Thursday, 12 December 2013

Vinyl or Wood replacement windows

Thinking of replacing your windows and don’t know what to choose? Wood or vinyl? What is right for my home? Which will look better, which is energy efficient, which lasts longer? And what about the cost? Those are all the questions you need answers for.

Well, wood has been the choice since ages and vinyl is a more modern option. Both are strong and durable and both have their advantages and disadvantages. So which is better?Well, if you are looking for aesthetic appeal, wood is always better than vinyl. But vinyl windows manufactured with modern wood grain technology can look almost like wood.

 Both wood and vinyl are good insulators and hence energy efficient. However modern vinyl windows are argon enhanced with double panes and hence more energy efficient.The main drawback of wood is the maintenance it needs. It needs to be painted regularly. It can rot, twist or warp and hence become difficult to operate over years. It can also be attacked by termites. Wood thus needs regular maintenance for it to last longer.

Vinyl on the other hand needs the least maintenance. It needs no painting and is very easy to clean; all you need is a mild detergent and piece of cloth. Vinyl provides excellent resistance to air pollutants, does not rot, and you have no fear of termites attacking it. Vinyl retains its finish and looks, unlike wood which looks old after some years. Vinyl windows are available in many colors, styles and design options and are easy to install.

Wood windows can approximately cost 2 or 3 times more than vinyl, so here too vinyl is the winner.
Vinyl however is a popular choice nowadays and as it is supplied by most window companies it is easily available. You can also get windows of any size or style to achieve a perfect fit and to go with the architectural style of your home. You can find out from different companies and get estimates from them. If you read reviews of window manufacturers like Champion Window or look up their website, you can find all the information about the performance of their vinyl construction, argon enhanced windows. The windows are also Energy star rated and certified by NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council) for better window performance.

As the decision has be finally made by you, weigh the pros and cons and make your decision carefully. But whatever you go for- wood or vinyl, buy replacement windows which are energy efficient. Look for the Energy Star label. This would be a real good investment giving you returns in terms of savings in energy bills all through the life of the windows. You also will have a comfortable healthy home. Also buy windows from companies which install them for you to ensure better performance. 

Add Beauty to your Home with vinyl sliding doors

It is a decision I never regret. Adding a sliding patio door to my home. While I added it a year ago for more light and style and also because my friend got one (!!!) I am amazed what a difference it has made. It completely changed the look and feel of my home during the day and the night too.

With sunlight streaming in through the day, the home feels cheerful and vibrant. And what a joy it is to have a cup of coffee looking out at the natural view out or enjoy the fresh air coming in. It even motivated me to put plants in the patio adding up to the natural appeal. The room looks bigger and spacious almost like they put up mirrors to create the illusion of more space. Since the doors are sliding and not swinging, they don’t take up any space. I could arrange decorative vases in the corner, as the sliding doors can still open without hindrance. It was a perfect solution for a cramped space allowing more space to arrange the furniture.
Party time too is fun. I hosted a barbeque party last month and moving all the needed things and some furniture was not a hassle at all, thanks to the broad patio door. My friends too enjoyed the extra space and the easy moving in and out through the door.

When my friend had come visiting with her kids, we could chat along keeping an eye on the kids playing out, through the patio door.I can go on about this- but I have to say- you SHOULD consider putting up a sliding door. You can put it up anywhere, living room, dining room or kitchen. And then of course in your bedroom if you want to create a romantic atmosphere. While sliding doors themselves add to the beauty of your home, you can further enhance their beauty with drapes or shades. Add appropriate lighting and see the mood change at night.

Sliding doors are mostly made of glass and metal, vinyl or recycled material too. My sliding doors are vinyl and have a double pane argon enhanced, high performance glass. The glass lets in more light and on the whole the door is energy efficient with proper sealing to prevent air/water infiltration for the times I have to keep the door closed. There is also a good locking mechanism for safety.
While I didn’t research much and got the door on my friend’s recommendation from Champion Window, I can say I am satisfied not only with the door, but also with the good service I got all through the process of purchasing and then the installation. You can read reviews of Champion Window for further assurance from customers and even check their website for details. Go ahead and transform the look and feel of your home with vinyl siding doors.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Benefits of Installing Vinyl Windows

Are you looking to reduce your utility bills by making your home more energy-efficient? Then installing brand new vinyl replacement windows is a great way to save energy and keep your home comfortable no matter what the weather is. What’s so great about vinyl windows? Wait till you find out their benefits!

