Plumbers & Technology

So what exactly constitutes a ‘great plumber’?  Well, to name a few – you have reliability as one factor, cost of service can play a role for some customers and their opinions, quality of workmanship is a big one, and response time is crucial as well for those that have emergency situations.  But in the end, I feel like the one aspect that really provides a way for a plumber to stand out is their access and use of new technology with the field.  With the newest and best equipment and methods in their toolbox – you are not only saving money by relying on one that has stayed up-to-date, you are saving time and you are automatically getting better service than someone who is still operating in a 1970s fashion.

A Great Example

Just to give everyone a clear idea of what I’m talking about, I’m going to hone in on one location for a great example of a plumbing company that is utilizing advanced techniques, equipment, and technology that is not all that common among plumbers at this time.  The Mr. Rooter franchisee that is serving Yakima, located in the state of Washington is my example of choice.  They are fully equipped with the technology needed in order to excel and succeed with almost any plumbing problem imaginable.  They do meet the criteria of reliability, response time, service quality, and like all Mr. Rooters, they are affordable.

Additionally they also provide some services that you can’t with most other plumbers – one of which is the ability to provide video camera inspections which take the guesswork out of plumbing repairs, and allows for the client and the technician to not only see what the problem is, but to also catch anything that could be a problem in the near future.   That’s not the exceptional part either – what really sets them apart is their recent adoption of equipment allowing for trenchless pipe repairs.  A trenchless pipe repair allows for repairs to be performed on a damaged section of pipe that is underground, and otherwise inaccessible without digging up the entire area around it.  It’s a massive time saver, and it doesn’t destroy the customers landscape in the process – promoting efficiency and delivering results.

I’m sure as time goes on many more plumbers and contractors alike will adopt the technology, but for those that are looking around for it now – take a peek at the Mr. Rooter in your area.  Chances are they are in the process of adopting  it, if they don’t already offer it!

Staying Cool this Summer

Summer is well on its way, that’s for sure.  For those of us that are living in Florida, and the other southern states that are bound to experience some record breaking heat this year, it may be a great idea to turn our attention to the AC system that is cooling are homes.  After all, none of us are looking forward to a summer that doesn’t involve air conditioning!

Maintaining our AC Units

Unfortunately, for all of the DIY savvy people out there – you are going to have to bite the bullet and rely on a professional for work on an HVAC unit.  Just for reference, an example of who to rely on for AC repairs and technicians that are high in quality – Vans One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating is a good example (local to my home in For Lauderdale of course).  With these guys, you can schedule annual and bi-annual maintenance sessions – and they do a great job making sure that everything from the fluid levels to the electrical wiring is in top shape.  I’ve even had them clean on the duct system that my unit feeds the cool air through, which was a great improvement to the air quality in my home.

Making sure that you have regular maintenance performed by a professional is important because if you don’t – your system may experience a surprise breakdown, and unfortunately it’s likely going to happen during the peak season of summer – when you need it the most, and when everyone else needs a repair as well.  This could land you waiting longer than you would prefer for service – but that’s the risk you take by skimping on regular and frequent maintenance.

Very Little DIY Maintenance

Of course, there is some albeit very little maintenance that you can perform yourself.  The first is something you should practice on a monthly basis (1-3 months truly).  This keeps your system clean, and prevents a buildup of dirt and dust that can eventually cause a problem for the inner-workings of your HVAC unit.  Another common thing to do is keep an eye on the outdoor unit that is responsible for cooling and directing air.  Make sure that at all times, the areas around the unit and the intake vents of the unit are free and clear of debris – this includes grass clippings, pooling water, dirt, leaves, dust – anything that can in any way hinder or impede the flow of air.  If you find anything blocking the unit, then shut the power off to the unit via the circuit breaker and clear the debris where needed.

