We’ve just created this short intro screencast to help you get started setting up your new HomeSpot account. We’ll be adding additional media tutorials over the coming days but this should help your set up your home profile, house maintenance, projects, and more.
I received an email today notifying me that HomeSpot HQ has been selected as a finalist for Idea Cafe’s small business grant. The full list of finalists can be viewed at here.
Followers and fans of HomeSpot can vote by visiting http://www.businessownersideacafe.com/small_business_grants/grant_vote.php (sign up required to become member of Idea Cafe).
I am very proud to announce the launch of HomeSpot HQ.
Visit http://www.homespotHQ.com and register an account to start managing your home maintenance, projects and history.
I had been watching Craigslist for a lawn edger for some time, and happened upon the Black and Decker Edge Hog on clearance. It’s full description and product information can be found here.
First of all, my edging needs are mostly lawn to flower bed rather than lawn to curb, though I do have one stretch along my driveway.
The Edge Hog was easy to put together – simply a couple bolts with large knobs to put the 3 sections of the handle together. There is a reversible secondary handle that also uses a thumbscrew and bolt.
The Edge Hog has 3 depth settings: 1 inch, 1 1/4 inch and 1 1/2 inch. The adjustment is made by moving a guide wheel – again released using a easy to handle knob – on a pivot.
The other nice feature is a guide that can be raised or lowered in order to follow along a curb or driveway.
My first usage was on about a 50 foot length of driveway where the grass was over the concrete in some places and below in others. It took a little getting used to as I aligned the edge guide to the concrete. The edging blade spins counter-clockwise, so any dirt or debris are pushed out in front and away from you as you walk forward. In about 10 minutes, I had a clean line along the driveway. Feeling confident, I thought I’d move on to defining the edge of some existing flowerbeds.
To do these edges I adjusted the depth to 1 1/2 inches and raised the edge guide up and out of the way. I live in North Carolina, where we have dense clay (at least in my yard) but for the most part, the Edge Hog had no trouble cutting a clean line. One nice design feature is that the plastic guard over the blade has a plastic molded line on both the front and rear in alignment with the blade, so you can visually see where the cut is going to be made. I did a length of about 30 feet pretty quickly. Since the groove is only about 1/4 inch wide, the key next step is that I then came back along the groove with a flat edging shovel and dug a small angled trench down to the groove. Since there was a cleanly defined line it was very easy to dig against, and I was very pleased with the edge that was left. It will definitely keep the mulch in place when we refresh it this Fall.
I must say that I am very pleased with the Black and Decker Edge Hog. I’ve since used it to define the edges on several other flower beds and our garden area, and I have not encountered any lack of power from the electric motor, or awkwardness in its handling. I am happy to have come across it, and feel it was well worth the $45.00 I paid.
One of the reasons I am so excited about developing HomeSpot HQ is because of the weekend I just experienced where I completed several projects. Here’s a few of the things that will ultimately feed my HSHQ account:
- I bought a new edger for my yard – so now I have one more owner’s manual to keep track of. HSHQ will help me record the relevant information about this tool, including when and where I purchased it, and either a link to the online version of the owner’s manual from the manufacturer, or a note to myself of where I store the paper version.
- I completed two projects: installing a television antenna and (while I was up there) cleaning the gutters. I will record how these projects happened, including the price of renting the 32′ ladder and the fact that the gutter at the front of the house may need an extra screw to be secured.
- I bought and replaced 6 landscape light bulbs in my yard. I now know what store has the right size, and that I can get a 4-pack for $5. This is a fact that will be recorded in the Home Diary.
- We discovered a pretty large termite nest out in one of our flower beds. Consequently, I would use HSHQ to create a maintenance task to have an annual termite inspection, as well as keep track of the vendor we would use.
- My wife and I started pricing materials to add a patio in our back yard. We found several products that we liked, and these would all be added to a Project entry in HSHQ.
HomeSpot HQ is for homeowners by homeowners. I’m looking forward with great excitement to it’s initial launch soon.
Did you have a productive weekend? Leave a comment and share your story.
Thanks to all who participated in our initial features survey. We had a very satisfying response, and the results helped clarify many of our assumptions about what is important to homeowners.
One particular set of results struck me: when asked about their experience with their homes, 65% of responders indicated they had found themselves needing to match an existing paint color in their home. Here is a basic fact about a room in a home, yet nearly two thirds of people did not have the information available to them to perform what probably was a simple task. We believe HomeSpot HQ can alleviate this frustration.
Further, 100% of responders indicated they would share a compiled history of their homes with the new owners if they were to sell the property. So if you inherited a mystery paint color, you can do your buyer a favor and record and share this fact with them. Instant good karma!
Development is progressing, and we’ll be contacting those people who offered to participate in future surveys and focus groups soon for an early preview of HomeSpot HQ. If you would like to be added to this list, sign up for our Homeowners List.