Home & Leisure

Here's How: How to Handle Building Defects

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: We moved into our new house six months ago. We still have a long list of items that need to be fixed, but the contractor never gets around to them. Is seeking the services of a lawyer a good idea now? -- Rob K.

Dear Rob: This is a very common problem with new home construction. In fact, nearly every homeowner makes a list of defects...Read more

Here's How: Using the Right Glue

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I am planning some home improvement projects and many suggest using glue, but don't specify the type. My hardware store has about 50 types of glue. What type of glue should I use for what? - Kyle B.

Dear Kyle: Many do-it-yourselfers feel using glue on projects is the nonprofessional, easy way to assemble parts. Actually nothing ...Read more

Here's How: Finish an Outdoor Countertop by Your Grill

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I want to build a nice outdoor countertop over a sturdy old wooden bench near the barbecue grill. What is the best type of easy-to-clean decorative countertop material to use in the outdoors? -- Toni D.

Dear Toni: If you plan to do much cooking and entertaining outdoors, some additional countertop space near the grill can certainly ...Read more

Here's How: Use Roof Trusses

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: We are adding a master bedroom and family room "wing" to our house. It will have a standard pitched roof. Do you recommend having the roof stick built with lumber or using pre-made roof trusses? -- Arn T.

Dear Arn: For most homes, using roof trusses is a far better construction method than stick built roof framing. The main ...Read more

Here's How: Seal the Walls of a Brick House

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I have a problem where some floors near the outside walls get damp when there is a heavy rain. The walls are brick over insulated stud walls. What, if anything, can I do to stop this problem? -- Jennifer K.

Dear Jennifer: The types of walls you have are called brick veneer. The 2x4 studded insulated wall supports the house and the ...Read more

Here's How: Finish Stairway Like a Professional

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I am having a second stairway from the kitchen roughed in. It has a full wall on one side and halfway down the other. I want to finish it myself. What is the most attractive way to do this? -- Kevin A.

Dear Kevin: Installing a second stairway from the kitchen to the second floor is becoming more common in homes. These are the stairs...Read more

Here's How: Build a Shelf in the Garage

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I need more storage space in my garage for the kids' stuff. The garage is not large, but there must be some way to get more space. What possible areas could I use for more storage? -- Keri R.

Dear Keri: There are ways to find additional storage space in almost any garage. Often, just rearranging things by how often they are used ...Read more

Here's How: House Design for Outdoor Privacy

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I have purchased a lot in a new subdivision and I am planning the house. My family likes to be outdoors on a deck and patio. What are some design considerations which will provide outdoor privacy? -- Kendra N.

Dear Kendra: In many new subdivisions, the first thing the builders do is knock down all the trees and vegetation, which ...Read more

Here's How: Seal Your Asphalt Driveway

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I was told not to reseal our new asphalt driveway for several years. After three years now, it looks a bit worn. Is it time to seal it, and what is the best sealer and method to apply it? -- Juan T.

Dear Juan: You are probably about two and half years late for the first sealing of your driveway. Although it will probably be fine, ...Read more

Here's How: Build a New Trellis

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: I looked at ladder trellises at my garden store, but they are too expensive. The design does not look complicated. If I try to copy and build one myself, what is the proper procedure to make one? -- Kandi W.

Dear Kandi: Building a ladder-style trellis is a great project for beginning do-it-yourselfers. The design is relatively ...Read more

Here's How: Add Ceramic Tile to Jazz Up Your Bathroom

Consumer / Here's How /

Dear James: We built our house on a tight budget years ago. Now that I am divorced, I would like to remodel and install ceramic tile in the bathroom. How do I prepare the new shower walls and add the tile? -- Donna G.

Dear Donna: Ceramic tile is clearly the wall finishing material of choice for bathrooms. It is attractive, offers many options (...Read more


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