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 the holidays are now, what, two weeks away? So if you’re planning on fixing up your house before everybody shows up, you’d better get going. The good news is we’re here to help. If you’ve got a home improvement, a décor question, a remodeling question, maybe you’re planning a project for now or the near future or the next year, we’re here to help. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’re sort of your home improvement coaches. So give us a call, right now, with your how-to question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up in today’s show, have you ever seen this: a gorgeous, wall-mounted, high-def TV that’s surrounded by a gazillion wires? Well, you don’t have to live with that if that sounds like your house.
LESLIE: That’s the worst.
TOM: There are some ways to make those wires magically disappear and you’ll never have to see them again. We’ll have some tips on how to take on that project, just ahead.
LESLIE: And also ahead this hour, do you feel like you throw that same, old holiday party every year? Well, we’re going to help you kick that déjà vu to the curb. We’ve got some ideas for gatherings that your guests will remember for years to come. And none of these ideas are going to cost you more than a few bucks.
TOM: And if you’re doing a good job recycling plastics in your house, you probably drag them all out to the curb each week: all those cartons and containers and milk bottles and stuff. And once you do that, you don’t ever expect to see them again. Well, what if we told you that those plastics may have actually returned to your home in the form of, say, furniture or décor, carpet, wall hangings, all sorts of things? It’s amazing what they’re making with recyclables these days. We’re going to give you some updates on all of that, coming up.
LESLIE: But first, we want to hear from you. So let us know what you are working on this almost-holiday season. Yeah, it’s almost the holiday season, so you’d better be grocery shopping and painting and getting new linens and fixing up your house, because the people are coming a-knocking and it’s happening soon. So give us a call before they do at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Plus, if you do give us a call, we’re giving away a brand-new smart-home product today. It could go out to one caller drawn at random. It’s made by our friends at Streamlabs and it’s the Streamlabs Smart Home Water Monitor.
This is pretty cool because, basically, what this is does is – it’s a very easy-to-install device. It helps you monitor your water usage. It does that in real time and it sends those updates to your smartphone. Now, why would you want to know how much water you’re using? Because it also detects changes in water pressure.
So, for example, if you were to get a big leak, you’re going to have a change of water pressure and that would be important for you to know fast, right? Well, it’s worth 199 bucks and it’s a new, cool, smart-home product that’s just out in the market. And we’re giving it away to one caller, so make that you. Pick up the phone and give us a call right now. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mary in Virginia is dealing with some tricky wood flooring. Tell us what’s going on.
MARY: Well, in our bedroom, there’s a hump in the floor – I mean in the flooring. The house has all wood floors – no carpet or anything – and we don’t know what’s wrong with it. When we bought the house, a structural engineer looked at it and supposedly fixed it but he didn’t fix it. Supposedly, he put a crossbeam.
And then, when you go downstairs and look up at the basement ceiling – which is the floor of the upper bedroom, right? – you can see the cross piece but the hump is still there. So, we’ve had a couple people look at it. One flooring company told us they thought the floor had warped or something and we’d need new floors but we don’t know what it is.
TOM: So, the question is: is the deflection or the warping, is that in the floor joists or is that in the flooring material itself? What kind of flooring material do you have now? Let’s start with that.
MARY: It’s wood flooring.
TOM: Is it carpet? Hardwood? What is it?
MARY: No, no, no. It’s hardwood floors. No carpet.
TOM: It’s hardwood floor, OK. The work that the – the work that this engineer did, that was addressing the floor joists, I imagine, correct?
MARY: Well, I don’t know. Supposedly, supposedly. I’m not sure what happened. This was when we bought the house and supposedly, this fixed it.
TOM: Mm-hmm. Alright.
MARY: But to me, it doesn’t look like it’s been fixed, because there’s still the hump there.
TOM: The hump is still there, yeah.
Well, we’ve got to figure out what’s causing that hump. And it’s not unusual for a floor beam, for example, to warp or twist and press up and cause a floor to deform. But unfortunately, I have no way of diagnosing this from this view, over the radio.
LESLIE: But you can actually take some pictures and post them on our website.
TOM: Yeah, that’d be a great idea. If you could take some photos and post in the Community section of MoneyPit.com – now, I’d ask you to take some photos from the top down and also from the basement up so we can have a look at it. We might be able to give you some further advice.
But if it is a floor joist that happened to buckle, there’s a way to lower that down and it’s a repair that we used to do all the time when – and new construction was really when that happens most. How old is this house, by the way?
MARY: I think it was built in ‘68.
TOM: Sixty-eight? OK. Well, it’s a little old for this particular scenario to happen. But if it is a joist that’s twisted, typically what you do is you actually cut the joist. And you can put pressure on from above and get it to sort of lay down a bit. And then you reinforce it by putting two new joists on either side of it and create a new beam.
MARY: So you don’t need to replace the whole floor, like this flooring company is telling us?
TOM: If the floor structure is not the – is the problem, replacing the floor is not going to change that, OK? But if – listen, if it’s not really, really bad, I wouldn’t be too concerned about it with a house that’s built in 1968. Why don’t you just chalk it up to charm?
MARY: Yeah. But we’re trying to sell it in the spring and these days, everything has to be pretty much turnkey-perfect, you know?
TOM: OK, look. Here’s what you should do. Listen, if you’re getting ready to put the house on the market, go to the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors at ASHI.org – A-S-H-I.org. Using their zip-code locator, find an ASHI-certified home inspector in your area. Because of the market and because of the issues that you’re concerned about, have your home inspected by a professional home inspector.
You’re doing this for a couple of reasons. First of all, the inspector is an independent expert that should be able to diagnose this floor problem for you and tell you whether it’s something to be concerned about or not. Secondly, the inspector will be able to identify other potential issues that could come up in the house sale and give you the opportunity to fix them or not without a buyer looking over your shoulder.
So if the goal here is to get the house ready for sale, let’s not speculate on what’s going on. Let’s get a trained set of eyes in there that is – and somebody who’s not working for a contractor trying to sell you flooring or God-knows-what-else. And let them look at the house and figure out what’s going on. And this way, you’ll know and you’ll have the time to do the job right, OK?
So, again, the website is ASHI.org – A-S-H-I.o-r-g.
MARY: OK. Thank you.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. You can get instantly matched with top-rated pros for any home project and book appointments online, for free.
TOM: Up next, did you pay big bucks for a top-notch flat-screen TV in high-def picture but now you’re staring at all those ugly wires you need to hook it up with? We’ll have tips to make that mess disappear, after this.
Where home solutions live, 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, with your home improvement project. Hey, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, we’d love to chat. But most importantly, if you’re a do-it-for-me kind of home improver, we can help you, too. If it’s a project you don’t want to do, you just want to make sure you’re hiring the right people or getting it done right, we’re happy to lend a hand with some tips and advice on that project. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s fast and easy to find top-rated local home improvement pros for any home project. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: That’s right. Pick up the phone or post your question. And if you are lucky enough to be selected by The Money Pit team, we’re giving away a brand-new smart-home product today that could help you avoid major water damage in your home.
Now, it’s an easy-to-install device that helps you monitor your water usage in real time and get updates to your smartphone. No plumbing is required. It installs, actually, over the pipe and then connects to your Wi-Fi. And it uses ultrasonic technology to track your water use.
Now, here’s the really important part: it’s going to alert you, in real time, if there are changes in water pressure or use. And that’s what would happen if there was a really big leak in your house. So, basically, you’re getting notified right at the point of it happening. And that could save you thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention it can help you save money on your water bills.
So, check it out online at StreamlabsWater.com or try to win it for free by calling or posting your question at MoneyPit.com. It’s a prize worth 199 bucks, so check it out today.
TOM: The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. That Streamlabs Smart Home Water Monitor is going out to one listener drawn at random. Give us a call, right now, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Andrew in North Carolina on the line who’s dealing with shower-drain issues. What’s going on?
ANDREW: When you take a shower, about a couple minutes after the water has been running, it’ll start to back up, to some degree, into the shower itself. And if you take a plunger and you use the plunger up and down, up and down maybe four or five times and you pull it up, all of a sudden, as the water starts to go out slowly, you’ll get a slurping noise. And then you get through taking a shower and it’s running out. But you can go back in and 20 minutes later and the same thing happens again.
