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Home Improvement Tips & Advice

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    Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete

    (NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist’s understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. ‘Ph’ in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)

    BEGIN HOUR 2 TEXT:

    (theme song)

    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: Call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974, with your home improvement question; your do-it-yourself dilemma. Before you pick up the hammer, before you pick up the saw, pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Now, perhaps you’re the type of home improver that doesn’t like to do all that work themselves and needs to hire a handyman and perhaps you’ve found that you’re not too satisfied with that contractor or handyman. Well, this hour we’re going to have some tips and advice on how to get, perhaps, a little bit better work out of the contractors that you hire to work around your house and, most importantly, what to do if the job goes wrong. We’ll have that coming up in just a bit.

    LESLIE: Ah, bit of advice: play nice, everybody. (chuckling) And also ahead we’ve got an easy way to recycle food scraps without a full-fledged compost pile, which can seem just darned confusing; plus I think there’s bugs involved. And believe me, when you do this your garden is going to reap the benefits.

    TOM: And we’ve got the guy at Consumer Reports that’s in charge of all of the testing, Bob Markovich, who’s going to stop by at the bottom of the hour to talk to us about their new ratings on the washers and dryers. So if purchasing a washer and dryer is in your future you’re going to want to hear what Bob has to say at the bottom of the hour.

    LESLIE: And of course it wouldn’t be The Money Pit if we weren’t giving a prize away. This hour we’ve got the Energizer Light On Demand prize pack and it includes a desk lamp and a light center. That sounds really exciting. I have no idea what it is.

    TOM: And it’s worth 90 bucks. I want to know does it come with the Energizer Bunny? (Leslie chuckles) So call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: In Alabama we’ve got Pat who needs some help reinstalling a backsplash. What happened?

    PAT: Hi. I bought a home that had mirrors for a backsplash in the kitchen.

    LESLIE: Mirrors?

    TOM: Mirror. OK, that’s unusual.

    PAT: Yes, and I would like to replace them with tile. Do I have to remove the mirrors or can I tile over them? I’ve tried to remove the mirrors but they appear to be glued to the wall.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Yeah, are they – is it fairly flat and solid?

    PAT: No, they’re flat in the middle but kind of beveled on the outside of it.

    TOM: I don’t know. What do you think, Leslie? Is it worth going on top of them? I think you probably can epoxy over it. It’ll be a fairly thick application when you’re done. But the problem is that because they’re glued on the wall, you’re going to end up really damaging the wall if you try to take them off. You’ll end up breaking them to take them off.

    PAT: Yes, I know.

    LESLIE: And what kind of tile do you want to put over it?

    PAT: I was thinking of the – sort of the small, the little glass quarter-inch kind of tile.

    LESLIE: Oh, like the pretty mosaic kind?

    PAT: Yes.

    LESLIE: Well, I mean that tends to adhere really well. Because of the mesh backing it really does give a space for all of your mastic or whatever adhesive you’re putting on the back to sort of find into the nooks and crannies. You might – Tom, do you think it’s going to be too slick on the mirror and you might have to take some sandpaper just to sort of scuff up the face of the mirror …?

    TOM: No, probably not because think about the mirror as it attaches to the wall. I mean you basically use an epoxy glue on that and that adheres well to the wall. So I think we can get the tiles to adhere to the mirror. You know, my choice is always to remove it; even though it’s a lot of work.

    LESLIE: But mirror; it’s like a whole host of problems. You know, we have a good trick where you take some piano wire and if you can get behind it along the top and sort of take that wire back and forth and cut through the adhesive; but you’re destined to break that mirror and, you know, it could be a dangerous task.

    TOM: You have to be very careful because you’ll get shards of glass; it’ll fly off. You have to wear gloves and safety glasses and, you know, another trick of the trade is to cover it with duct tape and then basically, very gently, try to break the mirror into pieces and then scrape it off the wall that way. You know, the good news is that even if you damage that drywall behind it …

    LESLIE: You’re tiling over it.

    TOM: … you’re tiling over it; so even if you peel the paper off, that the drywall is attached to, you’d probably still be OK.

    PAT: OK.

    TOM: So I would say if you can get the mirror off that would be my first choice. If not, I’m pretty sure that you could adhere the new mosaic tile right to the top of it.

