Homeowner’s clinic Q&A

Giving up bad drywall screws for good

whenever I use drywall screws to build stuff, they break or strip. Any suggestions?...

How do I shorten a low-hanging light fixture?

We have a low-hanging light fixture in the kitchen, and we’re constantly hitting our heads on it. How easy is it to shorten its chain...

Not-so-super bowl: Leaking toilet bowl

: My toilet was leaking from underneath the bowl every time I flushed, so I replaced the wax ring. It’s still leaking. What did I...

Get you deck in shape for summer

Every summer we have several large family braais and as a result our pressure-treated deck is, basically, trashed. Can you help me get it back...

Weed-infested lawn problem

Weed-infested lawn problem

My lawn is infested with onion weeds. Do you have any suggestions for getting rid of them without also wiping out my lawn?...

Controlling LED bulbs

Controlling LED bulbs

My new compact-fluorescent and LED bulbs either dim insufficiently, flicker, or they don’t light at all. It’s driving me crazy. How do I correct this?...

Ant invasion

Ant invasion

We finally got rid of our ant infestation this winter, but now they’re back. Any suggestions that don’t involve nasty toxic insecticides?...

How to fix broken stair nosing

I fell on my butt while walking downstairs and broke off a stair tread’s nosing. Can I fix it?...

To paint or stain?

To paint or stain?

I just built a deck railing. I was going to paint it and call it a day, but now my wife wants me to stain...

How to fix a dodgy dryer duct

Our dryer duct collects a lot of lint, which then traps condensation that leaks out through the duct’s seams. It’s a mess. What should I...

Bridging the gap: Spaces between the baseboard

Q: I’ve just noticed that in some areas of our house, there are gaps between the baseboard and our somewhat bumpy old hardwood floor –...

Ceiling spots

Ceiling spots

Can you help us with an annoying problem? We had a leaky roof that left water spots on the bedroom ceiling. We fixed the roof...

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