- Pet-Friendly Backyard: Enjoy the outdoors with your furry friends by creating a pet-friendly backyard.
- UV Sun Damage: Find out how to defend your floors and furnishings against damaging sunlight.
- Staining a Fence: Learn the best way to spruce up your fence for maximum curb appeal.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Installing a Ceiling Fan: James wants to add ceiling fans in rooms with no overhead lighting. It’s not hard, but it’s an easier job for an electrician to do.
- Kitchen Flooring: Patrilla would like new kitchen flooring to install over sheet linoleum. Engineered vinyl plank or laminate are beautiful and durable options.
- Insulation: An attic with minimal fiberglass insulation needs more. Albert finds out spray foam insulation is an excellent choice that expands, seals, and has much better R-value.
- Old Plumbing: When one shower is used, another one goes cold. Tammy needs a plumber to check the old steel pipes and the water pressure from the street.
- Wood Floor Care: Old pine and oak wood floors are hard to clean and protect. We advise Margaret to use a natural cleaner that won’t damage the wood.
- Matching Paint Colors: Dante hasn’t been able to match the color of a repainted area in a small room. It’s easier to prime and repaint the whole wall.
- Leaking HVAC System: Leah’s split ductless HVAC system is leaking freon. She needs to find the source of the leak instead of adding more refrigerant.
- Water in Garage: Water running downhill is coming into Butch’s garage. He should build a curtain drain and pitch it away from the garage to divert the water.
- Leaking Roof: A roof leak is probably coming through a pipe from Judy’s bathroom. Replacing the flashing around the pipe should be an easy fix.
|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: What are you guys planning for this weekend? If it’s a home improvement project, a decorating project, a repair that needs to get done? Well, you’re in the right place because that’s what we do. No, we can’t come to your house and do it for you, but we can give you some tips, some guidance, some advice. You can get that job done once you get it done right and get back to enjoying your summer. First thing you have to do is help yourself. Are reaching out to us at 888-Money-Pit or 888-666-3974. Or better yet go to moneypit.com/ask. Click the blue microphone button record your question push send and you’ll get the fastest possible response. Coming up on today’s show, we are not the only ones who enjoy spending a lot of time outside in warm weather for family pets. The backyard is a place to relax, burn off some energy and play with furry friends and the human ones too. So we’re going to share four tips to help you improve your outdoor space to keep pets safe and happy in the summer.
|LESLIE: And you may know what a good sunburn can definitely do to your skin, but have you ever thought about what those harsh rays are doing to your home? Well, sunlight can feed furniture and floors. It can raise your energy costs. Sorry to tell you about a way that you can shut out those damaging rays with just the push of a button.
|TOM: And the great looking fence can improve your home’s curb appeal and add to your home’s value. But if the fence has not been well-maintained, it can have the opposite effect. So we’re going walk you through, had a stain a fence and make it really, really last.
|LESLIE: All right. But first, we want to hear what you are working on. You’ve got a few weeks left of the summer season. How can we help you make the most of this gorgeous weather and tackle some projects? Well, give us a call. Let us know what you want to do. We’ll help you with the step by steps. Call us any time. 24, seven.
|TOM: Eight, eight, eight. Money Pit. 888-666-3974. Or go to Money Pit icon slash ask. And we are going to go to our first caller.
|LESLIE: Leslie James in Virginia is on the line with a ceiling fan question what’s going on at your money pit.
|CALLER: I live in a 1986 two story ranch and we do not have overhead lighting in any of the bedrooms. And there’s no there’s no lighting fixtures. And we want to add ceiling fans. So I was wondering how difficult it would be to do that in the bedrooms.
