The Money Pit Broadcasts from the 2019 National Hardware Show

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    Tom Kraeutler and Leslie Segrete, Hosts, The Money Pit
  • Transcript

    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show on air and online at And we are broadcasting today from the biggest home improvement industry event of the year: the 2019 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. And today’s broadcast is presented by Greenworks.

    And this is the trade show that’s unique. It’s because it’s where manufacturers like Greenworks roll out their newest and most successful products for the season ahead. So, think of it as a fashion show for home improvement and décor. And normally, you wouldn’t know about this stuff until you find it in the home centers and hardware stores. But today, we’re giving you a sneak peek of all that the show has to offer. We’re kind of your eyes and ears.

    And it is a lot like the Disney World of home improvement. There’s over 2,800 exhibitors, plus 500 new exhibitors along with 110 inventors covering 15 product categories, including everything from hardware to homewares to smart-home products and more. A lot happening and a lot of fun to cover.

    And today’s broadcast is presented by Greenworks, so we thought, “Hey, why don’t we give away some very fine Greenworks products to both those here and those at home?” We’ve got two Greenworks 2,300-PSI Pressure Washers, two Blower/String-Trimmer Combo Kits. We’ve got a couple of Greenworks Hedge Trimmers and two $50 Lowe gift cards, where that’s where you’re going to find lots of other awesome Greenworks tools. So, for those present at the show, stop by the media stage, drop your card into The Money Pit hard hat. And for those at home, head on over to and enter the Green Your Home Giveaway presented by Greenworks.

    Well, are you ready to pick up a paintbrush and spruce up your home for spring? If so, you’d better not skip a few key steps that make the difference between a job well done and one you need to do over and over again. With us with tips is John Kacedan. He’s the vice president of merchandising for True Value.

    Welcome, John.

    JOHN: Thanks for having me.

    TOM: Hey, so before we get into the paint topic, I mean True Value is an iconic brand with over 70 years of experience. Just a lot of history in your company.

    JOHN: Yeah, for sure. As you mentioned, 70 years of experience. We have over 3,000-plus stores nationwide, independently owned and operated. And that’s our mission to support them.

    TOM: And I think one of the interesting things about the True Value stores is that all of those owners have relationships with the community. They’re the trusted experts inside towns all across America, right?

    JOHN: Yeah. Big focus on service, which differentiates them, you know, from the Amazons of the world and even a lot of the big boxes. And they tailor their assortments based on regional preferences of their consumers.

    TOM: It’s someplace you can go and get good, impartial information and the tools and materials that you need to get the job done.

    JOHN: Yeah. Very knowledgeable, very credible in definitely pointing DIYers in the right direction.

    TOM: Absolutely. Now, when you come to a show like this, what do you learn? What do you – why do you enjoy coming to a trade show like the National Hardware Show?

    JOHN: For me, it’s great to engage with a lot of vendors. Obviously, we’re always looking for new ideas and innovative products. And then we have our own two shows, as well, on an annual basis. Always looking for new ideas.

    TOM: So let’s talk a little bit about painting. Now, one thing that’s unique about True Value is you are pretty much, I think, the only hardware retailer that has its own paint-manufacturing facility, right?

    JOHN: That’s correct.

    TOM: Why’d you guys go into that business?

    JOHN: We view it as a competitive advantage. We’re very passionate about paint. Our EasyCare brand we view as a highest-rated product with – at a great value. And it’s also allergy & asthma friendly certified. And it’s based on even tests by third parties and everything else. It’s high rated and high quality, so we …

    TOM: Yeah, I’ve actually been to your paint-manufacturing facility many, many years ago.

    JOHN: OK.

    TOM: And I watched them make the paint and I think you were making brushes at that time, too. And man, I tell you what, you have a lot of people that have been there for many, many years.

    JOHN: For sure.

    TOM: They’re the craftsmen of the paint-manufacturing business, those folks that are there working day in and day out, to create these products that are going to give us beautiful results.

    JOHN: We’re always looking to innovate. One latest example is we’re going to a total recyclable plastic can, so no more rusting which will be huge.

    TOM: Really?

    JOHN: Yeah.

    TOM: Yeah. Hey, that’s great not only for the environment but also for extra paint, you know.

    JOHN: Yeah, for sure.

    TOM: A lot of times, when you store paint and you get a little rust on the rim, then that changes the color of the paint which I, as many, have learned the hard way wondering why – “Why wasn’t it quite as white as it was when I put it down?” When you try to do a touch-up, it’s because of that rust.

