TRANSCRIPT FOR JUNE 29, 2009, HOUR 1
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 1 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: Pick up the phone, give us a call. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. We’re here to help you with your home improvement question, solve those do-it-yourself dilemmas. Before you pick up a paintbrush, before you pick up a saw, pick up the phone and call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT and we will tackle that project together.
Coming up this hour, are you cooking outside so much you’re considering an outdoor kitchen? Well, it’s a great idea that can really cut down on mess inside your house; although outside still gets somewhat messy in my house.
LESLIE: (chuckling) It is true.
TOM: Well, we’re going to tell you what you should ask yourself before deciding whether an outdoor kitchen is for you and, if it is, we’re going to help you plan one.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and I swear that’s me. I love cooking outside. And if you’re like me and you love cooking outdoors, then you probably also love dining outdoors this time of year as well. Well, if that sounds like you, we can absolutely help you with ideas on how to create that perfect ambience with lighting, accessories, furnishings, fabric. You name it, we will create that outdoor dining area you will just love.
TOM: And according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 500 fires occur each year because of gas grills. So we’re going to have some gas grill safety tips coming up in just a minute to keep you and your family safe all summer long.
LESLIE: And this hour, we’re giving away a great prize for one lucky caller into the Money Pit. We’re giving away a set of the first recycled garden gloves from our friends over at West County Gardener so you can be green while you work on your green thumb.
TOM: So pick up the phone and give us a call. They’re worth 40 bucks but they’re going to go out to one caller who reaches us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: We’re going to talk to Tom in South Carolina who’s dealing with a stain on a bathroom floor. Tell us about it.
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Well, I enjoy your show very much. I have a couple of four-foot long stains on my linoleum floor in my bathroom.
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: I have no idea where they came from. They were there when I purchased the house. I’ve tried Comet, I’ve tried bleach, C-L-R and I’ve even tried Whink, which is great for staining – rust stains. Nothing seems to remove them.
TOM: And they’re all in the bathroom?
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Right. They’re – it’s almost like they had a …
LESLIE: A square rug shape?
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: It’s like two long lines; like they had a cabinet but it’s in the middle of the floor. It looks like something rusted there.
TOM: Do you think that there may have been some bath mats or something of that nature; some throw-down carpets or something?
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: That’s a possibility. I have no idea.
TOM: Because what’s I’m thinking, Tom, is a lot of times people put rubber-backed mats down against linoleum or vinyl and you get a chemical reaction between the rubber.
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Aha.
TOM: It’s an oxidation. And what it does, it’ll discolor that floor. And so it’s not …
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, it’s not actually a stain.
TOM: Yeah, it’s not so much a stain as much as it’s a complete change of the color; and so, therefore, it’s not something you can get out. In that case, you either have to replace it – now, fortunately, bathrooms being small, you could probably pick up a small remnant of vinyl and put it down on top of that or just go ahead and do the same thing they did.
LESLIE: Put another mat on top.
TOM: Yeah, exactly.
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: (chuckles) Well, that’s the problem. The bathroom is quite large and I hated to rip up all the linoleum just for, you know, a 2×4 area.
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: And I was hoping that it was – but that makes sense that somebody had a mat there.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and 2×4 is a standard bathroom mat size.
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Right, right.
TOM: Exactly. I bet you that’s what happened.
TOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA: Yes.
LESLIE: Mystery solved.
TOM: Alright, Tom. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Karen from Peekskill, New York who’s got a painting question. Welcome, Karen.
KAREN: OK, we have a light blue vinyl siding on our house. It’s about 20 years old and it’s in good condition.
KAREN: We’re trying to save money and we’d like to not reside but paint the siding a light gray and we want to know if that’s possible and, if we did it, would it last.
TOM: Never seen a paint that is flexible enough to be able to paint vinyl siding with. Vinyl siding has a very high expansion and contraction rate and the problem is that the paint is not going to have that same kind of rate. And so, as a result, it’s going to peel off and crack and come off probably in sheets.
