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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. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Making good homes better at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Call us right now with your home improvement question. Call us for the solution to your do-it-yourself dilemma. What are you doing? What are you working on? If you’ve ever nailed your work glove to a project (chuckling), then you probably need our help. So call us right now. 888-666-3974. We have got a great show planned for this hour.

    LESLIE: If you’re tired of your same old kitchen – you know you’re in there a lot; you’re looking at it all the time – well, we’re going to tell you how to dress up your cabinets and create a whole new look for just a few bucks. We’re talking about hardware, folks.

    TOM: And it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Speaking of which, what does cost a lot is energy. Energy is going to be incredibly expensive this year. But you know what? We’ve got some tips to help you keep those costs down; especially if you’re using a wood burning stove. There is a right way to use it; there’s a wrong way to use it. There’s the right fuels; there’s the wrong fuels. We’re going to show you what you need to know to get the most out of using a wood burning stove.

    LESLIE: And now that we’ve got your home improvement appetites peaked and you’ve got all of these ideas and plans that you want to do …

    TOM: And no money to spend on them.

    LESLIE: Exactly. Where are you going to get that money to finance that major renovation you’ve been thinking about and dreaming about? We’re going to tell you all about that in a great interview later this hour.

    TOM: Plus, one caller we choose is going to win a brand new faucet for your bathroom. Add some bling. It’s worth 65 bucks. It comes from Peerless. To qualify, call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You must have a home improvement question and be willing to come on the air and share that question with us.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Bill in Illinois listens to The Money Pit on Discovery Radio Network. What can we do for you?

    BILL: I’ve got an 80-year-old house that has wood lath and plaster walls and it has some water damage. I was wondering if you think it would be more prudent to take the wood lath and plaster out, replace it with drywall; or just try and repair the wood lath and plaster.

    TOM: There’s actually a third way to do that, Bill, and that is to put drywall on top of the plaster; sort of skin the plaster. How big of an area are we talking about?

    BILL: Well, it’s a ceiling probably about 15 by 15. I also have another problem. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it before; I’m sure you have. There’s a material on the outside of the plaster itself that looks like somebody just took their fingers and made designs …

    TOM: Like a textured ceiling. Well, do you want a smooth ceiling, Bill?

    BILL: Yes.

    TOM: Alright. Well, I’ll tell you, if you take that old plaster down, you can do it but it’s a big stinking, dirty job. I’ve got to tell you. It’s really a dirty job. So what you might want to do is simply take some half-inch drywall and then apply it on top of the plaster. What you’re going to want to do is use drywall screws; find all the ceiling joists ahead of time; and then attach it right to the ceiling by going right through the old plaster. This is going to sort of sandwich that plaster in, which will also help it become safer and more reinforced. Because sometimes, when plaster gets wet, the plaster that goes through the wood lath and sort of has little fingers that sort of grab the back of it, gets weak and that can fall down and hurt somebody. But if you put drywall up there, it’ll make a nice and tight and clean and even surface. You can simply spackle the joints and the drywall and you’ll be good to go. In your case, I think that’s going to be the easiest way. You’ll get rid of that texture you don’t like; you’ll secure the ceiling; and it’ll be the least disruptive.

    BILL: OK, thank you very much.

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

    LESLIE: Shelly in Indiana, how can we help?

    SHELLY: Yes. I saw, on one of your previous radio show transcripts, about a moulding that was no cut, no – easy installation.

    TOM: Yes. It’s called the Quick Clips Crown Moulding System. We remember that because it was so hard to say. (chuckling)

    SHELLY: Well and I was wondering more – I wanted more information about it; you know, if it was like – you know, how it went up.

    TOM: Now what – the way this works is there are clips that actually get attached to the inside corner between the ceiling and the wall. And then, the moulding kind of snaps into these clips. And it’s precut with the precut corners …

    SHELLY: Uh-huh.

    TOM: … so you don’t have to worry about miters. Crown moulding can be the most difficult type of moulding to put on because it has an open …

    LESLIE: Oh, and it’s so confusing because you have to cut it in a certain direction. It’s like upside down and facing toward you …

    SHELLY: Yeah …

    LESLIE: … and if you’re not thinking about it all the time, you can really make some costly mistakes because moulding is very expensive.

