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Revisiting Your Recyclables, Real Estate Trends You Need to Know, and Advice for Installing Wainscoating.

  • Transcript

    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 phone, give us a call, right now, because we are here to help you with your home improvement project. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    We’ve got a busy hour planned for you. First up, if you’re an avid recycler, you’re probably like me: dragging those empty cartons and containers to the curb each week. And when you do that, you never expect to see them again, right? Well, what if I told you that your old recyclables might be living among you as we speak? In fact, in a way, you could be buying them back at the store, because plastics are now being resurrected in everything from carpeting to furniture. We’ll have the details, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And if you’re in the market to sell your home, don’t underestimate the buying power of millennials. Steve Brown, the president of the National Association of Realtors, will be here to talk about how millennials are changing the real estate game and what you need to do to attract this lucrative market to your home.

    TOM: Plus, are you looking for a timeless and sophisticated addition to your space? Well, wainscoting is a great solution, especially with the many synthetic versions that are now available and are super-easy to install. We’ll have details, just ahead.

    LESLIE: And talk about a rude awakening, stepping into a scalding-hot or freezing-cold shower? That is no way to start your morning. Well, one caller we talk with this hour will never have to endure that agony again, because we are giving away the Delta Temp2O. Now, it’s available exclusively at The Home Depot and it will show you your water’s temperature so you know exactly what you’re about to step in to.

    TOM: It’s worth almost $80. Going out to one caller drawn at random, so pick up the phone and give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Debbie in Texas is on the line and is dealing with a basement project. Tell us what you’re working on.

    DEBBIE: Well, I have a cement floor that right now I have indoor/outdoor carpet that’s glued down. And I’d like to peel the carpet up and then paint the floor. So my question is: what type of prep – once I get the carpet up, what type of prep do I need to do and then what type of paint should I use?

    LESLIE: Now, have you started to try and remove this outdoor carpeting?

    DEBBIE: Yes, we have and it is glued and so there’s a glue, I guess, base that’s on the floor. So we’d need to somehow scrape that off?

    LESLIE: Yes. And that – and did you say this was a screened-in porch or a covered porch?

    DEBBIE: No, it’s an indoor – it’s indoors.

    LESLIE: Oh, it’s completely indoors. OK. That’s going to make it a bit of a chore. The reason I was a little excited that you had a lot of fresh air while you were working is because you’re going to need to use an adhesive remover if your plan is to paint this floor. Because you’re going to end up with so much residue from that glue, that’s going to be all over, and there’s a good chance that it’s going to be uneven and raised and spotty in some areas. You’re going to have pieces of carpeting on it and it’s going to be a mess.

    So you’re going to have to find exactly what type of adhesive that is and what is the best remover for it. Because depending on what the base is of that adhesive will depend on what type of adhesive remover you use. So it’s really going to be an experimentation to sort of see what works well.

    And then once you find what really is working well at loosening up that adhesive, I mean you’re really just going to have to use a heavy-duty scraper and work on that glue residue until that’s up. And then even then, your painted surface is going to look really not that great, after all of that work.

    DEBBIE: So, I guess your recommendation would be go back with indoor/outdoor carpet.

    LESLIE: Well, in a lower-level space, carpeting really isn’t the best idea – whether there’s padding or not, whether it’s glued or not – only because you’re dealing with a dust trap that’s sitting right on top of a concrete slab that tends to get moist. All of that moisture gets up into that carpeting, whether or not it’s indoor/outdoor.

    Now, that moisture sort of sits with that dust and creates all sorts of allergens and mold and it’s really not the best idea. Tile would work fantastically. And if you got that floor fairly even-ish, even with the adhesive, you could go ahead and do something with that with tile.

    You know, it depends on what you want the space to look like. If you’re OK with seeing an uneven surface and you want to paint over that, then an epoxy coating is perfect for a floor in that situation. But it depends. I spend a lot of time in my basement, so I wouldn’t want to see such an uneven floor surface, whether it was painted my favorite color or not.

    DEBBIE: And what harm would come if I just peeled the carpet and scraped the glue, scraped it smooth and then painted? Would the paint not stick if there was still all the glue there?

    LESLIE: I don’t think so. The systems, like the epoxy coating systems, are usually sold in kits. There’s several steps. The first one is an etching or a cleaning step. Then there’s your top coat that you mix in with, I guess, all of the different process that sort of cures it and solidifies it. And some of them have that little decorative speckle and that gets sort of sprinkled in there at the end. And you want to work yourself out of a corner so you don’t get trapped down there. But it should stick fairly well.

