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Choose the Right Paint Color for Your Kitchen, How to Bring a Faded, Weather Beaten Deck Back to Life, Is Your Child Old Enough to be Left Home Alone, How to Find Hidden Spaces for Storage in Your Home

  • Transcript


    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Coming up today on The Money Pit, whether your kitchen is old or new, one crucial element that can really make a huge impact is the wall color. This hour, we’re going to have some tips on colors that compliment your kitchen style.

    And also ahead, is your deck looking rough and weather-beaten? There are new coatings on the market now that could help. These are called “last-chance paints,” and they’re thick coatings that can restore your old deck. We’ll tell you how to pick the best product for your project.

    And this hour, we’re also giving away a great prize. We’ve got a Raid Defense System pack worth 50 bucks. It’s going to help you keep those pests away all summer long and into the fall. Going out to one caller drawn at random, so let’s get to the phones. Number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Mike in Texas is on the line and building a shed. How can we help you with that project?

    MIKE: Well, I just got a new wooden shed in the backyard. It’s 10×16. And I was just wondering, before I put anything in it, how can I treat the floor? Or should I even worry about treating the floor for durability?

    TOM: Well, first of all, when you put the shed in, did you put it right on the ground or is there some sort of a foundation under it?

    MIKE: It’s elevated, concrete blocks and then it is a wooden subfloor above that.

    TOM: OK, good. So you do have a little bit of air moving under it, because that’s going to be important to avoid decay.

    In terms of the floor itself, look, anything that you put on that is not really going to have a significant difference in terms of extending its life. It will make it easier to use it. For example, if you painted it, it would make it easier to sweep it if it gets dirty and that sort of thing. I’m going to presume that it’s probably made of exterior plywood, so I wouldn’t worry about it falling apart in the weather. But I think painting it might help to preserve the durability of the floor and make it a little easier to clean.

    MIKE: OK. Would there be any specific type paint?

    TOM: Yeah. I think a porch-and-floor paint is a good idea because it’s very, very durable. You need to have a paint that’s really going to be able to take the abuse of all of the products that you’re going to keep in there – the lawn mower and that sort of thing – and really stand up without wearing out. So, any kind of floor paint would work well.

    MIKE: OK. Great. I appreciate your help.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Anna in Florida, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    ANNA: Well, I have a problem with a painted banister. We have a white staircase – white banister – painted and after a while, we’ve been cleaning it and it gets a lot of dirt into the paint and the paint has become sticky. I need to know what to maybe seal it with or some suggestion.

    TOM: Well, at this point, if you’ve gotten kind of a sticky mess on your hands, there is no sealing. You’re going to have to go back to the …

    LESLIE: Yeah, you’ve worn through the finish.

    TOM: Right. You’re going to have to go back to the raw wood and get as much of that old paint off as possible. So I would use a paint stripper first. There’s a pretty good product called Rock Miracle that we like, that does a good job. Get as much of that paint off as you possibly can, then use a good-quality primer – oil-based is best – and go up from there. There’s nothing at this point – if you’ve got a goopy, sticky, yucky surface – that you should put on top of that. It’s only going to make the matters worse, Anna.

    ANNA: It’s not (audio gap), it’s more just sticky and it gets grime into it. It’s the only thing I can tell you.

    TOM: Yeah. Right. And …

    ANNA: I was hoping I could maybe save it but it’s an awful lot of stripping.

    TOM: Yeah, I understand that. But the problem is that anything you put on top of that is just going to make it worse right now. When the paint gets to be that – in that kind of condition, you’ve got to really start taking off some layers. You may not have to go down to raw wood but you’ve certainly got to get off the upper couple of layers and go from there.

    ANNA: Oh, OK. Alright. Well, was hoping you had a magic but …

    TOM: Sometimes we do but not always. Sometimes, the only magic is the hard elbow grease that has to go into a project.

    ANNA: OK. And what kind of paint would you suggest? An oil-base, I know that.

