Ep 9: Landscaping Considerations

House At Work Home Repair Clinic

Jim and Peter discuss common pitfalls and solutions to landscaping your yard.

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Jim Salmon:                      Now live from the home improvement capital of the world this is the HouseAtWork.com home repair clinic podcast. My name is Jim Salmon and his name is Peter Schick. How are you today?

Peter Schick :                    Fantastic. It’s a beautiful day today. It’s a really nice day.

Jim Salmon:                      Now are you a millionaire?

Peter Schick :                    No. No, nowhere near?

Jim Salmon:                      Well, today’s subject folks going to be talking a little bit about landscaping and how to improve the curb appeal of your house. You were just telling me the story of how did you say it? It was so thick with leaves and stuff that it looked like a-

Peter Schick :                    We bought this house, well, we got it … so I’ll tell the story. Initially this guy, he wanted to list this house and, well, the thing was he had a, it was what do you call it, it’s where you have permission to do the actions on behalf of someone else? A power of attorney, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      A power of attorney.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, there you go. I don’t know why I couldn’t get that out, so he had a power of attorney for his mom. His mom was getting old and he pretty much just wanted to get rid of the house and so he came to us. He wanted to list it. I start walking through it, and it was in really rough shape, everything, but you saw the potential. Yeah, I saw past it because the thing was the big pieces were there, like a good furnace, good water heater, good roof. Those are the real-

Jim Salmon:                      That’s the holy grail right there.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, if that’s all aligned you could pretty much do some of the other cosmetic stuff and make it work. One of the things that was in really, really bad shape was the lawn. It was in horrendous shape. It was just mud. It was literally in the back yard I remember having the flooring guy come in. We were getting some new flooring in the kitchen and bath and he just looked in the back yard, “Oh my God!”

Jim Salmon:                      What a mess.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, he just looked through the window and then he did this double-take, like, oh my God. He said that-

Jim Salmon:                      What did you do? Rake it out and seed it or-

Peter Schick :                    Well, yeah, and the thing was you could tell it hadn’t been raked in years. This was an archeological dig with the leaves. You’d see there’s different layers from different years and it was still wet-

Jim Salmon:                      Oh, what a nightmare.

Peter Schick :                    … and it was really bad. It was easily two feet. There’s this one part in the back yard where there’s this blue stone kind of patio area and I didn’t even know it was there until we got all the leaves off.

Jim Salmon:                      It’s a bonus. You’ve got a patio.

Peter Schick :                    Oh, wow, here we go. Look at this, this is beautiful, sweet. Yeah, we had to get rid of all of the leaves and then it was just pretty much mud. Because it was really shaded, there’s a lot of trees in the back yard. We needed to get a certain kind of seed to put down.

Jim Salmon:                      That’s tough to do, yeah.

Peter Schick :                    The thing is you can’t just use any seed because it’s a very heavily shaded area. If you used regular seed it’s going to come in all patchy. It’s not going to really work out. You have to get a special kind that’s made for being in a heavily shadowed, like an area with a lot of shadows. It came in beautifully. It came in really well, and had to do a lot of work, too. We put in a bunch of perennials, too. This is a debate. Some people like the annuals because they have a lot of really nice color, it’s really boom, there’s the color. Then you have to do that every year. Perennials, it’s just hey, fire and forget. There you go. I put it in and-

Jim Salmon:                      It keeps coming back.

Peter Schick :                    … you know, it does its thing. It just does its thing. I prefer those. Yeah, a little more expensive. Usually towards the end of the summer, like right now it’s August, maybe right after Memorial Day, well, you’re playing with fire with that if you start planting right after that. You’ll know if it’s actually going to take or not before it gets cold, but you can usually get some deals from what I’ve seen.

Jim Salmon:                      That’s great. Flipping a house is a lot of fun. It’s not for everybody.

Peter Schick :                    No, it’s not.

Jim Salmon:                      I hear horror stories all the time about people lost everything they have.

Peter Schick :                    Here’s the thing. This is me and my wife. If we can’t, we’re just going to live in it for a little while, so that’s how we look at it. I looked at it like, “Hey, Babe, if we wouldn’t have a problem living in this if we can’t,” so it’s really not a big deal in terms of us.

Jim Salmon:                      [Crosstalk 00:04:14] cash out of it it’s all good, too.

