International Builders Show: New Products for the DIY’er

DIY, Lighting, Tools

I’m always on the lookout for new products that might help me with my DIY projects and also work for rental apartments. So when I had the opportunity to attend the International Builders Show (IBS) in Las Vegas this week, I thought why not? The show is mainly for builders and contractors, but by meandering through the aisles with an open mind, I ended up discovering some amazing products.

1) SPAX screws

These have been around for a while but they were new to me. How I wish I had discovered them earlier! The SPAX product line includes MDF/wood screws that are just amazing: they don’t require pre-drilling to prevent splitting, AND the screw head can either stay flush with the material or countersink into it. I can’t wait to try these out on some of the projects I’m working on! SPAX screws are currently available at hardware stores, including Home Depot, and online.

2) Swanson GripLine tape measure:

If you’re like me and often work alone on DIY projects, it can be frustrating trying to get the end of the tape measure to stay put while taking measurements, especially if the surface the end of the tape is grabbing onto is round or slippery. Well, the new GripLine tape measure solves this problem – it is designed to catch, hold and measure multiple types of materials. This tape measure was just launched last November so look for it in hardware stores soon.

3) SnapRays

Lighting is a big challenge in rentals and I’m always searching for lighting products that can easily be integrated in a rental home without messing around with electrical wiring. That’s why SnapRays caught my attention  – it is essentially a nightlight incorporated into the faceplate of a electrical outlet. To install, you simply remove the existing cover plate, “snap” the SnapRays onto the outlet receptacle and the light will turn on when it gets dark. Perfect for rental homes! According to the manufacturer, the product will be available sometime in March 2014.

Let me know what you think of these products in the comments below – which one are you most excited about?


  1. I love the SnapRay idea. We moved into a tiny house a few years ago. It was built around 1947 (at least according to the newspapers we found stuffed into the walls). Many of the rooms had switchplates that had a light built into them. Several now need replacing, and expanding the concept to the wall outlets would be wonderful. We are redoing ALL the electrical eventually. This is definitely a work in progress. Thanks for passing this on.

    • You’re welcome! I especially love the fact that it doesn’t take up an outlet – so much better than a typical nightlight!

Submit a Comment