Friday, February 21, 2014

Simple Repairs Around the Home May Be Your Ticket To Romance

So yes, Valentines Day 2014 is officially over, but the romance continues on... if you know how to complete some simple basic tasks around the home. Nothing shows that special man or woman in your life that you love them quite like completing a honey-do list. Painting a bedroom or changing out some fixtures or trim could be just the ticket to your special someone's heart. In this article from the Montreal Gazette, Mike talks about "lipstick and mascara" touches, such as a little paint, hanging up some photos, and upgrading bathroom fixtures. Even basic fixes such as these can require a little know-how and a lot of common sense. Mike cautions that all the lipstick and mascara in the world can't hide a real problem if one exists. For instance, you wouldn't want to fix a leaky toilet with new caulk. Doing so would only hide the problem for a little while. If you were to change out the shower head in the bathroom, you'd want to be aware of your home's water pressure. Some shower fixtures are designed for higher psi. If your home's psi is lower, you'll want to choose a shower head made for lower water pressure. Last but not least, when it doubt, call the pros. Even seemingly simple tasks such as putting up crown molding can be a rather complicated task to get just right. Unless you have years of experience in woodworking, you might want to hire a good licenced carpenter.
From the Montreal Gazette:

Mike Holmes: Please your partner with simple repairs

Repainting the bedroom or replacing the shower head could lead to romance

After a decade, Mike Holmes still cares because he knows the work he, his crew and others do makes a real difference to the people they help.

Photograph by: Alex Schuldt/The Holmes Group, Postmedia News

Did Valentine’s Day put you in the doghouse last week? Well, I have good news: You might be able to fix your way out of it.
Sometimes a little lipstick and mascara of the home reno kind — like hanging up those photos or fixtures you’ve been meaning to or painting the bedroom — can go a long way with partners.
But remember, these are just finishing touches: they make the surface look good. If you have bigger problems beneath the surface, you need to fix those first.
For example, if your toilet is leaking, not flushing properly or is just old and needs replacing, caulking isn’t going to do much. Call a professional and get a proper repair or have the toilet replaced (go with low-flow if you do!).
Caulking cure
If a little caulking around the tub or shower is all you need — and your partner has been asking you to do it for the last few weeks or months — then by all means, caulk away. When you do, make sure you get caulking specifically for kitchens and bathrooms. These products resist mould and mildew.
Here’s another trick of the trade: tooling, or smoothing out the caulking. Most people will use their finger to smooth it out, but that can look sloppy.
Instead, take a tool — something like a piece of wood with a rounded tip — dip it in soap and water and run it along the caulking. The soap and water makes the tool slippery, so it won’t grab the caulking. Pros will usually have a container with them that has soap and water, especially if they are doing bigger jobs, like caulking windows.
Shower solution
Another thing you could do to make up for a less-than-perfect Valentine’s Day is upgrade the shower head — especially to one your partner (and you) will enjoy, like a rain shower head. On a recent job we installed a square rain shower head by American Standard, and the homeowners loved it.
There are also low-flow shower head options, including the rain variety. Some people don’t like low-flow when it comes to their shower heads because they feel like it takes longer to rinse off soap and shampoo. But there are low-flow, water-saving options that are also high pressure. A pro can help you choose the right one.
Something you might not know is that in Canada, shower heads can’t have flow rates higher than 9.46 litres (or 2.5 U.S. gallons) per minute at a standardized pressure of 80 pounds-per-square inch (psi). But not every home has water pressure this high. Some have lower, averaging around 60 psi. When you install high-pressure fixtures, like shower heads, in homes with low water pressure, you get dribbles instead of a strong, powerful stream of water. If your home has low water pressure, look for a shower head made specifically for low water pressure.
All the trimmings
If the kitchen is the way back into your partner’s heart, fixing or adding trim are simple additions that can make a big impact.
If you have space or a gap above your kitchen cabinets, add trim or crown moulding. This can boost the overall look of your cabinets without replacing them. But please, hire a professional to do it. If it’s not perfect, your eye will notice every flaw.
Trim seems like an easy job, but you need to be very precise. It takes years of training to perfect, so you’re better off hiring a trim carpenter, who specializes in all kinds of trim work.
Simple fixes and upgrades around the house can be your ticket out of the doghouse. But if done wrong, they could be your ticket into it. You are usually better off hiring a pro.
Watch Mike Holmes on Holmes Makes It Right on HGTV. For more information visit

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