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Need a new receiver, with some specific requirements

Our 2.5 year old Onkyo receiver has died. Again. At this point, I'm looking for a replacement, with some requirements, some wishes, and some thoughts, and an awful lot of confusion. I'm hoping some of you might have thoughts. [more inside]
posted by JMOZ on Oct 16, 2013 - 5 answers

Where should I live?

Looking for a home in a gay marriage state. [more inside]
posted by ohsnapdragon on Oct 14, 2013 - 50 answers

Macbook to media server.

What's the best way to utilize this busted up macbook (and other bits and pieces from the house) as a media hub/server? [more inside]
posted by furnace.heart on Oct 10, 2013 - 2 answers

iPhone controlled Bluetooth Home Speaker system with multiple zones

Are there any good alternatives to the SONOS system that would let me control music across my entire house from my iPhone? [more inside]
posted by ZackTM on Oct 10, 2013 - 8 answers

Should I buy this house, or not?

I'm looking at buying a house on the bayou, but am unsure whether the flood and flood insurance issues mean I should offer less, or just run. [more inside]
posted by atchafalaya on Oct 8, 2013 - 12 answers

Help me find a Denver area home inspector

The good news is that my wife and I are preparing to make a big move to the Denver, CO area. The better news is that we've found a great house and they've accepted our offer. Now we just need a home inspector. Can you recommend one? [more inside]
posted by fremen on Oct 3, 2013 - 4 answers

Creepy mysterious packages sent to my house- help!

A few weeks ago, a package was sent to my apartment from someone I didn't know in Chicago ( I live in California) They had my full name and address and I had never heard of their name. The package contained one cheap hairbrush with the tag still on. I assumed it was a mistake and forgot about it. There was no note. [more inside]
posted by tessalations999 on Sep 28, 2013 - 9 answers

I want to control lights and/or thermostat with my phone, from anywhere.

It seems like all the home automation device/app combos allow me to only control my lights or devices while inside my house where, you know, I can actually just walk over to them and turn them on and off already. [more inside]
posted by sandra_s on Sep 12, 2013 - 11 answers

Stress Savers

I'm entering what I expect to be a very busy year: busy full-time job with frequent evening and weekend work, graduate classes one night a week (plus homework), and a large writing project due next year. I find that I can get really overwhelmed and stressed when my schedule gets locked in and deadlines line up. I'm trying to find ways to simplify and ease my daily life so that I don't add additional stressors. What are your best time- and stress-saving tips for getting through intensely busy times? [more inside]
posted by Miko on Sep 12, 2013 - 27 answers

Help me Allergy-Proof my room!

I'll be staying at my mom's house for a couple of months, in my old room. My allergies have been going bat**** crazy for the past week, and as a result I am getting a horrible night's sleep. Sneezing, runny nose, scratchy throat, the works. Please help me Allergy-Proof my room so I can return to some semblance of normalcy. Picture + details inside. [more inside]
posted by Kamelot123 on Sep 12, 2013 - 14 answers

Explanation for mysteriously appearing clothing?

While trimming the hedges in my front yard (single family home located in a suburban area within a large midwest city) this afternoon, I came upon a men's size medium denim jacket underneath one of the hedges under my (first floor) bedroom window. While I think the most obviously explanation is it was probably discarded there for a totally banal reason (e.g. teens fooling around), is it possible that something more sinister is afoot? Is there any reason I should be concerned, and if so, what should I do?
posted by anthropophagous on Sep 11, 2013 - 15 answers

Apple TV 2 & Home Sharing Hell

I have an ATV2. It asks me to turn on home sharing. I do. ATV insists that i turn on home sharing. It worked in my previous location excepting a few times, where I just unplugged the router and ATV and replugged back in. It worked here on initial setup the first try but a few days later this whole stuff happens. It worked again only after I did a complete factory reset. I have read many of the threads online and perhaps it is a bit of daftness on my part. This previous thread on mefi helped the gentleman with his question. I didn't actually understand it very well. I have an iMac running Snow Leopard. The ATV does connect to Netflix and all other things. Just not my computer. [more inside]
posted by snap_dragon on Sep 9, 2013 - 10 answers

How do I hide this hideous radon fan and vent pipe?

