- Lightscaping Ideas: Get bright ideas for lightscaping to add safety, security, and style to your home’s exterior.
- Wallpaper Removal: Peeling off old wallpaper is an unappealing task. Find out four steps to make wallpaper removal easier.
- Buying Windows: Window shopping? Learn how to decode window labels and certifications for energy efficiency.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Reducing Moisture: How to reduce moisture and prevent mildew on walls? Laura gets tips on running her AC, using fans that vent outside, checking drainage, and installing a whole-house dehumidifier.
- Replacing Flooring: David wants to replace his old kitchen linoleum floor. We suggest luxury vinyl plank flooring that’s durable and offers a variety of styles.
- Wall Designs: Diane likes the look of Venetian plaster walls. She may want to practice the technique before making it a focal accent wall in her room.
- HVAC System: Is Trane a good brand of furnace? We assure Hugo it’s a fine choice for replacing his 30-year-old furnace.
- Pest Control: Bugs and slugs and mice – oh my! Kelly needs some general pest control treatment from a professional exterminator to get rid of bugs and rodents.
- Cedar Siding Repair: It’s not so cute when a teething puppy gnaws the cedar siding. Lee can either use a wood epoxy putty to repair the corners or replace the damaged shingles.
- Discolored Windows: Is water damage staining the bottom and sides of Amy’s windows? We think it’s normal oxidation and offer advice on some DIY fixes.
- Bathroom Mold: Edward is cleaning and repainting his bathroom to eliminate mold. We have advice on protecting his family from product fumes.
- Roofing: Can a metal roof be installed over existing roof shingles? Tina learns it’s a bad idea that can trap heat and increase energy costs.
- Building a Patio: What is the best surface for building a patio and carport? A solid, level concrete slab would be Linda’s best option.
|0:00:32||TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is the Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.|
|0:00:37||And I’m Leslie Segrete.|
|0:00:39||TOM: We are here to help you take on the projects that you want to get done around your house. So look around right now people I know that there’s something that you want to take on some project painting, maybe it’s landscaping, maybe it’s a kitchen job that you’re planning for the weeks and the months ahead. Maybe it’s a job to redo a bedroom or a bathroom or organize your garage. There’s a popular project, but whatever is on your to do list, you can slide it right on over to our to do list by reaching out with your questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT 888-666-3974. Or post your questions to moneypit.com/ask. Coming up on today’s show, while most folks focus on how their landscape looks this time of year, they may not be focused on their late scape with the right combination of low voltage lighting. There’s a whole new view awaiting you. We’re going to walk you through the options and if wallpaper stands between you and your dream home, we hear you. But removing wallpaper is one of those jobs that has to get done sometimes, but can be an awful lot of work. We know from our experience doing this very job that there’s just four key steps that can make the project a lot easier to do. And we’ll tell you how. And if you’re thinking about shopping for new windows, that can be somewhat overwhelming, especially because understanding all those different energy ratings and certifications can be really confusing. We help sort that out with tips for decoding the window shopping once and for all. But first, what we want to know is what you want to know. So reach out to us at moneypit.com/ask or call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Let’s get to it. Leslie, Who’s first?|
|0:02:18||LESLIE: Lauren in Mississippi is dealing with a very humid home and it has a lot of moisture in the walls. What’s going on? Tell us about it.|
|0:02:25||CALLER: I was calling to find out what do you have to do to keep like moisture build up on the walls in the inside of the house That could turn maybe two fold. We all do. What do you have to do to keep that away?|
