How to Tile over Concrete

Is the Concrete Slab Ready? A concrete slab must be fully cured, flat, and free of active cracks and clean of oil, grease, wax and/or certain paints/stains prior to tiling. Further, large “active” cracks and unleveled surfaces must be addressed and repaired by a professional prior to tiling. Test the absorption of the slab by pouring a little water across concrete – if it soaks in, you’re ready for the next step.  If the water beads up, try using tri-sodium phosphate (follow manufacturer’s direction) and/or paint the surface with RedGard like product. We also highly recommend the use of Schluter DITRA uncoupling membrane when tiling with ceramic, stone or any nonporous  surface. This project is really not for the novice so visit your local tile store for instruction and tool rental. Hey! Why not allow us handle the details and installation; call Lon @ 847-636-0771 for a free estimate....

Celebrating Our 10th Year!

Ask Lon! Remodeling and Handyman Services is Celebrating 10 Years of home repair and remodeling by offering you a gift of 10% discount on labor.  It is our way of saying “Thank You” to the 1,000 plus customers we have served and the referrals you have provided. Why not apply this 10% labor discount toward that new kitchen, bathroom, basement or outdoor leisure area you’ve been dreaming of!  Use it on an electrical, plumbing, carpentry, drywall, tile, paint or deck refinishing upgrade. Thank you! Lon Thomas C: 847-636-0771 / www.AskLon.com / info@asklon.com Note: This offer is not redeemable for cash. Only one 10% off labor gift per-household – expires June 30, 2016....

Shocking Water Damage

Exterior window sill flashing caulk failed, creating what appeared as innocent waterlines (streaks) on interior paint confined to rooms on the 4th and 3rd floors each time it rained. We were hired to determine the cause and conduct repairs.  We began by removing a length of baseboard trim and cut open drywall behind it. Eventually, over 2 floors, we located damaged subfloor (beneath carpet), stud wall (beneath drywall on 2 levels), a wet header, baseboard trim, drywall all were soaked and some areas had onset mold.  The aforementioned “exterior flashing” was the source and the customer approved repairs.  For the record “Water Should Never Come in Contact with Drywall.”  Had the homeowners not been diligent, mold could have exploded behind the walls creating a real health hazard for the family.  So, if you notice interior moisture damage call me immediately to schedule an investigation.   Lon @ 847-636-0771. [portfolio_slideshow id=1804]...

Knowledgeable Lawn Care Service

This image represents how I felt trying to care for our lawn. So, Pam hired lawn care specialist Henry Chavez (847.372.1189) to give me a break and help maximize our home value because…  Economic Benefits Landscaping can add as much as 14% to the resale value of a building and speed its sale by as much as 6 weeks. By spending 5% of the value of your home on the installation of a quality low maintenance landscape, you could boost the resale value by 15%, earning back 150% or more of your landscape investment. Properly selected and placed plants can lower home heating and cooling costs by as much as 20%. A tree shading an outdoor air conditioner unit can increase its efficiency by as much as ten percent. Trees, shrubs, turf, and groundcovers trap and filter dust and other pollutants out of rainwater. Plants benefit from the nutrients in this particulate matter and prevent it from becoming a source of water pollution. Plants improve air quality. “One tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equaling 11,000 miles of car emissions. Landscape plants, including shrubs and turf, remove smoke, dust, and other pollutants from the air. One study showed that 1 acre of trees has the ability to remove 13 tons of particles and gases annually. Properly selected and placed plantings absorb sound waves, and can significantly reduce unwanted ‘noise pollution’. Additionally, in the presence of breeze, some plants make pleasant sounds of their own. Further, the wildlife attracted to a planted habitat sometimes results in pleasant natural sounds. These sounds of nature mask...

Lakeview Disposal

Lakeview: 8 year old 1.2 million dollar home revealed shoddy workmanship when we were hired to diagnose a malfunctioning disposal and clear a clogged drain. We located exposed electrical line which was in contact with water, an improperly configured and pitched drain and restricted access to water feed line shutoff. All of which was missed by the Inspector. [portfolio_slideshow id=1788]...

New Door Installed

We helped the customer save $180 in labor and $190 in material by correctly identifying the need and avoiding those “custom” fees. [portfolio_slideshow id=1775]    

How to Choose a Kitchen Countertop

How to Choose Kitchen Countertops: Here’s a comparison of surfaces available, including ballpark pricing. If you live in the area, call to setup an appointment to share your design ideas and discuss a labor estimate. Ask Lon @ 847-636-0771. Engineered Stone:  Perfect for an Active Lifestyle – lower maintenance demands, eco-friendly, resists heat, scratching and stains, wide color range, fairly consistent pattern, and average cost $40.00 sq. ft. Laminate: Tight Budget Option – Wide array of colors and patterns because it has a thin veneer applied to a solid surface. Average $25.00 per linear foot.  Disadvantages – prone to scratches, burning and wear patterns. Natural Stone: $75 – $200 per sq. ft. Granite – wide array of colors, durable thick slab, less seams, tough to scratch, nick or scorch and sealing treatment last 10 + years.  Disadvantages – Coffee, oils and some pigmented can produce staining. Soapstone – Not highly recommended for active kitchens due to color limits and porous nature requiring sealing and upkeep. Slate – Recommended for its non-porous properties, scratches can be buffed out and its ability to allow sheen changes. Ceramic Tile: Budget friendly option – available in various colors, patterns, texture and sizes. Adding the options available in grout colors it’s simply a design decision.  Disadvantages – tiles can break or crack easily and repairs are difficult and require re grouting the entire top. Solid Surfaces: $50.00 to $250.00 per sq. ft. –   Named as Avonite, Corian, Wilsonart and others, these are products made of acrylic and polyester.  Available in 100’s of colors and patterns, stain and scratch resistant and appear seamless when...

Garden / Craft / Tool Room Storage Idea

Tired of searching for those tomato garden stakes, bamboo torches, or rolls of gift wrap?  Looking for a convenient storage solution for unused door screen, weed block, extra length of copper tubing and that odd piece of wood or pvc pipe?   Solution:  Purchase a 10 x 48 inch concrete form tube ($7.00), perforated metal hanger strap ($12.00), and 20 x 48 – ½ inch thick piece of scrap plywood ($8.00).  Cut a couple wood supports out of scrap (see photo) used as interior spacing support and screw it all together.  Image from  clever...