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: Hey, what are you working on on this fine, beautiful day? If it’s something to do with your house, that’s where we come in. Because if you’ve got a question, you’ve got a comment, you’ve got a project that you’re doing – maybe it’s a décor project, home improvement project, remodeling project, maybe you want to plan a project for the weeks and months ahead. Need a new kitchen? Who doesn’t? Who needs some new flooring? All great topics that we are here to lend you a hand with. But you’ve got to help yourself, first, by calling in that question to 888-MONEY-PIT or posting it to the Community section at MoneyPit.com.
Coming up on today’s show, we’re talking about kitchens. But if you’ve got a desire but not the budget for a new kitchen, we’re going to have some tips on how you can turn the cabinets you already have into the ones you’ve always wanted.
LESLIE: Plus, if you’re ready to step up your outdoor-living space, we’ve got tips on how to build a fire pit, garden planter, outdoor kitchen or even a retaining wall just by stacking blocks.
TOM: And if you’re concerned about water quality, there are lots of ways you can improve it without spending big bucks. We’re going to hear from a water-quality expert about the latest under-sink options, like the new GE Whole-Home Water-Filtration System, which is one of the many water-quality solutions we are giving away this spring to callers drawn at random, thanks to our friends at The Home Depot.
LESLIE: And Father’s Day is around the corner. If you’ve got a DIY dad and are looking for tools, we’ve got a very special guest coming up. His name is Billy Bastek and he is the guy responsible for choosing the tools that are sold at The Home Depot. Billy is going to have an update on the best, new products for dads, just ahead.
TOM: And speaking of great Father’s Day gifts, we’ve actually got the Ryobi Outdoor/Indoor Power Package to give away to one listener drawn at random. If you’d like to win, call us at 888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question or post it to The Money Pit’s Community page at MoneyPit.com. And the package includes a six-tool combo kit, cordless string trimmer/edger and a cordless jet-fan blower which, by the way, would all make for fantastic Father’s Day gifts by themselves. So, for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win, get on the phone. Call us, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?[radio_anchor listorder=”2″]LESLIE: Heading to Georgia where Tamara is on the line with a rust problem. What’s going on at your money pit?
TAMARA: I was having some work done inside my house. I was actually having a banister put in with metal rails.
TAMARA: So, they were cutting up the rails outside on my pavers, on my walkway. And you wouldn’t see anything. And then winter came and went and we were left with a very bad rust stain on the pavers. And we don’t know if we should do the pressure washer or a chemical something to take it off.
TOM: Well, you definitely do not want to use a pressure washer because that’s going to destroy the pavers. What you want to do is use some sort of a chemical product or a natural acid to take it off. So you could start with the easy stuff. Most rust removers have some sort of acid in it. So you can start with – by pouring lemon juice on the rusted surface, let that sit, kind of work it in with a nylon brush or a wire brush. In addition to lemon juice, you could try natural vinegar; that works, as well.
If those two don’t work, then I would use a product like Iron Out. Have you seen Iron Out? Many people use it in the laundry to take iron stains out of clothing. But that works really well, as well.
TAMARA: OK. I’ll try that. How about CLR?
TOM: Yeah, I mean that would be worth a shot. I think you’re in the right department here. Or you could use TSP – trisodium phosphate. You mix that up into sort of a thick, soapy solution and apply it to the rusted-out areas – the rust-stained areas – and let it sit for a while and then rinse it off.
TAMARA: Terrific. Thank you so very much.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.[radio_anchor listorder=”5″]LESLIE: John is on the line with a leaky roof. Tell us what’s going on at your money pit.
JOHN: I have a section of roof. It’s like 2 feet by probably 30 feet. It pools up at one end and I believe the water is getting up above the membrane, up on the side wall, and it’s leaking into the house.
TOM: Yeah. OK. So, look, in situations like this, what often happens is people will try to use different types of sealants in that space. I have found, time and time again, they just don’t work. If the water is getting in there, between the roof and the siding, the only thing – the only way to fix this permanently is to peel the siding back and to reflash that. The flashing has to go all the way up well under the siding. And probably between the time that that roof was put on and now, there’s a lot more products that are out that are actually much better at making that joint between the siding and the roof really, really watertight.
