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Rick Wilson
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In some households, holes in drywall can be common place.  They happen from someone bumping into the walls with furniture.  They happen when an old plumbing pipe springs a leak.  And, they certainly happen when the wind driven rain gets into the walls of the house.  I know that is tempting for you to go to Home Depot and purchase the drywall compound and try and patch the drywall yourself. You are probably so anxious to get rolling to Home Depot that you aren’t even going to make it to the “how to repair drywall section below”.  If you happen to read this sentence, try and hold off until you read the next few please.   Unfortunately, unlike many other types of home repairs, drywall repair is very much like artwork.  In order to insure that you do not see the patched area once it is painted, the patch must be done properly.  And even though you read this article further and learn how to do the repair, it takes many years of practice to really tape, seam and skim a patched area properly.  Please keep in mind that the probability is that if you have never patched drywall before, you will have to completely re-do the patched area once you have completed the work, if you want to be satisfied with the quality of the work.  Oh, and if you aren’t that particular with the look of the patched area, it might be a good time to mention to you that I end up
patching hundreds of previously patched areas when houses go on the market !  It may not be an issue for you now, but should you be selling your house in the future, it may very well be a “thorn in your side” at a time when you least need one.  Ok, all I can say is that I tried to talk you out of the repair.  Now should you decide to go forward, here is what you need to do …………………..
REPAIRING DRYWALL PROPERLY-what you need first
PART 1: These are the Things to keep in mind before you begin!
#1  Did you eliminate the cause of need for the drywall repair?  If your roof leaked and you fix the leak but not the roof, you will be back patching the same area again.  Fix the problem before you patch.
#2  You must have the proper materials and tools.  The drywall that you are patching in should be the same thickness as the existing drywall. Make sure you have enough drywall to cover the hole with one piece of drywall. You must have wood blocking.  I recommend that you use 1x6” wood.  2x4’s would work as well.  You must have enough wood to line both sides of the entire perimeter of the hole. You must have drywall screws (1 ¼” long should do)You must have “joint compound”, not one of the many expensive putty’s or spackles.  You must have drywall tape.  You must have a 6” drywall knife.  You will need a tape measurer. You must have a 10 o 12” drywall knife. You will need a screw gun.  You will need a drywall sanding sponge. You must have a saw to cut the wood. You must have a tray to store and mix the compound. You must have a straight edge to cut the drywall. You must have a square so that you can make sure that the hole is a square hole. And, you must have a utility knife with a few NEW blades. 
#3  Cut the area out so that it is rectangular or square.  This will make it easier for you to cut a new piece of drywall to patch in.
#4  The entire perimeter of the seam between the existing perimeter drywall and the drywall patch should be backed with wood so that the seam does not move when you are taping. 
#5  You must apply ONLY THIN layers of compound over the seams and patched areas. 
#6  You must apply NUMEROUS coats of compound. Each coat of compound should dry before you go onto the next coat. If you want an ugly patch, use one of the quick dry compounds such as “EasySand”.  Those products might dry quickly but unfortunately they are very difficult to sand and the probability is that you will end up with pronounce humps over the taped seams. 
#7  You MUST rethink this process before you proceed because it will cost you a lot less if you call us now and have us do the work rather than continuing and us having to re-do the entire patched area !       

     The steps to a good drywall patch   
   
#1   Square up the hole by placing the square just outside of the hole and trace 90 degree lines around the hole until you have a square formed with your trace lines.
   
#2  With the utility blade, cut along the trace line.  Keep scribing the drywall until you eventually break thru to the back and the excess drywall comes out along the trace lines.  
#3  With the tape measurer, measure the width and length of the hole.  Record the measurements on a piece of paper. 
#4 With the square, straight edge and utility knife, and the measurements of the hole, cut the new drywall the size of the hole.  You want the perimeter seams between the existing drywall and the new patch to be tight to one another, so keep your cuts tight to what you measured.  Set the drywall aside for a few minutes. 
#5 With the saw, cut wood blocking in the proper lengths.  Start with the sides.  Make the blocking long enough so that when it is inserted behind the drywall in the hole, it will extend at least 3-4 inches past the top and bottom of the hole.  Insert the blocking in behind the drywall and while holding it tightly in the middle, screw a bunch of drywall screws through the existing drywall into the wood blocking behind. Make sure that the edge of the blocking extends into the hole area about ½ the width of the wood blocking.  You want ½ of the wood to be behind the existing drywall and ½ to be behind the new drywall patch. Once you have both side wood blocking installed, cut lengths of wood for the top and bottom.  Measure and cut that blocking so that it fits just inside the side blocking. Make sure that you have an adequate number of screws through the existing drywall into the wood behind.  The wood blocking must be supportive enough so when you install the patch and press on it, the wood doesn’t break away from the existing drywall. 
 
