TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We are bringing you a very special edition of The Money Pit today. This is a dream location for woodworkers, carpenters, mechanics, lawn-and-garden enthusiasts and DIYers of all skill levels. We are broadcasting from the brand-spanking-new Craftsman Experience in Chicago.
LESLIE: Indeed. And this place is pretty darn incredible. You know, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s got hands-on project stations, live demonstrations, clinics. You can try all of these great tools out for the first time. Some of them are brand-spanking-new and this place really brings visitors closer than ever to America’s most-trusted tool brand.
Now, we’ve been talking about it on the show for several weeks and we’re just thrilled to see so many local listeners have made it over to visit us.
TOM: And we know that not all of you can make a trip to Chicago. So with that in mind, the Craftsman Experience also streams special events live at Craftsman’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/Craftsman.
In fact, the Craftsman Experience is totally wired. It even includes a complete internet-based radio station and we are in that right now; it’s very cool. And we’re going to be talking to you out there on the floor, as well, and answering home improvement questions from those at home at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
Now, if you’ve got a home improvement question, you’re here in the Craftsman Experience, you want to track down Alex, our host. He’s going to hit the floor with a microphone; you can ask us right here on the air. And for those at home, again, pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
We are giving away, this hour, a great prize to one lucky caller. It is the NEXTEC 12-Volt Right Angle Impact Driver from Craftsman. It provides versatility and flexibility. It allows the user to work in tight spaces and, in fact, got a chance to try it out because that’s what you do here at the Craftsman Experience; you try stuff out. And I was tightening up one of the bolts in a very tight area and I watched it …
LESLIE: Yeah, they really put it tightly together so you could really get in there with it.
TOM: I watched them pull the washer in below the surface of the wood and this thing is a very lightweight piece of equipment. It’s worth 99 bucks; going to go to one caller who reaches us for today’s show or someone who talks to us on the floor of the show at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Alright. Well, to get us started with this great edition of The Money Pit, we’re going to talk to Kathy Khaliji – and she’s the brand manager for Craftsman – about what it took to pull all of this together.
Now, Kathy, this is really a very exciting innovation for the Craftsman brand. Can you tell us about this experience?
KATHY: This has been an amazing thing for the Craftsman brand. I think for any tool brand, I’ve never seen anything like this before. We can finally showcase exactly what these tools can do. We have tons of innovations sitting here and we can finally show you what you can do with these tools and it’s absolutely amazing.
TOM: When you buy tools, typically you look at the one stationary tool. It’s typically not plugged in; it’s not powered-up.
LESLIE: Yeah, you can’t try it.
TOM: And you can’t peek in the boxes because that’s bad form. (Leslie chuckles) Here, everything is out on the tables. You can pick up tools, you can – they have things that you can try. So you can cut wood, you can drive-in bolts like I did with the NEXTEC Impact Driver; a very hands-on experience.
KATHY: This is amazing. You can actually come in and try out practically any tool that we have.
KATHY: We have mechanics’ tools that – we have cars sitting here that you could try out the mechanics’ tools in a car. We have woodworking demonstrations. We have detailed instructions on how to do so many different things and it’s so hands-on. You can come here and watch in person; you can watch live. We have instructions. It’s absolutely amazing.
LESLIE: Now, what are you hoping that the person who walks in will accomplish in here? Do you think they’re looking to sort of shop in the tool market or are they just trying to maybe learn about a tool that they’ve never had the opportunity to work with?
KATHY: I think, mostly, a lot of these projects are very aspirational but once you see them for yourself, you realize it’s not that hard; anyone can do it. With the right tools, you can do almost any of these projects.
TOM: Now, if folks need help on how to use a particular tool, do you have folks here that are experts that can help them out?
KATHY: Yes. We have actually experts in every field here: in woodworking, in automotive, with innovation. They’ll help you with any kind of project.
LESLIE: Now, do you have a Top Five list of power tools that you would always go to or ones that are your favorite in the Craftsman line?
KATHY: Some of my favorites – well, I love the Right Angle Impact Driver. That’s a new innovation for us and I love that tool, as well as the Auto Hammer; that’s a great tool.
TOM: Yeah, let’s talk about that Auto Hammer for a minute, because that’s very similar to the Right Angle Driver. If you are hammering in a very tight space and you can’t get enough room for the backswing of the hammer, then basically the Auto Hammer allows you to drive it right in and then mechanically sort of taps in that nail.
