One way to help either screws and nails penetrate wood without splits is to use beeswax on the fastener. In fact, some carpenters will drill a hole in the end of a wood hammer handle to fill it with beeswax. An alternative is to buy a wax seal for a toilet. It's made of beeswax processed to stay soft, and costs much less.
When shopping for a clothes washer, look for the following design features that help clothes washers cut water usage: water level controls, “suds-saver” features, spin cycle adjustment, and large capacity. For double the efficiency, buy an Energy Star unit.