JOHN: Right. That’s what I thought, too.
TOM: Yeah. While you can caulk it and all that sort of thing, in my experience it just doesn’t work and it ends up kind of ruining the shingles in the process. So I would tell you that at this point, you probably should peel the siding off of that area – or have a pro do this, you know – and then …
JOHN: I just had a roof that cost me 15 grand and it leaked again.
TOM: Alright. So here’s what I think. What I think you have to do, in this situation, is you’ve got to take the siding off and it’s got to be reflashed. And I think if you do that, that’s going to be a permanent repair.
By the way, if this happened in a storm, you may actually be able to file a homeowner’s claim for storm damage. So, think about that if all else fails, OK?
Alright. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.[radio_anchor listorder=”6″]LESLIE: William from South Carolina is on the line with a flooring question. How can we help you today?
WILLIAM: OK. I’m getting conflicting stories about bamboo flooring. And we want to put bamboo down in the kitchen. It’s a stranded bamboo. How will that work?
LESLIE: It’s a stranded bamboo? Is that what you said?
TOM: What’s the form of this? Is it tongue-and-groove?
WILLIAM: Yes, it’s tongue-and-groove.
TOM: So why are you concerned about putting it in the kitchen? It’s a perfect choice for that.
WILLIAM: I’ve heard several people say it’s a bad choice. It’ll soak up too much liquid if you spill water on it or something.
TOM: Not bamboo.
LESLIE: Yeah. Now, a bamboo floor really is good for all kinds of high-moisture situations because of the way that it’s made, because of the way that the bamboo is super durable. I think for a kitchen, though, bamboo has a very specific look. And if that’s what you’re going for, then that’s great.
If you want some other options for a kitchen, I personally love to put a cork floor in a kitchen. It’s got a little bit more give to it. It’s super durable. Again, it’s not something that you would want to necessarily have spill a lot of water on it but should you, you’d be OK. But the cork flooring is beautiful.
But there are so many other options. There’s vinyl tiles and vinyl planks and vinyl floorings that are made to look just like any other type of lumber or stone, for that matter. And they’re super durable. You can get them very, very wet. You can put them in high-moisture situations.
There’s a lot of other products out there whereas bamboo has got a look. And if that’s what you want, it’s great for the application. You just have to think about what the durability of it is, the ease of installment, those types of things.
WILLIAM: OK. I do appreciate it. It eases my mind. Thank you.
TOM: Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
WILLIAM: Thank you.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com.
Hey, do you have a how-to or even a décor dilemma? Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT which is presented by HomeAdvisor, the fast and easy way to find the right pro for any kind of home project, whether it’s a small repair or a major remodel.
TOM: If you call us at 888-MONEY-PIT, you’ll get the answer to your home improvement question. Plus, this hour, we’re giving away another water-quality solution from The Home Depot like, for example, the new GE Whole-Home Water-Filtration System.
We’ll be back with more of your calls, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Give us a call, right now, on The Money Pit’s listener line at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.
LESLIE: That’s right. You can get matched with background-checked home service pros in your area and compare prices, read verified reviews and book appointments online, all for free.
TOM: No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire a pro you can trust.
And hey, if you’d like to step up the water quality in your house, Home Depot has any solution you’ll need. And they’ve hooked us up with some of those water-quality products to give away this spring, for example.
LESLIE: Yeah, like the GE Whole-Home Water-Filtration System and replacement filters. Now, that’s a prize worth $85.97. It’s a heavy-duty filtration system that can filter water for your entire home. You install it right at the main water line in your basement, in or out of sight, and it’s got premium filtration certified to reduce sediment, scale, dirt and rust in your water, in your appliances and all your plumbing fixtures. I mean everything is going to taste better and run better and really just be great for your home.
Now, you can check out the GE Whole-Home Water-Filtration system and those filters, either at The Home Depot or on HomeDepot.com. It’s a prize pack worth $85.97.