|TOM: It’s not terribly difficult, but it’s not terribly easy either. I would say that it would be very easy for an electrician to do that because they have the tools necessary to get the wiring where it needs to go. It’s kind of hard for DIY to do that. And the other important thing about a ceiling fan is you need to make sure you use the right type of electrical connection in that ceiling so that you have some support on that fan because it gets very heavy and it also vibrates sometimes. So you need to have the right connections of the fan to the ceiling. And of course the wiring has to be in place. Now electricians can fish wires through there. There’s a couple of tricks of the trade that they use that these sort of long, skinny fiberglass rods that can be run in the space between ceiling joist to run wires where they need to be. But what I would do is if you’re thinking about maybe doing this in a couple of rooms, I would sort of pile those jobs together because there’s a sort of a mobilization cost. When you hire a pro for a small project like that and really try to get all of your electrical work done at the same time. Now, the 1986 House, you might also want to find out if you’ve got ground fault circuit interrupters protecting the bathroom and the kitchen outlets. That would be another easy thing to add to that to do list that will protect you from shocks. Okay.
|CALLER: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate your help. And I love your show. Listen to it all the time.
|TOM: Yeah. Good luck with that project. And with all the work you’re doing to your new house. Call us back anytime. Eight, eight, eight, six, six, 63974.
|LESLIE: Patricia in Louisiana is working on a kitchen flooring project. What’s going.
|CALLER: On? I have a sheet linoleum in my kitchen, and I want to know if I can put the square tile down over there or any other kind of flooring that I have to take up the window.
|TOM: You know, I think the good thing about flooring that’s available today, Leslie, is that you can put a lot of these products on top of those old sheet vinyl or linoleum floors, right? I mean, there’s she’s got a lot of options here.
|LESLIE: I mean, you really do have so many options when it comes to kitchen flooring, especially flooring that’s floating and can go on top of an existing level floor. You have engineered vinyl plank, which is also known as EVP. It installs beautifully. It can look like a variety of woods and wood tones and wood finishes and planks. I mean, there’s so many different ways to achieve a durable, easy to install floor that’s not going to break the bank. Definitely worth checking out. L flooring. So many options there.
|TOM: Also laminate flooring, right? I mean, because laminate flooring is all sort of tongue and groove locked together. And again, you snap it all together. It can lay down right on top of that old sheet flooring that you have now. You’ll leave a little bit of gap between it and see the baseboard molding. And you put some quarter round or some shoe molding to cover that gap. And it’s super durable and it’s absolutely beautiful. So the one product I would not put down on top of the old one is another type of sheet. Lawrence I would not put vinyl, new vinyl flooring, roll out vinyl flooring on top of that old linoleum because you’ll see all of the lumps and imperfections in your old floor. I would definitely look for a product that is it will go on top of that and that has some resilience to it, like EVP or Laminate.
|LESLIE: Hey, Money Pit listeners, if we’ve saved you some time, money or hassles with your projects, you would totally make our day by leaving us a five star review on Apple Podcasts. Just go to Money Pit dot com slash review. Now we’re going to talk inflation with Albert from Massachusetts. What’s going.
|CALLER: On? Well, my house is about 50 years old and the attic is unused space. It’s not very large. It’s and it’s got minimal insulation. It’s just the strips of the fiberglass paper backing. Okay. And thinking that it needs more than that. And I’m wondering if I should get should it be blown in or sprayed on open so close. So you have any suggestions on that?
|TOM: Sure. So if you want to use spray foam insulation, I think that’s an excellent choice, especially if you’re going to be in this house for many years because it does a couple of things. It expands and it seals. And it also is a much better r-value than the fiberglass insulation. We did this in our very old house. We were replacing a roof at the time and my house is so old it didn’t have roof sheathing. So when we had the plywood sheeting, I opted to spray foam the insulation from the inside and we basically sprayed the bottom and the roof rafters and the insulation and the sheathing effectively sealing in the entire attic space. We no longer needed any ventilation in the attic there because spray foam is not impacted by moisture. And now we find that the attic is the same temperature as the rest of the house. We’re pretty close to it even in the summer when it is boiling hot up there. So I’m a big fan of spray foam insulation, so I think that’s an excellent option. Now, you also mentioned that you’re not using this space that much. If that’s the case, blown in is a possibility as well. But once you do that, you’re definitely not going to be able to access it because it’ll just be covered and you will continue to have to ventilate that because if you use fiberglass insulation that is susceptible to moisture and humidity getting into it and if it gets just a little bit damp, it doesn’t insulate very well. But I think you may find, as I did, that when you do spray foam, it’s an instant change. It’s an incredibly efficient thing to do. It definitely makes the house more comfortable and it cuts back on both your cooling and your heating bills.
