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: Pick up the phone and give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974; especially if you're a DIYer. That's a do-it-yourselfer or a direct-it-yourselfer and especially if you're a do-it-to-yourselfer. We can help you out, keep you safe, help you get that job done right the first time. 888-666-3974.
Coming up on today's show, going green is on just about everyone's minds these days; probably on yours in some form or another. And that's the great thing about being green. You really can choose what you'd like to change; whether it's using all-natural cleaning products or using only sustainable wood for your projects. We can help with that one project; that one tip that you need to get the job done and make sure it's truly sustainable. We're going to tell you exactly what that is and how to get those jobs done, in just a bit.
LESLIE: And also ahead, summer storm season is in full swing and if the unthinkable happened to you and your home was destroyed would you be able to remember or even be in the right frame of mind to list your home's contents for the insurance adjusters who are asking questions? Well we're going to have a tip to help you with that, this hour.
TOM: And we always tell you how important curb appeal is. After all, it's the first impression of your home. So coming up, we're going to have some exterior painting tips, including how to save time on that dreaded prep-work project. There's actually a new product out that allows you to paint without priming because - you ready for this? - the primer is built right in. We're going to tell you all about that in just a bit.
LESLIE: And also this hour we're giving away a four-volt lithium ion power screwdriver from our friends over at Ryobi. It is a great prize that I guarantee you will find projects to use it on every, single day.
TOM: It's worth 30 bucks so pick up the phone right now and give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Leslie, who's first?
LESLIE: Alicia in Alabama, you've got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
ALICIA: Yes, we have a sunroom with commercial carpet that some paint got spilled on the carpet. It's a big glob about eight inches.
ALICIA: And I was wondering if there's any way of getting this blob that dried hard or if you can paint commercial carpet.
TOM: Make it all match, huh? (laughs)
ALICIA: Make it all match, yes.
LESLIE: Is moving a piece of furniture over that stain completely out of the question?
TOM: Yeah, as is a throw rug? (Leslie chuckles)
ALICIA: Well, I've got a rug over it now.
ALICIA: But it is kind of in the middle of the room where ...
ALICIA: ... I ordinarily wouldn't have a rug there.
TOM: Do you happen to have an area of this carpet that maybe is in a closet or a place where you could cut out a piece and use that to patch in the area that's stained?
ALICIA: No, we don't.
TOM: Yeah. Well, I can't - we can't honestly recommend painting carpet. I think that when you buy paint, you know, carpet is not one of the things that are listed as it being qualified to cover.
LESLIE: Now is the carpet a light - describe the color of the paint and the color of the carpet.
ALICIA: The paint is a light beige and the carpet is blue.
TOM: Well, you can dye carpet but you can't paint carpet.
LESLIE: Yeah, you can dye carpet but generally if it's a lighter color going darker. And you've got a light-color paint on there with a deepish-tone carpet, so there's really nowhere for you to go. There's a good website that has carpet dyes and it's AmericolorDyes.com. But they might not be able to take you from a darker color, especially with a light stain on it and obviously the paint's been there for some time.
An option is - there's a company called Flor Carpet Tiles. F-l-o-r is how they spell it. You can search them online. And they sell carpet tiles that are sort of 20-inch square and you just piece them together and they do a full line of exterior carpets -you know, for a covered porch or any sort of area that's kind of screened in - and you might be able to do an overlay to make it look like an area rug or at least just pull that out and start from scratch and then you're in a situation where if you spill something again you can just pop out that one tile and put something down; a new one.
ALICIA: Alright. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You're welcome, Alicia. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT and buy a dropcloth next time, will you? (Leslie chuckles) Just so much better.
LESLIE: I'm telling you, that one time - I forget what we were doing. Oh, I know. We did the living room makeover and of course, being me, I made Ed and I do the entire makeover in one day; all the sewing, all the painting, all the moving the furniture back in. And you know, 11:00 at night we put the can of white trim paint on the top shelf in the garage, closed the garage door and we hear like BAM, CLANG, CLANG. (Tom chuckles) And we open up the garage door and the white can of paint has fallen on the floor and has completely spilled everywhere.
