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 1 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: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. Take a look around your house. What do you want to improve? What do you want to fix up? What do you want to repair? What do you want to build new? Call us right now and let's talk about it. 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Now, besides talking about home improvements, I want it to be very clear that we actually do occasionally pick up the hammer and the nails ourselves. I know this because Leslie is filled with paint from her weekend pergola project. (laughing)
LESLIE: It's ...
TOM: What'd you build?
LESLIE: It's a combination fence/pergola. There's a new fence, partial overhang, a 10x10 slate patio. You know, digging and digging and aggregate and sand and tamping and leveling. And there's a lot of work that goes into it. And I have to tell you, when I work on While You Were Out or Trading Spaces, it's lovely to do things for other people and it's nice to see the looks on their faces and to bring joy and design and just newness to their home. But to do something for yourself, you sort of feel like, 'Oh, I don't ... you know, I don't have time to do it for myself or I don't deserve a nice backyard.' But darn it! I like it and it looks gorgeous.
TOM: Good for you. Now, are you a little harder on yourself, in terms of the quality of the workmanship, than you are with the ... with the people that you do for Trading Spaces or While You Were Out?
LESLIE: You know, it's kind of hard because when you're working on someone else's home, you really want to keep things perfect. And when you're working on your home and the rain comes down and your back is hurting, you're like, 'It's fine.' (laughing)
TOM: That's not me. If I'm working on somebody else's house, I say, 'Bah. Can't see it from New York City.' (laughing)
LESLIE: Oh! We usually say on set, 'Can't see that from our hotel room.'
TOM: (laughing) That's right. Well, that sounds pretty good. So it's a ... it's a fence and a pergola. So I guess that makes it's a ...
LESLIE: It's a fence/pergola hybrid.
TOM: It's a fencola.
LESLIE: (chuckling) Exactly. Or a furgola. (laughing)
TOM: (overlapping voices) So you've invented a new home improvement project.
Well, listen, it's a great time to get outside and work on those improvement projects. Whether it's a deck, whether it's a patio, whether it's a fence or a pergola or a fencola (laughing), like Leslie built, call us right now. Let's talk about it. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We will give you the answer to your home improvement question and a chance at winning a great prize from Ryobi.
LESLIE: That's right. We're giving away a Ryobi multiTASKit and you won't have to wish for an extra hand anymore and you won't have to bribe your friends to come over with beer or pizza. That's right, folks. You've got the extra hand with the multiTASKit. It's worth about 35 bucks and if we answer your call on air, it could be yours for free.
TOM: So call us right now. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Leslie, who's first?
LESLIE: Susan from New Jersey's up next on The Money Pit. And you want to talk about metal roofs. What can we do for you?
SUSAN: Hi. We own a split-level house with a walk-up attic and we want to turn it into a bonus room. We want to finish it off. And we were wondering if installing a metal roof will reduce the heating costs ... will reduce the heat coming into the house and into that bonus room.
LESLIE: Oh, I think absolutely.
TOM: Yeah, you know, metal roofs today have special coatings that are very energy efficient. And they can reflect the UV rays back out.
LESLIE: Which'll keep things cooler.
TOM: The old metal roofs that you think about that you might have had on the old farms and the old houses, you know, could act as heat sinks. But the new ones have these very high-tech coatings that prevent that from happening. So, putting a metal roof on actually is a very energy efficient thing to do. And, in fact, it will actually qualify for energy tax credits. You know there's ... there's this ... the Department of Energy has energy tax credits now that you could qualify for. So if you put a metal roof on your house, believe it or not, you will qualify for a tax credit.
LESLIE: Yeah, and they're so beautiful, Susan, these metal roofs. If you go to MetalRoofing.com, it's the website for the Metal Roof Alliance. And it gives you all the information that you would need about how to find a contractor in your area. It gives you different photos so you can choose all the different types of roofing that's available; that R-metal (ph). It's a great choice and it's really good-looking.
SUSAN: I've got one more question about metal roofing, too. What do you know about the noise factor? How noisy are metal roofs when it rains or if it hails? Has that improved over the years?
TOM: I think it's not going to be any noisier than a ... than a ... than an asphalt shingle roof. Because, in general, when you think of a metal roof being very noisy, it's typically because it's over an unfinished space, you know, with no insulation and no drywall and minimal framing; such as you might see in a shed or a barn. But when you put it on a home and you put it on properly and with the new roofs and the new coatings, I don't think you're going to find it to be very noisy at all.