|CALLER: Mm hmm. Now, with the spray foam, they would have to remove all that. All fiberglass rolled out insulation.
|TOM: I actually I didn’t do that. I left my old insulation, which was in the floor of the attic, because I didn’t see any point in removing it. There was nothing to be gained from doing that just was another job. Now, I already had some of that flooring down. I had to fill in some areas that didn’t have flooring because I wanted to be able to take advantage of it for storage. But we applied the spray foam not to the flooring of the attic or the ceiling level of the second floor. We applied it to the roof rafters and that’s the only time you would do that if it was fiberglass and never would have done that, because that would have been a very difficult area to vent. But because it was spray foam, it was able to spray the underside of the sheathing and the roof rafters. And now if you go up to my attic, it kind of looks like a cave up there because the phone is just everywhere. And they sprayed it all in one day. And a really good crew. And I have a really hard house to work with this because I had some flat roof sections and that sort of stuff has a tough crawl spaces. And they did everything with spray foam and we found an instant improvement. In fact, if you go to money FT.com and search guide to insulation the money IT guide insulation, the story is in there, including my before and after utility bills, so you can see what effect it had.
|CALLER: I appreciate the call back.
|TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Now we’ve got Tammy in Philadelphia on the line who’s looking for a better shower. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: Hi. I was calling in because I wanted to find out. I have an old Victorian house and I have a33 story. I have a bathroom, upper floor and a bathroom on a second. And when someone’s in a shower, I want a second floor. And then someone takes the shower or runs the water upstairs on the third floor, the shower goes cold and I’ve been exiting my contractors and my plumbers and I’m not getting a consistent answer. So I like to remedy that as I’m doing remodeling.
|TOM: Okay. So are you opening up walls as part of this remodeling?
|CALLER: Yes. I’m completely stripped down to the side.
|TOM: Okay, great. So first of all, the reasons you have reduced water pressure in older homes are generally because you have old steel pipes that suffer from internal rusting and they clog. They closed down kind of like a clogged artery. And then you can’t push enough water through it. And that could be your main water pipe. It could be the supply of pipes that are inside the house or a combination of them. And so since you’re taking the walls apart, the general rule of thumb is that whenever you expose these old steel pipes, you want to replace them with copper pipes or with PEX, which is different to a newer type of plumbing pipe. Now the other thing is that you may not have enough water pressure coming in from the street.
|CALLER: Well, well, the pressure the pressure is not that big of a deal because I think that the pressure is kind of okay. It’s just that like basically we have to bear arms in a house and you can only use one at a time. Like the water completely goes ice call if you’re in a shower or somebody comes in and uses the same, well, that’s.
|TOM: Because the pipes may not be supplying that hot water. They may not be moving enough hot water. What size water heater do you have.
|CALLER: For a gallon? All right.
|TOM: Well, that’s a minimum size, but it should be okay for two bathrooms.
|TOM: And is it an older water heater?
|CALLER: No, I just replace the water heater.
|TOM: When you replace it, that they’re changing the plumbing around it. This this is still going through the steel pipes.
|CALLER: I don’t think that they changed the pipes around the. No, I don’t think so.
|TOM: So you need to talk with your plumbers about what kind of pipes you have, whether or not that’s contributing to the problem. I need to know where the water pressure is at the street, because if you’re not getting enough pressure that could be the whole cause of it.
|CALLER: Okay, Now I googled it and I saw something online called a pressure Bella’s valve. Would that remedy that issue at all?
