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

Last week we shared some home maintenance repairs that only take a few minutes to fix. Part 1 focused on 7 items that are easy fixes for homeowners and eager to-it-yourself’ers to tackle. Here are another 7 easy fixes that you can take care of yourself and save money instead of hiring the job out.

how to fix squeaky door hinges

Squeaky Doors

Doors that creak and moan when they’re opened and closed don’t hurt anything, but they sure can be annoying. Silence the squeak with lubricating spray, such as WD-40. Use the straw that comes with the can to direct the spray to the top crease in the hinge. Use the lubricant sparingly—a tiny bit goes a long way. It’s a good idea to hold a rag or paper towel behind the hinge as you spray to protect the door or jamb from overspray. Cabinet Doors Banging

Banging Cabinet Doors

If your cabinet doors bang loudly every time you shut them, the problem can be solved instantly by installing bumpers, such as GorillaGrit Cabinet Door Bumpers. Clean the cabinet door to remove gunk or residue, and then position two bumpers on its inside edge, one at about ½-inch from the bottom and another at the same distance from the top. Make sure you attach the peel-and-stick bumpers where the door makes contact with the cabinet base to muffle the sound of the cabinets closing. how to get rid of hard water stains

Unsightly Stains

Hard water can wreak havoc on tubs, showers, and sinks, leaving dark and dingy orange-brown stains that don’t come off with regular household cleaners. If you don’t relish using caustic cleaning products, or spending hours scrubbing the stains away, here’s a quicker fix. Mix lemon juice and cream of tartar (available in your grocer’s spice aisle) to form a paste, and then apply the paste directly to the stains. Leave the mixture on the stain for an hour and then rinse away to reveal a sparkling clean fixture. how to stop drafts around doors

Drafty Doors

An exterior door that doesn’t seal tightly when closed lets in cold drafts, which can result in increased heating bills. Stopping drafts is a simple fix that requires removing the old weatherstripping (just pull and scrape it off) and then installing new peel-and-stick weatherstripping. Opt for a weatherstripping kit, such as the WeatherGuard Door Insulating Kit that comes with a bottom door seal in addition to regular weatherstripping for an airtight seal. sticking door lock

Sticky Door Locks

Do you have to jiggle, coax, or turn the key forcefully to unlock your door? Corrosion and dirt buildup can make it difficult to use a key in a door lock—but if you’re experiencing problems, wait before you run out to replace a tricky lock. Try rubbing the cuts on the key with the lead of a graphite pencil, or squirt a little powdered graphite, such as Panef L-300 Powered Graphite into the opening in the lock. The graphite works to lubricate the tumblers in the lock so your key will turn with ease. sticky wooden drawers

Sticky Wooden Drawers

Over time, wooden drawers can begin to stick, making it difficult to open and close them, but you don’t have to live with sticky drawer syndrome. To help the drawer slide smoothly again, remove it from the cabinet and turn it over so you have access to the underside. Rub a bar of paraffin (found in your grocer’s canning aisle) along the both bottom edges of the drawer. The paraffin will lubricate the drawer and help it slide smoothly. mildew in washer

Moldy Washer

If your clothes come out of the washer smelling musty instead of clean, you probably have a bit of mildew in your washer. Fortunately, banishing the mildew is a quick and simple project. Put one cup of baking soda in the washer, and run one empty load on the hottest water setting. The baking soda will clean and remove all mildew growth so you can have fresh-smelling laundry again.
 
   
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Design, Restoring

Removing Paint from Concrete

The first thing that needs to happen before you can start anything significant with your tile flooring is the removal of old permanent layers. Things like paint, adhesives, oils, etc. will significantly cripple your tile job. While the thinset might have no problem sticking to the paint, the layer of paint may come loose from the concrete, weakening the strength of the thinset.

To Remove Paint from Concrete You’ll Need:

  • Stripper
  • Floor Scraper
  • Chemical Resistant Gloves
  • Old Shoes
  • Mask
  • Paint Roller and Pole
Start by gearing up. You will want to wear old shoes that you don’t care about, and gloves if you’re going to be handling the stripped paint. This stripper is no joke, it burns if you get it on your skin.

Step 1: Pour and Roll the Stripper

Pour the stripper onto the ground and roll it out with a paint roller. The layer should be thick. If it’s too thin you’ll have to go back with a second layer.

Step 2: Let the stripper sit on the paint for 20-25 minutes.

As it activates and loosens the paint, you will see it start to bubble and release itself from the concrete.  If you’re lucky like we were, you might even discover hidden dinosaur tracks underneath a few of the layers…

Step 3: Scrape

Use your floor scraper to scrape off the bubbled up paint. We found that it was best to scrape it all into a large pile and then shovel it into old boxes.

