Home Improvement Projects

Home Improvement Projects

Projects that Provide the Most Bang for Your Buck

Sometimes it’s hard to decide what home improvement projects are your best investments.  Ideally, you not only want to add to the enjoyment of your home but also to your home’s value.  Here are some tips to help you make the best choices.

Kitchens and bathrooms

If you’re looking for a “sure thing” to get a good return on your investment, HGTV says that kitchen and bathroom remodels are your best bet.  In top housing markets, sellers are often able to recoup more than 100 percent of their investments.  When deciding on kitchen style, opt for natural floorings such as stone or wood, stone countertops, traditional wood cabinets, and appliances with a commercial appearance.  In the bath, installing a walk-in shower is the current trend over a jetted tub, offering a quicker cleanse to meet our culture’s on-the-go lifestyle.


No matter how much you invest in the interior of your home, if potential buyers aren’t attracted to the exterior, you won’t get them through the door to see your great upgrades.  Choose to lift your curb appeal with a look that is inviting; adding a front porch or replacing your old siding can boost your home’s allure.

Improved efficiency

Some professionals advise energy-efficiency as a primary attraction for many buyers, especially younger ones.  Improved windows and better insulation can be a worthwhile investment in your home’s market value. Not to mention that these types of improvements can also show up as saved money on your utility bills.

Useful space

Adding a room is another great investment.  You’ll find it’s especially important if your home is short on bathrooms; for example, homes with four bedrooms and only one bath can reap big benefits with an added bathroom.  Adding general square footage to the home with anything from a sunroom, craft room or exercise room can boost a home’s value nicely, or you might consider renovating an attic into a home office or guest bedroom.  This Old House suggests opening up existing floor space to make a home more attractive; removing a kitchen island or non-load bearing wall to brighten space and enhance the flow of your home can be a great investment.

When making big changes, US News and World Report notes it’s important that your new space works well with the rest of the home.  Adding a room with a sleek, modern feel, trimmed in metal and with broad expanses of glass to take in a view can actually lower the value of a home built in a colonial style.  Remember to keep the overall look of the home in mind when making your decisions.

Maintenance concerns

It’s important to understand that most potential homebuyers will be more enticed by homes that are “move-in ready,” even if some of those nicely functioning rooms have a dated appearance.  For example, a roof that’s in dire need of replacement should take priority over upgrading a working but unattractive bathroom.

If you’re needing to get that roof into shape, it’s important to note that scammers abound in the roof repair business.  As explained by Angie’s List, “Fraudulent roofing contractors prey on vulnerable homeowners and have become increasingly bold in their tactics.”  Beware of contractors who claim to need a down payment up front, as they may take your money and run, or contractors that don’t provide firm pricing.  Some scammers even drop by after storms, claiming damage to roofs in your area from wind or hail.  Another tactic used by scammers is visiting homes door-to-door and offering a “free roof inspection,” then providing fraudulent photos of roofs or other misleading information to unsuspecting homeowners.  Beware of pushy, high-pressure salesmen, and talk with your local building department before hiring any roofers.  Good contractors should be able to provide licensing information, references, and will usually have an office you can visit.

Good choices mean improved value

See your home through the eyes of potential buyers and make upgrades that will boost your home’s appeal.  Put maintenance ahead of cosmetic improvements, and consider boosting energy efficiency.  By making good choices, investing in your home will mean getting the best value from your dollars.


Seth Murphy started PapaDIY to help others make their home DIY projects a success.
Image courtesy of Pixabay 

Posted in: Remodeling

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Should You DIY or Hire a Pro?

Should You DIY or Hire a Pro?

How to Decide if You Should DIY or Hire a Professional for Your Home Remodeling and Improvement Projects

When assessing common home remodeling and improvement projects to determine if you should DIY or hire a professional, you should first consider the safety of choosing to DIY. Even if you think you understand how to tackle the project, some projects are simply unsafe for homeowners to handle. Also, consider which option is more cost-effective, which will depend on the type and complexity of the project, as well as your level of skill and available time to work on the project.

