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What’s This Site All About?

This top post gives a quick overview for what this renovation info and advice blog is all about, and describes a little bit about me. In a nutshell, it’s a site for understanding proper materials and techniques for perfect home renovation project results. And, I’m a professional renovator who actually does the hands on work myself. Hopefully useful if you’d like a quick intro and roadmap before scrolling! Continue reading What’s This Site All About?

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How to Save on a Kitchen Reno

Six Tips and One Bottom Line: DON’T SKIMP ON EASY UPGRADES! A kitchen is the most expensive room in a house to renovate. In addition to all the trades (carpentry, electrical, plumbing, tile, paint, etc), large appliances (fridge, stove, dishwasher, etc), and costly fixtures (sinks, faucets, lighting, etc), you’ll also need to deal with cabinets and countertops (which can cost $10k alone for a 10’x10′ … Continue reading How to Save on a Kitchen Reno

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How to Save Money on a Bathroom Reno

Four Tips: Plan beforehand, Demo (some) yourself, Schedule ahead, and BE OPEN TO TIPS This post gives some tips for getting the lowest-cost bids for typical full bathroom remodels, ones where existing wall locations and major plumbing locations are kept intact. For example: simply replacing a tub surround instead of converting the tub to a walk-in shower, or taking everything to the studs but keeping … Continue reading How to Save Money on a Bathroom Reno

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So, Where to Buy Tile?

Good question! One of the first steps to a bathroom or kitchen renovation is picking materials. So, sourcing a tile type and style that you’ll like is pretty important. So, here’s a post that explains some basics for tile buying in Austin, TX! Where to Go? The answer is a definite “it depends” If your tastes are flexible and/or your budget is tight, then an … Continue reading So, Where to Buy Tile?

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To Niche or Not To Niche?

Trick question since the answer is always YES, definitely put some nice niche goodness in your new custom shower! Convenient and stylish in addition to practical, adding well designed in-wall niche storage space is like adding a super fantastic closet for your shower. This post gives lots of ideas for adding value to your custom tile shower or tub surround. Continue reading To Niche or Not To Niche?

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Tile Shower Waterproofing Basics

Good Shower vs. Bad Shower, what’s the difference? A chain-smoking, whiskey-drinking, world-weary 1950s private detective would say there are two kinds of custom walk-in showers in the word — ones that leak, and ones that don’t. It is a little more complicated than that nowadays. But, not much more complicated. Shower construction materials are more sophisticated now than in the 1900s. Yet there are still … Continue reading Tile Shower Waterproofing Basics

Shower and Garden Tub Re-do

This project was for clients who wanted to turn a very blah builder-grade 1990s -era master bath into a stylish contemporary space while still keeping to a pretty tight budget. As realtors, they understood that bathroom remodels do add to a home’s value and definitely reduce time on market when selling. For example, which of these two bathroom showers would YOU rather buy? And as … Continue reading Shower and Garden Tub Re-do

Tub Surround Replacing

This project was typical with a twist. It’s very common to upgrade a bath renovation with a new tub, tub surround tile, floor tile, etc. It’s less common to also add a window or replace every bit of drywall. But, if you’re already going mostly to the studs on a renovation project anyway, then it’s usually only an added incremental cost to go ahead and … Continue reading Tub Surround Replacing

Custom Shower Upgrade: part II

This is the second of a two-part custom shower renovation project description. If you’d like to get all the background, then just click back to “Custom Shower Upgrade: part I“ Step FIVE: Tile Install! Finally, the actual tile work starts. This would be “step one” for a more traditional tile install tradesperson. With me, folks get the value added of a one stop shop for … Continue reading Custom Shower Upgrade: part II

Custom Shower Upgrade: part I

This project started as a challenge to fix a 30-ish year old custom shower with some cool late 80s features like glass block wall, ‘foyer’, and wall nozzles. But, the shower also had some not so cool ‘features’ like kinda grungy and uneven floor tile and unfortunate accent stripes: But most importantly, the shower was leaking from the base. Not good. So this project started … Continue reading Custom Shower Upgrade: part I