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]
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?
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]
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]
What should we do with this newly opened up space in our finished basement? [more inside]
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]
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]
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):
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]
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.
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]
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
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.
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, á la a mortgage loan. Is this doable? [more inside]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
Can I fix this myself? It's mostly intact except for some smallish chips. I have zero experience with tile work.
I'm looking for easy-to-control but sophisticated games with a distinctly spooky sensibility. [more inside]
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?
Philly (center city or Main Line-ish): do you know / can you recommend a home contractor? [more inside]
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]
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?
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]
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]
Help me connect a Laptop to TV with an HDMI Cable AND get sound. [more inside]
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]
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]
I want to learn how to renovate or add on to a house.
Hey. I'm a bachelor with disposable income and no possessions. I need hand towels. Are there awesome ones online? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
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!!!
I'm trying to decide what to do if I have to leave my dog alone for seven hours? [more inside]
I took the Hivemind's advice to go abroad, now I need some ideas on how to get back. How should a early 20-something find for a job back in the US while abroad? [more inside]
I am just home from the hospital and a subsequent care center after I took a prescription overdose nearly 2 weeks ago that was nearly fatal. I live in an apartment with a roommate. Even before the overdose, I never felt fully comfortable here even though I realize it's better, safer,etc. than a lot of living situations I've had. But now that I associate my room with wanting to die, it's naturally a bit more dire that I break that association. I'm familiar with some spiritual ways of cleansing a place, and have a plan to slowly do physical cleaning as well. What are some other ways of reclaiming and even embracing my space?
After living the nomadic life for many years, I'm starting to think about settling down again. Search criteria inside. [more inside]
I have a bathroom that has had some serious moisture issues over the years. I recently installed an exhaust fan and that's mitigated the problem somewhat. My big issue is this: the wall paint (semi-gloss latex) is peeling off where the wall and tile meet. It started bubbling up here and there and I made the mistake of pulling on a little piece today and the paint came off like peeling an orange. I need to repaint several of the walls in the bathroom while trying to prevent the paint from peeling off again. How do I seal the walls or at least where the wall and the tiles come together to keep the moisture out? [more inside]
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.
This offer feels too good to be true. Is it? [more inside]
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]