Hi, I'm looking for suggestions on good home owner repair forums (DIY or contractor). Just need to ask some general questions such as: [more inside]
Bought / Buying my first house and the house has real cedar for siding. I can't find any definite answer to the maintenance requirements and frequency to this; only cedar shake but this is actual wood planks. Anyone have experience with maintaining real wood siding? If you ever had it professionally maintained, what was your cost and est. square footage?
After a rough winter, spring is ineluctably approaching. As the snow melts, I'm discovering that a number of the bushes are much worse for wear, the front brick path has heaved and needs to be re-set, paint is peeing, gutter downspouts and lots of wood trim are in need of replacement--the list goes on. And at some point, we'll need some grading work and other drainage projects. Plus (eventually) seeding the lawn and general cleanup. What's the best approach to thinking about and ordering these projects? [more inside]
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):
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?
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!!!
We're first time homebuyers, and getting a little overwhelmed thinking about all the things we might have to fix and/or replace in whatever house we buy, and how that should affect what we're willing to pay for a home. What are the most expensive (and/or frustrating to fix) things we should be keeping an eye out for and factoring into deciding whether to make an offer on a house and the offer price (i.e. adjusting up/down compared to comparable homes)? [more inside]
We bought a house, yay. It’s a small 1910’s bungalow with gas appliances and everything basically works. The foundation’s been replaced in the not-too-distant past and it’s ready for an earthquake. I've never been anything but a renter, so what kinds of regular maintenance should I be thinking about to minimize the risk of catastrophic emergency repairs? Plumbing, gas, heating, electrical, sewers: what’s a good schedule, and what kinds of things do I ask for to make clear that there’s nothing particularly wrong but I’d like to keep it that way? I looked at this old question, but most of the interesting-sounding links are dead.
We've just moved into a new place and it's now gotten cold enough to turn on the heat. Two of the radiators are really loud with air escaping, and often have visible steam coming out of the valve on the side. I've never seen radiators do this. Is this normal? Is this safe?
Do I really need to have my furnace and AC inspected once a year? [more inside]
HOME REPAIR: My over-the-range microwave had water in it! I uninstalled it and found a slow drip coming from the vent duct. Then I went outside and saw a bunch of ice coming out from under the eaves. I don't know much about home construction or repair. What should I do? [more inside]
Is a home inspector worth it to find out what deferred maintenance must be done immediately in an inherited house that I'm not selling right away? I'm thinking of getting one just to solve the deferred maintenance issues of an inherited house. [more inside]
Are there budgeting rules of thumb for home maintenance and improvements? [more inside]
I need to get some smoke detectors but I am having trouble finding out what the right kind are. There are, as far as I can tell, three different kinds. Stand alone, interconnect and hard-wired. What do the plugs that hang from the ceiling look like for the interconnect and for the hardwired? What do I ask the guy at the hardware store for (Ace just said they are on the endcap and the detectors there had nothing that told me what type they were)?
How do you get stains out of a brick tile floor? [more inside]
Can I let my (full, covered) above-ground pool go a few years without opening or swimming in it? Will the pool still be OK should I wish to reopen and use it at some point in the future? [more inside]
We just purchased a new home. The new home owners were gracious enough to give me a walk through their home to explain how to maintain the pool, and any tips on the garden. Is there anything else I should try to find out outside of the normal, 'how do you guys maintain your home' type questions?
Replacing a water heater... to power-vent or not to power-vent? That is the question. [more inside]
I have a ficus tree in our yard (planted by the previous homeowner) that is growing too fast and the roots have breached the main sewer line on our property. The trunk of the tree is maybe eight inches in diameter, and completely removing the tree is dicey due to terrain and sewer line considerations. I live in Hawaii. Any suggestions?
Every 3,000 miles, I change the motor oil. But what about the house? I need a home repair and maintenance schedule? I'm looking for the best books and online resources that describe optimum home repair schedules and practices. [more inside]
Much like my last question posted here four years ago about OS9, I am being flummoxed by hard water. Or more specifically, the level of difficulty wrt installing a water softener. How hard is it? [more inside]
[Klutz Construction Filter] Insulating a daylight basement with the wrong size of insulation, can I safely make it work? [more inside]
What are some usual (or unusual) home maintenance things/tips/hints that you do/use/follow periodically? Anybody have a link to a good list of these? [more inside]
What is the best coating to apply to a new pressure-treated wood deck? [more inside]