|0:02:41||TOM: So I think it’s a combination of things, Laura. I mean, first of all, if you have air conditioning, you want to make sure you’re running it consistently because air conditioning happens to be a pretty good dehumidifier. Secondly, if you have ventilation fans, these would be in your bathrooms and also in your kitchen. Make sure absolutely sure they’re venting outside and not recirculating moisture back into the house. In the case of a recirculating safe fan exhaust fan above your stove or in the bathrooms, just dumping it like into the attic, make sure is moving that moisture outside. Now, if it’s still excessively humid, there’s a couple of things you can do outside your house. The more water that collects at the foundation of your house, the more moisture is going to end up on the inside of your house because it evaporates into that space. So make sure you’re checking your gutters and your downspouts and getting that water away, making sure the soil slopes away. And then finally, if you’re still having a lot of humidity issues, you can install a piece of equipment that is called a whole home dehumidifier. Now, it’s not like the dehumidifiers that usually are maybe two foot by three foot. They sit in the corner and they have like a bucket. You have to, like, empty every now and again. It’s not like that. A whole demon virus fits into your HVAC system. It’s installed professionally. But these things can take out like 90 to 100 pints of water a day. So hopefully some of those suggestions will help you dry up this house.|
|0:04:02||LESLIE: All right. We’re going to talk flooring with David in Kansas. What’s going on?|
|0:04:05||CALLER: Oh, hey, it’s good to talk to you, too. I’ve got a low volume down here about seven or eight years ago, and it’s cracking and breaking up and everything. And what would you recommend for a good kitchen floor?|
|0:04:18||TOM: Well, you’ve got more choices than ever today. I mean, lastly, I’m thinking about all the different vinyl plank products. You know, you have the luxury vinyl planks which look like wood or look like a tile pattern. They float, they’re floating floors. You don’t glue them down. They basically interconnect. They lock together. And then there’s that new let new hybrid product out from l’Eau flooring called Dura Ivana. And I really like this stuff. It’s really tough stuff. And again, it’s a floating floor. But when they sent me some of that, I tested it by banging on it with a hammer and trying to cut it with a knife and they couldn’t get through the surface. You know, it was really, really durable.|
|0:04:56||LESLIE: And again, you can get so many different looks out of that same durable flooring. So if you want something that looks more like a tile, if you want something that looks more like a wood, there’s a lot of choices. And it’s definitely the right material for that location.|
|0:05:07||CALLER: Okay. Well, I appreciate your help.|
|0:05:09||LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk about plaster wall finishes with Diane from Tennessee. What’s going.|
|0:05:13||CALLER: On? Hi. I want to do a Venetian plaster effect in my movie room. Okay. And I bought the product from Lowe’s, Valspar. So I’m not sure if it’s a true Venetian plaster, but it’s supposed to be probably an easier way to do it. And I wasn’t sure if I should do it on a so-called wall only or do the whole room, or if that would be too much.|
|0:05:34||TOM: Let’s see what is Venetian.|
|0:05:36||TOM: In its original form.|
|0:05:38||LESLIE: So I believe that it’s plaster with the color tinted into it. And when you put it on, it’s sort of burnished in a way. So you get areas with like a shine and then you get areas that are, I don’t want to say porous, but they kind of they kind of look like you’ve skipped a spot, you know? But I guess porous is the right answer. So you’ve got areas that look almost like coral where it’s like kind of rough and patchy and then you’ve got some that are super polished. So it’s a technique in the product and how you put it up.|
|0:06:07||TOM: So does it provide a texture or is it pretty much flat?|
|0:06:10||LESLIE: It’s kind of a combination of both, because in the areas where you’ve got the smooth, shiny, burnished parts that’s super flat and then right next to it where you have these sort of like open ish spots while it’s flat, it still has like almost divots in it. So it’s kind of a mix of two textures in the process of install.|
|0:06:28||TOM: And you know why I’m asking that? Because I can’t tell you, Diane, how many calls we get in the show about textured surfaces that people are tired of and they want to get rid of. And it’s hard, you know.|
|0:06:38||LESLIE: I mean, it’s beautiful and it’s a finish that if you like, and you’re going to be in that house and it’s a process that you’re willing to either learn how to do or pay the expense of having it installed for you and you’re going to enjoy it. I say go for it. I mean, I’ve seen it more popular several years ago. I don’t really know of its popularity currently, but it is a very specific look and the color can be sort of rich and muted at the same time, if that makes sense. Because of the burnishing. It really is a lovely finish.|
|0:07:06||CALLER: I’m thinking I just want to do maybe two focal walls instead of the whole room. But that’s what I wanted. Your advice, if you had anything to add to that.|
|0:07:13||LESLIE: It’s I mean, is this something you’re doing yourself?|
