Some of my personal favorites...
Shark Bite Plumbing Connectors
The shark bite plumbing connection system allows you to make leak free connections between copper, PEX and CPVC without soldering or adhesives. Perfect for the DIY plumber. I’ve used these myself and I love them. They can be a little more expensive but they are so easy to use they are well worth the extra cost. In fact, this past weekend my husband and I replaced the back flow preventer on our sprinkler system using shark bite connectors. If you're interested in learning how to work on your own plumbing consider taking my Plumbing 101 class.
Paver Sand (Polymeric)
Last summer when we were working on our gazebo and landscaping our back yard we discovered this wonderful paver sand. We debated making a path to our gazebo using pavers because I don’t like having to constantly pull weeds and grass out from between the stones. But this stuff works like a charm and we have no weeds between our pavers. After laying your pavers you simply fill the cracks with this special paver sand, wet it with a hose and let it dry. One disadvantage is the need to completely remove the entire product from the top of the pavers or it will stain them. Unfortunately for us the label indicated it was non-staining and I believed the label. Don't make the same mistake.
Self Leveling Concrete Filler
If you’re working on repairing the damage to your concrete from the winter weather consider using this concrete filler. It comes in tubes that fit in your caulk gun, is easy to use and leaves a nice smooth joint. It’s best for narrow and shallow cracks (less than 3/8”) but for deeper cracks just fill in with sand or backer rod before using the filler. We used this on our driveway and were happy with the results.
Some of my new favorites...
Instant electrical connections
I just read about these in the April issue of The Family Handyman, one of my favorite magazines. For those of you who have taken my electrical class you know how much room a wire nut can take up in an electrical box, not leaving much room to work or to add additional things, like a dimmer switch. These handy gadgets are sure to be added to my tool box. They cost a little more and you will have to have a variety on hand but it looks like a winner to me.
I first saw these types of toggle bolts when I was working with a DIY closet organizing system called Easy Track. At the time I couldn’t find these types of toggle fasteners in any of the stores, but now it looks like they’re available. Another thing I’ll be adding to my tool box. They are so easy to use; I can’t imagine going back to the traditional style. I'll be adding these to my class on how to hang things on your walls & ceilings.
KwikWood or QuickWood
This is a simple, easy to use, quick setting wood filler and it’s not messy. Great for filling screw holes when repair door knobs and catches or filling damage to wood trim. You simply cut off a slice, need it together (it’s a 2 part epoxy product) and complete your repair. You have about 15-20 minutes before it sets up.
If you live in the Denver Metro area and are interested in taking in person classes to learn many DIY techniques you can find more information at www.workshopforwomen.com