You’re about to remodel, renovate, fix up, DIY or call a pro, and you’ve got questions! Get answers from design-build expert Mason Hearn, owner of Central Virginia’s HomeMasons.

Feb 10

Fabulous Floor Heat!

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: water heater, tile, renovation, plumbing, maintenance, HVAC, floors


We just purchased a 45 year old home that has had renos but I'd like to put a heated ceramic floor for the family room in the basement. ( 24x16) It now has laminate over concrete!!! Nasty! What is the safest and best way to do this knowing that there might be basement water damage every 100 years :) The house is in a river community.




Dear Liz:

Heated floors are wonderful.  If you buy-into the magazine ads run buy floor heating companies, your naked baby and the

Jan 15

You CAN, but you MAY NOT!

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: tile, renovation, remodeling, floors, cracks, bathrooms

Hi! We have a early 1930s house. The bathroom has an old tile floor set in cement, with plywood and vinyl laid over the top of this. We want to install a new tile floor. Can we install directly over the vinyl (on top of the plywood), or will this cause cracks? If we take out the plywood, can we tile over the old tile? Thank you!



Dear Mark:

I am reminded of one of my favorite movies, "Avalon", where a kid raises his hand and asks his grammar teacher "Can I go to the bathroom?"  The

Jan 15

Raise the Bridge or Lower the River?

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, select contractor, renovation, remodeling, floors, design, contractors, Accessibility


We are interviewing contractors for a remodel to our home which we want to make handicap accessible.   Our living room is two steps up from the rest of the house.  Is it possible to have it lowered?



Dear Linda:

 Thank you for your question.  The EASY answer is always YES!  I believe that anyone can do anything, given enough time, money and expertise.  I assume your question really means "is this reasonably achievable?"

The answer to the latter interpretation of your inquiry,

Jan 15

Old MacDonald Had Some Barnwood

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: safety, repairs, preservation, millwork, hardwood, exteriors


What are the pros and cons of pressure-washing old barn wood, versus using a scrub brush?




Good question.   The best method depends on the condition of the wood and your intent in regards its eventual use.

Pressure washing, in most instances, may seem the easiest, fastest way to clean the surface of old wood (whether you are trying to remove the aged patina, mildew, paint, etc).  If there is old paint on it, there may be concerns regarding the hazardous release of toxins from lead-based coatings (harmful to people and the environment).  Refer to the EPA RRP rule for handling

Sep 18

Pucker-up, Pergo!

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: repairs, maintenance, floors

Hi Mason,

My husband and I installed a cheap laminate hardwood. Everyone says you shouldn't apply polyurethane to laminate. I tested two planks, and they seem to be fine. My goal is to seal the edges/seams with the poly and to add more high gloss sheen. When moisture sits on a seam and is not cleaned up right away, the edge will pucker. Thanks for your advice.



 I’m on a pun-roll, so I have to say this.  “Should the edges pucker-up when wet, that would be just swell!”  But

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Latest News

HomeMasons introduces Whole Home Care service

Ask Mason

If you have a design, remodeling or home improvement question, all you have to do is ask. Click here!
© 2016 HomeMasons, Inc.