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 joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com, I would love to meet you!

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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 joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com 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)
937-689-1635

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 joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com, 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
(Owner)
Good Guy Home Improvements LLC
937-689-1635
joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com

Framing

3 Mar

It seems like every house we work in I see wavy drywall and baseboard trim due to the framers not getting all the crowns on the same side.  Almost never is wood straight, the majority of 2×4’s, 2×6’s and on up have a crown in them.  This means that they curve.  2×4’s aren’t really 2×4’s by the way, in the old days they were but today they measure 1 and a half inches by 3 and half inches.  Hold a 2×4 out in front of you and look down the inch and a half side and you should see a curve.  When framing walls all those curves need to be on the same side of the wall, either put them all in or all out.  Pick which way you want them to face and then always do it that way so you don’t mess up.  If you mix up your crowns you will have your drywall and baseboard trim looking wavy.  Wavy walls make it hard to hang cabinets, install tile backsplashes, and countertops.  If you didn’t know what you were looking at you would just think that a novice drywaller installed all the drywall, but instead it was a novice framer or just somebody in a hurry to get paid.

Squareness is very important in corners where cabinets are installed or when installing flooring with patterns in it, tile and so forth.  Level walls are crucial when framing doorways.  Hanging a door should only take 15 minutes when the doorway is framed properly, and if it is off good luck, especially if the drywall is finished.  Don’t use nails when hanging drywall because they will always pop out 6 months or more down the road.  Screws can pop your drywall too but not very often.  This post is more of a rant than a tip.  Good Guy Home Improvements LLC is my company and the guys and I care about quality and things looking the way they should.  I am tired of looking at wavy walls.  Quality is hard to find and I guess that is true in every profession.  People are more concerned with the money they are making than the quality of their work.  Think about how frustrated you get when you have to deal with other peoples shotty work and spend a little more time doing a good job at what you do.  Be the solution and not the problem.

I am always available for free consultation at 937-689-1635 or email me at joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com

Carpet

21 Jan

It is real easy to get taken advantaged of when buying carpet if you don’t know anything about carpet.  First thing you need to know is the pad under the carpet is very important for comfort.  7/16’s 6 pound pad is okay for rentals when you have to keep costs low and you are changing it out after every tenant but for your home spend the extra 5 cents a square foot and buy the 8 pound pad or even better 8 pound memory foam pad for real comfort under your feet.  If you want to sprawl out on your carpet and feel comfort you need atleast an 8 pound pad under the carpet.  You can get pad with pet guard that is water proof, but I wouldn’t recommend putting it in a basement because although it keeps accident spills from penetrating the pad it also doesn’t allow moisture out from underneath it if there is a flood from a water source.  So you would have to pull up the pet guard pad to dry it out in case of floods.

So what is good carpet?  It is pretty simple and it isn’t just something that feels soft to the touch.  You want NYLON carpet, with the strands tightley woven together and preferably a low nap for extended wear.  Look closely at each strand of carpet.  The more spirals you see in the strand the better the carpet is and less likely it is going to fray.  The really good stuff is expensive but that doesn’t mean the expensive carpet is good carpet.  A lot of carpet dealers will push polyester brands on you with a 6 pound pad and charge you a price that you would be paying Good Guy Home Improvements LLC for Nylon carpet with transferable warranty, and 8 pound pad.

If money is tight you can get a polyester carpet with a good pad that will wear decent for about 5 years if you take care of it.  I hate to see people get taken advantaged of so me and everybody in the Good Guy Home Improvements group try to educate our customers on everything we do, so they are aware of what they are paying for.  Junk carpet can look and feel nice when you buy it , then a year later will wrinkle up on you and the nap will lay down in one solid mass. 

I am Joe Taulbee, owner of Good Guy Home Improvements LLC, and available for free consultation by email or phone nation wide for any questions on any home improvement project.  937-689-1635 or joe@goodguyhomeimprovements.com.

Drywall materials

21 Mar

If you are doing new construction and money isn’t a factor in your budget, use 5/8 fire rated drywall everywhere you can.  It slows down the spread of fire dramatically, gives more of a sound barrier, not to mention extra insulation.  Regular 1/2 inch drywall is fine if you are trying to save money, but green board (moisture resistant drywall) should be used in bathrooms or any areas moisture exists.

As far as mud goes, when taping use the green lid or any powder mud that you have to mix by hand, and I use the same stuff for my second coat, but it doesn’t sand well so don’t load it up on the wall.  Try to use a little as possible, the trick is to not have to sand until the end.  The third coat should be topping, because it sands very easily, which allows you to make it look like you know what you are doing even if you don’t. 

Drywall is the job of an illusionist, which takes lots of practice to come away with a truly professional look.  It is also very messy, which is another reason to hire it out even if you have the skills to pull it off.  $70 a sheet is the going rate for walls, $100 for ceilings, smaller jobs are more, and you get what you pay for so just keep that in mind when getting bids.  Nobody is getting rich off these prices, and we earn our money, because it is tough on the body!

Joe Taulbee

Good Guy Home Improvements LLC

937-689-1635