Wednesday, February 25, 2009


First let me give credit where credit is due. This interesting analogy of how to design a bath room was written by Paul Lesieur of Silvertree Construction , North Oaks, Minnesota. Paul and I converse on a forum for contractors called Contractor Talk, and he has graciously given me permission to reprint an article from his blog,

SEX, and your new bathroom.

Do I have your attention?

If you’re looking for a Kama Sutra guide to remodeling, this isn’t going to be it, but sex is important when remodeling, and why is that? Well, who is going to get their wish list satisfied from this bath makeover? A man, a woman, a family of four? Any or all of these will dictate your approach to pleasing the occupants. For some of us price is no object, I talked to a friend at a design seminar recently and he was just completing a bath that was coming in at $260,000. It was a combination “his and her” bath suite. When money is no object we all get what we want. I assume most of us have a smaller budget. So let’s leave dreamland and start with the Manbath.


A bath remodel for many men might use rich dark colors and features. Stone tile such as slate for the floor and maybe a travertine tile in the shower area with an accent stripe of smaller slate squares. A magazine rack and maybe a built in 13″ LED TV set on a swing arm. The Manbath is a place to get some solitude from his family, read a paper, watch the tube from the corner of his eye while shaving, a place that doesn’t get cleaned as often as the main bath, so the darker muted colors means a little mess shows a little less. A Manbath would also have enough storage for grooming products in an easy to reach cabinet that shows shaving and skin or hair care. A Bonsai tree on the counter and wood shutters would complete the look.

In no particular order a man’s bathroom would have: Accessories that would have the look of a mans lounge. Darker and richer woods and colors. A higher vanity 36″ from the floor. A magnifying mirror for shaving. A closet or clothes valet for dressing. A steam shower for relaxation and deep cleaning.


Its no surprise that a woman sees the bathroom differently. When asked what a woman wants in her bath the consensus among women asked is to prefer softer shades and light colored or painted cabinets, also a popular request is a dry vanity with seating at a mirror and good lighting for applying makeup or getting ready for going out. A closet with storage for clothing accessories and maybe silk covered hangers for delicate items. Women are more prone to choose a soaking tub with air jets for a relaxing bubble bath. A bath for a woman is more spa like. The window treatment would trend to fabrics. Easy cleaning is important.

So for women, lighter colors, storage for body care products and accessories, ease of use and ease of cleaning. A place where she gets everything she feels she needs to prepare for or escape the demands of work and family.


That’s life for most of us. A shared bath means both parties want their needs met, this is what we call a bathroom suite. The biggest complaint from women sharing a bath with a man is how messy the man leaves his area. The biggest complaint from a man when sharing a bath with a woman is that the women takes over his space. Many remodeling professionals think men and women should not live in the same home, but just visit frequently. But we’re social animals so to make the best of it here’s what some pro’s suggest when you remodel a bath for two.

Originally we thought the problems of sharing a bath were solved when we went to double sinks. Didn’t work at my house, my area was too messy and my partner was slowly stealing my space. What we think now is; single sink at 36 inches height, installing more counter top makes it easier to share the work space, leave space for a lower height dry vanity with seating and have three or more lighting choices. Such as make up area, lighting for shaving and grooming, main lighting and mood lights for the tub area. Install a soaking tub with the steam unit built in and you have a compromise of sorts. For those with a large enough budget, designers are now suggesting two baths with a pass way between them. So you see, sex has everything to do with a bathroom makeover.

Paul Lesieur

Silvertree Construction

Monday, February 23, 2009


What does this mean to you as the homeowner? CertainTeed Roofing has certified and recognized FW&D (Fairlington Window & Door LLC), of Arlington Virginia, as a ShingleMaster™ Company and therefore can offer the SureStart™ PLUS 3-STAR and 4-STAR coverage warranty extensions. “This company has achieved ShingleMaster™ status by employing a Master Shingle Applicator™- qualified workforce (including one job supervisor and at least two installers)”, said Guillaume Texier, president of CertainTeed Roofing. The Master Shingle Applicator qualification is based on the CertainTeed Shingle Applicator’s Manual test. This publication discusses the complex requirements and recommendations for the installation of a high-quality shingle roof system. The Shingle Master Credential Course covers an overview CertainTeed roofing products, proper application standards, and a review of shingle technology and quality.

If you want more information regarding your Northern Virginia roofing project and the value of a roof warranty, contact FW&D, a Shingle Master certified company

Friday, February 20, 2009


On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed a stimulus bill (The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) that made some significant changes to the energy efficiency tax credits. The highlights are:

  • The tax credits that were previously effective for 2009, have been extended to 2010 as well.
  • The tax credit has been raised from 10% to 30%.
  • The tax credits that were for a specific dollar amount (ex $300 for a CAC), have been converted to 30% of the cost.
  • The maximum credit has been raised from $500 to $1500 for the two years (2009–2010). However, some improvements such as geothermal heat pumps, solar water heaters, and solar panels are not subject to the $1,500 maximum.
  • The $200 cap on windows has been removed.

