24

I will give you an honest answer and could care less about the upvotes/downvotes. Just my experience flipping houses in many US areas and even some overseas over 25 years. First every municipality will have a detailed list of things they require a permit for. almost all places require you to pull a permit for electrical if you pull an electrical permit ...


20

If you can use a drill with a screwdriver bit to drive a screw, then most of the time, use it. Here's when you might be smarter to use a screwdriver: The screw is going into a pre-tapped (threaded) hole in metal, or plastic, or any soft material. Always at least start such screws by hand -- so that you can avoid cross-threading them. Putting screws into ...


14

Short answer: Inspectors can't be everywhere, see everything, and probably have enough other work. I speak as municipal inspector for a smaller city in the Midwestern US. For you average DIYer who is working on their own, owner-occupied home, I don't lose too much sleep if they extend a branch circuit on the weekend. Even I have moved my washer and dryer ...


12

I see several misconceptions, and a general sense of authoritarianism (the government being a "big brother" there to protect citizens from their own mistakes, prohibiting by default, only reluctantly authorizing). in an area where permits (only offered to licensed pros) are required. outright doing it themselves illegally First, permits are ...


11

The most direct answer to your insulation question is fairly simple. Your goal should be to have insulation equaling an "R" value of 40 or above on top of the ceiling of the second floor. The cheapest method for a DIYer is to roll out unfaced fiberglass insulation over any existing insulation. We don't know what you have now, "R" value or type. That would ...


11

This can be caused by a bootleg ground together with a poor neutral connection at the service panel. In building wiring, a bootleg ground is an electrical ground that is wired from the neutral side of a receptacle or light fixture in an older 2-wire home. This essentially connects the neutral side of the receptacle to the casing of an appliance or lamp. ...


10

DIY option: rent a skid steer scrape off existing driveway buy crushed rock spread with skid steer, rake rent a compacter and compact crushed rock layer bring in sand, spread, screed and level. buy concrete pavers start laying them depending on your age/health, buy lots of Advil Good luck!


10

Some states subsidize professionally-installed insulation as well as other energy-efficiency improvements. If that is the case in your state, you will likely be able to hire a pro for less than what you would pay for the materials if you were to do it yourself. Massachusetts covers 75%, so I paid only $300 to insulate the attic, including two roof vents and ...


9

I feel like I have seen this question asked before, but I can not find it. So I will go ahead and answer. If you have never done electrical work before, I would not recommend this to be the project that you start on. In order to do this properly, you will need to run new wire to every outlet to add the ground line. This in itself can be a difficult task if ...


9

I had a similar situation. I purchased some outside corner moulding, similar to this: and used that on the edge. I had to run it down the table saw to rip it to the correct depth. I used an all purpose adhesive to attach it, and then finished the edges with caulk.


9

If you go to a large tile store you should be able to find an edge similar to this in ceramic.


8

On the one hand you don't need to run a new circuit to replace a receptacle, on the other hand putting in a new receptacle alone does absolutely nothing to modernize your system. Millions of houses have old wiring and they are fine. The only good reason to just replace the receptacle is because it is falling apart or won't hold the plugs in anymore. The ...


8

Before going through the trouble of an egress window, make sure the water problem is tackled. That, itself, can be a huge chore. And egress window CAN be DIY, but it's going to be a lot of messy work. You need to move a large chunk of soil, cut concrete, install a well, and given the water issues, likely a dry well or drain system of some sort. But yes, ...


6

I just happened upon your question when I was looking for some advice on ceiling insulation for a house we will build next year. My opinion about your attic is that the first thing you have to do is air seal the attic. Not necessarily expensive, but certainly a pain, especially when the air temp in the attic is so high. I worked on the attic in my rental ...


6

The budget might not permit it, but the first thing I did that worked immediately was to install a solar attic fan (1000cfm) to dump the hot air (pre-fan 170F, post fan 120F). It got me an extra 3 years on the roofing material (35 year old organic, well past its sell by date) while I saved up for a total reroof job. The reinsulation came after the roofing ...


