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What’s Your “R?”

A customer was having significant problems with their roof. Ice dams were forming in the winter, and there was also signifiant condensation issues. A home produces a lot of moisture which finds its way into the attic. The attic was poorly insulated which caused...

From Flood Destroyed To Fabulous

A number of months ago I was contracted to restore a house that had major flood damage on all three levels of the residence. A second floor toilet leaked when the owners were on vacation, and this simple problem completely ruined much of the second, first, and lower...

Got Sink?

Not that many years ago it was simple to decide on what sink you wanted to use in a kitchen remodel. It was stainless or porcelain. However, over the years there have been many different options, not only in style, but also in finish. Lately, many remodels that I have...

Correcting A Tiling Error

My tile man was in the process of installing a herringbone backsplash in a customer's kitchen. I checked on his progress and discovered that he had made an error, and the complicated pattern wouldn't be even on both sides. We could have continued and it is likely that...
What’s Your “R?”

What’s Your “R?”

A customer was having significant problems with their roof. Ice dams were forming in the winter, and there was also signifiant condensation issues. A home produces a lot of moisture which finds its way into the attic. The attic was poorly insulated which caused...

From Flood Destroyed To Fabulous

From Flood Destroyed To Fabulous

A number of months ago I was contracted to restore a house that had major flood damage on all three levels of the residence. A second floor toilet leaked when the owners were on vacation, and this simple problem completely ruined much of the second, first, and lower...

Got Sink?

Not that many years ago it was simple to decide on what sink you wanted to use in a kitchen remodel. It was stainless or porcelain. However, over the years there have been many different options, not only in style, but also in finish. Lately, many remodels that I have...

Correcting A Tiling Error

Correcting A Tiling Error

My tile man was in the process of installing a herringbone backsplash in a customer's kitchen. I checked on his progress and discovered that he had made an error, and the complicated pattern wouldn't be even on both sides. We could have continued and it is likely that...

A Use for AC Glue

A Use for AC Glue

AC glue is a water-based, cyanoacrylate glue that sets extremely fast. It has as many uses as the user can think of. In the following example I'm using it to quickly adhere a template for a circular drywall cut for a in-house sound system. See photos below. I placed...

What Has Happened To “Made In America”

What Has Happened To “Made In America”

It is common to get a product from overseas that is poorly manufactured. It is also common to use the refrain, "What what do you expect it was made in (fill in your choice of country). If a product was made in Germany, America, or Japan most of us would assume that it...

So Many Clamps

So Many Clamps

Clamps are the unsung heroes of carpentry. Most of us have seen standard clamps like C clamps, bar clamps, and wood clamps. However, there are dozens of other clamps, each used for a its own purpose. These clamps provide a third hand, to hold things together, and are...

Why Remodel Jobs Get Delayed

Why Remodel Jobs Get Delayed

As a general contractor I'm expected to give my clients a reasonable estimate to completion for any job. However, I'm often hampered by events well beyond my control. Here is one example. We ordered a $1,200 cabinet on-line for a bathroom. It took 2 weeks for it to...

Installing A Range Hood

Installing A Range Hood

Installing a range hood is fairly straightforward, but it does require some muscle. I'll walk you through the steps, but you will need two or three pairs of hands for the final mounting. See photos below. Here you can see the electrical wiring which is both 120 volts...

Mounting Address Numbers On A House

Mounting Address Numbers On A House

Every house needs to clearly have its address visible. With this identification a home can be located by friends, delivery services, and emergency services. There are a variety of number systems that can be used, some are easier to install than others. Raised numbers...

Vinyl Floors Are Making A Comeback

Trends come and go. What was popular yesterday is out today. This reality fuels our economy, but also can increase our environmental burden. There is a recent trend back to vinyl flooring, specifically vinyl flooring that looks like wood planks. Vinyl flooring is made...

Unsinking A Sunken Family Room

Unsinking A Sunken Family Room

A popular style for homes built in the 1970s and 1980s was the sunken room. This was often a living room or the same floor family room that would be a few inches below the rooms around it. I'm guessing that this was some designers idea to add a "modern" look that...

