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Ready to show your home a little love in 2021? Join Family Handyman’s pro-led Home Organizing Challenge to get real, refreshing results in just one week, 30 minutes each day.

If you’re anything like us, all this extra time at home has meant more clutter (or maybe noticing existing clutter — no judgement). Yet somehow, there’s still not enough time to deal with it.

That’s why we teamed up with professional organizer Jamie Novak, to help you clear it out in less time than it takes to stream the latest episode of your current binge-worthy watch.

Novak designed this quick-and-easy challenge to help you tackle seven of your home’s major problem areas. The goal? To declutter and reclaim the space you’re spending more time than ever in.

Bonus: It’s a great way to connect with friends, to keep each other accountable and celebrate your daily wins.

Ready to control the chaos of home clutter? Read these challenge FAQs to find out more.

What exactly is the Family Handyman 7-Day Organizing Challenge?

The FHM 7-Day Organizing Challenge is a series of seven guided tasks, targeted to your home’s most clutter-prone areas. Mark your calendar and set a phone alert. We start on Monday, Feb. 1, and reveal one challenge on our website each day.

Each challenge requires just 30 minutes and features one timed, targeted 20-minute organizing task, plus a 10-minute quick toss. At the end of the week, you’ll find yourself with an undeniably tidier house.

But I have a lot/just a little clutter. Is this challenge for me?

Yes! It’s designed to help homeowners and apartment dwellers living with any level of clutter.

This challenge gives you the direction, motivation and connection to make change that will make a difference. Whether that’s getting the ball rolling on a bigger project or finally getting that last annoying drawer in order is up to you.

What if I have a question?

That’s the value of doing this challenge with the FHM community: Organizing expert Jamie Novak will be available to answer your questions. Simply tag your question with #FamilyHandymanDeclutterChallenge on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, and she’ll reply!

What if I miss a day, or start after Feb. 1?

No problem! There’s no pressure to catch up. Simply jump in anytime. Your personal first day is day one.

Is there any prepwork involved?

Just a few things, to ensure you’ll make the most of each day’s 30 minutes. Here’s the list in downloadable form.

  • A timer, to help you keep track of your 20 minutes (the one on your phone or the stove works);
  • Basic cleaning essentials, such as microfiber cleaning towels and a multi-purpose cleaner;
  • Distilled vinegar;
  • Bucket;
  • Scrub brush;
  • Vacuum cleaner and/or broom;
  • Boxes or bags to help gather donations;
  • A preferred donation spot, whether you’ll drop off or schedule a pickup (see DonationTown.org for help);
  • An empty vehicle trunk or a designated spot to store donations for pickup.
  • Optional:
    • Caddy, to help you carry these supplies from room to room as you work;
    • Air pump (for sports balls that need refilling);
    • Peel-and-stick hooks for potential entryway streamlining.

What areas will we be covering?

You’ll spend time in each of these seven common problem areas during the challenge: kitchen, garage, family room, bedroom, bathroom, laundry room and entryway. Each day will feature back-up challenges to sub in, or add-on, for any over-achievers out there.

I’m in! How do I start?

Great! Simply go to this page on our website on Monday, Feb. 1, to start the challenge. Come back each day for the next six days for a new challenge.

Until then, complete the items on this checklist to stay motivated:

  • Bookmark the challenge location on our website.
  • Download, or print and hang up this free Daily Challenge Checklist to help track your success.
  • Set a phone alarm and/or put a reminder in your calendar to start the challenge on Feb. 1.
  • Gather everything you’ll need. (Here’s the Prep List again, to help.)
  • Be sure to follow and like Family Handyman on Instagram and/or Facebook.
  • Share the graphic above on your social media of choice.
  • Share this post with a friend and invite them to do the challenge with you!

Meet Your Organizing Expert, Jamie Novak

This seven-day challenge is hosted by Pro Organizer Jamie Novak, author of Keep This Toss That: The Practical Guide to Tidying Up. She’s here to guide you through the assignments, sharing her insider tips to combat chaos and reset your home for a clutter-free new year.

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We all have different styles of organizing. Some of us thrive in simple, streamlined spaces, while others are happiest in rooms filled with favorite items out on display. Tap into those innate organizing tendencies, and your home will feel like a haven. Your spaces will be pleasing to your eyes and function with ease.

That’s why we designed this simple quiz, to help you get to the bottom of your organizing style. Answer eight simple questions to discover how to make your future decluttering efforts more productive and organize your home so it’s just right for you. Click on one of the answers below to get started.

