Monday, May 29, 2017

Stair Remodel - Step by Step


Before and After  - Austin TX
Stair Remodel



Thought it would be helpful to see a stair remodeled.

1.  Day 1 - Present stair - needs some updating

Take note of the Posts along the stair.  It is not to code as well as a safety issue to not have a rail you can hold onto continuously as to go up or down the stair.  With each post tip you have to release your hand for the next section.  If you have an older person in your life or small kids this is definitely a safety issue and should be addressed.
2.  The Tear-out and begin with proper skirts instead of the casing trim that was originally used.
Still Day 1

Day 1 continues - finding that the stair was not framed correctly in places. Making adjustments as I go. - will post as Steve uploads photos

End of Day 1: starting step in, skirts, a couple of tread ends and risers.  looking good!!!  Love the color stain homeowner selected.

Day 2 - inside Skirting completed.


End of Day 2:

Day 3 - Going well.  Most of cap, skirts and trim are in.

End of Day 3:  Note Since I am working out of town putting in 10-12 days.


Day 4 - time to start hanging rails


Day 5 - Finished hanging Rails - now to start put in the iron balusters.


Day 5 continues with putting the iron balusters in

Tomorrow just a little touch up here and there and all done.  I am sure the homeowner will be pleased.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Carpet off !!! New Solid Wood Treads On !

Beautiful finish!!!

Tired of hauling that vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs?  This homeowner was - she was happy to only have to use a swifter and hit with a damp mop every now and then.

What a time saver for her.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Stair Remodel Austin TX

We do travel a bit to do stairs and whatever custom work that needs to be done.  It is nice that my wife can also run her business from the internet so moving around for me to do work is never an issue - We just hook up our 5th Wheel and off we go.!!  Being "mobile" opens many opportunities.

Even though Austin TX is 2.5 hours from me, it is just easier to move the rig up there and do the work.  I just prep everything here in the shop and then hit the Road.

Here is the before:
And the After - this client was awesome - since they were so far away we walked them through the measurements needed and we were able to estimate it out from there.

Stair Remodel - Scroll Balusters look beautiful!!!

Before the Remodel - can anyone say "Dated"


The posts to the ceiling were decorative only and most of the stair was just pin nailed - no glue - nothing screwed down.  A definite safety hazard for the kiddos.

The client chose her pattern she liked - we tweaked the layout a bit to make it affordable and it turned out just beautiful


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Christmas Manger 2016


Client wanted a manger scene made for his wife for Christmas, He provided a picture and measurements. So with some pressure treated wood 2x4s and 2x8s I was able to build the manger and carve out Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.  Painted it black and it is ready to go.  What I really like is since we live in Texas presently, they used their own TX star lit on the house.
Ingenious!!!

Merry Christmas All - and have a Blessed New year

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Your Friendly Local Carpenter - Handyman

Christmas is here!! - Your local carpenter or handyman are usually available to come by and take care of some of your small jobs that you would like done before you host that holiday dinner.

No job is too small this time of year!!  Many are not working because people do not have the time or desire to get those big jobs done. Most Handy guys will happily come by and fix that drawer, hang some things, or repair that unsightly gutter hanging off your house or any number of little things.  Steve loves the standard "Honey-Do" list where he comes in and spends a day just fixing stuff.  

So if you are looking at a bunch of small items that just need done and would really like them taken care of before that Holiday dinner, or before the New Year - give your local carpenter or handyman a call and see if they have room for you.  Most do, and the rates are cheaper this time of year because they need the work.

Have a Blessed Christmas and a Wonderful New Year!!

Laundry Cabinet - Just in time for Christmas

Home owner was remodeling the Bathroom and wanted a large pull out drawer for laundry.  Something that would match his existing cabinetry.  Client emailed us a picture - we went and did measurements and a week later he had his cabinet.

He was more then pleased with the quality of the work. 




 This is the finish - below you will see the before.

This is the before.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Stairs - San Antonio TX




The Stair had this strange round starting step that the homeowner did not like.  Contractor doing the remodel of the home did not have a stair contractor so the homeowner found us on AngiesList.

We squared off the starting step with a new step.  Second step also needed to be replaced.  We then add a post and rail system with iron balusters the client selected from our website.

They were living in the house with small children so a safety rail was needed in the interim.  I was also able to put in pre-stained material to reduce the smell in the house during install that usually comes from stain lacquer.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Bare Wall to Beautiful fireplace


Client had purchased an electric fireplace.  She has a vision of what her mantle should look like.  I was able to build it to her vision and make it look like it was always there.  She loves it and had that wonderful piece of rock placed on the hearth to finish it off.

Wood becomes Rail - Custom Stair Rail

We traveled up to Austin TX for this job, Parked at Lake Travis - what a beautiful area.

Clients found picture of what they wanted on the internet, (we get a lot of that).  So what started out as a big chunk of oak turned into a beautiful Rail for their stair.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Wet Bar - Be Gone!!!

Another Wet Bar has been replace with a use able desk.  This is in the family room and near the kitchen.  The kitchen has white cabinetry as well so everything flows together.  Homeowners remodel is going well.  Flooring next.  I may be going back for a few more projects as the homeowner continues to upgrade for selling purposes.

Wet Bars have no real use anymore.  I remember my parents having one from the 50s through the 70s.  Don't think they ever used one after that.

Would love you hear your Wet Bar Story

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Attic Stairs

Do you have one of these in your garage?  The idea is to make your attic space avail for storage. The most frustrating thing about this is you are limited to the opening - good luck getting any larger items up there.

Does it close all the way? the hinges come loose and won't close at all?  These are all common complaints I hear all the time.  Or maybe you have attic space and no way to utilize it.

I have recently installed a couple of basic stairs in the garage so homeowners can actually use the space above the garage for storage or an extra room.


