Reduce High Heating Bills & Increase Comfort #1106172

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

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Whether you need to take on a do-it-yourself project or a direct-it-yourself project, whether you are picking up the tools or hiring a pro, we are here to help you get that project done quickly, easily and efficiently. But help yourself first: pick up the phone and call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.

    Well, this month marks the start of the real heating system for most of us across the country. And I say real heating system because it’s not real until the heating bills start to arrive, right?

    LESLIE: Correct.

    TOM: And they start to climb. So, we’re going to review some of the most effective ways to cut down on those costs, in just a bit.

    LESLIE: And also ahead, we’re going to take a fun look back on one of the most reliable tools ever invented: the staple gun. It’s been around now for over 50 years and we’ll talk to an expert on why the tool is so very popular and how it’s changed to make it even easier to use.

    TOM: Plus, your home has never been more high-tech, with upgrades and updates available to make it easier and smarter than ever before. Now that technology has moved to the bathroom with the invention of a toilet that cleans itself. We’ll have those details, just ahead.

    LESLIE: But most importantly, we’re here for you to take your calls, your questions about décor, home improvement, whatever. And if you call in your question now to 888-MONEY-PIT or post it to The Money Pit’s Community page, we’re going to toss your name into The Money Pit hard hat for the Mr Beams Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle. And that will brighten your day.

    TOM: Exactly. It’s worth 110 bucks. It includes the Mr Beams Security Light, the LED Spotlight and the UltraBright Ceiling Light. And I tell you, I love this because I got that UltraBright Ceiling Light. I think it’s two batteries that go in there. It lasts for a full year. You don’t have to change your batteries for a full year. I mean that’s crazy.

    LESLIE: That’s fantastic.

    TOM: It’s great. So, all of these products require no wiring and you can stick them wherever you want. We’ve got this package going out, though, to one caller. Make that you. Call us, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your question to The Money Pit’s Community page at

    Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?

    LESLIE: Donna in Georgia is on the line and is having an issue with a phone line. What’s going on?

    DONNA: Oh, boy, am I ever. I’m hoping this won’t turn into more of my money pit.

    We’re moved – we’ve moved recently into a new home. We have four phones. They all work; we’ve tested them at other people’s houses. Two of them work. One will ring, one won’t. They both have dial tones. The other two phones don’t work unless we pick up the main phone, the first two that work. If they work, then you can pick up the other one and talk. But if I hang this one up, the other ones are cut off.

    We’ve talked to people. The phone company says their lines are fine. We know our phones work because they work at other people’s houses out of town. What the heck is going on? We’re afraid we’re going to have this huge in-wall rewiring problem.

    TOM: So these phones – this is a traditional copper-wired system that you’re using? They’re not …

    DONNA: It’d be traditional copper-wired. The phone company, when they opened up the wall, plugs, they were all over the place. Some of them were never even connected. But of those that were connected, he said all phones should work either way they’re wired. But they had to flip the wiring to get the two that are working to work. But it’s traditional, in-the-wall copper wiring.

    TOM: And these phones that you have, they’re older phones or they’re newer phones? Where do they come from?

    DONNA: Yeah, they’re older phones. We’ve had them for years that worked just fine. And like I said, two of them are working and we brought the other two that weren’t working to our friends and they worked fine at her house, so it’s not the phone.

    TOM: Yeah. What if you switched positions in the house with the phones? Does that change anything?

    DONNA: We’ve put – we’ve tried all the phones in different locations in the house and it doesn’t change. The only time the others ones will work is if they’re plugged into just this – these two lines that work. The other lines, all of the phone plugs in the house don’t work for any of them.

    TOM: Are these typical – are these handset phones or are they ones that hang on the wall?

    DONNA: These are handset. Some of them you can hook on a wall if you want to but they’re regular handset.

    TOM: So you know what I would do? Here’s what I would do. I would go out and I would buy four phones – four brand-new phones – because you can take them back, right? And I would plug four brand-new, decent-quality phones into these jacks and see what happens. If they all work, it’s the phones, OK? If they don’t work, it’s the wiring and you’ll know what you have to do.