Adding A Hardwood Floor To A Room With An Uneven Floor

Adding A Hardwood Floor To A Room With An Uneven Floor

I'm restoring a home that had significant water damage, and the owner wanted to change a carpeted bedroom to one with a hardwood floor. When the home was built the builder didn't make sure that the floor was level, but that was hidden by the carpeting. However, this...

Changing Staircase Posts

Changing Staircase Posts

I'm restoring a home that suffered significant water damage. This has been an opportunity for the owner to update their 1980's style house. See photos below for more information. These are the old staircase posts. They are OK, but dated and definitely builder quality....

A Fireplace Gets A Facelift

A Fireplace Gets A Facelift

Sometimes something bad can turn out to be something good. A customer's second floor toilet leaked while they were on vacation. This caused tremendous damage to their basement, first, and second floors. Naturally, this was a very stressful event. However, there is a...

Modifying A Staircase Post

Modifying A Staircase Post

A customer wanted to replace her upstairs staircase post, and found a new one in a catalog. She asked me to order it, which I did. However, when she received the item she realized that she didn't like its rounded interior details. I found her another post that was...

The Amazing Festool Domino Tool

The Amazing Festool Domino Tool

A customer had an older style brick mantel, and they wanted a more traditional wooden mantel. This was a process that included removing the old brick mantel while keeping the rest of the fireplace intact. Making the mantel involved joining a lot of wood, and for this...

Replacing A Subfloor

Replacing A Subfloor

I'm doing an extensive renovation on a home that suffered water damage. A second-floor toilet leaked while the owners were on vacation, causing significant damage to all levels of their home. The majority of their 1st floor subfloor had to be replaced. See the photos...

Keeping Worksites Clean

Keeping Worksites Clean

I have been surprised at the mess that other contractors leave after they finish a job. Their customers pay for a job, and then they have the work of cleaning up a huge mess afterwards. It does take time to prepare a site to keep it clean. And it takes time to clean...

Water Damage!

Water Damage!

I am about to start a restoration project on a home that suffered water damage. That damage was caused by a toilet leaking while the owners were on vacation. It is surprising how much damage can happen with a simple water leak. In this case there was significant...

A New Cabinet For A Friend

A New Cabinet For A Friend

Five years ago my friend, Mike converted a cargo van into camper van. Over the years I have helped him modify it as his needs changed. A year ago he converted his kitchen to all electric and uses a solar charging system/battery bank/inverter to power his induction...

A New Hip

A New Hip

I have been doing construction-type work since the early 1990s in a variety of capacities. My first business was a deck building business where I had to dig holes, move dirt, pour concrete, and lift truckloads of lumber. Over time I increased my skills and became...

Think Before You DIY

I have been a general contractor for many decades. However, on occasion other members of my family decide that they are going to take on a home DIY projects. I think that is great, but sometimes the end result yields more work for me than if I would have just done the...

Festool Kpex KSC 60, A Better Compound Miter Saw

Festool Kpex KSC 60, A Better Compound Miter Saw

Like most things, power tools come in grades. DIYers might purchase an economically priced Ryobi power tool, but professionals will more likely go for more robust tools made by companies like DeWalt and Milwaukee. However, there is one brand that stands above the...

Repairing Damaged Walls

Repairing Damaged Walls

A customer had damaged walls and ceiling. For whatever reason paint was peeling off in sheets. He felt that it was due to defective wallboard and he was looking for a solution. We decided that the best way to fix the situation was to apply 1/4" wallboard (on top of...

Tuckpointing, Part II

Tuckpointing, Part II

In my last post I talked about the initial stages needed to tuck-point. This post will outline the clean up stage. See photos below. Here my mason is spraying a solution of water and muriatic acid on new mortar. It is necessary to wait a few weeks as the mortar needs...

Tuckpointing!

Tuckpointing!

A customer's home needed some tuckpointing work. Below are some photos that describe how we did it. If you look to the right of the security camera you can see some cracks in the tuckpointing. Some bricks were literally falling out. These blades attach to a grinder....

