|Volume 1 Issue 6||“Building Confidence”||October 2003|
Welcome to those who have joined us since our last Newsletter in August.
We didn't put out a newsletter for September. Dan and I lost our mother on August 25. After a week in hospital she died peacefully in her sleep, thank God. Her passing just took the wind out of our sails. After we looked after Mom, we both escaped to our wives' home towns for two weeks. Frances and I went to Texas, Dan and Marillyn went to England. We got back to our jobs (yes, we both work for a living) to regain our composure and then our step-mother, of 34 years, passed away October 1. The two women in our fathers life died within six weeks of each other, odd.
Life goes on.
I wrote three new articles since our last newsletter; all three spawned from questions from our members:
How to Cut and Install Crown Molding Around a Ceiling
How to Cope and Install Crown Molding
How to Install a Round Corner in a Door Opening.
Dan has them on the site now.
Also, based on a question, I added a new table entitled, Estimate Check Sheet. This is a good checksheet to follow for the home handyman doing a renovation in an existing structure or a professional building a complete new house. While researching for this check sheet, I found it was tough to find a formula for converting RSI, which is the metric equivalent of R-Value for insulation. I found the formula finally and Dan added it to our site under the Common Conversion Table, as well as our Conversion Calculator. If you need a conversion that isn't on our site, just let one of us know and we will do our best to get the conversion formula and put it on our site for y'all. Oops, from my Texas trip.
I will be adding a new section called jigs, which will include jigs for making dados with a router; a tapering jig for tapering legs or boards on the table saw; a jig for making feather wedges, useful for many applications such as raising a cabinet a bit, packing the space between a door or window jamb and the stud, before nailing it in, etc. I use wedges all the time in my work. Any other ideas from members will also be added.
With the coming of Winter, a homeowner should prepare a To Do List. Here are some ideas:
Fall is a busy time.
I have an article on our site that is worth the read at this time of year as the weather gets wetter: Moisture and Humidity Problems in the Home
Here are some questions I've been answering lately:
Well Dave--here goes... Knowing very little about anything I'm about to undertake, I hope I can even ask a clear question :o) We have recently added onto our house and had a flagstone patio installed. My project is to build some stairs from the door to the patio. I really would like to do more of a landing. Here are the measurements: 17 3/4 inches from the bottom of the threshold to the top of the flagstone. As you are facing the door from the corner of the house to the bay window (this is where the door is located) is 44 inches. The bay window juts out at a little less than a forty five degree angle for 29 1/2 inches. I am toying with making the landing a hexagon shape with the top step coming even with the point of the baywindow side. (Is this clear as mud???) My thought is--rather than messing with risers and such--make a two level mini deck. Just don't know where to start here and what kind of wood to use. How to attach it to the house, etc. etc. Any direction you could give would be very much appreciated! Peggy Hi Peggy, Each riser is 6 29/32 or a 32nd less than 15/16. The idea of 2 landings is good. I would frame it up with pressure treated wood and use 1 1/2" cedar for the treads or you could use flagstone on top of plywood for the treads. You should decide what to use before you build , so the heights will be allowed for. The best way to frame it up is to rip down the correct size of 2" material, probably 2x6 to allow for the total height of 6 29/32" and make the first step large enough to support the one on top of it, then frame it up on top of the first one. Attach it to the house with a couple of screws. If you want a landing to come up under the threshold and then 2 steps down, allow for this too. Let me know what you decide to use as a finish for the steps/landings and I will draw a simple plan for you. Let me know how wide the steps will be as well. If you could send me a drawing or picture by email, that would be great. DaveI've gotten a few questions requiring an engineer and have never heard back from them after stating that. Hmm! Sorry, folks, I'm not a structural engineer.
