There are certain do-it-yourself projects that require tools or equipment that are outside the realm of what most homeowners have the space to store or budget to buy. This should not be a roadblock to your project but rather a stepping stone into the wonderful world of tool rental.
The American Rental Association has setup a website called RentalHQ.com that serves as an international equipment rental store locator. You simply enter the item you wish to rent and where you need it and you’ll receive a list of local stores with websites and phone numbers to contact them. Also a handy map to see how near the store is to your location.
This Spring we plan on installing a privacy fence and a post hole auger would make the job much easier, but we will only need the auger for a couple of days. There’s no sense in buying a specialty tool like this when we can rent it for a fraction of the cost and only pay for the time spent using it.
After doing a quick search on RentalHQ.com we received a ton of results in the LA area and we could easily see which rental location was closest to us and open during the hours we needed. It just took a quick call to confirm the tool was available and we headed over to pick it up.
The website also has tips on renting and using the equipment so you aren’t just left on your own to figure it out.
In addition to DIY and light duty construction, the RentalHQ.com website will also find heavy construction equipment such as skid steers and tractors for your bigger projects.
Renting. So Smart. So Easy.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of American Rental Association. The opinions and text are all mine.
Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of American Rental Association. The opinions and text are all mine.]]>
Range of Sheens
High-gloss finish: very shiny, stain-resistant, great for kid’s rooms and often times used for painting furniture
Semi-gloss finish: medium shiny, withstands frequent washing, good for trim and moldings, kitchens and bathrooms
Satin finish: great for any room and dries to a soft velvet look with a bit of a sheen, washable
Eggshell or Satin finish: works for interior walls and has a bit of a shine but is considered low luster
Flat finish: matte results that are often used for cutting and filling bare spots, opaque and absorbs light, not great for high-traffic areas, does not clean well
Paint is available in a variety of finishes ranging from flat latex to gloss enamel. Gloss enamels dry to a shiny, reflective surface and are used for surfaces that will be washed often like bathrooms and kitchens. Flat paints are most commonly used for wall and ceiling applications in family rooms and bedrooms.
The two main types of paints are oil-based and water-based, or “latex.” Oil-based is a very durable paint but requires solvents for cleanup. New developments in latex paints have made them as durable as oil-based paints. Latex paints clean up with soap and water.
High washability is a feature of quality paint, whether it be oil or water-based. The pigments in bargain paints may “chalk” and wash away with mild scrubbing.
Paint coverage listed on the label of quality paint should be about 330 square feet per gallon. Bargain paints may initially cost less but sometimes require 2 or even 3 coats of coverage that a higher quality paint could do in one.]]>
SKILSAW has just released a new magnesium worm-drive saw! The SHD77M-02 weighs only 12.5 pounds which puts less stress on your arms and back when making rough cuts.
This new lightweight saw would make the perfect gift for yourself or your favorite DIYer and thanks to SKIL we’ve got one to Giveaway.
* SKILSAW SHD77M-02 15-Amp 7-1/4 in. magnesium worm-drive corded saw ($377 MSRP)
HOW TO ENTER
You can enter once-per-day by leaving a comment below.
We will select one random winner at 12 midnight EST on Saturday, April 19, 2013.
+ Make sure you provide a working email in the comment form so we can contact the winner who will have 24 hours to respond to an announcement to claim the prize.
+ We take no responsibility for the service or use of the this product.
+ Only residents age 18+ of the U.S. are eligible to win.
+ All rules are subject to change without notice.
+ Please review our Giveaway policy.
There are some apps we can just spend hours browsing through and Bob Vila’s Toolbox app is one of them. First off, for a home improvement app it’s simply gorgeous. It’s made specifically for the iPad so the photos and images are crystal clear and it’s not just a ported print piece or book.
If you have any interest at all in how your home functions and how to navigate all of the tools you need to maintain it, then like me you’ll get lost in this app. On many pages there are also breakout tips and even audio from Bob himself explaining the concepts on that page.
Books are great but apps like this are what make tablets and the iPad so great. Kudos to Bob Vila and his team for bringing a useful home improvement tool to the iPad and we look forward to seeing even more from them in future updates.
You can buy and download the app here.
Oregon recently reached out to share some news regarding their cordless outdoor power equipment. They are adding three new products this year to their 40V MAX cordless tool system. A pole saw, second-gen trimmer/edger and a 4.0 Ah battery pack, all available on April 15.
We got our hands on their new trimmer as well as their popular cordless chainsaw. Oregon is committed to cordless tool technology. According to Josh Huffman, senior product manager for OREGON, “Gas-powered tools can make essential spring cleanup tasks, like trimming trees and cleaning up winter lawn debris, an inconvenient and frustrating chore for homeowners. Our new cordless Trimmer/Edger and Pole Saw take the frustrations out of spring yard work. Homeowners no longer have to sacrifice convenience or performance when deciding between battery-powered or gas-powered tools.”
