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: On the road today in Providence, Rhode Island, broadcasting from JLC LIVE. This is like tool school, Leslie, right, for contractors or remodelers and professionals from across the country to learn more about the tools, the techniques, the tips and the new products that they’re going to be able to work with over the next 12 months or so, right?
LESLIE: Yeah. And you know what’s so cool is that there’s clinics here and there’s demonstrations. So if you’re learning about a new technique or a new product, you can see how it works, you can learn about it. This way, you know, as a pro, you’re better able to share it with your customers. It really is so fantastic because you’re getting the education on what’s newest and it’s really exciting. And we’re really here to take it all in. And we’re broadcasting from the center of the action, courtesy of Tando Building Products.
TOM: Yep. Tando is a new way to think about exterior siding and replacing the traditional wood and stone with materials that are beautiful and long-lasting. You can mix exterior cladding for shake and stone. It looks realistic, it needs little maintenance, it’s completely impervious to moisture and it’s very easy to install. Check it out at TandoBP.com.
We’re also here to take your calls, your questions about what’s going on in your money pit at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up this hour, if you want to stop drafts in the winter and lower cooling bills in the summer, if you add insulation that both seals and insulates, well, you can do just that. We’ll tell you how to get it done, in just a bit.
LESLIE: Alright. And also ahead, when you’re building a deck or taking on a summer decking project, most people really focus on the type of lumber and that finished look. But I think more importantly and first of all, we need to talk about those – the hardware that builds and supports that decking itself. So we’re going to chat about that, in just a bit.
TOM: And if you’re planning a new tile floor, you might not know that all tile are not created equal. And we’ll tell you how to choose a tile that’s perfect for your project.
LESLIE: And we’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card this hour to one very lucky caller. And that is courtesy of our friends over at Speed Queen Washers and Dryers.
TOM: You can use that to stock up on your laundry supplies. So give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Alright. We’ve got Tom from Washington up on the line who’s talking about building a shed. How can we help you with that project, Tom?
TOM IN WASHINGTON: We want to add on a good-looking 8×20 unheated storage building. We plan to use cedar shingles, exterior plywood, 26-gauge metal roofing. And I had a couple of questions for you. Should I use – it’s an unheated, uninsulated shed. Should I use house wrap, like Tyvek or TYPAR or one of those?
We also have an 8×6 greenhouse that’s going to be built on the end of it. And I wanted to ask you if it needed some air-circulation vents or any special device knowing that the greenhouse is “attached” to the unheated storage building.
TOM: So you have a combination there of conditioned and non-conditioned space.
First of all, Leslie, 8×20 – I would call that a “man cave on a ship,” right?
LESLIE: That’s like a man house. Are you kidding?
TOM: Or a she shed.
LESLIE: True, true. Yoga studio, crafting house, all those things.
TOM: Yeah. And we’ve seen those yoga studios that big before, haven’t we? We broadcasted from one when we were out in Arlington, Massachusetts, with our friends at This Old House. They had a yoga studio that was standalone.
So, hey, lots of uses for that building but for your particular questions, I would definitely use house wrap on that because even if it’s not insulated, it’s great to protect it from moisture intrusion. You mentioned you were going to side it.
I would – I tell you, we’re here at the Journal of Light Construction Show with the folks at Tando Building Products. You ought to take a look at these Tando materials because it’s completely impervious to moisture and it looks like wood. Even though it doesn’t need any maintenance whatsoever, it looks just like, say, for example, Beach House Shake, which is one of the products that they’re rolling out. So, definitely buildings products. Use a maintenance-free siding like that.
In terms of the greenhouse, that is going to be conditioned. I presume you’re going to heat that. If that’s the case, then you do want to be careful and treat that just like you would any other interior space. In terms of venting, I think it’s a good idea to have the windows be ventable there, as well, because this way it won’t overheat in the summer and you can let it breathe just a bit.
LESLIE: Yeah. And then you can use it for whatever purpose outside of a shed, whatever you want to call it. Just have a good time in your new, fun man shed out in your backyard.
