45

You hire a chimney sweep to inspect (and clean) it. In some cases it may need to be completely rebuilt - in others, it may simply need cleaned and inspected, or it may need something in the middle. At that age, you may well find that you'll face relining to make use of it under modern conceptions of what's safe - it will have deteriorated with age and ...


31

That is a balloon bird repellent device. It is designed to mimic the appearance of an owl to scare away smaller birds and prevent them from building nests in the eaves, or to prevent them from flying into windows. See https://www.amazon.com/Balloon-Bird-Repellent-Effective-Solution/dp/B01DAFTNEU


22

Another thing to consider with a chimney that old is the distinct possibility that the bricks were laid up with a mixture of sand, horse hair and a bit of lime mixed in. It is not uncommon for a chimney like that to have the external weather at the roof line and above erode away some of or all of the sand leaving the bricks literally free stacked with spaces ...


9

Those are the nails that fasten the box to the framing. I'd slide them free with a locking pliers, remove the box, and install modern "remodeler" boxes with flyout mounting tabs. If you trim your plaster/drywall very carefully you'll never know it was done. You may also be able to find more compact GFCI outlets that are designed for such boxes.


8

If someone offers to modernise your chimney by putting some sort of metal tube or liner inside, make sure the chimney is cleaned first and all soot is removed. If this is not done properly, you risk having a fire in the space between the tube and the chimney, which you (or the fire brigade) won't be able to reach to put out.


7

Roof construction varies depending on where you live. In the north you need to build to contend with a heavy snow load so roof trusses are more numerous and stronger. Sothern climes, not so much. Further, the roof cladding makes a difference. Many roofs in Europe are covered with tile or slate, which is heavy and needs the extra support. All buildings ...


6

1st off, make sure all structural elements are sound before closing. And it's a good idea to clean up the patchwork up there. It's actually very easy to level. Use a lazer level adjusted to your lowest point. Sister any joists to that line. This image shows how with T-bar drop ceilings but the concept is exactly the same. This one shows how to do it using ...


5

Old houses that had interior plaster as a finish had what they called a plaster stop to control depth of the plaster. This was usually a strip of 3/4 wood at bottom of wall and around doors and windows. It looks like this strip was removed but normally it was always left in as a nailing strip for the baseboard. Your application of the foam is good idea.


5

In a word--money. Wood frame stud construction has been the norm in the US for mass housing for a long time, and I am given to understand that newer houses in the UK are being built this way. It is much cheaper than the heavy timber and 'stone built' constructions which have been the standard construction techniques in Europe for centuries. Stud wall ...


5

Years ago, my wife and I moved into a condo that had a faint weird smell. I put charcoal into a net bag like the ones potatoes come in, and set it into the cold air return ducting at the furnace. I then set the fan to run continuously. We also put the same netted bags in some of the other rooms. After a few weeks the smells were gone. The charcoal absorbed ...


5

First, there is such a thing as a multi-wire branch circuit (MWBC), in which two hots intentionally and consensually shate a neutral. They are placed on opposite poles of service, which means only differential current flows through the neutral. This works for 2 hots in single (split) phase service, and up to 3 hots in 3-phase (208V) service which you will ...


4

The closeup looks like cement based backer board used to hold tile in wet/damp locations. If so, that is not original. It would be very hard to restore to lathe/plaster throughout, especially if sections are missing. The transition points for repairs tend to crack and show lines. Also, wire mesh is used more than wood lath today. Finding a skilled plasterer ...


4

Honestly the pictured bar just looks like NM cable clamp, and there are two in the box. Those clamps are needed. What you have here is a more common problem: A shallow box. Or to be more precise, not a deep box. A great many boxes are too shallow for GFCI. I tried fitting an older GFCI into a common 2x2x4 1-gang metal box, and it wouldn't fit. They ...


