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The Money Pit Broadcasts from the Top Products Pavilion at the 2015 National Hardware Show

  • Transcript

    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 it’s the show we’ve been talking about for weeks. We are at the Las Vegas Convention Center here at the 2015 National Hardware Show. We’re very excited to be here with all our favorite picks right under one roof, so to speak.

    LESLIE: A very big roof.

    TOM: It’s a big roof. It’s our very own Top Products Pavilion.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, we really love this show and all of you, our faithful listeners, know that we’ve not missed coming to the National Hardware Show in over a decade.

    As long as we’ve been partners, we’ve been coming here, Tom.

    TOM: That’s right.

    LESLIE: This really is the place where we get to bring you an inside look at the info, products, trends, all the stuff you’re going to be seeing at your favorite home center very soon.

    TOM: Yeah. And the folks here are all industry insiders. But don’t worry, we can get you a sneak peek at all that the show has to offer. We’re your eyes, we’re your ears. There’s a lot to cover. More than 2,700 exhibitors from around the world, over 250,000 products are showcased; 650 of those are brand-spanking new.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Just imagine that every product that you see on the shelves of a home center or a lumberyard or even the hardware store – just about anything that you need for your house can be found right here in droves.

    TOM: We’re seeing some very specific trends, as well. For example, healthy homes are in, both in building materials and in the air inside them. The smart home continues to reign supreme, as well. There’s newer platforms to connect everything, from lighting to security systems. And of course, anything that saves time and money is always in style.

    LESLIE: Seriously. For example, why waste time with paint that creates more work? Our first guest this hour has news on a product that will make your paint projects go perfectly every time. We’re welcoming Katherine Merkle to the program and she is the brand manager over at Krylon.

    Welcome, Katherine.

    KATHERINE: Good morning.

    TOM: So, Katherine, tell us about the new Krylon COVERMAXX. Now, I understand this is the first and only spray paint that has a rust inhibitor.

    KATHERINE: Yes, that is true. And as consumers are taking the trend of indoor projects to their outdoor spaces, having a rust-protection property within an aerosol paint allows for added durability and performance in the elements.

    LESLIE: OK. All of that sounds very exciting to me but you know what, Katherine, really gets me excited is your 10-minute-or-less drying time. I mean that’s phenomenal.

    KATHERINE: It is fabulous. It allows consumers to complete their projects faster and get to enjoy it in their outdoor spaces.

    TOM: Now, in addition to the rust inhibitor and the drying time, this is really an – truly an all-in-one project. You don’t need a primer with this and it also seems to be very, very durable.

    KATHERINE: It is a very durable product. And it is fabulous for not just your outdoor projects but also your indoor projects. And the color offering is the broadest in the aerosol category, with 95 colors and finishes, as well as metallics.

    LESLIE: Yeah. I’ve got to agree with you. When it comes to spray paints, you’re usually limited with color selection. But the Krylon COVERMAXX line is just massive, immersive, on trend. It’s exciting because you guys know I like to spray-paint everything.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: And I don’t want to wait between coats and I want it to look awesome. And so you do that.

    TOM: And if you do like to spray-paint a lot, like we do, you know that you also get very tired holding that little button down, right?

    LESLIE: Your finger gets worn out.

    TOM: Gets kind of achy. You guys have thought of that, too, because you added something you call the Easy Push Spray Tip. How much easier is this to use than a traditional Krylon tip?

    KATHERINE: Our Easy Push Spray Tip requires two times less finger pressure than competitive products, which eliminates finger fatigue as you’re doing your projects.

    LESLIE: Spray-paint twice as long.

    KATHERINE: Yeah. There you go.

    TOM: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Without wearing out.

    LESLIE: Twice as many things.

    TOM: Yeah. Now, the other thing that’s interesting about this product is the way you’ve packaged it. Now, traditionally, you have the color on the cap, right? And then those caps get lost or they get cracked or broken. And I’ve got a dozen cans on my shelf with no more caps on them. And to figure out what color it is, you look at the little, tiny tip to see if the remnant is there that came out of the tip.

    LESLIE: What the remnant is there.

    TOM: But you’ve changed your packaging now so, really, the color is sort of enveloping the entire can.

    KATHERINE: Our new packaging is designed with full cover color, from cap to bottom. So the can itself is wrapped in the color that you will get as you spray out your product.

    TOM: Fantastic. Katherine, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    Katherine Merkle from Krylon, filling us in on the brand-new product, Krylon COVERMAXX, the first and only general-purpose aerosol paint offering a rust inhibitor.

    If you’d like more information, you can go to their website at Krylon.com.

    LESLIE: Well, as long as we’re on the subject of painting, I really think that nothing is more important than prep. Regardless of whether you’re taking on simple or even more complicated projects, you have to be sure to use ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape from 3M. It’s going to help you pull off a better paint job every time.

