Smart Vent Smarts

Smart Vent Smarts

Hurricane Sandy Struck With A Vengeance

Post Sandy Flooding On A Jersey Street

The Post Sandy Era of flood zone construction.

$30 Billion in Losses.

346,000 New Jersey homes destroyed or damaged.

3 years later, and still there are people not back home.

These ghastly numbers have prompted regulation officials & homeowners alike to go out & seek a product that would change all this.

They’ve found just that in the Smart Vent.
From drastically decreased flood insurance premiums to automated venting activation convenience to pre-approved flood regulatory status,  here’s 7 reasons flood zoners will be getting smart with the Smart Vent, & fast.

Smart Vent Revolution

7 Reasons Flood Zoners Need To Go with Smart Vent

*price for contractors only.

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Getting Ready For The Sell: Overspending, much?



Getting Ready For The Sell: Overspending, much?

“Yes, Monday the 12th is fine… Yes, of course you can bring the buyer…Ok, see you at 9.”

Hang Up. Panic. Just over a month to get this house in order, & then it’s game time.  The newly stained front door will fling open to eagerly awaiting buyers, their discerning eyes probing, eyebrows arching over your paltry attempt to provide satisfactory answers to their piercing forensic queries (how did they even realize to ask about “the mold incident” in the attic 2 years ago!?).

So much is riding on the smooth sale of your current place of residence- you’ve already closed on the new house. Expenses are accumulating. A person tends to panic into thinking the house in not presentable enough. A compulsive need to spend more takes over. The need to justify the asking price. You need to act. You need to act now.

The process of selling a home can prove to be an emotionally exhaustive time, writes Ellen James Martin of the Chicago Tribune. This emotional state of being can interfere with the critical need for rational thinking in realtime- namely when it comes to budgeting expenses in getting the house ready.

Well, the fear is over. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to come out on top of the quicky-affordable-remodeling game without panicking into breaking the bank:

  1. Clean Modern Interior Decor Is More Affordable Than Ever:
    White Shaker Cabinets are an affordable way to raise your home's "modern" level

    White Shaker Cabinets are an affordable way to raise your home’s “modern” level

    Let’s face it. Where home buyers are concerned, Modern = Upgraded. An easy way to spruce up your home is by going mod-clean vibe on cabinets & accessories in the kitchen. Incredibly, According to the design experts at Home Surplus, trends in kitchen cabinet design are running parallel to affordable cabinet lines. Take the Shaker style cabinet for example. The white shaker cabinet look is the first on Better Homes & Gardens Trends in Kitchen Cabinets list, yet is one of the more affordable styles on the market (might I even say ‘Lower End Pricing’).

2. Shop With The Sales: Decking out your home is pricey, right? High ticket purchase, yadda yadda. WRONG. Like every retail engine, home supply outlets thrive on the sale. Holidays, Year’s End, Closeouts On Styles. They need to move out inventory to bring in new stuff, clear warehouse space, etc., just like everyone else. It behooves the home remodeler to take advantage of these opportunities, because 4 words: The savings are thousands. That’s in USD. And you can still get your high design kicks by doing the right research, consulting a designer, & staying on top of it.

3. Exterior Matters:

Exteriors Matter.

Exteriors Matter.

First impression are everything, guys. If that’s news to you, you need to get out a bit more. Walking down the street, you even enjoy walking the dog more on the nicer, more ritzy, put together blocks- makes you feel better about yourself, right? Give your potential buyer the opportunity to experience the best of your house. Exterior door. Door Handle. Mat. (Fresh paint job wouldn’t hurt neither). Because when the buyer wins, you win.

Putting the right thought & research into when, what, where & how you’ll be ready when that first buyer crosses your threshold can literally mean the difference between thousands of dollars, tons of stress units, & a happier you.






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9 Hot Kitchen Trends 2016

9 hot kitchen trends 2016 

and now, so can you!

The Kitchen. Sigh.

Here’s a lovely infographic depiction of the trends that you can expect your designer friends to be instituting come 2016.

Kitchen Trends Are Trending

Kitchen Trends 2016: And Now, So Can You!

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From One Veteran To Another: A Veterans Day Salute

A story of resilience in the face of loss

From One Vet To Another: Roman’s Story

From One Veteran To Another: A Veterans Day Salute


The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The hostilities of World War One grind to a halt as Armistice Day takes effect.

And the world is silent. The Great War- The War to End All Wars- has ripped a hole in the heart of humanity. No one knows where to turn. Where does one look when the sum total of their entire understanding of life is obliterated before their very eyes?

We Turn To Our Veterans.

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

President Woodrow Wilson. Champion of a day in which we stop & attempt to make sense of the horrors of war, & the toll it demands of us.

And the Veterans are our only connection- our only hope of understanding.

Home Surplus is honored to share the story of our very own Mr. Roman F., who embodies the discipline & ethics the military instills in its soldiers & passes on those lessons daily to his employees.

Drafted in 1969 during the Vietnam War era, young Roman completed his basic training & went on to excel as a Supply & Transportation Specialist for the famous 1st Infantry Division- the “Big Red One”. From Fort Dix, NJ and Fort Polk, LA, the 1st Infantry found a home in Fort Riley, Kansas.

