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How to organize seismic retrofit and various renovations

We bought a 1920 bungalow in Berkeley and need to get various things done. We're hiring an engineer to look at the foundation + retrofit and make plans. After that, should we hire a general contractor, or should we go with organizing everything by ourselves? [more inside]
posted by The Toad on Jun 23, 2014 - 8 answers

How do I get my contractor to finish the renovation job I paid him for?

Almost three months ago, I hired a friend of mine to do about $18k worth of renovations to my condo, $4k of which is labour. However, I made the mistake of paying him in advance, and after I paid the last instalment, he started making excuses for why he couldn't arrive on the site to finish the work (it's about 90% done). The project, originally estimated at two or three weeks, is now two months behind schedule. [more inside]
posted by xekul on Jun 17, 2014 - 12 answers

How do we contractor?

We are buying a house -yay! But the house needs renovation work done - eek! While we have previously owned a house, it was 10 years ago, in another state, and never had any major renovations. We are scheduled to close on April 30, so we are trying to figure out what kinds of professionals we need and how to find/hire them. [more inside]
posted by DiscourseMarker on Mar 30, 2014 - 15 answers

Can I install a HEAVY cast iron sink in a Bowling Alley Wood countertop?

I bought this lovely '60s cast iron enamel kitchen sink on craigslist (and a "hudee ring"), and am obtaining some repurposed bowling alley wood out of which to cut a countertop. But it suddenly occurs to me that the sink may be too damn heavy... it's probably like 50 lbs or something. Is this project doomed? And if there is anything I can do, do you think it worth the trouble? I like the sink a lot but it was only $10.
posted by qzar on Nov 7, 2013 - 12 answers

Home Renovation Software

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]
posted by Doleful Creature on Jul 18, 2013 - 7 answers

What taxes should we be paying here? (British Columbia)

Had some reno work done on our house, disagreeing with the handyman over taxes, does anyone know the correct BC tax regulation here? [more inside]
posted by Cosine on Jul 8, 2013 - 4 answers

How to best level a kitchen floor?

I've gutted my kitchen, and the concrete floor is uneven. Can I get away with only leveling the floor where I'll install the floating flooring, or should I really pour leveler where the cabinets will rest, too? [more inside]
posted by jacob on Dec 21, 2012 - 10 answers

Seeking advice about a new career in renovating apartments

Do you have any advice about renovating apartments as a career? [more inside]
posted by Borborygmus on Nov 4, 2012 - 5 answers

Removing plaster from wood paneling

What is the quickest/easiest way to remove, what seems to be, a very thin layer of plaster that was applied over wood paneling. [more inside]
posted by eunoia on Aug 27, 2012 - 4 answers

Help me find an urban-friendly contractor to renovate our condo!

Renovating a condo for the first time in downtown Toronto: How do we find great contractors and designers? How do we get started? Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by heatherann on Jul 2, 2012 - 2 answers

Just the old blood rising up through the wood floor again.

Do I need to sand & refinish my hardwood floors? I would really prefer not to. [more inside]
posted by eunoia on Jun 24, 2012 - 9 answers

Compensation when temporarily kicked out of apartment for repairs

I've been told I will have to leave my apartment for a week while emergency repairs are conducted. I'm in the UK. What are my rights, and what compensation am I entitled to? [more inside]
posted by PercussivePaul on Apr 2, 2012 - 5 answers

We need to be laying a whole lot o' pipe up in here.

What should we be thinking about and considering when re-plumbing an entire house? Plumbers and experienced homeowners we welcome your advice. [more inside]
posted by pixlboi on Feb 23, 2012 - 11 answers

Victorians had very little furniture I guess.

The bin is out front, my reciprocating saw is ready... too bad we haven't settled on a floor plan for our reno. AskMe, we need your votes! [more inside]
posted by Popular Ethics on May 7, 2011 - 28 answers

How to screen in our porch?

Should we use Screen Tight or standard/old-school staples/tacks + facia to screen in our back porch? [more inside]
posted by ish__ on May 7, 2011 - 1 answer

Successful community oriented mixed-use architecture?

