Kitchen cabinets will inevitably start to show a significant amount of wear and tear after only a few years of use. This is due to the fact that you’re probably cooking and preparing food in your kitchen every day, so grease and grime will start to build up on the surface of your cabinets, leaving behind a nearly impenetrable layer of greasy buildup. This kind of buildup is extremely difficult to remove on your own, and it can leave your cabinets looking dingy, dirty, and worn down.

Even if you don’t notice the layer of grime on the surface of your cabinets, it could still be time to replace them. Whether you’re redoing your entire kitchen and need cabinets to fit in with the new décor, or you want to give your kitchen a new look without spending a ton of money on a full remodel, getting custom cabinets could be the perfect solution.

After all, cabinets are the focal point of most kitchens due to the simple fact that they take up so much space in the room. If your cabinets look outdated or worn down, they will make your entire kitchen look outdated and worn down as well. For custom cabinet makers in Midlothian, VA, look no further than Panda Kitchen & Bath. They provide their customers with high-end custom cabinets and granite countertops, and they will make sure you love the way your new kitchen looks.

Panda Kitchen & Bath offers a wide variety of cabinets and granite countertops, so there’s something to suit everyone’s style and budget. You could go with a chic all-black countertop or choose something more daring like a tropical sand or green butterfly granite countertop. Panda Kitchen & Bath’s custom cabinets also come in a range of colors and styles, so you can find something that will fit in perfectly with your new or current kitchen and make the whole room look high-end, updated, and elegant.

Panda Kitchen & Bath is dedicated to excellent craftsmanship and customer service, so you can be confident that you’ll love the end result. When it comes to kitchen cabinets and granite countertops, you want to make sure you’re working with an experienced expert. If you’re looking for cabinet makers in Midlothian, VA, look no further than Panda Kitchen & Bath.

When it comes to carpet cleaning in Franklin, TN, you have a lot of options. It can be confusing to try and choose which type of carpet cleaning service is best for your home when so many of them seem so similar. It can be enough to make your head spin and make you want to abandon the project altogether.

TNT Chem-Dry offers expert professional carpet cleaning, grout cleaning, stain removal, tile cleaning, and more to the Franklin, TN area. Their wide range of services means you only have to go one place to get all of your home cleaning needs taken care of.

You might think that getting your carpets, floors, and upholstery cleaned by a professional is only important if you want them to look fresh and new, but it’s actually about so much more than that. Having your carpets, upholstery, and floors cleaned by a professional can actually have a huge effect on the overall health of your home.

Carpets and upholstery trap a bunch of contaminants – like dust, dirt, allergens, and bacteria – inside their fibers that would otherwise be circulating through that air that you and your family breathe every day. If you don’t get them cleaned, they will become so full of contaminants that they won’t be able to trap anything else, and all those allergens and bacteria will be left to float around your home.

Chem-Dry uses a unique carpet cleaning process call Hot Carbonating Extraction (HCE) that’s specially designed to remove allergens and bacteria from within your carpets and upholstery. A study by a leading independent laboratory found that HCE removes an average of 98% of common household allergens from carpets and upholstery as well as 82% of bacteria from carpets and 89% of airborne bacteria when a sanitizer is added to the process. If you have any asthma or allergy sufferers in your home, TNT Chem-Dry can help them breathe easier.

TNT Chem-Dry also offers expert grout cleaning and tile cleaning services, so you can rest easy knowing that the floors in your bathroom, kitchen, and any other areas with tile floors are also deeply clean and not full of harmful bacteria. TNT Chem-Dry’s stain removal services work on all kinds of stains, including pet accident stains, and will leave your entire home looking fresh and beautiful. If you’re looking for tile, grout, upholstery, and carpet cleaning services in Franklin, TN, TNT Chem-Dry has you covered.

Our pets bring us endless joy as our loyal companions and cherished members of our families. However, if you’ve ever had to deal with pet urine stains on your carpets and floors, you know that even your most beloved furry friends can occasionally become quite a nuisance.

