Want to outsmart would-be burglars with more than just a fake rock. Tom and Leslie share the sneakiest hiding spots to store house keys outside.
Wondering what projects were popular during the pandemic? We highlight the most popular YouTube videos about projects people were making with just a bag of concrete.
Have summer storms damage your roof? Find out how to get your insurance company to pay for a complete roof replacement.
If you love outdoor cooking, we highlight the best outdoor kitchen features to add on a budget to enjoy all season long.
Plus, we answer home improvement questions about:
- Tips for adding an attic stair access to a garage ceiling.
- Best way to remove adhesive from a brick surface.
- Ideas for fixing a drainage problem that’s causing flooding around and under a home.
- DIY addition? Important steps to take before attempting to build an addition yourself.
- Paint or aluminum wrap? Best way to finish exterior trim to stop rot and avoid long-term maintenance.
- Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about: ENTER QUESTIONS
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 we’re here to help you create your best home ever on this, the very first week of the summer season. So we hope that you’re enjoying the weather, spending lots of time outside, maybe sitting on your deck, your patio, your porch. Maybe you’re planning an outdoor-living project. Maybe it’s the time with all the windows thrown open that you’re working inside the house doing some painting, doing maybe a bath reno, a kitchen reno. Whatever is on your to-do list, you can slide it over to ours and we will help. Ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
Couple of ways to get in touch with us on The Money Pit: you can call in your home improvement questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or you can post them to MoneyPit.com.
Well, it’s the vacation season and this time of year, we always see a lot of these sort of fake rocks and other things like this that people use to kind of hide extra keys around their house. We are going to highlight a really cool list of places that you can hide stuff in your house that you would’ve never, ever thought of, in just a bit.
LESLIE: Alright. And one positive effect of the pandemic was that it provided both the opportunity and the inspiration for millions of homeowners to take on some DIY home improvement projects that they’d been putting off. So we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular projects that were done.
TOM: And summer thunderstorms can really give your roof a beating, so it’s important to know when your insurance covers damages that may have occurred. We’re going to highlight in what situations your home insurance will work to cover that damage and when it won’t.
LESLIE: And now that we are into the summer season, you must be trying to make the most of these beautiful summer-weather months ahead of us. So why not move your kitchen outside? We’re going to share some ideas.
TOM: Plus, we’ve got some great products to give away from our friends at The Original Super Glue. It’s Total Tech. It’s the perfect mix of a heavy-duty construction adhesive and a sealant. It’s useful for lots of jobs around the house.
It’s worth 64 bucks. Going out to one caller drawn at random. So, make that you. Give us a call with your home improvement questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or post them at MoneyPit.com.
Leslie, let’s get to it. Who’s first?
LESLIE: Scott in South Carolina has got a question about a garage-door opener. Tell me what’s going on.
SCOTT: Just got an 8×7 garage door. I had the attic access in front of the garage door. And in order to mount an opener, I need to offset it by 8 to 10 inches from center. Is that possible?
TOM: Yeah. You’re going to have to move it. You’ve got to do a new one. Basically, what you’re going to have to do is de-install the one you have and then move it over to the next set of bays or floor – ceiling joists that are about 18 to 24 inches apart, depending on what size.
SCOTT: You mean the access door?
TOM: Yeah, exactly. You’re going to have to shift it at least one set of rafters.
SCOTT: Yes. I thought about that but there’s no way to offset the garage-door opener itself.
TOM: I’m not going to say it can’t be done. I’ll say I’ve never seen it done. But I think that’s a good question from the manufacturer. There may be certain types of garage-door openers that – where you could have the operational mechanism to one side or the other and not right in the middle. But I’d say that all the ones I’m familiar with have to be in the middle.
Can you not move the staircase? It’s not a big job if you’ve got the space.
SCOTT: Yeah, I can but I was looking for an easier way out.
TOM: Yeah. I think that is the easy way out. I think you’re going to have a hard time finding one that’s going to work and allow you to keep it in place.
And remember, when you put a new staircase in – if you decide to put a brand-new one in – that that staircase, that bottom has to be fire-resistant because it’s opening into a garage. And a lot of people forget that. The bottom has to be fire-resistant. So it has to be covered with metal or another fire-resistant material.
