Learn the secrets to a fresh and inviting home in this episode, as we address the challenge of sink odors, discuss windows to brighten your rooms, and suggest pet-friendly floors that look great. Tune in for these and lots more home improvement inspirations!
- Pet-Friendly Floors: Make furry friends feel at home with paws-itively perfect pet-friendly floors.
- Transom Windows: These trending transom windows add light where you need it.
- Sink Odors: Try these simple solutions for stinky sinks.
Top Questions & Answers
- Chimney Removal: Steve’s considering removing his brick chimney. It’s a big job, but he gets advice on the steps involved.
- Ceiling Repair: Rock lath is discovered under a damaged ceiling. We give Maria tips on how to plaster over it before priming and painting the entire ceiling.
- Garage Insulation: Mike wants to warm up his cold garage, but there may not be enough room to add insulation above the ceiling.
- Dry Rot: Joan finds what she thinks is dry rot when she pulls up a rug. We explain it may be wet rot that has dried out and decayed, or possibly carpenter ants.
- Hard Water: How should hard well water be treated? Greg should first have the water tested for contaminants and then try adding a recommended system to treat hard water.
- Countertop Noise: Sudden loud noises from the countertop are making Nadine jump! They may be caused by the expansion and contraction of walls or plumbing.
- Replacing Insulation: When should insulation be replaced? If Stewart’s old insulation is flat or saggy instead of fluffy, it’s time to remove and replace it or add more.
- Windows: Are triple-pane windows better than double-pane? Double-pane windows should be fine, and Jane Ellen gets tips on ENERGY STAR ratings to look for.
- GFCI Outlet: Peter thinks his GFCI outlet has gone bad, but it may actually be tripping because of a short in the circuit that an electrician should investigate.
- Garage Doors: The garage door is shimmying and not closing properly. Sounds like the door rollers are failing and we suggest that Nancy replace the door and door opener.
Ask Your Home Improvement Question
|TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
|LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
|TOM: And we’re here to help you take on the projects you want to get done around your house. We’ve been at this for over 20 years and we’re proud to be here as part of your team to help you get those jobs done. So if you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a do-it-for-me kind of home improver, reach out to us right now at 1-888-Money-Pit, 888-666-3974. We can help you plan projects, solve problems, solve décor dilemmas, repair, renovate, whatever’s on your to-do list, swing it right over to ours by reaching out with your questions again to 1-888-Money-Pit or for a faster response go to moneypit.com/ask. Coming up on today’s show, a common plumbing problem. It’s one that might have a very simple solution though. We’re talking about stinky odors coming from your sinks. We’re going to share a hack that can definitely help. 1:27 And if you’re a pet lover, you can do just that. We’re going to share that tip just ahead. If you’re a pet lover and considering a new decor or a modeling project, you probably already know that despite our love for our pets, not all home improvements mix well when they’re around. So we’re going to share some tips for the best pet friendly floors just ahead. But first we want to help you create your best home ever. If you can dream it, you can build it and we can help. So reach out to us right now at 1-888-Money-Pit. That’s 888-666-3974.
|LESLIE: And if you’d love to add more light to your kitchen, a popular window trend can do just that in a very unusual way. We’re going to share that tip just ahead.
|And if you’re a pet lover, you can do just that. We’re going to share that tip just ahead. If you’re a pet lover and considering a new decor or a modeling project, you probably already know that despite our love for our pets, not all home improvements mix well when they’re around. So we’re going to share some tips for the best pet friendly floors just ahead. But first we want to help you create your best home ever. If you can dream it, you can build it and we can help. So reach out to us right now at 1-888-Money-Pit. That’s 888-666-3974. Let’s get to it. Leslie?
|LESLIE: Who’s first? All right. Heading over to Illinois, we’ve got Steve on the line who’s dealing with a chimney issue. What’s happening?
|CALLER: Well, it’s a house with a brick chimney used for venting the water heater and furnace. It goes from the basement to the roof. And it’s a wider chimney, probably four to five foot wide. And we’re wondering about removing it and then going all electric. Going all electric with your… And a water heater.
