With so many options available, buying a lawnmower can be a bit confusing. Luckily there are a lot of websites out there that can help guide your buying decision. When you are ready to pull the trigger on a major purchase (like a zero-turn mower), the ability to shop online can be difficult.
Toro is aiming to simplify the task of buying a mower online with their new Z-Builder website.You start by selecting your steering option (levers or wheel), then continue to build your mower by choosing the platform, deck size, engine, and any additional options you may need.
You can visually see your mower come together as you add or subtract options, and the price dynamically changes based on what you’ve selected. The website works from your desktop or mobile device, and when you are ready to purchase, just add it to your cart. In 10-14 days, it will be delivered to you by your local Toro dealer. Buying a lawnmower (or anything), doesn’t get any easier than that.
Previous Toro zero turn mowers were only available with steering levers, but Toro has brought the convenience of a steering wheel to their zero turn platform. The steering wheel brings the precision of zero-turn mowing to a new homeowner who may have previously shied away from zero turns because of the levers.
The intuitive steering wheel and speed control pedal make this zero turn tractor easy to use. The tilting steering column makes it comfortable for any operator and easy to get on and off.
You can build your new custom Toro zero turn mower directly through Toro or Home Depot.
This video shows you how easy it really is.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Toro but all opinions are 100% represented by Timothy Dahl of Charles & Hudson LLC.]]>
If you love the performance, quality, and durability that DeWALT is known for, you’ll love their new line of outdoor power equipment.
DeWALT has just launched their first battery-powered outdoor power tools which include two 40V MAX Brushless String Trimmers, two 40V MAX Brushless Blowers, and a 40V MAX Hedge Trimmer. We got our hands on all of them can they are AWESOME.
The 40V MAX power trumps almost every other cordless platform out there including some of the 80V tools. DeWALT claims that their new tools can replace your gas units and they are right. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend these tools to professional gardeners and landscapers.
The 40V MAX lithium-ion battery platform has their Extreme Runtime (XR) performance, that coupled with the brushless motors is a win-win for you.
The handles and grips are contractor grade and you’ll never slip. The plastic molding is very durable and one of our favorite features is how the blower can stand on it’s own instead of laying on it’s side. Those simple design changes are what makes this line stand out.
“DEWALT has entered the outdoor equipment category because it can deliver the convenience of cordless with the performance of gas. DEWALT 40V MAX* Cordless Outdoor Tools answer the call for power, runtime, and durability– the same performance expected of all DEWALT tools. Engineered for lawn care professionals, DEWALT cordless outdoor tools provide a solution for gas-free performance and low noise,” says Eric Prendeville, Vice President of DEWALT Outdoor.
The 40V MAX* Brushless String Trimmer comes with either the 4.0Ah Lithium Ion battery or the 6.0Ah Lithium Ion battery for 50% more battery capacity. The String Trimmer features a 15 Inch cut swath, dual-line bump feed head, and a patented gear drive design that provides amplified torque and maintains cut speed under load. A variable speed trigger allows the user maximum control over speed and runtime while a padded auxiliary handle offers comfort for long use.
The 40V MAX* Brushless Blower, which also comes with either a 4.0Ah Lithium Ion battery or the 6.0Ah Lithium Ion battery for 50% more battery capacity, features powerful performance of up to 400 CFM of air volume and 120 MPH for fast and effective outdoor cleanup. The Blower also has a variable speed trigger to provide the user full control and a speed lock to allow the user to operate the tool without having to hold the trigger during use. The Blower’s curved tube design creates rotational control which helps to reduce arm fatigue. With an ergonomically optimized handle size and position featuring over-mold, the blower is designed for long use.
The 40V MAX* 4.0Ah Hedge Trimmer has a powerful motor equipped with a friction clutch that protects the transmission and provides long-term durability. The 22 Inch laser-cut, hardened steel blades with up to 3/4 Inch cut capacity provide long blade life, lasting sharpness, and precise cuts. A removable gear case cover and top cover allow for easy exchange of blades and access to brushes.Finally, a wrap around auxiliary handle gives the user a comfortable grip in multiple cutting orientations, while a safety lock allows for fast, yet controlled actuation. The 40V MAX* Hedge Trimmer can be used with either the 4.0Ah Lithium Ion battery or the 6.0Ah Lithium Ion battery for 50% more battery capacity.
