Hot Colors to Watch in 2016, Tips for Hanging Artwork and Frames, and How to See – And Talk To – Strangers on Your Doorstep From Anywhere in the World!

  • Transcript

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And we are so happy you are here today. Do you have a home improvement project on your to-do list? Let’s get it done. Pick up the phone and call us, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT. Home improvement, home décor, home remodeling, we want to talk to you about your project.

    And coming up this hour, if you like a serene home and want to be stylish, you’re in luck because 2016’s hottest colors are out. And they’re promoting peacefulness and serenity with a twist. We’ll have the details on what those are, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And getting art and photos up on your walls can be tough but it doesn’t have to be. This Old House’s Tommy Silva is here with wall-hanging tips for plaster, drywall and any other surface.

    TOM: And what’s the best way to remove old paint without harming your health? The answer is coming up.

    LESLIE: And one caller this hour is going to win a SideWinder Drencher Showerhead from Waterpik. It’s an innovative design that makes this adjust to any height, which is perfect for families with kids.

    TOM: Love the name of that product: the SideWinder Drencher. There is no doubt what this thing is designed to do.

    It’s worth 70 bucks. Going out to one caller drawn at random from those that reach us for today’s show, so let’s get to it. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

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

    DARLENE: Remodeling a bathroom into a laundry room because there is no laundry room there and three bathrooms. So, I put the stick-on linoleum squares on the floor, which was probably a mistake, but it’s all down. And now I notice, on the edges, it’s starting to pull up just a bit. It’s fine in the middle but around the edges – and so I was wondering, should I use a silicone around – kind of pull them up a little bit, put silicone around there or a water-based sealant of some kind? I just didn’t know quite what to do if we put the washing machine in there and there was a leak. And then I was afraid the whole floor would come up or something.

    TOM: So do you think if you kept pulling the tiles, they would all come up completely?

    DARLENE: I think the reason why the sides are – maybe the floor isn’t quite even on the edges or something. I’m just thinking that maybe it wasn’t quite even. And it’s not every side but just part of it. Right where the washer is going to be, as a matter of fact.

    TOM: Well, look, if you were able to lift up those edges and add a tile adhesive underneath that – a regular floor-tile adhesive: the kind of tile adhesive that you would use if you were laying down these vinyl tiles from scratch – and then you weighted it while it dried, that would probably be the best chance you’ve got of preventing it from coming back up again. But I’ve got to tell you that it’s been my experience that once these seams start to go, you fix one and two more pop up. So this might be something you’re chasing.

    And if it’s only a small area, what you could also consider is basically replacing the vinyl floor with laminate floor. You know, just a small amount of laminate flooring won’t be that expensive and it can be laid down right on top of that vinyl floor. Laminate floors will float; they don’t need to be attached. They sort of lock together and they will lay down on top of that. You put a saddle in where you – like at the doors and that kind of stuff. But that would give you a really durable floor and you wouldn’t have to worry about it.

    DARLENE: Well, that’d be better than pulling it all up. That’s a good idea. Thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Mike on the line who’s got a drain issue. What’s going on at your money pit?

    MIKE: House was built in 1999. It’s on a septic, which is actually part two of my question. And the kitchen sink – I don’t know – about five months ago or so started draining slowly. And so – I am not actually on a direct vent. It has a vent – what do they call it? I just pulled it off – a mini-vent underneath the sink, because it’s on an inside island or what-have-you, so there’s no vent stack.

    And so I took the mini-vent off, brought it to Home Depot or wherever. And I replaced it with another one thinking, “Well, maybe it got clogged or what-have-you.” And it still is draining slow. Now when I – if I have a sink full of water and I undo the vent, it will actually drain quickly.

    TOM: Yeah. I think you’re talking about a – you’re calling this a “mini-vent.” I think you’re talking about an air-admittance valve.

    MIKE: OK.

    TOM: Basically an under-sink vent. When you don’t have a space for a roof vent, you have one of these air-admittance valves. And you tried two of them and it’s still not working well?

