January 7, 2014 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips
Happy New Year!
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting longer. I love that.
I feel 2014 is going to be an epic year. Oh, I've got a Clean Slate Stain Solver SALE starting today, so look below for that announcement.
Did you have a chance to reflect on last year and create plans for this year to achieve whatever it is you want to do? I sure hope so.
If one of the things on your list is to save time and money on repairs to your home, I believe I can help you. In fact, I know I can. I spent many hours the week after Christmas adjusting my past behavior so I can do a better job of helping you.
I dusted off an idea my daughter Meghan gave me four years ago. Yes, four years ago!
"Dad, you really need to create some short guides that are the Easy Button for homeowners. Not many of your subscribers want to read your looooong columns TRYING to find the answers buried in all your words.
You need to tell them how hard a project is, a quick overview, a complete tool list with links to buy them, and a bullet-point list of tips. No more than 500 words! That's it," she said. "Oh, I forgot. If you have a VIDEO about the topic, put that at the bottom of the page," she quipped.
Fast forward to Christmas Eve of 2013. On that quiet day, I thought about what Meghan said down in my office and I created my first one. I'm calling them the Quick Start Guides.
It's a tradition for me to work on Christmas Eve morning. Ask Kathy. She thinks I'm nuts. I used to be the only one at the job site on Christmas Eve years ago. It stems all the way back to when I was in high school. I'd work Christmas Eve until 7 p.m. at Skyline Chili in Cincinnati, OH.
At 6:15 a.m. the day after Christmas I was back down in my office working on the second quick start guide. Don't believe me? Ask my assistant Roger as I was driving him crazy loading the new pages, images, etc. to the website that day and the rest of the week! (He was!! - Roger)
My goal is to create at least five new Quick Start Guides a week from now on, maybe more!
How can you best benefit from what I'm doing? How can you save Money and Time?
It's so easy. Each week when you receive this newsletter, just open it. Yes, please take a moment and open each issue of this newsletter.
Spend just one minute, yes just one minute, and CLICK each link in the newsletter that takes you to the newest Quick Start Guide. Yes, I need you to just CLICK the links to the Quick Start Guides.
I just want you to glance at each one so when it comes time in the future you're about to start that project the little voice in your head will say, "Hey, Tim created a Quick Start Guide for you about this, remember? You looked at it. Go back to AsktheBuilder.com NOW and use his search engine to find it. Just type the topic followed by "quick start guide".
Example: crown molding quick start guide
If you visit AsktheBuilder.com, you'll discover all the Quick Start Guides in my Projects section. Look at the image just below.
Each week I'm going to put the new Quick Start Guides at the TOP of the newsletter to make it easy for you.
Let's go look at the ones I've already completed for you.
Latest AsktheBuilder.com Quick Start Guides
Lawn Mower Quick Start Guide (Seriously, how to get a mower to start ALWAYS!)
Whew!!!!! Can you believe all those new guides for you?
So what do you think? Do you like them? Will they help you save time and money?
PLEASE leave a COMMENT below each quick start guide at the website if you like them.
Stain Solver Clean Slate Sale
We're one week into the new year. You've got a clean slate.
But your clothes, carpet, furniture and tile floors may have suffered during Christmas from your guests, wine spills, snow and slush tracked in, etc.
I want to help you get your stuff clean using Stain Solver, one of the very few oxygen bleaches that contains a Certified Organic active ingredient. The ONLY other ingredient is Nature's own pure soda ash. No wonder Stain Solver gets such rave reviews.
Stain Solver is a multipurpose cleaner. Anything that's water washable can almost always be cleaned with Stain Solver.
Have you seen the latest Before and After photos? Oh my GOSH! Check them out.
Wait until you see the carpet stains Stain Solver removed!
Each person that takes the time to send us Before and After photos gets a secret promo code for 20% off their next order. You should be doing that. Start taking Before and After photos!
Go buy some Stain Solver NOW and get 15% off.
Promo code: HAPPY
This sale ENDS in just a few days - Sunday, January 12, 2014 at midnight ET.
Extreme Temperatures and Your House
As I type this, you may be experiencing temperatures nearing -25 F. That's what it's like in northern Minnesota. Or, you could be sweltering like my friends Patricia or Russell down under in Australia. A few days ago, blistering heat along their east coast north of Sydney was baking everyone and everything.
A week ago when it was bitter cold here, my son Tristan said, "Dad, did you hear that huge crash at 3 a.m.? It was in the family room. Something fell over. I thought the ceiling crashed to the floor."
Nothing fell over. It was my outdoor deck contracting like a spring. I have a huge deck, 65 feet long, that's covered with a plastic composite decking material. When it gets bitter cold, the plastic decking shrinks or contracts. Plastic has a high expansion / contraction coefficient.
The decking builds up all sorts of tension and all of a sudden, the deck makes a huge SNAP sound. It happened at 5 a.m. today. In fact, it JUST HAPPENED AGAIN as I typed this!
Lumber will do this. Attic trusses, vinyl siding, plastic fascia trim, pipes, duct work, etc.
Your house expands and contracts like a balloon when it gets bitter cold and very hot. At some point, this stored energy releases itself just like an earthquake.
Should you be alarmed? No.
PVC plumbing drain lines are the worst culprit. PVC is plastic. If your plumbing drain lines are in a pipe chase that gets cold and hot water drains into the pipes, you can hear all sorts of snaps, crackles and pops in your walls and ceilings as the drain pipe expands. Then a few minutes after you stop running the water, you'll hear the same sounds again, only slower and more spaced apart. The drain lines are contracting back to their original size.
Two West Coast Meet Ups
I just found out that I'll be at the World of Concrete Show in Las Vegas on January 21-22nd. I have time on Wednesday night the 22nd for a meet up. If you live in Las Vegas and want to get together, reply to this email.
The second week of February, I'll be attending a fantastic editors conference put on by Behr Paints. I'll be in the Los Angeles area, so watch for news about a meetup on February 15th.
Okay, I don't want to burn you out.
Please go up and CLICK all those Quick Start Guide links and comment on the pages.
Also, don't miss out on the Stain Solver SALE!
More News and Tips next week!