Hawley’s Window Coverings

Hawley’s Window Coverings

Enhance curb appeal while transforming interior spaces

Bakersfield Home talked with Devin Gardea at Hawley’s Window Coverings to learn about their long-standing Kern County business.

Can you tell us about your experience in your industry?

We opened in 1979 to serve Kern County and the surrounding areas. James Hawley was a drapery installer for other companies and wanted to open his own business. He’s still our owner today, so we have 38 years’ experience in window coverings!

What type of services do you provide?

We offer any kind of window covering you can imagine. Today, customers mostly want shutters, shades, blinds and some draperies. Shutters are popular for their modern, clean look. Roman and roller shades are good for a soft touch instead of a hard covering. They’re a different look that give people options for style and effect. We provide a wide range of quality brands, such as Skandia Window Fashions, Sunland Shutters, Graber, Hunter Douglas, Mariak and many more. We also have experienced staff that install the window coverings.

What separates you from your competitors?

I would say that our primary difference is our longevity in the business and experience in this market since 1979. Our experience provides the insight that helps us provide quite accurate estimates with the first measuring. We have a showroom and a store front on Easton Dr. for customers to see many different working samples. And, we’re a local, family-owned company.

Are there any misperceptions about the window coverings business that you want to clarify?

People sometimes think that they can’t afford custom window coverings. But we do a good job of working within a customer’s budget. Window coverings are more reasonably priced than people think. And when we meet with a customer, we measure and always do a free in-home estimate. The best part of making an appointment for us to come measure and give an estimate is that there’s nothing to worry about from start to finish; it takes the DIY measurement anxiety out of the equation. Then, we can talk about options and work out the details.

What are some design tips that make a huge difference?

We recommend staying neutral. You want the flexibility of having window coverings last through changes that you make, such as painting your walls a different color or buying new furniture with a different pattern or color. The window coverings enhance the look of the room, but they’re in the background.

What new ideas, trends and products should we be looking forward to in window coverings ?

Some people hear vinyl and think, ‘ugh.’ But vinyl shutters have come a long way in the last few years Vinyl isn’t plastic; it is a solid vinyl composite material that look very similar to wood. Customers like the fact that vinyl shutters have a 25 year warranty.

Many home owners are looking for energy efficiency in all areas of their home – do you have tips related to window coverings?

Anything that creates a dead air space helps to save energy, such as shutters and cellular shades. Shutters are great for insulating because of the space between the shutter and window. The dead air space creates a buffer that traps warm air in the summer before it gets into the room. In the winter, the cold outside air doesn’t get through to the interior. The same principle is true for cellular shades because they have a ‘honey comb’ structure that creates a buffer between the window and room interior.

Do you have any suggestions for simple upgrades?

2” or 2.5” wood or faux-wood (vinyl made to look like wood) blinds can make an immediate impact in a room for a reasonable price. It’s an attractive “shutter” look for a lesser cost. The blinds come with a very nice decorative valance. The faux-wood blinds are also easy to care for.

What would you like to communicate to our readers about your business?

We’re grateful to be in business for 38 years with the same owner, and are happy to estimate window coverings for any client. Customers will find us to be competitively priced, and we can usually get out to do an estimate and measure within a few days of getting a call. The nice part about having one of our trained professionals measure is that IF there is any mistake in sizing, it’s our mistake to fix and not the customer’s responsibility.

Devin Gardea

Hawley’s Window Coverings

A Hand Crafted Mattress

The Difference in Handcrafted, Custom Built Mattresses

Q&A with Eric Slagle, owner of Slagle’s Mattress Factory.

Can you tell us about your experience in the mattress industry?

I started nearly 30 years ago in the mattress business, both manufacturing and retail sales. My wife, Kim, does all the hard work – office, accounting, and payroll. I manage, design, manufacture and sell the finished product. We’re a family-owned business that builds with pride and a sense of responsibility to the community we so proudly serve.

What’s the difference in your hand built custom made mattress and all the national brands other retail stores sell?

At Slagle’s Mattress, every mattress we sell is handcrafted and custom built. Many of the techniques we use have been around for decades, but modern technology has been unable to improve upon. Most manufacturers have actually cut quality and incorporated practices to ensure their mattresses don’t last as long. At Slagle’s, we still build double sided, flippable beds with the highest quality USA-made components we can find to ensure years of comfortable use.

