In the second half of our Orange Beach condo renovation, we laid vinyl plank flooring from Armstrong, installed the granite countertops, finished the kitchen and bathroom cabinets, framed the bathroom mirrors using MirrorMate frames, and changed the trim on the plumbing fixtures.
DANNY: This week on Today’s Homeowner, we’re completing the renovation of a beachfront condo for a very special family. Mine. You missed a spot. (LAUGHING) Just concentrate on that. (GASPS) Oh, my gosh. (INAUDIBLE)
DANNY: In last week’s show, my wife Sharon and I began the renovation of a beachfront condo we bought as an investment and for family vacations. The location is ideal, the floor plan is great and the view is fabulous. I just love the beach. It’s just so calming to be down here.
DANNY: But the interior was in need of some updating. So with some help from Allen and a few guys from my construction crew we decided to make it into a place we would love and others would love renting when we weren’t using it. We removed the dated cabinet doors and had new ones built. I just thought the previous cabinets were just hideous. And so these just look wonderful. I mean, it just immediately upgraded the place. The crown molding was just exactly what we needed at the top. I mean, how subtle a little piece of wood like that, and then the little finger mold right below it. Just kind of acts as just that nice little focal point right at the top to finish the whole thing off. It was the right decision. I want those knobs to be in the same spot on every door. So I’ve got a little 90 degree corner and I’ve got my hole drilled in the plywood, so that when I put that corner up to every door, no matter which direction it is, the hole winds up in the same spot every time.
DANNY: The flooring choices wouldn’t have been too bad, except for the 20 years of wear and tear. And the beach sand we found under the carpet that was probably tracked in, probably during the Clinton Administration. You could tell the path everybody took in from the beach.
DANNY: Removing the old ceramic tile… (DRILLING) …was a slightly noisier process. Right now during the winter is the perfect time to be doing what we’re doing to the condo. ‘Cause we’re making a little noise, we got a lot of traffic in and out, up and down the elevators with materials going up and then trash and debris going down. We really hit it right in picking this time to do the renovation. It’s going so well, we’ll be finished well before the summer hits. The crown molding we added to all of the rooms and the fresh coat of paint made a big difference as well. Now it’s time to start putting the pieces together to complete this condo renovation. Boy, the beach is so quiet during the winter. Very tranquil out here. Inside it’s a whole ‘nother story. And one of the biggest changes we’ll make on this condo is the installation of the new vinyl plank floor. Now if you remember, this whole area had carpet before. When we peeled the carpet back, there was just a trail of sand leading right through here. We want to avoid that so the vinyl plank flooring will be great for all of the sand that gets tracked in to a condo like this. But before we can install this floor, the most important thing is that the floor, the existing slab be nice and clean. That’s because the material we’re about to install has its own adhesive backing built right in. If there’s sand or dust on the concrete, the flooring will stick to the dirt but not the concrete. So we need to get close to being in the middle of the room.
ALLEN: Right. For me, I want to split that floor down the middle first, lay out everything so I know what’s going to be on every border, because I don’t want a really skinny piece on one end and a full piece on the other. So we’re a little over 13. I say go to 13 on this end…
ALLEN: Okay. …and then hit right in the center. So that would be six-and-a-half, 78. You know how you can keep that line there? (ALLEN CHUCKLES)
ALLEN: As a matter of fact, I do. Really? Hairspray. Hairspray. You got some? Look like you use a lot of hairspray.
DANNY: Even though this is a big job, we can still have a little fun installing the floor, because this is so easy. We simply start the first row along the line we just popped, then we build out in one direction from there, making sure the joints between pieces on the second row don’t line up with the ones on the first one. I think this is going to be the easiest floor that I’ve ever put down. Inevitably you’re going to get up to that doorway, get up to some kind of a cabinetry. You have to do some cutting and notching around. Never seen anything easier to cut than this. Simply a good sharp utility blade. And we used a small, um, circular saw that helped a little bit on some of the long rip cuts, but you didn’t have to. You could just simply cut it with a knife. You know, I’ve installed a lot of different types of floors over the years, but this vinyl plank flooring is about as easy as it gets. Armstrong calls it the fast tech installation system and here’s why. The backing on each piece acts as both cushion and pressure sensitive adhesive, so you just press it into place. And because it’s repositionable, it’s not a one chance deal either. Which can be an advantage for some of us. I don’t need ’em. Yeah. I got some gaps this way, too, Mark.
