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Products, continued

Include the Kitchen Sink

Functioning in a home without a kitchen can raise any homeowner's stress level, and a stressed homeowner can create unnecessary stress for you. You can minimize your customer's inconvenience with a Portable Kitchenette. The stainless-steel work center gives your clients a sink and room for food preparation in a self-contained, easy-to-clean unit. The 420-pound unit features a pullout butcher-block cutting board, 16x12-inch sink, food storage drawers, and a stainless countertop. Removable drawers and casters make transporting easier, and it fits in the back of a pickup. You can lease the unit from the maker for $150 monthly or $1,500 a year, plus shipping. Or you can buy it for $2,500, plus shipping.


Diversified Metal


Powerful Phone Jack

It used to be when you wanted a phone, you simply plugged into a jack and got a dial tone. But today's cordless phones and answering machines require an AC outlet, limiting where you can put the phone and tying up an outlet with a big, bulky converter. Enter Leviton's Out-of-Sight Power Jack, a phone jack that includes a DC power supply for cordless phones and answering machines. The jack has six common plug adapters and adjustable settings from 7 to 12 volts, making it compatible with most phones, according to the manufacturer. It sells for $20.




Fire Fighter

Sensing heat instead of smoke, the new HD6135FB Heat Alarm is suited to spaces like kitchens and garages, where traditional smoke detectors can create nuisance alarms. The hard-wired alarm has a 9-volt battery backup and can be interconnected with more traditional smoke detectors. It can also be tested or silenced with most TV remote controls. The microprocessor-controlled alarm sounds an 85-decibel siren at 135°F or after detecting a 15-degree-per-minute temperature rise. The alarm retails for $28.


BRK Electronics


Durable Landscape Ties

Because they're made in large part from the plastic and nonmetal components of recycled automobiles, XPotential Products claims that its Impact Posts, Landscape Ties, and Impact Curbs will last for 75 to 100 years. According to the manufacturer, the products won't warp, split, or decay and have twice the fastener-holding ability of comparable products. The naturally brown material can be painted or stained, but cutting and drilling require abrasive or carbide-tipped tools. A 4x4x8 post retails for between $9 and $11 and a 6x6x8 for between $20 and $25.


XPotential Products


Tailgate Stepladder

It probably wasn't a big deal when you first started out, but climbing into the back of your truck gets harder as time goes by. Installing a Gate-or-Step on your truck's tailgate makes climbing in and out of the bed a lot easier, according to the maker. The lightweight aluminum stepladder unfolds in seconds, features nonslip treads and quick-release pins for easy removal, and sells for $149.




Bendable Bit

Fishing wires is never an easy task, but having a drill bit that bends around obstacles can make the process a little less aggravating. Made from heat-treated spring steel, Flexible Drill Bits are available in lengths from 2 feet to 6 feet. After drilling, the wire can be tied on to the bit through a small hole and pulled back through the opening. Sizes from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch are available in auger, twist, and masonry styles. Prices run from $23 to $40.




Big Router

Because large routers are frequently used with a router table, Milwaukee has added some cool, ease-of-use features to its 5625-20 Fixed-Base Router. The variable-speed (10,000- to 22,000-rpm) 3 1/2-horsepower router has a 15-amp motor and feedback circuitry for consistent speed and power. Depth adjustment can be made from above the table by inserting the included T- handled wrench through the router's base. The design eliminates reaching under the table to adjust bit height. A coarse setting adjusts the bit to within 1/8 inch, and a micro-fine adjusting knob can fine-tune the setting to 1/64 of an inch. The street price is $295.




Problem-Solving Post Cover

Promising an end to painting and the elimination of checked and cracked 6x6 posts, the Sheerline PVC post system slips over an ordinary pressure-treated wood post to provide a durable, attractive, and maintenance-free finish. A matching aluminum base for mounting on concrete is also available, along with matching caps. Covering a post requires four individual pieces, which are sold in 8 1/2-foot and 10-foot lengths. An 8 1/2-foot post costs about $52 to cover, a 10-foot post about $60.


L.B. Plastics


Moldable Molding

While increasingly popular, curved walls and architectural elements make installing trim a challenge. But Style Solution's new polyurethane Flexible Moulding makes curved work easier. Designed to match most popular molding profiles, the new line can be flexed to fit both inside and outside curves and can be bent in a compound radius, like curved stairways. According to the manufacturer, the product has greater flexibility than flexible vinyl moldings, and the factory-applied primer won't peel when flexed. According to the maker, pricing is similar to that of vinyl-based flexible moldings.


Style Solutions


Access Insulator

The Department of Energy cites the common pull-down attic access as one of the biggest energy wasters in most homes. Seven states now require insulation on the opening in an effort to reduce heating and cooling losses. The Draft Cap, a polystyrene dome, covers the top of the attic access and insulates it with an R-12 rating. The lightweight cap installs without assembly and costs $100.


Draft Cap


Boot Dryer

Outdoor work is one of the realities of building or remodeling, even when the weather is uncooperative. When nasty weather soaks your shoes and gloves, the Dry-Doc can help. By circulating air through multiple ports, the Dry-Doc dries your gear without damaging heat, while an integral Drip Lip tray catches slush and run off, preventing a wet mess in your house. With a handy seat on top for lacing up, the Dry-Doc will dry out gloves and boots within hours. The AC-powered unit sells for $50.


SMC Innovations


Faster Sink Installations

Offering the lowest installed cost, drop-in stainless sinks are the most popular option for multifamily and low-cost construction projects. But squeezing under the sink to tighten down those annoying clips is a chore that every installer would happily avoid. The new Quick-Clip fastening system installs from the top, making installation faster and easier. Available on Elkay's Lustertone line of sinks, the product is ideal for multiple sink installations and installs in half the time of a conventional system, according to the maker. An 8-inch-deep double bowl lists for $585.