Full Episodes of Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford

Beach Condo Renovation: Part 2

By: Danny Lipford

In the second half of our Orange Beach condo renovation, we laid vinyl plank flooring from Armstrong, installed the granite countertops, finished the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, framed the bathroom mirrors using MirrorMate frames, and changed the trim on the plumbing fixtures.

Read the episode article for more information.

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DANNY: This week on
Today’s Homeowner, we’re
completing the renovation

of a beachfront
condo for a very
special family. Mine.

You missed a spot.
(LAUGHING)

Just concentrate on that.

(GASPS) Oh, my gosh.

(INAUDIBLE)

DANNY: In last week’s show,
my wife Sharon and I began
the renovation

of a beachfront condo we
bought as an investment
and for family vacations.

The location is ideal,
the floor plan is great

and the view is fabulous.

I just love the beach.
It’s just so calming
to be down here.

DANNY: But the interior was
in need of some updating.

So with some help
from Allen and a few guys
from my construction crew

we decided to make it into
a place we would love

and others would
love renting when
we weren’t using it.

We removed the dated
cabinet doors and had
new ones built.

I just thought
the previous cabinets
were just hideous.

And so these
just look wonderful.

I mean,
it just immediately
upgraded the place.

The crown molding was
just exactly what we
needed at the top.

I mean, how subtle
a little piece of
wood like that,

and then the little
finger mold right below it.

Just kind of acts as just
that nice little focal point

right at the top to
finish the whole thing off.
It was the right decision.

I want those knobs
to be in the same spot
on every door.

So I’ve got a little
90 degree corner

and I’ve got my hole
drilled in the plywood,

so that when I put that
corner up to every door,

no matter which direction
it is, the hole winds up in
the same spot every time.

DANNY: The flooring choices
wouldn’t have been too bad,

except for the 20 years
of wear and tear.

And the beach sand we
found under the carpet

that was probably tracked in,
probably during
the Clinton Administration.

You could tell
the path everybody took
in from the beach.

DANNY: Removing
the old ceramic tile…
(DRILLING)

…was a slightly
noisier process.

Right now during
the winter is the perfect
time to be doing

what we’re doing to
the condo. ‘Cause we’re
making a little noise,

we got a lot of
traffic in and out,
up and down the elevators

with materials going up
and then trash and debris
going down.

We really hit it right
in picking this time to
do the renovation.

It’s going so well, we’ll
be finished well before
the summer hits.

The crown molding we
added to all of the rooms
and the fresh coat of paint

made a big
difference as well.

Now it’s time to start
putting the pieces together

to complete this
condo renovation.

Boy, the beach is so
quiet during the winter.

Very tranquil out here.
Inside it’s a whole
‘nother story.

And one of the biggest
changes we’ll make
on this condo

is the installation of
the new vinyl plank floor.

Now if you remember,
this whole area had
carpet before.

When we peeled
the carpet back, there was
just a trail of sand

leading right through here.

We want to avoid that
so the vinyl plank flooring
will be great for

all of the sand
that gets tracked in
to a condo like this.

But before we can
install this floor,
the most important thing

is that the floor,
the existing slab
be nice and clean.

That’s because the material
we’re about to install

has its own adhesive
backing built right in.

If there’s sand or dust
on the concrete, the flooring
will stick to the dirt

but not the concrete.

So we need to get
close to being

in the middle of the room.
ALLEN: Right.

For me, I want to
split that floor down
the middle first,

lay out everything so
I know what’s going to
be on every border,

because I don’t want
a really skinny piece
on one end

and a full piece
on the other.

So we’re a little over 13.
I say go to 13 on this end…
ALLEN: Okay.

…and then hit
right in the center.
So that would be

six-and-a-half, 78.

You know how you can
keep that line there?
(ALLEN CHUCKLES)

ALLEN:
As a matter of fact,
I do.

Really?
Hairspray.

Hairspray. You got some?
Look like you use a lot
of hairspray.

DANNY: Even though this
is a big job, we can still
have a little fun

installing the floor,
because this is so easy.

We simply start
the first row along
the line we just popped,

then we build out in
one direction from there,

making sure the joints
between pieces on
the second row

don’t line up with
the ones on the first one.

I think this is going to be
the easiest floor that I’ve
ever put down.

