In this episode…
Got closets that are bursting at the seams? We’ve got steps for a simple closet makeover that takes less than an hour or two to get done, and will help you find the space you need. Plus:
- Keeping heating costs down is usually a lot easier for home heated with gas or oil than for those heated by electricity. We’ll share how new efficiencies in heat pump technology are changing this for the better.
- You might think a working smoke detector will protect your home and family from a fire. But while that system can provide a critical alert, find out how adding a home fire sprinkler system could stop the home from actually burning to the ground.
Get answers to your questions about best paint, easy snow removal, cleaning dryer vents, how to hire a good professional home Inspector, eliminating water hammer and squirrels from the attic, repairing dented wood flooring, removing wallpaper.
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 with your home improvement projects, solve your décor dilemmas. If there’s a project you’d like to do, not sure if you can do it yourself or you should hire it out, give us a call right now. We’ll tell you how to quickly, easily and inexpensively take on those projects that you’d like to do around your house.
Coming up on today’s show, if you’d love to add more light to your kitchen, there is a new window trend emerging that aims to do just that and in a very unusual way. We’re going to share that tip, just ahead.
LESLIE: And the real winter is just beginning, guys, so make sure that your car has an emergency kit at the ready. We’re going to tell you how to stock it.
TOM: And do you ever feel like no matter what you do, you just can’t get your house to be warm enough? We’ve got solutions for heating even the coldest rooms, in just a bit. But first, we want to know what you want to know. So call us, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974 or post your question to MoneyPit.com.
Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Chris in Arkansas is on the line with a painting question. How can we help you today?
CHRIS: Well, I bought a house and it has two bathrooms. And the tile – sink and tubs are baby pink and baby blue.
TOM: What’s wrong with that?
CHRIS: Well, it’s not exactly what I had in mind. But I was wondering if you can successfully – until I get to redo the bathrooms, if you can successively paint over them without it looking terrible.
LESLIE: Yes and no. I mean you can. There’s quite an extensive process to it to make sure that you get proper adhesion and it sticks very well. However, whenever you’re dealing with a painted surface and water is involved and areas that you have to clean, as well, you’re going to get some wear and tear. So I don’t think it’s the best idea.
There are kits that you can buy online. Basically, if you want to do it without a kit – and of course, then you don’t want to paint the grout. But a lot of people do paint the grout and then that looks weird, also. So you’ve got to think about all these things. But you’re going to want to use a very, very durable oil-based primer. And of course, you’ve got to clean those tiles very, very well before you even think about putting a drop of primer on them.
TOM: And I think Sherwin-Williams actually makes a primer that is super, super adhesive. And the reason I know about this is because the way they demo’d it was by painting it on tile and then putting a second layer of paint on it. But even though it’s a really adhesive paint, I agree with you completely that eventually – in a very short period of time, especially if you’re cleaning the surface – you’re going to start wearing through it.
CHRIS: OK. And like I said, not knowing if I could or not, I just was thinking if I could buy myself some time and just paint it until I can redo – or maybe it’s sounding like I should just wait until I can redo.
TOM: Well, you know, the bad news about those old tile bathrooms is that they have these very traditional, 1960s-like colors. The good news is that the tile quality is usually really good and the way it’s installed is really solid. And that’s why, if at all possible, maybe you could think about decorating around this tile.
So you said that you had – is it pink and blue?
LESLIE: With the pink, I think we’re seeing such a big trend in pink really making a comeback in bathroom spaces. You could go overload on the pink, you can add in florals, you can add in different tones of pink. So you can sort of tone in down with neutral beiges and grays and hints of gold and sort of make it glamorous and more girly. There are ways you can do that.
Blue tile, I feel like, is just a poor choice. Blue tile is blue tile.
CHRIS: I totally agree with you.
LESLIE: Maybe everything else goes super clean. But I just feel like if you attempt to paint the tile, you’re going to be sad in the long run. And it’s going to – it will perhaps motivate you to do the permanent work more quickly.
CHRIS: OK. Well, exactly that and that’s why I called. I just wasn’t sure if there was some miracle cure that I – “Hey, this works great” or not. And I am trying my best at decorating around but the pink, yes, has worked better than the blue.
TOM: At least we solved half the problem, Christine.
CHRIS: I appreciate it. I appreciate it so much.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Heading out to New Jersey where John has some issues going on in the attic. Tell us about it.
