On the shelf
Mike Holmes’ new book helps homeowners remodel their kitchens and bathrooms from the inside out.
Holmes, the builder known for righting construction wrongs on his HGTV shows “Holmes on Homes” and “Holmes Inspection,” brings his same do-it-right attitude to “Mike Holmes Kitchens & Bathrooms.” In the book, he preaches the importance of focusing first on the unseen parts of a renovation, the things that are under the surfaces or behind the walls.
Holmes helps his readers plan a remodel that fits their needs and is built to last. He explains the options available, advises them on hiring and working with a contractor and guides them on making the best choices. The book is sprinkled with tips and illustrated lavishly with photos to provide ideas and inspiration.
“Mike Holmes Kitchens & Bathrooms” is published by Time Home Entertainment and sells for $21.95 in softcover.
A Solon company has developed an emergency home lighting system that uses wireless technology to turn on the lights automatically in a power outage.
The heart of the Mr. Beams ReadyBright system is a control unit you keep plugged into an electrical outlet. The instant the power goes out, the battery-operated unit illuminates to become a flashlight. It also sends a wireless signal that turns on all the other ReadyBright lights in the home.
Battery-operated ceiling lights are available, as well as path lights for hallways and stairs.
The lights can be ordered at www.mrbeams.com. A starter house kit with one controller, one ceiling light and one path light costs $69.99 but is currently on sale for $59.99. Individual lights and light sets in different configurations are also available.
Q: Every once in a while I see a silverfish in my house. How can I get rid of them?
A: People sometimes think silverfish come from the plumbing, since they’re often found in sinks or bathtubs. What really happens is the insects venture into sinks or tubs in search of water and can’t get out.
Silverfish like damp, cool places, such as basements, laundry rooms and bathrooms. They also like to eat the starch in wallpaper paste, book bindings and sometimes fabric, as well as cereal grain products and dried meat.
You don’t need to use an insecticide for an occasional silverfish sighting, the University of California’s Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program says. Instead, focus on blocking the insects’ access to your house and eliminating their sources of food, water and shelter. Insecticides won’t be effective anyway unless you’ve addressed those problems first, the IPM program says.
Fact sheets from several university extension services recommend keeping basements, laundry rooms, bathrooms, spaces under sinks and especially shower stalls clean and dry. Fix sources of dampness, such as leaky plumbing or condensation.
Using dehumidifiers or ventilating fans can help. So can lowering the temperature in the house.
Periodically clean out closets, cabinets and other storage areas and remove old stacks of papers, magazines, books and fabrics. Store those types of items, as well as grain products and dried meat, in tightly sealed containers if you can.
To keep silverfish out of the house, caulk or seal cracks and openings, such as the spaces around window casings and door frames, along baseboards and around pipes.