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37 votes
Accepted

Could a layman build a house from plans?

I used to have a teacher that said Anyone can do anything given enough time and instruction. That being said every trade has a learning curve to acquire the skills and required tools to ...
ArchonOSX's user avatar
  • 20.1k
29 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
  • 218k
28 votes

Any problem to build a house that covers a same-sized hole in the ground?

Look at it as a start on a foundation hole - but don't get hung up on "making the house the same size/shape as the existing hole" because you can alter the size/shape of the hole when ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
24 votes

Where do measurements start on a ruler/tape measure

That's the wrong tool for the job. A carpenter's tape isn't intended to do better than about 1/32" (half the width of the smallest marked interval). Taking into account the sliding hook ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
20 votes
Accepted

Any problem to build a house that covers a same-sized hole in the ground?

You asked: Would there be any problem to build the wood house over the hole, so as to cover it? So I am going to make the following assumptions: You would like to personally build the house There ...
MonkeyZeus's user avatar
  • 16.6k
18 votes

Low water pressure on a hill solutions

If there's 55 PSI at the bottom of a 35 foot rise, and no pressure at the top, there's got to be a leak between those points, or the height is (much) greater than guessimated, or the pressure is (much)...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
17 votes
Accepted

Is there a reason not to nail up drywall?

Nobody uses a pneumatic nailer for drywall. And in a world where shortcuts are revered, that has to tell you something. You know this already, but screws are the gold standard. They stay put and they ...
Aloysius Defenestrate's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

What is this machine's purpose?

It looks like a fan-forced portable furnace, to blow warmed air into the cold building that is being built.
John Canon's user avatar
  • 2,005
17 votes

Can I use logs and stumps as driveway fill?

Bad idea - as it rots, it will become spongy and sink as you drive on it, and become very un-level.
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
16 votes
Accepted

Contractor claims new pantry location is structural - is he right?

I don't see where the pantry in its existing location is contributing to any support but can see the contractor's concern about the ductwork. How could he just move the pantry without getting any OKs ...
JACK's user avatar
  • 81.7k
14 votes

What is this type of interior wall?

That's a normal wall, sheetrock over plaster. That's how you save money when you want to renovate your home with plaster walls in bad shape, you just screw gyp board on top instead of paying for demo/...
The Ghost of Jon's user avatar
13 votes

Low water pressure on a hill solutions

I believe the idea of the tank at the top of the hill is that you feed the low pressure water line into the tank via an automatic shutoff valve. The automatic valve is designed to sense the water ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65k
12 votes
Accepted

How to make a rectangular pipe structure with clockwise threads

you need a "union" connector. It allows both sides to tighten and then tighten union.
user54639's user avatar
  • 192
12 votes

Raising a sagging section of my houses central beam ~1.2 inches

The general trick with jacking a house that has sagged over 40 (or 140) years is that you should not un-sag it in a matter of days, or even weeks, unless the sag is very minor. The jack has no problem ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
11 votes

How do builders prevent water damage during construction?

The ultimate goal in construction is zero water intrusion, and they're not using treated wood. This seems counter-intuitive. Why would you expose framing lumber to water? The answer is simple: limited ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 24.9k
11 votes
Accepted

Best way to turn my detached garage into an insulated shop?

Assuming budget is not "Sky's the limit": Delete rafter insulation (but carefully), add ridge vent and/or a functional cupola, reuse rafter insulation (see "carefully") in wall ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
10 votes
Accepted

How to leave low voltage wiring behind wall?

The common practice for future expansion is to install the box and put a blank cover on it. That eliminates the requirement of chopping into the drywall to find the wire. It also eliminates the need ...
ArchonOSX's user avatar
  • 20.1k
10 votes

Low water pressure on a hill solutions

Check for air locks. If the pipe goes up and down repeatedly, there can be air trapped in each “hill” that reduces the pressure. To Test If the line is still accessible you can pick up the pipe at a ...
Polypipe Wrangler's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

What professionals can I hire to help me investigate a structural problem?

Call a few General contractors and get their opinion on what need to be done. They will know if something is a normal repair or if engineering needs to be consulted. Get more than a few quotes. Don't ...
RMDman's user avatar
  • 30.9k
9 votes

Could a layman build a house from plans?

yes - you can do it! Do not listen to the naysayers, this will be an experience of a lifetime for you! I recommend that all millennials endure the trials and travails of a home build. I trust that ...
Jimmy Fix-it's user avatar
  • 35.9k
9 votes

Why are basement walls subject to tensile forces?

All walls experience tensile stress. This is not a force trying to pull the wall apart as such. The stress comes from lateral forces that can arise from two sources. Firstly, a simple lateral force ...
Chenmunka's user avatar
  • 1,286
9 votes
Accepted

Where to sit a door in a doorway through concrete wall?

If the door is "in the wall" it's going to partially block the opening, as it can only swing to 90 degrees, more or less. If the door is in the timberframe, it can swing more fully out of ...
Ecnerwal's user avatar
  • 218k
8 votes

Is it within code to leave unused romex wire within a stud cavity for future use?

It is fine to do what you propose, as long as you are 100% certain that the cables/wires are not terminated at the feed/switch ends. This is very common. This is NOT burying a junction box or splice. ...
Speedy Petey's user avatar
  • 16.4k
8 votes

Could a layman build a house from plans?

If your question were Is an intelligent layman likely to successfully build a habitable house from plans by himself?, I think the answer is 99.5% no. As far as building a "house from plans", yes, but ...
wallyk's user avatar
  • 12.3k
8 votes

Are these integrated diagonal wall braces structurally important?

Sometimes framing of a short internal wall that tees into an exterior wall is braced that way if the exterior wall is: The exterior wall extends a long distance on either side of the tee And the ...
Michael Karas's user avatar
  • 65k
8 votes

How do I know if a roofing company is using subcontractors?

First, if you have a contract with someone, and a question/suspicion arises about the work specified in that contract, you should just ask the person you are contracting with, rather than go online ...
TylerH's user avatar
  • 1,037
8 votes

How do builders prevent water damage during construction?

How to prevent water damage during construction Don't expose construction to water. How do builders prevent water damage during construction? They don't; at least not in regards to framing and the ...
MonkeyZeus's user avatar
  • 16.6k
8 votes

How can I tell if I hit a wire in the studs when hanging plywood sheathing in my building?

This is why code requires cables to be centered. If you did that you have nothing to worry about. In the dozens of garages I've built with 2x4 walls and 7d, 8d, or 2-3/8" pneumatic nails I don't ...
isherwood's user avatar
  • 139k
8 votes

Are these roof members structural support?

You absolutely need to engage an engineer. Ignoring those braces, which may or may not be relevant, your ceiling joists tie the outer walls together and keep them from bowing outward. As an aside, ...
Aloysius Defenestrate's user avatar
7 votes

Could a layman build a house from plans?

By the way, trades are doable, even the scary ones. For instance I'm ace with electrical, but mortally afraid of drywall work. I can probably get over that. Electrical has a lot of complexity, but ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar

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