Alright, guys. You can call in your home repair or your home improvement question 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re always standing by at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Now, we’ve got one here from Sue who’s got a question about cabinets and she’s calling in from Minnesota. Sue, how can we help you?
SUE: I have my coffee maker, you know, under the cabinet area. And the steam from the coffee maker tends to make the finish from the cabinets fade. And I don’t know where I can put that coffee maker.
TOM: OK. And you’d probably like to restore that finish, as well.
So if we can’t relocate the coffee maker, Leslie, I mean maybe we could suggest some ways to kind of touch-up that finish without doing a major repainting.
LESLIE: Well, the benefit here is that the way you’re describing it is that it’s underneath the cabinet. So, nobody’s really seeing it; it’s not on that cabinet face. So if I were you, I would take a little sponge sander, something not too aggressive, and just try to sand off that little area of unevenness and then maybe put a waterproof finish on it. Something clear just to help maintain the structural integrity of that cabinet bottom.
I don’t think you’re putting out so much moisture that your dishes are going to start falling through but it is no problem. It recurs over time. I’ve seen it in hotel rooms, I’ve seen it in my own kitchen.
So you just want to take care of that underside of that cabinet, sand it, refinish it with a little bit of a clear stain or a clear acrylic topcoat, something like that, and that’ll do the trick. And if you can’t find another spot, just know you’ll be doing this again if you keep your coffee maker there.
TOM: So we hope that helps you out. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. We’re standing by to take your home repair or your home improvement questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 888-MONEY-PIT.
TOM: Up next, if you want to stop drafts in winter and lower cooling bills in summer, if you add insulation that both seals and insulates, you can. We’ll tell you about one that does, after this.
TOM: Where home solutions live, 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: And I want to take this moment to congratulate my friend, my partner, Leslie Segrete, for being Emmy-nominated.
TOM: Emmy-nominated as an art director. As many of you know, Leslie’s side-job is she is the art director for the Harry Connick Jr. Show and it is her first year in the position. And guess what? As a freshman art director, she is now Emmy-nominated. Amazing accomplishment.
We are so proud of you.
LESLIE: I feel like our listeners can sense my blushing face through the airwaves. It’s really exciting. Thank you so much, Tom, and we’re nominated against some big competition: Ellen, Sesame Street, The Talk. And it’s a thrill and I’m looking forward to going. I wouldn’t miss it. And hopefully, I come home with a statue but if not, this has just been a completely mind-blowing experience. So thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. And we’re now going to call you Emmy.
LESLIE: I’ll take it.
TOM: So, Emmy, what’s coming up on The Money Pit?
LESLIE: Yes, sir.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Hey, we’re broadcasting today from Providence, Rhode Island, where we are attending JLC LIVE, a great trade show attended by thousands of building professionals. We are here in the midst of it all, courtesy of Tando Building Products.
They’re here launching a beautiful, new siding product called Beach House Shake that looks just like cedar. They also have a stone. They have all these different products that are just incredibly realistic. And so, kind of in the spirit of things, all these guys are wearing their Hawaiian shirts today. So it’s kind of funny but I tell you what, it’s just a beautiful project. If you’re thinking about remodeling, you ought to check it out.
And if you want to give us a call right now, we’d love to chat with you about your home improvement question. And the number, of course, is 888-MONEY-PIT. We’re giving away an Amazon gift card today presented by Speed Queen. It’s a $50 card.
And Speed Queen Washers and Dryers are incredibly durable. They are built to last 25 years. They’ve got the industry’s best warranty and has over 100 years of commercial reliability behind Speed Queen. There are 2,800 dealers nationwide. Check them out at SpeedQueen.com. But if you’d like to win this Amazon gift card worth 50 bucks, courtesy of our friends at Speed Queen, give us a call, right now, at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Going to one lucky caller drawn at random. Make that you, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: I mean it’s pretty exciting. You can use that gift card to get all of your laundry supplies, so then you’ve got yourself covered when you get your brand-new Speed Queen.