TOM: And it’s just one of the many water-quality solutions we’re giving away to callers this spring, thanks to our friends at The Home Depot.
That number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.[radio_anchor listorder=”3″]LESLIE: Alice in Maryland is on the line with an electrical question. What’s going on at your money pit?
ALICE: We are trying to determine whether it would be worthwhile to replace our service. Our house was built in 1976. We currently have 150-amp service underground. An electrician recommended that we upgrade to 200-amp service. And it’s a pretty big expense, so we were wondering if that’s a worthwhile choice.
LESLIE: Are you doing any sort of renovation that requires more power? Are you adding in central air, upgrading appliances? Is there a change happening that requires the power?
ALICE: We’ve done a lot of upgrading here in the past and this is just something that recently was recommended to us when we had just a ceiling fan installed by the electrician.
TOM: I have to say, Alice, that I think what your electrician is recommending you do is fund, perhaps, his next vacation or college-tuition payment. Because I don’t think going from 150 to 200 makes much difference.
You have a – is this a gas-fired house? You have natural gas?
ALICE: We have no gas in the area.
TOM: So this is all electric?
TOM: How are you heating your house? Is it a heat pump?
ALICE: We have a heat pump, yes.
TOM: And you have one zone or two? How many heat pumps do you have?
ALICE: One zone.
TOM: I’ve got to tell you, I think you probably have enough. Unless you can prove to me that he’s …
LESLIE: It sounds like there’s – it’s sufficient.
TOM: Yeah, unless you can prove to me that you’re really using more than 150 amps, I seriously doubt you need 200. That’s a lot of power, even for an all-electric house.
LESLIE: We had to upgrade to a 200-amperage service because we put in central air conditioning. We were only on 100 and that was that.
TOM: Yeah. Right. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And even 100, I’ve – I was an inspector for 20 years. I used to put a tool called an “amp probe” on those main cables when everything was running in the house. We’re talking about electric ovens, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners. And it would be a 150-amp service pulling 50, 60 amps with everything on. So, you’d be surprised how much you can pull through that.
TOM: I think you ought to get a second opinion.
ALICE: We were skeptical, so thought it was a …
TOM: Didn’t feel right.
ALICE: Definitely wanted to check into it before making that major expense.
TOM: Yeah. Yep. Yep, exactly. Well, thanks for calling. I’m glad we helped you out on this.
ALICE: Thank you. You’re a great resource. I really appreciate it.
TOM: Well, kitchens are one place in the house where most of us spend a lot of time. But if you ever feel like your kitchen cabinets are dated or drab or dull, there are three ways to get a new look without breaking the bank. And these include replacing, refacing or just refinishing cabinets. We’ve got tips on all three methods.
LESLIE: Yeah. First, let’s really just review the differences.
Now, replacing, of course, is just that. You tear out and you start over. Replace when you want to reconfigure that layout or when the existing boxes are just junky or not well made.
Now, refacing is when you resurface the surfaces of the cabinets, as well as add new doors, drawer fronts, the hardware. Now, that can be a less expensive route and it also makes a dramatic difference without breaking the bank.
TOM: Now, how do you determine if a kitchen is a candidate for refacing? Well, you’ve got to be happy with the existing configuration because refacing doesn’t add any new cabinets to the layout. The cabinets also need to be of good quality, structurally speaking. For example, there’s no sense refacing a cabinet that’s just not going to stand up for a while. So if they’re solid and you like the layout, it’s a great option.
LESLIE: Now, refinishing a cabinet, that’s probably going to be your most cost-effective move since repainting or restaining is a great DIY project that delivers good results. And with the trend in cabinet colors, like gray and white, painting is an inexpensive option that can update your kitchen easily.
TOM: Yep. Just throw in some new hardware and you’ll have a fresh, new space for a fraction of the cost of a complete tear-out.
LESLIE: We’ve got David on the line who needs some help installing a railing. What can we do for you?
DAVID: I live in the Northeast, in the Boston area, and we have cold, harsh winters. I’m having a rail put in – a wrought-iron rail put in – the front of my house, on the walkway coming up.
