Stories tagged: Ask the Builder
Sat., Feb. 23, 2019
Q. Tim, I lost it last weekend. After I cooled down I realized I had no one to blame but myself. I spent two hours looking for a hand tool …
Sat., Feb. 16, 2019
I grew up in an older home with an attic. I love storing things up there. When I watch new homes being built, all I see are trusses with all …
Sun., Feb. 10, 2019
For a rotting shed, restoration may be in the cards.
Sat., Jan. 26, 2019
Never allow grease to go down a drain. It solidifies and will clog drain pipes. Same goes for flour and egg mixtures into your kitchen sink drains.
Sat., Jan. 19, 2019, 3 p.m.
Ask The Builder: You can drill a well almost anywhere, but beware local regulations (and pollutants)
The trouble is that in many locations well drilling is mostly chance.
Sat., Jan. 12, 2019, 10 a.m.
Is it possible to build a multi-story home with no, or few, interior bearing walls or beams? Sure is.
Sat., Jan. 5, 2019, 2 p.m.
It’s important to realize that vapor is very hard to stop. That’s why it’s best to call the products vapor retarders, not vapor barriers. I can tell you unequivocally they’re …
Sat., Dec. 29, 2018, 3 p.m.
Deck construction is serious business, and you need to make sure everything is done correctly.
Sat., Dec. 15, 2018, 6 a.m.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause health issues. The gas is generated by the decomposition of uranium, a natural element. Some types of bedrock contain more uranium …
Sat., Dec. 1, 2018, 10 a.m.
Q. My roof is leaking, and my last attempt to get it repaired was fruitless. It rained again and water still came in. Where do most roof leaks happen? Is …
Sat., Nov. 24, 2018, 6 a.m.
Yesterday I did a 30-minute phone consultation with a gentleman who lives in New Jersey. It was a grim call because he was thinking about suing his builder. I started …
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.