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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: Standing by to answer your home improvement questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    We are coming up, Leslie, on one of the biggest retail weekends of the year.

    LESLIE: What’s that one?

    TOM: President’s weekend.

    LESLIE: Really?

    TOM: There’s going to be sales on everything from cars to furniture, to TVs to appliances. It’s going to tempt shoppers to part with their hard-earned cash. So it’s kind of a good time of year to search for a big-ticket item for your home, if that’s on your to-do list. We’re going to have some tips to help make that process a little easier and help you get a good deal, a bit later in the program.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I’m sure there are so many tricks that you need to know to really get the best deal out there. That’s going to be a great segment.

    And also ahead, as we head into mid-winter, it’s a peak season for low temperatures, so you have to remember to keep your pets safe in this cold and snow and ice that we have all been experiencing across this country. So we’re going to have some great ideas to pamper your pets and help keep them cozy.

    TOM: Plus, have you taken a look at your roof lately? Is it basic black or lackluster gray?

    I’m pretty sure those are the only two colors that most roofs were available in 20 years ago, Leslie.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Ours is green.

    TOM: Ours is green?

    LESLIE: It’s terrible.

    TOM: Well, ours became green for a different reason. But the point is that there’s a new, wide range of color palettes in roofing products available and we’re going to talk about that, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And this hour, we’re giving away a set of two Ready Hang Drapery Hardware systems. And this is a really easy, no-drill way to hang curtains. You’ve got to love that.

    TOM: It’s a prize worth 80 bucks. Going to go out to one caller who reaches us with their home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to those phones.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Ken in New York is dealing with a leaky roof. Tell us about the project.

    KEN: Well, I’ve got a house that was built in 1923. It’s got a 20-year addition on the back of it; it’s a family room. And I have a consistent leak when it rains or when I get an ice buildup on the roof that won’t go away. Now, I want to get the ceiling inside fixed because of the leak but I can’t do that until I get this leak fixed. And the shingles are good, the ice shield appears to be good and I’ve caulked the devil out of it where the addition meets the house and I just don’t know – I can’t find this leak.

    TOM: So, can you describe the juncture between the house and the addition?

    KEN: Well, both structures are wood. It’s got, like I said, asphalt shingles on it that’s joined to the house. And the house has the old-fashioned, aluminum, 8-inch siding on it.

    TOM: OK. So the juncture is between the roof and a vertical wall?

    KEN: Yes, yes.

    TOM: Alright. And you said you had ice shield? You mean ice-and-water shield?

    KEN: Yes, I do.

    TOM: Alright. And that’s from the roof edge on up?

    KEN: Yes.

    TOM: Alright. So, probably the issue here is between the flashing – the sidewall flashing – and the roof itself. And to fix it, unfortunately, you’ll have to take the aluminum off, because you’ve got to get that flashing well up under the shingles and well up the sidewall. I suspect the – I mean was the house aluminum-sided originally and you cut into it or was this all new?

    KEN: The addition was on the house when I purchased it.

    TOM: So you really don’t know. But I suspect it may have been cut into it and never properly flashed. And the fact that you get ice buildup, the water gets trapped – it’s called an ice dam – and the water works up back under it, it all points to inadequate sidewall flashing. So I think you need to strip the siding off in that area, reflash it and then re-side it and you’ll be good to go.

    Caulking is going to do nothing, you know; it’s just beyond the capability of the caulk gun to fix this.

    KEN: OK. Alright. Well, it sounds like a lot of work but I guess I’ve got to do it.

    TOM: Well but you’re already doing a lot of work, Ken. If you add up all the little steps that you’ve done already, this is one more big step but it’s going to knock it off permanently, OK?

    KEN: OK.

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

    There are some leaks, believe it or not, that caulk just won’t fix.

    LESLIE: Even though it’s what you want to use, there are better things, on certain occasions.

    TOM: Right. It’s a band-aid on a broken bone, OK? Just not an appropriate medical treatment.

