- Saving Water Costs: Greener grass doesn’t have to waste water. Learn how to get a lusher lawn without paying bigger bills.
- Choosing Caulk: Latex or silicone? Find out how to choose the right caulk for your project.
- Kids’ Rooms: Fun furnishings lend organization, style, and safety to a child’s room. Get some kid-friendly redecorating ideas.
Plus, answers to your home improvement questions about:
- Moles: The moles under the patio are drawn to the grubs they love to eat. Michelle learns how to get rid of the grubs so she can get rid of the moles.
- Deck Refinishing: A restoration product on Joe’s wood deck is peeling off instead. Installing composite replacement boards is a great option.
- Clogged Drain: Where is the clog that’s making Mary’s bathtub drain so slowly? She needs to get a plumber that specializes in drain cleaning.
- Hard Water: It’s a challenge to clean out all the calcium deposits left by hard water at Jim’s house. He may need to install a water filtration system.
- Metal Roofing: Installers improperly nailed a new metal roof into the valleys instead of the ridges, causing leaks. Mercedes can either replace the flashing around the valleys or caulk the holes for a temporary fix.
- Pest Control: Nils is finding all kinds of pests in and around his historic home. He needs a pest control professional for the right solutions for multiple issues.
- Painting Wood Posts: Beverly wants to paint her cedar porch posts white to match the house trim. Oil-based primer and a solid color stain will work fine.
- Garage Floor: Gordon has a wet garage floor. He can reduce the moisture by improving the drainage around the foundation and using an epoxy paint sealant.
- Sticking Doors: Is sanding the only option for a sticking door? Taylor gets tips on figuring out where it’s uneven and adjusting screws and hinges to fix it.
|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: Here to help you take on the projects that you want to get done around your house. If you’ve got to do it yourself. Dilemma. If you’re stuck on a project, if you want to do it, project outside or inside and you don’t know where to begin, we are here to help. This is episode 2321. You can listen when you want. By following the show at moneypit.com/ podcast. Coming up on today’s show, as it gets warmer, your lawn needs more water to stay green, which can also lead to a lot of wasted water. So we’re going to have some tips to help you cut those water costs without losing that luscious lawn in the process.
|LESLIE: And if you have a project to do and you’re trying to decide what type of caulk to use, you really have two choices of latex or silicone. We’re going to highlight the reasons to choose one or the other to make sure your project gets done right the first time.
|TOM: And are you ready to redecorate your child’s room with furniture That adds a bit of style, organization and safety. We’ll have those tips just ahead.
|LESLIE: But first, do you love your home but sometimes feel like it’s an endless pit you’re throwing your money into For all those home improvements and repairs? Listen, guys, we get it and we can help. Whether it’s a necessary repair or something. You’re dreaming up just to make it better for you right now. Whatever it is, we can help you get those projects done right.
|TOM: So reach out to us with your questions. The number here is 1-888-MONEY-PIT or for the fastest possible response, just go to moneypit.com/ask and click the blue microphone button. Let’s get to it. Leslie, who’s first?
|LESLIE: Michelle in Michigan, is on the line with a question about mold. That’s a lot of EMS. Michelle, what’s going on?
|CALLER: Well, I have about an acre and a half of backyard were actually an acre and not quite a half. But I have mows constantly coming from my neighbor’s yard and tearing up and they’re living under my patio.
|LESLIE: Well, you know, why they’re coming to your yard is because your yard is serving up a tasty treat that they really like. So the reason why mold show up is because your property probably has grubs and you might not see them. They’re living in the dirt underneath the lawn, but that’s what the moles are eating. So the trick to getting rid of the moles is to get rid of the grubs.
|CALLER: Now, how would I go about my doing that? Because I’ve done everything I could possibly think of spraying, putting things down, even a few homeopathic things, but nothing seems to be working.
