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By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | December 19, 1992
You come home from the office, late and exhausted. The house is quiet. The kids must be asleep, probably have the dog up there, and there's no sound from the TV room.Carefully you take off your shoes and start across the room, turning off lights as you go. You place your stockinged foot ever so gently on the first step and -- "Squeeeeaaaak!" It's amazing how often you can step on a squeaky board -- even if it's only dTC one, even when you know right where it is.And it may be annoying, especially if it's not the only one. We get a lot of letters about squeaky floors, and they're not confined to old houses.
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NEWS
By Liz Atwood and Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF | July 4, 1997
For more than 200 years, the hill just east of the Little Patuxent River nursed trees, crops and pastures as the property passed from wealthy planters to family farmers. Today, it cradles the two-story house of John and Pamela Cooney.Over the past two months, their house has risen from Columbia's brownish-red earth, born by the efforts of more than four dozen workers who have labored from early morning until late afternoon. Some have dug the foundation, others have built the frame or installed the plumbing, electricity, heating and air conditioning.
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FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | September 18, 1993
Whenever you work on an old house, one thing is certain: there will be surprises.Some surprises are pleasant -- like finding a perfect set of servants' bells in a boarded-up stairwell, or finding good wood floors under layers of carpet and tile. But some surprises are bound to be unpleasant -- like finding out you can't have a big family bath on the second floor and retain the elaborate molded ceiling in the living room below.In fact, plumbing is a major breeding ground for uncomfortable surprises.
BUSINESS
By Karol V. Menzie & Randy Johnson | April 27, 1997
PUTTING TOGETHER the structure of a deck is a little like doing the proverbial jigsaw puzzle -- except, in the case of the deck, you have to cut out all the pieces yourself. This is the stage, however, when the deck begins to take shape, and all your hard work with the ledger (which fastens the deck to the house) and the main beam (which supports the far edge of the deck) will be rewarded.When you're planning your deck, adhere to the standard lengths of lumber -- that is, the depth of the deck surface should be some regular measure such as 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 feet.
FEATURES
By Gene Austin and Gene Austin,Knight-Ridder News Service | January 1, 1994
Q: Our second-floor wood floors squeak badly. The floors are covered with wall-to-wall carpeting, and there are finished ceilings underneath. Is there a way to stop the squeaks without tearing everything apart?A: Floors often squeak because floorboards or subfloor (a layer of wood under the surface boards) is loose and they are rubbing against each other. If you find the joists under the squeaking areas, there is a good chance the squeaking can be stopped or muffled by refastening the loose boards or subfloor to the joists, working right through the carpet.
BUSINESS
By Karol V. Menzie & Randy Johnson | April 27, 1997
PUTTING TOGETHER the structure of a deck is a little like doing the proverbial jigsaw puzzle -- except, in the case of the deck, you have to cut out all the pieces yourself. This is the stage, however, when the deck begins to take shape, and all your hard work with the ledger (which fastens the deck to the house) and the main beam (which supports the far edge of the deck) will be rewarded.When you're planning your deck, adhere to the standard lengths of lumber -- that is, the depth of the deck surface should be some regular measure such as 8, 10, 12, 14 or 16 feet.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | August 12, 1995
It seems like a simple idea: Why not turn that bay window in the kitchen into a set of atrium doors leading out to a new deck? After all, the opening's already there.But it may not be that simple. Before you take a crowbar to the wall, or call a contractor, you might want to do some research to determine how complicated the project might turn out to be.The main consideration in figuring out the job's complexity is how the wall is constructed around the existing opening. Normally, an opening will have a header, or support beam, over the opening.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | February 6, 1993
All the careful staging that goes into a dramatic performance -- making sure actors don't walk through walls, arranging for everyone to enter and exit in the right place, establishing where characters are to stand -- is designed to be invisible in the performance.That's also true for the staging of a remodeling job or rehab. Work must be organized to flow smoothly, so everything ends up in the right place and, when it's done, it all seems perfectly natural.There's a general formula for the process: demolition and cleanup; framing; electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems installation; roof; drywall and finishing; floors; surface finishes.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | August 6, 1994
Is your house trying to tell you something? It's hard for houses, you know -- they can't say, "My windows ache," or "My feet are wet." But there are ways that dwellings can communicate: Leaks, cracks, and popping tiles are ways a house tries to let you know something is wrong and ask for help. If you're paying attention to these hints, you may be able to keep a small problem from becoming a big one, or you may get early warning of impending disaster.Sometimes, when the hint is tiny, you may be tempted to apply a quick "fix," something that's cheap, easy and covers up the flaw.
