EP59 – May 26, 2018: Beautiful Lawns, Paint Color Woes, Paint Question Smorgasbord!

We recently had a customer who really had a strange paint color problem. In the can, the color looked right. On the wall, it was remarkably different. She was frustrated and confused: What was going on? More importantly, what should she do? We tackle that paint question and many others on today’s Home Improvement Show.

Show notes for episode 059:

Jan Meeuwsen from De Bruyn Seed Company in Zeeland joins us in the studio for two segments. She covers everything from what to do about dead patches on your lawn to how to fix a mossy backyard.

We go over a question we received from a listener that is a real head-scratcher! The color looks one way IN the can, but completely different on the WALL! Confusing, yes. But we've got answers!

This segment focuses on a number of wide-ranging paint questions. We talk about how to clean composite decks and shift right into how to clean and repaint your aluminum awnings!

EP53 – April 7, 2018: Cleaning Garbage Bins, Painting Over Bright Colors, Must-Have Paint Tools, Vinyl Replacement Windows 101

Today’s show starts with an introduction to a remarkably unique service! ECO-190 Degrees will clean out your garbage bins on a regular basis! It’s quick, simple, inexpensive, and will have your garage smelling rosy year-round! We’ll also be discussion how you can easily paint over those bright colors your kids wanted on their bedroom walls when they were 9; some of the must-have painting tools you . . . well, need to have; and finally, we’ll be cutting through the chaos of choosing vinyl replacement windows!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 053:

Today we're in the studio with Tim Folkerts from ECO-190 Degrees. Tim's company offers a unique service built around the concept that nobody likes stinky garbage cans. We think Tim's right in that thinking and we absolutely love the service!

Check out the video below demonstrating how it works:

In this segment we answer a question from a customer who's trying to quickly and effectively paint over some bright colors in her daughter's bedroom.

Turns out, when her daughter's tastes changed dramatically as she grew up! And this is no surprise. However, what can be surprising is that with the RIGHT paint product, painting over those colors can be easier than you think!

It's another "Betsy's Toolbox" segment and Betsy dishes out her most recommended paint tools!

The world of vinyl replacement windows can be confusing. Which ones are right for you? Which features matter the most? Is it really worth the extra money?

We sit down with George Clark from WMGB Home Improvement to get the lowdown and what windows are right for you!

EP51 – March 24, 2018: A Historic New Home Shortage, Betsy’s Toolbox, Top 5 Projects When Selling, Under Deck Oasis

Today we debut a new segment that we’ll repeat from time to time: Betsy’s Toolbox! Betsy is a tool geek and she’s always eager to make recommendations about the best tools to use. Today, in her inaugural Toolbox segment, she leads in with unique story about a farmer who had a cow…. We’ll also be talking with builder, Bob Snowden about a historic shortage of new homes we’re experiencing right now. That and much more!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 051:

This week we noticed that Bob Snowden of Snowden Builders, someone we have interviewed on the show before, was featured on the COVER of the Wall Street Journal! He was interviewed for an article titled The Next Housing Crisis: A Historic Shortage of New Homes The article spurred an extended conversation about some of the potential causes for the new home shortage and why it's harder than ever to build a brand new starter home for a reasonable price.
This is a segment we are calling Betsy's Toolbox because, believe it or not, she probably owns more tools than Dan. And today, we're talking about a tool that's been around since 1924...the Irwin Vise Grip. It's an extremely versatile tool that has been upgraded in recent years to make it even more amazing! Now, although this isn't the best video, it really shows how much better the NEW Vise Grips are compared to the old ones.
After talking with Bob Snowden in the first segment about the lack of available homes, we thought it would be a good idea to poll some realtors in the area for their Top 5 Projects when selling a home. If you are considering selling your home, check out one of these great realtors!  
A few weeks ago we were walking around the Grand Rapids Home and Garden Expo and found a really cool product the converts the underside of your second-story deck into a useable outdoor living space. Ross Morgan from Under Deck Oasis tells us about this very unique product and some of the things the converted space can be used for. The before and after pictures say it all!