Step 4: Reapply

Reapply stripper if you’ve still got paint on the concrete.

Step 5: Wipe Down

Once you’ve scraped all of the paint off of the concrete floors, use a bucket of soapy water and a large push broom to sweep up any remaining chunks of paint and to get the stripper residue off of the concrete. Let the concrete dry for 24-48 hours before moving on to the next step of prep, or tile.    
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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.
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Renovations, Restoring
If you’re a new homeowner, prepare to be amazed by all the things that can break or go wrong. And yep, they’re now your problem since there’s no landlord to call. But by keeping a few specific tools at the ready, you’ll be able to handle the most common home repairs. Here are 7 tools you should have as a new homeowner.

1. A set of screwdrivers

Want to swap out your light switch plate or open a stubborn battery compartment? You’ll need a set of screwdrivers that have different sized and shaped heads to handle any situation. Cost: For less than $20 at most big box stores, you can get a 10-piece set or an all-in-one variety (which means that one handle can be fitted with multiple tips).

2. A hammer

There’s no doubt you’re going to be hanging pictures and probably assembling furniture too. Choose a hammer with a claw that allows you to pull out the nails (you know, just in case your hammering goes wrong). Cost: About $10

3. Adjustable wrench

An adjustable crescent wrench will come in handy for tightening or loosening nuts and bolts, which will be particularly important for leaky plumbing fixtures. You don’t have to know much to use one  just turn the dial to get to the width you need. Cost: About $15 (Note: The 3 tools above can be purchased in an all-in-one toolbox that may also come with an overwhelming selection of nuts, bolts, screws, nails … and other stuff.)

4. A flashlight

Sure, your smartphone has a flashlight, but sometimes the power goes out (or … maybe the phone isn’t always fully charged, ahem). And that makes a battery-powered flashlight extremely handy. Its round shape also makes it easier to get into tight corners. And let’s be honest: if your flashlight hits the ground, it’s a lot less expensive to fix than a cracked smartphone. You also can check out mounted lights for better lighting (find them in the “work lights” section).

5. Drain declogger

You may be shocked (and completely grossed out) by how often your shower or faucet drains get clogged. Thankfully, there’s a handy tool for pulling out gunk, which you can buy online or at your local hardware store. Its innovative design resembles the stem of a rose with long, pointy thorns to help trap hair and nastiness. Cost: Under $5

6. A bucket

Whether you use it to fling off the yuck from the drain or fill it with solution as you clean your home’s windows, a bucket will serve a host of uses. Cost: Under $5 for a decent-sized model

7. A step stool

You’ll reach for a step ladder more than you might think: when you’re reaching into the high cabinets for the china to impress your mother-in-law, or when you’re removing cobwebs from light fixtures. Or even when you’re making your backyard sparkle with twinkly lights. Look for a step ladder with grips on the bottom to ensure that it stays secure for your safety. Cost:  About $25
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Restoring

 

Bend sees more signs of growing economy in 2018

BEND, Ore. – Last year brought a big increase in the number of new Bend business licenses, and now 2018 is starting off even stronger, according to a law firm that tracks those statistics. According to EagerLaw, there was a 9 percent increase in newly registered Bend businesses, compared to last January. Jeff Eager said Monday he thought the numbers last year were strong, but was surprised when he saw the new numbers for January. He said there are many factors that could have played a role in the rise, but something as simple as  a more mild winter on the High Desert could have lead to this increase. “In January of 2017, instead of starting new businesses, people were shoveling snow off of their roofs,” Eager said. “So I think that probably plays into it a little bit. But I thought the January 2017 numbers were really strong, So I guess I’m pleasantly surprised that the 2018 numbers are even stronger.” Eager added that he’s hopeful the trend can continue, but knows it will probably level out at some point. And there are other ways to tell Central Oregon is seeing economic growth. State regional economist Damon Runberg said th business license numbers are a good way to see how new entrepreneurial businesses are doing. But he likes to gauge economic success by looking at how many new jobs employers are able to fill. He is quick to say, though, that this upward trend won’t last forever. “Things are going to slow down. And they are going to slow down to a level that is normal for most economies,” Runberg said. “We’re just so used to extremes, extreme highs and extreme lows, that when we are not growing at 8 percent a year, we think that something is wrong. I think that we are going to move into a 2 to 3 percent job growth threshold for 2018.” Runberg added that in the past year in Deschutes County, there was a 3.8 percent increase in jobs, making the Bend area the 14th-fastest growing metro area economy out of the 388 metro areas across the country. Katy Brooks, CEO of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, said there is a support system of sorts in place to help businesses succeed in Bend, through collaboration. Brooks added that in order to keep the economy strong, businesses will have to work toward diversifying the work-force, backing higher education in the region and providing housing options. “The great news is, a lot of people are moving here, and businesses are thriving,” Brooks said. “And that will eventually drive up salaries and everything that goes along with it.” She added that it’s important for all of the different types of industries that support different salary levels to provide options in the job field, which will lead to a balanced economy. A business advocate with the city of Bend said they are seeing diversity in the economy, with growth in tech, outdoor products, brewing, and bioscience industries. Katy Brooks said it’s important that the business sector be a part of the discussions on the future of Bend and how it will be shaped in order to see this strong economy continue. To learn more, follow the link: Bend Growth
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Design, Restoring
  Design trends are always changing, and today’s homebuyer wants an up-to-date house. Shag carpet and veneer walls were popular in the 1970s but now, those are seriously outdated. A home with that type of interior design can be harder to sell. When you are looking to improve a home before a sale, you should consider some of the current interior design trends. Here are several of the hottest design trends for 2018:

Earthy Colors Reign Supreme

For the last several years, gray tones have been all the rage. Sometimes called greige, it is a mixture of gray and beige. Gray is dominant, but the color palette adds a little color to the soften gray. Soft pastels and earthy tones are the trend for 2018. They are tones that appear in nature, like browns and soft greens. An example is poised taupe, which was named Color of the Year last year by Sherwin-Williams. Purple is also popular as accent colors, but purple can be really hard to pull off well. It tends to dominate a room. You should test a few colors on the wall before you paint so you can make the best choice for the room. Top Interior Design Trends for 2018: earthy living room

White in the Kitchen Is Out

Historically, kitchens have been white — countertops were white and cabinets were white. That is no longer the trend. Some designers are adding natural wood tones to cabinets, and others are getting even bolder. They are painting cabinets green or a bright blue. The color adds a little spice and brightens the space. And why not, a kitchen is often the center of activity in the house and where entertaining takes place. It is also easier to keep clean. White shows every blemish, but a brighter color can hide the day-to-day grim of daily kitchen use.

Formal Dining Table in the Kitchen

The eat-in kitchen is usually the place for a quick breakfast or a snack. It’s an informal space. When entertaining, guests will normally eat in the formal dining room. But formal dining rooms are becoming less common, and some people are moving the expensive dining room furniture into the kitchen. That usually means removing the center island from the kitchen to make room. Rather than gather around the island, your guests sit at the table while you cook. It centralizes entertaining to the kitchen and makes serving food simpler. Top Interior Design Trends for 2018: Kitchen colors

Concrete Accents

Concrete counters and concrete floors have been a common trend in recent years. Many designers are now using the material as an accent feature. A space that might normally have wood trim or a beam as an accent can have concrete. Concrete can be dyed pretty much any color, and the texture of concrete can add a soft tone to an interior space. When done correctly, concrete can even have the same quality finish as granite or marble. Designers are also building concrete furniture and concrete light fixtures.

Banana Leaf Accents

Banana leaf accents might seem a little crazy in today’s push toward natural colors, but they are perfect for adding a little color to a space. You can do just a little, like placing a couple of green banana leaf pillows on a grey couch. The pattern also works on curtains and as a duvets cover in a bedroom. If you want to be really bold, banana leaf wallpaper is a possibility. Bananas are also becoming popular as an interior houseplant, bringing a little bit of the tropics inside your home. Top Interior Design Trends for 2018: banana print

Turn off the Edison Light Bulbs

Edison light bulbs have become ubiquitous in coffee shops and restaurants. They are often covered by mason jars or just exposed. Designers were going for an industrial theme and softer lighting. Home interior designers have followed the trend. Go to any light store these days, and the majority of the fixtures have Edison bulbs. Now the trend is toward starburst chandelier, resembling something out of the 1950s, and rustic light fixtures with wood finishes. Many have a DIY feel. They are efficient at lighting a space and can be used in a variety of rooms.

