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 ...


36

The difference appears to be about 1/4" to 3/8". If so, I'd fur it out with some 1/4" plywood strips or some 3/8" lath strips.


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 ...


15

You are looking at tree sap. It's harmless. It's dried out so if it's gonna cause you to lose sleep at night, just scrape it off with a chisel.


14

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 that and figured it out by looking at where an old chimney had been removed by looking at the sub-floor structures made to accommodate it. I didn't know exactly ...


13

I have heard and even participated in lengthy debates on this subject. The code is very clear, and the difficulty in maintenance and troubleshooting is of course easy to see. Many of the arguments go down the path of, "Aren't there other things permitted in the code that are just as likely or more likely to create a hazard?" But that's not the ...


12

The process is simple, but actually doing these things may take equipment and expertise that you lack. Find out WHY the floors are sagging. Is it due to improper foundation/footings? Is it due to failed or failing materials? Is the structure just inadequately design to support itself? Come up with a remediation plan to fix the issue(s) you identified. Do ...


11

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 foundation. It does something. You are going to have to open that cap and smell and possibly stick something in there so you can see whats further in. ...


10

The main problem here is always troubleshooting (and if you're burying boxes you might be doing other dumb electrical things). Your circuit stops working one day, so you start to look for the issue. After ruling everything else out (boxes you can reach and crawl spaces or attics), you're now left with a couple of troublesome and costly options Open the ...


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.


8

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 for a while. It's common to have the furnace in the middle of the house so the heat is distributed evenly. Removing the cap and smelling is probably your best ...


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

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 ...


6

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.


6

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 ...


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 ...


6

I would check with the city. The previous owner may have taken out a building permit for that work and the local building inspector may have blueprints of it.


6

That is tree sap. My Grandfather would call it Pitch. Pitch will clean very nicely with kerosene or a naptha product such as coleman fuel. It looks like it is dried out and it should not hurt anything unless you are trying to paint over it.


6

Screwing an eye bolt into the front of the tread then pulling might work, but it leaves you with the extra work of patching up screw holes on every single tread. It might also lead to splitting your treads! If the tread is nailed in place/stuck near the riser and you pull too hard on the nose, you could crack it and that will be an even more difficult repair....


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

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 ...


5

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


5

A safety-related problem with hidden junction boxes is that they can make it impossible to evaluate and correct dangerous conditions that might arise in future. If e.g. a home gets hit by a high-voltage surge, it may be necessary to inspect all of the junction boxes for signs of damage. A prerequisite for doing that, however, is finding all of the junction ...


5

Looks like brick dust. As for the other two holes, they probably went into the mortar joint between two bricks.


5

It is a "design trend" driven by several things boiling down to $$$$ In general ceiling heights in the 1800's were pretty high across the globe, 3.5 meters in Europe was not uncommon. Remember that "nice" single family homes back then were not common among the peasants, the upper class people wanted high ceilings because of several ...


5

GFCIs do not provide grounding and are not a substitute for grounding. They are allowed as a substitute for ground because they do a good job protecting people from electric shock. This is worthless for equipment protection. An ungrounded GFCI requires a sticker saying NO EQUIPMENT GROUND to put users on notice that the equipment will not be protected ...


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 ...


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