Today’s Homeowner Radio Show for Week of Sept. 23, 2017

Hour 1

Hour 2

Simple Solutions

Cleaning Window Screens
Before putting away your window screens for the winter, clean them using a household vacuum with an upholstery-brush attachment. Lightly scrub both sides of the screens with the brush to remove all loose dust and dirt. Then, store the screens in large plastic trash bags or wrap them in a plastic tarp.

Cutting Veneer
A portable circular saw is great for cutting plywood down to size, but the blade has a tendency to badly splinter the top veneer surface. Here’s how to avoid that: Mark the cutline onto the plywood, then use a sharp utility knife to score the cutline. (Scoring is simply making a shallow cut.) Now when you make the saw cut, the veneer will break off cleanly along the scored line, eliminating any splintering. This tip is also effective when cutting doors, especially hollow-core doors.

Hour 1

Nancy in AL
Do you know how we can prevent squirrels from eating our masonite clapboard siding? We’ve tried traps and no luck. The house is 30 years old, but this problem only started a few years ago.

Tammy in PA
I adjusted the screw on my screen door and it still slams shut. Then it opens up again and then goes in slowly.

Doug in IA
We have a 100 year old home. Most of the basement has been upgraded with sheetrocked walls but it has no doors or finished floors. Since we would like to make it an inviting, usable space, we’re trying to figure out what needs to be done and the steps in which to do them. It would be ideal to be able to ‘unstuck’ our main floor washer and dryer and maybe even add an additional shower/bathroom.

Debbie in OH
I would like to know what to do with the wires left out from the range hood. My husband removed the hood along time ago and capped and wrapped the wires with electrical tape. Now I’m selling my house and I need to do something with the wires. Any suggestions?

Steve in TN
After a heavy blowing rain, the ceiling in a first floor room developed a significant leak. It is below a second floor dormer window. The roof is 4 years old and appears to be in good shape. Tips on how to identify the source of the leak?

Bart in FL
I had a manual transfer switch installed several years ago, but have never used it. I want to make sure I know how to connect it to the generator, how to test it in advance of any need. It was installed by a licensed pro and inspected by the city. Can you tell me the steps I need to take?

Pam in NC
I have tried to figure out how to floor my attic. I have wires that cross over the joist. I know it wouldn’t be safe to place a board on them. How do I do this?

Hour 2

Larry in MO
I recently added master bathroom space onto my house. The addition has a crawl space which is open (by a 3′ x 3′ opening) to my original basement which is heated/cooled. I plan to use a vapor barrier on the dirt/gravel floor and foam board on the walls. The tile floor in my addition has heat beneath it. My question is: should I insulate between the floor joists? Also, will the floor heat in the bathroom create any heat for my crawl space?

Karen in SC
Is there anything at all that can be done to save a botched integral color concrete patio? The color has settled along the cut pattern lines and looks like rust against the rest of it.

George in AL
Our house stays hot no matter the temperature outside. We open the windows for fresh air, but it doesn’t work. Even when it’s in the 60s outside we have to turn on the air to keep the house cool. Do you have any suggestions?

Roger in GA
I have my air handler in the attic above our hallway. We noticed a leak at a crack that was created by some AC work. We fixed the leak, but now we have no idea how to repair the crack. We have blown-in insulation, so it wouldn’t be easy to remove sheetrock without a big mess. Any suggestions?

Jo Ann in NY
How hard is it to convert to gas fireplace? I have a zero clearance fireplace now. Most places I have called want $5,000-$8,000. Is this in the ballpark?

Misty in OK
My mom recently hired a guy to refinish her golden oak floors. He didn’t sand, put a Minwax Red Oak oil-based stain over a clear coat. Is there a way to fix this, or I need to sand and do it over?

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