Earth Day 2012: Going Green from the Crossroads of the World
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: This is a very special edition of The Money Pit coming to you from The Crossroads Of The World. We are in Times Square today, in the heart of New York City, where Earth Day 2012 is kicking off.
Now, this is one of the biggest Earth Day celebrations in the country and it really marks the start of a season. To us, this is the season to focus on sustainable, energy-saving ways to be a little greener in our daily lives.
LESLIE: That’s right. And on this day, that celebrates all that is green and all the ways that we can help preserve our planet, we’re narrowing it down to your home. Because it really all starts at home.
We’re telling you about the ways that you can have a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly home. And it not only helps the planet but it helps your wallet, too.
TOM: And besides Earth Day, we have more reason to celebrate here at The Money Pit. We have just reached a major radio milestone: we added over 20 new stations in the first quarter of this year and broke the 300-station hurdle, so we’re bursting with pride.
LESLIE: That’s awesome.
TOM: And we have you, our listeners, to thank for this.
LESLIE: That’s right. And this hour, we’re going to be thanking you by telling you ways that you can reduce your carbon footprint, that you might not have thought of.
For instance, we’re going to have tips on an energy-efficient garage door, paints that have no VOCs and even a way to cut down on beverage bottles that end up in your trash.
TOM: But first, we want to kick things off this hour with the person behind all of today’s Earth Day festivities here in New York: Pamela Lippe, the president and executive director of Earth Day New York.
PAMELA: Hey, Tom.
TOM: You must be exhausted. I mean this is a major accomplishment: a huge festival right here in Times Square. How did it all begin for you guys?
PAMELA: Well, I actually got involved organizing the 20th anniversary of events here in New York City, which was 22 years ago.
TOM and LESLIE: Wow.
PAMELA: Yeah, we did an event that had almost 2 million people involved in it.
TOM: That’s terrific. Now, why is Earth Day in New York so important to so many people?
PAMELA: Well, Earth is important everywhere. You know, it’s really important to kind of engage – to educate people and engage them in trying to make a difference in their own lives and in their own communities. It’s really an outreach mechanism to try and get new people, that aren’t already committed environmentalists, to kind of understand what they can do.
TOM: And we’ve kind of gone through a metamorphosis with that, because it used to be that only the real passionate environmentalists would think about things like this. And now it’s become mainstream, thanks to the work of organizations like the one that you run, where we can all find ways to be more environmentally sustainable at home.
PAMELA: Yeah. Somebody that’s been involved in environmental work for longer than I care to admit to.
It’s just been amazing to see the number of companies that have responded to the demand in the marketplace, that there’s so many different options now. I’ve been involved as a green-building consultant now for 15 years and to see the amount of paints and the different control systems and the amazing stuff that’s out there now to reduce the use of energy, to reduce the use of water and to reduce the amount of toxins in the home, it’s very exciting.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And do you really feel that it’s a consumer-driven sort of motivation that’s going on right out there? It’s everybody who’s using it themselves, want this, putting the demand on the companies, putting the demand on the contractors to make more eco-friendly choices?
PAMELA: It’s really, really important but it is a – you know it’s a dance.
PAMELA: Both sides have a part to play and it’s important for companies to be responsive and to lead. In many cases, there are companies that sort of get out in front and I think they benefit, especially since the awareness has grown so much over the last 40 years since the first Earth Day.
And I think companies that are willing to kind of step out there and be first and – can benefit from being able to tap into that desire on the part of the public to find green things. But of course, it kind of grows as people learn that something’s out there, they demand it more and other companies respond.
TOM: We’re talking to Pamela Lippe. She is the president of Earth Day in New York and really the force that’s responsible for this entire event.
Pamela, if someone’s listening at home and says, “Alright. You’ve finally got me. I’m going to try to do something that’s going to make some sense, to help save the planet.” So where do you start, Pam?
PAMELA: Well, there’s so many things to do; that’s the great thing. I would start with perhaps doing the things that are going to save me money: changing out your light bulbs; putting in water restrictors to use less water; putting in controls on your lighting systems, like the Lutron system you were just discussing.
PAMELA: I mean it’s – there’s just an enormous amount of things you can do with your car, as well. Just even putting air in your tires and driving a little bit slower.