    MIKE: Well, the one – yeah, the one started slowing down. It worked fine before and then when I took that off and put – but then over time, it slowly slowed down. And so I took that off and put the new one in. I guess my question is: can I extend that higher? Because right now, it’s about – I don’t know – 4 or 5 inches below the sink. So I have enough room where I could put a 4-inch piece of PVC a little bit higher. And I’m wondering if that would help bring it in.

    TOM: Yeah, it really shouldn’t make a difference.

    Now, I wonder if there’s another way you could get to this vent because, sometimes, you can vent through the floor joist and over to the wall and intercept with the vertical vent there. It doesn’t always have to go straight up from the kitchen.

    MIKE: OK.

    TOM: Because, sometimes, what you do is you take the drain from the kitchen sink, right? And where it turns down the drain, the water – you sort of go up in sort of a U-shape pipe, then go back down again and then across the floor joist and join the vent and go up. You kind of create this venting loop that could let more air in.

    Have you talked to a plumber about other possibilities?

    MIKE: I haven’t yet. No, no. We just wait an extra two minutes and then it goes down but …

    TOM: Yeah. Well, sooner or later you’re going to get really annoyed with all that time. And I also wonder if maybe you could step it up and put a bigger air-admittance valve in, too.

    MIKE: So that was the other thought – was right now it’s an inch-and-a-half. But it’s right on top of the drain. So, for instance, it’s almost like a W. I’ve got the dishwasher coming in one, the sink in the other and this air-admittance valve just above it. So, again, the thought was if I could extend that W, the center one, a little bit higher but it sounds like that won’t make much of a difference.

    TOM: I don’t think it will. So what’s your septic question?

    MIKE: Garage disposals: yay or nay?

    TOM: There are disposers that are specifically designed for septic systems and the difference is that they grind the food up into a finer particulate. And I think if you do that, you’ll be fine.

    MIKE: OK. Perfect for when I’ll talk to my plumber for both issues.

    TOM: Alright. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at Well, we’re already a week into the new year. Have you given up on your resolutions yet? Don’t say yes. Come on. Give them a try, guys, and start working on some things around your money pit as your resolutions for the new year. We’re going to give you a hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, adding art and photos to your walls might look great but getting them up on those walls? Well, that’s often less than picturesque. We’ve got tips for securing art easily and securely to plaster, drywall and more, after this.

    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: Happy to be here to help you tackle your home improvement projects, solve your décor dilemmas. If it’s on your to-do list, put it on ours. Pick up the phone and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT. You’ll get the answer to your home improvement project. Plus, this hour we’re giving away kind of a cool prize. It’s the SideWinder Drencher from Waterpik. It uses an innovative, auto-locking high/low arm to adjust the spray height. You just switch to a lower level for the kids or you adjust it in the middle to rinse without getting your hair wet. Super convenient.

    It’s worth 69.98. Available at The Home Depot. You can learn more at That’s Waterpik – W-a-t-e-r-p-i-k – .com.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Carol on the line from Oregon. How can we help you today?

    CAROL: Well, I’ve got a problem. I should know better but I have rented to people with – who brought in a puppy.

    TOM: OK. Oh, that’s terrible.

    CAROL: And now I’ve got to deal with lots of urine, fecal. It’s damage that’s probably been on there too long, too deep. Gone through the carpet to the pads of the subfloor. So, my question is: can the stain ever be removed? I’m thinking I should just take everything up. My question would be what to put down new. Replace the subfloors? Solution? People have said something about KILZ and something like Zenix (ph) or something like that.

    LESLIE: Well, I mean it really depends. If you even want to attempt salvaging the rug that’s there – generally, with a rental situation, you’re probably better off with a tile or a laminate floor, just because of cleanability. And then let the folks bring in their own area rugs. But if you want to attempt to sort of get the stain away, get the odor away, there’s a product that I used when I was training our dog, who was untrainable for the first year. And it’s on a website called JustRite and it’s And it’s called 1-2-3 Odor Free.

    And it’s like a series of different products. One’s a stain remover, one’s an odor remover and it sort of neutralizes through enzymes. And there’s an injector that you use to get through the carpet and into the padding and into the subfloor. And I kid you not, it works. Because there was a spot at the top of the steps that Daisy just loved and no problems to this day.