Alright. We’re going to jump into a call. And I’ve got one here on the line from Victor in Massachusetts who has got a question about a steam room.
Victor, how can we help you today?
VICTOR: I’m considering making the walk-in shower a shower/steam room. I had the house – our house – built in 2007 and at that time, I called your show for advice on bathroom tiles and tankless hot-water system. That worked out perfect for your advice.
TOM: And I guess you’re hoping for another good answer. OK. We’ll actually give you a second answer because it’s been 10 years and you have not exceeded our limit.
LESLIE: He’s got a once-every-10-years quota.
TOM: It’s so nice to get calls like this, Victor – or for folks that have been listening to us – in your case, for a decade. We’re so happy to help you out with that. So let’s talk about that steam room. Now, we may or may not have talked back at 2007, when you first reached out to us, about ventilation.
But I think that’s an important part of this answer, Leslie. Because if you’re going to do a steam room, you’re going to want to clear that steam when you’re done with it, as quickly as possible. If you let it sit and sort of gel in there, you’re going to get a whole host of potential mold-and-mildew problems.
So, the first thing I would say is to make sure you have a good ventilation system in there with an exhaust fan. The newer ones run on timers. Some of them have moisture sensors. You want to make sure that that exhaust is going not into the attic but completely outside so we have a really good way of sort of venting that space when we’re done with that steam bath.
In terms of the steam itself, you know, it’s a pretty straightforward installation. You mentioned that you already had a tankless water heater. That’s kind of what a steam generator is. It’s just a very tiny, tankless water heater. It could sit in a wall cavity with not a lot of space around it. And it works on electricity, so it’s kind of expensive to run. But if that’s where you want to go with it and that’s not a part of your recreation budget, then, hey, why not? Go for it.
LESLIE: It really is a fantastic thing to add to your home. And you’re right: there’s so many wonderful options as far as a steam shower, multiple showerheads. You can add all different things to create, really, the spa-like experience in your home. And hopefully, you’re able to do that, Victor, without a tremendous expense and really relax and enjoy that space.
TOM: Alright, Victor. Call again and don’t wait 10 years this time, will you?
LESLIE: Right. Five or two.
Well, I’m very excited that we are now moving towards summer, Leslie. It’s about three years since we applied Icynene spray-foam insulation in our home and I have been really thrilled with the results. When you look at the bills over those three years, how dramatically different they are, my cooling-and-heating bills have really never been lower.
LESLIE: Well, I think it’s interesting. I’m noticing, as well, with our utility company – they’re sending every quarter sort of an update of what kind of energy usage your home is having, how you compare to everything else in your neighborhood, similar size, how you’re comparing to your house this month from the previous year. They’re really giving consumers more information, these utility companies, so that you can make smarter, energy-efficient choices for your home. And to help you do that, Icynene has a new formulation called Icynene Classic Max. And it’s a high-performance, ultra-low-VOC, open-cell, spray-foam insulation product.
Now, this product is the only open-cell foam to have earned a GREENGUARD Gold Certification, so homeowners can be back in their homes in just two hours after the spray application has been applied.
TOM: Yeah. And that’s huge. The other thing that’s great is Icynene gives you sort of two-in-one insulation because it’s a spray foam that both insulates and it air-seals that attic space. And that’s going to mitigate airflows that can leak in and cause mold and mildew issues, of course drive up your heating-and-cooling costs. It’s going to reduce those monthly heating-and-cooling costs by as much as about 40 percent. That’s what we’ve seen as an Icynene homeowner. And I’m telling you, it’s just amazing.
I had other indications of it, too. We had sections of the house that were always too hot or too cold. And literally, the day after the application, it was the same as the rest of the house. It evened it right out.
LESLIE: I mean that really is fantastic. You guys, Icynene is the leading brand of insulation and has insulated over 600,000 homes since 1986. That’s huge. Now, you can go to Icynene.com and there you can also download a free Icynene Insulation mobile app. It’s available at the Apple Store and Google Play. So much information there so you can figure out the best way to insulate your home and start saving energy dollars today.
