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Pro Follow Articles


Back in the Basement: Tile Prep & Tiling the Bar
Ethan | November 12, 2012
Back in the Basement: Tile Prep & Tiling the Bar

It’s been a little while since our last Pro-Follow update so I’m excited to get back to it. For those just joining us, I’ve been shadowing pro contractor Joe Bianco and his crews as they remodel a basement, and if you’re curious what these Pro-Follows are all about, check out the details on our Meet the Pros page. Here’s the progress on this basement so far:Framing and Electric Rough-In Electric Rough-In Cutting and Installing a Basement Egress WindowToday’s Pro-Follow is all about preparing for... 

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How to Install Spray Foam Insulation Video
Ethan | November 6, 2012
How to Install Spray Foam Insulation Video

Editors Note: We produced this video a few years ago, and although we didn’t realize it at the time, this spray foam installation represents our very first Pro-Follow. If you enjoy seeing and learning from professional contractors, become an email or RSS subscriber and never miss a Pro-Follow update. We love sharing unique experiences with our readers, and I’m excited to bring you today’s article! Fred and I had the pleasure of filming Hottle Energy Solutions as they insulated Fred’s basement with spray foam. We... 

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How to Install New Work Recessed Lighting
Ethan | October 18, 2012
How to Install New Work Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is a common part of many home improvement projects, and I’ve seen it installed in basements, bathrooms, kitchens, bedrooms and more. It’s a topic I’ve touched on before with my recessed lighting tabletop demonstration. However, today’s Pro-Follow will showcase how Russel, a master electrician and owner of ETC Electric installs recessed lighting with some important tips along the way.Usually it’s a requirement to obtain an electrical permit for work that includes a new or extended circuit,... 

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How to Install a Basement Egress Window
Ethan | October 17, 2012
How to Install a Basement Egress Window

Today’s Pro-Follow is part of a series shadowing professional contractor Joe Bianco and his crews as they remodel an unfinished basement. A necessary part of this remodel is bringing the basement (and even other areas of the house) up to current code, and that includes installing an emergency egress window.¬†For this project, the guys are expanding an existing window and installing a window well. If you enjoy learning and interacting with pro contractors and tradesmen, become an email or RSS subscriber. You can also like our Facebook... 

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Back in the Basement, Day 2: Plumbing Rough-In
Ethan | October 12, 2012
Back in the Basement, Day 2: Plumbing Rough-In

I’m back with our next Pro-Follow update. If you just joining us, I’m working with contractor Joe Bianco and his crews as they finish a basement including a full bathroom, wet bar, egress window and more. Check out the progress on day 1 here. Joe brought in Charlie and Joey from Drain Relief Plumbing to complete the rough-in, and Charlie started by jack-hammering around the existing shower drain and toilet connection. Pro-Tip:¬†Click here for free access to the 2012 International Plumbing Code (IPC).The jack-hammering was... 

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New Pro-Follow: Back in the Basement, Day 1
Ethan | October 9, 2012
New Pro-Follow: Back in the Basement, Day 1

One thing I really love about our Pro-Follows is that no two jobs are completely the same, and I’m constantly picking up new tips, tricks, insights and code requirements. Today we’re kicking off another basement remodel Pro-Follow, and this one has some distinct differences from the other basement projects we’ve covered. Let me give you a brief introduction to the basement and share some of the work that has already taken place. We’re back with Joe Bianco, general contractor and president of SDG Home Solutions.... 

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Building Built-In Cabinets and Shelves (Part 2)
Ethan | September 18, 2012
Building Built-In Cabinets and Shelves (Part 2)

Welcome back to another Pro-Follow update! Right now I’m juggling three different Pro-Follows. You can read the latest about building the in-law addition with Steve Wartman, and my most recent article about the bathroom remodel with Joe Bianco at those links. Today we’re back with Mike as he continues building and installing new built-in cabinets at Fred and Kim’s house. In case you missed it, you can read the first part of this series which covers measuring and building the rough base cabinets, countertops and shelves. If... 

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How to Install a Toilet (Like a Pro)
Ethan | September 17, 2012
How to Install a Toilet (Like a Pro)

Unless you’ve installed a few toilets, you may not know all the tips and tricks to ensure your commode will work well for years to come. The last thing you want is to make a mistake resulting in a leaky toilet. Even though installing a toilet is a common do-it-yourselfer task, it’s always helpful to see how a professional plumber tackles the job. Today I’m back at the bathroom remodel with general contractor Joe Bianco, president of SDG Home Solutions. He’s brought in Charlie, a master plumber from Drain Relief,... 

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Bathroom Remod, Day 4: Concrete Board, Guidelines, Tile
Ethan | September 11, 2012
Bathroom Remod, Day 4: Concrete Board, Guidelines, Tile

We’re back for another update with general contractor Joe Bianco and the triple bathroom remodel. Joe has brought in Jim and Rich from Diamond Tile to tile all the bathrooms, and last week I shared how they poured the shower pans. Today’s post will back-track a bit to show you how Jim and Rich installed the concrete board, set guides for installing tile and started laying tile. A lot of contractors use Durock for tile underlayment because it’s lighter and easier to work with than traditional concrete board. Jim and Rich... 

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How to Pour a Shower Pan
Ethan | September 5, 2012
How to Pour a Shower Pan

Regular readers know that I’ve been hanging out with general contractor and carpenter Joe Bianco. In preparation for moving, Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner have tasked Joe with remodeling three full bathrooms, and he has brought in Jim and Rich from Diamond Tile to pour the shower pans and lay the tile. Jim and Rich have been laying tile for over 20 years, and I’m pleased to share how they poured the shower pans. Read on to learn how they waterproofed the shower, what materials they used, how they sloped the pan for proper drainage,... 

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