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Enter Bob Vila’s 2nd Annual Fall Flooring Give-Away Today!

Enter to win $5,000 in flooring from Lumber Liquidators!

Fall Flooring Give-AwayFall marks the beginning of shorter days, colorful leaves, and crisp temperatures, but it also marks a season of quiet evenings spent hunkered down indoors. If the state of your home leaves you feeling restless for ways to refresh your spaces, we’ve got the cure. We’ve partnered with Lumber Liquidators to transform one lucky winner’s home with a $5,000 flooring makeover. Enter today and you could be one step closer to the cozy home of your dreams.

ENTER HERE

Today and every day this month (starting at 12:00 p.m. EST on August 31, 2015 through 11:59 a.m. EST September 30, 2015), enter to win a $5,000 gift card from Lumber Liquidators to put toward a flooring makeover. See Official Rules below.

Photo: lumberliquidators.com

If you come away the winner of this month’s give-away, you’ll receive $5,000 of premium hardwood flooring, courtesy of Lumber Liquidators. Founded in 1993 by contractor Tom Sullivan, Lumber Liquidators has quickly grown into the premiere flooring retailer, offering a wide array of options for the best prices. Whether you’re looking for solid or engineered hardwood, bamboo, cork, or resilient flooring tiles, you’ll find something for every style and function online, or at one of their many locations. Lumber Liquidators also provides butcher blocks, molding, accessories, and tools so you can easily put the perfect finishing touches on your home improvement projects.

• Lumber Liquidators is the largest flooring manufacturer in North America, with an unbeatable selection of unfinished and prefinished hardware flooring.
• Their engineered hardwood and resilient vinyl options are extremely durable, and can easily withstand changing temperatures, humidity, and daily wear and tear.
• Choose from a variety of finishes to suit your spaces, and don’t forget their easy-assemble, clickable flooring options!

Enter Bob Vila’s $5,000 Fall Flooring Give-Away today and every day to increase your chances of winning.

To learn more about Lumber Liquidators and their variety of flooring options, click here.

Bob Vila’s “2nd Annual $5,000 Fall Flooring Give-Away” is open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. Contest Period for Prize runs from 12:00 p.m. (EST) Monday, August 31st, 2015 through 11:59 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, September 30th, 2015. One entry per household per day on BobVila.com. Alternative means of entry for Drawing is available by faxing your name and address to 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. See Official Rules.


Official Rules: Bob Vila’s 2nd Annual Fall Flooring Give-Away

Bob Vila’s “2nd Annual $5,000 Fall Flooring Give Away” (the “Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by Vila Media, LLC, Post Office Box 835, West Barnstable, MA 02668 (“Sponsor”). The Sweepstakes consists of one (1) random drawing. The Sweepstakes and entry period begins at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on August 31st, 2015 and ends at 11:59 a.m. EST on September 30th, 2015 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MAKING A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. ODDS OF WINNING WILL DEPEND ON THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. ONLINE ENTRY ONLY AND INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED. AFFIDAVIT OF ELIGIBILITY AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM MAY BE REQUIRED.

Open only to permanent legal U.S. residents of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. Employees of Sponsor and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies and any other entity involved in the development or administration of this Sweepstakes, and their immediate family members or household members are not eligible to participate in or win the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any person who fails to meet the eligibility requirements or any person it determines, in its sole discretion, to be sufficiently connected with the Sweepstakes such that such person’s participation could create the appearance of impropriety. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means are void, and Sponsor expressly reserves the right to disqualify any entries that it believes in good faith are generated by an automated program or via scripts. Entries that are determined, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor to constitute advertisements, commercial messages, or “spam” will be disqualified and deleted. Void where prohibited by law. All applicable federal, state and local laws apply. No purchase is necessary to participate in the Sweepstakes.

You may enter any given Drawing one (1) time per household per day by visiting the BOB VILA website at http://www.bobvila.com and submit your name and email address using the online “$2nd Annual 5,000 Fall Flooring Give-Away” submission form. Each entry submitted in response to a Drawing and in accordance with the Official Rules will constitute an official entry. Duplicate entries submitted through either method within one day will be deemed void. If you do not have internet access, alternative means of entry for each Drawing is available by faxing your name, address and phone number to the Sponsor at 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. One (1) alternative entry per household per day. Any additional entries submitted via fax within one day will be deemed void. Entries received after the end of the Sweepstakes Period will be deemed void. Normal time, toll, connection and usage rates, if any, charged by your Internet service provider will apply. All entries become the property of the Sponsor. By entering any Drawing during the Sweepstakes, you will be agreeing that any information collected in connection with the Sweepstakes may be used by Sponsor in accordance with Vila Media, LLC’s Privacy Policy, a current copy of which can be found here. By participating, all entrants agree to abide by these Official Rules. At the end of each Entry Period, there will be one (1) drawing in which one (1) potential winner (“Winner”) shall be selected from all eligible entries received for each prize available during that Entry Period by employees or representatives of the Sponsor to receive the prize designated for the Drawing for that Entry Period. Each winning entry will be chosen at random. The number of eligible entries received during the Entry Period for a Drawing determines the odds of winning for that Drawing. The Sweepstakes will be conducted under the supervision of the Sponsor. If the Winner is determined to be ineligible, forfeits or does not claim the prize, the prize will be re-awarded, in Sponsor’s sole discretion based on a subsequent drawing from the pool of eligible entries. Other restrictions may apply. Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding with respect to all matters related to the Sweepstakes. All prizes (or in the event of a lost, misdirected, or otherwise unavailable prize, a prize of equivalent value) will be awarded. In no event shall the Sponsor be obligated to award more prizes than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules. Winners shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize.