When faced with a pet urine stain, many people will try home remedies like vinegar, baking soda, or laundry detergent to try and get the stain and odor out of their carpets. However, once your pet has an accident on your carpet, the urine will soak down into the floor beneath your carpet. Most DIY topical treatments simply can’t be able to reach down that far, and you’ll be left with a lingering odor that at-home remedies simply can’t touch. An untreated urine stain can continue to release an unpleasant odor that lasts up to five years in some cases, and it could leave a permanent stain on your floor if not treated correctly.

Before you call in the first pet urine removal expert you can find, it’s important to know that not all carpet and rug cleaning companies are alike. Make sure to check the company’s website thoroughly to confirm that they specialize in pet urine removal services. Then check out their reviews on multiple platforms to see if previous customers have been satisfied with the services provided.

Carpet cleaning by Simple Steam provides expert pet urine removal services that really work. Simple Steam’s team of pet urine removal experts can deal with all kinds of pet accidents and remove all traces of it from your home. They’ve developed a pet urine removal product and procedure that’s so effective, they guarantee success every time. Simple Steam worked with a team of chemists to make sure their pet urine removal process is backed by science. It works better than other treatments on the market, and they guarantee you’ll return to them if your pet ever has another accident.

With Simple Steam behind you, you don’t have to stress about pet accidents in your home anymore. All you have to do is call Simple Steam, and they’ll take care of everything for you. You’ll be left with fresh, clean carpets that are free from odors and stains.

HeaterRepair

It’s coming to be the time of year when utilities costs generally begin to rise, as our home’s insulation is truly put to the test, and you get a chance to see how efficient your home’s heating system is. When the winter time comes around, and the temperatures begin to plummet, it’s vital that you take the necessary steps to save as much as possible on your monthly utilities, or else they could easily get out of hand. As your home begins to age, and the foundation starts to crack and deteriorate, putting into action a few small steps can be a huge difference maker between potentially hundreds of dollars per month. We’ve compiled some of our top tips for making your home more energy efficient before the winter cold starts jacking up your heating costs! If you have any additional tips for saving on home utilities, please reach out to us using our contact page, we’d love to hear your ideas!

Our most important tips have to do with ensuring that your home’s electrical appliances are up to date and running correctly, because one of the biggest money wasters from any homeowner’s perspective is a heater that rarely turns off, or a cold draft blowing underneath your doors or through your thin window panes. Filling up any gaps, cracks, and thin-layers of glass or plastic can be a huge help in reducing the cost of your utilities and saving energy in the long run. If you are noticing that your home is constantly cold, or your heater is running most of the day, then you may want to look into some actions you can take to reduce that usage, such as applying an insulating plastic layer over the interior of your windows, utilizing a foam-based “gap filler” to plug any potential holes in your walls/doors, and purchasing gap sealers – sliding pieces that attach to the bottoms of your doors, removing the small cracks from underneath. All of these products are excellent at increasing your energy conservation and ensuring your home’s utilities stay low.

HeaterRepair

If you are unsure of where to purchase insulating products, or don’t want to spend money and would rather look into more cost-efficient solutions, one great tip we used to use back in the day was to hang spare blankets and sheets over thin windows. These absorb a majority of the cold air that comes through, and always help to trap in warm air and continue circulating it throughout your home. If you haven’t be sure to check the air filters in your home’s HVAC system, and ensure that all of the major appliances are running correctly. In some cases, if you notice an abnormal spike in your utilities or energy usage, you may want to purchase a Kill-A-Watt system, which plugs into an outlet and allows you to see exactly how much energy an appliance is using. This is great to see if that room heater you are using is wasting more energy than it’s saving.