A Simple Sign Handing Tip

A Simple Sign Handing Tip

My wife wanted me to hang some fun signs on two doors in our lower level. The problem was that the doors are hollow-core and are only 5/16th of an inch thick. You can't screw something into them and expect that solution to work. Here are some easy tips to get a...

Adding A Grab Bar

Adding A Grab Bar

A friend of mine's wife needed a grab bar, and he asked me for assistance. His concern was that he couldn't find the studs in the bathroom wall due to the heavy stone tiles in his shower. Installing a grab bar is a simple process and it is possible, in certain...

Consider A Backup Sump Pump

Consider A Backup Sump Pump

If you have a basement in the Midwest it is likely that you have a sump pump. Most Midwestern homes utilize drain tiles to keep ground water out of the basement. Those tiles drain into a pit, which is then pumped out locally. Typically, this water is not allowed to be...

Repairing A Damaged Interior Door

Repairing A Damaged Interior Door

I have a custom sized door in my house that suffered damage from dripping condensation in the area. The poplar door had a damaged areas plus some cracks. I'll show you how I fixed the door in the following photos. Here you can see the damaged door with various cracks....

A Hidden Mess

A Hidden Mess

A customer wanted me to remove some cabinets in her home office. This would normally be a simple job. However, when we took the cabinets out we discovered that the room's hardwood floor didn't extend beneath them. This presented several issues. Most floor standard...

A Few Staining Tips

A Few Staining Tips

If your project contains wood it is likely that you will need to stain that wood. Staining is a fairly easy process, but a few simple tricks can turn a DIY looking job into one that looks much more professional. See the photos below. After a light sanding I use...

Repairing a damaged wood floor without resanding the entire floor.

Repairing a damaged wood floor without resanding the entire floor.

One of my subcontractors accidentally damaged the wood floor on a remodel that I was doing. This accident posed a significant problem for me as the normal solution would be to replace a section of the floor, then sand and re-stain the entire floor. Not only would this...

Using A Lock Set Jig

Using A Lock Set Jig

I custom built many of the doors for my townhouse remodel, and all of those required me to drill the proper openings for a lock set. This could be a complicated job, but it is made easy using a quick-set jig. The particular one that I have is over 20 years old and is...

More, Details Matter

More, Details Matter

It is the details that differentiate the professional from the amateur. Unfortunately, many professional tradespeople have giving up on craftsmanship in favor of getting the job done as quickly as possible. I'm remodeling a laundry room for a client, and she wanted a...

Details, Details, Details

Details, Details, Details

It is surprising how little pride some workers take in their craft. It seems like all that they want to do is to complete a job as quickly as possible without taking the extra time for the detail work leaving a job that looks more DIY than professional. A customer had...

The Details Make A Difference

The Details Make A Difference

We live in a world where time is money. Unfortunately, that sometimes means that people, including trades people, take shortcuts. The unsightly end results can go unnoticed by the home owner, but add an overall unprofessional look to an end project. One simple example...

How To Patch Drywall

How To Patch Drywall

A very common question that I get is, "How do you patch a hole in drywall." This process can be somewhat tedious, but a careful DIYer can accomplish it with a little effort. See the photos below for step-by-step directions. This customer had a leak upstairs which...

Before and After

Before and After

When a family is in the middle of a remodel it can be difficult to believe that the job will every get done. This is especially true for kitchen makeovers. It can be tiring to go out to the garage to get something from the fridge, or to cook all of your meals in a...

A Staircase Makeover

A Staircase Makeover

A few posts ago I wrote about a staircase that I was modernizing. I thought you would like to see the final results. See below. The original staircase was in a dated 1980s style. We updated it to this more modern style. Note, that we also replaced the floor and did...

An Inexpensive Sprayer

An Inexpensive Sprayer

I have had a professional level paint sprayer for decades. My current model is Greco Air/Airless sprayer that sells for well over $3000. It is fantastic, durable, and will last me many years. However, the typical DYI'er can't afford such an expensive device. A sprayer...

