EP139: Prevent Frozen Pipes, Decorating for Christmas, The Great Christmas Contest 2

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Betsy’s Alien Tomato

Today Betsy opened the show talking about the alien tomato on her counter. It’s like the scene from Aliens where the creatures bust out of the poor victims’ chests! Anyway, she promised a picture . . . so here it is!

Segments 3 and 4: Vork Brothers & the Pillar Church Restoration

Today we sat down with Vork Brothers and talked about their work at Pillar Church in Holland. Here are some of the links we mentioned on the show:

Contact Info for Vork:

  • Residential Work: Brandon @ 616-218-4864
  • Commercial Work: Shane @ 616-218-5186

And you can find them online right here!

 

EP139: Prevent Frozen Pipes, Decorating for Christmas, The Great Christmas Contest 2

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Segment 1: Prevent Frozen Pipes

Ahhh, Winter. There’s a lot of fun that come with a Michigan Winter. And then . . . there are the other things. One of those other things is the worry about frozen pipes during cold spells. A frozen and burst pipe in the home is one of the most catastrophic issues that can happen in a home. But, the good news is that there are things we can do to prevent this from happening to you!

INSULATE EXPOSED SUPPLY PIPES ALONG EXTERIOR WALLS

One step is to insulate the supply pipes that run along exterior walls or in cabinets along exterior walls. Pipe insulation is inexpensive and can help, but it’s important to understand that it’s not a silver bullet! Also, consider the fact that insulated pipes will be harder to thaw should the pipe still freeze. But, overall, it can still be an important step given your situation.

If you have unheated areas or spots that are especially concerning, you might want to consider heat tape. Check with a plumber to make sure you get the right kind for your situation and install it correctly.

MAINTAIN A CONSISTENT TEMPERATURE IN THE HOME

We tend to want to shut doors, close vents, and turn down the heat in the winter to save on energy expenses. However, that can be counterproductive when it comes to protecting your pipes. It’s recommended instead that you open the interior doors, keep the heat set at a more consistent level, and keep those vents open. Shutting doors and closing vents can actually be harmful to your HVAC system (if you close enough of them), and the lack of consistent heat could be just enough to allow pipes along an exterior wall to freeze.

OPEN CABINET DOORS

Building on the concept above, open the cabinet doors that house pipes during the coldest weather. The cabinet doors can actually block off those pipes from the heat in the house and if there’s cold enough temps, or a bit of an air leak from outside, pipes can easily freeze. We ran across a story out of Chicago where a pipe in a home froze in a heated space. After cleaning up the mess, the investigation into the cause of the problem determined that a drafty window coupled with high winds and low wind chill caused a single area of the pipe to freeze. So, open those doors when it’s super cold! Just watch your knees when you walk by!

RUN THE TAPS AT A SLOW TRICKLE

It’s an age-old solution, but it works. Running the water at an extremely slow trickle reduces the pressure in the system. It doesn’t have to be much, but it might save you a mess.

LOCATE AND SEAL CRACKS, HOLES, ETC. WHERE COLD GETS IN

Take a look in your basement for areas where the cold gets in. Even a small hole or a drafty window can cause a problem. And, on top of that, it’s a huge energy waste! A great trick to finding trouble spots is to light a stick of incense and let it smoke. Then walk around the perimeter of the room, holding it up to the sill plate and around windows. Watch the smoke and see what it does. When you find a drafty spot or a trouble area, the smoke will demonstrate it! Seal those spots up with spray foam, caulk, or, if it turns out to be a bigger project than you can tackle, contact an expert. We’d recommend WMGB Home Improvements!

DISCONNECT GARDEN HOSES FROM OUTSIDE FAUCETS

If you leave the hoses on the faucets all winter, you could end up with damage from freezing, but you generally won’t find out about it until next Spring! An easy fix is to remove the hoses! Also, if possible, you could shut off the water to the outside faucets and drain them to make sure there’s no issues come April!

FIND YOUR SHUT OFF TODAY!

One last word of advice is to locate the main shut off valve today. Know where it is in the house and figure out how it works. It’s certainly not a complicated mechanism, but there are definitely stories of people who run into a problem and in the panic of the situation, can’t find the valve. A lot of damage can be prevented if you can act quickly and get the water shut 0ff! And, if you’ve got kids who are home during the day while parents work, it certainly would be beneficial to make them aware of the location of the valve and how it works as well!

Segments 2-3: Christmas Decorating with Jennifer Butler and Andy Yates

Jennifer Butler and Andy Yates from Jennifer Butler Design in Grand Rapids stop by to talk Christmas Decorating. Some Do’s and Don’ts. And somehow, we end up talking about pomegranates and live squirrels incorporated into festive table centerpieces….

Segment 4: Wooster Sherlock Roller Frame and Our Christmas Contest!

You have to be paint people to have a “favorite” roller frame. And yet, as “nerdy” as it may be to say so, this roller frame rocks! Sure, it’s about 3.5 times as expensive as a cheap one . . . but that still puts it under $12! And when you think how long you keep a roller frame? Buying this premium tool is a no-brainer!