    JOHN: Yeah, for sure.

    TOM: So that’s a great advantage.

    So, when folks are tackling paint projects and they’re coming into the stores and they’re telling these tales of maybe things that didn’t go so well, what are some of the most common mistakes that people are making?

    JOHN: Yeah. So what we hear, and I think in all our studies and conversations, it first starts with just how do you prep the room and did you do it correctly, right?

    TOM: Right.

    JOHN: I think people are in a rush to start painting. But in addition to taping everything off – which most people don’t necessarily enjoy, and covering the floor, especially if you’re not an expert painter – it’s actually washing the walls, which is a step that’s a lot of times missed, and allowing it to dry because paint will adhere a lot better to a clean surface.

    TOM: Let’s talk about that, because there is a lot – even if it looks like it’s a clean wall, just with the years of just the dust in the air and the wear and tear of those surfaces from things that rub against them, from pets to people to furniture, you get a lot of deposits in there that can really interact with the ability of the paint to stick, right?

    JOHN: For sure.

    TOM: When you do wash the wall, what procedure would you follow?

    JOHN: Mainly just sponge, soap and water and …

    TOM: Like TSP or something like that? Would you use Borax? What would you use to wash with? Anything in particular?

    JOHN: General soap. There’s products available for actually washing walls, as well.

    TOM: Right. OK.

    JOHN: Yeah.

    TOM: So let’s talk about the paint materials. I mean all paint is not created equal. There’s a wide variety of differences in the quality of paint, right? So let’s talk about some of those differences. How do you – how does a consumer know what they’re buying?

    JOHN: Yeah, it’s a good question. You always are looking for a high-quality paint and primer. Obviously, we stand behind our EasyCare and we think it’s some of the finest interior and exterior paint. But then you also have some leading national brands, as well, high-quality paint.

    I think I learned the hard way, especially early on in my adult life to – in looking to cut corners. But you definitely want to buy a high-quality product, for sure.

    TOM: And what makes the difference between a product that’s a higher or lower quality? Is it the amount of colorant in the paint, for example, which I believe is titanium dioxide in most cases?

    JOHN: Yeah. So colorant would definitely be one and two, just in terms of how does it flow and how does it cover, right? So, higher-quality paint typically is going to adhere 1) better and 2) you might need less coats. So even though something could be cheaper, by the time you actually start putting the proper amount of coats on there, you might be at a similar price point.

    TOM: Right. And when we’re talking about adhesion, we talked about cleaning the walls. But what about the primer? I think that’s a step that many folks love to skip. And I think they don’t understand the difference between the chemical makeup of a primer versus a paint. It’s like that adhesion quality is what the primer has, right, and the colorant qualities that the paint have.

    JOHN: Yeah.

    TOM: Now, of course, you can get these paint-and-primer-in-one products today. But you really can’t skip that primer step because if you don’t do that, you may not get this paint to last very long or certainly not go on as well, right?

    JOHN: Yeah, for sure. And it potentially could bleed through, as well, over time, right? So if you have a good primer layer to begin with then, yeah, the paint adheres better. And then, in addition to, it’ll look better going forward.

    TOM: So any tricks for surfaces that particularly difficult to cover like, let’s say, water stains or even smoke stains?

    JOHN: Putting primer on top of a lot of those will be good. Water stains are somewhat challenging and you might need a special product to do that, just to prep it ahead of time, right, depending on the size of it. It can bleed through.

    TOM: It has this uncanny way of bleeding through.

    JOHN: It does show back up quickly, yes. For sure.

    TOM: And (inaudible) happens but it just happens. It just pulls it right through.

    JOHN: Yeah.

    TOM: And you’re like, “Oh, my God, I just painted that,” and there it is again.

    JOHN: Yeah.

    TOM: Just about the time you put all your stuff away and took all the drop cloths down, you’re like, “Now I’ve got to do it again,” right? So the priming is really, really key for those types of stains.

    Let’s talk a bit about the tools. A brush is not a brush is not a brush, right? If you don’t have good brushes, you’re not going to get a good finish.

    JOHN: Yeah. And you actually might lose some of the brush in the paint (inaudible) …

    TOM: Oh, that’s the worst part, when you go picking out those brush – those bristles after the fact, right?

    JOHN: Yeah. Mm-hmm. Right. For sure.

    TOM: Are you still in the brush-manufacturing business?

    JOHN: We’re still in the brush-manufacturing business.

