- If you’d love to have a backyard pool but are short of backyard space, I have two words for you: Spool Pool! Learn how to combine the benefits of a pool and spa in one very refreshing backyard feature.
- Breathing allergy-free air inside your home is more important than ever this time of year. We’ll share ways to make sure the air INSIDE your home is as clean as possible to avoid all that allergy misery!
- Is your driveway worn, chipped or suffer from nasty oil stains? Tom & Leslie walk you through a low-cost driveway makeover to clean up stains and restore the surface in a single weekend for a fresh start this Spring!
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Pat from New Hampshire wants to know how to restore foundation cracks along with floor cracks in his garage wall.
- Todd in Utah needs tips insulating his workspace in the garage with a spray foam insulation.
- Karen from Pennsylvania has mold behind her wallpaper wants to know what the best way to remove mold.
- Greg in Arizona needs help to extending a metal roof.
Dorothy from Tennessee wants to know how she can repurpose an inground pool.
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 that’s kind of what we do: we help you improve your home. And your home could be your house, it could be an apartment, it could be a co-op, it could be a yurt. We don’t care what it is, we’re here to help you improve it.
LESLIE: I hope it’s a yurt.
TOM: I think it’d be fun to do a makeover on a yurt, right?
LESLIE: I mean it could be a lot of fun.
TOM: It could be like a glamping thing, you know?
LESLIE: Oh, great. Now I want to go glamping.
TOM: Well, whatever is on your home improvement to-do list, you can put it on ours by reaching out to us with your questions.
Couple of ways to do that. You can head to MoneyPit.com/Ask. Now, there you’ll find our brand-new app, which is terrific because all you’ve got to do is download it, push the button and record your questions. It’ll go right to our production studio and we will get back to you with the answer as soon as possible. Or you can call us the old-fashioned way at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Hey, coming up on today’s show, if you would love to have a backyard pool but just can’t afford it or don’t have the time to care for it or you just don’t have the space for it, I have two words for you: spool pool. We’re going to share tips on how you can combine the benefits of a pool and a spa in one very refreshing backyard feature.
LESLIE: Ooh, that sounds wonderful.
And with the spring season comes, sadly, spring allergies. I feel like everywhere you turn, it’s allergies in the air. They’re in your house, they’re outside, they’re on the car, they’re in the car. You can’t kind of escape them. So we’re going to share ways that you can make sure that the air inside your house is as clean as possible, to avoid all that sneezing.
TOM: And is your driveway worn or chipped or does it have a bunch of nasty oil stains? We’re going to share a surefire solution to clean up those stains for good and restore the surface.
LESLIE: And are you ready to spring into home improvements? Well, we are. Thank goodness this weather is lovely and perfect for us to be outside and work on the yard and do some exterior projects. Whatever it is, we have got a great set of tools to give to you today, from Arrow Fastener, to one lucky caller who connects with us at The Money Pit today.
TOM: That’s right. We’ve got America’s best-selling staple gun, the T50, plus its sidekick, the T50X – worth 65 bucks – along with a supply of staples. So, give us a call, right now, at 888-MONEY-PIT or post your questions to The Money Pit app at MoneyPit.com/Ask.
So let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
LESLIE: Heading out to New Hampshire where Pat is on the line with some cracks in a garage floor.
What’s going on in there?
PAT: Well, we have a big crack. It goes in an X. We actually have two of them. And in the middle is a drainage area but there’s never any water there.
PAT: It’s not actually used. And then we have foundation cracks in the walls, which are probably a foot-and-a-half high.
PAT: And some of the cracks are about a ½-inch and there are probably about 14 or 15 of them going around the whole garage. And they go through to the outside.
TOM: So, first of all, Pat, the garage floor I generally don’t worry too much about, because that is separate from the foundation cracks you’re talking about. Garage floors are one of the last things that get done when you build a house. And sometimes the soil doesn’t get settled properly or compacted properly.
Now, you mentioned there’s some drainage in there. I’m not quite sure what the thought was for that. But the bottom line is that it doesn’t really do anything more than just cover the dirt, so to speak.
You can fill those cracks in. There are materials designed for repair to concrete cracks. And then you could finish the garage floor with a product like Daich Coating, for example. I’m using that on a concrete floor in my house. It’s a really durable epoxy coating. It makes it easy to sweep and clean.
