Washington, DC


Photo by Annie Miller

“Dear PoPville,

I’m looking for a contractor to replace the wood front porch of our Petworth rowhouse. Due to some bad structural work and rotting railings, we’re looking at a complete replacement job but we do want to keep to the original style (i.e. no metal railings). Anyone have good experiences with a contractor for this kind of work, or any decking work?”

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“Dear PoPville,

I am writing in the hopes other Popvillers have advice about the installation of backflow preventers, which prevent sewage from backing up into basements. DC Water has confirmed it will reimburse me up to $6,000 for the installation of one of these devices. I was expecting I would be out of pocket for part of the installation costs. But, the quote I received for this work from my go-to plumber was for $16,000. There is a lot of distance between those two amounts!

I was wondering if there was anyone in PoPville who have had a backflow preventer installed could comment on the cost and recommend a company or master plumber for the job.”

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“Dear PoPville,

Have people been noticing more small bugs, roaches, and other strange insects in their homes these days? Any ideas for pest control (company recommendations or at home solutions)? We’re in a rowhouse in Petworth.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

“Dear PoPville,

Hoping I could request a repost of this from 9.5 years ago. I am going through this process now and came across this post that is word-for-word what I’m looking for.

‘We own a row house in Columbia Heights with the usual small front and back patio options that are common in the neighborhood. We’re looking to re-design and improve, but it seems like most of the companies you find in the usual Google/AngiesList/etc searching are Virginia/Maryland focused outfits that are more used to larger spaces. We’re not looking for anything specialized — a brick/stone patio and some landscaping will likely do. But we’re worried these larger companies may not meet our needs.

Wondering if any readers have used a local company that specializes in maximizing our smaller, unique spaces?”

Anyone have a small outdoor space redone? Who’d you use and roughly how much did it cost?’

Small DC rowhome with a tiny yard. Lots of landscaping services only do big projects. I went through all the comments and contacted ones still in business but around 50% were dead links.”

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“Dear PoPville,

We bought a 30’s style home in Woodridge, DC with a lovely rounded front door. Unfortunately, it needs love or replacing. We see so many gorgeous non-rectangular doors in DC and thought it would be a breeze to find someone who could help – we just expected it to be expensive but are willing to pay because we understand the craftsmanship. No luck so far!! I found someone in PA who’s willing to do one pre-hung, and I was going to reach out to the Amish craftsman, but I’d love to support a local artist.

We are open to all/any ideas. I’ve reached out to Builder Chicks but didn’t hear back… so I’ve been casting around. We also talked to Windows on (over??) Washington, Home Doctor, and a few other businesses, again. I hope locally.

Thanks for any info.”

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Photo by Miki Jourdan

“Dear PoPville,

I’m in an old rowhome, and while the sound between neighbors with our brick walls is fine, we have bedrooms on top of each other where you can hear EVERYTHING.

I’m determined to find a solution and I’m curious if anyone has added insulation between their ceilings and floors and if they had success?

Because most old ceiling/walls are plaster in DC, I’ve been told by contractors that adding insulation can be dangerous as plaster will attract too much moisture. Read More

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Photo by Erin

“Dear PoPville,

My window AC units were fine when I wasn’t home all the time. But now that I am – they’re not. It’s time for an upgrade and I don’t know where to start. Recommendations for my next set of window units? Can I get someone in to install them (masked, distant, etc.)? What do I need to know and do so I can stop sweating?”

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Photo by Jim Havard

“Dear PoPville,

We recently learned that we need to replace our slate roof! What we originally thought might be a minor repair (wishful thinking), actually called for a full replacement. We’ve received one estimate so far ($11k), and are waiting on a second. We realize this will be a pricey repair, no matter how you slice it. Nonetheless, any suggestions from your readers for honest, and reasonable roofers would be greatly appreciated!”

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