I'm just starting to consider buying a first home - it will be an apartment in Canberra Australia but this, plus a basic budget is as far as I have got. Just wondering what do you wish you had known before buying your first home? What did you do that worked out well for you?
My mother passed away over the winter, and now I am alone (except for two cats and the squirrels in the attic) in the house we've shared for years. I'll be staying in the house for a year or two, and I'm trying to figure out ways to make the house feel like *mine*, not my mother's house that I happen to live in. [more inside]
What can I gift my dad to help my parents' motor home experience? [more inside]
I am in the market for a new printer for my new home office. Specifications and limitations below the fold. Your recommendations and experiences would be most appreciated. [more inside]
I bought a place in a building built in 2007 that has granite counters. The previous owner apparently was not sealing them at all. I managed to clean and seal the kitchen one on Saturday, but there are a lot of hard white deposits that look like minerals from hard water around the bathroom sink that I can't remove. Help? [more inside]
We've lived in our house for about a year and are trying to prioritize what projects need done. The kitchen and bath are in major need of a remodel but I'm not sure how to prioritize this with everything else. The other factor is we are not sure how long we are going to stay in the house - it could be 30 years, it could be 5. [more inside]
My heat pump (a 10 SEER packaged unit) is dead. It would cost at least $800 to fix it, assuming it's an easy fix. If not, it would either be unfixable (because no one makes the coils anymore), or cost well over $1k (if, for example, the reversing valve needs to be fixed/replaced). So I've had a few different quotes on new heat pumps, and can't decide what to do... Can anyone shed some light on the best route to take? [more inside]
I have a house. It has a walk-in basement, it does not have a garage. I have ~3 gallons of gasoline in appropriate containers. I think it's probably unwise to put this in my basement (with a water heater, electrical stuff, etc. not to mention the whole being effectively inside my house thing). Is storing it outside in a storage tote a good solution? Why or why not? [more inside]
I need a new air freshener for the bathroom. The one I loved was discontinued and I kinda hate all the other ones I've tried, or if I don't hate them they cost one million dollars. Please give me suggestions for a new one. [more inside]
I'd like to set up a home entertainment system where I can watch stuff and listen to stuff, and I'd like to upgrade from watching everything on my 13 inch laptop screen with crappy computer speakers. I haven't had a TV since, oh, sometime around 2001. I have no idea what I need or what all the new doodads and gadgets and various streaming options are. Please explain this to me like I'm your mom, but internet savvy. [more inside]
A friend of mine is a former Methodist preacher who wants to become a carer support worker in England. He sees caring as an extension of ministry. He really wants to work, but getting him to put aside his faith to get the job is a suggestion he won't take. Are there Christian-centred care homes in England? How do I find them?
Have any of you noticed an improvement in your allergy symptoms after installing new windows? We have single-pain windows now, from the 70s, and I have an asthma attack every time my neighbor mows his lawn. Would new windows help that much? Do they also help with the noise? Would I maybe go an entire day without hearing my neighbors' yippy, untrained dogs? Is it worth it just for that? [more inside]
Look familiar? [more inside]
In the wake of big-time heartbreak (see previous asks if you must), my pets and I are moving from a lovely, bright little house with a yard into a shoddy two-room basement apartment with three windows. How can I brighten up the space, and my attitude? Specifics inside. [more inside]
Partner and I would like to use an oil-based primer on our moldings and baseboards, then use a no-VOC eco-friendly paint (Colorhouse; MSDS) for the topcoat. I've successfully used run-of-the-mill latex over oil primer before. But does anyone have experience with using no-VOC paint over oil primer? [more inside]
After a year of normal functioning, my washing machine's spin cycle is not extracting properly -- but ONLY with flannel sheets. They go through the spin cycle, but the water doesn't extract. The wash drum has no puddle. Just the flannel sheets are soaking wet. Other types of fabrics come out normal, with excess water extracted. Towels, jeans, percale sheets come out normal. Small flannel pillowcases come out normal. [more inside]
