How can I get my landlord to maintain the flat I rent? Answered

I live in the lower of a 2 flat and have had so many problems that the landlord will not address.  The latest is a leak from above in the my kitchen.  How can I get him to repair real issues?

Question by pksmart 9 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Real Estate Question:? Answered

I have looked all over the internet... but cannot find the answer to this question. my step father rented a house to some people and they built a shed. they surrendered the keys and everything, and the court ordered eviction was completed. now he is sueing for the amount they owe, and they want their shed. my step father (landlord) apparently wants the shed now. i am going to ask on yahoo answers, but that isnt allowed at the school, and that is where i am now... sooo, any realtors out there? i live in suffolk virginia, if that is of any help. thanks

Question by macmccune 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


renting and kicking someone out? Answered

So i rent a bedroom to my friend and his wife and the wife isnt listening tot he rules my mother set and she was gonna kick them out but they had no place to go so i talked to my mother to let them stay and she did but she still disobeys the rules of the house which arnt that strict but she keeps it up and she left a note under my door saying that shes gonna blackmail me with 1 or 2 things and i was wondering if that's rights to evict them from the house and was wondering how long to give them till they have to move last time my mother gave them a month to move which seems to be alot longer then what some people are allowed to do so what should i do about it?

Question by nightninja87 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Tap water often quite dark and with a strong chemical smell - what to do?

I don't ask for much help but this time I am reaching the end of my knowledge and patience with landlord and water authorities.That's the story so far:When I moved in I did the usual checks and tests but of course did not pay too much attention to what comes out of my taps.After a few weeks I noticed that the drain in bathroom sink seems to rust on the enamel....Easy wipe with some cleaner fixed it but since the actual drain is made of brass I started to wonder what caused the discoloration in the first place.A bit later I had my niece here and while she had a shower I realised that I only get very little hot water from any other tap in the house.Landlord stated that no one would need hot water from two outlets at one and refused to have it checked out - WTF??Paid for plumber myself and the result was not good.The hot water system is connected "open" was his answer after half an hour of messing around.For the lame man it means that whenever there is a pressure difference between hot and cold water it will go through the hot water system.Did not fully get this so he showed me in the laundry.Open the hot water a bit and it runs out fine, open the seperate cold water tap and the hot water stops.This even worked when turning on the cold water in the kitchen.The water is able to go back into the hot water system through the outlet much easier than through the inlet side.And to top it off, the current install basically turns the hot water system into a giant bypass valve :(Paid a few bucks extra so I would get that same explanation in writing for my landlord a few days later.The next and growing problem is the chemical smell.If highly chlorinated then my aquarium test kit would show this and recommend to use a water conditioner when using tap water to top the tank up.And it does not really smell like any chlorinated water I know.Definately a chemical cleaning or sanitation smell though.The plumber could not do more than basic tests so I contacted my water supplier.To my surprise they were happy to send someone out for free.Of course they only cared about their product and all tests were limited to the tap right next to the water meter.Pressure ok.Water clearity ok.Chlorine levels next to zero."Harmful substances test" came back negative as well.It was recommended that I have the plumbing under the house inspected for the water color changes and smells/bad taste.And I had to admit that what came out of the front tap really looked and smelled fine.Work slowed me down for a while and the problem only came back to my mind when I came back from a weekend trip.Needed something to drink quickly so I filled a glass from the tap.It came out like from a rusty bucket.Definately of brownish color and the chemical smell worse then ever.Had to let the water run for about 15 minutes to get something out I dared to drink.Installed a water filter a few days later and though all is good now.Pre-filter, 0.5 micron filter and then a cartridge with activate carbon.Am a single and the unit was meant to be for a busy family.Should have been good for well over 5000 liters of water.I don't really use much in the kitchen for drinking and cooking purposes so I guesstimated I need new filters every 12 to 18 months at worst.They lasted less than 4 weeks before the water came out in drops instead or running....Cutting the fliters open revealed that both pre- and fine filter were fully blocked and brown.Provided all documents and evidence to my landlord but again was told there is no issue and the house is just old :(As a last resort I tried to get under house yesterday to check the pipes itself.Couldn't get all the way in due to all the pipes from the ducted heating system.But I found a bad mess of literally all bad plumbing skills.From the water meter a just finger thick copper pipe goes under the house.This goes into some 1/2" galvanised steel pipe and it look the main way of sealing the connection was some glue or resin around the screw fitting.The same old gal but thinner pipes go close to where the connections for water go.There the "plumber" again used screw on press fittings and glue to connect to thin copper pipes.Hot water is designed the same way, one big gal pipe straight through and then thin copper pipes connected to it.I am not a plumbing expert but I do know that copper and steel won't mix if water is involved.Assuming the hot water system is affected in the same way then this giant battery is eating away the thick gal pipes while supplying me with all the byproducts of this galvanic reaction.The landlord won't budge unless I take legal action and around here you would want to do this as a tennant.Right now I have a long garden hose from the front tap going through my kitchen window :(At least I get usable drinking and cooking water this way, my fish no loger suffer losses after the topping up the water from this hose either...But this can't go on like this.Once the gal pipes start to leak the landlord is required to act but not before that.And chances are these thick pipes will last a few more years before failing :(If i wouldn't know better then I would say at some stage the ducted heating was replaced and to have more room all but the main gal pipes were removed.All copper pipes are the flexible ones and are bend to follow the floor and wooden beams.What are my real life options to fix this water problem?A set of filters ever 4 or 6 weeks sets me back close to 120 bucks each time, hence the garden hose :(What sort of tests can I make to determine what is actually created in my water that causes the smell, taste and discoloration?By the way: a simple rust test available to check for corroded steel pipes only shows traces of rust even if the water is of a slight brownish color.Replacing the piping myself is not just far over my budget but also not allowed for a tenant.And somehow I still wonder if there is more hiding in the walls but could not get close enough to see if the opper pipes actually connect to the taps or just another piece of old steel pipe.Apart from the obvious, what are the dangers of having steel and copper pipes mixed like this for my health?