    Our next guest is from 3M, a company that’s been helping DIYers and pros alike keep paint in its place for many, many years. So join me in welcoming Heidi Anderson, the communications manager for 3M.

    Welcome, Heidi.

    HEIDI: Thank you. It’s great to be here.

    TOM: One of the things that’s really fun about ScotchBlue’s product line is you guys continue to come up with new ways to improve the product. And you watch us, as do-it-yourselfers, fumble along sometimes with our paint projects. And you see the frustration points and you do a good job at addressing them.

    And now you’ve got a painter’s tape that has what’s called Advanced Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector. So this is going to help us with sharp lines, correct?

    HEIDI: Absolutely. And what’s great about it is that it actually comes in two different varieties. So no matter what your project, we have a tape for you.

    LESLIE: And the varieties are because of, say, wall surface or …?

    HEIDI: Absolutely. So our Multi-Surface is great for surfaces like glass or trim or those types of things. But if you’re doing something like walls or even furniture, like cabinets, you’d want to use our Delicate Surfaces.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s smart.

    TOM: Now, with the Advanced Edge-Lock product, do you – can you do more than one coat of paint and have it still be effective? Or do you have to replace the tape in between coats of paint?

    HEIDI: Yes, you can do more than one coat of paint. Mm-hmm.

    LESLIE: And I think the big trick here is – and a lot of people, I think, have some confusion about this – is when do you pull the tape off? Do you wait until everything’s dry? Do you put the coat on and let it set up a minute? Like everybody has a different approach.

    TOM: Technique for that, yeah.

    HEIDI: Yeah. Yeah, you should wait until it’s dry to pull it off. And you should pull it very slowly as you pull it off.

    LESLIE: Like almost back onto itself, right?

    HEIDI: Yeah. Almost back onto itself. We have some really great videos on our website that show exactly how to do it to get the best paint line.

    LESLIE: So not like my six-year-old: just grab one end and then run across right with it and hope for the best.

    HEIDI: Right. Correct. Yes, you should be a little bit slower and deliberate about it.

    TOM: Now, if you’re going to paint a room – and let’s say you have door and window trim, as well as walls to do – would you suggest doing the trim first? Because if you got on the walls a little bit, you could paint over that to make it crisp? Or do you prefer do walls first and then trim?

    HEIDI: I usually like to do the trim first. I usually tape those first and then do – paint the walls and then go back and do the trim later on. But it really depends on personal preference and how much time you have, as well.

    TOM: See, now, I wouldn’t tape-off a wall that I was going to do trim on first, because I could – knew I’d rather tape off the trim later to get it crisp.

    HEIDI: Yep. I did – sometimes it’s personal preference, too, mm-hmm.

    LESLIE: It’s your technique.

    HEIDI: Yeah. Yeah.

    LESLIE: You’re Tom. You’ve got your own approach.

    TOM: That’s right.

    LESLIE: You know what I think is interesting, Heidi, is that when you’re painting outside, I can never get tape to stick to anything. I mean granted, my house is not filthy but it’s not like dirt- and dust-free outside.

    HEIDI: Right.

    LESLIE: So it’s like if I’m doing something around trim and I want to tape it, it’s constantly falling off. But you guys have sort of created an answer to that.

    HEIDI: Yes. We have our ScotchBlue Exterior Surfaces Tape, which is great for that because it holds up to humidity and some of the weather elements, as well. And you can leave it up for seven days.

    TOM: Now, we call this, generically, “masking tape.” But what are the critical differences between ScotchBlue and sort of traditional masking tape?

    HEIDI: It’s really all in the adhesive.

    TOM: OK.

    HEIDI: So if you have our ScotchBlue masking tape, there’s an acrylic adhesive and that really stands up to the UV. If you’re using just a standard, tan masking tape, that’s a rubber adhesive so it’s just not going to have that clean removal that you’re going to need.

    TOM: Yeah. And that clean removal is the key here.

    Now, these tapes that you’re talking about today actually have quite an extended removal, which I think is kind of funny. That if you’re doing this, say, the pattern on the wall and you’re using the Delicate, you have 60 days – 60 days – to remove that tape.

    HEIDI: That’s right.

    LESLIE: Wow, that’s great.

    HEIDI: It is great, especially if you were just being really perfect about it.

    TOM: Yeah.

    HEIDI: You don’t have to rush through it; you can really take your time.

    TOM: I think that my wife would scream at me if I let the project go for two months.

    HEIDI: That’s true.

    LESLIE: As long as we’re talking about leaving paint – leaving the tape up, have you guys seen any trends in sort of specific painting patterns or techniques that are emerging right now?

    HEIDI: Absolutely. Yes, it’s really exciting because patterns are everywhere. And we’re actually doing a really fun partnership with Patternbank. And what we’re going to be doing is they’re going to launch a pattern just for us and we’re going to be putting it out on our website every month. And we’ll show you, everybody, how to do it.

    TOM: Fantastic.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s fantastic.

