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    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: Coming to you from the 2014 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s the show we’ve been talking about for weeks. This is a show that we’re very excited to be at. It’s one of our favorite places to be every single year, because this is where it really all happens in the home improvement space.

    LESLIE: That’s right. You know, we really do love this show. And our faithful listeners know that we’ve not missed coming to the National Hardware Show in over a decade. This is the place where we get to bring you an inside look at the info, products and trends that you’ll be seeing at your favorite home center very soon.

    TOM: And the folks here are all industry insiders. But we’re going to give you a sneak peek at all the show has to offer, so think of us as your eyes and your ears. And we’ve seen and heard a lot, including some interesting, new trends. It’s clear that home improvement will be bigger than ever this year. And spring is always a great time to get started with your project.

    LESLIE: It certainly is. And we’re also seeing some very specific trends: for example, smart appliances from the kitchen to the garage. We’ll see technology improvements like never before, making it way easier for you to use those spaces like you’ve never even thought of.

    TOM: And outdoor living is also growing by leaps and bounds and it’s still a very, very hot area to invest in improvements, like decks and patios. But it’s also a place to let your personality show with bright colors, which is another cool, new trend this year. So lots to tell you about. Let’s get started.

    LESLIE: That’s right. And we’re going to kick off this with a guest who’s been at these shows even longer than we have because, well, he runs them. Rich Russo with the National Hardware Show is joining us.

    Welcome, Rich.

    RICH: Ah, thank you. I’m very excited to be here. Thanks, Tom. Thanks, Leslie.

    TOM: So, Rich, when I tell someone I’m going to the National Hardware Show, I get this sort of blank look like I just announced that I’m going on a trip to watch corn grow.

    LESLIE: It’s true.

    TOM: I mean people don’t understand that this show is an important part of the home improvement, remodeling and new-construction businesses. Because pretty much when we say “hardware,” we’re not just talking about nuts and bolts.

    RICH: No, absolutely not. The show is composed of 15 different core categories that range from hardware, lawn and garden, housewares, plumbing, electrical, storage and organization, emergency-preparedness products and it goes on and on. So there’s a whole lot to see here at the show, no doubt.

    LESLIE: And that’s new, right? The emergency-preparedness sort of area?

    RICH: Absolutely. This year, we’ve had a lot of, unfortunately, natural disasters going on: mud slides and superstorms and …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Polar vortexes?

    RICH: Polar vortex, I know, right? We just can’t seem to avoid it, so retailers came to us and said, “Hey, we need to buy more of these types of products.” And so, we were lucky enough to be able to provide them with the products that they need to sell in their stores.

    TOM: And we’re also seeing a whole new section here: a Made in the U.S.A. section. Big trend now to going back to making everything we can in this old U.S.A.

    RICH: Absolutely. Huge initiative around Made in the U.S.A. We’ve got over 150 companies participating that have products that are dedicated Made in the U.S.A., some great partners of ours that are also really pushing the initiative. And again, retailers are asking us. Their consumers are asking them to provide these products in their stores.

    TOM: So from a consumer perspective, is it fair to say that the products are rolled out here first and then you’ll see them on the store shelves? This is sort of the big shopping mall for retailers, right? They come here, they meet with these manufacturers, they decide what products interest them they think will interest their own customers. And they bring them back and put them on the shelves and we get to buy them as consumers.

    RICH: Tom, that’s exactly how it works. You hit the nail on the head, no pun intended. But you’re right: this is their shopping mall. This is where they get to preview the products, decide which ones they think are going to be sold in their stores and should wind up on their store shelves within about 6 to 12 months.

    LESLIE: And that’s got to be really valuable for the manufacturers, as well. Because they really get to see what SKUs do well, what products do well, what’s trending and can kind of work on their own inventory that way.

    RICH: Absolutely. It allows them the opportunity to course-correct, if you will. If they get feedback from retailers that sell them – maybe a different color or different packaging – they can adjust and get things ready for market in about six months.

    TOM: We’re talking to Rich Russo. He is with show management at the National Hardware Show. We’re broadcasting to you today from the Top Products Pavilion: an area that Rich set up just for us. We appreciate that. And you can follow our coverage on Twitter @MoneyPit with the hashtag #TopProductsNHS.

    So, Rich, how has the show growth been now? Where are we compared to past years? Are there signs that the market is getting better and better and better?

    RICH: Yeah, absolutely. The show is – has been expanding for the past several years. We added a lot of product categories over those years. Last year was pet products and building products. This year, we added emergency preparedness/disaster recovery.

    TOM: Terrific. Rich Russo from the National Hardware Show, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    RICH: Thank you.