To receive a complete list of winners or a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Prize Fulfillment, Vila Media, LLC, PO Box 835 Barnstable, MA 02668. Specify winner’s list or rules on your request. The Winner will be notified by email, or in the case of alternate entry, by phone; Sponsor reserves the right to determine the method of notification. The Winner must claim their respective prize within twenty-four (24) hours after the date of notification of their prize. A Winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified twenty-four (24) hours will be considered such Winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate Winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate Winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. Sponsor reserves the right to ship prizes directly to the mailing and/or email address (as applicable) provided by Winners during their entry to the Drawings.

The prize for the one (1) Drawing held during the Sweepstakes Period shall be one (1) Lumber Liquidators gift card, worth a total of $5,000. Gift cards are subject to any and all restrictions stated thereon. No transfer, substitution or cash redemption will be awarded in lieu of Prize. Limit one prize per entrant. Prizes shall be delivered within 30 days from end of the Sweepstakes Period. An entrant or winner may be disqualified from the Sweepstakes, and his or her entry may be deleted, if he or she fails to comply with each provision of these Official Rules, as determined in the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Participation in the Sweepstakes is at entrant’s own risk.

Sponsor shall not be liable for (1) failed, returned or misdirected notifications based on inaccurate information provided by the winner on the Drawings entry forms, (2) entries and responses to winner notifications which are lost, late, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible, postage-due, misdirected, damaged or otherwise not received by the intended recipient in whole or in part or for computer or technical error of any kind, (3) any electronic miscommunications or failures, technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit an entrant’s ability to participate in part or wholly in the Sweepstakes, (4) any technical malfunctions of the telephone network, computer on-line system, computer equipment, software, program malfunctions or other failures, delayed computer transactions or network connections that are human, mechanical or technical in nature, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from downloading any part of this Sweepstakes or (5) any warranty of fitness or merchantability of any prize or the function or operation thereof, which shall be the sole responsibility of the manufacturer of the prize. Sponsor does not make any, and hereby disclaims any and all, representations or warranties of any kind regarding any prize. Unless prohibited by applicable law, your entry constitutes your permission to use your name, photograph, likeness, voice, address (city and state) and testimonials in all media, in perpetuity, in any manner Sponsor deems appropriate for publicity purposes without any further compensation to such entrant.

By entering or accepting a prize in the Sweepstakes, the Winner agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and to conform to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. When applicable, the Winner (or, if the Winner is a minor, the Winner’s parent or legal guardian) may be required to execute and return to Sponsor within three (3) business days an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability and Publicity Release and relevant tax forms to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner may be selected. Winner may be required to furnish proof of identity, address and birth date in order to receive a prize. By entering, an entrant agrees to indemnify, release and hold harmless Sponsor and each of its respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliated entities, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any damage, injury, death, loss, claim, action, demand, or other liability (collectively, “Claims”) that may arise from their acceptance, possession and/or use of any prize or their participation in the Sweepstakes, or from any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, regardless of whether such Claims, or knowledge of the facts constituting such Claims, exist at the time of entry or arise at any time thereafter. Released Parties are not responsible or liable to any entrant or to any Winner or any person claiming through such Winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action, regulation, order or request by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action, regulations, order or request proves to be invalid), equipment failure, threatened terrorist acts, terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond the Released Parties’ sole control.

The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing, electronic or human errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) viruses or technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications or entry information, any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, failures or technical malfunction of any computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, email, players or browsers, whether on account of technical problems, traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing; (3) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (4) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (5) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize; or (7) late, lost, misdirected, illegible, incomplete or mutilated entries or for theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of entries. These indemnification and release provisions shall survive expiration of the Sweepstakes.

