00:00/ 00:00
  • Transcript

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Here to help you with your home improvement project. We want to help you with that do-it-yourself dilemma, the project that you know you need to get done. Perhaps you don’t know where to start. Start by calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    Well, it’s hurricane season and if you have a portable generator, you are in the game. But if you’ve got a standby generator, you could be one step ahead of the game. We’re going to explain why standby generators save time and money in the long run and can even, according to the latest research, add value to your home.

    LESLIE: Also ahead, we’ve got garage storage solutions for you to take back that overcrowded and underused space.

    TOM: Plus, we’ve got some tips for a great summer project: building an outdoor fireplace. You’ve seen these in the high-end home magazines and gazed at them longingly but no more. It’s a totally doable do-it-yourself project and we are going to tell you how.

    LESLIE: Plus, one caller we talk to this hour is going to win a $40 prize pack from Concrobium. It’s a fantastic mold-cleaning and prevention product, which you can learn all about at CureMyMold.com.

    TOM: So let’s get to it. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: Pam in Colorado is on the line. How can we help you today?

    PAM: We have floors throughout our house. Most of them are carpeted that squeaks, like bedrooms, hallway, living room, stairs, things like that and then a bathroom that has the vinyl flooring – the laminate flooring. And we’ve tried – there was a little kit that you could buy at Ace Hardware where you find the floor joists and then you put screws every so often down into the joists, I guess, and that didn’t work. It only made it worse.

    TOM: So you’re trying to fix a squeaky floor that’s under what kind of flooring material? Carpet?

    PAM: Yes, carpet. I’m sorry, yes, carpet.

    TOM: Alright. And it’s wall-to-wall carpet?

    PAM: Yes, it is.

    TOM: Alright. So, here’s the trick of the trade, Pam. You ready?

    PAM: I am ready. I am so ready.

    TOM: What you want to do – the first thing you need is a good stud finder. You’re going to get a Stanley stud sensor so that you can use a device – electronic device. It’ll allow you to sort of peek through the carpet and identify exactly where the floor joists are below.

    And once you identify the floor joists, what you’re going to do is take a Number 10 or Number 12 galvanized finish nail. And we say “galvanized” because it’s a little rougher than a regular, plated finish nail; it tends to hold better. And then you’re going to drive that at a slight angle, like about a 15-degree angle, right through the carpet and right through the subfloor and right into the floor joist.

    Now, when you do that, you’ll notice that the carpet sort of sags down and gets dimpled where the nail head goes through. The trick is to grab the nap of the carpet right around the nail head and pull it through the nail head. It’ll pop through and then you sort of brush the carpet and you’ll – that nail will disappear below it and you won’t see it again. So you can get away with actually fixing a squeak through carpet with this trick of the trade.

    PAM: Oh, wow. That would be awesome. And again, could you tell me the type of nail one more time?

    TOM: Yeah, a Number 10 or a Number 12 galvanized finish nail.

    PAM: OK. Number 10 or Number 12, floor joist at a 15-degree angle.

    TOM: Yeah. But you’ve got to find that joist or you’re – you can’t be nailing into air, you know? You want to make sure you’re nailing into the floor joist, OK?

    PAM: OK. Thanks so much. You have an awesome show.

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

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Rick in Nebraska on the line who’s dealing with a sinking driveway. Tell us what’s going on.

    RICK: It’s starting to drop down. The house is a townhouse, actually, and it’s only about eight years old. What’s happening is my driveway is sinking down about an inch-and-a-half from my garage floor and I don’t know for sure how to cure this. It’s starting to crack down. I’ve got a crack about, oh, probably 6 foot going down from the garage.

    TOM: So tell me something, Rick. Because it’s a townhouse, are you responsible for the driveway?

    RICK: Yes, I am.

