Episode #2088: Keeping Wildlife Out of Your Garden | Big Ideas for Small Baths | Stopping Closet Clutter | Your Q & A

Prove Records

As the weather warms, we’re seeing more and more clues of Spring cropping up everywhere. But along with the flowers, trees and lots of lettuce- there’s a lot of wildlife that cross over that “wild” side right to your ground- and can interrupt your plans for a beautiful terrain and garden-variety. We’ll share gratuities to keep deer, rabbit and groundhogs out of your yard.While new residence showers have virtually doubled in size over the past 30 years, the lavatories in most older dwellings average about 5- by 8-feet. Short-lived of rending out walls to increase bathroom space, there are ways to use the space to its fullest potential. We’ll explain the options.If your closet is always busting at the seams, there’s a simple reason: MATH! Most of us introduced more material IN to a wardrobe than we take OUT! We’ll share simple steps to keep closet clutter under control.If you’d like to add a flooring to your vault, hardwood is not the best choice. But a special type of reinforced hardwood might! We’ll share how to enjoy having real wood storeys in dampen rooms.

Plus, answers to your home betterment questions about how to clean granite countertops, leveling a cellar flooring, repair or change a microwave, repairing drywall rifts, installing a tile floor expend a clay base, supplanting hot water heater.

Do you have a home improvement or decor question? Call the show 24/7 at 888 -MONEY-PIT ( 888 -6 66 -3 974) or post your question now.

Podcast Transcript

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EPISODE # 2088: Keeping Wildlife Out of Your Garden | Big Ideas for Small Baths | Stopping Closet Clutter | Your Q& A

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: Hey, you guys have a project you’d like to get done today, tomorrow, this weekend, the following? We would love to help you with tips and ideas and inspiration so that you can avoided perspiration when you’re getting started on that job. Help yourself first by contact out to us at MoneyPit.com or announcing us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, because that’s what we do. We stipulate professional advice and content to help you realize your best home ever.

Coming up on today’s show, as the condition heateds, we’re seeing more and more signs of outpouring that are cropping up. But along with the flowers and the trees and all that green, there’s a lot of wildlife that cross over that mad surface, right into your yard. And they can disrupt your plans for a beautiful scenery and garden, so we’re going to share some gratuities and personal experience we have with deter deer and rabbit and groundhogs out of that space.

LESLIE: And while new home baths have practically redoubled in sizing over the past 30 years, the bathrooms in most older residences average about 5 paws by 8 feet. So, short of ripping out walls to increase space, there are ways to use that small-scale gap to its fullest capacity. We’re going to explain those options.

TOM: And are talking here about infinites, if your wardrobe is always busting at the seams, there is a simple reason for that, Leslie: math. Most of us applied more stuff into the closet than we take out. So we’re going to share some steps to keep closet jumble under control.

LESLIE: But first, we’re here to assist you with your residence decor and your dwelling improvement projects. So what is on your to-do list? Well, you can move it over to our to-do list by cry us or affixing to MoneyPit.com.

TOM: The quantity here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888 -6 66 -3 974.

Let’s get to it.

LESLIE: Janet in New York, you have got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

JANET: I’ve had a new countertop invested on a newly-built house. And I- my options were granite or granite. And they positioned- they set the countertop in the kitchen. And I seemed online and I’ve talked to several people and I get so many different options or different ways to keep it clean-living and to maintain it.

TOM: Right.

JANET: My biggest thing is this granite seems to be more work than my Formica countertop that I made out.

TOM: Yeah, you’re right about that. You know, everyone recollects, “Well, it’s granite. It’s going to be indestructible.”

JANET: Yeah.

TOM: Well, it is but the finish needs a lot of work to maintain. I intend the quartz countertops are a lot easier to maintain than granite but granite is porous by nature. And so, they mill the granite and then they finish it. And that sealer has to be redone from time to time, often every few years, and you have to stay on top of it with emptying and improving. So, you’re right: it is more work than a Formica countertop ever was.

Right, Leslie?

