Contact NOW! for a Estimate

Enjoy Mr. Done Right's Blog with Helpful Information About Fixin' Stuff!

I will be posting tips and tricks of the trades bi-weekly. Just let me know \iIf there is something you would like to learn more about.

Mr. Done Right's Blog

Home Improvement Projects

Where to Start

People want to do home improvement projects all the time to increase the value of their home. Many people, however, do not know which project to tackle first when they have multiple projects to be done. Picking which project to do first can be decided by a number of things. Money and urgency are the biggest factors in this. If you have a hole in your roof, obviously you need to get that fixed before putting a shed up in your yard. But if you need new windows because the old ones are older than you and your bathroom looks like it’s stuck in the 70’s, you have a choice. Some improvements will be more time consuming than others and that should be taken into consideration before starting anything.

Before you Start

Do your research before starting anything. Whether you plan to do the project yourself or hire someone to do it for you, make sure you know what you are getting into before buying anything or signing any contract. Any home improvement job can be done by yourself or a company. Depending on the job will depend on what you need to not only get it done, but also how much it will cost. Check out different home improvement stores for varying prices as well as professionals. Ask your neighbors who did their project and how much it cost, if they are willing to tell you the price. If they did it themselves, ask how long it took and if they ran into any problems they didn’t believe they would encounter. If they did encounter problems, ask them how they fixed them. On the other hand if they used a professional ask what they thought of the work the professional did. Knowing what you might be getting into is the best knowledge of all. And if it is possible, ask more than one home owner about the same project so you can compare notes.

Do It Yourself versus Professional

You have decided what project you want to do. You have done your research and have an idea what it should cost and how long it should take. Now you must decide if you want to do it yourself or hire a professional crew to do it for you. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Doing it yourself can be much cheaper because you aren’t paying labor costs that are added to the professionals’ prices. However you have to know that you will have ample time to fix complete the project and that you can live in your home comfortably enough while you do finish. Also if you run into a complication, you have to know how to fix it quickly so as not to lose any more time on completing the project. This can get expensive if you don’t know how to fix it or are on limited time and money. Having a professional do it can cost thousands more, depending on the project, but you will have an estimate time of completion. And, the best part of all, if there are any mess ups, you are not responsible for fixing them. Well for the most part you won’t be responsible. You will need to read the fine print on any contract you sign with a professional. Another advantage of having a professional is that the work is warranted.

Using the Professional

Once you decide to go with a professional, you should get multiple quotes before making your choice of who to use. Even if the company that did your neighbors windows comes highly recommended, your house is different and they may have different pricing specials now than when your neighbors had their windows put in. Get at least four or five quotes to see exactly what the professionals cost and the differences in how they do business, their warranty works, estimate for when they can start your project, and completion time frame. Don’t go for just the big ads in the phone book. The smaller companies can be just as good and cost less than a big name. Most places give free estimates nowadays. No matter what, don’t let any professional push you into using them before you have all the estimates you want. They may sound great as the first or second, but their job is to get you sign with them and convince you they are better than anyone else out there. Take everything they say with a grain of salt.

 

Thank you for taking the time with me to learn more about what Mr. Done Right, the handyman / contractor does for you.

Sincerely,

Don Fenton

(AKA) Mr. Done Right

For more information on handyman or contractor work in the greater Austin area (or beyond), please contact your premiere handyman, Don Fenton, AKA Mr. Done Right Handyman Contractor of Austin, because Mr. Done Right ensures any repairs and/or remodels get Done Right the first time! Call us now for a free estimate! 512-659-8931

www.Handyman-Austin.com

Mr. Done Right on Facebook Mr. Done Right on Yelp Mr. Done Right on Angie's List Mr. Done Right on Yellow Pages, YP.com

* Click here to protect your privacy and the safety of your children on the Internet.

Mr. & Mrs. DIY – Through the Thick and Thin of Building a Concrete Countertop

Concrete countertops, recognized first by architects and designers for their aesthetic potential and project versatility, are fast becoming the answer to homeowners’ demands for a relatively inexpensive countertop alternative that doesn’t require a high-level of expertise to install. In addition, they offer homeowners an exciting opportunity to literally try their hands at being creative. Step-by-step books, videos and hands-on training are now readily available for homeowners to confidently engage in such do-it-yourself (DIY) projects as building concrete countertops.

