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Category >> contractors

Jan 15

Raise the Bridge or Lower the River?

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, select contractor, renovation, remodeling, floors, design, contractors, Accessibility


We are interviewing contractors for a remodel to our home which we want to make handicap accessible.   Our living room is two steps up from the rest of the house.  Is it possible to have it lowered?



Dear Linda:

 Thank you for your question.  The EASY answer is always YES!  I believe that anyone can do anything, given enough time, money and expertise.  I assume your question really means "is this reasonably achievable?"

The answer to the latter interpretation of your inquiry,

Aug 24

Why Invest in Remodeling, In Today's Market?

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, select contractor, repairs, renovation, remodeling, handyman, financing, contractors

Some of the earliest signs of the present economic troubles appeared in the nation's housing industry.  Presently, new home starts (as indicated by permit activity) have dredged 25-year lows, and existing home sales have fallen even as they become seemingly more affordable amidst heretofore unseen devaluation.  As lenders tighten their practices, real estate finance has become markedly more conservative, decreasing the ability for many to obtain credit for purchases and improvements.

While the daily headlines emphasize these and other domestic economic problems, is it any surprise that

Jul 25

Is it a Leaky Shower or Centerpiece-Watering Opportunity?

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: repairs, handyman, contractors, bathrooms


It appears that we have a leak from an upstairs shower, right over our dining room table below. Is this a job for a plumber or a handyman service, or what?

Bob S., Glen Allen, VA


Most know that the works of Frank Lloyd Wright were fraught with technical problems.  I recall the story of an angry letter from Edgar Kaufmann (owner of the famous Fallingwater house) to Mr. Wright, complaining of a roof leak over his dining room table.  Wright's flip response:  "What a perfect place for a bowl!".

Seriously, though, let's first get familiar with the particulars of your shower, toward

Jul 18

Earth-Friendly Systems Sources

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: select contractor, renovation, remodeling, HVAC, green, contractors


We are remodeling a home in Midlothian and we are trying to come up with very efficient and eco-friendly technology to integrate into the home including, solar panels, radiant heating, water recycling, geo thermal heating, heat recovery systems and smart technology.

 Is there anyone out there selling these services in Central Virginia for one stop shopping that could provide a plan to achieve the highest efficiencies based on what is available.  We moved from England and it is much easier to find these services in London as they seem to be further advanced in eco-technology. 

 Let me

Jun 15

Poker & Unlicensed Contractors

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, select contractor, repairs, renovation, remodeling, contractors

Who thought the interest in gambling would be so great that the World Series of Poker would be televised on ESPN?  Obviously, somebody's watching.

An interesting point in that regard, quoting Pug Pearson, 1973 World Series of Poker champion, made this observation about human nature:

"The real thing to know is that folks will stand to lose more than they will to win.  That's the most important percentage there is.  I mean, if they lose, they're willin' to lose everything.  If they win, they're usually satisfied to win only enough to pay for dinner and a show..."

I was thinking about this

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