Hi Dave, My question is: Is it ok to alter my garage trusses to accomodate a larger opening for stairs? The trusses are currently 24" on center and I want a 48" opening. I would greatly appreciate your advice. Mike Hi Mike, Yes, you can do that, BUT, you have to double up the truss on each side so they can take the additional load. The framing would be supported off these trusses.This is really a question for an engineer. I would strongly suggest you talk to one at a truss plant. Cutting trusses is not a good thing without proper design. While you are talking to the engineer, ask him if the trusses are designed for a floor instead of a ceiling - something else to consider. Dave
Hi dave, just a thxs for concern about getting on your site. Got paypal in wifes name and now a member. Your answers regarding stairs are very helpfull. I may use some of your suggestions and make a few turns going down from loft. Home has small floor space and I don't want to use a lot of it for stairs. Looks like this would make a square spiral if carried to extream. I plan to use native log cedar for most of construction except treads, which I have access to good maple. Going to basement was solved by making an outside covered stair, unusual, but saves space inside. BradI like Brad's answer to his limited space inside - he just goes outside and puts a roof over his basement stairs. Good work, Brad.
Hey, I tried!
want to build encosed (or housed) stringers for outside front steps. Do I need a jig so as to rout the stringers? is there a preferred method? should I use pressure -treated wood as I live in wintery eastern Ontario.... Allan Yes a router and jig would be good. I don't like to put a closed stringer outside because it traps water in the corners and rots or freezes Yes, use pressure treated wood anywhere close to the ground and on concrete. If you are determined, I would cut out an open stringer to support the treads and then attach a closed string on the outside before I install the stringers. Dave Thanx loads, D. I will take your advice & double up on the stringers- just because I'm bullheaded. A
My answer includes a diagram and is too long for this newsletter, but Dan added it to the site. How to Build Deck Stairs.
I am installing a stairway off an outside deck and I want to know the best way to attach the stringers to the cement pad at the bottom of the stairs? Hi Tiana, When installing the stringers nail in a pressure treated 2x6 on the flat between the two stringers at the bottom and affix the 2x6 to the concrete with plastic or lead inserts in the concrete and screws into them through the 2x6. If treated wood isn't around, put in a piece of asphalt shingle under the 2x6. The point is to keep the 2x6 off the concrete or it will rot.
I am building new steps for our deck. They will be 8 feet across. I am planning 4 steps with a total run of about 42 inches. The total rise on one side is 29 1/2 inches and the other side is 33 1/2 inches. I plan the step rise to be about 7 inches and the run about 10 1/2 inches. I am planning on using 6 stringers across the 8 foot width. How do I cut the bottom of the stringers so the steps stay level to make up for the unevenness of the ground. Thank you. Dick
The following is a prime example of my head not on straight: Dave can you glue down laminet on top of old laminet? and if you can what type of glue do you use? Usually a laminate floor is not glued down at all, it is just glued to itself and it floats. They call it a floating floor in some areas. A thin pad of styrofoam is placed between the laminate and the sub-floor, whether it is wood or concrete. The base board around the perimeter holds the floor down. These floors are very popular now, especially for the DIY trade since they are very easy to install. There are two types out, that I know of, a glue the tongue and groove together type and a snap the tongue and groove together type. I've installed both and am really impressed with the snap together type. One thing to be aware of with this floor is that it is disposable, in that it cannot be sanded down and re-finished like regular hardwood flooring. Hope this helps, Dave Dave I meant counter tops, can you glue down Formica over top of the old Formica thanks WM Hi Wayne, Was I ever off!! Yes, I've glued down laminate on top of old laminate for a counter top before. Make sure the existing is glued down well and no holes etc. out of it. Sand the existing laminate down - rough it up to remove any gloss and glue the new laminate on top as usual with contact cement on both sides. Dave
Here is the break down on our Survey for this issue:
The following titles were suggested for articles: various cupboards and display cabinets; remodeling; wood bulkheads; spackling; home repairs; renovating old homes.
Keep in mind that I am only a computer click away from specific questions on the above subjects.
Thanks for your time in filling out the survey.
Finally, thanks for your continued support in our goal to help build confidence out there.< previous next >
"Just wanted to drop a quick line saying "Thank you" for your website! My wife and I just bought a fixer-upper and the resources we have found in your site have been invaluable. We appreciate the service that you are offering. We have used information from your site to do many things. Next on our plate is a stairway. And thanks to you, we're not going to have to pay $4000 to have it done. Keep up the great work, and keep'em coming!" NL
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