JOHN: I have the breather up on top of my roof. It’s leaks, comes down into the attic. And I have a little container up there. And sometimes, I don’t get up there in time and it’s kind of messing up my ceiling.
TOM: Well, that’s not good.
JOHN: Well, I’ve gone up there and I’ve had that can of – I forget what you call it. You spray it and it’s like a rubber whatever. I’ve sprayed all around the metal flashing and it’s still leaking. I don’t see any holes anywhere else. There’s no missing shingles. I don’t know what else it could be.
TOM: OK. So let me just – clarify for me: when you call this an “attic breather” or “vent,” what are we talking about? Is it a square hole in your roof with a vent over it? Is it a ridge vent that goes down the peak of the roof? Or are you talking about the plumbing vent that comes up through the roof?
JOHN: No. It’s almost up in the – about midway. There’s one on one side of the roof and one on the other.
TOM: OK. So it’s like a square vent?
JOHN: Right. And there’s no – the opening – it’s on an angle but I don’t know if it’s enough of an angle when the wind drives the rain in a certain direction.
TOM: Yeah. That’s what I was thinking. You may have some wind-driven rain in here. And what my advice would be to you is – you have a ridge that goes down sort of the – like a peak of the roof that goes down the middle of the house?
JOHN: No. It goes across. It runs horizontally.
TOM: What kind of roof style do you have? Is this a standard Colonial house or – what is it? A ranch?
JOHN: Small ranch.
TOM: OK. So here’s what I would do. You may very well be getting wind-driven rain inside that. What I might suggest is – that’s actually not the best kind of vent. And there’s an opportunity for you to improve your ventilation here in your attic space, which’ll actually make it cooler in the summertime and drier in the wintertime, which makes your insulation more effective.
And to do that, what I would do is I would remove those square vents, patch the hole and re-shingle over that. And I would replace that with a ridge vent that goes down most of the peak of the roof. The ridge vent’s not likely to leak if it’s properly installed. And that will open up that space to more ventilation, which will have the benefits that we talked about.
JOHN: Wow. OK, OK. That’s my next project.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Sue from Ohio on the line. Welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
SUE: Yes. We had a wooden wheelchair ramp built for my father and it’s with the treated lumber. And wanted an idea or what product we could use to kind of keep the ice and the snow off of there without damaging the wood.
TOM: You know, there are different types of salts that can be effective as to prevent snow and ice. What you want to do, though, is make sure that you not use sodium chloride or a rock salt. You want to use calcium chloride. Calcium chloride is less corrosive. It has less of an impact on plants and on pets but does just as good a job of keeping the snow and the ice off.
What I would suggest is you take this calcium chloride and you mix it up with playground sand – the kind of sand that you might put in a sandbox – and create sort of a mixture that you can keep handy so that whenever you do get a little bit of ice and snow, you can spread the salt/sand mixture down and keep that ramp clear.
SUE: OK. Great. Thank you.
TOM: Alright. Good luck with that project, Sue. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: William is on the line with a gutter question. What’s going on at your money pit?
WILLIAM: Hi. We recently purchased a home that – it’s surrounded by a lot of pine trees. So I’m getting a lot of pine needles on my roof and in my gutters. And it’s only been a few weeks and already I’m tired of climbing up there to clean them. Do you have any suggestions for keeping them off the roof and keeping the gutters flowing?
TOM: Well, we can’t fight gravity, so you’re going to always have them on your roof.
I will give you a couple suggestions. First of all, as you probably know, there’s a wide range of gutter covers out there. And the type that are sort of screen-like are the type that are most likely to clog, because the pine needles will lay across the top, they’ll get stuck in there and you’ll just be very miserable. What I think the best type – is the ones that are continuous gutter covers that go all across the top of the gutter, where the pine needles have a chance to actually wash over the top and let the water fall in through the principles of surface tension.
Now, the bad news is that those are expensive. They’re so expensive that you may find that removing your traditional 4-inch gutters and replacing them with 6-inch gutters – which will not clog with pine needles because everything is much bigger, the throats for the downspouts are bigger, the gutters are bigger, they can take more water, more flow – might be the best way to go. So that’s kind of your option. I would either use a gutter cover that covers the entire top of the gutter or I would take out the 4-inch gutters and I would put in 6-inch gutters, which is what I did at my house and just never looked back.
