TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we are here to help you with your dwelling improvement projects on this lovely summer weekend. It’s a bit hot outside but whether you’re working in that heat or working inside or scheduling development projects for the cool forecast onward, devote us a call and we’ll help you do just that. The quantity is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up on today’s program, severe summer rains can strike at a few moments , no matter where you live. But if that happens, are you ready with emergency renders and gear that you’ll need at home, at work or perhaps even your vehicle? We’re going to have some tips on what you need at all three locales, in really a bit.
LESLIE: And if you’re looking for a nice finishing touch for your kitchen, we’re disappearing to have some suggestion for intent and installing a beautiful, brand-new backsplash that can certainly spruce up the space.
TOM: We just completed a big makeover at our money crater and it all started with a brand-new garage flooring that was made of tile that you can lay yourself. I’ll say to you about that, in only a bit.
LESLIE: But first, we want to know what you are working on. Let us know what’s going on at your fund excavation. No campaign, large or small, is too much for our team to help you undertake. We’d love to hear about it. We want to see what you’re working on. You can always post your drawings in the Community section. We are keen to lend a hand 24 hours per day, 7 days a week right here at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Give us a call right now.
Let’s get started. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Henry in Illinois is taking on a driveway-repair project. What can we do for you?
HENRY: Where my driveway fills the asphalt road in front of my home, right where it meets- I have a hole forming there and it goes down about 3 to 4 inches deep and probably about 4 hoofs in diameter. And so it turns out that when I turn my rotation to turn into the driveway, well, the left front wheel slams it and it kicks that rock-and-roll out. And I positioned brand-new pea stone in there and it simply kicks it out, too.
TOM: So you have a pea-gravel driveway and the force of the car leading it over and time and again is sort of wearing away a defect. There is a solution for that, Henry and that is- what I’d like you to consider doing is running a concrete apron at the paw of the driveway.
So what the concrete apron does- it doesn’t have to be very big: across the entire driveway, maybe 2 feet, maybe no more than 3 feet deep. But 2 hoofs will probably do. That concrete driveway- that apron then suffices as the entry quality for those working tires.
So you hit that, you go over the concrete apron and then you go into the pea gravel. And the edge of the concrete apron will retain- acts as sort of the retaining wall for the pea gravel in the driveway. That’s the easiest way to stop that from happening. Otherwise, it’s "il be going" a constant maintenance hassle for you to change what is really merely a awfully soft apron now with the pea gravel coming right out and spilling out into the roadway.
You’ll also save a lot of stone in the winter when the moves come by and start propagandizing that snow around.
HENRY: OK. Hey, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Henry. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve get Johanna from Michigan who wants to get out and enjoy the deck. How can we help you with that project?
JOHANNA: Hey. We’re getting ready to threw a deck on the back of our home. It’s going to be about 20 x20. And we’re looking at the composite makes and in doing some research, I have come across some hair-raising personas of pitch-black molding, chipping, cracking, crumbling and so on. And I would just like to get your opinion on the composite decking and if it genuinely maintains up the behavior it says it does or if there are things we need to look out for.
TOM: I think it perfectly does hold up. Originally, the very first composite commodities "thats been" out there had wood fiber in their own homes, as well as the plastics. And the lumber fiber would is often used to grow sometimes algae and things like that and beings didn’t like that.
I think it’s a feeling matter. If you think that there is zero maintenance- “I’m never going to have to do anything at all” - you’re not going to find any product like that. Because even though it’s composite, it’s going to get dirty. It may flourish a bit of algae and need to be cleaned once in a while. But realistically, I think it’s going to stand up a lot better than pressure-treated.
Just give you an example. My son recently completed his Eagle Scout project about a year ago. And his campaign was to build a 30 -foot bridge across a brook. And we chose, for that campaign, composite decking. This is going to be in a ballpark, it’s going to get fortunes and lots and lots of foot traffic. That’s been up now for a year and it still inspects as good as the working day we put it down.
So, I reflect composite is a good choice. Stick with a figure brand; stick with Trex, for example. Good product, good history. And I think it’s going to cut down on the maintenance overall and it’s going to look terrific at the same time. And you won’t have to paint it and stain it and all that.
Now, you is known that you do- the framing of this is all done through standard pressure-treated, right?
JOHANNA: Right, right. And we will have benches and nonsense building in and we’re going to use, I mull, cedar for that.
TOM: OK. Well, I mean you can use composite for the built-in benches, very. Anything that’s going to be disclosed like that, there’s no reason not to use the composite.
JOHANNA: And it’s a unusually pleasant area, so ...
TOM: Yeah, if you have a lot of sun, you really won’t have a lot of problems with mildew and algae growing, because the sun is a terribly natural mildicide. It’s usually the real shady floors that have the issues.
JOHANNA: Yeah. Maybe there was a bad run at that time?
TOM: And you know what? Composite has changed in the last five years, too.
JOHANNA: OK. Well, good. Thank you very much.
TOM: Alright, Johanna. Good luck with that programme and tell us know when the party is, OK?
JOHANNA: Hey, it’s next Friday.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Don in Wisconsin is dealing with a window-well retaining wall that’s coming apart. Tell us what’s going on.
DON: We have a window-well retaining wall that has- have railroad ties in there. Been there for quite a few years. Has started to deteriorate and I’m just now- I’ve been trying to check on "what were doing" and been told to try to use retaining blocks and set blocks on there. And then "youve got to" kept some sort of a pea gravel in front of the block to hold the beach back, because we have sand now; it’s a sand country.
And I’m not sure. I never did this before. And I was just wondering if it’s something that a person- because I’m handy- be able to do myself or is it something that you should actually have a professional landscaper do?
TOM: At the highest one of the purposes of the wall, from the distance between the floor and the top of the wall, how high is that?
DON: Thirty-two inches.
TOM: OK. So it’s fairly low to the ground. Alright. I think this is activity you can do yourself. Concrete blocks- the interlocking, retaining-wall blocks- are a terrific option because they’re very easy to install. Because it’s exclusively 32 inches off the field, it’s not a lot of clay for you to deal with. You’re going to take the wall apart one sort of neighborhood at a time and improve the blocks as you go.
The thing that’s going to be different about the concrete blocks, though, is you’re travelling to have to have them on a little of a solid foothold. Now, that’s one that you might want to create yourself. You could probably generate that out of stone that’s well-tamped down. But you’ve got to get them sat nice and degree; you can’t precisely put them right on the grime, OK?
And then as- after you assemble them, then you can add the pea gravel behind it and the sand behind that. But I do think that that’s a good alternative and it’s "il be going"- literally, if you do it right, you’re going to get a lifetime’s worth of satisfaction out of that because, of course, the blocks are not going to see rot.
DON: Oh, OK. It sounds great.
TOM: Alright, Don. Good luck with that assignment. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are aria to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Give us a call at 888 -MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fastest and most easy mode to find the best home service pros in your region. You can read reviews and record appointments online.
TOM: It’s all free at HomeAdvisor.com.
Still ahead, severe time rains can come out of nowhere. Are you are willing no matter where you live? Emergency preparedness for home, task or vehicle, after this.
Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a announce, right now, with your home improvement question, your DIY dilemma. The crowd is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Terri in Pennsylvania on the line who’s got a gutter issue. Tell us what’s going on.
TERRI: I have white aluminum gutters and on the gutters that face the southern exposure, the one of the purposes of the trough that faces out is turning pitch-black and there’s like- where the sea races off it, it’s like a dark grey-headed and time liquid drippings all along the face of the gutter.
TOM: Right. So, does it looks a lot like the ditches are overflowing and the ocean is coming over the top and coming these sort of drip marks? Is that what’s going on?
TERRI: Well, yeah. I have what’s called a “gutter insert” to keep the leaves out. And I know that- well, I’m pretty sure that that’s not causing it, because I had the same problem when I lived on Long Island. And "theres only" the gutters that faced south. And on Long Island, we had a white aluminum pinnacle to the gutter to keep the leaves out?
TOM: Right. Mm-hmm.
TERRI: And then the water would roll off of that and then go into the- it would be caught into the gutter. So, it’s a different type of leaf method but I’m still having the same black drip.
TOM: Right. OK. So, first and foremost, I would make sure that the sewers are not blocked and that sea isn’t backing up and overflowing that particular trough, so that- because that irrigate reeling over the priorities in it, it can get behind it, it can rot out your fascia.