Now, the foundation is another issue entirely because that is important that it not be cracked. And you described cracks that are ½-inch wide. That is a pretty serious foundation crack and it says to me that that foundation was not on a proper footing. There’s movement there that caused all this to happen. And I think that you would be wise to speak with a structural engineer, not a contractor necessarily. Because contractors don’t have that kind of degree. They all are going to tell you they know how to fix it but I wouldn’t buy it. I would talk to a structural engineer.
And the structural engineer will design for you a proper repair. Or if it can’t be repaired, then they can talk with you about options for replacing that foundation, which is not inexpensive. But I want to make sure you get the right professional advice. Because with a structural engineer, they’ll spec out exactly what has to happen. And once they do that, you can share those instructions with contractors.
And that’s going to achieve two things. First of all, you’re going to know it’s done right. And secondly, you’ll be able to get apples-to-apples comparisons on bids, because they’ll all be bidding on the same thing. Does that make sense?
PAT: Yes. Thank you. Can you give me the name of the product for the cracks in the floor again?
TOM: QUIKRETE, for example – Q-U-I-K-R-E-T-E. QUIKRETE has concrete-repair products for those kinds of cracks. And then you can finish the floor – you can go to Daich Coatings – D-a-i-c-h-Coatings.com – and look at the garage-floor products. It’s an epoxy product that you apply, that has sort of a speckled finish you can add to it, which I like because it hides the dirt and it makes it easy to clean.
So, I would – that’s the way to fix up the floor. But in terms of the foundation, you definitely need to talk with a structural engineer about that, see what’s really going on.
PAT: Oh, well, my husband did call someone. They said that it’s possible that they have to put rods in it.
TOM: I think your husband called a contractor or somebody like that and this is exactly why I’m telling you you need a design professional. Everybody that does foundation work is going to have an answer here. That might be part of the solution; it might not be. So don’t get bamboozled and confused and – by all the different opinions on what has to be done here, unless you hire a design professional like a structural engineer, OK? It’ll be a lot less aggravating for you in the long run.
Plus, you know what? If you go to sell that house and a buyer sees those cracks – and if they’re properly repaired, you can just say, “Yeah, we had some cracks but we had a structural engineer evaluate it. Here’s the report.” And by the way, after it’s done, you can have that engineer come back and certify that it was done completely. And that’s kind of like getting a pedigree on that foundation, so you know it’s in good shape.
PAT: Well, thank you very much for the advice. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re welcome, Pat. Have a great day.
PAT: You too. Bye-bye.
LESLIE: Todd in Utah is on the line and is looking for some help in insulating the garage.
Tell us about it.
TODD: Well, what I’ve got is I’ve got a garage that I work out of. And I like to do woodworking and just all around playing around with whatever project I have. But it gets cold here in Utah and I like using my rafters to put boards and extra equipment, pontoon boats, you know, a little bit of everything out there.
But I want to be able to insulate it to save a little bit of the heat so it’s bearable in the winter. And I was hoping that there would be a way to maybe spray the upper inside of that with a spray foam or a spray insulation. Or what do you suggest would be the best, without having to sheetrock and lose all that space?
TOM: Well, you certainly could use spray-foam insulation. In fact, I personally used Icynene insulation in my attic and we did just that: we sprayed in between the rafters with the insulation, then we coated it with a thermal barrier. And with 8 inches of Icynene insulation, we were able to pick up R-30, which is a substantial amount of insulation.
So, you could hire a local dealer to add spray-foam insulation to the underside of those rafters and seal that in nice and warm. And it also will seal drafts, which is the other benefit of spray-foam insulation.
But remember, you’re also going to have to add some heat. Once you keep that area insulated, you’re going to have to add some heat. Just insulating itself is not going to make it warm enough.
TOM: And then I would expect the weakest link in the house would be around the garage.
TOM: So, you’re going to have – at least have to do some significant weather-stripping to try to keep those drafts down.
TODD: That’s exactly what I want to do. I just – I like to use my time and being retired, I don’t want to look out the window during the winter.
TODD: I’d rather be doing something.
TOM: Alright. Well, that sounds like that’s your man cave.
TODD: Yeah, it is for right now.
TODD: Hey, well, thank you.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, we’re ready to celebrate spring by giving away some tools. We’ve got two tools to give away to one lucky listener. We’ve got the Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun and the T50X TacMate Staple Gun.