    TOM: Well, for priming, yeah. Just an oil-based primer. At least you get better adhesion with it.

    LESLIE: And then it’s better to use a glossy finish, because anything with a glossy finish has more layers of that finish in it to achieve that high gloss or a semi-gloss. And then it’s more cleanable or easily wipeable.

    ANNA: OK. Alright. Thanks so much.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Still to come, you’ve decided your kid is old enough to be home alone, but can they handle a home-related emergency? Learn how to prepare them, next.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Chamberlain Garage-Door Openers, with a battery backup for when the power goes out and MyQ technology that alerts you when your door is open, so you can close it from anywhere. Discover smarter possibilities at Chamberlain.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And the number to call is 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Give us a call right now. You’ll get the answer to your home improvement question.

    And one caller we talk to this hour is going to win the Raid Defense System Product Package. This system uses a combination of products and tips that work together to better battle bugs in your home. Each system is customized so you can attack, control and prevent bugs with ease.

    Our winner today is going to get two each of the Raid Max Ant & Roach, Raid Ant Gel, Raid Max Bug Barrier and Raid Max Bug Barrier Defense Marker. Visit RaidKillsBugs.com for more great info, including a bug ID tool so you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with.

    It’s a prize package worth $50. Give us a call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win.

    LESLIE: Bela in North Carolina is on the line with a flooring question. How can we help you?

    BELA: The floor is hardwood.

    TOM: OK.

    BELA: And my wife would like to replace the hardwood with ceramic tile. So the question is: can I put the ceramic tile on top of the hardwood or I need to replace the hardwood?

    TOM: No, no. The hardwood makes a great base for it because that’s so strong and straight and flat. So, the hardwood would be a great base for the ceramic tile. You could use a thinset adhesive and probably adhere it right to that existing subfloor.

    Now, since the hardwood is finished, you might need to rough it up first. Or at the least, you could put some thin plywood over the hardwood, just so you have an underlayment that could really absorb the glue. So you could use a luan plywood but there’s no reason you can’t put ceramic tile right on top of the hardwood floor.

    BELA: Now, the commode would have to be – well, I would have to use longer …

    TOM: Yes, it would be a good idea to take the commode up. Because otherwise, you’re going to have sort of an odd cut of the tile around it. So you would remove the commode and there’s a flange that will raise the drain by the thickness of the tile. And then you put it back together again, OK?

    BELA: Alright, sir. I like your show a lot.

    LESLIE: Oh, thank you.

    TOM: Well, thank you very much, Bela. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Rich in Kentucky on the line who’s dealing with a condensation issue.

    Rich, how can we help you?

    RICH: Went in the crawlspace last year to run some wire and I got all this water. And it’s on the heating and air ducts. And it’s nice, fresh, clean water dripping on the vapor barrier. When I bought the house, the two vents that are down there are blocked. They might have did that when they put in the radon vapor-barrier system.

    So, basically, I was mopping it up with a towel and putting it in the bucket to get it out of there and I was just – same thing’s going to happen this summer when I run the air condition, I guess.

    TOM: This is a crawlspace that’s unfinished and you have a radon ventilation system in the crawlspace or it’s a basement?

    RICH: The radon’s in the basement but I thought there was a tube going into the …

    TOM: OK. Because it typically – here’s what you’re going to do. With a radon system, the basement, if it’s finishable, it’s going to be sealed and have a ventilation system installed into it. The crawlspace is usually – you never put a radon system in a crawlspace because a crawlspace is always vented.

    And if the crawlspace is open to the basement, then if anything, you might seal off the space between the crawlspace and the basement to create two separate and distinct areas that have their respective levels of ventilation. Does that make sense?

    RICH: Yeah, I think it’s pretty much blocked off. I guess the radon doesn’t go in there then.