What size fasteners does that work with? Common nails? Finish nails?
KATHY: It works on all types of fasteners.
TOM: OK. Very cool, yeah.
KATHY: And it works in really tight spaces. Sometimes if you’re working in a spot above your head or in a really tight spot inside a cabinet, this is the perfect tool for that.
LESLIE: You know, what I really like about the experience here for Craftsman is that you really cover every gamut. You’ve got lawn and garden, you’ve got hand tools; you’ve got really something for everybody and it’s an exciting experience to come in and try stuff. Because like Tom said, if you’re not familiar with the tool, you go home with this new box and you’re really sort of stuck. You’re like, “What do I do with this?” But here you really get sort of a first-time instruction and you learn how to use it right and you learn what you can do with it.
TOM: And that’s something you just can’t get in the average retailer.
You’ve got some new tools coming out in time for the holidays; a TRU Grip Wrench Set. Tell me about that.
KATHY: The TRU Grip Wrench Set is for the auto mechanic that’s having a problem with their wrench and slipping out of their hands. This has a special rubber grip on it that lets you hold onto the wrench a little bit tighter. So even if your hands are greasy or wet, it doesn’t slip out of your hands and it gives you a lot more control.
TOM: Awesome, awesome. Kathy Khaliji, the brand manager for Craftsman, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.
KATHY: Thanks a lot.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you from the Craftsman Experience. Going to go to the phones now and talk to Ron in Iowa.
Ron, do you have a question about a window? How can we help you?
RON: Yeah, I planned on putting an egress window in my basement. It’s a house built in the 60s.
RON: It doesn’t have a sump pump in the basement and I don’t believe I have any external tiling. When I get dug all the way – I plan on getting it down to the foundation and back-filling with pea gravel or stone, if I don’t find any tile. I’m wondering if I get down there and don’t find any tile, if I need to run a line out to drain it or if the pea gravel will be good.
TOM: OK. Well, first of all, tell me your history here. Have you ever had a flooded basement problem before?
RON: Only about three years ago, when we had a very excessive amount of rain. Otherwise …
TOM: That is fantastic news.
LESLIE: Yeah, because …
TOM: You’re wondering why, right?
LESLIE: Well …
TOM: Why is a flooded basement fantastic news?
LESLIE: And is it ever good news? Well, it’s good news if it’s associated with a heavy rainfall, because that means it’s the external conditions around your foundation which are causing the water to get in.
LESLIE: And that’s all completely manageable. If you’ve got gutters and downspouts on the house, which you should, you should make sure that you clean those gutters regularly. You should also make sure that those downspouts aren’t clogged, because sometimes they just get clogged up with debris and can divert that water in places you don’t want it, like your basement.
And then what you want to do with the downspouts is usually they just sort of deposit the water right next to the foundation. You want to try to extend those downspouts three feet, six feet; whatever you can away from the foundation wall, just to get that water away. And then, of course, you can regrade the perimeter of the foundation. You want the dirt to slope away from the house, so all of those things can really divert the water from coming into your basement, which is where you don’t want it.
TOM: I’d spend the time improving the grading, improving the drainage, getting those downspouts away. I don’t think you need to excavate around the outside of your house; I don’t think you need a sump pump. I think if you only had it flood once in extreme weather like that, then that’s totally manageable. So I think you could save some money on that, Ron.
RON: When I dig the pit for the egress window, if I dig – I want to dig down below where the opening is going to be and fill it with stone.
TOM: Right. OK. Here’s what you need to do around the – that’s basically an extension of the foundation. So, what you do is you dig it around, build it up from the footing and then at the top, you can certainly backfill it. Make sure you tamp it very, very well; clean-filtered is best. Slope it away from the foundation out; you want to drop six inches on four feet.
Ron, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Going to go to North Carolina now and talk to Fred who has an issue with rusting. Is your house rusting, Fred?
I live in Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina and about 250 yards from the ocean. We have a lot of salt spray; just salt in the air.
TOM: I bet you do.
FRED: And my steel lintels over the windows are rusting.
FRED: And they’re scaling and they expand and they try to crack the mortar joints and that sort of thing.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah, they will. They’ll expand.
FRED: I’ve always painted them but that didn’t seem to do much good.
FRED: They just go and rust as they please, so to speak. What do you suggest I do?
TOM: Steel lintels and brick construction and ocean breezes don’t mix too well.
LESLIE: Don’t really mix.