TOM: Well at least it was the garage.
LESLIE: Right and I turned to Ed. I'm like, 'Let's just paint it white like a stripe and call it a day.' (Tom chuckles) And he was like, 'I like that.' So now every time I go in that garage and I see that white stripe ...
TOM: It reminds you, right? (chuckles)
LESLIE: ... I'm like, 'Ugh, never do home improvements when half asleep.'
TOM: Yeah, well you know I learned that it's not always a good idea to do home improvements when you have young children around. My young son knocked down a can - a gallon of paint and it poured all the way down the staircase to the first floor.
LESLIE: Ooh, was this before you restained them?
TOM: It was bad.
LESLIE: Oh, Bad News Bears.
TOM: It was bad. It was ugly.
TOM: But you can't tell today. We got it cleaned up.
LESLIE: Mike in Utah has a driveway that needs some help. What can we do for you today?
MIKE: Yeah, I have - the surface is breaking up and of course I put salt on in the winter and I think that's the cause but I'm not sure.
LESLIE: Most likely.
MIKE: OK. And my question is first of all, how do I repair it; and once I get it repaired, how can I prevent it from happening in the future?
TOM: Well, you can repair it. There is a website I would recommend called Abatron - A-b-a-t-r-o-n - and they make different types of coating materials. You're going to use an epoxy sealant on top of the driveway to seal in the cracks and also to topcoat it and kind of give you a surface that you can work on from there. In terms of what do you use next winter, well you use Safe-T-Salt, calcium chloride, potassium chloride; but not sodium chloride, which is probably what you did this time.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, which really eats away at the concrete and you'll notice, after a season, pock marks, divots, all sorts of horrible facial disturbances to the concrete itself.
TOM: Buy it, mix it up with some sand and keep it handy and that will not damage the driveway.
MIKE: OK, thank you very much.
TOM: You're welcome, Mike. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. And out in Utah you need a lot of that Safe-T-Salt.
LESLIE: Seriously. You know here, where I live in New York, it's tough. I always buy the first batch I find - you know, October, before the snow even thinks about falling - and then when I run out of it there's never any left. So it's like I never learn my lesson. I just need to fill up that cart; stock it up. Because you'll use it.
LESLIE: You are listening to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
TOM: Up next, some tips on growing green with your home improvement projects; especially if you've got to buy some lumber for those projects. How do you know if the lumber you're buying is truly sustainable and you're not cutting down a forest just to get your addition done? Well, we're going to give you some tips on how to be confident in your choices, next.
[audio timestamp: 0:08:20.3]
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Aprilaire, makers of professionally-installed, high-efficiency air cleaners. For more information go to Aprilaire.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And you should give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT because one caller we talk to this hour is going to win the four-volt lithium ion power screwdriver from Ryobi. It's a great little tool that holds a charge for up to two years and it includes a set of driver bits. It's worth 30 bucks. So pick up the phone and give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well give us a call if you're thinking about going green; especially if the way you'd like to do your part to save the planet is by choosing sustainable wood products to use throughout your home. And there are a few signs to look for to make sure that the wood you are actually getting is truly sustainable wood. The clearest signal is a Forest Stewardship Council or FSC certification that's right on the packaging. Now the FSC is a nonprofit organization that is totally devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world's forest and if you see it's logo on a wood or a paper product you know that the item has met strict forestry standards that really ensure environmental responsibility, social benefit and economic viability.
TOM: Other sustainable wood options include wood materials reclaimed from construction demolition and other salvage situations; and so, with a little local research you can actually find several options. Also consider rapidly-renewable products like bamboo and cork, which are just gorgeous, by the way, and they make really good floors; especially the bamboo. You know, I've heard that bamboo, in some cases, can be harder than steel. Hard to believe, but when it's laminated upright it really is tough stuff. So there are lots of beautiful, sustainable and durable alternatives to traditional hardwoods. You've just got to look a little deeper and you will find them and your house will be beautiful.
