Q&A / 

DEAR TIM: Recently a deck collapsed near where I live and people got seriously injured. The report blamed the failure on the use of nails that had corroded and couldn’t hold the weight. Could this be right? Every deck I know of has been built with nails and they seem to be fine. What is […]

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DEAR TIM: I own a summer cabin that’s been in my family for generations. My wife and I decided to make it our full-time home. It needs lots of work that I intend to do myself. One of the projects is relocating the front door. Is there any magic with respect to framing a door […]

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If you want to really add that special touch to your deck, you should consider using two different colored decking boards. That's what I'm doing with a deck I'm building. I'm using Trex Transcend and my wife has selected the deep Lava Rock color along with the lighter Tiki Torch for the main deck boards. […]

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DEAR TIM: My wife has instructed me that I no longer can put off the deck project. I got the confidence to do all the work above ground, but I’m worried about the deck foundation. What do I need to know about deck pier forms so my deck posts don’t sink into the ground and […]

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DEAR TIM: I’m about to step outside my comfort zone. This weekend I’ve decided to delve into the depths of toilets. My current toilet is horribly stained and nothing I’ve tried seems to help. Besides, I want one of the newer toilets where the seat is higher up off the floor. That will be a […]

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DEAR TIM: While on vacation I plan to install a few new interior doors around my house. I’m using pre-hung doors. I’ve never hung a door before and could use some of your secret tips. Please share how to avoid common rookie mistakes. I’m lost on what to do when shimming a door. My wife […]

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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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DEAR TIM: I’ve got an odd problem. I have concrete spalling on a sidewalk that leads from my concrete driveway to my home. The concrete driveway and sidewalk were poured at the same time. The driveway is in great shape, but the sidewalk has all sorts of places where the top surface of the concrete […]

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