**Please note, not all ENERGY STAR qualified homes and products qualify for a tax credit. These tax credits are available for a number of products at the highest efficiency levels, which typically cost much more than standard products. If, for whatever reason, you decide not to purchase a product covered by the tax credit, you may still consider purchasing an ENERGY STAR product. ENERGY STAR distinguishes energy efficient products which, although they may cost more to purchase than standard models, will pay you back in lower energy bills within a reasonable amount of time, without a tax credit.


President Obama signed a new stimulus package on February 17th, 2009. The stimulus package rewards tax credits to home improvements with Energy Star rated products*. FW&D LLC can provide these products and installations for you to receive your tax credit! You can receive tax credit on your Energy Star rated new entry door, storm door, storm windows, replacement windows and insulation. Here is more information to see if your home improvement qualifies for tax credit. Call FW&D to schedule a free estimate on your Energy Star rated home improvements!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

FW&D installs PROVIA ENERGY STAR DOOR in Fairlington

On a typical Northern Virginia February day, starting with temps in the 20's, snow flurries, brilliant sunshine, temps to 40, and then windy, FW&D installed a new kitchen entry door in Fairlington Villages. The typical Fairlington Villages kitchens in Arlington, Virginia, are smaller with a very limited amount of natural light. Wanting to eliminate the dreary lighting and the cold draft seeping in from the winter chill, a homeowner contacted their local experts, FW&D, to assist with the project. For his recently remodeled kitchen, we recommended a PROVIA 15 lite door with an ENERGY STAR RATED low-e glass package along with a full view storm door with the most functional pull handle. The doors were measured, ordered and upon delivery from the factory an installation date was scheduled. The pictures show the FW&D team at work installing the new doors. We like to remove all of the old, sometimes damaged or deteriorated, framework. The new door is put into place in the rough door opening and secured to the brick. A minimally expanding insulating foam fills in all of the cracks and voids around the entire door opening. The homeowner came rushing outside to tell us, “It’s warmer in here already!” The inside trim is applied as well as the outside brick mold which is unique to Fairlington. The storm door is installed and we have another completed job! Installing these energy efficient doors will save him money on heating and cooling costs improve the interior comfort and increase the value of his home. By using the PROVIA door system the homeowner is eligible for the tax credit provided by the Energy Improvement and Extension Act 2008 (H.R. 1424). If you would like to start saving energy please contact us at WWW.FAIRWD.COM, 703-933-8900 or email us at

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

David Simmons- CertainTeed Master Shingle Applicator

FW&D LLC is pleased to announce that David Simmons, having passed the MSA test, is recognized as a CertainTeed Master Shingle Applicator. The MSA test is based on the Certainteed Shingle Applicator's Manual. This publication discusses the complex requirements and recommendations for the installation of a high-quality shingle roof system. Topics covered include the specific installation instructions for CertainTeed shingles, workmanship, estimating, roof ventilation, shingle underlayment, flashing specifications, and repairs.
About CertainTeed
Through innovation and creative product design, CertainTeed has helped shape the building products industry for more than 100 years. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Company, the firm made its slogan "Quality Made Certain, Satisfaction Guaranteed," which quickly inspired the name CertainTeed. Today, CertainTeed is North America's leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, windows, fence, decking, railing, trim, foundations, pipe, insulation, walls, ceilings and access covers. Headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, CertainTeed and its affiliates have approximately 8,000 employees and nearly 70 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada. In 2006 the group had consolidated sales approaching $4 billion.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Rooms filled with natural light and fresh air are invariably more beautiful, spacious and uplifting to your spirits. Daylight is the essential element that transforms conventional rooms into splendid spaces that add value and quality to your home and your life. With energy rates constantly increasing, many homeowners are ensuring that the products installed by FW&D in their homes be energy efficient. All VELUX Skylights meet ENERGYSTAR qualification guidelines for all US climate zones, and they are 40% more efficient than most national building codes require. This means that VELUX skylights promote energy efficiency and can save uou moneyon your utility bills - all while enhancing the look and beauty of your living spaces. This Fairfax remodeling project required a cut through the kitchen ceiling into the attic, build a tunnel to the roof and then cut through the roof. The electrical lines in the attic were rerouted, VELUX skylights installed, drywall finished and painted and brilliant sunshine flowed into the kitchen.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Why was the final cost different from the original proposal? When we removed the existing tile from the wall on this Alexandria Virginia bath room remodel we found rotten wood as a result of the window leaking. It was then necessary to contact the homeowner and advise them of the circumstances and devolop a change order for the repairs. We removed and replaced all of the wet insulation and rotten wood which was not anticipated or projected in the original proposal. This is just one example of how the original cost estimate can change.

Friday, February 6, 2009


FW&D adds a utility trailer to the fleet of vehicles serving Northern Virginia remodeling projects. In the past for some large remodeling projects (i.e. new additions, kitchen expansions, basement renovations, etc.) we would have extra materials stored in the house. This new utility trailer allows us to store remodeling materials at the job site instead of inside the clients’ home which frees up work space and living space for the client. Right now the trailer is in Arlington for window installations and door replacements. If you see the FW&D Remodeling Services trailer be sure to wave or visit us online at WWW.FAIRWD.COM!