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Have you ever thought about painting your floor?? Part Two

Okay, so onward with the latest flooring painting trends. Don’t be bound with simply painting the floor a single color! NO! There are lots of other options out there for you to explore!  I have gathered a few of the more interesting ideas below for your consideration:

Borders, edges and trim, Oh my! By only painting the border, edge or trim of your flooring, you are still leaving the meaty center for an artisan, oriental or heirloom rug.  So you can still be a little adventurous and still keep you focal point the same.  By painting the edges (or a border or trim) of the floor in a contrast color of your choice, you help to enlighten and outline the space, drawing the eye away from the middle, and creating and impression of a larger space.  By only painting the outer border of the floor you are also allowing the natural beauty of the hardwood shining through where it is not covered.

Checkers or Chess: Perhaps the most popular pattern in painted flooring is the checkerboard.  By using black and white (most popular), or any two contrasting colors, the floor can be painted into in squares or rectangles to create a dynamically flowing space. When combined with the lines between the planks to it creates a seemingly simple, yet textured floor pattern that is stunning.

Designs, Emblems, Motifs: If you have an artistic side, you can get really creative and have your handyman trace out elaborate emblems, designs, motifs and other patterns onto your hardwood floor. Since this is such a delicate and detailed work, in most cases, this should be left up to the skills of a professional handyman painter from Andy onCall.

Stenciling:  Similar to the above, but less intricate. These patterns, which have been cut into guides which your handyman will set against the floor, are usually fairly simple, elegant, and often repeating. Your handyman will apply the paint using a special stencil brush that has particularly sharp bristles, making it easier to maintain the definite outline of more complex shapes.  Stencils are great for borders, edges or a statement design in the center of a floor.

Make a Statement: Sometimes you will have an absolutely beautiful hardwood floor, except for that stain, burn hole, scrape, whatever mar in the center of the room.  You have tried covering it with furniture and rugs but it just ends up making the layout of your room look odd.  Painting a statement design over the offending spot mat be your solution.  By using either a stencil or a motif, emblem or other design you can cover the problem area and turn a negative into a positive.

When you are ready to discuss the pros and cons of painting your hardwood floor and discudd what is the best option for you, call Andy onCall and we will help guide you through the process to a whole new floor.

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Have you ever thought about painting your floor??

Hardwood flooring is naturally beautiful, and very popular. But sometimes you may feel like you want to change things up. Perhaps the floor has become worn and faded, or has been scratched or damaged, or maybe you are just want to try something new. The good news is there are various floor paint techniques can be used to achieve a variety exquisite and stylish effects.

First let’s look at the paints for painting wood floors. There are numerous paints that are specifically formulated to be used on floor. Paints, such as oil based acrylics will provide a harder finish that will be more resistant to scratches and wear and tear than latex-based paints. However it’s possible that your local municipality may have restrictions against the use of oil-based treatments, so be sure to have your handyman check this out before he begins your project.

Wear and Tear: One drawback to paint is that it does show wear and may start to chip or fade over time.   So when you are selecting an area to paint the floor of keep this in mind.  A room or space that has low to moderate “traffic” or “activity” would work best for a painted floor. If you really want to use paint in a high ”traffic” area, then high you will need to use special wear-resistant paint with epoxy resins. This will help to keep your floor looking good for a longer period of time.

Let’s talk about style: So now that we have talked about the type of paint and the best type of space in your house to paint a floor, let’s move on to the various techniques and style that you can choose from.

One Bold Solid Color: For a dramatic effect, you can you once solid paint color on your hardwood floors.  By using one color you will be able to cover up most of the floors imperfections, but it also acts (design-wise) as a 6th wall and a dramatic palette to set your furniture and carpets on, all of which will now stand out more due to the contrast.

Whites and Pastels: White has a nice effect in a space, it makes everything feel fresh and crisp. By contrast darker colors will be more dramatic and striking. Softer pastels can create a soft surrounding for babies and tots. A summery porch feels lighter and brighter all year round with a crisp white painted floor.

