243 posts tagged with Homeimprovement.
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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 on Nov 15, 2015 - 3 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 on Oct 5, 2015 - 12 answers

F******n, why not is it not in every 5 gallon bucket of paint already?

I'm a construction professional. I'm not a painter, but I frequently paint my own properties. Here's my question: there is an additive that makes every paint way, way better by eliminating brush or roller marks. I already pay good money for awesome paint because I know how much better it is than anything sold at big box stores. Why isn't paint sold with the miracle additive already in it? All the painters I work with know about it and think it's the best thing ever –– to be fair, only genuinely high-end clientele would notice, but that's my target group. (I won't disclose the name of the product because this is not an advertisement, I genuinely don't understand paint marketing vs. paint chemistry vs. paint marketing.)
posted by halogen on Sep 20, 2015 - 20 answers

Help me beautify this bathroom

Hi everyone. I just moved to a lovely new place, but there is a major downside: the bathroom floor has a door on it, leading to a small basement room. Please help me figure out how to best cover it! [more inside]
posted by likeatoaster on Aug 18, 2015 - 32 answers

Is there asbestos behind this sheet vinyl floor?

I'm fixing up a condo that I'm going to rent from my parents in 2 weeks. The kitchen floor is sheet vinyl on a concrete slab. I think my father said it's a floating floor. It's really worn out with large gouges and it's peeling up on the edges in some places. My father and I are planning to tear out the sheet vinyl and replace the floor with nice new vinyl planks. [more inside]
posted by FelineoidEntity on Jul 13, 2015 - 6 answers

How do I make my drill longer?

Help me find a drill bit extension for my 3/8" chuck power drill. [more inside]
posted by Shoggoth on Jul 4, 2015 - 15 answers

Help me understand what tradies I'm going to need

I have a bunch of (mostly small) jobs that I need done around the house, and I'm trying to figure out how many different tradies I need to hire to do them: installing a bathroom vanity; replacing about ten tiles in the shower; installing a new pendant light; servicing the ducted gas heating; installing underfloor insulation (although I'm considering DIYing this); and removing half a staircase. Do I need to hire a different person for each task, or can they be batched somehow? (I assume the tiles and vanity can be done by the same person at least). [more inside]
posted by lollusc on Jun 3, 2015 - 4 answers

Home improvement plans.

Is there an easier way to obtain quotes, even super rough ones, for home improvement projects? [more inside]
posted by furnace.heart on May 29, 2015 - 7 answers

Is it a good idea to add a second floor on top of a 1938 brick house?

I'm looking at a brick house built in 1938. I want to do an extensive attic conversion, basically add a second floor to the back half of the house. Is this house being brick a good thing for me, or a bad thing? Is such an old house going to be too big of a problem to add on to at all?
posted by brenton on May 23, 2015 - 9 answers

Recommend me a good home improvement/renovation forum

Hi, We just bought a house which needs some work. For some of the work we'll hire contractors and some small jobs we'll do it our self. So I'll be seeking feedback/advice from others time to time and it could be about taking down a wall, buying appliances, kitchen & bathroom remodel, flooring, garden, etc ... Rather than posting all of these questions to AskMeFi I'm looking for suggestions on a forum with good user participation. Thanks. [more inside]
posted by WizKid on Apr 29, 2015 - 6 answers

Any Paint Stripping Tips or Tricks?

As part of the ongoing effort to spruce up our (relatively) newly bought home, we're currently stripping the paint from our banister. This is proving to be a long and fiddly task - especially as the way it's fitted doesn't really make dismantling it an option (pictures here and here). Do any MeFites have any particular tips or tricks that are worth us knowing about? Or even advice as to things we should definitely avoid? [more inside]
posted by garius on Apr 16, 2015 - 9 answers

Amatuer redwood deck repair - is this even worth doing?

