- On a warm summer evening, there’s nothing better than sitting out on the porch… until the mosquitoes arrive! We’ve got tips on retractable screens to keep pesky pests away.
- Some home décor can practically guarantee you’ll lose money selling a home. We share the top 10 worst décor choices to avoid at all costs!
- The pandemic drove a surge of home buying from millennials, but it turns out that nearly half blew their renovation budgets within the first year! We dig into why this happened and what the home buying economy looks like going forward.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Best options for affordable kitchen countertops
- How paint your front door and make it last
- Replacing a 15-year-old roof that should have lasted longer
- Right way to assess and repair foundation cracks
- Best way to repair or replace rotted wood trim behind gutters.
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: Here to help you take on the projects you want to get done around your house to help you create your best home ever, whatever that means to you. Whether it’s a project inside or out, we’re here to lend a hand. Help yourself first by reaching out to us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or posting your questions to MoneyPit.com.
Coming up on today’s show, on a warm summer evening there’s nothing better than sitting out on the porch, until the mosquitos arrive. We’re going to have some tips, though, on how you can set up some retractable screens that can keep those pesky pests away.
LESLIE: And the pandemic, it really did drive a surge of home buying from millennials. But it turns out that many of the purchased homes out there needed far more renovations than they were expecting. And nearly half blew their renovation budgets within the first year. So we’re going to dig into what happened and what the home buying economy looks like going forward.
TOM: And also ahead, have you ever needed to tackle a repair where you wanted to glue or seal something and you had a really hard time figuring out what product would work and would work well so you don’t have to do the job over and over again? Manufacturers are getting much smarter about designing sealants that do it all, inside and out, in all types of weather. And some can even work underwater. We’re going to share that technology, which is going to save you a ton of time, just ahead.
LESLIE: But first, whether you’re doing or dreaming, whatever it is, we can help you make your home everything that you want it to be. So give us a call so we can lend you hand at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Terry in Alaska is on the line and has some questions about kitchen design. How can we help you?
TERRY: I’m working on my third house. Third house is supposed to be free when you build them yourself but that ain’t working out. But at the point here we’ve got the kitchen cabinets all brand new from factory, in boxes. And now we’re at the countertop dilemma before we really get going. And every one of these TV shows, if they ain’t granite, the people are like, “I ain’t buying the house,” and that kind of stuff.
TOM: Hmm. Yeah.
TERRY: But I was thinking granite and any of that stone stuff’s over $100 a square foot around these parts. So I’m trying to – the last laminate that we had was pretty darn good. And kind of wondering at what – in the future here, is laminate dead?
TOM: I don’t think so.
What do you think, Leslie?
LESLIE: I mean I do not think so. I use them a lot on projects for work and I use them on my TV-design shows. I actually just did a bakery in Brooklyn for our design show on the Bravo network. And I used a laminate that looked just like a Carrara marble. Granted, it had seams in some places and you knew it wasn’t the real deal but it looked gorgeous. And it was a fraction of the cost. It’s really amazing how many options there are.
There’s a couple of brands you should look at. It’s Formica, it’s Laminart and Wilsonart. And you can order sheets from them. You might find a better option than what you might find at your local home center. I don’t know how much shipping might be to Alaska but there’s a ton of great options out there, from things that look like a natural surface to just completely outrageous things. So, I wouldn’t be afraid of a laminate.
TERRY: I did see they started having better – I don’t know – the edge trim and then they tried to make the 45-degree miters go way better. I’ve got 50 square feet of this stuff and I was thinking if I buy granite, I’ve got to stare at granite the rest of my life because it costs so much. But if I buy laminate and I don’t like it a couple years down the road, I can rip it out and put some new without too much work.
TOM: All those people that get granite, they love it when they first get it. And then they slowly but surely begin to hate it because it’s hard to take care of. Because it’s stone and it soaks up …
LESLIE: I hate mine.
TOM: Yeah, it soaks up everything.
LESLIE: I don’t hate it for the maintenance reasons; I just don’t like the look of it anymore.
TERRY: Yeah. When they’re doing the open houses around here, I kind of run through some of them. And I see that they basically put the granite countertop in there but they got the cheapest cabinets you could possibly buy.