    TOM: OK. Hmm. Well, unfortunately, the reason it happens is – and especially in a newer townhouse like this – is it’s obviously the last thing that’s installed. And all of the soil that was excavated to build that townhouse settles and it settles a lot in the first decade that the home is up. And the driveway, they probably didn’t do a very good job tamping down that soil and properly preparing the base, so that’s kind of what you’re stuck with.

    So your options are to put an additional layer on the driveway or to tear it up and build it anew from scratch and kind of do it right. I would be tempted, since it’s down an inch-and-a-half, to put another layer on that because the settlement on it is probably fairly slow. And I think you could probably get away with putting another layer on and get away with it for several years. And at that point, if it settles any further, you can go ahead and tear it up.

    But you might want to get prices both ways. Because if you tear it up and you put in a proper stone base and it’s tamped correctly, the driveway doesn’t have to ever crack. But the standards, in terms of what makes a good driveway, have to be kind of established.

    A driveway is a light-duty version of a road and you don’t see roads sink and crack that readily but you see that more with driveways because the contractors don’t put the stone depth into it, they don’t compact it like you do a road. And you can do all that and have a driveway be permanent.

    But I think I would also think about how long I’m going to be in the townhouse. If it’s a really long-term home for me, then I’m more likely to make a deeper investment than if it’s a short-term home.

    Alright, Rick. Well, there’s your options. 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 question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Still to come, are you worried about power outages during the summer storm season? Well, rest easy when you get a standby generator. We’ll tell you why, after this.

    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.

    Now, one caller that we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a spring-cleaning prize pack from Concrobium worth 50 bucks. Now, it’s going to come complete with everything you’ll need to get rid of mold for good, including a bottle of Concrobium Mold Control, a bottle of Concrobium Mold Stain Eraser and a jug of Concrobium House & Deck Wash.

    TOM: And what’s great about Concrobium is that it can clean up mold indoors and outdoors. It completely removes mold stains. It eliminates mold and prevents it from coming back. You can fight mold like a pro with Concrobium Mold Solutions.

    Visit CureMyMold.com for more information. And call us, right now, for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Joseph on the line with an electrical question. What’s going on at your money pit?

    JOSEPH: I’ve got an older house. It was built in the 1940s and my daughter’s nursery, the overhead fan and lights work but none of the sockets in the room function. And I have no breakers that have tripped.

    TOM: So somewhere, those sockets are disconnected. Now, are you sure the sockets are not connected to a light switch?

    JOSEPH: I am 99-percent positive, sir.

    TOM: There’s a seed of a doubt there that perhaps they could be. You know, sometimes the light – the outlets are operated by a light switch. But I would say that it’s not normal for that to happen in a 1940s house.

    But what you need to do is this – and when I say “you need to do,” more accurately an electrician needs to do. You’ve got to get into the wiring that’s supplying those outlets and try to figure out why it’s disconnected. I can’t imagine a reason it would have been physically disconnected, which means it’s most likely some failure in the wiring of the outlets themselves. But if you open up the outlets, you can see if you have hot wires there and try to figure out at what point they became de-energized. Because they are probably wired in series, so the wiring goes from one to the next to the next. And you need to do a little bit more investigation to figure out why that is.

    But it’s really not a do-it-yourself project. I don’t want you to make a mistake and I don’t want you to get electrocuted.

    JOSEPH: Yes, sir. Then I will definitely look at calling an electrician.

    LESLIE: Sarah in Iowa needs some help with a carpeting project. Tell us what you’re working on.

    SARAH: I have a house built in 1975. And when it was built, they installed this carpet in the breakfast, kitchen and unfortunately, bathroom areas. And it’s glued down. It’s really low pile, almost like linoleum.

    TOM: Is it on a wood floor or is it concrete?

    SARAH: It’s on – just on the wood subfloor. And I did try to scrape it out of the little bathroom area that we had and it took hours and hours of hand-scraping. And I probably did some damage to the subfloor in doing it.

    TOM: Well, the subfloor is not a finished floor, right? It’s a 1974 house. It’s probably plywood. Is that correct?