LESLIE: Yeah. And you can even put the new metal roofs right on top of your existing roof shingles because they're so lightweight. So I think it would be super-insulated below it and not very noisy at all.
SUSAN: OK, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
TOM: You're welcome, Susan. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Ronnie in Florida's got windows on the mind and it's a great time to address a window situation. What's going on?
RONNIE: Well, we've just moved into a new house and they say all the windows are up to code. And they say that the windows, no matter what the color of the tint on it - even though these are clear - it has a 99 percent UV protection.
RONNIE: So first off, A - how do I know it has it on there? And B - what does that mean, 99 percent? Does that mean the one percent will fade (laughing) my stuff that much less? Do I have to put a piece of construction paper up there with a leaf on it to see what kind of fading we're talking about?
LESLIE: To see if they're serious about it. It sounds like they're talking about low-e glass. Did they mention that to you?
TOM: Either that or they're talking about tinting; that the windows have been tinted; they've had a tinting material added to them. Because I don't think low-e glass by itself is going to keep the UV out. It'll reflect a lot of the heat.
RONNIE: (overlapping voices) Well, they said that this has some kind of tinting on it ...
RONNIE: ... but you just don't notice it unless you put another glass in front of it.
RONNIE: And you do. It's got like sliding doors, so when you put one in front of the other, you can see that there was tinting. It's just not obvious.
TOM: Alright. Ronnie, are these fairly new windows or is this an older home?
RONNIE: No, brand new house.
TOM: Oh, it's a brand new house.
LESLIE: And there's no documentation as to who the window manufacturer is?
RONNIE: I guess how do you know it's ... well, I see that it's tinted in some areas. In some areas you can't slide the window; you know, it's like a permanently closed window over the door. So you can't slide another window over it to see if it has tinting. So how do you know it has tinting? And then, what does 99 percent mean? Is that like one percent fat-free milk? (chuckling)
RONNIE: And you know ... because the difference between one and two is tremendous.
TOM: Well, Ronnie, what you're trying to really understand here is you're trying to get to the facts on something that you really can't see that, I guess, a builder has put in for you. And the way to determine what the window construction really means is by something called the NFRC label. That's stands for the National Fenestration Rating Council. And it's a standardized label that was probably on your window at one point that perhaps since has been removed. But if you can find this label on the windows or if you can get in touch with the builder or the manufacturer and find out what the NFRC label stats are, you're going to learn a lot about the glass.
They talk about things like the U factor, which measures how well the window prevents heat from escaping. It has something called the solar heat gain coefficient, which measures how well the product blocks heat caused by sunlight. It has a number that determines how much air leakage can get through. And also something called the visible transmittance, which basically measures how much light, or UV, gets through.
And the NFRC label is good because it's a standard by which all windows can be compared. I think, at this stage, not having access to that information, it's going to be virtually impossible for you to know what that window can do for you because it ...
LESLIE: Well, because it could have also been a film that was applied after the window was installed itself. Because they do make tinted window films which say to do the same thing. They say that they reduce solar heat gain. So it could be that as well.
TOM: Now, here's what you need ... here's what you need to do. You need to contact the builder or the window manufacturer and find out ... get a copy of the NFRC label for those windows. That's what's going to tell you what that window was tested to and what that window can actually do for you. You can't talk to the NFRC. You have to find the label and then use their ... that information to determine what you want. If you want more information on how windows are rated, you can go to their website, which is NFRC.org. That's NFRC - for the National Fenestration Rating Council - .org.
Ronnie, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, Money Pit listeners. Did you know that a thief breaks into a home or business about every 15 seconds? And most are going to choose an easy target. So, maybe you want to think about making your home less appealing to those burglars than someone else's. And hopefully, that thief will move on.
TOM: So if you're wondering the easiest way to scare a burglar away from your house, we'll have the answer to that question, next.
[audio timestamp: 10:30]
[audio timestamp: 13:17]
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is being sponsored by Metal Roofing Alliance. We call metal roofing investment-grade roofing. Because in your lifetime, a metal roof will save you money and add value to your home. To find a Metal Roofing Alliance contractor or to learn more about investment-grade roofing, visit www.metalroofing.com.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: So Leslie, you said it. Every 15 seconds, a burglar breaks into a home ...
LESLIE: Scary thought.
TOM: ... or a business. It is a scary thought. He must be a very busy burglar.
