Tags: home improvement


smoke filters in windows

Spring will eventually be upon us, and that means opening windows to let in the fresh air! Except my next-door neighbors smoke on their porch quite often. This results in cigarette or cigar smoke wafting into the closest windows, which happen to be in my living room. The duplexes in this neighborhood are a driveway apart from each other, so we're talking less than 15 feet away. Heck, sometimes the wind will be just right so that the smoke flies down the driveway and into my bedroom window.

My first course of action is to buy furnace air filters and put them in the windows, but I'm not sure there would be adequate air flow through to the living room -- which can become incredibly hot in the summer -- since furnaces force air through those filters. I don't know if that would work.

My second idea is to buy two or three two-directional little window fans to fill each window, put them on the same power strip, and run them whenever the smokers are on their porch, or whenever the room gets too hot.

My third option is to measure the openings of my strangely-sized living room windows and hope I can find a box fan that isn't a half-inch too tall to fit under the moving part of the window, as are the two box fans I already own. If I find such fans, I can put those in the windows facing out and have a fan blowing in at the other end of the house and hope for the best.

Over all, I'd really like to keep costs down for this, both in materials and in electric bills. Has anyone here used furnace filters for this purpose, or found a similar yet better solution to keep cigarette smoke from coming into his or her house through the windows?

Thanks for your help!

tips on de-cluttering a home?

Hello everyone!

Can anyone give recommendations on how to declutter or or organize a home? Basically any tips or favorite websites that can help would be greatly appreciated. I'm asking for a friend who has terrible anxiety that stems from messes. She does have small children which of course makes this much more difficult.

We live in Stockholm, Sweden in the off chance anyone has any local company recommendations that can help with this.

Thanks a bunch!

Painting Wood Baseboards & Trim

Hear me out! I am usually against painting wood, especially since our house is almost 100 years old and beautiful. BUT 80% of the trim was painted by previous owners. Only the two front rooms are unpainted. For resale's sake (and my everything has to match sanity) should I paint the trim in the two front rooms? I would also have to paint a built-in buffet and bookshelf. In a perfect world, we would strip the paint off the back of the house but we're selling in a year or so and it's just not worth it. There are many old craftsman homes like ours in the neighborhood and every one I've seen has white trim with contrasting wall colors. I'm torn! Help!!


I've already decided against painting the trim. That leads to another question. When they painted the rooms (an off white color) they also painted the small section of trim along the doors and windows that's adjacent to the wall. We would need to strip that, wouldn't we? We can't have wood trim, an inch of off white paint, then grey/green/whatever walls. There are so many products out there, can someone recommend something fairly low toxic that works well? THANK YOU!

i typed for /miles/.

refinishing a countertop?

in my apartment, we only have one kitchen counter, under our cabinets. the only problem is that it is basically unusable since it has been covered with several layers of contact paper, some of which are peeling up.

what's going to be the best way to deal with this? should i use wallpaper stripper on it? put more contact paper down? if there's wood underneath, what's going to be the best way to finish that for kitchen use? sanding it, staining it, and then sealing it with something?

sorry for the fact that i probably sound totally useless, i just want to make sure that it's durable/cleanable enough for kitchen use. i'm not going to be, say, cutting raw meat right on it or anything, but i want to make sure it's something i can wipe down with soapy water on occasion without worrying about water getting into tiny crevices or something.

thanks, domestic gods and goddesses!

wood stain on concrete :(

Hi Hipsters. Help.

I stained a pine trunk recently and was careless and got wood stain all over our concrete patio.

I know :(

It's probably been about a month now, and I've tried to get the stain out a few times. I've tried odor powder/gravel and mineral spirits + scrubbing, I've tried soap and water, I've tried cat litter.

It's gotten some of the stain up, but not all. It's still noticeable, which is more frustrating now with the weather getting nicer and the desire to be on the patio greater.

Any suggestions for what else to try?

How do I save an outdoor marbel slate from stains?

I have recently moved an old marble table outside to our terrace and it will be sitting in sun, wind, rain, and snow all year long. Also, falling leaves and petals.

I know from indoor experience that it stains when stuff is allowed to sink in for a while. It's polished marble but Id like to make sure it's sealed.

There are several marble sealing polishes around here but I was wondering if anyone had any experiences with something natural and non-poisonous, like oil or even some kind of glue or something. Any ideas? Any recommendations?

The Boys
  • eicnan

Painting Advice Needed

I painted a door with a can of paint I used for my ceiling and ran in to some issues. The first issue is being ceiling paint it has no sheen to it and I'm finding it too dull. I'm assuming that's an easy fix, I can get some sort of clear gloss paint over it. The other issue is I just now knicked the door with my nail and chipped some paint off. I painted the second coat a few hours ago so it should be dry but not fully cured. I'm hoping this miracle coat of gloss will prevent this from happening again but right now this paint seems like it wants to peel right off.

The paint itself is good, it's Sherwin Williams and only a month old. It seems just fine on my ceiling and all the other cans I bought at the same time on my walls are doing just fine. I washed the door with TSP 24 hours before painting and waited about 24 hours before the second coat. But I did skip on primer since the door was already previously painted white and I figured I have more paint than I need so not exactly a waste if a third coat is needed. Any frequent painters have any suggestions? Should I have primed? Was using a flat paint a bad idea? Or just fix the peeled paint and go for a high gloss top coat to seal? If it helps it's an acrylic latex for interior use, HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams. I've never seen paint chip this easily before so I'm a bit concerned. I've got 3 more doors to go and would rather get the one door right before moving on.

ETA: Thanks all! I've never run in to oil based paint before so never even gave it a second thought. Sanding, priming, cursing and painting to commence.
  • jeski

Cheap fencing ideas across concrete?

Hi all, this is my first post here - I hope you guys can help me out with some ideas!
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edit: Thanks for your suggestions! I think the planter idea is great, and will definitely be my back up plan, but a friend suggested I could make a pallet divider like this: http://101pallets.com/pallet-furniture/patetioning-made-so-easy-of-pallet-room-divider/
...and since I already have some pallets I think this will be the cheapest option. :) I might get some heavy planters to put either side of it for a bit more stability. Thanks again for your help! :)

Mysterious beeping noise from ceiling

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The metal plate is about 4" in diameter, and has been beeping every twenty seconds ever since the power came back after the ice storm. If I remove the cover there is a hole into the ceiling and some dirty, important-looking wiring.

What should I do? I don't really want to meddle too much with my landlord's wiring, but the beeping is high pitched and annoying.