Lynn D'Avolio
J. Barrett & Company | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 1/28/2020

Image by bidvine from Pixabay

If you have a bath or shower that required caulking, chances are that caulk has seen better days. It's soft, so abrasive cleaners wear away at it. This may cause gaps or ragged holes that trap residue. And even if it's all in one piece, mildew and grime will likely stain it over time. 

But beyond the cosmetics, if your caulk is old and porous, it could be letting water behind the tub or shower. This leads to warping of the outer liner and even severe water damage that could go unnoticed for years. The wall or floor could be rotting beneath the surface as we speak.

So if your caulk doesn't look its best, or it's been five or more years since you replaced it, the time is now to remove that old caulk and lay down new.

What you'll need

For this project, you need:

  • Plastic or latex gloves because you'll be working with harsh chemicals
  • Caulk gun
  • Caulk
  • Caulk softener solution
  • A utility knife with a new blade or a caulk-removing tool (both work well)
  • Putty knife
  • Ammonia-free tub cleaning solution
  • 1/3-cup bleach
  • Paintbrush
  • Rag
  • Step one: soften the caulk

    If you try to remove caulk without softening it first, it will not come off cleanly. You'll end up doing a lot of extra work. So before you begin, open a window or make sure the room is well-ventilated. Put on your gloves. And then follow the product's instructions for application. It will vary.

    Step two: slice the caulk & remove

    Carefully use your utility knife to cut the caulk. On a good day, the caulk will come off clean at this point. But even with caulk softener, you may have places where it does not. This is especially true if someone tried to re-caulk in the past without completely removing the old stuff.

    If this happens, you'll need some needle nose pliers and a little patience to pull off the stubborn pieces. Now, rake the remained caulk away with a putty knife.

    Step three: clean the surface & prepare it

    Clean the edges, removing any mildew or scum with your ammonia-free tub cleaning solution. Then go over the area with a 1/3-cup to one-gallon bleach solution. Use a paintbrush to work the solution into the crevices. Rinse and then dry the surface thoroughly with your rag.

    And, in case you're wondering, ammonia and chlorine don't mix and could be deadly. So please check those labels. 

    Step four: apply the caulk & let it dry

    Here's the easy part. Use the caulk gun to create an even stream of caulk where you removed the old caulk. Wait at least 24 hours before running water into the tub or shower.

    And that's it. Doesn't your shower look great? For more quick projects you can do yourself to spruce up your home, follow our blog.





    Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/29/2019


     

    Flooring is a significant part of your home interior decor. It bears the brunt of your daily activities and is always the first surface to reflect wear and tear. With that in mind, consider installing high-end flooring that is durable, lasts longer, and of course, makes your home more appealing. Luxurious flooring can boost your home value tremendously when it is time to sell. Here are top luxury flooring options that are the perfect combination of affordable luxury:


    Hardwood Flooring?

    Hardwood flooring has features that bring a natural flair of luxury into your home. Categories of top, quality, hardwood flooring are exotic hardwoods and reclaimed woods. Upgrading from carpeting to hardwoods adds value, decreases allergens and takes your home up a notch.

    Reclaimed hardwoods: Reclaimed hardwood is recycled wood from old barns, industrial buildings, and other teardowns. They come in a plethora of species including: walnut, oak, pine, hickory and elm.


    Exotic hardwoods: Exotic hardwoods are a great value because of the scarcity of the wood types in demand. Exotic wood comes from continents like South America and Africa, and the species of wood used include: Brazilian TigerwoodBloodwood and Cumaru.

    Natural Stone Flooring

    ?Natural stone flooring is an option that oozes beauty and adds class to your home. However, stone flooring is one of the most costly options on the market today due to the processes involved with quarrying and transporting the stones. Before you install natural stone flooring, it is important to remember that the harder and denser the stone, the more costly the floor will be per square foot. Also remember that the features of the stone tile influence a homeowner's buying decision. Such features include the color, rarity and, most importantly, the kind of stone used. With a dizzying world of options to choose from, you may want to start with some samples of natural stone flooring such as cobbled stone, Jerusalem stone marble and granite.

    Luxury Vinyl Tile 

    ?Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) is one of the most popular options for many homeowners who want to have a taste of luxury but remain within the realm of affordability. LVT is durable and injects a feeling of affluence with its natural wood or stone look. It is resistant to dents, chips, moisture damage and heat. Luxury Vinyl Tile flooring is perfect for those who want high-end flooring at a guilt-free price.?

    Mosaic/Designer Ceramic Floor Tiles

    Bring a touch of style and luxury into your home with mosaic floor tiles. This type of flooring comes in a wide range of options to choose from such as Italian tiles, antique reclaimed tiles, pebble mosaics, custom mosaics, glass tiles and handmade tiles.


    Visit your professional flooring store and consult with a designer on some of the best flooring options to consider for your home and office space. If you plan to sell, check with your real estate agent to see what's going for top dollar in your current market.





    Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/22/2019

    Sheen, in the paint world, is the level of gloss or shine in the paint product. The more gloss paint has, the shinier it is and the more washable the surface. So, different sheens work better in some regions of your home. Finding the right shine depends on your project and location.

