Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete
(NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist’s understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. ‘Ph’ in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)
BEGIN HOUR 2 TEXT:
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: Call us now with your home improvement question. Call us now with your do-it-yourself dilemma. This is where work and fun meet. We’re your home improvement adventure guides because we know that home improvement is an adventure. It’s exciting, it’s exhilarating, it has an unplanned result most of the time. We can kind of help you, though, cut back on that risk. If you call us right now and talk to us first, 888-MONEY-PIT.
Coming up on today’s program, we know that tackling those home maintenance projects is not always the way that you want to spend your weekend; so coming up this hour, we’re going to give you an easy way to follow a checklist that’ll help you stay on top of the little projects before they become really big ones.
LESLIE: And also ahead this hour, I’m sure you’re familiar with these terms: eggshell, gloss, semi-gloss, flat. But what the heck do they all mean? We’re going to help you figure out these puzzling paint options and give you a little inside secret on choosing the best paint finish to hide all kinds of wall blemishes and flaws in your home.
TOM: And also, a bathroom redesign is often high on the homeowner’s wish list. Why? Well, because it gives you a great return on investment. Well, luckily though, you don’t need to tear into walls or completely reconfigure plumbing to get those great results. We’re going to give you tips on how to do a mini-makeover for this mini-space that gives you really maximum results.
LESLIE: Plus, we’re giving away a set of tools from our friends over at Rapid Tools. We’ve got the Shark and the Rapid Edge prize pack.
TOM: So pick up the phone and call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Jan in Utah needs some help in the kitchen. What can we do for you?
JAN: Oh, hi. I have a kitchen that is divided from my dining room and there is a small – there is a three-foot wall that kind of sticks out and divides it. We wanted to take that down and just extend our cabinets into the dining room and then move things around. But I don’t know how to tell if that’s a bearing wall or not.
TOM: So it’s a three-foot wall that kind of juts out and sort of forms the end for the kitchen cabinets now?
TOM: I would say not likely, Leslie. I think it sounds more like a partition wall.
LESLIE: Is the rule if they run parallel to the front of your house then it’s generally a load-bearing wall or am I totally making that up?
TOM: Yeah, that’s right and this sounds perpendicular. If it’s parallel to the front and the back of the house, chances are higher that it’s a load-bearing wall. This sounds like a wall that was simply installed to give …
LESLIE: To finish a space.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. Sort of finish off that end. We can’t tell you for sure, Jan, without seeing it but it doesn’t sound like it’s a bearing wall.
JAN: Yeah, I was just concerned. Somebody told me it wasn’t, but then I keep thinking if that wall continued through the dining area, it would continue right down my garage; where the garage and the house are divided.
TOM: Well, Jan, are you going to do this yourself or are you going to have a carpenter do it for you?
JAN: (chuckling) Well, we were thinking of doing it ourselves. We watch too much TV (Tom and Leslie chuckle) and all the home improvement shows.
LESLIE: I mean it may be that there’s a header above this partition wall that is indeed load-bearing, but I doubt that this three-foot section itself is holding up your home.
JAN: OK. Yeah, OK. Well, and I did have somebody that had done some construction say, ‘No, that’s not, that’s not,’ and I was just a little nervous. So …
LESLIE: For peace of mind, Jan, you can always get an engineer in and ask the very same question.
JAN: Yeah, yeah; either that or I can go find the guy that built the house. I think I know his name but (Leslie and Jan chuckle) …
TOM: Alright, well if he’s still around you can ask that question.
JAN: I’m not quite sure where he is but thank you so much. I just wasn’t sure if there is a telltale sign or not.
TOM: Well, I think the only telltale sign we can say is if it’s perpendicular to the exterior wall and it’s just finishing off the end of that cabinet, it probably is not a bearing wall.
JAN: Great. Thank you so much.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Jan, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: David in Connecticut has a situation in the garage. Tell us what happened.
DAVID: Well, I have a 21.5×21.5-foot garage floor and, over time, a third of it has sunken and it’s now down, on one corner, about 10.5 to 12 inches. I had a contractor come and he gave me an estimate and said they thought they could slabjack it, which is a process where they …
TOM: You mean mudjack it.
DAVID: Pardon me?
TOM: You mean mudjack it.
DAVID: Mudjack it? Yep. And basically, it didn’t work and now I’m told that the only recourse I have, really, to keep it from continuing to recede over time and break up more and more is to basically drill it all out and replace the floor and I wondered if you had any other solutions and what your thoughts are; whether any of that is something that a homeowner can do or whether you should get a contractor.
