Monday, March 23, 2015 - Basically the Pintrest for Home Improvers and Remodelers

I find that many already know about Pinterest, I have a pinterest account as well.  But if you are remodeling or just looking for ideas on home improvements this is where you go.  I always recommend my clients search there for ideas if they are not sure.  Or if I am not clear on what their vision is, I ask them to check it out and find something similar to what they have in mind.  I work so much better with a clear idea of what a home owner wants the finish to look like.  So if you are tossing around thoughts of a remodel, builtins, large or small - Look here.  There are also plenty of pros connected throughout the U.S.

A great place to start if you need ideas.


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Kids Custom Beds

I had built a pretty cool bed for my daughter when she was young.  Now the kids are grown, I would still like to do something cool for someones kid.  Check some of these Ideas:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Chicken Coop and Storage Shed

Cute little shed build for some storage, and to house 5 chickens.  Boy those chickens have it made!!!

What was great about this project I was able to save alot of money by getting alot of materials from leftovers from other builders that are donated to the ReStore stores.  You find them in most major towns and cities.  Look for one near you and will will be amazed on what you will find.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Game Board - A Blast from the Past

Wow!! What a blast from the past this project was.  A lady contacted us from Missouri and asked if I could make this Game Board and get it to her before Christmas.  She sent pictures of her old game and measurements.  Darci saw it and said her family had the same game, except her dad had put a hole in the center for a shortcut.  Her parents had been introduced to the game in San Diego when her father was stationed there in the Navy. Her parents were in their 20's - that was about 65 years ago.  Darci's family called it "The Murder Board" probably not very politically correct for today's world - but she said they played often and it is presently still passed around in the family - her brother has it for now.

We would love to hear from anyone who may have played the same game or a variation of it - this was all before the games of aggravation, trouble and sorry - I am sure they came from this at some point in history.

This is her original - seems well loved don't you think?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Finishing where others left off

I bring this up because it seems to happen quite a bit to me.  There are several scenarios where this happens, for example:

  1. Homeowner hired wrong person to do the job
  2. Homeowner began the project and then realized they do not have the right tools and/or skills to continue
  3. Hired someone who just walks off the project before completion. (happens more then you think)
  4. Homeowner capable, but are low on time and/or motivation to complete.

We will take these one at a time.

1. Hiring the wrong person, we sometimes hire our friends, family or someone we meet and do not know well.  They relate they can do the work, we usually do not question it.  I am guilty of doing it to, and as we all know it can be an expensive lesson.

2. As a homeowner myself I have started some projects which were out of my areas of expertise and ended up hiring someone to finish at times.  I would never fault a homeowner for trying, as long as they also understand that coming in behind them can be labor intensive depending on how much "redo" has to be done.  And I am always happy to have homeowner assistance if they wish to learn.

3. The walk offs - Happens.  Best to always check references, websites, referral sources etc.  Google them and see if there is anything negative.  Even if you know them - Trust can be expensive if it doesn't work out.

4. Being a Carpenter and do-it myself kind of guy, I understand the motivation of doing things yourself.  But I also understand the value of our time.  A project may take you months to complete if you are working on it after your regular job and on weekends.  A pro may get the same thing done in days or a week.  You have to weigh the cost - it is not always valued in dollars alone.  What is the real sacrifice.  You still have to have some fun and a life.

Keep these in mind as you plan your next project.  Our time is valuable, especially when spent with friends and family.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bandera Texas - Cowboy Capital of the World

Finally back to the Hill Country in Texas.  Ready to work.  I have found the more I travel around the more I like this area - the scenery, the people, the open sky.  I am definitely calling this my new home

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wood Flooring

I just love wood Flooring - then again I am a carpenter, so I guess I love most anything made of wood.  Flooring is easier than most people think, especially the products offered today make it very easy to install.
Oak Mantel with Cherry Stain.  I did the rock work as well and hearth.

The wall was originally a blank wall, client purchased Gas unit and asked if I could install.  ABSOLUTELY!!!

Turned out great.

Presently in Reno NV Selling some property and have been able to pick up some work here and there.  Hopefully I will be heading back to Texas by the end of the month.

That is of course assuming I do not have a call to stop along the way somewhere!!!  always game for new adventures, new places and new people.!!

Spiral Staircase - Nice!!!

 Left Texas on the way to Reno to sell our property out there.  Contractor I had worked with in the past heard I was coming to the area and gave me a call.  Had this job in Winnemucca, NV and asked if I would mind "stopping by" on my way and put in this Cherry Spiral staircase.  Of course I said yes, never been to Winnemucca and did not want to pass up the opportunity to do the spiral.  Do not get those very often.  Turned out sweet!!!  Can't wait to see it stained and iron balusters in later.  Hopefully I will be able to post those pics in a few weeks.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Knotty Pine Built In Bookcase

I am just loving Texas, People have a whole different style so I get the opportunity to do things a little different then what I am use to.  Have never worked with Knotty Pine, am finding staining can be a bit of a challenge because it changes after it is on for a few hours.  And the color it turns is such a nice surprise.
Here is the before and after of a recent project.
Trying to Match the existing Base color was a definite challenge

Still need one more coat of finish, but looking good.