    It just – is this a utility space that you’re strictly storing things in? Is this your family hangout? You have to think about what that space is and how you want it to look.

    DEBBIE: OK. Well, that gives me some ideas. I guess I first need to get the carpet up and see what it looks like underneath and go from there. Alright. Well, thank you so much.

    LESLIE: Michael in North Carolina is on the line with a water heater that’s making some curious sounds. Tell us what’s going on.

    MICHAEL: Recently, the last four to six weeks, I’ve been noticing – it sounds like a bubbling and a popping noise inside of the water heater. I’ve read several things on the internet but I can’t quite put my finger on it and I’m worried that either the vessel is getting ready to go or – I’m not sure, at this point.

    TOM: How old is the water heater?

    MICHAEL: It looks to be of considerable age. I’m guessing between six and eight years.

    TOM: Well, I mean water heaters generally go about 10 to 12 years, so that’s not – that’s kind of middle-aged; it’s not too terrible. By the way, if you look at the data plate on that water heater, usually there’s a date stamp sort of buried into the serial number. Sometimes, it’ll actually say what the date of the manufacture is or at the least, it’s going to have a gas standard in terms of which code it was built to and it’ll give you a year there. So you can get an actual sense of what the age of the water heater is.

    The noise is usually caused by a sediment buildup on the bottom of the tank. So, if you drain the tank occasionally, that will usually stop that. Have you ever drained your tank?

    MICHAEL: In the eight months I’ve been there, no. But I’d read something somewhere along the lines that you have to be very careful with – it’s got a plastic drain valve on it. And when you have a water heater that’s a little bit older, I guess they get – become brittle. And I’m worried about breaking that and making things much worse immediately.

    TOM: Well, you could very carefully try to drain the water heater. You simply hook up a garden hose to that spout; it’s designed to be drained. And let some of the water out of it and try to spill off some sediment with that. You get sediment on the bottom of the tank and that does tend to make it pretty noisy sometimes.

    MICHAEL: OK. Is there any chance that I have the temperature turned up too high and it’s causing – well, I guess not at 125 degrees. It wouldn’t cause a boiling, would it?

    TOM: No, it wouldn’t. And 125 degrees, though, is pretty hot. You really want it to be more like 110.

    MICHAEL: OK.

    TOM: Just for safety’s sake, if nothing else.

    LESLIE: Yeah, because you could easily get scalded.

    MICHAEL: OK. Alright. I’ll give that a shot.

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

    LESLIE: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. Now, you can call in your home repair or your home improvement question. Whatever you are working on, we can give you a hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Up next, have you ever wondered what actually happens to the recyclables that you diligently rinse out and drag to the curb each week? Well, it turns out they’re being resurrected more stylishly then you might guess. We’ll fill you in on what your old plastics are up to today, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by the Chamberlain MyQ Garage. If you forget to close your garage door it alerts your smartphone, so you can control it from anywhere. Works with most garage-door openers. Discover smarter possibilities at Chamberlain.com.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And one caller we talk to on the air this hour is going to win a Delta hand shower with Temp2O Technology. It features an LED display of the water’s temperature.

    LESLIE: Yeah. This handheld showerhead is also WaterSense-certified. It’s available exclusively at The Home Depot.

    And the Delta Temp2O Showerhead is just one of the many products that we’re featuring in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide. Check it out at MoneyPit.com and you’ll get some great gift ideas for the home improver in your life.

    TOM: And the Delta Hand Shower with Temp2O is worth almost $80 but it’s going out to one caller we talk to on the air this hour, so let’s get to it. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Adele in New Jersey is on the line with a flooring question. How can we help you today?

    ADELE: We just had new carpeting installed in our living room/dining room and we’re having the balance of the house done in about a week-and-a-half. We are now finding, when you walk through the living room and dining room area, we are getting a few squeaks in the floor in walking.

    Now, whether that has anything to do with our subfloor – the house is approximately only 28 years old. We bought it new when it was built. Now, do you think it might be a problem with the subflooring? We do have a crawlspace.

    TOM: So, underneath the carpet, what is the subfloor? Is it plywood?

    ADELE: Yes.

