Saturday, November 21, 2009
A friend in Alexandria wanted to update the look of their house. We suggested adding a front porch roof. WOW! What a difference in the curb appeal. If your house is looking dated and you want to improve the appearance just give us a call. We would like to share our design and remodeling expertise with you and increase the value of your home.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Fairlington was converted from apartments to condos in the mid 70's. The basements had a bathroom added and the dryers were vented using plastic flex hose. As you can see in this picture the lint clings to the walls of the hose and builds up causing the dryer to work harder and be less effective. It is also a fire hazard. The most recent event was in the 3000 block of S. Buchanan St.
If you are planning a remodel of your basement bathroom be sure to include changing the plastic flex hose to metal hard pipe.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Fairlington bath rooms are in the age range of 30+ years and many hide the signs of age. FW&D frequently finds these tell tale signs after we demo a bath room. This leak was significant in that it had deteriorated the 2x4 stud away from the bottom sill plate and had a mold problem, unbeknownst to the homeowner.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
What I want to share with you today is one of the biggest enthusiasm-killers to any project, the shock you get when what you had in your mind doesn’t match up with the actual costs. I’m not talking about when you first start your research, although many of you have emailed with your disappointments. I hear you.
What I’m talking about is additions either during the selection process or during the project. You know the type – you decide to add can lighting to your kitchen. You went online to a box store, added the cost of 4 can lights, 4x $ 20.00 per can (and you weren’t in
You get the bill or change order for $ 900.00.
“What?!?” you say. “Wait a minute; I’m not paying for this! It should have cost 1/8th of that.” Now you’re steaming mad, refuse to pay, hop on the internet and blast your contractor for being a crook.
Hold on. Yes, your contractor was wrong, but not for the reason you think.
One of the biggest common failings in our industry is that we have a tendency to assume you all automatically know what we do AND how we do it. *scratch head* I don’t know why, but we figure just by talking to us, you have somehow absorbed every aspect of our business. Silly, isn’t it? Then we end up all shocked that you would be shocked, because we actually gave you a discount even though we had to drop everything else to accommodate this last minute change and it put us a day behind at another job and now our other client is upset.
Hurt feelings all around, but really? That’s our fault. We need to step it up and recognize no, you don’t know:
- the cans you saw online – that $ 20.00 is just for the trim. They need housing and assembly which costs extra. The bulbs are also on top of this. New price: $ 38.00
- the sheetrock and/or plaster have to be cut for 4 boxes. The ceiling joists weren’t in the right spot and the contractor had to add some framing in the ceiling so that the lights would line up exactly where you want them
- the sheetrock also had to be cut out on the wall for the light switch
- somebody had to go pick up the lights (and Murphy’s Law being what it is, the store was out of stock and there was an extra 1/2 hour drive to another store for pickup. You probably weren’t charged for the extra trip, but when you ask why it’s taking so long, that’s one of the time-killers on any job.)
- you forgot to add in the 2 hours of electrician’s time
- the electrician found a wiring mess buried in the insulation and had to repair it
- someone had to repair the sheetrock
- someone else had to paint the ceiling. If it’s done properly, the entire ceiling was painted, not just 4 small patches(Sometimes it’s more labor taping around a patch then spraying the entire ceiling)
- the mess of sheetrock, insulation bits, and wiring had to be cleaned up
Knowing what’s involved is a big step towards understanding. Repeat after me: Failed expectations are the sole cause of anger. Ommm. *grin*
The last few years, I’ve taken time to explain where the costs come from and if I can, in the early stages, so that the adjustments for both budget and expectations can be made. Sure, I still have clients say: “I had no idea there was so much to this”, but at least they didn’t have any surprises.
And that’s my 2 cents for the day.
