The Benefits of Replacing Your Windows

All homes will begin to show signs of wear and tear years after they were built. The perimeter of the structure, including the windows, will usually break down much faster because of exposure to the elements. Common issues include decaying sills, cracked glass, widening gaps, stuck parts, and discolored frames.

There will come a time when these problems become serious concerns for the household. Replacing them with new ones is often the best solution. The installation of these replacement windows may not be cheap but it is worth the cost. This investment should yield the following benefits:

replacement windows1Enhanced Curb Appeal

Windows have a way of capturing attention. Eyes are simply drawn to them when people look at the facade. Whether it is fair or not, their condition will be seen as a reflection of the entire house. Worn out frames will leave a bad impression, with passersby harshly judging the interiors even without seeing it. On the other hand, fresh frames and clean glass will result in kinder comments. Installing new windows will enhance your home’s curb appeal and make it the envy of the entire neighborhood. Have the satisfaction of coming home to a beautiful house.

Increased Property Value

Aesthetic enhancement is more than just a superficial pursuit. A beautiful home is worth more than one which isn’t. Lots of homeowners renovate as a strategic move prior to selling their property. If the windows have seen better days, then they should be included in the list of things to fix. Diminished functionality and cosmetic defect will be used by potential buyers as ammunition during bargaining. Make sure that they have nothing to complain about. Even if you’re not aiming to sell the house right away, the increase in property value should be handy in the future.

Better Energy Efficiency

Modern materials engineering has resulted in high performance glass that can help insulate the home for better energy efficiency. In older homes, the glass is typically the weak link when it comes to insulation. It is where heat transfer occurs between the interior and the exterior, causing the HVAC system to work harder to maintain the ideal temperature. Use the window replacement project as an opportunity to install glass with low thermal emissivity or Low E. This type has thin film coatings on their surfaces that reflect radiant heat while allowing light to pass through. Blue Ridge Exteriors in Richmond VA offers and installs replacement windows with this type of high-performance, low E glass.

Improved Securityenergy efficient windows

Broken windows pose serious security risk to homeowners. They may be spotted by malicious individuals who can exploit them to get into the house steal valuables. Openings are particularly dangerous if a grown adult can fit in. Even if there are no thieves lurking around, these may still be dangerous for a different reason. Young children may try to play with them or sneak out when no one is looking, resulting in unfortunate cuts and injuries. New windows, on the other hand, can be locked fully. Grills may even be installed as an additional security measure.

Disease Prevention

Small gaps may also be exploited by tiny creatures that can bring big problems. Pests can make their way inside the home through the cracks and holes of a window. Roaches, ants, rats, mosquitoes, and others of their ilk will take advantage of any opening to get into a house to hunt for food. Once they get in, they can spread germs that can potentially cause illness among your family. Act quickly to repair broken windows to prevent further infestation. Find a reputable installer so that you can be assured of an airtight fit that will keep pests out for good.

UV Damage Protection

Repeated exposure to ultraviolet light is known to cause damage in a wide range of materials. The effect can be clearly seen with drapes. Parts constantly exposed to the sun have faded colors while those covered by a wall maintain their vibrancy. The same thing can happen to furniture and valuable artworks, resulting in their costly depreciation over time. Blinds and awnings are viable solutions but they create a dark environment. In contrast, modern windows with the appropriate film coating on the glass can specifically target UV rays. You will be able to enjoy natural light inside the house without worrying about harmful effects.

How to Landscape Your Yard

landscapingLandscaping can seem like an overwhelming amount of work — needing to first map out a plan for the design of your yard, then acquiring the right tools and supplies, then digging, lifting, planting, and more. Where does one even begin? Landscaping may be an art, but if you have the right information and tools, a professional landscaper doesn’t have to be necessary. Whether you’re an experienced gardener, or planting your very first flower bed, here are several pieces of advice on how to get started with shaping up your yard.

Divide Your Yard into Sections

When you’re first laying out your landscaping plan, you might be overwhelmed by exactly how much yard you have. To make it easier, mentally break down your yard into separate sections. Maybe in one section you have a beautiful tree that you’d like to have serve as the focal point for your yard. Maybe in another, you’d like to plant some shrubbery or a flower bed. You can compartmentalize your outside space, while simultaneously sticking with the same style and theme.

