- If you enjoyed garden-fresh veggies all Spring and Summer, now is the time to plant cool weather crops that thrive in autumn’s cooler weather. Learn what grows best straight through to the first frost.
- Adding shrubbery to the front of your house adds curb appeal and the cooler Fall weather offers plenty of time for the roots to grow deep before next summer’s heat sets in. Get step-by-step tips to get this project done.
- Whether you live in a climate that’s warm or cold, insulation is the key to keeping your home comfortable. But most homes simply don’t have enough. We’ll share a new product that’ll allow you to get the insulation job done fast and safe – and without any special tools.
- If you’re planning to add a new fence, learn the easiest way to set posts without mixing any concrete.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Tommy from Nebraska wants to know what the best dryer vent hose is.
- Mike in North Carolina needs to fix a crack on his garage wall and a void under the apron of the driveway.
- Deb from Missouri wants to know the best way to install new molding on a plaster wall.
- Carl in South Carolina put a tile floor in his laundry room and now having a hard time keeping the door open.
- Linda from Michigan wants do an extension to a barn and wants to know how to find an architect for it.
- Sylvia in Ohio wants to know how to remove a glue down carpeting from plywood without ruining the floor.
- Nelson from Delaware had asphalt paving put in and wants to know whether to use a water or oil base seal coat?
- Audrey in South Dakota is inquiring about Bondera Tile Mat Set.
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: We’re here to help you get your home improvement projects done. So what are you working on this beautiful weekend? I love this time of the year because where we live, fall colors, they are just peaking right now. So it’s absolutely beautiful. There’s a crispness in the air. I’m so motivated to take on another project every day before it gets to be, you know, cold and unpleasant all at the same time. So, if that’s where you’re at, if you’re thinking about a project you’d like to get done, reach out to us because we are here to help. Couple of ways to do that: you can call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or you can post your questions to MoneyPit.com.
Coming up on today’s show, if you enjoyed garden-fresh veggies all spring and summer, now is actually the perfect time to plant cool-weather crops that actually thrive in autumn’s cooler weather. We’re going to share what grows best straight through to the first frost.
LESLIE: And adding shrubbery to the front of your house can be a great way to add curb appeal. And now is the right time to do this project, because the cooler fall weather offers plenty of time for those roots to grow deep before the next summer’s heat sets in. We’re going to walk you through the simple DIY project, in today’s Smart Spending Tip.
TOM: And whether you live in climate that’s warm or cold, insulation is the key to keeping your home comfortable. But most homes simply don’t have enough. We’re going to share a new product that allows you to get the insulation job done fast and safe and without any special tools, just ahead.
LESLIE: But first, let us help you create your best home ever. Fall is the perfect season to tackle projects, so let us help you get those done right the first time. Give us a call anytime at 888-MONEY-PIT.
TOM: Plus, we’ve got tools to give away. We’ve got America’s best-selling staple gun, the Arrow T50, plus a supply of staples going out to one listener drawn at random. So, don’t wait. Give us a call now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’ll toss your name in The Money Pit hard hat and might be sending that cool staple gun out to you.
So let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Tommy in Nebraska, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
TOMMY: My question concerns my dryer. I moved into a house that had the washer and dryer already here in my laundry room. And when I was cleaning back behind the dryer – the dryer hose is aluminum type and it’s attached with tape. Obviously, not done correctly. And what I want to know is what would you recommend? Is there a better dryer-vent hose or a tube of some kind? It’s a fairly short distance from the wall to the dryer.
TOM: If it’s the flexible aluminum hose, then that – I would probably go ahead and put that back in. If it’s vinyl, I would not. But you’re sure it’s aluminum, right?
TOMMY: It is. It’s like shiny aluminum foil.
LESLIE: Yeah. And that’s the one that you want there, because that’s heat-resistant.
TOMMY: Oh, you do. OK.
TOMMY: Rather than the white vinyl? It’s better than the white vinyl.
LESLIE: Right. Because the white vinyl could overheat and potentially cause a fire hazard. So the aluminum one is great because it won’t hold onto all of that heat.
Now, the question is: where does your dryer hose vent to? Does it go to the outside? Has it been cleaned in a while? These are all maintenance things that you need to be doing for your dryer.
TOMMY: Right, Leslie. And that’s what I wanted to do, because I am so afraid of fire hazards. OK, so I need to detach it? And it is vented to an outside vent.
