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]
I rent, and tonight I heard the sound of running water in my yard. I went outside to investigate and saw that water was spurting upwards out of this black pipe in the yard that is about 8" in diameter and sticks out of the ground about a foot (link to picture inside). The pipe has a cap on it that has a hole in it - it looks like an intentional hole that water is supposed to come out of. However, I've lived here for years and I've never seen or heard this happening. It rained today, and I live in SoCal where it hardly rains, but again, this seemed new. The water coming out was substantial and flooded a bit of my (very small) yard. After a while the water flow petered out. Since then, it's been going on and off at random intervals. I've tried to see if me running the water or flushing the toilet is connected to this, but I'm not sure that there is a correlation. The water coming out looked clear, but smelled a little funky and may have emitted a little steam (I didn't want to touch it to check the temp). The pipe is located less than a foot away from the side of the house and is next to my water heater that is located outdoors in some sort of locker thing. I've left a message for the landlord but wanted to see if anyone has any insight as to what this thing may be, and if this is unusual. Thanks! [more inside]
Started a mosiac project and now I need the grout to stop setting. [more inside]
We bought a house, yay. It’s a small 1910’s bungalow with gas appliances and everything basically works. The foundation’s been replaced in the not-too-distant past and it’s ready for an earthquake. I've never been anything but a renter, so what kinds of regular maintenance should I be thinking about to minimize the risk of catastrophic emergency repairs? Plumbing, gas, heating, electrical, sewers: what’s a good schedule, and what kinds of things do I ask for to make clear that there’s nothing particularly wrong but I’d like to keep it that way? I looked at this old question, but most of the interesting-sounding links are dead.
What is it like owning a home near a *loud* highway or other noisy high-traffic roadway? How do you cope? Will I regret buying this house? [more inside]
What do I do with years-old equipment that belongs to my old cable service provider? Equipment dates from 2009. Furnished by Verizon FIOS, which then switched to Frontier FIOS. A cable modem, DVR, and set-top box. We moved house in 2010, and cancelled Frontier service. Attempted to return the equipment. This involved them shipping empty boxes to us. We never got the boxes. Attempts failed. I have no documentation of those attempts. Equipment is sitting in our garage, and I need to get rid of it. Which option is best? The easy way: Donate the equipment to a recycler. The hard way: Contact Frontier and try to return their equipment. This is likely to be time-consuming, and annoying. I recall their CS was incredibly awful. I couldn't find any helpful info on their web site. And what if they want to charge me a "late return fee"??? Do big cable providers care about their old equipment?
Our 2.5 year old Onkyo receiver has died. Again. At this point, I'm looking for a replacement, with some requirements, some wishes, and some thoughts, and an awful lot of confusion. I'm hoping some of you might have thoughts. [more inside]
I have an ATV2. It asks me to turn on home sharing. I do. ATV insists that i turn on home sharing. It worked in my previous location excepting a few times, where I just unplugged the router and ATV and replugged back in. It worked here on initial setup the first try but a few days later this whole stuff happens. It worked again only after I did a complete factory reset. I have read many of the threads online and perhaps it is a bit of daftness on my part. This previous thread on mefi helped the gentleman with his question. I didn't actually understand it very well. I have an iMac running Snow Leopard. The ATV does connect to Netflix and all other things. Just not my computer. [more inside]
I'm having a weird problem with Dropbox, and googling is failing me because lots of people can't find their Dropbox files. But I can't find them in a very special and exciting way, involving differences between Finder and the command line. What am I dealing with here? [more inside]
Seeking advice on how to prepare for making an offer on a house that's not on the market. That our friends rent. [more inside]
A year ago, I bought a new TV with HDMI capability and hooked it up to my PC to work as a monitor (with a straight HDMI cable connection). IT. IS. AWESOME. I just moved into a new place with more room and now want to connect my surround sound system (5 speakers) to this setup as well. This is the receiver I'm considering purchasing and from what I can tell, will do what I need. Extra potentially pertinent info:
- PC has two HDMI ports (one on the video card)
- Nintendo Wii connected directly to TV via RCA cables
- BluRay player connected to TV via HDMI cable
I'm looking to develop a good maintenance schedule for my new old home. It was built in 1930, radiator heat, newish boiler and water heater. Beyond the standard cleaning, what kinds of monthly, yearly, semi-yearly things should I be doing to make sure it doesn't fall apart?