    LESLIE: Bobby in Wasilla, Alaska, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    BOBBY: Hi. I have a second home that I visit on weekends and I installed an on-demand, hot-water heater in that cabin. My problem is that the water comes out of the ground at 36 degrees and it doesn’t seem to heat up or it takes a tremendously long time to go through the system for me to get hot water out of the faucet. Is there a way that I could make this a little bit more energy-efficient so it wouldn’t take so long to do that or do I just have to live with it and it’s better than paying for heating water when I’m not there?

    TOM: So it’s a tankless water heater that you have, Bobby?

    BOBBY: It is.

    TOM: Well, that was the right thing to do. Now, usually the cold water problem is a function of the distance between the water heater and the faucet itself because the water has to travel that distance. So, are they at opposite ends of the building?

    BOBBY: They’re on opposite ends of the building but it’s a relatively small building; it’s 24×30.

    TOM: Yeah.

    BOBBY: But I think the issue is that the water coming out of the well is 36 degrees.

    TOM: Well, I would also double-check, though, the water heater was properly installed. And sometimes, typically what happens is they use a too-small – plumbers use too small of a gas line. Most tankless units, you need a 1-inch gas line, not a ¾ which is standard for tank water heaters. And so, if it’s not firing completely, that could be the problem. Conceptually, that 36-degree water, once it hits the tankless water heater, should come out the other end at 110 degrees.

    LESLIE: The desired temp.

    TOM: At whatever you set it. It doesn’t have to recirculate to get hot; it just hits it, it gets hot and then it gets delivered. And then there is some time between – to cover the time it takes for the water to get from the water heater to the faucet. But if it’s not coming out the other end of the water heater hot enough, then there may be a problem with the water heater and I – and the most likely culprit would be an undersized gas line.

    BOBBY: That’s terrific. Thank you very much. I’ll check on that.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Bobby. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Yeah, no place like Alaska to have really warm water. You don’t have a cold shower.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And that’s like an icy-cold shower.

    TOM: Yeah. That’s four degrees over freezing.

    LESLIE: Zoiks. Might as well just roll around in the snow.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Sebastian in New York, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    SEBASTIAN: Yes. I have a 1940s brick-sided bungalow or Cape Cod, in Michigan. It has plaster walls ventilating on the interior.

    TOM: OK.

    SEBASTIAN: I was told the best – and it has no insulation in the walls. I was told the best way to insulate this is by going from the outside, drilling through the mortar joints and pushing the cellulose. I just didn’t feel confident this was the proper way of doing this.

    TOM: Yeah. No, I don’t think so. Typically, you don’t insulate that type of an exterior wall. There’s just really no effective way to get insulation in there; there’s no wall cavity for you to fill out.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And the stones should be insulating enough as itself but generally isn’t.

    TOM: Yeah. Believe it or not, the air that’s trapped inside of it. So what I would focus on in your house, Sebastian, is two things. In terms of the exterior walls, I would concentrate on air infiltration, so that means good-quality windows, proper sealing, weatherstripping and caulking.

    But most importantly, from an insulation perspective, it’s everything that’s above you because 80 percent of your heat loss is going to go up; only about 15 percent goes through the exterior walls and about 5 percent through the floors. So I would concentrate on making sure that you have at least 19 to 22 inches of insulation in the attic space, because that’s going to do the best – that’s going to be the most effective way at cutting down on utility costs and improving comfort.

    SEBASTIAN: OK. Say, the walls actually feel like an ice cube; when you’re laying there in bed, you can actually feel the cold coming off the walls. It’s really extracting; the temperature flows from hot to cold and you can really feel it leaving your body.

    TOM: What kind of insulation do you have in the attic space?

    SEBASTIAN: That I know I can put in, because I just put in – I just added 2x6s up there. It’s on top of the original (inaudible at 0:09:14).

