Does this energy efficient lightbulb make me look fat? Women shun CFLs in droves.

Women don’t like compact florescent (CFL) bulbs. We talk a lot of green – and why shouldn’t we? Studies show women are generally “more receptive to environmental concerns“. But when it comes to buying and using the new energy efficient compact florescent (CFL) bulbs, actions speak louder than words.

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released last week showed that while women are more likely than men to say they are “very willing” to change behavior to help the environment, they are less likely to have CFL bulbs at home. Wal-Mart company research shows a similar “disconnect” between the pro-environmental attitudes of women shoppers and their in-store purchases of CFL bulbs.

The explanation for this green gender gap? Memories of compact florescent light bulbs past.

They were bulky. They were expensive, as much as $25 each. They had an annoying flicker and hum. They cast an icky, cold-white light that made people look pale, wrinkly and old.

Well that’ll do it right there. According to the article, women are “nesters”, concerned about how things look. Men put the CFLs in and women take them out. Maybe it’s about ambiance. But maybe women don’t want to look at pale, wrinkly, old husbands either.

I must confess I use CFLs through the home, including the master bedroom (really low wattage) but not in my office. I’ve tried to use them but found the working experience highly unpleasant. Sounds like it’s time to try again. Compact florescent bulbs are better now. Some are supposed to even approximate the cozy warm glow of incandescent lighting. But attitudes take longer to change than technology.

I tried to find the original poll on both the Washington Times and ABC News websites but all I found is that someone at ABC can predict the future; my query for “compact florescent” returned results from the years 2201, 5005 and up. But no poll from April of this year. Shucks to rely on ABC.

Guess we’ll have to take their word for it. Read the source article, Some wives resent energy-saving bulbs from the Washington Times, reprinted on the Nashua Telegraph.

Product Recall: Sauder Woodworking TV Stands Can Collapse

Sauder 400205 Universal TV Stand Recalled

Sauder is recalling about 414,000 Model 400205 Universal TV Stands as they have been reported to collapse after assembly.

Here is the latest information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission news release:

Hazard: The TV stand can collapse if the fasteners used to connect the metal legs to the lower shelf are not completely tightened during assembly, posing a risk that the TV set can fall onto children or adults.

Incidents/Injuries: Sauder has received 43 reports of TV stands collapsing. Most of the reported incidents involved stands that had recently been assembled. Three injuries required medical treatment including a broken arm, a torn rotator cuff with a concussion, and an injured finger. These injuries occurred when consumers attempted to prevent a TV from falling off the stand. In addition, a 6-year-old child received a bruised shoulder when the stand collapsed and a TV fell on her.

Description: The recalled TV Stand measures 23 ¾ inches (h) x 38 ½ inches (w) x 19 ½ inches (d) with a brushed maple finish. The stand has criss-cross, black, wrought-iron legs, a pull-out drawer, and a lower shelf. Model number 400205 and UPC number 42666 01958 are located on the product’s carton and instructions.

Consumers are advised to stop using the TV Stand described above immediately – if it’s wobbly – and contact Sauder for instructions on how to check and tighten the fasteners.

You can phone Sauder at 1 (866) 218-8312 between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. ET Monday to Friday, and between 9 a.m and 5 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Additional info is available from the Product Safety Notice on the Sauder website.

Video: Good and Bad Home Remodeling Investments

Which remodeling projects translate into higher resale values and give you a good return on your investment? 2 new news videos answer the question.

KSTP Video: Good Home Remodeling Investments

The most profitable home renovations are:

  • Kitchen remodel – 73%
  • Bathroom remodel – 73%
  • A 2 story home addition – 73%
  • Siding replacement – 81%

KSTP Video: Bad Home Remodeling Investments

The losers:

  • Master Bedroom suite remodel – 62%
  • Sunroom – 60%
  • Home Office – 55%

Payback stats quoted in the videos are from the National Association of Realtors.