TOM: Right. Yeah.
TERRY: So they’re making up for it somewhere but I’m not (inaudible) to me. So I’m not playing that game.
TOM: I guess. Alright. Well, thanks for calling, Terry. We hope that helps you out.
TERRY: Yep. Thanks. Bye.
LESLIE: Alright. Kay is on the line now and she needs some help painting a door. Kay, tell us about your project.
KAY: Yeah. And I listen to you every week you’re on.
TOM: Well, thank you so much.
LESLIE: Oh, thanks, Kay.
KAY: I wanted to paint my wood door. It’s a very old wood door. It’s red now.
KAY: My husband painted it only one coat and I think it was blue.
KAY: It needs another coat to make it real red but I want to paint it white.
TOM: Well, the color is a personal preference. So, to paint this door, the best thing to do is to take it off of the hinges and lay it flat on a couple of sawhorses. And then you want to sand the old surface. You want to make sure you get rid of any flaking paint, any cracked paint, because you can’t put good paint over bad paint. You’ve got to get all that stuff off.
KAY: It’s not cracking or anything. It’s smooth as can be.
TOM: Alright. So then he must have done a great job when he painted it last time.
KAY: He did. He sanded it down to the wood. It was all original wood, so it’s really smooth. That’s why I wasn’t sure and I don’t know if I can get the paint off like if you – and I didn’t want to scrape it.
TOM: Well, I don’t think you have to take all the old paint off. If it’s adhering well, then you’re good to go on it. So sand it down and then I would recommend that you put a coat of primer on. Because this will make sure that the new paint adheres as well as the old paint did.
Primer is kind of the glue that makes the paint stick. So, put the primer on.
KAY: Will KILZ work? Because I’ve got a gallon of KILZ.
TOM: It’ll work fine, yep. You put the KILZ on, let it dry and then you could put your topcoat on that.
KAY: To sand it, what do I have to do? Knock the sheen off?
TOM: Yeah, knock the sheen off. Exactly right. You don’t have to sand it down to the raw wood but you have to get that sheen off. So a medium grit, like 100-grit sandpaper, would work really well, OK?
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LESLIE: Debbie in Ontario is on the line and has a question about concrete. What’s going on?
DEBBIE: My question is to do with concrete – is that we had a cement porch and patio attached to the back of the house.
DEBBIE: We had to have a large portion of that – the porch, for sure and a large portion of the patio – removed because we had around our foundation dug. New cement was poured. The porch first and then the patio was replaced. What happened is within about 4 days or so, it – they did the cuts the next day after the pour. But a few more days after that, we noticed two cracks came in the two cement pads that butt up against the porch. And left and right side, the crack goes diagonally across the pad.
We’re kind of wondering – the contractor saw what happened and he’s sick about it. And we were just wondering if there’s anything that can be done without having to remove those two large pads of cement, that attach to the house, and go through all that jackhammering and all that again.
TOM: So these pads, is this like a stoop that – you say they lead up to the porch? Are these parts of sort of the sidewalk?
DEBBIE: The patio – and then the porch is the only thing that’s higher than the patio. So, the patio is level with the cement driveway.
TOM: OK. Mm-hmm.
DEBBIE: And then the porch is up from that. So it’s on the patio itself.
TOM: And that’s where the crack is? Through the patio?
DEBBIE: Yeah, the patio. So the two cement slabs that are on either side of the porch. And the cuts that were made in the cement come up to the corner – the outside corner – of the porch on either side. But then, you know, how they can’t cut right up to …?
TOM: Right. But these are – OK. So you’re talking about a patio and you’re talking about two cement slabs that are opposite ends of the porch. So, I’m having a real hard time – as I’m sure others listening are, too – trying to figure out what this is all about. But it sounds to me like you’ve got slab-on-grade sections, right, and you’re calling that a “patio” or a “pad.”
DEBBIE: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Correct. Correct.
TOM: Then you have the porch section. The porch seems to be fine. Is that correct?
