90 SE Bridgeford Blvd, Bend, OR 97702 (541) 385-0752

Home renovations can seem like daunting projects for many homeowners. However, not all renovations have to be major. There are many simple things that can be done to improve your home in a single day. Here is a list of a few quick home renovations:

1.) Tidy up your drawers.

Every homeowner has a drawer or two that they throw all of their junk in. This may not seem like a big deal at the time, but this can quickly get out of hand and start spreading to other areas of your home. A great way to organize the drawers in your home is to take everything out and put it into baskets (you can get some at the dollar store if you don’t have any). Once everything is out, you can more easily figure out how to put each item in its rightful place. If you stay focused, this shouldn’t take more than a few hours. 

2.) Redo the caulk in your bathroom. 

Although putting new caulk in your bathroom may not sound like the most glamorous project, it can greatly improve your bathroom’s appearance. Old caulk that is chipping away can make your bathroom look old and unappealing. Something as simple as redoing the caulk can give your entire bathroom a fresh appearance. The best part is all that you need is a scraper and a caulk gun. 


Looking at the price tags for home renovations can be overwhelming for many homeowners. However, even though the cost can be high in some cases, it can end up being a profitable investment. If you pick the right remodeling projects, it can greatly increase the value of your home.  

One big reason people consider home remodeling is when they are thinking about selling their house. You may think, “If I’m going to sell it anyways, why would I put any extra money into it?” Although this is a valid thought, you may want to change your perspective. If potential buyers see that you have old appliances, it can be a turn off and cause for them to look elsewhere. Doing something simple like a painting touch up or updating your cabinets can make a huge difference. In addition to that, remodeling can extremely increase the resale value of your home if done right.

Another reason to renovate your home is to avoid maintenance issues. By making sure that things such as your plumbing, air conditioning and heating are working well can save you a hassle in your daily life. Additionally, if you are trying to sell your home, you won’t want potential buyers seeing old pipes and malfunctioning plumbing. This will likely be a red flag and cause them to look at what else is out there.

Lastly, it is important that you live in a place that you love. If you truly love your home then you’ll want to spend most of your time there. This can save money on many expenses from avoiding going out on unneeded occasions.

In conclusion, next time you look at the price for a home renovation project, try to think of the pros and cons. Putting some money into your home now can end up being a profitable investment down the line.

Source: Knock Off Decor

Outdoor, Renovations, Restoring
Is your outdoor patio starting to look old and worn out? No worries! There are a few do-it-yourself projects that you can do to renovate it and give it a completely fresh look within a reasonable budget. 

As the weather warms up with summer on the horizon, you’re likely starting to plan out all of the outdoor activities that you will be partaking in soon. As you think about grilling outside, having company over and soaking up the sun, you may notice that your patio looks like that it has had better days. The thought of throwing a bunch of money down for a new patio can be unsettling for a lot of people. Instead, why not just do it yourself? This way you don’t have to be self-conscious about your patio when you have company over, and you get to save money on having a professional come and tell you that you need to redo the whole thing. Here are a couple techniques that can help give your patio a new look that wows all of your guests this summer:

1.) Cover up cracks with the right concrete repair products. 

If your patio has accumulated cracks over the years, you can cover them up with concrete repair products. All you need to do is find a respected Re-Cap Concrete Resurfacer product at your local hardware store. This product will smooth out the cracks and make your patio look like it’s brand new! The best part? It will likely take you less than an hour to finish the whole patio. After as little as eight hours, the patio will be dry and ready for use. 

You must make sure that you properly clean your patio before applying your re-cap concrete resurfacing product. It is recommended that you use a pressure washer to remove all of the loose concrete before filling in the cracks with the re-cap resurfacing product mixed with water. Once you have finished patching the repairs, rinse the patio with water and then remove the water. Next, use a trowel to spread the re-cap surfacer over the patio to make an even surface. Lastly, use a broom over the new surface to apply a broomed texture (this way people won’t slip from it being too smooth when it is dry).

2.) Overlay your patio with pavers.