TOM: So what you should do is get a dryer-vent cleaning brush. There is one that’s available online called the Gardus LintEater. Leslie and I both have one of these brushes. They’re really cool. They’re like brushes on the end of fiberglass rods. And you stick them into a drill and just spin them into the vent and go back and forth and pull them out.
TOMMY: Oh, my goodness.
TOM: And you’d be amazed how much dust comes out of those things. So that’s one – I’m sure you could probably find it at a home center or at a hardware store, as well. But a dryer-duct cleaning brush is what you really need for that.
TOMMY: OK. And then when I reattach that hose to the vent and then to the dryer, obviously I don’t want to use tape, which is what they’ve used.
TOM: There’s a big bracket that is sort of like a clamp that fits around that. And it goes over the hose and the hose goes over the vent and then it all sort of screws together. And I’m sure you could also find those at a home center or a hardware store. No, you should definitely not tape it together.
TOMMY: I will do that. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’re heading on over to Mike in North Carolina who’s got a driveway question.
Drive it on over. What can we do for you, bud?
MIKE: I had put in a new plant – or got ready to put a new plant in front of the house. And when I took the old one out, there was a crack in the foundation and also a pretty good-sized void underneath the driveway. And I’ve had three different companies out to take a look at it and after all that, I don’t quite know what to do.
TOM: OK. So this crack is in your foundation? It’s on your basement wall? Where are you seeing it – or on the outside wall? Describe it.
MIKE: It’s on the outside wall, in the corner of the garage.
TOM: Alright. And you’ve got a driveway near there where the driveway is sunken in a bit? It sounds to me like you’ve got a water problem where water is collecting in that area. May have undermined some of the soil. Small cracks – is it vertical cracks – small vertical cracks are what it is?
MIKE: Vertical crack, yes.
TOM: Yeah. It’s a very minor, very almost commonplace kind of a crack, so I wouldn’t get too terribly worked up about it. You’d be surprised how many cracks foundations have. We see them all the time. So, I wouldn’t panic about it. But if you’ve got an area that’s sunken in where the driveway is, what you are going to have to do is cut that driveway out, fill that area in, tamp it down, pack it properly and have the driveway restored in that particular area.
MIKE: The driveway hasn’t sunk yet. It’s just where it always has been.
TOM: Well, when you just said before – when you said before that there was an area that was sunken in, you did not mean the driveway? What’s sunken in?
MIKE: No, no. Actually, there’s a void underneath the driveway. You can see where the driveway pad comes up to the garage – when I took this plant out, you can see a void underneath the driveway.
TOM: OK. So the void’s under the apron is what you’re saying.
MIKE: Correct, yes.
TOM: It’s under – OK. Alright. Same advice. You’ve got to fill the void in or the driveway will drop into that spot, OK? And water will continue to collect there and it’ll wash out what’s left of the footing around there – the soil under the footing – then you get more shifting. So, you’ve got to restore that soil.
Not unusual, because a lot of times you get organic matter that gets in there. It could be, I don’t know, wood. It could be paper. It could be anything that was accumulating there from when the foundation was dug. And then it rots away and the voids form and the water gets in there and it’s kind of a vicious cycle. So you need to get that repacked with soil properly and then regraded to slope away and then restore the driveway.
So I don’t think you have a big problem there. I think you have sort of a medium-sized maintenance problem but you should do it, because it can get worse if you ignore it.
MIKE: Yeah, OK.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Hey, we’ve got a handy tool to give away today to one listener. It’s the Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun and a supply of T50 staples.
This is America’s best-selling staple gun. It’s jam-resistant, features an all-chrome steel housing and it’s going out to one listener drawn at random. So make that you. Call us now with your questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post them to MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Deb in Missouri on the line who needs help with a flooring question. How can we help you?
DEB: Yes. Well, we replaced our flooring but we destroyed most of the molding trying to get it off the – along the mopboard.
DEB: And we were wondering, what’s the best way to put new on? What would be the best to use? The walls are all plaster. It looked like the nails had been set before the plaster was dry, because we had to cut them off.
TOM: And so how high up the walls did the molding go? Because usually with plaster walls, the molding is a lot taller than a standard 3½-inch base molding.
DEB: It’s 3½ inches.
TOM: It is 3½ inches?
