Archive for February, 2012

SCI Builds Solutions to Clutter Control (Shelf, part 1)

So much clutter, so little time and space to contain it!

Though SCI isn’t into clutter control, we do offer solutions to make it easier for you to manage piles of magazines, kitchen gadgets, guest towels and sheets, lots and lots and lots of shoes, and more. We can build a solution … just let us know what you need.

For instance, the customer who ordered this shelf wanted to be sure her renovated kitchen countertops didn’t turn into the catchall for bills and keys. This decorative shelf by the front door, in the entryway of the Arcadian I condo, is the perfect solution to what may have ended up being a cluttered kitchen.

Do you have a space in your home that might be used more efficiently? Maybe to declutter and organize? Call SCI – Southern Coast Improvements at 843-421-9255 to talk over options.




February 29th, 2012  in Build Solutions to Clutter Comments Off

Fixing a Bathroom Mirror

The first sign of an aging bathroom mirror is deterioration/darkening around the edges, usually because of moisture from the sink.

You can have a mirror resilvered, but it’s probably not worth the cost unless you’re restoring an antique. A less expensive solution for a simple design without a beveled rim  is to dismount the mirror and have a glazier cut off the damaged edges.

Another affordable option is to cover the damage with an attractive frame like in this picture.


Call SCI – Southern Coast Improvements at 843-421-9255 for a free consultation.

February 28th, 2012  in Tips and Tricks of the Trade 2 Comments »

Simple Steps for Painting a Luan Door

I accidentally stumbled onto a painting tip for Luan doors when we remodeled two closets in our home.

I wanted the doors painted the same color as the bedroom walls, except with a semi-gloss finish. I primed both closet doors and painted one of them with semi-gloss paint. The other, I painted with flat since we ran out of semi-gloss.

When I put a second coat on both doors, turns out the one painted with an undercoat of flat paint took the semi-gloss coat more easily. The flat paint filled in the grainy wood and made for a smoother semi-gloss topcoat.

Here are the simple steps for painting a Luan door:

  1. Prime
  2. Paint with flat paint
  3. Repaint with semi-gloss or gloss paint
  4. Lightly sand between coats with 150 grain or finer sandpaper.

    Do you have doors that need installing, fixing or painting? Call SCI – Southern Coast Improvements at 843-421-9255.



February 22nd, 2012  in Tips and Tricks of the Trade Comments Off

Up the Creek: A Funny Renovation Story

That afternoon wound down one of our good do-it-yourself days.

We figured  if we were ever going to name the house, this was the day to choose since we were feeling warm and fuzzy about our purchase. No telling what we would have called her the evening of the lime-green-paint fiasco. The one when I was supposed to be buying mint green for the bedroom. If you’ve ever accomplished even the smallest home improvement job, you know what I’m talking about. There are good days. There are bad days.

The afternoon of the christening, my husband John and I reminisced about the ups and downs of renovating our creekside home. We had one of the worst floods ever when Hurricane Ivan headed through Upstate SC. We wondered if we’d have a house to fix up. We did, even more so because of the leaks.

I experienced going to the bathroom in the great outdoors when the rotted corner of the house had to be torn off to remodel the bathroom. The commode was in place – it’s the walls that were gone. And we removed seven layers of flooring so thick that we could hardly stand tall in the kitchen. The floor and ceiling were about to meet.

“When we bought this one, we should have known we were up the creek without a paddle,” said John. The name stuck. The ole’ girl lovingly came to be known as “Up the Creek.”

If you happen to feel that same way, give SCI – Southern Coast Improvements a call at 843-421-9255. We’ve got a paddle, a hammer and some nails.

February 18th, 2012  in Renovation Stories Comments Off

How To Find a Reputable Contractor

Finding a reputable contractor can mean the difference between smooth sailing and being up the creek without a paddle. We know all about that. And so do Grand Stranders who have shared plenty of horror stories about the home improvement guy who asked for a deposit for supplies but never returned to do the work. Or the one who tore the customer’s house apart, then walked off the job. Or the contractor who painted over rotted wood that ended up costing more to fix than the original bid..

Who has the time or money to deal with scenarios like these?

To find a reputable contractor:

  • Ask to see a professional license and a business license. The person overseeing the work should either be a licensed residential contractor or a licensed general contractor.
  • Get proof of insurance and bonding. It’s best when a contractor like Southern Coast Improvements has general liability insurance and Workman’s Compensation to protect workers and homeowners.
  • Contact references and ask questions about reliability, work habits, quality of work, and how easy the contractor is to work with overall. The best contractor is one who comes highly recommended by family, friends or a trusted acquaintance.
  • Pay attention to what the contractor does instead of what he says. We hired a cabinetmaker that guaranteed kitchen cabinets within three weeks. When we asked to see the progress, all we got was excuses. It was tempting to hang in there because we had invested our time. Instead, we followed our own advice and took our business elsewhere.
  • Check out jobs that are in progress. Ask to see completed projects to assure the contractor’s work is satisfactory.
  • Be wary if a contractor is too available. Being busy is a good sign. Even if waiting is inconvenient, keep in mind that you don’t want someone working on your home that no one else wants working on his or hers.

    If you’re shopping for a contractor, give John Henson at SCI – Southern Coast Improvements a call at 843-421-9255.


February 14th, 2012  in Contractor Who? Why? Expect What? Comments Off