Gizmo Home Craft

Complete Remodeling, Restoration and Repurposing Services

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Power washing a fireplace

A longtime customer was moving.  Both he and his wife were smokers, and their cigarette smoke permeated their entire house.  They had a nice white brick fireplace that was stained from years of cigarette smoke.

The fireplace was the focal point of their family room and its yellowed appearance did not add appeal. Options to clean the brick were limited. After protecting surfaces with plastic I tried a few different cleaners.  None of them made any impact.  Finally, I  power washed the surface. Using a power washer had minimal impact.  With that said, you can see some of the tar and nicotine in the wash off.

Smoking indoors not only can impact your health, it also can impact your house.

Prepping the fireplace.

Nicotine residue

How to patch a big hole in drywall

A customer had an old non-functional in-house intercom system that he wanted to be removed.  This left large holes in his walls.  It is simple to repair these if you know what to do.  Follow the pictures before for step-by-step instructions.

A drywall saw is used to cut out the drywall. Using the same saw a new piece of drywall is cut. It is then secured to the wall using screws.

A utility knife is used to cut away the rough edges so that the drywall tape sits flat.

A nice clean cut.

Joint compound applied, and then drywall tape.

Another layer of joint compound applied, dried and sanded. We are ready to paint!

Hidden Surprise!

A long-time customer was moving and wanted me to do some update work on his house to get it ready for sale.  Among the jobs was some carpet removal.

The customer’s plan was to have me remove the old carpeting so new carpeting could be laid.  What a surprise it was to find a beautiful wood floor beneath worn and dated carpeting.  Not only did the customer save the cost of carpeting replacement, but he added the selling bonus of a hardwood floor.  He was as surprised as I was when I told him the news.

Gizmo Home Craft can handle most any job, from major remodels to getting a home ready for sale.  Give me a call for a free estimate.

A fantastic wood floor hiding under old carpeting.

A New Roof In Bowlingbrook

I just finished this roof in Bolingbrook.  Summer is roofing season and  I am a certified roofer. In addition, I am a certified GAF contractor.  Being a GAF contractor allows me to offer an enhanced GAF weather stopper warranty for my customers. This warranty is a 50-year warranty that covers both materials and labor. It doesn’t even pro-rate for the first 20 years, and it is transferable to a new homeowner during that first 20 years.

Your roof protects your entire house.  When you need to replace it make sure that you know someone who knows roofs.  Low price and good value are two very different things. Call us for a free estimate.

The old shingles needing to be replaced.

Out with the old roof, in with the new.

Ready to face the elements. The new roof is ready to go!

Bland To Beautiful Bathroom

My customer moved into a 55 Plus community.  Her single family dwelling was build over 20 years ago, and the baths were designed to be neutral.  Sometimes neutral can be a bit boring, and my customer wanted to add her own style and personality to her new house.

She also wanted a curbless shower with a built in bench that would be practical if her mobility was ever impaired. She chose a warmer richer look, as the old design was sterile and white.

We worked together in the design process, and I think that the results were spectacular.  Her bathroom now showcases her good taste, and it is designed with the future in mind.

The old bathroom was bland with an unbalanced design.

The old bath had a tub that was not very practical for a 55+ community.

Not bad, but no style.

Beautiful cabinets and lighting transform the bath.

New floor tiles and a beautiful roll in shower that is practical for now and the future.

New vessel sinks adds to the the overall style of the new bath.

Hidden water damage

A customer was in the process of replacing the patio on his 35-year-old home.  When he removed the step he discovered that the rim joist was completely rotted.  This was  due to lack of flashing, which is a moisture barrier between the house proper and the concrete.  When there is water present it seeps behind the step and can’t escape, which causes rott. Not only does this damage the wood, but it is an open invitation for insect infestation, partiularly termites.

This seems to be a common occurance that I see in new construction.  It takes very little extra time and money to do the job right, but often installers take shortcuts.  When I install doors ,windows, and siding I make sure that the propper moisture barriers are installed.  A little time now means a lot less grief later.

We were able to fix our customer’s problem, and we can do the same for you.

Water damage to rim joist.

New plate installed.

New rim joist.

Flashing installed.

From Bland Powder Room To 3/4 Man Cave Bath

Finished basements often have powder rooms.  They are great, but powder rooms don’t include a shower.

The first picture shows the original powder room.  Bland, contractor grade fixtures and boring tiles are the dominant features. You can also see the door to a utility area at the end of the powder room.

The goal was to convert this powder room into a more functional bath with a shower.  We also wanted to transform its bland appearance into a masculine spa bath, as the rest of the basement is being remodeled into a man cave.

Some unique features of the bath include the use of exterior stucco on the walls, the in-wall sink faucet, and the addition of masculine toned granite and tiles.

I think that the new bath looks great!

The old powder room. No shower and very bland.

The new 3/4 bath A new shower and masculine accents makes it perfect for a man cave.

 

How To Caulk Neatly

If you have ever tried to caulk, you have probably discovered that what appears to be easy, isn’t.  Even when you carefully apply a bead of caulk it always seems like there is either too much or not enough.

With a little effort you can have a perfect caulk line:

  • Use painter’s tape to mask your area.
  • Apply a small bead of caulk.
  • Smooth the caulk using an appropriate device.  I like using my finger.
  • Remove the painter’s tape while the caulk is still pliable.
  • Done!

Placing the blue painter’s tape.

Ready to go!

Applying a small bead of caulk.

A finger as a tool!

An Exterior Finish Used On An Interior Wall

It is fun to think outside the box.  When most people think of an interior room they think of interior finishes.  I’m currently completing a bathroom in Aurora.  I thought it would be interesting to use exterior stucco on the bathroom walls.  Naturally, this product is very durable for this application, as it is designed to withstand all sorts of weather conditions.  A humid bathroom does not challenge it.

A base coat is evenly applied to the primed walls.  After it drys a premixed stucco compound is expertly applied to the walls to give them a unique finish.

The walls have gone from ordinary to beautiful with this simple step.

Starting base coat over drywall.

Base coat added.

Exterior stucco added to give an interior room a unique look.

 

How To Replace A Skylight

A customer had an old skylight above their kitchen island.  It was discolored and non-functional.  They saw me demonstrate a VELUX skylight at a recent home show.  This particular model can open and close at the touch of a remote control button.  It also has a power shade.  It is designed to retrofit into an existing hole and it is solar powered, so no additional wiring is needed.  This particular skylight even has a rain sensor which automatically closes the skylight when it senses the first drops of rain.

The video below shows you how quick it is to replace your existing skylight when that replacement is done by experts.

 
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