TOM: Right. So you know what that slurping noise is?
ANDREW: No, sir.
TOM: It’s your shower drain gasping for air. For some reason, that shower drain is not vented properly. So as the water drains out, you create sort of a suction and that’s what slows it down. And so I suspect with you using that plunger, you’re freeing up that suction and loosening up the water so it has a chance to grab enough air and go down.
Was this shower added after the home was built, by any chance?
ANDREW: No, sir. It’s been that way and – of course, the plumber said there was nothing wrong. I said, “Well, there has to be something wrong.”
TOM: Yeah, if you’re getting a gurgling sound like that, you’re not getting enough air in it. And so it sounds to me like you probably need to add an additional vent. This is assuming that there’s no clog there.
ANDREW: Right. Because we used – my wife has used Liquid-Plumr, I’ve used a plunger, the plunger, the plungers and it goes out. But then when you stop, the same thing happens again.
TOM: Right. Well, I wouldn’t use the chemicals. What you could do is run a snake down that line and make sure it’s clear.
TOM: Just to make sure there’s no hair or any other kind of gunk that’s trapped in there. But generally, when you have a drain like that that’s gurgling, it’s looking for additional air. And it usually means that the vent is not there or the vent is obstructed and that’s what’s really going to be the source of this: making sure we have enough air in there.
If you had to add additional vents to it, depending on how easy or difficult it is to get to that line, it is possible.
ANDREW: I appreciate your help and thank you, again.
TOM: Well, a wall-mounted flat-screen TV can provide great views of touching moments and touchdowns. But sometimes, it can include a sight that’s not so appealing: all those dangling cords and wires.
LESLIE: Now, this is where cord-management systems come in. They’re covers that are designed specifically for the job and they can be painted to blend in with your wall colors. So, basically, they just disappear. They hide an ugly problem and then they disappear completely. It’s a win-win.
Now, if you’re not looking for one of those cover systems, you can try a variation on the same project, which is using a door threshold. And those are designed, as well, to protect cables because they do have that notch on the back side. And then you can hide everything behind them. It keeps them out of eyeshot when they extend across doorways. It really is a great way to keep things in check. And such a simple project to do and it really just buttons up the whole look of a room, so give it a try. Everybody will be so happy.
TOM: Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Pam in Florida has a porch question. How can we help you today?
PAM: We live on the water and in Florida, there’s a lot of wind on the water. We’re close to the Gulf of Mexico. And we have a screened porch with aluminum railings and the wind keeps blowing the screen sections out. We’ve tried all different types of screens and double-screening them and all different types of splines. And I wondered if you had any better ideas for us.
TOM: Are we talking about on doors or windows?
PAM: We’re talking about screen sections on a screened porch.
TOM: Screened porch. OK. And so, how big are these sections?
PAM: Probably 4×6.
TOM: Pretty big. Are you using vinyl screening or are you using metal screening?
TOM: Yeah, I think that’s the issue. The vinyl screening is pretty soft and pretty flexible. Not very sturdy. I think you’re going to need to use a heavier-gauge screening in order to make this more permanent. And you’re also going to need to consider not only the attachment points – I’m not quite sure how you’re doing that – but it’s got to be super-secure. And you might want to add grilles to divide that up into a bit smaller space. It could be a thin grille but it could – but a grille would give it some additional strength.
So I think you’re going to need to use much heavier screening and not vinyl screening, OK? Because I think putting on a double layer of the vinyl is going to really not get you where you need to be. It really should be heavy metal screening when it’s that – when it’s a 4×6-foot area.
PAM: Right. Do you know if metal screening comes in a fine enough mesh to keep no-see-ums out?
TOM: Oh, yeah. It comes in different mesh densities and different gauge metals. You’ve just got to find a good source or supply down there for it.
PAM: Thank you very much. Appreciate the help.
TOM: You’re very welcome.
LESLIE: Doug in Texas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DOUG: I’ve got a 30-year-old home here in Northeast Texas. Wanting to know the best way to upgrade my insulation in the attic. It has what I would call – it looked like a recycled newspaper, maybe, blown in there. Probably about 2½, 3 inches thick. And wondering if I could just blow a new type of insulation on top of it. Or do I need to do preparation first?
TOM: Yeah, you can add additional insulation and that makes a lot of sense. But I would not put new insulation on top of that old insulation. Because the old insulation is probably settled down, compressed and it’s not insulating as well as it should. So what I would recommend is that you remove the existing insulation.
Then, if you want to go with blown-in, there’s actually a product out now that allows you to do your own blown-in insulation. It’s from Owens Corning and it’s called AttiCat. And the way AttiCat works is you go to your local Home Depot and you purchase the bags of AttiCat insulation. And if you buy 10 bags, they will give you the blowing machine for free. The rental – there’s no charge for the rental.
And then the blowing machine gets positioned outside your house or in your garage or whatever. The insulation packages slide into it. It’s almost designed as a slot; you put it right in the side. You take the hose up to your attic and it’s remote-controlled, so you can turn the machine on and off and control the flow.
And then, this type of insulation gets into the nooks and crannies, it expands nicely and it’s low dust. So it’s a very easy way to do your own blown-in insulation and get a really good, contiguous, solid application of insulation in that attic.
LESLIE: And a targeted application, as well.
TOM: Yeah. And you could do a whole house in about four hours.
DOUG: OK. Great. Well, I appreciate the advice. I’d like to maybe get a big vacuum cleaner to get the old up.
TOM: Yeah. The new insulation will go in in four hours. Getting the old stuff out, though, that’s going to be a day. Good luck with that project.
DOUG: Alright. Thank you for your help.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to go to Pat in South Dakota. You’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
PAT: We have a problem with our deck. We need to replace it. And we have investigated using composite materials and find that that’s really expensive and I don’t think we’ll be able to afford to do that. So, we’re wondering about how well using cedar as the flooring and then using the composite on the rails would work.
LESLIE: I just actually put composite in our screened-in porch as a replacement to some old lumber that was there that just needed constant upkeep, even though it was a screened-in porch not fully exposed to the elements. And I found, believe it or not, the cost of the decking material and the cost of the railing material, from the same manufacturer, were the exact same price. Equally expensive.
So I don’t know if you want to mix it up in that capacity. I mean yes, maintaining a spindle or a railing system is a lot of work, if you were to go with a cedar or a pressure-treated type of lumber, but I don’t know that you’re going to save that much money there by going with a composite railing system.
TOM: And also, cedar does require a lot of care. I know that it’s insect-resistant and decay-resistant but if you don’t stain it, it’s going to crack and check and split. And in doing so, you’re going to have to restain it every few years, so it is going to cost you some money. And I wonder, on a lineal-foot basis, how much you’re really saving.
I don’t know what kind of composite you priced out but the composite that’s available at home centers – like at Home Depot, the Veranda product – it’s not terribly expensive. And it’s really pretty indestructible stuff. Once you put that down, you don’t have to worry about it any further in terms of any type of maintenance.
So, I would think carefully about using cedar over composite because I think that it’s going to be a fair amount of maintenance expense for you. It looks great for a year, then it gets all dark gray and blackish and then you’ve got to stain it.
PAT: OK. Well, that gave me the information. I can go forward with it.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, are your holiday parties starting to feel like a case of déjà vu? Well, a few simple steps can break up the monotony and have you hosting an event that your guests will never forget. We’re going to have some money-saving holiday-party tips, next.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Do you have a home improvement question, a décor dilemma? Give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.
Do you need new flooring in your kitchen or bathroom? HomeAdvisor will instantly match you with the right pro for the job, for free.
LESLIE: Peggy in Louisiana is on the line with a concrete question. What can we do for you today?
PEGGY: Well, we have a slab-concrete bottom and they built up with the board skeleton and it’s covered with vinyl siding. And being Louisiana, it rains a lot. And the rain comes on the porch to where it’s eating the inside wall, which is wooden on the bottom. And I want to know how I can seal the outside vinyl siding to concrete slab to keep the water from coming in.
