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53 votes
Accepted

Should rooms be designed to minimize waste of sheet goods?

If your objective is to optimize the product you receive (the completed house) vs the cost you pay for it by sizing to use full sheets of material -- forget it. The cost of all materials combined ...
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  • 19.6k
26 votes

How to hide HVAC compressor?

I'm sorry to be so blunt but the A/C isn't making your yard look bad, your yard is making your yard look bad. That wood barricade needs to go! Search the internet for "landscaping around A/C unit&...
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19 votes

Should rooms be designed to minimize waste of sheet goods?

Drywall/subfloor has to be staggered. So boom you can't make a room that fixes that. Also drywall has depth meaning is your room going to be 12 feet or 12 feet and 1 inch? I have a 5'3" ...
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  • 46.2k
18 votes

How to scribe a circle in the ground...without access to the middle point?

If the ground is perfectly level, then you don't need access to the middle of the circle, you just some point directly above it, and then a longer string traces the shape of a cone as you draw your ...
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  • 7,134
16 votes
Accepted

What is the optimal configuration of a cross brace on a wooden gate?

You asked for optimal: Follow a few thousand years of practical experience and put in a tension brace (lower outside corner to top hinge-side corner - opposite what you are going for, which is a ...
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  • 133k
15 votes
Accepted

How to scribe a circle in the ground...without access to the middle point?

You don't have a centre point, but you can have a perimeter grid marked. In its simplest form, the equation of a circle is derived from Pythagoras' theorem. https://www.mathopenref.com/...
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  • 2,613
13 votes

How to scribe a circle in the ground...without access to the middle point?

"Stand back I'm going to try maths" (misquoted from xkcd) r = 50 cos(θ) This polar plot defines a circle of radius 25 centred at the point (25,0) This assumes that you can set up one point &...
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  • 231
9 votes

How to scribe a circle in the ground...without access to the middle point?

Approximate solution: Assuming it's a steady pile of rocks on a level field: use the whole pile of rocks as the center point. Take a rope, make it into a loop that has approximately the diameter of ...
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  • 191
8 votes

Are there concerns with leaving part of a home's ground level unfinished?

The full basement may cost 3 times what the corresponding slab size may cost from a concrete perspective. But you have to also consider the cost per square foot to build the structure that covers the ...
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  • 61.3k
7 votes

Why are U.S. residential circuit breaker service panels so poorly designed?

Many things are built for a variety of uses. By nature, it cannot be optimized for every use. Compromises are required. That is not a defect; the manufacturer needs to balance all uses of the panel ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Is spruce wood a good choice to make a bunk bed?

It seems like you are actually asking several questions here, so I'll break down my answer: Is spruce appropriate? short answer: yes. A softwood like spruce will be relatively inexpensive, and ...
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  • 551
5 votes
Accepted

Wet Wall with plumbing on both sides

Sure, it's done all the time. Thickness of the wall will likely be determined by the required vent size. With two toilets, two tubs and four sinks, I think you'll likely have to go to a 2x6 wall if ...
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  • 2,318
5 votes

Can I use a non-standard design for a stairwell ceiling cutout in an old house?

Unfortunately, as with most questions like this, you're going to have to talk to an engineer. A bunch of amateur DIYers on the internet, is not the proper resource for this type of information. You'...
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  • 128k
5 votes
Accepted

Will this 10-foot wide gate design be rigid enough?

If you were my client and I was taking money for your project, I'd put wood on a metal substructure, have wheels on the ends, and make sure the posts were extremely well stuck in the ground. (You ...
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5 votes

How to hide HVAC compressor?

As a HVAC service professional I wouldn't box the condenser with anything, this is problematic in multiple ways. If you want the system to remain problem free you must consider the service it will ...
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5 votes

Ideas for mounting an antique metal sign to avoid tipping

An easel stand or plate stand may do the trick. They come in many sizes.
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4 votes
Accepted

How can I achieve a Quartz look using concrete for a bar top?

It's called terazzo: The basic process is: add your 'sparkle' substance as aggregate (glass is a typical option) pour concrete after concrete sets, you use a diamond grinder to expose the top layer ...
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  • 23.8k
4 votes
Accepted

Should I form and pour the concrete all at once?

If you don't care about leaks (or want drainage, so the dog is drier) forming the rim, pouring the rim, and then pouring the central slab is similar to whats typically done in a house basement. The ...
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  • 133k
4 votes
Accepted

What pages should be included in a complete set of plans for residential construction?

You'll need more detailing No longer can you consider structure, sheathing, cladding, and finish as the only elements of an exterior wall. You'll need to have several more wall detail drawings: ...
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4 votes
Accepted

How do you achieve this stairway 'chaser' effect with an LED light strip?

Here is the website that the video came from. tinker-fun.com/DigitalLEDStairlighting Note that this DIY project requires electronics and software knowledge. The website has fairly detailed ...
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  • 1,769
4 votes

How to scribe a circle in the ground...without access to the middle point?

You could use GPS to do this - set up a series of waypoints on the circle, take a receiver to each waypoint, spray the ground, connect the dots. There is probably an app you can do that with on a ...
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  • 133k
4 votes

How to scribe a circle in the ground...without access to the middle point?

Assume that one cannot climb on the rocks, e.g., the rocks are too slippery or are dangerously sharp, or it is taboo (thought to displease vindictive local gods), or the Russians have smeared them ...
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  • 19.6k
4 votes

How to scribe a circle in the ground...without access to the middle point?

If you have at least a third person to hand (ideally four people), I suggest a variation of Jim Stewart's answer, but without any calculations. As with Jim's answer, have two people hold a rope/line ...
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4 votes

How to scribe a circle in the ground...without access to the middle point?

Take a piece of rope that is at least 2 * pi * 25 = 157.1 ft long. Leave enough at one end to tie a knot, and mark the location that is 157.1 ft from that point. Lay the rope around the rocks and tie ...
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4 votes

How to hide HVAC compressor?

Remove the cladding. For a side yard the compressor units are not so ugly. They're hidden from the back by the wider rear of the house. You can put a small attractive privacy panel facing the front,...
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  • 17.1k
4 votes

can I do this to support a hot tub on a deck

Disclosure: I'm not an engineer. Good drawing; we can see what you're thinking of. The structure and foundation supporting the tub must be sturdy enough to support the weight of the tub, water, and ...
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3 votes
Accepted

Building fitted desk for home office

To answer your questions in reverse order: 3) Install your floor coverings first. It will go faster and easier if you have no obstacles to work around. You can always cover the new floor with tarps if ...
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  • 10.8k
3 votes

Rules to make a box stable, hard to tilt

Find the center of gravity, which in a rectangular prism, will be located at x/2, y/2, z/2. The box will tip when the center of gravity moves outside the footprint of the box. (or just look at the ...
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3 votes

Are there concerns with leaving part of a home's ground level unfinished?

If it's on slab, it's not exactly a basement. I think what you are actually asking for is 'studio space'. As Michael Karas, the concrete contractor is correct...the more concrete you use (ie, full ...
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  • 23.8k
3 votes

What pages should be included in a complete set of plans for residential construction?

In addition, consider a site grading plan. Depending on where you live, NOT have your land drain into your house is a good thing.
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