By: Danny Lipford
Chris and Molly add a master suite with laundry room to their home to match their expanding family. The homes existing plan has a fair amount space, but it’s broken up and poorly utilized. The spared bedroom, bathroom, and hodge-podge of utility rooms take up space but accomplish very little for this growing family.
In the new plan, Chris and Molly will be adding significant space, as well as extending the roof line out over part of a new elevated patio. The new addition will accommodate an eating area, a comfortably sized master bathroom, and great new master bedroom.
The existing space will then be reallocated to walk-in closets for the master suite, a generously sized laundry room, and a storage room. The renovation also included removing the wall between the family room and kitchen to create a large open space, as well as a good deal of brickwork on the outside of the home.
The new addition to the family arrived before the project was finished, so Molly and Chris plan to tackle the landscaping in the backyard over the next several months. On the inside, the new master bedroom has plenty of room and plenty of natural light.
Two walk-in closets provide both Chris and Molly with all the storage space they need, and the master bathroom should prove to be a great treat for these young parents. The garden tub will surely provide a great place to recover after a day of chasing little ones.
There’s no doubt the new laundry room will see plenty of action. It will also serve as the informal entry to the home from the driveway. The new open family room and kitchen makes for one big, comfortable family space. Plus, there’s another great family area outside under the covered patio that can be used rain or shine.
I always looked forward to having the production crew show up at the Broders’ house. These homeowners are two of the nicest people on the planet; and their 2-year-old daughter, Hannah, will absolutely melt your heart.
During one particular shoot, while the cameraman was busy focusing on a shot with Mr. and Mrs. Broders, Hannah brought a toy up to me, and decided I was going to play a game with her. Two is such a fun age anyway, but it was such a joy to see the wonder in her eyes as she watched all the activity going on around her.
It also made me realize that there are some important safety issues you should think about if you have children at home during the course of a remodeling project.
Hannah walked around the construction site with her parents, but that is the only time a child should have access. Also, it’s important that no work was going on when Hannah was outside.
Just as the Broders did, proper care should be practiced to make sure there are barriers in place to keep children away from construction zones. Barriers, by the way, can be a locked door, a gate, or an alert parent. It’s a good idea to speak with the contractor about keeping a sharp eye open for the children, too, in case they “get loose.”
Secondly, familiarity can be a good thing as well as bad. Certainly, you want to teach your children to never, ever talk to strangers. But, if you have a regular job foreman at the house, it may be a good idea to make sure your child knows his name.
For example, on this project, Hannah knew Mr. Joe (the foreman), Mr. Jasen (the cameraman), and Mr. Allen (yours truly). It can help your youngster feel like they are part of the project. At the same time though, they should interact with the crew only when the parents are present.
Third, nails are in abundance! These are small enough for little hands which inevitably make their way up to their little mouths. Consider asking the job foreman to make regular sweeps of the construction area with a magnet to keep nails and other dangerous items away from tots.
I realize that some of these are simple common sense thoughts, but I don’t think I could ever over-emphasize the importance of keeping children safe on a job site.
Protecting Wood Floors
In my opinion, what really tied a ribbon around this job was the installation of the wood floors. The flow from the existing kitchen into the new eating area, into the den and down the hallway really looked great. I’ll let you in on a little secret, though. After the flooring was complete, the sub had to return and tear out some of the new planks and replace them, because they were damaged when replacing the refrigerator.
This is a good time to reinforce the importance of protecting new surfaces. A lot can be used for that protection, too. For simple foot traffic you can put down cardboard, kraft paper, and carpet pieces with the carpet side facing down. But, when moving heavy objects across the floor, like a refrigerator, use a dolly with larger air-inflated tires to do the bulk of the moving.
When it comes time to slide the object into a tight space, you can use the upside down carpet or, better yet, invest in some of those Teflon coated gliders.
Other Tips From This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Sticky Lock Trick
A sticky lock is annoying to say the least. The quick fix – head to a hardware store or home center and pick up powdered graphite in a squeeze tube (typically also available in automotive sections of stores). Squeeze the graphite into the keyhole. Put your key into the lock and slide it in and out several times. You might also try rubbing the edges of your key with a soft-lead pencil and working the key gently into the lock a few times. Just make sure the lead is made from true graphite. Do not use a lubricating oil such as WD-40. Over time this can make a stubborn lock even more difficult to operate.
(Watch This Video)
Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
DeckMate by Wagner
Staining your deck can be a time consuming and tough job, between staining the deck boards, getting into all the cracks and crevices and going back and forth from the can of stain to the deck. With the DeckMate from Wagner you accomplish all of that at the same time. It has its own carry-on stain reservoir so you’re not running back and forth to the can of stain. To save time, the brush and pad apply stain to both cracks and deck boards all at once. It also has a flow control so whether you use a thin sealer or a thick stain you shouldn’t run into any problems. You just pour your stain in the container, twist the control knob and the stain goes through the system and onto the pad. You can find DeckMate at The Home Depot by itself for around $20 or in combo kits for $50-$70.
Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Maintaining Patio Furniture
Outdoor furniture can be expensive so it’s not something you want to replace annually. Taking care of your outdoor furniture will not only keep it looking good but also help it last longer. Soap and water will typically work on most types of outdoor furniture. Using a garden hose or a pressure washer on a low setting can certainly speed things up too. Anything with fabric can typically be machine-washed on a gentle cycle and of course these items as well as wood furniture and umbrellas should be stored indoors during the off-season. Fabric pieces should be placed back on the furniture frame before completely dry to avoid shrinkage. Wood furniture that has weathered and grayed can be carefully pressure washed and resealed. Paste wax can be used to protect both wicker and metal or cast iron furniture but if you’re metal furniture is older and has rusted you may need to consider using a very fine steel wool to remove the rust and then repaint it with a spray paint appropriate for metal. (Watch This Video)