Simple Solutions

Mini-Greenhouse for Starting Seeds – Make a cloche (super-mini greenhouse) for germinating seeds in round clay pots. Use a utility knife to crosscut a plastic soda bottle in half. Use a 1-liter bottle for a small clay pot, and a 2-liter bottle for a larger pot. (Discard the bottom half of each bottle.) Fill the pot with soil and plant the seeds. Now set the top half of the bottle over seeds to create a makeshift greenhouse. Place the covered pots in a sunny window during the day, and move them into a warm room at night. The plastic bottle will trap heat and prevent moisture evaporation. If the air inside the cloche gets too hot, simply unscrew the bottle cap.

Cordless Drill Holster – Make convenient storage holster for your cordless drill from a 12-in. length of 3-in.-dia. PVC pipe. Use a jigsaw to cut a slot in the pipe slightly wider than the tool’s handle, and about 6 in. long. Then screw the pipe to the underside of a shelf or ceiling joist. Now, slide the drill into the slot, leaving the handle hanging below. This not only saves shelf space, it also keeps the drill out of the way, but readily accessible at all times.

Hour 1

Jim in PA
I need to lay laminate flooring under baseboard hot water heaters. How is that best accomplished?

Ramona in VA
Sometimes I feel crowded in our small bath and want to open it up to join our 1/2 bath in our master bedroom. Is this advisable? How difficult is it to do?

Katie in IA
Help! Our composite deck looks horrible. It’s badly stained and dingy looking. What’s the best way to clean the surface without damaging the decking?

Marshall in AR
My house is 17 years old and I’m the first owner. I just noticed that paint is peeling off the aluminum soffits on the gable ends of the house. Should I repaint soffits, or do you think it would be better to just replace them?

Carolyn in AL
We have a composite sink that looks as if there is mold growing on it. How can I clean the sink without damaging it?

Vicki in KY
I need to hire contractors for a few different home-improvement projects. I know it’s smart to get more than one estimate, but how many estimates per project is reasonable? I don’t want to waste their time (or mine!).

Hour 2

Bev in FL
Do you have any tips on painting behind the toilet tank without removing the toilet?

Marjorie in AK
Some of the wallpaper seams in my house are beginning to come loose in several rooms. How and with what could they be fastened back to the walls?

Chris in MO
My question is about flooring in my bathroom. I’m trying to decide whether to go with hardwood or vinyl plank looking wood. I’ve heard difference of opinion about what’s better in a damp situation like that.

Sondra in IA
We recently had siding put on our old house. The storm windows are old and one of them wasn’t the correct size. When they put it back on they left a big gap at the top of the window. I assume that this is not how it is supposed to be. So apart from putting the gap at the bottom of the window (which probably isn’t good either), how can I fix this without making it really ugly?

Chip in NV
I will be putting a tile backsplash in our bath over the sinks. The wall is painted and has a knock down texture. Do I need to sand all the texture off or just enough to get a smooth finish?

Glen in TX
We want to install a pull-down attic staircase in our two-car garage, which has 8-ft. ceilings. I know that I must cut out one ceiling joist, but what other factors must I consider before taking on this task? What about building codes or fireproofing?

Sandi in CA
I tried applying expanding foam sealant in my crawlspace, but it dripped all over me. Is there some kind of foam sealant that I can use while laying on your back that won’t drip so much?

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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