LESLIE: (chuckling) Especially if he's doing all of the robbing nationwide.
TOM: Exactly. But if we'd just catch him (laughing), we'd probably solve the whole problem.
Well, you know, a dark home is an easy target, letting a thief work on breaking in under the cover of darkness. But keeping burglars away by keeping lights on all the time gets very expensive. So what's the answer? Motion detectors, guys. They're inexpensive to buy and easy to install. These special lights surprise unwanted visitors by coming on when anyone gets within 50 feet of your house. They are a really safe, bright idea.
LESLIE: I like that, Tom. A bright idea for the lighting. You're so clever. (laughing)
Well, everybody, you want to be clever like Tom?
TOM: I'm like a segue king. (laughing) I just ... I just have to find a segue.
LESLIE: It's what you do.
TOM: It's what you do.
LESLIE: (chuckling) Alright, everybody. We've got a great prize this week.
TOM: (overlapping voices) I'll be like, 'Good morning, honey. And speaking of morning, how's those eggs coming?' (laughing)
LESLIE: You are terrible.
TOM: (overlapping voices) That's when I get hit with the spatula.
LESLIE: Yeah, with the frying pan. (laughing) Cong! Make your own darn eggs, Tom! That's what I would say.
TOM: Speaking of cast iron frying pans, I better get to work, today, on some home improvement. Where's my hammer?
LESLIE: (laughing) Well, speaking of home improvement, I've got a prize for you. How's that, Tom? I'm learning.
TOM: Very good, very ... you're learning. You're learning.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Learning from the best.
Alright, everybody. We've got a great prize. It's the Ryobi multiTASKit and what's so super cool about this is it acts like their stud finder. It adheres to the wall with their vacu-grip technology. It's a combination stud finder. It's got an extra hand so you don't have to bribe your friends to come over. It's got a magnetic tray to hold all the bits and bobs. It's got a light if you need to have an extra light. So you don't need to bribe anybody anymore. You can do all those projects that require an extra hand on your own.
TOM: You know what I like about it? That magnetic tray that you talked about, holding the bits and the bobs.
LESLIE: That's right.
TOM: Because there's nothing that ruins a home improvement project quicker than not having a place to put your bits and your bobs. (laughing) Don't you agree? It's very frustrating.
LESLIE: You know, when you work for the BBC for a long time, like I do with While You Were Out ...
LESLIE: ... you pick up Britishisms. Bits and bobs. That's one of them.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Oh and bits and bobs is a Britishism? OK. (laughing)
LESLIE: Oh, grab all those bits and bobs, Leslie. I'm like, 'The screws? Oh, OK, I've got it.' Got it.
TOM: (overlapping voices) The bits and the bobs. So the bits and the bobs and everything else you need is contained within the Ryobi multiTASKit. So give us a call right now. We'll throw your name in The Money Pit hardhat. You could win just that. 888-666-3974. The website, MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Rod in Colorado's listening to The Money Pit on KNFO. And you've got a bathtub question. How can we help?
ROD: I'm calling because I wanted to know if there's any resources out there to help me build a custom tub to make my bathroom seem bigger.
TOM: Hmm. A custom tub.
TOM: You know, there's so many tubs that are available out there, Rod. Why would you want to build your own?
ROD: Well, I have a very small condo and the bathroom is this ... a very tight room. It doubles as the wash room with a washer and dryer. And by building a custom tub and ... I can gain that ... about three to four inches. And I want to just wide enough to sit the shower doors to slide across and then I can sink the far end into the wall.
TOM: OK. Well, if you were to build it - and I'm not saying that I would - but if I was to do that, probably you would be building it much the same way that you line a shower pan. Which is, in essence, a custom tub. You frame it out with wood or whatever material you're using first and then you use fiberglass the same way you'd apply fiberglass like on a roof deck. You'd put layers of fiberglass and layers of resin together to kind of build up that shell.
Now, on top of that, you're going to have to decide what kind of surface you want. Now, with a shower pan, you typically use tile. But I guess it's possible to ...
LESLIE: You could do a tile tub.
TOM: Well, I guess you could do a tile tub. Maybe you could use the small mosaic tiles.
LESLIE: Yeah, you could do a tile tub. Even if you did just sort of like a rectangular tub and didn't give it a curved wall. You could do beautiful tile work in there.
ROD: Right. That's what I was thinking. And I understand that there's supposed to be 1/100 grade to slope into the drain.
TOM: Well, as long as it slopes to the drain, you'll be OK.
