Since opening Dance Factory in 1976, Dennis Schroeder and his staff of instructors have taught more than 500,000 people how to cut a rug across the studio’s spacious, 3,500-square-foot cushioned ballroom floor. Many of the instructors are competitive dancers, and they use their expertise to teach a full range of traditional dance styles, including the bossa nova, tango, and samba. During both group and private lessons, they teach students of all levels how to perform in social settings—a skill they can flaunt at board meetings or during holiday balls and weekend dances. The staff also coaches bridal parties, and leads four-hour weekend workshops to delve into more complicated dance techniques.
The word oikos means “house” in ancient Greek, a fitting namesake for Oiko Systems, LLC, whose coowner Nikos is a 4th-generation contractor and native Greek himself. While Nikos’s family tends to a museum standing amid the ancient battleground of Thermopylae, he and coowner Maria ensure modern houses stand the test of time through home-improvement and remodeling services. The insured technicians specialize in everything from basement finishing and drywall installation to painting rooms to cover crayon renditions of The School of Athens by precocious toddlers.
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.
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.
When Kent Baake isn't scaling rock formations in Yosemite or shooting for another world record in roadskating, the Metro Gutter & Home Services, Inc. founder can often be found devising energy-efficient ways to protect clients' rooftops, doing everything from sealing leaks to repairing gutters. Baake began the company in 1989, taking on each gutter job with only one truck and one ladder. His crew has since expanded, and the trucks have hatched eggs of their own, resulting in a fleet that carries the exterior specialists to counties throughout Virginia, Maryland, and DC. While restoring damaged home exteriors or preparing houses for harsh seasons, the team cleans, repairs, and replaces roofing, gutters, siding, windows, and doors. They also offer attic ventilation and insulation, as well as home energy audits, weatherization, and solar design services.
You can’t blame Gust Renovations’ pros for not knowing where to start when they set foot in a house with broken sinks, peeling walls, and chipped floors. That’s because the workers specialize in just about every facet of home renovation, from repairing plumbing problems to constructing outdoor sheds for storing mattress receipts. With 30 years of experience, the renovation veterans also paint walls, remodel bathrooms, and power-wash grimy siding.