A Great Electrical Contractor

Finding a great electrical contractor can be a very difficult task for most new building owners. Most electrical companies only provide certain services and you could end up hiring two to three different electrical contractors to cover all of the services that you need to complete your project. What makes finding them even harder is finding electricians are certified by your state to conduct commercial electrical work. It isn’t as easy as finding a residential electrician to replace an outlet or light fixture. I experienced all of these issues until I found a certified and expert electrical contractor through Mr. Electric of Fairfax.  They provided all of the services I need to complete my commercial building and do it to electrical code of the Virginia. Mr. Electric of Fairfax provides a wide variety of services, but I wanted to highlight a few that I had them conduct on my building.

  1. Generator Installation. The electrical contractors installed a backup generator for my business incase if my location were to lose power during a storm. Due the large inventory of perishable goods I would keep on hand I needed to make sure that my refrigerators would continue running in case of an emergency. They installed the generator to perfection and I have only experienced a power outage once and the generator kicked on and powered my cold storage.
  2. Parking Lot Lighting. With the late hours that my store is open and the rural location of my business I wanted to make sure that I had the correct amount of lighting for the safety of my customers and employees. They were able to install lighting that covered all of the parking area and put them on seasonal timers so that they would turn on and off when they are needed.
  3. Custom Lighting. They were also able to install special lighting that I had custom designed for my store. They installed them perfectly and I haven’t had any issues with them malfunctioning or operating incorrectly.

Choosing the right electrical contractor is key in having a successful business. Make sure you take the time to find the right one and I would strongly suggest using a Mr. Electric in your area because if they are anything like the one in Fairfax you won’t be disappointed.

Hiring Richmond House Painters for a Stunning New Look

There are several Richmond house painters that you can find when you want to do an exterior/interior job on your home, but only a few can provide the kind of professional service that you need.  One company that you can safely count on for the best painters in Richmond is The Carpentry & Painting Experts. Here are just a few of the main considerations when you are on the prowl for a brush expert.

A Professional Approach to Business

House painters are generally freelance contractors with a bit of experience under their safety belts. However, professional painters who are passionate about their jobs will put a little extra effort into giving their service a good brand image. A neatly painted van with their brand name and a contact number in bright, professional lettering is a good sign. You can also tell a professional by how well they invest in equipment and how well they take care of it. Paint-splashed ladders that haven’t been washed since the Declaration of Independence is a sign of low professionalism quotient – as are dirty, old vehicles that make you want to say “paint your van first, bucko!”

Reasonable Pricing

You may need to do a little comparison shopping to find out what’s reasonable, but it will give you a good indication of how well they can do the job. Do they have an interior/exterior package? Are they charging by the square foot? Do they give discounts for larger homes? These questions will help you evaluate Richmond house painters much better than any other litmus test.

The key to any successful business is what their customers say about them, so before you hire any house painter, be sure to ask for references from recent jobs. If even a few customers have only good things to say about the painter you are about to hire, then you know you’ve struck gold.

Maintenance Free Gutters Guards

Gone is the day of having traditional gutters installed on your home. If you are reading this, you are probably tired of outdated gutters that warp, rust, and worst of all require you to spend hours of time on cleaning and maintenance. Fortunately there is a better way for Central Virginia homeowners looking for Gutter Guards in Richmond because of Blue Ridge Exteriors gutters.

No Clog Guarantee

Going this route will save you time, effort and make your home look great because Rhino Gutters and gutter guards are some of the most maintenance free and attractive home improvement products on the market. You know you will never get a clog because they come with a guarantee that you will get a refund if there is ever a clog. Do you know any other manufacturers that offer this sort of promise?

Minimal Impact

One of my favorite things about this option is the fact that none of the roofing shingles have to be touched during the installation process of the gutters. This means you will get a clean look every time without any damage to the edge of your roof.

Free Estimates

If you are in the market for new gutters, I would highly recommend you call and get your free estimate. You have nothing to lose and they could be just that improvement that saves you the most time and effort over the coming years. Avoid hours on a Sunday afternoon on a ladder cleaning out your old gutters, like I did and give this product a look.

Why Use Energy Efficient Windows?

Energy efficient devices and building designs have become a popular trend in today’s society. This is largely because energy efficiency creates huge cost saving benefits. Take windows for example. An energy efficient window may be slightly more expensive than traditional, but it could actually save you money in the long run.

