When Bob Long returned to Washington, DC, from service with the Merchant Marines in 1948, he immediately set to work building fences at his father’s modest business. The duo operated out of a permanently parked city bus, taking on clients through the years and building a reputation that eventually outgrew their makeshift office. After purchasing the company from his father in 1960, Bob recast Long Fence and Home as a complete provider of household upgrades, from window replacements to full kitchen remodels.
Under Bob's leadership, the company continued to stay ahead of technology and homeowners’ demands, adding solar-energy conversions to a lengthy list of services that already included siding, insulation, gutters, and doors. Though Bob's daughter, Jill, currently operates the company with her husband, John DePaola, the two stay true to Bob's vision by constantly seeking out new ways to make homes and bat caves more energy-efficient.
The window dressers at Home Blinds of America dress up houses' eyes by installing blinds, shutters, and shades customized to match window size and room décor. Homeowners peruse the online inventory of window dressings in myriad forms, including premium wood blinds that filter sunlight in five shades of white or stains ranging from the warm brown of sugar maple to deep mahogany ($58.88+ for a 24”x64” set). At a lower price point, attractive faux-wood blinds ($35.48+ for a 24”x64” set) imitate timber better than a baby sheep imitates a loofah. Woven bamboo shades rise and fall in autumnal hues of red and gold ($52.13+ for a 24”x64” set), and solar shades outfit windows with environmentally friendly, GreenGuard-certified fabrics that let in varying amounts of light while filtering out heat or UV rays ($87.50+ for a 24”x64” set). Meanwhile, honeycomb shades ($59.64 for a 24”x64” set) insulate from heat and cold while also collecting enough honey to sweeten pancakes each morning.
Antique, collectible, and pristine new furniture stands proudly around the Consignment Furniture Gallery’s 10,000-square-foot showroom, a vast repository of pieces classic and modern, foreign and domestic. Therapedic and Eclipse mattresses welcome prospective sleepers, who sink into comfy surfaces as soft as the feathery beard of an elderly pelican. Decorative accessories such as a yellow ceramic vase ($38.50) brighten up bare rooms with colorful splashes. Adorn walls and still houseguests with artwork such as a framed architecture print ($95), or ornament bedrooms with a vintage painted blue chest ($250). A pair of large green swirl ceramic lamps ($325) cast soft lighting across living rooms, producing an aura of vintage style that impresses visitors and mystifies housepets.
Melior Maids dispatches a supervised three-person crew to local homes to scrub and polish with a roster of quality supplies, including eco-friendly products. While the trio sweeps efficiently through domiciles, they polish furniture, vacuum floors and vents, straighten up clutter, and teach poltergeists proper haunting etiquette. Kitchens and bathrooms gleam in the crew's wake: refrigerators, microwaves, and mirrors shine streaklessly, and high-use bathroom surfaces such as sinks and showers receive a bacteria-busting disinfection. Each fastidious cleaner undergoes intensive training, including classroom-style instruction, to learn the dark arts of banishing stains and bending dust bunnies to their will. Melior Maids guarantees its service and gladly returns without charge to correct unlikely shortcomings if notified within 24 hours of cleaning.
With Washington Home's consultation and redesign plan, designers will conduct a home visit and careful measurements. At a subsequent visit, they’ll use 3-D CAD software to craft easy-to-understand cutaway views of proposed alterations to kitchens, baths, or decks. Design consultations also include a discussion of product selection and a thorough estimate of project costs, including materials and labor. Although this deal is only valid for the planning process, Groupon holders will also receive $1,000 toward project costs if homeowners decide to follow through with the proposed upgrades.