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Tag: windows

Windows come in a variety of styles, designs and sizes. Years ago, the material used for window frames was limited to wood, but today, you can choose vinyl, aluminum and fiberglass windows. However, wood frames are still one of the most popular material options. Today’s window manufacturers also produce different types of glass to give you a more energy efficient product.

Vinyl Windows
Vinyl windows offer energy saving benefits. The material choice is also affordable. Window manufacturers make vinyl windows from PVC, and as a result, the product can vary in quality. Today’s vinyl is a durable product. Also, manufacturers have advanced the window style’s structural design and implemented construction changes, so if you select vinyl windows, then you will have a quality product that can last as long as 15 years depending on your climate. Keep in mind that vinyl windows have a tendency to warp and become unworkable if they are not installed properly. In addition, the material may fail more quickly in areas that experience high summer temperatures and low winter temperatures. The reason for the failure is that the substance expands in the heat while the cold weather causes it to contract. In addition, if you live in an area with extreme summer temperatures, then vinyl window frames in dark colors will likely have more problems than light-colored models.

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Wood Windows
Wood windows are a popular choice for many homeowners due to the material’s diversity. Furthermore, the option should last for 30 years or more depending on your climate and the type of maintenance that you complete on a regular basis. If you live in an old home with the original wood windows, then you can add weather stripping to increase their efficiency. By repairing your old windows, you are helping the environment since you are decreasing landfill waste and using fewer resources to maintain your home’s interior temperatures. Hardwood windows are expensive, but the material is durable. Also, maintenance is simple as the home feature only requires oil. Hardwood windows give you a diverse style because you can paint them or leave them in their natural state. If you choose to install softwood windows, then the material choice will be more affordable than hardwood. However, expect additional maintenance as you’ll need to paint the style or maintain them regularly.

Aluminum Windows
Aluminum is an appealing material choice because it is affordable and stronger than vinyl. Depending on your area’s climate, aluminum windows should last from 15 to 20 years. The material option is best for homes in mild climates due to the failures that frequently occur with the option in more extreme environments. For instance, aluminum windows may suffer from seal failures, glass condensation between the frames and operation issues as the material begins to corrode and break down. In addition, the energy efficiency ratings for aluminum are poor.

Climate Tips
When you begin shopping for new windows, be sure to assess your climate. For instance, wood typically provides the best insulation, but the material can rot. Therefore, it may not be the best choice for rainy or humid climates. Alternatively, when heat transfer and loss is an area issue, aluminum windows may not be the best material choice. However, aluminum is ideal for rainy and humid climates. The substance is also strong, and manufacturers can build aluminum windows to meet the strict building codes in coastal areas. For many homeowners, vinyl is a practical option. Also, the material choice is available in various colors, which lets you select windows that increase the visual appeal of your home. Once you begin considering new windows, assess each style’s U-value as the measurement estimates a window’s ability to withstand heat loss. The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient, or SHGC, is another measurement to consider because it calculates the amount of heat that can enter your home through a window.

Tips for Selecting the Best Windows
If your windows are beginning to age, then it may be time to replace or repair them. Keep in mind that windows are a longtime investment, so be sure to select the right material for your area. Also, evaluate the home feature’s glaze and insulation materials to acquire the best replacement results for your residence. When you upgrade your windows, you’ll decrease your utility bills and help the environment.

Home security can be the deciding factor in whether or not your home turf might be broken into by burglars. According to a recent Household Burglary report released by the U.S. Department of Justice, there were 2,845,500 completed burglaries in 2011. Of those completed burglaries only 44% of the break-ins were to homes that required the burglar to force his way into the home. These statistics suggest that you do have an effect on how likely an intruder will successfully enters your home. That being said, there are numerous methods to retrofit your, potentially safety deficient, home into a well-armed stronghold. Below we touch on some of the best practices to mitigate potential burglars who are looking for a quick and easy score.

Windows Part 1: Locks
Windows might be a weak link in your home’s security. Some burglars force their way into the home by lifting the window off the frame. You can prevent burglars from breaking into the house through your window by installing a window stop or by installing window locks. There are various types of locks that you can choose for your windows.

