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1:34 AM
Looks like we have an insulation expert digging through the site.
Pigrew, Lafayette, IN
51 1
10 hours later…
11:36 AM
@Aaron Wasps are not an approved grounding method. 1) because they move around too much. and 2) because they get really pissed off when you try to connect wires to them.
12:15 PM
Q: What software is available for estimating kitchen joinery?

user7559I work for a kitchen joinery company and I am trying to find software that we could use for quoting and estimating. We are currently using Excel spreadsheets and I and concerned that this is not a safe or stable process. We already use Cabmaster software but this is very slow if you only want to ...

Is this a home improvement question, or a business question?
I thought it looked OT, but I was waiting on the community to chime in with some close votes. I'm not sure where to draw the line between this and CAD-like questions that we've permitted in the past.
I'm conflicted, because it's nice to see "professionals" getting involved, but I'm not sure we should really be dealing with the "business" end of home improvement.
This sounds more like a business/accounting question.
12:33 PM
I agree that it probably crossed the line by asking about the "quoting and estimating" aspect, rather than the planning question. We should take care to not make questions like these OT:
Q: What is the recommended home design software?

SchwartzEI am going to be finishing my basement. I would like to design the new basement myself using design software. What is the recommended home design software?

Q: How can I effectively use Google Sketchup to render walls, doors, and windows?

richardtallentThis question falls dangerously close to being a software question, but it's definitely specific to DIY... My house is around 100 years old. Off-the-shelf home design programs have nice libraries of drop-on components like walls and windows that can be adjusted somewhat to fit, but they are basi...

Q: What is an affordable 2D drafting software for amateurs?

PortmanBackground: We have about 1500 feet of unfinished basement that I am contemplating finishing off into a "grandma suite". Before getting serious about the project, however, I would like to play around with some layouts. My first thought was to download the 30-day trial of AutoCAD LT. But surely ...

