90 SE Bridgeford Blvd, Bend, OR 97702 (541) 385-0752
Custom Home Building, Design

Why buy an over-priced concrete coffee table when you can make it yourself? 

High-end retailers make great stuff, but the prices are extremely high. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for an item, follow these instructions and make it yourself. 

Kim from The Kim Six Fix fell in love with a coffee table from high-end retailer, but it had a price tag of $1250. She knew that she could never pay that amount for a table, so she decided to take matters into her own hands and make one herself. She purchased all of the materials that she knew that she would need and set herself to work. 

When she was finished, she was more than satisfied with her result. If you want to see the building plans that Kim used, check out The Kim Six Fix.

Source: Knock Off Decor

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Renovations
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
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Preventative

Before the Frost:

Executive_Home   Remove dead tree branches: Prune back any dead or damaged tree branches, especially if they overhang your house or parking space. Dead branches are more likely to break and fall in a snow or ice storm, potentially damaging your property and passerby. You should also remove any branches that could damage your home or car if they fell, even if the branch is healthy.

Use caulk and weather-striping:

According to the US Department of Energy, having a drafty house can increase your energy bill by as much as 5% to 30%. Caulk and weather-striping are effective methods to seal leaks. Window frames are a frequent source of drafts, as is anywhere that two materials meet (such as around the chimney, in corners, where pipes exit the house, and around the foundation). You can test for leaks manually, by walking around on a chilly night and feeling where cold air gets in, or using the incense test. The incense test involves turning off any fans, lighting a stick of incense, and running it near potential leaks. If the smoke wavers, there’s a breeze, which means air is getting in and out. (Move flammable objects away from where you’ll be testing. Incense doesn’t typically get too hot, but better safe than sorry.)

Prepare to keep out under-door drafts:

The space under exterior doors is another major place that drafts can pass through. Make or buy a door snake (or door guard) to keep out the cold. Rolled up towels will do in a pinch, or you can make a cute DIY door snake to help guard your house against the wind. You can also put door snakes on interior doors, if you’re trying to preferentially heat a single room.

Improve insulation:

Repairing, installing, or improving your house’s insulation can be one of the most effective ways to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Adding insulation is also one of the easiest home improvement projects to do yourself, and it can add value to your home. Insulation is important between walls, in your attic’s floor, and in your basement’s ceiling. You can also install insulation between floors. How much and what type of insulation you’ll need will vary depending on where you live and what part of the house is being insulated (attics need more insulation than walls or floors). The U.S. Department of Energy has a guide outlining the different qualities of insulation needed for different locations and uses. Winterize A/C and water lines: This is a step that will typically require a professional to help with, but even with that cost can save you money in the long run. Talk to neighbors about who they use, or contact your local better business bureau for recommendations. You can also usually purchase a cover for your air conditioner that can help to keep out snow and debris. If you have a window A/C unit, you may want to remove it and put it in storage till the spring. Have a professional check and seal ducts: Your air ducts form a core part of both your central heating and A/C system. Sealing your ducts properly can lead to massive savings in both the winter and summer, since the air will stay cold or hot longer. Properly sealed ducts also reduce incidence of dust and mold in your air. You can hire a professional to come to your house to check and seal your ducts. However, be leery of ‘duct cleaning’ services – most homes don’t need them. Your utility company might offer incentives to improve your ducts.

Insulate pipes:

Insulating your pipes will help you save on heating water and can reduce the risk of pipes bursting. Most hardware stores sell pre-slit foam that can be easily wrapped around your pipes. Pay attention to the foam’s R-rating. The R-rating is a measure of how effective the insulation is. Most pipe insulation ranges from R-3 to R-7. Higher R-ratings offer better insulation. You can also insulate your hot water heater.

Install more efficient doors and windows:

Modern, energy-efficient glass can raise the value of your home and help you save on both heating and A/C. Make sure any windows you purchase are Energy Star qualified. You can also install storm windows or a storm door over or behind existing, low-efficiency windows and doors. Storm windows are mostly helpful in areas prone to inclement weather and/or temperatures far below freezing.

Buy a window insulation kit:

Window insulation kits are a cheaper and easier alternative to installing new windows or storm windows. You can get them for as little as a few dollars. If your area doesn’t get particularly cold in the winter, a window insulation kit might actually be a more cost-effective solution. Larger kits can also be used to insulate sliding glass doors.

Replace worn or missing roof shingles:

Holes in your roof can let warm air escape and cold water enter, increasing the risk of frost and water damage and increasing your heating bills. If you’re not comfortable repairing the roof yourself, call a professional.

Have your chimney inspected and cleaned:

A blockage in your chimney could trigger a house fire, or redirect smoke down into your house. Get a certified chimney sweep to check your chimney for problems and remove things like animal nests and built up suit. Chimney sweeps start getting busy in the late fall and winter, so it’s best to get your chimney inspected well ahead of the cold season. Fortunately, you only need to get your chimney checked once a year.

Have your furnace inspected:

Call an HVAC professional to check your furnace out, to make sure that it’s running efficiently and safely. Damaged or old furnaces can cause massive safety problems, including carbon monoxide buildup, on top of increased energy usage and utility bills. The HVAC professional might also be able to clean and properly adjust your furnace. Many utility companies offer a free annual inspection, and some furnace manufacturers also offer inspections at a discount. HVAC crews get busy once heating season arrives, so a furnace inspection is another thing that it’s best to schedule early.

