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Do's and dont's for replacement window contractors

I am going to get some windows replaced. Help me avoid the pitfalls of bad contractors, shoddy work, and overpricing. How should I approach this? [more inside]
posted by redliner on Apr 26, 2014 - 5 answers

Best site or resource to learn construction, DIY home improvement?

I want to learn how to renovate or add on to a house.
posted by uni verse on Apr 4, 2014 - 7 answers

Vintage tile repair

The good news is that I found white hexagonal tile under the nasty vinyl flooring. That's also the bad news. Here is the floor currently. Basically, the tiles themselves are in pretty good shape considering they are about 100 years old. There are a few cracks, but the real problem is that the glue from the floor that was above it will not come off from in between the tiles. Detail shot. This is pretty much the kind of floor we want, but the mrs. is about ready to call it and just install a new hex floor on top. I'm not quite ready to give up. [more inside]
posted by mike_bling on Mar 22, 2014 - 13 answers

Plumbing woes

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!!!
posted by BitterYouth on Feb 17, 2014 - 17 answers

Help me paint my bathroom

I have a bathroom that has had some serious moisture issues over the years. I recently installed an exhaust fan and that's mitigated the problem somewhat. My big issue is this: the wall paint (semi-gloss latex) is peeling off where the wall and tile meet. It started bubbling up here and there and I made the mistake of pulling on a little piece today and the paint came off like peeling an orange. I need to repaint several of the walls in the bathroom while trying to prevent the paint from peeling off again. How do I seal the walls or at least where the wall and the tiles come together to keep the moisture out? [more inside]
posted by photoslob on Jan 26, 2014 - 12 answers

What can I safely cover my ugly wall furnace with?

My "Williams 30,000 BTU Natural Gas Direct-Vent Wall Furnace" is an eyesore and I'd love to build my own custom cover for it, but is that safe? Can I only use metal or can I use wood? I'd have a friend build it since I don't know much about it, but I'm wondering what I can do to hide or replace it. BTW I rent my apartment, so any changes I make should technically be reversible. Link for reference.
posted by qzar on Jan 25, 2014 - 5 answers

Costs of pricey home repairs/replacements? (& IDing them before buying)

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]
posted by EmilyClimbs on Jan 21, 2014 - 13 answers

Halp! The grout is setting too fast.

Started a mosiac project and now I need the grout to stop setting. [more inside]
posted by amandabee on Dec 9, 2013 - 7 answers

Is naptha (lighter fluid) safe to clean windows?

I have some masking tape adhesive residue on my windows. They are vinyl windows double pane with argon gas inside. I use naptha with is lighter fluid although I use the actual stuff from a paint store to remove adhesive on other stuff it works well. It is safe on plastic. What I'm wondering will it damage the stuff that holds the glass panels to the frame (I think its silicone not sure though) I dont want it to get damaged and let the argon gas leak out.
posted by john123357 on Jun 6, 2013 - 25 answers

Home Improvement filter: seeking sources for Siding Materials in DFW TX

Hi, thanks in advance for helpful comments, suggestions, recommendations. I am looking to begin an improvement project on a single fam home the day after tomorrow in Arlington, TX. So, of course I waited to the last minute before deciding to seek alternate options to Home Depot and Lowes (the only big box home improvement stores in the area). That's all I need, Mefites! I will have to go get the materials from Southwest Arlington TX, so preferably
posted by rxbert on Mar 21, 2013 - 1 answer

New (old) house with the worst possible kitchen floor.

Help us figure out how to cover up or replace this god awful kitchen floor. We just purchased a farmhouse that was renovated in the mid 50s. The mudroom and kitchen have 9" asphalt tiles that are all coming up (so not level), and on top of that, the prior owner used these rooms as a kennel for his incontinent daschund. [more inside]
posted by checkitnice on Feb 16, 2013 - 20 answers

Water Alarm System For Crawlspace

I'm looking for a water detection system with a wireless alarm. [more inside]
posted by shew on Dec 25, 2012 - 3 answers

Is There a Quick and Easy Fix for My Paint-Chipped Porch?

I need to paint my previously painted cement block porch while putting in the least money, time, and effort. What can be painted over a chipped paint job without it chipping again? [more inside]
posted by paperclip2000 on Jun 11, 2012 - 5 answers

Let's totally rip out and rebuild something together.

