360renos - Home Improvement & Decor

How to make your home stand out when selling

We can help your house sell quickly and at a good price -- even in a slow market.

It takes a lot more than sparkling windows, scented candles and chocolate-chip cookies to sell a home in today's market.

Improvements should be made so that the property shows well, is consistent with the neighborhood and does not involve capital investments.

Beyond any doubt, the best investment you can make is new paint. Painting can make a room or an exterior façade look brand-new, and totally transform the look and feel of a room or the entire residence. It is always wise to be somewhat restrained when choosing colors for a home-staging paint project. Avoid choosing colors that are too individual or flashy and favor neutral colors and schemes. This does not mean painting everything white, however.

Use subtle color schemes to accentuate the home's strengths and minimize weaknesses. Dark colors, for example, tend to make a room feel smaller, while lighter colors and pastels can make a room feel bigger.

There is another benefit to painting as well: the process of preparing the interior or exterior surfaces of a home for painting automatically allows us to go over the entire area receiving paint in great detail, and this can often expose items or areas requiring repair. It seems you always discover where the caulking has let go, where the wall is dinged.

It is always preferable that we discover and deal with these items before the real estate agent (or worse, the prospective buyer) points them out to you!

Dave - 360renos

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Backerboard for Ceramic tile

Are you confused about the many options that are available to use as a backerboard  when you want to lay ceramic tile?

Here is some great info from North American Tile to help understand the different systems and applications

Owner - 360renos.ca

The Old Fashioned Way, Long Before Wallboard Panels ....
Work by Harry DunbarWork by Harry Dunbar
Mud Wall (Started):
Wall mortar beds could be built plumb to fix ANY imperfections or uneveness on a vertical surface.
Mud Wall (Finished):
Skilled and experienced tradepeople were required for this kind of work
But now we have backerboard, and as the construction industry evolved other products were developed to create similar results in less time. Cement Board ultimately replaced the old way of doing things. Cement Board Units (CBU) were installed over top the studs with either a vapor barrier behind the cement board panel, or a moisture proof membrane was applied over top the cement board. This became the industry standard for ceramic tile or stone installation in wet or moist areas.
After awhile, other products came on the market that made the installation of backer board even easier. GreenBoard was one of them. Basically it is a glorified gypsum board which was never able to resist moisture as it claimed. Garbage in ANY wet area of application. DenShield was also a gypsum product which seemed to have a high succcess rate IF installed as recommended by the manufacturer.

Moisture has always been the greatest concern and the determining factor for failure or success of any ceramic tile installation in showers, saunas, tub surrounds etc. WEDI Board is waterproof, light-weight and super easy to install. Basically, the choices are many but it's important to understand which product to use for each installation requirement.
Most backerboards are an acceptable addition to floor installations, but never assume they stiffen or strengthen a floor. They are a good base for bonding and may act as an uncoupling membrane ... BUT they will not reduce deflection. That can only be accomplished with plywood, solid blocking, added support under the floor or additional (larger) joists.
Each ceramic tile or stone installation is unique as are the methods and materials used to create every individual sysytem. So before you start loading up the shopping cart .... find the correct solution for your project.

Remember to ensure all your studs are plumb and flat before installing the backerboard. Unlike the old fashioned mortar walls which could be applied plumb and flat ... backerboards will follow the contours created by your existing studs or other surfaces.

Backer Board for Floors
Cement Board for Floor Application ... WRONG!
This photo was sent in by Brian (forum moderator) and clearly shows the WRONG WAY to install ANY floor panel. In this case there are combined factors headed for failure. The cement board isn't set into a bed of mortar, and there is an underlayment (1/4" mahogany) which isn't meant to be part of a ceramic or stone tile system.
Most backerboards used for floor applications must be set into a thin bed of thinset mortar. This application of mortar is meant to fill in voids that usually exist between various layers thus removing the possibility of deflection. Screws or other recommended fasteners are still required for a mechanical bond.Visit the links below for each manufacturer's recommendations.

The following product descriptions are quoted in part from each manufacturer's website.
To find out how professional contractors feel about these and other products ...

Visit our Discussion Forum

Kerdi BoardKerdi Board"Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD gives an absolutely level substrate with straight and precisely angled inside and outside corners, providing an instant base for a perfect tile covering." See my shower project using Kerdi Board
Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD(click for more information)
WEDIWEDI consists of a Styrofoam Brand Foam insulation core coated on both sides with a fibreglass mesh and polymer-modified mortar. The core is extruded polystyrene consisting of a closed cell membrane throughout, making it 100% waterproof.
WEDI Corp. (click for more information)
DurockDurock is 1/2" or 5/16" thick and can be applied over 5/8" exterior grade plywood or 3/4" oriented strand board (osb) using a latex modified thinset. Use a 1/4" square-notched trowel to spread the mortar.
Place underlayment with joints staggered from subfloor joints. Leave about a 1/8" gap at all edges and fasten underlayment with 1-1/2" hot-dipped galvanized roofing nails or 1-1/4" Durock Brand Wood Screws spaced 8" in both directions. Try not nail or screw into joists.
Use fiberglass mesh tape on all the seams and then smoothed with latex modified thinset.
When 1/2" or 5/8" Durock is used in underlayment applications, follow the same procedures as above.
CGC Inc. (click for more information)
WonderBoardWonderBoard (1/2") has been rated by the Tile Council of America (TCA) for use as part of a ceramic tile installation system for plywood subfloors with 24" o.c. joists and 23/32" exterior grade plywood.
Similar to the other CBU's, WonderBoard must also be installed into a bed of fresh latex modified mortar, seams staggered, screwed or nailed every 8" o.c. and the seams taped with 2" fiber glass mesh tape and leveled with mortar.
Custom Building Products (click for more information)
HardiBackerHardiBacker contains portland cement, ground sand, cellulose fiber, and selected additives. HARDIBACKER ® ceramic tile backerboard contains no asbestos or formaldehyde.