    So, you might want to try that. However, if there is a lot of stuff to deal with, your best bet is probably to just pull everything off and you’re right about wanting to seal that subfloor. Because if you don’t put a primer – a good one – on top of it, whatever you put on top, get a humid day and you’re going to notice it.

    CAROL: Right.

    TOM: Yeah, so that’s why, Carol, what you want to do is use an oil-based primer like a KILZ or a B-I-N. There are a number of different primers out there but I would use the oil-based ones for a problem like this, because they’re going to do a better job of sealing in odor.

    CAROL: OK. And if I do decide to put down a rug – because this is a house I would like to sell future forward; it’s a nice house – is there a type of rug that can better be cleaned?

    LESLIE: OK, yeah. It is from Mohawk and it’s a carpet that they call SmartStrand. And it’s got built-in stain-and-soil resistance that’s never, never, never going to wear off or wash off or clean off. And it feels soft. And it’s environmentally friendly because it’s made in part with a recycled plastic.

    And I think it was last year at the Builders’ Show – Tom and I were at the event – and they were just launching this SmartStrand product. And they had taken carpeting and carpeted the pen of an elephant at the zoo and left it in there for a year and then took it off, cleaned it and brought a patch in and had half under the cover of glass and half out. And there was a little door that you could open up to the dirty side and you opened that up and of course, I didn’t smell just because I always do strange things like that. And it like reeked horribly. And the side that was cleaned was beautiful, clean, soft, smelled fantastic.

    So, I’m not really sure about the price point but it is an amazing product and available in a lot of different looks, different piles. So I would start with Mohawk, their SmartStrand.

    CAROL: OK. Thank you so much.

    LESLIE: Lloyd in Ohio is on the line with a gas question. What’s going on in your money pit? Is it the water heater?

    LLOYD: Well, the pilot light kept going out and eventually, it would not relight. And I put a thermal coupler on it and it still won’t light.

    TOM: Have you cleaned the pilot light? Because it sounds to me like there could be a clog there.

    LLOYD: No, there’s nothing wrong with it.

    TOM: Well, if you’ve got a good pilot light and you’ve got a good thermal couple, then there’s only a couple of things that could be happening here. If you’re getting a downdraft there and it might be blowing the pilot light out – or you may have a bad gas valve, because the gas valve – the thermal couple is only going to be as good as the gas valve. And if the thermal couple is not communicating correctly to the gas valve and telling it when to release gas to the pilot light, that could be part of the problem.

    Yeah. How old is your water heater, Lloyd?

    LLOYD: I don’t know exactly. It’s an older one. Probably 15 years old.

    TOM: Well, if it’s 15 years old, it’s probably not worth replacing the gas valve because by the time you got done replacing that, you’re going to be halfway towards the cost of a new one. You know, a water heater, if you get 10 years out of it, you count your blessings. If yours is 15 years old, there’s not going to be too many more years that go by before that’s going to end up in a big splash. It’s just going to leak and that’s going to be it.

    So I wouldn’t – I don’t recommend putting much money into a 15-year-old water heater. I think you’ve done all you can and it might be the best time – the best thing to do might be to just replace it.

    LLOYD: OK. Alright. Thanks a lot.

    TOM: Well, home deliveries are on the rise as more and more people shop online but there is a major safety drawback: the folks at the door you don’t know who often drop off packages when you’re not home.

    LESLIE: Yeah. But the person on your front doorstep doesn’t have to know that if you add a bit of handy smart-home technology. The Ring Wireless Video Doorbell not only lets you see who’s at your front door, it actually lets you speak to them, too.

    TOM: Yep. The Ring Wireless Video Doorbell is the world’s first battery-operated, WiFi-enabled HD video doorbell that lets you watch your property and gives the impression you’re home, whether you’re up the street or on the other side of the world.

    LESLIE: Now the video doorbell has built-in motion sensors that will detect movement up to 30 feet. You’ll receive a notification on your phone that somebody is loitering around your property. And with a free iOS or even an Android app, you can use your phone to talk to that person right at your front door.