Peter Schick :                    Exactly, so that’s how I look at it as well.

Jim Salmon:                      One of the biggest expenses nowadays in landscaping is the walkways, patios, and so forth.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      Old concrete, stone, even the blue stone is old technology.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      Now we’re into these beautiful modern pavers. There’s hundreds of them, different colors, different designs, and a lot of landscape folks also do hardscape.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      Oh gosh, there’s a science to that and they’re so much to learn about that.

Peter Schick :                    Yes there is.

Jim Salmon:                      It’s all about the base.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      I had a paver driveway installed and the base is 20 inches thick.

Peter Schick :                    Really?

Jim Salmon:                      Yeah, they excavated it out-

Peter Schick :                    Oh, Jesus.

Jim Salmon:                      … and then they bring in this approved sand and then it’s tamped.

Peter Schick :                    I didn’t realize there was that much work with it.

Jim Salmon:                      Well, the driveway may be different than say a front walkway, that might-

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, because the driveway’s taking a lot more weight and it’s going to settle over the years, so I can understand you got to have the different layers with the sand and everything and put drainage and the settling. Yeah, I can see that. Coming after five or 10 years if you don’t do it right, you’re going to notice it.

Jim Salmon:                      Spending money on a paver or a concrete block-type retaining wall or things like that that modern pavers bring to the table are absolutely gorgeous. They add value, they bring the house into the 21st Century. You can still find masons that will pour you a sidewalk, but for the curb appeal and if you were into the whole outdoor kitchen thing like I am-

Peter Schick :                    Like you are, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      … oh my gosh, it’s over the top.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, it is. That’s beautiful what you’ve got, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      I still love it. We had an annual concert out at the Salmon Ranch where I live a couple of days ago and we had a 10-foot bonfire in the fire pit, which is eight feet in diameter, and it fell over onto the patio. It was a great time, great time.

Peter Schick :                    It sounds like it. You were mentioning with retaining walls. That is a really expensive … That could become a nightmare really quickly from what I’ve heard in terms of … We had one where it was right on the property line so the city had to take care of the retaining wall and thank God.

Jim Salmon:                      That’s a win.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah. Thank God they did because I wouldn’t want … It was getting to the point where it was we were going to have to replace it, but since the city had it, they took care of it.

Jim Salmon:                      We have had in the past couple years some unbelievable storms and copious amounts of rain and hundred-year rains we get every three years and that kind of thing. We have an area around here called the Finger Lakes in New York; Canandaigua Lake, Keuka Lake, Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, and these are all glacier formed back a hundred million years ago or whatever it was. The banks and the mountains above all of those lakes are made out of a shale/clay mixture and it’s extremely powerful. It’s a hydraulic pressure you can’t even imagine. Many of these folks have had lots of problems with these storms and areas eroding away. The landscape contractors are just going crazy installing retaining walls to try to keep those mountains away from the cottages and so forth around the like.

Peter Schick :                    Oh yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      These walls are all engineered. The company that sells the products to the landscaper, there’s a design staff, engineers, that design each one. Okay, you got to do it like this, and if you do it like this we back it, and our products, we back that up. Those walls are ungodly expensive.

Peter Schick :                    I can only imagine.

Jim Salmon:                      It’s the way to save your property.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, you get put in this really tough spot and it’s probably one of those things you’re not thinking of when you buy a cottage on one of the Finger Lakes. Thinking, aw, awesome lakefront, this is great. Little do you know, you got to put God knows like I don’t know, what would it be like, $50,000 or something for one of those retaining walls? I can only guess.

Jim Salmon:                      Oh, yeah. That’s sometimes that’s just getting started.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, I can imagine. Even the cost of the house could be … to just have the retaining wall, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      I teach continuing education for home inspectors. New York State requires a certain amount of education every couple of years and when you renew your license and one of the courses I teach is home inspector safety. In the wintertime yards are like a minefield. You don’t know what’s under there. There’s a woodchuck hole over here. One of the things I cannot stand the most are yard ponds. Now some people love these things. You can go out and buy all kinds of configurations of these black plastic ponds and get them in there and whatever. Of course, some people try to leave them in over the winter with the pump [crosstalk 00:09:27]-

Peter Schick :                    [Crosstalk 00:09:27] water flowing, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      It’s nuts, it’s ludicrous. These things I’m always stepping in them in the winter because you don’t see them if there’s two feet of snow. Then there’s the goldfish in there.

