Diy House Help http://diyhousehelp.com Online publication for home how-to's and product ideas to improve the look and feel of your home. Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:27:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 http://diyhousehelp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cropped-diy-hh-green-540x540-100x100.png Diy House Help http://diyhousehelp.com 32 32 Review: Quickly convert your drill to a 1/4-Inch quick change chuck power bit holder http://diyhousehelp.com/tools/quick-change-power-bit-adapters http://diyhousehelp.com/tools/quick-change-power-bit-adapters#respond Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:02:29 +0000 http://www.diyhousehelp.com/?p=5620 Having multiple drills and drivers isn’t always needed, can take up unwarranted space and adds to overall cost. But having the right drill accessories will cost less, take up less space, yet create a very convenient multi drill and driver in one. A quick change bit adapter is one of those useful accessories that fits right into your existing drill chuck and allows fast changing of power bits.

These adapters are not to be confused with quick change extensions, which have 1/4-inch hex shanks and vary in length.

What exactly are these adapters for?

The brands listed offer dedicated quick change power bit adapters that easily convert your 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch power and cordless drills to accept 1/4-inch hex power bits.

This gives you the same flexibility and work efficiency of a 1/4-inch drill driver without buying another drill.

1/4-inch Quick Change Drill Adapter

What’s a power bit (aka ball detent)?

A metal ball inside the quick change chuck securely engages the deep groove at the end of the shank when the bit is installed.

The collar on the quick change chuck needs to be moved forward or backward to release the locking effect on the shank.

Phillips Power Groove Bit

Insty-Bit Insty-Lok

Insty-Bit 80138 quick change bit holder

Specifications:

  • Total Length: 2.28″
  • Head Length: 1.25″
  • Head Diameter: .95″
  • Shaft Diameter: 11/32″
  • Material: Steel
  • Finish: Black oxide
  • Made in USA

**NOT Impact Rated

I keep the Insty-Bit Insty-Lok (80138) in my personal tool collection. The tolerances are just right in keeping a bit held securely, while the operation of bit insertion and removal is super smooth and effortless.

Combined with the solid build quality, Insty-Bit is providing all that a user can ask for in a tool.

Bit Insert: Push bit in Auto locks
Bit Removal: Slide collar forward to unlock and eject bit Remove bit

Snappy Industrial Quick Change

Snappy 40011 quick change bit holder

Specifications:

  • Total Length: 2.2″
  • Head Length: .9″
  • Head Diameter: .92″
  • Shaft Diameter: 11/32″
  • Material: Steel
  • Finish: Black oxide
  • Made in USA

**NOT Impact Rated

A very, very close second to the Insty-Bit is the Snappy Industrial Quick Change Chuck (40011). The products seem very similar in many ways, and I’d be happy with either.

This tool has silky smooth bit insertion and removal.

Snappy says “Our namesake is the “snap” that’s heard when a drill bit, driver bit or other tool is pushed into our patented quick change chuck.” This is true, there’s a definitive sound to let you now the power bit is locked in.

Bit Insert: Push bit in Auto locks
Bit Removal: Slide collar back and hold Remove bit


All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. Products were purchased at retail locations and not provided by manufacturers as sponsorship. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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Sherwin-Williams Continuously Inspires With Their Color of Year http://diyhousehelp.com/how-to/sherwin-williams-continuously-inspires-with-their-color-of-year http://diyhousehelp.com/how-to/sherwin-williams-continuously-inspires-with-their-color-of-year#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 14:41:13 +0000 http://diyhousehelp.com/?p=35818 Sherwin-Williams does an exceptional job with their Color Forecast and ultimately chooses a Color of the Year.

We find their galleries filled with great interior design ideas and thought to chronicle the past few years of room images and tips to provide inspiration for your next home improvement painting project.

2017

Sherwin Williams had a variety of colors listed for their 2017 Color Forecast, but ultimately chose Poised Taupe SW 6039 to represent their sole pick for 2017 Color of the Year.

It diffuses the stresses of the world outside our doors — so much so that we feel restored and in balance when we walk across our threshold.

The taupe family of colors may not win you any lateral thinking applauses, but when combined with one of the many shades of whites, you’ll be sure to succeed in creating a cozy and mature setting that works well in any home style.

Sherwin-Williams COTY 2017 Poised Taupe SW 6039 bathroom scene

Sherwin-Williams COTY 2017 Poised Taupe SW 6039 kitchen scene

Sherwin-Williams COTY 2017 Poised Taupe SW 6039 bedroom scene

Sherwin-Williams COTY 2017 Poised Taupe SW 6039 staircase scene

Sherwin-Williams COTY 2017 Poised Taupe SW 6039 in a kitchen

2016

Alabaster (SW 7008) is the top pick for this year, and provides a no-nonsense subtle approach, with a focus on calmness. In many ways, this can be very beneficial in providing years of neutral happiness, yet with some tips from Sherwin-Williams, you can still make a room vibrate with the right harmony.

Pair this color with light blushes or grays and bridge transitional and traditional styles.

You can create a yin and yang harmony with contrasting dark colors, such as Urbane Bronze (SW 7048) or Gray Area (SW 7052) in a spa-like bathroom.

Sherwin-Williams 2016 COTY - Alabaster 7008

Sherwin-Williams 2016 COTY - Alabaster 7008

Sherwin-Williams 2016 COTY - Alabaster 7008

Sherwin-Williams 2016 COTY - Alabaster 7008

2015

A new year and another great color pick for Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year. The phrase “Upbeat and optimistic, the perfect mélange of pink, orange and red that can be used to liven up any space.”, is used to describe Coral Reef (SW 6606)

Sherwin-Williams suggests, “pairing Coral Reef with Cotton White ( SW 7104) ,Black Fox (SW 7020) or other floral hues and lush greens.”

You can relax this bold color slightly by pairing it with warm neutrals such as Sedate Gray (SW 6169) or buttery yellows like Hubbard Squash (SW 0044).

Driftwood, medium wood tones and metal finishes also complement its flower-garden hue, or for vintage quality that’s hard to beat, Coral Reef and aged matte brass make a perfect pair.

Sherwin-Williams 2015 color of the year - Coral Reef (SW 6606)

Sherwin-Williams 2015 color of the year - Coral Reef (SW 6606)

Sherwin-Williams 2015 color of the year - Coral Reef (SW 6606)

Sherwin-Williams 2015 color of the year - Coral Reef (SW 6606)

Sherwin-Williams 2015 color of the year - Coral Reef (SW 6606)

Sherwin-Williams 2015 color of the year - Coral Reef (SW 6606)

2014

Exclusive Plum 6263 was the 2014 COTY, providing a flexible color that can also work well in a masculine environment when following the guidelines of pairing “with accents of copper and well-worn leather”. The cool blue hue with a detection of gray can create a rich and inviting feeling.

When accompanied with light creams, beige, and whites, a room feels welcoming, yet very airy and light.

Many times a color can be appealing, but not as the primary. Exclusive Plum works nicely as an accent color to liven the environment. Use to draw attention to a specific area.

