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Ryan Bruss

Mostly just a regular dude, with a family, who likes adventure sports.
Connected with Fresh Chalk
TREKOLOGY Inflatable Camping Pillow
Revolution 101 Balance Board
SimpliSafe
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Ryan Recommends

Products

Apple TV 4K
Streaming Media Player
This is my third Apple TV device. It's a fantastic upgrade over the previous version and a must have if you have a 4K TV. We don't have a cable subscription and stream all our entertainment through the Apple TV. We use Hulu for live TV and sports, but there's also several other options available. The picture looks great connected to my LG OLED TV and the screensavers are mesmerizing. I sometimes just watch them rather than turning something else on.
Coway Air Purifier
Air Purifier
In Western Washington wildfire smoke is always an issue in the late summer and my home doesn't have a central air heating or cooling system so indoor air purifiers are a must have. I had some friends that recommended the Coway products to help mitigate the smoke and this version was also the top rated by Wirecutter. I'm so happy I bought it. It was undersized for the space we have, but it was all we could get on short notice. I really liked that it has an indicator of current air quality and then automatically speeds up and slows down to adjust for what's needed. After the smoke left, we repainted a dresser in our garage and nearly fumigated ourselves out of the house. I hooked this up in the garage and it cleared out the air rather quickly. I'll be buying a bigger one of these for the living room and moving this one to my bedroom.
FEIT Electric Smart Bulbs
Lighting
I switched from Phillips Hue to these because I didn't like having a hub. So far so good. I like the range of color options. The companion app is not very good, but they seem to work just fine with Alexa.
Five Ten Freerider Pro
Bike Shoes
Most mountain bikers, regardless of skill level, should probably be riding flat pedals rather than clipped pedals. If you are, purpose made flat pedal mountain bike shoes are a huge upgrade over regular sneakers. And the Freerider Pro from FiveTen are probably the best you can buy. They are super comfortable, have a nice sticky bottom to help you connect with the pedals, and have some water resistance. I've only owned one pair of these and they're the ones I bought 3 years ago and I'm fairly sure they've got at least 3 more years of life left. I've worn them in everything from 100 degree sunny days in Texas to 40 degrees and raining in the PNW and have never felt like I needed a different shoe. If these ever do wear out, I'm buying another pair without hesitation.
GE French Door Refrigerator
Refrigerator
This is a great looking refrigerator. It's not the biggest, but it makes good use of the space it has and is plenty big for my family of 3. The counter depth looks so much better than our previous full depth refrigerator and really opens up the space in our kitchen.
GE Oven
Oven
I'm a huge fan of gas ranges and this one is fantastic. I don't really see the need to buy expensive ranges when you can get just about everything you need from this one. This is the slide-in version of Wirecutter's top rated gas range (slide-ins look great). The griddle in the middle is a really nice feature. We use it all the time to heat up tortillas, make pancakes, and toast bread.
Home Decorators Collection Cellular Shade
Window Covering
Buying shades for your entire house can get expensive quickly so it was important that we find something inexpensive, but that also look nice. These satisfy both of those requirements. I love that they are both light filtering and blackout. Most of our windows are south facing and the blackout feature was nice during the summer when we needed to try and keep the inside of the house as cool as possible. They were also incredibly easy to install and customizable to 1/4" so they even fit a couple of our wonky windows.
KOHLER Cimarron Toilet
Toilet
I never thought choosing a new toilet for our bathroom remodel would be the most difficult choice, but there are seemingly infinite options at a wide range of prices. Why do some of them cost over $500!? This one was less than half that. It looks nice, cleans easily, came with the seat (which apparently most don't), and does exactly what you would expect it to without issue. It doesn't use that much water and has never clogged. It's also compatible with bidet seats, if you're into that sort of thing, which I am.
KRAUS Bolden Kitchen Faucet
Faucet
There are so many options out there for kitchen sink faucets and some of them are ridiculously expensive for reasons I don't quite understand. I saw this one at Home Depot and it looked nice and seemed like a reasonable price so that's went I went with. Turned out to be a great decision. It's intuitive, easy to turn on and off without fancy sensors (even when holding a pot with two hands) , and durable. The switch from spray to stream just works. It switches when you intend it to and not when you don't. I know that seems obvious, but seemingly everyone I've used before this is impossible to control stream vs spray. There aren't any signs of wear, the sprayer goes back to where it's supposed to after you pull it out from the holder. If you want a nice looking kitchen faucet that does what it's supposed to and don't want to drop a ton of money, go with this.
Kuat NV 2.0 Bike Hitch Rack
Bike Rack
Hitch mount tray style bike racks are by far the best and safest option for carrying your bikes around. If you've spent the money for a nice bike, you don't want to use a cheap rack and risk losing it on the highway. Roof mounts are ok until you forget the bike is on there and pull into your garage. Also, nobody wants to put a 50lb e-bike on their roof rack. I've used a bunch of these and this one from Kuat is the best I've found. The combo foot/hand lever for moving the rack to/from the upright position is awesome. It's so much easier than the pins you have to pull out on other hitch mount tray racks. It's also rather easy to take on and off the hitch. It comes off in under a minute and goes on in under 2. If you have the extender on so it holds 4 bikes, you might need someone to help you since it's a little heavy. I really didn't think i'd use the little bike maintenance attachment, but it's come in handy at the trail a couple times when I needed to make some emergency repairs. It's not the cheapest option out there, but it's worth it if you're carrying expensive bikes. Although, if you're just carrying around some clunkers, you're better off with something cheaper.
LG CX OLED 4k TV
Television
