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Your Valuable Home

By: Kevin Kennedy and Ron Melk

Trenton, NJ, USA

After years on the radio, hosts Kevin Kennedy and Ron Melk have flipped the switch to podcasting! Ou... Read More


  • There Are Some Projects Do-It-Yourselfers Just Shouldn’t Do

    In the Replay this week, we talk with Jed about replacing 22 windows in his home – and about turning a dilapidated por ... Morech with an aging hot top into an inviting sitting area. The Horror Story is about the nightmare framing and wiring job done on Jed’s porch by a former owner. And in our Featured segment, Kevin, John the Master Plumber, and electricians James and Joseph run down a list of projects that the average weekend DIYer should not take on because they’re either too complex, too dangerous or both. Less

  • New roof in your future? Don’t make a move without considering these new metal shingles.

    In our Replay today, Kevin talks about his new, expensive septic system. It was a “must do,” because his recently ... Morecompleted in-law suite adds one more bedroom to the house. The Horror Story is about a clueless handyman who used black pipe for a bath tub value, causing rust stain on a brand new tub. In our Featured segment today, Scott Lowe from Provia fills us in on the latest addition to the Provia building products line, metal roofing made to look like shingles, including cedar shakes…a welcome up-to-date spin on the metal sheet roofing. The appearance, durability and warranty are amazing! Less

  • Provia 101: Windows and Doors

    In our Replay today, Gerri talks through the projects she has in mind for her new downsized house. If you’re planning ... More interior work, you can get some ideas by listening to this interview. Think you're safe hiring a family member to do some simple home improvements. Gerri did and paid the price. In our featured interview today, we speak with a Provia executive about the finer points of the company’s windows and doors and their incredible warranty. This is the first of two Provia interviews. Next week, we learn about Provia’s new, incredible metal shingles. If you have relevant projects planned for now or next spring, you should set aside time to hear these two interviews. Less

  • Award-winning Interior Designer on how to make an effective home Design and Construction Team

    In our Replay today, fellow New Pod City podcaster, Rich Hopkins, from Rich and Tim Unleashed gets advice on up-dating h ... Moreis expanded cape cod. Some of the possibilities: transform an existing porch into a year-round room, remove the half wall between the kitchen and dining room, and – if the budget can take it – consider a kitchen re-do. Our Horror Story today involves more misleading references from online referral companies. Then interior designer Donna Hoffman tackles the tricky issue of how to keep a home design and construction team on the right course, while navigating egos, schedules and today’s building product shortages. Less

  • Equally Fascinating this week is John Wolstenholme’s take on Modernizing the Exteriors of 6 Homes.

    In our Your Valuable Home Replay, Angel is back again this week to share her plan for the rejuvenation of her 1940ish Mi ... Mored-century Modern, all concrete home. It’s one of 1,000 such homes built on the suburban Philadelphia site of what was one of the most famous residences in American, the Stotesbury Mansion. Angel is determined to complete her home and Airstream projects by this Fall. Count on Your Valuable Home to track her progress. Our Horror Story is about a contractor fabricating experience on social media. It happens. In our Featured segment, architect John Wolstenholme accepts our challenge to propose how he would refresh and modernize the exteriors of homes in six different architectural styles, beginning with a Mid-century Modern in LA. Less

  • Donna Hoffman tells how she would update the interiors of 6 homes in 6 architectural styles.

    In our Replay, Angel, an interior designer, shares the back story of how she found a mid-century modern home for her mid ... More-century modern Airstream. Both are rejuvenation projects in progress. In the Horror Story, Kevin explains how a young interior designer made a huge mistake by scheduling the installation of a hardwood floor before the demolition was done. Ouch!

    Our Featured segment today is part one of a must-hear, two-part series. This week, much awarded interior designer, Donna Hoffman, accepts our challenge to share her thoughts on how to bring the interiors of homes in six different architectural styles up to date. In our podcast next week, we give the same challenge to an architect, who shares his thoughts on exterior updates. Less

  • Should You Increase Your Homeowner’s Insurance Accordingly?

    In our replay today, you’ll learn about the importance of roof ventilation, and how to make sure it’s done right. Ou ... Morer Horror Story is about one of the
    worst siding jobs we’re ever discovered. Listen and learn how to spot poor siding installation. If your home has increased in value in this crazy seller’s
    market, should your homeowner’s insurance increase to keep pace. “No” says insurance broker Mike Cellucci, unless you’ve made improvements to
    your home since you last evaluated your policy. Homeowner's insurance is all about the replacement cost – not the overall value of a home.
    However, with the cost of building materials on the rise, the replacement cost of a house is a bit of a guessing game for an insurance company. Less

  • Is there any way to beat this real estate seller’s market? Maybe.

