Homeowners Marilyn and Jesse King with Danny Lipford and Allen Lyle.
Homeowners Marilyn and Jesse King with Danny Lipford and Allen Lyle.

Marilyn and Jesse King have made a few upgrades to their 30-year-old home over the years, and now we’re helping them with some up-cycling and recycling solutions for their laundry room. In this episode we:

Read the Episode Article to find out more.


DANNY: This week on
Today’s Homeowner,

we’re combing an upcycle
project and a recycle project.

And that’s not even
the unique part of it.

A unique purpose.

(CHUCKLES) Okay, you’re
leaving us hanging. Come on!

What’s the
unique purpose?

DANNY: Marilyn and Jesse King
own this 30-year-old home,

and during the 18 years
they’ve live here, they’ve
made a few upgrades.

We remodeled the kitchen
about two years ago.

MARILYN: And every once
in a while I walk
through here and I’ll say,

“This is the best money
we’ve ever spent.”

DANNY: Now they wanna
tackle the laundry room,

starting with a very
unique project.

What d’you have in mind
for in here?


This hutch,
for example,

this was my
uh, hutch.

DANNY: Mmm-hmm.
MARILYN: But I want
to repurpose it.

I have a cat, Angel.
DANNY: Uh-huh.

And her litter box
is kind of over there.

DANNY: Oh, I see it
tucked over there.

I want to know
if there is some way
that you can turn this,

maybe the bottom half…

…into a way to enclose
her litter box.

Like a kitty condo
thing? (LAUGHS)
Yeah, that’d be great.

When I saw it
on Pinterest,

I thought that will work
perfectly right there.

And the cat would have
access on the, one of
the side, like a pet door.

Now, what about some
of the things that
you have here?

What’re you planning
on doing along those lines?

MARILYN: I had hoped to maybe
use something like a plate
rack or a display shelf,

somewhere, and that’s
where you come in.

You have those
plate racks, kind
of up, up high.

Don’t know if you’ve seen
those like in dining
rooms and such.

We had one
in our old house.

DANNY: Uh-huh.
And I’ve always
wanted one.

Like above
the doorway here.

And did she fill
it up with plates?
Oh yeah.

I have a problem
with plates.

I have plates that
they’re on the wall,
you know, different…

I’m a collector of plates.

DANNY: In addition
to plates and

Marilyn is also passionate
about recycling.

In fact, as a teacher,
she won several awards

for teaching her students
about the subject.

We wanna recycle more.

But we want to make it
less crowded and less

DANNY: I got you.

Have you got any
ideas for that?

So, this is pretty
interesting. So, we’re taking
care of Angel, the cat,

taking care of some,
uh, display plate racks,

uh, dressing up
the basic entry way

to the home, and
figuring out an
easier way to recycle.

Exactly, that’s
just what I want.

I’d be a happy girl.

DANNY: So, it’s a small room,
but no small challenge.

This may require a little
selling to get Allen
and Chelsea on board.

All right, I’ve got
a little project that
I found out about here,

that, uh, is a great
little upcycling project.

Now, look at that.

They want to take this
upper part of it off.
ALLEN: Mmm-hmm.

And they want to repurpose
the lower area for

a unique purpose.

You’re leaving us
hanging. Come on.

What’s the
unique purpose?

It’s for their
cat to use.

So, really?

a playhouse?
You see the litter box?

Oh, my gosh.
We’re building
a litter box?

Inside this.

It seems like a lot
of work to turn this
decent piece of furniture

into something for a cat
to use the bathroom in.

But I am a fan
of upcycling so this
should be interesting.

DANNY: Challenge accepted.

Once Marilyn and Jesse
clear out the space,
we can get to work.

In order to open this
up for room for the
litter box to go in there,

is to cut the style,
attach it to this,

that way you
have it completely
uninterrupted there.

Then over on
this side,

have a cat door, there.
That’s good. Yeah.

And you had mentioned wanting
to take this off completely.

Which I think
is a great idea.

