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: And what are you working on this beautiful weekend? If it’s your house, you’re in exactly the right place because, heck, that’s what we do, too. We’re always fixing up our homes, so if you need help to take your home from money pit to home to castle, you’re in exactly the right place. But pick up the phone and help yourself first. We’d love to talk with you. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Or if you’re a little bit shy, that’s OK. You can post your question online to The Money Pit’s website at MoneyPit.com.
Coming up this hour, the average home loses more energy from drafts than just about any other source. So we’re going to help you track down those sneaky leaks that send your energy dollars right out the door or the window.
LESLIE: And also ahead, if there’s one improvement that you can do right now that’s going to deliver an excellent return on investment, all while making you more comfortable, it’s insulation. We’re going to have insight on a high-tech insulation that can both stop drafts and reduce heating costs all at the same time.
TOM: Plus, we’ve got some quick, easy and inexpensive projects to add value to your home instantly. And here’s a hint: curb appeal is key. We’re going to talk about what buyers love and how to give them what they want so you can sell your house for the highest possible price.
LESLIE: But most importantly, we want to talk to you. Give us a call now at 888-MONEY-PIT for the answer to your home improvement question. Plus, this hour, we’re giving away a nice package from Spray & Forget, pretty much our favorite way to rid your home of mold, mildew, algae and moss.
TOM: You’ll get plenty to clean your entire house and more. Going out to one lucky caller drawn at random. Make that you. The number, again, is 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got Ray in Minnesota who’s working on a decking project. How can we help you?
RAY: Yeah, I just bought a house and it was built in 2008. And I have a big wraparound porch and it looks like it’s never been really maintained since they built it. And so, especially with the Minnesota winters up here and the weather, looking to seal it but not really sure what to use and also not really wanting to have to do it every single year, you know? So, just wanted to get some advice about what I could do.
TOM: So, is the porch flooring a finished floor or is it like a deck, like pressure-treated?
RAY: It’s pressure-treated wood; it’s a deck.
LESLIE: And is there anything on it currently?
TOM: So, what you can do is you could apply a solid-color deck stain to that.
TOM: And a solid-color stain is going to last longer than a semi-transparent or certainly a transparent stain. But you use a deck stain because deck stains also have some durability to them.
LESLIE: Yeah, the benefit of the solid-color stain is that because it’s a stain, it’s actually going to penetrate the surface of the wood, so the color will actually get into the lumber itself. And then a solid stain, obviously, has more pigment to it. So, given the fact that your deck has had nothing on it for however many years, it probably looks a little worn in places and maybe worse for the wear. So a solid stain is going to sort of cover all of that up while giving you some color and still act as a stain, since that’s what it is.
And generally, if you apply it correctly, you’re going to get about five years on horizontal surfaces and about seven years on vertical. It really depends on the weather conditions, the application, how you prep it, is the wood totally dried out when you’re putting it on. But a solid stain is probably the best bet.
RAY: OK, OK. I had one question about it. I’ve seen some commercials for some new products that are more kind of concrete-based, almost like a – more of a paint-type thing. What about those? Are those good or would you recommend using something like that or …?
TOM: Don’t do it. I think you’re talking about the products that are like liquid siding and things of that nature. If you were going to consider a product like that, I would Google the name of that product and the word “complaints,” because we’ve seen a lot of complaints about those products, that claim to encapsulate the surfaces that they’re applied to, just not working very well. I would stick with the basics. A good-quality solid-color stain from a good manufacturer is going to last a long time and you certainly won’t be doing it every year.
RAY: OK, great. Well, I really appreciate the information and the help. Thank you, again, for taking my call.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Lynn in Colorado who’s got a tricky, leaky shower. Let’s see if we can help her find it.
LYNN: I had a plumber come out once and he said that the pipe and the bottom, where it comes out of the shower, doesn’t always hook up right. So he siliconed it and it didn’t leak but now, once in a while, it’s leaking again. Of course, it’s upstairs so I see it on a ceiling. And I’m wondering, is there some kind of a liner you can put down the pipe, like they do for sewage lines that go out?
TOM: You talking about the supply pipes or are you talking about the shower stall?
LYNN: I’m talking about the stall – the drain pipe.
TOM: Do you have – is it a tile shower pan or is it like a plastic shower?
LYNN: Yeah, it’s one of the insert ones.