6

Call a local licensed Electrician. They will be able to do it faster, safer, and possibly cheaper (if you factor in what your time is worth). It's likely not a matter of simply replacing each receptacle with a three prong version, you're probably going to have to pull new cable. There may be permits involved, or other legal/code compliance matters that you ...


6

A simplification of @spicetraders answer: Pump up switch You can do this with a "pump up float switch", which operates at line voltage and thus avoids the need for a relay, separate power supply, etc. These cost tens of dollars. These often have a plug on the end so they can control a plug-in pump directly (be sure to get one with the appropriate plug ...


6

The only way to do it right is to pop those ten tiles and just redo it. I say this based on 19 years' experience. You won't regret it in the end. The thing about going over the tile with a wood or ceramic molding is that there is no give, and the tiles are not sitting even. The molding will sit on the highest tile and you will have gaps (blacklining) in the ...


5

Do what a professional would do - don't touch it when wet. Sand the affected areas with fine grit and re-stain, leave until it dries completely, then move, flip over and do the opposite side, etc. Apply the poly in the same manner. You cannot handle pieces until they dry fully. You also cannot handle them with hands that are wet with finish.


5

Homeowners should never do anything where they cannot list 3-5 ways in which the project could go wrong.


5

It's really difficult to say if you can do this yourself or not. It certainly could be a DIY job, though that doesn't mean it should be in your case. The first thing I think you need to get is an understanding of the scope of this type of project. It will require tearing up walls to replace pipe, adding fittings, etc. During this time, you will have the ...


5

If your timeframe is inside 5 years, you probably can't make an economic argument for new windows. Suggest you attack one (neither the worst nor the best) and see what is in there when you pick away at it. New storms are easy. Brick mould is easy. The sill might be a little harder, but patience is a virtue. Depending on the level of rot, don't immediately ...


4

The attic is likely so hot because it has a lack of proper ventilation. I would first check if there are any vents that allow hot air to leave the attic. Often, people throw insulation into the attic which blocks the vents to the outside air, turning the attic into a greenhouse. Current thinking is that you should have a combination of soffit vents and ...


4

As DA01 mentioned, there are epoxy-based methods for refinishing laminate counter tops in the $100-200 range. They seem to have fairly positive reviews: Rust-Oleum Countertop Transformation Refinishing System $194.21 Covers 50 sq ft (cheesy how-to video showing how 'ridiculously easy' it is) Counter-Coat $179.95 Covers 35 sq ft (application ...


4

Pretty much anyone can demo a roof. Now it might take you a ton of time if you don't have the right tools but its not rocket science. There is a lot of trash so you need to get a dumpster. Laying new felt or paper is pretty easy too. But at the same time this isn't something you would get charged a ton of money for and if a crew was doing your roof ...


4

Safe loads are determined through engineering and experimentation. The experimentation is used to gather real-world data, which then is used as input to engineering processes, which then result in guidelines and building codes. This is all updated over time as new materials are introduced and new experience is gained. When there's a situation that is non-...


4

The easiest way to run an LED off of 120VAC is to use an LED that's already designed for 120VAC, like a 120VAC LED Panel light. They come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and form factors. (Photos from Digikey's catalog). Just keep in mind that 120VAC is dangerous, and if you're not actually going to panel mount them where only the front of the LED is ...


4

It all depends on how much you are willing to learn. If you are confident in your ability to do it safely, go for it. If not, do more research until you are or hire an electrician. Personally I am confident doing anything up to replacing a main electrical panel. That is something I would have to hire an electrician for, even though I could in theory do it, ...


4

Regrading isn't typically a recurrent necessity. It may be needed shortly after a home is built, and maybe again a few years later. However, eventually the soil becomes compacted to the same degree that the undisturbed adjacent soil is, and that's more or less the end of the story. Then it's a matter of whether rainwater flows adequately away from the ...


4

Keeping it simple. Get a water tank float switch which is available at many hardware, farm, or marine supply stores hook it up operate your pump motor. Add a relay with appropriate contact value rated for the pump motors voltage and current. A battery or low voltage transformer would provide power for the driving the relay on and off with float switch's ...


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