Simple Solutions

Tomato Cage Holiday Tree
Make decorative Christmas tree by wrapping a wire tomato cage with garland and lights. Then, add ornaments and red bows. Can be used indoors or out. If making more than one tomato-cage tree, use wire cutters to snip the cages to different heights.

Christmas Tree Filler
Make a thin, sparsely looking Christmas tree look fuller by wrapping artificial green garland between the branches prior to decorating the tree. The garland will fill in openings and blend perfectly with the tree’s branches.

Hour 1

Maureen in CT
How do I replace the tiles on my hearth which is flush to a wood floor without damaging the floor or removing the fireplace surround?

Cindy in MO
I have an old steamer trunk that has a musty odor. I’ve tried vinegar, baking soda, leaving charcoal in it for months, but nothing works. Any suggestions?

Colin in SD
I have an artisan well on the place where I grew up. It was drilled in 1970 and has always had good water. We have never needed a softener. It flows but has no pressure and we had to put a pump on it in the mid-’80s. It has an overflow but freezes up in the winter. I just recently had to put a new pump on it and elected to put a pressure tank and use the pressure switch. The previous pumps were wired direct and ran all the time. Over the last few years I have noticed rust staining in sinks toilets and showers. The diffusers have been plugging much more often. Is there a problem with the well that I need to worry about?

John in MI
I’m in the process of buying a house. Inspector found small moldy area in attic; however, there are no active leaks. I want to turn and run and look for another house. Am I wrong?

Bill in PA
Our toilet overflowed and water leaked into our basement and onto a suspended ceiling. There are now water stains on about 10 ceiling tiles. Can I paint the tiles to hide the water stains?

I need to replace an old concrete-block retaining wall, which is five courses high. Must I replace the bottom course that sits right on the ground, or can I just stack the new blocks right on top?

My double-glazed window is perfectly fine, except that the grille that’s placed between the glass panes has fallen to the bottom. How can I put it back into place?

Hour 2

Lisa in FL
What is the easiest way to flush out an electric hot water heater? I am afraid of the electricity and possible flooding from the bottom of the unit.

Billy in KY
After two years of working on remodeling the bathroom, I finally got the new tub and shower surround in. But now I’m having trouble doing the trim work. I’ve got inside corners and outside corners, and I’m having trouble fitting the crown and baseboards without gaps. I need help.

Anthony in WI
Do you have advice for homeowners who are worried about installing new vinyl windows? I want to keep my original 100-year-old wood windows, but everyone seems to be going with vinyl. They say the vinyl windows are triple paned and are more energy efficient, but I’m concerned that vinyl is a cheap product and will actually only last 15-20 years.

Lon in IN
My attic has blown insulation and a vapor barrier over top (silver foil type cover). It is poorly insulated. Can I blow insulation over the vapor barrier or do I need to remove it and put it over the top of the newly blown insulation.

Five years ago, we cut back huge limbs on neighbors’ pecan tree that were hanging over our carport. The branches have since grown back and need trimming again. Is there anything we can “paint” on the cut ends to keep them from growing so quickly?

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.

Learn More