Show Notes: Holiday Gifts, Lights and More – On the House

Show Notes: Holiday Gifts, Lights and More

By on December 12, 2014

It’s Under The On The House Christmas Tree time! James and Morris have gifts for our listeners and some special guests joining us that will help hang your holiday lights, organize your kitchen with storage tips and stone and tile cleaning tips to make your home sparkle.

Thank to our guests:

Ryan Fox: We Hang Christmas Light.Com:

Spike Carlson, Family Handyman Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual :

Lenny Sciarrino: Granite Gold:


Winter Condensation

 Circulate the air in moisture-producing areas of the home.

 A sweating window is a nuisance that all of us fear. Aside from the inability to see out of one’s window, heavy condensation can be a great breeding ground for mildew and fungus that can eventually result in wood rot.

One of the most effective ways to prevent this problem is to circulate the air in the room where the condensation is a problem. A simple table fan is all it takes. Open the curtains/drapes and turn on the fan. In moisture-producing areas of the home like the bathroom, kitchen and laundry an exhaust fan is an absolute must. If you have one use it, if you don’t get one installed. In other areas of the home, a decorative ceiling paddle fan will do the trick. Be sure to run the fan so that the leading edge of each blade is tilted downward. This will force warm air trapped at the ceiling down to the living area for heating efficiency, comfort and even dry windows.


We Hang Christmas Lights.Com

If you haven’t hung your lights yet here are a few tips from the experts:

What are the best lights to use?

Commercial grade lights are the best to use. They are manufactured with a higher gauge of wire and a better quality bulb.

Are the new led lights better and why?

Yes, they are much better in our opinion. They use far less energy (5- 6 times less) and will last for years. They are much easier to install due to the fact that you can run a large amount off of one outlet. They are extremely durable as compared to incandescent lights. Most of our installers prefer to use LED lights as much as possible.

The only drawback is that LED lights are considerably more expensive than incandescent lights. Sometimes they can be as much as 4-5 times the cost.

Should they be certified for exterior use? Yes, when decorating outside you should only use lights that are certified for exterior use.

What are some tips for the “perfect installation?

The perfect installation starts with design, planning and organization. First, do a walk around of the house and decide what you would like to decorate. Then create a list of what materials you think you will need in order to complete your display. It is always a good idea to order a little extra. You will also want to determine how many (and which) outlets you plan to use for power. We sell all of the commercial lights and electrical accessories that are needed to complete any residential or commercial display.

We recommend that you make all of your extension cords yourself so that you can custom cut them to the exact length that you need (this will save time and money). SPT-2 lamp cord can be purchased by the spool, as well as male plugs and female sockets.

When hanging your lights use clips whenever possible. This will result in a secure installation and ensure a quick and easy removal. If needed you can staple lights along the fascia board of the house but this will result in extra time spent during removal.

Lastly, it is a good idea to put everything on timers. This is a lot easier than turning the lights on and off each day.

Do you sell the lights to your customers when you do an installation?

No, our service is all inclusive. We provide all of the lights and necessary materials. We install the lights, take care of any service issues and remove the lights after New Years.

For additional tips check out our blog and like our Facebook page


Don’t Eat These Holiday Plants


This exotic plant from tropical America and Africa has brilliant-colored flowers and green strap-shaped leaves. A stomach-ache can occur if the bulb is eaten.

Christmas Trees (Cedar):

Eating the bark can cause a stomach-ache. The sap may cause an itchy skin rash.

Christmas Trees (Pine, Spruce & Fir):

The needles can cause choking, but are non-toxic.

Holly berries:

The bright red berries of this plant are especially attractive to small children. Nibbling on 1 or 2 berries will not cause any symptoms. Swallowing more, however, can result in nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and diarrhea.

Jerusalem Cherry:

Swallowing this ornamental plant can result in vomiting, redness of the skin, drowsiness or restlessness, and hallucinations. This plant has bright orange and dark red berries. In rare cases seizures may occur.


All parts of the plant contain toxic substances and if eaten can cause vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. One to two berries or leaves eaten by a child will NOT result in serious harm.


Eating many leaves may cause mild stomach upset. The sap from the plant may cause skin rash and should be washed off with soap and water. Contrary to earlier beliefs, poinsettias are safe in the home during the holidays.


The Family Handyman’s Kitchen Storage Tips

Here are all the storage tips you need to prepare for the big dinner with ease and have plenty of room for any number of guests.

 Measuring Cup Hang-Up

Free up drawer space by hanging measuring cups inside a kitchen cabinet. Position and mount a wood strip so that the cups will hang between the shelves and allow the door to close completely. Mount a second strip for your measuring spoons, then screw in cup hooks on both strips.

 Plastic Bag Dispenser

To make it easy to stow and reuse plastic bags, make a dispenser from a discarded 2-liter soda bottle. Cut off the top and bottom with a razor knife. Trim any jagged edges so you don’t tear the bags when you pull them out, then screw the dispenser to a cabinet door or closet wall (or attach with hook-and-loop tape).

 Wine-Glass Molding

T-molding designed for wood floor transitions makes a perfect rack for stemware. Just cut it to length, predrill screw holes and screw it to the underside of a shelf. For a neater look, use brass screws and finish washers. Prefinished T-molding is available wherever wood flooring is sold. A 4-ft. section costs about $25.

 Decorative Backsplash Rack

Backsplash racks offer easy access and stylish storage. Most versions take just a few minutes to install. Type “backsplash rack” into any online search engine to find a range of styles. You’ll also find a range of prices. Backsplash racks have a few disadvantages, though. All your kitchen utensils have to look good, since they’re on display. And if you ever decide to remove the rack, you’ll be left with screw holes in the backsplash; not a big problem with drywall, but ugly and unfixable in tile.

 Expand the Counter with a Kitchen Cart

A rolling kitchen cart is the next best thing to adding cabinets and countertop space. The top provides extra work space when you’re preparing that big Thanksgiving dinner. And the shelves below hold items that would otherwise consume countertop space. If you plan to use a cart for food preparation, choose one with a tough top like butcher block, stainless steel or plastic laminate. Some cart tops are glossy finished wood— beautiful, but not very durable. Carts come in a variety of wood finishes, so there’s a good chance you can match your existing cabinets. Or you can go for an eclectic look with a shiny metal or painted cart. For a huge selection, shop online.

For more information, you can pick up a copy of the newly released Family Handyman Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual. Filled with new information, step-by-step instructions and thousands of full-color photos, it makes for a great gift this holiday season. It is the definitive reference book to save time and money on renovations, repairs, DIY projects and more, plus it’s suitable for anyone, from beginners to experts,

 You can also check out The Family Handyman’s website,, for more information.


Holiday Fireplace Safety

 Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from fireplace area. Check to see that the flue is open.

  • Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. Keep them away from children.
  • Do not burn gift wrap paper in the fireplace. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  • If a glass-fronted gas fireplace is used, keep children and others well away from it with a screen or gate. The glass doors can get hot enough to cause serious burns and stay hot long after the fire is out.


Website Mentions:

Home Safeguard Industries Smoke Test Kit 2.5Oz 25S Home Safeguard Industries Misc Alarms and Detectors 25S:

CaT Kit™
HO-Cat CO Detector Tester Kit:

Peel Away® 1 Heavy Duty Paint Remover from Dumond Chemicals

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