Primary colors: Children’s bedroom and play areas are the perfect setting for bright primary colors to excite and engage your brood.

The bonus to solid painted flooring is that it is not only easy to clean and care for, but when you decides that you are ready for something new, it is relatively easy to paint over the surface and start with a fresh palette.

In my next posting, I will be discussing moving beyond color and into design, so be sure to check back for the exciting trends in floor painting.  Call Andy onCall and schedule your appointment today for a free estimate with one of our highly skilled handymen who can help you navigate the latest painting design style and execute them all with the greatest of ease!

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Painting your 5th Wall, Part Two

The ceiling has come to be considered such an important element in a room that it is often referred to as the fifth wall in decorating. Accent painting or adding a design element to a ceiling can greatly change a space from ho-hum to awe-inspiring. Best of all, this is a relatively inexpensive way to add new design elements to your home.

So, once you have decided that you want to banish your ceiling’s boring white, you’ll need some ideas about what to do with that big beautiful blank canvas.  Here are a few to get you started:

  • For smaller rooms, painting the ceiling the same shade or a slightly lighter shade as the walls can make the room feel larger.
  • For rooms that have crown molding, a nice neutral color light ivory or light gray with either natural wood trim or white gloss trim can really make a room pop, and give your space a very elegant feel.
  • If you don’t already have crown molding, paint the ceiling the same as the wall color but install some inexpensive trim and paint it white. It will give your room that established, elegant look.
  • For those of you with daring taste and vibrant furnishings in shade of red or plum, try painting your ceiling to match these strong hues and the eye will naturally be drawn upward and give the entire room a lift.
  • For those who feel artsy: Decals and stencils can add an interesting custom design element to any room that reflects your personality.
  • By using two paint colors similar in tone and painting a soft pinstripe or border around the edge of your ceiling you can achieve a trayed ceiling effect inexpensively.
  • If you have dramatic tastes and decide to make your ceiling color the focus of your room, be sure to support the color with matching throw pillow and other accent pieces.
  • Patterns that run throughout the ceiling rather than a stenciled and decal focal point are another option. Stripes, chevrons and other patterns in tonal patterns add a graphic punch to plain ceilings and can make a room look either longer or wider depending on how you apply the paint.
  • For those of you that have architectural details such as coffering, beadboard or ceiling medallions, painting the detail a contrasting color to the rest of the ceiling, will enhance the detail and reinforce the look.
  • If you want to create a warm, cozy feel in your space paint the ceilings the same color as the wall but do not add white molding.
  • If you like the cozy intimate feeling in a space, then try painting the ceiling a shade or two darker than the walls. This can be especially effective in an office or a powder room.
  • For a striking, but subtle effect, Paint the ceiling a gloss version of the wall color. Light will reflect off of the ceiling during the day making it appear brighter. (Caution: glossy finishes tend to show imperfections so the effect works best if your ceiling is in good condition.)

Whatever you decide to do with your ceiling, just remember when you are painting the interior of your home, each room actually has 5 walls. For your best results in all of the techniques and design ides discussed above, call Andy onCall.

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Painting Your 5th Wall, Part One

Must you paint your ceiling white?  Is this some unwritten law of home remodeling?  Are you going to stick with the tried and true? The staid and boring? The safe and reliable? Or are you ready to challenge yourself and experiment with some color other than white on your ceiling?

Of all the ideas in a paint/design gallery, white is just the first one. After that, there is the possibilities of tints in white which will supply a very subtle color difference to a room without shaking things up too much.  And then there is the possibility of going completely different and having no hint of white at all, or just as an accent.

But let’s start with why white has come to dominate ceiling colors before we explore not using white.

