The kitchen counter is easily the busiest and most used fixture of a home. From winning you over when you first stepped into your brand new home to being used for food prep, unpacking groceries, and for holding the mail, the kitchen counter takes a whole lot of wear and tear over the years, and takes constant attention to maintain clean countertops.
Sadly, there’s also a good chance that this dedicated and diligent workhorse isn’t getting nearly enough TLC because you don’t have the time or the knowledge to properly clean and maintain it.
Here’s the good news: there are a lot of stylish countertops available at a range of price points (the national average for installing countertops is sitting at around $3,000 per 30 square feet, that is $100 per sq. ft.) that are super easy to clean and care for. Below is our list of the five best looking low maintenance countertops on the market today:1. Laminate: Budget-Friendly and Diverse
Laminate countertops have a lot going for them in addition to being non-porous and easy to clean.These countertops come in an array of colors and patterns, making them a suitable and stylish choice for any home.
Unlike other countertops on this list, they aren’t heat resistant so take care not to set hot plates or pots on its surface. However, they are also the easiest and cheapest to replace in case burning.
How to Clean Laminate Countertops
Daily cleans can be tackled using a soft cloth and mild liquid detergent. A soft toothbrush can be used to scrub along metal edging or along the seams.
Cost: $5-$30 per square foot.2. Recycled Glass: Unique and Eco-Friendly
Recycled glass, which is found in a myriad of colors and patterns, is a newcomer to the kitchen countertop world, especially because it is one of the most popular environmentally-friendly options available in the market. Crafted from crushed glass which is embedded in a clear resin, this smooth and non-porous countertop is stain and heat resistant.
How to Clean Recycled Glass Countertops
Cleaning a recycled glass countertop requires only a soft cloth and some warm, soapy water.
Also, a multi-purpose or glass cleaner sprayed onto a sponge and then applied to the surface will work well. For sticky messes, use dishwashing detergent and hot water.
Cost: $55-$200 per square foot.3. Quartz: Stylish and Durable
Like the look of marble or granite in the kitchen but don’t want to deal with chasing after stains and resealing its surface? Feel free to give quartz a try. Though a bit more expensive than granite, this non-porous countertop never needs to be sealed. Keep in mind, however, that quartz can yellow if it’s exposed to direct sunlight.
How to Clean Quartz Countertops
A soft cloth and a mild detergent in warm, soapy water is the best way to keep these countertops clean and sparkling.
Cost: $55-$200 per square foot.4. Lava Stone: Rare and Expensive
If what you seek is a kitchen countertop that is heat resistant, stain resistant and requires virtually no maintenance, then lava stone is the countertop for you. Lava stone comes in an array of colors and rarely needs to be refinished and can easily last 50 years or longer, just needing a regular wipe down to clean, making it one of the easiest to clean countertops.
This kind of freedom does come with a hefty price tag, being one of the more expensive of the current range of easy to maintain countertops on the market. The demand has also recently skyrocketed, which has led to many homeowners being put on waiting lists for this uniquely beautiful countertop.
How to Clean Lava Stone Countertops
A mild detergent and a soft cloth is all you’ll need to wipe down these countertops.
Cost: $225 to $350 per square foot5. Soapstone: Timeless and Affordable
For hundreds of years, people have been installing soapstone countertops in their home, and for a good reason. This incredibly dense material is not only stain and heat resistant, but it also won’t harbor bacteria like some other countertop types.
A word of caution: soapstone will develop a darker patina as the years go on, and of these countertop options, is more likely to scratch and chip, which is why it’s found itself on the bottom of our list for the easiest to clean countertops.
How to Clean Soapstone Countertops
Avoid using any harsh cleaners and opt for mild dish soap, a soft cloth, and warm water instead.
Cost: $75-$150 per square foot.Striking a Balance Between Ease of Maintenance and Value
Smooth, non-porous materials undoubtedly reign supreme when it comes to ease of having clean countertops. But strongly consider taking other factors into account before making your choice, like longevity and home resale value, so that you can get the most value from your kitchen countertop.
The post Top 5 Easiest to Clean Countertops and How to Make Them Sparkle! appeared first on The Money Pit.
From Source Article: moneypit.com
Do you have a finished basement that does not include a bathroom? If your basement lacks a lavatory, you may want to think about how adding one to make your basement be even more enjoyable and useful. Installing a basement bathroom involves certain considerations that may not be involved in building above-ground lavatories. For example, since water does not run uphill, constructing a bathroom below grade requires thoughtful planning, along with wise plumbing.
Here are some the reasons for adding a basement bathroom and the special requirements this type of renovation involves.Photo Credit: The Fischer House Why Have a Basement Bathroom
Convenience is a big advantage. Adding a bathroom makes sleeping in a basement more comfortable for overnight guests. They don’t have to climb stairs to get to the restroom. Additionally, a basement bathroom gives your house guests privacy. An even more important consideration is that a bathroom can be a lifesaver for temporarily immobile family members who are on crutches or confined to wheelchairs.
Increased property value is a huge benefit. Also, having a bathroom in your basement can make your home stand out in a competitive real estate market. Consider that most homebuyers prefer a house with a basement that already includes a bathroom.How to Decide on the Type of Basement Bathroom
After consulting your town building department to know about specific restrictions in your property deed and zoning ordinances, decide on whether you need a half bathroom or a full bathroom. A half bathroom consists of just a sink and a toilet. As basements are more prone to being cold and damp, it may be wise to not include a shower or tub.
