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Why, in my house, are the door hinge pins inserted from bottom to top?

I have an older house in Chicago. 1890s. Not sure that is relevant to the age of the doors but regardless, there are three doors (bathroom, two bedrooms) where the hinge pins are inserted from the bottom up. Occasionally this means they fall out when the tension fails to keep them in. Surprisingly this if not that often, maybe twice a year. However it is startling, prob bad for the door, hinge and floor. Anyone know a reason why a hinge may be positioned like this? Or should I just get to work flipping/replacing them?
posted by patrad on Jul 29, 2014 - 6 answers

Best. Paint. Ever. This is the paint we are looking for.

Hi all! We found a color we like and, I'm assuming, we can get a paint color match (right? at least pretty close?) in any paint brand. So... what's the best satin, low-lustre or eggshell paint brand? [more inside]
posted by ancient star on Jul 28, 2014 - 19 answers

How much home insurance do we need?

We're looking to switch providers, and the quotes are based on very different replacement-value amounts. What do we actually need? [more inside]
posted by Dashy on Jul 28, 2014 - 6 answers

Peep Out Of Our Peephole, People!

My partner and I just moved into a new apartment in Queens. There's one small issue, and it's our peephole. It's missing the cover on the inside. Where can I get a replacement? [more inside]
posted by SansPoint on Jul 27, 2014 - 9 answers

Why is the wiring in my bathroom not connected to a breaker?

On Monday, Mr. Pants texted me to let me know that as he was preparing his morning toilet, the lights in the bathroom flickered and went off. The lights haven't worked since then and we've been unable to determine on which breaker the circuit resides. Any idea how to figure out what the power source of my bathroom is? Other weird electrical mysteries follow in the expanded text... [more inside]
posted by wizardpants on Jul 25, 2014 - 23 answers

Streaming video around the house

I ripped a bunch of my DVDs to my Mac so that I could put the cases in storage. Currently, the files sit on my hard drive on my Mac Pro, and when I want to watch something, I copy the relevant file to a USB stick and walk it upstairs to the TV, where the Blu Ray player has a USB input. Is there an easier way to get these files onto my TV (and ideally, iPads/iPhones) than walking the file around the house? We're an all-Mac household. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Jul 22, 2014 - 18 answers

[request] bathroom and rug cleaning solutions

Hi. Can someone suggest ways to clean our home rug and bathroom. the rug itself has been in use for over 20 years and has now grayed with dirt and compressed down. The picture shows a side by side of when the rug was new (a bed was under this area so it was untouched). [more inside]
posted by philllip on Jul 19, 2014 - 13 answers

Living in Cardiff - expected lifestyle changes?

I am an academic and am likely about to take up a position at Cardiff University. I currently live in a small-ish (250K) Dutch city, which I love. I like the compact city center, I like walking everywhere (shopping, market, coffee, train station), I like the robust public transportation. I dislike car culture. What do I need to know about Cardiff? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 19, 2014 - 6 answers

Why are there no apartment yentas, for tight rental housing markets?

If I were looking for an apartment right now I would love to delegate the search and matchmaking to someone who made such searches, and presentation of credit data, references etc, their occupation, and I'm sure that many busy people would also want to use this service. Why aren't there people who do this?
posted by Baeria on Jul 9, 2014 - 23 answers

Help me build the cat room of my kitties' dreams!

We just bought our first house. Yay! One of the bedrooms has been designated as a haven for our 3 kitties - a place for them to play and lounge, with litter boxes and food/water available as well so we can close the door if we need them to be contained inside for a period of time. I am looking for suggestions what we can do to make this room awesome for the cats (and for us, the people who have to clean up after our furkids and keep them entertained). [more inside]
posted by joan_holloway on Jul 7, 2014 - 21 answers

Should I have a rate card?

I'm doing the ground work in setting up a small side business. This business would target a specific demographic with a defined subset of residential design services. I feel compelled to do a 'rate card' but I wonder if anyone here has experience with using a rate card as a service provider. Trying to figure out pros and cons and whether I've missed something. As a consumer, I think I'd love to see some up-front rates but I know that, realistically, it would keep me from hiring someone if I felt like I couldn't afford them (even if I could). [more inside]
posted by amanda on Jul 5, 2014 - 4 answers

Best use / design of finished basement living space

What should we do with this newly opened up space in our finished basement? [more inside]
posted by geeky on Jun 29, 2014 - 7 answers

Keeping on a rented house while working away - any suggestions?