Alright. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Debbie in Arkansas is on the line and has a question to help her daughter’s house. What can we do for you guys?
DEBBIE: Hi. My daughter recently bought a house. It’s an older house. It’s been remodeled. And she was going to renovate around her fireplace since she discovered that the large wall behind the fireplace, which is about a 20-foot-wide wall, has got – it had brick behind the plaster. And so, she took all the plaster down but it had been put up with Liquid Nails. So there’s Liquid Nails all over this brick – all over it – and it’s made a terrible mess.
TOM: Oh, boy.
DEBBIE: And she’s called in a couple of people to get bids and it was thousands of dollars to either re-brick over it or chisel it down. And they said it would probably ruin the brick if they did. And so I was just curious if you had any ideas at all. We looked up on the internet and there was one about a heat gun, possibly, but I thought maybe you might have a cheaper or easier way of doing it.
TOM: Wow. It’s quite a mess. Yeah, I mean certainly, you can use a heat gun but a heat gun is very hot and it’s going to cause all kinds of fumes. And the problem with the fact that you had this type of adhesive, it’s going to soak into the pores of the brick. So, at best, even after doing all that, you’re going to end up painting the brick, which we hate to tell anybody to do, because it’s going to – otherwise, it’s just going to look terrible. You’re never going to have that natural brick. That decision was made for you by whoever decided it was a good idea to glue the plaster right to the brick without putting up any kind of a furring strip or something of that nature.
There are various types of adhesive softeners out there but I fear that even if you went through all that trouble, you’re still going to have a very undesirable-looking surface. So, I think if – I’m sorry it’s all torn up now but I think if it was me, I would probably fur over that, attach wood strips to that brick surface and I would probably put new drywall or some other surface over it, at this point, and give up on the idea of having an exposed-brick wall unless, of course, you want to re-brick the whole thing which is a big mess and a big job.
DEBBIE: And a big expense, too.
TOM: And a big expense, yeah. Of course. Yep. Absolutely.
DEBBIE: OK. Alright. Well, thank you very much. I appreciate it.
TOM: You know, if you’re taking on a DIY project, one of the home improvement products that can be somewhat confusing to use is adhesive glue, right? You have to always try to figure out what the best one is to – for the project that you’re doing. What I love is that a lot of the manufacturers are doing this better and better by creating products that literally do everything.
And a brand-new one that’s just hit the market is The Original Super Glue’s Total Tech. We have got a set of eight of these products to give away and it is the perfect mix of a heavy-duty construction adhesive and an all-purpose sealant. You can use it to repair any type of material, inside or out. It works in all weather conditions and it even glues underwater. Can you believe that? It even works underwater.
So, pretty cool product. It’s paintable. The products that we have are worth 64 bucks, all in, but we’re going to give it out to one listener drawn at random. If you think that product would be handy for projects around your house, give us a call, right now, and we’ll toss your name in The Money Pit hard hat and give it away at the end of today’s show. That number, again: 1-888-MONEY-PIT. You can also post your questions to MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Barry in Missouri’s on the line with some foundation issues. Tell us what’s going on.
BARRY: Well, I’ve got a house that we inherited. It’s kind of like a little mother-in-law house. The concrete slab sits pretty much flat on the ground. It’s not really a build-up but there’s a separate pour on the back side, where the washer/dryer and the water heater sits. And it’s probably about a 7-foot expansion joint added to the concrete. And I get water seepage after all the rain that we’ve had here for the last couple weeks. I just had – you can’t stick a knife down between the cracks. It’s like they just poured the concrete up next to the other concrete. And I’m trying to figure out how to seal it.
TOM: Well, first of all, if you take steps to reduce the amount of water against those exterior walls, then that’s going to help a lot.
BARRY: I have done that. It actually does not hold water around the outside at all. I mean it’s – I’ve got it diverted to where it’s actually going towards the ditch or out towards the backyard. But it’s just that when the ground gets saturated, it’s – the house is – if you walked in the front door, you’ve got about an inch between dirt level versus the concrete.
TOM: So, you’re saying that the house is very low on the lot and you don’t really have much of a foundation where you could grade – regrade – soil and slope it away. Is that right?