|0:07:15||LESLIE: Yeah. So you’re going to find that it’s definitely a trial and error, maybe do some work on a sample piece of drywall that you’ve sort of prepped first to sort of get that technique down so that you feel comfortable before you apply it to your walls. And then I would definitely keep it as a focal wall or an area above wainscoting or something like that, depending on the room. But definitely try a sample part first and make sure you’re comfortable with the process and you’re happy with the results.|
|0:07:42||CALLER: Okay. Thank you so much.|
|0:07:44||LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Hugo on the line. What’s going on in your Money Pit and how can we help?|
|0:07:48||CALLER: I’ve got to put a new furnace in. Has had a Lennox for 30 years, and it’s done good. But 30 years is pretty good for arthritis. And they want to put in a train. Is that any good or is there a better.|
|0:08:02||TOM: Way to do it now? It’s a very good it’s a very good product train as in tranny. They are a very good HTC manufacturer. Lots of good products that you’re going to find is that as you contractors get used to one or two brands, they like to work with them a lot. They have a good experience with them, which means they haven’t gotten a lot of callbacks on them.|
|0:08:21||TOM: So if you’re comfortable with your contractor and they are recommending train, I see no reason not to go with that.|
|0:08:27||CALLER: They’ve been doing my service work for 15 years and they’ve always been honest enough.|
|0:08:31||TOM: Right. Well, I think you should stick with them then. Okay. It sounds like a good company.|
|0:08:36||LESLIE: Kelly, you’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today? How do you get rid of freeloading.|
|0:08:40||CALLER: Bugs, slugs, and unwanted.|
|0:08:42||LESLIE: Rodents from your.|
|0:08:43||CALLER: Yard, your garage basement in your home?|
|0:08:46||TOM: Well, Kelly, that’s quite a tall order. It sounds like you got a lot going on there. So I think, Leslie, we could divide these up into insects and then into rodents, right? Because you kind of approach them differently. And on the road inside, that’s probably the easier one to tackle because you need to seal up all the gaps from the outside. Rodents only need the space about the size of a pinky to get in there. So you want to seal up those gaps. You want to make sure that your any food as well as off the floor Yorkshire containers like dog food on the floor, for example, and big old bag boy rodents love that sort of thing. So you got to be really careful with that. We’ve got a great article that walks you through that whole bunch of other tips on Money Pit Icon. But I think this is a good case in terms of the insects actually for sort of a general pesticide treatment, because where else do you begin with that kind of infestation?|
|0:09:30||LESLIE: Yeah, I mean, I think unless you know specifically what’s going on to treat specific insect specific rodents like it’s more of a general treatment. And when you work with a pesticide professional or somebody who does this for a living, they’re going to really know how to target everything.|
|0:09:45||TOM: Absolutely. So the look of that project.|
|0:09:48||LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Lee who reached out to us through a money sitcom slash ask have.|
|0:09:53||CALLER: Board siding on the exterior of my home. I have a German Shepherd puppy that gnawed the corners off of four pieces of siding in the middle of a wall. The corner. What I mean by corner is it’s about a triangular corner, about an inch deep on each board. Obviously, I can’t remove the board of the home, so how do I repair that to get it looking somewhat normal?|
|0:10:25||TOM: So Lee, I think repairing the damage really is going to depend on how much of it is actually physically gone. If it’s a small area, which I think is what you’re describing, there’s a product called wood epochs, that’s wood epochs. It’s a two part product. And basically you take a scoop out of each one. It comes in like two pint sized containers. You take a little scoop out of each side and you kind of mush it together. It’s like a putty and you keep smashing it, you keep mixing it, and that actually activates it. And then you use this putty to reform those corners. Now, depending usually it’s difficult where you have services that are, that are adjacent like that, where you’re going to have some differential movement but might be worth it. More of a shot, but you can reform those corners. Now, the thing that’s cool about Woody Pox is once it dries, you can sand it, you can chisel it, you can saw it basically works just like wood. And then, of course, you’re going to have to paint it. Now, the other part of this, though, is that you say that you obviously can’t remove the siding. Well, you actually can remove the siding. It’s not an easy project, but it can be done. It’s done all the time. And typically the way that happens is the first piece comes off and that usually comes off and it is damaged. It can’t be replaced. I mean, it depends if it’s clapboard. For