#6  Take the drywall that you cut in step 4 above and insert it in the hole over top of the blocking . If the patch is a bit large, take the utility knife and scribe the edge of the patch a bit (a little at a time) until the patch fits firmly against the wood blocking. The drywall patch surface should be flush with the surrounding drywall.  Now take some of the drywall screws and screw the new patch to the wood blocking around the perimeter of the drywall patch.  You want to make sure that all of the perimeter areas of the patch are secure.  If there is any flexibility in the perimeter, it will be difficult to tape the seams properly. 
#7  with the 6” drywall knife, take some of the drywall compound out of the container and put it in the tray.  Then apply a thin layer of compound over the joint between the existing and new drywall seam.  Make sure that there is a thin layer that extends at least 2” on either side of the seam line.  Then fold and tear a length of drywall tape and set it with your fingers over the joint.  Then with the drywall knife squeeze down on the tape starting at the middle and run to each end until most of the drywall compound is squeezed out from behind the tape.  You want to get the tape as tight to the drywall as possible.  With the 6” knife, starting from one end, run it over and over the tape
until the tape is flat against the drywall.  Re-position the tape with your fingers if needed to get the center of the tape at the center of the seam.  Once the tape is flat against the drywall, apply a thin coat of compound over the tape and then press the compound with the knife as you run it along the entire length of the tape.  What you are doing here is making sure that the top side of the tape gets wet. Wipe all excess compound off the wall !  DO NOT try and cover the tape with compound at this time.   Continue with the taping until all seams have tape over them.  PLEASE make sure that there is tape over every inch of the seam.  If not, eventually the drywall will crack at that seam.
#8  You are done for now.  Clean everything up and wait until tomorrow.  If you get the drywall compound over carpet you can wipe it up and saturated the carpet with water until it all comes up, or you can wait until the compound dries and it flakes up by scrapping the vacuum cleaner wand on it while vacuuming. 
#9  Now that you are well rested,  with a wet towel wipe off the entire area well.  You are trying to make sure that there are not a lot of little “burrs” that will get in the new layer of compound that you are going to apply.  You do not trying to wet wipe everything smooth-just clean up. Put some compound in the tray and then apply a thin coat of compound over the entire patched area with the 10 or 12” drywall knife. Using pressure on the drywall knife as you spread it, press hard in the areas where the tape and lightly in the areas on either side of the tape.  The idea is you want to put a very thin coat of compound over the tape so you don’t form a hump in the seam and a heavier coat on either side of the tape.  Extend the compound on this coat about 8” or so past the taped areas on all sides and fill completely the
area inside the tape. You will still see the hump in the seam when the compound is applied at this stage!  Make sure that when you are applying the compound that you smooth it out the best you can.  You want to try and avoid having streaks, burrs and clumps in it. Go get some rest and come back tomorrow.  The compound needs dry.  
#10  Today you are going to repeat exactly what you did in step 9 above only you are going to extend the area of the compound another 8” from where it was yesterday.  Don’t forget to wet wipe the area first. When applying compound, make absolute certain to put pressure on the knife in such a way so that you are only putting a very thin layer of compound over the taped area and thicker compound over the areas inside and outside the tape. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BUILD UP A THICK COAT OF COMPOUND over the taped areas !  Go clean up and come back tomorrow. 
#11  Today you are going to sand the entire patched area.  I would recommend that you purchase some blue painters tape and thin plastic and make yourself a plastic barrier around the entire area.  The drywall dust will get everywhere !  Take the drywall sanding sponge and sand the entire area.  While you are sanding, with your finger tips, feel for any irregularities in the drywall and sand them out.  It is best to keep the sanding block flat and go in multiple directions.  Side to side and circular motions.  Make sure that the edges of the compound are tapered down to the existing drywall at every linear inch of the perimeter of the patch. Have fun…it is a mess to clean up. 
#12  Once everything is sanded well, wipe down everything with a wet rag or towel and then apply a coat of “drywall sealant” over the
entire patched area.  YOU MUST use drywall sealant over any patched areas.  Otherwise, you will ALWAYS be able to see the patched area EVEN AFTER YOU APPLY TWO COATS OF PAINT.   
#13  Once the sealant dries, look for flaws in the patchwork.  If bubbles in the drywall tape appear after sealing, you will need to cut those areas out with the utility knife and re-apply some compound.  You will need to do that three times and sand before you apply sealant again. 
#14  Once you are happy with the patch, go ahead and paint.   
#15  If the patch does not look like you had hoped ( I told you that could happen on your first patch) call us and we will be glad to come out and re-do the entire patch for twice what it would have cost you to have us do it in the first place ! 
HAPPY HOME REMODELING !
The Perfect Patch
Plubing pipes and valves go bad all the time causing small leaks that  cause thousands of dollars of damage if not detected when they first occur.