    DONNA: My biggest problem with the new phones is they’re all so digital and you have to go through layers of programming to do – identify my preprogrammed push buttons. Right now, I just have to push one button and I’ve got the name next to it. And I’m not real-tech savvy and I don’t like to have to go through a bunch of computer crap just to be able to find the buttons for the people. I don’t like the new phones. I’d really like to find some good, old-fashioned ones.

    TOM: You know, I feel your pain in all the programming but I’m not telling you to get anything more complicated than a very, very basic phone. You can get – there’s a phone that was made popular by AT&T called a Trimline phone. It’s really common. The buttons are in the handset and you have the base, you plug it in with one wire. They’re about 10 bucks a piece on Amazon, I’m sure. Probably even have free shipping.

    So I would pick up some very basic, reliable phones like that, plug them in and see what happens. Like I said, if the phones work, then you know it’s the wiring. If they don’t work or they work the same way that your older phones work, then you know where you’re at.

    DONNA: Could it be split wires in the house where they took a single wire and split it or took two wires and connected them? I’ve heard possibilities like that, so that they’re operating as if on one line.

    TOM: Yeah, it’s possible but here’s the thing: do you want to spend $250 to have an electrician trace all this down?

    LESLIE: Figuring it out.

    TOM: Or do you want to spend 40 bucks on four basic phones. And then when the basic phones work the same as the old phones, you can call the phone company back and say, “Hey, you fix it,” and be done with it.

    So, yeah, it could be all those things but I think you’re wasting a lot of energy trying to figure out or diagnose this when there’s a really simple solution. Get some different phones, plug them in, see what happens. And then you’ll know what to do.

    DONNA: I’ll try to find those online. That’s a good idea because we can’t find them in any of the big stores.

    TOM: Yeah.

    DONNA: They’re all (inaudible).

    TOM: They’re on Amazon. You can buy them on Amazon.

    DONNA: Yeah. OK.

    TOM: If you have Amazon Prime, the shipping’s free, OK?

    DONNA: Yeah, we’ll try that. Thank you so much.

    TOM: Alright, look for the Trimline. You’ll see what I’m talking about. It’s called Trimline Corded Phone.

    DONNA: I will. I wrote it down.

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

    I guess it’s a good thing she actually was able to call us.

    LESLIE: Right. I’m like, “How did she call us then?”

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Tim in Rhode Island is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you today?

    TIM: I have a TPM and the front of the house is on the north side of the house. And the roof’s about 10 years old and now we seem to get these really black stripes on either side of the dormers. There’s actually three of them. It seems to be mold or something.

    TOM: So, sometimes, you get plant deposits that will form mold or mildew or algae or lichen and kind of grow on those roofs and leave those sorts of streaks. The other thing that happens is sometimes, the hardware that’s in the roof where it releases some of its metals will actually clean pieces of the roof as the rain runs down and that can look very, very streaky. You see that frequently around the bottom of chimneys – like right underneath the chimney where it may have copper flashing, for example – and it’ll look streaky or cleaner under the chimney.

    So, two things. Number one, there’s a product called Spray & Forget that’s designed to clean roofs and as the name implies, you basically just spray it and walk away. It takes a week or two to react with the sunlight but it’ll eventually kill off all of that plant growth that’s there.

    Secondly, what you could do is if you can get up there – or you can have a roofer go up there – is if you add strips of copper up near the ridge vent, the same way I talked about the hardware that releases the metal, a piece of copper flashing 6 or 8 inches wide, all the way across the top, maybe under that top roof shingle, stick it down just a little bit.

    TIM: OK.
    TOM: As the rain hits that, it will release the copper and it’ll naturally wash your roof and stop that mold and mildew, algae or lichen from growing again.

    TIM: Hmm, OK. That’s Spray & Forget?

    TOM: Yep, Spray & Forget.

    TIM: Is that commercially available or …?

