Bathroom Remodeling Projects That Will Increase Your Home’s Value

7 changes to consider for your bathroom remodel

When it comes to increasing the value of your home, the bathroom should be an area of interest for you. The average cost of remodeling your bathroom in 2020 is right around $10,000, with low-end remodels coming in at around $2,500 and high-end estimates reaching up to $25,000.

While this might seem high, there are ways to lower the cost of a bathroom remodel while still adding a ton of value to your home. Let’s look at seven ideas you can use to add value to your home via bathroom remodeling in 2020.

Bathroom Renovation Ideas at a Glance

  • Countertops
    Countertops

    Pros: Low Maintenance

    Cons: High Upfront Cost

  • Safety Features for Seniors
    Safety Features for Seniors

    Pros: Real Added Safety

    Cons: Unattractive to Younger Buyers

  • Reglazing Tub
    Reglazing Tub

    Pros: Low Cost, Quick Renovation

    Cons: Not the Best Value-Add

  • Steam Shower
    Steam Shower

    Pros: Popular and Luxurious Renovation

    Cons: High Cost

  • Heated Floors
    Heated Floors

    Pros: High Perceived Value

    Cons: Lower Value Than Alternatives

  • Fogless Mirrors
    Fogless Mirrors

    Pros: Practical Solution Keeps It in Style

    Cons: Low Actual Value

  • Shower Seat
    Shower Seat

    Pros: Affordable Options

    Cons: Impractical for Smaller Showers

1. Install New Countertops

Bathroom countertops can add a lot of value to your home if you pick the right ones. New bathroom countertops are a high-value addition, and they can be low-maintenance, depending on what material you use.

However, the upfront cost of new countertops can be steep. There are also a few potential problems with concrete countertops and other porous materials. Porous materials will absorb spills like a sponge and are a nightmare when it comes to stains. This means you’ll want to carefully consider the type of countertop you have installed in your home.

Let’s breakdown the average cost of new countertops by material type:

Concrete falls into the middle of the spectrum when it comes to costs. Keep in mind, concrete is porous so it needs to be sealed and resealed periodically for maximum durability and performance. You’ll also need to consider taking precautions against cracking, chipping, and scratches.

The lowest maintenance countertops materials are laminate, solid surface, quartz, stainless steel, granite, lava stone, and slate. The higher maintenance materials tend to be things like butcher block, bamboo, reclaimed wood, concrete, limestone, and marble.

Your decision will ultimately come down to your preferred aesthetic, the overall cost, and any necessary maintenance.

2. Add Safety Features for Seniors

Senior-focused renovations such as handrails, higher toilets, rounded countertop edges, non-slip flooring, and walk-in showers can all boost your home’s value. This is especially true if you’re in a market with a significant elderly demographic.

White bathroom freshly remodeled

The upside to adding features like these is they add real safety and security to your home, mainly for the elderly and disabled. But, this may turn away younger buyers who don’t plan on having many people who are elderly or disabled in their homes.

Another consideration is overall cost. Some senior-focused renovations, like walk-in showers, can be rather expensive.

3. Reglaze the Bathtub

Adding fresh glaze to your bathtub is one of the easiest ways to boost your home’s value. A bathtub can go quite a while without needing full-on replacement, but new glaze can give yours a fresh look.

White bathroom freshly remodeled

Glaze is what gives your bathtub its color and shine. By adding a new coat, you can restore the glimmering sheen your tub used to have, making it look brand new.

This remodel is super cheap and quick. Plus, you can effortlessly update your bathtub glaze as trends change. However, it might not be the most effective value-add, especially if your bathroom is weathered in other places.

Reglazing a tub costs between $30 and $150 for materials alone. Labor costs will bring your total up to around $450 on average.

4. Install a Steam Shower

Steam showers are all the rage right now, so installing one in your bathroom is guaranteed to generate some more value for your home. By installing a steam generator in your shower, you can add the steam room feel without removing the showerhead and functional purpose of your shower. These tend to work best in enclosed showers but small bathrooms can benefit from them as well, especially if you have fogless mirrors.

