Residential & Commercial maintenance and remodeling

Archive for the tag “diy”

Sunken Living Room

We started a project today at a home that has a 320 sq ft sunken living room.
The concern was injury from flalling because of an unexpected step down that no one expects!
We first had to determine the depth we needed to raise the floor and decided to start with  2×4 framing.


We laid out the floor like you would lay out a framed stud wall but also used concrete screws to insure movement would be limited.


After framing the floor, we used decking adhesive and installed 3/4 inch decking.


After the decking, we added another layer of 1/2 inch OSB and it was also glued down.  This added strength and got us to the correct height.
Personally I was thinking of installing a goldfish pond and a fountain, but they would lose their living room…. Oh well… It was a good thought…
Stay tuned… Tomorrow we install laminate flooring on top of the new decking!

Rotted Floor Repair

We repaired this rotted floor in a house in Fort Worth.  Water head started leaking under the toilet where a previous contractor had added flooring without removing the toilet.

Starting tearout

The toilet not being removed when the new floor was installed acted like a dam and caused the leaking water to run between the original floor and the newer subfloor without anyone knowing anything about it until the floor started buckling!

Kilz on top

We removed the toilet, cleaned out everything that was rotted or damp, sprayed it down with stain blocker primer (in this case Kilz), then built the floor back up level.


The end result was as if it had never happened!   It’s good to really watch the people you hire to make sure they are properly doing their job, do some research and look to see if they’re following industry standards…


“Happy Cleaning”

-Scott McDonald

Sink Leak

Looking under a sink a few days ago, I found this….


A slow leak had caused the fitting to gradually rust then break.   This is a very easy fix, so below I added a photo of what the parts look like that are needed to make the repair…


In our case,  and in most cases, you do not need to buy the tailpiece, which is the white pipe.  The slip nut can be plastic or in some cases you can use metal as well.  (this only applies to the slip nut that attaches to the bottom of the strainer)

Make sure everything is very clean, remove the tailpiece and slip on the new nut, lay the tailpiece washer in place and tighten HAND TIGHT!!  Check all your slip nuts under the sink and make sure they are snug then test your water and look for leaks…

If water is coming from above the tailpiece washer….you have a whole ‘nother problem and a whole ‘nother blog!!

Happy Plumbing!

Garbage Disposal Find!

Little boys in a clients home decided to clean out their aquarium in the sink…


Problem was, they did it in the Disposal and filled it full of little aquarium rocks!



The disposal had to be removed and flushed to get all the pieces out, but it was saved in the end!   This is not the weirdest thing I have found in a disposal… We have pulled out:

* rocks  * pennies  * dishrag  * fork, yes a fork  * spoon  * toy car  * chicken bones  * broken glass

Remember… The disposal is not a junkyard metal grinder…it’s just a disposal!   : )


LED and Pendant Lights

Installed these the other day in a clients house… the LED’s filled the room nicely and the pendent lights go well with the setup..

Collapsed Ceiling

I already posted about a ceiling collapse    here….

But just for fun….here’s another we did…


Pretty bad


I cannot stress enough that you need to pay attention to cracks and nail holes appearing in the ceiling.  Watch for bowing and warping as well.  You do NOT want this to happen!!


Getting going with the repairs


aaaand the finished product!!


Happy Cleaning!!

Wooden Double Gate Latch

When installing a wooden double gate, it is important to have an additional latch or stop for the gate.  If the latch shown below is the only one used, the wind will easily blow the gate open…


We recommend an additional latch and many different styles will work.

The key is to stop the gate from moving or twisting in the wind, here are several ideas….

bar latch

This type of bar latch works well, especially if one side is stabilized with a device like the one shown below…


This or a variation of this device works very well, especially when there is concrete, because it stabilizes one side of the gate, then the latch has something stable to latch onto making for a gate that is less likely to blow open in moderate wind.

When there is no concrete, drive a 1/2″ piece of galvanized pipe into the ground and let the stop fall into it.


Come up with your own creative idea!!   A long locking bar works probably the best but is normally only accessible from one side.

This one was shown at

Happy Latching!

Foundation Repair

While we do not do major foundation repair, sometimes we do minor repairs and leveling to homes that have shifted with the North Texas soil. This house had some floor issues where the beams under the house had shifted and were pushing outward.

The floor was pushing the sliding door and entire wall outward…
We dug far enough down to get under the house…

We used jacks and very long threaded 3/4 inch bolts to attach to solid bracing under the house, and used the power of the bolts tightening against the solid bracing to pull the side of the house back together.   Quite a heavy chore, but it worked!!

Here is the finished product after we filled the dirt back in.  It held itself in place and was a very cost-effective repair…
Happy Digging!!


Here is a backsplash I installed Friday


Started on a sheetrock wall, I sealed the edges with silicone


Starting the customers design


Pulled the plugs out to the front edge of the tile


Grouted it with white pre-mixed grout.  About a 5 hour process

from start to finish.

(Now we hope they paint the cabinets!)

Happy Backsplashing!

When you Don’t have a Truck

Yes, pretty sad, I know…  but this is how we roll…


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