BARRY: Well, I’ve diverted water where it actually does not come in the front door anymore and it’s not standing anywhere around the outside of the house at all. It’s just, I guess, saturation after you get a week’s worth of rain, like we’ve had.
The house is at one level but the add-on is about 3 to 4 inches taller, so it’s up above. So I’m presuming the water is pocketing up under that slab.
TOM: Well, there is a product that QUIKRETE makes and it’s called an Advanced Polymer. It’s a concrete crack sealant, so it’s specifically made for sealing cracks. And that is the type of product that you’re going to want to use when you’re dealing with water.
You have really two challenges: you have water getting in between these two dissimilar areas of concrete and the second thing is that concrete itself is very hydroscopic. In other words, if the water is under it, it’s going to soak it up and it can pull it up tall into the slab.
But I think you need a very – you need a sealant that’s designed specifically for concrete and QUIKRETE are the experts in that space. They have a lot of different ones but I think the one you’re looking for is the Advanced Polymer Crack Sealant. It comes in a caulking tube, among other configurations, as well as a tub. So, you should be able to get it in the shape that you need to do this job.
BARRY: OK. Well, I will check with the concrete people down here at Lowe’s and see what I can come up with.
TOM: Well, now that it’s vacation season, if you need to leave a key for somebody outside that might have to visit your house or you want to store away some valuables – or maybe you want to have some valuables with you while you’re traveling but you don’t want other people to know it, you don’t want to keep it in an obvious place like your wallet – the folks at BobVila.com did an article this week which I absolutely love. It was – it’s titled, “The Most Cunning Secret Hiding Spots We’ve Ever Seen.” Here’s some of the ideas they came up with.
The first one is an old vacuum cleaner. And think about it: if you have a vacuum cleaner that you’re not using or maybe you bought one in a tag sale, it always has space for a bag, right? Well, you could fill that cavity – that space – with your valuables, have it sitting out there plain in the open in your house and no one would ever think to look there because they certainly don’t want to touch all your dust. So that was kind of a cool idea.
And the second one is talking about leaving a key outside – is they have something they call the “bottle rock,” which is basically fake rocks that open up and hide keys. They look fake, right? So they said, “Well, why not take a real rock and then glue a pill-bottle container to the bottom – like a big one or a small mason jar – and then stick that in the ground?” Because it is a rock, it looks like a rock – because that’s what it is – and nobody’s ever going to think about that as a hiding spot.
LESLIE: Yeah, if it looks like a rock, chances are it actually is a rock.
TOM: It is a rock, right?
LESLIE: Now, in your house, air vents seem like a sneaky place but you would never want to put anything in an actual air vent or duct because it would disappear down into the mysterious place of the ductwork. But you can buy false ducts or false vents and you can put them in the floor and it looks just like all of the other ones. But you open it up and it’s a secret compartment for things, which really is fantastic.
And this is a fun one: they make fake electrical outlets. It’s really just the front of the plate that sort of opens out to a little storage compartment. And I love that. You just have to make sure that it looks like your existing electrical outlets in your house and put it in a place where you would actually have an outlet. Don’t just be like, “Ooh, here.” Because then it’s obvious.
TOM: And here’s my favorite one in the whole post: it is a bathroom tile or a kitchen tile that basically has a storage container glued to the back of it. So think of the tile as being the drawer front and they glue a container to the back of it – you know, obviously cut a hole up in the wall – and push the tile flush in with all the other tiles. No one would ever think to take it out but if they did, there would be your secret compartment.
So, lots of great ideas. Check it out, right now, at BobVila.com.
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Joan in Missouri on the line who needs some help building a habitat for some furry friends. What’s going on?
JOAN: I’d like to put an enclosed space on the back of my house for my cat. Not with a solid roof but with a wire roof.
JOAN: But the issue is that it’s going to be 24×22.
JOAN: And I don’t know – I’ve built small things but I’m not sure how to span something that wide, because I don’t want the uprights in the middle.
TOM: Hmm. You must have a really important cat. You’re making over 400 square feet of space for that cat. Is that right?
JOAN: Well, the idea is it’s going to just enclose the patio and then it – I haven’t poured the patio yet.
