Are you thinking of buying or renovating a property?
If so, you'll definitely find this useful.

Several tips for buying a house to renovate

Before you start
Regardless of your chosen property, the most important thing you need to take stock of is your finances. These will completely dictate what you do and will guide all of your planning. Working out how much you have to spend will dictate how large the project will be, and how long it will take.
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Finding a house
The best way to find a suitable house is to look through different estate agents. As renovation has become much more popular in recent years, the competition for finding suitable properties has risen considerably. Therefore, you may be on an estate agent’s books for many months before they offer you anything.
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Before you buy
Before you buy a house, there are a number of things which you should check so you do not get any nasty surprises when it's too late. Make a plan of what changes you would like to make to the house, so you know exactly how the finished product would look. This will help you decide which rooms you want where and will give you an indication of exactly how much work will be necessary.
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We will give the absolute best electrical service.
We undertake all electrical work for residential purposes such as fuse board upgrades and home rewiring.

When a family’s cat was in serious danger, duct mechanic Roy Haislip and call center employee Jennifer Perry did not hesitate to come to its rescue. Their heroic actions and compassion for others exemplify what we always aim to achieve at W.E. Brown. Read about how the event unfolded through the eyes of Roy and Jennifer. It Began With an Emergency Call Around 10 p.m., call center employee, Jennifer Perry, took an emergency call that turned her average weeknight into one she would never forget.  On the other line, a man asked for help, saying his cat, Oli, was trapped somewhere in his HVAC system. “He was trying to remain calm, but I could tell that he was panicked. It was actually a really serious situation,” she explained. When Jennifer first heard the story, she couldn’t believe her ears. Along with her coworkers, she had never heard of a pet climbing into ductwork through a vent, much less deployed a technician to save one. A Family’s Final Hope When the man revealed he already called the fire department, police department, animal control, and the emergency vet, Jennifer was determined that W.E. Brown would be his last call. “We were the last number on his list, and I knew...

Everything working together to create your whole-home comfort (your HVAC, dishwasher, washer, and dryer) has a lifespan. A lot of people tend to wait until their system fails or gets entirely run into the ground before having it replaced. Something to consider, however, if you know the manufacturer’s lifespan on any of your products, is to plan a replacement in advance. This planning can help you in the long run by allowing you to purchase a new system or have a piece of equipment serviced during a slower “shoulder season” month. This means you can take advantage of working with your service partner when their phone isn’t ringing off the hook with summertime AC repairs and HVAC installations! For example, buy a new air conditioner in the winter and catch a sale or manufacturer’s rebate. Or, you can find a finance option and enjoy the savings of your new energy-smart features immediately. In addition to planning ahead, financing a new system is a smart way to buy the right equipment combinations (based on a load analysis) to suit your home and your family’s needs. The heart at the center of your home is your heating and cooling system. Not only is this system responsible for...

The fall and winter seasons bring highly anticipated holidays, coveted pumpkin spice blends, and a festive atmosphere. Unfortunately, they also bring falling temperatures and rising heating bills. Prepare your Charlottesville home for the chilly weather ahead and minimize your heating bill this season with a few smart tips and tricks. Insulate and Seal Your Home Cold air can creep in through poorly sealed or insulated ceilings and walls around the home. Do some detective work to find the worst culprits. Investigate the caulk around any pipes or cables that pass through exterior walls. This caulk will crack over time and requires regular touch-ups to stay in prime condition. Lay batt insulation in the attic for a quick fix. Add blow-in insulation to exterior walls that need some extra protection from the cold. Check your windows and doors for cracks around the trim. Seal these with caulk to keep air out. Add weatherstripping around any movable parts and install a door sweep to the bottom of your door. If you installed weatherstripping previously, check for cracks or damage and replace as needed. Schedule Fall Maintenance Tasks A well-maintained home will operate more affordably...

