August 11, 2020
If you have a wood deck, you know the pain of stubbing your toe on a nail that's popped up. Listen to learn about an easy solution to that problem!
August 10, 2020
If you've tried to create a stepping stone pathway, you know leveling them can be a challenge. Listen to learn about a way to simplify the process.
August 8, 2020
Whether you live in a slope house or have unlevel floors due to an improperly built home that unexpectedly slopes, all kinds of problems can arise. What do you do if the concrete patio was never properly sloped away from the foundation, or you start to notice condensation in a half-exposed basement due to the slope of the land? And if you can place a 2-by-4 on your floor and part of it is level but the other part rises inches off the ground, you’ve definitely got a problem! Listen for the solutions!
August 7, 2020
Laying your own ceramic tile helps make bath and kitchen remodels affordable, but it does have challenges. Listen to learn some ways to simplify it!
August 5, 2020
Wet doormats can do more harm than good, and they will LITERALLY wear out your welcome. Listen to learn a way to solve this damp dilemma.
August 4, 2020
Unless you have an irrigation system, you've probably had your share of showers while trying to position a sprinkler. Listen to learn how to position sprinklers for maximum coverage.
August 3, 2020
If, for some reason, you find yourself without air conditioning, you can still find some cool relief with a simple fan. Listen to learn how to add a chill to the air at only pennies on the dollar!
August 3, 2020
The “Dog Days of Summer” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good time to be a dog. Listen to learn how to help your pets keep their cool.
August 2, 2020
Ever wonder just how dull this world would be without color? Listen to learn how one color in particular has a nasty habit of showing up uninvited: mildew.
August 1, 2020
If you’ve got a home, you’ll have problems sooner or later. For instance, a cultured marble sink gets a large brown stain. Where did it come from? Who knows — life happens. That’s the issue Mike in Illinois faces. He sees the stain, but doesn’t know how it got there, and no one is ’fessing up. Now, he wonders: Can you sand the stain out? Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips!
July 31, 2020
Ever thought about creating your own private retreat? Listen to learn a simple way to turn your backyard into an oasis.
July 29, 2020
We love the feel of the summer sun, but its heat and ultraviolet rays can really punish our homes. Listen to learn about protecting your home from the sun.
July 27, 2020
Are you looking for an excuse not to start painting the house this weekend? Stay tuned and we’ll talk about whether the weather is right for it or not.
July 25, 2020
If your home has a ridge vent and gable vents, but no soffit vents, should you cover the gable vents? Yes. Here's why.
July 24, 2020
Do you have a concrete porch that needs a little pizazz? Listen to learn about tiling over concrete and the right material to go underfoot.
July 24, 2020
Ever wonder how there can be so many different kinds of paint? Listen to learn about choosing the right one for your summer painting chores.
July 23, 2020
The right lighting can improve the appearance of any area, including a deck or patio. Listen to learn simple ways to light up your outdoor spaces.
July 22, 2020
I bet if you could reduce the water you use for irrigation and still keep a healthy lawn, you would. Listen to learn how to get the most from your irrigation system.
July 20, 2020
It’s one of the hardest surfaces around your home, but it could still use a little help. Here’s an easy-to-do project to spruce up your concrete!
July 18, 2020
Self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic has driven up demand for building materials as more and more homeowners tackle do-it-yourself projects. But there are the projects you plan to work on, and then there are those that surprise you and you’re not sure what to do about them. That's the topic of this week's Today's Homeowner Podcast!
July 17, 2020
If you’re making improvements to your home, you may want to consider implementing an idea called universal design in your plan. Listen to learn how to make your home more accessible.
July 17, 2020
Poor attic ventilation is a big problem in many homes. Listen to learn why attic ventilation is so important.
July 15, 2020
Sometimes, even the simplest plumbing chores require some water removal. Listen to learn an easy way to create some simple suction.
July 15, 2020
There’s plenty of yard work to go around this time of year, so you probably have gasoline stored somewhere around your house — maybe improperly. Listen to learn how to store gas safely.
July 14, 2020
Looking for a unique idea for an outdoor container garden? Listen to learn a step-by-step plan you can follow.
July 14, 2020
From barbecues to pool parties, it can be a lot of fun to entertain outdoors. Listen to learn about keeping the party going after the sun goes down.
July 13, 2020
Listen to this special Today’s Homeowner Podcast to learn about American Standard HVAC products along with some tips about purchasing an AC system and maintaining it through the years.
July 11, 2020
Not all vinyl windows are created equal. Companies making them during the economic recession of 2008 and the following years manufactured some notoriously substandard windows. But that doesn’t mean they’re all bad. Joe Truini suggests six things to look for when shopping for vinyl windows. Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for those and more home improvement tips!
July 10, 2020
Nothing is completely clean, unless it’s clean from top to bottom, but what about the top of your house? Listen for tips about rooftop cleaning.
