EP23 – September 9, 2017: Bold Cabinets, Clogged Drains, Cold Weather Painting, New House “Must-Do’s”


It’s getting colder and we’re heading into sweatshirts and jeans weather, football, beautiful fall colors, and all the other great things that autumn brings. But with the dropping temperatures raise a lot of questions about exterior painting: when is it officially too cold to paint outside? We’ve got the answer to that and much more in this episode of the RepcoLite Home Improvement Show!

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Show notes for episode 023:

Is it time for a kitchen makeover? Are you thinking of just painting the cabinets white? Have you thought of stepping outside the white box and into a little bit of color? We want to challenge the thought that kitchen cabinets should be white. Kim Scott, of KJS Interiors, joins us in the studio to talk about ways to bring color into your kitchen. Kim is an interior designer who is not afraid to use color in her decorating. She encourages people to the out of their comfort zone and try out a new, fun color. It's amazing how great a little color can look in a kitchen.

How many times have you been brushing your teeth and spit the toothpaste in the sink, only to find that the drain is clogged and the water refuses to drain? Yuck!

We tackle how to unclog a drain, before you call a plumber. And Dan gets the chance to talk about his favorite plumbing tool; a sink auger. The consensus is that he likes it just because it pulls some of the most disgusting looking things from drains!

As the weather gets cooler, we start to get the same questions over and over again in our stores, "Can I still paint outside?" Yes, you can, but there are some very important things that you need to know before doing so. We also talk about proper fall/winter paint storage and how to estimate how much paint you need to paint the exterior of a house. Many people think it is more complicated than it really is. It's just like estimating paint for your walls. You just have to find the total square footage of surface area. To do that:
  1. Assuming you have 4 sides of the house to be painted, take each side separately and find the square footage. To get this, take the length of each side and multiply by the height. Add square footage for 4 sides together.
  2. Subtract windows, doors, and anything else that won't be painted with the body color.
  3. Divide remainder from step 2 by 350-400, depending on surface to be covered. (Ex. 2500 square feet÷350=7 gallons. You would probably need just a bit more; maybe just a quart more.) This is for one coat.
When people move into a new house, usually the first thing they do is unpack. But wait! Before doing that, read this list of things you should be doing as soon as you move into a new house. And even if you haven't just moved, this list might still help you get organized and prioritize home projects. The article, 20 Things to Do When You Move Into Your New Home, originally appeared on the Family Handyman website. We took our favorite ideas and put our own spin on them. Here are our top 13 favorites:
  1. Make a prioritized list with help from everyone in the household
  2. Clean refrigerator coils
  3. Clean dryer (we covered this on Episode 8)
  4. Install a new toilet seat (we thought this was absolute brilliance! Why didn't WE think of that?!)
  5. Replace furnace filter
  6. Clean air conditioner (we covered this on Episode 5)
  7. Locate and mark main water shutoff
  8. Locate electrical panel (it might not be where you anticipate)
  9. Check smoke and CO detectors
  10. Make sure sump pump works
  11. Live in your home for a year before making major changes
  12. Make one room a retreat
  13. Meet your neighbors



EP22 – September 2, 2017: Lawn Seeding 101, Must-Have Painting Tools, Electrical Questions Answered, and Basement Floor Painting


We live in Michigan where our basements can be a little scary; especially if you have an older house! There are lots of things that can be done to remedy that. But perhaps the simplest thing to do is to simply paint the floor. It’s amazing how much a coat of paint can brighten a dreary basement. We’ll help give you the confidence to tackle your floor this weekend!

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Show notes for episode 022:

Summer is almost over. And that means our lawns have made it through the toughest part of the year. Some may have made it through the heat like champs. Others, however, may have lost the battle with heat and minimal rain, and now have featured brown and dead patches.

Don't fret! According to Matt Bakker from Landscape Design Services, you can still bring your lawn back to its glory days before snow flies. He's got everything we need to know about seeding the bare patches in our yards.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to do a simple task, only to find you don't have to right tool on hand. Try opening a bottle without a bottle opener (Dan!), or tighten a screw using a penny (Betsy!). It takes way more time to complete the task and there is so much frustration involved!

This same theory applies to painting as well. If you follow our list and always have these painting tools on hand, your next project is guaranteed to be a lot less stressful because you won't have to stop midway through the project (or maybe before you even begin!) to buy the right tool.

Must-Have Painting Tools Check List!