TOM: So the answer is no, I would not paint vinyl siding. I don’t think it can be done. Even though there are paints for plastics, the expansion/contraction rate is such with vinyl that I doubt it would last.
KAREN: Wow. OK. Sorry to hear that but thank you for that. (chuckles)
TOM: I would just try to adjust to that blue color. It’s not so bad. (Leslie chuckles)
KAREN: OK, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome, Karen. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Let us help you get your money pit in tiptop shape for all those summer parties and festivales you’re going to be having with your family. Just give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT 24 hours a day, seven days a week and we’ll help you get your project done.
Up next, gas grilling safety tips to keep your summer outdoor cooking safe and stress-free.
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 you should be part of The Money Pit, so pick up the phone and give us a call with your home repair or your home improvement question at 1-888-MONEY-PIT because this hour we are giving away a pair each of women’s and men’s – we’re not leaving anybody out here as a prize – gardening gloves from West County Gardener. Now, these gloves, they’re made from recycled beverage bottles. And the bottles, they’re taken; they’re ground up and then they’re spun into recycled yarn. It does not feel like plastic; they are soft, they are wearable and each pair of gloves keeps one eight-ounce bottle from going to the landfill, so you’re doing a green thing while you’re keeping your garden nice and green. They’re worth 40 bucks each, so give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT for your chance to win.
Now, this is the time of year when a lot of us are cooking with gas grills but there are 500 fires a year from those very same gas grills. You can stay safe, though, by always keeping your propane gas container upright. Never store a spare gas container under or the near the grill or indoors. And when you run to the gas station for a refill, don’t keep that full container in a hot car. Come on. Heat will cause the gas pressure to increase, which could open the relief valve and allow gas to escape; so don’t use the grill in a garage, breezeway, carport, porch or under any surface that can catch fire.
LESLIE: Now, if you find that you’ve got a propane tank that’s more than 20 years old, it is absolutely time to replace it. You know, today’s tanks, they include an overfill protection valve which prevents excessive pressure from building. And tanks also come with a built-in check valve to prevent leaks.
Now, Tom, I think this is kind of crazy. How do you end up with a tank that’s 20 years old? Because I know every time I go to get my propane tank filled, you know they give you a brand, spanking, shiny new one.
TOM: Well, it’s interesting you mention that because there was an article in the national press not too long ago about those tank exchange programs. You know, it’s a 20-pound gas tank, right?
TOM: Well, guess what? They don’t put 20 pounds of gas in the propane tanks anymore. Those exchange programs …
LESLIE: What is it; layers of paint?
TOM: No, listen to me. Those exchange programs – the next time you exchange your tank, look at the label. They put in 15 pounds of gas. So it’s a 20-pound gas tank – propane tank; they’re only putting in 15 pounds of propane. So be careful what you’re buying. Those exchange programs usually cost a lot and they don’t fill the tanks up.
Now they say that they lowered the amount of gas in the tanks because gas prices were high. Well, yeah. That came and went but do you think they put more gas in? No, they didn’t. So the gas is now only 15 pounds in those exchange programs. That’s why, when I want to refill my tanks, I take them to a propane refill station where they can really fill it up with the 20 pounds of gas the tank is designed to hold.
LESLIE: So it’s better to find a place like that.
LESLIE: Keep yours in tiptop shape, nice and clean.
TOM: Yeah. The only time I use one of those exchange programs, like at the home center, is like when it’s Sunday afternoon and nothing else is open and I’m in desperate need of propane; otherwise, I go right to the propane refill station and have it filled up onsite.
LESLIE: How does the price differ? I know I generally pay anywhere – depending on which place I go to; depending on my convenience, I’m paying anywhere between like $20 and $30 for the exchange.
TOM: Yeah, and it’s actually a lot cheaper. When I go to get my tanks filled, it’s about 15, 20 bucks at the most.