EP50 – March 17, 2018: Mental Toughness, Painting Over Wallpaper: Yes or No?, and Get Off the Couch!

 There are all kinds of reasons we hesitate to jump into home improvement projects. Sometimes we lack the tools for a certain project. Sometimes we lack the knowledge to accomplish certain tasks. And sometimes, we’re just plain scared to even try. The thought of the unknown and our lack of confidence holds up back from great things. But the time has come! Get off the couch and give it a try. You might be amazed at the result!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 050:

We are not always what we seem. Our minds are powerful and can help us accomplish great things. Mental toughness will help not only in life, but also when it comes to accomplishing home projects we never thought possible. Sometimes we just need a little motivation.

Navy Seal, Joe Kuhns, stops by the studio to coach us on mental toughness. He tells a story that proves people aren't always what they seem; just because they look tough, doesn't mean they are.

We are back in the studio with Joe Kuhns because we just couldn't let him leave (plus, he wanted his card punched again!). This time he covers why looking at the "big picture" isn't always the way to go.

We got a question on Facebook from a listener who wanted to know which paint and/or primer to use when painting over wallpaper. Now this seems like a great idea for getting rid of that dated, 60's style wallpaper, without going through the headache of actually stripping the paper. But is this shortcut really all it seems to be? We'll tell you what we think and then let you decide!

We talked to tons of people at the home shows the past couple of weekends. And it seems like almost everyone wants to tackle some sort of home project...many of them painting! The problem is, many people feel they can't do these projects for any number of reasons.

In the first couple of segments Joe taught us that we CAN do these things. We've got some ways to help get you started on the road to home improvement success. Get off the couch and get started....after you listen to this show!

And, for those who care: we fade the show out today to the Indigo Girls' Hammer and a Nail. It's a great song and it's included here in all of it's 90's glory for your listening pleasure!

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EP49 – March 10, 2018: Bidets, the Order of Painting, Cleaning Windows, & the Walls of Death!

Some weeks are busier than others! This week we just had too much going and were unable to get to the studio to crank out a new episode. So, instead, we’ve put together Volume 1 of the RepcoLite Home Improvement Show Greatest Hits! On this episode, we revisit some of our favorite segments from the past 48 weeks!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 049:

Well, this segment has been 41 weeks in the making! When we started this Home Improvement Show, we interviewed Mark DeVisser from the Plumber is Here about another topic. After that interview, and off the record, Mark, launched into one of the most hilariously frank discussions about bidets we've ever encountered. We knew we wanted to re-do that discussion on the radio . . . but we also knew we needed to establish ourselves a bit before we launched into a bidet talk!

Well, that moment has now arrived. And today we aired our favorite segment to date! It's funny AND informative. Check it out!

When it comes to starting a paint project, a lot of people find themselves wondering: where do I start? What should I paint first? Walls? Ceiling? What next?

If you've ever wondered that, we've got the system the pro's use to get beautiful results everytime!

We also deal with another common question we hear all the time at RepcoLite: "Do I really need to prime EVERYTIME I paint?"

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

This is easily one of our favorite segments of all time! It's a historical look at a crazy chapter in the world of decorating...

To summarize (without giving the whole fun story away), in the 19th Century arsenic was used to create vivid pigments that were then used in dyes and inks, on clothing, in paint, on food, and on wallpaper! Turns out, installing arsenic-laced wallpaper was actually a poor decision when it came to the health of you and your family! (Who would have thought!)

It's an interesting segment and is definitely worth a listen!

Shadows from the Walls of Death!

On the show, we talked about a rare book that you can view in the rare book collection at MSU. There were 100 copies produced in 1874 and now, only a handful remain. One of them is at MSU. Another is at the U of M. At any rate, the book actually contains actual arsenic-laced samples of the wallpapers that were common in the early to late 19th Century. It is a piece of bizarre decorating history you can hold in your hands! (And the pages are now encapsulated in plastic, so you're safe!) However, if you're not up for a road trip, here's a link to a beautiful full-color scan of the book! Check it out!
 

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