How Replacement Windows Can Benefit Your Home

Cooling Bill Sky-High In Your Home In The South? 3 Tips For Choosing Replacement Windows That Can Lower That Bill

Posted by on 11:03 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Cooling Bill Sky-High In Your Home In The South? 3 Tips For Choosing Replacement Windows That Can Lower That Bill

If you just moved to the southern United States, then you may have thought that you would pay less for home energy each year due to not needing to crank up that heat during the winter or even turn it on at all. However, once summer arrived, you likely realized that while winter’s home heating bills may have been much lower than they were in your home up north, the summer’s cooling bill cost you much more than you expected. If you know your air-conditioning system is in good working order, then the next step to reducing home cooling costs is replacing those old windows and frames that are simply not energy efficient and may even be drafty.  Read on to learn three tips for choosing replacement windows in hot climates that can save you money on your summer cooling costs.  1. Choose Windows with Low SHGC Values  If you ever bought replacement windows for your home up north, then your window replacement expert may have advised you to install windows with a high SHGC, or Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, rating. This may lead to you naturally thinking that windows with high SHGC ratings are simply “better windows” than those with lower SHGC ratings or simply the most energy efficient windows on the market. The truth is that window experts advise people in colder climates to choose windows with low SHGC values and that people with homes in hotter climates choose low SHGC values.  The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient rating of a window is a measure of how much solar energy (heat from the sun) is transmitted through the outside of the window into your home. While high SHGC values are great for cold climates because they help keep the home warmer during those long, cold winters, which results in reduced home heating bills, a window with a high SHGC window in the south would let the sun heat the home too much during the spring and summer when you are trying to keep your home cool.  2. Low U-Values Are Still Better in the South While the SHGC value you want to choose for your replacement windows is the opposite of what you would have needed to save energy up north, don’t think that the ideal U-value of your new home windows is also “the opposite” of the low U-values window professionals advise homeowners seek up north. Windows with low U-values are best in both hot and cold climates.  This is because the U-value of a window is a measurement of the thermal conductivity of a window when it is shut unlike the SHGC, which is a measurement of how much flows inward into your home. A window with low thermal conductivity simply helps keep your home cooler in the summer when your air conditioning is running and comfortable in the winter when you may be heating your home.  3. Window Coatings Shield Your Home from Heat and UV Rays You may have never bothered to look into window coatings up north, because during the few months of the year when the sun was shining brightly, you may have wanted to soak up every drop of it that you could. However, now that you have a home in the south where the sun’s rays are stronger in the summer...

read more

Have You Considered These Siding Styles?

Posted by on 8:32 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Have You Considered These Siding Styles?

Most homeowners choose vinyl siding for their homes. In fact, This Old House reports that 32 percent of new homes are being constructed with vinyl siding. The benefits of vinyl are that it is usually cheaper than other siding materials and comes in a number of colors. However, vinyl is not the only choice you have when it comes to siding for your home. Depending on the style and location of your home, you may find that another type of siding is a better fit. Before you choose siding for your house, consider these options.  Aluminum Siding Aluminum siding is a good choice for durability, and you can find large variations in quality and price. Aluminum is also a great insulator, and it can help you save money on energy costs. It’s also recyclable, making it a great environmentally friendly option.  Aluminum, however, does have some drawbacks. It can make unnerving noises during high winds and other inclement weather, and it does dent easily. The color also fades over time, which might be a problem when it comes to color matching for future repairs or changes on the home.  Certain types of homes may benefit greatly from aluminum siding.  Try aluminum if you live in a coastal area where your home has to withstand moisture and salt in the air.  Consider aluminum if live in a place where temperatures are cold. Aluminum will not crack like other siding materials can.  Aluminum may be the right choice if you are particularly concerned about insects or fire.  Wooden Siding Real wood siding creates a beautiful, timeless look that many homeowners love. Wooden siding is typically made of redwood or cedar and is available in several different styles. These include shingles, shakes, and clapboard.  A major downside to wooden siding is that it can easily decay if it is not properly maintained. Wooden siding must be kept painted or varnished and in good repair, or else it can warp. Insects may also be a problem with wooden siding that is not kept in good condition.  Brick Siding Brick siding can be gorgeous, and many homeowners love the look of brick. Homeowners with brick siding enjoy a low-maintenance option that doesn’t need to be painted, and brick will not warp in moist conditions. Its strength makes it resistant to fire and high winds.  One problem homeowners may have with brick siding is that there are few color choices available. Also, while brick won’t wear out, the mortar between the bricks can. The mortar will have to be maintained over time.  Stucco Siding Stucco is a fun siding option that is often seen on southwestern-style homes. It is easily maintained and provides excellent insulation from heat and cold. It comes in all kinds of colors, makes a great canvas for a mural, and can last for a long time.  The downsides to stucco, however, include that it can be prone to cracking in wet weather. This makes it more suitable if you live in a dry area. Stucco may also crack when your home settles into the ground.  Stone Siding You have two options when it comes to stone siding.  Real Stone Real stone siding can be stunning on the outside of your home. It’s a great option if you want to impress your...