the community seems agree that these are on topic
2 hours later…
2:22 PM
@Tester101 @BMitch I thought that question might be useful for DIYers as well since estimating time and/or materials is a good thing to do when planning a project (so I'm told :).
@NiallC. maybe, if the software is free. It's not likely a DIYer would pay for this software, or use it enough to make paying for it economically viable.
1 hour later…
3:32 PM
@TheEvilGreebo @ChrisCudmore why are you guys so against the orientation of the flooring?
Think of the whole area as one room, and he is going along the long side.
Diagonals FTW!!!
@NiallC. The problem with laminate/engineered is that the end t&g doesn't fit into the side t&g, so you can't get creative with diagonals. Once you start, you're stuck with that angle, and can't do any herring bone type stuff.
@ChrisCudmore Didn't say herringbone, just said diagonals. Next you're going to assume I mean 45 degrees.
its not 1 room
3:48 PM
@TheEvilGreebo I know, but if the space is open enough it may seem like one room. In which case, doing the flooring the other way (the way you suggest) might make it feel partitioned.
4:13 PM
Curious what you guys think -- this question got answered/commented on, including by a couple top users: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/18402/… and yet, several others in the past that are similar and asked how to build something get closed as off-topic, because while they're "DIY", they're not "home improvement".
in fact, here's an example of a similar question that was closed:
and the meta discussion that took part as a result: meta.diy.stackexchange.com/questions/290/…
@gregmac They are not asking how to build something, they are asking what tool to use to cut metal. Tool questions are on topic. Saying "I'd like to build something, but only have a rough idea how. Could you design and tell me how to build x?" are off topic.
@Tester101 I would say it's a bad question, not that it's off-topic.
Eg, "I'm trying to build X, here's what I figured out, but I need a way to join these together. I've tried y but it's not strong enough, and z is too expensive, can anyone give a better recommendation?"
It's the same as questions that all the other SE sites are dealing with. I was just reading some stuff about the 'homework' tag on stackoverflow, and it seems applicable here.
It's too much of a design question, and there is no right answer only opinions.
4:28 PM
that's not really a good argument, as you can apply that logic to pretty much any question :)
eg, "There's a 1" round hole in my drywall, how do I fix it?"
Actually I'd requalify your statement. There are several right answers. Which one is the best for the situation is a matter of opinion - and that's what the answer votes are for. Which one actually accomplishes the OP's goal is what the accepted answer mechanism is for.
I'm just saying the way I read the LCD question is "I want to build this complex thing, but don't really know how. Can you tell me how to build it, and what materials to use?". Where as the metal cutting question I read as "What tool can I use to cut thin metal?"
ok, I didn't read it in detail, and I'd agree
I guess I'm saying I disagree with it being closed as off-topic (as we were apparently doing at the time.. there were several questions like that are hard to find now), but I would agree as-is, it should be closed as "not constructive" or the question needs to be improved to be more specific
I agree, but in the end, closed is closed.
Also keep in mind, that question was closed not so long after we graduated.
We were still learning and growing.
Well it was just one example. I think several others were deleted, they're hard to find now.
If you find them, vote to undelete, or flag for mod attention.
Or bring it up on Meta, or in chat.
4:36 PM
I have read pretty much every question on the site since almost the start of beta, and I have definitely seem some closed as off-topic which was the consensus at the time (eg, not related to home improvement)
I was just looking for clarity, as it seems there was never really a clear decision on it (case in point: all the meta discussions about scope)
I'm sure there have been questions that were wrongly closed, but if nobody is willing to fight for the question is it really worth keeping around?
But I also think going forward, it's important that if it's a bad question, it is closed for being a bad question, not for being off-topic.
I agree.
No, what's done is done.
I think sometimes off topic is the default. Folks aren't really sure why it should be closed, just that it should be. so they click off topic.
4:41 PM
So is your opinion still what you stated here? meta.diy.stackexchange.com/a/269/157
I think so, yes.
But it's more complicated than this statement "DIY Home Improvement" not "DIY" and/or "Home Improvement".
heh, that's what I was going to ask about :)
I think these types of discussions come up so often, because it's really difficult to define our community.
specifically cutting beer kegs doesn't seem to have relation to DIY Home improvement (in fact destroying your kegs is probably more likely to be the opposite..)
@Tester101 absolutely.
Ah. Tools, are on topic. and he's asking what tool to use.
You could remove everything about the keg from the question, and it doesn't change.
The keg stuff is just fluff.
When, where, and how to use tools is almost always on-topic.
4:50 PM
Yeah, I'd agree with that, and it's an easy statement.
I think along those lines an argument could be made for fasteners or materials.. though it has to be very specific to not be a 'design this for me' question
Questions that are too broad, may be on-topic-ish, but often take too much effort to answer and so will never get an answer or will be closed.
@Tester101 again, should be closed as 'not constructive' or 'not a real question'. To encourage better questions and not scare away users, it should also get a comment or link to FAQ explaining what could be done to improve the question.
@gregmac I agree, and I think you should bring that point up on Meta.
It would be nice to get some other opinions on it. And it might get people thinking more about what radio button they check when they vote to close.
@Tester101 ok, I'll do that sometime later. Need to sort out the multiple discussions on meta first. meta.diy.stackexchange.com/questions/198/…, meta.diy.stackexchange.com/questions/266/… and meta.diy.stackexchange.com/questions/290/…
5:20 PM
What to do about this answer:
A: Using 3-phase connection to power 1-phase AC unit

greg roweI found this link by mistake so it's been a while since you asked your question, Eli Iser, so I hope it all worked out for you. My main reason for responding is shirlock homes answer, tho it appears he enjoys what he does I have been an electrician since 1977 and although we do very little resid...

It's very forum-y but has pieces that should be comments on both existing answers.
5:42 PM
@gregmac: the question on cutting the beer keg was clearly off topic (I was ready to close it without discussion) but the question of how best to cut through steel is on topic. Since the question could be reduced to something that's on topic and useful to others, I let it slide. That said, I really wish the OP didn't mention the keg since it distracts from the core question.
5:55 PM
What!? The mechanic said he needed a new muffler hanger.
is that from thereifxiedit ?
6:33 PM
Obviously for doing electrical work in the shower.
@ChrisCudmore With this ring, I thee shock the hell out of.
/me mutters about what should be a simple regex
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I'll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems.
The humiliation. I had to ask on SO
Q: Regex - find all lines after a match:

The Evil GreeboGiven the following text in an email body: DO NOT MODIFY SUBJECT LINE ABOVE. Sending this email signifies my Request to Delay distribution of this Product Change Notification (PCN) to 9001 (Qwest). The rationale for this Request to Delay is provided below: This is the reason I need to ...