    TOM: So now let’s talk about your moisture problem. Now, what you’re seeing in the ductwork is condensation, because the ducts get cold when you run air conditioning. And you have warm, moist air in the crawlspace area and that condenses on the outside surfaces of the ducts and they drain. Basically, they drip.

    So, what can you do about that? Couple of things. First of all, we can take some steps to reduce the amount of humidity that you have in the crawlspace. So how do we do that? Well, number one, I want you to look at your gutters outside. Make sure that the gutters are clean, free-flowing and discharging away from the house. We want no water collecting anywhere near the first 4 to 6 feet away from that foundation.

    LESLIE: Because that’s just going to find its way right back into your crawlspace.

    TOM: Exactly. Big U-turn.

    RICH: OK.

    TOM: Then, look at the slope of the soil and make sure that the soil slopes away. And make sure the gutters are finally clean. So if all that water from the rain is moving away from the house, that’s good.

    The next thing that you can do is you can make – that those ventilate – that those vents are open in the crawlspace. And then thirdly, you can add a dehumidifier. Take a look at the Santa Fe dehumidifiers. They’re best in the business; they are ENERGY STAR-rated, so they’re not going to cost you an arm and a leg to operate and they’re going to totally dry out that crawlspace. And then the fourth thing that you can do is insulate the ducts.

    So, drainage on the outside, open up the vents, get a Santa Fe dehumidifier and then insulate the ducts. And that will stop the problem.

    RICH: OK. That’ll work. Thanks for the answer.

    TOM: You’re very welcome. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    Well, at some point, every parent faces the decision of determining whether or not a child is able to stay home alone. And as a father of three, I know that every child is different. And it’s important to make sure that they can not only handle themselves but also handle things that could go wrong in the house.

    For example, does your child know how to find and shut off the main water valve? That could be important in the case of a major leak. Also, can your child safely operate a fire extinguisher? That’s critical. You know, it’s not just pulling the trigger; you’ve got to know how to point that thing and what type of fire extinguisher works on what type of fire.

    Also, does your child know what to do if the smoke detector is triggered? And what should he or she do if the power goes out? These are all questions to ask yourself and to teach your children if you feel they’re ready.

    And if you’d like to see a comprehensive guide to help your kids to get ready to stay home alone, just visit ChildWelfare.gov and search “home alone.” That’s ChildWelfare.gov and search the key phrase “home alone.”

    LESLIE: And now we’ve got Kimberly in College Station, Texas with a leaky roof. Tell us what’s going on.

    KIMBERLY: We bought this house many years – several years ago. And we had an inspection of the house and we didn’t know that we had a problem with a roof leak. The inspector didn’t catch it because the people who owned the house first put some plastic over the leaking areas. So when it rained, it held water and we didn’t know that until four or five months afterwards, after we bought the house. And then our insurance wouldn’t cover anything.

    And we’re just – we’ve got more leaks now because the house is getting older. And so, instead of replacing the entire roof, we’re looking for some suggestions on some kind of a seal. And we don’t even know – there’s all these things out there. We don’t know what would be the best, if there’s anything available, or what we should do.

    TOM: OK. So, you say that they covered this with plastic and your home inspector never noticed that it was covered with plastic? I mean duh.

    KIMBERLY: No. And it was – it’s on the – up in the inside of the house. And also, they painted the ceiling. They had a 5-gallon can of white ceiling paint in our garage, which – so they kept it covered all the time, which – nobody caught that. Now, I didn’t think anything about it.

    TOM: Was this roof accessible? The area that was covered with plastic?

    KIMBERLY: Yes. And he walked around up there and it – and I guess it hadn’t rained in a while. So, those little sealed-up areas weren’t full of water at this – at the time.

    TOM: Let me ask you this: is this a sloped roof or a flat roof?

    KIMBERLY: Sloped.

    TOM: And has it ever been covered with tar or anything like that?


    TOM: So the metal is still fresh in the sense that it has never been tarred over?

    KIMBERLY: No, it’s not tarred.

    TOM: Well, have you had a roofer look at it?