DAVID: And the contractor has a place that – one leg of it is on a slab, which it’s about – a concrete slab, which is part of the walk-up, which is about 3 inches, 2 inches, 2 to 3 inches thickness. But in the other part where I want him to put the other leg, it doesn’t have any. So I have to – I agreed to put it in so that by the time he comes here with the completed wrought iron, it’ll have a place to go.
My question is: how thick do I need to put that? The walkway around it is only 2 to 3 inches. I’ve heard that you’re supposed to go below the frost line but this is only a rail.
TOM: Yeah. But that’s – yeah, that’s just for a railing. We’re not talking about supporting a lot of weight here. You just don’t want the thing to move. So it’s going to be kind of freestanding? Is that what you’re saying?
TOM: I’ll tell you how I would do this. I would not put it in in advance of the railing installation because otherwise, he’s going to have to drill into it, right, to set the posts?
DAVID: Right. Right.
TOM: Or is he going to mechanically bolt it to this?
DAVID: He’s going to have to drill into the finished concrete and secure it that way.
TOM: Yeah. Well, what if you did this? What if he put the railing together and now it’s just sort of hanging there in the dirt, right, so to speak, and you carved out a hole around it?
TOM: And then what I would do is I would – it’s going to be weak because it’s not tied in. But it’s in the right position, so it’s level and all of that. Then you carve out this hole around it and just fill it up with cement. Pick up some QUIKRETE cement, the Fast-Setting Cement. It sets in about 20, 30 minutes. So you dig out the hole, you add the cement after you mix it, right around it, and then within an hour the thing will be rock-hard and holding that railing like it’s going to go nowhere.
DAVID: Fantastic. Now, how deep should I go down?
TOM: Well, since it’s a railing and if you could get that railing, say, 12 inches into that cement and then you made that cement block like, say, 12×12 or 12x12x18, that’s really all you need. It’s not going anywhere.
DAVID: OK, great. That …
TOM: You just kind of cut it and let it run long and then you can basically put the footing up. That’s the last thing you do. And this way, he won’t have to drill into it. Because that’s got to be a really tough job to drill down into solid concrete.
DAVID: Right, right.
TOM: So I mean talk to him about it. Ask him if he can put it up without the footing in place and let it run long. Let it run in the soil to sit there and then as soon as he’s done, you’ll carefully dig out around it and pour cement to hold it in place.
DAVID: OK. That’s great.
DAVID: Alright. Thank you very much.
TOM: Alright. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.[radio_anchor listorder=”1″]LESLIE: Pat in Iowa is on the line with a question about painting. What can we do for you today?
PAT: Yes. I would like to paint my aluminum siding on my home. I can’t afford to side it right now and I was wondering if it’s possible to paint aluminum siding.
TOM: Absolutely. There’s no reason you can’t paint aluminum siding. What you want to do is clean the house really well, power-wash it perhaps. And then you’re going to have to prime that siding. That’s really important.
LESLIE: Otherwise, nothing is going to stick.
TOM: Exactly. So you need to do a primer coat.
PAT: OK. Well, what kind of primer?
TOM: Well, you’re going to use a primer that’s designed to work with the paint that you select.
So, for example, if you’re going to work with the Benjamin Moore family of paints, you’re going to use a Benjamin Moore primer.
TOM: And the primer is the glue; it’s the adhesive coat. That’s what makes the paint stick. And then you put the topcoat on top of that.
PAT: Now, will this peel on the south side where the sun hits?
TOM: No, not if you do a good job on the prep. You know, that’s why we’re telling you to prime it. And because the siding is metal, that paint job should last you a good 8 to 10 years. It lasts less if it’s an organic material, like wood siding. But with metal siding, it can last a long time if it’s done well.
PAT: Oh, good. That’s a good thing to know. OK. I wasn’t sure I could even do it. I thought maybe it would just peel right off.
Now, the power wash, is that with – I’d have to hire somebody to probably do that.
TOM: Yeah, unless you happen to have your own pressure washer, yeah, you’d have to hire somebody to do that. And they’ll use a detergent and clean off any dirt and debris and algae and so on that’s on the metal. Then you let it dry really, really well. Then you prime, then you paint.