July 8, 2020
Trying to find ways to cut down on cooling costs during the summer can be a real challenge. Listen to learn an idea or two to tastefully lower the energy bill.
July 7, 2020
Even if you have a lock on your storage shed, it won't help if a thief simply removes the door. Listen to learn a simple way to thwart the thieves.
July 5, 2020
Has the summertime increase in showers sent your water bill through the roof? Listen to learn how to enjoy those showers without breaking the bank.
July 4, 2020
Trying to stay cool this summer? Listen to learn how you can get the right size air conditioner for your home.
July 4, 2020
Updating a kitchen usually involves a lot of time and expense, but if you just want to refresh the room a little, there are some simple tricks to make the job manageable. For instance, you can take years off the appearance of cabinets that look worse for the wear. We’ll tell you exactly how to clean, degrease and stain old cabinets so they look their best.
July 4, 2020
If you do a lot of work in your garage or workshop, the spilling of screws and nails is going to happen. Listen to learn a simple way to clean them up.
July 2, 2020
Got a project that requires digging in the yard but don’t know where those buried utilities are located? Listen to learn how to find them!
July 1, 2020
A grab bar is an easy way to stop slipping and sliding in the bathtub, but drilling a hole in ceramic tile can be pretty slippery itself. Here’s how to keep your drill bit from doing the ceramic shimmy!
June 27, 2020
We get so many phone calls and emails about decks. People are building decks, stripping them and renovating them, so that’s how we’ll kick off this week’s episode of the Today’s Homeowner Podcast: we’ll talk all about decks! Learn how Chelsea’s making a big job — stripping her deck — manageable and listen for our tips to make your deck look great. Whether you want to know about the best wood for an outdoor deck, want to learn more about kiln-dried after treatment wood, or wonder how to remove paint from your deck, we’ve got it covered.   [2:01] All about designing, building, refinishing and maintaining decks [8:27] A brick wall on a garage has come loose — can it be repaired? [13:31] Best New Product: Bessey GearKlamp [15:17] How to prepare and paint old, varnished pine cabinets [20:50] ‘Paint spilled on my bricks — here’s what removed it!’ [21:43] How to remove a large stump without using a stump grinder [28:18] Simple Solution: 5 tips for helping your lawn survive a drought [31:02] Question of the Week: ‘Help! Both sinks back up when I run my garbage disposal!’ Simple Solutions Save Drought-Stricken Lawns — Five tips for helping any lawn survive a prolonged drought: 1.) de-thatch, 2.) aerate, 3.) mow, as necessary, 4.) don’t bag clippings, and finally 5.) avoid excess traffic (foot and equipment) on lawn.  Bulb Removal Trick — Here’s how to use duct tape to remove hard-to-reach or difficult light bulbs (like ones mounted flush in range hoods). Take an 8-inch length of duct tape and pinch it together in the middle to create a T shape with adhesive exposed on top of the horizontal surface. Use the vertical, pinched-together flap as a handle. Stick the tape to the bulb and twist, if it’s threaded. If the bulb has two lugs that fit into slots inside the socket, stick on the tape, press up, and then twist. Question of the Week Q: When I run my garbage disposal both sinks back up — what's the problem? A: It sounds like a clog, and you’ll need to plunge one drain while plugging up the other drain. Then switch drains. After that, remove the trap from under the sink and use a plumber’s snake to remove the clog. Other Products and Links Mentioned Citristrip KDAT lumber Home Depot Benjamin Moore Advance Cabinet Paint Goo Gone Metal Roofing Alliance
June 26, 2020
Whatever you do, remember to keep it on the level! Listen to learn how important (and easy) it is to start out on an even plane for flawless flooring.
June 25, 2020
Most roof leaks can be easily traced to the source, but sometimes those leaks go into stealth mode. Listen to learn about mysterious leaks at brick chimneys and a sure-fire solution.
June 24, 2020
Have you thought about updating the look of your home by painting the bricks? Listen for an easier way to do it right!
June 23, 2020
When you take a deep breath, are you sure you’re breathing in fresh air? Learn about a dirty little problem and how you can fix it.
June 21, 2020
You only get one chance to make a first impression. What does your home’s appearance say about you? Here are some simple and budget-friendly ways to improve your curb appeal.
