- Buying new lawn furniture this summer was a challenge due to the disruption of the pandemic. That’s why now may be a good time to build your own. We’ll help by walking you through how to build one of the most iconic pieces of outdoor furniture, the Adirondack chair, including a source for detailed step-by-step plans to build your own Adirondack Chair.
- If you’ve taken on paint projects, you may know that using a primer is the first step to making sure your paint project comes out exactly as planned. But you may not know that there are key differences between the type of primer you select from your project – especially if it includes painting the kitchen or bath. We’ll fill you in on the best primer for trim and cabinet painting to use and why, just ahead.
- If you’re planning a painting project like painting a fence, deck, or the outside of your home, you won’t need to hire a pro. New technology in high efficiency airless paint sprayers makes this an easy DIY project. We explain how the sprayers work, and why using one is 3 times faster than using a paint roller.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Sean from Texas is having a problem with his central vacuum system leaking condensation.
- Norma from Delaware wants to know, how to determine if she has enough water pressure for a multi-head shower in her bathroom.
- Thomas in Tennessee is asking about how to reduce moisture in a basement.
- Eva from North Carolina wants to know her options for replacing a water heater located on her third floor and is debating about a tankless one.
- Vernon from Colorado asks how to re-caulk a bathtub?
- Thurman from Arkansas wants to learn how to install a window in a load-bearing wall.
- Lauren from Florida is concerned about lead paint in her house.
- Doug in Rhode Island wants to know if he can consolidate his kitchen and bathroom exhaust ducts?
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: And we are here to help you create your best home ever. So, if you’re thinking about tackling a project or you’re stuck in the middle of a project or you’re planning a project for the days and weeks ahead, let us help. Reach out to us with your home improvement, your décor, your remodeling questions. You can reach us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or by posting your questions on our social-media pages or at MoneyPit.com.
Coming up on today’s show, if you tried to buy new lawn furniture this summer, you may have found that it is a very hard thing to do because of the disruption of the pandemic on the supply chain. And that’s why now might be a good time to build your own. We’re going to help by walking you through one of the most iconic piece of outdoor furniture, the Adirondack chair, in just a bit.
LESLIE: And if you’ve done painting projects before, you might know that using a primer is the first step to making sure that your paint project comes out exactly as you’ve planned. But what you might not know is that there are key differences between the type of primer that you select for your project, especially if it includes painting the kitchen or the bath. We’re going to fill you in on the best primer to use and why, in just a bit.
TOM: And if you’re planning a painting project – like painting a fence, a deck or the outside of your home – you won’t need a pro. New technology in high-efficiency, airless paint sprayers makes it an easy DIY project. We’re going to explain how these sprayers work and why using one is three times faster than even using a paint roller.
LESLIE: Plus, we’ve got another very handy tool to give away from Arrow Fastener. We’ve got the TacMate T50X Staple Gun. It’s a heavy-duty, well-built tool that looks as good as it works.
TOM: That’s going out to one caller who reaches us with their home improvement questions, so call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post your questions to MoneyPit.com.
So, lots to talk about. Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Sean in Texas is on the line. He’s got a question about a central-vacuuming system. What’s going on? Those are super awesome.
SEAN: I’ve been in the house about 10 years. I don’t know how long the central-vac system was in the house prior to me being there.
In the past year, I’ve gotten a lot of condensation water buildup in one of my inlet pipes and that pipe runs inside my A/C closet. And I just – I don’t have any idea how to keep the condensation, because the condensation is actually running out in brown, muddy-looking water down my walls and ruining my walls, also.
TOM: OK. So this pipe runs through the closet where the air-conditioning system is. Is that correct?
SEAN: Yes, sir. Runs through the closet and then up into the attic.
TOM: OK. So, what I think is happening here is you have cold temperature on one side of this pipe, which is probably because it’s running through the room where the air conditioning is, and then you have warm air inside the pipe, which releases its moisture and forms a condensation.
So the solution is simply to insulate the central-vac pipe because that will prevent the temperature change and that will, in turn, prevent the condensation.
