Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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October 6

Best electric portable heater?

I live in a very quaint apartment, but winter is just around the corner and I know it will be a bear to heat. It was hard to keep cool this summer, so I expect heating will be even tougher and there is nothing I hate worse than being cold. What have you found to be the most economical, safe, and comfortable way to heat your abode in the winter months? [more inside]
posted by OkTwigs at 5:12 PM - 2 answers

Minor kitchen remodel on even minor-er budget

We *must* replace our lower kitchen cabinets. The uppers are *ahem, previous owners* stained green. How do I match the unfinished lowers to the uppers? Is it possible with stain or am I forced to do a flat paint/black stain to cover the previous stain? Is there a cheaper route than Home Depot/Lowes? Is Habitat a practical option? I don't see cabinets on CL.
posted by kristymcj at 2:02 PM - 9 answers

Home Backup Power Options

I live in Toronto and my neighbourhood has above-ground powerlines and lots of trees. We get blackouts every year, usually from something happening at a transformer station, but during the ice storm it was because of trees taking out power lines. If I want to protect my family and house against power outages it seems like my options are either getting an installed generator, a portable generator or some kind of backup battery. How do these compare, and is anything going to change much in the next couple of years? [more inside]
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:32 PM - 10 answers

October 5

Removable window cavity insulation

I just found an uninsulated boarded up window in my condo [more inside]
posted by mike_bling at 9:53 PM - 6 answers

Who will make me a gravel driveway?

I have a piece of land, I want a gravel driveway. Who do I call to do this? (More snowflakes inside.) [more inside]
posted by ethidda at 4:44 PM - 12 answers

Washing machine gurus, I need your advice

We need to replace our washing machine, and I need to get a second opinion. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 12:33 PM - 19 answers

Can I fix this?

I did my kitchen last year, now the countertops are splitting? [more inside]
posted by silsurf at 12:14 PM - 9 answers

October 4

Please explain beds to me.

I am so confused. Please tell me what kind of bed (& mattress) I should buy. [more inside]
posted by quaking fajita at 11:31 AM - 24 answers

Looking for a cast iron bathtub with a specific shape

We're trying to find a 60"x30" alcove bathtub made of cast iron but shaped like the American Standard Princeton tub. It's similar in shape to the cast iron tub we wanted to keep but which our contractor accidentally broke. It seems to be a standard "vintagey" tub shape, whereas new Kohler cast iron tubs have weird, angular shapes. Toto has one that's a little closer to what we're looking for but not quite right and more money than we're hoping to spend. Are there other manufacturers that I'm missing?
posted by boots at 9:12 AM - 2 answers

What is the best sofa bed out there?

We're looking at buying a sofa bed for a finished basement part of our home. We'd like something that is functional as a sofa, but it's much more important that it be a relatively good and comfortable bed. This will be for occasional visiting guests, so it's not critical that it's super-durable, but the more durable the better. We're willing to spend some money on this but, of course, cheaper is better. What kind of beds should we be looking at? Any specific recommendations? Wildcard recommendations (Murphy bed?!) also welcome. [more inside]
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:38 AM - 23 answers

Looking for advice on how to think about buying an apartment in Queens

I am a professional in NYC, living in Queens. I'm a transplant, but I think I will be here for the next, well, forever. A number of people I know are buying apartments, but a lot of them had help from their parents. I don't have that luxury, but if I wanted to, I could probably afford a place in a good neighborhood (though nothing as trendy as Astoria, for example). Snowflake details follow! [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 6:29 AM - 12 answers

October 3

Get a mattress topper or buy a new bed?

I have a queen latex mattress from Ikea that's about five years old, though it's only been in active use for about four years. It's really, really, really firm, and I am thinking it might be making my sleep suboptimal. Is it time to replace it or just get a topper for it and wait another year or two? [more inside]
posted by ziggly at 7:57 PM - 7 answers

EPDM roofing in Canada?

We are creating a new roof on a small 100 sq ft house addition with a slight slope, almost flat but not quite. Should we go for an EPDM roof? [more inside]
posted by ovvl at 5:41 PM - 7 answers

Net-enabled sprinkler controller that supports 2 groups of valves?

Our house has 2 separate antique sprinkler controllers: one in the back yard shed, one in the garage (as far apart as you can get!). I'd like to replace them with a web-enabled controller. Is there any distributed controller that will work with two sets of valves whose cables do not come together to a single point? [more inside]
posted by StrawberryPie at 4:37 PM - 2 answers

October 2

Weird/interesting desk lamps?

Any cool place on the internet you guys know of where I can buy weird/interesting desk lamps?
posted by xmutex at 12:11 PM - 6 answers

Tips on affordable housing in/near Washington DC.

Hi HiveMind, I am a young professional relocating to Washington DC. I am looking for affordable housing. I will be working in DC, but I think that my best bet is to live outside of the city and commute. I am looking for tips on housing hacks. [more inside]
posted by TRUELOTUS at 9:08 AM - 25 answers

October 1

What should I put in my bottles?

We have a collection of small bottles in our downstairs bathroom. They're all sort of oddly shaped, some have cork stoppers. They're the sort of thing you might see in a mad scientist's laboratory, your stoner older brother's room, or perhaps in the Oddly Shaped Bottle aisle of your local craft store. I would like to fill them with... things. [more inside]
posted by bondcliff at 6:58 PM - 52 answers

Can Interior Primer Be Used On The Exterior?

I have a very small, outdoor paint job to do. I am out of exterior primer, but have lots of interior primer. Can I use interior primer for under exterior painting? [more inside]
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:15 PM - 6 answers

Housewarming gift for a friend in Burlington, VT?

A friend of mine, a woman in her late fifties, just moved from NJ to Burlington VT, post-divorce. What might she like or need in her new home? Should I just get 50 lbs of road salt, or can anyone come up with something better?
posted by islandeady at 9:45 AM - 14 answers

Need recs for packing/sorting services - Burlington, Ontario

A close friend is helping her parents sort their stuff in preparing for an upcoming move from Burlingon to Toronto. The goal: to cut the amount of stuff Parents have by half, as they are moving from a two-bedroom to a one-bedroom apartment that's about half the size of their current place. The challenge: There aren't enough friends/relatives to help. Need recommendations for people or companies who provide this kind of service. [more inside]
posted by Schadenfreudian at 8:26 AM - 3 answers

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