2013 Builders Show – On the House

2013 Builders Show

By on January 26, 2014

By the way, the IBS really is an “international” event. Exhibitors show up from every corner of the planet. Building development and construction products and services are definitely a part of a global economy. And speaking of a global economy – a funny thing happened on the way across the exhibit floor.

We stopped in the General Electric Appliance booth and discovered that GE has invested one-billion (with a B) dollars in four new US factories adding 2,200 new jobs to the American economy. Could this be the beginning of a new trend? Companies again proud to brand their product(s) with the “Made In America” stamp? GE demonstrated their new clothes washer that dispenses its own detergent and fabric softener from onboard reservoirs, they showed us a new a wall oven that can be managed by a smart phone, and, last but not least, we were shown a five-cubic-foot clothes washer (the biggest load size in the US). Ah, good old Yankee ingenuity.

Recognize the name Snow Roof? It’s the white coating that can be applied to a roof with a paint roller? Snow Roof is definitely a DIY friendly material. The man that invented Snow Roof, Dr. Bill Curtright, founder of Ames Research Labs, has now developed a new coating for basement walls and floors. The coating is a high strength liquid rubber and acrylic (elastomeric) and is designed to seal out moisture and stop leaks. We asked Dr. Curtright why his product was superior to an epoxy coating. He said, “My coating bonds as well as epoxy but is more flexible and is therefore less prone to crack as the concrete shifts.” He also stated that, as a water base product, his coating is non-toxic, VOC-free and has low odor. The Doc also stated that his coating would block radon gas. Then he plugged his product, “Ames coatings for basement walls and floors are also excellent for waterproofing foundations, cisterns and water tanks.” Anyone have a leaky fishpond? By the way, the coating costs $40 gallon and each gallon will do aobut 100 square feet. Visit their website for more information about Ames coatings.

Not every exhibitor at the IBS offered a big-ticket item. We found dozens for under $50. One such product is the U-Socket by Fastmac. The U-Socket replaces a conventional two-plug wall receptacle with, yes, a two-plug wall receptacle that includes two USB ports. Pull out the old receptacle and replace it in 10 short minutes. By now you may already have seen one of the big box stores carrying a USP plug receptacle with a single plug outlet and two USB ports. With the U-Socket you don’t have to give up one plug to get the two USB ports. The big box stores are selling a receptacle with one plug and two USB ports for $29. The U-Socket with two and two sells for exactly the same price. Oh, and by the way, the U-Socket will charge and iPad and an iPhone at the same time. Many twin USB port accessories will not do this. For more information visit U-Socket.

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