Skip DIYing Jobs that Require a Permit

If a remodeling project requires a special permit or building code compliance, experts advise bringing in a professional instead of attempting to DIY because it typically means safety is an issue and training is required. “Once you’re changing the footprint of a house, updating wiring, and adding fences (because municipalities usually have height restrictions), you need a permit—which means you should probably call a contractor pronto,” says Realtor.com. Also, some repair projects, such as HVAC, can sometimes require special licenses.

Don’t think you can skip getting a permit if you DIY. For starters, if an inspector sees you working on the project, or is notified by a neighbor, he or she could halt your project. Also, any unpermitted work must be disclosed when selling, which can make buyers wary of purchasing the home and cause some banks to refuse to approve the buyers’ financing.

Got Skills?

Even if you have some plumbing, electrical, and carpentry skills, certain home projects are best handled by professionals. For example, some plumbing jobs can result in expensive home damage or serious injury if improperly performed, and there’s serious room for mistakes. Replacing a bathtub and pipe replacement are jobs that seem less complicated than they really are. Mistakes can cost you time and money. Leaks or bursts can cause water damage, and even a small mistake can ruin the pipe you buy. If you make mistake at any point, you have to start over from the beginning. A professional will charge around $2,500 to $3,500 to remove your old tub, install the one, and handle any plumbing issues.

In about two days, you can install your own kitchen backsplash for around $100 to $500, so it doesn’t make sense to pay an additional $300 to $800 to hire a professional. However, you shouldn’t attempt to DIY an entire kitchen remodel. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price for a kitchen remodel is approximately $22,000. Not only does the remodel often involve plumbing, but also cabinets, countertops, sinks, and appliances are expensive; a mistake that damages any of these can lead to costly replacements or repairs. Also, having an eye for design can take the remodel from acceptable in to incredible.

Installing hardwood floors is another project that should be left to professionals. This is less of a safety issue and more of a cost issue. Hardwood costs $3 to $8 per square foot for materials, so a mistake during installation can be costly. Similarly, installing ceramic tile can have costly mistakes if DIYed and a professional can handle common issues like design, corners, room transitions, and uneven subfloors. Because installing replacement windows has expensive materials and a large room for error, it should also be left to the pros.

Of course, there are plenty of remodeling projects that homeowners can tackle on their own. For example, many homeowners successfully handle painting their home’s interiors. Painting 1,500 square foot costs about $200 to $600 if you DIY, compared to $970 to $2,400 for professional work. Many homeowners can also handle installing vinyl or linoleum flooring. A 10×10 room costs roughly $200 to $500, while a professional can add on $300 to $400 more. Adding a wood deck can be a great DIY project for someone with a few carpentry skills, costing $500 to $1,000 for a 10×12 deck. A pro may charge between $1,500 and $1,900.

When deciding if you should DIY or hire professional, consider the cost of materials and the skill level and time need to complete the project properly. Remember to “choose caution over cost,” says Investopedia. If you hire a professional, be sure to get more than one estimate. Once you have researched your options, you can feel comfortable knowing that you made a sound investment in your home.


Article by: Paul Denikin. Dad Knows DIY
Photo Credit: shadowfireartsPixabay

Posted in: Remodeling, Tile, Wood Flooring

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Is Your Home Ready for Winter? Take the Steps to Make Sure

Is Your Home Ready for Winter? Take the Steps to Make Sure

Photo by Christopher Harris at Unsplash


When the leaves start to turn and the air gets cooler, we love to revel in the crisp, cool air and pull our warm sweaters out of storage. But with that change comes a few simple chores to make sure your home is ready for the winter.

A winter checklist of chores doesn’t have to be long and oppressive. There are just a few things that need to be done to ensure your home makes it through winter unscathed and you stay safe and cozy inside.

