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Cast Iron Radiators of Death

Mr. Kitty and I are pretty handy, but removing 100 layers of 100 year old paint from our cast iron radiators may kill us. Who can we pay to make this problem someone else's? [more inside]
posted by Suffocating Kitty on Jun 11, 2014 - 11 answers

Measure twice, cut once: tool buying edition

With Father's Day fast approaching and the home improvement season upon us, I've been thinking about tools. Delicious, delicious tools. Let's talk about the tools I need for my toolatorium. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on Jun 2, 2014 - 18 answers

Best DIY Bible/Resources?

What are the best DIY resources in 2014? I really enjoy thisoldhouse.com, but it's largely just entertainment, rather than instructional. Websites, magazines, and books are all fair game. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on May 22, 2014 - 10 answers

How do I fix this?

Can I fix this myself? It's mostly intact except for some smallish chips. I have zero experience with tile work.
posted by latkes on May 6, 2014 - 12 answers

How to remove a stripped set-screw from a bathroom faucet handle

I did a stupid thing and I am so ashamed. One of our bathroom faucets has a minor leak. When a previous faucet had the same problem, I fixed it by replacing the stem, which worked like a charm, so I was planning on doing the same to this one. Unfortunately, I think I stripped the set-screw when trying to remove the handle, and now I am unable to remove the handle to make the repair. I am looking for suggestions on how to remove this set-screw. [more inside]
posted by blurker on Apr 22, 2014 - 10 answers

Keeping the rain out

We live on the bottom floor of a double-decker home. Our back decks are similarly stacked, so the upstairs deck provides some cover from the harsh summer sun. Unfortunately, it still lets rain in. Is there a way we can cover the "roof" of our deck so that we can use it even when it rains? [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Apr 7, 2014 - 10 answers

Question Re: Swamp Cooler Wiring

My swamp cooler is not working [previously], and after taking a closer look at the wiring, I see that one of the wires is not connected. Can anyone help me understand this situation? [more inside]
posted by Mo' Money Moe Bandy on Mar 18, 2014 - 7 answers

Summer is coming -- help me fix my swamp cooler?

I have a weird, vexing problem with my swamp cooler. Electricity is involved. Short version: when I turn it on, it blows the circuit breaker. Details below. [more inside]
posted by Mo' Money Moe Bandy on Jan 24, 2014 - 8 answers

Is Serious Furnace Cleaning Necessary?

I have an old style furnace that has been cleaned (by vacuuming) on a mostly annual basis for about 20 years. Should I pay the big bucks to get it scraped out by a professional? [more inside]
posted by Kevin Street on Jan 21, 2014 - 9 answers

Cleaning a furnace flame sensor.

My furnace is cycling on and off continuously. I'm pretty sure I know why and think I can handle the repair (cleaning the flame sensor), but I want to be sure I'm doing it properly. [more inside]
posted by davebush on Jan 19, 2014 - 8 answers

Real-time plumbing question

There is a handyman in my home right now who is in his 3rd hour of installing a new kitchen sink and faucet. Part of that time was devoted to running out to the hardware store to get the right parts to replace the water shut off valve, which apparently was stripped. That took about a half hour (which was reasonable given the distance). He told me originally that he thought the sink replacement would take about an hour, so minus the hardware store run, it's taken 2 and a half times longer than he estimated. Is the amount of time he's spent so far excessive? [more inside]
posted by Wordwoman on Nov 10, 2013 - 14 answers

Got that sinking feeling

Our underhung kitchen sink detached itself from the countertop this afternoon - can I repair this myself? How? [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Nov 9, 2013 - 8 answers

My window jamb... is... crumbling! How do I fix it?

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]
posted by patnasty on Nov 2, 2013 - 10 answers

Help me build a basic apartment tool set!

I am at the stage of life when I need to move from a random collection of tools to an organized tool set that equips me for basic home/apartment maintenance. What do I need? Budget: just-finished-grad-school poor. [more inside]
posted by philosophygeek on Aug 26, 2013 - 32 answers

The AC, she just can't take it, Jim.

