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Improving the American Dream

My Blog


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Something Soft...

Posted on November 11, 2019 at 5:14 PM Comments comments (0)

It's amazing how much work goes into a small 8'x15' patio. 

From selecting the flagstone, to getting it delivered to completion it's surprising.

The weeds had to pulled and and the small concrete slab busted up. Look how much concrete just in that small area.  

We cleaned up the area, got the wrong substrate delivered. It created extra work but we made it happen. 

Here's Amrando (probably not happy with the crushed stone gravel) but he's doing a good job. 

Next we made an awesome bech/storage out of pressure treated lumber. We placed a PVC lid to make it water proof. 

The finish is wood composite deck board from TimberTech. This product comes with a 30 year fade & stain warranty. 

The homeowner did a great job in softening the look and making it cozy. 


Posted on November 11, 2019 at 4:26 PM Comments comments (0)

I can't help it. 

Always Brighter Options

Posted on November 11, 2019 at 4:22 PM Comments comments (0)

We're humbled and delighted to have a good referral base for our business. 
We met with a very nice home owner that had some of her rooms a pretty Natural Linen from Sherwin Williams (SW9109) and wanted to spread some paint around the rest of her home. 

We think it made a fantastic difference! 

Left: After
Right: Before

Foyer Bathroom

Left: After
Right: Before


Remember the kids magazine Highlights? Can you spot the difference between the two pics? 
Hint (we upgraded the white to Sherwin Williams' ProClassic Pure White Trim)

Curb Appeal

Posted on November 2, 2018 at 3:52 PM Comments comments (0)

It's really awesome when we get hired right next door the a project we just completed. Lucky us!

This was is/was on the market but had issues with the front portico. The leaky roof ruined the framing framing and finish wood.

We started out with just one piece and off we went until we saw a lot had to be replaced. 

If you have a portico this is likely what yours looks like or very similar to. 

And this is what a water leak does to the wood. No bueno. 

We installed a heavy-duty self-adhesive roof roll. 

Here's the pre-painted finished look. 

Like it absolutely, positively, never happened. :) 

The House that Built Me...sorta

Posted on November 2, 2018 at 3:21 PM Comments comments (100)
MARRIETTA: We most definitely love Nextdoor and of course the kind folks that share our name with the world. 
It really never ever gets old to get these phone calls. 

This house didn't build me nor did we built it. However, we sorta kinda helped from it caving in. 

We thought the homeowner made an EXCELLENT decision to remove these two load bearing walls b/c it really brought an enhanced appeal to the floor plan.

However, click on the pic and you'll see regular 2x10" lumber instead of the 2x14"  LVL (laminate, veneer, laminate) triple beams required to carry the load for such a large span. 

We start by providing our suppliers engennering depart the data they need (span, pics of the outside of home, detailed info about the floor above, joist span on both sides of the beam etc...then we build temp walls to keep things in place. 

Once the temp walls are up we removed the inferior beams 

Then I get as close as possible to Daniel to get the name of our company but I can barely see it. Click on the pic, maybe your eyes are better than mine. 

Here's the final view of the installed LVL beams. 
One word: Beautiful. 

Beautiful twice over. A total of SIX 2x14" LVL beams were needed to properly support the span. 

It's the Nuts & Bolts...and the rest of the Details

Posted on November 2, 2018 at 2:41 PM Comments comments (0)
Without a doubt we're always, always grateful for referrals. EQUALLY is rewarding is when the neighbors stop by & visit with each other to see our work first hand. Yup, our work speaks for itself. 

We built a deck not far from this home earlier this year and got a call to help with this deck to your right. Long story short, the deck was strugglin' (mostly b/c it lacked the right wood connectors (hardware). 

We start our day as usual, checking the merchandise & product. That small pile is a complete 12'x20' deck. 

To the point: 
Galvanized 4x4 bases keep the stair railing posts off the ground to prevent rot from pooling water. Base is secured with a .5" wedge (concrete bolt) to the concrete & Simpson Strong-Tie Structural Screws

A 6x6 galvanized base is secured with a 5/8 wedge & Simpson Strong-Tie Structural Screws. 

The stair stringers are secured with "stringer straps" with approx 12 Simpson Strong-Tie structural screws. 

TWO (2) .5"x8 thru bolts, one two nuts and FOUR (4) washers secured the rail 4x4 post to the main deck frame. The adjustable 6x6 post cap & S S-T screws secure the post to the main frame. 

TWO corner railing posts with a small bracket to help prevent the posts from separating (you'll see it better in the pic below). Corner 6x6 brackets to secure the 6x6 posts to the main frame.

Bam!! It's only a dollar bracket but it prevents aesthetic and safety destruction. 

Check out ALL that hardware....2x10 galvanized joist hangers. Each is secured with SIX (6) 1.5" & FOUR 2.5" Simpson Strong-Tie STRUCTURAL screws. TEN structural screws per joist hanger. 