On the other hand, if you frequently have house guests or plan to use your basement as a bedroom, a full basement may be the best option. This is because a full bathroom includes a shower or a tub or even both.Consider Drainage
Next, think about drainage, which is your most important consideration. Was your basement constructed with the option of including a bathroom later? If so, you’re lucky. However, if this is not the case and there’s not enough plumbing depth, you’ll have to include the cost of some floor excavation for adjusting depth and flow rates.
Consider plumbing depth and pipe size. For example, you’ll need to have deep drainage lines. Also, if the pipes you have now are too small, you’ll need larger ones that allow enough room for basement drains. Hire a professional to check the slope, also called the “fall”, of your drainage system. Keep in mind how drainage lines should slope downhill so that gravity is able to take away wastewater. Plumbing that’s installed at an angle isn’t as ideal. When you have this situation, you may need to install a sewage ejection pump.Photo Credit: Home Triangle Ho to Choose a Basement Toilet
Regarding toilets for a bathroom basement, there are several options. An up flushing toilet involves grinding solid waste into extremely tiny particles and does not entail excavation for installation. It’s considered to be the most reliable choice for a basement bathroom.
Pressure-assisted toilets are connected to the main line of a home’s above-ground bathrooms. To make it less likely to have clogs that can occur with standard plumbing, select a pressure-assisted toilet that uses air pressure for forcing waste through pipes.
Sewage ejector systems operate like a miniature septic tank. They temporarily hold sewage before the contents are pumped to the main septic tank.
Another choice is a composting toilet. This type of toilet, which doesn’t require a lot of water, converts waste into compost. But if you choose a composting toilet, be sure you have exceptional outdoor ventilation.
Next, determine whether or not you have enough room for a full vanity and sink, which would drain into the same plumbing established for your toilet. If not, you could save space by having a pedestal sink.Photo Credit: ErikaWittlieb / Pixabay Consider Basement Lighting
The best location for a bathroom in a basement is right under a bathroom on the floor that’s above it. In addition to costing less, locating your basement bathroom here also makes it easier to hook up utilities. For example, you’ll need to consider electricity. Thus, it’s important to tap into existing electrical lines.
One of the primary challenges of having an underground bathroom is lighting. One way to usher in natural light is by positioning a bathroom against an above-ground exterior wall. Using glass-block windows is a simple, effective method for letting in daylight, while still providing privacy. For your vanity area, use bright lights and ceiling lights. Recessed lighting is another excellent way to brighten a bathroom basement.
Once your bathroom basement has been built, you can enjoy your basement even more, for many years. You’ll wonder why you waited this long to do this basement remodel. Because installing a bathroom is not a job for the average handyman, it’s best to hire a high quality and experienced professional!
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’re here enabling you to with your dwelling improvement projects, which nowadays means you’re undertaking some springtime assignments to determine your residence most attractive, easier to live in, better organized, supplementing value. Hey, whatever is on your to-do schedule, switch it on over to ours by opening us a bellow, right now, and let’s talk about that project. The list is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.
Now, we adore this time of year because there’s so countless amusing projects designed to you can take on both within and outside your home. But sometimes, a project shapes even when you don’t expect it, like when you get a very bad springtime rain and it slings bullets around your home. That can do some pretty serious damage. We’re going to have some DIY inspection tips-off that can help you place those very small reparations before they grow into big, leaky, tangled problems.
LESLIE: And laying a stepping-stone road is an easy weekend do-it-yourself project that adds to your outdoor living. And it can save your grass from a ton of foot transaction. We’re going to talk you through that project, in only a bit.
TOM: And likewise ahead, we’re going to highlight some of our favorite, Earth-friendly home improvement ideas this hour enabling you to save energy, water and money.
LESLIE: But first, we want to know what you are working on this spring weekend. What do you want to know? What can we cure with? Are you designing something? Are you decorating something? Are you thinking about a big outdoor makeover? I’m thinking about taking down a big pine tree. Wondering how much that’s going to cost. Well, we can help you with whatever it is you are working on.
TOM: Generate us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.
Let’s get to those projects. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Brenda in Kansas, you’ve went The Money Pit. What’s going on at your residence?
BRENDA: Hi. So far, it’s going to fall in.
LESLIE: Oh , no. What’s happening?
BRENDA: Well, we have a- the members of this house was building in about 1908. And the basement walls were poured specific and they’re starting to crumble. I symbolize vastly, like 2 to 4 inches in some spots.
The problem is we can’t lift the house because it’s made of Haydite obstructs "thats been"- with decorative front on them. So, the whole thing’s obstruction and we can’t- it’s time route too heavy to promote. So, I’m trying to figure out how to repair the walls or replace them or contribute structural something to them. I don’t know.
TOM: OK. So "thats just not" something that you are able to figure out. You do not have the experience , nor do 90 percentage of the contractor that you call to ask those questions. If you’ve went walls that are in that bad a appearance, you need to go to a structural designer. That is certainly critical, for a bunch of reasons.
