6 New Year's Resolutions for Maintaining Your Home in 2018 and Beyond

By Ben Matthews | Jan 3, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Many Americans make New Year’s resolutions; unfortunately, most of those resolutions are never kept. In fact, according to one U.S. News report, 80 percent of resolutions never survive past February! Resolutions require, well, resolve—and we know those January 1 goals can be difficult to sustain.

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6 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Selling in the New Year

By Ben Matthews | Dec 13, 2017 6:00:00 AM

Ready or not, 2018 is practically upon us. Some people enter the new year with small resolutions while others have big plans. One of those big plans you may be considering? Selling your home.

Perhaps you are looking to sell soon after New Year’s Day, or perhaps you are waiting for warmer weather. Either way, preparing your home for selling requires a fair amount of advance planning. Whether you are selling sooner or later, that planning needs to start now. Below are six tips for preparing your home for selling in 2018.

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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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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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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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6 Tips for Picking the Right Color for Your Roof Replacement

By Ben Matthews | Sep 13, 2017 6:00:00 AM


Many factors go into roof replacement. Homeowners must think about cost, materials, choosing a contractor, warranties, and how soon they need the job done or whether they can hold off a few months. What they might initially overlook is which color their new roof should be. The choice is important because once a color is picked and the roof is installed, they will be stuck with it for 30 years or longer.

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How to Find the Best Solar Panels for Home Use

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

The number of solar cells sold jumped by 95 percent in 2016.
Although much of this near-doubling was from utility installations, residential installations also noticeably increased. People across the country—and not just in sunnier regions—are turning to solar to lower their energy bills and take a proactive step to help the environment.

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