|LESLIE: Well, there’s a couple of different products that you can use that will, I guess, treat the grub situation. One of them that you can find at your local home center is grub X, and that’s an application that you’ll put on the lawn and that will get rid of the grubs. I mean, it won’t happen instantaneously, but it’ll start to get rid of the grubs and then the moles will figure out that you don’t have the tasty treats mole on anymore and they’ll start moving elsewhere. Have you tried anything like that? No, I haven’t.
|CALLER: Tried anything like that. My neighbor down the street told me to poke little holes in the ground and put bubblegum in there and they might be confused, thinking it might be aggressive or warm and he might not want to come back. I was trying to do something where I wouldn’t hurt them, but they’re really hurting my yard.
|TOM: That’s right. It’s really simple. If you eliminate their food source, they’re going to go try to find that somewhere else. So the grubs are the food. If you eliminate the grubs, eliminate the moles.
|CALLER: Okay, great. Then I’ll have to give that a try.
|TOM: Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at eight. At eight Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Joe in Iowa wants to talk decking. How can we help you?
|CALLER: Well, I got a small problem with my decks. There are pressure treated lumber, but 18 year old decks. One faces north and one faces south. And I watched the neighbor there getting both are getting bad. I should never use one of those products we are painted on. And it’s supposed to renew or restore your deck. I watched him pressure, wash it twice and dry it and buy the special applicators two coats over the winter, one where it started peeling off.
|TOM: Yeah, I heard that time and time again. It looks good in the store, but it doesn’t stick. It doesn’t stick. And you get this really thick coat of I think they call it a restorer. It just peels right off. It’s like the worst peeling paint project you’ve ever seen. So, Joe, have you thought about doing sort of a deck makeover where perhaps you keep the structure, but you were replace the deck boards with a composite or something like that?
|CALLER: Yes. I was wondering, I’ve seen where they got these thinner composite you just put over the top of your boards, whether those stand up or just take all the deck boards off and put all new composite boards on.
|TOM: First thing I would do is I would do a thorough inspection of the structure because we don’t want you to put anything to this. If it’s not structurally sound, it’s got to be well attached to the house. The floor joists have to be solid without major cracks or shifting, you know, properly reinforced, properly braced. You know, if this thing is rock solid and the structure is good, then you could proceed. That would remove the decking boards because there is no structural integrity of the decking boards. I would pull the decking boards off and I would put simply composite. Right on top of that goes on very easily. And once that’s down, you’ll never have to worry about a split, a cracker or pick it up a paintbrush again.
|CALLER: I’ll get near splintering your foot and go out to check the grill.
|TOM: Nope, that’s right. Not at all. Yeah. And they have some composite components for the railing system as well, if you want to go that far. So take a look at those and go from there.
|CALLER: All right.
|TOM: Thank you. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at eight. At eight Money Pit.
|LESLIE: Marion, Texas, on the line, has an issue with the tub. Tell us what’s going on.
|CALLER: We have a bathtub that we have had plumbers.
|LESLIE: Out and they can’t even seem to get.
|CALLER: It and stop. They think that it would slowly, you know, if you took a shower and there was slowly go out, then it was going so slowly. We called a big company here, plumbing company, and the guy came out and checked in and he couldn’t get it. And somebody they sit in the pee trap. The tub is on the back of the house. About two feet from that is the clean out. And he took a picture in the.
|LESLIE: Clean out all the way to the alley and.
|CALLER: Told us to get the city to come in.
|TOM: So you telling me that the plumber was able to clear the drain from the house to the street? But he thinks that the restriction is beyond that?
|CALLER: Yeah, he thinks just about two feet from the tub where he worked and all the other lines are back. Father, though.
