Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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June 21

Balancing a Bicoastal Baby

Guyagonalize has been invited to spend a pre-tenure sabbatical year in California, taking us away from our home on the East Coast. We're all fired up to go, but turns out I'm knocked up! This is our first (and very wanted) kid, and assuming all goes according to plan, the baby will be ~6 months old when we're scheduled to start this crazy adventure. What do we need to know/do to make this a success and not a disaster? [more inside]
posted by Diagonalize at 12:03 PM - 18 answers

Do you have a SuperToaster?

I'm looking for a countertop oven that's precise enough for baking - do you have one?! [more inside]
posted by moxiedoll at 9:29 AM - 11 answers

What to do with the bed in my office?

My home office has a bed in it. It's used to accommodate guests only a few times a year, and the rest of the time it collects unfolded laundry, random pieces of junk mail, and whatever else we dump on the bare mattress. So it looks terrible and it's making me avoid my workspace. How can I improve this without a complicated DIY carpentry project? [more inside]
posted by witchen at 7:21 AM - 31 answers

June 20

Help me set up my sound system.

I have a functioning outdoor speaker system that connects to a currently nonexistent sound system via these wires. What I'd like is to be able to stream music from an iPad, via bluetooth, into these wires, somehow. But how? Please assume I know nothing about audio setups.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:35 PM - 3 answers

Is friend's home safe to visit - they tore down a wall from 1967....

...without testing to see whether there was asbestos in it. Now I am afraid to go to their house. Should I be? [more inside]
posted by kitcat at 10:38 AM - 14 answers

Can you recommend a good upholstery cleaner in NYC?

I have a whitish sofa that gets very dirty because . . . life. And because i have a dog. My mother always told me not to get white furniture and I didn't listen. Anyway, can you recommend an upholstery cleaner in NYC? First-hand recs preferred. Online advertising and reviews don't seem trustworthy. Thanks.
posted by swheatie at 9:59 AM - 1 answers

Best way to hang a Screen Print on Tin

I have a 1960s screen print on tin that I would like to display on the wall and am looking for advice for the best way to hang it (process and method). [more inside]
posted by coupedloups at 6:55 AM - 2 answers

June 19

Considerations when changing from electric to gas ovens?

We have a dual fuel stove (gas cooktop, electric ovens) with double ovens. It broke and needs replacing. It turns out dual fuel double oven stoves aren't cheap, so we're considering other options. [more inside]
posted by zennie at 7:42 PM - 9 answers

To Kill or Not to Kill Hornets

There is a bald faced hornet nest on a fence next to my house. I discovered it when I was clearing some brush and got stung. Hurt like the dickens. [more inside]
posted by zzazazz at 11:42 AM - 11 answers

June 18

How do I get sand out of my clothes?

We'll be visiting the beach a lot this summer. We're several trips in and I'm not sure how to get all of the sand out of our clothes. [more inside]
posted by smashface at 8:03 PM - 12 answers

Is this a carpenter ant?

Ant was in our light fixture, must have gotten in from the ceiling. Is it a carpenter ant? [more inside]
posted by stray at 11:27 AM - 9 answers

Making an apartment home

I will be moving to my 3rd apartment in 4 years and hoping to make live there for quite a while. I haven't really felt like anywhere I've lived in the past few years has felt like home, so how do you help make an apartment when you can't make any big changes feel like home and not just a place you live? [more inside]
posted by Aranquis at 10:18 AM - 25 answers

What is this material on my house, and can I paint it?

I bought a house! Built in 1911, Chicago, and there's some sort of brick or stone serving as the front wall. I'd like to give the exterior a refresh, but I'm not sure how to treat this material. Can I paint it? (Pics inside.) [more inside]
posted by ohsnapdragon at 6:19 AM - 17 answers

June 17

Smart thermostats - worth it or not?

We're doing some home renovations which include replacing the central heating boiler. Partner is set on getting a smart thermostat, like Nest or Hive. I'm unconvinced as I've read that there's been at least one big glitch with Nest's firmware, and I'm not sure I trust a 'learning' system not to decide to turn off the heating just because we haven't walked past the sensor for a while. What are your experiences with smart thermostats, and would you recommend we get one? We are in the UK. [more inside]
posted by meronym at 2:42 PM - 19 answers

What has been your experience with "smart vents"?

I've been thinking about buying a "smart vent" system for my house to regulate the temperature better and cut energy usage. I'm looking at Ecovent, Flair, and Keen. If you have one of these systems, what has your experience been? [more inside]
posted by braveterry at 2:02 PM - 2 answers

Best way of cooling a house using window A/C units?

I will be renting a 2-level house without central air. I would like recommendations from people on how many/how big/what type of window A/C units I should get. [more inside]
posted by nirblegee at 1:04 PM - 7 answers

Rectangular lot, not so rectangular fence

We recently bought a house. Our lot on paper is rectangular. The fence is not - it takes a 10" jog halfway along our house. In the interest of neighborly harmony, I'm inclined to let sleeping dogs lie (so am not planning to call a surveyor), but am curious about this enough to ask the internet - why? [more inside]
posted by arnicae at 8:17 AM - 13 answers

Best setup for house heating - zone valves or circulator pumps?

Our house is from the 1950s and the heating system has been hacked together over the years, so we're looking to redo the whole thing for max efficiency. I've received two offers: one to replace the zone valves, and one to install circulator pumps. Which is the better solution? [more inside]
posted by gchucky at 7:17 AM - 2 answers

Rose Zombie

How can I convince an undead rose to cooperate and bloom? [more inside]
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 5:48 AM - 7 answers

June 16

Plug of War! Or why wiring in an old house is frusterating...

I've been living in a new house for about a month. It's an old New Orleans house, which in my previous experiences are wrought with bad wiring. For some reason, when I turn my ceiling fan on in the living room, about 1/10 times it turns off the outlet that my television is connected to. Another outlet has the WiFi connected to it, which doesn't go out. I've tried flipping the breaker and I'm at my wit's end! I currently can't turn on my TV or anything. If anyone has any suggestions that'd be great. [more inside]
posted by pineapplesunshine at 3:08 PM - 11 answers

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