|TOM: Well, your costs are going to be a heck of a lot more than gas. Is that what you have now is gas? Propane now, and we’re thinking of going with a heat pump. It gets closer in terms of cost comparison when you’re paying for propane, which is quite expensive. So if you do decide to go away from fossil fuel and to go electric, then the chimney just really becomes sort of a static piece of the house. At that point, you need to decide whether it contributes architecturally, to the house, in which case you might want to keep it. But that also means you have to upkeep the flashing and that sort of thing around where the roof intersects with it. If you want to remove it, it’s really a pretty straightforward, although a pretty heavy duty job, because you’d have to take the bricks apart. And they actually will come apart pretty easy with a few taps of a heavy mallet. They’ll start to loosen up. And you start at the top, and you basically unstack the bricks all the way down to the basement. Of course, after that, you need to decide what you want to do with those spaces. You’re going to probably have holes in the floors that have to be filled in, and that’s going to impact your floor covering. You may have some walls that need to be refinished. You know, it’s a lot of work to sort of make the house look like it never had a chimney to begin with. First, of course, you would start by closing in the roof and then sort of tackle the rest of those spaces, you know, at your convenience thereafter. So it can be done. It’s just a big job to do. And so you have to decide how important that is to you for all those reasons.
|CALLER: Excellent. Well, I appreciate the information.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’re welcoming Maria from Rhode Island. What is going on at your money pit?
|CALLER: I have an unusual feeling. It was damaged by water, and the pieces that fell, the plaster that fell, reveal cement-like panels of like four by four, I’ve been told, from someone who went in my attic. And I was just wondering how to repair that, and I don’t want to lower this ceiling. And I was wondering if I could just plaster the holes and smooth it out, because it also has a very broom-like, swirly design, and I don’t like that.
|TOM: Okay. So first of all, it sounds like you have what we call rock lath. If you look at the evolution of wall construction, interior wall construction, you know, when walls were first framed and they would put, I think what we all commonly known as tomato sticks, it’s a wood lath strip that was on the wood studs. And then on top of the wood lath strips, they would spread plaster, and the plaster would sort of press in between the strips. And then on top of the wood lath strips, they would spread plaster, and the plaster would press in between the lath and sort of hook onto the back of the wood, and that was the finished wall. Okay. So then after that, we decided that there was this other material that’s called rock lath, and it’s like the precursor to drywall today, but it was two-foot by four-foot boards, generally, and those were nailed on the wood studs. And then the plaster was applied on top of that lath, that rock lath. And so I think that’s what you’re saying you have. So, you know, there’s no reason that you’re not going to be able to do that. You can’t, now that the leak is fixed, go ahead and plaster back over that again. And in terms of the wall finish, that’s totally up to you whether you want to do the swirl to match what you have or not. But that could be done without the need to add any depth or take up any ceiling height and that sort of thing. It should work, you know, just fine. I will say that when you’re done, you will have to paint the entire ceiling to get it to match properly. And I would strongly recommend that you prime it with a solvent.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Mike in Iowa on the line who needs some help insulating a garage. Tell us about it.
|CALLER: Yeah. Three and a half or four, basically a four-car garage underneath the house. It’s a ranch. The trusses, the floor, it has trusses in it. And it’s cold in there. It gets cold here in Iowa and stays, I don’t know, 35, 45 degrees during the winter, even in the coldest day. And it has batting insulation in it, but it’s still cold. And, you know, our bedroom is above it. So I was thinking about putting some insulation in it, either in the blowing some during the whole day or in the winter. And I think that’s a good idea. Or just doing it around the outside, the outer walls. Or am I just wasting my time trying to do any better?
|TOM: All right. So the garage ceiling, the walls between the garage and the house should already be insulated. So what you’re asking is, can you add additional insulation to the exterior garage walls? Is that correct? Because that would be theoretically the only part of this garage that was not insulated.
|CALLER: Correct. Well, the outer walls are concrete. So it’s basically the ceiling. I’m after what it is because the cold air goes up the rooms above the garage.