    TOM: Yeah, yeah. Just go to and you can find a retailer near you. It’s pretty widely distributed. Good stuff.

    TIM: Perfect. Thank you so much.

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

    LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. For help with your next home improvement project, call us now at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where you can get matched with background-checked home service pros in your area and compare prices, read verified reviews and book appointments online, all for free.

    TOM: No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire a pro you can trust.

    And just ahead, the bathroom has gone high-tech with a new toilet that’s so smart, it can clean itself with every single flush. We’ll tell you more when The Money Pit returns, after this.

    Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Are you trying to fix up your home sweet home? Well, we are, too. Let us help. Call in your question, right now, to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor.

    LESLIE: Not only are we going to shed light on the answer to your home improvement project, you might win a very cool light that we’re giving away this hour. We’ve got up for grabs the Mr Beams Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle. Now, that’s going to include a Security Light, the 300XT LED Spotlight and the very cool UltraBright Ceiling Light. That’s a package worth 109 bucks.

    It’s super bright. I’m talking about 300 lumens that will light up a very large area. Now, you can put it in your closet, in the shower, in the shed, a pantry, wherever you’re kind of digging in the dark to maybe get dressed in the morning.

    Tom, I’m talking to you. I’m just kidding. Tom is a very snappy dresser.

    TOM: Mix-matched. Yeah, well, if you have light, you can actually see what you’re putting on, right? So, that’s just one use for these products. But I do like the fact that they go anywhere without you having to hire an electrician to wire them. And the batteries, you think on how long can that last? Well, they last for a full year with an average use of 8 to 10 times a day. So, pretty cool product.

    Learn more at Mr Beams delivers surprisingly bright light anywhere. That Home Safety and Security Lighting Bundle going out to one listener. Make that you. Call us now at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your question to the Community page at

    LESLIE: Dina in Iowa is on the line with a painting question. How can we help you today?

    DINA: I have this brown paneling and it goes all the way from the floor to the ceiling in every room. And I wondered if I can paint over this or wallpaper or what is your suggestion?

    TOM: Wow. That’s a – what’s that, 1970s?

    DINA: Yeah. Yep.

    TOM: Yeah. You know, I kind of remember that growing up. We had those – that era in my house. And it’s always better to remove it but you can paint it.

    What you want to do, Dina, is you want to prime it. So, the first thing you would do is you would clean it. You would lightly sand it. And because there’s so much of it, I would – when I go the paint store, I would get a sanding extension. It’s on a pole. It’s like a pole with an indexing head at the bottom – at the end of it, I should say. And you can run this pole over the surface and sand it, rough it up a little bit.

    And then you’re going to want to prime it. And I would use a good-quality, oil-based primer. It’ll go on nice and thick. It’ll give you a good, solid surface on which to add the wall paint. And then you can use latex wall paint on top of that. And I think it’ll come out nice and it’ll go on easy if you do those steps in that order. Because once you prime it, you get a very nice, even surface. It fills in any of the imperfections in the surface and it will make sure that that topcoat can be accepted properly

    DINA: What about those grooves?

    TOM: You’re always going to have those grooves. You can’t do anything about it unless you want to take the paneling down which, by the way, could be an option. Because sometimes, when they put the paneling up, they just nailed it with these types of small, very thin ring nails. You could experiment with the possibility of taking that paneling off the walls. And you may find that underneath it is drywall.

    Now, generally, you have to do a lot of spackling, sometimes retaping and that kind of thing. But it is possible that underneath that paneling are some decent, typical drywall-covered walls.

    DINA: OK. It sounds like a Saturday job.

    TOM: Yeah. Well, at least, if you’ve got that much paneling. It might be a couple of Saturdays’ jobs. A lot of Saturdays.

    DINA: Yeah.

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

    LESLIE: Well, homes have never been more high-tech, with updates and upgrades available to make it easier and smarter than ever to use. Now, that technology has moved to the bathroom with the invention of a toilet that actually cleans itself. It’s called the VorMax Plus Toilet from American Standard and it cleans the bowl every time it’s flushed.