    TOM: Heidi Anderson – from 3M Construction and Home Improvement Markets Division, telling us about the new ScotchBlue Brand of painter’s tape – thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    HEIDI: 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 2015 National Hardware Show in Vegas.

    TOM: We’ll be back with more, after this.

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is presented by Pavestone’s easy-to-stack RumbleStone Rustic Building Blocks. Create any outdoor hardscape you can imagine, to instantly add old-world charm. Available at The Home Depot. For more information and product instructions, visit Pavestone.com.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show on air and online at MoneyPit.com coming to you from the 2015 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And we’re thrilled to be here checking out the best of the best of the home improvement products hitting the market.

    LESLIE: Yeah. You know, this is like Comic Con but for us home improvers.

    TOM: Yeah.

    LESLIE: It’s really – it’s open only to industry insiders, so we have the opportunity to bring the show to you.

    Now, if it’s been a long time since you bought a new ladder, it’s probably because there’s no reason to. Ladders really haven’t changed much and some find them a little nerve-wracking, quite frankly.

    TOM: Yeah, absolutely. It’s all about the change with the introduction of the Werner Podium Ladder, one of our favorite, new products from the National Hardware Show and a spectacular, new design in ladders. They’re available in fiberglass and aluminum, they reach up to 9 feet and they provide a comfortable, secure platform to stand on and deliver the ease of use you’ve always wanted when you’re up on a ladder but maybe never quite felt safe until now.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what’s interesting is that the ladder has a holster-top tool holder, which has a lot of features, like a lock-in system that’s built into the guardrail. So you’re not balancing your toolbox or your tool belt or reaching sort of dangerously to get things. It really kind of contains you.

    TOM: Check it out at WernerPodium.com or follow us on Twitter @MoneyPit using the hashtag #TopProductsNHS.

    LESLIE: Well, it used to be that when we talked about smart lighting, we were talking about a home of the future. Well, the future is here, guys. There are a lot of smart lighting options available; so many, in fact, that it can kind of be confusing.

    TOM: Well, Jasco has developed products that are compatible with many platforms. And here to tell us more is Keith Lashley, the vice president of product development for Jasco.

    Hey, Keith.

    KEITH: Hi. Thank you for having us.

    TOM: So, Keith, one of the biggest challenges with smart homes and high-tech homes have sort of been the platform in trying to sort of standardize that so we can have all these different devices talking to each other and doing it succinctly. How does Jasco address that?

    KEITH: You’re exactly right. But what we’ve seen is more and more platforms continue to evolve. Today, Jasco is very involved in not only the Z-Wave platform, which is predominantly in the homes today, but also in the new, emerging ZigBee platform – the home automation platform.

    But one of the new things we’ve launched here at the Hardware Show is a Bluetooth platform, which no one else has ever launched a real Bluetooth lighting product that anyone could …

    LESLIE: But everything else seems to have Bluetooth connectivity.

    KEITH: Absolutely. Every phone, every tablet, every computer.

    LESLIE: Computer, printers, everything.

    KEITH: Everything has it, so …

    TOM: Is there a restriction on the distance that Bluetooth can work effectively?

    KEITH: Well, see, that’s the great thing about the platform we built, OK?

    TOM: OK.

    KEITH: We’ve worked with a company called CSR, one of the biggest chip manufacturers in the world. They came out with a thing called CSRmesh and then we worked with our platform provider, Avi-on. And then what we ended up doing is – we wanted to take advantage of a mesh network in Bluetooth, that’s never existed before, so we can overcome the range issue that you just spoke of.

    LESLIE: So the mesh is almost like an invisible netting that’s reaching out throughout the entire property.

    KEITH: Absolutely. Absolutely. And what it does is one device talks to the other device, which talks to the other device, which then talks to the other device. So the range issue – as long as you’re within 30 feet of one module – any module – then you could control the whole home.

    TOM: Any module. Interesting.

    LESLIE: Yeah. But, Keith, I think it gets confusing. I mean you’re talking about three separate platforms. So are you building lighting that speaks to all of the platforms at the same time? Or do you have to specifically select what platform you’re going to utilize and go for it?

    KEITH: Well, at Jasco Products, we have products for every platform, OK?

    TOM and LESLIE: OK.

    KEITH: So they’re – if you have a hub, the hub is the most prevalent item in the home today. There’s a variety of hubs: every one from a Casa Verde to SmartThings to Wink. Everybody has their own hub. What we do with – we work with everybody, OK? So whether it’s Z-Wave, ZigBee, our – we have solutions for them.

    LESLIE: So specific fixtures for specific methods of …

    KEITH: That is correct. Yeah, we’ve got radios – we’ve got a full line of lighting controls: everything from the paddles to the receptacles to the toggles to outdoor modules to even high-power – up to 40 amps we can control all from a hub.

    LESLIE Wow.

    TOM: Wow. What’s the consumer response been? What do you find – what sort of – where are consumers getting into smart home?

