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 with your home improvement projects. Now that we are getting close to the holidays, maybe you’re planning a project for next year. Before you put it on your to-do list, let’s talk about it at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Whether it’s décor, remodeling, improvement or repair, we’re here to give you the tips and advice to get that job done once, done right and then you won’t have to do it again, 888-666-3974.
Coming up on today’s show, are you planning a project for the new year? We have been getting a lot of questions about remodeling. And we decided we would put together the top five most common remodeling mistakes that we hear about day in and day out. We’ll share those with you, in just a bit.
LESLIE: And when your holiday guests travel over the river and through the woods for a visit, it’s a good idea to make sure that they can spot your house by seeing the numbers. We’re going to have some tips for showing off your address.
TOM: Yeah, also important for emergency vehicles, right, to be able to find your house.
And Leslie, it is time to roll out the holly, unless you’ve done it already. Lots of folks now are getting their holiday decorations out early so they can enjoy them all season long. Now, I guess, whether it’s early or not depends on your definition. I know you start decorating in October, I think, for the holidays.
LESLIE: Ugh. I mean truly, I could if allowed by my family. November 1st would be the deal. But you know my son’s birthday is November 9th, so I’m not even allowed to talk about Christmas until after November 9th. And now he’s got stuck on Thanksgiving, so I wasn’t even able to do anything until the day after Thanksgiving which, to me, is already too late.
TOM: No matter whether you’re an early decorator or not, we’re going to have some tips on safe and sound decorating, coming up.
But right now, we’d love to hear from you. What are you working on? What are you thinking about working on? Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Joan in California needs some help with a kitchen remodel. How’s it going?
JOAN: Yes, well, we haven’t started yet and I just need some advice on how to get started. Do you start with an architect or what do you do?
TOM: That’s a good question. So, planning makes perfect. You want to start with a plan. Now, are you essentially going to replace the kitchen in sort of the same layout that you have right now, Joan? Or are you thinking about really changing things up a lot?
JOAN: Well, it’s a very small kitchen and I just want to know how to maximize everything.
TOM: Alright. So if it’s a small kitchen, you can probably do this inexpensively by perhaps starting with a home center. A lot of the home centers have designers that work on the – work on designing kitchens for the cabinetry that they sell. And for a very small fee, they can help you lay that out and take advantage of all of the latest options.
If you want to do more than that, what you’re going to do is hire a certified kitchen-and-bath designer. But this is sort of like hiring an interior decorator that works just on kitchens and baths. And that’s going to cost you a few bucks.
But if you want to just do this an easy way, I would start with a home center, in the kitchen department, and see if they’ll lay out some options for you using the type of cabinets that they sell. Those cabinets are usually pretty affordable at that level and they’ll be able to give you some ideas on things, perhaps, you haven’t thought about.
LESLIE: You know what, Joan? I think it’s really smart to keep a notepad in the kitchen. And everybody and anybody, yourself and your family who use the space, as you walk through and notice little areas where you’re tripping over one another or things that just don’t make sense or you wish that X was here and not there, sort of jot all of those down. So when you do go sit down with – whether it’s a certified kitchen-and-bath designer or someone in the home center, you sort of have all of these issues that could be addressed or might be able to be addressed.
JOAN: One thing I really want is more electrical outlets, so that’ll have to definitely be in the plan.
TOM: Well, it’s definitely in the plan and you’ll do these things in order. The first thing you’ll do is rip out the old cabinets and the next thing you’ll do would be to rough-in new wiring and new plumbing to have it exactly where you want it. And then, of course, you’ll start the installation of the new cabinetry as almost the last step.
It’s also a good time to think about universal design in the kitchen, maybe having countertops of different height. So as you get older, you could sit down and work at the kitchen counter as opposed to just standing up. So, think of the sort of accessibility issues when you design this kitchen, as well.
JOAN: How much time should I allow for something like this?
TOM: Well, it depends on whether you have sort of all your ducks in a row. Sometimes it takes a while to get all the cabinets delivered. But if everything is accessible and on site, you can tear out this kitchen and rebuild it inside of a week.
JOAN: Oh, wow.
TOM: If you have everybody lined up and everybody is there when they need to be there and the plumber shows up on time, the electrician shows up on time and so on, sure, I don’t see any reason you can’t get it done in a week.
JOAN: Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project, Joan. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Jack in Nebraska is on the line with a flooring question. How can we help you?
JACK: I want to put a new floor in my basement. And I – somebody has told me that some of these new engineered-wood products, like the snap-together floors, they said that some of those are OK for a basement application. Now, is there any truth to that?