LESLIE: Wow, that’s big.
TOM: Yeah. It’s a big difference; plus you’re getting more gas and they last a lot longer. So something to keep in mind as you stay safe and enjoy those propane grills all summer long.
Leslie, who’s next? Let’s get back to the phones.
LESLIE: Noah is looking to put his home on the market. How can we help you sell it?
NOAH: Thank you very much. I have a 100-year-old stone house that I’m selling. I right now have a passive hot-air floor furnace and have vents for the upstairs bedrooms.
TOM: Ah, you have a really old house.
TOM: That’s how – actually, my house used to be heated that way. You have a floor furnace that is gravity-fed and then you have, essentially, holes in the floor above and that’s how the heat gets upstairs.
NOAH: Right. It really works well.
TOM: Oh, it does.
NOAH: In selling the house they want me to have central heat for the mortgage.
TOM: So you’re trying to figure out the best option?
NOAH: Yeah, I have the liquid propane up there.
TOM: The best thing to do would be to put in a forced-air system …
NOAH: Forced air, OK.
TOM: … and that’s going to require running ducts. If you do that you can add central air conditioning at the same time, which would probably add to the value of the home. It’s going to be a big project but if you have a really good HVAC contractor, Noah, he can advise you on how you could run those ducts with a minimal amount of construction disturbance.
TOM: And that’s probably the best thing.
NOAH: Sounds great.
TOM: Alright, Noah. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Jack in Florida has got a grouting issue. How can we help?
JACK: Yeah. Hey, I’ve got a – redoing a bathroom, a shower area, and – actually I’ve got a contractor doing it – and it’s a marble shower. We left a spot for a stone detail. For some reason – and I guess – I don’t know if they didn’t know how to grout but they like put the grout on and didn’t wipe it off the stone and it dried. So now I see them up there kind of like chipping with a putty knife and making a lot of mess but it’s really not coming off and I’m just wondering if there’s anything we can do other than just tear out the old stone detail and put a new one in.
TOM: I’ve never successfully been able to get out grout that was put on an unfinished, unglazed surface like that.
TOM: I mean the stuff is designed to last forever and it does just that.
LESLIE: Yeah and it’s something that when you’re installing the grout you have to be, you know, super-duper on it as far as removing the clouding and any extra grout; especially on an unfinished tile.
JACK: Wrong answer. (chuckles)
TOM: Sorry, Jack.
LESLIE: Aw, sorry.
LESLIE: It’s just so porous, that raw stone; it’s just sucked it right in.
JACK: Right, right. Alright, well thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
I think Jack had a hard time saying thank you. (Leslie chuckles) It’s like, “Thank you. That’s not what I wanted to hear but thanks anyway.”
LESLIE: Michelle in New York is dealing with some local troublemakers. Her house got egged. What happened? Tell us about it?
MICHELLE: Unfortunately, the front of my house was plastered with eggs and – well, it’s a painted white aluminum siding and I was curious to find out what product I can use to get that off without leaving a stain?
TOM: And how long were the eggs on your house, Michelle? Was this from last mischief night or something?
MICHELLE: No, it was just about a week ago.
TOM: Michelle, here’s a little trick of the trade that can help get the egg off your house.
TOM: You need to mix up a solution of white vinegar and warm water. Are these stains in places that you can physically reach without too much trouble?
MICHELLE: Actually, no. I’ll have to get a big ladder.
TOM: OK. Well you want to go up there and you want to saturate it with some warm water and white vinegar; kind of a 50/50 solution.
TOM: And that usually does a pretty good job of loosening up the eggs and getting it off your house.
LESLIE: If there’s any way to secure that damp rag to the egg stain itself for a little while so you can sort of work your way around these stains, that’ll help; otherwise you’re going to have to hold it on there for a little bit to loosen up the egg itself.
MICHELLE: OK, and will that leave a stain?