TOM: So the water doesn't stand. Alright, Rod? So you can do it. It's a lot of work but it sounds like you've got a specific reason in mind. And if you use fiberglass to get it waterproof first, then the rest of it is just cosmetic.
ROD: What kind of a ... would I just use your basic grouting and tile sub-surface (ph) to put that onto the fiberglass?
TOM: Absolutely. You would adhere the tile to the fiberglass with an adhesive. Then you'd use grouting in between the tiles themselves. You might want to think about using an epoxy grout because it's not going to soak up the dirt quite as ... quite as much as a sand grout would.
TOM: Alright, Rod?
ROD: Thank you.
TOM: Thank you so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Man, that sounds like a big project for three inches.
TOM: It sure does. (chuckling) I definitely wouldn't build my own tub. I'd build my own shower stall but I wouldn't do a tub.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Man. And fiberglass isn't always the easiest stuff to work with.
TOM: It really isn't. (chuckling) It's itchy and scratchy and boy, if you don't get it right, it's going to leak but you won't find out about that until you're done with your tile.
LESLIE: Until your downstairs neighbor is mad at you. (laughing) Alright, good luck to you, Rod.
TOM: OK. Who's next?
LESLIE: George from Tennessee is up next and what can we do for you here at The Money Pit?
GEORGE: Well, we have been having a lot of trouble with our commode. It's very erratic in its operation. Sometimes it vortexes correctly and all the material disappears. Other times, when the surplus is ... just goes round and round and does not vortex, generally leaving a mess.
GEORGE: And ...
TOM: George, how old is the toilet that you're working with?
GEORGE: Well I, frankly, don't know, since it's not mine. What do you think?
TOM: Well, you know, there's a way to tell and that is you can lift up the lid of the toilet and look inside and toilets are always dated. But the reason I ask that question is I'm trying to determine if it's a low-flow toilet. Do you think it's more than 10 years old?
GEORGE: Probably, yes.
TOM: Hmm. Well, there's a couple of things. First of all, if the toilet ... if the waste lines are not properly vented, you're not going to get good flow. If, of course, there's an obstruction there that you can't see, you're not going to get good flow. And have you taken a look to make sure that there's nothing obstructed in there? There could be something that's lodged partway down the pipe.
GEORGE: Well, we ... the owner's agent had gotten a plumber in here when we first came in. And the plumber was not able to find anything.
GEORGE: I mean we (inaudible) try that, so I don't know. My wife still thinks there's something down the drain, maybe. She says the previous owner had dogs and cats and she thinks that maybe cat fur or something like that's down the drain. I don't know.
TOM: Hmm. Well, let's not speculate as to what's in there. But generally, if you're having a sluggish toilet like that, there's an obstruction somewhere. So I think your wife is probably correct. Now, I don't know if the plumber removed the toilet from the base, but that's probably a good place to start. I've actually seen times where you get obstructions in the throat of the toilet, in sort of the internal plumbing of the toilet. You've seen obstructions that form there that can slow that water down. But if the water's not flowing down, there's a blockage somewhere and you've got to identify that blockage.
So George, I think that your wife is right. Take her advice and keep looking for the obstruction because that sounds, to me, like why it's happening. Now, if it turns out that you check this out and you have a very, very young toilet, the only other thing I would consider is if it's one of the ... one of the low-flow toilets that's not vacuum pressure-assisted - in other words, it works just on gravity - those are horribly inefficient. You have to flush them two and three times, sometime, and if that's the case, I would just replace the toilet with a better quality one.
George, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright, Money Pit listeners. I'm sure you're familiar with this. Everybody knows about it. It's an American institution, practically. It's WD40. And it's got like - I would say, what? - a zillion uses? In fact, they list them on their website. And even, you know, our infamous door story, guys. You know my front door. When they finally put on the new hinges, I was opening and closing the door. Creak, creak, creak, creak. Whipped out my WD40. No more screeching.
TOM: Well, that's just one use. But you know, one of the challenges of using that stuff is always that it has like this big spray and it kind of gets all over the place. Well, we understand there's a new version of it now. It comes in a pen. And up next, we're going to talk to the CEO of WD40. His name is Garry Ridge. And he's got some tips on this new product. And I also want to ask him about the history of this product because I think it's really interesting. Do you know that WD40 was originally invented by rocket scientists? It's true. Learn more, next.
