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Stories tagged: Ask the Builder


Ask the Builder: Getting help with flood-damaged floors and other home-improvement headaches

Each day, through the “Ask Tim” page at my website, I get questions from readers like you and folks that find me on the Internet.


Ask The Builder: Caulk gaps, broken water line and other reader troubles

This week you’ve hit the trifecta. I have three questions I received at my AsktheBuilder.com website. This means you get three answers for the price of one!


Ask The Builder: DIY plumbing presents unforeseen challenges

I’m not going to try to transform you into a plumber with this column, but I’d like to share some pointers that might come in handy if you decide you …


Ask The Builder: Advice for architects to be, and for those who hire them

The gentleman wanted to know the best books I’d recommend about building and construction for young architecture students. You might think my first reaction would be to provide a few …


Ask the builder: Who’s to blame for major construction mistakes?

My builder really goofed up my new home. A room at the corner of the house next to the front door had its roof installed too low. The mistake is …


Ask the Builder: Good ventilation is key to keeping attic free from mold

I’m so confused. I’ve spent hours online reading all sorts of stuff about attic ventilation. There’s all sorts of conflicting information out there.


Ask the Builder: Translucent window film adds to privacy in bathroom

I grew up in an older home that had unique pressed glass in the bathroom windows. It allowed lots of light in the room, and you didn’t have to put …


Ask the Builder: Concrete drive vs. pavers: Which stands up best?

My wife and are debating whether to replace the concrete driveway with another concrete driveway or a concrete paver driveway.


Ask the Builder: Pricing out a garage roof repair

A few weeks ago I took a much-needed break and traveled to Down East Maine, never imagining I’d be pricing a garage roof repair within minutes of arriving at the …


Ask the Builder: Roof ventilation system needs to be updated to suit airtight home

The house needs a new roof. I climbed into the attic and noticed foil-faced insulation is attached to the underside of the roof, and I see I have a powered …


Ask the Builder: Sliding door leak can be result of builder cutting corners

know I need to install a concrete overlay to get my patio to drain. Is that all I have to do? How would you repair my sliding door leak?


Ask The Builder: Vapor barrier and insulation in crawl space will mean warmer floors

How would you go about converting this creepy place into one that’s an asset instead of a liability?


Ask The Builder: How to use polymeric sand with pavers

I need to use polymeric sand on an upcoming job. Have you used this material before? Did you find it hard to work with? I’m terrified of having mottled stains …


Ask The Builder: Building on rocky land

Ask The Builder


Ask the Builder: Why brick mortar repairs fail – and how to do the job right

It appears I wasted some money five years ago. I had my brick building repointed with new mortar, and it has deteriorated quickly. Do you have any idea what caused …


Ask The Builder: Paving a patio is job most do-it-yourselfers can handle

I’ve decided it’s time for a patio in my rear yard. After visiting a local business that sells a vast variety of patio pavers, I’m ready to start. Do you …


Ask The Builder: Treated wood can rot, and here’s why

I’m starting to have some rot issues with my 10-year-old deck. Not only are some of the treated wood decking boards rotting, but I’m also noticing that the tops of …


Ask The Builder: Not all driveway blacktop is the same – here’s why

We need to have a new blacktop driveway installed, and I thought it was going to be a simple process of comparing quotes. It turns out it’s somewhat confusing. I …


Ask the Builder: Miscommunication to blame for concrete problems

Use photos, videos or local spots to help explain the results you want.


Ask the Builder: Acrylic shower designs have come a long way

I’ve had it with ceramic tile in my shower. It’s hard to clean and I love the sleek look of some of the modern acrylic shower units. I want to …


Ask The Builder: Tips for building your own outdoor fire pit

It just so happens fire pits are a minor hobby of mine. I’ve built several and sat around many. Here are a few key fire pit ideas to consider.


Ask the builder: Whitewashing brick fireplace is a DIY success

True whitewash is just a mixture of hydrated lime, salt and water. When done right, it produces a brilliant white finish that bonds tenaciously to any masonry or coarse wood …


Ask the Builder: Finding the ideal rise and run for porch steps

I asked a contractor to build a set of porch steps using name-brand materials. He made a mess of it and when you step off the last step you trip …


Ask the Builder: Home maintenance requires more than a standard checklist

I’ve seen those standardized spring checklists over the years, and I sort of chuckle at many of them. I realize the authors have good intentions, but I often wonder if …


Ask the Builder: Roof popping noise has a simple fix

Diagonal bracing can quiet roof noises.


Ask the Builder: Repairing mortar with caulk not the ideal fix

My 10-year-old house developed some cosmetic cracks in the mortar. I got some bids to have tuck-pointing work done and nearly gagged when I looked at the cost.


Ask the Builder: Dealing with a bungled wall tile job

having a small bathroom remodeled. My wife and I thought we did our due diligence and hired a great contractor. I came home from work to discover the ceramic wall …


Ask the Builder: Retaining wall repair won’t cost a fortune

DEAR TIM: The retaining wall at my older home is in sad shape. A contractor told me that if I don’t tear it down immediately and replace it, my house …


Ask the Builder: Concrete mortar bed makes excellent base for laminate flooring

What’s that old saying? “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Yeah, that’s it. My friend, all I can say is you’ve been blessed. I recommend that you prance around …


Building bookcases? Make a prototype first

I live in a 100-year-old wooden house in Norway and am doing all the refurbishing and maintenance myself that the laws of my country allow. I’m making floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases …