32

Use a 70 foot water level. Here is a diagram of one. Use 1/4 inch tubing or slightly larger. Fill tubing with water before submerging one end. The container of water is required because a huge difference in water level at the stick end, translates to a tiny difference in the water level at the container. That keeps the actual water level almost the same, no ...


13

Stakes. Place stakes in the bottom of the trench. Put them up against the edge to leave room next to them for bricks. They will stick up out of the trench. Run a string along the stakes corresponding to the top of your wall. Move the string until it is straight using a level or laser sight. When you are done you will have a string corresponding with the ...


10

A video mentioned in another answer shows three methods: a string line-level, a laser level, and a water level. These will all work, but I think you'll get your best results with a water level. Laser levels are expensive, they're super expensive if you need good accuracy and something that can be used at decent distances outdoors. In my experience they're ...


7

This Old House has a great video showing you how to set level lines for landscaping projects. I think this is exactly what you're looking for. Video is about six minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuK5d7zNRZw They show three methods, also described below; but I highly recommend watching the video as their explanations & demonstration on a ...


6

Your question about getting a wall exactly level is presumably intended to prevent overtopping at any one location. In fact, overtopping at one location is preferable so that you can respond to the spill. For example, overtopping water is likely to erode the base of the wall, so in having the spill where you want it, you can mitigate the spilling flow ...


6

You can rent a power compactor which would do a much better job than a hand operated tamper.


5

Your plan for using builder's string is good, but don't set the string tight. That opens you up to cumulative contact error. You'll end up with a soup bowl for a ceiling. Instead, put a spacer of a convenient thickness under the string at the outside. I've often used a scrap of 1x or 2x lumber (3/4" and 1-1/2", respectively). Then you'd measure the ...


4

Disclaimer: Consulting with an engineer is highly advisable. The roof is slowly pushing the wall outwards. If you have not purchased this cottage yet then either walk away or low-ball them. I foresee that subcontracting a proper fix easily reaching $10k. You need to do two things: Straighten the wall out Prevent the wall from bowing out in the future To ...


3

The first question is why you think "you need to compact the ground first" - even without frost as a consideration (not knowing where you live or if it freezes there) the first step in putting up such a wall is to remove the spongy/squishy topsoil and humus and get down into the mineral subsoil, which (if undisturbed) is normally stable and fairly ...


3

The approach by @isherwood is correct. However, a very simple tool I've used that may make it simpler to fine-tune the plane is an 8 foot aluminum straight edge. They're inexpensive, about $25. The one I use is anodized aluminum (light), is easily broken down into four foot sections and has virtually no flex, especially if used on edge. By sliding it across ...


3

You're assuming that your floor is level; this will lead to issues. What you can do is mark several level spots on the wall which runs parallel with your joists. Since you have a 4' level I recommend putting it on the wall and marking a dot every 2 feet or less so that when you go to mark your next dot you can line up the level on 2 previous dots instead of ...


2

I've built and owned several sheds on similar bases. What you'll find is that the weight of the shed and the vibration of use tends to settle the foundation (floor framing) into the soil a bit, eliminating slight wiggles in the surface. The key is that you have a good average, and that it's level in both directions. Obviously most of the weight rests on the ...


2

I use a site level (like a small telescope on a tripod and a graduated staff). You can rent this for little money. Knock in pegs, 60cm or so apart (wood or reinforcing bar) with the top of the peg at the same level as the top of your concrete foundation. Move the staff from peg to peg, adjusting each peg till it's at the right height (same place on the ...


2

At 3” I would mix up a batch with turkey grit much larger than sand but smaller than pea gravel. I have used this mix to level garages that had a similar slope to the door when making them a living space. The existing floor needs to be clean and I would do a heavy etch of muriatic acid and water. After rinsing I would put down an adhesion promoter then start ...


2

Comfort is generally better with a wooden subfloor, if you have the room for a wooden subfloor. That also allows adding insulation to reduce the heating/air conditioning load (which may be minimal from the floor, given your location.) Plenty of old houses have floors that slope a lot worse than 1.5" in 20 ft (0.67% if I got the math right) and they work ...


2

First, it shouldn't crack. If it does your putting to much on at once. Id also stop using all purpose mud after your first coat and switch over to plus 3 to make sanding easier on your body. I definitely wouldn't scrap off the mud you have already put on. If you want to sand some mud off Id probably get a finish sander and sand some off if necessary. But go ...


2

I don't see why you couldn't go with the plan you are thinking of. It's probably concrete under it so it'll take a bit of work to get it off. You could consider using an angle grinder with a diamond blade and cut a groove across the front of the door to ensure any pieces that do break off don't break off under the door. probably will have to do this a few ...


2

Get a bunch of 6" x 3/8" galvanized lag screws. Pilot though your joists at intervals with a 1/4" or 5/16" bit, then run screws in to lift and level the joists. Cut of the protruding portion flush with a hack saw. With that room size, every joist needs at least two support points (plus the outer ends). Don't span more than about 4'. I ...


1

Seems like there are at least three questions here: how to temporarily support the structure so that work can be done, what materials to use for shimming the low points, and how to figure out where to add or remove materials (and how much). Temporary support It's tough to install a good base or to make adjustments when you've got something already sitting on ...


1

Assuming this is a floating vinyl floor (as originally posted), you need to scrape away the high spots, lay down an underlayment that has vapour barrier with foam and optionally felt to provide a smoothing cushion. For planks, there's no need to prime or scrape bare. As for flatness and smoothness, the manufacturer will specify it, but usually anything less ...


1

From what I see in the picture I would not remove this sloping sill. It looks like the bottom of the masonary in the adjacent wall is at the level of the sill at the outside. You want the level of the patio to be several inches below the bottom of the masonary. I do not think it wise to raise the impervious level of the patio. You will get drainage back into ...


1

You should probably understand the root cause of the hump (settling? rest of the floor going down for some reason? built that way?). Assuming it is dimensional lumber (not modern i-joists), I'd only consider cutting the subfloor up and planing the joists. You won't change the strength materially by lopping off a max of 5/8". You won't have to mess with ...


1

if you need to compact the ground before you dig a foundation you definately want to use motorised tools. probably a whacker/kango type thing


1

I do not set the bottom row first. I start with the second row and tile on up. I use a ledger board ( a straight furring strip or 1x2 ) at the correct height so that the bottom of the tile of the second row is slightly lower then the height of the tile that will be the first row. You need to figure out the correct height to place your ledger board. Make ...


1

This will be a matter of opinion but my opinion would be to have at least 1/8" spacing between tiles. You want enough space for the grout to grab onto. If you're using a contrasting grout for a designer affect, then a larger spacing could be used.


1

If the tyres are blown out then its sitting on the rims, damaging them and whatever hard surface it is resting on. You should purchase a pair of axle-stands per axle on the vehicle. The stands should be of sufficient capacity to support the whole vehicle when finished. Lift the vehicle onto the stands by using a vehicle jack. Two stands per axle, so you ...


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