|TOM: So do you have any, do you, the way the ceiling is configured, it’s drywall right now? Correct. So there may not be any additional room above that to add additional insulation. Like you mentioned blown in, if that ceiling was built correctly, there’s already insulation there. So you may not be able to add more to that. This might be a situation where you need to, to improve the heat more than add to the ceiling insulation, because short of building it downward so that you have more depth, I don’t see how you’re going to add additional insulation if it’s already insulated.
|CALLER: Well, there’s batting up there. I didn’t know if it would do any good to have them blow it in and pack it as tight as they can get it with that blowing insulation.
|TOM: No, because insulation doesn’t work on being packed as tight as possible. Insulation works on the principle of trapped air. And so if you overpack the insulation, it becomes, it becomes less effective, not more effective.
|CALLER: Right. All right. Well, that tells me I would have wasted my money if I had a, when I had somebody come out and blow it in.
|TOM: I know it might not be the answer you want, but at least we didn’t have you spending money on something that wasn’t going to work, Mike. I hope that does help. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Hey there. We hope you’re enjoying this episode of our podcast. If you are, you know what would totally make our day is if you leave us a five-star review on Apple Podcasts.
|TOM: Absolutely. Just go to moneypit.com /review and let the world know, how much you enjoy our home improvement tips and tricks, and you might even win a copy of our book.
|LESLIE: Now we’ve got Joan in Illinois on the line who’s dealing with a mold issue. Tell us about it,
|CALLER: Joan. Well, I’m wondering what causes dry rot and how you can tell if you, if you have it. Okay. Well, what are you seeing, Joan? Coming down to the floor, there’s about an inch above, below the molding. And I took the carpet up and I saw, saw this down there. And I wondered if,
|TOM: if it was dry rot, right? So first of all, there’s no such thing as dry rot. There’s only wet rot. Wood that gets wet, it gets over 25% moist, can start to decay. Then if that wood also dries out, that’s what people call dry rot. But it’s really sort of a misnomer because it’s
|CALLER: not really dry rot. It’s wet rot that has dried out. Oh, so we can’t cause it by overheating or
|TOM: under humidifying a house. No. Well, not overheating, but if you, if you over humidify, I guess it’s technically possible because you’d put a lot of water, but, but no, you’re not going to cause it by overheating. Now, in terms of what you’re seeing under this molding, I think that would bear some further investigation. When you mentioned sawdust, I think about carpenter ants, for example. And so I would make sure that I know exactly what’s causing this. One of the things that you could do is you could take a picture of it and you could post it to our Facebook page at facebook.com slash the money pit. We’ll take a look at it and give you an opinion, or you could post it to the community section at moneypit.com. How about that? That sounds great. All right, Joan, good luck with that project.
|LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit. All right, we’re heading over to Virginia now, where Greg is dealing with a hard water situation. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
|CALLER: I have a little farmhouse up in Virginia and very hard water and was looking at some of the options of how to address that salt-based, salt-free, reverse osmosis, magnetic, et cetera. And it’s all confusing what’s real and what’s, what’s reasonable from a price standpoint.
|TOM: All right. So, you’re on well water, I presume, correct? Correct. And have you had the water tested for other contaminants?
|CALLER: When we first bought it, it’s safe to drink. We haven’t tested it in the last several years, but.
|TOM: Okay. So the first thing I would do is I would have the water tested so that you know exactly what you’re dealing with, because if there’s some contaminants in there, that’s going to change the type of system that you put in. Now, if the water test reveals that your only problem is hard water, then I would try what you’re calling the magnetic option, and there’s a product called EasyWater, easywater.com that I’ve had good success with. And what EasyWater does is essentially is installed at the pump or actually where the water enters the building, and it charges the hard water particles and then gives them a charge so that they don’t stick together and they pass through the plumbing system without causing all of the types of issues that are associated with hard water, hard water deposits, iron stains, and that sort of thing. And the reason I’d suggest EasyWater is because if you don’t like it, they have a money-back guarantee, and they seem to be good people, and I think the science behind it is solid. There’s a lot of folks out there that once they saw the success that Easy Water was having, copied or tried to copy the technology, but I think if you go to easywater.com, try that product, see what you think, I think you’ll be good to go. But again, test first because we want to make sure that there’s no other contaminants.
