You’re about to remodel, renovate, fix up, DIY or call a pro, and you’ve got questions! Get answers from design-build expert Mason Hearn, owner of Central Virginia’s HomeMasons.
C. Mason Hearn's Blog
You\'re about to remodel, renovate, fix up, DIY or call a pro, and you\'ve got questions! Get answers from design-build expert Mason Hearn, owner of Central Virginia\'s HomeMasons.

May 31

Heating and Air Equipment Replacement

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: HVAC

We have a Carrier gas heater/AC on the first floor of our house which presently is working fine. On the second floor we have also have a Carrier heat pump/AC that needs to be replaced (coils are bad). We got a quote from a local heating/AC company saying that they could replace our upstairs Carrier unit with a Goodman Heat Pump and Air Handler for $3,200 vs. a $4,200 Carrier unit. My question is should we stay with the Carrier units throughout the house since the first floor unit may need to be replaced eventually too or go with the lower cost unit.? How difficult and costly would be it be

May 31

Driveway Reminiscent of Dan Akroyd, Refrigerator Repairman

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: repairs, driveway, cracks

We have a 13 year old aggregate driveway that has a number of cracks throughout. They are not severe, but I am afraid they will get worse with time. Is there a way to repair them or do we have to replace the driveway with a new one?

Robert S.; Glen Allen, VA



We get so many inquiries here regarding domestic cracks of all sorts... perhaps there might be some business plan that might be written around these.  Hey, do you remember Dan Akroyd in that very old SNL skit, the refrigerator repairman?

If the extent and nature of the cracks is indicative of settlement (ie: the original subgrade

May 19

Gardeners and Addition Contractors - Unite!

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: landscaping, additions

Is it possible to build an addition and not seriously damage the landscaping? I have a lot of well-established foundation plantings and trees that I don't want damaged, or worse, by heavy equipment crossing over my property. This has been a major deterrent to moving forward with an addition.

- J.L. Powhatan, VA



I understand your concern very well.  Gardening is a great passion around the Hearn home.  My wife protects her azaleas and dogwoods like family members.  We had a very bad Saturday recently, when I (the lesser-skilled garden hand) cut the grass unevenly.

I fear to inform that,

May 05

Kitchen Flooring - Stick a Cork in It!

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, renovation, remodeling, kitchens, green, floors, DIY


Would you recommend cork flooring for a kitchen?

Brenda G. Dallas, TX

Dang, Brenda, I didn’t know our blog went all the way to the Lone Star State! Welcome, and know that I love your question!

There are SO many choices for flooring these days. Kitchens, obviously, have some very special needs in terms of durability, maintenance, clean-up, comfort, and of course, STYLE! The “best” floor for your kitchen should be based on which of these considerations you personally find most important. Porcelain tile is durable and sanitary, but not so comfortable for long periods of standing. Wood is

May 04

Patch to Match, This Way or That

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: renovation, hardwood, floors

 How do you repair hardwood floors after taking out walls? I want to take out a wall to open up my living space, but I don't want to redo or replace the existing flooring--it's not rare and important, but it is over 50 years old and in good shape. Can you patch the floor and make it look okay? The flooring runs perpendicular to the wall I want take out.

Amy O. Richmond, VA


I am reminded of a bit from The Honeymooners (I'm not that old, but we did have re-runs)... "Hire a doctor... Hire a lawyer...!" Actually, now, I'm not sure what that has to do with this, but it was indeed funny!

OK, back

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