read more

4 Steps To Take When Preparing For Window Replacement For Your Small Home

Posted by on 10:18 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Steps To Take When Preparing For Window Replacement For Your Small Home

If you live in a small, older home and need new windows that are affordable for your house, there are several steps you will need to complete for this job to occur. New windows can help improve the energy efficiency in your home and can increase its value, but getting your windows replaced can also be a big, costly, and messy job. Here are the four most important steps you will need to complete for window replacement in your home. Choose The New Windows And Determine How To Pay For Them The first step is determining which windows to choose. You should carefully consider all the options available, as well as the costs and efficiency of each type. As you begin looking, you may want to compare single-hung and double-hung windows. Double-hung windows are more popular and more energy efficient compared to single-hung windows; however, single-hung windows are typically cheaper. To save money on the windows you choose, you may need to avoid adding any extras to the windows. For example, you can purchase windows that have certain coatings, such as low-e coating. This is something that helps keep heat out of a house from the sun, but it can cost extra to add to your window job. Rent A Storage Unit Once you have made these tough decisions, it will be time to start getting your house ready. For the window company to remove the old windows and install the new ones, they will need space. This includes space outside your home and inside. If you live in a small home, having enough space might be hard to achieve, but you will need to find a way to do this. A good method is to rent a storage shed. With a storage shed, you can move things out of your home and into the shed so the window crew can easily move through your home. You could rent a storage unit at a facility for this, or you could have a storage pod delivered to your home. When the date of the services approaches, you can move your large furniture items into the shed to allow the workers to have space. Not only will this make it easier for them to complete the job, but they will also be able to complete the job faster. They will not have to wait for you to get things moved from room to room. They will simply be able to come in, remove the old windows, and put the new ones in place. Remove Window Coverings The next thing you will need to work on is removing the window coverings from all the windows. This is something you may want to wait to do until the night before they arrive if you want to keep your privacy, or you could do it days ahead of time. By doing this, the window crew will be able to install the new windows faster. In addition, if you do not do this, the window company may charge an extra fee to do it for you. Another benefit of doing this yourself is the ability to keep your window treatments organized. After you remove them, you could wash them, label them, and store them. Once the new windows are in, you might be able to...

read more

Five Things You Need To Give Your Sliding Glass Door A Tune-Up

Posted by on 10:17 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Five Things You Need To Give Your Sliding Glass Door A Tune-Up