The dark stains are probably from the sea and tree sap and everything else that gets into those troughs. The channels also fade quite easily; the draw wears off and fades-out quite easily. So I don’t think it’s a stain that you’re going to actually be given the opportunity to cleanse. I is believed that you’re going to end up having to doing in there, Terri, is repaint those gutters.
So what I would do is I would soap them down with a trisodium phosphate, get as much of that gunk off. Then I would primary them and I would draw them again. But really- but do make sure that they’re not clotted, because that could be leading to the problem.
TERRI: But yeah- no, they’re surely not blockage. And I tried scouring it- the ones that aren’t on the second story, where it’s worse. But the ones that are on the first storey, I tried emptying it with a Fantastik and it bleeds into the stain a little bit but I didn’t is known that the aluminum troughs- was it like a hydrostatic or electrostatic draw process?
TOM: What happens is- and you’ll see this: if you make the gutter and you wipe your hand over it, you’ll probably get some white-hot paint that will come off. It oxidizes because it’s exposed to UV. And so then the colour doesn’t is often used to last-place more than perhaps 10 years or so on aluminum gutters.
So I speculate, though, if you clean off as much of this thing as you can, prime it and depict it, it’ll look great.
TERRI: Alright. Great. I’ll give it a try.
TOM: Terri, thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, summertime tornadoes can affect without warning. One instant you’re comfy, the next you’re worried about how long you can get by with what you’ve get. Now, when the forecast calls for severe weather, it’s important to make sure that you’re ready for the storm, whether you’re at home, at work or in the car.
TOM: Now, a well-stocked emergency kit is the first step. It’s certainly essential to any plaza you or your loved ones are going to spend some time. Think about what every family member needs to get by for a few days without ability or even water. Keep those disaster items in one spot in your dwelling and make sure everybody knows where to find them. We’re talking about stuff like meat, water, remedy, toiletries, survival implements- like flashlights and tents and tarps- and those extra batteries.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you’ve got to remember that emergencies can affect when you’re not at home. At act, you should prevent a afford of liquid, meat, toiletries and medicines in close range. And you want to be sure to have comfortable sneakers within reach, more, in case the departure requires a lot of walking.
And finally, don’t forget your vehicle. You want to keep jumper cables, flashlights and ladles in your stalk. And also think about keeping some irrigate, some nutrient, blankets, things that are going to keep you comfortable in case you’re stranded.
TOM: Another good suggestion is to install a standby generator or a whole-house generator, which is a permanent generator set outside your mansion. And it’ll come on automatically within seconds of a strength outage.
I’ll tell you what, we had to live through Hurricane Sandy and had no power for about three weeks. And if it wasn’t for that generator, I think we would have probably leave here. But with that generator, we were able to stay here and keep on with our lives and help our friends and pedigrees and neighbours out, as well, because we were pretty much the only house on the street that had superpower for that totality time.
LESLIE: Alright. Now up, we’ve came Paul calling in from Tennessee who’s got an issue with a ocean gush. Tell us what’s going on.
PAUL: I’m getting some breath in this well water. The reservoir is six-and-a-half years old, as is the house. And it goes down 350 hoofs and the casing goes down 105 paws where they grouted it. When they first set it in, I was inconvenienced by the amount of turbidity I had in it and I was changing the whole-house filter about once a week.
And I went back to the drilling companionship and "theyre saying", “Well, it would take about three months to quit that.” Well, it was 36 months. And then after about four years, I started coming some sea hammer in the cold water, particularly in the basement. Although upstairs, it’ll do it, too.
But then I’m getting air out of the faucets upstairs and it’s collecting air from somewhere and I can’t figure out where. And as far as I know, the well container, with the bladder in it- the 40 pounds of air pressure hold the bladder. That seems to be OK, Tom.
TOM: OK. Yeah, that was the first thing I was going to think: that if you had a leak in that bladder tank, that that would cause that. Other possible motives are bad siphons but I’m not quite sure how you could test that without having all the gear that you would need.
Have you had the well fellowship come back and take another look at this, specifically for the air-bubble problem?
PAUL: No. Because it’s been quite a while and they- the chap they used to have there at the company, in the daytime, didn’t seem to know much about it. In knowledge, when he told me to three months it was going to clear up and it was 36 months, I mulled, “Maybe I’m talking to the erroneous guy.” But I haven’t come a accommodate of him.
TOM: Yeah. Well, he told you to three months because his warranty was 90 daylights, right?
TOM: Paul, patently, we’re getting air into that structure and if it’s not coming through the bladder barrel, I’m not quite sure where it’s coming in. And I reflect you’re going to have to get a well professional there- a real expert- that understands these things and try to see if there’s any lane they can determine exactly how that breeze is getting in.
Do you have another well corporation that you might try?
PAUL: Yeah, there’s various of them here because this area is very rural. We’re right at the edge of the Smokies.
TOM: I would try another well firm, because you didn’t have good luck with the first one, and see if you can get to the bottom of it. But I agree with you: if it’s not the barrel, it more than likely is the pump.
PAUL: OK. Well, very good. And thank you. I will try someone here regional, then, and see if they are able to improved( ph) it out.
TOM: Alright, Paul. Good fortune with that job. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Dixie in Illinois has a question considering a fracture in the cellar and the possibility of it caving in.
Dixie, are you calling us from a pile of rubble or are you really concerned?
DIXIE: I am actually concerned because it started out with only hairline cracks following along the concrete blocks. And there’s fissures in each angle of the foundation above anchor, as well as these hits in the walls below, in the basement. But the crannies are getting bigger and bigger. I imply there are some of them that are gaping, I want to even say, an inch-and-a-half, 2 inches of ...
TOM: You has only one inch-and-a-half crack? You entail width? It’s open an inch-and-a-half?
DIXIE: Well, the latter are- well, you can’t see through the cranny but the walls are bending in. We’ve even employed reinforcements.
TOM: Alright. So, horizontally- like the cracks are horizontal and they’re bending in, Dixie?
DIXIE: Most of the ones that are bending in are horizontal, yes. But the cracks do go up and down, as well.
TOM: Alright. So it is required to immediately contact a structural designer and have the foundation scrutinized. This sounds serious. I could be said that, often, horizontal fractures are caused by frost throb, where the drainage milieu are poverty-stricken at the outside of the house, ocean musters there, clay freezes and propagandizes in.
But you have that countless cracks and those fissures are that substantial, you need- not a contractor. I crave you to find a structural engineer. You’re only hiring this chap to scrutinize the home and draw up a report discussing the standards of the foundation. And if mends are needed, the engineer should specify those mends. Then you can bring a contractor in to follow the engineer’s specification and represent the repairs.
And then finally, make sure you bring the structural technologist back to inspect and certify that they were done correctly. Because at this station, unless you follow those steps just like that, you’re going to have a serious deficit to the home value. So that’s why if you have it inspected by a structural technologist, repaired by a contractor per the engineer’s specs and certified by the engineer as OK, you have kind of a pedigree for that repair you can pass on to future home buyers, OK? Does that make sense?
DIXIE: OK. But how do you find a structural engineer?
TOM: So, there’ll be regional engineering fellowships. You could also check the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors, ASHI- -AS-H-I-. org. Now, those guys will not necessarily has become a structural architect but there may be an engineer among them that’s likewise a home inspector.
Alright? Thank you very much, Dixie. I hope that helps you out.
LESLIE: You can achieve us now anytime at 888 -MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. You can find top-rated home service pros and journal appointments online, all for free.
Up next, are you looking forward to a motif impres that makes a sprinkle? Well, a backsplash does that and more. We’re going to share some gratuities for designing and adding one to your kitchen, when The Money Pit continues.
TOM: Making good dwellings better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a request, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Hey, how’s that air conditioner succeeding? If it’s feeling like it’s not working too well, here’s a immediate gratuity on how you can determine if it needs more refrigerant: just measurement the temperature of the breath that’s going out the cross-file and the temperature going back into the system. Now, if the aura between the give and return is 15 to 20 positions inconsistency, well, that’s ordinary. But if it’s less than that, that means you may need to call the serviceman to have some additional refrigerant included. Because if you don’t, it’s going to have to run longer to do the same thing. And if it gets really hot, it’s just not going to see make love at all.
