Give Your Northern Virginia 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 Repair Some 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 homes exterior. Minor electrical or plumbing repairs can be accomplished at the same time.

Foundation One 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 homes 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.

Windows Windows 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 its 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 value of a home with minimal investment.

When all is at hand in the kitchen.Part2.

Sliding sections of cupboards are good for large and small kitchen. Because they are not wide their depths is used reasonably. Food is kept in the latticed boxes. Such section rolls out easily, food is well visible and can freely be taken out from any side. It is easy to roll the section back; last inches are pulled inward automatically. For those, who prefer their cupboards to cover the whole wall, we recommend multi-tier cupboards. It will allow rolling out only the necessary part. If you set an oven ergonomically, there will be no need to bend over. It would seem that nothing will be placed in a few inches. If you equip it with moving cupboard, it will be possible to place a lot of various small things.

There is a great range of hidden storage systems, which allow using difficultly accessible corners, niches, empty spaces effectively. For example, there is such an innovation, as three-level micro lift which lowers a shelf with all of its content.

There are a lot of roomy sliding baskets of different sizes. It is convenient to keep all the detergents under the sink in a sliding basket. Various open units, such as shelves, niches, wall panels, decorative columns with boxes give additional possibilities for space constructing and designing.

Such accessories as hooks for ladle, a stand for bottles and glasses, plates drier, appliances for paper towels, a trivet for hot things and others offered by modern companies also allow designing nice functional kitchens. As a rule, things contacting water or storage of detergents, a corner column or space under the sink is covered with stainless steel.

A drop-leaf serving table on wheels with sliding cutting board is very comfortable. The lower open shelf for plates is supplied with stoppers; the piles of sparkling clean plates become the element of interior. Such new decisions of space designing and logical combinations are developed as exclusive elements of kitchen furniture of high class. But unfortunately we change kitchens rarely. And what can be done, if your kitchen does not satisfy you with such innovations?

It is possible to fit wall cupboards with sliding doors in free niches, even when opened they do not take a lot of space, which is so necessary in a little room. Similar constructions extend space ideally. The revolving vertical bar will take minimum space and is very comfortable at the same time. Use the space between a working surface and wall cupboards to fit a narrow shelf or railing system on the wall between them. It is possible to keep kitchen utensils which usually take space on a working surface on them. Consoles for holding a microwave on a wall free the working space on a working surface. Microwave can be placed in a cupboard.

It is convenient to hang on railings not only kitchen utensils but also small decorative things. Additional possibilities of sliding tables can be used not only for the evening tea-drinking but also for preparation of food on them. Movable or folding dinner-table mounted in a wall behind a door may be of service. Even a kitchen board can be compacted between table top and a sliding drawer. A bin is not that important, but if you place it right, it will save you from many additional movements. Kitchen comfort is the absence of problems with finding small things, the possibility to find a maximally comfortable place for everything. It is when everything works comfortably, quietly and easily. When, professionally speaking, kitchen space is rationalized.

Using Professional Mold Removal Services To Protect Your Health

Black mold is one of the harmful pests that need to be removed carefully, so that diseases can be avoided. There are several warnings that show you the symptoms of molds, so that you can treat it properly. Molds can affect you in a variety of ways; they cause asthma, nausea, breathing problem, ear and eye infection, digestive problem, skin rashes and memory loss. If you feel any of these problems, you must understand that there is black mold somewhere in your house and you need to locate and remove it. You can begin with checking your bathrooms and kitchens, as these are the dampest places.

If you are facing any of the symptoms, you need to cure them immediately. You need to visit your physician and get proper medical treatment for toxicity of molds. If diseases are not treated on time, they can become worse. Long term effects of black mold can cause harm to brain and other organs. As far as molds are concerned, the foremost thing is to find the damp places in your house. Normally, molds grow in bathrooms because of the humid and moist environment. You must keep on checking the edges of shower and bath so that mold does not grow.

If you have located the places of black mold, there are further steps that need to be accomplished for complete removal. You can hire the services of professionals who know how to remove molds. If you try to remove them, you can cause them to spread on other places. The process of removing mold requires a lot of care to prevent their further growth.