    TOM: OK. So, you have a good opportunity now. Not for the rooms that you’ve already carpeted but for the ones you’re about to carpet. When you take up the old carpet, you need to go through and re-nail or screw the subfloor down to the floor joist. Because those boards loosen up and as you step on them, they’ll – they move back and forth and that’s the squeak.

    So what I would like to see your contractor do is pull the carpet up and then take some drywall screws – these case-hardened steel screws that are sold everywhere today – and physically screw the plywood down to the floor joist. You put a screw in – about four screws across the width of the plywood on every single floor joist. You just go from one end to the other. They’re driven in with a drill, so it’s a very easy job to do. And that will really tighten up that floor and reduce the movement dramatically and that will prevent, if not eliminate, squeaks under that carpet.

    ADELE: Yes. Oh, that sounds terrific.

    TOM: Well, recycling plastics has never been easier and in fact, 94 percent of Americans now have access to recycling programs. It’s a great way for homeowners to do their part to reduce waste and reuse plastic products. But what happens once those products are recycled? Well, many plastics are now showing up in homebuilding and design. And here are just a few examples, presented by the experts at Plastics Make it Possible.

    LESLIE: Well, some interior-design materials, like floor tiles and countertops, are now being made with used plastics, like milk jugs. These tiles and countertops make durable surfaces for your kitchen or bathroom, even your laundry room. And they come in colors to suit any décor.

    TOM: And soft, durable carpeting is increasingly being made with recycled plastics from used packaging, like beverage bottles. And even carpet underlay is often made with recycled polyurethane plastic.

    LESLIE: Even furniture is made with recyclable plastics and is available for both indoor and outdoor use. You’ve got tables, chairs, benches. And a lot of these furnishings are available in colorful, stylish and durable designs, which are really made to last years.

    TOM: It’s easy to find outdoor rugs woven with recycled polypropylene plastic from yogurt cups and margarine containers. And these rugs are also weather-resistant, fade-resistant and easy to clean.

    So, the next time you put that plastic milk jug in the recycling bin, remember that it might not be the last you see of it. For more tips, visit PlasticsMakeItPossible.com.

    LESLIE: Bill in Texas is on the line and needs some help with a lightning rod. Tell us what’s going on.

    BILL: I would like to get your recommendation with regard to lightning protection. I would like for you to tell me what you recommend with regard to the best protection for lightning.

    TOM: Well, I mean installing a lightning-rod system makes a lot of sense. And the key, though, is the installation has to be done correctly. Because if it’s not, it could actually sometimes cause more damage than it can prevent.

    One of the common mistakes is that when the lightning rods are installed – and typically, in the average roof, it’s going to have three of them – that the cable that connects them to the ground source, you have to make sure that they run that cable across the roof and then down the side of your house nowhere near any other copper wiring or copper plumbing. So you would want to keep it – for example, if you had plumbing running through the same wall, you want to keep it away from that.

    And the reason you’re doing that is because if you get a lightning strike, it can run down the ground wire on its way to safety where it dissipates into the soil. But it will transfer or jump across to the plumbing system in the house and electrify that.

    So, that’s just one part of the system; you also have to take a look at your electrical panel and make that sure that that’s surge-protected. But a combination of those systems makes a lot of sense, Bill, if you’re in an area that’s really prone to lightning.

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

    LESLIE: Eva in Florida is on the line and has a cooling question. How can we help you today?

    EVA: My home is 40 years old and I’ve been in it from the time it was built. I’ve had two change-outs on the air-conditioning unit.

    TOM: That’s about right.

    EVA: It’s a central air-conditioning unit. And every time these guys come in – I have one guy come in once every six or eight months to check the cooling or the heating unit to make sure everything is up to snuff. And every time they come in, they say, “Well, you ought to update your thermostat.” And I’ve had them tell me three or four times that I need to replace my thermostat.

    Well, I had a friend of mine who tells me – he says, “Well” – he said, “Basically, all your thermostat does – heat, cool and shut off.”

    TOM: So, I think what – have they mentioned to you that you might want to install a clock setback thermostat, Eva?

    EVA: Well, they just said thermostats; they didn’t tell me any particular kind.

    TOM: I’m betting that you have a very simple thermostat, which is heating and cooling and you just set it and forget it, right?

    EVA: That’s correct.

    TOM: So what they might be suggesting is that you replace the old thermostat with an updated one that has a clock setback built into that. And how that can help you – and it helps you more in the cooling – in the winter season, which you don’t get a lot of down in Pensacola. But when it gets chillier, you can set the heat to be a certain temperature at the day and then another temperature at night, so you don’t waste heat at night when you’re tucked nice and warm and cozy under the comfort of the blankets.

