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    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 we’re broadcasting today from the 2015 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. This is the biggest home improvement industry event of the year, because it’s where manufacturers roll out their brand-new products for the season. Think of it as the fashion show for home improvement.

    LESLIE: Yeah. With the biggest runway ever in the world.

    You know, guys, we’re here at The Money Pit’s Top Products Pavilion on the National Hardware Show floor. And this is where many of the newest and the hottest home improvement industry products are unveiled, for the very first time, before they hit the store shelves near you.

    TOM: Now, normally you wouldn’t know about this stuff until it gets on those shelves but we’re going to give you a sneak peek at all that the show has to offer. We’re kind of your eyes and we’re your ears.

    LESLIE: Yeah, it’s like sensory overload here. It’s like the Disney World of home improvement. There’s more than 2,700 exhibitors from around the world. There’s celebrity appearances, there’s arcades, there’s R&R zones and there’s an all-new auction. So much is happening and so much fun.

    TOM: Lots to tell you about, so let’s get started.

    LESLIE: Well, keeping on top of the trends is a full-time job and it’s one taken on by social-media journalist Whitney Richardson. She covers the National Hardware Show via Industry Edge, which offers news, insight and analysis on everything hardware.

    TOM: Welcome, Whitney.

    WHITNEY: Thanks, guys. I’m glad to be here.

    TOM: So, I’ve got to say that – tell the audience – you’ve seen a lot of the Industry Edge posts on MoneyPit.com. We’re so pleased to be able to have those on our website, because they’re just so informative. You guys have been writing about this show; writing about the manufacturers; writing about the cool, new products now for a long, long time. What gets you excited about what you’re seeing here today now that it’s all come together?

    WHITNEY: It’s great to see a lot of the products there that kind of embody a lot of the different trends that we’ve seen. So a lot of the things that we’re noticing are convenience, so things that make life a little bit easier day to day, especially things that deal with home automation. Just even little, simple things here and there that just make basic projects a little bit easier, whether it’s painting, getting into some of the hardware tools that are available for people.

    So it’s great to kind of see them all come to fruition. We talk about them a lot on there, so it’s great to be able to see some of the product demos and play with them a little bit.

    LESLIE: Now, when you’re analyzing the trends, are you sort of thinking about each category and seeing what’s sort of trending within, say, the painting category, lawn-and-garden category? Or do you look at the show as a whole?

    WHITNEY: It’s more on the whole, because I think there’s a lot of things that cross over into a number of different categories. So, for example, one of the things that we’ve noticed: people really like to have something novel, something customized that kind of dealt with a lot of what was going on in the seminars yesterday, talking about the different generations and what they’re looking for. And you can see that in a lot of different categories: paint, obviously; being able to customize your home.

    TOM: And one thing that’s new this year is all of the crowdsourcing that’s been funding the development of products. I mean websites like Kickstarter and Quirky, they must be fun places for you to kind of scope out some new inventions that are going to be shown.

    WHITNEY: They are. And so, actually, we’ve seen a couple here today. COFFEEBOXX was one that we had seen that’s down there in the New Products Pavilion.

    TOM: OK. So what’s that?

    WHITNEY: So it is basically on-the-job – basically, they can take coffee on the site with them and it makes it a little bit easier for them to be able to create and brew with them.

    TOM: What, like a Keurig to go?

    WHITNEY: Somewhat, essentially. And it’s always interesting just to see – pet products seem to be the really big ones that are getting a lot of …

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. It’s a billion-dollar industry. It’s amazing. People will spend money on those animals.

    WHITNEY: And they want to connect with – that’s the big thing. It’s the technology. It’s being able to – I have two kids that I don’t think I want to see them as much as some people want to see their pets.

    LESLIE: Right.

    WHITNEY: Sorry, that’s horrible to say but they’re trying to find ways to keep in touch with them while they’re at work.

    LESLIE: Like FaceTime with the pets while they’re at work.

    WHITNEY: Exactly.

    LESLIE: It’s phenomenal what people will do for the animals. And it’s so interesting that you’re seeing that as a big trend right here, because you wouldn’t think of it associated with hardware.

    WHITNEY: I know. And so it’s interesting, especially seeing all the pet products that are out there. And again, people wanting to customize them on something special for their pets, too.

    And you see it a lot in grilling, as well, too: looking for different tools; new, novel things that they can show off when they’re entertaining.

    TOM: And the sharing aspect, of course, to the social-media point, people are talking more about what they like and don’t like about their products than ever before.

    LESLIE: And that’s huge for a manufacturer. You have got to know that if you mess something up, everybody is going to know instantaneously.

    WHITNEY: They do. And you, unfortunately, see that a little bit on some of the different crowdsourcing sites, as well: things that people have invested money and they’ve been excited about them and then they want to try to bring them to fruition and something snags along the way. And so you’ll hear back from your investors as a result of that.