    TOM: Yeah.

    JOHN: From a quality perspective, I need to get you in touch with our paint person to tell you about all the specifics about the paintbrushes.

    TOM: Oh, that’s OK. Yeah. Right.

    JOHN: But high-quality paint supplies in the market. We also have, in addition to some of our own and our Master Painter brand, we have Purdy and Wooster, as well.

    TOM: Yeah. Purdy makes a great brush. I interviewed them once. They actually sign every brush that the make.

    JOHN: Oh, wow.

    TOM: The brush-maker signs it and you could see their initials on the brush.

    So you guys have also done a lot to help put information in the hands of consumers through your website and social-media channels. Talk about what’s available out there.

    JOHN: We do have an easy color-design mobile app, which’ll allow you to see those colors in your room and how they would look when they’re on your walls. The other thing I’d want to point out, for those that don’t have the time to do DIY projects, if you’re looking for prescreened local professionals – because you should get some quotes – you can go to And we do already have some recommendations out there and someone that we’ve already screened.

    TOM: Fantastic.

    John Kacedan from True Value, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    JOHN: I appreciate it, Tom. Thank you so much.

    TOM: Thank you, sir.

    You are listening to a very special live broadcast of The Money Pit presented by Greenworks.

    And just ahead, when new products are launched, they very often help solve a problem or provide a solution for pros engaged in the day-to-day home remodeling business. We’re going to highlight an ingenious new product that does just that, in a bit. Plus, if your driveway is ready for a refresh, we’ll share tips on how to do just that, in today’s Pro Project presented by, next.

    Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit broadcasting from the 2019 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, presented by Greenworks.

    We are thrilled to be here checking out the best of the best of home improvement products hitting the market. It’s kind of like Comic-Con for home improvers but it’s only open to industry insiders, so we are here to bring the show to you.

    Now, asphalt driveways take a beating from Mother Nature. I mean the sun, moisture, certainly this winter’s freeze/thaw cycles and all that weather combined to cause cracks and deteriorate the asphalt binders that hold your driveway together. If it seems that the driveway at your home is ready for replacement, we’ve got tips on your options in today’s Pro Project presented by

    Now, first, you’ve got to know what you’re buying. Aside from driveway sealing, which is when a very thin coating of asphalt sealer is applied, there are really three ways to redo your driveway. First, a pro can add a layer to what you already have. Or if the old driveway is in really bad shape, they can completely tear it off and start from scratch. But if the driveway is just worn, it doesn’t have big potholes or cracks, a topcoat could be an option.

    Now, for driveway replacement, the most important thing is the preparation, the base. Once that old asphalt is removed, a new gravel base is added. It’s typically about 6 inches thick but this is the key: it has to be then rolled with a tool that weighs about 3,000 pounds. That’s why you can’t do this at home. This roller is going to pack that down until it’s almost as solid as the finished roadway. And if the part is well done, you can expect that your new driveway is going to look like the day it was put down for many, many years.

    Now, lastly, it’s important that you use the right type of asphalt. Some asphalt has more aggregate in it than others. That’s the stone. And if you use one that’s too soft or too sandy, the driveway is not going to be as strong and you could have problems in as little as a couple of years. But you put one down that has more aggregate, it can last 10 years or more.

    And that’s today’s Pro Project presented by With HomeAdvisor, you can get matched with top-rated home service pros in your area and compare prices, read verified reviews and book appointments online, all for free. No matter the type of job, HomeAdvisor makes it fast and easy to hire the best local pros.

    Well, one of the most enjoyable parts of attending the National Hardware Show is the chance to see new products that are launched, and very often done so to help solve a problem or provide a solution for pros that are engaged in the day-to-day home remodeling business. And for example, if you’ve ever remodeled a bathroom and made the smart decision to use a HardieBacker Fiber Cement Backer Board under the floors and walls, you may know that one of the more unpleasant parts of working with this material is cutting it. You can generate a lot of dust and it could be hard to cut straight or curved or circle cuts, like when you need to make holes for tub-and-shower faucets or for toilet plumbing.

    PacTool has a solution, though. It’s called Snapper Shear Pro. It’s designed to fit on any cordless drill, making backer-board cuts fast and easy indoors with less mess and airborne dust. With me to talk about that is Joy Rebustes from Packer Tools.

    Welcome, Joy.

    JOY: Hi. And it’s nice to be here.

    TOM: So, while there are other cutting tools for HardieBacker, these are largely very large tools and expensive tools, right?

