GIZMO HOME CRAFT
Blog
Contact Us

A Finish For A New Floor

There are many stain options that you can use to personalize your wood flooring. However, in the case of the townhouse that I'm remodeling I wanted to go with a natural finish. I had harvested the oak logs myself, and I wanted to show off the imperfect beauty of the...

Cutting Vent Holes

I'm installing a new wood floor in the townhouse that I'm renovating. Initially, I used a hole saw to make some rough openings for the heating system. However, they were crude and temporary. Using a template and several routers gave me a professional cut. See photos...

Installing A Tricky Floor

As some of you may recall I harvested white oak trees and turned them into the floor planks for the townhouse that I'm renovating. This process involved cutting rough planks from logs and then drying them using a vacuum kiln. The dried wood was further processed using...

Building A Custom Shower Base

It is easy to go to a big box store and purchase a preformed fiberglass shower base. While functional, these bases come only in predetermined sizes. In addition, they lack the style of a tiled base, which yields a custom home look. If you decide to build your own base...
A Finish For A New Floor

A Finish For A New Floor

There are many stain options that you can use to personalize your wood flooring. However, in the case of the townhouse that I'm remodeling I wanted to go with a natural finish. I had harvested the oak logs myself, and I wanted to show off the imperfect beauty of the...

Cutting Vent Holes

Cutting Vent Holes

I'm installing a new wood floor in the townhouse that I'm renovating. Initially, I used a hole saw to make some rough openings for the heating system. However, they were crude and temporary. Using a template and several routers gave me a professional cut. See photos...

Installing A Tricky Floor

Installing A Tricky Floor

As some of you may recall I harvested white oak trees and turned them into the floor planks for the townhouse that I'm renovating. This process involved cutting rough planks from logs and then drying them using a vacuum kiln. The dried wood was further processed using...

Building A Custom Shower Base

Building A Custom Shower Base

It is easy to go to a big box store and purchase a preformed fiberglass shower base. While functional, these bases come only in predetermined sizes. In addition, they lack the style of a tiled base, which yields a custom home look. If you decide to build your own base...

A Random Floor

A Random Floor

As you may recall I sourced my own wood from logs for the floors of the townhouse that I'm renovating. Some of the wood planks were pristine in quality, while others had knots, insect holes, and other imperfections. I had quite a bit of flooring planks that were...

The Mighty Oscillating Tool

The Mighty Oscillating Tool

An oscillating tool can be a useful gadget for making precision cuts. I needed to place a flooring plank next to an existing door jam. The normal practice would be to measure and cut the plank to fit around the jam. However, it is possible to take the opposite...

Working With Insurance Companies

Working With Insurance Companies

We have insurance to cover unforeseen events. Most of us expect that our insurance company will be there for us when we need it, but that isn't always the case. In general, I have found that the initial estimate that insurance companies give their clients are too low...

The Mighty Speed Square

The Mighty Speed Square

If you are a DIYer you should buy this inexpensive gadget. The speed square consists of a triangle that has a lip (also called a fence) on one of its edges. It is a tool that allows you to create a straight line on a board that you can use as a guide. In addition, you...

Creating a tongue and grove in flooring.

Creating a tongue and grove in flooring.

You may recall that I harvested oak trees to make my own white oak flooring for the townhouse that I'm renovating. This has been a long process that involved many steps, the final one being the fabrication of wood flooring from rough wood planks. Part of that process...

Using A Cardboard Template

Using A Cardboard Template

There are times when you need to cut or fill an area that doesn't consist of nice squares or rectangles. I faced such a situation when I was installing radiant floor heating in the townhome that I'm renovating. In that situation I had to create a subfloor out of...

Choosing Cordless Power Tools

Choosing Cordless Power Tools

If you are a homeowner, or a DIYer, you will need some basic tools. If you do more than the most simple repairs you will benefit from power tools, and cordless power tools are generally the most convenient to use. However, there are so many different brands, models,...

The Golden Age Of Tools

The Golden Age Of Tools

The mass manufacturing of household items started well over 100 years ago when products started to be made in factories. Mass production heralded the birth of a new profession, the industrial designer. An industrial designer’s job is to conceptualize and design a...

