Show Notes: Fall Home Fix-ups and More – On the House

Show Notes: Fall Home Fix-ups and More

By on September 12, 2015
Cleaning leaves this fall

Sloped floors, PURPLE high-performance drywall, and more. This is the first official week of fall home fix-ups. If your home needs some attention before winter weather arrives, join James and Morris for all you need to know. 

Thank you to our guests:

Steven Katkowsky: taking small spaces and how to get extra storage space out of every inch!

Anitra Mecadonn – National Gypsum: Interior designer and TV host (best known for Mega Dens on DIY Network), spokesperson for PURPLE high-performance drywall. For more information:



In 2015, the ubiquitous 1960’s pop culture icon celebrates its 50th Anniversary! This year marks a half-century of Lava® Lamps in the United States, which has been featured in countless TV shows, movies, magazines and more. In honor of its golden anniversary, the ever-popular “original shape of cool” has created a limited edition 50th collection for its fans!


Weather And Your Home – Take A Look At This App

Weather is the #1 driver of home energy use. 

WeatherBug Home offers a full range of solutions to help you understand how you use energy and why — so you stay comfortable and save money!

About WeatherBug Home

WeatherBug Home is our latest offering. It’s an innovative application of our big weather data combined with smart meter data and the power of two-way connected thermostats to automatically deliver energy efficiency given the weather, the #1 driver of home energy use.

You can now save energy while staying comfortable. It’s a simple and revolutionary, patent-pending idea that is enabled by our unique weather data and a lot of engineering.



Preparing Your Home

Hurricane winds can cause trees and branches to fall, so before hurricane season trim or remove damaged trees and limbs to keep you and your property safe.

Secure loose rain gutters and downspouts and clear any clogged areas or debris to prevent water damage to your property.

Reduce property damage by retrofitting to secure and reinforce the roof, windows and doors, including the garage doors.

Purchase a portable generator or install a generator for use during power outages. Remember to keep generators and other alternate power/heat sources outside, at least 20 feet away from windows and doors and protected from moisture; and NEVER try to power the house wiring by plugging a generator into a wall outlet.


What company is the largest producer of hand tools?

Stanley Black and Decker:

Black & Decker



Porter Cable



Blackhawk (Proto)





Mac Tools








Floors Not Flat? What to Do

Recently we did a repair for an old client who’s home had major sheetrock cracking due to the drought. Now they have called us back to repair a sloping floor in an addition that was done many years ago. What to do?

There are several problems that can cause a sagging or sloping floor, which is one of the reasons why fixing a sloping floor is difficult. Foundation issues, deteriorating wood supports (especially sills, which rest on the foundation footer), improperly installed joists or sub-floors, and other issues can all cause a floor to slope or sag. In many cases, fixing a sloping floor is an expensive and lengthy operation. It might also be difficult to find the right company to do the job.

Many older homes have problems with sloping and sagging floors. In a lot of cases, the owners of these homes simply ignore the problem or pass it off as a normal part of having a classic house. Though a sloped floor might indeed bring some character to a house, some of the issues that can cause them can lead to other problems down the road. If your home has floors that are sloped and sagging, it’s a good idea to have a professional evaluate what, if anything, needs to be done.

Identifying the Root Cause

Since this operation can get very expensive and involved, unless you know a contractor that you trust 100 percent to identify the problem, you might consider hiring a structural engineer for the diagnosis. By hiring a structural engineer who will not have any part in the repair process to evaluate your sagging or sloping floor, you can be sure that the conclusion will be unaffected by the prospect of a profitable contract. He or she will also be able to advise you on the type of contractor your should hire to do the job, which can be confusing as some of the root causes of sagging and sloping floors can fall under different categories

Fixing a Sloping Floor

If a professional has examined your floor and determined that its cause is something that could compromise the integrity of your house’s structure, you may be able to fix the root of the problem and leave the floor as is. If your sloping floor is severe enough that you simply can’t ignore it, fixing it should be a priority.

Sloping and sagging floors caused by foundation problems aren’t an easy fix, but finding a company to do the work shouldn’t be too difficult. Foundation specialists will repair any structural problems first, and then use one of a few different techniques to mend your sloping floor. This might involve jacking up floor joists and installing supports, or it could require jacking up the whole house and installing new footers. When done right, jacking up a house takes a long time. Plan on several weeks if you want to avoid structural damage

If your sloping floor is caused by improper installation of the floor itself, you may be able to simply get the floor pulled up and installed again the right way or put down an entirely different floor. In some cases, you might have to install a new sub-floor or create a new moisture seal. Especially in older homes where the support system under the floor might be deteriorating or simply not that strong in the first place, additional support might need to be put in place to handle the weight of some flooring materials.

In most cases, fixing sloping floors is involved enough that you probably won’t be able to get an estimate over the phone. It’s worth the time, however, to meet with and get estimates from several contractors to find both the best price and the company with the most experience doing this kind of work. 


Quick Tips for Fall Fix-ups

If drafty windows and doors and the thought of Old Man Winter just around the corner have you reaching for your caulking gun, hold on. Before you go sealing up those cracks the old-fashioned way, remember last spring and how you couldn’t get your windows open because the caulk had turned rock solid.

This year you are in luck because of new, easy-to-use and easy-to-remove temporary weather-stripping that seals against nasty winter weather like caulk, but peels right off with ease in the spring. There are many different types now on the market. Some install with a caulking gun, while others are smooshed in place with your finger.

Either way, they zip right off when weather’s better, quickly and easily, and leave no residue. It will save you more than its cost in heating bills. And it sure beats the hassle of traditional caulks for temporary weather-stripping. Look for them at your local hardware store or at a home center near you.


September Is National Breakfast Month

Go outside and grill your breakfast

McCormick’s Cinnamon Sugar Grilled Donuts:

  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, packed
  • 1 16-ounce can of refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (8 biscuits)

Mix granulated sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl and set aside. Mix the butter and brown sugar in a smaller bowl and set aside.

Open the biscuits and pull apart. Cut out the center of each biscuit with a small round cookie cutter or the cap of your cinnamon bottle.

Grill the donuts and donut holes over medium-low heat for 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned, on both sides. Brush with the brown sugar butter mixture before removing from the grill, then toss immediately in cinnamon sugar. same_55e61e3de4b0c818f6199ea2?ncid=newsltushpmg00000003###
What Can You Do With Old Leather Belts? 

Recycled Leather Belts

EcoDomo offers the Phoenix Collection made from re-purposed belts. Each belt is carefully selected, cleaned and artfully laid-up to create a unique piece. Our Phoenix belt panels are guaranteed to become a conversation piece anywhere they are used and create a lasting impression. Available in black, brown, or with a custom mix of colors on a wide range of substrates. Made in the USA.


 Website Mentions:

Wet & Forget: 

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