I tell you what, the T50 is one of the first tools I ever owned, because it’s been around forever. It is truly America’s best-selling staple gun. And you always need one around because there’s always a project to get done.
Now, these tools are well-built, they’re durable. They’re going to stand up to dozens of DIY and pro projects. And that set of Arrow T50s, along with a supply of staples, is worth 65 bucks. Going to go out to one listener. If you’d like that to be you, you’ve got to give us a call with your questions at 1-888-MONEY-PIT or send us your question via the Money Pit app by going to MoneyPit.com/Ask.
LESLIE: Karen in Pennsylvania is dealing with some mold in the basement. Tell us what’s going on.
KAREN: My mom has a house that the basement is – we put it up for sale and nobody noticed this. And one person came in and tore wallpaper off the wall and we noticed that it had mold from the floor to the ceiling and even in the inner walls. So I had a gentleman come and look at it and he said it would take $30,000-plus. And he would come in, remove all the interior walls – all the wood, the paneling, everything off the wall – down to the bare. He would have a chemical put on, clean it and then it would never come back.
And then the second guy came in and he said he would rip everything out, as he said. He would coat it, clean it and guarantee it that if it did come back, he’d fix it for $10,000.
TOM: Yeah, I don’t think you need either of these guys. You don’t have enough information yet and I don’t think you’re talking to the right people. I doubt either of them are professional mold mitigators. It sounds to me like they’re just trying to size you up for as much money as they can get from you.
The first thing you want to do is test the mold to figure out what kind of mold it is. And that’s done – there’s a couple of easy ways to do that. Basically, you take a sample and you send it out to a lab and they tell you what you’ve got. And then you can kind of design a mitigation plan around that.
I need to get a sense as to how much mold is there. But if it’s just a little bit of mold behind the wallpaper, you may not need to pull all this out; you might be able to treat it right in place. But it doesn’t sound right.
KAREN: Where the bathroom is has an inner wall. And that is halfway down with mold.
TOM: OK. How much mold are we talking about here, square footage-wise? Is it like a 4×4-foot by 4-foot space or …?
KAREN: We’re going to say all the outer walls. Because we’ve since went around and pulled off some wallpaper here and moved some paneling. And we also – the first guy that came in for $30,000 brought in a light and to me, it looked like a black light. But he brought the light in that was a special light and it can tell what type of mold it was and where the mold was.
TOM: That is completely wrong. Do not call that guy back. It is completely wrong, OK? That guy was not giving you accurate information if he comes in with his magic light that supposedly tells mold.
LESLIE: Yeah, they can’t actually tell you what kind of mold unless they do a chemical test on a physical sample.
TOM: Well, it’s a mold test. They send it out to a lab and they read it, so that guy’s a snake-oil salesman.
LESLIE: Right. Right. But it’s actually holding a piece of that mold and testing it with certain things. And that’s done by a lab.
TOM: It sounds like you could use a basement renovation but I wouldn’t get too crazy over it. If it’s done by the right kind of company that can take that apart very carefully and dispose of all of that material – and maybe you don’t even want to put the walls back. Maybe you just want to leave it unfinished.
KAREN: Oh, good.
TOM: Alright. Well, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
Well, if you’d love to have a backyard pool but you just don’t have the cash for it, don’t have the time for it to care for it or you’re just maybe short on backyard space, I’ve got two words for you: spool pool. It’s a small swimming-pool design that’s perfect in so many ways. It combines a spa and a hot tub in one but it’s smaller than a traditional inground swimming pool and maybe a little bit bigger than a spa. So it really does fit will within limited space outdoors or even, potentially, as an indoor pool.
LESLIE: Yeah. Now, this sounds pretty big to me. A spool can be anywhere from about 10 to 16 feet long and 6 to 8 feet wide. That’s a nice-size pool, you guys. And it’s got plenty of room for you to stretch out or just cool off on a hot summer day. And spools will also give you the option to add special features, like high-powered jets, you know, to give you that luxurious spa feeling like a hot tub.
You can also simply switch back to a cool soaking pool on those hot summer days. It’s easy to switch back and forth, too. And with less water, they’re going to heat up and cool down rather quickly.
