Replacing Your Own Home Windows

windows uninstalled

Replacing a window is one of the easiest home renovation projects and one that can also significantly improve the looks of your house. Many homeowners in Raleigh and Greensboro, NC are looking to do away with their worn-out windows and replace them with new windows that are more durable and perform better. Here are some ways to determine if it is time to replace your windows.

  1. The first step in deciding if windows are in shape is to check if everything is working properly. Do the windows open and close easily? If there are locks, are you able to easily lock and unlock them? Do they close very tightly? These questions are important not only for energy conservation but also in the event of an emergency.
  2. Most homes built decades ago have single pane glass. They do not conserve energy well and can cost you good money. These days, dual pane glass is used more often as it is energy efficient and is also safer. These can help to reduce pollution as well and is a good investment.
  3. If you notice that places which get plenty of sunlight in the house including your furniture, carpet and the like are beginning to fade away, it is a sign that it is time to upgrade. The single pane old glass may allow too much sunlight into your house and the ultraviolet rays may be harmful.
  4. Is the window frame rotting or falling apart? If yes, then it is time to replace the windows.



Buying Replacement Windows


To buy a new window, it is important that you research your options well. Do not think that you need to spend a lot to get quality windows. Here are certain things to keep in mind while shopping for the right windows for your home.


  • Energy efficiency - The best windows have high energy performance ratings and are energy efficient. A rating of four and above is considered good.
  • U-value – U-Value refers to the heat flow through the window. The lower the U-Factor, the better it will block the heat flow.
  • Solar Heat Gain Co-efficiency (SHGC) - It measures the transmission of solar heat. If this value is high, it means more solar heat is being transmitted through the pane. A higher SHGC value is good for cooler climates while a lower value is good for warmer climates.
  • Design pressure or DP value – The DP rating indicates the strength of the windows against hurricane winds and water penetration on either side of the windows.
  • Air – The more airtight the windows are, the better it will insulate. This is an important rating to check. The more airtight the window is, the lower will be the air leakage number.


Once you have bought your windows, the next step is installing them. It is best to hire the services of a professional company to do the installation process. They possess the knowledge and the expertise to handle all kinds of installation work.


Steps to Installation

After you have decided to replace the windows, here are some tips to ensure that your windows installation process goes off smoothly.


  • Clear the space – Remove all blinds, curtains, and other window treatments. If there are any bushes or plants near the windows, trim them. The replacement professionals would need some space in front of each window to carry out their work.
  • Remove security sensors – If you have installed any security sensors in the windows, turn it off. Inform your security company about your installation and that they would have to reconnect the alarms after the installation is finished.
  • Prepare the path to the windows – The technicians should have a clear way from the truck to their windows. Anything that can come in the way should be removed. If you have any pets, make sure they are out of bounds so that the workers can do their job well.
  • Cover your furniture – Window replacement is a lot of work and while most professionals clean up after the installation, you can take some precautions too. Cover up the furniture and the technicians can bring something to cover the floor to protect it.



Choosing an Installation Company

window installers

While choosing a window installation company in Raleigh, make sure to go for one that has good experience in installation. You can ask your family, friends, and neighbors to recommend some good names. Once you have shortlisted some companies, you can ask them to come over and offer you an estimation.

With the best replacement company in charge, you can be assured of proper installation. Replacement windows, when installed correctly, can lead to significant savings in cost and energy and can also add immensely to the look of your house.

How to Prepare Your Home for the Upcoming Winter

Cold, harsh winters can be very difficult on your home. Not only can the winter cause damage to your home, the cold weather can also increase your energy bills more than they should be. If you follow a few simple tips, you can protect your home and your wallet.

cookie cutter homes

Repair or Replace Your Windows

Older windows can be very drafty. On a cold winter day, the drafts from the windows can drop the temperature in the home, causing your heating system to work double time. This can cause your energy bills to increase greatly. If you repair or install replacement windows, the money that you save on your energy bills will pay off the windows within the first year and a half.

Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

When the temperature outside is below freezing, it can cause the water in your pipes to freeze, and possibly burst. There are a few tips that you can follow to prevent your pipes from freezing.


  • Disconnect your garden hose at the beginning of winter, and cover all of the outdoor faucets
  • Always keep the temperature in the home at 68 degrees, even if you are taking an extended vacation
  • Open the cabinet doors under the cabinets. This will allow the heat to circulate around the pipes
  • If there are any pipes close to exterior walls, you should wrap them in heating tape to prevent freezing
  • Stop any drafts near water pipes. This includes closing windows and covering or closing open air vents
  • Insulate all of the outside walls and any area of your home is not heated
  • Keep your basement heated. You should also consider weather sealing your windows
  • If you are going to be leaving your home for a long period of time, you should turn off the supply valve to your washing machine. If possible, have your home professionally winterized
  • Let the water in the faucets drip slightly. This will minimize freezing

How To Know That Your Pipes are Beginning to Freeze

If you notice that your pipes are beginning to freeze, you can try to stop it before it happens. There are a few ways to monitor your pipes.

Check your faucets before you go to bed and again in the morning. If there is reduced water pressure, your pipes may be starting to freeze.

Keep an eye on the pipes around your water meter, near exterior walls, and in unheated areas.


What To Do if a Pipe Freezes

If your pipes freeze there are a few things that you can do to keep them from bursting.

If the pipes inside your home freeze, you can defrost them with a hair dryer.

If you don’t have a hair dryer, you can heat water on the stove and soak towels in the hot water. Then, wrap the towels around the coldest sections of the pipes.

Whether you are thawing your pipes with a blow dryer or hot towels, you should start thawing in the sections closest to the faucet. You should also thaw out the pipes with the faucet turned on. This will help the melted water drain out.

 What To Do if a Pipe Bursts

If a pipe bursts, you should shut off the water main immediately. It is a hot water pipe that burst, you should also close the valve on the top of the water heater. Next, and very important, you should contact a plumber right away.

Cleaning Up After a Pipe Bursts

If your pipes burst, the first thing that you want to do is stop the water from coming into the home As a safety precaution, you should also turn off the electrical power to the area of the home where the pipe burst.

It is important to start cleaning the water quickly so that mold does not have a chance to start growing. If there were rugs or carpets in the flood area, they should be removed right away from the home. The same is true with mattresses and upholstered furniture. If any clothing was soaked, you should wash it as soon as possible. Using a wet vac, you should suck up any standing water. If you have space heaters, you should turn them on in the area after the standing water has been removed and let them dry out the rest of the area.

If the water damage was too serious, you should contact a professional water damage restoration company in Fairfax VA.

The winter weather can cause great damage to your home. If this happens, you can end up paying a great deal of money on energy bills, not to mention the money that home repair would cost. The more prepared you are for the winter, the better.

Dealing With Difficult Household Stains

One of the most difficult aspects of keeping your home clean is tackling stains that set in carpets, fabrics and upholstery’s. Whether you have children, pets or a particularly clumsy spouse there’s a good chance that you’ll have to tackle pet stains, wine stains or something less common around your house from time to time. It helps to know about carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaner solutions before the stain happens so you know how to take care of it when it’s fresh and much easier to deal with.

messy pets and kids

Pet Stains

Pet owners know how troubling those pesky stains can be on their carpets and around the home. Not only are the stains unsightly but they can contribute to a bad smelling home and will often cause your cat or dog to have future accidents in the same areas.

The first step to tackling these stains is to locate each and every one of them. You will be able to spot most visually, but to be very thorough you can rely on a black light in a dark room to spot older stains. Each located stain should be moistened with clean water and then extracted using a wet vacuum or professional extractor. This will remove most of the traces of the stains and most carpet cleaning tools are available for rent at a local pet store or even a grocery store. Once the area is well-cleaned apply a pet odor neutralizer following the included directions closely. If stains persist you should rely on a high-quality pet stain removal product to help further work the stain out from your carpet or other surfaces, but always make sure to try the solution out on a small less obvious section of the material to be sure that it doesn’t cause staining of its own.