June 20, 2020
Every homeowner needs to tackle odd jobs around the house from time to time. And eventually, as maintenance bills add up, you realize you don’t have to pay a handyman to fix some of those problems. Think about a loose doorknob that makes you cringe — what if you didn’t have to rely on someone else to fix it? What if you could just whip out your trusty Phillips head screwdriver and have it working in 20 seconds? Building a basic tool kit doesn’t have to be expensive — you could start with just $25 for some essential tools and add to it as the need arises. We’ll talk about the simple, must-have tools to immediately become a do-it-yourselfer. Later in the show, we’ll get more advanced, explaining the difference between a drill and an impact driver. Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips! [2:08] Getting rid of mosquitos — what works and what doesn’t [10:04] ‘Help! I need a beginner’s tool kit!’ [15:44] ‘My outdoor brick planter is splitting — how can I fix it?’ [19:34] ‘My tub drains slowly. We’ve tried just about everything. What now?’ [22:01] Best New Product: Frigidaire’s Gallery Front-Control Gas Range with Air Fry [23:52] ‘What’s the difference between a drill and an impact driver?’ [27:30] Simple Solution: Spot-treat weeds with a funnel on a pump-up sprayer [29:11] Question of the Week: ‘Paint keeps chipping off the basement floor. What can I do about it?’ Simple Solutions Tub-Stain Remover — Mix equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain, wait a half-hour or so, then rinse with water. This is great for removing stains from tubs, sinks and toilets. Precision Spraying — A pump-up garden sprayer is great for applying weed-killing herbicides to lawns and flowerbeds, but the wide spray pattern makes it difficult to apply the herbicide with pinpoint accuracy. Solve this problem by attaching a small plastic funnel to the end of the spray wand. That’ll control the overspray and deliver the herbicide to a smaller, more concentrated area. Question of the Week Q: “Ten years ago, our basement was flooded a few inches deep. We ended up with some efflorescence. I removed it with a diluted 20% muriatic acid substitute. Then I scrubbed the floor with water and painted it with waterproof paint. “The efflorescence did not come back, but the paint blistered off.  I have done this a couple of times since with the same results. What am I doing wrong — or better still, what should I do?” A: First, remove as much of the paint that’s blistering off. Then apply Drylok Extreme Masonry Waterproofer. It actually penetrates the masonry’s pores and bonds to it. Other Products and Links Mentioned Drylok Extreme Masonry Waterproofer Quikrete Quikwall Surface Bonding Cement
June 19, 2020
We all want our lawns to be lush and green, but in many places, water is in short supply. Listen to learn how to water without waste.
June 18, 2020
The warm weather is here for a while. Listen to learn about keeping cool without multiplying your utility bill.
June 17, 2020
Are you planning to add some outdoor living space this summer with pavers? Listen to learn some paver project pointers.
June 15, 2020
Just about every kid on earth has heard these words from a parent: "Were you born in a barn?! Close the door!" Listen to learn a simple way to keep the outdoors outside where they belong.
June 14, 2020
Did you know there are some houses that NEED to have holes in the side? Listen to learn why brick homes need a few holes in the right place.
June 13, 2020
It’s time to turn our attention toward summer home maintenance tips, and there’s no better guide for that than our Four Seasons of Home Ownership Checklist. Summer is also a great time for backyard living, and whether you’re wondering which materials you need to install a new deck, or need to repair a deck that’s peeling and moldy, we’ve got you covered. If you have an aggregate patio that’s become exposed over the years, and is tough underfoot, we’ve also got tips to resurface it. Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips! [2:00] Four Seasons of Home Ownership — Your Summer Checklist [10:15] Solution for mildew smells in a bathroom and small holes in a tub  [15:11] ‘Which materials do I need for a new deck?’  [17:46] Best New Product: LG Instaview Door-in-Door Refrigerator  [19:21] ‘Can you install light fixtures near radiant heating?’  [21:11] ‘Which materials do I need to install underlayment over tile floors?’ [22:04] ‘My deck paint is peeling and there’s mold. What can I do?’  [23:57] Simple Solution: Safe, easy way to wash fruit and vegetables  [25:43] Question of the Week: The best way to resurface an aggregate patio Simple Solutions Roof Runoff Remedy — The lower edge of roof shingles should extend beyond the fascia board by at least 3/4 inch. That way, when rain runs down the roof it’ll drain into the gutters. Too often, however, the overhang falls short and water drips behind the gutters, leading to rotted fascia, peeling paint, stained siding and, in extreme cases, soil erosion and a wet basement. To fix the problem, pick up some aluminum drip edge (drip-cap flashing). It’s typically sold in 8-foot lengths, and can be easily cut with tin snips or even poultry shears. Slide the wide, flat flange of the flashing under the first course of roof shingles. If the edge of the flashing doesn’t extend over the gutter, pull it out slightly from under the shingles. Secure the drip edge with a few short roofing nails; just be sure to position the nails under the shingles. Seal each nail head with a dollop of roofing cement.  Washing produce — You don't need a store-bought cleaner to remove dirt and insecticides from your fresh produce. Just mix a quarter of a cup of baking soda (or white vinegar) in a sink full of water. Wash your fruits and vegetables in the solution, transfer the produce to a colander, then rinse with clean water. Question of the Week Q: I need suggestions on how to resurface a washed aggregate patio. It is uncomfortable to walk on and I’d like to change it. Must it be removed? Pouring more concrete on top with a decorative pattern or stain would be pretty. Any ideas? A: If you want to change the look of the patio, you can install tile over it, but that could be expensive. On the other hand, coating it with 1/8 inch of Quikrete Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer is easy. Most resurfacers require a primer or bonding agent. If you want to change it up altogether, you can tile over it or install decking over it.   Other Products and Links Mentioned Home Depot Baking Soda Quikrete Re-Cap Concrete Surfacer
June 12, 2020
Do your rocking chairs leave ugly scratch marks on your hardwood floors? Listen to learn a simple way to solve that problem.