Question by Downunder35m 2 months ago  |  last reply 8 weeks ago


Old wooden floor repair for dummies?

Our rental house is falling apart. Yes, literally. It's been made fairly clear that if we stay out of our landlord's way, he'll stay out of ours. We had a chair leg go through the floor where one of the boards was weak, and we need to figure out a way to repair it without spending too much or having to get the landlord involved. Short-term solution is to put a big piece of plywood under the chair, but after that gets old, what should we do to actually fix it? I don't really know anything about house fixing or carpentry, but I do have a basic set of power and non-power tools.

Question by KedaDibandion 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


Is it possible to create a filter for a water-dispensing refrigerator?

We have a refrigerator that dispenses chilled water. However, our landlord failed to equip any sort of filter, and the tap where I live tastes gross. Does anyone have a suggestion on how we can make a water filter for our refrigerator for less than $30?

Question by boston515 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


What to do with 90's oven

I have an old 90's model electric oven that is broken. The timing board just went out and the landlord decided to get a new one. Any good ideas for what to do with the old oven? Any parts I can use to make something interesting?

Topic by hunterc4 8 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Dust shield for midi-lathe?

I recently snagged a midi lathe to teach myself how to lathe. However, I live in a studio apartment. My landlord has approved the lathe and use of it, however, I did not realize just how much dust this produces. As such, I was wondering if anyone has made or knows of someone who has made a dust shield for a midi lathe. Preferable, collapsible. 

Question by DoctorWoo 3 years ago  |  last reply 3 years ago


why do halogen lights keep blowing? Really scared of fire!

I live in a rented attic flat and just before Christmas four of the ceiling halogen spot lights in my hall and livingroom blew.  I called the landlord (he is an electrician) and he replaced them - then charged me £50!  Two days later the same lights blew again.  There seems to be condensation or something around a couple of the bulbs. (They are sunk in the ceiling.) The next day I went away for two weeks for Christmas, came back yesterday and this morning there was a 'pop' noise and all the five lights in my bedroom blew. (I hadn't just turned them on. They were already on.)  I can't locate the fuse box and I am worried about an electrical fault causing a fire.  It is a new flat (five years old, and the landlord did all the wiring - he is an electrical contractor.) I have to be out all day tomorrow, leaving my little dog there, and I am scared there will be a fire.  I am going to speak to him tomorrow and try to get him to come and sort this out tomorrow night when I get in, but it took ages to get my landlord to come and sort the last thing out, I am living in semi-darkness, and I can't afford to pay hundreds of £ every time the bulbs go.  I have only lived there three months.  What should I do?  Is it safe? I would feel better if I could turn everything off at the mains before going out tomorrow, but I don't know where the thing is to do this - and I don't want to meddle with stuff I know nothing about.  

Question by Mandylou2014 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


What kind of strength do studs (2x4) in your wall have? Is there a way to "boost" their strength?

I just moved into a new place, and am renting.  I want to install a hammock into the studs, but the landlord feels it will put too much strain on the frame.  The studs are 2x4, and I was wondering, if by placing a 2x6 or something board between (bridging) two studs, if I could achieve enough strength to not hurt the studs. Any suggestions welcome :) Thanks Lisa

Question by sbcwolff 8 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Summer heat in an old house... Answered

I am trying to find a new home but until then I am stuck in a '*§%& of a house that feels more like an oven. Problem is old age and a landlord who prefers unqualified DIY jobs rather than getting it done properly. I already wasted a lot of money on foam tape to at least prevent the wind from blowing through all doors and windows but the "aircon" is what kills me right now. The house is fitted with an evaporative cooler, which would be perfectly fine in a desert area but not around here with humidity levels usually between 50 and 65%, much higher when it rains on a hot day. My current choice is to sleep at around 34°C in my bedroom or to turn the cooler on to get down to 30°C but everything will be "wet" the next morning. Needless to say the system never had a clean or service done and the landlord is not going to change that as it is not a legal requirement here. Now I am seriously considering to waste more money and to get polystyrene boards to cover the windows that are fitted with just 3mm single pane glass. Was anyone ever desperate enough to such a silly thing and give some insight on how much of a temp difference was achieved? Any better or cheaper options out there apart from buying a portable aircon?

Question by Downunder35m 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


How can I make an L-shaped shower curtain rod, without drilling any holes in the wall or ceiling? Answered

I'm moving into an apartment that has a bathtub, but no shower, hence no shower curtain. However, there is a handheld shower attachment that could be used to convert it to a shower. But to use it as a shower, I'd prefer to have something to keep water from going everywhere. The tub is in a corner of the bathroom, so I'd need a curved or L-shaped shower rod to fully enclose the bathtub. My landlord won't allow me to make any holes in the walls, so I'm kind of stuck.

