Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: I’m about to buy a digital multimeter to troubleshoot all sorts of electrical issues around my home. I’ll be blunt. Do you own one, and if so, which one? What do you like about the one you have? There seems to be a huge difference in these handy devices and I’m very confused […]

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DEAR TIM: I’ve got a real mess on my hands. I removed ivy from my brick home and the brick is now splotchy. The brick had a slight sanded texture that was lighter in color than where the the ivy was growing. When I removed the ivy, the sand came off and exposed a darker […]

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DEAR TIM: I have a large painted brick fireplace that we want to resurface with real river rock or something similar. My husband and I are not interested in veneer or ledge panels. Will the mortar be strong enough to hold the stones? Do we need to use a special mortar or is an additive […]

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Last night while helping my wife Kathy get dinner ready she said, "I saw one of your peers on a national news morning show today." "Really? What was he showing?" "He was talking about these caulks where you can actually caulk your window to the frame to stop air leaks. Evidently in the spring you […]

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DEAR TIM: My wife and I wanted to remodel the dated fireplace in our living room. We recently put down hardwood floor around a raised brick hearth. I’ve since removed the raised hearth and we’re putting down ceramic tile. The trouble is there’s now a recess in the floor where the hearth was and how […]

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My guess is it's in your home. Not one place, but several. The first place I'd look if I was a guest is behind your shower curtain. Then maybe I'd look over your shoulder as you open your refrigerator. If I was an appliance repairman, I'll bet you've got it in your washing machine too. […]

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DEAR TIM: My relatives want to repair failing decorative iron columns and short stubby brick pillars that are part of a front porch on a home that's about 100 years old. A giant section of the house overhangs the front porch and I'm certain the decorative ironwork is helping to hold up the second story. […]

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DEAR TIM: I live in a condo with an attached garage. The current garage door insulation is rated at R-4. Even with that it's cold in the winter and hot as Hades in the summer. Local companies have given me estimates to increase the insulation by installing a new door. This would cost over $1,000. […]

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DEAR TIM: I've been a subscriber of your free newsletter for years and am finally building a new home. I decided to follow your advice and stop by the job site as often as possible and take photos. The contractor just installed my windows and has started to install the vinyl siding. It appears to […]

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Kathy Burke now lives in a noisy house in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. She caused the problem, but didn't mean to. A cold-air return vent makes noise. Here's her full report: "We have a small 950 sq. ft home with two return vents. We have never covered this one vent since living here as it was behind […]

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