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 -
I just moved house... and I am sad. This is stupid. Please help me make a new home for myself. [more inside]
posted by sockandawe
on Jul 16, 2013 -
My aunt wants to charge me rent on a house that has black mold in it that has caused me to have seizures. It also has no running water, and the kitchen and half of the house is unusable. Snowstorm inside. [more inside]
posted by squirbel
on Jul 13, 2013 -
We're thinking of selling our house within the next 18-24 months, and the siding on it now is ugly-ass T1-11 that I put on myself about a decade ago when I was young and full of hubris. We're getting quotes in the $12-15K range to redo the whole two-story house in mid-quality vinyl. Is this an investment that will pay for itself in terms of resale value? [more inside]
posted by Shepherd
on Jul 11, 2013 -
I recently made a switch to a different company for my homeowner's insurance (details after the jump about why). I fear I may have made a big mistake, but I honestly don't understand ANYthing about insurance and the more I try to read about it and look at my policies, the more confused I get. It's like someone's speaking Mandarin to me. I feel like a colossal idiot and I have no one to ask anymore now that my dad, whom I relied on to help me with this kind of stuff, is gone. I'm wondering how much I messed up here, and what I should look for to fix it. [more inside]
posted by emcat8
on Jul 10, 2013 -
I'm looking to buy a home. I'm not wealthy enough to just buy something nice enough straight out, and I've got a decent idea of how much I could/should pay for a monthly mortgage payment, but over the years I've accrued more savings (in fairly low-interest places) than I'd likely put for a down payment. So how do I decide how much of my savings to put into what size of down payment (and, since I know how big of a mortgage I could pay, how do I decide how much I should spend on a house?). [more inside]
posted by davebug
on Jul 8, 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 -
Have you bought a pre-fabricated home, or know someone who has? If so, what words of advice can be given about this? [more inside]
posted by drpynchon
on Jun 15, 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 -
I'm looking for a way to extend home WiFi into an adjoining building, where laying cable is not an option and packaging/LOS is a concern. I'd also like to reduce equipment cost, while not compromising endpoint throughput. Specific details inside. [more inside]
posted by TheNewWazoo
on Jun 3, 2013 -
Two months ago I accepted a new assignment at work that will require me to be away from home a lot over the next year. For example, right now it looks like during June I will only be home twice for a stretch of 3 days each time, and it will probably continue like that for most of this assignment. When I took this job I had a long term, live-in boyfriend, so I wasn’t concerned about my house at all. We have since broken up (the house is 100% mine). So, now I’m trying to figure out all the things I need to do to make sure my house is ok while I’m gone. [more inside]
posted by Sabby
on May 31, 2013 -
I have been painting my house over the last few months and time to time need to replace some of the siding. There was enough in the garage when I moved in to cover my needs until NOW! [more inside]
posted by silsurf
on May 29, 2013 -
It's that track that comes in at about 4:47 in this video
(the track before Ride on Time). Shazam has no answer — it's obviously something not on Beatport. Someone somewhere *has* to know it!
Thanks, hive mind!
posted by mandrake
on May 29, 2013 -
So I got engaged and bought a house with my fiancee. We lived together for a couple of years but it did not go well and she moved out. So I'd like to keep the house but do that I'll need to get her off the mortgage and off the deed. [more inside]
posted by anonymous
on May 22, 2013 -
More details after the jump, but in short: Mortgage lender holds the deeds to the house after missing payments for years.
I am trying to figure out what the imminent risks to the house are and if I could find a debt negotiator.
Many thanks to you all. [more inside]
posted by seatofmypants
on May 21, 2013 -
We have a very awesome landlord whose house we're moving out of. We'd like to get her something to show our appreciation. [more inside]
posted by pised
on May 19, 2013 -
I am thinking of purchasing a bee house for orchard mason bees. What recommendations do you have? What do I need to know?
posted by Bunny Ultramod
on May 17, 2013 -
I'm interested in writing something about CIA safe houses and need to do some research. Are there any good books/docs/etc that detail how these safe houses worked and specifically about what it meant to be a CIA agent overseas? Thanks!
posted by You Guys Like 2 Party?
on May 15, 2013 -
Where do you go when you've graduated from IKEA and are ready for decent, but not necessarily heirloom quality furniture? We're just hoping to find some stuff to carry us through the next 8-10 years, or is that unrealistic? How much should we honestly expect to spend? [more inside]
posted by Diagonalize
on May 13, 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 -
Crap. My landlord just told me she's considering selling my house. Now what? [more inside]
posted by latkes
on May 6, 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 -
Should I buy an "all in one" DJ controller or should I buy component-by-component (i.e., two turntables, a mixer and a serato box)? Details follow... [more inside]
posted by Jason Solo
on May 1, 2013 -
What's a good bush to plant next to the front door? This is in coastal Massachusetts. [more inside]
posted by Miko
on Apr 28, 2013 -
We plan to buy a house in England in a village up north. Our budgets will stretch to either a tiny little 2 bedroom detached house or a nice big four bedroom semi-detached. Which should we choose? Or should we buy in a cheaper village so we can get a bigger detached house? [more inside]
posted by hazyjane
on Apr 23, 2013 -
My housemate makes loud dissonant synthesizer music. I need to wake up very early in the morning, an would love an afternoon nap. What should I do? [more inside]
posted by ladypants
on Apr 22, 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 -
Single retiree is selling a big paid-off house and asked me and huzzeh for help deciding whether or not it makes sense to rent an apartment or buy a condo. What questions should we consider to help make this decision? [more inside]
posted by elizeh
on Apr 18, 2013 -
I had someone through Costco come out to our house to give a quote on painting the house with Coolwall paint. It wasn't a quote just for the paint, but for all the prep work, repairs in our stucco, and the trim. We don't live in a large house--it's less than 1,400 square feet.
