Door Knobs, Stair Remodeling, Led Light Bulbs and Deck Safety – On the House

Door Knobs, Stair Remodeling, Led Light Bulbs and Deck Safety

By on June 14, 2014

A door knob is not just a door knob anymore! We found several alternatives for classic door security;


If having the lock to your front door connected and operable through the internet is still a little too tech savvy for comfort, then perhaps something that isn’t so accessible but still as convenient is a more reasonable option.The Remock Lockey is basically a dead bolt with an antenna that can be opened by a keyfob similar to what you have for a car. At $163 it is definitely more expensive than a regular deadbolt, but not outrageously priced.


We know that biometric security, which involves scanning fingerprints or retinas, is quite common in banks and the like, but what if you could simply unlock your front door with your face? It’s not like someone can easily duplicate that. The FaceID system wills tore up to 500 unique faces in its database and will unlock the front door to anyone in there. A pair of digital cameras allow the system to recreate a 3D image of your face. It runs this rendering through a face-detection algorithm to match the faces up. Since the images are 3D, it stops anyone from trying to hack this system with a photo. The system can also cope with different lighting conditions, it even works in the dark! 



Install Tiles on Stair Risers:

It’s common to see tiles on exterior stairs, especially with Spanish-style houses. But what about tiles on your inside stairs? Use tiles that compliment your décor and color schemes

Paint Your Stair Raisers:

When you come up to your stairs from the bottom, due to the perspective, you’ve got this view of risers only–no treads. Depending on the length of your staircase, you could be looking at a vertical surface of roughly 3 feet wide by 8 feet high…24 square feet. That’s good enough reason to paint stair risers: that massive chunk of vertical real estate. Use a blast of color and add some grahics with stencils.

Install Stair Tread and Riser Covers

Stair refacing kits, such as the pictured Simple Tread Stair and Riser Kit, come with a thin engineered wood (rather than solid wood) tread and riser. Cut to size and attach to your existing stairs with finish nails. Note, though, that refacing kits do raise the level of your stairs. It’s something you will notice at the very first and last steps, but not in the middle part of the run.

Our Favorite

Refinish the handrails and newel posts, replace the balusters with new wrought iron balusters


Government legislation has mandated that light bulbs must be 30 percent more efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs by 2014, and by 2020, all bulbs must be at least 70 percent more efficient. Government legislation has mandated that light bulbs must be 30 percent more efficient than conventional incandescent bulbs by 2014, and by 2020, all bulbs must be at least 70 percent more efficient. That means you may find incandescents slowly phasing out, but LED light bulbs offer many money- and energy-saving benefits over traditional light bulbs.LED Bulbs • Have an exceptionally long lifespan. They can last up to three times longer than compact fluorescent, or CFL, bulbs, and 20 times longer than traditional incandescents.

A typical LED light that burns three hours a day can last about 22 years before it needs changing, making LED bulbs an idealchoice for hard-to-reach lights. • Have no filament or moving parts, making them extremely durable and low-maintenance. • Generate almost no heat or UV rays, which can help reduce air conditioning costs in your home and help keep fabrics and furnishings from fading. • Save energy as they are up to 85 percent more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs and 10 percent more efficient than CFL bulbs. While LED household lighting may require a higher initial investment, their longevity, low maintenance and significant cost savings make LED bulbs apurchase that can pay for itself over time.

LED Light Bulbs Made Easy

1. Select Shape • Spotlights for track lighting • Floods for outdoor and recessed lights • LED candles for wall sconces and decorative fixtures • A-line bulbs for room lighting and lamps

2. Choose Brightness and Energy Efficiency • Look for bulbs with high lumens and low wattage for the best energy cost savings • Divide the lumens by the wattage to determine the best brightness-to-energy usage ratio

3. Choose Color Temperature • Soft light for indoor applications and small areas • Bright light for outdoor lighting and indoor task lighting

4. Match Fixture Base • Screw-in bases include miniature candelabra, candelabra, intermediate and medium • Pin bases typically have two pins, such as those used for many halogen lights


Follow the National American Deck & Railing Association’s 10-point checklist to keep your deck safe and relaxing.

Railings and Banisters

1. Push on railings and banisters to make sure they’re secure.

2. Check to make sure they’re high enough to keep people safe (most codes require a 36-inch-high railing at minimum).

3. Rails should be no more than 4 inches apart (measured from the inside of the rail) to keep small children and pets from squeezing through. This is especially important if your deck is elevated.


1. Check railings or handrails to make sure they are firmly in place.

2. Check the risers and stringers, the sides of the stairs that hold up the steps, to be certain they are securely attached.

3. If guardrails are used in the staircase, make sure they are no more than 4 inches apart.

4. If the area behind the stair treads is open, the opening should be no more than 4 inches high.

5. Keep stair pathways clear of planters, decor, and other items that present a tripping hazard.

Loose or Corroded Fasteners

1. Tighten any loose fasteners (nails, screws, or anchors) and pound in any nails that have popped up.

2. Rusted or corroded fasteners need to be replaced because they can cause the surrounding wood to deteriorate.

3. The deck and stairs should appear even and should not sag, sway, or move when tested.

Grills, Fire Pits, and Heaters

1. Make sure any source of fire is placed far away from flammable surfaces.

(Or protect the deck surface with a nonflammable pad.)

2. Follow manufacturers’ directions for using heaters.

3. Never leave candles unattended.


Websites mentioned on todays show:

Walpole Woodworkers:

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