TOM: OK. So, I would think that the soil underneath the patio areas would need to be especially well compacted before those slabs were poured. Because considering the amount of demolition that had to have happened, I suspect that that soil outside the porch area would not have been compacted. And that would have been really key to make sure that those slabs don’t crack. The reason that they’re cracking is probably because there is some compaction that happened, based on the weight of the concrete and the drying and such. And that’s why they’re cracking now.
Now, can you do anything about it? Well, whatever you do about it is going to be cosmetic, not structural. Also, if that concrete was not reinforced, that’s another reason that it would crack. There’s ways to put concrete in that’s just plain concrete and then there’s other ways that you could do it where it’s reinforced. So if it wasn’t reinforced correctly, that could be another issue.
But there’s nothing that you can do to repair it, structurally, at this point. You’re always going to have a crack. So, what you could do is seal that crack with a special caulk-like – it’s not caulk but it’s a caulk-like product that’s designed to seal concrete. But you’re always going to be looking at that crack unless you resurface the whole patio section. And again, there are products that are designed specifically for that, that will stick to the old concrete slab – which is actually pretty new, in your case – and perhaps cover the crack.
But that crack’s always going to be sort of a place where the patio decides to expand and contract with the seasons. So I do suspect you’ll always see some part of it. So, you either live with it and repair it cosmetically or just have it torn out and repoured. I mean a slab itself is not that big of a deal to get out, even though it seems like a big deal. But frankly, they break up pretty quickly.
And then, again, key is making sure that that base is properly compacted and properly tamped and that the slab is properly reinforced. If that’s done right, with the right concrete mix, this should not have happened.
DEBBIE: OK. Would it be alright, even, just to replace – like cut out maybe 2 feet along that slab and make – just take out the corner square of it?
TOM: You’re going to have that be separate slabs now. Depends on whether or not you want to see that. It’s always going to be a cut. So, no, probably not unless you want to make it an expansion joint and have it be completely separate pieces of concrete.
DEBBIE: OK. Very good.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Sorry that happened to you and thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
DEBBIE: Thank you.
LESLIE: Hey, do the cooler evening temps draw you to the front or the back porch or would you like to be able to open up your doors to the breeze whenever you can? Well, to enjoy the summer breezes and lower your cooling costs without the harsh sun or bugs, consider adding a retractable screen.
TOM: Yeah. Retractable screens can roll out when you need them and then fit neatly back into their hidden casing when they’re not in use.
Now, I’ve got one of these on my home office door, which faces the exterior and I really love them. The kind I have is contained in sort of a cylindrical cover that is on the hinge side of the door and when we open the door, we just pull the screen right across and snap it in place – got a magnetic catch – and it works perfectly.
And we get to have the full door open to basically enjoy that cool breeze but we don’t have to have a regular screen door on it, which kind of covers the front door, which is kind of pretty and we really didn’t want to do that. So, they’re definitely a good option. And they can be customized to any size, from a window or door, to even larger spaces. The back porch could easily be transformed into a shady, screened-in porch when the bugs are on the hunt and then back into a completely open-air porch when you’re ready for full sun.
LESLIE: Yeah. And the screens are also available to cover large doors that swing in or out. And the screening itself is available in so many different styles. And the mesh can be customized by color or even the tightness of the weave, so you can really have it as obvious or invisible as you like.
TOM: Yeah. I’ve seen some meshes that are practically see-through, which is really, really cool because you still …
LESLIE: It’s amazing.
TOM: Yeah, you don’t lose the beauty of your yard.
LESLIE: Larry in Texas is on the line looking for some help with a new roof. What’s going on?
LARRY: Well, we have a 15-year-old roof. We put 30-year Timberline shingles on originally. About 15 years ago, we had a hailstorm. I had the insurance adjuster come out and take a look at it and he said, “Yes, you need to replace it.” He says we’ve got about 35 squares to tear off and 39 to replace.
LARRY: He estimated 15 pound felt for most of it, 30 pound felt for our 12/12 pitch. He suggested a roofer company A that suggested shingle brand one.
LARRY: And I have worked with roofer B, who said no, we probably ought to go with shingle brand two.
TOM: Are they both name-brand shingles?
LARRY: Yes, I can name them if you want.
TOM: Yeah. Are they dimensional shingles, so do they look like the Timberline that you mentioned that you had before or …?
