r/DIY 6d ago

weekly thread General Feedback/Getting Started Questions and Answers [Weekly Thread]

8 Upvotes

General Feedback/Getting Started Q&A Thread

This thread is for questions that are typically not permitted elsewhere on /r/DIY. Topics can include where you can purchase a product, what a product is called, how to get started on a project, a project recommendation, questions about the design or aesthetics of your project or miscellaneous questions in between.

Rules

  • Absolutely NO sexual or inappropriate posts, SFW posts ONLY.
  • As a reminder, sexual or inappropriate comments will almost always result in an immediate ban from /r/DIY.
  • All non-Imgur links will be considered on a post-by-post basis.
  • This is a judgement-free zone. We all had to start somewhere. Be civil.

A new thread gets created every Sunday.

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Click here to view previous Weekly Threads


r/DIY 3h ago

other Restoring old 'sticky' plastic.

87 Upvotes

Is there a method to remove or remediate the stickiness of older plastics. Example, pulled my maybe 10 year old Saitek pc joystick out of the attic for some old pc games and the soft 'comfort' plastics are sticky. I know it's a nature of certain plastic formulas that the plasticizers 'seep' or degrade over time.

Is there some way to treat the surface to eliminate the stickiness?


r/DIY 1d ago Respect

home improvement Bookshelf I built for my wife’s office.

Thumbnail imgur.com
3.7k Upvotes

r/DIY 2h ago

home improvement Sanded Caulk vs 100% Silicone

19 Upvotes

Contractor used grout on my shower floor meeting the wall and now it’s cracking. I didn’t realize this till much later that any changing planes should be caulked due to its flexibility. I’m going to rip apart the old and replace it with caulk.

However I’m not sure if I should use sanded caulk or 100% silicone. Most Reddit post I saw recommends using sanded caulk to match the grout. But then I see other posts of people mentioning their sanded caulk cracked after only a few months.

Researching shows sanded caulk is not as flexible when dried as 100% silicone, thus is not ideal for areas where 2 planes are moving against each other. Sanded caulk is also more prone to cracking.

Therefore why are some many people recommending sanded caulk? Is it because it’s an easier application than 100% silicone?

I think the right away is to 100% silicone caulk changing planes.

https://imgur.com/a/0kyYTl2


r/DIY 1h ago

home improvement AC Installation Issues

Upvotes

I need help installing my new air conditioner.

It's an LG model, 15,000 BTU, 112 lbs., room size, 800 sq. ft., fits windows 29"-41" W x 19" H.

The window I'm setting it in is a side sliding, 35" x 45" affair with no outside sill/ledge.

I've purchased a support bracket from Jeacent just in case, but I want to be as safe as possible with my unit.

Basically, the unit and all its attachment parts are made for a window with an outside sill, but seeing as I don't have that, I'm stymied.

I have looked everywhere I can think of (Google, YouTube, etc.), but they only address the issue of a lack of a sash, not a lack of a sill.

Does anyone have any advice, suggestions, or solutions to my problem?

One solution I've seen is to drill into the metal of the window frame, but I do not believe it will hold the weight of the unit.


r/DIY 2h ago

home improvement trouble with click lock vinyl flooring after contractor stiffed us

11 Upvotes

Tldr; Does anyone have a trick for locking planks in when the adjacent planks on both sides of the empty slot are already in place? Trying to replace individual bad pieces of vinyl click lock.

So, I initially hired a contractor to put a vinyl floor in for us. My home flooded a while back and quite frankly I didn't have time to do everything that needed to be done.

The contractor gave me a price and told me one weekend. After three months of him promising to finish the job I gave up.

What he did so looked awful. Instead of following the trim contours around doors etc he just cut big holes out, meaning you can see the slab all over where quarter round isn't going to hide.

I've managed to modify leftover planks to match the contours correctly, but I can't get the planks to lock in. I understand the concept of click lock but I'm having to make modifications in random spots all over the house where the floor is laid but certain planks are trimmed improperly. This means that I'm trying to install in between two to four planks that are already set, and I can't figure out a trick to get them in without pulling all the floor past that point back out.

Does anyone have a trick for locking planks in when both sides of the adjacent lock are already in place?


r/DIY 9h ago

outdoor I constructed a mini-swale to create a positive slope, with a dry stacked wall that will probably fail in a year but I’m happy with the results

29 Upvotes

https://imgur.com/a/bFeFDNh

Hello! Welcome to the Second Edition of “Landscape Construction” with the, “Yeah, that’ll do” approach applied. I moved into my house a year ago and part of our houses block foundation is lower than the other. The previous owners had soil and mulch right up against the foundation only several inches below the sill plate, with a slightly negative to even grade. We were getting a little water in our crawl space during heavy rains and snow melt, so I decided to take action finally. Since my lawn is essentially level with the sill, I figured I’d make a sort of swale instead of going full out with French drains etc. Disclaimer: I don’t take my work too seriously and know that it isn’t perfect, but I do what I think is right on a budget and have a lot of fun in the process (see my fire pit post)

1) Started digging with a shovel and wheel barrow. Roots made this extremely difficult so I had to hire a buddy with a stump grinder.