WILLIAM: OK. Well, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Kayla in Iowa, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
KAYLA: Just got married and moved into a new home. And it already had a Honeywell whole-home humidifier installed in it. And it seems like a dream come true. I thought it was going to be amazing.
But we have 100-amp service and every now and then, our breaker will trip and I – you don’t even know downstairs unless you’re down there. And I have gone down a couple times and it was – the basement is flooded. And it floods over into the other room, like into the – where I eventually want to lay carpet and have a family room.
TOM: Is that because the dehumidifier condensate pump stops working?
KAYLA: I’m not sure what it is. There’s like an overfill thing for it and I’m assuming it’s supposed to lead to a drain. But the drain is in the laundry room, which is in the opposite direction.
TOM: OK. So when everything is working correctly, this dehumidifier is going to take moisture out of the air, drop it into a reservoir, which you either have to empty or it will pump out somewhere.
Usually, if it’s got a condensate pump associated with it, it could pump up sort of against gravity and there’s a clear, plastic tube that goes out and leads to a drain somewhere or even outside the house. If you have a power failure, it’s not going to work and it might actually start to leak maybe back into that room where you are. Of course, the dehumidifier is not working at that time, so it’s not going to leak for long. But I could see how it could create a bit of a puddle. So your problem is not so much with the dehumidifier but why you’re having a problem popping these breakers.
Now, 100-amp service is actually a pretty darn good service and it frequently doesn’t get the respect it deserves. When these breakers pop, it’s not usually because you’re pulling more than 100 amps. It’s because that whatever circuit you have this particular dehumidifier on is – needs to be improved, perhaps, by adding an additional circuit. But the service for the house should be fine.
KAYLA: OK. It does have a clear hose that leads outside.
TOM: That’s what’s going on. When your power goes out, the pump stops working and that’s why it’s leaking, OK? So focus on getting this plugged into a circuit that is a little bit bigger than what you have right now. An electrician could help you sort this out but it’s not a big deal to add an additional circuit just for that device.
KAYLA: Alright. Sounds good.
TOM: Alright? Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, there’s a new trend, that window manufacturers are telling us about, that is pretty interesting. They are seeing a big uptick in the purchase of privacy windows and in particular, transom windows.
LESLIE: Now, if you’re wondering what a transom window is, you’ve probably only seen them in old movies because they were common in the days before air conditioning. We’re talking about those tilt-in windows that are typically above interior doors. Now, these were there to help air circulate with that door closed before air conditioning was common.
TOM: And they’re very popular in baths and showers to provide light and privacy. But builders now are coming up with other very creative applications, one of which is to add transom windows on top of the wall cabinets in kitchens. They deliver a ton of light to that space and really cuts down the amount of electrical light that you need, as a result. Certainly, during those darker winter days, it really brightens it up.
So, if you’re thinking about updating your kitchen in the coming months ahead, think about how you might add some of these transom lights up high on the wall to add natural light to that space.
LESLIE: Al in New York has a roofing question. What can we do for you?
AL: Wondering, since my roof blew away, what’s the progress on the solar-powered roof shingles?
TOM: You say your roof blew away? What happened, Al?
AL: Well, it’s old. It’s old. Like 40-year-old asphalt on top of cedar shingles. Then had a little storm here and there. We got $18 from FEMA.
AL: We got 8,000 from the insurance company, which is owned by the bank.
TOM: Alright. Well, listen, at least you got something towards it. But listen, if you’re asking me are solar shingles to the point now where I would recommend them? My answer would be no. I think there are solar panels that I’m very comfortable with.
But solar shingles, I’m concerned about their durability and their longevity. And every time I’ve evaluated them and seen them at, say, building/trade expos and things like that, I found that the warranties on these things don’t even come close to the warranty on an average roof. So, I’m concerned about how long they’re going to last and what it would take to replace them. They’re very, very expensive, as well. So, I’m not a proponent of solar shingles yet, although perhaps that can change in the future.
Now, as to your roofing project, you mentioned that you have asphalt shingles on top of cedar shingles. I actually had a very similar roof, because I have a very old house that was built in the 1800s. And just about two years ago, we took off that original layer of cedar shingle, which had been covered by asphalt shingles over the years. And it was in amazingly good condition.
But we pulled it off and then we resheathed the roof. So this particular type of roofing project is an expensive project because, usually, cedar shingles are on top of furring strips and you have to put plywood down over those furring strips to do it right. Your option is, of course, just to pull off the asphalt shingles and put another layer on top of the cedar and you’ll get more years out of it. But it won’t lay as flat, clean and nice as it should if it was on proper sheathing. Does that make sense?
