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Set a Fence Post Without Mixing Cement, Kids Learn DIY Skills at an Early Age, How to Get Rid of Remodeling Waste Without a Dumpster, and more

  • Transcript

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Standing by to answer your home improvement question, to help you take on your do-it-yourself dilemma. If you’ve got a question about a project around your house, we’d like you to go to the phone right now, pick it up and call us. The number is 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Before you pick up the hammer or pick up the saw, pick up the phone and call us at 888-MONEY-PIT and we will help you get the job done. No, we can’t come to your house and do it for you but the next best thing is just to make sure that we get you started out on the right foot.

    So, coming up this hour, DIYers know that when you take on a home improvement project, you’re always left with a gorgeous, finished project, right? Well, that’s only part of it because you’re also left with tons of trash that you have to get rid of. But you know what? There is now a very easy way to do that and make the garbage totally go away. We’ll share that tip, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: Alright. And as you’re tackling your home improvement projects, have you ever asked your kids to join in and give a hand? Well, you’d actually be surprised at what kids can do. I mean there are a ton of projects they can help you with. And we actually found a great, new website that we’re going to talk to the founder of. It’s called Built By Kids, which really is leading the way in hands-on kids’ learning.

    TOM: And if one of the projects you’ve been thinking about tackling this weekend is perhaps repairing a broken-down fence, we’re going to help you with that because we’ve got a great trick of the trade to help you set a fence post using concrete and no water.

    LESLIE: Hmm. Intriguing.

    Plus, this hour, guys, get this: for any father figure on your shopping list this Father’s Day, how about eight, brand-spanking new products from Stanley Tools? We’re giving away a prize pack from Stanley worth $235. And it’s got everything from that cool FuBar demolition tool to a retractable utility knife in it. It’s a great gift for Dad or yourself, whatever.

    TOM: So give us a call right now. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. That prize package going to go out to one caller drawn at random from those that reach us for today’s show. 888-666-3974. Let’s get right to it.

    Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Bill in Florida needs some help with a garage floor.

    Bill, what’s going on?

    BILL: We have stains from acid spills in various places. The floor is about – the building is about seven years old. There are a lot of various stains from the traffic and normal automobile dirt.

    LESLIE: Yeah, regular wear and tear.

    BILL: I wondered if there’s some company that specializes in – or where I can find out how to clean the concrete floor first and then some – possibly some coating that would withstand the acid and normal battery – or normal automobile stains.

    LESLIE: So this is a big project. Is this something you want to hire out or do you have a maintenance team in the building that would take care of this?

    BILL: No, we would have to hire someone. But the first challenge is to find out – satisfy ourselves that it can be done.

    TOM: Well, it absolutely can be done and you don’t have to have a professional do this. It’s really just a big painting project. And there are products that are used to clean the concrete first and then there are different products that are used to paint it.

    BILL: Is there any problem in cleaning the spill – the battery acid?

    TOM: No. All of the painting products are going to have a recommended prep procedure. And one of the ones that works very, very well is QUIKRETE.

    They have an epoxy system, right, Leslie?

    LESLIE: Right. They’ve got a two-part, epoxy, garage-floor coating system. A lot of people make them. I happen to really like the QUIKRETE because I like that they offer 40 different colors. I’ve never tackled a space larger than my own garage and the neighbor’s garage and this is a pretty massive space we’re talking about. But your first step is going to be a product that they have called BOND?LOK.

    And that really etches and preps the surface. It cleans it, it prepares it so that the paint and epoxy coating system is going to adhere really well. So once you’ve done the BOND?LOK step, the floor is prepped, ready to go, let it dry, whatever the manufacturer’s directions say. Then you mix up this two-part epoxy floor coating and that goes on and it’s going to protect it against gasoline, oil, scuffs, normal wear and tear. There’s an additional coating that you can put on top that’s premium that will – probably because it’s a commercial space, you’ll want to go for.

    But there are products out there. You don’t have to worry about what’s already on the floor as long as you do that cleaning step.

    BILL: And so all I have to do is contact the QUIKRETE people.