Your sliding glass door should work effortlessly, but in some cases it may need a tune-up. Luckily, with some DIY acumen and a free afternoon, you can easily tune-up your sliding glass door. You just need the right supplies — here’s what you need: 1. Flathead Screwdriver In order to tune-up your sliding glass door, you need to remove it. The door is heavy, and you need to be careful, but luckily, the only tool you need is a simple screw driver. To get started, look for two plugs near the base of your door. The plugs are the same vinyl material as your door, and once you find them, you should be able to easily pop them out with one end of your flat head screwdriver. Once the plugs are removed, use the flathead to loosen the roller adjustment screw that’s behind the plug. As you are loosening, turn your screwdriver counter-clockwise. This encourages the rollers to retract up into the door, and as a result, the door is no longer held securely in place, and you should brace it carefully. Ideally, you may want to do this job with a partner so you don’t risk dropping the door. Finally, lift the base of the door up toward you as you pull the top of the door out of its track. 2. Silicone Spray Once you have removed the door, it’s time to clean the rollers — use your screwdriver to pry the rollers out of the door. If cleaning the rollers feels too daunting, simply throw them out and buy a new set. Make sure you choose the type of roller designed for you with your make and model of door. If you’re not sure what to buy, talk with a sliding glass door repair person first. If you decide to clean the rollers, you should use a gentle cleaner that also removes oil. A bit of dish soap dissolved in water works perfectly. Let the rollers dry, and finally, spray them with silicone spray. This allows them to move easily up and down the tracks once you reinstall your door. Finally, spray the top of the sliding glass door with some silicone to help it move more easily as well. 3. Vacuum Before reinstalling your glass door, you need to remove dirt and debris from the tracks. Use the thinnest attachment on your vacuum and try to get all of the debris from the crevices on your track. Use a wet cloth to mop up any stuck-on gunk that you cannot remove with the vacuum. 4. Candle Once the track is clean and dry, you need to lubricate it as well. You can use silicone spray if you like, but for extra glide, you should use wax To apply the wax, grab a tapered candle, hold it in your hand to warm it, and then, rub it in the tracks. It should leave a thin, nearly invisible layer of wax in your sliding door tracks. 5. Weather Stripping In addition to ensuring your sliding glass door slides smoothly, you should also make sure it closes tightly, and weather stripping is key. Typically, on sliding glass doors, the weather stripping is between the fixed panel and the sliding panel. If your weather stripping looks worn, cracked or...

read more

3 Steps for Quickly Making Your Home’s Old Windows Airtight before a Severe Cold Snap

Posted by on 8:45 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Steps for Quickly Making Your Home’s Old Windows Airtight before a Severe Cold Snap

When a cold snap hits your area during winter, you want to do everything possible to keep your family warm without driving up your energy bill. However, if you have old leaky windows with cracks and gaps, they could add an additional 10 to 25% to your energy costs. If you need to quickly make your windows airtight before a looming cold snap, use the steps below. Step 1:  Fill Cracks in the Glass with Super Glue The first step involves filling in any cracks in the glass with super glue. While the glue will not permanently adhere to the glass, it will seal the cracks temporarily and long enough for you to ride out the cold weather. If you do not have any super glue on hand and the temperatures are dropping rapidly, you can substitute clear acrylic nail polish. It won’t last as long as the super glue, but it should remain in the cracks for a few days until you can get what you need. To fill in a crack, start about a half of an inch past one end. Apply the glue in a thick layer until you have reached the other end, ending a half of an inch past it. Repeat for each crack you see, then let the glue dry according to the product instructions. Once the glue has dried, check for any gaps caused by shrinkage. Apply a dollop anywhere you see a gap. Once the second treatment has dried, you can opt to cover the cracks with two-inch wide clear packing tape. This not only keeps the glue in place, but it also supplies an extra layer of protection against the cold air. Step 2:  Seal Gaps in the Frame or Sash with Caulk Once you have filled the cracks in the glass, the next step involves sealing any gaps on or around the window. These gaps could be found where the glass meets the frame, between the frame and sash, or in the sash itself. For this step, you will need a caulking gun, a tube of silicone caulk, and a two-inch wide putty knife. After loading the tube into the caulking gun, point the tip a half of an inch from one end of a gap, just as you did with the cracks in step one. Then, slowly pull the gun along the gap, filling in the hole completely with caulk. When you reach the other side of the gap, pull the caulk a half of an inch past it. Before the caulk dries, hold your putty knife at a 45-degree angle and place it firmly at one end of the caulk line. Gently pull the knife along the line, smoothing it out. This helps push the caulk deeper into the gap to provide a complete seal. Repeat the process with all gaps you find. Step 3:  Cover the Windows with Newspaper or a Thick Blanket Now that you have filled in all the cracks and gaps, it is time to completely cover the window to add one final protective layer against the cold air. If you have enough thick blankets to spare, you can simply tack them up over the window. However, if you do not have any extra ones, newspaper can be used to cover the windows....

