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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: Pick up the tools. It’s time to get to work but we are here to help. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Pick up the phone and call us first, though, and this way, we’ll make that job go smoothly, go successfully. We will discover the hidden pitfalls far earlier than you could possibly think of them. Why, you say? Well, because we’ve probably made them all ourselves and we want to share. And we want you to share, too, so give us a call right now and let’s talk about what’s going on in your money pit.

    Hey, coming up this hour, spring is here. Hooray!

    LESLIE: Thank goodness.

    TOM: And all that warm weather might have you thinking about spring gardening. So, the first step, though, is to get that garden ready. We’re going to tell you, in just a few minutes, what you need to know before you plant that very first seed, to make sure you’ve got a blooming garden in no time.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? Spring, it’s also the time of year that most of us get ready to either buy or sell a house. But you may have heard the saying “caveat emptor”? You know, buyer beware? So we’re going to share tips on the hidden hazards of home-buying, coming up.

    TOM: And what does color say about you? Well, plenty according to one expert. There is a definite psychology to paint colors, that can help create exactly the mood that you’re looking for in any room in the house. You’re going to learn more about that, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And this hour, we’ve got a great prize up for grabs. We are giving away a set of Wordlock products. And it’s the first combination lock that actually uses letters and words, so that it’s easier to remember than your standard combination locks. I mean these are great for locking your outdoor sheds, the locker at the gym, so much more.

    TOM: I love this product, because I can’t tell you how many combination locks I’ve thrown away over the years, because you find the lock and what was the combination?

    LESLIE: Yeah? Don’t tell us your code. Because you forget.

    TOM: And it always comes with a lock. You can’t set it, so it’s nice when you have the ability to set your locks. It’s like your password.

    LESLIE: And unfortunately, I still remember my high-school locker combination.

    TOM: Oh, that’s sick.

    LESLIE: I cannot get any other combination lock. I go strictly for keys.

    TOM: And was it a built-in locker? So if you went back …

    LESLIE: It sure was. So if I told you right now, you’d go into Garden City High School and have your way.

    TOM: And you’d know exactly what locker it was?

    LESLIE: I would.

    TOM: Well, there’s some history there.

    It’s a package worth more than 50 bucks. Going to go out to one caller that reaches us with their home improvement question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Let’s get to it.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Aaron in Kentucky has a question about crown molding. How can we help you with that project?

    AARON: Yeah, we just bought our first house back in May. And I’ve got to be honest, I’ve never been the home improvement type and I really don’t have any tools (inaudible at 0:03:02) other than maybe a ratchet set and a set of screwdrivers.

    TOM: OK.

    AARON: And we’re working on wanting to repaint some of our rooms to kind of give the house a custom feel to it. And I’ve seen some crown molding in some houses and I thought, “How hard could that possibly be? You just cut it and put it up there.”

    And when I went to the local home improvement store, the guy there, he just kind of shook his head and he said, “Oh, my goodness.” He says, “I’ll do drywall, I’ll rebuild an engine but I will not do crown molding.”

    So what I want to know is, is it as bad as they make it out to be?

    TOM: Well, you need more than a ratchet and a screwdriver, I’ll put it that way.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    AARON: Oh, my gosh. Well …

    LESLIE: You’re going to need a compound miter saw, because there’s the angles for how the crown molding goes together.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Then there’s the angle for how your house is, how the wall is, how it meets the ceiling. So it’s sort of a delicate balance of one angle, another angle, the tilt of the blade. So that can be tricky enough as it is.

    TOM: It’s a compound miter cut and it is very difficult. However, for you, I would suggest another route. If you like crown molding, there is a product called Simple Crown. And there’s a couple of them like this. I know this one. Simple Crown – I think their website is SimpleCrown.com.

    And basically, it’s a foam product that looks like wood when it’s painted but it’s all modular, so it’s really easy. The corners are all precut and stuff and you can basically put it up with just caulk.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. It glues in place.

    TOM: Exactly.