First of all, a structural operator is going to know exactly what kind of repair to prescribe and in his or her report will detail, with words and pumps, what that repair has to look like. Once you get that statement, then you can talk to contractors who will execute that design. But more importantly, when you’re dealing with a major structural edition like this, you likewise involve the structural engineer to come back after the repair is done and say, “Yes, it was done correctly and there’s no further cause for concern.” Because at some detail, you’re going to want to sell this parliament and that engineering report and regular inspections that follow are going to be sort of a pedigree that’s going to stay with the house.
So, I’ve accompanied these mends done gravely more than they’ve been done well and it’s usually because we are try to skip that step. It’s really important you have a scheme professional when you have walls that are slumping a marry inches, looks just like you describe it, because it’s beyond the remit of what any contractor should be trusted to design themselves.
BRENDA: OK. Well, that determines me feel better. Because one person said, well, they would come in and spray concrete on but they would need to drill through to settle some approvals. And I’m like ...
TOM: Yeah. No, your antennas should go up with that various kinds of advice.
TOM: Because a person hasn’t even experienced your house yet so, you know ...
BRENDA: No. Right.
TOM: So, yeah, "youre going to" get a layout professional. Get these- don’t make these contractors in the door, because they’ll try to take advantage of you and prescribe all sorts of crazy ideas.
TOM: And they just don’t have the training to do that, OK?
BRENDA: Alright. Well, thank you very much so much better. I actually appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good fluke with that project. Thanks, again, for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Van in Georgia, you’ve get The Money Pit. What is impossible to do for you today?
VAN: I want to tell you I love you all’s establish but we were thinking about changing ...
TOM: Well, thank you.
VAN: Yeah , no problem. But we are only bought this house in October and my spouse said, “Saw where you could change the colour of vinyl siding.” So I looked at a few things. There’s not really a whole lot on the internet that tells about it and there’s not a whole lot of products to choose from. So I was just demanding you all’s suggestion. Would you do it? If you would, what would you use and all that stuff?
TOM: Why do you detest the vinyl-siding emblazon freedom now? Is it faded or you just want to change it up?
VAN: Yeah, it doesn’t bother me, the colouring, but my partner time am willing to, I approximate- like coating the walls, she wants to dye the vinyl siding.
TOM: OK. I don’t believing that ...
LESLIE: Condemn it on your partner. I get it. It’s fine.
TOM: Yeah, yeah. Well, I don’t think that’s a good fairly conclude. Here’s why because- but depicting vinyl siding, while it’s possible, you’re basically opening yourself up to - you know what comes after paint, right? Repaint. You’re opening yourself up to that.
There are coats that are designed for vinyl. And if you work with a major manufacturer, like Sherwin-Williams, you’ll have options in pigments and such. But it’s just not going to last-place as long as vinyl because, let’s face it, vinyl is color all the path through. If you keep a seam on top of that, at some object it’s going to start to rind and it’s going to look nasty. And you’re going to have to get it on again and again.
If she doesn’t really like that vinyl, I would tell you to - why not be altered the colour of screens or trim and kind of creation around it? It’s kind of like when you get mortal that’s got a really old lavatory with 1970 s colors but it’s a beautifully done solid-tile responsibility but you can’t maybe get done today. Sometimes we say, “Well, live with the ugly, yellowed tile but change all else around it.” And sometimes that’s enough.
So I would tell you to change the shades of the shutter or the trim to start the accent truly pop. Maybe thinking about replacing your opening. A brand-new front door can start spectacular the progress of the perceived value of your dwelling. It appears so much better cool from wall street. But I would not paint vinyl backing unless there was a really good reason. And just changing the shade, to me, is not strong enough.
VAN: Yeah. Well, I’m glad to hear that, because I don’t genuinely want to do it.
TOM: Well, we can be the bad chap. We’ll make that hit for you. But there’s a good reason for it, because I exactly don’t want you to open up a whole series of having to repaint this as times go by every 5 to seven years. Vinyl expands like crazy and I time- coming that make-up to stand up to that? It’s a real challenge.
VAN: Yeah, that’s what I pondered, very, was 5 to 15 years was all they would guarantee on the colour or the stain.
TOM: I would think closer to five. I would be very surprised if you got more than five or six or seven years out of it.
VAN: Hey, I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome. Well, good luck with your wife and talking her out of that project. But maybe she’ll find that if you do change up the colours of the adornment and the shutters that it’ll reach the impact that she craves, OK?
VAN: Mm-hmm. OK. Cool. Thanks.
TOM: You’re welcome.
LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit being submitted by HomeAdvisor.com. You’ll never have to worry about overpaying for a job. Just use their True Cost Guide to picture what others have paid for similar projects, then get matched with top-rated pros, read recollects, get mentions and book appointments, all for free, at HomeAdvisor.com.
TOM: And merely onward, with all the beautiful signeds of outpouring, another one are all of those spring squalls which could send a chapter or some other projectile operating through the glass windows in your room. We’re going to have some easy window-repair gratuities to help you get that secure done right, after this.
Making good dwellings better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We’d love to hear what you’re working on around your coin excavation. The count is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Grant us a call right now. We’re here to help you with your residence improvement, your home decor, your residence remodel assignments presented by HomeAdvisor, where you can find top-rated home assistance pros and work appointments online, all for free.