There are a lot of home improvement projects we are comfortable tackling--anything involving wood is generally acceptable, minor plumbing projects are ok, and anything involving paint is a breeze. But electrical....oh, electrical....that is a whole different story! Sure, we can change light bulbs and maybe even wire up a fan or a new lighting fixture. But when it comes to questions like "why do my lights dim when I run the microwave?" we figure it's best to ask a professional.

Lucky for us, Bill Haveman, co-owner of Haveman Electric, agreed to stop by and talk about some common household electrical questions. Hopefully, by the end of the conversation, our power concerns will be put to rest.

Miss Etta James, in the 60s, sang about all the fun you can have in the basement. But what happens if you have a Michigan basement? What if you have dark, cold concrete floors and tony spiders hanging in the corners? It's sounds more like a dungeon that a place to hang out and have fun.

But there is  solution! It's amazing what a difference just painting the floor can make. It will brighten up the space and make it feel a little less cold. And if you are concerned about tackling the project, don't be! We've got you covered with tips and tricks from start to finish.

Floor Painting Tips

  • Use a 14" or 18" cover if possible
  • Use a 3/8" nap cover
  • Use an extension pole. It will save your back!
  • Brush 2" strip around all the edges (cut in)
  • Roll paint from paint tray
  • OR try pouring paint straight out of the bucket in a line on the floor!
    • Pour a few feet from wall
    • Pour a 4" wide strip
    • Only pour as much as you can evenly spread before the paint dries
    • Could use a 3/16" nap cover with this application method
    • Work with a helper
  • Let paint dry completely before introducing light foot traffic
    • Waterborne - at least 6 hours
    • Oil - at least 12 hours
    • All dry times will be slowed even more without air circulation and/or humidity

EP21 – August 26, 2017: Tankless Water Heaters, Back-to-School Safety, and Unique Kitchen Decor Updates


We’ve all flipped through magazines and seen amazing kitchens. We dream of something similar in our homes. Then we stop to realize the cost that could be incurred with something like that. But don’t worry! We’ve got some budget-friendly kitchen decor ideas that will let you have an enviable kitchen this weekend!

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Show notes for episode 021:

Have you ever considered a tankless water heater? Do you want hot water that never runs out? Mark DeVisser from The Plumber is Here!, joins us in the studio to tell us everything we need to know before we buy one. Mark also has more in-depth information about tankless water systems on his website.

It seems a little out of the ordinary for a Home Improvement Show to talk about back-to-school safety. But we believe that no home improvement is worth it if your family isn't there to share it with you. So we are making it our mission to help you with home improvements AND keep your family safe.

Tom DeGraaf, Principal at Lincoln Elementary School, and Dave Meeuwsen, Director of Transportation for Zeeland Public Schools, join us in the studio to give us an idea of what we can do to keep our kids safe as they head back to school.

Kitchen updates can cost thousands of dollars! It's our goal to help give your kitchen a boost, without breaking the bank. We've got some unique kitchen decor updates that will have all the neighbors talking when they stop by for coffee.

To help get your creative juices flowing, we've got two Pinterest boards you are going to want to check out!

Our Favorite Kitchen Island Inspirations!

Inspired Ways to Use Color In Your Kitchen!

EP20 – August 19, 2017: Central Vacuums, Ceilings, Stress-Free Color Matching, and Buying a New House


Our ceilings are often like that one guy in the office. The quiet one who everyone forgets to invite to the party. Don’t let that happen in your home! Sure, your walls are having fun trying on new colors and looking good, but don’t leave your ceilings out! In this episode, we talk with Designer Kim Scott to talk about ceilings and some interesting ways to use them to make a statement!

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Show notes for episode 020:

Many of us hate vacuuming. Especially if we have stairs! Just the thought of lugging that heavy, awkward vacuum up and down the stairs makes us groan. But we have a solution!

Tom Courtright from WalVac stops by to tell us about his amazing central vacuum system that will save our backs the next time we vacuum stairs. We've heard from many people who have this system, and they say they'll never go back to a regular vacuum. We think that speaks for itself!

When we ask customers if they are going to paint their ceilings, we often get a blank stare. It just seems like one more thing to do. But it's time to change your thinking! Your ceiling deserves just as much attention as your walls.

Kim Scott, of KJS Interiors, is an interior designer who loves to use color in her decorating. She gives us tips on how to use color on ceilings to create that "wow" factor!

No one likes to make multiple trips to the paint store for a color match. We want to help you make one trip by telling you everything we need to get your match done right the first time.