    LESLIE: And you know what? It might sound like, “Eee, I don’t know if I’m interested in that,” but I actually used it on an episode of a TV series that I worked on called $100 Makeover, on A&E. And it went up super-easy and I’m telling you, I worked with real carpenters on the show and they laughed at me when I pulled out this foam stuff. I was like, “And you glue it in place with caulk,” and they were like, “Yeah, right. Whatever.”

    But it looks fantastic. When you paint it, it looks just like for-real wood molding and it could not have been more simple to install. So, if you’re feeling like it’s something you want to do yourself, it’s definitely worth it. They’ve got a great website, a ton of different styles out there.

    You could probably – I know the budget for us was $100 per room and we did one of the most simple, simple, simple moldings and I think we spent $50 on the crown for the entire room.

    AARON: Oh, wow. Very affordable and very nice-looking. Well, I’m going to have to check that out.

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

    AARON: Thank you very much for your help.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Rosemarie in Pennsylvania who is dealing with a roofing-shingle issue. Tell us what’s going on.

    ROSEMARIE: We have an issue on our roof. It is a French Normandy-style home with a very high roof pitch.

    TOM: OK.

    ROSEMARIE: And what we have on there right now is an IKO and it’s supposed to hold up to 55 to 75-mile-an-hour winds. However, they’re blowing off. And we’re not sure – we bought the home – it was a custom home. We bought it, we’ve been in it 90 days today and it’s the second time in 90 days that they have blown off.

    TOM: Wow. So this roof was put on in the winter?

    ROSEMARIE: No, this roof was put on, we believe, in the spring. It was put on in 2005.

    TOM: Oh, so it’s been on for several years.

    ROSEMARIE: It has. And we’ve had a 10×10 blow off.

    TOM: Wow.

    ROSEMARIE: We’re on a ridge; we sit at the top of a ridge between two mountain ranges. And the wind whips up but our roof is not holding.

    TOM: Well, I hope you’ve got good homeowners insurance.

    ROSEMARIE: Well, we do but – however, the issue is the original, 25-year warranty did not carry over to us as the new owners.

    TOM: Right. So you’re stuck with what you’re stuck with and unfortunately, there’s only two things you can do here: you can either continue to patch what you have or you could consider replacing the entire roof.

    You know, because it’s such a big area, it’s going to be difficult to stop it from doing what it’s doing. If it was just a small area or a few shingles, we’d tell you to add some asphalt cement underneath the shingle tabs.


    TOM: But since it’s a massive area like that, my concern is that it’s just going to continue to keep happening. This particular roof is just not standing up well to the winds. The one shingle that I’m familiar with that, I think, is – will stand up to over 100 miles an hour is Owens Corning.

    LESLIE: It’s an Owens Corning, yeah.

    TOM: They have a wind-resistant shingle product that is very, very good. But it’s kind of hard to repair what you have now, because the problem is that the adhesion on the shingle tab is just not working.

    ROSEMARIE: Well, that’s what – we were trying to get your opinion – if it were just better, as the new owners, to go ahead and put a shingle on there that’s going to hold up to 110 to 130-mile winds.

    TOM: Yeah. I think so, for the long haul. It’s probably what you’re going to be up against.

    ROSEMARIE: OK. Well, that’s what we were looking for.

    TOM: I wonder if you can get part of this financed by your insurance company. If you’ve had that kind of damage, they may pay for replacement instead of repair so they don’t have to keep coming back.

    ROSEMARIE: Right. We have a great insurance company that is willing to work with us. It was not – the previous owner, I guess, only had one little issue in the years that they owned it. But in 90 days, like I said, we’ve had 2.

    TOM: Yeah.

    ROSEMARIE: And the last one, the winds only got up to, I think, 50 miles an hour but they went everywhere.

    TOM: Well, it’s like pulling a thread. Once you get going, you never know how far it’s going to go.

    ROSEMARIE: Exactly. Exactly.

    TOM: Right.

