Q&A / 

April 17, 2012 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips

It was an epic day at the Boston Marathon. If you're a new subscriber, I'm a ham radio operator. Approximately 117 other ham operators, and I, worked the race providing mission-critical communications behind the scenes. It was record heat with a searing temperature of 87 F. Based on what I saw in an article on USA Today, yesterday was one degree hotter than in 2004.

The situation was so serious that the race organizers told anyone that was registered this year, they don't have to race. They can just come back next year. The organizers were terrified of mass casualties from runners that were not prepared for the heat.

Runners were dropping from exhaustion like leaves from a tree on a windy autumn day. I was the ham operator at First Aid Station 12 located at 1400 Commonwealth Avenue, in Newton, MA, at mile 18.3. My job was to shadow the station supervisor and call in for ambulances and provide him with any other information.

My next public service ham radio event is the NH Seacoast Bike Ride in May. It's a two-day event on May 19-20, 2012. My call sign, if you're a ham, is W3ATB.


Tip of the Week - Two 16d Sinker Nails Equals ...

If you're trying to anchor a treated 2x4 to a concrete floor, or say a treated 2x2 to a concrete wall for a shelf cleat, you don't need expensive anchors.

You can just use two 16d sinker nails and a hammer. You need to drill a 1/4-inch hole in the wood and into the concrete first.

Then you drive both nails side by side at the same time into the hole. Use nice, firm and square hammer strokes so you don't bend the nails.

You'll be stunned how well this works. If done properly and you have strong concrete, you'll need a crowbar to get the wood off the concrete!

Here's a video showing you how to do it.


Bathroom Remodeling Questions

Are you thinking of remodeling your bathroom, because you can't move? You're not alone.

I'm going to try to demystify the project so you can save lots of money. I can't begin to tell you the number of bathrooms I've remodeled. The last job was at my Cincinnati, OH house. Oh my, when I redid our master bathroom three years ago, it was a monster job. Every plumbing fixture was relocated to a totally different spot! I added a window. I relocated a closet and installed a sweet pocket door.

Please reply to this email with a list of questions you want answered so you can tackle your bathroom remodeling project with minimal help. I'm looking for very specific questions.

Try to avoid asking broad questions like this:

  • How do I install ceramic tile?

Instead, you might ask the parts of a process you don't understand:

  • What kind of glue is used to install ceramic tile?
  • What should the consistency of the wall grout be like?
  • Where do I install blocking for wall fixtures?
  • Where does the fan exhaust to?

You can ask as many questions as you like. I'll have the answers available soon!


Hail Damage

This past weekend, more people died in the mid-section of the USA because of severe weather. Springtime provides all the necessary ingredients for weather conditions that produce massive thunderstorms that create hail and tornadoes.

The AsktheBuilder.com team created a new page at the website with some dramatic photos of hail damage to a tile roof in Nichols Hill, Oklahoma. DaVinci Roofscapes was kind enough to provide the photos for this page.

DaVinci Roofscapes manufactures a polymer roofing product that looks like real slate or shakes. It's pretty safe to say hail isn't going to break a DaVinci polymer product.

Lonnie, a subscriber from southern Colorado, contacted me about his asphalt shingle he had put on his house from Malarkey Roofing. It was a shingle that has the Class 4 Impact classification, the highest rating possible.

I have had GAF shingles on all my homes, and they have a Class 4 shingle as well. It's their Timberline ArmorShield II. Most of the major asphalt shingle manufacturers have a Class 4 shingle.

If you're getting ready to install a new roof in a part of the nation that regularly gets large hail, you might want to look into a tough roofing material that can take a beating from Mother Nature.


Burst Washing Machine Hoses Follow Up

Randall Perry, a subscriber, took notice of last week's mention about the burst washing machine hoses. Several other subscribers also contacted me. Many thanks to you!

He wanted me to mention that you could go one step further and install a special valve that automatically shuts off the water supply to the washing machine.

Good catch Randall! Thanks for bringing that up. There are any number of devices that will prevent flooding. Here's just one from WATTS.

Use any search engine and just type: washing machine auto shut-off valve


Before and After - Ground-Level Deck

Mike Rignola is an avid DIYer. I'd hire him in a New York minute if I needed help. Take a look at the superb ground-level deck he built so he could watch fish.

I'd LOVE to feature your Before and After photos. Submit them by clicking here.


New Feature - Cleaning Tip of the Week

Last week, I offered up a cleaning tip to Kathy C. in Pensacola, FL. She needed to know how to remove oak tree blossom stains from her white Honda Acura. I was flooded with requests from subscribers to start offering a tip each week. So be it! In case you missed it, here are the Before and After shots of Kathy's car.

Here's this week's cleaning tip. Are you spring cleaning ceramic tile floor grout? Most people get a migraine headache over the thought of that chore! It's easy! Just mix up some of my Stain Solver Oxygen Bleach with warm water, pour it on the grout lines, let it sit for 15 minutes, and lightly scrub, rinse and you're good to go. A five-pound pail of Stain Solver will be plenty to clean the floors in the average house.


Stain Solver in Your Store!

You could be one of my great customers that want Stain Solver to be put in your local hardware store. I can do it with your help! Let's start up here in the Northeast where I have a connection to a local chain. If you help me get it on the shelves in this chain, then we can march quickly across the nation!

If you live in these states: NY, MA, CT, RI, VT, NH or ME, I need your help now. PLEASE reply to this email and change the Subject Line to: Stain Solver in my Store

Then just tell me quickly why you want Stain Solver in your local hardware store.


Video of the Week - Urethane Paint Video

Watch this video and I'll give you a crash course on the glues in paint. The WeatherBeater ULTRA paint in this video was made by Sherwin Williams. Sears no longer carries paint, but Sherwin Williams makes Duration which is a urethane-resin paint.

Tim Carter


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