Meet the Winners of Handyman Matters Great American Home Makeover

Last summer, Handyman Matters sponsored a national contest The Handyman Matters Great American Home Makeover. Now, the two winners, Samuel Alexander, of Aurora, Colorado and Amanda Doan, of Austin, Texas are enjoying their new updated bathrooms.

“We created this to reward valuable customers with the opportunity to complete their home renovations,” stated Andy Bell, Founder of Handyman Matters Franchise Corp.

Grand Prize Winner, Samuel Alexander, lives outside of Denver with his wife Tanya. Alexander had some home exterior siding repaired by his local Handyman Matters (Central Denver and Aurora location, franchisees Steve and Jan Attebery) in early 2012. Months later, he received a phone call informing him that he had won the Handyman Matters Great American Home Makeover Grand Prize, $10,000 bathroom remodel.

“My wife and I were ecstatic,” expressed Alexander, “We have wanted to remodel our bathroom for a while now.”

Working as a medical technician for HealthOne while also an Air Force Reservist assigned to a flying squadron at Peterson Air Force Base, finding the time to remodel his bathroom was difficult. The couple had discussed remodeling their bathroom in stages, doing little projects here and there. That discussion is now over, thanks to Handyman Matters.

Steve and Jan Attebery, owners of the Handyman Matters Central Denver & Aurora store, and their certified handymen executed the remodel.

Central Denver Handymen, Brian Attebery and Jon Boyer demolish the Alexander’s old bathroom on March 11 to begin the remodel transformation. Photo by John Murphy.

Most of the remodel materials were donated. The Alexander’s new master bathroom has a modern and natural ambiance thanks to a fresh coat of paint donated by Behr Paint; new marble sink and counter top donated by Benray Designer Marble; energy efficient faucets and fixtures donated by Moen; and a redesigned vanity area, donated by Creative Specialties and Elias Woodwork. M S International provided the tub to ceiling glass tile along with new flooring; and WEDI donated the waterproof shower backing.

Corporate team member, Ram Randolph, stops by to lend a helping hand in constructing new cabinets for the vanity area. Photo by John Murphy.

The finished bathroom was revealed to the homeowners on March 20.

Corporate team member, Ram Randolph, stops by to lend a helping hand in constructing new cabinets for the vanity area. Photo by John Murphy.

Samuel and Tanya Alexander in their newly remodeled bathroom. Photo by John Murphy.

Second Prize Winner, Amanda Doan, of Austin, TX, received a Handyman for a day, which was provided by Handyman Matters of Austin & Williamson County.

Handyman Matters of Austin & Williamson County sent out Aaron Kuntschik, one of their skilled craftsmen, to help Doan with the second phase of her bathroom remodel. Doan had already started on her remodel by tearing out the existing shower tiles.

In a span of only 8 hours, Kuntschik was able to remove the existing shower enclosure, perform the needed plumbing repairs, and install the backing to prep the shower area for the final phase of the remodeling project: the installation of the tile work.

Plumbing repairs are performed after the original shower enclosure is removed. Photos courtesy Handyman Matters franchisee, TJ Bass.
Backing is installed to prepare the shower area for tiling. Photos courtesy Handyman Matters franchisee, TJ Bass.

Doan later contacted Handyman Matters of Austin & Williamson County to thank them for their help and to let them know about her successful completion of the shower tiling project. Because of the superior service provided, Doan has requested their services again to help her with more of her planned kitchen and bath remodeling projects.

Customers who completed at least one, four-hour job with any participating franchise location between July 1 and September 30, 2012 were automatically entered for a chance to win one of the prizes.

More good news for these lucky homeowners, “The resale value of their home has increased,” says Colleen Teitelbaum of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Modern Kitchen Cabinets for the Home

The modern kitchen cabinet should be inspiring to the homeowner, show a contemporary  look and fit well into the design of a home or condo. Many modern cabinet designs borrow heavily from traditional cabinet styles and add a bit of fashionable zing to express a specifically modern look. The colors can be numerous and even splashy and follow a specific kitchen theme that makes them blend well and beautifully into the overall modern kitchen design. The Italian style is one example. Wood is still the material of choice because it creates a warm mood. Here are a few modern cabinet designs that blend well into today’s contemporary kitchen.

