If you’re anything like I am, you probably don’t enjoy home improvement projects or having to take on the role of a handyman.  Unfortunately, sometimes we have to take on that role – and more often then not we are miserable when doing it.  There’s nothing that can ruin a weekend more than having to wrestle with a door while you try to get it to properly fit in the doorway.  Well, this past weekend I decided that for once, I wasn’t going to make myself miserable anymore by trying to take on these types of projects.

The Handyman Hunt

So, being the computer user that I was born to be, I took to the internet in search of a handyman around Richmond VA.  Turns out, they are pretty easy to find – but that’s not supposed to be part of the challenge.  The real challenge is figuring out which of the 100s of companies and contractors out there are worth investing your time and money in.  After about an hour of research, I had a top 5 list of handymen that I felt comfortable calling.  I wound up going with The Carpentry & Painting Experts, and I’m glad that I did because they were actually easy to work with, affordable, and got the job done perfectly.  Going forward, I will more than likely continue to use their services when my home needs a few repairs – and if you are in the area, I suggest you do the same!

What to Look For

For those of you that don’t live nearby, well I’ll give you some tips on finding the right service professional in your area.  First and foremost, make sure you analyze their website and look for warning signs. Turns out, if they cut corners on their website, they more than likely are going to cut corners everywhere else – that’s not what we want!  Take down 5 – 10 companies around your home, and invest about an hour into researching their reputation and reading any reviews that might be out there.  On the topic of reviews, keep in mind that 50 5 star reviews for a Handyman is unlikely and they might very well be fake!  Outside of that, I wish you luck on your hunt – and I hope you find the perfect handyman for you and your home.

Interior Design

One month ago, I moved from Northern VA to Richmond. I decided to purchase a used car in Richmond VA, which seemed to be the best option driving around a city with little public transportation where parking spaces are small. I was concerned about getting hit coming in and out of parking garages. However, even though I went with an older model, the monthly payment had me finding ways to set up my new apartment on a budget.

lavender curtainsI had some basic black furniture, which looked nice but was a little boring. Pillows and rugs were expensive, so I had some trouble finding ways to add some color. I opted for some new lavender curtains and bought some colorful plants. It is a little extra work taking care of my flowers, but they are always cheaper than manufactured, fake plants.

Now that there was some color in the building, I wanted to focus on opening up the space. Mirrors were the best way to make it feel a little bigger. They also helped reflect the window light to brighten up the area. I found three medium-sized mirrors at Targetthat weren’t too expensive and looked great!

Now it was time to look for knick knacks and other decorations I could put on my countertop. To go along with my lavender theme, I found 2 light purple and 1 white candle and lined them up on the counter. I then found a smaller scented candle to actually use when I wanted a fresh smell, but the larger ones were pretty and gave the room some warmth.

A table cloth with place mats also made the building feel homier. I also found pretty plates and bowls at the dollar store. Even though they were a dollar a piece, they had a pretty pattern and were microwave and dishwasher safe!

There are plenty of simple and affordable ways to decorate a house without going all out. Pictures, rugs, and items from home stores can be extremely pricey. It’s better to slowly collect these items over time than to buy everything when you first move in. In the beginning, look at the basic items you need and try to find things that aren’t too expensive. Good luck!

If you’ve seriously considered remodeling your bathroom, you already know that it can be expensive; bathroom remodels can easily cost ten thousand dollars or more. But there are many things you can do to substantially upgrade the look of your bathroom without spending thousands of dollars to do it.

Here are some ideas to brighten your bathroom, make it feel cozier, and add a little extra style – without breaking your budget:

Install a glass tub or shower enclosure

If your bathroom could use more warmth and natural light, upgrading from an old shower curtain to a glass tub or shower enclosure could work wonders. Today’s enclosures come in a variety of styles, from traditional framed designs to sleek frameless designs with a very modern sensibility.

