I'm fixing up a condo that I'm going to rent from my parents in 2 weeks. The kitchen floor is sheet vinyl on a concrete slab. I think my father said it's a floating floor. It's really worn out with large gouges and it's peeling up on the edges in some places. My father and I are planning to tear out the sheet vinyl and replace the floor with nice new vinyl planks. [more inside]
Our contractor is recommending styrofoam crown molding for our reno because it'll be better able to maintain its integrity as the building settles (we live in a century-old multi-unit Brooklyn building that definitely has these issues). If you've used it, what has your experience been? Does it look any different from wood/composite? Any concerns to be aware of?
We're spending several million dollars to renovate our community health centre. We've received several bid proposals for the prime consultant function who will do the design/architecting and then oversee the mechanical, electrical, signage, building code etc. I'm helping assess the proposals. What should I look for? What are danger signs? What questions should I ask of the bidders when they come in to present? [more inside]
I am looking for 1 week to month long classes that do hands-on teaching of basic carpentry, plumbing, and wiring skills for people who want to rehab houses. I am considering buying a fixer-upper and need to know what tools I need, how to use them safely, how to conform to the local building code, and when I will need to hire outside help. [more inside]
Mrs. Karaage and I consider ourselves a low-intermediate home DIYers and are considering trying to renovate our basement bathroom ourselves, (while being willing to contract out plumbing and electrical). I’d like to hear from mefites who have done this before on their own and can share experiences and specific links/books/resources they’ve used to educate themselves for the project. [more inside]
We are doing a total gut renovation of our house, including new walls in the attic. (Walls = plaster skimcoat over blueboard.) While we will use the attic primarily for storage, it is technically a bedroom. Do I need to paint it? Should I prime only and then leave it? [more inside]
I have a bunch of (mostly small) jobs that I need done around the house, and I'm trying to figure out how many different tradies I need to hire to do them: installing a bathroom vanity; replacing about ten tiles in the shower; installing a new pendant light; servicing the ducted gas heating; installing underfloor insulation (although I'm considering DIYing this); and removing half a staircase. Do I need to hire a different person for each task, or can they be batched somehow? (I assume the tiles and vanity can be done by the same person at least). [more inside]
I will soon be re-tiling the floor and walls of my small bathroom, after having a new subfloor installed, and old tiles removed and walls plastered. This is my first time tiling more than small mosaics for fun, and I want to hear your guidance, horror stories, and hard-learned lessons. [more inside]
We are thinking about bidding on a house at auction next week that has a very unusual living room. My husband thinks it can be modernised to be amazing, but both of us are struggling to see exactly how. Obviously the flooring and light fixture would be changed, but to what? Does anyone with better design sense than us have specific suggestions or links to similar looking spaces? I think I'd feel a lot better about bidding for this place if I had a clearer idea of what we could do with it. [more inside]
We are doing a total gut renovation of our house, and the glue holding down the old attic tile is this black stuff that smells like tar. What do we do about it? Paint over with Killz? Steam and scrape off? Something else? [more inside]
We are house-hunting at the moment in Sydney, Australia. I keep falling in love with federation-style houses. For example, my current obsession is this 101-year-old beauty but I also love this one and a variety of similar places. My husband thinks that houses of this sort of age are likely to be a total money-pit, especially if wooden, and even if renovated. Is this true? [more inside]
I'm looking at buying a house that is too small, but has an upstairs attic room that I thought could be renovated--adding a long shed dormer along the back and extending the wall to a 3' knee. Whether or not I can make the changes at a reasonable cost will determine whether I want to buy the house. I talked to a contractor and he said costs depend on the county. [more inside]
Flooring for a basement room -- what are my options? [more inside]
We bought a small three bedroom/one bathroom house (about 1,050 sq. feet) in Austin about a year and a half ago and we're looking to do a significant upgrade in several months, upwards of $100,000. [more inside]
I'm in the process of building a very small unit, with the idea that comfort is about more than size. Part of this means that eventually, I would like to automate my entire home easily (and maybe from a distance). There are many systems out there, and I would like some recommendations please. [more inside]
This is a 'tap the judgment power of the hivemind' question. About a year ago I bought an old house (1920s) in a 'gentrifying' neighborhood in Saskatoon. On July 1st I discovered that the basement rug and drywall were soaked: I had the basement finish ripped out down to the studs and discovered several large cracks in the foundation. I need to repair this if I want to stay, but I can't decide if it's worth it, or if I should just move. Based on what's within, what do you think? [more inside]