Sherwin-Williams 2014 color of the year

Sherwin-Williams 2014 color of the year

Sherwin-Williams 2014 color of the year

Sherwin-Williams 2014 color of the year

Sherwin-Williams 2014 color of the year

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Review: Dottus 3-Drawer Metal Shoe Cabinet http://diyhousehelp.com/products/dottus-3-drawer-metal-shoe-cabinet-review http://diyhousehelp.com/products/dottus-3-drawer-metal-shoe-cabinet-review#respond Fri, 21 Apr 2017 15:56:44 +0000 http://www.diyhousehelp.com/?p=1320 The Italian designed Dottus metal shoe cabinet provides a slim and sleek shoe storage solution that easily mounts on a wall. Use multiple cabinets in a modular layout for additional storage.

One of my minimizing phases led me to reducing the amount of excess automotive tools I had, which freed up the lower half of a tool chest and works great for neatly storing 35-40 pairs of flats, high heels and boots for the household.

Now, we just needed a little more shoe storage for the most common worn shoes near the garage entry door to keep the trend of a clutter-free floor. The shoes needed to hidden, but we also wanted a cabinet with an inconspicuous presence as well.

Sure, a fully decked out garage can be nice, but not always needed. I love the existing Gladiator Garage Work products we have, but in my opinion they only look nice when covering a whole wall, and we already achieved that.

A single Gladiator large Gearbox placed by the entry would be too bold and look like a mishmash just on it’s own, and we definitely didn’t need, or budget, for another wall of cabinets. On to another resolution.

There’s a Container Store in our area, which I know has a ton of organizing solutions, and this is where I discovered the Italian designed Dottus metal shoe cabinets. Yes, the cabinets are a little pricey, but the perfect answer to our problem, and a quality product pays for itself in the long run. The white epoxy coated finish blends with our white walls and the slim profile camouflages the cabinets even more. We now have quick access to several of our everyday shows without them being sprawled on the floor.

Product Highlights:

  • 20″ x 6″ x 41″ h
  • Textured epoxy coated metal structure, available in platinum or white.
  • Included are plastic bars, 1 per drawer, which horizontally lock in on both sides to help secure shoes when the drawers are folded close.
  • A vertical metal bar connects all the drawers together, making all drawers open / close at the same time. Get access to all your shoes with one motion.
  • Comes fully assembled and is easy to install with wall anchors.
  • Multiple cabinets work well in a modular layout for maximum storage. Stack and place side-by-side.
Color Purchase
3-Drawer Shoe Cabinet White
3-Drawer Shoe Cabinet Platinum

Note: I’m happy we were able to get the 4-drawer version before it was replaced by the 3-drawer model at The Container Store. Dottus makes several drawer configurations and finishes, and being such a great product from our experience, I’m not sure why the full product line isn’t more readily available and in demand to the U.S. market.

Dottus Shoe Cabinet

Dottus shoe cabinet uses simple riveted pivot hinge connections

Dottus shoe cabinet mounts via two top keyhole screw holes

Dottus shoe cabinet has a textured epoxy finish

Shoes that fit – there are limitations

I find that some high heel shoes with solid backs angle back too far and can get hung up on the back of the cabinet wall in the middle of the opening and closing process. This can lead to the drawers getting jammed. Placing shoes with heels on their sides, as shown, works better in our experience. High heels with strap backs flex more easily and can be placed upright.

Each drawer is 12.5″ deep and easily stores the following:

  • Two pairs of men’s dress shoes up to size 10, per drawer.
  • Two pairs of men’s sneakers up to size 11, per drawer.
  • Two pairs of women’s dress shoes with heels and one pair of flats, per drawer.

Shoes that fit in the Dottus shoe cabinet

What I don’t like

This type of cabinet design, where the shoes are stored vertically when the doors are closed, tends to allow sandals and flats to tip and fall sideways. Why? These shoes are shallow, which doesn’t allow them to fit tightly between the drawer floor and plastic crossbar, therefore flopping around as the drawers open and close.

However, the shoes remain secure inside each drawer, but if you’re like me and want things in perfect order, you may find yourself doing shoe alignment more times than you’d like.

All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. Products were purchased at retail locations and not provided by manufacturers as sponsorship. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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How to build the ultimate garage air station http://diyhousehelp.com/products/ultimate-garage-air-station http://diyhousehelp.com/products/ultimate-garage-air-station#respond Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:12:17 +0000 http://www.diyhousehelp.com/?p=1596 When owning a home long enough there’s a chance you’d like a do-over for several product purchases and home improvements. I know I have my list of buyers remorse, but building an air station is one of the better investments I’ve made. Besides the usual compressor oil maintenance, purchasing a quality compressor and accessories has provided me with years of trouble-free use that goes way beyond keeping my car tires properly inflated.

NOTE: Check the compressor owners manual for oil change interval recommendations.

There are quite a few tasks that can be accomplished with an air compressor, but the extent of these jobs will depend on the type of air compressor and accessories, which we’ve outlined below.

Projects Include:

  • Dusting a cars interior vents and hard to reach places, as a more aggressive dusting process to using a swiffer pad.
  • I have a garage vacuum with a blower port, which works great for cleaning the garage floor, but an air compressor works better for the bench and and other areas that need a more focused and higher psi of air. e.g., cleaning sawhorses and tools after cutting projects.
  • For any household furnishing or electronic that requires compressed air for cleaning; quit wasting money on air cans. Take the item to the garage or if you have a long enough air hose, just pull the hose throughout the house, adjust the compressor regulator, and get to work. E.g. part of my Spring cleaning is opening up all the windows and blowing out the window sills.
  • After washing your car, blow the standing water from mirrors and lights so you don’t get water run marks after all that hard work.
  • Inflate toys, exercise equipment, large amounts of balloons, portable pools or whatever.
  • For DIY building projects, a hand-carry compressor is suitable for air nailers.
  • Use an air sprayer to put a professional finish on furniture restoration, paint a fence or your whole hose.

Air Compressor Accessories

There are some compressor combo kits, but for the most part compressors are sold individually and you’ll need to buy all the needed accessories and tools. But this is a good thing, you can pick and choose the accessories that suite you. If you don’t want a compressor combo kit, but also don’t want to personalize each accessory, you have a third option in compressor accessory kits that will include all the basics, and are readily available at any local home improvement store.

Parts for a complete air station

Main components needed for a complete air station.

Air Hose
After the compressor, an air hose will be the next main component needed. There are enough hose choices to cause confusion, so we reached out to a leading air hose manufacturer to add their credentials for clarification.

Deciding factors would be CFM or flow requirements necessary for the application and simply how long of a hose you need. For all of the tasks you mention and 98.9% of all applications one would have in their home garage, a 1/4″ I.D. air hose would supply plenty of air.
Coilhose Pneumatics

That takes care of hose sizing, now you just need to choose between a traditional rubber or polyurethane air hose, which depends on what kind of possible chemical exposure the hose will be subjected too, and / or what kind of extreme temperatures the hose may be used in.

