Posts Tagged ‘new construction’

Books and Bricks

November 9, 2018

This room in a 1920’s home in the Woodland Heights neighborhood of Houston is to become something of a “man cave,” hence the dark wood floors and the rich, cobalt blue of the bookcases. The bookcases needed a little more personality, so the interior designer found this beautiful faux brick wallpaper pattern – amazingly in the exact perfect blue hue to match the paint.

The paper is by Wallquest, one of my favorite brands, and was lovely to work with. It’s one of the most realistic faux brick patterns I’ve come across, and does not have the repetitiveness that many patterns so.

The interior designer for this job is Stacie Cokinos, of Cokinos Design. Stacie specializes in new construction and whole-house renovations, mostly in the Heights neighborhoods. I can’t say enough good things about her designs and about working with her.

Mountain Mural for a Mountain Climber

October 6, 2018

This homeowner is a mountain climber, and goes every chance he gets. He wanted to bring a little of his passion into his home, and this rear wall of his closet was the lucky spot.

A lot of the mountains and sky were cut off where the cabinets hit the wall, but you see enough of the photo to feel like you are there!

The mural is by (who happen to be fellow members of the Wallcovering Installers Association). It was custom-sized to fit the wall (allowing a 2″ “bleed” all around each side). It came on a heavy vinyl material with a canvas backing, and was pretty thick. That made it a little difficult to trim.

There was one seam, and that was double-cut (overlapped 2″ and then spliced). Since the material was so thick, and with the fabric backing having threads that got caught up in the seam, it was somewhat difficult to cut – I used a new single edged razor blade and had to press really hard to get through both layers. I used a thin polystyrene plastic strip to pad and protect the wall under the cut, so the drywall would not be damaged (cut drywall can delaminate and result in a popped seam.

I also used blue plastic tape on the edge of the overlapped piece, to prevent paste from getting on the face of the mural.

The wide strip on the left would have been unwieldy trying to fit around the upper and lower cabinets, and the material was prone to creasing. So, I split the strip in half vertically, so the first half went to just an inch past the cabinets. This was much easier to manipulate, and put less stress (potential damage) on the paper, plus it kept paste off the cabinets. Then I was able to easily position the short piece that went in between the upper and lower cabinets.

This is a new construction home in the Tanglewood area of Houston. I was lucky enough to work all by myself, with no other construction workers in the house. No noise, no distractions = happy.

Usurped – My Landing Place for Shoes & Tools

December 7, 2016

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I like to leave this scrap of sturdy vinyl wallpaper at the front door, to set my shoes on, and other equipment, to protect the homeowners’ floors.

Today I was working in a new-construction home. I turned around and found that the other workers in the home had followed suit, and that little patch of vinyl was covered with shoes and tools!

By the time I grabbed my camera, here’s what was there…

Here Is One Reason Why I Don’t Work on New Construction Jobs

May 27, 2015
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People are usually eager to get their new home all finished, or the remodel job over with. I think their eagerness to get moved into their home sometimes leads to misjudging when the house is “ready for wallpaper.”

Folks, if you want your new wallpaper to be clean, and free of paint drips and not be dinged or torn, to not have paste smeared over the surface or grit trapped in the paste underneath, then the wallpaper should be the last thing that goes into the house. ALL of the other construction has to be finished, and the workmen off the premises. Seriously, do you want to spend $1000 on wallpaper (or more!), and half again that on labor, and have a painter come back and “touch up” the crown molding?? I can guarantee there is no way he can do that without getting some paint on the paper. No way.

Also, please don’t have the plumber working upstairs on the same day I’m working downstairs – we will inevitably be crossing one another’s paths. I’ve had plumbers cut off the water to the house, leaving me with no way to wash off paste residue. I’ve had electricians cut off the power, leaving me in the dark in a powder room with no windows. I’ve had people throw things down stairs and rip the paper I just put up. I’ve had handymen hang chandeliers over my work table, dropping Sheetrock crumbs onto the pasted wallpaper, and I’ve had guys “borrow” my ladder (without asking) with all my tools on top, and plop their heavy, dirty equipment on top of my delicate tools. I’ve had guys push their way into a room where I’m working and knock me off the ladder. I’ve had people set their greasy hamburgers, or bowls of dog food, on my pristine, clean work table where I am rolling out pricy wallpaper.

And vice versa … if a guy is doing a project in a home, he doesn’t want me there, competing for a parking space, walking through his work area, or stepping on his new tile floor so I can get to the room where the wallpaper is supposed to go.

See this painter working on the stairs? “The painters will be doing some touch-up – but they won’t be in your way.” Oh yeah?! I was to paper two rooms on the first floor, and one on the second floor. Just to get primer on the walls, I had to make about eight trips up and down the stairs, and that was a great inconvenience to the painter every time he had to stop and move his tools and climb down and let me pass. Eight times.

And see the dust he is making? There was a pile of dust at the foot of the stairs, and in the room where I was supposed to hang wallpaper. Yellow dust, from wood filler. Now, how can I keep paper clean, when the floor is covered with dust and the air is full of dust?

And air conditioning. Mold is bad for wallpaper. Humidity breeds mold. Humidity curls wallpaper. Humidity is the great enemy of wallpaper. Air conditioning (and heat, during the winter) remove humidity. Air conditioning and heating systems must be working, before I can put up wallpaper.

And don’t even get me started on the noise from power tools! Worse than leaf blowers! I simply cannot concentrate, let alone do math or work out geometry, with all that commotion going on!

It’s not that I’m a primadona. It’s that, to get your wallpaper to look its best, and to stay on the wall, there need to be certain things – like good light, running water, electricity, space for my ladder and room for my table, clean dry air, and relative peace and quiet with no distractions.

So I leave, and the homeowner (or the contractor) says, “Just come back in two weeks.” But that’s something that’s easy to say, but hard to do. I am usually booked solid with work, every single day, for several weeks, if not months. There is no open spot “in two weeks” on my work schedule. It becomes a huge juggling act, trying to accommodate jobs that get off-schedule and other clients who have been patiently waiting… a nightmare, it really is.

Much of this can easily be prevented by taking a realistic look at the construction time frame, and planning to have the wallpaper go up last. That’s the best way to ensure that your investment will be clean, stain-free, and undamaged.

Paint Splatters on Floor

October 13, 2014

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In that same new construction home, I was preparing to prime the walls in the dining room, and while putting dropcloths down, I noticed these little splatters of paint, on the brand new floors, all along the base of the wall, in every room. Whoops! Looks like the painters forgot to use a dropcloth!

My wallpaper primer is white, and I wanted to be sure I was not blamed for this, so I grabbed the job foreman and made sure she knew the speckles were there before I started.

Keep the Site Clean – OR ELSE!

October 9, 2014

Digital ImageI don’t often work in new construction homes where other workmen are still working (too much dust, noise, confusion, theft, messing up my beautiful new wallpaper, etc.). But this week does find me wallpapering in a home where workmen are doing final touches before the family (just had their first baby!) moves in.

This builder must be a step above – I have seen signs before saying “No Zapatos” (“No Shoes”) in order to protect the new floors. But this is the first time I’ve seen this one. I love it!!

Keeping trash in it’s place is really important, because you’d be surprised at the damage caused by debris and grit on floors, in bath tubs, on countertops, etc. Damp rags, chemicals, food, and the like can all cause damage, too.