LESLIE: Yeah. And you also have to make sure that whatever cleanse furnishes you use are safe for a granite or a natural-material skin-deep, because you don’t want to introduced something on that could deteriorate the protective veneers on top of it. And be careful with the rimming that you chose, because an ogee border, while more decorative, is a little bit more delicate. And when you’re washing the dishes and the buttons on your jeans are chafing against it, it could eventually wear that away. You really have to be careful but they look great and emphatically worth the work.

JANET: Oh. Well, my other question is we have a- there’s a sag sink in it. And I’m kind of concerned because the large-scale thing everybody says is- they’re the experts- is to don’t tell ocean sit. Don’t caused any liquid stand for any length of period. What about the cheek or the rim underneath the granite, where the sink is? Do you know what I convey? The subside is un underneath one, so there’s a little hang-over.

TOM: It’s not going to deteriorate. It is granite but- and you’re not going to see that spot. So, it’s really such matters of saving it clean, just so that you don’t get any growth of any molding or fungus in there, because that can bouquet sometimes.

So I would simply stick with good-quality granite cleansers. One we’ve been recommending for years is a line by Stone Care. People seem very pleased with that. There’s a clean and a polish. You can find that at Amazon and Walmart and targets like that. Not too exceedingly expensive. And only try to stay on top of it.

JANET: Oh, good. Thank you.

TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that assignment. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Heading out to Michigan where we’ve came Colin on the line. What’s going on at your fund quarry?

COLIN: I’m trying to figure out the best way, given that we kind of have an older house that’s 70 years old, to identify how to level the concrete flooring. It seems like there’s a certain amount of rise over a 10 -foot- 8- or 10 -foot run. I’d say in the ballpark of a 1/4 – to 1/2 -inch anywhere- in various spots of the vault. So I’m trying to figure out if I need to do any type of leveling and how best to determine that, given that I’m going to be installing a vinyl planking with the underlayment once attached.

TOM: OK. So, first of all, keep in mind that your cellar floor is not part of the home’s structure. It’s time there reporting the clay. It’s not interconnected with the wall. It’s genuinely the last thing that’s added to a basement.

And because of that, sometimes they’re not put in as well as, say, like a garage slab are likely to be. So the fact that you’ve got some rise and fall in that basement- do you look cracking or slump, Colin, in this? Or is it certainly precisely the uneven skin-deep you’re dealing with?

COLIN: Just slight cracking, I would say. The worst of it is maybe an 1/8 – to 1/16 -inch. I don’t think there’s very- and it’s not getting worse.

TOM: OK. So very well prepared, yeah.

COLIN: Yeah.

TOM: So here’s what I would do. You have the option of using a floor-leveling compound on that but I’m not so sure you really need it, because it doesn’t seem like it’s came very much of a differentiation. I would work with the flooring fellowship you’re buying this from.

For example, if you were obtaining flooring at Lumber Liquidators , now called LL Flooring, the government has experts in the store that can check the specs for the product that you are obtaining and determine how much differentiation over what distance it’s rated for. And if it outstrips that, then you would want to use a floor-leveling compound to try to even that out.

Now, there are commodities that are designed to go on top of concrete. There are also concrete-leveling makes that you can use. You’ll have some choices but that would be the solution if it turns out, in fact, you is first necessary to tier it.

COLIN: OK. Yeah, that’s huge. That’s kind of exactly what I “ve been waiting for” with this project, because I am trying to do it all myself, so …

TOM: Well, congratulations. It’s a great is planning to take on.

Good luck with that job. Thanks so much for reaching out to us and let us know how you make out.

COLIN: Will do. You have a great day.

LESLIE: Heading out to Cape Cod, where we’ve get Shari on the line. What’s going on at your coin excavation?

SHARI: Well, hi. I have an Andersen slider door.

TOM: OK.

SHARI: It never did it when it was new. It’s about 20 years old.

TOM: OK.