LESLIE: Barbara from Rhode Island is on the line.
Barbara, you’ve got some funny interferences going on with the bathroom. What’s going on?
BARBARA: I have a half-bathroom in my upstairs. It consists of the lavatory and a small sink. And for the last few months, where reference is evened the toilet it- we get a bubble bang. And it will even but it doesn’t take the paper with it. We looked in the cistern and it would be appropriate up to the level of the sea. The chain is right where the fluttering opens up and then it will close and it will fill. So, it’s kind of like we were supposed to flush it twice in order to actually get the paper to go down.
TOM: So the fact that you get this sound to me sounds like the venting is hampered. That’s where the breeze gets back into the system. There’s a vertical tube that starts from the back of the plumbing connection, up through the roof. And when it’s starve for aura, you get that type of a gulp that happens. So it could be that there’s a partial obstruction somewhere in that drain line itself.
Have you tried to clear that toilet to make sure that nothing was in there?
BARBARA: Yes. My spouse did take a plunger and he exercises it. And it didn’t seem to help.
TOM: Barbara, it’s good that he tried the piston but that may not actually work if it’s hampered. It can happen- it can work if it’s sort of a greater mass. But if it’s something that got in there, like something that was dropped in the toilet or something that’s made its highway in there from another exhaustion, what you might want to do is try using something called a “toilet auger.”
A toilet auger is kind of a like a 2-foot-long toilet snake. And what it does is it actually goes into that catch part of the toilet, which is usually where most of the obstructions are. And it’s a extremely inexpensive implement. And you are able buy one at a residence midst, I’m sure, for probably $10 or $20. And if you use the lavatory auger, you’re clearly running to clean out that entire container and the net that’s attached to it. Because the trap is only that: it’s a narrow-minded parcel where the waste has to flow up and over in order to drain out. And if you get waste that builds up there, then that’s not going to happen.
BARBARA: OK. Alright. So, we’ll try that. And if that doesn’t succeed, you mentioned about the hose coming out the roof?
TOM: Yeah, the volcano. If that doesn’t use, I would contact- I would reach out to a plumber at that point or a drain-cleaning service, because you’ve basically done as much as you perhaps can do.
BARBARA: OK. Well, thank you very much so much. Hopefully, the auger will solve the problem.
TOM: Alright. Good prosperity with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, it’s the spring-storm season and which are in a position to necessitate a lot of things have the potential of flying through your space: maybe some branches, maybe a large part of a tree, maybe another part of a house. But it could be anything, based on these squall seasons. And hopefully, we’re not going to get such a bad one this year but "youve never" know.
Now, if you’ve lost a space due to a hurricane or maybe some kids in the neighborhood ought to have playing ball, it’s actually important to know how to clean up that mess safely, because it could be a lot of ruined glass and that could cause some hurts. And then we’re going to see share some options for going these cracked spaces fixed.
Now, first of all, don’t try to knock cold any of that remaining glass that’s left in the frame. You want to use safe mitts and then remove the tightened pieces and the fallen patches of glass. Now, to clean up small-scale specks of glass, you should try to use a lot of densities of newspaper towels. And then you’re going to throw them away but you want to dampen that paper towel and sort of pat down that really fine, shattered glass. Don’t scratch. Just be so careful with your hands. That’s why those safety gloves are really important. And that sodden newspaper towel- that thickness of them- will help you pick up all those minuscule cases of glass.
And if you use anything like a cloth towel or a rinse or a wash, don’t use those again for anything else. Because those minuscule, little articles of glass- those little corpuscles- can stay in there forever. And you can get hurt, you can get shattering a surface area. Merely be smart about it, because this glass actually wanders far and it can linger.
TOM: Yeah, that’s a really good point.
Now, when it is necessary to supplanting the broken glass, it actually depends on the type of opening. If it happens to be an age-old, single-pane window, those are pretty easy and that kind of glass permutation can be a do-it-yourself job. But today, it’s much more likely that the window is going to be made with insulated glass, which is multi-panes- two or three panes- and it’s also been vacuum-sealed and filled with insulating gas, as well. Argon is often slipped between the panes because it’s an insulator.
Now, for those working openings, while it’s possible to have a substitution window performed, it’s generally least expensive to exactly degree another sash from vehicle manufacturers. And the waistband is the window with the immediate formulate around it. Because that’s just going to be more cost-effective and easier and you know it’s going to fit suitably every single time.
LESLIE: Joanne in Illinois is on the line with The Money Pit and has a question about a skylight. What’s going on? You’ve got some leaking happening?
JOANNE: Well, yes. I would say about a month-and-a-half ago, I had a leak in the skylight. It’s an older skylight, fairly large. It’s approximately 3 paws by 21/2. And my neighbor got to get the roof and he said, “Oh, we located the place. It was a little break in the seal.” And he requested me for some alcohol. He cleansed it up and he must have situated some sort of a caulk or something. And it doesn’t leak anymore.
JOANNE: But it’s old-time and I don’t know what to do, whether- because we have jolly stern winters.
JOANNE: Is there a spraying or something I could introduce over the seal? I think it’s too old to get another seal to fit that.
