- Stone Garden Wall: Learn how to beautify your garden with a strong and stylish stone wall.
- Storm Shutters: Find out how storm shutters can protect your home from strong sun and wild winds.
- Painting Prep: Any successful paint job starts with one important step. We’ll share this painting primer.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Carpenter Bees: Busy carpenter bees are drilling lots of holes in Steve’s house. We suggest covering or replacing the wood with synthetic materials.
- Microwave Oven: The light in Freida’s old microwave oven keeps burning out. It may be a loose connection, a voltage problem, or time to replace the microwave.
- Aquaponic Garden: Patrick is concerned about the weight of his aquaponic garden on the concrete slab near his pool. We do the math and it should be fine.
- Structural Cracks: Are the ceiling cracks in an old home a structural issue? Anne is worried that her house is shifting, so she should have it checked by a home inspector.
- Water Damage: A destructive raccoon busted the water line and now part of the house is sinking. Brian needs to hire a public adjuster and file an insurance claim.
- Painting Cedar Shingles: Old paint is peeling off the cedar shingles. We tell Donna how to scrape, sand, and prime the surface before repainting.
- Noisy Plumbing: It sounds like a trumpet going off every time Robert turns on the hot water! It could be a faulty washer or a blocked aerator in the faucet.
|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: And this is episode 2303. We’re here to help you with your home improvement projects, your DIY dilemmas, your decor projects. If there’s a spring project in your to do list, you can move it right over to RS by reaching out with your questions. Do that by going to moneypit.com/ask and clicking the blue microphone button or call us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Got a great show planned for you. First up, we’re going to talk about building a garden wall. It’s a project that’s fun and great to take on a beautiful spring day. We’re going to share tips on how to build a wall made of stone that will stand the test of time.
|LESLIE: And decorative window shutters are an attractive addition to your home’s exterior, but they won’t do a thing to actually protect your windows. For that job, you’re going to need storm shutters. We’re going to share the options just ahead.
|TOM: And painting offers one of the easiest and least expensive ways to transform a space. And it seems so easy, right? Well, it is. Unless you make one very common mistake. We’ll share that secret painting success in just a bit.
|LESLIE: But first, we want to help you create your best home ever. From bathrooms to basements and demolition to decor, where your coach, your counselor, your cheerleaders for all your projects, whether they’re big or small.
|TOM: That’s right. We like to help you tackle your to do’s with confidence, but help yourself First, reach out to us with your questions. At 88 Money Pit, that’s 888-666-3974. Or post your questions at moneypit.com/ask. Let’s get to it. Leslie who’s first Stephen Illinois.
|LESLIE: You’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: Look outside this year and we’ve got a building that was built in 1929. It’s got a porch above the patio down below and on the exposed joists. There’s a carpenter building. These are the put some holes in there. And we’re looking for a way to eliminate carpenter bees and not necessarily poison everything in the neighborhood.
|LESLIE: Well, part of what they’re doing is they really enjoy eating this natural wood. So they’re coming there because you’ve got something tasty to offer up and you know, it turns out that they love to bore these holes that are like perfectly 3/8 inches round. So you can do a couple of things. You can you can have it treated by a pest professional and then seal up those holes. And that should do the trick. But you’re right chemicals are used and that might not be what you have in mind. The other thing is you can cover that or replace that joist completely or whatever the support is with a synthetic wood or a composite that looks like wood, but it’s not actually wood. It could be extruded PVC, it could be recycled plastics. This way it looks like wood. It’s doing the same job that the wood piece was. However, carpenter bees, carpenter, ants, termites, whatever pests like to eat a natural sources, wood, they’re going to try it. They’re not going to get into it and they’re going to be really confused and fly away and find somewhere else to eat.
|CALLER: Yeah, that’s true. That sounds like an option that they’re wondering if there’s something that that I assume that painting, it would not make a difference. I don’t know if it was something that could be topically applied to it. It would be would be environmentally friendly. And these out.
|LESLIE: I’ve had them eat through the painted wood that makes up my entire screened in porch. And then what happens is they bore a hole, but they won’t pour all the way through the bore into the wood, even if it’s just like a one by six or whatever. They find a way to bore into it and then bore through the wood itself and lay their eggs in there.
|CALLER: Okay. And it’s yeah, it’s, it’s very it’s amazing. It’s it looks like somebody got out with a drill and drilled the hole in there.