|TOM: So a pressure balance valve is designed to be used primarily in a shower. And what it does is it keeps the mix between hot and cold, balanced so that you don’t get scorching or freezing cold waters when the pressure drops. So if somebody was to say, run hot water downstairs and now rob all that hot water from the upstairs shower, it would not change the balance of water from the mix of water between hot and cold. So the flow would be less. You’d have less of a stream, but it wouldn’t be the temperature wouldn’t change. Okay. Right. Okay. So, no, that’s not I don’t think that’s the cause. I mean, that that would certainly be a good thing to have and something you should consider. But I don’t think that’s the reason you’re not getting hot water on the second floor. I just don’t think you’re moving enough water up there.
|CALLER: Okay. So basically what I need to do is tell them to check the piping around the water heater.
|TOM: Yeah, and the plumber should know this. Not only run the water heater, but basically if you’re going to one of those walls, what kind of pipes do you have and are they corroded and should they be replaced to help root out to help alleviate this? Okay. And if all else fails, you could always have a second water heater upstairs. You could get a tankless water heater, which would be a really small unit, and it would supply additional water to that second floor bathroom.
|CALLER: Oh, okay. Okay. That’s interesting. Okay. Well, I think that kind of remedies the problem.
|TOM: All right. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit. Well, if you love spending time on your deck, your patio or the backyard in this beautiful weather, that probably goes for your pets as well. But pets can tear up a backyard space pretty quickly and even getting things that could hurt them if you’re not careful. So to help, we’ve got four ways you can improve your outdoor space to keep pets safe and then humans happy.
|LESLIE: Yeah. First of all, think about skipping the fake grass, you know, artificial turf that never needs mowing. It’s definitely attractive and it works great if you’ve got sport loving kids. But if you have pets, you have to know that that plastic grass can get very hot during the summer and it can be challenging to clean. If you do want to have fake grass, be a backyard superhero and select real turf grass for the areas where your pets do hang out.
|TOM: Now, Nick, speaking of grass, you want to be picky about picking the right plants in grasses. So for grass go for something that’s hardy, that can withstand a high volume of traffic like buffalo and Bermuda. Grasses are a good choice depending on your climate zone and for other plants and shrubs, you can check out the ASPCA A’s list of toxic and nontoxic garden plants on their website for advice before buying. You’re going to want soft yet very sturdy foliage near walkways save the delicate decorative flowers for elevated flower beds and patio pots.
|LESLIE: Yeah, and if you do want to go all out and make your yard a dream for your dog, go for it. I mean, some ideas include adding a splash pool for your pup, creating a sandbox for spot to unleash his love of digging. Or you can add a puppy pergola to help give them some shade for safety. Whatever your pup wants, be creative. Your canine will thank you and be safer for all of your efforts and your family is going to love it too.
|TOM: And we’ve got more tips on building safe spaces for your pets on Money Pit scum. Margaret in Virginia is next on the Money Pit. How can we help you, Margaret?
|CALLER: I have an old house, part of it built Civil War era. Okay. The floors in the oldest part or pine, and they’re about to the boards are about two and a half inches wide. And the newer part, the boards of the floor are oak, and they’re more narrow. I want to know how to safely clean them and keep them protected.
|TOM: There’s a product called tree wax, which is perfect for this particular application. It’s made by the Beaumont Company, and True Wax has been around for many, many, many, many years. And it’s actually a natural cleaner for Harvard floors. So you can find that at retailers across the country, you could find that online. But look for tree wax, natural floor cleaner, and it’s going to enable you to clean those floors very thoroughly without damaging the wood. And that’s what’s critical, because some of the floor products are not really designed for wood floors. Sometimes there’s too much moisture in them. They don’t evaporate well and they leave too much moisture in the wooden that causes the wood to swell or stain further. So look up tree wax. It’s not expensive and it works very well.
|CALLER: Okay, so is this a put on and wipe off? Yes. Okay, that sounds good.
|TOM: Tree wax is spelled t r e wax.
