Pro Spotlight: Steve Dorsey

July 30th, 2015 | Posted by Brandy Deminna | . comment(s)

Redbeacon Pro Steve Dorsey

 

Meet Steve

Today I spoke to Steve Dorsey, the owner of The Handyman Pros based in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Steve has been a Redbeacon Pro since 2012 and a general contractor and handyman for over 20 years. Steve entered the home improvement business as a young man working for his father’s insulation company. He was a general contractor for several years, but, when the market crashed in 2008, he had to reinvent himself and discover his hidden talents.

After the market crash, it was difficult to find work as a general contractor. The number of requests for large- to medium-sized jobs severely diminished and Steve found himself doing small jobs at greatly reduced rates. A friend of his at the time discovered brochures for a new and emerging handyman company in the area. Steve had never thought of working as a handyman. In fact, Steve had had no respect for handymen when he was a general contractor, because he supposed handymen had limited skill sets. After seeing the brochures for the handyman company, Steve thought, “I can do that, but I can do it better.” His ambition and drive paid off. Steve has been very successful as a handyman and even plans to add a few franchises to his company this year.

Why Redbeacon?

Steve has worked on several projects for Redbeacon clients over the years, and he has worked with at least one of his clients for two years. Steve prefers Redbeacon to other similar companies, because Redbeacon is a free service that connects him with top-notch clients. He considers customers who contact him through Redbeacon to be referrals and not leads and has had good experiences with customers across the board. His five-star rating shows that his clients feel the same way.

Fun Facts

When Steve isn’t helping his customers’ fulfill their home improvement needs, he enjoys playing tennis, jogging, and spending time with his grandchildren. Steve isn’t just a casual tennis player, he plays adult tennis at the advanced level. Most recently, he ran in the Peachtree Road Race on July 4th, the largest 10K in the world with over 60,000 participants. His grandchildren are the focal point of his life, and he has included the first letters of their names, A and P, on his logo.

If you’re looking for a handyman and would like to work with Steve, view his full profile here.

Top 5 Dream Kitchen Appliances

July 27th, 2015 | Posted by Brandy Deminna | . comment(s)

The next time you’re fantasizing about your dream home, don’t forget about the kitchen appliances! We’ve compiled a list of the top five must-have appliances. Each one is sleek, functional, and perfectly convenient. What better way to dream than with a couple of images?

Image courtesy of NC State News

Image courtesy of NC State News

 

The Gaggia Classic Espresso Maker

Image courtesy of Rainy Day Magazine

Image courtesy of Rainy Day Magazine

Let’s be honest–standing in a long line at a cafe waiting to get your morning joe can be absolutely irritating. This petite, though powerful, espresso machine is the perfect solution to getting your caffeine fix without the hassle of long lines and loud cafes. Sleepily press a few buttons and–voila!–a cappuccino materializes.

 

Built-In French-Door Refrigerator

Image courtesy of Cnet

Image courtesy of Cnet

After taking a few sips of your frothy cappuccino, open up this refrigerator and have a perfectly chilled yogurt for breakfast. This top-line appliance uses separate cooling units for the refrigerator and the freezer, keeping your food splendidly crisp and cool. It’s classy, quiet, and oh so easy to use.

 

Cafe French-Door Wall Oven

Image courtesy of Appliances Connection

Image courtesy of Appliances Connection

Love baking bread, but hate cluttering your kitchen counters with a bread maker? This oven can bake almost anything, even bread. Its modern and functional design is coupled with up-to-the-minute technology to make it one of the most conveniently functional appliances for your dream kitchen. It can even connect to your phone. Can you smell the freshly baked bread now?

 

Wall Mounted Potfillers

Image courtesy of Houzz

Image courtesy of Houzz

What’s more handy than these wonderfully thought up potfillers? No need to spill water all over your dream kitchen carrying a tea kettle from the sink to the stove. Just pop open the lid of the kettle, turn the knob of your polished potfillers, and switch on the burner.