TOM: Yeah, it’s an oil-and-water situation. There’s a life to steel lintels, as you are realizing here. Now, you’re doing all of the right things. What you need to recognize is that steel will rust to eight times its prerusted thickness. So that means if you had a piece of steel that’s an 1/8-of-an-inch thick, it can become an inch thick.
FRED: That’s right.
TOM: So it’s going to lift the bricks; it’s going to crack the bricks. You’re doing all the right things. You’ve got to make sure, though, that when you paint that you are removing as much rust as physically possible and you’re getting in there and priming. And you need to use an oil-based primer and you need to make sure you have the right day so it dries well.
And if you do that, that’s the best way to slow it and manage it but you’re never going to stop it totally from rusting, Fred. It’s going to be a maintenance situation; that’s kind of what you get for living in a paradise like an oceanfront home.
Fred, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you from the Craftsman Experience in Chicago.
LESLIE: Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, the garage is the last frontier when it comes to organization. I mean if you can’t get your car in there, you’re not alone; there’s lots of us just like that. We’re going to have tips on some of the best storage solutions around to solve that problem, next.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Therma-Tru Doors, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry and patio door systems. Therma-Tru doors are Energy Star-qualified and provide up to five times the insulation of a wood door. To learn more, visit ThermaTru.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Where home solutions live, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: And you are listening to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show broadcasting from Chicago. We are in a one-of-a-kind place here: it’s the Craftsman Experience. You get a look at this place, either in person or online, you’re never going to want to buy tools the old-fashioned way again because you get to touch and feel and try them out right here.
LESLIE: Yeah, you really get to try them out firsthand and you’re like, “I know how to use this and now I want to buy this.”
So if you’re in Chicago – if you’re on vacation; if you live here – make this a definite stop on your agenda. But if you’re not, just head on over to the Craftsman Facebook page at Facebook.com/Craftsman and look for the Experience tab and there you’ll see live demonstrations, you’ll get to watch projects that have been made. It’s really a fantastic going-on, if you will, here every day.
TOM: Absolutely. Well, Leslie, you will probably agree that my garage is a reasonably well-organized place.
LESLIE: I would say that it’s annoyingly organized, Tom.
TOM: But truth be told, it is definitely something that we always struggle with and I know that many of you feel the same way and would love to find a way to simply get your car inside of it.
LESLIE: That’s right. And that’s where Craftsman leads the way. It’s not just Tom, you guys, that keeps his garage organized. The folks at Craftsman have really come up with some innovative storage solutions that you can check out right here at the Craftsman Experience or online.
TOM: Here to tell us about it right now is George Schultz, Craftsman’s – the garage storage product manager here at Craftsman. Welcome to the program.
GEORGE: Thank you for having me.
TOM: So, talk to us about storage. You’re looking at a garage, you can’t fit your car in there, there’s stuff all over the place. There are so many different storage products available right now. Where do you start?
GEORGE: Well, I think you start with pieces of it. You look at what do I need to get up off the floor? Where do I need to put a work bench or wall cabinet or a floor cabinet? We have all that at Craftsman. We also have VersaTrack, which is our track wall system. So you can take something as easy as your trimmer or your – just tools that are laying around. Hang them on a wall track, on a VersaTrack system; gets them up off the floor, gets it organized. Now you can put both cars in or a car in and have a space to work on it.
TOM: And it’s not just the issue of space. I mean I think garages are a unique place because if you think about all of the areas in your house, the garage is the only place where toys and toxins are mixed regularly in the same place.
LESLIE: And right next to one another.
TOM: Right next to each other, exactly. (Leslie chuckles)
GEORGE: Right. Right.
TOM: There’s the fertilizer; there’s the bicycle. So you really need to think about that when you plan your organization, because you want to keep the things that could hurt kids out of their hands; don’t make it quite so easy.
GEORGE: Right. And when you’ve got wall cabinets – and we have the floor cabinets that lock, so you can have our paints and your chemicals and stuff to keep away from the kids locked up out of sight, out of mind for them. And then you can have it hanging right – you know, have a bike hanging right next to that cabinet but it’s locked up; they’re not going to get at it. They don’t have the key, so …
LESLIE: Now, is there pretty much a good rule of thumb to follow as far as a good layout for the garage or do you sort of recommend a good placement? Things like do you want your yard tools first or the kids’ stuff first? Is there a good plan to follow?
