Needed Something Simple

My negative dealings with Signature Hardware and the disappointment with the functioning of the crown jewel of my master bath, the shower, last week literally made me ill.  I spiraled down to what I think was a new low on this project.  I needed a confidence builder, so I turned my focus on painting the back door and installing the basement railing that the city building inspector told me I needed for my occupancy permit.

I had the paint left over from the front door, so no outlay of money.  Color is Sherwin Williams Harvester.  The door was pre-primed, so two coats of yellow and that was done.  I didn’t bother with taping out the glass as a straight edge razor once the paint dried was faster.

The back entrance was boarded up when I bought the house and I just needed something that could lock.  I hadn’t thought about light fixtures and their color, so the knob I bought was silver.  I decided to replace it with an oil rubbed finish to match the light fixture and was fortunate to find a Weslock knob on Build.com that matches the knob on the front door.

The basement railing was a cheap fix too.  I purchased a 8′ 1×4 and 10′ 1×6, less than $15 in material.  No pics, but I took the 8′ to the Wood Shop and used my router table for the first time (shop didn’t have one and mine was still in the box, so I decided to let them set it up until I was comfortable using it by myself – that tool does scare me).  That piece is the top rail and I wanted the edges to be curved, 1) because the existing rail was that way and 2) it would feel better on your hand.  The 1×6 I ripped in half and it became my middle rail and the base for the top rail.  A scrap 2×4 (my jig for my wall switches) became my bottom post.

I have a boat load of paint samples, so instead of leaving the new wood I decided to stain the top rail (I have a can of Minwax that is a combination of multiple colors that I combined to empty cans) and painted everything else Sherwin Williams Sea Serpent, which will be the exterior house color.

I do have skills!

Devastatingly Disappointed – A Negative Ending To My Master Bath At The Hand of Signature Hardware

Turns out the time and money I spent re-configuring the plumbing for brass fittings needed to gain the 1/2 inch I needed to connect the body sprays was unnecessary because Signature Hardware sells one with a 1″ thread length; the extra 1/2″ the originals lacked.  After seeing how weak the water flow was I decided to look for others on Build.com, who now sells their product.  I was looking at every brand that had a design I felt would match the rest of the system, hoping it wouldn’t be one of theirs.  More important than style I was searching for a female thread longer than what I had.  Needless to say I was shocked and pissed to find it in their product line.  Their customer service rep and plumbing expert Tylor both told me they had nothing.  Instead of ordering 4 from Build.com I bought one direct from Signature Hardware and picked it up from their Crescent Springs warehouse.  I wanted to be sure it would work before buying three more.

What the online picture and specs did not show was, what I now know is called a limiter, not aerator.  The original unit didn’t have one and was weak, so I assumed this would be worse.  I went back to the showroom.  Their clerk told me when they started selling in CA they had to modify their product to meet the state’s regulations and even he didn’t like what they did to the water flow from their units.  He told me I could remove the part with a special tool, which I do not own.  I asked him if he could remove it for me and he did.  His statement, however resonated with me when I thought back to the master sink faucets that had the low flow and it made me wonder if that was the problem with this shower unit.

I got the part home, released the blocking, removed the brass fittings, push the elbow up to the wall as for as it could go (the easy peasy I thought I had before), reconnected the blocking (all by myself as two people weren’t needed) and connected the new spray.  No leaks and the force was better than the original, not as good as the Grohe unit I had at my old house, but I could have lived with it.  My expectation was for Signature Hardware to discount the additional 3 units due to the pure aggravation and unnecessary expense they subjected me to, but that is not going to be the case.  In light of all the defective products I’ve had to deal with their only saving grace was their customer service and now I don’t have that.

That is one level of my disappointment, but the other is the functionality of the entire system.  The diverter at my old house allowed you to run the two body sprays, the shower head, or both.  The force from the body sprays was so strong I had to install a piece of glass to keep the water in the tub.  When I ran all three units together (two body sprays and shower head) the strength diminished some, but I still enjoyed a true water massage.