    KIMBERLY: We have; we’ve had several. And one told us that it would cost us $6,000 or $7,000 to put a seal on it. And now there’s some of those things out there at the home improvement stores. We just don’t know if …

    TOM: OK, look, let me make this real easy for you. You don’t seal a metal roof; you repair a metal roof. Metal roofs can last 100 years. So, if any roofer is trying to sell you something in a can that he’s going to seal the roof with, that is a disaster waiting to happen, for a lot of reasons.

    First of all, it’s not the right way to fix it. Secondly, it actually does more harm than good and here’s why: because when you seal a roof with tar – a metal roof with tar – water still gets in; it gets under the tar and then it quickly rusts the roof away. If you have a roof that is cracked or has rusted out in a piece of area, then you repair those; you don’t tar over them like you might, say, an asphalt roof.

    So, that’s – what you need to do is to find a roofer who is a craftsman. And I realize that that’s easier said than done. But if you find a roofer that’s a craftsman that really has experience with metal roofs and doesn’t just know how to tear one off – that doesn’t count as experience with a metal roof which, unfortunately, many will just say, “Oh, we’ll tear it off and do something else.”

    No. If you find somebody that really knows metal roofs, then that should be completely repairable. And I would not encourage you to put any kind of sealant on it but to figure out where it’s leaking and why it’s leaking and fix it.

    You’ve got to dig into it further, Kim. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Marty from Mississippi is on the line and he’s got a brick-house question. How can we help you today?

    MARTY: Yes, I’ve recently – about five years ago, there’s a house I bought that has red brick with a real light, white-colored grout or mortar. And in the last five years, I’ve got a stress crack on each side of the house that goes between the mortar and the brick. And is there a product you can recommend – or multiple products – that could seal that crack up and not lose the look of the brick? I’ve seen people do it with just one, solid piece of white-colored caulking. It just looks terrible, the big, white line. Is there something that’s multi-colored that would match up with the brick and the grout to make it look good?

    TOM: Marty, if the crack is that big, then you’re definitely not going to use caulk; you’re going to want to use mortar. So, the key here, as you say, though, is to find a mortar that will color-match.

    There is a company called Davis Colors that specializes in just this. They have dozens of different dyes that are mixed into mortars to come up with exactly the match that you need. And they have pretty good distribution across the country. So I would take a look at DavisColors.com. DavisColors.com.

    MARTY: Great. I just add those colors to the existing mortar I would mix up here?

    TOM: Yes, exactly. Or you buy the appropriate mortar from them already mixed.

    MARTY: OK. OK, cool. OK, I knew there had to be something out there. I just wasn’t able to find it, so I appreciate the help.

    TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Glad that you called. Thanks so much for reaching us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: John in Maryland is on the line with a water-heater question. How can we help you?

    JOHN: Have a gas hot-water heater right now that vents up through – it’s not really a chimney stack but it’s, you know, the sheet-metal pipe. And that takes up a lot of space in a bathroom I have and I’d like to kind of eliminate that. And I was wondering if there are any side-venting gas water heaters, similar to how they have some high-efficiency furnaces that sort of vent out of the side of the house. I was wondering what you guys’ opinion on are – of gas water heaters that might do the same. And that would allow me to get rid of that unusable space in my bathroom, for renovation.

    TOM: Yeah, you’re correct. There are what – it’s called a “direct-vent appliance.” And there are direct-vent water heaters. And if you are going to replace your water heater, I would consider a tankless water heater. You mentioned space. Tankless water heaters are about a quarter of the size of the traditional tanked water heater. And yes, they are available as a direct-vent type of installation.

    In fact, that’s one of the things that makes them so cool is that they’re so small and they’re so easily vented that you can pretty much put them anywhere. So, I think your solution is a directly-vented tankless water heater.

    JOHN: OK. And there’s no issue there with any problem with the – you’re always worried about getting flue gas and all that stuff. That side vent – those are safe to vent out and there’s no issue, right?