Question by Ben5504 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


How do I tell if my neighbors are connected to my water meter? Answered

I live in a three apartment unit and there are two water meters. My landlord insists that my other two neighbors are connected and pays for their water. As a single unit with one meter, he can stick me with the bill. However, I have been having some exceptionally high water bills in my current apartment and I suspect that one of my neighbors might be connected to my water supply. Is there any way I can tell, short of calling a plumber and having the water turned off?

Question by randofo 9 years ago  |  last reply 2 months ago


stepping up 12V powerbanks to 30V DC

I bought some RC Lipo battery packs to power a speaker system but since then i've moved and my new landlords have thrown a fit about me charging them on the premises because of the (small) potential fire risk so one possibility im considering is using a powerbank or 2 instead as they have no problem with those. my problem is that the amplifier requires 30V but most slim powerbanks put out a maximum of 12V so could i either safely step up to 30V from 12V or join 2 powerbanks to step up from 24V?

Question by ambientvoid 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Freezing Grand Central Station

A couple hundred people created an event in Grand Central Station in NYC simply by freezing in place. The event was coordinated by Improv Everywhere, a group that has managed to create some wonderfully amazing events with good coordination, a lot of volunteers, and not much else. Who needs a big budget to do something this fun and memorable?The plan: Get a couple hundred people to freeze in place in GCS for five minutes. People stopped mid-conversation, mid-stride, even mid-paper drop.The execution: Flawless. Improv Everywhere pageNote: my landlord participated in one of their events at a Home Depot. He loved it and if you're near NYC, check out one of their events in the future.

Topic by fungus amungus 11 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Premonition?

Last night I dreamed of massive Earthly destruction by huge flaming rocks from the sky. It was really, really cool, but rather scary. Black sky, massive and multiple flaming rocks from above impacting with devastating effect (some distance away, but close enough to feel shock-waves). Not like the image, more real and hot-burning coals like (but that's the best I could manage to get for 2 mins of searching)If it happens soon it's a premonition?(I also dreamed that some landlord-bast's had been in while I was out and cleaned my place out of all the junk and important stuff like my furniture, PC etc and moved the stuff out of the shed into my lounge, but that was a completely separate scene and in daylight...)I was glad to wake up!

Topic by lemonie 10 years ago  |  last reply 10 years ago


UPDATED: Today I was totally GROSSED OUT....Plus pics, and progress !

The landlord came today to "fix the walls" again, like he did a few months ago, and again 3 days ago....but his helper told him this wasn't working...so they started tearing the Bathroom and Bedroom wall (the adjoining wall) down.  The portion towards the outside wall of the building.....they found a pipe that was leaking....a big 9 or 10 inch iron pipe......guess what?   That is the drain from upstairs for the bathroom sink, the bath tub, and the TOILET.   For over 6 months now, we have had our bedroom wall deteriorating and being soaked by SEWAGE.... The helper told me in confidence that we are not the only ones he does this too.....grrrrrrrr. Pictures have been updated with ones I took...      

Topic by Goodhart 9 years ago  |  last reply 9 years ago


moved into an old house, desktop computers won't boot?

So here's the deal. I moved into an old house that has copper wire with no ground on the boxes. My girlfriend's laptop seems to run fine but my two desktops won't boot. The newer computer will come on then power down then come on again and then just sit. My older computer (some 7 years old) tries to do a POST then stops and starts beeping constantly. I looked up the issue and it said that there was an problem with either the power supply or the power coming into the PSU. I just moved into the house and this started so I'm sure that there is nothing wrong with the PSU in my PC. I thought that maybe there was noise in the system so I bought  UPS and put it between the computer and the wall and still the same issue. Has anyone else had this problem? cause I'm at a loss. I asked my landlords for help and to get the place rewired and they said they weren't willing to do that or even pay for the electrician.

Question by SeRiAl_H 8 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Is there a way to prevent blowing a home fuse with another fuse? Answered

This is probably the dumbest question I've asked, and I know that me asking it and why I'm asking it is going to scare so many decent people. But I can ensure you that I'm taking appropriate safety measures when I do these kind of things. My questions is: I can either buy or easily build some sort of portable breaker box? I would like this box to be a sort of "test platform" of sorts, so I can make things that will plug into a 110 outlet (say a hotwire cutter) and if (for some reason) I do have a short somewhere, I will trip the test platform breaker, and not the fuse in my apartment.  Reason I ask is I work graves, and it hard for me to meet up with my landlord. meaning, if I blow a fuse (which my apartment still uses) I will have to go 10+ hours on average before I can get it replaced. Thanks in advance! 

Question by DoctorWoo 4 years ago  |  last reply 4 years ago


How do I convert a wall socket (2 prong) electronic to Battery source power?

So I have a bit of a conundrum. I work at a small business that rents a space- the landlord is having us eliminate all drop cords from the store. We have two "open" signs that cannot be relocated to correlate to a wall socket- so I thought we might try converting the led signs to battery power. The plug for the signs is two-pronged. I have no experienced with wiring electronics or anything remotely related. I've noticed that there are many posts as to the conversion from a  battery to an ac adapter but nothing remotely close to what I need to do/ attempt. Can anyone help me by giving me detailed instructions on how to do this, a list of items, and where I might acquire these items? I would greatly appreciate the help. If any more details are needed please let me know- our business has been lacking from the absence of the signs. 