This is a popular upgrade that gives the space a luxurious feel. It will almost certainly boost your home’s profile on the market. Unfortunately, it can be rather expensive to achieve, especially if you’re rebuilding your shower from top to bottom. Steam showers can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000 to install on average.

5. Put in Heated Floors

Bathroom floors are almost always made from some type of material that doesn’t conduct heat well. This usually means cold floors in the mornings and at night. You can add heated floors to counteract this. Weatherproofing windows and doors combined with heated flooring can work wonders in any bathroom.

Heated floors sound amazing to buyers and can add a ton of perceived value. They do tend to be pricey, though, and can easily malfunction if not installed carefully. The average cost of installation is anywhere from $6 to $16 per sq ft. Keep in mind, initial installation isn’t the only cost associated with heated floors. They can eat up electricity if you leave them running too often.

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6. Install Fogless Mirrors

Another hot and trending bathroom item right now is the fogless mirror. Similar to fogless shower glass, fogless mirrors are immune to fog and steam. This is very useful and, again, very attractive to potential buyers. For small bathrooms without a fan, having a mirror made from fogless glass is the only way to step out of a hot shower and see yourself in crystal HD-clarity.

Fogless mirrors never go out of style because of their practical value. A downside, though, is they might not add as much value as you expected. This is especially true if fogless mirrors are the only upgraded feature in your bathroom.

7. Add a Shower Seat

White bathroom freshly remodeled

The average shower is about 8 minutes long, which is plenty of time for some people to get tired of standing. If your shower has enough space for you to wash up and move around, installing a shower seat might be the right move.

There are different styles of shower seats but the general idea is to have a folding seat installed into the wall so you can fold it down and wash up while you’re sitting, then easily stow it away when you’re done.

This is a super cheap and quick remodeling project that can add a lot of value for a low price. Unfortunately, if you have a small shower, you might not have enough room for one.

Don’t Break the Bank on a Bathroom Remodel

The goal of a bathroom remodel to increase home value is to use high-leverage, low-cost projects to supplement your overall remodel. If you want to save money on your bathroom remodel, avoid rearranging plumbing. Also, use a frame around your fogless mirror to hide any flaking around the edges.

A quick seat and lid change on your toilet is more effective than replacing the whole thing. You should look for sales on lighting fixtures and products to upgrade your bathroom’s lighting efficiency as well.

All in all, if you’re able to combine one or two big-budget upgrades with a few of the smaller ones we’ve suggested, you should be able to achieve a complete bathroom makeover for a decent price. That way, you can add as much value as possible without totally draining your bank account in the process.

Contact us to get a custom quote for your bathroom renovation project.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

Handyman Services: the Best Way to Protect Your Biggest Investment

Room with furniture

The benefits of hiring a handyman

Homeowners know just how expensive it can be to keep your house looking good inside and out. In fact, it can often seem like an unending task to keep your home maintained. It’s like magic: as the moment you repair one thing, something else needs your attention. It’s enough to pull your hair out in frustration, especially if you don’t even know where to start!

This is, of course, where handyman services come in. Yes, spending a few extra bucks on having a skilled and experienced Knoxville handyman to come to your house and get things back in working order might seem like a hassle, but it often beats doing it yourself. In the long run, relying on handyman services for regular maintenance can add years (and thousands of dollars in value) to your house Your home is perhaps the biggest investment you’ll ever make in your lifetime, after all — why shouldn’t you protect it?

What Kinds of Handyman Services We Offer

When we say “handyman services”, we don’t just mean one specific facet of home repair or maintenance. A good handyman knows how to do a little bit of everything, which means you can rest assured that we’ve got you covered on everything except the biggest, most complex jobs. And thanks to our connections in the home repair and renovation industry, we know the best contractors for you even if we can’t do it ourselves.