Persons found tampering with, abusing, or otherwise disrupting any aspect of this Sweepstakes, or otherwise attempting to defraud Sponsor, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and their entries will be deleted. If disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the entrant’s eligibility to further participate in this Sweepstakes and future promotions and sweepstakes of Sponsor or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to undermine the legitimate operation of this Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

This Sweepstakes is strictly for promotional and entertainment purposes and may not be used in connection with any form of gambling. In the event this Sweepstakes is challenged by any legal or regulatory authority, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the Sweepstakes, or to disqualify entrants residing in the affected geographic areas. In such event, the Sponsor shall have no liability to any entrants who are disqualified due to such an action. Sponsor reserves the right to modify these Official Rules in any way or at any time. Sponsor reserves the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this Sweepstakes should viruses, bugs or other causes beyond their control corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Sweepstakes. In the event any portion of this Sweepstakes is compromised by any non-authorized human intervention, actions of entrants, or other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, corrupt or impair the integrity, administration, security, or operation of this Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to suspend, modify, abbreviate or terminate the Sweepstakes without further obligation. If Sponsor elects to abbreviate the Sweepstakes, Winner(s) will be determined from all eligible entries received for Drawing(s) prior to the action or compromise giving rise to the suspension or termination of this Sweepstakes. In the event of cancellation, abbreviation or suspension, Sponsor shall promptly post a notice on the Sweepstakes entry page to such effect.

This Sweepstakes shall be governed by New York law. By participating in this Sweepstakes entrants agree that New York courts shall have jurisdiction over any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to this Sweepstakes and that venue shall be only in New York City, New York. The failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any part of these Official Rules is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, that part will be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law, and the remainder of these Official Rules will remain fully in force.


Prevent Runaway Mold in Your Vacation Home with Innovative HVAC

Second-home owners are no strangers to mold and its hazards. If your weekend getaways are dogged by the seemingly relentless growth of foul-smelling, allergy-inducing mold, find out how the latest HVAC technology can rid you of those problems for good.

Prevent Mold with HVAC

Photo: fotosearch.com

If you are fortunate enough to own a vacation home, you know what a treat it can be to spend time away from the stresses and hassles of everyday life. But you also know that, for all the rest and relaxation a second home affords, it usually requires just as much attention and upkeep as your primary residence. In fact, maintaining a vacation home can be even more challenging, since you’re not always there to deal with problems as they arise. One problem in particular actually thrives under the conditions created by your absence: mold. Indeed, the owners of vacation homes are all too familiar with the unpleasant odor of mold. The mustiness greets you upon your arrival, and it worsens again when you lock up the house at the end of your stay. Most of the issues homeowners have to deal with can be solved by a one-time intervention. Mold is different: You can contain it, but you can’t fix it like you can a leaky faucet.

Believe it or not, mold exists pretty much everywhere. It proliferates only when it has access to both moisture and a food source (wood, for example, or drywall). In a primary residence, accumulated moisture attracts notice. But things are different with a vacation home: Close it up when you leave, and you’re effectively trapping in moisture, giving mold precisely what it wants. On your next visit to the house, you can fight back against the mold by turning on the air conditioner. Indeed, air conditioning helps a great deal to reduce humidity. It’s a temporary solution, though, lasting only as long as you run the AC. Turn it off when you leave, and the mold inevitably returns.

Prevent Mold with HVAC - Open Window

Photo: fotosearch.com

Given that controlling mold is largely a matter of controlling moisture, success partly depends on preventing rain from entering the home through vulnerabilities in the roof, gaps around the chimney, or cracks at the foundation level. Minimizing humidity levels is equally important. In the summer months, you can count on your air conditioning to reduce humidity, but not every system does so with equal effectiveness. Plus, no matter the system, few would be willing to shoulder the expense of running the system all season long.

Fortunately, newer HVAC technologies promise to make mold prevention a great deal easier—and a lot less costly. Take, for instance, the air handler from Unico. Thanks to a unique cooling coil, it manages to eliminate 30 percent more humidity than the average air conditioning system. Plus, unlike typical setups that cycle on and off, the Unico iSeries inverter unit allows the air conditioning system to run continuously, often at very low speeds and with extraordinary energy efficiency, so mold never gets a chance to take hold.

“The constant on-and-off cycling of most HVAC systems requires a great deal of power and leads to the sort of utility bills that make you want to cringe,” says Scott Intagliata of Unico. Through a steady process of incrementally adjusting itself, the Unico inverter runs in a way that minimizes energy consumption, maximizes savings, and, for the first time, makes it possible for you to keep the air conditioning running while you’re gone—without paying a small fortune along the way.

Though air conditioning goes a long way toward preventing mold in the summer months, it cannot replace the need for ventilation. For a home to remain free of mold, it needs a steady influx of fresh air from the outdoors. That’s why Unico developed a ventilation system with a programmable control board at its core. The control board calculates, based on the size of your home, how much fresh air to bring indoors at any given time. Based on those calculations, the system opens and closes its dampers as needed to maintain the appropriate ventilation level, adding a further layer of protection against mold.

Don’t let mold undermine the magic of your vacation home. Take advantage of the leading-edge HVAC technology that makes it easier than ever to combat mold—and win!