    TOM: Yep, it’s cool. It designed to not only clean, you freshen every time you flush. It’s got these VorMax jets that are up under the rim and so they pretty much blast the grime away when you flush. And that’s combined with the VorMax Plus FreshInfuser, which is a device that releases Lysol cleaner into the bowl. And that keeps it clean and smelling fresh flush after flush.

    LESLIE: And you know what I really like with the FreshInfuser? It’s that it’s hidden in a compartment. It’s really easy to access and there’s nothing hanging inside of the bowl. So, when you combine these two things together, you really do get a forceful VorMax jetted scrub. And that’s going to allow the Lysol cleaner to scrub the entire bowl, including under the rim where the dirt gets trapped and hides.

    TOM: Yep. And that’s why this VorMax Plus is a self-cleaning toilet that freshens with every flush.

    Check it out at American

    LESLIE: We’re going to Mike in Michigan who’s got some concerns about working in the cooler temps.

    Welcome, Mike.

    MIKE: I heard a rumor that there’s cement that can be applied in much colder temperatures. But upon my research, I haven’t found any company that sells it or has any knowledge of it.

    TOM: You talking about caulk?

    MIKE: Yeah. To seal joints and cracks.

    TOM: Well, generally, the solvent-based caulks can be used in a lot lower temperatures than the latex-based caulks. Are you using silicone caulks?

    MIKE: No, we’re also using polyurethane.

    TOM: You might want to look at the silicone products. Now, this is nothing special; it’s not a new type of product. But I know that some painters use these down to 0 degrees.

    Now, the trick is keeping it warm enough to apply it so it flows well. But if you can keep the caulking tube warm and then go outside and use it, the application should be OK down to almost 0 degrees, as I recall.

    MIKE: OK. And the freeze/thaw cycle, I know, is water turns to ice, it expands. That will not expand the sealant being wet?

    TOM: No. Because it’s solvent-based. You don’t have the same expansion issues.

    MIKE: OK. And how well does that level out? Do you have to more or less putty it in and smooth it out yourself?

    TOM: It is more difficult to level out because of the cold temperature. As you know, if you’ve ever used this kind of thing on warm day, it flows really nicely. But because it’s chilly, it definitely doesn’t flow as well. But if you’re skilled with the caulk gun, you should be fine with it. And cleanup is a little bit more difficult, as well. But again, it comes down to your skill and I’m sure if you’re doing it all these years that you’d be able to overcome that issue.

    MIKE: Yes, yes. We’re just looking – when we heard about it, we figured, well, if we can get another month or two out of the season of doing sealing, we can make more money each year by doing so.

    LESLIE: There’s also a product out there called a “caulk warmer.” And it looks like a – sort of like an insulated lunchbox but it’s more like an envelope-style. And you can hold two to five tubes, depending on which size you get. And that can help you keep the caulk at a flowable temperature while you’re getting ready to work.

    MIKE: Oh, OK. I appreciate all your help and assistance. You folks have a great day.

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

    LESLIE: Thomas in Tennessee is on the line with a wallpaper question. How can we help you today?

    THOMAS: I have two layers of wallpaper in a small half-bath that I’m trying to take off. And I was wondering what you guys’ best solution is. One is a lighter wallpaper, like you would find in the rest of the house but the other one is a very thick, waterproof-type that’s mostly used in bathrooms.

    TOM: Yeah. Well, removal is pretty much the same regardless of that type. Essentially, what you have to do is you’ve got to run a tool across the paper called a “paper tiger.” And it’s a tool that puts small, prickly-sized holes in the paper. And then once you have those holes in there, you’re going to apply a water – a wallpaper-paste remover to it which will soak into the paper, get behind it and start to loosen it up.

    Now, it’s a lot of work but considering it’s just a bathroom, perhaps it won’t be that difficult for you. If you really, really, really have a hard time getting that paper off, you could always rent a wallpaper steamer and that will make the job a little bit easier.