example, I’ll give you a trick of the trade for clapboard siding. If you have nails that go through the clapboard. What I do in the case like that is I take a very long, thin nail set and I drive the nail all the way through the first board and the second board underneath that. And then what that does, it tends to release that board that’s like tucked up under there and you could take it out. And then what you could do is you could cut in a new piece. And what I would do is I would stagger the joint. So if the first piece, maybe you’re going to only put like a two foot piece on the end of the building, the second layer down, you might put that joint it four feet from the end of the building and so on, so that they’re not like on top of each other. So you may need the professional help with that if this isn’t making sense to you, but I can tell you that it does happen all the time and it can be repaired that way. But if you want to give the wood epoxy a shot first, you know nothing ventured, nothing gained, you’re not going to make it any worse. And maybe it’ll work for you.|
|0:12:28||LESLIE: All right, Now, maybe this is going to last long enough so that puppy gets out of that chewing phase and then it stays looking good because it’s going to last.|
|0:12:34||TOM: I could be worse. I mean, you could be chewing your shoes.|
|0:12:38||LESLIE: You know, It could be your shoes. You’re right.|
|0:12:41||TOM: Well, guys. Well, most homeowners focus on how their landscape looks. They may not be focused on their light scape. You know, a good outdoor lighting design can not only add safety and security, but also some style if it’s done well. So we’re going to share what you need to know in today’s Home Solutions TIP presented by Angie. So first, let’s talk budget. You know, there’s a big range here. Exterior lighting costs can run from a little to a lot. So adding lighting to a home where you plan to be there for only a few years is going to merit a somewhat different level of exterior lighting investment than a longer term house. But even for those bigger lighting plans, this is one improvement where you can easily spread it out over a number of years. You don’t have to do all the lighting at once. You could set yourself up to do the basics and then add lighting as time goes on. And speaking of as time goes on, let’s talk durability. Whether you’re working with a pro or shopping for a do it yourself lighting systems, you need to go for quality fixtures and components. Now, low voltage is definitely the way to go, but you need to work with good materials like copper and brass. And I do warn you, there are a lot of cheap landscape lights out there and many rarely last more than a season or two. So you’re better off buying quality fixtures and breaking your project up into smaller chunks to spread the expense out. Now, the reason we’re doing all this well to create mood and focus a range of outdoor lighting fixtures make it possible to illuminate your home’s exterior as well as any lighting designer could imagine. But focus is the key. So, for example, for front and back yards, carefully choose focal points to receive the brightest and the most dramatic spotlight, and then build the rest of the outdoor lane scheme around those focal points. Now, overall, if you want to shoot for a natural look that replicates, see, think of it as moonlight, right streaming down from above, streaming down softly over your yard, as opposed to sort of heavy doses of up lighting. And one final point. Remember to think about this as a system where you have multiple components, all combining to create that beautiful light scape. You know, sometimes we think of lighting one fixture at a time, but in this case you want to plan it out so it all works together to highlight your home. And that’s today’s Home Solutions TIP presented by Angie. Tackling home projects has never been easier. Just tell Angie what you need and they can handle the rest. Start to finish. Download the Angie app.|
|0:15:00||LESLIE: Today we’ve got Amy from South Dakota on the line with a window question What’s going on?|
|0:15:06||CALLER: We have crank out windows. There’s like three windows and a set in the outside to crank out. And I’ve noticed some discoloration, mostly along the bottom, a little bit up the sides of the window. And I’m thinking it’s maybe some water damage from maybe the windows were out and it rained. But I’m also seeing it on the middle window. Okay. So that has me.|
|0:15:28||TOM: Questioning your water damage analysis. So, Amy, is the stain like sort of like a grayish color on the wood?|