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For only $17.50 each, we will send you moisture alerts for all areas of your home.

We recommend that you talke to your insurance company. They may offer a discount in your home insurance if you use these devices!

To purchase these divices, Email us at sales@northernvirginiaconstruction.com. Let us know the quantity you want to purchase and your name, full shipping address and phone number. We will then email ou an invoice with pament instuructions.

Dont forget to call us also for any and all of your home improvement projects!
Moisture Detectors
At one time or another we have all been to a beautiful hotel somewhere that has a gorgeous mosaic tile shower and frameless glass partitions and doors.  Ah.. “wouldn’t it be nice if my shower was like that, you ask”.  So you come home, call a few contractors, get some estimates and then soon you have a beautiful shower and, unfortunately, a diminishing bank account and a big headache from all the problems that you are now faced with !
Here was the possible mistakes you made and unfortunately are not going to admit.         ( we see this everyday )
#1  You were inspired by a feeling and rushed into contracting the project before it was planned out properly.
#2  You were so anxious to take advantage of that beautiful shower that you overlooked or ignored some of the opinions of the contractors, who are the “experts” in the field.
#3  You selected a contractor who told you that they could build that shower exactly how you envisioned it.
#4  You didn’t get a chance to read this article on our website and weren’t able to take advantage of our suggestions and advise.
Now are you ready to learn a few things about renovating a bathroom shower? Here are some very important things to keep in mind. 
#1  More times than not, a bathroom shower remodel is much more involved than even the contractor believes.  Not only is it going to take longer than one generally anticipates, but there are often obstacles and issues that arise that were not planned for no matter how long the planning stage was. 
#2   Even though you may be renovating your shower by enlarging it, by some standards, it can still be considered “small”.  This means that if you have your heart set on a “frameless glass shower door panel system”, you may be disappointed once it is installed.  Most frameless glass systems are installed using a clamp devise that is screwed to glass and screwed to walls.  Unfortunately, there is a large gap between the wall and the glass !! This means that some of the water splashing off your body when you are taking a shower is headed out of the shower at the walls!  Enlarge the shower and reduce the problem.  Unfortunately, most bathrooms are not large enough to be able to enlarge the shower enough to reduce the pass-thru water at the walls to nothing !  Many contractors who sell the frameless glass systems DO NOT TELL YOU ABOUT THIS ISSUE .  You can probably get them to fess up by asking if they guarantee the shower to be water tight.  That question will get some very interesting responses I am sure.
# 3  Frameless glass is not as structurally sound as framed units!  If you lean against a piece of glass that is secured only by a neighboring piece of glass and a silicone seal between them, that glass will deflect and possibly come unattached or break !!!
This article will be finished at a later date.  In the meantime , if you are planning on renovating your bathroom shower PLEASE contact us and discuss before contracting the project out !
Bathroom Shower Remodel
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VirginiaRemodelings.Com
Ashburn, Va 20148
703-372-6393 office
866-659-2881 fax
Sales@VirginiaRemodelings.com
Rick@VirginiaRemodelings.com
VirginiaRemodelings.Com
Ashburn, Va 20148
703-372-6393 office
866-659-2881 fax
Sales@VirginiaRemodelings.com
Rick@VirginiaRemodelings.com
VirginiaRemodelings.com is a Remodel For Less by Rick Company
We are under no obligaion to provide everyone with an estimate.  We generally only provide written estimates to those who are seriously ready to contract work and when we feel there is a "compatability match" between ourselves and our potential clients.
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Worst Remodels
Not the best looking patio-
Not by us
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Fried Rat-
Homeowner repaired chimney-
What type of framing is this?
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Great switch location-
Makeshift electrical box
Makeshift electrical wiring
Another not so good masonry
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