It’s a big project, Pat. If you’re not comfortable with 10-foot and 20-foot ladders, depending on how high your house is, you might want to hire a painter to do this.
PAT: No, I’d probably hire someone else to do it but do you think it’d be real expensive? Or would I be better off to find a good vinyl-siding man to put …?
TOM: Well, I think that you don’t have to side the house. You don’t have to put siding. You can paint this house and paint it successfully and I think it will be less expensive than siding.
PAT: Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
LESLIE: Hey, are you wondering what to get your dad for Father’s Day? Well, wonder no more. Just ahead, we’ll share an interview with Billy Bastek that we recorded earlier in Atlanta at the world headquarters for The Home Depot. We went there to talk to Billy because he is the guy responsible for all the tools that you see sold at The Home Depot. We’ll share what’s hot for DIY dads and more, after this.
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: Well, Father’s Day is just around the corner and I know many of you will be heading to your local Home Depot to find a gift if you’ve got a DIY dad. I had the chance, just a couple of weeks back, to meet the guy that’s responsible for choosing all those tools that are sold online and across the nation for The Home Depot. His name is Billy Bastek and here is what he had to say.
So tell me about the tools that you’re bringing out for Father’s Day this year. What are folks really excited about?
BILLY: Yeah, I think, well, the continuation of our Ryobi lineup around cordless tools and the – really, the platform that’s enabled our customers, particularly our DIY customers, to take advantage of. We have over 70 tools under the same platform across multiple areas. So, lawn and garden. Certainly, obviously, in the hardware department. Great products across lawn and garden. The great thing for our DIY customers is you can use a single battery to power all those tools. And I think that’s one of the single best things that you can get at The Home Depot – is a platform where you can use the same battery across multiple tools around – and really do every job in your house.
TOM: We’re talking to Billy Bastek – he’s the vice president of merchandising for The Home Depot – focusing on tools.
Let’s talk about the DIY dad that’s into the automobile. You guys have really expanded your line of products for the car. What’s coming out for Father’s Day this year?
BILLY: Yeah, we have our Husky brand and mechanics tool sets, which are both auto-related. But also, a lot of that product is for your everyday maintenance product. So we have a product called Husky 100, which if you think about doing a plumbing project under your sink, it’s always around space. “Do I have enough space to get in there? Do I have enough reach to get in there?” And this new ratcheting system allows you to get into the tightest spot, be it a vehicle or be it a DIY project, that you just can’t get into.
I mean the biggest piece of challenges that people have is tight spot. They’re in there with a traditional wrench and they just can’t get the job done. And so, look for the Husky 100 product. It’s the black Husky product, guaranteed for life. Ever have a problem with any Husky branded tools, just return them back to us and we’ll give you a brand-new tool.
TOM: Now, tool storage is a big topic for dads. Those that have a lot of tools never have enough places to put them. You’ve got some new innovations out in the tool-storage space, also, with Husky. Let’s talk about some of those workbenches.
BILLY: Yeah, the – that’s one of the things we’re most excited about is what we’ve been able to do in our Husky storage program. And really, storage, whether it’s in your house, in your garage, in your basement, continues to be a big opportunity for our customers.
So, we’ve worked hard on different platforms of that storage, whether that’s workbench-oriented so you have storage below – but a workbench above or larger units. Depending on the space that you have, we have up to 52-inch units which traditionally, in the marketplace, have been sold for upwards of $2,000. We’ve been able to partner with some key suppliers and really get those retails down where we think that’s a great value for every customer every day.
And it’s more around what kind of space you have in your house now versus what can you afford to pay, so we’ve really gone across the gamut. If you need a small 27-inch unit, we have that at some super-competitive prices, all the way up to larger units depending on the size that you need. And then again, like I said, workbenches, storage that also can act as a workbench, as well, so multiple areas on whatever customers really need. And it hasn’t always been like that, frankly, and the team has worked real hard on being able to deliver that value in some areas where, historically, that probably hasn’t been the case for some of our customers.