    TOM: So once the trade show winds down, why should folks continue to follow Industry Edge?

    WHITNEY: We continue to post this stuff. This is a great way – you see it all here at the National Hardware Show. We continue it all year long, so you can kind of keep tabs on whatever is going on in the industry, new trends that may be cropping up in between the show itself.

    TOM: Whitney Richardson, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit and for all the great work you do promoting these new products with Industry Edge.

    WHITNEY: Happy to be here. Thank you, guys, for having me.

    TOM: Well, now that it’s spring, it starts the outdoor-living season. And cleaning up outside brings a whole new life to those spaces. A great product to help you do just that is Spray & Forget. Here to tell us more about the company is its owner, Scott Dudjak.

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

    TOM: So, talk to us about how this product works. Let’s start with the name: Spray & Forget. I guess there’s no rubbing or scrubbing required?

    SCOTT: None at all, no. It works just kind of like the name is. You just spray it and you forget it. Spray it on and let Mother Nature do the rinsing for you.

    LESLIE: So, Spray & Forget is an exterior cleaner? Are we talking about siding? Roofing? Anything?

    SCOTT: Yeah, it’s a good question. Yeah, it’ll work on anything exterior, anything outdoors, everything from outdoor furniture, siding, decks, roofs. You name it, if it’s outdoors and has a green or black mold, mildew or algae stain on it, it’s going to work.

    LESLIE: What about just general dirt?

    SCOTT: You know, it’s not really designed for just general dirt. There are some detergent properties to the product, so we’ll help you in that effect. But most of what we see – especially in humid climates, which are throughout the United States – we see mainly the black or the green, which is the mold-, mildew- or algae-type stains.

    TOM: And it’ll address all of those.

    SCOTT: It’ll address all of it. And even on the dirt, a lot of times it’s this mold, mildew or algae that actually attracts the dirt itself.

    LESLIE: And the dirt’s sticking to it.

    SCOTT: Exactly. So if you remove that, you remove everything.

    LESLIE: So, now, because it’s a product that we are spraying on – spraying and forgetting and leaving it on – do I have to worry about when I’m applying any plants or greenery that might be underneath the window or the siding that I’m working on?

    SCOTT: Yeah. Spray & Forget doesn’t have any bleach or lye or acid in it. It’s a very eco-friendly type of product.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s good.

    TOM: Yeah.

    SCOTT: Yeah. But you do have to wet down the perimeter landscaping before and after. There’s just a little bit of alcohol in the product that will evaporate when you apply it. So you just want to wet it down before and after but it’s not going to harm anything if you do that.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s great.

    TOM: Now, is it applied full strength out of the can or is it a concentrate that you mix?

    SCOTT: We have different versions of it.

    TOM: OK.

    SCOTT: We have a concentrated version of our product that you do dilute and you can apply it with – most people use a garden pump sprayer to apply that. We also have a hose-and-sprayer version that will shoot 20 feet if you’re trying to …

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s great. So you don’t have to be on a ladder or anything.

    SCOTT: Exactly. It’s very convenient.

    TOM: Tell us about the process. I mean spray and forget but what makes it work? Is it the sunlight that activates it or how does it actually start to break down the dirt – not the dirt but the mildew and the algae and the moss?

    SCOTT: Yeah, a little bit. Moisture activates or reactivates the product. It has a very good residual to it, so it’s reactivated with moisture over time. That can be moisture in the air, it can be rainfall, it can even be snow.

    LESLIE: And what’s the lastability (ph)? If I’m spraying this on my home, will it last through the season? Do I have to reapply every season, every year?

    SCOTT: Yeah, it depends on what you’re applying it to.


    SCOTT: So if you’re applying it to a roof, for example – a lot of us get these black kind of ugly, nasty streaks on the roof or even moss in some parts of the country.

    TOM: Right.

    SCOTT: You’re applying it to that, it’s going to take about three months, on average, to remove those stains. It’ll take the longest on that. But again, you don’t have to get up on that roof, in a lot of cases. You don’t have to brush it, you don’t have to pressure-wash it. If you’re doing something like a concrete driveway or a brick or stucco or siding, if you have a green stain, it’s going to be gone in minutes to a day. If you have a black kind of a mold, mildew or algae stain, it’s going to take a week to maybe three weeks to completely remove that.

    LESLIE: And will it keep those areas clean for the duration of the summer or the fall or the spring?

    TOM: Yeah, how often do you recommend reapplying it?

    SCOTT: Yes. Yes, it will. It’ll keep it off of there, on a roof surface, from three to five years.

    LESLIE: Wow, that’s great.

    TOM: That’s really great. Three to five years?

    SCOTT: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: That’s fantastic.

    SCOTT: And on a non-roof surface, you’re going to get anywhere, depending on where you live and how humid it is, anywhere from a year to two years on a non-roof-type surface.

    TOM: Now, is there a formula that you might apply with this – with a pressure washer?

