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Is my neighbor's second bathroom going to make my building crumble?

What are the risks associated with adding a second bathroom to an old apartment building not necessarily "wired" for the task? [more inside]
posted by waterbottle on Apr 6, 2007 - 11 answers

If you tech me how to build it, they will come...

I need suggestions on ways to beef up my knowledge of construction/the construction industry without going back to college and getting a CE degree? More after the jump. [more inside]
posted by uva_nupe on Apr 5, 2007 - 9 answers

MDF and PVC are nice, but do you have something more...standard?

Is there an adult equivalent of a modular construction set (Erector Set, fischertechnik, K'Nex, Tinker Toys, etc.,) suitable for building more serious projects (desks, projector enclosures, tables)? [more inside]
posted by ostranenie on Mar 28, 2007 - 13 answers

Polycarbonate multiwall for office partitions?

Anyone have experience using polycarbonate multiwall for office partitions? Will we create an indoor greenhouse by mistake? [more inside]
posted by mrbugsentry on Mar 15, 2007 - 8 answers

steel mill in the sky?

Let's say you want to build an extremely tall really tall building with giant metal rods supporting it. Would it be feasible to "forge" the rods in place with some sort of self-raising crane/steel mill? [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Mar 12, 2007 - 12 answers

I don't want to be Tom Hanks in the Money Pit

How to hire and work with a contractor on a remodeling project [more inside]
posted by bove on Feb 25, 2007 - 10 answers

How do I "sound proof" a bedroom window?

How do I "sound proof" a bedroom window? [more inside]
posted by rocco on Feb 6, 2007 - 19 answers

red tag?

Posit a house in Santa Cruz, Cal., where the owners have questions about building, with permit, an extension. [more inside]
posted by anadem on Jan 18, 2007 - 11 answers

Learn Masonry in Your Spare Time

I'm relatively crafty, but inexperienced and largely ignorant of building construction. What are the best tools to learn masonry, preferably stone masonry, first as a hobby but potentially as a career? [more inside]
posted by JeremiahBritt on Jan 17, 2007 - 7 answers

Looking for Mr. Goodwrench (sort of)

Need advice on where to buy toy trucks and / or other small-sized construction vehicles that have moving parts. [more inside]
posted by notcomputersavvy06 on Jan 16, 2007 - 7 answers

Construction Software Package

What software package is good for heavy construction that includes most aspects of the construction process? [more inside]
posted by Fairhavens on Jan 11, 2007 - 4 answers

Buy an optical level or transit/level?

Construction/Surveying: Optical level vs. transit/level. Exactly what is the difference? Level only does horizontal vs. horizontal and vertical? How much advantage (in real use) is a transit/level? If I get a Northwest 500A Standard Level and not a Northwest 500A Transit Level, will I kick myself later? I never expect to do "real surveying". TIA
posted by toucano on Jan 10, 2007 - 3 answers

Taking time-lapse video of a construction project?

How can I make a self-contained device to take a time lapse video of a construction project? Better still, how can I turn said device into a webcam? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Jan 8, 2007 - 7 answers

The Phantom Bathroom: Is my contractor screwing me over?

I'm renovating my Manhattan apartment -- it's in a pre-war building -- and my contractor recently told me that he needed to charge $5000 extra to fix "something they found" after tearing out the drywall in my bathroom. Is this sort of thing normal, i.e., do pre-war bathrooms tend to have undiscovered problems, or am I getting screwed?
posted by waterbottle on Jan 4, 2007 - 20 answers


HOME CONTSTRUCTION FILTER:Should I build a house from the ground up or buy a fixer? [more inside]
posted by GIRLesq on Dec 16, 2006 - 17 answers

How do you build a road?

Why does road construction take so long? [more inside]
posted by frykitty on Dec 15, 2006 - 16 answers

What's with the branch?

Why does a building under construction have a leafy branch tacked to the peak of the first roof joist over the building entrance? [more inside]
posted by onhazier on Dec 1, 2006 - 7 answers

Ceiling Cable Is Making Me Frustrated.

Ceiling Cable Is Making Me Frustrated. [more inside]
posted by fandango_matt on Oct 12, 2006 - 8 answers

Pros and cons of cedar shingles?

