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Pro Follow Articles


Painting New Construction
Ethan | January 4, 2013
Painting New Construction

Some of the oldest articles on One Project Closer focus on painting (like this paint comparison), and after publishing, we quickly learned that people have very strong feelings about paint. Brand loyalty runs deep, and just about everyone has their own opinion. Furthermore, there’s no consensus. For every recommendation, there’s a story about how that paint failed miserably. All that got me interested in finding a professional painter and learning some tricks of the trade. Meet Keith, owner of KA Wallace. Keith is a local contractor... 

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Total Kitchen Remodel: Tile, Grout, Cabinets and Countertops
Ethan | January 3, 2013
Total Kitchen Remodel: Tile, Grout, Cabinets and Countertops

I hope you all had a great, relaxing holiday and a happy new year. I enjoyed the hiatus from OPC and The Better Half, and now I’m eager to get back to business. I’m excited for what 2013 holds and to continue bringing you top-notch Pro-Follows with local professionals.  You can even expect to meet one or two new contractors in the coming days as we seek to expand our network to different trades. Our current Pro-Follow, with contractor Joe Bianco and the kitchen remodel is moving along, and today’s update is going to... 

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Back in the Basement Remodel Completed
Ethan | December 18, 2012
Back in the Basement Remodel Completed

It’s time to close the book on another successful basement remodel. Final inspection has come and gone, and Joe and his crews are just adding the finishing touches. Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner are really pleased, and it’s been a terrific Pro-Follow with lots of great how-tos. Today’s article is a tour of the basement and recap of some of the major projects that took place. The Bar The wet bar is my favorite part of this basement, and I really like the choice of colors and materials. If you remember, Jim and Rich from Diamond... 

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How to Prepare a Basement Floor for Tile
Ethan | December 14, 2012
How to Prepare a Basement Floor for Tile

Before laying tile or installing underlayment, it’s important to check the subfloor to ensure a flat, even surface. At its worst, an uneven floor will result in broken and loose tiles and cracked grout joints. Slightly uneven floors can cause tile corners to protrude, especially on larger sized tiles. Professional installers I’ve spoken with estimate that 90% of all remodel projects require evening the floor, and they stress that failing to properly prepare the subfloor is the most common mistake when laying tile.This article... 

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Back in the Basement, Installing the Custom Bookshelves
Ethan | December 10, 2012
Back in the Basement, Installing the Custom Bookshelves

Joe Bianco is a general contractor with a real passion for woodworking. He’s shown me pictures of built-in cabinets and fireplace mantles he has completed in the past, and they all looked very impressive. When I learned that Joe would be building some custom bookshelves as part of the basement remodel, I was excited to see Joe in action. If you’re just joining us, today’s article is part of a series covering a basement remodel with local contractor Joe Bianco, and here’s what you’ve missed so far:Framing... 

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Total Kitchen Remodel, Day 1 : Demo
Ethan | December 7, 2012
Total Kitchen Remodel, Day 1 : Demo

I’m excited to announce that Joe Bianco, professional contractor and president of SDG Home Solutions, is kicking off a new project, and that means we’re starting a new Pro-Follow! This is our first kitchen remodel, and I know it’ll be chock full of Pro-Tips. Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner have a nice 1990′s townhouse, and they’ve hired Joe to completely remodel the 14′ x 14′ kitchen including a new tile floor, kitchen cabinets, granite countertops and light fixtures. All things considered, it’s... 

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How to Install Carpet (60+ pics, Tips from Pro Installers)
Ethan | December 6, 2012
How to Install Carpet (60+ pics, Tips from Pro Installers)

There’s no better way to learn how to tackle home improvement projects than straight from an experienced professional, and this Project Guide was created by shadowing professional carpet installers on an actual job site. These guys have decades of experience, and in today’s article you’ll find the tips and tricks they used for a beautiful carpet installation. The guys are laying approximately 800 sq. ft. of berber carpet in a basement here in Maryland, and regular readers will recognize this is one of the final phases... 

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Back in the Basement: Granite Countertops
Ethan | December 3, 2012
Back in the Basement: Granite Countertops

Welcome to our latest Pro-Follow update with professional contractor Joe Bianco as he remodels this basement. Last time we left off, Joe had installed all the base cabinets in the wet bar, and today we’re taking a look how the granite countertops and back-splashes were installed. If you remember, the bar area will be galley-style with base cabinets on either side of the egress window.Step 1: Move Main Piece into Place Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner have selected a beautiful granite countertop from a local distributor, and the installers... 

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Back in the Basement: Door Knobs and Bar Cabinets
Ethan | November 27, 2012
Back in the Basement: Door Knobs and Bar Cabinets

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it), and kudos to anyone that went out on Black Friday and braved the stores. The holiday was a welcome break for me, and now I’m excited to get back to our Pro-Follows. For those just joining us, I’ve been shadowing pro contractor and president of SDG Home Solutions Joe Bianco. Joe and his crews are in the process of finishing a basement, and here’s the progress so far:Framing Overview and Rough-in Electric Plumbing Rough-in Installing an Egress Window Tile... 

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How to Install a Window
Ethan | November 20, 2012
How to Install a Window

Installing new windows is a great DIYer task, and it’s a topic we’ve touched on in the past. However, OPC is all about showing pros in action so that you have the best possible resources for tackling home improvement projects, and this is a task that professional contractor and carpenter Steve Wartman and his crew have just completed. If you followed along on the in-law addition, this was one of the last items on his punch list. Read on for details on installing a new window, sealing and weatherizing a window, and installing... 

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