Download PDF version (203.4k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.

Getting Soaked? Finding an affordable soaking or whirlpool tub is a tall order — but the 14 soaker and jetted tubs in MTI’s Basics line start at $900. According to the maker, they’re just the ticket for budget-conscious clients or second bathrooms. They come in white and ship within 48 hours. MTI, 800/783-8827, mtiwhirlpools.com.

Heavy Coat. Even primed drywall can telegraph joints if it’s covered with dark or high-gloss paint. Sheetrock First Coat’s high-build formula hides minor imperfections and provides an even surface for top-coat coverage. The maker claims it dries in an hour and applies easily with a brush, roller, or sprayer. Each gallon covers approximately 300 to 500 square feet and sells for about $15. USG, 800/874-4968, usg.com.

Snap To It. Available on Moen’s Addington, Eastlake, Iso, Ridgedale, and Rockland bath accessories, EZ 2 Install mounting hardware is free from set screws. Instead, the mounting plate is secured to the wall, and the accessory slides over and snaps into place for a quick installation. List prices range from $19 to $126. Moen, 800/882-0116, moen.com.

Joint Tape. Self-adhesive Pronto Joint Tape can reduce drywall finishing costs by 25 percent, says the maker. The tape is placed over the seam and pressed with a joint knife; no bedding coat is necessary. The company says it works for inside corners as well as all types of seams. A 100-foot roll costs about $30. National Adhesives, 888/577-6686, prontojointtape.com.

Good Wood. Douglas fir has a pinkish hue, straight grain, and a superior strength-to-weight ratio — all of which make it a popular building material. Now it’s available as a standard option on most Marvin windows and doors. According to the maker, the species is particularly suitable for historic restoration projects. Marvin, 888/537-7828, marvin.com.

Daily Grind. Homeowners want their food-waste disposers to be quiet and powerful. Thanks to a vibration-reducing mount and several layers of insulation, the Evolution Excel is 60 percent quieter than entry-level disposals, says the maker. The 1-hp machine can allegedly grind chicken, turkey, and even ham bones. It sells for about $300. InSinkErator, 800/558-5700, insinkerator.com.

Price Check. Do your clients want a champagne kitchen on a beer budget? Check out RSI’s American Classics cabinets. They come in three styles and five finishes and feature hardwood drawer boxes, concealed adjustable hinges, and 3/4-inch shelving. Prices for a 10-by-10-foot kitchen in the Shaker style shown start at about $2,400. RSI Home Products, 888/578-4009, americanclassicskitchens.com.

Fully Framed. Sold in three sill angles, Custom Shield replacement windows — double-hung, casement, awning, and direct-set units — come assembled in 3 1/2-inch jambs for fast and easy installation. Options include several types of glazing, blind-stop covers, Z-trim, and interior prefinishing in 55 standard colors. Weather Shield, 800/222-2995, weathershield.com.