Inevitably you’re going to
get up to that doorway,

get up to some kind of
a cabinetry.

You have to do some
cutting and notching around.

Never seen anything
easier to cut than this.

Simply a good
sharp utility blade.

And we used a small,
um, circular saw

that helped a little bit on
some of the long rip cuts,

but you didn’t have to.
You could just simply
cut it with a knife.

You know, I’ve installed
a lot of different types
of floors over the years,

but this vinyl plank
flooring is about
as easy as it gets.

Armstrong calls it
the fast tech installation
system and here’s why.

The backing on each piece
acts as both cushion

and pressure sensitive
adhesive, so you just
press it into place.

And because it’s
repositionable,

it’s not a one chance
deal either.

Which can be an advantage
for some of us.

I don’t need ’em.

Yeah.

I got some gaps
this way, too, Mark.

DANNY: Despite the ribbing
from the guys, we’re making

amazing progress
on this floor.

Little bit later we have
a roller that we’re renting

that we’re going to roll
over this to really make it

really hold well to
the slab, but the most
important thing is

when you’re installing it,
you have to have
constant temperature.

It has to be heated
and cooled and you need
to leave it that way

for several days
so that it really
ties down to the floor.

While we keep knocking out
this floor, check out this
week’s simple solution.

If you park in a garage,
you have to be careful

every time you
swing open a door,

because if you hit the wall,
you could damage
not only the wall,

but more importantly,
you could damage
the edge of your door.

So to prevent that
from happening,

we’re going to make
a bumper out of
a simple pool noodle.

This costs about a dollar
at any department store.

And what you do is
hold it against the wall

and then open the door
to see where to position
the height of the bumper.

In this case, we’re going
to be right about there.

It’s probably about
28 or 29 inches
off the floor.

And we’re going to
attach it to the wall
with a couple of

one and five eighth inch
drywall screws.

Just run the screws
right through the noodle

and into the wall
on the other side.

These are very light weight
so you don’t have to worry
about catching a stud.

If you just go right into
the drywall
that’s probably good enough.

We’re going to drive in
probably about,

I would say
at least four
of these noodles,

about four-and-a-half
feet long.

Standard pool noodle.

And put one more
on this end.

And you want to
keep it pretty level.

And the other important
thing is you want
to make sure

the screws are in
position right at
the edge of the door,

because in case you
bump it really hard

you don’t want to hit
the screw on the other side.

So now, when you
open up the door it’ll
hit the pool noodle.

And you notice I have
the noodle off centered.

It’s pushed back from
the front of the door.

And that way it protects
not only the front door,
but the back door as well.

DANNY: Up next,
it’s time for a photo op.

(BOTH LAUGHING)

DANNY: Sharon and I are
renovating a beachfront
condo for our family,

and we’ve just begun
the biggest job yet.

New flooring throughout
the whole unit.

But the vinyl plank
flooring she chose is
going down so quickly

it may not be that
big of a job after all.

This is beyond simple.
I have never put down

a floor that was
this easy to do.

Uh, no tongue in groove,
no interlocking.

There is adhesive already
on the back of each plank,

and it’s a repositionable
adhesive.

This is the ultimate
“Do it yourself” floor,

because you don’t have
to put any adhesive down.

You got to make sure
it’s good and clean.

But when we started
putting this stuff together,
I just had no idea

that it would be
so uniform, so easy.

To do a large room
like that in less
than an hour,

um, I’ve never encountered
anything like that.

Even carpet would take
longer than that.

When I… When I walked
into the room I was like,
“Oh, my gosh, it is so…

“It’s going down
so fast.”

And it’s beautiful.
I really love the floor.

It just warms the room up,
it makes it so…

It makes it look so rich.

It’s, um,
just such a difference.
Carpet wasn’t an option.

I hate grout lines,
they get so dirty.

Um, and this is
just going to be
so easy to maintain

and it looks beautiful.

DANNY: Meanwhile, we’re
also updating the bathrooms

by changing out the trim
on the plumbing fixtures,

painting the vanities,

and adding a little
pizazz to the mirrors
with MirrorMate frames.

That’s beautiful, isn’t it?
Did you pick the color out?

I did.
Oh, my gosh, I love this.

