Drywall Texture Finishes


Phoenix Home & Garden featured Historic home remodel in the Willo neighborhood.


Whether you prefer “Old World Tuscan” or “Santa Fe”, the type and style of your drywall texture will greatly affect the look and the feel of your home. To create an even more unique and stunning look, try a combination of drywall texture and a painted faux finish. In determining which of the many styles will work best with your interior, consider the architecture of your home. And don’t forget about the interior design of the room in question. Some textures are thick with deep crevices and high sweeping peaks. Dramatic yes, easy to maintain, not so much. Those very interesting crevices and niches will catch dust particles that are floating around in the air. In addition, these types of drywall texture finishes look great in large, rustic rooms with high ceilings and focal points like wooden beams or fireplaces with tall chimneys. Some examples of this type of finish would be “Old World Tuscan”, “Spanish Trowel” or “Heavy Hawk and Trowel” textures.

Be aware these terms vary greatly across the country.

What is known as “Slapbrush Knockdown” in some parts of the country may be known as “Tiger Skin” or even “Panda Paw Knockdown” in other areas. It is always important to have sample boards made. Both you and drywall installer need to make sure you are both talking about the same finish and style. The person you hire may be more of an artist than installer. Consequently, it may ensure that you like the end result.

“Santa Fe”, “Splat Knockdown”, “Thin Hawk & Trowel”, “Stomp” and “Orange Peel” are examples of other textures. These tend to be thinner with more subtle differences in depth and height. They look especially well in a country or southwestern style home that has low ceiling heights. The lower profile textures create the look of gentle shadows and bright spots in irregular patterns skipping across the ceiling.

Heavy Texture on a wall



Medium texture on a wall

Some textures are applied to the walls or ceiling using thinned drywall compound and a hopper gun. This devise allows the user to cover a good bit of square footage quickly. For that reason, it is extremely popular with home builders, not always with home owners! Examples of sprayed on textures are Splatter Knockdown”, “Orange Peel” and the dreaded “Popcorn” finish.

Brushes are used to create interesting patterns in the drywall compound. “Slapbrush” texture is smoothed with a trowel like knockdown textures, but the initial pattern is created by slapping the wall with a variety of soft-bristled brushes, such as square, round, double-headed, or single-headed brushes, loaded with a thinned joint compound. Other types of textures like “Stomp & Swirl” require drawing patterns like circles or arches into a layer of rolled on joint compound with a brush. The stiffness of the bristles determines the depth and sharpness of the ridges in the compound. In order to accomplish this style, you must sand the walls smooth first, to remove any imperfections.

Knife textures require applying a thick coat of undiluted joint compound, then sliding the knife in different directions to create small ridges. Examples of knife textures include “Spanish Knife” and “Drywall Knife”.

Knockdown finishes are an excellent option for covering dings and dents in walls. Trowels, sponges, brooms and other tools can be used to flatten the surface in different places to create different looks.

How can we help with your next project?

There are many types of drywall texture finishes that you may choose to incorporate into your next home remodeling project.

Call Homework Remodels for a free, in-home consultation regarding drywall texture finishes, or any aspect of home remodeling.

You may reach Steve at 602-478-5102 or email Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com.




Do you remember…

Middle Kid & Missing Hamster

Do you remember…

Perhaps you and your spouse bought your dream home years ago. Maybe, you even got to choose the finishes and materials. Fun for some people, torture for others! You discussed, fretted over and researched everything. You solicited everyone’s opinion on all details; like paint colors. Navaho White, Nonchalant White or Nebulous White? Which one will it be? Then there’s tile, carpet, countertops, cabinets, lighting… More fretting, more discussing and finally….your dream home is finished! And it is perfect. Until…

Three kids, two dogs, and one missing hamster later, your dream home has become a nightmare. When it comes time to remodel, do you really think that you will remember whether it was Nebulous, Navaho or Nonchalant White? You can’t even remember your middle kid’s name right now! You know, the one that let the hamster go, last week : (

Do you remember…

We will remember. In fact, we go to great lengths to make sure that we, and our clients have a precise, detailed record of every finish, every material and every product we specify for your project. It is extremely important for us to keep detailed records of these items. We use that info to order products for your job. Then, if there is ever a question, years down the road, we will know the name and the source of each and every product and finish material. And so will you. We make it a practice to give our customers all of this information, along with all warranties, manuals and detailed care instructions.