You know, typically, we don’t insulate central-vacuum pipes. But in this unusual circumstance, by putting insulation around the outside of it, you will no longer have the difference between the cold temperature on the outside and the warm, moist air on the inside. And that should take care of the problem.
SEAN: So would that be inside the attic? Because I’ve already done that in the closer itself and it didn’t seem to help.
TOM: Yeah, I would do it across the whole pipe. Because if it’s a condensation problem, you need to basically stop the temperature differential across it. And that will do that.
SEAN: Alright. Well, thank you for your help. I appreciate you.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Norma from Delaware on the line who wants to know what size pipes you need to get good pressure in the bathroom.
Norma, that sounds like a personal question. What’s going on at your money pit?
NORMA: OK. I’m going to install a shower panel.
NORMA: And in order to get good – the right pressure, how big do the pipes need to be?
TOM: Right. You said you wanted to install a shower panel? So is this one of these units where it comes in and then fans out to multiple spray heads?
NORMA: Yeah, the jets, right.
TOM: How is your water pressure right now?
NORMA: Pretty good. Well, my house is about 8 years old.
TOM: Oh, if it’s only 8 years old and you have pretty good water pressure, you should be OK with this. I will say, though, that the water pressure coming out of multiple showerheads is not going to be as invigorating as coming out of a single showerhead. So, it’s going to give you good coverage but it may not be as strong. And I don’t think there’s much that you can do about that. If you’ve got normal street pressure, that’s how those shower-panel units are designed to work. But just be mindful that it’s not likely to be as strong when it’s going to come out of multiple heads, because you basically just need more water to do that.
NORMA: Oh, OK. Well, I inquired with the builder and he told me that from the basement to the shower floor, I have three-quarter pipes. And then from the floor to the showerhead, ½-inch.
TOM: And that’s typical. That’s typical. So, that doesn’t change anything.
NORMA: Oh, OK. Alright. Thank you so much for your help.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Hey, if you guys have a pet – it’s a dog, it’s a cat, it’s a gerbil – well, we’ve got a fun contest going on live, right now, at MoneyPit.com. It’s called the Post a Picture of Your Pet Photo Contest and it is pawsented (ph) by LL Flooring.
LESLIE: So, to enter, guys, all you’ve got to do is post a picture of your pet, whatever that is. I prefer hamsters. I think they’re super adorable. But whatever you’ve got, we want to see the photos. And then, go ahead and share your entry and invite your friends to vote.
Now, the top three vote-getters are going to receive a $1,000 gift card from LL Flooring, as well as a $50 gift card from Chewy. These are awesome prizes. And you can choose from any of LL Flooring’s beautiful styles, including scratch-resistant floors, as well as water-resistant laminate, waterproof tile or even waterproof vinyl. Perfect for pet owners.
TOM: Enter today at MoneyPit.com/Contest. That’s the Post a Picture of Your Pet Photo Contest at MoneyPit.com/Contest.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Thomas from Johnson City, Tennessee on the line. What’s going on at your money pit?
THOMAS: Got a basement, 90-percent underground. Got real small windows on the front and back of the house.
THOMAS: It doesn’t allow enough sunlight to get in there and the moisture is terrible. It’s just coming through the woodwork. I’ve sealed up the basement so many times. I just can’t keep the mold and mildew out.
TOM: Mm-hmm. OK. So, what you need to do is to reduce the amount of moisture that’s getting down there. That’s the first thing that you do. Because if you have a lot of moisture that’s collecting around your foundation – and usually, that happens because the gutter system is too small or doesn’t exist or it’s blocked or most commonly, the downspouts are dropping water right at the corner of the foundation and they don’t go out far enough. All of that causes an excessive amount of water to collect at the foundation perimeter.
And once it soaks in there, because concrete block and concrete is so hydroscopic, it’s so ready to absorb that moisture, that it just sucks it right up. And then what happens is it evaporates into the air in the basement and that’s what you end up perceiving as humidity. It’s the evaporated moisture from what’s being collected at the foundation perimeter.