Peter Schick :                    Oh, yeah. I have a great story.

Jim Salmon:                      It’s so much work.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, I was taking a client around. She was interested in buying a house around the [inaudible 00:09:51] area. We go to this one and we come in and it looks nice. Then we go in the back yard and it’s like this several ponds with all these koi carp and a waterfall and all this. Of course, it takes your breath away. It’s like, oh wow! It has a bridge going over the pond. Then you start thinking and reality starts setting.

Jim Salmon:                      Yeah.

Peter Schick :                    How much does it cost to maintain this?

Jim Salmon:                      This homeowner lady doesn’t work. She’s home all the time. Her passion is plants and ponds and all this stuff and there’s 10,000 different kinds of plants out there. She looks at them and weeds them and she trims them. People come to look at this house and they go, “Oh my gosh, this is absolutely beautiful.” Then like you said, reality sets in. Who’s going to maintain this? It’ll be overgrown in a giant mess that you’d have to mow with a brush hog in no time if somebody wasn’t putting their time to it.

Peter Schick :                    Exactly, because that’s the first thing I think of when I see some beautiful landscaping or like you said, the ponds. The ponds almost scare me because it’s you got to filter that water. You got to feed these fish. Some of those fish they get really big. At this particular house I was showing a client, they were big. They were easily over a foot and there were 10 of them. I don’t know how they survive in the winter. Do you keep it heated? Now you have to pay for the heat for these ponds. Now especially up here, I could see that … That’s like keeping your windows open in your house in the middle of winter and still keeping the heat revved up. It just seems like you’re throwing money out the window.

Jim Salmon:                      Sometimes I’ll come to a pond, I’m inspecting a house in the winter. I’m walking around the house and you walk up to the pond and there’s the fish, frozen solid like an ice cube, frozen stiff, froze stiff.

Peter Schick :                    I guess it wasn’t deep enough.

Jim Salmon:                      No, it probably wasn’t. I’m always complaining about trees and bushes that touch or hang over the house. When it comes to landscaping your house, young couples, unless they had parents that had them along with doing that stuff, they really don’t know a lot about that. Your air-conditioner compressor cabinet, for instance, I find those things … Where is it? It’s over there and it’s in the middle of an arborvitae and most people like we said in other podcasts think that air-conditioning somehow magically makes cold air and blows it into your house. What it’s actually doing is taking the heat out. If that compressor cabinet is where it’s trying to give off that heat is all packed solid with growing stuff, it can’t happen, it can’t function. It’s very inefficient that way.

Peter Schick :                    When you’re discussing the branches overhanging a roof, that could become a pretty significant issue because if you start having a windy day, say a windy day comes, now you have this branch scraping against your roof.

Jim Salmon:                      Yeah, nothing worse than that.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah. Now it starts scraping against your roof shingles come off. Shingles come off now water is going to get in. Water comes in now, it compounds [inaudible 00:13:02]. It goes from a minor concern to a very major concern very quickly. I’ve seen that. I almost had that. It started to and I just got to bite the bullet and get it cut.

Jim Salmon:                      There are many houses here in New York State where we are right now that still have aluminum siding on them from the ’50s and ’60s. It was real popular in the ’60s. If a bush is up against that, there’s a little half moon streak about two feet long of tin foil and it’s perfectly polished. Obviously, it’s ruining your siding. No plants or trees should touch or hang over the house. I happen to love pine trees. As a kid I spent a lot of time up in the Adirondacks and mountains north in New York State. Today when I drive up there and I get past the tree line, I just love it.

Peter Schick :                    You’re going into a different world. I always love that.

Jim Salmon:                      Another great world.

Peter Schick :                    Like I just went out West or something when I go there.

Jim Salmon:                      Absolutely, but the problem is pine trees are filthy with stuff. They have lichen and moss growth and roof algae.

Peter Schick :                    You could maybe verify this. This is a rumor I heard. Are their root systems weaker than say an oak or anything else?

Jim Salmon:                      Well, I don’t know. Well, yeah, the wood-

Peter Schick :                    [Crosstalk 00:14:32].

Jim Salmon:                      The wood of the root is the same thing as the wood of the tree. It’s a fairly soft wood, but the root structure of pine trees from my experience don’t go down very far. That’s why every once in a while you’ll see a two-foot diameter [crosstalk 00:14:46] foot tall tree.