    TOM: Set it up easily and sync it in minutes for years of added home security. Pick up your Ring Wireless Video Doorbell at Home Depot or online at

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Steve on the line who’s dealing with a vinyl-siding issue. Tell us what’s going on.

    STEVE: I bought a house last summer and was further looking at it closely. I noticed that the siding is severely oxidized and I was – I tried a little baby oil on a section of it and it looked good for about a month but I think there’s one …

    TOM: Baby oil?

    STEVE: Yeah.

    TOM: Baby oil?

    STEVE: Yeah.

    TOM: Well, is your house your baby?

    STEVE: Yeah.

    TOM: And a house is certainly as expensive as children, that’s for sure.

    STEVE: Like I say, it looked good for about a month. It brought all the color back to it.

    TOM: When those oils dry out, of course, that’s going to be the end of it. Vinyl siding is not really designed for oil but I will tell you this: there are paints that you can put on top of vinyl siding. So it is possible to paint a vinyl-sided house.

    That said, you know what comes after paint, don’t you? Repaint. So once you start this process, you’re going to end up having to paint it again, Steve. But you can paint vinyl siding. You just need to make sure – I would go to a Sherwin Williams or a good-quality paint supplier like that and make sure that you pick up a paint that is rated for vinyl siding.

    STEVE: Does it peel pretty easy?

    TOM: No. It’s designed to adhere. That’s why it has to be special for vinyl.

    STEVE: Oh, I see.

    TOM: OK?

    STEVE: OK. Thank you.

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

    LESLIE: Heading over to Wisconsin now to chat with Dorothy. How can we help you?

    DOROTHY: In the wintertime, we get cold air around our windows.

    TOM: OK.

    DOROTHY: And so we put plastic. Some of them, we plastic the outside up the windows and some of them inside of the house. I’m wondering which is better or if we should plastic both the inside and the outside.

    LESLIE: It depends, really, on the functionality of the window. When you’re feeling the draft, is it on the glass itself? Does it seem to be on the operable parts of the sash, where the window unit goes up and down or is it around the trim work?

    DOROTHY: On a couple of them, it’s actually on both: the glass and around the trim work, yeah.

    LESLIE: OK. Well, there’s a couple of products out there that maybe you’ve not heard of and there’s one that’s a weather-stripping caulk. And basically, what you would do is you would close your window. And around the sash – you know, the operable part of the window itself – you would caulk, essentially, that window closed, sealing out that draft. And then what happens when springtime comes and it’s warm again, you peel it right out.

    Now, the issue with that is if it’s a window that, say, is in the kitchen that you want to open and close while cooking or a window that should be used as an exit in the event of an emergency, you want to make sure that you consider those before you seal off all of those windows.

    Now, DAP makes one. It’s called Seal ‘N Peel. Red Devil makes one? Did I make that up?

    TOM: Yeah. And you may not find it in the hardware store aisle; you may have to ask for it. But it’s temporary caulk so – and it goes on and then you peel it off in the spring.

    DOROTHY: So it comes off real nice.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. It just pulls right off. And you want to make sure that it’s actually a temporary caulk, because you don’t want to go put a latex caulk in there that’s not meant for this purpose. Because if you try to remove it, it’s not going to come out.

    TOM: Yeah, the weather-stripping caulk peels off; it feels like you’re peeling a strip of rubber off in the spring.

    LESLIE: Like the backing, when you get a new credit card and it’s stuck to that paper?


    LESLIE: Like it’s got that sticky consistency.

    DOROTHY: And I can do that and maybe still put plastic on the outside or inside, right?

    TOM: Well, yeah, if you feel like you need it. But you might find that if you seal away those gaps, you don’t need to do that, Dorothy, OK?

    DOROTHY: Oh, I appreciate that very much.

    LESLIE: Alright. Thanks so much for calling The Money Pit.

    Still ahead, plaster or drywall? Light or heavy? We’ve got tips for hanging any type of art on any type of wall. That and more when The Money Pit continues, after this.