TOM: Yeah. There really is no limit to the things that you can do. It’s really quite simple; you’ve just got to start somewhere and it’ll grow on you.
PAMELA: Absolutely. Absolutely. And the important thing is to recognize there’s a problem and that there’s something you can do about it and not be overwhelmed by the enormity of some of these issues.
TOM: Now, if folks want to learn more about your organization, where can they go?
TOM: That’s EarthDayNY.org. Pamela Lippe, thank you so much for all of the hard work that you do for everyone that’s been here today, to make their homes more sustainable and their lives more sustainable.
PAMELA: Thank you, Tom. Appreciate being here.
LESLIE: Now, one of the ways that you can celebrate Earth Day all year long at home is to take a look at the materials you’re using in your home improvements.
For example, paint. Behr, a proud sponsor of The Money Pit, has a new zero-VOC-formula paint. Behr’s Premium Plus self-priming, interior, low-odor, zero-VOC paint is available in all of The Home Depot stores nationwide. It has a low-odor formula that allows the paint smell to dissipate faster, which really makes it the perfect product to use in family spaces.
TOM: Now while you’re sprucing up, consider outside improvements, as well. Behr has a line of exterior wood-care products that don’t just waterproof but weatherproof year-round. To learn more about them, we’d recommend visiting Behr’s Exterior Wood Care Center at The Home Depot stores nationwide.
The Exterior Wood Care Center is cool because it simplifies everything for you by focusing on three steps: preparation, color selection and stains and finishes.
LESLIE: Yes. And WoodSmart by Behr is one of the central features and it puts you in control, with an easy-to-navigate monitor.
Now, the monitor allows you to scroll through detailed product pages; inspirational photos, which is always so helpful; how-to videos; and of course, frequently asked questions.
TOM: Visit Behr.com for more info or look for Behr on Facebook and Twitter. That’s Behr – B-e-h-r – .com.
LESLIE: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show, coming to you from Earth Day 2012 in New York City, where we are focusing on tips to help make your home more energy-efficient and sustainable.
Up next, a new garage door could improve your home’s curb appeal. But we’ve got the scoop on one that can also lower your home’s energy bill. That’s all coming up, when The Money Pit returns from Times Square, after this.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Quicken Loans. Call Quicken Loans today at 888-450-0024 or go to QuickenLoans.com to receive your free home-loan review. They’ll give you their best possible mortgage at their best possible rate, in the shortest amount of time. That number, again, is 888-450-0024. Equal housing lender. Licensed in all 50 states. NMLS Number 3030. Call today. 888-450-0024.
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. And welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you today from Earth Day 2012. It’s one of the largest celebrations in the country and we’re bringing you information today on products and materials that will save you money and energy and maybe help you keep your environmental conscience, as well. It’s a big milestone for people around the world who’ve been celebrating Earth Day since the first back in 1970.
TOM: That makes this the 42nd Earth Day.
LESLIE: That’s amazing.
TOM: And we are also celebrating a big milestone for The Money Pit: we are now heard on 300 stations. That’s a big milestone for a syndicated show.
LESLIE: It’s huge.
TOM: And we started more than 10 years ago on just a handful of stations. Actually, it was October of ’99. I remember my first syndicated show and we did local for many years before that. So we’re really proud of that accomplishment and we could not have done it without our loyal listeners, as well as our trusted sponsors.
LESLIE: That’s right.
Well, one of the keys to energy efficiency is having a perfectly insulated home. But if you have an old, rickety garage door, some of those heating and cooling costs could literally be keeping your driveway and your entire neighborhood more comfortable than you in your own home.
Jason Preston is joining us now from Clopay Garage Doors to tell us about some products that can stop you losing all of that energy.
JASON: Thanks, Tom and Leslie. It’s great to be down here in Times Square celebrating Earth Day with you.
LESLIE: Yay. Happy Earth Day.
TOM: Now, one of the things that we don’t think of a garage door doing for us is helping save energy but you guys have changed that.
JASON: That’s right. It really is a whole different world now. It used to be kind of that just single-layer steel door; now we have all these fully-insulated garage doors. And now we’ve actually introduced a new line of polyurethane-filled garage doors that really hike up that R-value for the customer.
LESLIE: Wow, that’s great. And I do have to tell you, your garage doors are stunning. You have a beautiful ad campaign. Every time I see you in a magazine, they’re fantastic. Carriage style, beautiful, beautiful choices.