  • The most reliable lock design is the key sash lock. This lock is mounted to the edge of the window and prevents anyone from opening the window until the key is used. You should not use this type of lock in occupied bedrooms because a missing key can trap the occupant in the room during an emergency.
  • Hinged wedge locks are installed into the window stile. The lock will only allow the window to open as far as the lock was installed. This design allows the room to receive fresh air. The lock unlocks by pushing the wedge in as you open the window. This makes the lock far safer for occupants of the room.

Windows Part 2: Safety Window Tint
Many burglars break into locked windows by breaking the glass. You can increase the security of your window by applying window tint to the windows of your home. Window tint is a blend of metalized coatings and polyester. Safety grade window tint will hold the glass within the window frame after someone or something has attempted to shatter it. This makes it more difficult for an intruder to enter your home.

Doors Part 1: Install Steel Doors
If you have wood or plastic front, back, and garage doors, you may have a security problem. It is easy for even inexperienced thieves to bypass a wood or plastic door with brute force. If you want to improve the security of your home, you might want to install a steel door.

Doors Part 2: Improve Sliding Doors
Like wood or plastic doors, sliding doors are vulnerable to intruders. Some thieves break into homes by popping the sliding door out of the frame. With sliding doors you have two options:

  • Replace the sliding door with a regular steel door.
  • Placing a metal poll or a 2×4 in the doors frame to ensure that intruders cannot pop the door out when you are not using the sliding door.

Install a Home Security System
You can improve the security of your home by installing a home security system. Home security systems are controlled from a control panel inside. When the system is on, motion detectors attached to windows and doors send signals to the control panel. When an intruder tries to break into your home an audible alarm will sound.

Homeowners can pay a monthly rate to be on a security network. When an intruder invades the home on a security network, an employee of the security company will call your home to make sure the alarm was not a false alarm. If no one answers, the police will be alerted to the possible disturbance. The police will then go to your home. One potential con is that the police will fine you after too many false alarms.

Revise or Improve Your Habits
Now that we have delved into how to retrofit your home, we must face the reality of our habits. Our habits are one of the more vital aspects of home safety. You can install metal doors, sturdy dead bolts, high tech security systems, and security window film, but those attempts to increase your home’s security will mean nothing if you never lock your doors and windows. By getting into the habit of securing your home, your home might be one of the 549,200 homes that burglaries failed to break into. Remember: spending a few moments securing your home will go a long way.

Are you considering custom built home windows versus pre-built standard windows for your upcoming replacement? Here are some things you should consider.

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You are unique, an individual, why not allow yourself the opportunity to design your own custom windows which will reflect who you are and provide you with a significant cost savings. Custom windows have really kept up with all the advancements in technology and offer you the opportunities to really customize your windows in various ways, from functional options such as control noise or for security, to more decorative options such as patterned glass, divided lite patterns, and intricate shapes, to various degrees of tinting and glazing.

When you choose custom built home windows over pre-built or stock home windows you will experience a higher quality window, built by a craftsman who specializes in the manufacturing of these windows. The windows can be custom made to your design and most importantly, to the exact specifications of the needs in your home thereby reducing drafts and loss of heat and increasing your homes overall energy efficiency. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the cost savings when the utility bill comes and you’ve continued to maintain the level of comfort you desire all year long. In fact, replacing single-pane glass windows with ENERGY STAR® qualified custom built products can save you $125 to $450 on energy costs annually.

You will also be doing the environment a favor by using less resources to meet your same heating and cooling needs. When you choose custom windows, the windows will be carefully made to the exact needs of your climate to ensure efficiency. This also gives you a unique opportunity to change the size or shape of your entire room for example by adding differing sizes of windows, or one big bow window.