Now, the main reason that spools are becoming so popular is the fact that they do work well in small spaces. So if you’ve got a small backyard, you might still be able to have that pool, albeit it’s a small swimming-pool design. You’re not going to go training for the Olympics in that small pool but you can swim shorter laps for exercise, because you can even get a spool that has sort of that jet built into it that creates an underwater treadmill, so you’re swimming laps but you’re not going anywhere.
So there’s lots of great options. And who doesn’t love to have their own swimming space? I mean how great is this?
TOM: Now, even though spools may be smaller than a traditional swimming pool, it doesn’t mean that the cost to install one is going to be a lot less. Because despite their small size, many of the same costs of building an inground swimming pool go into building a spool pool. But they are no doubt a great option to consider for the right space.
If you want to have some more insights, we’ve got a great post on this in MoneyPit.com. Just search “spool pool.”
LESLIE: Greg in Arizona is on the line with a roofing question. How can we help you today?
GREG: We’re in the process of purchasing a place up in the mountains. And we had an inspection on the roof. And they said the reason for the discoloration in the fascia and the rafter tails is due to the fact that they didn’t overlap the roof enough on the metal. It’s a metal roof. And so …
TOM: OK. So let me stop you right there so that I can explain what I think you just said.
TOM: So, you’re talking about discoloration on the fascia, which is the part of the roof that usually a gutter would be attached to. And then the rafter tails, it sounds like your rafters may extend off of the roof edge, which is a common design. And what they – what the prior roofer did not do was extend the shingles far enough over the edge of that roof so that the water now is sort of dripping back against the fascia and those rafters. Is that correct?
GREG: Well, it’s a metal roof and it’s actually …
TOM: Oh, OK. It’s a metal roof. Alright.
GREG: Yeah, it’s even with the edge of the fascia.
TOM: OK. So they did not – yeah, they did not extend it at all. OK.
GREG: So one of the options was to drop the panels down, provided there’s enough gap at the ridge, to overlap the inch-and-a-half or 2 inches. And the other option is to put some flashing underneath the bottom of the roof: take the screws out, put that flashing underneath there and then re-secure the screws.
TOM: Create almost like a lip so that it would extend out even further. That’s what we would do if it was asphalt shingles. And if you were able to do this with metal that was similar in color to what you had right now, I don’t think that’s a bad idea. I think it’s a pretty easy and straightforward way to fix this.
GREG: It’s just not corrugated like the roof is. It’ll just be a flat piece of …
TOM: I think that’s probably the straightforward, easiest way to get that job done. Because if you start to dismantle the fascia and move things around, it’s going to be a lot more construction work. And you could be opening Pandora’s Box. Who knows what’s going to happen when you start taking all that apart, what you find behind it? And it can just get more expensive.
So, I think simply extending that roof edge, in the most cost-effective way possible, is going to solve your immediate concerns.
GREG: Yeah, OK. Alright. Thank you so much.
TOM: Hey, Leslie, I had a chance to do a project this weekend that I’d never done before. It was a small project – took us a few hours – but it was cutting and fitting one of these composite-fiberglass structural columns. My friend had a design of his house where he had four of these columns that support a second-floor deck. And unfortunately, because of the pandemic, one of them didn’t come in for months and months and months. And by the time it did come in, the contractor was kind of long gone. So I said, “Hey, I think I can do that.”
And it was interesting. We basically figured it out. We had to jack up the deck. We did that with a hydraulic truck jack that I had. Just a little, regular truck jack. I cut a 2×4, set it on to go between the jack and the underside of the beam. Was able to lift it up just enough. You just kind of take the pressure off, right, like an 1/8-inch or ¼-inch. And it’s always fun when you do that, because you can hear the whole building going creek-creek-creek-creek.
LESLIE: Oh, that’s crazy.
TOM: But we were able to cut the column and I did it with a carbide blade on a circular saw after – you say you measure twice and cut once. I’m sure that column was expensive, so I measured a lot more than twice, just to make sure I had it exactly right.
LESLIE: Oh, I’m sure.
TOM: But it was a fun project and it came out great. And the nice thing about these columns is – you know how the old wood columns always will degrade and rot and eventually have to be replaced? Not this thing. It is not organic. It doesn’t rot, doesn’t degrade. And I was surprised how incredibly strong it was, too.
LESLIE: Oh, that’s a really great thing.