TOM: Now, if your do-it-yourself dad is a super pro, I noticed that you have a lot of new innovations in carbide blades for the recip saws. Let’s talk about some of that technology, because I don’t think we’ve really seen that much in carbide blades on the reciprocating saw. Of course, we’ve had them on circular saws for decades but these blades are incredibly durable and they can really power through some material.
BILLY: Yeah, Tom, I’m glad you brought that up. It’s one of the great technologies that’s really come into tools. It has – we’ve talked a lot about lithium technology in power tools and brushless motors. That carbide technology for both the prosumer, the pro, is unbelievable. What they’ve been able to do in recip saws, and most recently in hole saws, has created an entire new use for customers that, historically, they’ve had to really Frankenstein tools to get together. If you think about cutting through pipe, the carbide technology that’s been applied to recip blades and now hole saws is really game-changing technology.
We have a pruning blade. We have customers using recip saws outside, for you DIY-ers. That carbide technology has really changed the game in power-tool accessories. You’re getting 20-to-1 usage out of it that you have been, historically, off of typical metal by-products.
TOM: You know what I love is to see that carbide blade be available for a reciprocating saw for landscaping use. Because I, like I’m sure a lot of other pros that are out there, faced with that challenge, rather than trying to find the appropriate saw in our garage, would go to the truck, pull out the recip saw, throw a rough-cut blade on it and just kind of go at it. So it’s nice that you guys observe that and go, “Hey, we can do that and we can make it better and faster and more effective. And we can develop a blade that’s just not going to wear out.”
BILLY: No, we’re working with our vendor partners every day on the job sites, with homeowners, with prosumers. What are those applications? By the way, what are those applications that we’re looking for? To your point, Tom, that’s exactly what you do. You go home and you go, “Oh, it sure would be nice to take that cordless recip saw out here, rather than go power up my chainsaw, to be able to do some of that work that can be easily done in the fraction of the time.” And it’s all driven by that carbide technology.
So we’re consistently looking at projects that both our pro and DIY-ers are doing and how to best utilize some of the technology out there and get that into some of those key pieces, like a recip saw, like a hole saw. As you mentioned, it’s been on circ blades for a while now. The adoption of it has been unbelievable. The performance is really incredible versus a traditional blade. And it’s, again, back to that time is money, both for pro and DIY-ers.
TOM: Moving beyond Father’s Day, Billy, what are you excited about moving into the fall? What’s coming up in the future?
BILLY: Yeah, I think – listen, there’s more changing in the power-tool industry in the next 2 years than it has in the last 10 years. And if you just use the iPhone as an example, that’s 10 years old. And I kind of use that same analogy when we’re talking about the tool business. The technology is changing every day. The lithium technology – so lithium batteries have been out there but the power that lithium batteries will be able to provide now is allowing us to bring tools to market, from a cordless standpoint, that have never been able to have been brought to market.
We have categories like cordless lighting, so what that battery technology has been able to do in higher drain tools and in categories like lighting, it’s created some unbelievable opportunities in categories that haven’t ever been able to be utilized with a battery.
So, you’ll see more extended runtime, you’ll see more brushless technology around the motor. That means they’re going to have a tool that lasts longer.
TOM: Very exciting time to be in the tool business.
BILLY: Great time to be in the tool business.
TOM: Billy Bastek, Vice President of Merchandising for The Home Depot, thanks so much for being a part of The Money Pit.
BILLY: Thank you. Appreciate it. Thanks for the time.
LESLIE: Alright. Well, now I see why you had to go to Atlanta, Tom. I mean seriously. What a great job Billy has. How cool is it to be the guy that gets to pick out every single thing that you see in store, huh?
TOM: Yeah, absolutely. He was great to take some time with us and fill us in on what’s happening in the tool world at Home Depot.
LESLIE: Alright. Next time, I’m tagging along.
Hey, guys, if you’ve got a home improvement question, we may very well have the answer. Of course we’ve got the answer. Give us a call now at The Money Pit’s listener line at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.
TOM: You can get matched with background-checked home service pros in your area and compare prices, read verified reviews and book appointments all online, for free.
