In this episode…
If you’re a home improving weekend warrior, we’ve got tips on easy “all-in-one-weekend” home improvement projects that are so easy on your schedule you can fit them in after your Saturday morning coffee and still have enough time for a leisurely dinner Sunday! Plus…
- Fall is a great time to get your lawn, garden and landscape ready for winter and a quick comeback next spring. But to do that, you need great quality tools. We’ll introduce you to a line of cordless products — including blowers, and even chain saws that are affordable and TRULY work just as well as gas-powered tools without the smells and hassles of maintaining them.
- If you want to give your walls a new look – we’ve got tips on wall coverings that can add interest and color to your décor.
- Tips on the best type of flooring for every room in the house.
- We announce a new way to win bathroom faucets and fixtures in the Riverbend Beautiful Bath Giveaway, and we’re giving away sets of sturdy bar clamps from Pony Jorgensen to help with all your home projects.
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: Hope you guys are enjoying this beautiful fall weekend. I’m so inspired by the beautiful weather and the trees that are starting to change color. And it really wants me to take on projects outside the house. Even if I don’t have one, I tend to go out there and make one, just because I want to get ‘er done, you know? So, if you’ve got a project you’d like to do or one that you’re planning for maybe the holiday season ahead, give us a call because we would love to help. How you can reach us? Through the website at MoneyPit.com or by calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up on this show, if you’re a home improvement weekend warrior, we’ve got tips on some all-in-a-weekend projects that you might want to tackle. They’re so easy on your schedule. You can fit them in after your Saturday-morning coffee and still have enough time for a leisurely dinner on Sunday.
LESLIE: And fall is a great time to get your lawn, garden and landscape ready for winter and a quick comeback when it becomes spring. But to do that, you really need great-quality tools. We’re going to introduce you to a line of cordless products, including blowers and even chainsaws that are affordable and truly work just as well as the gas-powered tools, without all the hassles of dealing with maintenance and the smelly gas.
TOM: And if you want to give your walls a new look, we’re going to have some tips on wall coverings that can add interest and color to your décor.
LESLIE: And we’ve got a new sweepstakes going on now with the folks at RiverbendHome.com. It’s called the Beautiful Bathroom Giveaway and we’re giving away $3,500 in bath products from brands like American Standard and Grohe, all available at RiverbendHome.com.
Check out the giveaway at MoneyPit.com/Sweepstakes.
TOM: But first, we want to hear from you. What are your fall-project plans? What would you like to get done? Give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your questions to MoneyPit.com. If you do, you’ll get the answers, plus we’ve got a set of 6-inch, 12-inch and 24-inch Steel Bar Clamps from our friends at Pony Jorgensen worth 90 bucks. Going out to one listener drawn at random. Make that you. Give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: John in Minnesota, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
JOHN: Yes, I have a sauna in my basement that I have to transfer over to a shower.
TOM: OK. You want to convert it to a shower?
JOHN: Yes. And I’m wondering what I can put on those walls to dress it up. Like some paneling or panels? Or do I have to use tile?
TOM: OK. Well, first of all, before we talk about what you’re going to put on the walls, how are you going to drain this? Is there a drain below the floor?
JOHN: Yes. I have a cement floor and there’s a drain right in the middle of the – in that room there. Yes.
TOM: Now, do you know if that drain is connected to the plumbing system of the house? Or is it just a basic floor drain that perhaps goes outside somewhere?
JOHN: It is hooked up to the – my sewer system.
TOM: Alright. Terrific. Well, that’s the hardest part. That’s solved. So now it just becomes sort of a décor question for you. And you say that this was a sauna at some point in time?
TOM: So I guess the sky is the limit here. What do you like? Do you like tile? Do you like solid-surfacing materials, like Corian? You have – you can pretty much do anything at this point. You’re going to start with the floor and you’re going to put – you’re definitely going to put tile on the floor, I would think. And replace that drain with a cover that’s built into the tile base. And then from there, you’re going to build it up.
So, you could do, really, anything you want to do at this point. You could put tile on those walls, you could put solid-surfacing materials on those walls. Or if you want to keep it funky, you could leave them as a wood – you could leave it as wood. I’m presuming it’s probably cedar or some other type of moisture-resistant material.
JOHN: Well, the walls are that – it’s that clay tile.
TOM: Oh, the walls are clay tile? So then it has to be covered, yeah. So then the right thing to do here, if it’s just basically sort of a raw surface right now, is you’re going to need to put in a shower pan to start with. And then build up the bathroom from there.