No gas means less maintenance, including doing away with carburetors, spark plugs, and air filters as well as costly trips to the pump. It also means no more gas mixing, spilling, or storing required. Battery-powered tools start with just the pull of a trigger, eliminating the hassle of pull cords. DEWALT’s tools include a 40V MAX* 4.0Ah or 6.0Ah Lithium Ion battery and charger. With available back up batteries and a separate 30 minute fast charger coming soon, you’ll never have to run out of gas again.
These tools are low noise and therefore ideal for use in noise restricted areas like resorts, golf courses, medical facilities, schools and counties across the country with noise regulations. Built for maximum durability for every day usage, each Outdoor Power Tool features an impact-resistant Xenoy® housing. The String Trimmers and Hedge Trimmer also feature aluminum gear cases while the Blower incorporates a protective roll cage. The DEWALT Outdoor Tools each come standard with a three-year limited warranty, one-year free service contract, and 90-day money-back guarantee.
*Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 40 volts. Nominal voltage is 36.
DCST990H1- 15” 40V MAX* 6.0Ah Brushless String Trimmer
DCST990M1 – 15” 40V MAX* 4.0Ah Brushless String Trimmer
DCBL790H1 – 40V MAX* 6.0Ah Brushless Blower
DCBL790M1 – 40V MAX* 4.0Ah Brushless Blower
DCHT860M1- 22” 40V MAX* 4.0Ah Hedge Trimmer
Retail Availability: Available in Lowes, major retailers, commercial distribution, and e-commerce retailers.]]>
Our 1920’s bungalow has a stand-alone garage that is on the small side but still fits one vehicle. We’ve got a standard white garage door with a Genie opener, nothing fancy but it does the job. The opener is a bit quirky and we’ve been coveting all of the new tech that has arrived around the garage door. Specifically Wi-Fi openers.
We open our garage door multiple times on a daily basis and we sometimes hit the panic button if we can’t remember who closed it, or if it even was closed. We’ve even had a neighbors come over and tell us it was left open (I know slap on the wrist).
The Chamberlain MyQ Garage Smartphone Garage Door Controller has set our minds at ease. The MyQ Garage allows you to control and monitor your garage door from anywhere, at any time. Regardless of manufacturer, the MyQ Garage works with the majority of garage door openers manufactured after 1993. I’m not sure when our opener was built but it’s at least 10 years old and works flawlessly with the system.
Install took about 15-20 minutes. We hooked up the hub near the garage door opener, secured the MyQ device to the garage door, and then downloaded the app. It’s really that easy.
I’ve used the app on a daily basis and it’s worked every time. There is a nice alarm feature when you close the door using the app so people know to get out of the way and they strongly recommend to only use on doors that have a safety reversing sensor that is located at the bottom of the door track. This prevents the door from closing if something is in the way.]]>
We’ve always used a gas grill, but pined for the taste that only a charcoal grill can deliver. Standard charcoal grills have never had the features we needed to best cook our food, control the heat, and make cleanup easier, until now.
The Char-Broil Kettleman has just introduced a 22.5-inch charcoal grill that is truly impressive. Unlike most charcoal grills it uses Tru-Infrared as a heat source which limits flareups and it delivers a nice even heat from the center of the grill to the edges. There is a ring of holes around the firebox instead of a bottom vent that keeps it burning hot and consistent and a nice sized damper to maintain temperature.
The ash box is easy to remove and dump so cleanup is a non-issue which was a big concern for us.
The 22.5-inch grill is HUGE. There is plenty of room to cook food for a family of five or even a party of 10 or more.
It took about 20 minutes to assemble but the only moving part is the large lid which is very light and comes with a built-in thermometer that shows actually temperature, not just high/low/medium.
The grill has a great warranty of 10 years on the firebox and lid. Ash pan for 5 years, and all other parts are covered for 2 years.