SHARI: That the bottom railing, where the door slips, I think it ices. And right by the door, there’s plywood underneath the carpet. And what it does is humidity turns that carpet a night dark-brown and I think it’s tannins from the plywood. But lo and gaze, it’s that bottom rail that ices and I think that’s where the water’s coming from. Because it’s never wet.

TOM: Well, I entail first of all, Andersen makes a heck of a good sliding-glass entrance. Of all the doors out there, that’s one of the most durable.

The first thing I would do is I would check the alignment on the door. And you’ll find that on the bottom of that entrance, there’s going to be two plastic caps: one at one end of the slip entrance and one at the other. And when you attract those off, you’ll see that there’s – you could situated a screwdriver in there and revolve it. And as you do that, there’s a wheel that will adjust the height of the door on that track. And by turning one or another, you can adjust alignment. So I would check it to made to ensure that when that door comes into the jamb, that it is absolutely parallel with the door jamb. Because if it’s off a little, then that could be one of the reasons you’re getting some- maybe some moisture or humidity or enlist in that space.

And then, too, very often those doors are going to have an extra tiny piece of foam kind of glued to the edge of it so when it closes, it draws in real tight. You see this on slithering doors; you likewise see it on regular doorways, too. It’s like an extra piece of weather-stripping. It’s merely about, you are familiar with, an inch-and-a-half square and it’s adhered to the terribly bottom of the jamb. Usually the jamb , not so much better the sliding opening, because it bides better that highway. And so when that entrance comes in, it gathers close-fisted and shuts it.

So I would look at the alignment there first and then I would try to determine whether or not there’s any divergences. And the last thing I would do is I would go outside and- this is easier to do at night. With a strong flashlight, deemed it parallel to the bottom of the door and even under the door. And then, on the inside, have another person see if they can see that lighter streaming through. Because you may have some gaps under the door that have formed over the years. And if you find those, you can seal those with an increase in foam insulation.

Now, there’s one- Great Stuff makes a number of these. You want to use the one that’s rated for windows and doors, because it’s not quite as stiff and it won’t move that sill plate. It will just sort of fill up the space. Or you could caulk it.

But I would are searching for gaps, I would check the alignment for the door and I would add that little, tiny fragment of weather-stripping. OK?

SHARI: Thank you so much better. Thank you.

TOM: Bye-bye.

LESLIE: Well, if it seems every year more and more animals- like deer, rabbits or groundhogs- are finding their behavior into backyards, flower bottoms and garden-varieties than ever before , now is a good time to take action to limit any shattering they might cause. Now, here’s a few alternatives to send the message that the party is over to these unwanted clients, who’ve chosen your ground as their favorite local buffet.

So, you’ve got to talk about repellants. Now, there’s a lot of different homemade remedies out there and commercially-available makes that are going to help you obstruct deer, the rabbits, the groundhogs out of your garden-variety and ground. Now, they toil but they do have to be applied about every three weeks. Wildlife are humen of attire and when you apply those repellants, you’re trying to break them of that habit of coming to your yard.

But it’s not a one-and-done thing. If the wildlife have known that sometimes your scenery flavors bad and sometimes it doesn’t, they’re going to keep coming back to check.

TOM: Now, let’s talk about fencing. Physical impediments, like hedge, are definitely the most effective but they’re also the most expensive. And they, of course, can have a negative visual impact on your ground, as well. Plus, let’s face it, deer in particular, did you know they can climb 8 feet? I’ve seen them do it. It’s crazy. Eight feet in the air. So if they actually want to get in your ground, they will.

Now, if there are lots of neighborhood food choices, the shorter 4-foot fences can work, extremely if “youve had” double barrier. We did this for our garden-variety. It made a big difference. We have 2- one 3-foot fence and one 4-foot fencing- and they rarely bother got to go. Well, one of the reasons is there’s exactly a good deal of other places in the garden that they could grab.