Pink’s my favorite color.

But are we gonna
keep it that color?

Mmm, no.

I had a moment of pink.


We all have
one of those.

What kind of color were
you thinking about? Have
you gone that far?

Yes, I think, uh,

I think I want
to paint it black.

I think it’ll pop
against that new paint
color on the wall.

Make a little statement.
MARILYN: Exactly.

Is the cat going
to use this, though?

Do you think she’ll…
MARILYN: We will find out.

All right.

This is not gonna work.

It’s not?
How come?

When we started opening
the box for the cat door,

the cat had a name written
on the outside of the box,
which is hilarious.


Can you rename the cat?

This is for…
This is for Bob.

ALLEN: That don’t
even make sense.

Look the cat’s calico,
that cat’s a female.

definitely a girl cat.

ALLEN: Boy, this is
a mixed-up deal here.

Danny likes to
call it a cat condo.
I don’t like that term.

I mean, the cat’s not gonna
live there, right?

Do its business there.

I’ve come up with a name
for what we’re doing here.

All right.

A “Porta-catty.”

A “Kitty condo.”


Or “Litter-sitter.”

CHELSEA: Are you
gonna make a plaque?

DANNY: Kitty condo.

ALLEN: It’s not a condo.

She’s not gonna
live in it.

DANNY: Overruled.

Marilyn, does the sound
bother you at all?

Can you come hold
this for me then?

So it doesn’t fall
and drop on me.
Just hold it in place.

Hey, I’m tough.
I taught school.

My wife and I were doing
some spring cleaning,

and I was asked to clean
the baseboard molding.

Who knew you even
had to clean baseboards?

But apparently you do,
because I look closely,

and I see that this
decorative molding,

the edge of the decorative
molding, collects dust and
dirt and settles in there.

Now, you could probably
just wipe it down
with a wet sponge.

I found a better

I got about a quarter
or so of warm water,

then mixed in a little
fabric softener.

Now, fabric softener,
liquid fabric softener,

has an anti-static property
to it. It’s what keeps clothes
from sticking together.

But when you
use it as a
cleaning solution,

not only do you
remove all the dust,

but it leaves
behind that same
anti-static property.

So, if you hate cleaning your
baseboards as much as I do,

try this tip, and
you won’t have to
do it as frequently.

DANNY: Coming up…

Oh, oh, oh…
DANNY: Allen may be trying
to tell me something.

Oh! Oh, man!

DANNY: We’re helping
Marilyn and Jesse King
upgrade their laundry room

with an upcycle
litter box cabinet,

some new shelving and
a solution for the storage
of their recycling.

We’ve started modifying
the old hutch,

and they’ve removed the
cabinet doors from the laundry

so we can update
the finish on them as well.

Yeah, so here’s the
sander. Just push the
button to turn it on.

But you’re gonna want
to go with the grain

on the fronts and
backs of the cabinets.

You wanna be in charge
of the sander?

Boy, Jesse put his
head down and went right
to work on a lot of this.

he’s a hard worker.

Jesse seemed to dive
right in,

but Marilyn had other
things on her mind.

I come from a long
line, or his family,
long line of teachers.

Marilyn’s got a lot
of great stories.

We bought this little house,
and we were gonna fix it up.

A lot of stories.

And then, by then
it was an older

and we could
grow anything.

And we learned a word called
“NoPo, SoPo,” and I
thought that was so funny.

NoPo, SoPo…

Right, now it’s time for
priming, like I say,

we’ll just put
a light coat of
primer on all of this.

This dries in
about 30 minutes.

So, what you
wanna do

is just real
light coat

over the whole thing.
Just nice even coat.

And it’s thin. Don’t try
to cover the whole thing.

You’re just trying to get
something there that the rest
of the paint will stick to.


You’re doing good.

DANNY: Meanwhile, Allen
is getting started
on the display shelf

that will cover two walls
for Marilyn’s decorative
plates and memorabilia.