    KEVIN: This is Kevin O’Connor from TV’s This Old House, the longest-running home improvement show. And I want to send out a big congrats to Tom and Leslie for the most downloaded home improvement podcast on iTunes. Well done, guys.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Lutron’s new Maestro Occupancy-Sensing Switch. Never ask “Who left the lights on?” again. Starting at around $20, this motion-sensing light switch turns the lights on automatically when you walk into a room and off when you leave and works with all types of light bulbs. Learn more at

    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: Well, ice and snow are on their way or maybe they’ve already made appearances where you live. You want to make sure that when the cold weather passes, it doesn’t leave expensive home and property damage behind. We’ve got tips to help you prevent that kind of ice damage, on our home page, right now, at

    LESLIE: David in Tennessee is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you?

    DAVID: Well, I have a 1965 house with about a 1975 solar water-heater heating system that has – that quit working quite a while ago. And I have a leak somewhere underneath it, I think, but finding that leak has – I’ve been fighting that for a few years now. And of course, the fact is that where it drips from – where the water drips from – and stains my ceiling doesn’t seem to have much to do with the location of the actual leak.

    TOM: So, first of all, this water heater – this solar water heater – is 40 years old? Is that what you’re saying?

    DAVID: Yeah. Well, yeah. TBA had a program back in those days. We’ve been in this house for almost 45 years, so it really has been a while.

    TOM: Yeah, it sounds that way. I’m pretty sure that water heater doesn’t really owe you anything but let’s see if we can help you figure out, at least, where it’s leaking.

    Now, if it’s not leaking directly underneath where the water heater is, one of the things that you could do is you could try to run a hose across that roof and strategically move it from one end to the next, or across the area where it’s most susceptible, and see if you can figure out what causes it to leak. If that doesn’t do it, then it’s most likely being caused by wind-driven rain and that becomes a lot more difficult for you to pinpoint. Does that make sense?

    DAVID: Yeah. I think it’s probably not that because it – we do get windy rain here in Memphis but it will happen when we’re just getting a – just kind of slow drizzle. And it’s not a great deal of water but – I mean it always drops but – it’s enough drops but it’s going to do damage.

    TOM: You know, the other thing that you could use that might help pinpoint where this is happening, David, is an infrared scanning device. So, infrared devices are often used by roofers to find leaks, because the temperature of the roofing where it’s wet is different than the temperature where it’s not wet. So, by using an infrared device, you can sometimes identify the full sort of path of the flow, from point of entry to where it shows up on your ceiling.

    DAVID: Now, we’re not talking about these little devices with the temperature indication and the laser pointer? We’re talking about an infrared camera?

    TOM: No, no. We’re talking about an actual – yeah, an actual infrared camera. And the thing is that they’ve become a lot less expensive. They used to be thousands of dollars but now you can buy one that snaps into the end of your iPhone and turns the phone into an infrared camera. So, they’re pretty affordable. Or if you’re dealing with a roofer, a roofer would have some more industrial equipment. But I think those are the kinds of things you ought to do to try to narrow down the possibilities. But you know what? After 40 years, it might be time to think about replacement.

    DAVID: Well, I think I’ll just get rid of it. I’m thinking about putting in the tankless.

    TOM: Yeah. Well, that’s true and that’s a much better investment. And you know what? There’s still some rebates on those, so you might pick up a tax credit by doing just that.

    David, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: It’s not unusual to hit a wall, so to speak, somewhere between actually framing a picture and then putting it on the wall.

    TOM: That’s right. Hanging pictures can be daunting, especially if they’re heavy. But no matter what surface you’re drilling into, there’s a tried-and-true way to secure your wall hanging safely. Here to tell us more is This Old House general contractor Tom Silva.

    Hey, Tom.

    TOM SILVA: Hi, guys. Nice to be here.

    TOM: Thanks for hanging around with us. Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

    TOM SILVA: Oh, that’s a good one, Tom.

    TOM: There’s so many different types of walls out there, from exposed brick to traditional drywall to surfaces that are covered in tile. How does the material drive what you actually use to hang the picture?

    TOM SILVA: Well, the fastener, as you may think, is probably the most important part when you want to hang a picture. You don’t want that picture falling down. So you’ve got to think about whether it’s going to be a nail, whether it’s going to be a screw, a toggle, a moggle, a molly or whatever you want to call it.

