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Live from the 2012 National Hardware Show: New Innovative Home Improvement Products, How to Get Phone Service for Free, Simple Storage Solutions and More

  • Transcript

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Broadcasting today from the 2012 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. You know, for nearly 70 years, Leslie, industry insiders have been coming to the show to unveil the latest in new and unique products for your home.

    And it’s truly a pleasure to come here every year because we get to learn about something new and bring it right to you.

    LESLIE: Yeah, it’s a lot of fun.

    That’s right. And there are always great products being showcased here. Sometimes they’re brand-spanking new and sometimes they’re innovations by companies that you’ve come to know and trust for decades.

    In fact, there are a thousand new products at the show this year and that’s a first.

    TOM: And some of those new products may inspire you or get your DIY projects going. This is a great time of year to start. It’s the Goldilocks season: it’s not too hot, it’s not too cold.

    LESLIE: It’s just right.

    TOM: It’s just right. And we can help with ideas, solutions, tools and products, this hour, that can help make sure your project goes perfectly.

    Now, the first step you can do is to help yourself by calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974. Or post your question in the Community section at MoneyPit.com.

    LESLIE: That’s right.

    Well, one thing that we’re learning this year is that after a few recession-filled years – I know it’s not been fun but it’s been sort of a dormancy – home remodeling is currently surging and in a really big way, so that’s great news. And the trends bear out that you are ready to spend money where it counts, keeping the value up in your home.

    TOM: And one of the least expensive and easiest ways to keep your home maintained is by giving those walls a fresh coat of paint every few years. And if you’ve learned anything from us at all, you know that it is all in the prep. That is the key to a good painting project.

    LESLIE: That’s right. And here to talk about that prep is Jeff Malmer and Carmen De La Paz from 3M’s ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape.

    Welcome, guys.

    CARMEN: Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to be here.

    JEFF: Thank you. Absolutely.

    TOM: So you guys have a lot of interesting products coming out to help the painters and make sure all our DIY painters can look like a pro. I’d like to ask you first about the Edge-Lock technology that you’re revealing.

    JEFF: Yes. That’s our ScotchBlue masking tapes that have the Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector. As you mentioned, it’s those products that help that DIYer get those professional results on their paint jobs.

    TOM: So let’s set up the problem. The problem is that we use our ScotchBlue masking tape or any other masking tape and when you paint, the paint bleeds under the tape.

    JEFF: Right.

    LESLIE: And then you get a fuzzy line.

    CARMEN: That’s generally for any tape, really.

    TOM: Fuzzy line. Right. Yep.

    JEFF: Yep, yep. And then our Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector helps with that, sealing that tape edge so you don’t get that seepage and that bleed.

    TOM: Yeah. Now, I think it’s important to note there’s some skill involved in actually applying tape properly, so the pros don’t have this problem.

    JEFF: Right.

    TOM: I know Leslie does. Or she doesn’t; she’s got it down.

    JEFF: Right, right. Our pros know – they have the tips and the techniques …

    TOM: But this is some additional technology from 3M that really makes sure the DIYer can be totally successful right out of the box.

    JEFF: Right, absolutely.

    CARMEN: You know, it’s interesting with the DIYer: if you set them up for success, they’re going to want to do it again.

    TOM: Yep.

    CARMEN: And the biggest reason why a DIYer does not return to a project is why: because they didn’t feel successful and if they didn’t feel successful, then they are the failure and it’s not the product, per se.

    LESLIE: Get frustrated.

    CARMEN: And the difference, especially, in paint is that paint is the one thing that impacts a room the most with the least amount of money spent.

    LESLIE: True.

    CARMEN: Why? Because it’s the largest square footage that you’re affecting in a space. And with that said, if we can, through this amazing ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape Edge-Lock technology, help the regular DIYer accomplish those sharp lines that we’re looking for, that differentiate a painter that is a professional from a person that is a DIYer, then we are doing, hopefully, the disconnect that a lot of DIYers sometimes feel unsuccessful with.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: And I think a lot of it has to do with a lot of do-it-yourselfers are getting really creative.

    CARMEN: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: They want stripes, they want patterns. They want to do an intricate detail on the wall because, again, that’s a huge way to make a big transformation without spending a lot of money.

    CARMEN: Yeah. Yeah.

    LESLIE: And you can almost achieve – forgive me for saying this – a wallpaper-like effect.

    CARMEN: Well, I …

    TOM: Yeah, yeah.

    LESLIE: If you’re making a pattern for I mean a tiny, tiny fraction of the cost.

    CARMEN: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: And the lines are what really make that stand out.

    JEFF: Right.

    CARMEN: Absolutely. I started my career out as a decorative painter. And so I have gone through the transition, over the years, of tape. And I’ve had every mistake that anybody that’s listening to us has done. I’m the first one to tell you, “Guess what? I did it and I have no shame in my game.”

    TOM: Yep. Yeah.

    LESLIE: No, I agree.

    CARMEN: And going to your point, Leslie, which is that people are looking for two things in homes right now: they’re looking for fashion and trends, because they want to feel forward and cool, but they also are looking for that economic impact and that way that’s going to make them feel calm and safe and secure.

    So people are looking for muted tones, earthy tones, gray walls. But I’m saying inspire yourself by looking at the things that are happening in fashion, like color-blocking: impacting a wall, exactly like you mentioned, with maybe just 10 percent of a pop in stripes as opposed to 12-inch stripes every other one.