|CALLER: Excellent. And it’s not a permanent. It’s not a permanent. It’s not a permanent. It’s not a permanent. It’s not a permanent. So the water downstream, this process reverses itself, but from the time it comes into your house until it’s out.
|TOM: Yeah. From the time it comes in to the time it leaves, that’s when it’s your responsibility, right? I agree. Very good. All right. Good luck with that project, Greg.
|LESLIE: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit. Well, if you’ve ever noticed an odor in your kitchen or your bathroom sink, it could be something called biogas. Essentially, it’s what happens when bacteria grows inside the drain lines of the sink. So it’s pretty gunky and yucky,
|TOM: Now, an easy solution for bathrooms is to fill the sink with hot water until it reaches the overflow and then slow it down to a trickle. So it still runs down the overflow, but not the sink itself.
|LESLIE: And then add a couple of cups of bleach to the water. Yeah. Now that bleach is going to run down the overflow channel and that’s going to kill any bacteria that it finds. And then after a few minutes, you can add another cup or two of bleach and let the drain out slowly. So this way, it does the same for the waistline under the sink. And all of this should totally make you odor-free.
|TOM: Now, for kitchen sinks, you can put bleach in a spray bottle and spray the drain and disposer area. Let it sit for a good 15 minutes and then run warm water and the disposer, if you have one, for a few minutes to rinse it all out and you’ll be good to go in both the kitchen and the bath.
|LESLIE: Nadine in Iowa has an interesting question. Your countertop has gotten noisy.
|CALLER: Tell us what’s going on. Yes, it does. We had it installed, I would say, between three and five years ago. And right after we had this, Corian counter installed, we started getting very sharp, loud bangs occasionally. And I mean, like somebody just shot at the house bangs. And it has been going on since we had it installed to varying degrees, louder sometimes than others. But they’ve been out to check and can’t figure it out. And, you know, I don’t, it, the only unusual thing that happened when they put it in was that one corner didn’t want to go down. So, the guy had to put his full weight on it to push it down and finally make it go down. And my feeling is something must be bound in there that every once in a while builds up enough energy to really snap.
|TOM: Well, that’s certainly an unusual situation because countertops aren’t known for their noise. We get squeaky floor questions. We get banging pipe questions. I don’t think we’ve ever gotten a loud countertop question.
|CALLER: Well, I doubt that it’s the countertop. My feeling is something might be bounding. I don’t think it’s the countertop. I don’t think it’s the countertop. It’s bound in there, you know, having been caused by having the countertop put on.
|TOM: Well, you might be correct. And what could be happening is that you could have expansion and contraction going on either with the walls or even with the plumbing. You know, especially with the water being right there, when a pipe heats up, it tends to expand. And if it’s attached to the framing very, very tightly, it will rub across that framing and it could make a creaking. A creaking sound or a banging sound. Okay. And I’ve heard that before in bathrooms and also in kitchens. Okay. The other thought is that if the countertop is bound, as you say, against part of the frame of the house and you’re getting expansion and contraction, that could be the source of the sound. Although I tend to think that even though it’s annoying, it probably isn’t really very damaging if it’s one of the other of those things.
|CALLER: No, I don’t think it is damaging at all. It’s just that when you have guests and their eyes get wide and they start to go for the floor, you would… You think maybe… I mean, it is quite loud when it does it. So you think it could possibly be plumbing.
|TOM: It could very well be because, you know, plumbing really carries the sound. And especially if you’re running a dishwasher and the hot water comes on, that could cause a noise.
|CALLER: However, we’ve kind of checked that out, you know, what’s on, what’s running and all of that, and that doesn’t seem to come into play. What would your suggestion be as to sleuthing this problem out?