Before and After

Help In Hanging Kitchen Cabinets

Hanging kitchen cabinets can be challenging, but the process can be made easier by using some specialized tools and techniques. See photos below. Temporary supports make it easier to make sure that your new cabinets are level. The support (of course) also support the...

A New Look For A Staircase

A New Look For A Staircase

A customer wanted to update the look of his 1980s two story home. One of the changes was to update his staircase to the second floor. By making a few changes we gave him a modern, yet traditional. look. We changed the posts to a traditional, yet clean, style. We also...

Choosing The Right Floor Stain

Choosing The Right Floor Stain

Floor stains come in a variety of colors, and it can be difficult to know how a particular stain will look in your room based on a photograph. Just like wall paint, you can purchase small containers of stains and do a swatch test. This will give you a better idea on...

A Time To Reset

A Time To Reset

As the owner of a small business I am busy and my time is often controlled by a punch list of responsibilities. It is fantastic to be busy, but it is also important for me to have balance in my life. I have a wonderful son who grows older every year. Activities that I...

A Tricky First Step

A Tricky First Step

A customer contracted me to remodel most of their first floor. This project included replacing their old stair railing with one more consistent with the remodel's new style. Replacing a railing is normally a multi-step job, and this time it included an extra step (pun...

The 80/20 Painting Rule

The 80/20 Painting Rule

One of the final jobs completed when remodeling is painting. Customers often ask me why our painting is so perfect, and the answer is simple-the 80/20 rule. Most non-professional want to buy the paint and start painting. Some may do a little prep work or they may buy...

Trim Makes The Difference

Trim Makes The Difference

A customer wanted to upgrade the interior look of their home and chose to change the trim around their windows. Upgrading trim often happens when someone is changing out their windows, but it is less common when the original windows stay, as in this case. However, it...

How To Replace Linoleum Tile With Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles

How To Replace Linoleum Tile With Ceramic or Porcelain Tiles

Many homes built in the 70s and 80s sported linoleum tile which was touted as being economical and easy to install. However, fashion changes and for many years ceramic and porcelain tiles have been the go-to choice for home owners. These tiles are more durable...

Instant Hot Water, Part II

Instant Hot Water, Part II

In my last post I illustrated a circulating system to provide residential instant hot water. I thought I would give you a close up view of a water heater with this set up. See the photos below for more details and descriptions. The pump recirculates the hot water. It...

Recirculating hot water

Recirculating hot water

When remodeling a large home I have to face hot water supply issues. The run from the water heater to the kitchen and baths can be long, and it can take some time for the tap to run until the water becomes hot. There are a number of solutions to this problem, but one...

A Novel Way To Test An Added Waste Water Run

A Novel Way To Test An Added Waste Water Run

A client is adding a new bathroom and laundry room to his home. This involved running water and drainage to that area of the house. Naturally, an inspector came out to evaluate the job before giving his OK. My plumber isolated the new leg using a pipe plug which is...

Plumbing Perfect

Plumbing Perfect

I'm working on a house where the owner wants to move their laundry facility into their basement. This involved quite a bit of plumbing work. However, the outcome was outstanding. By building everything into the wall the owner can push their stackable washer and dryer...

Replacing A Base Plate

Replacing A Base Plate

A customer had significant water damage/rot to the base plate in his garage and he wanted me to repair it. See the photos below for my step-by-step process. Here you can see the severe degradation of the base plate due to water rot. A piece of the base plate removed...

Brackets for PVC pipes

Brackets for PVC pipes

A customer wanted to move their laundry room into their basement. This involved quite a bit of new plumbing work. When installing new pipes it is coming to build a wall to mount and support the them. However there is another way to accomplish this goal by using wall...

Converting A Baseboard Vent Into A Floor Vent

Converting A Baseboard Vent Into A Floor Vent

A customer wanted us to convert a baseboard heating vent into a floor vent. No problem, I said. See the photos below. The original baseboard heating vent. Crimping new ductwork. Duct ready to accept boot. Floor boot added. All done!