New Siding!

New Siding!

The townhouse that I'm renovating was built in the 1970s, and its siding was old and tired. I had to remove it to accommodate the new doors and windows that I installed on the house last fall. The unit was clad only in Tyvek vapor barrier last winter, which kept the...

Details Count!

Details Count!

Projects can be done quickly, or they can be done correctly. I think that the details of any project matter. I replaced the siding on the townhouse that I'm renovating. The front porch will have a coach light that resides in a frame. AZEK is a PVC material that can be...

Using AZEK For An Outdoor Post

Using AZEK For An Outdoor Post

Door building materials have to be durable and weather resistant. AZEK is a synthetic building material that is both. In addition to being weather resistant, it is mold, rot, and stain-resistant. AZEK is the product name for carpentry materials made from PVC...

Radiant Floor Heating

Radiant Floor Heating

Most modern homes use forced air heating. This type of heating works well, and the same duct work can be used for cooling making it a cost effective solution. However, there are other ways to heat a home, as many who lives in an older house or apartment can attest to....

Grinding Cement

Grinding Cement

Part of the renovation of my townhome involves replacing the old ceramic floors with wood ones. The old floors were cemented to the concrete slab and when they were removed they left quite a bit of residue mortar. The most reasonable way to get that mortar off was to...

Spray Painting Primer.

Spray Painting Primer.

The townhouse that I'm renovating has a two story ceiling with many angles. Now that the wallboard is in place it is time to prime them. Naturally, this could be done with a traditional brush or roller, but that would be very time consuming. I'm fortunate to have a...

Sound Proofing With Insulation

Sound Proofing With Insulation

When you live in a small space you have to adapt that space to meet the needs of the individual residents. The townhouse that I'm renovating has a music room in the basement area. Unfortunately, the master bedroom is directly above that space. It is impossible to make...

Drywall!

Drywall!

If you are unfamiliar with construction you may assume that you put up drywall as soon as you have framed-out your rooms. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The spaces between your studs house the infrastructure that makes your home habitable. Electric,...

Adding Value To A Flip House

Adding Value To A Flip House

A long-time customer is flipping homes, and he is using my company for some of the renovation work. He is currently remodeling a home in a very nice part of Naperville. The home was build in the 1980s, and its architecture is consistent with that era. The master...

More Foam Insulation

More Foam Insulation

In a recent post I chronicled adding foam insulation to a garage. In this post I'll share some photos of adding foam insulation to the townhouse that I'm renovating. Several weeks ago my foam installers used closed cell foam to insulate the outside walls and rafters...

From Raw Planks To Flooring, And More.

From Raw Planks To Flooring, And More.

You may recall that I harvested white oak trees with the intention of turning them into flooring, stairs, and other trim. This has been a very long process. Recently, I picked up wood that I had vacuum dried and transported it to an Amish woodworker. His job was to...

Insulating A Garage

Insulating A Garage

You may recall that I installed a heater in my garage. There is nothing like getting into a warm car on a cold day! However, the garage was uninsulated, and I was losing a lot of heat to the outside. Naturally, I needed to insulate the space. There are many types of...

Demo Days

Demo Days

There is a an old adage that says, "You have to break some eggs to make an omelette." The same rule applies to a remodel. You have to destroy an area so you can rebuild it. Naturally, destroy is too strong of a word because it is important to preserve items that are...

A Standin Furnace

A Standin Furnace

I'm replacing the entire heating system in the townhome that I'm renovating. Early on in the demolition I removed and disposed of the home's very old furnace. Unfortunately, this meant that the interior of the house is freezing cold this winter. Such an environment...

A New Gutter Color

A New Gutter Color

The vast majority of customers want white gutters. In fact, if you drive around any neighborhood you would be surprised if you saw gutters the were any other color. However, gutters are available in a variety of colors. I replaced the gutters for a customer in Villa...