TOM: Well, couple of things. First of all, the good news is that the garage floor is not structurally connected to your house. It’s essentially just a surface for your car to rest on. The reason it dropped so much is because underneath it probably the surface was not prepped when it was first installed. There could have been debris in there that was organic – you know trees, whatever, paper; we don’t know – that sunk and collapsed; rotted away and collapsed. There could have been that the soil was not properly compressed and tamped. So there’s a bunch of reasons that that probably happened. I do agree with your contractor that the best way to fix this is to tear it out. In fact, I never would have told you to try mudjacking with this because I think that the expense of doing that would most likely be wasted; which, apparently, that was what the – that’s the way it played out. So I’m sorry for that, David, but I would recommend that you tear it out.
Now, what can you do yourself? That slab is not going to be as hard to break up as you might think and you could probably rent a jackhammer for not a whole lot of money and break that up into manageable pieces and get that all cleaned out yourself then just have the contractor come in and pour a new floor. You may, because it’s down so much, need to add some fill and if you do that it’s going to be really important that that new fill dirt be tamped and that’ll have to be done mechanically so that this does not happen again.
And lastly, when you do put in the new floor, make sure it’s reinforced. OK? Make sure they use a woven wire mesh to reinforce it.
TOM: If they do it right, you’re not going to have any further problems with cracking.
DAVID: Alright, well thank you very much. I appreciate your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, David. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Pick up the phone and give us a call because we can help you get the job done right the first time. With any home repair or any home improvement that you’re working on, we are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, how to choose the right paint finish for your walls and an insider secret that will help you hide all those little dents and dings from showing up.
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Aprilaire, makers of professionally-installed, high-efficiency air cleaners. For more information go to Aprilaire.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
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 and you should pick up the phone and give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT because one caller who asks their home improvement question on the air is going to have a chance to win a $60 prize package from Rapid Tools. It includes the Shark combination utility blade and wire stripper and the Edge serrated utility blades and it even has a utility knife with an LED light so you can really see what you’re getting in on and working in there and making sure that you’re cutting what you want to and not on the wrong side of the line. Give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT to get your chance to win.
You know, on this show we get a lot of calls on how to maintain smooth, clean and secure walls in your home. So here’s a little insider secret that can help. When it comes to paint, we always encourage you to get the very best paint quality you can afford. Why? Because better paint has more color; it has more of a material called titanium dioxide in it and that makes it last a lot longer and cover better. And it’s always best to choose a flat finish, which is going to hide the imperfections that can be magnified, otherwise, by glossy finishes. So for example, if you have a semi-gloss on your wall, any little divot or defect, nail pop, drywall seam in the wall becomes magnified because as the light hits it, it shows up really, really dramatically. You’ll notice this especially if you have like ceiling fixtures. They’re really bad at showing defects in the ceiling finish, for example. But if you use a good-quality flat paint, it all magically goes away because the light doesn’t reflect over those high spots, those low spots or any other damage that’s in between.
888-666-3974. If you have a question about how to make your walls flat, clean and straight, call us right now.
Leslie, who’s next?
LESLIE: Pat in Illinois is having some problem in the bathroom. What’s going on? Tell us what you’re seeing? You’re seeing something black? Is it mold?
PAT: I don’t know what it is. It just appeared in the last like two months around the bottom of my stool. The linoleum is turning black but it’s coming from underneath. It’s not the top.
TOM: Well, if you’re seeing this mold-looking-like substance around the bottom of the toilet, then chances are you have a leaky wax seal, which is the seal between the base of the toilet and the top of the waste pipe. And if that seal has failed you could be getting some leakage there and that leakage can be causing mold to grow on the vinyl floor.
LESLIE: It could be that the subfloor is completely saturated.
TOM: Yeah, exactly. The water can be getting under the vinyl floor and saturating that whole area …
TOM: … and that can cause rot and all sorts of problems.
TOM: So you need to get that looked at. Now, fixing it is not …
PAT: Yeah, sounds like fun. (chuckles)
TOM: Fixing it is not that big of a deal. You know, if you were handy I’d tell you to turn the water line off; remove the bolts from the base of the toilet; remove the water line from the toilet; and then the whole thing pretty much lifts right up and out. And you’d replace the wax seal, which is a fairly standard product ….
