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    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: And hey, we are here to help you tackle your home improvement project on this beautiful spring weekend. So, look around. If you’ve got something on the to-do list, let’s move it over to the done list. We’re here to give you a hand. 888-666-3974 is the number to connect with us. You can also post your question at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit. We take them all, big and small. Whatever is going on in your home, we’re here to help, 888-666-3974.

    Hey, coming up on this hour of the program, the housing market has finally bounced back and interest rates are low. So, are you thinking, “Could this be the right time to buy?” We’re going to have some tips on what first-time homebuyers need to know before entering the real estate game.

    LESLIE: And if you’re looking for a room to call your very own but you don’t really have the square-footage to spare? Then you’re me. No, you’re just like a lot of people with small houses. So stay tuned. There’s a new kind of getaway popping up in yards everywhere.

    TOM: And one caller we talk to on the air this hour is going to win not one but two prizes. We are giving away Survivorman Les Stroud’s new product. It’s a multi-tool and desert folding knife.

    LESLIE: Yeah. It’s a prize combo worth $70 and it’s perfect for surviving home improvement adventures all of your own.

    TOM: So give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Let’s get to it.

    Leslie, who’s first?

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

    TERRY: Yes. I’m talking about some Styrofoam insulation in a basement. And my concern is a vapor barrier. Is it the proper way to put the plastic up against your foundation wall and then go with the Styrofoam? Or is that the correct way or wrong way or does it make any difference?

    TOM: Well, with Styrofoam insulation, since it’s not an organic material, you can put that right up against the foundation wall. You don’t have to put a vapor barrier over it first.

    So, are you going to frame-in the walls?

    TERRY: Yes. The walls are going to be all framed in and 2x2s and 2-inch Styrofoam will be inside 16-inch centers.

    TOM: So you’re going to attach the 2x2s to the concrete wall and then you’re going to put the Styrofoam in between that.

    TERRY: Yes.

    TOM: I’ve got to tell you that personally, I don’t like to do that. I like to leave space between the wall – the block wall – and the framed wall or the drywall because I think it allows it to dry out better if it gets damp down there. So I personally prefer to frame a wall inside the basement walls and not attach it to the outside.

    If you are going to attach it – or frankly, even if you’re not – you also should be aware that drywall is really a bad choice for a basement area. I would use a fiberglass-faced wallboard. There’s one called DensArmor – D-e-n-s-Armor. It’s made by Georgia Pacific, pretty readily available. More expensive than paper drywall but because of the fiberglass face, it can’t possibly grow mold and that’s definitely something to be concerned about in the basement.

    OK, Terry?

    TERRY: Alright. Thank you.

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

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Tracy in Hawaii who needs some help with a sliding-door situation. What’s going on?

    TRACY: The slider door has got – it’s got grit in it. And I had sprayed it with something. It was on sale. I don’t remember because I got rid of it. But it’s like real – it hardened, whatever it was. And it’s very hard to – I want to know if I can find something to loosen it. And then what should I use on it that won’t harden when I spray it, to make it easy?

    TOM: Well, first of all, what I would do is I would get a really stiff brush and I would try to – I would brush those tracks to try to loosen up all of that gunk that’s there and then get a vacuum to kind of suck it out of there so that you can kind of get the loose dirt out and the junk out of there. And then what I would spray it with is white lithium grease. It comes in a can, just like WD-40, but it’s not; it’s a little thicker and it stays around longer.

    And another thing that you can think about doing is if you can take the door out of the tracks, it makes the whole thing easier. But it’s a bit of a tricky job because – depends on how your door is built. But generally, you can lift it right out of the track. It’ll make the whole thing easier to handle.

    TRACY: OK. That sounds wonderful.

    TOM: Good luck with that project, Tracy. 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 MoneyPit.com. Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement, home design, home where-do-I-get-that-extra-square-footage. Whatever kind of problem you’ve got at your money pit, we are here to lend a hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, would you like to have the look of real shake shingles, those real cedar shingles without the maintenance, though? We’re going to tell you how, next.

    ANNOUNCER: When you’re ready to search for a home, start at Realtor.com. Realtor.com is the most accurate home search site. And be sure to work with a realtor to help you through the process. Realtor.com and realtors. Together, we make home happen.

