Living Big in Small Spaces

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: Well, with all the rain we’ve had this spring, even sidewalks can get slippery but not if you treat those sidewalks with a simple coating. We’re going to have tips on a concrete care that protects you and loved ones from autumns, in really a bit.

LESLIE: Plus, have you ever had the recommend to downsize? We’ll be joined by Sheri Koones, the author of eight books on living large-scale in a smaller space, with the recommendations on how you can do it right.

TOM: And if you plan to get away for a disintegrate this summer, we’ve got tips on how to make sure your home is protected from both burglars and breakdowns while you’re away.

LESLIE: Plus, if we told you there was one simple betterment that costs less than 300 horses and could help trimmed your energy proposal and see your room safer and most sustainable all at the same time, would you be all in?

TOM: We bet you would. And that improvement is the Sense Home Energy Monitor. It tells you where the energy you get statute for every month is going and is literally the single best course to reduce your electric bill. You have to see the video at Check this video out at

Plus, we’re too throwing one apart, right now, to one listener. That Sense Home Energy Monitor is worth 299 horses. If you want to win it, you’ve got to be in it. Pick up the phone and sacrifice us a announce, right now, with your dwelling increase question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Arlene in Rhode Island is on the line and wants to stay cool the summer months with some air conditioner. How can we help you with the project?

ARLENE: I live an in 1,850 -square-foot ranch that’s 38 times old and we positioned the central air before the walls were closed. The access to the handler, which is in the attic, is 21 inches by 21 inches square. And they always told us if it ever smash, it would be a difficult problem to replace the handler in the attic.

But lo and gazed, last week the air conditioning gone on for about an hour and then it stopped. I called my service-contract people. They came. They said- they vanished up into the attic and they said the handler is dripping grease. It’s old. It has a fan region, which is no longer consumed and it’s time to get rid of my air-conditioning system and get a new one or oust- or they were able tie it for $800 but it might not be good forever.

So, I’ve been interviewing business; they told me to do that. I’m a little bit acquainted on it now. And I know that I demand a 5-ton handler in the attic and a 13 -SEER compressor on the outside. My compressor is almost 10 years old but I think it wouldn’t be compatible.

TOM: How big-hearted is your house?

ARLENE: Eighteen-hundred-fifty square feet.

TOM: Five tons is a lot of air conditioning for that length house. Typically, you would use 3 to 4 zone- 3 to 4 tons. If you oversize the air conditioning, what’s going to happen is it’s going to cycle on or off very quickly. You could actually overdo it and it’ll be really inefficient.

But OK. I’m guessing that your question is: how do you get the breath handler back up in the attic?

ARLENE: Well, everyone said they can make a brand-new opening and put a brand-new show in and it’ll devote it more circulation and it’s a good stuff to do.

TOM: Right.

ARLENE: The last-place being I interviewed said he can get it up- a 5-ton up into the attic. Because the one he’s going to supply- an Amana- comes in two pieces.


ARLENE: He said and that will be better because if it ever need to see a amend, you just sounds open the two patches. I’ve never heard of a 2-piece 5-ton and I’m wondering what your opinion is, because he “ve given me” the best price. He was $3,000 cheaper than everyone else.

TOM: Yeah, well, it’s hard to tell, because a lot of these guys bid you and not development projects. But Amana is a good brand.


TOM: So I have no issues with that. I would simply do some research on the contractor.

But by the way, you are familiar, making a bigger opening is not that big-hearted of a lot. It might seem like a big of a slew but it’s certainly a jolly simple carpentry projection. It’s time an additional project that you probably didn’t want to face.

Is there any storage room up there if you were to make it bigger? Could you take advantage of that?

ARLENE: A crawlspace attic.

TOM: It’s all a crawlspace? Yeah. Yeah, I signify listen, a carpenter that knows what he’s doing can open- can double the dimensions of the that hole in about an hour. It’s certainly not hard.

