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5 home innovations

From noise suppression to designer hoods

Just because the housing industry is going through one of its slower times doesn't mean that the companies that think up glitzy and/or ingenious devices for your home have stopped being creative.The  trade show floor at the International Builders Show overflowed with products, major and minor, for consumers to ponder.  A sampling:1. If the noise coming from next door has ever made you want to scream, "Cut out that racket!" there may be a way to block out some of the irritation. United Plastics Corp. showed a noise-reducing system called dB2-4 that's designed for installation in existing homes, apartments, condos and offices.The material is sold in 4-by-8 rolls that weigh less than a pound per square foot and are installed with an adhesive, much like wallpaper.The material, which is made from recycled plastic, can be painted over. The manufacturer says its product can dampen sound and reduce noise by 75 percent.2. For better and worse, home appliances increasingly are able t...

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