There are some very good reasons why homeowners have been painting their ceilings white:

  1. Reflects Light: Ceilings reflects light as much, or more, than the other four walls in a room. Changing the color of your ceiling can greatly affect the amount of light in the room.
  2. Illusion of Depth: A white ceiling gives the illusion of depth; dark ceilings have a visual “stop” point. But if you have 10-, 12-foot, or even higher ceilings, you may actually desire a visual stop, to prevent the room from feeling cavernous.
  3. Easy To Do: When you buy ceiling paint, it’s already tinted white. The paint companies assume that you will want white.

And when it comes to White paint, it’s not just any white, it has to be FLAT white ceiling paint that seems to have all the advantages:

  1. High degree of light bounce, giving your entire room more light (re-iterating above).
  2. The limitless vista of white. When you look at a well-painted flat white surface, it appears to go on infinitely. This gives the room the feeling of having more space.
  3. Flat, as opposed to satin, eggshell, glossy, or otherwise, further enhances the appearance of a limitless vista. Reflections of light on a ceiling, due to any type of gloss, will tell the eye that this is where the surface “stops.”

So now that we have looked at why you might have painted your ceiling white in the past, next we will talk about what colors you might consider in the future. Remember all this talk of a basic white ceiling is in the past, in my next blog we are going to delve into the world of the 5th wall and all the new trends awaiting your ceiling.  It’s going to be very exciting, so be sure to get your appointment with your Andy onCall handyman scheduled, so when you are ready to begin your painting project we will be ready too!

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A Bit of Color, Part Two

So now that you are in the proper frame of mind to select your paint for your spring interior refresh. And you know the difference between the various paints, Let’s think a little more in depth about the spaces you want to paint and see if we can’t make the paint selection process a little more streamlined.

What is the purpose of the space?
Before you select any color, you must first determine what the room or space is to be used for, remember that whatever colors you choose will set the tone or mood of the room. For example, busy room like a family room can handle a bolder color scheme, and it goes without saying that a playroom for children will not work well with colors that will easily show dirt.

What is the lighting in the space?
Rooms with a lot of natural light can manage darker colors better than smaller spaces with limited light. But if you are partial to a darker pallet but you are working with a smaller space, you could always add more lighting to offset the darker tones in your desired color scheme

What is the scale of the room?
A neutral (earth tone) or light color palette can make a small room look larger. A large room can typically handle bolder colors. High-ceilinged rooms come off as stark and cold with a neutral or light color palette. A long narrow room can be literally broken up by a split color scheme and a small space can be visually lengthened using a monochromatic palette on walls, ceilings and moldings.

What furnishings and decor do I already own?
Choose your color scheme based on what you already own in terms of furniture, art, rugs and window treatments.  It is infinitely easier to and more cost-effective to match paint to what you already own rather than to start trying to buy things to match your new paint color.

What is the focal point in the space?
What is it that you want people to notice when they enter the space? That is your focal point. You want to be sure that your color scheme compliments the flow of your space and your focal point.

Do the colors I’m considering clash with adjoining spaces?
In order to maintain a connectivity throughout your home, you want to make sure that the colors from one room flow nicely into the next. As the visible doorway from one room into the next is considered part of the décor you want to be sure that the color palette between the various rooms complement each other.

How do certain colors make me feel?
It is perhaps most important of all to ask yourself, “how does this color make me feel?” The bottom line is this is your space. You need to feel comfortable in it, regardless of what the latest trend is.  If the space seems to be begging for a vivid bold color but you would prefer a softer pastel, then go with the pastel.  Ultimately you must be happy with the color and the space.

Now that you have taken all of these considerations into account you are ready to call Andy onCall and have one or our highly skilled Handymen come out to give you an estimate on your painting job.