    KEITH: Well, I tell you what, that’s one of the great things about Bluetooth. Because a lot of consumers, they’re like, “What do I really need and what do I have to put on my home?”

    TOM: And they’re already comfortable with Bluetooth. They get it; they understand it.

    KEITH: They’ve got it on their phones, right, and their tablets.

    TOM: Yeah.

    KEITH: So this allows them to get into a connected home environment. Now, you can’t control it outside the home but what you can do is – think of a timer on steroids, right? Everyone’s familiar with timers. But now what we allow you to do is set your timer by your phone. But one of the byproducts – because it is a mesh product, it allows you to even control those remotely throughout the house.

    LESLIE: That’s really great.

    KEITH: Yeah. One of the cool features is – for instance, if you have a son or daughter and say, “Look, we’re going to turn off your lights in 30 minutes,” you can sit in the living room, kiss the baby goodnight and send them off. And 30 minutes later, that light will …

    TOM: Lights out.

    KEITH: Exactly.

    LESLIE: That’s great.

    TOM: And then you hear them screaming, “Mom!”

    KEITH: But also, the nice thing is if you want to check to see if you left a light on, you could pull up your phone and say, “Ugh, it’s on,” and you can turn it off or dim it.

    TOM: Right. Right. Can’t be any easier than that.

    LESLIE: That’s really great.

    TOM: Keith Lashley from Jasco, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit. Where can we go for more information?

    KEITH: Well, we’re here at the show at Booth 4515. You can go to JascoProducts.com and you can see our products throughout major retailers under the Jasco Brand, as well as GE Brand.

    LESLIE: Great.

    TOM: Thank you so much.

    Well, pressure washers are great for deep-cleaning tasks like driveways and decks, because of the high power they produce. Briggs & Stratton is here with a new one and Dan Roche from Briggs & Stratton joins us to tell us all about it.

    Welcome, Dan.

    DAN: Thank you very much for having me.

    TOM: So tell us about the new pressure washer you guys came out with. It’s got a pretty innovative head that does all the work, huh?

    DAN: Yeah, absolutely. It’s an integrated system between the nozzle – the 7-in-1 nozzle, patented technology – and the pump underneath where when you are cleaning something farther away, you can switch into the POWERflow mode and it swaps out pressure for flow. And you can get water up to places you’d never dreamed of.

    LESLIE: Wow, that’s fantastic. That’s a really smart technology. Because before, you’re just dealing with the same amount of pressure that’s coming out, same amount of force. And it’s – you’re just relying on wherever you can get to.

    DAN: Exactly.

    LESLIE: But this is really amazing that you’re combining it.

    Now, this 7-in-1 head you’ve got here, I mean it’s really fantastic. You offer so many different spray patterns. But what I think is really smart is on the side, you actually have an image indicating what that spray will look like.

    DAN: Exactly.

    LESLIE: Because I think a lot of people don’t realize what they’re going to get.

    DAN: Yeah, absolutely. You know, nozzles that get clipped onto the pressure washer are kind of the standard issue for pressure washers. We decided to bring all that convenience right into the 7-in-1 nozzle so people can switch from doing one type of project to another without having to go back to that pressure washer, grab a nozzle, hook it back up. You can just – with a twist of the wrist, you can get doing different types of work.

    TOM: It’s so much easier than having to switch out nozzles because you end up dropping them, your hands are soapy.

    LESLIE: Losing them.

    TOM: They get lost. They become difficult to put on sometimes. This is really smart. Because once I put this on, I pretty much don’t need to take it off.

    Now, if I want to use a detergent, I can do that with the same nozzle?

    DAN: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. There’s two settings on there that will bring soap through the nozzle automatically. There’s no wires or connections back to the pressure washer. It just senses that flow and that resistance and it knows to trigger into that detergent.

    TOM: Knows which one, yeah.

    DAN: Yep.

    TOM: And also, it’s important that you have – I love that you have the safety mark here – plus – for the spray. In other words, if you don’t want to blow the paint off your car, use this one.

    LESLIE: Right.

    DAN: Actually, that plus indicates that’s the powerful plus mode where, again, you swap out pressure.

    TOM: OK.

    DAN: You drop – the pressure drops a little bit but the flow goes up really high, up to 5 gallons per minute.

    TOM: OK. And how many models is this available on?

    DAN: There’s three models. Two are gas pressure washers, both putting out 3,000 psi and 5 gallons per minute of flow. And then we have an 1,800 psi model that’s electric, which has a lot of convenience but it doesn’t have as much pressure. It’s at 1,800 psi and 4 gallons per minute.

    TOM: And what would you tell people that want to decide between the two? What’s one thing to consider?

    DAN: Well, electrics are great if you don’t have a lot of heavy work to do. They really bring a lot of convenience to the effort. There’s no gas, no oil, no maintenance, no pulling, no pull start for the pressure washer. It’s plug-and-play. Just flip the switch and go.