I'm looking for ideas for hiding this hideous radon fan and vent pipe. In the picture the vent pipe is currently disconnected; when assembled it sits about 2 inches above the gutter. The best solution I have come up with so far is perhaps some sort of shallow 3 sided fence.
posted by steinwald on Sep 7, 2013 - 9 answers

I feel like I'm in a very boring episode of Doctor Who

I'm having a weird problem with Dropbox, and googling is failing me because lots of people can't find their Dropbox files. But I can't find them in a very special and exciting way, involving differences between Finder and the command line. What am I dealing with here? [more inside]
posted by heyforfour on Sep 4, 2013 - 15 answers

What's the best way to darken an east facing bedroom in the morning?

I just moved into a new apartment with an east-facing bedroom, and the blinds on the two windows (one is horizontal, one vertical) do a terrible job of blocking out light in the morning when I'm trying to sleep. Installing curtains over them would probably help a bit, but I'd imagine the gap between the window and the curtain is increased by the presence of the blinds and will thus prevent an effective seal, especially from the sides. What's the best solution to really block out the sunlight in a way that's easily put aside when I wake up and am ready for all that sunlight?
posted by Vexir on Sep 3, 2013 - 11 answers

Marriage versus home and parents

I'm stuck. My wife and I have been married for a little over a year, and there's a looming issue I haven't been able to shake off since the engagement: being close to my home and family conflicts with my wife's goals and what's good for our marriage. [more inside]
posted by winterroad on Aug 28, 2013 - 41 answers

Is it worth it to paint a porcelain tub, or should I just get a new one?

We're getting our 1960's era home ready to sell for as cheaply as possible. It comes with two porcelain tubs in lovely shades of avocado and beige, and never-been-updated bathrooms... [more inside]
posted by ashtabula to opelika on Aug 27, 2013 - 25 answers

Has anyone used The Window Store, or been a "model home?"

The other night I had a salesman come to my door from "The Window Store Home Improvements, Inc." He gave me a nice spiel about how they're looking for homes in my area that are willing to put advertising signs out front, and willing to be listed on their website, www.twshomesinc.com. In exchange they can give me new windows at wholesale cost instead of retail. The salesman also said that their windows are warranteed for 50 years, which he said was much more than typical warranties. [more inside]
posted by Slinga on Aug 27, 2013 - 12 answers

How can I deal with grief about selling my house?

I owned a beautiful new home for seven years and had to sell it this year due to practical factors such as distance to work for my wife, daycare, and so on. I am struggling with a kind of grief about it. The new owners move in today and last night I had a farewell party with some friends at the house which helped, but I stayed there all night taking photos and crying and trying to memorize every inch of it. I'm talking literally crying on the front lawn and feeling like I couldn't breathe. [more inside]
posted by The Hyacinth Girl on Aug 26, 2013 - 12 answers

Water quality testing

I have previously posted that my water appliances like hot water pot and coffee machine quickly descaled when i moved into my home. I never could figure out why. If one were to get home water tested, is it necessary to know what I am testing for? Anyone know of any reliable testing outfits?
posted by dougiedd on Aug 25, 2013 - 5 answers

What weightlifting can I do at home to increase upper body strength?

I regularly walk 6+ miles a day. I'd like to extend my exercise to increasing my strength. Ideally, I'd do bodyweight exercises, but I've tried to do some recently, and my upper body strength is not capable of more than two pushups, nor a single chair dip . So, I need to build my upper body strength with weights, and I want to do so at home. I can get a set of dumbbells. Please tell me which ones, and how to use them. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 22, 2013 - 30 answers

What to make at home next?