So, the first thing to do here is to very, very carefully analyze that gutter situation. And we’ve got a post on MoneyPit.com – I think it’s right on the home page – about how to prevent leaks in basements. And this is exactly the same advice that we give in that post. And that is for you to extend those downspouts 4 to 6 feet from the house, make sure you’ve got one downspout for every 400 to 600 square feet of roof surface and make sure the soil is sloping away from the walls. You can’t have soil that’s flat or leans back in or is blocking drainage. Because if you can get the water away from that house, you’re going to find a lot less humidity to deal with.
Now, once you do that, now you have some options on what you can do inside. You can maybe pick up a whole-house dehumidifier. If you have a ducted air-conditioning system, you could put in a whole-house dehumidifier, which will work within that duct system to pull out moisture, 24/7. And those are really effective; they pull out 100 quarts of water a day.
Or you could get a better humidifier than the typical portable kind. If you look at, for example, Santa Fe – I have a Santa Fe humidifier in a section of my basement. It works great. It’s on a humidistat, so it only comes on when it’s humid down there but it also drains the water outside via a condensate pump.
So, you doing a combination of all those things and I think you’re going to find that lovely humidity goes down very, very significantly, perhaps down to nothing.
THOMAS: Yeah, I appreciate it.
TOM: Thomas, good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Hey, we’ve got a great prize today for one listener from Arrow Fastener. We’re giving away the TacMate T50X Staple Gun. It’s heavy-duty, it’s well-built, it looks great and it works even better. It’s designed to be sleek, really comfortable to work with and totally dependable. It’s got a lightweight housing, a great grip. It’s perfect for upholstery projects, crafts, decorating, home repair. You name it, you can tackle it.
TOM: The Arrow T50 TacMate Staple Gun. Going out to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. Call us now with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post it at MoneyPit.com.
Well, if you tried to buy new lawn furniture this summer, you may have found that it’s very hard to find due to the disruption of the pandemic. And that’s why now might be a good time to build your own. We’re going to help by walking you through one of the most iconic pieces of outdoor furniture, the Adirondack chair, in today’s DIY Project Highlight presented by Kreg Tool.
LESLIE: Yeah. First of all, I think it’s interesting to note the history of the Adirondack chair. Now, it all started with a guy named Thomas Lee who’s from Massachusetts but he spent his summers in Westport, New York. And it was there that, one summer, he felt the need to build a chair that could handle the rugged terrain of the Adirondack Mountains. And he knew it’s got to be sturdy, it needed to be balanced, it’s got to be comfortable on every surface, from sandy ground to a small hill. And he worked steadily on the design for 3 years before he gave it to a local furniture maker to reproduce. And the rest is history.
TOM: Yep. And the Adirondack chair remains extremely popular across the country. And building one is a pretty easy DIY project. You’ll find complete step-by-step plans on KregTool.com. That’s K-R-E-G-Tool.com.
And one thing I like about this project, Leslie, is that almost every piece of it is made from the same 1-by: 1×3, 1×4 or 1×6 cedar lumber. So it’s easy to buy the exact widths of the lumber you need.
LESLIE: Alright. It’s an awesome project. And that’s actually today’s DIY Project Highlight presented by the Kreg Pocket-Hole Jig 520PRO, making it easy for anyone to make strong pocket-hole joints for all sorts of projects and a variety of materials.
TOM: Available nationwide at Home Depot, Lowe’s and other home centers, woodworking and hardware stores. Learn more at KregTool.com – that’s K-R-E-G-Tool.com.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Eva in North Carolina on the line with a water-heating question. How can we help you today?
EVA: Our home is about 11 years old. We have a hot-water heater on our third floor of our home. And I’m a little nervous about it being up on the third floor. And with it aging out, I’m concerned about it potentially bursting or leaking. So what we’d like to do is replace the hot-water heater in this house.
However, we’re not sure. We kind of have a disagreement. We’re broke right now, financially, but we would – for peace of mind’s sake, I would like to possibly look into a tankless. My husband thinks we should just replace the current one that we have upstairs on the third floor with the same darn thing because he’s like, “You know, if it’s new, it won’t leak and it won’t burst.” So what do you guys suggest?
TOM: How old is the water heater?
EVA: As old as the house, I presume. The house is about 11 or 12 years old.