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A Bit of Color, Part One

A bit of color can completely change the entire vibe of a room. It can make a staid room feel lighter, a heavy room feel brighter, a stark room feel homier. Color is also one of the easiest ways to give our homes a new look. It’s much cheaper to paint a room than to get new curtains, or carpet or wallpaper. Painting is quick way to refresh and repurpose a space into something completely different. A coat of paint can change a kids’ playroom into an adults’ library. A coat of paint can turn a guest room into an office, a coat of paint can turn storage room into a sewing room, a workroom into an art studio, a junk room into a gym, etc. when you think about it, a can of paint is really quite magical!

Many homeowners are afraid of choosing interior colors for their rooms, but since color is one of the easiest things to correct, no one should be afraid to try a bit of color.

Choosing interior colors for your rooms doesn’t have to be scary. These questions and decorating tips will help you choose colors and create an interior color scheme with confidence and get you excited about changing up the color scheme in your home.

You’ve decided to paint a room in your home and you’re ready to get started. Or are you? Before you start slapping paint on the walls, check out these painting tips that will make it look like you worked with a top designer.

Choosing a color: Probably the hardest part of the entire process. What’s most important is to find one that will create a desired mood or effect and make you happy.

  • If you really are at a loss about what color to paint try to get inspiration by pulling a color out a piece of art or area rug that’s in the room. If nothing else, it’s a guaranteed way to find a complimentary color.
  • Take home several paint chips in different color families and see how they look in the room. Hold them up in different areas of the room as well as to the furniture, floors, artwork, cabinets, and anything else that’s already in the room. This is a quick way to narrow it down to three or four choices.
  • Get a small sample pot of each color and paint a large square on the wall.
  • Visit the room several times throughout the day and evening to see how the differing light affects the color.

Consider using more than one color: I know, I know… If I thought choosing one color was hard… Actually sometimes choosing two colors is easier than choosing just one. It is easier to see color in combinations than by itself sometimes, and for that reason, it may be easier to consider using more than one color in one or more of your rooms. If you are using more than one color in the room remember these tips.

  • When you have a chair rail or wainscoting, you want to paint the bottom of the walls the darker color and the lighter on top. The light color will dominate and the dark color will have a grounding effect.
  • To make your trim pop paint it either a shade lighter or a shade darker than your walls, and the same for your ceiling. The darker shade will make the room feel warmer and more intimate and the lighter shade will make it feel roomier and more open.

Painting Effects: Paint provides a terrific medium to try different effects, so there’s no need to do the walls all in the same color. Some fun techniques include color blocking, accent wall, stenciling, and texturing. You can use different colors on the same wall, or for a subtle effect you can use different finishes. For example, try painting a wall in a flat finish and then stenciling a design (such as damask) overtop with a glossy paint. This same treatment works well with stripes.

Choose a Finish: Once you’ve selected your paint color(s) and design you’ll need to decide on a finishes.

  • Flat: Offers a matte finish, which is perfect for walls that have a little wear and tear because it doesn’t reflect light. Use flat finishes anywhere you want to cover imperfections.
  • Satin and Eggshell: This is most popular for walls because they have a very slight shine and are fairly easy to clean.
  • Semi-Gloss and Glossy: These are both are quite shiny which is why they’re popular for trim. They also hold up quite well to cleaning.

Now that we have got you started thinking about color and paint, next we will a little more in depth about selecting the perfect color for you. In the meantime, get your Andy OnCall Handyman scheduled and your free estimate in hand so when you are ready, you can get started right away on refresh your home in time for spring!

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Moisture and Drywall, Part Two

Continuing with our discussion about drywall and water damage, let’s look at indicators, identifiers and remedies.

Water damage is one of the most common reasons for drywall repair. When water penetrates drywall, it can cause walls to lose firmness and crumble. Indicators of water damaged drywall include:

  • Staining or discoloration on ceilings or walls
  • Peeling tape joints
  • Dampness in the basement and periodic water infiltration
  • Musty odor, (typically in the basement)
  • Loose tiles (floor and wall)
  • Bowed walls

Left unresolved, water damaged homes can develop mold and mildew, suffer structural damage and experience continued water damage.

