Q. We recently replaced all of our windows and as a result had to repaint all of our walls. We want to re-hang our pictures, mirrors, etc. What is the best way to do that? We can use nails and hooks but there are a lot of other products on the market, and I am not convinced they will stick and stay. Can you recommend an approach? We don’t have any particularly heavy pieces except two mirrors.
I must assume your walls are drywall (plasterboard) or plaster on lath. Hanging pictures is easy with picture hooks, which come in different sizes and work well and are dirt cheap, because the nails are driven at an angle so they hold well. You can improve the nail’s hold and prevent damage to the wall by putting a piece of duct tape on the wall to drive the nail through. Other types of hangers are also good, but too expensive to bother with. The plain old hooks come in many sizes, including ginormous ones for your heavy mirrors.
Q. I have a wooden hutch, which, when I open the doors, emits an acrid smell. The hutch is over 20 years old and this problem only arose in the past few years. This problem also occurred in an upstairs bedroom with built-in cabinets and drawers. In that case, I simply lined the drawers with contact paper, not a feasible solution here. Suggestions?
There are many liquids to store in open containers that can absorb and dissipate the odors. An open container of vinegar can work. Also, try Room Shocker, installed in the cabinet with doors closed. If you don’t like to do those things, ventilation is an effective fix. Open doors of the cabinet and windows of the room and let air do the trick. You said the odor did not appear for many years. This is typical of a cabinet that is closed up; it will take years to build up enough to make the odor detectable.
Finally, you could empty the hutch and paint the inside with a water-based polyurethane varnish.
Q. My oil-fired, forced-hot-air furnace needs frequent repairs, so I need a new furnace and burner. What are good ones and how much they will cost?
I think a top-quality furnace and burner will cost about $7,000. And, I can tell you that a high-quality furnace is Thermo-Pride, which has a copper-clad firebox that allows the company to guarantee it for life.
Despite the quality of Thermo-Pride, if you have gas in the street or in the house, I suggest you look into converting to gas, because gas is cheaper than oil.