TOM: Well, if it’s an 11-year-old house, it’s going to have an 11-year-old water heater. And while, yeah, that’s closer to the end of a normal life than not, believe it or not, it’s not horribly old. I’ve seen water heaters go 15, 20 years.
EVA: But because it’s on the third floor of the house, I’m nervous because water is going to – it’s not like it’s in the basement or the garage. So if there is a leak or something like that, I’m concerned about there being a lot of water damage to our home.
TOM: I understand. And you could – that would happen if a pipe broke, as well. So, if you want to replace it with a tankless, that is going to be more expensive than a tanked water heater. But it’s definitely worthwhile because they last a lot longer and they also give you on-demand hot water, so you never really ever run out of warm water.
If you’re concerned about your plumbing system’s reliability in general, just make it a practice that whenever you guys go away for a weekend or longer, you turn the main water valve off. You don’t need to leave water on when you’re not home for an extended period of time. So, that might also be something you might want to start doing on a regular basis.
EVA: So whenever you’re going to be gone for the weekend or more than a couple days, turn the main water valve off.
TOM: That’s right. Because you don’t need it on. And this way, if the water heater ever were to break, it would lose the 40 or 50 gallons that’s in it but it would not constantly run, run, run.
EVA: Gotcha. So, going back to my original question, what do you guys suggest we do? Because my husband thinks, well, let’s just get a new one, the same thing. And then he thinks it’s going to give me some peace of mind.
TOM: OK. Here’s what I would do. You said that money is tight. I don’t want you to throw good money at bad ideas and I think replacing it with the same thing is kind of a bad idea, especially since it’s 11 years old. What I would prefer to see you do is live with that for another year or two, save up some money and then put in a tankless.
EVA: OK. And do you recommend tanklesses (ph) go in the crawlspace or in the garage or outside?
TOM: Well, they can pretty much go wherever you want. If you put them outside, they get a little less efficient because, of course, the outside temperature is cold and that means they have to work a little bit harder.
TOM: And sometimes, they’re put in rooms that are insulated or outside closets and that sort of thing. But you have the flexibility because a tankless water heater is going to be about a quarter of the size of your tanked water heater.
EVA: OK. So it sounds like that’s what you recommend is a tankless but maybe just live with this one for another year or two.
TOM: I think that makes the most sense. OK, Eva?
EVA: OK. Thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
I don’t feel like 11 years old is a terribly old water heater.
LESLIE: No. I mean given that a lifespan is 10, 12 years. And you’re right: before we moved in, the one in our house was 20 years old.
TOM: I used to see that all the time as a home inspector. And yeah, it’s old but not worth emergency replacing.
LESLIE: You can live with it. No. Just for peace of mind. There are other things that you can do.
TOM: There’s enough life left in that to risk not doing it now and saving up your money for a year or two and then going tankless. Because tankless is definitely the technology that is state of the art today and worth every penny of its cost.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Vernon in Colorado who’s fixing up the bath. How can we help you?
VERNON: I had heard a while back on your show, if you’re going to recaulk your bathtub, to fill it up with water? But I do not remember if anything was said about removing the water immediately after it was caulked or letting the caulk set up first before you would let the water out. So I wanted to check on that before I started my project with some good kitchen-and-bath caulk.
LESLIE: Well, absolutely. The tip you heard about filling the tub with water is totally correct. And the reason why we do that is when you fill the tub with water, it sort of weighs down and sits down onto the base a little more.
So if you fill it with water and then go ahead and caulk, then you let the caulk dry and then you drain the bath. When it sort of empties out, it’s going to lift back up and compress that caulk. So the next time you actually go to take a bath or a shower and you’re standing in there and the tub presses down on the base, it’s going to stretch the caulk and it’s all going to stay in place.
So that’s really a good trick of the trade, because it keeps it in its place longer and it really lets it adhere to where it needs to be.
VERNON: Perfect. OK. That’s what I’ll do. Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Vernon. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, painting often seems like the simplest of home projects. But too often, it’s one that can lead to unexpected results if you’re not using the right products. And that’s especially true when it comes to selecting a primer.
TOM: Yeah, that’s right. Because primer serves a number of purposes. It’s designed to adhere to the surface you’re trying to cover, it’s designed to fill in small imperfections and provide a surface that the topcoat can flow smoothly across and reduce brush strokes or roller marks.