    SARAH: Yes, it’s plywood.

    TOM: So, can you pull up the carpet part itself with – obviously, leaving the glue behind? But will the carpet part peel off?

    SARAH: If I pull up the carpet part itself, what gets left behind is this black, spongy gunk that I can kind of scrape off. And then the bottom part of the black is glued onto the floor.

    TOM: What I want you to do is to pull the carpet up and then I want you to put a new piece of subfloor down on top of that using ¼-inch luan plywood. It’s very inexpensive and it’s the easiest way to get back to a surface that you can work with.

    I would not try to remove the glue from the subfloor. It’s just not worth it; it’s a rather impossible job. So, I would just opt for a smooth surface by adding another layer of subfloor on top of that. And then whatever you want to put on top of that, you can, whether it’s more carpet or whether it’s laminate or tile or whatever.

    But just pull up the carpet so – because you don’t want to sandwich carpet in between this. Pull the carpet up, then you’ll just be sandwiching the old glue and that’ll be fine, OK?

    SARAH: OK. Fantastic.

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

    LESLIE: Well, it’s hurricane season and just the sound of that phrase sends a chill up our spines here in the Northeast. You know, Superstorm Sandy, it changed people and it really is fresh in everyone’s minds. Hundreds of thousands of people on the Jersey Shore alone lost power and more homeowners than ever are preparing themselves for outages, with a portable generator.

    TOM: Now, you can go one step further and install an automatic standby generator, like the ones that are made by KOHLER, a proud Money Pit sponsor.

    Now, a standby generator is permanently installed and directly connected to your home’s electrical system. It runs on the same natural gas or propane that also fuels your home. And in tandem, it works with an automatic transfer switch. The generator starts automatically when that system detects a utility outage, usually within 10 seconds or less, so it’s really fast.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And KOHLER also offers monitoring capabilities so you can manage your automatic standby generator from a laptop or your mobile device, which is a very handy feature to have.

    TOM: Visit KOHLERGenerators.com for a variety of helpful tools, including a sizing calculator, instructional videos and a dealer locator. That’s all online at KOHLERGenerators.com.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Joe in Illinois on the line with a plumbing question. How can we help you today?

    JOE: We just got through renovating the kitchen or – well, we’re almost through with renovating the kitchen. And the brass fitting inside the wall, when they put everything together, the galvanized nipple was cross-threaded into it.

    TOM: OK.

    JOE: And so when I went down – and I mean I cleaned out an unbelievable amount of corrosion. Had to use naval jelly to get all the rust out and finally got the threads cleaned up real good. And got the galvanized pipe and doped it up and went to screw it in and it would only go so far. When I backed it out, cleaned it back up again and took a look, it’s cross-threaded, because that brass is softer.

    TOM: Huh. Right.

    JOE: And what I wanted to find out, is there any kind of a thread repair tool that I can get? I’m fairly adept with construction stuff. My dad was a general contractor and he didn’t like giving kids money but he’d let you earn all you wanted to. So, as a consequence, I got a little bit of working knowledge.

    TOM: Well, look, if you were a plumber, you would probably have a tap that was big enough to clean that up, but that’s a pretty expensive piece of equipment. Now, you’re trying to connect a piece of galvanized to a piece of brass and you can’t thread them together, so the other option that comes to mind is a Fernco, which is like a rubber boot with two radiator clamps on either side. And a lot of times, when you’re using – when you’re trying to attach dissimilar drain pipes like that, you can use a Fernco. You get them together as best you can using a Fernco around the outside and strap them up and that keeps it nice and tight and it’s really easy to do.

    JOE: Is that a readily available – and how permanent is that?

    TOM: It’s very permanent. I would go not to a home center for that but I would go to a plumbing supply center and explain the situation. And make sure you measure the pipes because they come different sizes based on what you’re trying to connect.

    JOE: I do appreciate the advice, sir.

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

    LESLIE: Cindy in Delaware is on the line with some plumbing odors.