June 11, 2020
Everyone knows that ceiling fans help cool you down this time of year, but which way should they turn? Listen to learn that and a few other tips to keep your home cool!
June 10, 2020
Chances are, many of you have already spent some time in the sun working in the garden or around the house. Listen to learn how to protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun.
June 9, 2020
If you’ve ever had a roof leak, you’re familiar with the ugly stain that’s left behind on your ceiling even after the leak is fixed. Stay tuned to learn how to take care of that stain.
June 6, 2020
This time of year, flying pests seem to bother us more than normal. Listen to learn how to deal with wasp nests and bee stings.
June 6, 2020
Is your home ready for summer? First, you’ll need to seal your home’s ‘envelope.’ Then, you’ll need to insulate your patio and set your ceiling fans to help stay cool. Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for these and many more home improvement tips! Simple Solutions Brass Screw Tip — Small brass screws are beautiful and decorative, but they’re also soft, so it’s easy to strip the head or snap the screw in half. To prevent these problems, try this: First, drill a pilot hole, and then drive in a steel screw that’s the same size as the brass screw. What you’re doing is essentially threading a hole in the wood to accept the brass screw. Next, back out the steel screw and drive in the brass screw. No-Clog Spray Painting — The spray tips on spray-paint cans clog very easily, making it virtually impossible to use all the paint that’s in the can. Here’s how to avoid clogs: First, after painting, turn the can upside down and press the tip until the spray runs clear. Then, pull off the tip and drop it into a jar of mineral spirits to soak. Next time you’re ready to paint, take the spray tip out of the mineral spirits, and ream out the spray hole with the wire from a twist tie to remove any softened paint. Then place the tip back on the can and start spraying. Question of the Week Q: “The house my wife and I own has a porch with tongue-and-groove wood for a ceiling. There is ½-inch OSB board under the tongue and groove. How do I find the joists to hang a swing from?  I tried to get in through the attic, but we have spray foam insulation under our roof deck and there is a barrier between the attic and the area above the porch…” A: A phone app called Wall Bot looks through walls and acts like a stud finder. But ceiling joists are almost never where you need them. So, we recommend holding a 2-by-4 cleat flat against the ceiling, screwing at least two joists, and then drive the bolt through it. Other Products and Links Mentioned Home Depot Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Solar-powered exhaust fans [Amazon]
June 5, 2020
White caps may look nice on a mountaintop, but not so much on your house. Listen to learn about disguising unsightly pipes on your roof.
June 4, 2020
How low can you go? No, I’m not talking about a limbo dance, I’m talking about mowing your yard. Listen to learn the answer!
June 3, 2020
Is your patio or deck simply too hot to enjoy this time of year? Listen to learn about an easy, inexpensive way to create shade for an outdoor space.
June 2, 2020
Do you spend more time re-filling the soap dispenser on your kitchen sink than using it? Listen to learn about a cool solution.
May 30, 2020
Buying a home is most people’s biggest investment. That’s why it’s important to keep it low-maintenance and budget-friendly. Listen to this week’s Today’s Homeowner Podcast to learn about affordable solutions to humidity under a house, affordable ways to x up a rental house, and low-maintenance replacements for front porch railings. [2:08] How to muffle a loud heat pump [5:51] Best New Product: Nexgrill 5-burner gas grill with side burner [6:58] Affordable solutions to humidity under a house [11:20] UV lights in A/C systems: do they work? [15:02] How to deal with smoking-related odors [17:44] A creative way to block the sun from a deck [18:51] Simple Solution: How to keep eyeglasses from fogging up while wearing a mask [20:39] Affordable ways to x up a rental house [22:57] Low-maintenance replacements for front porch railings [23:43] Tips for raising a ceiling [24:59] Tips for DIY pest control [29:07] Question of the Week: How to keep weeds o a patio Simple Solutions Trex Company has low-maintenance railing options for your front porch or deck. No-Fog Glasses — Here’s a simple, yet effective, way to prevent eyeglasses or safety glasses from fogging up when they’re worn with a dust mask. Coat the insides and outsides of both lenses with shaving cream. Rub the cream onto the lenses for several seconds, then rinse with cold water under a sink faucet. Dry the lenses and they should remain fog-free for several hours. Auto-Watering Houseplants — Be sure your houseplants don’t die of thirst by making a slow-drip irrigation bottle. Take an empty 1-liter soda bottle, ll it with water, then drill a 1/8-inch hole through the cap. Turn the bottle upside down and press it neck first into the soil. Water will very slowly drip out to hydrate the plant. You can also use a wine bottle, by drilling a hole through the cork. Watch the Video Question of the Week Q: We have a nice patio next to our house. Last year, we had some weeds in the paver joints. I scraped the weeds and soil out and then put poly sand on to ll the gaps. This year I am disappointed to see even more weeds. What is the best way to maintain our patio? A: We hate to suggest using harsh chemicals, so one thing Chelsea does is pour hot tea on weeds in her driveaway. It kills them instantly and then you can easily pluck them. There’s also a propane torch made for killing weeds. You also can sprinkle baking soda all over and wet the area. Other Products and Links Mentioned Home Depot Kilz Restoration Primer Filtrete electrostatic / charcoal filters
May 29, 2020
Sprucing up your home with a coat of paint is an easy upgrade, but what can you do about a bland concrete porch or patio? Listen to learn about an easy concrete upgrade that isn’t just another pretty face.
