Tip of the Week
Sanding drywall: When sanding drywall seams, it's good to follow the seam instead of going against it. It's better to go in circles, this way everything is blended and faded instead of getting that "path" from over sanding. Use a scrap piece of lumber or something hard and flat to put under your sand paper, this will keep things uniform. Using your hand can result in high and low spots which ultimately leads to more work. Also if you need the seams to dry quickly, try mixing your own "mud" instead of using the premix. The powedered mix comes in drying times of 20 minute, 45 minute, and 90 minute. The work times aren't very long with these so keep moving!
Tip of the Week
Pane in the glass: So a window has just become the victim of a solid object traveling at a fairly good speed, now what do you do? (If you have traditional windows in your house or garage, follow these steps. If you have thermal pane or other insulated glass, call a glass company to order a replacement unit.) Time to remove the glass from the frame, this is better done from the outside if possible because the glass goes in from this direction. Wearing gloves and eye protection use a pair of pliers to grab the shards, if the glass breaks under the galzing a chisel will work to remove both. After the area is free of glass and glazing measure the opening and give yourself 1/8" in both directions. Call your local glass company and have the glass cut, if the frame isn't completely sqaure a wood chisel can be used to "adjust" the opening to accomodate the new pane. Also, pick up a box of points from the glass company, thses are used to hold the glass in the frame. Apply new glazing and you're done.
Tip of the Week
Caulking: Caulking can be a messy job that results in what looks like a 3 year old played arts and crafts with your house. Not to worry, here are a few tips to help you out. Around glass or a finished surface, use painters tape on either side of the joint being caulked. This will save you time on clean up and it's ok if the process gets a little messy, if caulk gets on the tape you can peel it right up. For the "professional" look, wet your finger and run it down the bead to smooth it out and remove the excess, this will also work if you want to use a putty knife. Just wet the knife and run it down the bead. Using a putty knife to tool the caulk or window glazing may take some practice. Part of the blade will need to follow a flat surace to keep things looking good, every movement made or bump the knife hits will show up in the caulk. Also be careful not to remove to much caulk or it will be ineffective. Follow the manufacturers recommendations for proper adhesion and sealing. Happy caulking.
Tip of the Week
Interior prehung doors. Here are a few tips when installing these. First, make sure the door jambs have equal distance around them in the rough opening. From here I think it's personal preference. After the door is leveled and squared up and the shims are installed, I take out the middle screws of the hinges and replace them with 3" screws into the studs. Now on the latch side you will obviously be drilling into the jamb. I use a countersink with a center drill bit to make my pilot holes, hint: make sure you install screws where the shims are. I may use 2 1/2" or 3" screws on this side, it depends on how much space is between the jamb and the stud. Some people use nails, I like screws, personal preference. Fill in the holes using wood filler, sand smooth and paint. The key with this is making sure the door closes and latches without rubbing. Open and close the door as many times as needed to make sure this is achieved. Some older homes have settled or come out of square and will pose a challenge when using prehung doors. Also remember that the standard sizes from back in the day aren't the same as they are now. Now things are "nominal", that means things are an 1/8" to a 1/4 inch shorter depending on the manufacturer. This is also true with door slabs, bifold doors, ect. Measure the product you plan on using to ensure things will go as planned.
Tip of the Week
Senario: You have this awesome piece of trim that you just pulled off the wall and you want to reuse it. The problem is the nails are stuck in it. How do you get them out? "Duh, simple.", right.....maybe not. Instead of knocking the nails out from back to front, pull them the rest of the way through the board. If you go the "traditional" route there is a chance that this piece of trim will be damaged and that means filler and trying to match stain or paint. A good pair of pliers should give you enough grip to pull the nails straight on through.
I have read a few articles on msn.com lately about contractors and home projects. These articles are good thought provokers and bring to light some good points, but maybe some that don't apply to your particular area, county, or city. Obviously if you are doing a home remodel project on a house you plan on selling, you want to make sure the project will add value to your home as well as functionality. If you don't plan on selling the home, then adding value may not be as important as funtionality or "want to". It's your decision and your home, take your time and make lists.
