Home and Garden

Home Forums Home and Garden

Forum: Home and Garden

Start a Topic

You must be logged in to start a new topic. or

This forum contains 483 topics and 1,318 reply, and was last updated by  katy 1 day, 15 hours ago.

Home and Garden October 26, 2016 at 10:59 am

Building roach exermination not working

I know people have posted before about extermination but I couldn’t find anything that quite fit our situation. My husband and I have been having issues with roaches in our apartment for the past 5 months. In theory the building’s treatment is thorough, but not working. We have to take EVERYTHING out of our kitchen and bathroom cabinets and they spray all of it. We’ve had to do this at least 8 times since June and it’s a huge inconvenience. My husband said someone from maintenance told him one or two of the nearby apartments are not complying with pest control and leave out pet food, which is obviously a huge problem.

We’re doing everything else we can think of short of bug bombing to augment the treatments and nothing works. If anything it seems to be getting worse. We’ve put out traps and bait. We’re keeping everything very clean and even stopped using our dishwasher and stove because we see a lot of them around those appliances. We just put down boric acid powder and baits, so I don’t know if that will help yet.

We’ve complained to the building multiple times and asked what else they are doing to fix the problem. They just keep scheduling the same treatments and ignore our questions about other steps they are taking. I’m so frustrated they just keep doing the same thing that clearly isn’t working. They offered to let us move to another apartment in another area of the same building, but we might just have the same problem there. There was a notice on the building’s front door last week that DCRA was inspecting some of the apartments, but I don’t know if it is related to this issue.

We’re at our wits end. Is there anything else we can do short of moving? I’m applying for a job outside of DC that I won’t hear anything about until at least January, so it would be a logistical nightmare to find a short-term lease and possibly have to move twice in such a short amount of time.

TL;DR – Our building’s and our own treatment is doing nothing to fix an ongoing roach problem. Is moving the only solution?

Home and Garden October 17, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Floor board repair – very small job

I live in a small condo with a few broken floorboards that I want to repair. Its a really small job, but tired of tripping 🙂 . Any recommendations for a contractor / handyman willing to take on a little floor job ?

Home and Garden September 26, 2016 at 11:43 am

Historic Preservation Contractor Recommendation?

Can anyone with a historic home recommend a contractor that works in DC? I’m looking at window repair, stripping siding down to the original wood, and a few other things. I’ve found plenty of trade-specific references, but I’m looking for a general contractor versed in historic preservation.

Home and Garden September 15, 2016 at 2:40 pm
Home and Garden September 15, 2016 at 10:36 am

Painters for Front Porch Stairs?

Checking to see if anyone has recommendations for a good local business that paints front porches for a reasonable price. House is in Petworth/Columbia Heights – and we just need the concrete stairs painted, as they’re starting to peel like a bad sunburn. Thanks in advance for any leads!

Home and Garden August 24, 2016 at 12:09 pm

Radiator Installation — Company in DC?

I’m looking for a company to install, in DC, three recently re-furbished radiators — specifically, “single-pipe steam radiators” (and apparently original to the 100-year-old building in question in Adams Morgan).

For those of you who love exhaustive detail:

1) Not looking to install, e.g., the boiler and in-wall supply piping; just need an experienced person who can:
– first, confirm that the refurbished radiators do not have leaks and will otherwise operate OK, then…
– remove existing supply piping from where it exits the floor
– install new supply piping from that exit point to where the refurbished radiators will be located
– install suitable shut-off valve, including removing spud from radiator and installing new spud to match valve
– connect radiator to shut-off valve (including using pipe dope/teflon tape on threads, etc.)
– any additional work that would be advisable/necessary/etc. for the installation

2) Note that (I believe) each of the three radiators has a different sized opening.

3) I thought about the DYI route, but having now researched the living daylights out of the topic, turns out there are a bunch of subtleties involved in sizing the pipes, their pitch, what shut-off valves to use, etc.

4) I contacted Brookland Plumbing about this, as they’ve done great work for us in the past, but they said they would not do the job because they don’t have the expertise (and recommended against hiring a plumber, as they’ve heard of other plumbers royally screwing up this sort of work). They suggested hiring someone who is certified as a steamfitter.

5) Which led me to the website of Steamfitter UA Local 602 — it does have a directory, but it lists, like, 150 companies with no indication of which do residential (vs., e.g., engineering companies, commercial HVAC systems firms, etc.)

6) Yelp and Angie’s List haven’t proven helpful in identifying a company with solid experience; I phoned several heating and cooling firms highly-rated on those sites but each one said they didn’t do residential steam systems and didn’t have alternate suggestions.

Help me, PoPville readers, you’re my only hope!

Seems to me there must be many old-yet-still-operating residential steam heating systems in DC, so I’m hoping some one (perhaps even you!) can provide guidance on who’s good (as well as anyone to avoid).

Oh, and for anyone interested in better understanding what was viewed as cutting-edge technology just over a century ago, a great guide to the physics, maintenance and history of steam heating is Dan Holohan’s The Lost Art of Steam Heating (https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Art-Steam-Heating/dp/0974396095). As shown in this video, he has a passion for the topic, combined with wit and (evidently) nearly exhaustive knowledge about what’s out there: https://youtu.be/TQB0KK2rxcw.