Married couple Chris and Ali were excited to take on a DIY project after purchasing their San Francisco flat. A logistical real estate developer/construction manager and an educational specialist, Chris and Ali are also architecture and home design enthusiasts. With a penchant for getting their hands dirty, building and installing their own concrete countertop seemed a natural choice for them.

Chris happens to be no stranger to concrete: “My interest goes back several years when I was building restaurants and retail spaces. I installed concrete countertops and worked with concrete artisans doing integral color and stained concrete floors.”

In April of 2003, Chris and Ali purchased a two-flat building in space-challenged San Francisco. Recently, they sold the lower flat as a tenant-in-common unit and now occupy the upper flat, which offers roughly 950 sq. ft. of living space. Before they considered building their own kitchen concrete countertop, they hired a contractor for an extensive remodel of the home. The result is an open, loft-like living space where the kitchen and living zones flow together.

“We both enjoy the process of designing and creating our own living space to fit how we live. This applies to the space we occupy as well as the details within it,” says Ali. “We both like the idea of working with our hands, using materials that are natural, accessible […] and flexible.” Chris added, “Concrete counters are beautiful, cool, earthy, solid, and you just want to touch them. The counters were a perfect way for us to create something beautiful out of our own ideas and hard work, and the uniqueness of the end product is a representation of our unique ideas.”

Their kitchen, 10 feet wide by 15 feet long (150 sq. ft.), didn’t offer much room for Chris and Ali to work — but that didn’t stop the big plans they had for their narrow kitchen. They wanted to have a logical cooking zone with a work triangle, plenty of counter space and still have enough room to accommodate a dining area.

Like most urban San Francisco properties, space is almost always an issue. To remedy this, a straight run of upper and lower cabinets and a concrete countertop with a dishwasher, sink, oven and stove were placed along one wall of the kitchen. A built-in banquette and dining table are located opposite the concrete countertop work area. An adjacent wall hosts a refrigerator and tall cabinets.

Chris and Ali agree that the most interesting addition to the kitchen is the concrete countertop. The couple’s instructional guide and source for design inspiration was award-winning designer Fu-Tung Cheng’s Concrete Countertops: Design, Forms, and Finishes for the New Kitchen and Bath (Taunton, 2002), a national bestseller in the remodeling and design genre.

The finished countertop is a visually stunning work surface with rich, complex colors: reddish-brown with flecks of semi-precious Leopardskin (yellow and black) aggregates. “This particular color combination blended perfectly with the color theme we had for the cabinetry, tile backsplash, floor and wall finishes,” says Ali.

Understated design details of the 12-foot long, 3-inch thick concrete countertop include rounded edges at the countertop front and the sink openings as well as a decorative metal strip under the front edge of the countertop to conceal the plywood sub-top.

Chris and Ali took special note that despite the tight working space of their basement, their collaborative work ran smoothly from pour to finish. “Like the rest of our remodeling project, building the concrete countertop brought us closer together,” says Chris. “We work very well together. It starts from the fact that we communicate very well and our design ideas complement each other.”

With the completion of the project and the creative work done, Chris and Ali admit that their biggest challenge was building the concrete forms. “Particularly for the sink cut-out, which has radius corners and two different size basins,” says Chris.

Despite a couple of minor learning curves, Chris maintains that there is an overwhelming sense of accomplishment upon completing their concrete countertop. “The best part is seeing and feeling the finished product and knowing we did it!” It’s been said that if a couple can survive a home remodel — especially a DIY project — together, they can survive anything.

From the looks of a job well done on their first concrete countertop, these happy do-it-yourselfers are in it for the long haul. Chris says of future projects, “We plan to create a concrete fireplace surround and perhaps a hearth to go with it!”

 

Thank you for taking the time with me to learn more about what Mr. Done Right, the handyman / contractor does for you.

Sincerely,

Don Fenton

(AKA) Mr. Done Right

For more information on handyman or contractor work in the greater Austin area (or beyond), please contact your premiere handyman, Don Fenton, AKA Mr. Done Right Handyman Contractor of Austin, because Mr. Done Right ensures any repairs and/or remodels get Done Right the first time! Call us now for a free estimate! 512-659-8931

www.Handyman-Austin.com

 

Mr. Done Right on Facebook Mr. Done Right on Yelp Mr. Done Right on Angie's List Mr. Done Right on Yellow Pages, YP.com

* Click here to protect your privacy and the safety of your children on the Internet.

 
 

Helpful? Please spread the word :)