Welcome to Sparkle Magic, your source for finding leaders in the home service industries.

We understand how important it is to find the right companies to work with to provide the services you need for your home. By sharing company reviews, tips, and information we hope to help you hire the businesses that best suit your needs. One this site we discuss carpet cleaners, landscapers, electricians, HVAC technicians, window tinting professionals, glass repair services and many more services you may need around your home. Save time and money by hiring the right contractor the first time and you have a go to source for life.

Getting the Most Value in Replacement Windows

my new windows in philadelphiaWhether its sooner or later, there will come a time when your windows need to be replaced. It may often be because it has started to deteriorate or it is not operating as efficiently as it did before. Whatever the reason, it is important to get the most value in replacement windows, particularly if you live in Philadelphia like me or another northern city with a cold winter season. This way, you know you are making a worthwhile investment. A replacement window is only as valuable as the comfort and durability it brings to your home. That said; there are factors you have to consider on order to make the right choice: Contractor, Product, and Price.

The Importance of Finding the Right Window Contractor for the Job

In finding the right contractor, you could ask people you know or you could research through the internet for company reviews. Another thing you may want to do is take a list of your choices and get in touch with them. Ask them everything you need to know and request for a presentation regarding the products they sell. This is what RBAWindowsPhiladelphia.com was able to do. They actually visited my home and went over every option I might want for my home and explained each and every benefit of the Renewal by Andersen brand windows they sell and install. At this point, try to prevent company representatives from advertising promotions. The basis for company selection should be their products and services, not fancy deals and promos. With this in mind its not a bad idea to take advantage of a seasonal offering if it makes sense for your purchase needs.

Window Materials

If you already have a design or product type in mind, ask about it during the presentation. If you have yet to decide, there are three common window types that offer the most value: wood, vinyl, and composite. Wood windows are quite expensive but very elegant and luxurious. However, these require more maintenance than others. Vinyl is great for people who want energy-efficient products. It is also a much cheaper option than wood. Composite is either made of fiberglass or a mixture of vinyl and wood pulp. These are efficient in saving energy and are also aesthetically pleasing.

Getting the Right Price

Price is one of the biggest concerns among homeowners nowadays. You have to find the best replacement windows in Philadelphia without hurting your budget. However, when it comes to price, think of the long run energy savings. durability and added value to your home instead of trying to save a few bucks up front. You will be glad you did years down the road when your home is still well insulated and you have lowered energy bills each month.

Finding a Quality Hardwood Floor Refinisher

Just recently, I was contemplating getting my hardwood floor refinished. I’d never gotten it done before, so I had no idea what to expect in terms of the cost or the length of time that my home would be in disarray. I would have asked a local floor refinisher or two, but I had no contacts and wasn’t sure where to start.

I liked my floors a great deal. I’m not sure if they were original to the house or not, but I do know that they spent a good portion of their lives buried under carpeting. Then, maybe ten years ago or thereabouts, the carpeting was removed and the floor was refinished. Now that floor looked a little tired. It was time for another refinishing – or at least a cleaning – and I wanted to do right by those old floorboards.

So I decided to be smart about finding the right refinisher for my venerable floors. And I learned a thing or two during my search, and maybe I can pass a little insight along to you.

By now, it may go without saying that online searches are a great way to go. That’s not because you’ll quickly find a lot of choices – even though you will. It’s because you can easily find information that can help you evaluate your prospective services. I found a few companies that had good reviews, so they made it to the next round.

Next, I decided to see which of my prospective refinishers were National Wood Flooring Association (or NWFA) Certified Professionals; they’re kind of a big deal – a resource for both professionals and people like me who have more questions than answers. If you work with Certified Professional, then you know that you’re getting someone that has taken the time to stay educated about the latest wood refinishing products, services and trends. Most – but not all – of my prospects made the cut.

Next I visited the local webpage for the Better Business Bureau. I wanted to see if my prospects were accredited with the BBB, and if there were any complaints against them. As it turned out, all of my prospective refinishers were accredited and had scored good grades of A- or higher. While I didn’t rule anyone out here, I was sure that all of my prospects were worthy.

One question had been gaining importance with me: Was dustless refinishing an option? My floors weren’t damaged so much as dimmed by everyday wear and tear. I was hoping that the less-involved, less-expensive dustless version would give me the shine I wanted. If so, the process could be done in one day rather than as long as a week. Just in case, I was also hoping to get a refinishing cost per foot – ballpark, at least – for my medium walnut floors.