TOM: And if you need some insulation tips, some fix-up tips, some remodeling tips, give us a call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Broadcasting today from Providence, Rhode Island, right from the trade-show floor at JLC LIVE. Kind of tool school for tens of thousands of construction professionals.
We are here with the folks at Tando Building Supply. They make some amazing building products for the outside of your home. They’ve got some new siding they’ve released called Beach House Shake. And I have nailed up a lot of boards of cedar in my day – cedar shingles – and this looks like the cedar that comes right out of the box. So it’s beautiful, it’s gorgeous but the difference is, of course, it’s always going to stay this way. It’s not going to fade like typical cedar does. So check it out at TandoBP.com.
Let’s get back to the phones. Leslie, who’s next?
LESLIE: Alright. I believe we’ve got Angela in Missouri on the line and she has got a question about escape routes for her home.
Angela, how can we help you?
ANGELA: I am purchasing a beautiful 1940s home. It’s two stories with a basement. And I was just wondering you guys’ thoughts on the second floor. Basically, there’s a very tiny staircase that goes up to the second floor and I’m worried about if there was a fire, something that blocked the stairway. Are there products out there that you can purchase – well, yeah, I don’t know, a roll-down ladder or some kind of alarm or something? What do you guys know about that?
TOM: Yeah. And that’s a great question and it’s so nice to hear you thinking in terms of that. I had an experience years ago when I was a reporter for a local news station. And I actually went through some training at a fire academy. And part of this training was they filled the house with smoke and said, “OK, find your way out.” Of course, they had a chemical smoke that didn’t leave soot stains behind but they actually came to my house and filled my entire house with smoke.
And I tell you, even though I knew it was a drill, it was scary because you literally can’t see your hand in front of you. And that’s an important thing to realize because when you talk about something like a roll-down ladder, so many times I’ve seen folks take those and stick them in a closet, for example, right? There is no way you are going to find that if that’s happening to you and your house is filled with smoke. It just ain’t going to happen. The only chance you have is if you have it mounted underneath the window, where it’s very easy for you to just sort of flip the window open and then throw the ladder out. But I have rarely ever seen anyone sort of go that far.
So I would say in an older house, the first thing to check is the window size. You want to make sure that they’re big enough for folks to get out of. You want to be careful if you have bars on the windows – say, for kids – that they have quick-release mechanisms. That’s really critical. So many of those window-safety bars are just really hard to get out of. You never want to have to look for a key.
LESLIE: That really is true. You want to make sure that those window bars are quickly removable but also, at the same time, safe to keep your kids and your family inside the house when you need them to be kept inside the house. So that’s really important.
Tom and I have both seen these. They look sort of like boxes. They mount – do these mount to the outside of the house or are they sort of a box on the inside of the house? I think I’ve seen them kind of both ways where there’s a ladder rolled up and hidden in there so you can just sort of toss it out and then escape freely from that window.
LESLIE: I think it’s also important that – when I was growing up, we had stickers on the window that sort of let the fire department know that there was a kid in that room should there be an emergency.
Now, I know a lot of people have been shying away from that due to fears of kidnapping or something like that. But it’s important to let the fire department know that you have children in the house. Even if you just stop by and have a nice conversation with the fire department, it’s also nice to keep a little sign in a window downstairs that says there’s a dog in here or two cats or something, so that people are aware of what the count is of the people and animals inside a home.
And remember, if there is a fire in your house, don’t go back for a pet. Let the fire department do their jobs. I know you want to make sure everybody gets out safe but get out first and let the pros do their job.
TOM: Good advice. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, if you’re going to build a deck, typically you’re focusing on the lumber or whether you’re going to go composite. One thing that is often an afterthought is the hardware. How are you going to secure those boards down? So many times I’ve seen beautiful decks where you can pretty much tell every nail has gone through it and then you get splits and cracks and checks around it. There is a better way to build a deck. When we come back, we’ll tell you all about it.