What can you tell me about cedar shingles? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Sep 18, 2006 - 7 answers

How can I fix my neighborhood's erosion problem?

What are the best ways to fix a neighborhood's erosion problems, and how do you convince builders and developers to take those steps? [more inside]
posted by ND¢ on Sep 4, 2006 - 11 answers


Kitchen and bathroom remodeling. First time homeowner wanting to bring my kitchen and bathroom up to date. Never hired a contractor, nor do I have any recommendations from friends or neighbors. I own a duplex and did all of the simple work on the upstairs unit, but the lower unit that I occupy will be needing work that is out of my skill range (most likely a teardown to the studs and building up from there). I have some ideas on what I want done. I'd like to work with someone that can keep the project within what the neighborhood resale value can sustain and offer advice and refine my ideas. So how do I go about finding this person? I'm in Milwaukee.
posted by sharksandwich on Aug 16, 2006 - 7 answers

I want more control over the light coming into my bedroom

Please help me block all light through my bedroom's sliding glass doors - without damaging them, violating my community's rules, or using anything ugly or smelly. Blinds and shutters aren't opaque enough. [more inside]
posted by amtho on Jul 27, 2006 - 20 answers

Need some wheels.

Looking for a wheel kit for my ATA case. [more inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Jul 14, 2006 - 9 answers

Construction equiv. to a financial audit?

I've lost faith in the big dig, and I know I'm not alone. Is there a construction/engineering equivalent to a financial audit? [more inside]
posted by jwells on Jul 12, 2006 - 26 answers

How much should I worry about earthquakes in Seattle?

How much should I worry about earthquakes when looking at apartments in Seattle? [more inside]
posted by clarahamster on Jul 6, 2006 - 16 answers

Tennis, everyone?

Cost of building a tennis court? [more inside]
posted by starman on Jun 25, 2006 - 3 answers

Magic construction cranes?

How are these free standing construction cranes erected? [more inside]
posted by andywolf on Jun 21, 2006 - 8 answers

bungalow neighborhoods

What US neighborhoods are best known for interesting examples of Craftsman homes? I know about the various bay area neighborhoods - the Maybecks of the Berkeley hills, Westwood Park in SF, etc.; I'm familiar with Pasadena and its Bungalow Heaven, as well as Santa Barbara's many restored bungalows - and I'm familiar with similar neighborhoods here in Sacramento, where I live now. What I'm mainly looking for are out of the way, underrated or less-known neighborhoods with interesting historical and architectural character, specifically expressed in homes built in the Craftsman aesthetic - from the conservative late Victorian through the Prairie and Mission revival. [more inside]
posted by luriete on Jun 7, 2006 - 21 answers

Mexico Construction Loans

I am a small builder who would like to move my operations to a resort area of Mexico to build for the impending baby boomer migration. I have been having trouble finding reasonable sources for construction loans as most developers either pre-sell their units (time consuming) or use Mexican banks, whose rates are prohibitive. Is anyone familiar with any banks that are lending $3 million dollars or more for residential developments to experienced developers? Thanks!
posted by wormwood on May 8, 2006 - 1 answer

Spanish Summer Home Market?

How can I learn as much as possible about the Spanish market for vacation homes: construction, project development, brokering sales, etc.? [more inside]
posted by BigBrownBear on Apr 26, 2006 - 0 answers

Boston area home builders?

Can anyone recommend a good contractor / home builder in the Boston / Metrowest area? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Apr 25, 2006 - 6 answers

Let me get fit and save my cat from dog ravages

I want to reclaim my space and make a cat closet. [more inside]
posted by stormygrey on Apr 4, 2006 - 10 answers

Evaluating Home Construction in NM

Evaluating Home Construction: We're considering buying a home in NM, where construction is very different from here in MN. Anyone have any good sources (online or otherwise) to help home buyers evaluate quality of construction in Southwest style homes -- especially stucco homes? We're looking at pueblo/adobe style places.
posted by nancoix on Mar 22, 2006 - 3 answers

How can I seal my smoker?

