TV Personality Matt Fox from the PBS’ Around the House with Matt and Shari stopped by recently to talk with Bob about planning a remodeling project. How do you plan for something that is going to last a long time yet stay within budget and is something that you can be proud of for years to come? And what about your return on investment when it comes time to sell? Bob and Matt talk about that a whole lot more in this week’s VLOG.
One Man and a Hammer Vlog
Bob had a chance to sit down with Tony Fabric of X-Tend Technologies in Broadview Hts at this year’s Great Big Home and Garden Show to talk about the awesome in-home theater they had setup at this year’s show. Tony and his staff are experts at home theater construction and he is your go-to guy for everything in customized basements.
Bob: So, you don’t want to watch TV in the living room anymore, you
want to watch it in the basement. By yourself, watch
your football game, with your buddies while your wife
is upstairs watching HDTV or whatever it is that she
wants to watch. Well, I have a company that it can
take your basement and turn it into a dream home
theater. Hi everybody, Bob Gallese with One Man and a
Hammer and onemanandahammer.com. I’m here this
morning with Tony Fabric of Extend Technologies and
we’re live at the home of the big, great big home and
garden show at the IX Center and Tony, I thank you
for taking the time out. What a fabulous looking home
theater. Is this pretty common, is this the up and
Tony: Yeah, we’ve been installing a lot of home theaters in people’s
homes for the past 10 years. Every year, the
popularity of the home theater grows more and more.
People like to entertain in their homes. If you’ve
got kids, it’s a great place to have them come and
entertain with their friends. You know what they’re
doing, they’re not out doing something else.
Bob: As they can see on film, we’re sitting on these nice comfy
chairs, which I know you don’t need all of these
after the show, so if you need some help taking these
out of here I can help you with that. But, putting
that aside for a moment, bottom line is, just the
seating alone. These things are all electronically
controlled footrest and in and out and up and down
and this is where it’s going. The sound, the ceiling
which you can’t see yet – we’re going to get a
picture of that ceiling – is amazing. What is going
on with the lighting in the ceiling?
Tony: So, the ceiling, what we did is we used over 600 strands of
fiber optic cabling and a light generator that
actually twinkles it and it makes it look like space.
It looks like you’re looking at the stars.
Bob: Amazing, absolutely amazing. I would love them. Is that a crazy
Tony: No, it’s not crazy expensive. It’s very labor-intensive so it
takes some time. But when you’re building a home
theater, it depends on the size of the room and
everything else, but it can be done for $3,000,
$5,000 depending on the size.
Bob: What’s the most important aspect of putting together a home
theater? Is it the sound buffering, is it the audio,
is it the video? What is it that is the most
important thing you have to focus on?
Tony: Well, as I tell everybody, everybody has to work within a
budget so step one is establishing what your budget
is and when you have a budget established, we usually
will sit down with our clients and we’ll say, “So
much of it can go towards the projector, so much of
it can go towards the speakers” and get you the
basics that you need to be able to watch TV and watch
movies. And then the larger your budget is, then you
can expand out and you can do things like acoustical
paneling on the walls.
Bob: Which is what this is here.
Tony: Yeah, that’s what that is right there. You can have nice home
theater seats, you can put in a star-field ceiling.
Tony: You can add all the little accents and the little things that
improve the acoustics.
Bob: And I see you guys have the projection. The TV, I assume what’s
that called, projection TV, right?
Tony: Yeah, this is a projector and then we have a 120-inch screen.
Bob: Okay, and that’s the latest and greatest. And you said there
was something about new 4X?
Tony: 4K technology. So, double the resolution of 1080P. There’s
projectors that are available that will do that. The
content for that is starting to come out.
Bob: All right and the most important thing about a new home theater
is that guys, you get a new remote. I know just what
ever woman wants to see in their house, another
remote. Tony, thank you, beautiful room, beautiful
job here, it’s at the IX, come on down and see it.
Make sure you join me every Saturday morning at The
Home Toolbox from 8 to 9am on WELW and WELW.com.
We’ll see you then.
Problems with Bathroom or Kitchen grout or tile cracking? Find out how you can prevent that with a cool and innovative floor system from Schluter Systems. One Man and a Hammer uses Schluter products exclusively on all of our bathroom and kitchen remodels. And in this week’s VLOG Bob talks once again with Phil Woodruff of Schluter Systems.
Bob: Ceramic tile, two problems: Cracking, cold. Everybody wants to know,
how do I get rid of those two things? Hi everybody. Bob Gallese, at
One Man and a Hammer and OneManAHammer.com. There is a way to solve
both those problems, and the solution is here today. One Man and a
Hammer uses this product; it’s made by a company called Schluter.