TOM: It’s absolutely true. Now, just keep in mind that when it comes to wood flooring, there is prefinished wood flooring, which is solid, and that’s not rated for a basement. And then there is prefinished wood flooring, which is engineered.
Now, engineered flooring is essentially made up of many layers of wood. It’s a bit like plywood in that you have different layers glued together at opposing angles. Except with the engineered-wood flooring, the top layer is hardwood and it looks just like solid hardwood. In fact, once it’s down, you really can’t tell the difference. And because it’s made up of different layers that are glued together at opposing angles, it’s dimensionally stable and it can be exposed to moisture or humidity, like you have in the basement, without swelling and cracking and splitting.
And so, yes, engineered-wood flooring is a perfect choice for a basement. And if you want another option, you could look at laminate floor, also modular in the sense that it locks together. And laminate flooring comes in many, many, many different types of sizes and shapes and colors. In fact, I saw some reclaimed lumber-looking laminate floor recently at a big trade show that was just spectacular. It really looked like the original wood floor.
So, lots of options there for basement flooring. Just don’t go with solid.
JACK: OK. Well, you answered my question. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Jack. 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 with your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As many of you may know, I never sleep so I’m always available to chat. Give us a call. We are standing by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, are you wondering how not to DIY? We’re going to share the top five most common remodeling mistakes, 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 question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
So this weekend, we put up our lights, finally, around the house. And you know what I did? I got those – they’re called AppLights.
LESLIE: Yeah, yeah.
TOM: And they’re really cool because there’s an app and it controls the colors.
LESLIE: Then can you do all sorts of fun stuff?
TOM: Oh, yeah. A gazillion colors. It’s really awesome. And they come in different shapes. The thing is, though, you could probably stand outside and maybe operate the neighbors’ lights. I don’t know.
LESLIE: Ooh, I wonder.
TOM: It’s like a – I think of it as a garage-door opener where it could operate somebody else’s door.
LESLIE: Like first round of garage-door openers. You can drive around the neighborhood and see whose lights you can mess with.
TOM: If you set it up right, you can change your lights every couple days. You get tired of them? You just pick a new pattern.
LESLIE: See, now, for me, I would leave them up year-round.
LESLIE: And I would be like, “Ooh. Winter lights. Ooh. Birthday lights.”
TOM: Well, you know, it’s funny. It was really nice around Halloween. And so my wife says, “Why don’t we put up the lights now and then we don’t have to do it when it gets cold and nasty?”
LESLIE: Because purple and orange for Halloween.
TOM: Right. Because we were thinking we could do Halloween colors. And it was a great idea. I just didn’t …
LESLIE: And then orange for Thanksgiving and …
TOM: Yep, exactly. I just didn’t have the time. But you’re right: you could put them up and change them throughout the year. I mean Fourth of July, red, white and blue, right?
LESLIE: Oh, my goodness. I feel like that’s made for me. Because truly, the day after Christmas or New Year’s Day I start to say, “Oh, they’re not Christmas lights; they’re winter lights.”
LESLIE: And then I want to keep them up forever.
TOM: Alright. Well, listen, if you’ve got a question about décor, remodeling, repair, give us a call and join the conversation at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Cheryl in Texas on the line who’s looking to redo a bathroom and make it more modern with just a shower. How can we help you?
CHERYL: Well, I am the mother of four sons and as they get bigger, they no longer like to get in the bathtub.
CHERYL: And we find that they are always in my room, in my shower. We’re wanting to take out the tub that’s in their bathroom and turn it into a shower. My issue is I don’t have a lot of space. It’s a Hollywood bath and then the tub and toilet are in a separate little room that you can close off. And the door facing – of that little room sits right next to the tub itself.
So, my question is – when I pull that tub out, the plan was to put a shower pan down and tile the area and then put a glass door – either a sliding door on there. Will that be a wide-enough space if it’s only the width of a standard tub?
TOM: Cheryl, I think you definitely can find a shower pan that can fit the width of that tub, sort of elbow to elbow if you’re standing in it. Think about it: if you’re in the tub, you’re taking a shower, right? You’ve got room on – to the right and to the left of you. So we want a shower pan, essentially, that’s the same size.
Now, when it comes to residential, prefabricated shower pans, they start at around 24×24, so that’s 2-foot-square. That would be probably the smallest that you would need but you might be able to go up even bigger.