AL: Yeah, I know all that. As far as the local code is – you’re going to have to go down to the rafters, which means you’ve got to build up the existing furring strip and the existing – you know, the thicknesses.
TOM: Well, what I would do is would leave the furring strips in place and attach the plywood right to that. That’s going to be a little less work and with an old house, it doesn’t make sense to pull those off. Just leave those and put the plywood right on it.
Al, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Linda, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
LINDA: The house that we live in was built in ‘53. It’s ours and we’ve paid it off and trying to keep – upkeep it and keep it in good shape. But in between the dining room and the living room, apparently before we purchased it, there was a wall that had been removed. And the only sign is on the ceiling, where the wall was removed, there’s a double crack on each side of a 2×4, is what it looks like, about that width in the drywall.
And I’ve tried – it’s a textured ceiling they did. We actually had knockdown put on it. But it – we can’t fill the crack. We’ve tried to use drywall mud. It just returns. What can I do to fix this crack?
TOM: So this was opposite both sides of a wall that was torn out? So, they must have slipped in some drywall to patch it? Is that what you’re thinking?
LINDA: Maybe, maybe.
TOM: So that’s not the best way to fix that sort of thing. You can’t put a narrow strip in there and have it ever look like a normal ceiling. If you’ve got a hole like that where you pull the wall out, what you have to do is cut a bigger piece of drywall out, maybe about a foot or two on each side of it. And you do that right on the edge where the floor joists are – the ceiling joists are – in this case. Then you have a bigger seam to tape and spackle and secure. And if it’s done well, then you’re never going to see it again.
So you putting all of this spackle on it time and time again, over all of this period of time, has probably made more of a mess and it’s kind of hard to fix at this point. So what I would tell you to do is to cut out that whole repair, put a bigger piece of drywall in, tape it, spackle it, prime the whole ceiling and then repaint the whole ceiling. And that would be the one to do – the way to do this permanently. Otherwise, you’re always going to see that.
LINDA: OK. Thank you for telling me that.
TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Leslie, before my kids headed back to college after the holidays, I took some time to make sure their cars were stocked with emergency supplies. Because hey, you never know, right?
LESLIE: Yeah. I mean I totally agree with you for that and not even just for the winter but year-round.
But here’s a list of what you’re going to need in your trunk for everyday travel and a bit of extra preparedness during a longer trip.
First of all, you’ve got to pick up a good set of reflective triangles, flashlights and flares. If you do have to pull over, put safety first and make sure that you can be seen. And this is also going to help a towing company or police find you in the dark.
Next, you want to add jumper cables, a fire extinguisher, water and a first-aid kit. Now, those are basic items and they can help you with so many roadside problems. Also, consider a tire inflator. You want to make sure that your spare tire is in the car and it’s in working condition. You don’t want to be in the middle of changing a flat only to realize that your spare is also flat or quite frankly, not there.
TOM: Yeah. If you do have to pull over, make sure you do so in a safe spot and make sure you’re well off the road. Then stay with your car and wait for help.
LESLIE: Dana in Georgia is on the line with a mold question. How can we help you?
DANA: I’m in Santa, Georgia, where it’s already hot and humid and we’re already fighting mold a lot of the time during the warmer months. Right after Hurricane Matthew, it just seems to go on turbo where I’m having to clean it off all the wood furniture and some of the walls. And it’s even coming out of – or was coming out of the vents from the A/C heating unit. So, I just replaced those vents rather than try to clean them. And my question really is: is there anything else I should be doing and should I be concerned about my kid’s health because of it coming out of the vents?
TOM: Well, not even it coming out of the vents. The fact that you’ve got this growing on the walls and furniture is a pretty serious problem. You need – you have the scope of a problem where you need actual professional-remediation help because it’s so prevalent. The problem is that these – some types of molds that kids and adults can have allergic reactions to. They produce mycotoxins that can get out and make some people really sick.
I’ve known folks over the years who had – in fact, I had someone very close to me that I diagnosed this for because she had kids that had a really bad year of illness. And we noticed that when they went on vacation – they went away for a month over the holidays and they felt great. And they came back and they felt lousy.
So it all turned out to be mold that actually got into the attic of this house, that was finding its way back into the living space through holes around where the lights came through the ceiling. And so, in this case, all of the insulation actually had to be taken out of the attic and the whole thing had to be sprayed and cleaned and then put all back together again.