|TOM: I can tell you right now that he missed something in the tub because all those plumbing lines come together in that same general area. And if you’ve got flow from the toilet and the sinks and everything else, but not the tub, it’s going to be the tub itself. You know, when it comes to clearing drains, my experience has been the plumbers are not the best ones to do that. Generally, you’re better off to go with, especially the plumber that does drain cleaning. They have the tools, the equipment and the knowledge to get that done. And sometimes the, you know, the day to day plumbers, if it’s a simple clog, they can clear it, but they don’t necessarily have the tools. I mean, for example, drain cleaners have cameras that can go down those pipes and see exactly what the obstruction is. So my recommendation would be to call a different kind of professional, not a plumber, but someone that specializes in drain cleaning and has a good reputation for being able to make that particular type of repair. I think that’s going to be the easiest way for you to get to the bottom of it. I would not recommend any type of additive to that drain to try to clear it in these liquid products at clear drains because they can be very, very corrosive. Mary, good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
|LESLIE: Hey, you’re tired of living in a Money pit. Well, we’re here to help. And if you want us to help out, it would be awesome if you could leave us a five star review on Apple Podcasts. Just go to the Money Pit dot com slash review. It’s only going to take a minute and it means the world to us. Jim in Pennsylvania, You’ve got the Money Pit. How can we help you today?
|CALLER: Yes, I have hard water in my house and every I don’t know year about I have to clean out my water heater to get the calcium deposits out. So. My question is, first of all, is there a better tool than a sharp back vac with a piece of copper tubing taped to it to get into the. You know, I take the bottom element out and I shove that in there and try to clean that calcium out. Is there a way to liquefy that so that I can wash it out? Or is there a water heater on the market that provides access to that?
|TOM: So how much calcium do you actually think you’re getting out of this when you open it up?
|CALLER: Oh, my. It gets to the point where it’s almost to the bottom element.
|TOM: I wonder if you could put a filtration system in before the water heater that will take some of that away. You know, the problem with calcium is not so much that it shortens the life of the water heater. It just acts as an insulator. And so if you have it and I’m sorry, you have a gas, you have electric water heater.
|CALLER: It’s electric. Yeah.
|TOM: Yeah. So it’s probably not even affecting your efficiency much because it’s just taking up room. See if you have a gas water heater and the flame is underneath it, then it acts as an insulator and the gas has to run longer to heat the water up because you have an electric water heater where the elements are embedded up higher in the unit. I don’t think it has any effect on the efficiency.
|CALLER: Well, you know, how I found out about this was the element went bad. Yeah. The bottom element. I took it out, you know, to replace it, and I couldn’t hardly get it out. It was actually above the element at that point the first time.
|TOM: Yeah. You know why? Because it probably that might have shortened the life of the element because it basically held the heat into it. Didn’t allow it to cool like, like it normally does. So I could definitely see it shortening the life of it. Do you have any other type of filtration system on the well.
|CALLER: Just an inline filter that we put on. We had the water tested in an ultraviolet light and inline filter is all we have.
|TOM: There’s a there’s an electronic device called easy water.
|TOM: That basically will help suspend those water particles, those mineral salts in the water and kind of let it flush right through as opposed to collecting. And I like it because it’s no salt involved. You know, it basically doesn’t add to the salinity of the water. It does it electronically. It’s an easy scum. Take a look at it. They also have an extraordinarily good warranty. If you install it, you don’t like it, They’re sending your money back.
|CALLER: All right, great. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
|TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-Money-Pit.
|LESLIE: Heading on over to Minnesota, where Mercedes is having some roofing issues. What’s going on at your Money Pit?
|CALLER: Well, I had roofing put on a few years ago and they nailed it in the valleys instead of on the ridge. Oh, okay. And then now that it has rained these, you know, quite a bit in between, then my paint and my kitchen ceiling is are peeling off and the sheetrock is wet because of the moisture coming in.
|TOM: So basically it’s leaking through the metal valleys. Yes. Because there’s holes in those valleys, Mercedes.