This is… This is
so easy to do. What we’re
going to do real quickly

is get me a little
wood glue right here.
Yeah. Okay.

Lots or a little?
Just a little bit.

Like is that…
Is that sufficient?
That’s perfect. That’s good.

Okay.
I’m gonna just spread it
a little bit. All right?

Now then…

If you’ll take these
three here,

and you’re going
to put this,
in this direction.

You see how it’s got
a little hourglass shape
on the backside of it.

Yes. Okay.
And you’re gonna
match that shape

right there.
Wow.

Okay.

ALLEN: And then just
tap it in with the hammer.

Oh, I have to
use a hammer?

Mmm. Move your fingers.
Yeah. Yeah, just tap.

Uh-huh. (LAUGHS)

All right?

The MirrorMate is…

It’s really surprising
that it just comes out
of the box.

And it’s very easy
to put together,
and it’s beautiful.

It’s like a…
A custom picture frame.

Hey, let’s get our
picture made in it.
Yeah.

(BOTH LAUGHING)

This is something
I could build easily.

But why bother?
All I have to do is
measure the mirror.

I send them all
the measurements,
they’ll cut it to specs,

and when you put it on
the mirror it’s as simple

as pulling off the strip
of double sided tape

and pressing it
right in place.

This bathroom was so
plain and that’s just
going to make it pop.

This is beautiful.
Uh-huh. It really is.

DANNY: While Sharon
and Allen are framing
the mirrors,

we’re wrapping up
the flooring

so it’ll be complete
before the granite arrives.

We don’t want the granite
to be cut in
a lot of different pieces.

Naturally you want as
few seams as possible.

But they’re not going
to carry that up three
flights of stairs.

They have to get it
in the elevator.

So your granite is only
going to be as big

as they can get
in that elevator.

So hopefully,
we won’t have a lot
of extra seams in there.

I really have not even
seen what she’s chosen
for the granite.

So, if I didn’t agree
with her on exactly what
the granite would be,

she’s going to get
the granite she wants.
(SHARON LAUGHS)

So I assume what
is going to be installed

will be satisfactory,
I hope.

Hey, Danny, come look.

DANNY: So that’s
the stuff, huh?

Isn’t it pretty?
Don’t you think
it’ll look real good?

I think so.

Well, it’s got the…
What do you mean
you think so?

It’s beautiful.

It’ll work.
(SHARON CHUCKLES)

I can… I can grow
to like it.

Yeah. Yeah, that’s
going to look fantastic.

It’s gonna really look good.
SHARON: I think it’s
going to look really good.

I like it.

I do, too, and I think
it really is nice.

See all the green in it?
I don’t know. (CHUCKLES)

I might have to choose
a green sofa
for the living room.

Yeah, I know, but it’s
pretty subtle though
when you look at the…

All of the browns
and the coffee kind of

colors back and forth.
SHARON: Yeah. Yeah.

Actually you could spill
a lot of coffee on it
and you’ll never know.

(SHARON LAUGHS)

Spill a lot of stuff on it.
(LAUGHING) Yeah.

The beauty of granite.

DANNY: Although granite
is extremely hard,

it’s also very brittle
when it’s cut as thin
as these countertops.

That’s why these guys
are so careful
and deliberate

when they’re moving
it onto the cabinets.

Once the tops are in place,
they’ll cut the back
splashes to fit on site.

We don’t want all that
dust in the condo

or on the cars near
the entry way,

so we’ve set up in
an empty corner of
the parking lot,

with a small generator
to power the tools they need

to cut and buff the small
pieces of back splash.

(DANNY SPEAKING)

(MAN LAUGHING)

(GROANING)

Big as what?

DANNY: As if it weren’t
chaotic enough in here
with my family,

my crew, and the granite
guys all working
around each other,

the condo association
has sent up the glass company

to replace the fogged
glass door units
in the living room.

This place will be
practically brand new
from front to back.

You know on Best New
Products we love to
show you ideas

that can make your
home life easier.

And we especially like
to highlight solutions
to problems

you may have
around your house.

Well, if you live in my house,
you will find that
the biggest problem I have

is my daughter leaving
the lights on after
she leaves the room.

That is my pet peeve.
I hate that.

Well, Leviton has
come out with a motion
sensor light switch.