Another method that you can do to revitalize your patio is overlaying it with pavers. Why deal with all the cracks when you can just cover them up and make it look as good as new? In order to do this, you can get “remodeling pavers” that are designed to go right over the top of your concrete patio. Before doing this, it is recommended that you use a joint sand product to fill in all of the cracks and create an even surface for the pavers. Simply lay the pavers on top of the joint sand and tap them into place with a rubber mallet. Make sure that you glue the outermost row with a construction adhesive (this prevents the pavers on the inside row from shifting). When you are finished, simply sprinkle more joint sand over the surface until it is evenly distributed in the spaces between the pavers. 

That is all there is to it! We wish you the best of luck on making your patio fresh and presentable this summer. 

Source: Bob Vila

Preventative, Renovations

What Is Insulating Paint?

Demystifying Insulating Paint: All You Need to Know

Photo: insuladd.com

The notion of a paint to reduce heat transfer first arose at NASA in the hope of protecting the space shuttle from the extreme heat generated by reentry into the atmosphere. NASA scientists developed an additive that contained tiny glass spheres called “microspheres,” epoxy particles, and heat-resistant chemicals. The mixture was sprayed on the shuttle at the same time it was painted to form a protective coating. NASA later partnered with a company called Tech Traders and, expanding on the original insulating technology, to develop an insulating powdered paint additive, known as Insuladd, which contains microscopic ceramic spheres said to form a “radiant heat barrier” when mixed with regular interior or exterior house paint. Today, Tech Traders owns and sells Insuladd. Other manufacturers have since begun producing their own brands of insulating paint that contain either ceramic or glass microspheres—either as an additive or as a premixed paint product—both of which are marketed to homeowners for interior and exterior use. In addition to Insuladd, brands include Hy-Tech and Therma-Guard. Manufacturers advertise insulated paint as being able to reduce the transfer of both hot and cold temperatures.

Does It Work?

While insulating paint purports to work as a result of the microspheres forming a thin, heat-resistant bond, it relies on relatively new science and, to-date, independent large-scale testing is lacking. There has been a handful of small tests, including one conducted by Cold Climate Housing Research Center, which concluded that in cold climates, the insulating paint tested would not “be effective in reducing energy costs for residential homes.” The Florida Solar Energy Center conducted tests on both standard and insulating paints and concluded that insulating paint had “no significant advantage over ordinary paints.” The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) cracked down on at least one company for misrepresenting its paint as being equal to seven inches of fiberglass insulation. As of yet, no R-value has been determined for insulating paint. On the flip side, EnergyIdeas Clearinghouse, a non-profit publication, in conjunction with Washington State University and the Northwest Energy Alliance, reported that Insuladd paint reduced heat gain by “approximately 20 percent when fully exposed to the sun.” That means the paint could conceivably produce an energy benefit if painted on the exterior side of a house that faced the hot summer sun. The report also stated that when painted on interior walls, however, “reductions in heat loss and gain are negligible.” When the goal is to reduce the amount of heat transfer produced by the sun, virtually any white or light colored paint will perform better than a dark paint on exterior house walls because light-color paint reflects heat away rather than absorbing it. But more importantly, so far there is no paint that will take the place of good insulating practices. Most local building codes require a specific amount of insulation, measured in R-values, for walls and ceilings. Your best bet is to follow a well-designed plan for keeping energy costs down, which includes installing standard insulation materials, such as fiberglass batts or blown-in cellulose filaments, in addition to installing energy-efficient windows and doors. Source: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/insulating-paint/  

Custom Home Building, Renovations
Your home should be a place of comfort. Yet, if you or a loved one is one of the 40 million Americans living with a disability, building a truly comfortable home can be daunting. Even before you get estimates for remodeling your home around a disability, there is the exhaustive process of identifying all the changes your home needs to accommodate your needs.
There are a few key areas of your house you should focus on:
  1. Bathrooms: These rooms are high-risk areas for slips and falls, making them a central focus of any remodel for a homeowner or family member with a disability.
  2. Kitchen: Updating your kitchen is one of the most important rooms to consider when remodeling for a handicap or disability to ensure all appliances and surfaces are usable.
  3. Entrances & Stairways: Entryways and stairways are especially important to make sure you or your loved one can easily enter and move around the house themselves.
Within these three areas, there are any number of changes you can make to suit your specific needs. Below are a few of the most common features incorporated into home remodels that focus on accessibility.

