Refinished Vanities Can Add Huge Value

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We often try to talk people out of refinishing countertops, but in some instances it really makes sense. Heavily used counters, or formica that is badly damaged usually aren’t good candidates for refinishing, and with the prices of granite and installation at rock bottom right now, for many owner-occupant applications we are actually sending people to our favorite granite company rather than try to win their business.

We are happiest when our customers are happy, so we try to do right ...

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Problematic Low Spots

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We see this in about one out of every ten or fifteen cast-iron and steel bathtubs. For whatever reason, the bathtub manufacturers neglected to check to make sure the tub drains properly. Usually there is a slight low spot about an inch to three inches in front of the drain. Typically it lets about 1/8 of an inch of standing water, but we’ve seen it as deep as a 1/4 inch. This standing water eats away at the finish over ...

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Jacuzzi Tub In $2M Penthouse

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People often ask what the actual refinishing process looks like, so we’ll post random pictures every now and then. This week we refinished a Jacuzzi tub in a $2M downtown penthouse. This was previously refinished, and there were two reasons why the coating failed: 1) No primer was used and 2) the tub didn’t drain correctly so the water sat at the bottom for hours. Its a recipe for disaster. Here you can see one of our master technicians at ...

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Why Coatings Fail

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Just to touch a bit more on the last post, the top six reasons coatings fail is:

1. Inadequate preparation – the surface wasn’t etched or cleaned properly. Etching is often necessary on porcelain tubs to rough up the surface so the new coatings stick.

2. Poor quality products – In some situations, etching isn’t necessary, and instead an chemical bond can be created with an adhesive wipe on primer. MANY of these primers are poor quality and will fail.

3. No primer ...

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Irresponsible Refinishers

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This week we got called to a record five inspections by people who had all purchased a home or apartment within the last two years, and all have failing refinishes on their bathtub or shower tile. This shows a sickening trend that taints the reputation of all Honolulu bathtub refinishing companies, irresponsible or not.

The problem is that the less reputable companies know the house is or will be on the market, and they figure the person paying for the work ...

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DIY Bathtub Refinishing

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We get asked a lot about DIY bathtub refinishing kits. I’m not sure why prospective customers ask us. Its sort of like asking an accountant what he thinks about Turbo Tax software. However, we don’t mind helping customers save money, even if we loose a sale. Besides already being so busy, my thinking is that perhaps they’ll refer us to a friend or family who isn’t quite the handyman.

Let’s look at the pros and cons of DIY kits.

Pros: Extremely cheap; ...

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Getting the most bang for your buck

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We did an estimate today on a 2 bedroom at 1350 Ala Moana, an older high rise in a fabulous location. Everything except the fridge and dishwasher was original, from the 60s. Both bathtubs are in need of refinishing. Years of abrasive cleaners have made the finish dull. The tile surround in the master bedroom is worn, and we suggested to the owner she also refinish. We’re trying to save her money, so we didn’t recommend she refinish the second ...

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Renovation vs. Rejuvanation

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Although this article is primarily written for income properties, it applies equally to homeowners who want to get maximum bang for their buck with home remodeling. To generate more rental income, or to give your soon-to-be-listed property the edge, it is sometimes necessary to put in a little bit of work. A full scale remodel rarely pays back even $.30 on the dollar. All other factors being equal (such as size and location), most renters and most buyers will select ...

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Refinishing vs. Restoration

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There’s a lot of confusion in the marketplace between traditional “refinishing” and the so called “eco” or “no-spray” refinishing. The later isn’t refinishing at all, but rather a “restoration”. Companies that solely offer tub restoration, tout their “lifetime warranty against peeling”. They can make this claim, because there is no new finish on the tub. Its a bit disingenuous in our opinion. Let’s be realistic and unbiased. And we can do this because  we offer both services. There are good ...

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