qfiffle's Profile

Display Name: qfiffle
Member Since: 10/28/11

Latest Comments...

Oh, I should note we are in Australia.

Also, the $3000 would have totally been worth it for labour, if we had needed to take time off work to do it ourselves. As it is, I had holidays and my husband was unemployed, and we had an unemployed very generous friend help us out for free, so it worked out fine.


How Much Did it Cost to Paint Your House Exterior? Reader Intelligence Request
6/6/14 05:24 AM

We painted ours last month before we put it on the market. It's a one story three-bedroom house.

We spent $150 on paint (it would have been more if we'd done multiple coats, but it wasn't in bad condition and we were keeping the colour the same, so we just did one coat). We also spent $80 on supplies (dropsheets, rollers, trays, brushes, sandpaper, cleaning products, etc). It took three of us exactly one week including all preparation, working on it for at least four hours every day.

The quotes we got were around $3000, which we didn't have.


How Much Did it Cost to Paint Your House Exterior? Reader Intelligence Request
6/6/14 05:22 AM

I think that's a grapefruit tree, not a lemon.

And I love the idea of this, especially in summer. Unfortunately here in Australia with water shortages, I am constantly trying to make my shower and bath UNAPPEALING so that I won't go wasting water by showering too long or too often. Maybe there's some way to set up a rainwater tank connected to an outdoor shower with solar heating or something, so that I can ethically enjoy it...


Keep It Cool: 15 Inspiring Outdoor
Showers & Bathrooms

6/27/13 03:04 AM

Agreeing that this is the norm in Australia, which horrifies me here in Canberra where the temperatures get well below freezing in winter. I looked into replacing our (gas) water heater with an on-demand one, but that would work out significantly more expensively for us. Our heater only holds enough water for two five minute showers (even with our water-saving head), which is still well above the recommended shower length in this country of water shortages. But if we had on-demand, I am very sure we would find it impossible to restrict ourselves to such short showers, especially in winter.

Also, consumer reports suggest that they may not be cost-effective even if you don't take into account possible increased water usage http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/appliances/heating-cooling-and-air/water-heaters/tankless-water-heaters/overview/tankless-water-heaters-ov.htm


Would You Consider an Outside Hot Water Heater?
4/16/12 04:51 AM

I laughed at the bit where you ended up installing a bathtub like the one you had just taken out.

That has been the story of my renovations too. For each element of our new house that we wanted to change, we had firm ideas of what we wanted, then when we researched them for our particular house we discovered good reasons why the previous owner had gone with exactly what they did. After the first few experiences we stopped ripping out the previous fixture/colour/floor BEFORE investigating whether our preference would work out instead. There were too many things that we ended up having to return to just the way they had been.


The World's Ugliest Condo: My Ballad of Renovation Woes Renovation Diary
4/5/12 08:52 PM

I LOVE light floors. I had them in my apartment in Denmark, and they were kind of whitewashed wood. I had to use a special milky soap on them once a week that dried to a chalky white. They were beautiful and I always thought I'd try to recreate that when I owned my own home.

Lo and behold, once I bought a house and started bringing wood samples home, I found the really dark ones just looked much righter in this place. They went better with the furniture, the curtains, the transitions to the tiled areas, and meant we wouldn't have to paint the lovely dark wooden trim white. I still dream of another house with pale floors for future me, though.


Small Space Contrasts: Light vs. Dark Floors
4/5/12 08:39 PM

I've had my spring mattress for 10 years so far, and it's still really comfortable and showing no signs of wear. It might have been a top end one, but I don't know, because I bought it (for $50) second-hand (from a friend of a friend - so I had someone to vouch for their hygiene). I believe they had it for at least 5 years before they sold it to us (because of moving overseas. I would find it hard to let myself spend thousands on a mattress when there are options like this out there.


The Case for Buying a Latex Mattress
3/30/12 08:17 PM

I'm in Canberra, Australia, and I don't think there is any accommodation available at all below about $1000 a month, and that would be a 1-bedroom or studio with rats, cockroaches, or loud neighbours on the far outskirts of town. I wouldn't expect to find somewhere inhabitable under $1600, and the max I would pay is $2000 a month (which is what our place was heading towards with multiple rent increases when we finally bit the bullet and bought instead.


What's the Highest & Lowest Rent You'd Pay in Your City? Survey
3/14/12 07:37 AM

I wish I could have done this when I rented. Unfortunately in Australia the landlord or his/her representative does twice-yearly inspections (more frequent in the first year) and everything has to be as it was when you moved in. So having to swap in and out my stuff for the landlords every six months would have been more trouble than it's worth.

Also, here, light fixtures have to be changed by licensed electricians - no DIY allowed. Sadly.


Reversible Upgrades: Things to Temporarily Change in a Rental Renters Solutions
3/6/12 12:44 AM

I think it's cute. Especially the X-rays. If anyone's interested, I think the Swedish labels say "Swallowed key inside bear", "Mouse with broken back" and "Swallowed apple rabbit"!