Now, KILZ has a product that does all this and more. It’s called the KILZ 3 PREMIUM Primer and it’s a heavy-duty, high-hide sealer and stain-blocking primer that’s also very durable.
LESLIE: Now, if you’re working in a very moisture-prone area, like your kitchen or your bathroom, this primer is perfect because it has both excellent adhesion and it has a mildew-resistant coating. It’s going to offer a thick, high-hide formula that’s also designed to mask your surface imperfections and then prepare the surface so it’s easier to paint. It’s better for that paint to stick. Plus, it’s going to dry quickly, it has low odor and very low VOCs.
TOM: The KILZ 3 PREMIUM Primer is available at 15 home improvement retailers, including Ace Hardware, Lowe’s, The Home Depot and Walmart.
KILZ 3 starts at $25.98 per gallon. Learn more at KILZ.com.
By the way, if you’re a painting pro, KILZ recently announced the KILZ Pro Van Contest, running now through October 12th. You can win a new 2020 Ford Transit 350 Cargo Van fully equipped with a Motor Trend professional painters’ package valued at 110,000 bucks. So check that out at KILZ.com.
LESLIE: Thurman from Arkansas is on the line. He’s got a blank wall and wants to put in a window. Thurman, how can we help?
THURMAN: Alright. Well, I’ve got a blank wall, if you will, and I want to open it up and install a window. And just kind of wanting to know what I need to do about the structure part of it and maybe how I need to go about finishing the sheet rock around it.
TOM: Alright. Great questions. So, you start with a blank canvas – and this is on the front or rear wall of your home?
TOM: Rear wall? OK. So that’s a load-bearing wall. So, here’s what you need to do when you’re opening up a load-bearing wall. So you’re going to want to cut open – and I would – if you’re a pro doing this every day, you’re very careful about how you cut the drywall. But there’s a way to cut it so it basically gets cut once and you don’t have to widen it out.
But theoretically, what I would do is I would keep one full stud on one side of that wall, because what you’re going to do is you’re going to have to double the studs on both sides of the window. So those have to be doubles. And then, at the top, you’re going to have to put a header across it because you’re going to take one out. If it’s, say, a normal 30-, 36-inch wide window, you’ll probably have to take one stud out in the middle. And when you do that, you have to build a header that goes across the top and then another, what’s called a “jack stud,” that goes from the top plate of the wall down to the top of that header.
So it’s a bit of a tricky carpentry situation. It’s not terribly complicated if you’ve done it before. But for a first-timer, it’s a little tricky.
And you also, technically, should be building a temporary wall, which is really just a section of wall about as wide as that window, that would go up underneath the ceiling joist, as close to the window as possible, to carry any load that’s on that while you take apart the exterior wall. Now, mind you, you’re only cutting out one stud. It probably won’t move. But just in case, you have to have a temporary wall that’s there to hold that up.
So, there’s quite a few steps involved in doing that. And if it’s not something you’re totally comfortable with, it might be wise for you to hire a pro who’s disassembled and reassembled those types of walls before.
THURMAN: Right. That’s what I was wondering about, the load on that wall.
TOM: Yeah, that’s the way you do it. You have to build it in such a way that it’s supported while you’re disassembling it. And then, once the window is in or the framing is done, then you can pull out that temporary wall.
The temporary wall is just a 2×4 up against the underside of the ceiling, a 2×4 across the floor and then maybe a couple of 2x4s, depending on how wide it is, about every 16 inches apart. It’s just kind of a fake wall. And when I build them, I make – I cut my 2x4s a little bit longer than they have to be and they put pressure up under that top plate and just hold it in place that way. So it’s just an extra cautious step to do it but that’s what’s involved to do that project.
THURMAN: Right. Well, thanks for the information.
TOM: You’re welcome, Thurman. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: We’ve got a great prize going out to one lucky caller from Arrow Fastener. We’re giving away the TacMate T50X Staple Gun. It’s a heavy-duty, well-built tool that looks as good as it works. It’s designed to be sleek, comfortable, super dependable. It’s lightweight. It’s great for upholstery, crafting, decorating, home repair. You’ve got a project? I bet you can use it for it.
