The Nuts and Bolts: March 11, 2014

The nuts and bolts column.

HIRI Announces Spring Conference

The Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI) has announced its agenda for its 2014 Spring Conference. This year’s conference is titled “Paths to Knowing Home Improvement” and will be held on April 10, 2014 in Orlando, FL.

“We are very excited about the agenda for this year’s conference.” said Fred Miller, Managing Director of HIRI. “As the home improvement market continues its rebound, companies are looking for ways to get new insights that can help them capitalize on these trends. This conference will arm attendees with a variety of tools to get that job done.”

Information on the conference and a link to registration can be found by going to

LG Electronics' Duct-Free HVAC Products Recognized As ENERGY STAR® “Most Efficient”

Underscoring its energy efficiency leadership in the U.S. HVAC market, LG Electronics USA recently announced that 14 duct-free LG air-conditioning models, more models than any other brand, have achieved the coveted ENERGY STAR "Most Efficient" 2014 designation.

The ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation was designed to advance highly efficient products in the marketplace that are truly exceptional.

For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit

Industry Pros Recognize Trex With High Honors

Trex Company, the world's largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing, recently received top honors from two of the industry's most respected reader surveys – Green Builder Media's 2014 Reader's Choice Awards and Peninsula Publishing's 2013 Building Products Brand Survey.

In the decking products category, Green Builder Media 2014 Reader's Choice Awards, voters selected Trex® decking as the "greenest" in the industry. This accolade comes on the heels of recognition by the readers of Builder & Developer, Green Home Builder and, who collectively ranked Trex the number one preferred decking brand in the industry in Peninsula Publishing's 2013 Building Products Brand Survey.

For more information about Trex’s green products visit

15th Annual Northwest Design Awards Competition Winners Announced

Top regional interior designers were named at Seattle Design Center's 15th annual Northwest Design Awards Gala at Seattle Design Center in Seattle.

Designers, architects and students submitted 120 projects in 14 competition categories. A panel of West Coast industry experts evaluated submissions through an anonymous process, measuring each project on the basis of proportion, composition, use of space, materials and appropriateness of the design solution.

This year's categories were: Bathroom; Best Individual Room: Contemporary; Best Individual Room: Traditional; Commercial; Exotic Retreats; Hospitality; Kitchen; Modest Budget, Big Impact; Most Innovative Design Component; Small Design Firm Luminary; Student; Textiles; Whole House (less than $400,000); Whole House (more than $400,000).

For more information and a list of the winners go to

California Cities to Empower Residents to Save Water Through HERO Program

As California continues to deal with ongoing drought conditions, more than 120 communities across the state are preparing to enable local property owners to reduce their water usage through cost-efficient upgrades financed by the HERO Program. Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) is a fast-spreading program that allows property owners to pay for water and energy-efficiency upgrades through their property tax bills. More than 120 cities will offer HERO programs to local property owners this year.

By taking advantage of HERO financing, property owners can install a wide variety of water and energy-efficiency systems including rainwater catchment, drip irrigation, smart sprinkler, weather smart irrigation, gray water recycling, and wastewater management. High efficiency toilet installations are also eligible under the program.

A list of participating cities can be seen at