    In our Replay today, Heather and Kevin discuss her options as she embarks on a kitchen redo: 1) remodel within the curre ... Morent footprint to save money, or knock down a wall and expand into the dining room space. (The existing kitchen in this 40 something- -year-old house is on the smallish side.) Listen and learn which plan Heather chose. Our Horror Story today is about a total bathroom botch job. Take notes so it never happens to you. In our Featured segment, we discuss some options for buyers who are frustrated by this seller’s market with broker Douglas Krautheim. One option may be to locate a lot in a far suburban or rural area, and build. You’ll probably avoid the bidding wars, but you’ll need patience and money. Another option is to seek out a teardown in a nice neighborhood and rebuild…a move that can also be challenging. Less

  • Which is safer to drink, well water or municipal water?

    This Your Valuable Home begins with Charla sharing the vision for her new kitchen. The plan includes removing a load-bea ... Morering wall, and some other
    nice touches that could aid in your own kitchen planning. In our Horror Story today, Kevin recounts the story of how a contractor’s lies in his social
    media got through unchecked. In our Featured segment, drinking water expert, Steve Wiley, explains how people with well water can get shaken
    down for expensive remediation of bacteria when a prospective buyer orders a water analysis. Steve also discusses which water generally wins
    out for drinkability and safety….well water vs. municipal water. Less

  • Escape Home’s Dan George returns for an encore interview!

    Leading up to today’s featured interview, Bernie, the roofer, explains why there are shingle shortages of certain styl ... Morees and colors in this lingering COVID environment. In the Horror Story, Bernie cites three or four problems caused by inept roofers, and how you can guard against them. And in our featured segment, Dan George, who was a listener favorite last week, is back to talk about Escape (tiny home) vacation rentals available in 12 states across the country( at $160 or so a night, a money maker for the unit owners), Escape’s Tampa Bay expanding development and the company’s partnership with Ikea. Exciting stuff that happening right here on Your Valuable Home. Less

  • You’d be amazed at what’s included in these tiny homes!

    Planning a new kitchen on a modest budget, listen to Eric and Jen’s kitchen ideas based on staying within the same foo ... Moretprint that they have now. In our Horror Story today, Matt tells his tale of window woe. A houseful of new windows and most of them leak. After a year of aggravation, the contractor finally admitted to faulty installation. In the featured segment of this podcast, we do a deep dive into Escape tiny homes with Dan George Dobrowolski, the company’s CEO. These ultrasmart homes on wheels pack a whole lot of luxury and convenience into 400 square feet…full size beds, appliances and a whole lot of style. Escape homes are delivered to your site by truck, and they’re practically “plug and play.” Looking for a very affordable, environmentally
    friendly second home or rental, look into Escape Homes. Less

  • How Debt Free Life Insurance is a truly sound investment.

    The replay this week is about a special door installation in an old stone farmhouse and Kevin and Ron talk with Tom Hart ... Moreill and George Matthews from Symmetry Financial Group about Debt Free Life Insurance. Less

  • A Veggie Garden Could be Good for What Ails You

    In our Replay this week, Mark wraps up his twin projects: a new expanded kitchen, and a basement with a kitchen. Can a ... Morebotched siding job lead to leaks? You better believe it. And in our Featured segment today, Professor Bill Hlubik from New Jersey’s Rutgers University explains how you can grow a vegetable garden in practically any space, practically anywhere. The health benefits are clear, and the experience is excellent post-Covid therapy. Less

  • The Many Issues Caused by This Hyper-Seller’s Market

    In our Replay today, Kevin explains why your contractor may not be able to give you a solid estimate for a scheduled pro ... Moreject. Supply chain issues for lumber and other building materials and products are causing headaches for contractors and homeowners. The Horror Story deals with a ridiculous window installation. If you’re house hunting, our Featured Interview with realtor, Jeff Lavine, will help you understand the causes (note the plural) of your frustrations – and possibly prevent you from making a buying blunder. Less