GEORGE: I think it’s whatever makes sense for your garage; whatever your layout is. If it’s a – I like the workspace area. If there’s something where I’m working on right next to my car, if I’m working on something next to the utility door …
LESLIE: Oh, you actually get your car in the garage. You’re one of those.
GEORGE: I can – oh, yeah, sorry.
TOM: You move the storage pieces around to see how well they fit in your side of the place?
GEORGE: Yeah, you can actually plan it out and try it out and see what works best. You can go onto the garage planner at Craftsman.com and actually …
TOM: Garage planner?
LESLIE: That’s helpful.
TOM: That’s very cool.
GEORGE: And go online and check out the dimensions and see what we have to offer for the products and then kind of go into your space, measure it out and then see what works best for where you’re at. There’s not one specific way to organize your garage; no garage is the same. And everybody’s got different tastes.
TOM: Now, you’ve got a special product coming up for the holidays. It’s a ball-bearing storage unit?
TOM: Stop and talk to me about that.
GEORGE: We’re excited about that. So, the first feature that people want in their tool storage is ball-bearing and so now we’re being able to offer that in the holiday timeframe at $199, which is a price point very, very unheard of for …
TOM: OK. It’s amazing how low the prices have gone.
TOM: And for this great-quality gear.
TOM: And I’ve got some of the early Craftsman storage units in my garage; they actually are part of what makes it a little more organized. It’s a pleasure to be able to move stuff around.
GEORGE: That was the first thing that we said was, “How do we get more people into the ball-bearing? They want ball bearings so what do we do? Is it a tool storage box where we decrease features?” No. That’s the one thing that I want people to know is that we haven’t decreased anything. This is still the same-quality Craftsman; the same durability that you’ve come to expect. We’ve just been able to get ball bearings into it.
So, something that people look for, they want. Well, now we’re delivering it to them.
TOM: Terrific. George Schultz from Craftsman, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
GEORGE: Hey, thank you.
TOM: Hey, we’re going to go out to the floor of Craftsman Experience right now. Alex is out there working the floor and he’s got some folks that want to talk to us.
ALEX: Hey, guys. How are you doing?
TOM: We are doing well. What’s going on out there today?
ALEX: Well, you know, it’s probably our first cold day of the season. It’s nice and cold and rainy, which if you get any of that typical, Chicago winter – and Veronica is looking for a way to kind of remedy that situation.
Veronica, you’ve got a question?
VERONICA: Yeah, I do. The Chicago winters always get really dark and I was thinking of installing or creating a skylight. I was wondering how difficult that would be.
TOM: Well, a skylight is a reasonably complicated DIY project, because it involves cutting a hole in your roof.
VERONICA: Well, yeah.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And then making sure it’s all sealed back up properly, to keep those elements out.
TOM: Before the rain, before the rain.
TOM: Yeah. But I will tell you that the way skylights are being manufactured today has gotten a lot easier, Veronica, because early on in my construction career, the only way we sealed skylights to roofs, which was like tar, it would be curved and you’d have to seal it down with some sort of an asphalt sealant-type of product. And as we all know, that there’s a definite lifetime to that. The more heat, the more oil that evaporates off the asphalt, the quicker it leaks.
Today, the way they’re made is completely different, in a couple of ways. First of all, not only are they super energy-efficient. In fact, right now, if you think about putting that skylight in, do it before the end of the year. You can qualify for the federal energy tax credit, which can give you up to …
LESLIE: Up to $1,500 back.
TOM: Up to 1,500 bucks, yeah. You can tell we’re in the Experience; all the impact drivers are going here, yeah.
LESLIE: When people are working out there.
TOM: But secondly, what’s also interesting about it is the flashing system. Now, the flashing system is not a curve anymore; it’s a step flashing. And the manufacturers sell parts, so they have sort of a tail flashing, then you work the step-flashing pieces up to the top and then there’s a head flashing that covers the whole thing.
So if you follow those guidelines – and it’s pretty easy to put together that way; inserting the shingles in between the flashing pieces – it’s reasonably leak-proof. It really is.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you’ll be able to put it in and know that you’re creating a water-resistant seal.
TOM: Yeah, absolutely. So, definitely a great project but one that you want to do between now and the end of the year, OK?
VERONICA: Alright. Thank you.
TOM: You’re very welcome.
Well, if long, hot showers are your thing, you might be feeling some green guilt; the feeling that you’re not being so environmentally-conscious.
