Passion, Purpose, People – Details Home Services

“The secret to success, regardless of your passion, is no secret. Just work hard and add real value to people’s lives.” -Author Unknown

details van 2014 has been a good year well for us: We were named “Best of Loudoun 2013-14” and “Best of Fairfax 2013-14” in both Remodeling Company and Handyman categories; and we were also awarded a “Best of Houzz 2014” badge for our Customer Service. We believe that it is an honor for people to trust us enough to allow us in their homes for an extended period. That trust must be earned from the first contact. Everything is important, including the image that the name of our company conveys.

For almost 30 years, I had a successful career in IT. I did well for myself and for the companies at which I worked. But what I did best was take care of my clients. I had a sales philosophy that differed from most of my fellow sales people, who did whatever it took to close a deal. Rather, I cultivated relationships with my clients, knowing that people choose to do business with those that they like and respect.

Maybe this wisdom came from working in sales for most of my life: my first sales job was selling shoes when I was in high school. Or maybe it came from starting my career at IBM where I was indoctrinated into their way of ‘THINK’ing. Whatever the source, I learned early on that treating people well, and doing right by them, would bring their good will to me. And that would be a win-win for everyone.

I’ve been very fortunate to have always loved what I did. Just like anyone I didn’t always love the companies I worked for, but I found great satisfaction and joy in solving problems for my clients. I’m honest, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge by educating my clients and prospects. I give the best advice possible, even if it means telling people not to spend their money. Honesty pays off in the long run. We may not get an immediate job, but we’ll start a relationship built on trust and mutual respect. And that will have long term benefits for us all.

Our marketing materials boast about the Details difference. But what is that really? Just another slogan, or a true change in the industry? I would venture to say the latter. I recall one day, a client named Bill told me he was impressed. When I asked why, he said, “Every person you’ve introduced to us has been passionate about what they do.” My response was, “Of course they are. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be working with, or for me.”

The most difficult part of any business is in finding the right people who will act with pride, conviction and, yes, passion. I’m fortunate to have found several people who take personal responsibility and have pride in what they do.

In 2004, after the boom and bust, the opportunities for an aging sales professional   had    shrunk significantly, so I decided to pursue another passion of mine by starting Details Home Services. I wanted to be a change agent in an industry that sorely needed a better image. My ultimate goal was to bring good stories to light.   Secondarily, I wanted to create beautiful spaces for my clients in their homes.

Having had the opportunity to re-read all of the wonderful things our clients have written about us on, I am convinced we’re truly different from most contractors. What I find most gratifying, apart from delivering a beautiful project, are the relationships I’ve developed with my clients. I’ve made some great friends as I’ve built my business.

What we do is very personal. While we’re in your space, we promise to treat both you and your home with the utmost respect. If you’re planning an upgrade to your home, have you considered what is most important to you in selecting a contractor? Check out our online portfolio and our client reviews. Then you can decide if we might be right for you.

Full Disclosure: A Contractor’s Truth – Details Home Services

details bathroomEveryone knows someone with a horror story about a home improvement project gone wrong: there are the kitchen remodels that take eight months instead of four weeks; the basement that still isn’t complete after a year; the contractor who takes a huge deposit, then disappears; the contractor who does shoddy work that then has to be re-done by another contractor. You’ve heard it all.

What you probably haven’t heard of is a contractor that admits his role in a home improvement project horror story. Now you have: I did a home improvement project a few years ago where almost everything that could go wrong, did. I do not intend to give an excuse-laden explanation for my role. Rather I intend to honestly relate the story and give you a balanced viewpoint. As the Contractor, I own the project, and I must manage the process to ensure both a great result for the client and a reasonable profit for my company. Both are ultimately my responsibility. The buck (literally and figuratively) stops here.

One of my clients said it best: “It’s easy when things go right. The true measure of a contractor is what he does when things go wrong.” I wholeheartedly agree.

I was referred to Milton who has a 3-level townhouse. He wanted to completely transform the guest bath on the second level, and build a fabulous master bath on the third level. That top level already had a large living room space. Previously, he’d enclosed the third-level balcony, that when added to the original room made a large master bedroom, effectively creating a penthouse suite. The missing piece was an upscale bathroom we needed to create in the space occupied by a storage room. Fortunately, the storage space was directly above the bath we were to remodel one floor down. Sounds relatively simple, right?

