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Neighbors and condo repair situation in Somerville, MA

My neighbor and I both live on the top floor of our condo building. He wants to fix his AC/heating system inside the shared attic, and is asking to use an attic entryway inside my apt. What can I do to protect myself in case his contractor damages my things? Please help. Thanks. [more inside]
posted by miomiomio on May 21, 2014 - 8 answers

How do I fix this?

Can I fix this myself? It's mostly intact except for some smallish chips. I have zero experience with tile work.
posted by latkes on May 6, 2014 - 12 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

To BCC3 Control Board, or not to BCC3 Control Board

A question regarding an impending attempt to replace the control board in our furnace myself. Extenuating circumstances: Approaching Arctic Cold Front. [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio on Dec 3, 2013 - 7 answers

Is it worth it to paint a porcelain tub, or should I just get a new one?

We're getting our 1960's era home ready to sell for as cheaply as possible. It comes with two porcelain tubs in lovely shades of avocado and beige, and never-been-updated bathrooms... [more inside]
posted by ashtabula to opelika on Aug 27, 2013 - 25 answers

How to fix this flooded kitchen floor?

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]
posted by fivesavagepalms on Jul 21, 2013 - 7 answers

Old house - trying to fix up dirty moldy medicine cabinet

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.
posted by valannc on Jul 20, 2013 - 17 answers

Washing Machine repair: Can a mere mortal change a door gasket?

Do I dare try replacing the door gasket on my frontload washing machine? Photo of damaged gasket. It's not supposed to look like a ruffle. It's supposed to be smooth. The damaged occurred when I was washing a duvet cover and sheets. The load became very unbalanced and the machine leapt and jumped. Has anyone ordered the part and done a successful DIY repair? Or should I pay a service tech? The machine is a Maytag MHWE200XW00. It looks like we could get the gasket shipped for about $120.
posted by valannc on Jun 10, 2013 - 12 answers

Neighbor rebuilding shared fence--do I have any responsibility?

My neighbor has expressed a desire to rebuild the wooden fence between our houses. We share one side of the fence with her, and it's definitely in need of repair--warped boards, aging, etc. Should she be fully responsible for paying for the fence, since it was her idea to fix it? Or should we contribute some money since we share one side of the fence? [more inside]
posted by starkraven on Apr 2, 2013 - 36 answers

Ideas for covering a stained bathtub?

My old cast iron bathtub is stained beyond help. None of the tough cleaners do anything at this point. I looked into repainting it myself but couldn't cope with the idea of the prepping and the awful epoxy-based paint etc. etc. We could pay a fortune to have it reglazed, I guess, BUT [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster on Mar 24, 2013 - 25 answers

Help me diagnose my automatic garage door opener weirdness

I have a two-car garage with a LiftMaster automatic garage door opener that is misbehaving and it's driving me crazy. It seems to be randomly just opening the door long after it is closed and I can't figure out why. I've seen the other questions about garage door openers but was hoping for some advice specific to my situation. [more inside]
posted by misskaz on Feb 22, 2013 - 15 answers

Do I need a mold specialist, a window guy, a general contractor, or all three?

I have to replace a rotted out bathroom window by the shower, but I'm pretty confident that there's a bad mold problem in the shower wall beneath the window. Who should the first call be made to to resolve this? [more inside]
posted by Slack-a-gogo on Aug 7, 2012 - 5 answers

learning more about home construction and maintence

I own a house built in 1904 - how can I learn more about home construction and home maintenance? I do a lot of my basic repairs myself and always make a point to watch and ask questions (non-obnoxiously) when I have repair people over. [more inside]
posted by waylaid on Jul 7, 2012 - 20 answers

Sell our House or Not? We are at an impasse, HELP!

Sell our House or Not? We are at an impasse, HELP! Extended explanation inside. [more inside]
posted by damiano99 on Apr 12, 2012 - 19 answers

What's the best way to prevent leaks when nailing into the roof?