We can’t think of a better family gift for the summer. It’s available at Lowe’s for $129.
In spring 2015, WORX® is launching two new 56V MaxLithium™, 19 in., 3-in-1 Lawnmowers with Intellicut™ technology; each mower is equipped with two 56V battery packs. The move sends a clear signal to the gas powered lawnmower industry that battery-powered mowers are here to stay and are viable alternatives to homeowners seeking cost-effective, environmentally friendly solutions without sacrificing features or performance.
The WORX 56V lawnmowers feature 19 in. steel decks with premium mulching capabilities. These mowers provide gas-like power performance and mow 8,500 sq. ft. and 9,400 sq. ft. (WG771) on a single battery charge. In perspective, a full-size regulation tennis court is 7,200 sq. ft.
“It’s a great combination of power, durability, and runtime for the average suburban home site,” said Brandon Martin WORX product manager. “By increasing the mower’s battery power and adding superior maneuverability with zero turning radius features, we feel that we have narrowed the gap between our cordless mowers and their gas counterparts.”
The 3-in-1 56V MaxLithium push mowers give homeowners the option to mulch, bag or side discharge grass clippings. The all new NutriCut™ system features dual edge mulching blades to help provide natural lawn fertilization. Also, the WORX Power Share mowers are equipped with Intellicut, which is a torque-on-demand system that monitors the mower’s need for torque. No more bogging down when mowing tall or thick grass. Homeowners simply set the dial to POWER when conditions call for more torque or switch to ECO mode for everyday use.
The durable, 19 in. steel mower decks features 10” high rear wheels and 7” high front wheels. The WORX model WG771 features 360° rotation front caster wheels for exceptional mobility and maneuverability. Caster wheels are commonly used on commercial grade mowers due to their maneuverability and quick zero turning radius. The front caster wheel also features a one-touch locking system that allows the operator to lock the wheels in a straight position to easily mow along slopes and inclines.
Both lawnmowers feature decks with a wash out port. The homeowner simply inserts a hose in the port, runs the mower briefly, and the water’s force dislodges caked-on grass for a clean under carriage.
The sleek, ergonomically styled mowers feature a foam-padded comfort handle. The handle is fully-collapsible to provide compact storage, maintenance, or transport. There’s no pull cord on the WORX 56V mowers; the user simply pushes the starter button and squeezes the bail. There’s no fussing with gas and oil or trips to the service station.
The 56V MaxLithium battery is located in the mower’s housing and is removable for charging (90 minutes) or storage. A battery power level indicator located on the upper handle (WG771), as well as the battery itself, helps identify its current charge level. Two 56V batteries are provided with the mower.
The wind tunnel effect of the mower deck’s underbelly creates superior mulching capabilities and lift for professional looking results. The deck features seven adjustable wheel height positions from 1-1/4 to 4 in.
The 56V mower includes two 56V MaxLithium battery packs, a 90 minute charger, mulch insert plug, and a 1.4 bushel grass bag. Both mowers are covered by the WORX 3-year warranty.
The WORX 56V MaxLithium 19 in. 3-in-1 Lawnmowers (WG771, $499.99) and (WG772, $399.99) are available at www.worx.com and other retailers.
Other outdoor products in WORX 56V Power Share program include:
• 56V MaxLithium Trimmer (WG191, $199.99)
• 56V MaxLithium 24 in. Hedge Trimmer (WG291, $199.99)
• 56V MaxLithium 16 in. Chain Saw (WG391, $299) October 2015
• 56V MaxLithium Blower (WG591, $199.99) August 2015
If you’re a fan of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines, then you know the popularity of custom cabinetry (and oversized clocks). From kitchens to bathrooms, mudrooms to showrooms, custom cabinets provide style and function for any space.
The Sky’s the Limit
You have endless options for wood, style, finish, and hardware so that you can create cabinets that are ideally suited to your taste and space. Stock or semi-custom cabinetry is only offered in certain predefined woods, styles and finishes. More options means more you shines through.