Originally published November 2014, updated November 2016 Dealing with a tripped electrical breaker is typically an annoyance that can be easily remedied. However, a breaker that continues to trip after being reset points to a bigger problem. If the electricity continues to fail in one part of your Charlottesville, Virginia, home, it’s important to contact a professional electrician immediately. A tripped electrical breaker could be a sign of problems that could damage appliances or even cause a fire. What Causes My Electrical Breaker to Trip? Dealing with an electrical breaker that keeps tripping can be a nuisance. This situation could indicate that a larger problem is occurring in the wiring in your home. Here are the most common reasons for an electrical breaker to trip: You may be dealing with an electrical overload if there are too many appliances plugged into one outlet. Devices that draw excess current could also lead to this problem. Breaks in a wire can cause short circuiting. This can also occur if hot wires touch or come into contact with a neutral wire. A ground fault is a type of short circuit which causes your breaker to trip after a ground wire touches another...

If you need an HVAC system in your Charlottesville, Virginia, home, you may wonder which type of system is the best choice. While there are pros and cons to both systems, the choice depends on your needs, preferences, and budget. Understanding Ductless Air Conditioning This kind of air conditioning has grown in popularity in recent years as an alternative to central air conditioning. The systems are mounted on your wall and, as the name implies, don’t require ductwork. Unlike a ducted system, ductless doesn’t cause a lot of dust to enter your home. It can be installed in any room, and allows you to heat and cool your home and even set up multiple zones. Cost Considerations There are fewer installation issues with ductless systems, and the overall system doesn’t require major installation. Because of the size and ease of installation, the costs to set up your ductless system will be lower than those associated with ducted systems. Additionally, ductless systems do not require as much maintenance as forced air systems. These highly efficient units help you to save even more through fewer repair needs. Consider Your Needs To determine whether you should choose central air or a...

At W.E. Brown—It’s About Customer Satisfaction. Let me explain the subtle difference. We’ve been in business for 95 years, and it would be easy for us to say: “Great customer service is important to us, and that’s why we’ve been around for nine-and-half decades.” But what defines customer service—in 2017? During a recent W.E. Brown focus group, one of our participants stated that—among other things which we’ll blog about later—excellent service means: “Service so good you’re willing to mention it to another person.” We’ve expanded on that sentiment to identify customer benefits like satisfaction, comfort, and happiness. And although service is a critical goal, we pursue the idea of satisfaction because of its emotional advantages. We listen to our customer’s concerns and take immediate action to remedy; our technicians are courteous, keep their work area (in your home) clean, and have a legacy here in Charlottesville; and we integrate the latest cutting-edge technology with each job we perform. We are consistently rated 4.9 out of 5 stars, based on 487 customer reviews in the central Virginia area, and we are always striving to get that extra .1 star. If you’ve had a good...

When winter comes, your Ivy, Virginia, home might suffer from poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Don’t feel bad — it happens in many homes. You can use your do-it-yourself (DIY) skills to improve IAQ. Try these two DIY solutions for better IAQ between throughout the year. Store Holiday Decorations Safely You might love to fill your home with holiday figurines, ornaments and other decorations, but after the holidays, don’t just stuff your beloved treasures into cardboard boxes. These boxes collect a lot of dust, which can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms and promote dust mite infestations. Even if you store your decorations in an attic, basement or garage, you don’t want that dust to seep into your home over the next several months. Additionally, poor storage can promote mold growth. As the temperatures and humidity fluctuate, your favorite decorations can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. To protect your IAQ and your holiday decorations, store all of your items in airtight containers. Plastic bins from a big box store work particularly well. You can also store larger items in trash bags, and then tie them off securely. Keep Your Pets Clean Animals stay indoors more...

No one wants to be without power, especially during weather that brings freezing temperatures or a harsh winter storm. Learn how a generator can bring you peace of mind in all kinds of weather in Charlottesville, Virginia. Consequences of a Power Outage Power outages can cause more problems than just the inability to charge your cell phone. The issues of convenience and safety can be remedied by investing in a backup generator. Generators provide power in an emergency. You may be able to briefly endure winter weather by throwing on an extra sweater or a blanket. However, in the case of a winter storm, temperatures that are too low can cause pipes to freeze and can cause you and your family to get sick. No power to the HVAC system also means the unit can’t manage indoor air quality, especially if there is no power for an extended period. Few issues will likely result from a power outage that only lasts for a few hours, but in the case of prolonged outage, a backup generator can keep you comfortable, healthy and safe. How Generators Work Backup systems are generally powered by propane or natural gas, though more expensive generators can be powered by solar energy. The best fuel...

