- Patio vs. Deck: Should you build a deck or a patio to expand your outdoor living space? How to decide.
- Noise-Reducing Landscaping: Shush your surroundings with strategic landscaping to block outside noises.
- Termites: Are those termites eating away at your home? How to identify them and keep your house off the menu.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Portable Air Conditioner: Thomas’ portable air conditioner keeps tripping the circuit breakers. He needs a dedicated 20-amp circuit to power it up.
- Sealing Concrete: A flood left cracks in the basement cement floor. Bonnie gets advice on using silicone and a two-part epoxy product to repair the cracks.
- Glue Removal: Adhesive tiles over the wood floor left glue residue. Greg may need a professional floor refinisher to remove the glue with the right tools.
- Basement Flooring: Mary wants suggestions on replacing the carpeting in her basement. Laminate or engineered hardwood flooring would be good options.
- Porch Ceiling: Richard wants to waterproof the porch under an upper deck. He can use an underdeck drain system or fiberglass decking to keep things dry.
- Shower Mold: Donna has tried everything to get rid of the mold in a shower. Better ventilation and a commercial cleaner to cut the soap scum should help.
- Crown Molding: Is there an easy way to attach crown molding in the space above cabinets? Brian gets tips on attaching a wood screwing strip to hold the molding in place.
|TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is the Money Pit Home Improvement show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
|LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
|TOM: Welcome to episode 2316 and we are here to help you take on projects around your house. If you feel like you’ve got a money pit, we get it. Or maybe you feel like you have some projects to take to improve the space that you live in right now, Maybe you’re happy with it. Maybe it’s in generally good shape. It’s old, maybe it’s worn, maybe it’s inefficient. Maybe it just doesn’t work as well as you want that space to work. Well, give us a call at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, because we can help you through those options, including some We can almost guarantee you probably haven’t thought of before because that’s what we do. But at that’s a long time and we love helping you get those jobs done around your house. Coming up on today’s show, creating an outdoor living space beyond the four walls of your home is definitely a popular home improvement project, especially right about now, before it turns really hot. But how do you decide which is best for your home? A deck or a patio? Well, we’re going to walk you through the options.
|LESLIE: And if your home happens to sit on a busy road or maybe next to just some noisy neighbors, you might have found that getting a little peace and quiet can be quite a challenge. But we’re going to share ways that you can reduce the noise with very strategic landscaping.
|TOM: And we’re also going talk about bugs that bite. No, not you. We’re talking about bugs that bite your house. You know, as the weather warms up more every day, it is termite swarm season. So what do you do if you spot a swarm of flying wood munching bugs your house? Well, the first thing might be to make sure they’re actually termites. So we’re going to share a simple tip just ahead.
|LESLIE: But first, we want to help you create your best home ever. So whether you’re doing the job yourself or hiring a pro, we are ready to help you get that job done right the first time.
|TOM: So reach out to us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Or better yet, go to moneypit.com/ask and click the blue microphone button. You can record your questions, ship it up to us, and we will get back to you as soon as possible with an answer. So let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
|LESLIE: All right. Well, with the summer kicking up, everybody’s thinking about air conditioning. And we’ve got Thomas in Louisiana who needs this AC crank and almost year round. So what’s going.
|CALLER: On? I recently purchased one of those AC portable AC units where the ducting can either go out the window was a door or something like that to release the heat out because the I’m having issues in my attic with the central system, the ducting in the attic, having issues with either squirrels or minus or rats or something that keeps chewing holes in the ducting in the attic. And every time I fix it, yeah, it happens again. So the attic is, is very nice and cool, but the rest of the house, not so much.
|TOM: The roads are comfortable in.