Originally, I lived in a house with cheaper windows. The maintenance was inexpensive, but it let in drafts. I didn’t realize how much money I was losing on heating and cooling! Would you leave a window open in your house on a hot summer day? No- you would want to save your money on air conditioning. The same rule applies to letting out the heat on a cold winter day. It makes sense to keep your windows closed unless it’s room temperature outdoors.

energy saving windowBuying windows that are not a custom fit could leave cracks. Also, using a standard wooden frame when replacing windows could leave cracks because windows stretch and change over time. This change in shape is due to weather and pressure. Imagine how much money you would lose if you left a window cracked every single day of the year. Look into your local directories for a company that installs custom, energy efficient windows from Renewal by Andersen of Denver.

You may also consider installing natural skylights, fluorescent lights, and dimmer lights to save energy and money in your home. Some architects go as far as to place windows in the house face the direction of the sun. This lets in maximum natural light and reduces the need to use your electric lights.

Reduce your electric bills with some of these tricks. The original investment on certain appliances may be slightly above ordinary, but they are often extremely high quality. Also, they will save you money in the long run.

Warm Weather and Lawn Care

Summer is well on its way, and I’m sure many of us homeowners are very pleased at the moment knowing that winter is coming to a close.  Of course, I’m sure we are all not out of the woods yet – and snow may still pop up in the near future.  But that being said, I’d rather remain optimistic about the weather and assume that spring will arrive early.  That being said, it’s probably time to bring up the consequence of warm weather – having to do yard work!

Time for Yard Work

One thing that a lot of us probably aren’t looking forward to this season is spending more time working on our lawn and yard.  The one thing I’ve always hated doing was weeding my garden, although I enjoy seeing very nice and clean flower beds throughout my yard, I can’t say that I enjoy doing the work that it takes to have this luxury.  And I’m sure I’m not alone there.

If you are like me and are dreading having to do bust out the tools and lawn mower every week this summer, sweating on your day off and wishing that there was an easier way to get these things done, then I have a solution to the problem.  This year I plan on doing something much different than I normally do.  I’m going to hire a professional lawn care service to take care of the problems for me.  This way I won’t have to do any additional work on top of the already overloaded schedule I have, but I’ll still be able to come home and enjoy the look and feel of a beautiful lawn.

The company I found that I’m going to rely on is Weeded! Lawn Service here in Chesterfield, VA.  They have an interesting way of doing things, where you pay year round for their service,  so the rate is constant and doesn’t change.  They will plan out what is needed each and every week, and they show up on their own and take care of the tasks scheduled.  This is nice because for one, you won’t get caught off guard by a bill for a week that required a lot more work than usual.  You’ll also know exactly what needs to be done and when it’s scheduled to be completed, eliminating the need to babysit your providers and giving you the ability to relax.  I’m sure other homeowners are going to try out a lawn care provider themselves, and I encourage that you do so.  Lawn work isn’t for everyone, why do it if you don’t enjoy it?

After Repairing My Oven, I’m Not Such a Bad Cook

Cooking is a challenge for me, even when my oven is working perfectly. I love good food, and I try to create at home in my kitchen. But for every glorious meal, there’s been a half-eaten failure and an unexpected trip to one of New Jersey’s fast-food joints. After sliding my last attempt at a gourmet meal into the trash, it occurred to me: Everything’s been undercooked – either just a little or a lot. Maybe I’m a better cook than I thought, and I just need some oven repair.

So what do you do if your oven isn’t hot enough? There are a lot of things you can check, and I checked a few of them. I’m handier with a screwdriver than a spatula, so I was able to attack the problem with confidence. My goal was to get things fixed without having to call one of Atlantic City’s professional appliance repair guys.

As it turns out, I’d never used my oven thermometer. If I had, I might have realized the under-heating problem a while ago. Now I was using it to fix an appliance, and I felt like I was in my element at last. I placed my thermometer in the oven, turned the heat to 400 and waited. After the oven beeped to tell me I’d reached 400, I checked my thermometer. The temperature was barely 340 – it was time to deal with that thermostat.

