Win Danny and His Crew 2017

front door
The Today’s Homeowner crew received a warm welcome from the Sondags.

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The Today’s Homeowner team traveled to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, to help the Sondag family with their household to-do list. Robbie Sondag got our attention with his unique video submission to our annual “Win Danny and His Crew” contest.

Not only did we make the repairs on the list; but Robbie, Joy, and their teenaged children, Kade and Sadie, also picked up some tips and ideas for maintaining their home in the process.

Here’s what we tackled at the Sondag home:

Repairing Cracked Concrete Driveway

Filling the
Filling the “cold joint”

Robbie was concerned about the cracks that ran across the driveway. However, those cracks are caused by expansion and contraction but aren’t serious. They could easily be filled in with concrete repair caulk.

The bigger concern was the “cold joint” between the garage slab and driveway, a term for the gap created when two concrete slabs are poured at different times. To keep rain and snow out of the joint, we pressed in a piece of foam backer rod, then filled the crack with polyurethane concrete repair caulk. We used a paint stirring stick to smooth out the bead.

Watch How to Caulk and Seal Cracks in a Concrete Driveway for details.

Replacing Ceiling Fan and Attic Light

installing ceiling fan
Allen Lyle and Robbie Sondag install the new ceiling fan.
Kade controls the fan using the Leviton app.
Kade controls the fan using the Leviton app.

The Sondags’ attic had a common problem – a broken pull-chain light fixture. We replaced it with an LED occupancy sensor light from Leviton. The motion sensor has a 284-degree field of view and the LED bulb has a life of about 50,000 hours, so Robbie should never have to worry about a dark attic again.

Then we headed to Kade’s room where the ceiling fan had a mind of its own and often turned on without anyone flipping the switch. We replaced it with a fan that, in addition to a regular rocker switch and slide bar, uses Decora Digital fan speed control from Leviton.

Once everything was connected and powered up, Kade could pair the Leviton app on his phone with the wall unit to enable bluetooth control of the fan.

Other Tips from This Episode


Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Hanging Bikes With Closet Shelf Brackets

Here’s a tip for storing bikes in the garage. Screw two closet shelf brackets into the wall studs and hang the bike on the hooks. Watch video.


Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
DEWALT FlexVolt Lithium Ion Battery Pack

DeWalt has come out with an inventive battery system called the FlexVolt Lithium Ion Battery Pack, which changes voltage when you change tools. It’s compatible with 20V, 60V and 120V MAX DeWalt tools. It is available at The Home Depot. Watch video.


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