    TOM: That’s right. QUIKRETE 2-Part Epoxy is the best way to go.

    BILL: I really appreciate your help and enjoy your program.

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

    LESLIE: Erica in Illinois is dealing with a paint situation. Tell us what’s going on. You’ve got peeling and bubbling?

    ERICA: Yes. I had my paint – my ceiling painted by someone probably about three years ago. And just recently, the ceiling has started peeling and the walls have started, oh, crackling almost. Like it looks like underneath, there’s a crackle to it that if I pressed it hard, it would flake off.

    TOM: OK. So I suspect that when it was painted last time, the walls may not have been prepped properly. They clearly were not primed. I think now is an opportunity, Erica, where you’re going to have to get rid of all of that old, loose paint. Sand the ceiling down, sand the walls down and apply a primer. The primer is going to be key here because whatever that unknown surface is underneath that layer, we want to make sure we have something that can attach to it. And primer you should think of as sort of the glue that makes the paint stick.

    So prep what you have, prime it thoroughly, then put a second top coat on. And that last coat, make sure you use a really good-quality paint and make sure it’s flat for the ceiling. And that will hide any imperfections that might be left behind. Does that make sense?

    ERICA: Yes. Now, as far as my wall, do I need to try to scrape it off so I don’t have any of this crackle looking on my wall?

    TOM: Yeah, I definitely would. I would definitely try to get rid of as much of that loose paint as possible and the same thing goes: prime them and then do a top coat after that.

    ERICA: OK. Alright. Sounds like a job but I’ll take it on.

    TOM: And I know you can do it, Erica. 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 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    TOM: 888-666-3974.

    Well, they say good fences make good neighbors but around here, we know it takes good cement to make those fences stand strong. We’re going to tell you a quick and easy way to set a fence post, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: Get your deck refinished. If you win the Take It Easy Sweepstakes, Flood Wood Care will handle everything. It’s always easy with Flood products but it can’t get any easier than this. No purchase necessary. See Flood.com for official rules and to enter.

    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. Pick up the phone and give us a call right now at 888-MONEY-PIT. We are going to answer all of your home improvement questions, plus, get this: as an added benefit, one of you lucky callers is going to get an awesome gift package from Stanley Tools worth $235.

    TOM: It has eight products in it, including the FuBar, which is the next-generation hammer that lets you destruct like a pro so you can get to the construction part of your project. We’re also including a heavy-duty Stanley tool box that is water-sealed.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Now, you can find some more great gift ideas in our Father’s Day gift guide, which is online, right now, at MoneyPit.com and it’s sponsored by Stanley.

    TOM: So give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.

    LESLIE: Jeff in Pennsylvania, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?

    JEFF: Hi. I’m calling because I have a house that’s about 16 years old.

    TOM: OK.

    JEFF: And where the brick front matches up to the vinyl siding, the sealant is starting to crack. And I’m not sure if it’s caulk that’s drying out or mortar that’s just cracked. So, I guess the question is: what’s the right kind of sealant to put between that brick front and the vinyl siding?

    TOM: Yeah, I’m sure it’s caulk because – you know, the caulk’s not going to last 16 years.

    JEFF: Right.

    TOM: So, what you need to do is to scrape out the old stuff and then recaulk it. And to do that, you’re just going to use a good-quality exterior caulk. I might suggest that you consider using silicone for this because that’s going to give you the best probably long-term durability. A little bit harder to use, Jeff, but it will last the longest.

    JEFF: Now, I notice that the gap, in some places, is somewhere between half and a full inch. Do I need to put something behind it once I clean that?

    TOM: Ooh, that’s huge. That’s really big. That’s not caulkable. You can only caulk with maybe a ¼ to 3/8-inch. Is that entire space filled up with some material now?

    JEFF: Yes. And that’s – and it’s hard as a rock. That’s why I wondered if it was mortar behind the brick going into that.

    TOM: Oh, it might not be caulk. I mean there are different types of urethane sealants and I can’t really be sure. Here’s what I suggest you do, Jeff. Would you take a photograph of this and post it in the Community section at MoneyPit.com? We’ll take a look at it and then get back to you with a recommendation. Does that make sense?