Is there more consumer protection if I use a credit card to pay for a major purchase like an air conditioning unit? [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on Aug 12, 2013 - 6 answers

Can you identify this mysterious building material?

Somebody left a piece of building material on our front porch this morning. We immediately assumed it had fallen off of our house somewhere but I can't see anything missing. Can AskMe identify what it is and where I should look? We're new homeowners and I'm growing paranoid that some critical piece of the weatherproofing has come off and I won't realize it until disaster strikes. [more inside]
posted by synecdoche on Aug 2, 2013 - 6 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

who do I hire to replace damaged roof support beams

Outdoor beams supporting the roof have issues, but who should I call to replace them? [more inside]
posted by markblasco on Jul 10, 2013 - 8 answers

Old storm window lock.. what is this called?

Does anyone know what this old storm window thumb screw lock is called? [more inside]
posted by Circumstands on Jun 26, 2013 - 3 answers

Washing machine - vibration vs. levelness

New LG washing machine vibrates more than desirable. It is level in both directions to within a degree of horizontal. How sensitive is vibration to levelness? Specifically, is it worth leveling it more precisely, say to within +/- .2 degrees? This is a project I would prefer to avoid if it will make no difference. One of the "feet" with the leveling screws is hard to get at. Thanks.
posted by Kevin S on May 24, 2013 - 11 answers

Help me fix a broken cabinet door/hinge

An unnamed member of my family leaned on an Ikea-type kitchen cabinet door and the screws in the top hinge ripped out a bit of the particle board. [more inside]
posted by gwint on May 14, 2013 - 14 answers

Our Old House

What are your recommendations for resources (online or in print) that specialize in repair and maintenance of older homes? [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on May 6, 2013 - 11 answers

Neighbor rebuilding shared fence--do I have any responsibility?

My neighbor has expressed a desire to rebuild the wooden fence between our houses. We share one side of the fence with her, and it's definitely in need of repair--warped boards, aging, etc. Should she be fully responsible for paying for the fence, since it was her idea to fix it? Or should we contribute some money since we share one side of the fence? [more inside]
posted by starkraven on Apr 2, 2013 - 36 answers

Fix my mug

Extreme long-shot filter: The lid on my favorite travel mug partially melted in the dishwasher. Help me find a replacement? [more inside]
posted by Ms. Toad on Mar 30, 2013 - 4 answers

How do I unbend a towel rack?

I have a cylindrical towel rack that is bent. I need to unbend it. How can I do this without damaging it further? [more inside]
posted by bondcliff on Mar 7, 2013 - 16 answers

Please help me unclog my toilet of shame

Please help me unclog my toilet of shame [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 4, 2013 - 37 answers

Shower faucet stiil drips, despite new washers, stems, etc:

We have a shower where both the faucets drip. We have replaced internal washers, and replaced stems. Replacing either one helps, but not perfectly (usually there's still a slow drip after fixing). The drip gets worse over a period of weeks until it's nearly a trickle, at which point we take the faucets apart and do it all over again. It's gotten a little bit boring. [more inside]
posted by mattu on Jan 12, 2013 - 13 answers

How can I eliminate a draft under my front door?

Getting a draft despite having weather stripping and a door sweep. How can I fix this? [more inside]
posted by asnider on Jan 1, 2013 - 12 answers

The Watercourse Way

Should we tell our landlord we're smelling wood rot after a leak he already knows about? [more inside]
posted by Mertonian on Nov 28, 2012 - 9 answers

Am I going to nee dto move this ground wire?

I have a question about my house's ground wire, and may need recommendations for an electrician in Minneapolis. [more inside]
posted by COBRA! on Oct 12, 2012 - 9 answers

Recommend an arborist in south Minneapolis?

I'm looking for recommendations for arborists in south Minneapolis. [more inside]
posted by COBRA! on Sep 4, 2012 - 7 answers

Waterproofing: What to Expect

Waterproofing: we just got an estimate for our basement. What's best for us, and is this a good estimate? [more inside]
posted by amicamentis on Aug 1, 2012 - 8 answers

Is this deck frame salvageable?