|LESLIE: It’s just bizarre. It’s perfect how they do it.
|CALLER: It’s essentially the options of a basically or having someone come out and trade it or either covering or changing the material, etc..
|LESLIE: Yeah, changing materials, usually the best bet because they won’t eat it. And then as an added benefit it doesn’t require any maintenance except the occasional cleaning. You know, you’re not going to be painting it all the time. It really is a win win situation.
|CALLER: Okay. And yeah, I’ll look at I’ll look into that. I’ve got a contractor that’s got to come out anyway, so I’ll look into both options. But it sounds like if I’d prefer something that wouldn’t have to do with pesticides.
|TOM: But Steve, I hope that takes care of those carpenter bees once and for all. Thanks so much for calling us at eight. At eight Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Frieda from Ohio is on the line with the Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: Hi I’m my Radar. Amanda. Radar range, microwave. It’s mounted above my stove and on the bottom, the down light that shines down on to the stove, right? The light bulbs. And that keeps burning out. And I have to replace them about once a month and they’re getting expensive.
|TOM: What kind of light bulb are you using? Is a regular incandescent.
|CALLER: It’s like the are 11 the little appliance bulbs 40.
|TOM: What and is this a fairly new problem this once a month burn out or is it been going on for a long, long time.
|CALLER: It’s getting worse I mean, we’ve had the microwave in here. It’s probably about six years old, give or take.
|TOM: Yeah. That doesn’t really owe you any money. That’s pretty old for a microwave appliance. It’s you’ve pretty much reached the end of a normal life cycle. In fact, I’m kind of surprised it lasted that long, because it’s been my experience that the microwave ovens that are mounted above ranges don’t last nearly as long as a countertop microwave because the additional heat from all that cooking has in it has the effect of sort of wearing on those components. Typically when you get a bulb that burns out quickly, it’s either because you have a loose connection, you have a loose ground, or you have a problem with the voltage that’s going in there. Sometimes, depending on what’s happening with the power company, you could be getting, say, more than 120 volts. You might be getting 120 530 volts sometimes because there could be something that is bad down the line with the power supply, the quality of power supply. So if you have extra volts going into those lights, that is one of the first things that tends to show. It’s kind of like the canary in the coal mine. You know, when the when the lights start to go burn out frequently like that, it could be an issue with the voltage. So have you been thinking about a new microwave?
|LESLIE: I’m not really.
|TOM: What I would suggest is at this point, you really need to have the voltage tested. So I would call the utility company and ask them to meter the voltage going into your house and see if it’s let’s eliminate that as a possibility or if that is okay. The second thing I would check is the plug that that it’s actually plugged into. I check the outlet to make sure it’s properly grounded and if it’s properly grounded, then I think you’ve exhausted the two things that are the easiest to fix. And at that point you might want to think about replacing the microwave.
|CALLER: All right, that sounds good.
|TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Patrick in Tennessee is on the line and needs some help with the water feature. What can we do for you?
|CALLER: I have a an aquaponics garden that was in the yard, our old house and we moved. This new house is pretty much all pool and concrete in the back. And this aquaponics garden is basically about 150 gallons of water and Â£150 of lumber that occupies a well, five by two and a half square foot area. And I’m just concerned if I put it on the concrete, if it’ll crack.
|TOM: So you’re worried about the concrete cracking underneath it? Correct. And what are you talking about? Like a concrete driveway. A concrete sidewalk? What are we talking about?
|CALLER: It’s like a slab that goes around the pool.
|TOM: What’s the tank size? It’s 200 gallons. As you say.
|CALLER: There’s two tanks, one mounted above the other. So one’s 100 gallons and one’s 50 gallons.
|TOM: So 150 gallons times Â£8 per gallon. So you have over Â£1,000 of water there, plus the lumber. That’s not terrible. I mean, think of it. That’s like four or five people standing on the concrete together.
|TOM: So I think it’d probably be okay. You know, I mean, it really depends on how thick the concrete is and that sort of thing. But generally speaking, concrete should be able to take folks standing shoulder to shoulder all around it without a problem.
|CALLER: Well, thank you so much, Patrick.
|TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us. At 88 Money Pit.
|LESLIE: And North Dakota, you’re on the Money Pit. How can we help you?