Hi and welcome! My name is Kelly Morisseau and I'm a second-generation CMKBD (Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer), and a CID (Certified Interior Designer) for a residential design/build firm in
Friday, October 30, 2009
FW&D Remodeling Services marketing director, Ned Overton, attended the Internet Success System Master Mind Conference, hosted by Mark Hendricks in Atlanta, GA, starting on October 22, 2009. The main focus of the conference is internet marketing. Attendees enjoyed networking with industry leaders, hands on workshops, special mastermind sessions, and Mark’s famous Q & A session. Mark, pictured at right welcoming Ned Overton to the conference, is one of the few online marketers that offer attendees a special Q & A session to ask any question at all about internet marketing. To learn more about the Internet Success Conference and how you can attend visit http://internetsuccessystem.com.
Previous attendees of the conference stated “This program is truly an educational experience”.
Cindi Dawson of CindiDawson.com said, "I truly benefited from the Internet Success System conference last weekend. I met lots of potential joint venture partners, learned how to create three different types of products very quickly and easily, and had a wonderful time."
Pictured left to right is the legendary Jim Straw, Ned Overton, and marketing genius Ken Compton.
The conference covered topics such as How To Develop a Press Release, Article Writing, Developing Video Presentations, and Using Facebook For Business.
“I generally try to get 1 nugget per day at a conference but at the Internet Success System Conference nuggets were flowing like an artesian well”, said Ned Overton of FW&D Remodeling Services.
FW&D Remodeling Services is located in the Fairlington Historic District in
If you would like more information about FW&D Remodeling Services please visit http://www.fairwd.com.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Do you feel cramped for space? Do you feel restricted when entertaining in your home? Then you should read these suggestions from an experienced design team and Fairlington residents.
Our first suggestion, assuming you live in a Fairlington Clarendon model, is to remove the non load bearing wall and replace the wall mounted cabinets with ceiling mounted cabinets. This makes the most of the space you do have, and opens up the room.
White cabinets or a light finish wood cabinet, such as a honey maple, give the perception of a more open space – dark colors tend to make to space more cave-like.
To add to the open feel, use glass front doors on both sides of the ceiling mounted cabinets. This visual trick keeps the kitchen from feeling closed off, and gives a nice flow from room to room.
Next, install recessed lights to free the ceiling area and focus the cone of light on the lighter cabinets.
There are additional benefits to remodeling your Fairlington kitchen with these suggestions. You now have more counter space. The feel of the open kitchen may spark positive life style changes. You’ll be more receptive to entertaining and perhaps the best benefit; it will increase the re-sale value of your home.
These are but a few suggestions to enhance the look and feel of your Fairlington kitchen.
If you would like to receive more design ideas visit http://www.fairwd.com or, to see completed Fairlington remodels, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/FWDremodel.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Everyone wants to help out the environment, but sometimes the green alternative can be the pricey alternative. Not the case though with FW&D. We use products that are not only better for the environment, but save money!
Take the Excalibur model window. This is a window we regularly install in Fairlington homes. Made by Alside, these beautiful windows work for you. They feature PPG’s Solarban 60 Low-E glass. Who would have thought that the type of glass in your window could help the environment? But Low-E works year-round to keep your A/C or heateroff as much as possible. In the summer, this cool glass filters in long-wave solar radiation (the cooler rays). By keeping only the hotter rays out, you still get the pleasure of natural sunlight without the scorching heat of the August sun! In the winter, Low-E glass works double-duty: first it lets warm, short-wave rays into the home for natural warmth; then the Low-E glass helps block the warm air inside, rather than letting it seep back out into the winter air.
Excalibur windows also have Argon gas between the panes of glass. Argon gas is a colorless, odorless, nonflammable, nontoxic and safe inert gas. Heavier than air, the Argon gas creates an additional layer of insulation that reduces the transmittance of heat and cold, but not light. Pretty cool, huh?
What do these big words and fancy products all mean? Well, not only do you help save the world by using less energy, you can save yourself a lot of money! Energy efficient choices can save families about a third on their energy bill! WOW! Excalibur windows meet the strict Energy Star ratings set by the EPA and the US Department of Energy.
