Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Drywall Hole repairs



Repairing Holes in Drywall

If you have banged your fist, head, or doorknob through your drywall, We’ll give you some simple tips that can help you make a repair just like the pros do. How to repair holes in drywallUnless the hole is small, an inch in diameter or less, you’ll want to cut a patch of drywall to make the repair. While there are some pretty good drywall patch systems, some using wire mesh, an actual piece of drywall will make the strongest repair and you will be more satisfied with the results.
For small holes, it is possible to fill with several applications of drywall mud—We never use spackling compound—allow each coat to dry completely, and then cover with another until the repair is even with the surface. A light sanding will prepare the surface for paint. To avoid dust, use a damp sponge or rag for sanding, starting around the perimeter of the patch and working into the center, being careful not to get the mud too wet or to remove too much mud. If you do sand too much, just apply another coat of mud and repeat. If you try to fill the hole with one application of drywall mud you will be very disappointed!
For larger holes, we cut a rectangle to square the hole and make it easier to cut a patch. Here, there are two possible solutions. The one we use most often is to create a rectangle just large enough to cover the hole. While you must make the hole larger, you also make it much easier to repair.
Once the patch is cut to the size of the hole, you’ll need to create a method of securing it. Unless you are adjacent to a stud—in which case you can scab on a piece of wood on that side—you must cut a scrap of wood that will fit inside the hole, long enough to extend 3” in each direction beyond the hole. You can use 1 x 4, 2 x 4, scrap trim or plywood—almost anything that will hold a screw and fit in the hole.
First, stick your fingers inside the hole to make certain there are no wires, pipes, or other obstructions that will be in the way. Then, insert a piece of wood into the hole next to one side, allowing it to extend halfway behind the drywall. Make certain the piece is centered vertically in the hole. Secure the piece by holding it with one hand and installing drywall screws. Installing backing for drywall repairIf the hole is too small to get your hand inside, you can place a temporary screw in the center to use as a handle. Install the other piece of wood on the opposite side of the hole and secure as before.
Patching drywallOnce the wood is in place, secure the drywall patch and you’re ready to mud and tape. Begin by cutting 4 strips of drywall tape to fit the perimeter of the hole, two of them will overlap the ends of the other two. Then, apply mud along one seam where the shorter pieces of tape will be. Press the tape in place and smooth by holding one end with a drywall knife and running another knife down the seam squeezing out the excess mud. Make certain that all the tape has mud underneath and that the excess mud is pressed from under the tape. Do the same thing on the opposite side.
Drywall patch with first coat of mudThen, apply mud to the last two joints, allowing it to cover the ends of the first tape. Work out the excess as before, and once smooth, allow it to dry. The second and, third coat if necessary, are applied by working around the perimeter of the patch, using the large taping knife to feather the mud several inches from the seam. This helps to hide the patch by allowing the difference in height of the wall surface to be spread over a larger area.
The second method is as follows and requires no drywall tape: If, for instance, your hole is 4” x 6,” cut a patch that is 7” x 9,” making the patch 3” larger in each direction. Then, turn the patch over and create your 4” x 6” patch by cutting away the paper backing and drywall for 1-1/2” around the perimeter. The object is to leave only the paper surface for the 1-1/2” difference. Then, check to make certain the plug fits into the hole, and the excess around the perimeter becomes the drywall tape. Apply drywall mud as above, allow to dry, sand, and you are ready for paint.

While this is a project you can do you might not have the time or you would prefer to leave the work to a professional? Call Pro-Fix Home Repair! We will gladly come take care of it for you.
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How to Choose a Contractor..The First Time

How To Choose The Right Contractor…The First Time

So you’re thinking about a major home improvement? Congratulations! When done properly, a home renovation project will make your home more enjoyable and increase its value over time. Unfortunately, we’ve all heard the horror stories of home improvement gone bad – unfinished projects, shoddy workmanship, longer than expected project durations and final bills that come in higher than the quote. So there is no wonder that the average homeowner does not know who to have do the work or who to trust. Yes, there are some good companies out there, but unfortunately that is more the exception than the rule. Consider these industry stats:
  • #1 in consumer dissatisfaction (up to 70%)
  • #1 in written complaints (according to BBB)
  • #1 in bankruptcies (non-food industries) according to the SBA
Now it is nice to be number one, but not for those reasons! To make matters worse, it is estimated that about 96% of all new home improvement companies will fail within the first 3-5 years. It is amazing that a $300 billion industry is fraught with so many problems. So how can you protect yourself? There are some basic “DOs and DON’Ts” the average homeowner can follow to ensure they navigate the maze of contractors to a successful finished project.