LESLIE: Jack in New York needs some help with a crawlspace. What can we do for you?
JACK: Well, I have an area that is- was a crawlspace and we burrow it out. And so it’s- we have about a 7-foot ceiling now. And I threw some gravel in it and I wasn’t going to do anything but now I want to expand my store. And I don’t truly have access to where I can settle concrete in it. And I was wondering if you would have any ideas.
TOM: Well, first of all, Jack, since you dug it out down to 7 paws, how did you is in favour of soil under the foundation wall?
JACK: We left a stair. This soil that was in there was so pact that it was almost impossible to dig it out, so we weren’t too worried. But we did leave a step around the foundation, the footer.
TOM: OK. Right.
JACK: There’s about 21/2 foot- we get about 21/2 hoof below the footer.
TOM: That’s what we call, in our areas of the country, a “Yankee basement” where it’s dug out. It’s not a joke; that’s actually what they call it. They call it a “Yankee basement” or, well, sometimes a “root cellar, ” where mostly you make the interior perimeter of the foundation wall, move in about 21/2, 3 feet and then dig down there. So you leave this sort of berm of grime to substantiate its foundation that’s for the purposes of the footing.
So, options for cleaning- for finishing that floor. Why can’t you get concrete into the storey? Because most eras, there would be a situation where they’d named up a chute that goes right through a space and pour some concrete into that floor. That’s clearly the most efficient way and fastest lane to create a floor in a basement.
JACK: Yeah, I is in agreement with you but I truly- the time to- the expense of the concrete and having - you know, doing a entire programme "couldve been" fairly pricey.
TOM: How big is the floor area?
JACK: Well, it’s about 25 x15 and then with an 8x8 protrude to- on one point of it. So it’s L-shaped, basically.
TOM: Well, I don’t have any quick doctrines on how to create a hard-surface flooring when you don’t was intended to introduced concrete down there. You could frame something but I want it would be very temporary. I "wouldve been" prefer that you introduced concrete. And you don’t have to do- it doesn’t have to be 6 cm thick. I can be 4 cm thick and pour it in areas. But I actually think you should just budget for and use concrete down there because anything else you do is going to be very substandard. It’s not going to contribute to the value of your house.
JACK: I hear you. Yeah, it sounds like a hoof( ph) I was afraid I was going to hear.
TOM: Yeah, OK. Well, gape, you got all the hard work done digging it out. I would just plan for and save up for some concrete. Get a mason to help you or get somebody that’s used to finishing concrete. And get it all moved and it’ll be be done in order to a day.
JACK: Oh, yeah, sure.
TOM: It has to be done in a daytime because the concrete’s going to cure.
Alright, Jack? Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, everybody certainly affection to expend the majority of members of their go at home in the kitchen. It tends to be the heart of the home and a plaza where everybody socializes. But maybe it’s not seeming as great as you would like it to. And there are a few actions that you can change the look without spending a ton of cash.
First of all, backsplashes. These are the panels above drops and staves that protect your wall from splashes and food. But they can also be a great space for design. So let’s focus now on developing the kitchen of your dreams with a huge design conversion that’s your backsplash.
Now, they’ve been around for as long as kitchens. But over the past decade, we’ve seen a move in distinct decorations and designs that backsplashes can take on. Now, among the most popular look are tile backsplashes, which can add sophistication at a fraction of the costs of most major design upgrades.
TOM: So, let’s start with some of the practical considerations for deciding whether tile is a good substance for backsplash for you or not.
A few things to consider. First of all, is it important to you that it’s easy to clean or that it seeks a certain way? So, for example, you’ve got some picks. Ceramic and porcelain tiles? Very easy to clean. But natural stone , not so much. It’s porous, it’s prone to chipping. It’s a lot harder to clean. And then you have private individuals tiles or the tiles that come on the mesh-backed membranes. Those mesh-backed membrane tiles, that contain a few dozen tiles, compile installation easier but they may limit your scheme options. And they’re starting to need a lot more grout, which is another cleaning issue we’ll get to in really a minute.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And I think you’ve got to consider design. What is it you people want this backsplash to look like? How do you want to accomplish it? Is a focal point key to what your design contrives are? Well, if it is and you’re employ "the worlds largest" expensive tile, consider exclusively abusing it in one spot, like maybe over the stave where you can really create a focal point. Use that expensive tile wisely in a room that’s going to get a lot of attention. And then fill in the area with a less expensive tile. It’s really going to increase that visual impact on the piece that you’ve spent a lot of money on, without sort of spending all that money for it merely all to look really lovely and maybe not seem so special.
And you can get some immense tiles at a very reasonable price, that’s not going to kill your budget and truly showcase this beautiful area. You’ve likewise need to go to consider: how much cavity am I tiling? If you’ve got a ton of backsplash or maybe you’re doing the whole area above the stove, to the ceiling, "youve been" have to think about how you’re going to use it. You don’t want that tile to make your room watch smaller. You can be utilized a different tile that’ll constitute the space seem bigger. You’ve got to consider all of these things and how you lay out the tile to really, you are aware, decide how your room is going to feel.
And don’t ignore, you can lay your tile out in an interesting pattern: herringbone, offset, stacked. There’s a lot of different ways that you can use the tile that will change the feel of the room. So, experimentation with it a little. Get samples and positioned them up in a gap that gives you a sense of what it’s going to be.
TOM: OK. Now, let’s talk about grout. That is the bane of so many of our lives when it comes to cleaning, because it gets dirty so fast and it’s so hard to get cleanse again. You can make this process a little bit easier if you take some steps ahead of time.
First of all, if you use sanded or unsanded grout, they’re both moderately porous types of grout and the grimes are going to soak right in. So with that various kinds of grout, you’ve got to seal it.
But the other alternative is epoxy grout or cement-based grout. And this is less porous and it’s easier to keep clean. So think through that before you choose your grout and you’ll save yourself hours upon hours of cleansing after you get that tile up and start to enjoy it.
LESLIE: Yeah. And retain, grout also involves choosing the color. A darker dye might not need to be cleaned as often - inkling, suggestion, inkling- but also is a contrast to the tile. Spates of selections. That’s why those grout little bits come in samples, as well. Take a seem and decide the examination that you want.
TOM: The objective is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Call us, right now, with your dwelling progress question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. You can find out what it costs to do your home project before you hire a pro and instantaneously book one of HomeAdvisor’s top-rated pros for free.
LESLIE: Just ahead, would you like a beautiful, brand-new storey in your garage, cellar or even your workspace that’s incredibly tough but is as simple to putting in place as assembling a riddle? Well, Lock-Tile is a product that does only that and we just abused it for a makeover at The Money Pit’s workshop. We’re going to share those details and tell you where you can see a time-lapse video of the entire project, after this.
TOM: Making good dwellings better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a order, right now, with your residence increase question. The crowd is 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.com. Never is concerned at overpaying for a responsibility. Exactly use HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide to see what others paid under a similar project. That’s all free of charge at HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Now we’ve get Kathleen in Illinois on the line and she’s got a question about a arched ceiling. What can we do for you?
KATHLEEN: I’m need about a restoration activity that we are trying to do on a three-season sun porch. And it’s a 12 x27 room. We did tackle make window permutation by ourselves and we managed to do that. They’re vinyl-clad windows, the tilt-in kind and everything. But the ceiling right now is 12 -inch tiles who the hell is- they seem to be glued up to the ceiling. They’re not on a grid system; they’re exactly up there. And we want to settled faux-tin ceilings. And we’re know ... ... if that’s a project that we could attack or is that something best left to professionals or- we’re looking for your advice.
But we had some injury from rain on the roof and we’ve had the ceiling superseded. But I even painted over where the water stains were with Zinsser Stain Stop. And you can still appreciate the- it did not cover it, so we need to change the ceiling.
TOM: Hey, they stir these tiles that are a drop-ceiling type of a tile that seems just like tin. Have you check those, Kathleen?
KATHLEEN: Yes, we have. And we thought that those were very cool and we didn’t know- do you think time LIQUID NAILS or something to put it up over these existing tiles?
TOM: What’s underneath the tiles? Plywood sheathing?
KATHLEEN: I don’t know. It feels certainly solid when you push a ...