This is The Money Pit coming to you from Providence, Rhode Island. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: We’ll be back with more, after this.
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: Broadcasting from the Tando Building Product booth here at JLC LIVE New England. These guys are all decked out in beach attire because they’re introducing the brand-new Beach House Shake.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know what? It looks incredibly realistic and it has a random pattern and all of these sort of dark tones mixed into it. So it really does look like a true white cedar. Check it out at TandoBP.com. That’s Tando Building Products but TandoBP.com.
TOM: Plus, we’re taking your calls at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, we’re just about ready to hit the deck-building season. And while most of the time folks that plan decks think about what wood to use or whether they should go with one of the composites, there is another equally important consideration.
LESLIE: That’s right. That’s the hardware. Now, you use it to keep everything together, so that’s really important, you guys.
Now, choosing the right fasteners can actually reduce the cracking, the moisture that leads to rot and even splintering. Plus, it makes your deck surface something to admire rather than something that looks battle-worn.
TOM: Now, CAMO Edge Fastening specializes in helping create those beautiful deck surfaces. And joining us now is Greg Groenhout from CAMO.
GREG: Hi, Tom. Thanks for having me.
TOM: So, you know, I think that’s a fair point. Most people don’t focus on the hardware. They just think about the boards.
GREG: That’s right.
TOM: But so many times, I’ve seen these decks that are just beautiful but every other nail has got a crack going through it.
GREG: That’s right.
TOM: So how do you guys stop that from happening?
GREG: So, CAMO Edge Fastening is all about, like you said before, delivering a beautiful deck surface, getting the fasteners off the surface of the deck to where they can’t be seen, so people can enjoy the beauty of the board they selected and not have to worry about those cracks, splits, mushrooms, surface issues that can be caused by a face fastener.
TOM: Right. So, describe the fastener for those that think a nail is a nail is a nail or a screw is a screw. How do you guys engineer it to make that not happen?
GREG: Yeah, we have a – it’s actually a part of a system but the screw is really the magic behind why it works.
GREG: And so we have a screw that’s designed with a trim head, with a reverse-rake tip on it instead of a sharp point. If we – and where we’re delivering that screw through the edge of the board. If you tried to use a sharp-point screw, you’re forcing material out of the way. You could split the board. But with the Edge Fastener, it actually augers material out, before it goes in, with the use of a guide. And the guide also spaces the boards for you.
TOM: So when you say “edge fastener,” we’re used to putting a board down and driving a nail right through it. You’re actually catching that corner – that top-right corner edge – to make that fastening connection.
GREG: That’s right. Yep. So we’re sending a screw through the edge of the board rather than the top, on about a 52-degree angle, and then into the joists below. And it gives you a couple of nice things. First, its other hidden fastening options allows you to actually attach the board directly to the joists, not like a clip. A clip was actually attaching a screw to the joists and then a clip to the board. It can allow some excess movement, et cetera.
And another nice thing about this system is that you can remove the boards if you have a damaged board or something goes wrong with the board. You can always back the screws out, take the board right out. Whereas with clip systems, a lot of the times you’re locked into place. Makes it a lot more difficult for something like that.
LESLIE: Now, is there something that helps with the installation? Is there a guide that will help you make sure you’re doing everything correctly?
GREG: Yeah, exactly. So the CAMO Edge Fastening System is really three components. There’s a guide. Like I mentioned before, they go through the top of the board at the joists.
GREG: There’s two screw guides in it and you drop your screws in. The system also includes a bit that comes with the fasteners. And the bit, actually, is important because it sets the depth of the screws. Every time the same. And you use that in conjunction with the fastening system, with your own drill. So you just drop the screws into the guides and drive them in and then move onto your next joist.
TOM: So whether you’re a pro or a DIYer, with this guide you really can’t go wrong.
TOM: Because I could see a lot of people try to hit that corner of that board and just kind of missing it.
LESLIE: Missing it.
TOM: But with this guide, you know, you’re pretty much guaranteed success every time.