LARRY: Yes. They would be very similar to the Timberline dimensional.
TOM: And do they both have the same warranty?
LARRY: I think they both carry 30-year, although one – I have not seen written copy from either one. And one of them indicated that after 10 years, the warranty may taper off.
TOM: All these roofers, all these contractors, they’ve all got their sort of attitudes and practices and they like one over the other. But let me tell you something, the differentiator on a roofing installation is not as much the shingle as it is the guy doing the shingles – the shingler, so the speak – because it all comes down to workmanship. And if the workmanship is not rock solid, it doesn’t matter how good that shingle is, you’re still going to have problems.
TOM: And so, I would make my decision based on which roofer I was most confident in could do a good job. And whatever product he’s comfortable working with, then I would just accept that product and not try to force him to use another one. But the devil is in the details. It’s about the flashing, for example, and the underlayments and the ice-and-water shield and things like that. If you get a roofer that does a really good job with those details, then you’re not going to have any issues.
LARRY: The adjuster missed one skylight in his estimate. He also missed one roof jack and he said, “Oh, well, we can pick that up when the roofer does his job.” Is that common industry practice?
TOM: I don’t know what he means when he says he can pick that up. If he missed it in his estimate, then I think you need to ask him to go back and revise the estimate to add the elements in that he missed. Because while you’ve got this guy’s attention and while he’s into the job and you guys are talking on a regular basis, I would just – I would ask him to revise it. It should be no big deal for that to happen. We don’t want this to go to installation and then there’s a payment dispute, 3 months from now or something, and nobody remembers what was said to who and when.
So, yeah, you want to get it in writing. You’re right. If he mixed the count up, if you add six skylights and he wrote down five, then you make him change it. That’s not a big deal. You can do it now.
LARRY: OK. Well, I did a lot of quoting when I was still in the working world and yeah, counts are important.
TOM: Yep. It’s his job.
LARRY: One quick note. My wife wanted a fishing tank out in front of the house and had one contractor dig that one and it didn’t hold water. I had another contractor say, “I can do that.” So I have called it my money pit, with apologies to your program.
TOM: Well, that’s OK. We will lend it to you for that purpose. You say a fishing tank. Is that like a goldfish pond, that kind of thing?
LARRY: No, it was about a ¾-acre pond.
TOM: Oh, my goodness. Wow.
LARRY: But here in Texas, they’re called “tanks.”
TOM: OK. Well, alright. Is there anything living in that fish tank right now?
LARRY: No, it’s not holding water. So I’m going to put more money into it and fill it back in.
TOM: Oh, boy. Alright. Well, listen, whatever it takes to make your wife happy, right?
LARRY: Absotutely (ph). That’s what …
TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us, Larry, at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, according to a new survey released by Angi, the pandemic drove a surge of home buying from millennials. However, many of these purchased homes are needing more renovations than they were expecting. And nearly half of them blew past their renovation budgets within the first year of homeownership. I even imagine it was sooner.
TOM: Well, with us to talk about that and what the home improvement economy looks like going forward is Mischa Fisher. Mischa is the chief economist for Angi.
MISCHA: Hey. Great to be with you both again.
TOM: You know, going over reno budget is no surprise to our more seasoned homeowners but I’m guessing it was quite a rude awakening for some millennials. What drove it?
MISCHA: Yeah, I think for millennials, this was definitely a baptism by fire in terms of jumping into the housing market. This is a very, very competitive time to get a home and what really drove a lot of it was – when you’ve got a competitive market for the most desirable houses, people inevitably get pushed into houses that they wouldn’t otherwise have necessarily wanted as much. But the demand for having that house and getting out of the downtown core and that cheap mortgage you can get on it is just too compelling to pass up.
So, a bunch of people flooded the market and now they’re finding that their renovation budget is quickly not sufficing for what they had planned and it’s getting blown out pretty quick.
TOM: Well, are you guys also seeing that renovation costs are higher now because there’s a labor shortage, material costs are going up? Did that contribute to some of this, as well?