Peter Schick :                    This is getting my memory jogging with the wind storm back in March we had here.

Jim Salmon:                      80 miles an hour.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, back then we didn’t have trees on any … Excuse me, we didn’t have leaves on any of the trees, but the pine trees, they’re evergreen so they caught that wind a lot better than say a normal tree. Because they’re evergreen, it acts like a sail when you have the wind during those times.

Jim Salmon:                      They were hundreds of them on their side.

Peter Schick :                    I would say three out of four of the trees that fell, that I saw that fell, they were pine trees, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      Yeah. Well, it makes good firewood. It’s a shame, especially if the tree is a really nice tree, it’s well maintained and it’s not all lopsided or whatever and you like it. It’s a shame when they go, but that’s what you have your wood stove for.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, exactly.

Jim Salmon:                      There’s another tree at the nursery you can maybe change it up a little bit and plant an oak tree. Now I’m 62 and when I bought my house in 1985, we planted some two-foot-high pine trees which are now 102 feet.

Peter Schick :                    Really? That’s pretty cool.

Jim Salmon:                      If I’m planting an oak tree today, I’m not going to be around to see it.

Peter Schick :                    You’re not going to see that, yeah, or your kids when they’re your age, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      I did make one big landscaping mistake. My mother about, I’m thinking it’s got to be 15-18 years ago, gave me a beautiful red maple tree, which I love. The leaves are not green, they’re just purpley-red, it’s a beautiful tree, and I planted it in my front yard. When I planted it it seemed like the right spot, but now the thing is a foot and a half in diameter and it overhangs the front porch and it’s too close to the house. Now, I’m not going to cut it down because I love the tree and mom’s gone.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, exactly.

Jim Salmon:                      It is a beautiful tree, but it’s too close to the house. What it does is it produces a fair amount of dirt and leaves and extra gutter cleaning and maintenance from me, but it is what it is. The bottom line to that is think that out where you’re putting it. Just because it’s two feet today doesn’t mean it’s going to 102 feet.

Peter Schick :                    It’s going to stay that way, yeah. No, very true.

Jim Salmon:                      That’s a tough one. I love to do my own landscaping work although I’m getting older and when it comes to mulching I have 20 different beds that need to be mulched every year and they look so beautiful after that happens.

Peter Schick :                    Then a few weeks later the grass starts coming.

Jim Salmon:                      Yeah.

Peter Schick :                    It’s a never-ending battle is one of the things I’ve noticed.

Jim Salmon:                      I hire my local landscape guy and he comes over with 15 yards of mulch and a pickup truck and they have four guys and they weed everything, they mulch it, and you pay them and you’re done.

Peter Schick :                    Bing, bang, boom. There you go.

Jim Salmon:                      Every year at the Salmon Ranch we have some kind of a giant party or a wedding, so I always hire them again to come and do a tuneup so it has to be perfect when all those people are there.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      Landscape guys are really good and quick at that and I’m finding it a little more difficult to bend over all day long and pull weeds and stuff, so …

Peter Schick :                    No, no, that’ll get old and the thing is it never ends. What you do today you’re going to have to redo three weeks from now, especially in the summer and warmer climates.

Jim Salmon:                      When it comes to relandscaping your yard or maybe making some changes, I’m always saying this statement to people that I’m walking around the house doing a home inspection and I quote, “Nobody ever rips out their 50-year-old shrubs.”

Peter Schick :                    Yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      Now, their shrubs have overgrown. They’re halfway through the sidewalk. It’s time. You can’t cut them back because you would have then firewood that would be visible, so it’s just time. You get a good four-wheel drive pickup truck with a chain and yank them out. Go to your local nursery. These folks know what grows well here in our area and is it on the north side of the house? Is it shady? They know what grows.

Peter Schick :                    That’s a very good consideration, like I was alluding to earlier with the grass selection for the back yard at that place and, yeah, the shade is going to be a big portion. Like I said, a plant that thrives in the shade, does it need constant sunlight? There’s a lot of different considerations for that, like if it’s a vegetable garden, there’s going to be different considerations for that than say a perennial garden. You’ve got to think that out. A lot of time what me and my wife will do is we’ll just okay, we’ll draw a picture of it. Okay, this is what we want to have here, here, here, and this looks like it’s more shaded on this part of the plot and this one’s a little more sunny. Now you can plan it out. You can start figuring out, hey, how are we going to attack this and make it so it’s sustainable, too? What I mean by sustainable is I don’t have to keep replanting every year year after year. Like I said, that’s why I’m a big fan of perennials. You plant it and then it does its thing.

