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About Us

The Web is the perfect medium for exploring the world of building products.

We began to believe this back in the mid-1990s when the commercial Internet was still in its infancy. And we still believe it today, all these years later.

Back then, we thought it was only a matter of time before someone would launch a killer building products site.

We envisioned a site with interesting and believable stories about faucets and bathtubs and skylights and sinks. A site that explored products that were cool and new and worthy and affordable. A site that was easy and logical to use. And, most of all, a site aimed at homeowners – not builders or architects.

Well, that’s what we thought would happen.

But today, more than a decade later, we’re still waiting.

And so we’ve decided to launch our own building products guide.


We are Deb and Ken Holmes, partners in life and work. We’re dropouts from the hectic world of big cities and big companies. We live in central Maine in a delightful Victorian home, built along the banks of the Kennebec River in 1872 by a local lumber baron.

Up here we ski and kayak and garden and putter on our house.

Oh, and we’ve got a history on the Web as well.

A decade ago, we noticed that nobody on the Web was paying much attention to folks who, like us, owned old houses.

We decided to fill that void by launching Our site grew over a few years’ time into a top-10 home improvement site. It was (and remains) a Forbes Magazine “Best of the Web” selection, a Yahoo “cool shades” site, and a site visited daily by tens of thousands of old-house enthusiasts.

In 2007 at the advanced ages of 50 and 49 (Ken’s the old one) we sold Old House Web to West Coast investors. Our idea was that we could ski more, travel more, and take our time deciding what (if anything) was next.

Since then we’ve rarely missed a powder day in the White Mountains. We’ve traveled a lot. We’ve traded one Victorian house here in Maine for another.

At the same time, we’ve continued to notice that the kind of building products site that we’d like to use still didn’t exist.

And so we’ve come back from semi-retirement to launch this building products guide.


As with our previous venture, we intend to launch softly, add stories regularly, and polish the concept as we learn what works.

Already, we’ve assembled information on several thousand companies that make or distribute building products — who they are, what they offer, how you can buy their products, and how to find them onĂ‚ the Web. And we’ve written hundreds of stories about about new and interesting building products.

Over the months ahead, we’ll continue to explore and write and publish … unless it happens to be a powder day, in which case we’ll be skiing.

So, thanks for stopping by, and please come back again to see if we’re following through on our promise.

Please feel free, too, to drop us a line with kudos, complaints or ideas. You can reach us here.

Thanks again for visting our building products guide at

Deb and Ken Holmes