Do you remember…

You haven’t forgotten about the hamster, have you? Homework Remodels will  professionally and expertly complete all phases of your remodel. We are a trusted design-build firm serving the Greater Phoenix area. We would love to provide a free, in-home estimate and talk about your remodeling needs.

Call Steve at 602-478-5102 or email Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com

Oh, and about that hamster, have you tried building a staircase out of books next to a tall bucket? Put a few pieces of his favorite snack on the stairs and the rest in the bucket. Then, by morning the little guy should be scurrying around inside the bucket, problem solved!  Now, if you could just remember….


Rational Remodeling!

Modern transitional kitchen remodel features a quartz countertop with waterfall edges, double stacked cherry cabinets and more...Does the idea of a kitchen remodel seem overwhelming? You are not alone. Many people will endure a terrible kitchen for years rather than be temporarily without one during a remodel. We understand. A temporary kitchen is the answer to your fears. There is a lot of stress to contend with when you remodel your home.  We can help to alleviate most of those stresses with what we call Rational Remodeling! Homework Remodels has had the privilege to remodel hundreds of kitchens across the valley. Along the way, we’ve learned how to better prepare our clients for the temporary tensions that accompany any kitchen remodeling project. Yes, it will be inconvenient. But, with a little pre-planning and a positive attitude, you too can enjoy a functioning, temporary kitchen. Emphasis on temporary!

Rational Remodeling!

This is the hardest part. Figure out what room in your home can serve as a temporary kitchen. You will need electrical outlets, counter space (a folding table works well) and most importantly, access to a sink (adjacent to a bathroom?). You will also need room for your refrigerator. This can be difficult in some situations, so we suggest using an under-counter refrigerator. Don’t forget the microwave. It may well be handier than you ever imagined.

Stock up on paper plates, cups, plastic forks, and knives. This is not the time for a lot of dishwashing. Bathroom sinks are usually too small to complete that task easily. Rational Remodeling!

Take this opportunity to get out into your neighborhood restaurants to collect take-out menus. You’ll want to keep these in the temporary kitchen. Again, let us emphasize temporary!  You will get to use your gorgeous new kitchen soon.

Embrace those small appliances that may have gotten shoved to the back of the kitchen cabinets. A crock pot will be your new best friend during these stressful days. Especially so if you remember to buy Crock Pot Liners. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are disposable liners that make clean-up a breeze. No washing! You simply throw them away. Toaster ovens are pretty versatile too. Have fun and get creative with meal prep. Remember, this is Rational Remodeling!

Grill outside and weather permitting, get outside and enjoy our beautiful scenery. Have a picnic. Use this time as an opportunity to do something you might not normally consider. Trade a meal with a neighbor. Let them feed you since they have a “working” kitchen and then return the favor and show off that fabulous new kitchen!

With the right attitude and the right contractor (of course), your kitchen remodel will progress smoothly. It is possible to have the kitchen of your dreams without living through a nightmare of a remodel!

To learn more about our processes and Rational Remodeling! call Steve at 602-478-5102 or email Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com






Why Remodel Your Whole Home?

Sometimes we are called in to remodel a kitchen or a bathroom. Other times, our clients want their entire home remodeled. Why remodel your whole home? Because, as we all know, it will be costly and a remodel will certainly disrupt your life.

There are actually four very good reasons why:

Location, location, location: We’ve all heard that phrase before. In this case, it may be that you bought your home years ago and it suited your needs at that time. Perhaps you were initially attracted to the great school district. After awhile you may have outgrown your home or are in need of a home office. So, should you move your family away from their school and friends or remodel your whole home? If you love your neighborhood but hate your house, don’t move! Let us show you how we can redesign and remodel your home. We can give you everything you want and need and get rid of whatever doesn’t work for your lifestyle. You don’t have to compromise, you can have your dream home.

