My SO and I are renting a house. Since moving in we have noticed that the house has an alarm system. However, the control panel does not turn on and none of the buttons do anything. We've spoken to our landlord (who lived in the house for 4+ years) and he said that he never used to alarm and doesn't know how it works. Nothing on the alarm system says which company managed the alarm (ADT, etc..). Who can I call to get to setup the alarm (but not install a new alarm system, since I am only renting)?
Has anyone had any experiences with wrapping exterior wood trim and window frames instead of painting? [more inside]
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]
OK, hive mind. Hoping you can help me out here. A while back, say, probably six or seven months ago, I saw a blog post... somewhere... about a cool house design in Europe. I think the design firm was Dutch or Belgian. The blog I saw it on may have been Design Sponge or Building a Wolf, but searching those sites yields no results. Here's what I remember: [more inside]
We will be visiting Oregon and will be staying for 1 week in Eugene (18-24th July). We're looking for short term accommodation, preferably rent a house. Can you recommend any places or sites where these things are listed? [more inside]
Between bad timing and desperation I hired a professional housekeeper to clean before family arrived for the holidays last year. She left the place looking better than when I first moved in. How can I do this on my own? [more inside]
Holy crap. My house value has been creeping up since the bust, which was to be expected. But I just checked Zillow, and they've boosted its estimated value by 23% in the past 30 days (I'm in Westchester County, not far from White Plains). [more inside]
My house has front and back awnings, and they are torn, unravelling, and covered in lichen. I would like to get new ones, but I don't know what would look good color-wise. I also don't know whether I'd prefer metal or cloth. I do know that the back one should probably be metal, since the current one has a big rip where the cloth sagged when it was covered in snow, and then the door opened and ripped it. I am not the most color-coordinated. Should I go with a red/tan pattern similar to the house, or something that would stand out more?
Trying to buy a house. Have money for a down payment, but I'm self-employed and was turned down for a traditional loan. My parents are willing to lend me the money I'd need for the balance, and have me pay them back with interest, á la a mortgage loan. Is this doable? [more inside]
My wife and I have been looking for a bit fit a new house. We have found something great that meets every criteria, Except one. Upstairs there is one master bedroom and a study area that could not be used for anything else, Plus a robe and a bathroom. Downstairs there are 2 other bedrooms and a good living area etc. My question is, how do u make it work with a new baby? Is it possible to have the baby in tha main br for a few months, Then move the baby downstairs with an intercom, Or is that just stupidity? Is there another way to think about it? Appreciate any advice from those that have faced something similar, As the house is auctioned in 2 weeks.
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]
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]
Based on your experience, do you think we are going to regret buying a home near a fire station? [more inside]
In my early clubbing days, at the start of the 1990s, I used to hear a ravey/housey/techno song with a repeated refrain (possibly a vocal sample lifted from elsewhere) that sounded like "Survive for long on the streets and you're a warrior." As I recall, this line was spoken rapidly and aggressively, with what sounded like a British accent... and the vocal may have been sped up (as a lot of vocal loops were in dance tracks around that time). [more inside]
I need a new doormat to go inside my front door. Recommendations? [more inside]
Piggybacking on/not hijacking betelguese's question, which is over my head, what do I need to tell my contractor about networking the house we are currently building? Please explain it like I am a 5-year old/your mother. [more inside]
How I should network my house? I understand the basics of running cables, punch-down blocks, patch panels, jacks, network switches, etc. What I don't understand is how to put all of these together in a way that gives me what I want. Details inside. [more inside]
We're moving in a month or so and beginning to look at rental houses in Seattle. I'm a bit rusty, but what is the general procedure for establishing the person you're speaking with is the actual home owner and everything is on the up-and-up? [more inside]
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]
I discovered a hole, roughly 10 inches across, in my yard (at a house I just moved into). It's basically a pipe going far far down, and had a stone top resting over the hole, loosely covering it. It reminds me of the Baby Jessica well, which makes me want to get rid of it, fill it in, cover it up. But I don't know what it is. Who might I call to figure out what it is, what it's for, if I can just remove the whole thing, or if it's necessary to keep it as-is?
How often does the freight train pass by this house I wanna buy? is it annoying? I wanna buy a house near here and I am curious how often the trains pass by, if it will be annoying or not. Can anyone find a schedule of the trains that pass by so I can go stand there while it passes by and see how annoying it is? Does anyone have history or advice on living near train tracks?
My sweetie and I are doing some big redesign stuff in our house, and I am trying to find design/furniture/decorating inspiration. I am looking specifically for blog that go beyond the minimalist look. [more inside]
8-10 people want to rent a beach house in New Jersey for a weekend (ideally Asbury Park), hopefully for $50/person per night. Everything we've seen wants a week-long commitment. Is our New Jersey beach weekend feasible? [more inside]
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]
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]