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]
I have a Poulan 14" electric chain saw that I needed the chain replaced. In doing so I ended up practically taking the whole thing apart. I did find an exploded diagram and got it back together - however, the 2 long bolts that you loosen before you tighten the chain do not seem long enough for the nuts to screw on to. [more inside]
The good news is that I found white hexagonal tile under the nasty vinyl flooring. That's also the bad news. Here is the floor currently. Basically, the tiles themselves are in pretty good shape considering they are about 100 years old. There are a few cracks, but the real problem is that the glue from the floor that was above it will not come off from in between the tiles. Detail shot. This is pretty much the kind of floor we want, but the mrs. is about ready to call it and just install a new hex floor on top. I'm not quite ready to give up. [more inside]
Our house has ugly, dirty, dented, hole-y vinyl siding. I hate it and want to replace it. Problems: We live in a cheap neighborhood and don't want to overdo it, and we are short on cash. [more inside]
I'm renovating a multi-unit building. The occupancy permits were never revoked. Can I finish one unit and rent it out while finishing the others? How do I handle inspections? [more inside]
I'm looking for simple clothing patterns that don't scream 'homemade,' and are easily alterable. [more inside]
I often work on my family's cars, however I don't have a garage and have to work in the driveway or in a rented (by the hour) garage with lift. In my workshop I have the tools organized on pegboards and in drawers. That's all fine and dandy, but I've come to realize that 90% of the time I use my tools I have to chuck them in tool bags and boxes and either bring them outside or to the aforementioned garage. I want a mobile storage system where everything has its place and I can see at a glance if something's missing. Like the pegboards, I guess, only portable. [more inside]
Is it feasible to take apart, modify, and put back together again a hair dryer so that it works in reverse, that is, become a small vacuum? I assume I would have to make the blower work backwards to become a sucker, and I would have to direct debris into a little sack and away from the blower and power source. If I were going to do it, what would I do? How much work would it be? How ugly would it be, assuming rudimentary skills and a home workshop? If it's impossible-- why?
I want to paint this. For various reasons, stripping it first is out. How to get the best paint job? [more inside]
I am renting an apartment with what I consider to be a relatively simple bathroom. While the walls and floor are tiled, there is no barrier separating the shower from the sink and toilet. Apparently the correct terminology for this is a "wetroom". And it does get very wet. I would like to be able to go to the toilet without wading through a wet toilet floor, so I need to jimmy up a simple, effective, hygienic solution. [more inside]
I have a metal tray-style table I'd love to fill with moss. The tray is about 1.5" deep. My livingroom is pretty bright but my bedroom is dark. My questions for you are: 1) How do I install the moss? 2) Where do I put it? 3) How do I maintain it? Do I need a clear surface over the moss to contain moisture or can I rely on regular watering/misting? 4) If the moss won't work, are there other low/small similar plants I can substitute with?
Is there any way to paint or otherwise color the inside of a glass spray bottle that will have liquid (perfume) in it?
I need to create a simple portal with links to our own content, which will consist mostly of text documents--hand outs for people who don't speak English as a native language. Should I use a CMS or just build it by hand? [more inside]
For reasons, I have to pull a stackable washer/dryer set out of the closet it's installed in, and I have to do it by myself. I want to learn from your mistakes. [more inside]
The decades-old parging/plaster on our basement walls is scabby and peeling. The concrete itself is crumbly in places and there are a couple of cracks. It seems to me that the solution to my problem is to remove the old parging/plaster, fill the cracks with hydraulic cement, and patch the crumbly parts. But I'm less clear on the hows, whys, and whens. [more inside]
So, apparently some manufactorers make it so that you can easily remove the flow restrictor from a lot of shower heads, increasing the flow so that it has good pressure.... Uh, which ones? Our current showerhead looks god awful but my husband won't let me replace it unless I ensure it will be as high pressure as our current crap one. [more inside]
We have very hard water and it has a tendancy to stain stuff pretty quickly. The area of the sink and the tub just below the faucets are an endless battle. The only thing that has ever been able to get those stains out has been bleach, but now the bleach has only made things worse because they stain even MORE quickly. It really looks terrible. Help me fix my sink and tub so that we don't look like Grubby McSlobbersons. [more inside]
I've been thinking about building this little Altoid tin headphone amp kit for listening with my Sennheiser 555s. Granted, the point of building the kit is, well, building the kit--but given the limitations of a (cheap) kit-built design and the fact that I listen exclusively to mp3s on my iPhone or Mac, will there be a perceptible improvement in sound from the cans? Is there more to the sound of my mp3s that I might not be hearing just driving the Sennheisers with the juice from the iPhone's or Mac's headphone jack that would merit stepping up the signal with the little amp?
