Monday, March 15, 2010

Vote for House Doctors Handyman Services of Virginia Beach

Every year, The Virginian-Pilot holds a poll for readers to choose the Best of Hampton Roads - restaurants, stores, and other services. If you go to their voting site at , you'll find each city in Tidewater has a number of categories, and for Virginia Beach under Home Services there are a number of categories for which House Doctors Handyman Services of Virginia Beach qualifies.

If you have a moment, please consider writing in House Doctors Handyman Services for the following: Best Local Home Improvement Contractor, Best Window Replacement, and Best Siding in Virginia Beach. We pride ourselves on providing the most professional, knowledgeable, and courteous service in the beach, and we appreciate our customers. Help us let everybody know we are the best!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Solar Shades For Your Windows Can Save You Money

If you enjoy leaving your curtains open to allow natural light to shine into your home, you may think you are saving on your electricity bill. While it's true you may not use your lamps and lighting as much, but too much sunlight can have an adverse effect on your home. While there is light, you're also bringing in harmful UV rays and other potential problems. One way to prevent this and still keep your home illuminated is having exterior solar shades installed.

Why Install Solar Shades?

To protect our skin from the sun while we're outside, we may don wide-brimmed hats or use sunscreen. We may think, too, that being indoors protects us from UV, but in truth it does not. When the sun beats down on your windows, too, there is the danger of overheating the glass, which in turn could cause your A/C system to work harder than it really has to. Furniture and wallpaper may fade, too, dulling the inner beauty of your home.

Solar shades work to protect your rooms from these possibilities while also permitting natural illumination and a view outside. With shades you control the amount of sunshine you want in your home and therefore maintain the right level of cooling that won't take a hit on your wallet.

Solar Shades are Versatile

The more commonly used styles of shading are constructed of either acrylic exterior awning fabric, fiberglass screen, or PVC-coated polyester. Most contractors and companies dealing with shading will offer hundreds of patterns and colors to match your home, and motorized options let you set your shade with no fuss. You won't find a more cost-effective way of saving money on energy bills and beautifying your home.

K. Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia green homes and Virginia Beach handyman services.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Hire a HVAC Professional to Keep You Cool (And Warm)

When extreme weather conditions threaten the comfort of your home, it's important to make sure your heating and air conditioning systems are working property. If your house HVAC is in need of repairs or replacement, you'll do good to contact a professional home heating and cooling service to handle the job. Your local HVAC professional does more than make sure the air blows from the vents at the right temperature. If you're concerned about energy efficiency, for one, you'll benefit from the experience of people who know the equipment you need to keep you home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Why hire an HVAC mechanic to maintain your home's air circulation? Heating and air conditioning systems require the care of somebody who is trained specifically to deal with the workings of such sophisticated equipment. If you are not sure how an A/C unit works and decide to "tinker" a bit to get it to work, you could not only damage the unit but set back repairs and installation to cost even more than what you might have paid if you made the service call first. Take the time to consult with the proper mechanic for the following needs:

HVAC System Installation - When you're ready for a new furnace or boiler, or want to change out those window A/C units for central air, let an HVAC serviceman install your new system quickly and efficiently. Be sure to ask about potential energy-saving appliances and tax credit eligibility.

Indoor Air Quality Inspections - Is the air in your home clean? You may be surprised to know how easily pollution creeps indoors. Get an HVAC specialist to inspect your ventilation and air filters to determine if your air ducts need cleaning or replacement.

To keep your home free of airborne pollutants and other heating and cooling mishaps, it's best to call a professional with the know-how to keep you comfortable.

K. Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach handyman services, Newport News HVAC repair services and Virginia HVAC repair.

Why Remodel Your Home?

The old saying holds true: be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. Those who are fortunate to own their own home have the luxury of being able to hammer a nail into a wall without consequence, or replacing carpet with wooden or marble tile, or painting a wall any color they choose.