TOM: No, it shouldn’t and, in fact, if you want to be sure I would start with one of the lowest stains possible and test it.
TOM: You have to be very ginger with aluminum siding because remember, it’s painted metal. So if you press too hard it can come off. You have to be careful not to scrub too much. You really just more or less want to blot it off.
MICHELLE: Alright, then. That sounds great. Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Michelle. Thanks so much for reaching us at 888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.
LESLIE: Susan in South Carolina has got a cleaning question. What can we do for you?
SUSAN: Well, I have porcelain tile – beige porcelain tile – with kind of a light gray grout and I just can’t keep the porcelain clean and can’t get the grout clean.
TOM: Do you just live in a dirty house, Susan?
SUSAN: Yeah. (chuckles)
TOM: You got kids?
SUSAN: I have two dogs, which doesn’t help.
TOM: Dogs? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, kids are pretty dirty but dogs are worse.
SUSAN: Yes, they are. (chuckles)
LESLIE: Now, when you’ve gotten the grout to a clean point which makes you happy, have you ever taken the step to seal it?
LESLIE: That could save you a tremendous amount of cleaning effort post-sealing. So what I would say is get it as clean as possible and then go ahead and get a grout sealer and you can get – they make these interesting little applicators that are sort of small, squeezy bottles with like a rolly foam tip or even one that almost looks like a nail polish brush. That helps you really just get it on the grout.
SUSAN: OK. So I have been just using bleach, mainly; you know, on the porcelain and the grout and that’s – is that the quickest fix for that?
TOM: Yeah, bleach is fine. There are also grout cleaners and grout strippers. If it gets really dirty you can use a grout stripper which is a bit of a more industrial sort of strength product or a grout cleaner which is somewhat of a lighter product; both of those, available at home centers and hardware stores, will do a good job at this as well.
LESLIE: Time to talk water management with Ralph in Maryland. What’s going on?
RALPH: I have a problem because I live in a detached garage apartment and the driveway that’s in front of the house and the garage funnels all the rainwater that comes down right – basically into the space between the garage and the house and it makes what’s my front yard pretty much a swamp most of the time.
RALPH: And I’m wondering what would be the best way to build like an irrigation trench or some way to get that water from the driveway down past our house. There’s a hill, basically, that’s behind our house and if I could get it to go over that hill it would be really great.
LESLIE: Would that be a French drain?
TOM: Sort of that. It’s called a curtain drain. It’s like a French drain. Basically what you want to do is you want to dig a trench that’s about 12 inches deep and 12 inches wide. You put about two inches of stone in the bottom of that and then you install a perforated pipe. Surround the perforated pipe with more stone all the way over the top then you put a piece of filter cloth over that and then you put grass or dirt and grass so you won’t see this when it’s done. And what happens is the water will fall into this area, come up into the pipe and then run out. Now the trick is you need to be able to take that pipe and run it downhill to get the water away from the house. Is that possible or is it going to bottom out somewhere?
RALPH: No, that’s possible because the ground has a natural grade to it anyway, so …
RALPH: … it’ll run right along with the hill.
TOM: Well, then that’s what you want to do and I’d break it out to daylight somewhere so you can always snake it out if it ever gets clogged.
TOM: But that’s definitely the way to do that. It’s called a curtain drain. When it’s installed it’s completely invisible but it’ll stop that water from ponding once and for all.
RALPH: OK. Well, that’s great. Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Rose in Pennsylvania needs some help with a concrete situation. What’s going on?
ROSE: Hi, I have an old house and the steps going down to the pool are concrete but are falling apart. Do I have to dig them all back up and put new in or is there some way I can repair them to make them look good?
TOM: Well, I think you definitely can repair them. Is the concrete surface deteriorated?
TOM: OK. You can use an epoxy patching compound …
ROSE: … OK.
TOM: … and basically recoat those and sort of build out all the deteriorated sort of pitted areas.
