Tis the season for winter home improvement projects, which can be difficult because it’s so cold! I just spent the last few hours putting up Christmas lights in freezing temps and wished I would have had the right tools to make the job easier. There’s one person I always rely on for DIY tips and home improvement ideas and that’s Tom Kraeutler of The Money Pit. Tom was kind enough to join me for an interview recently to dish on some great tools and gadgets we all need to make DIY projects a little easier and some must have holiday gift ideas too.
Candace Rose: Decorations are key to setting the holiday mood. What are some new ideas you can share with us?
Tom Kraeutler: “Well, if you want to decorate you ought to check out this new product called Glue Dots, it’s really cool Candace. It’s basically the new way to glue. They make everyday home repairs and decor projects quick and easy. The way Glue Dots work is it’s a dispenser and you can put on a dot of glue for anything you want to do. We did bows and a holiday tree out of wrapping paper scraps. Basically you apply the Glue Dots dispenser and it drops a dot at a time on whatever you want to do. If it’s baseboard moulding, you can do that. There’s a repositionable version too if you want to attach a piece of hardware get it just right and then screw it in place. There’s also advanced strength for bigger projects.”
Candace Rose: Holiday season is peak season for household guests. What are some easy ways to make our homes really shine?
Tom Kraeutler: “Well, the first thing you need to shine in your house is your silver. If you have that it takes a long time to get all that tarnish off. I used Tarn-X to clean up (silver). It took me all of about 30 seconds to do that (please watch the video above to see the difference). With Tarn-X you wipe it on, you rinse it off. You don’t have to rub or scrub. It’s safe for all the fine metals and then once you’re done you can polish it with the Tarn-X silver polish. That’s going to lengthen the time between the need to polish your silver. That’s $5.50 a bottle and it goes a long way.”
Candace Rose: Winter storms bring the potential for power outages. Is it true that portable generators are finally affordable?
Tom Kraeutler: “Absolutely. In fact there’s a new portable generator out from Generac called the iQ2000. This is great for dozens of uses. It’s a lightweight inverter generator, so if you want a generator for tailgating or camping you can have that. It’s going to give you clean and quiet power in this compact package. It’s got a three speed engine – the turbo mode saves fuel and delivers maximum power whenever you need it. You can even hook two of them together to double the power without losing portability. You can repower small appliances with this like a refrigerator or a freezer or your phone.
If you want to power your entire house you can step it up to something like the Generac Guardian Series 22 Kilowatt unit which turns on power automatically when the street power goes out. It’s the largest air-cooled home standby generator on the market.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any holiday gift ideas for the DIY lover on your list?
Tom Kraeutler: “Absolutely. Have you ever had to grab a tape measure to figure out how much material you’ll need for a project, maybe for painting a room, putting siding in or windows? It can be a real hassle. What if you could just take a picture and have your phone do all the work? Well, that’s this new idea here from Stanley, it’s called the Stanley Smart Measure Pro and it’s a much better option. Basically it has the ability to take a picture of anything providing you with an accurate measurement, as well as accurate estimates of how much material you’ll need. It’s easy to use, you attach it to your mobile device. You connect it to the free Smart Measure Pro app, you take a picture and then in the picture you identify what needs to be measured. It’s great for painters, general contractors, tax accessors, insurance adjusters – basically anybody who needs to estimate building dimensions. It’s so easy to use because it connects via Bluetooth to your mobile device, so the tool and the app work together. Right now you can pick it up at Lowes for $129, so it’s a great gift.”
Candace Rose: Well, thank you so much Tom. Where can we go for more information?
Tom Kraeutler: “Head on over to our website at MoneyPit.com, and you can have your audience pick up the phone and call us at 888-Money-Pit if they have a home improvement question.”