James Hardie North America (click for more information)
PermaBasePermaBase can be fastened with either a 1-1/2" galvanized roofing nail or 1-1/4" cement backer board type screws are used with wood framing. If you are attaching the PermaBase to 20 gauge or heavier metal framing, use 1-5/8" S-12 cement backer board screws. DO NOT use typical drywall screws.
On the walls and floor/countertops, attach fasteners 8" o.c. in each direction. On the ceilings it's 6" o.c. in each direction.
As you apply pieces of PermaBase next to one another, leave a gap of 1/8". You will pre-fill this gap with mortar during the taping process.
You will need tape the seams with a 2" wide alkali resistant mesh tape. Using your trowel, pre-fill the gaps between the boards and coat the area with your mortar. Place the mesh tape over the joint and remove excess material using your trowel.
You can use a typical drywall utility knife score and snap the PermaBase cement board. Turn board over and make a second pass of this cut. The edge will be clean and smooth.
National Gypsum Company (click for more information)
PRO-BackerboardPRO-Backerboard is a light weight cementitious backer unit (cbu) designed to provide a long lasting, moisture resistant and economical substrate for ceramic tile.
BPB (click for more information)
FiberockFiberock is engineered to meet both water and indentation resistance needs under resilient flooring, carpeting, hardwood, laminate flooring and ceramic tile. This all-purpose underlayment - manufactured from a specially engineered combination of gypsum and cellulose fibers. It resists water damage such as the swelling and warping often seen with wood products.

CGC (click for more information)
DensShield®DensShield® tile backer is a mold-resistant tile backer board with fiberglass-mat facings and a unique acrylic coating that blocks moisture from entering the wall or floor cavity.

Georgian Pacific (click for more information)
GREENE-BOARDGREENE-BOARD is a better environmental alternative and upgrade to replace gypsum drywall and cement backer boards for walls, floors and counter tops. Meets and exceeds, IRC, ASTM and ANSI standards.
JONA Panel Sales (click for more information)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

'Get It In Writing'

360renos is helping a customer that did not get a written contract for their Kitchen renovation. The project has gone bad and the home owner has kicked the contractor off the project.

Home owners always should have signed contract for projects.
Always 'Get it in Writing'!


Owner 360renos.ca

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Fixing Condensation Behind Basement Insulation

A great question a from a homeowner in Alberta

Hi all, 

This is our second winter in a newly built house. The basement was insulated with a layer of poly against the concrete and framing done about 2-3 inches off the wall. One layer of fiberglass batting is running horizontally and set in between the concrete/poly and the framing. A a second layer of batting is then running vertically between the framing for a total of two layers. There is then another layer of poly on the inside sealing it off. So it is concrete - poly - horizontal batting - framing - vertical batting - poly. 

The problem is moisture has found a way in and there is considerable condensation between the poly and the horizontal batting. There is frost formation and it has condensed enough to seep out the bottom (which is how we noticed the problem). 

I've opened up a few areas to assess, but am wondering what the best way to resolve this is? The ground will still be cold for another month or two (we're in Winnipeg) so I'm not sure if it's best to wait for things to warm up and the frost melts, or if this is urgent enough where I should start trying to rip out insulation now? A lot of insulation is actually frozen to that layer of poly on the concrete so it'll be messy. 

Thanks for any advice.

This is a very common problem even here in Ontario 
Below is my response to him.

I would leave it for now. let it warm up, then tear out all the insulation out and start fresh 

Not sure of the National Building Codes for your area so you should find out before replacing materials to ensure it is completed correctly. I'm in Ontario so we use the OBC 

You want an air barrier membrane against the foundation wall not a vapour barrier. 

The poly vapour barrier only goes on the warm side of the insulation. What you currently have lets any warm air that enters the insulated area to condense and form water droplets and then freeze to the foundation wall. The warm air has nowhere to escape and gets trapped between the two layers of vapour barrier. 

One area that is quite often missed and most likely is a cause for issue is to ensure when the new vapour gets installed that EVERY SINGLE entry point for warm air is either taped, and/or acoustic sealed. This includes the header area especially. No warm air behind the vapour barrier means no moisture/water damage. 

A little reading that may help with understanding some correct ways to insulate 

Hope this helps answer some questions

Dave 360renos.ca

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cash-only mentality ruining home improvement scene

Why do home owners continue to take chance with their homes?

Why would you let someone work on your home that is worth $200,000, $400,000 or higher just to save a few hundered dollars of HST

From damaged bathtubs, broken personal items to the dog running off we've heard it all and these accidents leave the home owner with no recourse to recoup money to pay for the damage

The home owner got to save a few bucks because they entered an agreement under the table with a company but, ends up spending hundreds and thousands to repair incorrect work or damage to their properties.

A company on your property not paying its taxes is not going to re-imburse the home owner if their trucks leak oil on your inter-lock driveway or puts a ladder through a window

Why would a company care about it's quality of work and adhere to best practices if the home owner doesn't care? No chance they will offer a warranty for their work and if they do they would not honour it as they wont be back if the home owner called.

Why would a company risk their business, livleyhood and that of their employees?

Time for homeowners and business to turn this trend around -