What is your background?
I am the grandson of an immigrant plasterer, the son of a Physical Education teacher, and a US Navy Commander dentist. My father and grandfather could do anything. That’s why I am a do-it-yourselfer! I feel with the right understanding and attention to detail that I can do pretty much any project.
You describe yourself as an avid DIY'er. How did you get started?
Growing up, my Dad had my brother and I do all kinds of work around the house. My parents owned a small rental property and my Dad’s favorite saying on Saturdays was “I have a paintbrush that will fit your hand!” From my youth I watched my father do things, as he did not have the money or the patience to wait on others to complete most jobs.
But my big push came when I was building my first private dental office. To say the least, I picked the wrong contractor. When I asked him questions he would talk down to me like I couldn’t understand building because I was just a “dentist”. Just so you know, dentists have a lot of medical training and engineering background. We also spend a lot of time as a 'tooth' carpenter and artist.
After he took my money AND did not finish the job, I had to complete it myself. Not only did I enjoy the work, but the pride in completing the office alone was remarkable. Everyone that saw the office could not believe that I had done it.
I even had patients come to me because they realized that an avid craftsman was probably a very good dentist.
I bought and read a lot of books about home remodeling and coupled with my dental background, things just clicked. Since that time I have remodeled 6 houses and another 2 offices. I enjoy the vision planning, execution, and completion of projects.
What was your very first DIY project?
When I was 15 years old my Dad allowed my brother and me to rebuild a 20’ SeaCraft. My brother was in charge of the motor and outdrive. I was in charge of the stringers, deck, and fiberglass work. I think I still wake up itching from that project.
What other projects have you done in the different properties you owned?
I have always found that all the projects that I have been involved in required some 'on the job' vision. I’ve done 5 or 6 kitchens, 2 bathrooms, a family room addition, plumbing, electrical, and recently I installed a mini-split air conditioner.
What was the motivation behind inventing EZCrown?
With everything that I have invented, I was just trying to devise ways to make the job easier.
During the recession, when finances were more limited, I received a quote for placing crown molding in my house.
The prices that I received were over $11,000 unpainted. I decided I did not want the hassle of having someone in my house that probably required supervision. So, I brushed up by reading a trim carpentry book and started the process.
The book that I read recommended placing triangular wood blocks into the junction of the ceiling and wall, and suggested that you drive several long finish nails into the double top plate. The blocks were to be placed every 16 inches.
Well, my house is a blockhouse on the outside periphery and my interior walls do not have a double top plate, only a single. Driving a 3-inch finishing nail at an angle into the top plate is not that easy, and I did not have the extra top plate. My outside block wall also only had a small 1” X 2” furring strip at the top of the wall. My upstairs is all part of the truss system so some of it is 24” on center and the dormers are 12” to 16” on center.
I got so tired of looking for wall studs or ceiling joists that when I finally made it upstairs, I said there must be an easier way...and then it hit me. Why not have a frame with all the blocks on it that could be easily fastened to the ceiling and wall without worrying about the studs. You could use drywall anchors for the ceiling and tap into the framing on the walls wherever they were. So after I finished my house that is what I did. EZCrown works great, and it is extremely stable.
What would you say are the major benefits of EZCrown?
The major benefit of EZCrown is that it allows the installer to easily hang crown molding in a professional manner. The crown is extremely secure because the EZCrown frame is fastened to the top plate with 1-1/2" self-tapping TEK screws. You don't need to spend time searching for and agonizing over trying to find studs to secure the molding too.
Where framing is inadequate, the system even has predrilled holes that you can just guide drywall anchors through.
(Exterior block walls may need drywall anchors. Each of the eight anchors is rated at 50 pounds each.)
Because this situation is more predictable and more stable, it is one less thing to worry about or understand about the installation.
It's easy, and the long term beauty will last.
Also, not having to rely on busy contractors to show up and complete the job is a great reason to use EZCrown.
Last and maybe even most important, there is the pride of completing the job yourself, adding lasting beauty and value to your house. (Not to mention, having a happy spouse.)
With EZCrown you will save time, have better results, and realize the satisfaction of a job professionally done...without the hassle!
Is this a useful system for contractors?
Any contractor who installs wood backing would readily see the benefit of EZCrown. Quality trim carpenters who would like to work by themselves would benefit from EZCrown because an unreliable helper is not necessary. Also, the system is perfect for steel frame houses and those made with blocks.
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
I have 2 accomplishments that I gauge all my others by. I was a pretty good high school wrestler, nothing comes close physically and mentally to the challenge of competing in wrestling at a high level. The second accomplishment was a long educational struggle. Dental school and residency are no picnic.
Honestly, though every day presents challenges, we just have to find solutions along the way and persevere. Here, EZCrown just allows you to focus on the other challenges of your life by making one thing a little easier.