JASON: Thanks, Leslie. We really wanted to take the garage door from just a functional piece to really something fashionable for your house and really add that curb appeal.
TOM: And as so many of us are now trying to use every space in our house, the garage has always been a great, untapped space and we can extend our living season out there, we can have garages out there and shops and craft rooms if we can only make it warmer. And having a well-insulated garage door helps us do that.
JASON: That’s right. You think about the garage and it’s all about just climate control. And people use garages for so many different things now, whether they park their car in there or they have a woodshop or a …
LESLIE: Who does that?
JASON: Yeah. No, no. I feel like our family becomes a total storage area but there’s great advantages to having a climate-controlled area out there.
LESLIE: And what’s the benefit of the R-value? I’m looking at just energy efficiency? Does it actually help with security?
JASON: Sure. That’s a great question, Leslie. And R-value, of course the higher the R-value, the better off you’re going to be as far as controlling the climate inside the garage.
But there’s really a lot of other benefits to having that fully-insulated door. There’s security, like you said: making a better, secure situation for your garage. Number two is just noise control.
JASON: You think about the street noise coming into the garage but also the operation of the door. If you have rooms adjacent to or above the garage, that door’s going to operate a lot more quietly.
TOM: Sometimes it shakes the entire structure of the house, you know? Yeah.
JASON: Right. So these fully-insulated doors will really knock down that noise level.
And then finally, just dent-resistance. I don’t know about you but I have a pretty active driveway with kids, with balls and things like that out there. So, it’s going to provide a lot better …
TOM: I have three lacrosse players in my family: three kids with lacrosse sticks that love to practice off of that garage door, so I know what you mean.
LESLIE: The garage is the perfect target.
JASON: It’s that great backstop, right? Yeah. That’s right.
LESLIE: Now, tell us about the green component of the doors. Obviously, the higher the R-value, the more energy efficiency we’re getting but what about what they’re made of or how they’re made?
JASON: Sure. Sure.
LESLIE: Is there anything there that’s green?
JASON: Yeah. Really, with a garage door, it’s all about sustainability; you want something that’s going to last. At the end of the day, we want to give the customers a product that’s going to last a lifetime.
You think about reuse, recycle; you reuse the door every day. You want to prevent having to buy a new door in your lifetime. And you have the confidence, when you buy a Clopay door, that your door is actually made of 75-percent recycled steel. So I think that, in itself, is a great positive in terms of that green concept.
LESLIE: That’s really great. And as I said before, your ad campaigns are just phenomenal. When you look at the doors, they’re stunning. So tell us about – how do you choose the right door for your structure? And I mean you’ve got so many choices. Is there anything that can help me make the right decision?
JASON: Yeah. That’s another great question. And you’ve got some really smart listeners out there; that’s why they listen to your show. And we’ve got a great, smart tool for them.
JASON: If they go to HomeDepot.com/GarageDoors, there’s a tool they can use – we call it “The Configurator” – where they can build, design and really pick out the perfect door for their home. They can actually even upload a picture of their home and see what that door would look like on their house.
LESLIE: Oh, wow.
JASON: So there’s – as you said, there’s thousands of options out there. And as one of the biggest moving pieces of your house, you want to make sure it adds a lot of curb appeal to your home.
TOM: Great job. Jason Preston from Clopay, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
And again, that website was HomeDepot.com/GarageDoors.
JASON: Thanks, guys.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show broadcasting from Times Square, New York. And we are here with the folks from Earth Day 2012, celebrating sustainability. We’ve got some local folks stopping by, have some questions and – well, actually, not a local guy; Steven is here from Philadelphia.
How are you doing, Steven?
STEVEN: Absolutely. I’m doing quite well. Thanks for having me.
TOM: Now, you’ve got a – have you got a question for us about …?
STEVEN: Yeah, absolutely. So I just moved into a condo not too long ago. I also have a nine-month-old puppy; it’s a great little dog.
TOM: So I was wondering – I was thinking about painting the place. What type of paint or what brand of paint could I use that – not going to stink out the place or be pet-friendly, as well?
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. You know, that’s really super-important because with paints, you get what’s known as off-gassing.
LESLIE: So there’s a lot of things that just come out of the paint inherently over time and some of them are caustic and could be dangerous for you and the puppy who’s going to be in the apartment more often than you, since you’ll be out at work.