Isn’t it great when doing the right thing is just so easy?
Monday, August 24, 2009
Are you tired of the dated 70’s look in your basement? Would you like the perception of more space in your basement? FW&D recently completed a basement stair railing system in a Clarendon model townhouse in Fairlington. If you would like to update the look of your basement, whether you’re in Fairlington or not, then contact your full service remodeling company.
Friday, August 21, 2009
FW&D LLC Remodeling Services of Arlington, Virginia, announced the recipient of the Golden Opportunity award for 2009. Mary Rothenbach is a 2009 graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts, University Scholar.
FW&D provides the award recipient with the opportunity to participate hands on in all aspects of business management with a concentration on customer service and marketing. Previous winners continue to work with FW&D in consultation and mentoring the newest recipient.
Mary was selected for her command of written communications, poise and presence in the interview process, and for her ability to formulate and articulate answers to difficult questions.
FW&D LLC Remodeling Services has provided home improvement services including kitchen and bath remodeling, roof replacements, window replacements up to complete additions for Northern Virginia since 2002. Due to a commitment to quality craftsmanship and customer service, the company has sustained growth every year.
If you would like more information about FW&D and the Golden Opportunity award:
Official Press Release can also be viewed on Free-Press-Release.com.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
No it's not a story about Gomer Pyle. We started a bath room remodel in Arlington, VA, and much to our surprise we found a previous remodel effort had used plywood as a backer board. You can see the water stains and possible mold growth.
At FW&D we like to use DUROCK concrete backer board in all tub & shower installations. Concrete backerboard has a solid concrete core and is faced on both sides with fiberglass. It's an ideal underlayment for wet areas like shower walls and bathtub surrounds. As part of a proper application we tape and mud the joints.
If you would like to know more about bath remodeling please contact us.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Well here we are on FW&D's social networking site, the company blog, and who would have ever thought that I would know how to use this stuff as a marketing tool. I certainly didn't. Not only do we have the blog but we also have a YouTube channel which enables our clients to view certain aspects of our work conveniently from their laptop or pc.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
A couple of contractor friends of mine started a forum that will bring contractors and homeowners together and it's called Remodel Crazy. What's different about this forum is they are welcoming all of the players in a remodeling project to participate in the forum. Sounds crazy but if you have a homeowner asking a question surely one of the members will be able to answer the question when the forum has a membership represented by most every trade, suppliers, vendors and a few crazies. I'll leave it up to you to figure out who the crazies are. So take the time to check out www.RemodelCrazy.com.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Also Known As:
What’s wrong with just getting 3 bids on my roofing project? And, Could someone please help me to not get screwed by the contractor I choose?
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner,
I would like to address the vulnerability you are subjecting yourselves to by going out and requesting 3 bids for your project. Maybe the advice should be to make sure that you get the best qualified contractor to do the job right in the first place, instead of worrying about problems down the road. The 3-bid suggestion is just there so you can hopefully get lucky and find one who fits that category. Would you be astounded to hear that according to major roofing related manufacturers, that over 90 % of all roofs do not qualify for the manufacturers long term peace of mind warranty, from the initial installation time? I know I am. And, That’s a proven fact!
I know what you have been told; "Go out and get at least 3 bids", and throw away the contractors bid at the bottom and the contractors bid at the top and select the one in the middle. After all, isn't that what almost every single, "How to Choose a Contractor Guide" suggests you do. Isn't this the only way to ensure you do not get the low ball fly-by-nighter or the contractor who has to charge too much to justify his overhead or just wants to make too much profit from your job?
When you decided you had a need for this particular project, did you say to yourself?
"Gee, I want to make sure I get somebody who does not provide me with the full scope of work we need to validate the manufacturers full length warranty, (even if we do not really know what specifications those are yet), and I also want to make sure they do not have enough experience for this type of project?
