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October 12, 2010 AsktheBuilder Tips And News

What's in This Issue?

Maria Atwood Inn
Pressure Washer Accessory
Stain Solver News
Late-Season Deck Sealer
Live Event
Gravel Driveways
Don't Trip in the Dark

I do product reviews frequently. Please read my Disclosure Policy to understand the relationship between me and the companies that make the products or offer the services I review.

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We've had a string of gorgeous days up here in New Hampshire. The color of the leaves here in central NH is peak right now. It's absolutely breathtaking seeing some of the trees. Yesterday I saw a tree that was the most brilliant orangish-red. If you didn't know better, you just thought it was fake.

I received an email from a close friend of mine, Fred Hoffmeister, last week. Fred and his wife Sandi are the innkeepers of the Maria Atwood Inn in Franklin, NH only 20 miles from me. Fred was lamenting about how busy they were with all the guests, and that each of them was asking for the delicious scones that Sandi makes.

The scones have become the bane of Fred's existence since I taped a video about them several years ago. The video is at the bottom of the Atwood Inn home page. At the time, we were trying to drum up business for the inn. Well, it turns out the video is pretty popular and Fred's now too busy - if that's even possible. Fred, you know the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for!" :->>>>

In all seriousness, if you plan to come up to NH, you should stay at Fred and Sandi's place. It's a fantastic B&B. Ask for the White Mountain room on the third floor. That's where I stay whenever I'm there. Be sure to ask if they have some of the maple butter to slather on the scones.

Pressure Washer Accessory

About two weeks ago, I received a very cool accessory that you can use with any pressure washer. It's called Spray Glide.

If you're using a pressure washer on a surface that can be damaged by the powerful stream of water coming out of the wand, you have to be very careful. If you get distracted or when fatigue sets in, the wand, in an instant, can get too close to the surface. BAM! You just messed up the wood deck or whatever you're cleaning.

The Spray-Glide tool clamps onto the wand with Velcro-like material and allows you to infinitely adjust the distance from the wand tip to the surface you're cleaning. It's got a nice wheel on it allowing you to just push the pressure-washer wand as you would a vacuum cleaner.

The Spray Glide folks have alerted me to a special deal on this tool that only lasts for the next FIVE days. You get a huge discount AND Free Shipping.

You'll love this tool. It's a must if you clean decks, docks, roofs or driveways.

Stain Solver News

If you're a new subscriber to this newsletter, you may not know about Stain Solver. It's a fantastic oxygen bleach I've made for about 15 years. All the ingredients are made here in the USA, unlike many of my competitors who get their ingredients off the west coast about 8,000 miles away. But I digress.

About a week after I moved Kathy from Cincinnati, OH to here in New Hampshire, our dog had an encounter with a skunk around midnight. I was awakened from a deep sleep to deal with the horrific odor. Lady, our German Shepherd dog, was not in any discomfort, but she smelled BAD. I knew instinctively that Stain Solver would get rid of the odor.

I mixed some up and carefully applied it to her fur and it did the trick. I was careful not to get it in her eyes or mouth. The skunk odor was gone instantly from her fur. As you can imagine, it does the same for just about any odor, including pet urine. If you have a pet that might tangle with a skunk, you may want to have some Stain Solver on hand for this emergency. You want the odor gone immediately.

Overnight we got two large orders from managers of hotels for Stain Solver. We're making the calls this morning to discover what they want to use it for, but I suspect they want to clean the grout in the hotel lobbies and food-service areas. Stain Solver does an incredible job cleaning tile grout. In fact, if you work at a hotel or motel in central NH, I'd love to stop by to tape a video showing how well it works. Email me if this is you.

Late-Season Deck Sealer

Today I'm taping the final video for the deck stain test I started on April 30th down on my dock. The winner was Extreme Defy in Cedartone. That's a medium-brown color.

The owner of Saver Systems, John Meredith, was generous enough to give away 4 of the 5-gallon pails of Extreme Defy as door prizes to the live event I'll be at this Saturday October, 16th. More on the live event in a moment.

But John felt bad for you in case you can't make it up here this Saturday for any number of reasons. He's developed a special page at his shopping cart just for you if you want a great deal on his colored Extreme Defy products. If you want to buy now and use the product in the spring, just keep it indoors from freezing temperatures.

Wait until you see the video I tape today. The Cedartone color of Extreme Defy looks like the day I brushed it on. It's gorgeous. All the other products I put on failed the color test. They still repel water, but the wood has turned gray.

Live Event

This is just a reminder. I'll be at Cabinetry Concepts in Lebanon, NH this Saturday (October 16, 2010) from 10 - Noon to answer your questions about anything home improvement.

I'll have an enormous amount of different door prizes to give away. Plus, Plato Woodwork is giving away to all who attend an unbelievable coupon that could be worth thousands of dollars depending upon the size of your upcoming kitchen remodel job. It's well worth the trip if you live even 200 miles away!

Gravel Driveways

If you're going to install gravel on a pathway or on a drive that gets traffic, don't make a mistake I see happen all the time. Do NOT use rounded gravel of any type. You must use a crushed gravel. Rounded gravel moves too easily and will not provide great traction. Crushed or angular gravel pieces interlock with one another so the surface doesn't move hardly at all.

The gravel that works best as a top coat is one that has pieces no larger than 1 inch on any face and also has smaller pieces of angular gravel along with some fines. Fines are almost the size of sand and help knit the larger pieces of stone together.

This gravel works great for footpaths in a garden setting.

Don't Trip in the Dark

If you live like I do in the northern hemisphere, the days are getting shorter. What's more, we're about to lose an hour of daylight when the time changes soon. This means you're awake more when it's dark, and tripping in the dark while fumbling for a light switch could be problematic.

I received for testing some handy accessory light-switch plates that help you see where a wall switch is in the dark. These cover plates have strips of the glow material built into the cover plate. This product is worth a look see.

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P.O. Box 887
Meredith, NH 03253-0887, USA

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