TOM: I would try to figure out what’s underneath it. You could make some parts of the old tiles apart, see how thick that is. I would prefer to have a mechanical attachment, like a staple or something like that, than just simply the cement. The cement is OK.
LESLIE: I aim I would use LIQUID NAILS and something else.
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
KATHLEEN: Uh-huh. And you don’t think it would- I don’t want it to look uneven, how they - you appreciate sometimes those grid systems where the tiles kind of droop and sloop and inspection ...
TOM: No, if it’s done really well, it looks great. We’ve seen them at really high-end decoration showrooms, where you have some certainly upscale decorating done and they look fantastic.
KATHLEEN: OK. Alright. Well , thank you so much.
TOM: You’re very much appreciated. Good luck with that campaign, Kathleen, and thanks so much better for label us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Well, this past weekend it was time for us to take on a project here at The Money Pit, which was to update the storey in our workshop.
Now, this is a concrete slab and it’s a project I’d actually been putting off for quite a while, because I was thinking I was going to add a brand-new epoxy floor finish, which is super favourite now. But I knew it was going to be a ton of work, mainly because to do it right, you’d actually have to grind off the old finish off the concrete slab, which is a really big job rent a concrete grinder and simply putting in many hours of getting rid of that old-time finish. It’s just a ton of work.
But fortunately, though, I procured a better alternative and I’m going to tell you, I could not be happier with the result. The product we abused is called Lock-Tile and it’s an interlocking and very hard-wearing, do-it-yourself flooring system.
Now, it’s made from 100 -percent recycled materials and it pretty much can instantaneously and very easily transform any room within hours.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, the Lock-Tiles are about 20 inches square and they’ve got an attractive finish, which becomes them easy to clean. The boundary of each tile has only one interlocking boundary. It’s kind of like a big puzzle piece. So to install them, all you have to mostly do is put the riddle together by laying them down side by side.
They came to see you so many different colorings that you can come up with your own pattern, which is exactly what we did. In detail, if you go to The Money Pit’s Facebook page, we’ve got a time-lapse video up now of the entire project.
Now, Lock-Tiles are great for garages, your work openings, even your cellar. And the best part is you can install them over a floor if it’s cracked or uneven or any sort of existing flooring. No glue or professional labor is required. Plus, they’re easy to clean and stain-resistant.
TOM: Check out Lock-Tiles at LockTileUSA.com. I am so happy that we detected this product. The workshop gapes better than ever and we got the entire project done in just a few hours.
Again, that’s LockTileUSA.com or you can call them at 888 -LOCK-TILE. That’s 888-562-5845. Lock-Tile. Great product, huge feelings. So glad we consumed them.
LESLIE: Remember, we’re here for you for all your dwelling fixing or residence progress questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
Up next, are you getting ready for a cover job and wondering what type of finish is likely to be easiest to clean? We’ll discuss the options, when The Money Pit continues.
Where home mixtures live, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Pick up the telephone, give us a call right now. Or announce your question to The Money Pit’s Community sheet at MoneyPit.com, just like Julie did in Nebraska, who’s got a very good question.
LESLIE: That’s claim. Julie writes: “I’m a new, first-time homeowner. I’m going to change all the colour hues inside and I can’t figure out what finish to use. I have kids who love to construct messes. What finish is the easiest to cleanse? ”
Well, welcome to the club, lady.
TOM: Yeah, that’s a great question. I judge beings get messed up by this because you’ve got, what, four all kinds of finishes. Let’s think about it. You’ve got flat, you’ve came high-gloss, you’ve got semi-gloss and then you have this sort of in-between bizarre one called “eggshell, ” right?
LESLIE: That’s very good one.
TOM: So where do you fall on this?
LESLIE: I mean personally, in my designer life, I love eggshell. I think it imparts the decorate a velvety composition. It’s sumptuous but it’s not easy to cleanse. You can clean it but it’s - you’re not going to be happy with what it does to the finish.
So, I think in a house with adolescents, I go with a matte or a scrubbable flat, simply because I don’t like anything with a lot of sheen. I don’t like a semi-gloss or a gloss unless it’s a prune or a watery room. So, for me, I go flat or a scrubbable matte.
TOM: Now, a lot of this really has to do, though, with the quality of the draw. It’s various kinds of where the rubber touches the road. If you’re not use good cover, it’s a lot harder to clean it. In reality, you may not be able to clean it; you is often used to wipe the finish off. If you’re consuming very good paint, it’s came more organization to it, it’s got more additives which make it kind of stand up to the abrasion that would happen if you’re precisely rubbing it with a rag or even a Magic Eraser. You definitely ascertain a big difference.
So, buy good-quality paint and then choose that sheen carefully unless, like you said- I actually don’t have much use for high-gloss covers but semi-gloss is my sort of go-to for trim.
LESLIE: Trim. Exactly.
TOM: And any surface that needs any kind of durability, like a cabinet door or something like that, I is very likely use a semi-gloss or maybe a high-gloss with that. But if I missed super soundnes, especially on boards, I might even utilization one that’s solvent-based over latex, simply because it’s a harder finish.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. But for me, I super love an eggshell finish on a wall. But you’re right: with eggshell, regardless of the quality it does convert the firmnes, when you emptied it, a little bit. And so, I’ve got kids, so I’m always cleaning the walls. So that doesn’t work for me in my home. In my bedroom, I’ve got eggshell colour and I cherish it. I wouldn’t introduced it anywhere else, though.
TOM: Alright. Julie in Nebraska, hope that helps you out.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got a question here from Jim in Ohio who’s noticing that his sprinklers are spending a lot more time watering the sidewalk than the lawn. Is there a acces to adjust this?
TOM: Yeah. The only thing that thrives when you water your sidewalk is the size of your ocean proposal, right?
LESLIE: It’s true, though.
TOM: You know, I saw something like this, more. We were actually having some sweat in the cellar and we were wondering why that was happening. Now, we had a lot of downpour but my channels are adjusted perfectly. All the water’s discharging away. I’m thinking, “How is it possible the irrigate is getting in the basement? ” Until one night, I was up late and I heard the sprinklers hitting the side wall of the house. I’m like, “Ah! That’s the reason right there, ” because I was basically misdirecting the sprinkler.
So, yes, the sprinkler heads can be adjusted, Jim. They need to be point out here that apart from those walls and away from those sidewalks. And that is definitely something that you can do or can have a pro do. It should be used at the time information systems must be drawn up in the spring, so that they’re strove properly. But if they’re not or if they came out of whack, it’s certainly something that’s important to do so that you don’t drive up the costs of that liquid or stimulate other questions, like that I knowledge, with spray in the basement.
LESLIE: Yeah. Save your coin and when you want to splurge on water usage, make it a sprinkler for the children. Have some fun.
TOM: Well, hey , thank you for coming in for spend this part of the beautiful summer weekend with us. We’re so glad you’re now. If you’ve got the issues of projections you’re working on now or campaigns you’re thinking about tackle in the future or ones that you have put off tackling because you precisely didn’t know where to begin, you can reach us, 24/7, at 888 -MONEY-PIT. Post your questions to our Facebook page at Facebook.com/ TheMoneyPit or post your question online to The Money Pit’s website at MoneyPit.com. There are lots of ways to get in touch with us and we’d love to help you get your projects done.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself ...
LESLIE: But you don’t have to get it on alone.
END HOUR 1 TEXT
( Copyright 2019 Squeaky Door Make, Inc. No section of this record or audio datum may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Creation, Inc .)
Do you enjoy watching birds visit your hard during the spring, summer, and fall? Not all birds fly south for the winter and with a little preparation, you can attract visits from your fine feathered friends all year long: even in the cold months! According to the experts at Cole’s Wild Bird Products it’s easy to to encourage birds to seek sustenance and shelter in your backyard this winter. Here’s where to begin.Figuring out feeders
Start by taking an inventory of your existing bird feeders. Inspect each for damage and replace if necessary. Consider adding new bird feeders to attract even more birds and allow for fewer trips to refill them during especially cold and stormy days. It’s also smart to stock up on high-energy bird feed so you’re ready to go when the first flakes fall.
Different species of birds not only prefer different types of feed, they prefer different types of feeders. Consider providing a variety of feeder types to increase the diversity of your avian visitors. This step is key to attracting birds in winter.