But a little trick of the trade: if you were to find, for example, that for whatever reason – the way this room is configured – a 24×24 would not work, then you should shop for a smaller shower pan, which you will find, sold for RVs – recreational vehicles. Because they have tiny showers in them, right? And there’s a whole host of RV shower pans that are smaller than 24×24. I don’t think you’re going to need it. I think you’ll be fine starting there, maybe even going up. But the size of the shower pan is what you want to figure out first. Then you can basically build around that, OK? Does that make sense?
CHERYL: Sure, sure. That’s what I want to do. OK.
TOM: Alright, Cheryl. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Cody in Texas is on the line with a garage-door question. How can we help you today?
CODY: I’m interested in insulating the garage door. The garage has insulated ceiling, the walls, everything, except for the door. It’s just that thin, metal panel and I wasn’t sure if it’s worth my money to go ahead and buy a door that’s insulated, like from Overhead Door Company, or if it would be just as good to buy the foam panels from Lowe’s or Home Depot and cut them out and try to fit them into each panel themselves.
TOM: Well, you’ve got nothing to lose by taking the inexpensive route first, because those foam panels are pretty cheap. And yes, if you can fit them securely inside those garage – those existing, metal, garage-door panels, you’re probably going to pick up as much insulation as you would if you replaced the whole thing.
An insulated garage door doesn’t, in and of itself – even if it’s brand new is not going to add that much insulation value to it. So, really, all you have is as much foam as you can squeeze in there.
But remember, just as important as the insulating – the door panels is to make sure that you have weather-stripping along the edge of the door and that it’s adjusted so that it sits well against the concrete floor and it sits well against the jambs – both the side jamb and the overhead jamb. Because I would think that wind is probably your biggest enemy in trying to keep that garage warm. And it’s good that you’ve got the rest of it insulated and certainly, insulating the panels will help. But garage doors aren’t really known for their comfort, so whatever you do is going to have a limited effect.
CODY: OK, OK. Good deal. So the bid I got was $880. I think I will go with the foam sheets first because that’s – I’ll probably have $80 total in that.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. And see how that goes.
CODY: OK. Well, I do appreciate it. I always listen to the show and appreciate the advice.
TOM: Well, thank you so much. Good luck with that project. Let us know how you make out.
CODY: Thank you very much.
LESLIE: Well, home improvement can be one of the most rewarding times of home ownership. But with the excitement of planning a new project, it’s really easy to make errors that can end up driving those costs way beyond what you even thought about budgeting. And I’m talking about thinking about budgeting.
LESLIE: Because so many times, you think, “Ooh, it’s a dollar,” and it’s nowhere even close to a dollar. So, here’s our list of the big errors that we hear about, that come up over and over and over again.
First of all, overimproving. And you’re thinking, “Can you overimprove? I don’t know. I feel like it’s just right for me.” Well, so many projects contribute real value to your property and others have about same resale value as a, say, used lottery ticket that you didn’t win, that didn’t have $5 on it that you just totally lost with that ticket.
Now, if the value of your current home plus the cost of the improvement that you’ve planned far exceeds the average home value in your area, you will be very unlikely to get a return on that home improvement investment. Now, bathrooms, kitchens, decks, those usually provide the best return on investment. And projects geared more toward personal tastes – like decorating, for example – really isn’t going to significantly improve the value of your home. So only do those if you enjoy living in the house and you want to stay there long enough and really enjoy them. But the big stuff – decks, kitchens, baths – that’s really where you’re going to see a return.
TOM: Absolutely. Now, next you want to plan your work and work your plan. Before you hire a remodeling contractor, do your homework. You need to research the products and read reviews with a mind towards developing a sort of spec or specification for that project that identifies the products you’d like included in the remodel.
Now, for small projects, you can do this yourself but for large projects, it’s important to hire an architect or a designer. If you get that spec nailed down, then all the contractors you call in to bid on it will be bidding on the same work. Otherwise, you can’t compare their bids and it becomes super confusing. Plus, you lose control over the finish product. So develop that specification first.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Next up, I think, is people forget to mind the zone, if you will. You know, when you’re building a new shed or a fence, that really might seem like an easy enough home improvement project. But it can quickly turn into a legal nightmare if you don’t first check the local land zoning codes for your property.
Now, even if your project gets completed without a visit from the local zoning official, a violation could haunt you years later when it comes time to sell your home. And I mean so much so as – “Oh, you have to tear out that other bathroom and put it back to whatever it was before, before we’ll go ahead and say you can sell the house.” These things are huge and time-consuming and money-sucks, truly. So you’ve got to do your research.
