Are You Ready for Window Replacements?

Replacement Windows in Pittsburgh

Replacement WindowsThere comes a time in your home when even the most reliable fixtures need to be replaced. In cities like Pittsburgh Pa where you experience warm summers and cold winters, the climate can especially take a toll on your home. An air conditioner or refrigerator should be replaced every 8-12 years. One of the dreaded household maintenance tasks may be replacing your windows. This can be expensive and time consuming, depending on which service you settle on.

How Do You Know It’s Time?

  1. You’re electric bills have gone up over the past couple of years. This could be due to cracks in your windows that let the air inside your home escape, so you are losing heating or cooling.
  2. You feel drafts in the winter time. Areas around windows are typically colder in chilly seasons. However, you should not feel blasts of cold air coming through your window. This is difficult to battle with your heating unit and your home will never be the temperature where you feel most comfortable.
  3. It looks old. Do you take pride in taking care of your home’s appearance? Then get new windows when they begin to look dingy. There may be peeling paint, rotting, cracks, or gaps between the frame and the wall.

Choosing the Right Company

Now that you have determined you need replacement windows, it’s time to pick the best company to install them. Some services will install your replacement windows in Pittsburgh PA hassle free. This means they will deliver and install the window with experienced technicians.

Look for a service that takes custom measurements of your home for windows that are a perfect fit. This means that they will last longer and be energy efficient. When a window is sealed to the wall with no cracks, it insulates your house to maintain a constant temperature.bathroom windows

Finally, look for quality in the materials they use to replace your windows. Would you prefer wood, vinyl, or another substance? This depends on how much time you have to take care of the fixture and how focused you are on its appearance.

3 Steps to Improving Your Home Efficiency

Its summertime and that means here in Richmond VA we are in for some hot days coming up. Don’t worry; it’s not too late for you to act today to start increasing the energy efficiency of your home to keep the inside of your house cool and comfortable without breaking the bank.

Depending on the size of your home, you may be spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars each month on your electric bill alone. Below are three of the latest and greatest tips to improving home efficiency.

energy efficiency1.       Know Your Home

Before you make any costly repairs or updates to your home, you should first know what you’re working with. Investing in a home energy audit can prevent you from making unnecessary updates to your home. An energy audit is when a certified professional inspects your home to determine areas that could be improved. This is ideal if you newly moved into a house, or if you’ve been there for years. Either way, you can learn of ways to make improvements to your home. Make a list of high priority changes that would make the greatest impact to your wallet and your carbon footprint and tackle those issues first.

2.       Seal Your Doors and Windows

If you are looking for an area that most likely would make the largest impact to the efficiency of your Richmond home, look at your windows and doors. This is where a majority of heating and cooling energy is lost. Consider sealing your windows and doors for a quick and temporary fix. Then, look into replacing your windows and patio doors completely. Do your homework because not all replacement windows and doors are created equal. Ask about windows and doors by the Andersen brand. Andersen is the replacement window and door industry leader for their high quality materials and exceptional warranties. If you are looking to invest in a quality product, look for a vendor that carries Andersen brand products.

3.       Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat

A smart, programmable thermostat will allow you to set the temperature of your time on a schedule or remotely from an internet connected device. You can set the temperature higher in the summer and lower in the winter for times you know that you will be away from the house. Also, set it to begin to regulate the temperature again a little while before you know you will return home. That way the second you walk in the door you will feel comfortable. Programmable thermostats can save you on average ten percent on your energy bills. That means in just a few months it will have paid for itself.

Tips for Choosing the Right Home to Buy

Learn From an Experienced Home Buyer

When you get to be my age you know a thing or two about a lot of different aspects of life. Since I was about to buy my 3ed home, I knew the process well enough to know what to look out for and how to know if I was about to pay too much on a home. The home buying process isn’t all that complicated if you have a knowledgeable realtor but there are still some things to look out for. That said; I don’t want my home buying experience to go to waste and thought I would share a few tips on the process of looking for a purchasing a home.

First, you should always make sure you are comfortable with the realtor you are working with. These days almost anyone off the street can be a licensed realtor. Because of this, you should never just contact someone online who you have no experience with. Ask around and find a real estate company a friend or family member recommends. Im sure there are plenty of people you know in your area who have purchased a home before, so don’t be shy to ask around for opinions.