Top 3 Homeowner “DOs”

1) DO your research before you set an appointment
In today’s world of information there are lots of ways a homeowner can search about a local contractor – especially online. If you have a difficult time finding information about a company you are considering…beware! There should be lots of third party information, such as the Better Business Bureau, that can help give you a better feel for who you will be doing business with.
2) DO look for a company who have been in business for a good length of time
Obviously the longer the better, but usually a company who has made it past ten years is doing something right and is much less likely to go out of business. Ask yourself if the company looks stable or are they “fly by night”.
3) DO look for a company who is fully insured and has a reputation for Quality and Customer Satistaction.
In this day and age it is a lot cheaper to do business without insurance and many contractors take advantage of this fact. Don’t just take their word for it – ask to see the actual documents and make sure they are correctly dated. In general you can expect more professional workmanship from an employee. Many companies opt for subcontractors in order to save money, often at a sacrifice for quality work.

Top 3 Homeowner “DON’Ts”

1) DON’T look for the best price
This is one of the most common mistakes made by a homeowner. You cannot get a quality product that is professionally installed and also expect great service – all at the cheapest price – because it doesn’t exist! Generally in life it is true that “you get what you pay for”. Instead look for the company with the best value for what you are getting so you only have to do the project once.
2) DON’T hire a friend or family member to do the work
This often sounds like a no brainer because a homeowner is promised a “great price”. The problem is what happens if there is a problem? Usually the homeowner feels guilty asking for service because they know they got “a deal” and the person who did the work feels angry because they thought they were doing “a favor”.
3) DON’T get a least 3 quotes
Really? Well, people have been saying “get at least 3 quotes” for years and the industry is still ranked #1 in consumer dissatisfaction – so it hasn’t worked! There is no evidence to show that a customer who spends the time interviewing 3 or more contractors has any better luck. In fact, many homeowners get confused and end up going with the cheapest bid. The best solution is to do as much research ahead of time as you can. If you find the right company you won’t need other bids.
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Basement Remodeling Ideas

When we think of a basement, a dark, unwelcoming room usually comes to mind. We think of an undecorated, boring space that most people use for storage. Basements don't have to be stuck with this unpleasant reputation. You can change the look and feel of basements with a simple remodel. However, if your basement has never been worked on, you will need to start with a basic, overall finishing. Exposed pipes and concrete walls aren't ready for design ideas!


Adding light, whether it is natural or artificial, can make a significant difference in your basement's overall feel. Since basements tend to be dark and gloomy, adding light should be your first step. If part of your basement is above ground, take advantage of this by having as many windows as possible. You should let in natural light wherever possible so look for simple window treatments that allow the most light to pass through.
When natural light isn't an option, artificial light can be used abundantly to create a warm atmosphere. No fluorescent light please! (While fluorescent lighting is very cost effective and energy efficient, it is not the most appealing option speaking in terms of design.) Table and floor lamps work well and some ceiling lighting can be used also.


Seeking out bright or dramatic color schemes should be your goal for your basement decor. Varying shades of red, blue, yellow, orange, and green add color and character to this notoriously dark room. If you already have a couch in your basement, try a bright slipcover to change the look and add coordinating pillows. Throw down some unique rugs to add texture and variety. Repaint the walls and put up new artwork.
If you are in the process of choosing furniture, you might want to consult a decorator to help you create your desired look.


Basements should be fun places for children and adults to escape. A true advantage of the basement is that it removes one from the rest of the world. We feel safe and secure. Add anything you love to your basement. If music is your passion, a stereo system can provide you hours of listening enjoyment in your comfortable, isolated basement. If you have children, add a table suited for playing games. For adults who like to play games too, invest in a pool table or pinball machine. An entertainment system with surround sound can transform this room into a home theater. Any of these options are sure to make your basement a fun and popular retreat for your family and friends.
Since basements tend to accumulate items that need to be stored away, try to keep your stored items to one part of the basement. Ideally, you will have a separate room or closet in your basement that can serve as storage. If this is not the case, consider building a closet into a corner to contain those items. Having an organized basement is key to the overall appeal. Think through your options, use your dreams, and get busy redesigning your basement!
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