|CALLER: Yeah. Farai, this house was built in the sixties, so the crawl space in that is extremely tight and very difficult to maneuver around. So for the time I decided to go with a mini split system to bypass the ducting and I’m going to do ceiling cassette with a mini split system. But for the time being, I’ve got this portable unit, like I said, which has a normal 110 club on the end of the cord. But it’s, it’s, it’s a heavy even it’s 18,000 BTU and it’s tripping almost every breaker it seems like in the house and at one point I checked the when to unplug the extension cord and the end of the extension cord was pretty hot and so I don’t know what to do to be safe and also have this thing going properly. I the extension cord is a 100 foot extension cord, so it could be that it’s too long.
|TOM: Why do you need such a long extension cord?
|CALLER: Because I’m having to go to different plugs throughout the house. The circuit breaker box is not labeled. I know it should be, so I don’t know what breaker goes to my outlet and I haven’t tried different outlets throughout the house.
|TOM: All right. So. So let’s talk about what’s going on. So first of all, when you have a 100 foot cord, you know, the longer the cord, the thicker the wire. And this cord may not be rated for what you’re pulling, you know, if you could probably see what the power demand is on this. But I mean, generally you’re going to need a 20 amp circuit for this, not a 15, which is typical in most houses. When you blow these breakers, are you blowing both 20 amp breakers and 15 in breakers?
|CALLER: Well, you’re correct that it does need a 20 amp breaker. I did look up that information and the unit should be going to a dedicated to out breaker.
|TOM: Your branch circuits the 15th and the twenties. You need to have an electrician. An electrician needs to open up your panel and they need to look at the wiring configuration, make sure it’s done correctly, and then they can tell by looking at the wires the wire size what the circuit is. So if you have number 14 copper wires, that’s going to be a 15 amp circuit. And if you have a number 12 wires, that’s going to be a 20th circuit. And so you can actually label now each circuit. So you know what the power consumption is in terms of the behavior that you’re seeing right now with the tripping circuits. If it’s a 15, you got no chance of that being able to handle this. You have to run a dedicated circuit. That’s really the easiest thing to do, even though it’s an expense. But you’re going to run a number 12 wire from the panel all the way to wherever the central point is that you’re going to plug that thing in and you should not have any further trouble after that. I think the reason that’s tripping from what you told me is a combination of the fact that you probably have two small circuit and secondly is making it worse because you’re running it through a 100 foot wire that that may not be rated for 20 amps. I mean, it’s unusual to have a typical extension cord be rated for 20. It’s usually rated for 15. So I think you’re using incorrect wiring there. And I think you are risking the house in terms of you’re are creating a fire risk in the house by doing it that way. I think that’s a situation where you really need to do that. What you might want to think about. You mentioned going split. Douglas. If you’re going to go split Dockless, you’re going to have to run circuits anyway. So you might want to just do this all at once, have them run the circuits for the split Dockless that you’re ultimately going to do, even if it’s a project you’re not going to do, you know, this year or maybe next year or a year after, and also run a dedicated circuit just for that air conditioner right now. And then you’re done on the electrical work.
|CALLER: I don’t want the house to burn down. So thank you very much. Appreciate the advice. And I will follow good care.
|LESLIE: All right. Now we’ve got Barney on the line. We need some help sealing concrete. What’s going on, Barney?
|CALLER: We actually had some flooding a couple of years ago, and we ended up with some cracks. So we fixed the cracks and now we want to seal it. And we went out and bought some basement sealer. And it’s so toxic and the smell is so bad that there’s just no way we can use it. And I just wondered if you had a suggestion for something that’s not so toxic.
|TOM: So if you have a cracked floor and you’ve sealed those cracks with usually you want to use silicone on that. And then if you want to put something on top of that Florida to finish it, you can use one of the two part epoxy products. They work well. I mean, yeah, they’re going to smell a little bit while you’re doing it, but they don’t smell for long. I just did my basement with the dish coating for product and it worked terrific. So what I did was in my case, I had poured new concrete on the floor and then once it cured, I think I waited about a month. I used the dike flooring product on that. It was two part epoxy. You mix it together and you got to follow the mixing instructions. You got to do it just right because usually you have to stir these and wait so many minutes before you apply it. Then I applied it and as I applied it, I used a color chip that comes as an option, sort of sprinkled it in there. And those are nice because it makes it look a little bit better, but also hides dirt at the same time. It’s not as visible and it gives you just a little bit of texture to it and then it cured it. I tell you, within an hour to three days I didn’t smell anything down there and it looked great and it was done. So if you want to steal concrete today, I think two part epoxy is the way to go.
