Jeremy McGee
  • Member for 11 years, 4 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
6 answers
7 votes
5k views
Should I replace fallen gutters?
10 votes

Definitely replace the gutter. Not only are you risking damage to the foundation, but if there's any wind when it rains your walls and windows will receive much more water than they should. This can ...

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8 answers
10 votes
46k views
Are SharkBite plumbing connectors as reliable as soldered connectors?
9 votes

So far they seem to be just as reliable, although given that they've only been on the market for a few years they don't have the same history as soldered connections. Here in the UK almost all new-...

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6 answers
7 votes
28k views
What material should I use for a custom, do-it-yourself desk for my home office?
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9 votes

Perhaps kitchen worktop is the way to go - plenty of choices in finish, thickness and size. Durable and hardwearing, too.

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8 answers
42 votes
125k views
How do I run wires for a wall-mount flatscreen TV?
9 votes

The really really easy way to do this is to use trunking: this is plastic square conduit, with a lid on the fourth side. Some makes are even self-adhesive: take off the lid, place the trunking on the ...

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5 answers
8 votes
120k views
Can I use a 50 Hz device in a 60 Hz power frequency?
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8 votes

The 60 Hz represents the frequency at which the voltage in the wire oscillates. Heating elements don't care about this, and neither do most electronic components as they turn this alternating current (...

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5 answers
11 votes
9k views
How can I paint over a ceiling after there's been a leak?
8 votes

Leave it to dry thoroughly. This might take several weeks, I'm afraid. Once dry, try an exterior-grade primer before two or three more coats of paint.

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3 answers
6 votes
15k views
How should we sand and treat our Victorian floorboards?
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6 votes

First, a quick note on technique - start with a coarse grade sandpaper on the floor sander and work down to the the finer grade. The coarse grade removes the old finish and levels out the ...

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17 answers
19 votes
101k views
Is it worth it to insulate hot water PEX tubing?
6 votes

Yes, I'd insulate: not least because the water in the pipe will stay warmer longer. Although PEX is a better insulator than copper, having hotter water come through the pipe faster is a good thing.

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2 answers
8 votes
29k views
Where should I start tiling my bathroom wall?
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6 votes

Two things: Most corners or window frames aren't square, so don't use them as the guide. You will have odd-cut tiles at the edges and around the window. What you really want to avoid is having the ...

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2 answers
5 votes
22k views
What are the differences in the wiring standards between the USA and the UK?
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5 votes

Many, many things. First up, voltage. For historical reasons just about every domestic installation in the UK uses the same European standard voltage of 230V for every socket. In turn, almost all ...

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77 answers
55 votes
47k views
What are the tools that every Do-it-Yourselfer must own?
5 votes

A portable workbench: I use my Workmate all the time: alt text http://www.blackanddecker.com/ProductImages/PC_Graphics/PHOTOS/BDK/POWER_TOOLS/TOOLS/SMALL/4/WM425%25_5.gif

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3 answers
7 votes
265 views
How do you remove a lot of wall tiles?
5 votes

I tried the screwdriver and chisel technique with some tiles in a flat in Brighton... and quickly gave up once I found there were three layers of tiles there! So I invested in a cheapish power chisel -...

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4 answers
6 votes
4k views
How can I get rid of the weeds and moss growing between the paver stones in my driveway?
Accepted answer
4 votes

I'd seal it with a little cement mixed with sand, about a 1:4 ratio. Choose a dry day, brush in thoroughly, then sprinkle with a very very fine shower of water.

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6 answers
21 votes
2k views
What "code" applies to projects that I do in my own home?
4 votes

In the UK, "code" is the Buildings Regulations, available from here. In practice there's different levels of assessment required roughly corresponding to risk. For instance, work on gas ...

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2 answers
3 votes
12k views
Is it safe to use “PushFit” fitting on gas pipes?
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4 votes

In the UK, it's not legal (quite correctly, in my view) for householders to work on gas pipework or fittings at all. If a buildings inspector or surveyor spots pushfit fittings on gas you can expect ...