TOM: If you’d like to win the Arrow T50X TacMate Staple Gun, give us a call with your home improvement question. We’ll throw your name into the Money Pit hard hat and perhaps make the winner you. The number, again, is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Lauren in Florida is on the line with a lead-paint question. How can we help you today?
LAUREN: Hi. My husband and I are remodeling a 1907 home that’s been vacant for multiple years, so there’s lots of damage. A lot of the paint is chipping off the windows. There is – on the beadboard and wainscoting, a lot of the paint’s chipping off. And someone has gone in and put sheetrock mud to texture over the original plaster walls, so some of that’s chipping off. And we’ve got three young children, so we need to repaint this house and fix it but we’re really concerned about the lead-paint issue.
LESLIE: Yeah. Understandably so. And your house is in the timeframe where you do need to be concerned about lead paint.
Now, we had an issue when we put central air conditioning in the house when my son was 6 months old. When he was little, I didn’t think that – any concern. And they did a great job. They were very tidy; they contained all the dust. But something must have gotten on something and when we had gone for his next exam, he had elevated lead levels probably from some dust getting on a toy and then the toy going in his mouth, anything. Anyway, it turned out after we did the next blood work, his levels went back to normal, so we were really not concerned at that point. But it is a very scary issue.
Now, I’m not sure, nationwide, what the rules are – and maybe Tom can speak better on this – but in New York, when you are fairly certain that you’ve got lead paint or the timeframe sort of dates it that way, you have to work with a painter or a contractor who’s certified in sort of lead-paint containment, if you will. Because even if you have it on a window frame and you’re opening and closing that window, you’re creating little specks of lead dust that are getting into the air. And with small children, you do need to be concerned.
So you do need to make sure that, if you can, that this is done by a pro. There’s nothing that regulates when a homeowner does it themselves. But knowing that you probably have lead paint and with small children in the home, I would just have a pro do it. And you want to make sure that things are taped off and really sealed up and cleaned very thoroughly. There are specific rules, I know, in New York State that allow for a contractor to be certified. And that’s something you really want to look for.
TOM: Yeah. And especially because the paint is flaking in deteriorated condition right now, that’s the highest risk for this, Lauren. So you’re wise to proceed very cautiously and make sure that the contractor that you’re working with is certified as a lead professional.
LAUREN: Alright. Thank you.
LESLIE: Well, if you’re planning a painting project like, say, painting a fence or a deck or anything outside of your home, usually that’s the kind of project that many people hire a pro to get done. They’d come in there with their big air compressors and paint sprayers and get that job done super quick.
Well, now with new technology in paint-spraying equipment, Wagner has made this process so simple and efficient that just about any DIYer can get a job done without the expense of hiring a pro.
TOM: Yep. We’re talking about the Wagner Control Pro High-Efficiency Airless Paint Sprayer. Now, these sprayers are designed to allow homeowners to take on big projects themselves, instead of hiring a contractor, and save money in the process. These sprayers feature high-efficiency airless technology that produce up to 55-percent less overspray, so you won’t waste paint. And you’re going to get a high-quality finish three times faster than a roller, so you can get those big projects done fast. Plus, they work with both water- or oil-based paints and stains, as well.
LESLIE: Alright. Check out the Wagner Control Pro High-Efficiency Airless Paint Sprayers over at their website. It’s WagnerSprayTech.com. And the Control Pro 130 is available at all major retailers, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards and even Amazon.
Doug in Rhode Island is on the line with a ventilation question. What’s going on at your money pit?
DOUG: I have two bathroom vents and also a hood exhaust vent over the cooktop. So I have two 4-inch vents and a 6-inch vent that I need to put through the roof somehow. And I’d rather not do it in three different vents. I’m wondering if there’s an option.
TOM: Well, the bathroom vents, if they’re near each other, could be brought together in the attic and then brought out to one termination point. You obviously don’t want to dump all that air into the attic. It’s warm, it’s moist, it’s humid and it’s going to ruin your insulation’s effect.
