Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete
(NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist's understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. 'Ph' in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)
BEGIN HOUR 2 TEXT:
[audio timestamp: 1:00]
TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call us right now with your home improvement question. Call us with your do-it-yourself dilemma. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We are here to help you get the jobs done around your house and we're here in Los Angeles, California for a very special reason today. We are attending BookExpo America and we are here to launch our first ever Money Pit Book. It's called 'My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure.' It hits bookstores this week and we're so happy to be able to publish that book with our friends at Globe Pequot Press.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and we are super-duper excited about the whole project. You know, we wrote 'My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure' to help you survive and then thrive through all of your home improvement adventures and Tom and I have combined our decades of experience to deliver to you the ultimate look-before-you-leap guide to home improvement. This book is going to teach you all of those lessons that you would have learned along the home improvement way but right at the beginning; before you even tackle any project.
TOM: And there's a lot of buzz about the book right here on the trade show floor. They're flying off of the floor. (Leslie chuckles) I have to say, they've given away hundreds of these books to these bookstore owners and retailers. And we've also created a bit of buzz in the home improvement category. We want to take a moment to thank some of our fellow home improvement journalists who have joined us in endorsing the book, including Kevin O'Connor from This Old House right on the cover - nice mention from Kevin - and Bob Vila, how-to guru.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Oh, I think I've heard of him.
TOM: Bob Vila has been very kind to provide us with a quote for this book; in fact, Bob says, 'Comprehensive and informative, Tom and Leslie's book keeps the reader focused on what's practical and smart about their own home improvements.' We want to thank Bob. Also Bill Rancic, winner of The Apprentice, had some nice things to say. Alan Heavens from the Philadelphia Inquirer gave us a great statement. Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List is actually in the book and gave us a testimonial and our pal Kevin Ireton. I love his quote the best, Leslie, because he says, 'Good advice about home improvement isn't usually this fun to read,' (Leslie chuckles) and that's exactly what we tried to do. We tried to make this a fun home improvement book because home improvement is an adventure. It's exciting, it's exhilarating and it doesn't always turn out the way you expect it.
LESLIE: Yeah, and we want you all to have a great time with your home improvement adventures as well; that's why every, single person who calls in to The Money Pit this hour and gets on the air is going to take home a very free advance copy of our book 'My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure.' So pick up the phones, get in there, give us a call with your question, get on the air this hour.
TOM: 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
Leslie, who's first?
LESLIE: Alright, we're going to start this hour in Philadelphia. We've got Jim who's got a question about the exterior of his home. Jim, what can we do for you?
JIM: Hey, love your show. I've got to sell my house this summer and I've kind of got my back against the wall. I hear a lot of people talking about the outside of the house can really affect the sales price but I don't have infinite budget; so I need to try to, I guess, maximize and try to get the most bang for my buck. Can you help me?
TOM: Well, in terms of prioritizing those all-important dollars, Jim, I would start with landscaping. Now landscaping is the least expensive way that you can get a great return on your investment. In fact, some of the surveys that we've read have said, for example, if you spend about 500 bucks on your lawn you'll get about a $5,000 return on investment.
TOM: So take a look at the landscaping. Clean up the shrubbery, get rid of the weeds, do as much landscaping ...
LESLIE: Get rid of personal objects out there as well.
TOM: Oh, absolutely. The next thing is maintenance. I mean take a look at the exterior skin of your house. You know, people do judge a book by its cover. Just like our book is flying off the trade show floor today, they do judge a book by its cover. So if your outside doesn't look good people are not going to stop. They're not going to come in. You've got to remember, you're competing with a lot of other folks that are actually in the neighborhood looking for homes.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and Jim, you have to remember that a lot of people are doing their initial look-see online; so if you've got photos of the exterior of your house online and they see something that they're not exactly jazzed about, they might not even come to see your house.
JIM: Oh, smart.
LESLIE: So you really want to make it very appealing. Pressure-wash the exterior. If you can afford it, slop a fresh coat of paint on there. You know, think about touching up the trimming. Wash the windows. Simple things like that. Even some containers on the stoop, by the front door with some nice, colorful flowers really does the trick to bring people in.
TOM: And Jim, one last thing. If you do want to invest some remodeling dollars, there was a study done by Therma-Tru that showed that if you replace your front entry you can actually get about five times the cost of that improvement in an increased value in your house. So just changing your front door is also a very dramatic thing. We address all that, by the way, in chapter 14 of our book called 40 Fabulous Fix-Ups for Your Fa