TOM: Those pans can develop cracks in them and you have to figure out where that crack is. One way to try to figure out at least how high on the pan the crack is is if you block the drain of the pan and fill it up with water and see if it leaks. If it doesn’t leak, then the pan’s fine. Then the next thing you have to do is move up with your sort of analysis and now you’re going to get into the seams of it.
If you’ve got existing caulk, what I would recommend, as a first step, is to remove that caulk using caulk softener. And that’ll allow you to strip out everything that’s there and start clean with some new, good-quality bathroom caulk that’s got a mildicide built into it. And I would just caulk, very carefully, every single seam and also around all the pipes and the faucets and the fixtures, where they come through. Because, sometimes, you get direct leaks where water fills up in the pan and leaks. And a lot of times, though, with showers, you’ll get leaks when the water bounces off your body, hits one of those seams, works its way in behind the wall and down.
So, I would take out the existing caulk, recaulk it and check the shower pan for leaks. And somewhere in that analysis, you’ll probably figure out what’s going on.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. We’d love to take your call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. These guys make it fast and easy to find top-rated home pros you can trust for any home project.
TOM: And if you’re a service pro looking to grow your business and connect with project-ready homeowners, HomeAdvisor.com is the perfect place to do just that.
Just ahead, you’ve sealed all the leaks and caulked all the gaps, so why are you still feeling a draft? We’re going to help you find your home’s hidden heat-loss culprits, after this.
Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show, where you’ll get the answer to your home improvement question. And this hour, we’re giving away a Spray & Forget House & Deck Cleaner package. It includes the hose and sprayer.
Now, Spray & Forget is pretty much our favorite way to get rid of mold, mildew, moss and algae because it’s a no-rinse, no-scrub outdoor cleaner that’s environmentally friendly.
If you’d like to learn more, go to SprayAndForget.com. But pick up the phone, right now, and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your question online at MoneyPit.com for your chance to win.
LESLIE: Yeah, I like things that do the work for me. I’m just saying.
LESLIE: Tim in Virginia is dealing with some stuck windows. Tell us what’s going on.
TIM: Hi. Run into an issue a lot of times, with some of the older homes that I have, with the windows. For some reason, they are painted shut or nailed shut. But I’d like to know how I can resolve that, as well as some of these windows being dual-pane windows with condensation already in them. Next to replacing them, what can I do to resolve that problem?
TOM: Alright. Two separate issues. First of all, I presume we’re talking about old, wood windows being painted shut? Is that correct?
TIM: That is correct.
TOM: You’re going to need three things. You’re going to need a putty knife, a wood block and a hammer.
Here’s what you do. First of all, you take the putty knife and you run it in between the wood window sash and the frame, all the way around, as many places as you can. Wherever you can get that in there, wiggle it in there, that will free it up.
And you take the block of wood and from the inside, you put it on top of the sash and you take the hammer and you take a – make a quick rap. We’re actually driving the window down, as if you’re trying to close it more. Do that on both sides, on both ends. And what that quick rap does is it tends to break the paint seam that’s sticking it to the sides. So if you run the putty knife around and you take the block of wood, give it a quick rap downward, that should free up the bottom sash.
A lot of people try to get their hands under the window and push up. That tends to pull the wood frame of the window apart. But if you give it a shot down, which is somewhat counterintuitive, that works very well.
Now, as far as the windows that you’re dealing with that are thermal-pane and the seals are failed, can’t do anything about that. When they’re failed, they’re failed. And those windows would have to be replaced if you want them to be clear again.
TIM: OK, OK. Alright. I will certainly put that to use, probably within the next week or so, with the new unit that I just purchased. Thank you so very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Tim. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Rivella (sp) on the line who wants to talk about painting furniture. How can we help you today?
RIVELLA (sp): We just bought some outdoor furniture and we were sort of – by adding some spray paint to it. But it already started to chip and it’s the outdoor spray paint. So, before I paint it again and it’s the winter months coming, I don’t know if it would be best just to – what would be the best way to protect the furniture for the winter from it chipping even more?
LESLIE: Hmm. Alright. So you’ve already painted it and it’s just not holding up. Are you – where are you located?
RIVELLA (sp): Pittsburgh.
LESLIE: OK. So you’re going to get a colder winter. Are you able to store the furniture in a garage or do you have to store it outside?
