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Live from the National Hardware Show

  • Transcript

    Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete
    (NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist’s understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. ‘Ph’ in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)
    TOM: Hi, I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: And you are tuned to the Money Pit podcast. We are so glad that you are.
    Now all this month on the podcast we’re going to be talking about staycation tips throughout our show and these are some ideas to make your home a little more comfortable, a little more pleasant, a little more fun if you’re not going to take a vacation this year; you’re just going to sort of stay at home and enjoy the place you have.
    Now if you head on over to MoneyPit.com, we’re also making available a free chapter of our book, My Home, My Money Pit. It’s the outdoor living chapter available for free download at MoneyPit.com; chock full with lots of staycation tips to make your summer a lot of fun if you’re staying at home.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you know what? All of this great information and all these great ideas are brought to you by our friends over at Fiberon Decking and also the WORX GT Trimmer/Edger.
    Alright, folks. Let’s get started.

    TOM: Now, on with the show.
    (promo/theme song)

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: And this is where home solutions live. We’re broadcasting today from the 2009 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lots to see, lots to do here; all having to do with your money pit. We’re learning that, despite the recession, DIYers remain active and only less of you will be doing projects around the house; about 45 percent compared to 49 percent last year. That’s good news for the folks here who represent a $343 billion industry.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, that’s right. And you know, for more than 60 years, industry insiders have been coming to the show to learn all that is new and unique in the home aftermarket. Now that’s everything for your home after it’s already been built and this year we’ve expecting 27,000 people to attend.
    TOM: We’re like kids in a candy store here.
    LESLIE: Yeah, this place is great.
    TOM: We love coming to this show – we always learn something – and we love bringing you along; after all, it’s the only way you can get a peak inside this industry-alone event.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and one of the big themes that we are seeing here is the staycation; you know, enjoying your home and spending your money on your home, perhaps, instead of going away on vacation this year.
    TOM: You know, and one way that you can do that is have a nicely manicured yard and lawn. You’ll feel like you’re living on a golf resort.
    LESLIE: That’s right and there’s a great line of tools that can help from WORX and here to tell us about them is the president, Tom Duncan.
    So Tom, we understand that WORX has three new green yard tools at the show this week. Tell us about them.
    TOM DUNCAN: Yeah, Leslie, we’re launching three new tools – a grass trimmer/edger, a hedge trimmer and a blower/sweeper –
    TOM: OK.
    TOM DUNCAN: – and they’re all powered by 18-volt lithium ion batteries.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Super lightweight.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) That’s fantastic.
    TOM DUNCAN: Super lightweight, lots of power, perfect for the average homeowner that just needs to trim and manicure his lawn after he’s mowed.
    TOM: You know, we’ve been talking about lithium ion batteries for quite a while and I think what we’re starting to see now, Tom – and perhaps, from your perspective, you can share your thoughts, too – that the battery technology has gotten so much better right now it’s opened the door for our capability now to do things like real hard lawn work with a battery-powered device that you could never have done before.
    TOM DUNCAN: Sure, we’re finding that – you know, it’s opening a lot of new people; like, you know, females and also senior citizens we’re finding have really latched onto this technology because it’s so lightweight, because it’s so convenient; you don’t have to pull the cord around, you don’t have to worry about mixing gas and oil.
    TOM: Right.
    LESLIE: I mean I can’t start my snow blower.
    TOM: Yeah, right.
    LESLIE: I mean I cannot do a pull-cord to save my life.
    TOM: Yeah, well at least not without a visit to the chiropractor.
    TOM DUNCAN: Right afterwards.
    LESLIE: (chuckling) Exactly. So the battery technology really is fantastic. Now I understand you guys actually have a cordless lawnmower.
    TOM DUNCAN: We do. We have a cordless lawnmower. Little different technology; uses a standard car battery but …
    LESLIE: Interesting.
    TOM DUNCAN: But you know it’ll run for almost 45 minutes, cut up to 17,000 square feet from a single charge.
    TOM: Wow.
    LESLIE: In that one charge?
    TOM DUNCAN: In that one charge. And it’s great because, again, it’s an environmentally friendly product. You’re not pumping tons of emissions and gas into the atmosphere and, for the average-size lawn, it’s perfect.
    LESLIE: What about noise factor? Does it vary at all because it’s battery-operated or pretty much same thing?
    TOM DUNCAN: I tell you, I wish I had one here to turn it on, Leslie, (Tom chuckles) because you’ll really – you’ll hardly hear it.
    LESLIE: Really?
    TOM DUNCAN: The noise reduction is almost 75 percent. You know, the average gas lawnmower you can hear from almost a quarter of a mile away.