I care a lot about the picture quality of my TVs. I'm one of those people that can immediately tell of something is "off" in the picture. This is by far the best TV I've ever owned. The picture is amazing. LG OLEDs are the gold standard for picture quality. The previous one I owned needed a lot setup to get the picture just right, but it looks like the fixed that because this was beautiful right out of the box. This is the best TV for those looking for the best picture quality.
Lifeproof Essential Oak Flooring
Flooring
If I could recommend only one product from my remodel, this would be it. I really don't see any reason why you'd go with anything other than this flooring. I was a bit apprehensive about this looking "cheap," but I was very wrong. It looks really really good. Everyone that visits compliments it. We did put an underlayment under it. They say you don't need it, but I'd recommend it. The cost of the underlayment was negligible compared to the cost of the flooring, which really isn't that much compared to other options. So far it's held up extremely well. The aforementioned cats, dogs, and human have yet to scratch or stain it. Also, since the floor gives just a little (not noticeable when walking) so when you accidentally drop the jar of salsa, the jar remains intact rather than exploding salsa everywhere. We put this in every room in the house except the bathrooms, although you could put it there if you wanted.
Netgear Nighthawk Router
Router
I did a lot of research on wifi routers before buying this one. We have a lot of devices that need high speed reliable wifi connections and also a lot of smart home devices that I don't want on the same network as our computers. This router handles all of the devices without issue. It was really easy to setup a guest network to connect the smart home devices to. The companion app is very handy for making sure there are no unknown devices connected and temporarily turning off the connection for my step-daughter's nintendo switch when she's not supposed to be using it. I can also share the wifi password with friends and family that visit with a QR code rather than having to tell them my password. This also uses the new wifi 6 standard so it's future proof (for a little while at least). This isn't the cheapest router out there, but it's well worth the money, in my opinion.
Rheem Smart Tank Electric Water Heater
Water Heater
I originally went into getting a new water heater with the expectation that I would do tankless since they are more energy efficient. However, it was going to be cost prohibitive to run a new gas line and you should never ever get an electric tankless water heater. The hybrid tank water heaters are almost as energy efficient as tankless and I really like this one from Rheem. It has a companion app that I can use to change settings, look at how much energy is being used, and even set to vacation mode so it's not keeping 50 gallons of water hot while we're away. The side benefit of using a compressor to heat the water is it dehumidifies our garage at the same time.
Ryobi P238 Cordless Impact Driver
Tools
Everyone who does any work around the house or puts together IKEA furniture (they specifically say not to use power tools, so only do this if you are careful not to over tighten) needs a cordless impact driver. There's a night and day difference between using an impact driver for screws and bolts vs a drill driver. And, if you're going to get an impact driver, you should get one that uses a brushless motor for added power. This one from Ryobi has worked out very well for me, but I made the choice long ago to go with Ryobi as my cordless tool set. I would not recommend buying this impact driver from Ryobi if you already have cordless tools from another brand (you should buy that brand's impact driver). The batteries are expensive and you want to be able to share them across your tools.
Simple Human Dual Compartment Trash Can
Trash Can
It seems a little ridiculous to recommend a trash can, but I really like this one. Simple Human makes good looking stuff. We don't have room for a hidden trash can and recycle bin, so we wanted something that looked good in the kitchen but was also functional. My favorite part about this one is the size of the recycle bin side. Other's have a tiny area for recycling and we'd have to put in a new bag every day, which seemed wasteful. Now we're changing the recycle and trash sides at about the same time.
Stashers Reusable Food Storage
Food Container
We have a bunch of these. They are the best ziplock bag replacements we could find. The way the close is superior to other options we've found. The ones we purchased a few years ago are still going strong. They've more than made up for the cost of buying sandwich bags and kept a lot of plastic out of our trash. Food can get stuck in the corners; I like to wash them inside out in the dishwasher (but Stashers says not to do that). It hasn't caused a problem with ours yet.
Steadyrack Bike Rack
Bike Storage
There are a lot of different ways to store bikes and this is by far the best I've found. The swivel function is clutch when you're trying to minimize wall space. If you take your time and measure carefully you can set them up so you never have to lift the full weight of the bike to get them on and off, which is really handy for those with heavy electric bikes. I didn't do that since I wanted to stagger the heights to get them even closer together. Make sure you get the right model for the type of bike you're putting on it. It's based on the tire width. The ones made for road bikes don't have a wheel tray wide enough for mountain bike tires. This isn't the cheapest way to hang bikes on the wall, but it's the safest and one of the better looking options.
Transition Patrol X01
Mountain Bike
The mountain biking in the Seattle area is significantly different than the mountain biking in Central Texas (what they call the "Hill Country") so when I moved back to Seattle I was in need of something better suited for what I'd be riding here. I did a lot of research and pined over this decision for several months. I finally landed on the Transition Patrol. Transition is Washington brand owned by people who ride mountain bikes here and the Patrol is as perfect a bike for Pacific Northwest Riding as I can imagine. Compared to my other bike, I was faster on both the uphills and the downhills. The steep seat tube angle really helps with the climbing and the long reach and coil shock really help with the descending. This is is a bike designed for riders looking to push their limits and there's very few riders out there who could even approach the limits of this bike. If you're serious about mountain biking and live in the Pacific Northwest, you should check this one out.
Vitade Stream Webcam
Webcam
I got this to upgrade my video conferencing for work. It is a huge improvement over the Macbook Air built-in camera. The picture is a lot clearer and I'm told the sound is also better.

