The Top 7 Holiday-Decorated Roofs We’ve Ever Seen

By Ben Matthews | Nov 28, 2017 6:00:00 AM

’Tis the season for holiday cheer, decorated roofs, and lights—thousands upon thousands of lights.

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The 2017 Ultimate List of Holiday Light Displays in the DMV

By Ben Matthews | Nov 21, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Another holiday season has arrived, and once again, we offer our ultimate list of holiday light displays in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Pack the family in the car, dress warmly, turn the radio to some Christmas music, and enjoy the best in electrical Yuletide illumination the DMV has to offer!

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This Month in Gaithersburg Homeowner News: November

By Ben Matthews | Nov 15, 2017 6:00:00 AM

All the leaves have fallen from the trees, there’s a chill in the air, and we’ve had enough time to recover from the Nationals’ latest playoff disappointment. You know what’s next: the holiday season! Thanksgiving arrives this week, followed by Black Friday, December, holiday lights, Christmas trees, snow (eventually), Santa Claus, and New Year’s Eve. And somewhere in there, our football team will probably disappoint us, too.

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Winter Is Coming: 5 Tips for Choosing Insulated Windows

By Ben Matthews | Nov 8, 2017 6:00:00 AM


Thanks to Game of Thrones, “winter is coming” is more than just a phrase—it’s a state of mind. A philosophy. A warning.

Although the DMV is not at risk of hordes of undead swooping down from the north, winter does drop temperatures and send cold into improperly insulated homes. And often, the source of that improper insulation is old windows. Those ancient, single-pane windows not only let in the cold but also let heat escape, thus forcing your furnace to work harder to keep your home warm.

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11 Local Maryland Residential Contractors You Can Trust

By Ben Matthews | Nov 1, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Homeowners love residential contractors for the much-needed improvements they complete that boost a home’s value, functionality, and appearance. Yet, generally, homeowners are also leery of residential contractors, collectively having been burned far too often. In a 2015 survey by the Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators, home improvement/construction contractors were the second-most common consumer complaint, trailing just automotive businesses. Reasons the survey cited for these complaints were “shoddy work, failure to start or complete the job.”

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Homeowners Insurance Claim Process: 6 Steps to Follow

By Ben Matthews | Oct 25, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Few people actually look forward to filing homeowners insurance claims. The process isn’t always smooth, and if you are filing, it’s likely because some sort of damage occurred to your home. According to the Insurance Information Institute, about one in 20 homeowners (5.3 percent, to be exact) filed an insurance claim in 2014. In an effort to not swear in a family-friendly blog post, let’s just say that you-know-what happens, and when it does, knowing your homeowners insurance policy will back you up is comforting.

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This Month in Gaithersburg Homeowner News: October

By Ben Matthews | Oct 18, 2017 6:00:00 AM

October already, and 2017 is quickly hurtling toward its conclusion. Halloween caps off this month, and we promise not to tell anyone if you buy peanut butter cups for trick-or-treaters but secretly hope many don’t come to your door! We’ve included tips for the spooky holiday in this post, but first, the news …

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What Is James Hardie Fiber Cement Siding?

By Ben Matthews | Oct 11, 2017 6:00:00 AM

The exterior of your house, particularly the siding, is worth more than you might think. Like the roof, siding provides structure to your home and protects the inhabitants within it from the elements.

Then, there’s home value to consider. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, new siding recovers 82 percent of its cost upon resale in homes in the South Atlantic region. And that number doesn’t even take into account how much more difficult it is to sell a house with dull, cracked siding.

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Contractor Horror Stories: 5 Ways to Avoid Hiring the Wrong Residential Contractor

By Ben Matthews | Oct 4, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Do an internet search on “residential contractor horror stories” and the results you get back may make you never want to hire someone to do work on your home again. Some common, frightening themes of woe you might see:

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This Month in Gaithersburg Homeowner News: September

By Ben Matthews | Sep 27, 2017 6:00:00 AM

The arrival of autumn signals cooler weather, falling leaves (accompanied by the need to rake), and a wonderful time of the year in Gaithersburg and the entire DMV. Fall is the perfect season to take on household projects—we’ve escaped the summer heat but still have plenty of time before winter sets in (and, frankly, we’re in no rush for another rough winter …). Don a sweatshirt, take a look outside, and see what needs to be done. You might appreciate sorting out the garage or washing exterior windows now rather than having to do so in the spring.

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