Keeping a finished basement dry

Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Henri

Q.  My wife and I are in the planning stages of finishing off half of our basement into a couple of bedrooms, and a small living/TV room. I am concerned about water and water vapor creating ... Read More


Room too hot in summer

Upstairs room overheats

Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Henri

Q.  One of the upstairs rooms becomes unbelievably and unbearably hot in the summertime. Two separate carpenters have taken a glance at the construction in that end of the house (they were hired for other jobs) ... Read More



Stainless steel knives

Published on August 13th, 2017 | by Henri

Q.  My problem and question is that my Wallace stainless knives have developed a discoloration on the knife blades. I have tried a number of cleaners, etc., but nothing takes the discoloration away and restores them. ... Read More


Vinyl siding

Restoring vinyl siding

Published on August 5th, 2017 | by Henri

Q.  I’m interested in your professional opinion of vinyl siding restoration products. I’m sure that you are familiar with the faded and chalkiness that happens to vinyl over the years. I’m a contractor and recently re-sided ... Read More

Grading lawn

French drain installation

Draining a wet back yard

Published on August 4th, 2017 | by Henri

Our back yard is constantly wet. One landscaper recommended a dry well to remove the surface water. The other said French drains should solve the problem. The ground is made of clay. What would you suggest. ... Read More

Driveways, Walkways

Driveway pavers with stains

Cleaning stains on driveway

Published on August 4th, 2017 | by Henri

Q.  An overnight guest’s car leaked a significant amount of power steering fluid on a paver driveway. Many blocks are discolored and I do not have replacements. How can I clean them? Thanks. A.  If the ... Read More


Sloppy carpentry in molding on bathroom floor

Paint can’t hide sloppy remodeling

Published on August 4th, 2017 | by Henri

Q.  I recently had my bathroom floor redone and the job is worse than terrible. (I know the person’s in-laws, so I will not make a fuss.) Among the very many problems is the fact that ... Read More


Patio table legs corroding

Patio table legs corroding

Published on August 1st, 2017 | by Henri

Q. My outdoor patio table has developed small areas of a corrosion (white residue) on the bottom of the legs.  I believe it is made of aluminum as it is very light weight.  I have been ... Read More


Web site repair

Web site is back after technical failure

Published on August 1st, 2017 | by Henri

This is a note from the site administrator. As a result of a technical failure that shut down the site and damaged our backups, the site has been nonfunctional for several weeks. Loyal readers have found ... Read More


One of several products for tightening wood joints, etc.

Tightening furniture joints

Published on June 18th, 2017 | by Henri

Q.  There used to be a product called wood-swell or wood-lock or something of that nature, which was very useful for tightening joints on chairs, beds, etc. It would eventually wear out, but as a temporary ... Read More



Furnace must be properly sized

Published on June 18th, 2017 | by Henri

Q.  I had my old furnace replaced this fall with a new furnace and A/C. The new furnace is a Bryant and is 60,000 BTU whereas the old furnace was 70,000 BTU. Bryant doesn’t make a ... Read More

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