GREG: Yeah, the guide makes it foolproof. Whether you’re a professional builder or a DIYer – do-it-yourselfer – you can be – you feel at ease with this system because it’s so simple to use. It basically takes you through the whole installation process. It takes all the mystery out of it, takes all the mistakes out of it.
TOM: So we’re talking to Greg Groenhout. He’s from CAMO Fasteners. It’s a fastening system for putting decks together.
I imagine, Greg, that the deck builders you work with are probably the best of the best. This is the kind of system that you don’t seek out unless you really, really truly care about your work and your finished product. What kind of feedback are you getting from those guys?
GREG: Yeah, we’ve – actually, we’re in our sixth season with the CAMO Edge Fastening System. We have a great following throughout the U.S. We’re actually in international markets, as well, now. Man, these shows are great. We’re talking to builders, getting that feedback, as you talked about. We have a lot of pleased builders out there. Those builders that are doing the decks – officially, the higher-end decks – are real craftsmen. They care a lot about their work, care a lot about their customers. They want to deliver a beautiful look with their deck system. And they also want to save their customers money and make themselves more competitive out there as they’re bidding jobs, so …
TOM: Leslie, I would imagine, as an Emmy-nominated art director, you probably have an opinion on the quality of the finished look. I mean when you’re trying to basically decorate a deck surface and you look at all these sort of pockmarks, that’s got to kind of take away from (inaudible at 0:24:51).
LESLIE: It really does and then you see that one screw that’s just slightly out of step with the others. And it’s something that I’ll always have my eye drawn to, so I love the idea of the hidden fastener.
And I think it’s interesting that you’ve developed a system that really works well, Greg, with whatever width board people are working with. Because I think that’s been a big trend. People are using different-sized decking components, different boards, different styles, different layouts. And I think that could prove challenging if you’re trying to have a hidden fastener but you guys have really solved all of those parts.
GREG: Yeah, the guide is flexible; it’s able to be manipulated from 5¼ to 5¾ width. We also make a guide for small boards, for narrow boards: 2 inch, 2×4 or what have you. And the system works with whatever material you’re putting down. So whether it’s a treated lumber or PVC, composite or even hardwoods, you have one system – the Edge Fastening System – that’ll work with whatever material you want to put down on your deck.
TOM: So if you’re a deck builder, you’ve got to check out CAMO Fasteners. And just as important, if you’re a homeowner thinking about building a deck this spring, ask your contractor to use CAMO Fasteners. I think once you see the install on these guys, you’re going to be like, “I don’t want a nail touching that thing.” You’ve got to use the CAMO Fastener.
Greg Groenhout, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
LESLIE: Alright. Just ahead, if you’re planning a new tile floor, you might not know that all tiles are not created equal. We’re going to tell you how to choose tile that’s perfect for your project, 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: Broadcasting today from the Journal of Light Construction’s JLC LIVE in Providence, Rhode Island. We’re here with our friends at Tando Building Products, surrounded by wall upon wall with beautiful siding on it.
They’ve introduced the Beach House Shake. It looks just like real cedar except it needs none of the maintenance and has none of the moisture problems associated with it. They’ve really nailed this staining process with these composites. They also have a TandoStone product that looks beautiful, like fieldstone. You can use this for sort of a mixed-materials look. You can use it on your foundation if you want to cover up sort of that ugly, gray area. And we are here, again, courtesy of Tando Building Supply.
You can call us, right now, though with your home improvement question at 888-MONEY-PIT. If you do, you might just win a fantastic prize we’ve got from Amazon.
LESLIE: That’s right. We’re giving away a $50 Amazon gift card and that’s courtesy of our friends over at Speed Queen.
Now, Speed Queen Washers and Dryers are built to last 25 years. That is a whole heck of a lot of laundry that you will be doing in your home with a Speed Queen Washer and Dryer. They really do have the industry’s best warranty and over 100 years of commercial reliability. So thanks to our friends at Speed Queen, we’ve got up for grabs a $50 Amazon gift card that you could use to buy things like laundry detergent and dryer sheets, all things that make your laundry life a lot easier.
