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Window Installation Testimonial

A+ Service Review

Valerie writes,

I just want to compliment your installers, John and Nick. They did a great job and were the nicest young men, so pleasant and polite. We have had a lot of different contractors out lately for different projects and John and Nick were just a cut above everyone else. We will be needing some more windows soon and we sure hope John and Nick are the installers. Thank you very much!

Bathroom Testimonial

Here’s another testimonial from a happy customer!

Mr. Bowen,

I wanted to take a moment and tell you what an excellent job your team did in remodeling our down stairs bathroom.

Your team arrived on time on the start date and finished well ahead of schedule. They did a great job in laying down the tile floor, installing the new vanity and toilet as well as painting the inside of the bathroom. Your team worked very clean and efficiently while they were on the job.

I have to mention, the fact that you came by the job daily to check in and insure the job was done correctly made all the difference in the world to my wife and I.

I have your number on speed dial and will not hesitate to recommend you and your team for any home improvement needs.

Thank you,

Dan Bergen

capping-before-after

This Great Upgrade is a No Brainer

This Great Upgrade is a No Brainer

“Capping” . Makes the door / window low maintenance and makes it look better.

Here at S&K, we’re constantly finding ways to upgrade your home’s style while finding ways to make your life easier. This particular upgrade is called “capping”. This easy project will make your door or window low maintenance and look great!

Check out this before and after shot.

capping-before-after

How to: Make a DIY Modern Concrete Fire Pit from Scratch

How to: Make a DIY Modern Concrete Fire Pit from Scratch

 

There’s nothing better than enjoying your outdoor living space with the glow of a fire pit. Now that the weather is getting nicer for late night hang outs lets check out this simple DIY project.

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This version is cast of affordable, weather-resistant concrete that creates a sleek, modern look. It’s portable but sturdy, and uses gel fuel, making it possible to have a quick 30-minute post grill session fire. It take a bit of care and proper prep, but this could be made in just a few hours for well under $50 in materials.

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Tools and Materials: 

 

CASTING THE BOWL

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Creating this project is all about two components: finding the right materials and working safely. For the main fire bowl, we used the largest mixing bowls we could find. Check your local restaurant or party supply store for extra-large options. I opted for a plastic punch bowl for the outside because I liked the profile shape, and a stainless steel mixing bowl for the inside.

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Working with concrete isn’t difficult, but it does require some finesse. First, it’s fairly heavy and can be difficult to mix in large batches by hand. Secondly, it’s extra important to use the proper safety gear to prep and execute your project. Work outside or in a well-ventilated area, and cover your work surface with plastic. I covered my bench in a plastic drop cloth, and taped everything down with ScotchBlue™ tape.

 

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Also, be sure to wear proper safety gear to protect your eyes, skin, and respiratory system. For this, I consulted with 3MDIY.comfor their suggestions of the best products from their 3M Tekk Protectionline. I went with an N95 valved dust mask for sanding and grinding, and long sleeves and refinishing gloves to protect my arms and hands. For my eyes, I opted for these Walter White-style safety goggles, which not only protect from debris but also dust and irritants. Plus, I prefer them when wearing a respirator or dust mask, since they seal tightly and don’t fog up.

 

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1. Once you’re all prepped, spray your molds with non-stick spray. This will help release the concrete once it’s dry. A thin, even layer over the inside of the outer mold/outside of the inner mold will do.

 

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2. Then, mix up your concrete. It’s hard to determine how much you’ll need, but it’s better to mix up more as you start than to rush to create more in the middle. I used about 1/3 of a bag for this project, adding water a little at a time until the mix formed a thick, cookie batter-like consistency. Make sure you’re wearing your safety gear here; this is the time when most of the particulates and irritants are flying around.