Safety & Efficiency: If you are in an older home, you may feel the need to take care of potential safety issues and bring your home into code compliance. Houses, just like people, age with time and need a little extra TLC occasionally! You may find a crack in your foundation, outdated electrical wiring, asbestos insulation or a leaky roof. If you are concerned with the safety of your family, it may be time to allow us to look behind those walls. At the very least, you will have piece of mind.

Why Remodel Your Whole Home?

Outdated Features & Finishes: Are you embarrassed when friends and family visit? Do you feel as though yours is the only house in the neighborhood that still has popcorn ceilings and avocado appliances? Our design team will show you how to update your home, coordinate all the new finishes and make your spaces work for you.

Age in Place: Almost all of us would rather stay in our own homes as we age. Our homes are full of cherished memories. We know the neighbors, have our favorite shops and feel comfort in that familiarity. By this time in our lives, we may even be fortunate enough to have that home paid for. Without a mortgage to worry about, it is even more enticing to stay in your own home for as long as possible. Some modifications to your home may be necessary for safety and ease of use. Accessible features such as a walk-in tub and a barrier free shower with a built-in seat will help you stay independent. In addition, halls or doorways may need to be widened or a ramp may be used in place of exterior stairs. And finally, one of the most important changes as far as safety and ease of use is concerned, is to design an accessible master suite on the ground floor.

Why Remodel Your Whole Home? Whatever your reason, we are here for you.

Call us at 602-478-5102 or email Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com for a free in-home consultation.

2017 Color of the Year


  2017 Promises to be more Colorful than 2016!


At least, on our walls. Last year almost all of the colors of the year were pretty neutral. But, oh how things have changed! This year, Pantone looks to brighten our day with Greenery. As stated on the their website, Pantone believes their 2017 Color of the Year symbolizes “new beginnings, lushness, renewal and restoration”.  And, of course, they hope you will use Greenery, a “fresh and zesty yellow-green,  to rejuvenate and revitalize your spaces”. Referring to it as “nature’s neutral,” Pantone sees this shade as “life-affirming”. Now,  I’m not sure that I would ever refer to a paint color as “life-affirming”, but I will say this is a bright, cheerful shade of green that reminds me of spring foliage and Kermit the Frog!

Sherwin Williams:

The only real neutral on this years forecast list is Sherwin Williams’ Poised Taupe. It is a classic balance of cool and warm, bold and subtle. As Sherwin Williams likes to describe this shade, “It’s as though gray and brown had a baby.”  Poised Taupe is “weathered, woodsy, cozy and harmonious.” Consequently, it is a classic background that will work in rooms that have either gray or brown in the color palette. The aftereffect of this color depends on whether you choose warm or cool colors to pair with it.  So, for those of you who are not ready for the vividness of Greenery, Poised Taupe may be your answer.

Olympic Paint:

Next, is Olympic Paint. They decided to go with a soothing, soft shade of violet. Cloudberry is “refreshing, calming and serene.” As stated on their website, Olympic Paint intends Cloudberry to be a hue to help you “escape outside distractions and create balance in your surroundings.” I would definitely use Cloudberry to create a tranquil and mesmerizing master bedroom suite.

Benjamin Moore:

Because Benjamin Moore decided to go a little darker and more mysterious than Cloudberry, their Shadow is “allusive and enigmatic, a master of ambiance.” On their website, they refer to Shadow as a “rich, royal amethyst that is provocative, poetic and sophisticated.” This is quite a departure from last year’s color of the year,  Alabaster. Shadow is dark and intense, you may want to experiment with this shade in small doses. Therefore, it would positively make a eye-catching accent wall.

Dunn Edwards:

Honey Glow, which is Dunn Edwards’ color of the year, rivals Pantones’ Greenery in it’s brightness and energy. This “warm, golden yellow hue is cheerful, bold and lively.” Dunn Edwards has actually partnered with a nonprofit organization called HoneyLove to promote urban beekeeping and educate people about making their gardens bee friendly. Consequently, Dunn Edwards has agreed to donate 10% of the proceeds of Honey Glow to HoneyLove! This shade, too, may be one to start with in small doses, unless this happens to be your all-time favorite color.

Glidden Paint:

Byzantine Blue, from Glidden Paint, is meant to be considered “gender-neutral.” And, according to their website, Byzantine Blue, which is really a “playful, yet peaceful purple” is uniquely versatile. Because this really is an adaptable color, I could see it being beautifully used in a variety of spaces.