After spending like six hours reading labels and talking to hardware store staff, I turn to you, AskMe. How do I patch these holes and smooth these posts in my front porch columns before painting (but after priming)? [more inside]
I have a leather computer desk chair that I got 2 years ago that I really like and they don't sell it anymore, it is very ergonomic. I have tried out other chairs and not found one as good. The leather has torn in several places and I need to reupholster it. I don't want to take it somewhere to be reupholstered becasue a) I don't have the money and B) I would have nothing to sit on while it is in the shop. The thing is I don't know anything about reupholstering , let alone what looks somewhat complicated due to all the panels, in it. I have made a video showing in detail the chair, and the problems with it. I will be very grateful to anyone who can help with with this. This is the video.
My "Williams 30,000 BTU Natural Gas Direct-Vent Wall Furnace" is an eyesore and I'd love to build my own custom cover for it, but is that safe? Can I only use metal or can I use wood? I'd have a friend build it since I don't know much about it, but I'm wondering what I can do to hide or replace it. BTW I rent my apartment, so any changes I make should technically be reversible. Link for reference.
After some frustrating dealings with the local Jiffy Lube, I want to be able to handle some car maintenance stuff myself. What should I be able to handle? [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.
A question about how to refinish my cabinets, in a kitten-friendly (low VOC) way? Apologies in advance, as I'm new to furniture / wood stuff and think I'm missing something obvious. Kitten pictures inside. [more inside]
This is just a thought experiment at this point, and probably will remain so. In the back of my mind I have the idea that when my old SUV finally gives up the ghost I might rip out the internal combustion drivetrain and convert it to an electric vehicle, possibly with a removable range-extender generator. Setting practicality aside for the moment, can you help me envision what this would involve? [more inside]
I need to find a substance that is : a) transparent over the visible or infrared, b) melts between 10 and 100 degrees C c) has modest freeze/melt expansion e)is at least a bit volatile in the liquid phase. [more inside]
Card Against Humanity is famously available as a PDF to download and print your own copy of the game for free. What are some other games that do this as well? I love the idea of a library of games that we can build ourselves, customize as we wish, etc, etc.
We had our bathroom completely renovated 2 years ago. A couple of issues have gradually developed, that I don't think are serious enough to call in the contractor to repair, and I'm happy to do the work myself if it's easy enough, so I'm looking for advice on how best to proceed. [more inside]
Started a mosiac project and now I need the grout to stop setting. [more inside]
Due to penury/everyone already having everything they could want in life, I was going to go with homemade beauty products this year for the family gift exchange, Ladies will be receiving bath bombs, in various scents and colors. The men I'm related too wouldn't know what to do with a bath bomb if it...well, fizzed at them. What manly products - salves, oils, creams - could I easily make at home? Or what kinds of unisex self care will male-type folks happily use? [more inside]
I plan to take up a new hobby: making furniture from reclaimed wood and metals. What should I read? What materials do I need? What should I know? [more inside]
Looking to make freestanding privacy screening on a small budget. I have the notion that posters on some sort of framework would do the trick at a minimal price. I'm crafty but have never tried this before; I have some ideas but I'd like to hear success stories and surefire techniques. [more inside]
I am obsessed with ginger at the moment in terms of drinks. I love the sharpness and the bite of gingery burn from the spiciness. I have a hot ginger tea/drink recipe NAILED but now I want to make my own ginger drink that is akin to ginger beer but not too alcohol-y. I would also like it to be as natural and inexpensive as possible (ie. no "Soda Stream" or nutsy chemicals or adding pop). Help? [more inside]
Recently I purchased a home that has acerage. Part of the acerage, part of the garage, and part of the lean-to are in the flood plain. The house and the rest of the land are not. Trying to figure out logistics between house projects, FEMA zones, and surveying. [more inside]
I have a ton of extra Pez dispensers that are itching for a use. What cool things can I do with them?