My wife and make a lot of stuff at home--from home made pasta, to scented fuel for an alcohol lamp, to guitar pedals--and we generally find that making at home is better and more fun than buying at the store. Can you recommend any other worthwhile home projects? I'm looking for enjoyable projects that are better than store bought--not necessarily for cost-saving. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Aug 19, 2013 - 39 answers

Not yet for sale by owner.

Seeking advice on how to prepare for making an offer on a house that's not on the market. That our friends rent. [more inside]
posted by deludingmyself on Aug 19, 2013 - 13 answers

What's a giftable home/apartment security upgrade?

I have a friend moving to a sketchy part of town (and living without a roommate for the first time). I want to get her some sort of security "thing" as an apartment-warming gift. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug on Aug 10, 2013 - 17 answers

Can I work on creating an etsy shop while on disability?

I have just been diagnosed with MS and my doctor has told me the tests will document my issues, and that it will endanger my livelihood. [more inside]
posted by squirbel on Aug 9, 2013 - 19 answers

FL Homeowner's Insurance 90 days after the closing...is it possible

Through a paperwork SNAFU, we failed to secure homeowners insurance at closing on the house we purchased (with cash, no mortgage) in Florida 78 days ago. Now we keep getting told by multiple Florida insurers that because the house was not insured within 30days of closing, they will not write a policy for it. They do say "If you get insurance on it, we will be happy to write a policy for you" [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 7, 2013 - 8 answers

Making The Best Home Bar With A Small Space

For the first time ever I have a space in my house just for cocktail preparation. Awesome. I have some great old glass bottles to go on top of this bar. Also Awesome. What do I put in these bottles to become the envy of cocktail-makers-and-consumers everywhere? How do I best use this space (close up) both in terms of keeping stuff on hand and visual appeal, base liquors, mixers, tools, garnishes, etc. Assume we'll drink anything, but the fussier and old fashioned, the better. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Aug 6, 2013 - 17 answers

Remove musky smell from wood?

So we have an old tiny cabin (about 8x12 ft) that is a bit in disrepair. But the real problem isn't the drafty windows or creaky door, but rather that we apparently had mink or some other musky-smelling animal nesting underneath (the cabin is raised about a foot off the ground) for quite a while, and it has pervaded the whole cabin with a musky, urine-like smell. We're really hoping not to replace all the wood, which is old, sound, and worn in the best way. What's our best bet for removing this smell permanently? [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront on Jul 30, 2013 - 11 answers

How do I connect PC/TV/Surround sound so they all play nice together?

A year ago, I bought a new TV with HDMI capability and hooked it up to my PC to work as a monitor (with a straight HDMI cable connection). IT. IS. AWESOME. I just moved into a new place with more room and now want to connect my surround sound system (5 speakers) to this setup as well. This is the receiver I'm considering purchasing and from what I can tell, will do what I need. Extra potentially pertinent info: I want my setup to allow me to use the surround sound at all times (when watching broadcast TV, when using the TV as the PC monitor, when using the BluRay player and when using the Wii (this is the least important)). I'm assuming the TV will connect to the receiver (via HDMI) and the PC will also connect to the receiver (via HDMI) and all other hook-ups will remain as-is. Thanks in advance for any advice or tips on how to make this easy! This will be my dream setup so I'm excited to get it right.
posted by Twicketface on Jul 29, 2013 - 15 answers

SENSORS ONLINE

I'd like to install some home automation/home monitoring hardware in an apartment. [more inside]
posted by A god with hooves, a god with horns on Jul 27, 2013 - 6 answers

Burglar-proofing your house before going away

I need some advice about making sure my house is safe from burglars especially when I'm not at home - without going overboard or getting paranoid. [more inside]
posted by Ziggy500 on Jul 25, 2013 - 20 answers

One part Bob Vila, two parts clueless

I'm looking to develop a good maintenance schedule for my new old home. It was built in 1930, radiator heat, newish boiler and water heater. Beyond the standard cleaning, what kinds of monthly, yearly, semi-yearly things should I be doing to make sure it doesn't fall apart?
posted by Think_Long on Jul 22, 2013 - 7 answers

How to fix this flooded kitchen floor?