    TOM: Well, it’s potentially very damaging to your ears, too. We always advocate wearing ear protection but if you’ve got a quiet machine like that then it really – it is not necessary whatsoever.
    What about bagging and mulching? Does it do that sort of thing?
    TOM DUNCAN: It does, absolutely. We call it a three-in-one, so you can use it as a bagger; you can use it is a mulching mower; you can even side discharge for those people that like that feature. So …
    LESLIE: I mean that’s really amazing. Now if only we could give one to our neighbors who like to get up and mow the lawn at 7:00 on Sunday morning. (The Toms chuckle)
    TOM: Yeah.
    LESLIE: Because I always find that that causes like the worst neighbor relations; you know, noisy yard tools.
    TOM: Yeah, or the guy that likes to weed whack next to the studio when we’re recording the show. You know? (Leslie chuckles)
    We’re talking to Tom Duncan. He’s the president of WORX. They’ve got three great, new, green yard tools at the show this week.
    Now you’ve also got a string trimmer that’s got something that really keeps on giving.
    TOM DUNCAN: Oh, yes, our string trimmer. It’s one of the things that we offered when we offered all of our cordless line trimmers. We offer free spools of line for life.
    TOM: Wow.
    LESLIE: Now is it your life or the tool’s life? (Tom and Leslie laugh)
    TOM DUNCAN: Well, it’s …
    LESLIE: We’ve been debating this.
    TOM DUNCAN: That’s right. That’s right. Well, if we knew how long you’d live we could do that but (Tom and Leslie laugh) we do offer it for as long as you own the tool. All you do is just call us and we send you six spools of line, which usually last, basically, the whole season. So every season you just retool and you pop them in, you pop them out like little cartridges. They’re great. No more winding line.
    LESLIE: And because all of these tools are battery-operated, what is the maintenance? You know, I know when things are gas-powered you really have to take things apart and take care and drain the fluids. How about, because it’s battery-operated, what’s the maintenance plan?
    TOM DUNCAN: There really is no maintenance. I mean that’s the greatest part. It’s just like your cordless drill. I mean as long as that battery is running, you just pop it in and pop it out and charge it and that’s all it is.
    LESLIE: Wow.
    TOM: Now these are battery-powered tools but they’re also Energy Star-rated, correct?
    TOM DUNCAN: Exactly. All of our tools are Energy-Star rated so they’re – again, they’re emission-free and save the planet.
    TOM: We’re talking to Tom Duncan. He’s the president of WORX.
    So Tom, with the economy being what it is, are you seeing that more people are staying home wanting to take care of their property, invest in their own homes as opposed to moving and taking vacations or taking the staycations? You guys must be watching that.
    TOM DUNCAN: Yeah, absolutely. We’re getting – people call in everyday and talk to us and talk about how they’re really wanting to get back to their lawns and their homes and really just getting that manicured lawn and doing things around the house. Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s a pastime for a lot of people.
    TOM: And your products are making it a lot easier to do just that.
    If you want more information on WORX, you can pick up the phone and call their 800 number. That’s 1-800-837-0071. 800-837-0071. The website, FreeLineforLife.com.
    Tom Duncan, President of WORX, thanks stopping by The Money Pit.
    TOM DUNCAN: (overlapping voices) Thanks, guys. Appreciate it.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Yeah, thanks so much.
    Alright, you’re listening to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com, coming to you from the 2009 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.
    TOM: Still to come this hour, a new backyard deck can add value and low-cost living space to your home. If deck care and maintenance is an issue for you, we’re going to tell you about a new very low maintenance composite product with a 10-year warranty, after this.

    (theme song)
    TOM: Welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: We’re broadcasting the show today from the 2009 National Hardware Show at the Las Vegas convention center and we’ve been pounding the pavement, so to speak, to find new and really interesting ideas and products for your home.
    LESLIE: Yeah, there’s lots to do and certainly lots to see here and we’re bringing you as much as we can with an emphasis on saving money or at least using your money wisely, you know, to fix up your own money pit.
    TOM: And we’re going to welcome a friend of this show and a fellow expert in the field, Newell Thompson, to the show. Newell is the publisher of Handy magazine.
    Hi, Newell.
    NEWELL: Hi, guys.
    TOM: Now you’re seeing a lot here, like we are, at this show. What kind of trends are noticing?
    NEWELL: Well, you know, what I’m seeing right now is – I’ve been over in the paints and adhesives a little bit and, you know, the environmental push seems to be a big part of the show.
    TOM: Absolutely. Talk to us about HANDY and tell us about your organization, the magazine, the website and your member program.
    NEWELL: Sure. HANDY is the magazine of the Handyman Club of America and we’ve got 900,000 members who are very active participants in the DIY category. They become members of a club which we feel is a much more passionate focus on DIY. And we’re building out our e-newsletters. We now have about 275,000 of our 900,000 members …
    TOM: Wow.