TOM: Well, absolutely. But a tankless water heater heats only the water that you need, so you can take your hot shower and feel good about it. You’re not going to have any of that environmental stress associated with those wasting waters.
LESLIE: That you’re wasting all that water.
TOM: And we’re going to tell you about the latest in tankless water heaters, including an easy way to install one right near the fixtures and faucet that you need it, next.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: A special edition of The Money Pit today from downtown Chicago, the site of the brand-new Craftsman Experience; a place like you’ve never seen. You can try out tools, get product demos and even pick up a skill or two right here.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And if you can’t physically walk in the door because you’re not in Chicago, why not check it out on Facebook? All you need to do is go to the Craftsman page and then click on the Experience tab and you are right in the mix with us.
TOM: Here to take your calls at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. For those of you in the store, if you have a home improvement question, don’t be shy. Just seek out Alex, our host on the floor, and we will take your question in here during the program and have a solution, hopefully, for you.
LESLIE: Well, I’ve got a question for all you guys out there.
LESLIE: How old is your water heater? Do you know?
TOM: Why, you going to celebrate the birthday?
LESLIE: Yeah, I’ve got a Hallmark card just ready for that occasion.
Well, the answer is if it’s eight years old or older, you really might want to think about replacing it because the older a water heater gets, the more likely it is to fail. And if it’s more than 10 years old, it’s probably not very energy-efficient, either.
So the experts at Noritz say that a tankless water heater can save you up to $260 a year, depending on the size of your family and your water usage.
TOM: And that’s an awful lot. A Noritz tankless water heater will provide peace of mind because you know your hot water will never run out. And there’s a potential $1,500 tax credit standing out there, guys, if you get this done before the end of the year, which gives you those cash-back incentives through your local utility, as well.
It’s very affordable to switch to a tankless water heater right now. Noritz tankless water heaters are a good choice for homeowners who want to save money, be kind to the planet and get unmatched reliability.
LESLIE: That’s right. Now that federal tax credit that we’ve been talking about – and it does expire at the end of this year – so make sure that if this is something that you’re looking into that you get all the paperwork together, keep all of your stickers; everything that’s associate with it. And then make sure that you do look into your local utility company because they offer rebates, as well.
It really is a great time to switch to more energy-efficient appliances. And if this sounds good to you, head on over to their website. It’s LoveMyHotWater.com. All the details are there.
TOM: That’s LoveMyHotWater.com.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you from Chicago today. Going to go to Peggy now in Pennsylvania. Peggy has a termite problem.
PEGGY: Yes, hi. This is for my mom’s house.
PEGGY: She is in a state now. She had someone – a termite company, I guess – come in and they put the containers in the ground that you put …
LESLIE: Oh, those little bait stations, yeah.
TOM: Yeah, mm-hmm.
PEGGY: Right. And I was wondering, without calling an exterminator, is there any bait that I can get that was effective being that they’re already there?
TOM: Well, I’ve got to tell you, the bait-station technology is very old right now. And it was a technology that guaranteed the pest-control operator that they would …
LESLIE: Always had a job.
TOM: They always have a job because they had to feed it and they had to check it and they had to feed it and they had to check it.
LESLIE: Now, essentially, what goes in there is some sort of treated lumber, correct, that they’ll want to eat?
TOM: No, well, yes and no. What they would do is they would put a raw piece of wood in there to kind of bait the termites. And once the termites would show up and get used to chewing on that raw piece of wood, they would pull that out. They would replace it with a piece of – it usually looks like cardboard but it’s treated with a termiticide that as the termites ingest it, they would take back to their nest, spread it from insect to insect and that’s how they would wipe it out.
There’s a much better system right now and in the long run, it’s going to be a lot cheaper, Peggy. There are products out there that are undetectable termiticides. They’re chemically based. You can’t apply them yourself; you have to have a pro do it. But when they apply it to the soil at the foundation perimeter, it creates this chemical barrier that the termites can’t see, they can’t taste; they don’t know it’s there. So as they pass through it, they get it on their bodies and because they’re very social insects, they spread it from insect to insect and it totally wipes out the entire colony.
The leading brand of that is a product called Termidor – T-e-r-m-i-d-o-r – made by BASF. But again, you need to do it professionally; it’s not something that you can do yourself. But I think if you do it once, you know, this stuff’s been out there for 10 years now.
LESLIE: I think they’ve tested it for 10 years and they’ve seen no return of the insect.