Create an Entrance

Consider what the main goal for your landscaping project is. If you’re landscaping your front yard, you will want the landscape to draw attention to and create a beautiful, lush entrance for your home. This will help to make your home and yard appear welcoming to your visitors. If you’re landscaping your backyard, maybe you want to use the landscape as an accent for your patio or pool, or lead your guests through your garden.

Invest in the Right Supplies

Once you have a style and layout in mind, head over to your local home goods/hardware store. Consider what tools you have, and what additional tools you may require to complete your project. Keep in mind that affordable doesn’t have to mean “cheap. Investing in the right tools and materials, like Pete Rose landscaping supplies, will go a long way in beautifying your yard — and they will probably last quite a bit longer.

Some people may wonder about the “rules” for gardening, such as how you should only have green plants in the front of your house and no colorful flowers. You may wish to remain traditional in your landscaping endeavors, but remember that it is your house, and your yard should reflect your own personality and the style of your home. If you’re overwhelmed by the thought of landscaping, start out small and love the process of beautifying your home.

Are Fiberglass Windows the Right Option for You?

If you are building your home or you are looking to replace your home windows, there are quite a few choices you must make. One of the biggest decisions regarding windows is the material you want for the frame. There are many options on the market for you to choose from, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

fiberglass window bedroomWhen it comes to the price of your windows, the frame is going to be the biggest factor. You might think that you need to go for the most expensive options to get the best quality, but that really isn’t the case. Many of the more affordable options—including fiberglass—are high in quality. So, are fiberglass windows the right choice for you?

I contacted the experts who do the window replacement for BNW Builders and asked about their fiberglass product from Marvin they sell and install. Below is what I learned and its actually very impressive considering the price point of these windows.

If You Want a Window That Works in all Temperatures and Weather

There are many materials that cannot withstand extreme temperatures or weather conditions. If you live in one of these areas, that will limit your options. However, due to changes in weather patterns, many home owners are opting for more durable materials just in case. Fiberglass windows hold up well in extreme heat, extreme cold, snow, rain, and more.

If You Want a Window That Mimics the Look of Painted Wood

One reason many homeowners opt for more expensive windows is because they like the look of the different materials. However, fiberglass is able to mimic these materials, even looking like painted wood. This allows you to get the design you want without cleaning out your bank account.

If You Want a Window That is Incredibly Energy Efficient

Fiberglass windows insulate incredibly well. This means that your home will hold its ideal temperature better, requiring less work from your HVAC system. With lower utility bills and fewer repairs to your system, these windows can save you money up front and in the long run.

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Make Your Home Feel Like New

Making your home fee like new again doesn’t require expensive and time-consuming renovation projects.  There are many things you can do to make your home feel lively and fresh that don’t require a lot of time or money.  Below we’ll explore a few ideas that might help jumpstart your creative ideas.

A Detailed Clean

Over time our homes collect dust, junk, and other unwanted items.  As they build up, these things can make our home look tired and unkempt.  A good way to help get your home in a refreshed state again is to do a thorough cleaning.

I typically like to start with a professional carpet cleaning to help my home look its best.  Regular carpet maintenance is a big priority in my home, but each year I like to call in a professional to get all of the pesky stains and dirt that’s embedded itself deep down in the fibers.  Other than that, it’s always a good idea to wipe down all surfaces to get rid of dust and to toss out any junk you may have.

Change It Up

Living-RoomRearranging furniture or swapping out old decorative pieces for new ones is a great way to freshen up a stale room.  If you have a large empty space on your floor, try placing a decorative rug there to bring some new life to the room.  Perhaps a change in color would suit rooms better.  Taking a weekend to repaint your walls can help give your home a new look for cheap.

Each year I like to take some time to think up different ways I could reorganize everything in my home.  Sometimes just moving the couch to the other wall or changing the direction of your bed can make a huge difference.

Try New Lighting

If your home has lost is glamour, try incorporating different lighting in your home.  Place more lamps around, especially in dark corners.  Doing so just might bring some new perspective to how your view your home.

