We love our house, an 85-year-old home that was extensively remodelled, preserving much of the charm, including original A-grade fir hardwood floors, but with many improvements, including plumbing and wiring. The outside is the original cedar siding, which was sanded/filled/primed/painted about seven years ago. Now that it's in need of repainting, I'm considering whether I should paint or replace. Don't know if this wrecks the look/value of the house. Hope me! [more inside]
I just bought a 100-year old house in Seattle. The inspector had pointed out various things that need fixing with regard to the structure, plumbing, electrical, and heating systems. A very rough estimate for all of the important fixes put together would run about $20-30K, which is OK. I'm also OK with waiting a couple months before moving in to get the bulk of these repairs done. But I've never owned a house before and don't really know where to start. Should I use a general contractor to get these things done? [more inside]
What are best practices for filling a long, dry 1/16" wide crack in my basement floor? [more inside]
I have a Chromebook. I have a Canon Pixma 3520. These two are supposed to be able to talk to each other. However, everything I find assumes my printer has an LCD screen. It does not. [more inside]
How do hardware stores differ from country to country? [more inside]
I have this pipe dream of settling down somewhere extremely rural and building a self-sufficient, environmentally friendly home. I've got a lot of ideas floating around in my head, but I'm always looking for new ones. How would you go about setting up such a dwelling? (Or how did you do it, if you've done it yourself?) I'm ideally looking for ground-up plans, but all ideas are welcome. [more inside]
I work from home and have an opportunity to move soon. I enjoy fresh starts and wondering about buying a house in the sticks somewhere and living the good life. I've recently cut my last geographic tie, and after a spell travelling, wondering if anyone has some insight/anecdata into living styles that might suit someone for whom commute is not an issue. [more inside]
We are buying our first home (yay!). Every time we go over there to poke around, I notice another thing that we don't deal with in our current four-unit apartment building. What are some things we need to buy? What are the things we need to do right away? Any tips you wish you would have known? Any thoughts on order of operations -- can we move as soon as there are beds, or when the internet arrives, or what? Please help us rehome. [more inside]
A few years ago, I had an attic fan installed to reduce heat build-up on the second floor of my home. Ever since, I have noticed foul sewage odors in my first-floor half bath. The odor is only present when the attic fan is running. What is causing the foul smell, and what can I do to solve this problem? [more inside]
The exterior of our house has been overrun by these furry little cocoons. I need help identifying the little rascals and also advice on how to KEEL them and keep them from coming back. [more inside]
Blue/white-tac issues. How do I keep my shiz on the walls instead of on the floor? My posters/notices keep falling off my walls. None are particularly heavy paper or strange glossy finishes. Surfaces I want the paper posters to adhere to are either wooden doors or normal painted walls. 75% stay up for months without issue - others fall down on a weekly basis. [more inside]
We have three lights on our hallway/stairs that are all controlled by the one switch. The bulb went out in one of them and when I went to change it, the glass part was broken off from the metal screw part. Additionally I discovered that the breaker for these lights is not in my breaker box - it must be in my landlord's breaker box, so I don't feel safe attempting to remove the broken screw part... I'm going away for a bit tomorrow (so don't have time to do much!), but my catsitter will be in and out. My question is if it is dangerous for the fixture to be turned on at all - should I tell the catsitter not to turn on those lights or is it fine for it to be on without removing/replacing the broken bulb. I don't want my catsitter to fall on the stairs, but I also don't want to electrocute anyone or cause an electrical fire while I'm away!!