    THOMAS: Oh, OK. Well, do you have any home remedies for this where you don’t have to buy a whole lot of tools? Because I’m kind of on a budget.

    TOM: Well, the paper tiger is not very expensive. It’s a little hand tool. It’s probably $7 or $8, something like that. So that plus a few dollars for the wallpaper-paste remover. That’s really all you’re going to need.

    THOMAS: OK. Well, thank you.

    LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit, presented by

    Up next, we’re going to take a fun look back on one of the most reliable tools ever invented: the staple gun. It’s been around now for over 50 years and we’re going to talk to an expert on why that tool is so very popular still and how it’s changed to make it even easier to use, when The Money Pit continues.

    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: Well, if there’s one tool that’s important for home improvers, crafters, makers and pros to have in the toolbox, it’s a staple gun. And the most iconic of which has been around now for over 50 years and it’s made right here in the USA by Arrow Fastener.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Bill Sokol is the vice president of marketing for Arrow Fastener and is joining us now with some fun history of this very useful tool and an update on some of the newest innovations to help with all of your DIY projects.

    Welcome, Bill.

    BILL: Hi, Tom and Leslie. How are you?

    TOM: We are excellent. Thank you so much for taking some time with us.

    And this staple gun, I want to start by this because we get excited by tools – you know that – and this T50 is the kind of iconic tool that gets passed down over generations. I mean I know that folks have had this from probably – what, was it about the 50s or earlier than that? And they’re still using them today. They’re passing them down the family and still using them today.

    BILL: That’s absolutely true. That tool is one of the most successful hand tools in history, actually.

    TOM: Wow.

    BILL: We have made, since we launched it, over 50 million of those. And they are out there in garages and workshops and trucks all over America today, working hard.

    T50 is a pretty complicated tool, too. It takes 27 different individual components and it goes through 35 quality checks before it gets out our door and out to the store and off to you. So, we’ve been making it for a really long time and people have been buying them and using them for a long time.

    LESLIE: Now, how did you guys get started? What was the, sort of, need for a hand stapler that developed into the T50?

    BILL: Well, we actually started as a staple company, believe it or not. Our founder, Morris Abrams, was a staple salesman in Manhattan back in the 1920s. And he actually started his own business when he got married and he wanted to take his wife on a honeymoon trip up to Niagara Falls. And he didn’t have any money, so he loaded the trunk of his car with staples and he sold them all the way up to Buffalo, from New York City, out of the trunk of his car and that’s pretty much what started the company.

    TOM: Wow. That’s so interesting. You think about professions that you would never expect to have today: a staple salesman. What do you do? I’m a staple salesman. Are there many of that? Probably was.

    BILL: Yeah, it’s pretty incredible.

    TOM: Well that’s terrific. Now, besides staple guns, you guys have many tools that help inspire and empower do-it-yourselfers. And you guys have a pretty fun promotion going on right now called “10 Weeks of Awesome.” And I love this because it’s a tool giveaway where you’re giving away 1,000 tools over 10 weeks. How does it work?

    BILL: Yeah, it’s great. All people have to do is come to and register. And once a week, for 10 weeks, we’re going to pull 101 lucky winners out of all of the entrants. What’s great about it is once you enter once, you stay in the contest until the end.

    So it runs for 10 weeks. It ends on December 17th at midnight. So once you’ve entered, you’ve got multiple chances to win. And every week we’re giving away 100 tools and they’ll be a different tool each week. And for one person, we’ll be giving away $1,000 in cash. So it gets really exciting prizes and we’ve got a lot of excitement built around this.

    TOM: And that’s at

    BILL: Correct.

    TOM: Now, you guys pretty much, at this point, have tools that match any project. I know we focused a lot about the staple gun – the T50 – but I want to ask you about some of the new ones that I see are coming out. And one is a tool that I wish I’ve had this for years, because we do a lot of craft projects. We use glue guns pretty frequently.

