Q&A / 

April 3, 2012 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips


Yesterday, I had lunch with a great couple, Mike and Kathy, who live in Cincinnati, OH. They were up here in New Hampshire looking at land and houses. They're thinking of moving up here.

Fortunately, they had some really good weather, and they saw at least one house that is of great interest to them. They wondered about the snow, wildlife and a few other things, including the much-maligned black flies. Well, they deserve all that malignity as far as I'm concerned.

I suggested to Mike and Kathy that they construct a free-standing, screened-in porch in the backyard of the house. I did this years ago for a client who had magnificent plantings in her yard.

The screened-in structure was only away from the house about 15 feet, so it was not a journey to get to it. But the effect of sitting in this space surrounded by plants, flowers and other things was magical. Keep that in mind if a screened-in porch is in your future.


Stain Solver Sale!

Stain Solver Oxygen BleachIf you're a long-time subscriber to this newsletter, you know that spring means Stain Solver. If you're a new subscriber, Stain Solver is, perhaps, the most powerful and the purest oxygen bleach made completely in the USA, with USA ingredients. I know for a fact that many other oxygen-bleach products have raw materials sourced in China: Land of the Tainted Dog Food, Lead Paint in Toys, etc.

Most people who purchase Stain Solver during the annual spring sale use it to clean decks, wood and vinyl fences and boat docks. But there are hundreds of other uses for the product. If it's water washable, you can almost always clean it with Stain Solver.

Just today, I was on the phone with Kathy in Pensacola, FL. She wanted to know if she could use it to clean red spots that were on her 2002 Honda car. The spots were caused by trees in her yard. I said absolutely yes, so long as she followed some special instructions that I had emailed her.

The sale is only going to last for one week. We'll have the sale end on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at midnight Eastern Standard Time. We're extending the sale because Easter is this coming Sunday.

Here's what you need to know. I fully expect to sell out. We did sell out of all inventory during the New Year sale in January, of all months! So I'm terrified the demand will be so strong we'll sell out again.

We stocked up the warehouse AND we have a huge manufacturing run starting next Monday. But even then, I expect to sell out of certain sizes.

If you need your Stain Solver soon, then I BEG you to order now. Not tomorrow, not this weekend, and most certainly not next week when I remind you. If you order NOW, I'm almost positive you'll have it shipped immediately.

The sale is 10% off the two small sizes (SS02, SS05) and 15% off the three bigger sizes (SS09, SS18, SS50). Of course, we now offer Stain Solver with Free Shipping to the lower 48. That's a significant savings on the bigger sizes.


Cleaning and Sealing Your Deck eBook

The AsktheBuilder team burned the midnight oil to get another thing ready for the Spring Stain Solver Sale - my latest eBook.

Cleaning & Sealing Your Deck eBookMy guess is you feel you know everything about this topic, after all, how hard is it to clean and seal a deck? Well, you can make a boatload of mistakes.

Too many people come to me each year asking for help after they've ruined their decks while cleaning them. Many more are frustrated because the expensive sealer they applied peeled. Others wonder why their deck turns gray in such a short time.

I cover all of this and much, much more. Before I wrote this book, I did some research. I could not find any other book like it - no authoritative book about the process of cleaning and sealing. I did find a small chapter about the topic in another book, however, no book that was devoted entirely to the topic.

Wait till you see everything that's in the eBook. One of the best parts, in my opinion, is Chapter 10 - Homeowner Questions. These are real questions. Some are unbelievable. Wait till you see them. I guarantee you that you will discover at least one new thing about deck cleaning and sealing. I know for a fact I'll debunk at least one myth.

One of the best parts is that buying the eBook gives you secret access to a massive test I'm starting in a month. In May of this year, I'm beginning a side-by-side test of many brands of deck sealers on both cedar and treated lumber. Tests like this are done all the time by the manufacturers of the sealers, but they NEVER give the public access to the results.

