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]
I recently replaced a couple of old LinkSys WRT54G routers running DD-WRT in my home with a couple of couple of D-Link DIR-615 routers that I got as refurbs from woot.com. I bought these because the old machines only did 802.11 B/G whereas nearly everyone in the house now has a device that has 802.11 N capability. All seems well to me, but my wife and younger daughter consistently complain that they now frequently are unable to display some images from Facebook, and that this began to occur precisely at the time that I put these new routers in. [more inside]
A question regarding an impending attempt to replace the control board in our furnace myself. Extenuating circumstances: Approaching Arctic Cold Front. [more inside]
My wife and I are trying to wrap our heads around the process of purchasing a home. We know a little bit, but we also know there are gaps in that knowledge. We're looking for information on how to go about the process, and what specifically we should be doing to assess the prudence of home-buying [more inside]
What would you do? Im saving money to buy an apartment. Another part of me wants to go live in another country for a few months instead. [more inside]
We are selling our home and have an offer. My baby and I have no where to go during inspection. What happens if we stay? [more inside]
I've had a home-owners policy with the same insurance company since purchasing my house in 2002. Last week, I had a message on my answering machine from a man identifying himself as an auditor with a 2nd party surveying firm. He said he was calling at the request of my insurance company to set up a date/time for a survey of my house. [more inside]
I want to buy the house I'm renting. How do I even start? [more inside]
We bought a house, yay. It’s a small 1910’s bungalow with gas appliances and everything basically works. The foundation’s been replaced in the not-too-distant past and it’s ready for an earthquake. I've never been anything but a renter, so what kinds of regular maintenance should I be thinking about to minimize the risk of catastrophic emergency repairs? Plumbing, gas, heating, electrical, sewers: what’s a good schedule, and what kinds of things do I ask for to make clear that there’s nothing particularly wrong but I’d like to keep it that way? I looked at this old question, but most of the interesting-sounding links are dead.
My mother's house has these recessed casement windows, and the mystery material the jamb (or maybe jamb extension?) is made of has started to crumble. Whole chunks come out when I put the air conditioners in each spring and take them out every fall, and forget about keeping the window shade hung -- I have yet to find an anchor that won't get pulled out. I'm going to take a stab at fixing it while I'm home for Thanksgiving, so I need help devising a plan of attack that can definitely be completed over a four-day weekend, even if that means it's just a stop-gap band-aid-type repair. [more inside]
What is it like owning a home near a *loud* highway or other noisy high-traffic roadway? How do you cope? Will I regret buying this house? [more inside]
Our house got broken into, but the thieve(s) stole slightly strange objects. Why? [more inside]
We've just moved into a new place and it's now gotten cold enough to turn on the heat. Two of the radiators are really loud with air escaping, and often have visible steam coming out of the valve on the side. I've never seen radiators do this. Is this normal? Is this safe?
I figure, at this point, somebody has done exhaustive operations research on pretty much all of my daily chores. Assuming I don't care about hominess or aesthetics, what does industry have to teach me about getting through all the little maintenance work of life with less time, effort, and attention? [more inside]
I have three different wireless routers on my home network, and they are not inter-operating well... [more inside]
I heard this weird buzzing sound coming from my basement today, and I eventually opened up the ceiling and traced it to this transformer or something that's up in there. I tapped it with a piece of non-conductive material and it stopped buzzing. Tapped it again, it started buzzing more quietly, and then I tapped it again and it was silent. Anyone have any idea what this is, and why it's there? The house is from 1952 and doesn't have any electrical issues that I know of. Pictures: Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3
Eight years or so we bought a fixer upper. Then things went sour. Now I'm feeling like I'm at the end of my rope. Help me figure out how to get this place fixed up. [more inside]
What do I do with years-old equipment that belongs to my old cable service provider? Equipment dates from 2009. Furnished by Verizon FIOS, which then switched to Frontier FIOS. A cable modem, DVR, and set-top box. We moved house in 2010, and cancelled Frontier service. Attempted to return the equipment. This involved them shipping empty boxes to us. We never got the boxes. Attempts failed. I have no documentation of those attempts. Equipment is sitting in our garage, and I need to get rid of it. Which option is best? The easy way: Donate the equipment to a recycler. The hard way: Contact Frontier and try to return their equipment. This is likely to be time-consuming, and annoying. I recall their CS was incredibly awful. I couldn't find any helpful info on their web site. And what if they want to charge me a "late return fee"??? Do big cable providers care about their old equipment?
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]
Looking for a home in a gay marriage state. [more inside]
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]
Are there any good alternatives to the SONOS system that would let me control music across my entire house from my iPhone? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
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.
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]
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]