The details? 
How about only ONE 2x6 top hand rail per section? NO CUT PIECES. 

Better yet, how about ONLY ONE TWENTY FOOT BOARD per row? Check it out. One board per row, not cut pieces not "nail pops."


Once stained or painted, you can't even notice the hardware. 

The top 2x6 handrail AND the two 2x4 top & bottom rails (the boards where the balusters are nailed on) are also just ONE long board. This keeps the deck rigid and safer. 

Lot's of details in this otherwise kinda basic deck. 

Slabbin' it Up

Posted on August 27, 2018 at 5:54 PM Comments comments (0)
Let me tell you that there's no better feeling than being highly recommended by a previous client.  

These homeowners are just awesome people. They really are. We ended up doing sooo much for them on this blog we're covering just the concrete slab. 

We demo'd the deck with plans to build a 16'x20' concrete slab

Our lead, Armando, as always committed to doing a great job. 

Here we are doing the prep work in order to set up the proper concrete forming frame. 

Forming is almost complete and believe it;s a lot of work in itself. 

It's really a process. Maybe not complex per se, but it's not something as easy as 1-2-3 either. 

And here's what proper forming looks likes. You have your wood framing and support. Everything is leveled along with the welded mesh wiring. 

The day we started pouring concrete the clouds started pouring rain.

Here;s our man Erik doing his thing making all this concrete look pretty. 

Just this last corner and we're done...

Yup, it's pretty cool to see this process end up as nice as it does. 
This was like a 10" concrete slab. We poured ready mix concrete with fiber mesh in the mix itself. 
The welded mesh and fiber mesh all help the concrete stay strong and not crack. 

Yes, we built this beautiful deck, & roof AND we replaced all the siding, 45 windows & painted. 

Tile for Days

Posted on August 27, 2018 at 4:47 PM Comments comments (0)
Once again we were very fortunate to have been recommended thru Nextdoor. It never gets old. :)

We're out of Alpharetta and this is a road I always cross but have only be on it once before this job. Isn't that wird?

The homeowner did a good job and bought all her tile from the good people at Floor and Decor. This small pallet weighs a ton (no pun intended) 

One of our concerns is always protecting the flooring, particularly on demo day. 

Here's part of the original bathroom...pretty typical for the area and age of the home. It was time for a an update. 

We demo'd just about everything including vanity you see in the pic. 

Here's our lead, Fernando, making it happen. We only use James Hardie BackerBoard, not fans of Duroc. It's a .5" fiber cement board, seal with cement board mesh tape and Red Gard liquid cement on the joints to prevent leaks.

And what you see here is BAM! This bathroom had a TON of tile (haha, get it?). 

I think the homeowner did a great job with her vision and tile selection. It really feels like a far away Calgon moment. 

This is the "before" - notice the window wall?

Bare bones...the window wall now has James Hardie Backer Board instead of drywall for a good reason. 

Oh my goodness...

BAM BAM! The window wall has beautiful tile! Click on the pic for a closer look. 


Neighborly Love

Posted on August 24, 2018 at 1:43 PM Comments comments (0)
EAST COBB: Have we ever mentioned that Nextdoor is the Next Big Thing? 

Because of Nextdoor we did repairs and painted the entire house below in this neighborhood. 

The homeowner on the left referred us to the his neighbor across the street (below)

...and this is where we start our blogstory. 

The homeowner was listing his home and needed a lot of trim and siding replacement as well as pressure washing and painting. 

And here's the finished product after it was repaired and painted. 

The trim installed was really MDF (a type of cardboard trim used for inside work) and it didn't last long.

He we are replacing more siding with new JamesHardie siding. 

Yes, we were all over this house making things right. 

Bam!!  The new color matches the stone work much better than before. 

The old color with too much white. 

Nice home, nice job. Great homeowners. 

No Business Like Repeat Business

Posted on August 23, 2018 at 9:11 PM Comments comments (104)
We love being referred and we love it even more when our clients call us back for more help. 

Last year we were glad we helped these homeowners with a very small deck repair job. 

This month they called us again not sure if they needed a new deck or just more significant repairs. 

A new deck was not needed but the lower decking and stairs had to be replaced and then of course a new color made it feel completely new. :) 

Here's our homeowner taking notes.
Notice the slanted deck boards?

Our deck lead, Armando, wasn't a big fan of the 45 degree boards and recommended nicer longer boards in standard fashion. 

The look is much nicer and I always love when our Red, White, and Blue makes the pic. 

Believe it or not, the stairs were the bulk of the work (they always usually are). Stairs surprisingly always take a lot of labor AND lumber. 

But they sure look good!!!

Repeat..get it? 

Mr. Homeowner was happy with our work as well...

...and so was Mr.