Of course you didn't! That would be foolish and absurd!
Well then, that obviously eliminates anybody who would not spend the proper amount of time with you to be able to assess your projects complete requirements, while attempting to remain within your financial means to afford this enhancement to your home.
From years upon years of experience, we have discovered that the majority of bid work usually omits many of the necessary items that should have been included in the first place. We have chosen a different path. We decided that it would be better to explain the proper price for the job being done correctly at the beginning, rather than have to make excuses for the lack of quality for years to come.
Do you really think that there are so many corrupt or deceitful contractors out there? Actually, no there are not. The unfortunate consequence of requiring multiple contractors to be bidding on the same project without pre-determined specifications to be met is that most contractors feel compelled to find ways to cut corners to be able to "Win" the job. There is a necessity to "Make the
Well now, what will happen next, once the job starts. Here are two possible scenarios;
A) The contractor will do all of the minimal work specified in the contract, hoping that no one alerts you to the fact that additional specifications should have been included in the first place. If you never find out that some specs were omitted, Great Job. Everybody is happy. That is until things do not work as they were intended.
Even though, “Roofing is Not Brain Surgery”; There are many Wrong ways to roof a house. But…There is only…One “
But, if the building inspector approves it, doesn't that mean it was done correctly? Yes and No! The building inspector is only there to ensure that the "Minimum" specifications were followed. That means that they pass things all the time, where some contractors only do the least amount of work to just barely be on the legal side of the ordinances. Is this what you want, a "barely passed minimum standards job"?
B) On the other hand, what if you realize that the project is not advancing towards your vision you started out with? Aha, you inform the contractor that more work needs to be included in the project scope. Great!!! The contractor replies, but first, Mr. and Mrs. Homeowner, please sign these additional work change order forms. That work you now realize that you needed to have included, was not in our initial bid! We thought we were doing you a favor, by keeping the costs down for you, isn't that what you wanted?
So, what is a homeowner to do? The best that you can do is to find a contractor who is proposing to do the job 100 % the
After you have done all of this, which contractor do you now believe is going to give you the Right Job for the Right Price?
More than likely, the only one out of the original 3 bidders, who even had a shot at producing the right results, was the supposedly highest priced contractor. Now, can you see that the highest bid, probably is not really the highest cost to you, but the only one to have provided the proper value to the specifications to ensure your warranty is validated by doing it the
The bottom line is that only the right “Qualified” bidder should even be considered in the 1st place.
This article is geared towards FW&D future roofing clients but is a valuable guide for any remodeling experience.
This article was written by my friend Ed Fako, owner, Right Way Roofing Company.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
This roof has an obvious leak in the porch area due to poor installation techniques. FW&D was called in to make an assessment and recommend a solution. We proposed to use Certainteed WinterGuard™ waterproofing shingle underlayment as the solution for winning the battle against water penetration in this roof's most vulnerable place, the valley. But we decided to go for maximum protection and covered the entire porch roof area. WinterGuard™ is a composite material of asphalt polymers, formed into a rolled sheet. The asphalt makes it vapor-tight, and the polymers make the asphalt elastic and sticky. This protective barrier is able to stretch and seal around nails driven through it.