 

As demand for tradespeople continues to grow, trade and vocational schools are drawing students of all ages who seek active, hands-on careers with fresh challenges and opportunities. We connected with Travis Coffey of Philadelphia, Pa., who finished Orleans Technical College’s six-month Residential and Commercial Electricity program in 2020. Here’s a look at what drew him, and many others, to trade school.

Trade School Is Affordable

Coffey almost finished an associate degree in business when he was younger, but it was prohibitively expensive. Trade school is more affordable, he says, and it allowed him to start working and making money faster.

Trade schools keep students focused on a vocation and what they need for certifications and degrees they may be able to achieve in six months, a year or two years. Costs vary depending on the program, the region of the country and whether you attend a public or private school. Midwest Technical Institute estimates the national average for annual tuition at $3,440 for a two-year college and $9,410 for a four-year college. Complete trade school programs, start to finish, can average $5,000 to $15,000.

Coffey wishes he had known sooner how affordable trade school was, and how helpful the school would be in finding him employment that began when he graduated. That assistance helps many students minimize debt.

Apprenticeship Opportunities

If your budget is tight but you are highly motivated, you may be able get trade school tuition costs covered in connection with an apprenticeship.

High-demand tradespeople, such as sheet-metal workers or insulators, are actively recruited through trade unions or directly through contractors for apprenticeships that may also pay for tuition, if you’re willing to work and go to school at the same time. Classes may be in the evening, on a specific day of the week or during off-season weeks, depending on the program and industry.

Flexible Learning

Coffey didn’t have an apprenticeship. But he was able to plan ahead and put work on hold while studying full-time and getting his certification as quickly as possible.

With the rising popularity of online learning, a growing number of students juggle full-time jobs with studying for new careers on their off time. For hands-on trades, working students and apprentices need to plan for evening or weekend classes for hands-on lessons and training in workshops and labs.

All Ages Are Welcome

With more flexible learning that fits around work and family responsibilities, universities and technical colleges alike are attracting more students who aren’t fresh out of high school. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates that of the 19.7 million students enrolled in post-secondary institutions, 7.5 million were 25 years or older. And those students bring life experience and maturity to the classroom.

Coffey’s classes had plenty of younger students, but he graduated from the Residential and Commercial Electricity program at age 45. Three other classmates were in their 40s. His effort to go back to school and improve his earnings inspired his 25-year-old son to enroll in the school’s carpentry program.

Post-Grad Relocation Opportunities

If you’re young and mobile, trades can be the ticket to exploring different areas of the country. The more specialized your expertise, such as a crane operator, refinery pipe fitter or alternative energy specialist, the more travel you may be able to do. At the same time, pursuing broader skills for residential and commercial customers, such as electrical work, carpentry and construction, can keep you closer to home and family.

Earning Potential

Coffey was originally going to go back to school to continue training in custodial work and pursue better pay. Then he remembered enjoying electronics when he was younger and saw the electrical field had even more potential for moving up and earning better pay.

Some people opt for trade school after already investing in a four-year university degree because of better or steadier employment opportunities. Expanding a trade education with additional certifications and licenses can further raise your earnings. “The more you learn, the more money you make,” says Coffey.

In some cases, trade school graduates with certificates and degrees earn incomes comparable to what some four-year university graduates earn, but without as much school debt. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists median wages as $23/hour to $27/hour for tradespeople such as electricians, plumbers, pipe fitters, steam fitters and heating, ventilation and air conditioning technicians. That’s $48,000 to $56,000 per year, plus overtime and the potential for union benefits like health insurance and pensions.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offers an online Occupational Outlook handbook with descriptions, required training and potential earnings for various trades. It also highlights emerging industries and rising demand for wind turbine service technicians and solar photovoltaic installers.

Build on Existing Skills and Knowledge

Coffey leaned into his early interest in electronics to pursue a new trade. You may also want to build on skills or interests you already have. Some colleges and schools may let you test out of classes, such as vocational math, or offer credit for skills you mastered on the job or through previous experiences, such as military training. Ask about these options as you’re researching trade schools to speed your education and lower tuition costs.

For more information on trade and technical schools, state directories and financial aid, top career programs and requirements, check out this website.

Note: If you’re wondering how a trade school, technical college and vocational school differ, here is a good explanation.

Dogs take sleep seriously. So seriously, in fact, that they spend up to 14 hours a day doing it, says Rain Jordan, a canine behavior specialist and certified dog trainer in Warrenton, Ore. This is quite a contrast to humans — according to the American Sleep Association, many of us get significantly less than the recommended eight hours of sleep per night.