In these difficult times there may be some shady contractors or even fly-by-night guys out there. If you want quality work there is a price to be paid. Here's a good saying: "Cheap work isn't good and good work isn't cheap." Not always the case, but something to keep in mind. I know statistically the price of work has come down, but the price of material has not. So you might find the contractor cheaper, but expect to pay the same if not more for material. Many contractors out there are willing to discount their work just to get the job and there's nothing wrong with helping those in your community out. The things I would watch out for are guys you charge not only for material used on the job, but all the material they bought and maybe even contractors who charge by the hour. In remodeling you don't know what you are going to find behind drywall or plaster or under the floor or in the pipes until you get into it. There's nothing worse than under estimating and over paying. For me it's just easier to charge by the job and then however long it takes is on me. It also may be a good idea to check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if the contractor is a member. The guys who invest in their community are the ones you can normally count on. Also, if something should happen to be wrong or go wrong after completion, a good contractor will come back and fix it at no cost.
There may be some unique situations also. If you know a contractor personally or have a good relationship with one, there may be times where some "experimentation" comes up. New systems or new materials may be introduced or maybe it's just gain some experience, the contractor may approach the home owner with this idea. I guess the home owner may approach the contractor with this idea, who knows it's a crazy world. If this situation does come up you ,the homeowner, could possibly get the work done for the price of materials. Just saying, if you don't mind being the guinea pig it might be a worth while venture.
All in all, remodeling and renovation don't have to be scary or bad projects. Make some lists, decide what you want and start asking questions. Contractors may not have all the answers and may have questions themselves. It's going to take time, life isn't a one hour tv show, it going to take some money, and there will be dust. Remember, the lowest bid isn't always the best and the job will only be as good as the material you are working with. Don't expect a million dollar bathroom for two thousand dollars. Happy remodeling!
It's one of those lazy Sunday afternoons and I decided to do some research. I'm looking at ways to build radiused wall (walls with curves) and completely new custom shower systems. Like all things, construction materials are getting lighter and more composite, in a shower situation this is good. Traditional materials are subject to water and mold in a wet environment, but the new systems are impervious to water, at least in theroy. The ease of use has also improved over time. The new shower systems now have a styrofoam cored board covered in a water proof membrane and these can be used on concrete walls, cinderblock, and even over studs. Then the tile is installed the same manner using thinset. This foam is even structure to the point that benches and seats can mbe made out of it and installed in the shower. No 2x4 studs or concrete board, just lightweight styrofoam. For those that like warm floors, manufacturers even make a floor warming system to be used in conjunction with this light tile backing material. Although, a fire rating has not been established by the manufacturer, so maybe putting this off is a good idea. How does a radiused wall come into play? The foam board can be cut in such a way that it can be bent around a radius and therefore making your custom shower design a reality. So far I like Kerdi board and Wedi products for shower systems. There are not any local distributors of these materials, but regional contacts. So, if you are looking to get a high end design with cutting edge construction technology, what are you waiting for? I have requested price lists and catalogs and I am looking far anyone who is wanting to experiment.....
Today, I received confirmation that our first maintenance agreement was signed! This is a big deal for Property Serv and a step in the right direction for the business. The maintenance agreements we offer do have no monthly fee. Why pay for something you're not using? We charge per job unless there is something that is reoccurring, then a flat rate can be set. We don't even charge by the hour, it is really by the job! If you are interested or have question about this service, call or email and we can discuss options. Property Serv is insured and believes in doing quality work. Job creation is just around the corner, the more agreements we get the closer we get to hiring new people!
Property Serv does offer home and property maintenance agreements. These are set up so that you do not pay a monthly fee, we charge by the job! Why pay for something when you don't need it. This will give you peace of mind to know that all you have to do is pick up the phone and call. From maintaining the landscape to fixing broken pipes, we've got you covered. No more shopping around trying to find someone you can trust or has your best interest in mind. Property Serv is making Richmond and the surrounding communities a better place to live. Contact us to find out more!
Mothers Day Special
Mothers Day is this Sunday, if you have a project you want to complete or maybe you just want to surprise her by getting that "Honey Do" list out f the way. Call us this week and receive 20% off any services we provide. Work must start this week. Also, please enter your contact info at the bottom of the home page so we can keep track of who takes advantage of this deal. Let's show mom how much we care and that she is important enough to us to get things done!
Craig Jones, owner of Property Serv LLC. My goal is to better educate the homeowner and to make Richmond a better place to live.