Question by earobinson217 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Rust in old water pipes? Answered

Problem: The house I moved in to still has galvanised steel pipes for all water connections. The rust and deposit build up is so bad that with a pressure nozzle on the garden hose I reach aroun 20m from the tap near the mater meter but only around 5m in the backyard. To make things worse these restrictions affect the hot water. If I open the hot water tap and then open a col water tap the hot slows and then the flow fully stopps. The landlord already stated he has no intentions of replacing the pipes at this stage as it is quite costly. The possible solution: I was thinking of flushing the system with oxalic or phosphoric acid to break down rust and deposits. The questions: Has anyone tried this and has some feedback on how good or bad it worked? Do I have to fill the entire system with the acid or is it enough to get a few liters in and hope it will spread/dilute through the system within 24 hours? Is it advisable to use a bucket and aquarium pump (probably something stronger) to circulate the acid through the pipes?

Question by Downunder35m 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Retractable white roof for passive heating /cooling ?? Dual season roofing idea? Answered

Last summer my top floor apartment was over 115 degrees indoors with blinds closed !  In a recent email to my landlord to report a broken mailbox I suggested the possibility of painting the apartment buildings roof white .  In reward for reporting the mailbox he says I could paint the roof but only above my apartment  . Cool . He says that the insulation was not adequate when built . The apartment has also gotten down to 30' in winter so I can only guess how cold it would get in here without the current black roof.               QUESTION ;  Are there any ideas to help solve both seasonal issues ?   I can't re-insulate because I rent .  I was thinking of a retractable white cover for hot summer days that can be removed in autumn . Or maybe even a white paint that would insulate against cold ??   An original idea was something like Bubble foil but I doubt that would stand up to weather.  Any suggestion would be great .    

Question by BtheBike 9 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago


Integrating Access Control System with Hackerspaces Passport and Membership Software

Jigsaw Renaissance are looking into integrating Nadine and Hackerspaces Passport with our door locks. If you are able to commit time to help us designing or building, please post to: Inscape Access Control System - If you are interested in the project, please go to the group and sign up. - There will be opportunities to work on embedded firmware, electronics, mechanics, encryption, and the membership software application. - You can then control whether to get each email separately or receive a digest once a day. About the project: This project will provide an electronic door access for our new building. The project will involve providing several badge readers (probably RFID), and door lock controllers as well as a car park induction loop. Finally there is a need for software that manages the keys and access privileges. This software must be easy to use as the building landlord will use it. -- Jigsaw Renaissance is a learning and making community, a collaborative community dedicated to collective education and creation. Our mission is to create an environment in which success, failure, and most of all discovery are celebrated. Our vision is that this environment will foster an enduring sense of wonder and a drive to effect change in ourselves, our communities, and the world. For more information about JR (www.jigsawrenaissance.org), please visit our wiki page at wiki.jigren.org/Starting_Classes or this page: www.element14.com/community/groups/jigsaw-renaissance/blog/2011/03/25/who-we-are Contact us, so we can chat about scheduling something cool together. Thanks!   Ultimate Regards, -- Budi Mulyo +1.206.571.8430

Topic by Wise Cricket 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


You're a foreign AIR. How much is the $1.500 stipend in San Francisco?