I ended up talking to three floor refinishers here in Richmond. After spending some time to qualify them, I shouldn’t have been surprised that they were all knowledgeable and very good at what they do. Ultimately, I elected to go with Buff & Coat; more than anything, that reflected the fact that Buff & Coat specialized in the dustless option that was more in line with what I was hoping to spend.

A dustless refinishing won’t keep my floors looking beautiful forever, but it will keep them looking their best until the time when a full refinishing – one that includes sanding, staining, and multiple coats of finish – becomes a more necessary and compelling option. My understanding is that a hardwood floor’s finish ought to last 20 years. So until that day arrives, I’m hoping to get a little more shine out of those handsome old boards.

Carpet Cleaning Methods, Considered

For years, I didn’t know much about cleaning carpets – but that didn’t stop me from doing it. I had a cleaner that sprayed in hot water and detergent, loosened trapped debris with a rotating brush, and then pulled out the now dirty water. That was fine. Any obvious spots and stains were eliminated – at least if I worked on them a little beforehand. I was always amazed – and horrified – at how much dirt and grit the carpet cleaner could pull up.

But after a while, I started to wonder if my efforts were as effective as I hoped. While my cleaner was able to pull up a lot of junk, I noticed that most of the water I’d sprayed into the carpet was still there when I was finished cleaning. The liquid I was able to pull up was dirty and gross, and I hated the idea that more of it was still in my carpet. So I decided to do a little research, and try to figure out if a pro could do a better job.

The first thing that I discovered is that professionals go about carpet cleaning in a variety of different ways. Within minutes of my home in Joliet, Illinois, I can find carpet cleaners that use carbonation, dry cleaning, and hot water extraction – the method I always used, though I had always incorrectly referred to it as steam cleaning. I decided to read up on the methods a little before calling one of Joliet’s professional carpet cleaners.

I started with hot water extraction. While I was skeptical that their detergents would be much better than the ones I used, I was encouraged to find that many companies claim to pull almost all of the water out of the carpet after cleaning. I was also pleased to see that at least some of them used brushes that were supposed to be gentler than the tough bristles that my inexpensive machine uses.

Next I looked at dry cleaning – something I’d never tried before. This process involves spraying a biodegradable cleaning compound into the carpet; this compound absorbs dirt and grime and is then vacuumed away. I liked the idea that dry cleaning could be completed so quickly – especially given how long my carpet would be damp after one of my attempts to clean. But I was still skeptical about the ability to any vacuum to pull up all of the junk.

Next I looked at the method that uses carbonation to clean. While I knew that some people believe in applying club soda to clothing stains, I didn’t know that carbonation was also used on carpets. With this cleaning method, bubbles rather than soaps or detergents are employed to loosen up the anything trapped in the carpet. After the carbonation has done its work, a relatively conventional hot water extraction method is used to pull up all of the grit and grime.

After reading up on the different methods, I was sure that a professional could remove more liquid – and more grime from my carpet – than I was able to do on my own. I thought it was likely that a professional vacuum would also be much more effective than mine at pulling out debris, so maybe dry cleaning might also work for me. But I liked the idea of cleaning carpets with a minimum of chemicals; if carbonation could do that, I was all for it.

With that in mind, I decided to give a pro a try this time around. It was time to call a carpet cleaner, put those tiny bubbles to work, and take the next step in my research.

Why I Prefer Green Carpet Cleaning

eco friendly carpet cleaningDo you have you carpets and rugs professionally cleaned every so often? I have mine done about every 6 to 8 months and recently I started to become more conscious about the services I was using around my home because of my sons allergies. As a result, my carpet cleaning company of choice was also scrutinized. Unfortunately I found some reasons why I should make a switch when I did my research. But before I go into what made me made the change, im now using Chemdry of Duval in Jacksonville FL because their process is a lot cleaner. They use an organic cleaning solution combined with carbonated hot water.

At first I had always liked my old cleaners, they tried hard, made a noticeable difference in the appearance of my carpets but the techniques they used was outdated in my opinion. First, after reading into the company more I discovered they used some chemicals during the cleaning process I was surprised about. These were things I didn’t wants my children to be exposed to on a daily basis when they run around on the carpets barefoot or lay on them. Ive actually heard of kids who got sick just from unseen chemicals in carpets.

The next thing I noticed (just from observation) was that with the old carpet cleaners my carpets stayed damp sometimes for 3-5 days. During this time I always had to make sure to keep my kids off of them so they wouldn’t track dirt on the damp carpets that had just been cleaned. Looking into this more too, the excess damp time can be the perfect place for bacteria to grow. That’s another reason why Chemdry’s promise of rugs that dry in a matter of hours appealed to me so much. No offense to my old cleaning service but the health of my family is a priority.

How Do You Know When to Upgrade Your Heating and Air Conditioning?

