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August 20, 2017
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August 19, 2017
Handyman Show archive

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Kitchens & Baths

Universal Plumbing Supply

Why settle for pictures when you can get a world of choice at Universal Plumbing? Choose from Michigan's largest selection of under mounted sinks, a display of 500 faucets and a huge collection of working toilets, vessles, tubs, spas & designer items.

Website for more info

Heating & Cooling Contractors

Family Heating, Cooling & Electrical

Honest, quality service with reliable products at a fair price. We carry all brands. Completely independent, no subcontractors. COMPLIMENTARY PROPOSALS not driven by incentives from manufacturers. 90 Trucks for fast service, 0% interest financing & same owner for 45+ continuous years.

Website for more info

Kitchens & Baths

Infusion Kitchen & Bath Showroom

Experience a showroom like no other. With a plethora of working toilets, kitchen and bath faucets, showerheads, and steam showers, when you visit our designer plumbing showroom you're sure to be amazed. Our dedicated staff is here to assist you throughout your building or remodeling project

Website for more info

Deck Care Fast & Easy book

Glenn Haege's Deck Care Fast & Easy explains what to do and what to buy for that four letter word that lives in your backyard; your deck!  This book walks you though selecting between woods and man made decking, deck maintenance, brightening, stripping, sealing and staining. It’s free!

Download the guide here

Publication date: 06/29/2017

 Click here for a printer-friendly version

Outdoor monitoring systems


While full-blown home security systems are becoming cheaper and more popular these days, many people just want a way to see what is going on around their home to make sure there are no intruders. Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor monitoring products that you can install yourself without having a complete home security system.

Back in the day, a porch light with a motion sensor was the only thing that let you know if someone was walking around your home at night. But today you can install security camera systems that will let you use an app on your smartphone or tablet to notify you and let you see who that someone is in real time.

One of the most popular outdoor monitoring options is the video doorbell that lets you see and talk to anyone coming to your door right through your iPhone or Android smartphone. Ring ( was one of the first to offer a video doorbell back in 2014, and it is still among the best systems available, now offering three models that let you answer the door from anywhere. The Ring units feature an HD camera with night vision and a motion sensor, providing a clear view of anyone at your door both day and night.

SkyBell ( also offers a video doorbell product that is similar to Ring’s. Both work with Apple and Android devices and have the option of video recording so you can review who came to your door.

If you want to monitor more than just your front door, you can find plenty of outdoor security camera products that also enable you to use your smart device to check your home’s perimeter 24/7.

Ring offers motion-activated outdoor cameras in two categories. The Stick Up Cam can mount anywhere on your home’s exterior and connects to an optional solar panel. The Floodlight Cam includes two motion activated LED floodlights and a 110-decibel siren. Nest ( offers NestCam Outdoor that can continuously record from 10 days to up to 30 days of video with their Nest Aware subscription service.

Lowes ( has its own outdoor security camera that works with its Iris Home Management System, which uses wireless sensors to enable you to control it along with other devices in your home, such as indoor cameras, door locks and an alarm system from a smartphone, tablet or computer.


For either a basic wired or wireless outdoor camera system without all of the smartphone integration, look at security companies like Mace ( and Security Man (

If you already have a home security system, or are considering one, you can also have outdoor cameras included as part of the packages that companies like ADT Services (, AT&T’s Digital Life (, Comcast’s Xfinity Home Secure ( and Guardian Alarm ( offer.

Before you bring out your credit card there are some things you need to know. You will need a computer network, either Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth to use these products with your phone or tablet. Also make sure you have the right model of smartphone or tablet to enable you to use the camera’s app for monitoring purposes. Older iPhones, for example, may not be able to work with the newer security camera apps. Also, do your research and find out if there is a monthly fee and what extra services and features that gives you. Remember, there are plenty of systems available that you can purchase and install yourself without paying any extra monthly subscriptions.

Note: This article was accurate at the date of publication. However, information contained in it may have changed. If you plan to use the information contained herein for any purpose, verification of its continued accuracy is your responsibility.

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