So what’s covered under handyman services? What isn’t! From cleaning leaves out of rain gutters, patching leaky roofs, fixing garage door openers, and landscaping or lawn irrigation to unclogging toilets, installing kitchen appliances, weatherizing windows, and home repairs, a good handyman can handle just about anything and everything thrown at him.

Let Us Save You Time, Money, and Effort

Handyman services are great for anyone looking to get their home maintenance and repair done the easy way. When it comes to jobs you don’t know how to do or ones that you don’t have the time or energy to undertake yourself, leaving it to the experts like us means your home repair jobs go off without a hitch. We’ll get the job done right the first time with no effort on your part.

Our services can often help you save money as well as sanity. do-it-yourself home maintenance can be really expensive, especially if you don’t have much experience in doing the kinds of things we do every day. This can lead to mistakes being made — and mistakes often cost a lot to fix. This is just one way that the price of a good handyman will often be much less than you would end up paying to have it done yourself!

Your Home Is Your Castle – Let Us Keep It That Way

We’re ready and willing to come out and take a look at your next home maintenance or repair project. Call us today to get an estimate for services and you’ll see just how we can keep your home looking like the castle it is!

Finding the Best Handyman Services in Knoxville: A Handy Guide

best handyman service in knoxville
How to know if you should hire a handyman When you’re on the hunt for handyman services in Knoxville, it can be a real challenge finding the best contractor for your needs. Your home is your most valuable investment, one that’s crucial to maintain properly, so your choice of handyman is just as important. Whether you need regular maintenance like cleaning the gutters or you’ve got a more substantial repair job, here’s a short but handy guide to finding the best handyman services in your area.

Rely on Word-of-Mouth for Handyman Services

News travels fast, and contractors build reputations quickly. You can often rely on word-of-mouth and online reviews to find a handyman that has done good work for others in your community. The easiest way to start your search is online! Look up “handyman” or “handyman services” in your area, and you will see a list of options. Take a look at a few, verify their quality by their online reviews, and make a few calls. Another great place to start your search is at your local hardware store, cafe, or supermarket. Many of these places will have a bulletin board or other space for local contractors to leave their business cards. Not only that, but most hardware store clerks often have personal knowledge of local contractors and the quality of the handyman services they offer, making them a great resource for starting your search.

Narrow Down Your Choice for Handyman Services

Once you’ve got a lead on a couple of contractors, you’ll have to begin narrowing down your choices. This will require some legwork on your part. Your best bet is to contact each contractor and ask them a couple of questions about things like their rates and availability and whether they’re licensed to do the particular work you want to be done. Some of these questions are situational; if you have a project that needs doing in a hurry, you’re going to need a handyman who’s got immediate availability, for example. Also, different states require different licenses, or sometimes no licenses at all. Either way, asking pointed questions will help you make a final decision as to which contractor’s services you want to use.

Don’t Forget the Estimate

Still not sure if you’ve found the contractor for you? Can’t decide between handyman number one and handyman number two? A surefire way to reach a final decision is to ask for a written estimate for the work you need done. Anyone who’s serious about providing handyman services won’t hesitate to come out to your work site and leave you with a quote for their services. Not only will you see how much the contractor will charge you for the job, but you’ll have a written record of how long the job is expected to take. This is important if you need to plan around the repair or construction work.

Wrapping It All Up

You don’t have to end up pulling your hair out because you’re having trouble finding the best handyman services in your area. Remember to rely on resources like those you can find on bulletin boards in local stores, ask prospective contractors important questions before hiring them, and always get yourself a written estimate before making your final decision. Following these guidelines will help you find a hard-working, reputable contractor who will get the job done both safely and affordably, keeping your home in good shape for years to come.

Pros & Cons Of Wood Laminate Flooring

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Your guide to wood laminate flooring

There’s never a bad time to consider renovating your home. Many homeowners choose to renovate piece by piece over the course of time. When it comes to renovating your floors, wooden floors may seem like a great option. Wood floors look great, last for decades, and add a strong decorative touch to your home. The problem with wood floors is that they’re far more expensive than other flooring options. Because wood floors can be pricey, more and more homeowners are choosing to use wood laminate flooring instead. For information on what flooring is the right option for your project, check out our article on choosing the best flooring.