English Modern

These cabinets feature handsome crown molding with furniture-style legs. A black-matte finish on the island provides a striking and pleasant contrast to the creamy-white wall cabinets. The thin fluting, traditional legs and beaded-board panels make these cabinets look like those in a modern English country estate.

The Urban

This style presents flat-front cabinet doors stained in coffee-dark. The drawer pulls are recessed and fashioned of stainless steel. The upper cabinets are glass-front for convenience and depth.

Italian Style

The Tuscan-touch is featured in this style of cabinet. These cabinets present various colors front and center to draw attention to different zones in the kitchen. The primary cabinets feature a butter hue with a glaze that’s properly stressed. The workstation island is executed in dark walnut brown. Finally, the Tuscan touch makes itself properly known with an Italian mantelpiece architecture framed around the cooking area.

Scandinavian Cabinets

The Scandinavian design is well anointed for the modern kitchen. These cabinets sell a bold perspective with their sharp, linear lines. The brown cabinet faces are simple slabs of wood that march smartly and evenly from floor to ceiling, across the entire kitchen. The workstation shows lime greens and cool grays to strike a broad contrast in color.

Retro Chic

This style features an interesting blend of contemporary and classic. Sandblasted glass doors, chrome hardware and a warm ebony stain all add to an updated, modern effect.

White Classical

The timeless white cabinet kitchen has been updated with intricate millwork that includes recessed drawers, wide ceiling molding and raised-panel doors. The design creates bold shadows and highlights that make these cabinets ageless.

Clean and Contemporary

The straightforward geometry of vertical lines gives this design a modem sleekness. These cabinets feature horizontal pulls, slab doors and thin walnut trim. The upper cabinet doors are tinted and rise up on European style hinges.

For more kitchen cabinet design ideas or to hire a craftsman to complete the install, contact Handyman Matters at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find a location in your area.

 

How To Refinish Your Bathtub

There are a lot of things you can do to make your bathroom look new and refreshed without spending a ton of money. Still, no matter how many cosmetic changes you make, if you have an old, stained bathtub, your bathroom just will not feel as great as it could. This is where tub refinishing comes in.

For significantly less than the price of a new tub, you can make your old one look brand new. NOTE: Refinishing your bathtub is not for the faint of heart. It requires the use of toxic chemicals that give out strong fumes, and without extreme caution, it will not look good or last long. Unless you are extremely confident in your DIY skills, we recommend hiring a skilled handyman to do the work for you. It’s still cheaper than buying a new tub, but the results will be much better. If you’re brave, and you have the necessary protective gear, read on:

First, you need to prep. Before touching a single paintbrush, use a scraper to remove the caulk around your tub, and unscrew and remove any hardware inside your bathtub (like the drain plug circle and overflow cover). Then use plastic and painter’s tape to cover anything near the tub that you don’t want painted.

Second, you need to thoroughly clean out your tub. Use an abrasive cleaner, followed by something like Lime-A-Way to remove any traces of soap scum, rust, mineral buildups, and anything else that might cause paint to stick poorly.

Next, use some wet-sand sandpaper to thoroughly scour the surface of the tub. This will both help in getting rid of any remaining dirt, oils, and minerals, as well as providing a more even surface. The additional roughness will also help the bathtub glaze to stick better and will lead to a more durable finish. Wash the wet-sand away as you’re sanding.

Then, put on your safety glasses, thick gloves, and respirator, and mix your finishing epoxy to the manufacturer’s specifications and start painting. You can use a brush and roller, making sure to feather the edges so that you don’t have obvious lines forming between strokes. A better bet, though, is to use a spray gun. You will get more even coverage and a much more professional finish.  After applying one thin coat, let it sit and dry. Then apply your second coat.  Make sure you paint in one direction, and don’t worry about bubbles; they will settle as the epoxy dries.

Finally, re-attach the fixtures and run a smooth bead of caulk or silicone along the edge. Smooth it down with a wet finger to get a really professional touch!

If all of this seems like more than you are willing to undertake, don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME or enter your zip code above to find the phone number and location to an office nearest you.