    Tell us what is going on, Cindy.

    CINDY: I have dual sinks in the master bathroom.

    TOM: Right.

    CINDY: And every once in a while, I get a strong sewer smell.

    TOM: OK.

    CINDY: I don’t know what’s causing it. It doesn’t matter if I run the water or flush the toilet but the left bowl connects the – underneath the pipe connects to the right one and it goes down into the – under the house.

    TOM: OK. Well, assuming that they were plumbed correctly – and that you, in fact, have a plumbing trap there, which I’m going to presume you are – the odor is probably the result of something called biogas, which is – basically happens when you get a lot of debris over the years. And it lines the inside of the pipe and it lines the inside of the connections, the drain and so on. And then that material will start to produce a pretty strong odor.

    So what you need to do is take the drain apart and use a bottle brush to scrub the inside of it. You can’t just run something down there. You physically have to scrub it – those pipes – out. And that usually will eliminate that material and therefore the odor.

    CINDY: OK. OK. Because I had used – tried vinegar and baking soda.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s all good stuff but if it’s really building up like that, you’re going to have to remove the scum, so to speak, that’s containing all that bacteria that’s producing the odor.

    CINDY: OK. Alright. Thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Alright. Tom in Missouri is calling in with a pretty crazy question. His garage is pulling away from the house. Tell us what’s going on.

    TOM IN MISSOURI: My garage is pulling away from the side of my house. And we determined it was a gutter-overflow problem and we got that rectified. And now I’m wondering how to get my garage back up to where that it’s not pulling away from the house. It’s pulled away an inch or so.

    TOM: OK. Once a building moves, because there is water that got under the foundation or whatever caused it to rotate, you can’t shove it back to kind of close that gap. So, you need to get used to it in its present position.

    But tell me this: is the gap that’s opened up, is that a problem from a weather perspective? Is water getting into the building?


    TOM: Does the roof of the garage attach to the side of the building above it or next to it? Is that where the leakage issue is?


    TOM: Alright. So what you’re going to need to do is you’re going to need to reflash that: essentially take apart the roofing in that area and replace it, reroof that 1- to 2-foot strip between the garage roof and the adjoining building. Because that’s pulled apart, I can only imagine that all of the flashing is extended and there’s lots of places for water to get in there. If you don’t do that, during driving rain the water will get down between the garage roof and the second-floor side wall of your house. And that’s going to cause leaks and rot and all kinds of problems.

    So you’re going to have to tear out the roof where it joins the building and replace it. But now that you’ve fixed the gutter problem, you’ve got the foundation stable again, that should really take care of it for the long run.

    Tom, good project for you there. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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

    LAURIE: We have a Chamberlain ¼-horsepower, garage-door opener and it has no remote.

    TOM: OK.

    LAURIE: We bought the house as-is, so we have no remote for it. Also, it has a keypad on the outside, which I’m unable to use. So, my question was: if I go to Home Depot or Lowe’s, would a universal remote work or do I have to call a garage-door company out to sell us a Chamberlain remote and program it?

    TOM: Why don’t you do this? Why don’t you get the model number of the Chamberlain garage-door opener, which is probably printed on the back of the unit, go to the Chamberlain website and get the owner’s manual for the door opener? With that owner’s manual, you should be able to program the keypad. It’ll tell you the right sequence to do that. And also, you most likely can find out from Chamberlain exactly which remote is designed to work with that unit.

    Now, Chamberlain is a very good company and in fact, they have a new technology that’s called MyQ. And the cool thing about the MyQ technology is you can actually put this MyQ unit in your garage and then you’ll be able to open and close your garage door with your smartphone. So, they’re way ahead of the game on this stuff.

    LAURIE: Yeah. That’s what I was going to ask you, too. Is this one too old to do that?

    TOM: I think it actually works on every garage-door opener that was built after 1996, so it may not be. It might be fine.