Today, we have Phil Woodruff, the Schluter rep. Phil, thanks again for
Phil: Thank you.
Bob: We’ve always . . . we’ve had the Ditra product out. It’s an
uncoupling membrane so your plywood’s substrate or your concrete,
possibly, can move and do whatever it wants to do; not put the stress
on the tile and crack the tile. It used to be that if you wanted to
also warm that floor, you would have to put down a heat mat, and then
the Ditra on top of that.
Phil: That’s correct.
Bob: Which means it was a two-step process and that would be a couple days
instead of . . . now, there’s a new way to do this.
Phil: There is.
Bob: Schluter has come out with this. Go ahead Phil, you let’s . . . tell
us about it.
Phil: Yes. Coming in March we have a new Ditra mat called Ditra Heat. This
is basically a 1/4 -inch underlament. You can see that it’s actually
configured differently than the Ditra mat. As you said, Bob, it’s
going to give us the uncoupling properties where we’re going to allow
the substrate to move independently from the tile. What is so
different or special about this product is that we are going to sell
cables, a cable heating system that you integrate into the mat.
Therefore, you don’t have to worry about leveling or flattening the
Bob: That is really cool stuff, because I’ve never seen anything like this
until right now.
Phil: There is nothing like this. This is the first underlament that we
know of that integrates the heating with the underlament. The other
thing it’s going to do for you is that you can customize your heating
system in your bathroom or your kitchen floor right on the job site.
What used to be, as you said, 2 days to get a floor prepped for tile,
it’s now one with just the underlament. Another big advantage is that
we talked about in the last bog, a barrier free-bath. When you pull a
curb out of a barrier-free bath, we really need to treat the entire
bathroom floor as a shower pan. We can now waterproof this product
just like Ditra with KERDI band. All we’re doing is adding in the
heating element to this.
Bob: You’re talking about heating the shower floor also.
Phil: If you were going to actually carry the heat into the shower floor,
yes you could, but you would have to put the KERDI membrane to protect
the cable in the shower. In the dry area of the floor, the bathroom
floor out by the stool, the vanity; all we would do is do the KERDI
band on the seams as we would with Ditra.
Bob: Wow. That’s amazing stuff. I’m excited because it’s . . .
Phil: We’re excited.
Bob: . . . it’s going to save so much time, which means the consumer’s are
going to save money because now we don’t have to have a two-step
process. Now it’s a one-step process putting this down and the heat
wires in, in one day instead of two days. Good stuff. I tell you what;
please, somebody call me. Let me put this in your home. I’m dying to
All right everybody. Thank you for joining me today. Don’t forget to
join me every Saturday morning from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on the 1330 AM,
the Talk of the Town, WELW and WELW.com for the Home Toolbox Show. See
When we talk with clients about a bathroom remodel typically the #1 question we hear is “Will my bathroom leak in 5-10 years after the remodel?” Bob spoke with Phil Woodruff of Schluter Systems at the 2014 NARI Home Show in Cleveland, Ohio about the latest and greatest shower and bath drainage and leak prevention innovations.
Bob: We’re here at the 2014 NARI Home Improvement Show at the IX Center.
Many people have come in today talking about their bathrooms,
remodeling their bathrooms, and how they can keep it from leaking
again. Hi everybody. Bob Gallese, with One Man and a Hammer and
OneManAndAHammer.com. I know we’ve talked many times before about how
to waterproof a bathroom. Today, we have Phil Woodruff, of Schluter
Systems, which is the system that One Man and a Hammer uses to
waterproof their bathrooms. Phil, thank you for coming on today with
Phil: Thank you for having us here.
Bob: What’s the latest and greatest? What’s out there? What’s going on
with Schluter? I know we use the KERDI mat, which is the wall water
proofing system. I know they have the great drains. Is there any
improvements in KERDI, or that product is pretty good, don’t need any
Phil: We don’t need any improvement, but what we’re seeing out is a trend
is the barrier-free bath or the curbless shower and the integration of
the line drain. The line drain is definitely something that we’ve
gotten into in the last year.; comes in a variety of sizes, 3
different grade options.
Bob: Line drains. What is a line drain, exactly?
Phil: A lineal drain versus a point drain, so the old KERDI drain as we
know it, you use, is a drain that goes in the middle of the floor. We
slope the floor to it, and why we’re sloping, we’re on a compound
angle; therefore, we need a smaller format tile. What we’ve done is
we’ve come up with a lineal drain, or sometimes maybe a trough drain,
and you’ll see here, this one’s a 32-inch. These start at 20 inches;
they move up in increments of 4 all the way to 72. What that’s going
to do is it’s going to allow you guys to instead of putting a drain in
the center, you can place that drain up against the wall or at the
front of the shower.