    TOM: Now, one of the trends we are seeing is smart technology, from kitchen appliances to garage openers. Our next guest represents an ingenious product that takes smart technology to a level that makes life not only convenient but also safe.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Jana Bartlett from Wayne Water Systems is joining us now with tips on a new innovation in sump pumps: a system that will text you when your home is undergoing a flood.

    TOM: That can be really critical information.

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    TOM: Hi, Jana.

    JANA: Good morning.

    TOM: This is absolutely awesome, because so many Americans suffer floods and flood damage, correct?

    JANA: Yes. It’s actually – over $35,000 is the average insurance claim for flood damage.

    TOM: Wow.

    JANA: And you have to attack it quickly, like within 48 hours of that initial flood. So what we wanted to do is bring our best-in-class sump-pump technology and texting technology, AdvanTEXT. We wanted to bring that to the homeowner and let them know as soon as possible. So as soon as there is an issue, they will receive a text and have that notification, be able to do something about it.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I mean that’s valuable information because whether you’re out of state or out of country, you need to be able to get that access to somebody into the house to stop whatever is going on.

    JANA: Exactly. And with everything that’s in your basement, just think of your home and your belongings down there. There’s valuables, the HVAC system, water heater.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Mechanics. There’s technology.

    JANA: Technology.

    LESLIE: So much.

    JANA: If you have a finished basement, it’s definitely going to be a benefit to receive that text alert as soon as possible. And that will tell you when the electric’s out and when high water levels are occurring so you know right away.

    TOM: Their product is called AdvanTEXT Cellular Monitoring System from Wayne Pumps. And Wayne Pumps, you guys have been a leader in technology in pumps for many, many years. I remember, early in my career, you had developed a pump that actually cleared itself when it clogged, which was a big problem with pumps. Would actually – would run forwards and backwards to clear clogs. And I tell you, when that pump jams up, then you’re pretty much out of luck. If your sump is filling, it’s going to keep going right up onto the floor. This is another development in some of the products you guys have been working on.

    When the text actually happens, who receives it? How many people can receive? And what if you don’t have your phone on?

    JANA: Well, we’ve developed – up to three contacts can be loaded into the AdvanTEXT system. So, you will be alerted, maybe your neighbor, your spouse all at the same time. So, you know – and you will be alerted from everything from electric going out to high water levels, so you know right away and you can solve that problem before it becomes a problem.

    LESLIE: Now, because your sump pump is able to communicate with you, are you then able to communicate back to it to see if everything’s working OK just on a normal day?

    JANA: Yes. It does have two-way communication, so you can text it and get an update of how that system is working.

    And then, also, if the electric does happen to go out, it’s supplied with battery-backup technology, so you will still receive a text in the event of a power outage. It has the battery backup.

    TOM: That could be very valuable – the fact that you can check status on the pump – because imagine that you’re at work or you’re on vacation and a big storm is rolling through your area. It’d be nice to be able to get that communication back from the pump to say, “Yes, it’s on,” or, “It’s not on,” or what the status is so that, perhaps, you could place a phone call to a neighbor or a relative or a friend that had to go in and take some action to try to avoid damage.

    JANA: Exactly. It’s just notification before damage can occur.

    LESLIE: Now, is the AdvanTEXT something that’s only available on the newer-model sump pumps that Wayne is introducing? Or can you purchase this for something you may have in existence already?

    JANA: You can actually install this to an existing system. We are selling the AdvanTEXT product as a stand-alone alarm that can be added to any sump pump or as an …

    LESLIE: Any other brand sump pump, as well?

    JANA: Any other brand.

    LESLIE: That’s great.

    TOM: Wow.

    JANA: It is installed right above your existing sump pump, so it can be added onto any existing system.

    We also have this integrated, though, with a ½-horsepower sump pump with Wayne technology integrated right into the system, so you have the complete system package.

    TOM: So either way – terrific.

    LESLIE: That’s great.

    JANA: Exactly.

    TOM: Jana Bullock from Wayne Pumps, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit and filling us in about the AdvanTEXT Cellular Monitoring System from Wayne Pumps.

    JANA: Thank you.

    LESLIE: You are listening to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show broadcasting from our Top Products Pavilion on the show floor at the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. You can follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #TopProductsNHS.

    TOM: Still to come, we’ve got the scoop on new products that will help you organize your garage, complete a painting project perfectly and even get some spring cleaning done the easy way. The Money Pit continues, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Foundry Specialty Siding. Foundry vinyl cedar siding gives your home the beauty of real cedar shake without the hassles and worries that come with wood siding. Foundry, unsurpassed beauty and strength. Find out more at FoundrySiding.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: Broadcasting from the 2014 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. And there are a lot of outdoor products here. In fact, the category has its own section on the show floor and why not? Making improvements outside your home is a very cost-effective way to increase value and give your home that curb appeal that is so important.

