Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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April 17

Appliances turning on spontaneously: When? Why? How? How often?!
Here and there, around the web and (much less) in person, I've heard of small appliances spontaneously turning themselves on. Googling has turned up some product recall notices and grisly photos of burns, but I'm more interested in personal experiences--have you ever experienced a small appliance spontaneously turning on? What happened? Was there loss of property/limb/life involved? [more inside]
posted by magdalemon at 10:55 AM - 22 answers

April 15

I got a rock. Lots of rocks, actually.
So! We bought a house, and it has a yard, and some of the beds are lined with 6-8 inch (15-20" cm) field stone. I would like more, and a friend says she has a lot more that I can have for free! Her land is about an hour from my place. We own cars, not trucks. How do I get the rocks from there to here? [more inside]
posted by RogueTech at 9:02 PM - 14 answers

A budding question
Oh gardeners and florists and other plant people of Mefi, can you help me figure out what this flower is? [more inside]
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:47 PM - 5 answers

Silence a loud outdoor gate
My landlord just installed an alley gate between my building and another. It was in response to some attempted break-ins from the back of the walkup. The problem is that when the door slams shut, it’s really loud and startling. On a Saturday, it slams shut very loudly around 20 or so times a day (not really an exaggeration). To me being the noise sensitive type, who gets a jolt of adrenalin each time it happens, this is a very bad addition to my already urban environs. [more inside]
posted by shimmer at 10:06 AM - 9 answers

April 14

Is My Lawnmower Dead?
I have a Craftsman mower with a 6.5 HP 4-cycle engine. Last weekend I changed the oil, put on a new blade, cleaned it up and generally got it ready for the new season. It started right up when I tested it. [more inside]
posted by COD at 4:32 PM - 5 answers

Why shouldn't I scratch up my stainless steel cooking pot?
I've got a cheap Farberware cooking pot that I've been using heavily for several years. I clean it after using it, usually, and its inner surface still looks pretty good. I use one of those tough green scouring pads (nylon I guess?), with a bit of ordinary liquid dish soap, to clean it. This scratches it up and often seems to actually remove enough material from its surface to turn the cleaning water grayish. I figure steel can take this much abuse. But when I look up cleaning tips for stainless steel cookware, I see some complicated stuff about using baking soda or vinegar or Bar Keepers Friend, plus various sorts of soaking, boiling, etc., to carefully remove burnt stuff and stains without scratching your cooking surface. And sometimes I see the instruction not to use tough scouring pads at all because they'll scratch. My method is simpler, and it has never failed me, so I like it better. But am I hurting my pot? Am I very slightly poisoning myself with metal powder somehow? Will I eventually grind through the steel and reach non-food-safe aluminum or whatever, or would that take like a century? I'm more curious here than worried, mind you. Maybe all I'm reading about trying not to scratch your stuff is just for keeping the surface looking super-pretty and new-looking?
posted by Koray at 3:17 PM - 28 answers

Getting realtors' help on a very thorough apartment search
I'm apartment hunting and it's really important for me to get a great apartment that satisfies all my requirements. Being comfortable in my home is crucial to my quality of life. So, I'm willing to put lots of time into my search, by seeing many apartments (more than would be usual) and spending a good amount of time looking at each one. I'm looking at fairly high-end places. The issue is that I don't want to wear out the realtors' patience. There are only a few realtors in my area, and they need to accompany me on each visit. They are showing me these apartments for free, since they only make money once I sign a lease. I want to make it worth their while so they don't get frustrated or impatient when I keep asking to see new apartments. I'm happy to pay them for their time, but don't know if that would be a good thing to suggest. Or maybe give them gifts to show my appreciation? Any advice would be welcomed.
posted by ElEmigrante at 1:15 PM - 11 answers

Can you identify these chairs from Hannibal?
Here is a screengrab from season 2, episode 7 (no spoilers) of Hannibal. Not sure if it's actually mid-century modern; it looks like it could be something newer that is merely MCM-inspired. Bonus points for identifying the dining table, if it's anything recognizable. (The chair in the foreground is, of course, a Hans Wegner.)
posted by gentle at 1:04 PM - 4 answers

We're providing emergency temporary housing. What have we missed?
Starting in two weeks, we are providing emergency temporary housing in our basement for a 19-year old who was kicked out of his home. What do we need to set up / what haven't we thought about yet? [more inside]
posted by QuantumMeruit at 12:41 PM - 19 answers

Can you diagnose my gas stove burner that won't light?
One of the burners of my gas stove does not go "click click click" when I turn it to "light". It does light if I turn it on and then light any of the three other burners. Can anyone diagnose the problem? Any DIY fixes?
posted by xo at 12:03 PM - 6 answers

Hot water pressure is low, only in kitchen
The hot water pressure in my kitchen faucet is suddenly reduced. It remains fine in the rest of the house. What should I check? [more inside]
posted by OrangeDisk at 11:48 AM - 6 answers

How best to safely control hot water to a bathroom faucet?
How can I control hot water to a bathroom faucet (tap)? [more inside]
posted by acoutu at 11:41 AM - 16 answers

What should I read about homelessness
I'm looking for recommendations of books, articles, films or other media about homelessness in the US. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 8:39 AM - 20 answers

What to do first? I bought a townhouse... now what?
I did it -- I bit the bullet and bought a townhouse! I'm so excited! The sale completes today, and by Wednesday by the latest I'll have the keys. Movers are scheduled for Saturday, and I'm already mostly packed. What should I do with the place between those two dates? It's a local move, only 20 min away, and I will have a least a day and a half to do stuff -- what should I be doing? [more inside]
posted by cgg at 7:29 AM - 25 answers

Our basement smells like something died in there - who do we call?
Short version: Our basement smells like there is something dead and rotting in there. We think the 'something' might be in the wall dividing out house and the neighbors (duplex) but aren't sure. We've cleaned and moved things, so now we need to call a professional in. The question is - what is the name / type of professional we need? I dont know what to look for in the yellow pages.... Details if you're interested inside [more inside]
posted by darsh at 7:06 AM - 10 answers

I've got a rabbit hole. Help!
We are new home owners and a hole about 5" in diameter appeared in our front yard. I believe it is a rabbit hole because I've seen rabbits running around my front yard. I do not want to kill the rabbits, but I want them to dig a nrw hole that is some where not in my yard. How do I fill this hole so the rabbits decide to relocate?
posted by Coffee Bean at 4:22 AM - 12 answers

Growing daffodils in pots
Someone bought me a small container of daffodils. Now that they are almost done flowering, what do I need to do to ensure that they survive to bloom again next year? [more inside]
posted by lollymccatburglar at 1:05 AM - 7 answers

April 13

Stopgap solution for unhinged door
The top hinge of our front door just fell off. What can we do to keep the door securely closed until the contractor arrives in a few days? [more inside]
posted by umbú at 3:41 PM - 4 answers

Plumbing issue in rented PA home. Landlord wants us to share in payment?
My landlord is requesting that my roommates and I help with the cost of a plumbing repair. I think he's in his rights to do this, but I just want to see what the green thinks. [more inside]
posted by dean_deen at 3:00 PM - 30 answers

Please help me find good upholstery/sofa cushion fabric!
Hooray, I'm slowly replacing the furniture lost in The Great Natural Disaster of 2013. The new sofa should be delivered next week. Please help me recover it. [more inside]
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 2:39 PM - 5 answers

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