PAT: Right. Yes.
TOM: … and then replace the whole thing and I would inspect – when you had it apart, I would inspect the floor at the same time just to make sure that there’s no rot or decay under there.
PAT: (overlapping voices) OK. OK. OK, well thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Billy in Texas has a question about a water heater. How can we help you today?
BILLY: Yes, ma’am. I live in an 11×60 mobile home and it’s just me and my wife and our electric bill has been running us anywhere from $200 to $300 a month or more during the summertime. But I have a 50-gallon water heater and I’m debating over whether I should go to gas or go to a smaller electric.
TOM: Billy, do you have air conditioning also running in the summer?
BILLY: Yes, we do.
TOM: Is that a central system or is that like a window unit?
BILLY: No, it’s central.
TOM: OK. Well, I mean I think probably those are the two most costly appliances to operate in your home; the central air conditioning and the water heater. Now, with respect to the water heater, do you have a timer on that?
BILLY: No, sir.
TOM: Alright, so let me give you a little trick of the trade here that can actually cut your water bill in half or even less than that and that is to install a 240-volt timer on the water heater. Because the water heater actually will maintain the water in a very hot to warm condition for most of the day without it running very many hours at all. So a timer basically goes on the circuit. It sort of goes – you split the wire between the water heater and the circuit breaker and, of course, you need to be a qualified person to do this; either hire an electrician or if you’re familiar with electricity, get somebody that is to do the job because we’re talking about big, big current here.
BILLY: Yes, sir.
TOM: But you install the water heater timer between the water heater and the circuit breaker and essentially you set it so that it comes on, say, a couple of hours before you get up in the morning; stays on throughout morning showers; then it can go off for almost all day and then come on again for a few hours in the evening. Generally, you’re going to run this water heater about eight to ten hours a day instead of 24/7. That, plus make sure the water temperature is set to around 110 degrees – that’s as hot as you’ll need it – and that will have a significant impact on the expense of running that water heater.
BILLY: Alright, well that sounds good to me.
TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now Tom, if you’re going to do something like laundry or run the dishwasher, do you need to do that in that sort of chunk of time when you’ve allotted that the water heater is on or will you maintain enough hot water to do it, you know, in the nighttime when you’re sleeping to run things or in the middle of the day?
TOM: Yeah, I think that 50 gallons is quite a lot of hot water and you certainly could run your dishwasher or run a load of laundry without having to worry about having that water heater on throughout the entire period. Now, if you’re going to do multiple loads, obviously, then you can’t do that. But for the most part, that – you could certainly run one load or more.
LESLIE: You know, because it’s always – it’s so much more energy efficient and energy smart to run your dishwasher at night; especially in the summer. So if you’re not going to have the water heater on, it’s good to know that you still can do that.
TOM: And your dryer, by the way.
TOM: Running that at night actually helps you avoid some of the cooling cost that you would incur due to the fact that the dryer will heat up your house as well.
LESLIE: And it heats it very efficiently. (chuckles)
Dan in New York has some unwanted visitors around the property. Tell us about what’s going on.
DAN: Well, I’ve been living in a house for 19 years and in the 20th year we had visitors. We had carpenter bees all around the house. I think they made the holes …
DAN: … and it’s all cedar on the outside and I’ve got maybe 100 or 200 holes all over the house.
DAN: I called an exterminator and he said that he was going to do something about the holes; put something in there, which I think he did.
DAN: And I think it was just a chemical, though, and it didn’t work because they’re back again.
TOM: And when did he do this? Last season?
DAN: Yeah, I guess last season. And the worst part of it is that the woodpeckers are pecking away at my house. I mean it’s just incredible.
DAN: We can’t live here with these – I guess they’re going after larvae in the holes.
TOM: Right, exactly. Because they know that the bees are in the holes. So you need to do two things. First of all, you need to have the holes treated again. Secondly, you need to have them repaired so that there’s no longer holes there.
TOM: And fortunately, those carpenter bees tend to be very strategic.
LESLIE: They’re feeding mechanism happens to be a 3/8-inch wood plug size.
DAN: OK, thank you.
TOM: 888-666-3974. Leslie, who’s next?
LESLIE: Judy in Utah needs some help venting a bathroom. Tell us about the problem.
JUDY: OK, I have a downstairs basement bathroom that I’m redoing and it had a vent in the wall that went into the furnace room. And somebody told me that I – and now I want to move the vent into the ceiling and somebody told me that it shouldn’t go into the furnace room; that it should go up through the floor of the bathroom upstairs and out the roof.
