Replacement Window Contractors in Pittsburgh PA

Here in Pittsburgh we all know the weather can change faster than you can change your clothes.  Don’t get stuck with drafty or leaky home windows during the crazy winters or hot summers. What you need is a reliable Pittsburgh window replacementcontractor.  You need a contractor who not only treats you the best, but provides you with the best windows in town.

Finding a reliable contractor can be such a pain. Talk to those you know for advice on which contractors to use in the Pittsburgh area. Remember just because someone says something,replacement window doesn’t always mean it’s true.  Take the names they give you and do some research. Taking an extra few minutes to research which Pittsburgh window replacement contractor you want to use will save you stress and money in the end.

Before you commit to using one contractor check around for prices because depending on the season many contractors and  companies offer specials, but there could be hidden fees associated with those specials. Call around and ask for estimates on window replacement. Most companies should charge about the same rate, so sometimes money isn’t everything.

In a tight knit community certain contractors stand out.  An honest and trustworthy contractor not only cares about their company and their customers but they care about their community here in the Pittsburgh community as well.  You should look for a contractor who not only works hard in the community for their business but is willing to lend a helping hand to their neighboring businesses as well.

You can be sure to trust a contractor who is there for their community. Take a little time to do some research on the best contractors in the area. Not only will this save you money now and in the future but you can trust that your home will be beautiful.

Purchasing a New Dishwasher

Picking out new appliances for your home can be exciting or extremely stressful. Especially for expensive items, there’s a lot of research that goes into choosing the appliance with all of the features that are looking for at a price that you can afford. You may find yourself trading features for price.

Doing all of the research possible will help you feel more comfortable with your purchase, and you will be less likely to regret your decision. Once you choose what you would like, have an appliance repair company’s number on hand for quick repairs.

When buying a dishwasher, there are many different options to choose from that may seem overwhelming at first.

First, decide whether you would like your dishwasher to be built-in or portable. Almost all households go with a built-in dishwasher. They are out of the way in a convenient location. However if you live in a small home or apartment and need additional space, a portable Dishwasher_disassembly_01dishwasher can be stored away when you do not need to use it, leaving you with some additional room in your kitchen. They are also cheaper and come in energy efficient options, washing dishes with less water.

If you choose built-in, you have two options. You could either purchase a traditional, under the counter dishwasher or a drawer model. Drawer Dishwashers are two drawers that operate independently of each other. You can run the top and bottom section separately. These models are harder to find and much more expensive than other options.

Once the basics are out of the way, you can choose the special features you would like. For instance: are you looking for a stainless steel appliance, or will something else match the rest of your kitchen? You could also choose between special silverware jets, having the controls located on the front or top of the dishwasher, deep clean options for tough sticky messes, or an additional disposal option that grinds up food before it goes through the pipes.

Whichever options you choose, make sure it will be functional in your home. There is no point splurging on the drawer model if you are feeding a large family and will always have a full load of dishes. Decide which factors are important to you and spend accordingly.

Ideas for Shock-Proofing Your Home

When you’re a new parent, rare is the day that you don’t learn something. A lot of the time, I end up learning about things I need to protect my son against. And every time that happens, I’m researching to discover if something’s a legitimate worry and, if so, what I can do to keep it at bay. Recently, I read about the possibility of accidental electrical shock – and I decided it was something that I needed to take care to prevent.

Anyone beyond the age of five knows of the dangers of electricity, that you can’t put a pen or a finger in an outlet or get liquid on one. Children also know to be careful when plugging or unplugging any device. But my son doesn’t know that yet, and he’s too young to understand if I tried to tell him. So I’ve been reading up on things I can do to keep my son safe from electrical harm. You’ll find some good ideas here.

The first thing I did – and the easiest – was to check all of the power cords in my home. I inspected them to make sure that they were not overly worn or broken in a way that could expose my son to the wire underneath. I also re-organized my power cords to make them less accessible to my toddler. Whenever possible, I’ve moved cords farther behind furniture and I’ve used power strips to further reduce the number of accessible cords.

Next, I checked any outlet that I thought might have the potential to become damp or wet. There were a few – mostly in the kitchen and bathrooms. Thankfully, none of the areas were chronically damp for any reason. But there were a couple of places that were more prone to be near sprays or spills. I made a note to come back to these.

And finally, I identified the outlets that were out in the open – ones that could be easily accessed by my son, and not easily hidden by heavy furniture. I made a note to come back to these outlets, too.