|0:15:35||TOM: So I think what you’re seeing is normal oxidation. And the reason that happens is because the sun and the rain, of course, has some contributing factors here. But mostly the sun hits those lower edges and it tends to kind of break down the break down the finish and then it starts to fade the wood or turn the wood color. Okay. The same thing happens If you were to leave raw lumber outside for a long time. It starts out nice and bright and sort of yellowish, and then it gets dark, darker and grayer as time goes on, as it’s exposed to water and to the sun. So I think it’s just saying that these areas that you’re seeing may need to be refinished. It’s not a major problem. It’s really a cosmetic one and it could become structural at some point. But you might want to explore the idea of sanding those areas and what you’ll find is that when you sand them, you tend to take away that gray and you get down to some of the raw wood that’s just underneath the surface. So if you send them and then refinished those with an exterior grade urethane and that’s important, I would use an oil based exterior grade because it has more UV protection in it. Then you’re going to find that it will last a lot longer. And in terms of those metal windows, well, confused about that, it could be that sometimes when the water dries off, dries out, it leaves behind mineral salts and that can look kind of discolored. One thing you could try a little test for that is to wipe it down with white vinegar, because vinegar will melt those salts and see if that goes away. And if not, I think my fallback would be it’s probably just discoloration of the paint and again, repainting them, this time with a primer first and then a top kill. The paint will restore the finish.|
|0:17:15||CALLER: Okay, Very good. Thank you.|
|0:17:17||TOM: You’re welcome. Amy, thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit.|
|0:17:21||LESLIE: Edward and Louisiana is on the line and need some tips about paint in a bathroom. How can we help?|
|0:17:26||CALLER: I’m doing my bathroom and I’ve got a newborn in the house and I’m worried that I have to mold there and I need to I need to prime over it. And I’ve had two options. So like and KILT primer, it has to both be automated from what I’m told. I was wondering if there’s some kind of alternative that I could use maybe a latex or something that would do the same effect, because I’m kind of concerned about my son reading that and.|
|0:17:52||TOM: Sure. Well, first of all, since you mentioned that you had some mold and mildew in there, I want you to clean that first before you paint over it. You can mix up a bleach solution with, say, maybe about 20% or so bleach with water sprayed on those areas. Make sure you ventilate in the room, right? Well, when you do this, you have a window to the outside in this bathroom.|
|0:18:12||CALLER: No, no, sir, I do not. Okay.|
|0:18:15||TOM: During the day where you can have some fresh air in the house, let’s sit for ten, 15 minutes and then use another damp cloth and it’s going to wipe it down. So make sure we kill any mold that’s. That’s there. I will tell you that even the solvent based and the water based products are a lot safer today than they’ve ever been in the past, the solvent based or what you call an oil base. Most products, they have a far lower vlcc count in them than they ever used to. So I don’t necessarily think it’s unsafe to use that. And I think the odor are only going to stick around for a few hours so that if you could maybe get the family out of the house by you do this painting in bathrooms, a fairly small room. I do think that those solvent based finishes are going to do a much better job on the priming. You don’t necessarily have to use it on the finish coat, but you could use it just on the base coat and the prime coat. And if you use a paint plus primer product that’s rated for bathrooms, you can actually skip the priming step.|
|0:19:08||CALLER: Yeah, I think that would be the best solution. Yes, it’s always a great help.|
|0:19:12||TOM: You’re very welcome, Edward. Good luck with that project. Thanks for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.|
|0:19:16||CALLER: You got it. Thank you.|
|0:19:19||TOM: Well, guys, if wallpaper is standing between you and your dream room, a few key steps can make this project go very smoothly. Now, first up, one of the reasons wallpaper removal is a challenge is that it sticks so darn well to the drywall surface, which is covered by paper, and it’s porous. Right? So trying to separate the wallpaper from the wall requires a lot of work, patience and persistence. So here are the key steps to get the project done. First off, you need to score the paper. By scoring, I mean lightly cutting. You can do this with a utility knife or something as a wallpaper scorer tool that will create small holes in the paper. Now, why are you doing that? Because that allows the steam, which we’ll talk about in a minute to penetrate through and loosen up that adhesive. Now, keep in mind, the closer and more abundant those scored holes are lines. The smaller the pieces of pulled paper are going to be when you remove them. And so if you don’t get stuck with removing a thousand little tiny pieces, try to get away with as little scoring as possible. But you know, you can do too much, but you also could do too little. So it’s kind of a balancing act, right now about that steamer running a steamer Definitely, definitely, definitely worth the cost and hassle. And it’s also the quickest way to separate the wall from the wall paper. Now, once you have the steamer, you want to work from the top down and get to a rhythm where you steam and then remove one section of wallpaper at a time. Now, if you’ve got some tough spots, what you’re always going to have, I’m going to give you a recipe for a homemade solution that will help loosen those up. You want to mix hot water and fabric softener? 