What I’ve got in mind

is I’m cleaning the wall,

this goes on the wall,
the shelf goes on top of it,

keeps it very strong
all the way except

right here at the joint.

The 45-degree angle
becomes the weak spot.

So, what I’ve done
is I’ve cut these
little grooves

for biscuits, or a plate
joiner or biscuit joiner.

These will go in place
after glue is in there.

A little bit of glue
everywhere else.

The joints go together in
two spots that will really

shore up that one angle
and give it a lot of strength.

DANNY: Once he’s ready
to install the shelf,

I’m already busy
planning a solution

to simplify recycling
in this small space.

So, this is where the
cat hotel, or whatever you
call it, it’s going here.

What if we took three…
Don’t laugh at me now.

Three other cat doors,

place them here,

then the recycling
that they do

with the paper, the
aluminum and glass,
cardboard or whatever,

can go right out of
there and can go right
into three containers…

I’m not… I’m sold on it yet.
I’d like to see the design
that he has in mind.

‘Cause you’ve
got to have an angle
on this shoot.

You can’t go straight out
and then angle down.

You gotta do a slant
on that thing, right?

Yeah, I was thinking,
it’s only a 4-inch wall,

I can take a one by six
or any kind of wood
that we have on the trailer,

and just create the box,
and then the bottom of it,
just have a slope.

DANNY: While Allen gets
busy on the shelves,

Chelsea joins me to work
on the recycling chute.

Suddenly there are
three of us working in
this tiny little space.

All in one
eight by seven room.

ALLEN: We’re
all in this room.

I feel like I’m the
middle guy in the
clown car right now.

Yeah, this would be
a lot easier if you two
weren’t standing there.

Watch this.


CHELSEA: That made it easier.
ALLEN: Oh yeah,
I feel much better now.

And the, with them being,
um, the old married
couple that they are,

um, makes the
room ever smaller.

Let us know when you
need to hand over there.
I will. I will.

And we’ll clap.

ALLEN: Thanks.

Between that and
trying to fight each
other for the tools…


Ah, patience is a virtue.

Tickling, Chelsea…

CHELSEA: That wasn’t
fast enough.

Oh, man!
See what you do?

Oh, look at it.

CHELSEA: They say love
grows in tiny houses,

so I wonder if love grows
in tiny laundry rooms, too.

Uh, I can pretty much assure
you that ain’t gonna happen.

DANNY: In spite of the chaos,

we make enough headway,
so we have something to show

when Marilyn steps in to
check on the progress.

ALLEN: On the top
of the shelf,

is a little groove
for your plates.

Very good.
You like that?

I do, I do, I have
so many plates, and
I can switch them out…

And they won’t fall off
when the airplanes go over.
They won’t fall off.

Plus, the little piece
I’m gonna put up here

will actually come
above here, and I’ll
create a lip here as well.

Good, good, great.
That way you get
a lip and a lip.

Oh, yay!

Okay, while you’re here
I want to ask you something.

Do you know what
that switch is for?



Angel is going
to have her own
ventilation system.

MARILYN: Oh, yah!
DANNY: And it’s
a through-the-wall,

fan-driven, uh,
ventilation system.

What I had in mind
was just a little project

that probably he could
have done in half a day.

But he expanded it
and just made it
so much better.

The ideas are amazing.

DANNY: All you have
to do is flip that on,

and a very
quiet little fan

will blow from
her condo

to the garage for
any ventilation needs
that you might need.

MARILYN: Oh, yeah.
We need it.

I love it,
love it, love it.

I love it when a plan
comes together.

Battery-operated power
tools make projects that

you do around the house
go so much faster.

And it’s just so
convenient because

you get great mobility
wherever you are working,
whether inside or out.

Now, I do categorize
power tools into
two categories.

The must-haves, like
the drills and the saws,

and the insurance policies
like this tool right here.

Now, this is the Ryobi,
18-volt, one plus inflator.

You don’t use it
all the time,

but it’s definitely
one of those tools

that you like to have in your
arsenal when you need it.