read more

Three Safe Window Choices For Your Horse’s Stall

Posted by on 9:20 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Safe Window Choices For Your Horse’s Stall

If you want your horse to be able to enjoy a view of the outdoors, it makes sense to build a window into his stall. Being able to look outside will keep your horse entertained on those bitter-cold winter days when going outside is just not an option, and he’ll enjoy looking out at the green grass in the spring and summer, too. The problem is, however, that standard glass windows are not particularly safe for horses. One kick or head-butt, and the window could shatter, leaving you with thousands of dollars in vet bills and a hole in your barn. To allow your horse the benefits of windows without the risks, consider these three safer options. Plexiglass Windows Plexiglass is actually not glass at all. It’s a clear, acrylic material that is made to look like glass. It will not shatter when hit or jolted, so you don’t have to worry nearly as much about your horse injuring himself on windows made from this material. Plexiglass windows are lightweight and can be installed in any standard, vinyl window frame in the same manner you’d install a regular glass window. (Do make sure you use a vinyl window frame. Aluminum ones can develop sharp edges as they age, and these present a hazard to your horse.) The downfall to plexiglass is that it can become scratched easily, and once it becomes scratched, it is difficult to see out of. If your horse frequently rubs his halter or mouthfuls of hay against the window, you may find that you need to replace it regularly to keep it clear. Also, if it gets very cold where you are, the plexiglass may become brittle, and it may crack if it is struck. Thus, you should keep an extra window on hand so you can make prompt repairs if this does occur. Grilled Windows If the weather in your area is generally mild and your barn is positioned in such as way that minimal precipitation comes into contact with the side of the barn where you want to put the window, then grilled windows are an option. These are not solid windows. Instead, they consist of an opening in the wall with several vertical bars, placed a few inches apart (not wide enough for your horse’s head to fit between them) on the inside of the stall. Grilled windows allow for enhanced air circulation in your barn, and they are virtually unbreakable. Of course, grilled windows are not a good option if you have harsh winters, as they will let snow come in. If it gets a bit chilly outside, you may need to blanket your horse more heavily than usual, since the window will let some cold air into the barn. There are vinyl and nylon covers you can purchase to temporarily place over the windows if needed. Glazed, Shatterproof Glass and Bars Glazed, shatterproof glass, which is the type of glass typically used for car windshields, can be a safe choice for your horse’s window when you pair it with bars. This type of window will break if it is banged or bumped hard enough, but the pieces will all stay attached instead of flying everywhere. There may, however, be sharp edges that could cut your horse’s nose. Thus, it is...

read more

Auto Windshield Damage In The Driveway: Four Seasons Of Coverage Through Home Or Auto Insurance

Posted by on 6:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Auto Windshield Damage In The Driveway: Four Seasons Of Coverage Through Home Or Auto Insurance

