We live in a rented apartment which has big windows, big transparent sliding doors, and no coverings. To reduce light in our bedroom, we have installed some simple curtain rods. The building has a steel frame so there are no wooden studs for us to drill into. So for each curtain rod, we installed three simple brackets directly into the drywall. Unfortunately, the brackets have come out of the wall several times. How can we fix this? [more inside]
We have a Ruud Achiever 90 Plus with variable speed motor. It works great heating up the house, but when it's trying to maintain the temperature (say it's set for 65 and it's currently 65), it constantly clicks. The sound is very annoying. Does anyone know what would cause this? [more inside]
I am going to need a bookcase in a room I am redecorating. Downstairs is a HORRIBLE 80s chipboard wall unit thing with dark, not at all convincing fakey veneer. Complication: I'm redecorating the room to a Hannibal theme. [more inside]
I will be leaving to France in exactly two weeks to visit my large extended family and I would like to bring gifts but can't really afford to spend big bucks. Candy? Food? Easy personalized ways to keep track of everything and say "thank-you" after the trip also appreciated. And of course, a question regarding dollar to euro conversions. [more inside]
I really like this chandelier. Buy-able versions I have found are way out of my budget, but the designer posted instructions for a similar DIY version. I live in a rented apartment in NYC - are there legal/insurance/safety issues I need to be concerned about? [more inside]
I removed some sconces from an interior plaster wall in my house. My house is old and the wires are single strand copper wires with woven insulation, inside metal junction boxes. I would like to patch over the holes. Is it sufficient to cap the ends with wire nuts before patching? If not, what else should I do?
I have to replace a screen/storm door, and when I measured it, it was 80" x 33 1/3". That's... not a normal size, is it? How do you buy a new screen/storm door when the size is so wonky? They seem to come in 32" and 34" widths, what should I do? [more inside]
I've discovered that the missus and I really come together in our enjoyment of watching documentaries about interesting people doing interesting things in interesting ways. [more inside]
I want to get to work ASAP on holiday gifts and am looking for your favorite DIY gift ideas that have fairly broad appeal. Would prefer they not be holiday themed, so that they're gifts people can enjoy year round, or at least longer than the holiday season. They will also need to be tailored to my shoestring budget, but still reflect a sense of 'expensive taste' (I like things to look and be nice, and know this can be done without spending much money). Details on my personal DIY and crafting skills inside, as well as examples of DIY gifts I've made in the past, inside. [more inside]
I just bought this microwave and would like to install a shelf onto which I can put it so I can free up counter space. [more inside]
I am thinking of getting a friend's old Realistic receiver (Realistic STA-65C, I think). I am not of the nature that I need an exact model replacement of the treble knob and am curious if there is a place online or a store like Home Depot or Radio Shack that might sell knobs that could fit or made to fit. I know eventually I may find one on ebay but don't need it to be a perfect match nor spend too much. [more inside]
I have acquired a gorgeous vintage record player, which I would like to either repair myself, or find someone to repair in the Chicago area. [more inside]
I'm toying with the idea of DIYing a version of this ceiling lamp. Can anyone tell me the technical name for the pivoting/rotating/swiveling T joints, as Googling combinations of that phrase is not giving me similar connectors? [more inside]
My boyfriend would like some recommendations for good, detailed home renovation shows. [more inside]
I removed this railing to move a big piece of furniture up the stairs. I'm having trouble re-installing it. [more inside]
In three weeks my girlfriend is hosting a "Nap Day" in a place with few trees. She'd like to find an affordable way to purchase and hang 10-20 hammocks. Anyone have any creative solutions? [more inside]
I bought this maxi dress to wear to a wedding this weekend. The fabric is heavier than I anticipated, and the armholes are on the large size, so my bra is visible, and the whole dress seems to sag a little under its own weight. Is there are a way to fix this before Saturday? [more inside]
While snooping around my basement today I found a strange little box/connector of some sort that I have no idea what it is. It looks really old (the house is ~90 years old) and isn't currently connected to anything. It seems to correspond to the incoming phone line from the outside box, but I could be mistaken. Can anyone tell me what exactly this is? [img inside] [more inside]
Where can I find this Foxconn part (an HDMI socket) that appears to only be available in bulk from a distributor? [more inside]
I've been itching to have a countertop dishwasher again. The catch? I rent and my kitchen faucet is a pull out model, with the built in sprayer. I have an idea below -- can you let me know if it's feasible (plus any pitfalls to watch out for), and if not, perhaps point me in a better direction? [more inside]
An acquaintance has asked me to serve as the (paid) stylist for her child's birthday party. I'm not a professional party stylist, just a maniac with a glue gun and far too many ideas. What's a fair price for my labor? Party location: NYC. [more inside]
I'd like to build a very simple shelf that looks like this using minimal tools and at a low cost. [more inside]
DIY-hair-filter: I bleached my hair 2.5 weeks ago. Can I use toner on it now or is that a bad idea? [more inside]
Due to family tragedy, last Christmas felt more like a never-ending marathon than a fun and meaningful holiday. I resolved that Christmas 2014 would be a more mellow, loving holiday that didn't involve hundreds of dollars flushed down the drain on disposable gifts. What are your ideas for meaningful Christmas gifts for family that take some time to make (or not!), don't cost much and might be actually appreciated and used? [more inside]
So I find myself with 4 185 W Solar panels AND 4 enphase M190 Micro inverters (that onboard connect to each panel). The system from what I can tell is "made" for a grid connected solar system. Which is great but NOT what I want/need (Also I am too far from a station to qualify for microfit in Ontario). [more inside]
In the attempt to clean my pre-owned fridge I've taken a nylon scouring pad to the door and caused noticeable damage. Can I fix this? [more inside]
One of the first issues of Maker Magazine had a project to build a backyard modern shed/office with simple materials bought at any home improvement store. I've been Googling all morning but can't seem to find the plans online or any references to the project since the magazine has launched Maker Shed as their store for buying stuff, which muddies the results. Can anyone help me find this project?
