Saturday • April 20
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Ken the Contractor

Select an episode link below to view the on-demand archive.

Fixing Your Basement Issues
We get tons of questions on water in your basements. So this week, we're going through a checklist on common causes, to help you get that basement dry once and for all. Then - when will it wear out? Ken goes through the lifespan of some common household items.

Quick Fixes
You don't have to spend a ton of money to improve the appearance of your home. Ken talks about some quick and low cost improvement ideas that can make a big difference. Then - your landscaping is meant to beautify your home, but it can also do some major damage during storm season.

Water Softeners
If you're noticing a funny taste or smell to your water, or experiencing rust stains, you may need a water softener. However, as Ken will outline, the type you need depends on the type of well water you have. Then - rules for renters and landlords.

Your Water Heater
Does your home need a conventional water heater, or is a tankless water heater better for your needs? Ken outlines the pros and cons of both. Plus, how to save money on a bathroom remodel.

Rights and Wrongs of Remodeling
Not all remodeling projects are good ones. This week, we're talking about some of the hove improvements that may actually cost you money when it comes tome to sell your home.

Pitfallls of Buying Property
Instead of buying a home, some people choose to buy undeveloped land, or a platted lot in a subdivision. But there are many, many pitfalls that you need to be aware of before you buy that property. Then - before you start that do-it-yourself project, like building a deck, or putting up a fence, know what you're getting into before you start.

Real Estate Titles
If you own a home, you have a title to the property. But do you know what that actually means, and did you know there are different types you can use depending on your situation? Then, the storms have been coming fast and furious this yearm and it may be time to consider looking into a backup generator system for your home.

Fire Protection Systems
Ken talks about some of the myths about home fire sprinkler systems, and why you should consider one for saftey's sake. Then, are our homes becoming too smart? A guide to the latest technology.

Smoke Detectors
Ken breaks down and answers all of the common questions on smoke detectors, and tells you what you need to know to keep your home safe. Then - is your home making you ill? Ken gives you the signs you need to look out for,

Home Improvement Month
May has been designated Home Improvement Month. Find out what that means for you, those projects you've been putting off and your wallet. Also - have you thought about your crawlspace recently? Ken will help you with moisture control and other issues.

A Guide for Rental Properties
If you're a landlord or looking to rent a property instead of owning one, there are somethings you should be aware of upfront so you won't have problems later on. Then - how to reclaim your home from water damage.

Fixing Winter Damage
With the warm weather coming, the last thing many of us want to think about is the snow. But the truth is, the winter weather may have done some damage to your home. Ken tells you what to look for. Then - people are getting back in the housing market. We talk about the things that matter when you are trying to sell your home.

Outdoor Projects
Spring is here, and it's time to start thinking about outdoor projects. But this year, Ken would like you to think big. Also - how to make more space in your garage and other parts of your home.

Solving Basement Problems
Winter is over, and you've got water in the basement from the thaw. Ken will talk about how to troubleshoot your issues and fix them once and for all.

Upgrading Your Electric
You may not have electrical switches and outlets high up on your to-do list of home improvement items, but Ken thinks it's something you should consider. Plus- what you can do to improve the quality of drinking water in your home.

Fighting Mold
Mold- what creates it, where does it thrive in our homes , and how can we prevent it? That's one of the topics of today's program, along with how to get your home ready to sell, and how to find appliance parts.

Going Solar
More and more, people are adding a solar element to their home. Is it right for you? Then - are you thinking about the future of your home? There are specialty contractors whose business is aging in place.

Hardwood Flooring Problems
This time of the year can play havoc with your wood wook, your hardwood floors in particular. Ken will tell you what you can do to keep those gaps from showing up in your floor. Plus, tips on how to organize projects around your home.

Common Mistakes Hiring a Contractor
Whether your looking to bring an electrician in to change a fixture, looking to put on an addition or even build a new home, you need to pick the right company for the job, and not one that's going to do sub-par work, or rip you off. Ken will walk you through how to do that.

Do it Yourself?
Sometimes do-it-yourself projects cost more than hiring a professional to do them would. That's because sometimes we take on projects we're not physically able to handle. Then - what you need to know about homeowner's insurance.

How Long Will it Last?
When you purchase a new major appliance, how long can you expect them to last? Ken says a lot of that can depend on how they are installed. Then - when is getting that extended warranty a good idea?