Now, if you’ve already got walls that are sort of creating this – how big is the space that the sauna was in now?
JOHN: Eight by eight.
TOM: OK. Do you want an 8×8 shower? You want it to be pretty much a drive-in shower there? It’s a pretty big shower but do you want it to be that big?
JOHN: Well, I was going to probably have like 80 percent of it the shower. I wanted to put a double – like a double, two-headed shower or one on the – have a rain shower on top and one coming out the side and then the other …
TOM: Yeah, like a car wash.
JOHN: Yeah, exactly. Then the other part just kind of a drying area.
TOM: So, John, this sauna area, this 8×8 area, this is made of the terracotta clay tile?
TOM: Then I think you can glue ceramic tile right to that with a good-quality tile adhesive, as long as it’s fairly flat. Because the tile is not going to bend. But if it’s a flat surface, you should be able to adhere the tile right to it, since it’s already a water-resistant back and pretty much go up from there.
Now, the floor, you have to build up a shower pan there so you get good drainage down to the hole in the floor, so to speak. But once you get that established, I think you could adhere ceramic tile right to those terracotta walls and go right from there.
Now, make sure that you have ventilation in that space, you have an exhaust fan. Of course, do all your plumbing ahead of time and the last thing you’ll do is lay those tile walls in. Does that make sense?
JOHN: OK. Yes, it does.
TOM: Alright, John. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. We’ve got Esther on the line from South Dakota with a gutter question. How can we help you today?
ESTHER: Well, we need to replace our rain gutters but our shingles on our dearly beloved, old house are Portland cement shingles. And the first three people that are the first – the companies that I’ve talked to about replacing rain gutters, they all tell me how simple it is to just lift up the asphalt shingles and put the strapping in underneath it and fasten it. And I think, “OK. Asphalt is flexible but I think the cement shingles might crack.” So how do I find someone who knows how about preserving the shingles and putting up new rain gutters?
TOM: Well, I think there are a number of ways to install gutters. You can put straps that go up under the asphalt shingles but they can also be attached directly. So what you’re going to want to do is attach those gutters directly to the fascia. And instead of using nails, you’re going to want to use gutter screws. They’re very long lag bolts – lightweight, thin lag bolts. Usually have a hex head on them.
And the nice thing about these gutter bolts, so to speak, is that once you put them in, they don’t pull out. Sometimes the nails – the gutter spikes that they use – will pull out. But these gutter screws will not pull out. So you just need to use a different fastening system. And have you had – physically had somebody at the house that saw this configuration? Or are they just kind of telling you this on the phone?
ESTHER: No. We had just moved to the area and I was just going down the Yellow Pages trying to get a …
TOM: Well, once they get to your house, they’re going to figure out the best ways to attach the gutter. But rest assured, there’s a number of ways to do this. And no, you don’t have to take your shingles apart.
And by the way, as long as those shingles – those roof shingles – look good, then there’s no reason to replace them. The cementitious roof shingles are very durable. The reason that most people replace them is they tend to grow a lot of algae and moss and they can look nasty after a while. But if they’re still looking decent and they’re – it’s not leaking, then you’re good to go.
ESTHER: Yep. We’re good and there’s a whole pile of – or a little pallet, probably 200 or 300 of them down in the basement. So, if we have another hailstorm, we should have some shingles.
TOM: Oh, boy. So you are good to go. Alright, Esther. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, you know that fall is really a great time to refresh your bathroom or your kitchen at home, because the holidays are coming and people are going to spend a lot more time at home and maybe in your home. So that makes investing in those hardest-working rooms of the house perfect sense.
TOM: Yep. And that’s one reason that we launched a new sweepstakes with RiverbendHome.com. It’s called the Beautiful Bath Sweepstakes. And RiverbendHome.com has partnered with American Standard and Grohe – amazing brands – to provide $3,500 worth of bath products, including beautiful fixtures and faucets and lots more.
LESLIE: Now, a beautiful bath should be everything that you want. It should be gorgeously designed but also sustainable, environmentally friendly. Whatever you are looking for, you can totally create, whether it’s a quick bathroom DIY or a major investment in a luxury-bath makeover. American Standard and Grohe all have quality products for every single style and every price range.