    JOY: Especially if you’re using something like a shear, it can be very pricy, it can be very heavy. Your other alternative would be to use a utility knife or a scoring knife to really just snap it. And that can take a long time.

    TOM: And you have to deal with the dust, too, right? That’s pretty unpleasant when it kind of gets in your face.

    JOY: Exactly.

    TOM: And those power tools generate a lot of dust because they’re operating very fast.

    JOY: Yeah. And you definitely don’t want to get all that dust into a person’s home.

    TOM: Yeah. Or make a mess of the whole thing. So that’s where Snapper Shear Pro comes in. Now, this is not a standalone tool; this is an attachment.

    JOY: That’s correct.

    TOM: And it goes on a cordless drill? Is that right? Or electric drill?

    JOY: Yeah. So any of your cordless drill, whatever your favorite battery platform is, you can simply snap it on. It’s basically like a giant bit. You switch it out, do your cuts and whatever you need. You already have it on hand.

    TOM: So a great option for a pro that maybe doesn’t do bathrooms every day, so he doesn’t have the standalone power tools for this, right?

    JOY: Right.

    TOM: So this way, he can just buy the attachment and have the same kind of pro results.

    JOY: Exactly. And it’s lightweight and portable. Definitely easy to bring it.

    TOM: Yeah. Doesn’t take up much room at all, yeah.

    Now, I did get a chance to see a demo of this and man, it can cut circles like it’s butter.

    JOY: Right.

    TOM: It really works well. So how fast is it actually operating?

    JOY: We recommend using it on an 18-volt but I mean it goes pretty fast. It’s as good as what you would use with a normal-size shear.

    TOM: And is there a limit, in terms of the size of the holes that you can cut with it? Can you use it (inaudible)?

    JOY: It can go down to a 3-inch diameter.

    TOM: And it’s perfect for a plumbing base, right?

    JOY: Exactly.

    TOM: Yeah, for a toilet base, I should say.

    JOY: And right now, it’s very painful to create circles in backer board without creating a huge mess.

    TOM: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

    JOY: This definitely saves a lot of time.

    TOM: And a lot less expensive tool. The blades on it, eventually you’re going to want to replace those. Or do you sharpen them? How does that work?

    JOY: They’re fully replaceable.

    TOM: OK. Well, that’s pretty sweet, right?

    Now, you guys are a part of the General Tools Company and you’ve been a real leader in innovation for a lot of years.

    JOY: Yes. And back in 2017, we actually acquired PacTool International. They already had what was called the Snapper Shear Backer-Board Shear. And then we became – after we took over, we decided, you know, keep on innovating. And we created the Snapper Shear Pro.

    TOM: And you guys now have over – did I read right? – 1,200 tools?

    JOY: Correct.

    TOM: Wow. That’s a lot of tools.

    JOY: Range in anything from …

    TOM: Yeah, what’s the range?

    JOY: From woodworking to plumbing to moisture meters, IRTs. We have it all.

    TOM: That’s great. So what’s your favorite part of this new tool? You were the product manager on this, is that right?

    JOY: Correct.

    TOM: Yeah. So, you’ve – this is like the birth of your child.

    JOY: It definitely is.

    TOM: Yeah.

    JOY: It’s great to see a gap in the market where we can make things better.

    TOM: Right.

    JOY: In talking to contractors and trying to find easier ways to install something that can be a bit of a pain and bring that solution to the market, it’s definitely very great.

    TOM: Right. What’s the response been from the contractors that you’ve shared this with?

    JOY: Definitely very positive. Sometimes, when we show them a demo, they – you can see the visible mouth gap. It’s like, “Wow. This could make my job a whole lot easier, a whole lot cleaner.”

    TOM: Wow. Yeah. “How fast can I get it? Where can I get it?” Right?

    JOY: Right.

    TOM: Yeah. Now you have an answer to that.

    JOY: Yes, I do.

    TOM: So what is it?

    JOY: You can actually find this on Amazon. It’ll retail at $99. You can just put it on your drill and then you’ll be ready to go.

    TOM: Yeah, absolutely. That’s fantastic.

    So, Joy, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit. That’s a great, new innovation and just another example of what we’re seeing here: tools that continue to evolve, they continue to become refined and they continue to provide solutions for the day-to-day tasks that pros have to tackle.

    JOY: Right. So, cut HardieBacker a lot faster and cleaner.

