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Questions35
  • Porch deck cracking and shifting, column is breaking. What do I do?

    Our porch is laid out in an "L" shape. Both long parts of the "L" are fine. The rectangular right angle that appears to have been poured separatelyhas been cracking like crazy lately, shifting up at the back and down in front, forcing the corner column to shift outward. The column is brick and I'm worried that it's going to fall.

    I've been looking for options on how to fix this. There aren't any masonry places within 50 miles of us who do mudjacking and the slab's pretty cracked We've talked about jacking the roof taking out the column,and removing that section of slab since it's only a 6' x 7' piece and pouring a new slab in its place and rebuilding the column. Does that make sense? I know it'll be labor intensive, especially since it's not enough concrete to get delivered and we'll have to mix it ourselves.

    We do know that our neighborhood is built on what used to be old industrial areas that were razed and turned to housing in the late 1800s. The ground in the area is prone to shifting a bit here and there- although there's a layer of brick in our back yard just a few inches under the surface from an old alley. The house was built in 1900 and that corner has been dropping since we bought the place 6 years ago. We're going to remove the brick lattice railing to take some of the weight off and put up wooden railing between the columns. Is there anything else we could do?

    2 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs4 years ago
  • Mentally challenged adult being used as a weapon?

    A cousin of mine recently left her abusive husband. When she left, her mentally challenged son refused to leave with her and stayed with his dad. He's an adult, so she wasn't really able to do much about it. This young man has rage issues already and his father is deliberately feeding this with lies. So far this young man has attacked his mother at least twice, choking her and had to be pulled off her. He's hit his grandmother at least once and punched his aunt in the face because she was between him and his mother. So far the family hasn't done anything more than call a nearby relative strong enough to handle him and take him outside and calm him down and get him to leave, but it's escalating. His dad is putting him up to all of this and then sitting back gloating about how much his kids hate their mom. None of us want the son, who's being manipulated, to be used this way. His family fears that he'll "accidentally" be given access to a gun and he'll come after them again and the one who is behind this all gets to play innocent while his son goes to jail or worse.

    Is there anything that can be done to get him away from his dad and someplace safe? He's a good kid, he's just mixed up in a mess and doesn't understand what's going on.

    1 AnswerMental Health7 years ago
  • Gift ideas for neighbors?

    Our neighbors have been really good to us lately. My husband and I were planning on putting a fence up around our yard and I was talking to the neighbor lady about it. The next thing I know, her husband is at our door asking if it'd be all right when he replaced their fence to just use his old fence to fence our yard. They have a pool and neighborhood kids were coming into our yard and tossing things into his pool over the fence. At least once, they've ruined a liner. He said the fence was as much for his convenience as ours, but we're really grateful.

    He put up the fence while my husband was at work and I didn't even hear him out there.

    We're not financially well-off, which made his offer very welcome, but now we feel like we should do something for him or for his family. I don't have a clue because we really don't know them that well. We barely know their names. Any suggestions?

    4 AnswersEtiquette7 years ago
  • Insulation above drop ceiling: Worth it?

    We live in a 112 year old house. In the 60s or 70s, the previous owners put in a drop ceiling on a wood frame made of 1x2s. It's extremely solidly built and attached so weight shouldn't be an issue. The ceiling is done in the 12" square ceiling tiles and the roof over it is very low pitched and roll roofed. We had an ice dam problem a few weeks ago that turned the kitchen into a shower with multiple leaks all over the place. The roof has been re-sealed for now and will be getting a metal roof put on in a few weeks, so hopefully there won't be any more ice damming.

    Most of the leaks are down the center of the kitchen ceiling and we'd only be removing about 6 more pieces of tile to open the whole length of the ceiling than what we would to just replace the damaged ones. There's about an 18" gap between the old plaster and lath ceiling and the current ceiling. We were wondering if it would be worth it to put batt insulation in there? We live in Indiana with temps usually ranging from 0- 90 and the kitchen area where we'd be putting this seems to be one of the hottest in summer and coldest in winter. We know the ice dam probably was caused by heat escaping into the roof from the lack of any insulation up there and the metal roof should stop the ice damming, but would the insulation be worth it to save on heating and AC?

