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3 cool tools to make home maintenance easier

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By Sarah Jackson
Herald Writer
Published:
  • The MT-17 ladder has steps on both sides so two people, up to 300 pounds each, can use it at the same time.

    Courtesy of Werner

    The MT-17 ladder has steps on both sides so two people, up to 300 pounds each, can use it at the same time.

  • Wernerīs telescoping ladders, such as this MT-17 model, can be turned into two sturdy scaffold bases. You provide the standing platform.

    Courtesy of Werner

    Wernerīs telescoping ladders, such as this MT-17 model, can be turned into two sturdy scaffold bases. You provide the standing platform.

  • Thanks to a variety of push knobs and spring-loaded locks, Wernerīs telescoping ladders can be transformed into stairway-friendly stepladders. This mo...

    Courtesy of Werner

    Thanks to a variety of push knobs and spring-loaded locks, Wernerīs telescoping ladders can be transformed into stairway-friendly stepladders. This model, the MT-17, also can be turned into a 15-foot extension ladder.

  • Werner's MT-13 telescoping ladder can be transformed from a two-sided step ladder into a 7- or 11-foot-long extension ladder.

    Courtesy of Werner

    Werner's MT-13 telescoping ladder can be transformed from a two-sided step ladder into a 7- or 11-foot-long extension ladder.

  • The Gutter Getter Scoop is made of flexible polypropylene that can be used to clean gutters of various sizes.

    Courtesy of GutterSupply.com

    The Gutter Getter Scoop is made of flexible polypropylene that can be used to clean gutters of various sizes.

  • Gilmourīs full-flow aluminum Y-connector features larger-than-average valve controls and larger openings for unrestricted flow to two garden hoses.

    Sarah Jackson / The Herald

    Gilmourīs full-flow aluminum Y-connector features larger-than-average valve controls and larger openings for unrestricted flow to two garden hoses.

We're here today, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, to get you inspired for home improvement season with three cool tools.
Hint: If you're still doing shopping for Father's Day (June 19), these gadgets could be just the thing, depending on your guy.
Ladder
What: Werner's MT series telescoping multiladder, available in a variety of sizes (starting about $100), is reportedly the company's "most versatile ladder ever."
After seeing pictures of the product in its myriad positions -- and positive online reviews -- it's tough to disagree.
Though Werner's articulating ladder, the M1, is another popular choice, the MT seems to be more useful in tricky places.
Unlike a basic ladder, the aluminum MT has steps on both sides so two people, up to 300 pounds each, can use it at the same time.
Thanks to a variety of push knobs and spring-loaded locks, it also can be transformed into a stairway stepladder with legs that can telescope to dissimilar lengths in 1-foot increments on each side.
Various models are 11, 15, 19 and 23 feet tall, respectively, when they are locked into their extension-ladder positions.
The MT ladders also separate into two sturdy scaffold bases. (You provide the standing platform.)
If you're concerned about being able to lift these ladders, go with one of the two smaller models, the MT-13 or MT-17. Both weigh less than 40 pounds.
Where: Lowe's and The Home Depot and many other stores carry Werner products. You can also check with your local hardware store or see www.wernerladder.com.
Y connector
What: Turn your outdoor faucet into an outlet for two hoses instead of one with a stream splitter known as a Y connector.
You'll have two hoses for watering or one-on-one water fights. You could use one line for watering and another for a drip irrigation system or, maybe, a sprinkler to cool off the kids while you're watering the garden.
Dual valve controls allow you to turn one or both on or off at a time.
Snohomish County master gardener and irrigation expert Jeff Thompson recommends Gilmour's full-flow aluminum Y connector (model AY2FFMGF) for its larger-than-average controls, heavy-duty aluminum construction and its larger openings, twice the size of most other connectors, for unrestricted flow. They usually cost about $9.
Where: Most hardware stores carry Gilmour products. We found this one at Lowe's on Pacific Avenue in Everett and at Amazon.com.
Gutter scoop
What: The flexible polypropylene Gutter Getter Scoop ($5) fits gutters of various sizes, allowing you to keep your hands free of muck.
If you want to go all out, you can upgrade to the full Gutter Getter cleaning kit ($20), which comes with a scoop, a grabber tool with a pointed blade designed to work around gutter hangers, and a three-piece extension pole that allows you to clean 14 feet of gutter without moving your ladder.
You also get two downspout strainers to keep debris out of drain lines.
Where: You can find it at www.guttersupply.com, Amazon.com or, you can skip the shipping costs, and check with your local hardware store.
Sarah Jackson: 425-339-3037, sjackson@heraldnet.com.




Story tags » Real EstateHome ImprovementGardeningInterior decorating

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