I did a project this weekend, too. I finally changed out the faucet in the powder room in the kitchen. It’s been dripping for a year and it’s been driving me nuts. And I’ve been constantly trying to find that sweet spot where it doesn’t drip. And then somebody goes and uses it and then it’s dripping again and then it’s a different sweet spot.
So I go and I buy the faucet and I come home. I’m like, “Alright, guys. I’m going to change the faucet.” Not one of the four men/boys in my home even noticed that it was leaking.
LESLIE: Nobody knows. “It’s leaking? What do you mean it’s leaking? Well, the – what? Huh?”
TOM: Knows? Oh, man. Yeah. “What do you mean?”
LESLIE: I had to go out and get – what do they call those? – basin wrenches? I could not get my hand under there.
LESLIE: So once I had that, that was super helpful.
LESLIE: Plus, the old plumbing – the connector from the on/off to the actual spigot in the faucet – was so ancient that that was a little bit of finagling to get off. But those speed connectors – wooh! – it was like a dream. Hour later and one trip to the hardware store, good to go.
TOM: You know, the whole project hinges on whether or not you can shut the water off at the supply to the sink, right, because those valves get stuck.
TOM: And if you can shut it off, you’re pretty much good to go. But if you can’t shut it off, that’s when you have to stop right there.
LESLIE: They turn to a point to stop and then when I turned on the faucet, the water was still coming. And I was like, “Try to turn harder.” And then it kind of moved again, like it got – so I was like, “Oh, God, something – there’s going to be water shooting out of the wall.”
TOM: You were working it, right? Yeah. You could always have turned off the main water valve but it’s good that you got those things working again, anyway.
LESLIE: Yeah, I’m so glad. No more dripping, no more water waste. Busy weekend for us.
Well, the EPA has named indoor-air pollution as one of the top-five environmental risks to public health and tells us that indoor air can be up to 100 times more polluted than the air outside. But you’re probably thinking, “Well, they can’t be talking about my house.” Actually, they can, especially if you don’t have the right kind of filter in your air-conditioning system. We’re going to sort out the options, in today’s Smart Spending Tip presented by Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card.
TOM: This is a topic that a lot of folks get confused on. But there are basically four types of air filters. There are flat filters, which are usually made from fiberglass. They need to be changed once a month. And while they capture a lot of dust, they don’t necessarily capture the kind of contaminants that can make you miserable, like allergens. For those, you might turn to an extended-media filter, which uses a particle filter and a very small electrostatic charge to clean the air. It does a much better job than the plain, flat filters.
Now, if you want to step it up after that, you can go for an electronic filter, which uses a high electrical charge to capture particles, kind of like a magnet. And they are extremely effective on small particles and performed about 30 times better than those flat filters.
And finally, let’s talk about ultraviolet filters. These are extremely effective at capturing particles, bacteria and viruses. And they’re also the kind of filters that hospitals use to prevent diseases from being passed through the air. Because, basically, what happens is the air gets sort of washed by the ultraviolet lights that are part of them.
LESLIE: Now, when it comes time for the installation, installing electronic or ultraviolet filters, those are jobs that are best left to a pro because they need to be built into the existing HVAC system on the return side of that system. This way, the air is continually cleaned as it passes through the filter. So, definitely a job for a pro but definitely one worthwhile doing.
And that’s today’s Smart Spending Tip presented by the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card. Earn three-percent cash back on online shopping.
TOM: Apply for yours at BankOfAmerica.com/MoreRewarding.
LESLIE: Well, it’s officially the springtime and we are ready to celebrate Lady Spring by giving away a set of two handy tools to one lucky listener.
We’ve got the Arrow T50 Heavy-Duty Staple Gun and the T50X TacMate Staple Gun. I mean the T50, this tool has been around for ages and it is America’s best-selling staple gun. Both are super well-built, they’re durable. You can tackle all your projects this spring, summer, the rest of the springs and summers and falls and inside and outside. You will find a project to use your T50s on.
Now, you’re also going to get a supply of staples worth $65. And it’s going out to one lucky listener drawn at random.
TOM: So make that you. Call us now with your home improvement question at 888-MONEY-PIT or post it to MoneyPit.com/Ask. That is the home of the new Money Pit app. It’s a great way to get your questions right to the studio and they will be answered first. So, try – we kind of try to make it worth your while by downloading that app. It’s pretty super helpful. It’s MoneyPit.com/Ask.
