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  1. Electrical
    so i just bought an old house. there are many old, ugly 2-prong outlets scattered throughout the house as well as some newer (and potentially ungrounded) 3-prongs. the kitchen and bathrooms have been updated to GFCI. essentially what i want to do is replace the old 2-prongs with new 2-prong OR...
  2. General DIY Discussions
    I am overly-paranoid by nature (and have a 6-month old so) so yesterday as we were painting a small closet and my FIL sanded some old paint away it had (has) me worried. with that worry comes questions. given that painting prep does include sanding, how is it possible to safely prep and paint...
  3. Insulation
    We have a house built in 1879 and our floor is the original hardwood floor made of heart pine with no subfloor under it - laid right on the beams. We have an unfinished basement underneath that is about 6 feet in height with our HVAC, boiler, etc. If the light is on underneath, you can see...
  4. Electrical
    I have an old house, ca 1928. A lot of the wiring is old. A lot has been replaced over the years. I'm not an electrician but I am very comfortable doing wiring. But I don't have the experience of an electrician to be able to answer what's up with this particular wiring. Into my breaker box...
  5. General DIY Discussions
    Aloha! I've recently purchased a home built in 1976 in the middle of nowhere Florida. This poor thing was apparently built by people who knew enough about building a house to get it to stand up this long...but I'm not sure how much longer. It's cinderblock construction outside, wood framing...
  6. Concrete, Stone & Masonry
    I have an older home that needs some brick to be repointed. It's not extensive, otherwise I would hire pros. How can I determine the age of the bricks to ensure I'm using the right mortar mix? The house was built in the early 20th century (likely 1920s but officially 1935). The house is in...
  7. Flooring
    Hello all. I've refinished around 2500 square feet of wood floors as a DIYer over the past several years and I think I have it down pretty well. However, I have a new challenge that I would appreciate some expertise on. The 3rd floor of my house (circa 1918) was only sorta finished when I...
  8. Carpentry
    Hello, I'm trying to trim/case a passageway from my dining room into the living room. The problem is that it, the passageway, is the corner of the room. If you imagine your in a box cut off a corner and walla there is the doorway that needs to be trimmed out. My great grandfather built the house...
  9. Building & Construction
    Hi all, Building a deck and as I had mentioned in my last post, the guys who put the posts in ended up being a few inches off from my plans. As a result, the one side of my deck goes about 7 inches past the concrete stairs. I'm building a privacy fence onto the deck and also using a picture...
  10. Remodeling
    I am remodeling a room in my house, built in 1941. Various renters have lived here since 1986, so the walls have been painted more times than I can count. I originally thought the walls that I am re-doing in my daughter's room would have to be totally re-drywalled and so I was just going to add...
  11. Flooring
    I have an old house built in 1925. The floor joists are not only spaced more than 24 inches apart, they are laid on face (i.e., not on edge). Is there a way to reinforce the floor joists? Can you sister these kinds of floor joists or bridge them? I want to put down ceramic tile, but am worried...
  12. HVAC
    I'm thinking of changing out my electric water heater for an oil-fired indirect off my oil burner: more efficient, faster recovery and all that. Problem: my 19th-century cellar lacks a finished ceiling, and in many spots there's not even any subflooring beneath the floorboards above. If some...
  13. Electrical
    Hello all! Long time reader, first time poster - I'm a 24-year-old gal who grew up helping Dad renovate a Victorian house, now I'm married to a carpenter and we're moving from the tiny cabin we built in N. WI to a c. 1915 foreclosure fixer in North Carolina. I've been doing a lot of reading...
  14. Concrete, Stone & Masonry
    Hello everyone! I'm coming here today to get some advice on a major issue with a foundation wall in a house I am buying. It's an old flatstone/sandstone wall (whatever you want to call it), and a gutter has been draining directly onto it for several years while the property was unoccupied. I...
  15. New Member Introductions
    I am in my early 20's who just graduated with a degree in the medical field. My wife and I just made our first home purchase, which is actually a duplex that we are using as an investment property. I am new to the home improvement scene, however, very driven to learn as much as I can and...
  16. Plumbing
    Hi there, I'm hoping someone can give me an answer as to what they think this pipe is for (pictured below): It is approximately 4' tall rising out of the concrete slab of the basement foundation, in the utility room. It has been capped, but I have no idea if it is for a previous water...
  17. Painting
    My husband and I are in the middle of purchasing an old house, one that was built around 1890. As such, it will almost certainly have lead paint. I've been scouring the internet and looking at message boards, home improvement sites, government websites, etc. But, I haven't come across a problem...
  18. HVAC
    I need advice regarding two options to retrofit air conditioner in our 80 year old house (no existing ducts). Here's a bit about our house - 2200 sq ft, 3 bedrooms and office on 2nd floor, half attic space is a finished bedroom and half is unfinished (plan to leave it this way), basement is...
  19. Remodeling
    Hello! This is my first post here- My husband and I own a 100-year-old home in St. Paul,MN (lived here 5 years). Our basement was cosmetically finished around 1970 (walls, ceiling, but NOT the floor). We'd like to make it an even better living space and update it, and finish the floor, but we...
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