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Help me translate these Chinese breaker box labels.

Mrs. Penguin and I just bought a house, but we discovered today that the circuit breaker box is labeled in a mixture of English and Chinese. We will eventually just turn them off one at a time to figure out which is which, but in the meantime can y'all translate them for me? [more inside]
posted by Elementary Penguin on Jun 28, 2014 - 3 answers

Do I need all this coax for Fios?

Yay--we bought a house! The house has what seems like miles and miles of coaxial cable in every room. I'm trying to figure out if we actually need it or not. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on May 16, 2014 - 9 answers

Big Moth-- IN THE HOUSE!

I've got a BIG MOTH in my house. It flew in via a space between my screen and window in my kitchen. It flew into my house somewhere--I can't find him now. ANY Ideas on luring it back through the hole? [more inside]
posted by calgirl on May 15, 2014 - 13 answers

Please help me find the perfect doormat.

I need a new doormat to go inside my front door. Recommendations? [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library on May 8, 2014 - 6 answers

I want to rebuild my grandparents' house... in miniature

I have a deeply nostalgic love for my grandparents' former home, a generic but beloved split level they lived in from the 1950s to mid 2000s. As an artist and crafter with an obsessive love for details, I have long noodled with the idea of making an incredibly accurate recreation of the house in miniature... but I struggle with where to start. Architectural models, dollhouses? What is the best route forward? [more inside]
posted by allisonrae on Apr 26, 2014 - 9 answers

Weird House Smell

There's a mysterious metallic smell in a bedroom in my house. What is it and how do I get rid of it? [more inside]
posted by ariadne's threadspinner on Apr 10, 2014 - 7 answers

Buying when I'm not selling?

I recently purchased a house. The deed was recorded back then and the initial flurry of "you should buy our security system, new homeowner!" junk mail has stopped. After a few weeks of quiet in my mailbox, I'm now receiving individual letters asking to buy my house. None of them has quoted a price, nor do I really want to sell. I usually just e-mail the address on the letter saying "make me an offer and maybe." Should I do anything else? [more inside]
posted by fireoyster on Mar 16, 2014 - 12 answers

All our eggs in one basket? First time home buyers...

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]
posted by karst on Feb 21, 2014 - 28 answers

Basements and Attics in North America

I've been wondering about this for a long time- how prevalent are basements and attics in houses in North America? It seems like I'm always hearing about people doing projects in their basements (or dwelling in them!)- or having all sorts of treasures stashed away up in their attics. [more inside]
posted by Philby on Feb 7, 2014 - 59 answers

Glass Block or Insulated Replacement Window

So I have been working on my house and making it energy efficient. It is now time to replace the basement windows in my split level. One double wide window needs to be replaced with one that opens to meet code, but the other three single wide windows do not. Would I be better installing glass blocks in those three, not vented, or installing either a picture, slider, or another type of insulated vinyl replacement window? If I should do a replacement window, which type should I use? [more inside]
posted by Nackt on Dec 19, 2013 - 6 answers

Preparing my house for a new adopted shelter dog

What can I do to make my home "dog-proof" for the new 18-month-old dog I'm getting from a shelter? And what can I do to ease the trauma for him of moving to a completely new home? [more inside]
posted by madman on Nov 13, 2013 - 11 answers

What regular maintenance should I schedule for our new home?

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 - 10 answers

Help me remember an old board game about a haunted house

At a recent meetup, we played a cool game called Betrayal At House On The Hill. It reminded me a lot of a similar board game we used to have when I was a kid, but I cannot remember the name of it. [more inside]
posted by jpdoane on Oct 11, 2013 - 2 answers

Congressional Press Release data online?

Where can I find historical data on US congressional press releases? [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Oct 6, 2013 - 1 answer

Does anyone know about whole-house water filtration systems?

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 - 9 answers

Is that Jackson Pollock? Nope! It's mold!

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 - 15 answers

Song ID: UK house hit, late '80s - early '90s

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 - 6 answers

Not yet for sale by owner.

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]
posted by deludingmyself on Aug 19, 2013 - 13 answers

As if the bar exam wasn't horrible enough.

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 - 19 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

Old house - trying to fix up dirty moldy medicine cabinet

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? PHOTOS. 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 - 17 answers

Home Renovation Software

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 - 7 answers

3 season vs 4 season?

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 - 7 answers

Job Longevity and Buying a House

If I leave my current job, and I putting my ability to close on a house in danger? [more inside]
posted by theichibun on Jul 2, 2013 - 11 answers

Is my house about to burn down?

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 - 21 answers

How accurate is the white house siege in the film "Olympus Has Fallen"?

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 - 10 answers

Help me identify this household bug

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 - 3 answers

Purchasing an old home: lead water and air duct questions inside.

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 - 14 answers

Getting the family home valued - should we be there?

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 - 8 answers

Putting up a bat house in NYC: batty?

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 - 16 answers

Please help me go from "under contract" to mortage-holder

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 - 7 answers

Where to go dancing in Chicago?

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 - 3 answers

Name that film! Post-apocalyptic 80s Sydney

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 - 7 answers

Two houses, one lot

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 - 19 answers

How can I get hands-on training in home improvement locally?

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 - 3 answers

Has anyone ever written to your senator or district representative?

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 - 17 answers

Google Maps House hunting in Paris

There's an amazing timberframe house on sale in the heart of Paris-7ème arrondissement. I've been spending half-an-hour trying to locate it in Google Maps without success... so there's your challenge!
posted by rom1 on Nov 16, 2012 - 3 answers

Complementary Paint Colors for a Limestone House

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. Image 1. Image 2. 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 - 26 answers

Should I sell or rent my house?

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 - 12 answers

USA house name?

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 - 53 answers

Help searching for old PC and Playstation 1 games? Probably about early to mid 90's

Help searching for old PC and Playstation 1 games? Probably about early to mid 90's [more inside]
posted by LittleNami on Jul 29, 2012 - 10 answers

Should I look a gift house in the mouth?

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 - 36 answers

Suddenly Widowed

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 - 29 answers

Recommended moving companies for a move from Vancouver (Canada) suburb A to Vancouver suburb B?

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 - 3 answers

Installing a garbage disposal in a rental apartment

Installing a garbage disposal in a rental apartment [more inside]
posted by rainbowbrite on May 18, 2012 - 11 answers

Pros/cons to having "housesitter"?

What would the drawbacks/benefits be to having someone stay in our currently vacant house? [more inside]
posted by stefnet on Apr 30, 2012 - 7 answers

The lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host, and then a master.

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 - 32 answers

What are some creepy dance tracks?

What are some creepy, disturbing, scary, eerie DANCE tracks? [more inside]
posted by deusdiabolus on Apr 10, 2012 - 49 answers

Contractor set the house we're buying on fire. Now what?

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 - 19 answers

Movies with a high WTF-to-running-time ratio?

Movies with a high WTF-to-running-time ratio? [more inside]
posted by Wossname on Apr 2, 2012 - 94 answers

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