2)Removed a pine, a cypress, and a cryptomeria that were pruned as if it were still 1992. They were too close to the house, planted too high, and still had their wire baskets and twine.

3) Exposed about 5 inches of block, with about an 8” air gap from soil to sill. Discovered some nasty spalling on many of the tops of the blocks, indicating moisture has been a problem probably since the house was built in the 30’s. I plan to patch them up in a couple years when I have the interior of my crawl space walls repointed. Also found a nice 6” long horizontal mortar gap and sealed it up with silicone (how ya like that?) as a temporary measure.

4) Finished grading. Created a relatively steep slope but the goal was to allow the water to flow away from the foundation, obviously.

5) Gathered a shitload of stone from a landscaper buddy to start making the wall.

6) Dry stacked the wall on a soil base that will likely erode away in a year.

7) Next week I’m picking up a truckload of wetland perennials and shrubs, will top it all off with mulch and create my wetland oasis

8) My downspout extension is essentially a gutter, which I like because it catches water that rolls down the siding and gives about 3” of space for water to be blocked from going down the foundation.

9) Last photo is from yesterday after we got .5 inches of rain in an hour. By the morning it had drained; basement is dry. Once plants and mulch are there we won’t have water pooling problems.

Enjoy. Critique. Have a good day.


r/DIY 1d ago

woodworking We made a fancy bed for our pup!

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763 Upvotes

r/DIY 2h ago

help Outside fireplace questions

6 Upvotes

Want to make a cement firebox in black. Idea is to have the back of the firebox to rise straight up for 24 inches and than curve out all the way to the mantle. Would like to polish the surface to a smooth black surface. The way I am thinking is to do it with cement, fine sand (no aggregate to avoid them from showing when polishing), wire for structural strength and black color mix. Fire is from a linear propane burner. * since it is a firebox, can i use regular cement/mortar for this work? If not, what should I use? * what and how will you create a mold? * would you create an inverted mold for this? I am a newbie to cement and would love to get some guidance from all of your experience. The image is what i want to build. How would you do this project?


r/DIY 1h ago

other Thoughts on range wiring

Upvotes

I've always seen ranges wired up with 8/3 and 40A circuits. I see some building codes moving to 6/3 and 50A and some ranges requiring it for warranty.
The stove I've ordered only asks for 40A and that's the local code. Anybody think I should be future proofing and hunting down a hard to find 50A?


r/DIY 1h ago

woodworking Anyone have an idea to make a T channel like this w/o a table router?

Upvotes

Anyone have an idea to make a T channel like this w/o a table router? If I can piece something together... I want to make my own custom LED light, the T would be where the acrylic diffuser would go and I'm gonna do about 15 feet of it.

Imgur: The magic of the Internet


r/DIY 7h ago

home improvement Adding insulation to an attic with mandatory storage

5 Upvotes

Hello fellow DIY nerds! I have an attic with about 6 inches of loose pink fiberglass insulation that is several decades old. As I'm zone 5, I'm looking to add about 10" of R38 fiberglass batts to the attic this spring/summer/fall, doing a couple dozen feet early mornings before the sun gets too high up. However, I have an island of storage around the attic entry (about 10'-20' of wooden squares in each direction) that can't go anywhere.

My real question is this: could I slide rigid insulation into the space between the joists under the wooden squares and still effectively insulate the attic? Or would I be wasting the time and effort? I know I wouldn't get my goal of 10", but I feel like with the batts around the outer section of the attic and the rigid insulation under the storage, I would probably still see savings on heating/cooling the house.


r/DIY 12h ago

other 51mm instead of 50mm?

14 Upvotes

So, I'm installing a lock on an interior door and I need to bore a 50mm hole for the main lock body. Problem is I can only seem to find 51mm drill bits in the sets they come in, would it be problematic to just use one of these? I don't have any experience with drills or locks so I'm hesitant.


r/DIY 8m ago

other ac and furnace trying to run at the dame time.

Upvotes

My ac is blowing hot or room temperature air , depending on time of day. Power bill is out the roof. I've worked on on the inside and outside units before (swapped caps , etc) so I poked my head,( after feeling heat at coming from evaporator area, ) back in area of inside unit. Ac is suppose to be on but furnace coils was glowing red.

This toasted my motor, I know for sure(after testing windings and obviosu armature wear) . Wondering if there is other parts I should also look at replacing.