Listen, I only- before you perform the commitment to the 5-ton, I’m just telling you, for an 1,800 -square-foot house that’s over- it’s probably overkill. And I don’t want you to get in a situation where there’s- you know what I mean? When I say cycling, do you know what that implies? It signifies the air conditioning comes on and it goes off, comes on again and it goes off, goes on/off, on/ off. So what’ll happen is it will never race long enough to dehumidify your home. And as a result, you’ll feel cold and dank. It’s really not good.

So, you want to put the right-size unit in, OK? You want to put the right-size unit in. And generally, it’s about 600 square hoofs per ton. So that’s simply 3 tons for your home. So, I’m thinking three to four , not- I’m thinking five might be too big. OK?

ARLENE: OK. Thank you so much.

TOM: Alright. Good luck. Thanks so much better for announcing us at 888-MONEY-PIT. And well done doing all the research on this.

LESLIE: Alright. We’re going to talk floors and how to keep them beautiful, with John in North Carolina. What can we do for you?

JOHN: Well, we have chosen to take unused infinite and turn it into a deck, we are therefore devoted about four months. We toyed with Trex and pressure-treated and settled on cedar. And it gazed perfectly dazzling. We settled a can of SPF stain on it. And that was- we finished last September.

This spring, we look out the window and it’s kind of whitish. It’s not the honey colouring. It’s like- a western cedar is what we have. So I got with Cabot and they were very surprised. So I guess they’re going to work something out with us. But is there something, either a discolour or a- I’m thinking like a polyurethane or something that’s specific for cedar? It seems to be an extraordinary kind of wood.

TOM: It’s not that surprising. Mostly, whatever it is you wishing to is you’re going to want to primary it firstly. And then you’re going to cover it with a solid-color stain. If you use a semi-transparent stain, you’ll – you may picture more of the cereal. You’ll still see it through solid color but you don’t have as much pigment in it, so it doesn’t last quite as long. But if the floor is primary first- and when I prime cedar, I use an oil-based primer. And then on top of that, I’ll use a solid-color stain and it can last a really, certainly long time.

JOHN: Well, the one thing is we didn’t want to do the solid complexion because the cedar glances so beautiful.

TOM: Yeah, I get that. But the thing is you’re not going to preserve that natural coloring. Eventually, it’s going to fade to gray. You may not want to do it now but you will do it eventually. It’s going to happen with you or without you.

JOHN: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, we all exit grey-haired, I guess.

TOM: Exactly.

JOHN: OK. Alright. Well, I appreciate it very much.

TOM: Alright, John. Good luck with that activity. Thanks so much for cry us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: You are chanted to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. You knows where to find top-rated residence work pros and book appointments online, all for free.

TOM: And only onward, did you know that more than half of all outings and transgressions happen at home? We’re going to tell you how to update your sidewalks and driveways to perform those surfaces slip-resistant, in today’s Pro Project presented by, next.

Making good dwellings better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

Give us a call at 888 -MONEY-PIT. We’d love to help you with what you are working on. 888 -MONEY-PIT is presented by HomeAdvisor. You can find out what it costs to do your home project before you hire a pro and instant diary one of HomeAdvisor’s top-rated pros for free.

TOM: That multitude, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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Check out the video demo at That’s Once it’s set, the Sense app tells you what’s on, what’s off and how much vigour you’re expending in real day. Plus, you are able to even eschewed problems by distinguish odd activity in your home before it becomes an issue, like perhap, I don’t know, a sump spout that’s pour more than it is desirable to be. What could that mean? “My house is flooding.”

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LESLIE: Judy in Iowa is on the line with an electrical question. Tell us about what’s going on at your place.

JUDY: My electricity gives me wonder. So far, so good. And our house is old; it was built in the late 1920 s. And we adoration it there. It’s a big, aged farmhouse. But it’s get knob-and-tube wiring in it. And the electrician said it was there, that- I’m not sure he’s a full-fledged electrician but he said that it was OK. And he said exactly don’t mess with it and it’d be alright. But I merely get excitable. In the summer, when we have the breath conditioner on, every once in a while the lamps seem to go dimmer when the aura turns on.