What Is Wood Laminate Flooring?

Let’s go over what exactly wood laminate flooring is made from. Comprised of multiple layers laminated together, this synthetic flooring usually has a bottom layer made from plastic and wood fibers. Then, a photographic applique of wood is applied, followed by a clear, protective layer. This technique allows for floors to have near photo-realism with a vast range of potential color, texture, and grain options.

Wood Laminate Flooring Pros

The biggest pro is price. Wood laminate is much cheaper than the real wood alternative. You can buy wood laminate for as little at $1.50 per square foot. Compare that to the $4 per square foot for real wood and that can quickly add up. Installation is also much more straightforward than real wood or carpet. Most laminate is designed with tongue and groove edges so laying and installing flooring is quick and efficient. Laminate is tough, durable, and will resist things like scratches better than hardwood.

Wood Laminate Flooring Cons

Because it is layered plastic and coating, laminate floors can not be refinished. If standing water is left untreated, laminate flooring will need to be replaced. Check the warranty of your laminate flooring to ensure it covers such incidences. Cheaper laminates won’t have such protections.

If you think you’re ready to start the remodeling process, or still have some questions about flooring, we’d love to talk with you. With years of flooring experience, we can help you complete any home project on time and on budget. Fill out our free work estimate to get started today!

How To Replace Bathroom Caulking

bathroom caulking, bathroom repair, memphis handyman, handyman tennessee
Your guide to replacing bathroom caulking

If you’ve lived in your current home for more than 5 years you’ve probably noticed some changes around the house. Paint starts to fade, carpet doesn’t look quite the same, and don’t even get me started on the back deck. The bathroom is no exception to this trend. Because bathrooms are such a high traffic area of the home, they tend to take more of a beating than most rooms. One thing homeowners might start to specifically recognize is bathroom caulking starting to split or fall out. In this article we’ll be going over how you can replace the caulking in your bathroom, start to finish.

If you’d like to employ our professional handyman services to help you, give us a call or fill out an estimate form.

First, let’s go over some things you’ll need:

  • Utility knife
  • Razor scraper or painter’s tool
  • Old rags or paper towels
  • Mineral spirits or paint thinner
  • Bathroom caulking
  • Caulk gun

Now let’s locate the areas that may need to be re-caulked. Because bathrooms can have high moisture levels, caulk around tubs, sinks, cabinets, and even windows may need to be replaced. Generally speaking, caulk should last around 5 years before showing signs of deterioration or splitting. This can depend on usage and moisture content. 

Once you’ve located the spots that need replacing, you want to remove the old caulk and clean the surrounding area. To get started with this, take a utility knife or razor blade and carefully cut along the edge of the caulk lines; trying not to damage the surrounding material. Use your painter’s tools to remove the caulk and scrape remnants away from surrounding material. Depending on how much moisture is in the air, there may be mold or caulking residue left around the area. Grab your mineral spirits and a rag. Put a small amount of spirits on the rag and carefully clean the area. Allow the area to completely dry before moving on to the next step.

Once your work area has completely dried grab your bathroom caulking. This can be clear or colored caulking, depending on your preference. Insert your caulking tube into the caulking gun and using a utility knife, cut off approximately ¼” tube tip at a 45 degree angle. This should leave you a small, angled hole for caulking application. Using smooth, steady motion apply a thin bead of caulking to the selected area. The angled tip should allow you to fit caulking into empty grooves easily. Once you’ve applied a thin bead of caulking, take your wet finger and gently smooth the caulk line. Careful not to apply too much pressure. Take a rag or damp paper towels and wipe away any access caulk. Once you’ve caulked all the areas, allow 24 hours for the product to completely set up and dry before using the bathroom.