TOM: So, enter today, the Riverbend Home Beautiful Bath Sweepstakes. You can enter at MoneyPit.com/Sweepstakes. That’s MoneyPit.com/Sweepstakes.
LESLIE: David in Delaware is on the line with an HVAC conundrum. What is going on at your money pit?
DAVID: I’ve been in this house for 29 years. I was the original owner. And I live in a two-story house. And on the second story, I’ve always had two roofs that were too hot in the summertime and too cold in the wintertime. So the first thing I did to the whole house was replace all the windows. It didn’t help it. Three years ago, I replaced my heat pump and got a bigger unit. Helped it out a little bit but not a whole lot.
And then after I got my solar panels, the guys came in and did a leak test on my house. And they said the house is good and tight but the guys said that most of your cold-air return is being sucked up in the basement. So I’ve got some big-time leaks down there. So, after looking around down there, the guy also clued me into that my cold-air return ducts they used or they did back in the day – your studs going up through the walls and the rafters in the basement …
TOM: Right. They used that as the duct itself. It basically used the stud bay as the duct.
DAVID: So where I found my problem to be is the main trunk of the cold-air return. They just kind of cut a great, big hole in it. And then they raised the trunk up to the floor joists. Well, I’ve got gaping holes up where the trunk does not hit the joists. And that’s on four different joists that I need to try to seal that up. And it’s in a bad spot to get to. And I was wondering, do you have any ideas?
TOM: So, yeah, first of all, duct sealing itself and leaky ducts are responsible for probably more energy loss than almost anything else in a forced-air system. Now, there’s a number of ways that you can attack this. You can do it sort of structurally and mechanically, where you try to get to every one of these ducts and try to repair it so it doesn’t have the leaks. Or you can do it with a product called Aeroseal.
Aeroseal is a product that’s sprayed into the duct system and basically sticks to the inside of the ducts, completely sealing them. And it’s designed to basically look for the gaps and then build up where the air is escaping in those gaps. And it makes the entire system much more efficient.
There’s a great video on this on ThisOldHouse.com. If you Google “This Old House” and “Aeroseal” – A-e-r-o-s-e-a-l – you’ll find that video. And you can kind of understand the whole story.
But basically, once it’s applied, it completely seals both the return and the supply ducts. And it might be just the ticket that you need to get this house working again. Because you’re right: if you don’t have proper air returns – you know, heating-and-cooling systems work not by just dumping cold air or warm air into the room, they work by recirculating air. Because it takes many passes of that air through the room to get it to the temperature that you want it to be. And if they’re full of holes, it’s just not going to work right.
So, take a look at Aeroseal. I think that might be the solution to your problem.
DAVID: And on your online thing, it’ll show how do apply it and how to do it?
TOM: It’s professionally applied. It’s not a do-it-yourself project. It requires special tools.
DAVID: Oh, professionally.
TOM: Yeah. And you’re better off doing it that way. This way, you know that it’s done right and all of those gaps are sealed. But I think it’ll make a big difference.
DAVID: I appreciate your help.
TOM: Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if you’d love to take on home improvements over the weekend, you know that some of them can take a month of weekends to get done but others can be very easily knocked out in a day or two. So here’s a few all-in-one-weekend projects that you can fit in between Saturday-morning coffee and Sunday dinner.
TOM: Alright. First up, paint your tub or your tub surround. Now, we owe a lot to our tubs – good hygiene, for one – so there’s no reason you shouldn’t give it a little TLC. The problem is that most tubs get so grungy over time that no amount of scrubbing will make them shine.
Now, tile-and-tub refinishing kits may be the answer. They contain everything you need to repaint ceramic, porcelain and fiberglass, steel or even acrylic tubs and surrounds. But while the finish won’t last as long as a new tub, it doesn’t cost anything near the same kind of money. So it’ll give you a chance to refresh the bathroom’s look in just a single weekend.
LESLIE: Now, another project you can take on in a weekend is remodeling your fireplace. They really are the focal point of your den or your living room, so they deserve attention, especially when it comes to décor.
Now, revamping a fireplace doesn’t have to mean springing for an expensive replacement. You can top it off with crown molding, you can refinish it with peel-and-stick stone façade or even something as simple as repainting the surfaces. These are all great ways to breathe fresh life into that old hearth.
Just remember, if you want to make that painting decision you’ve got to think carefully. Because once you paint any sort of stone or brick, it’s very difficult to come back from that. So think about how you can make that natural stone or brick work with your new décor ideas.