    SCOTT: You can apply this with – our concentrated versions, you can definitely apply with a pressure washer. You usually need an accessory to that pressure washer.

    TOM: Right, like a detergent tank.

    SCOTT: Exactly.

    TOM: Right.

    SCOTT: Exactly. But yes, you can do that.

    TOM: Terrific.

    LESLIE: With the durability of the product and the lastingness of it, it’s almost like that gum commercial where they’re like, “It never loses flavor. How are we going to stay in business?” You guys are so effective that it’s continued users over time, so fantastic. Good for you guys.

    SCOTT: Thank you.

    TOM: Product is called Spray & Forget. The website, Scott?

    SCOTT: www.SprayAndForget.com

    LESLIE: Great.

    TOM: Can’t get any easier than that: SprayAndForget.com.

    Scott Dudjak, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    SCOTT: Thank you for having me.

    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 Vegas. You can follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #TopProductsNHS.

    TOM: Still to come, wouldn’t you just love to torch all those weeds growing up through the spaces between your pavers and the cracks in your concrete and your sidewalks? Well, it turns out you can.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Up next, we’ve got some info on a cool, new tool that will get rid of weeds without chemicals.

    ANNOUNCER: When you’re ready to search for a home, start at Realtor.com. Realtor.com is the most accurate home search site. And be sure to work with a realtor to help you through the process. Realtor.com and realtors. Together, we make home happen.

    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: Well, by now you’ve been spending a little more time out on your deck. But before Memorial Day heralds in the season of outdoor living, it’s important to make sure that the deck is in good shape. We’ve got your checklist with this week’s Pro Tip, presented by Grayne Shingle Siding from Tapco.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, deck trouble is something a homeowner can definitely spot if you know what you’re looking for.

    First of all, you’ve got to look for rot. You want to check different parts of the deck. Make sure that the wood is still sound. You can use a tool, like a screwdriver, to see if you can actually penetrate through the wood surface. If that wood is soft and spongy, you’ve probably got decay present.

    TOM: Yeah, if you go through the wood surface, it’s a bad thing.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And it’s amazing how quickly you will go through where you have decay.

    TOM: The next thing you want to do is check the flashing. Flashing is a metal or plastic guard that directs water out and away from the sensitive areas. It’s often installed where the deck and house come together, to keep moisture and debris from collecting between the house and the deck’s ledger board.

    So, be certain the flashing is sound and firmly in place.

    LESLIE: You know what? And it’s smart to go around and tighten any loose fasteners, pound in any nails that you see have popped up. If a fastener appears to be rusted or corroded, just replace it. Don’t even mess around. Go ahead and replace it because a corroded fastener can cause deterioration in that surrounding wood.

    Now, the deck or the stairs should appear even without any sagging and it shouldn’t sway or move when you’re testing it.

    TOM: And that’s today’s Pro Tip, presented by Grayne Engineered Shake and Shingle Siding from the Tapco Group. The uncompromising beauty of Grayne’s 5-inch shingle siding offers the charm of natural cedar with none of the maintenance.

    Visit Grayne.com – that’s G-r-a-y-n-e.com – or ask your pro today.

    LESLIE: Now, when it comes to enjoying your outdoor space, there’s one thing that’s a total buzzkill. I’m talking about weeds.

    Now, when the weeds pop up through your pavers or even just cracks in your sidewalks, wouldn’t you just love to zap them into oblivion? Well, now you can.

    TOM: Joining us to tell about a way to get rid of those weeds without spraying chemicals is Jennifer Fening from BernzOmatic.

    Welcome, Jennifer.

    JENNIFER: Hi. Thanks for having me.

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

    So this is a really fun tool that you guys have invented. To describe it for our audiences, it’s sort of shaped like a candy cane, where you have the propane canister at the top and you have the torch at the bottom. How does it work?

    JENNIFER: Exactly. So, you hold the top of the cane and you attach to the short end your standard camping cylinder. And at the bottom end of the torch comes about a 4-inch flame that you can use to powerfully kill those weeds in your driveway or your paver patio.

    TOM: Kind of get even with the weeds.

    JENNIFER: Absolutely. So, the way the torch works is you just have to kiss the weed with the flame and the moisture inside the root of the weed will evaporate instantly and instantly kill the weed from the root.

    TOM: Now, that’s a really good point. Because some would think that you’re only really killing the top of the weed and it will continue to grow. But it actually goes down and takes out the root, as well.

    JENNIFER: Down to the root. And it only takes a few seconds, though. If you want to kind of linger with the flame, you’ll see those weeds go up in seconds and it’s exceptionally gratifying.

    LESLIE: If you’re having a good time. I can imagine.

    You know what I think is so interesting, Jennifer, is that we’re all familiar with the BernzOmatic Propane Torch. Everyone’s familiar with it. We know the canister. This is such a new and interesting way to use it. I mean kudos for thinking of it. What kind of was the driving force behind putting this together?