We have a spare room that we're turning into an Arts & Science room for the kids (13 year old girl and 8 year old boy). It's in a walk-out basement with a painted concrete floor and a window. We have some ideas but little knowledge in how to setup a room for them to create and explore. We have a cheap beginner's chemistry set, some art and craft supplies, and...that's about it. What ideas can we implement with the little expertise and money we have? [more inside]
I bought a pair of very hefty velvet curtains and am wondering whether or not it is possible to ombre dye the bases of them with bleach... this is soooorta the look I am going for, and the curtains are dark green and 9' long. I don't want to ruin them, they are very nice curtains... how well does velvet bleach? Thanks for any and all suggestions!
Our underhung kitchen sink detached itself from the countertop this afternoon - can I repair this myself? How? [more inside]
It should be a simple thing, but it isn't: How do I clean out the drain hose and drain flap on my Fisher & Paykel dishwasher? [more inside]
Need to replace pull switch light fixture so the light switch next to the door actually turns it on instead. Also where can I buy this light fixture (or a cheaper alternative)? [more inside]
Lets say you had 500$ to spend on making your messy house more organized and to create more storage. What would you spend it on? What things would you do to solve your messy house? My husband and I have a pretty small (~850 square feet total) house that is forever cluttered and messy despite our constant attempts to keep it clean. We're fed up and are prepared to make major changes to get this house permanently organized. Help us to be one of those hyper organized households! Of course there are snowflakey details within. [more inside]
DIY help -- spray paint + canvas = art? My roommate and I are planning on making our own spray paint art wall hangings. Neither of us know how to use spray paint or if the kind of canvas matters. Please help us choose the right materials and give us other advice for a successful creative masterpiece! [more inside]
My mother's house has these recessed casement windows, and the mystery material the jamb (or maybe jamb extension?) is made of has started to crumble. Whole chunks come out when I put the air conditioners in each spring and take them out every fall, and forget about keeping the window shade hung -- I have yet to find an anchor that won't get pulled out. I'm going to take a stab at fixing it while I'm home for Thanksgiving, so I need help devising a plan of attack that can definitely be completed over a four-day weekend, even if that means it's just a stop-gap band-aid-type repair. [more inside]
I have several boxes of zines that I'd like to get off my floor and display more publicly. I love the idea of modular boxes like these, but of course I have some particular snowflake storage needs and limitations. Help me modify this system! [more inside]
For a long time I've thought that it would be a fun project to put together an electric bicycle. However I've been stymied by the cost and questionable quality of the existing kits, and the complications and compromises of the various DIY methods that are out there online. I have some ideas for how to go about making a cheap and simple electric bike, but I'll be the first to admit that I'm nobody's idea of an engineer so I thought I'd run some things by y'all and see what insights you have. [more inside]
We just bought an ikea dining room table with the brown laminate, and we'd like to stain the plain wood ikea chairs we got to match. While we realize it will be difficult to replicate exactly, what stain or combination thereof can we use to get close to this color? The table looks a bit darker than what the product photos show, here's what it looks like in real life.
I upgraded my Samsung laptop to Windows 8.1. It is now stuck in a reboot loop. I cannot enter recovery mode. How can I fix this? [more inside]
My wife cuts my hair but it's never quite as good as a good barbershop haircut. What are some things she and I may not be doing properly or can do differently/better to improve the results? Many [non-dandruff related] snowflakes inside. [more inside]
My tiled kitchen floor seeps water about 2 feet from the sink when we run the faucet. Please help me think through possible questions for the plumber and keep me from freaking out that this will cost thousands of dollars to fix. [more inside]