I know my way around a search engine but after days and days of various search queries, I could not find another situation where the furnace and ac was running at the same time.

Any help is greatly appreciated!


r/DIY 9h ago

help Screwing into walls: Screw is never flush with surface and then gets "eaten" by drill bit

4 Upvotes

I am not much of a DIY person, but it is like a dream of mine to actually screw things properly for once.

I'm over 30 years old, and whenever I've tried to screw something into walls, the screw never goes in all the way, and then it gets to a point where the drill bit eats away at the metal of the screw, so I can't even unscrew now.

Why does this happen? What am I doing wrong?

To be clear, when drilling the hole for the plug, I always make sure I drill as far as the drill bit would go. Then I insert the plastic plug into the whole, and that does go in all the way (i.e. the plug is flush with the surface), but when I screw, it doesn't go all the way.

Here are some photos of a trellis I tried putting up 2 hours ago. I got so frustrated that I left it with one screw in, and after a cup of tea, I thought I'd ask this subreddit for some help.

MORE INFO:

Some folks are asking about the drill I use, here are some more photos showing the drill and the drill-bits. You tell me if that's an impact driver or a screw, I'm not really sure what the difference is. I use a masonry drill bit (size 8 cause I see an 8 written on the screw).


r/DIY 1h ago

help Suitable underlay for LVT plank

Upvotes

I’m looking at installing these LVT planks (https://www.tilegiant.co.uk/flooring/henley-oakbrook-1221767.html) throughout downstairs. The planks are a 5mm thick click fit and are approximately 123x17 cm. The subfloor is concrete block with self adhesive tiles, I’ll be removing the current floors and making the surface as level as possible without screeding, but would like to have a tolerance for minor imperfections. I’m hence looking at using the following underlay (https://www.tilegiant.co.uk/flooring/3-5mm-rubber-crumb-underlay-15m2-roll-1221825.html) throughout as well. Ideally I’d like to se this to increase the height slightly, and reduce any risk of damp/cold because of medical reasons, while having greater allowance for imperfections on the floor. I haven’t been able to find details from either manufacturer on suitability. So would like advice if anyone has come across similar situations and can confirm that the underlay won’t allow excessive movement that would damage the floor.


r/DIY 13h ago

other How to add reflective surface to increase sunlight for balcony plants?

6 Upvotes

One balcony gets less light than the other, due to orientation of street to the path of the sun. Plants on shady balcony 1/2 the size of their sunny brethren.

How to add c. 2 meter H x 60cm W reflective surface to balcony side walls?

Obvious choice is sticky back reflective mirror roll or buying actual mirrors.

Mirror roll seems to be variable, in terms of cost and reflectivity.

I'm wondering (1) how reflective the surface needs to be and (2) which would be more cost effective.

The really reflective stuff starts to cost a bit and come in quite small sheets, which makes me think just getting a £10 mirror might save hassle.

Ideally the surface is removable, not attached to the wall. Could stick mirror roll to some hardboard.

Having the option to cut out notches and be slightly weird dimensions makes the hardboard / mirror roll idea the most attractive, just not sure what material to use.


r/DIY 3h ago

help Drywall project feedback?

1 Upvotes

Hey y’all so I’m trying to replace an older fan in our bathroom but the hole from the old one was pretty large and all modern fan covers are too small to cover the gap. Therefore I filled in the hole and will recut to install the new fan. The new fan is going to sit on the drywall. How’s my first mud and tape job look? Once recut do you think the outsides will hold the fan? I’m a novice and first time tapping and mudding.


r/DIY 1d ago Wholesome

other Garage Restoration and Organization

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117 Upvotes

r/DIY 8h ago

outdoor How to fix gap in retaining wall?

0 Upvotes

We have a retaining wall with an area on top to plant that was incredibly overgrown from the previous owners. We decided to pull out all existing plants to start fresh which included pulling out vines that covered the boulders. Once we did, we noticed the amount of dirt in between each rock. Can anyone give us some guidance on how to fix this? We were originally thinking of digging out the dirt and filling with smaller rocks or spray foam but google is indicating this might be a bigger problem. Any advice would be great, thank you!

picture


r/DIY 8h ago

other Thoughts on tackling my drainage ditch with a natural spring that makes a muddy front mess and standing water. PICS

1 Upvotes

In the front of my yard runs a ditch that runs parallel with the road that carries and tries to drain a natural spring that is located somewhere uphill from my home. The issue is that the ditch is constantly muddy, soggy, difficult to mow in the summer and does NOT drain very well. See pics.

My thinking is to dig a trench about 12-18" deep and about the same width, adding 3/4 clear rock on the bottom, them either running n 8" or 12" corrugated solid culvert pipe down the length of the ditch on top of the rock, then cover with about 4" or so of the backfill.

