We're planning a trip to Venice. I am fascinated by the fact that they built an entire city in a lagoon and am somewhat flabbergasted that I haven't been able to find a single place in the city where I can see a model or an exhibit that explains the construction. Is there really no place where I can learn more about Venetian engineering?
posted by Swiss Meringue Buttercream
on Mar 6, 2014 -
We have an old wooden deck at the back of our house that we want to remove and replace with a brick patio. It turns out that under the deck is a solid concrete set of steps. We need to get ride of them. How can we do that economically? [more inside]
posted by starkraven
on Mar 3, 2014 -
Help me navigate a tricky career dilemma! I have two similar but different offers; I'm qualified for both. In the absence of a choice I'd take either one. One is less certainty but more pay and better long-term, the other feels better but the pay and long-term advancement are poor, i.e. I'd have to change jobs to get promoted significantly. I'm 28. Snowflake details below the fold. [more inside]
posted by a halcyon day
on Feb 25, 2014 -
Industrial buildings frequently have rollup doors on the second or even third story.
The ones in question don’t have a horizontal I-beam or timber to hang a winch or block & tackle from, (like you’d see on a hayloft,) so they’re not for day-to-day loading/unloading. The ones I see in the city are generally facing a sidewalk, not a dedicated open space like a loading bay or parking lot. What are these doors for? The only guess I’ve come up with is occasional installation of equipment that’s too big for a freight elevator. But large-scale machinery usually comes in pieces and is assembled on-site, and the stuff that can’t be (e.g. large pressure vessels
, crucibles, this thing
) isn’t stuff that’s ever installed upstairs in a general-purpose light industrial building. I’m stumped.
posted by El Mariachi
on Jan 30, 2014 -
What books will show me how to fabricate stuff? The FabLab curriculum is oriented more towards digital fabrication techniques, but I'm interested more in (seemingly) simple things such as all the different types of fasteners for hanging things on walls, or how to make objects that serve a function (e.g., a lamp, or a steel-and-wood bench) look less, well, home-made. I guess what I'm asking, and have a hard time translating into a search query, is: how do I learn to make the things I want to make look more designed
and less like they were a Saturday-afternoon hobby project? (which, in all fairness, they are) [more inside]
posted by ar0n
on Dec 29, 2013 -
We are preparing to build a house. We've been doing this for many months, have talked to architects, contractors, and our city's planning and building department, and we still have lots of questions. Lend us some expertise on foundations, design, and construction? [more inside]
posted by sibilatorix
on Dec 1, 2013 -
Basically I have a very tiny tiny yard behind my place. It gets no sun and there's green carpet there now. One of my thoughts was to make a little 3x3 or so deck to put a couple of chairs on it. But rather than have someone build it, I was wondering if there's anything like a little pre-made, pre-treated deck - like shipping pallets or something only not awful - that anyone sells. It'll save me sawing off a finger or hiring a handyman or filling out permits. And I'd rather not do way too much for something so little.
posted by rileyray3000
on Nov 29, 2013 -
I'm trying to put up shelves on a wall that, I believe, is drywall over concrete. I made holes for plastic anchors, but the drywall part isn't deep enough for them to fit. Help, I'm about as handy as the two I have at the of my arms! [more inside]
posted by cacofonie
on Nov 17, 2013 -
I'm building this
a-frame swing set for our yard. The pieces are all cut, sanded and painted, the hardware is all attached, and the locations for the legs are all level. Now how do I actually put this thing up? [more inside]
posted by svenx
on Nov 2, 2013 -
I have a design for a new construction product, and I'd like to protect my interest in it while I develop and try to sell it. I know very little about searching patents, but my casual searches haven't found any prior art. What should my first steps be? I'm in Australia, but I have family and funds in the USA so I could probably file a patent in either country.