|CALLER: I am living in a house that is over 100 years old and it has an open staircase. The problem is, is that there is a bedroom that is above the staircase and adjoins it at the top. And part of that bedroom is cantilevered partially and then totally over the open staircase. And I have a big crack that’s developing on an open area and that area is cantilevered out about six feet from a load supporting wall. And I don’t know if I can dispatch it or if I need to put a support beam or jack or something underneath it, because this area is getting pretty worrisome. I’ve got two cracks that are about 3/8 of an inch and pretty long.
|TOM: So. And are these new cracks or has it always been cracked?
|CALLER: It’s always been cracks, but it’s been a hairline for many years. Oh, boy. And then we had a massive flood.
|TOM: How long ago was the flood?
|CALLER: That was in 97. And then the ground has been shifting ever since. Since that flood, the cracks have gotten bigger.
|TOM: When we have cracks in the walls and foundations and things like that, we always look to determine if they’re active or inactive because frankly, all homes have cracks. If you tell me that over the last 20 or so years that this crack has opened from a hairline to 3/8 of an inch, it might be active. I’m not actually convinced of that yet, but I am concerned enough to tell you that you probably should have it looked at by an expert. What I’d like you to do is go to the website for the American Society of Home Inspectors. That’s actually MSHA. I dot com and find a home inspector in your area. This is a zip code sorting tool there that’s a member of AC and talked to two or three of them and find one that specializes in structural issues like this and have them look at it and see if we can determine based on that inspection whether or not this is an active ongoing situation or just a crack in an old plaster wall that needs to be fixed. It’s not unusual for old homes to have lots of cracks in them, and especially around a staircase, because just the way homes were framed back then is different than they would be today. And so that’s not an uncommon area for cracks to develop. But I think we need to determine for your own sort of sanity, if nothing else, whether or not this is active and ongoing or something that’s really just historical.
|TOM: Does that make sense?
|CALLER: It sure does.
|TOM: All right. And good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
|LESLIE: While stone garden walls are synonymous with strength and permanence, but a poorly built wall can crumble in no time at all.
|TOM: Well, that’s true, but there’s no getting around it. I mean, building a stone wall is hard work when it comes to building a quality wall. You need to lay the groundwork first and all starts with the footing. You really need a firm base before you start stacking stones or your wall is going to move. So what you want to do is dig a trench just below the frost line, about two feet wider, then the wall. Then you line it with landscape fabric before you set down a base of washed stones. And that stone base allows water to drain away. That’s really key to preventing freezing and thawing under the wall, which will cause it to move. And that fabric is also going to prevent the surrounding soil from clogging the gaps in the stones, which also can block the drainage.
|LESLIE: Now, Tom, there’s really two ways that you can go about building this wall, right? You either use mortar or you stack them up like building blocks. So is there a way that’s better than the other?
|TOM: Well, I mean, there’s traditional sort of the New England style field. Some walls they’re stacked without mortar. It’s called dried. Laid. Basically, you’re dry laying the stones. However, mortared walls also are super strong. And that’s an important consideration. If you’re building like a retaining wall, maybe a sitting wall, and you can actually preserve that dry laid look while getting the strength advantages of mortar by using a mortar that’s been pigmented. So you can pigment the mortar like dark gray and you sort of rake the joints between the stones and all blends in very nicely. And then it’s kind of hard to tell whether it’s dry lead or not. But you’ve got the strength of doing a mortar wall.
|LESLIE: Now, what about once you’ve got the footing sort of set and you know you’ve got a sturdy base, how do you order the stones in the wall? Are you using the biggest or kind of mixing and matching things to sort of fit what’s in the space?
|TOM: Well, all you puzzle makers out there will love this because it all fits together just like that. I mean, you start generally with a very large base stones. They’re placed first, then the smaller stones are used to fill around those gaps. They really need to lay flush along the face of that wall. So that’s what you pay attention to. It needs to work backwards from there. And if you’re using mortar, you want to make sure it dry fit the stones before you commit. With the mortar, you want to find it. It doesn’t fit when you’ve got a piece of stone that’s all covered with what mortar? Because it’s going to get all over the place. But if you build the wall, right, I mean, literally will last a hundred years, give it a shot. I mean, don’t start with a big, huge retaining wall. Maybe a garden wall would be a nice place to start and you’ll get it done in a weekend and you can enjoy it throughout the years ahead.
|LESLIE: Brian in Louisiana, you’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today.
