About Me

Custom tile, bath, and kitchen projects is the specialty — anything from a straightforward tub surround or kitchen backsplash to a whole new custom bathroom or custom kitchen from the studs up. Handling any needed carpentry, drywall, drain-side plumbing, or finishing trim work personally is the value added.

Other reno contractors sub out work. With me, you deal with the person who actually does all the actual day-to-day work on your project starting with the demo and finishing with the last finish work bits.

I am also sometimes available for general handyperson household repairs/improvements needing tile, drywall, carpentry, basic electrical or plumbing, or other diverse home repair skills and experience.

Quick Bio

Started out with practicing tile install and other bathroom renovation, kitchen renovation, and whole house renovation trade skills part-time on my own house while teaching full time at Texas Tech University (guns up!) in Lubbock, the hub of the high and dry South Plains. After then subsequently helping my Lubbock friends (and then friends of friends, and then friends of acquaintances, yada yada) with home renovation projects as basically a side hustle hobby, finally decided to make reno work a full time vocation here in Austin.

Formal degrees in chemical engineering, biochemistry, and technical writing. Practical experience in all aspects of home reno and repair.

All my for hire jobs come with a fixed labor cost and no up-front labor charges, and with 100% satisfaction guaranteed at the end. If you’re looking for someone who can offer advice with humor and options with clarity, then just give me a call for a consult and pricing writeup!

Full Explanation: A Different Approach

Normally, you have three choices when it comes to renovation projects — either hire a general contractor to oversee everything, hire a bunch of individual contractors (demo, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, drywall, tile, trim carpentry, paint, etc etc etc) and manage them all yourself, or DIY it all.

Hiring a general contractor is the retail approach. It adds ~30% to the cost of your project for the convenience of someone else managing most all of the project details for you. The upside is, obviously, not having to deal with everything yourself. The downside? That’s a big chunk of extra cash added to a bathroom or kitchen renovation cost.

Hiring your own individual contractors (basically, being your own general) is the wholesale approach. It could potentially save up to a third of your budget, which is a nice upside. But finding (and scheduling) just one good subcontractor can be difficult. Multiply that by five (or more for a complex reno project) and you really run the risk of a bad sub screwing up your overall renovation project. That’s the downside.

Doing all the work yourself is, of course, the (maybe) lowest cost option for a reno project but simply isn’t realistic for most folks. Installing tile, for example, isn’t rocket science but does take skill and practice.

The Benefits: Peace of Mind

I offer the best of all three of these traditional options without the downsides. When you hire me for a renovation project, you get a single contractor who actually does all of the work themselves.

And, you get the benefit of working with someone who started out as a DIY homeowner. The result is peace of mind knowing that each task will be done correctly (since no homeowner should live with cut corners) and the convenience of coordinating with just one worker.

Basically, I’m a marxist. The only labor I exploit is my own, and my goal is to get folks as close to the source of renovation production goodness as possible.

And, if you’d like to do any of the reno project steps yourself? No problem, have at it! I’m happy to offer tips, advice, or backup if you get in too deep. I’m also happy to supervise plumbing and/or electrical subs for fully permitted renovation projects requiring Austin city inspections.

More Benefits: Shared Priorities

Most every traditional renovation contractor manages multiple projects at once. Sometimes just a few, but sometimes half a dozen or more. That’s why coordination can be a real nightmare for them, which is a problem that can get passed on to their clients. Traditional reno contractors are sometimes distracted or perhaps even downright unresponsive during (or especially near the end of) a particular reno job because they’re continually juggling priorities at multiple projects.

I only schedule one project at a time. This keeps life simple for me, and simple for you. It also ensures that my priorities are also your priorities. For example, want to completely finish your reno project quickly so you can enjoy the results as soon as possible? So do I, so that I can move on to my next project asap!

Most every subcontractor also juggles more than one job at a time, or is at least working for multiple general contractors at once. That’s why subs sometimes seem to flake out for a few days or weeks or even disappear completely. This can be even worse if they’re working for a general contractor who’s squeezing margins (which every traditional general contractor is set up to do, since every dollar of your reno budget saved on subcontracted labor is an extra dollar for them).

I only use subcontractors when necessary to meet code (licensed electrician or plumber) or to save clients’ money (pro painters who work faster than I do, for example). Also, since I’m the one responsible for all the subsequent project steps once the rare sub is done, I’m just as personally invested in the results as my clients are. You want reputable, capable, and effective subs working on your project? So do I, since it’ll be me who will be personally dealing with fixing any problems before the next renovation step can happen.

Finally, I started out myself as a DIY renovator frustrated with conventional general contractors and flaky subcontractors. Again, my first major project was rehabbing my own 1940s craftsman bungalow in Lubbock and then helping out an expanding list of friends and acquaintances with their own rehab jobs. I was driven to learn how to do proper quality reno work after being super annoyed by the low quality or high cost of conventional alternatives. And I literally had to live in the results, so cutting corners wasn’t an option. Neither was it for the friends who helped me down this vocational path in the first place. Everyone deserves good home work. Everyone.

So, that’s a brief description of how I started doing my own reno projects to begin and working with other folks now. Hopefully also explains my overall philosophy from then to now.

Keep it Simple. Do it Well. Make it Last.