It’s very easy to install.
And when a person walks
into the room,

it automatically turns
the lights on.

If it doesn’t detect motion
after a certain
amount of time,

it will shut the lights off.
I love it.

Now the thing about
the sensor, it’s really
cool because it has

180 degrees span,
so it can pretty much
scan the entire room.

But you can set it up where
it will detect blockage,
say like a wall

so it’ll know not
to scan that side.

Another feature that
I like about it is
here at the bottom,

it has a manual
on and off.

So if they do remember
to turn the lights off,

all they have to do
is hit that switch.

But it’s a perfect solution
for also saving energy
on your power bill,

and who doesn’t
like that?

DANNY: Coming up,
the rooms are already
being claimed.

Yay! Which bed’s going
to be yours, huh? Huh?
(SHARON CHUCKLES)

DANNY: This week on Today’s
Homeowner, we’re completing
the renovation

of a beachfront condo
for a very special family.
Mine.

You missed a spot.
(LAUGHING)

Just concentrate on that.

(GASPS) Oh, my gosh.

DANNY: The renovation of
my family’s beachfront condo
is almost complete.

That leaves lots of little
cleaning, decorating,

and last-minute
chores to complete.

And today we’ve got
some extra help.

Chelsea and our new
granddaughter Mary Helen

are here to help with
the final push to finish.

I think the condo is great.
It seems to be
the perfect amount

of space for what
we’re going to use it for.

I mean, I say “we”,
I’m hoping I get invited

to stay at the condo,
I don’t know.

Um, maybe I’ll get
a key, we’ll see.

Um, when my parents were
buying the condo,
they referred to it as

Mary Helen’s condo.

Which is perfect, ’cause it
has a little kitty pool that
their balcony looks over.

And then it has the indoor
swimming pool that is
heated year round, so…

I mean,
she could go swimming
right now.

DANNY: But swimming is
not on the agenda today.

These are the kind of
projects that so many
people will neglect doing.

Just a little bit of
cleaning of some of
the moving parts.

But even something
like this is very
gratifying to me,

because I know that
they’ll continue working
for a long, long time.

Get it clean, put a little
lubricant on it, and it will
work like it should.

Meanwhile, Sharon,
Chelsea, and Mary Helen

are getting the bedrooms
ready for the arrival of
some new furniture.

SHARON: I’m thrilled.
So you can sleep four
people in this room.

Yay! Which bed’s going to
be yours, huh? Huh?
(SHARON CHUCKLES)

I love decorating the place.
I don’t have anything
to do with decorating,

but I do enjoy,
you know,
putting things together

and seeing
the final picture.

And seeing, you know…
Making this match this.

And I’ll pretty much
go all over town
to make that happen.

DANNY: When the new
furniture arrives, there’s
a little head scratching

to be done to determine
how much we need to
trim the legs.

I did however convince
Sharon to save some of
the old wicker furniture,

but she’s determined to
position it out of sight.

Any treasure?
Oh, no treasures.

Oh, my gosh.
Throw ’em out.

CHELSEA: Oh, you’re so
weird. I’m leaving.
I’m getting out of here.

Gotta clean.
Gotta clean.
Gotta clean.

Dad’s pretty intense
when it’s getting down to
the punch list items,

and he… I didn’t realize
how much he likes to clean.

Well, he only likes to clean
in situations like this.

He won’t, like,
clean the house
on a regular basis.

(VACUUM CLEANER WHIRRING)

You missed a spot.
Yeah, all right.

Right there.
Yeah.

You missed a spot.
(LAUGHING)

You know, your life would
be so boring if I wasn’t
here to harass you, Dad.

Thanks for inviting me.
(SHARON CHUCKLES)

Well, I didn’t have
the advantage of seeing
what it looked like before,

but it’s looking
really nice now.

SHARON:
Oh, yeah, you should have
seen it before.

You tell me how high
or low you want it.

SHARON: Oh, down some.

Down a little more.
Oh, my gosh.

Right about like that.
Oh, I love it.

DANNY: With all of
the furniture here,

we’re busy getting it
in the right places

and waiting on
the appliances.

We really had a hard time
with the appliances.

I wasn’t really sure
they were going to
make it here.

(CELL PHONE RINGING)
Might be the appliance guy,
grab it.