Wondering about the hose in the featured image and my personal choice? I went with a 1/4″ I.D. x 50ft. flexeel straight hose. Why? My initial purchase was based on the lightweight polyurethane material used, which is also easy to wipe clean, and the many colors available helped me coordinate my setup. The remainder of the decision is explained in the hose reel section. Long term regular use of the tasks mentioned in this article has proven the flexeel hose to be 100% reliable and durable, while more than adequate for any quick inflation needs as well as operating trim air nailers, and everything in-between. Just as the Coilhose Pneumatics rep confirmed.

Fittings and Tools
A compressor will have quick connect couplers installed as part of the package and some hoses can be bought with quick connect fittings already attached too. As mentioned earlier, compressor accessory kits will include common fittings, otherwise you’ll need to purchase individual fittings to connect a leader hose and tool accessories, including air powered tools. Also, make sure to match the right sized fittings to your compressors couplers and throughout all your accessories. E.g., a 1/4″ MPT connector needs a 1/4″ FPT coupler.

NOTE: Don’t forget to buy a role of thread seal tape for all the threaded fitting connections.

Two very useful and common air compressor tool accessories will be the blow gun and air chuck, including one of my favorites, the Milton Dual Head Inflator Gauge (# S-506). This particular inflator has a built-in liquid filled pressure gauge that reads between 10-160 psi, the dual head chuck ensures any car wheel and valve combination can be fitted, and is made in the USA. This is the type of tool you’ll see in professional shops and should last a lifetime.

Hose Reels
Keeping an air hose sprawled across the garage floor is a tripping hazard, and if you don’t like chaos, you’ll definitely want an organized and compact solution. A coiled hose is one answer to having a more closely-packed hose, or you can hand roll a straight hose after every use and drape it over the compressor. I did the hand rolling for a few years, but eventually that got tiring.

If you have the means, a hose reel combined with a straight hose is optimal and the setup used in many commercial applications. High quality brands include, Coxreels and Reelcraft. A hose reel can be purchased in several mounting configurations to conveniently attach to a wall stud, ceiling stud, or thick bench top.

Another deciding factor in purchasing an air hose depends on the hose reel. I had to consider my budget and space constraints. Obviously, the larger the diameter and the longer the hose, the bigger the hose reel. The answer for me was the Reelcraft 5400 OLP. This reel permitted me to buy and install my own hose, which I wanted to support at least 50ft. of so I could reach throughout the majority of my home, yet needed to fit between my compressor and underside of a Gladiator workbench, where I wanted to mount the reel.

I was also very impressed by Coxreels, who have a helpful hose reel selector guide. Honestly, I chose Reelcraft as the red color blended better with my Makita compressor. It’s always about the details.

NOTE: A hose reel will not allow the full length of hose to be unwound. Expect to lose approximately 3-5ft. of overall hose length.

Eventually I had a few projects that required more than 50ft. of hose. Sure, my Makita compressor is portable, but the hose reel with the hose is not. No problem, I just bought a 25ft. length of the same flexeel hose for those very random projects, giving me a total of 75ft. and I don’t need to move my compressor around either. The 25ft. of hose barely gets used, so manually winding it up and storing it isn’t a concern like the main air hose. I went to my local Home Depot and picked up a Velcro Brand One-Wrap strap to keep the hose wound when stored.

Leader Hose
If you choose a hose reel, you will need a leader hose to connect the compressor to the reel. These are one of the parts you may need to buy and attach couplers and connectors to the threaded end fittings. E.g. in the featured image setup, I needed to purchase a leader hose with 3/8 NPT(M) threaded end fittings to fit the Reelcraft 5400 inlet, then purchase a 3/8 NPT(F) to 1/4 FPT(M) connector to attach the opposite end of the leader hose to the compressors 1/4″ quick-connect outlet.

Hand-Carry Air Compressors

At the bare minimum, you’ll need a compressor with an air tank. The 12V portable compressors won’t allow enough sustainable pressurized air beyond slow inflation.

A hand-carry compressor will have a capacity of around 6 gallons or less and can plug into a common 120v outlet. These types of compressors are the best choice for homeowners when considering cost, size, usefulness and portability. Depending on your wants and needs, carefully compare smaller tank compressor (1-gallon) specs to that of a larger tank (6-gallon) compressor. E.g. a 6-gallon tank compressor will have a higher tank reserve for longer continuous use before needing to recycle, but can cost substantially more and weigh twice as much.

Brands Include: Briggs & Stratton Makita, Bostitich, DewaltPorter Cable, Powermate, Campbell Hausfeld, Hitachi, Ingersoll Rand, and Craftsman.

Hand carry single tank and pancake style air compressors

Uses: These class of air compressors have the ability to tackle just about any home job minus automotive pneumatic tools. Air tools for automotive use will require a bigger tank capacity and quicker recycle time for adequate CFM.

  • Tire inflation.
  • Sports ball inflation.
  • Cleaning (cracks & crevices, window sills, auto engine bays, auto vents, appliance coils, benchtops).
  • Inflate balloons. Models with regulators are especially useful for jobs like this, I find 40-50 psi to be a good level.
  • Air nailers for building purposes.
  • Blowing water or moisture out of small unwanted areas.

Wheeled and Stationary Air Compressors

When I was younger and doing a lot of car modifications and maintenance, having a large stationary compressor was part of the dream garage. I imagined a tool chest full of automotive air tools, and possibly an air powered portable car lift and tire changing machine. My goals and dreams are a little different these days, but maybe others still share my previous aspirations.

For home garage use that offers a bit more than many of the hand-carry compressors, a wheeled 8 to 20-gallon air compressor is a nice upgrade, while still being able to be plugged into a standard 15A / 120V outlet. For the ultimate in compressors, you’ll need to provide 240V for that dream garage.

Brands Include: BelAirePowermateCampbell HausfeldIngersoll RandCraftsman, and Mi-T-M.

Wheeled and Stationary Air Compressors

Uses: These compressors will handle any of the tasks mentioned for hand-carry compressors, plus operate all pneumatic automotive tools.

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5 Must Have Smart Home Products For Beginners http://diyhousehelp.com/products/5-must-have-smart-home-products-for-beginners http://diyhousehelp.com/products/5-must-have-smart-home-products-for-beginners#respond Thu, 16 Mar 2017 20:19:11 +0000 http://diyhousehelp.com/?p=34823 It seems like every day there is a new device on the market that can make your home smarter and more connected, but how do you sift through the garbage out there to know what’s worth your time? Turning your home into a smart home using connected devices and home automation products can quickly become addictive and costly, so if you know what your end goal is, you can make better decisions to save you time and money in the long run.

It starts with thermostats and lights, and quickly spirals into controlling your garage door and your tv with your voice. And that’ just the beginning. There are so many things you can do within your home today that can make it feel like you have your own personal ‘Jarvis’ at your command, but if you’re just looking to get started, what products should you consider, and how will they make your life easier. That’s what we’re here to discuss today. We want to show you 5 smart home products that you can add to your home right now that will improve your quality of live, without being overly complicated.