 

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3. Then, use the trowel to add the concrete mix to the outer mold. Fill it about half full, then check the inner mold to see how high the concrete comes up to the side. It’s okay to take the inner mold in and out a few times, just make sure you don’t lose all your non-stick spray. (You can wipe it clean and reapply). A friend or extra pair of hands is helpful here. Then, use weights or rocks to keep it in place. Some things to watch out for:

  • As you place the inner mold, make sure that it’s centered so your bowl will have an even thickness all the way around
  • Keep the lips of the bowls coplanar for an even, symmetrical finished product
  • Adjust the weights so that you have the biggest inner bowl as possible while keeping the structure thick enough to be strong. You’ll want to be sure that there’s enough space on the inside to place your gel canisters beneath the lip of the bowl.

 

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4. For a super smooth finished surface, try this tip (I picked this up years ago from an episode of This Old House, I think): use something with a motor to vibrate the bowl to remove any air bubbles inside the mold. Here, I’m using my reciprocating saw without a blade, but anything will work: a powered sander, an oscillating or rotary tool, even an immersion blender.

One it’s settled and things are no longer moving, allow the concrete to cure according to the package directions. (48 hours-ish)

 

FINISHING THE BOWL

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5. When your concrete has cured, carefully remove it from the mold. I lightly tapped on mine with a rubber mallet, first removing the inner bowl, then freeing the outer. It’s solid at this point, so don’t be afraid, but do be careful since it’s quite heavy.

 

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6. Use a coarse sanding pad (60-80 grit) to clean up the top lip, and give everything a nice rounded profile. Again, since you’ll be generating a lot of fine particulate dust, wear your safety glasses, gloves, and dust mask.

 

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Wipe away the debris, then give the whole thing a round of fine grit (220) sandpaper. Since concrete doesn’t have any fibers or grain like wood, you don’t have to work your way up. Any sanding is just the removal of irregularities or smoothing things up.

 

ASSEMBLING THE FIRE PIT

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7. Lastly, take it outside, and place the gel fuel canisters inside. I found mine at a local fireplace/swimming pool/outdoor recreation store, but you can find them in some hardware or home improvement stores or online.

 

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8. Place the grill grate in the bowl. The one I used was a 14.5″ bottom grate (for the charcoal, not the cooking surface) for a Weber kettle grill. It rested perfectly about 1/2″ from the surface of my 15″ internal diameter bowl. If you can’t find one, you can cut a larger one to size with a hacksaw or grinder, or create your own from hardware cloth or steel mesh.

9. Then, cover the grate with a layer of rocks. I’m using “Mexican beach pebbles” that I found at a garden center. These are commonly used with fire, so I can be sure they’ll stand up to the heat and won’t explode into flaming shrapnel with extended use. So, just be sure that whatever rocks you’re using are appropriate for the purpose.

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LIGHT IT UP!

While the flames on these aren’t bonfire-sized, the gel canisters put out quite a bit of heat, and all kinds of fun ambiance. At some point, I’d like to make a few of these and place them around my patio or deck. (At some point, I’d also like to have a patio or deck). But, for about $40 in materials (many of which I can reuse), I have a great, easy-to-use backyard fire solution, that requires nearly zero work to start or snuff out, and can keep our outdoor hangouts going well past sundown.

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source: manmadediy

After S&K Renovates Your Kitchen, Use a Cabinet to Make This!

So you’ve hired us to remodel your kitchen and now you’ve got all these old cabinet boxes left over. Hold onto one of them to create this great arts and crafts station for kids! Rachel Pereira, from eHow.com gives a great tutorial on how to complete this quick and easy DIY project that will take your kid’s craft area from disaster to stunner. Everything from a storage area to a chalk board all in one package.

Now there’s quite a bit of work involved with this project, so if it’s something you’re not comfortable with just talk to us and we’d be glad to add it in to your project!

 

Check out this before and after –

 

Things You’ll Need

 

Step 1: Disassemble the Cabinet

Using a mallet or hammer, remove the back of the cabinet from the cabinet face. If drawer slides are attached to the cabinet face inside the cabinet, remove them with a Phillips screwdriver. Use the mallet to loosen the sides and bottom of the cabinet from the cabinet face, as well as the drawer sides and bottom from the drawer face. Needle-nose pliers may be used to remove any staples. Remove pulls or knobs with a screwdriver.