    TOM: Right.

    TOM SILVA: It’s got to be able to hang the picture that you want.

    TOM: Now there’s always a difference between where you want the picture and where the picture ends up. (inaudible at 0:18:55)

    TOM SILVA: Yeah, that’s right.

    TOM: Any tricks of the trade for getting that picture aligned properly?

    TOM SILVA: Well, eyeballing it is pretty good if you have an eye for it.

    TOM: Right.

    TOM SILVA: But most people don’t. So, marking it with a level, positioning them on the wall with first having a couple people hold them, say, “Do I like them there? Is it too high, too low?” But you’ve got to get them right and then you’ve got to then figure out the distance from the cable or the hook to the pin that you want to put on the wall.

    TOM: Maybe even mark it off with painter’s tape or something like that.

    TOM SILVA: Painter’s tape is a great way to do it.

    TOM: Now, let’s talk about some of the fastening options. The easiest, of course, would be if you’re dealing with drywall unless the picture is very heavy, correct?

    TOM SILVA: Right. If you’re dealing with drywall, you can use a small brad, like a 1-inch brad, and just put in on a 40-, 45-degree angle and drop the picture on that. Now, if you need something heavier, they have the plastic inserts that you drill a hole and you drive it into the wall. And then you put your screw into that and leave it sticking out so your picture will hang on that.

    TOM: And that actually expands a little bit and holds it towards the wall?

    TOM SILVA: Yeah. As the screw goes in, it drives in. They also have a plastic or a metal one that you can screw into the wall. It actually screws into the drywall and then the screw goes into the – in center of that. And so that’s another way to …

    TOM: Have you seen this fastener called the Monkey Hook, where it pushes like a hook and it pushes the wall and it ends behind it and grabs it?

    TOM SILVA: It’s a fine wire.

    TOM: Yeah.

    TOM SILVA: Yeah, yeah.

    TOM: Yeah. (inaudible at 0:26:08)

    TOM SILVA: It works pretty good. I tried it with a paper clip. It didn’t work.

    TOM: Now, what about plaster? You work on lots of old houses. Plaster is obviously very delicate, especially as the older it gets it starts to separate from the lath that’s behind it. How would you approach the project differently if it was a plaster wall?

    TOM SILVA: Yeah, the old horsehair-and-lath plaster.

    TOM: Yeah.

    TOM SILVA: It is brittle, you’re right.

    Well, sometimes, if you’re lucky and the picture is small enough, you can try – take a small drill bit and drill a hole where you think you want to put the hanger. And with a – if you can hit a lath, you may be able to use a small enough screw. But you want to pre-drill it, because you don’t want to split the lath.

    TOM: Because the lath is wood, so you’re actually grabbing a little piece of wood behind the plaster.

    TOM SILVA: Right. And the lath is a ¼- to 3/8-inch thick, so it’s strong enough for a picture, unless you’ve got a heavy picture.

    TOM: Yeah.

    TOM SILVA: And then you’ve got to think about a fastener that’s going to go through the wall and grab behind the lath. That would be some type of a …

    TOM: Mirror or something like that, maybe?

    TOM SILVA: Yeah. A heavy mirror, obviously.

    TOM: Yeah.

    TOM SILVA: They have expanding anchors and also hollow-wall anchors that are good for those, too.

    TOM: Sometimes, you absolutely, positively have to just find that stud, correct?

    TOM SILVA: Yeah. I mean if you’ve got a valuable picture or a big mirror with a wonderful frame on it, you want to make sure that sucker’s not coming down.

    TOM: Now what about masonry, if you happen to have the need to drill into brick or stone? How would you approach that?

    TOM SILVA: Well, masonry anchors, they have all kinds of masonry anchors that you could attach to. Let’s face it: we attach structure to masonry walls.

    TOM: Right.

    TOM SILVA: So they have them light-duty, small-duty. And you can go to your home center and pick out – you could spend an hour there just trying to find a fastener that will do it. But they’re all labeled for what they are good for: drywall, masonry. You don’t need anything too big.