That is FAR from true with the Signature Hardware diverter.  The top knob allows the rain shower head, wall shower, or hand held to operate while the body sprays operate solely off the bottom knob.  The wall or rain shower head with the body sprays is what I was looking forward to in this massive shower I created.

20191016_074545.jpgSince I got the leaks stopped and I could live with the force of spray from the unit I bought, I decided to try running the system with the sprays and shower head.  The water force reduced dramatically from all units.  Complete devastation, a turn of events I never expected.  The body sprays are completely useless.  This honestly trumps the disappointment I have from Roland Hardwood on my kitchen floors. I hung the blue table cloth to allow the water to show better.

Shower Sprays Only
Body Sprays only. The force of the new one, bottom closer to entrance, is strong enough that the water stream hits the glass wall. All the original travel out about 2′ and gravity, due to lack of force, takes the flow barely to the bench.
Sprays with Hand Held On
With the hand held on the body sprays diminished some.
Body Sprays with Wall Shower Head
With the wall shower head the body sprays drop to a trickle. If I stand on the bench side of the wall shower stream, which diminished too, the three original body sprays wouldn’t touch me.
Body Sprays with Rain Shower Head
Same holds true for the rain shower head, but the water flow from that is decreased worst than from the wall shower head. You can barely see the flow of its water.

I’ve been sending pictures to their support email since Oct. 4 as when I call my request to speak to a manager goes unfulfilled.  The day I picked up the body spray, a woman named Kim finally called me back as I was walking out of their showroom.  I don’t think that was a coincidence.  She said she had reviewed the emails and all the notes from my calls, but seemed focused only on chastising for not following their installation instructions (I admitted that when I called them for help, not of my doing) and that I had purchased the products in March of 2018, so no longer eligible for return (never asked to return them).  I went off on her and she hung up on me.

This morning I sent pictures similar to above to their support and then called their corporate office Ferguson.  I got a sweet young lady that let me vent and share emails and photos and she pledged to get me help.  The help came in a call and email from Megan L, Customer Relations Manager, at Signature Hardware who acknowledged knowing of my call to their corporate office.

They are severing business relationship with me because of my abusive and unprofessional communications with their employees.  I am to have no contact with their customer service department or showroom staff.  I am only allowed to deal directly with her on warranty issues as they will stand by their products.  She implied that the problems I’ve had with their products was due in part to my not using professional installation, something that is written in their manuals.  She brushed off all the defective parts as not typical of the quality of their products while stressing each time I had issues they addressed with warranty replacements or free merchandise.  While I may not be happy with how the unit functions, the unit functions properly, regardless of any experience I had with other products. I should expect diminished capacity with all sprays operating.

Once Ryan’s All Glass finishes installing the glass for the shower I will hire a plumber to connect their tub and tub filler and disconnect the body sprays altogether.  When I have the time or money I’ll either try to remove the five pieces of tile impacted by the sprays myself or pay someone to do it as I will never be able to enjoy that shower if I have to look at them every time I use it.

In almost two years of working on this house, only two contractors have brought me to tears of frustration; Roland Hardwoods and now Signature Hardware.  They have no worries about me contacting their customer service or entering their showroom.  Without question the biggest regret of this project was giving them my business.

UPDATE:  Signature Hardware has filtered my review of their products from their website.  The issues I spelled out were shared by other negative reviews that were accepted.

 

I Could Have Been Showering Upstairs Sooner If Not For….

During my plumbing rough-in inspections the City inspector told my father we had installed the fittings for some of the shower fixtures wrong.  He said when I got ready to install after the tiling they’d stick out way too far.  My father studied the installation instructions for my Signature Hardware Exira Shower System in great detail.  After accounting for the tile, cement board, and thinset he felt this elbow would fall about 1/2″ short from the desired location.  We bought extension to make it longer and had that in place.  We took the inspector’s advice, removed the extensions and reinstalled the drop ear elbow fitting by itself per his suggestion.