Soon after his arrival, the weary 1st Infantry was pulled from active combat in Vietnam to be replaced by the 5th Army.

The 1st Infantry perfected the use of the  helicopter in jungle combat. Photo:

The 1st Infantry perfected the use of the helicopter in jungle combat. Photo:

Roman relates how the Division was nearly wiped out after the troops ran into a tightly dug in force of Viet Cong during one amphibious landing. Friends fell that day. Brothers.

The Division suffered 20,770 casualties over the course of the war.

An excerpt from the Society of the 1st Division website reveals astounding testimony to the various strategic achievements of Big Red One during the war:

“For nearly five years, the First Infantry Division soldiers battled against an aggressive enemy who made expert use of the dense jungles and inaccessible countryside. During this conflict, the First Infantry Division had mastered the use of helicopters as one of the best means of countering the jungle and lack of roads; gained significant experience in resupply operations, medical evacuation and the tactics of air mobile assault; instituted numerous other tactical innovations; and provided extensive civic action support to the South Vietnamese people. Eleven Big Red One soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions.”

Following nearly five years of combat in Vietnam, the 1st Infantry Division returned to Fort Riley in April 1970 and assumed the NATO commitment.  Photo: DPTMS.Museum

Following nearly five years of combat in Vietnam, the 1st Infantry Division returned to Fort Riley in April 1970 and assumed the NATO commitment.
Photo: DPTMS.Museum

Roman learned the intricacies of logistics in the context of the military, in one of history’s most celebrated US Army divisions. “The skills & experience I gained from my time as Supply Specialist for 1st Infantry laid the groundwork for my entire professional career.”

“Providing customers timely, thorough service is not much different than supplying soldiers in uniform, I find,” he observes. “I approach each job with an attention to detail & expert knowledge of the materials & process.” Any slight deviation could jeopardize the mission. Or a person’s entire kitchen.

The Cold War saw a fair share of saber-rattling from the world powers, & Roman’s division was transferred to Germany as part of the NATO War Games. When they arrived, Roman discovered that the US troops were being withheld certain critical rations from their foreign handlers, & decided to take action.

“That night, the guards at our camp were surprised by lines of trucks arriving unscheduled, laden with beef & other necessary supplies,” He remembers with glee. “These guys hadn’t seen stuff like this in weeks.”

At a time of bleak uncertainty amongst the troops & the world’s population of democracy, Roman managed against all odds to inject hope & raise the moral of his Division. His officers were grateful. Roman was rewarded a weeks leave to Denmark, fully paid.

Roman went on to complete his service with ranks, joining the reserves for 3 years in 812 MP Company stateside.

Resilience in the face of loss. Questioning the status quo. Taking action to change lives.

These are the lessons we learn from Roman, & from all Veterans on The 11th Day; Veterans Day.

We salute our veterans. We remember the fallen. And we pray for a lasting peace in the world.

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Back To The Furniture: A History of Cabinets 101, & How That Changes Everything

Back To The Furniture

Home Surplus Presents A History of Cabinets 101

Back to the Furniture.

History is a fascinating fusion of time, human intervention, mistakes & progress.

And it’s everywhere.

The journey each of us takes in our own lives to get us to where we are reading this article right here and now runs laterally to the history of the Earth in real-time.

The history of the New York Mets, from their landmark 1986 world title win until that of today.

The Back To The Future Movies- films that produced The Apple Google Generation; literally raising & affording them the capacity for imagination; for creativity; for innovation.

Watching the development of what we love in the 20/20 hindsight of history gives unprecedented meaning & hope to those things. It’s why watching those fuzzy home videos our parents or grandparents took are so wildly enthralling, yet at the same time, the very reason why the videos our own children & their kids will see will be that much more clear.

It’s the changing of the leaves to their autumn hues; why that warm feeling coupled with a touch of bygone-summer sadness resounds so strongly in our psyche.

Sigh relief out one nostril whilst simultaneously sighing the vastness of time & space out the other.

Which brings us to cabinets. Doors. Things like these. Things in your home smelling of deep wood grain & heart; of hiking through the woods.

Your woods.

It’s why these things matter- we live more with our  associations with what surrounds us than with the actual things themselves. We define them. But that’s why we are ultimately in control.

“Back to the Furniture” celebrates the journey current popular styles in cabinetry took to get into our kitchens and lives.

But it’s more. It’s a celebration of the freedom our control of perception & optimism grants us.

Because that’s what we love.

Celebrate what you love! Enjoy!

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Yogi Berra Talks Shop

The Great Yogi Berra passed away this week at the age of 90.

Although his legacy was cemented in the annals of baseball history for his time with the NY Yankees, he will always fondly be known as an orator par excellence for his coined “Yogi-isms”.

Now, you may asking, “Charles, what do Yogi-isms have to do with Home Surplus?”

The answer: everything.

For how do we bloom in life if not by channeling the atmospheric wisdoms we may encounter & incorporating them into what we know best?