So, if you're thinking about tackling a home improvement project with any of those products give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Or maybe you've got a repair on your mind you'd like to get fixed. We'll help you out.
Leslie, who's next?
LESLIE: Jane in New Jersey needs some help around the garden. What can we do for you?
JANE: I have a patio ...
JANE: ... and there was a tree blocking - the leaves blocked it; covering it with all the shade. And now the tree is down but I have moss growing in between the pavers.
JANE: What can I do to remove the moss?
TOM: You want to spray a bleach and water solution on the patio.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, that'll kill that moss.
TOM: Mm-hmm, it'll kill the moss. And then you can pressure wash it off; the rest of it.
JANE: How many parts of bleach to the water?
TOM: I would go about one-third bleach and two-thirds water.
TOM: Okey-dokle. (Tom and Leslie chuckles) Jane, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Now, I live in New Jersey and I never heard anybody say ...
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) And you've never heard okey-dokle?
TOM: ... okey-dokle. Nope.
LESLIE: What is that QUIKRETE product? Is it the ProLock (sp)? It's that joining sand.
TOM: The joining sand, yeah; and that might not be a bad idea for her to put that in after the fact because that sand product that QUIKRETE has, it actually solidifies and kind of locks the pavers together and stops ...
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and this way nothing can grow up between there.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
LESLIE: But it's still - you know if you ever need to take out a paver you can but it sort of makes this, you know like semi-suctiony lock thing that's temporary.
TOM: It's okey-dokle.
LESLIE: It's okey-dokle. (Tom chuckles) I'm going to add that to my repertoire.
TOM: There you go. Use that in a sentence today.
LESLIE: Alright, well a lot of this country is seeing a ton of rain but some parts of the country are in heavy drought, like Doug in Alabama. What's going on where you live?
DOUG: Well, we are in a heavy drought and I've got a concern. I was looking around right next to my house and I saw some big cracks in the ground kind of buckling and I was wondering if this could possibly affect my foundation in any way. It's on a crawlspace and I was just wanting your opinion on whether maybe I should keep moisture there; you know closer to the house.
TOM: Doug, there are some parts of the country that have expansive soils that are impacted by the amount of moisture and those foundations have to be properly constructed to stand up to that but in your part of the country I don't think that that's the case and your home should be doing just fine because the foundation that it's constructed upon is welled down deep in the soil below where the soil seems to be drying out and cracking, which is going to be on the surface. So I would say that it's unlikely that that's going to have any effect on your house whatsoever.
DOUG: OK, well that's good to know and I guess probably moisture might be a bigger issue; maybe too much rain on the foundation.
TOM: Well that's generally the problem we get lots of calls about; you know too much water; water, water, everywhere and it never seems to go where you want it. That's why we speak so frequently about the importance of grading and drainage so that soil slopes away and runs water away from the foundation. Right now you've just got to kind of buckle in and wait til you get through this drought and everything will be back to normal.
DOUG: Well that sounds good. Well, I sure appreciate the information.
TOM: You're welcome, Doug. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Noah in New York is looking to put his home on the market. How can we help you sell it?
NOAH: Thank you very much. I have a 100-year-old stone house that I'm selling. I right now have a passive hot-air floor furnace and have vents for the upstairs bedrooms.
TOM: Ah, you have a really old house.
TOM: That's how - actually, my house used to heated that way. You have a floor furnace that is gravity-fed and then you have, essentially, holes in the floor above and that's how the heat gets upstairs.
NOAH: Right. It really works well.
TOM: Oh, it does.
NOAH: In selling the house they want me to have central heat for the mortgage.
TOM: So you're trying to figure out the best option?
NOAH: Yeah, I have the liquid propane up there.
TOM: The best thing to do would be to put in a forced-air system ...
NOAH: Forced air, OK.
TOM: ... and that's going to require running ducts. If you do that you can add central air conditioning at the same time, which would probably add to the value of the home. It's going to be a big project but if you have a really good HVAC contractor, Noah, he can advise you on how you could run those ducts with a minimal amount of construction disturbance.
TOM: And that's probably the best thing.
NOAH: Sounds great.