Try placing different kinds of lighting in unexpected places, such as a lamp inside the bathroom or string lighting in your kitchen.

Create Decorations

Sometimes some crafting does the soul good.  If your home has bare walls, think of some things that you’d like to see there.  Sites like Pinterest have a lot of DIY projects than you can do that can make your home feel more stylish.

Is Your Home Senior-Friendly?

As our parents get older, we want to be sure that they are sufficiently taken care of. Many seniors find themselves less capable of living on their own, and so assisted living facilities or moving in with their adult children become viable options. If you have an elderly parent moving in with you, you may want to ensure that your home is safe and comfortable for someone with limited mobility. One of the primary dangers for elderly people is falling, so extra care should be taken to decrease the risk of slipping and falling onto a hard surface. Here are some tips on how to make minor adjustments to your home so that it is suitable for your loved one:

  • Senior fallingCreate a downstairs “suite,” where everything they need is accessible without having to go up or down a flight of stairs, or walk a long distance.
  • Put things on lower shelves so they don’t have to reach. Someone may be tempted to grab a chair or a stool to reach something on a high shelf, and lose their balance.
  • Add railings in the tub or shower, and by the toilet for support if balance is lost.
  • If you have stairs, consider adding an electric chair lift.
  • Install wall-to-wall carpets instead of having area rugs or hardwood flooring which can be slippery.
  • Assess the lighting in your home. Are stairways and steps well-lit? Consider adding nightlights to the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, and other areas where light may be needed at night.
  • Make sure all smoke alarms are working, and that an exit from your home is easily accessible. If your loved one is hearing impaired, install a smoke alarm that displays a large, bright flashing light that can easily be seen in case of emergency.
  • Consider using a video or sound monitor.

It takes a lot of work to care for an elderly loved one in your home. You want to be sure that you have enough time to be there for them and ensure that their needs and comfort are met. If you feel as though taking in a senior is too stressful, or that you are poorly equipped for this responsibility, consider an assisting living facility or a helper that makes regular visits. Seniors Helping Seniors offers home care in Boca Raton, and provides services such as helping with grocery trips and doctors’ visits, light housecleaning, cooking, and companionship. Speak with your loved one today to figure out the best care plan for them.

Finding the Right Window Film for Your Home

Looking for a great window tinting company in the Midwest? When it comes to window film, it is very important to do your research on something that will truly change the overall look of your home. It’s a big investment and you want to make sure you are getting the full benefits out of the film that you select.

Different Types of Film

Solar films have a couple of different methods. First of all, darker films can absorb the sun’s rays, preventing them from fully travelling through your window. Other films have the opposite effect and reflect the sunlight back in the opposite direction. You can also purchase a hybrid film, which uses elements of each. The film you choose depends on your purpose and the amount you are willing to spend. For instance, if you are looking to add an interior tinted window for privacy purposes, a darker film would be the best option for you. For help choosing the best film for your windows, contact a window tinting specialist in your area.

3M Film

The most reputable and well-known brand of window film is 3M. This brand offers guarantees, sun protection without tinting your windows a darker color, safety films, decorative films, and additional automotive window tinting. This window tinting company in Milwaukee, for instance, boasts the quality of its 3M Prestige Window Film.

Benefits of Window Tinting

Privacy- Having darker windows means that intruders cannot see into your home or vehicle and be tempted by valuable items. Additionally, some window films can act as a binding layer that makes it difficult for intruders to enter by breaking the glass. The glass will splinter but not shatter, leaving a strong barrier.

UV Protection- The sun’s rays can stream through a window and harm your skin without proper protection from a solar film.

Glare Reduction- Tired of squinting during certain hours of the morning and evening? Even the slightest window tint can reduce the bright sunlight and glare.

Energy Savings- Preventing strong light from heating up your home is a way to keep your home one consistent temperature, which can reduce your cooling costs.

Which Entry Door Installation Company to Hire?

Hiring an entry door replacement company is more than just calling up someone from the yellow pages and having them do your doors. There’s a lot of care that goes into the process of selection and, unless you’re willing to put some effort into that task, you can never be sure that you hired the right people.Entry Door

Choice

The first thing to check is to see the range of options that a service provider is willing to take you through. Shortcuts are tempting, and contractors often recommend what is convenient and profitable for them rather than see things from your perspective. The ones that are truly ‘on your side’ are the ones that go out of the way to provide a rich variety of options and then painstakingly explain the pros and cons of each.