    TOM: Yeah. And this is made out of polyurethane so it’s dimensionally stable.

    LESLIE: And it will hold its paint fantastically.

    SHELLY: Well, and I wondered how it works with uneven walls. (chuckling) My home is built – it was built in the 1800s, so walls aren’t very even.

    TOM: Well, you’ll find that the polyurethane moulding is very flexible. So, if you put enough of these clips on and then just snap this in place, it shouldn’t have any trouble going over an uneven wall surface.

    Let me give you the website for it. It’s simply FocalPoint.com.

    LESLIE: And if you find a space on your wall where perhaps the moulding isn’t flexing and you’re seeing a little gap underneath, you can always go in with a paintable caulk and just run a bead of caulk where the – where the moulding meets the wall and then paint it with your wall color or leave it the same color as the trim – depending on however you see it, where it’s falling on the wall. And that will hide any of that strange spacing.

    SHELLY: OK, and the clip system – does it go into the ceiling, like where the wall and the ceiling meet? Or does it go into the wall where the ceiling meets?

    TOM: It goes into the wall where the wall and the ceiling meet.

    Alright, Shelly. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.

    And Shelly ran into us online by searching The Money Pit show transcripts. So if you ever miss something that we talked about on the show, you can always go to MoneyPit.com and search the online transcripts for that piece of information.

    LESLIE: Talking to Utah next with Ossi (sp). What can we do for you?

    OSSI (sp): Yes, I have some aluminum sliding windows and it’s a 50-year-old house.

    TOM: OK.

    OSSI (sp): And it seems to be (inaudible). When we try to take out windows to wash them, they – you know, the glass breaks. And I was wondering, is it possible to replace those or what? I know – I think the house is settling.

    TOM: Well, absolutely. In Utah, you want something that’s a lot more efficient than a sliding aluminum window. Those have got to – those have got to be costing you a ton of money in lost energy.

    LESLIE: Not to mention the condensation.

    TOM: Yeah, I think that you’re a good candidate for window replacement, Ossi (sp), and I’ll tell you, right now is a good time to do that because the federal energy tax credit will give you, I think, about 500 bucks in a tax credit for putting in new windows in your house. What you want to do is select windows that are Energy Star rated and there are a lot of good programs out there. Andersen Windows has one that’s called Andersen Renewal that’s very, very good that works extremely well. You can get some very gorgeous windows that could even look like wood windows. And they slip into the openings where the old windows used to be, so installing them is not that big of a deal anymore. In fact, you know, a pro could probably replace those windows inside of a day.

    LESLIE: Ann’s out in Big Sky Country in Montana, listening on KBLL. What can do for you today?

    ANN: Hi. I have this tub – turn-of-the-century; that’s from 1899 to 1900 – old tub that has a pedestal under it, rather than claw feet.


    ANN: And the outside of the tub – it’s been outside in my backyard for three years – and the outside of the tub has rust spots on it and the pedestal – the inside of the pedestal is totally rusty and the outside has rust as well and old paint and stuff. And I’m putting it on a brand new, white-tiled floor and I don’t want the rust to get onto the floor and I want to know how to get it painted and – get it cleaned up and painted so that it looks decent in my new bathroom.

    TOM: So basically, you want to stop the rust from coming through the feet or the bottom of the pedestal onto the floor.

    LESLIE: Well and also it sounds like this – the whole item needs to be recast. You know, when you’re dealing with a cast iron tub, all of the finishes are baked on. So it’s probably, you know, best to have it professionally done and have it completely re-enameled.

    ANN: That would be great but it weighs 1,000 pounds.

    LESLIE: Oh, yeah.

    TOM: Yeah, we know. We know. But the – you know, the enameling kits that you can do yourself are just not nearly as effective. Think of them as a glorified paint job for your tub and with something that’s as gorgeous as that, that might be something that you want to have done professionally.

    Now, if you’re simply just trying to reinstall it without worrying about transferring this rust, you might want to think about a material that you could put between the pedestal and the floor to sort of stop any rust from coming through that area.

