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Home Improvement Tips & Advice

  • Transcript

    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.)


    (promo/theme song)

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show, making good homes better. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And scientific surveys show that listening to this program results in 30 percent fewer trips to the emergency room as a result.

    LESLIE: I’m not going to let you get away with ‘shurveys.’

    TOM: Surveys.

    LESLIE: Shurveys. Shurvey shays. (chuckling)

    TOM: Survey says. Listen to this show and we will keep you safe. We will keep you healthy. We will keep you happy with your home improvement projects. How do we do that? Well call us right now and ask us your home improvement question. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.

    Coming up this hour on The Money Pit, we’re going to give you some simple tips about things that you can do to make it even easier and more convenient to do things around your house; like turning on a light bulb or pulling open a cabinet with your hands full. That’s right.

    LESLIE: Ah, multitasking.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) We’re going to give you some tips on how you can multitask around the house.

    LESLIE: Plus, now that we are in the full swing of holiday cooking, folks, we’re going to tell you how you can prevent cooking fires; which is the source of many house fires. But with a little attention and a lot of safety, you can make sure that your kitchen is safe.

    TOM: Yeah, you know how Leslie learned this? Because her shopping list for a holiday meal includes a turkey, stuffing and a fire extinguisher.

    LESLIE: (chuckling) You know better than that.

    TOM: Because it’s just safe. (chuckling) Not that you really need it. It’s just safer to do things that way.

    Also coming up, metal roofs. You might be picturing corrugated tin but metal roofs have come a very long way. And they can look like any type of shingle roof that you like and they’re incredibly durable. And guess what? They’re really energy efficient. There are new coatings on metal roofs that make them very energy efficient. We’re going to learn all about it.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and they last way longer than traditional roofing materials …

    TOM: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: … so it’s a good investment.

    And we’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news. Alright, bad news first. The bad news is that we’re not going to be giving away our usual prize to one caller we choose this hour. Sorry, folks.

    TOM: Aw, why not?

    LESLIE: The good news, however, is that we’re going to choose two callers – ding, ding, ding! –

    TOM: Alright.

    LESLIE: – to each win a great prize winterization kit from DAP. It’s a big prize, folks.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s got like everything that you need to seal up your house for the winter. So call us right now. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Sandra listens on WPRO out of Rhode Island. What can we do for you today?

    SANDRA: I’m calling to ask what I need for a single woman’s toolkit. I would call it every single’s toolkit but …

    TOM: Oh, well that’s so much different than a married woman’s toolkit. (chuckling)

    SANDRA: Yeah. I’m going to be unmarried after 100 years and I have never had to hang a painting so …

    TOM: Well, good for you.

    SANDRA: … what do I ask for in the divorce suit for minimum tools?

    TOM: We always joke – Leslie and I always joke because, you know, we get these manufacturers that sell us like – send us the press releases on the latest pink tool kits. And you know …

    SANDRA: Oh, I’ve seen those.

    TOM: … women don’t want pink toolkits.

    LESLIE: No.

    TOM: Women want tools that are going to be built for their hands; that are going to be comfortable and safe and successful for them to use for their home improvement projects. And that’s basically what you’re looking for.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and you know what? Sandra, I have some friends who own a company out of Denver, Colorado called Tomboy Tools. And what they do is they sell tools made by women for women but, you know, they’re made, you know, like a man’s tool. There’s everything that you would have on a regular tool except they’re just changed a little bit so that when you hold a power driver, the trigger’s a little bit bigger; there’s a level so that you know you’re driving your screw in straight and you’re drilling a hole. And what I love best about Tomboy Tools is that if you don’t know how to use the tools, they offer a service where they will educate you on how to do simple things like repair drywall, how to use a power driver; you know, simple things around the house that you can feel confident to do.

    SANDRA: Wow.

    LESLIE: If you to go TomboyTools.com, you can purchase an assortment of kits. You can even get one that’s a step stool that comes with a variety of hand tools. The prices are very affordable. And then what you can do is you can look into a Tomboy Tools grouping in your area. I’m sure there’s a representative in Rhode Island. And they will come to your house and show you how to use it. So it’s definitely a good resource.

    SANDRA: That is terrific. And maybe I can even talk him into a pink box (ph).

    LESLIE: (chuckling) It’s yellow. I’m sure you can paint it.

    SANDRA: Oh, yellow? That’s OK. We’ll put pink stickers on it or something. But I really like the step stool idea with the tools in it.

    LESLIE: It’s really excellent because it keeps everything on hand and it gives you a leg up to do whatever job around the house that you just can’t reach.

    SANDRA: Well, I knew you guys would have the answer. Thanks so much.

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

    LESLIE: If you’re listening to The Money Pit on KZNT, you might be Steve from Colorado. How can we help you?

    STEVE: Do you guys know of a solution to – I guess you would call it a bad homeowner’s sheetrock job.

    TOM: A bad spackle job, huh?

    STEVE: Well, what he did is he refinished the basement, put up the sheetrock and then he taped it and looks like he sort of tried to finish it. But every joist and every seam shows and then it was – looks like he – instead of – it wasn’t like splattered on with a machine. It was more like rolled on with a paint roller brush.

    TOM: Almost like textured?

    STEVE: Yeah. And my question was – I’m trying to figure out is there any way to redo that or would I have to …?

    TOM: Well, what you’re going to have to do is get that surface as smooth as possible. Now this is a wall or a ceiling?

    STEVE: Both.

    TOM: Both. Alright. Well …

    LESLIE: That’s a big job.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s a big job. (chuckling) It’s a – it’s a big, stinking mess. You’re going to have to get as much of that texture off as you can. And because it’s spackle, it’s only going to come off if you sand it. If it ends up being too much of a project, what you might want to do is just resurface that by putting another layer of drywall on top of it.

