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Where Should I Bail Out of House of Cards?

How many episodes of House of Cards should I watch (given three assumptions)? [more inside]
posted by Quisp Lover on Feb 7, 2014 - 17 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

Fixing a Hole (where the cold gets in)

What's the best (most weatherized and solid) way to fill in a 22" square window well in a south facing concrete wall that happens to one side of my house? [more inside]
posted by msalt on Feb 1, 2014 - 19 answers

What are possible reasons that a basement would flood after snow melts?

What are the potential reasons you'd get water seeping into a basement after melting snow, but not after hard rains? Assume floors and carpets are drenched and soggy after a big snow melts, with water evident beneath linoleum, but there is not actual standing water. Would this be proof of a foundation crack? Also assume soil/earth outside the home is of a somewhat nonabsorbent quality, so that there are standing pools in the yard after each rain. Does this affect the diagnosis?
posted by third rail on Jan 30, 2014 - 7 answers

Tell me about California closets please.

Hi AskMe. I need to do something about the closets in my 30+ year old house. I would like a more efficient use of space both for the master walk in closet and the smaller bedrooms. Simple shelf + rod no longer cut it. I have no idea how to do that myself so I'm thinking of California Closets who seem to get a lot of praise online. Have you had any experience with them (or a similar outfit)? Satisfied? Please tell me about your experience.
posted by aeighty on Jan 22, 2014 - 14 answers

Costs of pricey home repairs/replacements? (& IDing them before buying)

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]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Jan 21, 2014 - 13 answers

Time to buy a house!

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]
posted by latkes on Jan 13, 2014 - 10 answers

Help clueless future parents buy the right home to raise kids in!

As future parents and first time homebuyers, what aren't we thinking about, or under-emphasizing/over-emphasizing, in trying to pick a home to raise (two) kids in?  What should we consider in deciding on house versus condo, location, neighborhood, size, layout, features, etc? [more inside]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Jan 10, 2014 - 36 answers

A porch is a porch of course of course..

We are creating a new front porch at our house. The existing porch is a three inch concrete slab set on foundation walls. A previous owner then overlaid really ugly sandstone flagstone on the top and sides. The new porch is going to be smooth, hard troweled tinted concrete with a bench along two sides. Here are my two questions. [more inside]
posted by silsurf on Jan 6, 2014 - 7 answers

How do I find a Mortgage Broker?

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]
posted by JenThePro on Jan 2, 2014 - 6 answers

Cob houses and dust mite allergies?

My husband and I are interested in building a low-cost house (in India, where we live). We've been researching building materials/technologies and cob is something that interested us. But we aren't sure whether cob houses might be prone to getting dusty (in particular, dust-mitey) and set off my allergies. [more inside]
posted by miaow on Dec 30, 2013 - 3 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

Specialist brick repairs in South London

My house, a standard Victorian terrace, has several spalled bricks. I'm looking for a reliable, preferably cheap, brickwork specialist in [South] London. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Dec 18, 2013 - 4 answers

The house that no one wants, but I'm stuck with

I'm in a pickle - I own a house that I've been renting out for several years but things recently soured with the tenants and property managers and it is now vacant. Listed for sale but market is painfully slow - should I hold out for a buyer or list it for rent again? [more inside]
posted by photo guy on Dec 13, 2013 - 10 answers

What to do about a difficult roommate part II

This happened before. Since then there have been multiple recurrences of shouting/aggressive talking, door-slamming, and general verbal and nonverbal weirdness. My other roommates are open to asking her to find somewhere else to live, but seem to be looking to me. We have a house meeting tonight and I was asked if I want to bring this up. I'm... uncomfortable and also in finals and then leaving for a number of weeks. What should I do, and how should I do it? [more inside]
posted by c'mon sea legs on Dec 9, 2013 - 29 answers

Can I buy my parents' house in a way that makes financial sense?

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]
posted by anonymous on Dec 8, 2013 - 20 answers

Should I/am I ready to buy a place?

I thought I wasn't ready to buy a place, but with all the advice I've been getting from everyone, I wonder if I should. [more inside]
posted by glache on Dec 6, 2013 - 17 answers

What do we need to know before we build our house?

We are preparing to build a house. We've been doing this for many months, have talked to architects, contractors, and our city's planning and building department, and we still have lots of questions. Lend us some expertise on foundations, design, and construction? [more inside]
posted by sibilatorix on Dec 1, 2013 - 14 answers

Flood Plains, Surveying, and Housing Projects

Recently I purchased a home that has acerage. Part of the acerage, part of the garage, and part of the lean-to are in the flood plain. The house and the rest of the land are not. Trying to figure out logistics between house projects, FEMA zones, and surveying. [more inside]
posted by aetg on Nov 27, 2013 - 9 answers

How to discuss possible theft with house cleaner?

I have had the same house cleaner every two weeks for close to 20 years with no issues. He is very honest. The main guy comes every time and I trust him enough to have a key to my house, but his crew of 2 or 3 that accompanies him seems to change. On Sunday night I wore a diamond pendant and 3 not-valuable stacking rings. I recall removing them and placing them in the drawer where they live when I'm not wearing them. The cleaning people came Wednesday. I went to wear them again today (Friday) and found the necklace and one of the three stacking rings missing. [more inside]
posted by cecic on Nov 22, 2013 - 17 answers

How do I swap houses with my mother?

