All You Need for a Green and Efficient DIY Season: Must-haves from the 2008 National Hardware Show

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p class=MsoNormal>Just as do-it-yourselfers
are rallying to tackle their project lists, the 63rd annual National
Hardware Show is launching a range of great products and gear for their
endeavors. Green and efficient solutions form a major theme of this year’s
event, as you’ll find in the following highlights.

style='font-family:Arial'>Green enhancements
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>ind
style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>oors
Year-round, clogged sinks

p class=MsoNormal>Just as do-it-yourselfers

are rallying to tackle their project lists, the 63rd annual National

Hardware Show is launching a range of great products and gear for their

endeavors. Green and efficient solutions form a major theme of this year’s

event, as you’ll find in the following highlights.

style='font-family:Arial'>Green enhancements

style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>ind

style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>oors

Year-round, clogged sinks

can cause time-consuming mini-emergencies, but installing the

href="http://www.pfwaterworks.net/">PermaFLOW

self-cleaning, green drain system now will keep things running smoothly.

Made of recyclable components, Perm

style='font-family:Arial'>aFLOW provides the features of conventional P-traps

used with sinks and lavatories but creates flow turbulence to

style='font-family:Arial'>brea

style='font-family:Arial'>k down and propel debris away. Even better, it’s two

traps in one, with an upper chamber bypass for full flow in emergency

situations. Transparent ABS

style='font-family:Arial'> construction with an easy-to-rotate external paddle

design swipes potential buildup and makes for easy retrieval of dropped jewelry

and toys. And in other green benefits,

style='font-family:Arial'>Perm

style='font-family:Arial'>aFLOW functions smoothly with high-efficiency

faucets, eliminates the need for hazardous chemical drain cleaners, prevents

contaminant buildup, and reduces water waste and system pollution with its

support of gray water recycling.

For resilient style and

comfort underfoot that contributes to a healthy

style='font-family:Arial'>ind

style='font-family:Arial'>oor environment, check out

href="http://www.tarkett-floors.com/floors/site/en-US/topic/fiberfloor/segments.asp">

class=SpellE>FiberFloor from Tarkett

Residential. Available in over 100 distinctive colors and designs, FiberFloor

has an improved foam density for added performance, durability, warmth and

comfort, and absorbs sound for a quieter

style='font-family:Arial'>ind

style='font-family:Arial'>oor environment. Its scientifically engineered

five-layer construction resists water, scratches,

style='font-family:Arial'>ind

style='font-family:Arial'>entations and stains, and because it’s FloorScore

certified by Scientific Certification Systems, it’s proven to contribute to

good indoor air quality and healthy living. Long-life warranties are available

on all five stylish FiberFloor lines, including the LifeTime Collection,

style='font-family:Arial'>Fresh St

style='font-family:Arial'>art, and Easy Living Classic, Fashion and

style='font-family:Arial'>Fun

Col

style='font-family:Arial'>lections.

style='font-family:Arial'>Making the most of daily efficiencies

If you’ve invested in

high-efficiency laundry appliances, you know that these machines’ turbo

rotation speeds of 1200 RPMs and above can lead to vibration in your home.

href="http://www.keshakeaway.com/servlet/StoreFront">KE Shake Away PLUS Pads

can keep such machines in place, reducing impact and potential damage by

converting the mechanical energy from the vibration to heat energy that’s

dispersed throughout the pad rather than transferred to your floor. KE Shake

Away PLUS Pads are practically

style='font-family:Arial'>ind

style='font-family:Arial'>estructible, made of non-toxic materials and

unaffected by moisture, detergents, oil, grease and cleaning solvents. Look for

them at Lowe’s, Best Buy, independent retailers and major appliance parts

distributors and dealers.

Moen brings accessible

efficiency to the kitchen with its new

href="http://www.moen.com/products/7175">Level faucet, creating a modern,

sleek statement with clean, geometric lines and tubular-shaped handles. Its

ergonomically designed pulldown wand offers several water flow patterns,

including aerated spray and rinse, as well as Moen’s patented soft-touch pause

button which instantly stops and starts water flow. The pullout hose is made of

fiber to reduce noise in the kitchen, and includes a ball joint at the end for

increased maneuverability. The Level faucet is available in Chrome or Moen’s

new LifeShine Classic St

style='font-family:Arial'>ainless in a lightly brushed, cool-gray hue that

coordinates perfectly with stainless steel kitchen appliances, sinks and

style='font-family:Arial'>hardware, and is guaranteed

style='font-family:Arial'>nev

style='font-family:Arial'>er to tarnish, corrode or flake. What’s more, it’s

easy to incorporate into your kitchenscape, with a Hydrolock installation

system that snaps supply lines and faucet together with a telltale “click” for

quick, secure connection.

style='font-family:Arial'>Ensure safety before digging into that project

According to the Common

Ground Alliance

style='font-family:Arial'>, this summer will see more people electing to

improve their homes rather than move, and a lot of the

action will be devoted to outdoor projects. These usually involve digging,

which is why you should plan to call 811

beforehand to confirm what utility lines may be sitting beneath your intended

project zone. 811 is the national number designated by the Federal

Communications Commission to help protect DIYers, gardeners, landscapers and

contractors from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while

working on digging projects of any size. It may not seem like a big deal when

you’re planting a few small trees and shrubs, but think about it: one wrong

move and you could end up harming yourself and those around you, disrupt

service to an entire neighborhood, and potentially be responsible for fines and

repair costs. When you make one free, simple phone call to 811, your local call

center operator will ask you for location and scope details and then notify

affected utility companies; in turn, they’ll send out a professional locator to

the proposed dig site within a few days of your call to mark the approximate

location of lines, and you’ll be good to go. Check out

href="http://www.call811.com/">www.call811.com for more information about

your local one-call center.

style='font-family:Arial'>Products for projects on the go

If you’ve got a lot of

hauling to do but not much room to store a trailer between runs, hitch up to

href="http://www.lifetime.com/Trailers/folduptrailer.aspx">Lifetime Products’

Fold-Up Utility Trailer. Compacting from full size to a mere 29 inches wide

in less than 60 seconds, this product’s clever folding design allows the

trailer to fit beside your car in the garage or pass through a backyard gate.

Its removable front and rear gates double as ramps for easy loading, and

there’s also a fully attached light kit including brake lights, turn signals

and tail lamps. Available in capacities ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds, the

Fold-Up Utility Trailer is strong enough to transport such items as riding

lawnmowers and all-terrain vehicles, and its weather- and scratch-resistant

finish stands up to harsh conditions. Look for it online at

href="http://www.lifetime.com/">www.Lifetime.com or at Home Depot, Sam’s

Club, Costco or Lowe’s.

On the other hand, to keep

your gear from going where it shouldn’t, add a

href="http://myyeti.com/cm/Home.html">YETI portable security system to your

arsenal. Using state-of-the-art security technology, this rugged, rechargeable

wonder can be placed with a DIY project-in-progress, at a campsite, in a truck

bed or on a boat dock, and once set with the remote key fob,

it’ll detect intruders up to 25 feet away and send out the alert. The YETI’s

Bluetooth functionality also gives it the ability to call you wherever you are:

simply leave a Bluetooth-compatible phone near the unit, and when the alarm is

tripped, you’ll get a call at home, on your mobile phone or wherever else you

choose.

Note: Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program. To find a local radio station, download the show’s podcast or sign-up for Tom’s free weeklye-newsletter, visit the program’s website.

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