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 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
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.
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.
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.
Everyone knows that the most important part of a painting project is protecting those things that you don’t want painted. This task is also the most tedious.
3M has a great gadget to speed things along. It is the 3M Painter’s Hand Masking Kit. The main part of the kit is a tool that automatically applies making tape to a plastic film as you roll the plastic out. No more bunches of stuck together tape!
Although this masker isn’t cheap, it should be in every weekend warrior’s tool kit. It is guaranteed to not only save time, but also aggravation.
The following photos will give you an idea on how to use it.
3M Hand-Masker Pre-assembled Masking Film Kit
Tacking the masking film.
3M Masking film deployed.
A customer called me to evaluate his roof. He had an insurance check to replace it and the check was about to expire. Unfortunately, it was January!
We often think of replacing roofs in the spring or summer, and of course, this makes sense. However, there are times when you have to break this rule. With that said, safety first. We were unable to reshingle the roof on our scheduled day due to frost and ice on the roof. Even with proper gear falling from a second story can be deadly. The only solution was to wait until the surface was safe. In this case an additional week.
Ice on the roof! Time to wait for a warmer day.
The weather cleared, so it is time to put on a new roof.
It is common practice to vent a cooktop. By having a venting system you can reduce cooking aromas. However, most microwaves recirculate directly into the kitchen. This may be OK when you want the delicious smell of popcorn, but it can be less desirable when you are reheating fish.
More of my customers are choosing to use an over the range microwave in their new kitchen remodels. These devices look like regular microwave ovens but they are designed to mount above the cooktop. They typically have a system the vents both the cooktop and the microwave to the outside. This requires some simple duct work.
In the photos below you can see this process. Naturally, if you decide on this product it makes the most sense to mount your new microwave and cooktop close to an outside wall. Otherwise, you are wasting cabinet space by filling them with ducts.
Dual purpose vent (stove and microwave).
If you are considering a kitchen remodel, please give me a call. Estimates and design ideas are free.
Owner Gizmo Home Craft
One of the latest wood flooring materials is engineered wood. This is very different from laminated “Pergo” flooring, which looks cheap and wears poorly.
Engineered wood has plywood as a base with a 1/8″ veneer of the wood floor of your choice (white oak, red oak, and others). By using this technique you create a very stable floor that isn’t impacted by changes in our season cycle. You don’t get shrinkage with low humidity or swelling with high humidity. The product is about 25-35% more expensive than a traditional wood floor but offers more advantages. For instance, it can be successfully placed on concrete. I wouldn’t advise placing a traditional wood floor on such a surface.
Engineered floors can be glued to the substrate floor. A glued floor has greatly reduced deflection and thereby greatly reduced squeaking.
The floor looks fantastic, as the surface is real oak. The planks can be purchased both finished and unfinished. The following photos show the installation sequence.
If you have any flooring questions or would like a free estimate on a new floor, give me a call:
Tom Debski at 630.585.8369
Using glue on a hardwood floor.
Installed engineered wood floor planks.
The finished floor is beautiful!
When doing a home remodel one of the biggest potential hassles that a customer faces is the construction mess. Some of this mess is unavoidable, but much of it can be eliminated with a little planning.
Customers appreciate that we clean up after ourselves. We minimize mess, and we are respectful that we are being allowed to work in someone’s home. Part of keeping things clean and tidy is the prep work.
Cutting tile involves using a wet saw. This type of saw has a water reservoir used to eliminate dust and to cool the cutting blade. However, it is a potential source of water spillage.
I don’t take any chances when it comes to damaging my customer’s floor. You can see in the photo that I already have a paper barrier placed. On top of the paper is a plastic sheet that travels up the wall. On top of that sheet is a rubber pad. Tripple protection for my customer!
A plastic barrier.
A rubber mat on top of the plastic.