TOM: You can buy epoxy patching compounds at home centers or you can buy it online. There’s a good industrial website that sells products for the home as well, called Abatron. They have a great line, very extensive line of concrete repair products there.
ROSE: Thank you very much for your help.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.
Up next, if you love dining outdoors, the right lighting and accessories can really add to the experience. We’re going to have tips on how to do just that, next.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Therma-Tru Doors, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry and patio door systems. Install a new, energy-efficient Therma-Tru door today and qualify for up to a $1,500 tax credit. To learn more, visit ThermaTru.com/TaxCredit.
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: And we’ve got your staycation solutions at MoneyPit.com; everything from how to give your home that great curb appeal you’re looking for to the best material for the deck you’re thinking about building. It’s all at MoneyPit.com/Staycation, sponsored by WORX; the makers of the WORX GT battery-powered trimmer/edger.
LESLIE: And also by the folks at Fiberon. You know, they’re the company behind the 10-year stain-and-fade warranty for many of their composite decking products. And you can also enter now to win a John Deere mower worth 400 bucks. It’s all right there for you at MoneyPit.com/Staycation.
TOM: That’s MoneyPit.com/Staycation.
Now when the warm evening beckons – dining outside, add some ambient light – you can really set the mood. Now candles can help create that setting and, if you do, you want to use citronella so you’ll keep the bugs away as well. Or consider the tiki torches around your yard; those are also available with citronella oil. Paper lantern lights work well. Also, you can even bring your indoor décor outside with accessories that are made for the great outdoors. You can find everything from rugs that are designed to be used outside on a patio to lamps to …
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you can even wash them with the hose. It’s fantastic, those rugs.
TOM: Yeah, or lamps or wall décor; all made to be used both indoors and outdoors to withstand the elements. Lots of ways to decorate that outdoor space today because, really, it is an extension of the inside of your house; so you might as well decorate it the same way.
888-666-3974. Let’s get back to the phones.
LESLIE: Charles in North Carolina has got a leak. Let’s see if we can help.
CHARLES: I’ve had several leaks around the plumbing vent pipes poking through my roof and I was wondering if I can reduce the number of vent pipes by using (inaudible at 0:17:07.4).
TOM: Is your roof older?
CHARLES: It’s about 15 years old and I’ve used some stop-leak product from the home center and it seems to do the job but it only lasts maybe a couple of years and I just thought maybe when I get the new roof done maybe that would be possibly a good time to reduce the number of penetrations through the roof but I haven’t checked the local plumbing code either.
TOM: Charles, well if you’re going to reroof that’s the time to correct this. What you’re doing now is by putting like a roofing sealant, an asphalt sealant on there; that’s only going to last you a short period of time. There’s some new technology in flashing products that you really ought to look at. I would go to the website for the Grace Company; GraceatHome.com. Those guys are the experts at keeping a roof leak-free and there’s a product I want you to look at called Grace Vycor which is a self-adhered flashing. It’s designed to cover those areas of the roof that are odd shaped or that are prone to leakage and if you put that …
LESLIE: Because it’s super flexible.
TOM: It’s very flexible. You can stretch it around all those places. If you use a product like that with proper underlayment, I don’t think that that plumbing vent’s going to leak anytime soon.
LESLIE: Carol in Tennessee needs some help with a driveway. What happened to it?
CAROL: We had a driveway put in last August and I’ve noticed, walking down my driveway, that where they would stop and like fill the big thing that, you know, spreads the blacktop, it was never smooth; it was kind of rocky and stuff. Well, some of those places there’s loose gravel or loose stuff.
CAROL: And then when I was walking last night, there was a hole about the size of a half dollar that I could put my hand, my fingers down …
CAROL: … and I think that’s where – and I think those machines are 10 feet wide and my driveway is 12 [and I think that’s where] (ph) they spread it on the side. And I’m not sure – you know, is it something that can be fixed? He said he’d come back and, you know, [what if] (ph) we had a problem; I wanted to talk to him but I just wanted to find out from you what I should be asking him.