TOM: Alright, Noah. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Olive in New Hampshire, you've got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
OLIVE: I'd like to ask a question about vinyl siding. I'm thinking of having vinyl siding put on my house and I've gotten a couple of estimates and one of the companies told me that they use a 3/8-inch foam insulation board and one of the companies is telling me they use Tyvek. And also one company says they have to remove the old clapboards and the other company says no. So what is correct?
TOM: OK. You have old clapboard siding right now? So you have - you know it looks like vinyl but it's made of wood?
OLIVE: Yes, it is. It's cedar clapboards.
TOM: Alright. Cedar clapboards; what a shame. So you have to pull that off. If you don't pull that off what's going to happen is the vinyl siding is going to be sort of very thick around the windows and you'll have to extend probably the trim to make it look right. It's possible to put it over the siding but it usually looks better if you take it off. In terms of the insulation, I don't think that that 3/8 of an inch of Styrofoam behind the siding adds very much insulation at all to the siding and I don't think it's worth spending any extra money for it. The vapor barrier, on the other hand - the Tyvek -- that ...
TOM: ... is an excellent investment. That's going to go a long way, if it's installed properly, to cutting back on drafts that are going to make you very uncomfortable in that house. So, all factors being equal, I would remove the old siding and I would apply a vapor barrier.
TOM: If you want to save some money you probably don't have to remove the old siding, but just make sure that they can make it look right around the windows and doors because that siding is so thick right now that when you add the vinyl on top of it you're talking about like another inch worth of material. It may not look right.
OLIVE: It may not look right. That's true. To be honest with you, I'm really undecided about even having it done because my cedar clapboards are in pretty good shape. I do have some dry rot in a few areas of the fascia boards, so ...
TOM: Was it painted or stained last time?
OLIVE: It's stained.
TOM: Well, why don't you just restain it then?
TOM: Yeah. I mean if you restain it and if you prime it - if you oil prime it first and then restain it with a good semi-transparent or solid color, repair the boards, you know you can get a good 10 or 12 years out of that.
OLIVE: Right. That's great. Well, very good. I really appreciate your answering my questions and I love The Money Pit show. It's the best show on radio.
TOM: Well, thank you so much for saying that.
OLIVE: Thanks very much.
TOM: You are listening to The Money Pit. When we come back we're going to talk about a brand, spanking new paint that allows you to paint and prime in one step. That's right, prep and paint all at the same time. It's going to save you both time and money, so stick around.
[audio timestamp: 0:17:54.1]
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Citrus Magic; the all-natural, super-strong air freshener available in spray and solid form. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call us now with your home improvement question. Call us now with your do-it-yourself dilemma. Before you pick up the hammer, before you pick up the paintbrush, pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Hey, speaking of paint brushes, well by now you know that we are big believers in properly prepping your surfaces before you do any painting. It can be time-consuming. We know it's tedious. We know it's an extra step but the result is well worth it.
LESLIE: Ah, but now you can shave at least some of the time off exterior painting projects and a few bucks, too; which we know you really are interested in. So here to tell us more about a paint from Behr that can prime and paint in one step, we've got Scott Richards and he is the senior VP of marketing for Behr paints.
SCOTT: Thank you, Leslie. Great to be with you.
TOM: So Scott, tell us about this technology. I mean we are so accustomed to thinking of priming and painting as being ...
LESLIE: As two separate products.
TOM: Yeah, two completely separate products with two really completely separate jobs; the primer being more of the bonding agent and the painting topcoat being more of the coloring agent. How were you guys able to crack this code and get it all in one product?
SCOTT: Well it really has to do with the raw materials that we use. We basically found a binder material where we were able to combine the primer qualities, which are really stain-blocking and adhesion, and mix them with a topcoat. And so, basically, you get both the priming and the topcoat all in one step.
LESLIE: But Scott, how does it work? I mean since it's a combination of primer and paint, is it a one-coat wonder?