    TOM: Makes sense.

    LESLIE: Right.

    CARMEN: Less is more.

    TOM: We’re talking to Jeff Malmer and Carmen De La Paz from ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape.

    Now, you guys have two different versions of the Edge-Lock tape.

    JEFF: We do.

    TOM: Let’s talk about that. You have a Multi-Surface and a Delicate Surface. And Jeff, you had a chance to show this to me before.

    JEFF: Yep.

    TOM: And I want to make sure we point out that the Delicate Surface, I think, is interesting to talk about because that has a 60-day removability.

    JEFF: Right.

    LESLIE: Oh, wow.

    TOM: So that means if you get busy and you don’t have a chance to pull the tape down, no problem; you’ve got 60 days before it sticks to your walls.

    LESLIE: And that’s huge.

    JEFF: Absolutely. We would love to be able to do the project in a weekend but this gives you that – cheap insurance is what we refer to it as.

    TOM: Alright. Good to know.

    LESLIE: I like that, Jeff.

    TOM: Jeff Malmer, Carmen De La Paz from ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    CARMEN: Thank you, guys, so much.

    JEFF: Thank you.

    CARMEN: Happy painting, everybody.

    TOM: Now, one thing that will help you save money is using the right tools for the job. You’ll get a better finished product with the right tools and materials and you won’t have to keep replacing tools if you opt for a good-quality investment right off the bat.

    LESLIE: That’s right. And several trusted names in tools are represented here at the 2012 National Hardware Show, including Stanley, Black & Decker and Bostitch. So joining us to talk about some of the latest innovations with those tool lines, as well as perhaps a few suggestions for Father’s Day gifts, we’ve got Todd Langston. And he is the director of brand marketing for Stanley Black & Decker.

    Welcome, Todd.

    TOM: Hi, Todd.

    TODD: Thank you very much for having me back. It’s good to see you.

    TOM: Good to see you, too. And well, let’s start by talking about Father’s Day. It’s right around the corner; this is a good time to maybe think about something that would be a good substitute for the tie, that would help you help Dad …

    TODD: Hopefully, what we can do is help people think about something that they usually wait until the last minute for.

    TOM: Well, absolutely. So you guys have some pretty cool products that are available for that. So why don’t we start with maybe the FuBar?

    TODD: Sure. The FuBar is a great one. I think the FuBar is a great example of something that’s just brand new, it’s out there. People love it. The latest one they don’t know so much about, though, so it’s a perfect time to talk about it.

    The FuBar is basically – it’s a tool that’s got …

    LESLIE: Functional Utility Bar. Let’s keep it clean for everybody who’s like, “What?”

    TODD: Yes. Yeah. Functional Utility Bar. Not what we called it in college but …

    LESLIE: No.

    TOM: That tool is really – it’s designed to be an assembly- and demolition-type tool.

    TOM: OK.

    TODD: The great thing about it, it has multiple striking surfaces. It’s got the ability to go in and pry, chisel and you can work with it with a hammer, as well.

    TOM: Right.

    TODD: So, you can actually take drywall. You can put it into the drywall and you can take a hammer and strike the back of it.

    TOM: And sort of cut through.

    TODD: Yeah, make a nice, clean cut with it.

    TOM: Yeah. So that’s a tool that your dad is definitely not going to have.

    What about the 3-in-1 flashlight?

    TODD: The 3-in-1 flashlight – you know, one of the things I know for sure is you can never have enough flashlights around the house. But it’s like always when you need one, there’s never one around.

    LESLIE: That’s always the case.

    TODD: The beauty of this one is you’ve got three all built in one. So, you can divide and conquer if the power goes out. But the other nice thing about it is you’ve got this tripod technology where if you’re working under the sink or working under the car and you’re by yourself and you need your hands free, you’ve got the ability for this thing to be freestanding. It’s got a tilting head on it so you can direct that beam anywhere you want to. And all three of those flashlights work together to make one powerful beam.

    TOM: That’s really handy.

    LESLIE: What about stud sensors? Anything new in the market for that category?

    TODD: Stud sensors, that’s a great Father’s Day gift because we have a whole range of them that range from 7 bucks up to 50, depending on what you want. But for anyone who wants to get a gift for the man around the house, it’s the perfect gift because that’s one that gives back to you.

    LESLIE: Right.

    TODD: If people try to …

    TOM: It makes you look smart, because you’re not drilling into walls and missing 2x4s and hitting pipes and wires and things like that.

    LESLIE: Making exploratory holes.

    TODD: Yeah. And that’s one of the things is it scales up in terms of price.

    TOM: Yeah.

    TODD: You’ve got the ability to be able to detect wires behind, it can actually – the better the quality of the particular unit …

    LESLIE: So your $7 one really is just for wood. And then as you go up …

    TODD: It’s strictly to just tell you what’s behind it. Yeah, exactly, yeah.


    TODD: So then you can go all the way up to being able to detect wires with 3½ inches all the way out. So, if you lift up a lot of pictures in most people’s houses, you find about four holes where they missed every time and they kept nudging it.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: And they should be filling those and touching up the paint so no one knows.

    TODD: Exactly. That’s right.

