Archive for the ‘ Improving Your Space and Place ’ Category

Flooring at its Finest


If you fall, I’ll be there.  ~ Floor

This quote comes from a funny Facebook poster that’s been circulating for months, and there is truth to it. You walk all over it. Dirty shoes, high heels, dog hair, furniture legs. You name it and your floor’s probably put up with it. All the while, it’s expected to be durable and look attractive.

The possibility that our high demands be met is more probable than ever because choices are virtually endless and flooring is long-lasting like never before.

HGTV Beautiful Kitchen Flooring Ideas showcase flooring that includes slate, concrete, and wood-look ceramic tile to bamboo and black leather. You read it right, black leather. HGTV highlighted these options for your cooking area, however, any one of them can be used throughout the house depending on the flooring’s water tolerance and its sturdiness if the area is high traffic.

Flooring specialists should be able to guide you in the right direction. Your contractor may also offer suggestions.

Money Crashers’ blog, featured in U.S. News, Forbes and Wall Street Journal, listed the top 6 floors: hardwoods, tile, laminate, carpet, vinyl, and cork. Their research includes cost, pros and cons, and the room best suited for the flooring.

Call SCI – Southern Coast Improvements at 843-421-9255 your free flooring consultation.


October 22nd, 2012  in Improving Your Space and Place Comments Off

Why Choose a Custom Shower?

Design a custom shower and you’re only limited by your imagination.

Although custom showers typically cost about twice that of standard ones, customers agree it is money well spent on a space that is used daily, and to have the size and look you want.

Possibilities are endless including built-in seats, a short ledge for shaving your legs, multiple fixtures that spray in all directions, and nonstandard shapes. Accessories like storage racks, grab bars, and pocket shelves (shown in photo) can be installed wherever you like.

Almost any tile is shower-friendly. The choices range from travertine, marble and custom stone to tiles made from ceramic, porcelain and glass.

Another plus is custom showers can accommodate any space no matter how small or large. Here are some custom shower tips from HGTV.

To assure your custom shower is nearly maintenance free, ask for epoxy grout because it is stain resistant and durable. Read what This Old House says about epoxy grout.

Finally, take your custom shower to the next level with designs by Andi Pepperney, co-owner of Art Mosaics of the Carolinas in Murrells Inlet, S.C. One of her favorite mosaics (shown here inserted in a pocket shelf, photo used with permission) is the Onyx Calla Lily. Next on her list of blooms to create is an Onyx Orchid. The accent includes natural stone, porcelain and glass. Art Mosaics of the Carolinas digitally renders the design by computer for clients’ approval.

Call SCI – Southern Coast Improvements at 843-421-9255 for a free consultation, and ideas about adding a custom shower to your home.



Wallpaper and the Mold Behind It

Photo taken at an oceanfront condo where SCI removed wallpaper.

Property owners are becoming more aware of mold and mildew, and taking a peek to see what’s underneath their wallpaper. Let me tell you, it’s not a pretty picture.

Wallpaper was all the rage before folks thought much about mold and mildew. The Family Handyman says there are thousands of types of mold and mildew, so instead of trying to distinguish for this post, we’ll clump them all together and call it mold. A simple definition for indoor mold is a rude fungus that shows up uninvited, eats your stuff without asking, then burps and makes your home smell unpleasant.

Wallpaper offers a perfect breeding ground for mold, especially around the beach where the climate is highly humid. All mold needs is a cool, dark and humid place and off it grows. Plus, wallpaper acts more like a trap for moisture than a barrier, like you might think.

Years after its hanging, wallpaper often shows ugly signs of mold around the edges, which should make you wonder about its underside. Or worse, the mold goes unnoticed and it deteriorates your home and health before you realize what’s happening.

Mold has become so bothersome that some Myrtle Beach property management companies are telling homeowners either remove the wallpaper or their condos will be removed from the rental list.

Best practices:

  • Avoid putting up wallpaper in any room. However, if you must, be sure it is mold resistant even though there is no guarantee. There is also waterproof wallpaper, but again, it comes with no guarantee that it’ll remain mold-free.
  • Remove existing wallpaper by scoring the paper, then spray on a mixture of water and fabric softener, enough so that it soaks through to the adhesive.
  • Clean walls with a mixture of one part water and one part bleach. Let dry completely.
  • Prepare walls by applying a coat of mold resistant stain blocker.
  • Paint walls with mold resistant paint.

Call SCI – Southern Coast Improvements at 843-421-9255 for a free estimate on wallpaper removal and painting.