DANNY: Despite the ribbing from the guys, we’re making amazing progress on this floor. Little bit later we have a roller that we’re renting that we’re going to roll over this to really make it really hold well to the slab, but the most important thing is when you’re installing it, you have to have constant temperature. It has to be heated and cooled and you need to leave it that way for several days so that it really ties down to the floor. While we keep knocking out this floor, check out this week’s simple solution. If you park in a garage, you have to be careful every time you swing open a door, because if you hit the wall, you could damage not only the wall, but more importantly, you could damage the edge of your door. So to prevent that from happening, we’re going to make a bumper out of a simple pool noodle. This costs about a dollar at any department store. And what you do is hold it against the wall and then open the door to see where to position the height of the bumper. In this case, we’re going to be right about there. It’s probably about 28 or 29 inches off the floor. And we’re going to attach it to the wall with a couple of one and five eighth inch drywall screws. Just run the screws right through the noodle and into the wall on the other side. These are very light weight so you don’t have to worry about catching a stud. If you just go right into the drywall that’s probably good enough. We’re going to drive in probably about, I would say at least four of these noodles, about four-and-a-half feet long. Standard pool noodle. And put one more on this end. And you want to keep it pretty level. And the other important thing is you want to make sure the screws are in position right at the edge of the door, because in case you bump it really hard you don’t want to hit the screw on the other side. So now, when you open up the door it’ll hit the pool noodle. And you notice I have the noodle off centered. It’s pushed back from the front of the door. And that way it protects not only the front door, but the back door as well.
DANNY: Up next, it’s time for a photo op. (BOTH LAUGHING)
DANNY: Sharon and I are renovating a beachfront condo for our family, and we’ve just begun the biggest job yet. New flooring throughout the whole unit. But the vinyl plank flooring she chose is going down so quickly it may not be that big of a job after all. This is beyond simple. I have never put down a floor that was this easy to do. Uh, no tongue in groove, no interlocking. There is adhesive already on the back of each plank, and it’s a repositionable adhesive. This is the ultimate “Do it yourself” floor, because you don’t have to put any adhesive down. You got to make sure it’s good and clean. But when we started putting this stuff together, I just had no idea that it would be so uniform, so easy. To do a large room like that in less than an hour, um, I’ve never encountered anything like that. Even carpet would take longer than that. When I… When I walked into the room I was like, “Oh, my gosh, it is so… “It’s going down so fast.” And it’s beautiful. I really love the floor. It just warms the room up, it makes it so… It makes it look so rich. It’s, um, just such a difference. Carpet wasn’t an option. I hate grout lines, they get so dirty. Um, and this is just going to be so easy to maintain and it looks beautiful.
DANNY: Meanwhile, we’re also updating the bathrooms by changing out the trim on the plumbing fixtures, painting the vanities, and adding a little pizazz to the mirrors with MirrorMate frames. That’s beautiful, isn’t it? Did you pick the color out? I did. Oh, my gosh, I love this. This is… This is so easy to do. What we’re going to do real quickly is get me a little wood glue right here. Yeah. Okay. Lots or a little? Just a little bit. Like is that… Is that sufficient? That’s perfect. That’s good. Okay. I’m gonna just spread it a little bit. All right? Now then… If you’ll take these three here, and you’re going to put this, in this direction. You see how it’s got a little hourglass shape on the backside of it. Yes. Okay. And you’re gonna match that shape right there. Wow. Okay.
ALLEN: And then just tap it in with the hammer. Oh, I have to use a hammer? Mmm. Move your fingers. Yeah. Yeah, just tap. Uh-huh. (LAUGHS) All right? The MirrorMate is… It’s really surprising that it just comes out of the box. And it’s very easy to put together, and it’s beautiful. It’s like a… A custom picture frame. Hey, let’s get our picture made in it. Yeah. (BOTH LAUGHING) This is something I could build easily. But why bother? All I have to do is measure the mirror. I send them all the measurements, they’ll cut it to specs, and when you put it on the mirror it’s as simple as pulling off the strip of double sided tape and pressing it right in place. This bathroom was so plain and that’s just going to make it pop. This is beautiful. Uh-huh. It really is.
DANNY: While Sharon and Allen are framing the mirrors, we’re wrapping up the flooring so it’ll be complete before the granite arrives. We don’t want the granite to be cut in a lot of different pieces. Naturally you want as few seams as possible. But they’re not going to carry that up three flights of stairs. They have to get it in the elevator. So your granite is only going to be as big as they can get in that elevator. So hopefully, we won’t have a lot of extra seams in there. I really have not even seen what she’s chosen for the granite. So, if I didn’t agree with her on exactly what the granite would be, she’s going to get the granite she wants. (SHARON LAUGHS) So I assume what is going to be installed will be satisfactory, I hope. Hey, Danny, come look.