My mother has suddenly got into a position where she cannot afford to keep up payments on her mortgage since retiring. The amount left she has to pay is £14,000. I have a mortgage of £72,000 left to pay on my own house. How do I go about tacking the £14,000 onto my own mortgage and swapping houses so she lives in my place mortgage free and I have her house with an increased mortgage? (Bonus points for a super easy fix for all this!)
posted by aqueousdan on Nov 17, 2013 - 12 answers

Appraising a property to split equity

I currently jointly own a property in the US, that both parties agree I should take sole possession of. I would like to get a realistic appraisal value, in order to buy out the other person. Is there anything particular that I should discuss with a potential appraiser when I contact them? Thanks! [more inside]
posted by carter on Nov 14, 2013 - 6 answers

Summoning native Rhode Islanders

Help me locate this historic home /museum in the Fall River area of Rhode Island near or across the border in Massachusetts. (No Lovecraft jokes required.) [more inside]
posted by bad grammar on Nov 13, 2013 - 16 answers

Buying a house... weirdly

I want to buy the house I'm renting. How do I even start? [more inside]
posted by MrVisible on Nov 13, 2013 - 12 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

Moving a digital piano. Difficulty filter: UK to Belgium.

Further to my earlier question, I want to have my digital piano with me in Belgium. Suggestions? [more inside]
posted by fearnothing on Nov 12, 2013 - 4 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

What's a pretty winter vacation spot between Toronto and Chicago?

We're in Toronto. Our friends are in Chicago. We'd like to meet up roughly halfway between our cities over the Christmas break (i.e. in Michigan or Ontario), and rent a house or cottage somewhere quiet with some natural scenery. Any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by Beardman on Nov 7, 2013 - 10 answers

Home, home on the...market

Give me your best home selling tips and tricks. [more inside]
posted by MayNicholas on Nov 2, 2013 - 37 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

My apartment's radiators are loud and letting out steam. Is that normal?

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?
posted by msbrauer on Oct 31, 2013 - 9 answers

Inbetween Days

What tasks should I accomplish during a week off in between jobs to improve the state of my soul? [more inside]
posted by thenewbrunette on Oct 26, 2013 - 13 answers

How to not live in the suburbs.

My husband and I are at an impasse. Please help. [more inside]
posted by snarfles on Oct 24, 2013 - 46 answers

Transformer in basement ceiling buzzing--what is it?

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
posted by Slinga on Oct 23, 2013 - 7 answers

Well Crap

I live in Brooklyn with my wife. We were planning on moving to New Jersey to buy a house, and we found a lovely place, made an offer that was accepted, and started visualizing ourselves in this beautiful new house...and then the other shoe dropped. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 17, 2013 - 46 answers

House building advice?

The Mrs. and I are planning to build a house next year on some land that we bought recently. What should we know about house building before undertaking this massive endeavor? [more inside]
posted by LouMac on Oct 16, 2013 - 23 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

It Never Rains In Southern California

First of our annual 4 rainy days in San Diego came yesterday and we learned all sorts of fun things about the new house - one of which is, as there are zero gutters, the rain just cascades directly off the angled roof on to our patio, and patio furniture, and things left on the patio because it never rains. Looking for a minimalist, easy DIY gutter solution. Pic and slightly more info inside. [more inside]
posted by BlerpityBloop on Oct 10, 2013 - 14 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

What is the DJ trying to do?

Help me understand electronic music! [more inside]
posted by vogon_poet on Sep 28, 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

House Hunters: Get Me Out of Here Edition

I moved into a new house about a week ago. Everything seemed great. Good, quiet location, central location, etc. etc. But, I've come to realize that the folks living across the street are bad news. They're extremely loud, vulgar, and generally up to no good. [more inside]
posted by matkline on Sep 4, 2013 - 14 answers

Everyone in me is a bird, but landlords won't rent to any of us.

My current rental house is too small, so I'm looking for a larger house or apartment to rent when my lease is up next month. I have excellent income and strong credit and good references, with roots in the area. I'm friendly and professional. But I have a feeling that potential landlords may be refusing to rent to me because they suspect I am pregnant. (I am not.) [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 31, 2013 - 27 answers

Help me identify and banish this funkyfunky odor

My house smells like vomit. There is no vomit in my house. It has been driving me insane for several months now and I must. kill. the. smell. [more inside]
posted by raspberrE on Aug 24, 2013 - 24 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

is there any chance this is not a cockroach. any at all.

Ugh. I am moving and cleaning out my place after 6 years. 6 glorious, bug-free years. And then I found THIS GUY. Please hope me! [more inside]
posted by like_a_friend on Aug 18, 2013 - 12 answers

What questions should I ask when going to look at a flat to rent?

What questions should I ask when going to look at a flat to rent? [more inside]
posted by sockpim on Aug 15, 2013 - 11 answers

Are there additional "non-traditional" ways to market a house for sale?

I have a relative attempting to sell her house in Vermont. She has a realtor but finding an appropriate buyer is going to be tricky for a number of reasons. Are there any good "alternative" ways to market a house above and beyond what the realtor is doing? [more inside]
posted by jeremias on Aug 13, 2013 - 10 answers

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