    TOM: We’re talking to Todd Langston. He’s the director of marketing for Stanley Black & Decker.

    Todd, I see on your Father’s Day list here, you’ve got a product that I’ve had, actually, for many years and that’s a Mechanics Tool Set.

    TODD: Yeah.

    TOM: And that’s pretty cool because everything is in the box.

    TODD: That’s right. You can have everything in there and it depends on what you really want. But we’ve got a whole range of them. We’ve got a 150-piece set, a 75-piece set, 170-piece set. So it’s a great product to have, depending on what the dad likes to do.

    TOM: Right.

    TODD: If he’s a mechanic or if he likes to do work around the house, it’s a great Father’s Day gift idea.

    TOM: It’s like your go-to set. You grab it, you know it’s going to be in there no matter what you run across, especially if you’re leaving the house.

    TODD: Exactly.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Anything new in the pneumatic category? I mean I feel like that’s a great gift and people don’t usually think about that stuff for themselves.

    TODD: Yeah. And I think that’s a good one. When you look into doing projects around the house, if you pay a trim carpenter to come in and do crown molding or something like that, it’s really expensive.

    LESLIE: It’s expensive.

    TODD: And you can buy the tool and then put money in the bank after you finish. But there’s one in particular: it’s got a – it’s a Bostitch Finish Nailer. It’s 16-gauge, it’s got a dust blower, it’s got an LED light on it, it’s got – it’s this little thing that comes out and measures 16 inches on center.

    TOM: Awesome.

    TODD: So, it gives you all the neat things that’ll actually solve solutions for you.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s great.

    TOM: Todd Langston from Stanley Black & Decker, where can we go for more information?

    TODD: You go to – well, for Stanley, you go to StanleyTools.com. And for the new Bostitch nailer, I would go to Bostitch.com.

    TOM: Excellent. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    TODD: Thank you.

    LESLIE: Alright. We’ve got much more coming up in our special broadcast from the 2012 National Hardware Show right here in Las Vegas, Nevada. And this is the one time we can definitely say what happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas.

    TOM: Definitely.

    Now, the innovative products we’re seeing here will be showing up in retailers across the country. Coming up, we’re going to have information on how a product that can convert your home phone service to deliver calls that are totally free and even a new way to deliver power to your home, even when the utility goes dark. Back with more from the 2012 National Hardware Show, after this.

    MIKE: Hey, this is Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs and I’ve just been told that Tom and Leslie might have a dirtier job than me? I find that hard to believe but then I heard they worked in a pit. It’s a money pit but it’s still filthy.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Stanley Tools, your trusted name in quality hand tools. To learn more about their complete line of quality tools and everything for your tool box, visit StanleyTools.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. We are coming to you from the 2012 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. This is truly the industry’s gathering place. It’s an exciting spot for us to be. Remodeling is surging again and it’s clear that Americans are looking for innovative products that can help with their home improvement projects.

    LESLIE: That’s right. And our next guest has a product that can actually do both. Jim Gustke from Ooma joins us and Ooma makes a product called Ooma Telo. Now, that can actually help you enjoy crystal-clear, free – that’s right, I said “free” – telephone calls from your home.

    And Jim, you’re calling into us from California, so I guess we could say this call is free?

    JIM: Yes, this call is free; there’s no question about it.

    TOM: Now, your product – I think I want to start right off the bat by telling the folks at home that your product was declared the Best Home Phone Service by Consumer Reports. That’s an amazing accomplishment.

    LESLIE: That’s great.

    JIM: Yeah, yeah, that – we’re very, very proud of that. And it’s really the overall value and the quality of the product. People who get the Ooma Telo are really impressed with the quality and they can’t believe that the calls are free.

    LESLIE: Now, let’s explain a little bit about how the Ooma Telo works. Talk about the whole system. What do we do?

    JIM: Yeah, sure. It’s very, very simple. You buy the Ooma Telo, you connect it to your high-speed internet connection and just any regular home phone. And it’s easy as that. It’s just like a traditional, home-phone experience. You pick it up and make calls. It’s always on. Anybody can contact you. You don’t need a computer, you don’t need a headset. It connects directly to your modem, your internet connection, so it’s always on in your home.

    TOM: That’s terrific. Now, what about services like 911? Does that still work for this?

    JIM: Yeah. When you buy the Ooma Telo, included is 911 service, of course. You get voice-mail, call waiting, caller ID. And those are the fundamental features that people are looking for in a phone service.

    Now, for those people that are looking for more advanced features like an instant second line or call forwarding or conference calling, we have a premier service for $10 a month.

    TOM: One of the things that always impressed me about this product when I started looking into it, Leslie, is that these guys, on their website – and I’m sure you’ve seen it, too – have just hundreds and hundreds of consumer reviews.

    LESLIE: When you and I were looking – that they were updating instantaneously. We read one and two seconds later, another one popped up.

    TOM: Right. Every one better than the next. So, consumers are very, very satisfied with this product. And it’s amazing that once you purchase the base unit and install it – 200 bucks. So I guess maybe if you think about the average phone bill, it’s got to be 40, 50 bucks a month. You could pay for this thing inside of six months, right, Jim?

    JIM: That’s right. You’re absolutely correct. The average phone bill is about $40 a month and based on that, you’ll pay for the device in less than six months.

    LESLIE: That’s great. And all calls within the United States, local and long distance, those are free.

