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Did you forget to shut the garage doors? With the Door Report you'll never ask that question again.

Overhead Door Unveils Closed Garage Door Verification Feature

Homeowners with remote controlled garage doors have all been there. You're driving away from the home, down the driveway when, a half a mile away, you wonder, "Did I close the garage door?"

With Overhead Door's new Door Report technology, the wondering is over. The Door Report is essentially an advanced garage door remote that uses wireless technology to communicate with the actual garage doors. If and when the doors are closed the Door Report remote will beep and flash a green light.

So no more turning around to double-check. No more driving on and wondering for the rest of the night if squirrels, raccoons or ne'er-do-wells have taken advantage of your negligence.

So far the Door Report only works with Overhead Door's new Odyssey and Destiny garage door openers. An Overhead Door Network Adapter is also required to get the system up and running.

Such a simple solution to one of those persistent homeowner issues. Well done, OD!

The new face of residential wind turbines, courtesy of Honeywell.

Day Two of IBS 2011

Here are some more notable products on display at IBS 2011 that Greg was able to check out:

  • The Skylight Tube, from US Sunlight Corp. This illuminating ceiling fixture is a rarity--it's Energy Star rated because the tube is insulated.

  • Clopay's Gallery garage door with a walnut finish. Your garage faces the world. Is yours worth looking at?

  • The Honeywell WT6500 Wind Turbine. It looks like the blades of a jet engine at first glance, but it's actually a residential wind turbine designed to turn wind into energy for the home. It's being touted the highest output, lowest cost per kWh turbine ever made. Pretty cool.

  • Are you at IBS? Let's hear what you've seen and done.

    Go from two rooms to one with sliding wall panels.

    Sliding Door Track Hardware Moves Into 21st Century

    Although not a new product, advances in track technology have made the inclusion of sliding and pocket doors a reality for bigger application. Shown here is a sliding door scenario featuring Johnson Hardware's Multi-pass Hardware, capable of multiple 300-plus pound wall panels. It's a great way to allow for both the open, flowing design and privacy options with ease of operation.

    Anyone who has every operated a sliding or pocket door knows that the track hardware makes or breaks the application. I've dealt with too many sliding doors and folding doors that had cheap, flimsy track hardware that failed after a short amount of time. The frustration that comes from a sticking door or one that falls off the track is unique--it's not quite like dealing with backed-up plumbing but it's certainly worse than a squeaking door or floor.

    So if you've shied away from this kind of solution in your home because you didn't trust the hardware, it might be time to reconsider. The technology just might have caught up.

    Marvin Windows Unveils "Window Shopping" iPhone App | Windows and Doors


    Are you looking to purchase and install replacement windows? How about a new entry door? Not sure where to begin?

    Try reaching for your iPhone.

    Marvin Windows has announced the arrival of their Window Shopping app, a new iPhone application that makes it easy for the homeowner to plan out the basic designs for a new door or windows. It's a pretty cool little tool to help you visualize any space in the home with its new window or door upgrade. Using a photo of the space to be upgraded, users can select an image of a new Marvin window or door and drag and drop it into place within the photo.

    Of course, the app is limited to Marvin products, but it's a great jumping off point for any homeowner looking into a window or door makeover.

    The Jamb Guard, painted white, gets mortised into the door jamb.

    Gladiator Jamb Guard Give Extra Protection Against Break-Ins

    All the fancy electronic locks and home security systems in the world are but expensive gadgets bringing a false sense of protection when the front door of your home can be easily kicked in by an intruder.

    Such is the case, sadly, for many a home. Sure, you might have a solid-looking deadbolt lock, but that's not where the door fails. On kick-ins, it's the door frame and jamb that give way and fail, not the lock itself.

    So the makers of the Gladiator Jamb Guard tell us. Of the home break-ins that occur in this country every 13 seconds, 80% are through a door. With the door's vulnerability in mind, inventor Kevin McKay set out to create a door jamb insert that could install easily, integrate with existing locksets and beef up the door's weakest component. His creation, the Gladiator Jamb Guard, supposedly withstands over 5000 lbs. of force. The average door jamb can take 100 lbs. before giving way.

    The video on the Jamb Guard website shows an attempt at breaking a Jamb Guard-protected door down. Watch it and decide for yourself if the Jamb Guard is a worth-while investment. You'll also get a better look at the Guard itself, which is essentially a 4 foot long piece of metal.

    Currently the Gladiator Jamb Guard sells for $189, which includes installation. It is available in Maryland, Virginia and D.C., though it is expected to go national within 6 months.

    Would you consider adding a Gladiator Jamb Guard to your exterior doors?

    The Schlage electronic keypad motto: "Won't Fail Til Your Memory Does."

    Throw Out The Key

    The announcement out of Schlage that their BE365 electronic keypad deadbolt just earned the notable "Best Buy" rating from Consumers Digest comes at a good time, as I am fresh off a visit to the Schlage booth at the International Builders' Show in Las Vegas.

    Retailing at $119, the BE365 is a solid investment in home security and convenience. I have an older Schlage electronic keypad deadbolt on my front door and I must say I love having it. It means one less key on the keychain. It also means one more number sequence I have to remember (in this case, only four numbers), which hasn't been an issue, yet. Unless I am afflicted by early onset Alzheimer's, I'll enjoy keyless entry and locking of my front door for years to come. I can't speak for the BE365, but I can say that this technology is a worthwhile addition to any home.

    What I WON'T yet endorse is Schlage's new "SecureKey" cylinder and re-keying technology. During a visit to the Schlage booth at IBS 2010, my co-workers and I were treated to a demonstration of the SecureKey features and function. I consider myself a pretty smart guy, and I know my co-workers are as sharp as any, but we couldn't, even after multiple explanations, understand exactly how the SecureKey was meant to work. (Side note: after reading the explanation of the SecureKey on the Schlage website, I am pretty sure I now get it. Perhaps my brain was too high on sugar from all the free cookies at the Sears booth that day.)

    Take a look at the BE365 and the SecureKey and let us know if you think either product are something you would invest in for your home.

    "Come on, DoorJack! One more rep!"

    Get Your Doors Jacked!

    Just the other week I had to remove and then re-install a hanging door in order to move a couch out of a room. Although I had help with the couch, I was left on my own to wrestle the door back into place, with a drill in one hand, as I tried to line up the holes in the hinges (yeah, I probably could have just removed the hinge pins, but I chose to unscrew the hinges from the door frame) to screw them back into place.

    Needless to say, it was frustrating endeavor and not one I wish to repeat anytime soon.

    Unless, of course, I had a DoorJack. The DoorJack is one of those palm-to-forehead "why didn't I think of that" products. The picture to the left explains it better than words can, but the short of it is: The DoorJack makes installing hanging doors an easy job for the individual. Just rest the door on the jack and use your foot to lift it as much as 1.5 inches to align the hinges properly -- without a fight. The jack lifts up to 240 lbs. and won't scratch up the floor or door like the crowbar method.

    Cool product. Even cooler? It's only $20.

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