    JEFF: OK. That’s great. I appreciate it.

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

    LESLIE: Well, with summer approaching, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about putting up a flag pole or maybe a new fence. Now, the most important part is a good foundation for sturdy fence posts. Now, traditional methods, they require the mess of mixing cement. But the experts at QUIKRETE have come up with a way to skip the hassle.

    QUIKRETE is a trusted Money Pit sponsor and they make a really fast-setting concrete that requires no mixing. All you need to do is dig a hole three times the width of the post. And you want to make the depth one-third to one-half of your post’s height. So if you’ve got a 6-foot post, it’s going to require a 2-foot-deep hole.

    TOM: Then all you need to do is add about 6 inches of QUIKRETE All-Purpose Gravel into the bottom of the hole. You want to compact that and level it out, then put the post in using braces to keep it straight. Fill the hole with the Fast-Setting Concrete up to 3 or 4 inches below the ground level. And then pour a gallon of water into the hole, wait about four hours and that’s it; you’re done. You can build that fence or raise your flag with that trick of the trade.

    If you want more information on projects just like that, head on over to QUIKRETE.com. That’s Q-U-I-K-R-E-T-E.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve got Linda on the line from Honolulu, Hawaii. Welcome to The Money Pit.

    LINDA: Hi. Thanks. Quick question. I have this white residue on my glass shower door and I have tried everything to try to get it off. I just – it’s making me crazy and it’s in good condition, so I don’t want to replace it. So, any ideas?

    LESLIE: OK.

    TOM: Well, I would think that the reason you’re getting white crust is a mineral-salt deposit; you probably have hard water. And the solution to mineral-salt deposits is white vinegar. So before we get too crazy with other chemicals or other solutions, I want to suggest that you mix up a solution of about a cup of white vinegar to about 3 cups of water, spray it, let it sit and then wipe it down and see if we can get it to clean up.

    LINDA: OK. Perfect. Thank you guys for your help. I appreciate it.

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

    LESLIE: Jason in Texas is calling us with a crafty painting project. Tell us what’s going on.

    JASON: Yes, I’m getting ready to paint my 80-year-old brick house. And I’ve heard of filling the mortar joints with epoxy but I was wondering if you’ve ever heard about anybody using the – like the foam filler to fill the cracks with.

    TOM: Now, are you talking about mortar that’s become loose and deteriorated in this 80-year-old brick?

    JASON: Exactly. And it’s – I can tell it’s old stuff that people have already tried to repair, that I’m going to have to take out.

    TOM: And that would be an enormous mistake because as good as GREAT STUFF is and other types of expandable foam fillers, it’s not a replacement for mortar.

    JASON: OK.

    TOM: OK? So you have to do this right. You have to scrape out the loose, deteriorated mortar, you have to mix up new mortar and then trowel it back in place. It’s not an expensive job if you do it yourself but it’s not simple, in the sense that it takes some time and some patience.

    JASON: Right. Have you heard of filling it with the concrete crack filler?

    TOM: Well, what you want is simply mortar mix.

    JASON: Do I need to mix that with lime? Have you ever heard of that? People mixing that with lime?

    TOM: Yeah, yes and – right. And did you know the reason that people do that? They do it to make it stickier – to make the mix stickier.

    JASON: Oh, OK.

    TOM: If you’re going to make your own mortar, you mix up concrete and you put a lot of lime in there and it makes it sticky. But if you buy the premixed mortar mix, it’s pretty good as is.

    And the other thing that you’re going to need is something called a pointing trowel, which is a very skinny trowel that gives you sort of that curved, concave joint in the bricks.

    JASON: Yeah but – right, right. Alright. Well, I appreciate it. So don’t use the foam filler then to fill the …

    LESLIE: No. Because it’s not going to take the paint correctly. It grows quite exponentially and you can’t really control that and it’s going to seem wonky.

    JASON: Right.

    TOM: In fact, I know that QUIKRETE has a new product out, Jason, that’s called Zip & Mix Repair Mortar, where it actually comes inside of a plastic bag. And all you’ve got to do is to add water and sort of knead it inside the bag and it even has a trowel.