Once you’ve figured out the weak points in your home’s energy efficiency, it’s important that you take the proper steps to correct them. Spending $50-100 before the winter season begins could pay off in utility costs throughout the season, and the changes you implement will last for seasons to come as well. If you decide to opt for more expensive, but permanent solutions for your energy costs, then they will definitely pay off eventually. This is generally better if you plan on staying in your current home for years to come. If you are renting a home, you may want to pursue some of the more affordable, yet not as permanent solutions. Pursuing potential attic/crawl space insulation upgrades could be beneficial as well, if your system is older or outdated.

While many modern homes are now constructed with windows that block the majority of harmful UV (Ultra-Violet) rays from the sun, there are times when you may want to purchase additional window films to help block out the full spectrum of UV-Rays that your existing windows may let through. Often times, windows will block the majority of less-harmful UV-B rays, but will allow a small amount of UV-A rays through.

If you are sensitive to sunlight, heat, or want to just minimize your exposure to harmful UV-rays, a window film may be exactly what you’re looking for. There are generally 3 types of window films that help reduce your exposure:

1. Insulating Window Films

These are one of the most popular designs, because they not only help block UV-rays, but drastically reduce the heat coming into your home, letting your air conditioning run less and saving you money in the long run. In addition, during the winter season, the same film will work to insulate your warm air inside your home, allowing you to save on your heating bill.

Insulating window films are also used to help reduce the amount and severity of fading on carpets, furniture, fabrics, and other household objects. These are the go-to window films in terms of overall quality and value. They are very energy-efficient and can be the perfect compliment to your existing windows.

2. Glare-Reducing Window Films

Another popular category of window screens are those that help to reduce the bright glare on your TV or computer screen. These are becoming more common since electronics have become ingrained in every home. Many times, you have to choose between having beautiful natural light coming into your home, or having a massive glare on your computer screen, which is a lose-lose situation. With glare-reducing window films, however, you will be able to take full advantage of both to truly be comfortable in your home’s office space! In many states out west, with looming landscapes and unblocked sun-rays, these are gaining traction through window installation companies such as High Country Window Tint.

3. Privacy Window Films

As the age of privacy becomes to grow more into the spotlight, these window films help your physical while still allowing natural light to permeate your home’s interior. In many cases, these window films are translucent, frosted films that are applied directly to the glass of your windows. They offer not only day time privacy, but let natural light filter through your windows as well. For a great mix of both privacy and UV-protection, these can be the best choice. Often, home owners will utilize these types of window films near the front door, so you can see if there is someone on the porch without them being able to see into the house.

There are a few aspects to keep in mind when you are going through the purchasing process of window film, such as:

– Total Solar Energy Rejection
– Light Transmission
– Visible Light Reflectance
– UV Rejection
– Shading Co-efficient

These are all different factors and terms that are thrown around the different window films, so be sure to thoroughly conduct your research before deciding on a product to install. Above all else, make sure you are happy with the design of the window film – if you install it throughout your home and don’t like the look, it can be a major headache to take care of!

What makes one window frame better than another? The answer depends on you, and your priorities. All of the primary types of window frames – wood, vinyl, composite, and aluminum – have their strengths and their weaknesses. Choosing the right replacement window frame requires you to understand which qualities each material has to offer, and to decide which qualities matter most to you.

Budget-friendliness

If your budget is the primary concern when selecting a replacement window, vinyl frames are a solid choice. This isn’t a reflection of the quality of the windows, but rather that vinyl is an inexpensive material. As a result, vinyl windows are less expensive than their aluminum and composite counterparts. Wood is the most expensive frame material.

Appearance

Composite, and particularly wood, windows are often considered to be more attractive than their counterparts.

Vinyl is available in a limited number of colors, has a plastic-like appearance, and require thicker frames. Aluminum windows come in slender frames and a wide variety of painted colors, but are subject to fading, pitting, and chipping over time.

Wood windows, on the other hand, can be either stained or painted to maintain their timelessly appealing looks. Like aluminum windows, composite windows come in slender frames and a range of colors; composite windows retain their looks more easily than aluminum windows do.