    TOM: Well, there’s rules about where you put them. Like, for example, there has to be so many feet away from a potentially open window and that kind of thing. And it has to be so far off the ground so it doesn’t get covered with snow – the vent doesn’t get covered with snow. So there are some basic rules about where you put in a direct vent. But as long as you follow those then no, there’s no issue about them getting blocked.

    JOHN: Great. Alright, guys. Thanks a lot for your help. Love your show.

    TOM: Oh, thank you very much.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, the cure for an old, weather-beaten deck might not necessarily be as hard or as expensive as you think. We’re going to talk about last-chance paint coatings that cover a multitude of sins, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by QUIKRETE Concrete & Cement products. QUIKRETE, what America is made of. Like us on Facebook and visit online at www.QUKIRETE.com for product information and easy, step-by-step project videos.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Give us a call, right now, with your home improvement project, your do-it-yourself dilemma at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Well, if you’re a DIYer, you know that paint can hide a multitude of sins. I’ve had a few home improvement sins in my career that have been aptly covered by paint: everything from dents to dings to scuffs. A new coat of paint can breathe new life into many spaces.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Well, now there are even paints that promise old, weather-beaten decks a makeover. Here to tell us about these so-called last-chance coatings is Debbie Zimmer, the director of the Paint Quality Institute.

    Welcome, Debbie.

    DEBBIE: Well, thank you. Thank you for having me on.

    TOM: So, Debbie, we have heard about these super-thick coatings for a number of years. I think one version of it used to be called Liquid Siding, if I’m remembering correctly. And I also remember that there were many issues associated with some of these paints mostly, I think, because contractors were overpromising and under-delivering – go figure – on some of the work that they were doing. But is there a benefit to the thick coatings that’s out today and can it really breathe new life into a really beaten-up surface, like a deck?

    DEBBIE: Oh, absolutely, Tom. As a matter of fact, today’s new deck thick coatings really are, as you said, sort of a protective last chance for someone who may not want to quite yet put a new deck on.

    The beauty of these coatings is that they form a very thick finish that actually helps, when you’re walking on these finishes, to keep the wood fibers from sort of coming up and bothering feet. I think you see a lot of ads that really tout that benefit.

    LESLIE: Yeah. But I think it’s super-important to remember that if your deck is deteriorating, before you just go and put on one of these last-chance coatings, you really need to examine the structure of the deck to make sure that you’re just not potentially hiding something dangerous.

    DEBBIE: Oh, absolutely. And I know on the manufacturers’ cans that they actually state that; that it needs to be a structurally sound surface. And so, if there are boards that really are a – provide a – or show a danger, they need to come up. But for those folks who just want to breathe a little, new life before completely changing over the deck-floor surface, these are really, really wonderful products to try.

    TOM: Now, I was actually speaking with a colleague about these products just yesterday and he was doing his deck. And one of the things we were discussing was the coverage. Now, the average gallon of paint, you get about 400 square feet of coverage per gallon. But with these super-thick paints, you’re really talking about maybe like, what, 75 or 100 square feet per gallon? It’s about a quarter of what you would get out of a traditional wall paint, right?

    DEBBIE: Absolutely. You’re absolutely right. So, you need to take the square footage of your deck and really pay attention to that, because you don’t want to be caught short as you’re applying the product and sort of running out at the end. They’re very similar to a vertical wall surface coating called “elastomeric,” where there it’s a very thick film that’s applied to the side of a home. But as with these new deck products, you just don’t get as much material out of the can.

    TOM: So what are these paints made out of? What makes them thick? Do they have different additives in them? Is it epoxy-based? What is the material that makes them so thick?

    DEBBIE: Oh, that’s a really great question, Tom. These materials are really based on the same type of binder technology that you would find in a quality house paint, a 100-percent acrylic product. What allows them to maintain that thickness is a couple of things. And you hit on the first: the additive package. So the rheology modifiers that are used keep that product in a very thick, creamy state.