TOM: And finally, you can make a beautiful do-it-yourself outdoor fire pit. Fire pits are fun and the stuff autumn memories are made of. They’re not too hard to build yourself, either. We’ve got links to project plans on MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Diane in South Dakota is on the line with a flooring question. What can we do for you today?
DIANE: Yes. We had a problem with trying to put some wood flooring down on our floor.
DIANE: And when they delivered the wood and they went to lay it down, they said that our floor was not flat. We had some ridges or bumps on it and that they could not put the flooring on because it would pop up and wouldn’t hold.
TOM: Yep. OK.
DIANE: And I’m just wondering if there’s any way to rectify that.
TOM: So, what type of subfloor do you have that they were trying to put this new flooring on top of? Is it plywood?
DIANE: It’s plywood, yes.
TOM: Yeah, sure, a good flooring installer would know this, so I’m surprised they didn’t tell you what had to happen. But there’s a couple of things you can do. There’s a carpentry solution. And a carpentry solution may involve – it depends on how far out of whack it is. I mean they’re right: these new flooring products, they have a certain range that they’re designed to work within. And if your floor is out of level above that range then, certainly, you could have adhesion problems.
So, the carpentry solution might involve working on the floor joist to actually get them to lay down. Sometimes, you get a joist that is crowned and sort of rises up. There is actually a way to go into the basement, cut that beam in half, put a new solid beam next to it and bring it down. And that will help it lay down and eliminate that bump. So that’s a carpentry solution.
Then the other solution you can use is to apply what’s called a “floor-leveling compound.” Now, this is a liquid, very thick compound that gets poured onto the floor and then it’s self-leveling. It’ll level and it’ll keep everything nice and flat. And that takes up the dips and the rises in that floor and gives you a very flat surface to work on. Probably not a do-it-yourself project, something I would have somebody do that has some experience with it, because it’s got to be done right. And once that dries, the new floor can be laid right on top of it.
So there’s a carpentry solution and then there’s the floor-leveling compound, which is designed exactly for situations like this.
DIANE: OK. I actually think that we probably have to go the carpenter route, because I asked them about that product. I said, “Isn’t there some kind of a leveling product that you could pour on the floor?” And they said it won’t – wouldn’t work in this situation.
TOM: OK. Well, I’m not sure why. They probably should be giving you more information on that. And sometimes, when a contractor says it won’t work, what they mean to say – that’s what comes out of their mouth. But what they’re saying is, “I really don’t want to do it.”
DIANE: OK, OK.
TOM: OK? Maybe they didn’t want to do it. Don’t take that to heart. It may be that it can, in fact, be done; you just don’t have the right person involved yet, OK?
DIANE: Well, thank you very much. I appreciate your calling me back.
LESLIE: Well, fall is a great time to get your lawn, garden and landscape ready for winter and a quick comeback come next spring. But if you’re dreading having to dig out tools that are loud and noisy and need gasoline to run, we’ve got a much better solution for you to consider.
TOM: Yep. For me, it’s cordless all the way. I mean the power and efficiency are there and there’s no more hassles starting them up, keeping the fuel fresh and storing them for the winter. And the brand that I’ve used exclusively is Greenworks, which is why I’ve invited Mark Sewall to join us. Mark is the director of marketing and he’s got a very successful history of recognizing the value of new technologies and bringing those products to consumers.
MARK: Thank you very much. I appreciate you having me.
TOM: So, it’s been a long, hot and blistering summer. I think these last couple of months, people kind of get a bit sleepy. But now is the time to kind of wake up and get to work. There’s a lot of things that have to be done now, right?
MARK: Oh, absolutely. You know, the leaves are going to be changing, falling off the trees. Going to need to pick those up, blow them into piles and trim the trees, trim the hedges, get everything ready for winter. A lot to do.
TOM: Now, cordless technology has obviously been around for a number of years, Mark. But I think only in the last few, I would say, has it really advanced to the point where there’s really nothing you can’t do with a well-designed cordless machine. Whether it’s a lawn mower, a blower or a chainsaw, the battery technology is there, the brushless-motor technology is there. And you guys have pulled it all together into some really attractive and very powerful equipment. So, talk to me about that journey and how this has changed, because I think a lot of folks still think of battery-powered tools as not being the same. But it’s really not the case anymore.