Do you build custom size mattresses?

Yes, odd size and special orders are always welcome. For antiques, boats, truckers and especially RV beds. Any size, any shape, any comfort level, even round or split top mattresses for adjustable beds.

What recommendations do you offer people who are looking for beds?

I first try to find out if the customer is a side, stomach, or back sleeper. That will help me direct them to a more suitable mattress. If there is chronic lower back pain or maybe acid reflux or snoring issues, that customer may be needing an adjustable (head up, foot up) type bed. The beauty of having a local factory on site is that it enables us to customize the chosen mattress to suit the customer’s needs. Different color fabric, higher or lower style boxes, even subtle enhancements in firmness or softness, nearly all mattresses can be customized in this manner.

What separates you from your competitors?

A mass produced bed can hardly compare to a handcrafted custom built one. Whereas a lot of national brands look for ways to cut quality by shopping globally for cheaper components, we’ll gladly pay a bit more to buy higher quality USA-made components and bed frames. Their labor is on piece work, they can’t take the needed time to build each mattress set as if their last name is on it, as mine is.

What are new trends in the mattress industry?​

Memory foam has been hot, both literally and figuratively. It lacks breath

ability so the industry has started infusing it with cooling gels. Some folks that are chemically sensitive have issues with the off-gassing of these chemicals in memory foam. At Slagle’s, we carry memory foams and hybrids but have a preference for the 100% natural Latex. It’s far more breathable, resilient, comfortable and better for the environment. We make a large selection of latex mattresses from pillow soft to extra firm.

What compliment have you received lately?

I feel so blessed and humbled to have the abundant amount of referrals we get. We’ve even delivered throughout the state to folks that have been referred to our quality, comfort, or ability to customize individual needs or desires. We’ve had an A+ with the Better Business Bureau for nearly 25 years, and been voted and acknowledged as one of the best mattress stores in Bakersfield for several years running now.

Anything else you want to tell readers about your business? ​

I encourage everyone to come see and feel the difference a handcrafted mattress can make in their lives, and witness for themselves why the national brands just can’t compare.

From our family to yours, “REST ASSURED.”

Counter Top Trends

Counter top Trends & Four Questions to ask your contractor

Our talk with Armando Trevino of Stone Crafters!

The most common question about counter tops is ‘What are my options?’ For enjoyment and maximizing home re-sale value, granite and quartz are the most popular options. So, what’s the difference?

Granite ranges in types and price from entry-level to exotic. The difference is in the look. An entry-level granite is more uniform in design. An exotic granite has more variation and may have more intense or distinct colors. Good quality granite has an epoxy resin that is vacuum sealed onto the stone, meaning that there is an actual coating on granite that makes it impenetrable to stains.

Quartz is a non-porous material that consists of 89% granite and 11% resin. The beauty of quartz is that you can get colors that mimic marble in white and greys that are simply not available in granite. You can get quartz with veins (the kind that looks like marble) for about the same cost as exotic granite. Beyond the material, you will need to choose details such as the type of edge on the counter top.

It’s important to do your homework before hiring any contractor. Check state license boards as well as social media sites to start. Here are 4 questions to ask when shopping around for a company to help with your kitchen:

1. How long have you been in the business? What about your employees?

I’m celebrating 21 years of experience in this business. And some of the employees on my team have been working with stone counter tops for over 30. Counter tops are never a one-person job. Ask about the team.

2. What level of detail do you provide?

Some contractors only provide one part of the total project. Ideally, you want a contractor who is responsible for all of the details before, during, and after installation. For example, I tell people, “I come with the job.” When someone signs a contract, I help them source all of the materials that they need — the stone and backsplash. We’ll talk about the faucets, stove top, or other related appliances. It saves time to have everything ready to go before the start date. That is the key – making sure that everything is lined up and that you aren’t waiting for anything.

3. What is the schedule for the work?

The time it takes to install new counter tops varies widely by contractor. For us, the average kitchen remodel is one week from start to finish. Monday is a busy day – demolition to rip out existing tile, take down the bare cabinet, remove old tile, take it to the dump and dispose of it. Then, we make templates using modern technology to recreate your exact kitchen. Tuesday through Thursday is when we create your kitchen in the shop; we don’t need to be in your home. Friday – our team takes care of the installation and the job is complete. Be sure and ask about schedule so that your kitchen isn’t torn up any longer than it has to be.