    TOM: Yeah. In fact, I discovered that when you mix this stuff up, you have to mix it well, like at the store. But it actually stays mixed for a good week or so because it is so thick; nothing really settles out of it.

    DEBBIE: Yeah. You won’t see it get that normal settling.

    LESLIE: Now, because of its thickness, Debbie, do you need to do a second coat? Or is it thick enough to be sort of like a one-coat product?

    DEBBIE: Great question. That really depends on which manufacturer’s product you use. Most recommend a two-coat system. So you lay down the first coat and then put a second coat on top. A lot of that also depends on the actual condition of the surface you’re going over, as well. But we like to recommend two coats of the material.

    TOM: Alright. There you have it: last-chance coatings for outdoor decks. Tips from the expert, Debbie Zimmer, the director of the Paint Quality Institute.

    Thanks, Debbie. Great information. We appreciate you stopping by The Money Pit.

    DEBBIE: Oh, thank you so much for having me on. Have a great day.

    TOM: And if you’d like to learn more, you can visit the Paint Quality website at PaintQuality.com or check out their blog at Blog.PaintQuality.com.

    LESLIE: Still to come, a kitchen makeover can be so much fun. You get to pick out the counters and the cabinets. But don’t forget one crucial part of your kitchen design. How could you, guys? It’s the wall color. Paint can make a big impact in your kitchen and the colors that you choose say a lot about the style of your kitchen. We’re going to tell you which colors compliment the other finishes in your kitchen, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by the Chamberlain MyQ Garage. If you forget to close your garage door, it alerts your smartphone, so you can control it from anywhere. Works with most garage-door openers. Discover smarter possibilities at Chamberlain.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you do, you’ll get the answer to your home improvement question.

    And one caller who gets on the air with us this hour is going to win the Raid Defense System Product Package. This system uses a combination of products and tips that work together to better battle the bugs in your home. And our winner today is going to get two each of Raid Max Ant & Roach, Raid Ant Gel, Raid Max Bug Barrier and Raid Max Bug Barrier Defense Marker.

    You can visit RaidKillsBugs.com for more great information, including how-to videos. You’ll know exactly what to do to attack, control and prevent bugs. It’s a prize pack worth $50 going out to one caller drawn at random. So give us a call, right now, with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Bill in Missouri has a new driveway and needs some help with finishing it. What can we do for you?

    BILL: I had a new driveway – concrete driveway – put in.

    TOM: Yep.

    BILL: And I’m wondering if I need to put some kind of a sealer on that or just leave it like it is. The finish they put on it looks like they used a real stiff broom or something on it and it’s got the lines cut all the way down it on both – all over it, you know.

    TOM: Yeah. And that’s designed to give you some traction in the winter so that you don’t slip on it as easily.

    I don’t think it’s necessary for you to seal it. If you were to seal it, you would need to make sure you’re using a vapor-permeable sealer. Because what happens with some sealers is the moisture gets trapped underneath of them and then it can’t evaporate out. And it will cause the concrete to spall or crack.

    But concrete driveways are not – it’s not necessary to seal them on a regular basis.

    BILL: OK.

    TOM: Just be cautious with the type of salt that you use to deice. Don’t use anything that has rock salt in it.

    BILL: I’ve got a real quick question for you. I had a new deck built in the back and they used pressure-treated yellowwood on it. And I had no idea that the yellow they were talking about was going to be the sap coming out of it.

    TOM: OK.

    BILL: And I was wondering, is there some kind of a sealer or something that I can do about that?

    TOM: Well, when you have a new pressure-treated deck, we generally suggest that you wait about a year before doing this. And then you could apply a solid-color stain to it. If you put a solid-color stain to it, it will cover some of the sap, as well. And frankly, by then, some of it will have already evaporated. You could sand those areas to try to get rid of any big deposits but I would wait about a year and then I would treat it with a good, solid-color, exterior deck stain.