Quality

This is a two-pronged concept. The first prong is the quality of materials they use and recommend you buy. The second is the quality of the work they do. Both of these areas are important because one without the other is like trying to drive a bicycle with one wheel; not a unicycle, mind you, because those are easy once you get the hang of it – just a normal one with a wheel missing. This two-pronged quality may not be obvious at first, but it will show up in the months and years to come. Poor quality has a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it.

Standing

What is the company’s standing in the community it serves? This is the real question that will reveal the validity of your choice. A Raleigh entry door replacement company with no reputation and only experience to show you isn’t worth your time. It has to have built a solid foundation of happy customers who would gladly acts as references for them. If you don’t have that, you have nothing.

Choice, quality and standing: these are the three qualities that make a business reliable. Does the company you’re about to hire have them?

Different Types of Windows in Your Home

When building a home, always look into the little details that make it 2unique and your own space. You want to create an environment that reflects your personality. Add window seats, special detailing around the fireplace, or other touches that are important to you.

One fixture that is important to understand is windows. They come in many different shapes and styles, and some companies even allow you to customize them. Visit http://windowspittsburghpa.com for great replacements and lots of variety or click here if you area closer to Philadelphia. For those outside of PA I would suggest you simple search for your nearest Renewal by Andersen dealer. This means that you can create a specific atmosphere in any room with one simple feature that you can alter to your preferences. Strong windows mean you won’t have to spend as much time on interior decoration. The fixtures are large decorations in themselves.

There are a couple of basic types of windows that you can pick and choose from if you are building a home from the ground up. First of all, look into the different basic shapes.

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Bow Windows

  • Double Hung: These are traditional windows that you see in most homes. They open by sliding one pane upwards to overlap the second pane. These are always a simple and elegant choice and will look great in any room in your home.
  • Picture: These are a more decorative form of window. They don’t open or close and are a single pane. These windows add a modern touch to any home and can also be used as skylights. They are a simple way to let in some light.
  • Awning: These are similar to picture windows, expect they open easily. Push the pain towards the outdoors with a crank for the easy option of opening and closing it.
  • Gliding: These windows slide open and shut extremely easily. They are different from double hung because they slide open horizontally like a glass door.
  • Bay: These are a collection or typically 3 windows. 2 smaller windows flank one main one and jut outwards. This can sometimes create a space for a window seat or small ledge.
  • Bow: These are truly unique windows. Many separate window panes are installed next to each other to create on large, rounded window. They can take up an entire wall and create a dome in your house or be smaller.

No matter which types of windows you decide to implement into your home, make sure that you switch it up. Having only one type of the most ornate windows can still be a little boring in your home, and you want some variety to create rooms with their own individual vibe. Regardless, large quality windows will brighten up any space and make your home look great!

Using Glass To Brighten Up a Room

Decorating with Glass

Different materials can create different moods or themes in your home. For instance, stainless steel in the kitchen gives a sleek, modern look. Carpet and wood décor may give a room a cozier feel, and marble floors look sophisticated.

One great way to decorate and glam up a room is with glass. Glass reflects light and can add decorative touch to any space. Whether you decide to craft your own pieces or buy something custom, use these ideas to create glass decorations in your home.

  • Mason jars are a popular way to make decorations these days. Pinterest is crawling with different ideas to implement these into your interior decorating. You could fill them with marbles, sand, flowers, or any other items that look pretty together. You ede3f1936b70cc19c270584c6c59696fcould also paint them different colors or cover them with scrapbook paper. This pinner went the extra mile and made a mason jar chandelier.
  • Some people use glass collections to brighten up a room. You can pick a single color scheme or find bottles in all different colors. You could also buy or recycle clear glass pieces and paint them yourself. A solution of Elmer’s glue and a little paint can give glass a semi-transparent sea glass look.
  • Are you too classy for mason jars and glass bottles? You can also use mirrors- which are simply glass with a silver back- to brighten up any space. Some people Varaluz-165A01-Mirror-With-Recycled-Glass-from-the-Fascination-Collection-Hammered-Ore-0even purchase custom cut glass mirrors, which are surprisingly easy to find. For example, in Charlottesville VA, the Glass Doctor repairs glass and will create custom cut mirrors to your specifications.