Now, for rabbits or groundhogs, you want to make sure the hedge also has smaller openings along the bottom 2 hoofs. Now, for our garden-variety, we worked that 4-foot black, exercise iron-style fence. But we attached the pitch-black, resilient barricade right along the bottom and it is functioning properly. I use zip ties and that vinyl fencing right along the bottom perimeter. You don’t even see it from the outside, because it’s black. Which, by the way, if you’ve got to framed fencings in, pitch-black barriers boulder because they blend in with your scenery. And this one actually …

LESLIE: Yeah, they’re various kinds of invisible.

TOM: Yeah. This one made really well to keep the critters out.

Next, alter up the menu. Some weeds and trees are resistant to wildlife. And as the deer population in our region came worse over the years, we actually decided to remove their favorite charm, which for us were these shrubs called “Euonymus” thickets that they- where reference is employed them in, they were great for many years. But then they just started get really bad because the deer time would not leave them alone. We tried the repellants and like we said earlier, you’ve got to introduced this on so frequently. That was a hassle, so we’ve replaced them now with a type of plant that deer merely don’t like. The one we exercised is Green Giant arborvitae. And you are eligible to basically trim this just like a fence. And it was amazingly effective.

We’ve even attended families, Leslie, where the deer accompany up to the new thickets, commit it a smell and proceed, “Nah, let’s just go over to the neighbor’s house.”

LESLIE: They’re like, “I like it better across the street.”

TOM: Exactly.

LESLIE: Nick in Iowa is on the line and is doing a tiling activity. What can we do for you?

NICK: I did a project in my bathroom, on the second floor, a pair year ago. And I laid 3/4 -inch tongue-and-groove down.

TOM: Plywood?

NICK: Yes. And then I laid down a 1/4 -inch fiber-cement underlayment that is made for tile. And I performed sure that the seams weren’t in the same spot as the tongue-and-groove.

TOM: Right.

NICK: And it’s been- like I say, it’s been probably two years and I’ve got time a hairline cranny guiding through all my tile that’s right on that tongue-and-groove seam. And I’m getting ready to start a kitchen campaign where I’m going to do some tiling. And I predict I want to know if you had any suggestions on where I might have went wrong.

TOM: Well, the very best floor base for a tile job is called a “mud floor.” Do you know what a silt floor is?

NICK: No, I do not.

TOM: So a slime floor is one where you put down tar paper first, then you put down woven wire mesh, then you mix up a sand-and-cement- basically, mud. It’s a very dry mix; not a lot of ocean to it. Generally, it’s one luggage of Portland cement to about 40 scoops of sand. And when you mingle it perfectly, you can kind of accommodated it and it structures kind of a ball in your hand, right?

Now, you take that clay and that mud mix and you spread it out across the woven wire mesh. And you’ve got to be a pretty good do-it-yourselfer to draw this off, because it’s certainly a professional tile guy’s way of doing this. But you spread it over the mud. You use a long, straight periphery to kind of get it absolutely perfectly flat and you make it baked. And it’s got to be a minimum of maybe 1-inch thick-skulled and it could go up to whatever you need it to be.

For example, I have a laundry room in the second floor of my house. Really old mansion. And we decided to tile that and there’s really no way I could level this floor any other way. And so, we put down a clay flooring. It was about 1 inch on one side of the apartment. By the time we got to the other side of the office, it was about 21/2 inches because the floor had that various kinds of a ascent in it. But then when we were done, it was perfectly flat and absolutely rock solid.

If you employed a mud flooring down, you will never, ever, ever get a crack, if you do it right. That’s the best way to do it. Any of those tile-backer produces are subject to expansion and constriction and that may help develop some hits , not to mention the fact that it can’t truly help you level a floor that’s out of level.

Now, when – you said you were doing this in the kitchen. We’ll give you an additional caution: you’ve got to be very careful in different areas of the dishwasher. Because if you introduced a thick-witted flooring around that dishwasher, you may not be able to get the dishwasher back in again. Or you can do as this ridiculous tile guy did at my sister’s house. He tiled her dishwasher in. So when the dishwasher had to be replaced, I had to help her take the countertop off of the subside, off of cabinet ministers, take the submerge out, take the countertop up in order to lift the dishwasher out from the cabinets and change it, which was really ridiculous and very annoying.

