Q&A / 

January 24, 2021 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

Kon'nichiwa! Welcome to your first full issue of my newsletter. I’ve never been to Japan, but my ham radio friend Hiro lives there. I reserve this place of honor at the top of each issue to greet you.
Hiro-SealHiro was kind enough to send me my unique digital seal made with Kanji. It's just above. Seals are often used instead of signatures in Japan. Pretty cool, right?

You, though, might have received five or five-hundred newsletters from me. Do you recall when I shared those stunning before and after photos Saskia sent me from her home in Palos Verdes Estates, California? They’re the ones of her fountain coated with thick hard-water stains.

hard water deposits on tile

Saskia used the advice in my Removing Hard Water Stains column and achieved professional results using a somewhat secret method that was taught to me by Dr. John Alexander.

You should really check out Saskia’s photos. BTW, are you interested in seeing a photo of me when I had shoulder-length hair and weighed 185 pounds? The things I have to offer up to get you to go to a page, jeeesh!


A few days ago, I was looking in awe at some of the detail on one of my bibelots. It was striking.

Wait just a minute. You don’t know what a bibelot is!

Which was it? Were you sick that day, gazing at your heartthrob up one seat and across the aisle from you, or maybe daydreaming in 8th-grade when that vocabulary word was discussed?

I know exactly what you muttered at your desk when bibelot bubbled out of your teacher’s lips, “When will I EVER need to know what that silly word means?

Today - today is the day you need to know what it means! My wise father-in-law had a saying about situations like this:

“The mills of the gods grind slowly but thoroughly.”

Ouch - you just got squished by the millstone! 🙂

You can’t resist, can you? You want to see some of my prized bibelots, don’t you? Well, click or tap and take a look!

Free & FAST Bids - Local Contractors

Now that Christmas seems ages ago, it’s time to make your future home project dreams come true! CLICK or TAP the following links and take a few moments to fill out the form. You’ll get free & fast bids from local contractors in return.

It’s amazing how fast you’ll get calls in these crazy times:

Roof Replacement Free Bid

Bathroom Remodel Free Bid

Heat Pump or Furnace Free Bid - Get WARMER now!

Window Replacement - STOP the cold drafts NOW!

Wood Flooring Replacement


Do you have a sound problem in your home or condominium? It could be outdoor noise leaking in or it could be sound from above or below the room you’re relaxing/sleeping in.

Want to know how to make your house QUIET? I thought so. You simply need to check out my soundproofing column.

Deicing Salts and Concrete - Myth-Busting Time

Are you convinced deicing salt will ruin all concrete? You’re not alone. Many feel this way.

salt on concrete

Do you live in a cold climate in an older city? Do you have railroad bridges that cross over the roads you travel? Have you looked at the base of the massive concrete abutments next to the roads? Do the abutments have construction dates cast into them? Maybe you've been too darned cold to figure this one out. I get it!

I suggest you come in from the cold and expand the knowledge stored inside your tiny gray cells. Check out my Deicing Salts & Concrete column.

STOP Wet Basements & Crawlspaces

trench drain illustration

The headline above should be enough to get you to see how I solve wet basement and crawlspace problems.

Hang Heavy Things on Walls - Special Walls

Drywall is only so strong. You don’t want to take chances hanging heavy things on some walls.

pocket door plywood clip installation

Discover how I make sure gravity doesn’t win the cage fight in my home.

So You Think A Dry Well is a Good Idea

Peer at this photo:

dry well in soil

The photo shows a dry well being built. Is it going to work at your home? Keep an open mind as I help you answer that question.

There’s only one way to know. Scan my Dry Well Installation column and be the wiser.

You’ve Got
You Got Mail

I just installed the Mail Chime at my house. Yippee Ki-Yay!

mail chime

This is a fantastic product. You’d do well to look at the PHOTOS in my review of the Mail Chime. It’s not too often I come across a product that’s simple and EASY to install. And it works too!

That’s enough for a Sunday.

I’ll be back here next week sharing lots more home improvement tips. You’re going to discover how to stop that infernal cold air from leaking through your bath exhaust fan onto your soft wet skin as you exit the shower. I’m also going to share which is better: fiberglass batts or blown-in insulation.

Have a good week.

Tim Carter
Founder - www.AsktheBuilder.com
Get CLEAN - www.StainSolver.com
Winter Field Day soon - www.W3ATB.com

Do It Right, Not Over!

P.S. What’s the real story about basement foam board insulation? I thought you’d never ask.


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