So I’m just wondering if we should stick with what we have or is that a possibility? Do I need to switch or do we need to change it over to something else or what?

TOM: So, knob-and-tube wiring is the very first centrally-wired type of mansion cabling that was available. And it’s called “knob-and-tube” because there are ceramic buttons, like little- they look almost like drawer pulls. And they’re attached to the side of the structure. So this is perhaps, for example, the rafters or the ceiling joists. And then the wires are unfolded from button to knob to knob. And where it goes through a joist, there’s a ceramic tube that’s inserted in it. And that’s why it’s called knob-and-tube.

Now, knob-and-tube wiring, the biggest publication with it is it’s not sanded , nor is it groundable. So it’s unsafe from a consumer perspective but even more important, that wiring was be done in order to the 1930 s and it’s pretty much falling apart today. Very often, you’ll discover the rubber insulation just burst and fell out of and crumble.

And in addition to that, the reason that the cables are strung off the light is because they have to air-cooled. And so guess what is the case when you put insulation over that? It’s no longer air-cooled, it is therefore gets even hotter. So I is of the view that knob-and-tube wiring is unsafe and is required to be disabled no matter what else is going on with your air-conditioning.


TOM: Now, as to the air-conditioning issue, they are able to or may not “ve got something” to do with the knob-and-tube. Whenever you turn on an appliance with a big compressor- it happens often with refrigerators or breath conditioners- if the tour that you’re on there happens to be somewhat close to the lighting circuit, that’s the place you usually see it. That various kinds of thing happens all the time. But unless “youve had” light-coloreds on, you don’t physically notice it.


TOM: But it’s not uncommon, for example, in a kitchen to see the light-headeds dim formerly in a while in an older residence whenever the fridge kick on because , nowadays, we threw those all on separate circuits. But when they share a circuit, well, then you’re often going to see that kind of effect.


TOM: So my opinion would be to replace the knob-and-tube wiring. Now, you can simply disable it and leave it in place. You don’t take it out but you want to replace it as much as you maybe can. I’d love to see you replace throughout the entire house. I is well aware sometimes that’s difficult but it’s certainly worth it and would be a lot safer if you did.

JUDY: OK. Well, I appreciate that. I was always wondering and my husband says I- thinks it’s fine and I’m a little nervous.

TOM: I think your inclinations are correct here and I believed to be should take it out.

Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Well, a lot of us are multitaskers out there. So, picture this characterization, which I’m sure happens to a lot of beings on a daily basis. You’re walking into your live, you’re bear the kids’ backpacks or you’ve got groceries in your weapons. And then bam, you fall down with the kids, the knapsacks, the eggs, the milk, all the things all over the sidewalk. And it hurts and you are not happy.

Guys, concrete faces can get slippery and I’m not just talking about during the winter. They often get are covered under a thin coating of moss or algae in the spring and summertime. And that make-ups them awfully slippery, I signify almost all year round.

TOM: Well, we’ve get tips-off on how to update your sidewalks and driveways to attain those faces slip-resistant, in today’s Pro Project presented by

LESLIE: Now, if you want to cut the chances of tumbling on your own turf, you can have a pro apply a management be taken in order to prevent falls on those concrete faces. It’s called a “textured acrylic concrete coating.” It is not merely will provide a non-slip finish to those concrete surfaces, it presents it a new-look finish to that old-fashioned, dull concrete, as well. So it’s got two assistances now, guys.

TOM: Yeah. And the textured acrylic concrete varnish is actually a heavy-duty resin. So it clings perfectly to any concrete surface. It can stick to stairs or sidewalks or terraces or driveways. And if your home has a handicap ramp, this is a really good way to improve the safety of that skin-deep, as well.

LESLIE: And that’s today’s Pro Project displayed by With HomeAdvisor, you can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your locality, equate expenditures, spoke substantiated reviews and book appointments online, all for free.

TOM: No affair the type of job, HomeAdvisor induces it fast and easy to hire very good regional pros.