    LESLIE: Alright. Rachel is calling in from South Dakota with some windy issues. What’s going on?

    RACHEL: Well, a while back, last fall we had some hail damage and the wind starts taking over and started blowing some of the shingles off.

    TOM: OK.

    RACHEL: So we need to replace the roof – the whole thing – but I look around and I see that all these barns have the metal roofs and nothing is happening to those roofs. And neighbors and everything are all having trouble with their shingles, too. And I was wondering, is a metal roof better than going with just your average shingle or …?

    TOM: Well, it depends, OK? Let me tell you why. First of all, if you have a high-wind situation, you want to install high-wind shingles. There are storm-resistant shingles. There are some asphalt shingles out there that are designed to stand up to, I think, near 100 miles an hour. I know Owens Corning …

    LESLIE: I think even higher. Owens Corning is like 130.

    TOM: Yeah. And there are other manufacturers, as well.

    That said, a metal roof is an excellent roof. And the metal roofs today have low-E coatings on them, so they reflect heat in the summer and keep you warm in the winter but they’re very expensive. You know, they’re called investment-grade roofs because they do cost quite a bit of money to install.

    So either is a good choice but I just don’t want you to think that you – that there’s no alternative for standard asphalt shingles; there is and they’re called high-wind shingles.

    LESLIE: Bobby in North Carolina is very busily trying to remove a red-wine stain from a kitchen floor. Did you have an awesome party or just a tipsy evening?

    BOBBY: No. Well, I had a dinner party and I had a person who just actually – it had been raining outside and their shoes were a little slick and they had a glass of wine and was walking across and just slipped. Needless to say, this glass of red wine went all over our kitchen vinyl floor. And we thought we had it all cleaned up but about a day later, we saw this huge, red stain on the floor.

    TOM: Oh, wow.

    BOBBY: And we have tried OxiClean, we’ve tried a product called OOPS!, Goo Off, Clorox bleach. And nothing seems to even fade it.

    TOM: Wow. Well, unfortunately, I suspect that since it sat on that overnight, that you may have absorbed into the vinyl or it may have been – have created a reaction, an oxidation between the – in the vinyl itself, which means it’s physically turned colors.

    Sometimes, when you have a rubber mat in front of a kitchen, where you have one of those little kitchen rugs and people stand on it while they’re washing dishes and so on, you pull that up you get what looks like a stain underneath.

    BOBBY: Right.

    TOM: But it’s really not a stain; it’s a chemical reaction between the rubber that’s in the mat and the vinyl that’s in the floor. I wonder, to myself, whether that could have happened from the wine and the alcohol and the grapes that are in that wine, whether it actually physically changed the color of the vinyl, in which case there’s really no stain left; that’s the color of the vinyl. It just has changed and now it’s not pleasant anymore.

    LESLIE: Is it an area you can cover with a rug?

    BOBBY: Well, unfortunately not. And I don’t – I really hate to – in this townhouse, we’ve just moved there and I hate to have to tear up a whole floor and have it replaced. But if you were going to recommend a product to even see if it would fade it or take it up, is there something other than what I’ve used you would recommend?

    TOM: Bobby, when you tried bleach on this, did you simply just try to sort of wipe it on, wipe it off kind of a thing?

    BOBBY: I did the first time and then I actually poured some Clorox bleach in the area and just sort of let it set there for three or four minutes and then tried wiping it up. But nothing changed the color at all.

    TOM: OK. So what you might want to try to do is to dilute the bleach with water in a ratio of about one part bleach to four parts water. And then soak a towel in this. Get it nice and wet and then lay that rag with the bleach mixture in it over the stain and let it sit there for about an hour.

    BOBBY: OK.

    TOM: And let’s see if that tends to pull it out.

    BOBBY: Alright. Well, I greatly appreciate your help.

    TOM: You’re welcome. 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. Well, it’s never too early for your kids to start learning to build and create. We’re going to tell you about a website that’s pioneering kids’ do-it-yourself projects, after this.