    PAT: Alright, thank you.

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

    LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit and we can help you get your projects done right. That’s right; the important way – right and correct and only once. So give us a call with your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, are you not happy with the work your contractor did? Has your handyman left you high and dry? Find out how you can get your job back on track, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Aprilaire, makers of professionally-installed, high-efficiency air cleaners. For more information go to Aprilaire.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete and if you give us a call at that magic number and ask your question on the air you’ve got a great opportunity to win a very cool prize pack and it’s a Light On Demand prize package from our friends over at Energizer. And in this prize package are a twin light center and a desk lamp and the twin light system has two detachable area lights with a nightlight and you can use it everyday and when the power is out you are still going to have some lights going on in your house. They mount easily on a wall and they don’t require any hardwiring. It’s worth about 90 bucks but you’ve got to be in to win it, so pick up that phone and call 1-888-MONEY-PIT for your chance to win.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Alright, so perhaps you’re not a do-it-yourself. Perhaps you’re a direct-it-yourselfer and you’ve chosen to hire a contractor to get a project done around your house and found that perhaps it didn’t work out so well. Well, how do you try to resolve that? Many disputes are the result of a communication breakdown and one of the ways that you can protect yourself from a communication breakdown is to make sure, first, you have a really good contract. And even if your contractor hasn’t given you one, there’s no reason that you can’t fine-tune whatever he or she has submitted to you.

    And one of the most important parts of that contract is the change order section. What’s a change order? Well, that’s where a lot of problems develop because as the project proceeds you often find that there are changes that are made or necessitated because, you know, you open up a wall and you find termite damage or you decide to move the window six inches and you think, ‘Aw, what the heck. How much can it cost’ and then all of a sudden you’re looking at a lot more dollars at the end. So make sure you have a good contract; that it have provision for change orders where you document either cost or credits based on changes that are made along the way.

    Now, if you’ve done all this and you still have a problem, it’s best to keep a journal of the problems as they develop and then communicate that in writing to the contractor. Because that written record of the project is the best way to sort out problems at the end of it if you get that far and worse comes to worse, if you do end up going to court, that written record is going to be your salvation because anything that’s completed as the job progresses is going to be very valuable if a judge gets involved in trying to solve this problem for you.

    Hope that helps you out.

    If you have a question about working with a contractor, perhaps you can call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and we’ll deal with that as well. 888-666-3974.

    Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Tom in Pennsylvania has a painting question. What’s going on?

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: Well listen, I have a bi-level and the outside block wall is kind of sandy and I did some repair on it because some of the parging – it’s not a true stucco but a parging – flaked off and I mixed up some cement and I put it on there and I actually painted it with an outside mason paint. But it seems like a year later actually the half of the bi-level that’s insulated and heated – because I put a family room on that side –

    TOM: Right.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: — it seems like all the paint is peeling off; not on the other side where there’s really no heat, just a regular basin with a washer and dryer. I did insulate it. You know, there’s tongue-and-groove wood inside there. Is there anything I can put on the outside?

    TOM: (overlapping voices) What side of the house is the paint peeling off on? Is it the north or the south?

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: On the south.

    TOM: OK, well you’ve got a lot more sun there so that could be part of the problem.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: Yes, but it’s just on the one half. It seemed like the other half that I painted didn’t flake off at all.

    TOM: Did the parging repair stick? Is any of the parging falling off?

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: No, the parging repair did stick.

    TOM: OK.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: It’s the original parging; it’s just real sandy. And I did know that when they built the house – because I had it built – they did the parging during the wintertime and I thought maybe that somehow it kind of froze a little bit and didn’t cure right. But, like I said, when I did paint it, the parts that fell off were flaky; real – the parge is real sandy.

    TOM: Well, did you prime this before you put the paint on that new surface?

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: No, I didn’t use any primer at all.

    TOM: Yeah.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: The paint that I used was a primer and masonry paint in one.

