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!

Hard water comes with the territory here in Austin, Texas. Our water contains an above-average concentration of calcium and magnesium – something in the neighborhood of 100 milligrams per liter. You can see evidence of this whenever you look closely at the deposits that build up on your coffee maker or kitchen sink, feel it when you take a shower or put on your clothes, and taste it when you drink water out of the tap.

Our water is perfectly safe to drink, and most of us can live with clothing and showers that can leave us feeling a little soapy and slippery. Unfortunately, these aren’t the only ways that hard water can affect our lives. The deposits left behind on our sinks and silverware can also build up within our pipes and appliances. After years of constant water flow and mineral build-up, these deposits can actually clog our pipes and hurt the performance of water-using appliances.

Thankfully, there are ways to filter and soften our water. These measures can make it easier to live with hard water, and easier on your pipes and appliances, too.

For some of us, filters are the perfect solution to Austin’s hard water. Filters can be installed throughout your home in areas where hard water is the biggest issue for you. If you would prefer to drink water without the minerals, you could install filters in places where you draw water to drink, such as the kitchen sink. If you want to improve the feel of your clothes, try filtering the connection to your washer.

In short: There are hard water filtration options available for just about everywhere in your home. So if hard water is giving you grief in one or two places in your home, you’ll have no trouble finding a professional plumbing company in Austin who can install filters for you.

Let’s say that hard water is a bigger issue for you, and you would really like to remove it from several areas in your home – including your pipes. If this is the case, a water softening system may be just what you need. A water softener is a bigger investment than a couple of filters, but it provides a bigger solution; a water softening system can remove minerals from all of your water and protect your pipes from potential clogging.

Water softening systems are mechanical, built around a mineral tank through which your household’s incoming water will flow. Inside this tank are negatively charged beads designed to capture positively charged minerals like calcium and magnesium. As hard water flows past, the positively-charged minerals latch onto the negatively charged beads. The minerals will stick fast to the beads in your water softener, while the now-clean water continues into the rest of your home for you to enjoy.

While both filters and water softeners can be great for your well-being, they also require some commitment. You’ll need to be willing to change your filters and/or maintain your softener as directed. If you don’t, you may end up with water that’s less appealing than the stuff that prompted you to make a change in the first place.

For many, proper maintenance is a small price to pay for water that tastes better, skin and clothes that feel cleaner, and – if you’re using a water softener – pipes and appliances that won’t be compromised by mineral build-up. If you think that filtration or softening might be the right solution for you, why not give your local Austin plumber a call to discuss your options.

It happens to every homeowner at some point or another, you are doing laundry, or cooking a meal and an appliance breaks. While most people think to themselves its time for a new dryer, this isn’t usually the case. Many times when appliances break they can be repaired by an appliance repair specialist serving your local area. There are several easy to see benefits of getting a repair over buying a new one.

Cost

Save Money

Save Money

Like most people these days, you probably don’t want to spend more money than you have to just to have a working appliance. Often times repairs for things like refrigerators, washers, ovens, or dishwashers can be much simpler than you think. With the right part and an experienced technician like the ones I found at http://www.mrappliance.com/lowerwestchester, your appliance can be working like new for a fraction of what it would cost to replace it.

Convenience

Because going to the appliance store to make a purchase will be a large expense, it will take time, the effort of shopping around and research to make sure you are getting the best product possible. Why not just call a repair company from the convenience of your home who will come and fix your broken appliances on your schedule?

Environmental Concerns

Be good to the environment- don't throw away appliances!

Be good to the environment- don’t throw away appliances!

While the thought of brand new appliances may be appealing, a responsible homeowner should also think about the environmental impact of throwing away perfectly good appliaces. If you do decide to buy a new product, you should still have your old ones repaired and either sell or donate the old ones. Who knows, you may get a good portion of the money towards your new ones if you are set on taking that route.

One thing I’ve always liked about living in the south of the US in Hoover Alabama is the warm weather.  Although I enjoy warm weather, that doesn’t mean that I don’t love complementing it with my AC system. In fact, if Air Conditioning didn’t exist, I wouldn’t live anywhere warm at all, if I’m too hot I can’t sleep, I can’t think clearly, and I’m usually not happy about it one bit.  But those qualms are nothing compared to the real problem that occurs when my AC unit suddenly stops functioning, which is exactly what happened over last summer.

