15 Favorites from the 2010 International Builders’ Show

From cool tools to handy appliances, we saw it all at the 2010 International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Here’s my list of 15 impressive products that really stood out in four days on the floor at the show. Read on to find out more about my “fifteen faves” from IBS.

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Air conditioner unit outside

How to Reduce Air Conditioning Energy Costs for Your Home

Watch this video for some simple tips on ways to reduce your energy bills, such as installing tinted film, adding awnings, or planting shade trees on the sunny side of your house.

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How to Control a Ceiling Fan Without a Wall Switch

Cynthia asks, “There isn’t a wall switch for my ceiling fan, and I’m too short to reach the pull chain. Is there another way I could turn the fan on and off?”

Instead of a wall switch, consider installing a wireless remote that will allow you to control your paddle fan at the touch of a button. Read on to find out more.

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Is It Safe to Use Pre-Emergent Weed Preventers Around Bulbs?

Helen asks, “Is it safe to use pre-emergent herbicides around my established bulb beds?”

The short answer is “sometimes,” because in gardening a simple question doesn’t always have a simple answer! Read on to learn more about safe weed prevention products.

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How to Winterize an Apartment to Save Energy

Jac asks, “Any advice for simple, inexpensive ways to winterize an apartment?”

Since you don’t own your residence, your options for energy reduction are limited to ones that won’t require making physical changes to your apartment. However, there are still a number of ways you can save energy.

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crack in foundation

How to Know if a Foundation Crack in Your Home Is Serious

Most cracks in slabs are small expansion cracks that should not pose a problem. If the crack will show, it can be filled with a concrete repair caulk. If the crack is 1/4” wide or wider, and one side is a different height than the other, you may have a settling problem that should be examined by a structural engineer.

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wall anchor in drywall

How to Install Wall Anchors in Drywall

While you should to screw or nail directly into a stud whenever possible when attaching to a wall, often a stud is not located where it’s needed. Plastic anchors provide little holding power in drywall, so use molly or toggle bolts when hanging heavy objects, since they spread out behind the wall, providing much more support. Watch this video to find out more.

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removing fence post

How to Remove Fence Posts from Your Yard

To remove wooden posts from the ground, screw a block of wood to the side of the post, stack concrete blocks next to it to form a fulcrum, position a 2×4 under the block of wood and over the fulcrum, then pull down on it to pull the post out of the ground. Watch this video to find out more.

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