Concrete vs. asphalt driveways – which is better?

Concrete vs. asphalt? For a no maintenance driveway with long life, the answer seems to be concrete.

An asphalt driveway is probably more attractive when brand new than concrete, but over its entire life, concrete wins out.

Also, there basically is no regular maintenance required for a concrete driveway. When a concrete driveway deteriorates from cracking or crumbling, it is generally caused by improper installation.

For the full explanation read For driveways, concrete is king from Ms. Builder.

Product Recall: Black & Decker GH1000 Grasshog XP String Trimmer / Edgers

Black & Decker GH1000 weed wacker recalled

About 202,000 Black and Decker hedge trimmers are being recalled due to being a projectile and laceration hazard as well as a burn hazard. There have been 707 reported incidents as well as 58 injuries. Sounds like this “made in China” but branded in the USA product is a real winner.

Here is the latest information from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission news release:

Hazard: The trimmer/edger’s spool, spool cap and pieces of trimmer string can come loose during use and become airborne projectiles, posing a laceration hazard to the user as well as bystanders. The trimmer/edgers can also overheat posing a burn hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Black & Decker has received 707 reports of incidents, including 58 reports of injuries. Serious injuries included cuts to two consumers’ legs that required medical attention. Minor injuries included bruises, lacerations, and facial injuries such as a welt and broken skin over a consumer’s eye. There were also reports of property damage, including two broken windows.

Description: The Black & Decker GH1000 Grasshog XP String Trimmers/Edgers are electric-powered. Trimmer/edgers with date codes 200546 through 200645 (representing manufacture dates of November 14, 2005 through November 6, 2006) are included in this recall. The date code is located on the underside of the trimmer/edger’s handle. Only trimmers with black spools caps are included in the recall. Those with orange spool caps are not included in the recall.

Consumers are advised to stop using the string trimmers / edgers described above immediately and contact Black & Decker for a free repair toolkit.

You can phone Black & Decker at 1 (888) 742-9158 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday.

More information is available at the Black & Decker Customer Center online or you can download the Safety Recall Notice PDF directly.

Recalled Black & Decker Grasshog GH1000 Trimmers / Edgers

Do you need extra insurance during your renovation?

Maybe so, according to a new article from the Wall Street journal.

As a general rule, you should check your contractor has general liability, workers compensation and auto insurance. These will cover contractor injuries and damage to your property caused by the contractor. But there are still a risks to be covered.

Your homeowner policy, meanwhile, may not cover damage that occurs during construction work, such as fire, theft or mishaps, which are major sources of claims. Theft of materials, including copper pipes, from work sites is also epidemic. The fact that smoke and burglar alarms are often turned off while workers go in and out of the house doesn’t help.

The article goes on to recommend buying a builder’s risk policy or course of construction (COC) policy which usually covers damage from wind / rain, vandalism, and theft depending on the scope of your renovation or remodel.

Read more – When renovating, get covered via MyrtleBeachOnline.

ZZZerious emerging home trend: the snoring room

Remember “til death do us part”? Traditionally, it meant putting up with a lot, including the snoring spouse or partner. Well no more.

One of the emerging trends in new home construction is the addition of a snoring room adjacent to the master bedroom suite, along with the usual bathroom and walk-in closet. Typically it’s an 12′ by 12′ soundproofed room with a double bed. And since it’s part of the master bedroom with full-sized bed, it beats the couch every time. Better for sleeping and the relationship.

“It’s an emerging trend,” Nash said. “I think it will definitely go mainstream in the next three years.”

Among “active adults,” the demographic term for people 55 and older, it already has.

Now some don’t like the the word “snoring room”, as snoring is often associated with more mature adults or overweight adults, and why compromise the value of a good idea? So the “double master suite;) ;) is also being promoted as a solution to “lifestyle issues” like being on different schedules, or spouses that move or talk in their sleep.

In existing home remodels, space for the snoring room is being carved from master suite sitting areas or largely unused hallway closet space.