    TOM: Terrific. Dan Roche, Director of Marketing from Briggs & Stratton, telling us about the new Briggs & Stratton POWERflow Technology with select pressure washers.

    Thanks so much, Dan.

    DAN: Thanks for having me.

    TOM: For more information, you can go to BriggsAndStratton.com.

    LESLIE: Well, still to come, if you cool your home with a window air-conditioning unit, have you ever noticed how difficult it is to have a conversation above all that blanging (ph) and clanging and sounds and noises that kind of go along with it?

    TOM: Well, there’s a brand-new and affordable solution from Haier. It’s the quietest air-conditioner unit on the market and we will share the details, next.

    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 today from The Money Pit’s Top Products Pavilion here at the 2015 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 really such a cool place and we’re 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 this spring, color trends are inspired by the warm and subtle hues that we see in nature. But you’re also going to see a move toward the cooler and softer side of the color spectrum, with a focus on a mix of really eclectic and really ethereal options.

    TOM: Now, if you want soothing temps for summer, one way to get that is with a good-quality air conditioner. And in older homes like mine, you might use window units. But too often, those units are loud and very disturbing.

    LESLIE: Yeah, until now. Thanks to Haier Serenity Series Air Conditioners, it doesn’t have to come at the price of your peace and quiet. So here to tell us more about the cool comfort of Haier is Tom Kelly, VP of Sales and Marketing Integration for Haier America.

    Welcome, Tom.

    TOM KELLY: Thank you very much for having me this morning.

    TOM: So, Tom, tell us about the Serenity Series. What steps have you guys taken to quiet down these typical units that bang and clang in all of our homes? And exactly how quiet is it?

    TOM KELLY: The design of the product is really unique in the industry. We’ve completely taken all the ideas that we have about building air conditioners and kind of throwing them out the window, if you will. And the result has been air conditioners that in the BTU sizes – 6,000 and 8,000 BTU – are the quietest ones available in the marketplace today.

    LESLIE: When we’re talking about BTU size, what kind of room will a 6,000-BTU unit cool and – as compared to an 8,000-BTU unit?

    TOM KELLY: The 6,000 will cool up to 250 square feet and the 8,000 BTU we recommend up to a 350-square-foot room.

    TOM: Now, aside from the cooling capabilities, these are also very energy-efficient units. They’re ENERGY STAR-certified, I presume?

    TOM KELLY: Yes, they are. They’re both ENERGY STAR-qualified, so you’re getting the most efficient units out there on the market.

    TOM: And you have an energy-saving setting. What exactly does that do? Is it a trade-off between comfort and efficiency?

    TOM KELLY: Yeah, what that will do is it will actually shut down the fans for a period of time once the temperature setting has been reached in the room. So you’re going to conserve the energy that’s normally used to run that fan. And then, periodically, the unit will come on, sample the air in the room to make sure that it’s staying comfortable. And if it needs to cool, it’ll continue to cool the room. And if it doesn’t, then it’ll cycle back off and you’ll realize some energy savings.

    TOM: That makes a lot of sense.

    LESLIE: You know what, Tom, I think is really important is that – and I think this is the first time I’m actually seeing this in a window A/C unit – is that you have a lot of options for operation there. You can cool the room, you can circulate the air. And what I think is great is that you can actually control the humidity, as well.

    TOM KELLY: Yeah, that’s a unique feature to this product. On those days where the humidity is up but the temperature isn’t necessarily unbearable, you can just knock that humidity down with these units and have a minimal cooling effect on the air in the room.

    LESLIE: And I mean it’s amazing because if you can reduce the humidity, sometimes that’s enough to make the room feel so comfortable.

    TOM: Oh, absolutely.

    LESLIE: And then you’re not wasting all that energy over-cooling a space.

    TOM KELLY: Exactly.

    TOM: So, Tom, the product is on the market right now? Can we find it in our local home centers, hardware stores, appliance retailers?

    TOM KELLY: You know, we will have this in selected Lowe’s stores this year and also, your independent retailer will have that available. Anyone who carries appliances and room air conditioners has access to the product. And we also expect to have it available on – at Amazon.com, as well.

    TOM: Well, congratulations on building a fantastic, new product: the Haier Serenity Series Air Conditioners, the quietest air conditioners on the market today in 6,000- and 8,000-BTU sizes.

    Well done, Tom. Thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit and filling us in all about it.

    TOM KELLY: Alright. Have a great day.

    LESLIE: Alright. Still ahead, you know that shaky, unsteady feeling that you get when you’re up on the top of a ladder? Well, you don’t have to feel that way anymore.

    TOM: The latest innovation in ladders will make you feel as safe up in the air as you do on the ground. The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show continues from the floor of the 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 coming to you from the Top Products Pavilion at the 2015 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

    And this is the biggest home improvement industry event of the year. If you have seen it in a hardware store or a home center, it’s probably been on the show floor here first. So, before you plan your spring and summer home improvement projects, make sure you check out our top product picks. You can find them online in our National Hardware Show Gallery.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Now, one of the most important things that you really need to consider when you tackle pretty much a whole variety of home improvement projects is safety. Now, when it comes to safety, lots of accidents happen when consumers are using ladders.

