Q&A / 

May 7, 2013 AsktheBuilder Newsletter & Tips

My son is back from college. He's finished. Woo Hoo! He's actively applying for jobs as a character artist for video games or other animation video. I believe he'll land a job soon.

But in the meantime, he's helping me complete lots of projects here at the house that will become video series. Here's a partial list of what we'll be taping in the upcoming months:

  • Installing a New Window in a Blank Wall
  • Installing a Structural Wood Beam in a Wall Opening
  • Installing a Linear French Drain to Stop Water Leakage into Basements/Crawlspaces
  • Building a Freestanding Attractive Firewood Storage Shelter that matches our house
  • Repairing Damaged Drywall Ceilings (foot through the ceiling or large patches from plumbing repairs)
  • Basic Baseboard Installation Tricks and Tips
  • Installing an Extension Jamb on a Door or Window
  • Basic Wall Painting Tricks and Tips - Beginner's Guide
  • Installing Strong Deck Railing Posts

I think you can see we've got lots to do, and we're starting this week! Next week I'll announce a pre-production sale on the first two video series we plan to do. Those who buy advance copies of the video series will be getting a sweet deal, and discover some great tips too!


Six weeks ago, I was exhibiting my Stain Solver at two home and garden shows. Eighty percent of the people that stopped and watched my demonstration of how it instantly got rid of dried red wine stains bought the product right there on the spot. They did this because they actually mixed the product and dropped in the stained pieces of cloth into the solution.

DAREDEVIL SPADEBITS If you begin to use Bosch Daredevil drill bits, saw blades, etc. my guess is you'll be instantly converted just like the home show visitors. I know it for a fact because I use Daredevil spade bits to drill my larger diameter holes. The threaded tip pulls the bit through the wood, reducing stress on your muscles. When working overhead or in tight places where you can't lean into the drill, you'll appreciate this!

Bosch wants you to become a believer. This is why they're giving away 300 Daredevil bits so you can experience what I already know. After you use a Daredevil bit, I pretty much predict you'll become your neighborhood's spokesperson for Daredevil. You'll be boasting how you discovered a way to have more energy to put into your daredevil playtime because your new bits didn't wear you out like traditional spade bits would have.

Go ahead, enter the Daredevil contest NOW so you have a great chance of getting a Daredevil spade bit. Please let me know if you're one of the very lucky winners!


Overnight I received an email from the great guy who purchased my house in Cincinnati, OH. He was down in the basement near the furnaces and looked up and saw an open pipe that exited the band board of my house. Curt wrote:

"Before I taped this up with duct tape, I wanted to check with you to see if this is by design at all before I mess with it. I'm guessing it probably has a negligible effect on heat/cool loss given in only goes to the furnace room, but figured I'd tape it up anyway (unless you know of a reason I should not)."

make-up air ventI immediately replied telling him that it would be a huge mistake to tape that up. You see, that open pipe connects to a special makeup air vent device that looks like a dual clothes dryer vent. It's a special vent that allows air to readily flow inside my house. Why's that important? Here's what I wrote back to Curt:

"That is open by design. If you go outside, you should see a funny vent cover that looks like it's a double dryer vent. That is a fresh-air intake vent. It has flapper vents outside that work opposite what a clothes dryer does.

Think about this: When the furnace, water heater, bathroom vent fans, central vac, kitchen exhaust fan!!!!, operate, WHERE do they get their makeup air?

What happens if you turn on the kitchen exhaust fan to HIGH, have the central vac on and then the furnace kicks on?

Do you think the exhaust air from the furnace will go *up* the chimney, or will the replacement air from all the above things being on, suck needed air DOWN the chimney and distribute the carbon monoxide into the house?

Taping over that pipe will not be a good idea."

I installed a monster kitchen exhaust fan that sucks vast amounts of air from the house. The central vac does the same thing.

Remember, air-hungry devices will pull combustion air and make-up air from the path of LEAST resistance. This is often the chimneys of your fuel burning appliances or your wood-burning fireplaces or stoves!!!


Here's a list of columns that have been uploaded to the website:

Install a New Front Door and Save Money

Water Drainage Tips

Home Repair Tools

New Home Construction Tips


The day after my son got back from college, we started talking about going on a Father - Son camping trip up in the White Mountains of NH.

We've got all the gear we need, I just need to get a bottle of tent seam sealer and seal the seams on my tent again.

Since food is important, he was talking about all the cooking gear he has. We seem to be in good shape all the way around.

I always like to take with me on expeditions like this multiple flashlights. One of my favorite ones is my Energizer Utility LED flashlight.

Energizer Utility LED flashlight.

I love the swivel head. It's got a low and high regular white LED setting. The best part are the two colored LEDS that come with it. Click one switch and you get a intense green light. This is ideal for inspecting for cracks or defects. Click the switch again, and two red LEDs come on. This is perfect for nighttime illumination as you don't lose your night vision.

If you're looking for a superb multi-function flashlight, this is one to look at for sure!

More Tips and Tricks Next Week!


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