Change out filters:

Check your furnace and air filters before heating season starts, and replace them if the filter looks dirty. Standard, disposable filters should be replaced once a month during heating season. Consider installing a permanent filter instead (they’re also called washable or electrostatic filters). Permanent filters are washed instead of replaced, reducing waste. They trap on average over twice as much debris as a disposable filter. A permanent filter should still be washed once a month and allowed to dry before re-installation.

Stock up ahead of time:

Make certain your snow blower and shovel are in good repair, and replace them before it snows if needed. Also stock up on sand or salt for your driveway, along with non-perishables for your pantry, and any other winter supplies. People often wait until it snows to buy a new shovel, fill their pantry, or refill on propane, risking the stores running out. It’s always a good idea to keep at least three days’ to a week’s worth of non-perishable food, water, medicine, hygiene supplies, and other necessities in your house, in case power gets knocked out and you’re unable to reach the store. Read More Here: Winterizing your home: Before the Frost
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Design, Outdoor

DIY Copper Pipe Mini Cabana

This cabana might not be a full sized one, but it is perfect to create a private seating area for two. Just add a shade curtain across the top to act as an awning in sunny areas, or leave it uncovered in shady areas to enjoy the sky above. Add your favorite lounge chairs, outdoor sofa, or dining table beneath this free standing cabana, and enjoy!

Materials

Tools and Extra Supplies

 

For full instructions, click here: DIY Mini Cabana

 
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Renovations
 

Beyond DIY: Tips from ‘This Old House’ to save on a home remodel

We can’t emphasize enough how critical a budget is to a successful remodeling project. Too many remodeling regrets are related to the budget. Some come in the form of “we should have gone ahead and done X at that time” as well as “we’re halfway through the project, but we have used up the entire budget already.” Getting budget and project aligned is a step that must be addressed in the planning stage to avoid those regrets. With that said, we all want to save money anytime we can, and this article offers just that. While much of the information is directed at the do-it-yourself individual, there are tips that apply to any type of remodeler. Saving money with manual labor is a given. However, not everyone has the time or skill set to save money with manual labor. Instead, we would like to point out a few of their more general tips.

Increase Efficiency

• The first way the article suggests to save money on a remodel is to increase efficiency not size. That saying is practically a mantra around our office. Less square footage will always save money on the overall budget. We always tell our clients that the basic remodeling formula is Size x Finish = Cost. If you can reconfigure existing space without building an addition, you can save a lot of money. Plus, using space differently within your home can change your life. Moving walls within your home — even structural bearing walls — is more cost-effective than adding on. Just having more space is not the answer to a home that doesn’t have a functional floor plan. When clients come to us asking for a new room out back or over the garage, we step back and discuss how they use their current space and how they intend to use the new space. Often their goals can be reached within the confines of their existing walls or with an addition that is considerably smaller than they originally imagined.

Consult an Architect

• Another suggestion from “This Old House” is to consult an architect. We love it when an outside source sees value in what we do. We can endlessly preach that consulting an architect will save money in the long run, but it will always sound self-serving. Glave writes that not every remodeling project requires the full participation of an architect. However, a homeowner can certainly benefit by at least consulting with one at the beginning of the project. An architect can help them get on the right path, and he or she can consult with them throughout the project as needed.

Make Decisions Beforehand

• Another great “This Old House” tip: Make decisions early. How often have we heard, “But we don’t have to decide that (choose that) yet, do we? Can’t we wait until we get closer to that?” One of the benefits of working with an architect is that we are great nags; we will always urge a homeowner to plan everything possible as soon as possible. This not only helps keep the budget in line, it will make for a smoother, more successful end result. If a homeowner creates accurate and thorough specifications for the project, then he or she will be able to balance the budget and schedule the project successfully. This includes listing all finishes (such as flooring, countertops, etc.) and fixtures (such as appliances, plumbing fixtures, etc.), as well as selecting all building materials (windows, doors, siding, etc.) up front.  This is a great reality check that should not wait until the project is underway
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Renovations, Uncategorized

Get Inspired with this Kitchen Transformation

When they bought their home, Kelly Goldman and her husband Jonathan knew that every single element within its kitchen needed updating. The Goldman’s wasted absolutely no time getting to work. In fact, they started the DIY demo the very day they closed escrow! Then they found that various portions of the project took considerable time — and they also paced everything in order to pay for it. So it wasn’t until a year and a half later that the family would be able to enjoy the fruits of their fully DIY labor. In the end, they created a spectacular transformation on a fraction of a traditional remodel budget that was so worth the wait. Read More Here: Kitchen DIY Transformation
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April Showers Bring May Flowers

May is the perfect month to get your home and yard ready for outdoor living and entertaining. For some, May is filled with important events like celebrating Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and graduation. And if you’re hosting then you may have an even longer to-do list than usual. Smart homeowners know when to DIY and when to delegate to a home services professional. You simply may not have the time to get everything done before guests arrive. Get More Information Here:http://porch.com/advice/may-maintenance-guide-2016/
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Home Upgrades

Spring Cleaning on a Budget

Spring cleaning shouldn’t only lead to a tidy home. It should lead to a better home that looks and feels brand spankin’ new. Lucky for you, help is on the way. We found the ultimate guide that not only breaks down the big clean sweep into five, easy-to-follow sections, it includes super affordable upgrades that cost $1 or less. With genius cleaning hacks, cheap (and free) DIY upgrades, and insanely simple design tricks for your home and garden decor, the infographic below, created by the experts at Vibrant Doors, covers all the basics while saving you some serious cash. Master the art of the spring home cleanse by trying these 50 home improvement hacks. You’ll turn your home into a cozy, immaculate and freshly styled sanctuary without ever breaking the bank. Read More Here: Home Upgrades for $1 Or Less
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