Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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I want to strip the old paint off my wooden porch steps and railings and instead treat them with a tinted stain. I've spent four hours scraping paint off the steps so far and would prefer not to put in hours and hours more. What are your best techniques/products/tips for stripping paint?
The fiancé and I are looking to buy a place, and this house seems promising. There is a pretty sizeable pond on the property. What kind of upkeep is needed, and about how much does it cost? Googling is getting me answers for small landscape ponds, this is substantially bigger. [more inside]
We want to get a hammock on a stand for the backyard. We are open to buying the stand the hammock separately, but, unless it limits us to terrible choices, we'd like to budget $300 or less, total. We'd like it to be a double hammock, preferably with a quilted/padded top. What's good?
I see window A/C units that have a distinct "dehumidify"/"dry" setting, and those might be a good fit for my (often humid but not very hot) bedroom. But...on the dehumidify setting, what happens? Do they vent hot air outside instead of returning it to the room? Or do they release hot air back into the room like my freestanding dehumidifier does? Are they robust enough to handle 70% or more humidity at 70 degrees (which my window A/C does not handle well?)
What is the best cleaning product to sanitize wood floors after a mouse infestation? [more inside]
I have an LG ventless drier. It has a removable water tank that normally collects the moisture from the clothes, that we pull out and dump into the sink. In the past few days, every time I dry a load of clothes, the tank is completely empty. The clothes come out dry. There is no evidence of any water collecting on the floor. The drier doesn't alert us to any errors/problems. What is up? What should I do? [more inside]
Where can I donate magazines in NYC? [more inside]
We're replacing some lawn with native plantings, and we'd like redbud and shadblow trees that are smaller than the straight species, yet still native-friendly. Can you recommend cultivars or where to buy them? [more inside]
There's not much to go on, but I'm curious about this oriental rug (photo 1, photo 2). Kind of rug, age, quality, value when new? [more inside]
I'm considering a total renovation of a tiny galley kitchen (5.5' or 6' wide, on part of one wall of the living room). I'm trying to prioritize things that renters of a little urban apartment would prefer. I'm trying to decide between a wall oven, or a dishwasher plus some kind of over-the-cooktop microwave/convection oven combo. Also: minimum sink width? Help?! [more inside]
I purchased this worktable for the Weber Q grill on my outdoor patio. One of the reviewers on Amazon posted a photo of theirs modified to add a second metal shelf. It seems straightforward and I'd like to do the same. I've seen a few 'online sheet metal fabricators' (e.g. here), but wondering if anyone has any other ideas on how to easily do this?
We are a few pans and many $$$ in and haven't found something that works to fry eggs without the egg getting stuck to the pan. We've tried Calphalon and All Clad. [more inside]
Do you have a joint planning whiteboard (or other kind of planning board) for you and your spouse? What do you put on it, and how do you organize it? [more inside]
About a year ago I moved from the US to Ireland. Given the COVID-19 situation (Ireland was only just coming out of lockdown when I moved over) my employer gave me lump sum of cash to help with relocation costs but did not provide any logistical assistance with the move. As such I only brought a few suitcases over and put the rest of my belongings into storage. I am now able to retrieve my stuff from the US and move it over here, how do I go about that as a DIY project? [more inside]
I have 4 remote controlled powered window shades that are 12 feet off the ground. They need to be put on a charger every 6 months. Help me eliminate the annoying parts of this process! [more inside]
I have installed external shutters on most of the windows on the southeast side of my house, with the goal of blocking out as much sun as possie during summer heatwaves. There is one window (about 65 x 140cm) that still lacks sun protection, so the sun & heat still get in through there. What easy, cheap, and above all effective solutions will keep out most of this sunlight? (Definitions for all three adjectives below the fold.) [more inside]
I have an Ikea POÄNG chair that has a rip in the square piece of polypropylene fabric that supports the bottom cushion. I would like to fix it both cheaply and securely. [more inside]
I recently bought a small bottle of Woolite Extra Delicates. I am obsessed with the scent. Can someone help me identify what it is so I can try to find similar-smelling products? [more inside]
We’re moving into a new house and we must be shorter than the previous owners. Also, I think, we’re dealing with 10- or 12-foot ceilings. The Showerhead is installed too high for us. I’m not a plumber or even much of a handyman. Is there a workaround? It’s one of those (to me) new 12-inch wide heads. [more inside]
My father has a fiberglass extension ladder, with aluminum rungs. (It's the red ladder in the pic.) He estimates it's about 25 years old. He's been using it multiple times per year to get up on his roof, and he'd like to know whether he should be worried about some hidden structural decay that might cause it to suddenly fail. Do these ladders have specific lifespans? Is there some way to test their soundness? [more inside]