posted by Joe in Australia
on Oct 29, 2013 -
If you were to fill a 4' x 3' x 2' box with awesome and fun and mostly not messy
things for a five year old to invent with, what would you fill it with? [more inside]
posted by Nanukthedog
on Oct 24, 2013 -
The Mrs. and I are planning to build a house next year on some land that we bought recently. What should we know about house building before undertaking this massive endeavor? [more inside]
posted by LouMac
on Oct 16, 2013 -
We need to replace the over-the-range microwave that came with our house. Do the vents actually work well? [more inside]
posted by klausman
on Oct 5, 2013 -
I'm currently in the application process for the plumbers/pipefitters and electricians unions in my area. I'm trying to decide which one I'd prefer, if I get a choice. I like that both are licensed trades where I could work on big industrial/commercial projects but also have good residential skills. Also, I'm interested in alternative/appropriate/transition technology -- and I'm wondering which trade would give me more versatile skills for that sort of application. Any advice on which trade might give me more skills to make appropriate tech? [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Sep 22, 2013 -
Can you recommend durable, somewhat fitted, not outrageously expensive work pants that will fit a small woman (5'0", 100 lbs, athletic build)? And by work I don't mean office-appropriate: I'm a carpenter and I spend my days at a grimy construction site. [more inside]
posted by halogen
on Sep 20, 2013 -
I need to tag/organize a large number of photos taken on a daily basis by a group of construction inspectors. Preferably something Windows-based and that would prompt the tagging/naming immediately after the photos are taken. [more inside]
posted by Ham Snadwich
on Aug 28, 2013 -
I'm going to be a regular for a friend's live show once a month.
My "schtick" is to be a Lucy-esque sidekick to her as a host.
The stage is small and I will be transporting it in a car.
Any suggestions on how to build something low maintenance and portable?
It doesn't have to be fancy or complex, I just have no idea where to start in terms of materials and potential construction ideas.
posted by patientpatient
on Aug 15, 2013 -
There is a hotel being built in downtown LA, across the street from the JW Mariott. At the corner of Fransico Str. and W Olympic Blvd. What is the name of the hotel? [more inside]
posted by zabuni
on Jul 30, 2013 -
is a "fully compliant insulated cladding system". Basically, it's sheets of a foam-like plastic material that gets covered with mesh and stucco / render to serve as the external skin of buildings. I'd like to know how this or similar cladding systems compare to traditional building materials, particularly single-brick (brick veneer) and concrete. How does the longevity compare? Energy efficiency? How easy is it to restore the surface, and how often would it be necessary? I'd be happy for any information people can provide.
posted by Joe in Australia
on Jul 22, 2013 -
I'm looking for recommendations about how to insulate the floor of a sauna on a second-floor porch. [more inside]
posted by Seeba
on Jul 14, 2013 -
I have some pretty basic questions that I'd rather ask someone other than the man with the power to charge me out the wazoo if he senses I am clueless. They pertain to wiring the house for cable and phone and internet, and they are as follows: [more inside]
posted by malhouse
on Jun 23, 2013 -
We have a construction company in the middle of a year-long process of building two new houses next to ours. For the last couple months they have been dropping garbage (nails, insulation, chunks of 2x4) on our house's walkways and roof — some of it dangerous (boards with nails through them, for instance, along the walkway on the side of the house). I'd like to try to get this to stop. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon
on May 23, 2013 -
We're driving from Minneapolis to Richmond this weekend, and want to change up our usual route. Will you locals in the major cities along our route provide wisdom/advice on the traffic and construction situation? [more inside]
posted by Zosia Blue
on May 14, 2013 -
What are the updated building codes and construction requirements for rebuilding homes and businesses in the NYC Boroughs post Sandy? And in addition to raising the foundation the required amount depending on elevation of the property, and the flood risk zone, what engineering and construction methods/standards could be examined to meet, or exceed, the tougher thresholds?
posted by ebesan
on Apr 27, 2013 -
Manic Pixie Dream Architecture: please point me towards any websites/books/magazines/blogs/etc. which show weird/cool/unique/interactive design features (e.g. secret/hidden doors) in non-mansion homes. [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew
on Mar 7, 2013 -
I've noticed that the bog-standard off the rack/department store menswear items (button-up shirts, slacks, etc) from UK brands bought in the UK tends to fit me wildly better then their counterparts in the US. I have to alter them a lot less and they just hang off my body better. I'm wondering if there's a technical/fashion-nerd reason for this and if so, what should I be looking for in the US department store brands to get this same effect? [more inside]
posted by The Whelk
on Mar 3, 2013 -
Should I install "bamboo hardwood," hardwood, or laminate floors? This is for a rental unit in a not-that-upscale neighborhood in Oakland, California. I'm most concerned about long-term maintenance costs and potential resale value. [more inside]
posted by slidell
on Feb 8, 2013 -
I wonder if there's a game or a program that simulates building construction. I am interested in something like STARCRAFT or LEMMINGS for building-construction simulation. [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker
on Feb 7, 2013 -
Looking for a good overview for a proposed audio/visual, security and computer layout in an urban residence. e.g. list of equipment, layout, controls, outlets, wiring, speakers.
This is new, not retro-fit, the walls are open, all the wiring and controls can be neatly coordinated.