    NEWELL: … actively getting three to four e-newsletters every week.
    LESLIE: Wow.
    TOM: A lot of very valuable information. Now you also have member reviews, you have member-tested-and-recommended products that you issue the seal of approval for. That sounds like a great program.
    NEWELL: It is. The program is unique in that it’s kind of separate from our marketing efforts. And a gentleman, Ross Tanner, is going around the show today and he’s got about 120 people that he wants to meet with throughout the show and the testing program offers manufacturers the opportunity to get information back from members about their products – the benefits, the features, what they liked, what they didn’t like.
    LESLIE: And are these new products or products that are currently on the market?
    NEWELL: It can be both, depending on what the needs of the manufacturer are. So it’s a great way for people to get market research and also to get the new products out in the hands of consumers to get real feedback.
    LESLIE: Well then, I guess your members really trust one another because they’ve sort of all become peers in the same industry and in the same passion, as far as do-it-yourself and being handy. So I think it’s a great opportunity for a lot of people to sort of lean on one another to learn about the industry and the tools themselves.
    TOM: Yeah, and Newell, you actually have had a couple of products here that have been tested and approved by members. I see that you guys worked on the DAP advanced sealants with quick-dry technology and also the KILZ Clean Start primer. I know – I think it was just yesterday that the Consumer Reports came out and ranked KILZ as one of the best paint values out there.
    NEWELL: Yeah, we were just over there and it’s a great, great product and I think it’s priced well. It’s not a premium-priced product. It’s right in line with their existing products and they took the time to get it right.
    TOM: Fantastic. Well, you are definitely ahead of the curve.
    Newell Thompson, publisher of HANDY. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
    NEWELL: Thank you.
    TOM: You are listening to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you from the Las Vegas convention center, site of the 2009 National Hardware Show.
    LESLIE: That’s right and the theme we’re seeing this year is doing more for less; whether that’s a staycation so that you can enjoy your own home or simply spending money more wisely on your home improvements around your house.
    TOM: You know a deck is your most important, most enjoyed outdoor living space. It definitely adds some square footage to your home and, without actually doing a remodel, it’s a very easy way to add some space. And making it the beautiful and relaxing getaway that you know you need, want and desire can take some work. Annual maintenance keeps the deck looking great but also safe and in good shape. There’s no such thing as a no-maintenance deck but there’s a big difference between wood and alternative materials like composites and PVCs.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and you know, water and sun and insects; those can all absolutely wreak havoc on any unprotected wood decks and you won’t have those problems with composite decking materials. And instead of the stripping and the cleaning and the sealing that is practically annually required for wood decks, composite materials, they usually only need a good cleaning; you know they’re a low-maintenance alternative.
    And one that we’ve seen and we both really like is a decking material from Fiberon and it’s the only composite decking that is out there with a 10-year stain-and-fade warranty. I mean nobody else is doing this. This is really the first that we’re seeing.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) That is totally unprecedented. Yeah, that’s at FiberonDecking.com.
    Now if you’re thinking about planning a deck – and we get this question a lot – I know that a lot of people like to have multiple levels of deck.
    LESLIE: Well, different areas of usage. I think it’s really important. Number one, consider how much space you have within your yard that you want to occupy the deck.
    TOM: Right.
    LESLIE: Are you looking for multiple levels? Know that as you go up higher you’re going to need railings; you know depending on the requirements in your area.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Well, true, because when you have multiple levels you have to leave space for the chairs and the walking. So actually, you know, you’re going to have less usable space with two levels than you would have having all the square footage on one level, which is OK if you have the space.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Right. Well, and I also think you need to sort of think about what type of furniture am I going to put here. Am I the type of person that likes a table and chairs? Am I the type of person that enjoys perhaps a couch and a seat and some tables? You really have to think about how it is you’re going to use the space. And if you are going up so many levels where a railing is a necessity, I think you should think about doing a railing/bench combination where you get something that sort of combines a safety edge with seating or storage. You really need to sort of plan out your step-by-steps in how you use the space and how to best enjoy the season before you sort of dive in with the architect.
    TOM: Absolutely. Now you just built a deck out on your summer house and you used Fiberon for that. How’d that work out?
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) We did. We did. We used Fiberon. I have to say the material is beautiful. It installed fantastically. We went with a mahogany-looking finish.
    TOM: Right.
    LESLIE: The grain pattern is fantastic. It really is a beautiful product and our summer home is right on the water. That deck, beforehand, my husband and I would have to strip every other season and refinish and we are thrilled to have a season where we can actually just go out there and enjoy it.
