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Do they manufacture Super-Wood ?

Do they make lumber interlaced with steel wires, which is much stronger than regular lumber? [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker on Dec 13, 2012 - 16 answers

Need a lawyer recommendation in DC.

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 - 1 answer

Illustrated books about house construction

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 - 2 answers

That house is too damn high!

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 - 24 answers

What's making my tap water smell weird?

What could be the cause of this distressing chemical smell in my tap water? [more inside]
posted by GastrocNemesis on Oct 7, 2012 - 16 answers

Help us get rid of this house!

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 - 16 answers

How to Cover Gaps between wood planks?

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 - 8 answers

New garage construction reco in Chicago

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 - 3 answers

Or I can just start slappin' 2x4s together.

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 - 18 answers

Help me build a geodesic dome

Tell me everything I need to know to build a standalone geodesic dome building, please. [more inside]
posted by ejfox on Aug 12, 2012 - 19 answers

New doors, new seal

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. Henry
posted by silsurf on Aug 2, 2012 - 2 answers

Outdoor webcam for construction site?

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 - 8 answers

Hive mind, help with my bee problem

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 - 16 answers

definition of "fixtures" in construction contract

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 - 3 answers

Help me beat the heat (in my attic)!

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 - 12 answers

Best workflow for building crossword grids?

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 - 6 answers

It's ninja turtles all the way down.

Why would a short section of street have 8-10 manholes? [more inside]
posted by curious nu on Jun 22, 2012 - 10 answers

What steps do I take to figure out who to be angry at?

My wife and I just moved into our first house this month. Hooray! The people building a house next door say we have to move our fence [and tear down a shed-like thing attached to the garage]. Boo! What do I do? [more inside]
posted by Acari on Jun 19, 2012 - 27 answers

How can I find cheap but durable flooring?

Any advice on getting the cheapest possible decent quality flooring? How to shop for it? [more inside]
posted by slidell on Jun 16, 2012 - 19 answers

One Big House not Two Small Ones

The house next door to mine is on sale. If I could sell both houses I would double my money. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by shipbreaker on Jun 11, 2012 - 25 answers

Oh, shade, how I love thee

Building a pergola.. Ideas welcome, but a construction question - is there a reason why every plan I see says to set the posts, then put up the cross-beams? What is wrong with assembling two posts with cross beams already attached, then lifting that up and setting in your post-holes? [more inside]
posted by rich on Jun 6, 2012 - 6 answers

How can I strengthen my futon frame?

Soliciting suggestions from handyperson types: How can I reinforce my futon to withstand heavier loads? [more inside]
posted by blue t-shirt on May 20, 2012 - 4 answers

Plaintext New York and New York City Codes

I'm looking for plaintext or PDF searchable versions of the New York State and New York City Codes. I'm specifically looking for something within the Building Code, but I would also like to have basically every state and local law, rule, ordinance, regulation, recommendation, and suggestion in an actual searchable format. [more inside]
posted by a_girl_irl on Apr 26, 2012 - 6 answers

DIY architecture

What are good resources for seeing sample house plans and construction drawings? [more inside]
posted by slidell on Apr 17, 2012 - 11 answers

Tutorial for drawing building plans for home construction with Google SketchUp

Is there a step-by-step tutorial on how to create working construction drawings with Google SketchUp? This must be on the Internet somewhere but after a weekend of searching and watching tutorials, I still haven't found it. [more inside]
posted by slidell on Apr 1, 2012 - 4 answers

What are a homeowner's responsibilities on a construction project?

As owner, how involved do I need to be for a full residential restoration construction project? [more inside]
posted by zagyzebra on Mar 12, 2012 - 8 answers

Ikea cabinets or custom built-in?

Should we go with Ikea cabinets or plywood custom built units in our remodel? [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Mar 7, 2012 - 22 answers

it doesn't look like it'll kill us. i think.

When househunting, what are signs of quality renovation? What are signs of a shoddy renovation? [more inside]
posted by joyceanmachine on Feb 27, 2012 - 21 answers

What type of contractor do I look for?

Paging Holmes on Homes... [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas on Feb 11, 2012 - 14 answers

Inside: Leak. Outside: Water (ice) coming from under eaves. What to do?

HOME REPAIR: My over-the-range microwave had water in it! I uninstalled it and found a slow drip coming from the vent duct. Then I went outside and saw a bunch of ice coming out from under the eaves. I don't know much about home construction or repair. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by Alaska Jack on Jan 28, 2012 - 12 answers

Erector Set-like metal bars?!

What do you call the metal bars that have two flat parts with a 90 degree angle with screw holes on both sides? I'm thinking of getting some and cutting them to the lengths I need but I have no idea what they're called, any other information on Erector Set like prefabricated elements would also be appreciated. [more inside]
posted by TheKM on Jan 23, 2012 - 14 answers

Ron Swanson me.

I have decided that I want to start doing some basic woodworking, but I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing. Where to get started? [more inside]
posted by synecdoche on Jan 14, 2012 - 26 answers

Fie on phi!