My neighbor and I share the same ditch and want this problem resolved as much as I do and we agreed to split the costs and work together.

Is the right approach for this type of issue?

You can see the "tire tracks" in the mud when I have to mow the area. It's really soggy.

Minimum drainage

Its waterlogged about 3 feet on each side of that 4 inch natural line

Length of the ditch. The entire issue goes to my neighbor drive and has standing water.

Green area is full of water


r/DIY 18h ago

home improvement How do I insulate and drywall my vaulted exposed beam ceiling?

6 Upvotes

Pictures here. I’m a new home owner and this last winter was terrible because I have no insulation in my ceiling. House was built in the 60’s. I love the look of the beams and the stained wood but the previous owners painted the beams terribly and got paint everywhere. It will take way to much work to sand and restain it all so I’ve decided to just drywall it, add insulation, and some nice modern lights but I’m clueless. The beams are too far apart to just put drywall but I don’t know how to put in support for it.


r/DIY 23h ago

woodworking melamine as form concrete bench?

10 Upvotes

Like the title, I'm going to be having a bench poured, starting work on the forms this weekend. Dimensions are 10"" wide, 18" tall, approx 17 ft long.

I went to home depot and lowes looking for plyform (or formply, seen it spelled both ways) but they didn't have any. Home depot DID have large melamine sheets that I've seen people use to make concrete table tops, but could that withstand the given dimensions? I'll obviously be bracing with 2x4s...etc

Edit just to say thanks all! Also just a note, the form is a straight rectangle, 18" x 10" wide x 17ft long. Just so there's not the impression I'm forming legs, tops...etc


r/DIY 2d ago

outdoor Found a large hole under my patio, any idea what it is for and should I account for access to it with my new patio?

969 Upvotes

Answer now at the bottom

Working towards replacing the patio and have found this brick lined hole under my existing patio. Does anyone know what it is and if so should I ensure access to it with the new patio? My old patio was built right over it and caused it to become uneven so I'm not exactly sure what to do with it.

I've been in the house for nearly 5 years and I've never even known about it but knowing my luck if it was ever to become important it'll be as soon as the new patio is on it. I'm in the UK if that helps.

I've done some preliminary googling but anything to do with holes in gardens comes back to animals so isn't much help.

Hopefully these links work: Surface view: https://ibb.co/M98SLWt Inside view: https://ibb.co/q5M9932

Edit: apologies for the lack of info, post was auto modded so tried again but kept it short. No ladder or access to it. It's about the depth of my spade as I was able to use the spade to stab the bottom which appears to be sand (sand may well have fallen in over time though). I think my house was built in the 50s or 60s (can't remember exactly)

Next day update edit: have contacted my local council and left my details with "the duty surveyor" who I'm expecting a call back from at some point.

Further edit and answer: duty surveyor put me onto the waterboard who identified that it is indeed a rodding point for the waste that leaves the house. So all the waste water from my house travels along the pipe at the bottom of this access space. Its a sealed space with a concrete base and the pipe running along the bottom with access into the top of the pipe which would be used if the main pipe leaving my house was to block. So although immediate access isn't required and I'm totally okay to build my patio over the top, I cannot fill it in and access to it would be required if the pipe was to be blocked. Picture: https://ibb.co/jJQMbH6


r/DIY 18h ago

help Rafter length?

2 Upvotes

I’m trying to build a shed with a gable roof and am trying to figure out the length of the rafter I will need. I’d like a 6 inch overhang and plan on having a bird mouth cut on the rafter for my top plate.

Im not sure what my rafter length will need to be. I plan on having a 6/12 rise/run and my span is 10 feet or 5 feet for each half.

Doing calculations I come up with a max peak at 2.5 feet (30/12)

Would I just calculate 52+2.52=c2 to find my rafter length and then just add 6 inches for the overhang? Do I need to account for the birdmouth cut in the calculation?

Thanks in advance for any advice!


r/DIY 20h ago

home improvement Can I change a blind mechanism?

5 Upvotes

Sorry if this isn’t the right place to ask because it’s sort of DIY and smart home tech but I’ve got the smart tech bit figured out (I think, also open to other ideas). I’m also not sure if blind mechanisms technically count as DIY, but I will probably have to crack out a screwdriver soo….

I have an IKEA blind that has a pull to release mechanism. The cheapest way I’ve seen to make a smart blind uses a motor attached to one of those circular pull cords that looks like a string of small white plastic beads. Obviously not having to replace the whole blind is preferable. I’ve seen videos for replacing blind mechanisms when they’re broken and it looks very simple but that’s a like for like replacement. What I can’t find is if it’s possible to replace a pull to release blind mechanism for a loop pull cord one? And if so, will this then create issues remounting back on to the original wall brackets? If I ever wanted to put the spring loaded mechanism back in could I do that?

Thanks!