    LESLIE: Yes. And a beautiful, well-made walkway can enrich the natural landscape of your yard. Now, you might think the only way to achieve this is with the professionally-installed pavers or stones but there is a do-it-yourself method. And it’s actually our Project of the Week, presented by QUIKRETE.

    TOM: Yeah, QUIKRETE has an easy, affordable and customizable alternative to building a path or a patio with pavers or stones. They’re called Walkmaker Forms. Now, these are 2×2, reusable plastic forms that you simply fill with concrete. You just smooth one bag of QUIKRETE Concrete Mix per section, which can be customized with color. And one of the best parts about this is that you can complete one section at a time as time permits.

    LESLIE: Yeah, it’s a pretty great product and you can learn more about it at QUIKRETE.com. QUIKRETE, it’s what America is made of.

    TOM: There are many ways to use your garage if it’s planned out efficiently. And our next guest represents a company that helps with just that: Gladiator by Whirlpool, one of the companies featured in the Top Products Pavilion.

    LESLIE: That’s right. To learn more, we welcome Karl Champley from Gladiator by Whirlpool.

    Welcome, Karl.

    KARL: Hey, guys. Great to be here.

    TOM: You can pretty much turn your garage into a workspace, a hobby room or even a hangout spot. And many of these Gladiator garage products can actually help you get your car back in there. And that’s something that’s elusive for many Americans.

    LESLIE: Unheard of.

    KARL: That’s what it was built for, right?

    LESLIE: What? Not a million toys and sports equipment?

    KARL: I know, I know. I know, you know, and magazine subscriptions on the floor of the garage.

    LESLIE: Tools, workshop.

    KARL: I know. It turns out a recent survey that – I think it’s three out of four households, they only get one car in that garage space being a double-car garage. It’s quite frightening. And you can go down your street, I’m sure, and sometimes you’ll see the garage door open up and you look in there and there’s a rabbit warren of clutter and disorganization.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: It’s embarrassing.

    KARL: And it doesn’t have to be that way.

    TOM: Nope. Exactly. Yeah. And I don’t even get one car in my garage. And of course, we’re home improvers, so we kind of have an excuse. Garages are filled up with tools and stuff and things like that.

    KARL: I might disagree with that but I totally understand.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: I find that one of my favorite chores is – every spring or every autumn, depending on when I get the gusto to do it – I love to just empty out the garage, take a look at what I’ve got and then try to put it back in sort of a formulaic way that’s going to work.

    KARL: Yeah.

    LESLIE: But it undoubtedly fails within a month or two.

    So, really, what’s the best way to start to be successful in garage organization?

    KARL: There’s a simple solution and I’ll take my hat off to you because a lot of people don’t even get to that step. And that’s what it is: it’s really just taking the time, choosing the weekend, try to get the whole family together.

    And the first step is really just emptying everything out of the garage. It may be partly organized, it could be full of clutter but I think you guys would agree that if we’ve held onto items for so long – let’s say for more than six months a year – how stuff tends to (inaudible at 0:14:22) where we don’t really need it anymore.

    TOM: Right.

    KARL: And it’s a very simple solution for all your listeners and that is really just to clear everything out. And it’s also the golden opportunity to go through all your stuff and find out what you’ve got, what you don’t have. And then you can basically see that space. You can reclaim the space and think, “Wow, this is pretty good.” This is really an extension of a home; this is valuable real estate in your own house that a lot of people don’t use.

    And then it’s a question of getting it all out and realizing what you can get rid of. You can have a garage sale and it could potentially make some money by selling that stuff.

    LESLIE: It could pay for the organization system.

    KARL: It can go towards it, yes.

    TOM: There you go.

    KARL: Yeah. And just find a lot of stuff you’ve got. You might find you’ve got 30 tape measures, like I recently just found, rolls of duct tape and 16 cans of WD-40.

    TOM: Yeah, we all have a bad habit of buying something that we already have, simply because we can’t find it, correct?

    KARL: We do. We do.

    TOM: Yeah.

    KARL: And it doesn’t have a particular home to go back to.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I think it’s funny. Jerry Seinfeld, who’s a very famous comedian, had a joke that I always just relate to where he would say that the garage is the next step to the garbage.

    KARL: Yeah.

    LESLIE: And he’d say, “It’s only a one-letter difference.” He’s like, “Garage, garbage.”