    LESLIE: Can’t remember if it’s ’96 or ’94.

    TOM: Yeah, it goes back over 10 years.

    LAURIE: Good. OK. Because this one is about six years old.

    TOM: I think that’s how I would proceed. I would not just go buy something and hope it works. I would do the research and you’ll figure it out. OK, Laurie?

    LAURIE: OK. I’ll go on their web page. Thank you for the advice.

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

    LESLIE: Hey, are you one of those folks that has everything in your garage except your car? Join the club, guys. We’re going to share some storage solutions to help you get back that garage space, next.

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

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Pick up the phone, give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We are here to help you get the job done.

    LESLIE: Bill in Hawaii has got a squeaky faucet.

    Bill, tell us what’s going on.

    BILL: When I turn a faucet on anywhere in the house or I flush a toilet, I hear – there’s a high-pitched whine. And it doesn’t seem to make any difference where and which faucet, whether it’s hot or cold or upstairs or downstairs. I get this quite high-pitched whine or high tone in the plumbing.

    LESLIE: Does it go away after it’s been running awhile or does it stay on?

    BILL: No. As long as I have a faucet on, it continues.

    Now, I went on the internet and one of the suggestions was that there was a pressure regulator on the input water to the house. So, a month ago, I was pulling and adjusted that one way and it got worse. So just yesterday, I went and turned it the other way and now it seems to get better. Now it just has a high-pitched whine when you turn it on or shut it off but not during. Is that a possible – something wrong there?

    TOM: Yeah. I mean it’s probably the pressure regulator or even the main water valve. And the reason that you have such a loud noise is because plumbing makes a really good transmitter of sound, you know? So, if you get a little bit of noise down one end of it, it will transmit through the entire house. And the fact that this is consistent no matter where you are in the house and what you turn on means that it should be at the main, coming into the house, because that’s the only pipe that’s on all the time.

    So, I think you’re onto something there with the pressure regulator and I would consider having that replaced and/or the main valve replaced, because I think that’s where the sound is coming from, based on what you’ve just described.

    BILL: Alright. Well, hey, very good. I appreciate it.

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

    Well, does your overstuffed, underused garage need a makeover? You can easily take back that space with Gladiator by Whirlpool. Our newest sponsor has three great product lines to help organize not only your garage but your laundry room, your home office, your mud room or even your playroom.

    LESLIE: First up, the Gladiator Adjustable Workbench. Now, what’s really convenient about this is that it’s easily adjustable to the exact height of your preferred working style. It comes in maple or solid bamboo and get this: it can hold up to 3,000 pounds.

    TOM: That’s a lot of junk. It will hold everything.

    LESLIE: Seriously.

    TOM: And next, the Gladiator Chillerator Garage Refrigerator is tough enough to stand the test of time in the garage and stylish enough to be used inside your home. It’s specifically built to stand up to the intense heat and cold in those garage spaces. That’s going to keep stored food at just the right temperature all year round.

    LESLIE: And finally, the Gladiator Select Series featuring a brand-new finish: Everest White. Now, this is a softer alternative to the traditional tread-plate design, which makes it ideal for your office or even a laundry room.

    TOM: Now, Gladiator storage solutions are great. They keep you organized, not just in the garage but throughout your home, with designs that can awaken your creativity and reflect your style. Visit GladiatorGarageWorks.com.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Maria in Delaware on the line who needs help with a paneling/painting project.

    So you’ve got a new house and it’s got a lot of it, huh, Maria?

    MARIA: It sure does. About 25 years ago, the paneling was probably very popular but I’m really tired of looking at it. We tried painting one room and we sanded it a little bit, primed it and painted it. I’m OK with that but my husband is not because you can still see the grooves through the paint. So we were wondering if there was a way to take care of those grooves – maybe spackling it or whatever – but we didn’t want the spackling to later flake out or chip off and cause more problems than we already have. So, hopefully, you know of some way that we can do this without just taking all the paneling down.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Anything that you’re going to fill in is just going to come out, just like you think. So, really, the best thing is to either sheathe over it with a ½-inch drywall or take the paneling off and put drywall on.