    Admit it. Who likes to defy gravity while trying to balance and wield a hammer and perhaps a power driver all at the same time?

    TOM: Well, that doesn’t have to be the case with Werner Ladders. Here to tell us about the brand-new podium ladders is Chris Filardi.

    Welcome, Chris.

    CHRIS: How are you doing, guys?

    TOM: We’re doing great. And this is a ladder that we first were privileged to introduce last year. You guys have continued to improve it. And as I recall, you were one of the best products of the National Hardware Show of 2014, this particular product.

    CHRIS: That is correct. The podium ladder, for us, is – actually represents a new category, so we’re really excited about it. It started out with the professional. They used it every day, they started to see the value in it and now we’ve been able to expand it to the consumer. And we’re really excited about it.

    TOM: Alright. So for those who have not seen a podium, let’s describe it.

    CHRIS: I think the best thing is when you get on the platform and you’re doing your work, you can turn 360 degrees. You have a guardrail that’s up very high, up in your leg that you can have a third point of contact.

    LESLIE: Yeah, it hits at like hip level.

    CHRIS: Yeah, absolutely. And so it takes away some of the worry that the average consumer has in worrying about just holding on and doing the work.

    TOM: Yeah. Because no one pays attention to the “Do Not Climb Above This Step” label that’s on all the ladders, right?

    CHRIS: Yeah.

    LESLIE: Oh, no. That’s a step.

    TOM: That’s like a dare, right?

    CHRIS: Right.

    TOM: Yeah. Now, with the podium ladder that you have now, this is a ladder that’s about 5 foot tall but it gives you a 9-foot reach.

    CHRIS: Right.

    TOM: The platform is, I guess, at about the 3-foot level and then, of course, as you mentioned, you have a guardrail that surrounds you. And I’ve got to tell you, that makes a big difference. When you feel that comfort, that security of the guardrail resting against your legs, you really have multiple points of contact with that ladder.

    CHRIS: Yeah. And it’s a little bit different than traditional ladders because we’re now dealing with platform height. And that allows you to get to a certain reach.

    TOM: Right.

    CHRIS: So, 9 foot allows somebody to have a 9-foot ceiling, an 8-foot ceiling. They could do trim work. They could do anything up high. But they could also do light bulbs and cleaning and all the other stuff that they have to do, in a safe position.

    LESLIE: Yeah. And I think one of the most important things about the podium and the wraparound there is that so many times, you have to work on a project in one spot, get down, shimmy the ladder over a couple of inches just to be able to keep the access point to whatever you’re working on. And I always find that on an old-school ladder, I’d be standing on the top and kind of tippy-toeing, leaning, thinking, “Oh, I’m going to fall any second.”

    TOM: Leaning, right? Leaning, yeah.

    CHRIS: Right.

    LESLIE: But with the wraparound podium, I feel comfortable. I’m not nervous. I’ve extended my reach. You know, I can work further out without having to move the ladder so often.

    CHRIS: Right. So it’s an interesting parallel because you have the safety factor. So for every time someone doesn’t go up and down the ladder, it’s actually a good thing.

    TOM: Right.

    CHRIS: But you also have that convenience to do your job. And that’s what’s the beauty of this product. You can actually stand on it and it feels like you’re standing on the ground, practically, and …

    TOM: It’s a much more stable feeling than a traditional step ladder. I mean the base is wider and you have really good feet …

    LESLIE: You can actually fit both feet on it.

    TOM: You can fit both feet on it. The platform is about, what, about four times bigger than a tread?

    CHRIS: Yep. Yeah, oh, absolutely. It’s four times. And we call it a “work zone,” so you have a full 360 work zone.

    And this is a product – the best thing to say is for people to try it. We say, “This is what safety feels like.”

    LESLIE: Oh, yeah.

    CHRIS: The best thing you can do, when you’re in a store, is check out the podium. Stand on it and it will be a total different experience for the end user.

    LESLIE: And I think what’s – and I’m sure it was a front thought for you guys but in being up on the podium and using the ladder, you have all these little spots for me to put my tools and for me to put my fasteners and screws. I’m not dropping things. It just feels so much more smart.

    CHRIS: Right. And that’s what we do. Our research is – we work with consumers, we work with pros to make sure that if there’s something we can do to make their job more productive, we can do it. And if we can get safety along the way, then we’re absolutely really excited about it.

    TOM: Now, it’s available in both fiberglass and aluminum at The Home Depot; 99 for the fiberglass, 89 for the aluminum. Why would a consumer choose one ladder over the other?