There you have it! Now your bathroom fixtures are freshly sealed and protected for the next 5 years. Keep in mind, if you have mold issues or sheetrock needs replaced, a simple caulking job may not fix the problem. If your bathroom needs some more attention, fill out my free job cost estimate form to see how I may be able to help you. I have years of experience with home repair and would love the opportunity to work with you. 

Install Floating Shelves

floating shelves, handyman memphis, handyman tennessee, shelving install
How to install floating shelves easily

If you’re looking to add a unique decorative touch to any room, you might want to consider installing floating shelves. Floating shelves are a versatile way of adding storage space while allowing the decorator to include their own personal flair. These shelves can serve a functional purpose for storing books but also serve a decorative purpose if you want to display a small plant or photo frames.

We offer design and installation of floating shelves if you’d like to hire a professional handyman service to help you with your project.

If you’re hanging a single shelf many choose to center it in the middle of the wall or align the shelf on the left or right side. When hanging multiple shelves many homeowners like to stagger the shelf height to give some variety to the decoration. Before getting started on installing the shelves, you’ll want to evaluate the room you’re decorating; ensuring there is enough support for the shelf itself, and whatever it’s holding. For the purpose of this article, we’ll assume you’re mounting the shelves on studs in the wall. Let’s go over some tools and supplies you’ll need:

  • Shelves
  • Mounting brackets or anchors
  • Screws
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Pencil or tape
  • Power drill with bit
  • Level

Use the stud finder to locate studs on your wall. Studs will be either 16” or 24” apart. Mark stud location across the wall using a light pencil mark or tape. Depending on the shelf you’re hanging, more than 2 support brackets may be required. Once studs have been marked, use your tape measure from the ground up to mark how high the shelves will be placed. Pencil mark the height and grab your brackets. Holding the bracket up to the mark you just made, use your pencil to mark pilot hole location. Remember to always use a slightly smaller drill bit than the screw you’re using on the bracket.

Carefully drill your pilot holes. Take your time and ensure the drill bit is going straight into the stud. When you get all the pilots drilled out, grab the screws and a bracket. Attach your first bracket to the wall, ensuring the screws are firmly anchored. Grab your shelf and ask a friend to hold up your second bracket in the marked spot. Put the shelf on your brackets. Using a level, ensure the spot you marked for the bracket attachment will be level when finished. If it’s level, repeat the same steps as the first bracket. Once the brackets have been attached you can mount your shelf as instructed in the packing. After installing all the shelves go back and erase pencil marks. 

These floating shelves will add a unique decorative flair to your home and provide extra storage. If you like the idea of having these shelves, but don’t have time to take on this project yourself, I’d love to help. With years of home improvement experience I can take care of any shelf hanging you have in mind. Fill out my free estimate form to get started today!

5 Ways to AVOID Hiring a Shady Handyman

crazy handyman
Warning signs to watch for when hiring a handyman

I’m constantly hearing feedback from homeowners who have had a bad experience from a supposed home repair professional. It’s usually one of a few different scenarios we hear over and over. For example,  “He told me he required full payment up front and I trusted him.” Or maybe. “Someone recommended him on Facebook so I thought they would do a good job for me”. All too often it’s, “They came out and did the work, but then we had issues with some of it. They said they would come back and now we can’t get ahold of them!”  Hopefully this article will help you and your family avoid a similar situation.

  1. Are they LICENSED AND INSURED?

    Or did they just tell you they were? This is one of the easiest steps to verify but yet so many do not. If you are dealing with an individual or a company for the first time you should not just take their word for it! When some major incident happens on your property, it is already too late. Think it won’t happen to you? Think again. Even the smallest home repairs can result in damage or injury.

    For instance, say a guy is replacing a small piece of baseboard. Not a big repair right? Let’s say he puts a nail into a piece of pex plumbing hidden behind the wall and you don’t find out about it for three days. Now it has flooded your basement and you have $4000 in remediation costs. Too late now.

