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Today’s Holiday Give-Away from KENMORE

Kenmore Elite Trio RefrigeratorToday, December 22, is the twenty-second day of Bob Vila’s 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways and your chance to enter to win this Kenmore Elite Trio Refrigerator in Stainless Steel, valued at $3,139.99 (MSRP). But, you must ENTER TODAY to be eligible to win.

The 31 cu. ft. Elite Trio, which measures 70-1/4″ tall, 35-3/4″ wide, and almost 36″ deep, features smooth contoured doors and an integrated, extra-tall ice and water dispenser. The refrigerator’s GeniusCool Technology with linear compressor and dual evaporators provides smooth, quiet operation and energy efficiency that exceeds Energy Star standards. Multi Air Flow Technology provides even cooling by circulating cold air into every nook, while seven electronic temperature sensors work to ensure accurate, consistent temperatures for refrigerated and frozen contents.

Additional features include a CleanFlow Air Filter to fight food odor, an AirTight Crisper with moisture lock to keep vegetables fresh, and a Gourmet Pantry Drawer for storing meat and produce. Two SlideAway Shelves and a three-tier freezer drawer make for easy access and better organization.Kenmore Elite Trio Refrigerator

For official rules and entry, click here. To see what prizes will be offered during the final days of the contest period, check out the Bob Vila 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways slideshow.

For more information on Kenmore appliances and products, visit the manufacturer’s website.


Today’s Give-Aways: 10 Sure-Grip Laser Levels from BLACK & DECKER

Today, December 21, is day twenty-one of Bob Vila’s 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways and your chance to enter to win one of 10 Black & Decker SureGrip All-In-One Laser Levels, valued at $29.97 each (MSRP). But, you must ENTER TODAY to be eligible to win.

The new SureGrip Laser Level features both visual and audio cues for maximum accuracy and visibility. The device securely suctions to non-porous wall surfaces—from painted drywall and wood to glass and polished stone—for up to two hours without leaving surface marks. To eliminate the need for second-guessing, a color change vial automatically adjusts from red to green when level is achieved. For accurate leveling when the device is out of sight, like installing a new refrigerator or hanging a curtain rod, the SureGrip laser level can also be set to provide an audio alert that gently beeps until the item is aligned.

Additional features include the SureGrip’s ability to project a laser line on either side of the fixed level—handy when hanging a row of pictures or wallpaper­—and lines that conveniently wrap around corners for leveling objects on perpendicular walls.

For official rules and entry, click here. To see what other fabulous prizes will be offered tomorrow and the remaining days of the contest period, check out the Bob Vila 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways slideshow.

To find out more about Black & Decker’s complete line of products, including appliances, hand and power tools, and lawn and garden equipment, visit the manufacturer’s website.


Today’s Give-Away: The Total Air Sanitizer from HUNTER

Today, December 20, is day 20 of Bob Vila’s 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways and your chance to enter to win a Total Air Sanitizer from Hunter Fan Company, valued at $179.99 (MSRP). But, you must ENTER TODAY to be eligible to win.

The Hunter Total Air Sanitizer is the only portable unit in the U.S. proven to effectively capture and kill harmful airborne particles, airborne germs, viruses and bacteria. It is capable of moving 100 cubic feet of air per minute and features an innovative electric HEPA filter technology that eliminates up to to 99.5 percent of pollen, mold, viruses and bacterias in a 12′ x 14′ room. In addition to being more effective than UV or UV-C air purifiers, the device carries an Energy Star rating and comes with a five-year manufacturer’s warranty.

For official rules and entry, click here. To see what other fabulous prizes will be offered tomorrow and for the remainder of the contest period, check out the Bob Vila 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways slideshow.

To find out more about Hunter Fan Company’s products, visit the manufacturer’s website.


Today’s Holiday Give-Away from LOWE’S

Today, December 19, is the nineteenth day of Bob Vila’s 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways and your chance to enter to win a $1,000 Gift Card from Lowe’s. But, you must ENTER TODAY to be eligible to win.