Using A Drywall Template

Using A Drywall Template

Drywall sheets are heavy and awkward to move. Their unwieldily nature can be especially difficult when they need to be mounted in confined areas. I had a garage heater installed in the townhouse that I'm renovating. The heater was suspended using rods that were...

A Roof With Problems

A Roof With Problems

I'm doing a roof job for a customer in Naperville who just bought a home. The current roof has two layers of shingles on the roof deck. In cases like this the old shingles have to be removed as a third layers would add too much weight to the existing structure. A...

Adding A Garage Heater

Adding A Garage Heater

I added a garage heater at my townhouse project and I thought I would share some ideas with you about the pros and cons of various heater types. Gas heaters use either natural gas (which is mostly methane) or propane. These gases can burn very cleanly and in a perfect...

Adding A Limestone Chimney Cap

Adding A Limestone Chimney Cap

I am working on a home that suffered storm damage. This damage involved the the home's roof, siding, and chimney. The chimney had its cement cap and upper portion knocked off. We replaced the cap with one made of limestone. Limestone not only looks better, but it is...

Installing A Shower Base

Installing A Shower Base

A primary part of any free-standing shower is the shower base. In many homes this structure consists of a prefabricated fiberglass pan. This is an inexpensive option, but it limits the owner to several prefabricated sizes. In addition, a fiberglass base isn't very...

From Window To Door

From Window To Door

The townhouse that I'm renovating had a living space that consisted of three blocked off rooms, the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room. I wanted to open all of these rooms into one great room. The old dining room had a bay window, and I felt that that space...

Turning Trees Into Boards

Turning Trees Into Boards

You may recall from previous posts that I decided to use fallen oak trees for the wood in the townhome that I'm renovating. Most of these trees would have been ground to pulp if I had not used them. This is the first time that I had used actual trees as a building...

Radiant Heat For A Basement

Radiant Heat For A Basement

You may recall that I'm doing a total remodel on a townhome in Naperville. Part of that process included lowering the basement by one foot. This has been a very arduous task. However, I feel that the end results will justify the means. Since I had to remove the...

Adding A New Support Post

Adding A New Support Post

I'm renovating a 100 year old house in Downers Grove. The owner wanted to open up the first floor, which involved removing a first floor wall.. This wall added to the structural integrity of the home. Typically, it is necessary to add a new support beam in the ceiling...

Patching A Large Hole In A Concrete Block Foundation.

Patching A Large Hole In A Concrete Block Foundation.

I'm working on a home that is over 100 years old. Part of that process involves replacing the house's worn out plumbing. The old sewer line had to be removed and replaced with new PVC pipes. Unfortunately, this left a gaping hole in the home's concrete block...

Adding Basement Drains

Adding Basement Drains

As you may recall I'm completely renovating a townhouse in Chicago's western suburbs. Several months ago I removed the basement's floor and dug down an additional 12 inches. I'm now in the process of adding the drains for a basement bathroom and laundry room. See the...

Art Hidden In Your Walls

Art Hidden In Your Walls

ART: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. -Google dictionary As a general contractor I get to...

Be Prepared!-Flat Fix

Be Prepared!-Flat Fix

As you may know from my previous posts, I'm transporting oak logs to a sawmill from my home in the Chicago area to Michigan. I'm using my dumpster trailer along with my Dodge 3500 dually. Total trailer weight is around 14,000 pounds. My dually can easily pull this...

One of the best things I ever bought is now better!

One of the best things I ever bought is now better!

It is exciting to show off a new shiny gadget. However, one of the best things that I ever bought was neither new nor shiny. Over twenty years ago I bought a used dumpster trailer from a friend who was moving out of the area. The trailer is not flashy, but it one of...

Creating a new window

Creating a new window

I'm replacing the siding and windows on a property, and this has given me an opportunity. The garage is attached, and it is a fairly simple process to add a window to it. See the photos below from the step-by-step process. Removing some oriented strand board to reveal...

Ultimate Recycling-DIY Trees To Boards

Ultimate Recycling-DIY Trees To Boards

We live in a disposable world, and with each Solo cup or plastic wrapper we contribute to global warming. Living in a modern society has many advantages, but some of these short-term perks can have long term consequences. Like many, I try to turn off my lights, and I...