Insulation

Neither wood nor composite nor vinyl window frames transfer heat well; that makes all three effective insulators. When combined with the right glass, all three frame materials can yield very energy-efficient windows. All three can perform well in more demanding climates.

Relative to the other frame materials, aluminum transfers heat easily. As a result, they are not always a strong choice for climates with cold winters or hot summers. Aluminum frames can be enhanced to provide better insulation and efficiency, but this will increase their cost.

Longevity

If the wood is high-quality, and appropriate care is taken, wooden window frames can last for several decades. Composite replacement windows, such as these from Renewal by Andersen, should last between 20 and 40 years, as will higher-quality vinyl windows. Aluminum windows can last even longer, though some elements of the window may require replacement.

Maintenance

Both vinyl and composite windows excel here, retaining their looks and performance without requiring maintenance. Wood window frames, on the other hand, require occasional re-painting or refinishing in order to look and perform at their best; this is also true of painted aluminum windows.

Which qualities matter most to you in a window frame? Looks? Energy-efficiency? Durability? Now that you have a better idea of the relative strengths and weaknesses of the different materials, you’re well on your way to making a well-informed choice of replacement window.

When constant power is required, many automatic transfer switches perform critical roles, ensuring that backup power will be employed when the primary power source ceases to work. Their control panels detect any loss in voltage. If the loss persists for more than a pre-determined number of seconds, the control responds by transferring the load from the primary source to the backup source, such as a generator or a battery. But is this function worth the additional cost for the average homeowner?

An alternative to the automatic transfer switch is the manual version. Unlike the automatic version, manual transfer switches lack a control panel that allows them to sense a drop, or even an outright loss, of voltage; they will not break the connection to the primary power source or create one to a backup source without intervention from a person. When primary power fails, no backup will be available until that person switches the load and engages the generator.

Providing for a seamless switch from primary to backup power is always convenient, but not always essential for a homeowner. Automatic transfers are most valuable for homes with medical equipment, security systems, multiple refrigerators or freezers, or even large aquariums; they’re also more important in harsher climates, such as where pipes could freeze in an un-powered home. If, on the other hand, your losses would be minimal in the event of being temporarily without power, a manual transfer switch might be the better option.

Manual transfer switches lack the sophisticated electrical components of their counterparts; their more limited function also makes them less expensive. A basic manual transfer switch will cost a fraction of what you would expect to pay for an automatic version; it will also take your electrician less time to install. And because automatic transfer switches require more regular and more elaborate maintenance than their simpler rivals, the difference in cost will only increase over time.

The best way to decide whether an automatic transfer switch is right for you is to weigh the added installation and maintenance expense against the losses you’ll incur without one. If you’re a typical homeowner without a non-typical need for constant power, your losses are liable to be minimal – not enough to justify the expense. If you have unusual needs for constant power, such as those described above, then an automatic transfer switch may be worth every additional cent. Your local electrician can help you decide for sure.

For many of us, sofas are a big deal. They’re expensive. They’re the focal point of many living rooms. And they’re the place where we relax after a long day. But despite their importance, most of us have no idea how to clean our sofas in the event of an accident. Fortunately, your sofa knows.

Modern sofas include a tag with a one-letter code that corresponds to the best and safest cleaning upholstery method. For example, a tag might feature a W – which indicates that you ought to use water-based cleaning agents on your upholstery fabric. Here are some explanations of the most commonly-found cleaning codes:

Code W 

You’re probably wondering: What is a water-based cleaning agent? Think steam cleaning or hot water extraction. Along with the water, commonly used additions are light applications of mild detergent, baking soda, and vinegar.

No matter which mixture you use, you’ll want to be careful and conservative. This means you’ll use as little moisture as possible to get the job done; use distilled water to avoid leaving a mineral deposit behind; and use a white, pattern-free towel to avoid transferring any dye. Before you do anything else, you’ll want to test your cleaning solution on a part of your sofa that you rarely see.