NEWS
By Liz Atwood and Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF | July 4, 1997
For more than 200 years, the hill just east of the Little Patuxent River nursed trees, crops and pastures as the property passed from wealthy planters to family farmers. Today, it cradles the two-story house of John and Pamela Cooney.Over the past two months, their house has risen from Columbia's brownish-red earth, born by the efforts of more than four dozen workers who have labored from early morning until late afternoon. Some have dug the foundation, others have built the frame or installed the plumbing, electricity, heating and air conditioning.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | August 12, 1995
It seems like a simple idea: Why not turn that bay window in the kitchen into a set of atrium doors leading out to a new deck? After all, the opening's already there.But it may not be that simple. Before you take a crowbar to the wall, or call a contractor, you might want to do some research to determine how complicated the project might turn out to be.The main consideration in figuring out the job's complexity is how the wall is constructed around the existing opening. Normally, an opening will have a header, or support beam, over the opening.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | August 6, 1994
Is your house trying to tell you something? It's hard for houses, you know -- they can't say, "My windows ache," or "My feet are wet." But there are ways that dwellings can communicate: Leaks, cracks, and popping tiles are ways a house tries to let you know something is wrong and ask for help. If you're paying attention to these hints, you may be able to keep a small problem from becoming a big one, or you may get early warning of impending disaster.Sometimes, when the hint is tiny, you may be tempted to apply a quick "fix," something that's cheap, easy and covers up the flaw.
FEATURES
By Gene Austin and Gene Austin,Knight-Ridder News Service | January 1, 1994
Q: Our second-floor wood floors squeak badly. The floors are covered with wall-to-wall carpeting, and there are finished ceilings underneath. Is there a way to stop the squeaks without tearing everything apart?A: Floors often squeak because floorboards or subfloor (a layer of wood under the surface boards) is loose and they are rubbing against each other. If you find the joists under the squeaking areas, there is a good chance the squeaking can be stopped or muffled by refastening the loose boards or subfloor to the joists, working right through the carpet.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | September 18, 1993
Whenever you work on an old house, one thing is certain: there will be surprises.Some surprises are pleasant -- like finding a perfect set of servants' bells in a boarded-up stairwell, or finding good wood floors under layers of carpet and tile. But some surprises are bound to be unpleasant -- like finding out you can't have a big family bath on the second floor and retain the elaborate molded ceiling in the living room below.In fact, plumbing is a major breeding ground for uncomfortable surprises.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | February 6, 1993
All the careful staging that goes into a dramatic performance -- making sure actors don't walk through walls, arranging for everyone to enter and exit in the right place, establishing where characters are to stand -- is designed to be invisible in the performance.That's also true for the staging of a remodeling job or rehab. Work must be organized to flow smoothly, so everything ends up in the right place and, when it's done, it all seems perfectly natural.There's a general formula for the process: demolition and cleanup; framing; electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems installation; roof; drywall and finishing; floors; surface finishes.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | December 19, 1992
You come home from the office, late and exhausted. The house is quiet. The kids must be asleep, probably have the dog up there, and there's no sound from the TV room.Carefully you take off your shoes and start across the room, turning off lights as you go. You place your stockinged foot ever so gently on the first step and -- "Squeeeeaaaak!" It's amazing how often you can step on a squeaky board -- even if it's only dTC one, even when you know right where it is.And it may be annoying, especially if it's not the only one. We get a lot of letters about squeaky floors, and they're not confined to old houses.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | July 4, 1992
Installing ductwork for heating and air conditioning is a bit like putting together a huge three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.The basic rules of the game, however, are the same, whether you're retrofitting an older house, working with new construction, or adding heating and air conditioning to a new room, attic or basement.Basic Rule No. 1: Hot air rises, cold air falls.Ducts should be installed to take maximum advantage of natural air movement. For instance, for air conditioning to work properly, air returns, the large ducts that carry air back to the central unit, need to be installed high up on the wall of each upper floor, to capture warmer air and return it for cooling.
FEATURES
By Karol V. Menzie and Randy Johnson | September 4, 1993
Remember back in grade school when you were first learning to multiply and divide? Even though the problems all dealt with colliding trains and people who seemed to have a lot of fruit on their hands, the teacher promised this was real practical stuff that you'd need later on.Well, the teacher was right -- at least, if there's a stair-building project in your future.Building stairs is an art form perfected by carpenters over the centuries. There is a lot of conventional wisdom about what makes stairs comfortable and practical.
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