    TOM: Well, if you’re a fan of TV’s Survivorman or not, you’re going to love this hour’s prize. If you pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, we’ve got one of the Survivorman’s own multi-tool and desert folding knife. Apparently, this was developed by Les Stroud, the original Survivorman.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And these tools pretty much have everything that you need to survive, you know, whatever kind of – “I’m stranded in my garage with this home improvement project that I just can’t figure out and I can’t get of the garage but I – thank goodness for my Les Stroud tools.” It’s really a great prize, though.

    TOM: Apparently, if you’re stranded in the Sahara desert and you’re fighting off serpents, you’re – you’ll have everything you need. And if you’re stranded in your garage, you’ll also have everything you need. One tool does it all.

    It’s worth 70 bucks but going out to one caller we talk to on the air this hour. We’ll pick one caller from those that reach us with their home improvement question. Why not let that be you? The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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

    CHERYL: I have a cement porch. The house was built 1981 and it has a cement front porch to it. And along the edges of the porch, it’s cracking and crumbling off.

    TOM: OK.

    CHERYL: And then on one portion of the porch, it actually has a – water stands there because it’s a dip. I just wondered if there’s an economical way I can fix that to make this porch last a little bit longer.

    TOM: Yeah. And there’s a couple of things that you can do. You can either resurface the whole porch surface or you could mix up a recipe of QUIKRETE products that could be used to patch those badly chipped or spalled areas.

    Now, the key here is that you just can’t buy a cement mix in the bag, mix it up and be done. Because when you’re trying to adhere new concrete to old concrete, you need to use products that are designed to make that bond possible.

    So if you go to QUIKRETE.com, you look at the listings for projects, there are actually one-sheets there that give you the step-by-step for repairing badly damaged concrete. There’s also a one-sheet for resurfacing concrete. And I think one of those two applications and the products they recommend there are going to work.

    It is a do-it-yourself project and it’s not terribly expensive. The products are very affordable and the instructions are there, too. But make sure you follow them. It’s like mixing a recipe: you can’t leave out one item or it’s just not going to come out right.

    CHERYL: OK. And then, now, as far as along those edges that – we have to probably build up a sidewall.

    TOM: You could mix it up into a consistency where you could trowel it and reform the edge.

    CHERYL: Oh, OK. Cool. So QUIKRETE.com. Thank you so much.

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

    LESLIE: Now we’re heading over to Tennessee where Daniel is dealing with carpenter bees and of course, those lovely, perfectly round, bored holes that they love to make all over your wood house. What’s going on?

    DANIEL: Ah, well, I’ve got these carpenter bees that keep drilling holes into my fascia board, right there underneath my roof. And I filled them in and I’ve repainted and they keep coming back. I don’t know if there’s maybe something I can do to prevent that or something I can use to paint it with.

    TOM: Yeah, a couple of things you can do. First of all, in terms of stopping the bees from coming back, you would have to have the carpenter bees professionally treated with a proper insecticide that will basically exterminate what’s there. Now, even if you did do that, though, they may come back the next season.

    A surefire way to make sure they don’t come back is to replace your wood trim with something that’s not wood. I had this exact problem on a garage on our property and I simply replaced the wood trim with AZEK – A-Z-E-K. And there are other brands, as well, but basically, it’s a cellular PVC material that looks like wood, cuts like wood but the carpenter bees can’t eat it. In fact, it was very humorous to me because after I replaced the fascia with AZEK, the bees kept circling it but they couldn’t figure out why it didn’t taste like wood.

    LESLIE: It’s like, “This looks like wood. I don’t understand.”

    DANIEL: That would actually be absolutely worth doing just to see them circle and …

    TOM: In frustration, yeah. Alright? I hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    Well, maybe you, like me, grew up in a house covered in cedar shakes or shingles. Perhaps you live in one right now. Either way, you’ve got to know this: they are really hard to maintain.

    LESLIE: Yeah. But they don’t have to be, if you go with an engineered shake or shingle. And they’ve been around for a while but a lot of people have complained that they just didn’t really look natural, until now. With Grayne’s Shingle Siding from the Tapco Group, you can finally get that timeless charm of natural cedar, the look you’re really wanting, without all that maintenance headache.