Move forward a year, tile is in and none of the body spray fixtures can attach because all the fittings were recessed too far back.  My father was right, the inspector wrong.  Now what to do.  Believe it or not I’m not mad at the inspector and he’s not the reason I’m not showering upstairs.  He was very helpful throughout the rough-in process and if not for his suggestion to create a crawl space behind my master shower, so I could access the plumbing if needed, I’d be tearing out drywall and/or tile right now.

The true blame lies with Signature Hardware.  When the connections didn’t meet I called them immediately to see what suggestions they had.  They had none, stating that is why they give specific instructions on where to mount fittings.  I was told my only recourse was to reset the plumbing once I shared I had access to it from behind.  She pointed out that if the body sprays weren’t in the proper location that the diverter probably wasn’t either.  The inspector didn’t have any issue with it’s location, just the body sprays, so as soon as I hung up the phone I raced upstairs to install the diverter.  The face plate fit perfect.  I thought I had dodged a bullet until I placed the last handle.  It stuck out by about a 1/2″.

Once again I had been given another defective part.  Clearly the stem for the top knob and bottom were two different lengths.  I sent these pictures to Signature Hardware and they accepted blame, AGAIN, and provided me with a free replacement cartridge and instructions on how to replace the part.  For those that have not followed this journey this was not the first defective part from them.  This was actually the second diverter.  The first was mis-threaded and leaked during the rough-in testing.  They replaced it.  I got bad aerators in both master bath sink faucets (get to the video at the bottom of Blue Is My Favorite Color post), a defective toilet with missing parts, defective porcelain sink, and mis-threaded tub drain for the 1st floor bath and master sink.  They are super friendly in replacing the defective parts, but enough is enough.  Their stuff cost too much to have such a poor quality control check.

20190929_194105It was a relatively easy fix, although I had to buy a deep socket to remove the defective piece which clearly was too long.  With that repair done I turned my attention to the body sprays.  I crawled into the crawl space and was able to feel with my hand that there was a gap between the cement board and wood that the fitting was screwed to.  I thought, easy, peasy…..free the wood, push the fitting forward, anchor the wood again, done.

With the pex attached the fitting still wouldn’t meet the fixture.  Per my father’s calculation over a year ago it was about 1/2″ short of the their required set back.  I called Ferguson Plumbing (owner of Signature Hardware), went to Keidel Plumbing, and my father scoured the Internet trying to find a pex 1/2″ elbow with a longer head.  It doesn’t exist.  So I put fault back on Signature Hardware.  Why design a fixture with such a short thread length.  They could easily have made the length a 1/2″ longer.  If the industry fitting only extends 5/8″ and cement board is 1/2″ and tile is 3/8″ minimum plus your thinset, clearly there is not enough margin to successfully attach directly to the fixture.

I racked my brain trying to come up with options.  I purchased straight 1/2″ pex fitting, which allowed for the fixture to be attached, but because it couldn’t be anchored I couldn’t acheive a tight fit and the knob moved around.  In the end I resorted to purchasing the same20190925_114454 fittings we installed a year ago (not the piece in center).  It added almost 3″ in length to capture the 1/2″ needed, but also created two new possible leak points due to the added connections.  Unfortunately I didn’t reach this conclusion before the shower glass door was installed.  I didn’t have access to the inside of the shower for two days.

Friday, Oct 11 was the first day I regained access.  I was determined to have all the fixtures connected , but I still had one big obstacle and that was this was a two person job.  I needed someone on the outside to tell me when the fitting was at the right location.  Thankfully my neighbor Paul took a break from his own house project to come over and help.  I got the body sprays set, so he can return home and then spent the rest of the evening reconnecting the pex pipes.  About 10 pm I reached the moment of truth, ready to turn on the water.