TOM: So what’s happening is that your concrete slab is in contact with the bottom of the vinyl siding? Is that correct?
TOM: And right under that siding, is that a wood wall all the way down to the bottom where that slab is? Because typically, you’d have about 6 inches of foundation before you started the siding, at a minimum. And then the vinyl siding would start. So if your vinyl siding is going down flush to the slab, it’s going to be almost impossible for you to seal it in any way, shape or form from the outside and stop that from happening.
Your only chance would be to take the siding off and then to install some flexible flashings. There’s different types of flashing that you can use. There are rubberized flashings that are very good because you can basically form them wherever you need, to get that entire area as tight as you possibly can. And then put the siding back on on top of that.
Siding itself, especially vinyl siding, if you were to caulk that or anything of that nature, it’s not really designed to seal in that way. So I feel like you’re just going to be kind of running yourself in circles there. And while it could stop to some extent or slow down at least temporarily that leakage that you’re reporting, the only way to really fix that and to get to the bottom of it is to pull that siding off and to flash it. And we’re only talking about the bottom of the siding here, not all the siding on the house. But the bottom couple of pieces would have to come off to do this job.
PEGGY: OK. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, from the shopping to the menu to the cleaning and the decorating, holiday entertaining is a lot of work. But whether you’re throwing an intimate dinner or a total, all-out bash, there’s so much prep that it’s easy to run out of steam or money. But the good news is my favorite party planner, Leslie, is here with some tips.
So, Leslie, you’ve thrown a lot of family parties. How do you do this without totally overwhelming yourself?
LESLIE: I really think it’s about organizing, being prepared in advance and making a ton of lists. And when I make lists, I even put, you know, notepads or sticky notes on platters that are used for what food and when they’re being served and even instructions on how to prep the food for the night. So I try to really be prepared.
But more than that, you want to take a really good look around your house and think about how that party is going to happen. Are people going to stay in one room? Are they moving from place to place? Is your furniture set up in a way that really allows for successful entertaining? You want to think about rearranging furniture into groups. Try to create small gathering areas if you’re having a large party so people have a place to sort of land and chat. Or you can move all of your furniture the perimeter of the room. And that clears up floor space in the center if you’re having an impromptu dance party or just a ton of people to the house.
You also want to make sure that there’s plenty of seating and places to put down snacks and drinks. Because if you don’t have places for people to put down those snacks and the drinks, they’re going to end up spilled on your upholstery and on the floor. And you don’t want to deal with that when you’re hosting a party. You really want to try to enjoy yourself.
Now, rather than crowding your dining table with added chairs, think about adding smaller tables. Think bistro tables, card tables. You don’t have to go crazy. Use what you’ve got. Borrow from a neighbor. And that really helps create more seating without cramming everybody around a smaller space. Or just go super casual with your holiday party and have hors d’oeurvres. It’s really lovely to just have passed foods. Do standing tables, avoid chairs altogether.
So many ways that you can make sure that everybody has a good time. But I think, more importantly, you have a good time. Because if you’re not enjoying the party, nobody’s going to.
TOM: Yes. Make your guests stand for the party. This way, they’ll get tired and they’ll leave quicker.
LESLIE: That’s right. Get them out the door.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. We don’t want you to head out the door just yet, because we’re here to help with your home improvement questions. Call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s next?
LESLIE: Scott in Missouri is on the line needing some advice on a rental property. How can we help you with that?
SCOTT: I’ve inherited some rental properties from my late father. They’re in pretty bad shape, needing roofs. And when you look at them, you can see the roofs starting to bow in. And I was wondering who I can get with to find out the building codes for rental properties.
TOM: So, probably the best thing for you to do is to hire an independent, professional home inspector. And you may have to do some interviewing of the home inspectors to find one that’s particularly savvy and experienced with commercial inspections, because that’s what you’re talking about. And there are specialists that are out there. And they can review this property with an eye towards identifying a punch list for you, of elements that will probably have to be repaired or replaced to make those apartments safe and viable for tenants.
If you go the route of having contractors do these inspections, you’re basically letting – you’re kind of letting the mouse into the cheese house, so to speak. Because they’re just going to find stuff they want to sell you to fix. You understand what I mean?
TOM: This way, you’re better off with somebody who’s an independent inspection professional who just wants to give you the right advice. And that, in the end, is going to save you money and give you the ability to make good decisions on what has to be done.
SCOTT: Yes. Who can I talk to to find the building codes and the standards for rental properties?
TOM: That would be the building department of your local municipality. And they’re going to have a set of codes that they apply to just rental properties in their jurisdiction. And it’s not necessarily going to be up-to-date building code: the same code that you would have if it was, say, a new construction. They’re going to have some safety codes that they’re going to want you to apply to your house. So we’re talking about things like, in an apartment, making sure that the windows operate so you can get out in the event of a fire and making sure you have smoke detectors in – covering every bedroom and making sure you have a carbon-monoxide detector and things of that nature.
So, they’re going to have a set of standards for their area. You need to get that list from the building department. But to the major, many bigger areas that could need repair or replacement, that’s what a home inspector would help you with. And you can find one by going to the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors at ASHI.org – A-S-H-I.org.
SCOTT: OK. Great. Well, I appreciate the information.
LESLIE: Hey, did you ever wonder what actually happens to those recyclables that you diligently rinse out and drag to the curb each week? Well, it turns out they’re being resurrected more stylishly than you might guess. We’re going to fill you in on what your old plastics are up to these days, after this.
TOM: Where home solutions live, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement questions on The Money Pit’s listener line at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.
LESLIE: That’s right. You can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your area, 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: Phyllis in Ohio, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
PHYLLIS: I have a trellis. It’s on – I just have a small porch. And in the wintertime, especially, the wind comes ferociously from the Northwest. And the trellis is put up on – screwed up on 2x4s. And I was wondering – I was going to get a good grade of plastic. Should it be put on the outside or the inside of the trellis?
LESLIE: Plastic to protect from the wind or plastic to protect the lumber?
PHYLLIS: No. Plastic so the wind doesn’t blow into my front door. And I had the trellis put up so I could – in the spring, I want to put flowers that vine up there. But for now, I want plastic to keep the wind away from my front door.
TOM: Do you have a storm door on your front door?
PHYLLIS: Yes. But it still comes through.
TOM: Now this trellis as you describe it, I mean there’s a lot of different types of trellises. Is this a trellis that’s flat on the wall or is this sort of a portico where it kind of goes out and surrounds the door?
PHYLLIS: No. It’s on the porch. I imagine my porch is probably maybe 4 or 5 feet wide. But it’s on the porch, on the outside of the porch, on 2x4s.
TOM: I see. So basically – and the porch has a roof, right? So it’s not just a deck?
PHYLLIS: Right. It’s got the – it’s got a roof, uh-huh.
TOM: So you kind of want to enclose your porch, so to speak, with this plastic sheeting, is what you’re suggesting.
PHYLLIS: On that one spot, yes, where the – it’s right there as I go in and out the door.
TOM: Alright. Well, it – probably not going to be that attractive but I guess what I would do is put it on the outside. Because this way, as the wind blows against it, it’ll press against the trellis and it will be less likely to tear. If you put it on the inside, the wind’s going to go through it and it will constantly pull itself off the trellis.
TOM: So I think it’ll be securer if you put it on the outside. And as the wind blows against it, that trellis will help support it.
PHYLLIS: OK. Fine. Thank you.
TOM: Well, recycling is a great way to do your part for the environment. But do you ever wonder what happens once those plastics are recycled? It turns out that many of those plastics are showing up in home building and design. Here are just a few examples.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, they’re making their way into interior-design materials, like floor tiles and countertops. Those are made with used plastics, like milk jugs. Now, these tiles and countertops make super-durable surfaces for your kitchen, bathroom, even your laundry room. And they come in a bunch of colors that’ll suit any décor.
TOM: Now, if you’ve ever seen the very soft, durable carpeting that’s showing up in the market now, that’s increasingly being made with recycled plastics. They’re taking the plastics they use in packaging, like – and also beverage bottles. And they’re turning them into carpet or even carpet underlay. And it’s made with that recycled polyurethane. It’s amazing that this could have been a water bottle and now I’m walking all over it.