DANNY: So that’s the stuff, huh? Isn’t it pretty? Don’t you think it’ll look real good? I think so. Well, it’s got the… What do you mean you think so? It’s beautiful. It’ll work. (SHARON CHUCKLES) I can… I can grow to like it. Yeah. Yeah, that’s going to look fantastic. It’s gonna really look good. SHARON: I think it’s going to look really good. I like it. I do, too, and I think it really is nice. See all the green in it? I don’t know. (CHUCKLES) I might have to choose a green sofa for the living room. Yeah, I know, but it’s pretty subtle though when you look at the… All of the browns and the coffee kind of colors back and forth. SHARON: Yeah. Yeah. Actually you could spill a lot of coffee on it and you’ll never know. (SHARON LAUGHS) Spill a lot of stuff on it. (LAUGHING) Yeah. The beauty of granite.
DANNY: Although granite is extremely hard, it’s also very brittle when it’s cut as thin as these countertops. That’s why these guys are so careful and deliberate when they’re moving it onto the cabinets. Once the tops are in place, they’ll cut the back splashes to fit on site. We don’t want all that dust in the condo or on the cars near the entry way, so we’ve set up in an empty corner of the parking lot, with a small generator to power the tools they need to cut and buff the small pieces of back splash. (DANNY SPEAKING) (MAN LAUGHING) (GROANING) Big as what?
DANNY: As if it weren’t chaotic enough in here with my family, my crew, and the granite guys all working around each other, the condo association has sent up the glass company to replace the fogged glass door units in the living room. This place will be practically brand new from front to back. You know on Best New Products we love to show you ideas that can make your home life easier. And we especially like to highlight solutions to problems you may have around your house. Well, if you live in my house, you will find that the biggest problem I have is my daughter leaving the lights on after she leaves the room. That is my pet peeve. I hate that. Well, Leviton has come out with a motion sensor light switch. It’s very easy to install. And when a person walks into the room, it automatically turns the lights on. If it doesn’t detect motion after a certain amount of time, it will shut the lights off. I love it. Now the thing about the sensor, it’s really cool because it has 180 degrees span, so it can pretty much scan the entire room. But you can set it up where it will detect blockage, say like a wall so it’ll know not to scan that side. Another feature that I like about it is here at the bottom, it has a manual on and off. So if they do remember to turn the lights off, all they have to do is hit that switch. But it’s a perfect solution for also saving energy on your power bill, and who doesn’t like that?
DANNY: Coming up, the rooms are already being claimed. Yay! Which bed’s going to be yours, huh? Huh? (SHARON CHUCKLES)
DANNY: This week on Today’s Homeowner, we’re completing the renovation of a beachfront condo for a very special family. Mine. You missed a spot. (LAUGHING) Just concentrate on that. (GASPS) Oh, my gosh.
DANNY: The renovation of my family’s beachfront condo is almost complete. That leaves lots of little cleaning, decorating, and last-minute chores to complete. And today we’ve got some extra help. Chelsea and our new granddaughter Mary Helen are here to help with the final push to finish. I think the condo is great. It seems to be the perfect amount of space for what we’re going to use it for. I mean, I say “we”, I’m hoping I get invited to stay at the condo, I don’t know. Um, maybe I’ll get a key, we’ll see. Um, when my parents were buying the condo, they referred to it as Mary Helen’s condo. Which is perfect, ’cause it has a little kitty pool that their balcony looks over. And then it has the indoor swimming pool that is heated year round, so… I mean, she could go swimming right now.
DANNY: But swimming is not on the agenda today. These are the kind of projects that so many people will neglect doing. Just a little bit of cleaning of some of the moving parts. But even something like this is very gratifying to me, because I know that they’ll continue working for a long, long time. Get it clean, put a little lubricant on it, and it will work like it should. Meanwhile, Sharon, Chelsea, and Mary Helen are getting the bedrooms ready for the arrival of some new furniture.
SHARON: I’m thrilled. So you can sleep four people in this room. Yay! Which bed’s going to be yours, huh? Huh? (SHARON CHUCKLES) I love decorating the place. I don’t have anything to do with decorating, but I do enjoy, you know, putting things together and seeing the final picture. And seeing, you know… Making this match this. And I’ll pretty much go all over town to make that happen.
DANNY: When the new furniture arrives, there’s a little head scratching to be done to determine how much we need to trim the legs. I did however convince Sharon to save some of the old wicker furniture, but she’s determined to position it out of sight. Any treasure? Oh, no treasures. Oh, my gosh. Throw ’em out.