A Better Way To Remove Insulation

A Better Way To Remove Insulation

When doing a major remodeling job there are always additional jobs that need to be done. These can be very time consuming, and can delay your progress. I'm remodeling a bath and laundry room. Both the plumber and the electrician need access to the ceiling which was...

Repairing A Damaged Hardwood Floor

Repairing A Damaged Hardwood Floor

Hardwood floors are popular because they add both style and warmth. However, sometimes a section can get damaged to the point that it can't be easily repaired. Additionally, floors are added after other structures in a room have been established leading to gaps. In...

There She Blows!

There She Blows!

Insulating the attic can be an effective way to reduce energy costs. There are several ways to accomplish this, and the customer has to determine what is best for them based on costs vs. benefits. In prior posts I discussed foam insulation which has an excellent R...

A Foamy Situation

A Foamy Situation

Most kitchens have at least one outside wall which needs to be insulated. In many kitchen the standard has always been to use fiberglass batts, which give a R15 insulation value (the higher the R the better). Naturally, this is an imperfect solution, but it is cheap...

Making Stringer Covers

Making Stringer Covers

It is often the finishing touches that define the character of a room. A customer was remodeling their basement and they wanted a better look for the builder's basement stairs. I suggested adding stringer covers. The stringers are a structural member installed on...

Furnace Filter Chaos

Furnace Filter Chaos

I recently purchased a furnace filter off of Amazon. Its dimensions were correct in the description but when I tried to install it I was immediately aware that it was the wrong size. On closer inspection I discovered that it was one-quarter inch smaller in all...

Don’t Look In The Attic

Don’t Look In The Attic

A customer wanted me to improve the insulation in their attic. The first step in the process was to asses the situation, and I was very surprised at what I saw. He had bought the house over a year earlier and had the home inspected by a licensed home inspector....

A Quick Router Tip

A Quick Router Tip

A friend of mine has a camper van the he and I built. It has a boot box that he converted into a power station, and he is now upgrading that battery bank. He needed the front opening to be larger to accommodate his new gear, and he asked me for help. There are several...

Hidden Surprises

Hidden Surprises

The physical first stage of any remodel is demolition. This simple process can be full of surprises, as in the following case. I am remodeling the first floor of a very nice home. I was surprised to discover significant problems with the HVAC ducts below the floor. It...

A Custom Glass Door

A Custom Glass Door

I'm just about finished with the completion of a music room. The room is in the lower level of my home and it is open to the rest of the house via a large doorway. The doorway looks good, but it is transparent to my son's guitar practice. I wanted a way to preserve...

A Hairy Situation

A Hairy Situation

Life can be full of little annoyances, and one of them is a slow moving drain. There are many solutions to this issue, and some work better than others for a given problem. Naturally, the best way to have an open drain is to treat it with respect. Don't dump grease...

It’s Your Responsibility

It’s Your Responsibility

You may think that anything that is attached to a utility is the responsibility of that utility. However, that is not always the case. For instance, the gas pipes behind your gas meter are your responsibly to maintain. I noticed that the pipes connected to my meter...

Removing Stucco So I Could Replace The Wall to Roof Flashing

Removing Stucco So I Could Replace The Wall to Roof Flashing

I replaced a roof that suffered storm damage. The home has a stucco facade, and this had to be cut out so that I could replace the wall to roof flashing. I had to call upon my stucco expert who cut out part of the 2nd floor wall and then replace the stucco. I also had...

Putting in a sump pump drainage pipe.

Putting in a sump pump drainage pipe.

Most homes with basements have a sump pump. Most sump pumps dump their water directly onto the lawn. However, I want to place a patio in that space, and I want to keep that area dry. In addition, standing water on a patio during a Chicago winter is a recipe for...

Modernizing A Fireplace

Modernizing A Fireplace

A fireplace has always been the center of a room, and the focus of many homes. However, as technology has progressed it has gone from a source of heat, to a focal point, to an entertainment center. Homes that were built 10 years ago didn't have power outlets on...