RIVELLA (sp): It has to be outside. There’s not enough room in the garage, unfortunately.
LESLIE: OK. So if you can stack them or get them sort of clustered together, I would just put them with a furniture cover over them, just to sort of help keep them from snow and ice and water just sitting on it all winter long. And then once the weather does warm up, I would sort of give them a good wire brush to sort of get away whatever’s chipping and cracking. And then lightly sand or sand as much as you’re going to need to, to sort of even out those edges between the chipped pieces and the raw metal.
And then once you get it to a nice feel, Krylon, actually, has a great spray paint. It’s called the Dual Superbond Paint + Primer, so it’s all in one product. And when it goes on, it really bonds to those hard-to-adhere-to surfaces. It works really well on metal, even plastics. And it comes in a lot of fun colors, which is what I always find challenging when you’re dealing with spray paints. And we’ve had great results with it.
RIVELLA (sp): OK, yeah, I’ll definitely give that brand a try. Maybe it’s the brand I’m using. Who knows?
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, you’ve sealed all the leaks, caulked all the gaps and weather-stripped like crazy, so why are you still feeling a cold draft? Well, those hidden heat-loss culprits in your home are at work in the right places, perhaps, you didn’t even think to look, like recessed lighting or outside wall outlets or even your chimney.
LESLIE: Yeah, those are pretty tricky places. Now, you guys can seal up those leaks in those sneaky places but you have to play leak detective. And then you have to tackle those leaks one at a time.
For example, you can install outlet gaskets in outlets that are on the outside walls. You can also seal recessed lighting with spray-foam insulation that comes right in a can. And dryer vents, they can also be a leak source, as well as a whole-house fan and your attic stairs. And there are covers available for all of these leaky locations but you kind of have to go one by one and see what’s in your house.
TOM: Now, if you really want a cool way to find out where every single leak is in the house, there’s a test called a blower-door test. Now, this has to be done by an energy auditor but basically, how it works is they essentially blow air into your house or draw it out of your house. And in doing so, they can pinpoint the exact location of every single leak. And they can find the really big ones that need to be fixed first and second and so on. So, there are lots of ways to figure out why you’re feeling that draft. Just start going after them and you will be a heck of a lot more comfortable.
LESLIE: Mark in West Virginia is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you today?
MARK: I was just wondering if I could put a metal roof over top a shingle roof without removing the shingled roof.
TOM: Well, you can but why do you want to do that, Mark? It’s kind of sloppy.
MARK: I just – I’ve never worked with metal and I didn’t know if you could do it that way. Because you can shingle over an old asphalt shingle; you can put another – a layer over top of it. Just getting rid of them – the hassle of getting rid of them in a landfill.
TOM: Technically, you can but I just think it’s going to be a neater, cleaner, more professional job if you take off the asphalt shingles. And they’re not that hard to remove.
LESLIE: Yeah. And you don’t know how many layers are underneath your existing roof. Plus, I don’t know, really, but I’m imagining that a metal roof is going to have some weight to it. And why put that extra stress on the structure? And it’s a lifetime roof; you know, you’re looking at 50 years on a metal roof, so …
MARK: How about cutting it? Any special tools? You have any idea?
TOM: Yeah, I mean it’s all done with shears.
TOM: And you can use hand shears and you can use power shears. But when you work with that stuff all the time, you have the tools that you need to do that. But that’s what you’re going to have to cut it with.
MARK: Well, hey – well, thanks – thank you for being so – and I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Next up, we’ve got Pat in Georgia who needs some help with a cleaning project. What’s going on?
PAT: I have granite countertops. And I am wondering if there is an advantage to using the store-bought cleaners versus a homemade cleaner. And what would the homemade cleaner be?
TOM: So I guess you don’t have a recipe for a homemade cleaner. Is that what you’re saying?
PAT: No, I don’t.
TOM: If you happen to run across one that you like, tell us about it because I have not found one. But I will say that the commercial cleaners are usually very well-developed and are designed to give you a longer-term protection than you can probably get out of anything that you could mix up on your own countertop.
There’s a website called StoneCare.com that specializes in these types of products. And our listeners have always had good success with them, so I would take a look at that website.
But the thing about granite tops is a lot of folks buy them and think, “Well, it’s stone. I’m not going to have to do much work to the top.” But the truth is it’s a lot of work, isn’t it, Pat?