Our Favorite Smart Home Products

Product Type Price Purchase
NEST Thermostat $$$
Ecobee3 Thermostat $$$
Amazon Echo Voice Assistant $$
Amazon Echo Dot Voice Assistant $
Logitech Harmony Hub Universal Remote $$
Abode Home Security
& Automation
$$$$
Lutron Caseta Lighting $$$

1. Ecobee3 Smart Thermostat / NEST Thermostat

ecobee3 smart thermostatThere are two main players in the smart thermostat space at the moment, NEST (now owned by Google) and Ecobee3. Both thermostats have their strengths and weaknesses, but either one is a great choice for any smart home. We personally use the Ecobee3 in our home, but a lot of our friends and family use the NEST and it works just as well. The reason we prefer the Ecobee3 over the NEST is for one simple reason, remote sensors. The Ecobee3 allows for remote sensors to be placed in different rooms around the house to monitor temperature and motion. This allows the thermostat to know when people are in certain rooms so that the temperature can be adjusted accordingly. In addition to that, having remote sensors in multiple rooms can also allow for the home to be set at an average temperature throughout, instead of just one temperature at the point of the thermostat. Our thermostat is located slightly away from the general living space, in a room that not many people frequent. This caused the temperature in the bedrooms to fluctuate a great deal leaving 1 bedroom much warmer than the other in the winter. By using the multiple sensors and adjusting to an average temperature across the different rooms of the house, we were able to achieve a much more comfortable temperature throughout the main living areas. And because the thermostat is located in an area of the house that doesn’t get much foot traffic, we felt that the NEST wouldn’t pick up on our habits well enough to make it perform to its potential.

nest smart thermostatThe NEST is also a great smart thermostat if you want to go that route. If you’re thermostat is located in an area where it can properly determine when you are home and away and can make the adjustments properly, then we highly recommend the NEST. Unlike the Ecobee3, which still requires programming (if you so choose), the NEST is a learning thermostat, meaning it doesn’t require you to setup schedules, it figures them out based on the movement it detects in your home. You can basically just set it up and never touch it again.

Both thermostats are priced similarly, and you can usually always find rebates through your gas or electric company, the only added costs would come with the Ecobee3 if you wanted more sensors.

2. Amazon Echo

amazon echoWe know that there are many different ‘voice control’ systems on the market today like Apple’s Siri or Google’s Home, but we still believe that the Amazon Echo is the best when it comes to smart home compatibility. There are thousands of skills created by 3rd parties that allow you to control all sorts of devices using your voice and the Amazon Echo, and more are added each day. The only downside to the Echo is that it doesn’t have the power of Google behind it so it’s not as good at answering general knowledge questions like the Google Home is. But the point of this article is to recommend the devices that integrate the best with a smart home, and we believe that the Amazon Echo is that product when it comes to voice commands.

Unlike the Google Home, which can only communicate with the NEST thermostat mentioned above, the Echo can communicate with both the NEST and the Ecobee3 flawlessly. It may seem like a novelty at first, but being able to just say “Alexa, set the home temperature to 72” when you want to change the temperature of the house, is extremely convenient and easy to setup. This was the first skill that I setup when I received my Echo and it gets used on a regular basis by myself and my wife. Even though the smart thermostats are supposed to make you as comfortable as possible, there are still times when you’ll catch a chill and want to adjust the temperature on your own.

Outside of controlling the thermostat, we have the Echo setup to turn our TV on and off, turn our lights on and off, and even control whole areas of the house. Outside of controlling smart devices, the Echo has basic features like being able to tell you what’s on your schedule for the day, setting stacked kitchen timers, and even playing music through Pandora, Spotify, or your own personal music library. If you’re looking to really jump into the smart home/home automation space, we highly recommend picking up an Amazon Echo to further enhance what you can do with the power of your voice.

3. Logitech Harmony Hub / Universal Remote

logitech harmony hub universal remoteEvery household these days should have a universal remote control for their TV/Entertainment center. There are just too many different remotes used to control too many different devices. Personally we had 1 remote for the TV, 1 remote for the soundbar, 1 controller for the Xbox One, and 1 remote for the blu-ray player. We managed to alleviate some of these remotes by getting rid of the blu-ray player and using the Xbox One to play movies, but I still wanted 1 remote to control everything, and the Harmony Universal Remotes have always been my goto for this.

Logitech Harmony makes a great line of consumer universal remotes that are easy to setup and extremely versatile in the devices that they can control. If you’re looking for basic functionality, you can go with one of the more basic Harmony Companion, which comes with the Harmony Hub and the extremely basic remote, or you can go all the way up the Harmony Pro, which has the hub plus a more advanced remote. Depending on which remote you go with will determine the variety of things you can control, but even the basic remote will allow you to sync up and control smart lights, switches and outlets if you so choose. It’s pretty amazing to be able to start the activity ‘Watch a Movie’ and have the TV change to the proper input, the blu-ray player turn on, and the lights dim down, all with one press of a button… but you know what’s even cooler? Combining the harmony hub with your Amazon Echo and just saying ‘Alexa, turn on a movie’, and having the activity trigger just as if you pressed the button on the remote.

4. Abode Security & Automation System

abode smart security systemWhen we purchased our first home we thought long and hard about a security system. We made sure that the home we bought was in a safe neighborhood, but you never know what can happen. Growing up, my family never had security systems on our homes, we had dogs instead, so this was never something that I did much research on. My wife’s family has always had a security system and so she felt we should at least entertain the idea… even though we have a dog.

After looking at a variety of different home security offerings out there, a good friend of ours recommended that we look into Abode. The key features that we love about Abode are the fact that it doesn’t require a monthly fee in order to use it. Most security systems require a monthly fee for the 24/7 monitoring service that can call the police for you if an alarm is set off, but instead, Abode pings your cell phone and lets you know that the alarm is going off and lets you decide if you want to call the police or not. The best part is, if you are going out of town, or want 24/7 monitoring, you can purchase it as an option. You can pay monthly and have the monitoring all the time, or you can pay for periods of time like 3 days or 7 days, with no contract. You can also pay $10/mo if you want 3G cellular backup in case your internet goes down.

In addition to Abode being a home security system, it can also integrate with various smart home devices and IFTTT, to turn on lights when you get within range of your home, turn off lights when you leave, arm the security system when you leave, and much more. The system is also very modular, so if you want to add more cameras, window sensors, door sensors, alarms, keypads, or anything else, you can always purchase more devices online and add them to your system at any time. The self-installation process is simple, and you’ll be up and running in no time. So if you’re looking for a smart home security system, we highly recommend Abode.

5. Lutron Caseta Smart Lighting

lutron caseta smart lightingThe easiest smart device you can add to any home is lighting. There are plenty of smart bulbs out there that don’t require much setup and can easily be installed by simply screwing in a light bulb. These smart bulbs are perfect for a table/floor lamp or a desk lamp, but we prefer to use smart switches when it comes to overhead lighting in the home. Why spend the money buying a bunch of individual smart bulbs when you can buy a smart switch to control them all.

