We’re bracing for one of the worst storms we’ve had in over five years (tomorrow) here in Northern California, and I’m hoping and praying we don’t lose power. The meteorologists are predicting 60 mph winds in town and being that I’m in a rural area, it’s going to be much worse. Our local stores are emailing us with deals on batteries, flashlights and firewood. Yikes! If only I had bought the generator that The Money Pit’s Tom Kraeutler mentioned during our recent interview, I wouldn’t have to worry!
Tom is always so kind to join me throughout the year to dish on how we can prepare our homes as the season’s change. I had the chance to talk with him recently about the importance of winterizing our homes for the holiday season and why generators aren’t as expensive as we once thought.
Candace Rose: The holiday season is peak season for household guests. What are some easy ways to make our homes really shine this season?
Tom Kraeutler: “One thing that you can do is pick up a bottle of Tarn-X, it’s a great way to polish up your silver. It removes tarnish quickly and easily (please watch video above to see Tom demonstrate how to use the product). There’s no rubbing, no scrubbing. It happens very, very quickly and you can get all of your silver polished up in a very short amount of time.
Another improvement that you might want to think about working in is your bathroom space. This is a new product that makes a great gift for a bathroom sink (that includes a pedestal sink) by NYC Vanity, it’s the Palit. This is inspired by the idea of an artist palette. Pedestal sinks have zero countertop space so if you’re doing makeup on it, you’re balancing it on the edge. The Palit is basically a bamboo tray that nests right on top of a pedestal sink to give you space for all of your daily beauty prep including your hot tools in the silicone well. This will protect the tools from damage and protect the Palit from damage from hot tools, and are fine inside of this well. The bamboo is available in two different sizes and two different colors. It’s also lightweight and naturally antimicrobial, so it’s very, very safe. Check this out at NYCVanity.com.”
Candace Rose: During the holidays the kitchen mess really seems to build up. What can we do to increase efficiency when cooking the big holiday feast?
Tom Kraeutler: “Well, there’s a new faucet out that can help you be more efficient, it’s called the Brantford Pulldown Kitchen Faucet with motion sense. It’s made by Moen right here. If you want to turn the faucet on you just wave your hand over the top, and to turn it off you wave it over again. That wave sensor works just that easily. If your hands are full with a pot or a turkey, you just bring it up to the base of the faucet the water comes on and when you pull that pot away it goes off. It’s completely hands-free which makes it very easy to use.
It’s also safer because think about it, if you’re prepping food your hands are dirty with all those germs, you don’t want to touch the faucet, and it makes it very convenient because you’re saving water at the same time. It’s got a self retracting wand, so if you pull it down it’ll pull right back up again. It comes in three different color finishes, this is the oil rubbed bronze (please see video above for details), it also comes in chrome and a spot resistant stainless finish.”
Candace Rose: How can we change the look of our living areas without spending a lot of money on decor?
Tom Kraeutler: “Well, this time of year as we’re trying to make more space for everybody, you might want to think about simply painting and organizing. When you pull out all the excess stuff out of your rooms to kind of spread it out and put a new fresh coat of paint on it, it really brightens it up. If that’s the kind of project that you enjoy, perhaps you want to think about a gift for yourself or somebody else that’s a home improver – this is a new product from Stanley you should think about – this is the Stanley Mechanics Tool Rolling Cabinet (please see video above for details). You have a beautiful steel cabinet here that holds over 5,000 cubic inches of storage space, it’s good quality, it’s got ball bearing glides here for all the drawers. It includes a 68 piece mechanics tool set with the package. This entire set with the tools and the tool chest is $99. at Walmart. It’s an incredible value, the tools are backed by the Stanley warranty and they’re designed for the pro.
Finally, if you want to make sure your house is merry and bright this time of year, make sure your power doesn’t go out. There’s a new generator out from Generac that can help you with that, it’s called PowerPact. It’s a seven kilowatt generator. It’s a very affordable option for automatic backup power. It protects all the essential circuits like heat, refrigerators, lights and sump pumps. It’s quieter and easier to use than a portable generator and it includes something called Mobile Link, which is a remote monitoring software that runs on your smartphone, it’ll tell you if that generator is running. If you’re not home you’ll know that you had a power failure. Generac has products that go all the way up to a 22 kilowatt air-cooled Guardian series. This PowerPact that’s 7 kilowatts is very affordable. Folks think that these generators are five or 10,000, they’re just not. This is $1899 and it includes the transfer switch, so if you don’t have a standby generator, now is the time as prices have come down and they’ve become much more effective and efficient.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share?
Tom Kraeutler: “On our website at MoneyPit.com we have a gallery of lots of home improvement gift ideas and tips on how to tackle quick home improvement projects on our homepage right now.