|TOM: Well, I guess I would have to be sitting there staring at it, thinking about it for a long time. But reinstalling the countertop would probably be the best solution, although it’s a boatload of work and you could potentially damage the countertop in the process. If they had to really squeeze it in, I suspect that something is a little bit too tight in its intention and it’s really not designed to be pulled out.
|LESLIE: All right. Thanks so much. Stuart’s on the line with an insulation question. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: I’m wondering at what point in a housewife’s should you look at the insulation in your attic and re-insulating?
|TOM: Well, if you have insulation that’s old and you notice that it’s sort of sagging and compressed and no longer fluffy, at that point, I would remove the insulation and replace it. If you’ve got insulation that’s still pretty fluffy and it holds a lot of air, but you just don’t have enough of it, then you can add additional layers on top of that. You do that with unfaced fiberglass baths. You lay them in perpendicular to the existing insulation. To try to get up to that, say, 15 to 20-inch level of insulation, because at that level, you’re going to be super insulated and it’s really going to make a big savings in your heating costs.
|CALLER: Okay. But if it’s flat, it needs to remove before you put further insulation on top of it. It needs to have a little bounce to it, I guess.
|TOM: If it’s old and it’s flat and it’s compressed and it’s sagging, then I would take it out and start from scratch.
|CALLER: Hey, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
|TOM: You’re welcome, Stuart. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Jane Ellen in Pennsylvania is looking at getting some new windows. How can we help you make that decision?
|CALLER: Yes. Well, we’re looking at replacing our single-pane windows. And our question is, do you think it would be more cost-effective to spend the extra money on triple-pane windows, or would double-pane windows be okay? Other than the windows, the house is fairly well insulated. It’s not real drafty. We haven’t priced our options yet, so we’re just looking for an opinion.
|TOM: I think that double-pane windows will be fine. The thing is that when you shop for windows, you have all of these different features and benefits that you have to compare and contrast, and sometimes it gets very confusing when you do that. What I would look for is a window that’s energy star rated and one that has double-pane glass. As long as the glass is insulated and has a low E coating so it reflects the heat back, that’ll be fine. It’s been my experience that unless you live in the most severe climates, triple-pane glass doesn’t really make up the additional cost in terms of return on investment.
|CALLER: Wonderful. Thank you so much.
|TOM: What kind of windows do you have now? Are they very drafty?
|CALLER: Well, they’re single-pane windows. They’re relatively decent windows for single-pane, but they’re old. You can see the gas is starting to escape from them, and they are a little drafty. Our house has a field behind it. Our backyard opens up into a field, so there’s a significant amount of wind that comes across the field and flows into the back of the house. And off the main back area, we have a good three-seasons room, which helps to block some of the wind from the interior downstairs. But the upstairs bedrooms, you feel the wind a little bit more significantly, and we notice the single-pane windows a little bit more there. It seems more drafty right there.
|TOM: Well, I think these windows are going to make a big difference for you. Now, if you need to save some money and maybe not do them all at once, that’s fine, too. What I would do is the north and east sections of the house first, sides of the house first, and then the south and the west second, okay?
|LESLIE: Okay. Sounds great. Thank you. Thank you. Even the winter that we’ve all had in the northeast and pretty much all over the United States, you might think that a triple-pane glass is going to do the trick, especially when we’ve had, what, like an average of five degrees? Yeah. I got to tell you, the days that we’ve had like 30 and 40-degree temperatures, like I’ve put on a light jacket. I’ve seen families out with no jackets. Like people are out of their minds when we get 40-degree days.
|TOM: I know. We’re happy for it, right?
|LESLIE: It’s like summer.
|TOM: All right. Well, Jane Ellen, I hope that helps. Thanks again for calling us at 888-Money-Pit. Well, if you’d like to really light up a space and do that naturally, here’s an interesting trick that can do just that, and it’s by adding transom windows.