So you want to be the next Instructables Artist in Residence? That’s awesome! Being on Instructables was one of the best experiences of my life (if you read my final blog post, you already know that). The only bad part is when you have to say goodbye. But, even if you manage to get over the after-Instructables broken heart (good luck with that), you have to be careful about the risks of a broken wallet, too. Yesterday, a fantastic author from another country asked me if the $1.500 stipend was enough for living in such an expensive city as San Francisco. Honestly, I’m not the best money adviser, but as a Colombian who was living five and a half months in the Bay, I want to share with you my experience with the economical part. Despite I had an awesome AIR program coordinator (Noah Weinstein), the help of my friends Alisson Sombredero and Jennifer Hansen, and all the Internet for investigating, there are some things you can only learn by yourself, at your risk. So, let’s suppose you are a foreign artist, from the middle class of your country, with a normal job, who wants to travel to the amazing Pier 9. What kind of things you have to keep in mind? NOTE: I’m not an official spokesman from Autodesk. And some things can change from now until you read this post. So, if you have any doubt about the AIR program or need some help, ask the Instructables AIR Program Coordinator. 1. Plan ahead: The AIR program is a very tempting opportunity, and probably you want to be in Pier 9 RIGHT NOW! But think: what is the best moment for you to be in San Francisco? How much time will you stay? Do you have any savings? Will your parents support this amazing opportunity? Do you have any responsibilities that affect your decision (a steady job, girlfriend, spouse, children)? What will you do when the AIR ends and you have to return to your country? Do you have any debts? How is your English? Do you have emergency contacts on the city? When I took the decision of being part of the AIR program, it was October of 2012, for starting March 2013, with a duration of three months (at the beginning) so I had 5 months to prepare myself for the travel. So, you have to think: how much time do you need for preparing your travel? 2. Your stipend: You will receive US$1.500 monthly. With good planning and some restrictions, you can have a good time with that money. Autodesk pays the materials and tools for your projects. But remember: the AIR program doesn’t cover air tickets, visa paperwork, health insurance, taxes and other extraordinary expenses. It’s all on you. Besides, it’s a stipend, not a salary. Be careful with those words when you talk with a migratory authority. A salary implies a work contract and work visa, and you aren’t an employee, but a vendor who probably will enter to the United States using a B1 Visa (Business/Tourism), with a stipend for covering housing, food and transportation expenses. So, don’t use the words “salary” and “work”. Use “stipend”, “invited”, and “artist in residence”. Instructables helped me with an invitation letter explaining to Migration what kind of activities I would do on the AIR. Autodesk is very prompt with stipend payments, but there is not an exact date for paydays. It’s between the first and second week of every month, but it can varies. So, at least the first two or three weeks of your time in SF are on you. And you have to eat, transport, pay your rent and deposit, and so on. Think between $2.000 and $2.500. 3. Housing: You will need to rent a room and to share the house with somebody else. And getting an economic and good room is a very complicated mission in San Francisco. Especially if you will stay only for 1 to 3 months (landlords prefer long term tenants). The best site to find a room is Craiglist. However, everybody can post on that site, so be prepared to find some bizarre stuff… Before you go, Google Maps is a mandatory tab in your browser. It’s a good idea to know the area. Every time you see a room offer, look how far is from Pier 9 in San Francisco. Keep in mind something: San Francisco is just a city from a big area named “San Francisco Bay Area”. In the Bay Area you will find a lot of cities and towns like Oakland, Berkeley, San Jose, South San Francisco, San Mateo, Redwood City, Concord, San Leandro, etc. A lot of people live on the nearest towns and take public transportation to San Francisco. Don’t forget to investigate if the neighborhood of the room offer is a good area to stay. If you can’t get a room before you arrive to San Francisco, think about a hostel for the first days, meanwhile you find one. (But just for the first days). Or you can try couchsurfing. Don’t trust in the $80/night hotels on Mission, because you can find a very creepy experience. Back to the room for rent: Try to get a furnished room, or you will have to buy at least, a mattress (and you can’t take it home at the end). If you are good cooking, having a kitchen will help you to save money. When you get the room, most of the landlords ask you to pay the first month plus the deposit. The deposit is some kind of backup money for the landlord, in case you break something, damage something or don’t pay your rent. At the end, the landlord must return your money. Consider it some kind of saving. But be careful: try to have a written contract, always ask for a receipt of every money you give, show to your landlord the fails of your room (take pictures just in case), and don’t break anything. My experience: my first three months, I lived in Treasure Island (in the middle of the Bay Bridge. Believe it or not, it’s part of the city of San Francisco). Good neighborhood, old room, furnished, $625/month, $600 deposit (so, my first payment when I moved was $1.225), creepy landlord (if somebody named Israel offers you a room on Treasure Island, it doesn’t matter how nice he sounds, basically… RUN!) Next two months: I lived in Oakland (passing the Bay Bridge). Beautiful house, fantastic landlords, good neighborhood. $600/month, $500 deposit. The farther the house is from San Francisco, the better and cheaper will be the room. My recommendation: try to get something in San Francisco. All the fun is in that city! I loved Treasure Island, but probably you can find a better neighborhood. If you get a room in another town, you will have always to think how you can return to home if you are going to have some night fun. Maybe it’s more expensive, but you have to consider carefully the next point. 4. Transport: You will find these ways for commuting: • MUNI: This bus and metro system are exclusive for the city of San Francisco. $2 per ticket, but you can use the same ticket in the lapse described on it, or all night long. It works 24 hours. • BART: Bay Area Rapid Transport. This metro communicates San Francisco with the nearest cities and the SFO Airport, and it’s a quick way to travel inside the city. According to the distance, you will have to pay. If you get a room in the east bay area, think in more or less $3.65 per ride. And it doesn’t work in the middle of the night. • AC Transport: Bus in the East Bay Area. $2.10 if you are travelling inside Oakland, $4.20 if you need to cross the Bay Bridge to go to San Francisco. • FERRY: I never used it. I leave you that mystery. • CALTRAIN: This train communicates San Francisco with the farthest towns in the Bay Area. More expensive. Think in $8 per ride. • CARPOOLING: It works only at week mornings. In a marked point, a driver picks up two or three passengers for using the Fastrak (more economic toll to pay). Most of the time is free, but the driver can ask you for one dollar tip. Very economic and fast, only if you din't mind to take up a strange car with other two or three strangers. You can manage all of the public transportation options using something called Clipper Card. Avoid the taxi cabs. They are very expensive! My recommendation: If you live in San Francisco, MUNI is the cheapest, safest and best way to travel. You can get an Adult Muni-only Pass for only $66 and for that month, you can travel all you want inside San Francisco. You can get it in any Walgreens. Or you can try getting a bike. Living in another city implies you have to organize a logistic plan for your transportation, including: BART, MUNI, bike, AC bus, carpooling, Caltrain, Ferry, free shuttles, and thinking like Cinderella every time you are invited to a party in San Francisco. I prefer to pay an $800 room in San Francisco and $66 in transport, than a $600 room in Oakland and $300 in transport. Here is a recommendation from Canida: There is a bike share in SF. For $88/year, you can borrow a bike for as many 30-minute trips as you like. Exists a bike stand directly across the street from Pier 9. More info here. 5. Food: If you can buy groceries and make your own food, awesome! You can find microwaves on Pier 9. In my case, it was cereal with milk and fruit at morning, sandwiches at night, and lunch on the food trucks near Pier 9. Think in an average of $11 per lunch or dinner, depending of the place and if you want to add a soda or a dessert. McDonald’s and Burger King aren’t good options. You can find some good Chinese lunches and Safeway’s specials for less than $8. Remember: the prices showed on the menu don't include the tax. My weekly budget for groceries (for breakfast and dinner) was $30. 6. Cash: Ok, there’s some delicate point in this talk, and probably one of the only things for improving in the awesome AIR program: your monthly stipend probably will be paid in a $1.500 Rewards Card. The good news: a rewards card is very useful! You can buy on Internet, you can carry a lot of money on this single card, you can use it as a debit/credit card, and you can pay with the card in most of restaurants, food trucks and stores. The bad news: you still need cash for some things (especially for paying the rent). And there is no simple way for changing your electronic money for cash. You can’t do withdrawals in an ATM or bank, you can’t consign that money to an account, you can’t do international transfers, you can’t pay debts and you can’t get cash back when you buy stuff. Besides, some places require a minimal bought if you want to use the card, or charge an extra amount. And probably you will have to spend all the rewards card money before returning to your home country. So, be prepared. Luckily, I found an awesome person (I won’t say her name because everybody will ask her for that kind of help) who changed some of my cards for cash, so I could defend myself. 7. Shopping: You will need (or want) to buy extra stuff: personal care, towels, blankets, clothes, gifts, etc. The best places are Target (Mission St. at 4th) and Ross (Market St. at 4th). You will find some good sales, but remember: the excess baggage can be a headache when you have to return to your hometown, and airlines charges for that, $200 at least. 8. Communications: I got a good plan for my smartphone on T-Mobile: for $50/month, unlimited minutes, messages and data. Maybe you can get a better plan in another cellphones company. You will need specially the data. Believe me, in U.S., nobody does anything without consulting Internet first. 9. Tips: Tipping is very important in U.S. I’m not telling you have to give a tip in every place (you are in a personal “war economy”, after all), but there are a lot of situations where you definitively have to leave a tip, between 15% and 20% of the bill. And don't forget: you are in San Francisco, so you have to visit some cool places! Some attractions are free. Others, (like Alcatraz) are between $20 and $30. Maybe more, if you want the star treatment. Don't take a guided tour into the city. With enough planning, you can go to the best places with less money. Maybe it looks like too many troubles and considerations, but we are talking about moving to another country for at least one month. And remember, this awesome company will pay you for making whatever you want to build, using their out-of-this-world tools like 3D printers, lasercutters, waterjets and CNC machines, and giving you the materials. It's a fantastic opportunity you will love forever!!!!