    JIM: Absolutely. They’re all free.

    LESLIE: And the only thing we’re paying is state/local taxes?

    JIM: Like everyone else, we do have to pay taxes. So, you pay …

    TOM: You couldn’t engineer us out of that, could you?

    JIM: Yeah, it’s the Universal Service Fund tax – the USF tax – state and local taxes, regulatory compliance fees. Those are about $4 a month.

    LESLIE: That’s great.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s fantastic. So that takes your phone bill, for all intents and purposes, down to zip. That’s terrific. Jim Gustke, Vice President of Marketing for Ooma.

    The product is Ooma Telo. You can learn more at Ooma.com and that’s spelled O-o-m-a.com.

    Jim, thanks so much for joining us via Ooma and sharing this great technology with the audience.

    JIM: Well, thank you for having me.

    TOM: Well, one of the things that we love to see here at the National Hardware Show is when a company we’ve known and trusted for years comes out with a new product to make your life easier. And such is the case with Generac, who has developed a switch to make it super-easy and safe to connect a portable generator to your home’s electrical system in the event of a power failure.

    LESLIE: That’s right. And that new switch is called GenTran and joining us to talk about exactly what it is, we’ve got Russ Minick from Generac.

    So, Russ, tell us what’s new and what is this new product you’ve got called GenTran?

    RUSS: Well, in February, we made an acquisition of a company called Gen-Tran, which is one of the leaders in this manual transfer-switch business. And it’s a business that really is about safety. Everybody is aware of portable generators and the question is: how do you interface that with your home and your appliances and the things you want to back up? And …

    TOM: Because you need to do that quickly and efficiently and safely.

    RUSS: And safely.

    TOM: Because it’s never …

    LESLIE: And previously, the answer had always been lots and lots of extension cords.

    RUSS: Lots and lots of cords, yeah.

    TOM: And it’s never convenient when you have a power failure and you’ve just got to kind of hop to it.

    RUSS: Right. So, what this product does then is it interfaces with your – the load center in the house and creates a safe, permanent interface so you can just roll the generator outside, start it and connect it into one junction box that is then – feeds into the main breaker panel, which you’ve already decided which circuits you find essential to back up. So it’s very, very safe, very convenient.

    TOM: So, basically, you install the transfer switch, you prewire that, that extends to a receptacle on the outside of the house. So when the power failure does occur, you roll in your portable generator, you hook it up to the receptacle, you start it up and you’ve got power. As quickly as that.

    RUSS: Right. No more extension cords, no more feedback through the system. It’s all very safe. That’s what it’s about.

    LESLIE: And I guess it’s even safer, in a way, because you’ve predetermined a location that’s far from windows. You know it’s a good spot for you to put your portable genny (ph), so you know exactly where to go with it instead of just being like, “Well, I’ll put it right here.” And then we’ve heard so much about tragedies.

    RUSS: Right. And I think the instructions and – that comes with that are very explicit, I think. And one of the things we’re excited about, frankly, is you can buy a manual transfer switch today and you can buy a portable generator today but you can’t buy them together in a bundle. And that’s one of the things we’re working hard to get pulled together because number one, we can offer the consumer a better price, a better deal by pulling them together.

    LESLIE: Right.

    RUSS: But then we can have integrated instructions that address exactly what you just said and that is that really is a whole system with the instructions that – to talk about where to place the generator, how to start it and what sequence and the manual transfer switch, so …

    TOM: And speaking of generators – portable generators, in particular – you guys have a couple of new models that you brought out. Now, when we were at the 2012 Builders’ Show, we saw for the first time ever a propane-powered portable generator. Now, we’ve known that your standby units – no, actually, we – I don’t know if you’re aware of this: we actually have a natural-gas standby unit that powers our studio. So we never go off the air because of the Generac system that we have.

    But you guys now have a portable, propane-powered generator and I think that that’s very convenient because gasoline, as we know, can go bad after 30 days. Propane would be more stable. Plus, I’ve always got a …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Plus, if the power is out and you don’t have the gas, you can’t get it.

    TOM: Right. And I’ve always got an extra propane tank around for the barbecue grill.

    LESLIE: Right.

    TOM: So let’s talk about those new generators.

    RUSS: Yeah, well, we launched with a 3,250 – a 3,250-watt unit. Really successful. And our customers – Home Depot, Lowes, others – pushed us and said, “Make a bigger one.” And so we went back and we made a bigger one and that’s what we’re debuting at this show.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s great.

    RUSS: And at 5,000 watts, you can really get into some – kind of the mainstream of home backup during a storm eventually.

    TOM: That’s a lot. Well, look, I’ve powered my whole house off an 11,000-watt standby, so I mean 5,000 is terrific. You can do your heating system, you can do your refrigeration.

    RUSS: Right.

    TOM: All of that, you’re totally covered.

    I’ve got to tell you, if you do not have a generator today, be it portable or standby, you’ve got to check out Generac.com. Generac is the leader in this category. They do a great job.

    Russ Minick, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    RUSS: Thanks for having me.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you from the floor of the 2012 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. Every kind of construction, home improvement product you can imagine is represented here, from the highly technical to the – even the tailgate party supplies.

    LESLIE: Yeah, that outdoor area is pretty fun.

