This blog has free home renovation advice for home renovation 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 descriptions for major home renovation projects in Austin, TX. 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.
I began my solo renovator for hire doing DIY projects for friends while teaching technical writing at Texas Tech.
Eventually I quit teaching and became a for hire renovation pro here in Austin. But I still have a passion for explaining and instructing. Some renovation contractors hoard info and expertise. I don’t. I think that information should be free and expertise should be shared.
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 solo practice, I eventually rebuilt the entire house from the inside out (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. 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).
An unusual home reno pro
I’m 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 know a really good plumber and electrician. Three workers max makes a pretty flat business model.
Straight dope home renovation info!
So again, my goal for this blog is to simply offer helpful free info to anyone 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. This blog just has usefully detailed straight dope advice to help you ensure great reno project results!