Lutron’s Caseta series of smart switches is a great addition to any smart home looking to get a little more out of their lighting. It works great with a ton of existing smart devices, and can even be controlled through the Logitech Harmony Hub or using your voice with the Amazon Echo. We prefer the Lutron products over some of the other devices out there just because of the sheer amount of compatibility with other products, and the quality of these products. These switches can get to be a little pricey depending on how many switches you play to replace, but in the long run, we love the fact that we can control our lights from anywhere and at any time. Having various activities setup to control the lights when we’re away or when we’re watching a movie, may seem like a novelty, but once you’ve experienced it, you’ll wonder how you functioned without it.

And there you have it. Our 5 must have smart home devices if you’re looking to dive into the world of smart home/automation. If you’re skeptical about whether or not you want to make an investment in a smart home, try out some of the cheaper devices first and see how you like them. Not everyone takes advantage of this technology, nor does everyone like this sort of thing, but for those of us that do, it’s a great time to own a home… or a bad time if you ask my wife. Adding smart home devices can definitely become addicting, and very expensive, so just a fair warning, it is very addictive.

Did we miss a smart home device you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments. We love hearing about how people are utilizing various smart devices in their homes.

All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. However, not all products listed in this buying guide have been purchased and independently tested by our staff. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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Stop loud slamming cabinet doors with soft-close hinges http://diyhousehelp.com/products/cabinet-door-soft-close-hinge-dampers http://diyhousehelp.com/products/cabinet-door-soft-close-hinge-dampers#comments Tue, 14 Mar 2017 15:12:59 +0000 http://diyhousehelp.com/?p=18684 I love doing hardware upgrades. Not the new installs where you need to make sure your router and drill jigs are carefully planned and perfectly measured. But the hardware upgrades where you just swap something out. These are some of the easiest home improvements to do, require minimal tools as well as very little experience, and can be done at your own pace without unsettling your home.

Now, hardware may not transform a room, especially hinges that are hidden, but they do help complete a room, provide daily usefulness, and give you that feel-good sense of accomplishment with little effort involved.

There is a little homework involved in choosing the correct cabinet hinge upgrade, especially for some of the brands with large product lines. The door style, door thickness and hinge type all play a role. Once all this information is sorted out you should hopefully be able to find a soft-close hinge that is a direct retrofit to the existing hinge, or just choose one of the many independent dampers and keep your current hinges.

What are the different cabinet hinges?

The most common categories of cabinet hinges will be concealed, semi-concealed and surface-mount.

A concealed – often referred to as European – style of hinge will be completely internal so there is no visible part of the hinge when the door is closed.

These hidden hinge installs are achieved by using a forstner bit to bore a hole in the door for the hinge cup. Then depending on if you have a a frame or frameless cabinet, there will be several variations of mounting plates to attach the other end of the hinge to the cabinet enclosure.

Concealed Face Frame / Compact Image Courtesy of Blum

Blum Face Frame Concealed Hinges

Concealed Frameless Image Courtesy of SALICE

SALICE frameless concealed cabinet hinges

There is some consistency among all brands of concealed hinges, but there’s also variations depending on the application. Most of the following brands listed are very common, and most likely already used in most existing applications as a basic self-close hinge. Now you just need to cross-reference the soft-close version.

For a direct retrofit you’ll need to know some basic information. A 35mm hinge cup bore diameter is standard, but bore depth and pattern vary. Common boring patterns range from 42-48mm.

Concealed Hinge Boring Pattern Image Courtesy of Grass

Boring patterns for concealed cabinet hinges

Both the semi-concealed and surface-mount hinges will have a portion of the hinge exposed when the cabinet door is closed. Neither hinge style has an integrated soft-close option for decorative cabinet use, but you can use any of the standalone soft-close dampers mentioned in this article.

Semi-Concealed and Surface-Mount Image Courtesy of Amerok

Amerok visible cabinet hinges

For more assistance on upgrading or replacing a cabinet door hinge, try the cabinetparts.com hinge replacement service, and they carry many of the top brands of hinges at a competitive price.

The various brands and types of soft-close cabinet hinges and dampers.

When I chose to upgrade our cabinets and drawers to incorporate the soft-close feature, I had no idea how complex the model list of hinges could be. At least I had a bit of starting point with the existing Blum self-close concealed hinges. The bad news? I learned that the existing Blum concealed hinges were older models that couldn’t accept the BLUMOTION 973A add-on, I needed to replace all the hinges with the newer Blum CLIP top versions where I wanted a soft-close damper. What was the difference? The existing Blum hinges had an oval cutout in the hinge arm, whereas the latest CLIP top models have a rectangular cutout in the hinge arm allowing the BLUMOTION 973A mounting prongs to attach.

Key Points:

  • All concealed hinges have an industry standard self-close / snap-shut feature, the soft-close feature just slows and dampens this effect.
  • Each manufacturer’s catalog provides guidelines on the number of soft-close needed based on weight and number of hinges per door.
  • If you have existing basic self-close concealed hinges and you want to go all out with upgrading to the premier line of soft-close hinges of the same manufacturer, the bore pattern may remain the same, but there’s a chance you’ll have to drill the hinge cup holes deeper. This will require the proper sized forstner bit, usually 3/8″ (35mm), and mounting hole bit.

blum

Blum refers to their soft-close system as BLUMOTION, which spans a wide range of products, so prepare yourself for a lot of reading and decision making.

Visit Blum’s interactive microsite’s for further product information regarding CLIP top BLUMOTION and COMPACT BLUMOTION.

Model Type Adjustable Purchase
CLIP top BLUMOTION Built-in Yes
COMPACT BLUMOTION Built-in Yes
973A for CLIP top Add-on No
971A for CLIP top Add-on Yes
970A for CLIP top Add-on Auto

1) CLIP top BLUMOTION are Blum’s flagship hinges with hinge cup integrated BLUMOTION for the quintessential in streamlined appearance.

If you decide to install these hinges throughout, you’ll also get the privilege of a handy fine-tune adjustment feature, the BLUMOTION function can be turned on / off with an activation switch so you can accommodate different weights of doors. But the soft-close feature doesn’t have variable adjustments like some of the other soft-close hinge systems. Once the soft-close is turned of you’ll be left with a standard self-close hinge.

Key Points:

  • CLIP top BLUMOTION works with all current CLIP mounting plates, which includes versions for face frame and frameless cabinets.
  • If replacing a Blum CLIP top self-close hinge, the boring pattern for the hinge cup remains unchanged for CLIP top BLUMOTION, however, a 13mm boring depth is required for all three holes.
  • CLIP top BLUMOTION enables three-dimensional adjustment for fine tuning door alignment.
  • Hinge cup cover cap and hinge arm cover caps are sold separately.

Blum CLIP top BLUMOTION concealed hinge

2) COMPACT BLUMOTION hinges have all the same features as the larger CLIP top BLUMOTION hinges but with a smaller profile specifically designed for face frame cabinets.

Key Points:

  • COMPACT BLUMOTION hinges are interchangeable with current COMPACT hinges.
  • The BLUMOTION function can easily be deactivated on the hinges.
  • COMPACT BLUMOTION enables three-dimensional adjustment for fine tuning door alignment.
  • Hinge arm cover caps are sold separately.
  • Hinge cup cover caps are unavailable and screws will be exposed.

