Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for the week of July 30, 2016

Hour 1

Hour 2


So, here we are at the end of the month! I had fully intended on sharing a little video from a company cookout that was supposed to be nothing more than an innocuous gathering of our work clan. Little did I know that they all conspired to make it a 10-year-anniversary party for me. Yes, I’ve put in ten years with Today’s Homeowner! A huge thank you to all my fellow employees and work-time family!


As usual, we had a jam-packed show full of fun and information. Electrical safety expert, Bill Grande, was our special guest as we talked about what you can do to protect your electronics when your home isn’t wired with a ground. One of the favorite safety pieces Danny & I highly recommend is the combo AFCI/GFCI receptacle from our friends at Leviton. Be sure to listen to Hour 1 to hear Bill’s advice.

If you’re looking for a few ideas to improve your curb appeal, check out the list of projects Danny & I came up with that’s simple enough for any homeowner to tackle and will immediately add that spark of pizzazz your home may be lacking:

Six Simple Curb Appeal Projects

  • Exposed foundation slab – Add a veneer of brick, stone or pavers. You can paint it, but it looks less appealing than a veneer that compliments the existing brick or siding.
  • Utility meters, conduits, etc. – Paint these to match the existing brick or siding to help make them less noticeable.
  • Large tree in the front yard – Build a tree bench around the entire tree. Paint or stain to add richness.
  • A/C compressor – Build a lattice screen to hide the compressor from view. Paint to complement the existing house color.
  • Plain windows – Add window boxes with plenty of colorful flowers mixed with hanging ivy.
  • Plain mailbox on 4×4 post – Add brick around the 4×4 to create a new column. Top with a copper or painted wood cap. Add bold house numbers on the new column and landscaping at the base for color.

A common question we get is: when is the best time to paint outdoor projects? There are temperature extremes you simply need to avoid when it comes time to paint. Ideally, it needs to be warmer than 50 and cooler than 85. Personally, even though I can’t stand painting, if I absolutely HAVE to paint outdoors, then I prefer either the Spring or the Fall and only when the weather forecast is giving me clear skies for minimum of 3 days.

Our buddy Dave Traenkle from Green Star Services in Colorado Springs, CO also joined us this week to discuss the best way to find and fight those mysterious unseen odors that may be haunting your home. Hear his advice in Hour 2 of this week’s show.

And, here’s a full list of the questions we tackled on this week’s show:

Hour 1

Lana in IN
My house is over 100 years old. I need to know should I remove the plaster and lathe to re-do or keep it and work over the top with whatever I decide to re-do.

Vince in WV
I purchased a home about 2 years ago that had been remodeled inside and out from top to bottom. The house was built in 1965 and has the very bare minimum in attic insulation. It’s faced and only about 2″ thick and probably has been up there for decades. Would it be alright to place the new insulation on top of the old, or should I remove it completely and start from scratch? The main problem that I have is entry into the attic. The only access is 2′ 5″ x 13″. I can squeeze trough but I’d never get a full roll of insulation or a bat through the opening.

Claude in MA
Can I add another layer of self-adhesive vinyl tile or Vinyl Floating flooring over existing floor? Existing floor consists of old wooden sub-floor, looks like plywood; a layer of linoleum ; 1/4″plywood when kitchen was remodeled many years ago; and two layers of self-adhesive vinyl tiles.

Jacke in TX
My builder is using 2x4x10 finger joint studs on interior walls. How strong are these? Are they acceptable to be used for my walls?

Delia in CA
My home is more than 50 years old and I was told I don’t have ground wiring in my home. Do I need to be worried? Should I have my home rewired? Can I just buy AFCI/GFCI tamper resistant outlet and replace where necessary?

Laura in RI
I would like to paint brass house numbers red. I will be putting them on my mailbox post so they will be exposed to the elements. What is the best method for having long lasting red numbers?

Hour 2

Rocky in AL
We have been advised and cautioned by engineers, builders, and family, to spray insulation under the roof in the attic in the home we are building in Fairhope, AL. We hear that it is fantastic and we hear that there are potential problems ahead with shingles losing their warranty because of the heat created on the roof. Please tell us what you think of roof/attic spray insulation vs batting on the ceiling.

Sheila in KS
The handle to my outdoor faucet has a screw I have taken out but the handle does not come off. Do I need to unscrew the connection behind the handle? It looks like it would not be easy to unscrew. The faucet is dripping.

Barbara in NC
What is the best time to paint your porch, etc? The recent heat, humidity and thunderstorms are making me think this is not a good time and I cannot afford to waste paint.

Eileen in IL
I need to enlarge a hole in an aluminum storm door. I had to buy a new handle, and the hole I need is larger than what’s there. I’m afraid I may damage the door if I try to use a larger drill bit in the existing hole.

Danny in NC
I’m trying to find a way to cut ceramic tile into a octagon shape. Can you please send me a suggestion?

Judith in MS
We recently moved into and remodeled an old 1960″s ranch style home. But since being there, we’ve noticed a very stale, unpleasant odor. We thought the smell came from the house being closed up, but when we travel the smell is in our clothes! The house has a dirt crawl space underneath. It has always stayed dry, no water problems. But the house “still” has a smell. The crawl space is vented, but that does not help. So could you please help?

Mary Ann in AL
The particle board under the lip of my countertop in front of the sink and dishwasher is disintegrating. How can I fix this?


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