What is the proper way to replace rotted siding and fascia (looking for someone to enumerate the layers and materials) so that the house is well sealed and weather protected? [more inside]
posted by hanoixan on Sep 4, 2011 - 3 answers

Help us find curtains for our new room! Having issues

I need help finding/choosing some curtains for our new room! [more inside]
posted by ot_refresh on Jun 3, 2011 - 6 answers

Gas Pipe

Simple question: Where do I got to find short( 8'-20') lengths of SCH 80 steel pipe in nyc?
posted by edbles on Mar 24, 2011 - 10 answers

need to fix up my little art studio

No good deed goes unpunished: Gave my lovely little Greenwich Village basement art studio to someone for a few months. I got it back in the most atrocious shape...with my beautiful plaster walls completely hacked to bits from him incompetently drilling screw after useless screw into my wall, taking huge chunks of plaster out, and making occasional giant gouges with long anchoring screws (and even incomprehensibly applying adhesive spray insulation to glue wood boards to the wall. *sob*) The wall is about 11x9 feet. How much should I expect to pay to get this fixed? I'm handy, but know nothing about plaster and feel gutted about letting someone treat this super-old plaster wall so badly. [more inside]
posted by thegreatfleecircus on Feb 22, 2011 - 20 answers

Stage this house!

We've decided to move. We currently live in Omaha, NE and are considering moving to Cedar Rapids, IA, where I grew up, because greatschools.org indicates that the schools there kick ass compared to Omaha and vicinity. (Our kids are 3 and 1, so we've got time, but you know... no time like the present.) We're still a little conflicted about whether to go to CR or not, but I'll save that question for next week. This week's question IS: what should we do to our house to get it ready to sell? [more inside]
posted by wwartorff on Nov 10, 2010 - 14 answers

What are the potential problems, if any, of venting a portable A/C unit into a closet or attic?

What are the potential problems, if any, of venting a portable A/C unit into a closet or attic? [more inside]
posted by wordsmith on Aug 13, 2010 - 14 answers

Guess who's coming to dharma?

What's a dignified way to portray Buddha in my house? [more inside]
posted by the matching mole on Aug 6, 2010 - 23 answers

I want to paint my bathroom and am a total DIY newbie. Help!

I really want to paint my bathroom. I have never done any sort of DIY or home project before. Is this going to be harder than I think it is? Where do I even start? [more inside]
posted by JoannaC on Mar 18, 2010 - 8 answers

I'm looking to buy a spaceheater for my girlfriend's apartment. Anyone have any recommendations on ones that won't burn the place down?

I'm looking to buy a spaceheater for my girlfriend's apartment. Anyone have any recommendations on ones that won't burn the place down? [more inside]
posted by decrescendo on Feb 18, 2010 - 19 answers

Best way to replace a central air conditioning system?

How do I get the best out of a new central air conditioning system? [more inside]
posted by the matching mole on Feb 17, 2010 - 12 answers

Hedging my bets.

Can I plant a cedar hedge -- with the cedars lying down? [more inside]
posted by liquado on Jul 8, 2009 - 4 answers

An air conditioner thru my wall?

Thinking of putting our bedroom window air conditioner in the wall... bad idea? [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on May 19, 2009 - 23 answers

Home improvement training video; Legit?

Is 40% off a kitchen renovation to be used in training videos and advertisements too good to be true? I'm looking to the hive to help me ask smart questions that will suss out a scam. [more inside]
posted by butterstick on Mar 16, 2009 - 17 answers

CFL Track Lighting

Anyone found an energy efficient and cost effective CFL track lighting system? LED possibly? [more inside]
posted by jeffmac on Mar 15, 2009 - 5 answers

Ceiling sprinkler head looks like it keeps getting lower, is it going to go off?

My apartment has a ceiling sprinkler system and one of the heads that has descended slightly from the ceiling. Should i worry that the sprinkler head will go off? [more inside]
posted by slhpatterson on Jan 29, 2009 - 9 answers

stucco yucko

Mrs Baggers and I have just bought a house, and one of the rooms has walls covered with this ugly, bumpy stucco like stuff (photo here). What's the best option for getting rid of it? Should we sand it down or try and cover it over?
posted by baggers on Aug 19, 2008 - 20 answers

Plexiglass woes!

What's the best to mount a 3'x6' sheet of plexiglass to my wall? [more inside]
posted by Geppp on Aug 17, 2008 - 9 answers

Helpful people/info in Woburn, we needs it!

We are moving to Woburn, MA and need helping finding a variety of services there. [more inside]
posted by JonahBlack on Jun 30, 2008 - 5 answers

Wholesale laminate flooring in Southern California?

Can you recommend a wholesaler to buy laminate flooring from in Southern California? [more inside]
posted by KimikoPi on Jun 15, 2008 - 1 answer

Sawing boards sans garage

What set of power tools can I assemble that will allow me to build things out of wood and will store in a closet? [more inside]
posted by Foam Pants on Jan 22, 2008 - 23 answers

I need help installing my 5LNB dish for DirecTV service.