    TOM: Well, you know, and I appreciate you inviting me and my three kids out to really test it and put it through it’s paces; make sure it can really, you know, stand up and handle that punishment.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Any time, Tom. As long as the boys clean the pool, we’re fine. (chuckling)
    TOM: For more information on that product, you can go to FiberonDecking.com; that’s FiberonDecking.com.
    You are listening to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show as we broadcast from the Las Vegas site of the 2009 National Hardware Show. This is one huge event, drawing 27,000 industry professionals from all over the world.
    LESLIE: That’s right and every year we can pick out one underlying trend that just seems to really stick out as the prime focus here. And this year – I know we keep talking about it; everybody keeps hearing this word – it’s the staycation, where everybody is deciding to stay at home and either fix up and enjoy what they’ve got or add a deck or something along those lines. And one product that can help you do that is the Yard Cart from Lifetime products and here to tell us more is Curtis Cook who is the VP of lawn and garden sales.
    Welcome, Curtis.
    CURTIS: Thank you.
    TOM: Hi, Curtis.
    Now, we had a chance to take a look at the Yard Cart and this is a very impressive piece of lawn and garden equipment. Very big; holds 650 pounds. What we like about is that you don’t have to do this by hand. You don’t have to carry it. Tell us about how it converts.
    CURTIS: Right, it’s a heavy-duty wheelbarrow that easily converts to the Yard Cart that you mentioned; that you can tow behind all lawn tractors. It holds 650 pounds, 10 cubit feet of material; and so it converts in less than a minute. So one minute you can be using it as a – pushing it as a wheelbarrow and the next minute hook up your lawn cart or lawn tractor and pull it down the road and get rid – and it also has a nice dump feature which you can dump everything out when you have it as a trailer mode.
    TOM: Oh, great, great.
    LESLIE: And what I liked a lot about it, I mean just having our hands on it and handling it a little bit today, you know any other wheelbarrow that I’ve ever worked with – regardless of what material is in there – it tips over two seconds into my journey to wherever I’m going (Tom chuckles) and I’ve never had a success rate. And I notice that no matter how we put the load – was it even, was it uneven, did I put everything heavy towards the front – I could get from start to finish without incident.
    CURTIS: Right. It’s – you know, with the wide wheel base it makes it nice. You can load things in the front or back, as you mentioned, and when you’re holding it as a wheelbarrow – with those two wheels – it gives it great stability. So you can use that for any type of project around the house.
    LESLIE: And I notice that the tub is made from 100-percent recycled materials.
    CURTIS: Right. With the trend of everything going green, it’s nice to be able to take used product and everything else and turn it into something that’s useful in your garden so you can take something green to turn something green into your lawn hopefully. (Leslie chuckles)
    TOM: Absolutely. We’re talking to Curtis Cook. He’s the vice president for lawn and garden sales for Lifetime Products.
    Talk to us about some of the other products that Lifetime makes. Anything else in the lawn and garden area?
    CURTIS: You bet. Kind of along the wheelbarrow line, we have a 6.5-cubic-foot wheelbarrow; two-wheeled as well for the stability; made also out of recycled material. We have a storage box, a deck box that’s five feet by two feet; nice to store a lot of things out on your patio and …
    TOM: Now that would fit on our Fiberon deck. (chuckles)
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and I have to tell you, we just had a going-away party for my sister last week and we all pulled out our Lifetime Products folding table and our chairs.
    TOM: Yep.
    LESLIE: You know I mean it really is fantastic. You probably have so many things in your garage right now that you don’t think are Lifetime but are.
    CURTIS: Yeah, the tables and chairs are great. We have a storage shed that’s fantastic. Picnic tables and the newest thing to come out …
    TOM: Now doesn’t your storage shed have – come complete with like windows and skylights and – does it have a built-in stereo system or is that extra? (all chuckle)
    LESLIE: It’s not a guest house, Tom.
    CURTIS: That’s a little bit extra but if my wife kicks me out I have a nice place to go to, so (Tom and Leslie chuckle) – but the new item, one of the great new items – you mentioned going green – is our new composter.
    TOM: OK.
    CURTIS: It’s a 75-gallon composter that rotates; it’s on a tumbler …
    LESLIE: Oh, excellent.
    CURTIS: … and it’s a great new item we’re really excited about for this new season.
    LESLIE: Because that’s always something that puts me off; is the thought that I have to like – I know I would use a tool but to reach in there and sort of mix up all the gunk and …
    TOM: Yeah, exactly.
    CURTIS: Right, this thing just spins really easily.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) It’s like you want to be green and then you’re like (groans).
    CURTIS: Yeah, maybe not so green after all, huh? (Leslie laughs)
    LESLIE: But this really takes the work out of it.
    CURTIS: It does.
    TOM: And how long does it actually take to produce compost?