LESLIE: Well, if your driveway is stained from oil leaks or cracked or just worn, now is the perfect time to clean and seal that driveway. Now, beyond stain removal, driveway maintenance is going to depend on whether you have concrete or an asphalt driveway.
So, first, let’s talk about those oil stains. Now, you want to mix up a solution of trisodium phosphate. You can find that in the paint aisle at most home centers. It’s called TSP. And you want to mix it into a paste.
Now, once you’ve got that TSP in paste form, you want to go with it a little wet. Apply it to the stain and then let it sit there for an hour or more and then rinse it away. Obviously, the sooner you can get to that stain the better. But even old stains can be successfully removed with this approach. That’s as long as you fix your car first or whatever else is leaking so it just doesn’t keep happening.
TOM: It’s not going to stop if you keep dumping oil on it.
TOM: But for asphalt driveways that need to be resealed, you want to use an asphalt-compatible product to fill the gaps, the cracks, the holes. And then use a disposable squeegee to apply an airport-grade latex sealer over the entire surface. And yes, I did say latex. This stuff cleans up with water today; it’s really amazing. Just make sure the forecast is clear for applying and the drying time, because rain will cause the sealer to run onto sidewalks and streets, leaving unremovable stains. So you don’t want to do that.
And then follow up with a generous drying period, up to a couple of days if possible, and you will have a very attractive automotive – and then you will have a very attractive automotive entrance.
LESLIE: Now, if you’ve got a concrete driveway with a worn surface, it’s best to apply a concrete-resurfacing product to the entire driveway. Now, concrete resurfacers, they’re specially formulated. They’re made to stick to that old concrete. And that’s going to leave you with a driveway that looks almost brand-spanking new. And since you’re doing the whole surface, it’s really going to look fantastic.
TOM: For more tips, check out our post on driveway sealing and maintenance on MoneyPit.com.
LESLIE: Dorothy in Tennessee is on the line and has a question about an inground pool. What’s going on?
DOROTHY: I have a definite money pit.
TOM: Alright. Welcome to the club.
DOROTHY: I have a – really. I have a huge inground pool that it just wouldn’t do any of us to not buy this house with this pool because we thought we’d just love it. And yet the kids promised to help take care of it and all that stuff.
TOM: Right. Right.
DOROTHY: They’re grown and gone. I don’t want to take care of it. Don’t want to pay all that money. And I’m wondering if there’s a solution to doing something interesting with this space that isn’t such a money pit.
TOM: You’re not in an unusual scenario. I spent 20 years as a professional home inspector and when we did inspect homes that had pools, I’d say a pretty good portion of the time the question from my client was the same question you just asked: “I don’t want the pool. I want nothing to do with it for a whole variety of reasons. What can I do with it?” And in those cases, generally, what folks do with it is they fill it in. They tear up any concrete edges or that’s anything on top that might be part of their patio or whatever. And they basically fill it in and tamp it and compact it and it becomes yard space.
So, if you don’t want to use it as a pool, that’s pretty much your only option.
DOROTHY: Well, exactly. Is there an inexpensive way of doing that? The little bit of research I’ve done, it’s not inexpensive to fill it in.
TOM: Well, look, you need to find – it’s not a hard – look, putting dirt in a hole is not a difficult thing to do. What you have to do is first of all, obviously, you have to disconnect all the mechanical systems, right?
TOM: Then reduce power out there. All that has to be disconnected and any plumbing has to be disconnected.
TOM: So you get rid of all of the stuff that’s easy like that. And then, for the rest of it, if you have a decking or a curbing around the outside edge of the pool, that will have to be broken up.
Now, if that’s the case, I can’t imagine that would take more than an hour or two to break up with a jackhammer, because it’s only going to be a few inches thick of concrete. So it’s actually pretty easy to break up. And then you have to have excavators that will come in and probably with a small piece of equipment, like a Bobcat, start to move a lot of dirt into that space. Because it has to be tamped. You can’t just put it in there without tamping it.
TOM: And in fact, you might also – actually, you may need to break up the bottom of the pool. Otherwise, you won’t have drainage, right? So you probably have to bust that up, too.
TOM: And then it’s just going to have to be filled in and tamped and filled in and tamped and filled in and tamped. Because if you don’t, it’ll become a sinkhole, just be a depressed area in the yard. You want to really fill it up.
