Actually not a question, but rather a shout out to your guest Nicole Curtis. I share her love for old homes and think that her transformations are always fabulous and inspiring. I would have (almost) killed to be able to buy her restored Minnehaha house. Looking forward to seeing much more of her in the future.
Thanks so much for this. We know Nicole has a great following.
Our 1920's Dutch Colonial has beautiful wood work downstairs but its awful upstairs. How do I remove multiple layers of cracked and chipping paint from shellacked trim? We are living in the house; do I need to remove the trim and work on this project outside? Thanks for you advice!
There is no guarantee that it was ever stained upstairs. Typically, the downstairs had a different species of wood (more expensive) and was left natural because this was the area that your guests saw:) Upstairs was usually pine or a lower grade wood and painted right away. Use a heat gun to do a test patch-if you do not see signs of old stain or varnish--repaint. because if it was never stained it will be hard for it to take stain.
How can I get impartial advice on the best material for a kitchen floor? I am thinking wood, cork, or bamboo. Other suggestions welcome.
In my designs, I prefer to use a flooring that is natural to the home-asin would have been a product that was around and used during that era. Therefore, I do not use cork or bamboo unless I am doing new constrution or homes built after 1970...sorry
If there is mold in the basement, what is the best treatment for it? Also, some people state that things in the basement should be discarded, Is this correct?
One-I'm not a mold abatement expert...so I can't anser that. Things in basement? as in they were water damaged and moldy--take them outside and let them dry then clean them:)
and if you are calling a mold abatement person-call 5 and get different opinions or prices
We see some of your kitchens w white cabinets after install. Do you paint them with a brush and what is your technique or special recommendation to get them looking so wonderful?
a little of both-we have finished them prior in a paint booth (which I feel is the best) or have had them sprayed onsite --my vintage dumspter finds get painted by me with a paint brush the success is always in the prep work
How do you approach home restoration projects when trying to keep true to period workmanship and acknowledge the benefits of new energy efficient products, i.e. windows and doors?
I knew someone would sneak enegy efficiency in here:) I don't see the benefits of new doors and windows-it's such an itsy bitsy change if any. Work with what you have--add storms and reglaze windows and properly seal doors--that's where the money and time should be sent. They call replacemnt windows replacement because....they will need replacing again and again. the windows in my homes have weathered 100+ years--havent met a new window company that can add that guarantee on theirs:)
Nicole Which area of the country/which city do you have the most requests to fix up old homes - or that you concentrate on? I ask because I have ties to Savannah and I know re-making old homes is big down there. Thanks.
I consult worldwide. My own personal projects are postioned 5 minutes from my homebase so that I can still be stay at home mom:):)
You seem so decisive on your show about paint colors! How do you make up your mind? We get chips, paint small areas of the wall--and still can't choose! Any tips?
years of practice:):)) I finally found a palette that I love-neutral, calm and gives me peace at home....I hate loud colors:) because I know they will not make me happy 6 mos from now...I use those colors in accent pieces--everything else always neutral
I bought a house last year with 50 year old wallpaper in bad shape and plaster walls. I am down to one of the last rooms, a bathroom. I've tried taking off the wallpaper with vinegar and a scrapper, but I'm left with some light brown paper that I can't get all the little pieces off of. Should I just go at it with a sander? Can I just start painting over it, or will it look really bad? Thanks! I love your show.
sand it :) paint over it-it will peel -you can sand it-oil prime it-then skim coat it with some mud-sand again and then paint
How did you get started renovating homes? Any tips for someone with decent skills looking to get involved in renovating homes?
I started on my own--one small project at a time---renovating homes is best done when you are very educated about real estate---start researching and find a mentor to shadow
What advice woud you give to a girl in her mid 20's who sits at a desk all day but has a passion for what you do (projects not nearly as big)?...but is hesitant on leaving the secure 9-5 job knowing that it would be a huge risk.