Now, it does operate
on an 18-volt Ryobi
one plus battery.

Now, this does not
come with this inflator.

But if you already have
Ryobi tools, you just
pop this in place,

and look, it’s got
a gauge right here
that is very easy to read,

so you can inflate your
tires or small inflatables.

Now, I’m gonna
hook it up right
here to this tire,

because look how flat
this hand truck is.

Like that…

It inflates that
tire in no time.
Problem solved.

DANNY: After the
break, my innovative
testing technique.

You can fit through
this, right?

I can put my hand
through it with
a little sock puppet.


DANNY: This week on
Today’s Homeowner,

we’re combing an upcycle
project and a recycle project.

And that’s not even
the unique part of it.

A unique purpose.

(CHUCKLES) Okay, you’re
leaving us hanging. Come on!

What’s the
unique purpose?

Be careful with that.
DANNY: This laundry room
is well on its way.

Marilyn and Jesse have
been busy painting the
cabinet we’re upcycling.

Chelsea has repainted all
of the cabinet hardware.

Allen has installed
the display shelf

and is putting the
finishing touches on it.

Meanwhile, I’m starting
to work on the chutes
to handle the recycling.

All right, I still
don’t get what
you’re doing, Dad.

You still
don’t get it?


This is going
inside the wall
behind the chute.

So, when you
have this

on the wall…
Hold that up.

You’re in the
laundry room.

Okay? And then this

is going to fit
there, right? Okay?

And then this

is going to be…

Just like that.
Does that make sense?

And it just gives
it a good transition.

DANNY: Once Allen
completes the shelving,

he gets started on the
ventilation for the cabinet

that will house
the cat’s litter box.

No one wants to walk
in there and go (SNIFFS),
“Oh, you have a cat?”

You don’t want that.
You want that odor
out of there.

So, we gotta have
some system to

actively draw it
out of that box.

So, my idea is to use
an in-wall, room-to-room fan.

You can get them…
Broan-NuTone makes them.

Um, that actually will
draw the air from
one room to another,

and I’m going to utilize
that concept with their fan

to draw the odor
out of the box

and vent it out toward
the garage and outside.

You just certainly
wouldn’t want to leave
that exhaust going

all the time ’cause
you don’t want to waste
a lot of the heated

and cooled air you
have in your home,

but to relieve it
of a few cat smells.
Not a bad idea.

DANNY: While Allen
is working on that,

the recycling chutes are
installed and trimmed out.

Plus, the whole laundry room
gets a fresh coat of paint.

Easy enough, huh?

All right, this is just
a great idea. Love it.

I think Marilyn
and Jesse are gonna
use this a lot.

Doesn’t take up a lot
of room out here.

And instead of carrying
all this stuff,

and piling it here,
piling it there…
Right, right.

…they can go straight
to the recycle center
right from here.

I gotta tell ya, I love the
fact that you went with the
dark color on these things.

Highlights them on
the garage side.
DANNY: Yeah.

And matches the
cabinets inside.

DANNY: Yeah, I think
it looks pretty good,

and also if they spill
a little Cola or

You won’t see it. Yeah.
You won’t even
see it at all.

So, we got the
big cabinet
to put in here,

and then the cabinet
doors. We’re about
finished with this thing.

Okay, if you can
help me pull…
Let’s do this, man.

DANNY: Let’s get
this thing in there.

Don’t bang up my
paint job, now.

ALLEN: Nope, nope.

She sold me out
there with laboring
away on the paint.


DANNY: To ensure that
the cabinet stays aligned
with the vent fan,

we’re attaching it
to the wall in the
proper position

before installing
the inside grill.


That’s fantastic.

Oh, that’s too cool.

DANNY: Then it’s time
for the cat door.

Danny, you know, to train
the cat you have to…

Actually do this a couple
times, so you can fit
through this right?

I can put my hand
through it with
a little sock puppet.



I guess one of the big
questions is gonna be

is if the dog’s… I mean,
the cat’s gonna use it.

I think she’ll love it.