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, last night we apparently interrupted some burglars. The police were pretty negative about traditional home security systems (which we didn't have anyway), and I'm interested in either a DIY system or a modern digital system. Googling turns up a lot of things that appear to be not ready for prime time (e.g. Canary). But surely there are Mefites with good suggestions. Help? [more inside]
How can I decide whether to buy or continue renting? [more inside]
Considering leaving a teaching career for something completely different. [more inside]
We are doing a total gut renovation of our house, and the glue holding down the old attic tile is this black stuff that smells like tar. What do we do about it? Paint over with Killz? Steam and scrape off? Something else? [more inside]
We're considering relocating across the country and renting out our current primary residence. We don't have experience with this, so if you've done something like this, what advice can you offer? [more inside]
My mother and I live in the same house. She is on the main floor and me and my family are on the top two floors. When the doorbell rings we want to know who is there so that the right person can answer the door. How do we make this happen?
We're in contract on a 1940 house in Seattle, Washington, USA, and the inspector said there used to be oil heat. There's no visible sign of a tank, and no records of a tank being decommissioned (city records for decommissioning or removal of old tanks only go back to 1997). We're trying to decide if it's worth looking for the tank and having it decommissioned if one is found, or if it's OK to just leave it be. [more inside]
As springtime arrives, I would like to spruce up my house with some cute, inexpensive textiles. Can you help? [more inside]
I'm having trouble letting go of my childhood home that I inherited, and the lifetime of stuff inside it. I could use some advice about how to move on. [more inside]
Looking to get pre approved for a home loan as a first step. Could you recommend a few good banks & web sites. The home purchase would be in central NJ. Would prefer to get this done over the phone / online. What is typically considered a good interest rate for someone with very good credit these days?
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?
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that I've had a midlife crisis and decided to dedicate my life to creating uninspired exurban developments . . . [more inside]
My parents are considering getting a pied-a-terre in our mutual hometown, which could be used as an AirBnB at other times. What would we need to know to get into being hosts? [more inside]
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]
I've bound quite a few printed versions of large books I bought as PDF and that works pretty well. Now I want to try it with bought books, but where I'm stuck is how to remove the glued spines. Has anyone else done this, and how did you do it? [more inside]
Our house in Boston was built sometime around 1900. It has a stone foundation that is mostly intact and has been kept in fairly good repair. Unfortunately, there are some holes/gaps that need to be repaired along the front wall of the foundation, under our brand new deck. They can't access the holes properly without removing most of this new deck. As an alternative, the masons have suggested pouring a small thin layer of concrete in front of the stone wall. Is this a reasonable approach? Anything we should be considering? [more inside]
I own a home in UpState New York that will soon need a new roof, outside painting, repairing of gutters etc.and was wondering if anyone has heard of a Home Repair, Painting etc Party and would have thoughts or details.. [more inside]
Own a condo; extensive water damage to ceiling from upstairs renters and I need to get the elusive owner of that unit to pay for repairs. But he's a jerk, so how do I do it? [more inside]
Buying our first home, I'm would like to go with a buyer agent and have our first meeting set with one Saturday. I'm turning to the hive mind for your tip, tricks, questions, and other things you wish you would have done or found helpful during meeting with your realtor. [more inside]
I am trying to help my brother, who currently lives in the back of his truck, find a new "home". I am thinking that if I were to purchase him a very modest camper (like less than $2000) he could maybe find a cheap spot to park it and live? [more inside]
My husband and I are working on decorating a nursery for our first baby (due in 10 days!). We have most of the furniture figured out but we can't figure out what to put under the window. Do you have any ideas? [more inside]
My mother is moving out of her house and wants to sell it with as little fuss as possible. She doesn't want to make any improvements, hire a realtor, have 'open houses,' or have any protracted negotiations. Her plan is to just take the best offer of a "fast cash buyout" home-buying company. That sounds like inviting a ripoff to me, but we both know very little about selling houses and don't know of any alternatives. [more inside]
I am getting conflicting opinions on when you can (and can’t use) CFL and LED lights indoors, especially with a flush mount light fixture. I am more confused now that ever. If someone can offer some insight, it would be great. [more inside]
My partner and I moved in together last year and we are lucky enough to each have room of our own in addition to our master bedroom. We decided to add a built-in Murphy bed and bookshelves to my room (for guests) as it had the better layout for that. I use my room as a home office and it’s perfect for that purpose. [more inside]
So what I'm looking for is any national statistics (or as close as I can get) on the area of building unpermitted additions on housing. As in guy buys a home. Guy moves in and discover that third bedroom he built is unpermitted. Or that connected treehouse. Or the homemade bomb shelter. thoughts on where I could find such things?
