Milwaukee NPS 2016 – What’s Red And Black And NEW!

milwaukee nps16

Picture a job site with no extension cords to trip over, no noisy generators spewing fumes, and a roach coach offering fresh, tasty, healthy lunch fare. You’re probably out of luck as far as the food goes, but the folks at Milwaukee see every power cord as a challenge to be conquered. Their goal is a totally cordless work environment, from rough-in through finish work and maintenance, and they are investing a wheelbarrow full of time, talent and cash to make it happen ASAP. At this year’s Milwaukee New Product Symposium (NPS) we were treated to a look at the job site of the future. Spoiler alert – not an extension cord in sight at the Milwaukee NPS 2016! [Read more…]

How to Grow Mandevilla – A Vine Idea

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Ah summer. By now, the thermostat is flirting with triple digits. The bugs have come out of their winter hiding places to devour large swaths of helpless vegetation before disappearing unseen into the foliage to plot their next nefarious scheme. Plants that were once healthy, green specimens are starting to go brown around the edges despite frustrated gardeners’ best efforts. The flowers in particular have gone from wearing their glorious spring colors to donning hues which leave no question in anyone’s mind that they’re bound for the compost heap. However, those living in warmer environments don’t have to give up their plans for having leafy green plants and colorful blossoms during the hottest months of the year. All they have to do is get a mandevilla for their yard instead of trying to coax the ubiquitous pansies and snapdragons into surviving yet another month. [Read more…]

Slay Your Storage Issues with Gladiator Garageworks GearDrawer and Locker

gladiator garageworks

If you share any of my obsessive compulsive instincts, then you too find happiness in the bliss of an organized garage. Unfortunately, you might also share my reality of rarely having the garage in a fully organized state. Many moons ago, Gladiator Garageworks sent us some of their gear to help us get a better handle on organizing the chaotic garage / Home Fixated Global Headquarters. I reviewed the Gladiator Bamboo Workbench, and have had the Gladiator GearDrawer and Gladiator Locker in testing for what might be one of our slowest review turn-arounds ever! If you struggle with organizing your shop or garage and all the “toolicious” goodness that goes into it, read on for our review of a stylish way to get a handle on the chaos. [Read more…]

Three Reasons Why You Should Stage Your Home Before Selling

home staging

Most homeowners share the general belief that it’s in their best interest to clean up a home before putting it up for sale. Of course, not everyone does it, but that’s another story. Despite this conventional wisdom about making real estate presentable before trying to sell it, professional home staging is something relatively few homeowners actually do. In this article, we’ll be discussing three key reasons why it might make a lot of sense (and cents) to have your home professionally staged before putting it on the market. We’ll also show a video walk-through to give you a more direct feel for what professional staging can do for a property. [Read more…]

Insidious Garden Problems – When Good Yards Go to the Dark Side

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Except for the hordes of thirsty mosquitoes that view me as their own personal blood bank, summer is without question the best season for gardeners. In my not-so-humble opinion, Christmas is overrated because it has a decided lack of fresh tomato and bacon sandwiches. And nothing beats a tomato and bacon sandwich except possibly a cucumber one. However, not everything is peachy when it comes to summer gardens. Sometimes things go bad. Read on for some common garden problems and how to resolve them. [Read more…]

A Tribute to a Great Maker, Mentor, and Friend

richard-main

Whenever I get asked what led me to start Home Fixated, my answer revolves around two people. First, my single mom, who handed off power tools and household responsibilities to me early in life since there wasn’t a “man of the house” present during my childhood. And second, to my Big Brother, Richard, who infused a love of tools and the creativity they can be combined with to fix or create just about anything. Richard and I were matched when I was about 10 years old through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America organization. They took a look at our likes, hobbies, interests and personalities and someone there made a GREAT match. Thirty three years later, Richard and I have been close enough that my daughters call him Uncle Richard. While I don’t normally dive into personal stories online, I thought Home Fixated would be a fitting place to honor him, especially since this site likely wouldn’t exist without his influence on me. [Read more…]

Flocking – How To Use It

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If you want the inside of your project to look as good as the outside, flocking just may be what you’re looking for. Made of shredded felt fibers, flocking babies your treasures on a soft, scratch-free, durable surface with lots of visual appeal. Sure, you could just caveman it and leave your drawers all rough and natural. You could also polish your precious heirlooms with a rasp. But if you want a professional quality liner that’s easy to install, read on and I’ll show you how it’s done. [Read more…]

Mailbox Appeal – Pep it up With Plants

mailbox-plantings

One way to perk up an uninteresting mailbox is to add some colorful flowers, tasty herbs, or even vegetables to the existing structure. While some mailboxes do indeed come with planters attached, homeowners can easily add a small garden area beneath their existent structure or jazz up the utilitarian device itself with little effort. Like Billy Flynn said in Chicago. “Razzle Dazzle ‘em.” Because if you throw the neighbors a fake finagle, they’ll never know you’re just a bagel. Or something like that. You can step up your mailbox appeal and curb appeal with minimal gardening effort. [Read more…]

Kobalt 24V MAX Brushless Tools Combo Kit – Brawny, Blue & Brushless

kobalt 24v max

Way back in March of this year, our intrepid leader Marc was treated to a sneak peek at Lowe’s new Kobalt 24V MAX line of cordless tools. This beefier line of tools, all of which incorporate brushless motors, indicates that Kobalt is serious about taking on the big boys, in an attempt to attract pro users. The first wave of the new line is available online now, and is scheduled to hit the shelves in early June of 2016. More tools, including a brushless oscillating multitool, are expected by the end of the year. The seven current tools are available individually, or in various combo kits; in this review, we’ll take a look at the Kobalt 24V MAX Brushless four-tool combo Lowes recently provided to us. In the very near future, we’ll also check out the other three individual tools. Meanwhile, check out their 60-second promo video: [Read more…]

Idiot Proof Houseplants – Good Specimens for Brown Thumbs

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I will be the first to admit I’m not very good with houseplants, mostly because I tend to forget to water them on a regular basis. After all, the rain will start to pound on the roof and my slightly screwy subconscious registers the fact that the Higher Powers have taken care of one task on my never-ending to do list. It always slips my mind that my job is only half done until I start to wonder why the allspice plant in the corner is looking crunchy. That’s the reason my indoor plants go outdoors as soon as the weather warms up. While I’ve talked at great length about how succulents make wonderful houseplants if you’ve got a bright enough windowsill for them to hang out on, there are plenty of other species that will get along just fine indoors with a minimum of effort on your part. So, here are some of my favorites. [Read more…]