    TOM: Joy Rebustes from General Tools, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    The company is called PacTool. Their website is PacTool – that’s spelled P-a-c-T-o-o-l ­– .us.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show on the road today in Las Vegas, Nevada at the 2019 National Hardware Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler and we’d love for you to join the conversation. Just call in your home improvement or décor question now to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor. They really have the best local pros for any home service. Doesn’t matter what the project is, they make it fast and easy to find those top-rated pros. And there are no membership fees. It’s 100-percent free to use. Go to

    And just ahead, with summer approaching, we’re all going to be spending a lot more time outdoors. And that’s where we’re going to be joined by millions of disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks. We’re going to highlight a natural product that can effectively keep those bugs away, after this.

    Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler coming to you today from the 2019 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, where we’re highlighting some of the best of the best innovations in home improvement and DIY products.

    If you’d like to join the conversation, call in your home improvement or décor question, 24/7, to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where it’s easy to find top-rated local home improvement pros for any home project. Go to

    And we’ve got a couple of sets of giveaways to talk about today, thanks to our friends at Greenworks: one for the industry insiders here at the National Hardware Show and another for you at home. We’ve got two of the new Greenworks 2,300-PSI Electric Pressure Washers, a fantastic, new tool for cleaning lots of places around your house. We’ve also got two Blower/String Combo Kits and a hedge trimmer and two $50 gift cards from Lowe’s, where you’re going to find lots of other awesome Greenworks products.

    You can drop your card in The Money Pit hard hat here at the show or for those at home, head on over to and enter the Green Your Home Giveaway presented by Greenworks.

    Well, with summer approaching, we’re all going to be spending a lot more time outdoors where we will be joined by millions of disease-carrying ticks and mosquitoes. And if that unpleasant thought isn’t enough for you, it may not help to know that the main ingredient for most insect repellants is DEET and not a product you should take lightly or apply lightly.

    Beaumont Products offers a better alternative called Bug Band. With us to talk about that is Rob Wade, Vice President of Sales.

    Welcome, Rob.

    ROB: Thank you for having me, Tom.

    TOM: So I’m one of the rare folks that actually had reason to read the instructions and warnings in the fine print of mosquito repellant. And I was always surprised to find that when it contains DEET, there’s two instructions that I think are never followed, one of which is you should only put it on exposed skin. But folks do that with their kids and they put jackets on, right? Then they go outside and of course, they never wipe it off.

    ROB: Correct.

    TOM: And the other instruction is that when you come inside, you’re supposed to immediately wash it all off. Now, nobody does that, right?

    ROB: Nobody.

    TOM: But the instructions are there to do it and they wouldn’t be approved by the EPA if those instructions weren’t there, right?

    ROB: Mm-hmm. That is correct.

    TOM: But that’s something that you really need to know. If it’s that dangerous – that maybe you ought to be following that guideline. The options, though, that you offer are much better than that because I imagine you could put it on and forget about it.

    ROB: Absolutely. And the thing is you’ll never hear me say a bad thing about DEET. It was created a long time ago for the military as an effective insect repellant.

    TOM: Right.

    ROB: But we have seen the market change in the past 30 years where the natural-products consumer has become – to the forefront of shopping.

    TOM: Right.

    ROB: And what they’re looking for is alternatives to chemical-based products. And what we do with the Bug Band line is we give them a naturally-derived insect repellant that is effective for repelling mosquitoes and ticks.

    TOM: Now, I’m reading about this and the key ingredient is – and you tell me how this is pronounced – geraniol?

    ROB: Geraniol oil.

    TOM: Geraniol oil. Geraniol oil. OK. So, I guess, because it comes from geraniums?

    ROB: That is correct.

    TOM: Oh, OK. Alright. Well, that’s about as natural as it gets, yeah.

    ROB: It is. And they did a 17-year study on it to prove the effectiveness as a repellant for mosquitoes.

    TOM: OK. So how does it compare against picaridin and DEET?

    ROB: Well, DEET, again, is – DEET is effective whereas this is just as effective with the naturalness of it. You might not see the eight-hour length of time for it but you’re still going to get effectiveness of two to three hours before you need to reapply.

    TOM: OK. Alright. Now, how do you apply it? Is it basically just a spray lotion or are there other ways to sort of have that same protection?

    ROB: We have several different varieties of application, from wrist bands to towelettes and spray lotions. We have the wrist bands as kind of the light-duty. We see people put that on their wrists, on their ankles. Parents will put that on strollers to put around the babies. The towelettes we love having because that’s one of the fastest-growing segments of insect-repellant application.