You can buy this eBook at two places:

  • AsktheBuilder.com shopping cart
  • Amazon.com (link is below)

Go here to purchase the new eBook from my cart. It's only $4.

You get a 20% discount over the price of the eBook at the Amazon Kindle store for this next week if you buy it from my cart. My version is a standard PDF file that everyone can usually open on their computer.

If you purchase this eBook from me, and I truly hope you do, would you do me a favor? If you feel it's worthy of a great review, can you go to Amazon.com and leave one for me? It will really help me sell the ebook to the world. Thank you so much. Here's the link to it on Amazon.com.


Crown Molding in 60 Minutes or Less!

Back in 1999, I published my first eBook. It was everything you wanted to know about crown molding. It sold really well, but now it's time to update it with new photos and really shrink the size of the book. Why, you ask?

I discovered that 90-percent of the buyers just wanted to discover how to put the molding up in a regular room with inside corners and maybe an outside corner. So that's all this new book is going to cover. Nothing more.

I will discuss using a compound cut miter saw, I'll discuss using a coping saw, and then I'll tell you how I cut crown molding perfectly every time NOT using these two tools.

Would you help me? What are your questions about crown molding with regards to just standard inside and outside cuts?

Please don't ask questions about vaulted ceilings, crown on cabinets, crown going up staircases, etc. I cover all that in my existing eBook. Here's my existing Crown Molding eBook that covers just about every situation. But don't buy it if you want the new one.

Please reply to this email and if you would change the Subject Line to: Crown Molding, that would be great. Just ask me anything you want about regular inside and outside corners, nailing questions, splices, caulking, uneven ceilings, etc. Thanks in advance!


Video of the Week - Blacktop Crack Repair

Last week, I got countless emails thanking me for my Tip of the Week. It was about disguising a blacktop crack repair. Would you like to watch a video of me doing it? I thought so! Enjoy!


Tip of the Week - High-Performance House Paint

Are you going to be painting the outside of your house this spring? Do you want to use a house paint that really lasts and lasts? You want one that contains as much urethane resin as possible.

I've been using urethane house paints for over ten years and the results are spectacular. Sherwin Williams has made one called Duration for years. You may be able to discover other brands with urethane. Be sure the surface is squeaky clean before you apply the paint. Read the label!


Thanks For the Replies!

Last week I asked you to Reply to the Newsletter Email. You know the old saying, be careful what you ask for! Oh my, you were most generous and I was flooded with replies, most of them humbling. Thanks so much for your kind words.

But, and you knew this was coming, right? There's always that self-centered person or two that has to speak up. I thought you'd enjoy the one response I decided to share:

"Hey, send me some new interior designs which are not familiar to the market."

My reply was, "Sure, do you want me to come over and repaint your house while I'm at it?"

Remember, you can always reply to this newsletter and comment, say Hi or complain. Depending on my workload, I may or may not be able to respond.



Do you use Yelp? It's a great website that helps you discover the best and worst businesses of just about any type near you. I use it all the time.

It's great when you're out of town - say on business or vacation - and you need to locate a restaurant, a specialty store, a great motel, etc. I'm sure there are other websites like this. I have the Yelp app on my smartphone so I can have the functionality with me all the time.

I added a review of my own last week for a great small business here in New Hampshire. Read it and tell me what you think.


Q & A of the Week - Flagstone Patio on Crushed Stone

DEAR TIM: I intend to install a flagstone patio in the very near future and have been told I can place it on compacted crushed limestone that contains screenings. What are screenings and will this method work? The person giving the advice said the crushed limestone beneath the flagstones would eventually harden like concrete. What steps should I take to install the limestone in this fashion? I want to know if this will work as I don't want to have to tear everything out and start over. Tim G., Geneva, IL

DEAR TIM: Flagstone is one of the most popular patio materials I know of. The reasons are many. It is extremely durable, it looks magnificent and is naturally slip-resistant. It is also heavy so I can see why you only want to install each ......

Click Here to continue to read this flagstone column.


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