Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Day 2 at the Burke Remodel and our primary goal was to get the trench cut to install the electric conduit for the floor outlet being installed in the den. This is no easy task cutting a concrete floor but with the proper power tools and planning the job is accomplished.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


FW&D LLC is a proud member of the National Roof Group. So you are bound to be wondering, "What is National Roof Group?"

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,, 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 Burke, Virginia. We are going to transform the den into a much more user friendly family space. The homeowners want to remove the 70’s looking brick and replace it with stone, add cabinetry and bookcases on each side of the fireplace, add a gas fireplace starter, wire the cabinets for cable TV, sound surround audio system, and separate electrical circuits. We will also add a floor electrical receptacle, install hardwood flooring, and a new fire rated door from the den to the garage.

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

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 Colonial Village shopping Center on Wilson Blvd, we discovered Greenberry’s Coffee and Tea Company. Greenberry’s is headquartered in Charlottesville and the Arlington location is locally co-owned and managed by Tim Hodes and Mark Reedy. We suggest dinner at Village Bistro and then relaxing with a cappuccino at Greenberry’s. Pictured is Lauren Hammond, barista extraordinaire.

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

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Recently, Congress passed a new stimulus bill that expands tax credit incentives for homeowners making energy-efficient home improvements. The bill extends the tax credits through 2010 on energy-efficient investments – including qualifying windows and doors!

· The approved bill includes the ability for homeowners to gain a tax credit of 30 percent of the cost of qualifying energy-efficient upgrades to a maximum of $1,500 per household for 2009 and 2010.

·The new bill has some very specific restrictions, including:

  1. Windows and doors purchased must be equal to or below a U-Factor of 0.30 and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of 0.30 or below.
  2. The purchase of the qualified windows and doors must be made during the taxable year for which the credit is being claimed.
  3. The credit is only allowed on the price of the qualified windows and doors themselves, not on installation costs, onsite preparation, assembly or sales tax.
  4. The tax credit is allowable only for qualified window units placed in service in 2009 and 2010.
  5. Homeowners need to save their receipts for their windows and doors purchased along with all window labels and manufacturers certificates to apply for the tax credit.

Here’s the great news! FW&D has a full range of tax credit compliant windows and doors– from our value-focused selections to our option-rich premium products – we have the windows and doors that meet the 0.30 U-Factor and 0.30 SHGC tax credit requirements.

Qualifying Products

ALSIDE- Sheffield, UltraMaxx, Excalibur

All products ordered in the Excalibur family will meet the tax credit requirements With the exception of picture windows, all windows in the Sheffield and UltraMaxx window series meet the new tax credit requirements.

Crusader- with sash lite

Gorell- all series with specified glass package

Marvin Infinity- with LoE³ 366

Provia Doors- Entry doors and storm doors. Most doors qualify, ask for details.

Simonton- 5500 with LoE³ 366

Soft-Lite- Barrington and Pro series.


All operating casement and awning window products, regardless of configuration with a .30 U-Factor and 0.30 SHGC will meet the new tax credit requirements.

Bay and Bow

Bay and bow units are subject to the same limitations as their respective component windows. Each component window is labeled independently.

Patio Doors/Sliding Glass Doors

Meet the tax credit program requirements when using a glass package with a .30 U-Factor and 0.30 SHGC.

We have access to all major brands of windows and doors so if you didn’t see your favorite brand listed please call us so we can research your specific product.



Everyone loves a good top ten list! Read on and enjoy our top ten “Must Do” for remodeling a Fairlington bathroom,

1. Install a Pocket Door. Most Fairlington bathrooms are so small that doors can sometimes make them even smaller. Converting the swing door into a pocket door always opens up the space visually as well as physically. Pocket doors should always be installed by a professional as the installation often involves dealing with structural components of your home.

2. Venting? Always, always ensure your bathroom is properly vented. Many homes lack venting in the bathroom, resulting in black spoor-like stuff growing from the ceiling. Also many homes have undersized fans that often sound like a jet engine. When it comes to venting, our favorite is a quiet rated fan which reduces significantly the noise you will hear when the fan is on. This style of fan will have a grill in the ceiling and can have a light as well.