LVT-Luxury Vinyl Tile

LVT-Luxury Vinyl Tile

Flooring trends come and go, and what was old becomes new and improved. Vinyl flooring has been around for a long time, but it was supplanted by ceramic, then porcelain, then wood flooring. Vinyl flooring is back, but it is very much improved from the stick-on tiles...

Removing A Mantel From A Brick Fireplace

Removing A Mantel From A Brick Fireplace

A customer wanted to remove the mantel from his fireplace. The problem was that there were support bricks that were placed when the first masons originally bricked the fireplace. One option would be to remove all of the bricks and to replace them. This would be both...

A Sink Install That Was Not DIY Friendly

A Sink Install That Was Not DIY Friendly

There are many projects that the home DIYer can accomplish with a little reading, or by watching some YouTube videos. However, there are other projects that are best left to professionals. A customer wanted me to install a bathroom sink. This was a free standing sink...

Tiling Basics For Walls

Tiling Basics For Walls

Tiling a wall can be challenging, but it is possible if you follow a few steps. Make sure that you have a flat, straight, and clean surface.Make sure you know your tile layout before you start to install your tiles.Measure the tile and the wall section to figure out...

From Tree To Planks

From Tree To Planks

An oak's life is normally from 150-300 years. Trees don't live forever and they eventually die; most of them become mulch or firewood unless they are specifically harvested to be used for lumber. This seems to be a waste, as many local trees are beautiful hardwoods. I...

In Construction Their May Be Surprises

In Construction Their May Be Surprises

I do my best to accurately estimate a job. However, I don't have X-Ray vision. Sometimes you discover things when you demolish an old kitchen, which is what happened on a current job. After we removed a wall we discovered water pipes right where a new door was going....

A DYI Guitar Display Wall

A DYI Guitar Display Wall

My 13 year old son is an avid guitar player, and I wanted him to have a place to display some of his classic guitars. I decided to create a shiplap wall for that purpose. You can buy shiplap, but I made my own because I wanted one out of oak. My friend, Mike and I...

Sentinel-Cement Foam Board, Great!

Sentinel-Cement Foam Board, Great!

You have to use the right type of wall board when installing it in a shower area. I have always used Durock in these situations. Durock works well, but it is heavy, hard to work with, and very dusty when cut. Recently, I switched to Sentinel board. This is a...

The Counter Top-Final

The Counter Top-Final

This is the third of three posts on the natural countertop that I am installing in my townhome. See the photos below for the sink install. I cut out a sink hole using a hole saw for the corners and my Festool circular saw. Measure twice, cut once! The sink fits...

Making A Custom Countertop, Phase II

Making A Custom Countertop, Phase II

This is the second post on the countertop that I'm creating for my townhome. See the photos below for its progress. Gaps and cracks were filled with an epoxy resin. I used some masking tape to contain the resin. After the resin hardened I used a orbital sander to...

Making A Custom Countertop, Phase I

Making A Custom Countertop, Phase I

As you may recall I harvested logs that I turned into planking that was used for the floors in my townhouse. In addition, I had a large Tamarack log that was flat sawn into 2 1/4 inch slabs. I intended to use this wood for a kitchen countertop. See the photos below...

The Schluter Shower Base

The Schluter Shower Base

When you think of a shower base you probably visualize those fiberglass ones that you can buy at big box stores. They work, but they also look pretty generic. If you want to have a custom and classy look in your bathroom you are going to have to pay an expert to pour...

Dry Wall Quick Tip

Dry Wall Quick Tip

There are times when you need to remove drywall to fix the infrastructure beneath it. I had to do some plumbing work that was behind drywall. Normally, I would use a saw and cut an opening. However, the opening would be uneven and rough. A drywall circular cutter...

A New Custom Railing

A New Custom Railing

I needed to install a railing on the loft that I created in the townhouse that I'm remodeling. It is possible to buy commercially fabricated railings, but they tend to be of a generic styles that are popular at that moment in time. I'm styling this townhome to have a...