    TOM: OK. Well, if the paint is peeling you have an adhesion issue and you have to understand that when paint is designed that it’s either designed to be a primer, which is very adhesive, or to be a topcoat, which has a lot more color in it. And while there may be some products out there that mix both together, I think you’re always better off – especially if you have a difficult masonry surface – of using a primer first, preferably an oil-based primer and oil surface like a KILZ or Bin or something like that, and then you could put a topcoat over that. I think, in this situation, since you’ve tried the masonry product that’s a two-in-one, that what you really probably should do here is wire-brush all of that stuff off that’s really loose – get as much of it off as you can; prime the surface; let it really dry and really adhere. In fact, you know, if it’s cold and damp I would not do this; I’d wait for a nice, warm, dry day.

    LESLIE: You have to wait for it really to dry out.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: Right, right.

    TOM: Especially with masonry because, you know, it’s so spongy in terms of its ability to hold water.

    LESLIE: And it may look like it’s dry but it could – you know, it’s very hydroscopic so it’s going to suck water through from the soil; it’s going to really maintain that water. So wait for, you know, it to be dry for a few days.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: Right.

    TOM: You know when the perfect time is to do this? On a – maybe a not terribly hot but just a slightly warm summer day on the south side; wait for the sun to go down – about 4:00 in the afternoon – and it’s not in direct sunlight but the masonry surface is nice and dry and a bit warm. That would be the perfect time to paint this and you’ll get really good adhesion and I think it’s going to last a lot longer.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: Yeah, I did do that when I did initially do it. You know, it was dry. In fact, I went out and I pressure-washed the whole thing.

    TOM: After you pressure-washed it, how long did you wait?

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: Oh, I waited a week …

    TOM: OK.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: … for it to dry. I mean it dried. It was in August and it dried.

    TOM: Right, but again, you used a two-in-one paint that was primer and paint mixed together. I’m suggesting to you that the best thing to do is to do a separate primer coat and then a topcoat. I think you’re always going to better off doing it that way, Tom.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: OK. Is that like a thermal seal, bonding seal or just a primer?

    TOM: Primer. Standard, exterior-grade primer. Use an oil-based KILZ, for example.

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: OK.

    TOM: Will work very well. OK?

    TOM IN PENNSYLVANIA: Alright, I appreciate it. Thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Redd, in Utah has a question about roofs; specifically, how long they should last. What kind of roof are you talking about, Redd?

    REDD: I got an asphalt roof, you know.

    TOM: OK.

    REDD: Yeah, I’ve got the house and it’s been added onto and then – but this roof has been on for, you know, 20 years.

    TOM: Yeah, and that’s about as long as they normally last but it depends on a number of factors. You know, in a real hot climate you may only get 15 years. In a cold climate you may get 25 years. It also depends on the level of roof ventilation. If the attic under this roof is well-ventilated so that the attic stays cooler in the summertime, that can add some life to the roof. If this layer of shingles is a second layer, as opposed to a first layer, typically the first layers don’t last as long because they kind of stay hot or retain more heat because of the first layer underneath of it. So 20 years is a good average.

    Are you seeing signs that this roof, perhaps, may need to be replaced, Redd?

    REDD: Well, you know, I’ve had the guy say, ‘Oh, you need to replace it because the shingles are curling up on the edges.’ But you get up and look on the top – you know, get up on top of the roof – I mean it still – the sand that they put on for coloring and stuff like that, that isn’t coming off. It’s not showing bare asphalt on it. It’s just the curls of the corners of it.

    TOM: OK, if your shingles are curling up, I’ll tell you right now that roof is probably older than 20 years. Because the shingle technology has changed and the new ones have been out for a good 15, maybe more, years …

    LESLIE: And they don’t even curl, regardless of the wear.

    TOM: … and they don’t curl anymore. Yeah, the older ones that are 20, 25 and older are the ones that curl and so, if you’re seeing the edge of those shingles curl up – now, the fact that you don’t – that you still have sand on there, that doesn’t mean the shingle is not worn because what happens is the oil in the shingles evaporates; the asphalt becomes more porous and then it holds more water against the roof. So, if your shingles are starting to visibly deteriorate and curl and crack like that, then I would think that a new roof is in your future. Now we’re not talking about an emergency; you’ve got to do it next week.

    REDD: No.

    TOM: But certainly within the next year; that would a good time for you to start thinking about replacing that and if your shingles are curled like that, I would absolutely not recommend an additional layer because the next layer will look uneven and unsightly. I would definitely strip down the existing one or two layers that are on there right now and put only one layer on.