May 29, 2020
Spring is a great time for house painting because you need warm weather to apply paint, but it's not hot enough yet to make it miserable. Listen to learn a trick to simplify paint projects.
May 28, 2020
If you have a wood deck, you need to seal it to keep it in good shape. But how do you know when it's the right time to apply sealer? Listen to learn how putting water IN helps keep the water OUT.
May 26, 2020
We’re always looking for ways to save on resources, like water; but don’t let those savings turn your garden into a desert landscape. Listen and learn how to quench your plants’ thirst, one drop at a time.
May 26, 2020
Spring is here, and if you haven’t gotten that spring cleaning done yet, it’s overdue. One of the chores that sometimes gets overlooked is cleaning your window screens. Listen to learn an easy way to get the job done.
May 23, 2020
If your clothes take a long time to dry, the problem may not be the dryer — it may be the venting system. In this week’s Today’s Homeowner Podcast, we hear about a dryer that’s vented into a crawlspace where hot, moist air travels 30 feet before exiting into the yard. Installing PVC and flexible aluminum piping didn’t solve the problem for one homeowner, probably because the piping’s travel path includes so many ups and downs, twists and turns. This is a common problem for homeowners, and the solution — an inline booster fan — may surprise you. [2:06] Clothes dryer doesn’t dry clothes well — what can I do? [5:52] Tips to convert a dresser into a bathroom vanity [10:05] Best New Product: Hardy Backer Cement Board [11:28] Tips to evenly stain a deck [12:52] Tips to safely remove a bathroom mirror glued to the wall [14:39] Interview: Peter Daich talks about Daich Coatings’ TracSafe Anti-Slip Sealer [19:59] Simple Solution: How to easily cut wide rolls of paper and roof-felt [21:44] How to get rid of unwanted grass in your garden [24:55] Should you seal off an old exhaust fan in a laundry room? [28:42] Question of the Week: How to replace a floor outlet after installing a new floor Simple Solutions Paper-Cutting Tip — To cut a wide roll of paper with a utility knife, stand the roll on its end and unroll as much as you need. But, don’t cut down through the top edge, or the paper will flop over, making it difficult to cut a straight line. And the paper might tear. Instead, start cutting about 2 inches down from the top edge and continue all the way down and through the bottom edge. Now cut or tear through the remaining paper at the top. This works great for brown packing paper, builders felt, roll roofing and foam underlayment, and any other thin sheet goods that come in wide rolls. Watch the Video Easy-Off Lids— To keep metal, twist-on lids from sticking to cans of varnish, oil and other finishes, place a small piece of waxpaper over the threads before twisting on the lid. The waxpaper will also create an airtight seal to keep the finish from drying out. Question of the Week Q: We replaced our carpet with wood and our floor electrical outlet is now below the floor level. What do I need to do to bring the outlet up to the level of the wood flooring? A: You’ll need an adjustable electrical box extension. Be careful! If you’re not comfortable or familiar with electrical work, get an electrician to install it. Other Products and Links Mentioned Daich Coatings Zar Interior Wood Finishing Products
May 22, 2020
No one wants to walk into the kitchen and find a parade of ants having a celebration on the countertop. Listen to learn about some safer methods to get rid of these pests.
May 22, 2020
If the winter wasn’t kind to your deck, you may be nervous about all the traffic on it during the summer months. Listen to learn how to get your deck ready for guests.
May 21, 2020
A large construction project is like a giant jigsaw puzzle that doesn’t always come together as planned. Listen to learn how to straighten out that puzzle.
May 20, 2020
For many people, spring cleaning means breaking out the pressure washer. But water at that pressure can also do damage to building materials. Listen to learn where and where not to use one.
May 19, 2020
Do you hate painting around the window glass? It's a tedious job, but there's a better way to do it. Listen to learn a trick that takes the misery out of this chore.