DEB: Yes. But we could go a wee bit higher and it still look nice.
TOM: Right. OK. Do you want the molding to be painted or natural?
DEB: Well, I don’t think we’ll ever match the doors. It’s all wood and I don’t think we’d ever match that.
TOM: OK. So do you want the molding to be painted, then?
DEB: Yes. We’ll probably go painted, yes. But adhering it to the walls is going to be a real pain because of that plaster.
TOM: Hmm. Yeah. Well, you’re going to do it with a combination of trim screws and LIQUID NAILS. So you’re not going to nail it, OK?
What you’re going to do is – probably the least expensive thing to buy is something called “finger-joint Colonial baseboard molding.” It’s a very straightforward molding with a little bit of a fluted edge on top. It looks nice; it looks finished.
Is it – does the thickness matter? Does it have to be a certain thickness to cover a gap between the wall and the floor?
DEB: At least a ¼-inch, yes.
TOM: Quarter-inch? OK. So all you’re going to need is the molding then. Because you could put the molding and then shoe molding over that, which would extend it out to almost an inch. But no, you’re going to buy finger-joint baseboard molding. Finger-joint means it’s ready for paint.
Now, before you apply it to the walls, I would prime it so it’s a lot easier to paint this molding. In fact, I would prime it and I’d put one finish coat of paint on it, because it’s a lot easier to paint it when it’s up on some sawhorses than when it’s attached to your house.
And then when it comes to installation, you’re going to – and you know what? You might want to get a carpenter that knows how to do this because, frankly, it’s just a lot easier if you know how to make a corner joint, which is called a “coped joint.” And you do it with a coping saw.
But the way you attach it is with – after it’s all cut to fit, you apply some LIQUID NAILS to the back of the molding, then you put in only as many trim screws – and trim screws are kind of like drywall screws except they have a really tiny head, like a finish nail. But you only put enough of those in to hold it while it’s drying. So you’re not going to have nearly as many trim screws as you will nails. And it’ll be really solid.
And the last thing you do is fill those holes. And you put one finish coat of paint on when – and then you’re completely done. So by putting the paint on ahead of time, you’re halfway there. All you do is touch it up, fill the holes, one more coat of paint, you’re good to go. OK?
DEB: Awesome. Thank you so very much.
TOM: Deb, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Hey, would you guys like to plan a fall garden and extend the supply of fresh garden veggies into the cooler weather? Well, you can by selecting cool-weather crops. It turns out that fall is actually an easier time of year to garden, too, because it’s nice and cool and insect populations are reduced. And also, some of the fall crops actually sweeten when they get nipped by that first frost.
LESLIE: Now, according to the experts at Bonnie Plants, many cool-weather veggies and herbs are perfect for fall planting. Now, you can grow weeks’ worth of cabbage for slaws, healthy kale, crunchy cauliflower and even broccoli, which my kids love.
Now, other fall favorites include Brussel sprouts – which are super delicious. You can roast them with slices of garlic and olive oil and maybe drizzle a touch of balsamic vinegar. Or any of the versatile salad greens. Think of lettuce and spinach or herbs, like cilantro. Some of those tend to wilt and suffer in the sweltering summer sun. So this cool, crisp weather is actually perfect for them.
TOM: Yeah. And we love this because we had issues with bugs in our garden, which was wonderful. We had over 400 tomatoes, by the way.
LESLIE: That’s crazy, Tom.
TOM: I know, right?
But we did have insect issues, so I love the fact that they’re now sort of dying off so that we can grow some of these cooler crops.
For more ideas, you can check out our post on fall garden tips, on MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Carl in South Carolina is dealing with some tricky doors. Tell us what’s going on.
CARL: I put the tile floor in my laundry room and I took the door down. And when I put it back, it won’t stay open; it’ll swing back to close. And the one in my bedroom does the same thing. I have to prop them open with something.
TOM: So they used to stay open before and now they just want to stay closed all the time?
CARL: Right, uh-huh.
TOM: So there’s two ways to fix that, Carl. One way is to rip out the door and rehang it, properly shim it, because it’s out of level somehow. And that’s a pretty big job. And the other way to do it is to pull the hinge pins out, put them on a hard, concrete surface and give them a sharp rap so you bend them slightly.
TOM: Then tap them back into the hinges and you will have added some friction to that connection.
CARL: Mm-hmm. Right.