PAT: It very certainly is.
TOM: It really is. And if you don’t stay on top of it, it gets pretty nasty-looking. So, you are going to have to invest in some regular cleaning and I would just buy a good-quality product from a good brand manufacturer and just accept it as reality, OK?
PAT: Thank you so very much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Ralph in Missouri who’s working on a ceiling project. Tell us what’s going on.
RALPH: There’s two rooms upstairs and the one side, I’ve changed into a bedroom, put a bathroom up there. The other one, I’d like to take the existing ceiling out and put a cathedral ceiling in. I just want to open the room up. The ceilings are kind of low now. Somebody has put suspended ceilings in there, which …
TOM: Made it even lower.
RALPH: Well, yeah. And it’s got the old tongue-and – or lath-and-plaster walls and ceilings and all that. So I guess they didn’t want to go with the mess, so what do you do? You just stick up a suspended ceiling.
But anyway, I’d like to take the existing ceiling joists out and maybe not use the rafters for the cathedral ceiling but add some new rafters to kind of follow the outline of the roof line. But I just want to make sure that if I pull these joists or ceiling joists out of here, that the house isn’t going to fall down, you know what I mean? The walls aren’t going to bow out and fall out on me.
TOM: Well, the house may not fall down but the roof might collapse. That’s not any better.
You see, look, if you’ve got a very high-pitched roof like that and that roof is resting on the top plate of the exterior wall and you take the ceiling joists away, those serve the purpose of tying those exterior walls into the rest of the house. Now, it doesn’t mean you can’t do it but you just can’t do it without somehow replacing that structural element.
I would recommend that you not do this yourself, that you get help from an architect to design this. Because it’s a little more complicated than what you might think. It’s easy to cut stuff away; it’s not so easy to put it back together in the right way. And when it comes to this kind of modification, it’s got to be done just right.
There’s other issues, too. Now, you’re going to have to make sure that this cathedral ceiling is properly ventilated and properly insulated. And that’s going to take some work. Otherwise, you’re going to add an energy-leaking hassle to your home that won’t bode well. And you might want to think about adding some additional lighting, like a skylight or something of that nature.
So, it’s a project that can be done but it’s a little more complicated than meets the eye. I would get some professional design help on this and not just get out the old Sawzall and cut – start cutting things out of the way.
RALPH: OK, OK. Yeah, well, that’s good advice.
TOM: Alright, Ralph. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Just ahead, before the winter really sets in, we’ve got a tip on the single best way to cut energy costs and improve the comfort in your home. We’re going to share that, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Post your question to us, right now, in The Money Pit Community page at MoneyPit.com or call us at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. Hey, thinking about new flooring for your kitchen or bath and you don’t want to do it yourself? Well, that’s OK. HomeAdvisor will instantly match you with the right pro for that job and many more, for free.
LESLIE: Hey, you’ve got to love free. And you want to know what’s almost as good as free? Making a new look in a room in your home that you’re in all the time for a very little amount of money. Now, here’s an easy makeover that can be done in minutes. I’m talking about knobs, pulls, handles. They are fun and they are inexpensive. And it’s a great way to add new life to any old cabinetry, furniture, you name it. There are probably a bajillion doors and drawers in your house that could use some new hardware. And there are, truly, thousands of shapes, styles and sizes, so don’t be afraid to mix and match. It’s really an easy hands-on, one-day project.
Darlene in Arkansas, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
DARLENE: Well, we heat our house with wood and our fireplace bricks are real cream – light-cream colored and they’re very roughly textured. My question is – the soot – above the fireplace doors, soot gets in the brick and embedded in there. And I’ve tried to scrub it out with everything I can think of, other than muriatic acid. And I know I can’t use that in the house. Do you have any suggestions?
LESLIE: Have you tried TSP, which stands for trisodium phosphate? It’s sort of like a cleaning prep step when you’ve got some really sticky stuff that won’t come off.
DARLENE: Yeah. I think I did some time back but maybe I should use a stronger solution instead of – it says not to use it the way it comes out of the bottle.
LESLIE: Well, what you can do with TSP is – it comes in a powder format and it’s available in the clean – well, in the painting aisle, generally, of the home stores. And I would just mix it up so that it’s more of a paste than a liquid and apply it that way. And let it sit there and give it some time to do its job.
