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Basement Finishing Questions

What is your opinion on wood vs metal studs as well as rolled insulation vs foam board/blown in foam insulation in a basement finishing project. 


In a basement that is likely to experience higher humidity, if not higher active moisture, steel studs for framing are a great alternative since they cannot be consumed by molds and mildew.

They are lightweight, non-load bearing and fastened with screws and rivets. They are typically at a similar price-point to good quality wood, though a professional more

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Time for Spring Planting!

We inherited quite a mess in our home. The previous owners planted and neglected annuals. I thought it would bloom into pretty grass but every year it’s straw! The entire bed looks bad. I want to remove it now, especially since the soil is soft. How do I proceed and ensure that it won’t come back next year or the year after?


Thank you for your question.

Annuals are only intended to come up one year – then die off, so you more

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Pole Barn House

We are thinking of putting up a pole barn house. What are your thoughts? 


You are considering building your new home using “pole-barn” or post and beam framing.

Post frame buildings have been around for centuries – though few homes are built in the US using wood post frame. Most old barns you’ve seen are post frame – as are a lot of commercial buildings.

The primary reason you might consider this style is the savings on the foundations since you are not more

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Holey Grout

We have a tiled shower in our 1980′s home that has little holes forming in the grout between the tiles. How can we cover them up? Can we re-grout these tiny openings or is there a product that would fill in these small holes? Tried putting clear caulk over it and the caulk is starting to peel away.


Thank you for being part of the show.

Grouted tile should be stable during its useful life and should not “change” in any way, i.e. more

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Hardwood Floor Repair

 I have a townhouse build in early 70′s with original hardwood flooring. There is a 2″ x 1/2″ knot missing and a light stain on the floor. What is the best way to fill the hole and blend it into the rest of the wood without redoing the entire floor?


Thanks for being part of the show – we appreciate you listening!

You have a large gap in your wood floor from a missing knot! What to do?

There are LOTS of wood-fillers out more

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Fixing a Running Toilet

I have three toilets that run off/on. I have to hold down the lever on one of them whenever I flush. It’s been like this for years. Is there something I can easily do to fix this problem?


Those toilets that continue to run end up wasting a lot of money and water!!!! They can be fixed inexpensively with kits available from local hardware and big box stores.

Take a photo of the inside of the tank on the back of the toilet more

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Water Heater Blanket

Are water heater blankets helpful for saving energy/money?


Thank you for listening. We appreciate you.

Conventional water heaters heat and store water so it is “standing by” - waiting to be needed. As the tank gives up its heat to the surrounding air, the unit is “told” to re-heat the water, but the wasted energy is referred to as “standby loss”.

One of the easiest ways to immediately see energy savings is to insulate a water heater tank.

According to the Energy Information Administration, EIA, unless the more

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Am I Flushing Money Down the Drain?

I received a bill from a plumber to fix my toilet – the part was only about $10.00 but the total bill was quite high. I have to hire out everything I get fixed and I wondered if you could explain why it’s so expensive when the parts are cheap.


Thanks for your question. You feel you may have been overcharged for an installed part you could purchase inexpensively. It is a fair observation until you understand where the costs come more

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Bathroom Mold

Our house was built in the 50′s and the bathroom has a drop-down above the shower curtain. After a shower, the ceiling and sides of this cubicle stays moist for quite some time and we get some mold in several areas. I have installed a ceiling fan which is for a slightly larger bathroom (but not much larger) thinking this would help; it did some, but not enough. I am wondering if this drop down should be removed or opened up to allow more air flow more

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Spiders in the House

Ew! I think we have a black footed spider nest somewhere in our house, or else they just like us. We find at least 2 (usually more) every day in our home, and one time in a cup! Is there any way to get rid of these little intruders safely? Please help!


Thanks for listening – we do appreciate you!

The Black-Footed spider you mention is a small, pale yellow critter found in gardens and houses. It actually has dark brown feet more

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