    JENNIFER: It’s actually something that’s been around for a little while but not that many people knew about. So we’ve just been doing a lot more education and sharing with people the way to use the torch. And this is actually a torch that you can use for lawn-and-garden care but it’s also something that you can use for lighting bonfires this summer in your driveway.

    If you have kind of a crack in your asphalt or your pavement, you can fill it with some rubberized sealant. Hit it with a torch and it’ll melt right in and create a waterproof seal.

    TOM: Now, I’ve actually used this to light a campfire or a fire pit in my home and it works really well. Because, traditionally, what we had to do was build up wood twigs and then we had to put newspaper in there. You had to reach in there with a match. And maybe by the time you get to the fourth or fifth match, it actually starts to take off. With this, you could build a fire very, very quickly and efficiently.

    JENNIFER: Absolutely. If the Boy Scout way isn’t quite for you, this can get that bonfire going really quickly. And it has a 36-inch handle, so you’re getting your face away from the flame at a safer distance.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. I was going to say I think that’s really important, because you’re distancing yourself from the flame. And we all know how quickly fire can emerge when you’re dealing with a bonfire. So it’s good to sort of be away from it.

    TOM: Now, you also have an auto-start feature so it makes it very convenient. You’re not using a match or a lighter to light this.

    JENNIFER: Quick and easy to get going. That’s right.

    TOM: Yep. Now, let’s talk about the places that it’s appropriate to use this. So we talked about pavers. I guess cracks in driveways, cracks in sidewalks, any really non-flammable surface that has a weed coming through it, correct?

    JENNIFER: Exactly. Exactly. And before you get started, you probably want to sweep and get away any flammable items, such as leaves, and then you’re good to go.

    LESLIE: And I think you would want to pay attention to if there’s any burn warnings in your area. Because I think so much on the news – and depending where you are regionally in the States – so much on the news you hear we have a do-not-burn-today warning out there. So you’ve got to pay attention to what’s going on in your community.

    JENNIFER: Definitely want to use it safely.

    TOM: Well, it’s a great product. It’s the BernzOmatic Lawn-and-Garden Torch. Runs on a standard, 16-ounce propane camping cylinder. Try it. You’ll like it and you’ll feel really good about getting rid of those weeds once and for all.

    Jennifer, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    JENNIFER: Thank you for having me.

    LESLIE: Alright. Well, joining us now, we’ve got Rich Russo who’s the VP of the National Hardware Show. This is a huge job and a huge undertaking.

    How on earth do you coordinate such a feat, Rich?

    RICH: Well, Leslie, thank you very much. And let me just tell you, it takes an army.

    LESLIE: I can only imagine.

    RICH: Yeah, we have …

    TOM: You must feel like the father of the bride today.

    RICH: This is – you’re right. I walked the aisles and I just can’t be more happy and proud of looking at all the wonderful products that our exhibitors have brought together here and the retailers that are just doing tremendous business on the show floor. So it’s just an amazing event and we’re just excited that everybody’s here enjoying themselves.

    TOM: Alright. Connect the dots for consumers at home. Why should they care? What happens here and how does it matter to the folks that are going to be going into the Home Depots and the Lowe’s and the hardware stores now in the next year? What are they going to see?

    RICH: That’s the beauty of this show here is that these products that are being displayed here are going to be those products that those consumers are buying probably 3, 6, 12 months from now. So the retailers are on the show floor here and they’re just filling their shelves with products that the consumers are asking for, looking for, don’t even know they want yet. And when they get to those Home Depots and Lowe’s, they’re going to be seeing these products on their shelves.

    TOM: So what are some of the cool, new things that you’ve seen that get you really excited?

    RICH: Oh, you know what? There are so many new products here, I don’t even know if I could bring it down to one. We’ve seen floating coolers and biometric safes and hammocks that hang from a single point for up to 600 pounds. I mean there are just amazing products out here that range from hardware and tools, all the way through lawn-and-garden to housewares, paint products. It’s unbelievable.

    LESLIE: Now, how do you guys coordinate such an event? This year, the setup is entirely different than it’s been in other years. We’ve come to the event and sort of known where to go. This year, you’ve done a completely different layout and I feel like it’s so much more successful for everybody who’s participating.

    RICH: We really spent a lot of time and effort making sure that both the exhibitors and the attendees knew where to go. You’re right, Leslie. It is a completely new layout that we have this year. We’ve spent a lot of time marketing the fact that these guys are in all new locations. And we wanted to keep it close together so that these people really could be next to products that are synergetic with their products.

    TOM: We’re talking to Rich Russo. He’s the vice president of the National Hardware Show and this is his gig here right in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    So how big is this show, from a square-foot perspective or a participant’s perspective? How many people are here?

    RICH: From an overall gross-square-footage perspective, we’re over 1.2 million square feet of gross space that we take through here.