TOM: So basically you had an asphalt driveway put in and you’ve gotten some loose gravel and you’ve got some spots where they may be some holes or some cracks and the answer is absolutely yes; they can be fixed and there are compounds that are designed specifically for that – asphalt patching compounds, for example – and if your driveway installer offered to come back I’d have them do just that. That’s a real easy job for them to do. It’s the kind of thing that they carry on the trucks all the time and it’s best to have them do it.
CAROL: OK. Thank you. I love your program.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: For Don in Oregon, the sky is falling; literally. (Tom chuckles) Your bathroom ceiling is falling apart?
LESLIE: What happened?
DON: Well, we get a lot of rain out here in the winter time.
TOM: I’ve heard that.
LESLIE: That’s why it’s so green in the summer.
TOM: That’s right.
DON: Right, you got it. But my vent leaks in the bathroom.
DON: OK. It’s got the original ceiling in it. Now it’s falling down and I want to go back and of course put the ceiling back in.
TOM: Well the first thing you need to do is to fix the leaking vent.
DON: I’ve done that.
DON: And anyhow, I want to put the ceiling back but I’m not sure we can get the original product to go back with it.
TOM: Right. It’s a small bathroom. Why don’t you just replace the ceiling?
DON: OK. What can we replace it with?
TOM: You have lots of options. You could use a fiber tile, which would be an easy thing to do; very light; easy to install; can be glued to the surface or you could put firring strips in and attach it that way.
TOM: What else? Drop ceiling?
TOM: The drop ceilings are very attractive these days. How big is the room? Five by eight?
DON: Well, probably.
TOM: Yeah. You know, I think the fiber tiles would be a good choice and, in fact, I’ve seen some really good-looking fiber tiles from companies like Armstrong and others that when they’re painted they can look really attractive. Some of them look like tin ceilings and other sorts of effects.
DON: Fiber tiles. Okey-dokey, that’s what I’ll do then. Appreciate it.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Perry in New Jersey needs some help with the basement. What can we do for you?
PERRY: I had French drains installed a while back and at the bottom they install what they call a drain board and my question is if I stud it out and put up sheetrock and insulation, is there a possibility of a mold problem down the road?
TOM: Yeah, but not so much because of the insulation; because of the sheetrock if you use drywall. If you use standard paper-faced drywall you definitely would face the risk of a mold problem.
First of all, you want to improve the drainage conditions outside the wall so that the soil is sloping away; the gutters are clean, free-flowing, downspouts extended. That will do a good job of reducing the amount of moisture that you get in the basement space to begin with.
Secondly, you mentioned studding out the wall. That’s a good idea. Keep it off of that drain slot. And thirdly, don’t use drywall. You want to use a product called Dens Armor, which is by Georgia-Pacific. It’s a fiberglass-faced drywall, so to speak.
PERRY: Right, it’s a new kind of sheetrock.
TOM: Yeah, it’s like a sheetrock with fiberglass face; no paper face, so it can’t feed mold.
PERRY: OK, I appreciate your help.
LESLIE: Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit on this summer weekend.
Hey, are you tired of running in and out while you’re cooking your fantastic summer outdoor meals? Well, if you are, it might be the right time for an outdoor kitchen. We’re going to help you figure out what to think about when you’re planning yours, so stick around.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Fiberon. Bring your vision to life with Fiberon; innovate, reliable decking that enhances your outdoor living space. For more information, go to FiberonDecking.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Want to go green while you’re working on that green thumb? Have we got a prize for you this hour? We’re giving away a set of recycled garden gloves from the folks at West County Gardener. Now, when we say recycled, we don’t mean that we used them first. (Leslie chuckles) No, they’re actually new but each pair keeps one eight-ounce beverage bottle from ending up in a landfill. They’re worth 40 bucks but they can be yours free. One caller we talk to this hour is going to win that, so call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright, now give us a call is you’re thinking about all of those fantastic ways to enjoy your backyard; especially if you’re the type of person who really enjoys cooking outside and eating outside and creating all of those meals in warm weather in your great outdoors. Well, if that sounds like you, then an outdoor kitchen is absolutely right for you. But how big do you go? How small can you go? What type of things do you need when you’re planning your outdoor kitchen? So here are some places to start.
