Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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May 26

Will our willow-pattern dinner-plates be ranged above the chimneypieces?

In the 1889 novel "Three Men in a Boat", Jerome K. Jerome speculates on whether their everyday Victorian goods will be valued antiques in the future. Were they? [more inside]
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:15 AM - 15 answers

May 25

Give me hot water, boiler!

We have what should be a pretty fearsome combi boiler, that puts out a pitiful amount of hot water. I'm fairly confident I'll need to phone a plumber in the end, but is there anything I can check myself first before doing so? [more inside]
posted by dudekiller at 4:35 AM - 8 answers

May 24

What to do about excessive upstairs noise in NYC apartment

Asking for a friend who lives in an apartment in New York City. She has an upstairs neighbor who "has for some months been placing her bass subwoofer loudspeaker against her bedroom floor (my bedroom ceiling) and playing random jolts of low bass sound at irregular intervals through almost every night." [more inside]
posted by beagle at 3:15 PM - 14 answers

Downstairs neighbors hear loud banging when we're running hot water

As the title says! We are in an upstairs condo and our downstairs neighbor has very sweetly and kindly explained that they've been hearing loud noise at all hours of the day. Through some investigation we found out it happens whenever we run hot water - from any sink, shower, washing machine, etc. We're going to make an appointment with a plumber, but any thoughts on what may be happening in the meantime? [more inside]
posted by It Was Capitalism All Along at 11:05 AM - 12 answers

Cheapest way to level a section of floor for a washing machine

Our front-loading washing machine lives in our kitchen, which has an old, uneven tiled floor. We don't want to retile the whole floor-- but the unevenness of the floor makes it hard to keep the washer level. What's the cheapest, simplest way to level the area under the washing machine? [more inside]
posted by yankeefog at 6:47 AM - 13 answers

Tool-using hominid seeks crossbreeze

I would like to open the windows in my basement, but can't reach the handles. Does a tool exist to help with this? [more inside]
posted by Sublimity at 3:11 AM - 3 answers

May 23

Diagnosing strange water use pattern

I've noticed for the past couple of years a pattern in our utility bills. Our water usage goes way, way up (double or more) in the cold weather months (December through March). Our daily habits don't change much as far as I can tell. Certainly not enough to explain such a drastic increase in use. My initial thought is it must be linked to our (gas) furnace, but I am not sure why it would be using water like this. There is a humidifier attached to the furnace, but I had turned the line to it off this year and our usage still went up. Watching the meter, I don't see any evidence of a leak. If there's not running water in the house, I don't see the meter move. This is in southwestern Ontario, Canada.
posted by synecdoche at 8:00 AM - 22 answers

May 22

Ventless dryer quality?

I have a whirlpool ventless dryer. When the water tank fills up with water, what is the water quality? Could I drink it? Water my plants with it? Fill the dog water dish with it? I don’t use any fabric softener except for the occasional glug or two of white vinegar. Is it pure evaporated water? It feels silly to pour the whole tank of water down the drain.
posted by Grandysaur at 7:29 PM - 8 answers

Port (?) on back of Vitamix

What is this port on the back of my Vitamix blender? [more inside]
posted by Joleta at 2:00 PM - 4 answers

What color should we paint our house?

After years of planning and saving up and fun zoning battles, we finally are finishing up the construction of a vacation home in Central Oregon. Can you help us figure out the color scheme or painting suggestions? Here's two pictures of the house as is - that's just the siding color. Roof is an off-black. [more inside]
posted by Happydaz at 1:00 PM - 17 answers

A really really, really rediculously good looking faux plant thing

One of my hanging plant spots is too far out of reach for watering, what's a really good looking faux plant or something plant-ish that can go there? [more inside]
posted by Crystalinne at 11:48 AM - 8 answers

What can I plant next to my house? Minnesota lazy person edition

I would like to plant some plants next to my house. They should be perennial, drought-resistant and hard to kill. There are two beds involved. [more inside]
posted by Frowner at 11:34 AM - 15 answers

Time to move?

I have live in an inner-city neighborhood in a coastal state. There are many things I like about living here, but it's also subject to many of the issues that plague inner-city neighborhoods. I've never considered moving, but some things have changed and now I'm wondering if it's time. [more inside]
posted by anonymous at 3:12 AM - 28 answers

May 21

Are there self-adhesive motion sensor hallway lights that actually work?

Family is now on a third brand of motion detecting hallway lights similar to these for an elderly relative’s hallway and stairway. All of them are crap - either eating through batteries or the switch suddenly doesn’t work leaving us with a dead light. Has anyone had a consistent positive experience with any brand or model? Requirements are motion detecting, pointing down only so said relative doesn’t get blinded while walking, bright enough to light 2-3 steps each, and no wires or cords, which would add to the tripping hazards. At this point, I’m ok with something we have to mount with screws, tho self sticking is preferred.
posted by Silvery Fish at 3:47 PM - 7 answers

May 20

Do you have a Quaking Aspen in a suburban yard?

There's a beautiful Quaking Aspen at my local nursery but apparently they like to (aggressively?) spread via suckers. Does anyone have experience with this tree in a normal suburban backyard? Is it doable?
posted by luge at 4:01 PM - 5 answers

May 19

Who will grow my pits and propagations in NYC?

I need to find and hire someone who will grow some plant cuttings and avocado pits in water for me, for a trade show in August. Who should i look for, where should i post the ad/listing. Difficulty level: I'm in Europe and I won't be able to check the results until it's too late for a plan B. [more inside]
posted by PardonMyFrench at 9:21 AM - 5 answers

Furnace air filters - bad idea?

My spouse and I are having a discussion about my putting a filter on the air intake floor vent for our furnace/AC. It looks a bit like this. [more inside]
posted by Lescha at 8:48 AM - 6 answers

May 18

How to prevent dumpster damage to new driveway?

We messed up. This week we had our crumbling driveway replaced by a nice, new, larger driveway. Unfortunately, we didn’t know that it could take up to a year to fully cure. In about a month and a half we’re having a renovation done on our home which will require a dumpster to be parked out front. How do we avoid it sinking and wrecking our new driveway? [more inside]
posted by summerteeth at 5:05 PM - 10 answers

Forced shower updating ideas

Our shower is leaking and as far as we can tell, the only way to fix it is to rip out the shower tile (at the min) and replace the waterproofing and tile . Some folks have said we basically have to redo the whole shower as ripping out partial tiles is more work. In any case, if you were going to make upgrades to your (fine) shower, what would you do? Where would you get inspiration?
posted by sandmanwv at 7:24 AM - 17 answers

May 15

Property Manager for an owned home?

My aging aunt needs someone to coordinate general upkeep, repairs, and remodels. What do you call this person and what, roughly, do they change? [more inside]
posted by Narrow Harbor at 5:00 PM - 11 answers

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