I wouldnt be here if I didn't take risks....I haven't had job security in 20 years
What would be a good color for a front door. (white house, green shutters. circa. 1897)
post a pic to my facebook page. www.facebook.com/nicolecurtisrehabaddict i need visual
Part of your show is "I'm a single Mom"...Did you have to put your career on hold when your children were baby's and toddlers? ...
My son always came first--always--my business grew out of the overwhelming desire to be a stay at home mom---I juggled every odd job you could imagine
My house was built in 1972 so it has a swirl textured ceiling,that texture is falling off, what is the best and cheapest way to fix it ?
I go over it with drywall--no more scraping for me
My parents had bamboo floors installed in their living, dining, and kitchen areas and LOVE it. Looks great and is pretty "soft on the feet and knees," as my mom says.
This might be more of a question for Carolyn Hax, but here goes. Our kitchen desperately needs a makeover. We'd started this project four years ago, but then my mother became ill and died, we had a baby, then I got breast cancer. So now that all these crises are behind us, it's time to return to our house projects. In addition, my husband really wants to add two feet onto the back of our house (which would include the kitchen); it would really make the rooms more usable. But we just cannot seem to get started. We've had a million conversations about what we'd like to do and we're mostly in agreement, but we can't seem to move onto the next step. My husband is a contractor so he'd be doing most of the work himself. Any advice on how we should proceed?
friend a designer and ask them to draw you some sketches--once you have a picture --proceeding with work is a natural step
No question. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your show and I really appreciate your efforts to restore homes to their original beauty. Thank you. oh. and "I just want BRICK"
rock on!! hope you follow me on twitter and facebook:)
We are getting ready to do some repairs to the porch roof of our row home, and when that is complete we'd like to add some color to the space by painting the ceiling a contrasting color. I'm drawn to the southern tradition of a sky blue outdoor ceiling. We are an end unit so the porch gets a lot of sunlight, and we've been warned to go with a much, much lighter blue than we might first think. Do you have any suggestions on shades to look at? If it matters we will keep the rest of the trim and columns the current white/off-white, but will be looking to add some mahogany stained hardwoods down the line as we replace some window and door trim.
I'm not a blue ceiling type of person---i think it looks harsh on ceilings. try using hte color you are using for walls and then do your trim a contrasting color and then your ceiling the wall color
I am redoing a small bath (7 by 7) in a black and white tile theme. I have a white with black pinwheel tile floor and plan to do walls of 4 by 4 white tiles with a black border at the bottom and a black 2 by 6 cap. I lucked into some free white 4 by 8 beveled subway tiles and am thinking of doing a panel on the tub/shower wall set off with trim (either black or white). Nicole, what do you think of the panel? Would it look better with smaller white subway tiles on the walls or doing all black 4 by 4 walls?
if the house is pre-1930--please don't do the 4x4...if after I would need a pic--trying to visualize and it 's not working--post your idea on my facebook and i can see it there
I love your show and so do my six year old twin girls. They think you are very strong and like that you're the boss. My question is, how would I find out what colors, fixtures, tiles, glass, etc. are appropriate for the age of my home (1947 brick in Vienna, VA)? Keep up the good work.
google 1947 house plans, etc.... and then track down some homes built in the same time in our neighborhood and ask to visit
I saw on the show of the dollar house where you put a coating on the windows before you painted the house could you please tell me what you used. Thank you; Esther Sigman P.S. Love your show
ABR I think
I was on the verge of submitting the exact same thing! Actually not a question, but rather a shout out to your guest Nicole Curtis. I share her love for old homes and think that her transformations are always fabulous and inspiring. I would have (almost) killed to be able to buy her restored Minnehaha house. Looking forward to seeing much more of her in the future.
If one is at the very beginning of considering rehabilitating a house, what should one do first? What type of experts should be consulted in determining structural weaknesses and unexpected problems with pipes and wires and, most important, what is the best way to determine that the person is an expert who is not overcharging for this advice?