DARLENE: Alright. That sounds great.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Now, if your home is expensive to heat or cool or if it’s constantly drafty, now is absolutely the best time to think about improving your home’s weather-stripping. This is a project that I took on just a couple of years ago for my very drafty 1886 farmhouse. And I did it with Icynene Spray-Foam Insulation. I’ve got to tell you, it’s never been more comfortable or energy-efficient in its, what, 130-something-year history.
LESLIE: Yeah. And the great thing about Icynene Spray Foam is that it’s kind of a two-in-one product, because it both insulates and then it seals out the drafts. Which really, Tom, is probably why you feel so much more comfortable.
TOM: I think so and Icynene now has a new version that’s called Icynene Classic Max. It’s a high-performance, ultra low-VOC, open-cell version and it’s the only open-cell foam to have earned a GREENGUARD Gold Certification, which is a pretty rigorous third-party testing of chemical emissions from the product.
LESLIE: Yeah. And they really mean business. Now, when you think about it, most other spray-foam products out there will require homeowners to stay out of their home for 24 hours after the installation of the insulation. But because this product has such an ultra low-VOC emission, homeowners can reenter their home just two hours after the installation is complete. I mean that really says a lot.
TOM: And really, between the air-sealing and the insulation, homeowners can expect to save up to about 40 percent on their heating-and-cooling bills with Icynene Classic Max.
Icynene is really the evolution of insulation. Learn more at Icynene.com – I-c-y-n-e-n-e.com.
LESLIE: Chuck in Rhode Island needs some help cleaning something. What’s going on at your money pit?
CHUCK: How would you suggest I go about removing blood stains from carpeting?
LESLIE: Well, I’m assuming since you’re calling in, it’s nothing that we want to hide or cover up, correct?
CHUCK: No, no. Oh, no, no. No, no, no, no.
TOM: Alright. Have they been down there a long time?
CHUCK: Yeah, about six months.
TOM: Alright. So, there’s a couple of different things that you can try. One of which is to make a paste out of salt. And so you take a bowl of cold water and you put enough salt in to make a bit of a paste. And then you apply that to the carpet, let it sit a bit. Brush it in with a small brush, like a small hairbrush or a toothbrush, and see if it starts to lift the stains away. You can dab it with water to kind of thin out the salt.
Then after it dries, you can vacuum it and that’ll pull all the rest of the salt off of it.
CHUCK: Uh-huh. OK.
TOM: So that’s one way to do it. The other way to do it is to try to make a mixture of hydrogen peroxide up and water. This hydrogen peroxide will also clean up blood. I always say to try this, though, in an area that’s inconspicuous because it also has somewhat of a bleaching effect. We don’t want to have you bleach out the carpet.
So you can try it in a corner, under furniture, in a closet, wherever you have a less visible area.
CHUCK: What ratio of the peroxide to water?
TOM: Well, no, actually, you can just put the peroxide on without water. Just put like 3-percent hydrogen peroxide.
CHUCK: OK. I’ll try those items and see what happens.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Still ahead, getting your home ready to sell is no small feat. But we can help you figure out what buyers are looking for. We’re going to tell you three simple things than you can do now to increase your home’s value instantly, next.
TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We would love to take your fall fix-up questions at 888-MONEY-PIT or post them online at MoneyPit.com presented by HomeAdvisor. Get instantly matched with top-rated pros for any home project and book appointments online, for free, at HomeAdvisor.com.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Joann in Illinois who’s working on a kitchen-cleaning project. Tell us what you’re working on.
JOANN: I have lovely, Quaker-made kitchen cabinets. They’ve been in, oh my, I suppose 35 years. They’re really good shape but the only thing I’d like to ask you is – you know, where you go to pull the – to open them? It seems like there gets to be accumulation of grease, oil or whatever. And I’d like to know: what is the best thing to use to wash them down?
LESLIE: Have you tried an orange-based cleaner, like an Orange Glo?
JOANN: That is – would be just a straight cleaner? It’s nothing you mix with water or anything.
LESLIE: Nope. It’s just a straight cleaner. And I find that it’s really good at degreasing and de-sticking a lot of buildup. When we took the protective bumpers off of our very pointy wood coffee table when Henry got a little bigger, the sticky stuff just left the worst residue across my amazing apothecary table.