    And, let’s face it, they’re kind of annoying, for the most part, because you’ve got to feed the glue sticks into it and then you’ve got to always put pressure on the trigger. And after a few minutes of using it, your hand kind of starts to ache. If you’ve got to do a big project, it becomes really hard to work with. It seems you guys have solved this now with this new product that’s called the Pro High-Temp Glue Gun. Tell us how it works.

    BILL: Yes, this is really the – it’s the biggest, heaviest-duty glue gun that we’ve actually ever made. And what we found in our research was exactly what you said, Tom, that there are people who get frustrated with a lot of the glue guns that are out there because they’re more – they’re kind of toy-like, some of them, you know?

    TOM: Right.

    BILL: They’re small and they’re made for – they’re made more for small crafting projects, et cetera. This is a real glue gun that’s made for serious gluing and it’s got a few things that are really unique and different.

    One is it’s got a unique, non-drip nozzle. If you’ve ever used a glue gun, you know how messy the tip can get as the glue drips. It’s got 300 watts of heating power, so that means it heats up really fast, it stays really hot and you can put a lot of glue through it. A lot of glue guns have a hard time handling a lot of glue throughput. So, for big projects, this one is great.

    And then the third thing that’s really different about this is it has an adjustment knob on the back that allows you to control the glue flow. So, with this particular tool you can do everything from tiny, little dots, if that’s what you need, to a big area for gluing down a countertop, to something even like a straight, thin line if you were doing piping on upholstery work. So, it’s really versatile and it solves a lot of problems that people encounter.

    LESLIE: Now, if only we could find a way that I would not burn my fingers, because I seem to do it all the time.

    BILL: Yeah, we haven’t figured that one out, Leslie.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: You know what, Bill, though? The greatest tip I ever learned – and I took this ages ago and I don’t always follow it. But whenever I’m working with a glue gun, I keep a little dish with ice water right next to me. Because, inevitably, I get it on a finger or somewhere and if you just take that and dip it right in the icy, cold water, that glue freezes immediately and the burn stops.

    BILL: Well, that’s a good idea.

    TOM: There you go.

    LESLIE: We love working with you, Bill, because everything you guys do is about putting things together. I mean you truly fasten everything.

    Now, I think it’s interesting, because you’ve sort of taken that original T50 and really have evolved it. You became corded with an electric version and now you’re sort of advancing into a cordless version of the T50. Tell us about that.

    BILL: Yeah, we have a new product called a T50DCD. It’s a DC cordless tool. It runs on a 3.6-volt lithium-ion battery and it handles up to 500 shots for every full charge, which is about 100 shots or 25-percent more than anybody else has actually been able to get. This is a really compact tool. People love it. I have to tell you, it’s one of our newest products and it is the most highly reviewed tool that we have. We’ve got over 500 reviews on with 4.9 stars average. And we’ve got 99 percent of people saying that they would recommend it to a friend.

    TOM: Wow.

    BILL: So, this is a great tool, especially if you struggle, you know? If you’re doing a lot of stapling – and the T50 is such an awesome tool but it’s hard to squeeze. So this takes all that out of the equation. You just hit the trigger and the tool does all the work.

    TOM: Yeah. And 500 staples on a single charge. If you’ve got a serious project to do, this is definitely the tool for you to do easy and efficient.

    We’re talking to Bill Sokol. He is the vice president of marketing for Arrow Fastener, a manufacturer based right here in the United States that has made very iconic tools over the years, including the T50 Staple Gun that’s been around since the 50s.

    Bill, another product you have coming out is a pneumatic rivet tool. Now, Leslie and I were talking about this before the show. This is the kind of tool that maybe you don’t need it every day but when you need to rivet something together, it’s the only way to do it. There’s really nothing that replaces this.

    BILL: No, you’re absolutely right. It’s a great tool. And the problem with manual riveters is that they’re really hard to use. They’re kind of a bulky tool and they’re big and you have to squeeze these two handles together multiple times. And people really struggle with that, particularly if you’re up on a ladder or if you need your other hand to hold two pieces of material or whatever it is that you’re fastening together. So, a power assist is really the answer for fast and easy riveting.