Saving Power
Our power grid is rapidly aging, and more and more severe weather patterns seem to be rolling trough more often. What that means is a lot of power outages, and a bigger need for home generators. Ken will tell you what you should be looking for. Then, some cutting edge products from the International Builder's Show.

Home Builders Show
This week, Ken joins us from Las Vegas, site of the National Home Builders Association International Builder’s Show. Ken will be talking to some interesting folks throughout the show, about some of the new and important developments in remodeling and building.

Take Advantage of the Cold
During the winter months is a great time to check your homes energy efficiency by finding the spots where the cold air is getting in. Ken will tell you what to look for. Then - do you know the difference between mold and mildew? Ken will explain the differences.

The Hidden Costs of Remodeling
Remodeling can be stressful, but it can also be rewarding, A lot of that has to do with the relationship you have with your contractor. Ken will outline what to look for in a remodeling contract, so you know what you’re getting. And more importantly, not getting, Also- what type of filter do you need for your heater? Ken has the answers

Trends in Remodeling
If you are planning on doing some remodeling on your home in the upcoming year, Ken will tell you which projects will give you the most bang for your buck. Then - for you soon-to-be home buyers – there are some things you need to know before you go to the closing table, Find out what they are.

Projects for the New Year
It’s time to make your list of home improvement projects for the new year. Ken will help you prioritize and make the most of your money. Then - what are the new trends for 2013? Ken tells you what the hot colors are going to be, as well as tile and cabinetry.

Your Holiday List
This time of year, Santa's making a list and checking it twice. If you're heading out for the holidays, you should be doing the same in order to keep your home safe and secure. Plus - what does 2013 look like if you're planning on buying or selling your home? Ken, as always, has the answers!

The Home Buying Season
The winter is just getting underway, but would you believe the best time to buy a home is right around the corner? And what\'s the best time to sell a home? Ken has the answers to both. Plus, smoke detectors for the hard of hearing heating and cooling your home with solar power.

Humidifier 101
s we get into the cooler time of the year, the air starts drying out You may notice it you homes - the floors and furniture creak, maybe there are gaps in your hardwood floor or on your window and door trim. These are all signs of low humidity in your home, and we’ll talk about how to fix it. Then - a list of the have-to-have tools for every tool box.

The History of Your Floor
If your home is at least 20 years old, chances are there are layers upon layers under your feet. When you are getting ready to remodel, you better be prepared for some suprises in your floor. Then - does your home contain lead based paint?

Understanding Your Insurance
For those of you carrying homeowners insurance - are you getting what you are paying for? Do you know what you are even getting for your premiums? Ken will help yuo better understand your policy, and what you should be looking from your insurance provider. Then - a lot of us focus on safety at work - but are we thinking enough about it at home?

Best Times to Buy
We all know there are certain times a year when there are more bargains available to us, whether its putting on a new roof, adding landscaping, or even buying a new home. We'll go around the calendar to let you know which times of year are the best for those projects. Then - your home may have indoor air issues, and you may not know it.

After the Storm
Generator safety, storm damage clean up, repairs and insurance tips... all important topics due to the hurricane that hit the East Coast. And Ken will touch on all of them. Then - are you handling your gas cans properly? We have a primer on how to handle the hazardous materials around your home.

Making Your Home More Secure on a Budget
We’d all like to improve the security on our homes. And there are some very inexpensive ways to do that. How inexpensive? How does free sound? Then – is it time to buy a new house, or should you add on to your existing one? We break down the pros and cons of each.

The Biggest Bang For Your Buck
Is it time to make some improvements around your home? Ken talks about which areas will give you the greatest returns on your investment. Then – if you’re running out of space in your home, you may want to consider a storage shed. Ken will tell you what to look for.

Fire Safety Around the Home
It's fire safety week, and Ken wants you to be prepared in case there is a fire. Do you have an escape plan? Are your smoke alarms working? We'll cover these issues and more. Then - what's the real estate market looking like for next year, getting in those last minute projects before the holidays, and what you need to know about deck fasteners.

The Housing Market
The housing market is on its way back, especially for new construction. But things aren't the way they used to be, and we'll explain how. Plus - winter is coming. Is your house ready?

Tool Time
Not every job requires a contractor. Some of them are do-it-yourself. You just need to make sure you have the right tools for the job. We also answer questions on rebuilding a deck, fixing your chimney, and the best ways to take down wall coverings.