4. Why are you the best for the job?

It’s always interesting to hear what people have to say about their work, and it helps you understand if this is a person you want to do business with. It’s important to me to help people make decisions that they won’t regret later, and I make sure that they are happy. I also help my clients save money by passing along savings on material in the form of various discounts that I receive from my vendors.

There’s nothing that I wouldn’t do to make a job right – my job is to make you happy. Isn’t that the way it should be?

Finishing Touches Make the Difference

Finishing Touches Make the Difference

Window coverings upgrade and update a home, adding pleasure and practicality. Blinds and More, Inc. is a locally-owned source for a wide variety of custom window coverings.

Their personal service combined with competitive pricing gives them an almost 21-year history of beautifying homes in Bakersfield. Dennis Knittel, owner of Blinds and More, talked with Bakersfield Home Magazine about his experience with window coverings.

What are important considerations when choosing types of window coverings?

Number one, we ask people what’s important to them. Let the light in, or darken a room? Make a statement or blend in with decor? Is saving energy or reducing noise an issue? We also talk about budget and anticipated length of time in the home so that we can help customers get the best value. We want people to understand the different options available.

What mistakes should people avoid when purchasing window coverings?

Going for a low price and sacrificing quality is often disappointing. We also see that sometimes people only think about how the window covering will look from the inside. The exterior view is also important if the windows are on the front of the house. Finally, many people think that a custom service is outside of what they can afford. However, a professional can help get the exact look that a customer wants and will want to live with for many years. It’s important to talk through such an important decision.

How do you work with customers?

My wife Kathy and I have owned and operated Blinds and More, Inc. for close to 21 years in Kern County. These years of experience give us the expertise that benefits our customers in choosing of window coverings – no matter the need.  We have professionally-trained consultants who work one-on-one with customers in their home or office. We know that people typically make their decisions based on the following areas:

1 – Quality of the product;

2 – Economical pricing; and

3 – Experience, especially of the installers.

What products do you provide?

As our name states, we offer more than blinds.  We offer Plantation Shutters, Roman Shades, Honeycomb Shades, Solar Roller Screen Shades, and Verticals.  Every manufacturer has different strengths in each category, and are unique in their own way.  We understand the benefits of each for different types of windows and budgets. One of the newer and more innovative features is motorization, which is now offered in almost every category of window coverings.

What recommendations do you offer to those looking for your services that make a big impact in a home or office?

If you want to make a big impact in the appearance of your property, both inside and out, we recommend Plantation Shutters.  These shutters are a unique window treatment because they create a look that enhances the overall design of your property.  You can use shutters to beautify your property from every vantage point.  Customers say their rooms explode with light and openness during the day, while also allow for privacy in the evening and at night.  Blinds and More, Inc. can help you select the best shutters in the industry for your unique space.

What experience in your industry sets you apart from your competitors?

What sets Blinds and More, Inc. apart from other companies and Large Box stores is the ‘volume discount’ that we receive from our manufacturers.  We also don’t have the overhead that many other companies have.  Our in-home/office approach helps our customers understand not only how the product will look but how it will be installed in their home or office.  We pride ourselves on being knowledgeable in our industry on all of the various products, as well as understanding why certain products will or will not work. What’s most important is taking care of the needs of our customers, and helping them select the best way to cover their windows.

What would you like our readers to know about selecting window coverings?

Selecting window coverings for your home might sound easy, but it can often be a complicated process.  Not all products will work in every space.  But don’t fret! Blinds and More is here to help you with those decisions, and ease you through the process.  Call us to set up a free in-home/office appointment for a time that fits your busy schedule.  A professionally trained consultant will bring samples of our products to you. Color swatches and other necessary materials help you make your decision and put your mind at ease.

We also provide great warranty and service repair work to our customers at no charge.  We are an established company and a licensed California Contractor.  Simply put, you can count on us for quality products and superior service.  Blinds and More makes it possible to pay less for window coverings and still get the best. One of our customers said so nicely what we work hard to do:

Dennis,

We are so pleased with our shutters.  They certainly upgrade our house and make our home more comfortable and inviting. You are lucky to have an employee like Felipe to install the shutters.  He worked constantly for 6 hours without taking a break.  Besides his excellent work ethic, he is a great craftsman.  I am sure that you compensate him well for his loyalty and talent. We are happy to do business with you and will not hesitate to refer to others.