TOM: OK, this is – now this is the vent for the plumbing or the vent for the fan; the vent fan?
JUDY: The vent fan.
TOM: OK. Well, the vent fan should vent to the outside. It shouldn’t vent to another room in the basement or upstairs or anywhere else. Now, if it’s a basement bathroom, the shortest distance between the bathroom and the outside is where you want to go and probably the easiest way to do that is to not worry about running it all the way up into the attic space but just run the duct hose for the vent in between the floor joists and take it out the exterior wall at the level of the floor structure.
TOM: And that’s a lot easier than worrying about taking it up and out. Plus, you know, a fan for the bathroom doesn’t have that much power. It doesn’t blow that many cubic feet per minute. And if you try to push that air up two stories …
LESLIE: It won’t make it.
TOM: … it’s not as effective.
JUDY: Alright, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Judy. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Yeah, I wasn’t sure what kind of vent she was talking about because there’s two kinds of vents in a bathroom; you know, the plumbing vent of course – which is the pipe that has to go up through the basement usually all the way to the outside …
LESLIE: And that sort of vents gases?
TOM: Yeah, that vents – well, that actually vents the sewage gases, yes; the sewer gases.
TOM: And then of course we have the vent fan, which is just as important for creature comfort for other reasons.
LESLIE: True. (chuckling) For other types of gases. (chuckling)
TOM: Building a bathroom is all about managing the gases. (chuckles) Trying to get them where you want them and not where you don’t want them to be. (chuckles)
LESLIE: This is The Money Pit and you have heard it here all summer from Tom and I. Well, you voted and we finally have a winner. We’re talking about the search for the ugliest door in America by our friends over at Therma-Tru Doors. We are going to announce the winner on the air next and get their instant reaction. You’re going to love this.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Citrus Magic; the all-natural, super-strong air freshener available in spray and solid form. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call us right now with your home improvement question. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. Now, all summer long you’ve been hearing us talk about Therma-Tru’s Ugliest Door in America contest and the entries have been pouring in. It’s hard to believe how many ugly doors exist in America.
LESLIE: (chuckling) And there really are some ugly doors out there. And in fact, there were two categories – we had photo and video – and the winners were chosen through a combination of your votes and a judging panel and we are about to call the winners and the best part is that they don’t know that they’ve won yet and we’re going to get to tell them right now, live on the air. So let’s get our first winner on the phone. We’ve got Scott and [Kat Idesmith] (sp) of Auburn, Washington.
TOM: Alright, Jim, if you could call them. Jim, our trusty producer here. Let’s see if we can get Scott and Kat (ph) to pick up. (phone ringing) And of course, they don’t know that they’ve won yet and I think they deserve a lot of credit for showing the world their very ugly front door.
KAT (sp): Hello?
TOM: Hi, is this Kat (ph)?
KAT (sp): Yes, it is.
TOM: Hi, Kat (sp). This is Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete and you’re on the air.
KAT (sp): Hi.
TOM: How are you?
KAT (sp): I’m pretty good. How are you guys?
TOM: Well, we are excellent and we understand that you submitted your front door to the Ugliest Door in America contest. That took a little bit of guts.
LESLIE: That’s very brave of you. (chuckles)
KAT (sp): Yeah, well we’ve been laughing at it for a while, so …
TOM: Why not let America laugh along. Well, we’re glad you did because we’ve got some great news for you. You and Scott are the winners of the Ugliest Door in America contest. You, Scott and Kat (sp), officially have the ugliest door in America.
KAT (sp): No way.
TOM: You’ve got to see this door. Go to MyUglyDoor.com and check out Scot and Kat’s (sp) door and your energy bills – you’re up there in Washington State – have to be enormous. (Leslie chuckles)
KAT (sp): Yeah, they’re a little unbearable. (Kat (sp) and Tom chuckle)
LESLIE: Are you speechless?
KAT (sp): Yeah.
LESLIE: Are you just so excited about this prize?
KAT (sp): Yes. Yes.
LESLIE: It’s interesting. You guys have got to check it out. She’s got a ton of glass. I mean the door surround just sort of goes from the base of the house all the way to the roof line. There’s broken glass, there’s plywood. The door is just in disrepair and this is a great opportunity. Have you thought a little bit about what you might dream this door to look like?