So I finally cracked a step on my mom's old, warped redwood decking. Really, this 3-tiered monstrosity that's been baking in the California sun for nearly four decades should be replaced, but should I even bother to get a spare board and fix it for now? [more inside]
posted by Drosera on Mar 10, 2015 - 12 answers

I need a crash course on windows (house windows, not PC Windows)

We're planning on starting to replace some of our old windows this year and I realized that I know precious little about windows. Is there a brand or type that I should lean toward? Any to avoid? What things do I need to know before I start this process? My friend recommended a few high-end windows, but I'd like to get some more information from those with more knowledge in this area than I. Home (and homeowner) details within: [more inside]
posted by JimBJ9 on Jan 26, 2015 - 17 answers

All in all, I need help to fill this gap in the wall...

I clumsily put my foot through the wall while I was attending to a smoke alarm/cooking/emergency. Laugh away. Photo here with playing card for size/perspective. [more inside]
posted by evil_esto on Jan 20, 2015 - 21 answers

No clearance for drawer slides --- how to mod?

I hope to install side drawer slides on my kitchen drawers (I've been unhappy with undermount slides), but the enclosing cabinet doesn't have much clearance. Do I try to cut grooves in the drawers, or enlarge the holes in the housing? [more inside]
posted by jackbishop on Jan 19, 2015 - 12 answers

Kitchen sink sprayer reattachment

Please help me fix a broken sink sprayer attachment. This has nothing to do with pipes or else I would call a plumber. I am trying to reattach the base of the sprayer back onto the sink. The sink is stainless steel but the sprayer base may actually be plastic painted to look like metal. Pics: [1], [2], [3]. [more inside]
posted by bobobox on Dec 22, 2014 - 6 answers

How do I restore and maintain my wood front door?

Our house has a really nice front door, which appears to be made out of wood. It looked amazing when we moved in a few years ago. The outside part which is in the sun all the time now looks dull and faded. Pictures within. [more inside]
posted by primethyme on Dec 14, 2014 - 12 answers

Cheap, low-effort tankless water heater?

Heated garage, just cold water pipe run to it. What's the easiest way to add hot (or vaguely warm) water to my utility sink? [more inside]
posted by AzraelBrown on Nov 29, 2014 - 8 answers

How can we keep curtain rods installed without wooden studs?

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]
posted by grouse on Oct 28, 2014 - 19 answers

How does door work?

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]
posted by juniperesque on Sep 30, 2014 - 6 answers

How to change a light bulb?

How do I get access in order to change this light bulb? This is located in a shower stall. I tried turning the glass covering to the left but that doesn't seem to do anything. And if I try to rotate the outer white part to the left if feels like I'm going to break it.
posted by Ike_Arumba on Aug 30, 2014 - 5 answers

Matching spray paint to paint-paint

Can I find a spray paint that matches Sherwin Williams' "Smoke Tree"? [more inside]
posted by A Terrible Llama on Aug 27, 2014 - 9 answers

Can you help me ID and replace this piece of my dresser drawer slide?

When moving this weekend, I broke my dresser (sad trombone). I tried to take the drawers out to make them easier to move, but they have these little brackets with ball bearings in them that are lubricated and make the drawer slide in the track. I tried poking around online but I can't figure out where to get new ones… or even what I'm looking for is called. [more inside]
posted by araisingirl on Aug 18, 2014 - 6 answers

Is primer paint?

I'm having an *exterior* house painting crisis: what is the impact of using oil-based primer beneath stain? [more inside]
posted by A Terrible Llama on Aug 5, 2014 - 12 answers

My parents are slobs and it's making me sick.