    TOM: Let me stop you. So you say you put it on a stroller. So it’s not the body heat that’s releasing it.

    ROB: No, it’s the vapor that it’s emitting.

    TOM: OK. Got it. Mm-hmm. And what does that do? Sort of give you a bit of a protective sort of personal force field around you to keep those insects away?

    ROB: In a roundabout sort of way.

    TOM: Yeah.

    ROB: What it does is the mosquitoes pick up on the scent and it just kind of basically drives them away.

    TOM: OK. Now, what happens if you apply this and maybe go swimming in the ocean or a lake or something like that?

    ROB: The same with any product like this. You get out – it is somewhat water-repellant. The wrist bands are great because you don’t have to reapply. But with any insect repellant or any sunscreen or anything like that, you’ll still have to reapply.

    TOM: That’s interesting. Now, you said you have the towelettes, you have the repelling band. Did I see that you have an approved product now that was recognized by the Boy Scouts of America?

    ROB: Mm-hmm. That is correct. We have been providing the Boy Scout Kits for quite some time.

    TOM: That’s very handy to have because we do get in the woods quite often.

    ROB: Yes. And being a Boy Scout myself, it’s something nice to have.

    TOM: Mm-hmm. Well, that’s great.

    Now, let’s talk about the spray lotions. So that’s, I guess, if you really need heavy-duty protection, that’s when you can apply that?

    ROB: That is correct. And we have an application. It’s a continuous spray. So a lot of insect repellants on the market have the little finger-pump sprays that become very inconvenient when you’re trying to bend down and get your ankles.

    TOM: Right. Right. Mm-hmm.

    ROB: So the continuous spray means that no matter which way you’re holding the can, you can still get a continuous stream of insect repellant on your skin.

    TOM: So this is good for kids, for scouting events, camping, just walking in the woods, gardening and yardwork. We’re doing a lot of that now, right?

    ROB: Yes. It’s something that as – I mean we’re at the Hardware Show because this is where people are working around their homes. And that’s when you’re going to come in contact a lot with the insects. And this is a great way to repel them.

    TOM: Alright. Now I mentioned that Bug Band is a brand of Beaumont Products. You guys are also the makers of Citrus Magic, a product that we know well and have used for many, many years. And we like it because it’s, again, an all-natural air freshener.

    ROB: All natural, 100-percent active ingredients and one of the best ways to freshen the air around your home.

    TOM: Now, Leslie has always said that it’s the only way to freshen the diaper pail. She brought her kids up with that stuff.

    Alright. Fantastic. Rob Wade from Beaumont Products, thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    You can learn more about Bug Band at or call 1-800-451-7096.

    Thanks, Rob.

    ROB: Thank you.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit coming to you today from the 2019 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. I’m Tom Kraeutler. Join the conversation. Call in your questions to 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where you’ll find top-rated home service pros. You can compare prices and book appointments online, all for free.

    And still ahead, if you enjoy working on the lawn and the garden until insects or disease get in the way of all your good work, we’re going to highlight a 90-year-old company with a national network of no-cost expert resources to help you figure out the best way to get your garden back on track, after this.

    Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler coming to you from the 2019 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, presented by Greenworks.

    And if you enjoy working on the lawn and garden and then sitting back to appreciate the fruits of your labor, you are probably also one to become super annoyed when insects or disease get in the way of all your good work. Fortunately, there’s a vast library of solutions for virtually anything you’ll run into, that’s been assembled by a company who recently celebrated their 90th anniversary.

    With me to talk about that is Rick Speer, the national sales manager for Bonide.

    Welcome, Rick.

    RICK: Thank you very much, Tom.

    TOM: You guys had some humble beginnings, from 1926, when you got started, right? Two brothers got the company going?

    RICK: Two brothers got together, thought that they could make a go of it in the Upstate New York area. And would make product and then go and sell the product and then come back and make some more.

    TOM: I think it was amusing. I read on your website that these guys started in the second floor of a hotel.

    RICK: Well, the bar, actually.

    TOM: The bar, OK.

    RICK: Yeah, the bar of the hotel.

    TOM: Well, that’s amazing. And you had a very rapid transition over the years. And today, you guys are providing lots and lots of resources. Because let’s face it, you put a lot of work into creating beautiful yards and gardens and landscapes. And then the insects set into it and man, it’s just hard to figure out exactly what to do. And you guys addressed that because you have the product knowledge, you have the expertise. And you’ve made it very accessible for users to get that information through your relationships around the country.