LESLIE: Yeah. And surprisingly, even furniture is made with recycled plastics and it’s available for use both inside and outside of the house. And it’s also really easy to find outdoor rugs that are woven with recycled polypropylene. Now, that’s a plastic that’s made from those yogurt cups and margarine containers. Those rugs are all weather-resistant, fade-resistant and easy to clean but not as delicious as the yogurt and the butter. I’m just saying.
TOM: Pretty tough stuff.
So, listen, the next time you put out that plastic milk jug in the recycling bin, remember it might not be the last time you see it. It could come back in the form of some furniture or carpeting or tile or whatever. It’s pretty interesting. Nice to see that we’re taking all that stuff and really making some cool products out of it.
LESLIE: Olin (sp) is on the line with a wainscoting question. How can we help you today?
OLIN (sp): Yes. I was wanting to do some wainscoting in my living room. And I’d seen some people do it with pallets, actually taking the pieces off and using the slats for the wainscoting. And I know they do treat them with some chemicals and stuff. And as long as I run it through a planer and everything, would that pretty much treat it, as long as its sealed up with polyurethane and all that to keep it from being toxic from – for the children and stuff?
TOM: Well, I can’t really answer that question because I’m not sure how they treat the pallets. And frankly, I’ve torn a lot of pallets apart in my day, as things have been delivered, and I never really had a concern about treatment and never actually can recall smelling an odor from the treatment.
OLIN (sp): Well, I never would have thought about it but I looked at some pallet ideas online and I saw where some people had done wood floors with them and the wainscoting and it just – it looks stunning, really. It was totally different-looking from what you’d think a pallet would usually be, you know. And so that’s what gave me the idea and I thought, “Well, that would be a cheap idea to use.”
TOM: Yeah. And hey, it’s an upcycling, too, Leslie. I mean you’re taking something and reusing it in a new and creative way. Better than sending it to ground to a dump.
OLIN (sp): Yes.
TOM: Well, I wouldn’t be, personally, too concerned about treatment, because I’m not sure that they are treated. But I would say that if you detect any odors and you think that they’re treated, then by virtue of the fact that you’re going to seal them will probably minimize that.
So I – for me, I don’t think it would be a concern.
OLIN (sp): OK. Well, that sounds good then. I appreciate it, guys.
TOM: Alright, Olin (sp). Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, it turns out that skylights are the tattoos of home improvement. So many of you out there get them and then, a few years later, you just want them gone. Except maybe it doesn’t say the name of an ex on it. I’m just saying.
Well, if you’re ready to say goodbye to your skylights, we’re going to tell you how to choose a skylight you won’t tire of, next.
TOM: Where home solutions live, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: You can call us at 888-MONEY-PIT but you might just want to post your question in The Money Pit’s Community page. That’s what Rachel did from Florida.
And she’s having kind of a love/hate relationship with her skylights, Leslie.
LESLIE: Yeah. Now, a lot of people do. But Rachel writes here: “My house has skylights – seven of them – that constantly leak.” I’m adding her exacerbation there; I just imagine it’s a lot. Now, she says, “The added light isn’t necessary so I’d like to get rid of them. But I have no idea where to start. Do I do it myself? Hire a contractor? What are my first steps?”
She sounds really frustrated, at least in my mind.
TOM: I wouldn’t get rid of the skylights completely. I think if you replace them with the right kind of skylight, you can have a long-term, leak-free solution for your house. Because, frankly, if you tear them out, it’s going to be so much work. And with seven of them, it might just be cheaper to replace the roof, really.
But what I would do is I would replace them with a good-quality skylight. I like the VELUX skylights, I like the Andersen skylights, the Pella skylights. These are types of skylights that have a curb. It’s a 4-inch box. Makes up the frame. It sits up off the roof. And then they’re flashed with metal flashing that basically weaves in between the roof shingles and comes over the top of those boxes and against the glass, so they’re really almost 100-percent leak-free.
A lot of the older skylights, they relied on sealants, like roof cement, to try to keep them leak-free. And of course, those sealants break down and they become very problematic and people put more tar and gook on them over the years. And it’s just a real mess.
So, I would tell you to take them out, one at a time, and just replace it with a really good-quality skylight. If you have the right kind there, you can get one that has low-E glass, which means it’s not going to overheat your place in the summer. Because that could add a lot of heat that you have to air-condition against. That’s another possibility to look at, at the same time. But I would definitely not throw them out. I think you’ll be happier if you have those skylights and it will also add more value to your home by keeping them rather than getting – removing them. Because you’re just going to see patch upon patch on the roof and also on the ceilings where those light shafts came through. It’ll just be a lot nicer if you keep them.
Nobody likes a dark house, Leslie, right?
LESLIE: Yeah. Skylights really do just make a house feel so much brighter and warmer. And they really do something, I think, to the architecture. So, it’s worth it to try to keep them if you’re interested in upgrading. I think what you’ve got now is just not working out for you. But there are ways to make it really lovely.
TOM: Well, when you run your dishwasher, do the dishes come out dirtier than when they went in? The culprit might be a clogged drain valve. It’s a repair that’s easy to make and Leslie has some tips on how to do just that, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: That’s right. You know, dishwasher drain valves, they should only open during the draining cycle. But if that valve is clogged, it’s also going to start to let water out during that wash cycle. So you need to listen very carefully during the wash cycle. And if you hear water flowing into the sink, it’s making that gurgle-y, sink-y sound – you know the sound I’m talking about; I’m not going to do it but you know what I’m saying – that means that the drain valve is definitely clogged. You also want to check the bottom of your dishwasher for any buildup of food particles.
Now, so many dishwashers are going to have that ball-style check valve. And that can get gummed up and that’s going to prevent that dirty water from draining out of the unit altogether. A wet/dry vac is really all you’re going to need to clean out those hard-to-reach areas and get that drain working again.
Bottom line: this is not a hard fix. If you take just a couple of steps, those clogs will be fixed and your dishes are going to become clean once again.
TOM: Yep. And no need to call in a plumber.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, we’re going to talk about your roof. I mean it weathers every storm and protects your home’s structure. It keeps you warm and dry. But it’s not going to last forever. If it’s time for your roof to go, we’ll have tips on how you can get a great roof to replace it with, on the very 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.
END HOUR 2 TEXT
(Copyright 2018 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)
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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: We’re here to help you take on your next residence increase projection. Inside or out, up or down, whether it’s kitchens, basements, lavatories, crawlspaces, living room, decoration, decks, terraces, whatever is on your to-do list, here’s what you need to do to slide it over to ours: pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We can be used to decide how to address that activity, whether you can do it yourself or you need a pro, how you can save some coin along the way. All great things for us to talk about this hour on The Money Pit.
And precisely ahead, it’s summer-storm season, which is a great time to ask the question: how is your roof holding up? Summer is a good time to consider a roof replacement and that’s a hassle best left up to a pro, gravity being what it is if you know what I entail. So we’re going to tell you some tip-off to help you get the best brand-new ceiling done for your residence, precisely ahead.
LESLIE: And did you struggle to stay cozy last summer? Well, if you did , now is a great time for the purposes of an A/ C updated to improve the ease and efficiency of your method. We’re going to have A/ C-upgrade tips to help you keep cool without breaking the bank.
TOM: And speaking of summer, once schools wrap up in the next couple of weeks, it is vacation season. We’re going to have some tips to help you keep your home secure because when you’re apart, the burglars can play.
But first, we want to hear from you. So return us a call, right now, 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974. You’ll get the answer to your question. Plus, we are giving away an shocking award today to one listener outlined at random.
LESLIE: That’s right. We’ve get, brand-new from RYOBI, the SMART TREK Self-Propelled Cordless Mower. Now, the RYOBI SMART TREK features gas-like power and a self-propelled technology that adapts to your walking speed. So it preserves up with you and doesn’t pull you along for the ride.
It’s available at Home Depot and HomeDepot.com for $449 but we’ve got one to give away today on The Money Pit.
