Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Remodelers Council Multi-State Certified Courses May 29,30 and 31 2014

The BIA Southern California Remodelers Council (SCRC) and staff has added additional courses this year due to overwhelming demand. These courses are designed to meet the new criteria that is set to take place in the remodeling and building industry.

The multi-state certified courses offered are in the areas of Marketing & Communication Strategies for Aging & Accessibility (CAPS I)  on Thursday, May 29th, Design/Build Solutions For Aging & Accessibility (CAPS ll), Friday, May 30th and Business Management for Building Professionals on Saturday, May 31st. The location for the courses will be held at Purcell Murray, 15400 Graham Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92649

Nearly everyone dreams of career advancement, more money and more recognition.  The SCRC courses will help propel your career in a forward motion. Those who are progressing, producing, growing and evolving are encouraged to join.

Course Information:

The Caps I course will help you take advantage of one of the fastest growing market segments in remodeling and related industries. Maturing Americans are looking to revitalize their home environments. Learn best practices in communicating and interacting with this evolving population. Identifying opportunities and developing the skills to interact with 50+ customers can help you grow your business dramatically.

The Caps II course will help you understand the guidelines and requirements of accessibility, the importance of doing an assessment with input from occupational and physical therapists as well as qualified health care professionals, and the significance of good design in making modifications that can transform a house into a safe, attractive, and comfortable home for life.

The Business Management for Building Professionals course is designed for the new or experienced business owner. Learn the management skills that give industry leaders the edge. This course will give you a solid foundation for managing small to medium size building/remodeling and service companies.

BIA-SCRC members are committed to the long term health of their businesses. As a subsidiary of the National Association of Home Builders, BIA-SCRC acts as a "board of directors", helping to guide fellow members through the issues that they face. The BIA-SCRC is based on collaboration and our collective experience spans marketing, sales, production, client service, finance and design. Members can take advantage of the numerous savings programs, PR opportunities and more. To register for courses or membership visit

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Catch The So Cal Remodelers Council On 1220 Am and Catch Up On The Latest Industry News


Listen  to Corey Monroe from NeWave Construction as he talks about realistic budgeting for building and remodeling, March 25th @ 10:00am (PST)

Followed by
Gus Lopez from A-One Construction and Design as he speaks about water efficiency systems and techniques  March 25 @ 11:30am (PST)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Linoleum vs Vinyl Flooring?

Both flooring types are considered Resilient flooring which refers to their relatively firm surface, and a “give” and “bounce back” to their original surface profile when a heavy object is compressed on its surface. Resilient flooring is commonly used because it can be easily cleaned, is moisture resistant and doesn’t trap dust. 

In deciding which flooring to buy for my kitchen, I wanted to consider durability, maintenance, cost, health and sustainability.

Linoleum is more expensive, but will last 40 years compared to vinyl’s 10 years. When we bought our house it had white vinyl flooring in the kitchen. White flooring in a kitchen?  Really? We’re two mature adults with light impact and this 7 year old vinyl floor has not aged well at all. 

Since the color or pattern in a vinyl floor is only in the surface layer, any nick or scratch will show. The color in a linoleum floor is through all layers. Although most people can install the tiles for either flooring type, it’s best to hire a professional to install linoleum rolls. 

Newly laid linoleum floors have a pronounced linseed-oil scent and although it dissipates in a matter of weeks, during that time, certain people may be bothered (sometimes because of an allergy) by the oil's fatty acids.  We had our linoleum floor laid one day before guests arrived and maybe it was because we were doing the tourist bit, running all over the Bay Area, I never noticed the smell except right after it was installed. 

The deciding factor for me was that linoleum is made of
linseed oil (pressed from the flax plant), pine resin, wood flour, cork powder, limestone dust, natural pigments, and jute, while Vinyl is made from petroleum oil which is mixed with chemicals such as polyvinyl chloride (or vinyl) resins and plasticizers (high molecular-weight solvents), pigments and trace stabilizers, with a carrier sheet or backing.  

OK, that alone convinced me to choose linoleum, but I wanted to know more and found out stuff that was just plain scary.

The plasticizers most commonly used in polyvinyl chloride (vinyl flooring) are phthalates which increase the flexibility and durability of the product. I couldn’t find much info on phthalates from the vinyl flooring manufacturers’ web pages, but when I checked polyvinyl chloride and phthalates on Wikipedia, I learned more than I bargained for. 

