all siding material options

One of the best ways to improve the aesthetics and value of a home is to install new siding. The problem is there are so many options out there to choose between Not only will siding improve the looks, it also helps to preserve and protect a home from natural elements. Since 2004 BNW Builders have offered expert siding installation, and have played a major role in beautifying and protecting hundreds of homes in Virginia.

BNW Builders of Richmond is preferred second to none and has received numerous awards and notations from several establishments in the remodeling industry. The reason BNW Builders siding installations stand out from other siding and remodeling businesses in Virginia is because they only use the highest quality of products, and employ expert craftsman to install them. Just take a look at their siding photo gallery to learn more. BNW has partnered with several major siding brands to offer our clients top of the line products and installation. This article offers some tips that will help you select a vinyl siding that is perfect for your Virginia home.

siding on homeThree of the most popular types of siding are: Everlast Siding, Town Square Siding, as well as Cambridge Siding. Each of these brands offers far more than the average vinyl siding brand. For example, Everlast Siding beats many other brands because it is constructed of a specialized polymeric resin and granular stone. This combination makes this siding one of the thickest, sturdiest, and most durable types of siding on the market.

Homeowners love the fact that Everlast Siding offers a lifetime guarantee, has the look of real wood, and it can be painted if a color change is desired. This super tough siding is available in fourteen popular colors, each color warranted with Lifetime Fade Protection. Everlast Siding is also warranted against hail damages. This brand of siding is perfect for homeowners that prefer the look of real wood, but don't want the headaches of dealing with the eventual demise of wood.

Another excellent choice of siding is Cambridge Siding, which is created with old Southern architecture in mind. This vinyl siding is designed to provide the look and feel of an older Southern styled home while also offering superior protection and low maintenance. This siding is available in numerous trendy colors and has a fade protection warranty to ensure satisfaction over the years.

Town Square Siding is yet another excellent choice of vinyl siding. Town Square's Deluxe Vinyl Siding offers a Main Street look that is sure to be a phenomenal addition to any neighborhood. This siding has a deeply embossed wood grained finish that gives it the appearance of being real wood and offers supreme weather protection. Homeowners can choose from twenty beautiful colors and accent this siding with a variety of trim options.

Before scheduling a siding installation, it is wise to select a few brands such as those above, and consider all of the benefits that each one has to offer. BNW Builders encourages clients to compare these brands because they value ensuring that each siding installation that is performed is carefully thought out. It is best to look at actual product and color samples to get a good idea of how each brand of vinyl siding will look like on your home.

Take some time to visualize what your home will look like when your siding installation is complete. If unsure of what brand and color to choose, one of the representatives can help you make a decision based upon the style and look you are aiming for. Recreate the home of your dreams by contacting BNW today for a risk free consultation.

Top Ways to Enhance Your Home without Hiring an Interior Designer

We aren’t all interior designers; and picking specific color schemes, textures, fabrics, and paintings to incorporate into a room can seem overwhelming. Many homeowners doubt themselves and turn to professionals for their expertise. Without totally redoing your rooms, there are a couple of simple ways to provide truly valuable upgrades to your home. Each of these fixes can be done in neutral colors (so as not to clash with a color scheme) and still add to the atmosphere of your rooms.

Granite countertops

The primary way to renew your kitchen’s overall appearance is by installing granite countertops and shiny new appliances. Granite may air a little on the expensive side, but it is well worth the investment. This single installation can change the appearance of the entire room even if you decide to leave your old appliances and kitchen floor as is.

New Couches

The primary draw to any living room or family room is having a comfortable place to site. Your sofas are the central area of this room and investing in good ones makes all the difference. Even if you did a great job picking these furniture pieces out 5 years ago, chances are that average daily wear has completely changed them. Whether the sun faded coloring, they are squished down in certain areas form sitting, or there are rips or tears, buying a new couch is the primary way to spruce up this room. Visit any local furniture store for more ideas and to test out sitting on each of your options.

Fresh Coat of Paint

Regular painting is essential to giving rooms a sophisticated appearance. Even repainting the exact same color and shade can provide a large difference. Paint usually cracks around the molding, windows, or ceiling, and these can be easily touched up with some spackling and a new coat.

Plants and Fountains

If you are at a loss for artwork or knick knacks; plants are always an easy, inexpensive, and natural way to brighten up any room in your home. Best of all, they match everything. Another match-all way to add to a relaxing atmosphere is by purchasing small fountains filled with stones. The running water is calming to many people. Just beware having fountains on the floor with curious pets!

