@ Your Service

Frager’s Paint Store is open at 1129 Penn. Ave. SE. Photo: Andrew Lightman.

A Fresh Start for an Old Friend

In the past 12 weeks, how many times have you thought about an item you need from Frager’s, only to catch yourself and remember the devastating fire? With the Paint Store at Frager’s reopening by Labor Day Weekend, Hill residents can resume the familiar route down Pennsylvania Avenue since the new space is on the same block as Frager’s.

With the reopening, the Paint Store at Frager’s joins other Benjamin Moore Signature Stores in providing a greener product line. “With the exception of our industrial maintenance and anti-rust oil paints, all of our paints will now be either low VOC (Volatile Organic Compound)or zero VOC,” Paint Store manager Juan Wilson stated. 

The new space will have a wall full of color samples and plenty of space for customers to chat with Frager’s staff. “When people shop for paint, they need to be able to look at the color for a while, they need to sit down somewhere, and they need to be able to talk to a color consultant,” Wilson explained.

A graduate of the Corcoran School of Art, Wilson has worked at Frager’s since 2002. “I’ve been happy here the entire time,” Wilson shared, noting, “Hard work goes a long way at Frager’s.”

“Coming to work every day is like going home to your family,” Wilson said, adding, “You make a connection with people.”

“The outpouring of support from the community has really encouraged us during these difficult times, and we’re thrilled to have Paint up and running right down the block,” owner John Weintraub said. “It’s one more step to keep Frager’s serving the community.”

The grand reopening of The Paint Store will be Saturday, September 7. In addition to free t-shirts and hats, Frager’s will grill hot dogs and offer prizes including tennis lessons and tickets to sporting events. The grand prize is the cleaning and re-staining of the winning customer’s deck or fence.

Contact The Paint Store at Frager’s at 1129 Pennsylvania Avenue SE or by calling 202-547-2468


The Michelangelo of Remodeling

“For us, the customer is king,” Mike Taylor, owner Taylor Construction/Remodeling, said. Specializing in high-end bathroom and kitchen remodeling, Taylor worked in construction for 15 years before starting his own company in 1990.

“Washington is the most important city in the world,” Taylor observed. “You have very intelligent people here from all over the world [who] like nice things. They appreciate what we do,” Taylor said when explaining why he loves working in DC.

“The customers we have on the Hill treat us like members of the family,” Taylor shared.

“He’s a meticulous craftsman, and he’s done this long enough to have a good understanding of layout,” Hill resident Brian Biles said when explaining why he’s hired Taylor for three, separate renovation jobs. “He does exquisite tile work, and he keeps everything clean and taped up,” Biles observed.

Taylor Construction does “any carpentry-related item,” Taylor said, such as replacing windows, doors and trim in addition to remodeling bathrooms and kitchens.

When renovating bathrooms, Taylor uses a completely waterproof material from Germany called Wedi. “All parts of the shower will be waterproof – walls, floors and the shower curb,” Taylor said.

“Skilled trades are a dying art in our country,” Taylor observed, noting that his staff includes only full-time employees; he doesn’t sub-contract out any work. “We’re a very small, hands-on company. We have someone on the job every day until we finish.”

His advice to his employees?  “If you’re ever in a situation and you don’t know what to do, just do the right thing.”

Contact Taylor Construction/Remodeling, Inc. at P.O Box 360, Damascus, MD 20872, by calling 301-916-8840 or by emailing michael@taylor-remodel.com


Building a Better Mouse Trap

Innovative Pest Management: Josh Kramer, Richard Kramer, Shari Silverman and Luke Krikstan

Josh Kramer grew up thinking bugs were pretty cool. Considering Kramer’s father, Richard, has a PhD in entomology, perhaps it was only a matter a time before this father-son duo teamed up to keep DC’s pest population under control. 

“Many of my evenings would be spent with him [Richard] in the lab, counting German cockroaches,” Kramer remembered. With partners Luke Krikstan and Shari Silverman, Josh and Richard Kramer started Innovative Pest Management in 2004.

Since then, the company has helped keep pests and wildlife out of every kind of building in DC from the National Gallery of Art to American University to town houses on Capitol Hill.

Kramer often consults with homeowners during a renovation, advising them about how to properly seal up possible entry points.

“If you’re having any plumbing changes, do not allow a contractor to put a rubber cap on a pipe when it’s cut off,” Kramer said, explaining, “It might meet code,” but this method isn’t sufficient for keeping out sewer rats or mice.

“We’ll go through the history of a home with the homeowner, looking for what has changed,” Kramer said, explaining one of the ways he diagnoses a pest problem.

“We can handle an issue with a traditional insecticide, or we can handle a problem without using anything at all, just by properly identifying it and finding another way to deal with it,” Kramer explained.

“We sometimes have to identify bugs microscopically,” Kramer said. “It’s the benefit of having an entomologist on staff.”

“There’s no shortage of new situations; it’s about problem solving,” Kramer noted. “There’s nothing I love about bugs.”

Contact Innovative Pest Management, Inc. at500 Greenbridge Road, Brookeville, MD, 20833, by calling 202-232-4948


Painting the Hill Red, White and Blue

Ricardo Ramos has been working as a painter and contractor on the Hill since 1989, and his allegiance to this neighborhood just keeps getting stronger.

“Everybody knows me,” Ramos said. “I’ve worked for so many people, I can’t remember everyone.”

After leaving his native El Salvador in 1979, Ramos worked for a commercial contractor and within a few years, he was managing 16 people, 3 trucks and 250 properties.

“When my son was born, I decided to go out on my own,” Ramos recounted. “I didn’t want him to be raised in an apartment.” Celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of his company, Ramos now manages three crews, which include several painters, an electrician and a carpenter.

“When the weather is good, it’s like everybody wakes up and start calling,” Ramos said, noting that he’s always busier in the summer.

“He excels at that small job that it is hard to get someone to do, such as hang that door, repair that stained ceiling or build a gate for my back yard,” Don Denton, Vice President of the Capitol Hill branch of Coldwell Banker, said. “I have found him to be always trustworthy and dependable.”

“When you finish the job, you see the big difference you’ve made,” Ramos explained, saying, “I love my job.”

Ramos became an American citizen in 1985. “This country gave me my family,” Ramos said. “This is where I found myself.”

Contact Ricardo Ramos at 713 Rosemere Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20904 or by calling 301-680-2065

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