    EVA: Yeah. But I just leave my thermostat at one – at 70 degrees at night. I don’t change it.

    TOM: Well, if you just leave it and you don’t change it, then you might be fine with that 40-year-old thermostat. If you want the technology and the energy savings of a thermostat that can go up and down, based on a clock, then you would go to a clock setback. But there’s nothing wrong with leaving the one you have if it’s working properly for you.

    EVA: And is it – either way, I’m going to use the same amount financially?

    LESLIE: If you’re truly just leaving it exactly where it is?

    EVA: Yeah. But when I get up in the morning, I have to turn it on so that it comes back up to warm up the house.

    LESLIE: Correct. If you’ve got a clock setback thermostat or a programmable thermostat, you can enter in your usage. So you can say, “OK, at 7:00 in the morning or 6:00 in the morning” – whatever time, maybe a half-an-hour or so before, you know, you’re going to get up – “set it to such-and-such temperature.” And then you can say, “OK. And then at this time, when I go to bed, drop it down to this temperature.” This way, you never even have to go over to the thermostat. You can just say, “Bloop” and it’ll do that program for the day, so you don’t have to do anything at all.

    Then say you’re going on vacation or you’re out of town, you can have an “away” setting and set it to that so that you’ve got it, obviously, at much lower temperatures and it’s not running that program while you’re not there, wasting that energy and your dollars.

    So it depends. If you want to sort of take yourself out of the equation and have your thermostat do its thing on its own, a programmable thermostat really is what you’re looking for.

    EVA: Yeah, OK. Well, thank you very much, dear.

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

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Leroy on the line who’s got a painting question. How can we help you today?

    LEROY: Yes, I had some water damage on my ceiling. It has left a stain on the ceiling in the bedroom. I was wondering, what can I do to repair that? I paint over it and it still comes through.

    TOM: Yeah, if you don’t prime it first, Leroy, it will come through. So the key is that you have to prime the stain spots, because the chemical reaction that occurs in the stained area absolutely has a way of pulling right through the topcoat of paint. So if you prime it and then paint over it, you’ll be OK.

    Now, I will say this: if you spot-prime it and then flat-paint over it, you may see a slightly different sheen, even though it’s a flat sheen, because the absorption rate is going to be different on the primed versus the non-primed spot. If you really want to do it right, you would prime the entire ceiling and then repaint the entire ceiling and then it would be completely invisible. But if you don’t prime it, you will see the stains pull through.

    LEROY: Great. Hey, thank you.

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

    LESLIE: Well, after years of nerve-wracking uncertainty, it really looks like the housing market is on the rebound. We’ve got National Association of Realtors President Steve Brown here with us to share some surprising news on just who is buying homes these days and how to attract this lucrative demographic to your home.

    ANNOUNCER: When you step into the grocery store, have you ever noticed that you can smell the cleaning products four aisles away? That’s indoor-air pollution and it’s exactly what happens when you take those cleaning products inside your home. Shaklee’s green, chemical-free cleaning innovations are a better option. Shop Shaklee Get Clean products today at GreenMyMoneyPit.com. That’s GreenMyMoneyPit.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: Well, homeowners will tell you there’s nothing like the feeling of owning your own place. But achieving homeownership is getting trickier and one of the groups putting off buying homes is millennials, for a variety of reasons, including student debt and tight credit.

    LESLIE: Yeah. But even if that goal of owning a home has to be put off until later in life, the housing industry sees millennials as the key to a complete recovery in the market. So here to tell us more is Steve Brown, the president of the National Association of Realtors.

    Welcome, Steve.

    STEVE: Leslie and Tom, it’s good to be with you.

    TOM: So, Steve, for those that are not familiar with all of the generational definitions, let’s start with what exactly a millennial is. And why is this such an important demographic for those that want to sell homes?

    STEVE: Well, the millennial is defined as approximately in the ages of 18-34 age range. And so these are people who have grown up in a very – very much in a technological age. And so they look at life a little bit differently than the baby boomers. Perhaps might look at things and they rely upon technology, they rely upon the internet, they rely upon the information that they can gain themselves through their own personal research.

    So it’s a very interesting group of people and it’s a very exciting age range, really, because they look at life just a little bit differently than the baby boomers.

