After years of working as an electro-mechanical technician and repairing trains for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Earl Washington Jr. decided to create his own business in 1986, advertising his handyman services door-to-door. Although he began by performing basic repairs and cleaning gutters, he continued to learn new home-improvement skills while he built relationships with local carpenters, masons, and industry professionals.
His company grew over time and eventually established itself as a full-service provider of maintenance and repairs for homes, commercial buildings, and rehabbed bouncy castles. Now joined by a full-time staff of technicians and tradesmen, Earl tinkers with homes from foundation to attic, helping to assuage clients' plumbing, electrical, and heating- or cooling-system concerns.
Sleek hardwood floors. An earth-toned tile backsplash. A stone fireplace that matches the stone floor of a refinished basement. These are just a few of the many customized remodeling options that Lofft Construction Inc. offers up to its customers. It does so by working directly with architects and each client to design new additions, update a kitchen, or make a basement a livable space for the family members who aren't ghosts.
The approach has paid off. In addition to making customers happy, the company has racked up awards, including the COTY Contractor of the Year Award in 2009, 2011, and 2013. It also gives back to the community, donating unused building materials to Habitat for Humanity and hosting meal nights to feed those without homes.
After more than a half-century in business, Fry Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning has its residential fix-it services down to a science. Beyond basic plumbing repairs and furnace installations, the expert technicians can capably tackle such jobs as drain and sewer cleaning, which includes a camera inspection. But they don't just set to work fixing a problem and bill you later—before every job, whether tuning up a furnace or installing a footrest for the toilet, they provide free estimates to allow homeowners to budget properly.
BB & Co. Construction takes all the cons out of construction with its fully licensed staff of insured contractors. Clients can solicit BB for interior or exterior painting or request more complicated tasks such as carpentry, plumbing, or sneaking a 6-foot party sub into a movie theater. When not rehabbing homes, BB contributes its materials and services to such charitable organizations as Toys for Tots and Children's Hospital.
A parade of fixtures from brands such as Kohler, Moen, and Grohe tempts kitchen and bath savants at The Somerville Showroom. An Aqueous single-hole bathroom faucet shoots a steady flow of water into waiting basins ($111.07), and a Kohler Cachet elongated toilet seat snaps off easily to be cleaned or used as an emergency Frisbee ($59.30). Alternately, a polished chrome Kohler Flipside showerhead caresses soul cases with four different flavors of spray—a traditional shower, a dense and drenching spa mist, a pulsating water massage, and a circular-patterned spray ($95.30). Homeowners can also bring along detailed plans of a bathroom or kitchen remodel, and knowledgeable staff members can advise which faucet finishes will complement countertops or pink-and-red Hello Kitty color schemes.