Q&A / 

September 28, 2010 AsktheBuilder Tips And News

Blizzard January 27 2015 AsktheBuid...
Blizzard January 27 2015 AsktheBuider in NH - WILD!

What’s in This Issue?

Crazy Survey
Sleek 2-Foot Level
Toilet Repair
Ghost Closing Door
AsktheBuilder Live Event
Screwpop Tool
Latest Columns

I do product reviews frequently. Please read my opens in a new windowDisclosure Policy to understand the relationship between me and the companies that make the products or offer the services I review.

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If you have a question for me, don't hit the Reply button just yet. Go immediately to my web site and type in the keywords about your problem into my Search engine. The search box is at the top of every page of my web site. You could have your answer in seconds if you do this! Please pay attention to all links you see at my web site. The exact products and services you often need are right in front of you, and you might be ignoring them.


Fall is here, unless of course you're below the equator and you're celebrating spring! Here in New Hampshire, the trees are putting on a show. The next two weeks should be glorious. Right now we're getting much-needed rain here so that means Mt. Washington should have a crown of snow by weekend.

Last week I captured the most glorious sunrise of my life. I wanted to share the photos with you hoping that you're blessed one day to see something like I did.

There's lots to cover in this issue, so let's get to work.

Crazy Survey

I moved myself, my family and my business to New Hampshire over the past two years. Kathy finally made it up here a little over a month ago. Part of our decision was based on finances. New Hampshire has no personal income tax and no sales tax. Imagine if you're a small business person and had that extra income at your disposal each week/month.

If you're a small or medium business owner, would you consider taking this quick ONE-question survey that will help me? Thanks, it will only take you about 30 seconds, then you can get back to the rest of the newsletter. (Survey is closed.)

Sleek 2-Foot Level

I recently tested a consumer-grade level made by the opens in a new windowEmpire Level Company. It's a box level, and on their own website they clearly state that it's at the bottom of their food chain. I found it to be a really decent level on par with some of the pro models I've worked with in the past. I can't talk to it's durability over time, as it hasn't bounced around in the back of my truck or fallen off a ladder several times. But if you get this level and take care of it, it should work well for you.

Toilet Repair

Last week Kathy asked me to repair the pesky flapper valve in the master bathroom toilet. It recently started to stay in the up position causing the toilet to run. While I was at it, I decided to replace the filler valve as it was original and looking worse for wear. I've had great success with Fluidmaster products for years and selected them for this job.

The tip I wanted to share was that I also replaced the supply tube or hose that runs from the wall valve to the underside of the toilet. All too often I see people try to reuse the existing supply tube. This can sometimes lead to chronic leaks as the seal at the toilet end of the tube doesn't seat well with the new filler valve. I prefer the newer stainless-steel braided hoses for the supply piping. They're virtually foolproof.

Also, if your shutoff valve works, great. But when you turn the valve back on to fill the toilet, you may have a leak around the valve stem. Tighten the nut on the valve stem about 1/8th turn and that should solve the problem. Always place a dry paper towel under the valve and the filler valve to use as your leak detector. Check on the toilet every 15 minutes to see if you have a drip.

Ghost Closing Door

While I was fixing the bathroom toilet, Kathy also asked me to fix the door to the master bathroom. It had this annoying habit of slowly closing itself. It's a good idea to leave it open so that you get air flow into the bath thus keeping the humidity as low as possible. This helps stop mold growth.

To solve the problem, I just removed the center hinge pin, took it out to the garage and laid it down on the concrete floor. I then took a hammer and whacked the center of the pin putting a decent bend in the shaft. This bent pin created enough friction to stop the door from closing. You may need to do this to all the pins in your door if it's a heavy one.

AsktheBuilder LIVE Event Soon!

I'll be in Lebanon, NH on Saturday October 16th, from 10-Noon at opens in a new windowCabinetry Concepts.

I plan to answer all of your home-improvement questions that morning. We'll talk about the top three questions I get day in day out to start things off. If you live within a couple hundred miles of Lebanon, NH, you really should attend. Why? Get a load of some of the FREE prizes we'll be giving away:

  • Tools from TomBoy Tools courtesy of Cindi Dugger
  • Two Campbell Hausfeld air compressor kits
  • Extreme Defy Deck and Masonry Sealer by SaverSystems.com
  • Workshop Metal Pegboard Kit by WallControl.com
  • Gorilla Glue and Gorilla Glue Gear!
  • Worx 16-inch Electric Chain Saw
  • Bosch Power Tools
  • Dremel Tool kits
  • Free Ceramic Tile Books courtesy of Matt Seillig
  • and possibly more!

It gets better. opens in a new windowPlato Woodworks, a very fine cabinet line in the Cabinetry Concepts showroom, is offering a coupon to those who attend the event. This coupon alone, depending on the size of your new kitchen, could be worth thousands of dollars. If that isn't worth a trip to the gorgeous upper valley of New Hampshire and Vermont, I don't know what is.

I'm sure I'll add in a special secret promotion as well for all my products, including Stain Solver. But you'll have to be there to get it.

I'll have links to all the great prizes next issue. Just be aware that I'm giving away some amazing things. You really should come to this event. Wait till you see the Cabinetry Concepts showroom with all the cabinets, tops, flooring materials and the lighting showroom next door. You'll really love what you'll see. If you don't live nearby, but have friends or relatives who do, you should tell them to stop by. They might go home with some great loot.

Screwpop Tool

Tool manufacturers send me tools all the time to review. Some are fantastic and others are ho hum. Two weeks ago, I was sent this tiny opens in a new windowscrewdriver tool. It has one removable bit in it that works for slotted or Phillips screws. The round handle of the tool has a tab that allows you to open capped bottles that are not equipped with screw threads.

Anyway, I wasn't impressed by the tool as it only will allow you to remove short screws that don't require lots of force to turn. A company representative contacted me about my thoughts and I told him he probably wouldn't like the review. He said to publish the review and was quick to point out that you can use the slotted screw tip to open paint cans. Well, maybe a new paint can, but not one with paint in the rim. You'll ruin the lid using such a tiny tip.

Just the other day, I saw a jar filled with them at my local hardware store in Meredith, NH. I asked Rich, the manager, if they are selling well. Rich replied, "Oh, maybe we've sold one or two." Ho Hum......

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