For more interior design tips, there are plenty of DIY blogs and inspirations to help you along the way.

senior home repairMany seniors whose adult children have moved out of the house find themselves unable to perform proper routine maintenance on their homes. Even for younger, healthier people, shoveling heaps of snow in the winter or mowing both the front and backyards in the summer can be a laborious task. It’s common for seniors experiencing a lack of energy or mobility to see their homes fall into a certain level of disrepair. But the inability to do the work themselves is not the only issue many seniors encounter in the maintenance of their homes – seniors living on social security payments alone are often unable to afford hiring contractors or other laborers, and those workers are often unwilling to perform small duties as shovel a walkway or remove mold and mildew. As the condition of the home decreases, so does the value of this major financial asset to seniors.

So what can be done to ensure that you or your elderly loved one’s home is well-taken care of, and that they can live safely, happily, and independently in their own homes? Here are some ideas to get you thinking about senior home maintenance.

Church or Local Community

Many churches will voluntarily help out with the needs of elderly members. Speak with your pastor or other congregation members to see if they may be willing to help with tasks around the house. If you aren’t a member of a church, many neighborhoods also offer assistance to members of the community who are in need. Community Home Repair, for example, helps low-income homeowners in the Tucson, Arizona area with repairs as well as home safety modifications for those with disabilities.

Non-Profit Organization

Some non-profits offer home rehabilitation and maintenance services. Rebuilding Together is an organization comprised of over 100,000 volunteers who visit low-income homeowners to complete house maintenance projects. They aim to improve and rebuild communities all over the country, helping out those who are unable to help themselves.

Caregiving

Although caregiving isn’t always necessarily a free service, senior care may be ideal for those who require both light home maintenance as well as help with other tasks such as transportation to the doctor, Alzheimer’s care, and mobility assistance. This Hendersonville home care provider offers care for seniors who need help, from senior who can better understand them. They offer regular assistance with small repairs around the house, cooking, gardening, and companionship.

On a low, fixed income with decreased mobility, it can be challenging to tackle even the most simple of home maintenance projects. When your home is the largest asset in your possession, you don’t want to let it fall into disrepair. If you or a loved one is in need of home upkeep assistance, consider these options and reach out to someone who would love to help.

Regardless of whether you vacuum every Saturday morning or if you tend to clean slightly less frequently, soiled carpets are an unfortunate fact. Day after day, shoes, furry paws, and clothes all track dirt from outside into your home and gradually cause your carpets to become dirty. Over time, soil and dust build up in your carpet’s fibers, leaving your carpeting looking old and dull, and even releasing foul odors into your home. While vacuuming can help clean light dust and dirt on the surface of your carpet, you’ll need to enlist the services of a professional carpet cleaner to extract soil that has absorbed deep into your carpet’s fibers. Lucky for you, there are a variety of carpet cleaning methods and trained technicians out there who can get the job done.

dirty carpetA common method of carpet cleaning is simple carpet shampoo. A foaming shampoo is applied to the carpet, which attracts soil. The dirt is then sucked up with a vacuum. This is a relatively easy process, but chemicals in the shampoo can stain and irreversibly damage carpeting. Residue left over from the shampoo can also continue attracting dirt, making your carpet dirtier faster. The most common method of carpet cleaning that the majority of people are familiar with, however, is the hot water extraction method – or “steam cleaning.” In this method, detergent is applied to the carpet, and is then activated by hot water. Then, a wet vacuum is used to vacuum up excess moisture. However, since so much water is used, carpets take 1-2 days to dry completely, which can create a breeding ground for mold and mildew to grow. Detergent residue can also attract dirt particles.

One of the most innovative methods of carpet cleaning is hot carbonating extraction. This stained carpetmethod involves a bubbly solution that is applied to the carpet. The carbonation stirs up the soil and dirt particles trapped in the carpet, which are then extracted with a high-powered vacuum. Because this method uses 80% less water than steam cleaning, carpets are dry in an hour or two and no toxic chemicals are left behind on the carpet. A Santa Cruz carpet cleaning company called Peachy Kleen Chem-Dry specializes in this particular method, swearing by its ability to naturally clean your carpets in a way that’s safe for your family, pets, and home.