Call me if you are interested in doing something like this.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Wedding Back Drop - Daughter's Wedding

My daughter was married this April 2nd.  A month ago she found a picture in Pintrest and said she wanted something like it only more rustic for her outdoor wedding at a local ranch out here in Texas.  This is what I came up with, decorated with her sunflowers it turned out beautiful and she loved it.

I do have a couple more sets of doors so I can make a couple of more if anyone needs something like this for their wedding or have their own vision.

Labor and materials, depending on what you want done will run between $350-$600.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Helping Hands - More Crosses























Friend at church gave me this pink cross and asked if I could make more with stands so she could stain them and give out at an event she and her group were doing.  Of course I said yes - definitely a labor of love.

I am continuelly blessed to be able to serve others for God's Kingdom

Bench Seating - Kitchen

Hard to see in the picture because of the white paint - but the backs are bead board and have a slight angle for a comfortable sit.  all square areas of the bench open for storage.  Now just slide the table in and we are ready to eat!!!




you can see the before right below.




Mantle - paint grade white

I just love doing mantles - Solid maple - painted white.  FYI  maple takes paint well because it is not overly porous so you get really good coverage if using quality paint.

This is what it looked like before we added the mantle.  Pretty plain - I would think in a custom home the buyer would get a little more then this.

Dog Jail?

This is actually the door to the laundry room. Client asked that I cut door in half and create openings where the panels were so she could put her dogs up when needed but not completely close them in a room.  What a great idea, especially if you have a dog that is a bit anxious like mine.  Easy to do and turned out great.  Just a little paint and touch up to finish.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Finish Work - What is that?

Finish work can be most anything that just needs to be - well Finished on the interior of the home. Items can include, base, crown moulding, mantels, door and window casing, hanging or re-hanging of doors in your home, cabinetry, built in cabinets and the list goes on.  

I am presently on a home in San Antonio Tx that the homeowner is remodeling and has got so far with it hiring different people and then came to the finish work and many other odds and ends and adjustments.  We did a walk through and wrote a 3 page list that has kept me busy for the last couple of weeks.  Additional items have been added as we go along so it looks like I will be coming back in a couple of weeks for some additional time to hopefully help her wrap things up so she can move her family in.

One of the items she came up with that I thought was awesome and I loved doing it was using the Laundry room as a place for her dogs.  But not wanting to totally lock them behind a closed door, she asked me to cut the door in half, cut out the middle portion of the lower part of the door and but bars to keep the dogs in.  It looks like a "Dog Jail", but so very cute.  Will post a seperate picture later.  And the work goes on...........

Praise God - I love my job!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Custom Shelving - Filling a Dead Space

This type of shelving is built in but considered "floating Shelves", The idea is to leave the painted wall in the back and create the shelves so they are built in and sturdy, but not use any brackets or hardware.  Gives a much cleaner look. 


Balusters - Are yours to Code?

Clients recently purchased a home and realized the balusters may pose a danger to their children due to the spacing of the balusters.  The age of the house was such that they should have been to code - but weren't.

If a child can stick their head through the balusters it is not to code.  It is definitely a safety issue and should be replaced.


That said – if you plan to sell your home and your balusters are over 4 inches apart you should consider replacing them to make it easier to sell your home to a family with small children – Updating your Stair will only bring value to your home and worth doing.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Installing Other People's Stuff - The Attitude.

I know many a carpenter will not install someone else's stuff.  It is a bit of an attitude, and to be honest I had the same attitude many years ago.  It sounds a bit like this:  "Well, if they like their stuff so much let them install it" or if bought at a box store like Home Depot or Lowes, "Why should I put that in, I could have made something so much better".

This is a wrong attitude!!!.  As a Christian guy, I understand that I am led into many different situations and opportunities to influence or do something for someone.  Either for my benefit, their benefit, but usually both.

So I got a call to stain and install a mantle purchased at one of the box stores, but the people were on a budget. While in the home I realized they needed a temporary ramp in the home (the wife was recovering from a stroke) I think they were forgoeing the ramp because it would be temporary and did not want that expense.  Well when I took the mantle to the shop to stain, I just built the ramp anyway and decided to give it to them.  They were extremely pleased and insisted on paying for the materials.

They also gave me a short list of other things they need done in the coming weeks/months.  You see even the small jobs can always turn into something bigger.  But most importantly, lets all try and do right by people we come across - it is not a hard thing to just be a nice guy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Poor Carpenters Christmas Tree

I am still a new Texan, having only been here for two years.  Last year during Christmas we did not worry about a Christmas tree because we spent Christmas Day in Austin with our daughter while she was there for school.  This year we wanted to help her with a tree for her apartment.  Texas obviously has no trees of it's own so it ships them in to be sold at the local Tree lots during the season.  They were pretty expensive, so we thought we would wait for the week before Christmas to maybe get a discount.  What we find is that all the trees in the area are sold and all the lots are actually closed down.  At this point what are our choices? buy an expensive fake tree from a Box Store?  Not really feeling that - I am not against fake trees - just not my thing.  So I went to the shop, looked around  to see what I had in there and it hit me.  I will create a "Tree" from an old porch post, dowels, paint and garland.  What fun it was decorating with our daughter in her apartment.  It is not mean't to resemble an actual tree, Just something to hang ornements on and a place to put presents.  What is great about this idea is we can remove dowels that are in the way of things.  My daughter loved it and plans to use it in the coming years.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cowboy desk


This desk was pulled out of someone's garage and trust me it was a mess when we got it.  I wish I had taken a before picture. Client was hopeful we could do something nice with it before Christmas for her son. This is what we came up with.  Turned out with a little sanding it was beautiful maple underneath, and we finished in plenty of time for the holiday!!!!
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