Help me see this in plan; as a well-tuned clock; not a mish-mash.
posted by ebesan
on Feb 5, 2013 -
For an art project I'm looking to build a transluscent human-sized fishtank-like container. How can I accomplish this without spending thousands of dollars? [more inside]
posted by divabat
on Jan 17, 2013 -
Our house still has its original roof from when it was built in the mid-1950s. It's finally getting replaced tomorrow -- after months of leaks in nearly every room -- but I'm worried about our two indoor cats dealing with it. I know the noise will terrify them and they will hide, but are there other things I should worry about? [more inside]
posted by perryfugue
on Jan 15, 2013 -
I have a 42 inch wide, 32 inch deep, and 28 inch tall void between my desk and the wall of my office. (see: here
) My company is relatively lenient on personalizing our offices - in that image, you can see the SMB wall decals - but I'm struggling with coming up with a good use for the space. I'm pretty handy from a carpentry standpoint and I have access to power tools / a space to do some carpentry work in, so pretty much anything goes for this one. What the heck do I do with my Corner of Shame™ to turn it into a Corner of Pride™? [more inside]
posted by Mali
on Jan 14, 2013 -
Looking for a recommendation for a construction dispute lawyer and/or mediator for a property owner in Washington D.C.
posted by tinamonster
on Dec 8, 2012 -
I'd like to know of some other books similar to Francis D. K. Ching's "BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ILLUSTRATED" [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker
on Nov 14, 2012 -
When a builder builds a new home way too tall and City Hall lets them get away with it, what happens next? [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker
on Nov 4, 2012 -
We have an old, unlived in house that is disintegrating. We need help fixing it up, emptying the junk out of it and selling it. We are overwhelmed and find it hard to face this problem. Advice needed. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on Oct 2, 2012 -
I have a small paddock in my horse pasture that is used for both tack and hay storage and grooming. It is very crude: tin roof and wood planks with large gaps in between them. Last winter, I used tarp to cover the walls in the tack/hay storage room, but the wind blew them in and over time it was not effective. Without re-building the paddock and spending a lot of money, what is the best way to cover those gaps in between the wood planks? The gaps are probably around 2". Thank you!
posted by nurgle
on Aug 29, 2012 -
Recommendation for garage builder in Chicago area, and any tips or thoughts on getting an old garage demolished and a new garage built? [more inside]
posted by j810c
on Aug 22, 2012 -
I have designed a house (in Google Sketch Up) that I intend to build. I have not insignificant relevant experience, but I'm neither an engineer nor an architect. Can I just give my design to any old architect and have them turn it into a coherent blueprint for a house that won't collapse? How much should I expect a thing like that to cost? [more inside]
posted by cmoj
on Aug 18, 2012 -
Tell me everything I need to know to build a standalone geodesic dome building, please. [more inside]
posted by ejfox
on Aug 12, 2012 -
I recently installed new doors in my house, I have three entry doors that I need to finish with weather stripping and a door sweep.
The doors are Douglas fir, single light doors. None of them get any direct rain, just mostly it is a air and bug protection is what I am looking for.
I think everything at Home Depot and the local "Door store" are pretty ugly, I looked online, but immediately overwhelmed by the choices and nothing stood out as being all that different from what I was seeing at the Depot.
Thanks for any suggestions.
posted by silsurf
on Aug 2, 2012 -
I need an weather proof outdoor webcam. I have intermittent power and wifi. What are my options? [more inside]
posted by chillmost
on Jul 22, 2012 -
We are doing a construction/cleanout job on a townhome and found a bag of potting soil on the back patio. When we went to move it, it turned out to be full of bees! I can actually see honeycomb inside the bag. How can I relocate the bees without hurting them? [more inside]
posted by Melsky
on Jul 19, 2012 -
Is the water heater an electrical fixture that should be part of the "electrical finishing fixtures" allowance when building a new house under a standard contract with a general contractor? [more inside]
posted by peter_meta_kbd
on Jul 11, 2012 -
Calling all home improvement gurus and energy efficiency wizards--help me figure out how to better insulate my attic! I've read through a bunch of information on energystar.gov and other websites about insulating attics, but the more I read the more confused I get about how to do this, because I have the world's weirdest attic. HELP. [more inside]
posted by iminurmefi
on Jul 3, 2012 -
I'm about 95% done with my first NYT-style themed crossword puzzle, currently laid out by hand on graph paper, and I want to start looking at making a digital version of it. What are some good tools or workflow for creating well laid out crossword grids on the computer? [more inside]
posted by OverlappingElvis
on Jul 3, 2012 -