The experts know the procedure of mold removal, remediation and other techniques. Black mold removal requires specific equipment and standard guidelines. Experts start the procedure by identifying the contaminated areas by collecting samples. They make use of infrared cameras to find the actual location of moisture. It is a crucial step because it helps to determine the right location of moisture to decide proper treatment. After that, samples are tested and a report is prepared with findings of the sample. The client is told about the remedy according to the report.

One of the most effective ways to remove mold is to reduce moisture by making arrangements of ventilation. The air pressure of house must be kept at high level as compared to the outside. It is necessary because increase in the air pressure pushes the moisture out. It can be achieved by adjusting ventilation by installing exhaust fans.

Facts About Ready-To-Assemble Kitchen Cabinets

The home improvement world is filled with innovative ideas. Almost monthly it seems that new ideas and innovations are coming into the industry. The home improvement industry thrives on new technology that will make work easier, but it also relies on tradition that has built it from a small cottage industry to a leading part of the economy. Some products are fads that do not last and others revolutionize the industry; either way the business of building and renovating houses will continue.

What makes the home improvement industry so unique is that most people can “get into” the business and do some level of work; and ironically from this, make money or build equity. It is one of the few national industries that can provide this type of opportunity and some of that is due to the products that are related to this business.

Looking at RTA kitchen cabinets and RTA bathroom vanities made me realize that this is just another great product that was produced to improve the home renovation and house building industry. RTA stands for ready to assemble and the cabinets (well most RTA brands) are just that easy and ready to assemble. I have sampled RTA kitchen cabinet brands from several different companies and have found varying results. All have some level of good innovation, some are easier to assemble than others, and finally some have better quality.

I found the best RTA kitchen cabinets online. I shopped many stores ranging from IKEA where the cabinets looked great, but lacked in quality and ease of assembly. (Be aware, the IKEA cabinets are made of cheap particle board, again this product looked very modern and sleek, but particle board will absorb water and it will break down. Even the most careful person cannot avoid this, water in the air gets trapped in these cabinets and because of the particle board it will make the cabinets fall apart; especially at the hinges, where the most use/wear is located.) I looked in Home Depot and Lowes eventually found about the same quality. Also the price at both of these places was about forty percent higher than buying RTA kitchen cabinets through the internet.

The home improvement industry has produced a great product with RTA kitchen cabinets and RTA bathroom vanities. Yes, it requires assembly of the cabinets, but the product saves you money and it looks as good as a regular assembled cabinet most times even better. Things like RTA products help this growing industry. They provide an inexpensive alternative, but do not sacrifice on quality. Just remember that when buying RTA kitchen cabinets or RTA bathroom vanities look online, shop around and compare prices and quality. There are many brands and types of RTA products some better than others. The online stores offer better pricing, because they specialize in this product, buying these cabinets at a big retail store, will lead to higher prices and less quality. In the end, RTA kitchen cabinets and the other RTA products are just one continuing part of the home improvement industry. But because of this small part, the business will keep going and expanding in new directions.

Contemporary Kitchen Design

A contemporary kitchen design means different thing to different people. For some it is a clean bold look, for others it involves simple lines and geometric themes, or it is about ultimate ease and comfort while meeting culinary needs, and finally it is always original.

In the contemporary kitchen with the clean bold look it is important to neatly store away as many items as possible and what is left on display should contribute to the modern feel, not lessen it. It basically requires ridding the area of clutter. The kitchen should have bold, bright colors like blues, greens and reds to make it different and to create a modern finish. It is necessary that every choice be carefully made giving the kitchen just the right touch, like putting icing on a cake.

The authentic contemporary design is also at all times original and the successful approach to this requires a lot of experience and expertise plus the highest confidence. Sometimes, in order to achieve what is believed to be correct proportion, light, and form it is necessary to do structural work like raising ceilings, replacing windows and moving doors. This leaves no room for compromise. Colors are used boldly and dramatically while surfaces and textures are chosen for the utmost impact. Everything is precise, details are perfect, equipment is selected for a carefully considered space and furniture is custom-made.

Contemporary kitchen designs can also be characterized by geometric themes and simple lines, which is often called the minimalist style because the lack of a specific design thrives and unnecessary accompaniments are not included. An asymmetrical balance is often found in such a modern or contemporary kitchen design.