LESLIE: Steve in Kansas is on the line and has a question about siding. What going on in here at your fund excavation?

STEVE: Well, it’s time to repaint my fund oppose.


STEVE: Been nine years. And the windows are old. I superseded them but they’ve got wood make on the outside and brick mold. And they’re an annual affair and I’m tired of that.


STEVE: So, my bride and I have constricted it down to the Hardie board siding.


STEVE: And we’re getting collision reports from sidekicks and parties that have it. Some like it, some don’t.


STEVE: I like it because I’m out in western Kansas and we like greeting out here and gales. So, I said I would go to a neutral defendant and you two are the party.

TOM: OK. Well, therefore welcomed our neutral party.

So, I fantasize HardiePlank is an excellent product. I actually have HardiePlank- I think it’s announced HardieShingle- on my garage construct. And I did that because I wanted to match cedar shingles that were on my house. And when you look at the two buildings side by side, the chamber of representatives is depicted or it has a discolour, I should say, the solid-color stain. The shingles are coated but from the street, they pretty much gaze the same. You genuinely can’t tell the difference.

That said, there are a lot of other composite textiles that are out there now that producing brand-new components to the table. For instance, we were recently are concerned with the people at Tando Building Products. That’s a new firebrand of shingle that is a composite shingle, much like HardiePlank, but they’ve got the coloration down. So if you wanted to go natural siding look, the natural cedar look, they had one called Beach House Shake. They did different pigments.

I was at a commerce register with these people and I watched experienced remodelers go up to the wall with this stuff and touch it and scratch it, because they couldn’t believe that it was a composite. It wasn’t real lumber. It exactly appears that good.

So, if you want a make that looks a lot like shingle, that takes a stain like a shingle but doesn’t wear like shingles, you could use something like the Tando Products. If you crave a shingle that maybe you’re simply going to decorate and is really sturdy and stands up to the hail like we’ve discussed, I see the HardieShingle is fine, as well.

STEVE: Our biggest thing is we’ve had some people say that they’ve had some fading issues with it. And I’ve look back the houses and I haven’t seen it from the start, so I really can’t be a judge of it. But I’ve had people say they’ve had it for 13, 14 times and have no issues with it. I’ve got some who the hell is 10 times and they don’t like it.

TOM: Well, the stain-fade warranties are definitely something to consider. I think the Tando warranty was 20 years or something like that. But check it out and compare and contrast. But when you attend the synthetic product today that looks just like the real thing, it’s pretty amazing what they can do now. And it’s not that long ago when this technology didn’t exist. But it’s only absolutely beautiful and it actually looks like traditional wood siding.

Or they have concoctions that look like stone, extremely. And it does look a lot like the real thing. And I never used to be able to say that. And I retain years ago, I was on a advisory board and I had architects come up and try to tell me they were going to introduced vinyl siding in a historic area of our town because it looked like wood. I’m like, “Yeah , not unless you’ve got the worst imagination in the world.” But this new product, it actually does look like wood and it’s made of synthetic composite materials.

STEVE: Yeah. We’ve had to get out of the car a couple of times driving around and go up to the house really to check, because we really couldn’t tell if it was a composite timber or a- or the HardiePlank.

TOM: Just to see what it was, right? Yeah, yeah.

STEVE: And I’ve got a neighbor behind me and he’s got the one of the wood composites. And I like it but we just various kinds of settled into the concrete mode, I guess, so …

TOM: Well, I don’t think you can make a bad alternative, Steve. You’re requesting the privilege questions, OK? Good luck with that job and thanks, again, for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Hey, would you like to live in a residence that’s well improved, consumes less vigor and needs less upkeep? Well, generator Sheri Koones says prefabricated dwellings are the way to go. In fact, she calls them “prefabulous” and she’s link us, next.

TOM: Fixing good residences better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

Well, if you’d like to live in a dwelling that’s well built, exerts less vigor and needs less upkeep, our next patron says prefabricated dwellings are really the way to go. Sheri Koones is a widely respected scribe who assistants books is recognized that coming the chamber of representatives of their dreams can be done in an ecologically responsible way.

