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.
posted by migurski
on Nov 12, 2013 -
I'll admit to being massively confused by the hype vs. non-hype of the water filtration industry. For those of you who have gone through this, which WHOLE HOUSE water filtration system did you decide on and why? I can't seem to find adequate customer reviews that I feel are objective and believable. The only decision I have made is that I do not want a reverse osmosis system. My entire house is under construction and everything is easily accessible, so this is the perfect time to get this handled. If it matters, the home is in Los Angeles, Hollywood Hills specifically.
posted by zagyzebra
on Sep 29, 2013 -
Is it possible my moldy unit pushing my already run-down self over the edge?
How much mold is too much? For how long? [more inside]
posted by jrobin276
on Sep 23, 2013 -
I'm trying to rebuild a mix tape made for me by a London friend around 1989-1990. One track I'm having trouble finding started out with "Are you sitting comfortably? [Good.] Then I'll begin," which is a sample from the BBC's "Listen with Mother
" radio series (click on the second old time radio for a clip, starts at the :16sec mark). After that it had a very deep man's voice saying "Welcome," over and over again while the music ramped up behind it. I always thought the man sounded like Worf
, from ST: TNG. Any leads?
posted by cocoagirl
on Sep 12, 2013 -
I'm house-sitting. A moment ago, the lights in my kitchen dimmed, and then went out. The stove was on while this happened. The A/C has also stopped blowing cold air, although it was making a weird buzzing noise before I manually shut the blower off via the thermostat. Lights and the fan in the living room are working, but everything is dead in the kitchen except the stove. Upstairs A/C and lights are dead as well. [more inside]
posted by sevensnowflakes
on Jul 26, 2013 -
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 -
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?
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 -
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 -
We're looking at adding to our crappy 1980s colonial a room off the kitchen where the sliders are. We have a large deck back there and could keep part of the deck while adding a 3 season (or patio room) off the back. Our house faces east with the rear of the house getting the sun in the afternoon - but only for a little bit since we have a hill directly behind the deck. I'm wondering what others have done? We are torn between making it a 4 season room simply to be able to use in the winter. However I like the openess of a 3 season room and really want to avoid in our area having the 4 season room count against us in property assessment. [more inside]
posted by lasamana
on Jul 7, 2013 -
I'm scheduled to leave for a much-needed vacation in about two hours, and my dishwasher just died in a hot & smelly way -- is it about to catch fire after I drive away? Sorry - I'm paranoid and in a rush and I need you people to help me think. [more inside]
posted by BlahLaLa
on Jul 2, 2013 -
I read online that the director did a lot of research and consulted with military experts on how an actual terrorist siege on the white house could work. Of course, he also said that white house security experts have already planned for such an attack.
I'm curious what would have been done differently in real life by the white house and DC security?
posted by Wanderer7
on Jun 28, 2013 -
I keep finding this bug in my house. It's about the size of two or three poppyseeds, almost like a large poppyseed. It's dark brown or black with a chevron pattern on its back in a gray or beige color (from farther away the pattern just looks like stripes). Sometimes I find these bugs alive, sometimes not. They don't move fast at all. They love boxes, my bed, and the bathroom. (Perhaps related to the boxes is that I also often find striped beige carcasses in the boxes that are slightly bigger than this bug, which could be related to this bug, or not...) What is this bug? My many google searches have led to nothing...
posted by juliagulia
on Jun 10, 2013 -
The home my wife and I are possibly about to purchase was built in 1900 and we have a few questions about aged systems and family safety. Lead water pipes and asbestos tape, oh my! [more inside]
posted by Wrongshanks
on May 9, 2013 -
Our Dad passed away last year, leaving his house to my siblings and me. Dad's defacto partner is interested in buying the house (she has no financial stake in it currently), so we need to get it valued. The house is in a town approximately 7 hours drive from where the nearest siblings (myself and my sister) live. There are are a couple of registered valuers in the area, so that's not a problem, but my question is: is there any particular need for us to be there when they come through? [more inside]
posted by Broseph
on May 3, 2013 -
I bought a bat house and I am planning to put it up in my Manhattan garden. But now I'm hearing that there aren't any bats in NYC because of a disease? and that it's a stupid idea anyway because where would the bats be coming from? [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster
on Apr 22, 2013 -
I am trying to purchase a foreclosed house with a homepath loan, but I do not qualify for a homepath loan despite excellent credit. Apparently a conventional loan will not work for the current condition of the home. Can you help me sort out my options in Virginia? [more inside]
posted by shortyJBot
on Mar 3, 2013 -
We like a range of music: house, soul, funk, techno, some of the recent top40, nuwaveglitchhopstep, daytime disco(?). Emphasis on the beat and getting down. The other patrons, similarly, should have a pro-dancing agenda and friendly vibe. [more inside]
posted by mai
on Feb 26, 2013 -
I am seeking the name of a film, set in post-apocalyptic Sydney (Australia). I could have sworn it had Cassandra Harris in it, but IMDB disagrees. It was filmed and was set in in the early- to mid-80s, and had a bunch of people running around trying to escape the nuclear fallout that hit the Opera House and ended up in the northern beaches. The film wasn't necessarily good, but it resonated. Can you name the film? Thanks!