MISCHA: Yeah, that definitely contributed, as well. What happened was the overall price of lumber, for example, shot way, way up. There’s also problems getting things like appliances and fixtures and things like that. But lumber really stands out with 300-, 400-percent increases year over year because of the big spike in demand, the shutdown of lumber mills, supply-chain problems. That’s all driven it up.
And so, if you’re going for something lumber-intensive, like putting in an addition or aggressive remodel that requires new flooring or new siding or cabinetry which requires all that plywood, then you were certainly hit with a big uptick in terms of the top-line cost.
But even without all of those factors, people tend to go over budget. This just sort of took that overall dynamic and put it into overdrive. So we found, in some survey that we did just before the pandemic, that by about a 3:1 ratio, people go over budget versus under budget. And what happened, though, was that the pandemic just sort of took that dynamic and hit a lot more people with it.
LESLIE: Well, I mean it was interesting. You really found houses that were not in the best of shape and going for super-high prices that sort of limited your budget to do the renovations. And then you were stuck having to do the renovations.
I looked at several houses in the craziness of this market and decided to finally just say, “You know what? It’s too much to even just get in it.” But I think a lot of people just were excited by low interest rates and the opportunity to do something that they never were able to do before in buying the house, especially these millennials.
MISCHA: That’s such an indicative experience of what a lot of people went through.
And the low interest rates, it’s really quite a compelling option. If you’re looking at the cost of owning a home, it’s really two costs, right? It’s the cost of buying the home but because so few people buy in cash, the cost of renting the money – your mortgage interest – to buy the home is really, in some cases, one of the bigger factors you have to consider.
And if rates dropped – for lots of people, they dropped from just shy of five percent before the pandemic down to, in some cases, below three percent. So if you’re talking about rates that are 30- to 50-percent cheaper, in some cases, it might be rational to then go bid up the price of the house you’re planning to buy by an equivalent amount. And so that’s why we saw this big, big uptick, in addition to all the demand.
TOM: And Mischa, your work on the home improvement economy and predicting the economy for home improvers has been really, really fascinating.
Before we let you go, I want to ask you about the availability of pros to get these projects done, because that’s been a big challenge for homeowners, as well. If they’re not DIYers and they want to hire a pro to get a job done, we’ve been recommending Angi for years for folks to find a good-quality pro, to be able to compare reviews and so on. But are there enough pros out there to accomplish what needs to be done?
MISCHA: It’s a tight labor market and I think, in a lot of local markets, people are finding that there’s just not enough pros out there to get everything done. And so, one of the things we’re constantly working on is trying to increase that supply. And that’s obviously one of the benefits of the platform – is if somebody enters this labor market, one of the things we try and highlight is that this is a really entrepreneurial place you can go. If you are ambitious and talented and willing to work hard, you can jump into the home services and as you train up and get better, platforms like ours can deliver people a lot of demand so they can go out and help consumers with those things.
And I really do think there’s a tendency, when it’s that hard to get somebody, to want to do it yourself but that can be definitely penny-wise, pound-foolish. Because the smallest, little mistake might end up costing you a lot of money or more, if you’re playing around with electricity and gas and things like that. Those things are definitely not something that you want to just do it yourself.
And so, I think the main thing is that if you are in a tight labor market, you just have to be patient and not rush the process. If you get a bad pro, it’s going to be worse than just waiting a little bit longer.
So, use platforms like ours to make sure you’re getting high-quality pros. And even if they’re busy, just be patient rather than going with somebody who doesn’t have the track record of being able to deliver for consumers.
TOM: Yeah. If somebody has plenty of time to get your project done now and they’ve been around for a while, there’s probably a reason for that.
MISCHA: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, exactly.
TOM: So you’re better off finding somebody who says, “I can schedule you in 2 or 3 or 4 months,” and you know that they’re going to be reliable.
Mischa Fisher, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
Mischa Fisher is the chief economist for Angi. You can learn more at Angi.com.
Thanks again, Mischa. Great job.
MISCHA: Thank you both for having me. It was great to be with you.
LESLIE: David in Mississippi is on the line with some cracks in the foundation. Tell us what’s going on.
DAVID: My house is 8 years old or 9 years old this year. But I’ve got ceramic tile and it keeps cracking my ceramic tile.