    TOM: It’s amazing.

    LESLIE: Geez Louise.

    RICH: There are over 3,000 exhibiting companies and we’ll bring over 30,000 attendees through the door.

    TOM: And one big trend that’s happening this year that you haven’t seen before.

    RICH: One big trend? With something that we started a little bit last year was our emergency prep and disaster recovery. It’s actually really kind of caught on and we’ve grown our segment …

    TOM: Probably spurred on by Sandy, right?

    RICH: Exactly. That’s where it kind of all started. But you know what? Now that they seem to be – these natural disasters seem to be happening more often, people need to be prepared for them.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Got to always be prepared.

    Well, Rich Russo, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit and congratulations on an amazing National Hardware Show. You’ve done a great job and it really reads – the traffic is up. Everybody is having a good time. The manufacturers really seem to be successful in their endeavors, so well done, sir.

    RICH: Thank you, guys, very much.

    LESLIE: Alright. Still to come, measuring the rooms in your house has gone high-tech and we love it. We’re going to learn about a laser distance measurer that will create a floor plan from the info it gathers and send it right to your device.

    TOM: That’s coming up when The Money Pit continues from the 2015 National Hardware Show, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Grayne Engineered Shake and Shingle Siding from The Tapco Group. Contractors can now offer homeowners the charm of natural cedar with none of the maintenance. Visit Grayne.com or ask your pro today.

    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: And we’re coming to you today from The Money Pit’s Top Products Pavilion at the 2015 National Hardware Show, where we’re highlighting some of the best innovations in the home and do-it-yourself product categories.

    LESLIE: That’s right. You know, this is such a cool place and we’re really so excited to be able to bring you all an inside look at this industry-only event. We’re catching up on all the trends and cool, new tools.

    TOM: And one we really love is the newest Stanley Laser Distance Measurer. It’s got some very high-tech features that’ll make projects much easier and more convenient to get done. With us to talk about that is Andrew DaSilva.

    Welcome, Andrew.

    ANDREW: Hey, Tom. Hey, Leslie. How are you guys doing today?

    TOM: Now, we’ve seen this product before but you guys added a really important, new addition to it. So, first of all, explain what a laser distance measurer is and then let’s talk about how it kind of creates a floor plan for you.

    ANDREW: Alright. No problem. So, a laser distance measurer traditionally would give you linear distance between the actual unit itself and the object that you’re pointing at. What we did here is we actually decided to incorporate Bluetooth technology into it.

    TOM: OK.

    ANDREW: So we teamed up with an amazing app developer that came out with Stanley Floor Plan. And we launched this about a month ago into both the Android Store and the iOS Apple iTunes Store. Both exciting launches. Works with your iPad and your iPhone.

    So, using augmented reality, you literally stand in the center of a room, capturing the corners – each corner of the room. And it will generate a floor plan based on your movement.

    TOM: Wow.

    ANDREW: So the accelerometers within your phone or your iPad will pick that up and then it will learn how you move as you go. So, the more you use it, the more accurate it becomes. And we’re …

    LESLIE: Interesting and scary, all at the same time. But very exciting.

    ANDREW: Well, with any technology, right?

    LESLIE: Right.

    ANDREW: So the cool part is – and where we integrated the technology – is that we took the laser distance measurer, we integrated the Bluetooth and now you can make sure that each one of those rooms is completely accurate and accurate more – to more than an 1/8-inch using the TLM99s.

    TOM: So once you have it – the sort of the corners of the room roughed out, then you take the laser distance measurer and actually physically measure wall to wall, room to room. And then that actually transmits into the app?

    ANDREW: Exactly. So, once you pair the device, it will literally – you snap a measurement and it literally snaps right to that object that you programmed it to.

    And it’s not just for walls. And it will be for any item that you drop within the floor plan. So, if you’re doing spatial measurements with new furniture, any sort of HVAC professional applications, like electrical and the like, or even just wanting to potentially open up a doorway or a wall, you could do so with the laser distance measurer, as well, and the Floor Plan app.

    LESLIE: And I think what’s so interesting is I had a few minutes to play with the app. When you are configuring, say, multiple rooms to do a floor plan of, say, an entire first floor, now if you’ve got the same doorway that gets you from – let’s just say the dining room to the kitchen. When you go to take those two rooms and lay them next to one another, it’s not just kind of willy-nilly guessing. You’ll see a green light and an arrow telling you this is exactly where I match up, so you know your doorways are matching up, you know everything is working. So you can formulate an electrical plan, a plumbing plan, a flow plan. I mean it’s amazing.

    TOM: Everything’s there.

    ANDREW: Yep. Yeah, exactly. And there’s tons of professional features in there, as well. Really bringing that to the consumer is huge because there’s so many people out there that do their own tile, that want to put in their own cabinets. And this will allow them to get quick, instant, accurate estimates. So you’re not running back and forth, back and forth to Home Depot or Lowe’s or wherever you’re working that day, as many of us fall into that trap.

