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 again, there are tips and tricks here for the advanced DIY crowd but my main goal is to help folks 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 mistakes 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 that too can be fixed without having to rip everything out and start over.

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 a somewhat unusual reno pro

I started doing renovation work 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 house with no insulation, bad plumbing and bad wiring everywhere, and a looong history of completely jacked-up “repair” work.

I was a bit handy and also had spare time (college teacher at the time). Also had an engineering degree from a past career choice and lots of research skills (yay practical academics). So, with some hands-on learning and solo practice, I eventually rebuilt almost the entire house from the inside out, foundation to rafters. Literally. I also started helping out friends with their house repairs and reno projects. And then friends of friends, and then friends of distant acquaintances, etc. Yada yada yada, eventually moved to Austin and made renovation work for hire 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 unless there’s plumbing and/or electrical to permit. And in those cases, I know a really good plumber and electrician. Three workers max, a pretty flat business model.

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 straight dope advice to help you ensure great reno project results!