MARK: Yeah, you’re right. And about 5, 10 years ago, when NiCad switched to lithium, the technology, it was – it got better but it wasn’t enough to equal gas power, right? So, now, with the evolution of the lithium in the cells, along with the brushless motors, it’s giving you the equal power, equal run time to that of a gas unit, regardless if it’s a blower, a trimmer, a chainsaw and even a mower. Mowers are the biggest up-and-coming category for outdoor power equipment. And battery is taking share away from gas and the technology is just going to keep getting better and better.
LESLIE: And you know what? I feel like the battery technology has made this type of tool more accessible for me, because I always have a hard time starting a gas mower and maintaining a gas mower, really just maintaining all of those gas tools. It’s really overwhelming and a little intimidating. So the battery power has just truly opened up a whole avenue of yard maintenance that I just wasn’t doing.
MARK: You’re absolutely correct. Besides getting rid of the oil and the gas and mixing it and the fumes and the mess, the non-intimidating factor with just putting the battery in and pushing a button, it makes it so much better. Not to mention the maintenance on all these gas-powered tools. Every year, you pulled the big tool out of the shed or the garage and you can’t get it started. So then you have to spend extra money getting it maintained, getting it tuned up. In battery, you don’t have to do any of that.
TOM: Now, you guys really have been battery from day one, which really has made you the experts in that space. What do you think has driven your growth?
MARK: We were lucky enough to be early adopters and really inventors of outdoor power equipment based on battery. So that’s all we know. We don’t know gas engines. We don’t want to deal with them. Our name is Greenworks, right? So we’re green. We’re electric or battery only and we’ve been like that since day one. And that just gave us the knowledge – for the last 15, 20 years of our company – just focusing in on battery technology, that gives us that bigger level of expertise and bigger level of innovation. And it shows in our products.
TOM: It’s also a much more environmentally-friendly technology. In fact, you guys were recently declared the official power-equipment manufacturer for Earth Day, which is pretty cool.
MARK: Yeah, it was a great partnership. We intend to keep this for years to come. Sustainability is not something that we just talk about; it’s something that we practice within the company. From factories overseas and domestically, having solar panels on the roofs, recycling programs, we really try to do what we speak and set an example in the industry and for the rest of the country.
TOM: We’re talking to Mark Sewall. He’s the director of marketing for Greenworks Tools.
Mark, I want to ask you about a couple of your products that are some favorites of mine. First up, the Cordless Electric Leaf Blower. Now, a leaf blower is a fall standard, right? That’s when people think about it and get rid of those leaves quickly and efficiently. We all hate to wake up to the sound of gas-powered leaf blowers. They’re just so loud and annoying, especially early in the morning. These leaf blowers today are incredibly powerful.
And I personally have found many uses for leaf blowers beyond just blowing leaves. I keep mine in my shop. I have kind of a pretty nicely decked-out shop, which is the size of a two-and-a-half-car garage. And I’ve got to tell you, almost every day when I’m working in there, I open up the garage doors and I grab my Greenworks Cordless Leaf Blower and I blow out all the sawdust and anything else that’s kind of showed up across the day. So, it’s kind of a fun tool to have for a lot of different uses.
MARK: Funny you say. First time I brought the blower home, put it in the garage and my wife hasn’t let me use it since. Continuously, every day she goes out, she blows the garage, she blows the driveway, she blows the patio. She likes it so much I’m going to have to get another one just for myself.
TOM: Hey, I was coming home from the gym the other day and I saw a guy that apparently had purchased – rented a Ryder truck at a Ryder pick-up. Maybe he was moving some stuff. And that guy took a leaf blower and he was blowing out the pick-up truck – not the back, the cab – to get it cleaned out to bring it back. So there’s a lot of things you can use this tool for.
Now, you guys have a new model coming out now that delivers 130 miles per hour. That’s a huge amount of power. And the feature I like on it the most is the turbo button. Because when you need a little extra power, you just punch that turbo button and man, away it goes.
MARK: Yeah, especially when you have early mornings when there’s a little bit of wetness on the ground, things that get stuck in the water. It just takes it up with ease. The new blower has tons of power and that turbo-boost button, to your point, just gives you that extra little giddyup.
TOM: And that runs on a 60-volt lithium-ion battery, as does the Greenworks Gen II Cordless Electric Chainsaw. Now, here’s something that I think folks never would have imagined in their wildest dreams you would be able to do with battery power. I’ve got the 18-inch Chainsaw and I absolutely love it, especially when there’s something small that needs to be done. I don’t have to get out my gas-powered chainsaw and go through all the steps to get that thing going. I can just grab the 60-volt model, pop in the battery with the Greenworks Electric Chainsaw and off we go.