Code S 

Some fabrics are sensitive to water, and may shrink or discolor if water is applied to them. Despite their sensitivity to water, some of these fabrics can be effectively cleaned by solvents. Cleaning with solvents probably isn’t as unusual as you think; solvents are the cleaning agents used whenever your clothes are dry-cleaned.

It’s worth mentioning here that you should never assume which cleaning method is safe for your sofa. For example, that seemingly rugged polyester fabric might not be as good a candidate for water-based cleaning as you think. Always make sure to check your code.

Code WS 

These durable fabrics can be cleaned by either water-based cleaners or solvents; this allows you to select the cleaner best-suited for the task at hand. While water-based cleanings work in most cases, solvents can be more effective at dealing with some oil-based stains – think pizza grease or oily salad dressing.

Code X 

If you have a stain on your sofa, this is the code you don’t want to see. Code X means that your furniture can be vacuumed or brushed, but not cleaned with any sort of liquid; if liquid is used, there’s a good chance that shrinking, staining, or distortion will occur.

That said, if the stain is prominent enough, cleaning may still be your best option. But don’t just try your luck. Instead contact your local Chem-Dry or other professional upholstery cleaner. The technician can evaluate the situation, assess the risks of using a cleaning solution, and choose the one most likely to work.

No code

If you can’t find a code, you’ve still got two good options: First, you can contact the manufacturer. If you can provide the manufacturer with the product name or number, they should be able to provide you with the cleaning information you need. If this isn’t an option, contact a cleaning professional. A skilled technician will be able to identify the fabric through examination, and then choose the best method of cleaning.

What’s the difference between energy-efficient homes and inefficient homes that require great expense to keep comfortable? Smart construction, efficient insulation – and modern, energy-efficient windows. Windows with older glass, poor insulation, and failing seals can compromise efficiency; in fact, they can be responsible for up to a quarter of a home’s energy expenditure. On the other hand, energy-efficient new windows can have a huge impact on your efficiency, your comfort, and your monthly energy bill. Here’s how:

All windows allow the transfer of heat between the inside and outside of your home. Older windows allow more transfer to occur. This means that winter heat can more easily escape your home, as can summer cool; your heating and air system has to work harder to make up for the loss. Newer windows allow less transfer to occur; your heating and air system gets more rest – and costs you less money.

In inefficient windows, heat is transferred too easily through both the window’s frame and its glass. If a frame is built from a material with good insulating (or poor heat transferring) qualities, it will be more efficient. Wood is an excellent insulator; vinyl and composites like Renewal by Andersen’s Fibrex are also effective. Metal windows frames are poor insulators.

Newer windows often have two or even three layers of glass; in between the glass panes is another layer of gas. Some gases are effective insulators as well; krypton and argon are two often-used examples.

In modern windows, even glass isn’t what it used to be. Today’s glass employs special coatings that can reflect away light rays or trap heat or both. The glass used for windows varies depending on the local climate, on the amount of sunlight that hits the window, and on the room inside the window. For example, if one room is especially prone to becoming hot or cold, the right window glass can help manage the issue. Richmond Window, my local Renewal by Andersen dealer, was very helpful in selecting the best windows for every place on my home.

Maybe you’re wondering: How do you know which windows are right for you? Start with a basic understanding of the most common values used to compare window efficiency, U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (or SHGC). The U-factor reflects to the heat transferring quality of the glass; lower U-factors indicate less heat transfer. SHGC reflects the amount of sunlight that penetrates into the house through the panes.

Here in Central Virginia, we live in what’s called the North-Central Climate Zone.

Here, we have to deal with both cold winters and hot summers. Thankfully, there are windows that are specially designed to perform well in our climate zone. In our climate, windows need to offer a U-factor of 0.30 or less as well as an SHGC of 0.40 or less in order to qualify for ENERGY STAR certification. Make sure that your replacement windows should meet the ENERGY STAR requirements for your area.

