Q&A / 

March 20, 2012 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips

What's in this issue?

Latest News
Friendly Reminder
Senco F-18 Review
Before & After
Where's My Answer?
Phone Fraud
Tip of the Week
Stain Solver Sale
Video of the Week
Blog Post
Q & A of the Week

Oh do I have spring fever! As I write this, it's a bluebird day - not a cloud in the sky, the temperature is climbing to 75 F, and the snow is almost gone. If you stand in the sun, it's almost so hot you can't have on a long-sleeved shirt. It's great weather to take a walk.

I was working just a few days ago on the lumber takeoff for a large shed / mini barn I'm going to build as soon as the weather breaks. This project is going to spawn quite a few new eBooks, all of which will have numerous videos in them.

My plan is that each eBook will just showcase, in great detail, each aspect of building the structure. You can purchase a la carte just what you need to know.


Friendly Reminder

In this newsletter, you'll see several links back to my website. When you're there, I ask you to do one thing for me. Please help me by clicking the Social Media button in the upper left corner of every page you visit.


Senco F-18 Nail Gun Review

I posted my first tool review at the website. Tool Reviews is a primary navigation category, and I'm quite sure it's going to be very popular.

Have you ever used a nail gun? If not, you may want to after you read this review.


Before and After

The new AsktheBuilder.com website design launched last week. One of the primary navigation buttons at the top of every page is Before & After.

I encourage you to share some nice photos of any projects that you want others to see. With the wicked Spring weather just around the corner, it could be before photos of your house or property followed by after photos of storm damage. Trudy sent me some hail damage photos taken near her home that were frightening.

You submit your photos and story using this form at the website.


Where's My Answer Tim???

Each time I send a newsletter out, I get at least one curt reply from a subscriber. They're all the same.

The person wants to know, "Why haven't you answered MY question?"

Well, let's do the electronic autopsy now.

Are you positive your question made it to me? Did you check your Spam folder for my reply? Is it possible you somehow accidentally deleted it? Is it possible that your ISP or mail handler failed to deliver my answer to you?

I take pride in answering incoming questions. It's done primarily by Ellen. She's worked for me for, gosh, what is it Ellen, sixteen years? Ellen is my Numero Uno Customer Service rep, and she deals with all the incoming questions. Those she can't answer she sends to me. Ellen answers most questions within days of receiving them.

To the best of my knowledge, I'm the *only* home improvement website that answers real questions. Most of my peers don't have a Contact Form where you can ask a question.

Bottom Line: Please don't be so quick to blame me if you don't get an answer. The trouble could be in your set. :->>>

Please be aware I have a product that allows you and I to talk on the phone if you have an urgent problem where a mistake could cost you hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars. You can invoke my 15-Minute Phone Consult.


Phone Fraud

I saw this story at the USA Today website about caller ID fraud. It's not directly related to home improvement, but a thief could steal the money you were going to spend on tools or a new kitchen.


Tip of the Week - Fence Cleaning

"Hi Tim, I was reading up on Stain Solver for cleaning my wooden fence. Is scrubbing with a brush mandatory? It's a pretty good amount of fencing (corner lot) and the thought of scrubbing (vs. power washing) gives me pause. I agree that pressure washing (unless very careful) can be terribly damaging. I used one on my last home's fence, and wood was FLYING everywhere. Regards," Chris.

Here's the thing about cleaning. Let's say you hang your dirty clothes on an outdoor clothes line and then spray them with a great solution of soap and water. I mean spray them for an hour or two using a hand pump sprayer, then rinse them and allow them to air dry.

Will they be clean? Of course not, it's the mechanical agitation of the clothes being tumbled or moved by the machine agitator that cleans them. The soap just helps lift and transport the dirt away.

The same is true with washing a car. You've used a spray cleaner at one of those self-clean car washes, but there's always a thin film of dirt left.

You have to mechanically agitate the fence to deep clean it. Just get a helper. Switch tasks. One person is in the lead with the hand pump sprayer applying my Stain Solver making sure it doesn't evaporate. The second person follows behind with a scrub brush on a pole. The scrubber is also responsible for rinsing the fence.

It's not hard. Just switch jobs every fifteen minutes. Work on an overcast day if possible. On a sunny or windy day, the Stain Solver solution may evaporate too quickly.


Stain Solver Sale

Since Chris mentioned it, and my new Deck Cleaning and Sealing eBook will be complete very soon, I want to tell you the annual Spring Stain Solver Sale is just around the corner. It's going to happen the first two weeks of April, so be opening each newsletter to make sure you do not miss it.


Video of the Week - Control Joint Video

Are you going to be pouring new concrete soon? It could be a driveway, patio, sidewalk, even a basement floor. You must understand what happens to concrete as it transforms from the plastic state to the solid state. Massive internal tension forces actively try to rip it apart. Watch this video to get a feeling of what you have to do to prevent jagged random cracks.


Blog Post - Future of FREE High-Quality Content

I promised you a blog post about what I feel the future holds for free high-quality content on the Internet.

I'm deep in the bowels of the Internet on a daily basis as my business depends on it. This causes me to have a drastically different view of things than you probably have.

Suffice it to say I see a huge change ahead. Read this blog post and please comment at the bottom of it. Tell me how you really feel and keep in mind how the content business operated BEFORE the Internet existed as you now know it.


Q & A of the Week - Roof Flashing Leaks

DEAR TIM: My house was recently re-shingled. However, leaks are present near a chimney and where a lower roof meets a second story wall. I was able to get up on the roof and look around. The metal work around the chimney and along the wall was not replaced. It is old and rusty. However, I discovered fresh silicone caulk in and around this metal work. Was the caulk installed incorrectly? J. W.

DEAR J. W.: YES! The caulk was installed incorrectly. It should have never been used in the first place! Caulk is not a substitute for roof metal work or flashing. Roofing shingles are a fantastic product. Many of them are...

Click Here to continue to read about Roof Flashing Leaks.

Don't forget - Do it Right, not Over,
Tim Carter


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