    So how do you verify? First do a license check. This is as simple as Googling your state and “licensed contractors”.  Most states have a website dedicated to verification, Tennessee’s is here (https://www.tn.gov/news/2012/3/5/verify-licenses-of-potential-home-contractors-at-verify.tn.gov.html) If you are having trouble reach out to someone from the business and ask them what name the license is under. THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.  TOO MANY shady contractors “say” they are licensed because they have a county “Business License”. This is NOT a license to perform home improvement work.

    Second, verify insurance by asking for a Certificate of Insurance made out to you. This does a few things, as it verifies that the insurance is current and covers the date of your job (COI’s only come from the insurance company), it also verifies coverage amounts.  Most importantly, it verifies what kind of insurance they have. Do they only have General Liability, or do they have Workers Comp? If a worker shoots himself with a nail gun or falls off the ladder while cleaning your gutters, and his employer does not carry Workers Compensation Insurance, this CAN come back on you.

    If a company is willing to put you and your home at risk by not having the correct license and insurance in place, why trust them to do work on your most valuable asset?

  2. Is the price reasonable?

    Reasonable does NOT mean cheap.  Think about it this way, if someone listed a brand new Mercedes for $10,000, would you run out and buy it, or would you question it’s legitimacy. Most people would be skeptical and assume something must be wrong with the car, right?  Everybody asks if they are charging too much, but are they charging enough? I know this seems counter intuative, you want the best price right? Chip and Jojo seem to get this stuff done for next to nothing!

    Hardly. If it seems too good to be true than it is. Quality is not cheap. Skilled craftsman know their worth, and a legitimate business is not inexpensive to run.  If a business is way cheaper than everyone else there is probably a reason – ASK. Do your due diligence. Will they stand by their work? How do you know? If you have an issue 2 months down the road with a repair they made will they answer the phone? If they are not charging enough for the services they provide it is only a matter of time before they will be shutting the doors.

  3. Do they claim to be able to do everything?

    While some individuals are very talented, there are very few who can do everything and do it well.  Most homeowners assume a handyman can replace their roof and remodel the bathroom. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want the same guy that lays my shingles, laying my tile. A good handyman will typically have a variety of skills, but not everything. A good handyman business will employee craftsman with various skills to fill the gaps, and assign the one best suited to your job.  Do your best to verify that they have someone skilled in the repair you are seeking. Don’t be a guinea pig…and don’t just take their word for it. Check references. Look at Google reviews. Go to their Facebook page and checkout their photos and recommendations. READ THE REVIEWS – do they sound legit?

  4. Do they want payment up front?

     Haven’t you ever watched Holmes on Homes?  This guy is always fixing the 50K half done jobs that were paid in full up front. Absolute horror stories. Let’s try not to be one…but how?

    Let’s work through this. First, where did you find them?  Is this some random person off Craigslist, or do they have a verifiable business and have you already checked out steps 1, 2 and 3?   What does the job entail? It’s not uncommon in both repairs or renovations to require a substantial amount upfront where the material cost is significant, i.e. kitchen cabinets or anything involving a lot of lumber.  Is this a repair job that’s more labor than materials? That should throw a giant red flag up.   What do you do if it does involve a substantial amount upfront? First, see steps 1, 2 and 3. All that is good?  Great, now get a contract in place. If the “contractor/handyman” doesn’t have a standard contract, let that be red flag #2. If they do, make sure there is a payment schedule accompanied by the work to be completed before each payment is issued. Make sure you save a final payment for after the work is complete.  If you don’t have a contract, do not, I repeat DO NOT pay up front.   Also, there is a certain amount of trusting your gut here. Do you feel uneasy with this person?   It’s that simple. Let your gut be your guiding light.

  5. Do your due diligence.

    Do a little research on the repair or remodel that you are wanting to have done. Look at some quality home repair websites such as fine home building (https://www.finehomebuilding.com/magazine). What methods and techniques are they using for this particular repair.  Facebook has construction groups with industry professionals who would love to tell you all about the correct way to do whatever it is you are looking to have done. Once you have a base knowledge you will be better prepared to ask the right questions.  Asking the right questions will help you weed through the bad ones. It may just end up saving you from having to fix what the guy you hired to fix things, broke.