The accessible outlets, and the ones near potential spills, needed some attention. But I still didn’t know the best options. So I called my local electrical service – one I’d used for years – and asked for someone to suggest some options for extra protection. As it turns out, there are two good ones: GFCIs and tamper-resistant outlets.


GFCIs are also known as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters or circuit breakers. Basically what they do is compare the amount of current leaving the outlet against what is returning to it. Normally, when a device is being used, its returning almost all of the current it’s receiving. If the current doesn’t return as expected, it’s gone somewhere un-intended – into a person who is being electrocuted, for example, or a faulty device. When GFCIs detect any wayward current, it shuts off the current instantly – before harm can be done. GFCIs can be easily be installed by any professional electrician.

Tamper-resistant outlets

These devices are especially useful in keeping curious toddlers like my son from being shocked when foreign objects into an outlet. Tamper-resistant outlets inhibit the flow of electricity unless there is equal pressure on both slots of the outlet; two-pronged plugs can provide equal pressure, but a single object like a toy soldier cannot.

I’m still taking stock of where I want my electrical upgrades to go, but by this time next week, my electrician will have installed much better protection against accidental shock. If you’ve got a curious one-year old, you might just want to do the same.

Upgrading Your Bathroom with Glass Shower Doors

Since I moved into my Portland home, I’ve upgraded several rooms and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can tackle my bathroom. Like much of the rest of the house used to be, my bathroom is a little behind the times. Thankfully, a few cosmetic changes should be able to bring my bathroom into the 21st century. And the biggest change I’m considering is swapping out my dated shower curtain for more modern and sophisticated glass shower doors.

As it turns out, there are many things to consider when you’re planning to enclose your shower area. It’s taken a while to learn them all, but I’ve enjoyed the process as I’m excited by the way the upgraded bathroom will look.

One of the first things I needed to figure out was the configuration of the shower door – or doors. As they’ll enclose the width of a standard size tub, I’ll need more than a single shower door to enclose the space. Instead, I needed to figure out if I wanted two doors, or if I wanted part of the enclosure to be a stationary glass panel. I opted for the latter, as I’ll always get into the shower from the same spot. Going with a single door will help to keep the design a little lighter, too.

Next I needed to figure out how that door was going to open. Doors can slide or they can open in and out. Just in case you’re wondering, shower doors need to be able to open outward in order to meet building codes. So if you lack the room for an outward-opening door, you’ll need to find a sliding model that meets your needs. Room was not a problem in my bathroom, so I opted for an outward-swinging door.

When I was growing up, there was no such thing as a frameless shower door. But one trip to my shower door retailer here in Portland illustrated that glass has come a long way since then – it’s stronger, safer, and more durable. As a result, some of today’s glass panels don’t need metal frames to support them. It’s a modern look, and it would have looked out of place in the home I bought a few years ago. But a frameless glass shower door will look just fine in the updated look that I’m striving toward now.

The last decision I needed to make: Figuring out what type of glass to use. Today, glass comes in a variety of finishes and textures and opacities. I wanted to keep things simple – clear, smooth glass to let the light through. But I also loved the idea of getting a glass finish that was easy to keep clean, so I opted for a finish that would shed water more easily. Any addition that cuts down on the amount of time I need to spend cleaning will be welcome in my home.

If you’re thinking of getting new shower doors for your home, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out how many options there are to choose from. The new shower doors going into my home aren’t anything like what I imagined before I started this bathroom upgrade; they’ll be a much more modern-looking, more elegant solution – and one I’ll enjoy for years.

The Importance of an Electrical Inspection

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Electrical Fires

Having a home burn down is devastating. It can cause irreparable damage and you may lose some of your most valuable items. Did you know that the top reason homes burn down is from electrical fires? These could be caused from wiring issues in your house that catch small appliance on fire.

Insurance is a great way to protect yourself from losing valuable property. However, it is an even better idea to focus on preventing a fire or other issue to start with. The hassle and potential harm from the smoke and flames is something that everyone should avoid. From the first day you move into a house, have an electrical inspection.

How Do Inspections Work?

When an electrician inspects your home, they are qualified to see hazardous problems in your electrical systems that are not in compliance with state or national codes. They also find any other issues that they see as dangerous to your or your family. A qualified electrician is aware of the mistakes made by contractors and previous homeowners, and they can spot problems quickly. Click here for a great electrical contractor.

Do not be shy to ask your electrician about energy efficiency! They can spots ways to change the electrical processes in your home that could actually save you money by reducing your electric bills.

You should also have an inspection if your home is 35 years or older or if you make a change like a renovation. Don’t hesitate to call for this service- it is well worth it to keep you and your family safe!

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.

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