TOM: Just like Speed Queen. Going out to one lucky caller drawn at random. Make that you. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. We’re going to jump into our calls right now. I’ve got one on the line. I’ve got Karen from Pennsylvania who has a mold question.
What’s going on, Karen?
KAREN: My mom has a house that the basement is – we put it up for sale and nobody noticed this. And one person came in and tore wallpaper off the wall and we noticed that it had mold from the floor to the ceiling and even in the inner walls. So I had a gentleman come and look at it and he said it would take $30,000-plus. And he would come in, remove all the interior walls – all the wood, the paneling, everything off the wall – down to the bare. He would have a chemical put on, clean it and then it would never come back.
TOM: You know what my concern is about that immediately, Leslie, is you’ve got …
LESLIE: You can’t say that something’s never, ever, ever going to go come back.
TOM: And plus, you’ve got a contractor that is wearing two hats here. “Hey, lady, you’ve got a problem. But don’t worry, I am just the guy to fix it for you as long as you’ve got 30,000 bucks.” I mean if you have a problem that is worth $30,000 to fix, I’d be spending another few hundred to 1,000 bucks on some good, qualified, expert, impartial advice.
Yeah, you need to get in there a mold inspector that doesn’t have any conflict of interest whatsoever when it comes to doing any of that repair work. And only in that circumstance would I even consider working with a contractor.
And then, you know, it’s kind of like the same advice we give, Leslie, when you find a crack in your foundation, unless they get an engineer first. And then let that engineer or that expert spec out what has to be done to correct it.
I wouldn’t necessarily use a contractor to both diagnose it and fix it, because that is just a complete conflict of interest and it’s bound to present problems. But get, say, an industrial hygienist or another expert in this space to look at it first, describe the repair. Then, once you know what has to be done, go out to bid, get multiple contractors to do that work. Go to HomeAdvisor.com and find contractors that are highly rated in your area. Let those guys bid on the work. I think only in that circumstance will you get good, independent, expert advice and know exactly what you have to do to restore your home to health, so to speak.
LESLIE: Yeah. It really does make a huge difference and mold can be a very bad impact on your home, bad impact for your health. So stay on top of it, Karen, and do what’s right and take care of it. And then you can move on to better things and more decorative projects, like maybe you’re planning a new tiling project.
If you are, you’re probably going to start your selection by narrowing down the multitude of tile choices that are out there. So many colors, so many designs. But before you even get that far, it’s really a good idea to understand the types of tile that are even available in the first place. So we’ve got some tips, presented by Lumber Liquidators.
TOM: That’s right. Now, for most projects, you’re going to decide between two types of tile: ceramic tile and porcelain tile. And I know there’s people out there going, “Well, aren’t they same?” They’re not really the same. Ceramic tile is made from a mixture of special clays and natural materials that are mined from the earth and sort of formed into shapes and then they’re heated in kilns. It can be naturally colored, it could be left unglazed – like, say, a terracotta tile, which is a beautiful tile – or they can feature sort of colored or highly designed surfaces, which can be – they’re glazed again.
Now, most ceramic tile has either a white or sort of a red body coloration, which is underneath that glazed, colored top layer.
LESLIE: Yeah. And I think that’s where people get confused because both types of tile can have a glazed top. And so they’re like, “Tile is tile.”
But now, here’s what’s porcelain tile: it’s actually a form of ceramic tile and it’s really very, very popular among homeowners. But the porcelain tiles are actually made of fine porcelain clays. They’re fired at a much higher temperature than the ceramic is. And the process that makes the porcelain tile more dense, it makes it less porous, it’s much harder and it’s less prone to moisture and stain absorption than a ceramic tile is. And that really makes up a lot of the reasons why most porcelain tiles are suitable for both indoor and outdoor projects.