    4 AnswersDo It Yourself (DIY)8 years ago
  • Stock or savings bonds?

    A friend inherited a large portion of Altria stocks and isn't sure what to do with them. She's had advice to keep them and enjoy the dividend payouts, sell them and just bank the money, and to sell them and buy savings bonds. Everyone advising her is either inexperienced, greedy, or biased (bank). Where can she go for actual unbiased and educated advice to help her decide?

    2 AnswersPersonal Finance8 years ago
  • Installing an electronic ignition water heater?

    Our current gas water heater is on its last legs and we're preparing to buy a new one. Our water heater now has a pilot light. Our basement is pretty primitive and only has one outlet, all the way across the basement (about 20 feet away) on the side of the furnace. I haven't been able to find out if electronic water heaters need an outlet or if they're "hard wired" in. I realize it might seem like a stupid question, but I'm trying to find out if it would be safe to run a heavy duty extension cord to the water heater from the outlet if it's got to be plugged in, or would we be better off running a new outlet over there from the breaker box? (No, we're not going to attempt to install the water heater ourselves! We like our house in non-exploded form!)

    3 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs8 years ago
  • Making snack mix without oil?

    I'm about to start a diet that doesn't allow mixing carbs with fats. I'm a Chex Mix type addict and don't want to give it up so I'm modifying it to using only the wheat ones and eliminating the oil/margarine. I've made it several times with just a bit of oil, but this diet forbids that. I don't care about not getting the oil part, but I want to know how I can get the seasoning (Worchestershire, lemon juice, seasoned salt, garlic, etc.) on the cereal evenly or close to evenly.

    I don't want commentary on the diet itself, your opinion's not going to change my mind about trying it. I don't mean to be rude, but I'd rather you saved your fingers some work. I just want to know how I can get the sauce on the cereal without the additional oil. I know a spray bottle would work for the sauce part, but it'd clog from the garlic, etc. wouldn't it? Or are there spray bottles that can handle particulates?

    3 AnswersCooking & Recipes8 years ago
  • How do I drain a water heater in a basement with no drain?

    Our basement has no floor drain or other means to allow the water heater to drain easily and it's getting quite a bit of sediment in it from what I can tell from the water getting cold sooner than it used to and the fact that I'm hearing a popping sound every time we use the hot water. Can we just leave the water supply turned on and run the hose out a window and let the water pressure push the sediment out, or is there some other way?

    4 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs8 years ago
  • Questions about home push button light switches?

    We bought a home built in 1900 a couple of years ago. It has push button switches in the living room, except that one of the three has been replaced with a conventional switch and the plate cut to let it fit. We're looking for a third switch to match the other two, but so far have had no luck. The ones we have are plain black with "O" and "L" on the buttons. We know it might be difficult to find an exact match, but we'd at least like a black switch, not one with mother of pearl on the buttons, and that's all we can find other than really junky looking ones on Ebay. Does anyone have a suggestion of where to look?

    Also, we're wondering what the O and L stand for? The O is on the top, the L is on the bottom. Is this because the O, when it's sticking out is off and the L when it's sticking out means there's light? Or was this just a convenient place to put brand letters or something?

    3 AnswersMaintenance & Repairs9 years ago
  • Water spilled into furnace cold air duct?

    One of our cats knocked their water container over into a cold air duct for our furnace. Like probably 20 ounces of water. Is there anything I should be doing about it? (The water/duct situation, not the cat.)

    1 AnswerMaintenance & Repairs9 years ago
  • Reinstalling tile over plywood?

    We recently lost a rather large section of tile in our shower. My husband just put his hand on it and leaned and the edging and over a dozen tiles fell and smashed in the tub. Apparently they weren't attached correctly when they were installed and were just waiting for someone to touch them. We took this as a wake-up call that we needed to redo the tile in the bathtub area since we can't find tile to match ours at all.