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.
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]
I stopped weeding the yard a few years ago because my grass allergies are pretty bad. Even when I've covered my skin with gloves, jeans, and covered shoes I've gotten so itchy that I couldn't sleep at night. Bt the weeds come fast and furious in our yard and my husband has a hard time pulling them all, even though he uses Roundup to help keep them at bay. So I'd like to help if I can, and am wondering if there are effective ways to protect my skin to minimize allergic reactions. OTC itch medicines haven't made much of a difference for me.
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.
My mom and I want to transfer her house to me, her son as cheaply and quickly as possible. We live in Columbus Ohio Franklin county if that helps. I'd prefer not to have to pay a lawyer or whatever but I will if it's necessary to get it done quickly. Having it completed within 10 days would be great, is this possible? and how do we do it? websites, phone numbers, etc. would be helpful!
Can you help me create a natural looking barrier from my neighbors? [more inside]
So. I live on the ground floor. My apartment complex hires leafblowers to come and blow leaves and dirt out of the parking lot twice a week. Every time they come to do this, I come home to dirt, in the entryway of my apartment, that has blown in under my front door. It's a new door, with a new rubber guard at the bottom. How can I prevent this from happening?
I'm inthe process of designing a comprehensive refit of a 21 Metre Dutch Barge and thought it's about time I made at least a small amount of use of my Robotics background. I'm thinking about including a vast array of sensors throughout the inside and outside and feeding it all into a central computer, then probably using these sensor feeds to do various automation actions. So this question has a few parts, some technical and some not. [more inside]
I am trying to purchase a foreclosed house with a homepath loan, but I do not qualify for a homepath loan despite excellent credit. Apparently a conventional loan will not work for the current condition of the home. Can you help me sort out my options in Virginia? [more inside]
My baby brother moved to London yesterday and I'm sadder than sad. We're really close and he lived a couple of minutes from me so we hung out a lot. I'm going to miss him so much and it'll take me a while to accept that he's a flight away, and I can't just randomly drop in on him, hear his little hello, and settle down for a few hours of putting the world to rights. My usual way of dealing with sadness is not very productive - namely substances of varying degrees of legality, and chocolate. Help me make a list of positive things I can do to lift me out of the little pool of tears I'm in. He's left me one of his guitars - which was mine about 20 years ago - and I'm determined to learn it this time. Any other suggestions? Thanks.
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]
I am planning to convert my basement into a bedroom for one of my brothers to use. I was thinking all that was needed was carpeting and paint, but one of my friends recently told me that I may need to have some kind of modification to the basement windows or walls so that there's a fire escape route apart from the stairs. Is this the case? I've had a hard time finding a definitive legal reference as to what I need to do to have someone legally sleep in my basement. [more inside]
I can Home Share via iTunes (from PC to laptop), but can't get the connection to stay. [more inside]
My husband is considering doing online test-scoring as a side job. What do we need to know? [more inside]
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]
Help me bleach my black, coarse, glossy facial (and head) hair! [more inside]
My partner and I are about to buy a house together, and we're trying to decide how to do this. We're gay, and hence technically unmarried, and we're trying to figure out the tax implications of the different options. [more inside]
Is it possible to roast an already roasted coffee a little bit darker in the oven on a baking sheet? [more inside]
Home electrical wiring with voltage between neutral wires - is this normal? [more inside]
I'm moving into a new place! Hooray! But it harbors the scent of the last tenant. Boo. How do I fix this? [more inside]
Renter's Insurance in California? [more inside]
Help me time-warp my home office into something amazing. [more inside]