Innovative solutions for creating healthy, efficient, eco-friendly homes

September 2007

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Bristling at Waste

Think about your paintbrushes. The handles never need replacement - just the bristles, right? So why do you have to buy a whole new brush? The theory behind the Envirobrush is a solution to this problem. The bristles can be easily removed and replaced by flipping a small clamp on the brush handle. The bristles, held together by a solid block of plastic at one end, are sold separately at a fraction of the cost of a full brush, the manufacturer says. The Envirobrush comes in three widths up to 2.5 inches. www.envirobrush.com

Stress-Free Additions

American homeowners are increasingly looking to add to their home's size and its value as well. According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the most popular remodeling jobs are new kitchens and room additions, and one of the most popular reasons for the work being done is to increase the home's value. Since most home additions are beyond the realm of even skilled do-it-yourselfers, architects and builders are often directly responsible for a project's completion.

A Home Inspection Checklist

Your home is probably the most significant purchase you will ever make. Most homebuyers focus first on finding a real estate agent and shopping around for the best mortgage and interest rate. While some important details of homebuying include the number of bathrooms, the lot size or the proximity to good schools, you should also be sure to have your new home inspected professionally before you buy. It's important to understand that no home is perfect.

13 Tools Every Homeowner Needs

Not everyone who owns a house was born to build a deck, retile the bathroom floor or rip out an old plaster ceiling in the living room. But sometimes the only way to get jobs done around the house is to do it yourself. Even if you're an un-handy homeowner, you have to be prepared if your plumber avoids repeated calls about the showerhead that won't stop dripping, or if the local handyman is booked through the end of next June.

Steel This

Stainless-steel refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers and microwaves are hot. However, when your kitchen gets too hot, like when there's a fire in the house, you need to reach for your fire extinguisher. Every kitchen should have one within easy reach. But it's that ugly, shiny red" it won't look very good in our stainless-steel kitchens. To solve this burning issue, Kidde has developed the first Underwriters Laboratories "listed aluminum brushed-finish fire extinguisher. Now your kitchen can be safe and color coordinated. The fire extinguisher costs around $30.

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