TOM: So, this is kind of how skylights will wear. You know, seem, they’re exactly a- they’re a opening, just like the windows that you move up and down the sides of your house, except this one happens to cover the roof. And it’s often stationary, unless it’s operable. And with all that revelation to UV radiation over its first year and all that wear and tear from the weather, they’re going to break down. What he did was the right thing to do. And if he exploited a good-quality- like a silicone-seal- product, it can give you many years of performance.
If it objective up being a problem on an ongoing basis, I would just tell you to supplant the skylight, since they are do have a life expectancy. And the other good thing about supplanting those age-old skylights is the newer ones are much more energy-efficient, so they don’t let in as much heat in the summer. And which are in a position to make it much more pleasant for you.
JOANNE: I don’t truly have anybody that would situated it in that I know of.
TOM: Well, you’d have to hire a pro to do that and there’s plenty of companionships out there that do that sort of work.
JOANNE: OK. Is there any kind of a type of skylight that’s better than the other?
TOM: Yeah. Yes. I would look at the skylights by Andersen. And the above reasons I say that is because- either Andersen or VELUX- V-E-L-U-X. I’m actually not sure if Andersen is still clearing them- they were able have stopped- but I know VELUX is. And the reason I like those, both of those skylights have an integral blink motif where mostly the box comes organized on top of the roof, then the blinking get wound in between the shingles. And then there’s a counterflashing article that seals it from the top down. So the way it’s designed, you’re not going to be affected by swelling and reduction over the years. It basically- that twinkling organisation, that seal structure, kind of move with the roof as it moves.
JOANNE: Uh-huh. Do you have any doctrine what premiums they are- they might be?
TOM: Yeah. I symbolize the skylight itself is probably going to be a few hundred to a thousand. Plus, it depends on how complicated the station is.
TOM: If you’re fortuitou sufficient to get one that’s pretty close in size- and a great deal of time, you can find them; they’re highly similar. Then, to me, there’s not so much work to do to the ignite gibe, which is that one of the purposes of the ceiling from the flat ceiling in your apartment, up to where the skylight is. If it’s significantly different, then you’ve got some carpentry work on top of that.
JOANNE: You consider maybe I don’t have too many years left in this light- in this skylight?
TOM: No. I see as long as it doesn’t hole. The fact that it spilt once doesn’t want it’s going to be an ongoing difficulty. You know that it happened. I would just keep an eye on it. And if everything else is good with it, merely live with it.
LESLIE: Robert in Texas is on the line with The Money Pit. What’s going on at your live?
ROBERT: I’ve got a faucet- a wall faucet- that I replaced. It’s brand-new. And every time I turn the hot water heater- or hot water on, it sounds like a trumpet’s leading off.
TOM: Oh, boy. OK.
LESLIE: It’s musical.
TOM: Yeah. It is just like there might be a problem with that faucet. There’s a washer inside of it that sometimes where reference is expands like that because of the hot water, it starts to sort of bitch. And I might try this to start with: I might make the aerator off the tip-off of the faucet and recognize if it repeats itself.
TOM: And if that- if it was better is happening in that, then I would swap out that faucet.
TOM: Because I don’t think there’s anything that’s going to harm you from exercising it. It’s just going to annoy the heck out of you. But I would do the easy thing first, which would be to remove the aerator, just to make sure it’s not an blockage there. Because sometimes you get debris in the line that will obstruction that.
TOM: Even though it’s liquid, you think that it’d be debris-free but I’ve got to tell you, having pulled a lot of those off over the years, you’ll learn a lot of grease and gumption and sometimes insignificant sections of metal in it. So try that first. And if that doesn’t piece, then I think it’s the faucet issue.
ROBERT: OK. Like I said, I simply- brand new. But I guess that doesn’t matter, huh?
TOM: Yeah. Well, at the least if it’s brand new, you take it back and supersede it or get another one. Get a different brand.
ROBERT: Yeah. OK. Well, I’ll grant that a shot and see if it use then.
LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much better for calling The Money Pit.
Just onward, laying a stepping-stone road is an easy weekend do-it-yourself project that’s going to add to your outdoor living. And it’s likewise going to save your grass from one tonne of foot traffic. We’re running to march you through that project when The Money Pit continues.
TOM: Welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
Give us a call at 888 -MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. You can find out what it costs to do your home projection before you hire a pro and instant book one of HomeAdvisor’s top-rated pros for free.
TOM: We’re standing by to help you with your next spring residence increase campaign at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve went Roland in North Carolina on the line who are required some aid removing some mildew. What can we do for you today?
ROLAND: I have some uncovered I-beams in my basement that support a poured-floor garage above. And during creation, apparently they suffer some rot. And they’re 20 hoofs long, 12 inches high-pitched, so I’ve get about 400 square hoofs, if you will, of rusted sword. And I’m looking to decorate them or finish them off a little bit.
And I was looking at the Rust-Oleum concoctions and figuring I would go through 15 or 20 cans only to cover that quantity of opening. So I was wondering if you guys had a better idea and how much prep I should do. Should I merely- they haven’t rusted since the house has been finished but it does have a coating of rusty on there. Is there a better course? And how should I be concerned about prepping them before coating?
TOM: Well, a light-colored sanding would be important to remove any of that loose rust- that loose surface rust-brown. And it’s not penetrating; it’s simply on the surface.