And unlike cats, who will curl up and nap just about anywhere soft and/or warm, dogs tend to sleep much better in a dedicated space to snooze. For many dogs, that means a bed all their own.

Do Dogs Need Beds?

Can’t my dog just sleep at the foot of my bed? Yes, says Nicole Ellis, a certified professional dog trainer in Altadena, Cal. Many dogs even prefer it. But that doesn’t make it ideal in every situation.

How so? Well, first of all, your dog’s movement and snoring might keep you from getting enough shuteye. And depending on your dog’s age and physical dexterity, jumping onto the bed can be challenging, if not impossible. Senior dogs in particular sleep better on beds designed to support their joints. The surface or your beloved light-as-air mattress will not fit the bill, Ellis says.

Also, dogs love to be near their humans. A dog bed (or beds) where family members spend their waking hours will let them get their naps in while you work, exercise, watch TV, help your kids with homework, etc. And some dogs, no matter how much they love you, need personal space. The fact that their bed is theirs and theirs alone allows them to feel like they can “get away” if they need some peace and quiet. This is especially true of dogs with anxiety, says Jordan.

The bottom line? Your dog may not need a bed specifically for sleep, but it’s probably a good idea to have a dog bed available.

Choosing a Dog Bed

How do you know what to look for in a bed for your dog?

First, consider the size of the bed in relation to the size of your dog. Obviously, a Great Dane needs a lot more space than a Yorkie. Most beds will indicate the size/weight range they accommodate, but you can also eyeball it.

Your dog’s preferred sleeping position is also key, Ellis says. Do they like to curl up, or stretch out with all four legs going in opposite direction? Do they want their head elevated? Do they prefer sleeping on their back? All these factors need to be taken into consideration when selecting a bed.

Material is important, too. Dogs that run hot will probably get overheated if their beds are too fluffy, Ellis says. Other dogs will relish the opportunity to curl up in thick, feathery-soft beds.

Also consider the age of your dog, adds Ellis. A puppy that is still teething is not a candidate for a fancy dog bed with blingy embellishments, for example. An older dog with arthritis? As mentioned above, joint support is top priority.

Your dog’s habits and personality also factor into the decision. Jordan advises avoiding dog beds covered in delicate fabrics, especially if your dog enjoys digging — the bed will likely be ripped to shreds in no time. Ultimately, however, it is the dog that chooses the bed. If they like the bed you bring home and take to it, great! If not, you may have to try again. (You can donate the bed they rejected.)

Types of Dog Beds

OK, so now you know your small adult dog likes to curl up in a little ball when it’s time to catch some zzzs, and your bigger playful puppy is all about the fluff. Within those parameters, what do you shop for? It seems like there are just as many dog beds as there are dog breeds.

While this is not an exhaustive list, some of the more common dog bed styles are:

Basic dog beds: Usually round or rectangular, these are free of embellishments and are probably what most people envision when they think of dog beds. They simply provide a soft spot to rest.

Heated dog beds: Dogs that get cold easily will appreciate a bed that helps them stay toasty. If this is your pooch, look for a “self-warming” bed — these are made with insulated filling that uses the dog’s body heat to generate warmth. Electric-powered heated dog beds are also a good option, if you have an outlet near your dog’s preferred sleeping location.

Cooling dog beds: For dogs that find themselves too warm at times, a cooling bed will help regulate their body temperature. Available in many shapes and sizes, the secret to the cooling bed is the combination of memory foam and micro-gel beads (they help pull heat away from the body).

Calming dog beds: Dogs with anxious tendencies tend to sleep well in these soft, donut-shaped beds.

Elevated dog beds: Usually steel- or PVC-framed, these sit several inches off the ground and are a great indoor/outdoor option. Some offer warming and cooling features, as well. Here is a raised dog bed you can make yourself!

Novelty dog beds: Maybe your dog is ultra-playful, or maybe it’s you. In either case, perhaps a unicorn dog bed, or even a teepee-style bed is in order?

Orthopedic dog beds: Typically made of memory foam, these are the aforementioned beds for senior dogs, dogs with arthritis, or any dog that prefers (or requires) a little extra support.

How Often to Clean and Replace a Dog Bed

Unless your dog is unusually rough on a bed (or you happen to choose a particularly flimsy model), you can expect it to last a fairly long time. To increase a dog bed’s lifespan, Ellis recommends one with a washable, removable cover.