The B600E 4.0 Ah battery pack when coupled with the CS250 cordless chainsaw provides a run time of approximately 400 cuts of 2″-3″ diameter wood. We found the chainsaw to be lightweight but powerful and packs enough punch for any household tasks. Since it’s battery powered you eliminate most of the noise of the chainsaw running when not in use and there is no exhaust and fumes to deal with. The Oregon chainsaw also comes with a built-in Powersharp feature that allows you to sharpen the chain as it gets dull. We tested the Powersharp before but are impressed that this unit is part of the saw.
Here’s a quick video of the chainsaw in action.
The new trimmer/edger was easy to use and we love that the new battery pack has a fuel gauge but for our medium sized yard we had plenty of power leftover. Other features include the easy to use line feeder and flip-down edger attachment.
Here’s a video of the trimmer/edger in action.
More more details visit Oregon Cordless.]]>
But have you ever bought furniture online? There are plenty of retailers who sell furniture through their website or have web only stores but shopping for furniture is a different ballgame.
It’s not just about shopping for the right piece but you also need to shop for the right retailer. They should offer the service and customer care that you will need to make sure you get the product you want and are happy with it.
Thrive Home Furnishings is a leader among online furniture stores and they are also fans of design, manufacturing, style, and old world craftsmanship. They aim to change the status quo and to show the world how furniture shopping should be so they were the perfect people to ask for tips on how to shop for furniture online.
Here are some insider tips from Thrive that can help you make the best choice when selecting an online store and a piece of furniture.
What should I look for in an online furniture store?
A manutailer, or a retailer who manufactures their own items allowing them to control both quality and production schedule. You’ll end up being happier with the delivery schedule and the final product.
Are there any shipping and warranty details I should be aware of?
The return policy, what happens if you don’t like it? Big box stores will stick you with the item(s) or a big restocking fee. The return policy should be the companies best foot forward and show their belief in their product. (Thrive offers a 365 day return policy with free shipping)
How can I see what the fabric is really like?
Don’t rely on descriptions or even photos for fabric offerings. Request samples of fabric so you can really touch, feel and see what the fabric is, just like you would if you were in a furniture store.
Here’s a quick demo of the stain resistant fabrics available at Thrive. You can also request free fabric swatches.
Thrive Fabrics are Stain Resistant from Thrive Home Furnishings on Vimeo.
What surprises should I look out for when considering a piece of furniture?
These are major red flags when shopping for furniture online.
A. Be aware of where the piece was made and if that differs from what was advertised.
B. Watch out for low quality materials – A good piece of furniture feels solid and will be worth the money spent.
C. Assembly is a key component to quality furniture and if you know a piece is constructed by craftsman then you can be safe to assume they used better techniques and building materials.
We want to add that customers should look for online retailers who are as transparent as possible about the manufacturing and shipping process. If they fail to answer questions to your satisfaction or make themselves unavailable to your queries than we suggest looking elsewhere.
Thrive Home Furnishings will be sharing more insider information in an ongoing series about furniture design. We will also be following up with a tour of their factory in Los Angeles where they design and manufacture all of their products.]]>
The newest worksite radios from DeWALT come in two flavors. The DCR015 is the larger unit which in addition to playing the radio or music from your smartphone or Mp3 player it also charges your 20V or 12V Max battery when the unit is plugged in and it has two outlets so you gain an extra power station. It includes an equalizer to adjust treble and bass and to our ears it’s plenty loud.
The smaller unit is the DCR018. It also runs off the 20V and 12 Max battery platform as well as the standard 18V battery. This unit has the same USB and aux inputs but unlike the DCR015 it doesn’t charge the battery and it also doesn’t have an extra outlet.
As these radios are great for the worksite, the durability also translates to camping, going to the beach as well as any other outdoor activity.]]>
I’m a long-time customer of AT&T wireless. They’ve been my carrier since the first iPhone. But what you may not know is that AT&T has entered the home security and automation business with the AT&T Digital Life product. Launched last year, AT&T Digital Life is already available in 63 markets and many AT&T retail stores have an in-store display setup that can show you how the system works.
I visited their showroom in Torrance yesterday and a representative from AT&T walked me through the system from a tablet display as well as her own smartphone.
Home security is on everyones mind especially if you have a family. It’s not always about protecting yourself from break-ins and intruders but more from the peace of mind that comes with knowing if your doors are locked, lights are off and your garage door is shut. The key to AT&T Digital Life is that it truly fits into your life as you can control it from almost anywhere with your smart phone or wi-fi enabled device.
In addition to manually operating the system you can create programs based on your daily routines so simply setting the system to “go to bed” will arm the security system, lock the doors and turn off the lights simultaneously. It’s really about how the system fits into your life and you can be notified by email or text when a motion sensor is activated or a door is unlocked.
To monitor your home AT&T Digital Life offers a number of devices and automation packages.
My takeaways after this demonstration are that almost every homeowner could use a system like this. Home security and automation technology has come a long way and you’d be surprised at how easily this system works.
