Half of my house has lost power. The breakers are fine. You're not my electrician - I just want to understand what the problem is or might be. [more inside]
I'm having problems with a potential leak or condensation problem in an external chimney chase that no longer has hot air running through the exhaust venting. I've not had any luck with the contractor that made the chimney redundant and need some advice. [more inside]
I have, on the second floor of my home in Texas, a screened-in porch with chairs, a massage table, and a sauna. Every few months, everything is coated in a fine yellow mist, and (ignoring what havoc it wrecks with my sinuses) the whole place is a two-hour pain to clean. Hive Mind: Suggestions for keeping the pollen out? Alternatively, suggestions for cleaning that are more effective (I always end up with some on the roof of the sauna, some in the structural whatsits in the roof, all over the floor, chairs, table, etc) than going through with a 36 pack of bar rags and crazily-diluted bleach?
Our house has ugly, dirty, dented, hole-y vinyl siding. I hate it and want to replace it. Problems: We live in a cheap neighborhood and don't want to overdo it, and we are short on cash. [more inside]
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]
We like the modern amenities, but hate the lack of charm of nearby tear-downs. Could we get what we want in a custom build within our budget? [more inside]
Me and my SO completely paid off our mortgage a couple years ago. So, we have full equity. That's great, we're happy w/the situation. Now, if for whatever reason we decide to uproot and move to an entirely new city and/or state, how would the financing work? [more inside]
My husband and I are thinking about having a home built -- a production home -- in one of the many subdivisions in our growing area. We have purchased a home before (and sold it later; not in our current area) but it was older and had been flipped. What do we need to know about the production home process? [more inside]
I have a cursory understanding of EDM, but I'm obsessed with Disclosure... yet I've played their album to death. Please help me find something new to listen to. [more inside]
I'm interested in hiring a house cleaner for my Albuquerque home. I'd like bi-weekly or monthly cleanings of the public spaces and both bathrooms (around 2,00 sq. ft.), as well as those "major cleaning" things, such as windows, on a schedule. I'd like them to use effective cleaners that are also somewhat green-ish (clean trumps green). Because I do animal rescue, I do have cats/dogs in the house (most foster dogs are crated when I'm not home). Any recommendations?
We had a home inspected today that included two of these fixtures (below cut). They say "Arrowhead" on them but even our inspector had no idea what they were. Home was built in 1972. Any ideas, old home lovers? [more inside]
My poor dad is recovering from an accident, and is stuck in the house during this crazy winter. What are some fun activities to keep him busy while we wait for the snow to melt? [more inside]
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]
My girlfriend and I put an offer on a house two weeks ago, and only thought now to check the sex offender registry. Turns out the guy next door was convicted in 2004 of aggravated sexual battery. Is this a deal breaker? I can't imagine her being alone at home with someone like that so close by. I really think we need to get out of the deal and look for another place but we really like this one and it's a bummer to start the whole process again.
Looking at getting new windows in our house. Replacing 20 windows, got a quote of about $22,000. Had sticker shock but then looked at details, now wondering if it's a fair price. [more inside]
I'm asking this Q for a friend and I really hope someone will be able to help. We moved into our house about two years ago. We've had problems with our sprinklers in the past and when we had them repaired, a sprinkler expert told my wife there was "something wrong" with how we get water to the front since they couldn't shut off the water. That didn't make sense to me, but now that I've tried to fix the sprinklers in the front myself, I've encountered the same problem. When I turn off the shut off valves near the water meter (what I think are the main valves), nothing happens, though it does turn off the water to the backyard. When I need to repair plumbing inside the house, the valve close to the house does the trick, but again, I can't shut off water to the front sprinklers. I have no idea how the sprinklers were installed, but it is getting frustrating and I'd like to know how to go about troubleshooting this. Is there any way to identify where a valve might be to shut off the water to the front sprinklers? Here's a simple diagram I drew. Thank you!!!
How many episodes of House of Cards should I watch (given three assumptions)? [more inside]
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]
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]
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?
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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 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]
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]
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]
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]
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!)
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]
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]
I want to buy the house I'm renting. How do I even start? [more inside]
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]
Further to my earlier question, I want to have my digital piano with me in Belgium. Suggestions? [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.
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]
Give me your best home selling tips and tricks. [more inside]
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]
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?
What tasks should I accomplish during a week off in between jobs to improve the state of my soul? [more inside]
My husband and I are at an impasse. Please help. [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