|LESLIE: I love a transom window, and it’s of such a time period, and it really just makes a house look so unique and interesting. Now, if you’re wondering, what the heck is a transom window? You’ve definitely seen them in old movies because they were common in the days before air conditioning because it kind of opened up the airflow around the house. We’re talking about those tilters. They were built in windows that were typically above an interior door, and these were there to help circulate the air. This way, you could have airflow because air conditioning didn’t exist yet, so it definitely helped cool things down. Plus, they are just so gorgeous.
|TOM: So today, transom-sized windows are really popular in baths and showers to provide light and privacy, but builders are coming up with other creative applications like door side lights as a way to provide light in the kitchen by installing them over top of wall cabinets where they can add a ton of light to your kitchen. So it’s a new idea for an old building element, transom windows. Think about it if you’re doing a project where you think they might be a good fit.
|LESLIE: Heading over to Florida where Peter has lost power in the bathroom. Peter, what’s going on, and can you see what you’re doing?
|CALLER: Yeah, I had a GFI go bad, and when I went to change it over, for some reason, I couldn’t get any juice to the receptacle underneath the sink. So I got juice to where I put the new one in. So I went down to Home Depot and listened to you folks all the time, and I got a new one, and the gentleman over there told me to find the hot wires go and put them on the receptacle where it says line, and then the other two hook up on the bottom of it.
|TOM: Peter, do you know that the ground fault circuit worked properly and then it stopped working?
|CALLER: Yes, sir.
|TOM: So it worked properly and it stopped working. Have you considered the fact that the ground fault circuit interrupter could be doing its job and then there could be a problem elsewhere in the circuit?
|CALLER: Yeah, I didn’t give a thought about that. No, I didn’t.
|TOM: So I think that when ground fault circuit interrupters start to trip, people say, oh, it must be a bad circuit breaker, and they don’t consider the fact that the circuit breaker is, in fact, doing its job detecting a diversion of current to a ground source and tripping to prevent you from getting a shock. So the solution wouldn’t be necessarily first to replace the ground fault. I would investigate further to see. What exactly is happening and causing that to trip? I think, based on your description of what you’ve done thus far, that this might be just a little bit above your skill set. And while we can respect the fact that you’re doing this on your own, when it comes to electricity, you want to get it right. And if you were to miswire that, and in fact, perhaps you, you know, there are different ways to hook up ground faults. And if you do it one way, you can get it to trip and not protect the rest of the circuit. So it would appear to be working correctly when, in fact, it wouldn’t. So this is not the kind of thing I would recommend that you do. Peter, with all due respect, I would definitely have an electrician look at this because I suspect that the ground fault is doing its thing. They rarely go bad. And if it’s tripping, it’s probably tripping because something is going on elsewhere in the circuit. The ground faults will cover everything that’s on that circuit. So if you had, for example, a loose wire somewhere down the line, and that was causing some sort of an arcing condition, that could trigger the ground fault to go off. So contact an electrician. This is the kind of job that you should not do yourself because I want to make sure that the problem is what you think it is and it gets properly fixed. Peter, thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Nancy in Massachusetts is dealing with a garage that’s got other plans than closing. What’s going on there?
|CALLER: I have a dilemma about what to do about the door. It’s just not closing properly. And sometimes it doesn’t even want to go up and down. Never mind when it comes down, it wiggles left to right, left to right till it gets to the bottom.
|TOM: This is on a garage door. Door opener?
|CALLER: Oh, yes.
|TOM: So when it goes up and down, it shimmies in the opening?
|CALLER: Yes, in the closing.
|TOM: So generally, the rollers on the side of the garage door are failing when that occurs. They’re ball bearing rollers. And when they get stuck, then they get sort of hung up on the way down. And that’s what makes the door sort of vibrate. It puts a lot of resistance on it, too. And that may be the reason it’s not closing all the way or closing evenly. It sounds like the door is pretty old. And, you know, your options. Hard to replace all the hardware and try to, you know, realign the door, get it working right. Or just replace the door and the door opener. If it’s that old and that, you know, sort of rickety, I might lean towards just a replacement. The new doors today are actually a lot lighter than the old doors. And they work really smoothly. I just put two on in the garage, I guess, about eight, nine months ago now. I’m really happy with them. And I used to have really heavy hardboard doors on this garage. And now I have nice factory painted steel. Steel doors that look really good, really sharp, and just close flawlessly every single time.