The two bottom body sprays leak.  I cry uncle and will call a plumber at this point.  But before doing so I will contact Signature Hardware because even if they didn’t leak, I don’t like the force of the stream they project, it’s weak, nothing like the force of water the body sprays I had at my old house.  The wall shower head is weak too, very disappointing.  Remembering the bad aerators from the sink faucets I decided to to remove the aerator from the shower head and the difference is night and day.  So if the aerator wasn’t bad and a weak stream is their expectation, I will operate mine without the aerator or replace the unit altogether.

I did officially take my first shower Saturday night.  Despite all the issues with the fixtures the space is the sanctuary I thought it would be.  The texture of the tile under my feet is exactly how I hoped it would feel, almost massage-like, and not remotely slippery.  The position of the rain shower head is spot on as I can sit on the bench and have the water hit the back of my neck and cascade down my shoulders feeling the stresses of the day wash down the drain.  Not planned, but I love the halo affect created by the shower light reflecting off the fixture too.  The wall shower, with the stronger force, is at the perfect height.   The original 6″ shower nipple that came with the unit I replaced with a shorter, 3″, nipple to gain more height.   The hand sprayer will be perfect for washing the dogs and I’ll be able to sit comfortably while doing so.

I truly regret not putting in a steam shower unit (cost overruns, so I gave that up), but once the last two pieces of glass are installed by Ryan’s All Glass the shower will be completely enclosed to keep the steam from the water inside.  It got pretty steamy without, so I can’t wait to share the post of their completed work and my shower experience with it fully enclosed. 

Ryan’s has been awesome to work with thus far even giving me stainless still screws and a drill bit I used for mounting the hand held spray rod and eventual heated towel warmer.  When their work is complete I will be able to install the tub and I’m hopeful I will have no issues with the final uninstalled Signature Hardware fixture.  With the tub installed my master suite and an entire floor of my house will be complete.  Let the final inspections commence.

 

 

Like It Came With The House

My house is transformed.  To know where it started and to see it today is unbelievable.  That is why it may sound strange when I state hanging a salvage door to close off the 7527basement, laying tile on the landing, and refreshing the steps has made the biggest change to date.  It is going to be an extreme pleasure to use the back door as my entrance once the garage is built.

I found the door at Building Value, my favorite stop for reclaimed material.  It was just the door, no knob or jamb.  I paid Scotti from the Wood Shop to build the jamb out of extra jambs I had.  He had to reverse the swing and rip the width of the jamb to just 3″.  He finished it much faster than I needed, so the back entrance became a priority because I didn’t want to add to my pile of projects already in the basement.

Before I could hang the door I needed to put the tile down on the landing.  Timing was perfect as I had just finished the master shower and knocking this out now meant I could retire my wet saw for a long time.  I like laying tile, but my two bathrooms wore me out.  I had a few pieces left from the tub area in the master bath and I thought it would be great in that area, but I didn’t have enough to cover the entire surface.  I most certainly was not going to order more, so I got the idea to border the sides and use the tile in the center.  I found the perfect match at the Tile Shop, Workshop Desert Wood Look Porcelain 4 x 47.  I only needed four pieces.

Before I could lay the tile I had to level out the surface.  No pics to show, but I used Mapei Novoplan Easy Plus self-leveling underlayment from Floor and Decor.  Mixed and poured in the low areas on top of the cement board I had installed.  Amazing how well it worked.  I also decided that a pretty landing would pale next to the worn out steps, so I decided to cover themwith RetroTreads I found at Lowe’s. I did the prep work for those as I knew it would generate a lot of saw dust.  I had to cut the overhang off each step.  I knew the tile would create a need for a reducer going do into the basement.  I bought one before I knew the width I needed to cover and it was way too narrow, so I bought a Stairparts 11.5×48 Stair Tread, which I was able to rip down to the right width.  It was the perfect height, butting up perfectly to the tile.