    Now, if you’ve got a home improvement dilemma, the answer is probably on display here. Up next, we’re going to introduce you to a very cool product that works in conjunction with your heating and cooling system to scrub odors and keep the air in your home smelling super-fresh and clean.

    TOM: Back with more from the 2012 National Hardware Show, after this.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by LIQUID NAILS. For tough jobs, demand the extraordinary strength of LIQUID NAILS Brand Heavy-Duty Construction Adhesive. It bonds a wide range of materials, indoors and out, for a job done once, done right. Learn more about LIQUID NAILS Brand Heavy-Duty Construction Adhesive at LIQUIDNAILS.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Coming to you from the floor of the 2012 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas today. The mood is very optimistic here. Home improvement spending is up after a couple of dismal years when homeowners had to put some of their money pit projects on the backburner.

    LESLIE: True. And these days, homeowners are investing in products that are really going to pay off. And this is especially true when it comes to products that are energy-efficient and green.

    Now, you can learn about products that cover all of those bases and more when you check out The Money Pit’s green product guide. It’s online right now at MoneyPit.com.

    TOM: Included is the Philips light bulb that won the Department of Energy’s $10 million L Prize as one of the most efficient light bulbs ever developed. And this is a light bulb that you probably won’t have to change, pretty much, for the rest of your life.

    LESLIE: That’s awesome.

    TOM: Now, our green product guide is available online at MoneyPit.com. Take a look.

    LESLIE: Alright. Now we’re going to talk about your home. You know, you spend a lot of time in there and it might – on certain occasions, depending on what you’ve had for dinner or if your teen has a sporting event that day – have some very unpleasant odors. And maybe your initial reaction could be grabbing some spray air freshener or lighting a candle just to simply mask that smell. But according to the EPA, just covering up those odors are really not going to solve your problems and then you’re going ahead and polluting the air inside your home.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. That’s right. So instead, we’ve got a better solution: you might want to think about replacing the filter in your heating-and-cooling system with a product that can really filter out both the odors and the allergens. Here to talk about the Filtrete Odor-Reduction Filter from 3M is Larry Cavalier.

    Welcome, Larry.

    LARRY: Well, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

    TOM: I could use this in my house whenever my daughter comes home from a sporting event.

    LESLIE: She’s going to thank you for that.

    TOM: Yeah, exactly. No, her mother will thank me.

    LARRY: Or if you have some cats, dogs or (inaudible at 0:21:22).

    TOM: Well, yeah, that’s it. The last thing that you want to smell when you wake up in the morning is what you cooked last night for dinner, right? So …

    LARRY: Exactly. Actually, that stale fish smell permeates an entire house. No question about it.

    TOM: And of all the filtration systems that we see for homes, this type of approach makes a lot of sense because you’re already moving a lot of air through your house with your HVAC system.

    LARRY: Right, right.

    TOM: It’s designed to supply air and return air.

    LARRY: Right.

    TOM: And by having the filter and a carbon-based filter on the return side, you literally are scrubbing all the air in your house.

    LARRY: Right. It actually – this filter has enough carbon in there to last three months. The closest competitor I could find out there has only about 16 grams of carbon. We put 190 grams of carbon in this filter.

    LESLIE: Oh, wow.

    TOM: Wow.

    LARRY: Yeah.

    LESLIE: So that 16 grams wouldn’t get you through a month.

    LARRY: No, no, no. It’s actually about 65 times more effective at taking out those odors out of the air, actually, as a result of the difference in carbon.

    TOM: Now, what about the other things we want to scrub out of the air? This is allergy season right now.

    LARRY: Well, besides taking out the odors, this will also take out allergens, too. It’s about the same performance level as our Red Filter, our most popular filter out there today. So, we’ve given that best of both worlds here: trapping mechanism for capturing particles and for odor.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. So we’re really talking about the allergens, like mold spores, maybe even dust-mite debris.

    LARRY: Right. Exactly.

    LESLIE: And all that, not only does it make you feel miserable, it can cause a whole host of health issues. So you really want to make sure that you get it out of the air.

    LARRY: Most definitely. I couldn’t agree any more than that. Trapping particles, it’s the small stuff that’s in your air; the big stuff falls out pretty quickly. So, the submicron-sized particles are always floating around in the air constantly. And a lot of those …

    TOM: And those are the ones that are the easiest to inhale and can really cause you a lot of respiratory distress.

    LARRY: Right, right. Right. Exactly. People with asthma and allergies tend to react to those small particles more than they do – the large particles get trapped in your throat and nose hairs before they actually get to your lungs. So, it’s the small stuff that’s very, very, very important to remove.

    LESLIE: And I imagine when you’re taking all of the stuff out of the air and it’s getting trapped in the Odor-Reduction Filter, you’re then helping your whole HVAC system operate a lot more efficiently, because you’re not gunking up the system with these particulates.

    LARRY: Well, one of the things about filtration, too: some people concentrate so heavily on taking out particles and odors, they sometimes do it at the expense of air flow. They make a real good filter that …

    TOM: Right. They choke off the air, basically.

    LARRY: Yeah, that chokes off the air. We’ve been making filters for about 20 years now and we know how to balance those two properties – air flow and particle capture or odor capture rates – to giving the benefit of both worlds: good air flow and good capture rates.

