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Jayme Potter

Alex Graham asked:

Feb 17, 2014
May 19, 2014

Interior chimneys are at least 4" larger in all four directions than the flue they contain. A chimney containing a 12"x12" clay flue liner must be at least 20" by 20". Combustible materials must be kept at least 2" away from the outside of the chimney walls. Exterior chimneys only need to be 1" away from the exterior combustible wall of the house.

By code the chimney must extend at least three feet above the roof and two feet above any part of the roof within ten feet. Cast in place or use a pre-cast concrete chimney cap with a drip edge and caulk the joint between the cap and the top flue liner with a silicon sealant.

In Seismic areas place a #4 steel reinforcing bar in each corner of the chimney, preferrably in the cells of the brick or block, and grout solid. If you must place the reinforcing steel between the flue liner and the surrounding masonry we recommend wrapping the flues with 1/8" ceramic fiber paper "socks" before placing the grout to allow the flue liners a lttle room to expand without cracking the exterior masonry. Tie the surrounding masonry horizontally every 18" with steel ladder or K-web, or pencil rod in the bed joints. Exterior chimneys must be anchored at each floor and roof.

The surround (the area at least 6" wide around the fireplace opening) can be finished with brick, stone, tile, terra cotta, slate, marble - almost any decorative masonry material. 100 years ago fireplace surrounds were often finished with ordinary plaster and sometimes painted black. The surround should not be used to lower the opening of the fireplace. The part of the surround over the fireplace opening should be just low enough to cover the edge of the rounded Rumford throat and not so low that it might cause unwanted turbulence.

John Ford asked:

Feb 17, 2014
May 19, 2014

Supplies needed: 

hopper gun and compressor (available for rental at home-center stores), paint tray, paint suit and glasses, stepladder , putty knife, paint mixer, paint roller, masking tape, drop cloths, ceiling texture, primer sealer, spackle

Here are the steps you need to take to get the job done: 

1. Fill any dents or imperfections in the ceiling with spackle, and then apply a coat of primer with a roller. Allow the primer to dry at least four hours.

2. While it's drying, mask off the walls and floor with masking tape and tarps, plastic sheets or drop cloths. 

3. Wearing proper protective clothing and goggles, pour some texture mix into a large bucket and mix according to directions. Use a paint-mixer attachment to achieve a nice blend. The mixture is ready when it's the consistency of thick porridge.

4. Fill the hopper with texture mixture and fire up the compressor. Practice spraying on an old board or a large piece of cardboard to get the feel of the machine.

5. Lightly spray the mixture onto the ceiling, and keep moving to avoid oversaturating any area. Use multiple light coats and allow the texture time to dry between coats. If you spray the texture on too thickly, it will drip off the ceiling.

May 1, 2014
May 19, 2014

The best way to remove the poison ivy would be to get a goat or two. A pair of goats would have the poison ivy in about a day without leaving any chemicals left behind. Keep in mind though that goats will also eat landscaping if you have it. There are different chemicals and techniques to revmoving the poison ivy if you don't want to go the goat route. Keep in mind that if you choose to use chemicals be very careful and be sure to chang clothes frequently through this process and wash your skin a lot. 

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