Q&A / 

April 4, 2013 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips

Last Saturday I had to run to town to do a bunch of errands. One of my stops was the Post Office in downtown Meredith, NH. I had a boxful of the small Stain Solver sample jars that were being mailed to customers.

It was a gorgeous crisp early spring day. Sitting on a lawn chair all by herself was Luka. I could see she was trying to raise money for something, and decided to talk with her after I came out of the post office.

She greeted me pleasantly and told me she was selling flower bulbs to raise money for her ballet school. Being an entrepreneur for over 40 years, I'm a sucker for kids who have the diligence, determination and discipline to do what Luka was doing.

Sitting alone on a street full of strangers is vastly different than walking around ringing your neighbors' doorbells. Plus, I'm a sucker for brilliant red flowers.

I bought some bulbs from Luka, and urge you to do whatever you can to support young people like Luka when you see them trying to sell things like this on their own. You never know, but your sale could be the tipping point transaction that convinces that young person to become a superstar entrepreneur businessperson.



Two nights ago, I was in Andover, NH participating in a debate. A woman in the audience recognized me as the AsktheBuilder.com guy and wondered if I could give her any tips on patching old plaster. We were killing time because the man I was debating was running about an hour late. He had a late-afternoon family health crisis that threw him off schedule.

"You bet I can!" I exclaimed. "If you have deep holes to patch, ones where the brown sandy base coat of the plaster is exposed, you never ever want to use the drywall joint compound in buckets that you see at the home center. You'll just waste time and money," I informed her.

Oh, you want to know exactly what to use and how to do it, don't you! Why you need to do what I told her to do. Always, always, always go to AsktheBuilder.com and type your keywords into my search engine. I suggested to her, "Type 'plaster repair' into my search engine. Wait till you see what I've written!"

You're lucky. You don't have to type because here's a link to a patching plaster column that explains much of what you need to know.

If you desire MORE information on how to produce expert plaster patches, just do what I said above. I have about five or six columns on patching plaster. The search box is right there in the upper right corner of the page.



Are you an intellectual property attorney that would love to sink your teeth into a juicy trademark infringement case? One where a big company has made a big boo-boo? Reply to this email if you do these cases on a contingency basis.



My buddy Dan needs you to push him over the top in the NEXT 24 hours! This is a very worthy car gas-mileage project at Kickstarter. It could save you lots of money over time. Please consider pushing Dan up and over his goal. He's a great guy. His project funding date is over in just 24 hours. Please go help him now.



I had a setback taking side-by-side photos of the deck stain test boards and will not have the results for you until next week. When I started the test, I stained two sets of boards. One set was put out in the weather. The other set was left to dry in the shade in my garage. Once dry, I boxed them up so they would not be exposed to weather or sunlight.

I felt that seeing side-by-side photos with the one piece of wood looking like the day the sealer was applied would allow you to really gauge how the sealers are performing.

You may be one of my original subscribers to this newsletter. If so, then you know that one of the products in the test would have to be Defy. It's a synthetic-resin water repellent made in Richmond, Indiana.

I've used Defy myself for years. But realize this doesn't give it a sweetheart spot in the test. Defy had to go head to head and hold its own against all the other products I tested. You'll see some dramatic close up photos next week.

I had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the Defy company about eighteen years ago. Since then he's really expanded his Defy line of products. To get the best performance when it comes to sealing wood decks, you must match up the right sealer with the right wood species.

The resins in the sealers - think of the resin as the glue that allows the sealer to bond to the wood - come in different hardnesses. The dense hardwoods like teak, ipe, ironwood, and other exotic outdoor woods need a resin that's less likely to peel so they need to be softer.

Cedar is a popular decking lumber, but it's darker colored summer grain is extremely dense. You need a special formulation for cedar because of this dense summer grain.

Softer wood like treated pine, can more readily accept a resin that's a little harder.

I'm spending time telling you all this so that you realize there's no Spandex Sealer - you know, one sealer for ALL wood species. Don't fall into that trap when you go to purchase a wood sealer.

I suggest that you go to the Defy website now and read up on all the different wood sealers and what wood species they can be use on. Do that NOW before I publish the photos next week. This way you'll have a head start. You'll then know what to look for as you start to compare all the sealers.

Wait till you see how some of the different sealer products performed. Quite a few of them are really doing well after nine months out in the harsh weather. It's not going to be easy to pick a winner at this point.

You may want to read the authoritative eBook I wrote last spring about Cleaning and Sealing Your Deck. Wait till you see the massive section on homeowner questions!!! WOW!



Fred and Sandi, close friends of mine, are retiring and selling the famous Atwood Inn here in New Hampshire. This is the bed and breakfast I stayed in on my exploration trip when I came up to look for land to build on. It's a fantastic B&B. I know as I've stayed in many of them.

The Atwood Inn is centrally located to many of the attractions here in New Hampshire. If you've dreamed of wanting to be a B&B owner, this is a RARE find.

Here's the listing page, but I suggest you CALL Fred directly to get the real skinny. Be sure to mention my name so he's not taken off guard. 603-934-3666

I'm pretty sure Sandi's secret scone recipe will be passed to you at the closing table. Have you watched the video of me stuffing one in my piehole? It's right at the top of the Atwood Inn home page. http://go.askthebuilder.com/secretscone



Do you live outside the USA? Do you want to buy Stain Solver and have it delivered to your door? If so, I need you to take this VERY short survey. If you have friends in your country who want Stain Solver, PLEASE forward this to them. I need MANY people overseas to take this survey.



I finally finished re-taping the three-hour series on how to start and operate your own Handyman business. You're purchasing a DVD that I ship to you. You watch the series OFFLINE.

I'm offering, for just the next week, a DISCOUNT if you purchase the entire series at once. On April 14th, the price for the entire series WILL GO UP significantly.

If you want to just buy each hour, you can do that. A link to each hour can be found at the above link.

More Tips and Tricks next week!


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