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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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.
How do I fix a small dent/depression in my granite countertops? [more inside]
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]
We have a problem with a broken window lock. [more inside]
My very dark strand woven bamboo hardwood floors have a semi-glossy finish. Even after they've been freshly mopped, every speck of dust is visible and they'll look dirty the minute someone – wearing socks fresh out of the laundry, even – walks across the room. Is there any way I can change their finish to matte? [more inside]
How to fix net curtain cord to ceiling above bay window? [more inside]
We live in a 160 year old stone house in Scotland that is really cold in winter. Please help me make it warmer? I've been told it's easy to take down the drywall/plasterboard, install insulation, and put more drywall/plasterboard up again. But is it? [more inside]
I am installing 2 remodel canister lights. Everything is wired up and ready to go except I can't get the clips to snap down. [more inside]
I'm home over Thanksgiving break and my mom wants some house work done. Fun! But, I don't know how to do it. So, dearest MetaFilter, how do I install molding on the corner of a wall? (Picture on the inside.) [more inside]
What's the Ask This Old House of podcasts? Looking for good DIY focused podcasts: carpentry, woodworking, electrical, plumbing, gardening - I'd be interested in anything along these lines. [more inside]
Mr Sandman, bring me a sander, make my walls (and cupboards and furniture) the smoothest they’ve ever been
What kind of sander should I get to sand a variety of household projects? This weekend, I’ll be sanding the untreated pine interior of some fixed cupboards and shelves, with lots of tight, awkward corners. I'll also be sanding back spakfilla on masonry walls where I’ve filled in nail holes. I’m sanding so I can paint. Later on (in a few months) I might sand down some wood furniture. I don’t think I’ll use the sander for any exterior work. What kind of sander should I get AskMe – and why? [more inside]
DIY: is it easier to go a good DIY job painting walls (interior) or installing laminate floors? [more inside]
What is the most efficient way to paint over high gloss paint? [more inside]
My apartment's back exit has a windowed door (similar to this, although it's only a single door) and no storm door. It's drafty and I'd like to insulate it as much as I can, sans all but the most rudimentary carpentry skills. What's my best temporary solution? [more inside]
Insulating my attic cathedral ceiling, but I'm trying to be (a little) cheap about it. [more inside]
The hinge on our kitchen cabinets has come apart, and I don't know if I can repair it. Replacement is only $6 or so, but I'll have to wait on delivery. It's a salice hinge, and there are 2 pieces, one on the door and one on the cabinet. There's some linkage that hooks the two pieces together, but I didn't install them so I have no idea how they fit together. Here is a picture of a similar hinge, with an annotation of where the separation has happened. Anyone familiar with salice hinges? Anything I can do, or should I just replace and be done?
How to rewire a warehouse lamp? [more inside]
I bought a sliding compound miter saw on eBay. [more inside]
As suggested in this AskMe, I'm going to use Polyfilla Plug It to screw curtain railings into a concrete ceiling. (I'll be following these directions.)But once I screw the screw into the Polyfilla -- will I be able to unscrew it in the future if I want to take down the curtains? Or will the screw be permanently fixed in place? [more inside]
Should we lay a tile border around our sink so we don't ruin our new birch countertops? If so, what do you wish you had known about tiling before undertaking your first project? [more inside]
I want to build a desk into a recessed area along a wall. It seems like a simple procedure, but I have a few questions. DIY-Fites, set me straight! [more inside]
Help me make my noisy, windy city balcony more enjoyable. [more inside]
How do I soundproof my home to reduce noise coming from our neighbours? [more inside]
Bathroom DIY Filter: Tiling our one full bathroom. Is it okay to do one wall of tile, cover it with plastic, and take a shower? It's really the only way I see of doing this and having a normal life in the process. Or we're gonna be some stinky people. [more inside]
I'm trying to create a convincing sofa/chaise out of a twin mattress, particularly one that resembles DWR's Vegas couch. I'm pretty lacking in crafting talent, but am willing to try anything. [more inside]
What type of saw blade should I use to cut LDF (light density fiberboard?) [more inside]
Has anyone bought closets from IKEA? [more inside]
Should I paint my untreated pine shelves then assemble? Or assemble then paint? [more inside]
Help an Un-Handy guy out with building deck stairs. [more inside]
What should I do with my neglected Mac Mini (1.25GHz/1GB RAM)? [more inside]
can anyone recommend a good DIY/home improvement guide on-line? [more inside]
Is there a blog for doing home improvements and renovations with salvaged and unusual materials? Sort of a cross between This Old House and Inhabitat, with a scavenger bent?
Wooden decking ridges up or down? [more inside]
Futon mattress alternatives? I have a lovely futon frame with a nasty lumpy old futon mattress. I'd like to get rid of the mattress and keep the frame, using it with my air mattress for overnight guests. Does anyone make sofa-type cushions that I could put on the frame to make it more of a couch? Could I make them myself? (+) [more inside]
HomeImprovementFilter: We are about to start the finishing work on an addition, and we're trying to decide what type of flooring to buy:Laminate, or pre-finished hardwood? We've looked at both, and I think I like pre-finished hardwood better, but I wanted some real-life commentary, rather than my speculation. Any laminate horror stories? Successes? Pre-finished camp have anything to add?
Home Improvement: I have a door which isn't fitting into its frame. Basically, the top part is a little too tall, probably 1 cm or so. Is there a tool or method which will allow me to shave the top cm from the door?
Hairline cracks in my house. I bought a new home last year, and it's barely over a year old now, but we've noticed 3-4 hairline cracks (like this one, which is just above a sliding glass door) around a couple of the windows on the downstairs level. I've lived in a lot of old homes featuring cracks and figured that it was mostly normal house settling and we could easily patch the drywall when it comes time to sell, but my partner thinks it's a big deal and may point to problems with the foundation or construction. So I have two questions: 1) Should we be concerned? 2) If so, who exactly do you call to "fix" it or get to the bottom of it?
I prefer cooking with gas over electric and would like to replace the electric range that came with my house with a new one. But I've also got high vaulted ceilings, so I'm thinking downdraft is the only way to make a hood work. Anyone ever do this kind of upgrade before? [more inside] [more inside]