In terms of the kitchen vent, that I would keep separate because that could potentially be greasy. And you just don’t want to mix that in with the bathroom ventilation.
TOM: And make sure – in all cases, I would recommend you avoid the flexible vent ducting and use metal ducting, not the flexible metal ducting but the smooth metal ducting, because it just has less resistance as the air blows through it and it’s easier to clean if you have to.
DOUG: OK. Now, do I have to use an insulated – to connect the hosing?
TOM: No, you don’t have to insulate the ducting. That’s not necessary.
DOUG: No, OK.
TOM: Nope. Just use a solid-metal duct to do this, OK? You can buy these in home centers and hardware stores. What I don’t want you to do is use those flexible plastic ducts or flexible metal ducts.
DOUG: OK. I gotcha.
TOM: Alright, Doug. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Bill is looking for a product recommendation for his covered porch, his deck and the railings. Now, he says, “They’re about 3 years old and they’ve never been stained. I’d like to use a water-based, semi-transparent stain but I’m having trouble deciding on the best brand to use, especially since so many of the stains are rated for the best – the best online. I feel like everybody’s calling it ‘the best.’ So, how do you know, really, what is the best?”
TOM: Yeah, it’s really hard to sort through some of that stuff. I mean we respect Consumer Reports. They’re thorough, they’re impartial and they make some recommendations in their latest report.
But first, let’s talk about your wish to use semi-transparent. Because as we have pointed out and also, I noticed, Consumer Reports pointed out something that we’ve been saying over the years and that is that semi-transparent just does not provide near the protection of solid color. They know that solid stains hide the grain of the wood but they’re the best and they should last 3 to 5 years on a deck, which is the longest of all types of stains. But even the best semi-transparent stains are simply not as tough. And their data suggests that that type of stain is probably only going to last 2 or 3 years. So, that’s a really short period of time for one that has to go through all the trouble of masking and prepping and doing the job.
So, with that in mind, two of their top choices. One was the BEHR PREMIUM Solid-Color Waterproofing Stain & Sealer, which you could find at Home Depot. And the other was Olympic ELITE Advanced Stain and Sealant, again, in a solid color. So those were the two that Consumer Reports had recommended and we certainly are not going to disagree with those choices. So we hope that that gives you some direction.
Just remember, when you’re searching for products and you see a lot of best of this, top of that, a lot of the times those are being done by bloggers that are involved in affiliate programs, which is fine. It’s a way to make a living.
You know, the way an affiliate program works is if you click on a link and then go to, say, Amazon to buy a product, that blogger makes some small commission on that. It could be a couple of pennies to a few dollars. You’re not paying a bigger price, by the way. Everybody pays the same price but they make a small commission, so they’re very often looking for a category where they can do the best of or the top this or that of and – because it’s a business for them. But again, it makes it very hard for you to sort through it.
That’s why if you’re really looking for a recommendation where there’s some research and data behind it, I think you can’t go wrong with Consumer Reports.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, Karen is having a problem with a noisy floor. She says, “I just completed installing vinyl-plank flooring in my entire house. The new floor is on top of a 12×12 ceramic tile and the contractor doing the work assured me that no prep was necessary. It’s been a month since the install and the floor is very noisy. It creaks or sounds hollow and I can feel a little give when I walk. What do you suggest?”
A tile floor, especially a large tile like that, it’s not flat.
TOM: That’s right. Yeah, I mean technically, it needs no prepping to go on top of it but the vinyl planking is not going to change what was there to begin with. And if your floor was weak and doing this before, which I’m absolutely certain that it was, the vinyl didn’t add to this. You really should’ve beefed that floor up before you put the vinyl plank on top of it.
So I’m afraid that there’s not an easy solution here except to tell you that vinyl plank comes apart as quickly as it went together, so you could have them remove the whole thing and fix the floor and then put it back.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. We hope that you guys are having an excellent summer. We’ve got about 2 to 3 weeks left here before we’re going to officially move into the fall season, which is the busiest time of year for home projects. If you’ve got a project you’d like to plan for fall, now would be a great time to reach out to us with those questions. We will call you back the next time we are in the studio.
But for now, that is all the time we have. 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.)