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    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Exterior Weatherproofing Wood Stains and Finishes. Formulated to restore, beautify and protect decks, fences and siding year-round. Behr is available exclusively at The Home Depot, where you can visit the new Exterior Wood Care Center, built to help you find the right products and colors for your project. For more information, visit B-e-h-r.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, if you are a regular listener of our show, you know that Leslie and I practically grew up with a hammer in our hands. I’ve been pounding nails and creating things most of my life and Leslie’s dad was an architect who often made Leslie draw building plans before moving furniture around her bedroom. So we have had a lot of experience with tools and construction.

    LESLIE: That’s right. And these days, with those organized play dates, soccer or karate and dance, there really isn’t a lot of time left for kids to try to build things with their own hands. And that’s where our next guest comes in. Timothy Dahl is the founder of Built By Kids and the name says it all.

    Timothy, welcome to the program and thank you so much for what you’re doing.

    TIMOTHY: Thanks for having me. It’s interesting that you mentioned you were a shop teacher. As a part of the impetus of starting this website is the fact that shop class is becoming something of the past.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s true. They pretty much eliminate it from high schools. That and home economics. So we’re essentially bringing up generations of kids now that literally don’t know which end of the hammer to hold.

    TIMOTHY: Exactly. And these are some really core, basic skills that it seems like by the time kids get to college, they don’t know how to set up – put up their own set of shelves.

    LESLIE: They don’t know how to do anything. It’s amazing.

    TIMOTHY: No, no. And unfortunately, too, it’s also part of our consumer culture where for pretty cheap, you can just go to a big-box retailer and buy things that end up just being thrown away as opposed to kind of learning how to build something yourself, as well as fix something yourself.

    TOM: Now, how did you get started with Built By Kids? Was this an impetus of doing projects with your own children?

    TIMOTHY: So, it’s not quite there yet. It’s funny. We actually launched this site in September and our son was born that same month. So that – he’s our first child, so he’s obviously too young to do this. But for us, looking at a lot of parenting websites and things of that nature, we felt that this is something we wanted to create for him and we wish that we really had as a resource ourselves.

    So we felt it was kind of a lack in – there are a lot of crafting sites, a lot of other great sites that show great product or modern design for kids but nothing that really kind of takes it a step beyond crafting.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And I feel like the Built By Kids website is sort of an imagination inspiration. There’s photos there that will maybe not be exactly what you make but give you sort of that launch pad to create a lot of these, say, forts. I got fixated on the section of kids’ forts, because it’s such a simple idea. With some clips and a blanket, you can create this whole other world. And it’s amazing how families just don’t take the step to do any of that.

    TIMOTHY: Exactly. I mean I feel like until we get caught up maybe in the fact of having to spend money for some of these things or having to buy the right product that we’ve been pitched or something like that – whereas you really can – with a few pillows, like you said, and a blanket – you can make a pillow – we can make a pillow fort. You can spend an afternoon building something out of some cardboard boxes.

    But yeah, I think our – I feel our stuff is a lot of – it’s trying to be more inspirational, whereas it’s really more about the bonding process of doing something and building something with your kid. And if you – if they learn some skills along the way and if you end up with something that they’ll end up treasuring for years to come, that’s a bonus.

    TOM: We’re talking to Timothy Dahl. He’s the founder of Built By Kids.

    You’re not, however, the editor. I like the fact that you list your editor as Harper, a small dog with a big personality.

    TIMOTHY: Yeah, we like to make it kind of a whole-family affair. And she was our – she’s our first doggie daughter and she’s involved kind of in everything we do as a family. But we all pitch in here and we, fortunately, have a lot of great friends who are kind of on the same wavelength that we are in terms of what we like to see for our children. We’re always learning, as well, so – and we don’t always have the – all the right answers. But it’s also part of the exploration of that.

    TOM: Now, what are some of the most popular projects? What are the projects that you’re getting a lot of comments on, a lot of conversation about on BuiltByKids.com?

    TIMOTHY: I definitely – I think one of the top things that’s out there are play kitchens. And I think that’s something that – you can go into the store and buy a play kitchen but it’s really something I feel like a lot of people have gravitated towards wanting to build their own and customizing an old cabinet or old bookcase and really making it their own. And for kids, it’s also their imagination of being involved with that process with their parents, too. So play kitchens is really a really, really popular item.