TOM: I just heard a couple of months back about a guy who built a treehouse out on Long Island. And I was watching the news story thinking, “Well, listen, you probably didn’t even check for a building permit and you deserve what you get,” because it was, of course, about the fact that they wanted him to tear it down, right? And it was a beautiful treehouse that he built for his son. But the thing was the guy did get a building permit. And when he got it, nobody told him he couldn’t do it. Later on, he starts getting these ridiculous letters and fines, so I don’t know what happened with it. So, you’ve just got to be careful about the zoning and the permits and make sure that everyone is really clear about what you’re doing, to try to stay out of trouble.
Now, when you are ready to tackle a project, you need to have a contract with your contractor. And you want to make sure all of those agreements are in writing. Good contracts are going to include a very clear statement of the scope of the work. It’s going to include the list of materials and the price, of course, and also a schedule of payments. So, you want to make sure all of that info is there.
Now, for small projects, I think a lot of folks get in trouble because it’s kind of loosey-goosey. The contractor comes over and says he’s going to do X and he does Y and you’re like, “But you said you were going to do this and you did that.” I have a real simple solution to that. Sometimes, those contractors are not really good at sort of documenting things, so I do it for them. I ask for their email address and I might write the plumber a note that says, “Hey, Bob. It was good seeing you today. This’ll confirm you’re going to replace my toilet in the lower bathroom for 400 bucks and you’re coming next week,” or something like that. Just sort of outlining whatever the parameters are of the project. And this way, you have some record and you’re kind of almost helping the contractor out, too, because it’s real clear what they promised to do and what the conversation was.
LESLIE: Yeah, that is true. And I think, lastly – we touched on it a bit but having no permit – in so many areas of the country, getting a building permit is a requirement before you start a home improvement project. Now, some contractors might attempt to make getting a permit the responsibility of the homeowner but that’s a huge mistake. You need to make sure that that contractor is the person responsible for getting the permit and complying with the building codes every single step of the way.
Now, the local building inspector really is going to be your best resource for making sure that you get that job done properly, to code, to everything that’s correct for what you need and what’s correct for your building. So just, truly, do the research, lean on the village, lean on the building inspector and you will get all of the things done correctly.
TOM: Yep. Good advice. You want to do it once, do it right and you won’t have to do it again.
Hey, if you’ve got a question about a project you’re thinking about doing, now or in the near future, give us a call. We’d love to help you out at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.
Hey, when your holiday guests travel over the river and through the woods for a visit, it’s a pretty good idea to make sure that they can spot your house by seeing the numbers. We’re going to have some tips for showing off your address, 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: Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement question – the number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT – or post it to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Virgil in South Dakota, what can we do for you today?
VIRGIL: Hi. I’ve got an old home that I am restoring and renovating and remodeling. It’s over a century old. And part of the process has been installation of a relatively high energy-efficient furnace.
VIRGIL: And I just got it started and was away from the home for a while. Came back and everything was froze solid. The exhaust had developed a plug of ice and the furnace would not run.
TOM: Ooh, that’s not good.
VIRGIL: No, that’s for sure. Anyway, the contractor that installed it rerouted the pipe so it would go through a heated room instead of up in the attic.
VIRGIL: And so I have it going above the lay-in ceiling over my bathroom. So I’ve got probably a foot to a foot-and-a-half for the inch-and-a-half exhaust pipe sticking out of the side of the house. And I’m wondering, am I going to have a problem with that? And if so, how can I prevent it from happening again?
TOM: Yeah. That’s a good question. In this situation, I would turn to the manufacturers, making sure that they’re – that you follow the recommended installation instructions for this type of a system. With a high-efficiency furnace, what happens is you take so much heat out of that exhaust gas that what’s left is mostly water vapor. Eighty percent of it or more is water vapor. And so that’s why you have to be able to have a way to deal with that.
Now, if that pipe is in a heated area, if it’s insulated, that’s going to stop the ice from forming. But of course, it’s dangerous if it does form because if you can’t exhaust the gas, then that’s going to shut down the furnace, which is a safety switch, basically.
TOM: So, I – to me, I would make sure first that I’ve – that the contractor has installed that venting consistent with the manufacturer’s recommendations, which I’m sure you can find on their website. There are very detailed instructions on that sort of thing. And secondly, I would just watch it now and see what happens. Time is going to tell.
VIRGIL: Kind of a vacation home and I’m not there for a good part of the time. So I can’t be out checking it.