Benefits of Vinyl Windows

No Maintenance: Yes, one of the biggest headache most homeowners face is how to keep the windows in a good condition so they look good and last long. Well, if you have vinyl windows, that’s one worry less! Vinyl is easy to care for, doesn’t corrode, warp, or don’t show scratches and dents easily. You don’t even have to bother about sanding or repainting vinyl windows. Vinyl is also very durable, so unlike aluminum windows which may corrode with time, vinyl windows are built to last and won’t rust, ever! And cleaning them is a breeze – just use mild soap and water and your windows will be squeaky clean in a jiffy!

Energy-efficient: Vinyl, which also known as polyvinyl chloride or PVC, has a high R rating, which means it provides a superior degree of insulation and is resistant to heat flow. This translates into better energy efficiency, because a well-insulated house will seal in the heat during winter but remain cool during summer. This means a substantial saving on your utility bills all year round. Install double-pane replacement windows from the living room to the basement to maintain an ideal temperature in your house in any kind of weather and keep it from getting too drafty.

No condensation: Double-pane vinyl windows don’t fall prey to condensation, as do aluminum or wood windows. So that means you don’t have to deal with misted up window panes or worry about excess moisture buildup in the house leading to mold or mildew problems.

Look attractive: Vinyl windows can be customized as per your personal tastes. You can choose from a wide variety of colors to blend well with your home’s exterior and architectural style. They look way better than wood or aluminum windows and are available in attractive finishes with numerous design options and can be molded into desired shapes to suit your taste.

Noise Reduction: Vinyl windows, especially double-pane windows stifle out the noise and let you enjoy peace and solitude. So install vinyl windows and you needn’t worry about cars blaring their horns, the wind howling, or the neighbor’s pet barking away!

Economical: As compared to wood, fiberglass, and aluminum, vinyl replacement windows are very economical and can fit into even the tightest budget!

So, what’s not to like about vinyl windows? They’re the number one choice for American homeowners, and their market share grew up to 68% in 2012 from a mere 36% in 1996 according to the AAMA (American Architectural Manufacturers Association)! Opt for certified professionals, such as Champion Windows, to install the windows so you rest assured the installation is done right and the windows will serve you for years to come!Save money and give your home a whole new look and increase its curb appeal by investing in vinyl replacement windows.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Fall Outdoor Decorating Ideas

It’s fall, and what better time to add a touch of seasonal elegance to your house! Fall is synonymous with rich, vibrant colors, so use them in abundance to decorate your house exterior and give it a stylish yet warm look! Here are some ways to embellish your porch, patio, doors and windows during the fall season.