Props: The Chicago Tribune.

Product Recall: Milwaukee Power Plus, Chicago Pneumatic, and Extractor battery packs

Recalled Battery Pack from Milwaukee Electrical Tool

1 million portable battery packs for cordless tools made by Milwaukee Electrical Tool Co. have been recalled as they may explode, posing a laceration hazard. Reported injuries have included cuts, bruises and hearing loss.

Here’s the scoop from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission news release:

Hazard: If a vent on the battery cell is damaged or compromised during use, the battery can explode and pose a laceration hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: Milwaukee Electric Tool Co. has received 35 reports of incidents, including 11 injuries from battery packs exploding while in use. Injuries include minor cuts, bruises and some hearing loss.

Description: The recalled batteries are used to power drills, saws, radios, flashlights, wrenches and Extractor windshield glass removers. The recall includes 14.4 and 18 volt 2.4 Ah NiCd Milwaukee Power Plus, Chicago Pneumatic, and Extractor battery packs manufactured between July 1999 and February 2004. The brand name can be found on a label on most battery packs. However, some 14.4 Volt 2.4Ah packs did not have “Power Plus” on the label. The battery packs were sold both with tool kits and as individual battery packs. Battery packs manufactured after February 2004 are not included in this recall.

Consumers are advised to stop using the affected battery packs immediately and contact Milwaukee Electrical Tool to arrange a free replacement.

You can phone Milwaukee Electric Tool Co. at 1 (800) 729-3878 between 7 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday.

You can also download the the Battery Pack Recall Safety Notice (PDF) from the manufacturer website.

How to quit procrastinating on that kitchen remodel

Do you want a more attractive kitchen? Do you go to the trouble of window shopping for a new kitchen, collecting numerous samples & brochures, but never seem to quite “get there”? Here is some insight into your potential “procrastination”:

“I don’t think you are describing procrastination so much as a form of paralysis caused by fear of making the wrong decisions,” says David Gray, owner of Kitchen Cabinet Expo in Rancho Cordova.

“A kitchen remodel is a major undertaking. When you consider all the choices, time, effort and money involved, it is not hard to understand why many people feel overwhelmed. I think the solution is to find the right professionals you can trust to listen to your needs and help you make the right choices, provide a good experience and do a good job,” he says.

Find more insights and answers to your remodeling jitters at the Sacramento Bee.

Product Recall: BonJour Professional Culinary Torches by Meyer

Bonjour butane culinary torches recalled

4,400 Bonjour Professional Culinary Torches are bing voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer, Meyer corporation. The cooking torches are a fire hazard, as there is a fuel leak problem in the torch assembly near the nozzle.

From the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission press release:

Description: This recall involves the BonJour® Professional Culinary Torch sold alone and as part of the BonJour® Bain Marie Set. The torch is 7.5 inches high and has a visible fuel gauge. The base is black, and the handle is either black or brown. The torch assembly is silver-colored with the word “BonJour” printed on the side.

Four consumer complaints have been filed but no injuries or property damage has resulted so far. Consumers are advised to stop using these torches immediately and contact Meyer for a full refund.

How to contact Meyer: Call 1 (800) 226-6568 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday. I wasn’t able to find recall information on the Meyer website.

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    1. New LED Under Cabinet Lights from DEKOR
    2. Worth reading: Ebuild’s 2009 Most Valuable Products
    3. Green Appliances: Energy efficiency makes a difference
    4. Does this energy efficient lightbulb make me look fat? Women shun CFLs in droves.
    5. Product Recall: Sauder Woodworking TV Stands Can Collapse
    6. Video: Good and Bad Home Remodeling Investments
    7. Concrete vs. asphalt driveways – which is better?
    8. Product Recall: Black & Decker GH1000 Grasshog XP String Trimmer / Edgers
    9. Do you need extra insurance during your renovation?
    10. ZZZerious emerging home trend: the snoring room
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