Blum COMPACT BLUMOTION concealed hinge

3) CLIP top are standard self-close concealed hinges with the widest range of applications. Many of the hinges accept a soft-close add-on (BLUMOTION 973A). See product manual for full details and model compatibility.

Key Points:

  • Blum CLIP top hinges may already be used for your concealed cabinet hinges. You just need to add the 973A damper for a very economical and simple soft-close upgrade.
  • The average medium to heavy door will only need one hinge to have the BLUMOTION 973A add-on.
  • BLUMOTION 973A is NOT adjustable. Small and lightweight doors will have to remain free-swinging as they’re not heavy enough to push the 973A to a closed position.
  • CLIP top enables three-dimensional adjustment for fine tuning door alignment.
  • Hinge cup cover cap and hinge arm cover caps are sold separately.

Blum CLIP top concealed hinge

4) 970A – 971A are independent soft-close mechanisms that mount to the cabinet frame and work with Blum CLIP free-swinging hinges or any other hinge. For more information visit the Blum media center and select hinge systems. These are part of the CLIP top catalog as add-on accessories.

Key Points:

  • BLUMOTION 971A is adjustable to various door sizes and weights.
  • BLUMOTION 971A for use with straight-arm hinge and either 0 mm or 3 mm mounting plate only.
  • BLUMOTION 971A available in different configurations to work with face frame and frameless cabinets.
  • BLUMOTION 970A automatically adjusts to the closing force of the door.
  • BLUMOTION 970A installs into the top and/or bottom panel or with adapter plates on hinge-side.
  • BLUMOTION 970A is designed for two BLUMOTION per door, however, one may be enough depending on door size and weight.

Blum 970A & 971A soft close cabinet door dampers

GRASS

The GRASS group has European beginnings, with a US manufacturing and distribution division being established in 1977.

You’ll find top-tier drawer and door systems for kitchen and bath cabinets, with a claim to “Introducing the world’s first concealed furniture hinge”.

Model Type Adjustable Purchase
Tiomos Soft-Close Built-in Yes
TEC Soft-Close Built-in Yes
Soft-Close adapter for Nexis Add-on Yes
UniSoft Add-on Yes

1) Tiomos is the companies flagship hinge, offering self-close models and soft-close models with the mechanism integrated and concealed in the hinge arm. The closing process is said to be “extremely smooth” because the soft-close is activated until the door is completely shut.

Key Points:

  • Tiomos makes things simple by having one hinge type for all door thicknesses (14 – 24mm).
  • Tiomos works with face frame and frameless cabinets using the proper mounting-plate.
  • Tiomos adjustable soft-close mechanism has three levels of closing pressure to work with all sizes and weights of doors.
  • Tiomos hinge system offers three-dimensional adjustment for fine tuning door alignment.
  • Hinge cup cover cap and hinge arm cover caps are sold separately.

Grass Tiomos Concealed Soft-Close Cabinet Door Hinge

2) TEC hinges offer the same premium features of the Tiomos hinges, but in a more compact and sleek package for face frame cabinets only. TEC hinges come in self-close models and soft-close models with the mechanism integrated and concealed in the hinge cup.

Key Points:

  • TEC Soft-close hinges feature a three tiered adjustment switch enabling you to regulate the closing action of the door to work with all sizes and weights of doors.
  • TEC hinge system offers three-dimensional adjustment for fine tuning door alignment.
  • 11mm (7/16″) cup drilling depth.
  • There are no optional Hinge cup cover caps or hinge arm cover caps to give a cleaner finish.

Grass TEC Soft-Close Cabinet Door Hinge

3) Nexis is a free swinging hinge in standard form, but can be upgraded with an easy to attach optional soft-close damper.

Key Points:

  • The Nexis hinge series offers a wide variety of hinges for standard door applications, specialty door applications, and frame and frameless applications.
  • Damping force can be individually adjusted.
  • Nexis soft-close can be purchased as a set to include hinge cup cover caps and hinge arm cover caps, or parts can be purchased individually.
  • Nexis soft-close is an all-in-one with hinge cup cover cap, while the Nexis Impresso soft-close has a separate hinge cup cover cap.

Grass Nexis concealed soft-close cabinet door hinge

4) UniSoft is a universal soft-close adapter that mounts and works independently of the cabinet door hinges.

Key Points:

  • UniSoft works with face frame and frameless cabinets on all door overlays.
  • UniSoft is manually adjustable to desired closing speed.
  • UniSoft has a scratch protector and front bumper with cushion for a quiet close.
  • UniSoft mounts independently from the hinge in the upper corner of the cabinet.

Grass Unisoft Soft-Close Cabinet Door Damper

SALICE

Salice is named after its Italian founder, Arturo Salice, and to this day the company headquarters still resides in Italy, keeping to it’s heritage.

Model Type Adjustable Purchase
Silentia Built-in No
Lapis Built-in No
Smove D0S_SNG Add-on Yes
Smove D0L_SNG Add-on Yes
Smove D00_ Add-on No

1) Silentia is the designation given to the soft-close lineup of hinges to separate them from the standard free-swinging hinges. E.g. Series 100 = self-close and Silentia Series 100 = soft-close.

The soft-close damper is integrated into the hinge cup and is available across a wide variety of hinges for various door thicknesses, angles and metal profiles.

Key Points:

  • Silentia hinges work with traditional Series 200 mounting plates and longitudinal Domi snap-on mounting plates (BAP).
  • Silentia hinges only offer sideways adjustment. Height and depth adjustment are done by, and depend on, the mounting plate used.
  • Silentia has a hinge cup diameter of 35mm, while bore depth varies based on door type and compatible hinge model.
  • Silentia soft-close is not available for face frame cabinets.
  • Hinge cup cover cap and hinge arm cover caps are sold separately.

Salice Silentia soft close hinges

2) Lapis series hinge cup based soft-close builds upon the Silentia line. Made of two covers, the hinge elements move synchronously, hiding the technical components and enriching the product with refined aesthetics, far from the traditional geometries of furniture hinges.

There are 12 primary colors available, the mounting plate and hinge cup covers are separate, thus allowing you a total of 144 color combinations. The only two-tone hinge on the market.

Key Points:

  • Lapis soft-close feature is referred to as decelerating system.
  • Lapis hinges only work with longitudinal Domi snap-on mounting plates (BAP).
  • Lapis has a hinge cup diameter of 35mm, while bore depth varies based on door type and compatible hinge model.

Salice Lapis soft-close hinges

3a) Smove D0S_SNG dampers are direct add-ons for Salice hinges and mounting plates. Make sure to read the catalog carefully as three different tension dampers are available for varying door sizes, along with a slew of adapters.

Salice says, “We suggest that one Smoveholder only is used for each door, by selecting one of the three available models”.

Key Points:

  • Smove D0S7SNG to be used with doors made with particularly light materials.
  • Smove D0S8SNG to be used with doors with two hinges.
  • Smove D0S9SNG to be used with doors with more than two hinges.
  • There are 3 different tension adapters, but each is also adjustable for further fine-tuning.