    TOM: And it’s very important to replace your filter on a regular basis. I was a home inspector for 20 years and I very often opened up the blower compartment doors of furnaces and just seen them caked with dust and …

    LARRY: Right. OK. I’ve done the same. Yeah. I’ve always seen them sucked into the motor and wrapped around the motor fans.

    TOM: That’s right.

    LARRY: I’ve seen that happen, too.

    TOM: Yep, we’ve seen the filters get pulled in or they’re poorly installed or it’s the wrong size.

    LARRY: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

    TOM: If you don’t put that filter in just right, it’s not going to do the job.

    LARRY: Right.

    TOM: So if you don’t have a filter, get one. If you do have one, replace it at least every three months, especially when you’re using higher-efficiency filters made by 3M.

    LARRY: Right. Well, on our website, we have a reminder program. If a customer clicks on that, we’ll ask them when they bought their filter, when they installed it. And we’ll send them an e-mail in three months saying, “It’s time to change your filter.”

    LESLIE: That’s really smart, because it’s certainly easy to forget.

    TOM: Terrific.

    LARRY: Yes. Yeah, definitely.

    TOM: Larry Cavalier from 3M Filtrete, talking about the Filtrete Odor-Reduction Filter, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    And on the Filtrete.com – that’s F-i-l-t-r-e-t-e.com – as Larry said, you can get tips, seasonal newsletters, reminders. So …

    LARRY: We also have videos on there, too.

    TOM: The videos, as well.

    LARRY: They actually show how all these products actually work, so …

    TOM: Great. Larry, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    LARRY: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

    TOM: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com, broadcasting from the floor of the 2012 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. Pretty cool place.

    LESLIE: You know, it’s really exciting because there’s definitely a buzz. It’s very busy here, which is always exciting, and that’s really indicative about what’s going on in the home improvement market: people are out there, people are working. And that makes me feel really good about our economy.

    TOM: Yeah. And a lot of fun stuff. We’re here at the New Product World.

    I’m looking at a sign that I have to have, Leslie. It says, “Man Cave.” It’s a street sign. I want to put that in the intersection of my driveway and my street.

    LESLIE: Of your driveway and your front door.

    TOM: Coming up, we’re going to talk about the ups and downs of home improvement, when we get the latest in ladder technology. That’s all coming up, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Exterior Weatherproofing Wood Stains and Finishes. Formulated to restore, beautify and protect decks, fences and siding year-round. Behr is available exclusively at The Home Depot, where you can visit the new Exterior Wood Care Center, built to help you find the right products and colors for your project. For more information, visit B-e-h-r.com.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Lutron Dimmers and Sensors. Tired of reminding your family to turn off the lights? Install a Lutron Maestro Occupancy Sensor and you’ll never have to remind them again. It works with all bulb types and only takes about 15 minutes to install. For easy upgrades with big impact, choose Lutron. Visit ChooseLutron.com.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Coming to you from the floor of the 2012 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lots of buzz here this year with a thousand brand-new products being showcased. Many focused on saving time, saving money and the environment.

    LESLIE: And the most cost-effective improvement that you can make, with instant results today, is painting a room. Painting projects continue to be the number-one home improvement project among both seasoned and inexperienced do-it-yourselfers. So no matter your experience level, though, you’ve got to keep in mind that prep is key. It’s going to have you not redoing that work the next day.

    TOM: Absolutely.

    Now, if your paint project includes high areas like vaulted walls or ceilings, you’re going to need a good ladder to get up there. But hauling that bulky piece of equipment might not be the most appealing part of the project.

    LESLIE: Now, though, there’s a ladder out there that’s a do-it-yourselfer’s dream. Christopher Filardi from Werner Ladder joins us now with info on a new, compact ladder that’s easy to transport and store. I love that.


    CHRISTOPHER: How are you today?

    TOM: We’re great. Now, tell me how you’re able to squeeze a 16-foot ladder down to 6 foot?

    CHRISTOPHER: Well, we’ve actually modified the technology from a European product.

    TOM: OK.

    CHRISTOPHER: And it’s actually – a traditional ladder has three – or two sections.

    TOM: Right.

    CHRISTOPHER: So we consolidated it onto three and …

    TOM: So we’re talking about an extension ladder, of course, where one section slides inside the other and helps you sort of double, essentially, the size of the collapsed ladder.

    CHRISTOPHER: Right. So you’re basically saving 25 percent of size and would fit in most cars, so it – very convenient to be able to take it around.

    LESLIE: I mean it is very compact and I will tell you, it did not weigh a lot. I was very surprised. I was looking at it. I was like, “Oh, this is a big ladder.” But I was amazed at how easy it was to move around.

    CHRISTOPHER: Right. Just about 26 pounds, so it’s very similar to a traditional extension ladder. With the advent of the handle, though, it’s really nice to carry.

    TOM: Yeah. Who would have thought? Having a handle on a ladder, it makes so much sense. A ladder is something that’s bulky, it’s hard to carry. And so with a handle, it makes it really, really simple.

    Now, it’s also easier with a ladder like that to get it through the house. A lot of the work is inside the house. You certainly don’t want to have to take a full-size extension ladder. But by collapsing it like that, like I said in my open, if it’s a vaulted ceiling, very easy to move in the house – through a staircase, for example – and get up to the exact area that you need to work on.