Dogs do have accidents; they do throw up,” she says. “The ability to wash it is important, because I want the bed to smell nice … and of course to stay clean for my pets.”

Frequency depends on how dirty your dog gets and how much shedding is involved, Ellis says. However, a good rule of thumb is to put the cover in the washing machine whenever you launder your bedding. (Don’t forget to read the care instructions first).

Be sure to use a pet-friendly laundry detergents, too, Jordan advises. Many traditional detergents are irritating to dogs. You can also use an odor-removal additive like Skout’s Honor to the load if the bed cover is particularly smelly.

Benjamin Moore is going green with its 2021 Color of the Year. Described as “a blend of blue-green and gray, Aegean Teal is an intriguing midtone that creates natural harmony.” It invites you to take a moment to reflect and reset.

Aegean Teal caught the attention of our team here at Family Handyman. Of the twelve colors in Benjamin Moore’s Color Trends 2021 Palette, we love this color for its radiant warmth and at-home feel. It pairs well with natural tones such as hardwood floors and butcher-block countertops. It also goes well with another hue from the 2021 Color Trend Palette, Chestertown Buff. Aegean Teal is perfect in any room, or for just a splash of color on an accent wall.

One of Benjamin Moore’s greenest paints is Natura Waterborne Interior Paint. With zero VOCs, it’s scientifically proven to have reduced levels of allergens and irritants. Natura is certified asthma and allergy friendly from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Pick it up for $68.99 a gallon at one of your local Benjamin Moore Outlet Stores.

Natura

 

 

 

According to the World Health Organization, a staggering 3.8 million deaths each year are caused by indoor air pollution. While many pollutants, such as kerosene or smoke from wood-burning stoves, are more common in developing nations, radon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mold and mildew are universal indoor air quality hazards.

Because of these concerns, and because people are spending so much more time indoors thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, many homeowners are turning to air quality monitors.

What Is an Air Quality Monitor?

An indoor air quality monitor is a device that measures indoor air quality (IAQ) by detecting the presence of gases and particulates — microscopic solid and liquid particles — that may be hazardous. Typically, air quality monitors will measure for radon, carbon dioxide, VOCs and other harmful chemicals and gases, as well as airborne dust, pollen and mold.

Whether you need an indoor air quality monitor depends on a few factors, says Dr. John McKeon, CEO and founder of Allergy Standards Ltd. “Some people, particularly those with respiratory or other relevant medical conditions, could benefit from having a device which will keep them informed,” he says. But, he adds, people in homes with proven IAQ and those not bothered by indoor allergens need not rush out and buy a monitor.

How Does an Air Quality Monitor Work?

Air quality monitors are fitted with multiple sensors made to detect different types of pollutants.

An electrochemical sensor detects oxygen levels and the presence of toxic gas by reducing it through an electrode and measuring its concentration. Particle detectors find dust, pollen and mold by way of a laser that shines through the air inside the sensor.

Based on the strength and array of the beam, the monitor can determine the concentration of particulates in the home. The monitor displays current air conditions in the indoor space. Some have color-coded or numbered systems to indicate danger levels.

What Do Air Quality Monitors Detect?

Indoor air quality monitors measure for a range of different hazards, depending on the monitor. These usually include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and radon. They also measure VOCs, which can come from building materials like plywood and particleboard, and also from fuels, cleaning solutions, paint and various other common household items.

Air quality monitors with particulate sensors can detect the concentration of particulates and tell you whether they’re at hazardous levels. But they can’t tell you what the particles are. They can’t distinguish between mold, pollen, dust mites or pet dander. Most monitors also read oxygen levels in the indoor environment.

Features of Air Quality Monitors

Indoor air quality monitors are available in three types:

  • Tabletop or floor models that measure the air around them and display a readout of current conditions.
  • Wall- or ceiling-mounted “smart” air quality monitors that measure the air around them. These work with a smartphone app and send results or alerts to the homeowner.
  • Portable, handheld monitors that users can carry from room to room. These have a display screen.

How To Choose the Best Air Quality Monitor for Your Home

When shopping for an indoor air quality monitor, McKeon says it’s important to know what you want to track. If you live in an area that’s at risk for radon gas, make sure you buy a monitor that checks for it — not all of them do. If you’ve got mold allergies, make sure your monitor measures humidity and particulates. If you live in an area that’s been hit by wildfires, choose a monitor that detects smoke, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

Air Quality Monitor Installation, Use and Safety

Installing an indoor air quality monitor is as easy as plugging it in, or maybe downloading an app and connecting to the device that way. But there are other points to consider.