Huntsville, AL

Huntsville, AL

The Problem

I remember waking up last June to an overheated room.  The real problem here was that in that room, I had a very expensive, high performance computer AND a server constantly running.  The first thought that raced through my head, was that my computer and all the money spent on it was about to go down the drain.  Sure enough after checking temps and inspecting event logs, my systems were struggling to keep their temperatures down while keeping up with the constant work load they are always churning out.  I didn’t want to shut the systems down, as that’s an absolute last resort given the problems it would have caused.

The Solution

So I was left with no other choice, it was time to find someone for AC repairs in Hoover! Immediately I started searching Google and sifting through reviews.  I checked out a dozen different sites, inspected them for signs of professionalism and even went through Angie’s list, considering every possible factor I could before making a call – as I didn’t want to get ripped off, and I didn’t want to waste any time at all.

Air Conditioner

Air Conditioner

I wound up with an exceptional company, One Hour Air.  They promptly came to my home, and after diagnosing the problem had it fixed within an hour.  Thanks to them, my electronics were saved and my home was cool once again – all without having to create more problems and shutting down my server!

So I’ve recently purchased and maintained a home here in Cleveland Ohio for the past 5 years or so now.  It’s been an interesting journey and I’ve learned a lot that has made owning a home easier with time.  When I first moved in however, things were difficult and frustrating at times.  A lot of that frustration circulates around the problems that arise in your home and who to call on for the repairs, and if I had just taken a few simple steps early on, then I could have avoided a handful of headaches and saved a good chunk of time in the process.  So for every new homeowner out there reading this, here are the important service providers that you should take the time to research and find in your local area, so that when a problem does arise, you know exactly who you are going to call.

Keep your maintenance numbers handy

Keep your maintenance numbers handy

Plumbers

Chances are there a dozen or more companies and contractors within 25 miles of your home.  Which one should you call on when an emergency arises?  Take the time to figure it out now, because when your home is flooding, you won’t have the time to research their reputation, you may not even have time to dial the phone number!  A good plumber is the one person that you will always want to have in your contacts list as a homeowner.

HVAC Contractors

I personally can’t live without climate control in my home.  I hate being hot, I can’t think and I’m absolutely miserable if the temperature is not somewhere close to 70.  Likewise, I don’t much like being freezing cold either.  When your AC or HVAC system breaks down on you, you’ll need to know of a reliable HVAC contractor local to you that will fix your problem in an affordable manner.  My suggestion here is to use the reviews on Google to find a good company in your area, that’s how I discovered the AC repair company in Cleveland, OH and I’m really happy with all of the work and repairs that they have provided throughout the past 5 years.

Electricians

An electrician is someone you probably won’t need to call on too often as a homeowner, but when the time comes for you to make that call, you’ll be thankful to know of someone that will provide safe and quality driven repairs to your home. The main concern here is avoiding a fire hazard and meeting the safety codes set forth by your state.

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Trying to find a trustworthy electrical contractor can be pretty stressful and time consuming.  However, the extra work will pay off in the long run.  It will save you from spending more money than you should and dealing with extra frustration.  Here are some steps to take when searching for an electrical contractor.

Define your Project

Start from the basics.  Knowing specifically what you need done is the first step to letting any potential electricians get started with helping you.

Ask Around

Ask around for referrals

Ask around for referrals

Use any resources that are available to you.  Do you have a neighbor or family member who has recently had work done?  Could they recommend anyone?

Free Estimates

A good electrical contractor should be able to provide a free estimate.  If they can’t give an exact quote, they should be able to give a general idea of how much the project would cost.  Make sure that you are not hit with any surprise charges. Any changes to the project should be brought to your attention before they are implemented.

Check Their References

Asking for references is a great way to measure an electrical contractor’s work and customer service.  Great companies with a strong reputation are always more than eager to provide testimonials from past clients.

Insured?

If you plan on hiring them, make sure to check if they are properly insured to cover your home if something were to happen.  Ask the contractor if he has a certificate of general liability insurance and worker’s compensation.  You don’t want to be stuck holding the bill for any sort of accident.