    REDD: Oh, this is an original layer. There’s only one layer.

    TOM: I would still strip it off. I wouldn’t put a second layer on if the shingles are curled like that.

    REDD: What about putting a metal roof over top of them?

    TOM: (overlapping voices) That you could do.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Now, that you could do.

    TOM: Yeah, that you could do and that’s – you know, that’s going to be a very expensive solution, but metal roofs are terrific and they last, you know, 50, 100 years.

    LESLIE: Fifty years.

    TOM: Yeah.

    REDD: And they’re cheaper in the long run, though.

    LESLIE: Oh, yeah.

    TOM: Yeah, if you live that long. (laughs)

    REDD: Well, I won’t — well I won’t live 50 to 100. I’m already 69. (chuckles) Alright, thank you.

    TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974 and we certainly hope that Redd makes it through the next roof and the one after that.

    LESLIE: Talking to Monique in Utah. What can we help you with today at The Money Pit?

    MONIQUE: I have a front entry door that has that six-inch window that runs the length of the door that has clear glass. And I have a curtain up there now but I would really like to put something on there that would kind of make it look more fogged or crystallized or something. I’ve heard there are products out there, or tints, but I’m not sure if that’s true or not.

    LESLIE: Now, it’s just sort of a light that’s in the center of the door? Is it paned in any way?

    MONIQUE: No, it runs the side – the length of the door. It’s …

    LESLIE: So it’s like two sidelights. Or just one sidelight?

    MONIQUE: No, it’s just one window that runs the length of the door. So right next to the door there’s this little window that runs – it’s about six inches wide and runs the full length of the door.

    LESLIE: OK, so there’s no grillwork or anything on there?

    MONIQUE: No. No.

    LESLIE: You can get – if you’re looking for frosting, there’s actually a spray can of glass frosting. I think Krylon makes it. It’s available at craft stores and home centers. And you just have to be careful in your application of it because you want to make sure you do it uniformly; you don’t want to end up with areas where you get spray heavy. So you might want to get a piece of glass just to sort of practice on to get your technique down. But that works extremely well. They also have colored frosted glass paint but I – you know, we’ve used it on the TV shows I’ve worked on. I think it can look a little cutesy and chintzy, in some cases, but if you pick a nice color it might do the trick. Or you can get rice paper; you know, beautiful paper that comes in lengths on rolls or several different colors of it and almost put it together as a patchwork or run the whole length of the glass and attach that with just some double-stick tape or even some spray adhesive lightly in some key areas in the corners just to sort of hold it in place so that you’re not spraying adhesive all across the entire glass. And those are some good ideas to sort of give you a different sort of take on it.

    MONIQUE: OK. Now, I have a dog that likes to put her nose against it, so would I be better off using the Krylon product, do you think, for that?

    TOM: The frosted paints, as good as they are, they’re not going to take repetitive nose prints.

    MONIQUE: No, no. I think once it’s frosted up she won’t be as prone to look out there. But that’s another reason. I just – I want to have something, you know, if she …

    LESLIE: Because I know that once it’s dry it even gets a little powdery if you kind of brush it.

    MONIQUE: Oh, OK, OK.

    LESLIE: So I think with a wet nose you might end up with a little wet nose spot.

    MONIQUE: Little spots underneath it. Oh, I don’t want that.

    TOM: Yeah, exactly.

    MONIQUE: OK. Well, I’ll have to figure out something to keep her away from there but I – if she can’t look out it anymore I think it’d be a nice thing. But it’s mainly the people looking in; the little kids that press their faces. So it’d be nice to have a little privacy there without having to replace the full glass. So, OK. I’ll give that a whirl.

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

    You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, we’ll be joined by the guy that makes all those rating decisions at Consumer Reports. Bob Markovich is joining us with their findings when it comes to picking a washer and a dryer. We’ll help you choose the best one for your needs, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Rheem water heaters. For dependable, energy-efficient tank and tankless water heaters, you can trust Rheem. Learn more at SmarterHotWater.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Call us now with your home improvement question. Call us now with your do-it-yourself dilemma. Call us now if you’re thinking about getting a new washer and dryer. If you’re going to do that, you probably want more energy efficiency in the choice of those appliances.