    LESLIE: You know, Timothy, I always find that kids just get so caught up in indoor activities and technology. I’m amazed that – and I’m guilty of it myself: how easy it is to hand an iPod to a toddler and be like, “Here. Use this for 10 minutes.” But when it comes time to get outside, are you seeing projects that are really finding good use on your site, that really have good steam and are being picked up out of doors?

    TIMOTHY: Yeah, I think that, like you mentioned, the technology is part of our everyday life. And we’re not anti-technology; we understand that it’s something that’s important as modern people and children to kind of function now.

    But at the same time, the outdoors are also a big part of what we’re all about. And taking advantage of that and building tree swings, building forts outside and again, not having to – you don’t need a lot of skill to build a big playhouse outside but with some ingenuity, you can build your own forts. And it’s really, again, something that – it’s kind of part of nature and part of having fun and playing, which seems to be a lost art.

    TOM: Well, it’s a great website, great job, Tim Dahl, founder of BuiltByKids.com.

    If you are a mom or a dad and you have children and you want to get them inspired to learn how to work with their hands, this is a great place to start. And think about the benefits. Eventually, you’re going to want to put them to work painting a room or fixing the roof. This is where it – this is where you get them started, OK? This is the cheap education. Do a project together with them, get them comfortable working with tools and really, the sky is the limit.

    Tim Dahl, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    TIMOTHY: Thank you both for having me. I appreciate it.

    LESLIE: Well, there’s nothing as satisfying as the site of a major home improvement project completed, done, checked off your list. But is it worth it to have a rented dumpster just junking up your front yard? We’re going to tell you how you can avoid the dumpster but still get rid of that trash, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Flood. Know how to open a can of wood stain? If it’s Flood Wood Stain, you’ve already mastered the hardest part. From the first board you brush to the last, Flood products make it surprisingly simple to protect and beautify your deck, fence and more. Find a retailer at Flood.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: Give us a call right now at 888-MONEY-PIT. That’s 888-666-3974. If you do, you’ll get the answer to your home improvement question, plus an opportunity to win what I think is a great Father’s Day gift for the father figure in your life. We’re giving away a very cool prize package from Stanley Tools to one caller who makes it on the air with us each hour. It has eight awesome tools in it from Stanley.

    LESLIE: That’s right. It’s worth 235 bucks, so it’s a huge prize. And it’s got one of the coolest tools in there: it’s called the FuBar, which means Functional Utility Bar. And it’s a demolition bar that will rip through anything: drywall as if it were paper. It’s awesome and it’s menacing and it really does a great job.

    Now, you’re also going to get a 3-in-1 flashlight and a 201-piece Mechanics Tool Set, among others. You don’t have to give this gift to everybody. You can give one piece to your dad, one piece to your father-in-law. Spread it around.

    TOM: You can spread the love, exactly.

    And if you need more great gift ideas, you will find them at our Father’s Day gift guide, online, at MoneyPit.com, presented by Stanley.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Mike in Wisconsin on the line with an interesting mix of materials on a foundation. Tell us what’s going on.

    MIKE: Well, we bought this old farmhouse and – well, we’ve been in it for 20 years now. But whoever – the person before us covered this nice, stone foundation with ½-inch plywood that was not treated.

    TOM: Wow.

    MIKE: And then they made strips out of the same plywood as batts to go over the seams. Needless to say, it’s all rotting out. I mean it did have ½-inch-depth, foil-covered, ½-inch foam board behind it but I need something that’s going to be – hold up to the weather and …

    TOM: Wow. I’d pull that wood off and evaluate the foundation. If it’s deteriorated, you might need to clean it and re-stucco the whole thing. That’s all I would do there. I wouldn’t put any kind of siding back on it.

    They probably just thought that it looked good or something of that nature and decided that they were going to dress it up with that.

    LESLIE: Well, it’s interesting.

