Finding the Best Virginia Home Improvement Contractors

Filed Under: Virginia Contractor    by: Steve Kayhill

home_improvement_contractorsIf you wouldn’t let just any doctor give you a check up, why would you let just any old Virginia home improvement contractor work on your home? This building is your family’s haven, a place that needs to feel comfortable and dependable at all times. Home improvements can take a good home and make it even better, but only if the company hired has the characteristics of the very best contractors this state has to offer.

Experience Goes a Long Way

Back on the doctor analogy, how do you feel when an intern is taking care of you? That’s similar to an apprentice or inexperienced handyman working at your home. You want someone who knows what they’re doing, a contractor that has worked in your neighborhood, seen many different conditions and successfully completed countless other projects.

That sort of experience is truly irreplaceable. Look for a company that is established and has a list of satisfied customers you can contact yourself for a reference. When the home improvements are substantial in scope and budget, be sure to actually check those references and make your decision about which Virginia contractor to use based on what you find out.

Communication is the Linch Pin

One of the most important characteristics about the best Virginia home improvement contractors is their ability to both listen and communicate. Let’s say you are remodeling the kitchen or bathroom and your contractor has not taken the time (or was not willing) to listen to the specific needs of your family. The result will be a substandard finish that doesn’t accurately reflect who you are and what you need in your home.

Be sure your home improvement contractor is available. Ask for their cell phone numbers and don’t be afraid to call them when a question or concerns arise. If the contractor is unwilling to give out their cell number or isn’t available for long stretches of time, you’re best to move on and go with someone else.

The idea of communicating with the contractor is really best for both parties – It allows the customer to get exactly what they want and lets the contractor eliminate the need to guess.

Word of Mouth

The easiest and most successful way of finding the best Virginia home improvement contractors is by word of mouth. Admiring your friend’s new siding replacement? Ask him who installed it and whether he was happy with the service provided. Is your neighbor boasting about the money she’s saving after replacing her windows? Find out who did the job and whether everything went smoothly. This type of research is generally easy and will help you find a contractor that will do the job right the first time.

No one is perfect and you may hear a negative report about the Virginia contractor you were considering hiring. Investigate the situation and if you feel comfortable about it, ask the contractor for their side the story. You may find out that the company did everything they could and that outside circumstances had more to do with the problem than anything else.

When you’re tackling a Virginia home improvement it’s essential that you find a quality contractor to help you out. Take advantage of experience and always work with some one you can talk to. A relationship of mutual respect is very important. Start with the names you can gather from word of mouth and go from there. You’re sure to come across a top-notch company and be able to get started on the project of your dreams.

How Your Home Can be Better Protected By Installing Virginia Siding

Filed Under: Siding    by: Steve Kayhill

virginia_sidingWeather is a powerful thing and the major function of our homes is to protect our families from the effects of harsh weather. But what protects the house? When it is properly installed, Virginia siding actually shelters your home and family from more than the weather. Siding creates a better sealed environment that helps produce improved air quality and better overall health.

As an added plus, siding provides Virginia homes with a clean, well tailored look. More affordable than other finishing options for your exterior walls, siding delivers a host of benefits that may surprise you.

Improve Older Virginia Homes

The character of traditional homes can be easily revived with Virginia siding. Those classic colors that graced your home in years gone by can be brought to life again with siding, available in a wide array of custom colors made to echo the glories of the past. But that’s not all this product will do.

Moisture is an enemy of your home and it can become a major problem with older homes. Newly built Virginia homes are sealed tight against the damage moisture can inflict on wood framing and the structural components of your house. Even if there are no visible holes, moisture has a nasty way of seeping into hidden gaps and cracks. That moisture will slowly but surely attack the sheathing and other vulnerable elements underneath. Often older homes are left inadvertently exposed to this type of damage.

That’s where Virginia siding can come in and improve the situation.

Having a pro install siding on your home will ensure a much tighter seal against the elements and moisture that’s constantly trying to get in. The siding will create a jacket or cover around your home and the extremely durable, low maintenance finish will last for years in any weather.

Keep Other Enemies Out

Siding doesn’t just block moisture. Pests such as ants, cluster flies, termites and wasps like to make their homes in and behind old siding. If the siding is loose, damaged or simply rotting away, the insects will basically move in and serious damage to the exterior and interior of your home will be the result.

If air borne allergies are a concern in your home talk to a professional about the latest lines of Virginia siding that will better seal the harmful elements from entering your home. Keep the dust mites, bacteria and mold out of your house and create better indoor air quality by replacing your old siding with one of the newer, more technologically advanced brands of siding.

Because You’re Worth It

Your family deserves to live in a home that is well protected from the harsh elements. Allergy sufferers deserve to have better air quality that means less sickness and uncomfortable conditions while relaxing at home. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if the exterior of your home was brought back to the beauty it once had?

Installing new siding will do the trick. Your home will be better protected, the air quality inside healthier and the curb appeal of your home much improved. Give a Virginia siding contractor a call today to get started on this home improvement project.