It is critical to identify and rectify the source of unwanted water and replace water damaged drywall and other affected surfaces to prevent further damage from occurring to your home. Andy OnCall’s handymen, are particularly skilled at troubleshooting and repairing even the most difficult water source issues. This is our four-step process for water damaged drywall repair:

  1. Identify problem or source of water
  2. Remove water damaged drywall
  3. Dry and treat wet areas
  4. Install new drywall

1. Identify the Problem or Source of Water

Before your drywall water damage repair is done, the cause of water damage must be identified and resolved. The following are areas where we commonly find water issues:

*Broken Pipes
*Gutter Problems
*Water line to fridge and Ice Maker

*Roof Leaks/ Eave Leaks
*Faulty sprinkler system
*Frozen hose bib

*Foundation Cracks
*Inadequate Caulk around vent pipe, windows & doors

At times, the source of water damage is difficult to track down. Water can enter in one place and run down to another before penetrating the wall or ceiling. Identifying the exact source of water often requires removing wallboard to allow us to inspect behind suspected areas.

2. Remove Water Damaged Drywall

After the source of water is located and dealt with, the remaining water damaged drywall is removed. It is crucial to remove all damaged drywall, as sheetrock retaining water could facilitate mold growth. Wet, damaged insulation and any soft, spongy, rotted wood is also removed.

3. Dry and Treat Wet Areas

Once the water damaged drywall has been removed the interior wall are exposed, allowing air to circulate and begin the drying process. Dehumidifiers and fans help with air circulation and expedites the drying process. It is essential to completely dry all wet areas thoroughly.

After the wet areas are completely dry, they should be inspected for mold and mildew. Affected wood can be easily cleaned and treated with antimicrobial and mold prevention products.

4. Install New Drywall

After the affected areas are properly treated and dried, the framework is replaced with fresh wood and walls are reinsulated. New drywall is then installed. It may be a good idea to install water-resistant drywall if this is an area prone to moisture.

New drywall is finished following this three-step process:

  1. Tape: Drywall tape covers the seams and gaps left between drywall sheets.
  2. Block Coat: First coat of joint compound applied over the drywall tape.
  3. Skim Coat: Final layer of joint compound applied over the block coat. Numerous skim coats are needed for repair work.

After finish work is completed, walls are sanded, primed and painted. We suggest painting all affected walls and ceilings from corner to corner to ensure complete color matching.

We will repair your drywall crack(s) promptly and affordably with the best quality available. After the repair we will texture the repaired area to blend with the existing wall or ceiling texture so your drywall will look GREAT again! You won’t even be able to see where the repair was.

In: blog

Moisture and Drywall, Part One

Every homeowner will come across a crack in their drywall. No one is immune. Cracked drywall is unsightly and it draws attention and focus away from the décor of your room.  As discussed in the previous two blogs, there are many reasons why cracks may be caused in drywall, many due to the settling of your house.

But there are some things that can cause the drywall to crack other than the house settling, poor drywall installation, objects on the wall causing it stress, and cracked paint. More severe problems would be due to moisture issues. In the Chicago area, many homes experience water issues twice a year: when the snow thaws and the spring rains begin and when the heavy rains of August and the tornados seasons blows through town.  Both of these times of years produce basement flooding and damage to drywall in basements. But there are other kinds of moisture damage that can occur to your drywall as well.

I’m talking about when there is a slow leak behind the wall in your bathroom that you are unaware of and it is slowing seeping into your drywall.  Or perhaps the Air conditioner or spacpac is leaking and water is running down the interior walls of your home. Maybe a window wasn’t closed all the way and rain came in and ran down the wall soaking through wallpaper and the drywall.   Perhaps the dishwasher has gone crazy or the disposal or the washing machine or Jacuzzi, etc.  The point is that there are a lot of ways other than Mother Nature that we can experience water damage to our drywall and in most cases we may be completely unaware that anything has even happened until we see the cracks begin to appear.