No matter what option you choose for cleaning your home, having your carpets professionally cleaned every 12-18 months is the best way to keep your home looking and smelling fresh. The longer you leave dirt to settle deep into the carpet’s fibers, the more time-consuming and expensive the process of cleaning the carpet will be. Cleaner carpets mean a cleaner home for you and your family.

There are many reasons to build a fence. Maybe you want privacy from nosy neighbors, or the security of a corral for children and pets. Maybe your fence is simply for decorative purposes, or to set the property line. No matter what reason you have to build a fence around your home, various costs are involved in the installation and maintenance of fencing. When you make this sort of home improvement investment, you want to be sure that the type of fence you choose is right for you and your specific home. Here are a few types of fences and material to spark some inspiration:

  1. Picket fencePicket fence: A white-painted, wooden picket fence gives your home a beautiful, classic look. The picket fence originated in the American early colonial era, and continues to be a symbol of the American dream today. This type of fence is great for decorative and boundary purposes, but doesn’t offer much privacy. Wooden fences are also a commitment, as they require occasional staining and sealing and can warp or rot over time.
  2. Vinyl: Vinyl is a great lower-maintenance alternative to wood, and offers a variety of style and color options. This type of fence doesn’t require staining or sealing, and as it’s non-porous, it can easily be cleaned. Vinyl is much more resistant to cracking, splitting, termite damage, and rotting. The primary downside is that vinyl is much more costly than other fence options. Your initial investment is high, but with low maintenance, the cost may be worth it.
  3. Chain link: A chain link fence is the cheapest fence option, and requires virtually no upkeep unless it becomes damaged. Because they are almost transparent, these fences offer little privacy but maximum visibility of beyond your property. Chain link isn’t necessarily the most attractive material for fencing, but it will do the job of providing a boundary and security for your home at an affordable price.

Weather and Fences

When choosing a type of fence for your home, it’s important to consider the weather in your area. In very cold areas where the ground is susceptible to frost, concrete anchors must be built so that frost doesn’t push up the fence posts. Extreme cold followed by warmer weather can also cause vinyl to become brittle. In warm, damp climates, a vinyl fence may be your best option, as wood can easily rot and warp when exposed to water.

Mixing Up Materials

NeighborhoodIf you’re concerned about cost, you may want to mix up your fence types. A beautiful white picket fence in front of your house will provide great curb appeal, but a chain link fence in the back will get the job done without the high level of maintenance and cost. Fencing Unlimited offers wooden, vinyl, and chain link residential fencing to mix and match.

Whatever style of fence you choose, check with your homeowners’ association or neighborhood rules to make sure your fence will not be breaking any code. You may also wish to consult your neighbor to ensure that your new addition won’t be blocking their view of the neighborhood. Happy fencing!

I am currently remodeling my home which is located in Fairfax VA right next GMU. I love the busyness of the area and I plan on living here for a long time to come. I have built up a fair amount of savings towards renovations and now I want to start spending my hard earned dough. I want to do something that will increase the value of my home while enhancing its Great Granite countertopsalready wonderful aesthetics. My kitchen needs the biggest boost out of all my rooms so I decided that I might investigate a little bit on granite countertops. I have always been a great fan of this wonderful stone and its beautiful luster but I’ve never had the finances like I do today. This will add a lovely look to my home that will also say “You’re then man now” whenever someone steps into my door. I researched many sites to find other stones that may be great substitutes but all the others fell short and I felt like granite was my best option.

I decided to go ahead with the granite countertop idea and search my supplier choices. One that kept appearing for the Fairfax area was Granite Source of Northern Virginia. Their endless gallery of styles really turned me in that direction as well. Go ahead and check out the literally hundreds of different types of stone they offer in their warehouses. After searching deep in their databases I decided on 3 different stones called Giallo Napoleone, Zodiaq Savory and Sileston Ivory Coast.  I wanted similar stones to be put throughout my kitchen to get a unique look all around. I ordered what I wanted and they were set to be installed a week from the call. A week passed and they came and did all the work necessary in 2 days. It wasn’t difficult at all and I feel like this upgrade has really made my house a lot more attractive in the kitchen area. My friends like the new look and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I have even been having dreams about upgrading my bathrooms with some fresh granite countertops but I’ll leave that as a just a dream for now. I hope that anyone reading this has benefited from this and really considers this wonderful stone for your home as well. Good luck and I hope all your home improvement dreams come true.

