3 Easy Ways to Give Your Home a Facelift

3 Easy Ways to Give Your Home a Facelift

Part of being a Northern Virginia homeowner is maintaining the property and making improvements from time to time. Putting a small investment into repairs will pay off in the long run by protecting the home from the elements and making it more comfortable for those living in it. The savvy homeowner will take the time to survey the home from time to time and look at items like windows, doorways, ceilings, floors and cabinets. Check for signs that the house is settling or is structurally unbalanced. When multiple projects need to be addressed, the homeowner should consult a group of Northern Virginia companies that work well together and can accomplish all projects in harmony.

Basic RepairSome projects are not difficult to do, but they require some spare time and know-how. Tasks like replacing rotted trim and other exterior wood, or interior trim and hardwood floors are much less expensive to have a Northern Virginia handyman service do the repair work than wait until it is completely destroyed and affecting other parts of the house. Replacement of kitchen cabinets, countertops, vinyl or ceramic tile and plumbing fixtures can be done rather than requiring a complete home remodel. At the change of seasons, a handyman repair service can also change out storm doors, clean out gutters and stormwater drainage areas around the home’s exterior. Minor electrical or plumbing repairs can be accomplished at the same time.

FoundationOne way a homeowner will know when there are foundation problems that need to be are by taking a home survey. Look inside at ceiling and wall joints for cracks, sagging and slopes. Look for cracks or buckling on the home’s exterior. This is especially noticeable in the masonry of Northern Virginia brick homes. When a home settles and the foundation is out of alignment, this may create a stair-step cracked appearance on the corners or sides. Large buckles where the home enters the ground, cracking in driveway or front walk, tree roots in the basement and uneven garage door entryways that prevent closure are other possible signs of trouble. Consult a contractor that specializes in foundation repair in Northern Virginia to do an inspection and fix any problems before they become too serious. A problem that is left undiagnosed and unrepaired may lead to other issues down the road.

WindowsWindows are an important indicator to the outside world of how well a home is being taken care of by the owner. Dirty or broken windows are an indication that it may be easy to break in without being noticed. Cracked or missing windowpanes can be easily fixed to prevent break-ins and to lower energy bills. All home windows eventually need to be replaced. Some signs that it’s time to replace rather than repair include cracked or broken glazing, warped wood and panes and widows that are stuck open or shut. Contractors that specialize in window repair in Northern Virginia can improve the look, feel and property …

Revitalize the Look of Your Home With an Exterior Makeover

Revitalize the Look of Your Home With an Exterior Makeover

Do you want to revitalize your home without spending a fortune on unnecessary trimmings and additions? Are you looking for affordable ways to improve the quality of your home? An exterior makeover will improve the appearance of your home in a practical and efficient way. You can replace or repair the windows, doors, siding, roofing, gutters, and porches of your home to give it an affordable and refreshing makeover.

Windows and Doors

Replacing your home’s windows and doors is one of the most efficient ways to improve the appearance of your home. Money might be wasted by small leaks or energy-deficient doors and windows, so consider switching them out for new ones. You can choose from a wide selection of window styles, including bay, double hung, casement, bow, and other specialty designs, to freshen up the look of your exterior. Not only will you improve your curbside appeal, but you will also start saving money with today’s modern, energy-efficient windows. If you want to replace your doors as well, consider a new color or style to add a subtle but individualized change. A new door can also help you save on heating and cooling bills.

Siding and Roofing

The siding and roofing of your house construct the shell that protects your home from nature. Both have a significant effect on the appearance of a house, but they are also a source of efficiency and shelter. If you want to make a drastic change, consider siding or roofing replacement. While this might be a more expensive exterior change, the investment could be well worth it. Your roof or siding might be damaged, allowing harm to come to the valuable interior of your home. By replacing your roof or siding, you will be making a worthy investment on both your home’s appearance and well-being.


New gutters are an especially affordable means of making over your home. If your gutters are rusty, dented, or sagging, they could damage your home’s appearance. By simply replacing or repairing your gutters, you can refresh your home while better protecting it. Old gutters can allow water damage to foundations and interiors. To prevent this damage and subtly update your home, consider replacing your gutters.


If you want something completely new for your home, why not add a front or back porch? Not only will this bring something new to the look of your home, but it will also refresh the mood of it. You can take advantage of new opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends and family. This option also allows you to make an addition without the expenses of adding an interior room.

