Gizmo Home Craft

Complete Remodeling, Restoration and Repurposing Services

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 8)

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.

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.

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.

Using The Amazing 3M Painter’s Hand Masker

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.

It’s All About The Prep

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.

An Intricate Tile Backsplash

For a while, the use of a tile backsplash was not in fashion.  This was mostly due to cost.  New homes are built on a tight budget and tile work can be expensive.

However, there are many benefits for having a tile backsplash, and they are coming back strong into popularity.  They are both beautiful and practical.  They add texture and style.  When many of my customers remodel a kitchen they will put in a tile backsplash.

The renewed popularity of backsplashes has led to many tile choices, some quite intricate.  I’m lucky to have an expert tiler on my team.  In the following photos, you can see the transformation of a dull plain wall into something of interest.  Joe (our tiler), lays out the pieces on the floor as there are many different parts to properly piece together.  Once he has the tiles ready he applies them to the wall.

Check out the before and after photos to see what a difference a backsplash can make.

The backsplash without protective tile.

Joe puts the pieces on the floor before assembling.

Joe, our tile-man, is an expert tiler.

Functional and intricate backsplash.

The Beauty Behind The Scene

There are many different steps to be accomplished when remodeling a kitchen.  Something as simple as a sink install can require the expertise of a plumber, electrician, and a countertop fabricator.

I am currently finishing up a total kitchen remodel in Woodridge.  The customer didn’t change the location of the sink, but newer sinks tend to be deeper and are usually mounted below the countertop.  This requires moving the plumbing a few inches down.

The first photo shows the lowered roughed in discharge line.  The second photo gives a “behind the scenes” view under the sink.  You can see the new electrical, plumbing connections, and disposal unit with its air switch.  The last photo shows the customer’s shiny new sink.

My customer now has a state-of-the-art sink system that will give him many years of trouble free service.

If you are in need of any home remodeling or repair services, give me a call for a free estimate.  You can check out my website by clicking here.

Rough plumbing

“Behind the scenes.”

All done, a beautiful sink.


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