Essential Bathroom Modifications

  • Walk-in showers: Showers that are level with the bathroom floor are not just wheelchair accessible, but also safer to use. This how-to shows the steps to converting a bathtub to a walk-in shower.
  • Grab bars: Handles placed next to bathroom fixtures, including the shower, greatly improve accessibility.
  • Lowered sinks & countertops: Another way to help those with a wheelchair reach sinks, countertops and cabinet space.
  • Widening doorways & floor space: Wider door frames and added floor space enable those with wheelchairs or mobility devices to easily enter and exit the room.

Essential Kitchen Modifications

  • Lowered countertops & cabinets: Using lower countertops and cabinets with pull-out drawers will make finding and using cookware simple. The ideal height for countertops is typically 28 to 34 inches tall, though should be customized for the user.
  • Touch-sensitive faucets: These types of faucets are very helpful for those with limited use of their hands or arms.
  • Lowering power outlets: Relocating your power outlets will make plugging and unplugging appliances a lot easier. If your budget and home layout permits, this is also a good idea for the other rooms in your home.

Essential Mobility Modifications

  • Wheelchair ramp: One of the most common exterior modifications, a custom-built wheelchair ramp will allow you or your loved one a greater degree of independence.
  • Chair lift/elevator: Depending on the scope of your project, you may decide to install a chair lift or in-home elevator. The former typically does not require remodeling to install and is the more budget-friendly option. However, an in-home elevator provides the added benefit of being able to move a wheelchair between floors with minimal effort.

Modifications to any home can be costly. To help with ADA compliant modifications, here are a few options:

Home Improvement Grants & Assistance for Homeowners With a Disability

Where Should I Start Looking for Contractors?

If you’re looking to hire your own contractor without outside assistance, you should make sure you hire a professional with experience in remodeling homes for accessibility. Spectrum Building & Restoration has installed multiple, ADA compliant remodels so if you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your project further, feel free to give us a call at (541) 385-0752.

Design, Renovations
Just searching for a floor plan online will yield thousands of results. And here’s the thing: There’s probably more than just one plan that would work for you and your family. So how can you narrow down the results and find the right one? Instead of aimlessly clicking through plan after plan or paging through your builder’s catalog, define what you want and use those parameters to lead you to the perfect plan. Not sure where to start? Asking yourself these questions can help you decide exactly what you want.

What am I missing in my current home?

One of the main reasons homeowners choose to build their own homes is to design a place that’s just right. Maybe you’re experiencing growing pains and your current home simply isn’t large enough. Maybe your lifestyle has changed and you need open spaces instead of smaller rooms. Or maybe the style of your current place isn’t to your tastes. Deciding what you’re missing in your current home allows you to narrow your search by disqualifying plans that would repeat the mistakes of the past. If you know that your current home feels too small, you have a great starting point for square footage requirements as you look through plans.

What will life look like in five to 10 years?

You can’t predict the future, but you can imagine what life will look like for your family over the next decade. If you plan to stay in your new home for a while, think beyond today and plan for tomorrow. How will your family change and grow over the next 10 years? How will that affect your dream home plans? Planning for the future ensures you love your home for years to come.

What’s my lot like?

Your building lot should provide the foundation for your floor plan – literally. The size and orientation of your lot should have a bearing on which type of plan you choose. You may have setback requirements on how large the house can be. If you have a great view, you should also consider window placement and sunlight issues. Choose a plan that shows off your lot and its view and you won’t regret your choice.

Do I care more about size or amenities?

At some point in the planning process, you’re going to need to make a choice: size or amenities? You’ll pay a premium for both, and unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll need to decide on your priority. If size matters to you, you might be content to choose a plan with fewer high-end amenities like hobby rooms or ceiling features. If you’d rather have the amenities, you can look for less square footage to accommodate for your finishes and tastes.

Can I picture myself there?

It can be hard to really picture the way a home flows from a few line drawings alone. Take the time to really “walk through” a plan by imagining how you’d enter the home and move throughout the house on a regular basis. Suddenly, a seemingly well-planned bathroom might be in an awkward spot or you might notice that the kitchen is too small for the way you cook. Can you picture yourself in the finished home? If not, you might need to reassess.

Where are the functional spaces?

