Archive for the 'New Products' Category

More recalls you should know about . . .

Relating to my previous post on warranty registration cards as a means of being informed of recalls, sometimes a recalled product had no card to fill out. So how are you going to know if something you bought for your home or remodel is unsafe? The cool way is to check out Recent Recalls on [...]

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Need help choosing colors? Try a “Design Plan in a Can”

When I visit newly remodeled homes, the owners often name their contractor, their architect, their window and door suppler, among others. They also name someone I wouldn’t think to hire: the person who helped choose the colors. I’m an intuitive color-picker, going with what feels right at the time. But if I did a massive [...]

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But can your iPhone roast a brisket?

OK, so this contraption that chills and then cooks your dinner — and responds to phone prompts — costs nearly $8,000. That’s ridiculous, of course. But once the early adopters help work out the kinks (as with the iPhone), and the technology geniuses make it more affordable (ditto), this may be our future. The new [...]

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New on the market: Mini on-demand water heater

Where is it written that hot water must be heated and then stored 24/7 in a big tank that needs a whole closet to itself? Those days are fast fading. Whole-house on-demand systems, about the size of a breadbox (remember breadboxes?), use electric or gas to heat water at the moment you need it and [...]

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If you had an extra 10 grand, this would be the tub to get

I saw this deep bubbling baby at the International Builders Show in Orlando and all I can say is: Oh my. I want it. It’s called the “Sok” overflowing bath for two by Kohler, and it has effervescence (bubbles) and chromatherapy (colored lights). It’s deep enough to submerge your shoulders, and if it overflows, well [...]

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Who says the refrigerator and freezer have to be joined at the hip?

When you set out to design your new kitchen, the first question you have to ask is: Where do we put the refrigerator/freezer? Why? Because the unit is so darn big and bulky, right? But no longer does the hulking refrigerator have to restrict your layout options, at least not if you choose the new [...]

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New product: Instant tile backsplash

This new kitchen accessory from Broan (makers of those super-quiet exhaust fans, among other products) goes in the category of instant kitchen update for less than $500. Of course, only one spot in your kitchen will enjoy a new beauty — those few square feet of backsplash above your cooktop — but it will be [...]

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Dad starting a new project? Better get him tooled up

American dads will get nearly $10 billion in gifts this Sunday, according to a survey reported in The Times. While some people consider a greeting card a "gift," dads who work about the house will want something more substantial, like tools. Here are three cool tools given 2007 Editors’ Choice Awards in Tools of the [...]

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At builder’s show, walking the floor for remodeling ideas

You want your remodel to reflect tomorrow’s trends, not yesterday’s. Right? Toward that end, I’ve been in San Francisco this week at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference as your proxy, to learn what the new-home builders are thinking. As I heard at an all-day green building workshop, homes built correctly today could last 200 years [...]

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Solid surface companies stop bad-mouthing granite, start selling it

The nice thing about engineered products like Corian or Silestone or CaesarStone is that a major company has manufactured the product and will stand behind it. That’s not so true with natural products pulled from the earth, like granite or marble or slate. And for years, makers of manufactured products have bad-mouthed granite. It needs [...]

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Solar hot water in a box

A new DIY solar hot water system has been introduced by Fafco, a Chico-based company that specializes in solar pool heaters. The new system can be installed by two homeowners in half a day, the company claims, and the whole thing weighs just 62 pounds. And it comes in a box! The system costs around [...]

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Trex now more wood-like

There’s a lot to like about Trex or other composite decking materials. They don’t splinter, split, rot or need painting or staining. And they’re made from cast-off stuff like milk jugs and wood pallets. In fact, Trex claims it uses 50 percent of the grocery bags we recycle in the U.S., and that every year [...]

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After 400 years, a comeback

The 400-year-old Dutch-door style is making a “major comeback,” according to door and window manufacturer Jeld-Wen. You have to admit, Dutch doors are fun: Close the bottom half to keep toddlers and Lassie inside, but open the top for light, air flow and to connect with the neighborhood. (If you’re trying to keep a cat [...]

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Fingerprint scanning: Coming to a door near you

The trouble with affluence is that people come into your house — people other than your family and friends — and this may cause security jitters. Get enough income and you’re likely to accumulate a housekeeper, a nanny, and a housesitter. And if you undertake a remodel, all kinds of tradespeople need access to your [...]

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