LESLIE: No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire a pro you can trust.
Back with more of your calls and questions, after this.
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.
Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT. We’re going to help you with whatever it is you are working on at your house and help you out with giving away some great prizes. We’ve got up for grabs, this hour, the Ryobi Outdoor/Indoor Power Package and that includes a six-tool combo kit.
TOM: Yep. It comes with a compact drill, an impact driver, a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a molding tool, a work light, two compact batteries and a charger. They’re also throwing in the Cordless String Trimmer and Edger and the Cordless Jet-Fan Blower. The Ryobi Outdoor/Indoor Power Package is worth 367 bucks and 98 cents.
You can find it at The Home Depot and HomeDepot.com but we’ve got one to give away to a lucky caller at 888-MONEY-PIT. So call us, right now, especially if you’d like to win this for your dad. It’s Father’s Day coming up. What a great gift. All of these Ryobi tools are fantastic, 888-666-3974.[radio_anchor listorder=”4″]LESLIE: Wally in New Jersey, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
WALLY: I’ve got a little problem with a drainage tile. I have a 3-foot drainage concrete over tile that was running through a property. And it’s right on the property line and it goes into and marries up to a 3-foot steel tile – 3-foot steel drainage tile. The concrete tile has corroded and broke and is collapsing, which is causing water to come up through the ground. I’m not really sure how to get these two tiles back together, what the solution is for this, whether it needs to be an excavator or – I don’t know.
TOM: So, how deep are we talking about here?
WALLY: The top of the tile is only about 10 inches below the ground. It used to be – what it is – it’s a runoff off the road, which goes through, actually, three properties. And then it goes back into an open (inaudible at 0:30:09). All this tile that was …
TOM: But Wally, if it’s only 10 inches off the surface, then the easiest thing to do is to dig it up from the surface and repair it.
There are ways to repair pipes that are in place underground. There are ways to line pipes. There are systems out where, essentially, a fiberglass sleeve can be put inside of an existing pipe that has failed and cracked. But they’re pretty expensive and you usually reserve those for places where you can’t dig. But if you can access this thing within a foot of the surface or 2 feet at the surface, then it’s definitely worth it.
WALLY: Definitely worth it. Yeah, it’s making a big mess. We had such a hard winter up north up here that I think some just gave and broke and got a big mess, actually.
TOM: Yeah. Well, if it’s that high up in the soil line, it’s above the frost line so, obviously, when it gets wet, it freezes and it cracks. It expands and cracks. So, that’s something that’s going to keep repeating itself because of its position.
WALLY: So, that’s the solution is some kind of fiberglass liner, so break the – break that tile or the concrete pipe back further, then try to slide a bigger tile into it? And then into the steel?
TOM: No, no. No, no, no. No, no. You misunderstand.
TOM: What I’m saying is that you want to dig down and replace the sections of broken pipe.
Now, if you don’t want to do that, you can line the pipe. It’s not a do-it-yourself project. You need to find a company that can do it. And the way that’s done is they push from – they access the pipe at one point and they push what kind of looks like a fiberglass sock into the line. And then they fill the pipe with hot water that cures it and forms sort of a tube or a pipe within a pipe.
But that’s the kind of thing that you do if you’re going under driveways or around pools and stuff where you really don’t want to cause any …
WALLY: Nope. This is just through a yard.
TOM: Yeah, if it’s just through a yard, just dig it up, replace it and call it a day.
WALLY: OK. Thank you very kindly.
LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.
Hey, if you’d like to create a very natural-looking garden planter or a fire pit, outdoor kitchen or even build a retaining wall, Pavestone has a new product out that makes that super simple. And they’re called Split-Face Retaining Wall Block.
TOM: Yep. These are basically super-versatile blocks and they come in six sizes. And you can assemble them in a variety of configurations. But you do it without any mortar, so it makes the job really easy. You can use them for straight or for curved walls and they’re modular in design. That makes everything fit together so simply.