With a close enough level surface I started with the border tile.  I wanted it to meet on the corners with 45 degree angles and 3 of the 4 angles would be impacted by the door or steps.  This tile project would have been 100% perfection if I had not forgotten to account for the new riser I was putting on the steps.  The most complex corner ended up being off by 1/2″, so I ended with a much thicker grout line in that corner.

I used my triangle square to make show the box was aligned correctly and then I did a dry run with the center tile.  If all went well I would have two pieces to spare.  Key was finding the center as it would allow me to get two spaces from one tile once I got to the perimeter pieces.  I didn’t miss a cut until the last piece of tile, so I ended the project with one piece to spare.

Next day was grouting, followed by cutting the treads to the right width.  With the dry fit of the steps down, I stained them with the Early American stain I had to match the kitchen door and added two coats of Bona Floor sealing.

I’ve never hung a door by myself.  The entrance to the basement wasn’t close to being square.  I knew the door was not as wide as the original, but it was the right height and style.  I’ve been looking for that door (and office) for two years.  I needed to close up the opening, so I got a 2×4 and ran it down the hinge side of door.  I knew it was import to make that side level.  To do so I had to shim out the top while the bottom was flush to the wall.

I also needed to cut off some of the top of the entrance.  I used my 4′ level to strike a line.  To make it level I cut almost 2″ from the left side and only an 1″ from right.  No pics (down fall of working alone) I did a plunge cut with my circular saw and my job max tool to get the corners the circular saw could not reach.  I went old school and used 10d, 3″ finishing nails to set the door.  I drilled a hole for the door knob to catch, but need to find a strike plate to finish it off.  I amazed myself by how well that went in.  The door was in really good shape.  Dusty, like my other trim and doors, so I went back to my Howard’s Restor-A-Finish stand by.  One day when I’m bored because EVERYTHING else is finished I may paint the other side to match the walls.  For now the pale yellow will be just fine.

With the door hung, tonight I turned my sights on the steps, which was a piece of cake to install.  I kept the top step riser original as the nose of the top step feeds into the kitchen flooring.  I put new risers on the bottom two steps (bottom step I actually installed before the tile) and used denatured alcohol to clean up the stair strings.  I was out of the correct tint of Restor-A-Finish for the strings, so I rubbed them with the Early American stain.  I put down Liquid Nail first and then used the 10d nails for added measure.  Just beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Tile Work Complete in Master Bath

Not perfect, but good enough.  Other than a need to complete the inspections, my motivation on this project is low as the Fifth Third Equity Line rejection due to “Value or type of collateral not sufficient” is still resonating with me.  I worked 6 straight evenings (6p – 2 or 3a) to get that tile work done and for what if my efforts bring no value.  My entire savings is wrapped up in a house that a major Cincinnati bank sees no value in.

I thought the angled wall and ceiling was going to be a nightmare, but I went to Floor and Decor and they recommended their Mapei Ultraflex LFT.  That thin set was awesome.  It performed exactly as stated in the video.  When Tom was helping me I didn’t have great spacers for him to work with, so I also bought their Professional “T” Spacers, which are meant to be left in, you grout right over them.  Great find, will definitely use again if the tile shape allows for it.

I still need to install shower fixtures and tub, but I’ve got a two week respite as it will take that long to have the shower glass made and installed; week of October 14.  Unfortunately my vision of a solid piece of glass from ledge to ceiling will not happen because a piece of glass that size will not go up the steps nor fit through a window.  The top of the glass will be equal to the top of the door, but there will be a gap.  That will be the first item, I envisioned that won’t come to pass.  To give Ryan’s Glass as much working room as possible I’m not going to connect the tub until after the glass is installed, so more delay in getting the final plumbing and occupancy inspections.

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That Section Looks Good

It’s going to look awesome when complete.  The wall tiles are 4×16 and I purchased them from the Tile Shop, Imperial Bone Gloss Ceramic.  The skirting around the tub also came from Tile Shop.  The grout is Superior Pro-Grout Excel in Dessert Sand.