Seriously, if you like geeking out about how things work, it’s a fascinating topic.

THANKS for any suggestions/guidance etc. on this!!

Home and Garden August 17, 2016 at 11:38 am

Granite for Front Yard

Does anyone know where you can buy granite stones that matches the front retaining walls of so many DC row homes. I’ve been looking around but am coming up blank!

Home and Garden August 16, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Fire Escapes – Repair and Certification

My small condo building (6 units, 3 floors + basement level) has a fire escape on one side of the building that is in need of repair. There is some rust build up and it needs a coat of protective paint.

1. Does anyone have any companies to recommend that can do this work? I’ve had a hard time find iron workers that do things beyond fencing.

2. During my research, I came across Fireescapesdc.com, which seems to suggest that we have to get a certification every 5 years. Is this true? I believe because of the circumstances of our condo, DC regs (https://beta.code.dccouncil.us/dc/council/code/sections/6-701.01.html) do not cover our unit, but I’m not sure if that exempts us from larger requirements (which I’m trying to find more about).

Thought maybe other condo owners may have had similar inquiries or made repairs to their own fire escapes. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!

Home and Garden August 7, 2016 at 9:02 am

Roof rats – yuck.

We just learned we likely have roof rats. Looking for exterminator referrals who have experience with these pests and any advice from homeowners who have dealt with this disgusting problem.

Home and Garden July 13, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Asbestos in Basement: Happy Ending

Last week I posted a question here about what to do with a basement that seemed to be covered with asbestos floor tiles. In brief, my partner and I had been told by a contractor that the old, cracking tiles definitely had asbestos in them, and the label on the boxes of tile seemed to confirm his conviction. Since we’re about to renovate the basement, we have to deal with the tiles: either get them removed or cover them.

Well, it turns out that the contractor was wrong. Right before we intended to call asbestos removal companies to get a cost estimate (not yet sure we’d actually pay for this), we decided to take another look at the boxes of old tile. On second inspection, the font on the boxes didn’t look so old – definitely not from the 50’s or 60’s, as the contractor had suggested – and the blurry label didn’t actually say anything about those specific tiles containing asbestos, but rather about existing tiles. We also managed to find the name and model number for the tiles and called the manufacturer to find out when they were manufactured: between 2002 and 2006, a friendly customer service rep informed us, which is long after the company stopped making tiles with asbestos, he said.

All’s well that ends well. Thanks for the thoughtful advice, in any case! Next time we’ll know to be more careful when reading product labels and when getting opinions from contractors.

You must be logged in to view attached files.
Home and Garden July 5, 2016 at 9:07 am

Asbestos in Basement: To Remove or Not to Remove?

We recently moved into a 1930’s home in Northeast DC. The basement has a half bath, and the previous owners laid down carpet in the rest of the room. Soon after moving in we had a sewage backup in the basement, and the carpet was ruined.

Here’s the problem: When we pulled up the carpet, we discovered tile underneath, and we’re reasonably certain the tile and floor adhesive contain asbestos (we discovered a stack of extra packages of the tile, warning in small print that the product may contain asbestos and should only be removed by professionals.) The tile is cracked and loose around the edges of the room due to the carpet having been nailed down on top of it.

The first two contractors who came to see the basement didn’t mention asbestos at all, and it was only the third who brought up the issue with us (we discovered the extra packages and started researching after his visit). He said we could simply cover the existing tile with vinyl flooring, but said we should avoid carpet because additional nailing would cause the tile to crack further.

Obviously we would rather not have to pay thousands of dollars for asbestos remediation, and we’re fairly certain we won’t be able to get anything from the previous owners, who can claim they didn’t know about it (though they most likely did). So, we’d love to just carpet or tile over it, which seems to be common practice and what the previous owners did. On the other hand, we’re concerned that this is something we’ll have to deal with down the road anyway, particularly when we want to resell.

Any thoughts on whether professional asbestos removal is necessary in this situation? Any ideas on how much it should cost (the tiled area is about 300 square feet)?

Home and Garden June 24, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Roof Repair Option

Has anyone had their roof redone with this: GacoFlex S2000 siliconized roof coating? We are in a rowhouse with a flat roof. Would you recommend?

Home and Garden June 13, 2016 at 3:34 pm

King Size Box Spring

I have a brand new, in-the-box king size box spring that I don’t need and can’t return (time limit from Amazon expired). Craig’s List has been futile (3 bites, all backed out), so I’m turning to PoPville. I bought it for $178 (link below) and was willing to part with it for $100, but at this point, I just want this massive box out of my house. Anyone interested? Or know of an organization that might need a box spring donated? Thanks in advance!

You must be logged in to view attached files.
Home and Garden April 20, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Determining What's Underground in Front Yard


I have a manhole in my front yard, and I am looking to plant a tree, but I have no idea how big the room under the manhole is or whether there are other pipes, etc. under my front yard. How would I go about finding out that information? Any help would be appreciated.

Home and Garden April 14, 2016 at 8:10 am

Bathtub Refinishing

We need to have our hundred year old clawfoot tub refinished. Does it matter that it has been refinished before? We’d like to know about good or bad experiences that others have had with refinishing companies in the area.

Viewing 15 topics - 1 through 15 (of 483 total)