|CALLER: Okay, Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
|LESLIE: Hey, you want to support our podcast and help us grow? Well, go ahead and leave us a five star review on Apple Podcasts and we’ll be forever grateful. Plus, you’ll be helping other homeowners discover our show. Just go to Money Pit dot com slash review. Well, Father’s Day is coming up. And if your dad likes steak, I mean, who doesn’t? And we’re talking about all the dads in your life. Father figures, uncles, whatever you name it. Those dads love to have a steak. And there’s a great deal happening right now on Omaha Steaks dot com. You can score $30 off. That’s a lot of dough. You’re qualifying order by using the promo code Money Pit.
|TOM: That’s right. So you can pick Dad up a pack of those tasty bacon wrapped filet minions or really any of their gourmet grillables and get $30 off your order at Omaha Steak scum with the promo code Money Pit and totally make Dad’s Day.
|LESLIE: Greg in Delaware You’ve got the Money Pit. What can we do for you?
|CALLER: Yes, I have a house built in 42 and stuff. And some reason somebody put those sticky towels in the kitchen right over tops. Nice hardwood floors. Oh, okay. And so, you know, it’s all original. Yeah, it’s all original stuff.
|TOM: Definitely worth saving.
|CALLER: How do I get the. The sticky glue off the wood and use the sand or just tear the glue on it, you know, fires it up. And I’ve used and if I could say a product that I used to go on, I mean, and it just doesn’t do any good and it actually turn awesome.
|TOM: What kind of sand are you using on it?
|CALLER: Well, I had a belt sander that I had, and then I use a foam sander, and I used to use a different grit. All right.
|TOM: So I would stop. I would stop right there, Greg. I would call in a professional floor refinishing company and let them do it with their tools. You can’t sand that stuff off. And their standards are big 12 inch wide belt. SANDERS With varying types of grit on it. And I think if you have them come in, they’re going to stands for tonight generally don’t recommend belt sanding because it takes some of the life of the floor. But in your case, when you have adhesive on it, it’s the best way to do it.
|LESLIE: It’s only then going to work.
|TOM: But have a pro do it. They’ve got the right tools. You don’t, and it’ll just save you a lot of aggravation. It’s not terribly expensive. You know, if you want to save money, you can even just have them sand it, not finish it. You can finish it yourself. But they’re finishes generally the pro finishes are better than the ones that you can buy over the counter, so to speak. So I would leave this job at the pro because it requires the specialized tools. Don’t and don’t even rent the tools yourself because you’re not going to have the skills to use it. And you could ruin the floor using a tool like that.
|CALLER: And so there’s no chemicals and hold up what else?
|TOM: Now I wouldn’t I would not I wouldn’t do that. I just have it sanded off. It looks so good when it’s done. Okay. All right, Greg, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
|LESLIE: Well, creating an outdoor living space is a popular home improvement project and the least expensive way that you can extend your living space. But how do you decide what’s best for your home, a deck or a patio? We’re going to help you decide. And today’s Home solution tip presented by Angie. So first of all, guys, you got to consider the space that you have to work with. If it’s ground level, for example, where the ground is a foot or so lower than the door. A patio is really going to be your best option. Building a deck that low to the ground really means that you have to bury part of that wood frame, and that’s just never a good idea.