    BILL: Oh, OK. Well, I sure appreciate your help.

    TOM: New driveway, new deck. You know what to do next. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    Well, whether you’re making over your kitchen or starting from scratch, the colors you choose for your walls are a big part of that transformation. For advice on choosing colors that complement the rest of your kitchen, we got advice from the design experts at Cabinets To Go.

    LESLIE: And according to those experts, one way to choose a paint color for your kitchen is to start with your cabinet finish. You want to choose a color that’s on the opposite side of the color wheel.

    So, for example, if your cabinets are a warm, oak color, when you’re looking at the color wheel it might kind of translate to an orange tone. Going with a soft-blue hue is really going to work nicely. Now, cherry cabinets with red undertones might work well with a mossy-green wall color.

    TOM: And the other way to choose wall color is with a contrast if you’ve got dark cabinets, light walls and vice versa. Think of antique white cabinets set against a mocha wall. You can use the color to create the illusion of space, as well. Lighter kitchens always look bigger and monochromatic color schemes will achieve the same illusion.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what else? Unexpected kitchen colors can also make a really bold statement. So think jewel tones, like burgundy or emerald green. You can even choose one wall to just set off with a pop of color.

    Finally, don’t forget about tile as a wall treatment. You can tile an entire wall if your budget will allow. And keep color in mind when styling your kitchen and your completed project will have a wow factor that you never imagined.

    TOM: And this tip is presented by Cabinets To Go, where you get premium-quality cabinets for less. You dream it, they design it and always 40 percent less than the big-box stores. Visit them online at CabinetsToGo.com.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Patrick on the line who’s got a roofing question. How can we help you today?

    PATRICK: I had a question about a metal roof versus a shingle roof. Our roof is about 17 years old and it’s ready for – it’s ready to change.

    LESLIE: Now, is it ready to change because you don’t like the way it looks or is it failing in some way?

    PATRICK: Oh, no. It’s actually fine; the shingles are fine. But I was kind of wondering about the cost benefit of spending twice as much for a metal roof versus a shingle roof for another – you know what? How long will the shingle – how long should that metal roof last? What’s the gauge of the metal? That kind of thing.

    TOM: How long do you plan on staying in the house?

    PATRICK: Forever.

    TOM: Forever. OK, that’s important information.

    So, if you put a metal roof on this house, I think it can last, for all intents and purposes, forever. The metal roofs of yesteryear, when they were properly maintained, would easily last 50 to 100 years. The metal roofs of today will do the same thing and they can even do it more successfully because of some of the modern elements of technology that are added to it.

    For example – you are in Florida? Is that correct?

    PATRICK: Yes. Port Charlotte.

    TOM: You know, the one nice thing is that metal roofs have a reflective paint; it’s like a low-E paint. And they actually reflect some of that radiant heat back off of the roof. So instead of having a roof that’s like a heat collector, you’re going to have a roof that’s a heat reflector. So there’s also an energy-efficiency element to it, as well.

    But I think that metal roofs last literally indefinitely, as long as they’re properly maintained. They don’t need a lot of maintenance. Of course, if there’s a storm and that sort of thing, they stand up a lot better; they don’t fly off like shingles do. And even though it’s twice as expensive, it’ll probably be the last roof you’ll ever have to put on that house.

    PATRICK: If I do this $11,000 roof, will I report that to my homeowners insurance and will I get a benefit from that or no?

    TOM: That’s a good question for your broker. Certainly, a metal roof is more fire-resistant. I also would look into energy – any energy-efficiency rebates. Because since it’s a low-E roof coating, you may actually qualify for an energy rebate. So I would look into that, as well.

    PATRICK: And how would I look into that?

    TOM: A good source is the Metal Roofing Alliance. That’s a trade association for the metal-roof industry. Go to MetalRoofing.com. And in fact, they have a section on their website about tax incentives, so they are available for metal roofs.