    KARL: I like that.

    LESLIE: He’s like, “And you kind of put the stuff in there and then six months later, it eventually finds its way to the trash.”

    KARL: Yeah. And you’re car’s deteriorating on the driveway, you know?

    LESLIE: Right.

    KARL: So, you’ve basically got everything out. I like – as you said, what you have started to do: you organize a garage sale. Now, what doesn’t sell at a garage sale? And you’d be surprised at what people buy. Then you can donate those items and get a bit of a tax relief by getting a receipt off of certain organizations. You’ve got a giveaway, you’ve got a recycle and you’ve got a trash. And you try to keep minimal amount of items that will go back in the garage.

    And once you have those items worked out, then you can get in there and get a realistic idea of what sort of storage systems you need. And as here in the Top Pavilion, I can see you’ve got the Gladiator GarageWorks. And these guys have an awesome design tool on their website. It’s GladiatorGW.com. And you can go to the website and you can put your realistic size of the garage on this design tool and start to organize product and workbenches and cabinets and fit it to your needs.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. So much easier to do it virtually-speaking and be able to try out different designs and of course, run a list of products, get an estimate of the costs and make those strategic decisions.

    KARL: It is.

    TOM: And I think garage makeover is something that you can also do in stages; you don’t have to do it all at once.

    KARL: Absolutely.

    TOM: You could start, perhaps, with walls and the floors and then add cabinetry as time and budget permits.

    KARL: Exactly. And like I’ve always recommended, as a consultant in the whole home improvement industry, if you’re doing a bathroom, it’s always good to stick with one particular brand because it compliments each other. You get into the kitchen, it’s a good idea to stay with one particular appliance.

    And in the garage and again, with Gladiator, it’s great because they have the complete garage solution. They have the latest – and I encourage everyone to go out, when they’re looking for garage-organization systems, is to check them all out. But can quite comfortably say, when you see this product that you’ve got here in front of the booth right now, it’s stellar.

    LESLIE: What’s interesting is we’re showing the Gladiator Floor System, as well, which also has that diamond-plated pattern.

    KARL: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

    LESLIE: And a lot of people don’t think that you could potentially get water in a garage. And a lot of stuff is sitting right on the floor. So if you’re just lifting it up even slightly with your plastic, snap-together flooring and then you’re able to drain it all out, that’s a huge help.

    KARL: Mm-hmm. Absolutely.

    TOM: Absolutely. We’re talking to Karl Champley. He is with Gladiator by Whirlpool.

    One of the things that I think is great about the Gladiator products is all the testing it goes through. You do powder-coat testing, extreme-temperature testing, strength testing and even environmental testing, correct?

    KARL: Absolutely. Yeah, the testing is extreme. I know because it is part of the Whirlpool Corporation. It’s exciting. This year, in 2014, there’s a lot of new product out there. But it’s tough to get product through the Whirlpool Corporation because their testing is very, very rigorous. And you’ve got to respect that.

    If they say that they’ve got these heavy-duty storage racks that take 2,000 pounds per shelf, I know for a fact they take a lot more than that. But when they say that, that’s what it does. And I know there’s a lot of other brands out there that try to claim that and it’s not the case, because we’ve done the testing. And I’ve been there and I’ve seen the results. So it’s quite impressive.

    TOM: Karl Champley from Gladiator by Whirlpool, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit broadcast.

    KARL: My absolute pleasure, guys.

    TOM: And Gladiator Brand products are sold through local garage dealers, like Sears and Lowe’s. And they’re available, online, at GladiatorGarageWorks.com.

    LESLIE: Alright. Still to come, a very easy way to transform everything from furniture to planters to toys. We’ve got the scoop on a new paint product that sticks to the trickiest of surfaces you’ll even think about covering, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: Starting an outdoor wood-staining project? Get it done the simple way with Flood Wood Care. With products like Flood CWF-UV, you get long-lasting quality at a great value, plus guidance to help make the whole process easier. Get started at Flood.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 here from the National Hardware Show where we’re highlighting some of the best of the best innovations in home improvement and DIY products.

    LESLIE: Yeah, this is such a cool place and we’re super-excited to be able to bring all of you an inside look at this industry-only event. And we’re catching up on all the trends, as well. And among them are a couple that are really standing out.

    First, bright colors for your outdoor accessories and second, going green.

    TOM: And our next guest can help us with both: a way to make your old stuff new again, so you don’t have to toss it, and tips on how you can bring tons of color to your life.

    LESLIE: That’s right. We are welcoming Denise Patterson from Krylon.

