Simple Solutions

Measuring diagonals – One of the simplest and most accurate ways to determine if a wood frame is perfectly square is to measure and then compare the corner-to-corner diagonal dimensions. When the two dimensions are equal, the frame is square. And to simplify this task, get a friend to help and measure both diagonal distances simultaneously using two tape measures.

Rescue Old Wood Glue – When old wood glue becomes too thick to dispense easily, twist off the bottle top and pour out as much glue as possible into a small bowl. Then, add a couple tablespoons of water and mix with hex-key wrench chucked into a drill. When the glue is the right consistency, pour it back into its original bottle.

Best New Product

Decorating with tile allows you to create a look that’s uniquely your own. Whether it’s a floor, a backsplash, a shower or just focal point you create in a foyer or on an outside wall. The new Merola Tile Twenties Classic tile is great for that. It draws inspiration from vintage artisan cement tiles to capture a sought after designer look, without the cost of the real thing. Plus, like most modern tiles it’s glazed to make it durable. But the glaze is matte glaze to maintain the look of the original with a low sheen and slight variations in tone. And it’s frost resistant, so you can use it for both indoor and outdoor applications. So if you’re trying to create a custom look for your next project without blowing the budget on materials … this might be a good choice.

You can purchase this product at The Home Depot.

Featured Question of the Week

I am shopping for grout for a bathroom project and I’m having a hard time figuring out what to buy. Why there are such differences in price between different grouts?

Danny’s answer: It’s honestly as simple as “you get what you pay for.” Obviously with the pre-mixed versus the dry powder grout you’re paying for the convenience of not mixing the material before you apply it. But it goes further than that. When you mix it yourself you can create variations in color from batch to batch unless you follow the mixing instructions precisely. Then once the grout is installed and dry you’ll need to buy another product to seal it if you want to protect it from stains. The really good quality pre-mixed grouts, like Fusion Pro single component grout, are popular because they eliminate the extra work and expense of applying a sealer. In fact, Fusion Pro includes Microban protection to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew. It also delivers unrivaled color consistency, so if you use it on the bathroom floor this week and on the shower walls next week… the grout colors will match perfectly… plus you don’t have to break out the drill and mixing paddle. You can find out more about this product on the Custom Building Products website.

Hour 1

Mark in NH
I have an attic floor that is insulated to R49, however, there’s no rafter vents to the ridge vent and rafter insulation. This is over our bedroom and the bedroom is always cold in the winter. I’m thinking of adding the rafter vents to the ridge vent then adding insulation over the rafter vent. Should I use faced insulation with the face toward to room? Should I use open faced, and don’t worry about the facing because the attic floor (Bedroom ceiling) is insulated with R49?

Kathy in MO
When we built our home in 1996 they used a “bump out” to give us more room in our master bathroom. The double sink, vanity and all the plumbing are a part of the bump out. Unfortunately it leaks air like crazy. Last year the siding was taken off and a layer of “Tyvek” was put on the largest outside wall and the siding replaced. It has made little to no difference. There is a 20 degree difference from the temperature in the room and the temperature at the floor.

Yolanda in TX
Whenever it rains the water from my roof falls in the flower bed in front of my house, and creates a big puddle by the foundation. I noticed this bed is lower than the rest of the ground (front lawn). Now that is dry, there is a gap between the soil and foundation. I’d like to add soil to the bed and bring it up. How would I go about that? Add soil and then rocks? Do I need a professional? Would I have to have somebody dig a few inches and add rocks?

Hour 2

Roger in WA
I’m getting ready to paint a concrete front porch and a concrete basement laundry room floor. Are there any particular prep steps I need to do besides using a concrete paint and cleaning the floor/porch first?

John in AL
We have a small hot tub that will need to be supported at 85# psf. I have 11′ spans on my 2×10 southern pine joists. I cannot figure how to calculate the load of existing joists and spans – Do you have a way? or should I just double up the 2x10s under the tub area?

Kirk in WA
I run a retreat center with lots of small cabins that contain bedroom and full bath much like a hotel room. Cabins have baseboard heat, so no forced air exchange. Bathrooms have exhaust fans with moisture and motion sensors. We are located in the northwest and in the shade of lots of fir trees. Any suggestion about dealing with the musty smell? All the products I find on line are typically house sized.

Chip in FL
I’d like to install rain gutters on my house. Do you have any tips or suggestions, including how far apart the downspouts should be and what’s the proper slope so that water drains out of the gutters?

Roger in TN
We bought a crystal doorknob lockset, but didn’t realize that the plates on either side of the door had to be screwed into the wood door. (Of course the packaging left no clue, either.) The door has a 2 3/8 in. hole from the old lockset, and the new knob requires ¾ in. hole for the shaft. Is there any way to adapt the larger hole to the smaller hole? I can’t find dowels large enough or anything else off the shelf.

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Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford is among the country’s most sought-after home improvement experts.
The seasoned remodeling contractor and media personality served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s “The Early Show” and The Weather Channel for over a decade and has made more than 180 national television appearances on “Fox & Friends,” “Inside Edition,” “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” Fox Business Channel, Rachael Ray and more.
He travels the country making appearances as a brand ambassador and spokesperson, and each year contributes expertise to hundreds of popular magazines and online media outlets.

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Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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