Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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June 20

Finding a place to rent after leaving behind a dirty apartment

I recently graduated from college, and will be finding a place to rent within the next month or two, likely in either the SF Bay Area or NYC (so the market will be rather competitive). While in college, due to being five young guys who were apathetic about cleaning, we didn't leave our apartment in the best condition, and incurred significant cleaning fees (~$450), much more than our landlord usually charged. (Not that we literally destroyed anything, though.) How badly would this affect our rental applications in the near future, and what should I say if asked? [more inside]
posted by sqrtofpi at 12:08 AM - 9 answers

June 19

Replacing cloth suitcase handle?

So I recently ripped through a cloth suitcase handle (photos attached below). I would like to know it it's possible to replace the cloth part or the whole assembly fairly cheaply (<30USD) or if it's worth tossing the fairly cheap luggage in question. [more inside]
posted by thegears at 9:15 AM - 7 answers

It's buggin' me

What are these bugs? [more inside]
posted by FakePalindrome at 8:18 AM - 5 answers

June 18

How to clean like the pros

I hired a housekeeper for the first time to help me with a move-out clean. She did an amazing job in a fraction of the time it takes for me to clean. How can I learn to clean this quickly and effectively? [more inside]
posted by onecircleaday at 11:51 PM - 11 answers

June 17

Pickering non-valve-based high-pressure management system

I tried connecting my hose to my shower and something is Wrong. [more inside]
posted by griphus at 7:29 AM - 8 answers

The ants are winning

My interlock patio is under siege. Ants have moved in and are spreading out, disrupting the sand between the paving stores and generally making a mess of things. I have a spray bottle of ant killing chemical, but I’m playing wack-a-mole here. [more inside]
posted by walkinginsunshine at 7:27 AM - 17 answers

pimp my driveway

Just had a new driveway put in and there is about a 6-8" gulley on each side it. Help me keep the dirt from flowing away. [more inside]
posted by shaarog at 6:18 AM - 8 answers

June 16

Can I liberate my Vitamix blades to a new container?

I got a Vitamix Pro 300 last winter. The container has developed a crack, and it is being replaced under warranty with a whole new container. I have been told to dispose of the old container when the new one arrives. My question is - if I were to buy a smaller 16oz container from eBay without blades, could I transfer the blades and retainer nut from the cracked 32oz short container into the smaller 16oz container? I would do this if I can in order to give myself some more options to blend smaller amounts of food! [more inside]
posted by veids at 5:23 AM - 3 answers

June 15

Why would a farmer replow and replant fields of corn?

I drive past multiple small farms on my way to work every day. All of the farms plowed and planted their corn several weeks ago. One farm in particular had already planted, the corn was growing in its little rows, etc. But then one morning this farm's fields were empty again-- completely replowed. Now, a short time later, a new crop of new corn is growing. Why? Why would a farmer decide to scrap multiple fields of a crop that is already growing? I've been seriously tempted to knock on the farmhouse door and ask, because I'm so very curious about what would justify the expense and lost growing time. Help me understand with your agri-wisdom! [more inside]
posted by a fiendish thingy at 5:52 AM - 11 answers

June 14

Vintage condo water damage problem - Chicago - whose fault is it?

We live on the 3rd (top) floor of a 100 year old 6 flat on the north side, near Wrigley Field (Go Cubs!) see details.... [more inside]
posted by Tullyogallaghan at 5:30 PM - 5 answers

How do you keep track of seasonal and annual home maintenance?

I'd like an easy way to keep track of what I need to do on a seasonal, annual, and 5-year basis to ensure my home is functioning well. I'm looking for a way to keep track of when the last time various systems were serviced and/or what I need to do in the next month. How do you keep track of your maintenance cycles and tasks? [more inside]
posted by melodykramer at 8:48 AM - 10 answers

June 13

Wall Sconce Woes

I purchased this Wall Sconce cover in Morocco. It unfortunately does not come with a lamp base. What are my options for hardwiring something to the wall that can then be covered by this sconce? [more inside]
posted by Karaage at 6:52 PM - 4 answers

What is this plant?

Several stalks of this plant with serrated leaves and small yellow flowers were mixed in a bag with some supposedly ready to cook spinach. What is it, and is it edible?
posted by Kriesa at 5:26 PM - 2 answers

Where should I live?

What U.S. city should we move too. It needs to be small, near the mountains, and with a moderate climate. [more inside]
posted by Seamus at 10:30 AM - 40 answers

June 12

Replacing old thermostat -- two problems

I'm trying to replace an old analog, mercury tube Carrier thermostat with a programmable one. I'm having two problems. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 4:25 PM - 14 answers

Robot food

I'm not sure how to describe the type of easy recipe I'm looking for, so bear with me. [more inside]
posted by 8603 at 1:00 PM - 17 answers

June 11

I just want to heat my food in the kitchen, not the living room!

Weird electrical issues (or possibly poltergeist) in my kitchen that are making my microwave and stove not function optimally. [more inside]
posted by carnivoregiraffe at 7:10 PM - 7 answers

Pros and Cons of Having a Bat Box?

Hello! We, thankfully, don't have much of a mosquito problem, but are considering installing a bat box just for general insect management. Anybody on MeFi have any experience with one? If you do, what do you like about it? What could you do without? I have two concerns: 1) Bats getting into the house 2) A collection of nasty bat poop under the bat box That's pretty much as far as I've gone in my research. No further snowflakes. Thank you!
posted by funfunfun at 2:54 PM - 11 answers

June 10

Ways to keep worms safe while digging in the garden

I really hate it when I'm digging in the garden and accidentally slice a worm in half with my shovel. What are the best ways to prevent this from happening? [more inside]
posted by metaphorever at 11:38 AM - 12 answers

Worth it to replace ducts when central air is replaced?

My central air system for the upstairs has croaked and I am replacing the chiller and air-handler. I have two quotes in hand from my chosen vendor: one for a 2-ton chiller (using the existing flex ducts, circa 1994) and the other for a 1.5-ton unit plus new, R-8 ductwork. The cost difference is pretty big; will the smaller-capacity unit save me enough in electricity costs to pay for the duct work? [more inside]
posted by wenestvedt at 8:26 AM - 7 answers

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