What are your suggestions for successful/interesting mixed-use architecture projects? Bonus points for ones in New York City. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 7, 2011 - 3 answers

I think i should fire my contractor, but don't know how to protect myself.

I want to fire my contractor, who is doing a sloppy and unsatisfactory job of renovating my bathroom. I've never been a situation like this before (of hiring someone to do work on my home, and also of firing somebody) and could use some advice from people who have been through this process on whether or not i should fire him, and if i should, how to go about it with minimal collateral damage. [more inside]
posted by Kololo on Dec 1, 2010 - 17 answers

Resources for homeowners-to-be

What are your favorite resources for homeowners? [more inside]
posted by Tu13es on May 18, 2010 - 11 answers

What am I going to do with my house?

We own two thirds of a crappy house in a really good spot, we're useless at handy work and we want to leave in 2.5 years. What’s the best way to capitalise on this asset? [more inside]
posted by b33j on Apr 7, 2010 - 7 answers

Contractor estimate and accounting for cost overruns?

My friend is buying an old brownstone in Brooklyn that needs to be gut renovated. The question is how accurate the contractor estimate is and should he account for cost overruns, if so, by how much? [more inside]
posted by pakoothefakoo on Nov 9, 2009 - 15 answers

Help me not burn my house down.

Can I put a piece of furniture - sofa? bookcase? - in front of a 5 foot installed electric baseboard heater without burning my house down? The guy who did our renovations, who we like and trust a lot, insisted when he installed it that it would be perfectly safe to put a sofa right in front of the heater, which would prevent our kids from sticking their hands in it and possibly burning themselves. But now that I see how hot it gets, I'm afraid our house will go up in flames. That would not be good. What say you, electric-baseboard-heater-owning-Mefites?
posted by missuswayne on Oct 27, 2008 - 15 answers

Quality craftspeople in toronto?

Hey there, Torontonian-on-a-budget remodelers and refurbishers! I want to reglaze/refinish and re-tile my bathtub (and install new hardware), and I also want to refinish a dining table and chairs, and also reupholster the chairs' seats. Please refer to me your non-scammer budget-priced reasonably-proficient craftspeople. (Random refinishers from the yellow pages or with those displays in malls all seem pretty sketchy, so i'm looking for referrals for people you've had previous experience with.) [more inside]
posted by Kololo on Jan 2, 2008 - 4 answers

Builders to renovate a flat in central London?

After what has felt like months of waiting, it now looks as though I may very soon have a new flat (yay!) and need builders to carry out renovations in that flat. Although several friends of mine have made recommendations, I am having trouble finding recommended builders who work in (very) central London, WC1 to be precise. Any suggestions? [more inside]
posted by sueinnyc on Nov 25, 2007 - 6 answers

Real kitchen renos!

What do I need to know about renovating a kitchen? [more inside]
posted by phoenixc on Jan 7, 2006 - 15 answers

Fixer-Upper

This December, I'm moving into a house to begin remodeling and cleaning it out. I can do pretty much whatever I want with it...so what should I do? {specifics inside} [more inside]
posted by amandaudoff on Sep 16, 2004 - 26 answers

Hardwood Floor Question

I just installed floating engineered floors downstairs. There is apparently a fairly substantial but narrow depression in the middle of the room, which I missed when checking the floor. How can I fix this now that the floor is laid? [more inside] [more inside]
posted by RustyBrooks on Aug 10, 2004 - 8 answers

The money trap!

Home renovation: quick road to profits, or a disaster-in-waiting? If you have experience or advice, please come inside.. [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish on Jul 23, 2004 - 18 answers

mold in the shower

For you home improvement types - we moved into our first house last July, and since then I've been battling some mold in the shower. It's not bad, but despite my attempts to banish it, the critters keep coming back - right at the seam where the shower wall meets the tub.

Will simply recaulking the seam fix it, or will it eventually come back through the new caulk as well? Any, ahem, natural remedies for ridding our shower of the stuff?
posted by tr33hggr on Jan 7, 2004 - 7 answers

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