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It Really is 6 Inches

by Megan Varley
Tips & Advice

It Really is 6 Inches

Tape measures come in a variety of sizes, from a few feet to over 100 feet and everything in between.   Some have a metal case and some have a plastic case.   No matter the length or material, they all have a few things in common. 

The end of every tape measure is metal hook.  Not only does this prevent the tape from irretrievably retracting into the case, but it can be used as a grab.  To make an outside measurement, hook or grab the edge of the object being measured then stretch the tape. 

Did you ever wonder why the metal hook slides around?  No, the factory didn’t do a bad riveting job.  The hook slides back and forth so that measurements can be made either by butting the tape against an object or by hooking it on the edge of the object.  The sliding motion ensures an accurate measurement in either direction.  Notice that 1st inch isn’t an exact inch.  The thickness of the metal hook makes up the difference when pushed against something and the wiggle makes up the difference when pulled taut.

Not all, but some of the metal hooks have a serrated edge.  This can be used as a scribing tool.  Can’t find a pencil, just press and move back and forth to make a mark in the wood.

At the base of every tape measure is a number.  This is the length of the tape measure.  Knowing this makes is easy to take an inside measurement.   Bending the tape measure will distort the measurement. Instead, use the tape measure as part of the measurement.  The tape measure picture here is 2” in length, therefore the measurement is really 6 inches.

Quick Tip

Do you know what the red squares on a tape measure are for?   These red squares are every 16” and mark all the stud locations.  Use these marks to nail base or anything else that needs to be nailed into a stud.  Mark the first stud, line the end of your tape up, stretch it out, lock it into place and use the red squares for you nail locations.

How to Install Quarter Round

by Megan Varley
Tips & Advice

How to Install Quarter Round


Quarter round molding is an inexpensive way to make a simple piece of baseboard look better or provide a neat finish to a flooring job.  It can also be used by itself to create a clean look in a room.


Quarter-round comes in different sizes. The most common size is 3/4-inch.  Use 3/4-inch quarter-round when adding a piece of quarter-round to the top of a piece of 1-inch trim. This would match the top of the board perfectly.  If you are placing quarter-round in front of the baseboard use any size you prefer or that will fill any gaps between the end of your flooring and the wall



  1. Make the first cut at a 45-degree angle using a miter box and saw, then measure for the total length.  If you are adding quarter-round molding to a four-cornered room, then all your cuts will be at a 45-degree angle with the angles running towards the center of the piece of molding.
  2. Make butt joints where the baseboard meets the door trim. Every room has to have at least one door opening, so whenever there is a door frame, run the molding right up to the frame without cutting an extra 45-degree angle.  Just make sure the butt joint is at a perfect 90 degrees.  Don’ trust the lumberyard; always cut the end of a piece of quarter-round before placing it.
  3. Wrap the molding around any abutments in the wall using a 45-degree miter joint. In this case, cut the angles in the exact opposite way that you did in Step 2. That means the angle begins at the curve in the wood and runs into the center of the piece of molding at a 45-degree angle.
  4. Splice together any pieces of molding with two 45-degree cuts that run in different directions. These cuts should fit together tightly and most likely will not be noticed if they are done right.
  5. Nail the molding to the floor at an angle using #6 or #8 bright-finish nails and set each nail with a small nail set.
  6. Fill each nail hole with wood putty. If necessary, fill the wood joints with putty, but a clean and careful cutting job should eliminate the need for this step.

How to Remove Old Carpet

by Megan Varley
Tips & Advice

How to Remove Old Carpet


Is your old, dirty carpet hiding a beautiful hard wood floor?  Remove the carpet.

  1. Vacuum the carpet to cut down on dust as the carpet is removed.
  2. For protection, wear a dust mask, heavy work gloves and sturdy, thick-soled, close-toed shoes.
  3. Cut into manageable sections with a carpet knife or utility knife without cutting into the floor.
  4. Roll up that section and wrap a piece of duct tape around the section to keep it from unrolling.
  5. Pull up the section of padding, roll it up and wrap with duct tape also.
  6. Use pliers to remove the staples that held the pad down.  Pull them straight up to keep from making a larger hole,  If the staples are tight against the floor, tap a small flat-bladed screw driver under them to loosen enough to pull out with the pliers.
  7. Once all the carpet, padding and staples have been removed, use a pry bar to pull up the tack strip that runs around the room.  Remove any extraneous nails with a hammer claw.  Be careful – those nails are sharp.
  8. Sweep of vacuum the floor.

Now the floor is ready to be refinished sandlessly!

Are You Losing Your Luster?

by Megan Varley
Tips & Advice

Are You Losing Your Luster?

Are You Losing Your Luster?

How Do You Know If Yours Floors Need To Be Refinished?

One of the most noticeable and least expensive improvements a homeowner can make is to restore a dull, dirt wood floor.  Over time, the urethane finish on your hardwood floors will eventually begin to wear.  The key is to recognize this and have your floor recoated with an additional application, or “top coat”, of urethane before it’s too late. 

There are a couple of ways to tell if it is time to refinish / restore your floors –

First, a visual inspection – Have the high-traffic walkway areas lost their sheen or gloss in comparison to the no-traffic far edges of the floor?  You might also see graying in the floor in these areas.  The graying is caused by grinding dirt in to the open pores of the wood floor when you walk on the area that has lost its finish.

You can also try the water test – Pour a tablespoon of water onto the high-traffic section of floor and watch what it does.

  • If it forms droplets that rest on top of the wood, the finish is in good condition.
  • If it soaks into the wood slowly, the finish is wearing thin, but you can probably postpone the job if you need to.
  • If the water quickly penetrates the wood and leaves a dark splotch, the floor needs to be refinished right away.

 So, when is the best time to refinish your hardwood floors?

1.  Before you move in.  This is the best time, by far, to refinish hardwood since there’s no furniture and no disruption of living.

2. Before you sell. The condition of your hardwood floors is a reflection of how well the rest of your house is maintained.  If your hardwood floors are in bad shape, potential buyers will look hard at every other aspect of your home looking for other maintenance issues.  They want to get your house for the best deal and will offer less for everything they see as a potential repair.  You, on the other hand, want the most for your house.  Refinishing your floors before the house is listed is a very smart investment and you will get your return on it.  It will help your house sell faster and a higher value.

3.  While you are away. This is a great time to refinish your floors.  The technicians will be in and out of your home.  You, your family and pets need to stay out of the way.  And, if there are sections leading to the bedrooms – remember you can’t walk on them for a little while.  

Recent Project

SRC was recently called in to refinish the original floors in a 100-year-old house.  The floors were in decent condition, just losing the finish.  The home owners have retired and are moving away.  This house has plenty of charm and character.  By using our sandless method, we were able to deep clean and refresh the floors without losing the character traditional sanding would have eliminate.  And isn’t character what a buyer is looking for when they buy a 100-year-old house?

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