My Mobile Office

My Mobile Office

In 1993 I bought a cell phone, and I thought I had arrived. I could take and answer phone calls from anywhere. In those days texting was not an option. Over the years my reliance on using technology has increased, and I now have a complete mobile office. I still need...

More On The Window Wells

More On The Window Wells

You may recall that I enlarged both the basement windows and the window wells on the townhouse that I'm renovating. The window wells are a lower priority job on this project, and I'm continuing to work on them as time permits. Below are some of my more recent efforts....

A New Roof

A New Roof

The most recent phase of my townhouse remodel has been the replacement of the old roof. It was around 20 years old, and was showing its age by its faded and stained appearance. Beyond style issues the roof had areas of leakage and other spots of wear and tear. A bad...

Just Enough Skylights!

Just Enough Skylights!

How do you make a smaller space appear more spacious?  The answer is to open it up, add volume, and increase light.  I’ll talk about this last factor today. If possible, it is best to increase both artificial and natural light.  Generally, natural light...

A Pandemic Vacation

A Pandemic Vacation

This has been a busy summer, but it has also had the imposed constraints of a global pandemic. I was planning another backpacking adventure with my son, and we had hoped to return to Glacier National Park. However, many of the trails were closed. Since I was busy it...

Going Squirrelly

Going Squirrelly

I was replacing a roof and came upon a surprising find. Buried under the ridge shingles I found a snack catch of nut and seeds. The snacks were both carefully placed and hidden from prying eyes. A perfect spot for a quick meal. Like most properties, this one had some...

What Happens When A Pipe Is Not Properly Pitched.

What Happens When A Pipe Is Not Properly Pitched.

Sometimes a simple sounding repair can be very complicated. A customer wanted me to repair a damaged drain pipe that was leaking into his basement. Unfortunately, the pipe was located under the portion of his house that was on a concrete slab. My plumber tried to...

Dirty Work

Dirty Work

I have lived in the states for almost 30 years, and as long as I have lived here I've watched do-it-yourself (DIY) shows. The host of these programs are usually dressed in their casual best as they tackled both large and small remodeling projects. Most jobs will have...

Bigger Basement Windows

Bigger Basement Windows

When working with a smaller space it is imperative to utilize your square footage as efficiently as possible. The townhouse that I'm remodeling has a useable basement, but I wanted to turn it into a pleasant living zone. I have already written several posts on...

Extending A Basement’s Foundation.

Extending A Basement’s Foundation.

If you have read some of my previous posts you know that I am in the process of increasing the depth of the basement of a townhome that I purchased. The original height of the basement was around 7 feet, and my goal is to increase that to around 8 feet. To do this I...

Cutting A Concrete Foundation.

Cutting A Concrete Foundation.

As you may recall from my recent posts I'm lowering the floor in a basement. This process has presented problems and challenges. A home's foundation has a footing on the bottom that helps distribute the weight of the foundation. When I excavated below the foundation...

A Temporary Basement Water Discharge System.

My attention has been focused on lowering the basement of a townhome that I purchased.  This has been a complicated process that has involved many steps. The concrete floor was removed and both the sump system and the waste water ejector system had to be...

Another Unpleasant Surprise-Disconnected Drain Tiles

Another Unpleasant Surprise-Disconnected Drain Tiles

The 1970s townhome that I'm remodeling has been full of surprises. Many of them are the result of shoddy workmanship, and this is especially evident when that work is hidden. The townhome has a partial basement that is about seven feet deep. Although adequate, I felt...

Using A Demolition Hammer To Remove Old Ceramic Tiles

Using A Demolition Hammer To Remove Old Ceramic Tiles

The townhome that I'm renovating has a basement that is below one-half of the main level. The rest of the main level, including the kitchen, is on a concrete slab. I'm converting the living spaces into a large great room, and I have to remove the kitchen and hall...

A Burst Water Pipe

A Burst Water Pipe

There always seems to be surprises when I work on a project. When I had the water turned on to the townhouse that I purchased I checked around and everything seemed nice a dry. However, when I opened an outside spigot I discovered that the line to that faucet had...

