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 ...
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  • 19.3k
32 votes
Accepted

Why did they hammer nails in half way and bent them over to secure supports?

The nail heads aren't big enough for the holes. At that time carpenters didn't enjoy the vast array of fasteners and installation tools that we do today, so they may have used what was available at ...
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  • 104k
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 ...
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  • 132k
28 votes

Safe/professional way to transport lumber with just a roof rack

Almost all of the Home Depots that I do business with have short term rental trucks available right in their parking lots for very reasonable rates. Call in and reserve one for a particular time. ...
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  • 61.1k
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 ...
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  • 132k
24 votes
Accepted

Safe/professional way to transport lumber with just a roof rack

You didn't mention how you're using the ratchet straps, but from your concern about slipping, I think it's possible that you could be using them to better advantage. So I apologize if this is what you'...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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  • 1,940
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/...
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11 votes

How can I lift buckets of mortar to second floor?

If you have a pulley and no way to anchor it overhead, you could always lift from the top, with the pulley attached to the bucket. Of course, you'll need to have an anchor for the rope somewhere on ...
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  • 15.5k
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 ...
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  • 19.3k
9 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.
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  • 162
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 ...
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  • 33.4k
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 ...
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  • 1,075
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 ...
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  • 132k
8 votes

Is the proposed solution to this masonry project okay?

If you had an professional engineer design the whole unit as an assembly it may be possible to have the railings and metal concrete reinforcing members in the steps and risers work as a trussed span ...
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  • 61.1k
8 votes

Why did they hammer nails in half way and bent them over to secure supports?

Because it is easy to remove the nails if required to move the post. The nails mostly hold the post in position until the overall weight of the building bears down a lot of pressure on the post. At ...
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  • 61.1k
8 votes

Safe/professional way to transport lumber with just a roof rack

I think you're overthinking this. I carry all kinds of lumber on my roof rack all the time. The 2x4s are no problem at all. Just strap them down tight, one at the front bar and one at the back bar. ...
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  • 13.7k
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. ...
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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 ...
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  • 12.1k
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 ...
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  • 962
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 ...
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7 votes

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

The very straight lines in the middle of the seam, especially as seen on the ceiling, could indicate that the tape is inadequately adhered to the drywall underneath. This happens when the mud is ...
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  • 71
6 votes

Safe/professional way to transport lumber with just a roof rack

The MDF might be a problem. When driving at any appreciable speed the sheet will catch air and try to sail up and away. This is compounded by the air that is pushed up and over your hood and ...
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  • 1,015
6 votes
Accepted

Is there a term for making an addition to a Bill of Quantities?

Change Order is the only term I know of involving an amendment to an accepted contract. The Wikipedia article covers it well: In project management, a change order is a component of the change ...
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  • 12.1k
6 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 ...
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  • 61.1k
6 votes
Accepted

How to modernise this raised concrete drain in the middle of patio?

Yes that appears to simply be set on top of a spacer which is then set on top of the buried box. You should be able to lift it off, with some effort, and also keep in mind that some adhesive or ...
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  • 20.3k
6 votes

What are these very heavy blocks found on my family's property?

They are iron ( unlikely steel at that age ) identified by the density match to iron. The reddish color that looks like granite is rust on a pitted surface. Pig iron ( high carbon and silicon ) or ...
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  • 7,648
5 votes

How can I lift buckets of mortar to second floor?

Lift the dry materials, run a hose for the water, mix in place, avoid having to lift the weight of the water. The REALLY EASY but rather expensive method - hire a concrete pump truck for the day.
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  • 132k

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