How can I seal my home-made steel smoker? It's made out of a never-used oil drum, shaped like a giant flask. The problem is that the hatch, while large enough to cover the opening, doesn't form a perfect seal because of the body's curvature. Imperfect seal = imperfect smoking. What kind of material can take the medium heat of smoking, is non-toxic (no fiberglass!), and is slightly soft, to mold itself to the surface?
posted by paul_smatatoes on Mar 22, 2006 - 15 answers

Home construction forum

I'm building a small DIY house. Where's my online community? [more inside]
posted by zek on Mar 8, 2006 - 8 answers

What should I know before I have my house's foundation redone?

Might have to do some serious work on my house's foundation. Estimates run to $10,000 or more. What should I be asking or thinking about here? [more inside]
posted by jojopizza on Feb 19, 2006 - 4 answers

How can I get a short-term, labor-intensive job in a field I'd like to start a career in?

How can I get a short-term, labor-intensive job in a field I'd like to start a career in? [more inside]
posted by itchi23 on Jan 19, 2006 - 4 answers

How thick should this steel plate be?

How thick would a carbon steel plate have to be to roughly approximate the bending & deflection characteristics of 5/8" to 3/4" plywood? [more inside]
posted by true on Jan 19, 2006 - 6 answers


There is a ridiculous huge rectangular cut-out in the wall between my bedroom and that of my sister (what can I say, NYC real estate is ingenious). Please help me cover it up in some soundproof fashion. [more inside]
posted by unknowncommand on Jan 9, 2006 - 15 answers

Construction companies and civil fees

Do large construction companies have to pay (the city, I guess) when they block off a lane of a city street with jersey barriers during construction? I'm sure this varies by locale, but is it a nominal fee or something that more substantially compensates the locality for inconvenience?
posted by OmieWise on Dec 19, 2005 - 6 answers

What's with the little road cuts?

Roadconstructionfilter: Why do I see so many highway crews replacing only a 10' by 2' section? [more inside]
posted by notsnot on Dec 8, 2005 - 13 answers

Tennesse: A Good Idea?

How's the economy in Tennessee? [more inside]
posted by iced_borsch on Dec 1, 2005 - 8 answers

Breaking up a concrete pad in my backyard. Any advice?

I need some advice on how to best break up a seemingly indestructible concrete slab in my backyard. It is about 8 feet by 4 feet by 2 feet deep. I've tried a sledge hammer and also a relatively low-power jackhammer, with little success. [more inside]
posted by krudiger on Nov 28, 2005 - 22 answers


Building a stone wall: crushed stone foundation necessary? [more inside]
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Oct 17, 2005 - 12 answers

how to design a small cabin to build myself

I want to build a shed-sized cabin, but don't know how to design it, in terms of making it attractively-proportioned and inviting to be inside of. It must be shed-sized (treehouse-sized) in that its floor plan can't exceed 120 sq ft, so we can make it without planning permits or beaurocracy. [more inside]
posted by anadem on Sep 15, 2005 - 16 answers

The shaft

I live across the street from a construction site. The other day I noticed that there is an opening (a shaft, if you will) for the placement of the crane. What happens to this opening when the building is complete? [more inside]
posted by reformedjerk on Aug 20, 2005 - 5 answers

How can I quickly and cheaply design and build a house in the UK?

Rapid self-design house building in the UK. I have an ill-informed notion that this should be possible by using pre-formed concrete slabs, but can find very little information. Can anyone shed any light on the subject? [more inside]
posted by ajp on Aug 9, 2005 - 6 answers

Plans for a cat door?

Anyone know where to get basic plans to build a pet door? Specifically, I'd like plans for a door to be used in a sash window. I'm sure I can make one for less than $110, but can't find a plan online. Is there a good book that can help with this kind of thing?
posted by mediareport on Jul 5, 2005 - 5 answers

Do speaker enclosures matter, outdoors?

I am building a stereo system designed to be used out of doors. Do speaker enclosures matter? [more inside]
posted by Mars Saxman on Jun 7, 2005 - 3 answers

Negotiation on new homes

Is it possible to negotiate prices on a new construction -- specifically, a small-to-medium builder in a somewhat-hot market (Raleigh NC)? [more inside]
posted by SeanCier on May 23, 2005 - 3 answers

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