|CALLER: Matt, A 72 year old home and its OWN Piers. The other night I’d heard some banging going around underneath. There were, long story short, it was a raccoon and was chasing a cat under something, but it busted waterline. Oh, yeah. So what the problem was, I wasn’t here when it happened. And so it ran for 3 hours Friday night, Saturday and Sunday three. I come back and it’s ended up to where part of my house is shut down a little bit. Now, I’ve tried to get underneath there myself and on my north side of my home, it’s up about two feet. But as it as I got closer to that waterline, the house is only about six or seven inches under so I can’t get to it. I had to dig to get to it. But my question was this. I don’t know if that if I’m kind of reluctant about calling my insurance company. I don’t know if they would cover that.
|TOM: Yeah. If it’s I think actually they would if it’s a sudden, sudden dispersal of water like that is usually the term sudden dispersal. You know, if it was a slowly over time. But I think it’s I think they may very well cover that. I can’t be sure. But I would definitely make the call or at least talk to your insurance agent.
|CALLER: I know what I’m concerned about is I’ve had two or three people tell me that, well if you call your insurance company, what they’re going to do is if they don’t cover it or if they try and get out of it, that they’re going to end up dropping you. You know.
|LESLIE: I mean, people have claims you have to file a claim like it happens. That’s what the insurance is. Therefore, it’s.
|TOM: A pipe break. And whether it was whether was caused by an animal or not, it’s a sudden dispersal. So I think it is covered. Oh, yeah.
|CALLER: The water just dropped. I mean when I came back and I saw water from the on the driveway and I went, what the heck? I went inside and I went to try to turn the faucet on hot water, just nothing, you know. And then I put a do together. You didn’t take I.
|LESLIE: Mean, if the if the raccoon did it on purpose, then it’s another.
|CALLER: Story. Well, I mean, I didn’t pay him to do it, but you know. Exactly.
|TOM: And that was an act of domestic terrorism.
|CALLER: I had trapped three of them.
|TOM: They got your name? You got a reputation?
|CALLER: Yes, they did. They got it hatched in their in their home underneath there.
|TOM: Let me give you suggestion here.
|TOM: Because you have such a mess and you have so much so many things have been affected by this. So you might want to do is hire a public adjuster. Now, a public protestor works for you. They filed the claim on your behalf with the insurance company and they don’t miss a thing. They don’t miss a coat of paint. They don’t miss a washer and not B sandpaper. They get it all in there and then they negotiate the settlement with the insurance company and they work on a percentage of the claims. So they get paid through the through the claim process on so much that they end up covering their surf, covering their cost. So you can talk with the public adjuster about how to make sure you know, if possible, look like a bad risk for them because you’re going to have new plumbing when this is all done. But you might very well get a lot of this covered as part of that. I mean, I wouldn’t mess with trying to get a raccoon out on my own and I would do the water pipe on my own. You can talk to your insurance agent if you have an independent insurance agent. Or you could also talk to an attorney. These guys are all over the place. Just make sure that they’re they’ve got a good reputation and talk with one and see if they’re not going to take the job unless they think that you’ve got a claim. That’s how they get paid. Public adjusters are licensed by the Louisiana Department of Insurance, and so that would be a good place for you to start. You could probably get a list of licenses.
|CALLER: Okay, that’s great. Yeah, that’s what I needed to know. Man. I’m so glad that you’re all here. I listen to all the time, you know?
|TOM: Well, we’re happy to have you and we’re glad we’re able to help you out. All right? So you take care now, and good luck with that project. Leslie, did you any projects this weekend?
|LESLIE: Remember how we always have that electrical issue in the back yard with the wisteria that’s kind of grown crazy And it’s. Yeah. So at the end of last year when there was the fire on the neighbor’s sort of power lines, they came and they really cut down all of that wisteria. And it left all of this dead vine edge sort of wrapped around our skip laurels. And it was really a disaster. So we got in there and we trimmed everything back and were really hoping that tackling that at the end of the fall was going to lead for a beautiful spring. And so far we’re not seeing that. So I’m kind of trying to figure out what we can do to bring this beautiful backyard greenery wall that we had to some because right now I’m just looking at a bunch of power lines in high school and I hate it.
|TOM: The tree trimmers are the power companies hire.
|LESLIE: Artists that.
|TOM: Fit right in there. You’re not artists. The butchers are true butchers.
|LESLIE: Oh, my God. They just really I’m sure there could have been a way to leave something, but they just went crazy and then left everything dead. So it was just a nightmare.
|TOM: Yeah. Their job is to clear the trees for the power lines, but nice, healthy trimming of the tree. That’s not part of their work order.