Bob: As opposed to having a shower floor that slopes from 4 ways . . .
Phil: Your slope . . .
Bob: . . . this sloping one way.
Phil: Or two ways.
Bob: Or two ways, right.
Phil: Which now gives you the ability to sell the customer on the floor
tile that’s large format that’s so popular, the 12×24, 24×24 that’s on
the wall and the floor. We’ve never been able to put that in the
bathroom floor because of that compound angle. Now because of these
single slopes, we can integrate it or carry the bathroom floor right
through into the shower.
Bob: That’s good stuff and that’s great news, because now, that opens up
the tile selections. You don’t have to have the little 2×2 tiles or
little 3×3 tiles, which of course, involves more grout in your shower.
I know a lot of people still get hung up on the grout, so that
eliminates the need to have all those little tiles and all that grout.
Real good stuff. The drains obviously still have the standard round
drain, but we’re going to get into that on another vlog. Phil, I
appreciate your time today.
Everybody, make sure you join me from 8:00 to 9:00 on Saturday morning
on the Home Toolbox Show on AM 1330. See you then.
When it’s early in the year, January, February, that’s when folks start to get cabin fever and looking forward to the nice weather. And possibly remodeling a kitchen or bathroom or add an addition. Establishing budget criteria and parameters early is the key to a successful project and Bob explains why in this week’s VLOG.
Is it time to remodel your home? Where do you begin? Hi, everybody, Bob
Gallese with One Man and a Hammer and OneManAndaHammer.com.
A lot of questions go through people’s minds when they start thinking about
remodeling, such as; how much does it cost to remodel the kitchen, or
bathroom, or the basement, or whatever you intend on doing? It’s almost one
of the biggest concerns and I highly recommend setting a budget early on,
so you don’t get yourself in financial trouble as the project progresses.
Possibly you may need some financing. Where are you going to go? Are you
going to go to the bank? A bank is a good choice, by the
way. Are you going to go to your credit union? Maybe Uncle Joe? Maybe Uncle
Joe’s got some money in a can in the backyard. Maybe go to Uncle Joe, the
interest rate will be less.
As far as setting up what you want to do with the project, what are your
pains? Let’s talk about a kitchen. What are the pains of the existing
kitchen? Is it the lighting? Is the cabinetry falling apart? Maybe the
slide-in stove doesn’t work any more. Maybe the sink-base cabinet is caving
in from water coming in the bottom.
So you have to start thinking about a few things, such as the appliances
being number one. Are you going to replace the refrigerator? The microwave?
The micro hood? The dishwasher? Knowing those items will help you plan your
new kitchen and the new layout. You need to know those sizes.
Cabinetry. Do you want wood or particle board? Again, that comes up to the
budget. So setting up the budget early is really important.
Lighting; under cabinet lighting, over cabinet lighting, new recessed
lights in the ceiling. If you haven’t changed lighting in your home in 20-
30 years, actually 30-40 years, it’s probably too dark in the prep area and
the dinette. Lighting is a huge, huge consideration. Don’t remodel your
kitchen without it.
Counter tops, do you want to go laminate, granite, quartz? Again, budget.
If you have a budget set up, it’s going to help you understand what you can
afford at the time.
The floors, you can go wood, you can go tile, a couple other considerations
but those are the two main ones. Do you want to heat the floor, possibly?
Are you on a slab? Are you always in your kitchen? Do you want to put a
heat net down there?
Folks, when it comes down to remodeling your kitchens and bathrooms and
whatever project you’re going to do, do it right. Set a budget for
yourself, make sure you’re using the best materials you can possibly
afford, and if you can’t afford to use a quality material: do yourselves a
favor and don’t do it at all. Save your money and use the quality
materials. Otherwise, you’re going to be replacing it again in 3-4 years
and you didn’t save anything.
Don’t forget to join me every Saturday morning at 8:00 A.M. for The Home
Tool Box on AM 1330 WELW, the talk of the town. See you then.
Unfortunately no matter if you live in Cleveland, Ohio or Popp’s Ferry, Mississippi thieves target homes when the owner is away. In this week’s VLOG Bob offers some security tips that work if you’re heading to Grandma’s for the holidays or when you’re away on vacation.
What’s the best lighting solution for your new home or your home remodeling project? LED lighting, hands down. In this VLOG Bob talks about all types of lighting and why LED lighting is the best and should me your lighting choice.
