Gizmo Home Craft

Complete Remodeling, Restoration and Repurposing Services

Cabinets Make A Difference

I’m remodeling a kitchen in Glen Ellyn.  It is a total remodel that includes combining the former dining room with the old kitchen.  It always amazes me how some elements can make a dramatic difference in the way a room looks.

The first photo is the empty new kitchen.  The second photo shows you the unfinished kitchen with the cabinets installed.  Instantly, a barren space becomes a living space.  You can now imagine that room as the center of their home.

An empty room.

A kitchen takes shape.

Joining A New Wood Floor With An Existing Wood Floor

In my last post, I made the case for replacing a wood floor.  In this post, I’ll show you how to weave a new floor into an existing floor seamlessly.

This is the same project that I posted about last week.  However, it is on the opposite side of the room.  On that side, the new kitchen abuts the client’s family room.  That oak floor was in great shape.

The key is to stagger the new planks with the old ones.  Naturally, the old floor has to be sanded down to the bare wood so we can achieve a color match.  The new floor and the old floor are given a stain and top coat finish.  The results speak for themselves.  No one would guess that these were two different floors.

Weaving planks.

Sanding the old floor.

The result. Beautiful!


When Should You Replace A Wood Floor

I am doing a kitchen remodel in Glen Ellyn.  The customer is joining his dining room and kitchen together.  This will turn two small rooms into a large and wonderful kitchen space.

The dining room already has an oak floor, and the owner wanted me to weave the new kitchen floor into the dining room floor.  On the surface this makes sense.  Why pay for a new floor when you can get away with using old materials?  Unfortunately, the old floor had significant problems.  There were excessive gaps between the slats, and more importantly, it was installed on  1 x 2 slippers.  A much better option is to use a solid subfloor.  Floors on slippers are less stable and would blend poorly with the new flooring on a solid base.

He elected to replace all of the flooring, giving him a solid and unified surface that he can be proud of for years to come.

Old floor on slippers

Laying the new floor

Ready to stain

Are Your Air Ducts Making You Sick?

I’m am working on a remodel that involves the removal of the kitchen floor including the subfloor.  The house was built in the 1970s, and the building code of those days allowed for the cold air returns to use wall and floor cavities.  The current code requires using an actual duct for air returns.

Since we were reconfiguring the kitchen we had to reroute the return ducts, which allowed us to peer inside.  The attached photos show what we found.  You can see an accumulation of dust, hair, lint and other materials.  All the things that can make an allergy sufferer worse.

The interesting fact is that the owner recently had his ductwork cleaned.  Unfortunately, these types of ducts can be very difficult to clean due to the way that they are constructed.  If you are doing a total remodel you may consider upgrading your ducts to the current code, if you are an allergy sufferer.

Exposing the air return ducts.

Choosing A New Kitchen Sink

There was a time when choosing a sink was simple, the customer would select stainless or cast iron. Now there are many choices.

The most popular materials are stainless steel or composite.  Composite sinks are made from materials like quartz resin which is bonded with an epoxy resin.

There are also many different sink styles.  In the first picture below you can see a sink that has a step-like wall.  This allows for the insertion of multi-purpose grated racks that can be used to air dry dishes. The second photo shows a composite sink.

There is also a button at the top left of the sinks.  This is an air switch that turns on the garbage disposal.  The user isn’t turning on an electric switch making this solution not only elegant but potentially safer.

I would be happy to give you a free quote for any remodeling job.  My 25 years of design experience is also free!


Gizmo Home Craft

A stainless sink with steps.

A beautiful composite sink.

Wall Tiles Can Make A Difference!

When a customer contracts with me to do a bathroom or kitchen they also have some jobs to do.  They need to select their tile/cabinet package.  Often, they will ask me for my advice, as I have been in the business for over 25 years.

The choice of tiles can make a dramatic difference.  Some tiles are more casual, some are more formal.  The right choice can turn a nice bathroom into a showplace.

Below are some examples of simple tiles that I have installed.  The end results were spectacular.