posted by goo
on Feb 9, 2013 -
I've noticed something kind of unusual in many of the residential houses in San Francisco. Often times there's a primary residence facing the street (for example a three-story Victorian) and then a second, more modern building in the back yard (like a one- or two-story cottage). There's a second street number and usually a little gate to access the back building. It seems like a different family occupies the back unit than the front unit (and the front unit is sometimes further subdivided into what I assume are condos). A bunch of naive questions: [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus
on Feb 7, 2013 -
Is there some kind of class, part-time apprenticeship, or in-home tutor I can use to get hands-on handyman training near Livonia, MI? [more inside]
posted by Vorteks
on Jan 31, 2013 -
Has anyone ever written to your senator or district representative? How long did it take them to respond? [more inside]
posted by instantfail
on Dec 24, 2012 -
We have a limestone house that has a small amount of periwinkle blue siding. In addition, the doors (front and garage), window frames, gutters, and various trim pieces are white.
From the street, the house doesn't look that great. Repainting the blue siding should be a relatively easy job, but what color would really look good?
Should the white doors be painted to match the new siding color?
posted by steinwald
on Sep 29, 2012 -
Should I sell or rent my house when I move to a different part of town? I would just about break even in either situation. [more inside]
posted by ethidda
on Sep 4, 2012 -
Does anyone in the USA officially name their main residential house, along the lines of how some people name their houses in the UK? [more inside]
posted by lstanley
on Aug 24, 2012 -
My parents want to put the down payment on a (small) house, and have me live in it and pay the mortgage. Are there any downsides to this that I'm missing? [more inside]
posted by insufficient data
on Jul 10, 2012 -
My husband died recently. We were together for decades and have school-age children. His passing involved severe trauma, and we have social support and frequent therapy appointments to get us through the turmoil. Emotionally, we're holding up.
My question is about getting our affairs in order. [more inside]
posted by Fichereader
on Jun 16, 2012 -
Recommended moving companies for a move from Vancouver (Canada) suburb A to Vancouver suburb B? Need to move furniture up narrow steps without dinging either walls or furniture. Looking for reliable service but reasonably priced. [more inside]
posted by Hawk V
on May 19, 2012 -
What would the drawbacks/benefits be to having someone stay in our currently vacant house? [more inside]
posted by stefnet
on Apr 30, 2012 -
So much of my headspace is wrapped up in how my house looks (which is not so awesome) and it drags me down whenever I’m at home. This isn’t how I want to feel about my home. Can you help me change my attitude? [more inside]
posted by anderjen
on Apr 12, 2012 -
We're under contract to buy a house. Two weeks before closing, a contractor performing agreed-upon presale repairs caught the house on fire. We've got a lot of questions about what happens next. [more inside]
posted by treblemaker
on Apr 4, 2012 -
Please help me deal with my fear of the giant pine tree out front falling on our apartment. [more inside]
posted by indognito
on Mar 2, 2012 -
1. What is the plot size of a typical bungalow and a 2-storey house in Toronto? I am trying to be knowledgeable about this so I can compare different houses on the MLS site. [more inside]
posted by musicgold
on Feb 26, 2012 -
What is the name of illustrations of rooms? What is this Japanese art style? [more inside]
posted by ichomp
on Feb 7, 2012 -
We just had an energy audit done for our 104 year old house and 3/4 of the heat loss was coming from the uninsulated walls. I was advised to get cellulose insulation. I've heard bad things about blowing insulation into old houses like mine, but the auditor said it would be densely packed and not be a problem. I've been reading up and haven't been able to find any definitive answers. Is it okay to have cellulose insulation blown in to my old house if it is densely packed?
posted by charred husk
on Nov 11, 2011 -
I need to get a boundary survey on my residential property in Toronto. I've called several surveyors but have only heard back from one, who says it'll cost $900 and take two weeks to perform. Is this normal? Seems pricey and lengthy for an 18' x 100' rectangular lot. Any recommendations for surveyors in Toronto?
posted by krunk
on Nov 4, 2011 -
My mom is discussing purchasing a house and putting my name and my sister's name on the deed as well as hers. What questions should we be asking before she does this? [more inside]
posted by PussKillian
on Oct 14, 2011 -
Recently, I've become a die-hard fan of the comic book series Locke & Key. This, for various reasons, has made me want to design my future house full of strange wonders and mysteries... [more inside]
posted by DisreputableDog
on Sep 25, 2011 -
My house has an unfinished basement. It's a terrible mess and causing enough problems for my husband's allergies (we think) that it's not even usable right now. What can we do to get it straightened out? [more inside]
posted by ashirys
on Sep 5, 2011 -