Regards,

Jack and Jeanette C.

Everything you need to know about Gas Inserts for your Fireplace

Everything You Need to Know About Gas Inserts

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We spoke to Gary Flanagan at Econo Air about the benefits of gas inserts, and the rebates and vouchers offered by the Valley Air District.

Please tell us about the benefits of switching from a wood burning fireplace to a gas insert.

Bakersfield has many no burn days due to our poor air quality. That means many homeowners with wood burning fireplaces rarely get to enjoy them. With a gas insert, you can ‘turn on’ a fire any time you feel a chill or want to enjoy the ambiance. Another benefit is that a gas insert heats the living area, providing zone heating. You save money on utility costs when heating your primary living area instead of the entire house.

Most homes have central heating that comes in at the top of the room, and heat goes up, right? With a high efficiency gas insert there is no need to keep a blanket on your legs while reading a book, or watching tv.  You control the fire and heat with your remote thermostat, so that you are always comfortable.

Finally, many people get tired of the cost of buying wood and the hassle of hauling ashes and taking care of a wood burning fireplace.

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Q&A: Experts in AC/Heating, Fireplaces, and Grills

Q&A:  Experts in AC/Heating, Fireplaces, and Grills

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Experience counts, and Econo Air’s owner, Gary Flanagan, talked with Bakersfield Home Magazine about important issues for homeowners

What advice would you give a home owner for maintaining their AC system?

1. Be sure to change the inside filter at least once a month in the summer and every two months in the winter. A dirty air filter restricts air flow back to the system and can cost you more to operate and cause expensive repairs. Summer and winter service is recommended by all manufacturers. If you have an AC system that is still under warranty, and you don’t take care of normal maintenance, your warranty is in jeopardy, just like an automobile.

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Q&A: A+ Customer Service at Carpet Outlet Plus

 

Q&A:  A+ Customer Service at Carpet Outlet Plus

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Home Magazine recently spoke with Carpet Outlet Plus to learn about their award winning service, and get tips on starting your flooring project.

What makes Carpet Outlet Plus different from other resources for flooring?

We are a locally-owned store that is run day-to-day by the owners, Mark and Jennifer. We feel that personal involvement is very important to the customer. Many purchases made today are from a national chain or big box store with little or no interaction between the consumer and the store. With local ownership that cares about the community, Carpet Outlet Plus strives for every transaction to be something we can be proud of. With over 60,000 sales and 12 Reader’s Poll Bakersfield’s Best Flooring Store awards, we want Bakersfield to know that we have been there for your family and friends. We have 22 years in the same location, and we’ll continue to be here for you in the future.

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Q&A: Making Dreams Come True

Q&A:  Making Dreams Come True

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Home Magazine recently sat down with the pros at  DreamMaker, to talk remodeling and how to find a contractor you can count on.

What are all the services that your company provides?

DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen is a full-service design/build specialist providing a vast array of options that will fit most budgets from cosmetic upgrades to full-scale design/build.  As a General Contractor, we can also address many other areas outside of the kitchen and bath realm.  Doing room additions or a whole house remodel is definitely within our expertise.  Everett Gray has been licensed since 1983 in California. He has a wealth of knowledge and a portfolio that encompasses all aspects of residential construction.

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BBQ Meets the Digital Age!

 BBQ Meets the Digital Age!

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The Owner of the Bulk Yard, David Geig, talks to The Bakersfield Home Magazine about one the fastest rising stars in BBQ – The Pellet Grill.

Pellet grills are becoming one of the hottest trends in BBQ, even though they’ve been around for several years. The word is out — wood pellets provide convenient, clean grilling, and add great flavor to whatever you’re grilling.

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Home Protection Unleashed

Home Protection Unleashed

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Peace of Mind for Double-Door Homes

Bakersfield Home Magazine talked with  the founders of Security Guard Dog, to learn about their practical product that stops burglars.

What is the Security Guard Dog?

Security Guard Dog is a simple metal bar that fits on double door handles and prevents ‘kick-in’ burglaries.

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