He extolled the benefits of this paint. It's highly reflective and thus reduces damage to the paint, and also keeps the house cooler in the summer. The way the guy went on about it, it's a miracle product. He quoted $18,600 to prep and paint our house with this stuff. Again, it's through Costco and has a lifetime warranty. And they don't strip off the existing paint or stucco--they repair it, bond it, and paint right over it.
Are there similar alternatives that would cost much less? [more inside]
posted by rybreadmed
on Apr 14, 2013 -
I have an ongoing issue with a area of my house that involved moisture, mold and heartache as outlined here
I have found a small piece of 2x4 in the wall that is moisture damaged, it is sponge-like.
It is a small area and I am wondering if there is anything I can do,, like inject it with some super stuff, that would avoid me having to dismantle the area and replace this section of 2x4.
It is at the bottom of a wall, the sill beneath it is fine, it is just about 18 inches of 2x4 that appear to be damaged.
Thanks oh thanks for the continued support.
posted by silsurf
on Apr 8, 2013 -
We've just moved into a cute rental house in Hillcrest, San Diego and our front patio is absolutely begging for a cute little bistro table and chairs. I'm looking for suggestions with a budget of no more than $150 and we're perfectly willing to use Craigslist or eBay.
My question is, what colors would go best with the current paint scheme? My instinct is that black would probably work, but it seems like we could do better.
Here is the house.
The planters can be moved or removed entirely.
posted by Awakened
on Apr 4, 2013 -
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 -
Is it worth thousands of dollars to fix an inground pool? I've own my home in northern Delaware for less than a year. One of the reasons I bought this house was it had a pool. I bought the house when it was in foreclosure, so I knew there would be many repairs to do to the house, pool included. The inground pool is about 30ft by 10ft by about 7ft deep. Estimates to repair the pool liner and large filter are in the neighborhood of 5-6k. [more inside]
posted by meshoppe
on Mar 21, 2013 -
House Buyer/Seller Etiquette: is it legitimate for me to be tweaked that the seller wants to charge me for replacement HVAC filters and things that can only be used in the house but that aren't nailed down? [more inside]
posted by Leezie
on Mar 13, 2013 -
I let the plumber in to replace the hot water tank this morning, and just got home to find that he'd flooded the floor of the 3rd floor bathroom badly enough that there's water leaking through the *extractor fan opening* of the bathroom immediately below. There's also a small run of water out of a light switch in the 2nd floor wall. The house is full of little pools of water that I don't know if they have been tracked there or have leaked through. How compromised are my electrics and what is the plumber's liability? [more inside]
posted by Pallas Athena
on Mar 13, 2013 -
I live in a 12th floor flat with a large balcony, 3m x 9m, which is enclosed, glazed, heated, pretty much counts as an extra room in the flat. It is tiled, and was once exposed, so has drains and is designed to withstand the elements.
Could I house train a young spaniel pup in such an environment? Could I allow the pup to wee down the balcony drain in the short term, and would this make it difficult to train it to only poo outside? I don't mind accidents in the short term.
Is it cruel to keep a dog in such a flat? The pup could have the run of this balcony until it is housetrained. I work at home, often from a desk on the balcony. So they pup would get lots of contact.
I can happily provide 3 good long walks a day no problem, but I'm worried about the initial period. I live across the road from a dog friendly beach and park. Though it takes a few minutes to get from the flat to the road, which is ample time for accidents to happen.
posted by molloy
on Mar 10, 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 -
My partner and I are looking into buying a house Do we need to get married in order to have protections relating to said house (including inheritance of the house if one of us dies + the ability to sell the house and divide the money if we break up)? [more inside]
posted by NoraReed
on Feb 26, 2013 -
Mom is a hoarder; house is making her sick. Adult children worried about her and grossed out. What can we do or say to her that might help? Snowflakes inside...
Tl;dr: What, if anything, can be done or said to reign this situation in? [more inside]
posted by jrobin276
on Feb 25, 2013 -
I have a three bathroom house (one on the first floor, two on the second). Recently in the past two weeks I've noticed a very loud rushing of water sound in the bathroom on the first floor after flushing any toilet in the house. The sound is centered in the ceiling above the bathroom and I'm assuming our pipes filling up.
Why the change from minimal noise I didn't notice to loud, rushing sounds of water now? What could be the problem and the fix?
posted by rainygrl716
on Feb 15, 2013 -
Everything I do, all day, every day, hurts. The more I do things that are painful, the more the pain snowballs. We're going to build a house that we hope will help reduce the accumulation of pain, and maybe even let me recover a little. Help me make sure I'm covering all the bases in house design accommodations. [more inside]
posted by galadriel
on Feb 13, 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 -
Hi I am house sitting and Nemo is bearing down on us. I have a oil furnace in the basement. If the power goes out, then comes back, or I use the generator, are there any specific steps I need to take with the furnace?
What about water valves, etc?
posted by spacefire
on Feb 8, 2013 -