Hidden Black Mold!

Hidden Black Mold!

When I purchased my current project my thought was to completely remodel the townhome. This meant removing the entire interior down to the studs. During this process I discovered several things that made me glad that I made this decision. Doors, Windows, and other...

How To Install A Sump Pump

How To Install A Sump Pump

Many homes with basements have at least one sump pump. These devices pump water from the home's drain tiles to the outside. If you have lived in a home with a sump pump for any length of time you probably have had a pump failure. The most common type of failure is...

The Townhouse Project, Demolition Phase One.

The Townhouse Project, Demolition Phase One.

I'm always amused by home DIY shows that suggest that the process of demolition is fun and easy. It is neither. It is a systematic process that is both messy and potentially dangerous. I have spent the last week demolishing the interior of the townhouse that I...

The Townhouse Project

The Townhouse Project

I recently purchased a townhome in Naperville. The duplex was built in the 1970s and it is part of a small community of townhouses very close to downtown Naperville. The home was owned by an elderly woman, and it had never been updated. Some would look at it and see a...

Writing Quotes

Writing Quotes

The first step in any job is an on-site visit to see what the customer wants. At that point, I can explore their situation and ask questions about what they wish. Afterward, I will try to offer some opinions based on my 25 years of experience. However, this is only...

Using A Permanent Furnace Filter

Using A Permanent Furnace Filter

Everyone knows that you should change your furnace filter regularly. This can be a minor hassle as you have to have new filters on hand. Filters come in many sizes and thicknesses, and it can be difficult to remember exactly what filter you need when you are at the...

A Bathroom Remodel

A Bathroom Remodel

I just finished a remodel on a nice home that was built in the 1970s. The home had a bathroom style that was fashionable at that time, but it is now very outdated. The sink area was separated from the rest of the bathroom by a wall and door, and the door to the...

A Flat Tire At A Clean Worksite

A Flat Tire At A Clean Worksite

I make a strong effort to keep my worksites clean and tidy. I know it is a hassle for a customer to have to pick up after a remodel. However, sometimes the smallest debris can cause big problems. I noticed that I was losing air on one of my vehicle's tires, and with...

Protecting The Customer’s Property

Protecting The Customer’s Property

Some people shop for price, others shop for value. Those that are only concerned with price will often find that their completed job is not done to their satisfaction. There are other considerations when determining what contractor you want to use. Some contractors...

Attaching Grab Bars In A Shower

Attaching Grab Bars In A Shower

Grab bars can add a measure of safety to a shower or tub, but they must be attached properly to insure that they are solidly connected to the wall. Ideally, it is best to screw them directly into the wall studs, but this isn't always possible. However, you can still...

A Good Way To Stain A Door

A Good Way To Stain A Door

I'm remodeling a bathroom in Naperville, and the customer wanted the old swinging door converted to a pocket door. A new door was purchased and then stained to match the original doors. Time had changed the stain color of the original doors, and the new door had to...

How To Frame A Shower Bench And Curb

How To Frame A Shower Bench And Curb

One of the advantages of remodeling a bathroom is that you get to refine the shower to your needs. Having a bench in the shower gives you a space to sit, or position where you can raise a leg for easier shaving. It does take extra work to construct a bench, but that...

Custom Cabinets Make A Family Room

Custom Cabinets Make A Family Room

A Naperville customer wanted to revitalize their 1980s family room. The space had a fireplace with white painted bricks and two built in cabinets. However, it didn't have any personality. The solution was simple. Reface the old fireplace brick with new tile, and...

Opening Up A First Floor

Opening Up A First Floor

In last weeks post I showed you a remodel that I just completed in Naperville. In that job I reconfigured two rooms and a hallway into one large living space. Today, I would like to show you some photos of that same space, this time emphasizing the removal of the hall...

An Amazing Kitchen Transformation

An Amazing Kitchen Transformation

I recently completed a project in Naperville, and I will use the next few post to show you some of the significant changes that the owner made to their entire first floor. One part of that renovation was to remove load bearing walls to open up the kitchen. In the...