Tackling Wine Stains

There’s nothing more upsetting than spilling a deep red wine on your favorite white shirt, or heaven forbid someone else’s carpet! Fortunately, there’s a simple remedy for wine stains and you’ll be able to use it almost anywhere that you are. As soon as the spill occurs, blot it with a clean cloth or paper towel and pour some cool water over the top of it. Now toss a generous amount of salt down over the top of the stain. The salt will absorb the wine and actually pull it out of the fabric before it has a chance to set. Finish by pouring boiling water over the spot to help lift out any of the remaining stains after letting the salt sit for an hour.


If the complete stain doesn’t come out of washable fabric with this method soak it in a mix of one part vinegar to two parts water for 15 minutes and then wash the fabric as you would any normal piece of clothing. Most of the stain should be removed at this point. For carpet, you can pour the vinegar mixture down over the spot and then extract it out using an upholstery cleaner after 15 to 30 minutes of sitting.


Removing Difficult Glue Spots

When it comes to the subject of carpet cleaning, glue spots are a real issue for many people. For mild glues, you can often just blot the spot with a damp towel soaked in warm water. The glue will soften and come out most of the time. When you face something a bit more difficult like hot glue it’s time to get out the iron. Place a clean cloth over the top of the spot and heat it up with an iron until the glue liquefies and sticks to the cloth that you’re warming. For really abrasive glues like super glue you have to rely on more desperate measures like clear acetone. Apply the acetone as liberally as possible and rely on something like ear swaps to accurately apply the acetone to the one small spot before wiping away glue with a cloth. Scraping with a fork or a knife can help you accurately remove any bits and pieces of glue that don’t come off from these methods.


How to Handle Marker Stains

Permanent marker can be a real problem when it gets into the hands of children that like to draw on themselves or other surfaces. Removing marker from fabric is a pretty simple process, but it’s important that you catch it as soon as possible to have the best chances. When you notice the stain pour rubbing alcohol down over the top of it starting with the outside edges and then focusing right on the stain itself. While doing this continuously dab the stain with a clean cloth or with paper towels to pull the marker out of the fabric. Once you’ve blotted out all that you can wash the fabric as usual in the washer if you can.

When the stains on carpet or upholstery you can use a solution of one tablespoon dish soap and one tablespoon of white vinegar mixed in two cups of warm water to remove the stain. Simply apply the mixture to a clean cloth and blot the stain over and over again until it disappears. IF the stain persists you can blot it with rubbing alcohol just like with the fabric. This is usually enough to remove the stain completely, but this solution is less and less effective depending on how old the stain is. It helps to catch the stain within an hour or two of it happening if possible.

Follow these steps and you’ll be an accomplished carpet or upholstery cleaner in no time. Tackling most stains isn’t too difficult as long as you use the proper methods and you treat them as soon as possible.

Choosing the Right Granite Stone for Your Countertops

Choosing the right granite stone for your countertops is a big decision. The kitchen is often the center of the home and the counters take up a large portion of space. Choosing counters during kitchen renovations take time and effort, but it is worth what you put into it. The right granite countertops will stand out if you take the following into consideration during the search.


Cabinet Color

Cabinets also take up a large amount of space in the kitchen and they often butt up against counter tops. In order to get kitchen counters that work well with the cabinets, find granite stone in Northern Virginia that is a good contrast with the cabinets. You can also go with something that is the same color but has darker mottling. Make sure you take samples of the basic granite stones you are considering home to compare them to your cabinets and make sure the colors are good together.

 Kitchen Size

In order to find the right granite for your countertops, you will need to keep your kitchen’s size in mind. It is a general principle to choose lighter colors for smaller kitchens so the room will look larger and more open. If you have a large space, you can use a darker color for the kitchen counters.