    MARIA: OK. A ½-inch drywall. So, how would that affect the molding that we have? All of that would have to be replaced, as well, like around windows, everything?

    TOM: Yeah, you’d have to pull that off.

    The thing is, what you might want to try first, though, is just removing the paneling and seeing what’s underneath it. Because there might be a halfway decent wall underneath and if you’re lucky enough to find out that the paneling was not glued to those walls, then maybe you can just repair the wall, spackle the nail holes, fix any tear – torn areas – or any other damage and then just paint the walls again. Because that paneling was often nailed on with a very thin ring nail.

    MARIA: Yes, it was nailed on. I can see the nails in that.

    TOM: Yeah, it usually pulls off pretty easily. So I would – first thing I would do is pull that paneling off. Nothing you put over that paneling, in terms of – there’s no way to really fill it in, because I know what you’re asking us to do. But there’s no way to do that, because it’s going to crack and fall out and it’s going to look worse than it does now.

    So if you don’t like the painted look and you want to go back to just a clean wall, I would take the paneling down. Do it one wall at a time, one area at a time, until you get the hang of it. And this way, you can almost not do any molding work whatsoever because, generally, that stuff is cut around the molding or you can cut the paneling really tight to the molding and leave it there.

    MARIA: OK. Thank you both so much for your help.

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

    LESLIE: Still to come, a beautiful solution to adding curb appeal with a do-it-yourself product that’s easy to use.

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

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    And one caller we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a spring-cleaning prize pack from Concrobium worth 50 bucks. Now, the winner gets a bottle of Concrobium Mold Control, a bottle of Concrobium Mold Stain Eraser and a jug of Concrobium House & Deck Wash.

    LESLIE: Yeah, that’s enough Concrobium to keep your house mold-free for quite a bit of time. And what’s really great about Concrobium is that it cleans indoors and outdoors and it will completely remove mold stains, eliminate mold and prevent it from coming back.

    TOM: You can visit CureMyMold.com for more information. But call us, right now, for the answer to your home improvement question and your chance to win at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Chuck in Delaware on the line whose kids dropped something in the bathtub, which caused a huge crack and now a leak. What is going on?

    CHUCK: Oh, they dropped a shave-cream can into the bottom of the tub. It put a semicircle crack in it. And I’m wondering if there’s anything that I can use to stop this from – when they step on it, it leaks.

    TOM: Yeah. Look, you can repair it. It’s not going to be pretty but you can repair it. And you said it’s a fiberglass tub?

    CHUCK: Yes.

    TOM: So, you could pick up a fiberglass repair kit. They’re available from a number of manufacturers. Two that you would know would be Bondo, which makes a lot of fiberglass products. They’re big in industry, they’re big in auto body. And them, of course, there’s Elmer’s. They have a tub-and-shower repair kit, as well. But I would probably get the Bondo kit and you could put a fiberglass patch on there.

    But the color on it is – it’s always going to show; you’re going to see it. But you can repair it structurally so it won’t leak, because they need to be able to step on it without it bending and cracking. And if you repair it with Bondo, you’re going to basically apply the resin, you’re going to press fiberglass into it and then apply additional resin to make it strong.

    CHUCK: Alright. Well, I appreciate your help.

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

    LESLIE: Pam in Missouri is on the line with a lighting question. How can we help you today?

    PAM: I have fluorescent lights in my kitchen and two other rooms and they are recessed into the ceiling. They’re the kind like you would put maybe into a shop: those 3- or 4-foot-long tubes, T8 bulbs that I hear are going away?

    TOM: Yep. Yes. Uh-huh.

    PAM: What can I do?

    TOM: So, are you having trouble finding the bulbs? Is that what you’re concerned about?

    PAM: I am not now but I’m – hear that they will be not used anymore.

