Ever wonder what it would take to have your own dance floor?
I created this "Dance Experience" in my daughter's room for just a few hundred dollars, including materials. Luckily we already had a hardwood floor and very solid walls. The ballet bar can hold me up and I weigh five times as much as my five year old so it should be pretty safe.
If you have the room you can create a small or large home dance studio. I found this great reference online if you do not have suitable floor. How to make a dance floor.
You will not find my wife and I ever living in a Star Trek-themed abode, unless of course we are frozen until the 24th century. By then I'm sure everyone will be saying "Captain at the helm" when they sit down for breakfast at the kitchen island.
Still, I am eager to watch the DVD in my home theater. Nothing will beat the sound of an oncoming Klingon Bird of Prey zooming across 5.1 speakers.
In a deal announced today, Stanley Works is buying Black & Decker for $4.5 billion. And Stanley Works CEO, John Lundgren is being named CEO of the combined company. According to the companies, the deal views the housing market in a comeback stage and the DIY and construction markets in a lagging position.
The merge is good news for the folks at Stanley's headquarters in New Britain, Connecticut where the combined company will be based, and bad news for headquarters employees at B&D in Towson, MD where the companies have stated most job cuts would be based.
While both tool manufactures, the companies have little overlap in product lines and expect regulatory and and shareholder approval shortly.
This was a huge tool purchase. Here is my question: What was your largest tool purchase and was it a good investment?
Be safe this Halloween by carrying a flashlight.
But not by carrying one of these from Target.
The firm has received eight reports of flashlights overheating and melting, including one report of burns to the hand.
This recall involves two types of Halloween-themed flashlights: the mini flashlights and flashlights sold with stencils.
Mini Flashlights: The mini flashlights have a key ring extending from the bottom and were sold in a pack of three colors: orange, green and black. The orange and purple packaging has “Mini Flashlights (3 Pack)” printed on the front and “DGI,” “Made in China” and “DPCI# 234-02-1813” printed on the back.
Standard Size Flashlights: Also included in the recall are standard sized flashlights with a black handle and an orange top. The flashlights were sold with six stencils in various colors and images: a pumpkin, ghost, spider, cat, witch and skull & cross-bones. “Flashlight with Stencil” is printed on the front and “Tien Hsing,” “Made in China” and ”234 02 1838” is printed on the back of the packaging.
New products from Evolve Shower Heads came across my desk recently -- and suddenly my family of four was given a new challenge: take greener showers.
The concept is simple: No more waiting for the water to reach a comfortable temperature before hopping in. The ShowerStart technology pauses the water flow when it reaches 95 degrees. Once undressed, pull the valve cord and your shower is at maximum comfort level. No more wasted water down the drain. Now we just have to get my wife and kids to get out of there.
Results: Because of the old shower valve system I have, we had to buy one additional product to allow this to work. $20 and minimal work later, everyone was loving their shower experience. We used to wait three minutes before our water was at a comfortable temperature, now we could jump right in(Please no actual jumping in the shower). This also lead to less mirror-fog -- making it easier to shave, and less house humidity that the air conditioning had to remove (I live in Florida so low humidity is key). Plus, the water pressure and rain-head style makes this experience a great way to start the day. The annual savings is about $75 a year. If only it automatically, completely shut off in five minutes, forcing us to take shorter showers, then we'd really have gone green!
These are the three products we tried:
The Lady Bug: An adapter that sits between your current showerhead and the supply pipe. It would be practically invisible if it did not have the restart cord hanging down. If you already love your showerhead, this is your fastest fix.
The Water Lily: A standard 2.5 gallon per minute rain-type showerhead with multiple flow levels and a built-in Lady Bug adapter. This was our personal favorite as it had a great full shower feel and it made me feel green with no sacrifice.
The Roadrunner: The greenest option, this provides a lower flow at 1.5 gallon per minute. Though it has a regular shower spray pattern and the water flow felt full, my wife and I both like the larger spray pattern of the Water Lily.
All said and done the ShowerStart technology was a hit in our house, allowing us to take greener, cleaner showers without impacting our lifestyle. The only small problem: Our 5-year old daughter needed assistance with the pull cord.
Have you bought any green appliances or gadgets -- or completed any green challenges? Tell us.
These are challenging times in the home improvement industry. As the housing market has crumbled, many good companies have gone the way of the dodo. Luckily, for me the company that built my kitchen cabinets (Omega Cabinetry)is still in business and offers great customer service. Although some of their distributors have downsized, been sold or gone belly up, the manufacturer has stood behind its products. The retailer my defunct remodeler bought the cabinets from was a high end division of a home improvement behemoth. When I had a problem, the retailer told me I would need to go to the manufacturer to get my Lifetime warrantied cabinets repaired, as they no longer carried the line. I went to the manufacturer's website. As the manufacturer does not have local installers, they referred me to their distributors who have people in the field to help customers in need of service. That sounded reasonable. The first distributor on their list did not return my phone calls or emails. The second one said they no longer carry the product in their division and gave me the number to another division of the same company who told me they could not help me as I did not purchase from them. Duh! Finally, I emailed S and W Kitchen's Joe Steenbeke. It was as if I had morphed from being the bad guy into being a valued present and future customer. The company promptly emailed me back, told me they would send out someone to look at my cabinets and quite frankly treated me with respect and courtesy. They did not make any promises regarding the cabinet doors I had an issue with (I have some peeling finish), but said they would have someone contact me regarding the warranty. Within a matter of days their representative from Omega cabinetry, Doug Huertas, was at my house inspecting the cabinets. He took lots of pictures and sent them to the factory and assured me this was something he has seldom seen from Omega Cabinets. He also did not make any promises except that the manufacturer would be getting back to me. The process is still ongoing, but once I found a distributor still in business (no doubt due to their commitment to customer service), I have had my confidence restored in the home improvement industry. My kitchen has been featured in this blog before for its Alternative Counter Top Material. Have you had a bad experience with a cabinet manufacturer that worked out in the end? Post in the comments section below to share your experience.