Friday, July 24, 2009
When we provide a homeowner with a roof replacement proposal the second item on the form addresses the replacement of rotten roof decking. At yesterday's job we unfortunately had to inform the homeowner that the entire roof deck needed to be replaced and the reason was inadequate ventilation. A 2x4 was inserted at the edge of the eave to act as a stop to prevent the blown in insulation from going into the soffit area. This also created a stop that prevented cool air from flowing from the soffit vent into the attic and purging the hot air from the attic space. The excess heat buildup caused the plywood deck to "cook" and delaminate. Our solution was to turn the 2x4 block at a 45 degree angle to act as a curb to hold the insulation and still allow air flow into the attic space.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I am a member of forum called Contractor Talk where contractors from several countries go to share ideas, problems and solutions. Through that association I have had the opportunity to meet several of the members such as Mark Buckshon, who writes the Construction Marketing Ideas blog, Frank Albert, owner of Albert's Roofing and a slate roof expert, and Sean Lintow Sr., owner of SLS Construction. All three of these guys have provided support, mentoring, and knowledge towards my effort to take FW&D to a higher level. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Very carefully!! This Fairlington bath remodel provide provided us an opportunity to show case our skills not normally used in a typical bath remodel. One would think that laying the larger tile would be easier and faster than conventional size tile. On the contrary, the tile pieces all need to be inspected very closely for defects and cracks. The pieces that pass inspection are placed in a separate pile and the culls are then used for the pieces that need to be trimmed or cut to size. Placing 1 tile takes a bit more time to set due to the weight and then we can only set 1 course and have to wait for it to setup before we can set another course. On this particular job we had an angled wall that when we set the tile we applied a custom made support to hold the tile in place and then let it setup overnight. Sorry, no picture of that process.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
FW&D Remodeling Services recently completed construction of a custom shed in the
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
FW&D is building this custom shed in
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
FW&D contracted a large exterior remodel project in Centreville Virginia that includes installing a new roof with CertainTeed Xt 25 year shingles, gutters, LeafProof gutter covers, Alside Excalibur energy star rated windows, Provia energy star rated rear entry door with storm door, new back yard privacy fence, and new siding. We started with replacing the roof. Since this is a town house, we are working against or abutting to the house next door. When we got up on the roof we found that the neighbor, at some point, had some repair work done to his siding. What is really unfortunate here is that the workers had an attitude that if the homeowner can't see it from the ground then we don't have to do a proper repair. As you can see the gap between the bottom of the siding and the roof flashing allows water to get into the house. FW&D will show the homeowner these pictures and propose an economical repair.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
It's been a week since I posted an update on the Burke Virginia remodel. In that time we installed or made changes to quite a few items that don't show well pictorially. Those items are changing the basement lights from a pull cord to a wall switch, making minor changes in the powder room, adding electrical service to the living room, add wiring circuit for surround sound system, running new electric circuits to the den, run a new gas line to the fireplace in the den, and wait for inspection on new gas and electric service lines. After inspection we cover up or drywall the areas, add a lintel and firebrick to the fireplace to accomodate the size of the new custom fireplace screen , and start setting cabinets. Now it looks like we're making progress but in reality we did get a lot of small time consuming projects completed. Once we get the cabinets set we'll install the stone veneer on the fireplace, new fire rated door to garage, new hardwood floors and a paint job. Stay tuned for updated pictures.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
National Roof Group was founded by Chris Rayburn on the principle that roofing contractors should not have to pay for services that help them build their business. NRG links roofing contractors with the product and service providers who supply the premium products they are searching for. As a roofing contractor, we benefit from items like a roofing forum where people genuinely want to help one another succeed. The Member's Only roofing forum has allowed us to forge relationships with roofing contractors from around the country, and learn the tips and tricks that work for the roofing industry, and the ones that don't. Other services provided by the NRG are The Roofing Channel, Roof Campus, Roofer Data, Roofwebs.com, Roofer’s Auction, National Roof Group blog, and the Roofing Entrepreneur Magazine.
I spoke to quite a few of the members who told me what they liked most about the National Roofing Group Forum was that it was private, you have to register which leaves out most of the spamming and leads to better content. They say Chris runs a loose ship for the good of the forum but will step in and take control if someone gets too far out of line.
