I'm considering putting brick down in my driveway apron. It currently is covered by concrete. I live in Southern California. Is there any reason I shouldn't (professionally) install bricks over the concrete? Bonus question: what about installing thin bricks (1.5" thick)? We will be driving over the surface. [more inside]
Our general contractor made an error that substantially increased the cost of construction. They are now asking us to cover it. How do we respond to this while maintaining a good working relationship for the rest of the project? Input from folks in the construction business would be especially appreciated! [more inside]
I've got three beautiful unframed old doors I want to install. They were taken out of an old house and the frames did not come with. I know how to install a door that is in a frame but how the hell do you put a door IN a frame? [more inside]
We recently had our upstairs bathroom completely redone and apparently there was some work needed to bring the plumbing up to code. The contractor said that he didn't account for that in the estimate and we'd need to pay the plumber directly. (Yes, the plot thickens!) [more inside]
(see attached image) The previous owner of our house finished the attic and included an, uh, "open bathroom." My kids are moving into that room, and want some privacy. A wall is out, because it would block light from the only window (which is why, I suspect, the previous owner chose the design.) I piled up six 12" glass blocks to see how that worked... [more inside]
So we're building a new house. What can we do to creep out the next people that own it? It makes perfect sense really, I saw a gif on reddit where some folks replacing carpet took the liberty of painting "get out!" in red paint on the floor below the carpet for the entertainment of the next people to replace the carpet. I would like to do similar things. [more inside]
My 3-year old son is obsessed with construction sites and trucks, to the extent that he will just randomly close his eyes and scream with glee at the things he sees in his imagination. How can I get him some live action safely and without being too weird? [more inside]
How important is a Certificate of Occupancy for an addition? Especially when it's all about one nonsensical thing? [more inside]
There is a recurring mold issue in my parents' garage. Mold keeps growing back in one corner of the garage. I don't know where to begin with hiring someone to deal with this, so I'm hoping someone can help me figure out what I need to know to make sure this gets done right. What kind of professional should I hire? Is there anything I should keep in mind as I try to find the right person for the job? [more inside]
I've got a fiberglass extension ladder with a missing bottom rail bracket and foot. All the markings on the ladder have worn off. I'd like to be able to find replacement brackets/feet, but my searching so far has yielded nothing. I have pictures of the remaining part. Can you help? [more inside]
A high rise condo has been erected near my work, seemingly overnight. Meanwhile, a local shopping mall has been undergoing renovations for seemingly ages. What could account for this? [more inside]
I want to build a woodshed, AND I don't want to go to that much effort, only to have the floor collapse. I am not an engineer. [more inside]
I work for a general contracting company and I'd like to learn more about scheduling construction projects. Can you recommend any resources? Books, online resources, webinars, classes, anything. [more inside]
I own a small one-bedroom condo in a medium-sized building with no insulation. I can hear all of my neighbors (upstairs and next door) all the time. I don't want to tear down all of the drywall in my unit, and I've heard that open cell spray foam insulation can be used in finished drywall to help reduce noise. Does it? [more inside]
A few weeks ago a salesman came through my neighborhood offering to do work that would be paid by my homeowners insurance. After he came through I saw a few of my neighbors with signs in their yard advertising work being done by this company. I begged off when he came to my door. My question is, when a company is offering to do work that supposedly will be paid by the homeowners insurance is this a legitimate claim or is this guy doing something shady? I am a new homeowner so this is new to me.
Original 1950’s construction 6 room (3 bedroom) cape cod style house north of Boston MA with varying levels of (inadequate) insulation. How do insulate this house? [more inside]
The top 1/3rd or so of 1 WTC is illuminated, at night, by intensely bright white lights which look almost exactly like construction lights hung in unfinished buildings. Other skyscrapers are lit by warmer yellowish office lights. What's the deal? Are those floors empty or is that just the new trend in skyscraper lighting?
I have a number of things that need to be done around the house, that I am hiring a handyman for next week. Since I am not that handy myself, I need some help on the items to buy before he gets here so that he has what he needs in order to complete the project. [more inside]
We own a lot in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. Its value has tripled since we bought it; at this point we could sell it for $100k if we wanted to. We don't want to sell it. We want to build a 500 square foot house on it. We already paid for the permits, saved up the money, and now it's looking like we might fall $10k-$20k short on the total cost to build. Neither of us is employed. Given our extended explanation, how do we make this happen? [more inside]
Please tell me all you can about replacing my home's windows. [more inside]
So, we're redoing our kitchen- a 12x12 space in a 1950s colonial. We did it pretty much down-to the studs. Everything's new except for the original wood frame of the house. Assume I don't know much of anything about construction. Could I embed this piece into a wall shared by an adjoining room? The piece is 2'x5' and weighs approximately 200 lbs. [more inside]
We're finally building a house! As owner-builders, we need to communicate with contractors about the scope of the work for which we are requesting estimates. We know generally what we want, but need the language for communicating with folks in the trade. [more inside]
The building in which we want to rent an apartment is undergoing some serious construction. Point work, roof, and total renovation of lobby. How bad can we expect our first few months there to be?Or more accurately, how much will my sons naps suffer? [more inside]
What does B.M. 507.885 with a little metal cap next to it embossed SPAKE MAG mean? I saw this very carefully (and kind of beautifully) added to some concrete edging near the Southwestern Bell Telephone Building in my neighborhood and I'm wondering what it might mean. Construction symbols? Telecom stuff? A secret code or artwork of some sort?
