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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, August 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: home repair

Ask the builder: Stop water vapor now

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 …

Ask the Builder: Caulking doesn’t have to be hard

The good news is that crappy caulk jobs can be repaired with relative ease.

Ask the builder: Deck piers distribute load and prevent frost heave damage

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 …

Ask the Builder: Do your due diligence before hiring a contractor. Yeah, it’s hard

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 …

Ask the Builder: To change grout color, use stain, not paint

Changing the color of grout is possible, but it’s not easy.

Ask the Builder: Even a DIY rookie can fix a broken sink stopper

Fixing a wonky sink stopper often takes less time than moving the stuff out of the way to get to it.

Ask the Builder: Don’t let contractor skip steel reinforcement in concrete driveway or patio

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 …

Ask The Builder: Rock retaining walls pit friction against gravity

Tim Carter answers questions about retaining walls, grout.

Ask The Builder: Oxygen bleach perfect for outdoor cleaning

Oxygen bleach great for outdoor cleaning

Ask The Builder: Replacing three-way switch easy as 1, 2, 3

Water on brick, cement can result in salt and mineral discoloration.

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 website. This means you get three answers for the price of one!

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: 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: 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 …

BBB tips for winter storm damage

The Northwest is being hit with record snow amounts and low temperatures wreaking havoc on roads, roofs and pipes. The Better Business Bureau reminds those who experience damage to take …

Ask the Builder: Impact driver is more than just a fancy drill

My husband has been hinting about wanting an impact driver. He claims there are many uses for it around the house. I wonder if he’s trying to pull the wool …

Ask the Builder: Matching color of old stucco is a time-consuming job

I think the best way to describe how hard it is to match stucco is to imagine trying to repair a tear in just about any fabric. Even the best …

How to build exterior stairs that last

Most weekend warriors shudder at the thought of having to build steps because it appears to be fairly complex. In reality you just need some simple grade school math skills …

Ask the builder: Sealing brick can help stop flaking problem

Flaking brick more often than not is a cosmetic issue, but it’s serious because it affects the look of your home. The bad news is that there’s no easy way …

Doug Clark: This old house can be expensive

A damp spot in the basement becomes an expensive fix at Doug Clark’s 1909 house.

Foundation leaks difficult to find, fix

Q. I get water in my basement during rains and I think it is caused by leaking rain gutters. How do I trace the leak? A. The basement water could …

Program launching remodeling collective

Remodeling one home to save energy and money can be an imposing task. Despite long-term savings, there’s an initial cost – sometimes a big one. There’s the task of finding …

Wood window frames can require yearly work

Q. The paint on my wood-framed basement windows is peeling on the outside and the wood has some cracks. I want to repair and repaint. How do I go about …

If the glue sticks, scrape and remove it

Q: We had outdoor carpet on our concrete patio. The carpet was in terrible condition, so we pulled it off, but how do we remove the glue? A: This adhesive …

Heating system may be wrong size for house

Dear Tim: Are all heating systems the same? My heating system is running constantly and it can only maintain a temperature of 67 degrees in my home. It’s very cold …