LESLIE: What you really need to look for are paints that are low or zero – no VOC, which are the volatile organic compounds.
STEVEN: OK. No VOC.
LESLIE: So, no VOC, no odor, no carcinogens. Pretty much every manufacturer has got one out there. Benjamin Moore has got the Natura.
TOM: Behr has got a line of paints available.
LESLIE: Behr has got a great new paint that’s a primer and a paint in one and zero VOC and no odor.
STEVEN: (inaudible at 0:14:30). Wonderful.
LESLIE: So, really, your choices run the gamut. It depends on your price point. You’re looking at a more expensive paint per gallon – $40, $50 range – but that’s OK because if you spend the money up front on the paint, you’re going to get a better product, you’re going to get better coating, they’re going to be more durable and you’re not going to have to paint again as quickly as you would should you not have spent the money in advance.
STEVEN: Absolutely. That’s well worth it, in my eyes.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And take the time when you’re choosing your colors. Go to the stores. Many of them will sell the little samples. Paint out a little 2×2 square on the wall or if you can, get the larger sheets of samples. Put them up on the wall, look at them throughout the time of day. Because in natural light, it’s going to appear one way. When you’ve got your lamps on, it’s going to look another way. So really spend some time with it and see, because that color will transition throughout the course of the day. And make sure you love it.
TOM: Does that make sense to you?
STEVEN: That’s great advice. Yeah, absolutely. Great advice.
LESLIE: Congrats on the puppy and the home.
STEVEN: Thanks so much.
TOM: Alright. We’ve got Nancy stopping by here, visiting us at Earth Day in Times Square. You’ve got a question about your floor, right?
NANCY: Yes, I do. I have small water damage in my kitchen.
NANCY: And I had an estimate about the – redoing my floors, re-sanding, everything else.
TOM: Repair? Yeah, OK.
NANCY: And I wanted to know if there was a way I could just spot-repair that without having to have the whole expense. Because my floor also connects to my family room, so they want to do everything.
LESLIE: Where do you stop?
TOM: Do you have a solid floor?
NANCY: Yes. Solid oak.
TOM: Now, is it stained or is it like a natural finish?
NANCY: It had polyurethane on it.
TOM: OK. So, do you think it’s just the polyurethane that’s damaged or is it – OK. So there’s a way to do this. You can re-sand just that one area and eliminate the damage.
Now, what you’re going to find, that after a month or two, you’re going to have that area kind of fade back in to where it’s all the same. So I would encourage you just to sand that one localized area, to re-urethane it and then just to give it a month or two to kind of look like everything else. That’s the best way to approach it.
NANCY: Do you do less polyurethane so it looks less shiny than …?
TOM: Well, you can use a matte finish. I wouldn’t use anything that’s too glossy. And that’ll kind of …
LESLIE: There’s even satin.
TOM: Yeah, satin. Matte or a satin finish. Just don’t overdo it.
A lot of times, people think that when the floor is damaged, they have to dig right down to the raw wood. Very frequently, you don’t have to go that far. In fact, one of the ways to kind of refinish floors, that we always recommend, is to simply use a floor buffer with a sanding screen. And with the sanding screen, you’d lightly sand the entire floor, only taking off sort of the upper level of the polyurethane. Then you can dust-mop the whole thing or damp-mop it to get all of the dust particles off. And then put two more coats of urethane on it.
And when you urethane, another common mistake is they brush it. You don’t have to brush it; you have to mop it. Use a …
LESLIE: You swab the deck.
TOM: Yeah, you swab the deck with a lambswool applicator and always work to the outside or to the rest of the house. And here’s the most important tip: whatever it says on the label in terms of drying time, double it.
LESLIE: Yeah, you really have to let it dry.
TOM: Don’t ask me how I know that.
LESLIE: Because what happens is if you put a new coat on top of a coat that’s not dry, it’s never going to dry. It becomes this weird, sticky, gooey mess.
NANCY: OK. So you definitely think we’re capable of doing it ourselves?
TOM: Nancy, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
LESLIE: Up next, our show continues from Times Square in New York City, where Earth Day celebrations are in full swing. We’ve got tips on how you can cut down what you send to a landfill, just by enjoying a homemade drink. I like that.