    CURTIS: Oh, about six to eight weeks.
    TOM: OK.
    CURTIS: You want to get it full. You don’t want to keep adding things to it or it takes the cycle longer. But you want to get it full, tumble it every few days, put it where it’s in the sun a lot and in about eight weeks you should have a nice mix that you can till into your soil or into your potting beds or anything and really turn some great products out.
    TOM: People are spending more and more time at home. We love working on our gardens. I’ve got to tell you, my kids love working in the garden, too. It’s a great family activity and thank you so much for all the great products that you guys make to help us do just that.
    Curtis Cook, Vice President for lawn and garden for Lifetime Products, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
    CURTIS: Thank you.
    TOM: Up next, more ways to spruce up your lawn and garden with a new hand tool that’s perfect for the smaller landscaping jobs.
    LESLIE: And later we’re taking it inside and talking about a new paint from Dutch Boy that will help your home smell better by absorbing and locking out household odors as they happen; and all of those details are coming up.

    (theme song)

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    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete and you are listening to The Money Pit on air and online at MoneyPit.com and we are coming to you from the 2009 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas and they might say that, you know, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas (Tom chuckles) but not this time, friends. We are at this industry-only event bringing you the inside scoop on new products and new ideas that are soon going to be on store shelves at a home center near you.
    TOM: And the big theme this year – staycation; taking the time off to not only enjoy but also improve your home, especially your outdoor living spaces like your deck or your patio and certainly your lawn and your garden.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and one way that everyone can get involved with the lawn and garden care is with tools that are easy and comfortable to use. And we’ve got Darlene SantaCroce. She’s here from Ames True Temper to tell us more about the True Temper bypass pruners.
    DARLENE: Thank you for having me.
    TOM: So you guys actually did an enormous amount of consumer research and what I love about coming to this show is you take a tool that we’ve all seen for many years and have used for many years and you don’t accept what was there in the past. You completely dive in as if it was never invented, do a lot of research.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) If it didn’t exist.
    DARLENE: Right.
    TOM: And what did you learn about designing a pruner that was going to really work well for people?
    DARLENE: Well, we learned some of the issues you had with springs in the pruners were dirt and sand would get in [or they would break] (ph).
    TOM: (overlapping voices) OK. Oh, I hate that. It’s like crunchy and stuff, right?
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) And then it gets sticky.
    DARLENE: (overlapping voices) Yes. Mm-hmm. It’s very important to have extremely sharp blades that would stay sharp. They wanted to have more control over the pruner itself so they would not have so much hand fatigue, which happens a lot when you’re pruning.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Right.
    LESLIE: Well, and I’ve also noticed that, you know, just being a girl, some of the pruners out there that I’ve used before just are too darn big for my hand.
    DARLENE: That was one of the biggest things we found. There’s actually a huge difference between the way women and men use pruning tools; both in the size of their hand as well as the actual tasks they do.
    TOM: Now, the pruners that you guys have designed have a very, very unique ring inside of them and you call this a total control ring and let’s talk about that because it makes the pruner very, very comfortable to use and I’m going to do the radio demonstration here. I’m holding this up to the microphone. (Leslie and Darlene chuckle)
    LESLIE: It’s dangerously close to your face.
    TOM: I know, exactly.
    LESLIE: (chuckling) This super-sharp blade.
    TOM: But it’s actually very, very comfortable to hold and this ring that my index finger …
    LESLIE: It’s instinctual.
    TOM: Yeah, just naturally is going into this and it makes it easy to hold the tool.
    DARLENE: Yes.
    TOM: And also, if I want to use my hand, I can sort of drop it down to the bottom.
    DARLENE: Exactly, and that’s what we found in our research.
    LESLIE: And when you’re doing the research, I mean are you literally – do you find a garden club and just follow them around? How do you find these people and what are you watching?
    DARLENE: Well, we find gardeners – people that like to be out there – and we go, actually, to their homes; watch them do the pruning work; ask them questions; interview them. We went to a nature conservatory …
    TOM: OK.
    DARLENE: … and met with a group of gardeners; went out and actually used the tools and got feedback and found out, verbally, what they said their unmet needs were as well as what we saw visually that they weren’t telling us.
    TOM: Right, exactly.
    We’re talking to Darlene SantaCroce – she’s with Ames True Temper – about the True Temper bypass pruners. In all this research, what did you see that you said like, “Holy cow, we didn’t really realize that”; it was like an epiphany about how people are using this tool?
    DARLENE: I would say that gender distinction; that women and men use tools differently and they have – we knew they had a different size hand …
    TOM: Go figure. We’re built differently. (Leslie chuckles) You know? Who knew? (chuckles)
    DARLENE: But they actually do different tasks and they need the right tool for the job; sized right for their hands and sized right for the job.