    TOM: I’ve seen these masonry screws. They come, actually, with a drill bit included in the package so you know just what to use.

    TOM SILVA: Yep. Yeah, they’re great. They’re great.

    TOM: Let’s talk about really heavy objects. Molly bolts. They kind of combine the ease of the expansion of the plastic anchor with a lot more strength, correct?

    TOM SILVA: A molly bolt is like a spring-loaded system that when you drill a hole, you pop this – the molly bolt through the hole with the screw on it. Pop it in, the spring will open up inside the wall. You pull back on it and then you can tighten it right in. They also have one that’s on a plastic strip.

    TOM: Right.

    TOM SILVA: That’s a molly and it’s called a “snap tie.” If you drill the same hole, you pull it in, you pull back on the snap tie, then screw it in. They’re pretty quick. I like them.

    TOM: Well, clearly there’s a fastener for every project. You’ve got to pick the right one and we can do that now with your help. Thank you so much, Tom Silva, from TV’s This Old House.

    TOM SILVA: Always nice to be here.

    LESLIE: Alright. Catch the current season of This Old House and Ask This Old House on PBS. For local listings and step-by-step videos of many common home improvement projects, visit

    TOM: And This Old House and Ask This Old House are brought to you on PBS by The Home Depot. More saving, more doing.

    Coming up, are you looking for a little peace and quiet? Well, it’s as easy as adding a few serene colors to your home. We’ve got all the details, next.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    Pick up the phone and give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT. We’re going to help you with whatever you are working on at your money pit. Plus, we’ve got a great prize up for grabs this hour.

    We’re giving away the SideWinder Drencher Showerhead from Waterpik. Now, it uses an innovative, auto-locking, high/low arm. And that’ll help you adjust the spray height. All you have to do is switch to a lower level for the kiddies and adjust in the middle if you want to not wash your hair. It’s really a great shower for every person in your family and it has six different spray options.

    It’s worth 69.98 at The Home Depot. If you want to check it out for yourself, visit And that’s Waterpik – P-i-k – .com. And we’re going to give one away to one lucky caller drawn at random this hour, so give us a call, 888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Well, if you’re looking for a little peace and inspiration, Pantone’s latest fashion-color report is out with the hottest colors for 2016. And the go-to shades this year are promoting serenity and reflection with a positive, cheerful twist.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And they really span the color chart. So we’ve got “Buttercup,” “Peach Echo,” and “Rose Quartz.” Now, those are softer takes on those bold reds and oranges and even yellows of the years past. If adding bright colors to the walls makes you nervous, these muted alternatives are really the way to go.

    TOM: And let’s not forget about “Lilac Gray” and “Iced Coffee.” These are warmer versions of traditional neutrals and they’re good for more traditional or neutral spaces that could use sort of a gentle update.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And three shades of blue made the list, which really reinforces the fact that blue is a great go-to color this year.

    TOM: You could incorporate any of these shades into your home and you will not only get a dose of calm cheer, you’ll also be on trend. You can expect these hues to pop up across décor, clothing and even makeup and accessories throughout 2016.

    LESLIE: Frank in Rhode Island is on the line with a wiring question. What’s going on at your money pit?

    FRANK: I live in a Colonial farmhouse – a Cape, really – and it’s the oldest house in Chepachet. Was built in 1753 by a Revolutionary War patriot. And I’m having a problem with radio interference.

    Historically, there seems to be three overlays of wiring there. There is the old knob-and-tube, there’s some cable, there’s something recently that was put in and I know even more recent than that it was modified – the panel was modified so we can put an electric stove in here. And if it’s a wiring issue – I’m not sure it is. I have three radios and one of them is a battery-powered radio and it’s still getting this interference. It started about two months ago and it seems to be more on the AM dial but at certain times, it’s on both dials.

    TOM: The first thing I would suspect is it has something to do with grounding that has gone bad. Perhaps the grounding for your main electric panel would be a place to start, because usually it’s grounding or shielding that when you get a bad ground, that it causes that kind of a static. But I think the first thing you need to do is make sure that it isn’t something, in fact, in the house and not something that’s caused by an outside source.