I want to attach a weathervane to a rooftop. To prevent roof leaks after screwing through the shingles, what should I do? Silicone? Washers? My dry attic thanks you in advance for the advice.
posted by jackypaper on Apr 10, 2012 - 11 answers

Melting Stove Cords and Me

Our stove's electric cord melted and our electrician says that he thinks it was a fault with the stove itself. When I say the cord melted, it is a 6 inch gooey mess starting in the center of the cord that had heated up to the point where it started to burn through the wall and melted a hole in the gas line. The stove itself was off (oven and burners) and it apparently happened spontaneously. The electrician was, in his words, "shocked your house did not burn down. Be glad you smelled the gas when you did". My question has two parts going on the electrician's hypothesis: 1) The stove is out of warranty but it is still only 7 years old. Maytag is sending a repair person to asses the problem. Would we have any leg to stand on to ask for money towards a new stove? I doubt it but am hopeful. 2) Who, if anyone, should we notify that there may be an issue with these stoves? I would hate to think that someone else's house might burn down through some sort of faulty wire and we could have let "someone" know. (we are in Georgia). A bonus question - can anyone think of how this could possibly have happened? It seems pretty odd to us and to the electrician and we cannot think of something that might have made this happen.
posted by GrumpyMonkey on Mar 5, 2012 - 18 answers

What type of contractor do I look for?

Paging Holmes on Homes... [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas on Feb 11, 2012 - 14 answers

Tilt and turn or double hung

Any experience replacing double-hung windows with something like the "european-style" tilt-and-turn windows or a casement window? [more inside]
posted by RandlePatrickMcMurphy on Feb 10, 2012 - 3 answers

Do I own this stuff left in my basement?

I own a house and needed a new furnace. I found a guy to do it, and he totally screwed me over. He left all his tools in my basement and not had any contact with me for a couple months. Do I own these tools now, and what if anything should I do now? [more inside]
posted by BlackWalnut on Feb 8, 2012 - 15 answers

Hire fixers separately or hire one contractor to lead the work?

If I need plumbing, painting, electrical, HVAC work and carpentry work done on my newly purchased home, is it better to hire one contractor for all the work or just find a separate painter, electrician, HVAC guy etc? I am a first time home buyer, so sorry if this is an obvious question. [more inside]
posted by dottiechang on Sep 4, 2011 - 7 answers

How to get rid of crud in my jaccuzi tub?

Our new home came with a wonderful bath tub jacuzzi but with a nasty problem. When we fill the tub up with water and turn on the air jets all this nasty gunk and junk comes out of the tubes and makes the water disgusting. Is there a way to clean this out or to flush the pipes? I've tried running the jets and cleaning them out around 15 times and this crud still comes out.
posted by randomthoughts on Jun 11, 2011 - 6 answers

Don't smoke the smoke detector....

I need to get some smoke detectors but I am having trouble finding out what the right kind are. There are, as far as I can tell, three different kinds. Stand alone, interconnect and hard-wired. What do the plugs that hang from the ceiling look like for the interconnect and for the hardwired? What do I ask the guy at the hardware store for (Ace just said they are on the endcap and the detectors there had nothing that told me what type they were)?
posted by CodeMonkey on May 10, 2011 - 5 answers

Accomplishing simple household tasks-filter

I am a helpless baby and I cannot open a simple drawer. Please advise. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on May 3, 2011 - 36 answers

How to buy new carpet for a 2-bedroom house?

I need to install new carpet in my 2-bedroom house. I know next to nothing about this. Sorry, we're not looking for wood or vinyl floors at this time. I just want to hear from people who've been through this experience. Got one grade-school age kid, one dog and one cat. What type of carpet deals with this traffic, resists stains and still looks good and is moderately priced? Also any advice on trying to learn how to install this yourself vs. professional installers.
posted by caveatz on Mar 17, 2011 - 12 answers

Carpet over carpet

Is it a bad idea to install new carpet over carpet that has been down for over a decade? [more inside]
posted by ainsley on Mar 10, 2011 - 21 answers

Best Books for Home Remodel

Can anyone recommend a great book (or magazine or website or series) on DIY home repair and remodeling? [more inside]
posted by piers on Nov 29, 2010 - 10 answers

How to replace a broken latch no longer made?

[home repair] How do I get a broken piece of a vintage door latch fabricated? [more inside]
posted by Señor Pantalones on Sep 12, 2010 - 11 answers

How do I fix my cement driveway?

How do I fix my cement driveway? [more inside]
posted by jjderooy on Sep 2, 2010 - 6 answers

Sliding glass door condensation

How to deal with condensation between panes of a sliding glass door? [more inside]
posted by Morrigan on Aug 23, 2010 - 8 answers

I live in GA - I have no A/C

All 3 of the thermostats in my home read "Low Battery" with an * and my a/c isn't working. My landlord says that I need to replace the batteries. That seems unlikely to me. Also hard. [more inside]
posted by katyjack on Jun 16, 2010 - 15 answers

How to eliminate mold during home rehab?