KAT (sp): Not too much because I didn’t want to get my hopes up. (chuckles)
TOM: Well, a little bit of background on your house. You bought it in 1998. It’s the same neighborhood as your grandparents and the door that is really ugly was your original door.
KAT (sp): Correct.
TOM: Now, you actually started to work on this project and I think it’s great that you say you had to shave it down with a file to make it close properly.
KAT (sp): Yeah, we have to do that every few years. (chuckles)
TOM: Well, you won’t have to do that anymore, Scott and Kat (sp). You are going to get a brand new Therma-Tru entryway installed by the pros at Therma-Tru. It’s going to look fantastic, going to save you some money and your house is going to look great. It’s going to be worth more money when this door is in. You’re going to really enjoy it. Congratulations.
KAT (sp): Thank you so much. I’m – yeah, I’m stunned. (chuckles)
TOM: Well that was fun. Now we get to call our next winner and, Leslie, what I love about this – for this next winner – they actually had bullet holes in their door.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah. And in her video she did not hold back about all of the downfalls of the door and let me tell you; in addition to it being not attractive, inefficient and just falling apart, it is like the most characterless door (phone ringing) I’ve ever seen in my life.
TOM: Alright, it’s Gina Nelson from Willow Springs, Illinois. Let’s see if we can get Gina on the phone now.
TOM: Hi, is this Gina Nelson?
GINA: It is.
TOM: Hi, Gina. This is Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete from The Money Pit Radio Show.
LESLIE: Hi, Gina.
TOM: You’re on the air. How are you?
GINA: I’m doing good. How are you?
TOM: Well, we are excellent and we are calling you because you entered Therma-Tru’s Ugliest Door in America contest and we’ve got some big news for you.
GINA: You do?
TOM: You won!
GINA: Oh, my God.
LESLIE: You are the big winner of the video segment.
TOM: America could not resist the story about the bullet holes in your door. How did they get there? I hope you weren’t home at the time.
GINA: No, I wasn’t here. (Tom laughs)
LESLIE: I mean seriously, Gina. It took some guts on your part to go around that door and show us all of the downfalls and now, finally, your kids are actually going to be able to open that door and get to the outside, rather than running around your entire house.
TOM: If you haven’t seen Gina’s video, you’ve got to go to MyUglyDoor.com and click on it. Gina, you were an excellent host and you pointed out not only the bullet holes but the latches that were broken. I love the fact that you had to open it with a pliers …
TOM: … and that the bugs had an easy entry in.
GINA: That was my husband’s idea. He is like – I said, ‘We can’t open the door.’ He’s like, ‘Just use these pliers.’ (Tom chuckles) I’m like, ‘OK.’
TOM: Well, you can tell your husband to put the pliers back in his toolbox because you’re going to be getting a brand new Therma-Tru entryway worth up to 5,000 bucks. So congratulations.
GINA: Oh, my God. Thank you so much. It’s so awesome. I mean we’ve had this door for so long and it’s like I can’t even believe it’s finally going away. It’s going to be great.
LESLIE: Are you going to miss all the ants that are coming into your house?
GINA: Oh, my God. Well, you know, I think I finally got them under control. It took awhile (Tom chuckles) but, you know, someone said those holes; they used to make them like that so water could go out, but I think the ants just kept coming in them. (Tom chuckles) It was bad.
TOM: Well, you won’t have to worry about that anymore. Gina, thanks so much for entering the contest and congratulations; you’re going to really enjoy this new door.
GINA: Oh, thank you guys. Thanks to Therma-Tru. I’m so excited.
LESLIE: Alright, well if you’ve finally got your house exactly how you want it, you might not want to retire somewhere else in the country; you know, move out of the house you’ve been working on for ages and ages. Up next, we’re going to tell you what you need to do to maintain your current home so that you can live in it as long as you want to, so stick around.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Rheem water heaters. For dependable, energy-efficient tank and tankless water heaters, you can trust Rheem. Learn more at SmarterHotWater.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good homes better. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT and one caller we talk to this hour is going to win a $60 prize package from Rapid Tools which includes the Shark knife, the first and only tool to combine a utility knife with a wire stripper; very handy to have around the house. Do you want to win it? Call us right now with your home improvement question. We will toss your name into The Money Pit hardhat and could send you home with that great prize worth 60 bucks.