    These pneumatic tools have been around for a long time. It’s how they make airplanes and boats and there’s a lot of pneumatic riveting that goes on in industry. I think what we have been able to do, in a very unique way, is take the power of those types of tools and scale it into a DIY model so you can now get a pneumatic riveter for under $50. It’s right around $49.95 in most retail locations so it’s a great, affordable solution.

    TOM: Wow. What a great price.

    BILL: And you can use it for a variety of projects around the house.

    TOM: I’ll tell you, the holidays are coming. It’d make a great gift for a do-it-yourselfer, as well. Bill Sokol, Vice President of Marketing for Arrow Fasteners, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    And folks, you’ve got to check out the 10 Weeks of Awesome at Giving away 1,000 tools over 10 weeks. And 10 of you are going to win 1,000 bucks each, so what a great opportunity to check out those tools and perhaps win some, as well.

    Bill, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    BILL: Thanks, guys. It was fun.

    LESLIE: Up next, this month marks the start of the real heating season: when your heating bills actually start to come in because we’ve been chilly and we see how much we’re actually spending on heating this season. Well, we’re going to review some of the most cost-effective ways to cut those costs, after this.

    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    And hey, you guys, you still have time to enter The Money Pit’s Home Improvement Weekend Warriors Sweepstakes. We’ve partnered with The Home Depot on this sweepstakes that’s really going to make anybody who loves tools drool. You’ve got a shot at winning some of the coolest tools from the aisles of The Home Depot.

    TOM: Yes, you do. And we’ve got a grand prize of the Milwaukee Tool 16-Drawer Chest and the Rolling Cabinet. We’ve also got an M18 – that’s their super-pro combo kit – Cordless Combo Kit, Lithium-Ion Cordless Batteries. That alone is worth, I think, close to 1,000 bucks.

    LESLIE: That’s awesome.

    TOM: It’s really – it’s the best. If you’re a weekend warrior but you don’t have tools, we’re going to fix that. We’ve also got – we’ve got – what have we got? We’ve got 10 RYOBI 18-Volt Drill Driver and Impact Driver Kits. Those are very handy. And we’ve got a couple of tool benches from Husky, a couple of the big 268-Piece Husky Mechanics Tool Sets. Just a ton of tools going out with the sweeps so enter, right now, at

    You can even increase your chances of winning by entering once a day and then sharing that sweeps with your friends. After you enter, you’ll get to a page and it has your special URL link that you share with your friends. And if they enter, you get five extra entries. So, get those folks entering and lets build up a boatload of entries for you. And who knows? You may be taking one of those tools and get working on a project to fix up your Money Pit.

    Well, I don’t know about you but this month, the frost really started to settle in around our area, which means that heating bills are soon going to be on the rise. But keeping those bills in check is really a matter of improving your home’s energy efficiency and its comfort.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And to do that, you not only have to have good insulation but you also need to seal those drafts, which is really what tends to make you feel uncomfortable. Now, the problem is when you do feel chilly, most people raise the thermostat even more, which drives up your energy costs. So the whole thing pretty much is a vicious cycle.

    TOM: Yep. Now, for my house, the fix has been Icynene Spray-Foam Insulation. We installed this, I guess, about three years ago now and it’s been a really effective sort of one-step insulation product that insulates, seals and reduces drafts, which can account for as much as about 40 percent of energy use. We saw a very significant reduction in both our heating and our cooling expenses after we had the Icynene installed. And you, too, could be saving as much as 40 percent on your monthly heating and cooling bills if you think about adding Icynene to your house.

    LESLIE: I mean that really is a tremendous savings, Tom. You guys were so smart in doing that.

    Now, a good way for you guys to learn more is to download Icynene’s free homeowner mobile app. Now, this is going to help homeowners learn the areas of your house that could be losing air every day and how spray-foam insulation can help create a more comfortable and energy-efficient home. Now, that app is available from the Apple store and the Google Play store or you can visit to find your nearest licensed Icynene Spray-Foam Insulation contractor.