You know, an outdoor kitchen can be as simple as just attaching an outdoor sink to your hose spigot or as complicated as installing for-real appliances as outside. Now you can even get grills these days that come with an add-on component like a prep space, a sink, an ice chest or even a burner for soft pans.
TOM: And if you want to go ahead and plan a more elaborate kitchen outside, ask yourself what kind of cooking will you do; how often will you do it; what furniture do you or will you have for the space; what times of the year will you use that space; will you need to be able to move the kitchen components inside for the winter or can they be permanently installed outside. All good questions; all important planning questions to ask yourself because these first steps will really help you plan the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.
888-666-3974. Leslie, who’s next?
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Saul in New York who has a stain question. What can we do for you?
SAUL: Hi. I’ve been using Benjamin Moore semi-solid stain on a deck in New York for about ten years now and then they decided, I guess in the state of New York, that you can no longer sell a product that’s oil-based.
SAUL: And now I’m trying to find something that’s going to work well on that deck. I tried their replacement product …
SAUL: … and it – you know, I put it down – I cleaned the deck up, I put it down but it didn’t dry well and it flakes up very easily.
TOM: Hmm, OK.
TOM: Well, solid-color or semi-transparent stain is what you want. You’re saying that you can’t get any oil-based stain? Because I find that hard to believe. I know that the VOC numbers are changing but I’m surprised that you can’t find any oil-based stain.
SAUL: Well, I didn’t try all the manufacturers but when I called Benjamin Moore, they told me that they can no – they still make the product but they don’t sell it in the state of New York.
TOM: OK. Well, if that’s the case, then you’re going to be stuck with a latex and I understand your concern. What I would probably recommend …
LESLIE: I mean there’s definitely different adhesion there.
TOM: Yeah. I would recommend a solid-color stain; not a semi-transparent because you’re going to have more colorant in the product and that’s going to make it last a lot longer. And a little trick of the trade is that you can add, to the solid-color stain, about a pint of polyurethane. Now it’s going to have to be water-based polyurethane but you’ll find that it’ll increase the durability of the product. The key here is going to be really good cleaning and good adhesion. Hey, if you don’t have a good surface to start with, you’re going to end up with a mess in a very short timeframe.
LESLIE: There’s also another manufacturer you should look at. There’s a company called Flood and they’re available at several smaller hardware shops in your area. Their website is Flood.com and they do – it’s like a – it’s not that it’s a mix of an oil and a latex but they sort of put a primer into their latex-based solid stain so that you’re getting the benefits and the adhesion of having the built-in primer just sort of work the surface of your deck, if you will; and that will also help with the adhesion. There’s a ton of different colors that they offer. They do a semi-transparent and a solid. So before you start mixing up chemistry, it might be worth it just to check out what they’ve got available.
SAUL: That sounds great. I’ll give it a try.
TOM: Alright, Saul. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.
Up next, we’re going to talk replacement windows. You know, replacing your windows is not as costly as you might think and there is a fantastic federal tax credit available to help you do just that right now. We’re going to answer a question from an e-mailer about the best way to install replacement windows, when we come back.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is being brought to you by Guardian Home Standby Generators, America’s choice in power outage protection. Learn more at GuardianGenerators.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.
