Remodeler: Bob McKay, CGR, Company: McKay Building Co., Birmingham, Ala., Product: Palm M100 handheld computer.
"It has phone numbers and my schedule. I've got my whole life in it," Bob McKay says of his Palm M100, which he also hot syncs with his computer to enter and exchange information. The handheld unit, which weighs about 4 ounces, features a Palm 3.5 operating system that accommodates to-do lists, an address book, a calendar, a note pad, and thousands of available add-on software programs. The affordable unit offers wireless capabilities with optional software and accessories. "It's very easy to use," says McKay. And, "it will fit in my pocket."
Remodeler: John Frazier, CR, Company: John Frazier Construction, Boise, Idaho, Product: Arxx insulated concrete forms, www.arxxbuild.com.
John Frazier Construction uses Arxx insulated concrete forms (ICFs) primarily for building basements under existing homes. Drywall can be installed directly to the forms and, because the concrete walls do not contact the soil, basements tend to be dryer and warmer. Noise intrusion decreases while the insulation value climbs dramatically, says John Frazier, thanks to the 6 inches of concrete surrounded by a layer of polystyrene on each side. In addition, the forms enhance the stability and structural safety of the home.
Walk on Air
Remodeler: Rick Hjelm, CR, CGR, Company: Phase II General Contractor, Lakewood, Wash., Product: Crain Tools air sled, www.craintools.com.
The Crain Tools air sled works a lot like a hovercraft, sliding underneath heavy objects so that they are easier to move around. "We use it all the time to move Viking ranges and Sub-Zero refrigerators for maintenance," says Rick Hjelm. His company also has used the unit to move cabinets across paper-covered carpet and to move a hot tub around during a deck repair job. The machine's 1.75-hp motor will lift loads up to 400 pounds and features two feet for wide loads.