How to Rebuild a Concrete Block Retaining Wall

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on January 22, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57HG5r5bqWs

Watch the full episode: https://edit.thisoldhouse.com/watch/ask-toh-tankless-heater-retaining-wall Ask This Old House mason Mark McCullough rebuilds a retaining wall that was stacked with the wrong material. Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the official This Old House YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=thisoldhouse Time: 2-3 days Cost: $4000 Skill Level: Moderate Tools List for Rebuilding a Concrete Block Retaining Wall:
Shovels
Wheelbarrow Tamper
Rubber mallet
Level
Wet saw Shopping List:
Tarp
Gravel
Concrete blocks
Channel connectors
Fabric liner
Perforated plastic pipe
Construction adhesive Steps:
1. Remove any plants lining the retaining wall with a shovel. Dig deep to give the plants a strong root ball.
2. Transfer plants temporarily to a tarp for safekeeping.
3. Remove the pieces of the old wall.
4. Dig a few inches back and deep along the location of the old wall.
5. Lay a thick base of gravel along the trench. Pack it down tight with a tamper.
6. Lay the first course of blocks about halfway deep in the trench. Lay one block every six feet or so along the length of the wall, level those to one another, and then fill in the rest of the wall. Use the rubber mallet to secure the blocks in place.
7. Lay a fabric liner along the back and base of the wall.
8. Backfill behind the first course with more gravel.
9. Lay the next course of blocks. Line up the channels using the channel connectors. Be sure to not overlap face joints.
10. Lay the perforated plastic pipe behind the wall and backfill with gravel.
11. Install the next course of blocks the same as the second. Backfill with gravel. Repeat until the wall is at the desired height. Some blocks may need to be cut with a wet saw to ensure an even fit on each course.
12. To secure the top cap for the blocks, add construction adhesive to the top course of blocks. Then add the cap pieces. Even it out with the rubber mallet.
13. Return any plants back to the wall if needed. Resources:
Mark used Mini Creta 6” landscape blocks in the color sandlewood, manufactured by Techo Bloc (https://www.techo-bloc.com/en/). To join the top cap to the blocks, he used Gorilla Construction Adhesive, manufactured by Gorilla Glue (https://www.gorillatough.com/). Everything else he used, including shovels, landscape fabric, and gravel can be found at home centers, landscape and masonry supply stores. Expert assistance for this project was provided by MJM Masonry (http://www.mjmmasonry.com/). Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisOldHouse
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Energy Talks: Advanced Research, Nuclear Energy, Water Power

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on January 22, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyuLUNsTDB4

Speakers include: Addison Stark
Fellow, Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA‑E) “Manufactured Chemistry: Rethinking Reactor Design in the Age of Advanced Manufacturing” Alice Caponiti
Director, Office of Advanced Reactor Technologies, Office of Nuclear Energy “Advanced Reactors: Critical for our Future Energy Mix” Alejandro Moreno
Director, Water Power Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
“The Power of Water: New Hydropower and Marine Energy Technologies for the 21st Century”

TOH: Trade School- Exclusive Preview of Making a Grand Entrance!

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on January 22, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1PN2zViYV0

Master carpenter Norm Abram and general contractor Tom Silva create a more historically accurate front door surround. Host Kevin O'Connor meets contractor Monica MacKenzie at an antique home she renovated. Interior designers Dee Elms and Andrew Terrat share their design direction for the new space.

How to Install a Tankless Water Heater

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on January 21, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQ1FSw2xVUs

Watch the full episode: https://edit.thisoldhouse.com/watch/ask-toh-tankless-heater-retaining-wall Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey heads to Milwaukee to install an instantaneous water heater. Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the official This Old House YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=thisoldhouse Cost: $2000 Skill Level: Expert Tools List for Installing a Tankless Water Heater:
Pipe wrench
Drill
Hole saw Shopping List:
1” gas line and fittings
4” PVC pipe and fittings
PVC glue
Teflon tape
¾” copper pipe and fittings
Pipe cutter Steps:
1. An installation like this that involves gas piping is best left to a licensed, professional plumber.
2. Shut off the water and the gas to the hot water tank. Drain the water out of the tank and remove the old tank.
3. The new water heater may require a larger gas line, which will need to be run from the gas meter to the water heater.
4. Using the hole saw, drill a hole on the outside of the house near the location of the water heater. Run PVC pipes for the fresh air intake and vent through that hole.
5. Connect the cold water supply line to the water heater and the hot lines out of the heater using the ¾” copper pipe.
6. An on-demand water heater requires an electrical outlet.  An electrician may need to assist in adding one near the installation location.
7. A cross-over valve can be installed at the furthest plumbing fixture to allow the built-in recirculation pump to keep hot water at the ready.
8. Turn on the cold water supply, gas supply, and power to the water heater and test. Resources:
Richard installed an RUR Super High Efficiency Plus instantaneous hot water heater, manufactured by Rinnai (https://www.rinnai.us/). Expert assistance for this project was provided by Budiac Plumbing & Heating, Inc of Milwaukee, WIsconsin. Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisOldHouse
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How to Choose a Straight Edge for a Circular Saw

Posted by in Home Improvement Tips, on January 21, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tS2NH457T7k

Watch the full episode: https://edit.thisoldhouse.com/watch/ask-toh-tankless-heater-retaining-wall Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva demonstrates some techniques for cutting straight edges with a circular saw. Click here to SUBSCRIBE to the official This Old House YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=thisoldhouse Cost: $0-$500 Skill Level: Beginner Tools List for Building a Straight Edge for a Circular Saw:
Circular saw
Track saw
Track saw guide system
Measuring tape Shopping List:
Plywood
Wood glue Steps:
1. Measure the offset of the circular saw guide to the blade. Mark whatever is being cut at the desired length, plus the offset.
2. Use a straight scrap piece of wood and place it on the measurement. Run the saw along the scrap piece of wood and the cut should be straight.
3. With a track saw, simply place the track along the desired length mark, offsetting for the thickness of the blade, and run the saw across the track.
4. Circular saws can also be converted to track saws using a guide system. It comes with a jig that can be attached to the bottom of any saw.
5. Make a track using two pieces of plywood. Cut one piece of plywood to be about 2” wide and glue it on top of the other piece.
6. Run the circular saw alongside the scrap piece on both sides. This will create an accurate guide accommodating the required offset for each side of the saw. Resources:
Tom demonstrated a track saw manufactured by Festool (https://www.festoolusa.com/). Tom also demonstrated the Accu-Cut Circular Saw Guide Track System, manufactured by Kreg Tools (https://www.kregtool.com/). He then showed how to make a homemade circular saw track for any saw using scrap plywood. Follow This Old House and Ask This Old House: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ThisOldHouse
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