Q&A / 

January 2, 2013 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

Happy New Year! I don't know about you, but I'm always stoked about starting something new.

In this case, it's a new year. How about you? Are you excited? What are your goals, no matter how big or small, for 2013? What can I do to help you achieve your home improvement goals? Talk to me. Email me. We're all in this together.

I spent much of the past few days creating the roadmap for what I'm doing this year. A close friend of mine, Jeff Walker, taught me it's best to do this between Christmas and New Years.

If you write down your ideas and plans on paper, there's a far better chance they'll happen. It's the first step in commitment. As I created my written list, do you know what ideas kept coming up?

2013 is the Year of More Video at AsktheBuilder.com.

Why video? I've received hundreds of emails from those who backed my DIY Shed video project. They want more step-by-step videos of me teaching you how to save money and do things yourself.

By gosh, I'm planning on doing just that. Just take a look below.

P.S. Just after Christmas I went to see The Hobbit with Kathy and my son Tristan. It was a great movie. I read the book 40 years ago, but started to re-read it last week.

If you've not read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, you're missing a great read. I loved all of them.



I spent a few days before Christmas cleaning up my garage. One of the things I did was apply a very thin coat of oil on any bare metal that I could see on quite a few hand tools. These tools hang on my wicked useful metal Wall Control metal pegboard awaiting their next call to duty. Here's a photo of a few of the tools in my garage.

My garage is not heated, so everything in there gets cold. Every now and then, we get a jump in temperature usually accompanied with increased humidity. I've seen condensation droplets on bare metal in my garage on any number of occasions.

The oil on the bare metal prevents rust. It also helps them work so much better.

Do you need shut off valves under sinks and toilets to work in the future? Then you need to exercise them by turning them off and back on every six months or so. Be sure to tighten the packing nuts after you turn the valves back on.

Packing nuts? Oh, that's a new video I'll tape for you! The packing nut is that hexagonal nut that surrounds the valve stem. Tighten it ever so slightly when you open the valve again.



What's the latest in garage-door technology? You might be surprised. Watch this video. The payoff is at the end!



The weeks before Christmas were as hectic as ever. I'm sure your head was about to spin off.

I didn't want to bother you with a tiny request that I had until now.

Remember that scene in Star Wars Episode IV when Princess Leia made the recording on R2-D2? "... This is our most desperate hour. Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."

The Death Star is not aiming me, but it's imperative that I add subscribers to my newsletter. For all sorts of normal reasons, I'm losing more subscribers each week than gaining. That's not a good situation.

Is it possible for you to do just one thing for me? Just one small favor?

Can you do whatever it takes to get just one of your friends, co-workers or relatives to subscribe to this newsletter? If you can get more, fantastic.

All you have to do is send them to the home page of www.AsktheBuilder.com. The sign-up form is right there in the center of the page.

But you need to follow through and make sure they did sign up. If you do this, AND reply to me that you did it, I'll summon all the other local wizards up here in New Hampshire and we'll cast a protective spell on you so that all your upcoming home improvement projects will be a success!

If you can prove to me you got a friend to sign up, I'll send you a one-of-a-kind special AsktheBuilder.com gift!



I'll be traveling on business to the great West Coast of the USA the first week of February. I'm available Monday evening, February 4th, for a Las Vegas meet up. I'll be staying at the Rivera Hotel just north and east of the strip.

I'll then be in Los Angeles from February 6th until the 10th. I suspect that sometime on Saturday the 9th would be best for most people. I'll be in Montrose, CA just off the 210 if that helps locate you.

If you want to hang out and chat about anything, reply to this email but change the Subject Line to either: Las Vegas or Los Angeles Meet Up.



Do you know how to get professional results when staining wood, especially soft woods? If so great! If not, you must watch this video of mine.



You'll see just below that I'm about ready to start my second Kickstarter project. That means I need to clear the shelves of the remaining loot from the DIY Shed Project.

The remaining items are super high-quality shirts, and they're SOFT.

How soft you ask? Maggie is a NH subscriber that backed the shed project when I launched it on Kickstarter. She smartly opted for a reward that included the t-shirt. Here's what she wrote to me,

"I know that you'll probably not want to hear this, but I refuse to wear the DIY t-shirt out of my house. "Why" you might ask: Because it's the SOFTEST t-shirt I've ever owned and wear it for my pajama top. That limits the audience to my husband, daughter and assorted pets. Now if you had only gotten one of those rough, obviously cheap t-shirts, then the folks at the hardware store, grocery store, etc. might actually have seen it. Ah well, you live with the consequences of your actions (much to my sleeping comfort)."


I have to admit it, but Maggie's right. The t-shirts are soft. I purchased the best one's I could find from a local NH business.

Here's the skinny. There are ONLY seventeen total t-shirts left:

13 Large and 4 Medium.

That's it. Once they're gone, they're gone. I'm never printing more with this design.

If you purchase one of these LAST DIY Shed t-shirts, when you open the box, there'll be a secret gift for you inside. It's like a grown-up Cracker Jacks surprise!

You'll discover the gift is highly useful and color coordinated with the t-shirt. Your friends and neighbors will be so jealous. They'll be in awe of your smart shopping!

Be SURE to read the text at each of these pages if you live in Alaska or Hawaii.

Click Here for the Large t-shirts.

Click Here for the Medium t-shirts.

This is a NO REFUNDS or EXCHANGES deal. Why? Because I'll not have any to exchange, and my goal is to get rid of them.

I guarantee you these will be gone in hours. I'm so sorry if you miss out.


Should I create a standard AsktheBuilder t-shirt that's a stock item? Would you like that? How about an AsktheBuilder.com hat? Do you want me to stock those? What other gear would you like to see?

I have many skills and magic, but ESP is not amongst them. You need to reply to me letting me know what you want.

If I get a strong response, I'll commission a design.



I mentioned above that you're going to see more videos. Well, we've been busy here at AsktheBuilder.com! Check out all the new video guides in my store. There are 23 different video series you can purchase! More are being added soon.

Are you perplexed by simple roof framing?

Do you want to know the basics about installing asphalt shingles?

What's the secret trick to getting a wall or foundation square without knowing all the complicated math?

Do you want step-by-step instructions on how to install a VELUX skylight? Wait till you watch that video series!

The answers are all waiting for you in my videos.



In less than a week, I'm launching my second Kickstarter project. This one will only take one day to complete, not four months like the shed!

Would you like to discover how to install an exterior door like a pro in less than a day? Well you must be part of this Kickstarter project.

On the morning of January 8th, about 9 am, I'm going to click the green Launch button on the control panel at the Kickstarter page that I get to see. There's an image just below for you.

I'm going to install a deluxe Therma-Tru Classic-Craft Mahogany Fiberglass Door with striking Acadia leaded glass in the door and sidelights. The exterior is going to be trimmed with Fypon cellular PVC boards that resist wood rot and insects.

This video series is going to have no less than 12 videos! I'm going to show you from start to finish how to install a standard pre-hung door like a pro. After watching these videos, you'll have the confidence to tackle this project!

You'll be able to save hundreds and hundreds of dollars doing this job yourself. Heck, you could easily save over $1,000.00. That's the minimum amount of labor and profit a pro will charge you to come do this pretty easy job.

You *must* open next week's newsletter immediately to get access to the project. Why? There are only 100 of the Early-Bird Specials in this project. The project will ONLY be live on Kickstarter for TEN DAYS.

This project also features the first of many official AsktheBuilder.com Apprentice Certificates. More on that next week!


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