Home & Leisure



Ask the Builder: Lost building secrets that prevent wood rot

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Hours before I began to write this column, I was backing my car into a parking spot at church. Just ahead of me was an older garage on the church campus that was being remodeled. New vinyl siding is being installed, and my guess is all of the trim is going to be wrapped in pre-painted aluminum coil stock.

New trim boards had been installed ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Water in your yard creates peace

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Before I got married, I was invited to lunch with my future wife and her parents at a restaurant on a floating barge tied up on the north shore of the Ohio River. At the time, in the early 1970s, I had no idea restaurants like this existed in Cincinnati. In fact, my future father-in-law had built this restaurant with a business partner and had ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Good flashings defend against roof leaks

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Several weeks ago, I wrote about the different types of roofs you can use on your home. I should have realized it would create a tsunami of help requests regarding roof leaks at my "Ask Tim" page on AsktheBuilder.com.

You may have had a roof leak that local roofers have not been able to fix, or maybe an unskilled laborer tried to fix your ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Get fancy with wood fencing

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

You’ve heard the wise saying, “Good fences make good neighbors.” It’s been around in one form or the other for hundreds of years and Robert Frost immortalized it in one of his poems just over a century ago.

The advice is solid and you can take it one step further, should you desire. Attractive and one-of-a-kind fences make great and ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Drain swampy yards and stop wet basements

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Ande lives in Puyallup, Washington, and reads my weekly column in her paper. She’s got a very common problem. In fact, tens of thousands of people suffer from it in places where there’s abundant rainfall for many months during the year.

Ande’s backyard turns into a miniature Okefenokee Swamp when it rains. Her crawlspace also floods. She ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Which roof is best in life?

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

My guess is you don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the roof over your head. You simply want it to be free of leaks, and if it can look good at the same time, that’s a big plus.

Have you ever wondered why asphalt shingles have been the go-to product for most houses in the United States? If you travel internationally, you might have ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Think before cutting the cord

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Do you have a love affair with power tools? If so, my guess is you may have succumbed to the sirens’ songs luring you into the Sea of Cordless Tools. Before you become mesmerized by the nymphs' sweet voices, I suggest you check your heading and go hard to starboard before dashing your boat on the rocks.

As luck would have it, just as I was ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Pondering window replacements? Stop and think

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

A good friend who lives in the Chicago suburbs reached out to me a few weeks ago. He asked me to help him navigate the treacherous waters of replacement windows. He was afraid of making a grave financial error.

One of the first questions I asked was about his motivation. Were his windows inoperable? Was he sick of painting his existing ones? ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Bringing stamped concrete back to life

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

If you’ve witnessed hundreds and hundreds of full moons in your lifetime and make frequent use of your critical-thinking skills, you know the sun is constantly at work ruining things inside and outside your home. One of these might be the expensive stamped-concrete patio, driveway or sidewalk you had installed a few years ago.

The same thing ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Spending a lot on storage fees? Build your own shed

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

It seems like every week I get at least one email or a question on my live stream sessions about inflation. I’m by no means an economist, but I’ve seen enough full moons to know that inflation is raging and it’s going to get much worse.

I do the grocery shopping in my household, and I'd estimate food prices are up at least 35%. Gasoline ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Your deck’s weakest link: collapse hazard!

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Deck collapses happen all the time, and many of them never make the news.

Several years ago, I attended an all-day training session put on by a leading manufacturer of metal structural connectors for decks, homes, and other structures. They estimated at the time that over 80 percent of the decks in the United States are structurally deficient ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Build that brick patio or sidewalk now

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

There’s something soothing about brick patios and sidewalks, which is something I learned while installing a patio for my dear, departed mother-in-law. It was 50 years ago, before I was married, when my future mother-in-law let me build a private patio in her backyard using deep-red paving brick.

This patio was nestled under the shade of two ...Read more



The Barn Joey Weatherford Popeye Tim Campbell Little Dog Lost Sarah's Scribbles