So, if you’ve got that much mold in the house, you’ve got to get to the bottom of it. And I really think you need some professional help. But what you want is someone who does occupational safety and health as a living, as a profession. You don’t want the latest Johnny-come-lately mold-remediator guy that has no professional training. You want somebody who really has some skills and certifications, from a consultancy basis, to get to the bottom of this.
I’m going to recommend a website and that website is MayIndoorAir.com – May, like the month – M-a-y-IndoorAir.com. You will find books on that website by Jeff May, who is one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met about mold and indoor-air quality. He has an interesting backstory. He was very, very allergic to mold and it led him to a whole new course of study. He’s written three or four books on mold, including some written for the Johns Hopkins University Press.
So I think that would be a good source of information for you. And he’s not from your area but he may be able to recommend to you some contractors in that particular area, some consultants in that area that he knows professionally. But that’s a good source for you to kind of get to the bottom of this, OK?
DANA: Great. Thank you so much.
LESLIE: Martin in Wisconsin is on the line with a question about a load-bearing wall. What’s going on?
MARTIN: I’ve got a wall between my kitchen and living room that I’d like to open up. And there’s already a doorway there I’d like to open up and make an open area. And the walls – it’s a main support wall. It’s a structural support wall. I want to take out about 12 – the span would be about 12 feet. There’s a doorway there that’s already 4-foot wide and so about – I’m going to try and open up another 8 foot of it. And I was wondering about, structurally, if it would be possible to put in a micro-limb? I think that’s what they call them.
TOM: Look, I don’t recommend this project for the faint of heart or inexperienced contractor, because it’s not the kind of job you should be doing as your first foray into home improvement. I can explain to you, conceptually, how it’s done. And let’s assume that you have a bearing wall here and you need to disassemble that wall.
So, the way it is done, conceptually, is that there is a temporary wall built on both sides of the bearing wall that has to come out. So, basically, you’re building a load-bearing wall on one side of the wall that’s coming out – maybe 6 inches or a foot away – and one wall on the other side. And then once those temporary walls are in place, then and only then do you disassemble the bearing wall.
And in terms of that laminated beam, yes, once you put that beam in, it’s got to be properly supported. So the ends of the beam have to be sitting on something, like another part of the bearing wall, so that the load is transferred down to your foundation. So, again, it’s really a pretty complicated project and one that has to be done right or the consequences are pretty devastating.
So, it can be done but it’s a big project and it’s not the kind of project I would recommend you tackle unless you have a lot more experience than it sounds like you have.
MARTIN: Yeah. That’s kind of my thought about it. I just thought I would reach out to you guys.
TOM: Alright. Well, I think you’re on the right path now. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, winter has arrived and there’s a good chance there’s a room or two in your house that just won’t get as warm as you’d like it to be, no matter how high you turn up that thermostat.
LESLIE: Now, if you’re looking for a solution that’s safer and more permanent than a portable space heater, consider an electric heater.
TOM: Yeah. They’re more expensive to run than conventional gas or oil systems but they are less expensive to install. And if you use them strategically, they can be a smart move.
Now, there are a few types to choose from but the two most common types are wall heaters and baseboard heaters.
LESLIE: Now, electric wall heaters and electric baseboard heaters work the same way but the difference is in how they deliver their heat.
Now, an electric wall heater has got a fan and that blows across the heated elements where baseboard heaters, on the other hand, warm thin, metal fins on the cover and then radiate that heat into the room without the use of forced air.
TOM: Now, whichever one you choose, a lot of people really swear by their electric heaters. Just keep in mind that electric wall heaters or baseboard heaters require a separate electrical circuit often. And in many cases, you also need a permit to get that installed.
So, they use a lot of power. If you use them strategically, though, they can be a really good move for those super-cold nights.
LESLIE: Alright. Now, we’ve got Sylvia in Pennsylvania on the line with a flooring question. How can we help you today?
SYLVIA: I am moving from Pennsylvania, moving further south to get away from the snow. I don’t know if it’ll be South Carolina, Georgia or Florida but I am going to build myself a house and it’s going to be a small house. I’m wondering about in-floor heating but I would like to have a terrazzo floor. So can you put in-floor heating and cooling in a terrazzo floor?