I need to replace my roof, but I also want to do some other things at the same time. Do I hire a general contractor? Or will a roofing company be able to do all of this? [more inside]
We're doing a pre-war renovation in Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC where our co-op requires we have a plumber replace the branch piping, new valves and shower pan for both the bathroom and the branch piping/valves in the kitchen. Questions: i) Is the below cost estimate reasonable. ii) Any recommendations of pre-war savvy licensed/insured plumbers in Queens or North Brooklyn? [more inside]
Loan for renovation of NYC Co-Op Apartment? (no HELOCs/mortgages). [more inside]
I live in a 100 year old Sears kit home (Dutch colonial). I've partially renovated the upstairs bathroom (trying to be respectful of the period). Could use a little assistance with decor/painting/tiling choices! [more inside]
A few related questions about light renovating and filling of an apartment (with some NYC-specific stuff.) [more inside]
Well, I'm feeling quite stupid now because my partner and I just redid the floors and walls of our new apartment, a building that was built in the 1970s, and I am just now thinking of the possible hazards that didn't cross my mind before we did all the renovation work (yes, stupid, I know). How worried should I be? More details inside. [more inside]
When our staircase was remodeled several years ago, it left an area with no tile at the base of the new stairs (old stairs were curved, new ones are not.) It's been 6.5 years of stubbed toes and general unsightliness, and I need suggestions on what to do with this area. [more inside]
What design / remodel / reno / decoration ideas do you have for a home office / chillout space backing onto a kitchen, 7'4" wide by 9' long , with 9' ceiling, for a DINKY couple in Queens, NY? [more inside]
My apartment building was sold in the past 6 months. The new owners have been completely gutting and renovating units as people have moved out; the work is going on for months. I'm planning to move out at the end of the month and wondering how much I need to worry about cleaning or repairing any minor damage if they're just going to do the same thing to my unit. Additionally, if they do charge me for any damages do I have any recourse to argue that they shouldn't have because they weren't preserving whatever it was any way? Obviously not expecting any binding legal advice on this, more curious if anyone has had similar experiences or any pointers to share.
I need some help planning the kitchen remodel in my 1925 bungalow. Trying to keep the budget in the $10000 to 15000 range. I am fortunate that underneath the very worn vinyl floors is maple hardwood that is original to the house. The plan is to hopefully restore that. But do I keep the cabinets in their (rather dated) oak state or should I paint the cabinets? [more inside]
Home improvement professionals and those with a critical eye for detail: what are the 'tells' of DIY home improvement? What separates amateur work from professional work? [more inside]
Dealing with city government - getting a certificate of occupancy. I don't know where else to turn for strategies or information, so thanks for reading. I'll try to make this concise: [more inside]
The decades-old parging/plaster on our basement walls is scabby and peeling. The concrete itself is crumbly in places and there are a couple of cracks. It seems to me that the solution to my problem is to remove the old parging/plaster, fill the cracks with hydraulic cement, and patch the crumbly parts. But I'm less clear on the hows, whys, and whens. [more inside]
I love reading home renovation / decoration blogs. My feedly has gone a little stale, and I'd love new ideas. [more inside]
Living in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The area around my upstairs bathroom's bathtub has been leaking through the floor to the downstairs bathroom for some time now. I kept putting off getting it fixed, and when my son who is home visiting saw it grew extremely worried. He said that it is damaging the structural integrity of the house and could also be breeding "black mold" which is a health hazard. Is it really that bad? What kind of work would be necessary to fix this, and should a professional be called? (Picture inside) [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]
Can I get a temporary bookshelf wall outside of NYC? [more inside]
If you've ever lived on the first floor and had renovations going on on the third floor/roof (adding dormers, installing plumbing for a bathroom, etc), please tell me your story! I'm trying to figure out if this will be a minor inconvenience (eg, only distant noise) or a major headache (feels like it's happening in my apartment). The building is a 2-family condo with three floors altogether. Thanks!
We fell in love with some large travertine tiles but I'm worried that they may not be appropriate to the size of our bathroom. The large-sized wall tile examples I see online are all in big rooms with soaker tubs or oversized walk-in showers. I can't tell if this is because large tiles aren't suitable to "real world" bathroom sizes or if these floor-to-ceiling applications just showcase the tiles better. [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.