    TOM: Yeah. And the way this happens is Grayne has a graining pattern built in that creates depth and it gives you those shadows, which is very similar to what you might see on actual cedar shake or shingle. And it’s got very sharp edges, so it really does look authentic, not only when you’re looking at them up close but when you’re sort of looking at them from the street, from the curb. They look fantastic.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. But maybe it’s not so much synthetic shingles that bother you as much as their slightly too-organized look once they’re installed. And Grayne has really got that covered, as well. Their patented, dual-offset installation will avoid that stacked look that really tends to be a dead giveaway that those shingles aren’t real wood.

    TOM: Yeah. And the way they do that is they alternate the cuts, which basically gives you a look that is perfectly varied. And it’s just kind of what you would find in the actual cedar product but of course, without all of the maintenance headaches.

    You can learn more about Grayne Shingle Siding from the Tapco Group at G-r-a-y-n-e.com – that’s Grayne.com – or ask your pro today.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Norma from Delaware on the line who wants to know what size pipes you need to get good pressure in the bathroom.

    Norma, that sounds like a personal question. What’s going on at your money pit?

    NORMA: OK. I’m going to install a shower panel.

    TOM: OK.

    NORMA: And in order to get good – the right pressure, how big do the pipes need to be?

    TOM: Right. You said you wanted to install a shower panel? So is this one of these units where it comes in and then fans out to multiple spray heads?

    NORMA: Yeah, the jets, right.

    TOM: How is your water pressure right now?

    NORMA: Pretty good. Well, my house is about eight years old.

    TOM: Oh, if it’s only eight years old and you have pretty good water pressure, you should be OK with this. I will say, though, that the water pressure coming out of multiple showerheads is not going to be as invigorating as coming out of a single showerhead. So, it’s going to give you good coverage but it may not be as strong.

    And I don’t think there’s much that you can do about that. If you’ve got normal street pressure, that’s how those shower-panel units are designed to work. But just be mindful that it’s not likely to be as strong when it’s going to come out of multiple heads, because you basically just need more water to do that.

    NORMA: Oh, OK. Well, I inquired with the builder and he told me that from the basement to the shower floor, I have three-quarter pipes. And then from the floor to the showerhead, ½-inch.

    TOM: And that’s typical. That’s typical. So, that doesn’t change anything.

    NORMA: Oh, OK. Alright. Thank you so much for your help.

    TOM: Good luck with that project. 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: Alright. Now we’ve got Dorothy in Wisconsin on the line who has a Wizard of Oz-themed garden and needs some help with her characters.

    How exciting. Have they blown away many times? Is the house on the witch? What’s going on?

    DOROTHY: Dorothy and my scarecrow have costumes on them and they’re made of cotton, I believe. And I’m looking for a product that is water-repellent and sun-resistant.

    LESLIE: I’m not sure about the UV-rating but there are many products that are made for camping equipment, like tents and sleeping bags, that you would spray on that make the fabric water-resistant. There’s one called KIWI Camp Dry and it’s a heavy-duty waterproofing spray. It’s good for tents and boots. I just don’t know if they’re UV-rated but they definitely do keep things – clothing – water-resistant.

    DOROTHY: Right. I’m trying to find a product that is also UV-protectant.

    LESLIE: You know what? If you head on over to the Trek website – and it’s actually Trek7.com – T-r-e-k-7.com. I just quickly popped over there and I looked at their Aqua Armor product. And it says it’s UV-activated.

    DOROTHY: Oh, I thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Carol in Texas is working on a painting project. How can we lend a hand?

    CAROL: We are painting our bathroom cabinets. They are – they were put in the bathroom in 1980-something. I’m not sure about the date. We bought this house – the people lived in it 28 years and we’ve been here almost 9 years. And they’re kind of a maple color and they’re not very attractive. I’ve used that Orange Glo on them trying to make them look better. I don’t know what they used on them. Probably Liquid Gold or something trying to bring out the sheen.

    But it’s just almost beyond the point. And I’d like to have new cabinets but when we do, we’re probably going to have to redo the whole bathroom, so we decided we would paint them kind of an off-white color.

    What we want to know is: what’s the approach to making that paint stay on?

    LESLIE: Now, you said that the cabinets are a maple color. Are they actually wood and they’re stained?