LESLIE: Yeah, essentially, you just prepare the grade and then stack them one on top of another. On the Pavestone website, they’ve actually got a video and step-by-step installation guides. I like the one that tells you how to create a barbecue. I mean you just lay down a base of the blocks and then stack them right up around the grill. It really is that easy and it looks great.
TOM: You can create beautiful landscapes with Pavestone. They’re available at home improvement retailers nationwide. Or learn more at Pavestone.com.
LESLIE: They’re back. Garden gnomes, you guys. They’re making their way from punchlines to potted plants. And they’re not the only surprise trend in yards and gardens. That and more, after this.
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.
Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right here at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-MONEY-PIT is presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated home improvement pros for any project. Go to HomeAdvisor.com.
TOM: Alright. Jeff posted a question in our Community section. Sounds like a whopper. “Tom and Leslie, I need your help. Is there any way to remove oil-based paint from a fabric car seat? I got it on the back of my jacket. I didn’t realize it and I drove off in my girlfriend’s car.”
LESLIE: That is a mess.
TOM: I’m sorry. I don’t meant to laugh at another guy’s woes.
LESLIE: But you are.
TOM: I certainly hope that she’s an understanding woman because I don’t think we have very good news for Jeff. Getting oil-based paint out of anything is difficult. And out of fabric, I think it’s nearly impossible. If it hadn’t already dried, you might have tried sort of applying a solvent to it. But then you run the risk of it discoloring the fabric.
Another option when oil-based paint is still wet is WD-40 because it’s got the uncanny ability to do many things, including removing stains from just about anything. But since the paint is long dry right now, maybe you should offer seat covers. It could be a nice gift, right? And maybe that plus a dozen roses will get you out of a jam. Alright, Jeff. Thanks for posting your question to The Money Pit’s Facebook page.
Jacob also posted. He’s got an interesting question, Leslie. He says he lives in Arkansas. They had some really bad and heavy rainstorms for a week straight. And some of the soil was totally washed out in areas around the house. They got ruts and all these spaces with just no dirt and no lawn. So he wants to know how he puts it all back.
And I think it’s a good question because you just can’t fill that up with topsoil. You’ve got to restore it in a way that it should have been done when it was first built. That means starting with fill dirt and then building it up and tamping it down real well, Jacob. And then on top of that, you can put some topsoil and you can plant grass or you can sod it or can put mulch or stone.
But I’d also tell you to make sure you take steps to control the water around the house, like extending those downspouts so they’re completely, say, 4 to 6 feet away from the house. We want to basically leave that soil as alone as possible and not do anything else that’s going to cause it to wash out until it really gets solid.
So, I think if you restore it with clean fill dirt, then topsoil with an erosion protection on top of that, you’ve got a good chance of it lasting for quite a while.
LESLIE: Yeah, that usually does the trick. Hope we helped you out.
TOM: Hey, are you looking for more fun in yards and gardens? Leslie has got the latest surprise trend, in this week’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Well, they say if you can’t beat them, join them. And that’s a saying that seems to be true in gardening, where upscale looks are giving way to playful, even theme displays. Well, if you’re not quite ready to trade in your traditional LEDs for neon or maybe some other quirks, let’s start slow.
Now, you can start by displaying a vintage garden gnome or an old sign among your plants and greenery. Or you can just get in on the fun with fencing and ornaments in bold colors rather than the neutrals you usually see them in. And I’ve even seen – get this, you guys – vintage garden gnomes painted a solid turquoise or a white and they’re super shiny and glossy. Those things are so fun to stick around the garden. You can get them in a couple of different sizes. I’ve even seen them in gold and silver and they just look so fun. It’s like a new play on one of those Victorian gazing balls.
Now, if you choose to stick with more traditional gardening, at least keep your eyes peeled for a nostalgic, fun garden in a yard near you. It’s not going to be hard to find. You go around, you look for inspiration around your neighborhood, online. You can add some simple pleasures by sticking to the same color palette and really create a beautiful landscape.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next time on the program, it might not be your favorite household chore but mowing your lawn is an important part of making sure it looks good and stays healthy. We’ll help you cut through the work with some easy lawn-care tips, on the next edition of The Money Pit.
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.
(Copyright 2017 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.)