Bought this house about three years ago and then learned that the water pipes, under the concrete-terrazzo slab, had burst and flooded the place (no, incompetent inspector did not notice this). The previous owner had then laid down an inexpensive woodlike floor. That was carelessly done but looked okay overall, except that residual water had stained and darkened a few areas. I had the house re-piped and the floor seemed to have dried and healed leaving just those few dark spots. [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]
We have inherited a dated 2 bedroom condo in Sunny Isles, Florida that we intend to sell in the autumn. The market for permanent residents and snow birds is pretty strong, and we've decided not to do a gut reno, but do want to "neutralize" it somewhat with fresh paint and flooring. White paint is easy to decide, but how to replace the 10 year old blue carpet is puzzling us. As a Floridian, would you want / expect ceramic throughout a 2 bdrm condo or laminate "hardwood"? Why? Our realtor advises ceramic tile throughout, but as Ontarians, that seems weird for bedrooms. I have seen this question but our situation is really focused on immediate resale in an upper middle class community - universally attractive is more important than durability.
I'm looking to update the front of my 15' x 30' attached Baltimore row home. It currently features ugly formstone. I'd like to add a mason veneer siding on top of the existing formstone if possible. Can this physically be done? Thank You! Eric
I'd like to turn my old (built around 1925) garage into a comfortable office/workspace, but because this is a rental I don't want to spend a lot of money. It's basically a 10x10 wood box with one very tiny window and a couple overhead flourescent lights. Biggest problems: It gets hot in the summer/cold in winter, and smells kinda weird. Your help urgently requested! [more inside]
I have a few household projects for which I'd like to mock-up some designs. Mostly pressingly a bathroom, and after that garage storage, landscape design, and other things. What is the best (free, or individual consumer-priced) software to get the job done? [more inside]
A friend is renovating a historic commercial building, and I would like to capture it via a few GoPros using time-lapse. There are issues. [more inside]
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]
We're planning a kitchen renovation for our century-old house this summer and have been working with an architect who has so far given us a kitchen layout and rough design. We're now getting quotes from general contractors. The GC we met with last night, who we've worked with before and trust, said further work by the architect will be a waste of money because the progress of the project will depend on how construction goes. Is he right? [more inside]
My large (about 220 units) apartment building is currently undergoing MAJOR renovation-- we are talking cement cutting and jackhammering, 8am-5pm, five days a week. It is literally impossible to stay in the apartment. I have been home a few times when construction is going on, and I feel like I hear significantly less well. My "landlord" (management company and superintendant) are all really great people, and they have made an effort to give us notices, etc. The thing is that after the first project, they announced a "phase 2," and apparently there is a phase 3 in store. All told, they are planning for this to go on until June 2014 (just called and asked). I work from home with lots of books and stuff. For the past six months I have been working out of coffeeshops, libraries, parks. But it's still really hard. I can't take all of my books with me everywhere. When I am sick, I can't stay home and rest...because I get no rest. If I work really late (which I sometimes do because it's the only way to get some quiet time), I can't sleep in the next day. I am at my breaking point, and my lease goes on for another 6 months. What can I do? Is it reasonable to ask for a rent reduction? Can I ask them to move me to another unit (it's a big company with a lot of properties)? Is this reasonable enough of a reason to break my lease?
I am looking for google street view links to neighbourhoods or streets that have nice front porches as design inspiration for an upcoming renovation. [more inside]
My boyfriend owns a house in North Florida that needs to have the floors in the kitchen and living room redone. He rents out the house. He's looking for a good 'middle way': not expensive, but not so cheap that it will have to be replaced soon; nice, but not so nice that it it might get easily damaged by renters (nor ugly, which would lower rent value). N.B.: the price has to include installation since he won't be around to install it himself. Any suggestions for what types of flooring he should look at, especially given N. Florida's climate?
I just bought a 1 bedroom co-op in Brooklyn. I want to gut the kitchen. I have 30k. Is this possible? Can you recommend an architect? Share your story? [more inside]
We're redoing a bathroom in a house we plan to sell. It's a very old house, so nothing is quite standard. Between the new sink cabinet and the stacked washer / dryer there is a space that's about 10 inches wide, 24 inches deep and 80 inches high. We'd like to make it functional in some way. It also should look nice. [more inside]