How to Install a Deck Ledger – Fine Homebuilding

A New Way To Do It Right.

Fastening a deck ledger with structural screws is fast and easy.

This is another way to install this critical support element of your deck structure.

So many times during home inspections I find inadequately attached ledgers.

Because of this I now make a point of crawling in to see them up close, however difficult or inconvenient that access may prove to be.


Just picture the consequences of its failure. This has happened more often than you think.

This product (structural screws) and method really do make it easier.

Source: How to Install a Deck Ledger – Fine Homebuilding

These Suckers, Yeah I’m A Sucker For Them!

These Suckers, Yeah I’m A Sucker For Them!

Yeah, I am. I go for them. It’s true!

But I’m not talking about any candy. No. (My teeth would be gone !) I’m talking about the cute hacks, the out of the ordinary and the unexpected and the useful alternate uses things can be put to.  These useful but off the wall hacks are it.

And I am a sucker for them. The more unexpected the better I like it, and when they are practical, even better. It’s what you should think of when you hear the phrase ‘alternate universe’.

Not everybody has a pair of these kicking around in the toolbox, you wouldn’t go out and buy them for this (too dear), but if you’ve got’em, flaunt’em.

Montreal Home Inspections - Home Hacks - Shower - Glass Handling Suction CupsMontreal Home Inspection - Home Hacks - Shower - Glass Handling Suction Cups

What are they? They are gripper handles used by professional glazers, i.e. glass installers.

They are sets of adjustable suckers with a handle in between. You place them on the glass, lift the levers to flatten the rubber side and expell most of the air. Then you close the levers to create a vacuum that locks them onto the glass. Now you can pickup the glass by the ‘handles’.  When you are done, just lift the levers. That erases the vacume and they come off the glass, leaving no marks or scratches.

They will work on other materials as long as they are flat, rigid and non-prorous, such as the ceramic tiles seen here.

SO if you need a grab bar or even something to hang your soap holder on you probably won’t go and buy a set of these because of the cost, but if they’re kicking around in your tool box, go for it!

And, yes , I came across this during one of my home inspections this past winter.


Jeff Fisher ArizonasRealtyReMax Fine Properties Incredible! What a great idea and use for the often-misunderstood gripper. I’ve got to tell everyone about this. May 20, 2014 09:19 PM

Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County – (916) 765-5366 I used a similar tool to set large floor tiles Robert. The tiles were 24×24 inches, the suction cups made placing them easy. May 21, 2014 05:19 AM

Randy Shamburger   FHA, VA, USDA and Conventional Mortgage Expert Movement Mortgage Great information, thanks for sharing. Have a Big day, Randy May 21, 2014 07:47 AM

Kristina Heili    Comprehensive Real Estate Services Keller Williams Premier Realty Ingenious. I’m gonna get some for myself! May 21, 2014 01:06 PM

Robert Butler Montreal, Canada, Home Inspector – Aspect Inspection

Yes Jeff, tell everybody or send them here. If they were cheaper the idea might go viral.   Hi Tom, great idea, those big tiles are hard to place truly flat. You’re welcome Randy.     Hi Kristina, you won’t need a stud finder to put them up in the shower.  May 21, 2014 05:35 PM

Donald Hester   NCW Home Inspections, LLC Robert, Boy I wish I had a set of those from time to time. I glazed for a little while so I have used them. That a great place to store till you need them. May 21, 2014 07:31 PM

John F Muscarella  Broker/Owner, Plymouth County / Cape Cod, MA  RIVER FARM PROPERTIES, LLC Nothing wrong with a bit of re-purposing now and again Robert.  Very creative. May 22, 2014 07:59 AM

Robert Butler   Montreal, Canada, Home Inspector – Aspect Inspection

Hi Don, I glazed for a while too. I was always amazed that when we had to break out old glazing on commercial property fronts, members of the public would ask or volumteer to do the smashing for us. Especially on banks.

Re-purposing is great John, don’t you just love the fresh colour pallet the gripper introduces. May 25, 2014 04:27 AM

What’s your ‘Magic Number”?


What’s your ‘Magic Number”?

Another important maintenance job is to root out tree seedlings or ‘volunteers’ that try to get established at building or shed edges and along fence lines. 

Fence in tree

These areas typically don’t get maintained with the mower so small trees can get established. The longer they are left the harder they can be to get out.

Once they get to the magic number, you may have to get a city permit to remove the ‘tree’. That will cost a few bucks, and in some jurisdictions the neighbour may have acquired the right to veto the removal for aesthetic or privacy reasons.

Here the magic number is 4” in diameter. That may seem large but especially for what are considered the native ‘weed’ trees they get there rather fast.

They are comparatively weak and spindly because they grow being supported by nearby structures or fences.  Because of this they are prone to storm damage and often damage the walls or fence they grew up beside.

So if you own buildings or property it’s wise to know and act before your ‘number’ is up.






Original blog post on ActiveRain: Link to Blog Post