|LESLIE: I know.
|TOM: Yeah. Their job is basically to clear the branches from the power lines, but to do anything that’s going to be attractive to the homeowner, well, forget about it. It’s not going to happen.
|LESLIE: And now I think everything’s dead. So now I’m set.
|TOM: Good job, power company.
|LESLIE: Good job. Thanks a lot. But I’m hoping it’s like usually come early May that some of that wisteria is starting to green up. I’m seeing no signs of anything coming. So I think anything that’s kind of left there is just dead. And I think anything that we sort of clear away from the back side of the skip laurel that was kind of just overhanging right. I think it’s done a ton of damage to our Skip laurel, so it’s like everything is thinned out and weird and I’m, I’m hoping like, a good fertilization and the warm weather and things being back on a watering cycle will kind of change that. But it’s not looking good right now.
|TOM: This reminds me of when my utility company, the water company, replaced the water meters and they had to break up the sidewalk in front of our house to do that. I understand that. And I figured, okay, they’re going to put it back. Well, they did. They put a concrete sidewalk back, but they used asphalt. And I’m like, Oh, nice. Yeah. Blends nicely. You can hardly see it. Yeah. And there it sat for probably about a year until they finally got around to taking out the asphalt, putting concrete in. But yeah, there’s the utility companies just don’t care what it looks like to the house. Trees, concrete sidewalks doesn’t matter.
|LESLIE: At the same time as all of this was going on in the back of the house, the front of the house, they ran new gas lines from the road to everybody’s house. So it was like one half of the road definitely had where the main was. So they dug up that whole half. And then the other side just had these offshoots that went to every house. So where on the site that has the offshoots. So we just got these like little strips of repair while the other side of the street is all beautiful and paved and lovely. So we have like one half of our road is gorgeous and black and shiny and new, and the other half is this patchwork disaster and I was like, Hey, what are the plans to refinish this? I know like that you’re looking at it, it’s done. And you’re like, Oh, okay, thanks. You know, so it’s like the front of the house, same as the back of the house is a mess and it’s all the utilities. I can’t do anything about it. Down in Washington, you’ve got the Money Pit. What can we do for you today?
|CALLER: I live in an old two story Cedar Shingle house. And anyway, years ago, I used to be able to put Olympic stain on it and I kept it stained. But then they changed the law where I couldn’t use stain anymore. So it was painted in the late, oh, probably 99. Well, now the paint started peeling, so I hadn’t put one of my sons came in, pressure washed it.
|CALLER: This had been two years ago now, but he couldn’t get all the paint off and it’s flaking it because of the shingles and these little grooves. You can’t get it all out and I live in a two tone house, a brown stain where the paints peeling and the green where the paint’s not peeling and it looks terrible. And I’ve called I’ve phoned two different contractors and gave them the address and they must have just come by and looked at it and they never even called back, let alone stopped by.
|TOM: Chased them off, huh?
|CALLER: Yes. Plus they have to have a special license because the house is so old. It has to be in this state anyway. it cost them thousands and thousands of dollars because in case there’s a led outside in the paper, it was stained, not painted.
|TOM: So aside from all the drama associated with this, it’s really quite a basic problem when you have all of these layers of paint that are on the material over all of these years, at some point you’re going to lose adhesion to the original substrate, which is the cedar. The only solution in that case is to remove the paint to get down to the originally natural wood. So pressure washing it is fine for the loose stuff, but beyond that you’ve got to scrape and sand because you’ve got to get some of that natural wood to kind of show itself through the remaining stained areas that are painted. Because once it’s ready, truly ready, where you got all the loose stuff off and your surface has been abraded properly, then you can apply an oil based primer. And the purpose of the primer is kind of a layer has different qualities in paint Primer is the glue that makes the paint stick. And so if you use an oil based primer on there, you get very good adhesion to the cedar. Once that thoroughly dries, then you could paint on top of that, The top coat of paint does not have to be oil based, but the primer does. That’s what’s going to give the adhesion. But you can’t just keep putting good paint over bad paint. Otherwise the problem of peeling will just continue to repeat itself. Does that make sense, Donna?
|CALLER: Okay. Thank you.
|LESLIE: Well, window shutters look great and they add curb appeal. But most of us have shutters that are just purely esthetic. So now real shutters are functional and they really do help safeguard your windows in a storm. And they’ll also keep out harsh sun in the summer.