    CAROL: Yeah, that’s the stain on them. They’re stained.

    LESLIE: So they’re stained wood. It’s not like a thermofoil that looks like wood or a laminate? It’s wood.

    CAROL: No, it’s real wood. They’re real wood cabinets.

    LESLIE: Now, if they’ve been stained and restained over the course of a couple of years and you’ve got a lot of coatings of a cleaner on there, your best bet would be – and this is how I would kind of tackle it. I would remove the doors and the drawer fronts, being very careful about labeling which goes where, you know? A little piece of painters tape on the back side and a little piece on the hinge saying, “A-A,” or “1-1,” just so you know exactly where things go back.

    And I would leave the hinges either on the door or on the box. It’s kind of easier to leave them on the box, just for painting issues. And this way, you know exactly where everything goes back; that just kind of keeps things tidy.

    And then, you really need to get some of that sheen off. So you could do it a couple of different ways. You could use something that’s like a liquid sandpaper that you wipe on that gets rid of some of that sheen. But if it’s a super-high gloss and they’ve been oiled or polished over the years and they’re very sort of gunked up, almost, with a lot of finish on them, you may want to sand them down a little bit. Because you need to get down to something that’s a little bit not so glossy and so built up from years of cleaning and just the yuck that happens in the bathroom, just so that you’ve got a surface that the paint’s going to stick to.

    And once you’ve done that to the doors or drawer fronts and the boxes themselves in the bathroom, you need to prime it very well with a high-quality primer. I would use KILZ or Zinsser – one of those that’ll stick very, very well – let that dry very thoroughly and then go ahead with your top-coat paint. And because it’s in a bathroom and because it’s a high-moisture area and it’s something that you’re going to want to be cleaning a lot, I would go with a glossy finish and an oil base if I can get my hands on one. If not, a glossy latex will do the trick but more durable, of course, would be the oil base.

    CAROL: Thank you and I appreciate your help.

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

    LESLIE: Well, it’s about darn time. Real estate is finally bouncing back after all these rocky years. And for some people, this is the perfect time to buy. Are you one of them? We’ll tell you how to figure that out, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Grayne Engineered Shake and Shingle Siding from The Tapco Group. Contractors can now offer homeowners the charm of natural cedar with none of the maintenance. Visit Grayne.com or ask your pro today.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Well, those that own homes will tell you there is nothing like the feeling of owning your own place. And achieving home ownership is getting a little easier for those with strong credit. Historically low interest rates are making this a great time to buy.

    LESLIE: Yeah. These and other factors are contributing to many first-time homebuyers entering into the market. So here to tell us more is Chris Polychron. And he’s the present of the National Association of Realtors.

    Welcome, Chris.

    CHRIS: Hey. Thank you. And welcome. And I’m glad I’m here today.

    TOM: Well, Chris, we’re very happy to have you, because it’s a great time to buy a house, especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. Why is that?

    CHRIS: Well, I agree with you 100 percent. There’s several reasons. It’s been a little difficult the last several years. Money got tight and it’s still tight, to a degree, but there have been a couple of factors that are helping us. They lowered the GSE or government-sponsored enterprise-type loans like – that’s guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie – Fannie Mac or Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. It got to where you had to have five percent. We recently – it was lowered to three percent. So there’s your first big reason. It lowered your amount of down payment.

    And then maybe something equally as important was the mortgage insurance was lowered from 1.35 to .85 or a half a percent. It doesn’t sound like a lot but on a $200,000 loan, it’s $1,000. And that’s over $90 a month that would come off what you would be making in a payment. So it has made home buying more affordable, especially if – in the first-time homebuyers, where a little is a lot.

    TOM: And when those first-time homebuyers jump into the market, that really fuels the entire market, right? Because you have sort of that move-up effect. First-timers get in and buy their first house. Those folks that sold it move their – buy their next sort of step-up house and on we go, right?

    CHRIS: Tom, I’m going to let you start doing my advertising for me on that.

    But seriously, you’re right. And that is going to happen. Our Chief Economist, Dr. Yun – Lawrence Yun – has predicted a seven-percent home sales rise this year. Now, that’s a bold prediction. That’s higher than most economists are predicting. And what that’s going to mean is if that’s true, a lot of that’s because of solid job gains. We know that. But if that’s true, it’s going to make home buying a little harder, too. Inventory is going to start – that’s been the part of the market that’s been lacking.