(read: it makes for G.B.M- Great Blog Material)

It is only befitting that we honor Yogi’s memory today by taking his awesome contribution to English literary prose and applying it in a segment called: “Shop Talk with Yogi Berra”.

Shop Talk With Yogi



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Six Tips For Your Newest Paint Projects

A few fast and simple tips for your upcoming paint projects.

A few fast and simple tips for your upcoming paint projects.

If you’re going to be taking on some of those long put-off paint jobs this month, here are six tips that should give you better results when the job is done.
1 – Carefully examine all of the wall and trim surfaces where you’re going to be applying fresh paint. If you see spots that still have rough patches from spackle or filler be sure and sand these out smoothly. Even the best paint won’t hide uneven or poorly repaired gouges or fastener holes.
2 – Buy a brand name of known quality. It may be more expensive, but “bargain” mixes in high quantity will only provide you with more painted square footage that looks sub-standard.
3 – When you purchase your paint, buy and set aside a pint of the exact same color for future use as a “touch-up” can.
4 – For ceiling paint, ALWAYS avoid high gloss or shiny finishes.
5 – Use blue painter’s tape for protecting trim and moulding. Regular masking tape can wrinkle up and let newly applied paint bleed under it. Also, regular masking tape will leave a sticky residue from its own adhesive that will mean an extra step to remove it before tackling the trim. Regular masking tape can also be very difficult to peel away smoothly if left on for too long.
6 – You can eliminate strands and fuzz from brand-new rollers by washing them first. Simple tap water and a tiny bit of soap, along with sweeping the hands over the outer surface of new rollers will pre-condition them for lint-free use.

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Kitchen and bathroom sinks all have Traps. Why?

Drain traps found under your Kitchen and bathroom sinks.

Collected water drained from the source above, stops rising gas from below.

This may seem like a silly question at first, but it’s a reasonable thing to be curious about if you don’t know the answer.

The drain pipes under your kitchen and bathroom sinks have a trap or “gooseneck” bend in them in order to hold water. Plain and simple.

This quantity of water acts as a very effective barrier preventing sewer fumes and gases from coming up through the drainage and filling your home with foul odors and germs. If a sink goes unused for a long time, the trap can ‘dry out’ because of evaporation of the standing water it should hold. If you return to your home after being away for a long time and notice a bad smell in your kitchen and bathroom, try running some water into the sinks to fill the traps and restore the barriers.

A secondary benefit to the drain trap is that it prevents the passage and accumulation of large, solid items into your drainage system. Over time, accidental drops down a straight drain of container lids, packaging plastics and even tableware ( items that would be capable of causing major clogs and damage ) could eventually require costly pipe replacement behind walls or between floors. Fortunately, it’s an absolute requirement to have sink traps and you will never find a straight length of pipe directly from the sink into the floor if the plumbing was installed correctly. It’s far less costly to remove, clean and replace that funny little bend under the sink.

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Your Carrara Marble Top Shares A Source With Great Art !

What does your Carrara vanity top have to do with Classic Art? Michelangelo’s “David”!

World famous and historic works have been made from the same marble as your vanity top!

World famous and historic works have been made from the same marble as your vanity top!

Yes… The same source for this extremely attractive and popular marble ( Carrara, Italy ) is where the block was quarried that 26-year-old Michelangelo spent 2 years carving into one of the best known sculptures in the world.

Little known fact: That block of Carrara marble was taken from the Miseglia valley over 11 years before Michelangelo was born. His fame and credit are for completing the sculpture begun in that stone by two artists before him.

There are other world famous and historic entries made with Carrara marble: The Roman Pantheon, The Peace Monument in Washington DC, The Pieta’, The Manila Cathedral . . . the list is very long.

It might be an eye opener for the kids, to point out what their bathroom cabinet top is made of and then have them search online to find out just how famous a marble type can be!

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Blade Safety Is Always a Good Idea

Keep used blades away from project debris!

Even this old DVD container will serve to keep used blades safely in one place and out of the way.

It’s just common sense.

Safeguard yourself and those around you by taking just a few moments for disposable blade safety.

Every project generates waste whether it is sawdust, scrap paper or plastic shavings. This waste can hide small tools, hardware or worst of all . . . the bare edge of a used blade. The simple act of sweeping away a little debris so you can put something down might just ruin your day.

If your project involves frequent changes of disposable utility blades, don’t run the risk of injury by letting used blades accumulate just scattered around your work area or tossed ‘as is’ into the trash.

There are many brands of blade disposal containers available at the hardware store and on line, but if you don’t happen to have one handy during the job, an improvised container will do.

If you can’t see into the container you’re using to keep those used blades safely out of the way and in one place, put a prominent label on it warning “Used Blades”.

Another quick method to lower your risks of getting a nasty cut, is to wrap the blade’s edge with duct tape or heavy duty construction tape.

A quick wrap 'now' with strong tape is better than wishing you had 'later'.

A few moments to ‘dull’ the edge of a used blade might help prevent nasty accidents.

Whichever method you use will help prevent unfortunate accidents until the blades can be disposed of properly.

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