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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EP08 – May 27, 2017: An Epic Historic Restoration

Sometimes we look at our homes and don’t know where to begin. The kitchen is a little outdated. Maybe the bathroom needs work. Sometimes we see all that and we find ourselves not sure how to get started. The project just seems too big. Well, if that sounds familiar, Patty Meyer, Director of the Felt Estate near Saugatuck has some inspiring advice for you!

That and much more on today’s episode:

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 008:

In 1925, Dorr Felt began construction of what the Felt Mansion for his wife, Agnes. The summer home would be large enough to accommodate his married daughters and their families. Completed in 1928, the 12,000+ square foot mansion consists of 25 rooms, including a third-floor ballroom. Unfortunately, Agnes died in August of 1928, six weeks after the family moved in, and Dorr died a year and a half later in 1930.

From there, the home has changed owners multiple times throughout the years. It's been a seminary, a home for cloistered nuns, and even a prison.

After years of neglect, volunteers from Laketown Township and surrounding communities are restoring the mansion and grounds. It's an incredible community project and a remarkable story!

Today, Patty Meyer, Director of the Felt Estate, sits down with us for two segments to talk about the project, what she's learned, and to give all of us the inspiration to dream and to dare to accomplish what seems almost impossible!

Patricia Hoezee Meyer – Director of the Felt Estate

Pat is a former educator who graduated from GVSU and the School of Education in 1990 with a major in English & History, and a minor in Political Science. Her interest in art, history and architecture led to her passion for the restoration of the Felt Estate.

For the last 13 years, Pat has restored the Felt Estate, and as director of the Estate, planned and implemented hundreds of events. Pat and the restoration project she oversees have won numerous awards at the local, state, and national level. Pat speaks around the State at Historic Preservation Seminars, emphasizing the importance of place in our lives, in our communities, in our history, and in our learning. Pat is continuing her education at GVSU, through the Johnson Center, working toward a Master’s Degree in Non-profit Administration.

 

There are tons of common paint mistakes we all make in an effort to save time. Today we talk about four that we see all the time!

  • Making My Paint Cover In One Coat Whether It Wants to Or Not!
  • Not Washing the Surfaces I'm Going to Paint Adequately!
  • Not Priming After I Strip Wallpaper
  • Painting Out of My Full Gallon Container
Check out or blog post for more info!

How to Properly Load a Paint Brush!

Our dryer and washer can potentially be very destructive if regular maintenance is not performed. Dryer lint is extremely flammable and washer hoses need to be replaced every five years. Fortunately, with just a little maintenance, you can keep your home safe and protected!

Flammable Vent Hoses

We mentioned in the segment that commonly used plastic or vinyl vent tubing is extremely flammable (as is the lint trapped inside!) Here's a video that demonstrates why you want to remove these cheap hoses from your home and replace them with flexible metal tubing.

FloodStop

This item is very interesting to me. It's designed to be installed very simply, taking only 10 minutes. But when it's installed, it will detect leaks, sound an alarm, and best of all, automatically turn off your water supply valves to prevent flooding! I haven't tried it, but I'm certainly going to dig into it! You can get more info right here!

EP05 – April 29, 2017: One of a Kind Furniture and More!

Today, we sit down in the studio with Kim DeBoer and discuss the adventures of refinishing furniture. Kim talks about some of her best experiences and the joys of taking something old and unwanted and turning it into a centerpiece in your home!

That and more in today’s episode of the RepcoLite Home Improvement Show!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 005:

Shopping for furniture to refinish or repurpose can be stressful! What's worth buying? What can actually be refinished and what is just going to make you sad? And where do you look to find these pieces?

Kim DeBoer is a professional painting contractor who does a lot of furniture refinishing on the side. She's been doing this for years and has answers for all of these questions and more!