A tube feeder is a “must-have,” since these all-purpose feeders keep seed dry while allowing a wide variety of birds to feed. Specialty wire-mesh tube feeders, designed for birds that cling, can easily dispense tiny, oil-rich niger seeds and other specialty feed. Mesh feeders allow birds like woodpeckers to grasp the side of the feeder while selecting food. These feeders also prevent larger birds from hogging the feed.
If you want an easy-to-use, one-size-fits-most feeder, select a bowl style with a protective dome that can be raised and lowered to thwart large birds and squirrels from getting to the feed while helping to protect seed from rain and snow. Easy to hang and fill, bowl feeders accommodate any seed, suet or even chopped fruit. Also, be sure to include at least one suet cage in your feeder array since suet provides a critical source of energy for birds in cold weather.Clean to prevent disease
When feeding birds in winter, a necessary chore is to clean out any residue before filling with fresh seed. Unfortunately, some feeders are hard to scrub out, but Cole’s tube feeders have a built in “quick-clean” feature. Just push a button and the bottom pops off for easy access to the inside. Use soapy water and a bottlebrush to scrub, then rinse with cool water. This ensures that mold or mildew aren’t present and helps prevent disease.Select top quality feed
The key to feeding birds in winter is in the type of bird feed you purchase. Make sure you choose feed with high nutritional value! You may not realize that some commercial birdfeed is treated to prevent spoilage or packed with cheap “filler” seeds. Offering top-quality feed means less waste and ensures an increase in birds at your feeders.
Your seed choices should provide birds with the biggest energy boost possible. Sunflower is a great seed option for feeding birds in winter because it’s rich in oil. These types of seeds attract birds and provide plenty of energy. Cole’s Oil Sunflower is the highest-grade black oil sunflower seed, at over 99% pure! Peanuts are another high-energy option. Choose hulled varieties that are whole – and more nutritious than peanut pieces.
And don’t forget high-fat foods, like suet, the solid fat rendered from beef, or vegetables. These types of foods preserve energy to help birds maintain their increased metabolic rate during winter. Or, try a suet-seed mix like Nutberry Suet Blend, an energy-packed, powerhouse feed mix of premium fruits, preferred nuts, suet kibbles and whole kernel sunflower meats.Provide water and shelter
Birds need fresh water, especially in cold weather. Choose a heated birdbath and place it in a sheltered spot for safe access. And since birds may unwisely choose the coldest days to take a bath, consider placing a few rocks inside to discourage bathing, while still allowing birds room to drink.
Birds also appreciate warm, dry shelter from wet, snowy conditions. Offering well-insulated nest boxes will provide them with a cozy place to harbor.
Preparing for birds now will enable you to continue to enjoy them throughout the winter. Birds will benefit from your extra-special care! These tips should make feeding birds in winter easy and efficient.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Standing by to help you take on your home improvement projects, solve your remodeling challenges, your décor dilemmas. If you’re enjoying a beautiful weekend, that’s cool. You can stay in the lounge chair with the cool drink. But if you’re thinking about getting a project done or you’re in the midst of one, we can help. But help yourself first: post your question to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com or call us, 24/7, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up on today’s show, we’re about halfway through summer, which means, Leslie, it’s that time of year when millions of folks transform their garages and yards into a storefront to get rid of the junk they no longer want, right?
LESLIE: Yes. There’s even a National Garage Sale Day. It’s held every year on the second Saturday of August.
TOM: Well, whether you want to clear clutter or maybe make a few bucks or both, we’re going to have some tips to help your garage sales go smoothly.
LESLIE: Yeah, like telling people no early birds. Because man, they will show up at 4:00 a.m. They are serious about it.
Also ahead this hour, guys, now that we are moving towards the end of the summer, have you taken a good look at your driveway? Late summer and early fall are really the best times to replace worn, cracked driveways. We’re going to have some tips to help you hire the best pro to get that job done, in today’s Pro Project, coming up.
TOM: And also ahead, if you’ve got kids that are old enough to stay home, are they also old enough to handle a home-related emergency? We’ll help you prepare them for the basics of what could go wrong.
LESLIE: But before all that, we’d love to hear from you. Post your question to The Money Pit Community page or give us a call right now. We’re here to help.
TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Amanda in Connecticut is on the line with an A/C system that’s not doing the C part of the cooling. What’s going on, Amanda?
AMANDA: Hi. I don’t really know. It’s a brand-new system.
LESLIE: Brand new as in the entire central air-conditioning system is new to the house or just a new condensing unit outside?
AMANDA: The new condensing unit. The house already had the venting in it but it didn’t have the unit.
TOM: OK. So they added the compressor outside, correct?
TOM: And who did this work? Was it a contractor?
AMANDA: Uh-huh, yeah.
TOM: Did they not test it to make sure it was working?
AMANDA: They said they would come back when it was hot. And so I called them and – the hot day. And they came back and it just didn’t cool after four hours. And he told me it’s because the house is an older house and that the returns are on the outside walls and makes it harder for it to cool down – longer for it to cool down?
TOM: Well, look. You hired these guys to complete your cooling system. So, any good contractor is going to look at the house and they’re going to identify any problems with the size of the ducts or where the ducts are run. They’re going to make sure that they’re sized properly.
Do we know that the compressor is actually working outside?
AMANDA: Yeah. They did – they came back again after that and made sure that it had the Freon in it and checked to make sure that it was working properly.
TOM: Well, obviously, something is not working properly, OK? And it’s either the compressor or there could be something with the way the ducts are installed. I can’t begin to diagnose it for you except to tell you that it’s not right. The contractor should know better than this. I don’t think you’re getting the best advice or service from this contractor, because it shouldn’t be that difficult for an HVAC contractor to figure out why a house is not getting cool. This is their business.
So, if you’re not getting anywhere with these guys, you might want to think about bringing in another contractor to get a second opinion, maybe not even share with them that you had this unit installed recently and see if they can figure out why it’s not cooling. See what kind of advice you get.
But it seems to me that this first contractor had a responsibility to do what it takes or at least to complete the job or advise you if there was something that was going to prevent the compressor from cooling the house. Then why were they willing to sell you the compressor in the first place? You see what I mean? They’re the experts here.
AMANDA: He’s saying to me that four hours is not a long time.
TOM: That’s not true at all. That’s ridiculous.
AMANDA: I pretty much said I had to go outside to cool off.
TOM: Listen, I would get another contractor or an expert in there to find out why exactly it’s not working, take a look at all the things that impact cooling. And then at least you’ll know what was done or not done and you can take it from there. But it doesn’t sound to me like you’re getting the best advice here.
AMANDA: Thank you and I love listening to your show.
TOM: Oh, thank you very much. And I hope we’ve helped you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Scott in West Virginia is on the line with a kitchen faucet that’s leaking. Tell us what’s going on.
SCOTT: Well, I’ve got a little problem in my kitchen. My wife is driving me crazy about it and it’s driving me crazy, also.
TOM: Alright. What’s going on?
SCOTT: Most of the time, you have a drippy faucet in your kitchen or something like that. My problem is is that it’s leaking around the handles: the hot and cold. And I’ve never had that to happen before and I’m like, “OK. Do I have to replace the whole thing or is there a kit that I can buy that – to stop this mess?”
TOM: Do you know what manufacturer of the faucet you have?
SCOTT: I knew you were going to ask me that and I thought about looking and I just didn’t. And I believe it’s Delta but I’m not sure about that.
TOM: See, here’s the thing. If you can identify the manufacturer, you can get a rebuild kit with new washers and so on for those faucets. But if you can’t figure it out, do not ever use a generic. Because if you use a generic, even though it looks perfectly, it doesn’t fit.
Now, that said, if it’s an older faucet and you replace it now, the new faucets are going to have ceramic discs – ceramic disc valves – which the older they are, the tighter they get. So they really never leak. So the technology has gotten so much better now with the way faucets are made that you might want to consider just replacing it, rather than trying to take it apart and put it back together and maybe they’ll still leak.
SCOTT: Right. It’s probably, I’d say, 10 or 12 years old, so …
TOM: Yeah. Might be due for a new one.
Hey, listen, we saw one not too long ago that actually is a touch – motion-activated that – Moen makes it. It’s called – I think it’s called MotionSense. And you wave your hand over the top of this thing and it comes on or you bring a dish sort of up to it and automatically it comes on. Or it has a regular …
LESLIE: It’s like, “Look, I’m washing your dish.”
