I am trying to find a way to cover over my kitchen laminate counters, either by painting or some type of concrete mix or any other suggestions… what are all off the options on this project as I will be doing it myself. and am not that handy.. thanks a lot for any and all info. -Barbara K.
Have you considered tile?
Generally, people I’ve talked to said that tile over laminate needs a little prep work because the mortar doesn’t stay put if you put it directly on the laminate, but it’s a good choice and more durable than painting would be.
I’ve heard of a few different ways to get the tile to stay in place, from using a special adhesive on the laminate to prep for tiling, to sanding the laminate, to drilling a thin board into the laminate.
Tile is a great option for the kitchen. Large tile counter tops are gaining popularity, so you have fewer grout lines to clean, and there are so many different styles and options!
I have T 1-11 siding on my home. It is badly weathered and has some dry rot on trim boards. Both trim and siding will have to be replaced in places–do you have suggestions for a handy person for this repair? Jan, Sacramento.
I just checked, and there are 15 A or B rated siding companies on the List in the Sacramento area–sign in now to find one!
Can anyone recommend a reliable bonded & insured with workers compensation COMMERCIAL cleaning company?
I’ve tried a few of the ones listed on the site and never heard back!!
thank you. -Jen L.
I had our local expert research your request and she’ll be emailing you several cleaning companies that do commercial work this morning. Please let us know if we can help with any more searches!
We had a home built in 2001 and found black mold, the attorney we had only got us bad credit by foreclosing on the home. we had a son die, and two of my other sons have nosebleeds and one has learning disabilities. No one will help us, and it might be too late, but they sold the house and people are living in it, and to my knowledge no one had cleaned it. We had Syntex labs do air analysis and surface analysis to determine it was toxic.
If you can please help us.
What a terrible situation! I would look into other legal channels to see what your options are.
The story about cleaning pets’ teeth was interesting, but I felt it was mostly geared toward cleaning a DOG’s teeth, rather than CATS! How do you get a cat to hold still for cleaning? Is there any toothpaste that they actually LIKE? I spent $18. at a health-food store for a 3oz. container of cat toothpaste with a minty flavor…
Do you know any cats who like mint flavoring? (From my personal experience, only 1 out of 4 cats likes this flavor!)
Thanks for your articles! I really liked the August “Pet Issue”!! Cindy H., Rochester, N.Y.
Until your cats get accustomed to having their teeth cleaned you might have to gently wrestle with them a little to get them to hold still. If you start doing frequent brushing while they’re kittens, it’ll be much easier than trying to get an adult cat to hold it’s horses.
I’d also suggest using your fingers as the brush for now. Wrapping a piece of gauze around your index finger and using a toothpaste geared towards cats (like tuna flavored) will probably cause your cat less stress than a foreign plastic brush.
There are a lot of kitty-friendly toothpastes out there and it might take some experimenting to find one that your cat enjoys (or tolerates). Some may contain baking soda or a citrus flavor that will leave a bad taste in your cat’s mouth, but every cat is different.
Glad you liked the articles! Let us know how everything turns out and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any more questions.
Hi Angie! Im Cynch from the Philippines. I know you’re pretty busy now, but Im wondering if maybe in the future you have plans of expanding the coverage of your website to have international businesses reviewed by consumers. I mean like for example, maybe you can put a branch of your company here in our country because not a lot of companies here really cares about their customers. the only way we can air our grievances is through online forums and groups and it takessss a lot of time for that to be resolved if we do take it up against the company.
Your list makes it easier for Americans to avoid certain bad experiences if they heard/read it from someone. I hope all people will have this chance too. Thanks for starting this website. More power!
I’m so excited to get a question from someone in the Philippines!
I have good news and bad news for you.
Good news: We are going international.
Bad news: We’re starting in Canada and the United Kingdom next year and moving on from there, so we don’t know quite when/if we’ll get into the Philippines, but I’ll keep you in mind as we expand. :)
Have a wonderful day and check back in soon!
Who do I call to get an appraisel on an item for insurance purposes?
-Sheila T., Bonaire, Ga.
You know, I checked the List and didn’t see anything in your area (the closest I could find was in Atlanta), so I’m turning this over to our Local Expert. They’ll be getting back to you shortly. Let me know how it goes, and be sure to post your review!
How do you know if cracks in the foundation of your house are dangerous? Who would you hire to fix them?
It is important to have your heating system checked once a year and the ducts cleaned? My heating and cooling system are the same unit.