You’re going to use clean fill dirt for that; you’re not going to use topsoil, obviously. So the dirt is pretty much the cost of the transportation. It’s almost like you don’t pay for the dirt. But that’s probably the best thing to do with it and then start thinking about what you do want to do with that space.
DOROTHY: Well, I can imagine a really nice, formal garden out there or a fire pit, gazebo, all kinds of neat things.
TOM: Well, there you go.
DOROTHY: But getting to that point is not going to be cheap.
TOM: How long do you plan on staying in this house? I mean this is basically – is this it forever or do you think you …?
DOROTHY: Oh, probably. Probably, possibly.
TOM: Yeah. Because that is one thing to consider and that is if the pool is functional and you take it out, whether or not it’s going to deter from the value of your home.
LESLIE: From the resale value.
TOM: Yeah. And sometimes it will and sometimes it won’t.
TOM: It depends on who’s buying it and what their needs and wants and desires are.
Well, hopefully we’ve given you some ideas on what is possible. And good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Bob is reaching out to The Money Pit today. He’s written in saying, “I’m building a new house and the cement-slab floor has moisture damp spots throughout the house. The house is still under construction. Some areas are dry while other areas are damp. I’m ready to install sheetrock but what’s causing these damp areas?”
TOM: Yeah, I wouldn’t worry too much about that now, Bob. I mean when a house is being built, it’s subject to poor drainage, because it’s not really set up yet, and things like that. The moisture that you’re seeing – and you have no heating system in it, so it’s not evaporating. So I’m not that surprised that you’ve got moisture showing in the slab at this early stage of construction.
What does your builder say? I don’t see any reason to be worried about it at this very moment. Now, if you told me your house was built and it was up for a year and you’ve got heating-and-cooling systems going and you’re still seeing moisture, then that’s a whole different story. But for a house under construction, you often see leaks in the foundation. They easily go away once the house is completed and occupied and the systems are turned on.
LESLIE: Alright. I hope that helps you out, Bob. Think about it: so much of the home is still exposed, so this is kind of expected.
Alright. Julia writes in: “I have a big flooring project due and I want to purchase 4,000 square feet of porcelain-plank flooring while the vendor has it in stock. Is it OK to store it in an outside garage? This is Florida where freezing temperatures aren’t an issue, although they have been this past winter.”
TOM: Wow, 4,000 square feet. That’s a lot of tile.
I don’t see any reason you can’t store them, because porcelain tiles – or really, any kind of tiles – can be stored flat or on their sides. Just make sure you raise them off the ground so if they come in a pallet, you will be all set.
LESLIE: Alright, Julia. I hope that helps you with that gigantic project. I can’t wait to hear about what kind of fun stuff you’ve got going on at this big house and what else you’re working on.
TOM: Well, spring isn’t just a great time to get outside. It’s also a great time to inspect and repair your home to make sure it is ready for summer. Leslie has got tips to help you do just that, in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word.
LESLIE: Yeah. You know, it is finally getting warmer outside and that means it’s a great time to take a good look at the exterior of your home for any winter wear and then get the house ready for the warm weather ahead.
Now, here’s two easy ways to do just that and avoid headaches and costly repairs that could come down the road. So, let’s start by checking out doors and window seals. Air leaks aren’t just a problem during the cold winter months. They’re a problem in the warm months, as well, because that warm air is going to continue to leak in those same windows and then drive your cooling costs up. So it’s the same thing, whether it’s winter or summer; you’re going to get air leaking in. It’s either hot or cold and it messes with your heat or your air conditioning. So you want to address that now. Now, you can keep your home cool this summer and save on your energy bills if you weatherize those windows and doors.
Next, you want to inspect and repair any wind-damaged siding or roof shingles. Those winter winds can loosen siding, trim, shingles. And once that kind of happens, it will allow for leaks and that could lead to costly repairs. So you want to stand back away from the house, inspect the exterior surfaces for anything that kind of seems out of place. Maybe there’s a missing shingle, a loose piece of siding. All of that, sort of jot everything down. That quick inspection and making those repairs now will save you from a ton of headaches later. So get outside and take a good look at your money pit before the summer sets in.
TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. Coming up next time on the show, are you thinking about adding a deck to your backyard? Well, one key design mistake can lead to a deck disaster. We’re going to tell you what that is and what you need to do to make sure your deck is safe for a summer of family fun, 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.
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