    LESLIE: Now, previously, what had been the age range of a first-time home buyer?

    STEVE: So, the first-time home buyer really is in the same as this millennial age. Probably from 20 – from the early 20s to 30 would be the typical first-time home buyer.

    LESLIE: But this is just unusual because this millennial generation is facing a tremendous amount of debt from student loans.

    STEVE: That’s right. This generation has delayed, for the most part, their home buying process. And as you mentioned, they’ve delayed it for multiple reasons: one, job security; two, their debt structure. Many of these millennials have a higher education, are coming out with college degrees but unfortunately, also coming out with college debt. And that debt becomes a real factor in their qualifying abilities in getting a mortgage.

    On top of the college debt, of course, there’s other debt. The debt you have as a young person when you’re starting out: a car loan; credit-card expenses, perhaps to buy some furniture or necessities and sometimes just luxury purchases. But debt is a major reason why millennials need to delay that process.

    TOM: And once they do step into the market, though, you see an opportunity for perhaps a pent-up demand where they’re all going to start buying about the same time?

    STEVE: Well, that would be interesting if they all started at the same time. But I think you will see people, over the next five-year period of time, certainly realizing that buying a home makes good financial sense, number one. You know, our studies – NAOR research – shows that for the person who owns a home over a 10-year period of time is – has a four-times greater wealth accumulation than a renter during that same period of time. So, it makes great, long-term financial sense to own a property.

    Secondly, of course, there are all the other reasons. The reasons: the emotional reasons, the notion of owning one’s own home and being able to fill it up with one’s own things and have life experiences, have family events there. And it’s a place to live. So, buying a home and having a home is, without question, very much not only a part of our culture as Americans but certainly, that same desire I have found throughout the world.

    TOM: We’re talking to Steve Brown, he is the 2014 president of the National Association of Realtors, about the millennial generation and their impact on the real-estate market.

    And Steve, you mentioned that this generation is very tech-savvy. And how is that changing how realtors are positioning homes for sale? Are they taking advantage of all the latest online tools?
     

    STEVE: Well, they have to. If you’re going to be in business today, you must take advantage of all the – especially the online technology. Bear in mind that all of these homes that are up online are there because realtors put them up there. This is the – we have spent – the realtors throughout the country have spent, literally, millions of dollars in developing the proper technology to make the consumer experience online enjoyable and informative and reliable.

    So, it’s a realtor who positions the property online, for the most part, in the marketplace and it’s a consumer who can take advantage of seeing the whole market, getting a good idea about value, neighborhood style. And then – and that’s the great place to start in their home search. But it’s not – it’s only the starting place; it’s not the ending place. You still need that realtor to come in and to help you understand the data that you’re looking at, put it in a perspective that makes sense to you personally.

    TOM: And you can experience that website for yourself by visiting Realtor.com. Realtor.com. Check it out. Take a look at the homes in your neighborhood, take a look at the homes in the neighborhood that perhaps you’re interested in moving to and then contact your local realtor to help you with the process.

    Steve Brown, the president of the National Association of Realtors. Thank you so much, Steve, for stopping by The Money Pit.

    I want to say that Steve is wrapping up his role as president of this great organization and we congratulate you, Steve, on all the great work that you’ve done for the organization and the consumers that it serves.

    STEVE: Well, thanks, Tom. It’s been my honor and pleasure to be a part of it for this past year.

    TOM: And again, that website is Realtor.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. Well, is your room still lacking that certain something? Perhaps it’s wainscoting. It could be the timeless addition that you’re after. We’re going to tell you what to consider before you add it to your space, coming up.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. Pick up the phone and give us a call at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    We’re going to help you with whatever you are working on at your money pit and you’re going to get your name thrown into our giveaway this hour. We’ve got up for grabs a Delta handheld shower with Temp2O Technology, which means you’re going to get a digital LED display of the water temperature.

    TOM: It’s powered by water, so no batteries to worry about. The Delta Temp2O Hand Shower is a prize worth almost $80 and it’s available exclusively at The Home Depot.

    It’s just one of the many great gift ideas you’ll find in our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide at MoneyPit.com. So give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Terri in Missouri is on the line with a ceiling issue that’s just cracking up. Tell us what’s going on.

    TERRI: I have a wall in my living room/kitchen area that has a vaulted ceiling that, at the 8-foot level, it has a horizontal crack and it keeps reappearing after it gets repaired. It’s happened three times and it cracks again after about two or three weeks; it doesn’t last very long. So I was wondering how we could fix that permanently.