NICK: That doesn’t sound like what I want to do , no.

TOM: No. So don’t tile your dishwasher in and watch the thickness of the floor so that you can actually get the dishwasher back in if you take it out.

NICK: Alright. Music good. Thank you very much.

TOM: Call us. We’ll give you more toil, 888 -6 66 -3 974. Thanks so much, Nick.

We ever say, “Do it formerly, do it right and you won’t have to do it again.” And that is absolutely true when it comes to position down tile. If you don’t take the time to put in a proper base, you will ultimately be repeating the process.

LESLIE: Frieda from Ohio is on the line with The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

FRIEDA: Hi. My Amana Radarange microwave, it’s mounted above my stove. And on the bottom, the down light that sheens down onto the stove, the light bulbs in that retain burning out. And I have to replace them about once a few months and they’re getting expensive.

TOM: What kind of light bulb are you using? Just a regular incandescent?

FRIEDA: It’s like the R11, the little device bulbs? Forty watt?

TOM: And is this a moderately brand-new trouble, this once-a-month burnout, or has it been going on for a long, long time?

FRIEDA: It’s getting worse. We’ve had the microwave in here- it’s probably about 16 year olds or- give or take.

TOM: Yeah, that doesn’t genuinely owe you any money. That’s fairly aged for a microwave contraption. You’ve pretty much reached the end of a normal life cycle. In fact, I’m kind of surprised it lasted that long, because it’s been my experience that the microwave ovens that are prepared above assortments don’t last-place nearly as long as a countertop microwave. Because the additional heat from all that cooking has the effect of sort of wearing on those components.

Typically, when you get a bulb that burns out abruptly, it’s either because you have a loose connection, you have a loose ground or you have a problem with the voltage that’s going in there.

Sometimes, depending on what’s happening with the power company, you could be getting, say, more than 120 volts. You are likely to be going 125 or 130 volts, sometimes, because there could be something that is bad down the line with the power supply- the quality of the power supply. So if you have extra volts going into those suns, that is one of the first things that tends to show it. It’s kind of like the canary in the coal quarry. When the sunlights start to go- burn out regularly- like that, it could be an issue with the voltage.

So, have you been thinking about a brand-new microwave?

FRIEDA: Not really.

TOM: What I would suggest was at this time, you really need to have the voltage measured. So I would call the utility company and asking questions to meter the voltage going into your house and see if it’s- let’s eliminate that as a possibility.

If that is OK, I would- another thing I would check is the plug that it’s actually plugged into. I’d check the outlet to make sure it’s properly ground. And if it’s properly ground, then I think you’ve depleted the two things that are the easiest to fix and at that point, you might want to think about replacing the microwave.

FRIEDA: Alright. That sounds good.

TOM: Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Well, there are a few things all old-house lovers, like me, be aware of: you are familiar with, drafty openings, less-than-perfect plumbing, squeaky storeys. And my least favorite, I should say, is small bathrooms.

TOM: I think your small-time lavatory is the one sort of nemesis in your house. It’s the element you detest “the worlds largest”. Well …

LESLIE: And it’s the only one. So I don’t have a lot of choice.

TOM: Yeah. There you go.

Well, listen, while new home soaks have virtually redoubled in size over the last 30 years, most of our older lavatories- and by older, I represent not abysmally age-old. Even homes that were built in the 80 s and the 90 s. They average 5 paw by 8 hoof. And short of ripping out walls to increase space, you might be thinking, “I don’t have too many options.”

But there are a few tiny residence improvements that can help you use that room to its fullest potential.

LESLIE: Yeah. Think about corner sinks and showers, both pedestal-style or wall-mounted. A region sag looks great and it does free up a ton of floor space in that bathroom.

Likewise, if you’re planning a bigger remodel, veered quadrant-shower sections, those can keep prized real estate in that bath. And organized into a corner, a curved enter is going to save at least 25 percent of the infinite that’s needed by a square shower.