LESLIE: Alright, maybe your question is, ‘Do I really have to do all of those home maintenance projects that are on my honey-do list this weekend?’ Yes. If you do not maintain your home, you are in for a big surprise. Because not only will taking care of your home keep you safer; it’s going to keep you more comfortable while you’re living there and it’s also going to keep up it’s value and allow you to stay put in your home that you love for as long as you want. It’s not sort of an ‘Oops, I broke it. Now let’s move out.’ A few things that can help you do that: you want to make sure that every month you test your smoke detectors and then go around the house and test and reset all of those ground fault circuit interrupter outlets that you have; and then check the gauge on your fire extinguisher – make sure it’s ready to go in the event of an emergency and that you know where it is.
TOM: And also, twice a year it’s a good idea to check all faucets and under the sinks for leaks. Also, check your caulking around those sinks, tubs and showers. It’s always a good idea to replace that before it starts to peel away from the wall.
Now, another thing to do, drain a few gallons of water from your water heater to prevent a sediment buildup; especially important if you have hard water. Some of those quick checks and repairs right now are going to take care of your house in the long run and make sure that it really does last and you don’t have any major unexpected repairs to deal with for years to come.
888-666-3974 is the telephone number. We stand by here for your home improvement, your repair questions.
Leslie, who’s next?
LESLIE: Dan in Florida’s working on an outside project. How can we help you?
DAN: Yes, hi. I’m experiencing a lot of weed growth coming through pavers …
DAN: … that are around my deck and around my front walk and paver driveway. And I’m wondering if there’s a product or anything like that that can help seal those cracks and crevices and rid me of this problem.
TOM: Yeah, actually there is. Now, let me just first ask you, when you put these pavers down originally, did you put a real good base under it, Dan, or did this sort of go on top of the dirt?
DAN: No, it was an excellent sand base.
TOM: OK, perfect. Now, as you probably know, the last step is to sweep sand into the cracks of the pavers …
TOM: … but that doesn’t necessarily hold the weeds back; as you’ve noticed. But there’s a new type of jointing sand out that’s actually polymer-modified and it’s designed to be swept into those sand joints and then you put water across the patio and it kind of starts a chemical reaction that locks those bricks in place and stops the weeds from growing through. It’s made by the folks at QUIKRETE and they simply call it PowerLoc jointing sand.
LESLIE: And Dan, if you ever need to make a repair or switch out a paver, you can easily wiggle it loose and pop out the paver and flip it over or put in a replacement one. It’s not something that’s permanent by any means, but it does lock together to stop those weeds and stop insects. It resists erosion and it doesn’t stain. So it’s a great product.
DAN: Wonderful. I thank you so much.
TOM: Alright, Dan. Good luck with that project.
LESLIE: Victor in Rhode Island is being a good friend. You’re helping a friend build a house? What can we do for you?
VICTOR: Yes, how are you?
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Good.
TOM: (overlapping voices) Excellent.
VICTOR: Good. Building a modular house. I’ll have propane gas heat.
VICTOR: It’s about 1,600 square feet. And I asked a plumber about a hot-water-on-demand system and he’s kind of uneasy about it because he was concerned about the maintenance, repairs and parts. So I’d like more – any updated information about this kind of system.
TOM: Have you ever heard the old saying, ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks?’
TOM: That’s what’s happening with plumbers in America when it comes to tankless water heaters. There’s a lot of guys that are still uncomfortable with them because they’re just not used to them. But this is the new technology. This is the system that really is going to make a huge difference in the money you spend heating hot water and the convenience that you enjoy from having hot water all the time whenever you need it. Tankless water heaters are here to stay. The plumbers are just going to have to get used to installing them. Yes, you have to learn a few new tricks of the trade. You know you can’t put them in like you used to put in the old tank water heaters. They require larger gas lines. They use more gas but for a shorter period of time. So in the end result, they consume less but they need a lot to burn and heat your water. So you know, plumbers have been sort of struggling with learning how to install these things because they actually have to crack open the installation book and read them. So I would, you know, treat your plumber gently but insist that he look into the instructions for installing one because they absolutely are the way to go. You’re going to save a lot of money. You’re going to enjoy a lot of convenience by having an endless supply of hot water, Victor.
VICTOR: OK. Another comment I can add – we’ll be having an enclosed year-round greenhouse.
VICTOR: Now, we’re considering getting a generator but all I can think about is the old days when they were so noisy.