    So I would pay attention to the quality of the signal. Maybe if you choose one station to compare to and you try that in the house and out of the house, in the car and see if it really is getting worse around the house. And then if that’s the case, I suspect it might have something to do with the grounding at your main electric panel.

    FRANK: Makes a lot of sense and I thank you.

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

    LESLIE: Still ahead, is your garage so full that you can’t even fit your car in there? I mean car in a garage? Who would’ve thought? Well, we’re going to share some tips to help you make the most of your garage space, when we return.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Glisten. Glisten makes it easy to clean, freshen and maintain your dishwasher, disposer, microwave and washing machine. So improve the performance of your appliances with cleaning solutions from Glisten, the machine-cleaning experts. Visit

    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: Well, your clothes, your furniture and the music you listen to, they all reflect your personality. But what does your front door say about that? Well, some experts say that your front door could be telling your neighbors and guests something special about you. You can find out what that is by checking out the story on our home page, right now, at

    LESLIE: Hmm. Well, isn’t that special?

    Alright, guys. And while you’re online, post your question. I’ve got one from Sean who writes: “I’ve decided that I’d like to start parking my car inside the garage.” What a novel idea. “Do you have any tips for organizing and storing all the stuff that’s parked in there right now?” And by parked, I don’t think he means the car.

    TOM: You know, it always – I always find it interesting that garages are the only space in the house where you store both toys and toxins, right? And think about it. So you’ve got the basketballs and the bicycles, right? But you’ve also got lawn chemicals and gasoline and stuff like that, motor oil. So you really – it’s one space where you really do need to be organized, from a safety perspective if nothing else.

    So I would tell you, first, to separate that stuff out and do a shelving system where you get those types of chemicals up high or you get them into locked cabinets. The next thing you want to do is really take advantage of that wall space. Any kind of large item, like a ladder, that really needs to be stuck to the wall. My mom and dad had a place in a retirement village with a really small one-car garage. It was amazing how much stuff was stored in that garage. Because there were shelves all the way up to ceiling and where there weren’t shelves, there were tools mounted to the sides of the walls. So you really can get a lot of stuff up off the floor and out of the way if you just pay a little bit of attention to that wall space.

    LESLIE: Alright. Next up, we’ve got a post from Karen who looks like she’s got a painting question. Now, Karen writes: “I have a brick house with a wall inside the garage that was painted. And after a few years, another coat of paint was applied for a total time of about 25 years on the wall. The second coat, however, was meant for steel and is now turning the paint into a fine powder. I can scrape the loose paint but how do I safely and fully remove the powdery paint from the walls? I thought I could use a steel brush but that’s going to send steel paint into the air. And even with a face mask, I’m afraid it’s going to get into my lungs.”

    TOM: Well, you certainly should be concerned about any release of material into the air when you’re doing any kind of paint scraping or sanding or stripping process. In this case, I think probably the best thing to do is to apply a paint-stripping product to the brick surface. That will help speed that process.

    But your first concern has to be proper protection for that job. As you said, you have – you are right to be concerned about what you’re breathing. So, keep in mind that there are a wide range of respirators available in the market that can help you with this. And sometimes, the really thin ones that you see in the hardware store and the home centers, that only keeps the big stuff out. If you’re going to do some really serious scraping and sanding and stripping, you need a much better respirator.

    So take a look at a respirator that has a NIOSH-approved rating of N95 or better. You can find these at – from manufacturers like MSA Safety Works – they make a whole bunch of them – and other major manufacturers. But you need to pay attention to it. And if you’re going to work with that stripper, you want to make that it also will protect you from chemical splash. That will also be a notice on the package. You really want to make sure that you get the fine dust covered and the chemical splash to do this project safely.

    LESLIE: Alright. I hope that helps you solve your problem and maybe next time if you paint, you’ll do the right paint and it’ll last for another 25 years.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at Wishing you a joyous new year as we get into 2016. If you’ve got questions, we are standing by for those, 24/7, at 888-MONEY-PIT. Please reach out. You can also contact us through our Facebook page at

    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 2015 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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