Mold -- Is it possible to eliminate mold as part of a home rehab project without hiring an all-out mold professional? Will it be sufficient to remove all the drywall, scrub and bleach the wood behind (or replace anything damaged), and stop the sources of water intrusion? Did you deal with mold as part of a major fixer-upper? [more inside]
posted by slidell on Apr 19, 2010 - 13 answers

O dear sub, hast thou woofed thy last?

Is my subwoofer toast? [more inside]
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism on Apr 17, 2010 - 3 answers

Miswired receptacle.

This switch/receptacle has been miswired for years. For starters, neither device had the grounding wires attached. I want to put things the way they should be. [more inside]
posted by dhartung on Mar 23, 2010 - 14 answers

Need help fixing a roll up shade

Please help me to repair a roll up matchstick shade or refer me to a web site with directions in plain English. [more inside]
posted by kbar1 on Nov 8, 2009 - 5 answers

Ack! My do-it-myself bidet is not a feature...

[PlumbingFilter] Ack! The toilet sprang a leak and is now acting like an impromptu bidet when flushed! What is the proper way to fix this? (more inside) [more inside]
posted by Nanukthedog on Sep 23, 2009 - 9 answers

What do you wish you had done to your new house before you moved in?

What do you wish you had done to your new house before you moved in? [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding on Feb 18, 2009 - 52 answers

Every man's home is his weekend project

Every 3,000 miles, I change the motor oil. But what about the house? I need a home repair and maintenance schedule? I'm looking for the best books and online resources that describe optimum home repair schedules and practices. [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Aug 18, 2008 - 9 answers

Why is my cooktop shocking me?

My cooktop is shocking me. What's wrong? [more inside]
posted by condour75 on Aug 6, 2008 - 4 answers

How do I insulate my windows?

What is the best (most cost effective way) to insulate my apartment windows? [more inside]
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker on Jul 7, 2008 - 9 answers

outlet mishap

Home electrical problem/mystery: I accidentally plugged the phone charger into an outlet incorrectly and now that outlet and the dishwasher don't work. Help? [more inside]
posted by mundy on Jun 27, 2008 - 10 answers

Rotting fences make bad neighbors

I am shoring up a sagging fence that I will help replace in a year. The original posts are not in cement and are rotting at the base. I'm trying to figure out how to attach some support posts. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Jun 27, 2008 - 9 answers

This shouldn't be happening.

Help me diagnose repeated failure of my lighting dimmers. [more inside]
posted by jon1270 on Jun 26, 2008 - 20 answers

But HOW do I do it myself?

What's the best home-repair / fixit manual for someone with little-to-no experience in such matters? Also, web sites and / or blogs in the same vein? [more inside]
posted by dersins on Apr 25, 2008 - 19 answers

water damage detection and repair

Help me identify and fix a possible water intrusion / water damage near my sliding glass door. [more inside]
posted by escher on Apr 7, 2008 - 3 answers

Who Has To Pay?

Who is responsible for power line repair? [more inside]
posted by slowtree on Nov 5, 2007 - 7 answers

How to paint a bath tub?

Does anybody have experience with painting a bath tub? I heard about using the plastic krylon spray paint that you can buy at wal-mart which is supposed to bond to acrylic, I'm wondering if anybody has tried this? How about using a refinishing kit?
posted by ets960 on Sep 5, 2007 - 15 answers

Walls came a-tumbling down, now what?

Looking for advice on rebuilding / repairing a section of concrete block (cinder block ) wall that once upon a time separated two yards. If nothing else, the dog is happy with the new expanded yard. [more inside]
posted by korej on Sep 5, 2007 - 4 answers

I (don't) have the power!

2 outlets & a ceiling light stopped working at the same time. None of the circuit breakers were flipped. What would cause this, and how can I troubleshoot it? [more inside]
posted by designbot on Aug 30, 2007 - 15 answers

Why would room temperature water be coming out of the faucet when I turn on the cold water tap?

When I turn the cold water tap, the faucets in my upstairs bathroom are putting out room temperature water. How do I fix this? [more inside]
posted by ND¢ on Aug 23, 2007 - 15 answers

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