Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: My husband has been hinting about wanting an impact driver. He claims there are many uses for it around the house. I wonder if he’s trying to pull the wool over my eyes and just get another expensive toy. What’s your feeling about this tool that just looks like a drill to me? […]

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This is an experiment. I want to see if you're interested in discovering how and why things work around your home in a fun and clever way. Please take the quiz below. It's only five questions. All of the questions are REQUIRED. I'll be publishing graphic results of how you and others did on each question. The […]

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Are you thinking about purchasing replacement windows and doors for your home simply because you feel you’ll save lots of money on your energy bills? Some salespeople count on this fuzzy emotion when they try to get you to sign a contract that commits you to spending thousands and thousands of dollars on this major […]

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DEAR TIM: I need to build some simple outdoor steps to replace ones that fell apart and rotted, even though they were made with treated lumber. I’m fairly handy and have a decent grasp of the math but would love some tips to get professional results. I’d also like to prevent the new steps from […]

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DEAR TIM: The brick in the front of my home have been flaking off. This is a southwest-facing wall. Can you tell me why this is happening? Is there a way to repair the brick? What can I do to stop any further flaking and damage? Was the wrong brick used to build my home? […]

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DEAR TIM: I live in a brick townhouse. In the back there is a patio door leading to a concrete deck. The patio door sits on top of some brick work. We are planning to go from carpet to laminate floors. I'm trying to make sure the patio door is all sealed up keeping out […]

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DEAR TIM: My wife and I are building our new home and we stopped by to see the progress just after the foundation was poured. We saw a massive long block of concrete at least 10 inches thick in the middle of the basement floor. I don’t see how our basement floor will be smooth […]

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This is a special column about trust. It was inspired by no less than three emails and one phone call I had with visitors to my AsktheBuilder.com website and this column that appears in your paper. Lynn, who is building a new home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is now wringing her hands each day […]

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DEAR TIM: My last house had a basement that leaked water. I’m building a new home and want my basement as dry as the Atacama Desert. I’m confident that my drain tile was not put in correctly at my last house. What are the best practices when installing drain tile around a foundation? What materials […]

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