|CALLER: Okay. One e, okay.
|TOM: Got it. All right. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Dante in Rhode Island is on the line with a painting question. Tell us what you were working on.
|CALLER: Well, I had my house painted a couple two years ago. Then my wife decided she wanted to take the towel rack of the off the wall. I took it off the wall. I compiled. I sanded it and I had some paint, a brand new can of, you know, a great paid paint. I opened it up, put it on the wall, drawing a different color.
|TOM: Are you repainting a wall? But you just happened to have an extra canvas stuff as was.
|CALLER: You don’t paint or told me, sir, why don’t you? Just by looking at this paint.
|TOM: Oh, okay. And now it’s not matching. Yeah, I understand. The problem is that with exposure to sunlight, the color changes, it fades. How big is this room to bad.
|CALLER: So it’s not very good.
|TOM: All right, so it’s a small room. All right, listen, I think the easiest thing for you to do at this point is to repaint the whole room, because with all the aggravation you’re going through to try to match this old paint, by the time you just mask everything off, put one coat of primer on first. That is really important. Do not skip the primer step. It will be very sad. Prime the walls first because this will ceiling whatever’s there and then just put one coat of paint on top over that and you’ll be good to go. I think at this point you’ve made every effort that you should reasonably make to find the color that matches the old paint that was you were unsuccessful. So let’s go and start from scratch, especially since it’s only a bathroom in a fairly small room and easy to paint.
|CALLER: Okay, Not like this. That it’s old. The kid was brand new.
|TOM: I hear you, but it’s not working. So there’s a point where you kind of throw in the towel, and that’s what I would do. I would if that was me, I wouldn’t mess with any further. I would just throw in the towel, put a coat, a primer and everything, repaint the walls and call it a day.
|LESLIE: Live from California is on the line with a question about an AC Freon leak. What’s going on, Lisa?
|CALLER: My dad has a home and he had paid a gentleman to replace his air conditioner unit. So he has the one unit outside. And then there’s the unit on the inside of like the heating oil and leave. It is basically the unit’s been leaking freon for the last 3 to 4 years. And the guy came and rejected us two times and it’s the 22. So the bad time we keep getting mixed information regarding how dangerous that Freon leak is and if it’s something that you should be concerned with as far as having difficulty now or if just getting the machine repaired itself will be sufficient.
|TOM: So this sounds like a split Douglas system where you have a compressor outside and you have an air handler mounted on the wall inside. I could tell you earlier that both Leslie and I have split up with systems in our home with the technology is really good. It’s really solid. Unfortunately, in your case or in your dad’s case, it sounds like this refrigerant leak, the Freon leak, has not been actually identified. So we know it exists because you lose Freon, but you don’t know. We don’t know why it exists or where it exists. And so the focus really should be here on finding that spot and testing the whole system for that leak, because we can identify where it’s leaking, then you can fix it. And the solution is not to just keep putting more in it then, yes, it is an antiquated refrigerant and it is changing. Now. I’m sure that continued exposure to it’s not a good thing, although it’s probably a fairly small amount. And in most cases the stuff will evaporate out very slowly over time. So I don’t think it’s a huge exposure, but certainly any exposure is not good. And I think if you can focus on identifying the source of the leak and not just keep putting more in, then I think you’ve got a chance of getting it fixed. You know, the fact that it’s using Freon over a more moderate refrigerant is not a problem Most older systems do. And yeah, we are changing over to better refrigerants now, but it’s not reason in and of itself to replace the entire system. If you can’t identify the source of the leak, then you’ve got to make a decision as to whether or not you do want to replace it, because I don’t see any other sort of half measure that you could take. I hope that makes sense. Thanks so much for giving us a call at the Money Pit. Well, if you’ve ever spent too much time at the beach or at the lake, you know the damage sun can do to your skin. But did you know it can soar through your windows and doors and do damage to your home? We’re talking about the UV rays. They can fade fabric, they can fade paint. They can definitely drive up cooling costs and they can whitewash wood surfaces. But there are a few things that you can do to avoid this kind of sun damage. Yeah.