One of the most common questions we get a lot when we’re remodeling a
kitchen or bathroom is about something we don’t pay a whole lot of
attention to until it goes and that is the lights. Hi, everyone, Bob
Gallese at One Man and a Hammer and One Man and a Hammer.com. Lighting is a
very interesting facet of remodeling. Why? Because there are so many
choices today. Incandescent bulbs, although they’re still out there, you
can still find them on racks and shelves all over the place, but of course
then you have the CFLs, the compact fluorescent bulbs, you have the halogen
bulbs out there and of course the latest and greatest, LEDs.
LED is not a fad by the way; LED is what we’re going to have all over the
place and they’re coming on, they’re coming on strong, and it’s not going
away. It’s kind of like the personal computer when it first came out.
Everybody thought it was kind of one of those fads and it would just kind
of fad away. Well, unfortunately it hasn’t, hence, video blogs.
At any rate, when you’re looking at lighting, let’s talk about a bathroom
for a moment. Halogen bulbs are great, they put out a lot of light and they
use a lot less electricity than incandescent bulbs do, but the halogen
bulbs are very, very warm–very warm to the touch. So you have to be very
careful where you’re putting the halogen bulbs. We typically like to use
halogen bulbs in recessed cans in the ceiling, at least an eight-foot
ceiling. If you have a bathroom with a lower ceiling or if you have a light
that a child can possibly reach or maybe as you’re showering you can lift
your arm up in the air and touch the bulb or touch the glass that’s hiding
that halogen bulb, that can be a little warm.
LED products period; you can do so many different things with them. They
come in strips, you can tape them underneath vanities, you can light up
counter-tops these days like onyx, solid surface, and onyx stone. You can
actually under light or back light that type of product. You can back light
pictures and wood frames that you put on the wall so it shadow boxes of
old, but now you can put LED lights around them. And these LED strip lights
today have a little remote that you can use to change the color, and you
can change the pattern of the lighting that goes around the colors and the
boxes and under the counters. There are so many different things you can do
with LED, and they use so much less voltage than any other bulb out there
The LED bulbs of today also there are UV free LED bulbs. What that means is
they won’t attract insects, and for those of us that have had a porch light
on when you’re sitting out on the porch late at night, maybe having your
favorite glass of wine and just trying to relax, and all of a sudden the
bugs come. Well, these new LED bulbs, the UV free ones, will not attract
the bugs. To me that’s a big plus. I think I’ll be looking at those myself.
As you look into other types of bulbs, fluorescent bulbs are still not a
bad deal. A lot of under-cabinet lighting in kitchens still use the smaller
fluorescent bulbs. A good choice, they are relatively inexpensive, and
that’s comparable to the LED bulbs, because LEDs are still a little more
expensive today. But they do far outlast–LEDs far outlast any incandescent
bulb; most halogen bulbs and all fluorescent bulbs. LEDs are going to be
there for years and years beyond that. So I know the big hang-up today is
the cost of an LED product. Unfortunately the upfront cost is not the only
thing of value you have to look at. You’ve got to look at it over the
lifespan of that bulb and how long that bulb is going to be there.
So if you’re looking to buy a bulb and be done with it for a long, long
time LED is the way to go. The fluorescents will outlast incandescent,
typically, and it’s still a very good value, the fluorescents are. The
problem with fluorescents is you always get that yellow or that bluish-
white light. LEDs are a much whiter light; they’re a much more natural
light, and I know a lot of hair salons and nail salons like to use LED
products. I know that because my wife and my daughter both like those
products, and my wife is a barber and my daughter does nails. So I’m
telling you what I know.
But bottom line is, if you’re out there looking for lighting don’t be
afraid of LEDs. It’s good stuff, and a lot of people pick it up and they
look at it and say, well, okay, that’s like the newest fad. But it’s not a
fad, it’s good stuff. Read up on them. I think you’ll appreciate what you
see. But the next time that you go out and you see maybe one of these strip
lights, say, at the local Costco. It comes with a remote and like four or
five two-foot long tape-on LED lights that you can kind of decorate all
kinds of things.
They’re really cool around Christmas, by the way. It comes with a little
remote and you can change the red and the green and all kinds of crazy
things. It’s really cool technology. Check them out. I think you’ll like
them. But don’t neglect lighting when you’re thinking about remodeling.