    Welcome, Denise.

    DENISE: Hi.

    TOM: So you guys are here with a new paint that solves an age-old problem and that is making paint stick.

    DENISE: That’s right.

    TOM: It doesn’t matter, really, what project you have to do, you want to make sure that when you apply the paint – it takes a lot of work to prep; we all know the work’s generally in the prep when you apply it. You want to make sure you do it once, do it right and you don’t have to do it again for a bit of time.

    And some surfaces are harder to paint than others. You have a product now that’s called Dual Superbond Paint + Primer, so I presume that primer is built in?

    DENISE: It is built in. And it’s not just a regular primer; you get the performance of a bonding primer. So, of course, spray paint will stick to metal and wood but Dual Superbond will also adhere to plastic – virtually any kind of plastic – as well as laminate, melamine, Plexiglas. So all of that ready-to-assemble furniture that people carry around year after year – I know I had it when I was out of college, I think, for 5 or 10 years. But you couldn’t paint it before unless you sanded it, used a special primer. Now, none of that’s required. Just get a can of Dual Superbond and recolor it.

    LESLIE: And I think it’s interesting because I heard the word “prep” come out of Tom’s mouth probably five times.

    TOM: Yep.

    LESLIE: I heard “sanding” come out of your mouth and truly, that’s got to be the most annoying part of a project when you want to paint something. But you really need to do it to make it stick. And what I love about the Dual Superbond is that you really don’t have to do it.

    And I wish you guys could see because the color palette is gorgeous. And it just – you have little, metal tables and they look like little candy SweeTARTS. I mean they’re so bright and vibrant and the finish is beautiful. And I know with spray-painting, there’s a little bit of finesse but is there some wiggle room here in the application to make it look so nice?

    DENISE: It really – we’ve tried to make it as goof-proof as possible. So, we’ve designed the tip that you’re spraying through so you can get pretty close to the surface, which is how people typically spray-paint. And you’re not going to get a lot of runs. That’s the biggest complaint people have when they spray-paint, especially if they don’t do it very often.

    So, this is going to help you create a beautiful, smooth finish and like you said, it’s available in a wide range of colors, so you do have kind of that candy-shop look.

    TOM: We’re talking to Denise Patterson from Krylon about Krylon’s new Dual Superbond Paint + Primer.

    So, in addition to just painting plastics, does this do just as good a job on metal and wood?

    DENISE: It does. Bare wood, especially, which can be really trying and it’s super-absorbent.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. More absorbent.

    DENISE: This paint is going to adhere but it’s not going to soak in, so you’ll get that smooth finish. You won’t have to lay on four, five, six coats of paint. No, couple of coats and you’re ready to go.

    LESLIE: And Denise, what I think is interesting is you’ve brought a couple of test samples with your product and the competitors’. And you spray them, you let them dry, then you score it and put a piece of tape over it and then you peel it away. And your sample is pristine. The finish is beautiful; nothing has chipped off. Everybody else has a swath of tape mark ripped right off.

    And I’ve experienced this because I do fast makeovers in short amount of times a lot for, you know, other projects. And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spray-painted with a competitor. You think it’s dry, you go to grab it and your fingernail scratches half of it off.

    DENISE: Right.

    TOM: Or the paint comes off.

    LESLIE: And now you’ve got a spot – yeah. The paint is coming off, it’s peeling off in sheets and you’re not going to get that with the Dual Superbond; it really is superior.

    TOM: Right.

    DENISE: Right. We go through rigorous testing in order to make any claims about superior adhesion to all of these surfaces that are unusual for spray paint. So we did a lot of that adhesion-testing for laminates and melamine. Of course, for plastic. We also do that same stringent testing for metal because we, of course, want to make sure the product isn’t going to rust-out.

    TOM: Right.

    DENISE: So we have corrosion panels that we run through a battery of tests to make sure you’re not going to get a lot of rust if you are painting direct to metal, which this product lets you do, too. So, if you’re on plastic, the paint’s going to stick. But if you’re on metal, it’s not going to rust-out. It is a single solution in one can.

    TOM: And because it’s a single solution, how does this impact the rest of the Krylon line?

    DENISE: Well, I think that some people enjoy the process of priming or they may have a special need.

    TOM: Some people enjoy that, huh?

    DENISE: I’ve met people who have enjoyed priming. But there are a lot of specialty products out there.

    TOM: Right.

    DENISE: And so, there is always a need for a broad array of products.

    TOM: Right.

    DENISE: But certainly, if you can find a single-can solution, who knows where this will go?

    LESLIE: And you certainly offer the colors that we don’t have to look elsewhere, so thank you for that.