Moisture behind the wall:  Moisture can form in many different areas on your drywall. For example, if there was no vapor barrier placed behind the drywall when it was installed, then moisture can be pulled in from outside, pass through the wall board and settle near the wall studs.  In this same scenario, the moisture may actually reach one or more of the drywall screws. If this happens, it will cause the screw(s) to rust and the expanding rust will cause the drywall to crack

If your drywall has been affected by water damage, or you suspect water may be behind your walls, Call Andy onCall for a thorough investigation of your drywall situation.  Our skilled handymen can put your mind at ease by either rooting our any water damaged drywall or assuring you that there is no damage to worry about.  Let Andy OnCall give your Drywall a Once over before your Drywall becomes a problem for you.

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More Drywall Culprits

Now, that we have covered basic drywall knowledge, back to Drywall Cracks, other than settling cracks… Today I am going to discuss some of the other things that could be causing those nasty little cracks in your beautiful home.

One major cause of drywall cracking is quite simply improper installation of the drywall, and in particular errors in taping and application of the joint compound. If the seams between the drywall sheets are not correctly taped and sanded down with joint compound, the sheets can move resulting in the tape cracking.

Drywall is susceptible to cracking due to improper support preparation, installation, loss of support, or movement of the supporting structure. Improper support could be loose or misaligned studs or other framing members. Other problems with installation may include improper fastener spacing, not enough or improperly mixed compound, etc.  Movement of the supporting structure may occur due to normal flexing of the structure under service loads. Drywall cracking movement can also be caused by normal thermal or moisture-related shrinkage or swelling of the wood studs or other support members relative to the drywall itself.

Cracks along corners where the ceiling meets the walls can sometimes be attributed to the installer screwed the drywall (on the ceiling) too close to the wall, this doesn’t allow the drywall to flex when the roof truss moves and this in turn creates a ceiling crack.

Another cause along the same lines could be an instance where the joint compound has been applied too thickly, the layer on top dries first while the lower layer takes more time. This causes surface cracks.

The pattern of the cracks can help you determine whether they have been caused by paint. If the cracks are fine and spread over a large part of the wall and resemble a crushed egg shell, they might have been caused by incorrect application of paint.

You, the homeowner, may cause cracks without meaning to.  By hanging extremely heavy objects on the wall, a new stress point can lead to the wall developing cracks due to the stress caused. Such cracks are not always visible and can stay hidden for a long time before they are eventually discovered. Unfortunately, this might be when the oversized object crashes to the ground because the wall anchor it was attached to has given way, unable to bear the stress.

As a general rule, when you hang an object on a wall, first consider the weight of the item.  If the item you are hanging weighs more than 5 pounds, then you are going to need to locate a stud to hang the item on.  If the item weighs more than 10 pounds You absolutely need to locate a stud.  If you simply use a wall hanger you will find that the weight will cause stress on the wall which will eventually lead to cracking and then more severe cracking and eventually the item falling off of the wall.   The primary problem with the weight related cracks is that the oftem remain hidden until it is too late, and by that I mean the item has already hit the floor before you know there is a problem.  If you have some items that might be pushing the weight limits, it’s a good idea to routinely remove the item from the wall and check the wall for any hairline cracks that may be beginning.

Keeping these additional causes of cracked drywall in mind can help you to spot and resolve the problem as soon as it arises. Acting swiftly and quickly will help save you time and expenses that might crop up if the problem is ignored in the initial stages. It is never a good idea to put off minor home maintenance chores, as they tend to turn into larger, more expensive jobs the longer they are put off.  So if you see any cracks in your drywall that need repair, call Andy onCall and one of our expert handymen will be out to give you a quote and timeframe for you drywall repair. Remember all of our handymen are licensed, bonded and have the technical skills required to handle any drywall repair you need taken care of.

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