11

Working on a house that you're already living in is a lot more stressful, because you're living in a construction zone. Here are a few tips: Select a part of the house to be construction-free. Your family can be comfortable in that space while other parts are in chaos. Clean up at the end of each day. This will make the construction space less stressful. ...


10

Contractor here. My opinion only. Contractors turn down jobs for a million reasons. Maybe they don't agree that your job is 'stable and high paying'. (Parenthetically, you can't know anything about their cost of doing business, so 'high paying' is an exceptionally variable metric.) Maybe they're busy. Maybe you ring alarm bells. Speaking of alarm bells, ...


8

I'm not sure if this question really falls into the DIY category, but it is interesting and I'm sure shared by many inspiring DIYers. You have already committed to the project so some of this advice is not timely. I think the most important factor in DIY work is understanding the scope of the project, and the skills needed to complete them. Working on old ...


8

Unless you have scrap laying around, you'll be buying a 4x8 sheet of drywall anyway (unless you can find damaged panels or the hardware store sells half sheets). So anything less than 4x8 will be about the same amount of work to patch, so cut out as much as you need. Just remember to try and end in the middle of a stud. If it's 8ft. from floor to ceiling,...


7

Safety first Make sure you wear proper safety gear. Safety goggles, appropriate gloves, hearing protection (if applicable), and a hardhat, might all be useful safety equipment. Watch out for that... Make sure you know what is inside the wall/floor, cutting through a wire or pipe can ruin your day really fast. "Did it come out yet?" It might be a good ...


6

Heading into a major renovation without a detailed plan, materials schedule and a clear budget can turn what should be a gratifying experience into a nightmare. Preplanning is the key to success. Take your time, if you don't have the ability to create detailed drawings of the new layout, then it may be wise to have an architect create some plans for you. ...


6

99.9% of the time, an entry door from a garage into the house swings in towards the house like any other entry door. Not only does it secure the hinge pins indoors, but allows installation of a screen or storm door on the garage side. Often a door opening into a garage would interfere with a car entering or a car door opening if left open. Funny fact: ...


6

Check local codes -- you may not get a choice in the matter. Check the door to see if the fire rating requires it to be mounted one way or the other. Otherwise, look at convenience. Will the door open completely with the car in the garage or your workbench in place? From a security standpoint, having it swing into the basement would be more secure as the ...


5

So based on advice from ratchetfreak in comments I took his advice and went with the 'corridor' effect on the 37" wall (pic below). As the room has two doors it gave me an interesting perspective on what the 'walking into the room' vibe was. For door #1 (the bottom door in pic) I felt like the closet made the room feel smaller on entrance. For door #2 (left ...


5

I don't think this indicates a problem. Circuit breakers have at least 2 different triggers for cutting the power: Thermal mechanism for small over-current protection, e.g. trying to draw 20 amps from a 15 amp circuit. This may take several seconds or even more than a minute, depending on how much over the rated capacity you are. Magnetic mechanism for ...


5

Just put a piece of drywall in and give it a first coat of mud and tape. Seriously this is 10 minutes and no mess. Big box sells little kits for $10 or less for stuff like this. Then when you get around to selling no one will really mind a little patchwork to do in closet.


5

If your basement is even somewhat functional then I would try to wire to the attic. I think a good rule of thumb would be would you let your out of work cousin stay in your basement a few days? If it is even that nice I would go for the attic, given that you can reasonably get to almost all areas of your attic. Remember for bedrooms with outer walls that ...


5

The tip I got from an electrician was to just buy the big boxes; the cost difference is minor, it's easier to work in bigger boxes, and then you don't have to work about it.


5

It was probably temporary bracing used during construction. It can be safely removed once the roof structure is complete and the walls have structural sheathing properly installed.


4

I would guess that your issue is that you didn't prime first. From Wikipedia: A primer or undercoat is a preparatory coating put on materials before painting. Priming ensures better adhesion of paint to the surface, increases paint durability, and provides additional protection for the material being painted You buy primer from the same store you would ...