Pittsburgh Paint:

Finally, we have Pittsburgh Paint’s Violet Verbena. As you can see, many companies went with a blue-violet shade for their 2017 Colors of the Year. Probably not really surprising though, as blue is the most often quoted as being people’s favorite color. Violet Verbena has a grayish purple “chameleon-like hue that adds depth and luxury,” according to their website. In addition, it could be the “perfect backdrop” for a little “subtle and serene pampering.”  Violet Verbana is” bohemian, playful, moody and tranquil” in style.


Espresso Cabinetry & Two Different Looks

Rich, Dark Espresso Cabinetry

Do you love the look of rich, dark Espresso cabinetry in a kitchen? Are you having trouble choosing materials for a countertop or a backsplash? We have two totally different looks for kitchens that feature these gorgeous cabinets.


In the first example, our kitchen designer and client chose an active countertop and backsplash. The Alaska Granite has a multitude of colors and movement. Veins of chocolate, cream and white gently flow across a silvery gray background. The backsplash is composed of strips of glass tiles in the same shimmering hues. Due to the energy of the various colors and the movement of the granite, the door style of the Espresso cabinets and the flooring have to be on the calm, subtle side. This kitchen is warm, fun and inviting!





In this example, the backsplash is Calcata Oro Marble. This sophisticated marble is polished and has veining that pulls in the gold from the floor tile along with the taupe and beige that run through the River White Granite countertops. As you can see, the warm Espresso cabinetry is a wonderful contrast to the lighter, cooler colors in the backsplash and countertops. Also, notice the door style of the cabinets is more detailed than the previous example. This space has a more sedate, quiet ambiance.


















Historic Home Remodel Featured by Phoenix Home & Garden October 2016


Historic Home Remodel

October’s issue of Phoenix Home & Garden is just out featuring one of our remodels in the historic Willo neighborhood of downtown Phoenix. The cover photo is of the kitchen. The feature has beautiful shots of numerous other rooms that we helped create over a period of years.

Alex Rentzis of Sparta Photo took the following slideshow’s photos. They were the photos that inspired Phoenix Home & Garden to do the feature in their magazine.








Tempe Home Remodel: Choose a NARI Certified Remodeler

When searching for the right home remodeler in the Tempe area, you may see the designation of being a NARI member and ask yourself, what is NARI and why is it important to hire a NARI professional? The acronym stands for the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. It is the only association solely dedicated to the remodeling industry, today they encompass 58 chapters across the country. “NARI is an organization of high-quality remodeling professionals. Its’ members are committed to integrity, high-standards, professional education, ethics, and market recognition”, as stated on their website, www.nari.org. NARI is important to homeowners because it can connect them with a dedicated, local expert to ensure that they have a “positive remodeling experience”. Every member of NARI has agreed to conduct their business in accordance with the Standards of Practice for the Remodeling Industry. NARI Certified Remodelers will write contracts and warranties that comply with local, state and federal laws. They always take appropriate action to ensure the health and safety of clients, employees, and trade contractors. Also, every member has been actively involved with the remodeling industry for at least 2-5 years prior to earning a certificate. NARI has taken all the guesswork out of hiring a reliable, professional contractor who is knowledgeable, ethical and respectful. As stated on the NARI website, NARI certified contractors are pledged to observe high standards of honesty, integrity, and responsibility in the way they conduct their business. They are trusted, qualified business owners who will get your project done right by obtaining the proper permits, carrying the required insurances, following local codes and designing innovative solutions to renovate your home. By choosing a NARI certified professional, you are working with an expert in their field, a tried and true specialist who will turn your remodel into your dream home.

Tempe Home remodel


Tempe Home Remodel


Six Bathroom Upgrade Ideas for Your Remodeling Project

6 Bathroom Upgrade Ideas for Your Remodeling Project:

Bathrooms are one of our most used spaces, but can be a tricky space to upgrade or update. With unmovable fixtures and often tight footprints, options can seem limited at first glance. With a little creativity, though, you can add style and bring your bathroom up to date. We’ve put together 6 bathroom updates that will help move your bathroom remodeling project along nicely.

