Protection and Daily Clean-up
We strongly believe that it is important to be safe and clean when doing a job. We take time every day, from the start of the job until the job is completed to protect the client's home and belongings. We protect floors, walls, and furniture with plastic. We use special plastic for different surfaces and applications. We seal off other rooms of the home that are not included in the project by setting up plastic wall dividers, completely sealing the doors and covering any central air vents. All of these procedures effectively prevent dust from traveling throughout the house. At the end of each work day we gather all of our tools and collect any garbage. Nobody likes a mess.
- Carpet and handrails being protected by self adhesive plastic.
- Floor being protected by rosin paper, masonite boards and drop clothes. Plastic wall divider protecting adjacent room.
- Walls being protected and sealed, overhead central air vent protected and sealed, staircase protected and sealed.
- Job site swept clean after full day of work.
Staining and Refinishing Before Installation
There is a big difference from staining and sealing moldings before installation and after installation. By staining and sealing the molding before it is installed it allows us to stain and seal both the front and back of each piece which increases its integrity as a sealed piece of wood. It also allows for a better and cleaner job of applying stain and sealer and gives us a smoother finish because we can work on each piece individually. After they are dry we install them with special finish nails. Each and every nail is checked for enough countersink and covered with wood filler which is then carefully touched up. These are the details that give us a beautiful look and feel to the finished product.
- Door Casing moldings drying after being stained and sealed.
- Door Casing moldings installed and nail holes filled and touched up.
- Solid oak door refinished with stain and sealer.
- Crown molding installed over door casing molding.
Floor Leveling Without Cement
The tremendous weight that is added by pouring cement over the bathroom or kitchen floor in order to level the tiles can cause major damage if the house is old and has lost structural integrity. We can level a floor many different ways without using cement. One of our methods we like to use is to expose the existing floor beams and laminate them with new ones. The new beams level the floor and make it much stronger. Sometimes we have to avoid demolition of the existing sub floor because we do not want to disturb the home and cause any damage. In this case we add special shims in precise locations and then install plywood. This gives us a level floor without affecting the condition of the structure.
We can also level a floor by using sand. It is a very light weight and workable material. We level out a bed of sand and install cement board. All of the above mentioned methods and materials are more challenging, yet smarter ways to level an existing floor. We only perform cement leveling jobs if we believe the house can handle the weight and if it is a better solution to the problem, for example in a basement.
- Existing floor joists laminated with new joists and brought up to level.
- A bed of sand being leveled.
- Existing subfloor leveled by shims.
- New level subfloor without disturbing existing.
We consider a renovation to be an improvement of integrity as well as aesthetics and functionality. Homes are renovated a very long time after they were built and any previous renovations were done many years before the new renovation. Houses settle, bathrooms and kitchens are wet areas which if not waterproofed properly sustain water damage, and many times the house has lost it's structural integrity. In addition to these general facts of construction what most people do not realize is that the demolition process of the actual renovation is a major disturbance the house itself. The vibrations caused by the demolition may affect the strength of the pipes, beams and other important parts of the room which is being renovated. By not replacing the plumbing you risk having problems later on.
After taking all of these points into consideration we make sure to provide a complete renovation by replacing anything that is no longer strong enough or up to our standards. When we perform a bathroom renovation or a kitchen renovation we change all plumbing and electrical lines. All structural issues are addressed and corrected. The walls are squared and plumbed and the floor is leveled. Exterior walls are always insulated and sealed. We always use adhesives, screws instead of nails, bolts and connectors for heavy loads and everything is guided by our lasers, levels and lines. Our work must be clean, professional and durable. We will not build a brand new bathroom over old, rotted, and weak building components. That is not the kind of "renovations" we offer our clients, we offer complete renovations.
- Existing plumbing lines were removed.
- All new plumbing, water and waste lines installed.
- New partition wall framed.
- Special subfloor adhesive applied to floor joists before screwing down new 3/4" plywood.
- Insulated exterior wall, frame is squared and leveled with new 18 gauge metal studs.
- Condition of existing floor joists and plumbing.
- Existing floor joists are not strong enough.
- New floor joists are installed and bolted along side of existing ones.
- Existing ceiling of bathroom (also considered the floor of the bathroom above).
- Demolition of ceiling plaster and lathe and condition of the floor system of existing bathroom above (Only 5 years since "renovation" by others).
- Discovery of cracked floor joists of above bathroom.
- Support system designed and built to avoid disturbing the newly "renovated" bathroom above.
Superior Materials and Methods
The materials used and how they are installed make a difference in the quality of the finished product. It is important to use quality materials and professional techniques when installing these materials. We use American made building materials and we always check the quality of the material before using it. Green building materials are used whenever possible and if requested by the client. For example insulation recycled from blue jeans, special caulking and adhesives and low VOC paints. Green products not only make it a safer home for the client but also a safer working environment for our staff.
We always use cement board instead of moisture resistant drywall in wet areas. Cement board seams are always taped with thinset and special fiberglass mesh tape. Special waterproofing membranes and sealants are used in all wet areas before installation of tiles. Our metal studs are always 18 gauge or 20 gauge. Plywood, cement board and drywall are always installed with adhesives and screws. We use quality products from professional suppliers and we inspect each and every piece for any defects. Defective or damaged pieces are returned and not used for the project.
- Insulation made from recycled blue jeans.
- Special waterproofing membrane used to protect corners and edges of marble shower seat.
- Green caulking for kitchen's and bathrooms (used in previous picture around marble seat).
- Bundle of 18 gauge steel studs that was used for framing a new ceiling.