Topic by M.C. Langer 5 years ago  |  last reply 5 years ago


Share Office Space with Instructables at Squid Labs in San Francisco

2010-04-05 Update: We've moved, and all our shared space is occupied!  Do you have a cool small company and are looking for some shared office and/or lab space in a really great environment? Share space at Squid Labs! Squid Labs recently opened a new office in San Francisco and we're looking to fill spaces in our shared work environment. The current tenants are Instructables (community project sharing) and HumCycles (electric motorcycles). Features of the space: - Tons of natural light. Windows on all 4 sides and skylights. - Landlord is awesome and tech/green savvy. - Space is clean/professional yet also stylish/zany. - Cool intra-space neighbors working on hot technologies. Lots of idea/resource sharing. - Close to BART, MUNI, and freeways for your commuting needs. - Parking lot with space for 9 cars. Shared resources: - Large conference room with table/chairs/projector. - Smaller meeting room for phone calls. - Two kitchens with fridges, microwaves, plates, etc. - 75 watt laser cutter - Lounge space for eating, hanging out, brainstorming. - Shop space in the garage with a mill, lathe, welding, and other power tools. - 4 unisex bathrooms. - Internet, wireless, firewall. Static IPs available. - Pizza parties, build nights, and meet-ups. What's available: - A mix of cubicles and large and small private offices. - Month-to-month cubicles, or longer-term larger-area leases are possible. - In the layout below, the blue and pink areas are available, and the green areas will be available in the future. White is open common space, and dark gray is bathrooms, closets, and the elevator. This represents single cubicles to 5000 sqft of the 7500 sqft total. Location: 489 Clementina St. San Francisco, CA (Right next to 6th and Folsom) Contact me if interested! Click on my username in the right-side column for contact info.

Topic by ewilhelm 10 years ago  |  last reply 8 years ago


Bedbugs treatment-friendly furniture hacks and projects?

Hi all, as an astute long-time reader of people's projects, I found some great ones to repurpose and reuse otherwise not-so-pretty, salvaged or thrift-store bought furniture. However, as I slowly gained confidence in my abilities and availability of products, I sustained my third treatment against bedbugs in less than a year. Nothing unusual in my town where the epidemics is out of control, but surely a time-waster and great source of tension between tenants and landlords. For those who have been lucky not to harbour this pesky little parasite, a treatment involves pulling every furniture from the walls, dismantling every piece that can, turning them upside-down, removing wall outlet plates, placing dirty laundry nearing the bed at the center of the room, waiting for the CPO to spray everything, leave a mess of a (inefficient) white powder everywhere, going outside the home for at least 12 hours, going back, pack everything and go to the laundry, come back and re-assemble the furniture. This is extremely time-consuming, but I got a hint from the CPO that could potentially save hours of work. Bedbugs don't fly or jump, and cannot climb on metal or plastic. Conversely, they are especially fond of wood to live and sticks their eggs on. Incidentally, wood is the most common material to make low-end Ikea furniture. Question is, considering current North American bedbug invasion, why is there no more bedbugs treatment friendly hacks, or at least a word of caution against getting anything used or of unknown origin? That would be as responsible thing to discourage the practice, as we already do about wearing safety googles when using a power tool. And second, why aren't there more hacks and projects with that in mind? As Tim Anderson wrote, most people have more time than money on their hands. Well, I have neither of those (nor a vehicle), and thus cannot participate at that time.

Topic by Cubytus 6 years ago  |  last reply 6 years ago


Creative Electrician or Consultant Wanted for Short-Term Project (Good money.)