The National Roof Group Member Forum is one of the most helpful roofing forums on the internet. It’s a place where people genuinely care about the other members, and do whatever it takes to help. You don’t have to gain respect within our group, you simply have to show up. It shows a willingness to get involved and help others, and that goes a long way to increase the responses of others.Thanks to the National Roof Group, their members, supporters and contributors, we anticipate doubling the size of our company this year.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Well the day has finally arrived when all of the materials that were
ordered have been shipped and received and FW&D LLC could schedule the start of an interesting remodel project located in
Let’s get started on the demo. First we seal the the work area from the living area with a plastic wall. Then we start removing the brick from the end wall. The brick will be recycled and incorporated into an outdoor project. A friend asked if he could have the firewood storage box and we told him we could move that to his house with no problem. As this FW&D remodel project progresses we will update the blog site. We hope you come back to visit often.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renovating six square feet or more of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects in housing, child care facilities and schools built before 1978. EPA Lead Pamphlet
This pamphlet contains information on the dangers of lead & ways of minimizing the issues. "You have the ultimate responsibility for the safety of your family, tenants, or children in your care. This means properly preparing for the renovation and keeping persons out of the work area. It also means ensuring the contractor uses lead-safe work practices."
Beginning April 2010, federal law will also require contractors that disturb lead-based paint in buildings built before 1978 be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination. Therefore beginning in April 2010, ask to see the contractor’s certification.
Until then, the EPA recommends that you make sure your contractor can explain clearly the details of the job and how the contractor will minimize lead hazards during the work. If you have any previous lead tests done, these need to be shared with the contractor. You should make sure that the contract is clear about how the work will be set up, performed, and cleaned up. The contract should specify which parts of your home are part of the work area and specify which lead-safe work practices should be used in those areas (found on pages 9 & 10).
The three basic tenants of Lead Safety practices are to contain the work area, minimize dust & clean thoroughly. At FW&D LLC, those 3 principles are adhered to no matter what the age of the building is or the size of the project. After April 2010 or per a Homeowners request, the EPA is recommending that a Lead Dust Test be completed.
Additional info is available at www.EPA.gov/lead
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Each year approximately 30 Americans are attacked by alligators but 347,000 Americans are injured because of falls from ladders. If you had LeafProof® gutter covers you would never have to climb a ladder to clean your gutters again. LeafProof®’s advanced gutter protection system can be installed on any type of roofing, including shingles, slate, metal and tile, and on any pitch. With LeafProof® installed, leaves and debris fall off the roof, while rainwater easily flows into the gutters. LeafProof® gutter protection systems enclose your gutters, eliminating the messy hassle and danger associated with cleaning them.
- The only gutter protection system that fit existing gutters, slide under the first row of shingles, and are not screwed or nailed into your roof.
- The lowest profile on the market today to enhance curb appeal of your home
- Patented Xtreme Performance Panel protects against high water flow areas.
- Factory pre-set water channel can handle any downpour and is small enough to keep out leaves, debris, pine needles and birds and animals too.
- Patented nose-forward design allows homeowners to maintain the system from the ground using a garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle.
- Manufactured using sturdy .024 aluminum, LeafProof® will not collapse like screens and products made from vinyl.
- Available in 11 colors or solid copper to blend in with your existing gutters.
- Most affordable premium gutter protection system on the market today.
For complete information on all LeafProof® Gutter Protection Systems, just give us a call. We’re in your neighborhood.
FW&D LLC Remodeling Services is a certified dealer for LeafProof® Gutter Protection Systems.
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Alica and I like to support the privately owned or chef owned and operated restaurants in the area. On a recent outing to the
Friday, March 6, 2009
Our multi talented project manager, Dave Simmons, recently had an appointment to discuss replacement windows with a client in Herndon. While Dave was in the house surveying the existing windows he noticed some delicious looking cookies on the countertop and commented on them. The homeowner said that she had a business making custom decorated cookies so we thought she should get a mention in our blog. Emily Hutton, the owner of The Uncommon Cookie, says she designs and bakes cookies for any and all occasions. If you have a need for special cookies call Emily at 202-640-8456 or visit her website at www.uncommoncookie.com.