    TOM: Well, that’s an area where you have a lot of movement, a lot of expansion and contraction. And if you just try to spackle it, it’s not going to work. So I think what you really need to do is to use a perforated drywall tape.

    TERRI: Perforated drywall tape.

    LESLIE: It looks like a mesh.

    TOM: A mesh, that’s right. And it’s sticky. And after you kind of lightly sand the surface around the crack, you lay the tape in there and then you spackle over that tape until you don’t see the tape anymore. And that creates a stronger bond between the two sides that are moving and the crack won’t open up again as the house goes through a normal expansion and contraction.

    TERRI: Sounds good. Thank you very much.

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

    Well, it may not be a do-it-yourself project for everyone. But if you’ve got basic carpentry skills and you want to spruce up an inside space, wainscoting might be the perfect way to complete your project.

    LESLIE: Yeah. This type of paneling is traditionally made of wood that covers the lower half of a wall and then it’s topped off by a chair rail. But wood is no longer your only option when it comes to wainscoting, even if it’s a wood look that you’re after. Synthetic options are available and they’re never going to warp or rot, which is especially valuable if you want to use it in a humid location.

    TOM: Now, before selecting materials, you need to decide what style you’re going after. Raised-panel wainscoting is the most traditional and it’s popular. But recessed, flat-panel wainscoting is also a good choice. It offers simple, clean lines and you see it most often in Arts and Crafts and Mission-style homes.

    LESLIE: Now Craftsman-style wainscoting is going to have flat panels and vertical battens and it gives off a Shaker-like simplicity. A beadboard style has Victorian roots, it’s often white and it’s the go-to, classic wall covering for a more informal area.

    TOM: Whatever the style, don’t limit yourself to wainscoting in your dining room. Depending on the style you choose, it can bring charm or sophistication to offices, bathrooms, hallways and even kitchens.

    And I want to mention, Leslie, that my favorite wainscoting is when you take an old door, turn it on its side and attach it to the wall. That is actually a really cool look, especially in maybe an office space or a rec room.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, I’ve done that before when you take a panel door and you sort of lay it down horizontally, if you know what I’m saying. You can attach that to the lower half of your wall because it’s actually the perfect dimension. You just have to remove whatever baseboard. And then, of course, if you’ve got outlets or any sort of receptacle there, you’re going to have to bump out that box so it makes up for the thickness of the door. But it looks great and it saves you a ton of work with the paneling. And it really makes a dramatic difference to a space.

    Larry in Missouri is having a plumbing issue. Tell us what’s going on.

    LARRY: Yes, I have a well on my property here that meets the water for our house. And in the last couple of months, we’ve had what I think is an unusual thing happening. The couplings on the 1-inch pipe – the PVC pipes that are coming from the well – so far, 3 of them have broken. And they’d be split – and the couplings that split almost right in half. And so I’ve had to dig out this PVC pipe from in the ground, because it’s all underground.

    TOM: Right.

    LARRY: And just wondering, what would be causing those couplings to be splitting like that?

    TOM: OK. The couplings that you’re using – what’s the size of the PVC pipe? Is it an inch-and-a-half or what is it?

    LARRY: One-inch PVC pipe.

    TOM: And so, basically, the coupling is where you have two sections that join together. Is that correct?

    LARRY: Correct.

    TOM: So what you might want to think about doing is replacing these glued – they’re glued-on couplings. Is that right?

    LARRY: Yes, they are.

    TOM: What you might want to think about doing is replacing these glued-on, hard, plastic pipelings (ph) with something called a Fernco. Are you familiar with that?

    LARRY: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: It’s more of like a rubber boot and they have different types for different pipes. But it attaches to both sides of the pipe and it has a little bit of flexibility in between it. And this way, if you’re getting expansion and contraction in the pipe, it’s going to move with it and put less stress on the joint.

    LARRY: Mm-hmm. Now, the ones that I have totally replaced – I have replaced three of them so far and I would guess there’s probably another five, probably, to the well. What I’ve done – there is this one – it’s got a rubber seal on it but then they screw together. I don’t know exactly what they’re called but …

    TOM: It’s called a Fernco – F-e-r-n-c-o. Their website is Fernco.com. And they’re sold at plumbing supply houses; I know they sell them at The Home Depot. You should have no problem finding this.