The Right Way To Caulk

The Right Way To Caulk

See the photos below to obtain a perfect caulk line. Painter's tape is carefully placed to outline the caulk line. Fine tuning the tape barrier. Painter's tape applied to both sides of the caulk line. Caulk is applied in a thin bead. You can then smooth out the line...

How To Mount A Frameless Mirror

How To Mount A Frameless Mirror

Many mirrors have a frame around them which adds both depth and a simple way to mount the mirror to the wall. Frameless mirrors look sleek and modern, but they need to be completely flush with the wall. This presents a problem as mounting hardware can add a gap...

More Hidden Damage

More Hidden Damage

It is not surprising that many people take short-cuts. And this fact also applies to contractors and sub-contractors. However, I'm still amazed when I see shoddy work when it would only take a small amount of additional time to do the job right. When outside doors and...

Matching House Siding

Matching House Siding

Siding is exposed to the elements, and with that exposure come damage. Just like any other material siding can wear out to the point of needing total replacement. However, local damage also occurs. I'm often called to repair local damage caused by wind or other...

Rebuilding A Screen Room

Rebuilding A Screen Room

Sometimes what appears to be an easy job turns out to be a lot of work. My customer lives in a spectacular vintage mid-century ranch. Attached to the back of her home is a screen room that on the surface appeared to be in good shape. However, on closer inspection it...

Using The 3rd Hand Cabinet Support System.

Using The 3rd Hand Cabinet Support System.

I'm installing modern cabinets in a kitchen remodel that I'm doing. Like most kitchens, there is an abundance of upper cabinets to be installed. Cabinets are big, bulky, and heavy. Because of these facts upper cabinets can be tricky to install as they must be level...

Cosmetic repair of an old staircase.

Cosmetic repair of an old staircase.

I'm am doing an extensive first floor remodel of a 1970s two story home. Part of that remodel included updating the homes staircase. Originally the stairs were painted white. The customer wanted the threads returned to a natural finish. When we sanded the wood it was...

Fixing Some Very Old Windows

Fixing Some Very Old Windows

A long standing customer of mine lives in a wonderful mid-century ranch home. The home is a great combination of new updates and original features. Many of the homes casement windows are in good shape, but some needed repair due to their location and exposure to the...

Acclimation Time

Acclimation Time

If you ever installed a wood floor you probably had the floor planks delivered three or four days before the actual installation. You may have been annoyed because you had to deal with that additional mess. However, there is a reason for this. Your new wood planks...

The Pros and Cons of Foam Insulation

The Pros and Cons of Foam Insulation

Most consumers are aware of fiberglass batten insulation. That is the pink or yellow stuff that you see when you open a wall. This type of insulation has a paper backing that allows it to be easily rolled between wall studs. Fiberglass insulation has an R value of...

Bringing Concrete Back To Life

Bringing Concrete Back To Life

I am working on a mid-century home in Warrenville. One of the projects involves renewing an old concrete patio that had been enclosed to make sunroom. In the past the concrete had been painted green then red. In addition is had quite a bit of residual glue from a...

Weather, Weather, Weather!

Weather, Weather, Weather!

I am replacing a roof for a customer in Plainfield. The new roof is long overdue, but the customer was waiting on an insurance claim for this project. Finally, his roof was approved, but there was a problem as we were entering late fall. When it comes to outside work...

The Difference In Power Washers

The Difference In Power Washers

Many home owners have power washers. Most of them use the electric type. However, all power washers are not created equal. Most purchasers buy their washer based on the PSI rating. This number describes the force of the water being pushed through the machines nozzle....

What Makes A High Efficiency Furnace High Efficiency?

What Makes A High Efficiency Furnace High Efficiency?

I am replacing an HVAC system in an older home (1970s). Although the new furnace looks similar to the old one it has features that make it more efficient. The old furnace was 80% efficient. This means that 80% of the heat contained in the natural gas that it used was...

