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Pro-Follows Articles


How to Shingle a Roof (90 pics, Pro tips, Recommendations)
Ethan | August 21, 2012
How to Shingle a Roof (90 pics, Pro tips, Recommendations)

A couple of weeks ago we published a two-part series showing how a local roofing contractor shingled a roof with architectural shingles. This Project Guide is a combination of those two articles, and it covers replacing the existing roof decking, installing underlayment and ice dam protection, laying the first row, laying shingles in the field, flashing, ridge shingles and vents, and more. This how-to is a great resource for anyone looking to shingle a roof or better understand what to expect of a roofing contractor. We want to thanks... 

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How to Pour Concrete Stairs
Ethan | July 5, 2012
How to Pour Concrete Stairs

It’s time for another Pro-Follow, and regular readers will recognize this as part of our ongoing series for building an in-law addition. We’re back with the guys from Luciano Cristofaro Contractors. You’ve already met Victor, and today we’re spending time with Victor’s brother Carlos as he pours a set of concrete stairs. The opening for these stairs was cut out from the existing garage slab and dug with the backhoe during excavation. The block walls are new, and they were completed in a similar fashion as... 

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How to Build a Concrete Block Foundation
Ethan | June 7, 2012
How to Build a Concrete Block Foundation

It’s time for another Pro-Follow update as we follow along with contractor Steve Wartman and his crew. If you remember, Steve brought in Victor and his team from Luciano Cristofaro Contractors to build the foundation, and today’s article shares how they built the block wall foundation. If you missed it, read up on how Victor’s team dug the footers, laid rebar and poured the footers at those links. Here’s how everything looked after the concrete cured and a little bit of rain.Step 1: Mix Mortar The guys used... 

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How to Install a New Heat Pump (Overview with Pictures)
Ethan | May 29, 2012
How to Install a New Heat Pump (Overview with Pictures)

Welcome to our latest Pro-Follow! Last week I spent time with local HVAC specialist Chuck Thompson from County Comfort as he and his crew changed out a heat pump. Chuck was called in because after about 15 years the old heat pump had failed. For this job they installed a new, 15 SEER, 5 ton Bryant heat pump. Step 1: Disconnect the Old Indoor Unit To begin, Chuck’s crew needed to remove the old system, and they started by turning off the breaker and disassembling the indoor unit to make it easier to remove.This is the old coil,... 

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How to Remodel a Bathroom from the Ground Up
Ethan | May 23, 2012
How to Remodel a Bathroom from the Ground Up

I promised you a look at the completed bathroom remodel, and the guys just put on all the finishing touches. Steve Wartman and his crew did an excellent job, the bathroom looks terrific, and the homeowners are very pleased. Today’s article will provide a look at the finished product and link over to related Pro-Follow guides like tiling the bathroom and installing the shower doors. This Pro-Follow is the product of shadowing general contractor Steve Wartman and his crew on an actual job site, documenting their work. There’s... 

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How to Install a Bypass Shower Door
Ethan | May 22, 2012
How to Install a Bypass Shower Door

Last time we left off, Steve Wartman and his crew were nearing the completion of the master bathroom remodel. Rick and his team had finished the tile installation which leaves a short list of tasks to complete (vanity, toilet, etc.). One of those tasks was installing bypass shower doors, and that’s the topic for today’s article.If you missed out on any of the previous updates for this Pro-Follow, you can see the progress as these links:Day 1: Bathroom Demolition Day 2: Plumbing, Electric Rough-in, Underlayment Day 3: Installing... 

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How to Diagnose & Repair a Broken Air Conditioning (A/C) Unit
Ethan | May 18, 2012
How to Diagnose & Repair a Broken Air Conditioning (A/C) Unit

I’m excited to let you know that today’s Pro-Follow is the work of a new contractor named Chuck Thompson. Chuck is the owner of County Comfort LLC and an experienced HVAC specialist. Look for his information to appear on our Meet the Pros page soon and more Pro-Follows to come. Chuck received a service call that a homeowner’s air conditioning wasn’t working, and he let me shadow him on the job. The Symptoms A homeowner’s A/C can quit for several different reasons. In this case, the homeowners realized that... 

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How to Tile a Bathroom, Shower Walls, Floor, Materials (100 pics, Pro-Tips)
Ethan | May 14, 2012
How to Tile a Bathroom, Shower Walls, Floor, Materials (100 pics, Pro-Tips)

Welcome back to our latest Pro-Follow update. Last time we left off, Steve Wartman and his crew had finished installing the bathroom fan, and the previous day they had hung concrete board in the shower and Fir plywood over the subfloor. At this point, the bathroom is ready for tile, and Steve called in Rick Smith and his crew to tile the shower and bathroom floor. Rick brings over 30 years of experience, and coincidentally Rick is the contractor that tiled my master bathroom several years ago. If you enjoy our Pro-Follows and learning... 

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How to Install a Floating Laminate Floor
Ethan | May 9, 2012
How to Install a Floating Laminate Floor

Steve Wartman and his crew have almost finished the basement remodel, and I’ll be writing a comprehensive post to unveil the transformation soon. Installing flooring is one of the last phases in the process, and the homeowners have opted for a floating laminate floor in the laundry room. Floating floors are a great DIY project because the work goes fast, and since a floating floor isn’t nailed down, they don’t require as many tools as a traditional wood floor install (see our How to Install Hardwood Flooring article for... 

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How to Install Drywall (with 75+ pics): Hanging, Taping, Finishing
Ethan | April 17, 2012
How to Install Drywall (with 75+ pics): Hanging, Taping, Finishing

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll recognize this is the part of our Pro-Follow series with expert general contractor Steve Wartman. We’re following Steve as he and his crew remodel an unfinished basement. For any of our readers in the greater Baltimore area looking to hire a contractor, I highly recommend Wartman Home Improvements. To see more of Steve’s work, take a look at our how-to articles for building a deck and building a shed. Now that the walls have been framed, the electric and plumbing are roughed in,... 

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