One you have a realtor you can trust the hunt really begins except for one more thing you should make sure to do first. Also shop around for the best rate on home loans. Banks are not always going to have the best prices because there are other businesses who specialize solely on home loans you can contact too. I would recommend getting at least three different rate quotes and prequalification’s before you decide on a lender.

historic home in VirginiaWhile finding the right home is ultimately up to you and you realtor, you have to learn to negotiate and walk away in some circumstances. Never pay more than you feel comfortable with and always get a home inspector. I have heard many a story of people who bought a home only to soon discover it needed a $30,000 roof, completely new plumbing system or had termites throughout the house.

Even though these are simple tips, you would be surprised how many people don’t take these things seriously or overlook them. Take the process slowly, don’t skip any steps and you are sure to get a solid deal on a home you and your family can enjoy for years to come. Also see my article from the sellers perspective if you are thinking about selling your current home.

Considering a New Shower Door? You’ve Got More Choices than Ever

Before I started updating my bathroom a couple of months ago, it was in dire need of a makeover. Basically, it looked like a nightmare out of the Seventies. Without going into too much detail about what I had to contend with, let me just say the vanity in my bathroom was topped in orange laminate. Okay, let me also say that the vinyl floor was coordinated to match the vanity.

My bathroom was so out of date that it was probably going to be back in style soon. But I was done with the orange and ready for a clean, fresh start. The vanity was replaced with dark wood and granite. The floors and shower were tiled in a handsome taupe slate, and the walls were repainted to help bring everything together.

The bathroom was almost perfect. That is, it was perfect until I put my shower curtain back up. I replaced the old curtain with a new one, but even the improved version just didn’t cut it. My new bathroom was darker and more sophisticated; it didn’t need a curtain that blocked light and would soon be dingy. I started to consider what I needed to do to get rid of that shower curtain for good.

I hadn’t thought about shower doors in years, but I decided to learn more about them. The doors I used when I was young weren’t much more aesthetically pleasing than my shower curtain. They were bulky, ungainly, and closed off spaces completely. They were not something I would want to install in my handsome new bathroom. But I was immediately interested when I started to see some modern shower door designs.

Many of today’s shower door designs are everything that the yesterday’s shower doors were not. Instead of the heavy, thick-framed designs I remembered, modern shower doors open up spaces rather than close them. They let light in, not block it out. Soon I started learning about the three basic types of shower doors: framed, frameless, and semi-frameless.

Framed shower doors are the most like the doors I remember, but today’s frames are thinner and sleeker than the designs of old. They offer a more traditional look, but are clean enough to fit in to just about any style of bathroom. They also come in a many glass types and textures that offer varying degrees of openness or privacy.

Frameless shower doors are very airy and modern looking, and look nothing like the doors I remember. Imagine doors crafted entirely from thick glass – almost entirely clear and transparent if you wish, depending on the glass you choose. Frameless doors would have looked oddly futuristic and out of place in my old bathroom, but they wouldn’t look too bad in my updated version.

Semi-frameless doors fall somewhere in between. They have frames, but they are subtle, and barely subtract from the openness of a frameless design. Relative to frameless versions, semi-frameless doors are easier to install and less expensive overall. The best way to appreciate the differences between the three types of doors is to visit a local glass shower door retailer.

As much as I loved the look of frameless doors, I thought that semi-frameless designs were the best fit for me. My bathroom has a clean, updated look, but I couldn’t help but feel that the frameless doors looked too cutting-edge to fit in properly. I thought the slightly-less futuristic semi-frameless design was the best match.

That was weeks ago, and I’ve since had new semi-frameless shower doors installed. Every time I look at the doors and the rest of my bathroom, I think they suit me perfectly: Neat, clean, and modern, but not exactly cutting edge. I especially like being able to see the new slate tiles through the clear glass so I can enjoy them from outside the shower.

One more thing I like: There’s not a hint of orange anywhere in my bathroom.

Reduce Glare with Tinted Windows

Do you live in a sunny state? In Northern Virginia, many city residents complain about sun causing inconvenient glare and a greenhouse effect in their homes and cars. This is especially true during the summer months, when air conditioning is expensive and glare is at a maximum. Window tinting is a great way to keep the sun from heating up your home or car.

Tinting windows in your home has many benefits. Aside from keeping your home cool and reducing the sun’s glare, the right tint can protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Additionally, prevent your carpets and couches from fading in the light. If you are looking to sell your home, tinted windows are a great way to increase its value. For window tinting in Northern Virginia, try ATD Solar.

