Q&A / 

February 21, 2012 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips

What's in This Newsletter?

Latest News
My Custom Console
High Water Bills
Tip of the Week
Lead Paint Follow Up
Deck Cleaning Myths Dispelled
Q&A of the Week


As you read this, I'll be on the road driving from New Hampshire to Savannah, GA. The drive will take four days because I'm visiting friends along the way and I'll try to conduct a little business.

One of my stops is in Raleigh, NC, where I'll visit a very dear friend Mike Wilson. Mike and I grew up on the same street in Cincinnati, OH, and we have stayed in touch through the years. Both of us were part of a group of WW II baby boomers living in a traditional middle-class neighborhood doing all the things you'd expect from young boys.

I thought you'd enjoy this photo of Mike and I taken in 1972 at a construction site just across the street from where we lived. Look at our hair and, yes, there were six packs under those tee shirts.

You might also enjoy this true story I wrote about one of our famous sleepovers.

I tried to pull together some meet ups along the way, but I just couldn't make your location mesh with my tight driving
schedule and timeline. I apologize for that. If you live in Hilton Head, or in Savannah, GA, and can get to either of those places between February 25th and March 1st, perhaps we can arrange a lunch. If you can do that, reply to this email changing the Subject Line to - Savannah Lunch.


My Custom Console

My truck ConsoleLast week, I mentioned I was building a special console for my truck. It was made to hold my ham radio control head, the high-output ham radio speaker, my cell phone which does double duty as a talking GPS navigation device, and all sorts of other things like my Plantronics bluetooth headset, sunglasses, etc.

I made this from some scrap wood I had and painted it to match the seats in the truck. Believe me; I'm not going into the business to mass produce them. The console is rock solid, and I'm sure will perform well.


High Water Bills

Don Grode, a subscriber to this newsletter, sent me a video that if someone told you what happened, you probably would not believe them. If you happen to have high water bills, have pets, and you're not home during the day, well ......


Tip of the Week - Fascinating Folding Door Hardware

Many homes have gorgeous wide openings between rooms. Kathy and I had that at our Queen Anne Victorian home in Cincinnati, OH, where our living room connected to our entrance hall. If you want privacy in one of the rooms, you have all sorts of options. Keep in mind that regular swing doors take up lots of room.

To not waste floor space, you can utilize great hardware from LE Johnson to quickly install folding doors that give you the needed privacy, but not eat up floor space. This is a great alternative if you're on a limited budget and can't afford all the work needed to install pocket doors to achieve the goal. What's more, you may not be able to install a pocket door in that location, much less dual pocket doors that meet in the center of the opening.

This folding door solution will work in any home no matter what the architectural style. You don't have to use flat slab doors as you see in this photo. You can use panel doors, doors with some glass, whatever suites your taste! Click here to discover more about the LE Johnson Folding Door hardware.

I've used LE Johnson door hardware in my homes for years, and when I build my next house for Kathy and me, you'll find it there because it works!

Here are two links to larger photos of the opening above showing the door open and closed.


Lead Paint Follow Up

In last week's newsletter I had a rant about costly lead-paint regulations that recently went into effect. Believe me, I know when I publish that type of stuff, I make many, many, new friends and a small handful of foes. I get that.

But here's an email I got from Don Colon, who used to own a business in Baldwinsville, NY. I simply groaned when I read it:

"I had a small garage door business. Our industry magazine came out with an article on this over a year ago. One part of the story was about a dealer being fined $10,000 because he did not have copies of the paperwork on lead for jobs he did. You have to keep this stuff for five years and it's open to government inspection. If they don't like the way it is filled out, they levy fines. (I always felt they were under orders to collect more fines than their salaries.) My solution was to close my business, disconnect the phone, and prepare to surrender my NYS tax license."


Last week I told you about a brand-new online design and decorating service being offered by my daughter Meghan. She's the one who authored the book, The Meghan Method.

RoomToYou LogoIf you struggle trying to make a room or rooms look fantastic, Meghan can help you! You can hire her for one-on-one consulting.

Meghan has a SPECIAL limited offering to just a handful of people. I'm serious. This is not some marketing trick. She can only work with so many people a month. If you want Meghan's expert help in designing or decorating the room of your dreams, now is the time. Watch one of the two videos below NOW.

Watch this video of Meghan and me having some fun about RoomToYou if you want.

If you just want to see Meghan, and not have me asking crazy questions, click here.


Deck Cleaning Myths Dispelled

Deck cleaning season is just about to start down in the southern tier of states along the Gulf Coast. I BEG you to hold off on this task for a couple of weeks.

Why? Because I'm going to devote the March 6th newsletter to this VERY IMPORTANT topic. Each spring I get lots of
email from distressed homeowners who have ruined their decks while cleaning them.

Please, do NOT clean your deck until you read my March 6th newsletter.


Q & A of the Week - Sink P-Trap Substitutes

DEAR TIM: I saw a new device on a website that says it can replace the traditional p-trap under a plumbing fixture. It has a flexible tube-like membrane that is supposed to stay closed when no water is flowing down the pipe. I'm skeptical this thing would work over the long haul. I also wonder how things like this get approved by code officials. It seems the traditional P-trap under all my plumbing fixtures works well. What do you think about these mechanical plumbing products that attach to the waste and vent lines? Julie P., Rockford, IL

DEAR JULIE: Boy, oh boy, you sure know how to stir the pot! You also did a great job of touching a nerve I happen to have about plumbing devices and code officials. Let's open the discussion with ....

CLICK HERE to read all about why you MUST think long and hard about not using a P-trap.



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