TOM: You follow me?
TOM: The slight bend on the hinge pin – a little trick of the trade. That will give you a little more tension on that door. Just take one out and give it a rap so it has a little bit of slight bend to it. You might not even see it but just a slight bend. Tap it back in, try the door, see how it works. If it kind of stays where you want, that’s fine. If not, maybe do the top one and then do the bottom one. Give that another rap. You can keep adding a little pressure to it by doing that until you get it just right. OK?
CARL: Alright. Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re going over to Michigan, where Linda is on the line and wants to add onto a farmhouse. How can we help you with that?
LINDA: Well, I have about a 100-year-old farmhouse and I – the only bathroom is upstairs. It’s a two-story farmhouse. And I want to age in place, so I want to add another bathroom downstairs. And also, I inherited a doll collection from my mother and it’s stored in all the storage in all the rooms, so I kind of want to bring it into one room and add another room for that and hobbies.
People have been suggesting that I just – oh, just add a – break up one of the rooms in the house and just put a bathroom any old place. But the rooms are really well proportioned; it’s good cross-ventilation. I don’t want to have a mess. I want to have some style to the additions, so people have suggested that I go to either an architect or a drafter or interior designer. I don’t know – I’m not sure what that process involves and how many I should go to or …
TOM: Well, I think that you hit the nail on the head and that is to hire an architect. Because, essentially, you want to make sure that whatever you do to this house flows and maintains its structural integrity, as well as its design integrity. So an architect can help you do just that.
Selecting where to put that bathroom will be a balance of compromises trying to decide where it fits best in the design, where the plumbing is now, what it would take to get the plumbing where it needs to be for this particular bathroom and then how best to design those rooms for your collections and that sort of thing. The architect can handle with the structure and the mechanical systems. Once that’s done, then you could consider bringing in an interior designer to help lay it out and choose colors, choose furniture and make it work for you visually.
LESLIE: And I think the other good thing about bringing in the architect is they may have an interior designer that they work with. You can bring in your own. They’ll be able to sort of work together to help you specify the right materials for the right areas. So it really is a strong partnership.
LINDA: I see. Now, do I bring – do I talk or consult with two architects and get their ideas? Or do I just go with one and get the designs?
TOM: What I would do is I would bring in one or two or maybe three architects to see the property, tell them what you want to accomplish, find out how they work. You get a feel for them, yeah, they get a feel for you and then you make a decision based on that.
LESLIE: I think you meet with somebody – you meet with two or three architects, as Tom suggested. Just get a feel for them, because you’re going to know if you want to work with them, you’re going to know how well you communicate back and forth. You’ll sort of spitball ideas there during that meeting and get a really good sense of how much they’re understanding you. And whoever you feel the most comfortable with, I think, is what’s going to lead you to the right decision. And then you’ll start drawings.
LINDA: OK. I did get a card from someone who used them but – used this person but he was – this card says he’s a drafting consultant.
TOM: You don’t want a drafter, OK? You want an architect. You just want an architect – a good-quality architect. So focus on that first. You could take – usually, they’ll have books that show some of their past projects. You can see what kind of work they do.
It’s going to be – you’ll figure out, through a process of elimination, which one you’re most comfortable with and that’s the person that’s going to get the job. But they’re well worth the investment because they’re going to make this process easy and they’re going to be – you’re going to be assured that it comes out exactly as you plan.
If you bring in some – if you go right to the contractor step, they’re just going to squeeze this bathroom in wherever they think it fits and you’re not going to be happy with it. So get the architect; they’re well worth their investment.
LINDA: OK. Great.
TOM: Hey, are you a contractor or maybe a remodeler or an architect or a builder? Well, if you are, we launched a brand-new podcast that is just for you. It’s presented by LL Flooring and it’s called the PRO Files Podcast. And in the podcast, we talk to successful pros who are setting examples, who are overcoming challenges and sharing what it takes to build a great business.
Now, we have had some fantastic guests. But I’ve got to tell you, the couple that I interviewed for this edition is really my favorite. They’re Gina and Vince Centauro. They’re the founders of Rescuing Families and they are doing amazing work renovating homes in their area.
They were actually recently featured on Kelly Clarkson. Check this out, Leslie. They were doing a project for a homeowner that needed a complete renovation. It was all being done by the charity so the homeowner, who was disabled, and a disabled son really needed the help.