|LESLIE: First of all, the most obvious way that you can stop UV light from getting through the windows is with some shades. But that also means you need to manage the up and down part. And let’s face it, that’s not always going to be a priority on your to do list. Now a better solution is to install a smart home system that incorporates motorized shades that will automatically go up and down based on the number of hours of daylight throughout the year. Now, with a system like this, you don’t even have to think about whether they’re up, whether they’re down, whether they should be up or down. Plus, they can also come down at a preset time in the evening to ensure your family’s security.
|TOM: Good point. Now, final option is to install window film. Now, window films are very thin and they’re designed specifically to block UV rays. Now, these can protect furnishings. They can even help cut cooling costs in rooms where window coverings are not an attractive option. And unlike window films you might think of from seeing cars with darkened glass, today’s window film technology can give you even better protection from UV rays. And be completely clear if you don’t even know that it’s there. But you certainly won’t feel that heat coming through those windows any more. Washing out all that color in your furniture and your floors.
|LESLIE: Now we’re heading to Arkansas with Butch on the line. What is going on at your Money Pit?
|CALLER: Hi, guys. Yeah, I’ve got some water that’s coming in to my garage, and we bought this house about four years.
|TOM: Was it a planned water feature, huh?
|CALLER: No. No, unfortunately not. In fact, I did two things wrong. I added a parking pad to the double wide driveway and ruined the sprinkler system in the process. But that’s not where the water’s coming from. But I think it’s my up uphill neighbors, you know, flows down. And I think the water is coming down from some of that. And then it’s a little bit. I was getting into the garage. Mm hmm. And I’m not sure what’s all that now parking area is. I don’t know that I can divert it, but I didn’t know if they made something like a weather strip for the garage floor door that you could glue down just to keep it from coming in.
|TOM: Yeah, Not a lot. So.
|TOM: Right. Yeah. I mean, there are those products. There are kind of like saddles for the garage floor and for the bottom of the door. But they’re not made to hold back much water. If you’ve got a steady stream that’s coming downhill or running down the driveway, the only way to really permanently deal with that is to put in a driveway drain or curtain drain. The basically it’s sort of like a narrow trough that gets cut into the driveway all across the front apron of the garage and all the water falls into that collection, then runs out the end. You pitch them and you can hook up drains to them depending on how you know how well the yard is, is basically set up. But you got to move the water from in front of the garage to behind it so it doesn’t go through the garage on its way to dissipation. That makes sense.
|CALLER: Yeah. And the problem is, is it’s coming down almost parallel to the garage door, but obviously a little bit, you know, and in a heavy rain, we’ll get a three or four foot puddle in the middle.
|TOM: Of the garage. That’s not good. Well, here’s what you want to do is put in a drain across the front of the garage. And also, if it’s come in sort of pointing towards the side, you could put a curtain drain in there. There’s a material for embedding in the soil called Easy Drain, which is kind of like a drain with aggregate sort of built into it. It’s got like a foam helmet’s like Styrofoam peanuts, a stick to the pipe, and it’s surrounded by a filter cloth. Yeah, right. So you drop it in place as you build your trench, and then that fills up and runs the water away. And then for the area right in front of that garage again, that you would have to actually put an apron in for a drain right in front of that apron, which is a different type of drainage sort of assembly. You’ll have to order it and then you drop it in place there and you probably could have them both tied together. So the water runs through one pipe and then discharge it wherever you can. Right.
|LESLIE: Judy in Missouri is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you today? Yes.
|CALLER: I was wondering if you had ever heard of had a roof repair a few years ago and it’s been leaking ever since. They used what they called ham shield. It’s a since static underlayment. Yeah. And it’s plastic and they use it instead of felt paper.