Have a Single Point of Contact

This is to keep you from talking to four different people and possibly end up getting incorrect or misinterpreted information.  That one person should be good at following up with you on the progress and project scope.Capture

Candles are a great addition to any room, but when the wax drops on your carpet, it can be a nightmare to get out. Thankfully there is a very simple solution for Carpet Cleaning in Northern VA.  Just take a piece of ice and hold it firmly on the wax, once it hardens, you can simply pull the wax off of the carpet fibers. This also works for chewed gum or other sticky candies. It’s best to clean wax stains right away, if the area is walked on, the wax can get broken down and become difficult to remove in one piece. If that happens, simply call Heaven’s Best for professional carpet cleaning in Sherman Oaks to restore your carpet to its natural luster.

Fruit is very healthy, but not so good for your carpet. As with all stains, rapid action is the best way to prevent permanent stains is by calling a local Northern VA Carpet Cleaner after visiting www.absolutecarpetcare.com. First pick up the spilled fruit and use an absorbent cloth to soak up the remaining liquid. Mix a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of mild laundry detergent and a drop of white vinegar. Apply the mixture to the spot and allow drying. After it has dried completely, vacuum the area.

a carpet stain in need of cleaningIf you have harder to treat stains that don’t come out with any normal home remedies, it may be time to look for a professional service that offers Carpet Cleaning in Northern VA.  Most companies have the tools needed not only to deal with a wide variety of stains, but also a range of materials. Berber carpet, rugs and hand woven carpet all need special care, a professional company is the best equipped to clean your carpet properly without causing damage.

As far as home improvement goes, replacement of old drafty windows in your home is one of the easiest and most beneficial improvements that you could invest in.  On top of enhancing curb appeal, improving the value of your home, and other obvious benefits, replacements will provide additional comfort to your home while at the same time saving you money on the cost of heating and cooling.  The biggest and most noticeable improvement that I’ve experienced from replacements is the drastic reduction in noise from improving the insulation.

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Being a resident of Denver  can definitely be noisy, thanks to constant amounts of traffic from vehicles and pedestrians, in addition to the blazing sirens from police and emergency vehicles  – it has the potential to be a major headache when you just want to relax after a long day.  Now that I’ve purchased windows from Renewal by Andersen through an Andersen Window Dealer in Denver, I actually tend to forget that I’m living in a busy noisy city now because of just how quiet it actually gets inside – which is amazing!  On top of that, the temperature is more consistent from room to room and I don’t hear my HVAC unit working as much as it used to.

If upgrading your old windows with shiny new replacements is something you are after, then I’d like to share a few pieces of advice to make the process easier.  For one, definitely rely on Andersen for your replacements, they may be expensive but they are well worth it – providing the most durable and efficient windows in the industry today. Visit http://www.renewalbyandersendenver.com/ to learn more.  Each window will perfectly crafted to fit your home, maximizing the efficiency that they provide – on top of the gains from using Fibrex as their material of choice. They will look great, make the drastic improvements you want, and best of all, will provide for a comfortable and pretty home.

Landscaped Yard

Landscaped Yard

We see it all the time on television.  Whether it is an infomercial advertising a new gardening product or one of your favorite home design networks like HGTV, you will notice a great amount of detail and care was put into the landscaping.  Most homeowners dream that they could have these lawns and beautiful projects for their homes.  The only problem is that most of them have little to no understanding when it comes to landscaping and starting a foreign/complicated task will seem overwhelming and make you want to quit right away.  You can always hire a professional landscaping service to do the work for you, but here are some helpful tips to get you started.

Find the Purpose

Find out what you will essentially get out of this landscaping project.  Do you need a nice patio space for family and company, or do you just want to start a nice vegetable garden?  This is a first building block toward understanding your wants and needs for your project.

Learn Wind and Sun Patterns

Knowing these particular weather patterns can help you plan your design accordingly.  For example, putting your patio in a place that gets a lot of sunlight won’t seem like an ideal location to have dinner during August.  It will just be hot and uncomfortable.

Start off Small

This is important for a beginner taking on any new task.  You never want to bite off more than you can chew.  Never try to take on two day makeover projects on your own.  Start with small parts that you can easily manage, and add on more piece by piece. Capture

The main key is to always plan for the future and manage what you can stick with handle.  This guarantees that you will be able to handle a landscaping project with minimal stress and worry.