09/30/13 4:30pm

WHOSE IS THE UGLIEST YARD OF ALL? The DIY Network is looking for some telegenic eyesores to feature in its groundskeeping soap opera, Desperate Landscapes. Know any? Unfortunately, the call for entries for yards that star contractor Jason Cameron spends 2 frantic days trying to make a bit more presentable doesn’t appear to be a chance for you to get revenge and tattle on your neighbors: To be on the show you’ve got to denigrate — er, nominate your own yard. [Jay TV] Photo of yard on 2000 block of Rainbow Dr.: Allyn West

12/11/12 1:39pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER “I know it is not at all related to the willowick project above, but I’ve got a ‘good’ story about this type townhome. A friend of mine’s folks own one out in the Kirkwood and I-10 area. They are ex-pats and live outside the US 10+ mo a year, so it stays empty or is used by family in town. So cousins show up to use it for a few days and find all the kitchen cabinets all open, the doors won’t close, and cracks in all the walls. The old lady two doors down decided to have her foundation done. The problem is she shares that foundation with a few homes. She didn’t mention it to anyone and well, the rest is history. Still waiting to see how they clean that one up. Also surprised that a foundation company would do the work in the first place.” [MH005, commenting on Daily Demolition Report: Bus Stop Stop]

10/14/09 11:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO JACK YOUR OWN BUNGALOW “Dude, it’s easy, just get a 20 or 30 ton bottle jack, the kind you can buy at any auto part or hardware store. . . . To raise a stack, just start a new one right next to it. I like to use the solid concrete blocks that [are] half the height of the normal ones. Pile those up to close the height of the jack, and then unscrew the thingie in the middle of the jack to bring it up to the beam. It’s a good idea to put a small piece of scrap wood between the jack and the beam, or otherwise you can make a little jack-shaped hole in your beam- probably not a big deal. Anyway, jack the beam up until you are able to put a shim in there- steel shims are nice, but hard to find, I just use wood for the smaller ones. Then you can let your jack down, and reset- the new stack your jack was on will have pushed itself down into the ground more than the house will have gone up, so you’ll need another shim or two under the jack before you start lifting again. Procede like this, adding more or larger shims, or concrete-block half pieces, until you get your floor the way you want it. . . . Important thing to keep in mind as you work is that the existing locations for the concrete blocks are already sitting on 80 years worth of soil compression. If you start a new stack somewhere else, and you don’t put some concrete down 3 or 4 feet, that new spot will sink over the next couple of years. So, just keep all the existing stacks, though you can add new stacks to cure a sag. On my house, when adding new stacks, I didn’t pour any concrete, I just dug down about a foot about put a 16″ x 16″ wide piece on the bottom, using a dollar-store level to make sure it was sitting in there flat. Ok, the redneck way to do this process is to lower the house, rather than raise it. Sure, this is easier but also moves your house that much closer to termite-ville, and closer in time to the moment when the beams are sitting directly on the dirt, which is kind of the dead-man-walking state for a wood framed house. And if you never raise your house, that day is a matter of when, not if, in this city of mud. . . .” [Patrick, commenting on Brick on the Inside]

08/15/08 1:09pm

PLENTY OF ROOFING WORK IN KATY! “There are thousands of homes built by companies like Pulte in this part of town circa 1994-1997. Their margins were very thin because houses were so cheap. These companies used the lousiest of building materials they could get away with. Lots of these houses now need new roofs, and their owners may not even know it. Houses with rotted decking.” [Lou Minatti]