July 18th, 2012  in Improving Your Space and Place Comments Off

Penny Floors and More

Four hundred and eighty thousand (480,000) pennies are embedded in the floor of Standard Grill’s main dining on Washington Street in New York City. SCI recently posted a photo we shared from another Facebook page, one of a penny floor being installed on top of concrete. The post went viral and reached 21,614. It also ignited dozens of comments and messages about installation and durability. We promised followers we’d do the research and share the details on our blog.

When we discovered Standard Grill had a penny floor, we knew durability wasn’t an issue since it’s a heavily trafficked 285-seat restaurant. However, the key to durability is proper installation. Because we’ve never installed coins on any surface, we’re sharing tips from do-it-yourselfers who have. We hope you’ll find the links helpful, and also do your own research and ask at your local home improvement store about best options for gluing and sealing.

Brian and Laura at Happyroost blog shared simple instructions, and also interesting penny facts about their floor. Although we recommend using stronger glue than Elmers, it sounds like it worked just fine in their bathroom. They spent about $100 putting down 10,000 pennies including 23 Canadian pennies and19 wheat pennies. For an extra decorating touch, interesting facts could be written in calligraphy and framed to hang in the penny-floored room.

The Chamberlains shared their nickel floor do-it-yourself project on popular Apartment Therapy. The couple attached 13,650 nickels to mesh backing with Weldbond. You can find the all-purpose glue at most craft and hardware stores.

We also found detailed instructions for installing a penny countertop.

Keep in mind that paying someone to do such labor intensive work is no way to pinch pennies, however, if you’d like to talk over the possibilities, call us at 843-421-9255 and we’ll make sure it’s done right. At SCI, the Quality of our work improves the Quality of your life.




June 23rd, 2012  in Improving Your Space and Place Comments Off

Commodes: Convenience and Conservation


Why flush money down the toilet, especially one you have trouble getting up from?

Two advantages to changing out your old toilets are convenience and conservation.

Consumers, especially the senior population, have outlived their outdated commodes. Since parts on a toilet can easily be replaced, it’s not unusual to have a commode in your home that dates back to poodle skirts. However, convenience is mandating upgrades. Taller commodes are easier to get on and off, and the older you get, the more you appreciate that convenience.

Plus, newer models are more attractive, and they use less water per flush. That’s right, even commodes are green and water conservation helps you and the environment. Although true in the beginning, the rumor about new models not working effectively has worked itself out. Manufacturers made necessary adjustments. These days you save money, conserve water daily, and appreciate efficiency, as well as a better-looking product.

If you’re in the market for a tall, green makeover, call SCI – Southern Coast Improvements at 843-421-9255.

May 31st, 2012  in Improving Your Space and Place Comments Off

Budget Bathrooms

Custom showers like this one cost approximately $4,500.

Bathroom remodels typically cost $5,000 for standard selections in paint, a new sink and faucet, changing out the tub/shower, and replacing old flooring with linoleum or tile.

It’s easy to go over budget on materials and upgrades. Custom anything costs more than floor models. The faucet right next to the one you’re eyeing may add as much as $300 to the bill. Tile can cost as little as $5 and up to $35 a square foot. For instance, designing a specialty shower, instead of buying what’s in stock, can quadruple the price of the remodel (like in the photo above).

The best tips for budget bathrooms, and budget rooms in general:

  • Plan ahead.
  • Plan within your budget.
  • Plan what’s important when spending extra.

Check out more tips and photos from CalFinder (and from SCI’s co-owner who wrote the article) about bathroom remodels on a budget. When you’re ready to get started, call SCI – Southern Coast Improvements at 843-421-9255.






April 4th, 2012  in Improving Your Space and Place Comments Off

What’s Up With the Ceiling?


It’s easy to overlook the ceiling since it’s typically not decorative, adds no color and very little texture, and it’s the most difficult part of the room to decorate, if you even want to.

Pretty much, a ceiling is invisible. Unless, of course, it is ugly or damaged, then it’s likely the first thing you’ll notice about a room. In other words, it’s best if the ceiling doesn’t call attention to itself.

Unfortunately, older kitchens, especially in condos and townhouses, were built with lots of lighting that contractors covered with decorative hard plastic. Over time, the plastic discolored, usually yellowing. Plus, it’s an out-of-date look.

Here’s an example of one ceiling makeover that not only looks more attractive, but adds a variety of lighting (traditional, can lights and rope lighting) on a dimmer switch, as well as opening the space up since SCI raised the ceiling. Instead of dated and dingy, now the kitchen looks radiant.

Want to brighten your kitchen? Call SCI – Southern Coast Improvements at 843-421-9255.

March 29th, 2012  in Improving Your Space and Place Comments Off