    PATRICK: Alright. I appreciate your help.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, we’re going to talk about your stove’s vent hood. It’s there for every cooking adventure but the wrong kind can leave your kitchen a greasy mess. We’ll have tips, just ahead.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Raid. The Raid Defense System uses a combination of products and tips that work together to better battle bugs in your home. Each system is customized so you can confidently attack, control and prevent bugs. Visit RaidKillsBugs.com.

    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And you can get in on our Dog Days of Summer Facebook sweepstakes going on right now. The prizes include a set of ceiling fans from Hunter, a grill and propane from Blue Rhino and a Craftsman Quiet Lawn Mower. Just like us to enter. Share the sweeps to get bonus entries. Check it out at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit.

    And Jack from Mississippi is writing us and says, “I recently redid my kitchen. I have a new stove but I seem to have more of a greasy film on everything after I cook. Is this a ventilation problem? Would installing a better fan help?”

    Well, Jack, installing a better fan will always help. I’m not quite sure if you did that when you replaced your stove. But let me give you some basic tips on how to choose the best fan.

    First of all, the fan should be sized for the burners and the BTUs that will be cooking under it. And that’s a calculation that you’ll need to make or they can help you make it at the store.

    Secondly, there’s two kinds of fans. There’s recirculating and there is vented. Now, a recirculating fan – if you’ve got to use a recirculating fan, that means that the air is going back into the kitchen. You’ve got to get a really, really good-quality fan. You can’t use a basic fan that’s got a really thin filter and expect it to do much. It just doesn’t work. Those really cheap recirculating fans, they’re more of a heat protector for the cabinet above than they are a fan. They just don’t trap much of the moisture or the grease. So, definitely upgrade that fan.

    Now, if you can for a vented fan, that’s what I’d strongly recommend. Make sure the venting is all metal. Don’t use any plastic ducting to bring that out, because that’s a fire safety hazard. And the quickest you can get that duct out of the house, the better. If it makes too many turns – every turn in that duct is equivalent to 20 feet of straight duct. So get it out, get it out quick and you’ll find that that grease will disappear.

    Well, according to a new trend report by Home Channel News, hidden home spaces are the next frontier to increasing a home’s value. Leslie has tips on how you can cash in on that trend, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Hidden home spaces – those nooks and crannies that are gems when it comes to organization – they’re getting a lot of attention these days. Homeowners out there, they’re looking for storage and functionality in their home, wherever they can find it. And you can bet even a few extra square feet can be put to some very good use. So, here are some ideas that can help you increase your home’s value while getting in on the latest trend.

    First of all, pull-out shelving. You know, these options in cabinets, they’re great because you’ll find them in closets and kitchen cabinets. They’ll now have shelving that you can pull out so that you can easily access what’s inside, as well as use every little, last bit of storage in that space. And this is true, especially in kitchens, where a space just a few inches wide can be transformed into a place to hold spices or your baking sheets. If you’ve got the depth to add that pull-out function, I mean it’s really super-helpful.

    Now, built-ins are also a great way to take advantage of storage that you didn’t even know you had. Shelving or cabinets under a set of stairs or in a deep closet, those are two great examples. You also want to look for areas of your home where space seems to be underutilized: alcoves, maybe, where you’ve got a dormer window; space above a toilet; open areas above soffits; the landing of your staircase; a wide hallway. Once you start paying attention, try to look at your home from sort of an outsider’s perspective. Then, all of sudden, you’ll start noticing all these different kinds of spaces that you can use more functionally.

    After you find that space that can be put to use, you want to look for the right storage systems to help you best take advantage of it. Hidden storage, it’s not going to only make your home more organized and functional, it will actually help you add some value. So get out there and start the hunt.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next time on The Money Pit, are nosy neighbors too privy to your backyard activities? You can create a private area, away from prying eyes, naturally with a living privacy screen. We’ll have tips on how to do that, 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.


    (Copyright 2014 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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