Washington, DC


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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Photo by Caroline Angelo

“Dear PoPville,

My husband and I have optimistically decided to embark on our home renovation this fall. It is a big job and we anticipate having to move out. We would like to pull bids from a variety of well-regarded general contractors. I would like to ask about Black-owned construction firms. If any reader has a good recommendation, we would love to hear about it.”

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Photo by John Brighenti

“Dear PoPville,

We want my dad, who has worked in HVAC and plumbing for over 40 years, to install air conditioning minisplit units at our house. He’s not licensed in DC, but I seem to remember reading something about DIY home improvement projects being done yourself or by immediate family not needing a permit or something similar, and heard the same from our real estate agent. Was this a hallucination/told to us in error? Is he able to do this work for us at all, or are we forced to hire a DC contractor or risk fines? It almost goes without saying that the DCRA website is less than intuitive or helpful, and has very little info for people interested in doing work themselves.”

and

“I find myself in need of help/advise on building a pool in NW DC. We are purchasing a home in Hawthorne and I don’t have the slightest clue where to begin with this endeavor. I know we will need DCRA approval, but I also want to find a reputable pool company-preferably not a big name chain, to do the design and work. Can you help please!”

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Photo by Eric P.

Ed. Note: We spoke about best windows to reduce noise here.

“Dear PoPville,

I recently bought my first condo in Adams Morgan and have unfortunately found out that my upstairs neighbor has some of the creakiest floors I’ve ever heard. It actually sounds like the crack of a whip and it’s right above the bedroom. I moved in only a month ago and have been woken up pretty much every night at between 12am-2am. I’m a really heavy sleeper, too. I’m just now starting to look into my options for soundproofing the ceiling and was curious if anyone else has done this. Disclaimer: I’m not handy at all and would need a contractor, I’m not going to ask the neighbor to be quiet because as far as I can tell he’s simply just walking around in his apartment, and I’m not going to go into the past and not buy the place.”

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