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Share ideas and learn about the latest in home improvement and décor from Tom and Leslie.

Money Pit Blogs

I have a problem with my basement flooding.  A waterproofing company charged me $14,219 to correct. Two of that firms inspectors insisted underground water was being forced up into the cellar via hydrostatic pressure and only a "French" drain would correct it.  Hence, they installed a long deep...

Can you give me advice on how to remove the bathtub mildew in the caulking?  Is their a product that will keep it under control? Or do I need to remove it completely and start over again?   We have at least 4 showers going on a day so it is constantly moist in there.  Thanks for your...

I just finished laying down ceramic tile on my kitchen floor.  Once the grout was down, my wife and I looked at it and decided we don't like the color.  I would hate the work, not to mention the mess, of having to remove the old grout and put down new.  Am I able to grout over what's there with...

I very much enjoy your show on 77 WABC, NY.  I have a well and the water pressure is very low, especially on the 2nd floor where the showers are.  It affects the dishwasher as the dishes usually don't come out clean.  Is there any possible fix for this?  The house is a bit over 50 years' old -...

We want to convert our wood burning fire place to natural gas.  Natural gas service is readily available in our home as we use gas for our stove.  How do we do it and who do we call?Nanajdp01  3-18-07 11:58pm Even though I'm a do-it-yourself proponent, this is definitely one area where you DON'T...

I've heard you say many times that using an attic fan is just sucking your cooled air right out of the house and that it's better just to rely on the soffit and ridge vents.  My question is this:  is that still true if you ONLY have soffit vents?  We don't have ridge vents and my husband reminds...

Greetings from Auburn Alabama!  My daughter is in a wheel chair and I need to replace a sliding glass door from the house to the patio/deck.  I have looked around and all the sliding doors have a 1" area at the bottom with rail slots.  Do you know of any door that is relatively smooth at the...

We are in the process of converting an existing lavatory to a full size bathroom within an in-law-apartment. We are limit on the amount of space to expand but need enough room to accommodate a handicap person using a walker. The contractor suggested installing a corner toilet which will allow...

I just purchased a new home with a solid poured concrete wall foundation.  I am not looking to "finish" the basement, but would like to paint the walls to brighten up and make the basement look clean.  Is there a material that I can use that would also fill in all the little holes in the...

What is the maximum depth that you can safely sand a standard ¾ inch thick hardwood floor before affecting its strength and structural integrity?keytie 2-28-07 5:39pm Generally you can sand a hardwood floor until the top layer of the groove is gone, which is about ¼ inch.  However, you don't...

We recently replaced carpeting with laminate flooring in one room of the basement. Yesterday the pipe disconnected on the sump pump and flooded the basement. (that problem is solved) We're pulling out the rest of the carpeting and replacing it. The question is do we have to pull out the new...

I found your column on-line while searching for information.  My house was constructed in 1986 and I have a finished family room/play room in the basement.  I do not know when this room was constructed-whether it was original or not but assume that it was constructed close to this year.  We just...

I have window gates (guards) and am putting up locks on them for the safety of my children.  Where do I put the keys? They'd need to be somewhere where the children can use them in case of fire, but I don't want it them to be lost susanc 2-20-07 3:08pm Stop!  Think!  Locking window guards is a...

Are there any whole house on-demand electric water heaters capable of supplying sufficient hot water for a 3 bath house or is point of use or a combination of the two a better alternative?trldunedin 2-18-06 6:03pm Tankless water heaters powered by electric do exist but they are really...

I just reorganized my garage.  However by getting everything off the floor, I now noticed how grotesque my floor looks.  I filled in all the cracks, but the floor is not very easy on the eyes. Is there a low cost option to pretty it up (in a masculine sorta way)?  It's a cement floor that seems...

With all the cold weather in NY, our cold water pipes have been freezing.  Now the hot water line just broke, which really surprised me since I thought that one would take not freeze since it was for hot water.  Is there anything I can do to fix the problem?  

Actually, there is a good...

Can you tell me what might be done with a very old home with exterior shingles of asbestos? Is there a proper way to safely seal & paint over? Can they be dismantled?  What is the best way to address this homeowner issue?vlasisi 1-25-07 1:25am Asbestos was a very common siding material used in...

I need to replace the old terra-cotta waste pipe from my house to the street, but there is a mature tree over the line. What can you tell me about the feasibility of using the trench-less system where they reline the waste pipe with an epoxy similar to the way they reline chimneys.KilcoHQ 7:49pm...

I have an 18 year old 4 bedroom house (1875 sq. ft.) and want to do a master bath remodel. However, to expand the bathroom I'll need to take out the Master bedroom closet and make the bathroom double in size. To make up for losing the closet - I will take out the small guest bedroom next to the...

My husband and I are the proud owners of one of only three Sears Honor Built Magnolias known to exist in the United States. The house was offered by catalog from 1918 to 1921.  It is located in Piedmont, Alabama and therefore is subject to all the harsh weather the South has to offer!!  The...