Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Cincinnati Home & Garden Show '09

Yes, we buckled and went. Of course, we went to Home Depot and got $2 off the $11 ticket price first.

I have to say, the last time we went was 2 years ago, and we were looking to buy just about everything in the place at that time; windows, doors, metal roofing, insulation, carpeting... blah blah et cetera.

It was really nice to have gotten past that stage.

No, this time we were on a mission. A central vac mission.

You'd think that most of the booths at the show only had a few things to offer: retaining walls and fireplaces. It was actually quite annoying. There was a distinct lack of creativity.

Oh look, a fountain. and a rock wall.

Let's move on.... to another fountain. and a rock wall. and a fireplace.

Ok, there were a couple of creative layouts and designs, but they were scarce. Like this one, if you have $50K to blow on your backyard, the flat water pond and square stepping stones is it for me.

But this is the guy we came to see: Jason from Kirkwood Sweepers.

Because we laid all the Central Vac tubing before the drywall was installed, we're now ready for the rest of the shebang, and Jason led the way.

We knew we wanted the regular system, the vac unit and the sweeper with the 30' flex tube (and btw: they make vac 'socks' for the flexi tube so that it doesn't mar the trim in your house... and apparently someone makes these socks in snakeskin fabric. How's that for freaking out the guests, eh?) but there was something we didn't expect to see: the Vroom.

The Vroom is a small under cabinet unit that can attach to a central vac unit anywhere in your house. As you pull out the hose from the unit, it automatically turns on and extends out 24 feet.

Here, Jason is holding one in his right hand. The main sweeper unit for the whole house vac is in front of him and runs about $400. The vacuum unit itself (no picture) also runs about $400.

Actually, in the picture above, there are 4 different types of vacuum outlet. 1. In the wall behind the 4x5" white plate. 2. The long tubed one in front. 3. The under cabinet Vroom 4. The under the cabinet plinth secret suction door.

The small white 4x5" panel on the wall behind Jason is another central vac pullout unit that coils up in the wall and extends 50 feet, with an automatically retracting spool. The downside is that is takes up a lot of room in your wall, but the good news is that if you can spare it, you'll always have a place to store the 50' flexi-tube.

Here's a little bit of literature on the Vroom they gave us. The whole unit cost $200.

I know what I want for my birthday.

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