It’s hard to imagine that your car windshield could crack or shatter when it’s parked in the driveway. However, this type of damage can occur, and you likely want to get an auto windshield replacement as soon as possible. When looking for coverage on the replacement costs, a parked car in your driveway could fall under both home and auto insurance. Deciding on the best option depends on the exact circumstances. By breaking down the different seasons of the year, you can determine which type of insurance to file a claim with so you can get the coverage and have your new auto glass as soon as possible. As you browse through the following four seasons, you may also consider adding different insurance coverage to ensure this damage never comes out of your own pocket. Summer The start of summer means that you’ll be swimming, hanging out outdoors and keeping up with the landscaping. Using a mower or riding mower on your property makes it easy to cut grass, but there are also hazards along the way. When a mower blade flies over a rock, the rock can get flung through the air and crash into the windshield of a vehicle. As you go for a repair, there are multiple options for your insurance claims. Under your home insurance policy, a mower incident may be covered under liability coverage. A comprehensive coverage option on your car insurance will also cover the windshield replacement or repair. If the rock went through a neighbor’s vehicle windshield, then the claim would likely go under your home insurance because the incident occurred on your own property. Autumn The autumn months are known for a lot of changes and the start of the holiday season. Halloween is all about fun and mischief, but sometimes a little prank could lead to vandalism on your home and car windshield. A lot of home policies cover vandalism in a basic coverage package. The actual costs of the windshield repair depends on your home deductible in this case. For example, if your deductible is $300, then the insurance will cover the amount of the windshield repair after you have paid the initial $300. For car insurance options, vandalism is often covered through a comprehensive coverage plan. This means that basic car insurance will not cover painted, cracked, or smashed windows. But with the add-on plan, your Halloween trick can be repaired long before you finish all your Halloween treats. Winter If you’re forced to park outside in the winter, then you are dealing with a lot of hazards that can cause automobile windshield damage. One of the easiest ways to get windshield damage on your vehicle is from icicles. When icicles fall, they can easily pierce through windshield glass. When you try to file a claim through your home insurance, some adjusters may see the fallen icicles as negligence on your part. As a part of proper home maintenance, icicles and snow should be removed from rooftops. As for your auto insurance, a detailed coverage plan may contain weather related auto damage. Look at the specifics for your plan to ensure that it covers ice, snow, and other winter hazards. This could make a huge difference as you try to file a claim and get the windshield repaired...

read more

Designing Your Own Serene Haven: 3 Insulating Tips For Soundproofing

Posted by on 10:42 am in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Designing Your Own Serene Haven: 3 Insulating Tips For Soundproofing

After a long day at work, you probably don’t want to hear the bustling sound of the city or the busy traffic on the street and would rather enjoy the peace and quiet. If your house is not properly insulated and your walls are “paper-thin”, so to speak, you’ll never get the quiet you deserve. Here are three insulating tips that not only prevent heat loss, but also will soundproof your home or a particular room. Weatherstrip the Doors and Windows Most of the noise comes from the doors and the windows. The sound doesn’t go through the windows and doors per se, but rather around them through the cracks in the seal. Weatherstripping the windows and doors will fill in these gaps and prevent the sound and noise from getting through into the room. If you’re looking to create a serene haven with one of your rooms, you’ll want to weatherstrip interior doors leading into that particular room as well. There are many different weatherstripping materials you can choose from; however, for the purposes of soundproofing, your best bet would be to choose something made from rubber or foam, as they create an extremely tight seal and also absorb noise as well. Weatherstripping can also prevent insects and dirt from entering a room. Do keep in mind that weatherstripping will deteriorate with time due to age, friction and general exposure to the elements in the environment. This is unavoidable. However, if installed properly, the weatherstripping installed for interior doors can last a lifetime. Insert Appropriate Insulation into the Doors Most interior doors are hollow. Sound can amplify and transmit through the hollow space into your room. You want to make sure to install a solid core or switch to a solid door. If you have hollow wood doors, you should consider spray polyurethane foam insulation or rigid fiberglass. These types of insulation have amazing noise-reducing properties, and are also relatively easy and quick to install, so they will save you a lot of time and money. Familiarize yourself with the noise reduction properties of each type of insulation to make a more informed decision customized to your setting. For example, open-cell polyurethane does a great job at reducing high-frequency noises whereas closed-cell polyurethane foam eliminates low-frequency noises. If security is a huge concern and you have hollow steel doors, a stiffened steel core may be the way to go. Be prepared to pay more for the added security though. Once again, the type of door that you are dealing with and your needs and concerns will factor into the type of insulation that is most appropriate. Choose Sound-absorbing Insulation Materials The rule of thumb is hard surfaces tend to reflect sound whereas soft surfaces tend to absorb sound. You can minimize the amount of sound that bounces throughout the room by padding the walls, ceilings and floors with sound-absorbing insulation materials. In particular, consider installing sound-absorbing insulation on the ceiling. The insulation will look like soft cushions.  You can also do the same for the walls to get an enhanced noise-reduction result. Most experts recommend using drywall for the walls. Drywall is dense and heavy. It will easily absorb and block unwanted sounds, so you get the peace and quiet you deserve. Conclusion As the population continues to...