In addition man-made materials like plastic, acrylic, linoleum, laminates, chrome, concrete, and glass are commonly used in contemporary designs, however natural materials like wood, granite, and stone can most assuredly be incorporated into the same design to soften the industrial sense of the contemporary design and to complement the man made elements.

Eco-friendly and green materials should also be considered in a modern kitchen. Energy-efficient appliances will save on costs as well as on energy and flooring can be chosen from materials like sustainable or hardwood varieties or bamboo. A method for managing recycling should also be included.

Designing a functional contemporary kitchen design will provide your family with a simple, clean, fresh look which will remain up to date for years to come and will impress any visitors to your home.

Designing Your Dream Kitchen

Let’s get rid of those old, out of style cabinets and give your kitchen a face lift. When thinking about designing you new and improved kitchen you need to think about YOU. What you want, what you need, and how you want it to look like. Now that we have got that idea in mind how and what is the best cabinet to get? Most contractors now a days are resorting to particle board which is an option. Why do that when all wood is just around the corner and cheaper than ever. Now that the technology has changed in RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets its easier now more than ever to put them together.

So now after you have decided which cabinets to use its time to start designing. The first thing you will need to do is measure the whole kitchen. This means walls, appliances, windows, and doorways. Once you have all this you or a kitchen designer can help build your kitchen. You may think you know how to design kitchens, but it’s much easier to just ask for a little help from the pros. Especially when kitchen design is free at most kitchen cabinet companies.

Now that you have your design is that what you really want? A lot of the times designers will just throw the basics in your kitchen, but why do that when there are so many other ways. Instead tell them you would like a little kick to your kitchen cabinets. Make them stand out a bit. Think about it for a while, remember you don’t want a blah kitchen. When you have guest come over where is most of the time spent? The answer is the kitchen. Why not give them something they will not forget. Spice it up! Put in a wine rack even if you don’t drink wine you can still put bottles in there or even some flowers to make it look better. Another way is to use those really nice fillers you see in million dollar homes, but it’s only going to cost you a millionth of that price to get it. Regardless of what the designer tries to sell you “It’s still your kitchen.” You are the one that needs to love it.

What’ s “in”, in kitchens now a days? Whether it be oak, pine, maple, metal or plastic the one true kitchen cabinet that has stood out for decades is all wood. With all wood RTA cabinets you can pretty much do whatever your heart desires. If they don’t make it then find out or ask if there is a way to create it out of what they have. See with the all wood construction you can cut all the pieces without having to worry about the board falling apart. Now that is comfort. It just doesn’t make any since to put particle board in a kitchen when the first time it gets wet IT’S OVER. Why waist the time and effort to coat all the insides of your cabinets when all wood can take a little water and be just fine and dandy.

Remember This Is Your Kitchen, Not Your Friends, Moms, Babies, But Yours. Be happy forever not for a few days. Make it your Dream not the magazines, or Obama’s. Think Positive it’s a onetime deal . Do it right the first time no matter how long it takes. And finally Don’t break your wallet!!!

Components of a Cabinet

A cabinet is an upright, cupboard like storage area with shelves, drawers or compartments for the safekeeping or display of objects, a typical definition for the common used furniture inside ones house or office. In this article, we no longer talk about its functions and purposes but an overview of its components.

We start with the base. Cabinets which rest on the floor are supported by some kind of a base. This base could be an entirely enclosed base, scrolled based, bracketed feet or it could be a set of legs. Next are the adjustable feet that can be secured to the bottom of the cabinet by having the leg base screwed onto the cabinet bottom. This can also be attached by means of a drill through the cabinet bottom at definite locations. With these adjustable feet, the cabinets are no longer scribed to the floor for leveling. These adjustable feet help you minimize the problem of depressed parts on the floor. Also they come in much variation depending on the type of furniture it is being used. There are also anti-vibration mounts, which lessens tremors that cause disruption and extreme damages.

Aside from the two components, we have cabinet compartments. As the term suggests, it is the subdivision of the space in an area. Compartments may be open, like in open shelving; they may be enclosed by one or more doors; or they may contain one or more drawers. Some cabinets hold secret compartments; this is for safekeeping to which access is not obvious. The advantage of having too many compartments in a single cabinet is that all assorted thing to be placed inside it will be accommodated. Some cabinets consist of compartments in the back where some other items are stored and can be brought to the front by rotating the shelf.

