Q&A / 

Drain Flies How to Get Rid Of - Easy! My friend Jim from Cincinnati, texted me the other day: "How do I get rid of drain flies?" I replied, "Simple..." I then outlined the steps in the text message. Here they are for you. Step 1: Remove the drain cover and use a toilet brush, […]

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Babysitting Your Contractor - An Unexpected Surprise In the autumn of 1993, when I started Ask the Builder, I knew I’d become a clearinghouse of homeowner complaints, misery, and frustration. Homeowners from all across the fruited plains of the USA might understand I was an independent voice and someone that didn’t have a dog in […]

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Building on Granite Bedrock - It's Hard and Expensive I live in central New Hampshire and its nickname is The Granite State. Trust me, they don't call it that for nothing! My own house sits directly on top of one of the enormous granite plutons that can be found beneath the forests and streams of […]

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Room Addition Plans - They Must Be Great This past week, I did quite a few telephone consult calls. One in particular stands out, and I feel it should be of particular interest to you if you’re planning on building a new home, a large room addition, remodeling a kitchen, or even building a humble […]

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Original Joist Hanger - No Steel Involved What do you think was the original joist hanger? You might be surprised to know that the master carpenters of old figured out how to hang joist using no metal whatsoever. Watch and see:

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Surfside City Condo Collapse - My Early Guess: Rusty Rebar Fractures and Weakened Concrete Columns This past weekend, my wife asked me all sorts of questions about the tragic sudden collapse of the 40-year-old condominium building near Miami, Florida. We’ve dated since high school and she knows I’ve got a geology degree instead of one […]

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How to Prevent Bats in Attic - Very Easy IMPORTANT Author Note: After this column was featured in the July 4, 2021 newsletter, a subscriber was kind enough to share her frightening and expensive story about a bat encounter. It's at the bottom of this column. I URGE you to read it. Bats frighten many […]

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3D Printed House Cost - It's Not All Unicorns and Rainbows You may wonder if the new belle of the ball, 3D printed house, is really going to cost you less money to build than a normal house. Some publications fawn about new techniques like these and only share the glitter and gleam of the […]

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How to Square a Building Last week, a 75-year-old man submitted a question on the Ask Tim page of my AsktheBuilder.com website. I get quite a few each week and answer each one. This particular question put a huge smile on my face because it screamed “ATTITUDE”. Connie, yes it can be a name for […]

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Old House Design Features - Don't Allow Them to Disappear This column has been laying in the weeds of my head for months. Every now and then, it pops its head up. Yesterday was one of those days when once again my lovely wife had to get out of the car before I could pull […]

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