Prevent Mold with HVAC - Unico iSeries

Photo: unicosystem.com

This post has been brought to you by the Unico System. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


How To: Make a DIY Wasp Trap

Save yourself and your family from stings this season by crafting this homemade wasp trap from your kitchen recyclables.

Homemade Wasp Trap

Photo: fotosearch.com

Nothing can ruin a summer barbecue or evening by the pool like the threat of a wasp’s sting. Mind you, wasps aren’t all bad—the adults are nectar-eating pollinators, and they kill other insects (often those harmful to crops) to feed their carnivorous larvae. Still, a nearby nest can be dangerous, especially to those who are allergic to their sting. Should you find an infestation around your own home, you have a few options: call a pest-control company, kill them yourself with sprays, or trap them. While wasp traps are available for purchase, save yourself some money and get rid of your buzzy problem by crafting this hands-off solution using items you most likely already have sitting in your house.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS
- 2-liter soda bottle
- Scissors
- Packing or duct tape
- String
- Water
- Dish soap
- Bait (either meat grease, or a mixture of vinegar with jam or sugary, fermenting fruit)

Homemade Wasp Trap - Soda Bottle

Photo: flickr.com via noricum

STEP 1
Dig through your recycling to get the materials you need to make this trap, and get crafting. First, remove the bottle cap and cut the 2-liter soda bottle just under the neck, where the bottle becomes a straight cylinder. Invert the top portion of the bottle to serve as a funnel, and fit it inside the bottom half of the bottle. Tape the two pieces together around the cut edge so the funnel stays in place. Finally, poke two holes on opposite sides of the rim and attach some string to make a handle for hanging.

STEP 2
You’ll never catch any wasps without the right kind of bait—and the perfect lure is wholly dependent on the season. In early spring, when wasps are reproducing, they are looking for protein; later in summer, they want sugar.

Start with a base of water and a few drops of dish soap. (The dish soap will break up the surface tension of the water and aid in drowning the wasps.) In spring, add grease from cooked meat to the soapy solution; in summer, try vinegar and something sugary like jam. Pour the bait solution into the bottle, leaving an inch or so underneath the funnel so wasps can enter.

Note: Do not add honey to your trap. That particular sweet will attract honeybees, and you don’t want to kill these very important, nonaggressive pollinators.

STEP 3
You can set your traps out on the ground, but hanging them about four feet high will probably attract and catch more wasps. Find a good tree limb or fence post on your property—one that is at least 10 yards away from your family’s play, work, and gathering spaces—and hang up the homemade trap by its string handle.

STEP 4
Check back often to dispose of the drowned wasps and refill the bait. Be sure the wasps are dead before you open the trap to remove them—an escapee will go back to the nest and warn the colony, which may then swarm.

Bury the wasps you’ve caught, or shut them tightly in a plastic bag to dispose of in the garbage. Be sure not to crush the wasps while disposing of them, as the bodies would release a scent that alerts other wasps of danger and could potentially attract a swarm. Even easier, just dispose of the whole trap altogether and make a new one from that week’s recycling. There’s no need to wait for a colony to become well established before making your traps. As the old adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


Official Rules: Bob Vila’s Summer Sunshine Give-Away

Bob Vila’s “Summer Sunshine Give-Away” (the “Sweepstakes”) is sponsored by Vila Media, LLC, Post Office Box 835, West Barnstable, MA 02668 (“Sponsor”).

The Sweepstakes consists of one (1) separate, successive, random drawing (each a “Drawing” and collectively, the “Drawings”). The Sweepstakes begins at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (“EST”) on July 31st, 2015 and ends at 11:59 a.m. EST on August 31st, 2015 (the “Sweepstakes Period”). There will be one (1) Winner, who will receive two (2) daylighting systems from Solatube and installation, a $1500 value. In markets where no premier dealer is located, a $300 credit will be given to the winner towards installation. The entry period for the Drawing shall begin at 12:00 p.m. EST on July 31st, 2015 and ends at 11:59 a.m. EST on August 31st, 2015 (the “Entry Period”). NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. MAKING A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. ODDS OF WINNING WILL DEPEND ON THE TOTAL NUMBER OF ENTRIES RECEIVED. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. ONLINE ENTRY ONLY AND INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED. AFFIDAVIT OF ELIGIBILITY AND RELEASE OF LIABILITY FORM MAY BE REQUIRED.

Open only to permanent legal U.S. residents in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Void in all other geographic locations. Employees of Sponsor and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies and any other entity involved in the development or administration of this Sweepstakes, and their immediate family members or household members are not eligible to participate in or win the Sweepstakes. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any person who fails to meet the eligibility requirements or any person it determines, in its sole discretion, to be sufficiently connected with the Sweepstakes such that such person’s participation could create the appearance of impropriety. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means are void, and Sponsor expressly reserves the right to disqualify any entries that it believes in good faith are generated by an automated program or via scripts. Entries that are determined, in the sole discretion of the Sponsor to constitute advertisements, commercial messages, or “spam” will be disqualified and deleted. Void where prohibited by law. All applicable federal, state and local laws apply. No purchase is necessary to participate in the Sweepstakes. You may enter any given Drawing one (1) time per household per day by visiting the BOB VILA website at http://www.bobvila.com and submitting your name and email address using the online Bob Vila’s “Summer Sunshine Give-Away” submission form.