    TOM: Yeah. I think what you’re going to find is this: when you insulate the attic, you’re going to find that you have, all of a sudden, more heat in the house and that’s going to make those walls warmer.


    TOM: Because you’re losing a lot of heat.

    SEBASTIAN: OK. Very good. Thank you.

    TOM: Give it a try, Sebastian. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Ann in Tennessee is having an issue with a garage door. Tell us about the problem.

    ANN: In the garage door, we have a problem with a crack in the concrete floor keeping the garage door from closing satisfactorily.

    LESLIE: OK. Is your garage door made of wood?

    ANN: The garage door is metal.

    LESLIE: It’s metal.

    ANN: Yes.

    TOM: Is the crack displacing? In other words, is the floor sort of buckling up, Ann?

    ANN: Yes. About a ¼ to a ½ of an inch.

    TOM: A ¼ to a ½ of an inch. Alright. So, the easy way to try to fix this is sort of a way to cheat and that is to double-up on the weatherstripping on the bottom of the garage door, so you have more cushion.

    LESLIE: Oh, interesting.

    TOM: Because if it’s displaced like that, you really have to break it out and re-pour a patch, because you’re not going to get it to lay back down again. And the reason Leslie asked you if it was a metal or a wood door – because if it was a wood door, you could recut it to fit. But because it’s a metal door, you’d have to beef up on the weatherstripping to try to get it to have enough cushion so that it would overlap that.

    And then you’re going to – do you have a garage-door opener on this?

    ANN: Yes.

    TOM: You’ll have to adjust the garage-door opener so it closes properly. But if you have a buckled floor that’s keeping the door open, there’s no easy way to get that floor to lay back down.

    Now the good news – if there is some good news – that replacing a concrete floor in a garage is not a terrible project because that concrete, if it’s like most concrete floors, is fairly thin – maybe about 4 inches thick – and usually, you can break it out with a sledgehammer. So the whole thing could be torn out and replaced in a few hours.

    But if you want to try to stay away from doing that, I would just tell you to double up on the weatherstripping on the back of the garage door or you could add another piece that would be attached to the face of the metal door that had weatherstripping on it and that could be at a slight angle, so that you’ll get that seal. Because I presume you’re trying to get a good seal there, to keep water and insects out.

    ANN: Yes. Yes, sir.

    TOM: Yep. So there’s two ways that you can go with it, Ann. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-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, home improvement, home décor. Whatever you are working on, we are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. So give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT so we can lend a hand.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, if you are thinking of taking advantage of the many President’s Day sales out there, we’re going to have some shopping tips to help you get the biggest bang for your home improvement-purchase buck.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Skil. Want hardwood floors but are on a budget? The affordable and feature-filled Skil Flooring Saw is just what you need for your installation project.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. And you should be part of The Money Pit by picking up the phone and giving us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Now, one lucky caller that we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a set of two Ready Hang Drapery Hardware systems.

    Now, these are perfect for renters because they actually attach to your window frames without any drilling. So your drapes are going to go up really simply, super-quick and then without any special tools.

    And the winner is going to get two rods in an iron finish with round finials. It’s a prize worth 80 bucks, so give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT for your answer and your chance to win.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Well, are you thinking of taking advantage of President’s Day sales this year? Well, you won’t be the only one and you’re certainly not going to be the first. The concept of the President’s Day sale has been around for decades.

    And this is interesting: it was originated by a car salesman who was the first to run a Washington’s Birthday sale on cars and that eventually evolved into the national phenomena that we now know as President’s Day.

    LESLIE: And that poor guy doesn’t get any recognition for making all of us crazy.

    TOM: Not at all. Not a bit.

    But it’s a smart thing to do because February is typically a slow month for retailers, so a good sale can get those cash registers ka-chinging right along. And besides the bargains on cars, though, there are a lot of other smart purchases that can be made on stuff for your house, like furniture, appliances, mattresses, electronics and rugs.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And there are some key shopping tips that you need to know so that you can get the most out of this annual bargain-hunter tradition.

