Want to know how
to protect a home and its contents? Ask a mover. New Haven
Moving Equipment manufactures floor coverings in a range of
materials and sizes, all of which are designed to stay where
you put them, unlike the drop cloths that most contractors use.
The.comany also stocks an amazing variety of furniture covers,
moving blankets, and other protective products. For a free
catalog, see its Web site. New Haven Moving Equipment Corp.,
Serious Dust Control.
should interest anyone whose remodeling jobs involve a lot of
traffic between work areas and occupied space. Constructed of
two-ply nylon-reinforced vinyl with a heavy-duty zipper, this
product appears to provide as close to a perfect seal as you
can get in the real world. It can be nailed, stapled, or
duct-taped to the opening — or you can opt for either the
manufacturer's hook-and-loop mounts or its clamping system,
which promises to leave trim surfaces intact. DustDoors.com in
several widths and heights; a no-frills model that fits
openings up to 58 inches by 94 inches sells for $99. Mounting
systems cost extra. The DustDoc, 800/781-6111,
Treasure Trove of Tape.
I learned the hard way that
Scotch-Blue Painter's Tape for Multi-Surfaces (#2090) cannot be
left in place one day more than the advertised 14. Longer
durations require the.comany's #2080 Delicate Surface tape;
it's flimsier than its cousin, but safe to leave stuck for up
to 60 days. These are just two of the many masking products
sold by Scotch and its parent.comany, 3M. My other favorites
include prefolded masking films, pretaped plastic drop cloths,
heavy-gauge masking paper, double-sided tape, and applicator
tools that make quick work of masking. Although 3M's Web site
is notoriously unfriendly, visiting it is worth the effort if
you need to protect finished surfaces from disfigurement. 3M,
that's exposed to the elements (and what lumber isn't?) is
often covered with mold spores before the roof is even dried
in. FrameGuard is a new treatment designed to give wood
products extra protection against mold and other
wood-destroying organisms. The water-based coating is applied
in a spray booth at a lumber mill or distribution center
— it's not intended for job-site applications. The
manufacturer claims that the bright green coating is suitable
for all manufactured lumber products, not just solid wood.
Building a house entirely with FrameGuard-treated products
increases costs by less than $3 per square foot, the.comany
says. Arch Wood Protection, 866/736-7366,
Mildew No More.
Cleaning alone may not eradicate chronic
mildew on painted surfaces. The maker of TWP Mildew Sealer
contends that this problem can often be traced to mildew
embedded in the paint film — which even power washing
can't.comletely remove. The.comany says its 100 percent acrylic
latex nonpigmented sealer is impervious to mildew and prevents
its regrowth with a special blend of fungicides. The standard
surface-preparation rules apply; the sealer must be top-coated
with a high-quality acrylic latex (not oil) paint within two
weeks. Gallon cans cost $30 apiece, 5-gallon pails $135 apiece.
Amteco, 800/969-4811, www.twpmildewsealer.com
Bleach, the traditional
cleanup product for localized mold outbreaks, is nasty stuff.
Concrobium Mold Control, by contrast, contains no bleach,
ammonia, acids, or VOCs, and is odor-free. Its maker says it
eliminates mold spores by encapsulating them — not by
exposing them to toxins. The.comany also says the product
eliminates musty odors, prevents new mold growth, and works as
a mold-inhibiting pretreatment on new wood surfaces. It.coms in
32-ounce spray bottles ($11 each), gallon jugs ($40), and
5-gallon pails ($180). Siamons International, 866/811-4148,
Way too many
accidents happen in the bathtub. The Escape walk-in tub aims to
remedy that with a door that affords access with no climbing or
bending — and hence less chance of slipping and falling.
The tub's high walls and lounge-type seating also boost safety
and.comort. According to the maker, the Escape is designed to
fit into the same space as an existing tub or shower; it.coms
in a standard 60-inch (three-wall) size and a space-saving
50-inch model. The.comany warranties the door seal against
leaks for the life of the unit. Costs range from $6,500 to
$8,000. Best Bath Systems, 800/727-9907,
No Blocking Needed.
existing bathroom with grab bars often requires cutting into
the wall cavity to install blocking — not an easy job if
the wall surface is tiled. SecureMount Anchors promise to make
mounting a grab bar as straightforward as hanging a mirror.
Here's how the product works: You drill a 11/4-inch hole,
insert the two-piece togglelike anchor, and attach the bar. The
anchors have been independently tested to exceed ADA and other
standards, says the maker. They can be used with the.comany's
specially designed grab bars or with various models from
other.comanies. One pair costs $36. Home Care by Moen,
Adjust-a-Sink, family members of varying heights and physical
abilities gain unfettered access to one of the most vital
elements in the kitchen. The unit's stainless-steel lift
mechanism — powered by a low-voltage electrical motor
— positions the sink cabinet anywhere from 31 inches to
43 inches above the floor. The manufacturer supplies the lift,
plumbing lines — including a patented telescoping drain
— and switch, but not the sink, countertop, or cabinetry.
For a 6-inch single-bowl sink cabinet, the setup costs $2,200.
The.comany also offers a version for a 411/2-inch double sink
($2,700), as well as lifts for vanities and cooktops. BJ
Industries, 952/890-3870, www.bjindustries.com
Long-Lasting Spots and Floods.
TCP, a manufacturer of.comact fluorescent lights, recently
introduced a line of energy-efficient Flat PAR lamps, the
cone-shaped bulbs most often used as spotlights or floodlights.
Available in 14-, 16-, and 23-watt sizes, the lamps cost twice
as much as.comarable halogen bulbs — but they purportedly
deliver 75 percent energy savings and triple the life. TCP says
that a 23-watt Flat PAR, which provides the same light output
as a 90-watt halogen PAR, could save as much as $54 in energy
costs over the life of the lamp. The longer life span may also
reduce maintenance costs when the bulbs are in hard-to-reach
locations. TCP, 800/324-1496, www.tcpi.com
A Step Up.
If I had to bet my money
on the future of efficient lighting, I'd bet on LEDs. These
units are up to 50 times more energy-efficient than other
lighting options. They're also shock-resistant and unaffected
by extreme temperatures, and they last 10 years or more. The
only drawback is their high price. Apparently Lumière, a
division of Cooper Lighting, also believes in the technology:
The.comany recently unveiled the Rio Series, designer-quality
architectural step lights that can be outfitted with 4-watt or
7-watt LED lamps. Prices start at around $325 per light.
Lower-cost halogen, metal-halide, and.comact-fluorescent lamps
are also available. Cooper Lighting,
If the term
"Energy Star lighting" brings to mind a stark white fixture
with a curlicue bulb sticking out beyond the lens, you need to
check out today's Energy Star-qualified products. Among them
are decorative fixtures, chandeliers, wall sconces, recessed
units, ceiling fans, and outdoor lights; many are
indistinguishable from their more traditional counterparts.
With more than 500 varieties of Energy Star fixtures in its
inventory, Sea Gull Lighting Products lays claim to the most
expansive line in the industry. Visit the.comany's Web site to
find a local retailer or request a catalog. Sea Gull Lighting