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.
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]
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]
We need to replace the over-the-range microwave that came with our house. Do the vents actually work well? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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. TIA!
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]
Orange Board 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.
I'm looking for recommendations about how to insulate the floor of a sauna on a second-floor porch. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
Hometheaterfilter: How much soundproofing do I need to do in a concrete box? [more inside]
Do they make lumber interlaced with steel wires, which is much stronger than regular lumber? [more inside]
Looking for a recommendation for a construction dispute lawyer and/or mediator for a property owner in Washington D.C.
I'd like to know of some other books similar to Francis D. K. Ching's "BUILDING CONSTRUCTION ILLUSTRATED" [more inside]
When a builder builds a new home way too tall and City Hall lets them get away with it, what happens next? [more inside]
What could be the cause of this distressing chemical smell in my tap water? [more inside]
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]
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!
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]
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]
Tell me everything I need to know to build a standalone geodesic dome building, please. [more inside]
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
I need an weather proof outdoor webcam. I have intermittent power and wifi. What are my options? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Why would a short section of street have 8-10 manholes? [more inside]
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]
Any advice on getting the cheapest possible decent quality flooring? How to shop for it? [more inside]
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]
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]
Soliciting suggestions from handyperson types: How can I reinforce my futon to withstand heavier loads? [more inside]
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]
What are good resources for seeing sample house plans and construction drawings? [more inside]
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]
As owner, how involved do I need to be for a full residential restoration construction project? [more inside]