    ROSEMARIE: And with the wind and the rain and the snow that we’d had this past winter, it just – something needs to be done with us going into the spring now, so …

    TOM: Yeah. And I would probably tell you to take off the original roof and not just put a second layer on it.


    TOM: So that you have a really good …

    LESLIE: So that you know that the adhesion’s working.

    TOM: To cure adhesion, yeah. That’s right. Mm-hmm.

    ROSEMARIE: OK. Great. Well, that’s what we wanted to know and I thank you very much.

    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, design, décor. Whatever you are working on, we are here to give you a hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, you might have found your dream home but you have to make sure the home-buying process does become a nightmare. We’re going to tell you about the hidden hazards of home-buying, 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. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. One caller we talk to on the air is going to win a set of Wordlock combination locks. These are the first combo locks with the words instead of numbers, making them easier to use and remember. They can be reset again and again. Kids love them.

    It’s a prize pack. You’re going to get a padlock, a bike lock and a combination lock. It’s worth more than 50 bucks. Going to go out to one caller that reaches us with their home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, where we will unlock the answer.

    LESLIE: And maybe you’ve got a question about buying or selling a home.

    Now, you know if you’re buying a house, when you finally get to that point where you find your dream home after months of hunting, it can be really exciting and probably such a huge relief that you just can’t wait to sign on the dotted line. But not so fast. It’s what you can’t see that can cost you big bucks.

    Now, a perfect interior, that could actually hide major issues that are costly to correct. So what you have to do is you must, must, must get your home inspected by a certified home inspector. Because there are several problems that may turn up that would require a return to the negotiating table, at the very least, or at the worst-case scenario, kill the deal altogether.

    TOM: And you can find a certified home inspector at the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors at ASHI – A-S-H-I – .org.

    Now, for example, you may have fallen in love with a home that could also be one that was fallen in love with by a bunch of termites. But the sooner those termites are detected, the better. So you want to make sure you know what threats exist and what needs to be done, in order to prevent the return of termites or other intruders.

    Other things to look out for might include poor drainage. And that can lead to a whole host of pricey problems, including wood rot, damp and wet basements, wet crawlspaces and major mold growth, which is a big problem in the spring.

    Also, be mindful of problems like cracked or crumbling foundations that need repairs, with costs ranging from moderate to very expensive. This is just a small selection of the kinds of problems that could be detected by a good-quality, professional home inspector.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And finally, you may want to look into specialized inspectors, because a person who specializes in certain areas, they might be able to look for evidence of harmful materials like asbestos or lead, radon or even that Chinese drywall that has made so many homeowners very ill. And we’ve all been reading a lot about that in the press. So you might want to look into somebody who specializes into these things, if you know that that’s common in the area or the age of the house.

    Now, your home’s inspection results, they’re going to cover everything that’s right with a property, so be ready to weigh the pros and the cons and then negotiate with the seller if it makes sense to do so. And definitely, I would say take the reduction in the purchasing price rather than having them do the repair. If they do the repair, definitely have it reinspected again after. But definitely do something, because you’ve got something in your hands that’s going to be a great tool to help you get a house that you want, at a price that’s fair.

    If you want to learn more, Google “money pit hidden home hazards” and you’ll get a ton of info there.

    TOM: 888-666-3974 is the only number you need to know for the answers to your home improvement question, so let’s get back to it.

    Leslie, who’s next?

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Matt from Illinois with a heating question. Matt, how can we help you today?

    MATT: Thanks for taking my call, guys. Love your show. I just bought my first house and I’m looking to convert a room into an office.

    TOM: OK.

    MATT: But it’s an addition and wasn’t covered with the heating and cooling system that I’ve got currently in the house.

    TOM: OK.

    MATT: And unfortunately, my contractor says that my system isn’t big enough to cover that room.

    TOM: You must have got a good deal on this, since they didn’t heat the addition.

    LESLIE: It’s only for summer usage and even then, it’s uncomfortable.

    MATT: Right.