Welcome, Sheri.

SHERI: Thank you for having me.

TOM: So, Sheri, before we get started, Leslie “ve been informed that” you’re an accomplished author. You’re very achieved. You’ve written eight notebooks on dwelling pattern and the last five members of which are a series called “Prefabulous.” That’s a great message. What does that mean to you and to your books?

SHERI: I actually tried to use the word prefabulous to show that prefabrication of lives is better and more exciting and genuinely stupendous and to certainly evidence the benefits of prefabrication and also, along the way with all of my notebooks, to show how building a more energy-efficient and sustainable residence is a total advantage.

TOM: You know, I got my start in building and remodeling, working for a developer that did prefabricated residences many, many years ago, before anyone ever heard of them. And I was always excited by the quality of the construction because when a residence is falsified offsite, “youve had” total restrict over the environmental issues. You have the buying power of going better-quality lumber. And you can do a more accurate job of putting that together. And that everyone is assists with the energy-efficient and the quality.

SHERI: Well, that’s true. And likewise, when people are building on locate, there’s water dribble into their house and it’s representing the timber damp, which later can twist and turn. And so, are currently in a protected surrounding is a definite advantage. But too, you don’t waste time. People in a factory can work 12 months a year and they’re not restricted by the weather or any kind of outside surrounding. So, it’s certainly a plus-plus for anybody if they want to build a prefabricated house.

I, myself, would never build a house anymore on site.

LESLIE: Now, do you think having a prefab home assistance as far as vigour practice leads or even the maintenance of that home? What do you think the difference is in that building process lends to that sort of in the time that you own their families and in the time that you’re working on it?

SHERI: Well, when a mansion is being built in a factory, particularly a modular, they’re building it from the inside out as opposes it on site where they build a house from the outside in. And they do that for obvious reasonableness so that they can close off the house and make it dry as quickly as possible.

But when they’re building from the inside out, they can do the inside walls and then they can articulated much more insulation into the walls and around all the stores, et cetera. And so the insularity is better. Likewise, you’re working with people that are working in a factory 12 months per year and they’re awfully, qualified and experienced professionals. And they know exactly what they’re doing. And a lot of these factories, they’re using the best fabrics in closing off the house much tighter than it would be on site.

TOM: We’re talking to Sheri Koones. She’s an author and columnist, an columnist of actually eight volumes. Her latest notebook, called Downsize: Living Large in a Small-time House is coming out in November.

Sheri, let’s talk about the topic of downsizing. It’s become, actually, pretty important now because of the growing baby-boomer population. A bunch of young people want to use their resources to travel and do sporting incidents rather than maintain a large house. It’s become very trendy to live in a very small space. It used to be that we wanted bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. And then we crowded it with more substance and it was just sort of an endless repetition. But today, live small is cool.

SHERI: Yeah, it really is. And it’s not only for the baby boomers but even the young people. Baby boomers find that they want to live smaller and they want to spend more era doing the things they are ready to do rather than maintaining their houses and paid under all the vitality that it cost to heat a large house.

I have sketches- several people in my new diary- that are young people. And they just want to live a smaller life. They want to be authorized to do other things and passage. And they don’t want to devote all their time maintaining a residence. And they don’t want to waste all their coin heating and cooling it. So, I spotted quite a few younger people that want to do this, as well.

And you could even see this on the Tv proves, all the tiny-house movement. And that’s not what I write about, because those houses are less practical than the houses I’m writing about. But all of the houses in this upcoming book are 2,000 square hoofs or less and they’re all highly sustainable and efficient. And they’re very practical for any point in your life.

LESLIE: Who is well aware my 1,400 -square-foot home was so stylish?

SHERI: You’re a trendsetter.

LESLIE: I’ve been and I didn’t know.

TOM: And Leslie, you’ve ever said that even though it’s a small house, it doesn’t have to feel small.