This Old House
The housing market is coming back, so now may be a good time to buy or sell. However if you are dealing with an older home (pre-1970 constructions) there are some things you should be aware of before buy or sell one. We'll also discuss repairing storm damage; not just quickly, but quickly with quality. (Both are important!)

Household Hazards
As we work around our home, we may not think about the hazards that may exist there, particularly in older homes. One of those is asbestos. Ken tells you what you need to know. Then - own or rent? Which one is right for you?

Safety in the Mancave
Some of you are getting ready for football season by runningb out and buying a new big screen TV. But if you're planning on mounting that big boy on the wall, listen to what Ken has to say, before your investment ends up on the floor.

Finding Good People
Not every home project is a do-it-yourselfer. Sometimes you need to bring in a pro to do a job. Whether, its a carpenter, plumber or electrician, there are steps to take to make sure you are getting the best price on quality work. Also - what you need to know about windows.

The Truth on Tiles
Are you in the market for a hard floor product - meaning a stone, porcelain, maybe even a quarry tile? Before you get started, you need to know the basics, and Ken's here with the answers. Then - looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to your home.

Building the Basement
If your summer project is renovating your basement, listen to what Ken has to say before you undertake that project. Plus, what all first time home buyers need to know, making bathroom improvements, and more!

You understand landscaping. But have you heard of hardscaping? Actually, they are the most common items you have around your home – sidewalks, driveways, patios, decks and so on. Ken gives us an overview of them, and how they are evolving into part of the architecture. Then - if you are trying to sell you home, you need to realize that you are also a part of the sales team!

Saving Big on Water
With a drought gripping most of the country, many communities are seeing their water and sewer charges soar. But there are ways to save on water, including recycling. Ken will explain. Then - when is a door not a door?

Staying Cool During the Hot Summer
This summer looks to be one of the hottest on record, and everybody's looking for a cool place to beat the heat. Ken has some tips to keep your home nice and cool during the hot days and nights. Also - tips on hiring a contractor, and how to install that chain link fence.

What You Need to Know About Vacation Homes
It’s summertime, and many of you are thinking about purchasing a vacation home. But before you do, there are things you need to aware of in the vacation home market - such as financing changes, availability, maintenance and more. Then – what do you know about the history of your floor? You’ve built up on it, but what’s underneath?

Selling Your Home
Looking to sell your home? Well, it’s not quite a sellers market yet, so you need to do what you can to make your house as attractive to buyers as possible. And Ken’s here to help. Then - how to prep your home for a natural disaster, and our favorite products from the last year.

Renewable Energy
In Europe, gas is eight dollars a gallon. As a result, that has caused them to become much more reliant on renewable forms of energy. Ken reports on some of the new technology and innovation that Europe has been implementing into it’s building codes over the past half decade. Also – information on whole house generators and holding real estate titles.

Home Safety
Accidents in the home send 21 million people to the hospital each year. Ken gives you some tips to keep you from becoming another statistic during your next do-it-yourself project. Also - when is it time to worry about that crack in your basement wall?

Universal Living
Whether you are remodeling or building new, there are phrases that many of us may not understand. One such phrase is universal living. Ken will explain what that means, how it is related to the Americans with Disabilities act, and how it will help us all live easier within our homes.. Then - a primer on hard surface floors. What you need to know before you decide to do it yourself.

The Pitfalls of Home Building
The temperatures have warmed up. The economy is improving in much of the country, and a lot of you are out shopping for a new home. Today we’ll talk about some of the pitfalls you may encounter when dealing with builders and developers.

Prepping for the Cold
It’s almost summer, so the last thing you’re probably thinking about is the cold weather. But now is the ideal time to take care of some of those projects that will keep you nice and toasty during those long winter months.

The Future of Home Improvement
Our tech guru Ron Doyle is here, with plenty of updates on new technology that can help you in and around your home - everything from apps, to tablet computers to some pretty amazing advances in home plumbing.

Answers about Your Roof
Gaping holes, loose shingles and drips from your ceiling are telltale signs that you need a new roof. But what are the no-so telltale signs that it’s time to tear things off and start again? Ken the Contrator has the answers. Plus answers on gutters, bathroom upgrades, and replacing those old, drafty windows.