    So let’s talk about some of the things that you’ve done to help provide that information, starting with your website. You’ve got a lot of product information there and labels on how to use stuff there. But you’ve also got a problem solver. That must be a very popular area.

    RICK: It is. We have – in our website, it’s a vast website of product information. But also on that problem solver, which is on the website, you can look or search for your pest – which could be an insect, could be a disease – and then find the solution for that problem, which may be several different items.

    TOM: Yeah. And I see that you can search by pest or by plant. And then you can also dive into some quick guides that kind of cover it all. You’ve got a quick guide there to weeds, which is something a lot of folks are facing right now.

    RICK: Exactly. And weeds are growing very rapidly with all the precipitation.

    TOM: Weeds are growing like weeds.

    RICK: Exactly. There you go.

    TOM: Yeah. So you’ve got the weed info and then, also, the insects, the bugs.

    RICK: The insects and disease, as well.

    TOM: Right. So, how does somebody know what disease to even start with when they’re using these guides?

    RICK: Well, typically, when you look, you’ll have – identify a disease or a weed. You can either capture the picture with your smartphone and then compare it to some of the weeds that we will have on the problem-solver website.

    TOM: OK.

    RICK: And then that will point you in the direction of solutions for that weed.

    TOM: OK. So you basically kind of do your own comparison and figure out what’s going on there. What do you think the – what is sort of the first sign of trouble that people should be looking for? What are the signs that people miss when they’re looking at their lawn and their garden that maybe if they spotted it earlier, they may be able to prevent some of the damage?

    RICK: One thing that they’ll see is the grass or turf is not growing thick, which could be a sign of a disease, because the grass is dying in a given area.

    TOM: OK. Mm-hmm.

    RICK: Or you may have a pest. You may have squirrels, or something digging in the yard, that you need to get rid of or undesirable weeds that are taking over the lawn.

    TOM: You could also have deficiencies, right, in the nutrients, for example, if the lawn’s not getting what it needs to foster its growth?

    RICK: You could. You could have that, as well. And you could do a soil sample and take that – sometimes they have soil tests at your local garden center.

    TOM: Right.

    RICK: They could run a soil-sample test for you and then provide the solutions there, as well.

    TOM: Now, you also have a Q&A center, so I guess that’s a good place because you get to see the problems kind of firsthand that people are coming at you with, right?

    RICK: There is a Q&A or FAQs – frequently asked questions – with solutions that are provided on our website, as well.

    TOM: Right. Now, you guys have also developed what I think is an interesting network, the way that you sort of leveraged the relationships you have with these garden centers across the country. You have a diagnostic center which is very, very unique, I think, to Bonide. And this is an opportunity for people to get that next level of detail. Talk about how that works.

    RICK: Well, what it works with the diagnostic center is it’s a collection of solutions, Bonide products. When they buy that assortment of goods, they get the diagnostic center to help them help their customers. Within the diagnostic center, there’s a microscope that they could put the weed or insect underneath, of course, to magnify it for the consumer to see it.

    TOM: Right.

    RICK: And that’s connected, also, with a database with our problem solver, as well.

    TOM: Great. So that’s sort of that next level of detail. So if you bring it into the center, if you can’t identify it maybe off the website, you can bring it into the center and then tap into this up-to-date information with these advanced tools, to really sort of look at that next level of detail and figure out what’s going on there.

    RICK: That’s exactly right.

    And that problem solver, by the way, Tom, is also available in the App Store, whether it’s iOS or – and also the Android.

    TOM: Yeah, that’s really handy. What kind of feedback are you getting from users? Are you hearing any interesting stories?

    RICK: Well, there’s always an interesting one where a user wants to share his or her pest or problem and their own personal solutions.

    TOM: Right. Yeah.

    RICK: But most of the time, when they’re contacting us is that those personal solutions aren’t welcome.

    TOM: Haven’t worked, right? Yeah.

    RICK: So they want the real guys at Bonide to help.

    TOM: Yeah, like the people that think they can kill all their weeds with vinegar, you know.

    RICK: There are some of those.

    TOM: Yeah. Well, it’s nice to have the expertise of Bonide, 90 years of history and innovation, to be there to help you with these issues. Because let’s face it, we put a lot of work into this. We want to enjoy it when it’s done.

    RICK: We do. We will sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

    TOM: Alright. Well, great work. Rick Speer from Bonide, thank you so much for being a part of The Money Pit’s 2019 National Hardware Show broadcast.

