Top Virginia Deck Ideas For Family Fun

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia-deck-familyWhether you are in the thick of raising your kids or enjoying being a grandparent, backyard fun is a major part of your life. Designing that outdoor space for maximum enjoyment and safety takes careful consideration and these top Virginia deck ideas are the ideal place to start.

Deck Designs For Young Families

With babies and toddlers moving around out on the deck, texture and safety become the two most important issues in design. Think about composite materials that eliminate splinters and require very little maintenance. And be sure that railings are made from durable materials as well, such as aluminum or tempered glass. Building codes specify the spacing and height required for optimum safety, but don’t forget to include railing gates at the stairs to keep your little ones from falling.

Design your deck to have one level only and be sure it is installed just below the patio door sill. This flat, open space provides plenty of area for your kids to play safely. Avoiding a big step down also makes it easy for short legs to move in and out of the house.

Deck Designs For Multi-Generation Families

Family gatherings that include all of the generations create priceless memories. Design your Virginia deck to allow for maximum comfort when the whole family is over and these events will be better than ever. Include an open area for the dining table, at least 14 feet square and close to the patio doors. Then consider designing supplemental seating areas around that main deck, perhaps on upper or lower levels.

Plan your deck like your interior living space. Arrange various seating areas where smaller groups can gather and place the largest area close to the food. An outdoor kitchen provides the perfect spot for grilling and serving drinks, while a grouping of comfy lounge chairs will attract everyone at one time or another. Be sure to include a few private nooks as well, spots where couples can snuggle under a shady canopy or kids can grab a short nap in the breeze.

Deck Designs For Small Yards

Many suburban family homes have limited backyards. In most cases a bit of grass and a garden leaves very little space for a deck. But family homes need an area for outdoor eating, grilling and relaxing. Patios work for ground level homes and those houses with a walkout design need to install a deck. Maximize your space by designing a single-level deck with glass railings for a clear view and open atmosphere.

Leave off the stairs if possible, or design them with a landing to avoid taking up too much room in the yard. Ask a decking contractor to come over and take a look. At that time you can go over a few different ways to make the most of your limited backyard space.

Families need to have an outdoor area at home, the ideal place for play and making memories. These Virginia deck ideas will give you direction on how to design space that provides the area and function that your family needs. Creating a comfortable outdoor room is important and allows your family to spend valuable time together.

5 Reasons to Hire a Professional Virginia Replacement Windows Installer

Filed Under: Windows    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia-replacement-windows-installersDIY home improvement projects help you to save money, not to mention giving you a chance to use power tools. But installing Virginia replacement windows can be a tricky job and amateur mistakes lead to big problems later on. Check out a few reasons for hiring a professional window installer before you decide to strap on the tool belt. You may just decide that it’s wiser to pick up the phone and call in the experts.

Reason 1 – The Right Way to Remove Windows

The first step in replacement window projects is to remove the existing window. Unless the jamb has deteriorated beyond repair that component will remain. A careful job is essential. Do you know exactly which components need to stay and how to handle the removal with gentleness? Experienced window installers make this look easy, but most DIY enthusiasts will admit that removal is not always as straightforward as it seems.

It’s worth mentioning that older homes may have lead paint on the window frames. Removal of these windows can be tricky and present health and safety issues. Professionals know how to recognize this situation and are also trained in how to handle the removal process properly.

Reason 2 – Assessing the Condition of the Jamb

Can you spot water damage, rot or evidence of pests in the existing window jamb? You’ll need to inspect the material closely to find out whether a new replacement window can be securely hung. Soft spots can hide on the sill or along the top of the window frame, and professional contractors are skilled at probing in the right places to find those hidden problems.

Rot in the window jamb means a whole new frame needs to be installed. This discovery can transform a simple replacement job into a more complicated home improvement project. Make sure you can handle the twists and turns that hidden rot may cause and hire a pro to inspect the jambs and handle the installation of new windows.

Reason 3 – Precise Measurements

Measuring is probably the most important step in window installation. These figures have to be exact and recorded properly; windows that are even a few inches off will not work. And the worst news of all is that custom-sized replacement windows are not returnable. Want to avoid the pressure and let the pros handle the measuring? Not only allow will you avoid errors, but this also means any mistakes made are someone else’s responsibility.

Reason 4 – Square It Up

Virginia replacement windows come slightly smaller than the frame opening. This space allows for shims used to square the window properly. Operation of the window (opening and closing) relies heavily on the placement of the window and getting that sash perfectly square can be a challenge. You need to have patience and the knowledge to know how to fit shims properly. Experience allows this process to move along quicker, while providing the perfect fit for your new windows.

Reason 5 – That Essential Seal

New windows provide better efficiency in your home, cutting back on heating and cooling bills. But when your replacement windows are not sealed properly those savings will escape through the cracks before you even realize they’re gone. Professionals have the equipment and skill to create a tight seal, keeping your home tight and providing the support those new high efficiency windows need.

DIY window installation is possible, but many homeowners agree that hiring a professional is the wisest choice. Get the most from your Virginia replacement windows by ensuring they are installed properly. It’s worth the investment.