If you have any remodeling needs please feel free to contact me for a free estimate.  I’ll be happy to offer you some suggestions based on my many years of design experience.


Gizmo Home Craft

Different sized tiles can add interest.

Contrasting tiles add dimension.

Natural tiles add a touch of class.

A Wonderful Kitchen Remodel

A customer contracted with me to remodel his kitchen.  The old kitchen was serviceable, but it was dark and dated.  In addition, there was a barrier wall between the kitchen and dining room.  This was a common practice in homes build in that era. Unfortunately, this closed off the kitchen into a somewhat claustrophobic space.

I suggested that he not only remodel the kitchen, but also open up the barrier wall. This allowed for additional counter space and a much more open feeling.

I think that the difference between the two kitchens is tremendous.  My customer now has a beautiful, and much more functional kitchen.

Old dated kitchen

New kitchen remodel

Harvesting More Garage Storage By Building A DIY Shelving Unit

Our garages often become storage areas.  A snowblower here,  some tools there, bicycles, spare tires, etc.  It doesn’t take long before it is so cluttered that you can’t even park your car.

One good way to create more storage and to organize your stuff is to add shelving units.  There are many that are commercially available. However, some are flimsy and others are very expensive.  A relatively simple DIY project is to create your own shelving.  Some 2x4s, plywood, screws, and some brackets are all that you need.

By attaching 2x4s to the wall’s studs you create a long surface where you can attach your shelving brackets independent of the studs. You can find brackets at you local home center in the hardware aisle.  In fact, many home centers will rip your plywood into shelves if you ask them.  I like using wood screws to attach the 2X4s to the walls, and drywall screws to attach the shelves to the brackets.  The drywall screws that I had on hand were a bit too long, so I used a grinder to cut off their tips from the top of the shelves.  I also used a jigsaw to curve the edge of the bottom shelf to make it less of a hazard.

A simple morning project yielded a lot of extra space.

The first shelf installed.

Grinding off exposed screw tips.

Bottom shelve rounded off with a jigsaw.

The shelving completed.

A Better Way To Hang A Mirror or Picture.


One of the last things that I do when I complete a bathroom is to hang the mirror.  Hanging a mirror is a simple DIY project, but it isn’t uncommon to have to readjust a crooked or misplaced mirror.  There also can be some mess.

You can eliminate these problems by following a few simple steps.

-Place some masking tape where you plan to add your mounts.  This way you avoid any marks on the wall.
-Naturally, you want to measure (and measure again) carefully so that your mirror is properly positioned.
-Use a level to make sure that your mounting screws aren’t crooked.
-By using a vacuum when drilling you avoid dust from the drywall.  It is surprising how much dust you can generate from drilling a few simple holes.
-Hang your mirror.

By doing a little bit of prep work you can avoid additional mess, and get the job done correctly the first time.

If you are thinking about remodeling your bathroom, I would be happy to offer you a free estimate and my 20-plus years of design experience.  Give me a call!


Placing masking tape.

Using a vacuum to reduce dust.

Adding wall anchors.

Mirror hung!

Partial Replacement Of An Oak Floor

I have been doing an extensive remodel of a home.  Part of that job included modifying a master bath to make it handicap accessible.  This required replacing a traditional door with a sliding pocket door.  Although this replacement sounds like a simple project it involved many steps that ranged from moving electrical switch boxes to widening a door opening.  As a result of the latter, a small section of the homeowner’s floor had to be repaired.

With the right tools and skills, this can be accomplished with the minimum amount of cost and mess. My flooring specialist was happy to use my Festool oscillating sander.  The Festool system is a sander activated vacuum device that leaves the least amount of dust.

As you can see, the results are excellent.  No one will ever notice that the floor was repaired.

If you have any flooring or home repair needs, please feel free to contact me.  I’m happy to offer you a free quote and my over 20 years of real-world experience.


Marking off the area.

Cutting out the old planks.

Using my Festool sander.

Repair finished!

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