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.
For example, a nice couple in south Asheville called me recently and wanted some drawers installed in these cupboards:
Since my schedule was full, I referred them to Allan.
After talking with the customers, Allan did some research to find high-quality drawers, but in his words, "After looking at what was out there, I knew I could do a better job for the same price."
So he built the drawers himself, and they're amazing! You can't get quality like this from a big-box store. Take a look:
You could load these things up with stuff and they would still work like a charm. And they're really beautiful, too.
Another customer requested a new stair railing to replace a rusting metal one that made their brick stairs into a hazard.
I sent them to Allan because I knew he was the right man for the job. Look at this new railing! It's a showpiece.
He's also got a sharp eye for detail...
...and a knack for making old trim look new again.
When you call us, you're not just calling me... you're getting access to a whole group of talented local handymen with positive attitudes and incredible skills. Whether you need a solid new railing, a hand-crafted storage solution, or the right trim for your room, we're here to help.
Call today to get connected to the right guy for the job.
I had a tricky railing repair recently. This is what it looked like...
...but this is what it felt like:
My customer called me because she was remodeling a house and had an interior stair railing that was installed with very little support. It had just one bracket holding it up, and every time she grabbed it, it threatened to give way.
The trick on this job was to secure the railing while still making the repair attractive. I decided to surround it on all sides with steel brackets, then cover the brackets with trim.
That wasn't the only problem with this railing. The lower posts were also held up with cheesy and ineffective brackets. It had already given way on one side!
I attached the posts much more firmly and notched them to add strength.
If you've got a scary stair railing, give us a call. We'll fix it for you!
I just finished a neat project: building a fold-down map table for an Airstream camper.
I started with a table top supplied by the customer, then added a map and a protective sheet of Plexiglass.
Next came the tricky part: milling up the frame. It was made from walnut boards...
...with a double rabbet to hold the Plexiglass and map in place.
Here's how it looked laid out on my work bench, before I had the map laminated.
It was tricky to photograph after I installed it, but I think the next photo will give you a good idea of what it looks like. The table goes between the two banquettes and can be folded down or removed.
I attached the frame with little golden "trim head" screws so that the whole unit can be disassembled in case the owner wants to replace the map. I also sealed the frame with silicone caulk to prevent water from getting under the edges, so this is truly a useable table.
I love fun little jobs like this, so call me if you have a creative project you want to get done.
I just finished a fun project in north Asheville's historic Grove Park neighborhood: installing new wainscot and chair rail in a home office.
We started out with a blank canvas: the room had nice white trim and French doors, but there was plenty of room for architectural interest.
I started off by installing a chair railing, which is nice in an office or dining room because it protects the wall from nicks and dings caused by the backs of chairs.
The homeowner requested a two-piece railing built up from pre-milled, pre-painted trim.
If you look closely at the right-hand photo, you can also see that I've penciled in the lines for the wainscoting.
Then I installed squares of moulding directly on the wall. Using the existing wall (instead of adding a wooden backing) makes a significant cost savings.
Wow! What a big difference this trim makes! It looks like something you'd see in the White House, and it's perfectly suited to this historic home.
Interestingly, the cost difference to install the two piece chair rail (as opposed to the generic standard) was very minor, and it is much more elegant than the plain piece would have been.
Wainscoting like this could be what sets your home apart from the "plain white box" construction that we see in so many modern houses. If you have a room that needs a little dressing up, get in touch with us. We'll be glad to help.