4

Rewiring a house is an advanced activity; you have to understand what is code and what is reasonable, and then understand how to get wire to the places where you need to get wire. This will probably involve damage to some finished surfaces. I would not go the baseboard route, as it doesn't look very good and you would need to protect the wire against nails. ...


4

The hydraulic jack is an excellent way to be sure you have enough leverage, but more importantly, a high degree of control. Jackscrews are not as good at lifting by rotating the leadscrew due to high friction, which is overcome with a cheater bar so there is not as much feel developed. The jackscrew is excellent for holding a load securely, whereas a ...


4

Vinyl siding has seams between the pieces. You can push/pull at one of these to make enough room to get a small pen light inside for a peak. You can also inspect around any protrusions like water faucets or vents. Lastly, you can get a special vinyl pulling tool that is a thin blade with a small hook at the end. It's designed to be forced between two pieces ...


4

The easiest route to getting a straight, vertical wall is to identify the furthest out studs and then shim out those studs that are not as far out. Similarly, find the area on each stud that is furthest into the room and then shim the recessed areas of the stud to match. Shimming can be done using cedar shims, sold by the bundle in big box stores and lumber ...


4

The 2x4 ledger is sufficient to support your 2x8 joists, but it needs 4 or 5 16d common nails per stud at 16" on center to be able to carry the load if it is only carrying the floor load and no roof load. Typically the framers would have also nailed the side of the floor joist to the side of the wall stud so the the ledger isn't carrying all of the load, but ...


4

I'd paint the ceiling, unless it's like new it will look out of place with fresh walls and floors. Installing some down lights I'd do this first because of gravity - dirt falls down - you don't want that on brand new carpets, even the walls might get dirty so do it before the paint. No big deal painting around recessed lighting. Painting ...


3

Yes you can set drywall directly to the block wall. If it intersects with an exterior wall that is exposed to the weather, I would place a layer of poly of out of the intersecting corner, if accessible, out no more than 2', 18" would probably be better, vertically to prevent any moisture coming through the block and getting into the sheetrock. Use drywall ...


3

I would not let a designer make these kind of decisions. A good architect, a builder, or a good general contractor would be your best bet. You could always bring in a city inspector and ask them for a few thoughts too. If money is no object than almost anything goes with a basement. You can basically put a wall anywhere as long as you aren't moving ...


3

It ain't called "divorce dust" for nothing. Living with a home improvement project in the works is indeed very stressful as you can't feel "settled" in your own home, and such projects are often kindling for fights about money (the number two cause of divorce) Confine the projects to one room or area of the house at a time. Living in a completely torn-up ...


3

There are a few considerations to cost, I don't consider reliability to be a major factor in either style of roof. Dormer and shed style roofs have been used for many hundreds of years successfully. The main choice for either of these is aesthetics, and simplicity of assembly. First, if you have to deal with a large snow load it is cheaper and easier to go ...


3

One thing to consider is whether there are any steps involved. A door cannot open over steps. If you absolutely need to have it open into a stairwell, then you need to build a proper landing, big enough for a person, and the door to open. Next, prefer to have the door open inward, so that the hinges are inside. However, the main point of security should ...


3

You should be able to remove the carpet and padding without disturbing the tile. Then you can install a floating laminate wood floor without any concern. A hardwood floor that requires nailing would be a bigger concern.


3

Freestanding steel studs are fine (assuming they are anchored to a sill and top plate). Steel studs anchored to the furring strips are fine. Why wouldn't steel studs anchored to the furring strips, plaster and lath be fine? The only limitation would be if the lath and plaster had significant bowing or hollowing in spots that the new studs came in contact ...


3

I can attest to the other answer(s) here as to the utility of the 20 ton hydraulic bottle jacks for this purpose. I purchased two of them for a very similar project where I was taking out an existing metal support post and sistering an existing beam with three glue lams to gain a clear span support. The bottle jacks worked extremely well.


3

Every 14 ga. wire entering (or exiting) the box needs 2 cubic inches. Every 12 ga. needs 2.25 cubic inches. All grounds together count as 1 wire, as do internal clamps. Every device (such as a switch or a receptacle on a single strap) counts as double the wire size it connects to. Rough add-up (" standing for cubic inches): One 14/2 cable in (2x2"), two ...


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