Buy Northern Virginia Real Estate Better With the Help of Renovators

Filed Under: Virginia real estate    by: Steve Kayhill

house_for_saleBuying a home is an exciting time. Your family’s dreams play a big part in the search for that perfect house, but the process itself can be stressful. Wade through the selection of Northern Virginia real estate with the help of someone who knows what to look for in a house.

What Do Renovation and Real Estate Have In Common?

Renovations add to the value of real estate. When you’re searching for a new home, the upgrades and renovations can make or break your choice.  From landscaping and decks to flooring, kitchen remodels and basement renovations, any projects that alter the original condition of the house has an effect on the home’s marketable value.

Realtors often focus on the most recent renovations when they are contracted to sell a home. The problem is that they do not necessarily have the professional experience to properly gauge the project. Realtors know the value of a home inside and out, but the overall quality of a renovation may be beyond their expertise.

Renovations that need to be done can also play a part in a real estate transaction. If the property needs to be renovated or repairs are necessary that condition can make a difference to the negotiation, the overall price or the deal itself.

The Value of Professional Renovation Contractors

Professional renovators can offer you a “behind the walls” assessment of potential homes. Because of a renovation contractors experience with design and construction, they will be able to spot problems that traditional realtors can’t.

The quality of materials and professionalism of the installation can be easily spotted by an industry pro. Often homeowners will handle home improvements as a DIY project. But without the proper training those projects can actually turn into a disaster. You don’t want to be saddled with the problems of a renovation that was mishandled by an amateur.

How These Two Can Come Together

Much like you would take a used car to the mechanics for an inspection, you should always have a resale home looked at by an industry professional. Home inspectors are valuable, but you normally can’t afford to hire them until you have made an offer on a house. Realtors with professional renovation experience can give you advice on each home as it’s looked at, saving everyone time.

Although it may surprise you, northern Virginia real estate and renovations often go hand in hand. The value of a home is directly related to the quality and quantity of the renovations in it. When a property is on the market and requires renovations, that information can also be used to negotiate the price.

Without the advice of a professional renovator you will need to rely on the information given to the realtors on both sides, as well as relying on your own visual inspection. Professional realtors will know where to look and can point out both obvious and subtle indications of quality.

Get the wisdom and advantage of both professionals when shopping for northern Virginia real estate. A realtor can handle all of property and transaction details while renovation contractors offer valuable advice on the condition of each home. Tap into the best of both worlds and be more successful when shopping for a house.

Northern Virginia Deck Designs for the Discerning Homeowner

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

northern_virginia_deckDecks are so much more than just square platforms built in your backyard. In fact decks are actually extensions of your family’s living space and the best Northern Virginia deck designs should reflect your lifestyle and tastes. Whether it is a certain decking material, shape or features, the ideal deck design will reflect the specific needs of your family.

Multi Level Entertainment

If you spend a lot of time on the deck with friends and family you are going to need more space. Creating multiple levels gives a Northern Virginia deck better flow, as well as adding built in casual seating and the room you’ll need.

Multi level decks can have various shapes incorporated into the design, from circles and arches to geometrical shapes like diamonds and hexagons. Start with a basic shape and incorporate a few surprises within the levels for the maximum effect.

Privacy With Purpose

In suburbia many feel like their backyards are exposed, leaving them vulnerable and more uptight when hanging out on their deck. Privacy screens can help with that, blocking the view and helping to create a little oasis. Install decorative beams over the privacy screens for handy places to hang flowering baskets and scallop the ends for a distinct look.

Be sure that any privacy screens are properly placed to provide shade along with the much desired solitude. Screens can also help to block the wind, creating a peaceful, private spot on the deck. Make them only as high as needed and be sure the design suits both your home and the balance of the Northern Virginia deck.

Perfect Patio Planters

Incorporating built in planters is an easy way to have color on your deck. Use deck boards and other lumber pieces to create the boxes that will hold your patio-top garden. Then line the boxes with a fabric or thin plastic that will help to retain the soil and keep moisture from draining away quickly.

Depending on the amount and type of exposure your deck has, you can grow almost anything in a patio planter. These large items can also be incorporated into the design to act as railings, impromptu benches and even privacy screens. Plant very tall perennial grasses beside your patio doors for a dramatic flanking appearance. Or opt for low patio planters with cascading foliage that fills in with delicate flowers.

Outdoor Kitchens and Accessories

Your deck shape and structure are one thing, but the accessories and other elements you include in the design are just as important. Outdoor kitchens offer a simple and easy option for culinary activity, keeping the heat out of the house in the summer and allowing the cook to enjoy fresh air and sunshine while working. Think about how you can make built in grills, bar fridges, warming trays and even sinks work within the layout and design that you have chosen.

Choose an outdoor fire that will work on the deck as well, but be sure to lay stone slabs down on the deck surface to protect it from the heat of the pit. Comfortable and deep, conversation pieces should surround the fire pit for hours and hours of family fun.

Your Northern Virginia deck design should always take into account what you will be doing on your deck and what elements will make that more enjoyable. Examine your tastes, think about the different options and choose a style that will add value to your home.