Before the finish - lookin' pretty good so far.
This is what was there before!!!  -----   Weak!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rustic Style Built In

Here is the before and after of a recent project.  Client wanted it a bit rustic and "beefy" to hold all his stereo equipment and sound systems.  Also wanted easy access to run wires and such.  So built it with a false wall in the back and access panels to make it easier to run wire.

And After:                                                                                                                Before:

Like the access panels - ended up using velcro to put them on.  Worked like a charm.!!!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Carpenter On the Move!!

Praise the Lord!!  I prayed for some work - and he as provided.  Prayed for a nice place to park RV that was affordable and My Savior provided that too.!!

Doing the Work Camper thing in Pipe Creek just was not for me.  So, we moved on to Boerne TX.

View from our back window, on a hill looking out. Located in a small RV park 7 miles west of Boerne TX.  Very nice neighbors and a pool.  Pool is a plus with these very hot temperatures right now.

Anyway, Darci activated my Angie's List account and we had a call within a week.  The gentleman accepted our estimate for the work and I start the job on Tuesday.  I look forward to doing some quality work to help improve a person's personal space.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Big Move - Pipe Creek, TX

Took some time off from the business to see some sights.  Decided living in the city was not for me, too many people and way too much traffic.  Doing this kind of work you spend alot of time on the road and freeway driving - traffic jams, etc.  can add hours to your days.  In addition, the winter here was pretty hard on me.

So we rented the house in Missouri and headed down to the Texas Hill Country.  What a beautiful place.  I am doing what is called Work Camping presently, but looking to start up Steve's Woodworking at some level.  Will keep you posted as the work comes in.  May be a bit, my wife needs to start marketing me here like she did in St. Louis, may take a month or two for the first job to roll in.

Thankfully Darci can do her work from anywhere with an internet connection, so we aren't in dire straights until I get some work rolling in.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Porch Railing System

 Added a porch Rail for client.  Turned out sweet and seems to give the home a more welcome appearance.

Another Stair Remodel - What an upgrade!!!

 Notice S-Bend.  New Rail with added S-bend.  Original stair had 2 separate rails that were not connected.  Homeowner's 3 year old "triplet boys" kept hitting their head on the upper rail as they went up.

See Original stair at the bottom of pics with carpet -  WOW!!!  What an upgrade.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Built in Mantel and shelving

 Just waiting for Doors to come in to finish.  Client plans to finish the hearth themselves - they are pretty handy so I am sure it will turn out great.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Love This!!!  An old TV cabinet - turned into Doggie Bed.  Would love to build something like this for someone's special little friend.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Interior Tree House

I did not build this.  But I would love to do something like this in someone's house.  If I had thought of this I would have done this for my kids, now they are too big.

A treehouse.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cardinal Automotive - Best Garage around.

Here in St. Peters - they do such a great job of keeping me on the road and working.  Thanks to Mike and his crew - I had some serious trouble with my truck this week and they got me back on the road in no time.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Entertainment Rebuild

Client wanted to upgrade from a
30 in TV to a 60 in  So we tore out the area on the right to accommodate the dream TV - and
just in time for the

World Series !!!!

Rebuilt and painted - can't even tell we were ever there.  Client's even like it better then what they had before - that is a bonus.

Go Cardinals  !!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Winter is fast approaching!!!!

There are two kinds of homeowners this month: The ones who took advantage of nice days this summer and got their houses ready for winter and already had the furnace checked, etc.; and those who now admit they did little in the way of home maintenance this summer and now have just a few weeks to catch up.  Here is a short list to help you out.

1. Get your lawn mower ready to rest. That means using up all the gasoline in the tank and changing the oil.
2. Make sure your snow blower is ready to go. 

  • 3. Make sure your gutters are clean (if you check them now, check them again after the leaves have fallen). You don’t want snow melting and freezing in them.

  • 4. If you've got a wobbly handrail or defective step, fix it now before it becomes snow- or ice-covered.

  • 5. Inspect your roof. You don’t want ice building up there, either. If you see a problem, don’t panic. Call a reputable firm and ask if they can repair, rather than replace.

  • 6. Grab a tube of caulk and a stepladder and check for cracks on the exterior of your home. Fix them.
    7. Now check the weather-stripping around doors and windows and replace as needed.

  • 8. Do you need more attic or other insulation? Now is the time.