The floor tile is the mosaic tile that matches the hexagon tile I put in the tub area.  I fell in love with the Isla King Wood tile when I stumbled across it on Pinterest.  It’s an Italian tile and it was a splurge that I justified because I put in the labor.  I was fortunate to find the tub floor tile online at Mission Stone and Tile.  With shipping it was several hundred dollars cheaper than JP Flooring, a local vendor.  I had selected a 2×2 hexagon tile from the Tile Shop that would compliment the tub area, but Mike Tanner’s installer suggested that I go with a square shape tile, less waste and time to install.  The Tile Shop had a 2×2 square mosaic, but it was only a couple of dollars less than the King Wood mosaic, which is what I really wanted.  I only needed 23 sf.  Even though I had to pay for installation, it was less than $100 in material cost increase, so I went for it.  Unfortunately Mission Stone and Tile did not carry the mosaic, so I ordered it from JP Flooring.

20190906_004507

 

F%*k Fifth Third Bank

When I purchased this house it was 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom with no electric, plumbing, HVAC, kitchen, and boarded up windows and doors.  Completely inhabitable.  They told me then it had no value.  Two years later I have 3 bedrooms, 1 completed bathroom, 1 partially finished bathroom (only tile in the shower stops it from being complete), 200 amp electric service, a plumbing system that amazes everyone that sees the manifold system in the basement, HVAC, a kitchen, and all new windows and doors.  I now live in it and they still see no value.

Unbelievable and yet very believable.  It may take me some time to recover from this one.  This journey has been a roller coaster ride, but this is a new low of lows.  Phase 2, the garage and exterior painting is contingent upon getting access to the equity I thought I had created.  I’ve got a plumbing inspector breathing down my back, so I’ve been loosing sleep trying to get the master bath shower complete not realizing that an unfinished shower would be viewed so negatively by Fifth Third.

My main man Tom Milfeld agreed to work with me on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I was so tied up with client work that I couldn’t lend a hand other than moving the wet saw up from the basement and setting it up in master bath to save him (and me) from two flights of stairs.  He got the cove base tile in around the tub area.  I should not have wasted his talent on that simple task, but he was also able to get all the intricate cuts around all but two of the shower heads (7 total – no value in that).  

This evening I finished that wall.  Not to shabby.  Progress is slower than I expected given the larger sized tile (4×16).  Goal is to have it finished by end of weekend; at least the tile, but hopefully the grout too.  I actually may grout this section tomorrow to break up the grouting into smaller bites.  Love laying tile, grouting, not so much.

Ready for Tile

I did a lot of labor over the Labor Day weekend.  With floor and bench in place I needed to finish prepping the walls and install the trim around the windows, so that the tile work could commence.  I started by putting corner angle at the entrance of the shower.  That should have been done by the drywall crew.  John, floor installer, pointed out to me what was needed.  Fortunately I had strips leftover in the basement.

Not sure if it was needed, but I decided to apply a strip of the Kerdi material on top of it.  I also applied a large swatch of it above and on the side of the window that will be inside 20190828_092503the shower (see feature image).  To waterproof the cement board on the 1st floor, I used RedGard and I had about 1/3 of the container left, so after applying mesh tape and thin set  to the seams, I applied two coats of the product.  With the shower walls protected I turned my sites on the window trim.

20170727_150755
Master Bath (Future walk-in shower/free standing tub)

The goal was to replicate the original trim, but with the left window being located inside the shower I knew I couldn’t use the original trim.  I turned to a product called Azek.  It’s 20190831_223713plastic and was available in 1×4 and 1×6, but they also made the decorative edge moulding that was a close match to the original.  The left side of the large window is a piece of quartz, so I only had to trim out the other areas.

The shower window was a piece of cake; two pieces of 1×4 capped with the trim and cut at a 45 degree angle at the corner.  The window seal is also a piece of quartz.