|TOM: Now, from a DIY perspective, a patio is definitely a possibility. Brick, natural stone, cement, pavers, those are all the main paving choices in materials. And all three varieties are installed in a sand bed with irregularly shaped natural stone being the biggest challenge to work with because it’s kind of like assembling a giant outdoor jigsaw puzzle. But you want to start your patio project really by carefully assessing that space that’s slated for placement and planning for the necessary drainage. Then you want to take some time to properly and I do mean properly excavate, level and line the patio area for long lasting trip proof results. You know, the most common paver patio mistakes come from not properly prepping that base. So don’t rush through that patio brick installation before the base is really set up correctly. Or what’s going to happen is the bricks will loosen and they will shift. You will get tripping hazards and the weeds will come and go through those joints just as quick.
|LESLIE: Yeah. Now, when it comes to decks, the costs and the look of those decks are going to vary widely because there’s so many choices of materials available. Now, a wood deck that’s really the least expensive, but you got to think about the maintenance. You know, there can be a lot of maintenance work to do if you’ve got a healthier budget and tolerance for maintenance is low, well then you’re definitely gonna want to spend some more bucks. So you might want to consider composite decking. I mean, it looks great. It’s super durable, it’s really easy to clean. But whatever the decking surface and the railing material you choose, pressure treated lumber is generally the standard for construction of that framing and the support structure of the deck itself. And that’s one reason that we say building a deck is really not a project. If you are an inexperienced DIY or because there’s so many structural steps to every part of this that you want to make sure you get it right.
|TOM: Well, between the very heavy lumber and the need to get it properly attached to the house, there really is a lot that can go wrong and lead to a collapse. So if it’s a deck you want, it really is best to turn to a pro. Now, when it comes to maintenance, patios need really virtually none, but decks actually quite a bit. For example, even wood, that is the key resistance is going to warp and split. You need to make sure the deck is sealed within the first 3 to 6 months after it’s been constructed. And then you want to repeat that process about every 2 to 5 years.
|LESLIE: Now, whichever way you do go, you want to make sure you get a permit before you begin. That way, the local inspectors can make sure it’s being built correctly, and that approval can come in handy if and when you decide to sell your home. If you want some more tips to make your outdoor living projects a success, check out the Solution Center at Angie Scum.
|TOM: And that’s today’s Home Solution Tip presented by Angie. When it comes to home projects, they know you want to nail it every time Angie does the heavy lifting for you with top pros who get the job done right. Download the Angie app today.
|LESLIE: Marion, Wisconsin. You’ve got the Money Pit. What can I help you with today?
|CALLER: I am redoing my basement and I’m wondering about flooring it. It has had a rubber backed carpet which has been taken up. So we’re down to the concrete and I’m just wondering what would be a good thing to put back down on the floor there?
|TOM: So rubber backed carpet was kind of popular at one point in time. But generally speaking, we don’t recommend carpet for basements because they’re so damp. You can build up a lot of debris down there that can cause allergic reactions. You get dust mites and all that sort of thing that will nest in the carpet. So I would look to a smooth surface material. So your options might be laminate floor, which is beautiful. It could look like hardwood floor or tile. It’s made of different composite materials. It’s very, very tough surface and it floats. It doesn’t it’s not glued down. It floats on top of the floor. Or you could choose a special type of hardwood floor called engineered hardwood. Now, solid hardwood would not be recommended for a base because it’s too moist. But engineered is made up of different layers of hardwood. It kind of looks at the guts of it, kind of look like plywood. But the surface, it looks like a regular hardwood floor. You can’t really tell the difference once it’s down. And I think that would be a good option as well.
|CALLER: I really like the carpet down there.
|LESLIE: Use area rugs. You’re just going to be sad. It’s just going to cause a lot of problems. It’s going to make you feel yucky. It’s going to feel damp down there.
|TOM: That it’s a very dated look today, too. I mean, things have changed in terms of decor. And I think the solid surface of a laminate floor or an engineered hardwood floor would be much more common today.
|CALLER: Is there something feasible in a price range, though?