|CALLER: Yes. In the valley
|TOM: So obviously, that wasn’t done right. And so you have really two choices. You can either replace that valley flashing and that’s a project, you know, because the metal roof has to be loosened up to get the new valley underneath it. Or what you could do is silicone caulk those holes and hope for the best. You know, silicone, you’ll probably get a good couple of years out of that, but you may have to do it again.
|CALLER: Well, now, I wonder, did you hear about this product that they put an undercoat on a metal roof to repair it and then they put in Technicolor over the top of that?
|TOM: No. And I don’t know how you get an undercoat on a metal roof. It’s already down. So metal roofs have been around for over 100 years and they’re super durable roofs. But the problem is that a lot of times the contractors don’t have the skill set to properly construct them and properly repair them. If they’re installed properly, then they can last indefinitely and be leak free. It sounds like there were some errors made in the installation of your roof. And so you have kind of decide now whether you want to take this apart and fix those errors or just continue to explore opportunities for patching. If it was me, I would try to disassemble it and replace that flashing because it’s going to be a sore spot moving forward, not only with water, but also you’re going to have ice dams in a form there in your, you know, part of the country. The water will get behind it. And that can also work its way into the roof. Okay, Mercedes, thanks so much for calling us at 88 Money Pit. Well, if you love a thick green lawn, but like to get that without wasting a ton of water, when where and how much water you use on your lawn can definitely mean the difference between a lush lawn or an empty wallet. And I’m particularly sensitive to this, Leslie, because I got the letter from the water company after I turned my sprinklers on saying, Hey, you spend a lot more than you did this month last year, so you better check your sprinkler system. And sure enough, I had a broken head on the sprinklers. So always important. Keep on keeping an eye on that stuff.
|LESLIE: I mean, that’s pretty cool. You noticed that right away. So that’s excellent. You know, guys, though, cutting water costs without giving up a green lawn, which, you know, we all love is actually pretty easy with a few steps. So, first of all, you want to what are your lawn early in the day to prevent evaporation if you water at night and then leave that lawn wet, your grass could develop a fungal disease. Also, you want to make sure that you adjust those sprinklers so that you’re not wasting water by having it, you know, sort of directed away from the grass. If it’s pointing at your driveway or the sidewalk, it’s not really doing anything except wasting that water. So make sure everything is properly focused.
|TOM: Yeah. The only thing that grows when you’re what are your sidewalk is your water bill.
|LESLIE: That is.
|TOM: True. You also might want to think about using timers on your sprinklers to limit water usage to only what’s needed. And by the way, even those sprinklers that you can attach to a hose have timers that are available that work. You’re looking to water maybe two or three times a week. That’s better than daily. We can actually overwater your grass and a good rule of thumb is to make sure your lawn receives one inch of water a week and those timers can actually adjust that watering time based on rainfall as well. So they’re getting really smart. It’s just a good idea to take advantage of that technology. Whether you’re using a lawn sprinkler, that’s an in-ground sprinkler or one attaches to a hose. Those timers, too, they work so well. In fact, we have a timer on our sprinkler system that actually follows the weather and predicts the weather if there’s going to be a big storm tomorrow. The sprinklers are supposed to come on. It skips the cycle. So lots of ways to take advantage of that technology and save some water at the same time.
|LESLIE: Nils in Delaware is on the line with a fly problem at a new house. What’s going.
|CALLER: On? So a friend purchased a historical home that was located in our county. See where all the court buildings are built in 1806 and they moved it out of town. And so now we’re redoing it a room at a time, but we’re trying to keep it in period because it’s in the register. So I guess we got to be careful what we do. But like by opening up the ceiling, the downstairs bathroom, there is a humongous snake that had died in the ceiling. Oh, no. All that was left was the skin. And she was done when she saw that. Wow.
|TOM: But that’s for.
|CALLER: All these different types of frogs in the yard. We’ve got a million ticks, and now we’ve got these. Everybody’s calling them furnace flies. It sees them, but we don’t have a furnace. We’ve got a boiler. But that’s out in a much called a potting shed and it’s a detached building from the home. So I don’t know where these flies are coming from.