Salice Smove D0S_SNG dampers

3b) Smove D0L_SNG dampers are very similar to the DOS_SNG models. The main difference is these are universal add-ons and work with any cabinet door.

Salice says, “We suggest that one Smoveholder only is used for each door, by selecting one of the three available models”.

Key Points:

  • Smove D0L7SNG to be used with doors made with particularly light materials.
  • Smove D0L8SNG to be used with doors with two hinges.
  • Smove D0L9SNG to be used with doors with more than two hinges.
  • There are 3 different tension adapters, but each is also adjustable for further fine-tuning.

Salice Smove D0L_SNG cabinet door dampers

3c) Smove D00_ are independent dampers that recess into the cabinet or use one of the many surface mount housing adapters. Since there are several models available, but with very limited information, we suggest contacting Salice direct for further detailed information before making a final purchase.

Key Points:

  • Each model is available in gray or beige tips to best match your cabinets.
  • Insert Smove D005 into the cabinet side opposite the hinges. For an optimal performance, we suggest that Smove D005 is positioned at the centre of the side panel.
  • Insert Smove D006 at the centre of the top or the base panel of the cabinet.
  • Insert Smove D008 into the top or the base panel of the cabinet on the hinged side.
  • Insert Smove D009 into the base panel of the cabinet on the hinged side. Smove D009 is used for doors between 720 mm and 1600 mm high.
  • Insert Smove D010 into the base panel of the cabinet on the hinged side. Smove D010 is used for doors over 1600 mm high.

Salice Smove independent cabinet door damper

SUGATSUNE

The Sugatsune concealed hinge lineup isn’t as diverse as the other brands mentioned, but sometimes a basic and uncomplicated product catalog can be the perfect solution.

Keeping with the simplicity, you have a painless choice of one add-on damper, which comes in two sizes, depending on hinge overlay dimensions.

Model Type Adjustable Purchase
230-SCA/19 Add-on No
230-SCA/9 Add-on No

Key Points:

  • 230-SCA/19 damper for use with 230-C26/19T hinge only.
  • 230-SCA/9 damper for use with 230-C26/9T hinge only.
  • Sugatsune recommends 1 x damper for 2 hinge applications and 2 x dampers for 3-4 hinge applications.

Sugatsune soft close concealed hinge dampers

All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. However, not all products listed in this buying guide have been purchased and independently tested by our staff. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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Simple and safe tree swing ideas http://diyhousehelp.com/products/simple-and-safe-tree-swing-ideas-for-summertime-fun http://diyhousehelp.com/products/simple-and-safe-tree-swing-ideas-for-summertime-fun#respond Thu, 09 Mar 2017 12:38:00 +0000 http://diyhousehelp.com/?p=16464 So, you’re kicking around the idea of a tree swing. Why not! Keep the kids occupied with some outdoor fun. Or, if you have an unfinished basement, you can just as easily mount these swings indoors to a floor joist or support beam, for when the weather outside isn’t ideal.

Now, the person with a woodshop full of tools is most likely inclined to buy the material and handcraft their own swing, but for the others, the process doesn’t need to be so complex. We’ve compiled a list of tree swings in a variety of styles that just require unpacking, possibly some minor assembly, along with the ability to tie a secure knot that you deem safe and suitable.

Several of the listed swings are bundled with or have optional hanging hardware to make installation even more unchallenging. Vintage Swings, a manufacturer of several handcrafted swing options, has an alternative tree branch mounting procedure that is said to be better for the tree.

Find a complete selection of tree swings and hanging hardware at Amazon

Classic Wood Swings

A tree swing doesn’t get any more traditional than taking a piece of wood and hanging it from a tree branch by a piece of rope.

The following companies are making sure this classic setup continues to provide wondrous enjoyment, and at the same time, offering high-quality kits to get you up and running safely in no time.

You’ll notice the different types of wood used, based on geographical location of each business. But they all ensure that you’re getting a very strong and long lasting wood swing.

1) Forever Redwood, based in California, uses only “extra thick high quality timbers” for their handmade bespoke swings and other wood products. Choose from Douglas-fir, Mosaic Eco-Wood, or Redwood that’s available in 12″, 15″ or 18″ diameters. You even get to customize the rope hole diameter and finish. Want to add your own finish? Go ahead – you can order the swing unfinished at no extra cost.

Note: None of the Disk Swings come with hanging rope or hardware. No problem – any local hardware store will have reels of rope in different materials and thicknesses, along with chain and cable if you prefer to use those instead.

Learn more about Forever Redwood’s 5 grades of wood used and the finishes they offer.

The actual wood swing has a weight capacity of up to 450lbs, but to safely achieve this load rating the supporting rope or chain used will also need the same load capabilities.

Forever Redwood tree disc swing

2) The Original Tree Swing “is hand made from local Ash trees in Minneapolis, Minnesota”. The standard kit includes 20 ft. of 3/4″ rope and capable of loads up to 300lbs.

Choose either the disc swing or bench style swing.

Options include: rope lengths of 30 or 40 ft., and a custom engraved brass plaque.

Disc and bench style wood tree swings

3) Vintage Swings “are proudly handmade in Charlottesville, Virginia”. These swings start with 1″ thick White Oak and end with a hand-finish using marine-grade Spar varnish.

Not only are single swings available in 2 styles – round and single bench, you can also select from a third option, a double bench swing. What a great way for two people to spend some time together.

What’s included? You get 3/4″ Promanilla rope with a generous 23′ of hanging length.

Vintage Swings handcrafted wood tree swings

Tire Swings

Next to the wood seat style of swings, you have the very nostalgic tire swings. I do admire the different approaches each manufacturer used in creating their tire swings. People thinking slightly differently, yet delivering a solid product either way.

1) Swing-N-Slide Tire Swing gives the look of an old-school tire swing without the extra weight and dirty residue of a real tire.

With room for multiple kids, you’ll hopefully reduce the arguing of “who’s turn is it”.

Easily hang this lightweight plastic tire swing with the provided 360-degree spinning swivel mount.

Total weight capacity of 250 lbs.

Swing-N-Slide tire tree swing

2) Wood Tree Swings offers the real deal, using hand-cleaned recycled tires accompanied by 10 feet of 5/8 inch polypropylene rope. The company says this combination will “support up to 350 lbs”. Not enough standard length of rope? You can add plenty of extra rope to your order for an additional cost.

These traditional style – handcrafted tire swings are available in horizontal or vertical hanging style, with the vertical tire swing having a removable wood seat. Great idea! Plus, you have the option to have this wood insert personalized.

Wood Tree Swings tire swings

3) Vintage Swings decided to use a 1940s Ford 8N tractor tire. Growing up in a small farm town, I knew this style of tire looked very familiar. What is the benefit of such a tire? You get 19″ of I.D., which is a sizable increase from a typical car tire used for most tire swings.

The current images don’t show the detail, but Vintage Swings says “An interior wood brace supports the tire. The rope is then feed through the brace and hand spliced together on top”.