SCOTT: It actually is a one-coat wonder and that's because the binder that is used in this particular paint has the characteristics of both a primer and a topcoat. So what it does is a primer, it allows you go to over and it supplies tannin-blocking, mildew-resistance; you can go over metal; and then all the decorative elements that you would in a topcoat.
LESLIE: Now how does this sort of work? I mean when we're dealing with exterior paint we really need to be concerned about moisture and particularly mold growth. Is there an additive? I mean it always seems like the buzz word lately is, 'Oh, it's antimicrobial.' Is there a feature to this paint, as well, that has that?
SCOTT: Yes, basically the paint has mildicides within it and then, on top of that, the actual paint film is going to be a denser or tighter film than an ordinary paint and therefore there aren't the little areas or indentations where mold and mildew can actually grow in the paint film. Think of the paint film as being kind of smooth as glass and mildew will not grow on that.
LESLIE: So is it only in gloss or are there other options?
SCOTT: No, we have three sheens. We have flat, satin and semi-gloss.
TOM: We're talking to Scott Richards - he's the senior vice president of marketing for Behr paints - about some new technology in paint that allows you to prime and paint in one step.
Scott, if you're repainting a project, a home that's already had paint, is there any special prep that's required before you apply this product?
SCOTT: No, just to prepare the surface; make sure it's clean. You can either spot prime or you can paint two coats over the whole thing. I would say that probably most people on the exterior tend to spot prime and then put on a topcoat. But the one thing about this product, too, is that it can over rusty metals. So when you're painting you don't have to keep on switching back and forth when you go from wood to flashings and other types of material.
TOM: That's great.
SCOTT: In addition to that it's a low-temp paint.
TOM: Oh, so you can paint when it's pretty chilly out.
SCOTT: You can go down to - when the air is 35 degrees you can still paint.
TOM: Well with all due respect, Scott, I don't like to paint when it's 35 degrees out. (Tom and Leslie chuckle) But I guess if you did want to it's nice to know that you can.
Scott Richards, senior VP for Behr, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
The product is called Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior Paint. It's available exclusively at Home Depot stores nationwide. It's a really cool product. I mean what a labor saver, Scott, that you don't have to do this in two steps; you can do it all in one.
SCOTT: Absolutely. Most people feel guilty about not priming, so think of it this way: it removes the guilt because you're doing it at the same time.
TOM: (overlapping voices) (chuckling) Hey, no guilt here.
SCOTT: Thank you, Tom.
LESLIE: Alright, Scott. Thanks for that cool information about a brand, spanking new paint that we are going to put to the test. I'm going to actually use it this very weekend at my own money pit for a banister railing project.
Well, if you find that your home becomes wiped out by a hurricane or other catastrophe - I mean it is summer storm season; you never know what could be knocking at your door from Mother Nature - would you be able to remember every, single possession - while you're a frantic, nervous wreck because your house was destroyed - that you owned for your insurance adjuster who's asking you everything right at that moment? We're going to tell you a quick way that's going to help you document all of your home's contents, after this.
[audio timestamp: 0:23:28.7]
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Rheem water heaters. For dependable, energy-efficient tank and tankless water heaters, you can trust Rheem. Learn more at SmarterHotWater.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Making good homes better. Welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete and you should give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Let us know what you're working on and we can give you a hand to get that job done right. We can even give you the tools to get the job done. We're giving away, to one lucky caller this hour, a four-volt lithium ion power screwdriver from our friends over at Ryobi. It's a great little tool. It can hold it's charge for up to two years; although we know you'll use it a lot faster with all of your home improvement projects. And it also includes a set of driver bits. It's worth 30 bucks, so give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT for your chance to win.
Well, it is summer storm season and it's a good time to talk about ways to protect your house; especially in the unlikely but tragic possibility of a total loss. You know a hurricane, a tornado, a flash flood or even a mudslide - if you live in that part of the country, could destroy your house pretty quickly and if it did, would you be able to describe each and every item inside the house to file that insurance claim? Well of course you wouldn't. So here's a little trick of the trade.