Embrace Your Child's Dreams Dos Family
2/28/12 08:27 PM

Also, they are really expensive. $6 for 30 sheets or something. I guess if you are using them one at a time in dryer loads, that might last a while, but for cleaning, I imagine you'd go through them pretty fast.


Quick Cleaning Tip: Keep Baseboards Cleaner With Fabric Softner
2/18/12 07:10 PM

Yeah, I'm in Australia too, and had never heard of dryer sheets before reading Apartment Therapy. When you posted recently about using them to clean shower doors I looked in our local supermarket. It took me a while to locate them, but there were two brands, both scented, neither of which promised anti-static properties, so I don't even know if they are the same as what you are talking about.

I didn't buy them, because I don't actually own a dryer. We dry on the line in good weather and inside on a drying rack otherwise.


Quick Cleaning Tip: Keep Baseboards Cleaner With Fabric Softner
2/18/12 07:09 PM

Windex sells a product for spraying in your shower after every use to keep mold and so on from building up. I'm sure there are other similar brands. I don't use it on the whole shower because then I go through a bottle too fast, and also I worry about whether it is really safe to step into puddles of whatever it is made of every time I shower. But I do spray it on that part of the door track after each shower. Since I started doing that a few months ago, the mold hasn't built up there anymore and it's stayed sparkly.


Tips For Cleaning Shower Door Track?
Good Questions

2/14/12 11:40 PM

I'm in Australia and the lack of ability to ever get landlords to repaint or do any basic maintenance was one of the major factors contributing to me finally buying my own place. I would have happily rented forever if the culture had been a little different. One landlord did recarpet and repaint, but then immediately turned around and sold the place and kicked us out, since she realised how a fresh look had put the place in perfect condition to get the best price.

Another repainted at the end of our lease, as we asked for this in exchange for signing for another year. Then he used it as ammunition to raise the rent by $50 a week.

Others just refused entirely, and were not willing for us to do it even if we paid for all the materials and DIYed. The biggest problem is that here the landlord/property manager does 3 monthly inspections at first, and six monthly inspections after the first year you have rented from them, where they check that everything is in order, and fine you or refuse to write references in the future if you have changed things, done any unagreed work on the property, or even put up picture hooks in the walls. So you can't just return the place to the way it used to be when you move out - they'll see it every 3-6 months.

When I used to live in NZ, at least the inspections weren't a regular part of the rental culture - but that was 15 years ago, so maybe they are now.


Help Convince Landlord Apartment Needs Refreshing?
Good Questions

2/14/12 11:34 PM

I learned somewhere (Lifehacker, maybe?) the trick to pick an easy to remember password, and then move my hands one set of keys to the right (or left, your choice) before typing.

God, I did that for an important password, and then had to get my husband to access the account with me on the phone to him. Without a keyboard in front of me, I was completely unable to tell him what the password was. Fail.


3 Steps to Turn a Terrible Password Into a Great One
2/5/12 05:54 PM

We recently installed laminate in our place, and I was surprised to see on the installation instructions that came with the laminate that they claimed you could install it over carpet. I would have used a moisture barrier, though. And I don't know if they were promising the carpet would be in great condition when you removed the laminate later.


Covering Up Ugly Rental Apartment Carpeting With Laminate Flooring
1/24/12 11:17 PM

I think the best trick (and the one that a site like AT should be promoting) is to match your furniture or floors or rugs (or all of them!) to your pets :) Don't put in dark floors if you have a golden Labrador or a white cat. Don't put in pale rugs or get white furniture if you have dark-haired pets. Our cat matches our grey rug exactly, and her fur is approximately the same darkness as the wooden floors (although obviously not the same hue), and the chair she sleeps in is also a similar shade. So even when the hair builds up, it isn't apparent unless you get down on your hands and knees and look closely.


5 Tricks for Dealing With a Hairy Home
1/17/12 08:15 PM

We did the same thing with our lounge - the previous owner liked yellow and the whole house was painted in it (including kitchen cupboards!). Here's our lounge before and after painting. (Ignore the tinfoil on the potted plants: that was because we had a new kitten who thought plants were extra litterboxes.) We put in new floors too, so actually the real "after" photo is this one. But it's from a different angle. And of course the place is constantly evolving, so it doesn't look anything like that anymore. There's now a proper coffee table and a rug and some art on the walls!


Making a Change: What A Difference Paint Makes
1/9/12 06:13 PM

I think the notecard with internet password info is kind of weird. Isn't that the sort of thing you would tell your guest about, or help them with personally? Hotels do it because they don't want to have a conversation with every guest, but presumably you ARE talking to yours :)

I like most of the other ideas. Another one I like to do is to give them a spare housekey, or have one in their room, in case they want to go for an early morning walk.


My House Is Your House: Making Guests Feel Welcome
Martha Stewart

11/1/11 10:48 PM

I took this photo of blue velvet armchairs in a hotel lobby recently because I loved the look so much.


Sweet Indulgences: Blue Velvet
11/1/11 09:06 PM