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February 21, 2021 AsktheBuilder Newsletter

february-21,-2021-askthebuilder-newsletter

Lone Ranger Story | Composite Decking Info | New Feature

If I could reach through your phone, tablet, or computer monitor, I’d ask to shake your hand or give you a hug for being my newest subscriber! I feel it’s very important to give you a warm welcome.

That said, you may be scratching your head mumbling, “Tim, for Pete’s sake, I’ve been a subscriber for ___ weeks/months/years and you don’t shake my hand or hug me each week. What’s up with that? I take regular showers for goodness sake.

Hah, I wish I could but if I did that there’d be no time to write the newsletter. Do you know how long it takes to hug tens of thousands of amazing subscribers like you?

Your Spring Deck Project

Are you thinking of a new deck? Are you sick and tired of taking care of your wood deck? Good.

Trust me when I say it will REALLY BE WORTH YOUR WHILE to tell me what you want to know about composite deck and railing systems.

CLICK OR TAP HERE and select three or four things that you want to know more about when it comes to composite decking, railings, and fancy dancy low-voltage mood lighting.

Free Advice & Bids

Are you in need of free advice and BIDS for work from local contractors? CLICK or TAP the following links and let me know how quickly you get contacted. I’ll bet it’s fast.

Room Addition

New Roof or Repair

Basement Remodel

Bathroom Remodel

Kitchen Remodel

Heat Pump Replacement

Furnace/Boiler Install

Exterior PaintingGREAT TIME to get bids is NOW

Build a Garage

Vinyl Siding

Window Replacement – BRRRR, are yours drafty?

Freak WX = Bad Attitude

You could be one of tens of millions here in the USA who is in misery right now because of a polar blast that happened in the past week. Are you in Texas? Oh my, are you suffering.

Are you dealing with ice dams? I suggest you watch these two videos:

Ice Dam Video #1

Ice Dam Video #2

I was asked to do a LIVE appearance on the mid-day WGN-TV news show earlier this week, giving the folks in Chicago some cold weather advice. If you missed it you can tap the link above.

Please look at this photo I shot of one of my favorite bibelots:


When you get punched in the gut with bad weather (WX), a miserable cold or the flu, or some other challenging hardship, it can be rough. I know this. It’s happened to me.

That’s why I have this lapel pin on the top of my keyboard and I glance down at it at least twenty times a day. I’m a touch typist using the Dvorak keyboard layout baked into all computers so I don’t have to look at the keyboard, but sometimes I do just to adjust my attitude.

The problems you might be having with water, electricity, natural gas, food, gasoline, etc. demonstrate just how fragile our just-in-time inventory system is here in the USA .

What can you do to become more self-reliant and have a positive attitude more often? Maybe we should open up a discussion. What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

Lone Ranger Story

I grew up watching the Lone Ranger on Saturday mornings. How about you? I never got to see him in person though.


CLICK or TAP HERE, watch a short video, and weigh in with your opinion as to whether the story is true, false or laced with mendaciousness. No matter which, it will give you a laugh.

Modulating Furnaces, Boilers, and Water Heaters

Is a new furnace, boiler, or water heater in your immediate future? Do you think it’s a good idea to get one that modulates?

CLICK or TAP HERE and see what I think.

The Spotlight’s on You!

This past week, I got an inspiration injection from Peach. She’s been a subscriber for years. You’ll discover lots about Peach next week.

She watched my live appearance on WGN-TV earlier in the week and we started a back-and-forth email conversation. At the bottom of her email was a link to her personal website.

My curiosity got the better of me and I clicked through. WOW!

Then the 4WD in my head engaged and I heard a voice say, “You dolt. Why haven’t you been helping your subscribers showcase their interesting hobbies or cottage-business websites?

Here’s an example. This is my hobby website.

The first person I’m going to feature is my very good friend, Marty Hovey. Marty and I go way way back, maybe 45 years. He and his lovely wife Denise once hired me to remodel their bathroom. We lived in the Pleasant Ridge suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio. I can’t remember how our paths first crossed, but I’m sure Marty or Denise will remind me.

Marty is a super-talented graphic artist and he’s contributed many of his skills to AsktheBuilder.com over the years. This includes the wonderful Under Construction animated gif file that appeared on pages of the first version of my website when it launched in 1995.

Here it is:


Rather than feature Marty’s personal website, he asked that I show you one he created for a client, Robin Wood. Robin was an on-air radio talent on WEBN-FM back in the 1980s. Her father, Frank Wood, was the founder of WEBN-FM – 102.7 in Cincinnati, OH. Their end-of-summer fireworks shows entertained millions of people including me.

In my teenage bedroom back in the late 1960s, I had a poster promoting the one or two-hour weekend show Robin’s brother did on Friday and Saturday nights – Jelly Pudding. His on-air name was Michael Xanadu, but he was Frank Wood, Jr.

I so wish I still had that poster. It was black, white, and purple/magenta (who doesn’t like magenta?) featuring a bottle of pills with song titles or budding rock-n-roll artists’ names on the pills in the bottle.

Robin is now in the floral design business in Cincinnati.


Now it’s your turn to be in the SPOTLIGHT.

Do you have a hobby or small cottage business website you’d like me to feature?

Remember, it’s got to be about you or the small business you operate. And it’s got to be wholesome.

I’m not going to promote you if you’re a gun runner or sell black market counterfeit bottles of Indecent perfume!

CLICK or TAP HERE, answer a few questions, and share your URL with me. I’m hoping I get enough entries to be able to turn the spotlight on each week!

Don’t Blink

Last up for today is a motivational song. Do you ever feel like you need to recenter yourself?

It’s easy to go off course. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’re lost.

CLICK or TAP HERE and listen CLOSELY to the lyrics of this wonderful Kenny Chesney song.

“…Best start putting first things first…”

That’s plenty for a Sunday.

Thanks for participating in solving the newsletter mystery two weeks ago. I hope you enjoyed it and maybe found some decorating ideas along the way.

Tim Carter


Founder – www.AsktheBuilder.com


Clean Your Stuff – www.StainSolver.com


DX Contest! – www.W3ATB.com

Do It Right, Not Over!

P.S. How do you feel about unethical labels on products? Do they make you grouchy? CLICK or TAP HERE to see one that got me so upset I wrote a national column about it. When the column appeared in 60+ newspapers across the nation, the mom of the association that represents many of the unethical companies sent me an email saying I had used my column to hurt her association’s feelings. I decided to double down so I created a VIDEO too!

What do you think?

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