Q&A / 

February 13, 2013 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips

A few days ago, I was blowing and shoveling snow for three hours. On Monday, we received another 3 inches on top of the 18 inches Nemo dumped here in central New Hampshire this past weekend.

I have to rake off my roof to prevent ice dams from forming in the valleys that pass over the entrance hall. The idiot builder who built my house didn't properly protect the roof from ice dams. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

When you rake the snow from the one part of the roof, it comes crashing down on the front porch creating a pile about 3 feet high. This snow compacts as it smashes onto the decking and has to be removed one heavy shovelful after another.

The architect who designed this house should have his license revoked. Why one would create three roof slopes all converging above a front porch here in snow country is beyond mental comprehension.

What I need is a snowblower like my ham radio buddy Lee Hillsgrove Jr. owns. It attaches to the front of his garden tractor.

Watch this video of him blowing Nemo's snow from his driveway. You'll not believe how far it throws the snow. I have a standard walk behind model that shoots snow about one-third the distance you'll see in the video.

Editor's Note: CLICK HERE to read a follow-up story on this House Design!


This past Sunday, my very good friend Russ and I walked around his house just before he drove me to the Burbank, CA airport to fly back to New Hampshire.

He was asking for tips on how to fix things. One stop was a bathroom vanity sink where the faucet handle was hard to pull out and rotate.

It was a common single-handle faucet. I told him, "Oh, all it needs is a new cartridge. It's an easy fix."

What I forgot to add were two words: " ... for me."

Russ, and his DIY talented wife Ann, were getting ready to leave for a business trip to Arizona the next day, but for some reason he decided to jump into the project.

Important Factoid: There are two other bathrooms in the house. This faucet did NOT have to be repaired at that time - not by a longshot.

Russ soon discovered that the shutoff valves under the sink didn't shut off the water. In fact, one sprung a leak while he was trying to rotate it. Then he discovered he couldn't remove the faucet cartridge. All of a sudden he was in over his head.

After multiple trips to the hardware store, Russ was able to supply his wife Ann with all the parts she needed to install an entirely new faucet.

I called him in the few minutes I had as I raced around the Chicago Midway airport to make my connecting flight to discover the can of worms he had opened up.

Bottom Line: Don't jump into a plumbing project on a Sunday before you're going out of town. Don't start a plumbing project unless you have ALL the parts and tools on hand. Don't start a plumbing project unless you have the number of a plumber that will drag you out of the Plumbing Hole of Death you'll probably slip into - assuming that you don't have a talented wife like Ann!

Russ knows I'm a master plumber, but he's not. His wife Ann is a pretty accomplished plumber, so it's a good thing she was around to save the day! I can hear him now calling, "(Ann's maiden name), come quick! A pipe is leaking!"



Kathy and I, and the rest of the Stain Solver team, are happy to announce a new arrival! Not a living breathing baby, but a new small Stain Solver size!

Stain Solver Sample Size

This little guy weighs in at 0.4 pounds, and is perfect to sample Stain Solver. It's in a nice clear bottle perfect to fit in a purse, an office drawer, a suitcase, etc.

In the past, the 2-pound size has been our smallest size and it can be a leap of faith for some to buy that size.

But this NEW size costs just $9.97 with FREE SHIPPING to anywhere in the lower 48 states. I'm working feverishly to get it to ship easily to Alaska, Hawaii and Canada. Please be patient.

You've heard me talk about Stain Solver and all the great things it can do. Now we've made it affordable for you to purchase some.

Once you discover how well it does, you want to buy Stain Solver in a bigger size to save lots of money.

We're also offering this new size in a case of 12 in case you want to sell it at your store or give to friends or neighbors as a gift.



I was in Los Angeles last week taping the Wood Rot Repair video series. The weather just barely cooperated. About an hour after mixing and applying the amazing special epoxy, it started to rain and hail. It was a cold, rainy Friday in LA!

If you want to see exactly how to repair wood rot without having to be a master carpenter, you should invest in this video series. The project closes out in just five days and then the price for all the videos I taped showing you secret ninja tricks will go up.

Wait until you see the fantastic products in this video series. They were a dream to work with.

Do it now, just go back my Wood Rot Kickstarter project. I'll be editing the videos soon!



You could really help make this newsletter better by using my affiliate link when shopping at Amazon. When you do this, it does NOT affect the price you pay for an item.

Amazon simply pays me a small commission on what you buy. I have no idea who is buying what, so it doesn't invade your privacy.

Just CLICK the banner just below and shop away!

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I have really come to like using my powered screwdrivers and impact drivers around the house. There are countless uses for them.

But something tells me you never thought that you could use a battery-powered screwdriver to ...... You'll have to watch the video.



A little over a year ago, I purchased my Kindle Fire tablet. It's fantastic. Granted, it's not large like an iPad, but it's a delightful reader. You can surf the web and do lots on it like you'd do with any tablet.

Last week, I finished reading Murder on the Mind by L.L. Bartlett. It kept my attention all the way to the end. That's a good thing.

I'm now reading Back on Murder by J. Mark Bertrand. It's got more twists and turns than Lombard Street it San Francisco! I'm anxious to see how this book ends.

Currently, as you can see, I'm in a rut about murders. What are you reading?



Do you live in the Washington DC metro area? Would you like to hang out for a couple of hours with me? Do you have some problems at your house you want me to consult on?

I suggest you come and see me at the Capital Home and Garden Show on Sunday, February 24, 2013. If you go to their website and purchase advance tickets, you can get a substantial discount using this promo code: BUILDER

I'll be on stage at 2 and 4 p.m.. I plan to host two meetups before each appearance on the show floor.

Be sure to bring any photos of the problems at your home.

If you want to meet up with me at the show, you MUST respond to this email. Change the Subject Line to: Home Show Meet Up



Guess what? I'm starting a LIVE TV show on YouTube!

Are you up off the floor yet? Are you filled with questions about what the show's going to be like?

Well, you're going to help me design the show.

Please take this SHORT three-question survey to HELP me create the best home improvement show in history!

I'll share more about the show and what I have in store next week. But for now, PLEASE help me. Take the survey!!


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