Northern Virginia Home Improvement Projects That Deliver High Returns

Filed Under: Virginia Home Remodeling    by: Steve Kayhill

northern-virginia-home-improvementHomeowners tackle certain renovation projects out of necessity. Space considerations, damage or expanding families propel Northern Virginia home improvement projects ahead. But many times a renovation can be viewed as an investment, as well as an improvement, increasing the value of your home. Certain projects deliver a decent benefit, with some actually providing greater returns than the initial investment. How can homeowners choose wisely and invest their money into valuable projects?

Choose the Right Project

The total return often depends on the style of home and the neighborhood itself. A period restoration of a colonial home may be costly, but that house will command an impressive price on the market given the quality and details throughout the property. Newer homes go up in value when modern renovations are completed, such as finished basements, luxury bathrooms and walk-in closets.

A kitchen remodeling project almost always delivers significant return on investment. Since this room is the hub of any home installing up to date fixtures, quality cabinetry and durable, low maintenance flooring is a good idea. Bathroom remodels and additions are also a wise choice, although having too many bathrooms in a home could potentially decrease the overall value and functionality of the space.

Choose the Right Design

The design holds a place of importance when planning Northern Virginia home improvement projects. Optimum designs combine function with form and stay away from trends and bold statements. Classic layouts ensure that your new kitchen or bath will remain attractive to any buyer, while high quality, beautiful fixtures and finishing create an impressive appearance that will last.

Think about how the renovated space will work with the entire house, including traffic flow throughout the rooms, decorating and scope. You want your whole home to appear well designed and practical, not just the new space. If a larger home remodel seems daunting consider each stage of the project individually while maintaining an end view of the whole house.

Choose the Right Contractor

An experienced contractor is a must when planning projects of this scale. You could attempt a DIY painting project or work on smaller components of the large job on your own. But when it comes to home improvement that will increase the value of your property the skills and expertise of contractors are a necessity.

Contractors guide you through the design phase, pointing out difficulties and challenges with your vision. They also offer advice on the best materials and layout. Homeowners need to do an enormous amount of research to match the knowledge an experienced contractor offers. And isn’t your time better spent elsewhere? Trust the pros to do their job and have a home renovation project done right the first time.

Renovations deliver a variety of benefits to homeowners. From better function, more attractive living space and greater levels of comfort to an increased property value, Northern Virginia home improvement projects that are completed with care offer a positive return. Invest in your home, your family and your future with home renovations done by a professional contractor.

Essential Accessories For Your Northern Virginia Siding

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_siding_accessoriesThe exterior of your home needs to be finished for protection and architectural appeal. Choose from a variety of Northern Virginia siding styles to achieve an attractive and durable look. But siding accessories also help to bring that look together, finishing awkward corners, covering gaps and creating a seamless appearance. Bringing these exterior finish elements together can be challenging, but enhanced siding accessories will transform your house from an ordinary building to an extraordinary home.

Keyed Corners

Instead of simply installing outside corner trim, look for keyed corner trim. This product has more depth and detail, providing a better profile on the corners of your siding. This product comes in a variety of widths and profiles, designed to compliment any style of home.

Some homeowners opt for corner trim in a matching color, while others choose a complimentary or contrasting tone. It depends entirely on how you would like the finished look to appear, as well as the total number of corners on the building and their location. Contrasting colors can seem busy if your home has a lot of angles, while matching trim can look washed out on a fairly flat or square home.

Dentil Trim and Crown Molding

Adding trim to the underside of overhangs and eaves provides interesting detail and form on the exterior of your home. Just as crown molding will enhance the interior of the house, dentil trim and crown moldings can be installed over your Northern Virginia siding to create a beautifully detailed and upscale look.

Accent certain areas of the house, like the front porch, or trim around gables and across straight rooflines to achieve the same details over the entire building. Dentil trim offers smaller, rectangular blocks in an offset pattern, while crown molding has a swooping look that provides greater depth at the roofline.

Shutters and Window Corner Blocks

Dress up the windows with siding accessories in contrasting colors. Shutters provide a dashing look, but may also offer protection and shade for the windows if they are operational. Many homeowners opt for the standard decorative models that simply provide a wider vision of your windows.

Give the corners of your window trim a dash of style using window corner blocks. Available in wood and vinyl, these square pieces often have a decorative shape formed into the middle. Set into each corner of the window trim, those shapes add an interesting twist to the flat, boring trim typically seen on most homes.

Mounting Blocks

Do you want to make your exterior lights, hose reels and house numbers stand out in a decorative way? Take a look at how mounting blocks can completely change these utilitarian additions into works of art. A vinyl mounting block can be added over vinyl siding, fiber cement siding or stucco, providing a flat area for the fixture to sit on and a molded trim to cover the hole underneath. These components add depth and can be chosen to match exterior moldings and trim to provide a symmetrical look on your house.

No matter what type of Northern Virginia siding you are having installed, siding accessories like keyed corners, dentil trim, window corner blocks and mounting blocks can will dress up the finished look. Add style to your home the easy way with high quality siding accessories from your preferred manufacturer.