I'm interested in making things along the lines of Lush and Herbivore Botanicals, but all I seem to be able to find online is "how to mash a banana and smear it on your face." [more inside]
I know the basic renter apartment maintenance things, but nothing beyond that. I have hammers, screwdrivers, etc. However, in a week I am moving to a rural house and want to learn some real DIY skills. What are the "entry-level" DIY tools I should learn and use?
Last night we experienced a severe rainstorm. The pump failure or high water alarm on my sump pump woke us up at around 4:00 this morning. I fixed the problem, but I'm not sure what was wrong, why what I did worked, or if I have to do anything further. [more inside]
With Father's Day fast approaching and the home improvement season upon us, I've been thinking about tools. Delicious, delicious tools. Let's talk about the tools I need for my toolatorium. [more inside]
I spraypainted some 2 liter bottles to make kids' rocket jet packs. I am wanting to bond a piece of cardboard onto the back (later with elastic loops for arm loops) that will do it very quickly* as this will be during an activity with 40 kids. [more inside]
I received a nice bar of soap as a holiday gift and I really like the particular cedar wood smell. So much so that I want to convert it, one way or another, into a wearable fragrance. How can I do this? [more inside]
What are the best DIY resources in 2014? I really enjoy thisoldhouse.com, but it's largely just entertainment, rather than instructional. Websites, magazines, and books are all fair game. [more inside]
I did a really amateurish job of installing this light fixture in the basement apartment of my house four years ago, and now it's sagging out of the ceiling. Is there anything I can do to brace it back in place? There are actually three of these fixtures that are sagging, though this is the worst one.
My apartment has a beautiful walkway lined with flowers and overhanging tree branches. This is great except that spiders LOVE it here and I do not love spiders at all. I'm looking for a spider repellent that can be sprayed on the plants along the walkway so I don't have to walk through webs every morning and evening. The hitch is that the aforementioned flowers belong to my landlord, who I respect very much and who loves his plants, so the repellent can't have negative effects on them. [more inside]
I need basically this. I'd rather order it from closer to home. My searches for this type of cable in the US haven't turned up anything, and I don't know enough about electronics to figure out what other names it might go by. I think it's a common type of cable so there must be something I'm missing. Thanks!
My wife and I just purchased her mother's old 2001 Nissan Pathfinder. The stereo it has is tape deck (!) which technically works and a CD player that doesn't. It has no aux input, which is unfortunately all we actually want. [more inside]
Can I fix this myself? It's mostly intact except for some smallish chips. I have zero experience with tile work.
My kitchen tap drips. Should I attempt to fix it myself or call in a plumber? [more inside]
I've been working on a few different zines myself, but I'd love to find more zine community online. What are some of the best sites, communities, blogs, Tumblrs, Twitter accounts, for getting into zine communities? [more inside]
Is there enough citronella oils in Zote to actually repel mosquitoes from clothes washed using it? [more inside]
I need a product exactly like this slim rolling pantry shelf, to hold canned goods and spices in the small space next to my refrigerator. Difficulty level: No hammer. [more inside]
I'm not sure what wall/ceiling speaker mounts are appropriate for my system or how to install them in the type of walls I have. Suggestions welcome! [more inside]
Lately I've been really into the blog Ribbon Around A Bomb, who writes about female-fronted 70s post-punk, Twin Peaks, feminist art, and leather jackets. I also love The Pulp Zine, which is full of teen dreams and high school small town angst, an obsession with Burger Records, 90s nostalgia, black lipstick and pink hair. I'm looking for more blogs that cover punk, garage rock, femme fun, DIY, weirdo fashion, nostalgia, queerness, creativity, feminism, art, and worship of countercultural idols. Basically, I'm a fully-grown scummy punk boyfemme who wants the experience of flipping through a teen magazine tailored to my interests. What other sites would I love? [more inside]
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]
Where can I find cute, affordable (~$11 a yard) swimsuit fabric online? Preferably from an inde/brick-and-mortar place with an online presence. [more inside]
We live on the bottom floor of a double-decker home. Our back decks are similarly stacked, so the upstairs deck provides some cover from the harsh summer sun. Unfortunately, it still lets rain in. Is there a way we can cover the "roof" of our deck so that we can use it even when it rains? [more inside]
Home improvement professionals and those with a critical eye for detail: what are the 'tells' of DIY home improvement? What separates amateur work from professional work? [more inside]