I live about five hours away from my parents and visit them frequently. However, their house is so dusty and in such disrepair that the visits are exacting a toll. I have dust allergies that go berserk in their house, and my dust-free sleeping solution (air mattress) is starting to hurt my back. Whenever I try to raise these problems with them, I get a million reasons why nothing can be fixed, and often a giant guilt trip to boot. Not visiting: not an option. Inside: details to make Wilson Bentley proud. [more inside]
posted by the_blizz on Jul 20, 2014 - 44 answers

Measure twice, cut once: tool buying edition

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]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Jun 2, 2014 - 18 answers

Retaining Wall Blues

We have an unsightly retaining wall in our backyard. I'd love to here your ideas on how to improve the appearance or make it a bit more comely. [more inside]
posted by ACEness on May 30, 2014 - 25 answers

Home Equity-less Loans

Are there any major (read: reputable) lenders that still offer HUD Title 1 home improvement loans? [more inside]
posted by hwyengr on May 20, 2014 - 3 answers

Advice please on selecting/installing flooring in our "utility" area

We have a 450 sq.foot "utility" area (ground level, not a basement, but it is where our HVAC, water heater, laundry, freezer, storage, exercise equipment is). Floor is slab concrete, walls cement block. 45 year old home, original contractor cheap tiles over the years have loosened and the remaining ones are easy to pop up. We do not have ground water or dampness problems in this area. We have gotten so much advice from friends, coworkers, home center folks that I need kind Metafilter folks to steer us to solution for our snowflake needs. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by forthright on May 17, 2014 - 13 answers

"Trench warfare" vs. water in basement?

Before we bought our house, our home inspector suggested a solution to a minor water issue in the basement. I'm considering his solution and others, and welcome knowledgeable opinions. [more inside]
posted by sleevener on Apr 8, 2014 - 12 answers

What are the some tells of home improvement amateurs?

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]
posted by A Terrible Llama on Apr 1, 2014 - 21 answers

How can I shorten this metal duct (used for a downdraft range)?

I have a very well-constructed downdraft duct that is a few inches too tall. My normal efforts to try to cut it down or remove a piece have been unsuccessful. The downdraft range I bought doesn't line up with the duct and is about two inches too tall. Is there some way I can get the two to play nice? [more inside]
posted by fireoyster on Jan 25, 2014 - 5 answers

Who makes a door like this?

I would like to take the massive sliding doors off my closet, but they seem to be some sort of old-fashioned non-removable monsters. Since they're so big it's a pain to see more than 25% of my clothes at a time, which seems like unnecessary complication.. They're not attached to the rail at the bottom, but the top rail is so tightly fastened that I can't just lift the doors up and off, as most of the online advice seems to be. I tried to unscrew the front door and just angle it out of the the closet frame, but whatever piece is holding it to the roller extends so far into the door that I wasn't able to pull it out. (Now of course I am not having luck at re-screwing the door into the roller, so that's a fun situation). Anyone dealt with this type of door before? I'm renting the apartment, so ideally I'd like to just prop the doors against the bedroom wall or something and hang a curtain in front of the closet. So I can't destroy the doors or anything. Although I have been tempted.
posted by lockstitch on Jan 10, 2014 - 5 answers

I got holes in my shoes and I'm way overdue

Last night I stopped by my local big box home improvement store to buy ice melt and saw that they were looking for part-time help. I'm thinking about applying since we're preparing to buy our first home this fall and thought this might be a good way to learn about home repairs and improvements. Anyone else considered or done this before? [more inside]
posted by playertobenamedlater on Jan 7, 2014 - 13 answers

Make it foggy this winter?

Help me understand humidifiers and purchase one that will help deal with my overly warm/dry winter apartment without breaking the bank. Difficulty level: Canadian! [more inside]
posted by Phalene on Jan 2, 2014 - 12 answers

Do I need to re-prime my walls before painting?

It's been a while since I primed my dining room walls, and I'm not sure if I need to re-prime my walls before painting. Advice paint experts? [more inside]
posted by ratherbethedevil on Dec 9, 2013 - 15 answers

I need to destroy all life...on my deck. Help?

Recently moved into a new house, and the deck has greenish stains all over it (I assume mildew or moss of some kind since it keeps getting bigger). How do I get rid of it? [more inside]
posted by the artless dodger on Oct 25, 2013 - 9 answers

Chimney repair: repoint, rebuild, or remove (and replace [boiler])

The flashing around my chimney isn't doing its job, and I'm getting a little bit of water in my attic during very heavy rains. I'm in the process of getting bids to fix this. Both guys I've had out so far have noticed that the brick is deteriorating - one guy proposed repointing and the other guy thought that the chimney needed to be rebuilt from the roof up. But since the chimney only vents the boiler and the water heater, I got to thinking - should I seize this opportunity to replace these aging appliances with a combi boiler and do away with the chimney for good? [more inside]
posted by ndg on Oct 24, 2013 - 5 answers

How many Ask MetaFilter readers does it take to change a lightbulb?