It Takes A Village To Remodel A House

It Takes A Village To Remodel A House

As a general contractor I do both big and small jobs. Currently, I'm doing a medium sized job in Naperville. I'm reconfiguring and remodeling an entire first floor, plus doing work on the families HVAC system. Sometimes new customers ask how many employees I have. My...

A Post About Posts

As you may recall I recently work on the exterior of a house that needed a new front porch. The old porch had shifted, which also disconnected the home's decorative front columns. Those columns were in bad shape, and were rotting. We replaced the columns with 1 x 10...

When Mice Attack

When Mice Attack

I'm remodeling a house that was built about 30 years ago. Although this house is in a suburb that has good building codes, those codes have updated during the years. Currently, all new homes in that suburb require fire stopping. This involves sealing holes between...

A Way To Fill Concrete Cracks

A Way To Fill Concrete Cracks

There are two things that you can say about concrete, no one will ever steal it, and it will crack. Significant cracks can be a sign that the concrete pad is unstable. Minor cracks can look unsightly, but they are normal. Many people simply pour liquid concrete into...

The Story Of Four Posts

The Story Of Four Posts

As you may recall I'm replacing the support posts on a 1980s home. The original posts were supported by a stoop, which sank badly over the years. I have since replace the stoop, which is now support by concrete piers and will last many years. Unfortunately, the old...

First Impressions Can Be Deceiving-And That Can Be Good.

First Impressions Can Be Deceiving-And That Can Be Good.

I am replacing the windows and siding on a suburban home, which was built in the 1980s. Unfortunately, the builder employed many shortcuts in construction, which are now causing problems. This particular home has a roof overhang that was supported by four outer...

A Sunken Front Stoop

A Sunken Front Stoop

A common problem with front stoops is that they settle and sink. Sometimes this is just an unsightly annoyance, but at other times such sinking can actually cause structural damage. A reason for this problem is that the soil under the stoop was disturbed prior to the...

A Temporary Roof Support

A Temporary Roof Support

I am currently doing some exterior work on a home built in the 1980s. I'm replacing the roof, siding, porch concrete pad, and the front columns of the house. The columns have to be replaced as the concrete pad that they sit on is sinking and cracked, and the columns...

A Tale Of Two Windows

A Tale Of Two Windows

If you examine the photo below you will see two windows that seem to be almost identical, but they are not. The older window was the original contractor grade one which was replaced by the window on the right, which is a Pella Lifestyle Series window. Here are some of...

Using A Dremel Tool to Cut Out Wall Board.

Using A Dremel Tool to Cut Out Wall Board.

In a past post I created a box to mount a new medicine cabinet for a bathroom remodel. Naturally, I had to over cut the existing wallboard to do this build. I then used pieces of new wallboard that were screwed into the existing structure using drywall screws. It is...

Dry Fitting A New Medicine Cabinet.

Dry Fitting A New Medicine Cabinet.

I am installing a new medicine cabinet to replace a "builder's grade" one. The old medicine cabinet was very dated, and also very small. The new cabinet is larger and, of a more modern design. The new cabinet had to be moved upward to accommodate a higher sink. The...

A Different Type Of Remodeling Bank Loan.

In most cases a customer pays with cash that they have saved, or they use traditional options like a home equity loan or their 401K plan. This is a smooth transaction for me. However, I am now working with a customer who is using a different type of loan. This loan...

Risiliency

Risiliency

I spent the last two weeks in the wilds of Montana at Glacier National Park. Six of those days were spent backpacking with my 10 year old son, Charlie. I had never backpacked before and in my mind I equated it to going on a walk with a backpack. I was wrong. I had all...

The Pros and Cons Of Battery Operated Power Tools

The Pros and Cons Of Battery Operated Power Tools

Power tools changed the landscape of home remodeling and construction. They were faster and more accurate than old fashioned hand tools. Another tool revolution happened over twenty years ago with a simple driver. That is when this tool was outfitted with a battery....

Contact Tom

630-585-8369
http://gizmohomecraft.com
Gizmo Home I Craft 190 E 5th Avenue, Suite 23 Naperville, Illinois 60563