You can never undervalue the importance of personalized service and installation. It’s best to work with the custom window builder allowing them to measure and install the window, as they will ensure its proper fit and efficiency. You don’t want to take a chance on wasting all the money you would have been saving, by skimping on the installation resulting in improper fits and drafts. Also, you don’t want to compromise the windows warranty by not having it properly installed by the professionals.
With custom built windows, you avoid the pitfalls of stock windows which always require some patching and filling, and likely even some trimming to get the windows to just ‘fit’. You also avoid having to purchase additional seals, insulation, caulking, dealing with gaps, and drafts, and additional costs of additional visits to remedy the problems. Relieve yourself of these additional complications and headaches and have the custom built window professionals complete the job.

Statistics have been reporting that most homeowners save up to 40% annually on their energy expenses after replacing their homes windows. Now is the best time to decide on custom built windows. The cost savings and customization options are well worth the initial costs for custom windows and you may also qualify for certain tax rebates for home improvements. Make the choice to enhance your home’s value and aesthetics as well as investing in future cost savings.

Even before the economy took a nosedive, homeowners were looking for ways to save money. Home improvements can improve your property’s value while increasing energy efficiency. If you’re looking to replace some or all of your home’s windows, here’s what you can expect to pay. We have laid out the average cost of new home replacement windows.

New Home Windows
Best Case Scenario
You will save a lot of money if your existing window frames are in good condition. If the frames are free of major defects, you can replace just the windows and save up to half of the cost of replacement windows.

Only a certified contractor or other window installer should remove the old window and inspect the frame for any damage. That same contractor will be able to repair a salvageable frame or remove a damaged one, but any additional work will end up costing you money. Most contractors work for about $100 an hour, and frame replacement can easily add another $200 to your total bill.
After you have the measurements, you have enough information to order the replacement windows. The window size is fixed unless you want to enlarge the opening. For load bearing walls, that process is both time consuming and expensive, and you should expect additional labor to cost another $200-$300.

Average Window Materials and Prices
The windows themselves come in a variety of materials. Vinyl is relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain, but it usually doesn’t come in too many colors. Unfortunately, most paints will quickly fade and crack on vinyl after a few years. However, paint manufacturers like Benjamin Moore have begun selling paint specifically designed for vinyl surfaces.
Energy Efficient Vinyl Windows Being Installed
Other common materials include wood, aluminum, and fiberglass. Wood is an excellent insulator but is expensive compared to vinyl. It also holds up poorly in humid regions and can rot over time especially if rainwater is allowed to accumulate.

Aluminum is a lightweight metal that won’t corrode like iron. Many homeowners go with aluminum clad windows that encase the exterior surface in aluminum but leave the interior window wood for a beautiful appearance. Aluminum clad windows cost more but offer excellent weather resistance and insulation.

Fiberglass is a relatively new window material, and it offers a number of advantages over vinyl, wood, and aluminum. Like aluminum, it won’t corrode, rust, or rot. It can hold paint well, and it will insulate better than the other materials. Fiberglass contracts and expands with the temperature at roughly the same rate as glass, so it won’t leak as much air during the winter and summer months. By filling frame cavities with foam insulation, fiberglass windows offer the best insulation out of any type of window.

An average standard home window can cost as little as $300 for vinyl but 2-3 times as much for fiberglass. Wood and aluminum clad windows typically cost about $500-$700, and they offer a good compromise between cost and energy efficiency.

Triple-pane windows will also drive the cost up over double-pane windows, but they offer superior insulation. Insulating gas between the panes will also increase the overall cost but help save money on heating and cooling bills. Have a damaged frame? A new one will increase the cost by 50-100 percent including the additional labor required to tear out the old frame and install the new one.

Bottom Line
At a minimum, expect to pay on average at least $300 for materials and $100 for labor per window. If your home has 10 windows and you’re replacing all of them, the job will cost at least $4,000.

Once you add in extras like triple-pane windows or fiberglass frames, the material costs can increase up to about $1,000 for a standard window. That same 10 window home will cost about $11,000 instead.

Every frame that needs to be replaced will cost another $200-$700. With all of the bells and whistles for each window, you’re looking at anywhere from $1,000-$1,500 per window. Larger windows and additional work can add several thousand dollars more to the eventual cost.

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