Each entry submitted in response to the Drawing and in accordance with the Official Rules will constitute an official entry. Duplicate entries within one day will be deemed void.

If you do not have internet access, alternative means of entry for the Drawing is available by faxing your name, address and phone number to the Sponsor at 508-437-8486 during the applicable Entry Period. One (1) alternative entry per household per day. Any additional entries submitted via fax within one day will be deemed void.

Entries received after the end of the Sweepstakes Period will be deemed void. Normal time, toll, connection and usage rates, if any, charged by your Internet Service Provider will apply. All entries become the property of the Sponsor. By entering the Drawing during the Sweepstakes, you will be agreeing that any information collected in connection with the Sweepstakes may be used by Sponsor in accordance with Vila Media, LLC’s Privacy Policy, a current copy of which can be found here. By participating, all entrants agree to abide by these Official Rules.

At the end of the Entry Period, there will be one (1) drawing in which one (1) potential winner (“Winner”) shall be selected from all eligible entries received during that Entry Period by employees or representatives of the Sponsor to receive the prize designated for the Drawing. The winning entry will be chosen at random. The number of eligible entries received during the Entry Period for the Drawing determines the odds of winning. The Sweepstakes will be conducted under the supervision of the Sponsor. If the Winner is determined to be ineligible, forfeits or does not claim the prize, the prize will be re-awarded, in Sponsor’s sole discretion based on a subsequent drawing from the pool of eligible entries. Other restrictions may apply. Decisions of the Sponsor are final and binding with respect to all matters related to the Sweepstakes. All prizes (or in the event of a lost, misdirected, or otherwise unavailable prize, a prize of equivalent value) will be awarded. In no event shall the Sponsor be obligated to award more prizes than the number of prizes stated in these Official Rules. Winner shall be responsible and liable for all federal, state and local taxes on the value of their prize. To receive a complete list of winners or a copy of the Official Rules, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Prize Fulfillment, Vila Media, LLC, PO Box 835 Barnstable, MA 02668. Specify winner’s list or rules on your request.

The Winner will be notified by email, or in the case of alternate entry, by phone; Sponsor reserves the right to determine the method of notification. Winner must claim their prize within twenty-four (24) hours after the date of notification of their prize. A Winner’s failure to respond to the prize notification within the specified twenty-four (24) hours will be considered such Winner’s forfeiture of the prize and an alternate Winner may be selected from the pool of eligible entries. If an entrant is found to be ineligible, an alternate Winner may also be selected from the pool of eligible entries. Sponsor reserves the right to ship prizes directly to the mailing and/or email address (as applicable) provided by Winner during their entry to the Drawing.

Each prize for the Drawing during the Sweepstakes Period shall consist of two daylighting systems from Solatube and installment for a total retail value of $1500. Prize is not transferable. Limit one prize per entrant. Actual retail value may vary. Winner will not receive the difference between actual and approximate retail value.

An entrant or winner may be disqualified from the Sweepstakes, and his or her entry may be deleted, if he or she fails to comply with each provision of these Official Rules, as determined in the sole discretion of the Sponsor. Participation in the Sweepstakes is at entrant’s own risk. Sponsor shall not be liable for (1) failed, returned or misdirected notifications based on inaccurate information provided by the winner on the Drawings entry forms, (2) entries and responses to winner notifications which are lost, late, incomplete, illegible, unintelligible, postage-due, misdirected, damaged or otherwise not received by the intended recipient in whole or in part or for computer or technical error of any kind, (3) any electronic miscommunications or failures, technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, or failed incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions which may limit an entrant’s ability to participate in part or wholly in the Sweepstakes, (4) any technical malfunctions of the telephone network, computer on-line system, computer equipment, software, program malfunctions or other failures, delayed computer transactions or network connections that are human, mechanical or technical in nature, or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from downloading any part of this Sweepstakes or (5) any warranty of fitness or merchantability of any prize or the function or operation thereof, which shall be the sole responsibility of the manufacturer of the prize. Sponsor does not make any, and hereby disclaims any and all, representations or warranties of any kind regarding any prize. Unless prohibited by applicable law, your entry constitutes your permission to use your name, photograph, likeness, voice, address (city and state) and testimonials in all media, in perpetuity, in any manner Sponsor deems appropriate for publicity purposes without any further compensation to such entrant.

By entering or accepting a prize in the Sweepstakes, Winner agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and to conform to all federal, state and local laws and regulations. When applicable, the Winner (or, if the Winner is a minor, the Winner’s parent or legal guardian) may be required to execute and return to Sponsor within three (3) business days an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability and Publicity Release and relevant tax forms to be eligible for the prize or an alternate winner may be selected. Winner may be required to furnish proof of identity, address and birth date in order to receive a prize.