Hi, There is a chance of being offered a very well paid 6 month job 7 hrs away from my newish home The lack of work here makes it hard to dismiss. That said I'm newish to my home and fond of it and my community. I suffer with hideous depressions and want to keep it on/build roots. (More inside). [more inside]
posted by tanktop on Jun 25, 2014 - 7 answers

Home renovation - worried about asbestos and lead (after the fact ...)

Well, I'm feeling quite stupid now because my partner and I just redid the floors and walls of our new apartment, a building that was built in the 1970s, and I am just now thinking of the possible hazards that didn't cross my mind before we did all the renovation work (yes, stupid, I know). How worried should I be? More details inside. [more inside]
posted by Blissful on Jun 25, 2014 - 7 answers

Is this electrical feature dangerous?

When I'm sitting in the room with the breaker box to my house, I hear a series of short buzzes, like "bzzzt." The noise seems to be coming from the breaker box, and I notice that a faceplate to one of the switches is missing (breakers were last switched off a month or two ago, when new heat pump was installed.). Here is (or should be) the image (if not, there's just copper surface where the breaker faceplate should be):
posted by mmiddle on Jun 20, 2014 - 11 answers

How to clean house like the professionals.

Between bad timing and desperation I hired a professional housekeeper to clean before family arrived for the holidays last year. She left the place looking better than when I first moved in. How can I do this on my own? [more inside]
posted by adapt on Jun 15, 2014 - 30 answers

Good value in hydronic radiators

Does anyone have experience by value hydronic radiators. Basically i want a Myson-like radiator but they are out of my budget. What other brands are a good value.
posted by alcahofa on Jun 15, 2014 - 1 answer

Skyrocketing Zillow Estimate For My House

Holy crap. My house value has been creeping up since the bust, which was to be expected. But I just checked Zillow, and they've boosted its estimated value by 23% in the past 30 days (I'm in Westchester County, not far from White Plains). [more inside]
posted by Quisp Lover on Jun 12, 2014 - 22 answers

What kind of circuit breaker is this?

An electrician told me that I need to replace the main breaker on this board. He wasn't sure where to find them. I'm hoping someone here has an idea what kind this is so I can try to get it replaced. I live in Austin,TX, so either online or near here. Here's a picture
posted by jonclegg on Jun 10, 2014 - 9 answers

Cheap Door to Door Delivery of Flyers

I need to get word out about a neighborhood meeting next week. I know I can (and will) use email to get the word out. However, I don't have everyone's email address. So I am going to use a paper flyer with the info about the meeting. I need to deliver these to about 150 homes. I can walk around and do it myself. But I was wondering if there were any sources out there to crowdsource this kind of job. What would be a reasonable payment? I need the hive mind to help me.
posted by cmh0150 on Jun 6, 2014 - 12 answers

Can my parents make me a mortgage loan?

Trying to buy a house. Have money for a down payment, but I'm self-employed and was turned down for a traditional loan. My parents are willing to lend me the money I'd need for the balance, and have me pay them back with interest, รก la a mortgage loan. Is this doable? [more inside]
posted by toomuchkatherine on Jun 5, 2014 - 12 answers

this here doorknob

This door is in the corner of our (soon to be) dining room. It formerly lead to the kitchen but now leads no where and is nailed shut. should we keep the knob on it? [more inside]
posted by Baby_Balrog on Jun 3, 2014 - 35 answers

Can i heal this dying cactus?

The house I live in was flipped and landscaped with these cactuses before we moved in. The largest one seems to be dying. It looks rotten in the center and even has some mold. I suspect the recent heavy rains and lack of good drainage. The question I have is two fold: Is it possible to fix this guy, or is he a goner? If I do replace the plant, what kind of plant is it, and how should i prevent this from happening again? Here are some pictures of the plant.
posted by jonclegg on Jun 1, 2014 - 10 answers

Visual doorbell in a rental home

What is the easiest, cheapest, least intrusive way to have a light go on in my basement when someone pushes a button at my front door? [more inside]
posted by ltisz on May 24, 2014 - 3 answers

Neighbors and condo repair situation in Somerville, MA

My neighbor and I both live on the top floor of our condo building. He wants to fix his AC/heating system inside the shared attic, and is asking to use an attic entryway inside my apt. What can I do to protect myself in case his contractor damages my things? Please help. Thanks. [more inside]
posted by miomiomio on May 21, 2014 - 8 answers

Graceful ways to explain spouse's chronic illness in social situations

I am having some difficulties explaining/trying not to explain my spouse's chronic health condition in social and work situations. I need some stock answers I can give for various occasions. [more inside]
posted by JoannaC on May 21, 2014 - 28 answers

How do I fix this?

