Questions About How To's

How to size a header when framing a door opening

I'm installing a French door with sidelights in place of a 94 x 75in window. Door dimensions are 96 x 80. What size header do I need?


What type of nails should be used for chair rail?

I am trying to put up a chair rail. The walls are plaster and behind the walls is brick. What type of nails can I use?


How do I fix exterior water leaks?

There are some holes above the ceiling by the window and they leak water when it's raining. How do I fix this?

- Jessica


How do I dismantle an old brick chimney?

I want to get rid of the brick chimney on our house (we don't burn wood anymore and it is in bad shape and leaning). I can't get any big machinery near that side of the house without taking down a fence and running over some landscaping, so what's the best way for me to take this down by hand?

How can I protect the wall behind a wood burning stove?

I am putting a free standing wood burning stove in my house. What do I have to do to protect the wall behind the stove? Thank you.

Wendy H.

How can I keep my porch from flooding?

I have a sun porch on the back of my house that floods every time it rains. My backyard is sloped where the water runs toward the house. The water seeps in from underneath the walls. I am looking for ways to stop this flooding -- maybe digging a trench or getting some type of material to block the water. Please help.


Can brick be removed from a fireplace wall?

The previous owners of my late 90s rancher added a sunroom behind the chimney in the living room. One wall in the sunroom is all brick because it was once the outside of the house. Can I take the brick down and put up sheet rock? What kind of barrier could I use? The fireplace is a gas insert.

E. W. - Huntsville, AL

How can I keep my basement from leaking?

I recently had an oil tank removed from under my driveway. The disturbance has caused water to POUR through some cracks in my basement during heavy rains. I'm getting a good company to fix the problem from the outside but it's going to be a week before they can start. Can I do something temporarily?

Why does my bathroom caulk continue to crack?

We just bought a house and completely gutted it. In our master bathroom shower we have a half wall with a glass enclosure. That wall is tiled and the caulk/ grout keeps cracking, leaving an opening between where it was and the tile. How can we stop this from happening?

Hope - Marlton, NJ

Can I put satin polyurethane finish over glossy?

I used a glossy polyurethane to finish some interior wood paneling, which I now think is way too shiny. If I put a coat of satin finish polyurethane over the glossy, will that fix the problem?

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