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Mr. Fix It's Christmas List

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Posted 12-03-2010 at 12:51 PM by Roy Sanborn

As of December 1 there were 1074 residential homes available in the Lakes Region towns covered in this report. The current total is down about 100 units from last month, but up 30 units from last December 1 and represents a 16.5 month inventory supply. The average asking price stood at $548,593 and the median price was $279,900. Just about 30% of the current inventory is under the $200,000, 30% over $400,000, and 60% in the mid-price ranges.

It’s the holiday shopping season so I thought I would help out all the ladies that are looking for a holiday gift for their do-it-yourselfer husband. There should be no need for agonizing over a gift for him as long as you get him some kind of tool that will turn, drill, sand, hammer, whir, heat, cut, nail, staple, weld, pump, or suck. The best gifts are usually battery powered and they should make noise. But even the simplest and least expensive hand tools are appreciated. Don’t worry if you don’t know if he has got one of those things or not, because having two or three of the same wrench, screwdriver, or tape measure is important because he probably can’t find the other ones he has anyway. So here are some gifts that can put your holiday shopping for him behind you quickly. These items are generally easy to find at your local hardware store, Lowes, Home Depot, or WalMart . We like to make life simple for you. So here’s my Christmas list for you in no particular order:

10. Some tools suck and that’s important when you have to clean up a mess. A good shop vac is always important in any home. You’ll be very happy you gave him one when the cellar floods or the tub overflows. Check out the Sear ‘s 10 gallon 3.5 HP Wet or Dry Shop Vac Model # 9601000 . Listed on line for $127.20.

9. Leathermans are great! No, a Leatherman is not a dusty old cowboy. It’s a multi-function pair of pliers that also cuts wire, has a screwdriver with multiple bits and a very sharp knife. The new Skeletool (he’ll like the name) version weighs only 5 ounces and is made of stainless steel. He’ll be impressed with your taste and at only $57.00 or so it’s a good stocking stuffer. Lowes and WalMart are listed dealers for these but you’ll probably find them elsewhere as well.

8. Seeing is believing and being able to see is critical when trying to fix something. A Maglite flashlight is a must for any home or shop. These flashlights are made out of machined aluminum and come in different sizes. The newest Maglite XL-100 has LED bulbs and five modes including strobe, night light, signal, and SOS (that would be when he is stuck under the car and can’t get out). This flashlight runs about forty bucks and is available at Lowes, Home Depot, WalMart and many local hardware stores. Buy yourself a small one for your pocketbook, too…

7. If you want your husband to level with you, get him a Strait-Line Laser Level and he will have no more excuses. These are available everywhere for about $15 or so.

6. Pick up a stud finder while you are getting the laser level. The Stud Finder is not for you. It is to help hubbie find the studs in your living room wall so he can hang up pictures of your kids. Zircon makes a bunch of different ones (actually called “Studsensors”)and you can get a good one for $20-30. Available and most hardware stores and cocktail lounges.

5. Hanging pictures on a wall can be a real pain, especially if you have to hang three or four in a row and you want to get them all just right. It never fails that you’ll end up putting multiple holes in the wall before you get them hung in the right position. You’ve seen a tool on TV that can get the job done right the first time. Go to Amazon.com and type in “picture hanging tool” and you’ll see the Under the Roof Decorating Hang and Level Picture Hanging Tool Part #6-100101 pop up.It’s only about $15 but it’s worth a heck of a lot more!

4. Men like to hammer nails, but it is a real pain when you can’t swing the hammer like you need to when you are in small or tight places. Craftsman makes the Cordless Hammerhead Auto Hammer that solves that problem. It may not seem like a great gift to you, but trust me, he’ll think it is. Available at Sears for $79.99.

3. Any tool that drills or cuts is cool especially when you don’t have a cord to restrict you. Ryobi offers an 18 volt 2 piece starter set which includes a drill, circular saw, charger, and carry bag for $99.00. There are plenty of other sets available from manufacturers like Black and Decker, Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee. Check them out and make sure you get him an extra battery so he can keep working when the first one runs out of juice. If it makes noise, he’ll love you for it. Check any of the big box stores and your local hardware store for the best deal.

2. If you live in the Lakes Region and have a big deck to keep clear of snow in the winter and hubbie’s back is not what it used to be, Toro makes some smaller snow blowers with rubber blades that work great on wood surfaces. I’ve had one for about 20 years and it still runs perfect. They make an electric version called the Power Curve 1800 for about $300 and a gas version for just about $400.I’d go with the gas version just to avoid getting tangled in the cord. It’s hard enough
dealing with all the Christmas lights! Available at True Value hardware stores and Home Depot. The best tool in the garage.

1. Finally, a Duct Tape and Gorilla Glue Gift Ensemble will surely please even the most difficult guy to buy for. Cheap and sticky…
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