    First of all, get up early. Many of these President’s Day sales are early-bird and door-buster specials. And also, make a list because once you get to the mall or the store, it is really easy to get distracted and then, quite frankly, overwhelmed.

    Now, you want to know exactly what you’re looking for before you get there and stay focused – stay on the list, keep on task – and try searching the internet for any coupons or maybe some discount codes that might multiply your savings at the checkout.

    And one site to try is CouponConnector.com. You know, with a little planning and some know-how, you can save a lot of money throughout the year by delaying key purchases until that right seasonal sale comes about, like President’s Day.

    TOM: Right. But don’t buy something, of course, just because it’s on sale. That would be like what my family does. Do your research; start now. If it turns out there’s a great new dishwasher you need, you can be ready when it actually does go on sale and if you can save some money at the same time, great. But there’s a lot of folks out there that just kind of buy because it’s on sale and it’s not always the best reason.

    LESLIE: Can I tell you, Tom? It’s such a woman thing because I know – I’m sure your wife has said this to you a million times, because I know I pull this one at home all the time.

    TOM: Yeah, yeah.

    LESLIE: I’m like, “So I bought this sweater because it was on sale. And instead of costing $100, it cost 50. Isn’t that amazing? I saved us $50,” but in fact, I spent $50.

    TOM: Yeah. Exactly, exactly. Which is what it was worth to begin with.

    LESLIE: But it sounds so good.

    TOM: 888-666-3974. Let’s get back to those phones. Who’s next?

    LESLIE: And now we’ve got Jim in Indiana who needs some help with a bathroom project. What can we do for you today?

    JIM: I have a ceramic tub that I want to recoat or repaint because it’s really bad-looking and I was wondering if there was a product out there that I could apply to the ceramic to – that would stick.

    TOM: Well, I mean you can reglaze the tub and there are do-it-yourself products that do that well but I will tell you that it’s not going to last nearly as long as the original tub.

    JIM: OK.

    TOM: Think of it as an upgraded paint job.

    JIM: Exactly.

    TOM: Yeah. That’s kind of what you’re up against, John. Now, if you want to have it professionally reglazed, then you could be looking at something that could last you 10 or 20 years. But if you use a do-it-yourself reglazing kit, you’re probably looking at, I don’t know, four to five years before you have to repeat it.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you have to be really careful about how you apply it because you don’t want to get brush marks; you don’t want to feel an unevenness in the texture of the surface.

    JIM: OK. OK. Yeah, well – yeah, I would – I’m more interested in short-term so before – if I get three or four years out of it, that’d be great.

    TOM: Then I think it’s a good option for you.

    JIM: OK. But I didn’t get the name of the product.

    LESLIE: You know what, Jim? Actually, Rust-Oleum has just come out with a kit that actually comes as an almond base but it’s tintable to like 16 different colors. So if you just do a web search, I’m sure you can find a local vendor in your area that sells that product. And Rust-Oleum makes great products that are super-durable, so it’s worth a shot.

    JIM: OK. That sounds like a winner.

    TOM: Jim, thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Dennis in Virginia needs some help refinishing a basement. What can we do for you today? 

    DENNIS: I am getting ready to – well, I’ve already built a bedroom and I’ve built a bathroom and I want to put – finish the rest of the basement. I want to put in for square footage. Would it be best to put in a sheetrock or a drop ceiling? 

    TOM: Hmm. Well, for square footage, it’s clearly better to do a drywall ceiling. The disadvantage is, of course, you can’t get up there for access to any of the plumbing or electrical work but you’re definitely going to save yourself at least 4 to 6 inches, even in the tightest possible scenario, of headroom because the sheetrock can go right up.

    Now, you’ve got to take a look, though, at the framing and the piping and the plumbing work because sometimes, in basements, they let too much of it hang down below the edge of the floor joist and you need to do a little bit of carpentry to cover that up. But definitely, drywalling that

    ceiling will give you more headroom. 