    CHRISTOPHER: That’s right. And you can do that without risk of hitting walls or lights or anything in the hallway. So it’s very convenient from that standpoint.

    LESLIE: Now, tell us about your new, compact attic ladder. We’ve been hearing a lot about how inspectors and any folks who have to get up into the attic have a really hard time with those tight spaces. And attics, by nature, are small and bizarre.

    TOM: Exactly.


    LESLIE: So tell us about the new ladder: how it makes that more convenient.

    CHRISTOPHER: Well, what we try to do, through our research, is really give the consumers what they need. And what everybody wants is more space in their house. And there is what’s called an “access hole” and generally, you can find it in your closet. It’s where you don’t have enough room to be able to extend a full staircase down, like a traditional attic ladder.

    LESLIE: Right.

    CHRISTOPHER: So what we have developed is a product that actually telescopes up into it, allows you a very small working area to get all that extra area above your closet. So now you don’t have to move your clothes all the way to a different part of the house. You can go right up there and keep doing your winter/spring switch.

    TOM: And that’s something that I think builders spend very little time considering. Now by code, they have to have that access into the attic space in case there’s work that has to be done there. However, we’re stuck with it for the lifetime of the house. And you really don’t get a chance to move it around too much. Of course, you could but it’s a big construction project.

    Never in a convenient spot. Never in an area where you could get a full-sized ladder. Always have to move things out of the way, even if you had a ladder. So to be able to have a ladder that completely disappears into that hole and comes back out is a real convenience to people.

    CHRISTOPHER: Right. And the nice thing, it fits in a size of 18×24 inches.

    LESLIE: Oh, wow. Because some of those access holes are kind of tiny and strange.

    CHRISTOPHER: Yes, they are.

    LESLIE: I’m like, “Who do they think is going up in here and what am I carrying?”

    TOM: Now, let’s talk about other products that Werner is working on right now. What’s new besides the 16-foot?

    CHRISTOPHER: Well, I’ll tell you what’s new. Safety is such a critical issue for us. We are always kind of talking to pros and talking to consumers about how do we let them do their projects in a way that limits the amount of time that they go up and down a ladder. And so we spend a lot of time with accessories that – we have a new product called Lock-In Accessories that actually lock to the top of the ladder. So when you are painting, you don’t have to worry about it knocking over and falling on the floor.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s smart.

    TOM: That’s really smart.

    CHRISTOPHER: It basically gives you more surface area on top of the ladder so you can put your tools there. And when you have to climb, you can climb safely without things in your hands.

    LESLIE: Without things falling on your head.

    TOM: Safety is so important when you use a ladder and there’s things that you control and things that you can’t control. But the ladder position is just critical; you want to get it right. And you don’t want to set yourself up for a problem by taking up things that really are going to set you off-balance and not have a place like that to set them. So the fact that you designed that into the ladder, I think, makes it so much safer for consumers. You’re going to save a few broken bones and maybe more with a design like that.

    CHRISTOPHER: Yeah. And you know what? The more productive we can make people, the happier they’re going to be in their surroundings. They’re going to decorate their house and really enjoy the project. I know sometimes it’s tough to enjoy projects over the weekend but if you can, being safe, it’s what it’s all about for us.

    LESLIE: Right.

    TOM: Oh, no. We make people enjoy projects all the time.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And if they don’t have a project to enjoy, we can get them one.

    TOM: Yeah, we’re very good at creating honey-do lists, so watch out.

    CHRISTOPHER: Yeah. I’ve got my own, too.

    TOM: Christopher Filardi from Werner Ladder, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    Learn more at WernerLadder.com. That’s WernerLadder.com.

    Thanks, Chris.

    CHRISTOPHER: Good talking to you guys.

    LESLIE: Well, if you’ve got kids, you probably have a few broken things lying around your money pit. It could be a lamp or two, it could be some fine china, maybe even a dining room chair. And don’t ask me how I know that.

    TOM: Must have been an incident.

    LESLIE: Maybe there’s a climber.

    But the most common furniture breaks are actually a leg cracking or an arm breaking off. So before you consider using that chair as firewood, let’s talk about a simple fix.

    TOM: Yeah. The experts at Elmer’s say that all it takes is a little wood glue and a clamp.

    Now, Elmer’s makes a Carpenter’s Wood Glue and a Carpenter’s Wood Glue Max. You can match the pieces together as you apply the glue and then clamp them in place. And Elmer’s even makes a clamp tape, that I got a chance to see today, that was pretty cool. And it’s very effective at holding unevenly-shaped pieces.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I mean it really does the trick.

    Now, one of the best things about these glues is that once they’re dry, you can sand them and then you can stain them. And the staining matches pretty incredibly close; it’s fantastic. Or you can even paint them. And they also set super-fast and last longer and stronger than the wood itself.

    Elmer’s is a proud sponsor of The Money Pit. To learn more, visit Elmer’s website at Elmers.com.

    TOM: You are tuned to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you from the floor of one of the biggest home improvement shows in the world: the 2012 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

    And if you’re a homeowner, you know that it takes a lot of stuff to take care of your house and that means you need a lot of storage to handle all that stuff. We’re going to highlight innovative storage solutions, next.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Santa Fe, makers of the world’s most energy-efficient basement and crawlspace dehumidifier. Santa Fe offers a complete line of high-capacity, Energy Star-rated dehumidifiers, specifically designed to effectively operate in the cooler temperatures of crawlspaces and basements. Visit DehumidifierSolutions.com to learn more.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete. And we want to welcome you back to a very special broadcast of The Money Pit. We are live on the floor of the 2012 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, finding out what’s hot and what’s new in the home improvement industry.