read more

3-Step Guide For Using Homemade Cleaners For Streak-Free Windows

Posted by on 10:29 am in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you like having your home’s windows sparkling clean, you may hate how some commercial cleaners leave dirt and streaks even after you have washed them. If so, use the following three-step guide to using homemade cleaners that will leave your windows streak-free. Step 1:  Use Undiluted Vinegar On Greasy Spots The first step involves spot cleaning any greasy spots on your windows, including fingerprints and noseprints caused by your animals. White distilled vinegar is used at full strength because it is effective at cutting through oils. Pour a small amount of vinegar on a dry, lint-free cloth. Cloth diapers work well for this purpose. Spread the vinegar over the spot and let it remain for five minutes. This will give it time to break up the grease and oil. After the time has passed, use a clean, damp cloth to rub the greasy area. This will get the worst of the grime out in preparation for the next step. Step 2:  Clean The Windows With A Homemade Cleaner After spot cleaning your windows, use a homemade cleaner made from borax laundry additive and cornstarch to thoroughly wash the windows. The borax provides a strong cleaner while the cornstarch gives the mixture a mild abrasive quality. When selecting your ingredients, do not confuse boric acid with the borax. Boric acid is caustic and could cause chemical burns on your skin. In a small bucket, mix together two cups of hot tap water, three tablespoons of cornstarch, and two tablespoons of borax. Soak a clean cloth diaper or chamois cloth, then wet the window’s entire surface. Once the glass is wet, use the cloth to scrub the window. Use small, circular motions that overlap to ensure you clean every spot on the glass. Allow the cleaner to set for five minutes to ensure the ingredients have time to cut through any remaining grime or grease. After you have given the cleaner time to work, empty the bucket and fill it with clean, hot water. Use a clean cloth to rinse and wipe off the cleaner. You may need to wipe the glass two or three times to remove it entirely. Once you have rinsed the window, dry it with another clean diaper or chamois cloth. Then, use a squeegee to remove any residual moisture or cleaner. Wipe the squeegee clean, then go on to the next step. Step 3:  Shine The Glass Using Vinegar And Distilled Water Now that you have cleaned the window, it is time to give it a streak-free shine. This is done using a vinegar and water solution. Distilled water is used for this step because it does not contain the mineral deposits and heavy metals that tap water often contains. When it evaporates and the glass dries, there will be no residual left on the glass, keeping it from being dull and streaky. In a small bucket, mix together a cup each of vinegar and distilled water. Use a soft, lint-free chamois cloth to wipe the solution onto the glass. Use a second chamois cloth to dry the glass. Wipe the window horizontally then vertically to dry. Then, wipe the window once again with the vinegar solution and repeat wiping. This will ensure any residue is removed that could cause streaking. After you have wiped...

read more