Speaking of glass, don’t forget to keep your window panes clean! Glass and mirrors are a great way to add additional light and liveliness to a room, but windows are the best way to channel the sun. The more transparent, the more light they will let in to brighten up your space.

Top 4 Air Conditioning Mistakes That Could Be Costing You Money

During the summer on the east coast, and especially in Reading MA air conditioning is a necessity. Most homes come standard with an HVAC system however, many of us don’t know how to best use and maintain our air conditioning units. Below are the 4 common air conditioning mistakes that homeowners make.

HVAC Reading MA
1. Not Having an Air Conditioning Unit Serviced Regularly

Just like you should have an annual check-up with your doctor, so should your HVAC unit be inspected by a professional once every 12 months. During an air conditioning check-up you can make sure your unit is operating at maximum possible efficiency and troubleshoot any potential glitches before they happen so you won’t be left out in the heat.

2. Letting Your HVAC Unit Run While You’re Away
If you are planning on going out of town for work or vacation for a couple days or more, make sure you have a game plan what you are going to do with your HVAC unit while you’re away. If it is the middle of the summer when temperatures peak it is probably best not to shut your air conditioning unit off entirely. Completely turning off your unit could lead to 100+ degree temperatures inside your home which could damage appliances and electronics. It is advised that you lease your unit running at a higher yet comfortable temperature. Do the opposite if you plan on vacationing during seasons of cold weather. If possible, install a timer or option to control your HVAC system remotely to make your system most efficient from day to day.

3. Letting the Temperature Drop Too Low
Don’t overuse or overpower your air conditioning unit. Take advantage of temperate weather day when you have them. Use alternative cooling methods such as opening windows and using box or ceiling fans. This will help your HVAC unit to take a break when possible and lower your energy costs.

4. Blocking Your Air Vents
The ability for air to flow freely will only help the efficiency of your air conditioning unit. Make sure furniture or other household items aren’t obstructing your home’s A/C vents. Blocking air vents can waste energy as well as it is a potential safety hazard. This is why it is also important to reinforce the point of choosing the proper place to install your HVAC unit. Try and find a dark and secluded place, the absolute worst place for an air conditioning unit it were it could be exposed to sunlight throughout the day.

Unclogging My Disposal Was Easier Than I Expected

Before last week, I never gave my garbage disposal much thought. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t able to slide food and waste down the drain of the kitchen sink, only to forget about it a moment later. Now that my disposal is clogged and able to work, I’ve already started to miss being able to simply wash things away – with no fuss, no mess. I missed those no-fuss, no-mess times in my kitchen, and I was determined to get that disposal repaired.

The problem? I’ve got no idea how to unclog a garbage disposal. Now is the time to figure it out, or I’ll be calling one of Everett’s local handymen.

I’m not all that handy, so realistically, I’m liable to have to call a repairman before things are all said and done. But I’d really rather not pay for a service call if all the repairman needs to do is plug that appliance back in, or do something else along those lines. If the repair is something that someone of limited skill can execute, I’ll do it; if not – at least I tried.

So where to start? Here’s a little background. Despite the fact that I’ve used a disposal for years, I’d often forget to run the water while I use it. If you don’t run water, your disposal may churn out a thick food paste. While this paste won’t bother your disposal, it can collect in your pipe or in the trap until it creates a clog. Other notorious clog causers are coffee grounds, potato skins, and banana peels – and anything that isn’t food.

My guess is that the trap just beyond my disposal was filled with goop that I was going to have to remove. At least that’s what I was hoping. If the clog wasn’t in the trap, I’d need another tool – an auger that would be able to travel far down the pipe if needed to remove the clog. Instead, I was hoping that I already had the tools for the job.