NO ONE -SHOULD CHARGE FOR ADVICE -if they do -they are not hte right person for you. Always assume that all mechanics are shot when doing your budget--set up one time to have 5 or 6 different contractors to walk thru and give you their opinion and cost analysts for repairs
As a museum conservator here in DC I am so happy to have the opportunity to thank you for doing such a great show. I can't tell you how many times I have seen beautiful historic details in old homes ripped out in renovations and "modernized" into blandness, and it is just painful to see. I also love how you reuse salvaged materials. Your philosophy is so close to conservation and you convey the idea to many people who wouldn't hear it otherwise.
thank you!!! what museum ? We are touring like mad around DC with our downtime:) hit me up on FB
Hi Nicole... Love love love you here in SC !! I am going to lay laminate floors in my kitchen this weekend... ( WINCHESTER OAK) which direction should I go... length or width ? (11.5 x 24.5) Thanks so much ! Lisa
oh lisa--did you say laminate??? if the house is pre 1950--please reconsider ---further questions hit me up on FB--
Hi Nicole, A common situation I find when getting into a property is that when we remove the carpet most times we find it was obviously installed to cover pieces of the original hardwoods that were removed and most times replaced with plywood cut to fit for filler, I'm sure you see this a lot, sometimes it's because they've removed a wall or removed something that was original to the house... what's the best way to go about finding a good matching fit so when all the hardwood restoration work is complete and the final coat of clear is put on, that particular section doesn't stand out like a sore thumb!
First of all-you need to feather in your patchwork--second-research what different species of woodgrain looks like --then you can access on spot and call around saying i need 20 sq feet of maple or pine, etc....
Most of the houses you take on look like a lost cause to most people. What traits do you need to see in a house to make the light go on in your head and and cause you to tackle that project? - Denise in Atlanta (btw, I love watching your show...as a biz owner and single mom, I can relate to your life!)
i just need 1 original detail to be intact ---scary but true
Would you recommend replacing crappy brass and Builder basic knobs in a 40's / 50's house with glass knobs? Thanks
are they the original ones? cause i've never seen crappy brass from 1940--if not-that would look cool
Hi Nicole, How do you address the issues of the lead paint laws that our wonderfull government has put in place?
we test and we use common sense--I own my properties-so there are different laws that apply ...
Nicole, you seem to have great sources for architectural salvage. In my area there seem to be none, and my searches have come up empty. I suspect that I may be searching in the wrong way. What's your best suggestion for finding good sources.
craigslist all day long..... some states such as arizona--there's hardly any and if you find it it's expensive--so it may be your area not you
Hello Nicole. I'm a big fan of your show! Have you thought about taking on a project in the DC area or anywhere else in Virginia?
I spend a lot of time in DC--that is one of my retirement desitnations:)
A lot of the homes in the DC area are either 1940s colonials (small saltboxes) or 1950s -60s ramblers and split levels. Any tips for staying true to a mid-century look? I have a 1963 rambler that I love, but I want to update the bathroom and most of the stuff out there to update it is pretty traditional...
most building materials were mass produced starting mid century which means the quality went down---if it is falling a aprart-replace some were pretty plain jane and had no true style like a cheap built new construction today...post a pic to my facebook page and let us take a look
How do you feel about replacing floor furnaces and window AC units with CH&A? My house was built in 1900 (I live in Kansas.) Thanks.
as long as you can do it without creating soffits --go ahead,but it's very tricky
What's your best advice on restoring and preserving a stone foundation of a home built in the late 1800's?
find a mason that has been in the business more than 5 minutes and hire him to tuckpoint and teach you:)
I love your show! Does anyone know of salvage yards like the ones featured on "Rehab Addict" in the Washington Metro area?