Functional spaces in your home usually take a backseat to some of the more exciting rooms, but they’re just as important. Sure, you’re more excited about a new kitchen, but don’t let a fancy prep space sway you from looking at some of the workhorses of a plan. Mudrooms, storage rooms, laundry rooms and bathrooms are the rooms that you access day in and day out, so make sure the plan gives them enough space and prime locations.

Do I need a custom plan instead?

Designers and builders can almost always alter an existing plan – at least part of it, anyway. If you need to make extensive changes that require moving walls and changing electrical and plumbing schematics, you might need a custom approach. If you simply can’t seem to find what you’re looking for in catalogs or on your builder’s website, it might be worth the cost to design a plan from scratch and know that you got exactly what you wanted. Picking a floor plan can definitely feel like too much of a good thing. Let’s face it: There are plenty of great plans available. But the difference between a good plan and the right plan is finding the one that works for your lifestyle. Picture your family in each floor plan and you’ll be able to narrow your results and find the one for you.

Custom Home Building, Renovations
For the Kitchen: Do consider the purpose of your space. Are you cooking often? Do you need top of the line appliances? What is the activity level of the space? It’s always important to discuss these questions with your designer who will help navigate the process in purchasing the right materials and appliances, as well as creating a layout that considers all the variables of your daily lifestyle Don’t rush through the design and planning phase. This is the most critical aspect of the process that will set up your builders, fabricators, electricians and millworkers for success. Any changes made in the field after construction begins will cost you more. Do keep all your invoices (digitally). It’s important to keep track of every little detail on the financial front during construction. We recommend creating a home improvement financial log that is broken up into construction materials, furniture and trades. You want to know where and how you’re spending so there’s never a moment of surprise. Don’t overdo it with trendy. Simplicity is key. By using timeless elements with long lifespans you’ll be getting your ROI and have a space that is cool for decades. Don’t go crazy with the latest funky backsplash or cabinet colors. Be smart with your finishes, this is the face of your space and you want it to be timeless. Do consider lighting. This is a critical piece to your kitchen renovation. Beyond beautiful pendants or surface mounts above an island, think about under cabinet lights, channeled lighting inside your cabinets and recessed lighting in your ceiling. Kitchens are utilitarian and a place for folks to get together, it needs to feel warm, welcoming and be totally functional (and lighting plays a part in efficiency and functionality!) Don’t skimp on millwork. If you have the space to take your cabinets to the ceiling, by all means do it! Yes, it may cost you more on the materials front (or it may not), but don’t skimp out on this. Not only will this strategy provide you more storage but it’ll maximize the vertical rise, giving your space a sense of intentional completeness and higher ceilings. In the Bathroom: Do always test the best location for your TP holder. You may laugh but this is important. Before our team installs the TP holder, I sit on the toilet to make sure I understand my surroundings and where the reach is most comfortable. We use this space daily, so it’s important to have the conveniences at your fingertips. Don’t design a bathroom without storage in mind. The exception to this rule is a powder room since it’s a quick pit stop for guests and not necessarily where you’ll be spending most of your time getting ready or doing your morning business. When designing a master bathroom or bathrooms for daily use, always consider storage. You’re going to have TP, wipes, make up, cleaning products, day to day toiletries and you’ll definitely want these behind closed doors and nearby. After all, the flow and function of a space will impact how you kick off your day. Do keep high end materials neutral. In any space, we’re firm believers in neutral palettes that leave a lasting impression for years. Invest in the right materials for your floors and shower that can blend with just about any trend or personal touch. Inject your personality through accessories, and visually striking elements like hand towels, planks for free standing bath tubs, lighting fixtures and candles. Don’t hire cheap labor. While this may seem like a slick move for your bank account, we guarantee it’ll cost you more down the line had you hired the folks with better skilled laborers. There’s an old saying that you get what you pay for…. keep that top of mind! Bathrooms require multiple trades and it’s important that you vet the right team. What costs you more upfront, will cost you less headaches and result in a product you love and can use without fear of things going wrong. Time is money and peace of mind is key to successful results. For more information on our Remodeling Services, feel free to contact us at 541-385-0752.