If this isn’t your first home improvement project and you’re fairly handy, you may be able to install some types of enclosures on your own. When I recently upgraded my bathroom, I relied on these local glass tub and shower enclosure experts.

Harmonize your colors

Many bathrooms lack a sense of harmony. Instead of complementing each other, unmatched paint, flooring, storage, and towels can create a sense of discord that you can feel whenever you enter your bathroom.

Harmonizing the colors in your bathroom doesn’t require starting from scratch; instead look for ways to better connect the different elements in your bathroom. Consider repainting the walls to complement your flooring or updating your towels to pick up the colors in your tile.

Add a splash of style

Even in otherwise stylish homes, bathrooms can suffer from an overly utilitarian look – one that lacks the personality apparent in the rest of the home. A well-chosen piece of art can add color, style, and harmony to the room.

Bathroom mirrors and lighting can often also use a style upgrade. Consider framing a drab mirror, either with a repurposed picture frame or colorful tile. Or swap out a drab overhead light for something with a little more elegance or quirkiness.

Dress your windows

Bathrooms are home to steam and splashes, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be home to attractive window treatments. Look and you’ll find options that can stand up to the damp of a shower area.

Vinyl shutters can add style and privacy to your bathroom without warping or gathering mold. Roman shades in non-cotton, moisture-resistant styles can add a sense of softness and coziness to a hard-edged bathroom.

I didn’t have the budget for a big renovation. But after repainting my walls, adding a glass enclosure, and updating a light fixture, my bathroom looked wonderfully updated and new. Make one or more of these enhancements, and you too may find that an expensive remodeling is entirely unnecessary.

When you have space to spare in your home, it’s time to get creative thinking of new rooms. Many people add gyms, offices, sunrooms, or wine storage in their home. One great room that the whole family can enjoy is a home theater. This doesn’t just mean a large TV with individual seats in the basement. You can get creative or add some truly unique pieces to make your theater feel like a special get away.

One great way to make your home theater unique is with the seating. For a truly comfortable and relaxing movie watching experience, get seating that reclines or can double as a nap area. Some people like to get couches in the shape of a square that enable you to lie down in any direction you would like. Put pillows all around.

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You could also get seating that acts like a lounge chair. These have you in a lying down position from the start. Recliners can be another great option in a home theater, unless you plan on having drinks or snacks while sitting in theme. This could get messy!

Consider adding a bar into your theater area. One of the best times to snack is while watching a movie. A great place to put a small counter top and seating is behind the couch. This way, some people can sit at the bar and some can sit in the main seating area while they all enjoy the same view of the screen.Capture3

Another great way to enhance your movie watching experience is with surround sound. Believe it or not, subwoofers are great way to give some extra emphasis. These speakers, which are more commonly used in cars, have a powerful and quality base sound.

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Finally, vending or other food machines are the perfect way to set a theater like mood in your basement. Choose between traditional soda or snack machines, snow cone machines, pop corn machines, and more.

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If your problems are subtle, sometimes you may not know that you need an electrician. Other times, your problems are hard to ignore – like when I discovered (or rather, kept being reminded) that my wiring simply didn’t have the load capacity I needed to run everything in my Denver home. Time to find a quality electrician – before I cause a fire or permanently damage my gear.

So what do you do when you need a quality electrician here in Denver? More to the point, how can you tell if the contractor you hire has the experience, know-how, and licensing you can rely on? I’m no electrician, but by now I’m fairly good at identifying professionals who have what it takes to get the job done right.

Tracking down a quality electrician is easier than you think. You’ll find plenty of options online. The trick is to properly qualify the ones you find there.

One thing you’ll have to resist doing in your search is making a choice based on pricing. Most service professionals who are successful – and busy – charge competitive rates; that is, relatively standard rates in the market that aren’t too high or too low. They don’t need to charge a higher-than-standard rate to make a good living, and they don’t need to undercharge to drum up business.