It's Spring and the weather's getting warmer! And that means that we're right on the cusp of air conditioner season. But did you know that there are a few simple projects you can tackle on a Saturday morning (or anytime!) that will help you make sure your unit runs efficiently, for less cost, and lasts longer!

Today we go over the 2 must-do jobs this Spring!

Staining a deck is a great project! It's fun and even relatively easy. In fact, the most confusing part of the whole project is trying to choose the right stain. Should you go with an oil-based product? Or a waterborne? What opacity is best for your situation? Clear or Solid or something in between?

On today's Ask RepcoLite segment, we've got all the answers!

Spring is here and with it, we get warmer weather, baseball . . . and ants! My home is right now under invasion and so I'm very excited to be in the studio with David Popp from Rose Pest Solutions. He's here to talk about ants, termites, what to look for and what to do when you find a problem!

EP04 – April 22, 2017: Painting Vinyl Siding and More!

Vinyl siding was supposed to last forever. But . . . it doesn’t. At least the color doesn’t. After a while, houses with vinyl siding can start to look tired, faded, boring . . . old. Well, Benjamin Moore’s Revive is a paint specifically made for vinyl siding. It sticks remarkably well and is available in a range of over 300 vinyl safe colors! It’s definitely worth a look if you’d like to change the entire look and feel of your home this summer!

That and more on this episode!

Listen now:

Show notes for episode 004:

Did you know you can paint vinyl siding? Kevin Hermann dropped by our studio to discuss Benjamin Moore's Revive Vinyl Siding Paint and gave us some tips to get the job done right. The best news is, there are over 300 "vinyl safe" colors to choose from! These colors will allow you to choose a color that is darker than your original siding, without warping your siding. A whole new world of possibilities has been opened!

Kevin also stressed the importance of proper prep/cleaning before painting. Revive does not require a primer if you take right the steps to clean the siding first. Check out our blog post for everything you need to know about getting your siding ready for paint.

Browse Revive's Color Palette of over 300 Colors!

Kevin Hermann is a Territory Representative for Benjamin Moore. He has been with the company for 26 years and has a wealth of paint knowledge. He answers questions from what type of paint to use for a specific project to application tips. And if you really push him, he might even tell you a fish story or two!

How often do we drive through a neighborhood and slow as we come to a house with a beautiful front yard? We sigh heavily as we dream about that house.

But wait! This can be your house. No need to dream! These curb appeal projects are simple and inexpensive. They range from cleaning the exterior of the house to landscape primping. We've got 4 projects that don't take a lot of time or money. And if you go through these and are STILL looking for more ideas, listen to our podcast about curb appeal, check out our front door color Pinterest board, or read our blog post that gives you 6 more inexpensive projects.

We also found this great HGTV slideshow with before and after curb appeal photos. It proves how far a change in landscaping (often minimizing it!), some paint and a little color will go!

When it comes to snowblower maintenance, how many of us just fill the gas tank and push it to the back of the garage to collect dust for the next 6 months? Lots of people! But there's more to it.

If you have limited time or energy, we have the one step you ABSOLUTELY should not bypass. If you have a bit more time to spend, we have 4 other things that will help your snowblower start the first time you pull the cord when faced with a foot of snow next winter. We also have a tip that will save you from being like Dan and annoying your neighbors for the better part of four hours!

Imagine this scene: you are shoveling your driveway after a long day at work. Everything is fine until you are stopped abruptly when the blunt end of your shovel tries to impale you through the stomach. Dan is all too familiar with this feeling.

But the pain is over! Andy Van Dyke from VDC has the solution for those pieces of sunken concrete. The best news is, it's way cheaper than we would have imagined.

Caring for Exterior Wood Doors

bigstock-Wooden-Front-Door-4753799_smallerExterior wood doors can be a beautiful addition to your home–a tremendous step up in appeal and appearance from a typical steel or fiberglass door.  But, along with the added beauty comes added maintenance. Fortunately, this maintenance doesn’t need to be painful as long as you keep up on it!Continue reading