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Saturday, January 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: tim carter


Ask the Builder: Garbage Disposal 101

Dear Tim, I averted a near Christmas Eve disaster. I was making 75 deviled eggs for 30 guests who were soon to arrive. I turned on my disposal to grind …


Ask the Builder: What do circuit breakers do?

Several weeks ago, I read your column about installing electrical wiring. I found that very interesting, but now I’m very curious about circuit breakers. What’s the primary purpose of circuit …


Ask the Builder: Don’t sweat copper – press it

Dear Tim, I love reading your column in my local paper. Several months ago, you wrote about which plumbing pipe might be better for water lines, copper and PEX. You …


Ask the Builder: Hacks for building a DIY deck

I’m going to build a deck. Don’t try to stop me. I’ve got many questions for you. First, what’s the smallest size a deck can be and still have a …


Ask the Builder: Build your brick walls with mortar for the ages

I’m about to undertake a complex project. I’ve got an older brick home that’s more than 100 years old. There are places where the mortar needs attention. The bigger issue …


Ask the Builder: How long can concrete last?

Tim, I’m about to have a new concrete driveway installed, as well as some sidewalks. I asked the bidding contractors how long I might expect the concrete to last. The …


Ask the Builder: Dealing with rust stains in granite countertops

Tim, we just moved into an existing home that’s got granite countertops. When we looked at the house, there were cleverly placed trivets in certain places. I’ve come to discover …


Ask the Builder: Breathing life into an old stone foundation

There are many ways to repair a stone foundation or add to it, but I prefer to use concrete block for the task. Concrete blocks typically have two hollow cores …


Ask the Builder: How to ensure your concrete deck piers won’t fail

I’m concerned about the concrete deck base that’s fully above ground at my new home. The other decks in our development have the concrete piers below ground. Shouldn’t the concrete …


Ask the Builder: Artificial stone is not waterproof

This will not be a usual column. I’m sitting in my man cave writing it several hours before I talk to a reader named Amanda on the phone. She lives …


Ask the Builder: You can repair cracked stucco and have fun doing it

I’ve got a mess at my home that’s driving me crazy. My 3-foot tall concrete block foundation was coated years ago with a thin coat of cement stucco. There are …


Ask the Builder: Insulated concrete forms require extra care

With interlocking insulated concrete forms, it’s important to realize the foundation footing the ICFs rest on should be perfectly flat and level, and the footing needs to be perfectly square.


Ask The Builder: Sticky house wrap is a great building innovation

How do you feel about self-adhering house wrap and what’s involved in getting it installed correctly?


Ask the Builder: How to deal with radon gas in new construction

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 …


Ask The Builder: Avoid new building blues by making detailed plans

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 …


Ask the Builder: Installing wallpaper border is simple, but avoid these pitfalls

If you haven’t done the job before, you should know that hanging giant strips of wallpaper is challenging.


Ask the builder: Curing the smelly garbage disposal

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.


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: Rotting windows a result of subpar wood, no roof overhangs

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 …


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: Building on rocky land

Ask The Builder


Ask the Builder: Building a pergola that is safe and beautiful

When planning a pergola, consider structural challenges first, then aesthetics.


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 …


What to do when ivy mars brick wall

I removed ivy from my brick home and the brick is now splotchy. The brick has a slight sanded texture and a light color – except where the ivy was …


Ask the Builder: Settling soil causes bizarre porch problem

We have a problem with the front porch of our 44-year-old home. The outside corner of the poured concrete porch is curving up, lifting the post that’s supporting the roof.


Builder columnist will answer storm repair questions in live chat Friday

Tim Carter, author of the “Ask the Builder” column that appears in the Sunday Today section, will answer readers questions in an online chat.


Old concrete laundry sink will clean up nicely

Combination of steel and concrete make for long lasting sinks


Ask the Builder: Treat shingle streaks with soap, copper

DEAR TIM: My newer roof is turning black. It’s got ugly black streaks that look like someone poured used motor oil on my roof. What is causing the problem? Are …


Ask the Builder: Research required to find honest contractor

Dear Tim: I’m not able to do some of the jobs around my house and need to hire a few contractors. I’m terrified of getting taken to the cleaners. Is …


Window into vinyl-vs.-wood debate

Dear Tim: I’m about to start a window replacement project. My husband wants vinyl windows because of the easy maintenance, but I’m not a big fan of those. There seem …