TOM: Or like a regular faucet. Right. It’s like how many times do you walk up to the faucet to fill your cup – coffee cup – up or to rinse it out, I mean? Just by walking up to it, it comes on.
LESLIE: Or with your hands from chicken breasts, you know? It’s like you don’t want to touch the faucet.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah, that was pretty cool. So I think it’s called MotionSense. It’s by Moen.
SCOTT: OK. That sounds worth looking into.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck, Scott.
SCOTT: OK. Thanks, you guys, for the info.
TOM: You’re very welcome. And make your wife happy and replace it, will you?
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated, local home improvement pros for any home project. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
TOM: Still ahead, summer is always the best time of year to turn your trash into someone else’s treasure. We’re going to have tips for a great garage, yard or tag sale, after this.
Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And we’d love to hear from you. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where you can get instantly matched with top-rated pros for any home project and book appointments online, all for free.
LESLIE: Jim in California needs help with a decking project. What can we do for you today?
JIM: I’ve got two decks that I rebuilt approximately three summers ago and had never treated them. Did a real nice job: mitered corners, rounded everything, routed everything. And of course, not treating them, they have weathered and I need to clean them.
LESLIE: OK. And so your issue is you’re seeing some wear and tear but the big problem is discoloration?
JIM: Yes. The oxidization.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. So everything looks a little gray and just weathered?
LESLIE: Now, with the discoloration, that’s normal wear and tear of any type of wood surface. And if you were to just, say, put a sealer on there, yes, you’re going to protect the wood from any further cracking or checking and you may help it, depending on the kind that you use, from further damage from, say, the sun. But if you want the color to be really what you restore, you’re going to have to go with a stain that has a color in it.
So depending on the condition of that decking, you can go with a semi-transparent, which will deposit color on but still allow you to see the condition of the wood through it, you know, through the stain itself. Or you can go with a solid stain, which gives you a little bit of longer time between having to refinish it, gives you more protection because it is a further saturation of color and a heavier pigmentation of color. So it really depends on what kind of look you want and really, the condition of the wood itself.
JIM: Yes. Well, my wife wants me to bring the color back.
TOM: That color is long gone, my friend. You can’t bring it back once it grays out like that but you can restore it if you stain it, like Leslie suggested. And you can use semi-transparent or solid color and it will look really good and you’ll still see the grain. So you’re not going to lose the grain of the wood. But once it turns gray like that, you’re not going to be able to restore it unless you sand it and that’s really pretty much a waste of effort.
LESLIE: Well, with the last blast of garage-sale season ahead, it’s a good time and a great reminder to dig into those crammed storage spaces, get organized and make a profit in the process.
TOM: Yeah. Now, to get started, lightening your load is a lot easier when you have a system. So, here’s kind of our system. When you go through belongings, you want to sort them into piles of things to keep, things to trash and things to sell. Now, once you’ve taken out the trash and reorganized the keepers, you can team up with neighbors and friends to come up with a good selection of good-quality items.
LESLIE: Yeah. Now, remember this, guys: the serious shoppers, they come early. So be prepared with your best wares a few minutes before the start time listed in your ad. Also, guys, though, they will come very, very, very early. So be prepared for that. You also want to be careful about selling things that may have updated safety features, like baby furniture, car seats. Those things you have to be super careful about.
Now, furniture, housewares, electronics, even kids’ sporting equipment, they always sell very, very well. So if you’ve got those, you could be sitting on some cash.
TOM: And you might be surprised how much new space you’ll create by cleaning things out and how much money you’ll make by letting go of what you don’t need.
Now, if the garage-sale idea is not for you, we’ve got a great post on MoneyPit.com called “How to Sell Your Stuff Online in the Age of Apps.” We walk you through all of the latest apps that are out there for selling stuff online. It’s never been easier and frankly, you may even make more money doing it that way than having that sale, because you have a much bigger marketplace of everybody across the country that might be interested in your stuff. So check it out, online, at MoneyPit.com: “How to Sell Your Stuff in the Age of Apps.”
LESLIE: Tracy in Texas is on the line and needs some help with a universal-design project. Tell us what you’re working on.
TRACY: I have a daughter who’s 21 years old and we need some help when it comes to bathing her. We’re looking at doing a bathroom addition onto her room but we don’t even know, really, how to get started. Do we need to consult with an architect on the design advice? She’s homebound, medically fragile, 100-percent disabled and we just are looking at some advice on how to even get started to meet her needs so that we only have to do this one time.
LESLIE: Is a tub situation easier for you or is a shower?
TRACY: Probably a shower.
LESLIE: OK. Because there are the tubs with the doors that open. It depends on how difficult it would be to sort of move her from chair to seated tub position. It just depends on how comfortable you are with the bathing situation, if you want to get in there and get wet.
But Tom and I have actually done a lot of work with universal design and are quite familiar with some of the processes.
TOM: Well, that’s right. And I do think it’s a good idea to use a certified kitchen-and-bath designer and that’s somebody who is going to be specializing in universal design. You’re going to ask specifically for someone that has that talent, because they’re going to be up-to-speed on the best products that are out there for your particular situation, be able to recommend appropriately and you’re going to get a bathroom that actually looks nice and functions well for you.
I would not, would not call a standard remodeling contractor. Because a remodeling contractor will say, “Yeah, I understand. I know what to do.” And you know what? They just don’t, because it’s very specialized.
In fact, some years ago, Leslie, didn’t the AARP have a special certification program for contractors and architects that were working with universal-design situations?
LESLIE: They did. It was through the Homebuilders Association. And they had a special course that you could take to become certified as a universal-design specialist. So you might want to start with the AARP’s website, just to find some recommendations of folks in your area who are certified. I believe it was called the CAPS – Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist – Program.
And even though that’s not necessarily your need, it has similar associations. So you might want to start there as far as just trying to find somebody who can help you find the right products. Because you want something that looks good; you don’t want it to feel like a hospital. You want it to function and you want it to be done right the first time.
TOM: They have a lot of resources for universal design. Probably the best collection anywhere online is on the AARP website. You just simply click on the Home & Family section and then Home Improvement and you’ll find a lot there.
They also have a section on livable communities, because the universal design just makes sense for folks of any age, whether you are a senior citizen, whether you are disabled or whether you are just a mom that comes home with her arms full of grocery bags and needs to pop open a door with her elbow because she can’t really turn a door knob. There’s tips like that that really make it so much easier for you to live comfortably in your house, regardless of age or physical condition. So I would start there, as well.
But make sure you work with people that are experienced in universal design. There are lots and lots of people out there. You’ve just got to find them, OK?
TRACY: Great. Thank you so much for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Ben in Nebraska on the line who’s dealing with a hot attic. Tell us what’s going on.
BEN: My attic temperature has been peaking at about, oh, 45 to 48 above ambient temperature. And I could describe what kind of roof. It’s a hip roof and it’s probably about 42 feet long. And I’ve got 13 feet of ridge (audio gap) up above and I was just wondering what would be the way to go: a ridge vent or wind turbine or maybe electric roof fan?
TOM: OK. Well, first of all, a hip roof is among the most difficult types of roofs to vent because you have such a small ridge. That said, what I would do is make sure that you have a continuous ridge vent on that ridge. That’s the first part. The second part is you need to make sure you have continuous soffit vents all around the overhang at the edge of the roof. Because the air, theoretically, will enter the soffit, go up under the roof sheathing and exit at the ridge. Does that make sense?
BEN: Well, it was a place built in ‘76 and it had vinyl soffing (ph) put over it and darn few vents. And I just recently got done putting some extra soffit space in there but that didn’t really seem to make any difference.
TOM: Well, are the soffits fully vented right now, Ben?
BEN: No. Just over the old holes. They put in a couple panels of vented.
TOM: Oh, so they covered the old wood soffits with ventilated panels? Is that what you’re saying?
BEN: Yeah, the old wood soffits were about 14×6 and there were three in the long end and two in the short.
TOM: Yeah, you have – I know exactly what you’re talking about; I’ve seen this many times. In fact, when I was a home inspector, I used to check for this by sort of pressing up on that soft, vinyl soffit – it looks all pretty and vented – to find solid plywood underneath.