I think it is. (GASPS)

Oh, my gosh.
I declined it.

She declined…
She declined the
appliance man’s call.

I’m calling him
right back.
Just concentrate on that.

Get us some
appliances here.

Fortunately, they answered
her callback
and they’re on the way.

SHARON: 20 minutes.
Excellent.

That is gonna make
a landmark day.

What do you think
about these?
Love ’em.

They were inexpensive.
Don’t you think they’re okay?
Mmm-hmm.

Better than wicker.

Speaking of wicker,
few people know it could
be used as a weapon.

Ow.
What?

Just pushing on my heel.
(CHUCKLES)

You almost tore
my Achilles.
Go on in. (CHUCKLES)

DANNY: We may need
an intervention,

and it looks like
the appliance man
may be it.

SHARON: It’s blue, look.
A blue refrigerator.

DANNY: Finally it’s all
coming together.

Just a few more details
and we’re ready
for a vacation.

I have lots of shelf paper
to put down still.
(BABY FUSSING)

Good. Perfect time
for me to leave.
(LAUGHING)

DANNY: When replacing
worn and dirty carpet
isn’t in the budget,

people want to know
what’s the best way
to clean it.

You can rent carpet cleaning
machines from retail and
rental stores for this job,

but often times
the cleaning solutions
that come with them

leave a sticky residue
that actually attracts
dirt later.

The carpets look clean
immediately after you
use the machine,

but they very quickly
appear dirty again.

Hiring a professional
who uses a truck
mounted steam cleaner

may provide you
with better results
over the long haul,

even if it’s more
expensive initially.

The professional may
pretreat stained areas
with a cleaning solution,

but the actual cleaning
is done when steam is forced

into the fibers
of the carpet.

The steam breaks the hold
of the dirt and grime
on the carpet fibers,

so that they can be
sucked up and away
by the vacuum.

Because steam is a gas,
not a liquid,

the carpet is damp,
but never completely
saturated with water.

The result is a carpet
that dries more quickly

and stays cleaner longer,
so you don’t have to
clean it as often.

There’s more
Today’s Homeowner
coming right up.

But here’s a look
at what’s happening
on next week’s show.

What starts out as
an upcycling project,

also becomes
a recycling project.

Okay, you’re leaving us
hanging, come on.

What’s the unique purpose?

This is embarrassing.

(IMITATES THUDDING)
It just fell off.
(CHUCKLES)

Is this something
you’re fond of?

What will you
do about that?
Well…

I can make
a list right here.
You can make a list there.

We’ll get this done
in no time.

Look out. (LAUGHS)
This is amazing.

Wow!
(CHUCKLES)

I love it.
It looks so good.
(CHUCKLING)

Oh, wow.

Does it make sense?
(LAUGHS)

It’s gonna come together,
I’m sure.

DANNY: My family’s
beachfront condo
is finally complete.

The dated drab cabinets
that used to define
the kitchen

have been brought
up to date
with a new finish,

new doors,
and new hardware.

All of the flooring
in this place, it’s
seen its better days.

Before we started, it was
worn and stained from years
of traffic from sandy feet.

The new wood look
vinyl plank floors elevate
the level of the whole space.

It should be incredibly
low maintenance in this
very tough environment.

The bathrooms also
gave away the unit’s
1990s heritage

with fixtures, accessories
and cabinets that haven’t
been popular

since the turn
of the century.

We’ve updated these spaces
with new mirrors, new trim
for the plumbing fixtures

and new doors for
the vanities.

All right, anybody
thirsty out here?
Oh, yeah.

There we go.
All right.

Hey, this is what
we’ve been working
for in order to

be able to relax
a little bit.

You know, we’ve put in
over 10 days over
the last month-and-a-half

in order to complete
all of the renovations.

But we used some pretty
durable materials.

It’s going to really hold up
to all the wear and tear

my family’s going to
put it through as well
as the vacation rentals

once we start renting
it out in a few months.

Hey, thanks for joining me
on this special journey of
repairing and remodeling

and updating this
very special place.

It’s certainly going
to provide

a lot of great memories
for me and my family.

Hey, I’m Danny Lipford,
and we’ll see you soon

right here on
Today’s Homeowner.

Whoa!

Just for us.



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