Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for Dec. 30, 2017

Hour 1

Hour 2

Simple Solutions

Wrapping Paper Organizer
Store and organize several rolls of wrapping paper by placing them into a clear plastic garment bag. Then insert a clothes hanger into the bag and hang it in a closet.

Homemade Furniture Polish
Make an affordable, nontoxic furniture polish by mixing 1 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1/8 cup of lemon juice. Pour the solution into a plant mister and spray it onto wood surfaces. Rub in circles with a dry cotton cloth to remove dust, dirt and grime. Then, use a second cloth to polish the surface in straight lines parallel with the direction of the wood grain. And, if you find a scratch in the surface, remove it by rubbing it with a piece of walnut.

Hour 1

Simone in WI
We have a door that goes from our bathroom to our bedroom. Our house is not that large that we just can’t walk down the hall to get to the bathroom, so we wanted to close that up. What is the best way to do that?

Inger in CO
Our stove does not sit against an exterior wall. Our microwave sits above the stove; it has a vent fan for the stove, but all the fan does is recirculate the odors and oils into the kitchen. My husband and I have an ongoing debate about whether it would be better to 1) move the microwave and install an exhaust hood over the stove and route it through the ceiling to the exterior wall or 2) leave the microwave where it’s at and install an exhaust fan on the exterior wall opposite the stove.

Liz in Ohio
I would love to lower my heating bills this winter. I know there are lots of little things I can do, but where do I start and what will give me the most bang for my buck?

Hear the answer Straight from the Pro: Stacy Fitzgerald-Redd, a home winterization pro and Director of Communications and Marketing for the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association (NAIMA). Visit NAIMA’s Insulation Institute for helpful info on home improvement savings at

Bernie in FL
I have water stains on a painted ceiling. Some of them are old, some of them are new. I got a leak in the roof. They’re going to be fixing the roof in a week or two but in the meantime I have to get the stains out for a home inspection. What would I use?

We have a vent fan in the ceiling of our utility room. But the fan is located directly above where I want to install some cabinets. How much space must I allow between the fan grille and the tops of the cabinets?

Hour 2

Phil in NC
I purchased a meat smoker and put it on my deck. Unfortunately, it seems the smoke from the unit wafts up into the soffit vents and fills the attic with smoke. The unit is probably 5 feet away from the soffit overhang, and there’s really no room to move it further away. Apart from moving the unit to the driveway, is there a way to reduce the soffit vents from smoke ingestion?

Desiree in MS
We have original hardwood floor through most of our house and we’ve noticed that some of the hardwood in our living room and a little bit in the hallway is starting to raise up off the floor and it’s causing a huge problem when people try to walk on it. I was just wondering what could be the cause of this or how we could fix it?

Dale in SC
We have concrete cracks around our pool deck and porch that we don’t know how to repair. Most are fairly thin cracks. What do we do?

Mary in WA
I have light-colored paneling in my bathroom and would like to paint over it. Is there anything special that I need to do first, and what is the best kind of paint to use?

Can you please tell me how to lay tiles onto a plywood subfloor that isn’t perfectly flat?

Zoraida in NJ
I applied polyurethane varnish to a wooden coffee table, and waited a couple of hours for it to dry. But when I started to sand the surface, I realized that the varnish was still a bit tacky. Now the tabletop is a mess. How can I fix it?

Mary in AL
What can I do to keep mildew from growing on the surface of my concrete patio? I’ve scrubbed it off, but it keeps growing back.


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