LESLIE: No, absolutely not. I want there’s so many ways that we are able to cleverly use your space and decorate and use dye and use materials to move the space feel bigger. And you wouldn’t even notice that you’re living in such a small space.

SHERI: And that’s actually what I did in this new book: I’ve profiled 33 lives that are under 2,000 square feet but they all feel bigger. And every one of the person or persons that I interviewed for this book, that own these lives, said that they were so comfortable and they never were of the view that they were living in a small house.

TOM: Sheri Koones, writer of Downsize: Living Large in a Small-minded House coming out next November.

Thank you so much better, Sheri, for stopping by The Money Pit.

If you’d like to learn more and postdate Sheri and her work, you can visit her website at That’s You can also sought for Sheri on

Thanks again, Sheri.

SHERI: Thank you.

LESLIE: Hey, are you counting down the working day until vacation? You know what? An intruder might be, likewise. We’re going to have tips for stopping your home assure from robbers and dislocations, when The Money Pit continues.

TOM: Originating good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

TOM: The figure here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT posed by You’ll never have to worry about overpaying for a job. Just use their True Cost Guide to see what others pay off a similar activity. Then get matched with top-rated pros, read remembers, get repeats and bible appointments, all for free, at

LESLIE: Tom, I actually actually had a great experience with HomeAdvisor recently. I know I’ve talks about wanting to do my backyard and doing some work. And this huge tree was just- I adoration the tree. It was so tall and rendered so much shade and blocked us from the high school. I really liked it but it started to …

TOM: All that racket from all those darn children?

LESLIE: And I really detested realizing the school and the parking lot.

TOM: Right. Yeah, yeah.

LESLIE: So it truly was a helper. But it started, in the most recent years, to lean very much towards the house. And then the limb were getting so big-hearted, it was getting entwined in the power line and it was starting to shape me more fearful than experiencing the benefits of it.

I seemed online at I was beginning to look up tree services. I read evaluates. I restricted it down to got a couple of companies, two that I felt had really remarkable reviews and were very focused on the same type of service that I needed. I contacted out to them online. Within moments, I was receiving calls from both sets of dealers. I spoke to them. The next day, they each came out and did an estimate. I went offers from both of them and they were, I kid you not, exactly the same. So I felt very confident in that I was get a fair price.

TOM: Right.

LESLIE: I terminated up just going with the one that my nerve felt I various kinds of liked better, is of the view that they both had very good reviews. They did they work.

TOM: And now you’re tree-free.

LESLIE: I’m tree-free. The use was fantastic. I had no matters. I is undoubtedly use HomeAdvisor again. All in all, immense experience.

TOM: Well , now you’re going to have to use them to find a barrier, since you can now insure the high school once again.

LESLIE: Maybe there’s a HomeAdvisor invisibility cloak that can attain that high school go away.

TOM: You know , now that we are cranking up air conditioners or will be ready to, we’re going to start learn those energy greenback pretty much shoot right through the ceiling. And if you’ve ever wondered, when you open that bill, “How is it possible I worked all this electricity? ” I have the mixture. I’ve lay it in my home. It’s called the Sense Home Energy Monitor. And it is definitely the single best practice I’ve found to reduce my electric bill.

Now, it’s worth 299 bucks. We’ve got one to give away on the demonstrate today. You’ve got to see the video demo. It’s at Know to But the nature this works is it’s installed into your primary electric panel and starts to communicate with you via an app and tell me something what’s on, what’s off. It tells you how much force you’re utilizing for the appliances it discovers. It can do that all by itself. And you’ll have much more information to know what’s happening with your house.

You can also use it to spot odd pleasures. Let’s say it’s not been sprinkling, your sump pump’s going on all the time and you’re not home. Well, perhaps your liquid heater interruption. You “know what i m saying” I represent? I mean it just gives you this information. And most importantly, formerly you know where those vigor guzzlers are, you can do something about it.

That website, again, is Take a gape at this thing. It’s really amazing. And you’ll understand how it runs. We’re giving one away today on the register, though, to one caller drawn at random. If you’d like to win the Sense Home Energy Monitor from, label us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.