ROLAND: That’s right.
TOM: And then utilizing a Rust-Oleum primer "wouldve been" the next step. Not the surface depict but the primer. Now, instead of using individual spray cans, why don’t you buy the gallons of Rust-Oleum and lease a sprayer if you have to- a cover sprayer from a rental ground? It would make it super easy.
ROLAND: Right. That’s the best lane to run?
LESLIE: Yeah. Plus, you’re inside. And utilizing a can of spraying paint is not going to fix you feel very well and it’s certainly going to see make the house stink up a squall. While certainly easy for application, it’s not really the most wonderful coming for the purposes of an interior programme. If you’re applying regular paint through a sprayer- as long as you protect everything and cover up your ceiling from overspray and the flooring, et cetera - you’re going to be in immense shape.
TOM: What I like to do is to try to depressurize a office when I’m spraying in it. So how would you do that? Particularly simply. You’d open up a window, stick a window fan in it, make sure it points out and then open up another window or opening on the other side of the area and get some cross-ventilation. This practice, you’re always moving the air outside the house, replacing it with fresh air.
ROLAND: Voices good. Is there any concern with the rust coming back through?
TOM: Not if you prime it. If you don’t prime it, it can definitely come right through. But if you prime it, especially with a rust-inhibiting primer like Rust-Oleum, it’s going to see kind of lock that in place. And as long as you don’t have any kind of serious leakage or something like that, I don’t expect it to come back through.
ROLAND: Super. Thanks so much.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much better for calling us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if you flip through any lawn or garden magazine, you’re sure to come across landscapes that include arbors and pergolas. These wooden garden organizes are so beautiful and well within most DIYers’ reach.
TOM: That’s right. And now with tips-off for constructing both, we welcome This Old House general contractor Tom Silva.
TOM SILVA: Nice to be here, guys.
TOM: Now, this is a project that I study a lot of kinfolks are very interested in because outdoor living is so important today. We want to get outside and truly experience that seat, kind of receiving treatment like an extension of our own front room or kitchens or the places that draw us cozy. These are the different types of additions that can do that. Let’s start by talking about what the divergence is between an arbor and a pergola. So what’s an arbor?
TOM SILVA: Well, think of an arbor as almost like an accent slouse that comes you into the front entryway of your residence or maybe into a plot. It’s like a doorway to the outside of your garden, to walk through this small entryway.
TOM: So it’s exactly a neat, architectural piece that kind of helps to establish the space.
TOM SILVA: Right.
TOM: So what’s a pergola?
TOM SILVA: A pergola is like a free-standing organization, usually with four legs, maybe six legs, depending on your blueprint. And it’s a locate that you can sit under and entertain.
TOM: Now, does it have a permanent ceiling?
TOM SILVA: It doesn’t have a permanent roof. Lots of periods, "youve had" the seeds that will grow up over the roof or the ceiling of it. It’s because the roof designing, in lots of cases, are airstrips of timber or lattice and that allows the embeds to grow on it.
TOM: Now, because it’s a fairly large organize, it’s moving to have some value to it, some heft to it. Does it have to be properly assured to the ground, just like you would any deck, for example?
TOM SILVA: Well, it has to be secured to the ground properly, so you’re possibly going to have to go into the ground, at the least to your frost direction, because you don’t want it to come up and down. But I suspect the biggest thing you want to think about with a pergola is whether or not you need a build permit to build it. Because you don’t want to have that thing constructed and then find out that you’re too close to the plenty front or you had to go down a certain depth for your footings. And you want to make sure that you’ve done all that right.
TOM: Now, what about an arbor? That sounds like it’s a good deal simpler project.
TOM SILVA: Arbor is a lot simpler. An arbor is that entryway into your garden or whatever. And you apply some lattice work on it and you’ve got a nice, little residence to stretch some flowers.
TOM: Now, let’s talk about information. There’s a lot of choices out there in weather-resistant materials. If you just wanted to tackle research projects yourself, you’re a DIYer, would you simply began with pressure-treated?
TOM SILVA: Pressure-treated is a great way to start; I signify it’s inexpensive wood. Or you can go the next street up: you can go to a cedar. A red cedar is not as good as a white cedar but it will hold up and give you some life. If you wanted to use an accent timber, like an oak, I would stay away from cherry-red oak because it won’t hold up to the weather. A white oak will hold up but you’re going to have to really considered that timber and make sure you really consider the percentage that goes into the ground.
TOM: Now, it exists to me that this may be the one and only time you can do a really, really good job finishing this grove formation because, peculiarly if you’re going to see kept vines on it, you’re never going to get them off.
TOM SILVA: Right.
TOM: You can’t mask around the ivy.
TOM SILVA: Right, right.
TOM: So, what would you actually do on finishing these before you actually start your seeding?
TOM SILVA: If you’re going to use pressure-treated, you’ve got to think about how you’re going to finish it if you don’t like the natural review of that timber. And it can be a real issue later on when the flowers start growing.
TOM: Huge target. Tom Silva from TV’s This Old House, thank you very much so much for stopping by The Money Pit. Can’t wait to get started. Perhaps you are able to attack it, as well, this weekend.
TOM SILVA: Thanks, guys. It’s always nice to be here.