DIY: Home Maintenance Tips for April

With summer just around the corner, homeowners need to make sure that their properties are in tip top shape from the rigors of winter. April’s DIY home tips are all about making sure your house is ready to weather April showers and is prepared for summer.

  1. Clean and Adjust Ceiling Fans. You probably didn’t need to use your ceiling fans much over the winter, so getting them in shape for the warmer months means cleaning them (they get pretty dusty on top), and reversing the direction that the fan turns. In the summer, having cool air blowing downwards is more comfortable, while during the winter, having hot air directed up by the fan and then down the walls is better. There is generally a switch on the body of the fan or near the pull chain to reverse its direction.
  2. Inspect Chimney Cap and Masonry. Moisture and weather can begin to wear down and deteriorate the chimney cap (the flat part at the very tip of the chimney). If there’s been a lack of maintenance and the bricks have started to break loose, it can become expensive to fix.
  3. Inspect Siding, Soffit and Fascia Boards.  The horizontal boards underneath the eaves are the soffit boards, and the vertical boards that are attached to the gutter are the fascia boards. If there are cracks and/or separations within those boards, water can penetrate which causes additional damage. If this has happened, replace each board as needed.
  4. Change out Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Batteries.  Even if they seem to be testing ok, it’s always better to play it safe and change out these batteries before they die.
  5. Inspect, Clean, and Re-attach Gutters.  Signs such as roofing nails or pieces of shingles in the gutters might be an indication that the roof needs inspecting. Check for rusting along the bottom of the gutters and make sure that gutter extensions discharge water at least three inches away from the house.
  6. Check Your Roof for Missing Shingles, Proper Installation and Other Issues.  Roofs can have a myriad of problems if proper annual upkeep isn’t a focus for homeowners. Make sure that there are no gaps around pipes and corners of roof, and double check to make sure that shingles extend ¾” past the roof decking to allow water to drip into the gutter. If there’s inadequate clearance, the water will run down the fascia boards and cause rotting. Add either a row of shingles around the roof to add aluminum flashing to fix these problems.

These quick and handy tips can help you make sure your home maintenance is up to date and prepared for the coming months. Handyman Matters has additional tips to help prepare you for the summer season – Enter your zip code above or call us at 1-866-FIX –MY-HOME to book your appointment today!

Easy Ways to Increase the Value of your Home

In the past, we’ve talked about ways to improve the value of your home. This is especially important if you’re trying to sell in today’s economic climate. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can improve your home’s value and increase the likelihood of a sale. Even better, the expert craftsmen at Handyman Matters can help with all of these home value-increasing tips.

Keep reading for ways to boost your home’s value with these quick and easy projects around your house.

Spruce up the Color with a Fresh Paint Job

One of the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective ways to increase the value of your house is to repaint. Focus on the interior paint – especially in the most social rooms of the house (i.e., the living room, dining room, and kitchen). This will give your home an updated and clean look, and will likely move an appraiser to increase the value of your home.

Replace Appliances with Energy Saving Appliances

Old appliances that are less energy efficient can end up causing a homebuyer to spend more money each year in utility fees. Make your home more appealing by replacing toilets and showers with low-flush and low-flow alternatives that use much less water. Also, consider replacing kitchen appliances with more energy efficient models and replacing windows with better insulated versions.

Make Household Repairs

Have a loose cabinet door or a light switch that doesn’t function? Making small replacements can be a big difference when it comes to your home’s value – especially when you have an outside appraiser visiting.

Invest in Some Strategic Landscaping

The outside look of the house is extremely important for a home valuation. It provides the first impression and can add to the overall appearance of your home. More importantly, an overgrown lawn and messy yard can detract significantly from a home’s value since it makes it appear older and poorly maintained. Add a flower bed or some shrubs to accent your home’s exterior.

These handy tips can help boost the value of your home significantly without any major renovations or remodeling. If you’re trying to increase your home’s resale value, consider giving the home experts at Handyman Matters a call at 1-866-FIX-MY-HOME to set up a consultation or, enter your zip code above to find a location in your area. We can help you figure out what improvements your home needs and which are the most vital to your home’s ability to sell in an ever-changing market.