    TOM: You know, a good option for you might be something called a split-ductless system. Mitsubishi is a leading manufacturer in this space and they have these split-ductless systems that are pretty cool. They’re very energy-efficient and they consist of a small compressor that sits outside the house. And then there’s an air handler that mounts inside the house, usually up on a wall; sometimes above a window. And it supplies warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer.

    Now, I know about this because I actually have one in my office. I’ve got an office that’s on the south side of the house and we, unlike you, have – actually do have heat and cooling in here but we don’t have enough of it because it overheats. So we use a Mr. Slim, which is made by Mitsubishi, to actually supply additional cooling to this space and it’s wonderful in the summertime.

    LESLIE: I also have a Mr. Slim in my home. It’s actually in the basement of my home and the reason why we sort of went with this option – because we were looking to put central air into the house. There was no way to get ducts from the upper levels into the basement, just because our house is super-old and there was really no place for ductwork. So the Mr. Slim split-system was really the best choice and a perfect application for us.

    And it’s great. It’s mounted on the wall; it’s about a foot high by 2 feet wide. You barely notice it. I mean it’s really a fantastic item. It cools really well, it heats fantastically when I need it and it’s super-quiet. And you know what? It wasn’t that expensive to install or to run.

    MATT: So a Mitsubishi Mr. Slim?

    TOM: Yep. That’s the system. You can take a look at their website, which is MitsubishiComfort.com.

    MATT: OK.

    TOM: And that’s the website for the Mitsubishi Electric Company. And they’ve got a great Homeowners section there that kind of walks you through the system. There’s an interactive tour. You can really learn lots about it right there.

    MATT: Excellent. Thank you so much, guys. I knew you’d have the answer.

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

    LESLIE: Sharon in Texas is working on a bathroom project. What’s going on there?

    SHARON: Hi. Well, yes, I’ve got a bath-and-a-half and I’m talking about the half-bathroom. There’s only a lavatory inside and the toilet. Now, I’m going to have to replace the flooring because the toilet has gotten old and I’m replacing it. Do I need to replace just where the toilet was or the whole floor?

    LESLIE: Hmm. You should be able – correct me if I’m wrong, Tom – be able to just replace the commode itself without damaging the floor, correct? Because it’s just attached with some bolts and a wax seal.

    SHARON: The floor is getting old, too.

    TOM: Well, then, you’re sort of moving into the three most expensive words in home improvement here: might as well.


    TOM: And so if you’re asking us to endorse the idea of replacing the floor, you have our blessing, you have our endorsements. We think you should just continue and do that. But if you’re asking me do you absolutely have to replace the floor, the answer is no. I will say, however, that sometimes the toilet base on the old toilet is a lot bigger than the toilet base on the new toilet and if that happens, you could get – find yourself in a situation where the floor is somewhat unfinished around the toilet.

    LESLIE: And I wouldn’t – Sharon, I wouldn’t just replace the flooring in the area of the commode; I feel like that might look very piecemeal and not very well thought-out or put together. You can find – if it’s a half-bath, you’re probably dealing with very small square-footage. Am I right?

    SHARON: Yes.

    LESLIE: So, generally, you’re probably looking at maybe, what, 6 square feet, 8 square feet, 10 square feet?

    SHARON: Yeah, I’d say about six-and-a-half to seven.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s not that much, so you might just go ahead and do it.

    LESLIE: So that’s not going to be that expensive and depending on the type of flooring that you choose, you could find anything as low as $3 to $4 a square, depending on what you pick.

    SHARON: OK. OK. Well, good. Thank you. Because it was like, “Do I replace the half of the floor or replace the whole floor?” And the reason why I keep saying about replacing, because I’ve noticed in the back of the toilet there, on the floor, it looks like it could – it’s wiggly. So, does that mean I need to replace it because it’s wiggly or just – could it be just the toilet itself?

    TOM: Do you think the floor is soft in that area?

    SHARON: Yes. I’m almost sure that it is.