This isn’t fool proof, but it’s also not rocket science. What this is is a good start at helping you find someone qualified and reliable. Construction isn’t perfect and sometimes followup visits or even warranty repairs are necessary…do your best to hire the company that will be there when those needs arise. Don’t take the easy way out. Always verify. It could be the difference between a masterpiece or an absolute disaster.

Painting Like A Pro: Getting The Right Tools

how to paint like a pro, professional painter, painting house, house painter, painter, painting
The basic painting tools you’ll need to get started

Everyone has that family member who can, “Paint like a pro!” And it’s usually that same family member who ends up ruining the bathroom walls and somehow painting the dog.

Unfortunately, you can’t learn how to paint like a pro from reading a blog or watching a video. But, with a little practice, the right tools, and a few mistakes along the way, you can get pretty close. In this post, I will guide you through buying the right equipment.

Let’s talk about buying  the right tools. If you’re a weekend warrior, you probably aren’t going to break the bank buying an expensive spraying machine or a 7-piece painting suit. But, if you plan on painting more than 1 room over time, purchasing decent tools could save you time, money, and frustration in the future.

*NOTE: I AM NOT BEING PAID/SPONSORED BY ANY COMPANY OR PRODUCT LISTED*

Paint Brushes

Depending on what you’re painting, a decent brush will cost around $10-$20. If that seems like a lot, remember you’re going to clean it and re-use it later. If you’re applying oil based paint, stains, or cutting in, I would recommend:

This is a versatile brush that allows users to paint on multiple surfaces, indoors and outdoors. The sash edge and 2” width gives inexperienced painters a little help with reaching those tight corners. Alternatively, at Lowe’s you can get:

If you’re applying latex based paints on bigger walls, I would recommend:

This brush is great for holding a lot of paint but still leaves a smooth finish. Alternatively, Lowe’s offers:

Paint Rollers

If you’re painting more than a very small room, you’ll probably want to consider using a roller. Rollers hold a lot of paint and cover a large surface area quickly. Having a good roller frame helps deliver paint to surface quickly and evenly. Let’s look at what you’ll need to get started:

Your roller frame shouldn’t be too expensive. Usually between $8-12. Don’t waste your money on fancy frames that claim to hold more paint or “save you time”. This roller frame will work just fine:

This Wooster frame is what I personally use and love it. It’s cheap, smooth, and easy to clean. At only $8, it won’t break your budget; and when taken care of lasts for years. Alternatively at Lowe’s you can get this:

Now you need a roller cover (or “nap” as they’re sometimes called). If you’re working with rough textured walls, you’ll need a longer cover. Most mainstream covers are made from polyester blends but will still work well. For painting smooth to semi-smooth walls use this roller cover:

This cover will hold quite a bit of paint, but won’t be too messy. If you’re shopping at Lowe’s you can get:

If you’re painting exterior walls, or the walls have heavy texture, you might need a longer roller cover. A 1/2in to 3/4in cover will hold a lot more paint, and also reach those areas in between texture or grooves. For painting semi-rough to rough walls, use this:

Alternatively, if you’re shopping at Lowe’s you can get this:

Helpful Things To Have

You can paint an entire house with the tools listed above. But, if you’re not used to it, that process will be difficult and tedious. So here are some things I recommend getting to make your painting experience much better:

That should just about do it for tools. With this equipment you’re fully prepared to paint any surface thrown at you. Click here for part 2 of 4: Choosing Your Paint. If you want something painted, but painting isn’t something you want to try, I would love the opportunity to help. Fill out my job estimate form to get started.

How To Fix A Sagging Door

fix a sagging door
Easily fix a sagging door

As seasons change and homes age, there is settling that occurs. This is typical, and doesn’t often cause major problems. Creaking joints, slight shifting in floorboards, or cracks in the drywall. During the course of your home settling, door jamb can shift, creating a sagging door. This can cause improper latch alignment, or parts of the door to snag on the frame. When settling occurs, opening and closing your door becomes difficult or even impossible.

