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]
Is there a way one can purchase individual flu shots by mail for personal use in the US - and if not, why? Flu shots don't seem to require a prescription, and it would seem like it would be much easier to just get it by mail and do it myself than have to wait in line at a flu clinic. (I've had to use injectable medication in the past, so self-administering a shot doesn't bother me, and the nasal mist seems especially easily administered.)
Toilet not being used for months. How do I keep it from getting gross? [more inside]
How can a dryer with 2 thermostats have three heat ranges, especially since only one is on the blower element? [more inside]
I'm going home for the holidays for the first time in five years. Help me assemble the perfect soundtrack for my trip. [more inside]
I'm trying to use a couple of AirPort Expresses to extend my home wifi network but am having great difficulties. Please help? [more inside]
Bought a home in rainy Washington 5 months ago, 70 yrs old, we knew there was some settling in one bedroom at the corner of house, of 4 inches, and the inspector cited settling from a cracked foundation (which was patched with a little patchy concrete) and possibly settling from water pooling from clogged downspouts, but said the settling should be over now. But we now doubt that... [more inside]
My parents just inherited my grandmother's house, a burden they are not happy with. At first they were worried they would have to keep the house for the time being and hire a realtor to get it sold - they are not in a place to take on the cost of a second house, even if it is just temporary. Now suddenly out of the blue, a relative of my grandmother calls and offers the services of her step-son, someone who pays cash for houses and fixes them up. I'm a little suspicious and want to check that this isn't a scam. [more inside]
We have an issue with the hot water supply from a 2004 Peerless oil furnace/boiler with tankless hot water. The shower starts at full temp, but quickly goes tepid (too cool for a comfortable bath/shower, but not ice-cold) and returns to full heat after 5-10 minutes. This is most apparent during the first two showers of the day or bath in the evening - subsequent showers or baths don't seem to have the problem to the same extent. This makes troubleshooting difficult, as we can't tell until an hour or so after running all that hot water to see if the problem returns. It's most pronounced in winter, during the summer the issue seems to go away. (Details inside) [more inside]
I have a backyard that has been troubled ever since we moved in. It was clear at that time that lawn of some sort was not doing very well. We tried adding new good soil and starting grass from seed that supposedly was the right kind for our area and the fact that the back gets little direct sunlight. [more inside]
Can anyone suggest a good book for a first time home buyer in Canada? My wife and I are hoping to purchase our first home in the coming months and we're a bit intimidated at the process. I've seen similar questions before, but the books seemed to be directed at people located in America and I don't know if those would be as applicable or not.
Looking for a intercom and remote gate opener with control via the internet on a iPhone / iPad. [more inside]
Just bought a house with a older Brinks Home security system. Well the previous owners had a Land-line and had the house monitored. When they moved out they disconnected the line and now the alarm is showing "CP Trouble" and beeping once every 45 seconds or so. We dont have a land-line nor plan on getting one. We also do not plan on having the alarm monitored but we like the door chime and being able to set the alarm. Even while set the CP problem is still there and beeps. I called Brinks and they said the only way to fix this was to disconnect the whole alarm system or get it monitored. I dont want to disconnect the alarm and I dont want it monitored. Does anyone know if there is a way to bypass this to stop the beeping?
Our old farmhouse was remodeled in the 50s and as a result, the living room is seriously something like 35 x 20 in some spots, while others are 'only' 15 feet wide. We moved here from a house that could fit IN our current living room. It's freaking me out. I'd really like to make the house, our living room especially, seem more cozy. What are some ideas or hacks to make this happen? I see lots of tips on how to make rooms seem bigger, but not so many to make the walls feel like they're closing in on you.
Should I take this job offer and move home because that's where I want to end up, or spend another year at my current company doing my dream job? Complication: I'm female, 30, single, and want to get married and have a family in my home state. [more inside]
My partner and I have moved around a lot over the last few years. We're in one spot together, for now, but will likely have a few more bumps of not feeling settled for the next couple of years, as we'll likely be doing more cross-country and overseas moves. What gift ideas can you share, so we can take "home" with us wherever, whenever, we land? [more inside]
I have a big white wall next to my stairs. I want to decorate the wall with a 10-sentence quote, like going up alongside the stairs. I am only moderately artsy but not totally hopeless. I'm trying to figure out the best way to do this myself. [more inside]
After a great deal of deliberation, a thorough reading of Fosterhood, and an inconceivable amount of bureaucratic obstacle weaving, we are currently parenting two foster children. They're Chinese. We aren't. They need to eat more soups, more vegetables. I need help figuring out how to make things they'll like. [more inside]
The issue isn't us as borrowers... It's the house. The house is part of a coop/co-housing setting. We'd be buying the house, but the land it sits on would remain owned by the co-op. Mortgage? [more inside]
I never was fond of houses with picture windows, or too many windows at all, but then I fell in love with this home... [more inside]
I have some help coming my way towards down payment. Let's say... for simplicity sake ...that I am receiving $100k as gift towards down. I know the gift amount won't count as "cost" when calculating capital gain at time of sale in the future. But if I receive the "gift" in chunks of $14k from various individuals under the annual gift exclusion clause, could any of those chunked amounts be included in my cost to reduce my capital gain? Thanks. I hope this is a simple yes/no question. [more inside]
I replaced a ceiling light in a 1950's-wired apartment. There are insulated black and neutral wires, but no ground connection (fixture has ground wire but just connected it to mounting bar). If wired backwards, what happens when I flip the switch? When I touch the fixture while power and/or switch are on? [more inside]
Help me figure out a wonderful, fun thing to do with our unfinished attic space. Difficulty level: renters with grad student incomes. [more inside]
So has anyone in northern NJ (Essex/Passaic/Bergen counties or thereabouts) recently used a super-detailed, easy to work with home inspection company they'd recommend? Any and all info welcome. Thanks, hive!
If I wanted to buy a house or condo in a distant state as an investment, and I had an opportunity to buy a place outright, with tenants and leases already in place, should I? How about outright but sans tenants? More info within. [more inside]
Moved recently. The house ADT system already installed. Don't like ADT - what are my options? [more inside]
I moved during the summer and have noticed that my new place seems to attract mold at a higher rate than other places I've lived. I'm wondering if these things should be a cause for concern, or if these are just normal things given the specific situations. [more inside]