Hoping to improve the look and value of your home?   There is a lot you can do without ever Yardsetting foot inside of your home—and you do not need to alter its structure either.  Curb appeal has a big impact on the way your home is perceived by friends, family, and potential buyers.  Spring is setting in and it’s the perfect time to begin planning for your outdoor projects.  So, what are a few things you can do to help with your home’s “wow” factor?

Greenery

If you have never met a plant you couldn’t kill, don’t fret—turn it over to the professionals.  Instead of praying that you will finally grow a green thumb, you can find a landscaping contractor with affordable services to take care of business for you.  They will be able to pick out the perfect plants for the area you live in, making certain they fit with the look you are going for.  All you will need to do is schedule routine maintenance and perhaps have them install a simple sprinkler system.

Borders

 To help give your yard some definition, have the company put in borders around features you wish to highlight.  This could be around the edge of a flowerbed, circling the trees, or lining the walkway.  Stone and gravel are an excellent way to add elegance to your home.  The process is simple, but it can really help the beauty in your yard pop.  Your company will work to find materials that complement your home and can even install lighting to further highlight your favorite spots.

Relaxation

 Your yard doesn’t need to just sit there and look pretty; you can make it work for you as well.  Landscape companies, such as Pete Rose Inc. in Richmond, Va, often have very creative solutions for turning your outdoor space into the perfect place for you and your family to unwind and relax.  Ask to see their portfolio or to help brainstorm some options.

You’ll be amazed how just adding a little bit to your yard can make a huge difference in its appearance.  Although, having a plan is essential.  Your landscaping company has a lot of experience and can help you put a plan in place in order to ensure that you love the look of your yard.  Don’t let another season pass you by without taking advantage of the perfect time to begin upgrading your home’s exterior.  If you’re looking for an upgrade, go ahead and begin planning your next great project!

There are many reasons and benefits to contacting a professional, and having replacement windows installed in your home or office. However, the answer to the question “why buy replacement windows,” can differ person to person, or office to office. Typically, home and business owners begin looking into replacement windows after they hear about the great savings they can receive through the lowering of energy bills, due to having replacement windows. No matter if you own a large office or small home, the difference in having replacement windows and not on your bill will be well worth the investment.

Consider The Climate When Shopping for Home Windows

Another main reason people get replacement windows are to find simple ways to fight the climate they live in. Dealing with the Pennsylvania winters just outside of Philadelphia, I needed an option that not only added style to my home but was very insulating as well.  In case you are curious, Renewal by Andersen Philadelphia is my personal window contractor of choice. Replacement windows are great for keeping a home cool, and increasing the lifespans of your furniture and home décor. Safety issues also come into play when deciding to invest in replacement windows as most windows are shatter proof and impact resistant. The list goes on and on, and finding a great low cost company to install your windows is a simple and easy task. Companies also offer financing options, and can install doors, awnings, and more changing the entire look of your home or keeping it the same, but with more energy efficient windows.

Replacement Window Design

beautiful replacement windowFor some business or home owners they may have looked into replacement windows for an entirely different reason. Design! Nothing beats having custom woods, and fixtures installed throughout you house or office; adding a touch of elegance to a main entrance of a bar, or restaurant, or just accenting the rooms throughout your house. Replacement window companies offer online designing tools free of charge, where you can select the color, makeup, and fully customize any part of the house you may want replacement windows added to free of charge. This gives you a preview of what the residence will look like after the project, ensuring you’ll be happy with the results.

Additional Energy Savings

energy loss in the home diagramIf you are in the market to replace your current windows, changes are they are outdated and not the most energy efficient. If this is the case you could be spending hundreds if not thousands of extra dollars each year on heating and cooling costs. So in addition to adding more style to your home and increasing its value, buying window replacements can make your home a more comfortable and efficient place to live as well.

If you’ve got small children, now is the time to consider upgrading the shock protection in your home. With the holidays coming, chances are good that you’ve moved furniture to accommodate visiting guests or to make room for a Christmas tree. Your children are bound to find new nooks to explore, exciting hidden places to take their new toys. Installing shock protection can protect your children from their own holiday excitement and curiosity – and make sure they don’t suffer a harmful jolt of electricity.

There are several types and degrees of shock protection available. Some types of protection are easier to install, and others are more expensive. Some can be installed by just about anyone, and others are best left to professional electricians. The important thing to remember is that anything you can do to prevent accidental shock is much better than doing nothing.

One relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive means of shock protection is to install plastic shock guards throughout your home. You should be able to find them at a large department store like Lowe’s or Home Depot; here are the ones I purchased. As you can see, one inexpensive 24-pack will allow you to install protection throughout your home in just minutes.

Shock guards are great, but not perfect; any especially determined toddler would be able to remove one from an outlet. If you think that your children might be tempted to try something like that, consider safety outlet covers. These covers are generally attached by screws and are much more difficult to remove. While they don’t cover the outlets directly, they do make any contact more difficult; accidental contact becomes nearly impossible.

The above methods of shock protection may be perfectly suitable for your family, but some families need a little extra protection. These are the families with children that love to explore and experiment – the ones with a curiosity that won’t be thwarted by an ordinary piece of plastic. I was one of those kids, and my children are the same way. And that prompted me to seek out some extra measures to protect against shock in my home.

I called one of the electricians at the local Mr. Electric, and asked if one of their electricians could suggest some shock protection that was a little more curiosity-proof. They suggested using one of two options: tamper-resistant outlets and ground fault circuit interrupters.

I think that tamper-resistant outlets are particularly ingenious. These outlets feature shutters that cover the slots. Insert a plug into the outlet, and the prongs of the plug will place equal pressure on both shutters; only when there is equal pressure will electrical current flow. When your curious child attempts to insert a pair of scissors into one of the slots on the outlet, only one shutter will be engaged; no pressure will be placed on the adjacent shutter. No current will flow, and no shock will occur.

Did you know that when something is plugged in, current leaves along a hot wire and returns along a neutral one? Or that the amount leaving and returning should be just about equal? When the amount of current leaving and returning isn’t close to equal, that current has gone somewhere it shouldn’t have – a sign of a possible shock. Ground fault circuit interrupters, or GFCIs, monitor this current. If the GFCI detects any wayward current, it immediately shuts off the current to end the danger.

For me, it was an easy choice: The tamper-resistant outlets offered the right amount of protection, and didn’t break the bank. GFCIs offer even more protection, but are more expensive.

Only you know if you and your family are adequately protected against accidental electrical shocks. If you realize that you could be a little safer, why not head to your local hardware store to take a look at your options? Or better yet, give your local electrician a call. And do it before Christmas so you can enjoy peace of mind while your children crawl under the tree and behind the furniture with their new toys.

home service industry magnets on refrigeratorThere is a reason many people keep the phone numbers of local home service businesses on their refrigerators. Its because you never know when you are going to need them but when you do, the call needs to be made quickly. When you walk into my kitchen you will see three misters on my fridge, they have gotten me out of a lot of tough situations over the years quickly and professionally. So who are these three misters? Im referring to partners of the franchise system of Mr. Rooter, Mr. Appliance, and Mr. Electric I use on a semi regular bases. They have all obviously read these customer service tips because they are friendly, hardworking, and always helpful. Below is a little more about my experiences with each of these businesses.

Fast and Affordable Plumbing Services

plunger used by plumbersFirst there is Mr. Rooter plumbing, a national brand you can probably find in your area. They are full service plumbers who have a great business model. They always give you an accurate price quote up front before they begin any work. I have found them to be super quick and accurate about when they say they are going to arrive at my home which is a big help. There have been a few times they have been a life saver, particularly when I had flooding in my home from a blocked drain.

The Best Solution for when an Appliance Breaks

stove top in need of repairThe second miter I count on for home repairs is Mr. Appliance, these are the guys I used most recently when my stove top stopped working. This was a big deal because I was accustomed to cooking my own meals almost daily and typically used the stove each time. Of course had the phone number for my local Mr. Appliance of Houston handy and called them right away. My stove was fixed the very next day and they even looked at my leaky refrigerator and fixed it on the spot too.

An Electrical Contractor I can Count on

electric light bulbLast but not least I have the number to my nearest Mr. Electric franchise location for any electrical work I may need for my home. I have only  used them twice but they have the same level of professionalism as the other two services I just mentioned. The first time was for an electrical outage I had in the basement. They found a bad wire and got my lights working again. Next I wanted new overhead lighting put into my kitchen and they were able to hook it up for me without a hitch.

When a problem happens in the home and you need a fast and reliable fix that won’t break the bank all you have to do is remember the name of the three Misters and your problem will be a thing of the past. Two friends along with my brother have also started using them with similar results so I recommend these businesses to anyone I come across who needs a good plumber, electrician, or service for appliance repairs.