This Fall’s Annual Project: Updating My Shower

Just about everywhere you look inside of my Vermont home, you can see a bit of my handiwork. That’s because when it gets cold outside, I like to stay busy inside where it’s nice and warm. Over the last few cold seasons, I’ve installed wood flooring, laid down slate tiles, replaced my kitchen cabinets and backsplash, and brought my laundry room into the twenty-first century.

This year, I’d like to turn my attention to the master bath. I’m feeling pretty ambitious. I know I’d like to replace the drywall, install a new vanity and toilet, and tile the floor. The question I’m stuck on is whether or not I want to install a new shower door, or if I want to pay a professional to do it.

Before I can answer that question, I need to figure out what kind of shower door I want. That’s important for at least a couple of reasons. First, it will help me decide if a new door and a professional installation are both in my budget. Second, the difficulty of installation varies with the type of door. I’m pretty handy, but I’ve never installed a shower door before.

After making a visit to a nearby shower door showroom at Portland Glass, I’ve narrowed my decision to either a frameless design or a semi-frameless design. I love the clean, open look of the frameless doors – it’s almost like the door isn’t even there. Semi-frameless doors are almost – but not quite – as new and sleek looking. Both are a vast improvement over the curtain I use now.

With all else being equal, I’d go with the frameless shower door design. But there are two important considerations:

• First, the frameless designs cost a few hundred dollars more than the semi-frameless.
• Second, the frameless designs are more difficult to install – given their expense, thicker glass, and greater weight, these are probably beyond my comfort level.

At an earlier stage in my plans, I was hoping that I could ease a more expensive shower door into my budget by performing the installation myself. Now I know that frameless designs – as lovely as they are – don’t present that option to someone not used to installations like this.

I went back to the glass store, and looked almost exclusively at the semi-frameless designs this time. And it occurred to me that one of the shower doors would look really good paired with the new vanity I had in mind – both shared antique bronze elements similar to others that looked great elsewhere in my home. Maybe that semi-frameless design could win over my heart as well as my mind.

As cold weather approaches and I get ready for this fall’s home improvement work, my shower door has been special-ordered. It will arrive around the time I’ll want to stay cozy indoors. I haven’t yet decided if I will install it myself, but I’m comfortable with handling the work myself. I can’t wait to see how nice my updated bathroom looks by the time spring arrives.

Exterior Home Improvements – Painters

When it comes to home improvements around the neighborhood, nothing stands out more than a freshly painted home. Just recently, I had my home re-painted and it’s something that makes me smile every day as I return home from work. If you are considering having your home’s exterior painted, there are a few things you should consider.

Paint it Yourself, or Hire a Company?

This is a question that will really depend on your skill set, preference, and the amount of time you have available to devote to the project. Typically speaking, painting a home’s exterior can be a difficult task if you approach the project without the right knowledge. There are a lot of helpful websites out there that will better prepare you for the coming task, and for information specifically on painting the exterior of your home you can look here.

Of course, some of you may not readily jump at the opportunity to paint your home on your own – which is perfectly fine, as I’m the type of person that would prefer to hire a contractor to handle the job personally. When it comes to hiring someone to paint your home, it’s important to do some research on that contracting group, or the company that you are considering hiring. Look for reviews online (Angie’s List is very helpful), and be sure to get a quote from a few options in your area. I personally wound up hiring The Carpentry & Painting Experts and they provided some of the best painters in Richmond VA – something I’ve very pleased with.

Painting the exterior of your home is a great investment – and it personalizes your house to fit you and your taste perfectly. Enhance the curb appeal and value of your home, and impress your neighbors all at the same time with a fresh, vibrant coat of paint!

The Benefits Of Andersen Windows

window with a viewWindows are great. If you are a homeowner, you probably already know that replacement windows do a lot for your home because they allow us to see the great outdoors without leaving the comfort of our home and much more. They let you watch the snow fall as enjoy a hot beverage. But with so many window manufacturers out there, it may be hard to see the difference between producers and find the right one to go with. If you’re looking for new windows for your home, you should go with Andersen Windows. Here are some of the benefits of Andersen Windows.

  • Clarity you can see. Windows are great to look through but when they aren’t clear, they don’t serve their purpose very well. Andersen Windows are the clearest windows you’ll find on the market, made with the highest quality glass around.
  • They are great insulators. Your house loses a lot of energy through its windows. In the wintertime, this can add up to hundreds of dollars on your energy bill. Andersen Windows are made to insulate your home, so that it can maintain temperatures in the winter and summer. Nothing is worse than having a cold house in January and an unbearably hot home in August.
  • Security you can count on. Windows are another way to enter and exit your home. Although you may not be crawling through them everyday, it is in your best interest to make sure no one else can either. Andersen Windows are strong enough to stand up to the greatest pressure, so you can feel safe from danger. These windows will make your home more secure than before.

