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]
I just moved house... and I am sad. This is stupid. Please help me make a new home for myself. [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
If I leave my current job, and I putting my ability to close on a house in danger? [more inside]
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]
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?
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]
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...
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]
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]
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]
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!
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]