    Now, we know, generally today, that front loaders are the best way to go to save both water and energy. But if you think they’re too pricy, we’ve got some good news on the horizon. The prices are actually coming down.

    LESLIE: Yeah, that’s right and here to tell us about that and all the test results from a whole range of washers and dryers is Bob Markovich. He is the home franchise editor for a very fantastic magazine – Consumer Reports. Welcome, Bob.

    BOB: Thanks. Good to be here.

    TOM: So Bob, you preside over pretty much all the editorial content that has to do with our homes; washers and dryers and ranges and refrigerators and lawnmowers and paints. So, you’ve got a pretty important job over there and now you’ve tackled the task of identifying the best washers and dryers out there. What’s the top line? What did you find are some of the best buys out there in washers and dryers?

    BOB : I think this is an area of really, really great news because last time we tested – and that was actually in June ’07 – you had to spend at least $900, at least, to get better than, well, mediocre washing performance. And that’s what’s changed. Because of the tough, new energy standards, even top loaders now have to be much more efficient and at first they were really having difficulty getting more efficiency and better washing. But at least among the top loaders now, you can really, really get a great machine that really doesn’t cost a whole lot of money. In fact, while you can spend $1,500 or more even for a top loader, we have two great ones; one of them is the CR Best Buy – GE, WJRE5500G for $480. That’s a …

    LESLIE: Now that’s a good price.

    BOB: Four-hundred-and-eighty dollars for a machine that actually scores very good in washing is really good. The other one is even less money. The Estate – it’s the ETW4400T and that’s just $400.

    TOM: Wow.

    BOB: And again, it did a very good job of washing and at least it got good energy and water efficiency. Good on our test is a three blob.

    TOM: A three blob?

    BOB: The hollow circle that you see. (Tom chuckles) We call it a three blob …

    TOM: Oh, that’s the technical term for it; a blob, huh?

    BOB: That’s right. That’s the technical, insiders’ term …

    TOM: (chuckling) A three blob.

    BOB: … you know, and if you’ve got a solid orange it’s excellent. If you’ve got a half orange it’s very good. If you’ve got a three blob, as we call it – the hollow one – it’s only good, which is mediocre; it’s not bad. And then you’ve got a fair which is half black and you’ve solid black is a poor. So these guys were very, very – were very good in washing, which is nice for the money, and they’re OK in energy efficiency.

    TOM: Well, speaking of energy efficiency, I want to ask you a question about that because, as you mentioned, they used to be real expensive. If you were sitting there and you got yourself a 10-year-old washer and maybe it works OK – it’s not necessarily broken down – does it ever make sense to sort of replace that washer before it totally falls apart because you’ll actually save more money over the long haul?

    BOB: You know what? If you’re looking just to save money, you probably won’t do all that much better. For instance, I will say that the difference now between, say, the least and most efficient washer might be $30 or so a year. That’s not a lot of money. On the other hand, again, a lot more people are green-conscious and, especially if your old machine needs work – machines can last a long time, but our general rule of thumb is that if the repair is going to be more than 50 percent of the cost of a comparable new model it really doesn’t make sense to repair it. You know?

    LESLIE: I was going to say, Bob, are you finding that when folks decide that it’s time to replace one or both units, are they looking to do the washer and dryer at the same time or are they even looking to do the same manufacturer of the units or is it better to sort of evaluate each on their own?

    BOB: It really is better to evaluate each on its own. Actually, to answer the question, some 60 percent of washers and dryers are not bought as a pair. So this is growing as people decide, ‘I want a matching set. I want the same exact color; the controls that look similar.’ But I’ll tell you what. Dryers – most dryers do a pretty good job. There’s a lot less going on with dryers. You know, most did very well, actually. Washers are where you’re going to see the biggest differences and again, especially if you want – we looked at a couple of top loaders that are very inexpensive and are OK for efficiency. Suppose you really want the best in efficiency, not just to save money but you really want to do the right thing by the planet and not only that; you also want the best washing performance, in many cases. A front loader is still the way to go and this is where the prices are really starting to come down. It’s not as cheap as the two I just named; they’re not $400. But we had one of them – and this is a front loader – it was the number two performer; it was an LG model — it’s the WMO642H – $900 instead of $1,500.