TOM: Now, another way to save space is to use a toilet that has a flat tank surface. These flat cistern exceeds give you another storage recognize, where you can place organizers immediately on top of it or are benefiting from the wall infinite above it for hanging cabinet ministers or shelving.

And Leslie, for you, if the tub space is limited, one alternative is to look for smaller, deeper bathtubs. These are often very great soaking tubs with deep-set sitting. You can even find small-minded clawfoot bathtubs that will work for this purpose, as well.

LESLIE: Oh, my goodness. If I could just sit in a tub, I would be so happy.

Now, let’s talk sags. Another option you can have there is a vessel sink. And who is able to mounted on a scale-down cabinet or another piece of furniture that’s going to give you a bit of storage in the bathroom opening. And since the sag is on top of the vanity, you’ve got a lot more space in that cabinet for actually accumulating stuff.

TOM: And finally, towel storage. If you’ve got a lot of towels around, like we always done so in our house, you can mount a hotel-style, multi-tiered rack on the back of the entryway door or high up on a soak wall near the ceiling.

Now, in my house, I couldn’t find one that was sort of the right space for our walls, so I fixed it. Because I’m looking at it recalling, “I could do that with PVC pipe, ” and that’s exactly what I did. I made a rack that was like a hotel-style rack but I did it with small-scale PVC pipe. And then I covered it sort of a bronze-y color and it examines superb. And you really can’t tell that it’s not a regular, fabricated rack.

So, there clearly are ways to deal with small-time rooms in your bathroom. And if you think about exploiting efficient fixtures and taking advantage of some of that gap that you’re not exerting now- like that space that’s up higher near the ceiling and we did with our towel rack – you can really fit a lot more in without doing major renovations.

LESLIE: Now we’re leading on over to Iowa where Brian has a crack on the wall that maintains on coming back. Tell us what’s going on.

BRIAN: Well, yeah, I improved this home about 6 years ago and noticed it within the firstly year, truly, that in just one of my bedrooms, I have a crack that comes up from my bedroom going to get my lavatory door. And it various kinds of roughly goes up probably close to 21/2 feet, 3 paws. And it comes and leads, depending on the year. I’ve finished over it a couple of times on both sides of the wall, into the bathroom and now, and have tried to refinish over it and it hinders coming back. And my developer looked at it. Can’t quite anatomy it out and …

TOM: This is what we call a “Groundhog Day home improvement project, ” Brian, because it merely deters happening over and over again, right?

BRIAN: Yeah, yeah. It only – you are familiar with, I merely- initially, I merely tried to cover it up and make it look better and …

TOM: Alright. Well, here’s the thing. You’ve got a very normal crack in a wall there. Cracks often structure over entrances, like exactly what you’re describing there, because that’s a weaker one of the purposes of the wall. And for whatever reason, “youve had” some village in your house and it caused this crack to open up. The reality that you’re spackling it is not going to solve it. It solves it for a season but it won’t resolving it permanently.

What you need to do is you need to sand the area of the hit pretty well, because I miss you to get out- come rid of all that extra spackle you’ve been putting on there. Then I require you to add a stratum of fiberglass drywall videotape, which is sort of like a netting. It’s a bit sticky-backed. And then I demand you to spackle over the fiberglass netting- over the fiberglass videotape- on both sides. Start with a constrict beading of spackle and then open it up wider and wider and wider. And that, on both sides of the wall, will compile that wall strong enough to stand up to the movement that will happen the next time the wall expands or contracts.

You can’t time spackle it, because you’re not really doing anything to bridge that gap. You bridge that breach with the tape, spackle over the strip , now you’ve got a permanent repair. Does that make sense?

BRIAN: Yeah, that concludes sense.

TOM: Alright. Good luck with that campaign, Brian. Thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Now we’re chief on over to Delaware to chat with Ruth, who’s having an issue with liquid heating. Tell us what’s going on.