    My question is about the backing for the tile. The plywood this is attached to is marine grade plywood, and it's coated in a thick, rough layer of adhesive. (We've cleared the end that deconstructed itself.) Can we level up the adhesive with a belt sander or something and then just put new tile on? Someone told us we should install a moisture barrier like some sort of sheeting over the board, but then immediately said they had no clue how well the tile would stick to one. I've searched for quite a while and I'm either really lousy with keywords or there's not much on this. We're on a very limited budget at the moment, so hiring a professional is out.

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks for reading this!

    4 AnswersDecorating & Remodeling9 years ago
  • Making and keeping a felt cloud clean?

    I'm planning on making a necklace for a friend who's asked for something "rainbow". I'm going to make a rainbow of successive bead strands of the appropriate colors and would like to use felt or cotton to make the cloud at the end of the rainbow. I really want the cloud to look fluffy and don't think making it with polymer clay will give me the effect I want. I've seen something similar made from cotton or felt a few years ago at a craft booth at a festival but I didn't handle it so I don't know if it was sealed with something or just "there".

    My concerns with just leaving it bare are- Will it keep its shape without something to reinforce it?

    -What about it getting dirty? I can't imagine it'd be up to a lot of washing with the other components involved and just lying on bare skin is going to pull oils into it. Should I seal it?

    I'd appreciate any input you have! Thank you!

    2 AnswersHobbies & Crafts9 years ago
  • Sending a wedding gift when we weren't invited-sort of?

    My husband's step-brother was married recently. We live about a thousand miles, give or take, from them and didn't receive an announcement, invitation, no word at all officially. While we were a little bit surprised by this since he was an usher in our wedding, it didn't really hurt our feelings that badly because we're only in contact with him every couple of years. We, of course, heard about it from others in the family for quite a while because it was a huge formal event.

    Yesterday, when my husband was talking to his mother about the wedding, he jokingly said something about feeling left out because we weren't even invited. His mom was adamant that the step-brother had called and got our address to send us an invitation. He even said, "I know they probably won't be able to make it, but they're family too." His mother, who was in charge of the list for invitations for his side of the family, apparently decided to leave us out. There's no chance it was by accident. She's one of those vindictive, angry ex-spouses who spent many years trying and failing with her son to keep him from his father through almost any means necessary. (She succeeded with the daughter.)

    And no, there was no limit on guests, if that's what you're thinking. The bride's parents spared absolutely no expense on the wedding and it wasn't a financial hardship on them.

    We're concerned that the step-brother was informed that we didn't even bother to reply to the invitation that was supposedly sent. She's played games like that before. While we're not around him much, he's a great person and we'd like to have a better relationship with him and get to know his wife and a black mark right at the start of his new life with her wouldn't help.

    Now, for what I'm asking:

    Should we send them a gift? Just a card with a check? Just a card?

    Should we mention in a note somehow, subtly, that if we'd known the date and where to send the gift, it wouldn't have been late?

    We just don't want him thinking we weren't thinking of them. Now that he's an adult and out of his mother's influence, we might have a chance at forging a friendship with him that isn't just a phone call at Christmas.

    4 AnswersEtiquette9 years ago
  • Worker's Compensation Question (Indiana)?

    My husband was injured at work. He was told to wait until his shift ended and someone from the next shift would take him to the hospital. That didn't happen and two hours after his shift was over I came to his workplace and took him myself. He then had to go back to the workplace and fill out accident reports, etc., which took another hour or so. At that time he was told not to come back in that night because they weren't sure yet what to do with him, even though he'd been cleared to go back to work with restrictions.

    Now, I have a few questions:

    Is he entitled to overtime or worker's comp for waiting/ the hospital visit/ paperwork afterward?

    Should his worker's comp pay for the night he was forced not to work? He's been told by his boss's secretary that "It looks like those are just going to be missed hours."

    He has a doctor's appointment scheduled for tomorrow to get a better assessment of the injury, should he get paid for the time he's there?