No Space Wasted
Space is expensive. Once soffits are removed, why not monopolize on the space you already have by installing tall cabinetry? Custom cabinets can go up to 102” compared to the paltry 36” offered by semi-custom cabinets. The use of standard widths in semi-custom cabinets further limits your design so that any additional wall space will have to be left unused. With custom cabinetry, you capitalize on every inch of space.
Craftsmanship is King
Custom cabinets are works of art made with an all wood box and are made-to-order by hand, compared to the man-made wood and assembly line manufacturing of stock and semi-custom cabinets. Craftsmen add quality touches to custom cabinetry by fashioning drawer slides that are built to last and by fitting pieces together using dovetailed joints, dowels, or mortise-and-tenons instead of short-lived glues and nails.
Cabinets don’t need to be cookie cutter – there are infinite alterations to fit your aesthetic and lifestyle. Want integrated wainscot ends? No problem. Custom colors? Can do. Fine details such as chamfering, corbels, turnings, furniture feet, and custom appliance panels? Naturally!
A Place for Everything
Having a place for everything is important to staying organized in today’s fast-paced world. Custom cabinetry offers storage opportunities that would be DIY for semi-custom cabinets. Want to hide that coffee maker for the 23 hours a day that it’s not in use? Craftsmen can build storage specific to your appliances and gadgets so they no longer take up precious countertop space.
Wood doesn’t just look good – it is non-toxic, renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable. Stock and semi-custom cabinets leave the sourcing of materials up to chance. By working with a custom cabinet maker, you can ensure that the wood you use impacts the environment in a healthy way. Reclaimed and salvaged wood reuse the planet’s resources and new wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council is guaranteed to come from sustainably managed forests. The use of water-based stains, clear coats, and paints means that solvents won’t leave a footprint.
Custom cabinets are ideal for fitting your dreams to your house’s design, no matter the size, shape, or color of the room.
This article is courtesy of Charlie Post who is a Content Strategist for The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn, a kitchen design & remodeling company in the Chicago metro area.
If you decide to build an outdoor shower its easier than you think. An outdoor shower can complement a pool or just be used as a way to rinse off so as not to track any dirt into the house after a day in the garden. Plus, in the summer heat it can be fun to shower outside!
First you need to decide what type of shower you want. Must it be fully enclosed for privacy or can it simply be a shower head coming out from the wall? The latter is the easiest to install and with some decorative stone it can add some flair to your yard without taking up space.
Here’s a basic rundown of what you will need to build an outdoor shower.
Step 1: Mark Location, Install Plumbing
Determine the shower’s size and location on the rear or side of the house. Mark out the back wall of the shower on the side of the house using a measuring tape, pencil and level. Use a circular or reciprocating saw to remove the siding or shingles and expose the house’s interior walls. Hire a plumber to run hot and cold plumbing to the site.
Install showerhead and control and if you want you can be done right here. If you are seeking more privacy then keep reading.
Step 2: Build Privacy Screens
You can build privacy screens in a variety of ways. From a basic rollout bamboo screen that is supported by 2×4’s to a full cedar enclosure, the choice is yours. It all depends on your budget, skill level and time.
Step 3: Pour Concrete Pad
Plot out the dimensions of the concrete pad using stakes. Excavate the area to a depth of 8″. Use 1″ x 4″ boards to create forms to hold the wet concrete. Pour gravel to a depth of 4″ and tamp down to a level surface. Prepare pre-mixed concrete according to manufacturer’s instructions and pour it into the form. Work the concrete with a trowel until it is smooth and has the desired pitch. Let it cure for several hours.
Step 4: Enjoy the Shower
Add a towel rod for convenience and you can also setup an outdoor music station for added outdoor showering fun. It’s best to have a walkway already setup to the house so you don’t get your feed dirty after washing them and track dirt into the house.
We covered the Coolbox a few weeks ago and now they’ve hit their funding goal and will soon start more design and production of the Coolbox. It’s basically the do-everything-toolbox for contractors, DIYers and everyone in between.
The founders (Mike D’Agostini,Christopher Engolo, and Alex Brown) answered a few questions for us about the Coolbox and what it’s been like launching a hardware product.