I'm the owner of a 3-story commercial building in New York City. I basically have 2 tenants: One using the ground floor and basement, the other using the 2nd and 3rd floors. I am trying to sub-meter the electrical use of each tenant so they can pay for their own usage (and have an incentive to conserve). For the last several months I have been interviewing licensed electricians. Apparently, though there are two separate fuse boxes (It's an old building.) they each have both upstairs and downstairs circuits mixed up in them. This, I have been told, will make sub-metering a more complicated and expensive job than it should be (potentially over 5 figures.) as it will involve rewiring. Now, in my experience, most licensed electricians think Arduino is a kind of pasta. They are not hackers, not creative, and never look for unconventional solutions to solving problems. (I'm not knocking the guys, but this is what joining the rat race for survival does to people--especially in NYC.) It never even occurred to me that there might be an unconventional solution to my problem until I spotted this 'ible. If you: Have the skills to implement an adaption of this set-up, or have a proposal of your own as to how to solve my problem; are close to New York; and would be willing to consult with a licensed electrician and myself, you may very well be able to save me $5k or $6k, 60% of which would go to you if the plan was adopted and worked. (Otherwise I'd still compensate you for your time at a rate we both agree in advance to be fair.) Anyone interested please PM me.  Thanks. PS I don't think of myself as a businessman or landlord. I inherited the building, would sell it in a heartbeat if my brother (who I co-own it with) let me, and I'd rather be writing and making stuff out things I find dumpster-diving than collecting rent checks. But since I'm currently stuck in the role, I'm trying to make the building as green as I can.

Topic by joachimboaz 7 years ago  |  last reply 7 years ago


Heating options for hot bueing steel?

After moving house I am still living in a big mess of boxes that need to be unpacked, kitchen stuff be sorted and and so on... But with a big garage and proper workspace at hand it is also time to consider my options on how to create my tinker space. I would like set up a small forge later on if the landlord gives permission and that means bot blueing steel again. Which brings me to the problem of heating the nitrates :( My last setup was not only on a different continent but also totally oversized and powered by three big gas burners. This time I would like to go a bit smaller so I can use it inside the workshop. Was thinking of a max of around 8kg of nitrates that need to be heated in a safe way to melting point. Problem with that stuff is that it is not only highly corrosive but also requires quite some time and energy to melt. Using gas on such a small scale seems far to dangerous uless I include baffle plates and add several safe guards, so I would like to avoid the open flame approach here. Only reasonabe alternative that comes to my mind is electric heating. Did some small test last night outside :( Used a 2000W electric hotplate and an old stainless steel pot with about 1kg of nitrate in it. After 40 minutes there was still no real melting happening despited the entire thing padded and covered in glass wool. 20 minutes later I turned it all off and once cooled I found that only about 1cm of solid nitrate was at the bottom. If I would use a suitable container of let's say 20x10x10 cm as a small melting vessel: Could it be sufficient to use a 2000W nichrome heating element (with temp controller of course) in an insulated, forge like setup to melt the nitrate ina reasonable amount of time and be able to keep it that way once the steel is dropped in? Problem is the entire garage is already setup with power outlets and they all go to a single 10 amp breaker. I could max it out with 2400W but for obvious reasons would prefer to have some juice left for lights and other uses. If anyone here already made such a thing it would be great to hear how you solved the heating problem without waiting half a day for the stuff to melt.

Question by Downunder35m 1 year ago  |  last reply 1 year ago


Create Scholarship Entry: Hearing Impaired

My project is designed to solve a personal problem. One I'm sure others struggle with. I am hard of hearing.My proposed project is for the iRobot to find me and tell me, via an LCD screen or similar visual, that the phone or doorbell is ringing. In order to keep the search path short, to start, in my house I'm thinking about using either virtual wall, which I can't afford, or a line down the hallway to the bed. When something is out of focus you can frequently stare at it until it comes into focus or you can ask someone what the sign says. With hearing loss you eventually realize you don't know you didn't hear something because people start yelling at you for ignoring them. Sound is fleeting. Usually only lasts a fraction of a second. I hear less that half of what most people hear. Without my hearing aids I can only hear the noisiest birds if they are about 20 feet or less from me. I can only hear my phone ring if I am within 15 feet of it and I have the volume all the way up. To talk on the phone, I have one that is relatively new and have the volume all the way up. Those 90db alarms, I need to be within 5 feet of them to hear them. The smoke alarm in the kitchen, I can hear it but it isn't going to wake me. A fire in the kitchen isn't going to trigger the alarm in the bedroom soon enough. It probably won't be loud enough to wake me, anyway.My house didn't have a doorbell when I moved in and I can't hear someone knock unless I have my hearing aids on and am within 10 feet of the door. After missing numerous UPS deliveries I installed a wireless doorbell and I carry the receiver, pager style, with me all day when I am expecting a delivery. And I have even missed UPS with that. If the water is running, the TV or radio is on, it is even more likely that I will not hear the phone or doorbell. If I'm in the bathroom even with the door open I don't have any idea what is happening on the other side of the doorway.A security system with cameras and sensors and a DVR would be ideal. But not in my budget. It might help me with my thieving neighbors.I have thought about getting a dog to help me but I have three rabbits and cannot afford another pet on my disability income. That would probably be a good solution. I own my own home, ok the bank owns it and lets me live here, but if I have to move into a rental most landlords do not allow pets. A robot would not be an issue.If I had a robot that could find me and let me know what is going on in my house it would be very useful. People do not wear hearing aids to bed. I don't usually wear my hearing aids at home to save on batteries. And because the feedback drives me crazy. I just turn the TV or radio up REALLY, REALLY LOUD. Sorry neighbors, it's not my intent to be annoying.I custom built the computer I am using. I have some experience programming simple robots such as the Parallax Boe-Bot. Most recently I built the miniPOV and mintyBoost from AdaFruit. I have 6 years experience as UNIX sysadmin and configuration management. I also have basic hardware and soldering experience. If I have enough time I would like to have it bring me the phone and have a microphone and speaker to talk to the person at the door. I would definitely like to add smoke and co2 detection but I noticed there are quite a few people taking that on and so I will leave that to the end. Maybe teach it to do a little dance, sing a little song, get down tonite. I could wrap it in mirrors, turn it into a floor disco ball. A different dance and sounds for each alert.A robot that could notify me of doorbell and phone events would make my life easier. I'd be inclined to sleep with it. If it could help clean up after the rabbits and ride herd on them I might worship it. Rosie the Robot, Rabbit Wrangler and goddess. If it could also keep me safe from intruders, fires, gas leaks and such. Heck I'll bear it's child! Shall I name it Proteus? or Alfred? Have you ever seen the movie Demon Seed? Classic.I took my time writing up my proposal to do some research and make sure I have the necessary skills and resources to accomplish this task. They warned us in the challenge. I also wanted to have something unique, although there can be many approaches to solving the same problem. If I do win one of the scholarships I will be interested in your suggestions about how to solve this project.