Can I fix this myself? It's mostly intact except for some smallish chips. I have zero experience with tile work.
posted by latkes on May 6, 2014 - 12 answers

Games like Don't Starve and the Walking Dead

I'm looking for easy-to-control but sophisticated games with a distinctly spooky sensibility. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on May 5, 2014 - 16 answers

A circuit breaker switch won't turn back on. Do I call an electrician?

One of our circuit breakers tripped, and it won't return to its "on" position. I push it toward "on," but it doesn't stay, just returns to a middle position between on and off. It serves only a single hallway in the home, and nothing is plugged in there. Does the breaker need to be replaced? Should I call an electrician?
posted by jackypaper on Apr 29, 2014 - 17 answers

Philly contractor

Philly (center city or Main Line-ish): do you know / can you recommend a home contractor? [more inside]
posted by kalapierson on Apr 28, 2014 - 2 answers

Do's and dont's for replacement window contractors

I am going to get some windows replaced. Help me avoid the pitfalls of bad contractors, shoddy work, and overpricing. How should I approach this? [more inside]
posted by redliner on Apr 26, 2014 - 5 answers

What do I do about this hole in my yard?

I discovered a hole, roughly 10 inches across, in my yard (at a house I just moved into). It's basically a pipe going far far down, and had a stone top resting over the hole, loosely covering it. It reminds me of the Baby Jessica well, which makes me want to get rid of it, fill it in, cover it up. But I don't know what it is. Who might I call to figure out what it is, what it's for, if I can just remove the whole thing, or if it's necessary to keep it as-is?
posted by davebug on Apr 25, 2014 - 28 answers

Eeny, reside here or not, meeny, miny, moe?

My lease is soon expiring. I'm in kind of a delicate situation, and am a bit stuck on how to proceed. Details under the fold. [more inside]
posted by dubious_dude on Apr 25, 2014 - 12 answers

Help me find work-life balance as a recent college graduate.

I graduated college a year ago, and I'm having trouble acclimating to my new life. Plenty of special snowflake info inside, but I would love any tools or anecdotes about how your life changed after college. [more inside]
posted by bbqturtle on Apr 25, 2014 - 46 answers

HDMI Cable Question (Laptop-TV with no sound)

Help me connect a Laptop to TV with an HDMI Cable AND get sound. [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on Apr 21, 2014 - 8 answers

Making homemade videos. Er, digios?

So how are all the cool people making home movies these days, if they're not recording off their phone? And how are they storing and sharing such movies? [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa on Apr 19, 2014 - 3 answers

Helping a preschooler who's about to move!

Helping our preschooler move from one home to another: we have lots of flexibility, so we want to plan the best transition we can as he leaves behind the school and friends he loves. [more inside]
posted by kalapierson on Apr 15, 2014 - 5 answers

Best site or resource to learn construction, DIY home improvement?

I want to learn how to renovate or add on to a house.
posted by uni verse on Apr 4, 2014 - 7 answers

Where to Find Unique Gender Neutral Hand Towels

Hey. I'm a bachelor with disposable income and no possessions. I need hand towels. Are there awesome ones online? [more inside]
posted by midmarch snowman on Apr 1, 2014 - 11 answers

Seeking your thoughts on coworking spaces - experience? interest?

We are considering setting up a coworking space in a nearby small town. It would be very helpful to hear from people who have tried working in one. What did you like or dislike? What suggestions do you have? If you haven't worked in one, why not? Does the idea appeal to you or not? [more inside]
posted by ridingtheranges on Mar 25, 2014 - 14 answers

Vintage tile repair

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]
posted by mike_bling on Mar 22, 2014 - 13 answers

Aluminum wiring! Asbestos! Termites! Are they a big deal? What to do?