LESLIE: Well, most of us are going to take some sort of vacation this summer. And you shouldn’t have to spend it wondering whether your exhaust home is safe, so we’ve made a checklist. You want to form sure your residence remains safe while you’re apart? Let’s do the following, guys.

First of all, you want to shut off the main water valve. First of all, this is something you should know where it is in your house. It should be labeled for everybody to know simply where it is in the event of a water-break emergency. But if you slam it off while you’re away, should any of those occasions happen, like a hose bursting or something, you’ll know that there’s not “re going to be” every ounce of water that your entire village has racing through your house.

TOM: Yeah, absolutely.

Now, also, you want to drain the toilets. That’s in case if something in the toilets happen to opening. And that’s actually even more important during winter, for wintertime trips, because ocean in the toilets will freeze and basically break the toilets.

But keeping in that water category, you likewise miss to turn off your sea heater. So if it’s electric, simply turn off the breaker at the central board. Or if it’s gas, turn the gas valve down to the pilot-light setting so it’s not off the whole way. It’ll be easy to turn back on “when youve got” home but you won’t be squandering all that gas in the process.

LESLIE: Next, you want to sort of check out your circuit breaker. Hopefully, everything’s labeled so you know what everything is controlling. If you’ve got a circuit labeled “living room television and stereo,” you are able to turn that off; you don’t need it. But fridge, freezer, heating system, restrain those situations on. So non-essentials you can turn off; essential ones, obviously, save functioning.

TOM: Yeah. And it’s too a good feeling to detach anything that’s plugged in that you don’t need. So when we go away, well, we use capability pieces. We turn those all off. But unplugging Tvs and clock radios and table lamps, any of that kind of stuff you only don’t need to have power on to, only unplug it. If the power is disconnected , nothing is to be able to happen.

Turn down your temperature on your breath conditioning. Make sure those ignites are on timers. And this is important: fasten up.

It’s really interesting, Leslie, when you look at the surveys to seeing how burglars get into the house. So many times, it’s through an open door or an open space because people just don’t lock it. It sounds so obvious but people apparently, in large numbers, do not lock up their homes.

LESLIE: It’s amazing to me. We have some very good friends. I won’t say their honour since they were don’t lock the door to their mansion ever. They will be on vacation for a week and they’ll be like, “Hey, are you able swing by the house and do X, Y and Z? ”

TOM: “Oh , no problem. The door’s open.”

LESLIE: “Sure. Where’s the key? ” “Oh, door’s open.”

TOM: Yeah.

LESLIE: But you’re in another state for a few weeks. Am I freedom? Well, good luck.

TOM: Finishing this up, you also want to keep the trees balanced, the bushes pruned so you’re not making any areas that are kind of hampered, like where burglars can kind of work in secret.

Speaking of mystery, you know those secret places that people hide keys, like hollow rock-and-rolls? Guess what?

LESLIE: What? Everybody knows about those.

TOM: Burglars have Amazon accounts, too. They know about hollow rocks, so don’t do that.

LESLIE: And they don’t genuinely looks a lot like real rocks.

TOM: They don’t looks a lot like real rock-and-rolls. They glance like “pick me up, here’s my key.”

And ultimately , notify police. A much of police departments been good to the protection of homes while you’re away. And they’ll do an additional patrol.

LESLIE: They’ll do a drive-by.

TOM: They’ll do a drive-by. We’ve had the policemen alert us when there was an extra car in our driveway that wasn’t supposed to be there “when hes” away.

LESLIE: What was the car?

TOM: Well, the car was our neighbour and they were perfectly therefore welcomed ballpark there and they knew we were apart. But of course, it triggered an alert to call for the police.

LESLIE: Right.

TOM: They were watching that.

So, all good stuff to be considered. We had wished to draw sure that you come back healthy and relaxed and not stressed-out when you find out that your mansion was broken into or the mechanical robbers got into there and made discloses and all kinds of mess. So, exactly preserve those happens in sentiment when you go away.