What is your opinion of refinishing pine hardwood. Is it doable? What is the best way? Stain? No stain? Thanks!
just did it in the Case house --see my fb page....I usally leave natural. My kitchen had tons of water damage so I stained it
Where did you learn how to do what you do? You seem to have so many disparate skill-sets on the show. It is impressive!
self taught trial and error
Hi Nicole, I have a 1955 white bathroom with pink trim and and sink. The counter is 7' long with 1 sink. Our family needs 2 sinks so we are going to replace the counter and try to re-work the cabinet below. Everything else is in perfect condition. My plan is to paint the walls a warm grey, white sink to match the current white toilet and possibly paint some of the 1/2" pink tiles (that look like a mistake...the pinks are really off) a grey as well. My husband hates tile counters and I haven't been able to find a matching white tile anyway. What would you suggest for a counter surface? (BTW, I wanted to keep the 1920's bungalow we lived in....this 50's style ranch is throwing me for a loop!) Thanks!
google save the pink bathrooms and ask them--they are the gurus with mid century bathrooms or post on my fb page
Hello. How did you get discovered by HGTV? It seems like a big jump from rehabing houses to having your own TV show! Just curious :)
I was rehabbing homes and selling real estate in MPLS --they found me
I have a room that needs painting that has a lot of detailed trim work. What do you recommend using to keep from getting paint all over my trim? By the way, love your show. I'm addicted.
blue tape or spend some money on a good paint brush and practice holding and controlling it--I don't use tape--many years of practice
Hello Nicole, I will be doing a bathroom remodel soon and plan on using 3x6 subway tile 42" high on the walls. My question is about an outside corner, do I use a bullnose on the 3" side and butt them together to cover the corner or do I use a bullnose on the 6" side and run it long ways? Thank you, Terri
I dont' use bullnose-I leave it a rough edge and rub a grout line down it or buy pieces of subway that have left or right rounded edges
Maybe a silly question, but I don't know the answer: can you get stronger water pressure by installing a different shower head?
it comes out differently but the pressure is the same
I'm worried about the extra costs that come with buying an older house. Andy advice on how to assess it before making the leap?
yes-use a realtor that specializes in older homes and find a contractor that you can trust to give you an honest, unbiased free opinion
I am currently planning a bathroom renovation in my 1941 home. I love black and white hexagonal tile (i know you do, too). Do you think it's ok to use this tile even though it's not correct for the year of the house. A previous owner tore out everythingooriginal and had replaced it with a cheap vinyl floor and hideous tub surround. I've always wanted white subway tile in the shower, hexagonal black and white floor, and a pedestal sink. Would you think this is okay, or better to try to recreate the original style?
lost your ? earlier:( if the original is gone -I say you can do what you want....most of the time- I have no clue what was there originally--i guess and do research on other homes of tha tera to make my decision
What decorating colors go with cherry colored wood? My old house is full of cherry wood and my husband is against painting it.
are you sure it's cherry or did someone stain it cherry--that's a toughie--I use all whites-so I balance it with nuetral walls and curtains and then add color with my accessories
Good Morning - I'm repainting my front door. What color red would you recommend? I want something bright, but not too bright or too dark.
post a pic to my FB page of your exterior --for all i know you could have a purple house:)
I know you say you have never found a hardwood floor you couldn't save...what about one that has pet stains on 80% of it? Any good techniques for getting ride of them. The local place told me they tend to permeate all layers of the wood and will not come out. :(
they are right--so stain the floor:):) when you see me design with dark floors it's because there are pet urine or water damage stains
Hi - I am an early 30s suburban mom in a cluster house neighborhood. I'm just getting the decorating/DIY/refurnishing bug. A lot of my friends have those signs and wall decor motifs - you know, huge signs, that say LIVE LAUGH LOVE in the den or EAT in the kitchen, or RULES OF OUR HOUSE: PICK UP AFTER YOURSELF & FORGIVE. I was looking at one from Etsy that said SIMPLIFY shown above the mantel and I thought, wait, what? Why am I buying a sign that says SIMPLIFY?! Is decorating with signs and words a good idea, too kitschy (some can be modern, fyi), too temporary, like photos of 90210 hotties in my teen bedroom, or perfectly OK? Please advise. I will not snark on my friends. Thanks.