Congrats Chris and Jason on your successful crowd-funding launch of Coolbox. Did you honestly believe Coolbox would be such a big hit?
We knew from the start of this project that by pairing our talents together we could accomplish some incredible things. That being said, we are very humbled by the response that Coolbox has gotten during the course of our campaign. From all the feedback we solicited in early stages we knew that we were on to something, but we were definitely happy to see that play out into such a great campaign!
Now that you’ve exceeded expectations by 600%, the real work begins. What’s next for CoolBox?
Our number one focus right now is building an incredible product. We have laid most of the ground work for the production of Coolbox, but there is still a lot of work to get this product up to our extremely high standards. We also have some incredible engineers and advisors on the team who are ensuring we exceed everyone’s expectations with Coolbox.
What features are missing from current tool boxes that your team realized would be a difference-maker for the Coolbox?
Coolbox obviously incorporated a lot of features that have never been seen before on a toolbox before. I wouldn’t say that other toolboxes are missing these features as much as Coolbox stands out as something completely different. I think because we offer not one or two extra features, but rather a whole package of them is what makes us truly unique.
Do you see the trades getting on board with the CoolBox or is it just for the weekend warrior?
In addition to DIY’ers and weekend warriors, we see a number of tradespeople and construction workers ordering Coolbox. That being said, we have received a lot of feedback that indicates some tradespeople are “see it to believe it” kind of people. For those who are early adopters, they can get in on our pre-sale pricing and save. We also understand that many of those who need to try before they buy do not mind paying extra for something that is top notch, and will purchase it at the final retail price.
Do you plan to innovate on any other future products?
There is still a lot we can do to continually improve Coolbox and add new features and value. After we perfect this model we will develop a number of add-ons that will allow people to completely customize their Coolbox. As for new projects entirely, we plan on focusing on the task at hand and have our heads down working. We won’t rule out a new product in the future, but we think it is best to focus on one thing at a time!
Any tips for future hardware and product designers who are considering launching a crowdfunding campaign for their product?
As general advice we would say firstly to ensure that you have a great team in place. Our team made a huge difference and allowed us to do a lot in a very short time. Another tip would be to plan meticulously for every single detail of the campaign, yet also remain nimble and expect the unexpected. We would also advise that you take PR and marketing seriously. Make sure that you can come out of the gate strong or it will be extremely difficult to meet or exceed your goal. It is a little cliché, but the last piece of advice is just to work your butt off and never give up. A campaign is really hard work, so it is important to roll with the punches and give it everything you have!
We’ve got a small outdoor work space and make use of saw horses for just about every project. We’ve built our own, but after getting a Jawhorse we’re smitten. The usability of the Jawhorse is awesome and it’s small footprint and stable base make it a must have in any workshop.
It doesn’t look like a traditional saw horse as it only stands on three legs but it is just as solid. The legs easily fold up for storage or portability and the foot activated pedal is a great hands free way to tighten and loosen the Jawhorse.
The sliding clamp is EVERYTHING! We’ve used this to hold 2x4s, 6x6s, skate decks and more. It’s like a built in vise/clamp onto a sawhorse. It can hold doors and full sheets of plywood!
Here are more features:
It’s available for $149.96 on the Rockwell website.
We grill year-round in Los Angeles. It’s part of our indoor outdoor living and kitchen. With the right tools it makes the process much easier and that now includes the AW113 Grill-Right Bluetooth BBQ Thermometer from Oregon Scientific, which gives you the freedom to watch the game while at the same time prepare appetizers or talk about the game.
The AW133 works on the grill or in the oven and uses Bluetooth technology to wirelessly pair with your smartphone so you can monitor the temperature of your food via the corresponding Grill Right mobile app (Available on iTunes and Google Play).
If you don’t want to setup the app you can just use the display which shows everything you need. We found the device easy to use and a great help for cooking extra thick steaks and chicken which are sometimes tricky.
Here’s a quick video of the bluetooth thermometer in action. It’s available for $59.99 on their website.]]>