Originally published December 2014, updated December 2016 Just as your vehicle needs regular service to ensure that everything is operating correctly, your heating and cooling equipment should be inspected and adjusted to achieve optimum performance. You might choose to put off that service for your vehicle, but you know that there could be serious consequences in the long run. Similarly, failing to maintain the HVAC system in your Colleen, Virginia, home regularly, can lead to serious problems. By choosing a preventive maintenance plan, you can take advantage of timely service and get access to important support solutions throughout the year. Optimization of HVAC Systems HVAC maintenance enables you to begin the season with reliable and efficient service from your home comfort equipment. You can reap numerous benefits from regular preventive care, including: Improved efficiency – annual efficiency loss for normal system use can be five percent or more and a tuneup can counteract this loss. Identification of faulty parts – a mechanical system experiences wear over time, and regular HVAC maintenance allows for worn out or broken parts to be repaired or replaced as needed....

New Look, Same Reliable Service Here at W.E. Brown, we are always striving to go above and beyond for our customers, and there is no detail too small when it comes to providing an excellent experience. From the moment our trucks hit the road, our goal is to provide customer service that is both personal and memorable. Being around for over 95 years, we wanted our brand to reflect the early days of our company while looking to the future with a fresh new look. These are a few of the reasons why we are incredibly excited to announce the unveiling of our brand new trucks! Racing Stripes on Trucks? This past year, we teamed up with nectar ICC in order to create a look that achieved all of our goals. With their creative direction, we took an active role in the design process, ensuring our customers were at the center of every decision. One of our favorite updates is the unique racing stripes, inspired by the vintage look we admired as kids. Luckily, we were able to make this vision a reality by collaborating with Performance Signs, who brought our design to life on the trucks. We are all so proud and excited to showcase our new look on the streets, so keep your eyes peeled as they...

Yep, and we give this video ‘Two Thumbs Up.’ As a routine check-up, a Sewer Camera video inspection of your main sewer line is a noninvasive and cost-effective way to forecast your home’s plumbing health as well as identify an invasive root before it grows, collects debris, and turns into a significant clog in your main line. Not to be confused with (clogs and plumbing problems in) the drains and pipes in your home, your main drain is outside of the home, and it carries the wastewater from all the drains in your home to the municipal sewer lines or to a septic system depending on your home’s location. Main sewer line issues and the Super Bowl. Because of normal aging and wear-and-tear, there is a list of common issues that can happen to your main sewer line like clogs, collapse, corrosion, sags, and loose connections. The tricky part is that each of these items can trigger the same in-action inside of your home such as a sluggish shower drain, or habitual clogging toilet. So any one of these re-occuring inconveniences could be the symptom of a larger, growing issue in the main line outside of your home. Without attention, little inconveniences have a way of turning into...

Let me cover another W.E. Brown focus group favorite—knowledge sharing. Something that is near and dear to my heart is new construction and home efficiency. It’s not obvious and so I’ve created an article and blog on the topic: The choices you make behind the drywall should be as remarkable as the ones in plain sight. Behind the studs are the hidden gems that create your home’s central nervous system— plumbing, electrical, heating, and air—working in harmony with the individuality of your blueprint. Some options just come down to the way you live. Ask these questions to make sure you build a healthy home. 1. How do you determine your heating and cooling load, delivery, and filtration? Your HVAC system works with your walls, insulation, and siding to keep you comfortable regardless of weather. So HVAC options require much more data than just the square footage. A Manual J calculation determines the heating and cooling loads based on your home’s specifics like orientation to the sun, duct tightness, appliances, and occupants: People add heat and humidity to the load! And your ductwork is just as important. Manual J calculates the exact heating and cooling load that must be...