I’ve experienced this numerous times and fixing the problem can prove to be challenging; but, here are a few things you can try yourself before calling a professional.Tighten loose screws.

Tighten Loose Screws

It may sound silly, but this can definitely impact how your door sits in the jamb. If you have a few screws that aren’t completely tight, the door hinge could easily sag, causing the door to catch on the door frame. Ensuring all your door hinge screws are tight will eliminate this possibility and allow you to try the next step if your door still won’t function correctly.

Replace Shorter Screws

If the screws of your door hinges seem loose or like they’re not getting enough bite into the door frame, you replace the stand 1” screws with something a bit more substantial. Using a 2” or even 3” screw could help secure your door to a stud behind the door jam and fix the issue.

Fill In Loose Screw Holes

If changing out your screws isn’t an option, you can try filling in the loose screw holes. If your screw has partially stripped out the hole, or isn’t getting enough bite, you can try filling the hole to make a tighter fit. Use wood glue and toothpicks to fill the screw hole, allowing you to get more friction with the door screw.

Use A Hinge Shim

If your door is uneven adjusting door hinges might make a difference. When a hinge needs to be extended from the wall instead of drawn in, using a hinge shim could be an option. Trace your door hinge over a piece of thin cardboard and cut out the shape to use as a shim in your door jamb. Be careful because too much of a shim can make the problem worse.

Plane The Door

If you’ve tried all the previous options, planing the door could be something to consider. Planing the end of your door will make fitting inside the jamb easier. However, this can cause problems with modern, manufactured doors because they are hollow and often flimsy. Planing these doors could mean doing more damage than intended.

If these options didn’t work, or aren’t possible, it may be time to contact a professional. I’ve spent years repairing problems just like this, and would love the opportunity to help you out. With my experience and expertise, fixing your door won’t be a problem. Contact me to find out how I can serve you today.

Tips For TV Wall Mounting

wall mounting tv
How to wall mount a TV

With Black Friday and the Holiday season now past, many of us have purchased or received new TVs. With the recent jumps in technology, spectacular, massive 4K TVs are now more affordable than ever. Many TV owners want to mount their new TV on the wall. Wall mounting TVs creates a clean, professional look; clearing up space below and making your living area stand out. While this look is highly desirable, mounting a TV is easier said than done. If you’re the do-it-yourself type, here are few tips to help you when mounting a TV.

Where Should The TV Go?

How high up the wall do you want your new TV? Should it be centered vertically? What about horizontally? One simple way to do this is by creating a light outline of your tv on the wall using a pencil. Measuring from the ground up, you can create a visual outline of your new TV, allowing you to mark a mounting template easily. You can also use painters tape if you don’t want to hassle with erasing pencil marks. Use a level to ensure the mounting frame template you created is even and move on to the next step.

Wall Mount & TV Mounting Plate

Start by installing the TV mounting plate to the back of your television using provided hardware. Ensure the hardware is firmly secured to the TV before attempting to mount. Now, use a stud finder and locate studs within your TVs outline on the wall. With studs marked, follow the instructions provided to secure the wall mount to the studs. Be Sure to use a level when drilling your pilot holes. You don’t want to be tilting your head to watch TV.

Buy Longer Cables

You’ve secured the wall mount and it’s level. The TV mount is firmly attached and good to go. So what about the cables? Having multiple cables hanging down the wall from your brand new TV just doesn’t look right. To fix this, go about half a foot inside the stud and run the stud finder down the wall to determine if there will be any obstructions for the cables. Drill the holes in your wall and feed the cables through. I recommend buying cables longer than you need. This gives you some slack to use when making adjustments or changing equipment.

With these tips you can mount just about any TV. If this idea seems nice, but something you’d rather not attempt, I would love the opportunity to see how I can help. Fill out the job cost estimate form to get started.