    TOM: And the specialty finishes, as well.

    DENISE: Right. Hammereds and metallics in this line, as well as 34 colors.

    TOM: That’s terrific. Denise Patterson from Krylon, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit and filling us in on new – Krylon’s new Dual Superbond Paint + Primer. For more information, where do we go?

    DENISE: Krylon.com.

    TOM: Krylon.com – K-r-y-l-o-n.com.

    Thank you, Denise.

    DENISE: Thank you.

    LESLIE: Alright. Still ahead, spring is not only do-it-yourself season, it’s also home-buying-and-selling season. So, what are the steps involved in listing your home for sale?

    TOM: We’ll get expert advice with this week’s Real Estate Tip of the Week, presented by the National Association of Realtors, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Foundry Specialty Siding. Foundry vinyl cedar siding gives your home the beauty of real cedar shake without the hassles and worries that come with wood siding. Foundry, unsurpassed beauty and strength. Find out more at FoundrySiding.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: And it’s time now for today’s Real Estate Tip of the Week, presented by the National Association of Realtors.

    And today, we’re sharing five ways to prepare your home for the spring market.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Spring is the busiest time for real estate, so you shouldn’t wait until flowers bloom to start getting your home ready. Job one, you’ve got to start packing. I know it sounds crazy but you’re going to do it anyway and it gives you a chance to really clean out and determine what you’re going to keep, give away, sell.

    TOM: And that leads to step two which is, of course, clearing away the clutter. Without the piles and knickknacks, your homes will make a great impression on buyers and they’ll be able to envision living in it themselves.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Next, you want to start improving your home but you’ve got to do this very strategically. While you don’t necessarily want to do a major renovation, if you make some minor improvements that will freshen up your home, that will really attract the buyers. So, try little things like simply replacing the caulk or grouting your bathroom, updating hardware or even repainting your front door.

    TOM: And number four on the list: interview potential realtors. Your choice of a listing agent can make a big difference in how quickly your home sells and how much profit you’ll make.

    Then, enlist your realtor’s help for step five, which is researching your local market. They’re going to help you evaluate how fast homes are selling in your area and estimate how long it’ll take you to find a new one.

    LESLIE: And that’s your Real Estate Tip of the Week, presented by the National Association of Realtors. Considering selling your home? Well, today’s market conditions may mean it’s a good time. Every market’s different, so call a realtor today and visit Realtor.com.

    TOM: Now, you’ve just heard our advice about making minor improvements before you list your home. And one of those is painting. It’s cheap, it’s easy and it will totally transform the look of any room.

    LESLIE: And it could even win you a cash prize. Here to tell us about FrogTape’s Earn Your Stripes Makeover Contest is Shelley Price from ShurTech Brands.

    So, what’s this contest all about?

    SHELLEY: Well, this is our fourth annual Earn Your Stripes Contest and it’s really a great opportunity for you to win money by showing off how you’ve transformed or done a room makeover in your own home using our patented FrogTape PaintBlock Tape.

    LESLIE: So I’m not allowed to enter.

    SHELLEY: Sure, you are.

    TOM: She’s a professional.

    LESLIE: I’m what?

    SHELLEY: We’ll take professionals, as well as DIYers, absolutely.

    LESLIE: Well, I’ve got to say, you guys have really introduced an interesting product. Your special FrogTape – is it curves? It’s designs? I mean it’s beautiful. What exactly do you call this amazing tape that makes me do beautiful patterns on my walls?

    SHELLEY: FrogTape Shape Tape. And we’re very excited about it. It comes in three, precut, repeating patterns: wave, chevron and scallop. And it allows you to easily achieve all kinds of fun stripes or designs on your walls with the repeating patterns.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And it …

    TOM: And it’s not just your walls: your furniture, your decorative items. You can really do a lot with this. There’s no limit to the imagination you put into it.

    SHELLEY: That’s a great point. We see people using it on their floors, on their accessories, on their furniture. One of the big trends right now is painted details on furniture. And it can be really pricey to buy a piece prepainted but you can reclaim something in your house and really make it – give it a personal touch by using Shape Tape to paint whatever kind of pattern or design and really coordinate your whole room.

    LESLIE: And what I think is interesting is that in your booth, over at the FrogTape booth, you’ve got one wall where you took – is it the scalloped-edge one? And your designer brilliantly sort of pieced these together to make little – not florets or clovers. I can’t even describe it but it’s beautiful.

    SHELLEY: Kind of …

    LESLIE: And the entire wall is done and it was simply by taking two of them and putting them at a 90-degree angle to each of them.

