Gizmo Home Craft

Complete Remodeling, Restoration and Repurposing Services

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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.

Installing A Roof In Winter

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.

Installing A Dual Cooktop and Microwave Venting System

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).

Duct installed.

Outside venting.








If you are considering a kitchen remodel, please give me a call.  Estimates and design ideas are free.


Owner Gizmo Home Craft


Using Adhesive To Secure An Engineered Wood Floor

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!


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.


Not All Remodelers Are Equal

I am doing a kitchen remodel in Woodridge.  The owner already had his bathroom done by another company about 6 months earlier. The spout on the tub was very wobbly and he asked me to look at it.

I was shocked to see how amateurish the work was.  The other construction company used quick connectors to attach the tub’s water supply to a new shower valve.  They then tried to stabilize the spout using wood shims.  Even in a DIY project, this would not be acceptable as it resulted in a wobbly bathtub spout.

Instead of calling back the original company he asked me to take a look at the problem.  I isolated the problem and stabilized the spout.

It is important to remember that all remodelers are not equal.  You may get a low bid, but you may also get low quality work.  The other company seemed to be interested in getting the job done as quickly as possible.  This resulted in a very poor job.

If you would like to have me give you a free estimate on any home remodel, give me a call.  You can learn more about Gizmo Home Craft by clicking here.

Former remodeler used quick connectors.

Terrible amateurish fix to stabilize bathtub spout.

Spout now stabilized.

Keeping It Clean

As a home remodeler, it is common for me to work in occupied homes.  No matter how you slice it, remodeling is dirty work.  Walls come down, floors come up, and dust is everywhere.

Although dirt can’t be eliminated completely I do my best to minimize it.  When working in a home I try to isolate the work area from the rest of the house with plastic barriers.  The system that I prefer is called the ZipWall system.  I like this system because the plastic barrier is fixed to the ZippWall pole and it won’t come down.

In the following photos, I opened a wall for some plumbing repair.  The was patched and needed to be sanded.  This process produces a lot of mess.  I want my customers to not only be happy with my work, but also with me.  A clean and tidy remodeler gets called back for future jobs.

Protecting the rest of the house from dust and grime.

Repaired wall before sanding.

A Customized Threshold

I recently did a bathroom remodel in Naperville.  The customer chose a stone tile for the floor.  Unfortunately, the bathroom subfloor was out of level. This resulted in a considerable difference in the height between the tile bathroom floor and the oak floor outside of the bathroom.

The solution was to create a gradual transition using the threshold piece.  This would provide not only the best aesthetic look, but also the safest bridge between the two living areas.  I used a square block of wood cut to fill the opening. I then marked the wood to proper height on both the oak floor side and the tile floor side.  Using a table saw I made an initial cut at the proper angle.  I then evaluated it and refined the cut until the angle was a perfect match.

This sounds simple, but it does take a little practice and experience.

If you are considering any interior or exterior remodeling work, I would be happy to come by and give you a free quote.  You can learn more about me by visiting my website.

Two floors at different heights.

New threshold cut at an angle.

Getting ready to fit.

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