 Mixing Options

There are some kitchens that do well with mixed granite combinations. If you have a larger kitchen, you can use one color on the outside counters and a different color on the island, for example. This can really make the kitchen stand out among others with granite counter tops.

 Other Rooms

If you use granite in other rooms of your home, you may want to think about those areas as well. You can utilize granite in bathrooms, around fireplaces, and in many other regions. You might want to coordinate those with the granite in your kitchen in order to give the house a cohesive style.

Before you settle on granite, consider all of your options. Lava stone and marble are also popular for kitchen counters. Lava stone is made from stone quarried from ancient volcano eruption sites. It is very beautiful and, like granite, custom cut for each order. Lava stone is heat resistant and gives you a water-resistant, smooth, non-porous finish that works well in the kitchen. The materials are very strong and there is a wide variety of color options. However, keep in mind that this type of stone is very expensive compared to granite and marble. It is also hard to refinish.

Marble countertops are also very beautiful and elegant. It comes in a wide array of colors and no two slabs are the same so you will have a unique piece no matter where you put it. The material is heat resistant and won’t mark under hot pans. It is not usually recommended for kitchens, however, because it is rather porous and can keep germs and contaminants in its pores.

Once you settle on granite countertops, you can then go about choosing the perfect slab for your kitchen. Granite is a strong material and when you use it in kitchen renovations, it will raise the asking price on your house. It is an investment, but it will be one you can get back if you ever sell the home and in the meantime, it’s beautiful and functional.

Tips On How To Prepare Your Home for Winter

Whether you live in Richmond or Northern Virginia, the winter chill signifies the coming of the long holidays, family vacations at ski resorts, and other pleasant experiences. A lot of people look forward to the season, welcoming it with open arms. Winter also brings a number of challenges that we have to face head on. For example, the temperature can drop way down in some regions making it unbearably cold even inside the home. Heaters are often used to keep the family safe and warm but they won’t be able to do it all alone. The entire house should be included in the preparation with repairs performed on strategic spots from your home insulation efforts to your HVAC maintenance efforts.

warm women

Increase the Efficiency of Glass Windows

Windows are known to leak a great deal of heat outside the home. They are among the weakest points of any structure when it comes to thermal insulation. Installing an advanced heating system is a good thing but all that technology will be wasted if the windows can’t keep the warmth inside. No matter how hard the system works, heat will dissipate quickly through the glass. This will force it to push even more just to maintain the desired temperature. Owners will only end up with high fuel costs month after month. Something else has to change.

Replacement windows are recommended for older homes that might not have been optimized for energy efficiency. These can be installed alone or as part of a larger renovation project. Select a modern window with excellent insulating properties from the glass to the frame. Look for an Energy Star logo which indicates their suitability for this task. Quality units can last for quite a long time with warranties that stretch for decades. Such a replacement can cost a great deal but this is expected to be recouped after a few years with the savings from reduced energy bills.

Aside from boosting efficiency, having new windows will also help enhance the home’s curb appeal. Banish the broken glasses and rickety panels. Use pieces with superior build quality that will not easily get shattered. Pick a design that matches the overall theme of the house so that they can blend seamlessly as if they have been there from the start. These could even add to the value of the property which is handy in case the owner decides to sell in the future. After all, buyers have become more keenly aware of green technologies. Energy efficiency replacement windows will surely pique their interest.


Repair the Damage Caused by Frozen Pipes

burst pipe

Most things shrink when they get cold but water behaves in the opposite way. The volume of water actually expands when it freezes. This can be a problem when it comes to the plumbing system as the enclosing pipes come under pressure to get bigger as well. Cracks may develop on the surface until the pipes burst open. Frozen pipes are among the leading causes of water damage based on the number of insurance claims across the country. If a household wants to spend the winter in comfort, then this kind of incident should be avoided at all cost.