House on sale through broker, but it's not moving. Are there alternatives that I should consider? [more inside]
I am soon (as in at this moment) moving to Taiwan, from Canada. I would love any suggestions folks have about travel, advice for new arrivals, old memories of visits, last minute travel recommendations and more. [more inside]
Please keep in mind that I don't mean random novelty items like the ones in ThinkGeek or any shop in Etsy, but websites that provide quality stuff in any of the following categories: home/decor/kitchen, stationery, clothes, accessories, beauty/skincare. [more inside]
I googled a subject and stumbled upon random porn links on a nursing home website. What's going on here? [more inside]
Moving my aging mother next month, from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles. Got some moving quotes. The two best were from A-1 Pioneer (a Wheaton agent) and Mergenthaler (a United Van Lines agent). Does anyone have any experiences, good or bad, with either of these? [more inside]
I have recently bought a flat (yay!). I had an electrician in today to look at some broken appliances (the hob, fridge and bathroom fan), and while checking things out he noticed that the voltage of the power in the house was unusually high (248-250V), possibly because I'm close to the transformer, and he confirmed that this could shorten the life of electrical devices. He mentioned that you can now buy a gadget to add to your electrics to step down the voltage to a more normal level, like ~220V. Is it true that a high-ish voltage can cause problems, and does anyone have any experience of the voltage-fixer he mentioned? I'm in the UK.
Can anyone help identify this design (I know it was at least used on sheets and wallpaper, if not more products)? This is a design on a product line that has since been discontinued. I'd like to know who used to sell these products and how to find them. Thanks! [more inside]
I just bought a 100-year old house in Seattle. The inspector had pointed out various things that need fixing with regard to the structure, plumbing, electrical, and heating systems. A very rough estimate for all of the important fixes put together would run about $20-30K, which is OK. I'm also OK with waiting a couple months before moving in to get the bulk of these repairs done. But I've never owned a house before and don't really know where to start. Should I use a general contractor to get these things done? [more inside]
How do hardware stores differ from country to country? [more inside]
The exterior of our house has been overrun by these furry little cocoons. I need help identifying the little rascals and also advice on how to KEEL them and keep them from coming back. [more inside]
I've bound quite a few printed versions of large books I bought as PDF and that works pretty well. Now I want to try it with bought books, but where I'm stuck is how to remove the glued spines. Has anyone else done this, and how did you do it? [more inside]
I own a home in UpState New York that will soon need a new roof, outside painting, repairing of gutters etc.and was wondering if anyone has heard of a Home Repair, Painting etc Party and would have thoughts or details.. [more inside]
Own a condo; extensive water damage to ceiling from upstairs renters and I need to get the elusive owner of that unit to pay for repairs. But he's a jerk, so how do I do it? [more inside]
Buying our first home, I'm would like to go with a buyer agent and have our first meeting set with one Saturday. I'm turning to the hive mind for your tip, tricks, questions, and other things you wish you would have done or found helpful during meeting with your realtor. [more inside]
I am trying to help my brother, who currently lives in the back of his truck, find a new "home". I am thinking that if I were to purchase him a very modest camper (like less than $2000) he could maybe find a cheap spot to park it and live? [more inside]
My mother is moving out of her house and wants to sell it with as little fuss as possible. She doesn't want to make any improvements, hire a realtor, have 'open houses,' or have any protracted negotiations. Her plan is to just take the best offer of a "fast cash buyout" home-buying company. That sounds like inviting a ripoff to me, but we both know very little about selling houses and don't know of any alternatives. [more inside]
Our old farmhouse was remodeled in the 50s and as a result, the living room is seriously something like 35 x 20 in some spots, while others are 'only' 15 feet wide. We moved here from a house that could fit IN our current living room. It's freaking me out. I'd really like to make the house, our living room especially, seem more cozy. What are some ideas or hacks to make this happen? I see lots of tips on how to make rooms seem bigger, but not so many to make the walls feel like they're closing in on you.