By following these tips for exterior makeovers, you can update the look of your home in no time. Whether you add some color or transform your home’s exterior, you’re sure to find one affordable and satisfying way to improve your appearance.…

Easy Custom Window Well Covers

Easy Custom Window Well Covers

You can purchase most size window well covers at your local home improvement store, most, but not all. In this article I will show you a quick and easy way to make your own covers, allowing plenty of light to enter the space, and allowing for the all important emergency exit.

Through the years I have found that making a template saves money in the long run. I strongly suggest you make yourself a cardboard template of the window well. You can square the shape off, as if it was a rectangle or square when you order the piece of Plexiglas.

It’s been my experience that the local big box stores don’t carry sheets of Plexiglas, so you will need to call your local glass company and order the piece of Plexiglas or Lexan, you will need for this project. Be sure to order A�” thick Plexiglas or Lexan, at a minimum. The difference in price will be substantial, with Lexan being shatter resistant. I went the Plexiglas route, but you will have to decide for yourself. Cutting the Plexiglas is pretty simple and straight forward. Install a plywood blade in your circular saw and a fine tooth blade in your jig saw. If you are not comfortable cutting it yourself, most glass companies will do it for you, for an additional charge. If you have them cut the Plexiglas, remember to bring your template for them to use, and don’t forget to ask for the cutoff pieces. You can use them for smaller fun projects like coasters and picture frames.

Next measure the distance across the back of the window well, the straight edge, against the house and buy a length of angled strut, to fit. You know the kind I am talking about, the metal angle that is commonly used to hang garage door tracks and openers. Anchor that angle to the back wall, so it will serve as a place for the new cover to sit on, making sure the top of it is level with the top of the window well. If the front edge is straight you can do the same to it. If you have a continuous curve then cut 2 or 3 pieces of strut about 1″ to 2″ long and attach them to the inside of the front edge, spacing them evenly, making sure you have at least 1 solid hole in each one.

Lay the newly cut Plexiglas cover on your new framed opening, carefully centering it into position, and making sure to keep it firmly against the back wall. You can drill down through the Plexiglas into the front edge angled strut a 5/16″ drill bit. When you’re done drilling drop a A�” clevis pin into each hole. You can secure each pin in place by slipping the locking clips into a hole in the clevis pin, from the inside. Now place a liberal bead of silicone (100% pure silicone) along the back edge and …

Need to Replace Your Windows? Consider Custom Windows

Need to Replace Your Windows? Consider Custom Windows

With Custom windows you become the designer with endless possibilities to choose from. You can custom design your windows to blend in with your homes existing architectural design. You have the freedom to design your wall space by grouping windows and doors to create dramatic effects or a quiet understated elegance.

Introduce light into your home in unusual ways with unique stained glass patterns and grill styles that will create lovely intricate patterns of light and shadows on your walls and ceilings.

Custom specialty windows are designed to excel way beyond conventional window and door treatments. You can choose from a variety of window styles including specialty shaped windows to create a stunning and beautiful accent window that will delight your relatives and guests. Don’t feel you have to be limited to rectangles or squares. You can choose curved or unusual angle shapes to create accent windows at the top of your stairs or in an entryway that can be a focal point for your home. Stained or patterned glass can complete the look in your choice of colors to suit your personal taste.

With the right window designs your outdoor scenery can be the focus of the room. Turn a large window into something visually stunning by grouping smaller windows around it and choosing dramatic window treatments to offset the view. Custom windows are the best value for the long term because installation is quicker with minimal changes needed to the inside and outside of your home.

Custom designed windows are made to your specifications, designed to fit precisely, ensuring energy efficiency. Using professional installers gives you that peace of mind that comes with knowing your custom windows will be properly installed.…

Driving In Adverse Conditions

Driving In Adverse Conditions

You need to prepare for the unexpected when you’re out on the road, especially when driving in adverse conditions. With extreme weather becoming more frequent, it’s more important than ever to make sure your car is ready to weather everything from blizzards to heat waves and torrential downpours, and that you can respond calmly and promptly in the event of a breakdown.

Whether you’re driving on icy roads or your visibility is restricted by fog, driving slowly and carefully is essential – not only to protect yourself, your passengers and other people out on the road, but also to make sure you’re driving within the law. It is a legal requirement to use headlights in reduced visibility, and being aware of the extended braking times in wet weather could mean the difference between life and death.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the scorching summer heat can also prove hazardous to drivers, especially those who are not used to warmer climates. Drowsiness brought on by heat can be as dangerous as other forms of tiredness and distractions behind the wheel, so it’s vital to keep your car well ventilated by winding down windows, and taking breaks in shaded areas if you feel the heat getting to you.