Renovations, Restoring

Identifying Asbestos

When people hear the word “asbestos,” their first thought is often one of the dozens of personal injury ads they’ve seen on TV featuring a fast-talking voice actor and a bright, bold 1-800 number emblazoned on the screen. Yet despite its association with questionable advertising, asbestos remains a very real danger as nearly 15,000 people die every year from asbestos exposure in the U.S. The greatest risk for many homeowners occurs when remodeling or renovating an older home that was built before modern-day regulations were put in place. Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to help identify asbestos in your home and prevent it from becoming a major health risk.

What Is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a set of minerals known for their resistance to heat, fire and electricity. Because of these properties, it was widely used in everything from building insulation to oven mitts throughout the 20th century. But by the 1970s, public knowledge of asbestos’ ability to cause cancer, especially a rare, aggressive form of the disease called mesothelioma, caused governments around the world to ban or extremely limit its use in both industrial and consumer products. It’s important to note that asbestos is only a health risk in a friable, or dust-like, form, allowing its microscopic fibers to be inhaled. In cases where undisturbed asbestos is found, the best course of action is usually to leave it instead of removing it to avoid contaminating the home with asbestos dust.

What Are the Signs of Asbestos?

But how do you find and identify asbestos in your home in the first place? Part of what makes asbestos so difficult to detect is the fact that it was used in so many different materials, as Walsh explains: Asbestos can be found almost anywhere in the home. It was used in a variety of construction products, including cement, insulation, adhesives, siding, roofing tiles, textured paints, and vinyl flooring. Despite the difficulty, there are some red flags to look out for when working on your home, especially if it was built prior to the late 1970s, such as:
  • Crumbling drywall
  • Cracked siding
  • Damaged shingles
  • Discolored or cracked floor tiles
  • Old corrugated cement roofing
  • Brittle ceiling tiles or coatings
  • Frayed building or piping insulation
Remember, finding any of the above materials doesn’t mean that your home has asbestos. The only way to confirm its presence is by testing the material by a certified professional. If you have questions about asbestos or would like the name and number of some qualified Asbestos Remediation Companies, feel free to give us a call at 541-385-0752.

Cleaning, Renovations
Earlier this week, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office handed out official eviction notices to roughly three-dozen people still living on the land between East Antler Avenue and Highway 126. Now it’s up to the Redmond School District, Deschutes County and the Central Oregon Irrigation District, who own the property, to clean up the hundreds of acres of land. A fence has been set up just off Antler Avenue, and anything found by cleanup crews that looks to be of value will be kept inside for 30 days, or until someone comes to claim it. According to the irrigation district, the same goes for vehicles worth over $500. So far, no arrests or citations have been handed out, and the Sheriff’s Office hopes the transition remains smooth. COID expects to spend between $100,000 and $200,000 cleaning up the land.

A bathroom makeover is an easy way to spruce up your home. But before you start taking measurements for a brand-new Jacuzzi, you should take the time to plan out your bathroom remodel step-by-step so you know exactly what you’re getting into. Curious about how to remodel your bathroom? Take a look at our step-by-step guide below to figure out the best way to tackle your bathroom remodel.

Step 1: Decide on a Bathroom Design From the Get-Go

Before you do any bathroom remodeling yourself, you should settle on a new design that fits your vision, as well as your skill set. There are so many different ways to approach a bathroom makeover, ranging from swapping out the vanity to gutting the space and starting over from scratch. Here are a few design elements you absolutely need to nail down before you start renovating your bathroom:
  • Color scheme: Are you a fan of blue hues? Or perhaps shades of gray fit the rest of your decor? Know ahead of time to make sure your new bathroom tiles don’t clash with your choice of paint.
  • New fixtures: Will you replace or remodel your shower/tub? Are you installing a new sink? Replacing one or both of these fixtures will add to your project time and budget.
  • Storage spaces: Where will you keep your towels and toiletries post-remodel? If you’re removing a closet to expand the space, make sure you have shelving or cabinets as a backup.
  • Location of utilities: Do you know where the electrical wiring and plumbing pipes are located? Make sure you have accurate measurements for each of these so you don’t end up needing expensive repairs.

