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Pro-Follows Articles


How to Level a Subfloor Before Laying Tile
Ethan | March 14, 2013
How to Level a Subfloor Before Laying Tile

Tile Subfloor, Thickness, Deflection Installing Electric Radiant Heat Pouring Self Leveling Mortar Leveling (Flattening) the Subfloor Installing Cement Board (CBU) Installing Schluter DITRA Marking Guidelines for Tile How to Lay Tile How to Grout Tile JointsBefore laying tile or installing a tile underlayment like Schluter DITRA, it’s important to check the subfloor to ensure a flat, even surface. At its worst, a very uneven floor will result in broken or loose tiles and cracked grout joints. Slightly uneven floors can cause... 

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How to Install or Replace an Exterior Door
Ethan | March 5, 2013
How to Install or Replace an Exterior Door

It’s time for another Pro-Follow update! If you’ve been following along, you know that Joe Bianco is in the process of remodeling Fred and Kim’s basement. Last time we left off, Joe brought in Dave and his mold sniffing dog, Sam, to detect any mold in the basement. It was a fascinating process, and I hope to bring you more with Dave and Sam in the near future. Since then, drywall has been hung in the basement, doors installed and most of the painting has been completed. I’m not focusing on these aspects of the remodel... 

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How to Detect Mold in Your House with Mold Sniffing Dogs
Ethan | February 20, 2013
How to Detect Mold in Your House with Mold Sniffing Dogs

Welcome back to our latest Pro-Follow update! If you’re a regular reader, you know that Fred and Kim have hired Joe Bianco to finish their basement, and one aspect of this remodel includes permanently fixing a leak created when the deck was installed. The contractor who built the deck didn’t properly flash (waterproof) it. Fred and Kim eventually discovered wet insulation, discolored wood and a dank smell around one of the windows in the basement. Needless to say, they are concerned about mold, and Fred and Kim want to be... 

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How to Hang Wallpaper
Ethan | January 29, 2013
How to Hang Wallpaper

You all met Larry last week in our article about Painting Like a Pro, and I mentioned that Larry and his company also hang wall coverings. For today’s Pro-Follow I was back on a job site with Larry and his business partner Jim as they wallpapered two bathrooms in a model home. Larry explained that the demand for wallpaper fluctuates, and right now he’s seeing business pick up. Homeowners and designers are using more wallpaper and often as an accent wall.Materials Modern wallpaper is actually vinyl laminated to a fiber or... 

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How to Paint (Like a Pro)
Ethan | January 24, 2013
How to Paint (Like a Pro)

It’s good to be back on a Pro-Follow, and I’m pleased to introduce you to Larry Smith. Larry is a professional painter, and his company also installs wall coverings (wall paper, fabrics, etc.). Larry brings almost 40 years of experience in the industry, and I’m excited to be on a job site with him. If you live in Maryland and are need in of a painter or someone to install wallpaper or other wall coverings, give Larry a call at 443-250-4899. Today’s article is all about repainting an existing room, and 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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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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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 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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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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