TOM: So we’re talking about cracks in the floor, David?
DAVID: Yes. I hadn’t seen none in the walls or nothing, just in the floors with ceramic tile. And it’s in different rooms, too, so I know it’s more than one crack. I just – the only thing I can think is it’s stress cracks from the concrete foundation.
TOM: Well, it may or it may not be. Now, when you put ceramic tile on a concrete floor like that and especially in a large surface, there is an isolation membrane that works well to go down in between the concrete and the tile. And that helps to prevent the condition that you’re seeing.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix for this. There’s no inexpensive way to stop a floor from cracking if, potentially, it was installed improperly to begin with. The only general advice we can give you is to make sure you try to keep it as dry as possible down there, because moisture is going to make the slab move more.
DAVID: Well, let me ask you a question. What if I took the ceramic tile up and put some hardwood floors in?
TOM: Well, you couldn’t put solid-hardwood floor because the moisture will cause it to warp. But what you could put in is engineered-hardwood floor. And in fact, if you wanted to put engineered-hardwood flooring, you don’t really have to take the ceramic tile up. You could leave it down there and just go on top of it because it’s not connected to the floor; it pretty much rides. It’s a floating floor; it rides right on that surface.
You’d put down a very thin underlayment underneath it. It’s a very thin foam-like underlayment, like maybe a ¼-inch thick. Then the boards are snapped together and they sit on top of that. You just leave a gap at the edges of the room.
DAVID: OK. I sure appreciate it. I listen to you all’s show all the time. Sure appreciate all the information I can get from you all.
TOM: Well, Leslie, the last time I needed an adhesive for a job, I did what most people do: headed on over to the home center, walked over to the paint department, which is where they usually keep all the caulks and the glues and the sealants, and then proceeded to spend a good 15 minutes reading the tiny print on labels trying to figure out which product was going to work for my purpose. They don’t make it easy.
LESLIE: No, I mean they really don’t. And the print is so small, so you could be reading for a little while. So, if you’ve got a repair to make, it really isn’t easy to choose that right adhesive. Now, some are designed to stick, some are designed to seal, some are designed to stretch and not too many can be used outside where UV rays will dry it out and then crack. And even fewer can be used underwater.
Well, one that really does it all and is out now from The Original Super Glue Company – and it’s called Total Tech. Now, it’s really the perfect mix of a heavy-duty construction adhesive and an all-purpose sealant. It’s a really strong adhesive that can hold up to 430 psi but it’s also super flexible. You can actually stretch over three-and-a-half times its length. That means if you’re using it to seal a window or repair a crack, all of the expansion and contraction that occurs in those areas are not going to impact that seal.
TOM: Now, it also is 100-percent waterproof and it works during all weather conditions, even underwater. I saw a really amazing demo – and it’s the kind of demo I like to do on TV and you would, too.
So, in the demo, the guy takes a – he has a fish tank, right? Filled up. He takes a basketball and he squeezes the Total Tech on the bottom of the basketball, like a 2-inch wide, big drop of it. Then he presses the basketball into the water, all the way to the bottom of the tank which, of course, is soaking wet. The water closes around the basketball. Then he takes his hand off and it stays there. What does that? What kind of adhesive will actually stick to wet surfaces underwater? I was pretty impressed with it.
It comes in clear, it comes in white. It dries in an hour. It’s even paintable. You can find it on Amazon, you can find it in your local hardware store or you could check it out at SuperGlueCorp.com/TotalTech. Good stuff.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Martin on the line who wants to talk about fascia boards. That is an excellent design detail on the exterior. What can we do for you?
MARTIN: The fascia boarding that connects the ceiling of my porch roof to the overhang has separated from the ceiling. And I want to know if I need to – do I need to rip that out and replace it? Or can I just seal it and maybe put a larger molding over it?
TOM: Well, if the fascia board is loosening up, then I would tell you to resecure it. And that’s actually not an unusual thing to happen, because the nails that hold that are usually going into the ends of the rafters behind it. They tend to expand and contract a lot.
