EP54 – April 14, 2018: Home Repair Services, Solving Paint Problems with the Right Info, and Thomas Jefferson: Interior Designer

Today we interview Joel Ruiter from Home Repair Services in Grand Rapids. It’s a remarkably non-profit organization who’s mission is to help homeowners of all income brackets maintain and improve their homes! We’ll also be talking with RepcoLite’s president, Dan Altena, regarding a paint question that came in on our Facebook page. And finally, we’ll wrap up with a little decorating segment built around our 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 054:

Joel Ruiter, the Executive Director of Home Repair Services, stops by to talk about just one of the many programs they offer: the Remodeling Together program. It's an incredibly unique (and almost too-good-to-be-true) program that helps homeowners install brand new kitchen cabinets and counters in their home for as little as $1300! If you're in Kent county, you NEED to check out this segment!

And just to give you a taste of what they can help you do, here are a couple of before and after shots of regular folks who updated their kitchens:

Sometimes a paint problem is straightforward. The answer is clear. However, there are other times when a wide variety of causes could be at the root of the issue!

When that's the case, we need as much information as possible to help you find a resolution. Today, we're joined in the studio by Dan Altena, president of RepcoLite Paints, to discuss just what information you should bring with you to the paint store whenever a frustrating problem arises!

Spring is apparently never coming. And so we decided to talk about the perfect color to add some warmth and energy to your walls! Interestingly enough, Thomas Jefferson looms large in this talk about yellow!

Yellow Inspired By Thomas Jefferson

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EP40 – January 6, 2018: 15-Minute Regimen, Gel Stain Cabinet Fix, Winter Pet Safety, and Dan’s Bathroom Re-do

This week we cover a number of interesting topics. One of which is a concept that Dan thinks is brilliant: a 15-minute home improvement regimen! Yes, it sounds a little goofy, but you will be amazed at the amount of work you can accomplish by just spending 15 minutes a night working on it. It’s painless, quick, almost fun. And if you do it a few nights in a row, you’ll be blown away by how much work you crank out! On top of that, we spend some time talking about what we need to do as pet owners to keep our furry friends safe during these cold winter days!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 040:

Things pile up over time when we don't stay on top of them. Weight is a perfect example. Let it go for a little while and before you know it, some unwanted pounds have found a new home around our middle!

Well, the same thing happens in our home. Little projects add up and before you know it, we've got tons of jobs to do and no idea where to begin!

Rather than jump into a crash-course of home improvement projects, why not instead create a manageable schedule that will help you easily and relatively painlessly take off those "extra pounds"? That's what we talk about today!

Looking to refresh your kitchen cabinets without completely stripping them down and starting over? If you're dealing with a few scratches or some worn areas, we might have a fix for you that will save you tons of time!

Here are a few photos submitted by a customer who gave the project a try!

The weather has been frigidly cold and while we all bundle up with layers and layers, we don't always think about our pets! Sure, they're covered in fur, but they can still get hypothermia and they can still suffer in weather like this. But just moving them into the garage may not be the answer. In this segment we talk about a number of different precautions we should all be talking to keep our furry friends safe and warm!

In this segment, we break down a bathroom re-do Dan just recently undertook. We talk about the materials used and the lessons learned! And hopefully provide everyone listening with the information and encouragement to step outside of their comfort zone and jump into a project!

EP35 – December 2, 2017: Kitchen Trends that Last, Head Lice 101, The Perfect Workshop, Dealing with Ice Dams!

Kitchen renovations are expensive. But if they’re done right, they’re worth it. Just make sure you do it right! Today we talk about some kitchen trends that always work! We also dig into the creepy, crawly topic of head lice. Sure, we didn’t want to talk about the, but if you’ve got school-age children, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing with the stress of head lice in a classroom. When that happens, it’s good to know what you’re up against and how to protect your family! That and more on this episode!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 035:

A kitchen update or renovation is expensive. However, if we do it right, the benefits will outweigh the costs. And if we do it right, we could even recoup nearly 70% of our investment if we'd sell. But...we've got to do it right! And with all the choices and decisions to make, it's easy to make a mistake along the way.

One of the most common mistakes people make in a kitchen is to get drawn into trends and fads--items and colors and styles that are new, unique, interesting...but which have limited staying power over the years!

On this segment, we talk about some tried and true kitchen trends that will never go out of style! Choose these items, these colors, these styles, and you won't be looking back 2 years from now wondering what you were thinking!

Well, this is a topic guaranteed to have you scratching your head. As unappealing as they are, head lice are worth talking about.

On this segment, we bust some common "Lice Myths" and then move on to provide you with a handful of preventative measures--little things you can do to keep your kids lice-free this school year!

Years ago Dan painted the dirty concrete floor of an old basement room. What started as a simple job turned into a full room repaint and resulted in a workroom anyone could be proud of! And, best of all, the new room also brought about a surprising effect: Dan spent a lot more time there, working on projects, learning how to do new things, getting more done. All because the room was enjoyable.

No matter how much work you do with tools, every home needs a good workshop. And the good news is that a great workshop is EASY to create. You just need the right paint and the right stain on the right surfaces!

So, in this segment, we talk about the products you'll need to make the perfect workshop in your own home!

Benjamin Moore's Scuff-X is Magic!

Every winter, ice dams become a problem for many homeowners. In this episode, we talk about why they form and then give you a couple ways to deal with them: solve them, or fix them as they arise. Both approaches have their place depending upon your situation.

Now, there were a lot of things we said we'd link to in these notes. Here it all is:

Insulation

We mentioned a chart to determine the R-Value of the insulation in your attic. We've got it below along with a couple of articles that are worth checking out.
  • Fiberglass (blown): 2.2 – 2.9
  • Fiberglass (batts): 2.9 – 3.8
  • Cellulose (blown): 3.1 – 3.8
  • Rock Wool (loose): 2.2 – 3.3
  • Foam (sprayed): 3.6 – 8.2
Just measure the depth of your insulation, determine the material and the multiplier, and do the math! And here's an article highlighting how much insulation you should have.

Avalanche Roof Rakes

I've used a lot of different roof rakes as a homeowner and this is EASILY my favorite. You push the "rake" up the roof and it rolls on wheels, cutting the snow. Huge pieces then fall off your roof, sliding down the big plastic chute!

Sure, it takes some getting used to and yes, it's still work...but it's significantly better than any other rake I've ever used. And it's easier on the roof at that!

And below, in all it's glory, is the video Betsy referenced in the show.

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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!

Listen here:

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

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