6:51 PM
what is this in your regex: "?<1>" (I'm used to regex's in perl)
i don't honestly know, I didn't write it
i think it's meant to identify the match # or name the group
@ChrisCudmore I saw that, thought of it more as a voltage tester that non-wimpy electricians use
Kicking off a couple minutes early because I have a conf call
Welcome to Project Update Thursday
I'll check back in a bit with my own updates, but I'll give you a topic to discuss: faq changes, good, bad, indifferent.
@Tester101 and I had a good discussion on scope earlier today (scroll up). Essentially, I think we should be much more lenient about DIY-but-not-home-improvement questions (eg, building or repairing stuff not attached to your house). Tester101 thinks those questions are okay but only because "When, where, and how to use tools is almost always on-topic."
Do you have an example of a question deemed out of scope that you think shouldn't have been?
7:04 PM
We both agreed that questions like "How do I build something to do x?" are bad questions -- but not because they're off-topic, but because they're either essentially asking "Design this for me" and/or they show no research has been done.
@TheEvilGreebo no though I think to finalize any discussion I'm going to have to go find some. I have definitely seen some before, it's hard to find closed/deleted questions though.
@gregmac agreed
I'd suggest we keep the scope limited to home improvement, but if someone asks about something for a hobby project that has a more general application to home improvement, then it can be considered on topic. It would be best if we edit those questions to remove the hobby aspect.
@BMitch Why? We're only getting something like 2-8 questions a day
Yeah I mean "how do i rebuild my carburetor?" arguably involves tool usage but is a mechanics question
If it's plumbing, electrical, framing / finish carpentry and not specifically in the house I'm inclined to say, "Fine"
@gregmac because quality > quantity
I mean it's tough to draw the line.. To me asking something like "I'm trying to build a go-kart, but the axle which I've attached with #8 1.5" screws keeps falling off when I go over bumps. How can I make the connection more secure?" is okay
right now, I'm pretty sure if that question got asked it would be closed as off-topic
7:09 PM
migrated more likely
ok, fair enough
but again tough to discuss concretely without concrete examples
yes, absolutely.
@TheEvilGreebo Just because a process uses tools, does not make it a tool question. This was the question that started the discussion.
I guess seeing the beer keg question get answered was surprising to me, so I'll keep an eye out now for that type of question, and if I'm feeling very adventurous I'll go looking for old deleted/closed questions..
7:11 PM
He's asking about cutting a keg, but is asking "What tool can I use to cut thin metal?"
@Tester101 Right
What do we care? He may be using the kegs to mix grout in for his bathroom tiling project.
Although... It could be closed as duplicate, maybe.
Q: What's the easiest way for me to cut thin metal?

KirkWill someone at Home Depot or Lowe's be able to cut this for me? If not, what tool should I buy and use? Edit Thanks for all the help! I ended up buying a Dremel. I went through 6 cut-off wheels in order to finish all my cuts. I was customizing an IKEA drawer to fit under my smaller IKEA tabl...

great googa mooga:
A: Doors are sticky and noisy when opened?

cheryllmine was doing the same thing.. i heard that by putting a little vaseline on the door stops it.. so i tried it and guess what no sticking sound. it does tend to wear off in time, but i just reapply it and no noise...

Which reminds me of the question: "How do you use Vaseline during sex?" - "Put it on the doorknob to keep the kids from opening the door."
7:16 PM
@ChrisCudmore You're doing it wrong.
How? I have kids don't I? Sounds like Mission Accomplished to me.
Now I can spend that time improving the house.
@ChrisCudmore As a single man, I'd say that kids are not necessarily the objective
@BMitch As a DINK, I say they're way more fun to make than keep.
But now I've always got someone who will Lego with me.
Hello @Pschultz
7:19 PM
@ChrisCudmore I was an only child. I have sharing issues. Better for me not to have kids.
@BMitch Is this bringing us back on to the DIY topic?
Hello @Chris
@ChrisCudmore We got side tracked by someone discussing Vaseline usage during sex.
Off Topic: I have two sql servers on different boxes - 2 inches from each other, that have to go through web services and odbc to talk to each other.
I can't wait until this migration is over.
@ChrisCudmore That's awesome.
Servers should never talk directly
7:23 PM
Scariest DIY project ever... Busting out tap holes in a new (expensive) sink.
Q: Can I drill a hole for a faucet in a porcelain sink?

winerd Looking at this bathroom sink from below a round area is visible in the middle where the material is thinner. Is there a safe way to drill a middle hole there (to install the faucet recommended at http://diy.stackexchange.com/a/18330/7480)?