LESLIE: Alright. Catch the current season of This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS. For local schedules and step-by-step videos of countless common home improvement projects, inspect ThisOldHouse.com.
TOM: And This Old House is brought to you on PBS by Marvin Windows and Doors.
And merely onward, we’re going to highlight some of our favorite, Earth-friendly home improvement meanings with a point to help you save energy, water and fund, next.
Where home answers live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Devote us a label, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your residence decor or home remodel questions presented by HomeAdvisor, where you can get instantly is compatible with top-rated pros for any dwelling programme and record appointments online, all for free.
LESLIE: Dorothy in California is on the line and she needs some used to help a wall texture. Tell us what you’re working on.
DOROTHY: Well, what we had- we have a wall and it was a heater there. We took the heater out; it would sit in the hallway. And then we finished everything and now we’re trying to find a way to kind of accord the texture that was there originally.
TOM: And what kind of texture would you- how would you describe this texture, Dorothy?
DOROTHY: Well, it would have- like some of them will be a round figure and the other ones like an oval shape. And then they would have little, insignificant cliques. And then, in some cases, you would have- like they started over with a clean or something. So they’re kind of other types of influence and sizes of circles or oval-shaped shape.
TOM: OK. So, one of the things that you can do is you could- formerly that’s all patched and repaired- is you can apply some spackle to the skin-deep of the drywall, like we used to do once it is Plaster of Paris?
TOM: And then you can take a wallpaper clean- which is a big, heavy, bristled brush- and twist that brush with your hand. Change it and it moves haloes in that soggy spackle. And if it’s a big circle, expend a bigger brush. If it’s a smaller circle, use a smaller brush. And you can turn it and try to sort of pair the specific characteristics as closely as you can to what was there before. And then only depict the whole thing the same pigment and it’ll maybe blend in pretty nicely.
DOROTHY: Alright. Thank you so much for your help. Thank you.
TOM: Well, would you like to save sea, vigour and a bit of fund at the same duration? You can if you take on some Earth-friendly residence improvements. Now, here are a few of our favorites.
LESLIE: Alright. First of all, let’s start with some easy water-saving hypothesis for your lawn and garden-variety. Now, the amount of sea that a plot demand really depends on the selection of seeds that you have, as well as how you actually liquid them.
So, for example here, I’m talking about your garden-variety. Now, "youre going to" ocean deeply because you want to make sure you’re drenching the seed zone rather than that entire yard. So I’m actually is speaking to focused irrigating in the openings that you need it and merely not an overall soaking.
Now, when it comes to landscaping, the things that you choose to put in the yard actually count quite a bit. So you want to choose aborigine embeds. This action, you’re going to find that they’re more adapted to the province that "youre living in". So you might necessitate limited or no sea beyond what nature provides, because they’re been applied to that climate.
Now, mulch is a big aide because it actually can lock in the soil’s humidity. And that’s going to reduce the frequency of watering. And then drip irrigation is another huge room that you can save water. If "youre using" drip irrigation or even soaker hoses, you can reduce evaporation by guiding that water title at the plants’ springs. And that’s really where it needs it, so I’m talking about focused watering.
TOM: That makes a lot of sense.
Now, if you want to save energy, here’s a few things that you can do to accomplish that. First of all, let’s talk about your air-conditioning compressor. Now, the hotter it gets where that A/ C unit is actually pinpointed outside your room, the harder it has to work and the more it’s going to cost. So you want to make sure that it’s at least 12 inches away from the compressor.
Now, sometimes folks is making an effort to shadowed these compressors with landscaping and that’s OK. But again, that landscaping "re going to have to" also be kept a hoof or more away from the compressor. If it’s too close, it’s going to have the inverse influence and actually drive up those costs.
The other thing that you can do, in terms of shade, is to consider seeding some canopy trees. You know, the Department of Energy has reported on the effects of shade trees for many years. And generally, they say that you can save 15 percent to 50 percentage on cooling costs or anywhere from about 50 bucks and on up if you have a strategically arranged shade tree that’s retaining, especially those southern and western backs of your home, jug. Plus, you get a beautiful, brand-new tree in the process.
And ultimately, rain openings. Now, you are able to say, “Well, why are you talking about storm windows? It’s not winter.” Well, for a exceedingly good reason. Because if you’ve got them, the same practice they keep the cold sketches out in the winter, guess what? They keep the red-hot drawings out in the summer. Don’t think you have them? Take a look at those cooling statements; you utterly do. If cold air is getting in in the winter, you can rest assured that hot air is getting in the summer. And that’s not as easy to feel, because it doesn’t move you embarrassing, but it does drive up your air-conditioning expenditures. So put them down to prevent those sketches from coming in.
Altogether, these few feelings can really add up to some jolly substantial savings.
LESLIE: Now we’ve came Ron in Virginia on the line who’s got a flooring question.
Number-one topic on The Money Pit, your best friend. How is impossible to help you?
RON: I have a ceramic-tile floor that’s been down for roughly 20 years. Placed it down myself. The tiles are all intact. Nothing of them are loose but I have some tiles that are cracked. And I was wondering, rather than take the tiles up, if I could employ a laminate storey over transcend of it.