And, like fashions, homes do tend to go in and out of style as time passes. What might have been the trend in home furnishings and appliances when you bought your home may appear passe and unattractive now. More than likely, you have considered a home makeover, but is it necessary to go to something extreme like renovation of a room or an entire house? Is it affordable? How will it benefit you in the long run?

Here are a few things to consider if you are thinking of hiring a contractor to remodel your home:

Growth Have there been new additions to the family since you bought the house? Would you rather stay put than sell and look for something bigger? If you have the property and the resources, having an addition to the house may be more affordable than starting over with a new place. Your home can grow as your family grows, yet the familiar sites and environs that attracted you to where you live remain.

Value What is the current value of your home? Were you to sell, would you get a fair price for it in today's market? Home renovation may actually increase the value of your property, and with updated appliances and structures you may stand a better chance at attracting a willing buyer who doesn't have to take care of renovations.

Security and Safety Sometimes, renovation is necessary from a safety standpoint. If you should become injured or ill and require care, you may still want to remain in your home. Renovations to make your home more accessible to you can improve your quality of life.

There are many reasons to consider home improvements. With affordable renovations to your house, you can improve upon the quality of your life and property.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach home remodeling and Virginia Beach vinyl siding.

Is it Time to Call the Plumber?

New homeowners especially may be quick to call for repairs if even the slightest thing in their house goes wrong. The last thing anybody, regardless of how long they have owned their home, wants to deal with is the plumbing, and while some problems may appear easy to fix, it can be tricky. What could start out as a minor tweak could involve calling a professional plumber before the day is done.

How do you know when to call a plumber, before you discover the house is full of water? Some kitchen and bathroom jobs may look easy, but before you grab a wrench and try to tackle it yourself, please do some serious inspection to determine whether or not you should pick up a phone instead. Ask yourself these questions:

Is wiring or electricity involved? If the problem lies with an electric heater, it may take more than a simple poking around the panels to fix the situation. If you have no experience with heaters, you put yourself, as well as your home at risk. Best to bring in a licensed and bonded professional who knows his wires.

Are your pipes frozen? If so, this is definitely a job for a pro. If you try to thaw out the pipes on your own you risk further damage. Professional plumbers are trained to properly seal cracks in such pipes.

How bad is that backed up toilet? If a regular plunger isn't doing the trick, the problem could lie deeper in the sewage lines, which could require some digging to fix. Before you tear up your yard, make the call.

Does a part need replacing? If something as complicated as a heater or water pump is not working, it could mean you need a new part for it. Before you attempt to do the work on your own, it may be better to have a professional assess the problem.

Simple jobs like minor clogs and leaky pipes that need an extra twist may work fine if done on your own. More complicated task, however, require the care and expertise of a trained workman. You might think calling a plumber is expensive, but you'll find the cost is worth it if you don't have to pay for further damages incurred by a do-it-yourself job gone wrong.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach plumbing and Virginia Beach handyman services.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Plumbing Problems at Work? Do it Yourself?

You're at work, maybe getting coffee in the break room or checking in on the courtesy restrooms, and you see a leak. You may think it's nothing urgent, nothing a small tweak with a wrench can't fix. However, the trained eye of a commercial plumber may see something entirely different.
Unlike residential plumbing, commercial plumbing brings on different challenges and issues that may prove more complicated for an untrained person to handle. Leaks and problems with water flow may indicate problems deep within the building where your business is housed, and if you work in a strip building or are connected to other businesses the tweaking you do on pipes and fixtures could effect others.

Should you try to handle the problem yourself? There are a number of reasons why that wouldn't be recommended:

Inexperience: If you're not certain how to use wrench or other tool to fix a pipe, you risk doing more damage than is already there. Furthermore, what you see as a minor leak could be the beginning of a cracked pipe that will require more care and likely equipment you don't have on hand.

Liability: If you should happen to get injured while trying to fix a plumbing problem, your business will not only have to deal with the leak but also any workman's compensation, if applicable. You also risk losing work if hurt.