    LESLIE: Right.

    TOM: So many times when we see apps that are connected with products, they really are the bare-bones minimum. But this is really a very robust app. And I think you’ll find that this particular app, even without the laser distance measurer, has so much functionality in it that once you get going with it, you don’t want to put it down.

    ANDREW: Yeah, exactly, Tom.

    So, when we went out and talked to end users, some people want the laser distance measurer, some people want the app. Some people wanted both together. So, what we wanted to do is create two products that are great by themselves but then when you use them together, they become awesome. And really, they blend it together, they bring it to that next level. And it makes for a nice ecosystem that fits together and really gives you a use and a strategy and something different.

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: Now, it has some sort of an estimator on the app, as well? So if I’m looking at quantity of flooring or something, it helps me to determine that?

    ANDREW: Within the app itself, there’s a Statistics button. And you can open it up and it has everything from square footage – with walls, without walls – square footage of your walls. So if you’re going to the paint store, you know how much paint or how many gallons you need.

    LESLIE: How many gallons you need to get.

    ANDREW: Exactly. Same thing with flooring, tile. Even if you’re doing anything, it really comes into play. And even if you’re shopping for an air conditioner this summer – hopefully it’s a hot one – your volume – your cubic volume – of your home or of your floor plan is in there, so you know exactly what you need when you’re going out.

    TOM: It’s worth going through this, even if you’re not doing construction right now, because you’re really creating a living document of your home and its exact size and shape and all of these specifications on your phone. So any time you have to buy paint, wallpaper, air conditioning, really anything for your house that involves knowing if it’s going to fit, all you do is pull out your phone and the answer is right there.

    ANDREW: Yeah, exactly. So, just to expand on that point a little, it doesn’t just have to be about the traditional construction/home improvement-type stuff. Going to IKEA, going and spatially planning your space and understanding – “Will this 8-foot by 8-foot sectional fit in my basement or will this brand-new table …?”

    LESLIE: Will it make that turn? Get in the front door?

    ANDREW: Exactly. Yeah, it’s absolutely huge. And it takes the guesswork out of going back home and taking a tape measure out and doing that work.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And I think it’s so important, because it gives you an actual guestimate for planning a budget.

    TOM: Andrew DaSilva from Stanley, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit and filling us in on the brand-new Laser Distance Measurer and the brand-new Floor Plan app. Well done.

    ANDREW: Thank you very much, Tom. It’s been a pleasure.

    LESLIE: Alright. Still ahead, nothing makes something old new again like a fresh coat of paint. Up next, we’ve got some info on some of the most durable, protective and easy-to-use spray paints on the market.

    TOM: That continues when The Money Pit returns from the 2015 National Hardware Show, after this.

    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.

    And we are back from the show floor of the 2015 National Hardware Show. And so far, we are loving Krylon’s COVERMAXX Spray Paint. It not only dries in 10 minutes, which is amazing and faster than any other general-purpose aerosol out there, it’s the only one with built-in rust protection.

    TOM: Now, spray-painting is a fun project but one of the more dreaded projects that homeowners have to take up from time to time is dealing with plumbing clogs. It’s messy and it always leaves you wondering whether a plumber is really necessary and how much they’ll charge for that dreaded emergency service call.

    LESLIE: That’s right. Well, there’s one company that’s coming to the rescue.

    TOM: With us to talk about that is Denise Kovac from Plumber’s Hero.

    Welcome, Denise.

    DENISE: Hi. Nice to be here. Thank you.

    TOM: So, how does Plumber’s Hero work?

    DENISE: Plumber’s Hero is really easy. I’m not a do-it-yourself person, generally, but it’s a product that I can do all by myself. It’s one easy push and it can clear any clog I’ve ever tested.

    TOM: Alright. So, let’s describe it for the audience. So, it’s – is it compressed air?

    DENISE: It’s a compressed air without all the dangerous chemicals. It works in laundry rooms, small sinks, through garbage disposals. And we even have a special attachment for the toilets.

    LESLIE: That’s amazing.

    Now, do you have to worry, because you are sending a force of compressed air down to relieve a clog, for any sort of pressurization issues within the plumbing itself?

    DENISE: What’s great about the way it works is that it’s propelled and engineered so that it’s propelling through the pipes straight, not sideways.

    LESLIE: Oh, interesting.

    TOM: Oh, so then it kind of reduces the chance of a blowout.

    DENISE: Right. And we’ve been tested by independent laboratories and the product is all safely made here in the United States.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s fantastic.

    TOM: Oh, that’s – yeah, that’s really great.

    So, I guess the key is to get a good seal right around the drain.

    DENISE: It is.

    TOM: And that’s why you have several different types of gaskets or – that you put down there.