The other two windows were the challenge.  The smaller windows in the bathroom are frameless, unlike in the bedroom.  That made them larger and the method of install was different.  There was a 5 1/2″ gap between the large and small windows.  The 1×6 was perfect for covering it, but the top of the large window in the original trim was 1×4.  That meant I could not do a simple 45 degree cut.  I wasn’t sure how to do it, so I headed to the WavePool Wood Shop with a piece of 1×4 and 1×6 to get help from Scotti.

Two cuts took three hours.  1×4 is really only 3.5″ wide and to get the correct angle I needed 3.75″.  I didn’t have another 1×6 nor time to run to Lowes to buy another piece before the shop closed, so I returned home and grabbed the piece I had already marked up for the window seal.  It was a 1×6 I had ripped down to 4″, the same width as the piece of quartz.  The angle for the 1×6 I was able to cut on the miter saw, but the other I got to cut on the band saw, the first time I used it.  With the cuts complete I returned home for the install.

The window seal had to be set first.  I will NEVER pay a person to create window seals for me again.  This is the only one I did and it was the most complicated due to two different depths of the two windows.  It’s darn near perfect.  Smooth sailing from this point forward.  Two coats of paint and I now consider myself a finish carpenter.

Cheap in Price, Not in Service

This wasn’t priority work, but it’s something I’ve wanted done since I cut down all the trees in the backyard; clean up the cluster in the front.  Gene, with Cheap Tree Service, did some work at my old house removing limbs that broke during an ice storm.  I gave him a call about removing one limb and cleaning up sucker branches from the cluster of trees at the corner of my house.

5886

At my old house, electric was run underground, at this one a line from the pole you see with the stop sign runs to my house and these limbs engulf the line.  I was told Duke Energy doesn’t trim back trees that rest on utility lines when the tree is on private property.  Every bad storm I fear the branches breaking and taking down the line, so I’ve wanted those limbs trimmed back since the electric was turned on.

Fortunately for me yesterday another appointment on his schedule cancelled late and he was nearby, so he gave me a call to see if he could do my work.  I said yes and he and his crew were there in 10 minutes and had the branches and suckers cleaned out and up in 30 minutes.  Very professional crew and he cleared out more than I requested and didn’t charge me more for doing what was really needed given it didn’t take him a lot more time.  Love that mentality.  Cheap Tree Service is a minority owned business if you seek to support businesses in that category.  Licensed and Insured!

Huge difference.

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Foundation Restored

The featured picture was taken on my first visit to the house after being given the option to buy it and it is the reason I almost walked away.  The gutters for the house were completely gone above this section of the foundation, so it took a beating for years.  Inside I had literally, weeping walls, and puddles whenever it rained.  I had countless companies come out to provide remedies, all had price tags $10,000 and higher.  I made the decision to move forward with the purchase and had decided to take one engineers suggestion to remove and replace the most decayed sections of the foundation, about 18′.  That would cost about $20,000.

Fortunately I flew my father in town to look at the house and he urged me not to do it.  He took a hammer to various sections.  Loose pieces fell to the ground, but in short order he reached sound areas.  One engineer recommended some specific products to use.  My father read up on them and said it was work he/we could do ourselves and it could wait; focus on the house.  I’ve done just that since October of 2017 and then Tom Milfeld was put in my path.  Everybody needs a Tom in their life.  His skills are boundless.  Turns out not only is he a great carpenter and tile man, he really loves working with cement.  He learned the skill from his grandfather.  He told me he could repair the entire outside and about two weeks ago, on one of the hottest days this year he got started.  If you need a handyman and live in Cincinnati email him at melvin7448@hotmail.com.

The BEST part of this project is I did not lift a finger.  I told him I’d help dig around the house and he said that is what I was paying him for, not to worry.  Boyfriend you don’t have to tell me twice.  I can’t believe the transformation, which I turned into a Quik video (I haven’t made one of those in awhile).