What is the best course to take here? If you're able to pinpoint the origin of the plumbing problem, contact a commercial plumber for a consultation. Commercial plumbing mechanics are trained to specifically assess pipework in non-residential buildings, and are able to make any repairs without disrupting your work or your customers.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on commercial plumbing in Virginia Beach and Virginia Beach home improvement.

The Importance of Drain Cleaning

Maybe it's happened to you before: you turn on the shower per your daily routine, or you run water hot into your kitchen sink to prepare dinner or wash dishes. After a few seconds you realize the water is pooling in the tub or sink, and there's no stopper making that happen. You have a clogged drain, and the additional headache of having to deal with it.

Drain clogs can be caused by a multitude of things - excess hair, waste, or food that gets caught in pipes and prevents water from flowing, or outside tree roots that compromise your plumbing. Depending on where the clog is and the severity of the problem, a quick solution may be all you need to handle it. Store brand or industrial strength cleaners one pours down a drain might do the trick if the clog isn't too problematic. Root killers, if applied correctly, can be effective and save you a phone call to a plumber.

Simple equipment like augurs and "plumbing snakes" may also address more stubborn clogs, but if you are not sure how to use them it might be best to avoid doing so.

Unclogging drains, however, is more than just pouring a solution down the hatch and hoping for the best. Once you've managed to dislodge a drain, you want to be certain another one doesn't pop up. This will require vigilance on your part to make sure the water flows smoothly down your pipes. If you find clogs occur too often and too close together, it could be time to contact a plumber to look into the problem.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach home repair, Chesapeake plumbing and plumbers in Norfolk.

Should You Repair Your Own Roof?

You've owned your home for a number of years, and have enjoyed the comfort and protection it provides. One day, however, you may sense something unusual - a drip from the ceiling, unusual noise, or chipping plaster. You look up and you realize there are problems with your roof. It won't do to live under a damaged top, so what's next? Having a roof replaced can be a costly process depending on your budget and finances, so is it wise to take on the chore of fixing it yourself?

While it may appear that fixing a roof is little more than applying shingles in places where there are gaps and tears, roofing is actually a fairly involved process that requires some planning. Homeowners may find that once they've scaled the ladder with a box of shingles and some nails that there are other things to consider about the roof. For one, will a patch job do the trick? Does the leaking problem extended deeper than a simple patch? Will the work you do affect how the roof currently ventilates?

Another thing to consider if you have thought about home repairs is the resale value of your home. Say after a few years you decide to sell. Prospective buyers will want to know the condition of the roof, especially if there is a possibility they will have to replace it themselves. Would a home buyer feel more confident knowing a contractor worked on your roof as opposed to an amateur handyman?

This is not to discourage anybody from attempting home fixes, but rather to guide homeowners toward the best decision regarding roof repair. The adjustments you make now should last a long time, so make sure the right person does the job.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach vinyl siding, Eastern Shore roofing and Virginia Beach roofing.

Green Plumbing Options Improve Your Home

A big concern for the homeowner these days is how to "green" the homestead. It seems automatic to recycle plastic and paper, keep unused lights off and use resources sparingly, but did you know that by making a few adjustments to your bathroom fixtures can greatly reduce the strain on your surrounding environment? Plumbing mechanics are training to offer green repair and installation options for home owners to ensure strong resources for the future.

Why Hire a Green Plumber

There's no question that employing the services of a "green" plumbing company benefits your property and the economy. Environmentally conservative fixtures and repairs to your home can increase its value over time, and help save money on energy and water bills. You also gain the peace of mind that you are working to reduce your carbon footprint and improve the natural resources in your surrounding area. Neighbors who happen to see a green plumber working on your home may be inspired to hire one as well, thereby increasing consciousness of the environment.