Any appliance repairman here in Everett will tell you: No matter the repair, make sure the power is off. So before starting work, I flipped the breaker switch to turn off the power to the disposal; power should always be turned off, even if you’re not working anywhere near the grinding assembly. Then I confirmed that the power was out by trying to run the disposal. The power was out, so I was set to go to work.

I brought two pipe wrenches to the job – the best kind of wrench when you need to loosen and remove or attach and tighten pipe. I also brought a bucket and a couple of rags. There isn’t much to say about the job, other than the fact that it was every bit as wet, messy, and disgusting as you would expect. After rinsing and cleaning the trap, I was able to re-attach it without much trouble. The clog was gone, and the disposal could do its work again.

Since fixing the disposal, I’ve been trying to take better care of it. I run cool water regularly when I use it, and occasionally follow that with a little bit of dish soap to help to keep things clean things up. And nowadays when I finish an orange, lemon, or lime, I put small pieces of peeled rind down the disposal – I read that this helps to freshen up the disposal and the pipe below.

No need to call the appliance repairman this time. Here’s to hoping you, too, can fix your disposal on your own.

Thoughts On Hiring a Plumber

Just recently I had to make a choice here in San Antonio, not one that I can say that I’ve often made. It may seem a bit silly, but I had to basically call a plumber – and it’s something I hadn’t ever Burst-Pipe-on-Black-BGput any thought into, as my home as always typically been just fine when it comes to its plumbing. I put some thought into it, and I eventually decided that it would be a good idea to go with the well-known plumbing company Mr. Rooter. After all, they have locations that service just about every city and state in the entire USA – so they must be doing something right. Turns out my assumptions were correct, and I had a great experience with the plumber that completed the work repairing a leaking pipe found deep in the kitchen wall.

National vs Local

This is one argument that it seems we always go back and forth on. Some industries it feels best to support local businesses, but others its best to rely on the well-known, established big brands because they know what they are doing, typically have the best equipment and training, and most importantly do what they can to make the customer happier than any other competitor out there.

Just taking a look at the services they offer explains what I’m talking about. If you have a problem that requires the expertise of a plumber, then they certainly seem to have someone that knows how to handle it. Not to mention that if you ever have an emergency plumbing problem, they offer their service 24/7 ‘with never an overtime charge’ – something that I’ve seen other local plumbing companies fail to compete with.

Focus on What’s Important

When it comes to figuring out if a local company or national company is right for you, just keep in mind what the ultimate goal is. For a subject like plumbing, the best choice is to go with a company that has a long, lengthy history behind their name. This way you are receiving service from someone that you know has proven their knowledge and expertise before, and you won’t have to deal with a local company that doesn’t really have too much evidence to support a reputation. After all, a plumbing repair that isn’t properly performed can easily turn into a nightmare – and proving negligence is always a difficult task.

New Age of LED Lighting

We had the traditional incandescent light bulbs and then we started using fluorescent lighting and now we have LED. Ten years ago fluorescent lighting was becoming very popular in homes because the less amount of energy used by the lights and the increased time of replacement. Ten years from now it will be common to use led lighting. These light-emitting diodes are the latest light technology that could save you up to 1000% compared to incandescent bulbs. LED lights can last up to 50,000 hours – that is 5.7 years! So you know what the savings are for LED lights but why else should we use this lighting for our home?

Not only could these lights save you hundreds of dollars over time but they are very versatile and could give your home a drastic make over. With the wide variety of color options for LED light bulbs you will be able to choose the type of light color in your home. In the future you could be shopping for light color rather than paint color. If you want an accent light color than you will be able to find an LED light that will fit with your décor.

These bulbs are also more versatile so you will be able to place them in places where your incandescent and fluorescent lights can’t fit. This means adding accent color where you have never had before. This type of lighting is great for stair accent lighting inside of your home. And you can view the photo to the right and see a great example of how you can take your home design beyond the traditional look. If you are looking to complete a project like this then I would suggest contacting a professional electrician. Mr. Electric has expert knowledge on all things electrical and you can find their residential services by clicking here to see their residential services.

By installing LED lighting in your home you will not only be saving thousands over time but you will also be able to design your home in a way that you couldn’t have imagined. Lighting is one of the most important home improvements we can make on homes. So the next time you are thinking about replacing a light bulb install an LED light.