    DENNIS: OK. On the drywalling, how much clearance should there be between the drywall and, say, a water line? 

    TOM: None. Doesn’t matter. It can go right up against it. 

    DENNIS: OK, great. Well, that was the main question I needed and that would help me out a lot. And a lot of tips I get off your show has really done helped me a lot. 

    TOM: OK, Dennis. Well, we’re glad to help out. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Please call back again. 

    Well, when it comes to your roof, boring black or lackluster gray are no longer your only options. Coming up, we’ve got some new ideas for coordinating your roof color with your home’s exterior, for super-eye-catching curb appeal.

    (theme song)

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. Well, when it comes to your home’s styling, you probably never even think about this but depending on your home’s actual architectural style, up to 40 percent of that visual image that you’re going to get when you look at your home from across the street is the roof.

    So, if your roof is just plain black or gray or brown, you could be missing a great opportunity to coordinate your home’s exterior color palette from the top down.

    TOM: Kate Smith is a color expert who’s lending her expertise to the Color Design Program for DaVinci Roofscapes, a manufacturer of synthetic slate and shake roofing.

    Kate, welcome to the program.

    KATE: Thank you. Glad to be here.

    TOM: So, roofs are no longer just pretty much boring brown, gray or black anymore?

    KATE: Absolutely not. There are so many interesting things going on with roofing and DaVinci has great products that show a variety of colors and can work across many, many – or just about every – style of home. So I’m very excited to be able to talk about their program.

    LESLIE: Kate, I think it’s such a scary situation, because the roof is such a large surface and it could be an expensive process to sort of go about replacing and choosing a new roof, that people tend to lean toward the conservative: the brown, the black; you know, the more traditional colors.

    So how can you confidently take that risk? Even if it’s not a risk, you know the color that’s going to work but how do you get people to feel comfortable with such decision?

    KATE: Well, Leslie, that is a great question because one of the things that I find in any situation when somebody’s adding color to their home, even if it’s not an expensive item, there is that – they’re hesitant to know whether or not they’re making a great decision. And so when it comes to a roof – a product that’s going to last 50 years – they become even a little bit more concerned that it needs to be correct and that they need to make a really great decision.

    The beauty of many of these newer roofing products is with the variations in the color, it actually makes it easier to make a great decision. And I say that because when, like with the DaVinci blend, you’ve got two or three or four colors, sometimes even as many as five colors, coming together in the tile to visually blend. And it makes it work really beautifully with so many siding colors. And so – and it also gives the home a very customized look. So it really does make it easier for the consumers.

    TOM: Let’s talk about the matching of colors with various roof products. You guys say that green roofs look best with homes that have natural-wood siding or are painted gray, white or lighter-green color than the roof itself. And in that situation, you want to avoid red or colors that are very warm for the siding, so that’s just one example.

    But you have suggestions for every possible color: green, brown, black, gray, terracotta and red. Talk about some of those.

    KATE: Well, the thing is is I was making those suggestions in very general terms because there are some things that you do want to avoid. And you gave a great example of the green roof against a brick column. If you go back to the old – your color theory you learned in school, red and green are complimentary colors and in some cases, you use that to really make those colors stand out and pop. And in other cases, sometimes it’s in – with a roof color, it’s going to make each of those colors look more vibrant and strong.

    So if that’s what you’re after, yeah, sure, go with a green roof but usually, people are much more interested in a subtle blending and a whole, harmonious scheme for the outside of their home. And so that’s why I suggest avoiding red and yet using it with something like a natural wood, with green, is an absolutely beautiful way to bring out all the attributes of the wood.

    LESLIE: Now, on the website, is there a program that DaVinci offers to sort of make it easier to feel confident in my color selection, with the architectural style of the home and perhaps the color components that are on the siding or the shutters? What’s the best way to go about that?