Shopping for a new house can be very overwhelming. There is so much to look at and consider. It is very easy to miss or overlook important things.

To help us know what to pay attention to, Rodger Nyhuis, of Keller Williams Holland Lakeshore Realty, stops by to discuss what he tells his clients. He has great information that will help us be more thorough the next time we walk through a house.

EP19 – August 12, 2017: Adventures in Furniture Refinishing, Masking Tape Woes, Streak-Free Window Cleaning Miracle, and Carpet Care 101


Paint projects shouldn’t be daunting. Or complicated. Most of the time, any struggles we’ve ever had come from not knowing a few tricks that the professionals know. Today we talk about a number of ways to get beautiful results whenever you use masking tape!

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Show notes for episode 019:

Some people may have heard this segment before, but Kim DeBoer had such good information. She told us where to find furniture to refinish and how to tell if it's worth buying. It's a project that is well worth the time and effort. You end up with a truly unique, one of a kind piece of furniture you can be proud of.

Kim DeBoer is a professional painting contractor who does a lot of furniture refinishing on the side. She's been doing this for herself and her customers for years!

We took Kim's advice and went hunting for the perfect piece. We picked up this very sad looking desk for about $50, but thought it might have potential. We were pleasantly surprised to find a beautiful wood top under many layers of paint. We now have a one-of-a-kind desk that we can be proud of!

Have you ever finished a painting project, all excited to pull the tape off and see the fruits of your labor, only to find that paint has bled under the tape and you now have all kinds of touch up to do?

We've all been there. Our paint project goes so well until the tape comes off. Maybe paint has bled under the tape. Maybe the tape pulled paint off the wall. We've got some of the most common tape complaints, when it comes to painting, and the solutions for them.

Many of us dread washing windows because it takes so long and it's so hard to get them streak and spot free. As soon as the sun is at just the right angle, we can see (very clearly!) every swipe of the rag we made.

  We tried the top three window cleaning solutions we found on the internet, and this is the one we thought worked the best.

Magic Cleaner #1

1/2 gal. warm water

1 Tbsp. Jet Dry

2-3 Tbsp. Dawn

  The other solutions we tried were:

Magic Cleaner #2

1/2 bottle Jet Dry

4 Tbsp. Alcohol

1/4 c. ammonia

1 handful powdered dishwasher soap

2 gal. hot water

Magic Cleaner #3

2 c. water

1/4 c. vinegar

1/2 tsp Dawn

New carpet is a huge investment and no one wants to do it often. But most people are unaware that the way they clean their carpet and what they clean it with, can actually void their warranty or even wear it out faster.

Nick Sargent from Johnson Carpet One joins us in the studio to discuss the finer points of carpet care.

And in the segment, Nick talks about Capture Carpet Cleaner. We said we'd include a link. And here it is!


EP18 – August 5, 2017: Yard Problems, Chalkboard Paint, Metal Buildings, and Bed Bugs!

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Show notes for episode 018:

Dan has a shade tree in his yard that becomes a dirt pile by the end of summer. And we're pretty sure he's not the only one with this problem.

Matt Bakker, from Landscape Design Services, joins us in the studio to explain why this happens and what can be done about it.

It's time to grab your paint brush and get creative! Chalkboard paint can be used on so many different things and is now available in any color from Benjamin Moore. This allows you to stretch your creativity to the limit!

Check out some creative chalkboard paint ideas!

Chalkboard Paint Quick Tip

Be sure to "season" your chalkboard before using. This eliminates "ghost writing" which is when the chalk sticks in an unseasoned chalkboard and can never really be erased.

To season a chalkboard, brush with whiting powder or lay a piece of chalk on its side and cover the entire board with chalk. Erase and you're ready to put your new chalkboard to use!

We get questions about painting metal buildings all the time at RepcoLite. It's a confusing project for many people because they don't know the steps to take, or what product to use.

We'll tell you the prep that needs to be done, what products to use on the sides and roof, and even what the best application method is. You can paint a rusty metal building with confidence!

Bed bugs seem to have come back with a vengeance. All of a sudden, even the most swanky hotels in NYC have them! It seems no place immune.

We contacted David Popp from Rose Pest Solutions in Grandville to discuss this problem. He then informed us they have a K-9 unit for bed bugs! We got to meet Chili, and even watch him work. A special thanks to Dan's parents for letting us plant a vile of bed bugs in their house for Chili to find!