After a great deal of deliberation, a thorough reading of Fosterhood, and an inconceivable amount of bureaucratic obstacle weaving, we are currently parenting two foster children. They're Chinese. We aren't. They need to eat more soups, more vegetables. I need help figuring out how to make things they'll like. [more inside]
I replaced a ceiling light in a 1950's-wired apartment. There are insulated black and neutral wires, but no ground connection (fixture has ground wire but just connected it to mounting bar). If wired backwards, what happens when I flip the switch? When I touch the fixture while power and/or switch are on? [more inside]
If I wanted to buy a house or condo in a distant state as an investment, and I had an opportunity to buy a place outright, with tenants and leases already in place, should I? How about outright but sans tenants? More info within. [more inside]
Landlord installed a new shower in my rented home. Did all plumbing himself, used second-hand (salvaged?) copper pipes and metal fittings. Now the shower water is gritty, burns my eyes, and has clogged 2 shower heads with disgusting debris (photo inside). What is causing this? [more inside]
What software should I use to lay out a floor plan and fixtures for a bathroom renovation? I've tried a couple of online alternatives, but they don't meet my needs. Requirements within. [more inside]
My husband and I are traveling to Sweden soon. We both love Scandinavian design and would like to visit some furniture/home decor shops while in Sweden. What are some good, not too expensive furniture shops to visit in Stockholm and Sundsvall? We're interested in both local chains (Ikea not included) and boutique shops. Is it possible to buy furniture there and have the shop ship them to the US for you? Are the shipping costs generally reasonable? Thanks!
Anyone have recommendations on a house inspector/inspection company in Phoenix? Currently the house we are buying has had a "relocation property inspection" done by a relocation company (seller is moving away and his company is relocating him along with providing this report). I think we probably need to get a full inspection done, but would like some referrals if anyone has any. Or anyone have any opinions on if another inspection should be necessary? My relator says his inspection guy is $375 and said that in this situation, it maybe worth it to just save the $375 but it was up to me. Thanks!
My tiles have fallen off in the bathroom, and it looks like the whole lot will need replacing. Who should pay for this? [more inside]
Mr. TEA and I have just become responsible for furnishing a two-bedroom apartment in the Algarve. The apartment is in good condition but entirely empty. We would be furnishing it for family use and possibly for rental. My go-to furnishings store at home (the US), Ikea, is hours away, although I'm wondering if it would be worth the trip just for dishes, pots, pans, and glasses. I speak very little Portuguese, although Mr. TEA is more fluent.
So, our neighborhood has never been the awesomest in terms of violent crime and drug stuff (in Toronto, btw), and some sudden recent changes are about to make it even less awesome. We have little kids. We bought this house ten years ago as a "starter home we'll sell in two years" and just... never left. Now we'd like to leave. But where do we go? [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 I'm sitting in the room with the breaker box to my house, I hear a series of short buzzes, like "bzzzt." The noise seems to be coming from the breaker box, and I notice that a faceplate to one of the switches is missing (breakers were last switched off a month or two ago, when new heat pump was installed.). Here is (or should be) the image (if not, there's just copper surface where the breaker faceplate should be):
I need to get word out about a neighborhood meeting next week. I know I can (and will) use email to get the word out. However, I don't have everyone's email address. So I am going to use a paper flyer with the info about the meeting. I need to deliver these to about 150 homes. I can walk around and do it myself. But I was wondering if there were any sources out there to crowdsource this kind of job. What would be a reasonable payment? I need the hive mind to help me.
Help me connect a Laptop to TV with an HDMI Cable AND get sound. [more inside]
So how are all the cool people making home movies these days, if they're not recording off their phone? And how are they storing and sharing such movies? [more inside]
My wife and I have been working and saving over the last 4-5 years. We've managed to pay off all of our debts and have gotten ahead. It feels great to be debt free, but we want to buy a house. We found a bank foreclosure that's been sitting vacant for 6 years as it slowly worked through the courts. We have just enough to buy it outright, but that will leave us almost broke. Should we buy it? [more inside]
I have an aging stereo with decent speakers that I'd like to somehow convert so that I can stream music from my phone or computer. Is this possible? Details and pictures inside. [more inside]