Want to Avoid Ice Damming? Consider these Tips

An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the eave or valley of a roof preventing proper drainage. This occurs when snow melts and slides to cooler portions of the roof and quickly refreezes creating the barrier or dam. The risk arises if additional melting occurs and water pools behind the dam. Costly damage may occur if the sitting water seeps between the shingle layers, wetting the roof deck and leaking into the home below. Visible signs of damage may include dislodged roof shingles, water-stained ceilings, peeling paint, damaged plaster, etc. As other damage may not be… Read More >

5 Things to do to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

Tips to Prepare your Home for Winter
Did you know the first freeze typically occurs in October in the Washington, DC area? With that in mind, now is the time to start planning for the winter ahead. Exterior home preparation is critical to helping your home weather the harsh winter elements and avoiding damage. Consider the following steps to get your home ready for winter. Shut Off Your Hose Bibs Hose bibs are the water faucets to which your gardening hoses attach. Every year basements become flooded because water is allowed to remain inside the pipes through the freezing winter months, which can cause pipes to burst.… Read More >

Tips to Improve the Air Quality in Your Home

How to Improve Air Quality
You might be surprised to learn that recent scientific evidence suggests air inside your home can be even more polluted than outdoor air. With millions of people suffering from asthma and allergies, it’s a good idea to question whether the air in your home might be negatively affecting your family’s health. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to reduce the build-up of indoor air pollutants, thus improving the overall air quality and helping to protect your family. Following are three basic strategies. Control Sources Source control is considered to be the most effective way of reducing indoor pollutants.… Read More >

How to Communicate Your Likes and Dislikes to Designers and Architects

How to Communicate Likes and Dislikes to Designers and Architects
Everyone experiences architecture and design on a daily basis, but it can become intimidating when it’s time to remodel your own space. Below are a few tips from our designers and architects that will help you ensure your tastes are properly reflected in your next renovation. Collect Images The first step in communicating likes and dislikes for your home renovation is to collect imagery. Nowadays, you have more options than just sifting through magazines and ripping out the pages. Websites like Pinterest, Instagram, and Houzz provide easy ways to collect what you like online in a sharable format. Showing designers… Read More >

Appliances That Can Actually Make Your Life Easier

New Appliances 2016
Now that appliances have become about as energy efficient as they can get, manufacturers are focusing on other areas when developing the latest and greatest bells and whistles. It seems the new trend in appliances is what makes life easier for the consumer. Families want to spend less time worrying about household tasks and upkeep, and instead, spend more time enjoying life. Following are a few new appliance features that just might make your household chores a little easier. Oven Features and Accessories An oven feature that is widely ignored is the door. As it has been forever, the majority… Read More >

Are you Ready for This Weekend’s Storm?

Winter Safety
There’s nothing quite like the announcement of an approaching winter storm to send area residents scrambling to the store for bread, milk, “TP” and other common necessities. While many welcome the snowfall, winter storms can be challenging and downright daunting if you and your home are not prepared. Consider the following tips to help keep your family and home safe this winter, whatever this weekend may bring us. Plan Ahead Keep up-to-date on weather forecasts and plan accordingly. If there is the chance of a storm, it’s better to stock up ahead of time, rather than waiting until the last… Read More >

Be Sure to Show Your Home’s Surfaces You Care!

Caring for Surfaces
Our homes are a mix of many different materials, all with different properties, so proper care of these surfaces isn’t a one bottle solution. Below is a round-up of common surfaces and the recommended care methods for each type. Granite: Routine cleaning with just mild dish soap and a soft cloth is recommended. General household cleaners, such as Windex and 409, can be used, but may leave a film, so it’s best to use these sparingly. Although granite is highly durable, avoid using any harsh solutions that may break down the sealant. Marble: As a porous stone, marble is susceptible… Read More >

Smart Phone, Smart Home

Home Automation
It’s amazing how much of our lives we can control using the push of a button on our smart phones and tablets these days. Besides schedules, to-do lists and steps walked, there are countless tools we can use to make our homes safer and our lives a little easier by combining home automation with smart phone technology. Thermostats:  We’re all familiar with the benefits of programmable thermostats, which allow you to set temperature adjustments for various times of the day, but do you know about thermostats you can control remotely from the convenience of your smart phone or tablet? Perhaps… Read More >

A Brighter Future for Light Bulbs

Update on Lightbulb Phaseout
The traditional incandescent light bulb has been in use for over 100 years, without many major changes. So why all the hoopla over our trusty incandescent bulbs the past several years? Well for starters, they’re not very energy efficient. Less than 10% of electrical power used is converted into visible light, while the remaining energy is lost as heat. A federal law was passed in 2007 to raise minimum efficiency standards for traditional incandescents, as well as a gradual phase-out plan. In 2012, 100-watt bulbs were no longer being produced, followed by the 75 watt bulbs in 2013. At the… Read More >

A Refresher on Interior Home Maintenance

Interior Home Maintenance
Homeowners often ask, “What are some general guidelines for keeping my home safe and healthy for my family?” Our experience over the last 25 years has proven that certain interior maintenance items are critical to the long-term performance of your home.  A regular schedule of interior and exterior home maintenance will likely help you to avoid serious home-related problems, or at least identify issues early so problems can be addressed in a timely manner with minimal adverse effects. Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Maintenance Recommendation: Serviced in the spring and fall; change filters regularly. As a mechanical system, they… Read More >