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2F: Around the house

Things you might want to know.

By JUDY STARK
Published December 2, 2006


Tour Katrina cottages online

Lots of readers have been intrigued by the "Katrina cottages" - small, hurricane-worthy cottages designed for reconstruction along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina, an improvement on boxlike FEMA trailers. Lowe's, which is selling the cottages in Mississippi and Louisiana, has created a Web site where readers can look at images and floor plans and find answers to common questions. Visit www.lowes.com/loweskatrinacottages.

This product nails better-built homes

The HurriQuake nail by Bostitch is the Grand Award Winner/Innovation of the Year, as well as top product of the year in the Home Tech category, according to Popular Science magazine. "The bottom section is circled with angled barbs that resist pulling out in wind gusts up to 170 mph," PopSci says. "This 'ring shank' stops halfway up to leave the middle of the nail, which endures the most punishment during an earthquake, at its maximum thickness and strength. The blade-like facets of the nail's twisted top - the spiral shank - keep planks from wobbling, which weakens a joint. The nail's head is 25 percent larger than average to better resist counter-sinking and pulling through." Details at www.bostitch.com. The manufacturer says it costs only about $15 more to build a house using HurriQuakes. Read about the top 10 products in 10 categories at www.popsci.com; read more about the HurriQuake and its inventor in the December Popular Science.

Keep kids safe for the holidays

Before the grandkids get here for the holidays, safety-proof your home. (And when you take the kids to visit Nana and Poppy, give their house a safety once-over.) At www.colgateprotection.com, Colgate-Palmolive and the Home Safety Council have teamed up to offer safety tips. Explore a home room by room and note the danger points. Activities and quizzes for kids too.

Compiled by Homes and Garden editor Judy Stark