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Ask the Builder: Restoring a bathroom window sash

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

A fellow amateur radio operator sent me a photo of a wood window in his girlfriend’s bathroom. The window is suffering from rot, and the sash frame is starting to separate.

While I don’t have the epic enhanced observation powers of Shawn Spencer in the TV series "Psych," I was able to determine by looking closely at the photo what caused ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Beat inflation in your next building project

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

If you have sought bids on construction work recently or even priced out materials for a DIY project, you know that a huge tsunami of price inflation wave is washing over the economy. You can’t afford to waste a penny on home improvement projects. As a way to counteract this trend, I have decided to gift you some helpful products that ensure ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Lifting a house to rebuild a foundation

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Recently, my daughter purchased an old camp summer house on a lake. The house is about 80 years old and was built on crude cinder blocks that just rested on stony soil. Frost heave over the years has caused the doors and windows to not fit well. Otherwise, the house, built using old-growth timber, is in remarkable shape.

She asked me: “Dad, ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Buying land to build on? You need a checklist

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Are you one of many who are thinking of fleeing bigger cities to get away from crime, pollution, higher taxes, never-ending traffic jams and a laundry list of other pesky problems? You’re not alone.

You might be one of the millions like my son-in-law and my own son who now can work from anywhere there’s an internet connection. The paradigm ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Buying land to build on? You need a checklist

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Are you one of many who are thinking of fleeing bigger cities to get away from crime, pollution, higher taxes, never-ending traffic jams and a laundry list of other pesky problems? You’re not alone.

You might be one of the millions like my son-in-law and my own son who now can work from anywhere there’s an internet connection. The paradigm ...Read more

Ask the Builder: How a retaining wall works

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Humans have been building retaining walls for thousands of years to create flat, or gently sloping, terraces on hillsides. A lot of my readers have them on their own property — or need to build one — and they come to me for advice.

Retaining walls are far more complex than you might imagine. If you see a tall retaining wall that hasn't ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Build anything anytime, anywhere, in any weather

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

You’ve undoubtedly heard the adage "Time is money." If ever there’s a time when it’s true, it’s now. The talons of inflation are digging into your wallet, purse and budget with respect to any home improvement project. The sooner you get any job done, the less it’s going to cost. Period.

I’m about to share with you some stories that ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Things you didn’t know about your toilet

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Toilets are a pretty important part of your life is my guess. They may appear simple to you, but in reality, they’re quite complex. I’m going to try to demystify the porcelain pedestal in an effort to minimize problems you might have with one in the future.

I’ve been a master plumber since 1981, so I’ve not only installed my fair share ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Know the fire risks of your electrical service

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

A few days ago, a reader named Marcus asked me an electrical wiring question while I was doing one of my new livestreaming video broadcasts. Livestreaming video is so much fun because I get to interact with people in real-time just as if we were sitting at a table enjoying a lemonade or iced tea. Each of my livestreams in recorded, so if you can...Read more

Ask the Builder: Building a safe fireplace and chimney

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

It’s that time of year when you might be thinking of starting your first indoor fire — if you haven't already gotten your fireplace or wood-burning stove going. I happen to have two wood-burning fireplaces in my own home. Both are see-through, so four rooms in my house get the benefit of a roaring fire.

Whether used for heating or for ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Wood epoxy works for rot

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

My guess is you’ve seen wood rot before. If not, I'm guessing you live in the Atacama Desert, possibly the driest place on Earth. Wood rot is fueled by water, which is why it’s so important for you to keep all untreated wood in and around your home dry.

Keeping wood dry is more easily said than done, and you are almost certain to discover ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Building inspections are not a given

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

A few years back, I used to do a two-hour radio call-in show in Cincinnati about home improvement. It was loads of fun to be on the spot on live radio, answering listeners' questions. I miss those mornings but now do the same thing via email at AsktheBuilder.com.

My friends Frank and Kim regularly invite me on their radio show on WLIP in ...Read more

Ask the Builder: Build a new interior wall

Home & Leisure / Ask The Builder /

Do you want to build a new wall inside your home? Perhaps you’re trying to create a new small space for a home office or hobby room, or maybe you have a bigger appetite and are transforming a dank basement into a finished living space. But you have no idea where to start. I’ve been there. I’ve experienced your anxiety.

Every now and then ...Read more

 

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