By entering, an entrant agrees to indemnify, release and hold harmless Sponsor and each of its respective parents, subsidiaries and affiliated entities, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents, and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from any damage, injury, death, loss, claim, action, demand, or other liability (collectively, “Claims”) that may arise from their acceptance, possession and/or use of any prize or their participation in the Sweepstakes, or from any misuse or malfunction of any prize awarded, regardless of whether such Claims, or knowledge of the facts constituting such Claims, exist at the time of entry or arise at any time thereafter. Released Parties are not responsible or liable to any entrant or to any Winner or any person claiming through such Winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action, regulation, order or request by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action, regulations, order or request proves to be invalid), equipment failure, threatened terrorist acts, terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond the Released Parties’ sole control. The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing, electronic or human errors or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Sweepstakes; (2) viruses or technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications or entry information, any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, failures or technical malfunction of any computer online systems, servers, providers, computer equipment, software, email, players or browsers, whether on account of technical problems, traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, or on account of any combination of the foregoing; (3) the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or telephone or Internet service; (4) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Sweepstakes; (5) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; (6) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use or misuse of any prize; or (7) late, lost, misdirected, illegible, incomplete or mutilated entries or for theft, destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of entries. These indemnification and release provisions shall survive expiration of the Sweepstakes.

Persons found tampering with, abusing, or otherwise disrupting any aspect of this Sweepstakes, or otherwise attempting to defraud Sponsor, as solely determined by Sponsor, will be disqualified and their entries will be deleted. If disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the entrant’s eligibility to further participate in this Sweepstakes and future promotions and sweepstakes of Sponsor or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates. Any attempt by an entrant or any other individual to undermine the legitimate operation of this Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil laws. Should such an attempt be made, sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

This Sweepstakes is strictly for promotional and entertainment purposes and may not be used in connection with any form of gambling. In the event this Sweepstakes is challenged by any legal or regulatory authority, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate the Sweepstakes, or to disqualify entrants residing in the affected geographic areas. In such event, the Sponsor shall have no liability to any entrants who are disqualified due to such an action. Sponsor reserves the right to modify these Official Rules in any way or at any time. Sponsor reserves the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel or suspend this Sweepstakes should viruses, bugs or other causes beyond their control corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Sweepstakes. In the event any portion of this Sweepstakes is compromised by any non-authorized human intervention, actions of entrants, or other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, corrupt or impair the integrity, administration, security, or operation of this Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to suspend, modify, abbreviate or terminate the Sweepstakes without further obligation. If Sponsor elects to abbreviate the Sweepstakes, Winner(s) will be determined from all eligible entries received for Drawing(s) prior to the action or compromise giving rise to the suspension or termination of this Sweepstakes. In the event of cancellation, abbreviation or suspension, Sponsor shall promptly post a notice on the Sweepstakes entry page to such effect.

This Sweepstakes shall be governed by New York law. By participating in this Sweepstakes entrants agree that New York courts shall have jurisdiction over any dispute or litigation arising from or relating to this Sweepstakes and that venue shall be only in New York City, New York. The failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision. If any part of these Official Rules is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unenforceable, that part will be enforced to the maximum extent permitted by law, and the remainder of these Official Rules will remain fully in force.


Bob Vila Radio: Nails or Screws? Screws or Nails?

Though nails and screws are sometimes used interchangeably, there are pros and cons to each. Read on to learn more about which types of applications call for which types of fasteners.

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Nails or screws? Sometimes it’s difficult to decide which to use for a given do-it-yourself project. The next time you need to choose between the two, bear in mind the following guidelines.

Nails or Screws

Photo: fotosearch.com

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Listen to BOB VILA ON NAILS AND SCREWS or read the text below:

If you’re joining two pieces that are going to be under tension—in a porch railing, for example, or when building kitchen cabinets—then screws are the better choice. Also, since screws are easier to remove, they’re often superior for temporary fastening jobs. Finally, if you’re working with a fragile material like plaster, you may wish to use screws because driving them into place causes much less vibration than pounding in a nail would.

Nails have pluses, too. For one thing, compared with screws of the same length and gauge, nails are usually stronger. That makes them the preferred choice for withstanding “shear” pressure—that is, keeping the fastened pieces from sliding past one another. In most cases, nails are also less expensive. And particularly if you’re working with a gun, nails can be secured quite quickly. Speed makes them ideal for framing, flooring, roofing shingles, siding and sheathing.

Bob Vila Radio is a 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day carried on more than 186 stations in 75 markets around the country. Click here to subscribe, so you can automatically receive each new episode as it arrives—absolutely free!


Quick Tip: Keeping Ants Out of Your Sandbox

Keep your sandbox clear of ants and other crawlers with this surprising solution straight from the kitchen.