Grab a video camera and go around and shoot every room. Go wall to wall. Open the drawers. Open the doors. Drop that camera into the closet space. Record everything. This way, if you ever had to try to recreate an inventory of everything that you lost, you can go through the tape slowly and surely and come up with a pretty good list.
Now, here's the most important thing, though. Once you make that tape, don't store it in your house. (Leslie chuckles) Take it and store it somewhere else. Get a fireproof safe if you're going to keep it in your house. Put it in your safety deposit box. Put it in a trusted family or friend's house. Don't keep it in the same house that you're trying to protect.
Just a quick tip that could really help you recover quite quickly in the event your home was ever totally destroyed.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show standing by to answer your home improvement questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Let's get to it.
Leslie, who's next?
LESLIE: Art in Texas, welcome to The Money Pit. What can we do for you?
ART: Yes, I was curious to know which one is better; a radiant barrier that you can have sprayed in your attic or simply using aluminum foil stapled up there in the attic.
TOM: Well, they're both radiant barriers and you know one is more of a sheet good and one is a spray-applied. They're both going to work very well. And essentially what a radiant barrier does is it reflects the heat back up. The same way you can take, say, aluminum foil and put it over something that comes out of the oven and keep it warm that way because it reflects the heat back into the dish; that's essentially what it does in your attic but it reflects the heat back up. So I think both are good-quality products but I will say to you, Art, that the success of the product depends a lot on the installation. So I would definitely make my choice based also on the quality and the reputation of the installer to make sure it's installed properly.
ART: OK. Hey, I appreciate it.
TOM: You're welcome, Art. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
You know, working up in those attics is so difficult and if you don't do a really good job on the installation you're going to have big gaps where it's just not going to be effective.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Joseph in Delaware is doing some toilet repair. How can we help you on this journey?
JOSEPH: Yes, I have - late 1975/76 is when actually the house was built and I have no problem with the commodes but they're bolted into the back of the wall ...
JOSEPH: ... and there are four. There are two that are in the back of the wall and there are two in the base. Now I was going to have some remodeling done on my tubs and my walls and that and they were going to put tile floor down; then they came back and said, 'We're not sure but we think that this thing might empty out to the back of your - you know flush out through the back. So we can't raise your floor, so we can't put a tile floor down because we can't - when we have to raise the floor, the subfloor and the tile, it's not going to match up and we can't be responsible for that.'
TOM: Yeah. This sounds like a fairly unusual toilet. You said that the toilet is bolted to the wall behind it? Because typically the only bolts would be two bolts on the floor holding the base down to the floor. Are you telling me this is attached to both the wall and the floor?
JOSEPH: Right, and there are two bathrooms and one's on one side and one's in the other ...
JOSEPH: ... and in between the walls - between the two bathroom walls for some reason I don't know but I took the medicine cabinet out and electrical - there are like 17 inches of space between those two walls.
JOSEPH: And why I don't know but - so they said, 'We'll give you money to put vinyl down but we can't raise that floor because we don't think that hoppers are going to fit.'
TOM: Well, this is a job for a plumber. OK? The tile guys are not going to have the skills to make this repair. And in fact, you shouldn't expect them to have those skills. The plumber should really come in and look at that base and the plumber would be told where exactly the new floor is going to be height-wise and then can install the appropriate connection there ...
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, the neck for it, if you will.
TOM: ... so that the new toilet can be dropped right on or the old one can be put back if it's, in fact, able to be used again.
Joe, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
You know, Leslie, years and years ago there used to be a commercial that said, 'Is it real or is it Memorex?'
LESLIE: I remember that.
TOM: You remember that?
LESLIE: Yeah, I'm not that young.
TOM: (chuckling) Well, if you do it was talking about tape, you know audio tape, before we had all this new-fangled CD stuff.
LESLIE: Some of our listeners are like 'What is that?'
TOM: Yeah, what's a tape?
TOM: A cassette tape? It was a funny commercial. Anyway, you know this idea of trying to distinguish the real thing from the fake thing has come full circle when it comes to building products. Now it's really, really hard to tell. I mean the cement siding looks just like cedar siding and the fiberglass shingles just look like tile shingles. How do you tell the difference and is it ever worth it to buy the real thing anymore? We're going to help you sort that out, after this.