No matter how well you service and maintain your heating and air system, it isn’t going to last forever. Each year it will become a little less able to do what it did when it was brand new, and will be a little efficient relative to newer systems. Eventually everyone needs to upgrade to a new heating and air conditioning system. The key question is when should you do it?

I’d been wondering about the system in my home in Wappingers, New York. My heating and air system was old and I figured my utility costs were a little high. But I had no idea if it was the right time to upgrade my system. I’ve talked to some heating and air specialists and now I’ve got a better idea. If you’re considering an upgrade, here are some factors to consider:

How old is your heating and air system?
If your system is more than ten years old, it’s liable to be substantially less efficient than newer systems. At this point, upgrading to a high-efficiency system would likely reduce your energy consumption by about 20 percent. If your system is even older, the difference may be greater than that.

What is the SEER value of your system?
If you want a more definite idea about how your system compares to newer models, you’ll want to know its SEER (or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating) value; the higher the SEER value, the more efficient the system. This value also provides a way to compare projected operating costs between more and less efficient systems.

Are you calling the repairman more frequently?
The older your system gets, the more frequently it will need repairs. So the next time you have a service call from a repairman, ask him about the nature of the repair. How long will the repair or new part last? Is the repair indicative of a failing system or just normal wear and tear? My heating and air repairman here in Wappingers was happy to explain things at length, and I suspect yours would be, too.

How does your current energy consumption compare to previous years?
Your heating and air system is likely to use more than half of the energy required by your home. When that system becomes less efficient, you’ll see the effect on your household utility bill. Compare your current bills to older ones to see if your system is becoming less efficient. This will also provide even more insight into how much you could save with a new system.

Upgrading to a newer heating and air conditioning system is a big investment. That investment makes a great deal of sense for some, and less for others. Educate yourself about your system and today’s heating and air options – or get some insight from a local professional. That way, you’ll have a better idea if a heating and air conditioning upgrade makes sense for you.

What You Need to Know Before Installing a Steam Shower

Have you ever wanted to turn your master bathroom into your very own sauna and spa get away? Can you imagine the relaxation of being to relax in your very own steam room after a long, hard day at work? Well don’t just dream it, create it! All you need to begin to create your very own steam room is a shower with a glass enclosure. If you currently only have a tub and shower combination simply invest in installation and glass repair in Winchester VA to upgrade your bathroom instantly. Be sure to keep in mind the following.

Cost

In order to protect from moisture damage and have the proper ventilation, you will need a moisture-sealed glass shower enclosure. Depending on your location and bathroom layout, you should budget between $2,000-$3,000 to install the entire steam shower set-up.

Location

Before building your steam shower you should consider where you want the shower to be located and where the plumbing system is already set-up. Keep in mind you will need the glass shower enclosure to be sealed and built all the way from the floor to the ceiling. This is done to keep moisture from reaching the walls which can cause rotting and water damage.

Materials

Make sure you purchase waterproof paint for the walls as well as waterproof sheetrock. Also, consider added ceramic tile to the walls instead of paint. Its also important to consider your the nearby cabinets as they have paint on them as well. Tile is an excellent water proof design option. If you are not starting from scratch and instead converting an existing shower into a steam shower, take the necessary steps to steam-proof the surrounding areas.

Steam Generator

You are going to need a steam generator device that will be hooked up into your existing plumbing system. Try to install the generator between 20 and 40 feet from the shower itself, ideally in a hall closet or the attic. Keep in mind that the generator needs to be installed near both the water supply and electrical connection as well as a drain.

Consumption

This is one luxury that you don’t have to feel guilty about. You may think that having a steam shower is wasteful, but think again. Steaming is actually a green way to shower. In a standard size glass shower, if you steam for 20 minutes you will only use about 2 gallons of water. As a point of reference, a 10 minute shower uses around 30 gallons of water.

Simple Repairs in Your Home

Senior Home Repairs

There are many small repairs that you may be able to handle on your own. Leaks, a broken toilet, or a wobbly dresser are all things that most homeowners can figure out for themselves without calling a service for help. Plumbers, Electricians, and repairmen usually get calls for installations or emergency work.

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However, a senior may have to call services more frequently due to illness, injuries, or increased fatigue. They are less likely to bend over a sink and fiddle with the fixture until it works or crawl into hard to reach spaces. There are a couple of options in these situations for a senior who does not reside in an assisted living community.

First of all, a senior could call a typical repair company and pay an hourly fee to have the work completed. This hourly fee is probably more than it is worth for a small repair, and it would make sense to look into other options to save money.