    Up next, do you have a room that’s dark and dreary? Well, we’re going to have tips to let the light in and create a room with a view, even if you don’t have a window, after this.

    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: 888-MONEY-PIT is the phone number. Call us, right now, with your question presented by HomeAdvisor. Ready for a basement makeover that you can enjoy all winter long? HomeAdvisor will instantly match you with the right pro for the job, for free.

    LESLIE: But if you’re looking for a pro right now, we’re here to lend a hand. We’re going to answer a post right now from Richard, who writes: “I have a Southwest-style home in New Mexico with a clay-tile roof. Can I replace this with another material that still looks authentic to this type of architecture?”

    TOM: Sure. Why not? But I would say, why do you want to replace these clay tiles? Clay tiles are awesome. They last 100-plus years and they’re beautiful, they’re dimensional and they’re just such a durable, durable type of a roofing product. So, just because you haven’t had one before, Richard, I wouldn’t be hurrying off to replace it. I just think they’re a gorgeous roof.

    But if you really, really, really want to replace it, there are lots of fiberglass shingles out there today that are made to replicate those traditional, solid roofing tiles and shingles. They are called “dimensional shingles” and the coloring on them gives the sort of optical illusion that they have more dimension and shape than they actually do.

    I’m thinking of the one that has sort of like a scallop edge at the end, Leslie, that has that sort of terracotta-tile look to it. But you know where folks always go wrong with this? It’s the flashing, right?

    If you add terracotta tiles, you wouldn’t be able to lap them over each other when it comes to a valley, for example. You’d have to have flashing run right down it. So if you’re going to use the dimensional shingles, make sure you put in a traditional flashing assembly so it kind of looks like it really is the real product and not just the flat shingle. Because it kind of gives it away when you weave them all together and you could never do that with a tile or say, even a cedar shingle.

    LESLIE: Yeah, it really is in all of the details when it comes to working with these faux materials. So you want to make sure you do it right, especially since you’re replicating such a traditional look.

    TOM: Well, would you like to let more light into your room but you don’t have windows? Well, it can be done and Leslie has tips on how to do just that, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.


    LESLIE: Yeah, here’s your décor du jour this hour: a great idea for a view from your kitchen even if you don’t have a window. You can buy a light box. They’re not very expensive. You can find them online. Artists use them. What do artists use them for? Well, I personally use them to – say I’m redesigning a room. I’ll take a picture of that space from the perspective that I want to show, then I lay that picture on the light box with some paper over it, just to trace out the details of the space so I’m always looking at that room from the same detail. And then I lay in the furnishings – yes, I still hand-draw; I’m not one of those computer people that’s using all the fancy-shmancy stuff.

    So, light boxes, to me, are super valuable. But as a decorator, a light box really can be a huge, fun detail. Get them in a ton of different sizes. You mount it to your wall. It’s got to be near an outlet. And then you can go ahead and put any picture you want on it: a beautiful photo of your favorite vacation spot, stained glass. You can do it as a transparency, which will really give you the best effect. Turn on those light boxes and suddenly, it’s like you’re looking at the most beautiful place you’ve ever seen or a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting. It’s not an expensive project and you can really have a beautiful view today in a room that didn’t have one before.

    TOM: Great advice. And today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word was presented by Jiawei. Safeguard your home and loved ones with the Smart Security Light by Maximus Lighting, the porch light redefined. It’s equipped with two-way talk, a high-definition camera, 17-feet motion detection and a 100-decibel siren alarm.

    LESLIE: Alright. Coming up next week on The Money Pit, we’re going to talk backyard fire pits. You know, they’re really hot right now, literally. I mean on cool, autumn nights, who wouldn’t want to melt marshmallows and have that great smell of the campfire right in your backyard?

    TOM: Well, with just a bit of planning and a trip to your local building-supply store, you too can build a fire pit yourself. We’ll show you how, on the next edition of 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.


    (Copyright 2017 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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