    TOM: And one thing that we can see that’s definitely hot is the trend of homeowners wanting to improve their outdoor living spaces. Darrin Gunnell is here to tell us how to do just that. He is with Lifetime Products.

    Hi, Darrin.

    DARRIN: Hi. Thanks for having me.

    TOM: You guys make improving the outdoor space a lot easier, because you build beautiful storage sheds that we can hide all our stuff in.

    DARRIN: That’s right.

    LESLIE: And clear it off the back porch.

    DARRIN: Exactly. Hide it away from the neighbors, yep.

    TOM: Now, we did a segment on you once and actually set up one of your sheds in my backyard.

    DARRIN: Oh, yeah?

    TOM: Yeah. It was like – all of like 15, 20 minutes we had it all together.

    DARRIN: Oh, great.

    TOM: Create a building out of nothing.

    DARRIN: And it’s still standing, I hope.

    TOM: Still standing. Yeah, exactly.

    So what’s new from Lifetime?

    DARRIN: Lifetime has a lot of new products, especially in the lawn-and-garden area. We have – this year at the show, we’re showing a dual composter, what we call our Dual Composter. Composting has gotten really popular.

    TOM: Sure.

    LESLIE: It’s amazing. It’s become tremendously popular.

    DARRIN: Right. And so what we found is that people were buying the one composter and having to wait for the four to six weeks for the compost to cure.

    LESLIE: Right.

    DARRIN: So what we did is on one frame put two 50-gallon tubs. So you fill up one, you spin it and get it cooking and then you have the other one to load your …

    LESLIE: This way, one’s in the process of making that fantastic fertilizer.

    DARRIN: One’s in the process and one’s cooking. Yeah, exactly.

    TOM: One’s on deck and one’s kind of working.

    DARRIN: Exactly.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s really cool.

    You know, Lifetime is a company that’s been around for a long time, since 1986. And I think it’s really interesting that the first product you ever invented was the Adjustable-Height Basketball Hoop.

    DARRIN: Yeah. How that happened was our founder wanted a basketball hoop that his boys, who were shorter, could dunk on.

    TOM: Right.

    DARRIN: So he built one is his garage. The neighbors liked it; he built them one. He started advertising in the newspaper and basically, he was the creator of the first adjustable-hoop basketball system. And the second innovation he came after that was he was able to develop a basketball system that fit into one box so the retailers could sell it easier.

    TOM: Could actually sell it easier, right.

    DARRIN: Yeah. And from that technology, we went on to our blow-molded plastic and steel tables – banquet tables. You see them – Costco, Sam’s Club.

    LESLIE: The ones that fold in half.

    DARRIN: There’s fold-in-half ones and I think we’re sitting at one of ours now, too. So, they’re all over the place.

    LESLIE: That fold-in-half one is the greatest invention ever.

    DARRIN: Yeah.

    LESLIE: It fits in the car. There’s no muss, there’s no fuss. We can bring it everywhere. I mean it really is fantastic.

    DARRIN: Yeah, yeah. We like it.

    TOM: I’ll tell you a little story about that. We have one in – at the studio. And whenever we go on the road, one of the things we do about twice each year, we do a show with the guys at This Old House. And when you go to This Old House, they don’t roll out the red carpet. They show you the basement, kick the boxes out of the way and say, “Is this OK?”

    DARRIN: Yeah.

    TOM: So we set up the table there; everybody comes down to our newly-created basement studio and does the show with us from there.

    DARRIN: Yeah. Easy to set up, easy to carry around.

    TOM: Yep.

    DARRIN: And then from that technology of flat-panel plastic, basically, we created our shed line. Our sheds are made of what we call our high-density polyethylene, which is a fancier plastic.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Right.

    DARRIN: It’s a more durable, fancy plastic. It has a patented UV system in it, so you can keep it outside in the yard and it’s not going to lose its color. And it’s double-walled, which makes it stronger. And then on the inside of that, we put a steel frame that’s powder-coated, so it resists the weather and makes it extra strong.

    TOM: And it’s so durable, too.

    You guys also have some furniture that came out, right? Adirondack chairs, did I read?

    DARRIN: Yep. New Adirondack chairs that are made from a polystyrene material. Looks like wood but you don’t have to stain it. It doesn’t chip, crack or peel. And we’ve got some benches made out of the same material. So people wanting the wood look can still have that material and not have to stain it all the time.

    TOM: Excellent.

    LESLIE: And I think it’s interesting how at this show, you’ve launched a new shed that sort of looks so cozy that you kind of want to stay in there.

    DARRIN: Yeah.

    LESLIE: You put in windows. You’re making it so that maybe I’ll put my mother-in-law in there when she comes to visit.

    TOM: Yeah, especially if you ever get sent to the proverbial doghouse. You can just go the shed instead.

    Darrin Gunnell from Lifetime Products, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    DARRIN: Thank you.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you live from the 2012 National Hardware Show. The show continues online, right now, at MoneyPit.com.

    I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …

    LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.


    (Copyright 2012 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)

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