TOM: That’s all coming up, next.
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: This is a very special edition of The Money Pit. We are broadcasting today smack dab in the middle of Times Square, the site of Earth Day 2012, one of the largest Earth Day Celebrations. A great place to talk about products that can help you go green and save you tons of money.
LESLIE: That’s right. Now, did you know that Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles a year? Can you imagine what that’s doing to our landfills? Well, one way that you can cut down on that massive number is by making your own soda in bottles that you can reuse.
Greg Maisel is joining us now from Sodastream to tell us more.
TOM: Hi, Greg.
GREG: Hello, guys. How are you doing?
TOM: Good. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
So, tell us all about Sodastream.
GREG: Sodastream is great. We have actually BPA-free carbonating bottles that one bottle will actually basically use, rinse and reuse for actually 2,000 cans and bottles for the average family. So it’s going to last you a long time. It’s going to be a great product for everybody and you’re going to make fresh soda anytime, anywhere you want. It’s great.
TOM: Wow, that sounds like something that my grandparents used to do, right?
LESLIE: That’s pretty cool. Yeah, I remember making soda at my grandparents’ house, with a seltzer bottle and all the different flavorings.
TOM: Yeah. Right.
LESLIE: How different is this technology?
GREG: It’s basically the old technology; it’s just rejuvenated, OK? So, basically, we have a CO2 cylinder that actually makes 60 liters of sparkling seltzer out of it. And then you can add flavors.
So, our flavorings come in 25 or 50 servings per bottle, which is going to save the average person from throwing out the cans and bottles.
LESLIE: That’s great.
Now, am I making a cup of soda by the cup? Am I doing a 2-liter bottle? How am I doing this?
GREG: You’re actually going to make it either in a ½-liter or a 1-liter bottle, which works out really well.
GREG: And then it’s going to actually stay fresh for up to two weeks in your fridge, so you don’t have to worry about throwing the soda out because it’s gone flat.
TOM: You probably get pretty creative with the flavors, too, right?
GREG: Definitely. Yes, we have 55 flavors right now and growing very extensively right now.
LESLIE: That’s great.
TOM: And of course, no limit to how many you can mix together, I imagine.
GREG: Correct, exactly.
LESLIE: That’s fantastic. Is it pretty – I mean I don’t want to say it but is it idiot-proof as far as the amount of flavoring? Or is it like, “Oh, I just want to really go crazy.”
GREG: Oh, you can go crazy as you want but it’s actually very easy. Takes only 30 seconds to do and literally, it’s endless possibilities, which is great for you.
LESLIE: Now, without saying their names, there are people who like one type of soda over another type of soda.
GREG: That’s true.
LESLIE: Have you addressed that?
GREG: Yes. Actually, what it is is actually you can actually adjust the taste and the flavor best by doing it.
LESLIE: I think they taste completely different, though.
GREG: That is true. But just by adjusting the carbonation level or the flavor, by adding more or less, will actually adjust it to – it’s very similar to the name big brands or – yes.
LESLIE: One or the other.
Now, I’m such a soda junkie, so I do really, really, really enjoy soda. So this has been catching my eye right across from us. And you’ve got, on display, a truckload of cans and bottles. Is that one family’s usage over a year?
GREG: One family use over – yeah, it’s one of those crazy things.
TOM: It’s pretty amazing.
GREG: You know, it’s amazing how much the average house will use.
LESLIE: That’s like a box truck.
TOM: And how long have you guys been around?
GREG: About 10 years here in the United States and growing very rapidly in the last 4 or 5 years.
TOM: Wow, that’s pretty cool.
So, what’s the next big thing for you guys? Is it just more flavors or …?
GREG: More flavors is the next big thing. We have a new machine come out towards the end of the year. We’re doing some cool branding with Crystal Light flavors, which is going to be coming out in the next month or so.
LESLIE: Oh, very nice.
GREG: And it’s really picking up very well.
LESLIE: How large is this system? Do I need a good amount of counter space to occupy for making my own soda or …?
GREG: No, it’s very small. It’s actually about the size of 12-pack cans of soda, so it’s very small, very limited and doesn’t plug in at all. So there’s no batteries, cords or wires. So very friendly.
LESLIE: That’s great. My goodness. Making me want a soda right now.
TOM: Greg Maisel from Sodastream, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
GREG: Thank you, guys.