TOM: So, give us a call right now. You must have a home betterment question and I convey a well thought-out, good residence improvement question , not like: “What coloring decorate should I use? Black or white? ” You know, let’s get serious about this. Give us a good question and the authorities concerned will toss your epithet into The Money Pit hard hat, 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.
LESLIE: Keith in Illinois is on the line. How can we help you today?
KEITH: I have a one-and-a-half-story house that has a- on the second floor is the- well, the rooms are basically half elevation. They’ve got the- in the middle, they’re full altitude but on the leading edge, they’re not. That’s where the wardrobes are at.
During specific times of the year, the truss tend to expand and it elevates the drywall in the edges and induces it to curl along the seams. And the developer just wanted to kept crown molding up there to prevent that. And what I had wanted to do, apparently, was prevent the action absolutely. It had been recommended before to add ventilation above the attic to get good airflow through there. The developer has said today by adding additional venting, which would be- I would consider the side ducts. He said that would actually spoil the vent system that’s already in place, which is in the eaves.
Do you have any additional recommendations for that?
TOM: Well, a couple of things. First of all, truss heaves happen when the truss reduce and they pull up in the middle of the chamber and that’s why you get the ceiling cracks, chastise?
TOM: And the ventilation you have right now, do you have incessant soffit expressing?
TOM: And do you have ridge expressing down the peak of the ceiling?
TOM: Well, you’ve already got the best ventilation system out there. So as long as it’s working properly, it’s not impeded, there’s no degree in putting additional breathing in there.
TOM: Now, is it possible for you to get above the truss, down like right above the ceiling?
KEITH: Well, I can’t get above that area. It’s boxed off and of course, they have it shielded but they do have the Styrofoam obstructs that frustrate the separation from blocking the truss duct. No, unless I cut through the top of the roof, I cannot get above the ceiling there.
TOM: Well, if the trusses were installed correctly- which, of course, isn’t going to help you- there are some L-shaped truss times that they would have installed that could have prevented this problem, that help as the roof expands and contracts. The intellect I asked you if you could get to them is because they may be able - you may be able to install them after the fact.
But if you can’t get to them, then I’m afraid there’s actually not an easy solution to this. If you were to add a second layer of drywall over what you have and you were very careful to make sure that the seams didn’t line up with the seams you have now, you may create a roof that’s strong enough- or a ceiling that’s strong enough- to not show cracks like it is. I would also glue the new bed to the aged layer. But again, I would overlap those strata, so to speak. Does that utter sense to you?
KEITH: Yes. So they don’t line up.
TOM: And that might make it strong enough. Because right now, there’s no backbone in the seams. It’s only the paper.
TOM: So that’s going to be the weakest part of the ceiling arrangement. If "youre supposed to" situated a second layer of drywall and cement across that, then I think you would have a really, genuinely sturdy ceiling and it would be unlikely that it would continue to crack.
KEITH: If I could sand on the- because I can get in the attic and get up to where the 2x4s come together in the truss. Would I be able to screw in a bracket there? That’s what you’re suggesting to mostly strengthen that seam?
TOM: Keith, if you can get on top of the drywall, so to speak, those truss are going to be been incorporated into interior walls in some regions, correct?
TOM: So whatever it is you would do is you would have to detach them from the interior walls and you are able to put an L-clip in place of the fingernails. The clip is attached to one side; there’s a slit on the other. And that allows the truss to move up and down and it will relieve some of that uplift and cracking.
Now, "when youre doing" that, you are able to discover- over the next year, if the truss starts to try to move again, you are able accompany some fingernail poppings that are available. And if that’s the suit, you miss to swipe them up and through to various kinds of relieve the pressure and then patch the drywall.
But I do ponder by the time you go through all that work, that it might be an easier mixture exactly to articulate a second layer of drywall on. Because your trouble is primarily with the seams and that’s going to be the easiest lane to fix that.
KEITH: Yeah, it does sound like it. Alright. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Keith. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Eloise in North Carolina are addressed by some unwanted visitors: squirrels.
Eloise, one tried to get into my screened-in porch last week because of a pizza container. I is currently- and it scared the bejesus out of me.
TOM: Must have been an Italian squirrel.
LESLIE: Tell us. What’s going on?
ELOISE: The squirrels have decided that they like the coziness of get inside and down into the eaves of the porch rather than to burrow in a tree. And they have started eating away at my house. I’ve find places where they’ve been devouring, as well as the dens that are down in the eaves. How can I be disposed of them?
TOM: Well, there’s a couple of ways that you can are working with squirrels in the attic. It’s kind of like at-bats in your belfry: they drive you fucking. But there are some ways to try to manage these populations.
First of all, you can trap and release. If you invested in a duet, or even one, Havahart traps- Havahart is a trap that has a door on it that lets the squirrel in, doesn’t harm them. Usually, you’ll utilize an apple or something like that as bait. We generally recommend you wire it to the enclose of the bait, because they’ll figure it out and they’ll steal it and not get stuck in the catch. And then once they get stuck in the bunker, you make the whole trap, put it in the case of your automobile, drive out to a woodsy place, lift the door and off they will run blithely to once again rejoin Mother Nature.
Another thing that you can do is you could consider using a squirrel repellant. There are different types of repellants that are available. They generally are repellants that are designed to emulate a natural predator of squirrels, like fox or something of that mood. And you either scatter them or you- sometimes they’re in a purse and you hang them in the area and that can deter them.
But really, the first thing I would do is try to seal up any gaps that are allowing them to get into this attic seat to begin with.
ELOISE: Yeah, I have some homework to do. Thank you so much.
TOM: Ah, you sure do. Good luck with that campaign. Thanks so much better for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are carolled to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com.
Well , now that summer-storm season is upon us, how is your ceiling holding up? You know, summertime is certainly a great time to consider a roof replacement. And that really is a job that’s best left up to a pro. We’re going to tell you what you need to know to get the best racket done for your house, in today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com, next.
TOM: Procreating good dwellings better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
And you are sung to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show presented by HomeAdvisor.com. You’re never going to get concerned about overpaying for a responsibility again. Precisely use their True Cost Guide to see what others have paid for same programmes, then get matched with top-rated pros, read evaluates, get repeats and work appointments, all free of charge, at HomeAdvisor.com.
TOM: Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you do, we’ve got a fantastic giveaway for one luck listener depicted at random this hour: the RYOBI 40 -Volt Lithium 20 -Inch SMART TREK Self-Propelled Cordless Mower.
It’s got a lot of pieces but my favorite is the SMART TREK engineering. Because I have applied self-propelled mowers in the past and what ever happens is you start out at the speed you think you want but then you get tired. And then the mower is plucking you along.
LESLIE: It’s true.
TOM: With SMART TREK, it mostly parallels your pace. So, well, you don’t have to follow the mower; the mower, basically, follows you.
This is worth 449 horses. Travelling out to one caller drawn at random at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Give us a see. We will toss your call in that Money Pit hard hat.
LESLIE: Steven in Texas needs some assist with a cabinet project. What can we do for you?
STEVEN: Yes. So my partner has challenges with substances, like formaldehydes and glues and make-ups that they put in kitchen cabinet, the brand-new ones. And I was wondering if you had any idea what a person could use that you could get away from those types of compounds in cabinets.
TOM: So you’re looking forward to a cabinet manufacturer that is sort of formaldehyde-free and VOC-free? Is that correct?
STEVEN: Yeah, that’d be right. Yes.
TOM: Steve, that’s an interesting question because when it is necessary to kitchen cabinets, so many of the products that go into kitchen cabinets have the potential to have VOCs or volatile organic compounds in their own homes. Because you could start with the boards that are used to build the cabinets. If they’re a pressboard or a composite board of some sort, that have been able to formaldehyde in it, for example. Then you have the finishes and on and on and on.
I think what you want to do is you want to look for kitchen cabinetry that is built to meet the brand-new CARB 2 standard. That’s C--AR-B- 2 standard. That stands for the California Air Aid Board and that’s a standard that measures the level of those types of toxins in cabinetry. And so if you search for kitchen cabinets that encounter that standard, I think that’s a good place to start.
STEVEN: Well, generally, I do like maybe some metal cabinets, you are familiar. That would look nice in a kitchen. Would you have any ideas on something like that?