|TOM: Yeah. I mean, laminate floor is really affordable. You can get that for as little as maybe four bucks a square foot.
|LESLIE: Yeah. You know what? Go online. I’ve seen laminate flooring just south of $2 a square foot. So there is really some great options that are very affordable out there.
|CALLER: Okay. Thank you.
|TOM: Mary. Thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Head. Now to Tennessee, where we’ve got Richard on the line. What’s going on in your Money Pit?
|CALLER: I’ve got a porch out front of my house and it’s approximately 20 feet by 32 feet. Now, there’s an extra part that’s kind of serves as a landing, but the majority of it is a big area and they to waterproof it underneath it. And so I’m looking at my options just to make a dry area underneath there because it’s a sea level house. It used to be a garage underneath and now at the finished room. So we want an old deck area that’s dry. And I’ve looked into that decking material, that field, so no water gets in between and has a channel sort of to pick up any moisture. And then also the under decking that’s kind of like a mechanism traps the water before the water gets to the.
|TOM: So you have a deck right now, like a second floor deck, like a regular open deck, and you want to try to stop the water from coming through the deck and dripping below. Is that correct?
|TOM: I’m not sure what you’re looking at in terms of, you know, decks that are boards that are tied together. But there are a lot of options in under deck ceilings. And we actually have a video about this project, how to install an under deck ceiling on Money Pit AECOM. We walk you through the project and what’s involved and provide you links to different types of under deck ceiling. Most of the major manufacturers of decking product also in composite products make these systems. You know, there’s a timber check has one truck says one called rain escape. There’s a one called deck drain I remember. And they all work pretty much the same. They’re basically an assembling of channels that mount underneath the existing second story deck. They collect the water that drips through. They run it down to a gutter, and that feeds the leader in a way it goes. And I’ll tell you, they work pretty darn good. And once you collect that water, that space underneath just becomes a whole lot more usable, whether it’s just a hang out space or it’s a place, you know, just to store. You don’t have the same level of moisture and humidity and yuck that comes with it. You know, I’ve seen these spaces that were filled with mold and mildew analogy because they’re so darn damp all the time, get dry out and really become sort of secondary patio areas. We can really enjoy it.
|CALLER: Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m going for. And I guess my question was, you know, I’ve been there somewhat with a rain escape, which is the collection of underneath the floorboards, but there’s others seem to basically lock together and don’t allow any water to come between the boards. So the water has to go one way or the other. I’ll have to put a pitch on it on the actually a pitch on the boards themselves that they call for like an eighth of an inch perfect cut. But then that completely, you know, also protects the floor joists underneath there forever, I guess.
|TOM: I don’t know I don’t like the idea of that that type of system just to me doesn’t sound like it would be as useful as long lasting as having a gutter system underneath. Because if you’re going to go through all the trouble of like replacing your decking like that, what I would rather see you do is to install a fiberglass surface. And across that whole deck, you know, a lot of times where I live, we see homes that are in areas where they get a lot of wind driven rain. And absolutely the best type of second floor deck to have is one that’s covered in fiberglass. The fiberglass decking is has like a grit to it, so has some traction to it and that gets wrapped up under the siting. So it’s virtually impossible for that to leak once it’s done. And given the fact that you’d have to reject everything and replace all your railings to do what you’re talking about. Right. A fiberglass deck would definitely be a lot more durable and last a lot longer. I think it will be more expensive than putting in one of those under deck drain systems, but I think it will last longer. So it really depends on, you know, how long you’re going to be in the house. How long do you think you’ll have to enjoy the space and whether or not you want to make the investment?
|CALLER: Well, there’s the fiberglass stuff. Do you have a brand name or anything? Are you familiar with it and know.
|TOM: That it’s not a brand name, It’s just a process. You know, anybody that does fiberglass decking, you know, buys them material, buys the reinforcing material, you know, it’s kind of like it’s like when you build the boat hull, you know.