If you live in or near Philadelphia including Wilmington and Northern Delaware and could benefit from insulating replacement windows, I would recommend giving a visit. The benefits of Andersen Windows are very easy to see. You’ll feel safe knowing they’re protecting your home and you’ll enjoy looking through them year after year. They’re a great investment in your home as they both protect your family from the elements and save you money on your energy bill. Don’t let this window of opportunity close! Upgrade your home’s windows today.

Energy Efficient Replacement Windows

If you live in Pittsburgh, you are familiar with replacement windows. In cities where the climate is warm in the summer and cold in the winter, it’s important to upgrade your windows to keep your house a comfortable temperature. Since you will be using the heat or air conditioner throughout any season, having energy efficient windows can truly help you reduce your energy bills while reducing noise and keeping your house at a desirable temperature.

When choosing Pittsburgh replacement windows, there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. Different materials like wood and vinyl, different window styles such as double hung or casement, and different types of glass can make a huge difference in quality and price. One pieces of information that often gets overlooked is the U factor and R Value of a window.

What is a U-Factor and R-Value?

Together, these factors tell how well-insulated a window is and how it transfers heat. The U-Factor picshows how quickly a window loses heat, or transfers heat back and forth. On the other hand, the R-Value says how well a certain material contains heat. In mathematical terms, U is the inverse of R (or U = 1/R).

A higher U factor means that a material loses heat quickly, while a lower U factor means there is more resistance to the flow of heat. Typically, an energy efficient window has a U factor of 3 or lower. This is important to take note of in cold climates where building use lots of heat. A U factor also takes other conditions into account, such as how sunlight reflects of a window pane or is absorbed into the material.

The R value is a simpler number. This refers to specific materials and their ability to insulate or resist the transfer of heat. The R value is based off of conduction and resistance. A higher value means better insulation while a lower value means the material transfers heat easily.

Making sure your windows have the appropriate U factor and R value is a great way to ensure they will be truly energy efficient before installation. Click here for more information.

Redoing Your Kitchen Cabinets

Your Wood Cabinet Options

Kitchen remodeling can be a huge pain. It’s difficult to rip apart a room you use every day of your life, and redoing it can be extremely expensive. When it comes to old worn cabinets, don’t jump to the conclusion that they need to be replaced. You may be able to avoid the headache and look into some other cheaper, easier options.

Resurfacing and Refacing

The least desirable option is to reface or resurface your cabinets or drawers. This means that you will have to remove the laminate finish or veneer that currently covers your cabinets and replace them. For the sake of consistency, you may have to also reface the sides of cabinets or whatever components are visible. Veneers are thin wood coverings often applied to cover a different material. If your cupboards do not have veneers, refacing will not make sense unless you replace pieces altogether.wooden cabinets


A less expensive option is to refinish your cabinets. This means that the entire cabinet is left intact, but the color or finish is changed. First, the wood is sanded down or chemically stripped. Then, a new stain (which could also be colored) is applied to the fresh surface. You could also apply paint before adding a finishing coat. This process costs about a third less of the cost of refacing or resurfacing cabinets. The downside is that the sanding can leave particles in the air and all over your kitchen surfaces. Likewise, chemical stripping can leave behind noxious fumes.


An alternative to these methods is to renew your cupboards. This process is the simplest, least harmful, and least expensive of all options. A deep clean will remove grease and grains of dirt deep inside the crevices of your cabinets’ wood surface. The current coating will also be scrubbed away. Next, a polyurethane finish is applied to the wood for a newer look. Companies such as N-Hance use this method as an alternative to cabinet refacing in Richmond.

Whether or not you can use each of these methods will depend heavily on the state of your current cupboards. Do they have a laminate coating or veneers? Are they already painted white? Are they so worn out that you are really for new doors and hinges all together? Whatever you decide, know that you have options when it comes to fixing up your cabinets!

Fall Cleaning in Your Home

‘Tis The Season!

Each year, most people go on a spring cleaning rampage to get rid of clutter and clear out their homes. Have you ever considered fall cleaning instead? Now that the weather is getting cooler in Charlottesville, you will probably be spending more time indoors. It’s a great time to get things clean and in order so you can enjoy your time inside!


