Michigan-based companies help improve your home

Article by America’s Master Handyman® – Glenn Haege

Each year, I receive information about hundreds of home improvement products, but I am particularly interested in products from Michigan-based companies. There are a lot of companies in Michigan with products that are just as good, if not better, than any other products in their category.

Over the years I have listed many products from Michigan companies in my columns. Here are some additional Michigan products you should consider using around your home while helping support our local businesses.

” This time of year, snow removal is on the minds of most homeowners in Michigan. And if you read my recent article on snow removal, you know that shoveling and lifting snow is not only bad for your back, it can cause heart attacks for many people.

Two Michigan-based companies that have invented better snow shovels to make the job easier are SnowPusherLite from TRW Innovations in Auburn Hills, (248) 866-1315, www.snowpusherlite.com, and the Snow Scoop from Silver Bear Manufacturing, (877) 483-4077, www.silverbear.biz, based in the Upper Peninsula.

The SnowPusherLite is an innovative snow removal tool that is a lightweight, wide snow pusher that enables you to push the snow rather than lift it, eliminating the potential stress you can put on your back and heart with standard snow shovels.

The Snow Scoop from Silver Bear is another innovative product that enables you to actually scoop up the heavy snow like a dump truck to deposit it, rather than having to lift it with a shovel. The company also makes roof rakes to help you prevent those nasty ice dams on your roof.

” With everyone’s fireplaces heating up for the winter, it’s a great time to buy fireplace accessories from Michigan’s Fire Gear, (734) 595-3550, www.firegearusa.com. The company designs and manufacturers gas logs and designer hearth systems, decorative fireplace rocks, fireplace jewelry that adds “pop” to your gas fires, and even remote control systems.

” If you use power tools around the home, you might want to consider also using the Ultra SafeSound Mack’s Earplugs from McKeon Products in Warren, (586) 427-7560, www.macksearplugs.com. These soft foam earplugs have a high noise-reduction rating of 32 decibels and are great for anyone using noisy snow blowers, leaf blowers or power saws.

” There is nothing more frustrating than having the bolts that connect your toilet seat to the bowl become loose, causing the seat to wobble and slide back and forth. Instead of having to re-tighten the bolts on a regular basis, a new invention from Yukon Seat Grip of Royal Oak, (248) 541-0200, www.yukonseatgrip.com, prevents the bolts from slipping and keeps the seat permanently secured to the toilet bowl.

” Speaking of toilets, Northville-based Penguin Toilet, (248) 773-7616, www.penguintoilets.com, is the maker of the unique Penguin anti-overflow toilet. This toilet has a secondary drain system that stops the toilet from overflowing by allowing the contents to drain through a separate drain line in the event of a clog in the main trap, similar to the overflow drains that sinks and bathtubs have.

” If you are looking for a way to secure deck posts, in-ground basketball poles or fence posts, check out the Michigan-made Fail-Safe Form Footer from WP Fail-Safe, (586)726-0680, www.wpfailsafe.com. This product is a plastic molded unit that provides a form for pouring cement footers, making the process of cementing a post hole easier and more stable.

In Michigan, we often talk about diversifying our business base. But based on the amount of products for the home available from Michigan-based companies, I’d say we are well on our way to reaching that goal. This is just a small sample of the many quality companies that call Michigan home. If you know of other home-improvement products from Michigan-based companies, drop me a note to askglenn@masterhandyman.com.

Reprinted from America’s Master Handyman® Glenn Haege
Publication date: 12/25/2009
URL: http://masterhandyman.com/columndetails.cfm?pubdate=20091225