This blog has detailed home renovation advice (especially for folks here in Austin, TX). It’s for folks wanting to get the most out of a major (or minor) bath, kitchen, or other home improvement project. My wikiHow author page has info for quick DIY projects like grout cleaning, and my Vimeo and YouTube pages have somewhat informative but mostly just entertaining vids of wall demo, terrible shower construction reveals, and writing advice from my previous teaching career.
This blog, in contrast, has detailed deep dive tips and tricks for ensuring great home reno results. I mostly do bathroom and kitchen remodels and specialize in tile installation. So there is a lot of advice here for custom shower and other tile work. I also though occasionally do varied jobs like removing walls or other projects.
Here’s the bottom line. I am a solo bath and kitchen tile renovation pro. I’m also a marxist socialist. So I believe that renovation labor should be priced fairly and performed transparently, and that helpful info should be shared widely and freely. That’s why this website contains nothing but ad-free straight dope!
Info is good
My main goal with this blog 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. Information can help you know what to plan for when thinking about a home renovation project. Good information can 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 how to waterproof a shower has all the info you’ll need to make sure the job is done properly. Or, have you bought a flipped house that has a leaky shower? 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 how to fix a shower floor slope describes how that too can be fixed without having to rip everything out and start over.
This blog hopefully has a project description or explanation post that matches what you’d like to have done or what you’re interested in. You can scroll to the bottom of any post for a categories list or use the search tool to quickly find what you’re looking for.
My own home renovation story
I started doing renovation work more than two decades ago 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. It had no insulation, bad plumbing, and even worse wiring everywhere. The house also had a looong previous history of completely jacked-up foundation and other “repair” work.
I was a bit handy and also had time to spare (college teacher at the time). I also have an engineering degree from a past career choice and lots of research skills (yay practical academics). So, with some hands-on learning and a little bit of re-doing practice, I completely rebuilt the house solo from the foundation up and the inside out.
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. I then quit academics and moved to Austin for a full time solo reno vocation. Austin is a lot more fun than Lubbock (truth hurts, LBK).
A different option for home renovation in Austin TX!
I’m therefore not a super-specialized tradesperson like most subcontractors. I’m also not 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.
I do every reno step myself unless there’s plumbing and/or electrical to permit. And in those cases, I can recommend a few excellent plumber and electrician options.
Straight dope home reno info
So again, my goal for this blog is to simply offer helpful free info to anyone planning a home renovation in Austin, TX. This site isn’t monetized or commercialized. There are no ads or popups or premium paid content pages. This blog just has detailed advice to help you ensure great reno project results!