[audio timestamp: 22:47]
[audio timestamp: 22:58]
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit was brought to you by Ryobi, manufacturer of professional feature power tools and accessories with an affordable price for the do-it-yourselfer. Ryobi power tools. Pro features, affordable price. Available exclusively at The Home Depot. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Welcome back to this hour of The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement question. Let us help solve that do-it-yourself dilemma. The big ones and the little ones; the tiny ones; the annoying ones; the kind that the next product we're going to talk about can solve.
LESLIE: Yeah, and that product we're talking about is WD40. And if you've never used WD40, my guess would be that either you live under a rock or you just don't know anything about home improvement. (laughing) It's crazy. It's good for everything. It's practically a staple in every do-it-yourselfer's tool kit and even folks who are not so handy use it. It's got 100s of uses; everything from silencing squeaks to getting out grease.
TOM: Exactly. And now, you can take your WD40 everywhere you go. It's in a little pen that makes it easy and mess-free. With us, to talk about that, is the CEO of WD40 - Garry Ridge.
GARRY: G'day, Tom. G'day, Leslie.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Well, g'day. Now ...
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Hey. I just love talking to him.
TOM: We love talking to you, Garry. And I'd to start the interview by talking a little bit about the history of WD40 because it's a product that has a really fascinating background to it. Tell us about it.
GARRY: Unbelievable. Yeah, we're 53 years old, this year. And started in San Diego to stop rust and corrosion in the umbilical cord of the Atlas space rocket and, in fact, the skin of the rocket. And I often say there were 39 really good formulas but the 40th one was magnificent. (chuckling) And it was then named WD - water displacement - 40th formula and now has an awareness, I think - in the U.S. and with some of our latest numbers - of 98 percent of people know the brand, which is absolutely phenomenal.
TOM: That's interesting. It's got to be one of the most well-known products in the ... in the states, if not in the entire world. Now, Garry, this product has traditionally been available through a spray can - an aerosol can - and of course it had the little straw that attached to it that we ...
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Ah, that ever-losing red straw.
TOM: Yeah, that we were always losing it. And I know you came up with a container that's called the smart straw so that it's always attached. But now you've taken that in another step. You've made it very, very small so you can literally take this stuff wherever you go.
LESLIE: So you can fix squeaks at neighbor's houses.
GARRY: Yeah, squeaks on the go. (chuckling) The No-Mess Pen is just perfect for WD40 where you want it and nowhere else. And you know, you can ... it fits into a glove box or into a tool box, into a kitchen drawer, even in a handbag if you want to carry it in a handbag. But it particularly was developed so that you can get a little bit of WD40 wherever you want it. And the ladies love it. Our research was really focused on giving a product to ladies that can ... that they can use, that they feel comfortable with and that allows them to use it for so many different things.
TOM: Now, to describe this for our radio audience, we probably should say that it looks a lot like a highlighter. It has a felt tip that, basically, depresses and let's the material get into the felt tip and then you really have a lot of accuracy with how you apply this. And I think that's important because there are some times when you don't want to overspray; you want to get it just where you need it.
For example, I work a lot with television crews - as does Leslie - and I know that some of the crews that I've worked with, I've given them these pens and they just throw them in their camera bag. Because there's a situation where you don't want a big, stinking mess but you do need to get just a little bit - say, on the tripod - to lubricate it. And so, whether you're working with really small things - say, maybe even a fishing tackle box or something like that - or something very large, it's kind of cool that it ... that it gets into this pen.
Garry, why do you think it took so long to get the size down?
GARRY: You know, it may look simple, but it wasn't that easy. You know, there's a lot of research went into, particularly, that nib section that you talked about, to make sure that we got enough product into the nib so that it could be used at an angle and upside down. That took time to really perfect that. And I think we ... we took about a year-and-a-half and quite a substantial investment to get it to where we wanted to get it to.
TOM: Well, I guess that's what makes you so successful. That, you know, even something that appears simple to us, right now, really had just a tremendous amount of research - both engineering and consumer research - and to make sure that you got it right.
GARRY: The other thing that's great, too, is the ladies told us that they wanted a low odor. And interestingly enough, the WD40 that's in that pen is the same WD40 that's in the can. But because it's not aerosolized, it doesn't bloom like it does when you spray it out of a can. When you go to use it, the odor is much less than if you'd have used an aerosol can; even though it's exactly the same product.
TOM: Well, I picked mine up the other day to take a sticker off a door I was putting in. So that's just one of the many, many uses. We didn't overspray the door; we just rubbed it right on the sticker and off it came.