    DENISE: We have two different types of seals, so they’ll work with almost any drain. Our smaller one is designed to work with the small sinks in your laundry room or bathroom. But we also have a larger seal that works with the large floor in your shower floor or over garbage disposals.

    TOM: And how successful has the product been for consumers?

    DENISE: It’s an interesting story. We started this product about 23 years ago and were very, very successful then. But we only had 10 shots back then – 10 uses – and we were double the price. So, today, we came back out. We met with the new VOC compliance in the United States and in California. We give you double the shots: 20 uses in a can for $20. We’re at most of the major retailers.

    TOM: I guess having a plumber can cost you a little bit more than a buck, huh?

    LESLIE: A lot more.

    Do you find that most obstructions are cleared with one use?

    DENISE: Most people do it in one use. Sometimes people are a little nervous the first time they go to use it and they’ll like shoot sideways or something, not quite have it sealed perfectly. But if you have the seal perfect, it’s one use.

    TOM: That’s fantastic. Denise Kovac from Plumber’s Hero, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    If you’d like to learn more about this product, go to the Plumber’s Hero website at PlumbersHero.com.

    Thanks, Denise.

    DENISE: Thank you. Thanks for being here.

    LESLIE: Well, when it comes to lighting solutions, homeowners have been trying to make the switch to LEDs. But some are just so used to and comfortable with the look of incandescents that it’s been, well, let’s say a difficult transition.

    TOM: Well, our next guest has the solution. TCP provides consumers with every affordable LED option. Sharon Gallagher joins us now to explain.

    Welcome, Sharon.

    SHARON: Thank you.

    TOM: Well, we love the TCP bulbs. I wanted to tell you that I put a whole bunch of the high-hat-styled ones in my house. Once I saw the design, it just was fantastic. And we get such bright, good-quality light out of them that I’m never going back.

    SHARON: Great. I’m glad to hear that.

    LESLIE: You know, I think it’s confusing because there’s so many options, there’s so many different things. And I think when you look at an LED bulb, things are measured differently. So how do you know, as a consumer, which bulb is right for you and for what application?

    SHARON: The bulb shapes mimic those of incandescent-style lamps, so you can pretty much shop by bulb shape.


    SHARON: You also want to look for an ENERGY STAR-listed bulb that is a bulb that’s been tested to very high-quality standards, to make sure that you’re getting a quality bulb.

    TOM: Now, you’ve got a new bulb coming out that you say is omni-directional. What does that mean?

    SHARON: That means it mimics an incandescent light. With a lot of LEDs, they’re very directional lighting, so people will get those home and they may not be happy because it doesn’t – it’s not a true replacement for an incandescent. So an omni-directional will replace an incandescent light but it’ll use about 80 percent less electricity.

    LESLIE: I mean that’s amazing. So you’ve got an 80-percent energy saving. And what is the lifetime, the duration of the bulb?

    SHARON: The bulbs will last 25,000 hours. So the standard is you typically use a light bulb about three hours a day. And so that would mean that bulb would last for 22 years.

    LESLIE: That’s amazing.

    TOM: Now, when these bulbs first came out, they were $20, $30, $40. It’s just amazing now. The omni-directional LED lamp that’s coming out is $4.88.

    SHARON: Yes.

    TOM: That’s amazing.

    SHARON: Just lend it …

    TOM: And you’re never going to have to replace it.

    SHARON: Yeah. It’s going to be there for a very long time.

    TOM: The other thing I think is interesting now about LED lamps is it used to be that when you move from a house or an apartment, you would leave all your light bulbs behind because who cares, right?

    LESLIE: Oh, no, you’re taking these with you.

    TOM: Now, they’re like an appliance; you’re taking them with you.

    SHARON: You pack those up and take them with you.

    LESLIE: And so your new, multi-directional lamp or your omni-directional light, where will these be available?

    SHARON: So those have just been placed in Home Depot. They’re there now. And that is a permanent price, so we – below $5 permanently. It’s not just a short-term.

    LESLIE: That’s great.

    TOM: Now, consumers are searching, sometimes, for a bulb that fits a fixture, right?

    SHARON: Yes.

    TOM: Like they have a lampshade that snaps over a bulb. Does something like the omni-directional bulb address that? Is it shaped so you could, say, snap on a light fixture?

    SHARON: Yes, absolutely. It mimics the same as an incandescent, so consumers can be very comfortable with that.

    TOM: Now, what about the maximum-wattage warnings that are in so many of our lamps that were based on incandescent-bulb numbers? Can we assume that the power consumption being 15 to 25 percent of what an incandescent means that you, theoretically, use a larger light-emitting bulb than what you had with incandescent?

    SHARON: The bulbs actually – so this omni is a 60-watt equivalent, so that can replace any 60-watt. So you can just use that same equivalency guideline on it in a fixture.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s great. I love that it’s labeled that way so you know exactly what you’re looking for. And dimmable?

    SHARON: Yes, dimmable.