And nothing I could use was getting off this residue and Orange Glo really did the trick. I was very surprised at how quickly it just melted the tape extract and all of that adhesive. And I use it on my kitchen cabinets. I use it pretty much on all my wood surfaces and I find it really does a good job.
JOANN: OK. I really enjoy your program.
TOM: Thank you so much, Joann. Good luck with that project and thank you for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, if you’re planning on putting your home on the market, getting it ready to sell is no small task but there are a few quick and relatively inexpensive projects you can do that will add value immediately. And they’re going to resonate well with potential buyers, which makes your home a lot more attractive than those you’re competing with.
LESLIE: Yeah. First up, I think curb appeal is still the easiest, least expensive and fastest way that you can increase the value of your home. Landscaping can cost as little as a few hundred dollars but it really makes a lasting impression that’s going to increase your home’s value by thousands. You want to go for plants that add color. You want ones that compliment your house, because people really do react to color emotionally and they’re going to fall head over heels with your home just because you’ve made the garden in front look lovely.
Next, think about your front door. If you can replace it, that makes a huge impact, as well. And if you go with fiberglass, I mean you can talk up the energy efficiency angle to potential buyers, too. And also, I think you’re not going to have to refinish it, you don’t have to worry about painting it or staining it again. They look beautiful and they last forever.
TOM: And lastly, you want to give buyers a place to put their stuff as soon as they move in, so adding some storage shelves to the garage, the basement, the closets, that can make – definitely make your home look bigger and perhaps a little less cluttered.
But you’ve got to remember this. This is really the most important thing when you’re trying to get your house ready to sell or you’re trying to figure out how to stage it properly. People who buy houses are usually moving from one that’s too small. So if you show them how roomy and organized your house can be, that will make a really great first impression. So, get to it.
And we’re here to get to your calls at 888-MONEY-PIT. Give us a call, right now, for the answer to your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Brian in Kentucky is on the line and working on a Tudor, which is my favorite kind of home. What can we help you with?
BRIAN: I have bought an old, 1979 English Tudor home. It’s about 2,700 square feet. And it’s down in Seymour, Tennessee. And it has got brick on the first floor and the upper floor has the English Tudor style but it’s been made out of plywood. And it looks like it’s textured plywood with raised 1×2-inch strips on it.
The house has never been touched and it’s a good money pit. I’m going to be taking the stripping off of it and I’m going to be probably caulking between the joints of the plywood and replacing whatever existing plywood is rotted with OVC marine board and then siliconing everything.
I’m going to – I want to put stucco or Dryvit over top of that existing plywood. And I’m leaning towards the Dryvit because of the Styrofoam, which will be an insulation factor. But I don’t know the pros and cons of original stucco or the Dryvit and the cost factor.
TOM: Alright. First of all, I’m very familiar with the design house you have and yes, it’s attractive. Unfortunately, it’s really bad in terms of weather-resistance because, usually, they use – well, what they’ll use for the what you’re calling the “plywood siding” is a composite type of material that looks a little bit like – supposed to look a little bit like concrete or look like stucco but it’s not.
TOM: And it’s a composite siding that really does not stand up very well. And if it’s not been touched since 1979, then it probably all needs to be replaced.
TOM: If you’re trying to decide between using real stucco – or it’s actually called Dryvit and it’s a brand name for EIFS, which is exterior insulated foam siding – E-I-F-S. I would tell you that you should stay away – stay away – from the foam siding. All you need to do is Google-search that stuff and you’re going to find huge problems. There’s been a lot of complaints over the years and as a friend of mine once said to me, who’s a structural engineer – he said, “That product was leaking on the drawing board and it hasn’t stopped since.”
TOM: Now, they made a lot of changes to it and some people said they’re happy with it. If you live in a wet climate, I wouldn’t use it. If you live – I think it’s good on commercial buildings and masonry buildings because they don’t have the decay factors. But I would absolutely stay away from the exterior insulated foam siding for a residential home.
I think you’re going to end up, Brian, taking all of that plywood off and then you’re going to have to decide what you want to replace it with. If you’re going to go with real masonry siding – real masonry stucco – I think that’s a wise choice. I think that’s a choice that will last a lifetime and give your house a proper English Tudor.
English Tudors last forever because they’re built to last forever. But when we make the fake English Tudors with the composite siding and the furring strips, you’re lucky that it lasted the 30-plus years that it has.