Bought this house about three years ago and then learned that the water pipes, under the concrete-terrazzo slab, had burst and flooded the place (no, incompetent inspector did not notice this). The previous owner had then laid down an inexpensive woodlike floor. That was carelessly done but looked okay overall, except that residual water had stained and darkened a few areas. I had the house re-piped and the floor seemed to have dried and healed leaving just those few dark spots. [more inside]
posted by fivesavagepalms on Jul 21, 2013 - 7 answers

Old house - trying to fix up dirty moldy medicine cabinet

Just moved into a rental house. House built circa 1920. Medicine cabinet interior was completely lined with nasty old contact paper. I pulled off most of the paper. Now I'm worried about three things: 1. The paint underneath the paper is flaking. Is there danger of lead poisoning? 2. Black mold in the corner crevices under the paper. What's the best chemical for removal? Bleach solution? 3. What's the easiest cheapest way to get new shelves that will fit? PHOTOS. Any advice or encouragement is appreciated. How do I make this cabinet clean and functional? I don't like fixing old houses. Unfortunately there is much to do in this old house. The kitchen is a contact paper festival. The rental market is tight here, so landlords don't have to care.
posted by valannc on Jul 20, 2013 - 17 answers

Home Renovation Software

Buying-Our-First-House-Filter: Planning Edition. I've already read some of the other great AskMe threads about first homes and renovations and all of that, but one thing I haven't really seen (here or on the oft-recommended DIY blogs) is a solid recommendation or list of reviews of planning software related to home reno/landscaping. [more inside]
posted by Doleful Creature on Jul 18, 2013 - 7 answers

Help me feel at home.

I just moved house... and I am sad. This is stupid. Please help me make a new home for myself. [more inside]
posted by sockandawe on Jul 16, 2013 - 27 answers

Books/Websites with Photos of Contemporary/Minimalist Interiors

I absolutely adore minimalist, bare-bones style, and I can't get enough of looking at big, spacious home interiors with almost no clutter. I'd like to find books or online resources like Taschen's 100 Contemporary Houses, just not $60. [more inside]
posted by Unangenehm on Jul 12, 2013 - 5 answers

Best mattress pad and sheets for sweaty husband?

Mr. Crunchy sweats a lot when he sleeps. Help us keep the mattress and sheets from getting permanently stained. [more inside]
posted by crunchysalty on Jul 12, 2013 - 19 answers

Burning down the house

I recently made a switch to a different company for my homeowner's insurance (details after the jump about why). I fear I may have made a big mistake, but I honestly don't understand ANYthing about insurance and the more I try to read about it and look at my policies, the more confused I get. It's like someone's speaking Mandarin to me. I feel like a colossal idiot and I have no one to ask anymore now that my dad, whom I relied on to help me with this kind of stuff, is gone. I'm wondering how much I messed up here, and what I should look for to fix it. [more inside]
posted by emcat8 on Jul 10, 2013 - 14 answers

How to prevent or deal with grass allergies

I stopped weeding the yard a few years ago because my grass allergies are pretty bad. Even when I've covered my skin with gloves, jeans, and covered shoes I've gotten so itchy that I couldn't sleep at night. Bt the weeds come fast and furious in our yard and my husband has a hard time pulling them all, even though he uses Roundup to help keep them at bay. So I'd like to help if I can, and am wondering if there are effective ways to protect my skin to minimize allergic reactions. OTC itch medicines haven't made much of a difference for me.
posted by lirael2008 on Jul 9, 2013 - 14 answers

How do I budget for a home purchase if I have a good amount of savings?