    This might be what you’re using, based on how you describe it; I’m not quite sure. But this is a good solution when you’re having this problem with the couplings that you’re using breaking down because, as you’ll see, this will give you a lot of flexibility. I’ve been using these in the ground for pipes for many years and I’ve never had one fail on me yet.

    LARRY: OK. Well, very good. I will look into that and see if I can find them around here. And if another one breaks, I will try it out.

    TOM: Give it a shot. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Still ahead, are your kitchen cabinets sticky to the touch, no matter how many times you clean them? Find out how to clean them of that stick, once and for all, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: Need to get your house clean for the holidays? Why not get your house really clean by switching to Shaklee? Shaklee’s Get Clean products rival or outperform 20 national brands. Plus, they’re safe for you and safe for the environment. Shop Shaklee Get Clean products today at GreenMyMoneyPit.com. That’s GreenMyMoneyPit.com.

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And hey, we’ve been talking about the Delta Hand Shower with Temp2O Technology this hour. And I wanted to point out that this technology is really a game changer for faucets, for showerheads and more.

    If you think about it, Temp2O means that you get an LED readout of the exact temperature of the water. There are three color indicators to signal temperature range and this gives you a very easy visual check. And the technology is included in many of the hand showers and showerheads in the Delta line. And the products are available exclusively at The Home Depot.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Another cool feature is that this technology is powered by water, so you’re never going to need batteries. And the fixtures have the WaterSense designation, which means they save water and money. It makes the perfect holiday gift and we’re giving one away this hour, so make sure you call us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: Or post your question online to the Facebook page of The Money Pit. We’ve got one here that says, “My kitchen cabinets are about 12 years old. In the past year or two, they’ve become noticeably sticky to the touch. Is it grease? None of the standard cleaning products that I’ve used have helped and I don’t have any plans to replace my cabinets soon. What is the solution for non-stickiness?”

    What works really well for me is Orange Glo. And they have a 2-in-1 cleaner and polish that does a great job of cutting through all of that goo, because it’s usually a combination of grease and dirt and God-knows-what-else that gets stuck on there.

    And probably in your house, handprints. Right, Leslie?

    LESLIE: Right. Which what’s on those sticky handprints, I have no idea. But Orange Glo truly always does the trick.

    The other thing that I found it worked great on was when I took those protective bumpers off the coffee table when the kids outgrew the head-bumping stage.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: It managed to get all the stickiness of the tape off. So, if you’ve got sticky cabinets, definitely use the Orange Glo; it’ll do the trick.

    TOM: Well, the holiday season is upon us and it’s time to deck the halls. But if you really want to make a splash, start your holiday décor at the front door. Leslie has got simple ideas for a memorable and festive entryway, in this week’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word, presented by Blindsgalore.com.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Any day now, houses all around you are going to be decked out with lights and inflatables. But you’ve got plenty of ways to make a seasonal splash, in small and effective ways, starting with your front door.

    Now, you can never go wrong with a holiday classic: evergreen wreaths. Use them as they are but you can also add something personal to them: sleigh bells. They’re going to give your house a classic jingle every time a guest comes in.

    And there’s no rules where wreaths are concerned, so give thought to some less traditional ideas, you know, that might depict your location or your personality. For example, a set of antlers or some roping work really well on wreaths for a more rustic home. Seashells or a brightly painted life preserver can do the same for houses by the sea.

    Now, instead of putting a nail into your door, hang your wreath from a door hanger or from your door’s knocker. You can also place a hook at the top of the door and then extend clear fishing line and the wreath from it.

    Now, you can also add some décor to your foyer and entranceway, because they are ideal canvases for your holiday fun. You can go classic with garland and lights; you can be seasonal with pinecones or even hanging snowflakes. Whatever you do at your money pit, we’d love to see all of your decked-out doors. So post your photos of your finished product at Facebook.com/TheMoneyPit. I can’t wait to see them.

    TOM: And today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word was presented by Blindsgalore.com. For free samples, free shipping, free window expertise and truly amazing prices, go to BlindsGalore.com. And the first 25 listeners who select Money Pit at checkout will get a free copy of our book, My Home, My Money Pit, so go to Blindsgalore.com today.

    Coming up next time on the program, don’t let those freezing temperatures do a number on your yard. We’ll have steps you can take, right now, to keep your lawn and garden alive right through to next spring.

    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.

    END HOUR 2 TEXT

    (Copyright 2014 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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