    TOM: Yeah, they were going to dress it up with that T1-11 siding but obviously, that was a disaster waiting to happen. And now it’s happened and it’s in your house.

    MIKE: Yeah. Well, it wasn’t even the T1-11; it was just ½-inch plywood and they painted it.

    TOM: Oh, well, of course.

    MIKE: But it’s the round-type fieldstone; it’s not the flagstone.

    TOM: Well, that can be very attractive.

    LESLIE: Yeah. I’m like, “That’s beautiful.”

    MIKE: Well, that’s what I was thinking but I need to evaluate it.

    TOM: Yeah.

    MIKE: But I thought – I was listening to you last week and I figured, well, let me get some ideas (inaudible at 0:29:38).

    TOM: Yeah. Take a look at it. If it’s the fieldstone, the fieldstone looks good, you may need to repoint the joints with some additional cement.

    LESLIE: But that’s gorgeous.

    TOM: But that could be a very, very attractive foundation.

    MIKE: Thanks for the help.

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

    LESLIE: Well, how many times have you seen a giant, dirty, rented dumpster hanging out in front of somebody’s beautiful home while they’re renovating or working on a big project? You know, it’s pretty gross. Not only is it gross, it’s actually kind of expensive.

    Now, it’s a true downside of major home improvement. Well, we’ve got a brand-new sponsor that’s come up with a way for you to get rid of the waste without that big, metal dumpster. It’s called Bagster’s Dumpster in a Bag. And it’s actually a huge, woven bag that can hold up to 3,300 pounds of waste. That’s massive.

    TOM: It absolutely is. And you can buy Bagster’s Dumpster in a Bag at your local home improvement store. Now, all you do is unfold it and then you fill it with just about anything from an old front door, to your kitchen cabinets or even a bathtub. Then you schedule and pay for collection and it’s gone. That’s it. No trips to the dump and it’ll cost you about 50-percent less than a traditional dumpster.

    To learn more about this very cool disposal solution, go to TheBagster.com. That’s TheBagster.com.

    LESLIE: Now we’ve got Brian on the line joining us from Canada. What can we help you with?

    BRIAN: Well, we’re having some problems with my sills in my house.

    TOM: OK.

    BRIAN: I’ve got one that’s rotten and I’ve got to replace it.

    TOM: So we’re talking about door sills, window sills? What kind of sills?

    BRIAN: Foundation sill, like …

    TOM: Oh, foundation sills, OK.

    BRIAN: Yeah.

    TOM: Alright. That’s …

    BRIAN: It’s an old farmhouse. It’s sitting on a rock wall, so I guess …

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Alright. So you want to know how to replace those rotted sills?

    BRIAN: Yeah.

    TOM: Alright. So, you have floor joists sitting on top of them, correct?

    BRIAN: That’s right.

    TOM: Alright. So what you’re going to have to do is you have to build a temporary wall underneath the floor joists. It could be like a small stud wall that essentially has enough pressure on it to hold up the floor joists. And then once that wall is in place, then you can sort of surgically cut out the rotted sills, using a Sawzall or something like that, and slip the new ones in place.

    It gets a little tricky on the fastening side because you can’t – it’s not as easy to fasten it down into the foundation. But what you could use is a right-angle drill and Tapco fasteners, which are special screws that go right into concrete. Does that make sense?

    BRIAN: Oh, well, there’s no concrete yet because it’s on a – like a said, on a rock wall.

    TOM: OK. Well, they would go right into the wall then. You may have to pilot it out but they go right into the wall.

    BRIAN: Yeah, OK. So that would – that makes it a little bit easy.

    TOM: But you’ve got to – the key here, Brian, is you’ve got to make sure you support the house. Even though they’re rotted and they probably don’t appear to be holding much weight, we don’t want shifting to go on. So you build a temporary wall under them while you cut out the rotted wood and replace it.

    BRIAN: Right. Well, that sounds good.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.

    Up next, would you like to put some molding up and perhaps the thought of miter cuts and nail guns over your head might have you maybe a little bit nervous about that project? Well, think again. We’re going to have some tips on the easy way to install molding, next.

