James Olson
  • Member for 5 years, 1 month
  • Last seen more than 4 years ago
  • Long Island, NY, United States
1 answers
2 votes
2k views
What is the difference between the various types of particle boards?
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5 votes

Pressed Wood is a broad category that includes Particle Board, OSB, MDF, and the trademarked Masonite [edit: Masonite is a type of "hardboard], as well as, engineered wood (think: engineered flooring),...

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2 answers
1 votes
3k views
How to deal with upside-down insulation?
4 votes

Nearly all of Virginia is considered to be in the "mixed-humid" zone. On an annual average, moisture migration is fairly evenly distributed (alternating toward the interior and toward the exterior). ...

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2 answers
4 votes
6k views
What is this white powder on the walls and around the plumbing?
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4 votes

Efflorescence! Efflorescence is a crystaline deposit of water-soluble salts on surfaces of masonry, stucco or concrete. Water brings these salts to/toward the surface and then the water evaporates ...

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1 answers
1 votes
276 views
Determine the best placement for attic ladder installation
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4 votes

The stairs should gain access to the attic in such a way that: 1) one has max. headroom, 2) the attic stairwell doesn't prevent access to any part of the attic, 3) the stairs permits a path of ...

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3 answers
2 votes
27k views
dryer burn residue?
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3 votes

1) "Is this burn residue?" It could be that the plating of the part reacted to heat or something being dried (ie. with a rubber backing) stuck to the part long enough to cause the marks. On rare ...

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1 answers
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150 views
From a safey perspective, is it necessary to seal mortar joints between clay liners in the flue of a fireplace?
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3 votes

A single fire could cause health and safety issues if enough of the exhaust gases find a path into the home or heat finds its way to built-up creosote between the chimney proper and its liner. I ...

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1 answers
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618 views
How to repair peeling corner bead?
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3 votes

Based on the overall condition of this outside corner: The peeling of the joint compound appears caused by the corner being repeatedly hit. The corner bead does not appear particularly damaged, ...

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1 answers
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725 views
Contractor scratched, gouged, and pitted my new hardwood floors
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3 votes

1) Make a complaint in writing and mail it signed return receipt (to prove it was sent and received). -Make it short, specific as to the details (when, what, how, who, where), and make references ...

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2 answers
2 votes
2k views
Running conduit between basement and 1st floor
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Yes. Your plans meet code for fire protection. The low voltage wires you mention do not require placement within conduit (but I think it's a very good idea for future use/change). Both the IRC and ...

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2 answers
1 votes
196 views
Inspection suggested to replace vents between laundry and garage
3 votes

5th ed. Code Check p.12 "Separation & Protection from Garage" min. 1/2" (5/8") gypboard on garage side of walls common to house (309.2 "06 IRC"; 302.4 "97 UBC") No duct openings into garage (309....

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1 answers
2 votes
4k views
Better method for installing in-window air conditioner?
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Take two pieces of 1/2" plywood, that have been cut to fit the width of the window and are 1-1/2"-2" taller than the A/C unit. Cut out the outline of the A/C unit from the center of the plywood pcs....

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2 answers
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114 views
Can a Solartube be installed in a garden shed?
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Yes, you could do that (by cutting the tube or having it project like a smoke stack) but why buy an expensive, long solar tube when, for a fraction of the cost, one could get a shed skylight that ...

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1 answers
1 votes
262 views
Insulating existing basement wall
2 votes

Much depends on the dryness of your basement. For most basements, worthy of being made into finished living space, 3 mil. plastic sheeting between the framing and basement wall should be sufficient ...

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1 answers
1 votes
102 views
Wiring embedded at the bottom of a wall
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2 votes

You see that 90 degree bend the wire takes in corner? That would be cause to have the wire rerouted. If the casing shows any sign of having been crimped that would be cause to have it replaced. ...

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2 answers
1 votes
170 views
Conflicting Information Between Electrician and Home Inspector?
2 votes

Because you ask, "Do I really need to do all this?", let me briefly comment on the various concerns: 1) Each U.S. State can decide whether or not it will adopt any given Code or Code revision; in ...