  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. More than one-third of fire deaths are in homes without smoke detectors — they save lives. Make sure you replace them every 10 years. Take the detector off of its mount and check the date of manufacture. If it’s been 10 years or more, replace it.
  • Get your chimney inspected or swept. Chimney sweeps do more than just sing and dance in old musicals. Modern chimney sweeps make sure your wood-burning fireplace or stove is safe to use. If you don’t keep it clean, you can get a buildup of creosote, which is very flammable and can cause a fire. Chimney fires can get to 2,000 degrees inside, which can melt the mortar between bricks. While he’s inspecting, ask him to check if you need a cap, too. A chimney cap will keep birds and other wildlife and debris out of your chimney.
  • Warm up your pipes. Not like a singer does, but more like what a plumber does. Your water pipes should mostly be in a heated area of the home. But you may have a few that are in crawl spaces or walls of your home that don’t get heat. If so, these pipes should be insulated. Check to make sure the insulation hasn’t worn off or torn. Without insulation, your pipes could freeze and burst, causing a huge, expensive headache for you during the coldest time of year. If you go out of town, keep your heat at 55 degrees or above, and on the coldest nights, open your cabinet drawers to allow heat to get to under-sink pipes. Disconnect your garden hose for the winter, and put on an insulated spigot cover to protect it from freezing.
  • Mind the gaps. Check your doors and windows to see if they need to be caulked. If you have drafts around your windows, caulking — which is fairly easy and inexpensive — could save you money on your heating bill. Adding weather stripping to your doors and moving parts of windows can help keep heating costs down, too. If you want to be extra-efficient, you can get window insulation kits, that are really just plastic that you put over the windows in the winter.
  • Clean your gutters, and inspect your roof. Gutters must be clean to move water away from the sides of your home. It’s not just annoying when water drips on you. It can cause serious damage to your roof and foundation. Also, having standing water near your home or in your gutters can invite mosquitoes to nest, bringing potential mosquito-borne disease to your family. Hire a pro to do this chore. It might seem easy, but getting up on a tall ladder can be dangerous. This is also a good time to inspect your roof for lost or loose shingles: Having your roof repaired is much cheaper than having it replaced.

It seems like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. A few preventive measures now will help your home run more efficiently and prevent disaster down the road.

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We’re Hiring!

We’re Hiring!


We’re looking to hire people to grow with us who also desire to better themselves.

Job Type:     Employee
Job Status:    
Full Time Position
  Starting at $10 – 12 Per Hour   (Subject to experience.​ Plus some jobs bonus out)
Experience Preferred:     2+ Years (Refer to What We Do and Skills below)
Education Required:     High School or equivalent
Also Required:

  • Dependable transportation (your own vehicle so as not to be dependent on someone else)
  • A valid drivers license.
  • Your own phone – We use an app to track time on jobs.
  • To pass random drug tests


Here at Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers we remodel bathrooms, kitchens, basements, any living space. We install wood floor coverings: hardwood, engineered wood, cork, laminate, etc., on floors and walls. We install tile: ceramic, porcelain, travertine, marble, granite, stone, glass, steel, any type of tile on floors, walls, showers, in interior and exterior areas. Other types of tile include luxury vinyl tile, vinyl composite tile, and rubber. We are based out of New Albany Indiana and service Southern Indiana, Louisville Kentucky and surrounding areas. Since 1990.


  • A desire to better yourself.
  • Must be a team player but able to work solo as needs arise.
  • An eye for detail.
  • Visually able to plan ahead.
  • Decision making skills.
  • Do quality work.
  • Be productive.
  • Results driven.
  • Know how to read a tape measure.
  • Knowledge of power tools.
  • Dependable!


  • Drywall finishing experience
  • Trim carpentry experience
  • Tile setting or tile setter’s helper
  • Wood flooring installation experience


Monday thru Friday 8:00 AM to 5:00 / 6:00 PM. (8 to 9 hour days). On occasion a Saturday 4 to 8 hours. Night work on very, very rare occasion. 30 to 45 minute lunch. Pay day on Wednesday following the previous week worked.


