Question: I'd like to get a ceramic or other unusual panel of house numbers for the front of our house. Can you tell me where to shop?
Answer: The square tile numbers that fit into a wooden frame can be found in many gift shops, especially those that specialize in Mexican art. I have seen them in shops on Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles.
You can also order round ceramic plates on which you can have your address and name or message of your choice painted and glazed. One supplier of the plates is Homeplates, P.O. Box 635, San Clemente, Calif. 92672. The last price I saw for the plates was $48, plus $2.88 sales tax in California, and $4 for postage.
The most unusual house numbers I've seen lately were on a house in the Hollywood Hills. The owner had the numbers done in neon. Not only can they be seen easily at night, but the neon also provides light for the surrounding area.
Q: Our washer ran over one day and wet our brand-new linoleum tile floor. The floor was dried as thoroughly as we could. We had a repair man in and he put on a new hose. Several days later, I put in a load of wash and when it came to the rinse cycle, the water just gushed all over the floor, worse than the first time. The repair man forgot to clamp the hose. Now, several months later, our kitchen floor is squeaking terribly. We do not know what to do. Can you help us. We have crawl space under the house. It is not built right on the ground.
A: You're fortunate to have access under the house, because you don't want to damage your new floor covering if it can be avoided. Keep in mind that squeaks are usually caused by wood rubbing against wood. It sounds as if the water somehow penetrated the subflooring, causing it to rub against the joists.
Working beneath the house, try to wedge some very thin shims between the subflooring and joists in the areas of the squeaks. This might put a stop to the squeaks. Meanwhile, I'd squeal to the repairman who failed to connect the hose and see if he will compensate for the damage.
Q: I travel quite a lot by plane, leaving my car in the garage at home. This troubles me, because I have a very nifty car with a lot of custom extras on it. I have an automatic garage door, which provides some security, but I'd like more. What would you suggest?
A: You could have an alarm system attached to the garage--one that would notify authorities of any intrusion. That will take some financial outlay, of course, but you didn't mention cost.
Recently, I saw a product called a Gravity Drop Automatic Dead Bolt that attaches to automatic overhead garage doors. The lock engages through the force of gravity as the door closes. The bolt goes from the door into the garage floor. Contacts for this product are Gravity Drop, P.O. Box 2242, Oxnard, Calif. 93034, or Rankin Lite-Lift Overhead Door Inc., P.O. Box 3421, Industry, Calif. 91744.