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2 answers
1 votes
551 views
Why would skim coat discolor?
2 votes

Moisture. Given the sequence of events resulting in the appearance of the brown spots and an obvious source of moisture, from the piping, one can rule out "grease", "tar", "solvents", "oils", and etc....

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2 answers
1 votes
5k views
What type of glue should I use to paste a vinyl sheet to a wall?
2 votes

Yes, there is. It comes in 11oz and 30 oz. cartridge tubes, as well as, 1 gal. and 4 gal. containers under the search heading "vinyl adhesive". I've used it on shower surrounds, rolled vinyl ...

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5 answers
1 votes
702 views
Is there a method to transpose specific pilot holes?
2 votes

Scribe a vertical pencil mark from the center of the holes. Hold plank to wall (if using a tape measure isn't an option) and mark , on the plank, where the lines from the wall would be on the plank.

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5 answers
8 votes
7k views
Do I need to staple cable when installing lighting fixtures?
2 votes

Yes. The nonmetallic-sheathed cable should be stapled within 12" (per NEC [334.30] of where the light fixture penetrates the drywall. However, code does allow one to have up to 18" of a lead, from ...

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2 answers
1 votes
10k views
Sudden leak from toilet after years of no problems
2 votes

Yes, wax rings can "dry out" when it breaks down causing shrinkage, hardening, and cracking. In your case, an old(er), rarely used toilet with a dried out wax ring might have broken when someone sat ...

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3 answers
1 votes
4k views
Door sweep install, why can't I make a hole in my metal door?
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2 votes

For drilling into steel, use Cobalt drill bits (usually a dark black or gold) have a blunt tip with a "nub" instead of a point.

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1 answers
2 votes
5k views
Cathedral ceiling retrofit with no ridge beam or ridge board - what are my options?
2 votes

Dan, the horizontal slats, resting on the roof joists, replaced your ridge board (not the best thing to do but it is an alternative). Worst case scenario: someone removes these when replacing roof ...

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1 answers
2 votes
181 views
Drain pipe blocking shower installation
2 votes

I would add another framed wall, adjacent to the one that's there, that's just 3'0" high (except for where the drain pipe runs to the ceiling). This would create an in-shower ledge that's 4" deep......

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1 answers
2 votes
239 views
Access Panel to gas stove shutoff valve on other side of wall in laundry room to code?
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2 votes

Yes, putting the gas service shut-off in the laundry room would be fine (though they are typically found behind the appliance). Remember, this is a service disconnect valve (for maintenance or ...

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3 answers
2 votes
44 views
Repairing textured walls
2 votes

Yes, you can request repairs but why not adjust your offer to take them into account? This way, you can be sure the repairs are done to your satisfaction and you're not quibbling over the price of a ...

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1 answers
1 votes
930 views
Hardwood floor split and bulge
2 votes

You stated this is red oak. Are you sure it isn't engineered flooring with a thin red oak veneer? It looks to have some sort of particle or pressed fiber board under the veneer. Either of the ...

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3 answers
1 votes
5k views
Is 4 ten-feet 4x4s enough for a shed foundation?
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2 votes

4x4x10 (spaced 4'0" apart) is rather questionable and I would expect it to sag in the middle where the shed "runners" (labelled #10 in diag.) rest in the middle of the 10'0" span. If the shed floor ...

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1 answers
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82 views
How should I pretreat this wall for an additional layer of cement?
1 votes

Existing wall > 3-6 mil plastic > vertical furring strips > cement/green board (drywall) > spackle/stucco/whatever Because old concrete doesn't adhere to new concrete; especially vertically, with ...

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1 answers
1 votes
845 views
Does my vanity's sink need to be offset from the bottom-exit drain pipe?
1 votes

Before installing your vanities, have a plumber rule out that you have a functional (or not) drum trap under your floor. Drum traps are no longer to Code but that's because they can clog; not because ...

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2 answers
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5k views
How long should humidifier take to humidify small apartment?
1 votes

The question about the humidifiers is secondary, but related, to the presenting problem "to combat some severe sinus issues". My wife and I, both, experience Wintertime related sinus issues (drying-...

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