  • Medical Insurance
  • Vacation Time
  • 3 Sick Days / Year
  • 1 Personal Day / Year


  • Our Job Foreman is a female, so if you have a problem taking direction / education from a female this is not the opportunity for you.
  • We are serious about building business. Though not difficult to work with. Don’t ever lie to us or steal from us or our clients. We’re adults looking for same, as such if you have a beef, speak up. We’re a team and teams work through things together.

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Home Selling Tips: Don’t Neglect Your Flooring

Home Selling Tips: Don’t Neglect Your Flooring

If you have ever been to a house that had some serious flooring problems, you may remember it as if it were yesterday. The tacky shag of the carpet, or the linoleum curling in on the edges could be a horrifying addition to the stress of selling a home. Flooring may be an expensive upgrade for your house, but it offers so many benefits to your home sale that you would be remiss not to think about it. Here are the best types of flooring upgrades to consider for each room of your house.


If most of your home features carpeting wall to wall, you might be more than ready to roll up the old version and bring in something new and fresh. In the bedrooms, you may decide to keep carpeting and just upgrade it to something that is soft, clean and unstained. If you are going to put carpeting anywhere at all in the house, the bedrooms are the best spot. It is the ideal room for the added plush comfort. Being a lower-traffic area, you are less likely to wear it out or spill on it as quickly. Soft versions of hard flooring are also good for bedrooms, such as cork. These materials are best to replace right before selling, so that you do not take any of the life out of the flooring before you go.


The bathroom has a bit of a unique environment for your flooring. There is a lot of moisture and humidity, especially if you are not wholly committed to turning on the fan every time you use it. As such, bathrooms need flooring that is not just water-resistant, but will not be damaged by the heat and moisture. It’s important to choose flooring that is attractive and functional. Materials like tile tend to be better than hardwood, which could warp under these conditions. Natural stone tile offers a beautiful and classic look for the bathroom, unmatched in quality. If your budget is a bit tighter before your home sale, you might consider luxury vinyl tile, which can be made to look very convincingly like stone or ceramic tile.


Like the bathroom, the kitchen has a few considerations that must be made. You have some of the same problems with heat, humidity and moisture, so you want to install something that is ideal for high traffic, but also easy to keep clean. Buyers often focus on the look of the kitchen, so you really need to get this one right. Tile is typically an ideal choice, but you may opt for dark tiles and a darker grout that is less likely to stain from spills. If you prefer, you can also extend the tile into the dining room, providing that added protection and a seamless look throughout the eating space.

Living Areas

You know that buyers tend to prefer hardwood in the home, but there are reasons why you might not install it in the entire space. Solid hardwood, although extremely hard-wearing and long-lasting, can be a bit delicate in spaces that become wet too often. However, in the major living areas of the home, hardwood is far and away the best choice. The vast majority of buyers consider hardwood on the main floor to be essential or at least something they want to see in homes for sale. If you worry about the added noise or temperature, invest in a few rugs to make it seem more cozy.


The trick to getting the best flooring for your basement is moisture control. If you have problems with leaks or even flooding, you must resolve them and figure out how to prevent them before any flooring is likely to work out well. A finished basement is a boon to buyers, who may pay more if it is done well. Avoid all flooring types that would be easily damaged by water, such as carpet, solid hardwood or laminate. Tile again is the winning option, but you might also do well with vinyl or even engineered hardwood.

Considering various upgrades for your home before selling it requires you to pick very carefully. Investing in your flooring is an immediate payoff that will make your home more appealing to buyers, depending on the choices you make. With the right upgrades, you can provide a necessary update to your home and give buyers exactly what they want.

Need Help?

Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers has specialized in floor installations since 1990. They can advise you on the best ways to care for your floors and make product recommendations that are safe to use.

Posted in: Tile, Wood Flooring

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