Home

1-800-Got-Junk?
Junk Removal
Maybe a little more expensive than you'd like, but they arrive quick, fast, and in a hurry.
All Climate Heating & Air Conditioning
HVAC
I used All Climate to install a new gas line for a gas range. They were very quick and professional with lots of communication. Price was reasonable and excellent quality. The King County inspector commented on how professional everything looked.
ApplianceASAP
Appliances
The refrigerator in the house I just purchased was leaking and I had no idea why. I was recommended Appliance ASAP by a local appliance store. It was easy to schedule an appointment. The repair person diagnosed the problem quickly. The water line to the dispenser was broken. He fixed it with a $10 part that he had on hand and was out in 30 minutes. He also cleaned up some of the dust that was back there while he had it open. All in all it was much much cheaper than buying a new refrigerator.
Attic Project
Insulation
The crawl space in my new house was absolutely disgusting. Dead rats, insulation falling down, just gross. I saw the recommendation for Attic Project from one of my friends on Fresh Chalk and decided to give them a call. It was easy to schedule the first consultation. They came out, took pictures, and gave me an estimate. Not the cheapest, but it was necessary and they were very professional. We scheduled the work for a day I wasn't home (crawl space access from outside). They took care of everything! Cleaned up the old stuff, sanitized, rodent proofed (with 5 year warranty) and send me the pictures when they were done. Awesome work, professional company, highly recommend.
D. A. Burns
Carpet Cleaner
We were dog sitting and she had an accident on our brand new sofa. These guys did a fantastic job getting the smell out and not shrinking or distorting the fabric. They even put a water repellant coating for no extra charge.
Fairwood Construction, LLC
General Contractor
We bought a house in February that needed a lot of work before we could really call it home and we were in a bit of a rush to get it done. Completely new bathroom (which required framing in a wall), updating the kitchen, installing new flooring throughout the house, painting, electrical work. The craftsmanship was high, Adam brought in skilled tradespeople, worked weekends to meet deadlines, kept me informed of issues he found and helped me decide the best way to handle them, and overall helped us make our new house feel like home.
Gray Barn Nursery
Nursery
My wife and I have gotten numerous plants from here. They are also associated with Pacific Topsoils and I was able to call and have bulk mulch and gravel delivered same-day!
Martinez Painting
Painter
Manuel and his son did an amazing job painting the interior of our remodel. They painted walls, ceiling, trim, cabinets, hand rails. Basically everything. They did drywall repair, painted new walls and matched the texture of the existing wall. They were punctual and worked Saturdays so we could move the remodel project along. I can't say enough good things. Highly recommend.
Mirsky Electric
Electrician
I needed some GFCI outlets installed and my breaker panel looked at. The outlets were a quick change and the electrician gave me lots of info about the panel. He could have recommended changing it and I probably would have done it, but it's a big expense and gave me his honest opinion that it probably doesn't need to be changed, but that I should keep an eye on it. I appreciate that he told my what he would do if it was his house.
Parker Eco Pest Control
Exterminator
I needed a non-toxic way to prevent sugar ants from invading my house since we have two dogs and two cats. They were very responsive and were able to come out quickly. The guy who came respected social distancing and wore a mask, which I appreciated.
PCC Market
Grocery
Lots of grocery options in Redmond, but PCC is the best. We really like their produce!
Price Busters Plumbing
Plumber
Found these guys from friend recommendations on Fresh Chalk and was not disappointed. Very friendly, knowledgeable, and well priced. They will be my first call any time I need a plumber from here on out.