|CALLER: Well, this is one of those metal doors.
|TOM: It is? Okay. But it’s an older metal door? Yeah.
|CALLER: And I put bow shield on the tracks to try to get it to roll down properly. Yeah.
|TOM: But if the hardware has failed, even if you’ve lubricated the tracks, if the hardware has failed, it’s not going to work right.
|CALLER: So what would you recommend? A new door or just get somebody over to do the hardware?
|TOM: I’d get a new door and a new. Yeah.
|CALLER: Okay. I don’t want to put good money after bad. Exactly.
|TOM: I think, you know, who knows if you could find the old hardware to match and everything. I’d just get a new door and new opener. I think it’d be worth it.
|CALLER: Okay. Very good advice. I appreciate it very much.
|TOM: Thank you, Nancy. Good luck with that project.
|LESLIE: Well, if you’re a pet lover and you’re considering a new decor or remodeling project, you probably already know that all home improvements don’t necessarily fit well with your pets. Although that Persian rug might look super gorgeous in your home, it might not be the best. Best choice. Durability is definitely key when you’ve got pets. And I’m even going to put kids in the small pets category. If you’ve got pets or kids, you definitely need durability when it comes to your flooring. Yeah.
|TOM: So features like easy cleanup is really key. You want to look at floors like, for example, one of my favorites is the new stone hybrid floors that are almost indestructible, completely waterproof and really, really durable. As well as laminate or luxury vinyl plank or the wood look porcelain tiles are absolutely beautiful. Or ceramic flooring makes sense. These are the kinds of hard surface products that are easier to keep clean and stain free. And of course, much more than what you would have to deal with if you had any type of area rug or carpet.
|LESLIE: Yeah. Now, another great benefit to this is that hard flooring options will be more comfortable for your dog or cat during those hot summer months if they have a lot of hair or fur. And you can definitely get pet friendly flooring that will make your house look amazing. I mean, there are so many beautiful options for every type of architectural style and every design preference.
|TOM: You know, when our grandpets are visiting, they love to chase the ball in the house. So it’s kind of a straight shot from the kitchen sink all the way back to the living room because of the way the house is configured. So the dog will bring me the ball, a little tennis ball, and I’ll toss it in the direction of the kitchen and they’ll take off for that ball. But he forgets to stop before he gets to the cabinets and he slides in and like body slams it a little bit. It took him a few tries to figure out that he just can’t do that. Oh, my goodness. He has no wear and tear as a result of all that sliding of the nails across it. And that’s what we’re talking about here. Just really super durable, pet friendly flooring. Hey, if you’d like more tips, we’ve got a great post on our website at moneypit.com. It’s called Pet Friendly Design and Decorating Tips for Your Home. So you can search for that on moneypit.com.
|LESLIE: Bela in Delaware, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: Well, we have a sunroom and the roof of the sunroom is four inches of styrofoam and on top of that, we have a sunroof. That is aluminum. Now, when it rains, it’s very, very noisy. It’s like living in a double-wide, you know. So what I would like to do is put like architectural shingles on it. Now, I talked to one roofer. He said, oh, we can just nail it on. But I don’t think so. I thought maybe we need some plywood, three-quarter inch plywood, and even maybe some spacers.
|TOM: This aluminum roof, is it fairly flat or is it shaped?
|CALLER: It is flat. Yes, sir.
|TOM: Well, first of all, keep in mind that metal roofs are far more durable than asphalt shingle roofs. But if you can’t really deal with the sound and you want to soften it, I agree with you. I do think you should attach a plywood decking to that metal roof first. And I would do that with screws. So I would drive screws through the decking into that metal roof. And then on top of that, I would put… Ice and water shield, which is going to give you protection from any ice damming. And I would probably, since it’s a fairly flat roof or a low-slope roof, I would probably cover the entire surface with ice and water shield. And then over that, I would put the asphalt shingles.