TOM: Utterly. The neat thing about laminate storeys is that they’re moving floors. And so you certainly could settle a brand-new laminate flooring together. Most of them are lock-together cards these days. And you can dispose that right on top of the tile storey below as long as it’s solid, which it sounds like it is.
Now, of course, it’s going to make that flooring that much thicker. I don’t know if that’s an issue.
RON: No, I don’t think that would be a problem. Do I still need to putting in place that thin bed of the sud? Gave that right over exceed of the ceramic?
TOM: I think it’s a good theme because it cushions the flooring and it also serene the flooring. It’s not quite as click-y, you know what I represent, when "youre walking" on it? Now, keep in spirit that some of the different laminate-floor manufacturers have the underlayment attached to the bottom of the actual floorboard. It’s sort of like a sponge on the bottom of it. But you definitely want to follow their instructions.
But to respond to your real issue- are you able set it on tile?- yes, you can.
RON: Oh, enormous. Well, that would certainly save a lot of term and headache was seeking to take that tile flooring up.
LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.
Hey, are you thinking about to purchase a brand-new mansion soon? Well, get the right inspections can help make sure it doesn’t turn into a real-life fund excavation. We’re going to answer a question about what kind of inspection it is necessary to and whether you or the home dealer is the one that has to pay for them, after this.
TOM: Becoming good residences better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Pick up the phone and open us a bellow, right now, with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.
LESLIE: Grant us a scold. Cause us know what you are working on. But don’t forget, you are able to post your questions online, right here at MoneyPit.com, in the Community section.
Alright. Now I’ve got a pole here from Sharon who writes: “Is it the owner’s responsibility to clean out the septic tank and have it scrutinized before sales of a home? ”
What do you think? Tom, gravely, the issue was probably a big thing. A septic tank is a big, very sensitive method that’s imperative to the operation of a residence. So, you need to know how it’s working.
LESLIE: So what do you do when you’re looking at a house with a septic system?
TOM: Well, obviously the homeowner is appropriate to provide for maintaining it. And if it was recently scavenged, that needs to be disclosed because that could ...
LESLIE: You have a report of that.
TOM: Yeah, you have to have a report of it. But also, if I was a septic superintendent, I would want to know that I’m dealing with an empty-bellied cistern and not a full cistern that may have- because if the tank is full, right, if it hasn’t filled up more, it might not actually overflow into the septic field. And it might look like the septic field is actually draining suitably when, in fact, it’s not. So that can actually work against you if it was recently run because, recollect, those are huge cisterns. And the acces they work is they fill up and then they overflow into the field. And so if the cistern is just an empty-bellied pit and say, it’s drained the day before your inspection, you may not check what you expect to see.
In periods of the inspection, I think it’s your responsibility to do that because you want to pick labour inspectors. You want to have the contractual relationship with your septic auditor. You don’t want to take the word of somebody that’s not working for you instantly. And you want to make sure you find a really good, thorough inspector. Because if you ...
LESLIE: Now, is that part of a regular home inspection or is that a separate inspector?
TOM: That’s a good point, because it’s not part of a regular home inspection; it’s in addition to that. The the pertinent terms and conditions of rehearse for the basic home inspection are dictated by the American Society of Home Inspectors. And it’s important because it automatically generates compatibility from all the regions of the industry. But these kinds of inspection is specialized because not all residences have septic systems. And doing a good, careful septic inspection, you know, can take in some cases almost as long as a home inspection. So, you want to determine sure that you do hire a pro to do that that works alone for you and thoroughly checks the system, because it could be a highly, very expensive fixing if it has to be replaced.
Now, the other inspections that might fall in that category, sort of outside the home inspection: radon inspection. That’s definitely something which is scheduled to be done if you’re in an area that’s dominant to having radon. Pest inspections. Now, with pest inspections, most banks are not going to lend on a mansion- they won’t give you the mortgage unless you have a clear inspection for wood-destroying bugs, like termites and carpenter ants. But if your inspector determines a number of problems, then the homeowner is the one that pays for it. Because frankly, they can’t sell the house to anybody until they get rid of the flaws and enter into negotiations with any of the damage that they may have caused.
But the most important point inspection of everything, because it window-dressings so much better, is that home inspection. So if you wanted to start in one place and then- so that you’re not spending all this money on inspections the same day, start with a home inspection and see how the members of this house seek in the eyes of the home inspector. You’re going to have a pretty good mind of what you’re addressed with after that.
You go to the home inspectors’ association website, the American Society of Home Inspectors. I think it’s ASHI.org. And find a home inspector through the working group, because they’re all verified and experienced and real professionals compared to a lot of other people that are out there. And you’ll is ensured to know, then, exactly what you’re going into when you buy that house.
LESLIE: Yeah. I mean that’s really super important. And don’t forget, that can also be a big negotiating implement. If something is really in disrepair or in need of a lot of effort, you can use that to say, “Hey, I’ve got to do X, Y and Z. So you should adjust your price by X.”
Check out ASHI- -AS-H-I-. org.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Hey, thank you very much so much for expend part of this beautiful spring date with us. We hope we’ve been informative and contributed you some tips and suggestions on ways to come projects done around your residence. Remember, you can always reach out to us at MoneyPit.com and upright your home improvement questions on the Community page.
Until then, 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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