We are about to have our master bathroom remodeled. I have picked tile and counters and fixtures and everything has gone great, but I am stuck on cabinets. [more inside]
The cable in my building is out. At least one of my neighbors is affected by this, and my cable is also out; however, I don't use mine so I don't care. The cable people want to come cut a hole in my wall. This will be very loud, require multiple visits, and take at least 45 minutes. I am seriously ill and for various reasons this will be catastrophically disruptive for me. I said no. Do they have the legal right to force this on me? I wonder, also, if the landlord has to give permission - they want to cut a totally gratuitous hole in a place that can be clearly seen.
My wife and I just bought our first house and it needs some renovations on a small budget. We’re not going to be able to afford a full-service architectural firm (handling permits/contractors/project-management/etc), but we think consulting an architect will be money very well spent. We’d like someone to do a walkthrough with us, discuss and improve the changes we’re considering, and then put together detailed/accurate drawings for the remodel. [more inside]
I know YANML, but might someone know if there's a statute in Wisconsin law that defines the time period by which someone might declare abandonment by their contractor? [more inside]
Tell me about your transition from white collar to blue collar work. Bonus points if you're a woman or in a trade union. [more inside]
Where can I find the simplest possible instructions for building a Little Free Library, from wood, from scratch? [more inside]
I'm fixing up a condo that I'm going to rent from my parents in 2 weeks. The kitchen floor is sheet vinyl on a concrete slab. I think my father said it's a floating floor. It's really worn out with large gouges and it's peeling up on the edges in some places. My father and I are planning to tear out the sheet vinyl and replace the floor with nice new vinyl planks. [more inside]
We're spending several million dollars to renovate our community health centre. We've received several bid proposals for the prime consultant function who will do the design/architecting and then oversee the mechanical, electrical, signage, building code etc. I'm helping assess the proposals. What should I look for? What are danger signs? What questions should I ask of the bidders when they come in to present? [more inside]
I am looking for 1 week to month long classes that do hands-on teaching of basic carpentry, plumbing, and wiring skills for people who want to rehab houses. I am considering buying a fixer-upper and need to know what tools I need, how to use them safely, how to conform to the local building code, and when I will need to hire outside help. [more inside]
I'm currently living in a building where sound travels immensely. [more inside]
There is a well-built shed on my property that is heavily termite damaged that I want to tear down. The inside is lined with cedar paneling and I'd like to salvage as much as I can from the entire structure as I want to build a new shed there but I don't want to doom my new building to an early death. What should I do?
Small Claim - GC takes $, no contract happens, GC keeps $... Legal assistance please. [more inside]
I have this pipe dream of settling down somewhere extremely rural and building a self-sufficient, environmentally friendly home. I've got a lot of ideas floating around in my head, but I'm always looking for new ones. How would you go about setting up such a dwelling? (Or how did you do it, if you've done it yourself?) I'm ideally looking for ground-up plans, but all ideas are welcome. [more inside]
So I'm not much of a DIY person, but I might want to build a pergola along one side of my back yard. Normally I'm a trial-and-error kind of person, but since this would involve concrete-set posts, parts of this have to be right the first time. I still have some questions after googling around. [more inside]
I’ve heard there are P6/P7 classes that hook students up with work afterwards. I guess the instructors/teaching organization have connections...? Do such classes really exist? Also, I’d like recommendations on how to become acquainted with more schedulers. [more inside]
The construction site next to my house has been picketed by the carpenters' union. As a direct result of the construction I may need to get some work done on my house, and would like to know more about how this could go. This is in Philadelphia. [more inside]
I was looking at a house. The disclosure said there was a crack in the foundation (link to pic of the disclosure inside). Realtor 1 said it was $5k to repair. Realtor 2 said it was $100k to repair. The house was sold already - but I'm trying to figure out who to trust. How would I go about this? [more inside]
I'm looking at buying a house that is too small, but has an upstairs attic room that I thought could be renovated--adding a long shed dormer along the back and extending the wall to a 3' knee. Whether or not I can make the changes at a reasonable cost will determine whether I want to buy the house. I talked to a contractor and he said costs depend on the county. [more inside]
Should our second-story siding be wood, aluminum, or a combination of the two? [more inside]
An acquaintance who works in construction would like to start working on bigger jobs, which means he needs to do the 10 hour OSHA construction training course so he can get certified. I couldn't find a good way to check if any of the online courses (that are half the price of meatspace classes!) popping up on Google are actually legitimately credentialed places or scams, so please hope us figure it out! [more inside]
I bought a unit in a high-rise condo in Metro Vancouver that will be finished two years from now. How can I get answers to some admittedly obscure questions? The marketing materials are shallow (I can only read the word 'luxury' so many times), and the broker who signed my paperwork at the showroom has been unhelpful. I'm a first-time buyer. [more inside]
So what I'm looking for is any national statistics (or as close as I can get) on the area of building unpermitted additions on housing. As in guy buys a home. Guy moves in and discover that third bedroom he built is unpermitted. Or that connected treehouse. Or the homemade bomb shelter. thoughts on where I could find such things?
How do we argue/negotiate with our contractor on construction overruns without being jerks? Beans and snowflakery inside. [more inside]
Has anyone built a guesthouse/in-law suite/studio on their property? [more inside]
Architects, craftspeople, interior designers, anyone else...help me with ideas for closing off my open bedroom in a heavily eaved, converted attic! Cross-section of the entryway space here. More after the fold. [more inside]