It’s a problem. You really have to take the vinyl soffit material down and remove all of the old wood soffit material so that now it’s fully open. Then you can put the vinyl, perforated soffit material back up and you’ll have a fully vented soffit.
TOM: You can’t just put vented vinyl on top of wood soffit that has even vents sort of cut into it, because you’re just not getting enough airflow in. With a hip roof, the best place to get airflow is at the soffits and if they’re choked off, it’s never going to be cool up there.
So I would start by opening up those soffits and adding a good-quality ridge vent. Take a look at the vents that are made by CertainTeed – the Air Vent Corporation. And I say that because those vents have sort of a baffle design that improves the negative pressure at the ridge, which helps draw more air out of it. I don’t like the ridge vents that look kind of like corrugated cardboard; they don’t have enough cross-ventilation, enough way to get air out. I like to see vents that are big and fully open so that the air can really pull out of that. But I think a good-quality ridge vent and soffit vents that are properly open all around are really going to solve this issue for you, Ben, OK?
BEN: Alright. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Just ahead, asphalt driveways take a beating from Mother Nature. And now that we’re moving towards the end of summer, have you taken a really good look at your driveway? Late summer and early fall are truly the best times to replace worn and cracked driveways. We’re going to have some tips to help you hire the best pro to get that job done, in today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Standing by for your calls, your questions to 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Charlotte in North Carolina on the line who has got a popcorn ceiling that doesn’t have butter on it.
Charlotte, tell us what’s going on.
CHARLOTTE: Well, what happens now – we have a brown stain on the ceiling from the leak but we’ve had the leak repaired, of course. And it’s a popcorn ceiling. I’ve always hated this popcorn ceiling; I’m not opposed to getting rid of it. But I’m just wondering, what’s the best way to make the repair here? Because I’m afraid if we just take off the section where the stain is, it’s not going to match anymore and it’ll – you can – it’ll be like a repaired look. What would be your suggestion?
LESLIE: Now, is it truly a popcorn ceiling? Like when you reach up, you sort of end up with remnants of it? Or is it like a textured stucco ceiling?
CHARLOTTE: Whatever that drywall is that they kind of make and they spray on the ceiling.
TOM: Yeah. So, here’s the thing. You’ve had the roof leak. The roof leak is now repaired?
TOM: Has it physically damaged the ceiling or is it just the stains you’re concerned about?
CHARLOTTE: It mostly looks like the stains. To me, it looks like there might be one small section that might have a little bit of a bulge in it.
TOM: Alright. Well, let’s ignore that for the moment. What I would suggest you do is to use a good-quality primer and repaint that ceiling.
Now, if it’s just a very limited area, you could prime just the stain and leave the rest. If it’s a bigger area, you’ve got to prime the whole ceiling. But if you use a good-quality primer there, like a KILZ or a B-I-N or something like that, then that should seal in the stain and you could put paint on top of that. You will have to paint the whole ceiling if it’s not been done recently. But if you seal it with a primer and then paint it, that will make the ceiling stain disappear and preserve the popcorn.
Removing the popcorn, at this point, is just a whole lot of work but it sounds like it’s really not necessary for you to do, unless you just don’t like the look of it.
CHARLOTTE: Thank you very much. That’ll help a lot. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Charlotte. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, asphalt driveways take a beating from Mother Nature. You know, sun, moisture, those freeze/thaw cycles, they all combine to cause cracks, exposing the aggregate and really aging the binders that hold your driveway together. That’s why it’s important to repair driveway cracks or potholes and apply driveway sealing on a regular basis to protect it.
But if you’ve done that or maybe you should’ve done that and now it seems that the driveway is ready for replacement, here’s a few things that you should know before you call a pro.
TOM: Well, that’s right. And we’ve got that info, in today’s Pro Project Tip presented by HomeAdvisor.com.
First, you need to know what you’re buying. Aside from driveway sealing, which is when a very thin coating of asphalt sealer is applied, there are really only two ways to redo a driveway. Now, a pro can add a layer to what you have already or they can completely tear out the driveway and start from scratch.
Now, if the driveway is just worn but it doesn’t have big potholes or cracks, a topcoat could be an option. But if the driveway is in really bad shape, adding a topcoat won’t change that and the new asphalt will likely sag and crack pretty quickly.
LESLIE: Now, for a driveway replacement, the most important thing is the preparation of the base. Once that old asphalt is removed, a new gravel base, typically about 6 inches, should be installed and then it’s rolled.
Now, think about a steamroller. A giant, rolling, truck-type thing is going to roll over until it’s almost as solid as a finished road. If this part is done well, you can expect your new driveway to look like the day it was put down for many, many years.
Now, it’s also important that the driveway be sloped for proper drainage. Nothing wears out a driveway faster than puddles of water.
TOM: Absolutely. Now, lastly, it’s really important to choose the right type of asphalt. Yes, there are different types. Some asphalt has more aggregate or stone in it than others. If you put asphalt down that is too sandy, which is sort of the other end of that spectrum, you’re going to have problems in a couple of years. You put one down that’s got a lot of aggregate, it’s going to last 10 or more years.
Now, the difference is really in the appearance. The sandy asphalt has more of a glossy, shiny kind of nicer look to it. But the devil is in the details. It’s just not going to hold up. You’re much better off with driveway mix, which is an asphalt that has an aggregate in it, so it really stands up. It’s just a lot stronger and it’s going to last a lot longer and that’s going to make you really happy.
LESLIE: Alright. Good luck with all your driveway projects, guys. They’re going to look gorgeous.
Today’s Pro Project has been presented by HomeAdvisor.com. With HomeAdvisor, you can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your area and compare prices, read verified reviews and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire the best local pros.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Eva in North Carolina on the line with a water-heating question. How can we help you today?
EVA: Our home is about 11 years old. We have a hot-water heater on our third floor of our home. And I’m a little nervous about it being up on the third floor. And with it aging out, I’m concerned about it potentially bursting or leaking. So what we’d like to do is replace the hot-water heater in this house.
However, we’re not sure. We kind of have a disagreement. We’re broke right now, financially, but we would – for peace of mind’s sake, I would like to possibly look into a tankless. My husband thinks we should just replace the current one that we have upstairs on the third floor with the same darn thing because he’s like, “If it’s new, it won’t leak and it won’t burst.” So what do you guys suggest?
TOM: How old is the water heater?
EVA: As old as the house, I presume. The house is about 11 or 12 years old.
TOM: Well, if it’s an 11-year-old house, it’s going to have an 11-year-old water heater. And while, yeah, that’s closer to the end of a normal life than not, believe it or not, it’s not horribly old. I’ve seen water heaters go 15, 20 years.
EVA: But because it’s on the third floor of the house, I’m nervous because water is going to – it’s not like it’s in the basement or the garage. So if there is a leak or something like that, I’m concerned about there being a lot of water damage to our home.
TOM: I understand. And you could – that would happen if a pipe broke, as well. So, if you want to replace it with a tankless, that is going to be more expensive than a tanked water heater. But it’s definitely worthwhile because they last a lot longer and they also give you on-demand hot water, so you never really ever run out of warm water.
If you’re concerned about your plumbing system’s reliability in general, just make it a practice that whenever you guys go away for a weekend or longer, you turn the main water valve off. You don’t need to leave water on when you’re not home for an extended period of time. So, that might also be something you might want to start doing on a regular basis.
EVA: So whenever you’re going to be gone for the weekend or more than a couple days, turn the main water valve off.
TOM: That’s right. Because you don’t need it on. And this way, if the water heater ever were to break, it would lose the 40 or 50 gallons that’s in it but it would not constantly run, run, run.
EVA: Gotcha. So, going back to my original question, what do you guys suggest we do? Because my husband thinks, well, let’s just get a new one, the same thing. And then he thinks it’s going to give me some peace of mind.
TOM: OK. Here’s what I would do. You said that money is tight. I don’t want you to throw good money at bad ideas and I think replacing it with the same thing is kind of a bad idea, especially since it’s 11 years old. What I would prefer to see you do is live with that for another year or two, save up some money and then put in a tankless.
EVA: OK. And do you recommend tanklesses (ph) go in the crawlspace or in the garage or outside?
TOM: Well, they can pretty much go wherever you want. If you put them outside, they get a little less efficient because, of course, the outside temperature is cold and that means they have to work a little bit harder.