    LESLIE: The inventory is low, right?

    CHRIS: Yeah. But we’re also – in first-time homebuyers, we’ve been down 20 percent. I’m rounding numbers there. But still, if the first-time homebuyers do get back in the market, it’s going to make it more competitive, as well.

    Inventory is doing a little better. They’re finally starting to build some homes. We’re seeing some new homes built. I’m speaking of my market but I’m seeing it in other markets, as well. Because I – you know, I travel a lot. But as inventory increases, you’re going to see – we really believe we’re going to have a great year in home sales this year.

    I’m a little disappointed with the weather so far this year. People don’t realize that it doesn’t affect just car dealers and people that have outdoor recreation. It affects all of us and people don’t want to go see homes when it’s raining or snowing. So, it’s – but I’m convinced that’s just about behind us and I think we’re going to have a great year.

    LESLIE: Now, I think it’s interesting because you have so many – especially new homebuyers or first-time homebuyers – doing a lot of their shopping or at least their preliminary looking at homes on the internet. Everything’s online. They’re going to MLS listings. They want to see what’s out there before they even step outside. So, how do you sort of – how do you capture that buyer, when they’re looking at things online, to get them to find their journey with a realtor?

    CHRIS: Here’s what we’ve found. That when agents go to Realtor.com – or I don’t mind Zillow or Trulia or whatever they go to. The bottom line is that they do look for their home on that line but they still want and need a realtor to walk them through the process. Not only the process but let’s face it, the realtor knows his town better. He knows the – geographically, he knows the demographics, he knows a lot more about that market than the individual buying the house. And because of the professionalism that we have and code of ethics, they know that they’re a trusted source.

    And all those lines, all the portals are now having – find a realtor on their site. And you can actually go in and try to match a realtor to your personality.

    TOM: We’re talking to Chris Polychron. He is the president of the National Association of Realtors.

    So, Chris, if we are planning to buy our very first house, how do you tell folks that are in that position to kind of get ready for the experience? Obviously, you’ve got to get qualified for a mortgage, you’ve got to find your house. Any advice to kind of help coach those folks along?

    CHRIS: Well, of course, I’m going to tell you that I think it’s important to find a good realtor you can trust, first, to help you through the process. Now, what that realtor is going to tell you is that – first thing he’s going to tell you to do and ask you to do is to get qualified. And you can do that through a mortgage company or a bank.

    And if you’re prequalified – let’s say you live in a market to where it’s a good market and houses are – sometimes have more than one offer. If that’s the case and you’re already prequalified, you’re going to be a little ahead of the game.

    That realtor is going to know the market and he’s going to – after you talk to that client a little bit, you’re going to know what kind of home he wants to look at. And you’re going to narrow it down and show him fewer homes that will fulfill his needs more quickly. And just the knowledge that they have of the local market conditions is a tremendous asset for a realtor. And it really helps in making the process much easier for the potential buyer.

    TOM: Couldn’t agree with you more. Chris Polychron, the president of the National Association of Realtors, thank you so much for being a part of The Money Pit, Chris.

    CHRIS: Listen, I always enjoy it and I certainly hope to hear from you soon.

    TOM: And if you’d like to purchase your first home or maybe your tenth home, the one place to start is Realtor.com. That’s R-e-a-l-t-o-r.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. Well, let’s talk about some TV gold. There is a new, surprising face on home improvement television. We’ll tell you all about it and who that is, when The Money Pit continues.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Pavestone’s easy-to-stack RumbleStone Rustic Building Blocks. Create any outdoor hardscape you can imagine, to instantly add old-world charm. Available at The Home Depot. For more information and product instructions, visit Pavestone.com.

    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. One caller that we talk to on the air this hour is going to take a piece of Hollywood and wilderness home, with Les Stroud’s – the TV Survivorman – multi-tool and desert folding knife.

    TOM: Les is better known as Discovery Channel’s Survivorman. And these two tools will help you survive any indoor or outdoor headaches. It’s a prize combo worth almost 70 bucks. So give us a call, right now, for your chance to win at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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

    AUDREY: Well, in my children’s bathroom, we have a vinyl floor. And it is separating from the bathtub and it doesn’t look like there’s any caulking there, to begin with. And so I can see a small section of the subfloor.