Make sure that all pipes are leak-free before the cold months come. Drain the water from the swimming pool, outdoor hoses, and water sprinkler supply lines. Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas using heat tapes, pipe sleeves, or even rolled up newspaper if on a tight budget. When winter comes around, implement preventive measures around the house. Keep the garage door closed to protect water lines inside the area. Keep the kitchen doors open to allow warm air to reach the pipes under the sink and other vital areas. Let faucets drip as running water is known to prevent freezing.

Be vigilant in sensing whether a pipe has frozen or not. Tell-tale signs include reduced flow from faucets and shower heads. Visual inspection should also be conducted from time to time. Once found, then these have to be thawed right away. Just remember to bring cleaning materials like a mop and a bucket, as water may rush out of them after the ice melts. Get help from water damage professionals if the problem is particularly difficult. They will have specialized tools to clear basement flooding and make the house dry once again.


Seal Gaps in the Home

As part of winter-proofing the home, consider sealing the gaps and cracks all around. These small fissures may seem harmless but they do the damage to the household budget making your HVAC system work hard and cost you more. They reduce the energy efficiency of the heating system by letting warm air escape to the outside. Thus, the heater is required to consume more fuel to provide adequate warmth. These gaps are usually found where walls and floors intersect. The areas around windows and doors tend to have a lot of them as well. Some are located on the roof and on the walls.

Focus on those located along the perimeter of the house. There are a number of different methods that can be used to seal these cracks. Draft strips may be installed on the external doors to prevent cold air from coming in and warm air from going out. They will remain useful in the summer when they keep the cold air in and the hot air out. New windows should be fine if they have been properly installed. For old drafty windows, it is common to use a caulking gun to fix the problem or purchase a window insulation kit from a hardware store.


Insulate the Perimeter

The walls are the primary shields against the harsh conditions outside. They should be adequately insulated to prevent heat from escaping from the house. We might think that our homes are fine in this aspect but try to check this theory with an energy audit to get quantitative measurements. The results may be a surprise. A lot of homeowners find out that there are vulnerable spots around their perimeter that require reinforcement. Call the local energy provider to ask to request an assessment or obtain the contact details of companies that provide the service.

The attic, roofing, and air ducts will also need to be inspected. Leaks around these result in a significant reduction of thermal efficiency as well. Professional auditors will bring tools that can help them pinpoint the exact location of the leaks and other weak spots. With their help, the process can be conducted thoroughly and effectively. It won’t take long to complete so do not worry about any inconvenience. Their findings will be invaluable. They can make several recommendations based on these results. Follow their advice on efficiency upgrades to get up to 30% savings on energy bills.

It is worth your while to conduct home repair before winter comes around. Even the little things can help immensely in ensuring that the family remains comfortable throughout the season. Think of the time, money, and effort spent on these projects as long-term investments. Each of them will pay dividends in time. The amount spent will eventually be recovered through energy savings and, by fixing problems early on, you will prevent things from worsening in the future. You and your loved ones can wait for wintertime with eager anticipation knowing that the house is ready for whatever it might bring.

Why General Contractors Need Proper Auto Insurance


A general contractor typically provides his employees with all the tools they need to perform their duties efficiently. Key among those tools is a company vehicle to transport personnel and equipment from one location to another. However, just like any other car on the road, a car owned by a general contracting company can be involved in an accident. To mitigate the risks associated with car accidents, including financial losses and legal suits, a general contractor should have proper auto insurance. Here is some more information on this topic:

An Overview of Business Vehicle Insurance

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), entrepreneurs must ensure all the vehicles they use for business purposes. If you have already purchased Business Owners Policy (BOP), do not assume that it covers your business’s vehicles. In some states, BOP does not cover vehicles, meaning you would have to purchase additional coverage for your business’s vehicle(s).

work  van

The Benefits of General Contractor’s Vehicle Coverage


1. Comply with state coverage requirements

It is illegal for general contractors or their employees to drive business vehicles that do not have adequate general liability insurance, personal injury protection (PIP), underinsured/uninsured, collision, comprehensive and property damage insurance. In addition, it is advisable to purchase a type of coverage called “Specified Perils.” Some insurers refer to this coverage as “Combined Additional Coverage” (CAC). Unlike other types of auto insurance policies, Specified Perils only covers perils specifically stated in the same policy. Fortunately, most CAC or Specified Perils policies have lower premiums compared to other types of auto insurance policies.