1 to 1, then pour the solution a spray bottle and apply to those tough to remove spaces where quickly the solution loses its effectiveness after about 15 minutes. So get started and get those tough spots done all at once and mix up some more and continue. Now once the wall is totally free of that wallpaper or as much as you can possibly get, then you’re ready to prep it for painting. So make sure you use a mixture of distilled white vinegar and water. Remove any remaining glue and wait for the surface to be completely dry before you apply a primer or a paint a new wallpaper. Now, if all this seems like too much work, you might be thinking, Should I just paint over the wallpaper? No, really bad idea. You’re still going to end up wanting to get rid of that. And I’ll be twice as hard when the wallpaper has been painted over. So follow that path. Remember those four key steps, scoring the paper, getting a steamer, prepping the wall, and for those tough spots, making sure you mix up some homemade remover solution with the fabric softener in the hot water and you will be good to go.|
|0:21:59||LESLIE: Now we’ve got Tina in Tennessee on the line, who has a roofing issue at her Money Pit. Let’s go down.|
|0:22:03||CALLER: Yes, we need to replace the shingles. Some of them come off and it’s alcohol them to store and it’s got plywood under there and then the shingles. So I didn’t know I kind of wanted to put a metal roof back over. And I was wondering, well, do you have to take the shingles of all the way down to the plywood would be better. You know, sometimes they do that and strip that with planks or plywood or whatever. Or would it be better to remove all that or could I leave it alone or help the best way?|
|0:22:32||TOM: So, I mean, I think a contractor will tell you can lead the shingles on, but I think it’s a bad idea. There’s no purpose for them to be there. What they tend to act is sort of like a heat sink. You get a lot hotter roof as a result of that, and then that heat radiates down through the house, increases your air conditioning costs. If you leave a layer of shingles on and put asphalt on top of that, then the upper layer is don’t last nearly as long as the original because now again, they’re just being heated, excessive and excessive amount of time. So I would recommend that you go right down to the plywood. Metal roofs are always a great choice. They are a lifetime roof. They’re very expensive. But once you do it and if you do it right, you pretty much never have to replace that roof. Or if you want to try to just go with the roof, it’s going to last. You say 20, 25 years. I would take those old shingles off and I would put a good quality asphalt shingle back on there and then just enjoy the next quarter century with that roof.|
|0:23:24||CALLER: If I put a metal roof on, I still need to probably take the shingles up.|
|0:23:27||TOM: I recommend that. Yeah, absolutely.|
|0:23:29||CALLER: All right. Thank you.|
|0:23:31||TOM: Well, spring is a great time to be shopping for replacement windows, but sorting through all the ratings and certifications designed to help whether a window is truly efficient can be a very confusing situation. So that’s why it’s important to know what all these ratings mean. And they’re really just three things to look for. The first thing you want to see on the window is the gold label certification from the AMAA. That stands for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association. Now, that means a window has been tested by a third party probe, and it meets standards for air leakage, water leakage and structural strength, all important factors when deciding which windows to buy. Next, look for the label from the NFA RC That’s the National Fenestration Rating Council. Now, these independent energy efficiency ratings are going to tell you a lot about the quality of the glass in the windows. Like, for example, how well insulated it is and how much heat it lets in during the summer or keeps in during the winter. And lastly, look for the Energy Star label. This means a window meets standards set up by the U.S. Department of Energy, and that can make you eligible for tax rebates once they’re installed. So those are the three things to check for if you’re going for replacement windows, If you see those, you know you’re dealing with a quality product.|
