When was the last time you checked your basement? I hadn’t been in my basement in months until last weekend when I went down to get the Christmas decorations so that we could start decorating for the holidays. I definitely should have gone down there sooner. I walked down into the basement in search of the decorations and stepped in 3 inches of freezing cold dirty water. Because of the winter weather a pipe cracked and leaked water all throughout the basement. Some of our items that were up on shelves seemed dry. But all the boxes that were stacked on the floor were soaked. And I had no idea how long the water had been in the basement.
After surveying the damage my wife suggested we clean out the basement ourselves, to save money. The holiday budget didn’t include an expensive plumber to fix the pipe or a team to clean out the basement! But after getting a good luck at the damage I knew we had to call in professionals. Not only to fix the cracked pipe but also to make sure that the basement was thoroughly cleaned out and dried so that we didn’t get mold.
I called a plumber and they sent someone out the same day to look at the damage and give me an estimate. It was expensive, but not as bad as I thought it would be. They were able to start work the next day. In the meantime I went through the boxes that were soaked to see if there was anything I could save. I managed to save some of the ornaments that my wife has been collecting since we got married but most of the holiday decorations, summer clothes and other items in boxes were a total loss.
When the plumbing team showed up the next day I was impressed at how professional they were. They got right to work and had the basement water cleaned up very quickly. They did an ultrasound exam of all the pipes and found another one that was about to crack. They fixed it and insulated the other pipes so that I wouldn’t have another crack during the next freeze. And they treated everything in the basement to prevent mold growth.
Within a day the damage was fixed and I was sure that no more pipes would be cracking and leaking anytime soon. I certainly hope I don’t have another plumbing emergency soon but I learned that there is just no substitute for hiring a professional team when you have a plumbing emergency. And we went out and bought a new tree and decorations today so that we can still make the house look festive. I’m very glad I checked the basement and very glad I called professional plumbers to deal with the situation. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have known about the other pipes and the damage could have been much worse. So if you haven’t checked your basement in awhile go check it and be sure that you don’t have any damage from the winter weather.
I was looking for some way to make my business stand out. My building is at the end of a block with a lot of other shops and a normal sign just wasn’t bringing in the foot traffic I hoped for. I can’t move the store, so I needed to find a way to make my store stand out from the others. I decided to have a mural painted on the side of the building. That way anyone walking or driving by would definitely notice my store. But I had no idea how to go about finding an artist or picking a design or anything like that. I run a business, I don’t make art.
I called a few local painting companies but none of them did murals. So I asked for recommendations at a networking event and I found a local company that specializes in painting murals. I wasn’t really sure what to expect or how much it would cost but I gave them a call to at least get an idea of the price and see what kind of mural they could do.
When I called I was really surprised at how knowledgeable they were. This mural company had painted for some really big names. When I called I got to speak to an actual artist who talked to me about what kind of design I wanted, how big I wanted the mural to be, and what kind of building I have. Then they sent someone out to my building to give me an estimate that included original art and design plus installing and painting it. The cost was a lot less than I was expecting.
I decided to go ahead with it and set up a design consultation. I sat down with several members of the design team and we talked about what I wanted the mural to do and what kind of art I wanted. I told them I wanted something with bright colors that would really stand out, and I wanted the color of my shop logo included. We talked about the neighborhood and what kind of art would get noticed and really celebrate the culture of the neighborhood. I left the design meeting without any idea of what they were going to come up with.
A few days later they emailed me a design proof. I was blown away! It was vibrant and creative and looked fantastic but still had the color of my logo and my actual logo worked into the design. It looked so good. I would never have been able to come up with something like that.
They created the mural after I approved the design. It took a couple of days but when it was done it was a real attention-getter. My foot traffic doubled almost immediately. And now everyone in the neighborhood knows my building “the one with the mural” and people make a special effort to come into my shop. They take selfies and photos next to the mural and post them on social media. Getting a mural was the best advertisement I could have done to boost my business.
When I was getting ready to repaint several rooms in my home I took the advice of a friend who is a decorator and went to an actual paint store instead of just going to the local home improvement store. Boy, am I glad I listened to her! I had some vague ideas of what I wanted to do in my living room, dining room and in the basement rec room but I wasn’t really sure how to go about it. Painting three rooms is a big job. I took some printed out photos from Pinterest with me to the paint store to try and find similar colors. I wasn’t looking forward to it.
But when I got to the paint store I was amazed. It was so much more than I thought it would be. They had so many colors and types of paint, plus all the materials to do some great faux finish effects, and they even had a little table set up with design books and a computer to help you match colors. I always thought paint was paint, but I was wrong.
I got a little overwhelmed by all the choices of colors and textures but the very nice woman at the counter sat down at the table with me and went over different kinds of finishes and what finish of paint is best for each room. I learned a lot! Then she took my Pinterest photos and pointed out what type of finish each one was. She even showed me that one had a faux finish and helped me make a list of everything I would need to create the same effect.
When I was ready to start choosing colors she showed me several different color palettes similar to the colors in the photos that I had and talked with me about whether to go light or dark in each room and what other colors would go with the original shades. She spent so much time helping me! After she had to go help another customer I sat at the table and worked out a color scheme and faux finish for each room that I wanted to redo. Then the helpful clerk got me sample size cans of paint in all the colors I chose so I could take those home and try out some swatches on the walls.
I spent several hours at the paint store, which is much longer than I ever spent in the home improvement store. And the clerk was so incredibly helpful! Now I’m ready to start tackling my home painting projects and I know exactly what I want to do because of the help I got at the paint store. If you are planning on doing some home renovations and you’re going to be painting go to an actual paint store instead of the home improvement store. The prices are comparable but you will get so much more help at the paint store. I’ll never go to the home improvement store for paint again.
Tackling topics that tantalize thought.