We’ve got a complete checklist, by the way, on how to make sure your home stays safe while you’re away, on

LESLIE: Hey, when it comes to choosing which home improvement works you should be doing, picking one with a good return on investment is really important. But did you ever wonder which betters deliver the least? The rebut will surprise you and that’s next.

TOM: Preparing good residences better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

TOM: And we’d love to hear what you’re doing around your money quarry. Give us a scold, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT posed by HomeAdvisor. They truly have the best neighbourhood pros for any home service.

LESLIE: That’s right. Doesn’t matter what the project is, they make it fast and easy to find top-rated pros.

TOM: And there are no membership costs. It’s 100-percent free to use at

LESLIE: Alright. Don’t forget: post your questions in The Money Pit Community section, as well.

Now, I’ve got one here from Mina who copies: “What can I do to repair spider vein-looking cracks around my ceramic bathtub and what’s causing them?”

TOM: Well, those minuscule fractures around your duct, Mina, is basically the tub finish or glaze breaking down.

Now, you have a couple of options. You could replace the part bathtub, which is a major renovation. You could reglaze it, which is possibly a DIY project or one that can be done by a pro but it’s not a long-term solution. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s a heck of a bad process, especially when the pros get it on. You truly don’t want to even be in the chamber of representatives when that happens, because trying to get new finish to adhere to that old-fashioned is just a really big job.

And the third option is to install a bathtub position. There are fellowships that move positions that drop into existing tubs and sort of re-line the part face. They’re beautiful but I think they’re just slightly cheaper than tearing out the part shower, because they’re quite expensive, I consider, for what you get.

And then there’s ever alternative count four: live with it. You know , nobody’s really going to see that except for you. And we get that it defects you but it’s kind of a really expensive thing to fix for a jolly minor visual inconvenience.

LESLIE: Alright. Next up, I’ve got a post now from Jeff who corresponds: “Tom, Leslie, I got to help me. Is there any space to remove oil-based paint from a fabric gondola sit? ” Ugh. “I got it on the back of my coat, didn’t realize it and then drove my girlfriend’s car.”

She’s probably mad.

TOM: Wow. I hope she’s an understanding lady, because I don’t have good report for you. It’s really hard. I signify coming oil-based depict out of anything is hard but fabric, it’s nearly impossible after it dries.

If it hadn’t once bone-dry, you could have applied a solvent- Spray Nine, by the way, is a type of cleaning fluid that works pretty well, as well. But formerly that lubricant cover is baked, mortal, it’s really hard to get out. You probably might want to think about having that seat re-covered. You could take it to a mas supermarket and using them put new fabric down. That might be the best solution. I don’t think you’re going to be able to remove it; I just don’t.

LESLIE: If you’re not already participated, you should probably propose- that’ll attain her forget all about that car sit- or any flowers, something.

TOM: Well, coming the best value out of every home improvement dollar you waste is important. But there are some improvements that deliver a lower return on investment than others, one of which is a home office. Leslie has items, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.


LESLIE: Yeah. You know what? It’s interesting. You hear more and more that people are working from home and certainly, fellowships are compiling it easier for people to have a remote office. But that doesn’t always mean that they’re acting from a home office. So much portable technology is available to everybody these days that working from home can actually aim that you’re at a common terrace or on a easy chair or sitting on your floor or anything but actually at a table inside of your house.

But chaps, it also turns out that construct a home office delivers a frightful return on investment. An average main office remodel can rate $30,000, which is money you are not going to recoup. So, while it’s great to have a dedicated workspace, you need to make sure that that space can be used as an additional bedroom, a playroom, a multipurpose gap, whatever else it can be used for, really not so specifically designed and rebuilt that the only use is an office, specially if you’re thinking of arrange your mansion on the market.

So be careful, be artistic. Absolutely labor from home but tell that office multitask, just like you do.

TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the programmes, summertime storms are on their direction, which makes power outages are right behind. We’re going to have tips-off on how to make sure your house remains well-lighted when the rest of the neighborhood vanishes twilight, 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.


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