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43 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

I'm not familiar with USA house construction methods (I live in the UK) but speaking as a mechanical engineer, I wouldn't even stand near that thing while debating how safe it was. That bolt is ...
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  • 894
24 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

This should make the hairs on your neck stand-up. What my first thought was is the sand fill that the concrete was floated on has been undermined. Is there a sump pump well in the basement? And if so, ...
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  • 10.8k
20 votes
Accepted

Why did my installer install 1/4 round corners like this and how can I fix it?

That's the worst job I've ever seen at installing quarter round. As others have said, your installer was incredibly lazy. There are several different techniques that could be used for terminating the ...
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  • 15.5k
20 votes

Orange material in grout lines - need help to identify

Looks like schluter ditra waterproofing membrane. Amazon describes it: This universal underlayment specifically designed for ceramic and stone tile eliminates the main cause of cracking in your ...
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  • 4,122
17 votes

Why can't you install larger floor tiles without thinset/adhesive?

Let's assume your floor is really, totally, flat - to some absurd degree of precision. Guess what! Your tiles are not. They are nominally flat, but have slight deviations due to the realities of ...
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  • 132k
16 votes

How can I speed up the removal of stubborn tile?

With these types of tiles you do not want them to break as they are harder to demo when they are in bits and shards. If you try to use a scraper (even power) what inevitably ends up happening is the ...
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  • 46.2k
16 votes

Filling in a sunken living room to level of other floors

One way to raise the floor, and possibly the most reasonable cost wise, is to install what I would call sleeper joists sitting the top of the existing subfloor and than add new subfloor covering over ...
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  • 61.1k
15 votes

Why did my installer install 1/4 round corners like this and how can I fix it?

Exceptionally unprofessional work. The quarter rounds should be mitered together at a minimum. They're not even touching at all in your second and third pictures. It's just cosmetic, though. Not gonna ...
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  • 12.2k
15 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

In a basement, galvanized pipe like that could have been a pipe feeding oil from an underground tank to an oil heater that has long ago been removed and replaced with something else. I had one like ...
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  • 14.4k
13 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

Definitely get a home inspector to look over tbe place; there may be other damage from this subsidence... If the price is attractive enough that you'd consider trying to have this redone properly, I'...
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  • 16k
13 votes

Load Bearing or Not How Can I Know For Sure

Any information you'd glean from this discussion is untrustworthy for the following reasons: No photos. They often reveal issues not mentioned in your short description. No dimensions. In ...
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  • 104k
13 votes
Accepted

Dried expanding foam on floorboards, how can I remove it?

I'd try scraping before sanding, using a razor blade scraper or a furniture scraper -- a slightly more targeted tool.
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  • 16k
12 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

This could be: water waste gas oil for furnace radon system remnants (unlikely) but the earlier ones used metal pipes other The picture is pretty clear, this pipe was installed when they poured the ...
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  • 46.2k
11 votes
Accepted

Should I use an orbital sander or a belt sander for sanding a section of varnished floor?

I've got both types of sanders and I use the belt sander when there is a lot of wood to be removed and the orbital sander when the amount of wood to be removed is small. You have a little better ...
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  • 53.1k
11 votes

Why can't you install larger floor tiles without thinset/adhesive?

Thinset is required for several reasons: Thinset will fill any voids to provide an even support of the tile, regardless the tile's irregulariy or the floor's unevenness. Glue or thinset will ...
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  • 10.2k
9 votes

What kind of floor is this?

Looking at different images may help you determine the species. Keep in mind I'm not a wood expert, and wood being a natural material will vary widely. Oak Oak tends to have a bold tight grain Ash ...
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  • 128k
9 votes

Is this cracking foundation under a jack post a problem that requires repair?

If your gut is telling you to run then run. But if you are still thinking about purchasing the house I would make sure that the builder gives you something in writing to back up what he/she is saying. ...
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  • 958
9 votes

Can I overlay lumber perpendicular to floor joists to raise the floor height?

I would say that the main issue with putting down boards like that is cupping or bowing of the wood especially since this is a high moisture area; that's dirt beneath the joists, right? Look at any ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Floor supported by nails, is it structurally sound?

imho I would be adding joist hangers to those joists. The nails may had luckily done the job so far - perhaps due to not many people being in the room at once or it's lightly used. Something like this,...
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  • 20.6k
8 votes
Accepted

What is the easiest way to measure an irregular floor space?

If they'll accept a full-size model, use the technique for making a template for cutting vinyl flooring to the right size and shape (taken from another answer of mine): ... I use a roll of craft ...
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  • 20.5k
8 votes
Accepted

Heating basement floor with water heater

Adding hydronic radiant floor heating is a lot more complicated than you could imagine. To do a system for a bathroom running off of a domestic water tank, in operation for potable water requires all ...
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  • 6,098
8 votes

What is this pipe coming out of the basement floor?

I have galvanized natural gas pipe in my 1950 Metro Detroit house. If it's not oil, it could be gas going to the original furnace location. I can see a bright spot in the floor where something stood ...
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8 votes

Garage loft max loading

The Code requires trusses be designed to support the Live Load (snow loads, etc.) plus Dead Loads (lumber supporting the roof and ceiling) plus 10 psf Live Load in the ceiling. (10 psf is not much… ...
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  • 3,610
7 votes

Are all toilet bolts installed from under the floor?

A typical toilet has a flange that's bolted to the floor and stays there. Bolts are then turn upside down, with the head down, and the toilet sits on these. The threaded end faces up and the nut goes ...
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  • 1,171
7 votes

Why did my installer install 1/4 round corners like this and how can I fix it?

I agree with ILikeDirt; This installation is awful. I think the best thing to do is to remove all of the quarter round around the cabinets. To fill the gaps, try to use a sanded caulk that is roughly ...
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7 votes

What should we do with floor tiles that were applied with Type 1 Mapei mastic?

What's done is done. I'd grout and generally move on with life, and only revisit it if and when the tiles start popping on their own, which may never happen. You are NOT a professional tile ...
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  • 132k
7 votes
Accepted

What should base kitchen cabinets sit on top of? Why? Why not?

Always an interesting choice. Most new construction puts cabinets on the subfloor. One of the reasons for doing this is to avoid damaging the new floors during construction. Floors are one of the last ...
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7 votes

How to laser-level close to a surface

A good ol' scrap block of two-by does nicely. Just set your laser 1-1/2" above your slab height and kick the block around as you work. This doesn't work for ceilings, of course, but hopefully you ...
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  • 104k

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