Personalize the Space

The real 2018 interior design trend is making the space your own. You can do a lot of the work yourself, adding your own personal touch to the space. DIY has gone mainstream, and there are numerous online resources that can help. You don’t have to go to the local furniture store. Instead, head down to the hardware store and do the work yourself. The trend strays away from smooth finishes that look store bought. A couple imperfections are fine — that means it has character. You want to leave your mark on the interior of the home. It’s your home: make it feel like it.
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Fire, Restoring

 

Mendocino County Fires

Spectrum Building & Restoration reconstruction crews were dispatched to assist property owners who had been affected by the fires in Mendocino County. Carpenters from Spectrum Building & Restoration who have experience in rebuilding fire damaged structures, were able to help about 10 people who had part of their homes damaged by the wildfires. The Redwood Valley and Sulphur fires burning in Mendocino County have destroyed at least 425 homes, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department. At least four commercial structures have been destroyed. As of Sunday morning, the combined fires have burned more than 37,207 acres. The fires are 37% contained. Some neighborhoods in Redwood Valley, Willits and Potter Valley are being repopulated, according to the department. For more information on the wildfires and how you could help, please click here: Mendocino Wildfires
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Restoring, Space Savers
  There’s nothing like a DIY home improvement project to make you feel like a real homeowner. If you’ve never tackled a DIY project before, though, it can seem pretty overwhelming. Don’t sweat it! Your first projects don’t have to be anything fancy and time-consuming. These five projects are perfect for first-timers.
  1. Turn a Drawer into an Electronics Docking Station

    This project is a clever way to add some usable space to your home. You probably have a ton of electronic devices lying around, many of which need to be charged nightly and take up precious counter space. You probably also have a drawer that either isn’t used for much or is filled with junk. Let’s kill two birds with one stone. First, go through the junk drawer, empty it out, and get rid of whatever you don’t need. Next, you’ll want to put some divided storage in the drawer. You can get fancy and build your own or purchase premade tray storage that is often used in kitchen drawers or office desks. This divided storage is perfect for phones, wallets, keys, iPods, and whatever else you may have lying around that needs to be stored and charged. Drill a hole in the back of the drawer for cords, and put a power strip in the drawer next to the storage. Plug in your chargers and rope up the cords with a zip tie, and you’re done. Now you can plug your devices in, close the drawer, and enjoy a clutter-free night table or dresser.
smart-bulb
  1. Switch to Smart Lighting

    If you want to start with something a little simpler, this might be the easiest DIY project of all time. Smart lighting seems expensive on the surface, but if you take a look at the rated life spans of the bulbs, you’ll see it’s actually pretty economical. Many of these bulbs will last fifteen years or longer, and the convenience (and cool factor) of being able to turn on or adjust your lights with your phone can’t be beat. The most common systems can also be hooked up to Amazon Echo for voice control, which takes the convenience to a whole new level. Philips Hue is definitely the most popular brand, but there are other choices if you aren’t a Philips fan. LIFX, GE, and even IKEA all have options for a variety of needs and budgets.
  2. Install a Security System

    This upgrade can add both safety and convenience to your home. Because many home security systems come with smart home features like connected lighting, smart door locks, and wireless cameras, they can control and keep tabs on your home no matter where you are. There are two routes you can go with a security system—professionally monitored and self-monitored. Professionally monitored systems can be a little pricey, but you get the benefit of someone keeping an eye on your home 24/7 from a staffed monitoring center. Self-monitored systems are usually cheaper, but you don’t get the benefit of someone receiving an alarm signal and calling the authorities for you. Systems can be as simple as a few wireless cameras that send alerts to your phone or as complex as a whole-home alarm and automation system. That means the first step is deciding what features you want. Once that’s done, you can purchase the components separately or as part of a kit. These days, thanks to wireless technology, installation is often as simple as sticking cameras and sensors on the wall, but the kits all come with detailed instructions if you need additional guidance.
  3. Convert a Closet into an Office

    Re-purposing storage spaces can give you a little more usable space. Of course, your results here depend on the size of your closet, but even the tiniest nook can give you room for a laptop and space to write. The simplest way to turn a closet into an office is to remove the door and install a shelf at desk height. Put your laptop on the desk and pull up a chair, and you have an instant desk! You’ll want the shelf to be deep enough to accommodate your computer and other materials, and you probably want it to be a solid surface so that you can write on it. If you want more storage space, you can add some smaller shelving above the main “desk.” And if your closet is a big walk-in type, you can go all out, with L-shaped shelving and storage bins to provide plenty of work space.
garden-beds
  1. Build Raised Garden Beds

    Raised garden beds don’t just look nice—they actually help solve a number of challenges gardeners can face when growing their produce. Raised beds can help keep bad soil out, prevent erosion, increase drainage, and give your plants more sun exposure. This project is truly as functional as it is nice to look at. Building a raised garden bed sounds complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the simplest ways is to lay logs in a rectangular shape in the area you want to plant and then fill the area with soil. You can use pre-cut firewood to help make things even easier. The same thing can be done with bricks or cinderblocks, depending on what you have available and the sort of look you’re going for. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
These simple projects should get you off to a great start in the world of home improvement. With a little creativity and elbow grease, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish
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