May 18, 2020
Metal roofing’s long-term durability and low required maintenance are just a couple of reasons why many people prefer it to alternatives. But long-held misconceptions may be keeping some homeowners from giving it a try. Listen to this special Today’s Homeowner Podcast, brought to you by the Metal Roofing Alliance, for five common myths about metal roofs — debunked. Metal roofing comes in different styles and colors to match just about any home’s architecture. (Credit: Drexel Metals)
May 16, 2020
Ever take a good look at the trim around the outside of your home? It’s the type of detail work that really makes a house stand out. Listen to learn how you can keep that trim looking good, no matter what.
May 16, 2020
Picture this: You’ve properly prepped your weathered, pressure-treated deck so you can resurface it and hopefully extend its life. But not long after applying this so-called deck revitalizer, you notice the deck’s surface bubbling and peeling — not a pretty sight. A number of companies sell deck resurfacers intended to fill small cracks and provide a smooth coating, but many customers say these products have unintended results. If your deck looks worse for the wear, listen to this week’s Today’s Homeowner Podcast to learn what you can do about it. We’ve also got a lot of other home improvement tips! Simple Solutions Long-Reach Gutter Cleaner — Here’s a quick way to clean gutters using a leaf blower. Take a 10-foot length of plastic downspout, snip one end and pinch it closed with some duct tape. Now, take the leaf blower, slip it into the opposite end of the downspout and you’re ready to blow out the debris from the gutter. In just a few seconds, you can blow out 8 to 10 feet of gutter without having to move your ladder once.  Sanitize Your Dishwasher — Clean, deodorize and sanitize you dishwasher to eliminate stains and odors. Empty the dishwasher and sprinkle one cup of baking soda onto the floor of the dishwasher. Close the door and let it soak overnight. The baking soda will absorb any funky odors. In the morning, run a wash cycle with hot water. Wait a few minutes for the bottom of the dishwasher to fill with water, then open the door and pour in two cups of white vinegar. Close the door and allow the wash cycle to finish. Question of the Week Q: After I bought my home, the basement windows leaked. I understand now why the walls were freshly painted! Anyway, I have replaced all the windows but there is staining on the walls and floors. Is there a solution? A: You’ll need to sand and scrape the surface and then use a quality stain blocker.
May 15, 2020
They may be cute and fun to watch, but they can also spell disaster for your home — listen to learn how to control squirrels.
May 15, 2020
Warmer weather means that your lawn mowing chores are ramping up. Listen to learn some ways to get your mower ready to work.
May 13, 2020
Have you ever thought about putting sunscreen on a wooden fence? Listen to learn why sunblock for your fence is so important.
May 11, 2020
Besides the “flowers that bloom in May,” what else do April showers bring? Listen to learn how to solve a safety problem that too much moisture can create.
May 9, 2020
Smoke detectors are a necessity and a code requirement. They’ve changed a lot over the years, so it’s good to get a refresher on what’s available. You used to hear all the time how important it was to replace a smoke detector’s battery twice a year. But lithium-ion batteries changed everything — they can power these devices for up to 10 years. You want to know another great innovation? Multi-station alarms. These wired smoke detectors have wireless companion devices that amplify alarms throughout the house. First Alert and Kidde are just two of the manufacturers, and these are perfect for larger homes, especially those with multiple levels. Listen to the Today’s Homeowner Podcast for more home improvement tips! [02:10] Danny and Joe talk about smoke detection innovations [06:43] Tips for venting fumes from cleaning products [08:24] Tips for replacing a poorly installed shower grab bar [13:41] Simple Solution: The best way to paint louvered doors and shutters [15:49] Carpet cleaning tips you may not know [20:36] Tips to remove layers of paint from wood floors [26:27] How to build a fire pit into a paver patio [29:07] Question of the Week: What causes a water hammer? Simple Solutions Pro Tip for Painting Louvers: Painting louvered doors and shutters is no easy feat, but pro painters have a technique that works well. First, roll on the paint without much regard for neatness; just get the paint on the louvers. Then immediately come back with an angled sash brush and spread out the paint to an even coating. Repeat for the backside of the louvers.  Trimming Border Tiles: When installing a tile floor (vinyl or porcelain), you usually have to trim the last row of tiles to fit against the wall. Here’s how to accurately mark those border tiles for a perfect fit every time: Start by laying a full-size tile on top of the tile in the second-to-the-last row. Place another full tile on top, and slide it up against the wall. Draw a pencil line along the edge of the top tile to mark the tile below; the pencil line represents the cut line. Remove the middle tile and cut it along the line. Question of the Week Q: “When I flush my toilet on the second floor of my townhome, I have been hearing what I’ll describe as a knocking noise. (The noise sounds like it’s in the wall behind the toilet). “It knocks immediately following flushing and continues for 30 to 60 seconds. It started getting louder recently. Do you know what’s causing this?  I don’t know who to contact to fix it. Thank you!” A: We know what that is: the old water hammer! Water, which is under pressure, rushes through the pipes, and when there’s an abrupt stop, like when you close the water valve, the water bangs into the pipes. That’s the sound you’re hearing, and there is a way around it. Listen to learn more!    DIY Project of the Week How to Make a Hot Patch Drywall Repair: Almost every home has a bit of damaged drywall here or there. Whether it’s a rowdy child or a door that swung too far open, most of us will have to deal with repairing small holes in drywall at some point. One of my favorite ways to do that is called a “hot patch,” and it’s super simple. Watch this video for the step-by-step guide. Other Products and Links Mentioned Broan First Alert Kidde Pavestone pavers Quikrete Advanced Polymer Construction Adhesive Simple Solutions 3 Smoke Detectors and How They Work
May 8, 2020
Do you find it hard to mask odd-shaped items when you're painting? Listen to learn an easy way to solve that problem.