RUTH: Our water heater is- I’m guessing it’s around 12 years old. And whenever I use the hot water, it doesn’t seem to last longer and longer. And so a duet months back, maybe 6 months ago, my husband and his friend- and his friend, I guess that’s what he does for a living. They evacuated the spray heater and they gave two brand-new elements in. But in my opinion, it’s still doing the same thing, like it didn’t- to me, it didn’t change the segment how long the hot water lasted.

TOM: And this is an electric water heater?

RUTH: It’s not gas; it’s electric, yes.

TOM: And so, when they replaced these components, they measured both elements to make sure they actually work?

RUTH: I’m not sure if they did that. I don’t know. He suggest that they positioned new points in. I’m assuming they- I suspect I could ask them later if they did that.

TOM: Because here’s the thing. When you have a water heater that’s electric and it runs out of hot water swiftly, it’s usually because one or another of the two elements burn out or the insure route breaks down so that they don’t actually come on. So, what you do, as a technician, is you run a persistence tester on these coils. And it’s a path of determining whether or not they’re working or not.

Electric curls for a water heater is just like a light bulb: it either acts or doesn’t work; there’s no in-between. And so, the first thing I would do is check the continuity on both sets of curls to make sure they’re both physically toiling. Because what you’re describing, to me, sounds like one is not and that could be the whole source of the problem, OK?

RUTH: Alright.

TOM: Ruth, thanks so much for announcing us at 888 -MONEY-PIT.

LESLIE: Well, did you know that over the last 3 years, the average tax refund was over $ 2,800? For DIYers, that planneds newfound money to take over programmes you might have been putting off.

TOM: To help you do the proper use of your hard-earned windfall, we’ve put together a series of projects that will add value to your residence and get done without blowing your tax-refund budget.

And today’s Tax Refund Tip is presented by HART Tools, accessible alone at Walmart.

LESLIE: Today’s project: closet clutter-busters. Have you ever noticed that closet clutter is the kind of thing that just sort of pussyfeet up on you?

There’s a good reason for this. It’s math. Most of us put more stuff into a wardrobe than we take out of the wardrobe. Keeping clutter under control, it’s thoroughly possible but you need discipline and a panache of courage.

TOM: Yeah. So, when we say courage, we’re not kidding because step one is to empty your entire closet. Seriously.

LESLIE: Oh, God. Then you have no choice but to do it.

TOM: It’s a forceful move but it provides various determinations. First, it allows you to see what you’ve been substance into that cavity and do a quick, fast analysi on whether you really need to either keep it, pack it away or donate it. And formerly that process is done, it’s time for a little closet reno. So go ahead and pack those punctures and prime and decorate the opening and give yourself a clean-living start.

And note that it’s often helpful to remove that closet door for this part of the project. Because with a small space like that, the door tends to get in the way. And if it’s so easy to take off, only do time that and it’ll be easier for you to work on it.

LESLIE: Alright. Next comes the amusing part: patronizing for shelving. There’s actually so many amazing shelving plans out there today for your wardrobe, along with supplementaries galore, like pull-out drawers, shoe racks, even multi-level hanging disallows. But you’ve got to find the system that’s privilege for you and then lay it. And it really is an easy DIY project, extremely if you have a few HART implements around, like the Cordless Drill Driver.

You can augment those built-in shelves with flattening storage for impedes or cleaning furnishes. And you’re going to have everything you need to framed that jumble behind you.

TOM: And lastly, taken due note of the lighting in your closet, too. It’s hard to dress for success when you can’t understand the colour of your robes. And if more illuminating belongs on that to-do list, check out the wide array of battery-powered LED lighting that’s now available from several labels. I have these in various of our own wardrobes and I have been amazed at not only how much dawn we are really cast off but that the batteries have lasted, in a number of cases, for over a year.

LESLIE: Yeah, that’s really great.

Well, that’s today’s Tax Refund Tip presented by HART Tools, accessible exclusively at Walmart. Do it with HART. You can learn more at HARTTools.com, where you’ll also find step-by-step plans for dozens of fun projects.

TOM: Including plans for two different types of pegboard organizers.

And Leslie, I recognized a fitness-shelf project on that site. Looks like it can hold a lot of shoes in your newly-remodeled closet.