A Fancy Range Hood

A Fancy Range Hood

You may recall that I created a custom anchor to secure a box/cement board for a vent hood so it would hold some granite pieces that had a total weight of around 400 pounds. I thought you may like to see the finished product. The box that I made which will serve as a...

Creating A Barn Door-DIY Project

Creating A Barn Door-DIY Project

If you have been following my posts you know that my friend and I harvested a number of hardwood trees last year. These were fallen trees that were slated to be ground into pulp. Many of them were white oaks, and so I decided to give them a new life by processing them...

Adding A Focal Point To A Room

Adding A Focal Point To A Room

Focal points add interest and texture to a room. Common focal points include fireplaces and built-in bookcases. However, both of these structures take up room space. That is OK when a room has the volume to accommodate them. However, when you are trying to maximize a...

The Humble Level

The Humble Level

An essential tool for any home is the level, which is a device that allows you to confirm that something is level to the ground. If you hang pictures on the wall your job will be more efficient and your outcome will be better if you use a level. However, a level is...

How To Turn Off Your Home’s Natural Gas

How To Turn Off Your Home’s Natural Gas

By municipal code, all gas lines have shut-offs located by the appliance that they are connected to. Of course, this makes sense. When I'm doing a kitchen remodel one of the first things that I do is to turn off these lines and then cap them. However, there are times...

A Room Transformation

A Room Transformation

Most people remodel a room to update it. Commonly, this is done to modernize an aging kitchen or bathroom. At other times an owner may want to open up a room, or to turn an unused space, like a basement, into a living space. However, on occasion, a customer will want...

An Economical Kitchen Refresh

An Economical Kitchen Refresh

I'm working on a project in a nice suburb of Chicago. The previous owners remodeled their small kitchen in the 1990s. The new owners moved into the house a few years ago, but they felt that the kitchen's appointments were too overwhelming and busy for such a small...

Install A TV Antenna For Free TV

Install A TV Antenna For Free TV

Over the last few decades Americans abandoned over-the-air (OTA) television in favor of cable and satellite TV. Initially, this seemed like a wonderful idea as consumers could watch dozens of crystal clear offerings. However, over time the novelty of subscription...

Modern Condo Reveals Construction Issues

Modern Condo Reveals Construction Issues

I'm doing some remodeling/renovating work on a condo in Chicago's River West district. This location is just outside downtown Chicago and it is considered to be a very desirable. This condo is in a 4 flat that was constructed in 2003, and further the entire interior...

How To Install A Toilet

How To Install A Toilet

Most DIYers will never have to install a new toilet. However, it is possible that they will have to remove one and then reinstall it at a later date. For instance, when replacing a floor. It is simple to reinstall a toilet, as long as you follow some rules. See the...

A Range Hood Disaster

A Range Hood Disaster

A customer moved into a luxury condo 3 months ago. It was a new build with all of the nicest amenities. She elected to have an enclosed range hood with a facade of heavy granite. A beautiful idea. When the granite installers came in to install the granite they...

A Kitchen Remodel

A Kitchen Remodel

A customer wanted to refresh their kitchen. They decided to keep its basic layout, but they wanted to change out the cabinets to higher quality ones and arranged them in a way that was more compatible with their needs. They didn't want to change the stain color or...

The Schluter Shower System

The Schluter Shower System

The usual way to tile a custom shower base is to install a liner and adjustable drain, and then pour a concrete shower base. After the concrete drys you tile the floor. This process is slow and time consuming, but yields a good result when you use an experienced tile...

A New Twist On Clamps

A New Twist On Clamps

There are many varieties of the humble clamp, but they all do the same thing-they firmly hold an object or objects. A very common use for a clamp is to hold two or more pieces of wood so they can be precisely bound together. Naturally, there are many ways to bind wood...

Color Temperature Adjustable LED lights

Practical electric lights are a fairly new invention. In the early 1800s, researchers developed lights that were powered by electricity, but they were impractical for home use. In the late 1800s, Thomas Edison developed the first practical home electric lightbulb that...

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