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35 votes
Accepted

Tool to help precision drill 4 holes in a wall?

I make a template with a piece of paper or cardboard (like the box the item came in). This makes drilling holes in a precise pattern a bit easier. In some situations, you might transfer the pattern ...
Jeff Wheeler's user avatar
  • 3,382
32 votes

How can I make a long wall perfectly level?

Use a 70 foot water level. Here is a diagram of one. Use 1/4 inch tubing or slightly larger. Fill tubing with water before submerging one end. The container of water is required because a huge ...
jsotola's user avatar
  • 2,775
14 votes

Rusted screws in outdoor outlet box

Hacksaw? If you saw thru the rusty plate (twice, one for left slot and one for right) and remove it by pulling it out from under the screw, the remaining screw will be sticking up enough for you to ...
Willk's user avatar
  • 6,623
14 votes

Tool to help precision drill 4 holes in a wall?

A traditional way of attaching hanging objects to masonry was to drill a hole, bang in a wooden dowel, and then fasten into the dowel with a screw or nail. In your case this could help reduce the ...
StayOnTarget's user avatar
  • 5,585
13 votes

How can I make a long wall perfectly level?

Stakes. Place stakes in the bottom of the trench. Put them up against the edge to leave room next to them for bricks. They will stick up out of the trench. Run a string along the stakes ...
Willk's user avatar
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12 votes

Should I try to open filled brick weep holes?

Weep holes: No structure is 100% waterproof, and weep holes allow both water and moist air to escape the structure, so that it doesn't start going mouldy or rotting (which would cause problems over ...
MiG's user avatar
  • 2,385
11 votes

Can structural bricks be used as pavers for a patio?

For brick driveways the most important part is a solid compacted base--crushed quarry rock or shale, not crushed river rock. Sand is normally used, not mortar. For a “green” drive, place the holes ...
Ed Beal's user avatar
  • 103k
11 votes
Accepted

How can I remove these screws from a brick wall?

I believe that they are concrete sleeve anchors, something like these†. When you screw the nut on and tighten it down, it pulls the anchor in and tightens the expanding sleeve against the hole. With ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.7k
10 votes

Mounting a TV above a fireplace

It is a bad idea. TV screens are designed to be viewed basically level from your eyes as you sit in your TV room. If you mount it above the mantel you will forever looking up to see the thing. The ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65.2k
10 votes

How can I make a long wall perfectly level?

A video mentioned in another answer shows three methods: a string line-level, a laser level, and a water level. These will all work, but I think you'll get your best results with a water level. ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
10 votes

Can rainwater seep through a single-layer brick wall in large quantities?

Bricks are porous. A single layer is called “brick veneer”. Brick veneer is installed on a structural back wall. Usually it’s a wood frame wall with a moisture barrier applied to a layer of plywood. ...
Lee Sam's user avatar
  • 3,828
9 votes

Can I set bricks into my concrete slab as height guides?

Just do what every concrete job normally does and set screed guides (usually the tops of the forms - takes a fairly huge job to required intermediate ones, which are fussy and annoying because you ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 221k
8 votes

Is there some sort of formula to determine how many bricks I would need to build a completely new structure?

A standard brick is 8" x 2.25" x 3.5". Ignore the 3.5" as that's how thick the wall will be. 8" * 2.25" is 18 sq. in. A square foot is 144 sq. in. (12 * 12). 144 sq. in. divided by 18 sq. in. is 8....
Brythan's user avatar
  • 211
8 votes

Can structural bricks be used as pavers for a patio?

I am going to say they can... but no. There are tons of varieties of bricks that are used for pavers. There is no reason to go with your garden variety house brick. To be clear the OP is ...
DMoore's user avatar
  • 49.4k
8 votes

Rusted screws in outdoor outlet box

WD-40 is NOT a good penetrating oil. Liquid Wrench is better, but still not that great. The best kinds are called Kroil or PB Blaster, you can find them in auto parts stores. But if you don't have an ...
JRaef's user avatar
  • 15k
8 votes

Can rainwater seep through a single-layer brick wall in large quantities?

some timbers around the window frame have rotted And that is quite likely the source of your leak. It's not the brick that the "not-so-small" amount of water is seeping past, it's getting ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.7k
8 votes

Can rainwater seep through a single-layer brick wall in large quantities?

If your house has gutters on the roof, and they are some distance away from the wall, then they form a sort of "umbrella" to stop rain running down the brickwork. Of course, if the wind ...
Ralph Bolton's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

What’s this small metal post sticking out of my wall?

It doesn't strike me as a functional component of the wall, as a brick tie or weep string might. I can't imagine how it would relate to the fireplace. It was probably for hanging something decorative ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 142k
7 votes

How can I make a long wall perfectly level?

This Old House has a great video showing you how to set level lines for landscaping projects. I think this is exactly what you're looking for. Video is about six minutes: https://www.youtube.com/...
Jeff Wheeler's user avatar
  • 3,382
6 votes

How can I make a long wall perfectly level?

Your question about getting a wall exactly level is presumably intended to prevent overtopping at any one location. In fact, overtopping at one location is preferable so that you can respond to the ...
Chasm's user avatar
  • 61
6 votes

Rusted screws in outdoor outlet box

Cut strip in middle. Bend each part and use as a "spanner" to friction turn the screws while also applying torque to the screws. Having three arms or a helper makes this easier. Once you ...
Russell McMahon's user avatar
6 votes

Surface mount electrical box

Your description is good, search those words. There are plastic and metal boxes designed for surface raceways. But, as long as it has a knock-out in the back, you can use it alone. https://www....
Mattman944's user avatar
  • 2,224
6 votes
Accepted

How can I fix a loose TV mount screw on clay hollow brick?

What not to do: When putting an anchor for a heavy load into hollow brick you really want the plug to grab into at least one inner wall. The plug in the picture is too short. can I reuse the plugs ...
bobflux's user avatar
  • 10.2k
5 votes

Can I put an Ethernet port in my brick wall?

Two issues - cable and port. Cable through brick wall If one end is on one side of a brick wall and the other end is on the other side of the brick wall, drill a hole with a hammer drill and a masonry ...
manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact's user avatar
5 votes

Can structural bricks be used as pavers for a patio?

I assisted with a project like this. Pavers usually have a chamfered edge which is a little easier on bare feet than the sharper corners and edges of bricks but they worked fine. The sand is a really ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 82.7k
5 votes

Mounting a TV above a fireplace

It may not be desired, but sometimes it's the only available wall space in the room. FYI, we mounted our 55" above the fireplace. But the fireplace was converted to propane at the same time. I was ...
SteveSh's user avatar
  • 6,912
5 votes
Accepted

Laminate floor against fireplace brick

I would rent an "undercut saw" and put a diamond blade in it. Cut a channel along the floor at a suitable height. Brick cuts fairly easily and you'll have a dead-straight, perfect fit to ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 142k
5 votes

Structurally mounting to hollow brick

I would never hang a deck off a brick veneer or any finish, you have to attach to something structural. The pullout force generated by the cantilever is going to be tremendous. When it fails, it won'...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Will a cement mixer extend the working life of mortar?

A mixer might help you mix smaller batches more quickly, so that you can easily adjust the size of a batch and keep up. But most mixers will make you think you should be making an even larger batch, ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 221k
5 votes

How do I renovate these walls to be smooth?

I have removed similar wallpaper multiple times and if it is like the type I have removed it is actually relatively easy to take off of the wall. You will simply soak it with a hot water and ...
DMoore's user avatar
  • 49.4k

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