It could also be beneficial to tint a commercial building, like a city office space. The window makes offices feel larger and provides great views. However, just like in your home, the glare of the sun can be distracting when doing paperwork and heat up the space. Prevent these issues with the right tint.Capture

Window tinting in your car is especially convenient because of theft. Most cars are broken into because someone looks inside and sees something expensive. Tinted windows blocks people from seeing what you have stored inside. It is also great to tint your car windows because during certain times of the year at specific times, the sun’s glare can be blinding and make it extremely dangerous to drive.

If you are not up for the cost of tinting your windows to reduce glare, purchase polarized sunglasses for protection during a long drive. These are great for lifeguards, too, whose vision in the bright sun is essential to keep people safe. The great part about polarized sunglasses is they also enhance color, improving the way you see your surroundings. Imagine how great this technology would be in your home or your car!

Tinting your windows is a simple process if you hire a service. A professional will come and carefully apply a thin layer of film to the surface, making sure there are no wrinkles or bubbles. If you take this task on by yourself, you are likely to get a wrinkle in the surface and have to buy a new piece of film. Avoid the hassle, especially for large surfaces like windows, by having an expert do this for you.

Selling Your Salt Lake City Home

Looking to put your Salt Lake City house on the market? Many people immediately rush around the house cleaning every corner and looking into home improvement projects like painting or getting new countertops. These are great ways to sell your house fast and boost its value, but don’t forget about the most important step.

The first thing that people notice as they drive by your house is the for sale sign. The second is the house’s exterior appearance. Remember that before they make an appointment to come see your interiors, they are looking at the outside. Having a great outdoor appearance in an essential first step to drawing in prospective buyers.

So what parts of your home should you fix up? First of all, consider lighting. Outdoor lights can really enhance certain features in your home. For quality electricians in Salt Lake City UT,

This homeowner went a little overboard with the flowers!

This homeowner went a little overboard with the flowers!

try Mr. Electric. They can help you design a lighting system that will prevent people from tripping in the dark and ward off trespassers.

Next, get a new paint job if necessary. Maybe the white is starting to look dull, or maybe you would like to soften the white with a creamier color. Just be sure to pick something plain and subtle because the new family may have a different style than you. Always choose neutral colors when painting the interior and exterior of your home.

Add some plants and make sure your grass is freshly cut. Landscape and general upkeep of your yard can go a long way when people are looking at your home. Plus, they know it will be easier for them to take care of an area that is well kept to start with.

Finally, make sure your windows and shutters look nice. Not only is it important to clean and paint, but you may need replacement windows to really update your exterior. These are also a great way to make the house more energy efficient- a factor that is becoming extremely appealing to home shoppers.

After your work is complete, take a drive around the block to see the finish product. Are you happy to get away from the house, or are you starting to regret your decision to move? If the second is true, you are bound to get some great prospects in there soon!

Call a Professional to Take Care of Your Home

There are several emergency situations where, although you may be hesitant to do so, it makes the most sense to immediately call a professional. In Charlottesville VA, businesses can help you out when you’re in a bind offering the convenience of coming to you, fast service, and a guarantee that your issue will be fixed on the first try. It is worth spending the money to use a service over trying to fix a problem in your home or vehicle by yourself.

One example of a time you should call a service is with plumbing emergencies. Whether you have a clogged drain, hear noises when you use your water, or have sewage backup in your bathroom, a plumber can immediately come in and fix the issue.

Another time you can call for help is with a glass repair. If your windshield glass, shower door, or home’s door is cracked or shattered, a professional can make a fast repair. Call the Glass Doctor of Charlottesville for quick and thorough results.house1

A washer or drier issue is something else that could cause a traffic jam in your home. There are plenty of companies in Charlottesville who specialize in appliance repairs such as dishwashers, refrigerators, and more.

Finally, for any problems with wiring or lighting in your home, call an electrician immediately. Unless you are experienced in some way, never try to fix the electronics in your house. This is a safety hazard, and you could end up making the problem even worse.

Overall, never be shy to spend a little more to call a professional for emergency services. You will probably be happier with the end results and you save the time of tinkering around with the appliance or fixture yourself.

10 Things You May or May Not Know About Carpet

Almost everyone at some point in their life has had carpet somewhere in their home. Carpet as a home flooring option is pretty standard in most homes throughout the U.S. However, there may be some things you didn’t know about this common household fabric.

Carpet Cleaning Arlington VA

What Carpet Means: The word carpet comes from a Latin term which means “to pluck.” This term was thought to have been coined from carpets originally being made from unraveled fabric.

 

Rug vs. Carpet: Industry experts say the difference between a rug and a carpet all depends on its size. Any fabric smaller than 40 square feet is referred to as a rug and anything larger than 40 square feet is considered a carpet.