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Ryan's Conversations

Debra Willendorf
13 days ago • Seattle
Possible evidence of a rat in our attic, though it is very slim evidence. But we want to make sure all the possible entry points are sealed.
Ryan Bruss
17 days ago • Redmond
I'd like to make a locally sourced fresh turkey this year. Does anyone know of a place to order one?
MaryHeather Lines
24 days ago • Kirkland
one of the mirrors in our pebble form mirror broke. Any reco's on places to get new mirror cut for a small project. I can bring the template to them.
Heather Redman
about 1 month ago • Downtown
I don't know how to drive apparently.
Ryan Bruss
about 1 month ago • Redmond
I'm finally getting around to setting up the smart home devices at my new house and now have as many Google Home devices as Alexa devices (they lov...
Erika Yelle
about 2 months ago • Renton
Live near Maple Valley...Interested if anyone has checked out the Costco offering. I haven't started looking yet, just wondering where to start. Th...
Erin McDonald
2 months ago • Pinehurst
We have a 1943 house and NONE of the doors close properly :( We have got a few quotes that seem way high. Hoping for a new front door with a storm ...
Ryan Bruss
2 months ago • Redmond
During hard rains water pools up in front of our garage. There's a drainage pipe that goes to the back of the house, but water just pools up there....
Kuber Sharma
2 months ago • Ravenna
Looking for someone to help replace a couple of outdoor faucets
Thanh Dinh
2 months ago • Kirkland
Hey everyone, I'm looking for a residential house cleaning service in Kirkland. Any recommendations? Thank you so much!
Christopher Penaloza
3 months ago • Redmond
Looking for a good furniture repair to make new cushion inserts for a leather sofa. They are a little flat after use and want to get news foam for ...
Josh Barnard
3 months ago • Capitol Hill
Does anyone have a barber/stylist that will come to your house and do haircuts for men, women, and kids?
Meredith Fife
3 months ago • Auburn
Hi Everyone, We are starting to think about a kitchen remodel and I was wondering if anyone has installed Semi-Handmade kitchen cabinets? If so, wh...
Ryan Bruss
3 months ago • Redmond
Does anyone have a good barber recommendation for the Eastside? I've been to both Weldon and Rudy's on a couple of occasions and don't care for eit...
Christopher Penaloza
3 months ago • Redmond
Looking for a good next day dry cleaners in the Redmond area. Thanks in advance.
Marston Gould
4 months ago • Seward Park
Hi folks. We are in the unenviable position of having to sue our neighbors for the damage done to our property for their unconstrained bamboo. I've...
Ryan Bruss
4 months ago • Redmond
After 2 years, the CO2 tank for my kegerator is finally empty. Does anyone have any idea where to get it filled? I first got it filled at a party s...
Andrea Kaempf
4 months ago • Seattle
Have you ever seen one of these? It’s the size of a basket ball and really scary. I looked online and the DIY is to go late at night, plug the hole...
Meredith Fife
4 months ago • Auburn
A lot of regular summer activities that my kids participate in have been cancelled this year. I'm looking for any alternatives or summer camp ideas...
Ange Spring
7 months ago • Columbia City
My daughter had a bit too much to drink and fell asleep on the couch - now we need to get it cleaned! Please help us get our 5 yr-old Room & Board ...
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