And that said, we had a big storm here a couple of months back and I did need to do some pretty serious work with it. And I’ve got to tell you, I was out there for probably an hour-and-a-half on a single charge, trimming up a tree that had fallen.
MARK: The new battery technology, like we talked about earlier, it makes these tools last and run for a lot longer than before.
To your point, with the new 18-inch Chainsaw, a lot of people, they do chainsaw work twice, three times a year. So, it’s really great to bring that out, put the battery in, push the button and bam, you’re away, ready to go. Where if you have a gas chainsaw, that thing might not start up at all. You’d be in quite a quandary.
TOM: Now, there’s another product I want to ask you about, Mark, because it kind of took me by surprise in terms of its popularity. I knew it was an important product. It’s not one that I would have used personally had I not seen your version of it. But I’m talking about the 300-Watt Battery-Operated Power Inverter.
Now, for those that don’t know what a power inverter is, you all know that we’ve got to power our phones if we want to charge them, right? And if you want to start an electric light or something else or a small tool, you’ve got to be able to plug into an outlet. Well, if you don’t have an outlet, you can use this inverter to take a 60-volt Greenworks Battery and turn it into a 300-watt AC power outlet so that can power TVs and speakers and lights and a whole lot more. This is something that I think was surprising, in terms of its capability. And I think a lot of folks have reacted very positively to it.
What are you hearing from the users of the power inverter?
MARK: We’re hearing rave reviews. You know, you’re used to getting and walking around with a little, portable cellphone charger. Well, this is a bigger unit. But not only does it charge cellphones, it could charge your laptops, your iPad. It’s got a 120-volt plug that you can plug a TV, your laptop.
A lot of people, they love it because when they go camping, they could plug in anything they want. They can plug in a TV at tailgates. Even when there’s storms, people could just pop in the battery when they don’t have power and they can get – charge their cellphone for tons and tons of time. So, it comes in very, very handy.
And it’s one of those things that before I didn’t know what it was, either. And once I found out and realized that we’re going to be producing this, it’s just a lifesaver. I use it more often than not.
LESLIE: I feel like you and your team over at Greenworks are always coming up with something new. So what’s on the horizon for next spring?
MARK: Next spring is going to be very, very, very interesting for us and for our consumers. We not only are coming out with again, a brand-new line of 60-volt tools that are all interchangeable with one battery but we are coming out with an electric zero-turn mower that is going to revolutionize the industry.
MARK: Not only from the standpoint that it’s going to be geared for the residential customer but the way that it works is going to be also 60-volt battery.
MARK: So, you’re going to be able to use not only the 60-volt batteries that come with the zero-turn but be able to pop those batteries out and put them into your handheld equipment. You really are going to have a solution for the entire yard, from residential people to light commercial. It’s going to be quite, quite the innovative feature of the year.
TOM: That’s pretty exciting. Mark Sewall, the director of marketing for Greenworks Tools, thank you so much for spending some time with us today.
If you’d like to learn more and check out the Greenworks products, you can go to GreenworksTools.com or you can also visit Lowes.com/Greenworks. That’s Lowes.com/Greenworks.
Mark, thanks again for all the good work you guys are doing down there in North Carolina.
MARK: Ah, thank you very much for having me. Appreciate it.
TOM: Leslie, if you had half a day, what one project would you do around your house?
LESLIE: Oh, geez. In a half a day?
TOM: Yeah, half a day. Say 3 hours-ish.
LESLIE: I want to paint my front door but I’ll settle for the front-door sill plate.
TOM: Alright. There you go. Yeah, because you can leave the door open because the weather is beautiful while it dries.
LESLIE: And hold the dog on the leash so the dog doesn’t run away. Yes.
TOM: What is the one project you guys would like to get done? Give us a call right now. We’ll help you get through it, 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Hey, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer or a pro, we have got a fantastic set of products we’re giving away to one listener today, from our friends at Pony Jorgensen. They’re a set of Bar Clamps worth 90 bucks.
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LESLIE: Well, wall coverings can have a big impact on a room’s décor scheme, both in design and if you’re not careful, your wallet. Well, fortunately, affordable products are making it easier than ever to achieve professional results on a DIY budget.