personally--not a fan....but I see it a lot in the suburbs and my mom is rocking it in the kitchen to each their own, but I like my homes to be unique :):)
I have a split level home, the main level and the upper level have lovely original pine wood floors which we recently refinished. We did carpet on the bottom level because we were told "real" wood floors wouldn't work on the slab due to temperature changes and moisture. I hate the carpet and it's getting stained. Can we put in hard wood floors?
yes--consult at least 5 hardwood people --you have to take different steps to putting harwood on concrete but it can be done...done it several times
I think you mis-read: this is an *outdoor* ceiling on a front porch; there are no walls, just columns and open air.
I did--it's your house:) I would go light with anything
Our couch is in generally good shape and we'd rather not replace it but the cushions are looking droopy and sad. Do you have any suggestions on where we can get new foam for the cushions, preferably in northern virginia?
none whatsoever sorry
Do you think it is essential in a traditional home?
You and I both know that these homes did not have the beauty,woodwork,and trim that your renovations have. What would you suggest doing to one of these homes to spice or dress it up and or keep it from the McMansion teardown people?
make it invisable :) Oh--are you selling --proper staging does the trick every time--if they see it as hip they will let it be
I have a 1950's house with the original doors. They aren't solid wood and I don't like the "feel" that sounds hollow when you shut them. I would like to replace with a solid and simple 5-panel. I'm torn on taking out the orginal doors, but I just don't like them. What is your breaking point for getting something different in a house if the original is just not working for you?
could you post a pic to our fb page---a lot of times mid century homes were built with what i would consider cheap items today--those are a different story
I used semi-gloss paint on the trim in my house, because that's what everyone says to use on trim. But it's so shiny! I don't like it. Should I try another brand (this was cheap paint, maybe better paint it nicer looking?), or another finish, like satin?
Semi gloss is like me wearing spandex---NOT FLATTERING to anything past 16 years old:) satin or eggshelll:)
Hi Nicole! I have a question for you: We have a home from 1930 and the original exterior is still intact - along with the chipping lead paint! I'm sure you encounter this a lot. Do you hire someone to do professional lead paint abatement or is there a DIY method that you would recommend for the at-home DIYer? We're not afraid of some hard work, but want to do it properly/safely as well!
here's something to know about lead laws--they vary and they change. They came about because people weren't using common sense. Dont eat them-don't inhale them-don't leave them to rot into your yard or fly into your neighbor's house. Homeowners can do all the work themselves. We always use drop clothes, masks, safety glasses and gloves when removing sanding or prepping anything. Then repaint--the lead is dangerous when it is not contained -sealing over chipped paint with a new layer contains it...more questions hit us up on facebook
Is there a particular type or brand of stripper you recommend for removing many layers of paint? Are there any environmentally safe strippers that you use?
nothing that eats paint is "environmentally safe" in my opinion--- :) Cause then you still have the paint goo---I use kleen stip or a heat gun
Not a question as much as a comment. It is truely amazing what you accomplished with that house. The difference between what you started with and finished up with is fantastic. Good job!
if you haven't seen all the before and after pics--go to my FB and check them out---crazy!!!
I agree with Nicole about keeping old windows and doors. I have a 1930s colonial, and had an energy audit done a couple of years ago, which resulted in some minor fixes (such as better insulation in the attach and above the garage), but even the auditor did not recommend replacing the windows -- the cost would be so high that it doesn't make sense. Also, I like the fact that my house is not sealed up so tightly. Yes, the windows are a little leaky, but I feel like I'm getting better circulation throughout the house, rather than having it be sealed up and stuffy.