So check out all the project plans at HARTTools.com.

LESLIE: Anna is reaching out to us from California for help with an isolation programme. She writes: “We bought a house in Southern California with vaulted ceilings and no attic. As far as we can tell, there is no insulation in the walls of the house or above the ceilings. Can we lay or blow-in insulation into the walls or ceilings and would it be worth it? ”

TOM: Well, first off, having no insulation would be very unusual. It might seem that way, because you can’t see it, but I would be stunned if you had absolutely no insulation.

So what I would suggest you do first is an energy audit. Your utility company may offer these free of charge or you can hire your own independent auditor. Just make sure the auditor is independent of any contractors that sell energy-saving services.

Now, your examiner allowed to do an infrared examination of your walls and ceilings. And that space, you’ll be able to determine if the insularity actually exists, as well as identifying any spreads in that insulation.

Now, for cathedral ceilings, there are really two ways to approach adding insulation. The first and most basic is to insulate between the rafters themselves. But that requires leaving some seat between the insularity and the underside of the sheathing so you get good ventilation. And frankly, if your ceiling is finished now, that’s pretty much absurd to do unless you remove the drywall.

The other alternative is to add insulation on top of your roof. We’ve seen this done more and more, especially in super-insulated homes. When you next replace your roof shingles, you are able to supplemented a 2- to 3-inch-thick segment of foam insularity on top of the ceiling and then more plywood. So it becomes a unusually thick kind of roof sandwich. And then employed the new roof on top of that.

But for those that are- want to deal with more traditional insulation in your attic, we do actually have a very detailed insulation guide at MoneyPit.com. We talk about the differences between fiberglass and mineral wall and spray-foam insulation, as well as a great post on how to add attic flooring for more storage without wrecking your roof. And that is all online at MoneyPit.com.

LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got one here from Phil who writes: “Can I use hardwood boards in my cellar? We’ve extended gutters and a French duct, which empty-headeds into two different sump shoots. So water isn’t a problem.”

TOM: Well, good undertaking on taking all the measures necessary to keep the basement dry. But that said, you cannot set solid hardwood planks. Because even though you don’t have water, you certainly have high humidity, because it’s a below-grade space. That concrete is eventually going to hold fairly sweat and humidity to meet those councils want to twist and warp.

If you wishes to a natural-wood look, the best type of wood flooring- and actually, the only type of wood flooring you can put in a cellar- is called “engineered hardwood.” And it was like regular hardwood from the figurehead back but it’s laminated. If you think of plywood, the road it has different blankets of timber the hell is glued together, the engineered hardwood is much like that but the top blanket is the hardwood that you have come to know and adore. The under coatings just make it dimensionally stable.

There are other options, though, like engineered vinyl plank. This EVP flooring is amazing. It inspects just like wood and comes in really hundreds of different schemes. And that is completely unaffected by any level of humidity, including full submerges if that were ever to happen.

But clearly don’t want to employed 3/4 -inch-thick hardwood down there. You will be very unhappy when it starts to twist and warp.

LESLIE: Yeah. And you know what? There’s ever the inevitability that liquid can and maybe will get down to that vault infinite. You know, you can always do tile that looks like a grove cereal or has a wood-plank look to it. That’s always very nice.

And think about it: formerly you pick your flooring, you can put in an area carpet or something that helps it feel super homey downstairs. So don’t feel upset because you can’t have the actual hardwood. You can make it ogle super nice.

TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Thank you for spending part of your springtime era listening to us. We hope that we’ve been able to give you some fresh ideas to take on programmes around your house.

If you’re thinking about campaigns you want to get done, recollect, you can reach out to us at MoneyPit.com or through our social-media locates at any time. And we will get back to you to give you some asks and some direction and maybe even invite you to ask your question on The Money Pit.

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 get it on alone.

( Copyright 2021 Squeaky Door Product, Inc. No segment of this transcript or audio folder may be reproduced in any format without the express written authorization of Squeaky Door Production, Inc .)

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