What a Green Plumber Can Do for You

Besides save you money, here are some things that can be done to improve the functionality of your bathroom.
  • Water efficient commodes - The less you flush, the less water wasted and the less running through the tank. If you're not a fan of jiggling the handle after use, maybe look into this option.
  • Solar hot water system - What's hotter than the sun? Rather than expand expensive energy on heating your water, install a solar powered system to keep down costs.
  • Environmentally friendly tank and drain maintenance - When you pour chemicals down the toilet or sink to undo clogs, you could be releasing dangerous toxins that eventually wind up in the soil underneath and around your house. If you have a garden, you especially don't want that! Green alternatives include additives made of natural resources that won't harm the earth.
The next time you're in need of plumbing repair around the house, confer with a company that applies eco-friendly techniques. The work you do now may alleviate the need to do so in the future.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach handyman services, Virginia Beach window replacement, and Virginia Beach commercial plumbing.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What Can a Window Replacement Service Do For You?

You don't necessarily have to wait for the neighbor's son to accidentally hit a baseball through your window to consider replacing the glass and frame. Homeowners may choose to have living room and kitchen windows replaced for a variety of reasons: concerns for leaking, older models wasting energy and increasing heating bills normally top the list. Also, as you work to modernize your home you may wish to improve how people see the exterior as well as the rooms. A new frame and glass gives you a new perspective on your home.

That said, it's important to hire a professional window replacement service to ensure your new frames fit right, making your house more energy efficient and attractive. Consult Internet and phone book listings that feature contractors with good Better Business Bureau ratings, or check the popular Angie's List website for genuine consumer reviews to assist your search. A reputable, experienced window service should be able to provide you with the following options at an affordable rate:

Window Installation: Looking for single-hung, double-hung, bay or bow windows? A good window specialist will measure the area where your window goes and apply the frame and style of your choosing.

Existing Window Repair: Break a window recently? Or is your storm window leaking and costing you enormous heating bills? A good window repairman will fix any style in your home.

Sliding Door Installation: Doors and windows often go hand in hand in contracting. As your window man about having a new sliding door leading into your deck or patio.
Whatever the reason for wanting new windows, finding a good window handyman to help improve your home is an important first step in making your house cost efficient and higher in value.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach handyman services and Virginia Beach windows replacement and installation.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Enhance Your Patio Or Deck With a Beautiful Awning

You work hard throughout the year, and deserve those precious moments of private time in the comfort of your home. Perhaps you've had a backyard patio or deck installed to enjoy long summer nights or weekend afternoons with a nice drink and a book to read. Depending on where you live and where you have this small oasis set, you should consider having a retractable awning set for protection and shade.

Awnings Improve Aesthetic Beauty

When you contact a contractor specializing in the installation of awnings, you'll discover the unlimited potential for beautifying your back patio, lanai, or veranda. Reputable awning companies will offer quality fabric in hundreds of patterns, all designed for use when the sun is too much to handle. A strong shade can prevent your patio furniture from fading and your skin from reddening if you happen to be out without sunscreen. Stripes, plaids, polka dots, and solid can choose a style that best matches your home's exterior and lends a polished look to your home.

Awnings Protect and Add Value to Your Home

When severe weather strikes, extend your retractable awning to keep your furniture and deck wood dry. Sun, snow, rain and hail may beat down on the fabric that covers this relaxation space, but if you consult with a reputable handyman you can rest with peace of mind knowing the awning is durable enough to withstand the harsh elements. Awnings do well to keep your glass siding doors from being scratched or cracked when the wind is strong, and may even add some value to your home should you decide to sell. Prospective buyers may see this one addition as a sign that the owner cares for the home - if it's protected on the outside, the inside must look terrific!
If you don't have anything covering your patio or deck, don't wait. The longer you leave your outdoor space exposed to the sun and weather, the more damage is inflicted. Consult with a handyman you trust about having a retractable awning set up today.

K. Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach awnings and Virginia Beach handyman services.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Benefits of Roof Inspection

Whether you already own your home or are looking into buying one, one task to consider for proper house care is a thorough inspection of the roof. The roof is what keeps the rest of the home secure and protected from the elements. Having a professional check the current state of a roof can help you save money and headaches, depending on your situation.
Why get your roof inspected? As a homeowner or potential buyer, it's important to know everything you can about the place you live.

