Stories tagged: Ask the Builder
Sat., Nov. 17, 2018, 10 a.m.
The best way to prepare for this mayhem is to create a detailed set of plans and some written specifications. Great plans and specifications become your north star and prevent …
Sun., Nov. 11, 2018, noon
If you haven’t done the job before, you should know that hanging giant strips of wallpaper is challenging.
Sat., Nov. 3, 2018, 6 a.m.
The good news is that crappy caulk jobs can be repaired with relative ease.
Sat., Oct. 27, 2018
Based on the email that I get, I’d say the biggest mistake you might make when building or buying a pre-built shed is that it’s going to be too small.
Sat., Oct. 20, 2018, 2 p.m.
No matter which type of concrete foundation you use, make sure it’s reinforced with steel.
Sat., Oct. 13, 2018, noon
Nonetheless, any contractor who says you need deck piers for your new deck or to expand an existing one is giving you great advice. Deck piers are the foundation for …
Sat., Oct. 6, 2018, 6 a.m.
Q. Tim, I need your help. I’ve got a masonry fireplace that puffs smoke into the room when a fire is burning. It gets worse as the fire dies down. …
Sat., Sept. 22, 2018, 5 a.m.
Borate treatment protects wood from rot.
Sat., Sept. 15, 2018, 4:30 p.m.
You may recall that point in high school physics class when a frustrated student demanded, “Give me an example of when I’ll ever use this stuff in real life!” Well, …
Sat., Sept. 8, 2018
Good gutter guards aren’t worth the high price.
Sat., Sept. 1, 2018, 11 a.m.
Based on the number of emails I receive each week, I see a growing and alarming trend of people who are so busy, stressed and discombobulated that all they want …
Sat., Aug. 25, 2018, 4 p.m.
Q. Can you cut through the fog of confusion about solar attic fans? Do they really work, or are they mostly hype? What does it take to really cool an …
Sat., Aug. 18, 2018, 6 a.m.
Do whole-house fans and attic fans really work to cool an attic space?
Sat., Aug. 4, 2018
Whatever you do, don’t use a circular saw to cut drywall.
Sun., July 29, 2018, 8 a.m.
Changing the color of grout is possible, but it’s not easy.
Sat., July 21, 2018, 7 a.m.
One contractor talks about green board. Another one mentions MMR board. The third contractor hasn’t heard of either of those two. Help!
Sat., July 14, 2018
Smelly garbage disposals in kitchens are more common than you might think. A large number of homeowners reach out to me on a routine basis with the identical problem.
Sat., July 7, 2018, 5 p.m.
Fixing a wonky sink stopper often takes less time than moving the stuff out of the way to get to it.
Sat., June 30, 2018, 6 a.m.
A few decades ago, government officials enacted laws to try to conserve water. Little did they know the secondary effects of these laws would be millions of frustrated homeowners.
Sat., June 23, 2018, 5:15 a.m.
The cast iron is dense and it’s very hard to get it to vibrate to create noise. With PVC, the cascading water from a toilet flush vibrates the pipe creating …
Sat., May 26, 2018, 5 p.m.
Tim, my builder is telling me to forget about using reinforcing steel or mesh in my concrete driveway and patio. He says he’ll just add an inch of thickness and …
Sat., May 19, 2018, 5 p.m.
I’ve seen an alarming rise in wood-rot questions. Perhaps it’s happening with your wood windows, exterior house trim and wood door frames. It’s happening at my own home in New …
Sat., April 28, 2018
Tim Carter answers questions about retaining walls, grout.
Sat., April 21, 2018, 2:05 p.m.
The best way to solve leaking basements, crawlspaces and soggy soil is to install a linear French drain.
Sat., April 14, 2018, 1:57 p.m.
Oxygen bleach great for outdoor cleaning
Sun., April 8, 2018, 8 a.m.
Water on brick, cement can result in salt and mineral discoloration.
Sat., March 24, 2018, 8 a.m.
I launched my podcast last week, and it was a blast. It’s only about 30 to 40 minutes long and the first one included two calls and a story about …
Sat., March 17, 2018
This column was inspired by two expensive mistakes, one by a home builder and one by a home service installer. In both instances, an hour or two of extra time …
Sat., March 10, 2018
You should never ever hope that everything in your new home is going to be done the best possible way or to the highest level you can afford.
Sun., March 4, 2018, 11:46 a.m.
Your questions are the fuel that keep this column vibrant and hopefully interesting. If you’ve got a question, then by all means visit the website and click the Ask Tim …