    LESLIE: OK. Which is not good.

    AUDREY: Right. And so when I lay down the vinyl, it doesn’t reach to the tub. So I’m just trying to find the best way to fill that small space so as the children get in and out of the bathtub, the subfloor does not get wet.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Probably because you get a lot of movement with the flooring, especially with the vinyl floor, your best bet is probably not going to be to use a filler or a caulk of some sort but to actually put another piece of flooring, perhaps like a shoe molding or a cove molding, something that’s small, that’s curved that could bridge that gap between the tub and the floor. And this way, it’ll cover over that opening. It’ll protect it from whatever water is spilling over. Because if your kids are like my kids, for some reason they just pour buckets of water right out of the tub, because it’s fun. And why not?

    AUDREY: Right. And so I’m trying to preserve that. Because they’re only three, five and seven, so we have a long way to go.

    LESLIE: So I think if you’re using some sort of a shoe molding that’s in the same material or the same look as the vinyl flooring or even a cove molding – you can get that in rubber. This way, it just sort of bridges the gap and will protect that from the water. And you want it, obviously, to be vinyl or rubber, yeah.

    AUDREY: OK. Great. And that’s pretty easy to install?

    TOM: Yeah, it’s basic carpentry skills, you know. It could be a little bit tricky because it’s going to bend. But if you get the PVC molding – the flexible molding – you should be able to work it in slowly but surely. I would predrill the nail holes. I would not try to nail right through without predrilling it first.


    TOM: But once you get it set in place, you can fill those nail holes and you can caulk over the top and bottom lip of it and paint it and you’ll be good to go.

    AUDREY: OK. Great. Thank you so much.

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

    LESLIE: Well, Vanilla Ice has done it, so has William Shatner. And now that unforgettable 80s icon, Mr. T, is joining the ranks of celebrities hosting a home improvement television show.

    TOM: That’s right. The former star of A-Team is set to star in a new DIY Network series titled I Pity the Tool. That’s right, a play based on his catch phrase “I pity the fool.”

    LESLIE: That is excellent.

    This really isn’t the first time that Mr. T has dabbled in the trades. It actually turns out that he worked in the demolition business before he became a television star and obviously, a household name that we all know and love.

    TOM: And he’ll have a little help. Because on the new series, Mr. T and co-host Tiffany Brooks, who’s the winner of HGTV’s Design Star, will demolish outdated houses to give families a new home of their dreams. I Pity the Tool premieres later this year.

    LESLIE: Don in Pennsylvania is on the line with a roofing-and-ventilation question. Tell us what’s going on.

    DON: We live in a house. It’s about 60 years old now. It has gable vents in the attic, regular style roof. And anyway, the roofer suggested that when the house was reroofed, that we put a full-length ridge vent in the house. The house is an L-shape with (inaudible at 0:31:17) that actually makes the back a T.

    So, anyway, the first year after the roof was changed, went through winter, wound up – we noticed discoloration in the ceiling – in the Armstrong ceiling in our office. And so I went upstairs and found out there was 2 inches of snow in the attic.

    TOM: Uh-oh.

    DON: So I wondered, did we go to the point of having too much ventilation? Because we never had trouble before.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s really not possible to have too much venting done.

    Now, the type of vent – ridge vent – that the roofer put in, what he should have put in is something called a “filter vent.” And a filter vent basically has a filtering material, right inside the ridge vent, that’s designed to be a weather filter. So it stops the snow from blowing in. If that filter part is missing, that might be the reason you’re getting a lot of snow. But as I said, if a little bit of snow is blowing in, I wouldn’t worry about it. If a lot of snow is blowing in and it’s happening a lot, then you might want to consider replacing that ridge vent with the right type.

    DON: I see. Thank you.

    LESLIE: Sandra in South Dakota has a question about tile flooring. How can we help you with your project?

    SANDRA: We bought a house that was built in ’78 and I don’t think it’s been updated since then.

    TOM: OK.

    SANDRA: And I want to start my redo with my bathroom.

    TOM: Alright.