Get rid of all of the pollen, dust, and other allergens lurking in your cooling unit. For example, you can easily clean your fans with a canned air blast. Just make sure that you don’t inhale the residue. Yobathroom cleaningu should also check the drawers that hold your towels, toothpaste, and other bathroom necessities to make sure they haven’t been collecting dust. These areas of the house often go overlooked and become magnets for hair, dust, and other particles.

You should also get rid of any of the mildew in your bathroom. Not only does this mold give off an unpleasant odor, it can also be harmful to your respiratory system. Luckily, a solution of chlorine and warm water can easily scrub off the mildew spots. Get rid of any molding shower liners- they are easy to replace. If you are experiencing recurring mildew that spreads over a large area of your walls, you may have a deeper issue and should consider calling a professional.


If you have a gas stove, now is a great time to clean out the burners. Cold weather means extra use of the stove for cooking soup, chili, spaghetti, and other hot meals. Take this opportunity to clean with a vinegar solution or another kitchen cleaner. Use steel wool to scrape off hardened pieces of burnt food and end with a polishing agent.

Kitchen CleaningLike your bathroom, take the time to clear out all of the pots and pans in your cupboard and give them a good scrub. We are often more covered with how clean our pans are then how clean their homes are. In this instance, use a gentle organic cleaner to scrub the wood. You don’t want harmful chemicals touching your food utensils!

Fall cleaning is a great way to kick off a new season in Charlottesville! Don’t forget to wipe down the areas of your home that you may use the least often because they are probably the main dirt-collecting areas.

Keep Your Exteriors Pretty with Trenchless Plumbing Repairs

Treating Your Lawn with Care

It might start with a clogged drain or some sewage backup into your bathroom. After a stressful plumbing inspection, you find out that you need an entire underground line replaced! If you are working with your typical plumbing company, this news can be devastating to you and your lawn. Usual repairs mean that a plumber will have to dig trenches in your yard to pull out the pipe and replace it with a new one.

Trenchless Plumbing RepairIn Santa Cruz California, people like to keep their lawns landscaped and well maintained. Having the one home with holes dug in the front yard can not only make you feel bad about its appearance, but your neighbors are bound to notice and complain as well. An unkempt lawn can devalue surround properties, so it’s courteous to take care of your home’s exteriors.

Avoid these issues by finding a plumber in Santa Cruz with the right technology. Some companies have the ability to send a camera down the length of a pipe to quickly find the exact cause and location of an issue. Then, if a replacement is needed, they use a trenchless repair system. This involves digging two smaller holes at either end of the pipe, pulling it out, and replacing it without ripping your entire lawn apart.

Finding the right company can be tricky. Make sure you look for a plumber who charges flat fees instead of hourly rates which are subject to large overtime charges. Also make sure they hire certified plumbers who have the expertise to complete jobs correctly. The best way to find general information about plumbers around California is to look up their review online. A couple of people’s good or bad experiences can be telling and give you a couple key factors to watch out for.

Standing Out in the Sea of New Homes

constructionNow that the American population is beginning to recover from the great recession we are finding that more homes are beginning to be built. American citizens are starting to invest in property and living in those homes longer than normal. Seattle’s building boom is a great example how different cities across the United States are building more housing. When it comes to building homes there is a lot of work put into building a unique home that fits the homeowner’s needs.

Besides designing the home and having the funds to build a home you also have to permission from the state to build on a property. These are generally done through building permits and most of the time your building contractor will handle obtaining these permits. But you want to make sure that you are getting the right kind of permits for your new home and that you home is built to code. A great resource to find this kind of information is your city’s website. If you are building a home in Seattle then you can obtain your building permits through their website or at city hall.

Landscape Lighting in SeattleOnce you have all of the necessary paper work then you can think about changing aspects of your home to make it unique while fitting in with the rest of the homes in your neighborhood. This can be a difficult task some times and the best place to start is through minor aesthetic changes. Making every part of your home unique is going to be a difficult and expensive task; this is why minor changes are the best way of differentiation.

One of the most popular and inexpensive ways to make your home stand out in the neighborhood is through landscape lighting. Mr. Electric has the most reputable and licensed electrical contractors Seattle has to offer. They can install lighting that will emphasize certain aspects of your home during the evening so that your home will stand out. These lights can point out certain designs of your home or even the greenery you have around your home. You could even add lighting around your drive and walk ways for added safety during the evening hours.

With all the new buildings popping up in neighborhoods it is difficult to make your home stand out and increase the value of your home. Your previous home may had been the most unique house in the neighborhood but now that newer homes are being built you can expect to see a lower value for your home. The good news is that with more attractive homes being built in older neighborhoods you will gain homeowner value because that neighborhood has become more attractive to buyers.