May 8, 2020
If your kitchen cabinets are looking a little dull and grimy, it’s time to get steamed up. Listen to learn how you can turn your microwave into a powerful cleaning tool.
May 7, 2020
Are you looking for a new grill to fire up this summer? Here’s what you should know about charcoal and gas options.
May 5, 2020
When you're spring cleaning, do you ever clean your cleaning appliances? Listen for tips about sanitizing your dishwasher!
May 4, 2020
Ready for some outdoor cleaning? Well, don’t forget your colors! Coming up, a colorful interpretation of pressure washers!
May 2, 2020
The warmer weather seems to make us want to spruce up the outside of homes, and one of the best ways to do that is a fresh coat of paint. Listen and learn how to prep for a paint job that lasts as long as it should.
May 2, 2020
Removing carpet from a stairway is one trend for homeowners who want hardwood stairs with a runner down the middle. But there’s more than one way to do something, and the path you take — no pun intended! — is up to you. Just make sure you what you need. If you tackle this project, you’ll want a pneumatic nailer and plenty of construction adhesive for the best results. Listen to learn our advice for that and many other home improvements! [02:36] Tips for insulating an unheated garage [06:51] How to remove carpet from stairs and replace with hardwood treads [11:42] Best New Product: Ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control [13:05] The best time and temperature to do exterior painting [16:42] Simple Solution: Sawhorse stabilizer to use when cutting 4-by-8 sheets of plywood [18:50] Podcast Question of the Week: Advice about the best way to ventilate an attic Simple Solutions Slide-On BBQ Shelf: If you keep your barbecue grill on a deck, here’s an easy way to add a convenient shelf for holding platters of food, condiments and other grilling accouterments. Cut a simple shelf from a wide board to span a section of the deck’s handrail. Make the shelf between 16 and 24 inches long. On the underside of the shelf, screw on two pieces of narrow wood to form an L-shaped cleat. Size the notch in the cleat to fit snugly onto the back edge of the handrail. Then just set the shelf on the railing and tap on the back edge to lock the cleat onto the railing. The shelf is nice, sturdy and offers plenty of storage space. Watch the Video Sawhorse Stabilizers: Cutting a full sheet of plywood on sawhorses can be a bit tricky because the sheet isn’t fully supported, so it tends to sag and slide around. Support the sheet by adding 2-by-4 stabilizers to the sawhorses. Cut two 1½-inch-deep by 1½-inch-wide notches in each sawhorse. Space the sawhorses 6 to 7 feet apart, then set 8-foot-long 2-by-4s on-edge into the notches. The 2-by-4s will support the plywood along its entire length and allow you to cut it to size without sawing into the sawhorses. Watch the Video Question of the Week Q: “I have a four-square house and we have been here for two years. Our home inspector told us to keep the attic screen open for ventilation. Is this right or should I close it? I’m worried about the insulation getting wet.” A: We recommend keeping the ventilation open year-round. Unless there are no louvers, and we can’t imagine that’s the case, your insulation shouldn’t get wet. DIY Project of the Week How to Build Simple Farmhouse-Style Shutters In recent years, rustic farmhouse-style shutters have become a popular way to add character to a home’s exterior. If you like this style, the good news is that they’re really easy to build — without a lot of expense. Watch this video for the step-by-step guide.
May 1, 2020
As spring yard work begins, you’ll probably have gasoline stored somewhere around your house — maybe improperly. Listen to learn how to store it safely.
April 30, 2020
Our planet is a precious commodity, so we need to treat it right. Listen to learn about one of my favorite ways to save energy AND be kind to the earth.
April 29, 2020
Much of spring cleaning is about removing the stale odors that have been trapped inside all winter. Listen to learn about getting out smells without making the house smell like a chemical factory.
April 28, 2020
Looking for a low-cost way to make your home more environmentally friendly? Listen to learn about an inexpensive, water-conserving upgrade idea.