Dad had the idea to put
the letters of each type of
recyclable on the little flap.

So, G for glass, A for
aluminum, and P for plastic.

You gonna “PAG” it?

No. “PAG”?

P and a A and a G.

Well, I thought
about “GAP”.

But then I’m like,
well, she’s a teacher
so let’s do “GPA”.

Oh! That’s smart!

I had a high GPA
in school, Allen.

Oh, okay.
I’m smart.

I printed out the letters on
this regular computer paper,
probably about 400-point font.

And then since there’s going
to be a little wear and tear

from the liquids and
stuff from the recyclables,

I am using a… Basically
a decoupage technique
using Mod Podge.

It’s a type of craft
glue that will kind
of protect the paper

and keep it from
getting, uh, water damage.

Glass, paper
and aluminum.

DANNY: Once the doors
are back on the cat condo,

Allen adds
the finishing touch.

I think you’re
gonna actually
freak this cat out.


A motion detector.
A motion detector light.
I probably will.

And then the fan’s gonna
mysteriously come on.

(CHUCKLES) Well, you don’t
want to turn it on
while the cats in there.

It’s a big black box.

Oh, there it is.
Look at that.

And it’ll go off

I hope so. That’ll
be a tough thing
to teach the cat.


DANNY: You hear less
about green building
today than a few years ago,

but people occasionally
still ask me what they
should know about the topic

when they remodel
their homes.

First, minimize what you
send to the landfill

by donating the building
materials you remove

to a local salvage yard
or Habitat ReStore.

The old cabinets from
your kitchen might be
just what someone needs

to organize their
garage or workshop.

Next, look for recycled
content in the new materials
you choose for your project.

Again, this keeps
materials out of landfills

and usually requires less
energy for manufacturing.

Finally, choose products
and materials that will
use water and energy

as efficiently as
you possibly can.

Not only will you be
preserving resources,

you will likely save yourself
money every month when
you pay your utility bills.

There’s more Today’s
Homeowner coming right up.

But here’s a look at what’s
happening on next week’s show.

Every home needs some
fixing at some point,

so we’re helping
homeowners take on
some simple fixes.

Have you ever
seen anything
like this before?

This is embarrassing.

Boom, it just
fell off.

Is this something
you’re fond of?

What will you
do about that?

I can make
a list right here.

We’ll get this
done in no time.

This is amazing!


I love it,
it looks so good.

Oh, wow!

Does it make sense?

It’s gonna come
together, I’m sure.

DANNY: Marilyn and
Jesse wanted to dress
up their laundry room

and make it more user
friendly for their cat
and their recycling chores.

The bright pink
hutch is gone now,

replaced by a smaller
version of itself

in a more subtle shade
that conceals the
litter box from view.

This new display shelf
we built has clean, elegant
lines to update the room

and holds even more
memorabilia than the
old hutch it replaces.

The recycle bins are
gone from the laundry,

replaced by three simple
doors that transport

the used material
to containers
waiting in the garage.

It was just
a laundry room before.

You know, people
come in the back door.
You bring your groceries in.

But now you don’t
see the recycling.

It’s not any further
away than it was,
but it’s out of sight.

And plus, it’s
already sorted out,

so you don’t have
to do that after you
get to the recycle center.

MARILYN: I love,
love, love

the lower half of the hutch
that became the kitty…


This is a fairly
customized solution
for Marilyn and Jesse.

But you may have some
situations at your house

that are bugging you
every single day.

Well, there’re
solutions out there.

You just have to look around,
talk to some of your friends

and consider going
online, especially our
social media channels

at Facebook, Instagram,
Twitter, as well as Pinterest.

And don’t forget
about our website,

A lot of solutions
to just about any
challenge or problem

that you have as a
homeowner is waiting
on you right there.

Hey, thanks so much
for being with us here
on Today’s Homeowner.

I’m Danny Lipford.
We’ll see you next week.

Dang it, hair.


You weren’t rolling,
were you?

That not gonna be
a blooper, is it?


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