@Tester101 i know
I'm not touching that one.
You always want to reach for the drill first.
But I should be able to update OLD.tablename from NEW.sometable.UpdateTrigger
I tried giving a light tap to a tight fitting bolt in a toilet tank. Fortunately the HI store is a short drive and new toilets aren't too expensive.
7:25 PM
The first time I did it, I was holding the punch on the mark, sweating, and breathing deep. My friend snatched the hammer, and said what are you waiting for. WHACK!
I snapped a toilet tank once because I didn't tighten the two bolts evenly.
Porcelain is so fragile. I set the side of a toilet down on the lip of a tub too hard once. Crack.
He had never done it before either, and didn't realize how much I had paid for the sink.
Fortunately, it worked out.
Can you really knock out a hole like that?
7:32 PM
Nice safety glasses.
@ChrisCudmore he's got his face right up in it too
You see, safety is important.
@ChrisCudmore as are neon plastic seat belts
16 mins ago, by Chris Cudmore
But I should be able to update OLD.tablename from NEW.sometable.UpdateTrigger
I don't know what the context of that is in this chat, but it makes me laugh
It was talking about my SQL servers that have to go through a webservice to talk to each other.
7:42 PM
So if you don't have a lot of space above a door to get a RO sander in to take some of the top off of it, what do you do?
@Aaron Pull the hinge pins out, and do it outside.
So my own project update this week: attempted replacement of exhaust fan switch with a timer, sadly the attempt failed and will have to be retried in a week.
It seems that the timers stocked by HD only support incandescent lights, not fans
Wait... A project update during PUT!
So off to Amazon I had to go
@BMitch I say it all the time "Make sure the timer is rated for motor loads". Don't you ever listen!?
7:44 PM
My PUT - Somehow my 31 1/4" stair tread cut became a 30 1/4" cut by the time I got to the saw. Back to Lowes for another tread.
@ChrisCudmore :(
@Tester101 I didn't actually install it, stopped when I got to the instructions, which required opening the box.
I only picked up that one because they didn't have a single other option in the store
@ChrisCudmore do it outside anyway - dirty otherwise
A tool designed specifically to open packaging.
It's blister packed though, so you end up in an infinite recursion.
@ChrisCudmore I was wearing gloves, so I just ripped the thing to shreds. I'm sure the guy at the return desk had seen worse
@Tester101 I've got to pick one of those up for my bathroom exhaust.
@Tester101 They didn't carry that one at my store. I think they had some things I could mail order.
@BMitch At my local store, the timers are not near the other switches. They have one or two near the switches, but those are light loads only. The good ones are hidden on the end of an aisle.
It should say on the box "Works with incandescent lights" or something like that, if it's only for lights.
Hmm, maybe they hid them. This is the one they had with the switches: homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202051145/h_d2/…
@ChrisCudmore That has happened to me more than once. Bummer.
Fortunately I'm not as bad as another person at Habitat that cut the end off of his tape measure because he left it on his board when cutting it with a miter saw. And he did that 3 different times.
7:59 PM
Hopefully it wasn't one of those snazzy LCD tapes from yesterday.
Q: How can I join vinyl decking to metal door frame?

CurtisShoddy workmanship by a lousy contractor has left me with a vinyl deck that allows water to leak into the garage below. I identified the location of the leak - where the vinyl meets the metal frame of the sliding door. He had put some caulking over the joint (not visible in photo, removed by me...

