Q&A / 

September 13, 2020 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

I know, you’re a seasoned subscriber and you might be miffed that I devote this top spot to welcome new subscribers. Rest assured; I appreciate your loyalty! But if you’re a new subscriber in the past six days, welcome! I hope I can save you scads of money and time with tips you’ll find here.

Do you remember the video I recorded after I went on my virtual trip to Paris, France? I dove into their culture and came up out of the water with the strangest tip! CLICK or TAP HERE and watch this short video to see what it was, Oui’ oui’!

Repair a Shallow Blacktop Pothole

Several days ago, I recorded a new video for you. If you’ve got puddling on your blacktop, you should fill in the spots before they become giant holes.
Blacktop Epoxy Repair - Shallow Hole Repair

CLICK or TAP HERE to watch how I do it using a fantastic exterior epoxy and magic stones and sand.

An Uncomfortable Conversation

Frank and Kim Carmichael have me on their Happenings radio show as a guest usually once a month. I simply love being on the show because I never know what they’ll ask me.
Happenings Q&A Radio Show

Sometimes we don’t even talk about home improvement! I was on a few days ago and Kim was trying to figure out how to avoid having uncomfortable conversations with contractors who come over to quote a job.

She said, “Tim, if I mention that you or some other source said to do a job a certain way, I know the contractor will get offended and the conversation’s going to go off the rails. How can I be sure the job is going to be done the right way?

Kim’s right. Many of the contractors I know have fragile egos and if you challenge them with suggestions, methods, and products they might l recoil. It can be very ugly indeed.

I shared with Kim how I’d do it. As is often the case, it requires more work on your part, but it’s worth it unless you have more money than Jeff Bezos. Most of us don’t.

Step 1. Select ALL the fixtures and materials you’re going to use before you call a contractor.

Step 2. Get the installation instructions for the items and read them. Note the important steps or warnings.

Step 3. When you meet the contractor, show him or her photos of what you’ve selected and begin to ask questions that probe how the contractor plans to install the items. You want to see if he knows what he’s doing.

Here’s an example. You might have picked out a new front door. The instructions clearly call out for a specific flashing pan under the door to prevent wood rot. CLICK or TAP HERE to see one.

door flashing pan

So you might ask, “Can you tell me what you do to prevent wood rot under the door?

If the contractor doesn’t mention using a flashing pan, then you might say, “I watched a video online that showed using this flashing pan. What do you think of them? Have you used them before?

These are simple non-aggressive questions and any PRO contractor will not be offended.

The best contractor will answer that he’s used flashing pans and he might even ask you what you want him to do. If he does, you simply say, “Well, I’d like you to install the new door exactly as the written installation instructions say to do it.

This is not hard, and after all, it’s your money.


Trisha, from Hartford, WI, reached out to me. She asked:

I have an animal that burrowed under the sidewalk that is attached to my front porch. It's small, probably a chipmunk. Should I use polyurethane 2-part spray foam or use hydraulic cement to fill the void? There is no damage and no cracks to the sidewalk but I'd like to fill it before it becomes a problem.

My answer was:

Neither! Just mix up a slurry of sand and get it to flow into the hole as best you can. The two products you mention are overkill and a waste of money.

Now, that said, let’s imagine you WANT to burrow under a sidewalk to extend an electric line. Here’s how I do it:

cut pvc pipe

CLICK or TAP HERE to see how I use that huge hypodermic PVC needle. Be sure to SCROLL DOWN and watch the video of me using the needle. There’s NO BLOOD involved.

Roof Maxx Review

I wanted to re-share my review of a product you may see advertised on TV - Roof Maxx.

CLICK or TAP HERE and be sure to spend some time combing through the comments.

Gutter Guard Truth

I’ve been seeing a significant number of ads on TV at night for a gutter guard product. Ads like that cost vast sums of money and you pay for the ads when you buy the product.

micromesh gutter guard

I’ve done exhaustive testing over the years about which gutter guard design is the best. I have ones on my home here in NH that perform very well.


That’s more than enough for you to munch on for a Sunday.

Tim Carter
Founder - www.AsktheBuilder.com
SUPER Cleaner - www.StainSolver.com
NH Champ Skeeter Hunt - www.W3ATB.com

Do It Right, Not Over!

P.S. Have you ever seen a color photograph that is then rendered in black and white? Modern photo software will do this for you.



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