The house was surrounded – at the end of the day, they locked everything up – surrounded by a fence and they came back the next morning and all of their tools were stolen; $25,000 in tools. Pretty much enough to put them completely out of business.
But like communities do, they came together. There was a post on social media. They started receiving gift cards to Home Depot and Lowe’s. And the Milwaukee Tool Company said, “Vinnie, whatever you need, let us know.” And Kelly Clarkson told the story and they got a car, which was cool, too, because they were driving 32-year old vehicles.
LESLIE: Wow. That’s great.
TOM: But a really fun group to talk to. You guys will love this podcast.
The PRO Files Podcast. You can listen and follow at LLFlooring.com/Pro or wherever you get your pods.
LESLIE: Well, adding shrubbery to the front of your house can be a great way to add curb appeal and now is the right time to do this project. And here’s why: the cooler fall weather is actually giving you plenty of time for those roots to grow deep before the next summer’s heat is going to set in. We’ve got some tips on how to get that project done, in today’s Smart Spending Tip presented by the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card.
TOM: Now, first up, planting a shrub is easy. Definitely something that most DIYers can handle without a pro. You want to choose your shrub carefully, though. Very important. Your best bet is to always choose plants that are native to you area.
And also, consider the local wildlife. If you live in an area where deer are prevalent, like me, you want to make sure that you select plants that they don’t like to eat. Otherwise, your plants will disappear as quickly as you plant them.
LESLIE: I mean it’s amazing. They look like little lollipops because they can only eat what they can reach.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah. Well, they leave the stubs behind.
LESLIE: Alright, guys. You also need to select those shrubs based on an overall height and width of that shrub once it’s mature. Because, you know, you get a sense of it when it’s small but don’t forget it’s going to get quite large. And you’ve got to space them accordingly. Now, you don’t want to choose something for foundation planting that might quickly overtake your windows and then block your views.
Some popular shrubs that work well for added curb appeal are things like boxwoods, azaleas, rhododendrons, forsythia. Not only are they going to be just great coverage but they give you some much needed color. And hydrangeas. I love them so much. So many great colors. They really do look beautiful on the front of a house.
TOM: Now, once you have your shrub, it’s time to dig. You want to create a hole that’s about two-and-a-half times wider than the root ball of the shrub. So, when you do that, dig out your topsoil first and set it aside, because you’re going to want to put it back after the shrub is in.
Now, if reach kind of that gravelly, stony kind of layer of dirt, dig that out, too, and get rid of it. It’s hard for shrubs to grow when the dirt is really compacted like that. And certainly, it’s not going to grow through gravel. So get rid of that, set it aside.
And you want to aim to make the hole about 2 or 3 inches shorter, in terms of height, than the root ball. And this way, the top of the root ball will be slightly exposed. That’s exactly where you want it.
And once you place the shrub in the hole, spin it. Spin it around, stand back, look at it, find the best side to face the street. And then make sure you slice any burlap or rope or wire mesh that surrounds the root ball so it’s free to grow. Then just mix fertilizer into that topsoil – that, remember, you pulled out and set aside – and then replace that mix and you’re almost done. One more thing to do and that is watering.
LESLIE: Yeah. And with the new shrubs, you’re going to water that root ball for about 30 minutes, once a day, for a week. Now, you can also use a soaker hose. If you place that around the base of the tree and water for 2 hours, you can do that once a week.
By next spring, you’re going to have beautiful, well-adjusted, new shrubbery and your house is going to look amazing. So enjoy.
TOM: And that’s today’s Smart Spending Tip presented by the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card. Apply for yours at BankOfAmerica.com/MoreRewarding.
LESLIE: Sylvia in Ohio is on the line and clearly spilled some glue somewhere. What’s going on?
SYLVIA: No, I didn’t spill glue. We have – our carpet in our kitchen is glued down like 20 years ago.
LESLIE: Did you say carpeting in your kitchen?
SYLVIA: Yes, they used glue to put the carpet down. So my question is: how do we get it off the floor without tearing the whole floor out?
TOM: What kind of flooring was it glued over? Is it hardwood?
SYLVIA: No, just …
SYLVIA: Yes, uh-huh.
TOM: Some sort of subfloor? So, really, you don’t have to get it completely off; you just have to kind of get it smooth so you can put whatever kind of flooring down you want to do over that.