2. Medical costs coverage

Car accidents often lead to serious injuries that may require hospitalization and specialized treatment. Such treatment and the associated care could potentially cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Since the law may compel the at-fault driver to settle the rising medical bills, you should purchase an auto insurance policy that includes medical coverage to protect your general contracting company from potential financial ruin.

3. Coverage of litigation costs

The parties injured in a traffic accident involving your company car may decide to sue or enjoin you in a legal suit regardless of who was at fault. Defending such a lawsuit in court could cost you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in terms of legal fees. For this reason, the right contracting business vehicle coverage that takes care of litigation is vital. It is worth noting that most commercial general liability vehicle policies cover the cost of litigation, especially legal suits filed by individuals claiming that general contractors or their employees bear responsibility for vehicle accidents that resulted in injuries or fatalities.

4. Protect your business from financial ruin

The cost of fighting legal suits in court or paying medical bills out-of-pocket can deplete your savings and ruin your business financially. This could cause you to fold up your business or file for bankruptcy. Unfortunately, filing for bankruptcy would likely make your personal financial situation worse because it would have a negative impact on your credit score, meaning you would likely face huge challenges trying to access financing to start another business. You can avoid these problems by purchasing the right auto coverage from a reputable auto insurance company.

5. Cover property damage costs

Besides the costs related to medical bills and litigation, commercial vehicle insurance also covers expenses related to property damage. This includes the cost of repairing or replacing vehicles damaged in a traffic accident as well as compensating the owners of damaged properties such as residential and commercial buildings. Take note most vehicle insurers require policyholders to contact and notify them about property damage costs immediately if they exceed specific amounts (for instance, more than $1,000). Moreover, some local and state administrative authorities have similar requirements.

6. Employee job security

A rarely mentioned benefit general contractors derive from cheap car insurance is employee job security. This is because contractors and their employees can continue with normal business operations without worrying about bankruptcy or folding up even when they face legal challenges. This is important considering numerous studies have shown that job security has a huge impact on productivity at the workplace. For instance, according to a study published by the New York Times, job insecurity increases burnout, reduces productivity, reduces job satisfaction, as well as reduces the physical and mental health of employees.

building a home

If you run a general contracting company, it is wise to ensure all its vehicles have proper insurance coverage. Benefits include complying with your state’s auto coverage requirements, employee job security, medical costs coverage, protecting your business from financial ruin, coverage of litigation costs and coverage of expenses related to property damage.

Home Downsizing for Seniors

downsizingDownsizing can be a daunting undertaking, especially for seniors who have accumulated a great amount of stuff over the years. Seniors wanting to move to a smaller home after retirement, or move into an assisted living facility, are faced with the task of relinquishing long-cherished belongings. It can be difficult to let go of items that represent memories and hold emotional value – as well as items that no longer have a use but are simply familiar in the home. An accumulation of belongings, in addition to their functional or emotional value, often acts as a barrier for seniors in need of downsizing for financial or living assistance reasons. By prioritizing and getting rid of unnecessary items, this barrier can be removed.

If you or a loved one needs help with downsizing and paring down to the essentials, ask them or yourself the following questions:

1. Is this something you really need?

Create two categories for your belongings – need (keep) and don’t need (discard/donate). Restricting your items to only these two categories eliminates the possibility of holding on to anything you don’t particularly need, like that old treadmill you’ve been using as an additional clothes rack. If you haven’t used an item in the past year, such as furniture, books, and clothes, get rid of it.

