As a trim carpenter, I'm always looking for new ways to do a better job. One of the problems I regularly run into is breaking caulk lines, and I think I've finally found a solution.
When I install trim, I caulk it where it meets the wall so that it looks continuous with the wall. If the caulk breaks, as it often does due to the natural movement of the wooden trim, it leaves a dark gap.
Here's an example via Allan Bailey, one of the craftsmen in our network. On the left you can see trim which was installed a long time ago, where the caulk lines have all broken. In this example, the problem was caused by moisture from a poorly sealed shower door, but it can also happen when new trim is installed and dries out as it adjusts to the local humidity.
On the right, you can see where Allan has re-caulked and painted the trim. It looks much better, doesn't it?
Caulk lines have such a high tendency to break that we don't warranty them on handyman work. But I do like to do things right, warranty or not, and that's where Big Stretch comes in.
It's a new product by Sashco which supposedly resists moving and cracking. Here's a video to show the difference. (Warning: it's a little bit corny.)
I've been putting Big Stretch to the test on some of the built-in furniture projects I've finished lately. On most of these projects, my goal is to install a piece that looks like it's part of the home, like these two benches which I installed on either side of an existing fireplace.
So far Big Stretch has held up well.
The only drawback I noticed is that although Sashco says Big Stretch is "easy to install, even for a novice," I find it to be a little trickier to work with than regular caulk.
I usually like to go over my caulk lines with my fingertip to smooth them out. You can do that with Big Stretch, but you only have a few chances to get it right before it starts boogering up.
But overall I'd give this a "thumbs up" rating. The superior performance outweighs the slight difficulty of installation.
If you're looking for a handyman who loves to do things right, give us a call. We've got a whole network of craftsmen who are at least as picky as me.
I was not compensated for this review.
One of my customers recently asked me to install a countertop over her washer and dryer so that she had a place to set her laundry when she finished.
We decided on a walnut top, and I found a piece of walnut plywood with a gorgeous grain. Take a look at this footage and see for yourself:
(Is there anything more relaxing than watching someone else work?)
For those who can't see video, here's a pic of the top before I finished it out. You can already see the beautiful repeating grain patterns.
And another view after I applied the finish. The pattern almost reminds me of peacock feathers.
I installed the top so that it was tight against the wall. This will keep socks from sliding behind the machines.
Imagine seeing this gorgeous counter every time you did the laundry. It would make household chores way more fun!
We can install custom wooden counters and shelving to fit any space. Give us a call to learn more.
If you bought a relatively new home in one of the nicer subdivisions in Asheville, you probably have a beautiful fireplace with a big niche next to it.
My latest customers bought a home with a fireplace nook, and it was a challenge to find a piece of furniture that worked well there. The previous homeowners had put in an armoire, but it was too dark and bulky.
Most of the work happened back at my studio...
... so the noise and dust of building was invisible to the homeowners.
I made the doors by hand, just for this project, using oak stiles to prevent warping or twisting.
I used a double thickness of plywood for the upper shelves, with face frame over the front edge. I prefer plywood for this application because it doesn't move as much as solid wood, so it's sturdier.
Now for the big "before and after." The entertainment center looks like it was made with the house.
If you've got an empty nook in your living room, and you don't know what to do with it, give us a call. We'll work with you to design something that looks as if it belongs there.
When you have a space in your home that's perfect for built-in bookshelves, it can be tempting to cut corners by getting a factory-made piece from a big box store.
But there are several big differences between factory-made shelving and the real thing. Aside from the obvious features like better materials and a better fit, our custom shelving has one more thing going for it: I always make sure every piece of furniture I build for you is as perfect as I can possibly make it.
In this video, you can see me going over every surface of these shelves with a sharp eye, touching up every little burr with my sander so that the final coat of paint will create a smooth and continuous surface.
Your custom shelving gets the personal attention of a craftsman, and it shows.
That finish is as smooth as butter. You just don't get a paint job like that in a factory made piece, so skip the particle-board shelving and get something solid that will last you a lifetime.