TOM: Right, yeah. Do you have a smart thermostat for that house?
VIRGIL: No. There’s no internet there.
TOM: Ugh. That’s too bad. I was going to suggest that this would be a great application for a smart thermostat that can monitor the temperature in the house. This way, you’ll know if it’s working or not.
VIRGIL: My other choice might be if I put in one of those smart outlets that turns on at 35 and off at 45. And if it turns on at 35, maybe one of the neighbors would see a flashing red light or something.
TOM: See a light, yeah. Exactly. Yeah.
Listen, I think that you need to work with the contractor and the manufacturer to figure out why this was – why this is happening. But I do suspect that that venting has to run – be run through a heated area and it’s got to be better insulated. OK?
VIRGIL: Well, he did have it insulated and it was in the attic, which is totally unheated. So, he did move it down to a heated area. And I can even move the temperature up a little bit by lifting one of the tiles in the lay-in ceiling in the winter.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, hard-to-spot house numbers aren’t just frustrating for visitors, they can also slow an emergency response. They need to find your house. So, to prevent confusion, now is a good time to spruce up that display. You want to make sure your numbers are large, they’re clear on both your home and on your mailbox.
LESLIE: Yeah. If you’ve got a long driveway to or maybe a hard-to-spot entrance, you’ve got to make sure that the address is easily visible to those who are driving by. You want to make sure you’re lighting it up after the dark so people can see it. Because the last thing is – you know, you’re looking at the house before, you’re looking at the house after, you’re trying to figure out which is the correct house. That’s a huge waste of time in an emergency, so you’ve got to make sure people can see that number.
TOM: That’s right. Now, if your community allows it, you can also spray-paint your house numbers on your curb. And that’s a cool trick because if you do it with reflective paint, it’s really easy to spot your house.
LESLIE: That’s right. By making your house more visible, you’re going to help keep your family safe, your visitors happy and the big guy can find your house more easily on Christmas Eve.
TOM: 888-666-3974. We’re here to make you happy with the answers to your home repair or remodeling questions. Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Janice in South Carolina, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
JANICE: Yes. I have bought a new outside storage shed-type building you get it at the big-box stores. And I wanted to know how you can – what’s the best way to treat the exterior wood to keep it lasting longer? And also maybe the inside – the wood inside – the best thing to do for it.
TOM: Is it made of pressure-treated lumber, Janice?
JANICE: They call it – well, it’s got lumber on the trim and then the other, they call that “smart siding”? And that’s the side of the walls and stuff are – on the outside – smart siding?
TOM: OK. So has it been painted?
JANICE: No, no. It’s just raw wood.
TOM: OK. So what we would do is we’d recommend that you prime it first. And I guess you have an option to paint it or stain it, depending on how the siding actually looks. But you want to prime it first. And then after you prime it, then you could add a couple of coats of either good-quality exterior paint or good-quality exterior stain.
You don’t necessarily have to do anything to the inside as long as it’s watertight. But I would definitely work on the outside before it gets any colder out.
JANICE: OK. Alright. Alright. Thank you.
TOM: Alright? Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Up next, news flash: it’s two weeks until Christmas, guys. We’ve got some safe and sound holiday-decorating tips, right 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: And it is the ho-ho-home improvement season. So if you are rushing to get a project done before the holiday arrives, give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Ronnie in Maryland is on the line and has a question about a paintsicle – you know, when a gallon of paint freezes and you wonder if you can still use it.
Welcome, Ronnie. How can we help you?
RONNIE: Yes. I was wondering if that’s – I have some latex paint. It was out in the garage. I live in that (inaudible) part of Maryland here where things freeze up. I was wondering if the paint was still good when it’s frozen. And if it is frozen, how I find out if it was frozen or not.
LESLIE: Alright. So is it currently frozen? Do you know? Has it been frozen only once or have you had it like a year or two and it’s probably frozen a couple of times?
RONNIE: I have no idea how old it is. It was actually – I bought a house and there were just lots of gallons of leftover paints that were in the garage.
TOM: You not only have frozen paint, you have old, frozen paint that could have had a long history to it. The short answer is a definite maybe.
I think that if you asked the manufacturers, Leslie, they’d say no. But I think we’ve all used some frozen paint before.
RONNIE: They’re brand-new cans of paint I opened up. I could see that they’re separated a little bit but the – that’s why I didn’t know if they were actually good or if they were bad. If I mixed them back up they were good or …?
