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]
Dog owners - what tips or hacks do you have for making your home more dog-friendly? What did you consider when you bought your home in regard to your dog? [more inside]
I have a newly good income, a very tiny (yes, I mean very tiny) beginning of a savings account, shitty credit, a little (in the hundreds) debt and I want to buy a house. What should I do? [more inside]
I have an aging stereo with decent speakers that I'd like to somehow convert so that I can stream music from my phone or computer. Is this possible? Details and pictures inside. [more inside]
Apparently on New Year's Eve some unknown moron shot his gun into the air. The bullet came down through our roof, punching a hole through the roofing itself (picture 1, picture 2) and then throught he ceiling of our guest room and into the exterior wall (picture 3). The bullet itself is lodged somewhere inside the wall, buried in the insulation, and I am not inclined to tear open the wall just to find it. The police have been out to take a bunch of pictures and create a report, but obviously there is no way to track down the person responsible. Nobody was injured, thank goodness. The roofing inspector was just out, and it is going to cost about $500 to repair the roof damage. That work will be done tomorrow, so that any additional damage is mitigated before it rains. The repair inside is minor, just patch the two holes and touch up the paint. [more inside]
We have a 24 inch by 36 inch vented gas log fireplace. See image. I'm pretty sure most of the heat goes up and out the flue. Are there any good modifications for optimizing heat output? Should we consider switching to a ventless system? Add some glass doors to the exiting setup?
The wife and I desperately need a new mattress. Any experience with shikibutons? [more inside]
I live in Vancouver and I'll be looking to buy a condo this year somewhere in Coquitlam or New Westminster. I've never bought a place before and have literally no idea what I'm doing. I'm told a Mortgage Broker is my best bet but how do I choose the right one for me? [more inside]
I have a small bathroom that needs work. I need to get the pipes under the sinks replaced, new faucets installed and countertop replaced. I'm an Angie's list member but I'm not sure what kind of contractor to look for. Can a plumber do everything including countertops? Do I need to get a plumber for the plumbing stuff & a different contractor for the counter?
I own a 1931 Arts & Crafts style house in Seattle, and am looking for resources to help me give it some "period accurate" accents. (For example, my foyer houses a working, refurbished phone from the 1930's). [more inside]
It's time to paint the living room. Problem: we have light wood floors with dark furnishings and my SO wants to keep the room "light and airy" whereas I would do anything to avoid white or eggshell walls and keep pushing for colors he says are "too dark and claustrophobic". What color scheme can we both agree on to really tie the room together? [more inside]
We're shopping for a mortgage (in the DC area), and are feeling anxious and frustrated that 1) it's so hard to know who we'll end up with because so many lenders/originators are likely to sell our loan and/or servicing after closing, and 2) it's easy to find complaints about most servicers out there and hard to find anyone that's satisfied. What has your experience been like with the place(s) that own and/or service your mortgage? Or should we put all that to the side and just try to find someone with the best rates/fees and the best reviews/recommendations regarding smooth and quick closing? [more inside]
I rent, and tonight I heard the sound of running water in my yard. I went outside to investigate and saw that water was spurting upwards out of this black pipe in the yard that is about 8" in diameter and sticks out of the ground about a foot (link to picture inside). The pipe has a cap on it that has a hole in it - it looks like an intentional hole that water is supposed to come out of. However, I've lived here for years and I've never seen or heard this happening. It rained today, and I live in SoCal where it hardly rains, but again, this seemed new. The water coming out was substantial and flooded a bit of my (very small) yard. After a while the water flow petered out. Since then, it's been going on and off at random intervals. I've tried to see if me running the water or flushing the toilet is connected to this, but I'm not sure that there is a correlation. The water coming out looked clear, but smelled a little funky and may have emitted a little steam (I didn't want to touch it to check the temp). The pipe is located less than a foot away from the side of the house and is next to my water heater that is located outdoors in some sort of locker thing. I've left a message for the landlord but wanted to see if anyone has any insight as to what this thing may be, and if this is unusual. Thanks! [more inside]
Is there any cheap neutral-colored wallpaper that I could use that's temporary? Or anything else that I can cover it with that I can take down later? I just can't do a pink room, man. [more inside]
When I play records sound only comes out of the right speaker. [more inside]
In appears, due to a combination of factors, we are short the necessary funds needed to close on our home purchase, scheduled for this Friday at noon. What can I do to smooth this situation over with the sellers and myriad of volunteers slated to help us move on Saturday and ease my own massive anxiety on having to delay the closing? [more inside]
Started a mosiac project and now I need the grout to stop setting. [more inside]
My parents have always struggled financially, living under crippling debt and never able to have an income able to match the bills, the biggest of which is their mortgage. I hate to see how difficult this situation is for my dad, and I want to help out for the sake of his stress level, and also because once he retires in a few years the math truly does not work out in their favor. I've been thinking of buying some land anyway, so I'm wondering if there is any feasible way to make this work for both my parents and me. [more inside]