    You are listening to The Money Pit broadcasting from the stage at the 2019 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, presented by Greenworks. To see what we see while covering the show, all you need to do is follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, #NHShow.

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

    Making good homes better, welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler. And we are coming to today from the 2019 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. We’ve gathered all of our favorite innovations. You can check them out online at our hashtag #NHShow.

    Well, from demolition to décor, we’ve got you covered with tips and advice to help you get the job done. Call us now with your home improvement questions at 888-MONEY-PIT presented by HomeAdvisor, where we’ll instantly match you with the right pro for the job, for free.

    Well, smart-home products keep getting smarter and easier and they offer more that you can do while becoming easier to set up. The C by GE line is a great example of that. With us to talk about innovations in lighting is Rochelle Hartigan.

    Welcome, Rochelle.

    ROCHELLE: Hi, Tom. Thanks for having me.

    TOM: So, folks are getting a lot more of their lighting today. It used to be that we could just turn them on and off, maybe from an app. But with developments in GE’s C by GE line, you’ve actually come a long way from that. Talk to me about that.

    ROCHELLE: We have. So, GE has been working hard over the past few years. We’ve been really developing our C by GE line, which is our connected portfolio.

    TOM: Yep.

    ROCHELLE: And this year also rolling out a whole variety of new ways to expect more from your light bulb. So, light bulbs are no longer just a thing to light the house but they can do so much more. So at this show, we’ve been featuring our LED+ line, which includes light bulbs that have a speaker built in, light bulbs that have battery backups so when the power goes out you can actually still get light out of your apps.

    TOM: OK. Very cool. So the battery backup is in the bulb itself?

    ROCHELLE: It’s in the bulb, yes.

    TOM: Wow. That’s pretty cool.

    ROCHELLE: So when the power goes out, your lights still …

    TOM: Built-in emergency lighting. Yeah.

    ROCHELLE: Yes. And you can take it out of the lamp and use it as a flashlight. We’ve also expanded what we can do with the light spectrum, so we’ve introduced a whole line of grow lights.

    TOM: Yeah, I’ve heard about these. You have the color bulbs and the tunable bulbs. That’s really fascinating. So how does that work? How do I – I tune in the perfect light for the need that I want to use it for, whether it’s growing or reading or whatever?

    ROCHELLE: Sure, yeah. So we’re able to do that within our C by GE line specifically. We’ve got a whole line of color-changing bulbs. So we’ve got a tunable white bulb that allows you to change just the right perfect tone of white light that you prefer, whether you want a cozy mood or something that’s bright and energizing or just something that really enhances your décor.

    And we’ve also included a line of RGB color bulbs. So if you want to do something more festive or celebrate a holiday, you can certainly do that with a great color.

    TOM: Can I get those lights pumping during a party?

    ROCHELLE: You could, yeah.

    TOM: Well, the tunable lights are fantastic because as our eyes change and the room’s changing, the types of light bulbs that are sort of competing, also, with maybe just the smart bulbs that you have, you really want to be able to kind of narrow down that light to be able to make it easier for you to read or just relax or get to sleep, right?

    ROCHELLE: Sure.

    TOM: You’re sort of competing with all of those different influencers in terms of the fixtures in your house, to find that right combination. And with this functionality, you can really do that. You can get it just right.

    ROCHELLE: Yeah. You can tune the color of the light.

    The other really interesting thing that you can do with connected lighting is set schedules and really customize to your specific lifestyle. So if you come home at the same time every day and you don’t want to come home to a dark house, you can set a schedule that they’re always on and waiting for you. And that’s just one example of something that you can do to make light really live for your lifestyle.

    TOM: And you can talk to these through all of your smart-home connected devices, as well?

    ROCHELLE: Yes. So you can use your voice assistants, whether that’s Google or Alexa. Or you can just plain use the app, whether it’s C by GE or one of those voice-assistant apps. You have a lot of control of the way that you manage the lighting in your home.

    TOM: Lots and lots of options in lighting. Rochelle Hartigan, where can we learn more?

    ROCHELLE: or

    TOM: Thank you so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    ROCHELLE: Thanks, Tom.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Show continuing from the 2019 National Hardware Show. We’re just about out of time but don’t forget to check out our picks in the Top Products Gallery at and on Twitter, using that hashtag #TopProductsNHS.

    I’m Tom Kraeutler. Remember, you can do it yourself but you don’t have to do it alone.


    (Copyright 2019 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.)