TOM: I see. I see. Well, look, anything that big is – qualifies as an addition. It’s not just a pen or a patio. This is a pretty significant addition, so my first question is whether or not you’re impacting any zoning laws in your town that would limit what you can do.
Now, if you’re going to …
JOAN: No, we have very low limits here.
TOM: Alright. You have very low limits? OK. But at the same time, you want to make sure that whatever you put, in terms of the patio, can support this structure.
So you say you want to enclose it and I presume, since it’s an open roof, you don’t want – ever want to heat it. Is that right?
TOM: You said it would be open but you’re not going to have any rain protection over it?
TOM: Well, what kind of roof structure are you thinking about?
JOAN: I’m thinking hardware cloth? I just want something that will keep birds, obviously, out and wildlife, stray cats, that sort of thing.
TOM: I don’t know. It seems to me if you’re going to build something that’s 22×24, that’s a pretty big construction project. I’d put a roof on it at the same time because who knows? Maybe somebody who buys your house in the future would love to have an enclosed patio. And it would be particularly important that it have a roof at the same time.
JOAN: I guess that’s possible.
TOM: Because anything that you put on there, in terms of cloth, are temporary. It’s just not going to last very long. And frankly, it won’t be tough enough to keep birds and insects from nesting it.
JOAN: Oh, no. Hardware cloth is like large, square screen wire.
TOM: Yeah. No, I know what you’re talking about I’m just thinking that you’re going to have to put – to have something that that’s span, if it’s going to be, say, 22 foot off your house, you have to have some sort of a structure to support that.
JOAN: Yeah. Mm-hmm.
TOM: You can’t – the hardware cloth or whatever you use is not going to just sit by itself; it’s going to have to have kind of a roof structure – a roof-rafter structure. So that’s …
JOAN: Right. That’s what I’m – I don’t know how to do.
TOM: Yeah. And it’s a good question because it’s actually a lot of work to do that.
First of all, what – is this a one-story house or is it a two-story house? What would this …?
JOAN: Yes. Yeah, one story.
TOM: One story. So that those beams – those rafters – to have any kind of slope to them would have to start up way high on the roof. And this means you have to intersect them with your existing roof.
This is a big project and it’s not something I think you should take on lightly. But anything of that size is an awful lot of work and I think you would be …
JOAN: I wasn’t going to do it myself. I was going to have my sons do it. But I would have to be the one to design it and tell them what – you know, how to do it.
TOM: But you don’t have the skill set to do that.
TOM: So, I think you would be wise to get some professional help, at least on the layout and the specs for this, because there’s a lot of changes – a lot of decisions – that have to be made. And most of the time, if you tackle something like this – I can just tell you, I’ve seen it time and time again. If you tackle something like this and it’s not done well, it is going to devalue your house. It is going to be an eyesore, it’s going to be a maintenance headache and people are going to be really turned off by it if you ever want to sell.
JOAN: I see.
TOM: So, I would put the time and the effort into it to design a nice, solid-roof patio space. You can have it furnished if you want. You can let the cats in there. You keep the water out. You could even think about heating it at some point in the future or cooling it. But I would not do it …
JOAN: So this is pretty much a professional project.
TOM: It really is a professional project. Of that size? Yeah, that’s a professional project.
JOAN: Alright. Well, thanks a lot. I appreciate it.
TOM: Well, the pandemic changed so many things about our daily lives but one positive effect was that it provided both the opportunity and the inspiration for millions of homeowners to take on DIY projects that they’d been putting off. With more time at home, the desire to improve those spaces was stronger than ever. And with no commutes, we had more time. And with no vacations or dinners out, we had the ability to redirect those funds to fixing up home-sweet-home.
LESLIE: That’s right. So to learn how to tackle those projects, a lot of folks turned to videos produced by credible expert sources, like the QUIKRETE Company, who saw their video traffic go up by 50 percent. So with us to talk about the most popular projects those videos have been driving is Frank Owens from QUIKRETE.
Welcome, Frank. And I think we’ve seen you in some of these videos, like the one where you build an outdoor kitchen? How fun.
FRANK: Yeah. I didn’t realize that my hair was that gray when I – until after I shot that video.