|TOM: Now, you have to remember that the shutters we see today are modeled very loosely, I might add, from the original wood shutters that had a more practical and decorative purpose. And they actually attached on the inside of the window trim. And they had a hinge that allowed you to protect the glass from any flying debris or provide some shade. Now, when they’re open, the shutters are held in place by a pivoting metal hook, which is actually called a shuttered dog.
|LESLIE: Now, if you want a real functioning shutter, I mean, does that still exist?
|TOM: Oh, yeah, they can be custom made. But even big box stores will have them online along with the hardware you need. But they’re not inexpensive. And I’ve seen them anywhere from a couple of hundred to a thousand bucks a pair. Now, if you can’t do the whole house at once, you could start with the front for appearance or maybe do the south and east sides of the house which get the most sun.
|LESLIE: Now, if you do go with a real wood shutter, I mean, one more thing you’ve got to think about is painting. And you got to remember that if you want to protect these shutters against moisture, you actually have to paint all six sides. And I mean, that includes all sides, all edges front back. You can’t skip here.
|TOM: Yeah. And these are not the wooden sort of louvered panels. They’re motorized made of metal and mounted on the top of the window. Now, if a storm is coming or you want that extra level of security, you hit a button and they lower automatically and they do a really good job of keeping flying debris from breaking through your window. There are great options for the White House.
|LESLIE: All right. Now, that’s a regular wood shutter. But if you find that you live in an area that’s at risk for hurricanes or tropical storms, there is another type of shutter that you can install. It’s called a hurricane shutter. And these can help you reduce insurance premiums and the cost associated with hurricane damage. Now, Tom, where do these go or these kind of like in a case bin on the top of the window, are they like a full shutter?
|TOM: Yeah, they’re not the wooden louvered panels. They’re motorized, they’re made of metal and they’re mounted at the top of the window. Now, if a storm is coming or you want that extra level of security, you hit a button or you open the app and they lower automatically and they really do a good job of keeping flying debris from breaking through your windows.
|TOM: So if you live in an area that C is hurricane prone or super high winds, they’re really good option to have.
|LESLIE: All right. You’re here with Tim Money Pit, and we want to help you tackle all of those home improvement projects that you’ve got on your to do list. And if you can dream it, you can build it and we can help. Be sure to join us on the Money Pit podcast every Monday and Thursday. You can grab yours for free at Money Pit dot com slash podcast. Well, Pain offers one of the easiest and least expensive ways that you can transform a space. And it seems so easy, right? You know you pick a color you open the can you duncan your brush and you’re good to go. Now this is why homeowners often make the very common and disastrous step of skipping that painting prep work.
|TOM: Yeah, unfortunately, if the services aren’t clean, they’re not patched, sanded and primed beforehand. Very disappointing results are definitely sure to follow. Take the primer coat, for example. I mean, Primer is the glue adhering paint to the wall. It makes sure that that all important topcoat goes on smoothly, and without it, your carefully chosen pink color is going to look uneven and begin to peel away from the walls.
|TOM: It’s going to send you right back to the store for your second attempt, not to mention having to get rid of all that loose paint that’s peeling off. Yeah.
|LESLIE: And one more thing before you choose that color, you want to research the formulations and the sheens that are going to work best for your space and always go with the highest quality paint that you can buy. Now a top of the line finish goes on beautifully. It’s going to last longer and it really will deliver the best return on investment over the long haul. So definitely spending a little bit more for those gallons of paint is worth it.
|TOM: Yeah, I’m glad you mentioned Sheen because that really is an important part that people forget about because semi-gloss looks great and trim, but add anything with even the slightest sheen to a wall surface and you’re going to see every possible imperfection the next time the sunlight gets cast across that surface. Now, when it comes to walls and ceiling paint, you want to use a washable flat and the shine or the sheen of your choosing for trim cabinets or floors. But don’t use anything with any sheen whatsoever on those walls and ceilings, because not only sunlight, but you turn lights on and there’s a cast across those walls or surfaces. You see the nail pops, you see the uneven surfaces, you see the bad sanding that was done when the drywall was first installed. So on. So just be really careful with that.
|TOM: Stick with the washable flats, you’ll be much happier.
|LESLIE: Robert in Texas is on the line with the Money Pit. What’s going on at your house?
|CALLER: I’ve got a faucet. A wall half is replaced. It’s new. And every time I turn a hot water heater or a hot water on like a Trump, it’s going up.