|TOM: Well, listen, Nils, we can give you some advice on how to tackle the flies, but between the flies and the ticks and everything else that go on this house, I really think you should just, you know, cut the pain and pick up the phone and call a pest control operator, a licensed pest control professional, because they have the tools and the techniques and the products that can effectively and safely make this house a lot less insect infested.
|TOM: Now, with the flies, you know, you can make your own fly traps out of out of apple cider vinegar. All you do is you take like a cup or a jar. You put a couple of inches of vinegar, apple cider vinegar in it. You cover the top of that jar with plastic punch, some holes in it that are big enough for the flies to get in and they’ll find their way in there. They won’t be able to get out. So, I mean, we can give you some sort of home remedies like that. But if you’ve got this level of insect infestation in this old house and even the surrounding yards.
|CALLER: Oh, no, no, no. It does itch. There is no infestation in the house. It’s just we’ve got flies. Go around the kitchen and her family rooms, most of the floor is like 18 inch planks, 18 inches wide. And we just don’t know what where the flies are coming from and how to get rid of them. And I have to be careful because our neighbor was killed in a car accident and we’ve inherited all five of our cats because they had nowhere to go, I guess.
|TOM: Well, I still think that you could have the house professionally treated safely, even with the animals inside of it. And it’s going to be a lot more effective than chasing them down with any other type of remedy. You know, there are pyrethrum sprays that you can buy over the counter, but I just don’t think you should use them. A professional is going to come in and sometimes people think all of the professionals come in, they’re using the really strong stuff. Well, I would put it this way, they’re using the right stuff and they’re using the right amount of it to do the job at hand. Pesticides today are heavily regulated and they have to be applied very specifically and consistent with the label directions. And they do a pretty good job because the guys are trained, they know how to do it. And so certain the level of issue you got going on here, that’s exactly what I would do here. Okay, Nails.
|LESLIE: Beverley in Missouri, you’ve got the Money Pit. What can we do for you today? Well, I.
|CALLER: Have a house that’s just been built a year and a half ago, but I have a covered patio and my builder put Cedar Post there. The rest of my trim is all white, so I wanted to cover or paint the cedar, but he’s telling me I can’t do it because I’ll write them out. And I know it doesn’t sound right to me, but I am not sure.
|TOM: So what would you in a perfect world, Beverly, what would you like to see in those cedar posts that you’d like them to be white match the rest of the house?
|CALLER: Yeah, all of my trim is white, and so I would rather than be white there year in a hole have old now so they’re starting to turn the cedar look and get all dark right.
|TOM: They are kind of decorative you know. Okay so here’s what I would do. The first thing I’m going to recommend is staining process. So the first thing you do is prime them with an oil based primer or a solvent base primer, and then you’re going to stain them. And I would use a solid color stain. And a solid color stain is not going to look like paint, so it won’t tend to peel. It’ll fade over, over time, but also can really nicely and you can get a white stain, a solid white stain, and it’ll look quite attractive. Painting does not cause it to rot. It prevents it from rotting.
|LESLIE: It just requires a lot of repainting.
|CALLER: Yeah. I mean he said if I covered it or painted them that it causes the moisture to pull to the base. And then he brought.
|TOM: I would disagree with that. I think if you stain them you’ll find that they’re quite attractive and that the moisture work in and out just fine.
|CALLER: Good. Thank you so much.
|LESLIE: Well, if you have a project to do in your kitchen, your bath or the exterior, and you’re trying to decide what type of cork to use, you’ve got two choices. Latex or silicone, right?
|TOM: Yeah, right. And there’s definitely pluses and minuses to each. Now, latex cork is the easiest to handle. Water cleanup is very forgiving, especially for those DIYers who don’t caulk a lot. But silicone definitely has some big advantages. For example, it delivers a waterproof seal. It’s going to keep out water or wind, and it can be applied even when the surfaces are wet. But silicone has a downside and can be really messy to handle and it won’t clean up with just soap and water.
