Egress Windows

7 Jun

A common request from our customers at Good Guy Home Improvements when finishing basements is adding a bedroom. Code requires an egress window/door inside any bedroom. Any person sleeping in a basement bedroom needs another way to escape in case of emergency.

The minimum opening requirement for the window is 5.7 square feet so a window 24 inches by 36 inches will meet the requirement.  Good Guy Home Improvements typically installs a 32 inch by 44 inch out swing window. The other code requirement is that the sill sits at a maximum of 44 inches off of the basement floor.

The outside of the house needs to be excavated down to the existing weeping system around the foundation of the house so that we can tie into that weeping system. This allows water a way out so it doesn’t come in your new window and into your newly finished basement.

There are many different wells that can be installed around the window that allows the person to climb out. We commonly use a plastic system made by wellcraft, but  there are metal ones, block, railroad ties, etc..

They say you can spend anywhere from $3500 and up to have one installed by a contractor but with Good Guy Home Improvements the price starts at $5000. It is pretty important that this is done correctly so if you are a DIYer do your homework, expect to spend $1500 to $2000, and it will be a really tough job.

Current costs for finishing a basement today (6-7-17) through Good Guy Home Improvements is $30 a square foot. To install a bathroom that is already roughed in starts at $10,000, if it isn’t roughed in $15,000. Egress windows start at $5,000 like I mentioned above for Good Guy Home Improvements.

As always I (Joe Taulbee) give free estimates and can be reached at 937-689-1635 or We service Montgomery, Warren, Greene counties.

Thank you for reading!





Basement finishing

6 Apr

It is April 6th 2017 and the economy is doing pretty well. Good Guy Home Improvements LLC is turning 11 this month and we just had the best first quarter to date thanks to our loyal customer base. Our favorite thing to do is finish basements and we are on our 5th one so far this year. Material prices have been rising which forces us to raise our prices as well. You can expect to pay $30 to $40 a square foot to finish your basement through Good Guy Home Improvements LLC. If you are adding a bathroom in your basement figure an additional $10,000 to start and bars start at $6000.

I get many calls a year from customers who tried to save money and hire a friend or someone who gave a cheap estimate to finish their basement only to have problems with code violations, poor quality, and poor materials used. It is worth it to hire a professional and to have the proper permits pulled. If you don’t you risk not only your house burning down but insurance won’t cover you if those permits weren’t pulled and inspections passed.

Yes your taxes will go up but so will the value of your home. We give free estimates, we don’t take any money up front, and you will have a one year warranty on all work and materials through Good Guy Home Improvements LLC. We take payments in three installments, the first being due after all framing is complete, the second after all rough inspections have passed just before we hang drywall, and the rest upon completion.

You can reach me, Joe Taulbee (Owner of Good Guy Home Improvements LLC) at 937-689-1635 or to schedule an estimate or just for consulting.

Basement finishing permits.

20 Jan

You should get permits when you do any structural framing, make any changes to Electric, Plumbing, or HVAC. When I say changes I don’t mean replacement of existing I mean adding something new or moving something to a new location.

Yes if you finish your basement and get those permits, your taxes will go up for the additional living space in your home. If you don’t get the permits and you have a flood from plumbing failure or fire from electrical failure in the newly finished basement, your insurance company isn’t going to cover you because the permits weren’t pulled.

When finishing a basement you need a structural permit for framing, Electrical permit, HVAC, and Plumbing if you are doing anything to do with any of them. Costs will vary but in Dayton Ohio it is typically in the ballpark of $600 for all. You just go to your local building/zoning office in your city, county, or township. Provide them with a set of plans for the basement that you can draw up yourself, fill out their application then wait for approval.

Once your framing and fire blocking is complete, Electric, Plumbing, and HVAC are roughed in  then you can call for all rough inspections. After you pass those inspections you are free to complete the basement, then you call for final inspections upon completion.

You will have piece of mind that you did it right or if you hired someone they did it right. You will get credit for the finished basement when you sell the home and your insurance will cover you if there is a problem. Good Guy Home Improvements LLC absolutely loves to finish basements! If you are thinking of finishing your basement I would love the opportunity to meet you and provide you with a free estimate. You can call me at 937-689-1635 or email me at

Who is actually the best?

15 Jul

Every Home Improvement Company claims that they are the best! The best in customer service, the best in quality, and if you come to them you will be blown away by how they run their business, so much so that you will always come to them for their service and tell all your friends and family about them. These companies do exist but as we all know they are probably one in a thousand if not even less than that.

Every person hiring a Home Improvement Company is looking for the best! Everyone wants a company they can trust in their home, that will treat their home with care, keep it clean throughout the time that they are doing the project, complete the project with quality only found with master craftsman, and with a smile on their face! 99% of the Home Improvement business’s only care about the money they receive after the project is completed, but they will tell you in the beginning that you are hiring the best!