|TOM: Oh, boy.
|LESLIE: Okay, that’s musical.
|TOM: Yeah. It sounds like there might be a problem with that faucet. There’s a there’s a washer inside of it that sometimes when it expands like that, because of the hot water, it starts to sort of whine. And I might try this to start with. I might take the aerator off the tip of the faucet and see if it repeats itself.
|TOM: If that if it still happens with that, then I would switch out that faucet because I don’t I don’t think there’s anything they’re going to harm you from using it. It’s just going to annoy the heck out of you. But I would do the easy thing first, which would be to remove the aerator just to make sure it’s not an obstruction there, because sometimes you get debris in the line that will block that. Okay. Even though it’s water that could be debris free. But I’ve got to say, you have an awful lot of those off over the years. You’ll see a lot of grime and grit and sometimes tiny, even pieces of metal in it. So try that first. And if that doesn’t work, then I think it’s the faucet issue.
|CALLER: Okay. Like I said, I just buy new, but I guess I don’t matter.
|TOM: Yeah, well, it’s so it’s brand new. They take it back and replace it or get another one. A different brand.
|CALLER: Yeah. Okay. Well I’ll give that a shot in the same safe. It works.
|LESLIE: Lori wrote in hoping to get some ideas on repairing a rotted wood frame window in her tub shower. She says they had a tub surround installed about 15 years ago and water gap between the tub surround and the wall. And now it looks horrid.
|TOM: Yeah water would certainly don’t mix. And rotted wood is very common in these frames. But you know what? If that rotted area is limited, you can actually fill it in. One product that can help is a product by a company called Arbitron. It’s called wood Epochs. Now, the way this works is it’s a two part putty, like it’s sort of like an A and a B, and you take out about half of what you need to fill this hole from the side, half from the B side, and you need it like dough together. It’s cool because it’s really lightweight stuff. Once you need it and you sort of like stick it in that area where the rot is, it solidifies and it becomes workable, just like wood. So you put it just a little bit more than you need and you can sand it, you can file it, you can cut it, and actually when it’s all done, once you prime that windowsill again, it’s going to look just like the real thing. And the other thing that you can do is to add a small waterproof shower curtain and stave off as much water as you can. Lastly, that’s one of your tricks of the trade right there.
|LESLIE: Yeah. I mean, the shower curtains are always key to keeping areas dry and it doesn’t always have to be in an area that goes out into the space. So definitely find a nice shower curtain. You can use it to protect those walls and then hopefully that water is not going to get to that spot again. Next up, we’ve got one from Charlene who wants to know what are the benefits of artificial versus real grass considering cost watering, sitting, playing, mowing? Well, Charlene, as a person who just has turf newly, this is going to be, I think, our second summer with it. First of all, it’s super weird in the winter when the grass in the backyard is like bright green and gorgeous. But the best part there is I mean, the kids are outside playing in the yard all the time. And instead of having these dead patches in front of the soccer net, I now have a beautiful green lawn. Yes, it was expensive to put in. I’m not going to lie. I got bids across the board from reasonable to way out of our range, but we picked something that was lush. It looks really good. I do rinse it with the hose twice a week just to keep things clean. It does get warm when the kids are playing on it. In the hotter temps, but it’s gorgeous. And if you can swing it, I say go for it.
|TOM: Well, if you want healthy trees and shrubs all summer long, don’t be afraid to make the cut right now, Leslie explains in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
|LESLIE: Yeah pruning trees and shrubs really is one of those top outdoor tasks for springtime. And the pruning is going to encourage all of those trees and shrubs to have lush new growth and give them better air circulation. It also clears away any of those dead branches, which can be a safety hazard. And these spring storms. Now, spring is a great time to prune any summer flowering plants. They’re still dormant and their bare limbs are going to make it easy to see the plant structure as you refine and reshape. And the only plantings that you shouldn’t go after with pruning shears are young or newly planted trees. You need to give them a chance to put down their roots and grow up in the great outdoors before you start reshaping everything. Got to give them a chance before you amass enough hay.
|TOM: Coming up on the next show. You guys know offing 92% of today’s homebuyers are searching online to find a home. That’s why web appeal is clearly the new curb appeal. On the next edition of the Money Bit, we’re going to give you guys tips on how to take the best photos of your house so it shows well and brings you the highest possible offers.
|TOM: On the very 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.
|(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.)