American Standard adds fun and safety to bath time
For some children — and by extension, their parents — bath time is a chore. American Standard’s new FunBath tub conversion is designed to make bath time more enjoyable.
This bath conversion kit fits over an existing standard 60-inch bathtub to make bath time safer, more comfortable and even uses less water.
“Until now, child baths were little more than no frills plastic tubs designed primarily for infants without thought of toddlers or preschoolers,” says Rob Buete, vice president and general manager of the American Standard Safety Tubs division. “This conversion transforms a standard tub into a breathtaking children’s bath that will be enjoyed for many years.”
Easy installation gives parents the freedom to bathe their children in comfort, while eliminating common bathroom hazards such as slips and falls, as well as injuries to parents caused by stooping and lifting little ones over a traditional bathtub.
The kid-friendly acrylic tub deck fits atop a strong powder-coated aluminum frame that is concealed by a decorative apron front. Parents can decorate the FunBath with removable wall decals from RoomMates®, featuring popular children’s characters: Little Mermaid, SpongeBob SquarePants, Elmo, and Lightning McQueen. In addition, both a fire truck, and princess castle front are available for the FunBath.
There are no plumbing additions required because the FunBath ties into existing plumbing with little effort and can be removed without damage to the existing tub, according to the manufacturer.
Swanson unveils innovative tools
A five tools in one Speed Bevel and a compact lighted level are two of the latest innovations from Swanson Tools.
The lighted level is designed for plumbers, electricians and carpenters to fill a need in the 9-inch torpedo category. The new Savage Lightning from Swanson combines the top-of-the-line features that professionals depend on with an easy-to-use level that anybody can afford. The Savage Lightning combines and extends the features of two successful Swanson level lines, the 24- and 48-inch Lightening Level and the 9-inch Savage and 6-inch Lil’ Savage torpedo levels.
The Savage Lightning is also magnetic.
The company’s Speed Bevel is made from tough, light-weight, high-impact ABS composite and offers the following five functions– a framing/rafter square, a try square, a miter square, an angle finder/protractor and a sliding T-bevel.
Users simply unsnap it and loosen the large thumb screw and you have a fully functional sliding The product folds to just over one inch high and two inches wide, so it fits easily in your toolbox, tool belt or even your back pocket.
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Readers Respond: Home prices and the media
When luxury home builder Toll Brothers posted its second-quarter earnings, executive chairman Robert Toll questioned the accuracy of the media’s reporting on home prices.
Here’s what he said: "We question the recent media headlines announcing that home prices continue to fall. Many studies quoted in the media combine distressed sales data, including foreclosures and short sales, with new and/or non-distressed existing-home sales data. We believe that averaging distressed and non-distressed sales data provides a misleading picture to the public regarding home-price direction.
"In contrast to these reports, we are experiencing flat-to-slightly-increasing pricing in most markets. As consumers better understand that prices are firming, we believe they will gain confidence, which will help release some of the pent-up demand that must be building in the market."
Here is how our readers responded:
“Obviously, Mr. Toll needs a reality check. Blended prices are indeed a true representation of real-time pricing of available housing options for buyers. Certainly Toll Bros’ higher-end ‘new’ home offerings may have bottomed from their perspective, but in every market I can imagine, there are very high-quality options for interested buyers — all at huge discounts, and the market continues to see more homes coming to market. This dynamic will likely be with us for two more years.
“Simply check with County Tax folks to see what upscale properties are being sold at today versus a year ago, and which are now being reassessed at much lower taxable value.”
— Mike Hatfield
“Not to be too cynical, but it has been proven over and over the last several years that this country’s news media cannot be trusted. Reporting as front page news a slight increase in GDP, a decline in unemployment benefits sought, home price changes, etc., all supportive to this administration’s agenda, only to find out later the real numbers are nowhere near as positive should not be editorially buried in the back pages if even reported. Yes, the media is highly biased (just like its readers), but their bias is never reflected by a balance in an opposite perspective. Our local news, The Tulsa World, is a very liberal, populist, leftist leaning newspaper printed in the ‘reddest’ state as seen in the last general election’s numbers — a liberal print and point being subscribed to by a conservative base.”
— Chris Cole
“Yes, home prices are falling. I live in a great neighborhood (Grand Rapids, Cascade Township, Mich.) in one of the top school districts (Forest Hills Public Schools) in the state. Three years ago, homes were selling within two to three weeks in the $165,000 to $170,000 price range. The home next door has been sitting for two and a half years. I checked on Monday, are they are asking $148,900. And in the past three weeks they had exactly three couples go through. I work from home so I know when they show it. The home is vacant, in move-in condition. Newer white kitchen appliances are included, yet here it sits. There are three other homes for sale in this neighborhood (120 homes). Homes here are not moving even at greatly reduced prices. I was thinking of selling in a year but will have to hold on for at least two years.”
— Don Z.
“Certainly the foreclosed properties are influencing home prices, but my larger concern is the Case-Schiller Price Index that everyone looks at as a ‘scientific guide’ for home prices. It is nothing more than an average of prices of homes sold in a given time period. It has no bearing on the value of my home or any other. If mostly foreclosed homes sell this month then that index will be down. If we suddenly sell a bunch of upper-end homes, that index will be up.
“Neither tells me anything about my home value or any other. The media needs to qualify the value of this report or stop using it.”
— Gary Allen
A home's value is precisely
A home's value is precisely what someone will pay for it. The idea of intrinsic value in a home has been undercut. If the Case-Shiller or Core Logic data lead potential buyers to reduce their offers, by definition it is affecting the value of a home, whether I as the homeowner think it should or not. Similarly, if distressed sale homes are viewed as potential substitutes by home buyers, then they will also affect the value of competing homes. Again, wishing it weren't so, or being indignant about it doesn't change that. The question may be whether the PERCEPTION that these distressed homes are available and depressing prices has been "created" by media reports, thereby leading to an expectation among buyers that they can expect even greater discounts. In the end, it is moot--the seller does not have to accept a low ball offer, and the buyer is free to up his offer to what he believes is the "value" of the home.