TOM: Listen, you want somebody that looks experienced to teach you how to build something like an outdoor kitchen.
You were kind of an early adopter of the idea of creating how-to videos. And I know that you have continued to increase the number of videos in your library. And you have pretty much any project imaginable that you would want to do with concrete available at QUIKRETE.com and Pavestone.com. What have you seen as the most interesting and the most popular projects throughout this pandemic?
FRANK: Yeah, it really is interesting. And we have about 70 videos now and they range everything from how to fix cracks in driveways, to building a stucco wall, to pouring slabs and setting posts. And once we got through all the pretty rudimentary and common building projects, we got into casting projects, like how to do pendant lamps out of concrete or fire pits and I – probably half of our videos now are more project-based, as opposed to pretty basic application things.
And one of the other things I’ve done is started utilizing bloggers. There’s so much interest out there in concrete projects and how to use concrete as an artistic medium. We actually did a casting call and asked for influencers to send in their ideas and videos and we started supporting them. So it’s been really interesting to see where all this goes. But last year, we had 80 million video views.
FRANK: Carpentry projects and casting projects and it really – you were dead-on. You know, as people were at home, we saw an amazing spike in our website traffic. It was project-based as people were really looking at different concepts of what they can – might be able to do in their backyard or how to beautify their home, because they were spending so much time there.
We also did a lot of research, as this was starting to happen, because when the pandemic hit, we had no idea what it was going to bring. I wish I could say I could’ve anticipated that the interest in our products was going to spike but we had no idea.
TOM: Concrete projects are something that folks, at first glance, are intimidated because they think of – “Oh, they use a concrete truck. I could never handle all that myself.” And they don’t really realize that with a couple of bags of concrete, you can do dozens of cool things around the house. You mentioned some of the vases and things like that but pouring a concrete slab, fixing steps, resurfacing things, there’s so much you can do with concrete. And the nice thing about your videos is you walk us through, step by step and really shorten the learning curve dramatically.
FRANK: Yeah, it really is – once you understand some basics of using concrete and even understand the fact that adding more water doesn’t make it better or easier to place, because the more water you add to concrete, it tends to make it less strong.
TOM: Weaker, right? Yeah, mm-hmm.
FRANK: Yeah, weaker. We started a contest years ago called One Bag Wonder and it was basically a contest and we do it every year. Take a bag of any kind of QUIKRETE – doesn’t matter what it is – and create something. The products are evaluated and we give awards. But the one that won last year was someone made an electric guitar out of concrete.
TOM: I saw that. That was amazing. What artistry. And aside from that, gosh, the complete range of projects that people are coming up with. I mean that – there was lot of competition but man, you can’t beat a Fender guitar out of concrete.
FRANK: Oh, yeah, you can. A Les Paul. A Les Paul would be better than a Fender.
TOM: Yeah. You know where the whole thing broke down, though, is when he tried to spin it, like you do on stage. It’s just so heavy.
FRANK: Yeah, you don’t want to be swinging that thing around either.
TOM: Exactly. Yeah.
LESLIE: And you know what, Frank? I think that QUIKRETE has so many different types of concrete but I think, specifically, the Fast-Setting Concrete really sort of dominated why people were so interested in these projects.
FRANK: It really does. We invented this product maybe 30 years ago and it uses a special type of cement that not only sets quicker but gains strength quicker. So, the original concept for it was you can dig a hole and to set a post, pour the product in dry and then just pour water on top and it sets hard. And actually, the water migrates through the concrete and it’s a great way to set a post. It’s very easy and it’s structurally-sound. But really, over the years it’s – we still promote fast-sitting post, no-mixing application.
But Fast-Setting Concrete, people are using it for slabs and sidewalks and Walkmaker projects and you name it, they’re using it. Because, for example, you can set a post in 20 minutes and start building on it in a few hours. Which, if you’re using normal concrete, you’re looking at probably a day before you can do any of that.
TOM: Absolutely. And the fact that you don’t have to mix this outside of the hole just makes the project so much easier. There’s no cleanup. You don’t have to worry about the water and the concrete mix. You’re essentially watering the hole, right? You drop the post in, you tamp it down and you water the hole and the product does the rest.