    (theme song)

    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: Where home solutions live, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. And we love to talk about decorating, design, home improvement here at The Money Pit. But not all rooms are built the same. In fact, not all rooms even have any architectural interest. In fact, I’ve really seen my share of rooms that are basically a white box, especially in homes built in the last 50 years. Now …

    TOM: That’s kind of the Apple approach, isn’t it?

    LESLIE: It’s like, “I just build them, put them out, make them all look the same.”

    TOM: Clean design?

    LESLIE: Clean design. But it really takes away from interest and beauty in a space. And molding really is one way that you can add depth and style but many homeowners run the other way because of stories. And there are a lot of stories about how difficult it really is to install. But don’t let that stop you. It’s really getting much easier.

    Now, there are a ton of new products in the synthetic realm and they’re making it possible to put up molding without any of those complicated cuts. And one of our sponsors, LIQUID NAILS, actually makes attaching that trim a breeze.

    TOM: You know, LIQUID NAILS is kind of like the miracle glue, because it just works. I mean their Heavy-Duty Construction Adhesive can bond a ton of different surfaces together. So whether you’re choosing wood or synthetic molding, you can use it instead of nails and that makes the installation easier and neater and also eliminates those nail holes, which means you’ll get a cleaner look and no nail holes, as well.

    You can get more tips and advice on how to use LIQUID NAILS Brand Heavy-Duty Construction Adhesive on your project at LIQUIDNAILS.com. Or you can post your question online in our Community section at MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. Let’s jump into that. I’ve got one from Sam in Kansas who writes: “I’m going to be installing four new concrete steps on my front porch. How do I know if I need a handrail with them? The steps are going to be about 44 inches wide.”

    Now, I don’t think it’s the width; it’s the height of the steps, correct?

    TOM: And if he needs four, he definitely needs a handrail.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    TOM: Frankly, if you need more than two steps, I would say you need a handrail. I think the rule of thumb is about 18 inches. But if you have two steps, you really should have a handrail. Be safe here, Sam.

    Now, if you’re going to attach them to concrete steps, you’re going to want to choose a railing material that’s going to make sense for that. Don’t use regular wood, for example, because the wood will be bolted or attached to the concrete steps and any way you do that, it’s just going to rot. You need to use pressure-treated but better yet, why not invest in a wrought-iron railing? That would be something that could really stand the test of time and do a good job keeping everybody safe on those steps.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And look really beautiful.

    Alright. I’ve got one here from Gloria in New York who writes: “Birds have moved into my carport and are making a huge mess on my cars. Is there a way I can steer them away without hurting them?”

    TOM: Yes. Bird spikes. They sound very damaging and hurtful to birds …

    LESLIE: Oh, you see them all the time on businesses: on their signs and things.

    TOM: Right. Right, right. But they’re really not; they’re just kind of a – are a bird dissuader, so to speak. They’re either plastic or metal and they come sort of in strips with kind of spiky things sticking out the top. And basically, it says to the bird, “Not a good place to land. Go somewhere else.” And so that’s what you do to avoid those nests.

    If you can’t close up an area – which, obviously, you can’t do with a carport – I think a bird spike is a very inexpensive, easy and humane way of keeping those birds away.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? They’re not obtrusive, they’re not offensive-looking. It’s not something you’re going to put up and be like, “Ugh. I hate looking at them.” But it’ll definitely get those birds out of there. Because I bet you don’t like looking at your car covered in bird poop.

    TOM: Absolutely.

    Now, coming up next week on The Money Pit, we’re going to talk about storm windows. They are actually a very good way to keep the elements outside where they belong. But on the warmer weather of the year, they can actually help make your home more energy-efficient if you’re facing some really super-high cooling bills. Because what seals out the cold air in the winter will also seal out the warm air in the summer. And so storm windows can be a good way to keep those elements where they belong and we’re going to talk about that on the next edition of The Money Pit.

    LESLIE: And storm windows? You might just think about them for the outside but there’s actually some temporary interior options out there, as well.

    TOM: Good point. We’ll cover that next week on The Money Pit.

    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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    END HOUR 2 TEXT

    (Copyright 2012 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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