  • They are monitors, not correctors. An air quality monitor will alert you to issues but won’t fix them. Solutions may be as simple as opening the windows more frequently, or as serious as radon gas or mold remediation.
  • Unless you’ve got a smart monitor that sends you alerts, air quality monitors are only effective if you check their displays regularly.
  • They only measure the air around them. Just because your monitor gives you a clean read-out in the living room doesn’t mean there isn’t a dangerous gas leak in the kitchen.
  • They need to be calibrated from time-to-time, per the manufacturer’s guidelines and suggested schedule.
  • Batteries die! If you have battery-operated monitors, replace the batteries regularly.

When it comes to heating your home, there are few options more versatile than baseboard heaters. They can be used as a primary heat source in a smaller building, a supplemental heat source in a larger home, or a zoned heat source for individual rooms.

Their ability to generate a considerable amount of heat without requiring an expensive central heating system made them a popular choice in older homes. They are also relatively affordable, operate quietly and can last up to 20 years with little maintenance. But as great as they are, they aren’t as popular as they used to be. They have some downsides that are largely determined by the type of baseboard heater in question.

Types of Baseboard Heaters

There are two types of baseboard heaters: convection and hydronic. Each delivers heat differently, and each comes with pros and cons.

Convection Baseboard Heaters

Convection baseboard heaters draw in cool air that collects near the floor, warm it over electrically heated metal fins, then allow the heated air to rise back into the room through the heat-exchange process called convection.

Convection heaters are the most common, and are usually hardwired directly into a home’s electrical system. However, some inexpensive units can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet. Convection baseboard heaters are available in various sizes and heat capacities. They’re generally inexpensive, easy to install, and quickly heat up the room they’re in.

The main disadvantage is that they are considerably less energy efficient than hydronic baseboard heaters. The heating fins cool down quickly after the heater turns off, so the heater needs to remain on as long as you want it to generate heat. Convection baseboard heaters are also powered exclusively by electricity, unlike hydronic heaters that can be efficiently powered by a central heating boiler.

Hydronic Baseboard Heaters

Hydronic baseboard heaters use an internal reservoir of heated fluid to distribute radiant heat. They can be self-contained units with an internal reservoir of fluid heated by electricity, or use a home’s central heating boiler to supply hot water.

In either case, hydronic baseboard heaters are more energy efficient than convection baseboard heaters. The fluid reservoir stays warm even after the heater has turned off, so it doesn’t require a constant supply of energy to maintain the desired heat level.

Because they’re more energy efficient, hydronic baseboard heaters are the most common variety of baseboard heaters for whole-home heating systems, especially when used in conjunction with a central boiler. The downsides? Hydronic units are typically more expensive, come in a smaller range of sizes and heat capacities, and take longer to heat up than convection baseboard heaters.

Choosing a Baseboard Heater

The best baseboard heater for your home will largely depend on your budget and energy-efficiency preferences.

If you’ll be using a baseboard heater as a primary heat source, or as a supplemental heat source for a large space, the extra upfront expense of a more efficient hydronic baseboard heater will likely pay for itself in a few years. On the other hand, if you’re only planning on using the baseboard heater occasionally for a smaller space, purchasing a more affordable convection unit is probably the most financially practical choice.

If your home has a boiler, you may also want to consider a hydronic baseboard heater that operates independently of electricity. If you go this route, ensure your boiler has a large enough BTU output to satisfy the additional demand.

Here’s how to compute it: Subtract your boiler’s BTU output from the combined BTU output of all the radiators in your home. That figure will determine your boiler’s reserve capacity, and whether it can accommodate the BTU output of additional baseboard heaters. Most boilers can handle a couple of extra radiators, but too many can hinder the heat output of all the radiators on the system.

Spring is right around the corner, and if your family is like many in the U.S., you might be planning to enjoy the upcoming pleasant weather close to home. For families with young children, a backyard swing set provides a way for kids to burn off some energy while staying safe and socially distanced.

So many kids are spending so much more time at home that swing set sales are booming. Market researcher NPD reported an 81 percent increase in outdoor playground equipment in April 2020, one month into the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a swing set, here’s what you should know.

What Is a Swing Set?

A swing set or outdoor playset is a structure for children to play on. The simplest swing sets may have just one or two swings suspended by rope or chains, while larger sets may include a slide, monkey bars, rope ladders or other fun features.

Types of Swing Sets

There are three materials for swing sets: wood, metal and plastic. Some combine all three.