2. Will this fit in your new home?

Consider large vanities, china cabinets, king-size beds, sofas, etc. Chances are that you won’t be able to fit all of your furniture into a smaller home. If possible, take measurements of your new home and create a floor plan to see how your larger furniture will fit. Anything that can’t fit can be sold, donated, or thrown out. And don’t forget smaller items like clothes, books, and cookware – these items can quickly take up space in a small home. If you won’t have as much storage space like cabinets and closets in the new home, these will need to be sorted through.

3. Is this broken or replaceable?

This may seem like common sense, but it’s surprising how many broken items we hold on to for one reason or another. Any clothes with holes or stains or any glasses that are chipped should be tossed out. Anything that can be replaced (think about all your Tupperware containers that are missing their lids or the stacks of old magazines) can also be thrown out. If your loved one is unable to bend over or reach in order to discard items, see if a caregiver such as this Asheville NC home care service would be able to help him or her.

When downsizing, remember what your priorities and your goals are. It’s not particularly advantageous to keep items in a storage unit that will never be touched or used. Belongings that have special emotional value can be gifted to friends and family members, and photos and old documents can easily be digitized to save precious space. It’s not easy, but if you’re smart about your choices, downsizing can offer you a reduction in your cost of living, or the many benefits of assisted living.

And lastly, go ahead and clear out the attic and all the junk drawers in your home – if you’ve forgotten about all that stuff for the past 10 years, you don’t need them!

Choosing Windows For Each Room In Your Home

There are many different types of windows you can use in your home. Windows come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you’re building your dream home, then you get to choose the types of windows. As a current homeowner you may be looking for replacement windows. New technologies have also made it possible to have even more windows when choosing windows.

Windows for Every Room of the House

There are a few window types that are suitable for every room of the house. Double hung windows have two sashes or window panes. Each pane slides vertically up or down. With this window type, you can open the window at the top or at the bottom. A single hung window also has two sashes, but only the bottom sash open. Sliding windows are mounted along a horizontal track. These windows glide along the track to open, but some sliding windows are stationery and don’t open. Casement windows are hinged at the right or left side of the frame. They open outwards using a crank. These windows are also called crank windows.

Windows for Living Rooms, Entrance Halls and Foyers

In these areas of a home, your windows can make a statement. Arched windows resemble half circles. They are often installed above other kinds of windows. Clerestory windows are installed high on a wall and consist of a row of small horizontal glass panes. Paladian windows consist of three uniform windows with an arched window over the middle pane. A transom window comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and are mounted over doors or other windows. These windows open or are stationery. Jalousie windows have slats or panels like a shutter except the slats are made of glass. You can manually open and close the overlapping panels.

Windows for Living Rooms, Dining Rooms, Bedrooms and Kitchens

Bay windows protrude from the side of a home. In most cases, there are three panes of glass with a large middle pane and two flanking panes. The side panes usually open, but in some cases all three panes open. A similar window is called the bow window which has more than three panes of glass. Picture windows are large panes of glass that often don’t open. They provide a great deal of light and also provide a great view.

Windows for the Top Floor and for the Basement

Skylights are windows for the roof of a home that don’t open. They allow in light although they are often frosted for privacy. Hopper windows are often found in basements. They are small windows that resemble casement windows, but instead open outwards on a horizontal tilt.

Optional Window Features

It’s now possible to customize windows in a few ways. After you choose the kind of window that you want, whether it’s a Fiberglass replacement window or you opt for Renewal by Andersen windows you have other options as well. To reduce your energy bills you can purchase windows that are energy efficient. For better insulation in your home, you can choose windows with double pane or triple pane glass. The extra layers keep the heat inside during the winter and the cool air inside during the summer. There are also low-emissivity windows, also known as low-E windows. These windows allow the sunlight to enter a room, but not the heat from the sun. Although all these additional features are more expensive, they also help to regulate the temperature in your home and help you save on your energy bills.

When you ready to shop for new windows, there are many options to choose from. You can easily find windows that meet your needs, match your decorating style and suit your budget.