 

The Germ Rundown: There are so many facts and statistics revolving around carpet germs that we thought we’d give it its own category:

  1. Scientists have identified air that is blown from a standard household vacuum cleaner as one of the highest sources of germs in a home.
  2. The Norovirus that causes stomach flu can survive on an unclean carpet for up to a month.
  3. Each year on average, a pound of soil can accumulate under a carpet.
  4. Bed bugs can live in carpet fibers and floorboards
  5. A person sheds over a million flakes of skin in a hour, most of which become embedded in carpet flooring
  6. Researchers have found that on average a home’s carpet contains 200,000 bacteria per square inch. This means the average carpet is 4,000 times dirtier than the average toilet seat.
  7. Carpet is an ideal environment for insects such as firebrats and caterpillars to set up homes.
  8. Mold can fester beneath wet carpet and can lead to red blisters and swelling of muscle membranes.

It is recommended to avoid or lower your chances of these statistics that you should hire a professional carpet cleaner a minimum of once every 12 months. Following a proper carpet cleaning, your home’s air quality will improve and remove allergy-inducing dust and allergens. Maintaining regular rug, furniture, and upholstery cleaning is essential to overall positive health. If you are looking for a great carpet cleaning company in Arlington, Alexandria, or surrounding areas in Northern VA click here to contact Absolute Carpet Care Inc. They are your source for professional carpet cleaning in Northern VA.

What Can Window Film Do for You?

If you buy a car these days, chances are the windows will be tinted. Especially vans and suvs but now almost any new car has window film pre-installed. Thinking back 10 or 20 years ago, this was hardly ever the case. But this trend is not only in the automotive market, more people are beginning to tint their home windows, particularly in warmer areas.

window tinting view from indoorsBut why are tinted windows so much more popular for everyday cars and homes than they used to be? When a useful product is out there, like the film sold by  it gets notices and becomes more widespread. Go to http://www.suncontrolcenter.com/ to learn more about the benefits. It’s really as simple as that. First used for commercial buildings, window film is an inexpensive investment for people who want to keep a cool indoor environment, save on gas or energy costs, and have more privacy as well. Unlike most efficiency oriented improvements, it’s much more affordable and easier to install.

So how do you know if having the windows tinted for your home is a good option for you? If you live in a warm environment, even just for the summer and find yourself paying too much for cooling during these months it may be a good option. Another common benefit is glare reduction, for people who want to watch tv or be on the computer screen without the annoying glare from the sun. Finally as listed above, maybe you live in close proximity with your neighbors and could use some extra privacy, well tinted windows are a great alternative to other shades or covers.

Commercial Window Tinting Services for Your Colorado Springs Business

Do you own a business in Colorado Springs, Durango, or Monument CO? If your business has a high amount of outdoor exposure due to glass window and doors commercial windowing tinting services from High Country Window Tint could be a great option for increasing revenue and success. Businesses look for any way possible to cut costs while increasing employee productivity and customer satisfaction. First, window tinting film from High Country Window Tint will lower your energy costs. Investing in 3M window tint will help to regulate room temperature. This mean you will no longer have to try to constantly maintain the buildings temperature. By using less of your business HVAC system you will be see the positive effects on your next electric bill. Now let’s examine window tinting effects on other important business model factors.

Window Tinting Colorado SpringsEmployee Productivity

Imagine you are trying to work on your computer at your desk, yet there is this glaring light obstructing your view. One option could be putting a window shade or curtain on the window. However, then you notice you are becoming more restless and feel like you are trapped in your office. Also, who would want to miss out on the amazing views the Colorado skyline has to offer? Window tinting is an excellent option that will prevent sun glare while still allowing you to have a window to enjoy the views of the Colorado Springs outdoors.

Customer Satisfaction

Imagine you are a restaurant business owner and you want to capture that after work crowd to dine at your establishment. You have large 11-foot tall windows with a bar that faces the outside. However, you customers are complaining about the harsh sunset light and do not want to sit there. Commercial window tinting is a quick and easy solution that could help retain those customers. They will be able to comfortably enjoy the outdoor views from within your restaurant.

These are just a few of the many solutions that commercial window tinting services from High Country Window Tint can offer businesses in Colorado Springs. High Country Window Tint is part of the 3M Authorized Window Film Dealer Prestige Dealer network, so you can trust their solar screens are made with the highest quality and satisfaction in mind. They also offer warranties from 5 years to a lifetime on their entire line of window tinting products and services. Contact High Country Window Tint and start enjoying the benefits of your commercial window tinting today.