    LESLIE: Wow.

    BOB: You know, the one just above it was $1,500 and here’s – it’s almost half …

    TOM: Well, we like when they’re moving in that direction. Bob Markovich is the home franchise editor for Consumer Reports.

    Bob, before we let you go, one question about dryers. I learned recently that Energy Star does not rate dryers so there’s not really such thing as an Energy Star-rated dryer. So I guess the efficiency is really in the washer. If the washer takes the water out, then the dryer has to run less and, hence, is more efficient. Correct?

    BOB: Exactly. That’s what’s great about the front loaders is that they really do a great job of moisture extraction. So that saves drying time; it saves energy that way; it saves time. Just another quick suggestion under front loaders. Another one that was a little bit lower in the ratings but still really a good score was the Frigidaire Gallery. It’s $650 and it scored very, very well and it was excellent in efficiency; very good in energy efficiency; very good in water efficiency and that’s the Gallery GLTF2940F, as in Frank; another very good performer among front loaders, that costs far less than $1,500.

    TOM: Absolutely. Bob Markovich is the home franchise editor for Consumer Reports. The magazine is on newsstands now or you can go online and visit them at ConsumerReports.org.

    LESLIE: Thanks, Bob, so much for all of that great information and all those washers and dryers that are out there on the market.

    Alright, well if you want the benefits of enriched soil in your garden without the work of building a compost pile, we’ve got some tips for you. We’re going to tell you how to turn kitchen scraps into garden gold, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Ryobi, manufacturer of professional-feature power tools and accessories with an affordable price for the do-it-yourselfer. Ryobi Power Tools. Pro features. Affordable price. Available exclusively at The Home Depot. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: Well, if your latest plumbing project has rendered your entire home fireproof, you are in exactly the right place because this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show and we can help you dry things out if you pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And if you ask your question on the air you could also win a great Light On Demand prize package from the folks at Energizer, which includes a twin light center and a desk lamp and it’s worth 90 bucks. So call us right now for your chance to win with your home improvement question at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Alright, Tom, now I know we’ve talked about garbage and the sheer volume of trash that families build up, on an average basis, you know, a lot here on the show. It’s a topic that we do tend to talk about and …

    TOM: Talk trash.

    LESLIE: Yeah, exactly. And what was it? That families generate on the average, a family of four, about 40 pounds of trash weekly?

    TOM: Yep.

    LESLIE: Which is crazy. So if you are interested in cutting down the amount of waste that you and your family generate from your kitchen, why not try this? You can get rid of some of that organic waste without the toil of a traditional compost pile or even one of those composting cans that you can put together for your kitchen itself. Just go ahead and compost directly into your garden. If you collect coffee grounds or teabags or even fruit and vegetable waste, put that all together then go ahead and bury them around existing plants and put them in plots that you’re going to use for planting. And being that this is spring, it’s a great time to really take advantage of all of these benefits. You are going to be just wowed by the mile-high growth results you will see. It’s organic; it’s rich; it’s going to cut down on your trash and it’s going to make your garden beautiful.

    TOM: And think about all the mysterious vegetables that will start to grow as well. (Leslie chuckles) 888-666-3974. Call us right now with your home improvement question; your do-it-yourself dilemma.

    Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Well, spring has sprung and Christopher in Pennsylvania knows this by all of the ladybugs that have invaded his home. Welcome.

    CHRISTOPHER: Hello. Actually, it’s not me lucky. It’s actually my son … (PA system)

    TOM: OK.

    CHRISTOPHER: … and his fianc

0 thoughts on “Home Improvement Tips & Advice

  1. Need some advice – I already attached 2 large custom window boxes (quite professionally I might add!) & now I am tired of waiting for our handyman to install our large wood corbels (that were hand made) to our porch columns. They are arts & craft style – I know to countersink the bolts & plug up the holes with silicone, but afraid to start the project. I have done several small wood projects & they have turned out beautifully (father was a homebuilder)- just don’t know if I should attempt this or call someone else. The corbels are made of 2 lg beams with the back board extending past the top piece, so I might have to drill the holes off to each side. I know to use a large enough bolt, though. They are heavy, but very nice. Any help you can give me would be appreciated. I’m the handyWOMAN in the household!

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