Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: My wife and I moved into a new condominium building in March 2009. When it rains and there's heavy wind, we get water leaking through the brick. A gentle rain shower with the rain falling straight down causes no problems. What is causing the problem? There are many older brick buildings on the […]

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Mike Flannery is in Denver, CO. But he's perplexed about caulking the trim in a staircase. Here's his full report, albeit abbreviated: "Crack between moulding and top of stair risers indoors.  Original caulk cracked. Looked sloppy. Removed caulk.  1/8 in gap.  Idea is to put spline in gap as backing prior to re-caulk and then painting.  […]

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Don Sanders is pulling out his hair in Peculiar, MO. It seems he installed a door in his shed and the rough opening wasn't square. Here's what he sent to me: "I installed an entry door in my shed. The floor was level and the jack and king studs were level. So why weren’t they square […]

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DEAR TIM: My brick house was built in 1921. The brick are a mixture of brown, various shades of red, beige and black. I had some deteriorating mortar replaced and the handyman smeared the mortar on the brick. What do I have to do to clean up my brick mortar making sure I do not […]

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Michelle Hill is hot and bothered in her Crosby, Texas home. It does get very hot in Texas in the summer. Here's what she wrote to me: "If my house is a little over 1,700 sq ft including the attached garage, how big should the AC be?" Here's my answer: Michelle, it's not that easy. […]

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DEAR TIM: My new home is under construction. I'm in a disagreement with my builder about what's going to happen under my garage slab. Right now there's a trench around the inside on all four walls where they had to dig to install the foundation. The center of the garage area is undisturbed dirt and […]

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DEAR TIM: My new house foundation was just poured on a sloping lot. I stopped by just after the forms were stripped from the foundation and I think they poured the foundation too deep. The ground on one side of the house is about 5 feet higher than the top of the foundation. I think […]

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DEAR TIM: I stopped by my new home construction site the night before the foundation footer was going to be poured to start to take photos. I saw several white pipes inside the forms and wondered what they were for. Will these compromise the strength of the footer since the concrete thickness will be less […]

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DEAR TIM: My wife and I removed beadboard wainscoating in a house we just bought. In the process, we destroyed the wall. The beadboard was glued on and when it came down so did a thin coat of something. I think it's plaster. Why are there two different materials and why did the wall fall […]

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DEAR TIM: Our house has a free-standing decorative brick wall with an iron gate. In various places, the bricks are crumbling. In some places, the entire face of the brick has come off. I do not have enough replacement bricks to replace the damaged bricks. Must I replace the bricks that are merely crumbling or […]

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