  • Success is Spelled T-Y-V-E-K

    Our Replay today and our Horror Story are both about Mark and his bathroom re-do. Bathrooms can be difficult, and this ... Moreone was. In our Featured interview today we speak with Alan Hubbell from DuPont Tyvek. Such a simple product, but it can keep you out of trouble. For example, Tyvek Wrap around a window cavity before the window is installed can provide you with many years of trouble-free installation. Why not insist on it? Less

  • Why Do Some Cities and Towns Flourish and Others Flounder? Part II

    In our Replay today, Lisa tells the story of her just-completed kitchen. The project included the relocation of her was ... Morehing machine to the upstairs master bedroom. This outside-the-box solution facilitated expansion of the kitchen. Split HVAC systems require a lot of tubing to be inserted into wall cavities. In our Horror Story today an installer got creative and ran the tubing on the outside of the house, including over the roof. Unbelievable! Then in our Feature segment, singer, songwriter, author Dar Williams joins Gary Toth and Cynthia Nikitin from the Placemakers Guild for Part 2 of a fascinating discussion of why some towns flourish and others flounder. Dar shares some of the wonderous transformations she’s experienced in cities and towns across America. It’s all in her book, What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician's Guide to Rebuilding America's Communities-One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time. Less

  • Why Some Cities and Towns Flourish and Others Flounder

    In our Replay today, Mark’s 1,000 square-foot basement is almost totally made over. Imagine this: a built-in gas fire ... Moreplace and a kitchen with cabinets that match those in his just renovated kitchen above. There’s a water monitor just in case. Egress was achieved with Bilco Doors. All things to consider, if you want to make your basement livable. In our Horror Story, we talk about a contractor who was called in to fix a leaky roof. He took 50 percent up front and disappeared for three weeks. Four months later, the job still wasn’t finished. Watch out for big upfront payments and contractors who don’t show. In our Feature segment, we’re joined by Gary Toth and Raj Mohabeer from The Placemakers Guild for part one in a two-podcast series about what it takes to make a city or town flourish. The Guild is a collection of urban planners and pros of related disciplines who know how to create places where life can happen. In part two, which posts on 5/13, Cynthia Nikitin, a colleague of Gary’s in The Placemakers Guild, joins the conversation along with singer, song writer, author, Dar Williams, who discusses some of the wonderous transformations she’s experienced in cities and towns across America. It’s all in her book What I Found in a Thousand Towns: A Traveling Musician's Guide to Rebuilding America's Communities-One Coffee Shop, Dog Run, and Open-Mike Night at a Time. Less

  • Lessons from the learned landlord and property manager

    In our Replay today, Kevin explains to a homeowner how windows should be replaced to avoid causing damage to surrounding ... More stucco. The Horror Story today comes from Ann, a residential landlord, who reports on an alarming development at one of the HOA-run communities where she has a rental property….a $500 annual assessment against investor owners of properties in the community. And in the College, we welcome back, Scott Abernathy, a valued Your Valuable Home contributor. Scott is president of his own property management company in Murfreesboro Tennessee, PMI Property Management, President of the National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM), lecturer and author of multiple books, including his latest, KINGPIN LANDLORD: Unlocking the Secrets to Real Estate Investing. Scott’s shares his wisdom on HOA assessments to absentee landlords and other matters of importance to residential real estate investors. Scott believe, as we do, that residential real estate is the way to wealth for the wise. We’ll keep tabs on the HOA assessment issue. Less

  • Should you live in a multigenerational household?

    In the Replay today, we discuss what it takes to make for a successful siding and window installation – and the differ ... Moreence it can make in the appearance of a home. In the Horror Story, Kevin reports on a basement remodel that included a kitchen and an electrical nightmare lurking behind the walls. Then, for our Featured interview, we address the surge in multigenerational living brought on by COVID and the need for financial support and/or care for aging family members. Donna Butts, Executive Director of the DC non-profit Generations United, reports on that organization’s recently released survey of multigenerational homes, and our own Kevin Kennedy and his family are applauded for their multigenerational lifestyle. Should you go multigenerational? Listen and learn. Less

  • Roofing wisdom from an 88 year old company who set the standard for asphalt shingles.

    In our Replay today, we talk about wrapping up Leslie’s remodel to benefit her aging mom. This complex job included a ... More kitchen in the basement, a chair lift and the removal of a load-bearing wall. Our Horror Story deals with the DONT's of window installation in a stucco application. And in our Featured segment, two executives from GAF, the company that set the standard for asphalt shingles in 1933 serve up Roofing 101, and explain how homeowners from Texas to New England could have avoided water damage caused by ice damming. Less