    LESLIE: Like a membrane or …

    TOM: Yeah, think of like a rubber – like a piece of rubber roofing material that was cut flush with the bottom of the pedestal so it didn’t really show. But it would prevent any contact, so then the rust couldn’t come through.

    Alright, Ann. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974.

    LESLIE: Oh, I’m so jealous. All I want is a bathtub where I can sink in and get all cozy.

    TOM: (chuckling) My problem is that when I sink into the bathtub, all the water leaves. (laughing)

    LESLIE: You know, it’s like our bathtub is so shallow …

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: …. that to even like remotely get yourself in there, it’s just this acrobatic act. So it’s like I never take a bath. Thank goodness I’m on the road as often as I am because I get to see a variety of bathtubs at many hotels. But you know …

    TOM: You know what the secret is? You have to buy like a two-person bathtub if you want one for yourself. It’s like buying tents. You buy a pup – a one-person tent, you can’t fit in it. If you buy a two-person tent, it’s perfect for you and your pack.

    LESLIE: My dream is a claw foot tub but I’ve heard that our floor joists run the wrong way. So it won’t support the weight of such a hefty, hefty tub.

    TOM: I don’t think that’s true. I think if you distribute the weight properly, you could do – you could do fine; even if you need a little reinforcement, you could brass it up from the underside.

    LESLIE: Alright, well when Ed and I want to stay in your house while our bathroom’s redone (chuckling), you’ll have to allow us in the guest room.

    TOM: So that you don’t end up with like a real live version of The Money Pit where the tub falls through the floor? (laughing)

    LESLIE: All we have is one bathroom.

    Alright, Money Pit listeners. Now you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: That’s right. If we’re not in, we will call you back the next time we’re in the studio.

    Well, are you tired of staring at the same old kitchen? Thinking about a redo but just don’t have the big bucks it might take? Don’t worry. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Up next, a new decorating trend that can change the entire look of your kitchen for a bargain price.

    (promo/theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Dens Armor Plus, the revolutionary paperless drywall from Georgia-Pacific.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Who often says that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But you say that jewelry could also be a compliment to your cabinets. You’ve got to explain that one.

    LESLIE: Well, seriously. When you think about looking at your cabinets, some people have hardware, some people don’t; sometimes you see the hinges; sometimes there’s a pull, a knob, a drawer pull – whatever you want to call it, that’s what we call hardware for your kitchen cabinets. And you can change them inexpensively and easily and it’s fun. And it really can new life to your old cabinets and even any of your furnishings in the house. And there are literally thousands of shapes, styles and sizes. So don’t even be afraid to mix and match patterns; choose some for one area, choose a different kind for another. And even if you have something around the house like seashells or beads or things that you like, you can create your own drawer pulls or your knobs or any type of hardware. So be adventurous, be imaginative, search around, even look in some antique shops. You’ll be able to find some really beautiful and unique hardware for that kitchen and give it a whole new look in no time flat for very few dollars.

    TOM: Excellent advice.

    888-666-3974. The Money Pit. Because you can’t watch television while doing home improvement projects or at least …

    LESLIE: Well, not if you want to keep all your fingers.

    TOM: You shouldn’t. That’s right. You have to take inventory, during and after completion of the project. That’s why we do this on the radio and also by podcast. You can download The Money Pit podcast every single week at MoneyPit.com. And we want to thank, especially, the folks from iTunes who did a big story about us. We were featured in New Music Tuesday just a couple of weeks back. We want to thank them sincerely for doing that.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and revolutionizing everybody’s lives. iTunes totally rocks it out.

    TOM: Oh, unbelievable. If you want to see the amazing number of podcasts you can listen to, you can go to iTunes and check them out because it really is pretty amazing. But I am proud to say there are very, very few – perhaps we may be the only home improvement podcast out there and the downloads show it. Thank you so much for all of you that download the show every single week. So if you’ve missed it, you can simply subscribe at MoneyPit.com and it will come down to your iPod cost free every single week.

    LESLIE: That’s right and if you give us a call now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, one caller we choose this hour is going to win a fantastic prize from Peerless. We’re going to be giving away a single-handle lavatory faucet in a brushed nickel finish. These new finishes are all about style and high design, so it really is a nice looking product. And it features classic styling that’s going to fit into any d

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