    TOM: Yeah. But they last so darn long. Why don’t you just go shop online and buy a case of them and call it a day? I mean really. Yeah, they’ll be harder to find but they’re going to be available because a lot – there’s a lot of industrial folks that use those in offices and that sort of thing. So I wouldn’t fret too much about that.

    Listen, if you want to change your lights at some point, then you can plan that project. But I wouldn’t tell you to rip out and remove all your lighting fixtures now just because you’re worried about a supply problem. I’d just go pick up a case of these things. They last forever. And then put the project off until you’re ready to do some real remodeling.

    PAM: I’d rather do that because, otherwise, I’d have a big hole in the ceiling that would have to be patched.

    TOM: Yeah, exactly. It’s a bigger project for you because they’re built-in. So you’re going to have to take them out, you’re going to have to drywall over the holes. It’s a big job, so – no, I would just pick up a case of the bulbs and live with it for a while, OK?

    PAM: Great. That’s easy for me. Thanks.

    TOM: Yeah, they’re not too expensive. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    Well, if improving your outdoor space is a project for this summer, RumbleStone is a new, easy-to-use block product from Pavestone that can help.

    Now, RumbleStone Series provides a set of rustic building blocks for your outdoor hardscape projects. They’re made of concrete and they are a utility-block system that come in four sizes. You can use any of the sizes on their own or combine them to create a very unique project.

    LESLIE: Yeah, they’re really easy to assemble. There’s no cutting needed. You just stack and bond with adhesive. You can do so many things with RumbleStone.

    Now, some ideas include an outdoor fireplace or what about a low wall around your patio? This is going to create some extra seating and even help you define that space. You can also use them to do a ring around a tree, you can do built-in planters or even a stone marker for your driveway.

    TOM: Yep. Whether the project is simple or complex, large or small, the possibilities for creative expression are far and wide, just like your imagination. You can create beautiful landscapes with RumbleStone from Pavestone. They are available at The Home Depot.

    LESLIE: Luke in Illinois is on the line with a roofing question. What can we do for you?

    LUKE: So I have gotten a few people to – estimates. I want to put steel roofing on my house. And one guy will tell me that I need to sheet it and the next guy will say that I can put it over the shingles. And I didn’t know what the standard process for that is. And now, I was also told by the same contractor, “Well, every few years, you have to replace the screws.” And that – I had never heard that before.

    LESLIE: Yeah, that’s something we’ve never heard.

    Now, when it comes to whether or not to remove the existing roof or shingles, I should say, before you go ahead and put on a metal roof – I mean in this instance, a metal roof is expensive. They’re very long-lasting, up to 50 years, and they’re beautiful. And I think the situation would be that you would want to remove the existing shingles, just to give yourself nice, smooth sheathing to go on top of – less weight on the roof, less heat being trapped and best usage of your money and use of the metal roof.

    TOM: Luke, what kind of roof do you have now? Under the asphalt shingles, do you have solid sheathing?

    LUKE: Only on part. I have a house that’s over, probably, 200 years old. And it has – what they did – I’d say a shifty contractor put tar paper over the – where the slats were for the shake.

    TOM: Did you have original, wood, cedar shakes underneath that?

    LUKE: No, it’s just – they just tore all the shake off and just put tar paper over it.

    TOM: OK, look, the best thing for you to do here, as Leslie said, is to strip down to those rafters, re-sheathe the roof, then put the metal roof on top of that. Yeah, it’ll be less expensive to put the metal roof over the asphalt but you’re not going to get as clean or neat of a job.

    And there’s really no point in adding to the way it’s been assembled right now, in kind of the inappropriate way it’s been assembled now, by sandwiching those shingles forever underneath that metal roof. I would take it completely down. And the guy that’s telling you to do that is, I think, giving you the best advice.

    LUKE: Alright. Well, thank you very much for answering my questions.