ATT Digital Life is available in two packages: Simple Security includes door and window sensors, a wireless keypad, indoor siren and a keychain remote for on-the-go control. Smart Security offers additional security equipment plus customers can add optional automation packages to enhance your service such as door, energy, and camera features.
A technician is required to do the initial setup but if you’d like to add cameras or sensors later you can have them drop shipped to your home and they will walk you through the install over the phone. Digital Life requires both a broadband Internet connection and access to the AT&T wireless network. It will work with any broadband carrier.
To sign up for AT&T Digital Life or learn more about the system visit their website.
AT&T Digital Life is available in limited markets. Service restrictions apply; see www.att.com/dldisclaimers for details; optional automation packages only available with Smart Security package. See www.att.com/licenses for license information.]]>
Last year Husqvarna launched the first of its kind all-wheel drive lawn mower (AWD), the HU800AWD. AWD mowers provide greater traction while mowing up hills and other uneven terrain and they will lessen fatigue if you’ve got a huge yard to mow as it’s more about turning than pushing. The extra powered axle only adds a couple more pounds to the unit so they aren’t much heavier than the real-wheel drive mowers.
It’s overwhelming success has bolstered demand for more AWD offerings that provide high-quality options at a variety of price points.
The new Husqvarna AWD models are:
• The HU675AWD, powered by a 675 Kohler engine, features a heavy-duty steel 2-in-1 cutting deck, a straight over mold bail system, an auto-choke and a mulch and rear bagging system. Its manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) is $299.95.
• The HU725AWD powered by a variable speed 725ex with Ready Start auto-choke Briggs & Stratton engine, features a heavy-duty steel 3-in-1 cutting system allowing it to bag, mulch and side discharge. Its MSRP is $399.95.
• The HU725AWD/BBC features SingleStartTM which adds a blade brake clutch (BBC) feature to the HU725AWD model allowing the user to stop the blade to pick up debris or empty the bag, and a simple lever engagement turns the blade back on without needing to restart the mower. Its MSRP is $449.95
The full line up of Husqvarna AWD walk mowers will be available beginning spring 2014.
Like the original HU800AWD model (with an MSRP of $499.95), each new Husqvarna AWD walk mower is designed to provide users with balance and power to all four wheels in hilly, uneven terrain and tough mowing conditions.* Each features a unique drive system and dual transmission, premium wheels with aggressive tread patterns to provide additional traction and maneuverability, a premium quick pin 4-point adjustment for level cutting height and a water hose connector for easy cleaning of the deck.
“Based on the positive feedback we received after the launch of the original AWD mower, we wanted to make the innovative technology widely available at different price points,” said Nick Schomer, Walk-Behind Product Manager, Husqvarna. “With three new pricing options and a variety of features, a wider range of users will be able to enjoy the benefits of All-Wheel Drive mowing technology with the launch of the new line.”
* OPERATE SAFELY: Mow across slopes, never up or down. Never operate on wet grass or excessively steep slopes.]]>
If you or one of your family members has recently been diagnosed with a nut allergy, the questions can be overwhelming.
Take heart, I’m right there with you. My son was diagnosed with a life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergy at a young age. We had to do a major house and lifestyle overhaul to keep our little munchkin (who’s now a strapping tween that melts with embarrassment to be called a munchkin) safe.
There are things that we changed and ways that our extended family has had to adapt their own homes. It’s a process and one that normally takes some time to tweak and perfect.
With food allergies, the most dangerous area of your home is the kitchen. Within the kitchen, the first spot to tackle is your pantry.
You’ll need to decide as a family whether or not to actually keep the allergen in the house in any form. It’s a personal decision. Some families opt to ban nuts and peanuts entirely, others allow them or products that “may contain nuts” into their cupboards. Talk to your allergist and decide what’s best for you.
Even when you attempt to avoid it completely, the allergen can get in and cause a reaction.
1. Be sure to keep food in its original packaging, so that the ingredient list is readily available. Foods can change their ingredients without warning and you may not notice right away. Always read the ingredients of anything brought into your house. Nuts can come up in the strangest places (the sauce on pre-packaged beef ribs for example, who would have thought?).
2. Proper storage – If you have young kids with allergies and you keep a stash of peanut butter for yourself, always limit accidental exposure by having it stored away properly, high and out of reach. It’s a good idea to have all potentially risky food in one spot in the pantry, again out of reach.
3. Clean up any spills right away using hot water and cleaner to eliminate any residue. Nut oils are stubborn little things and can hang around long after you’ve casually wiped them away or swept up.
Next post we’ll tackle your countertops – good and bad materials and construction. My blog at NoNutSense.com has other encouragement for those living a Nut Free life and there’s a list of links to other allergy management sites. Of course for home improvement advice, allergies or not, Charles & Hudson is always the top.
More from our Nut Free Kitchen Series:
Uncluttered Cutlery – Beware Cross Contamination
Clean Countertops – Stainless is Best
Completely Clean – The Final Word