Just as drivers need to be aware of wet and slippery roads in the winter, extreme heat can similarly affect the surface of soft roads by melting the tarmac, which can cause a bumpy and uneven ride and even affect your steering and braking.

If you have an inkling of the weather before you set off, it’s essential to carry out a pre-journey check to make sure your vehicle is prepared. This includes making sure all systems are operating efficiently – everything from your lights to your windscreen wipers and water and oil levels – as well as kitting your car out with everything you’ll need in the event that you become stuck out on the road, including your trusty mobile phone, a torch and first aid kit.

While we don’t always have the luxury of knowing the weather in advance, some of these items can be kept in easily accessible places inside your car at all times. At the very least, keep an accident action pack within easy reach that contains the numbers for emergency services, your insurance company and local garages, if you need mobile glaziers to carry out services such as windscreen replacement.…

Windows 7 – Which One?

Windows 7 – Which One?

There are 5 different versions of Windows 7. Which one is right for you? In this article we are going to take a look at the 5 different versions to help you find out which choice to make.

First up is the Windows 7 Starter Edition. This is the most simple version. It is found installed on netbooks to help keep their costs down. However it has it’s shortcomings. It does not include a media centre, the Sniping Tool, Sticky Notes or support the Aero Glass interface. You cannot change the desktop background or run auto back ups to other computers that are on your network. In other words it’s very limited and not the best choice unless you are opting for a laptop that cannot handle the more adapt versions.

Windows 7 Home Basic is next up. This version is only available in countries that have a low average salary and the price of Windows is relatively high. It is designed for those who cannot afford the other versions due to being constrained by their countries economic situation.

Windows 7 Home Premium is probably the best option for those using their computer to carry out basic everyday tasks such as internet surfing, word processing, storing and viewing media.

It has most of the features of Windows 7 including the updated interfaces and the Media Center. It’s main limitations are that you cannot auto back up to another computer on your network or control using Remote Desktop another Windows 7 Home Premium computer.

Windows 7 Professional has all the bells and whistles of Home Premium along with the added bonus of being able to link the computer to a business domain network.

Windows 7 Enterprise and Windows 7 Ultimate are more or less one and the same depending on how much a company pays for the license. Ultimate is the more expensive. They both offer support for language packs, BitLocker and BranchCache. You also have the ability to boot from a virtual hard drive.

It is possible to upgrade at a later date if you find you need the benefits of one of the more sophisticated versions after purchasing. However it will save you money to buy the right one at the get go. You do not have the option to downgrade and get your cash back.

In conclusion the best option for the average user is Windows 7 Home Premium. It’s best to avoid Home Basic as it doesn’t offer much and Windows 7 Starter is only good for netbooks that can’t handle the more powerful versions or if your really strapped for cash and are not too bothered about missing out on the other features.

Windows Home Premium is a good choice as it meets the needs of most consumers. If you need the extras that Windows Professional and Ultimate offer then go for those otherwise Windows Home Premium will give you a purchase that you’ll be happy with.…

Benefits of Upgrading Your Home With UPVC Windows and Doors

Benefits of Upgrading Your Home With UPVC Windows and Doors

Wise people know that having a house is actually the beginning rather than the end of finding a perfect abode for you. Once you have got your dream house, you need to make sure it stays so for as long as you intend to live within it and that needs lot of care and effort. In fact, that is why every once in a while wise home owners get into an appropriate home improvement project to ensure their dream home stays in best of its shape.

UPVC windows & doors are becoming one of the top priorities of home remodeling projects nowadays and for the right reasons. This not only re-strengthens a home infrastructure-wise, but it also adds to the aesthetic aspects of an abode, enabling home owners also serve well the d?�cor of their homes. People like to go for UPVC doors & windows because they not only uplift the condition of their homes, but also because they happen to be quite cost-effective.

A Suitable Replacement

Old doors and windows flaunting faded colors devalue a home and this is where UPVC windows serve as the perfect replacement for them. They are available in different colors and designs, with the added benefit of being maintenance free. Instead of going for the most “in” design & color, you better go for ones that go best with your home and lifestyle. You have to keep in mind that it is the doors and windows that are most evident in your property, when observed from a distance; so they need to look their best. It is not only about the color and design though; you also have to pick a material that is perfectly compatible with the structure of your home as well.

Energy Efficient Alternative

Style and strength are not the only perks of upgrading your home with UPVC windows & doors; they also contribute greatly in making your home energy efficient, as a result of which you get reduced bills and utility costs. As a matter of fact, there are manifold benefits of this kind of home remodeling. For example, triple glazed windows are especially known to serve energy efficiently, helping home owners get rid of paying extra sum of money every month in the name of bills.