FRANK: Yeah, exactly right. Yeah, I don’t know that you could make it much easier than that, other than if you could make concrete lighter. I’ve set a lot of posts in my day and I like the 50-pound bags more than the 80.
TOM: Yeah. I’m getting ready to do a big project – and I think I told you about this in one of our phone calls not too long ago – where I need 250 60-pound bags of QUIKRETE for my basement. And I saw that I could get 50-pound, 60-pound and 80-pound. I said, “Ah, I’m going to kill myself with 80. But I think I could handle the 50.”
FRANK: Yeah, no joke.
TOM: So, I decided to go 60 and put a little challenge there and do a few less bags. But you’re right: if you start swinging those all day, it gets pretty heavy pretty quick.
Hey, I want to ask you about resurfacing concrete because I think that this is a project that people get wrong. And they often use the wrong products when they’re trying to repair deteriorated concrete surfaces.
Coming out of the fall, for example – or out of the winter – you often see concrete that’s been damaged by rock salt and things of this nature and you need to have a special type of concrete product to apply and resurface those types of areas. Otherwise, it’s just going to split and crack and fall right off the next time you have a freeze/thaw cycle. And for that, you guys invented Re-Cap. And this is another example of a product that you made very, very easy. Can you talk to us about how that works and why you need Re-Cap over other types of concrete when you’re doing a repair to a surface?
FRANK: Yeah, about 15 years ago we launched a product called Concrete Resurfacer. And at the time, the polymers that were available that we used and worked to develop had the ability to bond the Concrete Resurfacer to the existing slab pretty successfully. What we do is we test it to see – if you can imagine pulling on the Resurfacer after it’s cured out to see what that bond is. How much force does it take to pull that off? And back then, it was about equal to the bond of concrete to itself. So, you can imagine kind of pulling concrete apart.
When you’re resurfacing concrete in a thin application, the first thing you have to do is you’ve got to make sure your surface is very well-prepared with a high-strength pressure washer. And you have to get all the grease and oil off and that type of thing. And that’s been a very successful product for us.
But over the years, new technology came down the pike and we were able to develop a proprietary polymer additive that is four times stronger bond than our original product. That provides that much more peace of mind. It holds up to freeze/thaw cycles through many, many, many winters and really becomes a permanent part of your concrete.
And some of the other things that we did is we worked to improve its flowability and its workability and all that kind of things. It’s a second-generation product but we’ve been working on adding technology to it over the years. And it really is a phenomenal product for resurfacing a driveway or a patio or a sidewalk.
TOM: And the product is called Re-Cap.
Frank Owens from QUIKRETE. Thanks so much, Frank, for all the great work you guys have done to produce videos to guide us through these projects and continued success with all of the products that make that possible.
FRANK: Oh, you’re very welcome. And I really enjoyed talking to you both.
TOM: If you’d like to learn more about these products, head on over the QUIKRETE.com. And also check out Pavestone.com for a wide selection of blocks that you can use to create all sorts of cool stuff, including that outdoor kitchen that we were teasing Frank about at the top of today’s interview. It’s absolutely gorgeous.
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LESLIE: Well, your roof keeps you warm, safe and dry but if it springs a major leak, would the repairs be covered by your home insurance? The answer is, you know, a definite maybe. But here’s how you know.
TOM: Yeah. Now, if your room has been damaged by what the insurance company – because they always make it so super clear – call a “covered peril,” the insurance company covers it.
Now, what the heck’s a covered peril? Well, it simply means that the leak is attributable to damage by something your insurance is designed to cover. Let’s say a tree falls through the roof and damages the shingles or maybe a severe storm, like a hurricane or a tornado, tears through the house and causes some damage, that’s covered. And sometimes, it can actually be a pretty sweet deal for homeowners, because it doesn’t matter how old the roof is when the damage happened: you’re mostly like going to get a brand-new roof courtesy of your insurance company.
LESLIE: Yeah. And by the way, if the leak is covered, coverage would also be likely to extend to any additional damage that it caused, like damage to the interior walls, the floor, the ceiling, even damage to your belongings, like TVs and maybe even other appliances.