 

Deep Recessed Gas Cooktop

Image courtesy of Monogram

Image courtesy of Monogram

Does anyone cook in their dream kitchen? With this cooktop, you almost can’t resist. This appliance comes with a built-in skillet, so you don’t even need to get out a saute pan. Prepare your entire meal on one surface. After you’ve finished using this appliance, press the child lock button and go about the rest of your day worry free.

15 Inexpensive Upgrades for Your Home

July 21st, 2015 | Posted by Brandy Deminna | . comment(s)

Looking to save time and energy this summer? Get started with these top 15 inexpensive upgrades for your home!

  • Running an air conditioner all day can be expensive. Whole house fans cool down your entire home (including the attic!) while saving you money you would’ve spent running an AC unit. Cost: $150 to $550

Have questions about the best way to make these upgrades? Ask our Experts at www.redbeacon.com/experts.

Ask an Expert: Top 3 Common Painting Problems Solved!

July 9th, 2015 | Posted by Brandy Deminna | . comment(s)

Painting a room in your house can be a difficult project, especially if you want to apply paint to a unique surface or remove old, cracked paint before rolling on the new. Some of the most frequent questions Redbeacon Experts find themselves answering are paint-related, and they’ve provided some very useful advice. Let’s take a look!

Painting a wall
Image courtesy of Home Depot

How Do I Fix Peeling Paint?

Peeling paint can be a headache. If paint is peeling from your walls, chances are the wall was not properly prepped to receive the paint. One of our Experts, Jim Roe, offers some guidance, “As long as [the loose paint] is lead-free [it] can be scraped from the walls. The rest of it can be scuffed up using 120 grit sandpaper, and feathered out at the edges where the paint has been removed. Once the walls are cleaned of dust, a new coat of primer, followed by a coat or two of finish paint, will have the [walls] looking fresh and new.” Want more expert advice? Read the rest of Jim’s response here.

So there you have it! Peeling paint is most likely the culprit of improper preparation. Just remember: prep, prime, and then paint.

How Do I Prep a Unique Surface for Paint? 

Another common issue homeowners face is painting unique surfaces. Before applying a coat of paint to a wall made from unique materials, you should always test the paint on that surface. Here’s some advice about how to paint mahogany by our Expert Lou Franchino, “… I would start by testing the new paint on a fresh piece of mahogany to see if there are any issues. Even if your house has latex paint on it already, tannins from the underlying mahogany siding can leach into the paint over time…. I would also test the paint on something simple like a piece of plywood to make sure the new paint is not the issue.” Read Lou’s entire post here.

If you’re unsure about the surface you’re trying to paint, be sure to test the paint on a small portion of that surface first. Some surfaces, like tile and laminate, may need to be sanded prior to painting. Other surfaces, like vinyl, may expand or contract with changes in the weather. The bottom line? Be sure to research the unique surface you want to paint before you begin.

 

Image courtesy of Home Depot
Image courtesy of Home Depot

How Do I Fix Cracking Paint?

Another common paint-related problem is cracking paint. Paint will crack when new paint is applied on top of an unsuitable surface. Take a tip from our Expert, Adam Caldwell, “Cracking is often a problem that occurs when incompatible paints are applied over one another (such as painting an oil-based paint over a water-based paint).  Since the bases are dissimilar, the paints cannot adhere to each other very well, and when the weak bond breaks, the top layer of paint cracks.  Another common cause of cracking can be moisture, which usually leads to flaking and peeling as well.”