TOM: Well, you’d still have finishes on metal closets that would have some of the same issues.
TOM: I haven’t pictured metal boards in a kitchen in forever. The Gladiator tribes at Whirlpool are doing a really good job these days with metal cabinetry for laundry rooms and utility the regions and spaces like that. But I don’t know if that cabinet thread is going to extend to the point where you’d have enough flexibility to do it in a kitchen.
LESLIE: Well, I can share with you a merchant of a no-formaldehyde-added cabinetry. They’re actually beautiful, handmade, wooden cabinets. I’m not sure this is right their cost point but I am familiar with the fact that they are not adding any compounds to it. And they are very responsible in how they exploit the grove and the products that they use to make their cabinets. It’s a company out of Portland and their word is Neil Kelly. And it’s N-e-i-l-K-e-l-l-y.
And then, there was a metal-cabinet manufacturer that I was familiar with a while ago. It’s Fillip Metal and it’s F-i-l-l-i-p. It’s kind of this new resurgence of some interesting, repurposed fabrics. And you might want to check them out, as well.
STEVEN: OK. Well, thank you very much for the information. I appreciate it.
TOM: Good luck with that campaign. Thanks so much better for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well , now that the summer-storm season is upon us, how is your roof holding up? Summer is a great time to consider a roof replacement. And that’s a position that’s best left up to a pro. We’re going to tell you what you need to know to get the best racket done for your mansion, in today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com.
TOM: First up, your ceiling is pretty much the armor that protects your refuge from these components. And nationally speaking, the average cost to install a new roof is about 7,600 horses. But most kinfolks are going to spend within a range of between 5,200 and 10,000 bucks. So, when it comes to maintaining your investment, the smartest money you could invest could be on this project, because it protects everything that’s important to you underneath.
LESLIE: Now, when you go out and contact roofers for costs, it’s important to note that the cost is going to fluctuate depending on factors like size and move- now, pitch is the angle of the roof- and the shingles that you’re choosing for development projects and whether the aged roof is going to be removed or the new roof is lay on top of that.
Now, we’re always going to recommend that you take the old roofing off because that new roof, when it goes on top of an elderly roof, first of all, it doesn’t glance as good when it goes on the older roof. But it tends to deteriorate the life of the new roof more quickly. So we are actually is often used to lean towards taking off that old-fashioned ceiling for better performance of the brand-new roof.
TOM: Other acts that you need to plan for might include work to repair or supplant the troughs or sometimes the rotted fascia that’s behind the ditches, as well as repair any damaged roof sheathing. Now, that’s generally the plywood that’s under the roof. And the questions there is it only comes evident immediately the aged shingles are removed. So to avoid astonishes, you want to make sure that your ceiling appraisal includes a cost for ousting any damaged sheathing that’s detected after the ceiling is removed. Because this way, you’ll know what to expect.
LESLIE: Now, lastly, you’re replacing your roof, so it’s also a great time to consider whether you’re going to upgrade, beyond those regular asphalt shingles that everybody’s kind of familiar with, to a more sturdy roofing fabric like maybe a metal roof.
Metal ceilings, for example, they’re beautiful. They are more expensive but they can last 50 to 100 years. I mean that is a long time, which really means that a metal ceiling might just be the last roof that the entire home will ever need in the lifetime of that home itself.
TOM: And that’s today’s Pro Project presented by HomeAdvisor.com. With HomeAdvisor, you can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your sphere, read verified reviews and book appointments online, all for free.
LESLIE: Pat in Louisiana is on the line and needs some assist with a cleaning campaign. What can we do for you?
PAT: We had our carpet scavenged about a year ago. And in this bedroom, we have a heavy, clear, plastic mat that goes underneath personal computers chair.
PAT: Well, recently, I moved it over a bit and I noticed that it was wet underneath it.
PAT: There’s no spill in the roof; spray hasn’t come in the house. So merely thing that could be is a year ago, the water from the carpet-cleaning service get underneath this rug and it’s been there all this time.
TOM: Hmm. OK.
PAT: So, we cut off a large circle, like a 5-foot curve and got all the part out that was wet. So we’re going to have to change the carpet and the pad. But on the concrete- the bare concrete- there are some places of discoloration, so I don’t know if that’s mold or mildew. My question is: how do I empty that concrete before "were having" the new carpet positioned?
TOM: The concrete recognizes, if anything, are mineral-salt deposits; it’s not mold.
TOM: And so, it’s really cosmetic at this quality. If you can wash it down with a vinegar-and-water solution, it’ll melt the mineral-salt deposits away.
But the other thing that occurs to me is sometimes, concrete will describe sweat into a home. And so if anywhere near that area outside you’ve get sea that’s ponding or accumulating, it’s possible for the concrete to sort of draw that humidity up into the slab and across. And it may not have been able to evaporate where the pad was encompassing the concrete, which is why that area abode mute, whereas the other area bone-dry out. So there may be a different interpretation as to why that abode wet.
One of the things that you might want to do, since you have the carpet attracted the whole way back, is to paint the concrete. Paint that area with an epoxy paint. That will seal in that concrete and stop some of the evaporation if the humidity is being drawn through it and up into the floor surface.
PAT: So, should I- we depict the whole room? We don’t have all of the carpet up yet; we just cut out the middle part.
TOM: Well, if you’re going to take all the carpet up, then depict the whole floor. If you’re merely will be taking part of it up, then simply draw what you can get to. But I is undoubtedly paint the floor.
TOM: That’ll do it. Pat, thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are carolled to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on breath and online at MoneyPit.com.
Well , now is a great time for the purposes of an air-conditioning upgrade to improve the comfort and the effectiveness of the A/ C at your home. We’re going to share some A/ C-upgrade tips to help you keep cool without breaking the bank, coming up next.
TOM: Performing good residences better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: New report out on the true cost of home ownership based on a sketch of 1,000 homeowners.
LESLIE: And it says expensive.
TOM: Yeah. This is interesting. The average homeowner spends, according to this survey, 2,600 bucks on maintenance and reparations; 6,600 horse on dwelling betters; and 2,600 horses in asset taxes; and 1,200 bucks on insurance.
LESLIE: OK. Mm-hmm.
TOM: And I guess that’s why we announce this testify The Fund Pit.
LESLIE: Wait. That’s average?
TOM: That’s average. Yes, average.
LESLIE: The taxes and the insurance.
TOM: I know. I thought that was ridiculous. A ridiculously low number.
LESLIE: Where do those people live?
TOM: Right. Yeah, exactly.
LESLIE: Because that’s not ...
TOM: Those are not the taxes we compensate here in the Northeast, I’ll tell you that.
LESLIE: Holy moly. Because I judge I want to move to there. Oh, my goodness. Holy moly.
And 59 percentage of homeowners are drawing renovations. They’re using some combining of debit card, personal loans, home equity loans to fund those projects. And the biggest regret among homeowners is that the amount of upkeep their belonging necessary- now 1 in 4 homeowners have less than 500 horses saved in the event of a home reparation emergency.
And you know what, Tom? You rightfully never know what’s going to happen. You don’t know when it’s going to happen. And in a one-week period, my dishwasher breach- I’ve deepened that gasket on that dishwasher three times; it is still shooting out water from the lower-left corner- my refrigerator just died- I necessitate it’s 17 year olds, so who can complain?- and my hairdryer died the same day as the fridge.
LESLIE: So, I know the hairdryer is small but ...
TOM: That must have been the worst part of it: the hairdryer dying.
LESLIE: It was just - you don’t know what’s going to happen, so you’ve got to be prepared.
TOM: Absolutely. Well, we can help you find a way to save on dwelling upkeep penalties. That’s emphatically one of the things that we do. But help yourself first: render us a bawl, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if you live in an older home that wasn’t improved primarily with central A/ C or maybe you’ve got a arrangement that’s past its life expectancy , now might be a really good time to invest in a brand-new A/ C.
TOM: With improvements in economy, there’s no reason a new A/ C arrangement can’t leave you cool and your budget pleasant. Here to talk us through the options is This Old House plumbing-and-heating contractor Richard Trethewey.
RICHARD: Hello, people. How are you?