|CALLER: Yeah, yeah.
|TOM: You lay up the fiberglass one layer at a time. So they do it with a roof the same way.
|CALLER: I think I say. And I yeah, I understand what you’re talking about now. Yeah, well, that’s really a great idea. I’ve never seen that before.
|TOM: All right, Richard. Well, good luck with that project. You may have to look around to find a contractor that’s familiar with that, but they’re out there and it really does come out nice.
|CALLER: Okay. I appreciate it. Thank you very.
|TOM: Much. All right. You’re welcome.
|LESLIE: Well, if your home happens to sit on a busy road or maybe you just have some noisy neighbors, you might have found that getting a little peace and quiet can be a challenge. You know, early homes were actually designed to be close to the road to make access easier for horses and carriages. But even now, a century later, new homes kind of stick to that same setback that was enforced when the community was originally built. But the roads today are a lot noisier and so are the neighbors. Let’s be honest.
|TOM: Well, that’s right. That’s definitely true. Now, while there are many ways to reduce sound from the inside your home, like improving your wall structure, your windows, your doors to reduce noise, those, of course, can be very expensive and complicated projects. So instead, we’d like you to think towards ways to strategically use landscaping to reduce that sound. So, for example, one of the first things you could do is create a barrier, which means a wall or a fence. Now you do need to check into your municipal rules and regulations for permits, but stone walls are an option. You want to review the types of construction involved. Also, it’s important consider as well as ongoing maintenance. Now, fence materials another option. If you’re going to do go with a fence, you want no spaces between the boards, that’s going to drown out the most sound and is probably a lot less expensive than a stone wall. And the same goes for a higher fence as opposed to a lower one. Higher and one that has no spaces is really going to do a decent job.
|LESLIE: Yeah, and you know what? Live hedges actually also help a lot. Evergreens like Arbor Vida, they’re a great choice for reducing noise and improving privacy. And they stay green all year round and they can help reduce that sound. And I mean, they grow quick to our providers. Leland Cypress, Skip Laurel, you’re going to have like a great hedge in no time flat.
|TOM: And if you couple a line of hedges with a fence, then you really get double the impact in terms of sound reduction because hedges do really absorb a lot of that noise, even the noise that hits off those fences. So it’s a really good way to go. Now, lastly, you could think about the sort of ideas if you can’t beat them, join them at a sound system, add a water feature or a fountain to give you something else to listen to. All good ways though, to reduce sound in your spaces and really have an opportunity to enjoy your house any time of the year. And especially those times when it’s a bit too noisy outside. Well, hey, guys, Father’s Day is coming up and if your dad likes steak, there’s a great deal happening right now on Omaha Steaks. Qcom can actually score 30 bucks off your qualifying order when you use the promo code Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Yeah, that’s right. So pick up a pack of those tasty bacon wrapped filet minions or any of their gourmet grill bulls and get $30 off your order on Omaha steaks dot com. Make sure to use the promo code Money Pit. Donna in New York is on the line and is having an issue cleaning some showers. What’s going on, Donna?
|CALLER: Well, I work at a fitness facility and boy, do I have a problem with one out of four of the shower stalls there. That one, of course, is in the men’s room. Oh, my God. It’s so gross. It constantly takes up to slimy brown, gross, moldy. I don’t even know what this gunk is on the walls. And I have tried everything. I use bleach, the bathroom cleaners, antibacterial scrub brush. I let my. Which then I don’t even know what to do.
|TOM: Yeah, it’s just getting away from me. Well, first of all, and I know this is out of your control, but the more humidity that builds up in that space, the worse this will continue to get. So they don’t have good ventilation. They get dirtier and dirtier because it supports the growth of mold, mildew, algae and moss. But one product that that I’ve had great success with is called Zep. Zep. It’s a shower tub and tile cleaner. It’s a commercial cleaner. It’s not expensive. It’s about like seven bucks a jug at, like, Home Depot and when you sprayed on it, foams up and does a really good job of cutting out that nasty combination of soaps.com. And then everything that grows in the soap scum, because the soap skins like a food to a lot of those materials and that’s why it just gets so nasty. So I would try the Zep Zep and see how you like that.