|0:24:47||LESLIE: Head on. Over to Rhode Island with Linda, who wants to build a patio. Tell us about your project.|
|0:24:52||CALLER: What I would like to do actually is make it a combination of a patio so I could use it during the summer and also use it as a carport during the winter. And I was wondering as far as a base, what would be the best I have a form and he used that and he made all the patio blocks.|
|0:25:19||TOM: So he basically made his own paver stones. It sounds like, by pouring them inside this form.|
|0:25:23||CALLER: Right. But I was afraid of I poured cement into the form. How do you get. Yeah, how do I get it out?|
|0:25:30||TOM: Okay, let me back up for a second. So when you say carport, you intended for this patio to have a roof on it, is that correct?|
|0:25:37||CALLER: Yes, I would like it to where I could still have the sides. So I would open but be able because I have a collectible car that I wanted to put in. Okay.|
|0:25:48||TOM: What kind of car is it?|
|0:25:49||CALLER: It’s a 1966 foot LCD.|
|0:25:53||TOM: Oh, wow. Well, that’s kind of cool. All right, well, let’s see what we can do to help you out. So first of all, aside from these forms and this and that, we really need to talk about how are you going to how are you going to do this base? Now, if you do concrete, that’s the most permanent and durable surface, I would recommend that you planning on parking the car there of doing a slab there that is at least six inches thick or maybe 4 to 6 inches thick, nothing. And he’s thinner than that and make it a reinforced slab. You know, it’s not a DIY project and we’ve not poured concrete before. It’s not a hard project, but you have to properly prepare the surface. And then what will happen is a mason will sort of dig out the top layer of dirt. They’ll put stone in, they’ll tamp it down, pack it really well, they’ll form the outside perimeter and then pour the concrete and finish it. That’s going to be a solid permanent surface. If you were to do something that was like paver bricks or even if you did the sections and by the way, there’s forms available to do just that. Now if your grandfather’s old form doesn’t work. But the problem with that is you’ve got again, prepare the base in the same way it’s got to be solidly tamped. It’s more work than the concrete to do. And the problem is you may get some weeds and stuff that go through it over time. And if you don’t do a good job preparing it, it’s going to get all uneven and look wobbly and look terrible in just a few short years. So getting that slab right and getting that base right is really the most important part of this. Now, once you do that, then in terms of the carport roof, you could attach the roof to the side of the house. You are going to need columns will have to be properly secured to the base of the concrete. You’re going to need sway, bracing so it doesn’t sway back and forth from side to side. You know, there’s a fair amount of work. It sounds simple, but this is a this is a big project. And if you don’t get it right I’ll tell you, I have a neighbor here near where we live, and then her husband, who is a great guy, built a real solid carport next to their garage. And it came down the last storm. You know, you got to get it right. It was open on the sides and it just it was just time for it to go according to Mother Nature. So I encourage you to get a really good solid base on concrete as best and you can finish the concrete the well, you have to look at this concrete. You know, there’s a company called Dish Coatings that have some beautiful finishes, including Terrazzo, that you can cover that concrete surface with. Some could look great as a patio, but you got to get it right. It’s not solid. You’re not going to be happy.|
|0:28:20||CALLER: I think I need someone that’s in that type of business. I think it’s beyond my DIY.|
|0:28:26||TOM: Yeah, I think you do.|
|0:28:26||CALLER: I really appreciate it because I probably would have started in had a major disaster with Oh.|
|0:28:35||TOM: Well, you can download the ANGI app and find a contractor using Angie. I works really well. You can sort through contractors that are in your area, read reviews from other folks that have had projects done with them and maybe use that as a start to identify the best contractor for this project that you’re tackling in Rhode Island.|
|0:28:54||CALLER: Oh, thank you so much for all your help. You certainly have saved my problem.|
|0:29:00||LESLIE: We’re helping Brandon make his home better, he says. We just added a combustion air intake into the boiler because we want to close off the room and use the other half as a bathroom. While inspecting the work, I noticed the boiler vent, pipe chimney have some holes in them and at the joints. Should I be worried about this?|