What can you do if this problem occurs (besides pretending you’re going for the vintage look)? Sanding the old paint off the wall is the obvious answer, but sometimes the solution can be easier to achieve. Here’s how Adam explains it: “It may not be necessary to sand the entire surface back to bare wood or to strip off all the existing paint, but you will need to scrape off any loose paint and sand the edges of the irregular areas to feather them into a smooth surface…. Then, to improve adhesion with the existing finish and the new paint, apply one to two coats of bonding primer like KILZ Adhesion.  This is a great product to use when you aren’t sure what’s already on the surface you need to paint; it is designed to improve adhesion between unlike materials.  Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application and drying times to prevent trapping moisture that can lead to more cracks or bubbling.  With your primer dry, apply two coats of finish paint.” Want the full scoop? Check out the rest of Adam’s response here.

Some of the most common dilemmas of painting your home–solved! Thanks Redbeacon Experts.

Let’s Get Creative!

Now that you’ve got the basics, are you up for a challenge? Pam (pictured below) traveled to Thailand where she took a photo of a mountain range. Using the program Illustrator, she augmented the photo into a grid and then transferred it onto her bedroom wall. Can you accomplish a similar project? Ask our Experts how to create your own mural.

Image courtesy of Apartment Therapy
Image courtesy of Apartment Therapy
Image courtesy of Apartment Therapy
Image courtesy of Apartment Therapy

10 Envious Rooftop Decks for Outdoor Summer Living

July 7th, 2015 | Posted by Lisa Hartman | . comment(s)

With summer well underway, it’s only natural to want to spend your days (and nights) outdoors. For these ten lucky homeowners, they actually get to do so in private and in style atop their expansive rooftop decks. Can you imagine the parties, the brunches, the NAPS had in these dreamy outdoor spaces? Ugh, we sure can, and we’re incredibly envious that we don’t get to share it with them. Without further ado, check out our favorite rooftop decks for outdoor summer living all the way from San Francisco to London. Which one’s your favorite?

  • 10-envious-rooftop-decks-san-francisco
    Can you imagine having this view of the Golden Gate Bridge EVERY night? We're green with envy! Design by John Maniscalco Architecture, image courtesy of Houzz.

Let a Redbeacon handyman give you a picture-perfect fall

November 10th, 2014 | Posted by admin | . comment(s)

Rake

Get your mind out of the gutter — literally.

Everyone loves autumn until they have to dredge those beautiful falling leaves out of their gutters. And that’s why we’re inviting you not to do it.

That’s right. Don’t clean out your gutters. You heard us correctly.

As of today, Redbeacon has handymen available nationwide to help you with your fall clean-up projects, namely things like your gutters that can become a problem once freezing temperatures hit. Now that you can walk into any Home Depot store in the United States and find some help with your projects, you can return your autumn weekends to apple-cider sipping, decorative gourd arranging, and colorful-leaf-pile jumping. We’ve got the trusted pros you need to get the tough stuff done right.

So sit back in that Adirondack chair and enjoy a fall that’s straight out of stock photography, as documented below:

stockphotographyfall

Why stop at the town? We’re painting the country red.

July 17th, 2014 | Posted by admin | . comment(s)

nationalRedbeacon

We’ve been taking big bites out of this beautiful country of ours: Georgia. Texas. The gorgeous left coast.

We could have stopped with the Hawaiian Islands. It would have been easy to chill out there, basically, forever.

But we were never going to be entirely happy until we dominated the entire country. And that’s why, starting now, you’re able to access Redbeacon in every single store in the U.S. Home Depot chain — from the oil fields of North Dakota to Miami Beach, from Burbank to the Outer Banks.

We’re starting out with painters nationwide, so if you’ve got a paint project you’ve been putting off for a while, now’s the time to get everything you need at your local Home Depot: paint, rollers, brushes, tarps… and a pro who can do the whole thing for you.

Redbeacon Pro Spotlight: Franco’s Handyman

April 14th, 2014 | Posted by admin | . comment(s)

francohandyman

There’s great work, and then there’s great work and great communication. One of our most beloved pros, Nimrod Franco — or, as everyone affectionately knows him, Franco — is all about communication. “The way to address the job — the way you explain, the way you communicate — it’s key with how to get along with people,” said Franco. “Being polite helps.”