    TOM: Ah, well, here’s what’s going on. You may have a slight leak around the wax seal and if that’s the case, if the floor is soft, you may have some rotted subfloor there and that’s a little bit of a bigger repair. If that’s the case, you definitely are going to have to pull up the old floor and fix any of the rotted material that’s underneath it and put down a new floor.

    SHARON: Thank you. Thank you because I was – and that’s – I think that’s what I’m going to do; I feel safer that way.

    TOM: See, I just gave you the reason you needed to replace that floor, which is what you wanted to do, anyway.

    SHARON: Well, yes, you did and I thank you so much for confirming that.

    TOM: Happy to help you out.

    SHARON: Thank you.

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

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, we’ve got tips to help you create both a look and a feel for your next decorating project.

    LESLIE: That’s right. We’re going to tell you how the psychology of paint color can actually help you create the perfect, new space in your house, so stick around.

    (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. Well, when it comes to your home’s décor, you might think that interior design is mostly an artistic task. But there can be science behind your home’s design, as well, especially when it comes to the colors that you choose to use within your home.

    TOM: That’s right. The color you choose can affect the mood or the emotions of anyone that enters that space. So, what colors should you choose for specific rooms in the house and what do they say about you?

    Here to tell us more about that is Deborah Zimmer. She’s the color expert from the Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute.

    Hi, Debbie.

    DEBBIE: Hi, Tom. How are you?

    TOM: So do you get to psychoanalyze us when you walk into the house and check out the colors on the walls?

    DEBBIE: Well, I just might be able to do that.

    LESLIE: You know, Deb, I remember years ago hearing something that fast-food restaurants love to go with red and yellow because they make people hungry. And at one point, I had painted a kitchen, in one of my first apartments, red and let me tell you, I probably put on 15 pounds.

    DEBBIE: There you go.

    LESLIE: Because every time I walked in there, I was like, “What can I eat? What can I have?” It really did sort of evoke this cooking/food/want-to-eat-and-be-homey kind of feel, just because the color.

    DEBBIE: Yes, you’re absolutely right. And so, red in a kitchen or a dining room really does increase your appetite. It also does a few other things. It can raise your blood pressure; it can certainly create excitement. And so, red in a child’s bedroom probably isn’t the best hue to use.

    TOM: So what’s the color that you should paint your kitchen if you want to lose weight?

    DEBBIE: Well, probably, you’re looking at something more around a blue, because a blue tends to be a non-appetizing color.

    TOM: OK.

    LESLIE: I mean it’s really amazing that all of these colors have this wonderful association, because I always go with icy-blues or soft blues – even soft greens and grays – in a bedroom, because they seem to have very relaxing tones or relaxing feels. Is there truly a science to that?

    DEBBIE: There absolutely is. And we know that colors on the cooler side of the color wheel, just as you mentioned – blues, greens; even lavenders and lilac – tend to be much more calming than the warmer hues on the opposite side. And those, of course, are yellow, orange and red.

    TOM: Debbie, you mentioned, in an article that we read about you, that green is a very popular color. You say that it’s very versatile and it has a soothing effect but it also represents renewal, youth and vigor. And I was interested to read that because we’re actually painting my daughter’s room right now and she’s a 14-year-old and that’s exactly the color that she wanted.

    DEBBIE: Oh, that’s a wonderful color for a teen’s room or a pre-teen. And think about the beautiful hues that come out in the spring. It is about renewal; it is about all of those wonderful green tints, tones and shades. So that’s a great choice.

    LESLIE: And it’s funny you also mentioned that purple, while it’s a tricky color, teen girls really tend to go for it. And I actually just designed the room for a nine-year-old girl and she had to, had to, had to have a purple room. So I sort of led her in a softer but still powerful kind of a lighter violet hue, because I felt like it could be soothing and focusing but still in that family and that tone that she wanted. Did I do a good job picking a color?

    DEBBIE: Oh, you absolutely did. And purple is tricky, as we’ve stated. Most adults are not drawn to purple but children, traditionally, are. And think about all the popular cartoon characters and superheroes that are all dressed in purple.