    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and I also like the lock placement. You know, it’s right at your thumb; it’s very easy to operate. You know – I mean I know the ones we even have at home, the lock is in a weird place; it hasn’t worked properly since the first day I opened it out of the box. You know, with the True Temper bypass pruners, it’s right there with my thumb and even if I’ve opened and closed it a hundred times, I’m never missing it once.
    DARLENE: Correct, and we found that’s what people wanted. They didn’t want the blades to open unexpectedly, from a safety concern.
    LESLIE: Well, and I always put sharp things right in my back pocket; go figure.
    DARLENE: Right.
    TOM: Absolutely.
    DARLENE: This way you won’t get stabbed now. (Leslie chuckles)
    TOM: Darlene SantaCroce from Ames True Temper, stopping by to tell us about the True Temper bypass pruners available at Lowe’s for a retail price of $18.99. Thanks, Darlene.
    DARLENE: Thank you very much for having me.
    LESLIE: Thanks, Darlene.
    Up next, we’re going to have a new paint that actually freshens the air in your home.
    TOM: The Money Pit, broadcasting from the floor of the 2009 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas returns after this.

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    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Fiberon. Bring your vision to life with Fiberon; innovate, reliable decking that enhances your outdoor living space. For more information, go to FiberonDecking.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
    TOM: Where home solutions live, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: And we are finding dozens of home solutions here at the 64th Annual National Hardware Show coming to you from the Las Vegas convention center.
    LESLIE: For example, one of the things that we found is that there are paints out there, you know, that do different things. For example, did you know that three percent of employees perhaps notice an odor in their boss’s house; you know, I’ve been to your house a couple times. I’m not going to say anything, Tom.
    TOM: Yeah, and the rest are just looking for a raise. (Tom and Leslie chuckle)
    LESLIE: Seriously, though; you notice these odors even when the folks who live there might not. So now there’s a new paint that goes one step further than masking the odors and it eliminates them from the air. So joining us now from Dutch Boy headquarters, to tell us more, is Mary Ward from Dutch Boy paints.
    Mary, welcome to the show.
    MARY: Thank you very much.
    TOM: This is a very exciting product, Mary. Talk to us about how you have been able to combine the great brands of Dutch Boy and ARM & HAMMER to create, really, the world’s first odor-eliminating paint.
    MARY: OK, this all started a few years ago when we started the great – develop a paint that would eliminate odors in a basement. And then as we thought about it, we thought kitchens, bathrooms. A lot of people want to eliminate odors; not mask them, not hide them with scent …
    TOM: Right.
    MARY: … but actually take them out of the air. And we are great at making paint but we didn’t know a lot about eliminating odors. So we went to Church & Dwight – they’re the makers of ARM & HAMMER – and we asked them to help us with this technology and understanding the science of elimination of odors. And it took a couple of years to develop because, truly, we first wanted to have a premium quality product and then we wanted it to eliminate odors. And then, lastly, with all of the green movement, we realized it was important to have a zero-VOC product as well. So it took some time to develop.
    TOM: I see you’ve done just that. You’ve got a zero-VOC formulation. It’s GREENGUARD certified, which is important, and it provides mildew resistance. So you’ve got a paint here that not only is a fantastic paint, but has this ARM & HAMMER exclusive odor-eliminating technology built into it. So it sounds like, Mary, I’m no longer going to be able to smell last night’s dinner the next morning in my kitchen. (Leslie chuckles)
    MARY: Exactly.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Or a few days later. (Tom chuckles)
    MARY: It’s a no-brainer, really. If you’re going to do some painting, why wouldn’t you use this? Why wouldn’t you have something that has excellent application, which we wanted to make sure we had. A lot of green products right now, there’s a lot of roller drag when you put them on and your typical DIY customer, their arm kind of falls off after a while.
    TOM: I bet, yeah.
    MARY: So we wanted them to have great application of something that lasted a long time and could eliminate odors as well.
    LESLIE: Will my preference for the color outlast the odor-absorbing capability or what will come first? Will I want to repaint or will I need to repaint because it’s not absorbing the scent anymore?
    MARY: Most people will change their mind on color before the odor-elimination stops working.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) On color.
    MARY: But it will eventually stop the work. It really depends on the concentration of odor you have in the room, how much you expose it to odor, the amount of surface area you paint. It’s a nice benefit but when that stops working – when the cages are completely full in the wall – then you are still left with a beautiful finish; something that’s very scrubbable and stain resistant that you’re going to love the color for a long time, hopefully.
    TOM: Fantastic. The product is called Refresh Paint by Dutch Boy. It’s available at retailers nationwide, starting at just $23 a gallon.
    Mary Ward from Dutch Boy, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.