LESLIE: Alright. Up next, one of the best ways to make sure that your home is Earth-friendly is to make sure it doesn’t waste energy and that includes your front door. We’re going to have tips to make sure your doors can stand up to that challenge, as The Money Pit’s broadcast continues at Earth Day 2012 in Times Square.
TOM: And what a broadcast it is. We are surrounded by thousands of Earth-loving enthusiasts here, right?
LESLIE: And I have to say it’s really a festival environment. And you know how New Yorkers can sometimes be too cool for school?
LESLIE: I feel like people are really into it. They’re checking stuff out, they’re asking questions, they’re trying samples. They’re really looking at what they can do for themselves, which is great.
TOM: And what they’re learning is they can do it themselves and it’s not overwhelming. All you have to do is start small and pretty soon, you get the bug and you just don’t want to stop.
LESLIE: And it doesn’t cost a lot of money.
TOM: And you save money and you’re more sustainable at the same time.
LESLIE: No, it’s great. I’m having a great time. Happy Earth Day, everybody.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Back with more from Times Square, after this.
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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 we are in the heart of New York City today, in Times Square, where Earth Day kicked off earlier this week. And we’re checking out all of the exhibits not only aimed at greening our homes but also saving money and energy, too.
LESLIE: That’s right. And one of those products is your door.
Now, not only is your door one of the first things that anybody sees when they come to your home, it can also be a big vacuum, sucking energy dollars, that is, right out of your home. So here to tell us how we can fix that is Neal Vaillancourt from Masonite.
NEAL: Thank you, Leslie. Hi, Tom. How are you?
TOM: How are you?
Now, talk to us about the project of making your door more energy-efficient. You say fiberglass is the way to go.
NEAL: Fiberglass is definitely the way to go. Masonite and Home Depot partnered up this year. We are offering our full lineup of fiberglass entry doors. We’ve offered some new doors that are actually carried in stock at Home Depot – many Home Depot locations. And very excited to announce that next month, you’ll be able to order a Masonite door through their special order program.
So, Masonite Fiberglass Doors at Home Depot have a polyurethane foam core and that actually insulates five times better than a wood door.
TOM: OK. Now, what about comparing it to steel?
NEAL: Sure. Steel – again, our Masonite steel doors are insulated with a polyurethane foam core that’s going to keep your house cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter. It’ll lower your energy usage which, of course, is great for Earth Day.
LESLIE: How do you compare all of this from a security standpoint when you’re looking at a wood door, when you’re looking versus the fiberglass versus the steel to a wood door?
NEAL: Sure. You know, wood absorbs moisture, it cracks, it warps. Fiberglass isn’t going to do that. And at Home Depot, you can actually get a door that is surrounded by a rot-resistant frame.
LESLIE: Oh, that’s great.
NEAL: So the bottom part of the frame, as well as the door, is comprised of a composite material that’s not going to absorb moisture, it’s not going to rot, it’s not going to wick moisture up the jamb. So your maintenance is extremely minimal.
TOM: Now, what about security? How tough is a fiberglass door?
NEAL: Sure. Fiberglass doors, unlike steel, they’re not going to dent, they’re not going to rust out on you. Unlike wood, they’re not going to crack, they’re not going to split. So it’s very difficult to get through a fiberglass entry door.
LESLIE: And are the fiberglass doors prefinished or is there a special kit that I need to apply as the homeowner?
NEAL: We offer smooth fiberglass, which is great for painting but we also offer wood-grain texture fiberglass doors. We offer those in oak, mahogany and fir. Those are great to stain up just like a real wood door. And when you do stain that door, it looks just like real wood.
LESLIE: But it’s a specific product. I don’t just grab any stain, right?
NEAL: At Home Depot, we have a great prefinished program. So for paint, for example, we can – you can choose from nine professionally-sprayed paints.
NEAL: On our wood-grain texture fiberglass, you can choose from six beautiful stain colors that, again, make that fiberglass just pop and look like a real, true wood door.
LESLIE: So I don’t have to do any of it myself.
NEAL: You can walk into Home Depot – again, many of them carry our doors as stock, prefinished. You can walk into a Home Depot, grab a door and go.
If you don’t see exactly what you’re looking for, again, you can always special-order, choose whatever color you want from those nine paints or six stains.