What kind of flooring do you want to end up with, Sylvia?
SYLVIA: We want to put hardwood over it or on it.
TOM: So, what you should do is get a citrus adhesive remover. There’s a number of different citrus-based adhesive removers. They’re not as caustic as some of the other adhesive removers. And what it will do is soften that adhesive. And your goal here is just to get any of the sort of the thicker, chunkier areas removed so that what you could do is put down another layer of plywood – an underlayment of plywood – say, like a ¼-inch luan or something like that. Then on top of that, you could install your hardwood floor.
There’s lots of options with the hardwood floor. You can use engineered hardwood, which is thinner but very, very beautiful. And it’s more dimensionally stable and it would be probably a better choice for a kitchen. Because if you put regular hardwood down and you ever had a big leak, spilled a pot of anything, it will swell up and become damaged. But if you use engineered, it’s much more stable and resistant to any type of swelling when it gets damp or wet.
SYLVIA: Oh, that’s great. Thank you.
TOM: Oh, you’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Remember, give us a call, ask us your questions. You’re going to get the answer to the project that you’re working on. But we’ve got a handy tool to give away to one listener this hour.
We’ve got, up for grabs, the Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun and a supply of T50 staples. I mean this Arrow T50 Staple Gun is America’s best-selling staple gun. They’re made in the USA. They’re great for repairs, for upholstery, installing insulation, decorating, tacking up trim, you name it. You can really tackle pretty much any project with a staple gun. And the Arrow T50 is the best one out there.
TOM: That Arrow T50 is going out to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. Call us now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Nelson in Delaware, you’ve got The Money Pit. What’s going on?
NELSON: Well, I have asphalt paving. Actually, about 2,200 square feet of it.
TOM: Wow. OK.
NELSON: And I just had it put in 6 weeks ago.
NELSON: And my question is – seal coating. Do I use a water base or an oil base? I’ve heard …
TOM: Well, if it’s only 6 weeks old, it sounds like it’s a little early for you to be seal-coating it. It might be that you want to go ahead and just let this go until next year and give it a seal coating either in the spring or the fall then. And at that point – I think the formulations on these have evolved to the point where you can do a really nice job with a latex-based product. And what you want to do is pick up the seal coat and pick up the tools to apply it with at the home center. And then start in one corner and work your way across.
But since it’s so new, I would let it bake in the sun a little bit. You’re going to have a lot of solvents in that material that’s going to bake out for a while. So I think it’s kind of early for you to seal it. I think you should just hold off, perhaps, for about a year and then seal it before maybe we go into the next winter. Does that make sense?
NELSON: Yeah, it does. That’s good.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project, Nelson. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, whether you live in a climate that’s warm or cold, insulation is the key to keeping your home comfortable. But most homes just don’t have enough. If this is a project you’re considering, you may be wondering if there are any special tools or equipment that you need to get it done.
Well, with fiberglass insulation, you don’t need highly specialized equipment or tools like some other insulation methods require. For most jobs, all you need are everyday tools, maybe a utility knife, some basic safety equipment, like the gloves and eye protection that you would wear for really any home project.
LESLIE: Yeah. Now, in most cases, you’re going to be adding additional insulation to that which you’ve already got. And this job is made even easier with Owens Corning’s new PINK Next Gen Fiberglas Insulation. It’s made with advanced fiber technology, so it springs back into shape instantly out of the bag. In fact, it’s kind of fun to watch because you open a package – I mean it’s a little like watching biscuit dough popping out of those cardboard tubes. It’s fun and surprising and it amazingly takes shape right before your eyes.
Now, the batts, they’re designed to fit perfectly, so it’s going to fill the cavity completely. And they’re also stiff, so you can actually slide them into the cavity and then they stay there. Plus, they’re incredibly easy to cut and split, so you can insulate around boxes and wires with much less dust and less mess.
TOM: To learn more about the new PINK Next Gen Fiberglas Insulation, go to PINKNextGen.com. That’s PINKNextGen.com.
LESLIE: Audrey in South Dakota, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
AUDREY: Right. I was listening to your show last weekend and I heard you talking about some kind of contact paper but you put it on your kitchen wall and you can put tile on it for a backsplash.