So feel free to ask about the price of a service call and an hourly rate. Use it for reference – not as the sole factor in your decision. If you choose strictly on price, you’re liable to end up with someone who is under-qualified, which brings us to the next idea…

Feel free to ask about licensing. Don’t worry about causing offense, because none should be given. At minimum, you’ll want your prospective electrical company to either employ or be owned by a master electrician – someone with a Colorado master electrician’s license. This person will be responsible for any electrical work that company performs. Ideally, the licensing information will be easy to find on the company’s website.

Your would-be electrical contractor should be happy to provide you with his or her license information; only the unlicensed and under-qualified will balk when asked for this information.

So when you ask about licensing, what should you expect to hear? Ideally, you’ll want the technician coming to your house to be licensed. This may not be necessary if the service is simple. My needs were more demanding, so I wanted a licensed electrician to perform the work. So when I scheduled the appointment, I got the information about my technician – just to be sure.

Here in Colorado, verifying an electrician’s license is easy. All you need is the slightest bit of information – like a company name – and you can get the info you need right here. If you visit this site, you’ll notice that you can look up licensing info for a wide variety of services. It’s a great tool to use the next time you need a service.

As for me, things ended well. The wiring in my house was updated so I can run whatever devices I want to – without worrying that something bad was going to happen to my house or my gear. I also found an electrician I’d be happy to use again.

So you come home from work and your deep freeze has defrosted all on its own. There is a puddle of water all over the garage floor and all the meat from your winter hunt is now rancid. Or maybe mid cycle your washing machine decided to fill your laundry room with soapy water. Either scenario sounds like you need to locate reliable air conditioning repair in Fort Worth.

Who to call

CaptureThere are two avenues you can take to locate HVAC repair in Texas. A, the internet or B, the phone book.  If you are looking on the internet you can search for a repair service that specializes or focuses on the appliance you need. If you are having trouble locating a service like Aire Serv air conditioning repair you can call your local hardware store for assistance.  Some hardware stores offer repair services even if they didn’t sell you the appliance.

Fair Price

You may get lucky and find more than one repair service in the area, if this is the case you can ask for estimates over the phone. It is very possible that your appliance is not able to be repaired in which case you should talk to the service center and discuss if they are going to charge you to troubleshoot your appliance. Choose the company who’s estimate best fits your budget, but keep in mind that sometimes you get what you pay for and the lesser the cost the worse the work might be on your machine.

The Result

After you have chosen a company and your appliance has been repaired be sure to leave a customer review. You can do this either in the store or online. You should leave this review whether you were satisfied with the appliance repair service or not. This will allow the company to improve their processes and/or allow other consumers information about the service center.

You’ve heard it said that the best type of maintenance is precautionary maintenance. This is usually attributed to vehicle repair, but it is comparably applicable to residential plumbing. For those of you that are accustomed to residing in a rental property with a landlord that takes care of the repairs, or are a rather new homeowner, let me tell you that emergency plumbers, or any plumber for that matter are not economy priced. When you call at night or a pipe is gushing water and creating immediate water damage, count on spending a piece of your savings.

Take note of a few things that will assist you in keeping your home operating flawlessly, without need for a serious repair. If you find something that could use a professional touch, look up a phone number to call an Indianapolis plumber for drain cleaning or other services.

Have you noticed the water pressure of your showers softening from years past? Think back to the glory days when you loved your house and everything worked is it was designed.  Look for a strong flow without trapped air coming up from the drain guard.

Make sure there are no leaks coming from the water supply pipes running into your toilet.  The handles should be free enough to open and close without any water dripping out of the junctures.

Evidence of prolonged leaks include warped or bent wood floors. Keep an eye out for this along the base of household appliances that use water such as the freezer, dish washer, shower, and toilets.

One obvious step is to listen for dropping water where there are visible pipe systems. You might not often visit parts of your basement that have pipes, so take one more peek!

