EP71: An American Picker, Avoiding Scams, Dan’s Brilliant Paint Tips

In this episode, we sit down the “Ultimate American Picker”, Steve Norris.  I’ve known Steve for years and while he calls himself a bit of a pack rat, there’s no denying that he has made some seriously brilliant finds at auctions, estate sales, and garage sales. How does he find these items? How does he know what’s worth picking up and what should be ignored? Common sense!

We also talk with Joel Ruiter from Home Repair Services in Kent County about how we can avoid scams. Summer is always a time for door-to-door contractors showing up, offering us the deal of the century. But is it a good deal?

Finally, it’s time for Dan’s new segment: Dan’s Audio Emporium of Brilliance. In this debut, we talk about how to (brilliantly) hire the right painting contractor, what to (brilliantly) do with all that leftover latex paint in your basement, and finally how to make paint cover and hide (brilliantly) without having to prime!

Listen here:

EP65: Oak Cabinets, Paint Warranties, Safe Electrical Outlets

On today’s show we talk about painting Oak cabinets. It’s not a complicated project, but the big question always revolves around the open graining: what do you do about it so you can get a great look on your finished cabinets? We talk about that as well as the riveting topic of paint warranties. (And as boring as that may sound, it’s important to understand exactly what a warranty will cover. You’ll be surprised how little some warranties actually mean!) And finally, we wrap up the show with an interview with Brad Krause from Service Professor. Brad sits down with us and discusses a number of electrical safety concerns that are probably happening in your home right now!

Listen now:

SHOW NOTES

Segment 2

Here’s the “homemade air conditioner” we talked about at the beginning of the second segment. Yes, we know this could be a “fake” YouTube video. Yes, we know it might not work as well as it’s shown. But we still think it looks like a ton of fun to try!

EP63: Wool Carpet, Solid Color Stain Explained, A Crafty Flower Pot Project, and Sewer Backups No More!

Today’s show covers a wide variety of topics. We start by discussing the long-term benefits of wool carpet (as well as the sheep that make it possible). From there, we discuss a confusing topic among homeowners: solid color stain. What is it? Why use it? How is it different from paint? We dig into all of that and then, Betsy goes all “crafty” and has a great project using solid color stain. Finally, we wrap up with an interview with Service Professor in Grand Rapids about sewer backups and all the different solutions that are available to you!

Listen Here:

Show notes for episode 063:

Wool carpet is expensive, right? Overpriced? Not worth it? Absolutely not! We sit down with Nick Sargent from Johnson Carpet One in Grandville to talk about the charm, durability, and incredibly functionality of wool carpet.

Solid Color Stain is typically a confusing product. People think of stain as something you can see through and which has a brown tone! They don't realize that solid color stains actually look pretty much like paint!

But that brings up the next question: when do I use paint and when should I use stain? We answer all of that and more!

Finally, we mentioned an EPA Guide to Lead Safe Repair, Renovation, and Painting. Here it is if you'd like to check it out!

Betsy gets all "crafty" and talks about a perfect Saturday project for you, your kids, your grandkids . . . pretty much everyone!

Sewer backups are tremendously . . . inconvenient. Horrible. Life-Altering. You name it. But did you know there are alternatives to simply "rootering" your line every few months? Alternatives that don't require you to dig up your yard?

We're in the studio with Paul Gerbaisi from Service Professor in Grand Rapids to highlight all the options available to you!

EP31 – November 4, 2017: New Home To-Do List, Waterblock, Clogged Drains, Washers and Dryers

Today’s episode is a bit of a trip down memory lane! After a very busy week (and a very successful Designer Event), we just didn’t have time to do a show the way we wanted to. So we pulled 3 of our favorite segments from the past and added them to a brand new, very informative interview with Steve Rozema from Northgate Appliance. Steve walks us through the pros and cons of all the different types of washers and dryers on the market. If you’re looking at making a purchase anytime soon, you need to check this out and arm yourself with the knowledge you’ll need to make the right choice!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 031:

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

A lot of people deal with wet or damp basements. And the problem is even worse after a heavy rain or in spring when snow melts. More often than not, the dampness is accompanied by a less-than-pleasant musty smell.

What most people don't know, is there's a paint that can be put on bare concrete or block that will drastically reduce, if not eliminate, the moisture that occurs in basements. And you'll be surprised at how little it costs to do! It's a great first step toward a dry, odor free basement.

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!

Steve Rozema from Northgate Appliance joins us to talk about washers and dryers. Which technology is the best? Front load? Top load? Agitator free? Steve has all the answers and more!

EP28 – October 14, 2017: Whole House Surge Protection, Paint Finishes, Color of the Year, and Fall Jobs

 

There is so much stuff on today’s episode! Fun stories about what it’s like to be short, as well as discussions about great fall projects that will help you save money (and keep mice OUT wall winter long!) On top of that, we discuss Benjamin Moore’s big announcement regarding the Color of the Year for 2018. And most importantly, we talk about HOW to use that color in your own decorating!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 028:

In this segment, we're in the studio with Bill Haveman from Haveman Electric talking about whole house surge protection and backup generators! (And with winter closing in, I've got to be honest, the generator part of the conversation really got my wheels turning!

You can reach Bill and Haveman Electric via their website, or by calling them at 616-396-8213.

We see it all the time at RepcoLite: customers are confused about paint finishes. What do the different names mean? Which is shinier a semi-gloss or a satin sheen? And most importantly, where is each finish best used?

We cover all of that and more in this segment!

Benjamin Moore just announced their pick for Color of the Year 2018 and it's a red! Caliente (AF-290) to be exact. In this segment, we briefly discuss how Benjamin Moore came to pick this color, but we spend the bulk of our time talking about how you can make it work in your own space!

Also, in the course of the segment, Betsy mentioned our "Caliente-Inspired' Pinterest page. You can check that link out by clicking the button below!

"Caliente-Inspired" Decorating!

Fall is moving quickly! And before we know it . . . we're going to be looking at fields of snow outside our windows! Before we get to that point, there are a number of projects we should be tackling right now to make sure that our home is ready for the upcoming cold season! We discuss some of the main ones and throw out a few curve balls you might not have thought of yet!

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