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43 votes

How can I patch this ceiling hole my new light fixture does not fully cover?

You could install a circular ceiling medallion over the hole and run the light fixture through the middle of it. This would avoid having to match the paint of the surrounding ceiling. Or here's an ...
Jon's user avatar
  • 1,687
39 votes
Accepted

I found this white electronic device on my ceiling. What is it?

To me, it appears to be a First Alert AC10-500 smoke/CO alarm Manufacturer link P.S. First Alert may manufacture other alarms with a similar shape
Telescope2334's user avatar
31 votes

Why does my home’s ceiling and wall have lines, bumps, and bulges?

Poor quality drywall joint finishing work - utterly normal. Also utterly fixable, if you care to do better quality drywall finishing work. I will normally live with it until I'm going to repaint a ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
30 votes

Why is the ceiling cracking?

I think you have a leak. There appears to be water damage (the darker areas) around it; that would cause a seam to split or drywall tape to delaminate. Cost is off-topic on this site. You need to get ...
UnhandledExcepSean's user avatar
26 votes

Can I hang a swing from manufactured "I" joists made of wood?

The answer with I-joists is always "ask the manufacturer." Your image's "Trus Joist TJI 210" is sufficient to figure out the manufacturer, Weyerhaeuser. Since there appears to be ...
popham's user avatar
  • 10.4k
25 votes
Accepted

What is this lightbulb and how do I change it?

It's a double-ended halogen lamp. Looks a lot like a T3 size but I'm having trouble locating a picture of one so short in length as yours appears. The ceramic blocks at the ends of the lamp conceal a ...
Greg Hill's user avatar
  • 31.3k
23 votes
Accepted

White marks on garage ceiling

The white marks are joint compound (aka "drywall mud") - kind of like plaster. The stripes are where separate sheets of drywall are joined with tape and mud and the little splotches are where screw ...
Adam Brown's user avatar
20 votes
Accepted

Hang indoor swing chair BETWEEN two ceiling joists

You've hit on three viable options. I'll make some notes on each so you can decide. Run a cleat across the gap Requires perhaps the most damage to the finished ceiling, but simple and fairly easy A ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 140k
20 votes

Hang indoor swing chair BETWEEN two ceiling joists

I vote for the solution of providing blocking in the attic but will suggest a technique which is very much easier to install than some of the other answers here. A side on looking picture will get the ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65.2k
20 votes
Accepted

How can you tell if it's safe to hang weight from the ceiling?

It's impossible to say with any confidence without knowing the details of your house's construction. If there is a regular room above (not an attic) the ceiling you want to hang the rings from, ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Can I smooth a knockdown-textured ceiling with spackle?

Spackle might work, however it is specially designed for repairing holes and cracks and is more expensive than the product that is normally used for doing a skim coat: regular joint compound or ...
Jimmy Fix-it's user avatar
19 votes

Speaker Wires Through Wall

A small hole is totally adequate for this purpose. If you drill neatly then a grommit is not needed. A ~3mm hole might be sufficient, just measure your wire first. A small beauty plate may help to ...
Criggie's user avatar
  • 10.8k
19 votes

Why is the ceiling cracking?

I agree with the leak assessment, but here's some tips on what's going on The spot in your picture is where the joints of two sheets of drywall were taped (which is the technical term) together with ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 25.3k
18 votes
Accepted

Screws in ceiling

Terminology-wise those look like bolts. Removing-wise, look in the attic above the room for bolt-heads, first. If they are not though the joist, they are probably a "lag/machine combination", and you ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
17 votes

How can I patch this ceiling hole my new light fixture does not fully cover?

Like any other repair to sheetrock/plasterboard/drywall. Turn power off (the breaker, not the switch) to the fixture and drop the trim out of your way. Either cut out a larger area and make a large ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
17 votes

Help identifying mystery device in ceiling

Google reverse image search for the win! Legrand DA1101 wireless access point
Aloysius Defenestrate's user avatar
16 votes

How can you tell if it's safe to hang weight from the ceiling?

How tall are your ceilings? You're going to be putting huge stresses on the ceiling when you're swinging, even doing simple giants, to say nothing of any sort of move that has a "landing" - ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.4k
15 votes

Should I hire an electrician or handyman to move some lights?

Someone not qualified as an electrician may not modify electrical power circuitry in your home. They'd also not be legally liable in the same way a licensed electrician would. Unless the "move&...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 140k
15 votes

Is it safe to remove screws from a 4x4 support beam without compromising it?

To add further clarity to FreeMan's answer, removing the screws doesn't change the equation. Any hypothetical weakening occurred when you drove the screws into the wood. At that point, some fibers ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 140k
14 votes
Accepted

Strange mud-like formation on ceiling

It may not be termites but it looks likes some kind of insect infestation. I would contact either the building owner or a local pest exterminator. What ever the tunnels are made of is likely building ...
mikes's user avatar
  • 11.4k
14 votes

What are some tools or methods I can purchase to trace a water leak?

If four roofers could not find the leak, it's unlikely that we can find it from photos. So I'll tell you what kinds of things to look for, and answer the question, 'what kinds of tools' etc. If the ...
jay613's user avatar
  • 40.5k
14 votes
Accepted

How should I deal with this protrusion in future drywall ceiling?

Jack it into place and nail it (spike it) in while jacked into place. Don't overdo and jack up the whole laminated beam - just jack up the loose bit, and use suitable spikes into holes somewhat ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k
13 votes

How can I safely work in my attic without a floor in place?

What you have in your attic is blown cellulose or fiberglass insulation. It can be moved out of the way and replaced in small areas without too much harm to its insulating value. To move around in ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 140k
13 votes
Accepted

Why is a white electrical wire connected to 2 black wires?

The cable with the white wire that's connected to the two black wires is a switch loop: Normally wires with white insulation are used only for neutrals, but code makes an exception to allow for use ...
batsplatsterson's user avatar
13 votes

What's the shear strength of a 5.0 x 50mm wood screw?

SPAX, on their web site, provides plenty of engineering information about their fasteners. It's not clear which exact product you are using but the "5.0 x 50mm" appears to be closest to ...
jwh20's user avatar
  • 23.4k
12 votes

Potential Asbestos - Health and Abatement Concerns

Asbestos is not plutonium. Hell, even plutonium is not "plutonium" in that meaning. Let's review the reasons you even give a care about asbestos. Career workers who spent 5-40 years of ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
12 votes

Is it safe to remove screws from a 4x4 support beam without compromising it?

Unless you put all the screws within a couple of inches of each other (which would be an issue whether you removed them or not), you will not cause any sort of issue in the beam strength by removing ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 47.4k
11 votes

Is this a sign of my roof trusses sagging?

Wow, the picture you happened to take illustrates perfectly why those metal clips are installed. The metal clips are used to keep the truss independent from the non-bearing wall. That is to say, the ...
Lee Sam's user avatar
  • 23.3k
10 votes

Screws in ceiling

The type of bolt that you show and the size comparison that you demonstrate in the second photo would indicate that these were installed for ceiling hooks of the type pictured below: Indeed if the ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65.2k
10 votes

How to laser-level close to a surface

That's actually the way one normally does such things, and has been since before there were lasers, other than one normally uses a rod rather than a tape for more consistent results. You establish a ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 220k

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