Cinnamon and Ants

Photo: fotosearch.com

Ants are one of those annoying pests that seem to pop up everywhere they’re unwanted during the summer—picnics, kitchen countertops, your children’s sandbox, you name it. Luckily, for that last sort of invasion, there’s a secret ingredient hiding in your cupboards that can ward off these tiny intruders: cinnamon. This fragrant spice is often cited as an easy and natural way to rid your sandbox of ants and other creepy-crawlies, making time spent building sandcastles more enjoyable for everyone.

Cinnamon and Ants - Ground Spices

Photo: fotosearch.com

If you’ve already noticed ants in your sandbox, you’ll want to start from scratch—the cinnamon will only repel ants, not kill existing insects or their eggs. Dump your box’s old contents, and give it a good cleaning with dish soap and a scrub brush. While the play space takes a day or two to thoroughly dry, head out to your local home improvement store and pick up a new bag of sand (one that’s specifically labeled for children’s use). Then, when the box is ready, layer its bottom with a tarp that has holes cut for drainage and pour in the fresh bag of sand, mixing in a liberal amount of ground cinnamon to keep bugs at bay.

While cinnamon is an easy ant answer for your sandy surfaces, you can also sprinkle it around the house in areas like doorways or windowsills to keep out other bugs like mosquitoes or silverfish—neither one is crazy about cinnamon. Or, add a few drops of cinnamon oil to sunscreen or water to make a sweet-smelling homemade insect repellent. Whenever you’re in a pest pinch, this pantry spice can serve as an effective and kid-safe solution for a bug-free home.


Are You Still Cleaning Toilets the Old-Fashioned Way?

Do away with the scouring and unpleasantness of regular toilet upkeep by installing an automatic cleaner that will leave your bowl sparkling clean after every flush.

Automatic Toilet Cleaners from Fluidmaster - Flush

Photo: fotosearch.com

Of all the housekeeping chores that people tend to dread, there may be none more widely reviled than cleaning the toilet. It’s tedious and time-consuming, and—when you get right down to it—rather unpleasant. That’s why it makes so much sense to adopt a hands-free approach: Let an automatic toilet cleaner do the job for you! Install a Fluidmaster Flush ‘n Sparkle, and say goodbye to the sorry business of getting down on your knees to scrub the toilet bowl.

Here’s how it works. The automatic toilet cleaner hangs inside the toilet tank, concealed. With each flush, the unit feeds a powerful cleaning solution into the toilet bowl to fight stains and leave the water crystal clear. For years, the leading manufacturer in the product category has been Fluidmaster, whose line of Flush ‘n Sparkle automatic toilet cleaners always delivers instant, continuous, and lasting results that eliminate the need for arduous, repetitive scrubbing.

Automatic Toilet Cleaners from Fluidmaster - Flush

Photo: fluidmaster.com

Of course, there are alternatives to the Fluidmaster system. Drop-in tablets and pour-in liquid cleansers have both been used for years. The trouble is that, though reasonably effective, such in-tank treatments typically hurt more than help. ”If you let them sit in the tank water for extended periods of time without flushing, the harsh chemicals that clean the bowl can actually degrade the internal components of your tank, possibly even eroding the tank itself,” says Daniel O’Brian of SupplyHouse.com.

Inexpensive and easily installed, the Fluidmaster automatic toilet cleaner differs from other in-tank solutions in that, first and foremost, it operates automatically. Second, and more important, it does no harm to the toilet, because the patented Fluidmaster never puts its cleaning solution into contact with the most vulnerable parts of the toilet, those located in the tank. Rather, the system channels its solution directly into the bowl, preventing damage.

Fluidmaster houses its surfactant-based cleaning solution in disposable cartridges, which, according to O’Brian of SupplyHouse.com, typically last about three months. When the time comes to replace one, it’s a simple matter of swapping out the old for the new. Available in multipack refills, cleanser cartridges come in three varieties—the standard cleansing agent, a bleach-based option, and a special clog-reducing formulation for septic systems.

Installing the Fluidmaster couldn’t be easier. After hanging the holder on the back wall of the toilet tank, attach the inlet hose to the fill valve and the outlet hose to the overflow tube of the flush valve. Finally, insert the cartridge in the holder. That’s it. “Any capable homeowner should have no problem installing the kit,” says O’Brian. He estimates the process takes no longer than five minutes. Replacing a cartridge can be done even more quickly, perhaps in under 60 seconds.

Say goodbye to the hassle, labor, and discomfort of having to clean your toilet manually on a regular basis. Instead, install Fluidmaster Flush ‘n Sparkle just once, and your toilet can sparkle all on its own!

Automatic Toilet Cleaners from Fluidmaster - Product Picture

Photo: fluidmaster.com

This post has been brought to you by SupplyHouse.com. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.