With more than 40,000 products in 20 categories from lumber and tools to appliances and nursery products, Lowe’s offers everything you need to accomplish your home improvement projects—regardless of size, scope and budget.  And if you’re looking for inspiration, tips, and expert how-tos, check out the retailer’s consumer publication and companion website—Creative Ideas, where you’ll find everything from simple weekend projects to instructional home maintenance videos.  There’s also Allen + Roth, Lowe’s private label décor brand, featuring 40 product groups and an online tool to help you visualize your personal style.

For official rules and entry, click here. To see what other fabulous prizes will be offered tomorrow and throughout the remainder of the contest period, check out the Bob Vila 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways slideshows.

To find out more about Lowe’s products and a retail store near you, visit the manufacturer’s website.


Today’s Holiday Give-Away from AMANA

Today, December 18, is day eighteen of Bob Vila’s 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways and your chance to enter to win a stainless steel 2.0 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave from Amana, valued at $269 (MSRP). But, you must ENTER TODAY to be eligible to win.

Amana, the brand that developed the first countertop microwave, introduces their largest one yet with this 2.0 Cu. Ft. model.  Available in black, white and stainless, it offers 1,000 watts of cooking power and can easily accommodate a 9″ x 13″ dish.  In addition to its sleek, contemporary styling, the microwave offers a variety of innovative features, including a Touchmatic control panel, 10 power levels, and a Sensor Cooking system that monitor’s humidity levels and adjusts cooking time for best results every time.  There is also a Custom Program that lets you pre-set the system to prepare all your microwave favorites.  In short, everything you expect from a brand like Amana.

For official rules and entry, click here. To see what other fabulous prizes will be offered tomorrow and throughout the remainder of the contest period, check out the Bob Vila 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways slideshow.

To find out more about Amana appliances and products, visit the manufacturer’s website.


Today’s Holiday Give-Away from PORTER-CABLE

Today, December 17, is day seventeen of Bob Vila’s 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways and your chance to enter to win one of two (2) Cordless 32-Piece Lithium Oscillating Multi-Tool Kits from Porter-Cable, valued at $159 (MSRP) each. But, you must ENTER TODAY to be eligible to win.

The Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit is designed to offer remodelers, carpenters, general contractors and other avid builders the quality and control they need to complete a variety of applications, from cutting wood and sanding to removing grout and scraping paint.  This Porter Cable Oscillating tool comes with a wide assortment of accessories that can be changed easily and quickly with a Tool-Free System, and features a variable speed control to accommodate any task. Other features include a comfort-grip, ergonomic handle design and an LED work light for enhanced visibility.  The Oscillating Multi-Tool Kit comes with two Lithium Ion batteries, one charger, a soft-sided storage case, and an accessories case.

For official rules and entry, click here. To see what other fabulous prizes will be offered tomorrow and throughout the remainder of the contest period, check out the Bob Vila 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways slideshow.

To find out more about Porter-Cable tools, visit the manufacturer’s website.


Today’s Holiday Give-Away from CHAR-BROIL

Today, December 16, is day sixteen of Bob Vila’s 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways and your chance to enter to win The Big Easy 2-in-1 Electric Infrared Smoker & Roaster from Char-Broil, valued at $249 (MSRP). But, you must ENTER TODAY to be eligible to win.

This innovative, dual-purpose cooker is ideal for backyard chefs that want all the flavor benefits of a traditional smoker without the time constraints and clean-up associated with charcoal slow-smoking. Unlike regular smokers that have only one temperature setting, Char-Broil’s 2-in-1-Electric Smoker & Roaster has 15 preset temperature settings—ranging from 125º to 525º F—giving cooks the ability to cook low and slow, roast at high temperatures, and cook a wide variety of foods in between. The TRU- INFRARED cooking system uses more than 65 percent infrared heat to cook the food directly, preserving natural juices. In addition, The Big Easy comes with cooking and warming baskets, adjustable racks, a digital thermometer sensor, and auto-clean function.