LESLIE: Well, here’s the deal. I would start by bringing the paint indoors. Let it get to room temperature and then stir it. If it stirs and starts to go creamy, then it’s probably OK. If it still looks lumpy, then I’d say no. The issue is that latex paint has a large quantity of water in it. So, obviously, that’s going to freeze and cause things to separate. And then you might end up with problems with adhesion and peeling and perhaps color not matching.
RONNIE: That’s why I thought if there was any lumpy stuff that might be in – I could run it through a cheesecloth or something like that.
LESLIE: No, you wouldn’t want to. If it’s lumpy or cottage-cheesy looking in any kind of way, that just means that all of the additives that cause it to adhere have completely separated and are not sort of going back into the paint itself. So I wouldn’t strain it off, because then it’s just truly not going to stick.
So if it’s separating like that, chuck it. But if you mix it and it looks creamy and it seems OK, I’d give it a go.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, it’s time to pull out those holiday decorations and get festive. But before you deck the halls and trim the tree, first you’ve got to test all of those holiday lights, indoor or out. You need to make sure that all of those lights are marked with a UL – that means the Underwriters Laboratory seal of approval – and marked for outdoor usage, if that’s where you want to display them. You need to make sure that each strand is clear of damaged or frayed wires. And if you have any doubts at all – and I mean I apply this phrase to things I find in the freezer that may have been there a long time – when in doubt, throw it out. If you don’t think it’s going to work or it’s going to be safe, get rid of it.
Now, if your strands aren’t lighting, you’ve got to check each bulb. I know it’s tedious but checking each bulb truly is the way to make sure to get it working again. So you’ve got to check each bulb, see if it’s loose and then replace each one individually with a working light bulb. This way you can see which bulb is the dud until that strand comes on. But if that doesn’t solve the problem, just simply give up. Sometimes, it’s just not worth it.
TOM: Yeah. It’s definitely not worth it. Because we used to put a lot more effort into these things but now it’s just not worth trying to fix those old light strings. Use the opportunity to pick up some LED holiday lights.
The prices have come way down. They are a lot less expensive. In fact, a look at the monthly electric bill really says it all. You can pay $13.65 a month to have colorful strands of Christmas lights outlining your home’s rooftop or you could pay 22 cents. That’s the typical cost difference between powering five strands of those old-fashioned, incandescent holiday light bulbs and the same number of LED lights, according to a survey done by utility provider Xcel Energy. I thought that was really shocking. Almost 14 bucks or 22 cents. So, it doesn’t take a lot of common sense to figure out which way to go. We switched all of our lights to LEDs last year.
LESLIE: I did, too.
TOM: And I’m so glad we did, because they’re so much brighter. Really bright. And they just last.
LESLIE: And I think it’s important to remember – I know a lot of people might feel turned off by LEDs because they think there’s not a temperature choice or the light might look blue or cool or not exactly what you want for the holiday décor. But you can pick a warmer look or a different color temperature that will really give you that same effect that you want. And I’ve been super happy with them.
LESLIE: Cynthia in New York is on the line and has a question about some steps. What are you working on at your money pit?
CYNTHIA: At last Labor Day, I had a new entranceway put onto an old, renovated cottage. There’s pretreated wooden steps and they’re open. Now, the water has settled along cracks and so I filled in these cracks with wood putty. I was intending to paint it. Then I sanded the cracks and then the rains came and snow came before I could even paint it.
Now, is that putty still good? And the second thing is I’ve heard you mention something about primer. And I don’t know what primer is but do these – they’re pretreated. Do they need primer? And is that what would help the wood putty? I’m really not quite sure. And is it too late now to even consider doing this before spring?
LESLIE: Now, when you’re looking at the area that you put the putty in, has it shrunken away from the edges of the cracks? Or does it seem like it’s still holding within the area that you filled?
CYNTHIA: I think it’s still – they’re long cracks. The pretreated wood must not have been the very best of wood. And so they are long. Like some of them are a foot long but very – an 1/8-inch aperture. And I adjusted that and I sort of scraped over the top. It was called “wood putty.” But someone had mentioned that once rain gets to it, it disintegrates and it’s not worth trying to even paint over it.
LESLIE: Well, I think if you’re seeing that it’s still adhering to the crack or it’s still filling in fully and hasn’t shrunken away from the edges, I think you’re in good shape. And you definitely do want to prime the wood surfaces. The only issue is if the wood is wet. Has it rained or has there been snowfall on it? So you want to make sure that the wood is nice and dry before you go ahead and apply anything onto it. So, if there’s been rain, let it dry out for a couple of days. And then once you feel that the wood is dry, definitely prime it.
CYNTHIA: I don’t understand what prime is.
TOM: So, Cynthia, primer is a type of paint. You have paint for inside your house, you have paint for outside your house, you have paint that has different shininess to it. A primer is simply a type of paint and as Leslie said, it’s designed to give good adhesion between the original surface – which, in this case, is the wood steps – and then the finish coat of paint. So, when we say to prime it, what we mean is to paint it with a primer. And then once it dries, then you could put your topcoat of paint on top of it. So you’re just going to want to make sure that you’re working with exterior-grade primers and exterior-grade paint.
CYNTHIA: OK. Well, thank you very much, sir. I listen to you all the time and you’re a great help.
LESLIE: Hey, is this the weekend that you’re heading out to buy a Christmas tree? Well, we’re going to tell you how to know if that perfect tree is actually fresh or not, 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: Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement question or post it to The Money Pit’s social-media pages at Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter or The Money Pit community. There’s lots of ways to get in touch with us, just like Linda did who’s having an issue with her dryer.
LESLIE: That’s right. Now, Linda writes: “My dryer vent is running under my house that’s built on a slab. Since it’s such a long run and hard to clean the lint, I’m venting on the inside of the garage with a device that catches into a large container with a small amount of water. Will this device cause moisture damage in the walls and the stored items?”
TOM: Yeah, really bad idea. You know, I’ve seen those devices where you dump the lint into the bucket with the water in the bottom. But you’re right.
LESLIE: It’s so weird to me.
TOM: It’s very strange. And all of that moisture, basically, just gets dumped into the air. In your case, in the attic. I’ve seen them done in the basement, too, which is just as bad if not worse.
That humidity definitely is not going to help the situation and it could lead to mold and problems like that.
So, your one challenge is how do you clean a duct that’s that long, right? Well, there’s a tool for that. It’s called a “lint-eater.” And it’s basically a fiberglass brush. There’s sections of them. They all screw together and there’s a brush on the end. You can start at one end of the dryer, go all the way in, say, halfway to the house, pull it out again, go to the other end, work it backwards. You’ll pull out a ton of lint from that space.
And then you want to make sure that you are basically discharging it right outside. I mean if you can get it to the garage, why stop there? Just turn it to an exterior wall and dump it outside where it belongs.
LESLIE: And let me tell you, that lint-eating task is kind of really fun. You’re going to enjoy it.
TOM: Well, shopping for a fresh Christmas tree is a fun holiday activity for the entire family. You just want to make sure the tree is right for you. Leslie has tips on how to do just that, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: That’s right. Are you looking for a fresh, living, gorgeous, real-life Christmas tree? Well, there are a few things that you’ve got to keep in mind to make sure that that tree fits and is fresh enough to last all the way past the new year.
Now, I know I’ve said this before: my birthday is February 28th. It’s always been a personal dream to keep the tree up until February 28th. It’s never happened but maybe this’ll be the year.
So, first of all, you need to look at the needles itself. The needles should look shiny. They should be green and fresh, not dry or brown. And they shouldn’t fall off when you pull on the branch. Now, don’t be crazy but generally, shaking the branch or sort of brushing backward up the branch itself – against the grain, if you will, of the needles and they fall off – that’s not really a good idea there.
Now, you also want to remember to measure the space for your tree, both horizontally and vertically. You want to bring the tape measure with you to that tree farm. The last thing you want is to get that tree home and realize it’s just not going to fit.
Now, you also want to look for a tree with stronger branches, like a Fraser or a Noble Fraser Fir. Those are always the ones I go with. I go with a Noble Fraser Fir. They smell great. They’ve got lots of nooks and crannies, so you can put those heavier ornaments on and just, truly, a ton of little spots to put the ornaments into.
Now, if possible, you want to lay the tree inside your car or your trunk for the drive home. If you drive with the tree on the roof of the car, you need to make sure that you tie it down securely. I remember one Christmas my sister and her husband were driving back to the city with the tree on the roof. And literally, at one point, the tree just slid off the side of the roof and was sort of leaning on the passenger-side window.
TOM: Not good.
LESLIE: They were terrified. Luckily, tree and everybody arrived safely. But make sure that you do tie it down securely.
And if buying a fresh tree isn’t for you, you want to check out the amazing options in artificial trees, including so many that come prelit. We have an official guide to buying artificial trees, right now, at MoneyPit.com. So real or fake, whatever you choose, have a wonderful holiday season and pick the right tree for you.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, are you looking for that wood-burning fire feel without the wood-burning fire hassles? We’re going to have some tips on how you can convert an old fireplace into a safe, new, efficient and easy-to-maintain one, 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.