    LESLIE: Yeah, if you can afford the half-inch loss of space all around.

    TOM: Or even quarter-inch.

    LESLIE: Yeah, true. Because otherwise, there’s going to be so much dust. It’s going to be a giant mess and you need to make sure that you get everything out of that basement and contain that area so well so that that dust doesn’t escape to the rest of the house. And you must make sure that you properly, you know, dress yourself with respirators and clothing so that you just don’t get covered in the stuff.

    STEVE: Right. But then you’re saying maybe just go ahead and re-sheetrock.

    TOM: Yeah, go ahead and skim the whole thing. You know, a good example of this is what I did in my house. We had plaster walls that were uneven. And in the first room, we decided to take the plaster walls down but it was just such a big mess that in the next couple of rooms I decided it wasn’t so important to take the plaster walls down (chuckling) and I just put new sheetrock right on top of the old plaster and that worked just perfectly.

    Steve, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Martin in Connecticut, you’re live on The Money Pit. What’s going on?

    MARTIN: Yes, I’d like some information on the hot water heater that’s on demand.

    TOM: Tankless. Mm-hmm.

    MARTIN: Is there going to be a change in my water system such as from a half-inch line to a three quarter-inch line? And how much would it be to install it? Plus, I’m on – my water system is a private well, which is I – the maximum is 40 pounds pressure. Will it work on it?

    TOM: Well, the benefits of a tankless water heater, Martin, is that it’s on demand so it only heats water as you need it. Installing it and purchasing it is more expensive than a traditional water heater. It’s not – it will probably work fine with the heating pipes that you have in your house except that where it needs to be connected to, that needs to be done by a professional plumber.

    Are you going to be in your house for a long time? Because if you are, then you’ll definitely get a payback from spending a little bit more money to install now. It’s a very convenient and very efficient system and we like them a lot, but it is more expensive to put it in to begin with.

    MARTIN: I only have 40 pounds pressure. Will it take that?

    TOM: I don’t think there’s going to be any problem with the amount of pressure.

    MARTIN: Any other advice?

    TOM: Well, my advice to you, Martin, is if you’re going to be in your house for a long time, then you have the opportunity to get a good return on investment for installing a tankless water heater. If you’re going to be in your house for the short term – say, five years or so – then any savings – you’re not going to be in the house long enough to appreciate that.

    MARTIN: Thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Now we’re talking to Iowa with Leonard. What can we do for you?

    LEONARD: OK, we moved from Florida to a very different climate in Iowa.

    TOM: I bet you did.

    LEONARD: Now, we’ve got concerns about what’s going to be better for the weather that we’re in now with the – I’m hearing stories about the metal roofs that we were planning to put on; contracting and expanding and loosening up the screws that it’s put on with.

    TOM: Not an issue.

    LEONARD: But I was wondering what, in that type of climate – with the cold and hot – what would be the better type of roof to put on. And this is a 100-year-old farmhouse …

    TOM: Yeah.

    LEONARD: … that we’re restoring.

    TOM: You know, the metal roofing is so good today. It’s just so much better than the first metal roof that might have been on that house 100 years ago. And not only is it going to last you another 100 years; it’s coated with special paints so it actually is more energy efficient. It’s going to reflect the sun back out as opposed to absorbing the heat like an asphalt shingle roof does.

    LEONARD: That’s good because I had a question about if I should put in a vent because in the attic up there, there’s no type of venting for up inside the attic. That’s why they suggested no metal and going with the – keeping the original wood slats so that there could be a little bit of breathing up there.

    TOM: Well, you’re always going to want to vent a roof properly, but a professional roofing contractor’s going to know how to do that. There’s a good website about metal roofing. It’s simply MetalRoofing.com. It’s the roof site – it’s the website for the – the roof site. It’s the website …

    LESLIE: (chuckling) For the Metal Roofing Alliance.

    TOM: … for the Metal Roofing Association. Yeah, Metal Roofing Alliance. And there’s tons and tons of photos and lot of research on it there. So I really think you ought to take a look at that.

    LEONARD: OK. Are they still put on with screws or nails with little grommets on them?

    TOM: There’s different ways of assembling. It depends on the manufacturer. But you don’t have to worry about the nails or the screws backing out.

    LEONARD: OK. And they do have steels (ph) on the outside once they go through, correct?

    TOM: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean this – these are great roofs. I can’t say enough about them.

    LESLIE: Alright, all you Money Pit listeners. You know how to reach us. You can call in your home repair or your home improvement question all the darn time; 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. And you know how to reach us. 1-888-MONEY-PIT. So use that number folks.

    TOM: Up next, babies know best. We’ve got some tips from AARP for easy home improvement projects that can make your home more safe, more secure, more comfortable no matter what your age.

    (promo/theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: AARP is proud to sponsor The Money Pit. Visit www.AARP.org/UniversalHome to learn more about making your home more functional and comfortable for years to come.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: It’s a great hour. It’s a great idea.

    Well, if you have a baby on the way, you might know that there are a lot of home improvements that can make the home safe and secure. But what you might not know is that many of these same improvements can make the home work well for friends and family of any age whatsoever.

    LESLIE: That’s right. For example, AARP suggests that indoor lighting can be improved by opening shades or opening those blinds and curtains and by using the highest wattage bulb appropriate for that light fixture or lamp. And look for those newer bulbs and fixtures that replicate natural light because they’re going to give you a better light source.

    And you can also replace traditional light switches with those large rocker-like switches. Sometimes they’re called D

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