Are you looking to upgrade your master bathroom into a spa like oasis? A quick and easy idea for a bathroom upgrade would be to install a new glass shower enclosure. Many homes’ that come standard with a glass shower door aren’t made with the highest quality and cannot offer the highest level of privacy. Glass repair and replacement experts can offer you different option to increase privacy while upgrading the décor in your bathroom as well. Options such as frosted, patterned, or obscure glass shower doors can offer a modern design element to any space.

Glass Repair Ashburn VAIf you are looking for a new shower door enclosure for your home in the Ashburn VA area make sure Glass Doctor of Ashburn is your first call. Most shower glass repairs can be completed in one day. Glass Doctor will bring your idea to life and fit within any budget. They will guide you along the process from design to installation. Glass Doctor Ashburn VA will take you through their comprehensive four step process to make sure you are receiving the best quality of service every step of the way.

The first step is to take into account your bathroom’s configuration. This includes taking an engineering perspective and making sure that your shower maintains its structural integrity. They consider factors such as shower or bath tub location, wall composition, and where your stud supports are located before moving forward with any further renovations. Second, they take into effect location of the existing shower head. This may not seem like a difficult step but it is essential. Your glass repair technicians want to take this into account because when designing your shower enclosure you want to make sure that water will not spray outside of the door. If this isn’t addressed it could lead to water damage on your bathroom floors.

Next your glass installation expert will take measurements because even though the shower may be a standard size, all floors may not be level. The last step in the process is to make sure your new glass shower will have the right amount of ventilation. Without ventilation, paint may peel or mold may manifest due to moisture build up. If you would like to upgrade your bathroom in Ashburn, Chantilly, Leesburg, or Sterling VA contact your local Glass Doctor and start enjoying your modern glass shower today!

If you live in Powhatan or Amelia and need a plumber, what’s the best way to find a service professional that you can trust? Plumbers have the skills necessary to fix a number of potential problems including septic tanks, leaky pipes, toilets, water heaters, and sewer lines. Any one of these major home components can go seriously wrong at any time during the year. For that reason, it is best to know the name of a plumbing company you can trust before an emergency springs on you. So what do you look for?Capture

Whatever company you choose should be licensed in their state. Every state has a different standard, so finding one that is also insured lends to their credibility. You can rest assured with a company like this if something were to go unexpectedly wrong during or after a repair.

The only Powhatan plumbing companies that I trust are ones that provide a written estimate of the labor and material costs. If the person you reach on the phone uses lots of uncertain language like the job should take just an hour, tread lightly. You want to know as close to what you will end up paying as possible before you let a new company run free on your pipes.

Some of this uncertainty can be diminished by looking at online reviews or asking around about a company’s reputation. Information is just at the end of our fingertips these days, and it’s not hard to do a quick search and see what other people are saying about local plumbers in your area.

The first thing that visitors see when they come to your house is your front door. In fact before wreaths were hung on entry doors during Christmas time, they were adorned on royalty’s heads as sign of wealth and affluence. In a way our doors are like the heads of our house. Why wouldn’t you want to make a grand impression on your guests. Here are some tips to make the most out of the entry way to your living estate.

The first and cheapest alternatives for making a splash with your guests is to sneak around actually buying a new, better looking door. Painting and adding molding are great DIY projects for a Saturday or Sunday afternoon that can pay huge dividends in appearance. You may want to use glossy paint. Oil based types will provide a smooth and durable finish.

Replace the Hardware. Nothing says run down like a rusted lock and a knob that rattles around in its shell like a maraca. If the door is like the head of the house, then your entry doors hardware is like the earrings. Make the whole entrance sparkle with a polished metal that really stands apart.

Storm Doors. These will really prevent any heat from being lost underneath the door or through any glass that might be on your entry door. They also shield the paint on your door from inclement weather that beats against it over the years. Visit a local window and door expert to browse through your options.

Upgrade to a new entry and really take the experience your guests receive into your own hands. You have a world of options to choose from with wood and iron doors. Look at different styles like those that are solid mahogany and doors with ornate grills over opaque glass. The sky is the limit!