BRIAN: Yeah. Would you go with the marine board, like I was talking about and then put the Tyvek around that or the tar paper or …?
TOM: Well, what you’re going to end up doing is you’re going to have a plywood sheathing. So you’re going to take everything off, examine the interior, make sure there’s no rot in the studs. You’re going to add a plywood sheathing, you’re going to add building paper, you’re going to add metal – woven metal wire – and you’re going to put the stucco right on top of that.
Of course, I mean really, your mason is going to do this but that’s, essentially, the process.
BRIAN: OK. Alright. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate your time.
TOM: You’re welcome, Brian. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Coming up, we’re going to share some tips on a new design trend that you can totally customize when it comes to flooring, after this.
TOM: Where home solutions live, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Standing by for your calls at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your questions online at MoneyPit.com. And The Money Pit is presented by HomeAdvisor, where you can find top-rated home pros you can trust.
LESLIE: And for local pros who want to grow their business, HomeAdvisor is the easy way to get connected with project-ready homeowners.
TOM: Barbara from Indiana has posted a question in The Money Pit’s Community page and she says, “I have a fan in the over-the-stove microwave and it does not vent to the outside. Should it be?”
Well, Leslie, we see these a lot and I say, “Heck yeah.”
LESLIE: If you can.
TOM: Who wants to recirculate that warm, greasy, steamy air that comes off the cooking range, right?
LESLIE: That is true and that’s the dangerous side of it, because you’re getting that greasy air that comes back in throughout the house. Your cabinets are going to feel more sticky, you’re going to have to clean a lot more, the odors are going to stick around a lot longer in the kitchen space.
So, if you can – and sometimes you just can’t just because of the location of the oven, stove, whatever in your kitchen, it’s just more difficult to vent outside. But if you can, you absolutely should.
TOM: Good advice.
LESLIE: And I think the other thing that you should consider is that all of those over-the-stove microwaves, they all have filters in them. All of those things that are using to clean the air, whichever kind you have make sure you clean or change that filter as often as you’re supposed to. It’s fairly easy to do. Just make sure you follow your manufacturer’s directions.
TOM: Well, floors make up the largest horizontal surface in your home, so why not put that real estate to good use with a beautifully designed floor? Leslie has some ideas in today’s Flooring Design Tip, presented by Pergo Outlast.
LESLIE: You know, when it comes to flooring, people used to really have a fairly simple choice when it came to that design aspect in your home. You most likely stuck with what was there or maybe you refinished it just to get a fresher look in the space. A lot of times, carpeting was a much more simple and sometimes less expensive option. But it wasn’t really until recently that flooring had become more affordable, more durable. And then it became this thoughtful design choice.
Now, laminate flooring, in particular, has allowed homeowners to have so many wood styles and finishes, in an easy-to-install, durable and water-resistant format. Today, you see a lot of designers showcasing a blended-finish flooring. It truly is a unique way to give your space a lot of depth and a lot of style. Now, depending on the wood grain and the stain-color family that you choose for this look, you could achieve any style, from a modern look to a more rustic style.
Now, here’s a good tip. When creating your own blend, if you’re going into a store and you’re looking at all the different types of flooring out there – so you’re going to mix and match a couple of different kinds. So what you want to do when you create that blend is choose the same wood type so that the grain pattern matches. You want to go for the same plank width and then stick to a single color family. Now, I really like this modern look where you see a lot of grays or richer, dark colors for the floor. So if you want to try that, if you really want to create a modern blend, try Pergo’s Oak in Warm Gray, Cashmere Gray and Harbor View. That oak family is going to give you that same grain pattern overall and those colors will just blend so beautifully, you’re going to love it.
TOM: And that’s today’s Flooring Design Tip, presented by Pergo Outlast+, the only water-resistant laminate that prevents water from seeping into the joints. Pergo’s SpillProtect24 technology creates a watertight surface, so spills can be wiped up or will simply evaporate over time. Outlast+ resists water and ends worries. Available in 19 different colors, for 2.79 a square foot, at The Home Depot and online at HomeDepot.com.
Coming up next time on The Money Pit, would you like to avoid flooded basements, leaking crawlspaces, slippery sidewalks and more? Well, then, now is the time to get your gutters ready. We’ll have some easy tricks of the trade to make sure they’re good to go for the leaves that will come, on the next edition of The Money Pit.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …
LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
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(Copyright 2017 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.)