    KATE: Well, DaVinci has a fabulous color-designer tool that is really fun to use on the website and it – whether you’re buying an already-existing blend or coming up with your own custom blend, it gives you a great way to visualize how those roof tiles are going to lay out and look.

    And it’s just a lot of fun to play with but that is a way that – you don’t have to just imagine what it’s going to look like; you can actually see and save and print out your selection of the roof tiles and start to look at it against the siding color that you’re choosing for your house or the other, permanent elements that come into play when you’re making a decision about a roof.

    LESLIE: Do you sort of pop up if I’m sort of making a really terrible mistake of color palette?

    TOM: Say, “No, no, no.”

    KATE: No, that could be a good thing. However, I’ll tell you the tool’s so fun to play with, it’s sometimes making those not-so-great combinations that – just great fun. But you’re right, for your home, you don’t want to put that on and look at it for the next 50 years.

    TOM: Kate Smith, color expert for DaVinci Roofscapes, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit. Great tips.

    KATE: You’re welcome. Glad to be here.

    TOM: And if you’d like more information on how to choose the appropriate color for your roof, I’ve got a great article online right now, called “Color My Roof.” You can search that at MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. Still ahead, you are trying your best to keep warm but what about your four-legged family members? We are going to teach you the right way to pamper your pooch and keep her warm, right after this.

    (theme song)

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, because one caller we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a set of two Ready Hang Drapery Hardware systems. Now, these are perfect for renters because they attach to window frames without any drilling. Your drapes will go up simply and quickly without any special tools.

    The winner is going to get two rods in an iron finish with round finials. It’s a prize worth 80 bucks. Going to go out to one caller that calls us with their home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright. Pick up the phone and give us a call. We’d love to give you a hand with all of your home improvement projects.

    Now, during the winter, there is so much stuff that you need to work on in your house that it’s really easy to get caught up in your family’s winter safety, from sealing up those drafts to how to properly use a space heater.

    But while we’re super-involved in all of that, let’s not forget that our pets are family members, too. So depending on your type of dog and your budget, there are dozens of ways to ensure your best friend will stay happy and healthy. So why not pamper your pooch with a heated dog bed?

    Now, you can get a heating pad designed specifically for dogs that can be warmed up in the microwave. And there are even electric warmers that heat up only when your dog is in the bed. You just want to make sure that your dog is not a chewer; otherwise, it’s going to be in for a shocking surprise.

    TOM: Well, that’s right. Now, some pet owners don’t allow their dogs indoors and some dogs like their doghouses quite nicely, so they really don’t mind that much. But if it gets cold enough, even the toughest mutt might complain a bit and that’s why you might want to consider outfitting the doghouse with its very own HVAC system.

    Now, you’ve really got to love your dog before you spend all this money, Leslie, but a portable, climate-controlled unit can actually adjust between heating and cooling and deliver a constant range of temperatures in the winter and the summer. There are also models that even act as a dehumidifier, preventing mold and mildew growth in your doghouse.

    But whether you do your dog a favor by simply moving his bed out of that drafty area or you go all out and install a heating system in his doghouse, there are a lot of ways to keep your pet cozy and warm all winter long. So, something to think about.

    LESLIE: Our entire house is like the doghouse for Daisy. She sleeps in our bed, she sleeps under the covers, we put a sweater on her when it’s chilly. I would think if someone is in charge in our household, it would be the dog, so …

    TOM: My dog is the great greeter. Anybody that comes to the door gets a very happy greeting from the dog.

    LESLIE: Alright, Spot.

    TOM: You know, our UPS lady broke – started this with him but he knows that when she comes to the door, there’s always a biscuit in her hand so, therefore, if anyone comes to the house, they best have a biscuit in their hand.

    LESLIE: Oh, no. They must have a biscuit. Aw, Spot’s smelling everybody’s hand like, “Where’s the cookie? Where’s the cookie? You don’t have a cookie?”

    TOM: 888-666-3974. We won’t give you a cookie but we will give you the answer to your home improvement question. Let’s get back to it.