The residents of the Plano, Texas, area are the better for it, and with more than 200 5-star reviews on Redbeacon alone, they seem to agree. Franco’s been doing home repairs and handyman work around the greater Dallas region for the last 12 years, starting first with maintenance requests of all types in apartment complexes. About 3 years ago, he started his own handyman venture, and he experimented with getting leads in a variety of places.

Before starting with Redbeacon, Franco used a few other lead-generation services, but his business predominately grew from recommendations. “I did some advertising with flyers and business cards,” he said. “But mostly I was growing from word of mouth.” And in a way, getting leads from Redbeacon helps him expand his word-of-mouth reach. “It’s been great [with Redbeacon],” Franco said. “The leads I get are good… and once I’ve done a job and the customer is satisfied, they call back directly to do repairs.”

Of course, Franco’s frequently working with customers who are in a bind: Something isn’t in working order in the home, and they need it fixed STAT. “A lot of times you get people in a bad mood, but if you know how to talk to them and address the situation, you get a good side of them and make them happy. I’ve had nice people; I’ve had cranky people. I try to do the best I can, and what I try to do is please people… I believe that’s what’s helped me to get those nice reviews.”

Well said, Franco. We think you might be on to something.

Redbeacon Pro Spotlight: Beasley’s Plumbing of Atlanta

December 3rd, 2013 | Posted by admin | . comment(s)

This is the first in our series of pro spotlights, so read on to find out about one of our most accomplished pros!

beasley

Harold Beasley’s mantra: Be on time, always.

And it’s taken him far. Consider this: He’s been in the plumbing business for nearly 30 years, and his ethos has yet to fail him. “I’m not gonna do that to people,” he said, referring to not showing up on time. “I always try to tell the customer when I’m going to be there, and then I’ll be there.”

To Harold, it’s this work ethic that has helped him go from apprenticing in the plumbing business in the mid-1980s to being one of the selected pros on the Home Depot Home Services roster in the greater Atlanta area from 2005 to 2007. The pros he met at The Home Depot referred him to jobs in the area during the Recession, and once he found Redbeacon through The Home Depot, he thought he’d try the platform for a while to see where it took him.

“I was kind of skeptical at first,” he said, “At first, I just took leads when they came in, Monday through Friday. But now it’s a full-time job.” He says that after he started raking in good reviews from Redbeacon and Home Depot customers he now gets the majority of his leads from Redbeacon. One element of that success? The teams at his local Home Depot Cascade #130 and the support staff at 855-RBEACON. “I have good rapport with those guys,” he said. “I know a lot of them by name.”

Harold recommends Redbeacon to other contractors who are looking to expand their businesses, and he leaves them with one piece of advice: You won’t be rewarded for shoddy work, so do good work. And it’s why we’re proud to have him as one of our small-business owners on Redbeacon.com.

Hawaii & SoCal: DIFM with Redbeacon and enjoy your summer!

July 22nd, 2013 | Posted by Joe | . comment(s)

HDRBinstore

It’s summer, the weather’s fantastic, and we’re continuing Redbeacon’s expansion – where else? – onto the beaches of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Hawaii!

For our friends in the Los Angeles area – a metro where you’ve been able to find Redbeacon since 2011 – we’re a different product completely: We’ve signed on hundreds of new pros, and we’ve got the power of The Home Depot propelling us to bigger audiences. Our mobile apps are stronger, our pros are more active, and you’ll get the most efficient means for finding a pro for every project in your house.

And for the citizens of San Diego and Hawaii, you’ll be able to discover Redbeacon anew: Come visit us in the aisles of your local Home Depot store, and ask a store associate how you can get a Redbeacon pro to DIFM all your summer home projects.

We’re here to help, so grab your surfboard and your favorite Ray-Bans, and head out the door. Your weekend-long home-maintenance projects? We’ve got ‘em covered.