TOM: And sometimes, they’re put in rooms that are insulated or outside closets and that sort of thing. But you have the flexibility because a tankless water heater is going to be about a quarter of the size of your tanked water heater.
EVA: OK. So it sounds like that’s what you recommend is a tankless but maybe just live with this one for another year or two.
TOM: I think that makes the most sense. OK, Eva?
EVA: OK. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
I don’t feel like 11 years old is a terribly old water heater.
LESLIE: No. I mean given that a lifespan is 10,12 years. And you’re right: before we moved in, the one in our house was like 20 years old.
TOM: I used to see that all the time as a home inspector. And yeah, it’s old but not worth emergency replacing.
LESLIE: You can live with it. No. Just for peace of mind. There are other things that you can do.
TOM: There’s enough life left in that to risk not doing it now and saving up your money for a year or two and then going tankless. Because tankless is definitely the technology that is state of the art today and worth every penny of its cost.
LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.
Still to come, you’ve decided your kid is old enough to be home alone but can they handle a home-related emergency? Learn how to prepare them, after this.
TOM: Where home solutions live, welcome back to The Money Pit. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. Hey, are you ready to get that deck you’ve been dreaming of? Well, stop dreaming. Head online because HomeAdvisor.com can instantly match you with the right pro for the job, for free.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Patrick on the line who’s got a roofing question. How can we help you today?
PATRICK: I had a question about a metal roof versus a shingle roof. Our roof is about 17 years old and it’s ready for – it’s ready to change.
LESLIE: Now, is it ready to change because you don’t like the way it looks or is it failing in some way?
PATRICK: Oh, no. It’s actually fine; the shingles are fine. But I was kind of wondering about the cost benefit of spending twice as much for a metal roof versus a shingle roof for another – you know what? How long will the shingle – how long should that metal roof last? What’s the gauge of the metal? That kind of thing.
TOM: How long do you plan on staying in the house?
TOM: Forever. OK, that’s important information.
So, if you put a metal roof on this house, I think it can last, for all intents and purposes, forever. The metal roofs of yesteryear, when they were properly maintained, would easily last 50 to 100 years. The metal roofs of today will do the same thing and they can even do it more successfully because of some of the modern elements of technology that are added to it.
For example – you are in Florida? Is that correct?
PATRICK: Yes. Port Charlotte.
TOM: The one nice thing is that metal roofs have a reflective paint; it’s like a low-E paint. And they actually reflect some of that radiant heat back off of the roof. So instead of having a roof that’s like a heat collector, you’re going to have a roof that’s a heat reflector. So there’s also an energy-efficiency element to it, as well.
But I think that metal roofs last literally indefinitely, as long as they’re properly maintained. They don’t need a lot of maintenance. Of course, if there’s a storm and that sort of thing, they stand up a lot better; they don’t fly off like shingles do. And even though it’s twice as expensive, it’ll probably be the last roof you’ll ever have to put on that house.
PATRICK: If I do this $11,000 roof, will I report that to my homeowners insurance and will I get a benefit from that or no?
TOM: That’s a good question for your broker. Certainly, a metal roof is more fire-resistant. I also would look into energy – any energy-efficiency rebates. Because since it’s a low-E roof coating, you may actually qualify for an energy rebate. So I would look into that, as well.
PATRICK: And how would I look into that?
TOM: A good source is the Metal Roofing Alliance. That’s a trade association for the metal-roof industry. Go to MetalRoofing.com. And in fact, they have a section on their website about tax incentives, so they are available for metal roofs.
PATRICK: Alright. I appreciate your help.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, at some point, every parent faces the decision of determining whether or not a child is OK to stay home alone. Now, as a parent of three, I know that every child is going to be different. So, it’s important to make sure that they not only can handle themselves but also handle things that could go wrong in your house.
LESLIE: Yeah. First of all, kids should know how to call 911. They should know that number and know, actually, how to use it. But beyond that, there are other good things to know and that’s really dependent on your child’s age and ability.
For example, does your child know how to find and shut off the water main in case of a major leak? Do you know where that valve is? Well, go find it and put a big tag on it and then share that location with your kids.
Now, here’s another thing: can your child safely operate a fire extinguisher? Does your child know what to do if the smoke detector goes off? What should he or she do if the power goes out? These are all things you’ve got to consider.
TOM: Yep. These are all questions to ask yourself and to teach your children, again, only if you feel they’re ready.
For a complete, comprehensive guide to help you get your kids ready for any emergency, you can head on over to Ready.gov. Great website, chock full of tips and advice on how to handle small disasters, as well as the big ones.
LESLIE: Up next, there’s a popular household cleaner that’s sending thousands of kids to the hospital and calling Poison Control. Find out what it is, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.
LESLIE: And while you’re online, you’ve got two pros here ready to answer your questions that you post in the Community section, just like Chris in Oklahoma did. Now, Chris writes: “My neighbors just told me that they found termites in their wood trim. Does this mean I’m going to get them? What should I do?”
TOM: Probably already do have them.
LESLIE: Oh, no.
TOM: If they’re in the neighborhood, they’re in the neighborhood. Just it may have hit – they may have hit your house – your neighbor’s house first.
Look, you need to do an inspection on a regular basis if you live in an area that has subterranean termites, because they live in the soil, they come up into the house to feed, then they go back to the soil for water. And so, an inspector is going to know how to identify them.
If you want to try to do your own, you need a super-bright flashlight. You need to look at the outside foundation perimeter. You’re looking for mud tubes. These are sand-colored tunnels that termites will build on the outside of a foundation wall. They’ll also tunnel up through firewood if you have any wood on the ground. Not a good idea but if you have any, you turn it over and see if they’re infesting it.
And then inside, you want to look at the foundation walls, up where the framing meets it, and look for those tubes. Tap on all the floor joists, see if anything sounds hollow. If you’ve got termites, you need to have it professionally treated. It’s easy to do these days. It’s not DIY. But you do it once. If it’s done right, you won’t have to worry about them for a very, very long time.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, all of these wood-eating insects – you’ve got carpenter ants, carpenter bees, termites – they can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
LESLIE: And they can cause it rather quickly. So, the only way you can really stay on top of that is if you have a professional come and do an annual inspection, to make sure that your house is OK and keeping those bugs out.
TOM: Well, you know better than to leave medicine in reach of kids. But what about basic household cleaners? Turns out they can be just as toxic. Leslie has tips to help keep the little ones clear of cleaning products, including one newer product that’s causing more harm than the rest, in this week’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Well, come on, you guys. You know there’s a ton of things out there that are made to make life easier. But I feel like sometimes, as people, we’re not becoming smarter or figuring out ways to be even more silly when it comes to household products.
Now, liquid laundry detergent, those little packets, they make life super easy but they really complicate things, as well. They’re small, they’re colorful, they’re these little packets. I mean they have prompted more than 32,000 calls to Poison Control centers since 2012. That’s a number so high because the packets resemble candy.
Now, it’s not just a matter of keeping the laundry packets out of your kids’ mouths. They shouldn’t even be handled by your children. Because they’re used in washing machines, these laundry packets dissolve very quickly when they come in contact with moisture. And that could be a sweaty, wet, little hand. And that releases toxic chemicals that can linger and then make their way into your children’s eyes or mouth, even hours later.
And the laundry packets aren’t the only danger to kids. You never want to store toxins in containers for juice or milk unless they are clearly and properly labeled with the contents. And keep all of your household cleaners locked up and out of reach, no different than you would treat medicine.
And speaking of, if you’ve got older kids at home, you want to make sure that all of your medicines are in a locked medicine cabinet, chest, whatever. And dispose of medicines that you no longer use or need, quickly. Lots of places have medicine-collection days. Pharmacies do it. Some of your town centers have it. I know we have a Stop Throwing Out Pollutants and they have a Prescription Drug Day. So, pay attention to this. Don’t just put them in the trash and don’t just keep them around.
TOM: Good advice.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, natural wood adds beauty to any home. We’re talking about wood siding, wood trim. It’s gorgeous. But it’s also an invitation for bugs and rot. Another option is synthetic siding. It’s available now. It looks just like wood but it does not have the headaches. We’ll have tips on the latest technology in synthetic siding and trim, on the next edition of The Money Pit.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …
LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
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