    Types of sheen

    • Flat, also called matte, glosses work best in lower-traffic areas where walls are less likely to gather fingerprints, smudges or scrapes. Matte has almost no shine and works best on bigger walls such as living rooms, master and guest bedrooms, and formal dining rooms. Because it does not reflect as much light, a flat finish may hide minor imperfections and repairs.
    • Ceiling flat is a paint specially designed to paint ceilings. These paints have a flat finish but are more splatter-resistant and work well to hide imperfections in the ceiling. Some ceiling paints also have a temporary colorant (often purple or pink) to help you see any missed areas as you paint the ceiling. As the paint dries, the color disappears, leaving behind a smooth white surface.
    • Eggshell, sometimes called kids’ room paints, have slightly more sheen than flat paints which makes them more washable. Such paint finishes hold up to a bit of scrubbing and work well in children’s rooms, family rooms, and entryways and other areas where touching walls is more likely.
    • Satin finishes are another step up the sheen ladder. While not as shiny as a semi-gloss or gloss, satin finishes are easy to clean and can be an excellent choice for nearly any room where easy clean up is a necessity.
    • Semi-gloss paints are very durable. Often used in moist areas such as bathrooms, semi-gloss wipes down very quickly with a simple sponge or cloth. Walls painted with semi-gloss paint repel water, so walls above the shower stall, for instance, are less prone to mold or mildew. Semi-gloss paints also work well in laundry rooms where you can just dust off the dryer lint without damaging or marring the paint. Semi-gloss also works well for trim along doors and windows, giving that extra light-reflections combined with easy care.
    • High-gloss paints create an especially reflective surface and work nicely on doors, cabinets, shelving, and any area subject to constant use. It is the easiest sheen to clean, gives a beautiful shine, and when properly prepared and applied, lasts a long time.

    If you’re unsure which sheen is best for your paint project, chat with a specialist at your local professional paint store. There, you’ll get advice and the proper tools to complete your project and clean up afterward.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 8/20/2019

    A clogged sink and a slow shower drain are significant issues that most homeowners face.  Problems like these have simple solutions like plunging or introducing gunk-melting chemicals into the pipes.  Fixing a clogged line is simple. In most cases, the clogs are close to the main sewer, and the repair is both simple and affordable if you call upon a plumber. 

    In contrast, the main sewer line clog is not simple to fix. You cannot do the fixing yourself like the clogged sink or shower drain. If the blockage is because of a crushed part of the sewer line, a costly repair might be inevitable.  This repair may involve landscape reconstruction and backhoe excavation. 

    To avoid such costly repairs, you need to be knowledgeable about the sign of a main sewer line clog.  Detecting this early enough will help you get the issue fixed before it becomes a big one.  Here are some red flags to be on the lookout for:

    When Backup Drain is More Than One 

    Your home comprises two plumbing systems.  The first system carries waste water away from the house while the other line brings clean water into your apartment.  You can visualize the drain system as a tree with many branches.  The lines that carry waste waters away from the sinks, tubs, and toilet are the branches known as the secondary drain lines.  These secondary drain lines connect with the tree trunk (main sewer line) and then to the municipal sewer line.  

    The first indicator of a blocked main sewer line is backups in more than one drain. If two or three drains are draining slowly—backing up—you have to take prompt action toward correcting the problem which could be because of a clog in the main sewer line. 

    Backup in the Sewer Cleanout pipe 

    The Sewer cleanout pipe is usually outside the home; it's a pipe standing vertically. The sewer cleanout leads to the home's main sewer line.  If water or sewage is coming out of this pipe, it indicates a clogged sewage line.

    Sewage Backup in the Floor Drain 

    When there is a floor drain backup in the basement, it might be a sign of a sewer clog.  If your house does not have sewer line cleanout pipe, you can access this drain without having a plumber remove your toilet.

    Early detection will save you the stress and money involved in fixing a clogged main sewer line, check for any of the signs above for quick detection and fixing of your issues relating to blocking of your main sewer line.




    Categories: Uncategorized  


    Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 1/15/2019

    Home improvements are a vital part to keeping your home up-to-date with the times and also to ensure that it doesn’t lose value when it comes time to sell.

    To save money, many homeowners take the do-it-yourself route and use the tools at their disposal to upgrade their homes. Sites like YouTube have made it easier than ever to follow step-by-step tutorials that show you how to make substantial repairs and upgrades to your home without having to pay a professional.

    The down side, however, is that when you choose to DIY, you take on the risk of going over budget by making mistakes. You also risk stretching out your project weeks or months longer than necessary due to a lack of time to work on it.

    In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how you can stay on budget and on track to finish your home improvement project without bringing in the professionals.

    Making a timeline

    Let’s start with the big picture for your home renovations. When deciding which improvements to make, it’s important to know your limits in terms of the work you can do.

    Set a reasonable number of hours you can work on your projects per week. Go easy on yourself. Most of us are already tired when we get home from work and probably won’t be able to start tackling big projects in the evenings. Rather, try to give yourself one weekend day to work on your projects and one weekend day to relax.

    The most important aspect of creating your timeline is to try and keep your schedule open. So, write down the time you want to work on your home in your calendar, planner, or whichever app or tool you use to plan your time.

    This will help you to avoid creating conflicting events and obligations, and help you stay on track to finishing your improvement projects.

    If you’re looking for an evening activity related to your home improvement projects, it’s a good idea to start watching some video tutorials of people doing the same renovations as you. This will help you avoid mistakes and look out for common obstacles that you’ll face along the way.

    Budgeting your improvement

    You’ll want to save up for your project in advance, if possible, to avoid accumulating credit card debt. Your home improvement project should, in effect, gain you money by increasing the value of your home, not make you lose money on credit card interest payments.

    Budgeting in itself is an art that few of us are taught in school. Fortunately, there are several free budgeting apps available. Or, you can simply draw one up yourself.

    The key to creating a home improvement budget is to know how much of your monthly savings you can devote to this project without having to dip into other funds. To do this, you’ll need a clear understanding of where your income goes.  

    Once you have a budget and a timeline for your home improvement project, you’re ready to begin. Just make sure you check in on your timeline and your budget throughout the length of the project to make sure you’re meeting your goals and aren’t overspending.




    Categories: Uncategorized