I'm looking to buy a home. I'm not wealthy enough to just buy something nice enough straight out, and I've got a decent idea of how much I could/should pay for a monthly mortgage payment, but over the years I've accrued more savings (in fairly low-interest places) than I'd likely put for a down payment. So how do I decide how much of my savings to put into what size of down payment (and, since I know how big of a mortgage I could pay, how do I decide how much I should spend on a house?). [more inside]
posted by davebug on Jul 8, 2013 - 13 answers

I need you to go to the mat for me.

Sometime in 2009, I bought a few of these floor mats from Costco. They're 36" x 23", have a rubberized grippy backing, a soft top texture, and are not padded. Costco hasn't carried them for some time, and I haven't seen them anywhere else. Now they're starting to fade and fray and I regret not buying more when I could! Has anyone seen this identical mat pattern and style available somewhere recently? I know it's kind of a longshot, but these are a brilliant match for my home decor. Thanks!
posted by planetesimal on Jul 7, 2013 - 1 answer

I like to party and have a good time...

Every so often, I meet up with friends. One thing leads to another and pretty soon we're saying "Oh my god, we're so drunk... lets get some chinese food".
[more inside]
posted by karathrace on Jul 4, 2013 - 19 answers

Burn mark inside microwave. Manufacturer wants it. Cause for concern?

I have a Panasonic microwave that is about 1 1/2 years old. I called support regarding the door latch having issues, but I mentioned a burn mark while talking to the CSR. They escalated immediately to a supervisor and now want me to ship it back. They also asked if I have contacted medical staff, lawyer or home insurance. Should I be concerned/worried? The microwave functions fine as it is. Should I get it checked by some lab before I send it back? Should I get myself checked out?
posted by wongcorgi on Jun 20, 2013 - 17 answers

sick of Apartment Therapy

I like looking at Apartment Therapy for tours and DIY ideas but it's gone annoying and stale. What are some other decor blogs with fresher content? [more inside]
posted by slow graffiti on Jun 20, 2013 - 14 answers

Got any advice on possible pre-fab home building?

Have you bought a pre-fabricated home, or know someone who has? If so, what words of advice can be given about this? [more inside]
posted by drpynchon on Jun 15, 2013 - 7 answers

Can I paint this rug?

I want to paint some designs on this hideous rug that I bought by mistake. [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster on Jun 13, 2013 - 25 answers

Washing Machine repair: Can a mere mortal change a door gasket?

Do I dare try replacing the door gasket on my frontload washing machine? Photo of damaged gasket. It's not supposed to look like a ruffle. It's supposed to be smooth. The damaged occurred when I was washing a duvet cover and sheets. The load became very unbalanced and the machine leapt and jumped. Has anyone ordered the part and done a successful DIY repair? Or should I pay a service tech? The machine is a Maytag MHWE200XW00. It looks like we could get the gasket shipped for about $120.
posted by valannc on Jun 10, 2013 - 12 answers

I work a high profile job and my neighbors know it. I've been robbed.

I have been robbed three times in the past 7 months. My lease ends July 31st, and I do not wish to pay one more month. I have expressed that I feel targeted and unsafe to the apartment complex, but they do not want to make a concession for me. What rights, if any, do I have? Michigan is my location. The apartments seemed safe when I chose them, but have turned into something else since.
posted by squirbel on Jun 10, 2013 - 26 answers

Is naptha (lighter fluid) safe to clean windows?

I have some masking tape adhesive residue on my windows. They are vinyl windows double pane with argon gas inside. I use naptha with is lighter fluid although I use the actual stuff from a paint store to remove adhesive on other stuff it works well. It is safe on plastic. What I'm wondering will it damage the stuff that holds the glass panels to the frame (I think its silicone not sure though) I dont want it to get damaged and let the argon gas leak out.
posted by john123357 on Jun 6, 2013 - 25 answers

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