TOM: Yeah, it’s good stuff so check it out.
PEGGY: OK. You said Termidor? T-e-r …?
TOM: Yeah, Termidor – T-e-r-m-i-d-o-r. Their website is TermidorHome.com. Peggy, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
The ladies are calling in today, Leslie. Let’s go talk to Edith now in North Carolina.
You have an odor issue, huh? Edith, how can we help you?
EDITH: Yes. We have two sinks that are smelly and one is in the kitchen and (inaudible at 0:24:19) but the other one is in the master bath. And I have tried Clorox and various things, vinegar and soda and I was trying to find a solution or something that would help.
TOM: So these are sinks that you use all the time?
LESLIE: Yeah, it sounds like it.
TOM: So what happens is you get a film that grows.
LESLIE: But it has the worst name, too.
TOM: It’s like a biofilm.
LESLIE: That sounds terrible.
TOM: And it sticks to the insides of the pipes, especially the plastic pipes, and it really develops a strong odor.
Now, putting bleach in there, of course, does help but really, what you need to do is to take the drain apart and really clean it out thoroughly inside and put it back together and that usually wipes it out. And sometimes, the sealants that are used while they put the drains together, sometimes it sticks to that.
So I think that if you would remake the connection, the odor would go away. And I’m assuming, for this part of the conversation, Edith, that the plumbing is correctly assembled. Because if it’s not assembled and is …
LESLIE: Ooh, it might not have a trap.
TOM: If it didn’t have a trap, if it was put together wrong in any way, then what’ll happen is the biogas that’s in the waste pipe itself would back up into the sink. So make sure that it’s properly assembled and then clean it out thoroughly to get rid of that biofilm and you’ll be good to go.
Edith, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Up next, more from the Craftsman Experience in Chicago. We’re going to tell you about the idea behind this wonderful experience and how you can feel like you’re part of the action, even if you can’t make it here in person.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Noritz. Get an Energy Star-qualified Noritz tankless, gas water heater installed in your home and save up to 40 percent on your water-heating costs. Visit LoveMyHotWater.com and never worry about running out of hot water again.
TOM: Where home solutions live, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good things better. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We are broadcasting from the Craftsman Experience in Chicago. They gave this place the right name; it is truly an experience with live demos, products that you can touch and feel and use before you buy and experts who come in here on weekends to teach some very cool projects step by step.
LESLIE: That’s right. This place is buzzing with folks who are really just having a ball and learning something new about the tool industry. But if you can’t make it, check it out online at Craftsman’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/Craftsman. And all you need to do there is click on the Experience tab and you’ll see everything that’s going on.
TOM: So how did Craftsman come up with the idea to blend entertainment, education and shopping? Barry Krause is one of the people Craftsman turned to to bring this idea to reality and he joins us right now.
BARRY: Welcome. Thank you for having me.
TOM: I guess you should welcome us to your place, huh?
BARRY: I do welcome you.
TOM: So, talk to us about this. How did this whole idea come together? Because I’ve got to tell you, this place reminds me of an experience that Leslie and I are familiar with but most consumers would never have the opportunity to and that is what we call an “editors conference.”
Now, when manufacturers like Craftsman bring out product, they’ll bring all the home improvement journalists to a place where we get to play with everything. And this is kind of like that kind of place except it’s open to the public, which makes it fantastic. So you really can hold the tool in your hand, feel it, check out the balance and work with it right here.
BARRY: That’s really where the idea came from was our own folks going in and seeing all the things that Craftsman is doing today and saying, “We’ve got to find a way to bring these things to the people and let them get their hands on it.”
It’s really a social media wheelhouse. You know, today that seems to be the buzz in marketing is creating communities and so on. But there are communities and there are involved, engaged and veered communities. And that’s what we wanted to create was kind of a clubhouse or a hub to …
TOM: And you’ve done that right here. I mean Leslie and I just demonstrated a bookshelf desk project that we built here live over a video stream. And you were blogging at the same time, engaging with consumers on Facebook and through your Craftsman website and so it really brings it all together.
BARRY: It’s what it’s all about. It’s humanity; it’s just adding humanity to the products and bringing people together, letting them try it and then blasting that message out for everybody to see.
LESLIE: Well and what I think is so interesting, especially with home improvers or even do-it-yourselfers, is that sometimes you get in a rut with your tools. You have something that you’ve had forever and it seems to work; it’s a good standby. But because you don’t get the opportunity to try things out and be hands-on, you sort of just stick with what you know.
