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 Prep and Laying Tile
- Grouting the Tile Floor
If you live in the greater Baltimore area and are in need of a contractor, please consider Joe Bianco for the job. This Pro-Follow and others like the Triple Bathroom Remodel are excellent examples of the integrity and high-quality Joe bring to every home improvement project. Find Joe’s contact info on his website or on our Meet The Pros page.
At this point the electric has been completed, and all the lights, switches, outlets, cable connections and smoke detectors are fully functional.
The painters have been through, and they’ll be back for a few touch-ups. Joe still needs to install a few access panels for things like water shut-off valves. All the tile has been finished, and the carpet should be installed this week or next.
The bathroom is coming together, and soon the guys will be installing the toilet and other fixtures.
Joe custom-made these cabinets, and they’ll go in after the carpet. You can expect full details on an up-coming Pro-Follow.
Installing Door Hardware
Joe’s crew came through and installed door knobs, strike plates, and stops for all the doors. I like these spring-style door stops because they aren’t easily damaged or dislodged.
In some instances, the guys used these pin-style door stops to prevent the door from hitting nearby objects.
One perk of installing pre-hung doors is that the all the holes are already cut, and the door handles go on very quickly.
On a couple of doors the guys needed to widen the latch hole, and they used a drill with a cutting bit (much like a Dremel bit).
Next, they extended the strike plate opening by chiseling out a little more of the door jamb.
Installing the Bar Cabinets
Meanwhile Joe was installing the base cabinets in the galley-style bar. The granite countertop should be arriving later this week.
Step 1: Find the Highest Point
Joe started by setting the cabinets in their positions and determined the high point for each group. The high point determines the height to which the other cabinets must be shimmed so that they are all level and even for the countertop. For these three cabinets, they were all about even, and the one closest to the wall was the highest.
Joe also found one of the walls was noticeably out of square.
On the other side of the bar, the middle cabinet was the highest.
Step 2: Fill and Plane
Joe nailed a piece of filler to both cabinet face-frames adjacent to the window wall. This makes it easier to fully open the cabinet doors, and Joe was able to plane the filler for a snug fit against the wall.
Step 3: Shim Level
Next, starting at the highest point Joe shimmed the cabinets so that they were level front-to-back and side-to-side. This meant putting shims on the underside and sometimes the backside of the cabinet.
Step 4: Screw Frames Together
Joe also positioned the cabinet faces flush and clamped them together while he drilled a pilot hole.
Joe used three 2-1/2″ screws to join the face frames.
Step 5: Locate Studs
Along the half-wall the studs are marked. However, on the opposite wall Joe used a stud finder and educated guesses to determine the location of studs.
Step 6: Screw Base Cabinets to Wall
Joe put at least one screw per base cabinet into a stud to lock it into position.
Step 7: Cut Shims
Joe used a utility knife to score and snap the shims.
All that’s left is nailing the toe-kick along the base of the cabinets, and everything will be ready for the countertop to arrive.