    SANDRA: And I’ve been wondering – I don’t know whether I should go porcelain or ceramic or – I’m stuck on what type of tile I should use.

    TOM: OK. So, I see here that you told our screener that you want a tile that can hold up to cats, dogs and kids.

    SANDRA: Yes.

    TOM: Either porcelain or ceramic will work but porcelain will be very expensive for you. And ceramic tile, there’s so many options in it. As long as you get a glazed tile and that you use an epoxy grout, that combination will be very easy to clean.

    SANDRA: OK, great. Thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Well, if you’re looking for a place to get away, it might be closer than you think. We’re going to have some cool, new uses for an old backyard staple, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by QUIKRETE. It’s what America is made of. For project help, from start to finish, download the new QUIKRETE mobile app.

    TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. And it’s time for our annual home improvement pilgrimage to Vegas, which is the scene of the National Hardware Show. And it’s kind of a place where all the industry insiders get to take a look at the new products before they make their way onto the store shelves near you.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And you get to hear about them first, because Team Money Pit is on the show floor and we are bringing you all of our top-product picks, like the new Werner Podium Ladders. Not only do they let you work facing any direction but they’ve got a large standing platform and a wraparound guardrail that kind of keeps you safe. And it actually gives you a confidence, because it all feels like everything’s within your reach. And you can see them at The Home Depot this spring.

    TOM: And you can get more great product picks when you follow the hashtag #TopProductsNHS on Twitter and fan The Money Pit on Facebook.

    And be sure to check out, also, our online Top Product Gallery at MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. And while you’re online, post a question, just like Dave in Massachusetts did. And Dave writes: “Is composite decking really worth the expense? The materials are five to six times the cost of wood. How well does it hold up over time? There are some very poor reviews of composite decking on the internet. Are these isolated cases? We were intending to put up a 400-square-foot composite deck but now we’re concerned.”

    TOM: Well, first of all, most of the negative reviews on composites are based on decks that are really, really, really old. Because, initially, they were sort of just wood fiber and plastic mixed together. And the wood fibers would develop, sometimes, a bit of an algae or something like that that people didn’t like to clean.

    But the bottom line is that they’re definitely worth the expense. It’s a really good choice. Those maintenance issues don’t exist anymore. The key difference in today’s composite boards is they’re capped; they are surrounded with a plastic sleeve, so to speak, that’s very, very durable and very protective.

    And the other thing I like about it is the fasteners are hidden, so you don’t see them. You don’t face-nail or face-screw these things anymore. It’s completely hidden when it’s done, so it’s a really good choice. It’s going to stand up for an awfully long time with almost no maintenance. Just soap and water.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And they look really nice. And depending on which ones you pick, they can actually look very natural.

    TOM: Well, sometimes there’s just no extra space under your roof for peace and quiet. And if that’s the case, you might want to consider a space under a clear roof instead – a clear greenhouse roof, that is. Greenhouses are getting into the backyard-getaway game. And Leslie has tips, in this week’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, it seems kind of unfair: men have their man caves but whether you’re a male or a female, you might want something with a little less oomph and maybe a little more ahh. Well, if that’s what you’re looking for in your own getaway space, it might be time to consider a greenhouse.

    Now, greenhouses really aren’t just for plants anymore. They’ve been finding they’re working double-duty as a space where you can relax, exercise, maybe nap or read a book or even work on crafts, all in the presence of soothing plant life. You can add touches like hammocks, outdoor furniture, all-weather flooring systems. And that can really dress up your greenhouse. But even without them, they’re a great way to get away without leaving your own yard. Now, that’s whether you’re in there to tend to the plants or just to hang out and read a book.

    And if a greenhouse isn’t an option on your property, you can recreate that feeling in a garden shed, with plenty of greenery, outdoor furniture and a yoga mat. Make sure you have the proper lighting that will make you feel like you are in almost an outdoor space. Because lighting is always key when you’re in a space with no windows. And that really will help you create that getaway that’s the perfect retreat for you, right in your own backyard.

    TOM: Hey, we already have those, for guys. We call them “sheds.”

    888-666-3974. We welcome your call any time of the day or the night on The Money Pit.

    Coming up next time on the program, some projects are best left to the pros but a real pro can be tough to find. We’ll have tips on how to find top contractors in your neck of the woods, 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 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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