In almost every project, there are numerous opportunities for things to go wrong. We’re all familiar with Murphy’s Law, where things that can go wrong, do go wrong. On this project, Murphy set up shop, and relished the role of Chief Troublemaker. Let me tell you about the new drywall and paint crew I was testing. The first job they did for me went exceptionally well, and I was totally impressed by both the speed and quality of their work. They were in and out in no time, with an ecstatic client. For this second job though, that all changed. Suddenly they were the Keystone Cops: bungling, inefficient, and sloppy.

Then there was the plumber. We’d been working together for a couple of years, always with good results. For this project, the client had specified a Kohler multi-part shower that was rather difficult to install. It was the same unit I’d done personally a year or so before, and had learned that following the directions didn’t work. I explained all this to the plumber, but he didn’t listen to me, and had to come back three times before finally figuring it out. I was mortified, and I fired him over that. Fortunately, Milton and I had many discussions and meetings, so he was keenly aware of my embarrassment and frustrations.

After completion, Milton referred me to two of his best friends. I have to admit to being surprised. I asked why on earth he made a referral, and his response stunned me in its honest simplicity. He said, “Two reasons: first, yes a lot of things went wrong, but you never, ever, gave me an excuse. All you ever said was, ‘We’ll take care of that,’ and you did. And second, it turned out fabulously! What more could I ask for?” I suggested that he could ask for a better managed project. He just smiled, and said to take good care of his friends. We created a beautiful guest bath for them two years ago and are going back in February to remodel their master bath. I guess we did well.

Cory Laws, CEO
Details Home Services

Loudoun County Host First Epicurience Event

Loudoun County Host First Epicurience Event

Everybody enjoys drinking wine, especially with friends other similarly-minded wine-lovers! To celebrate good food, good wine, and an overall amazing experience, Loudoun County will be hosting its first annual EpicurienceEvent. Lots of award-winning wines will be served paired with mouth-watering cousins from farm-to-table!

Loudoun is also known as DC’s “Wine County”, and because of the different well-known winemakers and delectable wine produce within the region, Loudoun, Virginia is known as the premier wine region on the East Coast.

The first annual Epicurience Event will be held on Morven Park, 17263 Southern Planter Ln, Leesburg, Virginia starting on Saturday, August 31, 2013, 11AM to 6PM until Sunday, September 1, 2013. VIP tickets are also available. Those with VIP tickets will have the chance to enter the VIP tent and experience a special food tasting from 10AM to 11AM.

Epicurience will be a memorable event that will gather top tastemakers, and winemakers from all around the county. Take this opportunity to indulge in the presence of celebrated chefs from different parts of the country as well as their fine gastronomic creations. It will surely be a distinguished event that will continue for many years to come!

Dorri Scott
Loudoun Woman Magazine

Anatomy of a Remodel: Dull to Dramatic!

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Some people really impress you. I met Bob and Jeri Thomas when they were referred to Details Home Services for a kitchen remodel. Their split level home provided both challenges, and tremendous opportunities. This was their first ever project, so they didn’t have “remodel-phobia”. What they had was a vision, and they were more than a little enthusiastic about making it happen. That vision required a remake of the entire main floor.

The original kitchen was an 8’x10’ pit in the middle of the main level. To expand the space, we started by removing all the interior walls. With trusses above,

nothing was load bearing, so we had that freedom. Seeing the entire level wide open, I thought Jeri was going to explode. She was almost giddy with joy!!

But once the walls came out, we found some surprises. This is a brick house, with no framing behind the exterior walls, only cinder block. We had to frame, and at the same time true the walls which were almost 2” off, top to bottom. Removing the original hardwood floors revealed insufficient subfloor, so we had to add another layer. But with all walls removed, we had a clean palate to create their dream. It started with a mud room, and a knee-wall defined conservatory for their Grand piano.

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Once the build began, the excitement was almost palpable. A lighting plan was developed to highlight areas, and provide different looks for different moods or time of day. Varying heights and offset cabinets added both interest and complexity to the installation. Bob and Jeri enjoyed an extended search, trying various tile layouts until they found the textures and colors they wanted to use as accents. Two tone granite and a tumbled marble and stone backsplash added personal touches to showcase their style.

