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
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]
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]
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]
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]
Where can I find historical data on US congressional press releases? [more inside]
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.
Help me understand electronic music! [more inside]
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]
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?
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
What questions should I ask when going to look at a flat to rent? [more inside]
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]
Exterior paint removal question: MILD EMERGENCY [more inside]
We have a short (maybe 2/3, 3/4 standard height) door leading to the basement, and are contemplating making it a full-height door to have a separate entrance for a home office. Extending the door downwards seems to be the easiest option, but that will place it only a few inches above the basement floor, and I'm concerned about flooding. Is there a way to make this happen that will not increase the risk of flooding? [more inside]
My husband and I just bought a house in a great neighborhood, and it has a wonderful interior. But the exterior looks like this, except with a completely flat roof (we live in Arizona). It is made of concrete block in the shape of Phoenix brick (a long thin kind of bricks popular around here). The concrete is painted white, with paint that is now peeling. We have talked about doing a roof-over with elevated pitch and spanish tiles, and/or about building a facade but have no ideas on what it might look like. Googling has failed me. Can anyone link us to houses that are made like ours: (a concrete shoebox) that have been renovated to have great or much-improved curb appeal? Or any other suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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]
I need some advice about making sure my house is safe from burglars especially when I'm not at home - without going overboard or getting paranoid. [more inside]
I am beginning the process of building a home that is going to be fairly contemporary in style. However, we are on a budget, so I am looking for your suggestions regarding the best budget-friendly, fixtures, finishes, appliances, etc. that would go in a contemporary home. I am really interested in clean lines, stuff that is well made, looks nice, but is affordable. [more inside]
I have a huge car financing question that is giving me a headache. I plan to travel soon so I wish to pay off the amount I owe on a car that I've financed through Toyota Financial Services. This didn't seem like it would be such a huge deal, but then I run into this gem. [more inside]
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?
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.
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]