Cool tools for the do-it-yourselfer
belt: You can find tool belts and pouches of nearly every size and configuration,
but the one thing you might not have much choice on is color: tan, gray, and black
will be about it. Want more? Be Jane has tool belts that come in blue, pink, and
even purple suede. Go straight from construction site to dinner party.
Looking for a fashionable tool to add to that tool belt? You can start
with a pink hammer from Tomboy Tools. Seventy percent of proceeds go to the Susan
G. Komen for the Cure Foundation to fight breast cancer.
A better fit: Ergonomics, the science of human-machine interaction, isn't
just about office chairs and keyboards: It's also growing more important in the
DIY market. "There's been a trend toward ergonomics over the last few years,"
says Steve Maltese, vice president of e-commerce and public relations at Great
Neck Tools. "Handles fit a hand a little better, or tools are a little lighter
so that people can work without fatigue." Ergonomic products include utility
knives, paint brushes, staple guns, pliers, wire cutters, screwdrivers, wrenches,
and a host of other options.
How can a Web site help you with your do-it-yourself projects?
By providing great advice, scheduling reminders, and suggesting ways to maximize
your remodeling impact:
For an annual fee, Homefree.com will customize a maintenance schedule for
your home, prioritize projects, and provide tips and articles. The Web-based system
also allows you to keep a household inventory, like serial numbers and warranty
information. If disaster strikes, you just print out the data and hand it to an
Save energy: See
if your remodeling efforts will save you energy -- and money -- in the long
run at the Home Energy Saver.
By entering answers to a couple dozen questions about how much you pay for energy
and what systems you've already got in place, you can find out how you can save
by installing energy-saving devices over the course of a year (or several). Recent
improvements to the site make it even more useful, including estimated costs and
savings for each upgrade.
Power to the
people: If a DIY project gets a little out of hand and you need a bit of
assistance, consult Angie's
List. Its members in more than 100 cities recommend roofers, remodelers, and
handymen. With thousands of reports filled by members each month, each with a
grade on the service from individual companies, you'll be able to find a great
plumber before that flooding bathroom turns into an indoor pool.