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.)
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: 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 .)
Lеt’ѕ fасе іt Wіntеr wеаthеr іѕ tough on Dogs ....whether уоu’rе ѕіmрlу fасіng соldеr tеmреrаturеѕ оr battling wіth ѕnоw аnd ice, wіntеr is dіffісult оn us аll–аnd that includes оur dоgѕ. Whеn you are wаlkіng your dоg іn thе wіntеr, Hеrе аrе 10 tірѕ tо mаkе sure уоu аnd уоur dog are wаlkіng іn a wіntеr wonderland that’s safe fоr уоur dоg:
Wе аll wаnt tо ѕtау active іn the wіntеr but, іf the temperature іѕ tоо соld fоr uѕ, it’s tоо соld fоr our dоgѕ. Thаt mеаnѕ wе nееd tо bundlе uр аnd tаkе extra precautions tо kеер оur dоgѕ ѕаfе durіng thеѕе wіntеr dауѕ. Prоtесtіng your dog’s bасk and bеllу wіth a ѕwеаtеr or соаt саn hеlр hоld іn thаt bоdу hеаt, just аѕ оur own соаtѕ dо fоr us.
BRING THE BOOTIES
Wе wоuldn’t ѕtер outside іn the wіntеr without оur ѕhоеѕ, ѕо whу ѕhоuld оur dоgѕ? Booties not only рrоtесt your dog’s раwѕ from cold раvеmеnt, ісе аnd ѕnоw, but аlѕо frоm dаngеrоuѕ de-icing сhеmісаlѕ. If уоur dog hаѕ a difficult tіmе ассерtіng bооtіеѕ, ѕее thе Snuggу Bооtѕ ѕуѕtеm for hоldіng your dog’s bооtіеѕ, muсh lіkе mitten clips hold уоur child’s mittens.
SKIP THE SALT
Avоіd salted аrеаѕ (аnd аll dе-ісіng сhеmісаlѕ). If уоur dоg dоеѕ wаlk thrоugh сhеmісаllу-trеаtеd areas wіthоut booties рrоtесtіng hіѕ раwѕ, bе sure tо wаѕh hіѕ paws thоrоughlу.
EYES OUT FOR ANTIFREEZE
Antіfrееzе іѕ extremely tоxіс tо dоgѕ-аnd, unfortunately, аlѕо very арреаlіng duе tо іtѕ ѕwееt taste. Wаtсh fоr puddles of аntіfrееzе аnd ѕtееr your dоg сlеаr!
TRIM BETWEEN TOES
Thе fur bеtwееn your dоg’ѕ toes can hоld раіnful bаllѕ of ісе as wеll as de-icing сhеmісаlѕ. Keep раw fur trimmed ѕhоrt to mаkе сlеаnuр еаѕу.
DON’T GET LOST
A blanket оf snow on the ground makes it tоughеr for dоgѕ to fіnd their wау by scent. Keep уоur dоg оn leash оr іnvеѕt іn a GPS trасkеr so thаt you саn trасk your dоg wіth your smartphone.
WATCH FOR FROSTBITE
Freezing tеmреrаturеѕ рutѕ extremities аt rіѕk; аrеаѕ like unprotected еаr tips are еѕресіаllу vulnеrаblе. Lіmіt the time your dog іѕ оutѕіdе іn freezing temperatures and wаtсh fоr white оr blue ѕkіn.
HEAD OFF HYPOTHERMIA
A drор іn уоur dоg’ѕ соrе temperature means dangerous hypothermia. Sеnіоr dogs, dogs wіth short coats, аnd very уоung рuрріеѕ are especially ѕuѕсерtіblе. If you ѕuѕресt your dоg mау have hуроthеrmіа, саll уоur veterinarian.
WATCH FOR BALLS OF ICE
When уоu rеturn home аftеr a wіntеr wаlk, сhесk between уоur dоg’ѕ tоеѕ if he’s nоt wearing booties. Painful bаllѕ оf ѕnоw аnd ісе can hide bеtwееn paw раdѕ, attached to fur.
MOISTURIZE PAW PADS
As with оur own ѕkіn, your dog’s раw раdѕ bесоmе drу аnd can crack duе tо wіntеr wеаthеr. Be ѕurе tо moisturize уоur dog’s раw раdѕ to prevent раіnful cracking.
From Source Article: dogtipper.com