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4 answers
8 votes
6k views
How do I repair hairline cracks in stucco?
Accepted answer
4 votes

If it were my house I'd get painting! Paint is intended to seal hairline cracks of this kind. Depending on your locality you may find that it's feasible to spray a paint finish over stucco, which can ...

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7 answers
20 votes
17k views
How do I remove wallpaper from drywall?
4 votes

A steamer is by far the best option: I've had great success even with multiple layers of woodchip. (Ugh!) It can definitely help to rough the surface of the paper before steaming, especially if it's ...

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3 answers
5 votes
16k views
How should I prepare damaged plaster for painting?
3 votes

Get a plasterer in - you will be astonished at how little it costs and how quickly they'll do the job. A good plasterer (in Gloucestershire, UK; urban prices will be more) shouldn't cost more than c. £...

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8 answers
4 votes
71k views
What is the best way to demolish a little brick wall?
3 votes

See if you can get hold of a big heavy hammer. You will most likely need a masonry chisel too, not least as if the mortar is hard it will be quite tricky to remove from underneath the bottom course of ...

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2 answers
3 votes
3k views
How can I reconnect a compression joint without replacing the olive?
3 votes

It's important to make sure that the olive fits exactly square on to the fitting and is completely clean. Any trace of dirt and you're likely to prevent a proper seal. I'd not advise using PTFE ...

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3 answers
6 votes
14k views
What are the advantages and disadvantage of using "pushfit" pipe fittings?
Accepted answer
3 votes

I've been a bit cynical of these but tried push-fit on my last project -- works a treat. Pros: it's really really fast and easy, you're more likely to get it right first time, and you can use PEX ...

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5 answers
7 votes
34k views
What is the easiest method to fish cable through the ceiling?
3 votes

Depending on your house, it may be easier to lift the floor in the room above. There's almost bound to be a run of cable or pipe that goes across the ceiling that already has holes or notches in the ...

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6 answers
6 votes
24k views
How can I add/alter wiring inside single-brick walls?
3 votes

Was your builder far-sighted enough to run the utilities in conduit? If so then you may be able to run CAT5 through the conduit if there's enough room remaining. It may also be possible to run the ...

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3 answers
7 votes
2k views
What can be done to fix a squeak in stairs?
3 votes

The squeak is typically caused by a joint between two pieces of wood having worked loose over the years. Personally I'd leave it alone; if you don't want squeaks, move to a new house! But ...

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4 answers
3 votes
3k views
How do I make a lamp cord stick to drywall?
3 votes

There are many sizes of conduit (also known as trunking) available that should do the job. Some are even self-adhesive. Alternatively it is possible to replace the nails on cable clips with screws ...

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2 answers
3 votes
437 views
What are the steps for landscaping a lawn?
2 votes

I've been in a similar situation, from the sound of it. There are tradeoffs associated with getting people in versus doing it yourself, and some may not be immediately obvious. There certainly are ...

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2 answers
4 votes
300 views
Any tips on fixing a difficult wall for tiling?
2 votes

If this were my wall: I'd pay the $30 to have an engineer remove the towel rail and fit service valves to the pipework. Then you can take it off, replace it, or what-have-you whenever you want without ...

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3 answers
4 votes
1k views
How should I prepare doors and windows for painting?
2 votes

Scrape, then sand the wood well. You don't need to remove every last trace of old paint, but if you leave too much behind the new paint is liable to crack and flake quite quickly, especially if it's ...

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1 answers
2 votes
1k views
How do I stop water coming in under a level access door?
Accepted answer
2 votes

Wheelchair access needn't be completely 100% level, it just can't have steps. It's feasible to use a door sill (such as this) to stop weather getting in under a door. It's also possible to have a ...

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6 answers
3 votes
77k views
How do I remove dried paint from ceramic tiles and the bathtub?
2 votes

I personally find a Mark One Digital Manipulator does the job! Seriously: use your fingernail. Alternatively, choose an appropriately hard scraper of some kind. A razor blade should be fine on good-...

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