Years ago, I couldn't resist purchasing a huge, multi-colored, very shaggy area rug, and I'd like to keep using it in our main room. We need to get a runner for our entryway, but it will sit very near this rug, and I cannot figure out what color and texture will work best. I spend a lot of time in this room, and will look at these rugs side-by-side all the time. I don't want them to look awful together. Can it be done? [more inside]
We bought a small three bedroom/one bathroom house (about 1,050 sq. feet) in Austin about a year and a half ago and we're looking to do a significant upgrade in several months, upwards of $100,000. [more inside]
The ceramic tile throughout my house is old, crumbling, and needs to go. Please help me sort through my flooring options. [more inside]
I've realized that I have little idea how to properly care for a house. What regular maintenance and preventative maintenance tasks should I be doing? How do I do them? What things should I be checking for, on what schedule? What equipment do I need? What things will I probably need to hire someone for? I'm a-googlin too, but thought you all might know some good resources.
We built a house. Builder wired the house for alarm using some buddy of his. So the doors and windows all have sensors (I think) that are wired into the house. Cheap/basic keypad is by back door and upstairs master bedroom. We haven't activated the system with a monitoring company, but now want to do that. Trying to find out what I can do with the prewired system. Can I use any of the cutting edge home security systems with smartphone and cellular stuff? [more inside]
I have a ceramic tile which was placed over a linoleum floor which I assume was placed over something with asbestos. The tile is in fine condition. The only possible exposure is at the edge. This floor used to abut a carpeted hallway. A few years ago, I pulled up the carpet in the hallway. The edges of all the current and historical floors and sub-floors in the kitchen have been exposed since then. How seriously do I need to take this? [more inside]
I have all my music on iTunes ( on my iMac). I would like to make it much more accessible to myself and my family 9including my kids (under 10 yr old) at home. ( Not really interested in making sure I have access to it elsewhere for now). I don't really like keeping my commuter on all the time (but that wouldn't be a showstopper for me (my wife?). I don't want to spend much money. (Say less than $500). I own some old pattern speakers and subwoofer that still work. I am running my wifi right now through an older airport express to connect my iPad and phones. Main goal is to make it simple to turn off and on and find music. (I am a bit challenged web nit comes to networks and the like.) Thanks!
I need to install a taller fence in my yard. Two of my dogs (both hounds) have figured out they can jump the 4ft fence. I would very much like to reuse the existing 4ft posts - theyre already plumb and driven below the frost line (and it's currently winter here, so digging new holes now will be a bitch & a half). [more inside]
The window in our new apartment living room is 66" wide and 72" high. I am looking for a curtain and can't find anything except shower curtains in the width. Searching for "wide curtains" yields curtains that are too wide (like 84" or 96"), and I wasn't able to find panels narrow enough to do the job with two of them. The window is right up against the corner of the room on one side, so I can't just extend the curtain beyond the width of the window to accomodate a greater width. Any advice?
IMAGE I need to fix a hollow wooden door, quick and fast. Is this possible? I only need it to look unnoticeable. Doesn't have to be perfect.
Is it a really bad idea to put a power rack with barbell and weights in our utility room? [more inside]
I work remotely (technically could work from anywhere, though it's easiest to be based in the U.S.) and I live in the Bay Area right now. Because I only make around $65,000, this isn't a very affordable place for me to live anymore. I'd like to move into a bigger apartment, and ideally would like to buy a house, so I'm considering moving somewhere else. More inside! [more inside]