Tag Archives: Renovations

Artika Aqua Bay Double Kitchen Sink at Costco

Costco seems to be featuring an increasing number of items by designed Artika these days, and from good reason: based on my experience with the Artika Moonraker ceiling light, I would be happy to recommend their products to anyone. My wife and I are considering a kitchen remodel in the near future, and a double sink would fit nicely with our plans. I was therefore very happy to see the new Artika Aqua Bay kitchen sink at my local Costco.

Artika Aqua Bay Kitchen Sink

Artika Aqua Bay Kitchen Sink

My wife loves the double sink, something that is sorely lacking in our kitchen right now. While there is clearly a tap on the picture, the box leaves no doubt for interpretation, as it clearly states that the box contains the following:

  • One double-width sink
  • Two stainless grids, stainless steel, as pictured
  • Two drains and strainer baskets, stainless steel as well
Artika Aqua Bay Kitchen Sink Specs

Artika Aqua Bay Kitchen Sink Specs

The Aqua Bay sink features 10 degrees rounded corners, something we are clearly supposed to be impressed by – they’re nice, but it takes a bit more than that to woo me. What I find significantly more interesting is the 16 gauge stainless steel used in fabricating this sink. This will ensure that the sink feels rock-solid, no matter what you drop in it.

The overall dimensions of this Artika double sink are 31.3″ x 20.5″ x 9″ deep. While the depth is not incredible, this sink has the possibility of being installed under the counter rather than overlapping it, so you could potentially gain a valuable inch of depth there. I know this gain is more visual than anything else, but I’d take it.

The Artika Aqua Bay kitchen sink, is quite stylish, and with its 10 degrees rounded corners everywhere, will give you kitchen a touch of a professional look. It is made by hand rather than stamped, which is a nice touch. Of course, all this stainless steel and sharp design and class and whatnot has a price: the Aqua Bay retails for $329.99 at Costco. That’s hardly inexpensive, but kitchen remodels are expensive, and it always pays to put in quality, either for yourself or simply to enhance your resale value. Moreover, a quick search shows that a similarly-constructed sink, made with the same 16 gauge steel but with a much shoddier design, costs upwards of $570 at Home Depot. Something to think about!


Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection at Costco: Full Product Review

We bought our house almost two years ago now, and I realize that one of the things that attracted us to it, a large maple tree right in front, can be both a blessing and a huge problem. A blessing, because it dwarves our house and provides welcome shade in the summer, and a problem because twice a year, it sheds leaves and seeds in such a massive amount as to completely and utterly clog the gutters. The idea to cut down the tree, while tempting, seems excessive, considering it’s only a problem for 3 to 4 weeks a year.

For this reason, I’ve been on the lookout for gutter protection for some time. I’ve seen the plastic mesh they sell at Home Hardware and other places, but it just seems like a flimsy and useless waste of money. Thankfully, thanks to Costco, I was able to get my hands on some quality, long lasting (hopefully) aluminum gutter protection, called the Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection.

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection

I’d seen that product at Costco the year before, but did not know how sorely I would need it; moreover, like all good Costco shoppers, I wanted to buy it when it went on sale. So here are a few points concerning this product:

The Price

Each box of 30 feet of Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard aluminum rain gutter protection costs $38.99 at full price, excluding taxes. Thankfully, I was able to buy it with a $15.00 rebate, per box, which brings the price down to $23.99, or 80 cents a foot. Assuming the product does what it is supposed to do, which is keep my gutters clean of debris, this is an excellent price. In my case, I needed 3 boxes, so the price to protect my gutters for the foreseeable future was $71.97, plus taxes, which is a heck of a lot cheaper than foundation work, or a leaky roof. So hurrah for that.

The Product

Each box contains 10 3-foot lengths of pre-drilled aluminum gutter protector. Each length of product is notched, as you can see in the picture below, so that it fits in the previous length, thus ensuring that no debris makes it in the gutter.

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Rain Gutter Protection

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Rain Gutter Protection

Thanks to its all-aluminum construction, the Clip-N-Guard is actually very light and sturdy, although I don’t recommend using a hammer to tap it in place. The hammer is going to win. The holes are small enough to prevent all but the smallest tree-debris from falling in, and big and numerous enough that I have no doubt that water will be able to make its way in and down the gutter with ease. Looks like a great product, but what about installation?

Installing Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard

I’m not crazy about climbing a ladder to clean the gutter, so I thought installing this was going terrifying, and for the first few sections, it truly was. That being said, that’s more on me than anything else. Even though I have an old-style gutter that’s nailed in, across, rather than screwed, it was easy to clip the gutter guard over the nails. Because my gutter is quite old and not even all over, the gutter cover is tighter in some places than in others, but all in all, it was very easy to install.

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Rain Gutter Protection (box)

Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Rain Gutter Protection (box)

The only tool I needed were a measuring tape, aluminum scissors, which thankfully I already owned (for what purpose, I could not tell) and a hammer, which I used to bang on the gutter once the gutter cover was installed, so as to make it more even and tighter. Like I said, we have an older house.

The product was very intuitive to install, each piece easily sliding into the previous so as to make a single, continuous cover. It is more bent outwards in some places, but it clicked everywhere, as it was supposed to. Overall, a very easy install, my fear of heights notwithstanding.

The Verdict

I would heartily recommend the Alu-Rex Clip-N-Guard Aluminum Rain Gutter Protection to anyone; for several reasons:

  • It is very affordable, even at full price (assuming you shop at Costco);
  • It’s very easy to install, even for a complete beginner;
  • I think it’s going to do what it says, which is keep my gutters free of debris
  • Despite not using any screws, nothing short of a tornado is going to take these out;

There is one thing that concerns me, although not enough not to buy and install the product, and it is that I’m almost certain I’m going to have to take the ladder out and clean out the top of the cover at least once a year. The leaves fall thick and fast here. Also, a word about the “25 Year Warranty”; I’m not going to bore you with the details, but let’s just say that it is absolutely written by a bunch of lawyers, and that the list of exceptions is so spectacular that I’m pretty certain the only way I would be covered is if the Clip-N-Guard spontaneously caught fire, which I’m certain it won’t.

Now don’t get me wrong: I bought and installed the product, and so far it has performed beautifully in all respects, and I’ve no doubts that it will continue to do so for many years. That being said, I didn’t buy it for the warranty.

I have no problems recommending the Clip-N-Guard to anyone; it can be installed by the most complete neophyte who owns nothing more than a house, some common sense and a ladder, and I look forward to avoiding damage to my foundations, deck and roof because of clogged gutters. For more information about the company, check out their website right here; in addition to gutter protection, they also make the gutters themselves, other types of gutter covers, and best of all, it’s all made right here in Canada, and at a good price, too, proof that we can still make things right we we set our minds to it!