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Q: Dear Tim, I averted a near Christmas Eve disaster. I was making 75 deviled eggs for 30 guests who were soon to arrive. I turned on my disposal to grind up the eggshells and ended up with a pool of smelly egg water in the sink!

Q: I'm about to undertake a complex project. Most of the contractors we've talked to seem to be clueless.-- Christine P., Indianapolis. Fortunately, I cut my teeth building in Cincinnati, working on many older houses.

Q: Tim, I'm about to have a new concrete driveway installed, as well as some sidewalks. I asked the bidding contractors how long I might expect the concrete to last. The range given was from 20 to 30 years.

Q: I'm thinking of buying a dilapidated old frame house out in the country. A: I was born and raised in Cincinnati, which is blessed to rest upon the world type section of the upper Ordovician Period rock strata. I owned a house built in the late 1800 s in Cincinnati that had a stone foundation.

Q: Tim, I need you to mediate a dispute between my husband and me. We're building a new home, and there are quite a few places where two or more switches can be used to control lights. I like the convenience but my husband has had nothing but problems trying to troubleshoot these three and four-way switches.

Q: Tim, I've seen quite a few failed retaining walls. Many have bulges or have tipped over. What needs to be done to ensure I only do mine one time?

Q: Tim, the annual gutter cleaning campaign is about to happen. What's your feeling about gutter guards? There are so many different designs, how do you even begin to make a decision?

This column was inspired by something that happened to my sister last week. She called me for advice because she needed a tree removed from her rear yard and she didn't know any reliable tree-removal companies. Perhaps you've been in the same situation recently over a repair or other home project.