Cabinet insert hardware is another component of a cabinet, the best example for this is drawer inserts. Kitchen cabinets comprise much of this cabinet component to keep the place neat and well arranged even though kitchen utensils are kept inside drawers. Drawer inserts vary greatly depending on both the traditional or standard specifications of a persons cabinetry or furniture, and also ones personal preference and style.

Lastly, we have tops. Most cabinets include a top of some sort. In various cases, the top is simply to enclose the compartments inside the cabinet and serves no other purpose.

Something About Feng Shui

Feng shui is a particular discipline in Chinese architecture, which pronounced “fung shway”. Feng shui literally means wind and water. It is a traditional discipline which studies the way in which human beings co-exist in harmony with nature, and a form of geomancy which consider how buildings have to be positioned so as not to be perturbed the spiritual features of the adjacent landscape.

There are three principles of feng shui, which is the unity of human beings with nature, the balance of Yin and Yang, and the attraction and repulsion of five elements metal, wood, water, fire and earth. It seeks to promote prosperity, good health, and general well being by examining how energy, qi (pronounced “chee”), flows through a particular room, house building, or garden.

The history of feng shui can track back to 5,000 years. And people apply this discipline to decide the location, construction, and architectural features of buildings, the placement and style of furniture, colors and decorating schemes, and the location of plantings, paths, and other outside features. To some people, they also believe that feng shui can improve family communication, restore employee cooperation, and even increase a stores sales.

The other feature in Chinese architecture is emphasis on bilateral symmetry, which signifies balance. Bilateral symmetry and the articulation of buildings are found everywhere in Chinese architecture, from palace complexes to humble farmhouses. When possible, plans for renovation and extension of a house will often try to maintain this symmetry provided that there is enough capital to do so.

Office buildings, residences, temples, palaces, entire cities and underground tombs follow the principle of feng shui that the main structure is the axis. The secondary structures are positioned as two wings on either side to form the main room and yard.

Feng shui has strict requirements on the proper positioning of the central axis in building cities. The central axis should run from north to south, which it north end is pointing directly to a mountain running from east to west. The mountain is regarded as the guardian of the city. A winding river around the city is believed to be an auspicious feature. The Forbidden City was built strictly abiding by these rules.

It also has special rules for living room and kitchen. For example, the living room is not only a place of hospitality, but also family gatherings, chat sites, should be lively, pleasant place. Linked to the book in the living room, furnished to some extent is a symbol of personal taste. The orientation of the living room is particularly important in the traditional “feng shui” was referred to as “financial position”, between the family’s wealth, career, fame, etc. rise and fall, so the living room layout and furnishings can not be ignored. The decoration of kitchen and dining room should be simple and clean t. Do not display too much clutter or accessories. After all, you will have a good appetite in a stress-free environment, not to distraction, pleasure to eat. Construction of kitchen and restaurant will affect human health, so residents should not only pay attention to the pattern and decoration inside the restaurant layout, in particular, should pay attention to the kitchen to keep the air flowing and sanitary.

Ways to Purchase the Wrong Bathroom Vanity

The bathroom vanity is the sink-cabinet-mirror combination. It’s the showpiece of your bathroom. Here are ten things to avoid when choosing a vanity…you might be surprised.

You are redoing your bathroom and there are a zillion details. After getting lost in the practicalities, you stop for break. Something catches your attention. You take a careful look at the new mirror you’ve just installed. You notice that you’re looking straight at…your chin. You wonder if they delivered the wrong size. Then you remember that you were sitting in a chair at the showroom when you decided that this was your dream come true. Why didn’t you think to check if you could use it as well standing up? Choosing the Floor Model’s Sizing.