Jim Salmon:                      All you need to do maybe is an occasional trim or whatever-

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      … and, yeah, that’s good. Well, I used to have two big cedar trees outside my front door and we chopped them down to put in an extended porch out there at one point. I remember when we ripped them out of there, there was a pretty significant negative grade the first three or four feet that sloped towards my foundation. I used that as an opportunity to bring in a couple of yards of dirt. I don’t want to use cocoa shells or pine bark nuggets because water penetrates that. You need to put soil in those areas to reslope it away so you maintain a good slope away from the foundation. Keeps a dry basement and crawl space.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, we were discussing that some during our wet basements episode, I believe. We discussed that. Now you mentioned the cocoa shells. I’ve used those before. Now it wasn’t in the same way that you did it where you’re concerned about the water penetration. Have you ever used them before?

Jim Salmon:                      When I was a little kid one of my worst memories was I was forced to help my parents spread cocoa shells, because that’s what was used back then back in the late ’50s and 1960s into the ’70s. Cocoa shells were in abundance. I don’t know, Nestle’s Quick maybe or whatever it was, but they were these giant burlap bags of cocoa shells and we’d spread them all out and I had to do that. At some point mulch and pine bark nuggets took over, so I don’t …

Peter Schick :                    Did you hate it because of the smell or did you hate it because you just had to do it?

Jim Salmon:                      [Crosstalk 00:21:45] labor.

Peter Schick :                    Oh yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      No, I actually liked the smell and we would use those, as little kids, we’d use those burlap bags. We’d cut eye holes in them and put them over our heads. It was great. We’d run around and scare everybody in the neighborhood.

Peter Schick :                    It’s funny that you mentioned the cocoa shell piece because my parents, they live in Wisconsin, and they had cocoa shells in their garden. Then my wife sees that and she’s, “Peter, I want that. I want that.” Of course, they don’t have any of those around here.

Jim Salmon:                      Well, you could probably get them, but they’re probably pretty pricey.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, they are, but in Wisconsin for whatever reason they weren’t very … It was $8 or something a bag at this one place. We’re, okay, so we bought a few bags of it.

Jim Salmon:                      You brought them back here?

Peter Schick :                    That’s what she wanted. I was, “All right, we’ll do that. You want it, Babe.”

Jim Salmon:                      Peter, you’re not a dope. You know what the priorities are.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      Happy wife, happy life.

Peter Schick :                    That’s right. Yeah, we brought those back and we put them in and after the first rain you could just smell it, you could smell that cocoa smell and it’s looks really nice, too. I like how it looks, too, because it matted down. It’s not like with a lot of the, say you get like a black mulch or the brown mulch, it kind of has that color. It maintains the color for a while, the cocoa shells do, and I like the look of it. It’s an acquired thing, too, the smell. I think people either hate it or love the smell from what I’ve heard.

Jim Salmon:                      I can’t even talk to somebody that says I don’t like chocolate. That just doesn’t work. One of the issues though with mulch and pine bark nuggets, and I had to do research on this to find this out, are an entity called projectile spores.

Peter Schick :                    What?

Jim Salmon:                      You know the speck that a fly leaves when they poop on something?

Peter Schick :                    Really?

Jim Salmon:                      You know what a fly speck is?

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      Well, the projectile spores leave just about an identical thing on your siding and whatever as a fly speck would, maybe just a hair smaller in diameter. They come out of certain mulches. It’s a spore that just goes pfft. There’s like 20 of these little things and they stick to the siding and they’re very difficult to get off. You have to use a bug and tar remover to get them off.

Peter Schick :                    Huh, now is that different from the fungus where if you hit it it shoots out all those spores? It looks like a ball and it’s different than that?

Jim Salmon:                      It’s different than that, yeah.

Peter Schick :                    It’s different than that, okay, because that’s what was in my head when you were describing it.

Jim Salmon:                      Projectile spores.

Peter Schick :                    Projectile spores.