Remember, on a dark winter night like we’re having now, it’s important to
make sure that your kitchen–especially your kitchen–is lit well because
back in the day, God knows, we had one light over here and one light over
there, and there was darkness everywhere else. You had to wear like one of
those miner’s hats and we don’t want to do that anymore. Thanks for
listening, folks, and don’t forget to listen to my video blogs on our
YouTube Channel at One Man and a Hammer or at OneManandaHammer.com. Talk to
The #1 question we get asked is “How much would it cost to remodel my kitchen or bathroom?” “How much does it cost to build a new or replacement garage?” Before a good contractor can quote a job, he or she needs to know a lot more info than dimensions or a brief description of what the client wants. In this VLOG Bob talks about what you can expect during the quoting process.
So you want to build an addition, and you’re trying to figure out, “What do
I need to ask? What do I need to find out? How am I going to get this thing
priced?” Many times, I get that question from people, “Bob, what do I need
to know?” Or when I go there they want to know a price. Hi, everybody. Bob
Gallese with One Man and a Hammer and onemanandahammer.com.
One of the most common mistakes that a homeowner makes when they’re getting
ready to do a major remodeling project, and I’m talking about things like a
big kitchen remodel, a bathroom remodel, or an addition, or a new garage,
possibly, is that they start getting prices from different contractors
without first having a blueprint for everybody to work from. As you all
probably know, building anything without some type of blueprint is just not
going to end up very well.
I’ve never seen a home built without a blueprint. I typically don’t see a
garage built without a blueprint. Although, I look at some and think that
maybe they didn’t have a blueprint. But bottom line is, when you are going
to do a larger remodeling project, get a blueprint. Maybe your contractor
can offer you one. Maybe he has that service. One Man and a Hammer has that
We can design right here. We do ask for a design retainer, but you own
everything. You own the drawings. We’ll do an initial proposal, a cost
proposal. But if you’re going out and getting prices from two, three, four
different contractors to remodel your kitchen, let’s say – it could be a
bathroom also, doesn’t really matter what it is if they’re not working from
the same plan, how are you going to compare apples to apples? It’s almost
impossible to do.
I remember walking into a home. A lady had gotten prices for her bathroom
remodel, and I said, “Okay. I’ll kind of work from that, see where you’re
at, see what your budget is like.” I said to her, I said, “Okay, what kind
of tile was your contractor giving you?” “I don’t know.” “What kind of
faucets was he giving you, brushed nickel or bronze, single handle, double
handle, widespread, four-inch center set?” “I don’t know.”
“Okay. What kind of shower, base or tub were they giving you?” “I don’t
know. It just says here they’re giving me that.” I said, “Well, how do you
know what kind of quality he’s going to be putting in here? Maybe it’s
going to be some closeout toilet or bathtub. Maybe it’s going to be
seconds.” In the tile industry “seconds” simply means something that got
fired too long. They’re not necessarily sized real well together.
So you’re really not sure if… well, really what you’re getting. So
without having those specifications put in place, including a blueprint
from which to work and where cabinets are going to go… Where is the sink
going to go? Is the window going to be made wider? Is it going to be made
narrower? Are you going to be putting a Lazy Susan in the corner? If you
have the shortened cabinets, if you want to take cabinets up to the
ceiling, whatever it is, you don’t want to count on any contractor,
including us, to remodel your kitchen to our specifications.
I know I’m pretty doggone good at it, and I know my designer here is real
good at it. But our tastes aren’t always your tastes. It’s your home.
You’re paying for it, and I would have to suggest, I would have to think
that you would want this kitchen to be your kitchen, not mine, and not
Contractor B or Contractor C. Which is why we always suggest to our
clients, “Make sure there is some type of blueprint, some type of drawing
to work from.” Make sure that you have some idea of what things cost, like
If you’re getting an allowance from a contractor of $50 for a faucet,
you’re going to be spending more money. That’s not enough. Or they give you
an allowance for $70 for a sink. Well, you and I both know $70 for a sink
is just not going to get you very much. So, bottom line is make sure you
have some ideas of what you’re looking for. Get a blueprint if you intend
on getting more than one quote. Otherwise, there’s no possible way for you
to make an intelligent decision. You’re going to end up becoming one of
Join me this Saturday morning and every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. for “The Home
Toolbox” on the Talk of the Town AM-1330 WELW, where we’ll be talking about
home remodeling and all kinds of projects around the home. To kind of help
you get through these tough months, we’ll give you things to do. We’ll talk
to you then.
Winter in Northeast Ohio can be brutal and just on the other side of November it makes sense to do what needs to be done to protect your home during the Winter months. And Bob serves up some good tips and suggestions in this week’s VLOG.
Selling your home soon but would like to put a little money into remodeling the kitchen, bathroom, etc? Great! And the #1 question we get is, ‘What’s my return on investment?’ If ROI is a concern for you, watch this VLOG as Bob talks about common home remodeling projects, associated costs and ROI.