Questions in the Home & Garden category.
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June 25

I need a cover for this bare light bulb

I'm looking for a wall sconce shade for this lightbulb that's in my enclosed porch. Picture here. I feel like something has to exist to cover this without it looking silly, but I cannot find it and feel like I'm missing a Google search term or something. [more inside]
posted by Sparky Buttons at 3:20 PM - 19 answers

Chucking stuff in the garden

I throw our coffee grounds in the vegetable garden as a cheap fertilizer/pest repellent. Can I do the same thing with tea leaves? [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 1:11 PM - 11 answers

Moving further west of Boston

We live in Wellesley, but would love a larger house, more land, and a pool--none of which are really an option at our price point in our town. I'm looking for suggestions of towns further out that might be viable relocation options. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:31 AM - 14 answers

New Mattress Longevity?

We are shopping for a new mattress. We're not yet sold on any particular brand or material yet. However, we find that most reviews online are done in the 'honeymoon' period, when the mattress is new. The few that are longer-term reviews often say things like, "this mattress was awesome for the first two years and then it started sagging and causing backaches". So, good people, can those of you that have had a mattress that retained its form and comfort for many years please tell us what brand and model you have? Our back, hips, knees, and brains thank you!
posted by Don_K at 9:01 AM - 30 answers

June 24

Tiny bedroom closet solves all her problems

My hundred year old bedroom closet is neglected and haunted by terrible craftsmanship and I want to transform it into a smart storage space. It is currently inefficient and depressing to open in the morning. Here is a photo of the closet. The bedroom is miniscule too, and I want to make this closet the only place where this season's clothes are kept. Can you tell me what you, or Bobby Berk and Tan France would do? [more inside]
posted by oxisos at 6:58 PM - 8 answers

How can I tell what flapper to use for my Toto toilet?

I need to replace the flapper in the tank of my Toto toilet. I bought a random "Toto compatible" flapper on Amazon and it doesn't work reliably. It runs a lot and has to be fiddled with to sit properly and cut off the flow of water. [more inside]
posted by Winnie the Proust at 12:35 PM - 10 answers

How can I find a reliable roofer for a small job in Minneapolis?

I need a roofer who can do a small (I hope!) repair job where some shingles have fallen off my roof. Previous roofer-finding methods seem not to work anymore. How can I find one? [more inside]
posted by Frowner at 6:43 AM - 8 answers

June 23

How do I need to maintain this concrete countertop?

Over a year ago, we moved into a house with a mottled, matte concrete countertop, probably sealed with penetrating sealer. We've just been cleaning it with vinegar/water or with general purpose cleaning sprays. It's developing wear but so far seems okay. But I see recommendations online to periodically wax and seal concrete countertops. What's really necessary and why? [more inside]
posted by daisyace at 4:48 AM - 6 answers

June 22

Help me find metal materials for a DIY rain chain

I'd like to install one or two rain chains at my house. There are lots of options online, but I am thinking about making them instead. I can get the chains easily, but where would I find metal cups or buckets? Or is there another interesting item to use? [more inside]
posted by bluedaisy at 4:32 PM - 2 answers

What is this mysterious plant?

Here Is a plant that is in my garden. When I moved here ten years ago it was on the deck in a pot. Do you know what it is? [more inside]
posted by shibori at 11:54 AM - 6 answers

June 21

Old basement, Stinky HVAC Air: What Can We Do?

We have an old home from 1929. The basement does not smell like fresh spring air, for sure! As a result, when our HVAC runs the AC the air that comes through does not smell awesome. Can we do anything? [more inside]
posted by anya32 at 6:49 PM - 12 answers

What can cordless "grass" shears cut?

You know those cordless grass shears? Example. I am reading a lot of conflicting information about what they can cut. Some people say small branches, other people say nothing but grass and even then it gets bogged down if the grass is too thick or dry. I would consider springing for these if they would help me trim back English ivy, lemon balm, dead Siberian iris foliage, etc. Or is there some other tool that would help me do this? Traditional hand tools are getting to be too hard for me to use.
posted by HotToddy at 5:07 PM - 4 answers

Recommendations for family move to Twin Cities area

I’m a midwestern transplant to the Philly area where I’ve lived for 13 years but now need recommendations for where to move in the twin cities area with a family. Looking for personal experience with different neighborhoods/suburbs and commentary on raising a family there. Also asking here because we’re not ready to share with most of my family/friends quite yet! [more inside]
posted by moshimosh at 1:56 PM - 25 answers

Please recommend a durable and robust immersion blender.

I'm in the market for an immersion blender. Many appear to have reviews criticizing their flimsiness and poor durability. Please recommend an immersion blender that is durable and robust - and ideally not nightmarish to clean. Thanks!
posted by ClaireBear at 11:30 AM - 27 answers

How do I paint a room?

I haven't painted a room in decades. Please walk me through it from start to finish. It's a bedroom, currently a bright color and going to a muted, lighter color. The walls are all in good shape (no repairs needed) and the ceiling doesn't need to be repainted. [more inside]
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:54 AM - 21 answers

It sort of looks like a coral reef, but not underwater.

We are growing vegetables in raised boxes, and they happen to have a lot of these mushrooms growing in them. They look kind of cool, but a) what are they and b) should we be concerned about the vegetables (particularly the root ones)? [more inside]
posted by vernondalhart at 10:27 AM - 7 answers

How can one person move a chain-link pen across grass?

I have a 10x10 chain link dog pen like this one (it contains chickens, not dogs) I'd like to move it to a different spot in my slightly rough lawn every month or so without enlisting extra helpers to potentially get covered in chicken manure. I easily moved and assembled the panels myself, but is there a way to slide it in one piece with one person? I was thinking of using PVC pipes to make smooth rails to slide it on but would like advice from anyone who's tried something similar before.
posted by genmonster at 8:56 AM - 10 answers

June 20

What's the deal with this fireplace surround?

We recently bought a house. We are *thinking* of replacing the tile fireplace surround around the gas fireplace, but we're not sure what's going on with the insert. There is tile surrounding the entire fireplace, and underneath. Along the tops and side of the tile (but not along the floor tile), there's a wood border with metal grommets that come out easily. We've never seen anything like this. [more inside]
posted by ancient star at 10:15 PM - 5 answers

How much should I pay for a set of garage gutters?

Hi folks. My garage has a pair of gutters on it, with one downspout per gutter. Each gutter is about 20 feet long. The two gutters are both in pretty rough shape and I should get them replaced. Assuming I just want standard gutters with screens over them and new downspouts, how much should that cost, roughly? I would have them installed professionally—I wouldn’t be doing it. Anything I should know? This is in Wisconsin.
posted by Slinga at 11:17 AM - 6 answers

June 18

Plant invaders!

Does my ficus plant, Ferdinando, have scale? Possibly mealybugs? (Are these different things? I am so confused) Here's some pics of what I found, mostly under the leaves where they join the stem. [more inside]
posted by Eumachia L F at 2:02 PM - 3 answers

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