  • 9. When you've watered for the last time, turn off the inside valve to your exterior faucet so it doesn't freeze and burst.

  • 10.  Clean the dryer vent and exhaust. This should be done periodically but fall is a good time to take it apart and make sure it’s free of lint. Otherwise, it becomes a fire hazard.

  • 11. Do you have plans to paint inside or have carpet cleaned? Do it now, if you can, so you can air things out with fresh outdoor air.
    12. Holidays are fast approaching - do you need some last minute repairs before guests arrive?

    these are the basics - feel free to call if you need some guidance or assistance, we would be happy to help.

    Friday, August 30, 2013

    Websites and Blogs I follow

    Please note the Blogs and Websites I follow.  Here is an overview of why I share their information on my blog.

    Cardinal Automotive and Tire - Mike is awesome - He keeps my truck working and on the road.  Anytime I have an issue he gets me right in and takes care of it.  Without my truck I am not working.

    StressCare Therapy:  Clare is my massage therapist, without her working on me every month I probably could not get up in the morning.  Plus I am a huge proponent of massage therapy and acupuncture as a way to stay healthy.

    Tiny House:  My wife and I plan to someday buy some land and build a couple of tiny houses.  Seems a fun and simple life to live.

    Jenna:  She is a friend from church who is on mission in Africa - we love her and try to support her anyway we can.

    Virtual Assistant:  That is my wife's business, on top of keeping me straight and on schedule, she also does administrative services for several other companies in the US.

    The Blue Gate:  A great shop in Iowa with many interesting and decorative treasures, Linda is very talented and she seems to be able to take things I would think of as junk and give it value and beauty.

    Please take a look and tell me what you think.  You will find the links to each on my blog on the right hand side about halfway down.


    Thursday, August 8, 2013

    How I ended up In Missouri

    8/8/2013  Update
    Business has been very good. I am regularly booked out at least a month and a half out.  The move to Missouri has been a true blessing to my family.  Darci has also become Self-employed by Assisting Financial Advisors Virtually.  She has also been assisting other women in starting their own VA businesses at a very low cost - It is more about helping women who want to stay home with kids, need to be home for other reasons but still need to make a living.  My oldest Daughter joined the Navy last Sept and is now in Guam - seems to be loving what she is doing, and we are very proud of her.  Our youngest (not so young anymore) is a Senior this coming year, has a job, extracurricular activities and is a very busy girl.  She seems so busy it is amazing she can still pull out a good GPA.  Very proud of the wonderful young women they have grownup to be.
    I am amazed daily at the kindness of the people I have come in contact with here in Missouri, whether at church, on the job or just hanging out.  Wish I had moved years ago.

    I have had many people ask me, "How the heck did you end up here from Nevada?"  Well here is the story - Last Spring (March 2011) my wife, Darci, and I sat down to look at where we were financially.  I had been laid off for the last 3 1/2 years but had started my "Steve's woodworking handyman" and was doing "ok".  as the economy continued to tank, people in Nevada were just not spending the money on anything except necessities.  With all the other out of work contractors and carpenters there was little work and it was extremely competitive.  Darci had a good job and I got enough work to get by, but we were tired of just getting by and so were the kids.  We knew our savings would not last long enough for the economy to turn around and we were at risk of losing everything we had.  As a family we decided to move - the question was where?  So Darci (being the numbers girl she is) started putting together some information on all 50 continental states, i.e. tax rates, sales tax, gas prices, cost of living, wages, unemployment rates, budget shortfall projections per state and came up with our top 5.  North & South Dakota (too cold) Iowa (still too cold ) Texas (been there already, possible) and Missouri.  We all decided on Missouri.  St. Louis specifically due to employment opportunities.  So Now, Darci gave 3 months notice at work, we needed to rent our house, and buy one in St. Louis (someplace we have never been).  Renters for House in Reno were an answer to prayer!! asked us for a 2 year agreement.  Darci's company decided to keep her on for a while and let her work remotely - Halleluiah!!! we were able to close on a house in St. Peters the Friday before we rolled out of Reno Saturday July 23rd 2011. ( close call!!) definitely a miracle.  and the biggest miracle of all is that both our Teenage daughters were game for the move (when does that happen!!!).   So here we are, I have been blessed to be able to find work, Darci continues with her company for now (may end this spring) and the girls are in School and we love it out here. I am bless to have such a brave and courageous family willing to take a chance together - God's hands were all over this, no doubt.  Please feel free to comment and share. - Steve

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Built-in Custom Shelving around Existing Fireplace

    Client pulled a picture of what she wanted from the internet and we built it to fit her space.  Turned out great - Painter should finish this week - will add pictures after it is painted once he sends them to me.


    Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    Bookcase - Builtin

    Were there was just a fire place with a really nice mantle.  Builtins on either side seem to finish the room.