Many, maybe most people choose style and design without considering height. Height is often a more important element of the vanity for daily use. The common 30 inch size bathroom counter is just not optimum for people over 63 inches tall. However, vanity size is not at all standard. Some floor models are even lower than the usual 30 inches which might be ignored in the quest for the perfect design. Such a decision means you may end up having to bend down to wash your hands. This is only poor planning and completely avoidable. Just remember that the height of the sinks, mirrors and cabinets should be customized to their users, according to their actual size. Not that they have to be custom made. Customized only means chosen to fit the bathroom at a user friendly height. If it takes going to 6 stores to browse, do it. Drive the salespeople crazy with your questions. If what you want is not there, ask to see more. If you can’t find a vanity according to your proportions, don’t give up. Even kitchen cabinets might provide workable alternatives if bathroom cabinet selection is limited. And don’t be afraid to improvise. For instance, if you are a tall family and the style you love only comes in 33-inch size, create simple inexpensive solutions, such as installing 2 or 3 inch glass bricks under the cabinets to add height. One designer suggests wiring in fluorescent lighting behind the glass bricks for an extra special finish. The same lesson can be applied to shower doors, spigots, towel racks, tubs, etc… Decide if you need taller, shorter, wider, or longer. Remember also that two heights are better than one if you have the space to accommodate users of different proportions. Buying For Looks Not Function. You’re a guest at a friend’s house in the Pocono’s for the weekend. You’re in the bathroom and you need a towel. You check to see if a fresh towel is in the cabinet and… Oh no! The cabinet handle comes off in your hand! The cabinet door didn’t open because it’s not there. It’s an imitation cabinet just for show, hiding the plumbing. While standing there holding the handle in your hand along with some of the veneer board it was screwed into, you look at the stylish row of drawer handles. Maybe one opens all or maybe none open at all. You’re afraid to guess. Isn’t there some kind of truth-in-labeling rule that applies even in the bathroom? This type of cabinet is an economy choice and is often used in industrial settings such as hotels and office buildings. Its dubious charm has become passe;. However, the style is still frequently seen in trade journals and must have a market somewhere. If you are going to the expense and bother to replace your bathroom sinks and cabinets, choose a vanity that has storage space, not just a plumbing camouflage. If you really don’t want cabinets, put in a pedestal sink or a wall hung sink. The general rule is don’t try to fake it. It could be embarrassing. Settling For Less. Maybe you want a stone counter over your vanity instead of the traditional laminate finish but you don’t have the extra money for stone? Install it yourself using the best local home improvement store to take you through the steps. They love to help, so use their expertise. This way you will get the counter you want at a price you can afford. There is always a creative solution to most bathroom design problems. Don’t settle for less. Forgetting to Customize to Floor Plan.

Get a Handle on Installing Cabinet Hardware

Now that youve picked out the hardware of your dreams, you need only to install them to finish the look of your cabinets. If youve never installed hardware before, you might be intimidated by the idea of using a level or marking off the correct spots for placement; you might be particularly intimidated by the thought of using the dreaded drill. Take a breath before you begin and dont worry about the task ahead. The entire process is easy and fairly quick. Make sure to have the following tools on hand as you start. This will ensure a smooth process and will diminish the chance of a mishap.
1.Drill (most commonly a 3/16 drill bit)
2.Level
3.Marker
4.Masking tape
5.Nail or center punch (to make an indentation for where to start the drilling)
6.Screwdriver (Phillips or flathead depending on your specific hardware)

Knobs or handles

Whether you are installing knobs or handles, you should first try to choose a piece that has the same drill center(s) as the existing hardware. If you are choosing hardware for cabinets that havent been drilled before, knobs are the easiest choice since they have only one screw. Some types of knobs and handles come with attached screws, making a simple procedure even more effortless.

If youve chosen to install pulls or handles, youll need to measure the distance between the drill centers. Do not measure the length of the handle, as the handle itself may extend beyond the drill centers.

Let the installation begin

Solid wooden cabinets and drawers might split as a result of drilling into them. In order to avoid this, refrain from drilling holes closer than an inch from the edge. Standard contemporary flat-panel doors are complemented nicely by knobs installed 1 to 2 from the open corner of the door. Pulls should be installed 2 4 from the bottom horizontal edge of the door and 2 from the open vertical edge. After youve marked off the correct places for drilling, simply drill holes and insert the hardware screws into the holes. Match up the screws and the handle or knob and, using your screwdriver, tighten until the hardware doesnt wobble.

In general, cabinet doors are made of the lumber; in this situation, the standard 1 screw will fit perfectly. Drawers with applied faces, for example, might be thicker than usual and will likely require longer screws. When purchasing hardware, be sure to specify to the vendor your special requirements.

Now, with all of this new information, you are ready to get busy! Install your new hardware and give your cabinets a face lift. Who knew that such a straightforward process could yield such beautiful results?