There is now a 20′ wall of cabinets, and the 10′ island is as long as the original kitchen. One of the issues was how to deal with the microwave exhaust. Because of block walls, there wasn’t much room to run the ducting. We took the approach to create another visual highlight, by adding a “chimney” above the microwave cabinet. After it was crafted, I decided to highlight it by adding up-lighting. This was my “gift” to the clients. The lights made it pop, and delivered a center focus needed in such a long wall.

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New floors and a two-tone paint scheme complete the new kitchen/great room/conservatory. What started as an impersonal space has been transformed into a gathering spot for the entire family. The home now has a proper anchor. From breakfast, to snacks, homework, entertaining or just enjoying the flat-screen and surround sound, it all just works. Having Bob and Jeri as new friends made it more than worthwhile. The best clients make for the best projects. This was a joy from start to finish!

Screen Shot 2013-08-27 at 8.41.23 AMBy Cory Laws
Founder and CEO
Details Home Services

Loudoun County Celebrates Independence Day at Franklin Park

Loudoun County Celebrates Independence Day at Franklin Park

Independence Day is a great day to honor our nation while enjoying lots of fun and entertainment for the whole family. This 4th of July, Loudoun County will be holding a big celebration at Franklin Park in Purcellville, VA.  Everyone is invited to attend and enjoy lots of delicious food, listen to live music from local entertainers, and watch the beautiful fireworks display.

Music will be the main source of entertainment during the celebration, with different local artists and bands lined up to keep the fun going all night. Gates will open at 5:00 p.m., and music will begin at 6:15 p.m. with the International Youth Orchestra.

At 7:25, a Bluegrass band called Drymill Road will play their own versions of the classic music, ranging from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin.  Mink will follow at 8:25 with their unique style of rock and country.  At 9:20, 14-year-old theater performer Blake O’Brien will perform the National Anthem, which will then lead into a fireworks show accompanied by the Loudoun Symphonic Winds.

The Independence Day celebration at Franklin Park is open to everyone with an admission of $5.00 per carload. In case of inclement weather, the rainy day backup date will be July 5.

Dorri Scott
Loudoun Woman Magazine

Bathroom Blues to Bathroom Beautiful – Cory Laws, Details Home Services

You come home from a long day, exhausted, a bit irritated from the commute, needing to unwind. Drop your purse on the counter and head to the master bedroom to change. Stepping into your master bath, what do you see – a sea of white tile the builder left you, or a personal sanctuary where the patina of the daily grind melt away? The choice is yours!

At Details Home Services, we specialize in transforming your dreams to reality. By focusing on the prime value areas of the home – kitchens, basements, and baths, we build dreams; and equity. Here are three projects, with before and after pictures. Each used existing space only. While the space may have been re-configured, all three were accomplished using only the original footprint. No closet or other space was encroached on.

Whatever your dream, for budgets large and small, Details Home Services can make it a reality. You expect a great result. You should also expect a great process that gets you there. We listen, we understand, and we deliver. We can do it for you. Modern design, coupled with old school craftsmanship. We handle the Details so you don’t have to!

The owner had a vision, and sketched out a minor floorplan revision for better flow and appeal. The biggest differences are the size of the shower and smaller vanities. But the choice of materials, and the execution during installation were breathtaking. It required 9 full days just to do the tile work, but the result is perfection.

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CR Guest Bath– This is in a condo. The owners had remodeled much of it, but this bath was in dire need of a makeover. It’s the standard hall bath layout, but again, the finishing materials and execution turned drab to stunning! Note the same towels and picture on the left wall, plus sculpture on the toilet. Ecstatic barely describes their emotions.

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Trotter Master Bath – Developers have different priorities when designing neighborhoods. They opt for safe and bland for widest “appeal”. But does the master bath have to be cramped and devoid of character? We say not. This bath had an external 3’ vanity, with a toilet, small pedestal sink, and a 48” shower stall inside. Hideous was a generous description. We removed the inner wall, created a new entry, and delivered a truly transformational space.

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By Cory Laws
Founder and CEO
Details Home Services

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