Simple Solutions

Plywood Cutting Tip– Using only a pair of 2x4s on sawhorses while cutting a sheet of plywood can cause the sheet to sag in the middle, pinching the saw blade and creating dangerous kickback. Instead, use four 2x4s, with two of them on either side of the cut line. This will support the entire plywood sheet while sawing, and both halves after the cut—with no risk of pinching the blade.

Nontoxic Oven Cleaner– Here’s a homemade recipe for an effective, safe, nontoxic oven cleaner: Add the peels from two oranges to a jar filled with white vinegar. Tighten the jar’s lid and let the peels soak for about a week. Pour the vinegar solution into a plant mister. Sprinkle baking soda on the oven and glass door, then spray the vinegar solution. Let sit for 20 minutes, then wipe away the soften gunk with a sponge.

Hour 1

Gerard in KY
I have a floor that squeaks under the carpet. I have open access to floor from the basement. How can I fix this?

Andrea in NH
My sister, brother in law & I moved in an old log cabin with my father who had a stroke to take care of him. We have a small farm, the house was built in 1990. We are having issues we have from ice dams (electric issues & leaks). Short of climbing on our metal roof we are wondering where to begin…

Kory in UT
We currently have an orange peel texture on our walls and are wanting to put an old world texture on them instead. My question is can we apply an old world texture directly over the walls as they currently are or do we need to do anything beforehand?

Greg in KY
I have a few water lines that run from the basement to the upstairs bathrooms. Is it safe to add shut offs to the lines in the basement? Also, if I do this, is there a way to add a line to drain the existing water from the lines? The line has frozen twice and caused the shower to leak (luckily the second time I didn’t have any drywall damage).

Elaine in FL
I’m trying to remove some old caulking from an under-mount sink. I worked at for two hours and was only able to scrape off about one quarter of it. I don’t want to put new caulk over this old, yucky stuff. Help!

Tony in FL
We have a floor that’s composed of 1/2-inch-thick oak planks glued to a concrete slab. The floor is 40 years old, but it is solid, adhered well, and it doesn’t expand from humidity. Can I lay porcelain tile directly over the oak floorboards or must I install cement backerboard first? And how would I attach the backerboard? Wouldn’t the screws hit the concrete slab?

Hour 2

Amy in MI
We bought an old farmhouse and took our realtor’s advice to skip inspection. Turns out, this place is falling apart. We have to do all repairs ourselves and we definitely bit off more than we could chew. There are so many things to do that we don’t know where to start. The main problems are beach wave floors and cracks in all the walls and floor boards, and baseboards. We’ll need to replace floors, joists, subfloor, and new coverings. Which do we do first?!

David in PA
I have an older home that has a cistern for its water supply. I clean it regularly and have noticed some small cracks forming. I believe I have a slow leak. What are my safe options for sealing it? Also, the only filter is a brick pillar over the intake line for the pump. I know the old timers use to put a wire mash bag of charcoal in the pipe supplying the cistern. What do you recommend?

Brian in CO
I have a log home that was built in 1999 and the time has come for weather proofing the logs. Last year, we had a driving rain that forced the rain through the logs and was leaking inside our home. I have called several home repair companies and they all suggest stucco over the logs to completely and permanently weather seal the logs. The alternative is to preserve the logs and weather proof them, but the cost is too far out of my price range. Thoughts?

Mertis in CA
In our home the light switches on the wall turn the lights on in the closet but not the lights in the ceiling of the room. It’s 3 bedrooms and each light switch on the wall only turns on the lights in the closet. We have ceiling fans so we have to pull them in order for the lights to come on.

Wayne in NC
I have some fiberglass insulation that’s stained by oil from an old boiler leak. Since I’m trying to sell the house, I’m wondering if I need to replace the stained insulation or just leave it in place. Also, should I be concerned about the home inspection?

Cynthia in OH
I’m about to scrape the popcorn texture off our ceilings. Must I remove all the furniture from the rooms first, or can I just cover them up? And what’s the best material for protecting the furniture?

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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