    TOM: Right. Barney.

    DEBBIE: It is really, really a children’s color.

    TOM: Yeah.

    DEBBIE: However, on the opposite end of that, purple can also be very regal. It is the color of royalty and so purple tends to jump in and out of fashion, based on what’s happening in the news and what the trends are.

    TOM: Now what about orange? You say that it’s a happy color but that’s also sort of a warning color. How do you kind of mix the two uses of that particular color?

    DEBBIE: Orange can be very warm. It can be a great color, like yellow, for a foyer space. But if it is too bold of a color, you might feel like you’re a road-construction work crew, with that bright orange sort of stop-on.

    TOM: Right. That’s what I would be afraid of. Right.

    LESLIE: Now, how do you avoid, Deb – I feel like orange is such a seasonal color. It has such a – into the right tone, I feel like it’s very autumn-y. But if you do love it and want to use it in a space where it will work, how do you avoid going with something that would feel overwhelmingly autumn or do you just accept it because you like orange and go with it?

    DEBBIE: Well, that’s – there’s two answers to that question. If you really want to use an orange hue and have it be representative of all the seasons, you probably want to lighten it up a bit and perhaps go with something that has a little bit of white in it, so it’s more coral-heading.

    TOM: Right.

    DEBBIE: Now, we like to say color is really a very personal decision. If you want a pumpkin orange and you’re really happy with that throughout the year, then you know what? Go ahead and paint your space because at the end of the day, if you grow tired of that within a space, it’s only paint. You can simply repaint it.

    TOM: We’re talking to Debbie Zimmer. She’s the color expert with the Paint Quality Institute.

    Deb, before we let you go, what about the non-colors? What about the pure blacks, the pure whites? Are those still good accent colors?

    DEBBIE: Oh, they are absolutely wonderful accent colors and in fact, we’re seeing an increased use of soft whites within a space, coupled with black as an accent. And it really makes for a very sophisticated, clean room. And a lot of folks who are very color-forward, meaning they used color quite often, are heading now towards that more neutral-based room.

    TOM: Great information, Debbie Zimmer, from the Paint Quality Institute.

    If you want more great tips on paint, you can check out their website at PaintQuality.com.

    Thanks, Debbie.

    DEBBIE: Thanks, Tom.

    LESLIE: Alright. Still to come, the secrets to successful spring gardening, after this.

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    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by ODL’s Add-On Blinds. Enclosed behind tempered glass, they eliminate the need for dusting and exposed cords, both problems with traditional blinds. Plus, they easily install over your existing entry glass. Visit www.ODL.com to learn more.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online with The Money Pit community at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. And you should give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT, because one caller that we talk to this hour is going to win a super-cool prize. We’ve got the Wordlock combination locks up for grabs.

    And these are the first combination locks with words instead of numbers. That’s fantastic, because how many locks and numbers and things do you have to lose before you’re finally like, “Forget it. I’m getting one with a key.”

    So this beats everything. It’s got words, so you can make up really cool, little sayings and then you can reset your lock again and again. Check out Wordlock at Wordlock.com or on Facebook. And the prize pack we are giving away this hour, of assorted locks, is worth more than 50 bucks. So pick up the phone and give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT for your chance to win.

    TOM: Well, with the weather warming up, it’s time to start thinking about your spring garden. But before you start planting, you need to get your garden ready, with a few tips.

    First up, break out the rake and the garbage bags and take this time to clean up organic litter like leaves, sticks and other debris. You want to remove any dead or dying plants and make repairs to any fencing, stepping stones or seats. And don’t forget to clear debris out of the ponds or the feeders.

    It’s also a good time to take a look at your soil. You might need to add some things to get it good to go. Sometimes we have to add sand, sometimes we have to till in some organic additives and sometimes we need to mix in some compost. What you need to do is going to depend on what kind of soil you have right now. You could turn to a local garden center for some more advice on that.