But what I would do is I would tell you to resecure it but do it with screws, not with nails. If you use long screws – like 2½-inch, case-hardened drywall screws or wood-trim screws – that will pull that fascia board back in tight and it’ll be impossible for it to loosen up again.
So don’t think of it in terms of something covering it. Just put it back where it was but use screws instead of nails and it won’t come out again, OK?
MARTIN: And do I do that by going under the molding?
TOM: Well, you want to try to get that fascia board resecured in, so if that is going to require you to take off a piece of molding to get to it, then that’s what you do. But you want to get to the original fascia and tighten it up.
MARTIN: OK. I can do that, then. Thank you very much.
TOM: Alright, Martin. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
So David reached out. He’s worried about his roof. He says that his roof might be due for replacement soon but he discovered there are large, visible gaps in the roof sheathing and wonders if it’s an immediate concern.
Actually, David, it depends. Some roof-sheathing materials are supposed to have gaps. For example, waferboard or Aspenite has this type of metal clip called an “H-clip,” which is specifically designed to provide some space between the sheathing panels, because they expand and contract. So, what you’re saying are large, visible gaps, I don’t know. It might just be the normal seam in between the plywood that’s designed by the manufacturer. So I wouldn’t worry too much about that unless you have any other more significant issues of concern.
LESLIE: Yeah. David, if it’s not leaking and it’s not buckling, you’re probably OK. So, look at that.
TOM: Well, we all know that when it comes to home value, location, location and location are the three most important factors. But realtors are reporting there are other factors that could surprise you. Leslie has the details, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, according to the experts at BobVila.com, realtors are reporting that some décor choices can actually make it harder to sell your home. Now, we’re going to see how many of these recommendations you agree with.
First up, wallpaper. Now, I love wallpaper but not everybody does. And even though there’s a comeback moment for wallpaper right now, not everybody is looking at it in an excited yay way. Buyers are looking at wallpaper and thinking, “Gosh. Time, money, effort. Got to get rid of it.” So it might not be the best for every situation.
Closets. If you get rid of a closet to sort of free up space, to make a larger bedroom or add a master bath, that’s a super-bad move. People want storage and they want storage now more than ever.
Kitchens. They’ve been starting to look a little sterile. So if your kitchen is so white, maybe it’s featureless and shiny that it could be mistaken for, say, an operating room, chances are it’s not going to appeal to many potential homebuyers. And people look at kitchens as a big price tag, so they’re already like, “Can I live with it? Do I need to do it? How much is it going to cost?”
The other thing is bathtubs. If you don’t have one, people sort of think, “I really need a tub.” Walk-in showers, they’re great but tubs are important. So it can be kind of difficult, according to realtors, to sell a home with only showers, since a lot of these home buyers do need at least one tub for young kids, pets or maybe they just want to soak themselves. You know my dream is to have my own bathroom with a bathtub. It’s all I dream about on a daily basis.
The other thing are high-end kitchen appliances. If you love to cook, you could be thrilled by a kitchen that has those high-end, professional-quality stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers. But be prepared, however, to lose money on those investments when it comes time to sell.
Another issue is bold walls. I mean there really is something to be said about having too much of a good thing. And bold accents walls are great. But go all in and no future potential home buyer is going to be able to see themselves in your space, especially if those colors are far from neutral.
And wall-to-wall carpeting – it’s last on our list – it is out. Carpet does feel nice underfoot but most homebuyers aren’t looking for a house that’s carpeted and they know that it’s kind of a pain to remove. So, on the other hand, refinished hardwood floors can actually get you back some extra cash.
So, a lot of things to consider. If you’re selling your home, whether now or down the road, make some smart choices.
TOM: First thing we removed when we moved into our house: orange shag carpet. Yuck.
LESLIE: Oh, my gosh. I looked at a house, Tom, that in the photos online, the wallpaper was so faint, I thought it was just a light color paint. But every room, every wall was wallpapered within an inch of its life. And all I saw was dollar signs.
TOM: Well, coming up next time on the program, you may not realize it but your home is always moving. It’s expanding, it’s contracting and it’s settling. And sometimes, that movement can result in cracks to your foundation. But how do you know if a crack is serious or just a result of some normal house movement? We’re going to explain, on the very 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.
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