|CALLER: Okay, sir. Thank you so very much for your help.
|LESLIE: Richard wrote in to Team Money Pit and says, I need to replace an acrylic shower pan that has cracked and is leaking after only a few years. I’m thinking of replacing… I’m thinking of replacing it with a tile-ready shower pan. Is this a durable solution? I don’t want to have to replace it after just a few years like that acrylic pan. What do you think happened? Do you think it was like an uneven base? And so that caused the acrylic to crack? Because those don’t generally seem to crack so quickly.
|TOM: Well, my experience with those pans is that unless they’re put on top of a mortar base, they flex. So what you really ought to be doing when you set an acrylic pan is you mix up some mortar, same kind of mortar. You mix up some mortar. You might use for, say, a stacking block project. And you lay that across the subfloor first. And then you press the acrylic pan down into it so that there is no flex. There’s no gaps. There’s no voids between the pan and the base of the shower. This way, when you step in it, there’s nothing to bend and, therefore, nothing to crack. And I think that’s exactly what happened here. It probably wasn’t put in correctly. And so it cracked after a couple of years. Now, that said, a tile-ready shower pan is… It’s really a good option. These are made from composite. They’re thick. They’re strong. They’re easy to maintain. And they’re easy to install, too, by the way, because it’s a one-piece install. And they can last for decades. So this is a project that you really don’t want to have to do. But if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right so you don’t have to deal with it again. And I think a tile-ready pan is a good choice for this, Richard. So good luck with that project.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got one from Kara who says her wood floor wasn’t installed right. She says… The hardwood planks are all in a row on every other board. How should it have been done? And is there a way to fix this? Yeah.
|TOM: You know, Kara, you can’t undo this without taking the whole floor apart. What you’re explaining was just the decision that was made by the installers to line up those ends of the boards every other plank. Now, you usually don’t do that. You usually want to…
|LESLIE: It’s like in threes, right?
|TOM: Three, four, five sometimes. Yeah. So it really isn’t a detectable pattern. In your case, it’s kind of a little checkerboard-esque. And I can see why that would be bothersome to you. Also, if the hardwood that they bought for this project was sort of the lower-grade hardwood, it tends to come in shorter pieces, and it’s harder to get those kinds of patterns to lay out. But if you were to buy something like a laminate product, like a manufactured product, you’ll find that they have specific recommendations for how to overlap those boards so you don’t see those seams. So if I’m doing a wide board, I’m going to do… Yes, Leslie, if it’s a wide board, at least a three-plank overlap, right? So you’re not going to be able to see that seam repeat for three boards. And if it’s a more narrow board, it might go up to four or five boards. So it’s really not that obvious when you’re done.
|LESLIE: Yeah. Sorry that happened, Kara. Perhaps you can deal with an area rug to kind of help mask that a little bit and the spots that are super annoying. But perhaps it’ll be something that you grow to love. And I know as a kid, I always found interest in patterns and flooring and different tiles and things in the bathroom. So maybe you can make a game of it while you’re getting used to it.
|TOM: absolutely. You know what? The next time you’re ready to refinish that floor, I would recommend using not a gloss finish because that will really highlight all of those end grains. Just use a satin finish, a low luster finish. That’ll help sort of blend everything in and not point out where those boards are seamed, at least not make it quite so obvious.
|LESLIE: All right. But in the meantime, you have a new floor, so enjoy it.
|TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Thanks so much for spending a bit of your day with us. We hope that we’ve been helpful. We hope that we’ve been helpful to you with the projects you’d like to get done around your house. Remember, if you’ve got a question about a project specific to you, we would love to hear from you. You can do that a couple of ways. Just go to moneypit.com/ask. Click the blue microphone button. You can record your question right there. Or anytime, 24-7, just dial us up at 1-88-Money-Pit. Until next time, 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.
|(Note: The above referenced transcript is AI-Generated, Unedited and Unproofed and as such may not accurately reflect the recorded audio. Copyright 2024 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.)