How can we convince cities to save and restore these homes and provide jobs for out of work people who have craft skills?
you can't ...governments should not be rehabbing these homes--I believe we should be asking them to release them to private buyers so that they can be done quicker and at a real budget--anytime NON profits use governement money it costs the taxpayers 3 times what it costs a private buyer to rehab
I want to do numerous projects in my condo, not necessarily all at once, maybe over a 2-3 year period. I'm not sure what order they should be done in. I need new flooring, new windows, full interior painting, new appliances, replace kitchen cabinet doors/countertops, cosmetic update of 2 bathrooms, new HVAC and HWH. I was thinking of hiring a general contractor to handle it all, but the perfectionist in me is worried that I should parcel out the projects to the "best" contractor for the type of project it is (plumber, painter, window installer, etc.). I would probably drive myself crazy doing it this way, so please give me some idea how to make this happen. I've already dragged my feet long enough. HELP!
what do you have left in there at that Point--geez;) You can play contractor and hire the plumber, the flooring guy, the carpenter---GEnerals charge you money to manage your work--save yourself some $ and DIY:)
I have my original 1937 windows which I love. But they are warped and the storms are ruined. Is it worth restoring them? I hate the look and feel of new windows.
yes, find your local hardware -I would bet 100 bucks they cna make you storms to match or refer you to a company that can
I have to disagree with your advice about painted trim about never taking stain- the shellac will come off withthe paint. My 1926 Arts & Crafts home had layers and layers of paint on the gumwood trim. It has taken many years but I have it all stripped off and stained. I highly recommend SoyGel paint stripper- non toxic no gloves needed. I recommend taking the trim off the wall first (if you have plaster and lather walls you may have some spackling repairs to do) having the trim across saw horses makes striping easier than doing it on the walls. Time consuming, messy, but so worth it.
If the wood was originally stained or shellac-YES IT WILL TAKE STAIN---if it was painted originally (NO SHELLAC) typically it will not because the paint was applied to the bare grain
Do you have any advice about adding on to an older home? I have an older stucco covered home built in 1932, and really want to add a garage and modest addition to join it to the home. We really need a bit more space, and having a place to hang coats and leave dirty boots would be a BIG help. How would you handle this, or am I going too far from the original? Thanks, my daughter and I LOVE your show!
as long as it coordinates with the original structure and doesn't look like a "wart"-you are int he clear. I did a garge addition on a 1932 stucco home--it blends in perfectly
What advice do you have for someone (like me) who loves starting projects but doesn't always finish the projects? I love your show so much, my mom was like you and did everything herself and would build things and use power tools and I feel like I learned a lot from her. Your pretty awesome! Thanks!
make a list --and do not deviate!!! and set goals and award for everytime you scratch one off the list.
So, what happened with this project? Were you able to sell it and make a decent profit? Love the show! Great job with your son! He's a cutie :)!
I am in court over this house right now. Me as plantiff my ex as defendant stay tuned
Hi! I have a large staircase wall that needs something... so I want to 'frame' this wallpaper mural using crown molding. Thoughts? Am I nuts? Also, can anyone vouch that this 'removable' wallpaper can actually be removed? Thanks!!
ive never had luck:(:( saving a big piece of wallpaper to frame
You seem to put way more into your homes than most people who flip houses. I know you are not "the average flipper" but when do you look at a house and decide it just needs too much.....or is there such a thing? Debbie...from Woodstock, GA
I used to live in Woodstock on Allatoona and I worked at the IHOP there:):) I always budget for worst case scenario
When keeping the original windows, do you use storm windows and, if so, what do you recommend instead of the ugly aluminum storms?
there are a number of companies that make replica original storms that have screens and storms in from $ to $$$$$ depending on your home--check in with the local hardware not big box store :)
Nicole, you are so beautiful inside and out. Love the show. Also, what are your feelings towards vinyl tile? I was considering them for my kitchen floor.
hate them--go take free workshops from the tile shop and learn how to tile much easier than cutting angles on stick down:)
American Foam Center...behind the Home Depot in Merrifield.