Archive for the ‘Basements’ Category

Fixing Brick & Block Walls

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Tuck-pointing is the most common brick and block wall repair. It is the process of replacing failed mortar joints with fresh mortar. Tuck-pointing is a really good repair technique for homeowners. It can be used to repair all sorts of things such as: walls, chimneys, brick veneer, or any other structure that the bricks or blocks are bonded with mortar.

To fix minor repairs you can always use caulk or repair compound when patching popouts or chips. Before attempting any major repair always consult a professional.

Basement walls are a big trouble area for homeowners. There’s constant moisture and stress created by contact with the ground. Also, contact with the ground will cause leaks, bowing, and plant failure. Small leaks and cracks can be fixed with hydraulic cement. You can use masonry-based waterproofing products to give deteriorated walls a fresh look.

Wainscoting – Adding style to any room

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Wainscoting. I picture something in a home out of the 1700s, say, Ben Franklin’s era. Would this work in my home?  Wainscoting (often mispronounced Wains-coating) is a facing or paneling, usually of wood, applied to the walls of a room.

The lower part of an interior wall, finished in a material different from that of the upper part. This is topped with a chair rail. It looks smart, and Wainscoting can add style to any room in your home.. Selecting the style, design and materials can be dizzying. There are so many options.

Choices range from simply cutting wall panel to the height specifications with a chair rail along the top, to fancier, pre-cut  hardwoods or the very durable, maintenance-free synthetic materials.

If you plan to DIY, you will need these tools:
combination square, level, tape measure, clamps, utility knife,  chop saw, hammer,  radial arm saw,  circular  or table  saw. Or use a coping saw, hand saw and miter box.

You’ll also want to have dividers, a cordless drill–driver, pneumatic nailer and jig-saw. There’s more: wood glue, construction adhesive, 8d and 4d finish nails, wood shims and wood filler Better to have these tools at the ready, rather than making extra runs to the hardware store during the project.

Sounds like a real chore, doesn’t it? Fear not! Variations on this process: paint the lower portion of the wall, instead of installing wood panels. Sponge painting that portion of the wall, with a chair rail dividing that and the upper wall, is a unique effect.

Otherwise, spend a Saturday afternoon selecting wallpaper, rather than paint. Line the lower wall with your choice of wallpaper. You may want to paint the chair rail to match one of the colors in the wallpaper.