    LESLIE: Eric in North Carolina, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we help you with? 

    ERIC: Yeah. I’ve got a downspout coming off the back of my house. 

    TOM: OK. 

    ERIC: So it gets a lot of water during a heavy rain and – so, trying to think of a good solution to keep the water away from my foundation.

    TOM: OK.

    ERIC: Whether to bury the pipe or if there’s another idea that I hadn’t thought of to keep that water away from the house. 

    TOM: Well, I mean your two options are either to extend that out with a piece of downspout material but you’re still going to have the water reasonably close. The best option is if you can run it underground through a PVC pipe; a solid PVC pipe. 

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Not the perforated ones. 

    TOM: Yeah. Is there an opportunity to discharge that somewhere on the property? 

    ERIC: Yeah. Well, I’m kind of at an angle, so it always rushes down the back of my house. 

    TOM: OK. 

    ERIC: So, yeah, something to that effect I could probably do. 

    TOM: Yeah, well, what you want to do is – there’s a PVC fitting that’s a square – that’s designed to fit a square leader pipe on one side and then around 4-inch PVC pipe on the other. So it actually transitions between the gutter, leader, the gutter spout and the PVC pipe. 

    LESLIE: And the one you would bury. 

    TOM: And then you use standard PVC fittings, run it out underground, break it out to daylight somewhere where the water can gush and just run away from your property. 

    ERIC: OK. 

    TOM: Alright? And then you won’t have to worry about it anymore. That’s really the best solution. 

    ERIC: Because someone was telling me about like a rock pit that they did, where the water … 

    TOM: Yeah, that’s called dry well and it can be effective but I’d much rather see it discharge out to daylight somewhere. 

    ERIC: OK. OK, great.

    TOM: Because the pit sometimes fills up and then the water … 

    LESLIE: And then you end up with the same problem. 

    TOM: Yeah, the water could back up into the crawlspace anyway. 

    ERIC: Yeah, because it is a lot of water. 

    TOM: OK? 

    ERIC: Half the house worth of water. Yeah. Oh, great. Thanks. 

    TOM: Alright. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

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

    SHERRY: We’ve lived in this house for six years and it was new construction at the time and in our pantry, we have a white-faced (ph) enamel paint. 

    LESLIE: OK. 

    SHERRY: And in our cabinet, we have like a stain with a lacquer base. But we are tasting lacquer or the way lacquer smells in our food. 

    TOM: What’s it taste like?

    SHERRY: The way lacquer smells.

    TOM: Not good, huh? 

    SHERRY: Yeah, I didn’t realize it until I took it – some crackers – anything that’s stored in a box or a bag, like chips. And I took it to work and somebody said something about how funny it tastes and I didn’t realize it tasted bad. 

    TOM: Oh, no. 

    SHERRY: So I was wondering if there’s anything I could do in the cabinets to cover that smell. We’ve tried to keep the cabinet doors open but we – it’s not working. 

    LESLIE: Yeah but you’ve been in there six years. I imagine, at this point, it should have off-gassed entirely at this point. 

    TOM: Yeah. Yeah. 

    SHERRY: Yes. Yes. It has a really bad taste to it. 

    LESLIE: And now you notice it in everything, I’m sure. 

    SHERRY: Yes, except for canned stuff. But I just wondered if there was something we could paint over it or redo it or whatever. 

    TOM: Well, there’s no reason that you can’t prime the inside of the cabinets. If you wanted them to be dark in color, you could tint the primer. And if you used a good-quality primer, no matter what’s underneath it’s going to seal it in. 

    SHERRY: OK, OK. Well, I just was shocked. The builder said, “Oh, just leave the cabinet doors open.” Well, that didn’t work. 

    LESLIE: No, I would paint them. 

    TOM: And I think you bought cabinets that you didn’t have to keep open. Right?

    SHERRY: Right, exactly. 

    LESLIE: Yeah, that’s what cabinets are for.