 

Step 2: Build the Desk Base

Measure the length and width of the cabinet face. Using a circular saw, cut a one-by-three pine board into two long pieces that are equivalent to the length of the cabinet face and two short pieces that are 1 1/2 inches shorter than the width of the cabinet face. For example, the cabinet face used in this tutorial is 31 inches long and 21 inches wide. Two boards were cut at 31 inches and two boards were cut at 19 inches. Adjust these measurements depending on the size of your cabinet face.

Drill 3/4-inch pocket holes along the long pieces of wood, spaced about 4 to 5 inches apart. Drill 3/4-inch pocket holes along the long side of the short pieces of wood, and then two pocket holes on either end. Use wood glue and 1 1/4-inch pocket hole screws to screw the short boards to the inside of the long boards so that a box is formed.

Step 3: Attach Desk Base to the Cabinet Face

Using 1 1/4 inch-pocket hole screws and wood glue, attach the desk base to the underside of the cabinet face. Work slowly and do not drive the pocket hole screws too deep so they poke out the other side. Then cut a piece of 1/4-inch plywood to the same dimensions as the cabinet face and attach it to the underside of the desk base with wood glue, 1/2-inch nails and a hammer, spacing nails every 3 inches along the perimeter. An optional alternative to the hammer and nails would be to use a pneumatic or electric nail gun and 18 gauge 1/2-inch nails.

Step 4: Make Holes in the Drawer Face

Using cups or small tin buckets as a template, trace four evenly-spaced circles on the drawer face. If tracing from the base of the cup or bucket, draw the circle about 1/2 inch larger than the actual diameter. Drill holes along the edge of the diameter of the circles with a 1-inch self-feed drill bit, and then use a jigsaw to slowly cut along the perimeter of the circle. Repeat for the remaining three circles.

Step 5: Attach Drawer Face to the Cabinet Face

Place glue along the underside edges of the drawer face and carefully position it on top of the cabinet face over the drawer opening. Use a measuring tape if necessary to make sure placement is even on all sides. Clamp the drawer face to the cabinet face and let it dry overnight.

Step 6: Attach Knob to Cabinet Door or Route the Edge

If the cabinet door sits flush with the cabinet face when closed, a knob will need to be attached to easily open the desk. Measure, mark and drill a hole in the center long edge of the cabinet door (the unhinged side) so that it will not interfere with left- or right-handed children. Attach the knob.

Another option is to route the long edge of the cabinet door so a lip is formed for easier opening of the desk. To do this, position the router table guide at 0 inches so half of the round nose bit cuts into the edge of the door. Remove the screws from the hinges on the cabinet door and slide it along the router table, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the door has run through twice (to ensure an even cut along the entire long edge), sand the cut edges with 220 grit sandpaper to remove splinters.

Step 7: Fill Holes and Sand the Desk

Use wood filler to fill the holes from the cabinet pull, seams and places where the desk base join with the cabinet face. Let it dry for several hours. Sand the pre-finished cabinet door, drawer and base with 150 grit sandpaper by hand, or use an orbital sander to remove the protective finish and make it easier for paint to adhere to the surface. Sand the areas where wood filler was used and all edges with 220 grit sandpaper to ensure there are no sharp corners or splinters.

Step 8: Attach Feet to the Desk

On the four corners under the desk base, mark and pre-drill holes for the table leg straight top mounting plates. Attach the table legs into place using the screws provided with the mounting plates. Be sure to screw in the legs until tight.

Step 9: Paint the Desk

Use a 2-inch paintbrush and white latex paint + primer in semi-gloss finish to paint the entire desk, except the center of the cabinet door. Apply two coats and let dry completely. Use a 3-inch foam roller brush to paint the center of the cabinet door with chalkboard paint. Apply two to three coats and let the desk dry for 24 hours.

Step 10: Place Small Tin Buckets in the Holes

Place small tin buckets or cups in the four holes that were cut out earlier, and fill with crayons, pencils, chalk, scissors or other school supplies.

This desk provides great storage for supplies and crafts! Your kids will love it, and you’ll love the contained mess!

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