Update: Hard at Work at Callow Avenue in Baltimore

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UrbanBuilt’s largest residential contracting project to date at Callow Avenue in Baltimore, MD is coming along nicely! This project is an 8-home full-gut renovation in the heart of Baltimore that we have been working on since late spring of 2015. We recently completed a lot of the framing and insulation at these 8 homes but there is still some construction work to be done before they are complete and ready to be moved into. Here are some of the previous updates that we’ve done on Callow Avenue:

Construction Begins at Callow

Huge Progress Made at Callow

Callow Starting to Come Together

Dedication Ceremony! 

Dedication Ceremony with the Mayor of Baltimore at our Callow Avenue project!

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An exciting day for UrbanBuilt and the Reservoir Hill community. A public ceremony was held today to celebrate the Callow Avenue Re-development project in the City of Baltimore. Representatives from the Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Healthy Neighborhoods, UrbanBuilt, Department of HUD, State department of Housing, local residents from the neighborhood and even Madam Mayor of Baltimore – Stephanie Rawlings Blake – were all present today to express their eagerness for the renovation of the row homes on Callow Avenue. Speakers discussed the project and expressed that this is only the start of the rehabilitation process in this vulnerable neighborhood.  The event was helped bring a feeling of togetherness and community to this blighted neighborhood.

Tuesday’s Tool box Tips – How to Repair a Rocking Toilet

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A rocking toilet is not only annoying, but can lead to more serious damages in the bathroom if left undone. In some cases a rocking toilet is a result of not having the mounting bolts tight enough on the toilet, in which case this can be fixed with a few turns of a wrench. Usually though you must remove the toilet in order to reach under it and make adjustments from there. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to repair a rocking toilet.

  • Look for any gaps between the bottom of the toilet and the floor
  • Make sure there aren’t any water leaks by checking around the bottom of the toilet for any water
  • Use a shim or Wobble Wedge to slide under the back of the toilet or any other gaps
  • Make sure that it is level throughout and secure the toilet by tightening the mounting bolts on the side until it is stable.
  • You may have to cut away some of the shim around the toilet if it is overlapping
  • Caulk around the toilet to secure it to the floor even better and allow for a cleaner look

It is important to make sure that the rocking of the toilet didn’t cause a leak or break anything on the bottom of the toilet, so it is usually smart to double-check by removing the toilet momentarily before adjusting it.

To remove the toilet:

  • Shut off the water supply line
  • Flush away any remaining water in the toilet
  • Remove the water hose from the tank
  • Remove the mounting bolts on the side of the toilet
  • Lift up the toilet and place it in an open area

If you notice any serious problems or can’t figure out how to stop the rocking, call a plumbing specialist for help. Make sure to go to our Facebook page if you want to give us any suggestions for tips that you want us to provide you with in the future.

Tuesday’s Tool Box Tips – How to install floating shelves

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Shelves that don’t use visible brackets are known as floating shelves and can be extremely eye-catching due to its clean and simplistic design. Installation is fairly straight forward, but one of the most important things to take note of is what kind of material the wall that you will be putting the shelf on is made of because this will determine what type of wall anchors are needed. For a plaster wall, hollow anchors would work just fine, but butterfly anchors are much more efficient for drywall. Regardless, make sure that if you need to use anchors because there aren’t any available studs inside the wall, that the weight that you plan on putting on the shelves can be supported by the anchors that you are using. To install floating shelves into a wall:

  1. Find a spot for the shelf by measuring the desired location and use a stud detector to see if there are any studs that can be used for the shelf.
  2. Line the internal bracket with the measured spot and use a level to make sure that the shelf will be straight. Lightly mark the wall with a pencil to see where to drill.
  3. Using a hand drill, drill on the marked locations where the screws will hold the bracket. If you aren’t using a stud in the wall to hold up the bracket, then make sure to use anchors and follow the advice listed above for wall anchors.
  4. Line the bracket up with the holes and install screws to hold the internal bracket in place
  5. Slide the shelf onto the bracket and attach the bracket and the shelf together, usually by installing screws into the bottom of the shelf in the designated holes.

Easy as that! Make sure to visit our Facebook page if you want to suggest any Tool Box Tips for us to give.

Tuesday’s Tool Box Tips – Fixing Warped Hardwood Floors

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Hardwood floors can help make any room look more elegant and spacious, but they can be a pain to clean and maintain. Water, humidity, or even old age can all attribute to hardwood floors warping, which makes it difficult to walk on and even unpleasant to look at. Each case of warped hardwood floors will be different depending on how bad the floors are warped or what type of wood was used for the floors, but here are a few tips to possibly help fix those little warps in your hardwood floor.

  • If the damage is recent and caused by moisture, then the fix could be as easy as using a dehumidifier to draw the moisture out of the floor. This will help the wood lay back down and uncup.
  • For warped floors with gaps between the boards, a latex filler could be an easy fix to this problem. The Homeguides website recommends using a latex filler on any gaps up to ¼ inch wide. It might be a good idea to sand down any excess filler if necessary.
  • To straighten hardwood boards that have bulged or curled at the edges, a simple solution could be to use a high-powered sander and go parallel to the grain. This will remove layers of the hardwood floor in order to even out the boards. Make sure to refinish the floors after as needed.
  • If there is a small section of the floor that is warped, one possible answer could be to use a cinderblock to weigh it down. It is important to wet the floor a bit before to help increase the flexibility of the wood and then leave a cinderblock on the warp for a few days and check the results.

Unfortunately, warped hardwood floors are usually an impossible fix and may require a complete replacement of the floor boards. For any help with replacement hardwood flooring projects feel free to contact us at JDSmith@Urbanbuiltllc.com.