First-time homebuyers under contract for a 60-year-old house-- how serious/expensive are these problems: aluminum wiring, friable asbestos insulation, termites, undisclosed window leak causing water damage? Along with original plumbing and an old HVAC, is this a pretty standard situation that falls under the umbrella of "all houses are going to have some problems, no house is perfect" and is this the kind of stuff they mean when they say you'll be spending 1%-ish of your home value on this kind of stuff every year? Or are these costs and issues on the high side, and this is probably on top of another 1%-ish every year on other repairs and maintenance? Help us put this in perspective! (We need to decide whether to give the sellers' relocation company the right to cancel our contract by requesting repairs. And we need to figure out what we should fix and how much it'll cost if we go ahead and buy the house without repairs.) [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Mar 20, 2014 - 30 answers

Production Home Help Needed

My husband and I are thinking about having a home built -- a production home -- in one of the many subdivisions in our growing area. We have purchased a home before (and sold it later; not in our current area) but it was older and had been flipped. What do we need to know about the production home process? [more inside]
posted by danielle the bee on Mar 9, 2014 - 9 answers

What IR-capable residential security cameras are inconspicuous?

I'm interested in getting a few residential security cameras installed to cover our yard and car areas. Requirements are: ~40 feet night vision, decent motion detection, networked recording to central PC/DVR unit (either over WiFi or PoE power), no batteries, weatherproof, not easily stolen. There are plenty of cameras with good tech specs, but many of them look like warp engines. I imagine putting up giant cameras will not only piss off the neighbors, but serve as a giant ROB ME I HAVE STUFF sign. What exterior cameras are not only good but inconspicuous? [more inside]
posted by benzenedream on Mar 6, 2014 - 3 answers

How do I help someone Overseas build credit in the US?

How do I build someone's credit while they are overseas and not a US citizen? I am getting married to someone who is Japanese (in about 5 months) and lives in Japan right now. Because I know we will one day want to buy a house, I want to start building her credit as soon as possible because I know that it is easier to get a loan with two people signing instead of one. [more inside]
posted by locussst on Mar 4, 2014 - 10 answers

Arrowhead wall fixture in 70's house?

We had a home inspected today that included two of these fixtures (below cut). They say "Arrowhead" on them but even our inspector had no idea what they were. Home was built in 1972. Any ideas, old home lovers? [more inside]
posted by juniperesque on Mar 2, 2014 - 15 answers

Do I have to pay capital gains tax if I made no profit?

Taxfilter: I sold a condo in April. I sold it for $5,000 less than I bought it for, but I walked away with some money because I had owned it for 10 years and paid down the principal. I had been renting it out for 4 years before I sold it because I moved to a city nearby. I also put about 10K into renovations over the past few years. Do I have to pay any capital gains taxes? Is it worth it to try to get any kind of credit for the loss I took when I sold it for less than I bought it for?
posted by Clustercuss on Feb 26, 2014 - 8 answers

All our eggs in one basket? First time home buyers...

My wife and I have been working and saving over the last 4-5 years. We've managed to pay off all of our debts and have gotten ahead. It feels great to be debt free, but we want to buy a house. We found a bank foreclosure that's been sitting vacant for 6 years as it slowly worked through the courts. We have just enough to buy it outright, but that will leave us almost broke. Should we buy it? [more inside]
posted by karst on Feb 21, 2014 - 28 answers

Plumbing woes

I'm asking this Q for a friend and I really hope someone will be able to help. We moved into our house about two years ago. We've had problems with our sprinklers in the past and when we had them repaired, a sprinkler expert told my wife there was "something wrong" with how we get water to the front since they couldn't shut off the water. That didn't make sense to me, but now that I've tried to fix the sprinklers in the front myself, I've encountered the same problem. When I turn off the shut off valves near the water meter (what I think are the main valves), nothing happens, though it does turn off the water to the backyard. When I need to repair plumbing inside the house, the valve close to the house does the trick, but again, I can't shut off water to the front sprinklers. I have no idea how the sprinklers were installed, but it is getting frustrating and I'd like to know how to go about troubleshooting this. Is there any way to identify where a valve might be to shut off the water to the front sprinklers? Here's a simple diagram I drew. Thank you!!!
posted by BitterYouth on Feb 17, 2014 - 17 answers

Home Alone

I'm trying to decide what to do if I have to leave my dog alone for seven hours? [more inside]
posted by Fairchild on Feb 13, 2014 - 36 answers

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