TOM: So, first of all, congratulations on your plan. That sounds really exciting. Secondly, in terms of the floor – first of all, the floor can be heated. It can’t provide your cooling. You’re going to have to have a central air-conditioning system for that.
SYLVIA: I was wondering about that because I was wondering, too. Because cold settles and I’m thinking the floor would be cold but nothing else would be.
TOM: So, in terms of the heated floor, yes, there is a way to run PEX piping – which is a cross-linked polyethylene, hot-water piping – through underlayments that would go under tile. In fact, they make a specific type of plywood that’s actually channeled out for this very purpose, where the plumbing sort of lays inside tracks in the plywood. And then the mud floor or whatever you’re using underneath the trowels (ph) goes on top of that.
So, certainly, you can do that. It’s a pretty big project. But if you’re set on having this kind of floor, you can definitely do it. But it will be a more expensive heating system than other types.
SYLVIA: Well, I’m not really set on the terrazzo but I was thinking of it and – because it would be easy to clean. It would be just – from living in Florida, I am familiar with terrazzo floors. And I just thought that it was a possibility. I have not decided exactly yet. I’m just gathering information now.
TOM: Yeah. The answer is you could put hot-water heat through your floors pretty much with any type of material, including that. So, definitely an option for you, Sylvia. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Call us with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post it at The Money Pit’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit.
LESLIE: That’s right. Dina in Minnesota has written us and she says, “Do you know what would cause my pilot flame to keep going out on my gas water heater?”
TOM: Yeah, a dirty burner most likely. It could also be a problem with the thermocouple. So let’s talk about those two things.
First of all, for a gas water heater, there’s going to be a cover, like a flame cover, that’s down at the bottom. And if you lift that out and kind of look at that burner as it starts, if it’s not a really clear-blue color, if it’s got any orange in it, that orange flame is a sign of incomplete combustion that happens when you have a really dirty burner. So that might mean that it needs to be cleaned.
Also, if it looks good but like you say, maybe it goes on and off inconsistently, that more likely is a problem with the thermocouple. If you’ve ever had to start a gas water heater that didn’t have an electric ignition, there is a piece of wire that sort of sits inside the flame or a metal bar that’s inside of the flame. That’s the thermocouple and basically, its job is – as long as it has a flame coming out of that pilot light, it lets the gas flow to the water heater. But if there’s no flame, it stops the gas so it basically is a safety precaution. But these thermocouples go bad from time to time and often need to be replaced.
If you’ve got a really old water heater, like 10-plus, I’d replace the water heater at that point. If it’s less than that – maybe if it’s only two, three, five, seven years old – then I’d probably make that repair.
Well, if you’re constantly dealing with cables and cords and chargers in your home, Leslie has a solution to end that cable clutter, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: You know, guys, personally, I’m not a big fan of cords. They can totally ruin the look of a room but we all live in this age of technology. And you’re not going to be able to do a lot without them. So, why not embrace these cables? There’s a lot of interesting ways that you can create something fun.
Do you guys watching Making It? There’s that fun show that’s a crafting competition with Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler. And they had one artist or crafter on the show who ended up – I won’t spoil it but she did really well. She created beautiful artwork with cables on the walls.
So if you’ve got a lot of cables and a cable tacker and maybe some interesting, different colors or you can buy some interesting-looking extension cords that have that fun fabric texture to them, you can create artwork on your walls with these cables and with these cords using a cable tacker. Now, that’s kind of a big commitment to embracing the use of these cords but it’s a fun way to have them front and center and in an interesting way.
Now, if you’re more like me and you want to kind of just make them go away but still have access to them but organize them nicely, there are cable covers that you can put everything sort of organized on the wall and then cover it with this cable cover and then paint that the same color of the wall. There are hollowed-out backs of baseboards that you can go ahead and put the cables behind it and then cover it with the baseboard.
You’ve got to think about how often you need to access these cables and that will sort of help with how you also hide them. Just label them, know what goes to what. This is especially helpful if you have to change out a piece of equipment or you’re moving something to paint the room or clean the room. This will help you know exactly what everything goes.
It’s all about cord management, cable management, maybe having the courage to try something adventurous with using them as a display detail. Either way, let’s get these cables organized. It’s a new year. Let’s start off fresh before March, when we have to do it all again.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, if you’ve ever had a paint project that didn’t dry right, maybe it wouldn’t cover a stain or even if it peeled off faster than it should have, we’re going to have solutions to these paint predicaments and more, 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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