    TOM: And repeating the pattern over and over.

    LESLIE: And repeating the pattern.

    SHELLEY: You can get infinite designs by combining, basically, the positive and the negative space of the various tapes and putting them together, cutting them, putting them in stripes, putting them in a floret, which is what we did at the wall at the show. And you can get infinite design possibilities.

    As a matter of fact, we’ve just launched a new app for your iPad where you can play around with the tape, so you can use the straight-line FrogTape or in the new Shape Tape any of the patterns and kind of show what – play around in a virtual canvas, if you will.

    LESLIE: Well, that’s fantastic.

    SHELLEY: And put the lines on the wall, put hundreds of different paint colors on the walls and then throw it into a virtual room and see how it will look in a bathroom, a bedroom.

    LESLIE: That’s great.

    SHELLEY: So you can kind of help plan out your makeover.

    LESLIE: Well, especially because in this process, when you’re dealing with the Shape Tape or just regular FrogTape, the prep could be a little bit time-consuming because you could be coming up with a pretty intricate design plan. And you don’t want to put it up there and try it and then realize, “Oh, no. I don’t like it,” or, “I wasted it.” And this way, to virtually create is just fantastic.

    SHELLEY: You can play around with it before you tackle your project. And then once you’ve transformed your room, as part of the Earn Your Stripes Contest, we ask you to take before, during and after photos and submit those at FrogTape.com and have a chance to win a $5,000 grand prize and several second, third and special-category prizes, as well. So, just a great way to show off and share what you’re doing to transform your room.

    TOM: And the Earn Your Stripes Makeover Contest is online at FrogTape.com. Check it out. We’re talking to Shelley Price. She’s the director of marketing for DIY tapes for the ShurTech Brands. And we’re talking about their product called FrogTape.

    I want to talk a bit about some of the basics of striping and patterning with painting tapes. Because I think maybe some folks that – don’t see it quite as clearly as we might. So the process would be to do a base color first, then to apply the tape so that you keep the base color preserved while you add your accent color, correct?

    SHELLEY: That’s exactly right. And the special thing about FrogTape is when you’re painting stripes or any kind of special design on your wall, it’s so important that you get crisp paint lines. Important when you’re painting any part of your home but you really want, if you’re doing a special design, you want to get crisp paint lines.

    FrogTape is the only tape that’s treated with patented PaintBlock Technology, and it’s basically a super-absorbent polymer – not to get too techie – that gels with the water in latex paints to create a microbarrier on the side of the tape that prevents paint bleed, so you get really sharp lines.

    And that’s also available on the Shape Tape that we talked about. So if you’re doing a special pattern, you’re going to get those really crisp, sharp paint lines, as well.

    LESLIE: Well, you know, Shelley, what I think was really interesting when I popped by your booth was that you had a display that had a knockdown or an orange-peel surface which, when I travel the country with makeover shows, in the Southeast I see it, in the West I see it. And you’re really kind of limited in what kind of designs you might be able to do on the wall. But you had your PaintBlock Technology in a glue bottle, almost.

    SHELLEY: Well, it’s what we call our Textured Surface Paint Solution Kit. Because you’re right: it’s really challenging and textured surfaces are very popular in certain regions of the country. And there’s really no solution today if you want to get a fun design that will allow you to get those crisp paint lines.

    So, our kit includes the Shape Tape FrogTape that you apply and then the second step in the process is it’s a liquid PaintBlock that you just apply with the paint. There’s a paintbrush in it and when you – that you allow that to dry for 15 seconds, paint as usual, remove the tape and you’re getting perfect, sharp paint lines even on a textured wall, like orange-peel or knockdown.

    LESLIE: That’s great.

    TOM: Product is called FrogTape. You can learn more at FrogTape.com.

    Shelley Price, Director of Marketing, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    We’ll be back with more from the National Hardware Show, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Leviton, the brand most preferred by builders for wiring devices and lighting controls. With a focus on safety, Leviton products are the smart solution for all your electrical needs.

    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.

    And spring is synonymous with cleaning and getting those outdoor and indoor spaces sparkling for the brand-new season.

    TOM: And after a very cold winter and a very wet spring, those outdoor spaces are getting very grimy, maybe even growing a few things on them.

    LESLIE: Or two.

    TOM: Here to tell us about a product that will help get all kinds of surfaces clean and free of mold, mildew, algae and more is Adam Smith. And Adam is the vice president of sales for Wet & Forget.

    Welcome, Adam.

    ADAM: Hi, Tom. Hi, Leslie. Thanks for having me.

    LESLIE: So the name has got to say it all: Wet & Forget?