CHELSEA: Oh, you’re so weird. I’m leaving. I’m getting out of here. Gotta clean. Gotta clean. Gotta clean. Dad’s pretty intense when it’s getting down to the punch list items, and he… I didn’t realize how much he likes to clean. Well, he only likes to clean in situations like this. He won’t, like, clean the house on a regular basis. (VACUUM CLEANER WHIRRING) You missed a spot. Yeah, all right. Right there. Yeah. You missed a spot. (LAUGHING) You know, your life would be so boring if I wasn’t here to harass you, Dad. Thanks for inviting me. (SHARON CHUCKLES) Well, I didn’t have the advantage of seeing what it looked like before, but it’s looking really nice now.
SHARON: Oh, yeah, you should have seen it before. You tell me how high or low you want it.
SHARON: Oh, down some. Down a little more. Oh, my gosh. Right about like that. Oh, I love it.
DANNY: With all of the furniture here, we’re busy getting it in the right places and waiting on the appliances. We really had a hard time with the appliances. I wasn’t really sure they were going to make it here. (CELL PHONE RINGING) Might be the appliance guy, grab it. I think it is. (GASPS) Oh, my gosh. I declined it. She declined… She declined the appliance man’s call. I’m calling him right back. Just concentrate on that. Get us some appliances here. Fortunately, they answered her callback and they’re on the way.
SHARON: 20 minutes. Excellent. That is gonna make a landmark day. What do you think about these? Love ’em. They were inexpensive. Don’t you think they’re okay? Mmm-hmm. Better than wicker. Speaking of wicker, few people know it could be used as a weapon. Ow. What? Just pushing on my heel. (CHUCKLES) You almost tore my Achilles. Go on in. (CHUCKLES)
DANNY: We may need an intervention, and it looks like the appliance man may be it.
SHARON: It’s blue, look. A blue refrigerator.
DANNY: Finally it’s all coming together. Just a few more details and we’re ready for a vacation. I have lots of shelf paper to put down still. (BABY FUSSING) Good. Perfect time for me to leave. (LAUGHING)
DANNY: When replacing worn and dirty carpet isn’t in the budget, people want to know what’s the best way to clean it. You can rent carpet cleaning machines from retail and rental stores for this job, but often times the cleaning solutions that come with them leave a sticky residue that actually attracts dirt later. The carpets look clean immediately after you use the machine, but they very quickly appear dirty again. Hiring a professional who uses a truck mounted steam cleaner may provide you with better results over the long haul, even if it’s more expensive initially. The professional may pretreat stained areas with a cleaning solution, but the actual cleaning is done when steam is forced into the fibers of the carpet. The steam breaks the hold of the dirt and grime on the carpet fibers, so that they can be sucked up and away by the vacuum. Because steam is a gas, not a liquid, the carpet is damp, but never completely saturated with water. The result is a carpet that dries more quickly and stays cleaner longer, so you don’t have to clean it as often. There’s more Today’s Homeowner coming right up. But here’s a look at what’s happening on next week’s show. What starts out as an upcycling project, also becomes a recycling project. Okay, you’re leaving us hanging, come on. What’s the unique purpose? This is embarrassing. (IMITATES THUDDING) It just fell off. (CHUCKLES) Is this something you’re fond of? What will you do about that? Well… I can make a list right here. You can make a list there. We’ll get this done in no time. Look out. (LAUGHS) This is amazing. Wow! (CHUCKLES) I love it. It looks so good. (CHUCKLING) Oh, wow. Does it make sense? (LAUGHS) It’s gonna come together, I’m sure.
DANNY: My family’s beachfront condo is finally complete. The dated drab cabinets that used to define the kitchen have been brought up to date with a new finish, new doors, and new hardware. All of the flooring in this place, it’s seen its better days. Before we started, it was worn and stained from years of traffic from sandy feet. The new wood look vinyl plank floors elevate the level of the whole space. It should be incredibly low maintenance in this very tough environment. The bathrooms also gave away the unit’s 1990s heritage with fixtures, accessories and cabinets that haven’t been popular since the turn of the century. We’ve updated these spaces with new mirrors, new trim for the plumbing fixtures and new doors for the vanities. All right, anybody thirsty out here? Oh, yeah. There we go. All right. Hey, this is what we’ve been working for in order to be able to relax a little bit. You know, we’ve put in over 10 days over the last month-and-a-half in order to complete all of the renovations. But we used some pretty durable materials. It’s going to really hold up to all the wear and tear my family’s going to put it through as well as the vacation rentals once we start renting it out in a few months. Hey, thanks for joining me on this special journey of repairing and remodeling and updating this very special place. It’s certainly going to provide a lot of great memories for me and my family.
Hey, I’m Danny Lipford, and we’ll see you soon right here on Today’s Homeowner. Whoa! Just for us.