    TOM: Yeah. Why don’t you do that to one or two of the cabinets and see if you like it better? 

    SHERRY: OK. Well, thank you very much. 

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 

    What a strange problem.

    LESLIE: Seriously. I’ve never heard of such a thing.

    You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Well, still to come, are your kitchen cabinets looking old and tired? We’re going to share a few ideas for perking them up, after this.

    (theme song)

    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: Hey, do you want to take advantage of President’s Day sales but hate the idea of shopping along with everyone else? Or are you just too busy to devote a day to store-hopping? Try cyber-shopping instead. We’ve got plenty of tips on how you can do that, online at MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. And while you’re online, you can post a home improvement question to our Community section at MoneyPit.com. And I’ve got one here from Joe who wrote: “I recently purchased an older home. The home has plenty of kitchen cabinets but the fronts have been badly abused. I love the look of wood, antique, et cetera but what can I do to the kitchen cabinets to give them a new look?”

    Well, if he likes the look of older wood but they’re kind of abused, maybe what you might want to do is sort of sand down – of course, making sure that the actual cabinet doors and fronts are solid wood and you can actually get to sanding to sort of bring some new life to these surfaces and …

    TOM: And a new – a good product to do that with is liquid sandpaper, because it gets into all the nooks and crannies.

    LESLIE: Yeah, liquid sandpaper’s good. But I think liquid sandpaper might not be as aggressive as he wants.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Try that liquid sandpaper because that’s going to take the finish off and allow you to put on a newer one, which might be all that you need. And if that works, great. If not, give it a good sanding, make sure you get rid of all of the dust, put on a new coat of stain and you’ll be in like Flynn.

    TOM: Well, could you use a great idea for a décor project that does double-duty? Leslie’s got just that in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: That’s right. You know what is super-hot right now? Metallic paints.

    TOM: Wow.

    LESLIE: Now, they’re a really big trend and a lot of people are jumping on this bandwagon. But if you use them right, you can create everything from an accent wall to an accent table that has shimmer and sheen and can really add drama to your décor.

    So, a couple of things to keep in mind. When you’re painting a wall, paint with a special finish like metallic paint are often going to need multiple coats for that finish to really look right. Also, you want to make sure that you’ve got the right tools. There are rollers out there that are specifically designed for metallic paints, that are going to help it apply in a proper way to give you that sparkly finish that you’re looking for.

    And also, you want to make sure that you choose your colors wisely, because some are going to reflect more than others and you don’t want a wall with tons of glare in a place where it’s going to stand out way too much.

    Now, a dining room or a bedroom, they’re a great place for metallic paints. And it’s really – a great way to take advantage of a gorgeous chandelier is to use the metallic paint on your dining room ceiling. I’ve always been for painting ceilings another color other than white, in the right situation. I loved using like a soft pink in a master bedroom. So a metallic paint in a silver or a platinum or something really soft on a ceiling of a dining room with a fantastic chandelier is really going to be amazing.

    Finally, keep in mind that a little metallic can go a super-long way, so choose a metallic paint finish for maybe an accent table, a collection of picture frames, a really cool, wood chair, just to give that space a little bit of interest. My sister, who is really adventurous, years ago – she is always ahead of the bandwagon – but painted her entire Manhattan apartment in metallic paint. And the living room/dining area was like a metallic royal blue that brought you back to your childhood bicycle. It was awesome.

    Definitely not for everybody – I mean she went crazy – but take it carefully because it really does give you a big bang for your buck.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next week on the program, are you thinking about new countertops? Should you go with solid surface or a natural-stone material? What’s the difference? We’re going to have the pros and cons of all of those types of countertop materials and more, coming your way on the next edition of The Money Pit.

    We are online and on air at MoneyPit.com, as well. And remember, you can call us any time of the day or night with your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post it in the Community section of MoneyPit.com. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us.

    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.

    (theme song)


    (Copyright 2011 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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