Should I use thread-seal tape (aka. Teflon tape, PTFE tape, tape dope, or plumber's ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it possible to patch a crack in a toilet?

We have a medicine cabinet placed above the toilet. Not the best place but not a lot of choice. Anyway, while fumbling for some Sudafed in the dark, I managed to knock a cough mixture bottle out of ...
2
votes
5answers
302 views

Is there an alternative and less toxic way to clean an oven than using oven spray?

I have drippings that have caked on to the botton surface of my oven. Now, every time we use the oven, they start to smoke and set off the smoke detector. What are some natural ways to clean the oven?...
3
votes
2answers
22k views

How do I repair a glass cooker hob (glass top stove)?

We have a glass cooker hob (glass top stove) where the black glass has chipped at one edge. Is there a repair system that will hide the damage? I am looking for something that is gloss block that ...
6
votes
9answers
59k views

What is the best way to remove and prevent leaf stains on concrete pavers?

We have a brand new paver stone walkway/patio. To my dismay, I noticed that their were leaf and acorn stains from the oak tree in the front yard. I've learned my lesson and I'm going to try to keep ...
6
votes
4answers
836 views

What's the easiest process for cutting bathroom flooring tiles to fit complex door trim?

I'm going to be laying in some fairly heavy-duty vinyl bathroom flooring tiles (similar to the Armstrong Caliber product, although I'm not sure it's actually that brand). The bathroom has some tough ...
3
votes
3answers
26k views

How do I get the stem out of a hose bib to replace the washer?

I have no idea why this isn't simple, perhaps because every repair project has to have some hitch in it to piss me off. I have a leaky hose bib in my back yard, so I wanted to take the sucker apart ...
9
votes
3answers
9k views

How do I cut nice mitered corners?

I will be adding moulding and trim to a few rooms after I lay laminate flooring. I have already done this in one room and I was really discouraged with my miter cuts. In most corners, I had a gap of ...
7
votes
1answer
49k views

How do I repair spots of damaged hardwood floor finish?

I have some hardwood floors that I refinished 5 years or so ago. They're mostly holding up pretty well, but around our breakfast bar the stools have taken up some of the varathane and have left ...
1
vote
2answers
7k views

How can I seal around a light fixture/light switch outlet?

I Have a house built in 1972. I'm currently 80% finished in installing a ceiling fan into my master bedroom. I had an energy audit about a month ago, which revealed that I had "pretty good sealing" ...
3
votes
5answers
371 views

What quick and dirty tool/method should I use for cutting scrap drywall?

I have a pile of drywall scrap that's been sitting in my garage for a few years after a remodel, "just in case". My buddy came up with the idea of turning it into "karate boards" for our kids to ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

Can plants be planted over a drain field?

The previous owner of my house planted plants and small bushes where the drain field is. I have a feeling that the roots will eventually damage the drains. Is this okay or should I remove them?
4
votes
2answers
744 views

What are some tips for installing a small shed?

I want to put in a small shed to store my push lawn mower and perhaps a few other things. Our village's website states we need a permit: SHEDS – Must be either anchored to a concrete slab or have ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the best/official way to draw a building's electrical system?

We are installing home automation systems, and we have serious problems with electricians. Short: they are stupid and lazy. So, we have to do something. There're some stories: We have a spreadsheet ...
7
votes
4answers
48k views

Can I safely power a three-prong electrical device from a light socket?

I have a covered lampholder (light socket) outside my house that I want to use to temporarily power a plug-in string of indoor/outdoor lights. Using CFLs, the total wattage of the string of lights ...
2
votes
2answers
738 views

Can oscillating “multi-tools” sand vertical surfaces?

I need to sand some rough spots on our old front door before repainting and am considering buying/using a multi-tool for this task (as well as some tricky flooring and drywall tasks later). What's ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How long can I wait before staining a new deck?

I just moved into a new (well, old) house. The previous owners put in a deck probably about 1 year ago. It's treated lumber, but they hadn't yet stained it. Winter is approaching quickly here in ...
9
votes
1answer
14k views

What is the difference between dimmable and non-dimmable CFL bulbs?

I have a dimmable ceiling light fixture in the Dining room. I put in CFL bulbs a few months ago. It all seems to work fine, no problem. I went to a hardware store yesterday and saw that there were CFL ...
1
vote
2answers
101k views

Although my hot water works, why won't my radiator come on?

As above, the hot water works but the radiators do not come on. It's an old gas powered central heating system. We're thinking it's the wall thermostat at fault but is there anything else it might be? ...
7
votes
4answers
37k views

Is it an easy task to replace a wall thermostat?

As above, is it an easy DIY job to do this safely? In my research into the above it has become apparant that I should consider replacing the old thermostat with a programmable one for energy savings. ...
0
votes
1answer
5k views

Can't remove ice tray from GE french door fridge

I have a GE stainless french door fridge model GFSS6KKXSS. I can't get the ice maker tray to come out. It has a small release lever on the side, which I have used before when removing it. It seems to ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Is the vermiculite found in my popcorn ceiling toxic? Can I remove it myself?

I'm planning to remove a "popcorn" ceiling and submitted a ceiling sample to the labs for asbestos testing. Here are the results: It looks to me like the labs didn't detect any asbestos but I'm not ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Faucet spout perlator: worth it?

I've seen the following perlator and similars (also plastic ones) on some shopping sites. They claim it can decrease water consumption up to 40%. Is it possible? Is it worth to try?

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