|LESLIE: It’s so funny because your finger is your number one caulking tool after the tube. It can get messy real quick with the silicone. Well, DAP guys, they set out to solve this problem by developing a line of advanced modified polymer or amp sealants. Now, these AMP hybrid sealants are water cleanup, but they actually outperform silicone in several key areas. First of all, they provide a 100% waterproof seal. They’ll also stick to wet surfaces. They’re patentable, and they have crystal clear clarity that delivers maximum performance forever.
|TOM: We project now there are four different AMP hybrid seals to choose from. There’s Cox for kitchen and bath window door and siding gutter and flashing and even a self-leveling concrete sealant that requires no additional tools. It stays flexible. It’s not going to crack, shrink or even bubble.
|LESLIE: AMP up your projects with the AMP line of advanced hybrid sealants that outperform silicone and keep performance attributes such as wet surface application paint ability and crystal clear clarity. You can learn more at DAP dot com head Now to Minnesota, where Gordon has a question about garage moisture. What’s going on?
|CALLER: Gordon I’m in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I’ve got two small garage. It’s divided, it’s tucked under garage. The house is a walk out. So the back side of the garage is below grade. And you know, it ramps up from the front to the back in the springtime for a couple of first couple of months in the spring. The garage floor’s wet and it’s I believe that it’s wicking up or coming up from under the floor. I don’t believe it’s just condensation forming on the top. My question is, is there any kind of a sealer or anything that I can do short of knocking out the whole floor? I know that now you should have a moisture barrier, some kind of poly under the floor before you poured. If you wanted to put a you in a popsicle or something on there.
|TOM: There’s two ways to address a moisture problem in a concrete structure like that. One is to try to make it float, which is not going to happen. And by that I mean when you put all sorts of sealers and corks and so on, on these floors or on the walls, you’re never going to block out 100% of that moisture. But the more effective thing to do is to reduce the volume of moisture. It’s getting there to begin with. And I think I can explain why you’re seeing that moisture on the floor in the spring, because concrete is very hydrocarbon. It’s like a sponge. Imagine if you stuck the end of a sponge in some water how quickly that entire sponge fills up with moisture. That’s what happens with concrete. So the first thing I want you to address is the sources of moisture, and they’re very likely to be the spring rains and the drainage control. The foundation perimeter happens to almost everybody. So the walls that surround that below grade space, we want to make sure that there’s gutters on that covering that side of the roof that are not only there, they’re sized properly, which means you have at least one down spout for every 600 to 800 square feet of roof surface that the downspouts are extended well away from the foundation. We’re talking 4 to 6 feet. The second thing to do is to make sure that the soil slopes away and there’s nothing trapping moisture against the house like landscaping. If you do those two things, you’ll dramatically reduce the amount of moisture that’s getting up against that concrete and that will stop the moisture from pulling up under the floor and perhaps even through the walls. Now, as for a sealant, what I would recommend you do, because this is a garage floor, is to simply paint it with an epoxy paint. These epoxy finishes now are terrific. They’re pretty easy to use there. There are two part mics. Usually when you buy the epoxy kit, you’ll have a gallon that’s about three quarters filled with product and then a quart can. That’s the gardener. You mix the two together and you basically paint the floor and sometimes they’re like colored chips that you can drop in the paint that help hide dirt. And when it dries, it’s chemical reaction. It’s really hard and it really adheres well to the floor. And I think that will stop some of the residual moisture that’s left. But try to control as much moisture as you can before you take that step. And between the two, I think you’ll be good to go.
|CALLER: Okay. Yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking as far as that epoxy, everything that I’ve seen so as to not apply it to a floor that that gets damp. There’s a plastic testing they take a piece of plastic down in if moisture forms.