GARRY: Yes, well, you know, cleaning is really an area that WD40 excels. You know, from taking sticky labels off a glass to removing scuff marks off the floor. You know, I read some interesting stuff, the other day, on uses. You know, with the pen, you can do things like shine dull shoes. I even saw one here that someone told us they'd found - polish and shine seashells.
LESLIE: (chuckling) Do you think that people are just wondering what other uses they can do for WD40 so they just try it on anything?
GARRY: I think so. Listen to this one, Leslie. Cleans ostrich eggs for craft use.
LESLIE: That's very specific.
TOM: I heard, the other day, from a friend of mine that swears it also cures his tennis elbow. (chuckling) Now, I don't know if you would recommend that (laughing) on the packaging.
LESLIE: Is he rubbing it on the tennis elbow or drinking it? That's the question.
TOM: (overlapping voices) I didn't want to ... I didn't want to ask. (laughing)
Garry Ridge, CEO of WD40. Garry, thanks again for joining us. It's a pretty cool story. I love the story of the invention of this stuff. Who would have thought it was started by a bunch of rocket scientists?
LESLIE: I just love Garry's accent. I kind of have a thing for those crazy Aussies.
TOM: Oh, boy, we ought to keep you two apart if you see Garry at the hardware show.
LESLIE: (laughing) I really ... it's just fantastic. I enjoy interviewing him. Anytime, Garry Ridge.
Alright, Money Pit listeners. Do you want to cut two whole months off your cooling bills? Who doesn't. Well, no sweat. We'll tell you how to do just that, after this.
[audio timestamp: 29:18]
[audio timestamp: 32:27]
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit was 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: Welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I'm Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I'm Leslie Segrete.
TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. The website, MoneyPit.com. Call us right now if you've got a question about your home improvement project, need some help solving the do-it-yourself dilemma. Maybe you just want to win some cool stuff. We're giving away that Ryobi multiTASKit to one caller, this hour.
But right now, let's talk about your energy costs. Because we know that the summer is around the corner and it's going to cost you a whole bunch of money cooling your house. You want to reduce it? Think about this. You can cut two months off your air conditioning use by installing a whole-house fan.
Now, I know what you're thinking: 'But Tom, I already have an attic fan.' No, we are not talking about an attic fan. We're talking about a whole house fan.
LESLIE: Attic fans are going to increase your cooling bill.
TOM: Exactly. Attic fan, bad. Whole-house fan, good. That's a ... totally another explanation (laughing) but has to do with the fact that an attic fan will suck all of the hot air out of your attic and then reach into your house and steal the cool air. That's why attic fans are bad. But a whole-house fan is good because if it's properly installed - if you put it like sort of in the second floor ceiling or if it's a hallway if it's a ranch, you put it in the ceiling kind of in the bedroom area. And then, before you go to sleep or whenever you want some air through the house, you crack some windows open in different places around the house and then you set this thing to go on.
Now, I used to have one in a condo that I own, which was really cool because we put it on a timer. And we would set it to run for like an hour and there'd be a nice breeze being pulled through all the rooms in the house that we left windows open. And then, we went to sleep, the timer shut it off and that's was cool and I didn't run my air conditioner all night.
So I think using a whole-house fan is a great way to beat some of that air conditioning. And I figure you can knock at least a month off the season at the top of it; another month at the end of it. So, you know, you don't need to use that air conditioner quite as much.
LESLIE: That's a great idea. It really is. And to think that it could just cool all that air and just move it and make you feel good and save you bucks, folks. That's fantastic.
Alright, we've got another thing that's going to save you money, because it's free. If you win. That's right. We're giving away a prize. It's the Ryobi multiTASKit. It's a fantastic thing. It's a laser level. It's got a magnetic tray. It's got a light if you need to work in a dark space or you're working under the hood of the car. It'll even stick itself there. So it's got a lot of great uses. And the coolest thing, it's got this yellow grippy robo hand looking thing. And if you're working with chair rail or long planks or long boards or you just need an extra hand holding something, it'll do it for you. It's worth 35 bucks but it could be yours for free if we answer your question on air and draw your name out of the Money Pit hardhat. So call in right now at 888-MONEY-PIT.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Let's get back to the phones.
LESLIE: Gordon in Florida wants to talk about boundaries. Are you trying to keep people in or keep people out?
GORDON: Trying to keep bugs out.
