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Douse the imperialist plant with some RoundUp. It kills just about everything.

Notorious BLT

1. The door sensor seems screwy. There is a pressure sensor on the door that could be malfunctioning (or have a bunch of crud on it). Check near the tracks at the top or bottom of the door.
2. It looks like a nice dry-rot/carpenter ant problem. Carpenter ants can be hard to get rid of. Often you can see a trail of sawdust leading to their nest which is surrounded by sawdust. Find them and eradicate! The board needs to be replaced anyway, if you pull it down you may be better able to see what's going on.

1. Clorox spray bleach works excellent for that kind of thing
2. Personally I wouldn't remove the drywall after removing the tiles. You probably don't want to know what the studs are like back there. Screw new blueboard directly into the studs on top of the old dry wall. This can save a lot of time.
3. Water can only be hotter if you find that it's hotter in the kitchen. Use your hand right under the faucets to determine this. If the kitchen sink is much hotter then it probably is your mixing valve. You should probably replace the plumbing hardware when installing your new liner.
4. An access panel in the kitchen could be handy but you may have sufficient access to the shut-off valves in the basement right under the tub.

1. Stairs and a fence for Lila sound like a great idea. Here's a link to stair plans for adding stairs to an existing deck --> http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/decks/stairs/2nd_story/straight.htm, and here is a more technical tutorial with cut dimensions --> http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/framecarp/technique/stairs/outdoor.htm
2. Here's a link to Lowe's fence center. You can purchase the horizontal sections of the fence pre-assembled. This makes your job easier. Put in the vertical posts and then screw in the pre-assembled 8' fence sections. There are metal bottoms that you can purchase for the posts so that you hammer the metal bottom into the ground, then insert the post and fasten it. This metal base will save you the hassle of digging holes in the ground that you will fill with concrete to set posts in... The only issue with the metal bases is they wont support a ton of weight. I have a neighbor who used this system and fenced in their yard for their dogs in a weekend.

Remember, you can only do one thing at a time and anything completed shold be viewed as a victory. Sometimes tackling a few small thing can be more rewarding than pounding away on one big thing for weeks on end.

Best of luck with your list.


Tilex mold and mildew will clean that bathroom easily and without much effort.

I just had my garage looked at and the rollers in the door needed to be replaced in order to not stop at odd intervals. At only $5.00 a roller it was well worth it.

Scheherazade H.

Re getting rid of bamboo forest - I don't know how big yours is, but I saw Dan's dad get rid of a monster of some pampas grass by just digging around it and eventually getting it out through sheer brute force.

Maybe that will work.

Also to keep the mold away once you get rid of it - maybe a shower spray that can be used once a day? We buy a generic one from the supermarket and it seems to work relatively well (when we moved in our tiles were filthy).


I'd feel kind of overwhelmed by this list too. But I also feel very envious of you for having a place where everything you do for it, you're doing for YOUR place. I'm already getting tired of being a renter and the feeling I always have of "Why bother?" when I want to improve something, or worse, "Does my agreement even *let* me do this?"


The spot above the door looks like dry rot. The board will have to come out. Do you have gutters? If not, you might want to install something like a lip or awning over the door. Pull the boards off completely and replace. Test the rest of the wood around that spot and make sure that you are getting it all at one time.

NOW: the nice gents at home depot or Loews or similar will talk you through what you need to do to replace the boards, and probably precut them to the right length for you in the lumber department. If not, get a saw and a miter box. You CAN do this and you will feel very Walden Pond when you do. Got a rechargeable power drill/screw driver? If not, get one. Mid-range on those is not bad at all, and will work for everything you need it for. Everywoman's best tool.

Don't get me started on tile, but recalking is really, really easy and pretty satisfying. It looks like you need to do that, once you get your tiles re-stuck (this isn't hard either, trust me). Again, make the guys at the Home Depot feel manly by asking them how, or get a good home repair book.

Best thing for mold: clorox and an old toothbrush. Get "barkeepers friend" for the rust ring and some of the hard water deposits.

You can do it!


Southern girl with a power saw. ;)

Al Wheeler

Bamboo is tough. To get rid of it, a friend who knows this stuff says to take Roundup, make a hole 2-3 cm below one of the rings in the bamboo, and inject 5-15 ml of pure Roundup. One per plant.

Al Wheeler

Then, of course, cover the hole with packing tape or equivalent.

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