TOM: We are well. Looking to keep cool this summer. And first and foremost, central A/ C is much more energy-efficient than area aura conditioners, right?
RICHARD: Well, it generally is if it’s done right. You know, not only are they more efficient than a chamber air conditioner but central air-conditioning systems are much more efficient than they were just 10 short years ago.
TOM: So let’s start by talking about the basic the different types of air-conditioning systems, because there’s some new structures that are out there and combinations of systems that can be confusing.
RICHARD: Well, the standard system that was always available to us was to have a cooling scroll positioned on the priorities in a gas or an oil furnace. You’ve all seen them. Down in your vault or in that garage is the furnace and that has a burner and a blower and that pushings air out through the ductwork.
Now, at the very top of it, there’d be a coil that had refrigerant move through it. As the breeze croaked across it, it was cooled. It connected via refrigerant routes[ that’s to outside]( ph ). And that was the standard for countless, many years.
And so what they’ve done the last 10 years is they have insisted on higher efficiencies. It used to be that you could get away with a 10 SEER and now you need 13 SEER or now it was necessary to 15 SEER in different places. And that is a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio.
TOM: So that’s a practice to kind of compare legions to components and efficiency to efficiency.
RICHARD: Right. Sort of like the power ratings on appliances or the mileage for cars.
TOM: Alright. So that’s the core organisation. Now, there’s another system out now called a “mini split-ductless.” How does that ...?
RICHARD: Right. And this really comes to us from Asia. And really, the rest of the planet does it this channel. The first system I described was announced “unitary.” It’s where you have one device and that communicates heated or cooled breeze through the building.
These divides are very easily zoned organisations where you could have- in each chamber or groupings of areas, you could have the thing called a “high-wall cassette.” You’d see it on the wall and it has a way to have heating and cooling come out of these pipes. You’ve seen them all ...
LESLIE: It’s about 3 hoofs wide by 18 inches tall.
RICHARD: That’s right.
LESLIE: They’re white. They mount high on the wall. There’s little vents on it.
RICHARD: That’s right. Right.
LESLIE: I mean they’re enticing and they various kinds of go away.
RICHARD: And they’re thermostatic and they’re quiet.
And so now you’ve came zonability( ph) where normally, with that unitary organization, "youve had" one thermostat, generally. It brings with it the whole house for cooling and then you turn it back up again. This gives you the chance, as the sunbathe moves around the building- now there’s more load on the south side. That legion on the south side can come on and keep up with it, because you have multiple sections inside the building.
LESLIE: Now, there’s one division on the interior, which is that split system.
RICHARD: That’s right.
LESLIE: And then on the outside, you’ve got your condensing unit.
RICHARD: Condenser. Right. Well, it used to be that you’d have to have one indoor contingent paired up to one outdoor unit.
LESLIE: To one outdoor.
RICHARD: And in the old days, the outside components used to be so large-hearted. And they still are.
RICHARD: Now, with these divides, the human rights unit are much smaller and they can load. They’re almost a small rectangle against the building. They can even hang on the wall brackets.
LESLIE: And you are able to have more than one interior component to one outside condensing unit.
RICHARD: That’s right. But that’s the evolution. It’s merely changing now. It used to be that it was always one to one.
LESLIE: One to one.
RICHARD: Now you can have one magic box, so to speak, outside and you can connect to three, four, five or six cells inside.
Now, you’d think that was enough but no, the next event that has only been recently shown up is a variation of this where you can have a single casket outside. That container has a thing inside it called an “inverter.” And the inverter will not only allow you to have cool to four, five, six different cells within the building but it actually is so efficient it can reverse itself. And in the cold, cold weather, down to about 5 magnitudes outside, it can find fairly heat in the outside breeze to still heat the building.
That’s certainly what people simply can’t conclude. “How do you get heat out of cold air in the winter? ”
TOM: That’s interesting. So that’s kind of like a heat-pump tech now.
RICHARD: That’s right. It’s a hot spout that works. Heat pumps never did much once you got above the Mason-Dixon Line. But these forces has truly got some excitement. They actually are so efficient because they’re not just cycling on and off; they’re actually on all the time a little bit, just grabbing a little bit of heat all the time and putting it back in the building.
TOM: That’s really cool.
RICHARD: The other thing that’s great is now you’ve got some other hand-pickeds. It used to be that you could only have that high-wall cassette inside the building. Now some of these legions actually accept ductwork off the units. So you could still have, hidden away inside the building- comfy. Another one is a picture frame so that a situation enclose acts as the cooling and heating unit in the space.
LESLIE: Oh, I’ve seen that one.
RICHARD: It’s a- yeah, they’re really pretty cool. A much of option now and it’s an rousing time to be in this game.
TOM: So, if you’re thinking about upgrading your existing system, maybe your outdoor compressor miscarries and you need to make a decision, what kinds of things are important to know before you actually do that work? Can you always depart sort of part for place? Is it going to fit? Can you placed a better, more efficient air conditioner, perhaps where you had one that was less efficient, and still have it work?
RICHARD: Well, Tom and Leslie, "its certainly true it is" a minefield now because of regulation. You might have your inside part and your outside unit. And the outside condenser, which is exposed to the elements, fails. Now you only want to get a new outdoor abbreviating division. Well, the rules have changed about how efficient you have to set that unit is. And the standard rules have also modified about what type of refrigerant that you can use inside those.
So , now, you might say, “I time want to replace the outdoor condensing unit.” Now, by authorization, you’re going to have to not only change the outdoor division, you’re going to have to change the indoor section to competition it.
LESLIE: So they speak to each other.
RICHARD: And you’re going to have to change the refrigerant that goes through it. And that involves evacuating all the refrigerant out of the lines and it’s not a small deal anymore.
TOM: There’s nothing much that you can save in this process. You’re pretty much going to be replacing everything.
RICHARD: That’s right.
LESLIE: Now, when you close your air conditioning up for the season- if that’s something that you do; you do a turn-on and a turn-off- are they draining the lines at that point? Or it ever has refrigerant in it?
RICHARD: It should ever have- the refrigerant you lay in, if you don’t have a leak, it should be in there 25 years from now.
RICHARD: The only thing I’ll tell you about winterizing is if you’re in a target where you’ve got some really dirty tree over that condenser, you should cover it so that all those pine needles or buds don’t get down inside. Because what’s inside that condenser you don’t insure are relatively tender fins- aluminum fins- on a refrigerant scroll. And if that is filled with all sorts of foreign objectives, it’ll work really hard and it’ll ultimately miscarry because of it.
TOM: Yeah. Richard, in terms of the cover, you’re not talking about sealing the human rights unit as much as keeping tree debris out, are you?
RICHARD: Well, you cannot confine the breath inside of a condenser for it to operate. And so during the season, when it’s got to run, you’ve got to make sure the breeze can pass through and up and out of the condenser.
RICHARD: But in the winter, in a sit where you’ve get dirty trees, you might want to shut it up tight to keep those yearn needles and leaves out. And be sure to pull it off before you start it in the season.
TOM: Make-up sense.
Now, I want to finish up with a few questions about sizing. Person think that bigger is always better when it is necessary to A/ C organisations. But it’s really not about coming the biggest system; it’s about getting one that’s designed to work properly with your mansion, right?
RICHARD: Yeah. That’s the biggest mistake we all move in both the chill and the heating world. We make bigger is better.
Now, in the example of chill, if I put in two times too big of a cool legion, thermostat comes on, it is currently quickly tries to originate the air cold and then it shuts off. It means that you haven’t range that breeze conditioner long enough to actually take any humidity out of the building. So now you end up with a cold, clammy space.
LESLIE: And it feels colder.
RICHARD: Absolutely. If we’ve done our profession as heating-and-cooling professionals, that air-conditioning system, on the worst day of the year, would never shut off; it would just be on all the time. The knowledge is that’s never the subject; it’s on, it’s off, it’s on and off because they are oversized. The same thought is in heating in reverse. If we have too big of a furnace or too large of a boiler, it’s going to cycle.
Think about the pattern. If I had an automobile where I turned it on and off every two minutes, the engine would be harder pulped to run clean. The same situation with an air conditioner. If you cycle that compressor a million times an hour because it’s too big, it’s going to be short-lived.