TOM: Pick up the phone, give us a call right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question, your do-it-yourself dilemma or you can visit MoneyPit.com right now for the free bonus chapter of our book which is entitled My Home, My Money Pit: Your Guide to Every Home Improvement Adventure. The free chapter is called “Bringing the Inside Outside with Decks, Patios and Porches.” It’s the perfect information that you need to know this time of year. It has all of your staycation solutions. So check out MoneyPit.com/Staycation right now to learn how to get that free bonus chapter to our book.
LESLIE: Hey, and if you’ve got a question, why not – while you’re online – click on the Ask Tom and Leslie icon at MoneyPit.com and then e-mail us your question. And we’re going to jump in right now. I’ve got one here from Janet in New Jersey who writes: “I saw a watermark on my windowsill which is not apparent after each storm. Could this mean that my windows are leaking? If so, can the windows be sealed or do I need to replace the windows themselves?”
TOM: Well, watermarks generally do mean the window is leaking somewhere. (chuckles) What I would do is – normally, if a window leaks, it’s going to leak from the exterior flashing around the outside, Janet. So what you might want to do is grab a hose and sort of water down that window from the outside to see if you can figure out why it’s leaking. Now ….
LESLIE: Yeah, recreate that leak.
TOM: Yeah, recreate it. Now, if it’s at the flashing, you have to take the siding off and then you have to reflash it; so it’s a pretty big project. If it’s at the window itself, you might be able to improve upon the weatherstripping. But if your windows are really sort of old and ratty and drafty as it is, it’s an excellent time to think about replacing windows because of the federal energy tax credit program that’s out there right now through the end of 2010. If you install windows that quality for this program – and there are some specific requirements that they have to meet; basically, a very energy-efficient window will qualify – you can actually earn a $1,500 tax credit for 30 percent of the cost of the window.
If you want information on the replacement window options and all of the tax credit information, that’s on our website at MoneyPit.com. In fact, there is a guide there to replacing windows in your house; our window replacement guide. It’s on the home page right now and that guide is available for free download. It’s about a ten-page-or-so PDF that will teach you everything you need to know about replacing your windows and it’s a great time to think about it because fall is around the corner; you’re already probably paying too much for air conditioning bills. The winter heating bills will be in the not-too-distant future and if you get your windows replaced now, perhaps in early fall, you will be all that more energy-efficient when it comes time to turn on the heat.
LESLIE: Alright, next up we’ve got one from Nick in Reno, Nevada who writes: “I’m considering purchasing a house that I just found out was involved in a law suit, back in 2004, against the developers, due to water seeping up under the house.
TOM: Mm, not good.
LESLIE: As part of the settlement, the current owner received cash to install a sump pump and a sub-drain. Since there was no water issue in this particular case, the owner pocketed the money. (Tom laughs) Before I spend the money on the inspections, I would like to get a rough idea on how difficult/expensive it would be to install the pump and drain. Do you have any other suggestions? Are these things I can do by myself? Do I need a pro or should I just walk away?
TOM: (chuckling) Normally, we tell you that most times you don’t need to install sump pumps and drains; but the fact of the matter is that this guy got the money for it. I would insist, insist that he install it.
TOM: Because he took the money and didn’t do the improvement. But is it something you can do yourself? Not really. I mean it’s a pretty big job. I mean it’s not the first home improvement project that I would suggest you tackle yourself. But generally speaking, water infiltration is caused by bad drainage conditions outside your house; like the grading and the gutters. Fix those and you typically can make the water problem go away. But if you’re asking can you install a sump pump yourself – and assuming you have to create the hole as well – no. It’s a big project, so don’t do it; get a pro.
LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what, Nick? Since you know that the house is sort of need of one based on the lawsuit, I would demand from the seller that they either put one in or give you the cash for it or negotiate the price to include the cash, in your favor, to have this improvement done.
TOM: You are tuned to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show and we are so glad that you are. We hope we’ve helped you out with some home improvement projects this hour. The show now continues online at MoneyPit.com where we are there 24/7 to talk home improvement with you.
I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …
LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.
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(Copyright 2009 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.)