    LESLIE: Love it.

    TOM: Fantastic. Sharon Gallagher from TCP, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    SHARON: Thank you for having me.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Radio Show coming to you from the Top Products Pavilion at the 2015 National Hardware Show. We’ll be back with more, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by QUIKRETE. It’s what America is made of. For project help from start to finish, download the new QUIKRETE mobile app.

    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: Well, Summit Brands is a company that’s been around since 1958. It’s a family-owned business located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They’ve got a lot of terrific brands. Some that you might be familiar with are Iron Out, Woolite, DrainOut and now Glisten, the machine-cleaning experts. With us to talk about that is Tony Cronk.

    Welcome, Tony.

    TONY: Well, thank you very much. Thanks for having me on the show, Tom.

    TOM: So the Glisten line is really impressive. You guys have taken a problem that so many folks have in their home, which is maintaining the appliances that we use every day – we’re talking about our disposers, our washers, our dishwashers – and really made it very, very simple to accomplish that. So, tell us about some of those processes.

    TONY: Indeed. So, we started – developed our first product about 10 years ago. It was the Dishwasher Magic product. That product was focused around removing a lot of the problems that exist in a – or the dishwashing machine: hard-water buildup, food, grease. These things collect over time, especially if you’re in problem-water areas.

    Most manufacturers in this area already recommend that you take care of that appliance but most people don’t know that.

    TOM: Yeah. Because they always say to do that but they don’t. They kind of leave it right there. They don’t exactly tell you what to do, you know?

    TONY: They don’t give you a solution.

    LESLIE: Or tell you how or tell you that sometimes there’s a food trap that you have to open up and clean out until, all of a sudden, you realize, “Why is the dishwasher not working?”

    TOM: Yeah.

    TONY: Or clean out. “There’s a problem.”

    TOM: Exactly.

    TONY: And then people throw it away and go buy a new one. Well, we’ve got products out there to solve that very simply. We made that simple for the consumer or the homeowner to use our product. Put it in there, take care of the problem the first time and back to working order.

    TOM: And that works, as well, for the washing machine. Now, there’s an area where there’s been a lot of consumer complaints over the last few years about odors, because of the bacteria buildup primarily around the seals. And the product addresses that?

    TONY: Yeah, the Washer Magic – or Glisten Washer Magic product – focuses on two key areas: the drum and the seal around the door. The seal around the door collects water over time. Creates kind of a mold/mildew buildup, creates that odor and that stink.

    TOM: Yep.

    TONY: Inside the drum, you get the same effect but that’s usually soap-scum buildup. Our product works both – in both areas. It’s unique that way, because most other products are powders and tablets. Lets you clean the seal. You pour it in the machine. Takes care of the problems in there.

    LESLIE: That’s great. And I know Tom has had a lot of familiarity with your Disposer Care line of the Glisten family, which is so interesting because I got to see a video online of how the Disposer Care actually works. And it’s just so fascinating how it expands and really gets into all the nooks and crannies of everything happening within the disposer.

    And that’s one of the questions we get a lot at The Money Pit. A lot of people have concerns about disposer odor and why does it smell so bad? So this just really answers that question.

    TOM: Yeah, so let’s talk about how Disposer Care works, because it’s kind of cool, Tony. Describe the process.

    TONY: It’s quite simple. It uses a small stream of hot water. You put the product in the disposer, turn it on for about two minutes. Over that period of time, you’ll see it foam up in your sink. It looks like a science experiment.

    LESLIE: It really does look like a science experiment.

    TOM: It does, yeah. Reminds me of the volcano experiment we all do with our kids, right?

    TONY: Precisely. And that’s pretty much the technology we use. What that process does – we have a unique, proprietary formula that allows that foam to hang around in there and work over that couple-minute period, which is unique. It’s that scrubbing and the paper that’s in the product itself that allows the scrubbing to take place, clean the bottom of that seal and in the disposer. And it’ll come up in your other drain and clean that other sink drain out.

    TOM: Tell us about the consumer feedback. What are you hearing?

    TONY: Disposer Care people love – it’s funny. When we do consumer focus groups, we’re talking to people about designing the ideal garbage-disposer cleaner. And they always design Disposer Care. So it’s like we’re trying to make it better but we’re already there.

    LESLIE: Well, I feel like people really respond to Disposer Care because you see it, you see it working and it goes away when it’s done. So there’s no question of “I’ve finished this process and now we’re good.”

    TOM: Right.

    TONY: We have an incredible repeat rate with the product. People love the product. The problem we have is always getting the word out there so people know that there’s a product or a solution for that problem.

    TOM: Well, hopefully, we did a little bit of that today. Tony Cronk from Glisten, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    TONY: Thank you very much for having me on.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit’s Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you live from the 2015 National Hardware Show. Thank you so much for spending this hour with us. If you’d like to follow along our coverage, use 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.


    (Copyright 2015 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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