Fireplace Makeover

Here’s an outdated brick fireplace that was quite simply, ugly. Maybe in it’s day, it was nice, but not anymore.

With a brand new kitchen about to go in overlooking the fireplace, this thing really needed a makeover.

We knocked off the existing brick mantle, framed around the brick surround and anchored in some 2X8s to support a TV and a new wood mantle. We ran some PVC conduit to hide the cables and then added cement board to give us a good surface for tiling.

A beautiful gas insert was installed to complete the transformation. Pretty proud of this one:

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Updating an out of date bathroom

Here’s a bathroom I did recently that, when the house was built 30 years ago, was quite stylish. Today, not so much.

To save money, the clients kept the original vanity and opted to replace the top and instead of a new ceramic tile floor, they chose new vinyl 12X24 tiles that look exactly like ceramic and until you touch them, feel like it too, except that they are warmer, without the expense of a heated floor and much cheaper.

The makeover involved replacing the tub and tiles with a new wider, deeper tub and cultured marble walls (half the cost of real marble), replacing the vanity top and mirror and installing a new floor.

It turned out beautifully:


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Columbus farm house

A while back I completed some work on a century old farm house north of where I live.

The job involved installing new subfloor, a Ditra underlay and new tile in a main floor hallway, laundry room, hall closet and powder room.

It wasn’t a particularily exciting job, but the results were quite good. Everyone is very pleased.

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Kitchen install

A while back, I started doing work for a kitchen and bath company and one of the projects was to install a new kitchen in a fully renovated raised bungalow.

Once the new counter tops are installed, I’ll be able to install the backsplash.

Sleek and modern, this kitchen is coming along nicely.

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Transforming a fireplace

We’ve had a traditional style fireplace in our home that I made almost 10 years ago and have always loved it, especailly at Christmas, but recently we were becoming increasingly frustrated by the cramped corner where our TV unit sits and the inability to add a chair or two to our small living room.

In an effort to streamline the look and reduce the clutter, we decided to modify the fireplace and build a TV unit that would encompass the fireplace and free up the corner of the room for a chair.

We had to cut the ends of the top of the fireplace and then by adding some store bought melamine shelving and some trim, we were able to create an entertainment unit that would house all of our “crap” and free up space both literally and visually.

Now to find the perfect chair for the corner…………………..

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Creating higher baseboards

I have always hated the baseboards in our home.

They’re small, uneven and crooked and don’t reflect the charm and character of our 100 year old place.

The problem I faced in replacing them was that they are solid wood, held in place with 3 inch nails and all the walls are lathe and plaster. Removing the existing baseboards to replace them with new ones would have been a huge undertaking. The damage to the plaster walls would have required extensive repairs that I just didn’t have the time or patience for.

I decided to try an old trick that I had seen online years ago, which would give the illusion of higher basboards but without the struggle am\nd mess of a full replacement.

The trick simply involves installing a small piece of trim about 4″ above the existing baseboards and them painting the area in between white so that it looks like the baseboards are actually higher thn they are.

Have a look. It might be something for you to try if you find yourself in the same situation.

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Refinishing an heirloom dining set

I’ve done a fair amount of refinishing in my day from handrails and staircases to furniture pieces and I can honesty say that this one was the most stressful.

This country style dining set had a lot of sentimental value to the client, so when I took on the task of refinishing it to give it a more modern, elegant look, the stress set in. What if it doesn’t turn out? What if I ruin it? It was the first piece of furniture that they ever bought and it had a lot of memories attached to it.

It was a long, tedious task that in the end turned out pretty good, after many hours of sanding and stripping and staining and re-staining.

This set looks so much nicer and fits the space beautifully.

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