    For more information, you can go to DutchBoy.com/Refresh.
    MARY: Thank you very much.
    LESLIE: Thanks, Mary. Well, now speaking of paint, you know we often tell you that it’s the cheapest way to completely change the look of a room, but you’ve never heard of a transformation like this. What we want to tell you about is an amazing new product that will take your old laminate countertop to a brand, spanking new level and it’s called Giani Granite and it’s actually a paint that will give a rich, expensive look to any kitchen. And here to tell us more is Floyd Thomas, the CEO of Thomas’ Kitchen Art.
    FLOYD: Well, thank you. Thanks for having me.
    TOM: Now, Floyd, we learned about you some years ago when you created liquid stainless steel, which is a very popular product today that allows you to paint appliances and such and have them look like stainless. But this is …
    LESLIE: And convincingly look like stainless. Beautifully.
    TOM: This is extraordinary. I mean we get calls from people that want to paint countertops (inaudible at 0:27:53.2) …
    LESLIE: All the time.
    TOM: … and we say, no, of course you can’t do that. But in fact, you guys have figured out a way to sort of do just that.
    FLOYD: Yeah, we created a unique resin system that’ll adhere to the laminate. So step one is you roll on your primer, then the fun part starts where you take your sponge, your applicator sponge – and everything you need is in the kit, to complete your project – and you sponge on your colors, three different colors, and then you roll on a clear topcoat and you’ve got cut granite.
    TOM: Wow.
    LESLIE: I mean what does my skill set have to be? How exact do I have to be with this sponge application or is it really a free-for-all and it still looks like granite?
    FLOYD: The great thing is there’s no wrong. When you’re dabbing up and down, whatever colors you put on, you can’t mess it up.
    LESLIE: And do you call the names of the granite color paints that you offer the same as you might find at your local stone quarry-type place? (Tom chuckles)
    FLOYD: We’ve got a Sicilian Sand and a Bombay Black.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) There you go.
    LESLIE: Perfect.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Beautiful. Now what do you have to worry about in terms of the laminate itself? I mean I imagine you have to make sure it’s well-adhered and that sort of thing, correct?
    FLOYD: All you really need to do is clean it with degreaser – 409 – and you’re ready to go.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) OK.
    LESLIE: So nothing at the seams? I don’t have to worry about anything?
    FLOYD: You put a little painter’s tape on and go at it.
    LESLIE: And what about moisture down the road? I mean I’m so non-believing here but I’ve seen it and it’s gorgeous so I’m believing now.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah. (chuckles)
    FLOYD: The clear coat that you put on at the end is a urethane.
    TOM: OK. So it seals it out.
    FLOYD: And it’s all water-based; so it’s safe to use, easy to clean up and it’s the best coating you can have – water-based – over your countertop.
    LESLIE: How long is this process taking me start to finish?
    FLOYD: Four-hour project time. You’d complete it in a day. You put the primer down; you have to wait six hours. But then, from there, you just go.
    TOM: We’re talking to Floyd Thomas. He’s the CEO of Thomas’ Kitchen Art; a very, very inventive manufacturer. Got a new product out now called Giana. It’s granite paint for your countertop. Goes right on top of the laminate.
    One more question, Floyd. How about the durability?
    FLOYD: Ah, the durability. It’s a urethane, it’s going to last like your car’s finish and the other thing is it’s very affordable. For $39.95 you can complete an average-sized kitchen of 35 square feet.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Cost you a lot more …
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) And if I want to clean with Ajax, can I? (Tom chuckles) I’m like asking all these questions?
    FLOYD: No, soft cloth.
    LESLIE: Soft cloth?
    FLOYD: Water and mild soap; just like you’d clean your car.
    LESLIE: Fantastic. Floyd Thomas from Thomas’ Kitchen Art, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit. Great product.
    FLOYD: Thank you. Thanks for having me.
    TOM: Very, very exciting.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) My goodness, I cannot wait to get a home makeover series and get cracking on this dramatic countertop.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) Can’t wait to get started, can you?
    LESLIE: Alright, well summer is right around the corner and the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors, with a nice picnic or cookout. But what about those unwanted guests that can ruin the event?
    TOM: And no, we’re not talking about your in-laws.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) You are in deep trouble, Tom.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) We mean the flying, stinging insects that make you run for cover. We’re going to have the solution to make those all go away, after this.

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    ANNNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Generac’s Garden Series generator. Be protected and never worry about power outages again. Visit your favorite home improvement center or call 888-GENERAC or visit GuardianGenerators.com. Your home will stay on the next time the power goes out. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show where home solutions live. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
    TOM: Coming to you from the 2009 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, spilling the beans on what is an insider-only event. This is where folks come to decide what ends up on the hardware store shelf near you and we’re learning that, despite the recession, consumers are spending about the same amount of money as they did last year on home improvements and that’s great news.