Purchasing Your First Home

homebuyerWhether it’s your first house or your fifth, buying a home is a major commitment. Purchasing a home involves stacks of legal and financial paperwork, working with contractors and construction, and thinking possibly decades into your future. But once all is said and done, homeownership brings a variety of rewards. You’ll be a valuable part of your community and have control over changes to your home, without the anxiety of rent increases and lease terminations. You’ll also be able to build credit and home equity, and receive tax benefits as well. Becoming a homeowner has many benefits, but can be an overwhelming process for the inexperienced buyer. If you are interested in purchasing your first home, be sure to consider these points:

  • Finances
  • Before buying a home, you obviously need to make sure you have enough money to do so. Homeownership involves making mortgage and insurance payments, and paying property taxes. You also need to consider paying for utilities, maintenance, and regular repairs. If you need more financial information, search the web or speak with a banker about Richmond home mortgages. But if you find that you aren’t prepared or able to take on the magnitude of financial responsibility, you may want to stick with renting.

  • Risk
  • You should be aware that the value of real estate fluctuates — meaning your property value can increase or decrease depending on the market. Buying a home means taking on quite a bit of risk, and the possibility that your property may not be as valuable as you’d hoped years down the road.

  • Putting Down Roots
  • If you’ve been renting for a while, you’re probably aware of how easy it is to pick up and move at the end of a 12-month lease, or sooner. Once you own a home, the process of putting the house on the market and getting it sold is quite a bit more complicated. You’ll be less able to pick up and leave town at the drop of a hat, and you might end up with less return on your investment than you had hoped for.

Buying a home is most likely the biggest purchase you’ll ever make in life. Depending on your situation, owning your own home may be a wise financial investment — or it might not be right for you at this time. Weigh your options and consider the amount of risk and financial responsibility that you’ll be able to take on, and you can be a well-informed homebuyer.

Spring Cleaning Your Home

HomeSweetHomeSpring is finally upon us now.  For many of us, it’s a time to start anew; a time to begin new home improvement and gardening projects to make our homes feel livelier.  Many home projects can even add value to your property and make it more appealing if you ever decide to put it on the market.  I know there are many things on my to-do list that I’m absolutely excited about getting started on!  Below are some ideas that may help you take your home the extra mile this spring.

Carpet Cleaning

What better time than now to have your carpets cleaned.  If your home is like my Peoria AZ home, a professional carpet cleaning will brighten your rooms and leave them smelling fresh.  I’ve made it a priority for years now, to have a professional carpet cleaning done at the start of every spring.  You’ll definitely notice a difference and it’ll extend the life of your carpet!

Window Cleaning

Spring is the perfect opportunity to clean your home’s windows.  You’ll be amazed at how just a quick window wash can improve the amount of light let into your home!  This is a surefire way to make your home seem more open and spacious.  Most windows have a lever or hatch that make cleaning your windows from inside a breeze.

Cleaning under Furniture and Appliances

Go ahead and tackle those dirty spots underneath your furniture and appliances.  Most of us typically avoid these areas just because they’re often hard to get to.  Grab a buddy to help you move some of the larger items and do a thorough cleaning.  You may notice that afterwards, there’s less dust floating around your home and your allergies may clear up a bit!

Light Fixture Dusting

Our light fixtures love collecting dust, so break out your favorite duster and get to work on your lights and ceiling fans.  Use a vinegar and water solution for grimy light bulbs to give them a brighter glow.

Organize Things into Storage

Since the season is changing, there’s bound to be several items around the house that can be put away into storage.  Things like winter jackets, gloves, snow boots, etc.  Take this opportunity to go through things that you don’t use or need any more and get rid of them.  You can even host a yard sale and make some extra cash for your unused items.

Power Wash Your Exterior

Doing a thorough power washing of your home’s exterior will not only make your house brighter and look sharp, but it’ll also remove any mold and mildew that may be forming.

Hopefully you have some ideas now of what projects you want to take on this season.  Best of luck to you and your spring cleaning!