For official rules and entry, click here. To see what other fabulous prizes will be offered tomorrow and throughout the remainder of the contest period, check out the Bob Vila 24 Days of Holiday Give-Aways slideshow.

To find out more about Char-Broil’s products, including grills, fryers and outdoor fireplaces, visit the manufacturer’s website.


How To: Choose Tile

Determine the right type, quality, and quantity when choosing tile.

Choosing Tile

Photo: Flickr

Evaluate Your Needs
Choosing tile is not as easy as walking into a showroom and picking the right color or pattern. First, you have to consider how it will be used.

For wet areas like bathrooms and kitchens, you need a vitreous or impermeable tile, not a porous one. Floors need tiles with more flexural strength than those that go on walls. Tile for countertops needs to resist impact and acids. And glazed or polished tiles are easier to clean for walls, but they’re not suitable for wet floors because they lack traction. 

Checking for Quality
It’s also important to know that price is not always a good indicator of tile quality. You should ask your dealer if the tile you’re considering complies with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and if it’s reliable for the type of project you’re doing.

Once you know what type you need, you can choose your tile’s design and color.

Ordering Tile
Once the task of choosing tile is complete, be sure to order from the same lot number and shade number since tiles that weren’t fired together can look very different.

To determine the quantity of tile you need, multiply the area’s width and length and then add 5 percent for waste. Round up to have extras for any repairs down the line.

Choosing Grout
While you’re specifying tile, don’t forget to choose the grout carefully. There are so many colors and options available today, you don’t have to default to that stark white that will have you forever scrubbing to keep it clean. You want one that’s mildew-resistant in a color that complements your tile.


Quick Tip: Tree Care

Tree care starts with the health of the roots and the soil in which they grow.

Tree Care

Contrary to what we used to believe, we now know that the vast majority of tree roots are in the top foot of soil. Also, they grow far beyond the drip line of the outermost leaves, grabbing up water and nutrients wherever they can find them.

That’s why it’s hard to grow lawns under shallow-rooted trees like maples, beeches, hemlocks, and pines. That’s also why willow, maple, and poplar roots too often find their way inside our sewer pipes.

Related: 8 Disease-Resistant Apple Tree Varieties

To spread and thrive, all roots need soil that’s high in numerous minute microorganisms (millions of them), which facilitate the uptake of nutrients and promote good health. They go by strange names like mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

How can you get these microorganisms? Where possible, let the leaves lie where they fall, to decompose and make natural compost. At least as far as your aesthetic sensibilities can stand it.

One trick: If you have ground cover, the leaves of autumn will disappear under the plants by spring and turn into compost that is a rich source of beneficial microorganisms. Compost is a rich source of beneficial microorganisms. They can also be purchased from your local nursery.

 

For more on tree care, consider:

Bonsai For Beginners
How To: Plant an Apple Tree
How To: Transplant Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials


How To: Cut Tile

Learn how to cut tile accurately in three steps.

How to Cut Tile

Photo: Flickr

A little patience, along with a little practice and a score and a snap, and you’re a tile cutter. While the task can seem daunting at first glance, the execution is not as difficult as you might think. With a few tools at your disposal and a smidgeon of confidence, you can learn how to cut tile without much worry. Follow these steps and you’ll be doing it the right way.

Measure and mark the tile. Measure the size of the tile you need to cut, and transfer the dimension to the glazed surface of the tile, using a felt-tip marker. Position the tile on the cutter, aligning the center line of the cutter with the axis on which the tile is to be cut. The top of the tile should be held flush to the fence at the top of the cutter to keep it square to the cutting wheel.

Score the surface. Using the lever to which the cutting wheel is attached, draw the cutter across the surface of the tile, exerting a firm, even pressure to cut through the glaze. Make only one pass with the cutter.

Snap the tile. Different snap cutters have different means of snapping tile. Some have a heel at the rear of the lever that has the cutting wheel at its toe, others the reverse. Whatever the design of your cutter, use the surface to apply pressure to the score line. In combination with a bead built into the base of the cutter, the pressure will cause the tile to snap in half.