This deck needs help (See here!) This deck was very neglected for a long while, and there are some boards rotting away or bending up, etc. The top boards all need to be replaced, that is a no brainer. The real question is about the frame. A few friends have suggested to just replace the top boards, and then sand/weatherproof the existing frame part of it. My first thought when I saw it was just to get rid of the whole thing. Is the frame salvageable, or am I better off scrapping it all and starting anew?
posted by Mr.X on Jul 2, 2012 - 7 answers

Divest or encourage me with my fantasy!

Lickety-split, down and dirty house-buying advice needed. [more inside]
posted by mibo on May 29, 2012 - 15 answers

How do we keep a house from falling apart?

Can you recommend a good book (or website or other resource) about home maintenance? We are buying our first home this summer and need guidance on all sorts of things. [more inside]
posted by sutel on May 24, 2012 - 13 answers

You are my electrician. Will I ever blow dry my hair again?

Home electrical mystery: Why did tripping a circuit cause all of the GCFI outlets within the circuit to fail (ie none of them can be reset now)? How can I fix this? [more inside]
posted by Slarty Bartfast on May 10, 2012 - 15 answers

What Should We Be Looking For In A Mason?

What should I know before finding a mason/masonry company to do brick repointing and foundation repair? [more inside]
posted by amicamentis on May 8, 2012 - 6 answers

Fixed my faucet and now the water tastes gross.

Fixed the dripping sink faucet. Now the first water after I turn it on tastes nasty. What can I do? How long will it last? [more inside]
posted by Knicke on Apr 2, 2012 - 3 answers

How can I unlatch a casement window with a broken latch?

The locking latch is broken on one of the casement windows in our home. Can you help us get it open? [more inside]
posted by starvingartist on Mar 18, 2012 - 3 answers

I have a plumbing leak (??), help!!

Hi I think I might have a plumbing problem, can you confirm what the next step is...? [more inside]
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey on Mar 16, 2012 - 11 answers

Where's the water coming from?

How to identify, fix, and clean up after a water leak without destroying my walls and ceilings (any more than I have to)? [more inside]
posted by zvs on Feb 5, 2012 - 8 answers

Mold? Mildew? Fungus? Pod Person?

Name That Infestation-Filter! What's growing on my in-laws' wall? [more inside]
posted by julthumbscrew on Jan 23, 2012 - 5 answers

How do I remove Gorilla Glue from my counter-top?

How do I remove Gorilla Glue from my kitchen counter-top? [more inside]
posted by helios410 on Dec 26, 2011 - 8 answers

My kingdom for a ladder.

I need a bit of extremely minor home repair... but can't do it myself. Who in the L.A. area would handle this sort of thing? [more inside]
posted by Justinian on Dec 9, 2011 - 19 answers

How hard is this DIY replacement?

Handyman Help: How do you replace a shower handle? [more inside]
posted by smitt on Oct 28, 2011 - 9 answers

How to realign clothesline from up high?

How can I realign a clothesline on a pulley 30 feet off the ground without a ladder or the handyperson? [more inside]
posted by ayc200 on Oct 18, 2011 - 8 answers

replacing tile window sills

We had the aluminum windows replaced in our 1968 brick veneer rambler. The replacement windows are vinyl. In the process we had the storm windows and ceramic tile sills ripped out. Now the original framing and drywall is exposed. What is the best way to finish the sills? [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Oct 9, 2011 - 4 answers

Window falling out - who's responsible and what to do?

My window is falling out. [more inside]
posted by serazin on Sep 3, 2011 - 4 answers

Irene wrecked my drywall

Contractor for drywall and stud repair in / around DC? [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard on Aug 28, 2011 - 4 answers

How do I learn to become a handyman?

How do you gain "handyman" skills to the extent that you can manage a rental property? [more inside]
posted by abdulf on Aug 16, 2011 - 20 answers

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