Sets designed for toddlers are most often made of smooth plastic, typically inexpensive and suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Metal, or a combination of metal and plastic, is well-suited to sets that feature multiple swings, slides, gliders and monkey bars. These are also a relatively affordable option.

Wood, especially insect- and rot-resistant cedar, is the most expensive material for swing sets and playsets. It’s the top construction material for huge, elaborate playsets like this one, which includes a clubhouse, climbing wall, picnic table and sandbox.

Pros and Cons of Swing Sets

Here are a few pros and cons of swing sets:

Pros

  • They provide a safe place for kids to play outside where you can keep an eye on them.
  • They can provide years of outdoor enjoyment for your kids and their playmates.
  • They come in various materials, designs and price points.
  • Most can be installed DIY.

Cons

  • Elaborate swing sets — like the one your kids probably want — are expensive.
  • Wood can rot, splinter and attract insects; metal can rust or bend; plastic has a low weight limit.
  • Your kids will outgrow the swing set, after which you’ll need to figure out what to do with it.
  • A swing set is a liability risk in an unfenced yard.

Swing Set Purchase Considerations

Swing sets range in price from about $150 for something basic to several thousand dollars for a playset with all the bells and whistles. If you purchase a large wooden playset, it may come with pricey delivery costs. These sets can weigh 700 lbs. or more. And if the components have to be delivered with a crane truck, the materials will probably be left in your front yard or driveway, to be toted to the backyard by you.

Swing Set Installation

Most swing sets, even the big playsets, come pre-drilled and with all the hardware you need to assemble them. Whether you choose to assemble the playset yourself or pay for professional installation depends on your DIY skills.

If you’re installing a large playset yourself, it’s almost certainly not a one-person job. Remember too, that you need to prepare a level area to locate the set. Leave at least six feet of free space on all sides, and be sure there are no overhanging branches or wires.

Swing Set Maintenance

The folks at Eastern Jungle Gym recommend cleaning, staining and sealing their wooden playsets once a year. Wooden and metal sets should undergo periodic hardware checks to make sure that all bolts are tight.

For metal sets, check for areas where the powdercoat finish may be compromised and subject to rust, and touch up with enamel paint as needed. Plastic swing sets should be brought indoors in winter, as cold temperatures might make the plastic brittle.

Swing Set Safety

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that annually in the U.S., more than 50,000 children go to emergency rooms as a result of home playground accidents. Most injuries are due to kids falling from the swing sets onto hard surfaces.

Although most swing sets are installed over grass or dirt, the CPSC says these surfaces are not soft enough to prevent injury. Instead, they recommend a bed of wood chips, mulch or shredded rubber, or a covering of material made specifically for play areas. They’ve published a handbook on home playground safety that can guide families through the proper installation and maintenance of a home swing set.

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The 2021 virtual version of the International Builders’ Show, IBSx, is just a few weeks away, and as it draws closer details about the event are being revealed. The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the event organizer, recently announced IBSx will bring together at least 300 exhibitors from various segments of the home building industry.

While that number is certainly a far cry from the 2,000 exhibitors that filled the halls of the 2020 IBS, the virtual format of IBSx should allow visitors a more personal and in-depth look at the latest products and services these companies are showcasing at their exhibition booths. Like traditional in-person trade shows, event attendees will be able to chat with exhibitors about their wares and set up individual appointments to speak with exhibitor staff.

“I think the IBSx virtual platform is a great way to share news with a larger audience and reach attendees who do not typically attend the event in person,” said Matt Jones, senior manager of brand experience and design for GE Appliances. “We have crafted a custom virtual experience for each of our brands, just like we do in a physical event, each with unique content that you will only be able to view through attending the show.”

Here are a few of the companies hosting a booth at the IBSx virtual exhibit hall:

  • 3M Construction & Home Improvement Markets;
  • GE Appliances;
  • Huber Engineered Woods;
  • Lowe’s Pro;
  • Masonite International Corporation;
  • MiTek;
  • Schneider Electric;
  • Therma-Tru;
  • Whirlpool Corporation.

For a full list of exhibitors, visit BuilderShow.com.

The exhibit hall will also include live demos and sessions led by exhibitors; on-demand videos providing convenient access to product information; product directories showcasing new innovations; and exclusive giveaways and prizes.

“I am excited to see [the National Association of Home Builders] and its community of builders and exhibitors congregate together virtually to share best practices, new products and to continue to inspire each other,” Jones added.

Registration for IBSx is free for NAHB members and $50 for non-members.