TOM: Definitely. And that’s today’s Flooring Tip, presented by Lumber Liquidators where you can get Avella Wood-Look Porcelain Tile. Avella Wood-Look Porcelain Tile is gorgeous, natural-looking and combines all the beauty of wood with the durability of waterproof tile. It’s great for high-moisture areas, like bathrooms and laundry rooms and kitchens. But it also works well in living rooms, patios and even walls. You’ll find it at Lumber Liquidator stores nationwide and online at LumberLiquidators.com.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com broadcasting today from Providence, Rhode Island. It’s a beautiful area here filled with many beach homes. And we are actually here at the Journal of Light Construction JLC LIVE show.
And we are talking to you from the booth, on the show floor, of Tando Building Supply where they have launched this new Beach House Shake, which would look great here and really anywhere in the country. It’s a cedar shake that’s composite and it looks just like the real thing except it needs none of the maintenance. And for a guy that had to do a lot of linseed oil on his cedar shake over the years, I wish it existed a lot sooner than it does now.
We’ll be back with more of your calls and tips, after this.
TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online and today on location in Providence, Rhode Island. We are at JLC LIVE. It’s a trade show for pros and we are here courtesy of the folks at Tando Building Supply, who are launching some beautiful, new siding products for your home. Check it out at TandoBP.com.
LESLIE: Yeah. What’s so great, guys, is that Tando offers a shake, they offer a stone. And the stone really does have the rich look of stone without any of that weight or the messy mortar or maintenance. And best of all is it’s impervious to moisture, so you can put it right in contact with the ground, at your foundation level, if you want to have that look. It really is great for creating a beautiful covering for that cracked foundation or surrounding an ugly space around a deck. You can do so much and it can really be installed by one person in just a few hours.
So check out their website. It’s TandoBP.com. And you can learn more and see the beautiful products.
TOM: And pick up the phone, right now, and give us a call about your next home improvement project at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Philip on the line who needs some help installing a bathroom. What are you working on?
PHILIP: Well, we have an unusual house. It’s all concrete – poured concrete – back in the 80s. So all of the walls and the upper and lower are concrete. Now, we have one bathroom in this house. However, we want to install a small half-bath in the bedroom, right next to the bathroom that’s in the basement now. So, we have a concrete wall between the two. We have concrete floors where the toilet and the bathtub is installed. Now, between the bathtub and the other wall, the plumbing is in there. That’s not concrete; that is framed in.
So that has – we have access to that in the room next door. But the question is – we want to install another bathroom – a half-bath – so we want a toilet and a sink. The sink is no problem as – because of what I just said about the plumbing being roughed-in there. But boy, how do – we really want to do this, so it’s going to take some, I assume, some demolition work to get down into that.
TOM: Yeah. That’s true. It is going to take some demolition work. And the place to do that demolition work is the floor. And you can make those drainage connections in the soil underneath that if you can get over and catch the original drain line. That’s really the only way to go here. And you say the sink is easy. It’s actually not because you have the same problem. I mean that sink drain has to connect with the main drain way’s vent pipe, as well. So you really have to deal with both of those particular issues to get this project installed.
Now, there is metal-detection technology that can actually pinpoint where those lines are. You may find out that it’s easier to run a line right out of the house and have that connection join, once that waste line gets actually past the house rather than sort of snake back towards that other bath.
Hope that helps you out, Phil. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: We’ll go into the posts in the Community section. Amanda in California posted her question: “I’m expecting a baby and looking for flooring for our nursery. I want something that handles stains well but also something soft. Do you have any suggestions?”
Well, wall-to-wall carpeting that’s white is not the way to go, like I did eight years ago. Ugh, such a mistake. But I really wanted it and thought, “Oh, I can take care of it.” Don’t think that. You’re going to be tired and sleep-deprived. Go with wood or laminate or something pretty and get an area rug.
LESLIE: Do yourself a favor. That can be cleaned or thrown out.
TOM: Good advice. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next time on the program, it’s never a good idea to slack off on taking care of your biggest investment. But taking care of your home does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Kevin O’Connor from This Old House will be stopping by with smart ideas to save you money while you’re maintaining your home.
Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. 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.)