TOM: Now, when you’re looking at wallpaper, it’s smart to choose the best-quality paper you can afford and then use it sparingly. Consider, for example, just papering a powder room or a focal wall in the family room. Or you can use wallpaper inside squares that are trimmed out with molding in a dining room. Paper the bottom half of the walls under a chair rail. You get the idea.
LESLIE: Yeah. I mean there’s really so much you can do.
And wall murals are really making a big comeback. And when I say a wall mural, I’m not meaning like, “Ooh, a pastoral scene.” You can go to iStock or any other photo-sharing website and pick out an image and buy the rights to it, which are very affordable. And then you get a super high-resolution image, which you can then send to a variety of sources to have printed on a sticky-back vinyl. And you can have it be permanent adhesive or you can have repositionable. And then you can go ahead and use that as a wall covering.
You do have to be careful though, because if you go the permanent adhesive, it’s – you get it on there and it’s there. But get the repositionable. You can take your time, lay it out. You want a squeegee, a foam roller. Sometimes people use that. And measure it up and put it right on the wall and it’s gorgeous and easy.
TOM: You know that if you’re doing it for your kids, they’re going to grow out of whatever design you choose, right?
TOM: In the beginning of the – when it’s first done, it’s amazing and then it’s like, “Oh, my God, this is so childish,” in just a few short years. So, I think the removable is the smart way to go, because stuff changes.
LESLIE: Very easily. It does.
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TOM: We’ve got a question now from Carrie in New York who says, “We currently have an old, electric stove and we’re not sure if we should add a gas line or put in a gas stove. Would there be a good return on investment or are electric stoves now more energy-efficient?”
Short answer, no. I don’t think they’re more efficient. I think putting in a gas line, if it’s available, is smart. And most utility companies will agree to put in a line at a low- to no-cost if you promise to install one appliance, even a gas grill outside. Put in that one appliance – a stove, a dryer, a grill – and they’ll do the install of the line to your house for free.
LESLIE: Alright, Carrie. Good luck with that. It sounds like you’re getting a new kitchen for the holidays.
TOM: Well, the floor is one of the biggest blank surfaces in your home and it deserves as much attention, if not more, than pretty much any other surface. Leslie has got some tips to help you choose your best floors, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: When it comes to flooring, I like to let the room choose the flooring type, because each space has different needs. I’m not saying let the space be like, “Oh, I want this color.” I’m saying let the space tell you, “I need this kind of surface to do the best job for you.”
So if you’re talking about a foyer or an entryway to your home, you need something there that’s super durable. I’m talking tile or a laminate or even a commercial-grade hardwood if you’ve got to have the real deal. You know, you walk in the door, your shoes are bringing in dirt and that’s going to act like sandpaper and then ruin that flooring. So here your floor is your line of defense. You want to have a durable, cleanable floor surface. And don’t wear your shoes all around the house. Give your family a spot, right there, when they walk in to take off their shoes and then mosey on through the rest of the house.
Now, in general, a living room or a dining room can have any kind of flooring, from a hardwood to a laminate. You’re generally going to see less traffic in those spaces. And most flooring can hold up there. If kids and pets are in the mix, you want to choose something that’s more durable and more easily cleanable. You can go with an engineered hardwood or even a laminate there.
Now, if you’re talking about a bathroom or a basement, tile is really going to be the best choice, because you’re going to see a lot of water in those spaces. Whether it’s intentionally or unintentionally, things sort of get wet. So you want durability and water-resistance; that is key. And laminates or tile are really the only way you can go for those spots.
Now, lastly, your kitchen. Here, again, you’ve got the chance of water, so you have to think carefully. Engineered hardwood, laminate, tile, cork, all great choices. Now, I really like the idea of a cork floor in a kitchen space, because it’s softer underfoot and you tend to be standing a lot in your kitchen space. And harder floors are just harder on your feet and your legs. So, you want to have something softer. And if you’re going to go with a harder surface, get one of those mats to help you sort of absorb just the weight and the nonsense that goes on with your legs that really just gives you a hard time. This way, your kitchen is going to work for you.
So whatever you pick, know that today’s manufacturing and milling have created a bounty of materials that you can choose from. There really is a match for every space.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, it’s fireplace season. And one of the topics we get asked about most during this time of year is chimney cleaning. Can it be done safely and efficiently and can it be done without you getting ripped off by a fraudulent contractor? We’ll answer that and more on the very 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.
(Copyright 2020 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.)