Zero VOC paints.

When looking to refresh your home’s look, repainting can brighten up a room’s look quickly. First, though, you may want to explore the option of using zero VOC [Volatile Organic Compound] paint.

elementary speaking, VOC’s are the odor you smell when repainting a room. Ingredients react with other elements in the air to produce the strong scent of paint, which can result in a headache or feeling light-headed. While you may think that this is a temporary problem, in fact, VOC fumes are released over the course of years. In fact, only 50% of VOC fumes are given off during the first 12 months, meaning you breath these harmful chemicals every day.

Paint is composed of three primary parts: the dye, the binding agent that binds the paint to your walls, and solvents that keep the paint in a liquid form. This last ingredient evaporates, leaving the color pigmentation bound to walls. When made with oil-bases, VOC levels are higher than water-based paints. Therefore, aim for a VOC level less than 10 g/L

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Invest in you and better your investment.

As we purchase a home to live in or for rental purposes we should also invest in ourselves. When I speak of an investment in self, I’m referring to an acquiring a knowledge base of what we have purchased and what it’ll take to maintain its value and general upkeep. The more you do with your home which can consist of simple weekend projects, theirs you’ll learn about yourself and your property as well.
I’ll never be able to stress enough the importance of purchasing tools and become familiar with when and how to use them. The only way to acquire the understanding of the tools is through application which will stem from reading , watching and asking questions.
You may have a reliable contractor that does all of your work yet you’ll save money when he does only some of your work. I’d your goal is to het to the point where a contractor does almost none of your work, I want to assist you. It’s like learning math. Through addition we learned to multiply and through learning your tools you’ll learn carpentry. Do I know it all, NO yet I constantly read and study new ways and ask fellow carpenters and tradesmen questions. This is a journey from which there is no return. Come enjoy it, the art is on the start.

No inspections? Seriously?

Speaking with a middle aged couple the other day a friend of a friend about a recent home renovation they had done and we come across an issue. They told me of some problems they were having and when I asked “Did you get any inspections?”, they looked at me strange. Paying good money for the remodel of a kitchen, bathroom and basement yet not one inspection. Before the wall goes up before anything was covered, inspections should have took place. Many contractors will not get a permit and go the process and it’s because of the contractor usually doesn’t have his paperwork in order, has something to hide or they don’t agree with the cost which on turn will cost the homeowner in the long run. Protect yourself, do the research and ask questions of those already in the business.

Inch by inch it’s all a cinch.

Learning to add leads to multiplying just as learning to use tools leads to basic carpentry. If you wish to do it yourself, the most important part is the start. Learn the do’s and don’t do’s and you’ll take a good step but go further by learning to operate your tools properly.
Start with your basic tools such as a hammer, tape measure, level, framing square, pencil and a tool pouch. A juggler first becomes accustomed to 3 balls then goes up to four and five then throws in a bowing pin. Do the same and slowly add your circular saw and the battery powered drills.
My suggestion is grow at your own pace but don’t sit still, keep safety first and continue to build.

A little goes a long way.

Hiring a contractor is a stressful process.
We pick through the bunch and we try to keep those who do good work close and near for recommendations or our next project.
We inspect their work and make sure their doing everything that was in the contract.
We complain about where they park and the employees that may smoke or speak as if they are in a bar.
The question I have is do we say “Thank you” throughout the process? I’ve spoke with contractors and worked in places where the customer has talked down or treated the guys poorly and also where they treated them good and there is a difference in performance on both sites.
They say you van catch more with honey than vinegar, needless to say I’m a believer.
Customer #1 Suburban couple doing well for themselves. They don’t speak, wave or acknowledge the workers. Ninety nine degrees in the shade and not a cup of water offered. Complain quite a bit about small things yet not once gives off a compliment or a sign of appreciation only speaks to the Owner and Foreman.
Customer #2 Another suburban couple digging into savings to do a necessary repair on the home. They place of picture of lemonade on the back porch for the workers and on the last day they cooked on the grill as they were so satisfied with the work. Allowing the workers to use the restroom in the basement as long as they removed their boots before entering. Have the greetings and once in awhile asked “How’s the family?”.

Which one of these customers do you think will have the better results from the contractor? If something extras was needed, one customer would get it for free while the other would be charged for it. If trash or crap was stuffed in the walls of one of these projects, I want you to guess which one it would’ve been.

You owe your contractor nothing but what’s in the contract. It’s not necessary but if not why not? Customer service is a two way street. Its not different than talking to your waiter like crap and them sending your food back. Think about that.

First things first.

Many people today are taking advantage of the housing market as the prices for a home are becoming more affordable. Foreclosures and HUD homes are very common yet they almost always require a bit of work and are never move on ready. The question is always what can I afford to do and should I do first.
Painting and flooring is a very common answer yet I say let’s look at what the inspector seen and what is structurally on need of attention. These matters matter the most. Hire a professional to inspect the home then one to correct your home and last what we do is dress the home. Often the error is made to make this pretty, bring in granite and tile backsplash etc. but this can be considered a grave error. It’s like putting perfume on a pig.

The painting and tile work you can actually do yourself. Yes, yourself.