Should I attempt to place insulation in my attic and crawl space or hire someone to do it? I am not a spring chicken but am in fairly good shape. If I should hire someone, who does that type of work?
Those are all excellent questions. Let me see if I can help...
1) I would contact a home inspector, first, to see how bad the cracks are and if they’re jeopardizing anything. After that, I’d see what the home inspector suggested for fixes based on the severity of the cracks. I don't want to point you down the wrong road before knowing how severe they are.
2) For optimal performance, HVAC systems should be tuned up yearly. Air ducts should be cleaned every 3-5 years or as needed. In drier climates, you might consider having it done more often, but I don't think Richmond is too terribly dry, right? You should be okay with every 3-5 years. See more tips here.
3) I wouldn't recommend crawling around in your attic to insulate it yourself. You risk getting hurt, and you'd also need to take precautions to wear protective gear including gloves and a respirator to avoid inhaling the insulation. Check out our tips here.
I constantly get crickets and other insects crawling around my basement and recently caught a small snake down there! Obviously, I have openings to the outside but I can't find or identify them all myself. Is there a company out there that can do this and plug the openings for me? Thanks,
You could look into infrared/thermal imaging. Some home inspectors will do this with an infrared camera, and this should allow you to see where the temperature in one area is different than in others—like where outside air is coming in. If you wait until the air outside is a little cooler than the air inside, you should be able to get a good reading that will help you find your openings. Hope this helps!
I just recently purchased radon detection kit from Lowe's. It is quite a difficult procedure. Have to send the detected results to a lab for verification.
Is there some sort of simple way to detect radon, rather than having to involve a lab? Like some sort of litmus test where it either changes color if radon is detected, or remains neutral if none is detected.
My residence is in North East El Paso, Texas. (West Texas).
I wasn't sure that a simple home radon litmus test existed, so I did some checking. Everything I've found so far either requires a lab or is really fuzzy with the instructions on the packaging.
I did, however, stumble across a few radon monitors and detectors that don't require a lab. They're more expensive (anywhere from $100 to $4,000!), but they'll give you more than just a one-time reading, which you might find useful. You can also check out some of our tips about radon testing here. I hope this can help!
Angie- The house's pantry has wood/particle board shelves that someone covered with Contact paper years ago. What can I use/do to remove the Contact paper. It is not able to be pulled off. -Frances
Try heating the contact paper with a hair dryer or an iron. If you use an iron, be sure to put something between the hot part of the iron and the paper. I know of a bunch of people who reported having great luck with hair dryers though, so try that first. It’ll get the glue melted enough to pull off more easily. To get rid of the glue residue, try a can of dark cola—it works like a charm. (Actually, I know someone who skipped the hair drier and just dumped cola on the contact paper and, with some scrubbing, everything came up and off.) Thanks for the question!
The information in the article was great IF your hardwood floors have a polyurethane topcoat. Many wood floors–especially those in older homes–do not have that topcoat. How do you clean this type of hardwood flooring? Including that information in your article would have been great. If people follow the instructions in the article for 'what can homeowners do to maintain their hardwood floors' and follow the experts' suggestions, they run the risk of ruining their floors! A quick search of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner reveals that this product is for floors with the poly topcoat. I have yet to find a user friendly way to clean my floors, except to cover their beauty with area rugs.
Thanks for your help,
Good catch! And thanks for writing in. In order to clean wood floors that don't have a poly topcoat, you first need to find out what type of finish you do have.
If your home was built prior to the 1960s, you can usually assume that your floors have some sort of varnish/shellac finish. You can confirm this by finding an inconspicuous corner of the room and using a butter knife, coin or similarly-edged item and scratching at the floor. If the finish flakes, you've got varnish/shellac. In the same area on the floor, put one or two drops of water on the floor and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes. If the spots turn white, you've got some wax on the floor. (The spots can be removed with a fine steel wool and gentle rubbing.)
I'm told mineral spirits will work for cleaning, but often turn out dingy. In fact, that was the most common thing I've heard about shellaced floors: cleaning made them dingy. Everyone seems to have their own method for getting their older hardwoods clean and shining. I even talked to a grandmother who swears she's cleaned her floors with a pot of black tea, and a tiny bit of lemon juice mixed together! She cools the whole mix and uses it to dampen a microfiber cloth and runs it over the floors. You could try using a floor buffer to get your floors shining, too. Hope this will help you.