|TOM: Yeah, right. It’s synthetic. And it’s actually an upgrade to standard Â£15 felt paper. And it’s actually better than using standard felt paper under a roof. The reason that your roof is leaking now is probably not because of the term shield. It’s probably because of something that went wrong with the repair. But I don’t think it would have been the underlayment because that’s actually pretty good stuff. How is it leaking, Judy, tell me about the leak.
|CALLER: Well, we really don’t know it. It comes through in our bathroom. And when we get up in the attic and we can see drips, but they can’t seem to pinpoint it. They worked on it several times and they just can’t get it to go away.
|TOM: But usually if your roof is leaking above your bathroom, there’s a pipe that goes through the ceiling right there and up through the roof and it’s the plumbing vent pipe. And right around that vent pipe, there’s like a rubber boot that seals that pipe between the pipe and the roof itself. And then there’s flashing that goes around that. That’s the most common place for a roof leak. When you have a leak right above a bathroom. And a lot of times contractors will try to sort of tar that in place. But that’s a bad idea. What I would replace what I would recommend is to take out the plumbing vent flashing. And you can do that easily by removing a few shingles in that area. Roof shingles are actually pretty easy to disassemble if, you know, kind of a trick of the trade. I like to do it with a flat bar. You can slip up on the roof shingle, find the nail and sort of pried from side to side, you know, pop right out. And then you replace that plumbing vent, flashing it, put it back together again, and make sure you put everything in the right order. So the roofing lays on top of the flashing that usually stops that leak.
|CALLER: But leave the vent pipe there.
|TOM: Oh, yeah. The vent pipe is there for an important reason. You’re going to start having problems flushing your toilet and all your things you to start to gurgle if you take that out. But replace the plumbing vent flashing there. Okay.
|CALLER: Okay. Well, thank you very much.
|TOM: You’re welcome, Judy. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit.
|LESLIE: While a great looking fence can improve, your home’s curb appeal, can add to your home’s value and provide stylish definition of your yard and garden. But if the fence hasn’t been well-maintained, it can definitely have the opposite effect sprucing up your spruce or cedar fence. It is an easy DIY project and we’ve got a few tips here to help.
|TOM: Now first up, you want to check your fence for any needed repairs. You want to repair any loose fence slats, fix any sections that are leaning, and make sure the gates are working well and latch easily. Also, take note of the condition of the bottom of the fence. Now the sections have sagged, which happens a lot, and they’re closer than about 4 to 6 inches above grade. It is very smart to trim the bottom of those boards, but keeping them above grade, you can prevent moisture from working up into those boards and causing more rot.
|LESLIE: Now, next, you want to clean the fence to remove any dirt, moss or algae. A pressure washer is going to work really well for this, but you have to be careful to not use too much pressure. You can actually damage the fence. Once you’re done, it’s time for a fresh coat of stain. Of course, you want to let everything dry out very thoroughly so that it can accept whatever finish you’re putting on it and be really ready to stick. Now, when you’re choosing the stain you want to keep in mind, there’s generally two types of exterior stain. First, we’re talking about a solid color stain. And then the other option is a semi-transparent. Now solid color is better because it’s got more pigment. It’s going to last a lot longer and the stain can be brushed or rolled on. But you want to make sure that you apply whatever your choice is with a good quality paint sprayer. It’s definitely the best way to go. Not only does it save a ton of time, but it just gets easier because it’s helping you get into all of those nooks and crannies on a fence when you spray it rather than sort of manipulating your hand. It’s all those tricky spots to make sure you’re covering everything.
|TOM: Now, here’s a tip for those installing new fences Have the sections delivered before the installers show up. It’s a lot easier to stay the fence before it’s all put together and the stain will make the fence last a heck of a lot longer. I did this the last time we did a fence, and that fence lasted like 20 years because I did a really good job staining it before it was installed. I had to kind of talk the talk the fence company into doing that because they’re used to just showing up, dropping the fence and installing it, going away. But now I wanted it for about a week before they came and it really made a big difference.