So as the owner of Good Guy Home Improvements LLC, I have to figure out how to differentiate my company from the other 99% who claim they offer the same awesome service that we do! Good Guy Home Improvements LLC has been in business for over 10 years and I believe that to be very important when choosing a contractor for your home. How long have they been in business? Google their name to find reviews, you will find 0 bad reviews with Good Guy Home Improvements as well as 0 complaints with the BBB, which means we have satisfied even the crazies in the ten years we have been improving peoples homes. Ask for references and call them. Did they show up on time, keep the house clean, provide the quality of work the customer wanted? Good Guy Home Improvements has been in thousands of homes so we have thousands of references for you!

It is my goal to always do every job better than the previous one, so ten years later I can definitely say with pride that we have Outstanding customer service and the quality and craftsmanship we offer at Good Guy Home Improvements is second to none in the Dayton Ohio area. Every home or business I enter I look around at the quality of work done and I can find flaws every where I look, with the exception of the projects that we at Good Guy Home Improvements have completed. I return to work on homes I worked on ten years ago and the projects I worked on back in 2006 still look awesome today. We will never sacrifice quality for profit! Call me (Joe Taulbee) at 937-689-1635 to schedule an estimate or email me at, I would love to meet you!

You get what you pay for!

8 Apr

So ninety percent of Good Guy Home Improvements customers are on a tight budget or just want to get their project done as cheaply as they can. They usually have champagne tastes with beer budgets. Understandably so, but that will usually not get you what you ultimately are looking for.  If you are going to spend the money and go through the process of having a contractor in your home you really should be spending the money needed to get it done right.

Quality materials matter and they cost more. Good contractors are hard to find and just because you are paying a lot of money on a project doesn’t mean you have a good one, but on the other hand if you are getting it done cheaply, chances are you have a bad one who is using cheap materials and you have a red light warranty, meaning your warranty is up when you see their brake lights when they leave.

I know Good Guy Home Improvements doesn’t have the highest priced bids in town but we aren’t cheap either and our quality of work and level of professionalism is second to no one. We would never sacrifice quality for profit.

Good Guy Home Improvements has been in business for over 10 years! We have the finest craftsman in every category: Framers, Roofers, Painters, Drywallers, Flooring specialist, Bathroom experts, Kitchen and Basement finishing specialists, Concrete, Pavers, Siding, Stone Masons. We have it all and lucky for our large customer base in Dayton Ohio, we are here to stay! You can contact me Joe Taulbee at 937-689-1635 or email me at for free consulting, and estimating. I am at your service!

Caulking before exterior painting.

20 Jun

Caulk all vertical seams where the boards come together, knott’s in the wood, and any cracks where water can penetrate. DO NOT caulk horizontally under your siding boards, yes it looks nice after it’s painted but it will trap in moisture which will rot the wood. Use paintable caulk and you will want to use clear paintable caulk against brick so you don’t get the ugly look of caulk smashed all over your brick. Another trick is to tape off the brick before you caulk to help keep a clean uniform line. Good Guy Home Improvements LLC has been painting homes in the Dayton Oh area both exterior and interior for the past 9 and half years and will continue to do so for several decades to come. Good Guy Home Improvements LLC has the best painters in the world, call us at 937-689-1635 to find out for yourself!

Joe Taulbee (owner)

Complete bathroom demo down to the studs.

12 Nov

Remodeling isn’t like what you see on the reality television. It can be quite dangerous, very messy, and you will run into problems that you didn’t expect. It may look fun to use a sledge hammer and start pounding but if you don’t get hurt in the process you will probably damage something that you didn’t want to. All remodeling should be well thought out and demolishing/gutting anything should be done in a strategic well planned manner.

So let’s say you decide to diy a bathroom remodel yourself or you are hiring a contractor like Good Guy Home Improvements LLC to do it and you want to know the process. First locate your electrical panel and the breaker that powers the bathroom you are about to remodel, as well as the main water shut-off valve, and main gas shut-off if you have one. I strongly reccomend hiring a professinal when dealing with electric, plumbing, or gas for your safety and so that everything meets code. You don’t need to shut anything off at the start but know where they are and make sure they function so when you do need to shut them off they work.

You will want to lay down some runner tarps leading from the bathroom to the exterior door you are exiting the house from to help contain your mess.

