Q&A / 

Rachael Maloney, who has a nice home in Cedar City, UT, has a perplexing problem with a downspout drain pipe. Let her tell you about it: "We have a downspout  drain pipe that runs across our front sidewalk. The problem I have is that the sidewalk is right up against the foundation of our garage.  The […]

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Gina Zuk, is trying to make her house look better. But she's not getting good advice from her siding contractor. "I have a contractor that says I don't need the house wrap if I am putting on the solid core vinyl siding made by Crane. I think it should have the house wrap as even if […]

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Chad Ewald, who lives in Stillwater, MN - a place mentioned in  Roger Stelljes' Deadly Stillwater book, has paint pigment stains on his brick. Great read by the way! Here's what Chad sent me: "How do I remove paint from brick?  The white medallion elements on my home appear to have bled white paint onto the brick […]

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Quick Column Summary: Tar paper or 6 mil plastic vapor barrier Leave an air gap to avoid mold Video link Charles Gregoire is perplexed up in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. "Confusion on whether to use tar paper or 6 mil plastic. In repairing a 64" section of an existing basement interior wood framed dry […]

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Quick Column Summary: Garage sided with no sheathing material How to stop water from entering No easy fixes Remove siding and add sheathing, tar paper or house wrap Judy Saulle, who lives in a cedar-sided house in Earlysville, VA, has an interesting problem with her house.  "Our garage does not have any sheathing just cedar […]

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Quick Column Summary: Soundproofing windows High quality storm windows might help Sound leaks into any air gap in your home Link to sound control information Arlene Vargus, who lives on a race track street in Lynn, MA has a problem. "I live on  a noisy street and want to soundproof my three double-hung windows. Would […]

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Quick Column Summary: Is dust in house coming from ductwork What is creating the dust Most dust gets in through air cracks near doors/windows Denis has a dusty house in California's Central Valley. He lives in Merced, CA. That's a clue by the way. Here's what Denis sent me: "Hey Tim, I have the dustiest […]

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Quick Column Summary: Screwing cabinets to concrete wall Attach wood 2x4s to concrete Attach cabinets to 2x4s Video link James Toth, who has his hammer out in Bridgeport, CT, is itching to install wood cabinets on a poured concrete wall. Here's what he wrote after watching the video below. Be sure to read MY REPLY […]

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Quick Column Summary: Stacked rock sculpture What is the bonding material Use a rock/masonry epoxy Maurizio Magnani was perplexed after visiting a public park in Duarte, CA. Here's what he wrote me: "I would like to build a river rocks assembly I saw at a nearby park. See the photo below. The rocks are bonded […]

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Quick Column Summary: Walkout basement being built One wall will be framed and the others poured concrete The framed wall will be fine Better insulation and no structural issues Zhou (Joe) Yuan emailed me today with a fascinating question about his new home under construction that has a walkout basement: "I'm building a new house […]

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