Recent comments

Re: Play Fine Homebuilding's Game "The Inspector"

I blew a hundred points trying to find where they hid the vent.

Re: What Tool Did You Buy Today (or Recently)?

needed today; a 4" long-test ball

Re: Reader Poll: Do you still use a corded drill?

Anybody seen a battery-powered replacement for my 14 year-old Hole Hawg? It would need to be just as durable. I wouldn't mind changing the batteries every couple hours.
I also have three cordless drills that are not put to the same use as the Hole Hawg.
Like so many other tools, broad comparisons like corded vs cordless drills are rarely worth the time.

Re: What's the worst time for a holesaw to fail?

A couple points.
Josh's concerns are correct regarding ice damming. The roof penetration should be stripped down to sheathing, and protected with snow-and-ice shield onto the felt and lower shingle courses. Then the roofing reconstructed around the new vent.

We found a new definition for protection with the Tyvek suits. We were wearing some one afternoon and one guy had bought a couple bean burritos off the lunch truck. At the end of the day when we took the suits off, it became clear his suit had been protecting the rest of us . . . thankfully he drove himself home.

Re: Shingle Tear-Off Tools: Bogus or Backsavers?

This is another rerun. It even has the same promise of a forthcoming report of the tests that these tools will be put through.
I noticed the pictures and video would provide good evidence for safety violation charges. I would guess that even these guys would realize fear if they had to drag a powered cutter or stipping machine across or up a 9:12 roof with a deteriorated surface.
The ripper looks like it leaves the nails behind. Shovels, and things derived from them, can lift the nails so that resetting them isn't an extra step.
Even with simple tools, I'd still rather be up on the roof tearing off than be on the ground filling the roll-off.

Re: Set Tile Without Mastic or Thinset

JFink you made me laugh out loud! DIYpaper instead of flypaper! What Lucille Ball could have done with it!
Have seen it in Home Depot on the way to the most useful area - the restroom. Nothing in the store surprises me, but I did notice it since it had Grace on it.
I agree with Fortunat - PL for small jobs - if closed up with epoxy grout.

Re: Play Fine Homebuilding's Game "The Inspector"

I was referring to the lack of any barrier shown between the brick veneer and the wall. I would spray an inch of foam in the wall to help seal an isolate the outside from the inside and add more R, and fill cavities the glass won't fill effectivly. Your reply makes that sound like a bad idea, but it works very well.

Re: Play Fine Homebuilding's Game "The Inspector"

Just did the armor game. I agree with Raab. It is another non-functional version. I must have wasted 300 points clicking on the rimjoist seal before I stumbled on the sweet spot. Ditto some other spots. What about vapor barriers? What if we don't waste our time watching the endless reruns of This Old House and don't care how the New Englanders do it? How would we know you want us to fir-down the ceiling to seal the exterior envelope? Our way works for us, and theirs for them. How about doing an installment that is based on seismic codes, or high-slope anchorages?

Re: Play Fine Homebuilding's Game "The Inspector"

The staple through the cable should be the easiest item to hit, but the game designer seems to have missed it. The ground wire also requires a bushing in this part of the world. Doesn't this house have bedrooms? Where are the arc-fault breakers?

Re: Prediction 2010: Blue is the New Black

100% effluent ground-recharge. That's what our old privy did. Just make sure it's at least 200 feet from the well.
We can expect the nannies in the government to do anyhing they can to exert control over as much as they can. Even lie to us about environmental issues; global cooling - which became global warming - which became plain old climate change. {Of course it changes. Billions of our ancestors learned to live with it}. Now it's water shortages.
If the market was the driver behind our resource consumption not government power, cities and states would never have been able to extort the water rights from farmers and such to support building big cities in silly places, like Las Vegas. Most of Nevada, the driest state, would have no problem supplying their own local water needs if cooercive laws had not been enacted to divert much of the sate's water to that one city, along with water from Utah and Arizona. Results of more back-room governmental deals.
California has been recycling effluent for years. There is a rest stop on I-5 that has sign touting the wondeful work they are doing. The water comes out the color of cafe au lait and smells like they forgot to filter it. I never have tasted it, nor washed my hands in it. Nature has a better means of processing used water, and our self-reliant ancestors paid attention to those things, not some unelected regulatory agency. That bottle of spring water you are enjoying could have been, at one time, pig spit. Nature did a wonderful job of making it better - just compare that to what a politicaly motivated comittee (think OSHA, or worse) would have done to fix it.

Re: Contractors See Lean Times and Big Opportunities in 2010

Freal seems to be carring the banner that everyone can work for the government or offer goods and services that are not real, but are on paper. That didn't work in the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, or any other place it has or is being tried. Including Washington DC. taxes cost money to collect and manage, thus shrinking the economy. If you study, in your all too abundant free time, our economic history you will find our beloved elected officials (both D and R) are dragging us down the same path we took in the 1930s. And we were not then saddled with the level of indebitedness we are now. Do you understand hyperinflation?This may take a long time to correct.
I believe the sooner one can wean his business from the strictures of the government, the sooner he will be free to be creative in exploring ways to survive the times. Too tax funded programs that look good, but have a hook embeded in them.

Re: Spray Painting Screw Heads Without the Mess

That's a lot more work than pushing them into a hunk of cardboard, and the cardboard hols them up better. I noticed Chuck had to fiddle with them to get them upright. You can use the big flat side of the cardboard, or if it's corrugated, the edge will hold lots of screws with very little work.

Re: Reinflate Tubeless Tires on the Job Site

WD-40 lube the seating process, and will seat the bead like the starter fluid and match. Done Bobcat tires without any thing else. The guy I learned it from knew just how much to spray inside so he didn't need to augment with compressed air . . . he was good.

Re: Flashing a Window: Debating Best Practices

Our avreage annual temperature range is over 120 degrees F.. The need for serious sealing has prompted the building inspectors to require foam for sealing around windows. BTW, they also require minimum 9" wide butyl flashing tape, all four sides.
I was doing the foam before they required it, new construction or remodel. It's so much faster that the difference in cost of materials is less than the difference of cost of time.
I could also point to it as the best offering when reviewing the job with the homeowner of a remodel. Since we all know that no job is truly perfect, it is a salve to my conscience that I gave the homeowner the best product they could buy - any future upgrades will not find that aspect of my work wanting.