The Nuts and Bolts: New Website Offers Remodeling Reality Check

The Nuts and Bolts hero image. Helps Homeowners and Residential Remodeling Contractors, a new website whose mission is to help homeowners achieve remodeling success, is making residential remodeling contractors across the country very happy.

"Contractors have written us nice letters saying, 'Finally, a website I can feel comfortable recommending to homeowners. I can't wait to share it,'" said Monica D. Higgins, founder of the online remodeling resource.

"Remodel Einstein shows homeowners the truth – remodeling is not an easy, concise process featuring hunky remodelers, instant home makeovers and unrealistic budgets often portrayed on home improvement reality TV shows," said Higgins.

The site inspires and educates homeowners by providing them with a reality check and the step-by-step guiding hand of experience so they can achieve remodeling success and avoid costly mistakes that can drain pocketbooks, strain relationships, and turn the American dream into a nightmare.

They offer homeowners access to easy-to-follow video lessons from remodeling experts. For a total hassle-free experience, each online course is available at your fingertips, on demand from your smartphone, tablet or desktop.

"Every homeowner deserves a successful remodel. So, it's great having contractors sharing Remodel Einstein with their clients, as well as with other contractors. But, we're mostly proud of helping homeowners realize the vision of their dream home without running into problems, delays and budget busting surprises," she said.

Remodel Einstein has a special offer for new customers: The first course, Module 1 – Conceptualize is available for only $9.99 with Promo Code 50%OFFNOW.

24 additional video courses will cover topics that reveal industry insider secrets that show you how to avoid the biggest renovation traps that consistently take homeowners across the nation by surprise.

For information go to:

New KitchenAid® Gas Cooktops: Designed For Cooking Enthusiasts

Tapping into nearly a century of iconic design, innovation and craftsmanship, KitchenAid has introduced a line of six professionally-inspired gas cooktops representing a new level of premium aesthetics and performance for the brand.

"Our goal with these newest cooktops is to catch the eye and raise the pulse of cooking enthusiasts with easily visible upgrades in craftsmanship, performance and fit, feel and finish," said Beth Robinson, senior manager of brand experience for KitchenAid. "The kitchen may be the heart of the home, but it's the cooktop that's the heart of the kitchen, which for cooks makes it the single most important vehicle for expressing their passion and creativity."

Designed to meet a wide range of cooking needs, these latest cooktops are equipped with a variety of burners ranging from 5K to 20K BTUs. Depending on the model, all-purpose Multiflame or Professional Dual Ring burners allow cooks to go from a boil to a simmer without changing burners. For more control of the flame at the lowest setting, a diffuser plate incorporated into an Even-Heat™ Simmer Burner allows for more precise simmering and melting of sauces, butter, chocolate and other delicate ingredients.

To help protect the cooktops from spills and stains that may occur with high-tem

To help protect the cooktops from spills and stains that may occur with high-temperature cooking – and to ensure they will look clean and bright longer – the new models feature CookShield, a permanent finish that makes it easy to wipe surfaces clean without harsh chemicals.

The new cooktops, available in 30" and 36" models, combine professional-style design with a number of sleek and practical touches more suitable for the home. Each features Multi-Finish Knobs with a unique barrel design for precise dialing, a non-slip brushed metal surface, sleek chrome highlights, and an easy-to-clean satin texture. In certain models, the knobs incorporate LED back lighting that glows elegantly from the bezel, both for visual effect and to indicate when the cooktop is turned on.

All models feature full-width cast iron grates, electronic ignition and LP conve

All models feature full-width cast iron grates, electronic ignition and LP conversion kits for use with LP gas. Two models offer a removable, non-stick griddle.

Available beginning in September, the new KitchenAid gas cooktops will carry suggested retail prices of $1,099 to $1,899.

To learn why chefs choose KitchenAid for their homes more than any other brand, visit

Energy Education Council Highlights Six Easy Ways Homeowners Can Prepare for Winter Weather

This year's winter weather predictions agree that much of the country will experience below normal temperatures. The Energy Education Council encourages you to take some simple steps before these cold temperatures set in to help keep warm air in your home and money in your pocket by making your home more energy efficient.

"Most winterizing steps can pay for themselves relatively quickly with heating bill savings," said Molly Hall, executive director of the Energy Education Council. "Don't overlook simple energy-saving steps such as letting the sun warm rooms on sunny days or closing the damper when the fireplace is not in use. These are effective energy-saving tips that cost you nothing."

Lowering the thermostat is the easiest way to save energy. Energy use is reduced for every degree dialed down. Turn it down when you are away from home or sleeping, and keep it to the lowest comfortable level when you are home. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature.

Use these tips to help keep the cold air outside and to cut costs to heat your home:

  • Before firing up your heating system, make sure the furnace and heaters are in good working order, and have a professional check and service your furnace system to ensure peak efficiency and safety.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filter every month to save energy and improve heat circulation. Dust and dirt slow down air flow. This makes the system work harder, which wastes energy and costs more money.
  • Seal all air leaks around your home with weather stripping or caulking. There may be gaps that contribute to the loss of heat in your home. Some common areas to find air leaks include: windows, doors, the attic hatch, wiring holes, plumbing vents, furnace vents, dryer vents, and recessed lighting.
  • Make sure walls, attics, and flooring, especially above unheated spaces such as crawl spaces and garages, are properly insulated, and repair any leaks on the roof.
  • Replace window screens with storm windows. If you have older or leaky windows that you cannot replace, use temporary fixes such as plastic film kits that create the effect of an interior storm window.
  • Electric space heaters can be useful to heat small areas, such as a study or living room. However, if you need to keep large areas warm, your home heating system will do the job more efficiently. If a space heater is being used, make sure the wiring is adequate, and check for cord fraying, splitting wires, or overheating. Do not place a portable heater in high-traffic areas. Keep it clear of anything flammable, and do not leave it on unattended.

For more information on energy efficiency and safety, visit