Chances are, you spend thousands of dollars each year to heat and cool your home. Replacement windows offer you the chance to spend a lot less. So perform your due diligence, get to know windows and their ratings, and make a smart choice that your benefit you for years to come.

When it comes to home renovations and repairs for your home in Northern VA, it’s easy to remember projects like that bathroom remodel that you’ve always wanted to do, or getting a new dishwasher when your old one starts leaking water all over the floor. Unfortunately, many people tend to forget important repairs and replacement when it comes to things like siding, roofing, gutters, and other parts of your home’s exterior.

We see these parts of our home every day, but often forget that they need maintenance until there’s a leak or some other kind of damage caused by a lack of upkeep. In most cases these exterior elements only need semi regular maintenance, which might just consist of taking a good look to make sure everything looks right. But when something isn’t right with your siding, roofing, etc. it can lead to serious problems for your home’s interior. In particularly bad cases, unchecked issues with roofing or siding could lead to serious structural damage, either from insect problems like termites, or excess water coming in from leaks.

One of the things that gets overlooked the most in terms of home renovation and repairs is siding. Generally, the siding on homes lasts a very long time, depending on the material, and only needs very occasional maintenance, again depending on the material. No matter what kind of siding you have, it’s a good idea to take a careful look at your siding every so often to make sure everything looks the way it is supposed to. Even small damages can lead to larger problems and should be fixed right away.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding for instance might not need any maintenance for 20 years, but it’s still important to make sure that your siding hasn’t been damaged from hail, high wind, or some other type of storm damage. Vinyl is the most popular option throughout Virginia, along with the rest of the country, because it is affordable, lasts a long time, and requires very little maintenance. The main downside to vinyl is the fact that it is not particularly strong, and can be damaged fairly easily by storms or high winds.

Wood Siding

Wood siding is another popular option in Virginia, prized for its rustic look and high customizability. Unfortunately, wood siding requires a fair amount of maintenance to keep it looking nice and free of pesky termites or other bugs that burrow and eat wood. Generally this maintenance consists of repainting or refinishing your siding every 5 years or so to keep it looking nice and sealed against bugs. Wood siding lasts longer than vinyl siding and withstands external damage much better, but you must be very aware of any possible infestations that could be happening inside of the siding.

Fiber Cement Siding

Fiber Cement siding has become a very popular option across the united states, but especially here in Virginia due to our humid climate that can cause wood siding to warp. Fiber cement siding, such as Hardiplank, is usually cheaper than wood, and combines the durability of wood siding with the easy maintenance of vinyl siding. Best of all, fiber cement siding lasts longer than wood or vinyl siding.

Siding Maintenance

Hail Damage on Vinyl Siding

Siding for the most part is very easy to keep up with in terms of maintenance, as it only really needs to be checked every so often. I recommend giving your siding a thorough inspection every year or two years, and then doing a quick check after any kind of strong storm. Generally siding is damaged from high winds, falling debris, or hail as a result of a storm. It’s wise for homeowners in Virginia to check their siding before and after hurricane season, since that is our period of highest risk for storm damage.

 

 

Melted Vinyl Siding

In the event that your siding or roofing has been damaged or is just worn out, you may be inclined to try to tackle the job yourself. I don’t recommend this as it can be very difficult work that often requires a crew of people to complete. If your siding isn’t installed correctly it can lead to serious issues down the road.

When I had to get the siding replaced on my home in Centreville, I called Metropolitan Contractors, who did a fabulous job installing brand new Hardiplank siding on my home. They were prompt and did a quality job with the installation. I recommend them if you live in Northern VA, but if you’re elsewhere in the state your local contractor should be fully equipped to repair or replace your siding.

When you’re thinking about your next renovation project for your home, make sure to take a look at your exterior to verify that everything looks as it should, and if you know you’re coming up on 25+ years with your current siding, especially if that siding is vinyl, you might want to look into replacing your siding before you find yourself having to do costly repairs.