Here’s a quick video:

And now . . . for the contest! RepcoLite has teamed up with Wooster Brush Company to make some family’s Christmas pretty amazing! We’ll be giving away a prize package of Wooster Paint Tools, RepcoLite Paint, and Games from Out of the Box Games in Zeeland and Kentwood! You can get all the information about how to enter on RepcoLite’s Facebook Page.

EP138: Hand Drill Guide, Out of the Box Game Recommendations, Great Gifts for DIYers

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Segment 1: Hand Drill Guide

We took a hand drill guide for a test run and found that while it’s not perfect, it’s a great way to transform your portable hand drill into a functional drill press! Again, it’s not for every project and if you’ve got a drill press, it won’t replace it or duplicate it’s accuracy. But for large boards, job site work, and so on, it’s a great option! Check out the video below:

Segments 2-3: Out of the Box Games

Celebrating Small Business Saturday and looking ahead to the Holiday shopping season, we sit down with Jeff Rietveld, owner of Out of the Box Games, Toys, and Puzzles, and talk about his picks for “hottest games” this year! Here’s Jeff’s list. And if you’re interested in picking up one of these, stop out at one of his locations! There’s an Out of the Box in Zeeland and in Grand Rapids. You can find directions online.

Game 1: AZUL

The first game Jeff highlighted is Azul. It was new last year, but it’s one of his best sellers. And, there are 3 other versions out there, all different enough to make them each worth a try! The one pictured here is the original and is all about creating a beautiful mosaic tiled floor.

Also, there’s Azul Stained Glass, and Azul Pavillions.

It’s a quick game and the components are beautiful. It’s definitely worth a look!

 

 

 

Game 2: Welcome To Your Perfect Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game 3: Tiny Towns

Game 4: Everdell

Segment4: Our List of Stellar Gifts!

Under $50

Dan’s Pick: The Klein 11-in-1 Screwdriver!

Bety’s Pick(s): A Lighted Beanie and Utility Gloves with Screen Touch Ability

$50 – $100

Dan’s Pick: Toughbuilt Toolbelts with Clip-Tech!

My son, an electrical apprentice, uses his all the time! His favorite feature is the “kickstand” on the electrical tools pouch.

 

Betsy’s Pick: Wireless Endoscope! (and this one made Dan jealous because it’s really, really cool).

 

Around $100

Dan’s Pick: Impact Driver

Betsy’s Pick: Whiskey Making Kit!!

EP87: Hackley & Hume Homes, Giving to Furry Friends, and Results For Scuff-X

OK, now how often is there something we pass every day that we don’t think twice about? For us, the Hackley & Hume Homes were just such a place. We had passed them a number of times and thought they were cool but didn’t give it another thought…until this week.

Forget what you THINK you know about Victorian homes. These surpass that in leaps and bounds. And, right now, they are all decked out for Christmas. We just couldn’t contain our excitement so be prepared!

And, with Christmas coming, we’ve all been busy buying gifts for family and friends. But what about the four-legged friends who don’t have a home? We’ve got Jen Nuernberg and Sarah Shea from the Harbor Humane Society in the studio to talk about their wish list for the furry friends at the shelter. They’ll also tell us if it’s ok to buy a pet as a Christmas present.

And, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, they have their annual Holiday Open House from 11-4 this Saturday, December 8. You can tour the shelter, decorate doggie “cookies” and get photos with Santa! Check out more details on Instagram!

And finally, we’ve talked about Scuff-X before but it just seems to be one of those products that people can never hear enough about. We’ve posted the videos as proof, but now we’ve got a local company who’s used it for a year. Did it do what we said? Are they still happy customers? We’ll tell you in our last segment.

 

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NOTES:

Hackley & Hume Holiday Tours

  • December 8  4-8pm
  • December 15  4-8pm
  • December 27  4-8pm
  • December 28  1-4pm

 

Harbor Humane Society

The Harbor Humane Society also has a great program called Reading With Fido. Research shows that dogs who are read to in a shelter calm more quickly and become better with humans. Here is a quick video that Sarah took of some young kids reading to “Fido.”

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EP86: Paint Tools, Heat Vents, Laundry Room Transformation, and Christmas Gift Lists

So, there are some common tools that come to mind when people think of painting; brushes, roller covers, trays and liners, etc. But did you know there’s a whole other group of tools that will save you time and money? We’ve got a list of items you’ll want to consider the next time you paint.

And we’ve been hearing chatter about people closing heat vents in unused rooms to save money. That got us wondering if it really works. We talked to some experts and it turns out closing the vents could be a really terrible idea and actually COST you money! We’ll tell you what we learned.

We’ve also been thinking about laundry rooms. With holiday travel, sometimes the laundry really piles up. The problem is, many of us have laundry rooms that are less than inspiring. In fact, we may dread stepping foot in them, even if we aren’t doing laundry. Now, it’s time to change all that! We’ve got some great ways to make your laundry room just another room in your house.

And last but not least, we’ve got our lists of great Christmas gifts. Some are tools but some are just fun! Check out the notes below for links and videos for all of the items we talked about.

 

Listen here:

NOTES:

To Close or Not to Close the Vents?? Suggested Resources

Dan’s Recommended Gift List

Betsy’s Recommended Gift List

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