And this is a really great opportunity to just physically try something different, learn about how that tool works and then learn about the great benefits. Because sometimes, you’ll buy something with amazing features and just never really learn how to utilize them. And in a situation like this, you’re working with the experts, you’re meeting with the creators of the tools and you really get to learn a lot about them.
BARRY: Well, isn’t that the case with so many of the things that we acquire? There are 30-page instruction booklets and we never get past page 3 (Tom and Leslie chuckle) and we don’t know all the things that they could do.
LESLIE: You do the quick steps and then you put it away.
BARRY: Right. So here, it’s all about sharing ideas. And in fact, all the things that we build here are ideas that have come from people, such as a – we call it a “kegnic” table and …
TOM: The kegnic with …
LESLIE: It’s really great.
TOM: That’s what you guys built with Adam Corolla, when he was here during the open, right? The kegnic?
BARRY: Well, it started there. It started there but it’s all about just somebody had an idea.
TOM: Yeah. Yeah.
BARRY: What if we did it? We turned to these wonderful craftsmen and created it.
TOM: Now, you actually are streaming one to two episodes each day. Give us like – what’s the basic schedule of this place, in terms of production and when people can tune in?
BARRY: So, we’re open four days a week from 5:00 p.m. on.
BARRY: On weekends, we’re open from 12:00 p.m. on.
BARRY: As far as broadcasting, we always have cameras on so people can always go to our Facebook page and check us out.
BARRY: We do actual shows. When this radio station, if you will, or broadcasting station goes full-live, we’ll be broadcasting both audio and video for two hours a day, every day.
TOM: Great. Terrific.
BARRY: And as it stands right now, though, we’re doing different shows at different times, pretty much every day from Thursday through Sunday.
LESLIE: And are all of those projects and demonstrations available to currently sort of cycle through if you go to the Facebook page?
BARRY: Yes. Yeah.
LESLIE: That’s great.
TOM: Everything is archived?
BARRY: Everything we do, we put on there.
TOM: Barry Krause, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit. What a great experience you guys have created here.
BARRY: It’s a pleasure. Thanks so much for being here.
TOM: Speaking of experience, we’re going to go out to the floor now and talk to Alex, our host on the floor, who’s got some folks that want to ask us some questions.
ALEX: Hey, guys. Good to talk to you again. I’m sitting here with Nick and we just talked about winter before and he has a problem that occurs every single winter.
NICK: I do. My parents have a lake house in, up in Wisconsin, and I go up there probably once or twice a winter. It’s pretty near the Wilmot Ski Hill.
NICK: So we go up there. And every year we go up there, we turn the water on, it starts shooting out of the walls somewhere.
LESLIE: Ah, rusted pipes.
NICK: It’s a different problem every year.
NICK: Like the first year, we didn’t know you’re supposed to clear the pipes out.
NICK: So we – now we take a compressor, we blow it into a couple different faucets so that the lines are supposed to be clear. Last year, it still happened and I think what we figured out was it was because we didn’t put the heater into vacation mode, so that there was still water in the heater that probably snuck up through the pipes.
But I mean every year, we have to tear out drywall and fix these pipes and I’m just wondering, what’s the right process? What are we supposed to do to clear those pipes out?
TOM: OK, well, you’re kind of on the right track. The thing is that when you have sort of a house that, like this summer house that you’re going to drain for the winter, the pipes have to have enough drain spots in it where water doesn’t trap.
So you obviously don’t. Wherever you’re letting this water out, there’s some place where the water is equaling out. It’s sitting in the pipe kind of like a trap, so you haven’t identified that low spot yet. Putting the air compressor on it is kind of like what we do with sprinkler system and it’s the right …
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you just blow it all out.
TOM: Yeah. And it’s the right idea. But what you need is more drain ports in that system. And the other thing is that where all the traps – all the toilets and the sinks and things like that – put antifreeze in them. Regular, car antifreeze is fine. This way, if any water gets in there, it’s not going to break apart because, remember, that water does expand and it causes a lot of damage, as you have learned.
LESLIE: Well and also, on any pipes that are on exterior walls, do insulate them and keep your heat on slightly just to keep that space mildly conditioned, to avoid that.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you from the Craftsman Experience. Up next, we’re going to have some advice on how to care for your power tools, after this.
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TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Broadcasting a very special edition of the program today, from a tricked-out radio booth at the Craftsman Experience in Chicago.