TOM: Well, that sounds super-easy.
NEAL: And when it arrives at your home, it’s ready to install.
TOM: Neal Vaillancourt from Masonite, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
NEAL: Thank you, guys. Happy Earth Day.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show broadcasting from Times Square. We’re going to take some questions from our audience now.
Glenn from New Jersey, welcome to the program.
GLENN: Hi. Thanks. This is a real neat event you have. I’ve seen a lot of ads for solar power and I haven’t called but I’ve heard they’re 50, 60 – a lot: 50k, 60k.
GLENN: I just wanted to see if it would be possible for the average Joe to get in on that so we don’t have to pay all these power companies and help out the environment.
TOM: Well, it does make a lot of sense but the thing is, it’s not a do-it-yourself project just yet. But let me say this: the first thing that you really want to do is assess all the things that you can control.
For example, have you been up in your attic lately? Do you ever notice how much insulation you have? I bet you don’t have 18 inches of insulation, because most of us don’t. And 49 million Americans, according to the Department of Energy, have underinsulated homes. So the first thing you should do is to make sure the things that are easy, like adding insulation, are done.
I would encourage you to have an energy audit done of your house and identify all of those things that are inexpensive and easy within your realm of do-it-yourself ability, for example. Do those first. Once you get your house in order, as far as that’s concerned, then you can start thinking about the next big thing and determine whether or not solar is a good thing for you.
The prices are going to continue to come down. There are a lot of rebates that are available, so you really have to look at the whole thing. But before you do the big stuff, take care of all the basics. Make sense?
GLENN: That’s great sense. Thanks a lot.
TOM: You’re very welcome.
LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got a question from Jessica in New York.
JESSICA: Hi. How are you?
LESLIE: We’re good, thanks. How can we help you today?
JESSICA: I’ve actually been considering installing a bathroom in my basement, because that seems to be where most my guests hang out.
JESSICA: But I’ve heard that’s going to be kind of difficult because we’re going to be trying to get the water to flush up rather than flush down.
JESSICA: So, what advice do you have on that? Is it even probable?
LESLIE: Now, with basement lavatories, is that always a legal situation with every structure or do you have to get special permitting?
TOM: Yes. It depends on the area of the country.
LESLIE: Because I know sometimes it’s a questionable situation.
TOM: And it’s not a bad idea to find out. But to your technical question – is “how do I make water run uphill or waste, in this case, run uphill?” – there’s a system for that.
TOM: And it’s called a lift pump. And basically, what happens is the water and the waste will drain into a pump. And the pump grinds up the water and the waste and then lifts it, basically, up to the point where it’s high enough where it can catch the sewer drain and then run through gravity power out to the street.
TOM: So, it’s all automatic; it’s not like a switch on or anything. It works on floats and sensors so that when the tank is full, the pump comes on, grinds everything up, lifts it and drains it out. Has to be installed by a plumber, has to be properly vented.
And there’s two ways that you can do this. One way is a little more complicated, where you actually physically dig a hole in the floor and put everything below. But then there’s another type of toilet where it has – it’s sort of built into the tank area. And it sits up a little bit higher off the floor but it’s less expensive than having to do all the digging and running all the pipes sort of underground.
JESSICA: Right. And does that use more water?
TOM: No, not at all. Uses the same amount of water. But you can totally have a basement bathroom. And I would say don’t just stop at the toilet. Why not do the whole thing? Because, frankly, you’re already putting the plumbing in.
TOM: So why not add a full bath to your house? That’s going to improve your property value, Jess.
JESSICA: OK. Thank you.
TOM: You’re very welcome.
LESLIE: You know, a bathroom in a basement really is sort of a great sort of untapped territory, because the basement really is becoming this new frontier in home ownership, where you’re moving down into these spaces, you’re finishing them up, you’re gaining real estate in your home, you’re creating a great family space.
So why not finish it? You’re right. It can become that guest room. It could become that extra family room. And you’re right as far as resale value. Having a bathroom in the basement is a huge asset.