TOM: (chuckling) OK. Bugs.
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Oh, bugs out.
TOM: Alright. How can we help you?
GORDON: I'm in Florida and my daughter had built a farmhouse in North Carolina ...
GORDON: ... with a deck all the way around and about 56 feet long in front and back and 30 feet on the sides. And it has a roof over it. But the problem is it's attached to the house, of course, all the way around. But she's getting these wasps that come in from the farm land and she's got about maybe a five ... five foot open all the way around. And she's thinking about putting a picket fence with, you know ... picket screen fence down from the deck to keep the wasps out.
TOM: You mean actually turning this roofed deck area into a screen room.
GORDON: Yeah. Well, you see, the roof is over the deck alright.
TOM: Right, mm-hmm.
GORDON: But she's getting ... the bugs are going underneath and they're making nests in the ground underneath.
GORDON: And she's trying to find one way to keep them out.
TOM: So is the concern specifically over wasps?
GORDON: It is.
TOM: OK. Well, Gordon, if you want ... if the goal here is to try to keep the wasps away from the deck area, there's a couple of things that you can do. One approach, of course, is to screen the whole thing in; bottom, top, sides, all the way up to the underside of the roof. But the other things that you could do is take some steps to reduce the wasp population. Two things, really.
If you hire a pest control professional, they can use an encapsulated bait that, basically, the wasps will take back to the nest and help eliminate the whole colony. The second thing, though, is to reduce the population through traps. And wasp traps are actually fairly easy. I mean there's lots of online resources for do-it-yourself traps but, conceptually, they're usually plastic bottles or plastic sleeves with a very small opening and sort of a one-way door. And inside this ...
LESLIE: Well, you can even make one out of a ... out of a soda bottle ...
TOM: Soda bottle. Right.
LESLIE: Like a two-liter soda bottle. If you cut the top quarter off and turn it upside down so that the mouth part is now inside ...
LESLIE: ... of the rest of the soda bottle and then tape it all together. And you fill it with water and actually dish soap, it attracts them and they go in there and - I hate to say it - they drown. But it gets rid of them.
TOM: Yeah, either that or I'd use apple juice.
GORDON: What do you put inside the trap?
LESLIE: Some water and some dish soap. Or Tom knows of a way with apple juice.
GORDON: Is that right?
TOM: Yep. Mm-hmm.
GORDON: She had ... she had a professional come and spray but he can't get it all the way in, you know?
TOM: Right, well it's ... think of it this way. You're not going to completely eliminate them, Gordon. You're trying to reduce the populations.
GORDON: That's a good idea.
GORDON: So either soap - dish water - or apple juice.
TOM: That's right.
GORDON: And you put it into a carton. Like a carton of milk?
TOM: No, no. Well, if you do that, they'll fly in and fly out. But the wasp traps - as Leslie said, you could make your own or you could buy one; they're very inexpensive - basically give the wasps a way to get in and the smell of the soapy water, the smell of the apple juice or even soda, works to get them in there. But then they can't find their way out and they drown.
GORDON: Sounds like a good idea.
TOM: Alright, Gordon. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Mark in Pennsylvania's working on the bathroom floor. What can we do for you?
MARK: Yes. I'm putting in laminate flooring and I have a question. When you put in the laminate flooring, can you put the toilet on top of that laminate flooring? Do you ... is it supposed to be a floating floor or would it be best to cut around, leaving a _ inch gap around the base of the toilet?
TOM: That's an excellent question. If the flange for the toilet is put in properly, it should end up being about flush with the new laminate floor. And then, you put the wax seal on it; you can rest the toilet right on that. And as long as you have a good seal around that drain, then you certainly can put it on top of ... in fact, it's the best way to do it because it's going to look the neatest and give you the best seal. But the key is that flange; making sure it's flat.
Now, if it happens to be down a little bit low, there is an extension piece that can bring it up flush with the floor.
TOM: Alright, Mark?
MARK: OK, thank you very much, sir.
TOM: You're welcome, Mark. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. And it sounds like Mark was flush with excitement over that question.
LESLIE: (laughing) And he chose the right flooring for the bathroom, so alright.
TOM: He definitely did. I love laminate floor because it can look just like wood.
LESLIE: You know, I just picked a laminate floor that looks like wood for my little dressing room off my bedroom at home.
TOM: Oh, cool.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. It's really pretty.