Jim Salmon:                      I go up to the house and inveritably maybe my client will be standing there by me and he’s looking at all those specks. Wow, they have a lot of flies here. Ah, projectile spores. That’s pretty funny.

Peter Schick :                    Interesting.

Jim Salmon:                      Well, you can improve the look of anything with some ground cover stuff like mulch and-

Peter Schick :                    That gives it some renewed life, but, of course, that lasts a few months until it starts wearing off.

Jim Salmon:                      I brought back some good old sort of memories there.

Peter Schick :                    Good old memories of manual labor that Jim had to do.

Jim Salmon:                      It was tough back then. I was into building things when I was a little kid, too. In fact, I might have been eight or nine years old and we didn’t have electricity in the detached garage. It was a one-story garage, maybe 25-

Peter Schick :                    You had to manually open it and everything?

Jim Salmon:                      Yeah.

Peter Schick :                    Okay.

Jim Salmon:                      There wasn’t power there. I asked for permission from my folks to see if I could run power out there. Somehow I got some wire, I don’t even remember if it was UF wire or not, I dug a trench, and I got about halfway out and, of course, the wire wasn’t long enough so I spliced it together. Now I’m eight or nine or 10 years old maybe.

Peter Schick :                    I’m surprised they let you do that.

Jim Salmon:                      Yeah, my folks didn’t pay much attention to me.

Peter Schick :                    They’re just like, “Yeah, Jim. You just do whatever you’re going to do.”

Jim Salmon:                      You know what it was like. Well, maybe you don’t because back then we weren’t worried about being abducted every five minutes. We left in the morning and maybe we came back when they yelled and screamed for us at night.

Peter Schick :                    Oh yeah, I tinkered in stuff. I built tree forts and stuff. I wasn’t wiring electric to my garage.

Jim Salmon:                      What I did was, and this is pretty good ingenuity for 10 years old, I took a can and I cut the bottom off of it, maybe a dog food can or a soup can. I think it was probably a Campbell Soup can because we used a lot of that when I was a little kid, and I put the can over the wire and I wired it together with some wire nuts. I wrapped the whole thing with electrical tape and then I ran the can up to where the splice was and I electrical taped it, put it in, wired the garage, and everything worked fine.

Peter Schick :                    Oh wow.

Jim Salmon:                      Now, that garage is still there. Now that would have been maybe 1963, ’64-

Peter Schick :                    Right after the Cuban Missile Crisis or something.

Jim Salmon:                      Absolutely, John Kennedy and all that.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      Well, how long is that? Almost-

Peter Schick :                    A long time.

Jim Salmon:                      It’s a long time.

Peter Schick :                    It’s a long time is what that is.

Jim Salmon:                      That garage is still there and I’m dying to stop at that house someday.

Peter Schick :                    Just knock on the door and be like, “Hey, I want to see-”

Jim Salmon:                      Just say, “Hey, underground here in your landscaping is that.” It’s pretty funny.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, you jerry-rigged the electric to the garage.

Jim Salmon:                      That garage-

Peter Schick :                    If it’s still running that would be-

Jim Salmon:                      That would be a feat right there.

Peter Schick :                    You need to check this out [crosstalk 00:27:41].

Jim Salmon:                      That garage is still there and I remember this just like it was yesterday. We were sitting in the kitchen and there was a bay window there, and I’m a little kid, right? You look out and you see the garage. My grandfather was there and the window was open and a rat came out from underneath the garage and my father handed my grandfather a double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun and my grandfather aimed that thing out the window and shot that rat dead right then and there at the kitchen table. That was the funniest thing I’d ever seen in my life. Ol’ pop got that rat.

Peter Schick :                    Boom.

Jim Salmon:                      It was great. Things are a little different now. In the middle of the city we don’t shoot rats.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, you can’t discharge firearms in the middle of the city, but yeah.

Jim Salmon:                      That’s too funny. Well, I think we’ve talked a pretty good talk on landscaping today, folks.

Peter Schick :                    We have.

Jim Salmon:                      If you have a suggestion for a show you’d like to hear or you’d like to weigh on this topic, Peter’s going to tell you how to get a hold of us on email.

Peter Schick :                    Yeah, go ahead and email us at [email protected]

Jim Salmon:                      Well, thank you for listening to this HouseAtWork.com home repair clinic podcast. We’ll see you on the other side with another fine broadcast and we’ll see you then.

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