Fall Decorating Ideas for the Outdoors

·           Let’s begin with the wreath on the entry door. Reds, orange, and browns are the standard fall colors, so buy a wreath in these colors to hang on the entry door. If you’re creatively inclined, make your own wreath using fall leaves and bright yellow sunflowers. Or you can use different kinds of berries instead of flowers. Team up with a colorful doormat full of bold prints and you’re ready to usher in fall! 
·         Can you imagine fall without pumpkin? It’s like talking about a PB&J sans the peanut butter! Get them, get loads of them, the orange pumpkins, the squashes, and the white gourds, faux or real, and place them on the stairs leading up to the door, the walkway, the patio, or near the entrance. You can also buy a handful of pumpkin planters, each one smaller than the first and place them on top of each other. Place seasonal flowers such as roses, zinnias, mums, and gerberas in the planter. 
·         Another idea is to place pumpkins and gourds together in your planter and top it with fall leaves and flowers! 
·         It’s the harvest season, so place a wicker basket filled with cornucopia, dried leaves, pinecones, cornstalks, small gourds, and other natural woody items that will last long on the table; or use it to spruce up any outdoor surface. Or simply place all kinds of gourds in a colorful woven basket and put it near the doorstep or in the patio. 
·         Another way to liven up your house is to contrast the reds and browns of fall with lime greens and blues! For example, nothing looks quite as beautiful as a blue or chartreuse urn filled with dried branches, lush leaves, and faux or real flowers placed outside the door on a small table, or along the window sills. Very inviting! This arrangement can go well with bay windows and even when placed in sunrooms, such as the ones manufactured by Champion Window. 
·         Speaking of contrasts, how about ornamental grasses in purple and golden, or succulents, potted in attractive, hand-painted vases and urns placed strategically around the house? You can’t go wrong with that one! 
·         Buy faux leaves and stick them in a wavy pattern (or any other pattern you fancy) on the outside of windows or sidelights, or even a sliding glass door. Just make sure it doesn’t obstruct your view! 
·         Get innovative and fill a wheelbarrow with gourds, twigs, fall leaves, fruits, and whatever else you think might look good and place it outside your door. 
·         Pumpkins and gourds can also be used as lanterns which can either be placed on the ground below or hung in the porch.

The change of season means summer is over, but the scathing fury of winter hasn’t yet arrived. Make the most of this time of the year because you only have a few days left to actually have fun outdoors! So celebrate fall by livening up your outdoors and showing off your house in all its glory!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Home Remodeling for the Elderly

Creating an elder friendly home environment is a choice many homeowners are using as against moving to the impersonal surroundings of assisted living. Many elders prefer to stay in their familiar surroundings at home as home renovations for seniors are designed to increase comfort and safety. Due to age related limitations seniors should have the ease to move around and use their home facilities without risk of falling or injury in their day-to-day life.

Remodeling and renovating homes to accommodate the elderly should be carefully thought out and executed according to the needs of the senior residents. Construction companies have now improved methods and designs due to the increased demand for elder related remodeling work. Families that have elder family members moving in with them choose home improvements that focus on the health and comfort of seniors.

These renovations can provide certain degree of independence, help avoid injuries and make the surroundings more accessible and improve the quality of life for the elderly.

Senior Residences
Ideally seniors should reside at ground level but if their homes are situated at a higher floor the elevators, hallways and lifts should be well lit, accessible, with handrails provided. Flooring should be made from slip resistant material, and closets and storage should be easy to use and access.

Seniors require brighter lights but minus the glare so adding sufficient lighting including areas such as the stairs with additional flashlights provided during power cuts should be provided. Switches should be placed at lower levels and operate easily.

Bathrooms are among risk prone areas for slipping and falling so should ensure safety for the elderly. Faucets should be lever controlled; there should be thermostats for controlling water temperatures to prevent scalding, commodes should be at low levels and sinks and curbless showers or tubs should be easily accessible without any floor level differences. Grab bars should be provided and hand held showers should be installed. Flooring should be level and slip resistant and handrails should be installed at regular intervals.

Kitchen renovations for seniors should include modifications that make appliances, countertops, sinks, and cabinets easy to use and access. Cupboards should be easy to open and close or reach.

Home improvement for senior friendly residences should include easy maintaining vinyl materials for sidings and the deck and entry should be on the same level or just about half an inch lower. Landscape should have low maintenance plants and the access pathway should be even. Front door should have space for keeping packages and equipped with sensor lights, peepholes and no steps.

Windows and Doors
Senior friendly homes should be equipped with hardware and locking systems that are secure but easy to operate. The sills should be placed at a lower level and the windows should allow plenty of light during daytime. As dexterity decreases in the elderly and as some have painful arthritis it is worthwhile to change doorknobs and handles with lever types that are easier to handle and operate.

There are many additional ways to manage safety and comfort of senior living that can be included such as alarms, security switches to alert help for ambulance or police and so on. Including energy efficient methods in home renovations can also improve the health and comfort of the elderly and increase property value.