However, if that leak is just caused by wear and tear or a lack of normal maintenance, that’s not going to be covered. For example, leaks around places where plumbing pipes stick through that roof or where the flashing between the roof and a chimney gets loose, those things are not covered.
TOM: Yeah, you can’t just ignore all your normal maintenance and expect to be able to file a claim with your insurance company once something really bad happens, like mold starts to grow. So, make sure you stay on top of that.
But the best way to know what is and isn’t covered is, of course, to check the Declaration Page of your homeowners insurance policy. If you don’t feel you’ve got enough coverage or the right type of coverage, you can always purchase additional endorsements – like flood policies, for example – to make sure that you are totally protected.
LESLIE: Jeff is trying to decide the best option for finishing his exterior trim. Now, Jeff says, “I’m getting ready to have a contractor repair and replace the gutters and the damaged fascia on my home. And I have the option to just repaint what’s there or wrap everything with aluminum so it’ll never have to paint again. What’s your advice?”
TOM: Well, I mean they’re both good options, right? The wrapping of all the old wood trim with aluminum, it is the perfect time to do that because you’re changing out the gutters. Because doing it any other time means you’ve got to replace the gutters or take them out to actually get the aluminum fascia in there.
We did that years ago on our old house and I’m not unhappy that I did that. And we’ve actually painted even the aluminum over the years because when it gets to be 20 years old, it starts to fade and look like heck.
So, the paint actually stays on it better than it did on the wood, so I think that that’s a great option and now is the time to do it. Of course, it’s going to be an expense for you because that’s going to cost a lot more than just painting it. But it’s kind of the thing that if you’re going to be in the house for the long haul, why not do it now and kind of be done with it? I think it’s going to look great.
LESLIE: It really does look quite exceptional and it just finishes up the space perfectly. And it is a spot on the home that gets a lot of wear and tear just because of the exposure. So this really gives you the chance to keep those materials lasting a long time and looking really good.
TOM: Well, if you’re trying to make the most of these beautiful, warm summer months, you might want to think about moving your kitchen outside. It’s actually not as complicated as that sounds and Leslie has got ideas, in today’s addition of Leslie’s Last Word.
Leslie, we live outside all summer long and we love to cook out there. And now, there are so many cool ways to do that, right?
LESLIE: I mean really, there’s so many things that you can put in an outdoor kitchen, that most likely you don’t have on an inside kitchen, that really makes that space totally amazing. If you go on Pinterest, you see tons of boards of outdoor kitchens that are tricked out with highly-specialized ranges, pizza ovens, even chandeliers. But average Joes, you guys, those of us that don’t have a ton of money to spend, can have a spectacular space, too. All you really need is a great grill and some weatherproof décor.
Now, if you can afford, it’s also nice to add a small workspace where you can prep the food that you’re about to grill. If not, some simple backyard tables will do. You just want to make sure you keep dedicated outdoor-cooking utensils handy, as well. And you can have a fridge outside. It really is a great place to keep your drinks cold, keep leftovers from spoiling during the party, keep whatever you’re about to grill next just close by. So many great things.
Now, if you have the option, cleaning up outside is really great and there are a lot of easy upgrades available out there, like a sink station that just attaches to a garden hose. It’s so great to have the option to just rinse your hands off outside or anything that really makes it easier to be outside and not go back inside all the time.
Now, you want to make sure that you follow your home’s architectural style. Your outdoor kitchen can really become an extension of the indoor-living space regardless of whether your home is Victorian, Craftsman, ranch-style. Whatever it is, your outdoor space should reflect that same style and it will be seamless. So, whatever you’re working on, always remember: you must include a fire pit. They really do make the space. They’re going to …
LESLIE: Seriously. They add instant ambiance, warmth. They’re going to let you enjoy that outdoor kitchen into the cooler months. And there are so many great varieties of fire pits out there, from store-bought ones to ones that you can fabricate on your own, to kits. Just have one, because they really make a great addition to your yard.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the program, we’re going to talk about outside colors, because the right colors can make a big impact on curb appeal. And if it’s done well, it can even help increase the value of your home. We’ll share some easy color updates that can make a big impression and a great return on investment, on the very next addition 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.
(Copyright 2021 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.)