Genius! Make a Mini Greenhouse with Dollar-Store Photo Frames

Looking for a way to bring your limp houseplants back to life? Try this dollar-store DIY to get your greenery back in shape.

DIY Indoor Greenhouse

Photo: thewickerhouse.blogspot.com

Sure, your indoor plants might be doing just fine on their own with your current watering schedule and carefully selected locations. But what if we told you that they could be doing better—in, say, their own custom-built greenhouse? An indoor greenhouse isn’t just for show, although it does pack plenty of style into its tiny structure. For starters, it keeps temperatures stable, boosts humidity, and increases carbon dioxide levels inside the enclosure for quicker-growing plants. Sheltering your greenery also keeps pests out and reduces the risk of disease. A simple glass box creates an optimal environment for your plants, guaranteed to take your gardening game to the next level. And with this idea from The Wicker House, making your own requires just a trip to the dollar store and a little creative repurposing. This blogger’s smart substitute for glass window panes? Emptied photo frames.

That’s right: To create her indoor garden, she picked up a total of eight picture frames and removed the backs, cardboard padding, and any prints inside them. While there are some things you probably shouldn’t ever buy at the dollar store—fresh produce, pregnancy tests, and hair gel, for instance—it turns out that it can be the perfect source for basic DIY supplies. Cheap, lightweight frames work best here so that they can be assembled with only hot glue and some duct tape. The resourceful crafter selected two 8″ x 10″ frames for the sides of the greenhouse, two 5″ x 7″ frames for the ends, and four 4″ x 6″ ones to create the slanted roof, all spray-painted white to visually unify the mismatched collection. The end result: a cheap yet chic tabletop structure that offers the consistent environment houseplants need to truly thrive. Follow The Wicker House’s full tutorial, and you may be surprised at just how quickly your plants put down roots—and settle in for the long term.

FOR MORE: The Wicker House

DIY Indoor Greenhouse - Painted Frames

Photo: thewickerhouse.blogspot.com


Weekend Projects: Get Cooking with a DIY Grill

Upgrade your Saturday afternoon cookout by hand-crafting—or hacking—a grill. You'll flip for any of these five DIY designs!

For charring kebabs at afternoon barbecue or roasting s’mores at sunset, the grill is arguably the most classic—more than that, most important—of summer staples. While our favorite commercial gas and charcoal models aren’t going anywhere, it’s fun to think how creative we could get if we crafted our own personalized barbecue gear. Whether you’re looking for a portable solution to take on your outdoor adventures or you just want to build out a backyard entertaining zone, you’ll flip for these five DIY grills—and be flipping burgers by the end of the weekend.

 

1. ALL DECKED OUT

DIY Grill - Repurposed Skateboard

Photo: handmadeamerica.us

If a skateboard can handle the force of a frontside flip, it’s certainly sturdy enough to support the flip of a hamburger! To make this cool conversation starter, the makers at Handmade in America welded steel table legs to two skateboard decks and cut a portable grill–sized hole in the middle of the recycled tabletop surface. This smart design not only creates one-of-a-kind deck decor, it also offers extra room for stashing refreshments, grilling tools, or whatever else you need nearby.

 

2. MINI GRILL MASTER

DIY Grill - Use an Altoid Tin

Photo: instructables.com

Powered by one charcoal briquette and adorably housed in an Altoid Sours tin, this small-but-mighty Instructables grill is capable of cooking a full-size hotdog (in halves) or a slider-size burger. And really, what more do you need for a personal picnic? With a few tiny tools, some salvaged materials, and a little patience, you can craft this mini marvel that’s ideal for a camping trip or as a fun—and functional!—party trick.

 

3. GARDEN GRILL

DIY Grill - Flower Pot

Photo z12projects.blogspot.com

Forget about the Big Green Egg phenomenon. Zone 12 Project Group is here to show you how to build an inexpensive—but just as effective—DIY version from two glazed ceramic pots. The key to making this “Little Blue Egg” a success is finding pots that can nest, because the inside pot will act as the firebox in this contraption. But once you find the perfect pair, you’re only a few tools and a day’s work away away from grilling greatness.

 

4. TO-GO TOOLBOX 

DIY Grill - Toolbox

Photo: instructables.com

Some workers may stash their sandwich in the top tray of a toolbox to bring to work, but with this Instructables tutorial you can use one to carry and cook your meals. Make the perfect grab-and-go grill from an old metal toolbox, repurposed grates, and a few power tools. Because most of these materials can be found or scavenged, your biggest investment in making this little cooker will most likely be a bit of elbow grease.

 

5. SKEWER SAVIOR

DIY Grill - Skewer

Photo: makezine.com

Perfectly cooked, bite-size deliciousness—coming right up! Never again worry about skewers falling through the grates or getting stuck to the grill with this handmade Japanese-style skewer grill from Makezine. Moldable aluminum sheet metal curved between two round cake pans serves as the grill’s structure, while small holes punched along the sides hold your skewers steady until dinner time.