Just like their wood swings, included is a 3/4″ Promanilla rope with a generous 23′ of hanging length.

Vintage Swings tire tree swings

Contemporary Tree Swings

As technology grows, it only makes sense for swing manufactures to apply such technologies and come up with modern tree swing designs, which also use the latest materials.

1) Spring Swing is the “tree swing with bounce”. Add an inline spring, now a traditional rope swing becomes a little more exciting.

With the center mounted rope and seat socket design, this swing can also spin 360-degrees while it bounces. Definitely not for kids with motion sickness!

Designed for ages 3-8 years / 30- 70 pounds.

Tree mounted Spring disc swing

2) HearthSong has a sizable selection of swings utilizing mesh and polypropylene fabric. The appreciable thing about their many large platform swings? You also have a great place to lie down, relax and just hang out.

For many of the products you’ll find a different approach to the simple and classic tree swing. Instead, you’ll find multi-person swings in colorful variations.

HearthSong Tree Swings

All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. However, not all products listed in this buying guide have been purchased and independently tested by our staff. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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Naturally dry your clothes indoors with these helpful products http://diyhousehelp.com/products/indoor-clothes-drying-product-guide http://diyhousehelp.com/products/indoor-clothes-drying-product-guide#respond Mon, 06 Mar 2017 19:32:42 +0000 http://diyhousehelp.com/?p=18617 Growing up in a small town, having a outdoor clotheslineImage courtesy of Breezecatcher Clotheslines was very common. I personally was never a fan of line dried clothes, especially the cold weather months, where your clothes were stiff as a board. But some people like the smell of air dried clothes, and the primary reason that I knew of…saving money…can still very much apply.

Fast forward to my current environment; I’m not sure the last time I saw an outdoor clothesline, but even in our household there is a need for a certain amount of line drying, especially for delicate clothing. Nobody wants to face a household member whose clothing you shrunk in the dryer!

In steps the many great indoor drying products that can offer a much better solution to hanging your clothes over the tub, shower stall, railing, etc. Plus, with many of the products you’re going to get much more drying space, sometimes with the capability to hang a full load of clothes.

Indoor Clotheslines

Considering this is a DIY site, one could buy some eye lag screws, along with a clothesline set – or rope equivalent, and create your own indoor clothesline between two walls.

Create a simple DIY clothlines with eye lag screws and rope

The Buntline Hitch is a wonderful – small profile – trusty knot for securing rope to an eyelet. But in order to have a tight line, you kind of need an adjustable tightener knot on the other end, such as a Tautline Hitch.
NetKnots.com

However, I think the many retractable indoor clothesline products created by the following are better alternatives, especially if aesthetics are a primary concern.

FEATURED Brabantia Pull-out Clothesline
The Brabantia brand has a long history in trying to provide quality products and their pull-out clothesline is a convincing example of their mission. All their laundry products are “manufactured from corrosion resistant materials”.

Maximize your air drying capabilities with 5 rows of cothesline, which extend to 165″ in length, providing 22m / 72ft total drying area. Yet, when not in use and retracted, you’re left with a compact footprint.

Note: Dimensions listed throughout the web are very inconsistent, so we contacted Brabantia direct for some definitive clarification, and were promptly replied to by a representative.

I have the indoor pull out dryer here in the office & the sizes are…

  • LENGTH = 480mm / 18.9″
  • DEPTH = 80mm / 3.15″
  • HEIGHT = 76mm / 3.0″

The side dial locks and unlocks the clothesline, while providing a means for line tension adjustment too.

Available in stainless (385766), or white (385728).

Brabantia 385766 Indoor Pull-Out Clothes Line
Brabantia 385766 Indoor Pull-Out Clothes Line Brabantia 385728 Indoor Pull-Out Clothes Line

MORE CHOICES…
Look to Amazon for the many retractable clotheslines on the market. Some closely replicate the design of the Brabantia Pull-out Clothesline, while others have their own indoor clothesline representation.

Maybe you just want a simple and economical single line clothes dryer that can be mounted inside your shower stall. Plenty of those to choose from.

Need more clothesline drying space? There are several brands that took a cue from the hose reel and cord reel market, providing larger clothesline units that can span 20+ feet.

EXAMPLE 1 VDOMUS Retractable Indoor Clothesline

  • Adjustable fiber line extends up to a long range: up to 8.2 Feets.
  • Lock Button: It is very easy to retract if needed to move the line back to its case for easy storage.
  • Made of Premium Solid 18/10 stainless steel construction with Copper PULL HEAD and accessories

VDOMUS retractable indoor clothesline

EXAMPLE 2 Household Essentials Single Line Retractable Clothes Dryer

  • High-impact plastic housing.
  • Swivel wall bracket.
  • Stainless-steel inner spring; line retracts when not in use.
  • Single-line clothes dryer provides up to 40 feet of linear drying space.

Household Essentials 40 ft Single Line Retractable Clothesline

Laundry Drying Racks

The multitude of clothes drying racks almost seems endless. Between the many brands and designs, the deciding process can be exhausting. Luckily there are some top brands and top ratings to make the decision a little easier.

The freestanding racks have the ability to hang a good deal of clothes for drying, and when not in use, you’ll find that these racks fold to a slim size. This allows them to be stored in a closet, between your washing machine and wall, or any other small space where they aren’t out in the open.

FEATURED Leifheit
A German based company with a deep history in making innovative and high quality products focusing on household cleaning and care. With the most extensive line of dryers available; you’ll find wall-mounted, hanging, tub mount, and freestanding models in various configurations.

Leifheit Pegasus Tower Dryer 200 Deluxe
Leifheit Pegasus Tower Dryer 200 Deluxe Leifheit indoor wall dryer teleclip 42 Leifheit Hanging Dryer Quartett 40 Extendable Aluminium Leifheit Standing Dryer Classic 250 Flex Leifheit Pegasus Bathtub Dryer 190

MORE CHOICES…
There are several local and online retailers that carry a modest selection of indoor drying racks, but most of them also sell on Amazon, which still has the largest inventory by far.

EXAMPLE 1 Ballard Design Bathroom Collections

Outfitting a whole room with one of the collections from Ballard may be a very appealing possibility, but even if you just choose one of their wood drying racks, you’ll be creating a laundry room that feels very homelike, opposed to industrial and sterile.

Ballard Design indoor laundry wood drying racks

EXAMPLE 2 Brabantia Wallfix

The Wallfix wall-mount clothes dryer more resembles an outdoor clothesline and may not be the best alternative to install in a bathroom or laundry room, but for people with a balcony or basement, this may be the perfect product that allows you to let the drying lines down temporarily, and then fold neatly away when not in use.

Brabantia Wallfix Dryer
All products listed in this buying guide were chosen by DIY House Help based on independent research and analysis performed by our editors. However, not all products listed in this buying guide have been purchased and independently tested by our staff. When a retailer is listed, this is purely a suggestion for the convenience of our readers, but we are not obligated to endorse specific retailers. However, some of the links we provide throughout the site may earn us an affiliate commission when you decide to purchase.
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