|CALLER: Oh my God, I am so glad I got through.
|TOM: All right. Good luck. Thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Well, with the weather warming more every day, it’s termite swarm season and you’re wondering maybe what you should do if you spot a swarm of those flying wood munching bugs at your home. Well, the first thing might be to make sure they’re actually termites.
|TOM: Well, that’s right, because there are a lot of insects that size that look alike. But here’s a quick way to identify a termite. It’s about a quarter inch long. Termites are actually smaller than ants, and they have only two body segments, unlike ants, which also sport two pair of long wings and straight antennae. Now, knowing termites when you see them is a quick way to kind of squash their interest in your home. Because if you do have a termite infestation, then it’s important to call an exterminator. And there are lots of ways to treat for termites. What I advocate is a class of pesticides, which is really one that’s called undetectable. And what that means is the tremendous side, because in the soil, the termites don’t know it is there. So they pass through it and they take it back to their nest. And that eliminates the nests that are closest to the house and keeps your home definitely off the termite menu.
|LESLIE: Brian in Rhode Island is working on some crown molding. How can we help you?
|CALLER: I’m putting up some crown molding. I’ve got cabinets now. I’ve put the crown molding before. I have this ingenious jig that I believe is called a cut in crown. And when you put it together with your miter saw, it does a good job of the angles for inside and outside corners. Okay. And what I can’t think about is now I’m trying to do a crown molding above some kitchen cabinets that I’ve installed. Okay. And I’m not quite sure how to, ah, nail it. And I don’t want to nail into the style above the door or the rail above the door, because, number one, I don’t want to do that. Number two, looks like it could split it. So I’m just trying to figure out what people do to face the crown molding above the cabinet.
|TOM: So you have space above these cabinets, you know, empty space, so to speak, between the cabinet, the ceiling.
|CALLER: Yes, I do.
|TOM: Okay. Well, I think you are going to have to mechanically attach it to those cabinets. Now, whether you do that with nails or some other fastening system is going to be up to you. But is this hardwood crown molding as is oak?
|CALLER: Yes, it is.
|TOM: So you’re going to have to pilot drill any anything you do with this has to be pilot drilled because you can’t just nail through it. It’s going to split it. So you’re going to have to get a drill bit that’s just slightly smaller than the nail or the screw that you’re using in pilot drill through this. Now, I wouldn’t hesitate to attach it to the cabinet body above the door if I had the space. If you wanted to try to kind of head your bed a little bit, kill a bit more control. What you could do is you could attach a nailing strip or a scrubbing strip, so to speak, on top of that cabinet. So let’s say you have a piece of wood that maybe is one by one square. When you attach that to the top of the cabinet, you drill down sort of Texas into the top style of that cabinet. And now you have a much bigger, flatter surface for you to kind of have some meat behind to get that now or screw into. You know what I mean? Okay.
|CALLER: I know exactly what you mean. I know exactly what you mean. In fact, now that I see what you’re saying, I might want to improve that just a little more. I might want to take something that’s like a two by three or something along that line. And. And cut it out so it fits above it. But I can’t screw from above to attach it. So if I’ve got the room, I’m.
|TOM: Going on how, how, how much space is there?
|CALLER: About four inches.
|TOM: Oh, yeah. I can’t do that. Now, you’d have to go, then you’d have to go from underneath. You could go from underneath. You could drill up from the underside of the cabinet style, the front style. You can go up that way, then attach it there.
|CALLER: That sounds good. That would solve my problem.
|TOM: All right. There you go.
