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]
Should we go with Ikea cabinets or plywood custom built units in our remodel? [more inside]
When househunting, what are signs of quality renovation? What are signs of a shoddy renovation? [more inside]
Paging Holmes on Homes... [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
Why are most buildings rectangular? [more inside]
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?
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]
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!
I have a, perhaps irrational, fear that building I'm living in is going to collapse and kill me in my sleep. [more inside]
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]
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?
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]
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?
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]
Am I required to carry workman's comp on free lance day laborers? [more inside]