|0:29:17||TOM: So this takes a little bit of an explanation of what he’s talking about here. Leslie, for most of our audience, we’re not going to recognize this. But I can tell you from reading this that Brandon has an oil fired heating system and he has it inside of a room that he actually is closing off. So if you have like a little closet, like often in your basement or maybe your boiler was in an open area, your furnace is an open area now, you kind of make a closet out of it. You have to make sure you have an advance in the walls of that closet space to bring in fresh air for the heating system to burn. That’s what we call combustion air. And those events are called heat combustion air intakes. So he closes off the room, he puts in the right vents, all good stuff, but he notices holes in the vent pipes and he’s confused about that. So I can tell you, Brandon, that those holes are exactly where they’re supposed to be, where they need to be. So with an oil system, first of all, you’re going to have a hole. It’s about maybe a quarter inch, maybe three parts of an inch in diameter, usually pretty close to where it goes into the chimney. That’s for two purposes. Number one is to take the temperature of the stack using a very large thermometer. This tells us a lot about the efficiency. And secondly is to check the draft to make sure that the gases are going up quickly into the chimney. And those are two tools that we stick in those holes to do that with. Now, if you have other little gaps around the vent pipe, yeah, they should be sealed. But those are always depressurize in the sense that air from the basement is going into that vent. It’s not coming out of it. It’s not like a plumbing pipe that’s like pressurized with water. It is coming out at the joints. A seam like that is very often it’s going to have more air kind of flowing into it. So, yeah, you should fix the gaps around the seams. But the hole in there is a testing port essentially, and it’s perfectly normal. So it sounds like you did everything right. Good luck with the project.|
|0:31:00||LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Sharon, who’s selling her house and wants to know if it’s the owner’s responsibility to clean out the septic tank and have it inspected before the sale of the home. Also, what other kinds of inspections do I need?|
|0:31:12||TOM: Well, I’ll say this. You know, I spent 20 years as a professional home inspector, and generally it’s a seller’s responsibility to repair any failure to the septic tank or the septic system. The buyer usually pays for the inspection. And here’s why. Because you want the inspector to be working for the buyer, because otherwise there’s a conflict of interest, right? Because you, as the buyer, don’t know anything about the inspector that was selected by the seller. And if he turns out or she turns out to be a lousy inspector you’re going to bear the brunt of that. So you do want to hire as a buyer, your own inspector, but certain things kind of hands down. The seller is almost always selection. One of them is a failed septic field or problem with the septic tank. That’s almost always something that they’re going to do. Another one might be if there’s a terminal infestation, that sort of thing. And depending on how your contract is written, if there are certain defects that would prevent the House from becoming from getting a certificate of occupancy. Like very often, if you don’t have ground fault outlets in the bathrooms and the kitchens those are the kinds of things that sellers are typically responsible for. It’s all negotiable, of course, but you really, as the buyer, want to do the inspections to pay for them. And generally you want the seller to fix or credit you for anything that needs to be repaired.|
|0:32:20||LESLIE: All right. But, Sharon, be prepared. Sometimes you got to kind of fight to get these things handled. I mean, you never know what you’re going to get into going into these contracting phase with the inspection. So stick up for what’s right and have everything helped out that you can.|
|0:32:32||TOM: This is the Money Pit home Improvement show. Hey, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for spending this part of your day with us. If you’ve got questions that came to mind as you listen to us, but you couldn’t get to a phone or to your computer or to your tablet, shoot us a question. Remember, you can reach out 24 seven at 188 Money Pit, or by downloading the Money Pit app and Money Pit AECOM. Again, ask Tom Kraeutler.|
|0:32:55||LESLIE: And I’m Leslie. So ready.|
|0:32:57||TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself.|
|0:32:58||LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.|
|(Note: The above referenced transcript is AI-Generated, Unedited and Unproofed and as such may not accurately reflect the recorded audio. Copyright 2023 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.)|
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