|LESLIE: Abbie wrote in saying, I’m a novice when it comes to home improvement DIY work, and I’m interested in refinishing to fix some sun damage on my front door. But I’m wondering how to stand and prep that door to get it ready. All right. I love that she said Prep because she knows it’s going to be some work here.
|TOM: Absolutely. You know, refinishing a front door, Abby is really a great project for a warm weekend because that’s the time you really need to allow to get the job done. Need time for all the coats to properly dry. You also want to time the project. You don’t want to start late the day. You want to start early in the day. So the door is really super dry at the end of the day and can be reinstalled overnight and then taken off again the next day. That is definitely the best way to do this and you certainly could work on the door while upright installed. But I got to tell you, the job is a lot easier. It comes out a lot better if you can take it off its hinges and work on it while it’s horizontal on sawhorses. Not only is it going to let you do a better job of sanding, it’s easier on your back too, but you won’t have to worry about the finished dripping. Now, if you think removing the door is hard, it’s really not. Because once you pull the hinge pins usually comes off pretty easily. Though depending on the door size, it could be a bit heavy. So you may need a friend to help you with that on the small horse, but is definitely the way to go. Now, you asked about sanding. Yes, you do need the sand as part of the prep and certainly you could sand by hand, but it’s a lot easier to do it with a vibrating sander if you happen to have one. And if you do four hand sanding and your door features like details like raised panels, I recommend these 3 a.m. sanding sponges. Have you seen these, Leslie? They’re like a kitchen sponge, but they’re like, covered like in sanding, grit. So they kind of bend and they flex.
|LESLIE: Oh, yeah. Sanding sponges are the best.
|TOM: And you can get in all those nooks and crannies really, really easy. Now, in terms of the finish, I’m not really sure what kind of door you have. I’m going to presume that it’s wood. If it’s been stained, you’re probably gonna need to restate it because as you sand it, you will no doubt cut through some of the stain that’s there. You’re going to want to put a light coat stain on top of that and then you want to use a varnish or everything. I would use a marine varnish. And the reason I say Marine is because it’s a very high degree of UV protection. That’s really the enemy. You protected the finish from the sign of the finish. Does the job protecting itself from the sun. That doors can last a long, long time before we have to do this project again.
|LESLIE: All right, Abby, good luck with that project. And just remember, try not to go run a lot of errands because obviously your house is not going to have a door while you’re working on this project. All right. Now we’ve got a question from John, who says, The only way I can get hot water through the kitchen faucet is to run the hot water only in the two bathrooms. Once they run hot water, I can then get hot water to the kitchen. This happens every morning and often later on in the afternoon evening. What in the world is going on?
|TOM: So it’s really pretty simple, John. This has a lot to do with the distance that that hot water has to travel. I would bet that those bathrooms are closer to your water heater than the kitchen faucet. And that’s why those bathrooms get hot first and then the kitchen last. Now there is a recirculating tool, recirculating pump, so to speak, that you can put on that kitchen faucet that will move water in a loop through the plumbing, leading that faucet so that it’s always warm when you need it. But I don’t know. It seems like an awful lot of work to do just for that one faucet. If it’s really bugging you, go ahead and do it. But it really is a function of distance. The farther the faucet is from the water heater, the longer you have to wait for that water to travel.
|LESLIE: All right, John, good luck with that, because that seems like a big pain in the butt every day.
|TOM: This is the Money Pit Home Improvement show. Thank you so much, guys, for spending part of your day with us. We hope that you’ve taken some good tips and ideas on projects you want to get done around your house or maybe your family’s house or your friend’s house. From today’s program, if you’ve got questions and couldn’t get through, we understand we’re sorry for that. But if you want to go to MoneyPit.com/ask. You can post your question right there by clicking the blue microphone button. Is the fastest way to get a direct answer from us? Until then, 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.
|(Note: The above referenced transcript is AI-Generated, Unedited and Unproofed and as such may not accurately reflect the recorded audio. Copyright 2023 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.)