wood frame patio doors!
If you haven't cut your tape measure with a miter saw, you're paying too much attention around dangerous tools.
Habitat is like persuading cats with chainsaws to behave better. The first thing we learn is where the first aid kit is. And the second thing they do is pray to God. I'm not a religious person, but that second part still seems like a good idea.
@TheEvilGreebo For a community that seems to love caulk, how has nobody answered that question? CAULK.
@Tester101 because it's vinyl, it'll move, and the caulk won't hold
there needs to be an overlap from under the door to over the vinyl - flashing of sorts - then caulk
if thats impossible then caulk will have to do but it'll have to be the right kind
8:10 PM
You just have to use the big black caulk.
that may be what I end up suggesting...
Hi @TheEvilGreebo
Big black caulk, then?
Though Flexible Sealer looks cool.
8:13 PM
are you Curtis ?
Nothing fills a gap like black caulk.
thanks for popping in
i was wondering, what was under the vinyl?
I wasn't even aware that chat existed as a feature.
well welcome to the party
8:14 PM
I think it's 3/8s or 1/2 inch plywood
But the plywood doesn't go up to the door frame, argh.
replacement deck or something?
Yes the previous one was a leaky disaster.
I suppose the contractor should have run the vinyl under the door frame.
I don't like how high the vinyl comes up on the door frame base like that
seems like he didn't think his full measurements through
No kidding, it's stupid. Rain water pools in the door frame slider area.
on the metal or outside it?
8:16 PM
@agentnega You want metal flashing under the door frame, which it sounds like you had.
On the metal
Ah, he didn't install new flashing, I suspect.
@bmitch it sounds to me like the flashing was sitting on TOP of the door frame
you said he had metal sitting on it?
i can see the screw holes
well at least he thought about water... just not well
A thin strip of metal yeah
thats called flashing
problem is the flashing should have gone UNDER the metal door frame and OVER the vinyl
not over both
No it wasn't the super-thin tin, it's a long piece about the size of a ruler, but not flat either - it created a gap underneath itself.
8:18 PM
@TheEvilGreebo That wouldn't work because of the height difference.
that way water from the door frame runs onto the vinyl
oh crap
Sounds like he used a transition strip.
he used an interior transition piece
Yeah I think it held water underneath it.
You also want a decent slope on the deck so water runs away from the door, and it doesn't look like you have much clearance between the door and vinyl
8:19 PM
@Tester101 yeah thats the problem i'm seeing
The overall slope is good, he did double the slope compared to code.
did it look like that?
Something like that, but not as wide and no grooves on it.
He just wanted to hide the caulk I guess.
transition strip
Lipstick on a pig
8:20 PM
Certainly the deck shouldn't have ended up as high as the frame.
meant for interior use between things like carpet and tile
@Tester101 ayup
My fault, noob, didn't check references, etc.
so you have two options - one expensive, one cheap and kinda temporary
The balcony door could stand being replaced anyway, so I might go for expensive...
i'm typing,i'm typing
8:22 PM
If the water is pooling on the door frame, it's almost good that it's dripping through the crack.
Rather than getting into the house or into the subfloor.
When you replace the door, they'd put in a new threshold. Put some proper flashing under that and over the vinyl.
caulk everything
And continue the flashing along the side of the house if there's a path to the garage below. Water can run a long distance.
@BMitch You have to raise the bottom of the door up a bit while you're at it.
ok posted
@Tester101 That might create a trip hazard, but that clearance is awfully tight.
8:26 PM
patio doors are generally "step over" doors
a raise of 1/2" - 1" should do it
Fortunately the vinyl does go up the walls of the house under the siding, so at least that's OK.
oh good he did that right at least
I'd recommend vinyl flashing instead of metal in this case to avoid the flashing cutting the vinyl
Caulk is needed for all these joints, and it's something that requires periodic maintenance. It won't last forever, especially if the structure is moving.
Wow, thanks everybody, I appreciate the help!
Ha @TheEvilGreebo! I edited you again!
8:34 PM
damnit. the regex worked perfectly in my test
Have you tried just reading through it line by line and throwing everything out until you find the text you need?
Regex looks cool, but I can never get it to work properly.
@ChrisCudmore i'm not exactly endowed with a choice on that front
What's your input? A string or a file?
You think you can use regex to solve a problem. Now you have 2 problems
Woah, deja vu. The matrix is acting up a lot lately. :)
8:49 PM
So, you have to make this work, and all you can change is the BodyRegex value?
Why can't you change code?
2 hours ago, by Chris Cudmore
Some people, when confronted with a problem, think “I know, I'll use regular expressions.” Now they have two problems.
Why not just use : String[] temp = body.Split({"is provided below:", StringSplitOptions.None);
And then return temp[temp.Length -1];?
Thanks for joining us for this week's PUT

Project Update Thursday - 27 Sept 2012

2 hours ago, 2 hours 3 minutes total – 190 messages, 9 users, 12 stars

Bookmarked 6 secs ago by BMitch

9:05 PM
@TheEvilGreebo I added a comment to the answer on your Regex question
@BMitch if it's said so often, it must be true!
Either that, or agents are on their way. I think I'll get to an exit just to be safe.
9:21 PM
Woo, Yearling badge for me
9:35 PM
semi-automatic screwdriver, discuss
10:08 PM
Learn something new every day: modern ballasts require a neutral AND a ground to operate.
If you don't have a ground, the ballast will check one cycle out of every 60, which to a non-contact voltage detector will make the entire fixture seem like it's live.
(Of course, the hack who ran the wire from the switch to my garage light cut the ground in the switch box so I had to run a new wire all the way to the fixture box... but thankfully he didn't affix it in the wall as code required even when the house was built so it was a clean pull and I only had to knock a tiny hole in the wall to grab the wire and shoot a romex staple just above the switch box...)

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