Step 2: Gather Your Tools and Supplies

Of course, the materials and tools you’ll need will vary based on your renovation plans. But a few essential tools and supplies to have on hand for any bathroom remodel include:
  • Safety mask
  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Caulking gun
  • Silicone sealant
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Spackle knife
  • Spackle
  • Stud finder
  • Power drill
  • Pry bar
  • Bucket
  • Chisel
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Hacksaw
  • Utility knife
  • Chalk line
  • Extension cord
A few optional tools we recommend:
  • Wet-dry Shop-Vac: Very handy in case any water spills while removing the toilet or other fixture.
  • Cordless drill: Makes it easier to move around and frees up your extension cord for other power tools.

Step 3: Remove or Demolish Bathroom Fixtures

Assuming you’re partially or totally renovating your bathroom, this is where you’ll start removing drywall and any fixtures you’re replacing. Demolishing a bathroom yourself isn’t all that hard, but there are a few steps you should follow to avoid any costly mistakes. How to Demolish a Bathroom Before a Total Renovation:
  1. Start by draining and removing the toilet to avoid any unpleasant spills.
  2. Next, cover up the bathtub and start removing the tile down to the studs. This is necessary in order to rework the plumbing to fit your new shower/tub design.
  3. Remove the insulation from your walls where necessary. Do not use a hammer on insulation, instead use a reciprocating saw to cut out the panels. A safety mask, gloves, and goggles are a necessity.
  4. Finally, remove cabinets, vanities, mirrors, floor tiles and any other features you plan to replace.

Step 5: Make Adjustments for New Fixtures & Features

With the shower out of the way, you can now install your new vanity and cabinets. If their dimensions are bigger or smaller than your current ones, you’ll need to renovate your bathroom a little further by adjusting the wiring. For the most part, that means moving the GFCIs (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters) and other power outlets so that they line up with your new vanity and cabinets. After all, you don’t want to have to reach down next to the toilet in order to plug in your hair dryer. This is where we recommend calling an electrician, especially if you have never worked with home wiring before.

Step 6: Lay Down Your New Floor Tiles

A DIY bathroom makeover is not complete without new floor tiles. After you’ve adjusted your utility lines, it’s time to lay down some fresh tile. But before you start grinding away with the grouting, use a mason’s chalk line to mark reference lines perpendicular (90-degree angle) to the wall with the longest continuous line. This will allow you to keep your tiles in a straight line, avoiding the dreaded crooked tiling job.

Step 7: Hang New Drywall & Start Painting

Now your bathroom makeover is starting to take shape. The next step is to hang your new drywall. This can be a long process as you have to cut new drywall to fit around your vanity and any other features. But once you start nailing up the boards you should be able to move briskly. A few important do-it-yourself bathroom remodeling tips to keep in mind during this step:
  • Use drywall mud and tape to cover seams and fill in gaps.
  • Use cement board instead of drywall for the shower/tub wall.
  • Coat the cement board with Redgard or another waterproofing membrane to guard against water damage.
After you’ve put your walls back together you can start adding some color to your bathroom. It is best to use paint with a semi-gloss finish that is resistant to mold and mildew. And while you’re working on your walls, now is the time to start re-tiling your shower and tub area. Here’s a few handy tips to follow when tiling your bathroom shower.

Step 8: Install Your New Vanity and Cabinets

After you’ve taken care of the walls and finished installing any new lights, it’s time to install the vanity, cabinets and anything else that’s on your bathroom remodel punch list. The first thing you want to install is the vanity, including the sink and faucet. Once you have the drain hooked up to the faucet, you can move on to the other essentials such as the mirror, cabinets and the trim around the shower or tub.

Step 9: Hook Up the Toilet and Add the Finishing Touches

Now your bathroom actually resembles a bathroom, except for one thing: the toilet. You could install or re-install your toilet earlier in the process but leaving it for last helps avoid chipping it while working on other areas of the bathroom. If you aren’t quite sure how to install a toilet, Lowe’s has a great guide you can follow. The absolute last finishing touch is installing the trim around the room and mirrors. The trim is the capstone for every bathroom remodel as it provides the last bit of detail your bathroom needs to feel complete. But of course, the real last step in any bathroom makeover is to draw a nice hot bath for yourself after all your hard work. You deserve it. If you have more questions about upgrades or remodeling your home, feel free to contact us at Spectrum Building & Restoration, 541-385-0752. CCB#62366