Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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April 12

troubleshoot my squeaky windows please!

We are prepping our townhouse to sell and were told to use silicone spray to get rid of the squeaking/screechy noise when we open them. We followed the directions but the sound almost seems to have gotten worse even though they're moving more smoothly. These are vinyl windows, possibly from the original build in 1998. Any suggestions would be wonderful.
posted by brilliantine at 9:40 AM - 3 answers

Soothe my despair with your tales of victory over Lesser Celandine

The Lesser Celandine is attempting a takeover of my yard and the woods behind my house. Please tell me I can tackle this problem. [more inside]
posted by Lawn Beaver at 9:26 AM - 5 answers

Buying a house across the country

I'm planning to move from Michigan to the western US to live closer to my kids. The increases in real estate prices where they live are freaking me out, and I'm wondering whether it would be better to move my plans up and buy something there right away rather than renting for a while. Would love to hear from people who have done that. [more inside]
posted by FencingGal at 7:49 AM - 8 answers

April 11

We have a mole. Do we have to care?

We were tilling our garden and a mole crawled out of the dirt. It was definitely a mole because it ran into the grass and then froze there for several minutes so we got a very good look at it. I carefully lifted it with a shovel and laid it back in the dirt, and as it burrowed back in I saw other dirt nearby moving so I think there's more than one. If we don't notice any impact on our garden or lawn can we just ignore them? Does it matter that they seem to be close to our kids' playset? Or are they pests that really need to be addressed? We don't have any pets that will bother them.
posted by Tehhund at 1:11 PM - 14 answers

April 10

Sharing a Heat Pump for Multiple Uses

We are thinking about adding a chest freezer in the garage. We have also considered adding ductless minisplit AC to a room or three in the house. The thing that turned me off the AC previously was not having a great place for the compressor, but if we're going to get a freezer anyway, I'm wondering if there are any space/energy efficient combo options that could use the same heat pump for multiple applications.
posted by willnot at 3:22 PM - 3 answers

Cover our Couches

I'm looking for information about buying covers for our Ikea sofas from third party sites. Do you have a set of covers from Bemz or Comfort Works or Soferia or Etsy or any of the other sites that create custom covers? Do you love it? Do you hate it? Was it worth the price? What was the process like? Bonus: Any Canadian companies doing this? [more inside]
posted by Valancy Rachel at 11:41 AM - 7 answers

April 9

Getting the most out of a house showing (as a buyer)

I will be looking at a house tomorrow that I am very interested in. How can I make the most out of the showing, in order to make the most informed decision possible on whether to make an offer? [more inside]
posted by nowadays at 12:10 PM - 29 answers

Help me enjoy my outdoor space please. I hate bugs.

I finally moved and now have a beautiful outdoor space in Essex County, NJ. Please help me enjoy it. The scary thing is it is a lot of space. A front porch and yard area. An upper and lower deck, and a wooded area in the back. I've seen deer, turkey, cats, a gopher... I also want to beautify it and have a garden. But I am also scared of bugs. [more inside]
posted by mokeydraws at 9:57 AM - 13 answers

April 8

How should I store Tupperware?

My household has battled our Tupperware storage solution for years. We're not sure why it's so hard to find a product that works. is. Help me find something that won't drive us bananas, with lids flying everywhere. [more inside]
posted by knile at 6:34 PM - 18 answers

Whole house electrical rewiring - what to do at same time?

We will need to rewire our whole house in the near future. Are there other smart projects we should consider doing at the same time? [more inside]
posted by Xalf at 1:07 PM - 35 answers

How should I deal with shady/stupid house sellers?

I am moving to Texas and the housing market is insane. It’s a complete seller’s market with about 24 hours from listing to bids due. But after finding the “perfect” house the buying process isn’t going so perfectly. How should I proceed? [more inside]
posted by arniec at 5:45 AM - 27 answers

April 6

Ideas for a bath footrest

When I'm in the bath, I like to sometimes keep my feet out of the tub for a few reasons, but mainly so they dont get too wrinkly. I'd like a footrest that goes across my tub (similar to the caddy I already have) but I haven't been able to find anything on the internet to fit my needs. So it looks like I need to get creative! Help! [more inside]
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:53 AM - 10 answers

April 5

Sanding outer (non-lead) paint, but inner layers might contain lead?

I live in an old house, and I have some spots on my window trim where I've used wood filler to fill in small holes. I need to lightly sand down the wood filler so that I can touch up these small spots. I've confirmed that the outer layer of paint is not lead-based. However, I strongly suspect the layers underneath are lead based. My question is would I potentially be releasing lead dust by lightly sanding the small areas where the wood filler is located?
posted by boygeorge at 2:07 PM - 6 answers

What can I graft onto my out-of-control cherry tree rootstock?

I have a cherry tree . The scion died awhile back, but the rootstock has gone completely bananas. I hate to get rid of it completely... [more inside]
posted by jquinby at 10:36 AM - 3 answers

Is it strange if most of the windows in a house don't open?

We're going to be replacing all of the 30-ish windows in our house. I'd like to make most of them fixed/inoperable. Is this a bad idea, especially in terms of resale? [more inside]
posted by ClaireBear at 8:49 AM - 72 answers

Self-contained shower cabin/pod - pros & cons

Hello, We are UK-based and considering changing our shower and have seen the self-contained shower cabins but a salesperson put us off the idea because he said they were unhygienic. We only want something basic but most importantly easy to clean as that is the main attraction for us for the self-contained units. So are these unhygienic or are there other disadvantages we should be aware of? Secondary question - are frameless showers easier to clean than normal quadrant ones for example? Many thanks
posted by empedia at 8:27 AM - 1 answers

How does one go about hiring someone to build a new deck?

We just moved into a new home (Half Moon Bay, CA) and it has an enormous deck which is affected by dry rot and is definitely coming to the end of its life. We would like to replace it with a new one that will look great and last a very long time. What does this process look like? What kind of companies and professionals should we be looking to engage with? Searching Yelp etc has made me feel like I need a bit more guidance as to the fundamentals of what is involved here. How do we find someone really good for this?
posted by simonw at 7:11 AM - 10 answers

April 3

Is anyone satisfied with the “clean one room a day” method?

Mr, Terrier and I are deep-cleaning our house for Easter, and I’m finding it daunting. Does the one-a-day method work for you? [more inside]
posted by BostonTerrier at 2:36 PM - 14 answers

Roof leaks, insurance, and chimneys

The flashing around the chimney on my 100-year-old three-story house has apparently been leaking for some time, resulting in a bunch of interior damage. Two questions below the fold: (1) what should I know about working with USAA home insurance, as far as what work gets done and who pays for it? (2) Should I remove or repair the chimney? [more inside]
posted by john hadron collider at 1:45 PM - 5 answers

Gardening question: bougainvillea removal

Swapping out a bougainvillea vine trained into a tree for an actual tree (a 3'-4' pink dogwood, due to arrive this weekend), and extracting the vine's root system is a lot more complicated than I'd expected. This debacle is unfolding in a roughly 12' x 17' zone-10 garden, in a yard with pitiless western exposure. The bedding section is about 3' x 4'. And there's a sprinkler system. [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:27 PM - 3 answers

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