Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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November 22

Bright indirect lighting on the cheap?

There's very little lighting in my apartment's living room. It's pitch black outside by the time I get home from work these days, and I'd like to add some lighting to brighten things up. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Alterscape at 1:14 PM - 8 answers

Safe ways to heat an unattended house without central heating

I recently moved into a house without central heat. Is there a safe way to safely keep my house warm overnight and when I'm not home? [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote at 11:11 AM - 28 answers

November 21

Christmas Present Help - Rum!

My boyfriend is a big fan of rums, so I'd like to get him some for Christmas. A 'rum sampler' with different brands would be great, but if there are good recommendations I could build my own. [more inside]
posted by dotgirl at 10:45 PM - 16 answers

November 20

Our gas oven doesn't stay lit

The gas oven in my apartment hasn't been working for the better part of three months. The light in the bottom turns on when I start it, and then turns back off when I stop. [more inside]
posted by you could feel the sky at 1:36 PM - 5 answers

Can you recommend a fire/water resistant lockbox?

I'm shopping for a small, fire/water resistant case in which to keep important papers and documents. I see key locked and combination locked versions, various sizes and verifications of the duration of protection. I'd like some opinions on what might be my best option. Thanks in advance for the info.
posted by partner at 10:57 AM - 4 answers

November 19

Pipe clamps are easy, how do I clamp pipe?

I need to sculpt the end of a 5/8" threaded steel rod. I'll be removing a lot of material, hopefully very precisely, and it would be good if the rod stayed absolutely rock solid while it's being worked on. Is there are standard way to do this? [more inside]
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:19 PM - 10 answers

Buying new lighting fixtures

I'm replacing the outdated and ugly ceiling lighting fixtures in my place -- almost a dozen of them at once. Decor is simple and modern, with white walls and wood floors. I also really like Tiffany lamps and chandeliers although I don't usually go for ornate stuff. I'm new to decorating. Can you recommend some fixtures for me (with links)? [more inside]
posted by 3491again at 12:54 PM - 7 answers

Gift for fixer-upper?

Looking for a practical gift for my boyfriend for the holidays. We bought a 1954 house and we (he) really enjoy fixing it up. What tools, items, etc. make home renovation projects easier and/or more fun? [more inside]
posted by brynna at 10:11 AM - 31 answers

November 18

Crawlspace is flooded, heater is dead. Woodburning insert is... damp?

This is a very simple question I guess, but that's the long and the short of it. Crawlspace is flooded, which killed our central heater. Our cast iron insert is damp and I'm unsure as to whether we should burn anything in it. [more inside]
posted by patheral at 4:54 PM - 13 answers

How to block dead rat stench from coming up through my vents?

Our downstairs neighbours are using poison to combat a rat problem. Our bathroom already smells putrid from a dead rat somewhere in the vicinity of the relevant air duct. While the rats rot downstairs, can I block off the vents in my apartment to try to reduce the odour? If so, how can I do this safely, cheaply, and effectively? [more inside]
posted by Beardman at 8:29 AM - 15 answers

Honestly, families with two working parents, how do you do it?

This risks being overly vague, but I'm really curious about how it works for other people. We have a child (and one on the way); I work part-time (but hope to go full time at some point) and my husband has a flexible job. And still, everything is -- crazy. Help? [more inside]
posted by caoimhe at 6:27 AM - 41 answers

November 17

Electrician needed

Electrician needed. Can anyone recommend an electrician in the knoxville Tennessee area? Work is on an older house, installing 3 pronged outlets, and outside light installation. Thanks!
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 5:22 PM - 1 answers

Christmas fake leaded glass window

Yeas ago at Christmas I used to paint black lines on a window to create a Dickensian diamond pane leaded glass look. I remember the clean up~being very messy. Is there a black tape that would do the job while not leaving a lot of residue behind on the window?
posted by mcbeitz at 12:16 PM - 17 answers

November 16

What is up with my couch?

Help me cure my sofa. [more inside]
posted by emmatrotsky at 7:13 PM - 5 answers

Insulating the exhaust from a microwave and stove: advice?

I have a microwave above my rangetop stove. Its exhaust runs through the back of the cabinet above the microwave. In the winter, this cabinet can get pretty cold since that exhaust is open to the outside of the house. I'm worried about wasting energy (ala, this cabinet is letting the hot air out of my house). What can I do? Should I bother? [more inside]
posted by cgs at 3:57 PM - 5 answers

Anyone know a good real estate agent in Raleigh, NC?

I'm looking for a house in Raleigh or possibly Durham. I need an agent who won't make me miserable. I know a great guy in Durham, but unfortunately he doesn't know Raleigh very well. He doesn't know all the stuff like "Everyone wants to be on this street because it's next to (nice thing)" etc. So I'm thinking maybe I should find a Raleigh-specific agent. The difficulty is finding a good agent. [more inside]
posted by trevor_case at 12:49 PM - 7 answers

November 15

Questions on defeating mold/moisture problems

Looking for advice/information on reducing humidity and mold growth in my apartment? [more inside]
posted by downtohisturtles at 4:02 PM - 15 answers

Renovation in NYC

My wife and I are considering buying a place that requires a kitchen and bath renovation in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Our real estate agent is suggesting we get an architect or contractor to come in, take a look, and give us an estimate before we even put in an offer. A couple questions: (i) is this necessary? We've done some research online and have a good general idea of how much kitchen and bathroom renovations cost - or I am I wrong and we really need a individualized estimate?; (ii) we don't have any friends who are architects/contractors - how would we go about finding one to come by a place we haven't even put an offer in on yet and give us an estimate?; (iii) assuming we go forward, with or without getting an estimate up front, how do we find a good architect and/or contractor - and do we need both? Any answers, suggestions, resources, etc. would be greatly appreciated - thanks!
posted by slide at 11:57 AM - 14 answers

Need your bright ideas for vanity lighting

We're nearly done remodelling our bathroom. All that's left is a fixture to go over the vanity. We have this idea we'd like a four bulb fixture (maybe three) with Edison bulbs. But everything else we've got is chrome and we aren't finding a match. Ideas? [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:59 AM - 10 answers

Low-VOC paint over oil-based primer: is this a terrible idea?

Partner and I would like to use an oil-based primer on our moldings and baseboards, then use a no-VOC eco-friendly paint (Colorhouse; MSDS) for the topcoat. I've successfully used run-of-the-mill latex over oil primer before. But does anyone have experience with using no-VOC paint over oil primer? [more inside]
posted by brackish.line at 8:56 AM - 3 answers

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