Today's Homeowner Radio Show for September 23, 2023 fire pits and lawn fertilizing

    Hour 1

    Vinyl siding in need of repair

    Siding Repair Solution

    Pete is renovating a house that he plans to move into soon. One of his projects involves repairing some damaged vinyl siding and he wants to know how he should go about that and what tools he will need. 

    If you are fortunate enough to find new siding that matches the existing material, you will need a “zip tool” to slide between the rows of siding to separate them. This will allow you to remove the damaged piece and replace it with a new one.  

    If you are not able to find matching siding you might try using a vinyl siding repair kit. These kits include self-adhesive patches that can be painted to match the color of the existing siding. 

    Paver patio with adirondack chairs, firepit and grill.

    Fire Pit Planning

    Fire pits make a great addition to an outdoor living space, but planning is important if you want it to be more than just a spot to makes smores. To really enhance the landscape, strategically selecting the location is important. 

    Avoid overhanging trees and structures for safety and choose a spot that improves the appearance of the yard. Accessibility to the house is important, but you might also consider visibility from a prominent window of the home to “invite” guests out to enjoy it.

    To make the fire pit look like a “planned part of the landscape” consider building one from a kit using pavers versus a portable metal unit. A paver firepit kit usually costs only a few dollars more, is far more substantial, and will last longer so you can enjoy for years to come.  

    Hour 2

    (Image from: Adobe Stock)

    Fall Fertilizing Tips

    Fall is the ideal time to fertilize your lawn because while the grass leaves may be growing slowly in cool weather, the roots and rhizomes continue to grow at a healthy pace. The rhizomes are the stems that run horizontally under the soil surface. The blades grow up from them and the roots grow down from them. 

    The application of a complete fertilizer (one that has a high ratio of both nitrogen and potassium) will support root growth over the winter while it helps the plant resist both disease and cold weather. Those stronger, deeper roots will translate into a fuller, more healthy lawn in the spring. 

    Garage Storge

    Garage Upgrades

    Upgrading a garage usually starts with some de-cluttering and while that often means getting rid of some stuff, reorganizing with the right strategies and materials helps too. To get things up off the floor consider some storage cabinets, either free standing* or wall hung* will work. Smaller items may require the installation of some storage hooks and hangers* mounted on the walls. 

    The garage door and its opener are both a big part of the way a garage functions and looks. Newer garage doors are likely to be more secure and attractive so replacing the old one can make a big change. The operators that open the door have also been improved to be quieter and include features like wifi connectivityfor remote operation through a smart phone. This makes access easier for both the homeowner and those to whom they need to give access.  

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    Close-up view of Behr Pure White Primer and Paint, with paintbrush dipped into the can.Behr Premium Plus Low Odor Interior Paint & Primer
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    Simple Solutions

    Joe Truini reads from the tape measure

    Tape-Measurement Tip—It’s easy to forget measurements between your project location and your sawing station so turn your tape measure into a note pad to remember the measurements with this tip. Remove the stick-on decal from the side of the tape measure and clean the adhesive off the surface with a solvent like Goo-Gone or WD-40

    Next, roughen up the surface by scrubbing it with 120-grit sandpaper to remove the shiny surface so you can write on it. This gives you a convenient place to write down the dimensions, and since the tape measure will go with you to the saw, you won’t forget them or leave them behind. Once you’ve made the cut, you can erase the numbers, and you’re ready for the next measurement.  

    Joe Truini displaying child's chair made from milk crate
    Joe Truini displays a child’s chair made from an old milk crate.

    Mike Crate Storage Seat—Convert a plastic milk crate into a child’s seat with storage by using this tip. Cut a square of half-inch plywood slightly larger than the crate. Set a piece of two-and-a-half-inch thick foam rubber on top of the plywood and wrap it with a canvas drop cloth or any sturdy fabric. Staple the cloth to the underside of the plywood to create a seat cushion. Now, set the cushion on top of the crate and store toys and books inside the crate.

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for 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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