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

    LESLIE: Coming up, it’s the time of year for outdoor dining. But balancing a plate on your lap does have one unwanted side effect: food stains. Come on, it’s bound to happen.

    TOM: Learn how to get rid of the most popular picnic stains, after this.

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

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    Well, deer and rabbits, they’re so cute and of course, they’re such a welcome sign of spring except when they’re walking around your money pit and eating up all of your landscaping. Well, head on over to MoneyPit.com and search “local wildlife.” We’ve got tips there on keeping these lovely yet somewhat annoying animals away from all of your hard work.

    And while you’re there, you can post a question, just like Jake in Delaware did. And Jake writes: “How do I know if my downspout points my gutter drainage far enough away from my home?”

    TOM: You know, that’s a great question, Jake. And typically, when downspouts are installed, the installers will turn them out about maybe 6 to 8 inches and drop them in, if you’re lucky, to a splash block which will run it out another, say, 12 to 18 inches. Which means that water is hitting your soil maybe 2 feet from the house. That is far too close, if you’ve ever had any type of a high humidity or even a flooding problem.

    Generally, we like to see downspouts at least 4 feet from the house foundation. And if you do have a drainage issue where your basement or your crawlspace floods consistent with rainfall, I would tell you to take them out even further. And of course, it gets a little ugly when you’re running them out 10 feet but you certainly could run them underground through solid PVC pipe.

    Generally, that roof drainage is the most important part of your drainage system to keep away from the house. It is the source of many, many issues, from foundations shifting and cracking, to slippery conditions in the summer, to flooded basements. So, really, try to get them out as far as you reasonably can.

    LESLIE: Alright. Next up, Anita in Illinois writes: “I’m going to have to bite the bullet and install a new central air-conditioning system this year. How do I know what size to get for my 1800-square-foot, single-story home?”

    TOM: Well, you’re obviously going to work with an HVAC contractor. And what you want them to do is to do a heat-loss calculation for your home. That’s the accurate way to determine how many BTUs you need.

    The rule of thumb is about 600 to 800 square feet per ton but I wouldn’t just expect to put a 3-ton unit in there. I would want a heat-loss calculation done where they consider things like how many windows you have on the south side, how much insulation you have, things of that nature. Because it’s very easy to calculate exactly what that building needs for cooling power. Don’t put in too much, don’t put in too little. You want to put in just the right amount to get the maximum amount of efficiency.

    Well, it’s picnic time, so don’t let the inevitable stains of the company outdoor eating ruin your fun. Leslie has got some quick fixes for stains, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: Alright. Picnics, they are a great summer tradition but eating outdoors can be messy. So here are some common stain-removal tips for all of those common picnic stains you are bound to encounter at some point over the summer season.

    Barbecue sauce. It’s going to happen. What you want to do there is you flush it with cold water from the underside of the fabric. So, yes, that means if it’s pants, you’ve got to take them off. Blot with liquid laundry detergent, then sponge with vinegar. Now, you can apply a stain treatment and wash after you do the vinegar wash there. The same steps are going to work great for ketchup and mustard.

    Now, berries and cobblers, all of those things are very popular this time of year. So if you end up with a berry stain, it’ll usually be when you’re wearing something white because, of course, that’s just the way it is. You want to mix a tablespoon of white vinegar with a ½-teaspoon of liquid laundry detergent with a quart of water. Then you let the fabric soak for 15 minutes and then you wash it. If you’ve got a tough stain, you can actually blot the stain itself with some alcohol.

    If you want some more tips on stain removal, just Google “Money Pit picnic stains” and you’ll get a whole host of ways to clean all of those delicious misbites off of your clothes.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next time on The Money Pit, does your house have a history? We’re going to teach you how you can tell that story with your home’s paint color, when we feature historical paint-color choices for your home on the next edition of The Money Pit.

    I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …

    LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.


    (Copyright 2014 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)

Leave a Reply


More tips, ideas and inspiration to fuel your next home improvement, remodeling or décor project!