    And don’t forget about the mulch. The mulch is important, too, especially in those areas where you maybe don’t have a flower garden but perhaps you’ve got some beds, because it keeps the moisture in in those hot, summer months ahead.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Now, also, while you’re going around your garden, you might notice that you’ve got some summer-blooming plants, like your roses. And those are going to need to be pruned.

    Now, as long as you’re getting up close and personal with those branches, you want to be sure to check the plants for any damages or signs of disease or even pest infestations. If you do notice them, treat them now. And it’s also a great time to start thinking about any plants that you want to grow from a seed, because this is the perfect time to get those seeds into the ground.

    Now, a rich, flourishing garden really depends on the steps taken ahead of time, so get your garden ready now and then you can enjoy a long, lush season.

    Cindy in Texas has a painting question. How can we help?

    CINDY: I have – my bathroom and my kitchen has this weird kind of a wallboard in it. And it’s almost like a plastic. I had gone to one of the hardware stores and the man told me if I bought some KILZ and painted it with the KILZ and then whatever kind of paint that I wanted to use, it would take care of the problem. But someone else told me that if I did that, the paint would probably peel off. Do you have a suggestion?

    LESLIE: And you’re sure the vinyl is not like a vinyl wallpaper on top of regular wall?

    CINDY: I don’t think so. I think it’s some kind of a weird, wallboard stuff.

    TOM: OK. Well, I think the advice that your hardware-store guy gave you is the right advice. I would, however, clarify that you should use oil-based KILZ, because it comes in oil base and an acrylic base. And whenever you have a very difficult material like that, you really do want to use the oil base, even though it’s a little more difficult to clean up. You’ll get better adhesion.

    And once you have that material on with good adhesion to whatever this vinyl-covered wallboard is below, then I think you’re going to find that you can put a good-quality wall paint over that and you’ll be much happier with the result.

    CINDY: OK. OK. And so then I should use the oil-based with an oil-based paint over the top of that?

    TOM: No, no.

    LESLIE: No.

    TOM: You don’t need oil base – no, you don’t use an oil – you do not need an oil-based top coat. Just use an oil-based primer and you can use a latex top coat.

    CINDY: OK. Just – OK. OK. Well, I’m going to try that then.

    TOM: It’s the only time that oil and water do really mix, OK?

    CINDY: OK. Thank you so much.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Cindy. Thanks so much for calling us.

    LESLIE: Tom in Arizona is working on a bathroom project. Welcome to The Money Pit.

    TOM IN ARIZONA: I’m remodeling a hall bathroom. It’s a small bathroom and it has a tub, which is the original built, you know, in the house in ’79. It’s a cast-iron. It’s 30 inches by 60 inches by 14 inches deep.

    Now, I was thinking and wanted to see about maybe putting in a 32×60 that would be 16¼ inches deep. It’s a KOHLER tub.

    TOM: OK.

    TOM IN ARIZONA: Now, how much problem am I going to have to have to move over the possibility of a new drain, a new fill and I understand there may be a vent pipe that could possibly be interfering there somewhere?

    TOM: Well, first of all, when you replace your fixtures like that, you invariably have to make some adjustment to the plumbing. So what you’re describing is not necessarily further complicating this project in a really big way. You already had to do this. You would be – it would be very unlikely for you to find a new bathtub that fit in the exact space of the old bathtub.

    But certainly, you’re going to have to do some plumbing. When you get the old tub out, you can make all those changes to move the supply pipes and the drain pipes to the proper rough-in locations and then you drop in the new KOHLER and you’re good to go.

    TOM IN ARIZONA: The thing is, is it really worth the value? There’s nothing – I’ve got one, small chip in this tub that I have now. I’m looking at value. I live in Phoenix, where the home values are way down that …

    TOM: Well, if you’re telling me that you’ve got one, small chip in a tub and for that you want to replace the whole thing, yeah, I would be hard-pressed to make that economic argument for a chip. But if you want a wider tub – I mean KOHLER is particularly good at accessibility issues and if you’ve got one that’s bigger and wider and going to be more comfortable for you, then that’s the reason to do it; not to replace the old, chipped tub that you had in the first place.