They could also call a family, friend, or neighbor for help. This is easy if you live close to family or friends who are willing and able and feel comfortable asking for assistance. Some people feel that asking for help is depending too heavily on others for favors.

A great option for any senior who needs assistance around their house is a service that will offer in home senior care. This means that a paid companion will come perform small repairs, help you run errands, cook, clean, and more. Relying on a simple non-specialized service is a great way to get help in all of the areas that you need. If you have frequent household maintenance issues, ask for a helper who has some experience in this area and would be great at lending a hand.

For all emergencies and difficult repairs, always call a qualified professional. This increases the chances of having a repair performed correctly the first try so you will not have to call back. These issues are worth the investment. For smaller repairs and solutions, just ask for help before calling a specialized business!

Importance of Regular Carpet Cleaning

As someone in the home services industry who knows a thing to two about carpet cleaning, one of the most common questions im asking is how often should people have their carpets professionally cleaned. While this can depend on many things like the type of carpeting you have, how many people live in your home and whether you have pets, I always stress the benefits have having it done regularly. Without any additional information I typically tell people they should have their rugs and carpeting cleaned about every 6 months.

Benefits of Cleaner Carpeting

Any professional cleaning company like the ones I use at http://www.richmondchemdry.com/ will rightly tell you, clean carpets last longer before and after carpet cleaningthan ones that are not properly maintained. The reason I think is most important is the air quality in your home which improves when any carpet, rug, or upholstery gets cleaned. Carpeting is especially important when it comes to having a sanitary home because it tends to track more dirt than you might think which can also include allergens and types of bacteria. Regular cleaning also helps prevent long terms stains and spots, something nobody likes. This improves the overall look of any room as well a major reason for calling a cleaner in the first place.

When you find a reliable carpet and rug cleaning company, its much easier to maintain them. Similar to most aspects of home maintenance, cleaning for carpets is well worth the investment in the long run because the overall cleanliness and appearance of your home will show from it. Many people don’t realize how dirty they are getting because of the gradual nature of the color change over time. So if your not sure, go ahead and get the cleaning done once and make note of the difference. Im sure you will be surprised how much better your home looks and you will probably be able to breathe a little easier too.

Benefits of Residential Window Film

Windows are one of the unsung heroes of the home. Imagine how bleak and depressing living in a home without those glass squares that adorn so many of our walls. We need natural sunlight and to see nature to bring us peace and remind us how great the world around is really is. That being said, not all windows are created equally. Mediocre windows can create seriously uncomfortable hot spots, fade furniture and carpet, and add hundreds of dollars to your heating and cooling bills every year. You don’t have to completely replace your windows to start avoiding this pitfalls though.Residential Window Tinting

Glare reduction makes watching the television and using computers exponentially more enjoyable. Stop squinting and turning the screen just to avoid that blinding reflection.

Window tint can also be decorative. Add an etched or patterned effect to a shower door, bathroom window, or kitchen cabinet to remain stylish while reducing see through visibility for privacy.

Security window film makes your home harder to break into and can deter intruders from coming in. The film holds the glass in place instead of allowing it to shatter and fall to the ground. This also helps protect against violent weather that might through branches or hail against the side of your home.

Consider calling a professional residential window tinting expert today.

When to Seek the Services of a Professional Electrician

Many homeowners think, in order to save money that they will attempt to repair any home electrical issue themselves. In addition, many homeowners take pride in doing their own home repairs and renovations. However, this can be very dangerous and there are a number of scenarios where it is best to call a professional electrical contractor in Chattanooga TN. Below are a list of two typical home renovations where it is best to contact an expert electrician.

Electricians Chattanooga

Dividing a Basement into Separate Rooms

You may think all it takes to add individual rooms to a basement is throwing up a few walls, but its way more than that. There are numerous structural requirements and building electrical codes that need to be followed for a home to pass a safety inspection. The two most common mistakes that homeowners make when dealing with their electrical systems are wiring complications and overloading their electrical circuits.

Household electrical circuits are designed to manage a maximum of 15-20 amps. Circuit breakers are meant to function at 80 percent capacity. This means a typical 20-amp circuit is not designed to handle more than 16 amps of power. Overloading your circuit can lead to blown breakers or possible house fires.

Adding an Enclosed Four Season Patio

Before embarking on any home addition projects, you should have your home’s electrical system inspected. And when you do have work done, ask about warranties on any equipment installed. You may have expensive and potentially dangerous electrical issues lurking that could stall any additional project. In addition, when adding onto your home you may need circuit breakers replaced or even an entire panel upgrade so you are not overpowering your electrical system. For more information on the cost of home improvements and electrical upgrades, contact your local expert electrician in Chattanooga.