    CHRIS: Well, certainly, fiberglass is better if you’re doing any electrical work at all, so – and it is a much more durable product. A lot of people like aluminum because it is lighter weight. So if you’re moving around doing a painting job in your house, what I would say is you can’t go wrong with either one of them. Honestly, it really depends on what you’re going to use it for over the life of the ladder.

    TOM: It’s the Werner Podium Ladder. Try it. You’ll see what safety feels like. You can learn more at WernerPodium.com.

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

    CHRIS: Thanks. Good seeing you guys again. Take care.

    LESLIE: Thanks, Chris.

    Well, our next product is no doubt very well-known among our pinners on Pinterest: Glue Dots. These are a staple for crafters but this unique product has many do-it-yourself applications. And it’s certainly strong enough for the job.

    TOM: That’s right. The product line is expanding greatly and here to tell us more about Glue Dots is the company’s marketing manager, Jack Marsh.

    Welcome, Jack.

    JACK: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

    TOM: Alright. So for the three people in America that have not tried Glue Dots yet, let’s describe what the product is.

    JACK: Yeah. Actually, the best way to describe it is a general-purpose adhesive. As you mentioned, a lot of people are going to be familiar with us from the crafting industry. Really, about 18 months ago, we expanded and what we did is we created two separate formulations specifically for the hardware segment.

    So, that is a general-purpose adhesive. It’s there. It’s always ready to use. It never dries out. It’s very, very practical. Safe, easy to use, easy to apply, which is what – if you actually ask most people, adhesive-wise, there’s always a few, little touch points in there they’re not happy with. And what we do with our product is actually cover those areas.

    TOM: Well, one of the touch points is if you’re a mom who has ever had to clean up a glue mess, you really appreciate Glue Dots.

    LESLIE: Ugh. Don’t even bring that up.

    TOM: Now, as you mentioned, it was used a lot in crafting but you’re now expanding greatly into some very practical uses around the home aside from that.

    JACK: Yeah, we are. And actually, the nice thing to say about the product is it does – it bonds to virtually any surface. And the really practical ones that are out there – everybody can relate to this. Everybody has a picture or a wall décor in their home that’s not straight. You can use our Repositionable Glue Dots. Put a dot or two on the back of that picture frame or that wall décor, it’ll never move again.

    The best part is it removes without damage. You’re not going to stain, you’re not going to take paint away. You don’t have to worry about – if you have tile or a wood finish, you don’t have to worry about any of that being damaged. That’s really the beauty of the repositionable formula.

    LESLIE: You know, it’s just so great. As Tom mentioned, I have small boys. We like to do art projects. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stepped away for one second to answer the phone and the entire container of glue has been dumped all over my dining table and is just a disaster, while they’re laughing while I’m scooping things up.

    And so, I went over to my craft store. I came home with every type of Glue Dot available: every size, every application method. And I was like, “Here. Have fun.” It’s the only thing that holds pom-poms to construction paper. It’s the only thing that holds all kinds of things.

    JACK: It is true.

    LESLIE: And my boys have so much fun with it and I don’t have to be on top of them and supervise their creativity. So I love that you’re sort of stepping into the home improvement market.

    Now, I think it’s interesting on one of your formulations, you have a picture of a little chip of brick being adhered back into place with a Glue Dot.

    JACK: Yeah. Yep, yep. Yeah. Yeah. And that is our advanced-strength formula. And remember, earlier I’d said we came up with two formulas that were very, very unique. And they’re different from any of our other adhesives. The advanced-strength is very strong; it’ll actually hold up to 8 pounds. So it’s a very robust adhesive that is very handy to have around for quick fixes.

    More of the DIY home décor projects, we are putting things together. And we definitely cross over into that realm. We’re not just an epoxy or a super-glue or even a tape. We reside somewhere in between.

    And having both of those formulas, response has been great. We know that we’re really there as a general-purpose adhesive and a go-to for somebody, so …

    TOM: We’re talking to Jack Marsh. He is the marketing manager for Glue Dots International.

    Jack, I want to talk a little bit about your dispenser, because it’s a hallmark of Glue Dots. And I think it’s what makes it such a practical, mess-free way to apply adhesive. Who’s the inventor of the dispenser?

    JACK: Actually, it kind of goes hand in hand. We are a smaller, private company. John Downs was actually the inventor of the product. And one of the things we learned early on, it wasn’t just about formulation; it was about – also about the easy way to apply the adhesive.

    So, that dispenser was built. You get 200 dots in it. It’s very easy to use. You just press and pull towards you and you dispense the perfect amount any time. You don’t have any waste, so …

    LESLIE: It’s awesome.

    TOM: It’s kind of like the old correcting tape that you used to use, right, for typewriters, right?

    JACK: It is.

    LESLIE: Exactly.

    JACK: It is. It is.

    TOM: Where you basically rub it across the page and that does it.

    Well, Jack, it’s really a fantastic product and a great expansion to the Glue Dots line. Congratulations on all the great work you guys are doing to make glue less messy and more effective for all of us.