One of two things was going to happen: I’d be successful calibrating the thermostat, or I would have to replace it. Once you get the oven moved and the back panel off – no easy task – the calibration requires just a few minutes with a screwdriver. Replacing the thermostat wouldn’t take too much longer, but I certainly didn’t have a spare handy. I’d need to order a new one – for my oven, that would cost about eighty dollars. So I was hoping that my screwdriver and I could get things done right on my first try.

No such luck – my temperature was still off. The thermostat wasn’t working, so it was time to order a new one. Getting my oven back to its old self was going to take a few more days. I was starting to wish that I’d called a professional, but I was also still pretty determined.

A few days later, I was back to wrestling with the oven. I disconnected the wires connected to the thermostat and removed the control knob. I unscrewed the thermostat and the thermal bulb, which is located in the oven’s interior, and then eased everything out of the back. After replacing the defective thermostat with my new one, I reversed the process, and put it all back together again. Whew!

Moving and opening up the oven twice – and ordering the right part – ended up being more work than I bargained for, but my oven was finally fixed. I’ll think twice before taking my oven apart, and maybe next time I’ll give the oven repair service a call. But for now, I’m pretty proud that I was able to get my oven fixed without any help from a pro.

Finding the right window replacement contractor

Finding the right replacement window installer can be quite a difficult task for homeowners. This is because you need the windows installed properly in order to gain full efficiency of the windows. If you have a company that does not install them properly then you end up losing money through energy costs. With the amount of Technology there is these days in the window industry there is no reason to not save more than thirty percent on your energy costs; once you install your replacement windows. Luckily for those of your living in Denver, you have the best replacement window dealer, Andersen Windows Denver.  They provide the highest quality service in that area and rival among the top replacement window dealers in America.

Being a Renewal by Andersen Company Andersen Windows Denver is able to bring the one hundred year tradition of the highest quality windows in the US. They provide a large variety of types of windows and colors for you to choose for your home. Every window is custom made to fit that exact window opening. Not only that they measure it to within a 16th of an inch! I don’t know any other competitor that provides that kind of accuracy.

The result of this close of measurement is creating a greater seal between the opening and the window frame. This is small enough that it will not allow wind to come through but still allow some wiggle room for the house to shift; that it won’t crack the window glass.

After they custom build your windows they professionally install the windows and frames into your home and properly insulates them. A lot of other window contractors will rush through this process because they already have the sale and your money. Andersen Windows Denver makes sure that your windows are properly installed and are at their optimal performance. If you need a replacement window company then Andersen Windows Denver is your best choice in all of Colorado. I hope you found this article informative and make sure to look out for a Renewal by Andersen dealer in your state.

Frameless Shower Door Installation

Glass Shower Doors Installed in your Bathroom

 

glass shower door installed in home bathroomMost people are under the impression that the frameless shower doors installed in Charlottesville are only done for upmarket hotels and swank homes. The truth, however, is that frameless shower doors are becoming more affordable and therefore more appealing to the average homeowner or renter.

Safety

One reason that people are cautious about putting in glass shower doors is the safety aspect: they may be under the impression that these are more delicate and susceptible to breakage. However, the technology being used today ensures that the highest levels of safety are achieved even with frameless and, apparently, support-free systems. The shower doors that have no frames are as strong, but a lot of care has to be taken while installing it. It may be a DIY job for you, but for most people it means wasting half a day when a professional can easily come in and have it installed in a couple of hours.

Sealing

The seals on a frameless system are critical because the points of possible leakage are more exposed than with frame-based systems. Only a trained and experienced contractor should be handling this type of work. That way you have the guarantee of expertise applied to the task and the seal will be sure to hold for years.

Experience

If you want to have your frameless shower doors installed in Charlottesville, make sure that you get it done by someone who has experience with frameless systems. There are several installation points that need to be kept in mind, such as thickness of the glass, stress points, etc. The necessary experience will give you a measure of confidence in the contractor, too. If you know that a man has done 500 of these installations, you won’t hesitate to step out of the way and let him get on with his job.

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