What’s This Site All About?

This blog is one part professional portfolio and three parts detailed advice. It’s designed for folks wanting to get the most out of a major (or minor) home renovation project. I mostly do bathroom and kitchen remodels, so there is a lot of advice here for custom shower and other tile work along with tips for cabinets and countertops. I also occasionally do other jobs like removing walls or adding closets.

So there are tips and tricks here for the advanced DIY crowd, but I mainly want to help people who are looking to hire a pro for reno work on their home and who want to understand the whole process beforehand. Info is good, because information can help you know what to expect and also help you select the best professional for your specific project.

For example, do you want a new custom tile shower but fear that a contractor might make a mistake or cut corners? This post about “Shower Waterproofing Basics” will give all the info you’ll need to make sure that doesn’t happen. Or, have you bought a flipped house that has a leaky shower and don’t know what to do? This post about “Leaky Shower Fixing” describes how a skilled pro might be able to fix it without having to tear out the entire shower. Or, maybe your expensive custom tile shower has an improperly sloped floor with dead spots that don’t drain. This post about “Shower Floor Resloping” describes how to fix that too.

There’s a quick links and categories list that can hopefully help you find a past project of mine that matches what you’d like to have done or what you’re interested in.

I’m an unusual remodel pro

I started doing renovation work around the turn of the millennium, after buying my first home in Lubbock TX. The vintage brick house was a bargain, mainly because it was a run-down 1947 slapdash pier and beam 3/3 with no insulation, bad plumbing and bad wiring everywhere, and a loooong history of completely jacked-up “repair” work.

I was a bit handy, and had more time than money as a result of working half-time as a college teacher. I also had an engineering degree and lots of research skills. So within a few years of hands-on learning and solo practice I completely rebuilt the home from the inside out, foundation to rafters. I also started helping out friends with their reno projects, and then friends of friends, etc. Eventually I moved to Austin TX, and made reno work a full time vocation.

So I’m not a super-specialized tradesperson like most subcontractors, nor am I a hands-off manager like most general contractors. I can describe in detail an entire renovation project from start to finish because that’s how I work, doing each step myself. It’s a pretty flat business model — the only labor I exploit is my own.

Straight dope advice

So again, my goal for this website is to offer info to potential clients or anyone else planning to have some home renovation work done. This site isn’t monetized or commercialized. There are no ads or popups or premium paid content pages. Just hopefully useful detailed advice to help you ensure great project results!