I've recently moved into a new apartment and found that two of the three bulbs in the bathroom vanity lighting are burnt out. The problem? I can't figure out how to actually get at the bulbs to replace them. Can you help? Images and description inside... [more inside]
posted by Rewind on Oct 13, 2013 - 15 answers

Looking for a window into the mind of old time carpenters. Or a door.

So, I have a pane of glass in a wooden frame. If I call this wooden frame a door, the pane of glass is held in place with some pieces of wooden trim tacked down with some finishing nails. But, if I call this wooden frame a window, the pane of glass is held in place with glaziers points and putty. Why is this?
posted by Kid Charlemagne on Oct 6, 2013 - 4 answers

DIY granite repair

How do I fix a small dent/depression in my granite countertops? [more inside]
posted by raztaj on Oct 5, 2013 - 3 answers

Help me finance my kitchen renovation

We bought our house last year with 15% down, knowing that we would need to redo the kitchen. We think it's going to cost about $25 - $30K. (Estimate is $19K without appliances or counters or cabinets.) When I contacted the guy who sold us our (FHA) mortgage at our local bank, he said that he was unwilling to lend more than 20% of the value of our house. Since we paid 15% down a year ago, obviously we haven't reached the point where we have paid 25% and can borrow another 5%. Bonus time sensitivity: I'm pregnant, the baby is due at the end of February, and the kitchen layout is currently not very functional for something like a million baby bottles on a drying rack. Further snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by data hound on Aug 8, 2013 - 9 answers

Working around pump jack braces

I'm installing siding, but the scaffolding I'm using will be attached to the wall where the siding goes. How do I work around this? [more inside]
posted by Ickster on Aug 1, 2013 - 8 answers

Bathroom Closed - No Swimming, By the Order of the Amity PD

How can we make music play when a door is closed? [more inside]
posted by troika on Jul 12, 2013 - 8 answers

Problem with a broken window lock

We have a problem with a broken window lock. [more inside]
posted by TheophileEscargot on Jun 30, 2013 - 8 answers

How easy is parging over a cinderblock exterior wall?

The semi-exposed basement level of my house is ragged looking cinderblock. I would like to smooth it over with some kind of stucco or parging. Is this practical? [more inside]
posted by deern the headlice on Jun 18, 2013 - 10 answers

How do I keep water from coming up through the floor drain my basement?

A puddle of dirty water keeps rising through the floor drain in my basement. Is it something I can fix? [more inside]
posted by critzer on Jun 1, 2013 - 14 answers

Our Old House

What are your recommendations for resources (online or in print) that specialize in repair and maintenance of older homes? [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on May 6, 2013 - 11 answers

Neighbor rebuilding shared fence--do I have any responsibility?

My neighbor has expressed a desire to rebuild the wooden fence between our houses. We share one side of the fence with her, and it's definitely in need of repair--warped boards, aging, etc. Should she be fully responsible for paying for the fence, since it was her idea to fix it? Or should we contribute some money since we share one side of the fence? [more inside]
posted by starkraven on Apr 2, 2013 - 36 answers

How must/can I modify my basement to legally use it as a bedroom?

I am planning to convert my basement into a bedroom for one of my brothers to use. I was thinking all that was needed was carpeting and paint, but one of my friends recently told me that I may need to have some kind of modification to the basement windows or walls so that there's a fire escape route apart from the stairs. Is this the case? I've had a hard time finding a definitive legal reference as to what I need to do to have someone legally sleep in my basement. [more inside]
posted by Vorteks on Feb 21, 2013 - 13 answers

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