Prevention: Regular roof evaluation - it is recommended to have a professional examine your house top every two or three years - can help determine if minor problems and leaks stand to become major issues in the future. These checks can spot damage by weather or rodents or other elements and allow you plan for timely repairs that may not cost you as much now as a larger fix would have down the road.

Value: If ever you think of selling your house, a buyer is going to want to know the condition of the roof. As it is the objective of the buyer to choose a home that doesn't require extensive repair, should your roof require great attention it can make selling a challenge. Regular inspections can alert you to repairs necessary before you put your home on the market, and they can help evaluate the selling price.

Renovation: Say you wish to remodel your home and have an addition built. Even if you don't plan to add a story to your house, a new room will require extension of your roof, and you want to be certain the structure matches your present one. Regular inspections can help you figure out what needs to be done to ensure the roof is even and strong.
Just a small payment for inspection can save you larger bills for repairs if you leave roof problems unnoticed and unattended.

K. Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach handyman services Virginia Beach roofing and Eastern Shore roofing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Make Your Home "Green" With Simple House Improvements

The long winter has left many a homeowner heated up - not only by high generation of heat within the home, but by rising energy bills due to the weather. As the cold season lingers, it forces people to continue running heaters and other appliances to keep living conditions bearable. Unfortunately, it's not always good for the wallet. Especially if you live in an older home, it's good to consider money-saving adjustments that add energy-efficient products to your structure that can help reduce power and save you money, while also helping to improve the value of your house.

If it suddenly warms up, too, don't think that putting off these improvements is a good thing. Simple measures to turn your home "green" are beneficial any time of year. Here are just a few suggestions to ponder when consulting with a contractor.

Installation of double-hung windows:Double-hung windows are constructed to allow the top and bottom sashes to tilt and open and provide ventilation or sealed protection when you need it. Energy-efficient and strong, when installed properly they keep out the elements and keep heat/cooling inside, so your systems won't work overtime to thoroughly circulate air through your house.

Addition of skylights: The more natural light you let into your home, the less reason to run lights during the day. Skylighting lends an attractive quality to your house and reduces the need for extra lamps. You save money on electric bills and light bulbs.

Erecting an attic tent: An attic tent is design to work with your home's insulation, so the heat stays where it needs to be - in your home, and not out into the neighborhood.

Replace bathroom fixtures: Is water consumption at an all time high in your home? Install low-flow toilets and shower heads to maximize your time in the bathroom without skyrocketing bills.

Confer with your favorite handyman today about what you can do to reduce your carbon footprint as well as your monthly payout for home expenses. A green home saves you green.

K. Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Virginia Beach handyman services and Norfolk green homes.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Give Your Garage an Extreme Makeover!

Do you have an attached garage, yet have trouble fitting your car for all the storage you've accumulated over the years? Perhaps you spend more time in your garage than in your home, tinkering on your car or motorcycle, and aren't satisfied with the use of space. It may be time to give this oft-neglected part of your home a makeover, so you can improve how you stock lawn and garden equipment, seasonal outdoor decoration, and make plenty of room for your vehicle.
It's not uncommon to hire a contractor or decorator to turn an existing garage into a functional room in your house, like a den or playroom, but did you know there are businesses that also specialize in improving this space so it's still used as a garage? It might surprise you to know what can be done to keep this enclosed storage space looking clean and functional. Here are just a few things one can consider for a complete overhaul.

Cabinet and Storage Installation: Can't find anything when you need it? Is your garage so full you can't even pull in your car? Have custom cabinetry and storage units installed to put everything in its place - tools, sports equipment, holiday decorations, and other items.

Flooring: Yes, you can have a professional style floor just like a commercial garage. Especially if you like to work on your car, a professional can replace or repair your current garage floor to a painted and polished result that will be envy of the neighborhood.

Wall Racks: For lawn and garden equipment, patio chairs, and camping gear, a wall system of racks and hanging baskets store everything perfectly and remove clutter from your floor.
Consult with a contractor who deals in garage renovation about the possibilities for your car's space. The result is well worth the investment.

K. Lively is a freelance writers specializing in articles on Virginia Beach garages and Virginia Beach home solutions.