TOM: Absolutely. And you know what? It’s a lot easier than people think.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show broadcasting to you from Times Square, the scene of Earth Day New York. We’ll be back with more Earth-friendly home improvement tips, after this.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Kleer Decking, the high-quality, low-maintenance PVC decking solution that will look as great in 25 years as it does today, thanks to superior stain- and fade-resistance and a lifetime warranty. So you can rest easy on your beautiful, brand-new deck. Learn more at KleerDecking.com.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Coming to you today from Times Square, The Crossroads of the World, to celebrate two major events. Earth Day celebrations kicked off here this week and …
LESLIE: That’s right. We’re also celebrating a huge milestone for us, as well. The Money Pit is now heard on 300 stations.
TOM: Wow. And much of that success is due to the loyal listeners who trust us for expert advice and the sponsors that make it all possible.
Joining us now with some great advice on how to save water is Susan Peters from Delta.
TOM: Now, you guys were the WaterSense Partner of the Year, weren’t you?
LESLIE: Oh, congratulations.
SUSAN: Oh, it was a great honor. Yeah, we’re so proud of that, so …
TOM: That’s awesome.
So for those that are unfamiliar with WaterSense, tell us what that means.
SUSAN: So, basically, what WaterSense is – it’s through the EPA, so it’s a government program. And it will help to reduce the water flow out of your faucets.
SUSAN: It started with lavatories and toilets. We’ve since expanded that into showerheads.
SUSAN: So, it’s a great way of, again, reducing the water flow, saving money. But you don’t have to sacrifice performance.
LESLIE: And I think that’s always the big concern. Everybody sort of harkens back to that Seinfeld episode where nobody could get the shampoo out of their hair. But I think it’s so important because today’s technology really uses air, is that correct, to give you that sort of same sensation of a fuller, more vibrant shower, if you will, without using so much water?
SUSAN: Absolutely, absolutely. We have a couple of different products. With our WaterSense, through the lavs, we have that. We also have an H2Okinetic Technology, which actually reshapes the shape of the water droplets.
LESLIE: Droplets? Amazing.
SUSAN: Gives it a more warmer, luxurious feel, so to speak. So you’re feeling like you’re getting more water but you’re actually saving. But with …
TOM: We’ve come so far on that. I mean I think it was unfortunate that when the first sort of water-saving showerheads came out, people just didn’t want to use them because it was kind of a lousy flow and it didn’t wake you up in the morning. And now, we really have to encourage people to give it a second chance. And we really have companies like Delta to thank for this because you guys, with your technology, have really made it possible for us to have thorough, invigorating showers by using less water as part of this technology.
SUSAN: Absolutely. And it’s not only just with the technology; it’s also beautiful designs.
SUSAN: So you can save water, save money, help the environment but you can still have a beautifully-designed bathroom.
TOM: Well, let’s talk about that. You guys are featuring here a collection called Mandara, available at The Home Depot, one of the Eco Options programs. Really good-looking fixture, I’ve got to tell you.
SUSAN: It’s a stunning design. Has a little bit of an art-deco feel to it.
SUSAN: Comes in a brushed-nickel finish, which is a very popular finish in today’s bathrooms. Has a nice, high arc, which is great if you’re brushing your teeth or just doing those utilitary-type products – or projects – in your house. And it has matching accessories, so it’s a full suite: has the tub shower, which is WaterSense showerhead, as well as the lav – an 8-inch, as well as a 4-inch – lav. So depending on your sink configuration, it can fit those applications.
LESLIE: Now, am I paying a lot more money for the WaterSense rating? Has that technology sort of caught up with the price point for the consumer?
SUSAN: Actually, with a lot of our products, we’re actually bringing the price points down. So, it is an affordable way to update your bathroom and save money and just have a great look.
LESLIE: That’s really great. And we’re going to see a 30-percent saving of water?
SUSAN: Up to 30-percent saving.
LESLIE: That’s amazing.
TOM: That’s going to really add up.
Now, do you have a way for me to teach my kids to turn off the faucet when they’re brushing their teeth?
TOM: You figure that out yet?
SUSAN: Well, we do have – we actually do have a technology with our Touch2O lav. That lav, you can touch on and touch off but it has an automatic shutoff after …
TOM: Ah, that’s what we need. That’s what we need.
LESLIE: Yes. But does it hold Henry’s arm back from just touching and touching and touching and touching?
TOM: Susan Peters from Delta, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
SUSAN: Thank you.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. We’ve got many more tips on sustainable, energy-efficient living when you visit our Green Home section at MoneyPit.com.
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.
END HOUR 2 TEXT
(Copyright 2012 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.)