[audio timestamp: 0:30:18.0]
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior paint and primer in one with advanced NanoGuard technology to help you save time and money while preserving your home's exterior finish. For more information, visit Behr.com. That's B-e-h-r.com. Behr products are available exclusively at The Home Depot. Now here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or head on over to MoneyPit.com and shoot us an e-mail. We can be the voices in your head as well when you download our free podcast at Money Pit online. We've got a year's worth of shows there for the taking. You can even search them all by topic.
LESLIE: Alright, well jumping into our e-mail bag right now and we've got one here from Bradley in Cranston, Rhode Island who writes: 'I am planning to rebuild a house on the water and I would love to use cedar shingles. I know they can be stained to prevent them from turning black but are there any artificial shingles that actually look like real cedar, especially since I'm so close to the water?
TOM: Yes, hardy plank would be the choice for you, my friend. Hardy plank is a cement-based shingle. It looks very real. They even come prepainted from the factory with a very substantial warranty. I actually have hardy plank cedar shingle-like-looking planks on my garage because I have real cedar shingles on the house and it matches quite nicely and the paint has been holding up really, really well. So I think that's a great choice, especially for a house near the water.
LESLIE: Alright, we've got another here from Carl in Milltown, New Jersey who writes: 'Our home was built in 1900 and we are renovating.' Ooh, it's kind of like your house. 'We removed wallpaper from the walls in our bedroom and there is another coat of paper underneath it that does not want to come off. It's been suggested that we cover this thin paper with an oil-based primer. The walls are plaster on lathboard. What should we do?' Sounds like that's that liner paper; that first step; that prep.
TOM: Yeah. You know I would try to get it off. If it doesn't want to come off you definitely should prime it first because primer is really the glue that makes the paint stick. So I think priming is a good idea. Plus it's going to give you sort of a very even surface ...
TOM: ... so that the paint is going to lay nicely; the next layer will lay nicely. If it's a difficult surface and you have any question about the primer, make sure that you use an oil base. That has a better adhesion capability sometimes with the tougher surfaces, especially when there's a lot unknown as to what's there.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and if you haven't already tried steaming - can you steam even if it's over plaster or does that get a little dicey?
TOM: I think you can. Sure. Absolutely. I don't see why you can't do that.
LESLIE: So if the steaming doesn't work then definitely go with the primer but you're going to have to live with the seams on that paper, which aren't going to go away regardless of how much paint you put on there.
TOM: No, that's not the pretty part.
LESLIE: No. So think about maybe incorporating a stripe into your painting technique because then that could make use of that seam.
TOM: You know, you could almost make it look like wallpaper (chuckles), once again. (Leslie chuckles) Do a little faux painting job there.
LESLIE: It might be easier to hang more wallpaper though.
TOM: Well if it's been a little warm around your house and you're wondering if your air conditioning is working correctly, there's a simple test that you can do to make sure it's working properly. Leslie has got that detail in today's edition of Leslie's Last Word.
LESLIE: Well if it's a little hot in your house and you're wondering if your AC is actually working and you actually have AC, well that's a good thing. Then we can go forward and proceed with this test. If you were in my house, you would say, 'Wait, you don't have air conditioning so don't do that.' (Tom chuckles) But if you've got air conditioning, here's a quick way to test it without calling in a pro and spending a ton of cash.
Go ahead, get a thermometer and measure the airflow at the supply and at the return duct nearest the blower. The temperature difference should be between 12 and 20 degrees; that's it. If it's not, your system is not running efficiently and probably needs some refrigerant, which can easily be added by your local HVAC pro and costs far less than coming out to diagnose the entire problem.
TOM: For more tips on having a cool and comfortable home all summer long, log onto MoneyPit.com and click on Find Your Project. There's a section there on cooling with everything you need to know.
Hey, coming up next week on the program, do you need a new garage door opener? We're going to help you sort out which kind is best for your family and especially which one is the safest. That's coming up next week. 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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(Copyright 2008 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)