Custom Barn Door Installation

One of my favorite clients was updating her rental property in the west Pilsen neighborhood – close tot he Lagunitas brewery and the Cinsespace industrial park. She requested I make and install a barn door for her. This custom barn door fabrication project was one of my favorite pieces.

I used 2×6 pine so the door would be light weight. Using a claw hammer, an angle grinder and some wood stain, I weathered the boards and assembled them as pictured above.

I used a splotchy staining technique and 2 different colored stains to bring out some character in the wood. I found a basic sliding door hardware set up on amazon and the result was great.

If you are thinking about a custom barn door fabrication project, please let me know. I really enjoy hearing about custom project ideas.

Kitchen Cabinet Refinishing

We recently finished a kitchen cabinet refinishing project in Chicago’s thriving west Loop neighborhood. Our Client was selling the unit and wanted to update the aesthetic to facilitate quick sale.

The Process for kitchen Cabinet cabinet refinishing can take 2-4 weeks depending on the number of doors and drawer fronts. First we remove all door and drawer fronts – these will be refinished in our work shop.

When the doors have been refinished, We return to the home and paint the cabinet boxes in place. the process takes about 3 days. Special care is taken to mask off all areas surrounding the painted surfaces to protect the home.

Get a Free Estimate

Email photos of your kitchen or bathroom vanity for a free quote
info@chicagohandyman.net

Preparing for a winter storm

With a record Low temperature approaching Chicago, It is a good Idea to prepare your home to increase comfort and reduce energy costs. the biggest culprit is Heat Loss – places your home is letting warm air escape, or cold exterior air enter. Here are a few key areas a home owner can address on their own.


  1. Doors – If you can see daylight, you have heat loss. Run your hand along the cracks of your Sliding doors and entry doors. I you can feel cold air – you have heat loss. Quick fix – Tape. Duct tape or packing tape will instantly reduce your heat loss and save on your electric bill.
  2. Windows – Be sure to close storm windows. According to EnergyStar.gov, replacing single-pane windows with ENERGY STAR qualified storm windows can save you up to $465 a year on energy bills. Closing curtains and blinds will also create a barriere between you and the cold. Plastic on your windows is also a great way increase your comfort and reduce your energy bills
  3. Bath and Kitchen Exhaust fans – Most kitchen and bath exhaust fans vent to the exterior of your home. Exhaust fans can remove 30% of your homes heat in One hour according to some estimates. If your vent does not include a damper – your vent could be pulling heat out of your home even when it is not running.

Chicago Handyman can provide home energy audits if you are ready to increase the comfort of your home and decrease your energy consumption. Bundle up out there!

Why Go To The Bar When You Could Build Your Own?

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.18.17 AMGoing to the bar is expensive. Along with the $10 cover, it’s $20 for a couple of beers and the inevitable cab ride home. So why not pocket the $50 for a night out and instead pay less than $40 for an at-home bar to provide years of entertainment? By repurposing some old wood and purchasing only the building supplies, it is totally possible!

Besides the repurposed wood, these supplies are required:

  • Sheathing
  • Screws
  • Stain
  • Polytheurane
  • Saw

Start by framing the bar, using 16″ centers. Create the sides of the bar by attaching sheathing to the frame. Reddit user 7thsonwoodworking found those pieces at a gas station, but can also be found at a local building site or hardware store for free with just a couple “please and thank you”‘s.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.18.40 AM

Use plywood for the surface of the bar and screw wooden boards to the surface for the 12″ overhang of the bar. These will also serve as the frame for the inlays. Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.19.01 AM

In order to create a chevron badocams look with the inlays on the surface, measure and cut each board so each side matches up to make the arrow shape. Do this until reaching the middle where both sides meet up. Get creative for this section, 7thsonwoodworking decided on a geometric pentagon shape, but any shape to fill the space will do. Similarly, the fronts and sides should also possess these designs. Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.19.18 AM

Stain the trim of the surface, front and sides until reaching the desired hue. Once stained, screw all the corners of the inlays in. This will be the longest step in the process. Attach the trim to the surface, sides and front. Finally add a layer of polytheurane to make the bar shiny, crisp and clean. Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.19.31 AM

For the advanced class, build some shelving behind the bar to keep all needed liquor and garnishes nearby. This finished look will have people wanting to party in a basement for the first time since high school.

Be nice, and no matter how tempting, don’t charge a cover. Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.19.47 AM

Handyman At Home: Top 5 Handyman Hacks Any Homeowner Can Achieve!

1. Salvaging A Broken Lamp

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Have a lovely lamp that simply won’t turn on? Follow this tutorial on rewiring a broken lamp & let there be light!

 

2. Replacing Screens Any Time Of The Year

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Whether summer is on the horizon or a pet scratched a hole in your screen, this step-by-step guide will ensure a quick, easy fix to all screen mishaps.

 

3. Hole In The Wall? Drywall Repair For Any Novice

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A party led to a hole in the wall? Refurbishing a fixer upper? This guide will save time and money for minor drywall repairs.

 

4. Un-Stick Even The Stickiest Of Doors

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No money to replace a new door? Check out this tutorial on adjusting a hinge knuckle.

 

5. Remove Paint Stains In 1 Minute

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The easiest hack of all, rubbing alcohol! Use this for any paint mishaps at home.

 

In need of a more serious repair? Give Chicago Handyman a call for a quote today!

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