TOM: The new standby generators are actually much quieter. Now, we have one here at my house and I also have one at the studio and that one we could not afford for it to be very, very noisy but the way they’re built, the construction of the cases now, actually makes them quite quiet. We have a sponsor on the show which actually manufactured the same generator that I have. It’s a Guardian generator; it’s by Generac. And the prices have come down on these and they’ve gotten a lot quieter. So you might want to take a look at those generators. They’re available at Home Depot and other places like that.
VICTOR: OK, I’ve got more questions but I’ll let you go. (Tom and Leslie laugh)
TOM: Victor, we are happy to be with you as you build this house. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, would you like to create a more functional space in your tiny bathroom? We’re going to teach you next how to do a mini-makeover that will deliver maximum results.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Therma-Tru, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry and patio door systems. Choose the brand more building professionals prefer and add up to $24,000 to the perceived value of your home. For more information visit ThermaTru.com.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where we make good homes better. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete and along the lines of making good homes better, you know a lot of you – including me – only have one bathroom at home. And if that’s the case and your bathroom’s kind of small or maybe you’re dealing with a couple of bathrooms in your house and some of them are smaller than you’d like them to be and don’t perform as well as that large bathroom sort of hotel suite bath that you dream of, well, we’re here to help you with that because there are plenty of products out there, that you can really utilize into a bathroom makeover, that are going to make the space far more functional; make it feel much larger; and not be a ginormous undertaking.
For example, you should consider a corner sink. Whether it’s pedestal style or wall mounted, a corner sink frees up a ton of floor space. And setting up space-saving storage elsewhere within that bathroom means that you don’t need the traditional cabinet vanity and a smaller bowl for your sink is still going to provide plenty of capacity for all of your washing needs.
TOM: Now another sink option is the vessel style, which is mounted on a sort of scaled-down cabinet or other furnishing that provides a bit of storage. It’s got a flat-top tank and that gives you another storage spot and whether you place organizers directly on top of it or if you take advantage of the wall space above it for hanging a cabinet or shelving, it’s a really good option.
LESLIE: Yeah, and if you like those ideas, well we have got more for you, including how to get a small shower into a tight space. All you need to do is sign up for free for our Money Pit e-newsletter. It comes into your inbox every single week, absolutely free. We’re not going to give your e-mail address away. All you need to do is go to MoneyPit.com to subscribe and while you’re there you can shoot us an e-mail and ask us your question, which we’re going to answer right now like Frank in California did. ‘I want to replace windows in walls of stucco. What is the best way to cut and remove the stucco?’ and then I guess the follow-up question would be ‘and repair the stucco.’
TOM: Yeah, exactly. You know, stucco is one of those finishes, Frank, that you probably know is really difficult to replace it and have it look kind of like it did before it was torn out. I think our advice would be, first of all, if you’re not changing the size of the windows, don’t use new construction windows but use replacement windows where you leave the existing frames inside those stucco openings. Because this way, you kind of have the best of both worlds. You have the opening that you used to have but you have a new high-tech window inside because the thermal pane windows that are available as replacements today are just as good, just as energy efficient, also Energy Star rated as the ones that are available for new construction.
So my first choice would be for you to use a replacement window. If you’re changing the size, well then you really don’t have too many options; you’re going to have to re-stucco it. But you need to count on the fact that you’ll probably end up having to paint the whole space, at least the whole wall, because you’re not likely to get the stucco to match it. The only thing that you could try to do is if the stucco happens to be a little darker or a little lighter is you could try dying it. If you get it close enough, you might be happy; but if not, you’re going to end up having to paint it to have it match perfectly.
LESLIE: Alright, Edwina in Madison New Jersey writes: ‘I love your show. We have two fiberglass showers – hunter green and gray. They look worn, scratched and water stained. Is there anything we can do to revive the look?
TOM: Car wax.
LESLIE: But you have to be really careful with that.
LESLIE: You don’t want it to be too slippery, right?
TOM: Car wax works really good on fiberglass shower doors; just you don’t want to put it on the bottom of the tub or the shower, of course. But you can use, you know, any type of a paste car wax on a fiberglass surface like that and it really looks great and it’s so much easier to clean when the water beads up, too.
LESLIE: Alright, just be careful when you’re putting it on, Edwina.
TOM: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Coming up next week on the program, is your home a dust magnet? Are those dust bunnies just multiplying just like real rabbits do? Well, there could be a good reason for all that dust. We’re going to teach you how to clear the air, 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.
END HOUR 2 TEXT
(Copyright 2008 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.)