    ADAM: It’s all about easy at Wet & Forget. Just spray it on and leave it. For our outdoor product, you use it on any outdoor surface of brick, concrete, stucco, aluminum, vinyl, painted surfaces, even composite decking. We take the job that nobody wants to do and we try to make it easier for them.

    LESLIE: And there’s truly no prep work? Because sometimes with mildew or even algae, you have a thicker growth on a surface.

    ADAM: Right.

    LESLIE: And your instinct is to want to scrape or peel or try to remove it before you treat it.

    ADAM: And the reason things get that bad or you have to scrape and peel? Because nobody wants to do it.

    LESLIE: Right.

    ADAM: So, literally, with Wet & Forget, you literally spray it on and you leave it and you’re done.

    TOM: And that’s all there is to it.

    ADAM: That’s all there is to it. You let Mother Nature do all the hard work for you. When it rains, it starts to break up that growth and wash it away.

    It takes a little time but you’re not wasting your Saturday afternoon power-washing or using harsh chemicals, like bleach.

    TOM: Now, we’ve been recommending Wet & Forget for some time. We’ve gotten very good feedback back from our audience on it. And folks have called and said, “What was that product’s name? And where do I find it?” Things like that.

    ADAM: Right.

    TOM: So it seems like it’s being very well-accepted.

    ADAM: It really has. We look at the reviews online. We have a ton of people that call us every week and say, “We just love your product.” And they tell us what their projects are and if they have questions, we answer them for them. And the one thing that we always get – they were a little skeptical at first. You spray it on and leave it and let Mother Nature do the work for you. And they’re – but they take the leap of faith and they love it. Gives the weekends back to them; they don’t have to go out there and do a lot of stuff they don’t want to do.

    LESLIE: Now, is this a repeat process? Once I spray on Wet & Forget, will this be something I have to do every year or is this once every couple of years?

    ADAM: Typically no. We say on our bottle “once every 12 months.” With that being said, if you live in Florida, Houston, areas that are hot and humid, it’s about a year to 18 months. Our company is based in Northern Illinois. You can literally go two, three, four years without having to reapply.

    TOM: Is that right? Wow. Once every four years?

    LESLIE: That’s pretty awesome.

    TOM: Yeah. I’ll have one kid out of college by then and another one in.

    LESLIE: And no mold growth.

    TOM: And no mold growth.

    ADAM: Right.

    LESLIE: Now, I think a lot of people would want to sort of take that next step and want to bring it indoors. But you should not use the Wet & Forget outdoor product inside.

    ADAM: That is correct. The outdoor product is registered with the EPA. It’s an outdoor-only product. But to your question, we have a lot of people that ask, “Hey, can I use it in my basement? My basement …”

    LESLIE: Because it works.

    ADAM: Right. The great thing is is we came out with a new product: Wet & Forget Indoor, which is designed specifically for indoor use. So you can use it in your shower if you like. If your basement floods, we have a gallon size you get for larger areas.

    TOM: Oh, is that right? That’s terrific.

    ADAM: You know when you get that crack in your P-trap underneath your sink and you don’t know it’s dripping?

    TOM: Yep.

    LESLIE: Yeah, yeah.

    ADAM: And then you open it up one day and you get that nice smell?

    TOM: You get the greenhouse.

    LESLIE: Oh, yay.

    ADAM: Exactly. Great for that, as well. And you can use it anywhere inside your house. And it’s kind of a spray-and-wipe formula, so you’re going to spray it on, leave it sit for a few minutes, come back and wipe it off. With our outdoor product, the rain does that for you.

    LESLIE: You just forget it. Right.

    ADAM: So indoors, you need to do a little bit of help with that.

    TOM: And you also have a new product with a great name: Miss Muffet’s Revenge Spider Killer. How does that work?

    ADAM: Well, Miss Muffet’s Revenge Spider Killer, it’s a great, new product for us. What’s unique about this – indoors, it’s going to give you about a year’s protection. So in your basement or your crawlspace, you’re going to create a little barrier. You’re going to spray it and you’re just going to leave it. Indoors, you can get about a year out of it.

    So, outdoors, it’s going to vary just based on the weather patterns. You can put it underneath a porch every several months, you’ll be fine.

    TOM: Terrific. Adam Smith, Vice President of Sales from Wet & Forget. Their website: WetAndForget.com. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    ADAM: Thanks.

    TOM: The show continues online and don’t forget to check out all of our picks in our Top Products Gallery at MoneyPit.com and on Twitter using the hashtag #TopProductsNHS.

    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.

    END HOUR 1 TEXT

    (Copyright 2014 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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