Why are most buildings rectangular? [more inside]
posted by Wretch729 on Dec 30, 2011 - 26 answers

construction bid formats

We are about to send out bid documents (drawings, prelim-specs, geo-tech report) for a 3300 sqft residence, to invited Contractors; and need some examples of tight, organized bid formats. By Division, starting w/ General Requirements, w/ Exclusions? Any advice, from the Architect/Owner side, would be helpful. Contractors- what formats did not drive you batty?
posted by ebesan on Dec 26, 2011 - 1 answer

Late 1800s architecture terminology question

I'm looking for an architectural term. I'm sure it's one I should know, but I'm blanking on it. To make matters worse, I'm having a difficult time searching for a picture of the feature, because I can't come up with the right term. Let me try to describe what it is. [more inside]
posted by sardonyx on Dec 19, 2011 - 9 answers

Now for something completely different, a Christmas gift question!

Two gift questions: 1. What is a good gift, ~$30, for a 9-year-old boy who loves anything to do with construction and is forever building things out of scrap wood? (It's for this kid, who, two years later, is growing up to be completely awesome and a joy to have around.) 2. A while back someone asked a fashion question and one of the answers had a link to a store that I can't find now. It seemed to be a British store that had come to the US because it kept referring to their various lines as "our [blah blah] range." It had women's and kids' clothes, I think men's, too, and the kids' clothes were colorful and whimsical and somewhat modern looking. It's the kids' clothes I'm after, so if you have other suggestions for clothes like that, that'd be great, too. Thanks!
posted by HotToddy on Dec 13, 2011 - 26 answers

Not worth dying for

I have a, perhaps irrational, fear that building I'm living in is going to collapse and kill me in my sleep. [more inside]
posted by zeek321 on Dec 9, 2011 - 22 answers

Who can cut a 4'x2' sheet of wood to custom, simple shape.

I need to get a piece of 1" thick, 48"x24" wood cut to a simple pattern. The supplier should accept credit cards and be able to ship. Where can I email this pattern to and have the work done? [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Nov 28, 2011 - 15 answers

new tile floor?

a friend's basement flooded, and the floor needs replacing (wood on a concrete slab). she asks if porcelain tile could be laid in, considering the (remote) chance it could happen again. I think so, but wonder about the contact layer, and leveling over the slab. what would you use? would you seal the edges to prevent water getting in there (freezing/expansion)? is porcelain impervious?
posted by ebesan on Nov 20, 2011 - 10 answers

AUTOCAD - Why won't my inserted block change to the color of the layer I've put it in?

I inserted a product block into an AutoCAD drawing that I downloaded from the manufacturer's website. I moved it to the layer I want, but it won't 'take' the color of that layer. What gives? [more inside]
posted by lovableiago on Nov 11, 2011 - 5 answers

How to learn historic rehabilitation?

How to learn historic rehabilitation? I'm interested in the historic home curatorship program in Massachusetts. Essentially, you take over a home owned by the state and rehabilitate it without having to pay rent. However, to be successful, you really need to have lots of skills related to construction and historic curatorship. I'd like to acquire this skills, any tips on how to do it?
posted by scottschulthess on Nov 9, 2011 - 8 answers

How do I locate the apartment that is safest in a big earthquake?

Moving to the (north) Bay Area of California: How do I best ensure that I (and my assets) survive The Big One unharmed? Eg. What should I look for in an apartment (and why), in terms of geology, design, construction, location, building codes, corner-cutting, etc. to best handle a massive earthquake? Expert or engineer advice would be great. (I'm more interested in how to find an earthquake-proof building and area, than in how to earthquake-proof my stuff once it's inside a building.) [more inside]
posted by -harlequin- on Nov 9, 2011 - 9 answers

What are the rules regarding workman's comp and free lance day laborers?

Am I required to carry workman's comp on free lance day laborers? [more inside]
posted by zagyzebra on Nov 3, 2011 - 9 answers

frame job

I am going to build a shed from scratch. Simple construction: plywood over wood frame. I'm wondering if there is a rule of thumb for estimating the amount of framing material you need given the surface area of a building (the walls and and roof, the roof would need more framing material though ( assuming an A-Frame))?
posted by gregg on Sep 7, 2011 - 9 answers

A name my business?

I am looking for a name for my new elevator consulting company. The name under consideration at this time is "elevation" with the webiste being elevation-consultants.com?? We do design of systems for new construction high rise buildings. Renovation and inspections of existing building elevator/escalator systems. Please give me your thoughts. Please let me know your thoughts!!!
posted by McVey on Sep 7, 2011 - 24 answers

Where do you get reclaimed pallets?

Where do I get a couple hundred wooden shipping pallets in Los Angeles? [more inside]
posted by annie o on Sep 1, 2011 - 8 answers

Small Claims or Get a Lawyer?

Should I take my issue to small claims court - or do I need a lawyer? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 11, 2011 - 15 answers

Concrete/General homebuilding questions

Looking into building a house near Golden/Boulder CO area. Planning on using ICF's. Looking for suggestions of almost any kind. Would like the house to be about 2000sqft. Am a teacher and worked construction for several summers (but only w/ stick built houses) a few years ago so I will have some time and rudimentary knowledge. Trying to keep the house as simple as possible to keep costs down. Simple rectangular shape and roof and trying to avoid the need to any custom building supplies. If we keep it under $300,000ish we won't need financing. Is it possible? [more inside]
posted by no bueno on Aug 10, 2011 - 4 answers

minimalist houses with maximum prices

Why are modern/minimalist homes so expensive to build? [more inside]
posted by halseyaa on Aug 9, 2011 - 20 answers

I want to build a Monolithic dome home! (I think)

I want to build a Monolithic dome home! (I think) [more inside]
posted by no bueno on Jul 26, 2011 - 22 answers

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