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Christopher Church

Culpeper, VA 22701540-937-7187

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Methods and Limitations

Start by carefully considering what you think you want. Then weigh your wish list against what you’ll probably pay to fulfill it. Identifying goals and thinking through available options will force some decisions—and also help you set a budget cap.

Good fences cost good money. Though some homeowners opt to DIY the job, most count on fence builders to help with the design and handle the construction. We found some in the area that were highly rated by their customers; unfortunately, we also found some that weren’t held in high regard at all. And our mystery shoppers discovered huge price differences among companies bidding on the same job.

Begin by reviewing and deciding on fence type, materials, finish, height, spacing and width of slats, and post size. Also decide whether you want extras such as latticework or an electronic gate. Most fence builders provide catalogs you can examine.

Are you ready for a kitchen makeover? Here's advice on planning your space, finding the right designers, suppliers, and contractors, and getting good prices.

When the time comes for a kitchen redo, you certainly should go with finishes and fixtures that you love. But make sure they fit current and up-and-coming cabinet and countertop trends before signing any contracts or swinging a demo hammer.

Countertop materials range from wood to plastics to metal to stone. Manufactured quartz—formed from stone chips, resins, and pigments—is edging out natural stone materials in popularity, thanks in part to its durability and its availability in zillions of colors.