    2 AnswersLaw & Legal10 years ago
  • How do I dispose of canned food?

    We just bought a house from the heirs of a lady who passed away a couple of years ago. The heirs were also elderly and couldn't manage to get the canned goods from the basement before we closed and we told them we'd handle it. Now, how do we go about disposing of the food from about 75-100 canning jars without overloading the garbage, throwing the jars away (they're all good canning jars!) or making a big stinky mess?

    I was thinking of digging a trench where I'm planning on planting flowers and dumping the food along it, burying it, and in a couple of weeks planting the flowers there. Would that kill the smell and maybe make the food kind of compost-ish for the flowers?

    2 AnswersOther - Food & Drink1 decade ago
  • How do I protect my parents' interests?

    My husband and I were unable to get a loan on our own for a house. Our credit's not horrific, but student loans ran our debt ratio too high. My parents stepped in and were willing to put up collateral for the loan through their bank. The bank manager convinced us it would be easier to just do a personal loan for the amount we needed ($25,000) because we'd get out of a lot of the closing costs and added hassle that way. After getting the loan, we suddenly realized we hadn't thought about what would happen to protect my parents if something happened to my husband and I. They'd get stuck with the loan and there wouldn't be a house to sell to recoup their losses in any reasonable amount of time.

    We've had people suggest just adding their names to the deed, which wouldn't be so bad, except they're both in poor health and I really don't want my home being dragged into their estate if we're paying the loan payments on it.

    Someone mentioned "right of survivorship" but I keep seeing it only used with "joint tenancy" and they won't be living with us. Is that what that means?

    Someone else suggested that they could put a mortgage or lien on the house that simply states that if for any reason we were unable to make payments on the loan or are deceased, the property would be used as payment for that purpose.

    What's the best way to deal with this? We live in Indiana, in case that makes a difference. We're supposed to order the deed tomorrow, so any advice would be more than appreciated.

    3 AnswersPersonal Finance1 decade ago
  • How long does Fannie Mae usually take to accept an offer?

    We made an offer for a foreclosed Fannie Mae home last week. The house had been on the market less than 2 days. Because of the price and the condition, we offered the full asking price (less than $20,000) and offered $500 earnest money. Now I'm finding contradictory information online on whether or not they'll accept the offer, even though we offered the asking price.

    Is there anyone out there with some experience dealing with foreclosed Fannie Mae properties that can give me an idea how long we'll have to wait for an answer and the likelihood the offer will be accepted?

    2 AnswersRenting & Real Estate1 decade ago
  • Safely attaching felt to cloth for a special needs child's pillow?

    A friend of mine and I are trying to make pillows for some special needs children in a children's nursing home. (My friend, because of his medical needs is a patient there as well.) Many of the children there have no one who comes to visit, or their families live so far away that they can't come often. We've made up a cute dog pattern to cut out of bright colors of felt to attach to the fabric for the pillows and want to be very sure that the felt doesn't come off easily. He asked several staff members and they all said it would be nice to have them but to remember some of these kids can be pretty strong and stubborn about pulling and tugging on edges of things to see if they can get them loose.

    I'm planning on machine stitching all of the edges, should I use some sort of fusible web or other adhesive behind the felt, or would that even work with felt?

    (We're also going to cut some out of cloth to stitch down for the more persistent kids, since it won't pull apart or get the fuzz off as easily.)

    2 AnswersSpecial Education1 decade ago
  • Why is this the master bedroom?

    We've been house shopping for some time now. (Had several sniped just as we were about to offer.)

    Something we've noticed repeatedly in homes we've toured is that for some reason the master bedroom is smaller than another bedroom in the house. Same closet space, roughly the same access to the rest of the house... just smaller and yet considered the master bedroom. Why is that? What defines a master bedroom?

    For instance, one of the ones we looked at considered a 10x12 bedroom as the master bedroom, when there was a 12 x 14 with a larger closet at the back of the house.

    4 AnswersRenting & Real Estate1 decade ago