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 If your cabinets look outdated or worn down, they will make your entire kitchen look outdated and worn down as well.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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Protecting your health is just one of the many reasons why you should clean your carpets regularly; in addition to the dirt and stains that you can see, carpets also accumulate potentially harmful pollutants and allergens between cleanings. But some carpet cleaning processes are healthier than others. If better health is part of what motivates you to clean your carpets, you should also be mindful of what kinds of cleaning solutions are used. While some are kid- and pet-friendly, others are not.

Professionals generally do a great job at removing the cleaning solutions they apply to your carpet. But no matter how well these solutions are extracted back out of your carpet, traces and residues will be left behind; these traces can be released into the air in your home. If your cleaning required the use of chemicals or solvents, this could be a problem. Studies have found that chemicals in carpet cleaning solutions can cause short-term health issues such as headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, and trouble breathing.

In short: You don’t want to use cleaning solutions that you’d be afraid to breathe in.

Thankfully, the carpet cleaning industry has made great strides in improving the processes and solutions that they employ. Many companies now specialize in green cleaning solutions that are eco-friendly in addition to being safe for you and your family. There are several eco-friendly carpet cleaning companies in Tacoma. Rainier Chem-Dry, for example, uses a method they call hot carbonation; instead of using chemicals, Rainier Chem-Dry uses a variation on tried-and-true club soda.

Here are some other reasons why you should pay close attention to the methods your carpet cleaner uses:

Chemicals can harm your carpet, too. If that cleaning solution includes optical brighteners (or dyes), or has a particularly alkaline or acidic pH, it may degrade or discolor your carpet fibers. Of course, you shouldn’t be expected to become an expert on cleaning solutions. But you ought to take a moment to see if your cleaner is certified by the CRI – a watchdog organization that strives to maintain high standards in the carpet cleaning industry.

Residues can attract dirt. Virtually any carpet cleaning will leave the carpet cleaner than before. But some processes can leave behind a sticky residue that actually attracts dirt and hastens the need for another cleaning. This is especially likely if large quantities of water or cleaning soaps are used, such as is the case with traditional steam cleaners; as a general rule, the more detergent, polymer, or solvent that’s applied, the more will be left behind.

Cleaning agents can be irritants. If your cleaning employs solutions with a low (acidic) or a high pH (alkaline), any residue left behind is more likely to irritate your skin; bleach, for example, is a common cleaner with a high pH that can irritate. If possible, try to use solutions with neutral pH (think distilled water or club soda) to minimize the chance of skin irritation or other more harmful effect.

If you have to hire a carpet cleaning company, take the time to ask about their methods. Do they use chemicals? Are their ingredients non-toxic and eco-friendly? Does a residue of any sort get left behind? If you’re working with a reliable professional that uses sound methods, their answers should reassure you. If they don’t, look for another local carpet cleaner – there are many here in Tacoma!

Anyone living in Virginia can tell you that hurricane season is an extremely unpredictable time when it comes to weather. There have been several huge storms in the last few years, and it’s nearly impossible to predict which storms will be a big problem for homeowners across the state. Most of the time when a powerful storm comes through we get maybe a week’s notice before it hits, just enough time to buy up all the bread and milk at the neighborhood Kroger. Unfortunately, that is rarely enough time to take other important precautionary measures, like having a home generator installed.

While having a home generator isn’t a strict necessity, it can save you tons of money and keep your family comfortable during inclement weather situations. While hurricanes and ice storms are fairly rare, it helps to be prepared when they do eventually come around.  Here are some of the top reasons to have a generator installed in your home:

  1. Minimize Food Loss – Everyone has a refrigerator, and many families these days have a chest freezer as well to keep extra food handy. In the event of a power outage that lasts a day or more, all of the food in both your fridge and freezer can go to waste. Often that can be several hundred dollars’ worth of food depending on how much you store at one time. Even a small home generator has enough power to easily keep your fridge and freezer running, saving you hundreds on food that would have otherwise gone to waste.
  2. Keep the Water Running – If you aren’t on city water lines, chances are you get your water from an electric well. That means if your power goes out for an extended period, you could be stuck taking showers at the YMCA. Not to mention you won’t be able to flush the toilet or get a glass of water until the power comes back on. Powering an electric well is one of the top reasons that many people choose to get a home generator, and it is one of the best ways to ensure your family’s comfort during a long term power outage.
  3. Keep the Lights On – This one is probably the most obvious reason for having a home generator, or at least the first thing that most people think about. Some people enjoy hanging out by candlelight during a power outage, but it’s also nice to have access to all of your normal creature comforts in the event of extended power loss.
  4. Power Life-Saving Medical Equipment – For some people, loss of power is a serious threat to health and safety. Oxygen machines, home dialysis machines, and a handful of other home medical devices require constant power to maintain proper functionality. If you rely on one of these devices and your power goes out in the middle of the night you could be in a potentially dangerous situation. A home generator with an automatic switch could save your life in the event of a late night power outage.
  5. Maintain Comfortable Temperatures – Most people don’t really think about their heating and air conditioning until it stops working. A home generator can keep you and your family warm if you have a power outage during a blizzard or ice storm. Sometimes in the case of an outage during inclement winter weather, it can take days before the power company is able to access the lines to fix the problem. Being without central heat during that time can be extremely uncomfortable for you, your family, and even your pets.

These are just a few of the reasons to purchase and install a generator for your home. It’s not terribly often that the power goes out for days at a time, but when it does you want to be prepared. Not to mention, having a generator installed will boost your property values if you ever decide to sell your house.

If you’re not sure what size or type of generator you’ll need for your home, talk to a local generator installation technician. I live in Richmond and I had the team at Bradley Mechanical install my home generator. Their knowledgeable technicians helped me pick a generator that would cover all of my needs in the event of a power outage.

Choosing a generator can be a daunting task, but with a little help from the right people you’ll be hooked up with reliable backup power in no time. A home generator will give you peace of mind when hurricane season rolls around because you know that no matter what happens you’ll be comfortable and safe in your home.