TOM: And because of all the power it takes to get it on, initially, you’re probably employing more electricity.
RICHARD: Absolutely. That’s right. It’s the take-offs and the disembarks that use all the fuel.
TOM: That’s the important part.
RICHARD: That’s right.
TOM: Richard Trethewey, the plumbing-and-heating contractor on TV’s This Old House, thank you so much. I’m sure you’re making a lot of us more cool and comfortable this summer.
RICHARD: Stay cool, you guys.
TOM: And This Old House be increased to you on PBS by American Standard.
Just onward, vacation season is happening in merely got a couple of weeks. We’re going to tell you what steps you need to take to make sure your home stays safe and secure, after this.
Making good dwellings better, welcome to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Give us a call at 888 -MONEY-PIT. 888 -MONEY-PIT is was put forward by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated, regional residence better pros for any home project. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
And while you’re online, don’t forget The Money Pit exists there. You can affix your questions at MoneyPit.com but you’re always welcome to give us a call right here at 888 -MONEY-PIT. And if you do get your question on the breeze in the hour, we’ve got an amazing giveaway that’s going to go to one listener drawn at random. It is a perfect summer prize, you guys. It’s the RYOBI 40 -Volt Lithium 20 -Inch SMART TREK Self-Propelled Cordless Mower.
I have to tell you, mowing the lawn has to be one of my most favorite hassles. And this definitely constitutes it better because the SMART TREK engineering- the mower is going to match your pace. So if "youre feeling" like going through the project quickly and walking at a more immediate pace, the mower is going to match that. If you’re a little tired from the duty week and you’re get a little bit slower on that Saturday morning, the mower is going to match your gait instead of dragging you around the yard in the apprehension of the mower wanting to finish.
TOM: And don’t worry about whether or not a cordless mower can do the job. This can do that and more. It’s came gas-like power and cordless convenience. It starts with the push of a button. So, basically, you get all the power and guide time that you need to get the job done without the hassles of gas, oil, fumes, maintenance and sound. Your neighbors will affection it.
It’s worth 449 bucks at Home Depot and HomeDepot.com but we’ve got one to give away to a listener on today’s show. So pick up the phone and give us a summon with your home improvement question, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, vacation season is now just a pair weeks away. And a good time to think about what steps you want to take to make sure your home remains safe and secure. So, here’s a few tips-off that lets you do just that.
LESLIE: That’s right. First of all, you want to light it up. Now, a well-lit home is much less likely to be broken into, so you’ve got to make sure that your home’s exterior is fully illuminated. And you want some motion-detector spotlights were integrated into it so that it comes on in the event that somebody is, you are familiar, hiding around the property.
TOM: Now, the next situation you want to do is establish sure you’re obstruct your scenery in shape. Because if you’ve went dense shrubs, they can create a hideout. So keep the fences low, keep the plants in your entrances and windows nifty and transparent.
LESLIE: Likewise, you want to upgrade your door fastens. Now, a opening with simply a handle lock is an easy mark for a break-in. Instead, you want to add a good-quality deadbolt at each entering phase. Now, very good deadbolts require a key on the outside and then incorporate a digit latch on the inside. You’ve too got to strengthen every installing by substituting long, heavy-duty shafts for those ones that are given to you by the manufacturer. Because those are small, very frankly, and they don’t do the job that the longer, heavy-duty fastened will. This behavior, you’re going to be sure that every introduction level is secured to the wood-frame opening opening into the wall.
TOM: And ultimately, think about getting a security system. Even the most powerful, most well-lit homes can’t stop a robber that’s determined to go into. So, it’s a good time to think about all the technology that a security system can offer. There’s such a broader range of DIY and pro organization out there.
Now, we’ve- ADT but there’s a lot of fine organisations out there and it’s nice to know that the chamber of representatives is being watched , is not merely for break-ins but too for fire and exhaust fumes and inundates and so on. So, mull about those few betters before you taken away from for vacation and make sure your live is in the same mold as it was when you left.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Give us a call at 888 -MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, the fastest and most easy direction to find the best home work pros in your neighborhood. You can speak reviews and book appointments all online.
TOM: And simply ahead, can your propane grill be transformed into a gas grill? We’ll have the answer when The Money Pit continues.
Making good dwellings better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Pick up the phone and demonstrate us a summon, right now, with your home improvement activity, your do-it-yourself dilemma. The list is 1-888-MONEY-PIT and we are presented by HomeAdvisor.com. Never worry about overpaying for a occupation. Use the HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide to see what others pay off a similar assignment. It’s all free of charge at HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Alright. While you’re online, don’t forget to principal on over to MoneyPit.com and you can post your question in the Community section. I’ve got one here from Laura.
Now, Laura writes: “We bought a propane grill a year before selling our residence and we only used it once. When we moved into our new home, we witnessed a natural-gas line was available for a grill. Is there a direction of get this propane grill to work with natural gas? I means that we are paid virtually $400 for this grill and I’d hate to hurl it out and then find out there was a solution.”
TOM: Well, you can’t use natural gas in a propane grill because the burners are different, as is the flow of gas. And considering its age and the cost and hassle of proselytizing it, I’d hate is to say this but I think you’re best to chalk this one up to experience and pick up a brand-new gas grill. Because it will be costly and a inconvenience to find precisely the right responsibilities to do this transition. So, that’s the best way to proceed.
LESLIE: Yeah. But Laura, you know what? Don’t toss out the other grill. I am sure with Facebook Marketplace or any of those online resources, you can find somebody who’s willing to pay a good toll for that grill, especially if it’s in such immense malady like you say.
Alright. Next up, I’ve got a post here from Veronica. Now, Veronica writes: “What can I do to restore spider vein-looking rift in various regions of the ceramic bathtub exhaust? And what’s causing them? ”
TOM: Well, it’s mostly the tub finish burst down. The kind of glazing that’s in that finish is breaking down. And you do have a few options.
Of course, you could replace the entire tub and that’s a major renovation because, believe me, the tub is the first thing that goes in a shower when it’s being built and it’s the last happening that comes out because it’s the biggest part of that room. You could reglaze the bathtub, which might be either a DIY project or one that’s done professionally. But it’s definitely not a long-term solution because those glazes will neglect. I dream the DIY forms will disappoint first, as well.
Now, the other option is to use a bathtub insert. Now, a tub position is mostly custom-fit and positions into the tub. It kind of moves it like a liner. It relines the part surface. Now, that can actually abbreviate the size of the tub a little. And I’ve found that it’s just a little bit less expensive than entirely removing and ousting the tub. Gee, I wonder why, liberty?
TOM: And then, of course, there’s ever option number four, which is learn to live with it. Nobody is going to see those hairline sounds except for you. So, that would probably be the least expensive option, although repeatedly a little of annoying.
LESLIE: Ignore it. Precisely ignore it.
LESLIE: You know, Veronica, I always was of the view that the bathroom is the one place - you’re in there a good deal. You probably embellish it one time and then fast forward a few years, you’re like, “Wow. It’s still precisely the same as it was when I first decorated it 15 years ago.” And I’m sort of in that phase. I’ve been in my house a long time and I get to a stage where I’m doing so much everywhere else but I’m ignoring the bathrooms.
What I only done so in the powder room that was sort of an instantaneous refurbish that really was not expensive- I experienced some repositionable wallpaper, almost like a sheet of sticky-backed vinyl that had a great blueprint on it. And I positioned that up in the powder room on the first floor. Make a little of composure putting it on but it transformed that opening tremendously. And it actually vanished from just plain to sort of glamorous. Now, I’m not saying do this in a bath where there’s showers and whatnot. But paint’s a great way to update that seem, changing out your shower curtain, changing out your tub matting. Doing this seasonally , not so much better the cover but the little accessory in there, is really going to freshen that seem. And maybe it’ll take your recollection off those crackings in the tub.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show on aura and online at MoneyPit.com. Hey, thank you so much for spending this part of your weekend with us. If you’ve went questions about what’s going on in your home or a project you’re hope, remember, you can reach us, 24/7, at 1-888-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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