Companion Planting for Pest Control – Bugged Out With BFF’s

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My seven year old daughter and I are besties. We pinkie promise each other every day that we’ll see each other after school. We do sleepovers in each other’s rooms on weekends, and we build and share completely obnoxious ice cream sundaes in buckets. I remind her that it’s time to brush her teeth, and she reminds me that it’s time to play a game. We’ve got each other’s backs. And we love to plant our garden together. So, when I shared with her that some of the plants in our garden were missing their best friends and that they needed to be saved from the cooties, she was all over it. [Read more...]

Kick the Bucket with Hart Quick-Tatch Trowel and Float System

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Want to know who the tile guy (or gal) is? You can hear him coming a mile away thanks to the dozen trowels and floats rattling around his bucket like a pre-school band’s percussion section. It’s no secret I like to keep things tidy and well organized. When it comes to tidy and organized for trowels and floats, the historic solution has been the bucket. Unfortunately, the bucket solution is neither tidy, nor organized. While you’ll still need a bucket for tile work, we recommend kicking it down to H2O-only duty for the very marginal job it did storing and transporting your tiling tools. Hart recently unveiled the new Quick-Tatch Trowel and Float System, (along with a couple other nifty Clamp innovations we’ll give you a peak at in the video). Whether you’re a tiling pro or a DIY’er, we think you’re going to love them! [Read more...]

Tiny House Trailers – Not Your Typical “Mobile Home”

The bunkhouse Trailer

A couple of years ago, an architect friend approached me with an oddball project. Since I am generally known as the king of oddball projects, she knew that I would be hooked as soon as I heard the idea. She asked me to build a “tiny house” trailer, using as much recycled material as possible. “Count me in!” I replied… [Read more...]

Laying Down the Lawn – A Sod Story with a Happy Ending

xeriscape idea

Xeriscape is a popular gardening trend for those of us who live in Death Valley or the near equivalent. It’s a simple concept that calls on gardeners and landscapers to make water conservation a priority. And while water conservation is an excellent goal, a few have taken xeriscaping to a whole new level. I call it “xeroscape”. [Read more...]

Solar Energy – Can You Afford It?

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As a solar installer and as an outspoken advocate for solar energy, a lot of people have approached me over the years for advice about how to finance their solar project. They come from all backgrounds and all political viewpoints. Some are environmentalists looking to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. Some are libertarian-leaning individualists who want to reduce their dependence on corporate utilities or government. Some are simply looking to reduce their electric bill. All great reasons, but when the rubber meets the road, it all comes down to one question… “How the heck am I going to pay for this thing?” Even the noblest of intentions go by the wayside when it comes to the reality of cold, hard cash-ola. [Read more...]

DeWalt DCN692M1 Framing Nailer Review – Cordless, Brushless, Gasless

dewalt dcn692m1

In the framing nailer universe, there are a lot of iconic brands to choose from. Bostitch, Senco, Paslode, and Hitachi, among others, all offer a variety of great nailers. As our illustrious leader Marc recently predicted, though, they’ll likely be running and gunning (which, as Marc and our attorneys pointed out, is very dangerous and NOT recommended by HF!) to match the abilities and performance of the new DeWalt DCN692M1, an example of which recently arrived at HomeFixated Global HQ for our evaluation. DeWalt’s new offering combines brushless technology with an extended run battery, resulting in a full-size framing nailer that might result in a nice long vacation for your compressor. [Read more...]

Snazzy Succulents – Great Plants For Unmotivated Gardeners!

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As anyone who has had to sneak outside and water their gardens at midnight to avoid draconian restrictions and obnoxious neighbors knows, succulents are pretty awesome. After all, it’s hard to find plants that can stand two full days of the brutal south Georgia sun without resembling a piece of over-baked toast instead of an appropriately lush garden accent. [Read more...]

A Video Tour Inside the Channellock Pliers Factory

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I recently visited the headquarters of Channellock, Inc. in Meadville, Pennsylvania for my second tour of their production facilities. The family-owned, family-run company has proudly made pliers in the USA since 1886 and from the looks of their bustling production floors, they are ready for another 128 years of making tools for the worldwide market. Channellock, Inc. is most famous for its trademark tongue and groove pliers, almost universally called “Channellocks” by generations of tradesmen, but they manufacture about 120 varieties of pliers here. The company also sells wrenches, screwdrivers and other hand tools, but only the pliers are produced domestically. This video and the photo sequence below follows along the process of how pliers are made. [Read more...]

Milwaukee Tool’s Latest & Greatest – 2014 Media Event Coverage

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It’s that time of year again – time for a glimpse behind the red velvet curtain of mystery that surrounds Milwaukee Tool’s crack team of tool developers. If you’re a fan of Milwaukee, or if you just like innovative new products to get the job done, our coverage will get you fresh glimpses of the hottest new tools coming off the Milwaukee manufacturing line. We covered all the toolicious action live today @HomeFixated on Twitter. For those of you that consider Twitter an annoying tool of teenage subversives and anarchists, we have all our photos and pithy commentary summarized below. [Read more...]

Planting Drinkable Gardens – Ideas For Home Brewers

Mints make a great garnish or syrup to use in juleps.

According to the highly esteemed Dr. Benjamin Franklin, “Beer is proof God loves us and wants us to remain happy.” Although the man had some questionable ideas, such as asking to be deep-fried by flying a kite in a lightening storm, in this instance the doctor knew what he was talking about. Although you will definitely need to research your state’s brewing and distilling regulations before setting up shop, there’s no reason why you can’t grow plants that are sure to make your homemade wine and beer, (and possibly other beverages) much more drinkable. [Read more...]