Safety First

When Roger Gallagher learned about H.E.P.A.-filtered lead vacuums through NARI's Lead-Safe Remodeler training program, he decided to invest in one. He works on older homes that often still contain lead-based paints. He chose the Lead Vac from Minuteman.

The Lead Vac uses two filters: a H.E.P.A. filter that traps all hazardous dusts and is 99.9% effective at 0.12 microns; and a nonwoven, embossed, polyester filter that is 99.9% effective at 3.0 microns. The polyethylene tank housing is noncorrosive and dent-proof. Each vacuum comes with a dry tool kit that includes a crush proof hose, 1 1/4-inch wand, a 12-inch crevice tool, a 5-inch upholstery tool, and an 11-inch floor/carpet tool.

Courtesy Minuteman

Gallagher points out that using the Lead Vac is also a good marketing tool. "One of the biggest issues with remodeling is that people live in the project while you're working -- and often have to live with the dust," he says. "You're putting the client's interests first, and that's what customer service is about."

Remodeler: Roger Gallagher

Company: Gallagher Remodeling, Belmont, Mass.

Product: Minuteman's Lead Vac,

Chilled Out

Remodeler Jenny Pippin frequently works with clients who need extra refrigeration in their kitchens and throughout their homes. Rather than purchasing an entire additional refrigerator and gobbling up space, Pippin recommends incorporating Sub-Zero's refrigerator and freezer drawers into new or existing cabinetry.

"My clients like the fact that they're unique, and they're small," Pippin says. "In the kitchen, they love it because they can add refrigeration space without having to buy an entire extra refrigerator that takes up 3 feet of space." The drawers, part of Sub-Zero's 700 Series, can be fitted with custom cabinetry fronts to match the rest of the room.

Flexibility is another advantage. "Sub-Zero refrigeration and freezer drawers add extra freezer or refrigeration space to wet bars or butler's pantries, even home theaters. Some people even put them in the master suite coffee bar or exercise room," Pippin says. The drawers can even replace full-sized refrigerators if the appropriate amount is installed, she says.

The Sub-Zero 700 Series refrigerator and freezer drawer models are 27 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and come in two-drawer configurations.

Courtesy Sub-Zero

Remodeler: Jenny Pippin

Company: Pippin Home Designs, Mooresville, N.C.

Product: Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer drawers,

Comfort from the Cold

A high water table in Oregon creates frequent flooding problems in the basements of homes that remodeler Robert Kraft works on. So to protect his clients' interior flooring, Kraft's found a favorite in the System Platon Sub Floor, a dimpled, high density polyethylene air gap membrane that is installed between slab and flooring.

"It allows for a vapor barrier and separation between the finished floor and the concrete," Kraft says. "So if any water enters the field of the basement, this product allows it to be channeled off." Platon also eliminates surface condensation because the floor's surface temperature increases to the temperature of the room, the maker says.

Kraft says that he has installed Platon in conjunction with an interior perimeter drainage system and sump pump. "Platon complements the drainage system we put in and protects the interior flooring," Kraft says. Also, the learning curve is small. "It's very easy to install."

Courtesy Armtec

Remodeler: Robert Kraft

Company: Kraft Custom Construction, Salem, Ore.

Product: Armtec's System Platon Sub Floor,