If you don’t have a pick up truck and nearby dump to take out the debris you can rent a dump trailer for a couple hundred bucks and they will park it in your driveway then haul it away when it is full. So let’s get started, turn off the water valve to the toilet which is sticking out of the wall behind it with the water line running up to the tank, then flush your toilet. Also turn off the valves under your sink. Use a pair of pliers to remove the water lines from all the valves. It is common for the valve to still drip water with it off and the water line removed and if this is the case and you can’t do the plumbing just reconnect it all and call a plumber to come out and install new valves. If you want to try it yourself then you will need to shut the water off at the main shutoff, and turn the valves on at every sink in the house, flush all toilets, turn on shower valves, outside valves and if you have a basement sink turn it on. You want to drain out the water from the lines before you remove the valves in your bathroom so you don’t drain a bunch of water into that area. Now if you have galvanized pipes and lets hope you don’t becasue they rust from the inside and slowly close up over the years, anyway galvanized valves screw on so use two pair of pliers and unscrew the valve and screw the new one on using plumbing tape. CPVC should be screwed as well. You will have to sweat on a new one if you have copper and that really needs to be taught to you by a professional in person.

So at this point you either have good valves or new ones. Take the lid off the toilet tank and toss it out, you don’t need the extra weight when carrying the toilet out nor do you want it falling off and damaging something. So turn off the valve for the toilet, flush the toilet holding down on the flush knob until no more water is exiting, then let it go and disconnect the water line from the valve. Now pop off the bolt covers on both sides of the toilet down by the floor. Use pliers to remove the nuts on either side, sometimes the bolt will turn with the nut and in this case it will need to be cut off with either a dremel or sawzaw. Once the nuts are removed the toilet can be lifted. There is still water in the toilet so either suck it out with a wet vac or lift the toilet keeping the front lower than the back which will keep the water from draining out and set it in your tub or shower then tilt it back letting the water out of the trap. Once all the water is out then you can carry it out of the house with a helper because it is heavy. If you are replacing the tub or shower you can throw a tarp over the toilet while it is in there and break it apart with a sledge hammer. The tarp should keep the shards from flying but they will be sharp when picking them up, so wear gloves. So the toilet is gone and there should be some wax ring left on the flange and I like to use a paint stir stick to remove it into a bag, that way my gloves stay clean from that kind of mess. Use and old towel to stuff in the drain hole to keep the sewer gas from creeping into the house.

Next let’s take out the vanity/counter/sink. If you have a lamanate top it is screwed on from underneath in the four corners, otherwise simply lift up from the front and it will pull apart. Make sure you disconnected the water lines from the valve as well as disconnecting the trap from the sink, which is the drain. I take the trap out and pour the water into the tub/shower drain then discard it. So with everything disconnected you can remove the counter with the sink and faucets still attached. The cabinet should be screwed to the wall as should a pedestal sink, so unscrew and remove them.

Mirrors are can be dangerous if they are glued. Most will just be sitting on their clasps. If glued they should just have a few dollops of glue behind them and if you use a putty knife you can slowly and methodically work your way around the mirror prying it off the wall.

Shower doors are screwed and glued on so use a razor blade to score the silicone and remove all screws, then you can remove the doors and tracks. Tub surrounds are screwed to the wall behind the drywall, the tubs and shower pans are either screwed or nailed on their sides and then the only thing holding them in place is the drain which is screwed on but if it is old just hit the drain with a hammer until it breaks away but wear safety glasses and ear plugs when you do it. Cast iron tubs are extremely heavy and will weigh hundreds of pounds.

You can break apart fiberglass surrounds with a hammer but I don’t reccomend cutting them with a saw because it puts the fiberglass particles into the air and it is very bad for your lungs. Also you might cut into something in the wall you don’t want to cut.

When removing drywall or plaster wear a face mask, gloves, safety glasses and use a hammer here too along with a box cutter so you don’t cut into a wire, gas or water line. If you are removing the ceiling and your attic is above, you will want to climb up there first and move the insulation away from the area so that it doesn’t all come down on you during the demo. Also while you are in the attic check to see if your exhaust fan is properly vented to the outside of your house.

Remove the flooring down to the plywood (OSB board) or in older homes the decking slats. Removing tile is a nightmare especially if it is hardiboard underneath the tile and is screwed down. You will be hammering, chiseling, and prying for hours.

When removing lights, and outlets obviously turn the breaker off at the panel and make sure you have an alternate light source in the bathroom so you can see what you are doing.

So the demo is complete and you have decided you will never do it again, ever, am I right? I know how you feel, I have done way too many to count. Look around for mold, rotted wood that needs replaced, faulty wiring, and plumbing. Wood may be black or discolored but if it is still hard and doesn’t allow you to stick a flat head screw driver into it then it is still structurally sound. Mold can be killed by spraying some bleach water onto it. People freak out about mold, but the deal is it can only grow where there is moisture much like a weed, so kill it and fix the moisture issue and problem solved. It can’t come back without moisture and won’t grow further than where the moisture exists.

So good luck with your project and feel free to email me (Joe) with any questions at, we are always available for consultation or if you are in the Dayton, Ohio area give me a call at 937-689-1635 if you need to hire a Good Guy!

Joe Taulbee
Good Guy Home Improvements LLC