4

The short answer is call in a structural engineer to get a grasp of the problem and the scope of work necessary to fix it. I have a similar situation with a 170 year old home. The 1st floor foundation work was done by a licensed foundation company from the area. The 2nd floor sagging issues are being tackled by a licensed general contractor with a background ...


4

Why not consider a rim lock. This is a surface mounted lock and door latch that was typical in 19th century houses. It is mounted on the inside surface and requires only two small holes drilled through the door - one for the knob spindle and one for the key. There are old ones around, but you can find reproductions that work the same way. Images and links ...


4

It seems that the manufacture does not suggest to reuse the connectors. For instance, this document here states "Do not reuse" in the "product specifications & measurements" section.


4

tear it all down, replace with regular sheetrock / drwywall.


3

Pre-demolition, this could have been a "double floor" or "double framed floor". If you look up the wikipedia article on floor joists(I would link directly, but I don't have enough rep), it gives you a bit more context. The intention being one set is for the ceiling, and the other is for the floor above. Alternatively, with century homes in particular, you ...


3

With the old outlet wired in the two black wires were basically directly connected. Likewise the two white wires were connected. Since you mention that there are lights, and who knows what all else, connected downstream from the outlet that you are replacing I think that you should modify the way you are attempting to connect the GFI outlet. Rather than ...


3

OK first of all you cannot determine whether the box is properly grounded just using a multimeter. The fact that it reads "0V" does not mean it is properly grounded. The only way to determine that would be to confirm that there is a proper ground wire all the way back to the panel, or to confirm that grounded armored cable is used. In your case I would just ...


3

Means either the base wasn't flat or they cut their studs too short. You really shouldn't shim load bearing studs but we do it all the time with non load bearing. Ooops.


3

A receptacle is merely a means to connect a device to the power source. It can fail for many reasons. Short Circuit If the hot lead directly touches neutral or ground, a short circuit will occur. If the line is protected by a circuit breaker, it will disconnect the outlet and connecting wires from the power source at the main panel and no current will flow....


3

A GFCI upstream This outlet may be supplied from a GFCI/RCD outlet upstream, which has tripped or failed. Since you think this circuit doesn't have ground, this would be a good reason to have used a GFCI. People generally use GFCI receptacles, even in odd places, because they are cheaper than GFCI breakers. Stab connections A common reason for a ...


3

Consider installing a wood-burning stove with a glass door in the same fireplace, along with a suitable new liner in the chimney. You get the look of the flames combined with modern technology to keep the heat in the house and not burn it down. You might even get a grant from your local authority.


3

They are both attempts to solve the same problem, life safety. A side effect is equipment protection. I would say GFCIs are better for life safety, because there are lots of ways to get shocked even with a ground, like dropping a 2-prong hair dryer in the tub... but GFCI puts the kibbosh on most of them. Grounding is better for equipment durability, as ...


3

Look for "full pull-out drawer sliders." Imagine the biggest drawer in a Snap-on giant tool chest. The big drawers ofter use 2 tandem sliders on each side of the drawer. There are ball-bearing models. Look for "architectural full pullout drawer slide." They can take the weight, but they might not have the travel distance. You could build a mechanism in this ...


3

HazardousGlitch had a good suggestion. I don't think I was drilling into to top of a stud because I had tried several holes before posting. Opened up the wall more so I could position the drill closer to the drywall and went through easily. Above I posted the wrong photo that didn't have the deep hole. Now you can see the deep hole (left bottom) and the ...


3

North American view, since OP is there. Wires in electrical wiring are NOT color coded Your mistake there was assuming white meant neutral. The simple fact is that electrical wiring is not color coded. That's because cables are manufactured with only one set of colors - black and white for /2 cable or black, white and red for /3. No matter what ...


3

Would this be in an area that snows or could get cold. It's not a coal chute as most of those were not under the front door. My thinking is this - Warmer air from the cellar escapes and keeps the area in front of the door free from ice and snow -hence the gravel which probably extends down the outside wall. Its a simple convection heat source and very energy ...


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