  1. Hide the Toilet – If you’re working with a larger, master bathroom, a half wall can provide a new look and add style while creating a discreet nook for the toilet. A piece of furniture like an armoire or dresser can also create a functional and stylish barrier without the need for framing.
  2. Update Your Surfaces – Bathroom surfaces contribute to your overall look while also taking a lot of wear and tear. Changing out your tile can drastically change the look of your bathroom. Look for larger tiles to minimize grout lines, which will make cleaning and upkeep easier.
  3. Modernize Your Shower – Many people don’t make use of their bathtubs. Why not remove the tub altogether and create a large, luxurious shower? Body sprays, overhead rain shower heads, and even steam generators can upgrade your shower experience.
  4. Create Space on Your Vanity – Bathrooms with double ‘his and hers’ sinks can be updated to create storage space. Getting a new countertop with a single sink can drastically change the look of the room while maximizing counter space for storage and décor.
  5. Light it Up – Utilizing different types of fixtures in your bathroom can do a lot to brighten and update the space. In addition to overhead lights, sconces or other vertical fixtures on either side of the sink or vanity will provide even lighting for beauty routines or shaving.
  6. Think Outside the Box – Replace mirrors and hardware with vintage brass for a chic, homey look or with chrome to take your bathroom modern. When shopping for tile and fixtures, look for something that suits your style and personality – even if it comes from outside the bathroom section of the store. Break the rules.

Remember when you’re upgrading and updating your bathroom to draw in design and style elements from the rest of your home. Having a functional bathroom doesn’t have to mean having a boring one! Give us a call at Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 if you’re in the greater Phoenix area and planning to remodel your bathroom in the near future. We’ll schedule a consultation to help you design the perfect bathroom with amazing upgrades and appliances.

Remodeling the Bathroom? Think about the Layout


Remodeling the Bathroom? Think about the Layout

To get the best use out of any bathroom requires attention to the layout of the space. This is not as simple as it seems. So whether you are remodeling the bathroom you currently use or are adding on a new master bathroom, you should take care to get it just right. To help you decide on the right floor plan, you need to ask yourself some questions as well as determine how much you can afford for this project.

Questions to Ask

The answers to these simply questions is the first step in developing the ideal layout for your bathroom, whether or not it is a master bathroom or just an extra bathroom.

Who will be using the new bathroom?

This will help determine the placement of the toilet, the face basin and the bath or tub. This is also important as there should be enough space for the users of the bathroom to undress, to move around so as to get into the bathtub or even use the toilet. The door should be easily open and close even if someone is inside the bathroom.

If the bathroom will be used by an elderly adult, then extra will be needed to ensure safety. The wet zones should be separate from the dry zone to prevent slipping. Lowering or raising the toilet or the type of tub will all be dependent on the mobility of the person.

What functions will take place in the new bathroom?

This will help determine if you need a layout that can accommodate a stool if someone will be blow-drying or styling their hair inside. If the application of makeup will be done in the new bathroom, a nice, comfortable seat would be a great addition.

To control costs it is also important to make sure that the bathroom is close to plumbing lines. If remodeling it makes sense to reuse the existing line. If building a new bathroom, a plumber is needed to help determine the best location of fixtures that will require access to water.

When thinking about the bathroom layout, you need to remember that storage space is important. The greater the number of people using the bathroom, the more important storage space becomes even more important.

Bath Layouts to Consider

Do your research and look at common bathroom layouts to help in the decision-making. When you find some that you like, discuss with you contractor to see if your home has the space required. For example, if you want a guest bathroom, a simple three-quarter bath without a tub may be the perfect layout. For a family bathroom that will be used by both adults and children, the full bath layout is perfect. If space allows, you can include little perks to this layout such as a double vanity or sink.

Now that you the importance of the layout, you can get busy designing for the bathroom you want. Also remember when you’re upgrading and updating your bathroom to draw in design and style elements from adjoining rooms. Redesigning your bathroom also means incorporating colors and elements from other areas of the home. Give us a call at Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 if you’re in the greater Phoenix area and plan on remodeling the bathroom in the near future. We’ll schedule a consultation to help you design the perfect bathroom with amazing upgrades and appliances.


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