TOM: It's good stuff. Good choice. Mark, thanks again for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up, kicking the habit. We're not talking about smoking - although, that would be a good thing. But how do you get rid of the odors in a home that's been inhabited by a smoker?
LESLIE: We'll tell you that secret, next.
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[audio timestamp: 40:00]
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is sponsored by The Home Depot with a guaranteed low price and the know-how to make every dollar work harder. You can do it, we can help.
TOM: Welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. 1-888-MONEY-PIT is the phone number. MoneyPit.com is the website. So let's say you're driving around and you don't want to pick up the phone and call us. We understand. That's why you can shoot back home later on, click on MoneyPit.com, then click on Ask Tom and Leslie, just like Kevin did, from Callahan, Florida. He has a stinky problem.
LESLIE: (laughing) That's right. Kevin writes: 'We just purchased a home and the previous owners were smokers. So you know what the house smells like.' Oh, I bet that's terrible. 'We plan on painting the walls with an oil-base primer. The ceilings are the popcorn type with texture and home improvement stores advised me not to paint them. The other area of concern is the carpet. It looks great but it smells. Can you give me any advice on getting rid of this odor'?
TOM: Ugh. Yuck.
LESLIE: That sounds terrible.
TOM: Well, you have a ... you have a multi-surface problem, there, Kevin. So let's tackle it one thing at a time. First of all, the carpet. I think, Leslie, that's going to be the most difficult place to get the smell out.
LESLIE: Well, probably, because it's permeated through, down into the ...
TOM: The padding.
LESLIE: ... everything. The padding; probably the subfloor.
TOM: Do you think if that was steam cleaned that they would be able to do enough to get it out?
LESLIE: It might. It might do it. But it also might aggravate the problem more. I think you really need to sort of attack it. If you can't steam clean it, if that doesn't work, probably just going to have to get it out of there.
TOM: Yeah. You know, you might want to just invest in some steam cleaning because it's not really that expensive. But I tell you what, Kevin ...
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Yeah, rent the cleaner. It's fun.
TOM: Right. Before you even do that, here's what you do want to do. You are going to need to prime not only the walls but the ceiling. And I do think that it's entirely possible, and probably a good idea, to prime event the textured ceiling. There are special rollers that are like slitted and spongy and designed to work with textured ceilings. You are going to need to prime and I do think, probably, an oil-base primer is good. There are some very good latex-base primers as well. Behr has a product called Premium Plus Primer which works very, very well. And any of those primers is going to do a great job at sealing in any of the smoke that's sort of attached to the surface of that wall. So prime everything, then use a good quality top coat.
And then the last thing, again, steam clean that carpet. Do a really good job. Make sure you use plenty of water and flush it a lot. Leaving it open, that might actually do it and have the place smelling good in no time.
LESLIE: That's good. Then you can stink it up yourself, Kevin.
TOM: With a good cigar, perhaps. (laughing)
Well, life certainly has its ups and downs (chuckling); especially if you're a garage door. That is the topic of today's edition of Leslie's Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah, that's got to be some sort of a life for a garage door. Everyday you're up, you're high; then you're low, you're down. (laughing) That's right, folks. We're talking about your garage door and some safety and maintenance tips for it.
Alright, garage doors ... you have to make sure that the openers - they're a great convenience; it really makes life a lot easier. But the door mechanisms have to be maintained and I stress this because, otherwise, they operate unsafely. So to make sure that your garage door is safe and in all proper working order, you have to make sure you keep the door tracks and the rollers lubricated. And make sure that your springs are properly adjusted.
And also, make sure to test the door's safety reverse mechanism, as specified by the manufacturer. Doors that don't automatically go back up when something is in the way are dangerous; especially if you have kids or pets and they see that door coming down and they want to check it out. So make sure that works properly to avoid a really potentially dangerous accident.
And if you do all of that, you should be really happy with your garage and it'll be operating in a safe manner as soon as possible.
TOM: Great advice, as always.
Well, coming up next week on The Money Pit, we're going to talk about one of the toughest painting jobs in the house. And that is the kitchen. The kitchen is a tough place to paint because you get grease, you get food, you get all kinds of junk. You know, I hate to admit this, but we even have some wine stains on our wall.
LESLIE: Oh, ho.
TOM: Don't ask me how that happened. It was an honest mistake. But they really were a mess and they were really, really hard to get off. Well, there's some new technology out there in paints designed specifically for kitchens. And we're going to talk about that next week on the program.
Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. 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 2006 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.)