    TOM IN ARIZONA: OK. I appreciate it, because it’s been a difficult decision to make, cost-wise.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, has the outside skin of your home seen better days? Well, if you’re thinking about new siding, there are many options available. We’re going to walk you through the choices so you can decide what’s right for you, next.

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    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Stanley Tools, your trusted name in quality hand tools. To learn more about their complete line of quality tools and everything for your tool box, visit StanleyTools.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: Call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. And we’d love if you would log on to MoneyPit.com and join The Money Pit community. We’ve got great project ideas there. We’ve got info and we’ve got advice from your fellow DIYers. And there’s some additional advice from Leslie and I, too; we chime in now and again.

    You can also create your own blog post or post pictures of your projects, that you can share on Facebook. It’s all in the Community section of MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: And while you’re in the Community section, you can post your question, just like Dorothy from Georgia did. She writes: “Is it necessary to remove the wood shingles before getting the house sided or can insulation and siding be put right over the existing shingles? The house is 50 years old.”

    TOM: Well, first of all, Dorothy, my answer depends somewhat on what type of siding you are thinking about adding.

    If it’s vinyl siding, yeah, it can be put on top of the old shingles, although I prefer to see you take them off. And in terms of the insulation, vinyl siding does come with an insulation backer but generally, it’s not worth the added expense. If you want to insulate those exterior walls, you can do that using blown-in insulation, which can be installed from the outside first and then those holes would be covered by the new siding product.

    But in terms of the insulation, make sure that you also have plenty of attic insulation, because that’s the place where you get the most heat loss. Walls would be probably third on my list. First attic, then floors, then walls, because walls are the hardest and they also – they don’t really contribute as much to the warmth of the house, especially compared to the attic, which is – definitely has the most heat loss altogether.

    Other types of siding material that you might want to choose at this time, since you’re thinking about it, one of which is a Hardie Plank, which is a – like a fibrous material; very hard, very durable. I’ve got some on a garage here on my property and I tell you, it looks just like wood shingles but it has almost no maintenance associated with it. So make sure you take a look at all of those high-tech materials that are out, as well, in addition to the vinyl.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? With the more high-tech materials, as Tom mentioned, the maintenance really is the key factor. So think about how much work you want to put into your home in the long run and that will probably help you to make a decision as to what type of material you want right now.

    Alright, Dorothy. I hope that helps you.

    TOM: Well, if you’ve got a need for a bit of organization, Leslie has got a tip on instant organization in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.

    LESLIE: That’s right. This is a super-easy one. You can today, right now, go ahead and paint the side of a free-standing bookcase, cabinet or even a dresser like, say, in your kid’s room or your teen’s room with a layer of magnetic paint. Hmm. Didn’t know about that one. You’re probably scratching your head right now.

    But they are out there and available in a ton of different colors and it’s just like paint except that as you’re painting whatever area you are working on, you want to make sure that you mix that paint frequently, because the magnetic sediments that are built into the paint sort of drop to the bottom. So if you keep giving it a good mix as you’re working with it, you’re going to make sure that the entire surface you paint has even areas of magnetism. I know that’s usually a word used for people but I didn’t know how else to describe it when you’re talking about getting a magnet to stick to something.

    Now, once the magnetic base layer is dry, if you weren’t able to find it in the color that you want, you can add your top coat. This way, you get that surface to look exactly as you want it to. Then you can attach your important notices, invitations, homework assignments, family photos or you can even just showcase your prized magnet collection. We’ve got ones from all over the globe. Unfortunately, with a stainless-steel refrigerator, they are sort of relegated to the side, which makes us very unhappy. So if you’ve got a good one, show it off today.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next week on the program, we’re going to have some tips on how to get those flower beds going, so that you can have some beautiful foliage to look at very, very soon.

    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.

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    (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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