Small Changes, Great Impacts

To some people, upgrading with UPVC windows and doors might seem like a trivial kind of home improvement, but this proves out to be something that can help your home shine like a jewel amidst your neighborhood.…

Is It Time For New Windows?

Is It Time For New Windows?

Some home improvement projects are very obvious, while others are not. Windows kind of fall into that gray area. Sometimes we can really see that they need to be replaced, but at other times the signs might not be quite as clear. In this article, we will discuss some of the surest signs that it’s time to replace your windows.

If you see condensation or a buildup of frost on your windows, it’s time to consider replacing them. These are both signs that moisture is leaking in because the glass is either worn, or might be pulling away from the frame. Since glass expands and contracts, this is something that typically occurs once windows age. Replace your windows and you’ll quickly see the condensation come to an end.

If the interior pane feels warm in summer months or cold in winter months, it’s time to say goodbye to your old windows. This is a sign that your windows aren’t as well-insulated as they once were. It means that air is creeping in through tiny spaces between the glass panes and the frame, causing your windows to be less energy efficient than they once were. When you replace those old and tired windows, you might see as much as a 50 percent decrease in your heating and cooling costs, due to their moderate to high R-value. The higher the R-value, (R-value: the ability of a material to resist heat flow) the greater the resistance and energy efficiency; which equates to more energy savings for you. This applies to both heating and cooling costs, meaning those new windows could pay for themselves in very little time.

If you try the candle test and the candle flickers, it might be time for a window home improvement project. This tip might not actually mean that it’s time to replace the windows. Sometimes if the candle flickers in only a couple of spots you can get away with just performing a caulking project. If you’re noticing an extensive draft though (by seeing the candle flicker at each and every one of your windows for instance), then it’s time to replace those old drafty windows with some new and energy efficient ones.

If you look at the exterior of your windows and see if they have rotting wood, cracked trim, or missing pieces of frame then head to the home improvement store to pick out your new windows. While one or two small cracks could certainly be repaired, if your windows are cracking and rotting extensively then you’re better off replacing them entirely. This is a sign that those windows have seen better days and unless you replace them, the rotting and cracking will only continue to get worse. When you take the time to install your new windows, you will not only see a savings on your energy bill, but an improved curb appeal for your home too.

If you have several windows that show signs of broken or …

Top Three Ways to Light Your Bathroom

Top Three Ways to Light Your Bathroom

Whether you have a large bathroom or a small one, bathrooms are one of the most used rooms in the house. And with so much time spent in the morning, afternoon and evening in the bathroom, it’s easy to see why getting the most out of this space is so important to most homeowners. No matter what you use your bathroom space for the most, one thing for certain; when you need to use it, being well-lit is the most important feature of the space. Use these three ways to light your bathroom space and you’ll be sure to get the most out of your bathroom area.

Task Lighting

One of the most important aspects of a bathroom space is the mirror and vanity area. More homeowners use this area more often than the toilet and shower combined. From makeup to brushing your teeth to trying on ties, a mirror and vanity have a thousand uses that are in need of great lighting to make the space work efficiently. That’s what makes task lighting such an important part of any bathroom space-the tasks. Task lighting solutions like can-lighting, monorail and bar lighting work best in and around the areas of the bathroom you use the most.

Natural Lighting

It’s very important to mix lighting sources, no matter what space in the home you light. Natural lighting in a bathroom space is a great way to get the most out of your most used space. Natural lighting from skylights, windows or even solar tubes are one of the best ways to help light a bathroom area. While skylights and other fixed glass is great for lighting, it doesn’t offer the best in ventilation. Hopper style windows offer one of the best windows for lighting and ventilation. Windows are the top choice for lighting and bathroom ventilation. Hopper windows open from the top so hot and humid air is easily ventilated while natural light shines through the space. Windows like awning, casement and single/double hung are some of the most commonly used window styles for a bathroom space. Be sure that no matter what type of window you install in your bathroom, the glass is tempered to prevent the dangerous hazards of broken glass in the bathroom. In some areas, tempered glass is required by the building code.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting sources are needed to help make a balance between the multiple light sources used in the bathroom space. One of the most common ways that ambient light is employed in the bathroom space is through the use of a fluorescent light. While this commonly used light works great for bathroom lighting, it’s not for everyone. An ambient lighting source can come from a wide variety of lighting fixtures and styles, so choosing the right style for you is simply a matter of taste. No matter what style of ambient light source you use, be sure that it’s above or in front on the …

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