April 26, 2020
One topic that should never go out of style is recycling. Listen to learn why it’s important, and how you can help!
April 25, 2020
Dedicating a space to crafting, woodworking and automobile repairs makes all the difference when you need to focus on a particular project. Make your shed work for you. But garages, workshops and sheds should be in ship-shape for optimal use. And we’ll talk about how to get them that way in this episode of the Today’s Homeowner Podcast. Listen to learn how Chelsea repurposed old kitchen and dining-room furniture for her workshop; how to remove efflorescence from a garage floor, and a solution for your shed’s floors. [00:01:53:25] Chelsea shares how she recycled kitchen cabinets for use in her workshop [00:07:40:13] The best flooring for enclosing a lean-to on a storage shed [00:12:59:01] Danny discusses the benefits of TracSafe Anti-Slip Sealer [00:15:40:01] How to deal with efflorescence (salt) on the surface of a garage floor [00:18:54:15] How to extend landscape lights’ life [00:21:12:24] Best New Product: Ajustco barrel bolts for sagging gates [00:22:43:16] DIY Project of the Week: How to screen in an existing porch [00:26:28:29] Question of the Week: Danny and Joe advise on the best way to install a galvanized railing post on a new handrail Question of the Week Q: “We are replacing a wrought-iron handrail. The post at the top of the handrail needs to be installed on a tiled concrete porch. “The original railing post was core-drilled into the concrete and the tile was cut to fit and installed around the post. “When the old railing is removed, the tile around the post will need to be removed as well and replaced. “The new railing is galvanized. The railing company is suggesting that the post foot be mounted directly on the new tile rather than core-drilling directly into the concrete. What is the best way to install the new galvanized railing post?” A: If you can place the post into the concrete and pour epoxy around it, that’s an easy option. Also, try using Concrete Fasteners’ Large Diameter Tapcons. DIY Project of the Week: How to Screen in a Porch This time of year, we all want to be outside, and particularly this year when we’ve all been cooped up for weeks in quarantine. But the warmer weather is also appealing to the bugs, so many of us find ourselves swatting mosquitos to enjoy the great outdoors. If you want to enclose an existing porch area with a screen to get some relief, watch this video.
April 24, 2020
Out of sight, out of mind — but what happens if the thing out of sight is hazardous to your health? Here’s what you can do if you discover asbestos in your flooring.
April 23, 2020
Most people would agree to practice an eco-friendly approach to living as long as it doesn’t break the bank. Here’s a green idea that costs next to nothing: the clothesline.
April 22, 2020
Looking for a way to water the garden without ever turning on the faucet? Stay tuned and we’ll talk about a fun project that will save water and money, too.
April 21, 2020
As the weather warms up, some people are starting to think about painting projects. Listen to learn an important aspect of paint preparation.
April 18, 2020
Staying at home to prevent the novel coronavirus from spreading doesn't have to mean staying indoors. There's plenty to do outside, whether it's renovating a deck, creating a container garden or sealing slippery surfaces — just watch out for black snakes!
April 10, 2020
On this Week's Podcast: Wall Protection We all love our pets; they are family, after all. But given the chance, they could destroy your home. That’s why homes with fur babies could use some wall protection.   A listener just moved from a home with plaster walls, to a new home with drywall — and her dogs are still not used to this transition. She has three German Shepards who just months ago were used to bouncing off the walls. Now, they're either going through them, leaving grime on them, or leaving behind scratch marks. The homeowner wants to know if there is anything she can do to the walls to prevent future damage.  Also in this week’s podcast: Water damage can be tricky because you likely don't know about it until the damage is visible. That's what happened to one homeowner who is doing everything she can to prevent her wood siding from rotting. Ditch the gas can! We'll tell you about a battery-operated lawnmower that can out-cut gas-guzzling competitors. One of our biggest contests is in full swing right now! Find out how you can become the winner of a brand new "Backyard Paradise."  Did you know you can fight pesky mold on every exterior surface of your home without a ladder? We'll talk about how you can fight the fungus easier and safer. And Joe has a Simple Solution for carpet cleaning using an item from your medicine cabinet. Question of the Week Jon from Georgia writes, "I have low water pressure in my home. Will installing a larger pipe from the meter (out by the street) to the house increase my water pressure?" DIY Project of the week Many homeowners want to know how to get rid of patches of clover in their yards, but the elimination process can be time-consuming, and some of the herbicides contain chemicals that can damage the grass.  Instead of using a chemical-laden herbicide, here are several natural methods you can try.    
April 10, 2020
It happens to almost every homeowner. Whether it’s a burst pipe or a roof leak, you wind up with an ugly water stain on the wall or ceiling. While there are some good stain-blocking paints on the market, they don’t always work as well as you think. As the coat of paint dries, the water stain begins to bleed through again. Try this solution to encapsulate the stain with an impenetrable barrier.  
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