Phthalates are ubiquitous in our environment. They are used in adhesives and glues, electronics, agricultural adjuvants, building materials, personal-care products, (cosmetics), medical devices, detergents and surfactants, packaging, children's toys (!), modeling clay, waxes, paints, printing inks and coatings (school notebooks and backpacks), pharmaceuticals, food products, and textiles and the list goes on and on.  

As plastics age and break down, the release of phthalates accelerates. That "new car smell" you like so much? It’s caused mostly by plasticizers evaporating from the car interior. Adverse effects of phthalate exposure include irregular rhythms in vitro, endocrine disruptor, incomplete descent of testes of newborn boys, and lower sperm counts in men. A 2012 study suggested that high levels of phthalates may be connected to the current obesity epidemic in children. It was found that obese children show greater exposure to phthalates than non-obese children. It was reported that the obesity risk increases according to the level of the chemical found in the children's bloodstream.

The specific phthalate, Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), which is used in polyvinyl chloride, is also used in medical devices such as intravenous tubing and bags, catheters, etc. According to the European Commission Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER), exposure to DEHP may exceed the tolerable daily intake in some specific population groups, namely people exposed through medical procedures. The American Academy of Pediatrics has advocated not to use medical devices that can leach DEHP into patients and, instead, to resort to DEHP-free alternatives.  

A 2012 Swedish study of children found that phthalates from PVC flooring was taken up into their bodies, showing that children can ingest phthalates not only from food but also by breathing and through the skin.

You could spend days reviewing the material that’s available on the adverse effects of phthalates just in our homes! Although it would be impossible to fully eliminate these poisons from our homes, reducing their use would be the first step towards improving the health of family members.  

Protect Your Family’s Health by choosing safe finishes. Many materials and finishes in a renovated kitchen have the potential to cause health problems, but there are ways to avoid compromising your family’s health.

Buy used materials when possible. We found a nice tongue & groove wood flooring at the ReUse People in Oakland for $1/board foot. It looks great. We also picked up used cabinetry there for my studio. Their inventory changes frequently, so keep checking back.

Seal Particleboard and MDF

Kitchen cabinets and counters are often constructed of particleboard and medium density fiberboard (MDF). These products often contain urea formaldehyde glue, a known cause of myriad health issues. To reduce exposure to the glue, paint exposed particleboard on cabinets or the underside of the counter top with several coats of a water-based, low VOC sealant. It is much preferred that sealing be completed at the factory or counter shop, prior to installation in your home.

Choose Low-Formaldehyde Products

Cabinets and countertops can be made using exterior grade plywood which is typically held together with glue made of phenol formaldehyde. Phenol is less toxic than urea formaldehyde. The best option is to use formaldehyde-free MDF. Tell your manufacturer and contractor to request this.

Choose Low- or No-VOC Paints and Wood Finishes

Walls are the largest surface area in the house. Use semi-gloss, low or no VOC paints. They are water based and don’t off gas solvents into the living space. If you are finishing wood, like window sills, make sure that the low VOC wood finish is a good water-proofing sealant.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Handyman Apps., Great or Not So Great?

ID Wood

ID Wood:This app has everything you need to know about wood!

·        Learn about the origin of your lumber· Know how durable your wood is 
·        Lists different properties of your furniture
·        Perfect for carpenters
·        Made for other professionals who work with wood

LivingRoom for iPad gives you the tools to plan and design your space — from the floor plan to laying out furniture to choosing materials. Pick from a large library of objects to place in your rooms, keep notes for each project, even add custom textures from your photo library! LivingRoom for iPad lets you see, touch, and share your design ideas.

Easy to use:

• Saves your place automatically
• Generous undo/redo
• Large built-in database of structural and design items -- furniture, appliances, lighting, bathroom & kitchen objects, and more!
• Easily move, resize, and rotate objects, add custom labels
• Add colors and textures to anything in your room
• Facebook and Twitter integration
• Email or save to your photo library
• Keep all your projects together and browse them easily in the built-in rooms gallery
• Simple to add irregular room types; just combine and rotate wall sections, doors, and windows!

Easy to customize:

• Use your own fabrics and textures
• Keep notes for each project
• Set your units of measure
• Optionally hide all furniture and only show structural components
·        Simple functions
·        In-app flashlight
·        Regular updates
·        Also useful for professional contractors
·        Different units of measurement