Home & Leisure



Ask the Builder: Hanging a flat-screen TV where there's a window

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Q: Tim, she who must be obeyed (SWMBO) has informed me that the two flat-screen TVs in the unopened boxes must be installed in days. One TV will end up on our bedroom wall, and the other is to go over a living room fireplace. There’s a huge window there. Fortunately, the TV is wider than both the window and the wood trim surrounding the window...Read more

Ask the Builder: Are gutters and downspouts necessary?

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Q: Tim, I think I’ve got a good idea. I’m re-roofing two of my barns with metal roofing. I was thinking of extending the roof past the walls 18 inches so dripping water falls farther away from the barn walls. Right now I’ve got gutters and I’m tired of them clogging up with leaves and debris. What is the best practice when it comes to ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Islands can work in smaller kitchens too

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Q: Tim, I’m about to embark on a kitchen remodeling adventure and don’t want to get shipwrecked on the island of kitchen mistakes. I’ve never had an island in my kitchen, and I don’t have lots of space. Can you help me decide if one will work? What, in your opinion, is the smallest island you can have in a kitchen? What about appliances ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Will you be prepared when disaster strikes?

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

In mid-December, I spent the past four days digging out from Winter Storm Gail. While it appeared to millions to be just an ordinary winter snowstorm, Gail unleashed her full wrath on a narrow band of New Hampshire, dumping up to 48 inches of snow in just 12 hours. Much of the water Gail gulped and slurped from Nantucket Sound she spewed on my ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Greasy water drips from kitchen vent hood

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Q: Tim, my husband and I really need your help. Our 10-year-old multi-speed kitchen exhaust fan drips greasy water back down onto the stove. Three of the highest fan speeds no longer work. The lights in the hood have also stopped working.

It’s in a custom wood surround with a custom internal stainless steel frame, so buying a different model ...Read more

Ask the Builder: How to hide pipes and ducts

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Q: Oh, Tim, do I have a conundrum for you! A major remodel is about to happen at my home, and already we’ve got a problem. A new master bathroom is being created in a second-floor room, but I can’t figure out how to get the drainpipe down to where it will connect to the rest of the plumbing drain pipes. How have you done this in the past on ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Kaboom! Why are your water pipes banging?

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Q: Tim, every time I shut off a faucet in my home, my water pipes rattle and make a dreadful sound. It seems to me that they might burst. The problem is common in many houses on my street, as I’ve asked my neighbors if they have the same problem. What’s happening? Did the builder or plumber make a mistake when installing the pipes? Is there ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Do you need steel in concrete?

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Q: Tim, I’m flummoxed. I’m about to build a large detached garage. The plans call for a 10-inch-thick by 20-inch-wide poured concrete footing with two 1/2-inch steel bars that run continuously in the concrete. One bidding contractor says this steel is a waste of time and money, while another suggests I upgrade to 5/8-inch steel reinforcing ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Can I move a support column?

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Q: Yo, Tim. I have this load-bearing post right in front of my laundry room door. What can a person do to remove or relocate it to a more convenient location? Is this something that a reasonably handy homeowner with a decent array of tools can do by himself? Can you share all that’s involved? Do you have a clue how this column ended up in such...Read more

Ask the Builder: Relocating pipes, wires and ducts

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Q: Tim, I need you to weigh in on a remodeling conundrum. Two plumbers and one handyman say that two plumbing vent pipes can’t be relocated to an exterior wall. I took the drywall off the back of a linen closet to open up the space for my soaking tub. I want to have extra space for candles and wine bottles.

I live where it can get really cold...Read more



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