TOM: Yeah. That’s a product called Bondera Tile Mat Set. Kind of a long name but basically, it’s a two-sided adhesive sticky material that if you want to do a backsplash or for that matter, a countertop, you pull off the backing on one side of it, press it against the wall – in your case, for the backsplash. Then you can stick the tiles right to the other side of it, pull off the backing on the other side and you stick the tiles right on. And then you can pretty much grout immediately thereafter, so you don’t have to wait for glue to dry or even mix up glue or get a tile glue that can kind of get all over the place. It’s all on the mat. So you cut it to fit, put it on the wall, pull off the back and then go ahead and glue the tile right to it.
I would caution you, though, that I would not recommend you put this right on drywall because it’s going to be a permanent. You’re never going to get it off. And if you ever want to replace it, you’d have to cut the wall out because it’ll just pull the paper right off.
What you could do is just put a thin sheet of luan plywood on the wall first and then put the tile right on that.
AUDREY: OK. Alright. Thank you very much.
LESLIE: Marilee wrote in to The Money Pit and she says, “I hired a fence contractor who set posts for a 6-foot-high aluminum fence by only pouring in a bag of dry cement. No water, no mixing, no gravel; only the bag of cement and then filling the hole with dirt. He assures me that this is the best method but after 48 hours, with just a finger, you can move those posts back and forth. I fear this fence is going to collapse with the first heavy rain. What do you think?”
That doesn’t seem right.
TOM: No. I think you’re absolutely right, Marilee. The approach that this guy is using, though, it’s unfortunate because it will work but he’s using the wrong product. You can’t just pour cement. What you want to have here is concrete, which is made up of cement and sand and lime.
But what I would do is I would purchase fast-setting concrete.
Now, QUIKRETE makes fast-setting concrete in the red bag. You’ve probably heard us talk about this on the show before. It’s the only fast-setting product that we use. And I have done this exact job with the fast-setting concrete. So, in this case, you would dig the hole, you’d set the post. You’d pour in the dry fast-setting concrete and then – and this is what he did not do – you would water the hole.
Essentially, you can just stick a hose in that hole and fill it up with water until the concrete is nice and wet. Sometimes I support the post to make sure they stay, you know, perfectly level for the next hour or two. But it’ll basically dry rock-solid right away.
The problem is that he used a product that’s not designed for this. Just cement is not going to do it; you’ve got to use the actual concrete mix, which contains the gravel. And fast-setting concrete is the best way to do that.
So, it definitely is a problem. He’s going to have to dig out around those posts now, get as much of that old cement out as possible and then use the fast-setting concrete. And remember, water the hole. In a couple of hours, that stuff sets and you’re good to go and it will not blow over.
LESLIE: Alright. Good catch, Marilee.
Next up, we’ve got a post here from William. Now, he says, “I purchased an older house. One of the owners sheetrocked it but didn’t take off the old walls, so the outlets are receding. What do I do to bring the outlets flush so that I can use the plugs correctly?”
Why would you want to use the plugs correctly?
TOM: Yeah. I mean it’s a little dangerous, too, because you’re kind of reaching deep into the wall to plug stuff in, right?
So what has to happen here is you need to turn off the power, you need to make sure that there’s enough wire – extra wire – with that outlet to sort of gently pull it out of the wall. And then there’s an extender. It’s kind of like a bracket that goes – it’s about ¾-inch or an inch deep and it goes all the way around that hole. And they have longer screws and actually spacers, so you’re kind of packing out that box. Like if you can imagine extending the box by the ½-inch or so, that’s kind of what these do. And then the outlet will be positioned flush with the front of the inside wall and that’s exactly the way it should be done.
So, there was a shortcut here. Maybe the old owner just didn’t know how to do this. But there is a product actually designed for extending outlets and that’s what you have to do at this point, William.
LESLIE: Alright, William. I hope that helps and you don’t miss reaching into the wall to plug things in. I know. You’re going to get used to it, I promise.
TOM: You are listening to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show and we are so glad you are. We hope that you’re enjoying the beautiful, slightly-cooler fall weather we’re having right now. We hope it’s full color with all the leaves in your part of the world. But whether you live in Hawaii or Florida or anywhere in between, we’re here to help you with projects big and small.
Now, those of you in those beautiful, warm climates, feel free to call us and brag a little bit about that weather. Because we are, though, enjoying the fall, which is a time when so many of us love to get outside and do those projects big and small.
That’s all the time we have this hour. The show does continue, though, online.
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 2021 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.)
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