Portray, gardening and DIY: Austin-area companies share house enchancment ideas


Learn home improvement tips from companies in the Austin area. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Several Austin area companies provided advice on preparing for and working on home improvement projects this summer.

Loop One design group



Tara Rainey, co-owner of the Loop One Design Group, advises residents interested in DIY projects and how to avoid common mistakes and challenges:

What steps should a homeowner take to prepare for a home improvement project?

Budget is probably the most important consideration when preparing a home improvement project. We have all heard of projects that get out of hand and cost a lot more than originally planned due to unforeseen complications, a lack of realistic prices or simply project scrambling.

One thing that a lot of people overlook is the timing of the project. One effect of the pandemic is that the actual project duration from start to finish has increased dramatically due to long lead times for many things like equipment.

When someone is looking at a DIY project, how should they begin the material selection process? When should you consider hiring a contractor?

Before you start buying things, do some research on what new products and technologies are available. Take a few field trips to showrooms and retail stores. New model houses are also a great way to see the latest trends. Use apps like Pinterest to brainstorm and narrow down your needs and style.

If you are considering the DIY approach, you should be realistic about the amount of time and material required for your project. It’s not always as easy as it looks on TV. Determine how much of your free time you want to spend on the project and whether the savings are worth it. Consider hiring a contractor for larger jobs involving things like plumbing, structure, and electrical. If you want to cut labor costs, you can tackle the smaller, simpler jobs like painting or installing cabinet hardware.

What challenges do the different parts of the house pose?

We all know that the most expensive and difficult home improvement projects are usually kitchens and bathrooms. They have so many different components and require different crafting skills, especially if you want to change the original footprint of the room. These areas often hide larger problems such as mold that only becomes visible when the demo process is started. They are also the spaces that you cannot do without for a long time. But they are also the rooms that can have the most wow factor and that have a greater return on investment.

What are some of the most common mistakes or misunderstandings you see?

Try not to rush the planning phase. It’s critical. Proper planning and budgeting can make or break the project.

Don’t take on a bigger project than you, your family, or your budget can handle. Decision fatigue is real. Attacking more than one or two rooms at a time can become overwhelming very quickly. Be patient and be able to turn around if necessary. With longer delivery times than ever and hard-to-find contractors, a little patience pays off. And if something goes wrong and it does, be flexible. Lots of planning and care will go a long way.

Clemens color

1211 W. 6th St., Austin



Scott Lawson, General Manager at Clement’s Paint in Austin, provides tips on best practice and preparation for home painting projects:

1. Choose a color or a small palette

Your first step in the entire decision-making process is … to define which two to three colors will work in your room and really commit to one of them.

2. Time for your job

Lots of people are trying to move on with the process and they expect their house to be painted next week and most of the time there are some delays in planning just because of the abundance of moves we are seeing.

3. Dimension your project

An average gallon of paint covers about 350 square feet, so it’s just a few basic dimensions really. It doesn’t have to be precise to the centimeter, but we often tell people to generally go and jot down every wall.

4. Sample colors

Any light bulb will change this color slightly when hanging on the wall. Your open floor plan, lots of natural light, will be more true to color; Your more ranch house, lots of partitions, will have lots of shade and shade.

5. Know your room

Different quality colors are used in different rooms, for example: lighter and less porous colors in kitchens and bathrooms; heat-resistant epoxy coating in the garage; Latex paints throughout the interior.

6. Preparation is key

The main thing when painting is preparation. The more you can cover and tape, the easier life is. Most do-it-yourselfers invest neither time nor energy in preparation.

Shoal Creek Kindergarten

2710 Hancock Drive, Austin



Scott McCullough, Shoal Creek Nursery representative, gave advice on starting a new gardening project in central Texas:

How to start a project

Large gardens start with fantastic soil and careful planning, or the landscaping may not work.

Make a plan

• Explore a place to know your soil better

• Choose plants and read their instructions

• Understand the watering requirements of plants

Gear up

New gardeners and landscapers can bring a variety of materials to help keep their projects running smoothly