    LESLIE: Yeah, that is and you know what? Summer, it’s right around the corner and it’s a good time of year to take on some of your do-it-yourself projects and also the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors with a nice picnic or a big, fancy cookout. But unwanted guests can certainly ruin the event.
    TOM: And no, we’re not talking about your in-laws. We mean the …
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Your in-laws are going to kick your butt.
    TOM: (laughing) We mean the flying, stinging insects that make people run for cover. But we’ve found a trap that is chemical-free and will keep those wasps, yellow jackets and other pests away. Here to tell us about the W-H-Y trap is Stephanie Herman.
    Hi, Stephanie.
    TOM: And W-H-Y stands for wasps, hornets and yellowjackets.
    STEPHANIE: (overlapping voices) Hornets. That’s W-H-Y.
    TOM: That’s W-H-Y. (Leslie chuckles) And I’ve got to tell you, it’s a good-looking product and looks to be highly effective. You’ve got a pretty scientific attractant system, baiting system for this. Talk to us about it.
    STEPHANIE: We do. Well, we had a really good, effective, yellowjacket trap for years but people were calling us up and saying, “Do you have anything for the insects that are making those open honeycomb nests under the eaves?”
    TOM: Right.
    STEPHANIE: Those are paper wasps.
    TOM: OK.
    STEPHANIE: And so our scientists had worked for about six years on an attractant for paper wasps and, along the way, we found we caught hornets, too; so all three types of insects in one trap.
    TOM: (overlapping voices) And you knew you were on to something and now this particular trap will actually trap 21 different species of biting insects? Is that correct?
    STEPHANIE: That’s correct.
    TOM: Wow.
    STEPHANIE: Seven types of paper wasps, two types of hornets and 12 species of yellowjackets.
    LESLIE: Well, and I have to say I think what really appealed most to Tom and myself is that it’s an all-natural attractant. Because I can remember last year, I was several months pregnant with my son and we were having a wasp problem at our house and the guy came in and said, “Alright, I need you, pregnant lady, and the dog to scram” for practically the whole day. (Tom chuckles)
    STEPHANIE: Yeah. Exactly.
    LESLIE: And as soon as we found out that it was all-natural, no chemicals, the W-H-Y trap just I mean seemed really a fantastic choice. How can it be so effective without all of those caustic materials?
    STEPHANIE: Well, it’s low maintenance. You can set it and the insects will go to it rather than trying to seek out the nest. But we actually – we have a pretty extensive lab and we were able to test on these insects. We actually take the antennae off of an insect and test different scents, naturally-occurring scents, and recreate those and then test them out in the field and that’s how we came up with the W-H-Y trap.
    TOM: That’s very interesting. Now I know in our neighborhood it seems that the wasps are coming out earlier this year because we had a real warm spell.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Yeah.
    STEPHANIE: (overlapping voices) Yeah. Right.
    TOM: And they also – in my house, they love to nest under the kids’ slide on the swing set …
    LESLIE: Which is like the worst place.
    STEPHANIE: Right. Yeah.
    TOM: … which is – you know, it’s the worst place for them. So I know that you gave me one of these and I’m going to actually try it out and looking forward to testing it. But the engineering behind it seems fantastic.
    STEPHANIE: (overlapping voices) Good. Yes.
    LESLIE: Well, and I love the shape on it because you know I can remember working at restaurants by the water or out where you see a lot of wasps and it was always two cups of grenadine and some sort of homemade concoction that would attract the bugs. But it’s very neat; it’s tidy; it traps them in a way where I’m not afraid to go near it.
    STEPHANIE: Right, and you can see the body count; so you know it works.
    TOM: You know it’s working.
    STEPHANIE: Yeah.
    TOM: We’re talking to Stephanie Herman. She is with RESCUE! and they’re the manufacturers of the W-H-Y trap. For more information you can go to their website, WHYTrap.com.
    Stephanie, where can we buy this?
    STEPHANIE: Really, anywhere lawn and garden products are sold: Wal-Mart; Ace Hardware; True Value; Home Depot; Lowe’s; all the major retailers.
    TOM: Fantastic. Price is about 15 bucks, was it?
    STEPHANIE: Right, $13 to $15.
    TOM: That’s fantastic.
    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Great, thank you.
    TOM: Stephanie, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit and keeping us bite free in our backyard. (Leslie chuckles)
    STEPHANIE: Thanks.
    TOM: You’ve been listening to The Money Pit coming to you from the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. Anything you missed today is easy to catch when you download our podcast at MoneyPit.com/Listen.
    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.

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    (Copyright 2009 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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