Paul Hochman is one out of about 40 million Americans to undertake some type of remodeling project each year. But unlike other homeowners, Paul has more than a construction crew at his house. He also has a camera crew documenting the entire project for a show on the Discovery Home Channel, called "Houselift." Here are a few of the cool, new tools he's come across during his construction project.
Stanley IntelliLaser Pro Stud Finder and Laser Level
Stanleytools.comFinally there’s a way to stop putting 20 holes in the wall just to hang one picture. The IntelliLaser Pro from Stanley tells you where the beefy piece of wood is hiding under the wallboard, so you can put a nail in it. The stud finder function measures changes in wall density by building up a weak electrical charge in the wall. The moment the device is over a wood stud, the charge drops. An LCD indicator with a bull’s-eye tells you you're there and when you're getting warm. Add a laser level function for easy shelf hanging, and you've got a real marriage saver. MSRP: $55
California Paints '2010 Super-Scrub Ceramic' Interior and Exterior Paint
Californiapaints.comHigh tech paint? Yep, the ceramic microspheres (little clay ball bearings) that are added to the Super-Scrub Ceramic paint mixture solve the normal problem of paint preference (people like eggshell finishes) vs. durability (eggshell finishes are easily marred by cleaning). In fact, with virtually all flat finish paints, the pigment is unprotected, so washing a painted wall can result in light "worn-out" spots. Great for families with kids. MSRP: $25-35 per gallon, depending on color.
Stanley Bostich M3-FN Flooring Nailer
Stanleytools.comThis is the best-selling flooring nailer in the business. The difference — a far-more-elongated nailer body that lets the person putting the floor in stand up straighter and it’s much easier on the back. Combined with an aluminum housing that makes the nailer lighter, it's even easy enough for the homeowner (who should stay the heck away from pneumatic tools) to use successfully. Another cool feature: a variable hammer — tap lightly, and it barely pushes the nail in, or hit it hard, and the nail plunges all the way through. MSRP: $489Bamboo Advantage Bamboo flooring
Bambooadvantage.comThe cool thing about bamboo flooring is that it's as hard or harder than other hardwoods like Maple or Oak, but it's more stable, since it's laminated together from small strips. Benefit: there's less expanding and contracting, which is a big deal in climates like the Northeast, where temperature and humidity swings can leave big gaps in traditional floors. But it's the environmental issues that really hit home. Ecologically, the harvesting of bamboo does not affect the world's already-dwindling timber resources. Technically considered a grass, bamboo has the ability to grow to maturity (up to 16 feet in height) in 4-6 years. The intricate root system remains unharmed upon harvesting and allows for sustainable future growth. MSRP: about $5 per square foot, equivalent to oak.The Porter-Cable "TigerClaw 9750"Many contractors will tell you: "Never trust a plumber with a Sawzall." Why? Because hand-held saws are among the most powerful (and destructive) tools on a job site. They're key for demolition, because you can literally cut through anything, and for some reason, plumbers prefer structural walls, supporting joists, and live wires. But until Porter Cable's TigerClaw, the saw blade would only cut straight ahead, parallel to the handle. So you could only saw straight ahead of you. The 9750 lets the blade rotate 360 degrees relative to the handle. It's revolutionary, because it allows you to fit enormous cutting power into very tight spaces. MSRP: $225
You can learn more about Paul Hochman's show "Houselift" by going to this Web site: