Q&A / 

Getting GREAT FREE Tips Online

Last Friday, May 16, 2014, Shaun, a subscriber to my FREE AsktheBuilder.com newsletter, emailed me telling me he was disappointed in a video I had created about Deck Railing Post Dangers.

Several days later I received a similar email from a subscriber named Jim. Both emails are below, but before reading them I want to frame the message.

In between the two emails I received probably 500-600 sincere Thank You emails from other subscribers thanking me for putting up trusted home improvement information.

There's LOTS of information out on the Internet that's free. You can also pay for lots of information too. Some of the free information is BOGUS and written by people who have NEVER done what they're suggesting you do.

Some of the information you buy is BOGUS too.

It's all a matter of trusting the source. You need to do your due diligence and find out about the background of the person who you're reading or watching.

In my case, I worked for over 20 years for PAYING customers. If I didn't produce great work, I didn't get paid. That, in my opinion and that of many attorneys, is the definition of a professional - One who gets PAID to provide services.

Many hosts of cable home improvement shows have never worked for paying customers.

Many home improvement bloggers online have NOT worked for paying customers - many are hobbiests. I know quite a few hobby bloggers. They have regular day jobs and produce a fancy home improvement website that makes them look like a pro.

When was the last time you went to the About Page of a website and READ all about the background of the person who's providing the information? If you don't do it, you should start.

Here's a link to my AsktheBuilder.com About Page.

Now it's time to read the emails.

Read Shaun's first. Pay very close attention to what he says in his LAST paragraph about lag bolts and where he's seen them.

Then read Jim's email to me. Here's what I have to say to Jim:

"Jim, I wish you the BEST of luck trying to avoid all those people and videos that your buddy Shaun is getting his info from."

Here's Shaun's exact email to me. It's unedited and contains ALL of the punctuation HE put in:

 

Hey Tim,

I really look forward to reading your mails, but this week I will say that I was disappointed with the video on Deck post safety.

I heartily agree that proper installation is truly important, not only for safety but also to ensure it is up to code.

That being said, you have pointed out the problem “99% of deck posts are UNSAFE” (even that statistic I would wonder out loud if it isn’t being sensationalist", but also don’t provide examples of “PROPER" solutions in place.

It seemed to be good intentions blanketing a shallow shill for the product placement? For which you didn’t even show examples of “proper” method, even a cursory view.  You only refer to a link to “get the technical bulletin” from a product provider.

By the way, have your received any type of compensation from “Simpson” as it really does appear as a very shallow product promotion.

AND in the video you discount the use of Lag Bolts as just “unacceptable” but again don’t explain why they are unacceptable.  Almost all of the plans that I have ever seen for these types of connections use Lag Bolts, but if they are “unacceptable” then what is, BUT not ONLY the SIMPSON DECK TIE product sell?

An appreciative follower,

Shaun

# # # 

Now here's Jim's email to me. Note the massive disconnection in the last few sentences. Once again, I copied and pasted EXACTLY what Jim sent. No editing and no corrections were made:

you must remember about this letter you recieved from name withheld. that even I feel this way also. and all information that you share for a price can be found on line free with a google search. or you tube also. and that annoying stain solver crap wow. you are a pain in the butt with it. so in saying... that i am a subscriber that is just hoping you will realize that info you share is out there and stop trying to cash in all the time. if your trying to make a living , i got a suggestion get a job.. !!. if you want people to build things that are safe and not get hurt, share your expertise.just saying...jim

FINAL NOTE from Tim Carter:

Remember the movie Indiana Jones - The Last Crusade.

Towards the end of the movie, the ghost knight said to Harrison Ford in the cave when he, (Indiana Jones) was about to select the true Holy Grail:

 

"Choose wisely."

 

Shaun and Jim, indeed, you two need to choose wisely.

As for why lag bolts are inferior, well I'm going to tape a video to show you why, but if you stop and think about it, you should be able to figure out on your own WHY you'd never ever want to use them to secure a deck railing post.

Feel free to leave a comment below as to how you feel about all this.