Ask Dave

If you are a member please feel free to ask Dave any question you have concerning your home renovations or construction projects. Or, if your question is about upholstering, Dave's wife, Frances, will be happy to answer it. He or she will respond to your questions personally, usually within two or three days (often within an hour, if Dave's at the computer). Our Dad used to say, “There is no such thing as a stupid question” (more on this). So don't feel bad about asking.

If you are having any difficulty with our site or cannot find what you're looking for on our site, you can send an email to Dan, Dave's brother and webmaster, who will assist you (click here).

Dan even added a little form for those people who simply want to complain.

If the question has a general interest to people, we will post your question and Dave's or Frances' answer below. Or an entire article will be written on the subject.

Here are some of Dave's answers to questions our members have already asked:

Building Stairs

      Deck stairs on uneven ground
      Pine on stair treads
      Refinishing Skirt Boards
      Bottom of stringers on concrete
      2x12s for stair treads
      Attaching Hardwood to Existing Stairs
      One Less Run Than Risers
      When to Use a Landing
      Nail or Screw Size for Stairs
      Securing the Bottom of a Stair Stringer to Pavement
      Distance Between Newel Posts
      Spacing Spindles In A Stair Railing
      Replacing a Cement Stair Landing
      Cutting a Stair Stringer for Existing Stairs
      Stair Tread Thickness Does Not Affect Total Rise
      Allowing For Stair Tread Thickness
      Protecting Outside Stairs
      Standard Height of One Story of a House
      Angle of the Stair Stringers
      Height Variations in Stairs
      Adjusting Stairs for an Uneven Floor
      Attaching Stair Treads to Stair Stringers
      Fitting Stair Treads Into Stair Stringers
      Glass Pane Railings
      Replacing or Tiling Over Risers
      Trimming Stair Walls
      Different Length Risers
      Stair Winders
      Straight Cuts on Stringers
      Riser On Top Of or Under Tread
      Attaching Stringer to Floor Joist
      Unusual Rise/Run Sizes
      How to Build Deck Stairs
      Attaching Top Rail to Newel Posts
      How to Stabilize Stringers
      Splicing Long Stringers
      Veneering an Existing Skirt Board
      Standard Size of Stringer
      Width of stairs

Home Remodeling

      Cutting crown molding
      Framing a Header in a 2x6 Wall
      Repairing Stucco
      Kitchen cabinets
      Determining the swing of a door
      Supporting a ceiling fan
      Repairing a textured ceiling
      Connecting Wall to Foundation
      Concrete House
      Renovating an Attic
      Size of Rough Opening for Door or Window
      Below Ground Windows
      Standard Door and Hall Widths
      Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets
      Size of Dog House
      Building an Entertainment Center
      Tiling a Floor
      Patching Holes Concrete
      Foundation for a Shed

Home Renovations

      Cutting crown molding
      Kitchen cabinets
      Determining the swing of a door
      Supporting a ceiling fan
      Repairing a textured ceiling
      Standard Door and Hall Widths
      Refinishing Kitchen Cabinets
      Building an Entertainment Center
      Tiling a Floor
      Square Decorative Columns
      Installing Cabinet Knobs And Pulls
      Support For Ceramic Tile Floors
      Taping Cement Board Joints
      Order Of Hanging Doors, Casing And Base
      Inside Window Trim
      The Best Drywall Anchor
      Finishing A Natural Wood Interior Door
      Rough Opening Sizes For Bi-Fold Doors
      Installing Base Before Or After Carpet
      Installing Drywall To The Ceiling And Floor
      Heights Of Door Handles
      Staple Size For Underlayments
      Joint Between Drywall And Wood

Home Renovations Framing

      Framing a Header in a 2x6 Wall
      Repairing Stucco
      Connecting Wall to Foundation
      Concrete House
      Renovating an Attic
      Size of Rough Opening for Door or Window
      Below Ground Windows
      Standard Door and Hall Widths
      Size of Dog House
      Patching Holes Concrete
      Foundation for a Shed
      Securing Beams To Posts
      Headers For Non-Bearing Walls
      Choices Of Wood And Finishes For Exterior Applications
      Filling In A Window With Sheathing
      Metal Roofing Support
      Support For Poles In A Pole Building
      Removing An Interior Wall
      Installing A Ridge Vent
      Vents In A Skirt Of A Mobile Home

Plumbing and Ventilation

      Adapting Plastic To Cast Iron Pipe
      Mechanical Vents
      Pex Pipe
      Pouring A Shower Pan
      Adding Ducts To Central Heating Or AC
      Installing A Shower Valve
      What Is A Wet Vent
      Installing A Range Hood Vent
      Toilet Space


      Re-Roofing an Existing Roof
      Framing a Gable End Overhang
      Angle of a Roof
      Number of Shingles to a Roof


      Making a Foam Seat
      Cleaning Upholstery

For a rapid search of our entire web site, use the search box near the top of this page.

For custom plans click here.

To receive our newsletter letting you know of new articles, plans and projects, click here.

To ask Dave a new question, click here.


(Ask Dave) (About Dave)

Your source for building tips, woodworking & furniture plans, house plans and building advice directly from Dave...

Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.


The Benefits of Membership

Membership gives you full access to our hundreds of how-to articles, woodworking plans, converters, calculators and tables. Our Stair Calculator is one of the most popular on the internet. We have projects you can build for (and with) your kids, furniture for your wife, and sheds and gazebos. If you run into a problem or need advice your Membership includes unlimited email questions to me through our Ask Dave quick response button.

Join us!