|LESLIE: Lauren wrote in to team snippets saying, We recently moved into a home that was built in 1958. The property had been badly neglected and overgrown with ivy, which grew over and damaged the cedar siding. We also see gaps, cracks and holes where critters can get in. Is this something we should repair by sanding, painting and or replacing sections? Or should we go ahead and just get all new siding?
|TOM: Well, I think, Lauren, if you love the classy older siding, the wooden siding, it’s certainly more maintenance, but there’s no reason to tear it off if it’s repairable. So it sounds like you did the first part, which is you got rid of all of that overgrown ivy growth and stuff. And now that you’ve done that, you can start to evaluate the condition, but be objective. I mean, you know, if you’ve got a few cracked boards here and there, they have to be replaced. That’s really no big deal. It is a lot of work to prep it, but there are tools it can help. Like Wagner has a tool that’s perfect for this. It basically is sort of a grinding wheel that will just take down the surface of the siding, and that’s all it does. It’s basically designed for that purpose. So if you work with a professional painter that has all the tools and the tricks, you know, this house could be restored, it could be repainted and look absolutely beautiful. Just remember that after paint comes repaint about once every eight years. So if you don’t want to deal with that, you want to be maintenance free, then you could replace it. And I would recommend you look at HardiePlank, which really could last indefinitely. I’ve had HardiePlank free paint, HardiePlank on a garage. It must be 25 years. That is not it’s not faded. One hour on.
|LESLIE: All right. Good call, Tom. Good luck with your project, Lauren.
|TOM: Well, we all know that when it comes to home value, location, location, and did I mention location? Well, those are the most important considerations, but realtors are actually reporting that there are other factors that might surprise you to track your home’s value. Leslie has those details in today’s edition of Less is Last Word, Leslie.
|LESLIE: You know, according to the experts over at Bob Vila, dot com realtors are reporting that some decor choices can actually make it harder to sell your home. So let’s see how many of these recommendations you agree with or perhaps some you have in your home that you might be facing a challenge with. All right. First of all, we’re talking about wallpaper. It’s definitely seeing a comeback at the moment. I love it. To me, it never goes away. So you can’t go wrong there. But definitely not everybody is on board with this. Now, buyers sometimes see wallpaper and think about the money, the time, the effort that it’s going to take to remove it. They don’t want it. So if you are in love with it and it’s something you got to have, definitely not a deal breaker, but know that not everybody might like your choice there. Now, if you go ahead and get rid of a closet, that definitely helps you free up space for larger bedrooms or master baths. But it’s also a bad move. People want storage now more than ever, and if they don’t see a closet in a space or ample storage, that’s definite a turnoff. If you’ve got a kitchen that’s so wide and maybe featureless and shiny that you could perhaps mistake it for more of a clinical setting, chances are that’s not going to appeal to many potential home buyers as well. If you don’t have a bath tub, I mean, I know a lot of times you’re looking at making home more compliant. So you only have a shower and that’s one thing. But if you definitely have no bath for no reason, that could make it difficult to sell because a lot of home buyers are young families and bathtubs are definitely essential when you’ve got young kids and pets. And the other thing is high end appliances. You know, if you love to cook, you might be thrilled by a kitchen or at the high end, professional quality stove, fridge, dishwasher. However, you got to be prepared to lose money on those investments when it comes time to sell because it’s for you, really. And it’s just a oh, this comes with the house. Nobody’s looking to spend extra money because of your fancy stove. So if you’re going to love it and it’s got to be something you want, then definitely do it. But just know what might come on the end when you go to sell things.
|TOM: Good point. This is the Money Pit Home Improvement show on air and online at Money Pit. Coming up next time on the program. Summer is the season for many things, but fortunately, that also includes jet collapses in backyards. We’re going to share the top five reasons decks come crashing down and how to make sure your deck is safe on the very 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.
|LESLIE: They pay.
|(Note: The above referenced transcript is AI-Generated, Unedited and Unproofed and as such may not accurately reflect the recorded audio. Copyright 2023 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.)