I need help installing my 5LNB dish for DirecTV service. [more inside]
posted by nickerbocker on Oct 3, 2007 - 9 answers

What color is yoga?

What color should I paint a yoga/exercise studio? [more inside]
posted by mad_little_monkey on Feb 8, 2007 - 16 answers

Level with me, I can take it

My significant other and I are having an ongoing arguement about leveling our 80 year-old house. [more inside]
posted by thebrokedown on Nov 26, 2006 - 17 answers

How to remove paint from a parquet floor?

How to remove paint from parquet floors? [more inside]
posted by huskerdont on Nov 8, 2006 - 9 answers

Is this an electrical fault ?

I know, I know, light bulbs seem to fail in clusters, but I don't think this is to do with putting a bunch of lights in at the same time. This week for instance, I got up and turned on my kitchen lights (8 x 50w small spots) and one blew and tripped my Ground Floor Light fuse. A day later and I get home and turn on the same lights, another goes and trips the lights circuit again. Later in the week, another goes in my study. I replaced all the bulbs today. I turn them on, everything is fine, I go outside and turn on the porch/side lights (3 x 60w) and two of them blow. I nearly always have an inop light or two. My question is this : Is there an electrical fault which might explain this pattern of failure ? Thanks
posted by matholio on Oct 7, 2006 - 11 answers

Advice on deck staining & bathtub caulking

Questions about 2nd coats. 1) DECK: Just stained deck two days ago with a semi-transparent latex deck stain ("Weatherbeater" brand). Unfortunately it dried a little unevenly, showing brush marks, so there are lighter and darker patches. Can I apply a second coat, or will that peal once the rain comes? 2) TUB: re-caulked around tub yesterday. Aesthetically it might look better if I could apply another layer of caulk to smooth out edges and make a little thicker (used white silicone bathroom stuff), but will the fresh caulk adhere properly to the 24-hour cured caulk? I had to scrape the bejesus out of the gap to get the old caulk out, and I don't want to risk the new caulk job failing.
posted by _sirmissalot_ on Oct 2, 2006 - 3 answers

Easy solar for the home?

Are there any easy and inexpensive solar kits for your home? Someone preferably DIY installable. (in the 500-1k range?) [more inside]
posted by mphuie on Aug 28, 2006 - 4 answers

Need creative ideas for wall- and floorcoverings

Home Improvement Filter: I'm trying to decide on a new floorcovering and I need creative ideas for wall paint as well. [more inside]
posted by mezzanayne on Aug 10, 2006 - 4 answers

Help me light a home office!

Building a home office, and need help with lighting. [more inside]
posted by wolftrouble on Mar 20, 2006 - 7 answers

Help me remove my window sash lock screws please

How do I remove my window sash lock? [more inside]
posted by thewiseacre on Feb 17, 2006 - 9 answers

How thick should this steel plate be?

How thick would a carbon steel plate have to be to roughly approximate the bending & deflection characteristics of 5/8" to 3/4" plywood? [more inside]
posted by true on Jan 19, 2006 - 6 answers

Home improvement/maintenance tips

What are some usual (or unusual) home maintenance things/tips/hints that you do/use/follow periodically? Anybody have a link to a good list of these? [more inside]
posted by gwenzel on Nov 11, 2005 - 11 answers

Can I really install a storm door in as little as 60 minutes?

I was at Lowe's looking at a storm door for the front of my house. Pella has this thing called Express Install. It shows a woman installing a storm door all by herself. Anyone have any experience with these Pella storm doors? [more inside]
posted by clearlynuts on Nov 7, 2005 - 6 answers

least visible/ugly power extension codes?

least visible/ugly power extension cords? [more inside]
posted by grafholic on Oct 11, 2005 - 10 answers

Calculating square footage for a patio project

I'm working on a patio project at home, and I'm trying to calculate the square footage of an area that's in the shape of an irregular pentagram. It's about 19ft 6 inches long at it's base, and then has measurements of 70", 93", 43", and 16ft (192in). Is there a utility online I can use to calculate this area, or possibly a feature in Visio that I can use to do this with? Many thanks in advance for any time you take to post.
posted by DCTapeworm on Sep 1, 2005 - 4 answers

How much will this basement reno cost me?

HomeImprovementFilter: I'm planning on having a basement room finished, and before I put the contractors to the time and expense of coming out for estimates, I want to know if the project will be something I can afford to do right now. [more inside]
posted by gwenzel on Aug 18, 2005 - 2 answers

Reducing window noise

How can I reduce highway noise from a window? [more inside]
posted by sicem07 on Aug 17, 2005 - 11 answers

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