Topic by SacTownSue 11 years ago  |  last reply 11 years ago


Mozzies and how to keep them outside....

Down here the winter was too short and not cold enough, meaning insect life is literally exploding in numbers already. The house I moved in has badly installed flyscreens on the doors and windows, most likely due to the fact that the house is moving up and down in several points... Anyway, due to the gaps everywhere I found myself with the problem that the mozzies covered my entire front and back door areas. With an unsupporting landlord not even allowing me to replace the bad flysreens with proper ones at my cost I was left with less invasive options to tackle the problem. Before you ask: No I am not even allowed to fix holes in the flyscreens covering the windows :( My next step was to check the local garden center for some natural solutions. Lemon grass seems to do the trick for the inside, the smell also keeps flies away really good. But I had to put the pots in the garden as the ongoing smell gives me headaches. It also did very little to prevent the mozzies from coming inside when I opened any outside door for a few moments. Only way out was to get rid of the mozzie population having daily meeting around my doors. At the local hardware store I found several "surface sprays" and they all stated to be very effective against cockroaches, spiders and other crawling insects - too bad I don't have a problem with them LOL After asking I was informed that those sprays do little to nothing for flying insects, including mozzies and that I would waste my money. During my next shopping trip I got desperate and grabbed a can of surface spray from Aldi. Was under 3 bucks, so I had nothing to loose compared to the 40-80 bucks for a canister of "the good stuff" from the hardware store. At the checkout an old lady asked if I moved into a new house with cockroaches when she saw the spray and I said that I only have a problem with mozzies. She recommended to eat more bananas ROFL Back home it was already too sunny at the front door for the mozzies to show up so I waited till the late afternoon and sure enough I found the area covered with them again. The spray annoyed them badly but I kept spraying all cracks, surfaces and also the gaps at the roof line. Kept checking for a while but could not see any real effect on the mozzies other than swarming around me and trying to suck my blood. Next morning I found the floor at the door covered by a carpet of dead mozzies! I don't mean a few, I am talking enough to take the brrom to clear them up :) Now for the past 5 days the body count is going down quite fast while my door stays free of mozzies. Still have them flying around in "normal" numbers but I can get in and out without a swarm of them following me. Since the product is plant based and considered to be without any side effects on humans or pets I will see how long it lasts and then just spray again - this three dollar can should last throughout the summer... You might wonder why I go through all these troubles... Long story short, I am quite allergic to the bites. Happened as a kid when during a warm summer night at a friends place I got so many bites that the doc gave up counting. He reached over 200 just by counting my head and face to the shoulders... Now I am allergic to the bites, the itch lasts over a week and thebite area swells up to the size of a 50 cent coin with blisters forming after 2 days. You might not get it hat bad but if you do suffer from the bites I found two remedies that help with the itch and reaction: a)  BBQ igniter (the manual push type without batteries)! They work like the expensive clickers you get at the pharmacy but last much longer - plus they require more force. The rounded tip is placed directly onto the bite and when you push the button in to "get shocked" two things happen. First the pressure forces the soliver that causes the reaction into deeper skin layers where there are less receptors for the itch. Secondly the high voltage breaks down certain parts of the soliver making it far less effective to cause harm. Downside is that you might like the shock in certain areas and that you should shock at least 10 to 15 times to get a real benefit from it. b)  Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) You put a drop of H2O2 directly onto the bite or for difficult areas use a soaked cotton bud. Rubbing it in with a cotton bud for a minute or two works best IMHO. You might see your skin turn white or feel a slight burn right where the bite is - that is normal and harmless. The hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen into the skin - this turns the skin white for short period of time. But the oxygen also breaks down the soliver and the byproducts of the body reaction to it. Works great for horse fly bites too. Downside here is that you should not overdo things and that you should test first how sensitive you are to the reaction. A good test is to apply it onto a small cut or scratch to clean it. If you tolerate that then won't even feel it on a mozzie bite. I hope some of this will help you through the summer ;)

Topic by Downunder35m 2 years ago  |  last reply 2 years ago