Washington, DC


Photo by PoPville flickr user Brian Mosley

“Dear PoPville,

I recently purchased an old home in the city, and seemingly like everyone else, am interested in taking down a small wall section to create an open floor plan.

Any idea what kind of contractor can tell me if it’s weight bearing or any recommendations?

I’ve looked on yelp and other sites and haven’t found anyone that can do it for residential houses.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Jordan Barab

“Dear PoPville,

I live in a small, two floor condo building on Capitol Hill and, over the past year, I’ve been been plagued with recurring leaks from above my kitchen ceiling every time that it rains. My unit is on the second floor with a flat roof right above it. Despite having had the roof area above my kitchen both patched and replaced (on two separate occasions by different roofing companies), the leaking persists. Our latest roofer is at a loss and has suggested that perhaps it’s coming from underneath the adjacent units’s rooftop deck. Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

I have a water-damaged wall in the back bedroom on the top floor of my house.

Once I get the source of the water damage* fixed, what kind of contractor should I get to fix the water-damaged plaster (and possibly lathe) on this wall?

And do I need a different kind of contractor to assess just how deep the water damage is in the wall? Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Chabelamarie

“Dear PoPville,

This is our first D.C. summer with a backyard/patio on Capitol Hill. We love our small yard, but as the weather warmed up, so did the pests. Lately, we’ve been dealing with an insane number of cockroaches (both German and American) that come out at night. We’ve put out roach motels, which fill up every night, but it obviously doesn’t address the problem. Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

We are moving back into our 1914 rowhouse after a few years of tenants and want to take this opportunity to do some restoration of our beautiful cherry-inlaid parquet floors. We have some damaged boards right where the parquet pattern is that pre-date our ownership that we would like to replace, places that are worn with little or no poly left, and wear patterns to address. We have received conflicting advice on how to proceed, ranging from Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user John Sonderman

“Dear PoPville,

My husband and I bought a 1918 rowhouse last year, which still has the original galvanized steel (not lead) water main. Over time, galvanized steel pipes corrode and weaken, so we need to replace the line before a leak springs.

The public water main on our street has already been replaced with copper by DC Water–good news, except it means we no longer have the option to buy into DC Water’s pipe replacement program.

We’re looking for recommendations for good and reasonable plumbers/contractors to replace a private side water line, outside of DC Water’s program. Thanks!”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

“Dear PoPville,

I am the association president of a small condo building in DC. Our condo building is new construction, and the first unit was purchased in March 2017. I’ve heard that we should get a professional study done before the two-year warranty period is over to see if there are any structural defects that the developer should be responsible for repairing – but I am having trouble finding information on companies that perform these studies.

Any recommendations? Should we be looking for a structural engineer? A home inspector? Any and all advice appreciated!”

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