|TOM: Yeah. Personally I think that’s a really silly test, but people seem to like it. Look, all concrete floors are going to contain some level of moisture as long as it’s not excessively wet, but I think you’ll be okay. Now, there usually is an etching material, an etching wash that you use first. So I would do that just to make sure the force ready to accept it. But if you pick a nice dry day, I think you’ll be fine.
|LESLIE: Taylor in Michigan is having issues with the door. What’s going on?
|CALLER: We were having like some swelling around our doors and so it sticks when you shut it. And we were.
|CALLER: If, besides sanding it, if there’s anything that you can do to help fix that issue.
|LESLIE: Well, you got to really figure out where it’s sticking because that’s going to determine how you fix it. So have you kind of figured out is the door leaning and maybe one part is rubbing? Is it at the lock point? Where are you noticing the stick?
|CALLER: Yeah, on both of our doors that have that issue, we’ve noticed it towards the top of the door. So that part might be leaning a little bit, I think.
|LESLIE: And have you tighten the screws in the hinges just to see maybe it’s sort of loosened in its fitting in the jamb itself.
|CALLER: Yeah, we have tried that.
|TOM: Typically, if the door’s not closing properly, it’s not adjusted properly. And yeah, you know, the door can only move so many ways. And what we typically find is that if you pay attention to the reveal as the door closes and you look for unevenness there, it’s going to signal to you what has to happen. So for example, if the doors is rubbing on the top, then typically that hinge, the opposite hinge has to be set deeper into the jamb. So it opens up. Look, you can sand this, you can cut this, but you’re better off adjusting the door because invariably it did close properly once and it’s just moved a little bit.
|LESLIE: And that’s expected over time.
|TOM: Yeah, exactly. Sometimes you can pull a screw out that’s going into the jamb and replace it with a longer one that reaches through the stud. And just by doing that one thing and driving them with like an impact wrench or a drill driver, it will suck that hole, jam over and fix that who are like you with one screw.
|TOM: Yeah, but that’s you need to pay attention to Teller. We did a video for Yale to teach folks how to align the door for smart locks, and the same advice actually applies. It’s called DIY door alignment for smart locks. It’s on YouTube. It’s also on Monday, that dot com. So just search for the door alignment video in. We will walk you through step by step all the different ways you can adjust the door. Okay.
|CALLER: Awesome. Great. Thank you so much.
|TOM: Well, are you guys ready to spruce up your child’s room with furniture that adds style organization and safety? We’ve got some smart ideas that can potentially help you out. First, look for furniture, pieces that are durable, classically style, and that can work for a range of ages. So they’ll kind of grow with your kids. Now, convertible furniture, like a crib that morphs into a starter bed, is always a great choice. But even if you just shop for finishes, that will coordinate well with later editions, you’ll be in pretty good shape.
|LESLIE: Yeah, and you can bring the fun of vintage graphics and styling to a room with furnishings and accessories that you find at antique shows, tag sales, and those online treasure troves. And this approach works for kids spaces too. With a few precautions, you have to steer clear of anything with a chippy, possible lead based finish. And you also want to go with vintage furnishing because that can help you save some money. But if you do go vintage, go carefully. You want to make sure that you avoid cribs and other furnishings that could have out of date latches, hardware, even construction. And you want to make sure that any railings are open work trimming that are on that piece of furniture won’t allow for those little kiddos hands and heads to get stuck because they will find a way. And if it’s just wide enough, they can squeak through there. So definitely look at that to make sure that your furniture is safe. You can search the Consumer Product Safety Commission website, which is CPSC dot org for recalls to make sure that any vintage finds won’t create an unsafe situation at home.
|TOM: Now, finally, think about the colors that you choose. You want to use colors that are timeless, if you don’t mind repainting over the current color a few years from now. Great. Just remember that there’s a lot that you can do to update the look of well-chosen colors or patterns without that painting or repurposing. Only if they’ve been selected with a fair amount of neutrality in mind. You want more tips for sprucing up kids rooms? Check out Create a kids room that will grow with your child. That’s our post on Money Pit dot com.