3. Comfort Height Toilets are just so much better! Comfort height or chair height toilets are much more comfortable for users. They are about 2″ taller then the old standard. If you have young children, you may want to have one toilet in your home that is at the lower height. Also a round front toilet rather than an elongated toilet bowl is a space saver in smaller bathrooms.

4. White Painted Beadboard lends an elegance and look to a bathroom that is classic and clean. For a long time, beadboard was not considered in a bathroom. Why? Because beadboard usually consisted of 1×6 pine milled with a tongue and grove and beaded on the edges and center. As the beadboard was wood, it was subject to moisture changes. The nice tight paint job looked great until the heating season when the beadboard shrank and showed cracking in the paint. The beadboard would look awful until the humidity of summer rolled around.

Now there are moisture resistant products in the form of 4′ x 8′ and larger sheets of bead-board. Manufactured from premium medium density fiberboard, the sheet beadboard is much more dimensionally stable and less prone to movement. ie a tighter paint job. We also like it because it installs much faster then the piece by piece method of wood strips. If you want to install the beadboard in your bathroom, make sure you purchase the moisture resistant grade rather then the standard grade.

5. Heated Floors. Quick Quiz: Can you name the healthiest, safest kind of heating system? If you said radiant heat, give yourself an A! Yes, we’re big fans of radiant heat, especially in the bathroom. Nothing beats stepping out of a shower onto heated tile on a cold winters morning. A preferred brand of radiant heat is Laticrete. They have a system that is well thought-out and easy to install. The running costs of radiant are minimal for a small area such as a bathroom.

6. Handheld Shower. One feature we suggest to clients who are upgrading, is to include a handheld shower. Handhelds are more flexible then a fixed shower head and allow you to do everything from bathing the dog to cleaning the tub or shower, as you can put water where you need it.

7. Taller Vanities. Like the toilets we mentioned above, vanities have grown up which is a godsend to those who spent many a time stooped over at sinks designed for the vertically challenged! The taller height is more comfortable to use. Don’t forget however, to have a stepstool handy for the little one’s.

8. Integrated Sink. Is a type of sink you can have with a solid surface product such as Corian, Silestone or Cultured Marble. The countertop material flows into the bottom of the sink creating a seamless bowl making for easy cleaning.

9. Hooks. Sometimes towel bars can be just too fussy and formal. Big hooks to hang towels allow you to hang and run and you have more hanging space. Some we have used, can be found at Restoration Hardware. Be sure to use the large ones to allow towels to hang freely so they may dry.

10. Creative Storage. A drop out tray in front of the sink provides a great place for tooth brushes and toothpaste. A drawer at the base of the sink cabinet also can be surprise storage. Corner shelves in the shower can be a great place for shampoos, razors and body washes. One trick we have done in the past, is to recess a cabinet into a closet of an adjacent room keeping the face frame of the cabinet flush with the bathroom wall.

Watch for future postings with more ideas for better remodeling.

The original article was written by John Clark.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Every year FW&D gives back to the community in a variety of ways and to a variety of charities. This year our featured charity is the American Diabetes Association. I will be participating in the Tour de Cure bicycle ride on June 14th, 2009 and riding a metric century, 64 miles, to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Here are a few facts regarding diabetes.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death by disease in the U.S. Diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure.

Diabetes is becoming the new American health epidemic of the century. Consider these facts:

· More than 23 million Americans have diabetes—including more than five million (nearly one-quarter) who don't even know it.

· An additional 57 million people have pre-diabetes, putting them at great risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

· If present trends continue, one out of every three Americans born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes.

· More than $174 billion direct and indirect healthcare costs are attributed to diabetes (2007 statistics).

Please visit my fundraising website and make a contribution. You’re not only supporting me but also everyone who suffers with diabetes. I’ll be riding in honor of my mother-in-law, Doris Cambron, who will be 88 years old on March 11th and has been living with diabetes for the last 30 years.

Ned Overton

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Mark Buckshon, of the Construction News and Report Group, Ottawa, Ontario, writes a blog titled Construction Marketing Ideas. On February 20th, 2009, Mark wrote an article ( about contractors that have started using blogs as a means of marketing their services. In that article he features the FW&D blog and uses a picture of one of our satisfied roofing customers from Fairfax County Virginia. To be featured by an international marketing firm was quite an honor for us. I hope that I’m able to meet Mark the next time he is in the D.C. area and personally thank him for the recognition.