    JACK: Thank you, thank you. I appreciate it.

    LESLIE: Oh, it’s amazing. Thank you, again.

    Well, guys, do you ever notice that sometimes the directions that come up with your do-it-yourself project are just a bit off?

    TOM: Up next, info on a high-tech way to follow directions that will take the guesswork out and make sure you don’t end up with leftover parts you aren’t sure what to do with.

    We’ll have more when The Money Pit continues, 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: Coming to you from the Top Products Pavilion at the 2015 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, where we’ve gathered all of our favorite innovations under one roof. And we’re showcasing them as Money Pit picks. You can check them out online by clicking through to our Top Products Gallery or using the hashtag #TopProductsNHS.

    LESLIE: Yeah. Now, when it comes to products, all of these products here, they’re DIY-friendly. But you know what sometimes the thing is that is not DIY-friendly? The directions. Have you guys ever struggled with those step-by-steps that just seem a bit short? Maybe you’re not getting all the information or at the end, you’ve got an extra part and you’re like, “What the heck am I supposed to do with this?”

    Well, here to tell us about a new, high-tech way to follow those directions is Nate Henderson from BILT, which is an app by SAP.

    TOM: Welcome, Nate.

    NATE: Thank you. Good to be here.

    TOM: So, tell us of how BILT is addressing the challenge that consumers have with just not getting enough or clear-enough information on how to put things together that we buy at stores.

    NATE: What we’ve done here is move beyond the paper instructions that we all know, as soon as we get them, they’re already outdated.

    TOM: Right.

    NATE: Even YouTube videos are outdated at the …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. Or you throw them out by accident with the packaging.

    TOM: Yeah, exactly.

    NATE: You never know where they’re at.

    Well, BILT is a free app that when you go in and search for the product that you’re looking for, it shows you the tools that are needed and so forth. But when you select Start, instead of presenting to you that static image, now you have a completely interactive, three-dimensional, step-by-step guided experience.

    LESLIE: Oh, this is fancy.

    TOM: That’s so helpful because, sometimes, you’re looking for the image that shows the particular way a fastener assembly would come together or something of that nature. And it’s really difficult to get that level of detail. But by putting it online, now you can expand it, you can flip it around. You can get all the angles that you need to see exactly how something goes together.

    NATE: Exactly, exactly.

    LESLIE: So, tell us a little bit about how BILT is put together. Do you have specific manufacturers that you work with who provide you with the directions? Or can I search any product out there and find the directions?

    NATE: Excellent question. So, we actually work with the manufacturers. BILT is built for the manufacturers.

    TOM: OK.

    NATE: And what the manufacturers do is they’ll give us a set of 3-D instructions or a CAD file. And it takes us three to five days to get it converted but then once it’s up there, they will start putting things on their website or even in their paper instructions to say, “Hey, for a better, faster assembly experience, download the free app, BILT. Find your product.” And they’re off and running.

    TOM: How many different products are covered by the BILT app to date?

    NATE: We just launched this, actually, about two-and-a-half months ago.

    TOM: OK.

    NATE: So we have companies like …

    LESLIE: So brand-spanking new.

    NATE: Yeah, brand-spanking new. So we have companies like Liberty Garden, that’s here at the show. Has a lot of great products. Weber has a bunch of others that are in there. And especially here – after what I’ve experienced in the last day or so, we’re going to have a bunch more showing up here in the next couple of weeks.

    TOM: So everything from a very simple assembly to a complex assembly, like a barbecue grill.

    NATE: Exactly, exactly.

    LESLIE: It’s so beneficial for the manufacturers. It makes sense for them to partner with you because there is always so much confusion. I mean think about it: not to say that we’re replacing somebody’s job but customer-service calls would probably go down. You would have much more user-oriented control right there in your hands to figure out how to put something together.

    TOM: One thing you mentioned, Nate, in your data was that you reported a 40-percent increase in assembly confidence after using the BILT app. So people just feel better, they feel more comfortable and confident once they see their videos.

    NATE: Yeah. And actually, we did some tests with this particular grill. We went to a Home Depot, pulled people off the floor that said, “Hey, I don’t assemble anything.” And we said, “No, no, no. Come and try this.” And not only did they do it faster than the manufacturer said they would but they were ecstatic about the experience and coming away from it saying, “Great grill, great experience. I’m ready to do more.” And that’s what we’re trying to do is really revolutionize that experience and make it a positive one and enable people.

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm. And you know what? You can say that tablets are distracting but tablets are so empowering. So good for you, guys. That’s awesome.

    TOM: Fantastic. Nathan Henderson from BILT, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    If you’d like to learn more, hey, go download the BILT app and figure it out from there. It’ll be an easy experience.

    Thanks, Nate.

    NATE: Thank you.

    LESLIE: Thanks, Nate.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show coming to you from the 2015 National Hardware Show. The show does continue online. Don’t forget to check out all of our picks from the 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.


    (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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