|LESLIE: Well, Ryan in Washington says, What do you think of the V.A. system called Douglas mini split air conditioning with a heat pump. I love mine.
|TOM: Yeah, that’s a great question. So these systems have been out for many, many years now. You have one, Leslie? I have one now. There’s a couple of things to know about these. Well, first of all, that they’re very efficient and quiet, which is nice. They can be used for a room or an area of your house, or they can be used for the entire house. Now, I think in your case, Leslie, as well as mine, we’re using them sort of strategically like I’m using mine in my office and my studio, by the way, because they are quiet, because this part of the building is the south side. It gets a lot of sun’s what tends to overheat. That’s also the farthest run from my air conditioning system, which means the AC doesn’t work so well. So between those two extremes, this really balances out nicely.
|LESLIE: I mean, they are great. They’re super quiet. I use mine in the basement because oddly, I think I have the only basement in America that is like a good jillion degrees in the summertime and then also freezing in the winter. So it helps us tremendously in both aspects of heating and cooling. And I think it’s interesting when you do the whole house, you know, the outdoor unit, depending on which kind you buy, you can get one that has the outdoor unit that can accommodate multiple of the interior. Douglas systems. So it really depends on what you’re looking for and the best way to accommodate it. And I don’t find the units on the interior to be, you know, style artistically offensive. I think they’re sleek, they blend in, they go high up on the walls. So it’s not something that you’re like, Oh, what is this? You know, window units, they’re ugly. The Douglas Systems can be quite sleek and stylish.
|TOM: You know, I know one manufacturer has a system. It’s built right into a picture frame, so you don’t even see it. You don’t know it’s there. And also important to note, Leslie, is that these are also eligible for tax credits up to 30% of the cost or $600. It requires a sear that’s a seasonal energy efficiency ratio of grade 16. But definitely a good time to think about picking this up because the tax credits that are available.
|LESLIE: Yeah, and it’s summer, guys, so you’re going to be hot. So think about it.
|TOM: Well, if you’ve got the room for it, a playset or a deck is a great addition to your backyard. But if you’re going to build one yourself, you need to make sure that you understand and choose the right type of wood. Leslie has the details in today’s edition of Leslie’s Last Word. LESLIE These are fun projects, but you’ve got to get it right.
|LESLIE: Yeah, I mean, it’s true. If you’re thinking about building a deck or a backyard playset this summer, you want to make sure that it’s sturdy wood that’s resistant to decay and to pests because both can wreak a lot of havoc on anything that you build out of that lumber. But you want to be cautious in the lumber that you choose because chemicals and treated wood can leach out and you don’t want to expose kids to that possibility. So four decks and playground equipment, a better option is to consider reclaimed cedar or redwood, because both of these options are natural and they’re naturally resistant to fungus and insects. You can even opt for recycled plastic lumber, which is great for the environment because you’re not cutting down any trees, but you’re going to get a sturdy, durable product. Now, as for the playground surface wood chips, they’re also very good and natural. But one product that I would stay away from now is playground surfaces that are made from recycled tires. That rubber was designed to contact the road and not your kiddos. And there’s a lot of concerns about the chemicals that could be releasing. So better safe than sorry, but you do need to choose a good soft surface to go around these playsets because those kids, they like to jump off of those things and you want to make sure that it can cushion all of those little legs and arms that come flying off of those stuff. So those kids, they’re nutty, I swear. But they love a good place that.
|TOM: Well, summer approaches. It’s a great time to make sure your home’s cooling plan is set to deliver comfort and energy efficiency. So to help with that, we’ve put together a list of low cost to no cost tips that will do just that. And that’s coming up on the very next edition of The Money. 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.)