LESLIE: That’s right. And if you’re not in Chicago, no worries. You can check it out on Facebook. Just click on the Experience tab on Craftsman’s page at Facebook.com/Craftsman.
TOM: Want to remind you to love your power tools and they will love you right back. They don’t need that much care but a little TLC will go a long way in making sure that they last as long as possible.
So after each and every project, you want to make sure that you check them out. If it’s a corded tool, you want to make sure there’s no exposed wires. This also applies to battery chargers. It’s a good idea to clean your power tools after each use.
Remember, there’s dust; all that sawdust, it holds moisture and moisture is not good for tools. You wouldn’t put your tool away with a wet sponge, would you?
LESLIE: Like wrapped around it? No.
TOM: But that’s what happens when you put it away with sawdust on it, so wipe them down. If the blade has a buildup, you can use a cleaning fluid to wipe that off, as well.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And if your tool has moving parts, you want to lubricate any of those parts that are sticking so that everything’ll move nice and smoothly. You can use something like a WD-40. That will also help to prevent rust on any exposed blades. If you get any excess oil on the tool, make sure you wipe it away and also sharpen those blades on your tools, as necessary, with the proper files to do the job and sharpening stones, as well.
And if you don’t know how to do it – because there is a specific step-to-step when it comes to sharpening those blades – just take it to a pro and they’ll do it for you. And then, finally, store your tools correctly and securely, especially if you’ve got kids going into the garage. This way, they’ll last forever and everybody’ll be nice and safe.
TOM: And as we heard, Craftsman has a lot of storage products to help you do just that.
Going to go out to Kathy now in Missouri. She’s got a question about insulating her attic.
KATHY: Hi. How are you?
TOM: We’re excellent. What’s going on?
KATHY: Yes, I was wanting to know what kind of insulation I should use in my attic. You know, I have the roll-on kind or – well, that they have that stuff you can roll on.
TOM: OK. Yeah, we have batt insulation and we have blown-in insulation. If you’re trying to decide which one works the best for you, a couple of things to think about. Blown-in is good for attics, I think, where you don’t need a lot of storage, because it’s hard to work around that stuff because it kind of just gets everywhere. The good thing about blown-in is it fills up every nook and cranny there.
LESLIE: And really seals things up.
TOM: Really seals things up nicely. If you’ve got some insulation and you’re trying to add more, it’s also a good option as it kind of go – lay on right on top.
Now, if you want to add additional insulation and you have batt insulation, the trick of the trade with that, Kathy, is to make sure that you put it perpendicular and you don’t use anything that has a vapor barrier.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. You want to go unfaced with the fiberglass insulation and you want to make sure that you roll it perpendicular to the floor joists and really give it a good loft there. And you can keep some areas open for your storage but cover as much of it as you can.
And don’t forget, ventilation is really key to making sure that the insulation works well. If you can, you would love to have a continuous ridge vent. You would want soffit vents, because you need that air to sort of flow through, to keep that space in a condition that will keep your house warm.
TOM: Insulation is measured in R-value; resistance to heat loss. If you add two percent moisture, the R-value goes down by a third. So it’s critical that you keep it ventilated.
Now, in terms of how much insulation, we want to look for 19 inches of batt insulation or 22 inches of blown-in.
LESLIE: Of blown-in.
TOM: Kathy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
Going to go out to Michigan now and talk to Sherry who’s got a wet basement.
TOM: What’s going on?
SHERRY: Well, I have cracks in my basement floor and water seeps through.
TOM: OK. OK. Does it happen after a heavy rainfall?
TOM: Alright, well, that’s great.
LESLIE: And that’s the only time it happens, right?
LESLIE: OK, good.
TOM: And that’s great news. And the reason it’s happening, the reason I say it’s great news is because that water is collecting at the foundation perimeter. It’s soaking in through that perimeter; it’s pushing up under the basement. You need to clean your gutters, extend the downspouts, make sure the soil is sloping away from the walls and maintain that all the time.
If you do that, the water will stay away from the perimeter and it will not come up through the basement. It’s just basically finding the point of least resistance; it is not a rising water table. You do not need a sump pump; you do not need to excavate your garage, your basement floor. Very, very simple.
Well, that’s all the time we have this hour for The Money Pit, broadcasting live from the Craftsman Experience. The show continues online at MoneyPit.com and also at Facebook.com/Craftsman.
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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(Copyright 2010 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.)